10:03 am Sep. 24, 2010
Ginger Boyle, the proprietor of Planet Salon on South Robertson Boulevard—"paparazzi row," she calls it—in Beverly Hills, was in a showroom in the Garment District yesterday morning along with a couple dozen other vendors. They were there to publicize their brands and the upcoming Los Angeles Fashion Weekend, an event whose target demographic in New York, the fashion industry, is still recovering from last week's festivities.
But fashion, in its bubbly self-obsession, is perhaps the subject with the greatest potential to unify the two coasts, and the vendors had the determination of evangelists. The showroom was nearly empty of visitors around 11:30 a.m., but everyone was uniformly cheerful. Boyle, for one, spoke animatedly in response to a reporter who asked about where hairstyle trends come from.
"Trends originate, from my perspective, with architects," she said. "What happens is, if you see the way architecture kind of flows, it's going to be round or square or industrial," shapes that are reflected in the choices of particular savvy stylists.
"He comes from a background that's more architectural," she said approvingly of her salon's creative director, who is also the man she trusts to cut her own hair, which is short, sweeps over one ear, and is bleached almost white.
She has lived on both coasts, but she likes to speak up for L.A. "One thing that we have that's kind of unique is the young Hollywood," she said. "It's much more accessories, it's much more T-shirts, it's much more jeans, it's much more casual. It's summer all year long. We don't have couture except for the Oscars and Emmys."
Celebrities, unlike Boyle, like to keep their hair looking natural—though she said that she has never heard of a single celebrity who wears his or her natural hair color. Indeed, she spends much of her time doing conditioning treatments for celebrities whose hair is fried by artificial color.
Boyle's stand was next to Mia Milano's. Milano is a tiny, busty woman who creates chunky bent-wire rings that grow from her fingers like mold. She had photos of Christina Milian, Trina, and Li'l Kim wearing her work.
"I used to model and so a lot of them I've hosted with or worked with," she said of her celebrity endorsers. Asked about Trina, she said, "She's down to earth. This is like"—she pointed to the photo—"we all went out to eat at Philippe's in Miami, and I had that ring on and she was like, 'Let me see that!' And she asked, 'Can I have it,' and she ended up wearing it to the club where she was performing and giving me a big shout-out."
There was an emaciated girl with Farrah Fawcett hair who designs clothes along with her partner, a heavyset young man with a single earring that dripped feathers down to his shoulder. The clothes, distressed and denim-heavy, seem raided from Lenny Kravitz' closet.
"It's like the fashion of the '80s and '90s, she said of her work. "And recently infused with a '60s and '70s kind of vibe. The paisley, the stars-and-stripes."
Their setup was, incongruously, next to that of a tiny, earnest, wide-eyed young woman with closely cropped hair selling natural-fiber clothes manufactured by HIV-positive women in Cambodia, where she's lived for two years.
Bonnie Siefers, the designer of Jonano, had even wider and more wild eyes, and was also pursuing a socially conscious mission at odds with the Christina Milian rings and sequinned American-flag backpacks. The company's name means "live well" in a language spoken in rural Switzerland, and the clothes are made out of fibers derived from bamboo, flax, and corn. They were improbably soft and not inelegant.
"You don't have to dry clean it," she said proudly of one garment. "You can just throw it in the wash." She paused, and then added, eagerly, "You really don't even have to wash it."
By then, it was nearly noon, and a reporter treated himself to a tequila tasting. One sample was inoffensively pomegranate-flavored; the coconut one, though, tasted rancid, and the other giveaways—minimalist bottles of water and donuts—came in handy.
Meanwhile, Ginger Boyle, giving away certificates for free hair treatments and blow dries, reflected on the journey that hairstyles took from the haute couture shows in Milan and Paris, to New York, to L.A.
"We have to tone it down about seven notches," she said of the tastes of her sun-kissed, left-coast customers. "Almost to wearable."
More by this author:
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