Reporting from LA Fashion Week
March 18, 2010
Occasionally a fashion event comes along that you know you’ll remember as much for providing a unique experience as for fine garments, and some events are either more, or less exclusive than they say they are. When it came to the Yotam Solomon presentation I couldn’t find out the location until a few hours before start-time. Where I ended up (thank goodness for GPS) was a mansion at the end of a culdesac deep in a part of the Hollywood hills that, let’s just say I’ve had no other recent invitations to visit. Valets were more than a little overwhelmed so I parked my rental Dodge down the hill in between a Porsche and a Bentley (carefully), and walked a couple blocks up the hill to where all the flash bulbs were going off. The evening began at a paparazzi banner set up poolside from a vantage point overlooking the LA basin. Models wearing Yotam Solomon’s Fall 2010 collection took turns on the red carpet for photographers, and Solomon himself and VIP guests got in there too, for pics & interviews with Fashion News Live.
Photo: Michael Bezjian
Solomon has built quite a bio for any 22 year old. Lauded by Vogue UK, WWD and LA Times, he was born in Israel and moved to LA in 2003 where he graduated high school in ’05. He was notable long before graduating FIDM as a young, award-winning prodigy on the viola. As if perhaps unconciously aware that yours truly, scanning the opulant surroundings with notebook and camera, felt at least a little out of my element, I was taken aback somewhat when Solomon weaved his way over and introduced himself. He talked briefly and thanked me for being there, all with a very relaxed warmth. There is something I’ve found generally true about young people who have mastered an art form from an early childhood age. In Solomon’s case it happened to be the viola, but it doesn’t matter what the art form is as much as the mastery of it. They seem to know themselves in a way that most 20-somethings do not. Solomon seems comfortable in his own skin. Perhaps discovering and expressing himself artistically through music is one of the reasons he has been able to translate his artistic perceptions into critically appreciated collections so soon after his education in the technichal aspects of fashion.
Yotam Solomon. Photo: C.Cone
His collection was characterized by some in his circle as “avante garde,” and in some cases I can understand the reference, although in fashion I tend to think of the more outlandish pathfinding looks of Paris when I think “avante garde.” There remains a sense of boundary in his looks, and an authenticity to his Los Angeles, despite the stereotype that authenticity and LA are never anything but disparate qualities (balderdash). I like the fact that he designs for Southern California without simply pandering to some of its more simplistic conventions (particularly those for young women and girls). One particular black, tight mini dress, by itself would look like just another one of those tight LA club minis that I am so over. Leave one arm sleeveless though, give it some interest with asymetric shoulder lines, and drape carefully tapering soft-looped bands of fabric on one long sleeve from wrist to ribcage, and a young lady wearing it is still hot but can deliver it with a different vibe.
Yotam Solomon footwear.
Photo: Michael Bezjian
One potentital pitfall of designing in LA, of course, is simply the climate. Some “Fall/Winter” collections in LA could easily pass for Spring/Summer in the Pacific Northwest, and one of the most creatively interesting elements of fashion, layering, can get lost by some labels here. Solomon does a good job of keeping interest, designing some two-tone blazers & skirts in combination, or creating a ripped, strappy look on an arm or upper chest, in a way that remains elegant and I can tell was not haphazard because the shape & tone of the revealed skin become not just skin, but elements of the design. As is always the case for anyone, there were certainly pieces I liked more than others, but there wasn’t any piece in the collection that made me lose touch with his style.
Solomon also designs the shoes in his collection, and I must say I like some of them a lot, and they are matched to accents in the apparel in ways I like to do for myself when it comes to shoes, belts and watches. There’s something I can appreciate when I can catch even the sole of a shoe deliberately complimenting a necklace or the underlining of a bow or sash.
Yotam Solomon is sold in boutiques in Los Angeles and New York, but can also be found online at Shopflick and Catch Boutique.
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