LA Fashion Week Spring 2017

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“Fashion is about dreaming and making other people dream” – Donatella Versace

An inspired week for the LA Fashion scene wraps up as LA Fashion Week Fall & Winter 2017 comes to a close. Always evolving, the theme and scale for the events this week was more about intimacy and personal connection. The venues this year were a delightful mix of high end glamour with the W Hotel hosting the opening ceremonies, discrete on the outside yet lively on the inside with Plaza Bar in Hollywood hosting a show, and industrial underground with Hubble Studios on the outskirts of downtown LA as the venue for all the rest of the shows. The opening ceremonies featured some live musical performances, a live art demonstration, stunning a performance by the Anahiem Ballet and a display of never before seen prints of Andy Worhol.

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The venue selection and pacing of the shows this season harkened back to the budding fashion scene of New York in early 1990’s. The “less is more” approach this season combined with the inspired works of the designers made for a spectacular an truly memorable event. We can’t wait to see what the dedicated LA Fashion Week team pulls off later this ear for the spring / summer ’18 show!

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Be sure to view the list of the designers the presented at this season’s shows and checkout their websites for other unique works by them.

Sophie Hardeman

Hardeman

Hailing from Amsterdam, Hardeman draws inspiration from people in every day scenarios. Anything goes is a recurring theme you’ll find in designs from Hardeman.

Khala Jones

Grayscale

Fashion with an emphasis on a personal touch, Greyscale is about an appreciation for one’s own uniqueness expressed through apparel.

Vicken Derderian

Vicken Derderian

A distinct fashion duo, Vicken Derderian makes use of dynamic and sleek lines to make their designs stand out in a bold, yet refined way.

Edwin Haynes Sav Noir

Sav Noir

Classified as Dark Chic, Sav Noir has designs that speak to the rebellious night owls in all of us. Founded in San Francisco but now based in LA, Sav Noir features dark tones that capture the industrial-gothic mood of underground fashion.

House of Cuoco x Vanessa Simmons

A joint collaboration show, the talent and edge of House of Cuoco blended with the finesse and flair of Vanessa Simmons. We hope to see more collaborations between this duo in the future because the what we saw was an amazing blend of two dynamic talents.

Be sure to enjoy our gallery of photos from the all of the activities:

Cheers,

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-JB

 

 

Father Vs Son: E46 Vs E90 M3

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With so many amazing machines on the road now it sometimes becomes easy to take cars for granted. What we mean by that is that in the modern era cars have come so far and performance has become so accessible, you sometimes forget how certain cars became known as the benchmark. One such car is the original E30 BMW M3, which when it first came out in 1986, set a new benchmark for what a performance sedan could be. The next generation E36 M3 continued this tradition, even though the US customers did get a little short-handed by the EPA. In 2001, the E46 M3 came onto the scene and solidified the legend of the M3. And in 2008, the V8 power E90 and E92 (sedan and coupe versions, respectively) took the M3 to another level of insanity.

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Since we have access to a 2001 E46 M3 and a 2008 E90 M3, we’d thought it’d be fun to revisit these cars and what makes them special, as well as how they stock up against each other. First, let’s take a look at the E46 M3.

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Featuring an inline 6 engine that cranks out 333 horsepower and 262 ft pounds of torque, the E46 M3 had some fairly insane stats for the the time it was introduced. The particular example we have is colored in the flashy Laguna Seca Blue, which was a controversial color at the time but has gone on to become a classic. The color can be subtle (sorta) at times and very vibrate at others, depending on the light. The example we have has a 6 speed manual transmission, which hugely changes the driving experience, as we’ll get into later. The E46 M3 is fairly small and compact car, and somehow the lines are still classic and timeless. It looks very modern and not dated, which is something previous generation M3’s can’t claim.

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Driving the E46 M3 is a joyous experience, the car is nimble, light and very dialed in. Driving it is a simple “point and go” experience as the E46 is easy to place and the car always feels like it wants to go a little faster, turn a little harder and be a little more aggressive. The recommended driving setup is with the Sport button on and with a manual transmission. The SMG semi-automatic F1 style transmission that is available is notoriously clunky, especially at low speeds, but the manual makes the driving experience sublime. The clutch is light and shifts are effortless, so even a newbie to the manual transmission can learn relatively quickly on this car. The quirks with the E46 is that it is a bit of a noisy car, in that there are creaks and moans the car makes, but usually the sound of the amazing S54 engine can drown them out. Also the E46 can understeer a bit in certain corners at speed, but the back can be broken lose for some playful slides. 10 minutes of driving this car and it’s easy to see why it’s a modern classic and was a home-run for BMW when it was introduced.

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So how could BMW top that? There attempt to do so was with the next generation M3, and we happen to have access to an E90 M3 to see exactly how they tried to do so. The E90 upped the ante, the new S65 engine was a monstrous V8 that had a whopping 414 horsepower and 292 ft pounds of toque. For the transmission you could get ether a manual or the brand new DCT, which was a dual-clutch F1 style transmission that was a huge improvement over the SMG. The car we had was equipped with the DCT, which almost seemed fitting as the E90 belongs more to the laptop generation of performance cars while the E46 belongs to the coal mine generation.

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Driving the E90 M3 the first things you notice are the size and the power of the car. The E90 is bigger car than the E46, and it is heavier as well. But it’s also much more powerful and the V8 under the hood never lets you forget that fact. The E90 pulls very hard and hugs the road in a way that makes you believe in witchcraft because like the E46, the E90 is very much a “point and go” car as well. The E90 feels so planted and tells you everthing that’s happening on the road that your driver confidence is hugely boosted. Continuing the tradition of the E46, the E90 has that very special signature M Car feel to it. Even with the DCT, the car is quick, agile and a proper driver’s car. Put the car in M dynamic mode and the play factor doubles as the car’s rear becomes easy to slide and catch, which suddenly becomes your new favorite game while driving.

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So which one do we like more? It’s a bit of a toss up, but we’re going to give the slight edge to the E46 M3 on this one. The combination of a manual transmission and the slightly more playful driving nature give a little better sense of connection with the road. This isn’t to downplay the E90 M3 at all. It’s more of a generational preference. But both cars are proper M Cars, are proper driving machine, and are amazing bang-for-buck classics you buy right now. Do what we did, grab some buddies, grab these cars, and go for a fun drive in Malibu and up the coast to Moonshadows for some mojitos.

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Cheers,

JB

PECLA: The Ultimate Porsche Experience

After much anticipation, the brand new Porsche Experience Center is finally open in Carson, Los Angeles. The state-of-the-art facility can be clearly seen from the 405 freeway and is the west coast headquarters for Porsche North America.

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As excited as we where to drive, today we actually went for a different purpose: Dining. Located in the facility is fine dining Restaurant 917, which is located on the top floor of the facility. The perk of this is you get a clear view of the entire outdoor portion of the facility, with clear views of the track and cars parked below.

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The menu of Restaurant 917 is short but diverse, but the food and drink variety is balanced for those that want to either have something light before a track session or heavy for those leaving the track having worked up an appetite. We highly recommend trying the dessert menu as well, as the artisan desserts look as amazing as they taste.

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On the main floor of the facility is a garage with historic Porsche race cars and and a few current models as well, like the 911 R. There is a gift shop and outdoor patio at track level too. All in all the facility is a fantastic place and a must-visit for any gear-head. And fans of Porsche will feel like kids in a candy store as this place is a dream come true for fans of the German performance car marque.

Cheers,

-JB

i-Drive: The BMW i8 Driven

 

With BMW sharing their vision for the future with their Next 100 Event, they brought out a collection of 4 special concept vehicles to give us a glimpse into what they have planned. To celebrate this fact, BMW brought out a host of electric vehicles for test driving, and naturally we took the chance to give the i8 a whirl.

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From a looks standpoint, the i8 is stunning. It’s sleek lines and smooth surfaces make it look like a car that came out for the year 2040. We were very happy that the car not only looked mostly like the original concept, but in fact looks better. Being the flagship of BMW, the i8 has a lot to live up to since we are avid BMW fans, and there is the expectation of “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Our biggest concern is that this new eco-dream machine will lack the soul and fun factor of the BMW brand in favor of subdued conformity.

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Getting into the i8 can take some adjustment for those not used to getting into car that low and with a door sill that wide. Fortunately, we have plenty of experience so it was almost second nature. The butterfly style doors are a nice touch to the futuristic looks of the car, and pulling them down does make you feel like you’re closing the cockpit to a flying car out of a movie. The interior of the i8 is very straight forward, there is a cool display on the media screen and in the dashboard panel. The hardest thing to figure out is why there are back seats in the i8. If you where a midget amputee you still would not have space in the back, it probably would be a better use of space to make that additional cargo space. Also with the i8 being electric, making sure the car is on before trying to drive can make a seasoned driver feel foolish, so as with all electric vehicles, always make sure you press the brake and hit the start button for good measure.

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One thing that a lot of electric cars, and modern cars in general suffer from, is that they make use of gimmicks. The i8 is no exception. It is full of gimmicks. When placing the car in sport mode, the dash panel goes from blue to red, the steering firms up a bit, the 3-cylinder engine suddenly gets a noticeable synthetic sound boost, and the in the media center there’s a bunch of displays for various information you shuffle through.

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And yet, somehow, the i8 is able to brilliantly pull of being filled with gimmicks. They all actually add up to create a very dynamic experience, and a large part of that is due to the fact that the i8 gets the most important thing right: The way it drives. The i8 drives and feels like a proper car…it’s responsive, you can feel the road and it corners in a confidence inspiring way. It may be a futuristic hyper-eco machine, but it’s still a a BMW at it’s core and that’s the real magic. It feels like an “ultimate driving machine” and it’s a refreshing thing to see, as the trend with more modern cars is to make them more tame and synthetic. The i8 is in a lot of senses synthetic, but the synthetics are augments to the car’s natural ability, not the core of it.

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All in all we were very surprised by the i8. In the years to come we think this will be remembered as one of the top classic BMW models of all time. Much like the first iPhone or the Messerschmitt Me 262, the i8 is a design that takes it’s current platform into it’s next evolution. And that’s a gimmick that is one hell of a trick to pull off.

Cheers,

-JB

The Business of Design

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On Monday, City Club LA hosted a very unique event in conjunction with FIDM. The event was a mix of mixer, shopping experience, discussion, and fashion show, which create d truly one of a kind night.

The night began a mix of vendors taking over the main ball room 51 floors up at LA City Club to make a high end street market of sorts. From clothes, to hand bags to specialty rum, there was a diverse mix of vendors and offerings.

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The next part of the night featured a panel of speakers discussing the topic of business in the fashion industry as well as design inspirations. The panelist where Kathryn Ireland (Kathryn M. Ireland Textiles), Barbara Bundy (VP of Education FIDM) , Elizabeth Fiske (National Sales Manager / Merchendiser, I 5 inc.),  and Deborah Arthur (Brand Expert, St. John Knits).

The conclude the evening, there was a special fashion show that was put on. St. John presented their Fall 2016 Collection, our good friends at Charles Goyer Bespoke Suits presented a sampling of Charles Goyer’s hand-crafted suits, and Skin Tone Men’s Clothing displayed a collection of vacation inspired casual wear.

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All in all it was a great night hosted by one of the best venues in Los Angeles. Education, fashion, and business all came together for an evening that everyone in attendance will remember for some time to come.

To checkout the official pictures from the event, stop by Facebook page of the event photographer Richard Hernandez.

Cheers,

-JB