Score one for the fashion cowboy. Friday afternoon the be-hatted Brady Westwater confirmed for All the Rage that his efforts to rope, throw and brand a fashion week is moving ahead -- although it appears to be kicking like a bucking bronco; its hooves are hammering a stretch of the calendar from March 19 through March 24, with a dust storm of details still to settle.
Still, it's a bright spot; as we mentioned a few days ago, it was starting to look like tumbleweed might be the only thing rolling through downtown during the traditional time frame for Los Angeles Fashion Week. Then Westwater -- whose past efforts to bring fashion-related events downtown include working with early incarnations of BOXeight and more recently starting a Downtown LA Fashion Walk -- saddled up and rode into the thick of it, announcing his willingness to work with local designers and the management of the Spring Arts Tower at 453 S. Spring St. to use that space for a few extra nights (he'd already reserved it, he says, as part of an upcoming Fashion Walk event).
Soon Mike Vensel (the designer, photographer and organizer of a short-lived Kitten Fashion Week held at the downtown Standard Hotel back in 2007) was saddling up beside him, and as of this writing, the newest dynamic duo of downtown is trying to circle the wagons and nail down all the details.
Westwater is short on specifics such as potential sponsors (beyond the building's management), participating designers and schedules, allowing only that the calendar is currently configured to entertain runway shows, art installations and the like from March 19 through the 24th, with two of those days (Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st) already booked with shows.
"Right now we're in the phase of reaching out to designers to see what their needs are," he told All the Rage. "We're going to be flexible so that everybody who wants to stage a show can." He said that hopes are to line up sponsorships to cover the cost of staging the shows, said to be "a couple hundred bucks." "But we don't want anyone to be turned away for inability to pay," he said.
One important specific that has been hammered out is the name. "We're calling it 'Concept,'" Westwater said. "We wanted it to be something that was simple and easy and elegant." While theConcept website is still under construction, interested parties should contact Westwater directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While it remains to be seen what sort of event ultimately arises (we'll keep you updated as sponsor and designer lineups are confirmed), we're optimistic about its chances.
After all, everybody knows nailing the concept is the hardest part of any project.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: A look from designer Mike Vensel's runway show at BOXeight on March 15, 2008, at Los Angeles Fashion Week. Vensel and Brady Westwater are spearheading a group that's working to provide runway space at the Spring Arts Tower for designers to show their wares to press and buyers in downtown Los Angeles, through a just-announced show dubbed "Concept." Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times.