22-Aug, 04:13

15:37, October 28 190 0

2016-10-28 15:37:13
On the Runway: A Little Sunshine for Vogue’s Next Wave of Talent

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Once a year, Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America pack up the young designers they’ve anointed the best and brightest, a few choice staff members and some friends, and ship the whole lot westward to Los Angeles.

The occasion is the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund showing, the last in a series of events before the panel of judges (including fashion designers, business executives, fashion council board members and magazine editors) decides on whom to bestow the fund’s $400,000 grand prize, to be announced Nov. 7.

Why Los Angeles?

“It’s sunny,” said David Neville of Rag & Bone, one of the competition judges. “And we’re English. And we want to live in California.”

As temperatures in New York dropped to the 40s this past week, it was a wisdom not hard to appreciate. The locals who streamed into the Chateau Marmont here to see the show seemed no less excited.

“It’s my favorite time of the year,” said Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, a Fashion Fund runner-up in 2006. “Halloween!”

And the Fashion Fund? Oh, that too.

(For the record, Ms. Mulleavy, her sister Kate and their friends will be dressing as the complete cast of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” this Halloween.)

Emma Stone, Vogue’s November cover girl, was a host of the event, her first Fashion Fund outing. “This is my inaugural journey,” she said. “I’m very overwhelmed.”

She was wearing an open blouse and ruffled skirt from Brock Collection, the husband-and-wife team that is one of the 10 Fashion Fund finalists. But like any good visiting ambassador, she insisted diplomatically that her choice didn’t reflect a vote for them over any of the competition. “I’m excited to see everybody,” she said.

There was such a heavy contingent of celebrities and West Coast scenesters that it seemed as if everybody was here to see everybody: Kristen Stewart and Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Katy Perry, January Jones, Alessandra Ambrosio, Maria Sharapova, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Eva, China and Asia Chow all fit the event into their schedules.

“It’s my birthday week,” said Ms. Perry, who was wearing Rodarte. “I went to Kanye last night, I voted and now I’m here. I’m spreading myself thin.”

Each designer had a vignette in a group fashion show, more loose-limbed and free-spirited than the usual catwalk skulk. Krewe du Optic, an eyewear label based in New Orleans, featured a performance by a brass band; Ji Oh’s fringed women’s wear was swished about by a troupe of ballet dancers en pointe; Area’s designs were shown on models shooting sprays of bubbles, while a performance artist demonstrated advanced hula-hooping in their midst.

Best of all for the designers, they are not involved in the production of the show (Vogue takes the clothes and handles it from there), so they had the rare opportunity to circulate, have a cocktail and sit front row.

“By this point, the designers have done challenges and shows and presentations and been interviewed by the whole panel,” said Mark Holgate, the magazine’s fashion news director, who introduced the event. “I think this gives them a chance to be with each other and bond a little bit as well. This is supposedly the fun bit.”

Among the challenges was a wearable tech project with Intel (the submissions for which were unveiled in New York last week) and an Instagram challenge, which the designers were undertaking while in Los Angeles, creating an Instagram post about how a film of their choice inspired them and their label.

Adam Selman, one of the finalists, chose to recreate Todd Haynes’s cult-worshipped short film “Superstar,” a Karen Carpenter biopic enacted by plastic dolls. For his post, he dressed three mannequins and carted them around in a convertible.

“I got pulled over by the police,” Mr. Selman said. “I thought I was going to get ticketed, but they were just, like, ‘What are you doing?’”

News of the Fashion Fund had evidently not yet reached the L.A.P.D. But the police sent him and his superstars — Karen, Dionne and Cherry Boone — on their way.