In my retail days on MELROSE, I met a lot of fascinating characters. The street was full of creative people looking to make a bigger move and make things happen. I remember working the vintage buying counter and chatting up a designer named Sweet P. She had successfully made the leap into clothing production, and had lots of retro-inspired halter dresses. This was the swing heyday and she was cashing in. Over the years we would talk at the buying counter as she left her own line to work for BEBE. She was always an inspiration, for her drive and her sweet marriage to artist Sage Vaughn. At the other end of my retail block was a young sexy designer named Rami Kashou. He was re-working vintage and hand detailing bleached out t-shirts in a way that transalated to big bucks.
I was lucky enough to befriend both and through the years run into them at all sorts of places. Rami quit his day job and began making exquisite one of a kind pieces for all sorts of stars. I photograped his first collection look book out in Palos Verdes. It was stunning- his draped designs against a coastal cliff loaded with mustard seed plants and a Michealangelo replica chapel. I knew then that he was destined for great things.
He always supported my fashion endeavors as well and came out to my runway shows. If I had a dollar for every friend who formed a crush on him, I'd be sitting pretty on a pile of cash.
After opening my shop I came into contact with the new age darling Elisa of Hunger World. Her designs had passed into my hands over the years as a vintage/designer buyer. Chloe S. and Tara had sold some of her better pieces as well as the lovely Melissa Auf Dermaur of HOLE. Her fascination with nature and puppets-was evident in her dance costume pieces. She would often paint on top of her hand sewn tops and tea stained items. I remember her saying she liked to pour the fabrics with oils that were tranquil and sew them directly on the body. Her work has graced the pages of many magazines... and inspired other younger designers DIY designs like Molly Stern and Liz McClean. I recall her being featured as one of the Beautiful People in Paper one year- looking like a pixie fairie. The model Naomi Campbell was featured once wearing HUNGERWORLD in a boxing ring (Either the FACE or I.D.) , the leggy model was in a boxing ring sweating in a torn and tied Jiminez piece.
This season 4 of PROJECT RUNWAY all of these 3 designers will compete on the BRAVO show.
I think the drama (A Hippie-fairie, a surf motorcycle maven, and a draping pro)
+ the combined effort of talents will make for great t.v.
** I plan on posting some of my favorite photos saved of these designers work, in the weeks to come!
GOOD LUCK you guys