After a long hiatus, Los Angeles Fashion Week returned for its spring-summer 2024 season – this time with a revamped format, a diverse schedule, and a roster of standout designers. Here’s what it was like inside the Nya Studios campus in the heart of Hollywood.
Tucked amid funky boutique hotels, restaurants, a record parlor and a barbershop, sits the sprawling, 50,000-square-foot Nya Studios. The area is busy any day of the week, but during one particular week in October, the rush was especially palpable. If you took a peek past the iron fence, you’d know why. You’d catch a glimpse of the stylishly dressed guests. Of the food truck cooking up nibbles for weary fashionistas. Of the signs proudly announcing the return of Los Angeles Fashion Week.
Finally, after a long hiatus and so much speculation and story-swapping, the city got its fashion week back. Back with a facelift. New schedule. New location. New owners. Now helmed by N4XT Experiences, an events platform co-founded by Ciarra Pardo and Imad Izemrane, LA Fashion Week was reinvented and restored, proving that it’s a natural fit for a growing fashion scene. Lately, many big shows have been rumbling into town. But having an official fashion week – especially one that highlights homegrown talent – means further extending the city’s influence.
Everyone has noticed the change, which has spurred many to wonder if the industry really needs another fashion week. In reality, LA Fashion Week has been orchestrating multiple events over the course of the last eight years. (I should know, I went to most of them.) Whether or not the industry needs it, it’s there. Instead, we should be asking what it can bring to the table.
The answer: a lot. For starters, the organizers opened the campus up to the general public. Despite hours-long lines waiting behind ropes (there are still some logistical kinks that need to be ironed out), this still gave industry outsiders and armchair fashion critics access to a world that’s closed off to most. Whether this will continue is unknown to me, but it’s nice to know that more entities are tapping into this open-to-public format. (Diesel has famously been championing the democratization of fashion with its large-scale shows.)
Amid more globally recognized labels like Sergio Hudson, we also saw several talented up-and-comers known in the fashion insider circles, many from California. But the biggest – and perhaps most important – differentiator was the diversity of the events. In a break from the traditional runway format, LA Fashion Week’s schedule also included presentations, performances, panels, and even film screenings. On top of that, there were also customization booths and brand activations, and a creators lounge to take a breather from it all.
During those four days (five, if you count opening night), Nya Studios’ campus was abuzz with activity. I attended most days and events (my tired, sore feet are proof); here’s a comprehensive round-up of the most standout moments.
1. Imitation of Christ
Around 6:30 p.m., a crowd gathered in front of The Hole, a contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles. We talked, mingled, and reminisced outside before they started letting people in. Then, we streamed through the front door, and huddled together, elbow-to-elbow. Some guests stood on their tiptoes to catch a glimpse of what was happening; others watched through their zoomed-in phone cameras. We were all curious what actress-turned-artist Tara Subkoff had planned for LA Fashion Week’s opening show. Correction: performance.
But first, some background. Since its foundation in 2000, IOC’s collections have always telegraphed the designer’s views on big topics like climate change, reproductive rights, creative freedom, and environmental responsibility. (Tara was championing upcycling long before it became a buzzword.) And this performance was no exception. We watched as dancers moved to the sound of prayer from representatives of five different faiths. At one point, we heard a woman’s crescendoing voice as she recited a Quranic verse in Arabic, “And ease my task for me. And loosen the knot from my tongue [so that they may understand my speech].” This message of spiritual unity felt more relevant now than ever.
Photography by Shanelle Infante
What I loved most: From breezy silk robes emblazoned with peace doves to lightweight cotton and linen dresses, everything was crafted out of old garments and deadstock materials. Everything moved so beautifully – especially at the end of the show, when the dancers-slash-models danced in a circle, inviting the guests to join in.
The setup was striking albeit simple: limoncello-yellow drapery lining the walls and a tawny orange carpet underfoot. These colors, I later learned, were plucked from Jamaican artist Sean Paul’s “Gimme The Light” music video. Brooklyn-based designer Edvin Thompson hails from Jamaica, and for his 22-look resort collection – an expanded version of the spring-summer 2024 lineup he showed in New York – he mined his childhood memories of living on the island and later moving to New Jersey. Theophilio’s collection – titled after Jamaica’s coat of arms, “Out of Many, One People” – is somewhere in between: part Caribbean, part East Coast.
This was clear in the run of meticulously crafted separates rendered in snakeskin, drawing to mind the lizards that live in abundance on the island. Particularly striking: A billowy asymmetrical dress draped over matching pants and of course, the lilac snakeskin blazer Edvin closed his show with. Elsewhere there were light-as-air gauge knits, party-ready sequins, and denim pieces cut with a sophisticated yet playful hand. I’d be remiss not to mention the draped hooded knit dress in a look-at-me red; I was awed.
Photography by Kohl Murdock | Serious People
What I loved most: The stories of these interlacing places and backgrounds and how they come alive through cut, fabrics, and prints. Edvin’s sunny color palette of mustard yellows, blues, and greens take you straight to the sandy beaches, crystal lagoons, and rustling palms of Jamaica. It was purely clothes over spectacle.
Stepping inside the dimly lit hall felt like stumbling into a secret garden. I was instantly enveloped by leafy trees, the chirp and warble of birds, and a lush, green landscape. Titled “City of Trees,” Advisry’s presentation took us out of Hollywood and dropped us 400 miles away in Sacramento, where designer Keith Herron grew up. “I wanted it to be immersive,” Keith told me, and a presentation felt like the right choice. “Because I’m from California, this was an opportunity to bring out my community, my family, my friends, and have everyone really be a part of it.”
In the center of this verdant forest, Keith showcased 10 garments from his recent 10th season, which he showcased in New York – juxtaposed with pieces from seasons one through nine. (For some context, Keith started the brand at the age of 13.) “That was a design I made at my dad’s house,” He tells me, pointing to the gray hoodie with the brand’s name embroidered in the manner of Krispy Kreme’s red-and-green logo. “The real backstory is that I was actually obsessed with Krispy Kreme donuts.” All around, we got glimpses into Keith’s life. The first shoe he designed – a “fake” collaboration with Vans. The leopard-collared jacket through which he channeled his fascination with workwear. The sandals he livened up with logos in art class. And so much more.
What I loved most: It’s not everyday you get to see a retrospective of a buzzy up-and-comer. Seeing the evolution of Keith’s work was like a fast-forward through time, and the fact that he began designing for his brand at such a precocious age made this exhibit even more interesting.
4. Gypsy Sport
Even before anyone stepped onto the runway, the crowd was cheering and whistling. I felt a frisson of anticipation as I always do with any Gypsy Sport show. (This was my third). This is an energy only Los Angeles-bred designer Rio Uribe can summon. Case in point: The show started with a performance by rapper Radamiz, who sent everyone to a whole other plane of euphoria. Then, the models came out. Correction: the models danced, shimmied, dropped it low to the incredible, fast-changing soundtrack of ‘80s, ‘90s and early aughts tracks – from Cherrelle and Alexander O’Neal’s “Saturday Love” to The Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha.”
With the show, Gypsy Sport celebrated its 10-year anniversary, and fittingly, the collection itself felt like an amalgamation of what Rio does best: basketball mesh-jersey dresses, oversized jackets, logo-emblazoned slips, bandana paisley patterned long shirts, denim separates, and lots of sequins. There was a plethora of color – from traffic-light reds and ‘80s purples to bumblebee yellows and pinks. One of my favorite looks featured an oversized pink jacket with satin-y pants. It was finished off with a pink crossbody bag in the shape of Gypsy Sport’s logo – two upside-down hats, a nod to its beginnings as a headwear brand.
Photography by Kohl Murdock | Serious People
What I loved most: The diverse cast (always a pillar in Gypsy Sport shows), the sense of community, the soundscape! In an interview with Forbes, Rio said he wanted to focus on Chicano and Latin American artists: “At New York Fashion Week, it was focused much more on the queer and underground space. In L.A., there’s an abundance of talent. It’s more about performance, and less about clothes.”
5. Sami Miro Vintage
On Saturday evening, we traded in the runway bench for plush seats inside a small movie theater for an intimate film screening by Sami Miro Vintage – a documentary that chronicled the makings of the brand’s first New York Fashion Week show. But before the play button was pressed, Los Angeles–based designer Sami Miro addressed the crowd: “What you’re going to see is something that’s super unique,” she said, donning a gray SMV blazer and a long denim skirt. “You’re going to see our runway show, but you’re also going to watch the behind-the-scenes countdown and really giving shine to the people who’re all part of the show.”
The documentary, titled “Zero Waste,” did just that. Tightly edited, it took us on a quick journey – from run-throughs to hair and makeup, and finally, the show itself. We got another look at Sami’s performance art scene, where she transformed one of the garments on the runway with her scissors. But it was the next part that, in my opinion, felt more enlightening: a post-screening interview hosted by LA Times writer Julissa James, who referred to Sami as a “modern-day, more stylish Edward Scissorhands.” In the best way possible, she added.
Photography by Maria-Claudia Nova
What I loved most: It’s rare that you get to listen in on such a long and intimate conversation with a designer during fashion week. Sami dissected select spring-summer 2024 looks, delving deeper into how she brings new life to old garments and deadstock fabrics. She talked about the first item she thrifted and transformed – a mauve-colored, sun-damaged Lacoste top – and how great it felt wearing something no one else owned. Following the interview, Sami took questions from the audience.
6. Luis de Javier
The (overwhelmingly massive) crowd was crackling with excitement for Spanish-born, London-based designer Luis de Javier’s show. Stories about his mentorship under industry heavyweight Riccardo Tisci have been swirling around, and even before that, the designer had established such a strong visual identity rooted in his heritage that it was impossible to ignore. (If you haven’t seen images of Julia Fox in a bullhorn-inspired, body-hugging dress dreamed up by Luis, you’re missing out.)
Although the venue was Hollywood, the setting was a nightclub in Berlin. Think: hard-charging techno music, dim lights, a tightly packed standing audience. The inspiration: “La Ruta del Bakalao,” one of the largest clubbing movements in Spain. Combining this cultural curiosity with great technical skill, Luis sent look after standout look down the runway. The brand’s defining pillars were there – latex, leather, corsetry – but everything felt refined and truly sublime. Lace peekaboo bras added a sensual twist to skintight latex dresses. White boxers peeked out of oversized, wide-legged pants. Chains, cords, and horns made an appearance too.
Photography by Kohl Murdock | Serious People
What I loved most: The silhouettes – they were incredible. In one look, Luis balanced a massive, body-swallowing coat with a slinky, bikini top and squeaky latex skirt. And in another, an enormous yellow coat (the color of striping paint on roads) draped over a yellow bikini set. And of course, I have to mention the heart-stopping, floor-length dresses he created out of black and red stiletto nails. Outstanding.
7. Sergio Hudson
“It’s giving me Hampton vibes!” I heard someone say about a model donning a delicate eyelet shirt tucked into a pair of matching high-waisted white pants. The sun-drenched, beachy locale that inspired designer Sergio Hudson was Inkwell Beach – a famed vacation spot in Martha’s Vineyard for generations of Black families. To capture this beach-bound carefree spirit, Sergio dreamed up a 14-look spring-summer 2024 collection that leaned heavily on silk charmeuse, stretch cotton, denim, and Italian eyelet. Oh, and a palette of all-over neutrals.
Moving to the jazzy soundscape, another model twirled in a full-skirt eyelet dress. She beamed ear-to-ear like she was genuinely enjoying herself. (Who doesn’t love a good skirt whirl?) One by one, models – mostly in whites and neutrals – filtered through one of the galleries at Nya Studios, posing in front of large-scale floral installations set up across the space. “I wanted something that would be airy and lightweight, but still provide the structure my customer is used to seeing from the brand,” Sergio said about the collection in the show notes.
Photography by Justin Jerrod
What I loved most: The ambiance. From the jazz to the laid-back elegance of the entire affair, Sergio tapped into the party atmosphere that keeps Los Angeles buzzing. Bookending the presentation with cocktail hour was a fun move, too. He seemed to know that it was the easy glamor people wanted – and a few libations, too.
If there’s anything Bulgarian brand Demobaza is known for (and is damn good at), it’s world-building. During their last show in Los Angeles, designers and co-founders Demo and Tono teleported us to a hazy, desert landscape. The models walked with grit, warrior-like in their sand-hued robes and sweeping hoods. This season, Demo and Tono looked to more lush locales. “We’re really inspired [by] our other love, the jungle,” he told me after the show. “We’re doing more [of a] nomadic, tribal, jungle experience.”
For their spring-summer 2024 collection, Demo and Tono excavated a palette that closely connotes nature: army greens, muddy browns, and blues. We saw hoods and balaclavas, long, layered tunics, and asymmetrical shapes that swept the floor. Many survivalist-wear pieces were festooned with zippered pockets, making them expedition-ready. Layered together, these looks felt like something out of a sci-fi film. Peeled apart, every garment was surprisingly wearable. “We’re seeing so many people around the world wearing our clothes in combination with […] casual clothes,” Demo told me. Take one of their most “complicated trousers,” he says, and throw on a simple t-shirt, and you’ll have yourself an interesting outfit.
Photography by Anastasia Schas and Kohl Murdock
What I loved most: Demo and Tono have developed such a strong brand DNA that I could never mistake a Demobaza show for anything else. The styling was particularly praise-worthy. Even with only a brick wall as the backdrop, Demobaza managed to create a fantasy and made us feel like we were a part of that world.
9. No Sesso
“What is it like to have a body?” A disembodied voice asked the audience. Then, a heavy silence fell – broken by the click-clack of heels. The first model weaved around the runway, her hair transformed into a kind of sculpture, like a cluster of twigs. A strange mix of videos flickered across the wraparound projector: a time-lapse of highway traffic, a foggy silhouettes of (what I assume to be) an android, a volcano erupting. There was an unmistakable AI-takes-over-the-world vibe all around. (The show was called “Futuro Fish” after all.)
In this sci-fi-inspired world, co-designers Pia Davis and Autumn Randolph sent out an equally futuristic collection of body-hugging dresses with hipbone-high slits, leather outerwear, tailored sets in various shades of blacks and grays. (One particular standout was an oversized puffer split open with an asymmetrical zipper.) Asymmetrical details and cutouts abound, and there was a focused emphasis on slashing fabric near the upper thigh. Clever construction also included convertible pieces, which allowed sections of the garment to be removed. A black dress with a riding-chaps-style cutout particularly caught my attention.
Photography by Ibe Van Bouchaute | Serious People
What I loved most: Beyond the clothes, the thought that went into the hair and makeup. Models had their hair flattened and swept straight backward, à la Rick Owens fall-winter 2015. And of course, there was the choreography. Breaking his slow methodical walk, one model burst into an interpretive dance – twisting with his whole body, rising on his toes, writhing, and clicking his long, claw-like fingernails together. He moved with untrammeled energy; it was absolutely fascinating to watch.