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Photography By: Gerald Hawkins

 

When thinking of fashion, places such as Paris, New York, London, Milan and Tokyo come to mind, but there is another area that should not be overlooked. Orange County is a rising star in the fashion world and to see proof of this, look no further than OC Fashion Week. From ready-to-wear to couture, every aspect of the industry was represented, giving a real taste of what Orange County has to offer.

OC Fashion Week, presented by Maserati of Newport Beach, began the festivities at Dawson Cole Art Gallery in Laguna Beach. The night started with a cocktail reception and silent auction, where a portion of the proceeds benefitted JDRF, an organization devoted to researching a cure for type 1 diabetes. Doors opened around 6 p.m., and although the fashion show didn’t officially start until 7:30 p.m., there was no shortage of eye candy for the style conscious. Everyone came dressed to impress. It was as if you had been transported to a scene straight from the Great Gatsby, and the party was only beginning.

After some mingling, guests entered an elegant courtyard flanked by black and white Maseratis. The show was about to start. Jonathan Jimenez was the first designer to showcase his autumn/winter 2016 collection, which initially featured light colors with floral patterns and flowing fabrics. Reds and whites were initial fixtures, followed by darker greens. A dark green sleeveless top with a flowing trellised skirt-like bottom and gold trim was one piece that stood out, along with a beautiful flowing red dress that wafted in the breeze as the model effortlessly strode down the runway. Features such as deep Vs and sleeveless tops showcased backs, shoulders and arms.

Model and singer Cambria Martinsen performed a few tracks off her new album Roots between designer showcases and once again proved Orange County talent should never be underestimated. Berenice Gonzales then ended opening night with a bang. Her cutting edge modern designs could have graced the runways of Paris and Milan. One ensemble that comes to mind had a seemingly military-inspired top with a collar that extended past the nose, leaving only the eyes visible. In contrast, the bottom half was loose and had material that reflected the surrounding lights. It was clear over the next few days, attendees were in for a real treat.

Day 2, held at Pelican Hill Resort Coliseum Pool and Grill in Newport Beach, had a different vibe than the previous day. This was when guests had the chance to meet the designers and models behind the show. Photographers got their cover shots and fashionistas got a sneak peek of what was to come. Along with the designers, we got the opportunity to meet a few of the models that make each line look so good.

Bonita Barungi got her start in the modeling industry at 18 years old. This was her 2nd OC Fashion Week with LA Fashion Week being her next highly anticipate event. Out of all the week’s events, the networking event was her favorite. Alyssa Assayag got her start at 17 and had never been a part of OC Fashion Week until this year. She was looking forward to modeling for Naima on Wednesday, who won America’s Next Top Model.

Rilee Ringold got her start at 17 as well and is an OC Fashion Week veteran, this being her second time working the event. She said the networking event made her feel like a celebrity, but it was hard to pick her favorite day, as she really liked everything about OC Fashion Week. Eva Izing had been modeling for the longest period of time, getting her start in the industry around the age of 13 or 14. This was her 2nd OC Fashion Week and her favorite part was being able to model clothing she normally wouldn’t get the opportunity wear every day.   

Held at La Capella at The Resort at Pelican Hill, Day 3 treated attendees to an incredible display of couture collections from a variety of designers. Along with the presented signature collections, the Naima Mora World of Fashion Photography highlighted the best of the runway. Large windows provided the perfect frame for the evening, with stunning views of the Pacific complementing the luxurious surroundings. Designers that presented include Dawn Sunflower Couture, Charmaine Joie Couture Collections, B. Spoke, MW by Mimoza Windisch, Claire Farwell London and Victoria by Elizabeth.

(Read on below the photo gallery)

 

OC Fashion Week Presented by Maserati of Newport Beach

 

 

Day 4, themed “Fashioned for the Future, ” was held at the Art Institute of California in Santa Ana and showcased some of the brightest rising stars in Orange County’s fashion scene. SoCal’s famously perfect weather came through, allowing the audience to fully enjoy the open air venue prepared for the evening’s main event. Designers didn’t shy away from pushing boundaries, taking advantage of the 3-4 piece limit to display the very best of what they had to offer. Each collection was judged by a group of key players in the fashion industry including model Rilee Ringold and executives from Angelita Photography and Manna Kadar Cosmetics. They were given the tough task of selecting five from the group who will go on to showcase their full collections in September’s OC Fashion Week. This honor went to designers Gladys Torres, Melynda Valera, Alisha Needham, Vanessa Lozada and Stefani Alvarado.

Top Model Naima Mora, Day 4’s Spotlight Designer, debuted her new collection filled with pieces that seem destined for future events in the world’s fashion capitals. Shabella Ready to Wear Collection by Shab Sadeghi, Kit Pham, Lulu and By Definition were also among the established designers present at the event. OC Fashion Week has been a starting point for many a designer’s career and today was no exception. Keep an eye out for both the established and up and coming talent— we’re sure you’ll be seeing a lot more from them.

 

Locations

Day 1:

Photographer Winner: Steve Manivong

Dawson Cole Fine Art Gallery

326 Glenneyre St

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

888.972.5543

 

Day 2:

Photographer Winner: Steve Manivong

The Resort at Pelican Hill

22701 S Pelican Hill Rd

Newport Coast, CA 92657

855.315.8214

 

Day 3:

Photography Winner: MYO Media.co

The Resort at Pelican Hill

22701 S Pelican Hill Rd

Newport Coast, CA 92657

855.315.8214

 

Day 4:

Photography Winner: Stanley Tran

Art Institute of California: Orange County

3601 Sunflower Ave Ste 100

Santa Ana, CA 92704

714.830.0200

Also,  DAY 4 Fashioned for the Future will air at 6pm on March 24,  ch.63 KBEH in Southern California.

 

Awards

The 2nd Annual World of Fashion Photography went to OCFW photographers.

 Other Awards

  1. Day 1 |  Steve Manivong  – Dawson Cole Fine Art
  2. Day 2 | Steve Manivong – Colisuem Pool and Grill, The Resort at Pelican Hill
  3. Day 3  | MYOMedia.co  – La Capella,  The Resort at Pelican Hill
  4. Day 4 | Stanley Tran – Art Institute of California, OC
2. The Face of Fashion winner presented by Apex Laguna Niguel went to Chloe Pasquini.
3. The Winners of the Fashioned for the Future contest from Day 4 – (students become full fledge fashion designers and 5 are selected to go on to the next OCFW runway this September)