Los Angeles Times

February 14, 2016

Rocking out to ready-to-wear


Rocking out to ready-to-wear

Stella McCartney rolls out a pre-fall women's collection in the aisles at Amoeba Records

by Adam Tschorn


Music aficionados know that walking between the bins of CDs and vinyl at Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard is always bound to turn something of interest, but for one Tuesday night in-mid-January, things were taken to a whole new level, with the sales floor of the independent record store feeling like a fame-meets-fashion fever dream. In the center of the room, Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis elbowed his way down a raised runway - past a vintage Super Mario pinball game - to talk with a model, while Katy Perry, rocking a green velvet turban, amicably chatted with a tangle of gray fringes that had swallowed Nicole Richie, and a postage-stamp-sized stage at the back of the store showcased the most eclectic duo of all time in the form of Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson. 


The occasion, at least officially, was an opportunity for British fashion designer Stella McCartney to present her pre-fall 2016 women's ready-to-wear collection in Los Angeles for the first time (she usually presents her pre-fall collections in New York City). Unofficially, it marked the kickoff of L.A.'s annual star-studded party and fashion event marathon that began just after the Golden Globes, on Jan. 10 and won't end until after the Academy Awards two weeks from now; this year also included Saint Laurent presenting its fall 2016 men's collection and part of its women's collection at the Hollywood Palladium a few blocks east on Feb. 10, just five days before the Grammy Awards here. (It's worth nothing that luxury brand conglomerate Kering Group has financial interest in both labels.)


That's how, on a Tuesday night, the Amoeba aisles came to be filled with what felt like half the Internet Movie Database noshing on hors d'euvres (passed around on plates made of vinyl records), checking out the clothes and listening to New Orleans' Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Pink and Dallas Greene (performing as You + Me) and Beach Boy Brian Wilson. 


Among those spotted in the star scrum were Ringo Starr (former co-worker of the designer's father on a little project known as the Beatles), Anjelica Huston, Dave Grohl, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beck, Mary J. Blige, Demi Lovato, Orlando Bloom, Kate Hudson, Sarah Silverman, Maya Rudolph, Rashida Jones, Quincy Jones, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.


In serious danger of being overshadowed by the guest list, the collection was presented on models standing in groups of three or on elevated mini runways - perches really - that raised them high enough to be seen above the bins of shrink-wrapped CDs and records. A feline motif was noticeable throughout; both in whimsical cat silhouette prints on pants and tops and leopard spots and tiger stripes printted with abandon on faux fur prices (McCartney is known for her avoidance of real fur in her collections). The collection also included chunky knitwear, bold diagonal-stripe dresses (one of which was worn down the arrivals red carpet by "Mad Men" actress Kiernan Shipka) and floral jacquard dresses worn under lingerie-inspired layers of tulle.