Get Styled LA

I'm an LA fashion stylist who does personal styling, commercial styling for photo shoots, fashion show production, is a personal shopper, as well as attend Vegas, New York and LA's hottest events. You can view some of my fashion styling work at www.couturezen.com. Feel free to reach out for fashion advice and more. -Melynda of Couture Zen, LA Fashion Stylist

FWLA Feels rushed, harried, buried.

Next week, Fashion Week LA kicks off, and I am sort of tempted to cut three holes into a trash bag, belt it, and wear it to the shows with some Prada mary-jane heels, telling people it’s a part of the “Derelict” collection. The third person to ask me if my hair is a wig (yes, this happens often… why it’s an “OK” thing to ask someone, I have no clue) will get an undisclosed mystery prize which may or may not harbor infectious disease.

We have been really trying (for the past 5-6 years) to recover from losing Mercedes Benz and Smashbox as the main backers of LAFW, but it’s been a slogging, uphill battle. 

That’s not to say that there is no fashion in LA (quite the contrary); it’s more to do with a terrible lack of cohesion, funding, and curation.  

Los Angeles has over 3500 fashion manufacturers, but with a pay-to-play mentality (“Style Fashion Week” seems to allow pretty much anybody to show, as long as they can fork over the fee), it’s a hodge-podge of designers whose collections seem forced out onto the runway, Elmer’s glued together with hopes of fame and fortune… —Or at least a PR rep/buyer/WWD writer to see it.

Meanwhile, with smaller shows (like LA Fashion Council’s) coming up this week, a much more careful and prudent selection of designers arises, but not as much fanfare comes.  While I personally find this show a bit more legitimate and tight-knit, they don’t seem to do much with their PR to get the attention that it deserves.  

GenArt is another show which actually has great production value, but serves as some sort of safe-house for flimsy designers who are at a fledgeling state in their careers.  

I know that what I am saying sounds bleak, but I do have faith.  The problem is that many of these designers aren’t actually ready yet for a showcase of their work.  They need showroom placement and conversion (ie: SALES) before taking this leap.  

Yes, the show production companies are there to make money, but taking the vetting process more seriously would actually only serve them better in the long-run.  By being more selective with the designers they allow to show, bigger brands might be more willing to fork over the money for a showcase of their own.  Most big fish don’t like to swim with tadpoles… —ESPECIALLY not with tadpoles who are wearing neon velour.

—We need better models, slicker looking designers, and more meticulous weeding out of strange guests (someone actually believed me when I told her I was a goat herder who was there to pitch my “special cashmere” to fashion designers in LA) and hangers-on whose main goals of the evening include posting to Facebook about how they saw a “Real Housewife of __________” and taking selfies next to the stage after trying to steal a gift bag of detergent (yes, this was in a real gift bag last season).

We also need a cohesive single web site that lists all of the shows in LA, as well as a place for buyers to canoodle with the designers.  If we could approach WWD or Apparel News as co-producers (instead of just media coverage), we could start courting their advertisers to sponsor the show.  What are we doing to ourselves by not having major media coverage? Where is all the money these designers are paying going to? (My guess is that it’s being sort of wasted on outlandish/unnecessary venues.)

There needs to be more regulation, moderation, and organization to really get us back on track.  It’s not impossible, and we have the talent to do it, but the gospel needs to start spreading. It can start here, on my mini-rant, and move forward to LA-level virility… One can only hope. 

Meanwhile, this trash bag dress is getting hot. My goats are getting nervous, and my wig is getting itchy.  Please place your cashmere orders with my assistant, Cindy the Sherpa, and she’ll hand over your swag bag full of hypodermic needles she found outside on the street. 

Last night, I went out to the Genlux Magazine issue release party with womenswear designer, Bri Seeley, and we enjoyed some great cocktails, Nicole Miller gift cards, and vegan sushi from Chaya catering. 

This season’s cover girl: “Orange is the New Black” actress, Taryn Manning, and she was there, looking cute as could be.  The husky-voiced darling gave a quick speech and went on to the VIP section to enjoy cupcakes and canoodle with her crew.  

Genlux magazine creative director, Stephen Kamifuji, was also in attendance and looked prouder than a papa while he observed the room from behind his Tom Ford frames.  

While traveling in San Francisco last month, I was out in the Mission District and spotted some amazingly fashionable friends. These two were shopping at Buffalo Exchange, and they immediately caught my eye.  

I’m loving the vintage cardigan he’s wearing over a simple/sleek silhouette of green and black tee/tapered jeans.  The look is completed by some brown oxfords. 

Kayla is wearing a simple-but-chic combo of a hi-lo button-up shirt from Zara, some J. Crew jeans, and honey-colored leather tassel sandals from Swedish fashion house, Acne. She finishes her look with a bag from San Francisco local brand, Cuyana, and some classic 1960s inspired tortoise shell sunnies. 

Seeing these two really brought me hope, as I don’t typically think of SF as being very fashion-forward.  A lot of the time, when I visit (I grew up there, bear in mind), I feel it’s just conservative/a few seasons behind.  Now that I got to see a little bit, I can’t wait to get back and snap some more shots. 

Out yesterday on #abbotkinney in #venice beach wearing a #vintage #krizia silk blouse, #tarinatarantino #necklace I bought at @tarinatarantino on #melrose, @pistoladenim peepers jeans, and @londonsole #balletflats. #coffee and a high bun make perfect accessories. #rabeanco leather tote bag and #bananarepublic #sunnies complete the look.  #losangeles #venice #streetstyle #stylist #lalife #quirky #fashion #fashionista #fashionstylist  (at Abbot’s Habit)

Out yesterday on #abbotkinney in #venice beach wearing a #vintage #krizia silk blouse, #tarinatarantino #necklace I bought at @tarinatarantino on #melrose, @pistoladenim peepers jeans, and @londonsole #balletflats. #coffee and a high bun make perfect accessories. #rabeanco leather tote bag and #bananarepublic #sunnies complete the look. #losangeles #venice #streetstyle #stylist #lalife #quirky #fashion #fashionista #fashionstylist (at Abbot’s Habit)

Having some silly #fashion fun at #wwd #magic #lasvegas, wearing my awesome #silkdress from @iambriseeley and hanging with #photographer @yatskophoto (at Las Vegas Convention Center)

Here I am last night, out in the #artsdistrict to play #pool at Tony’s. Wearing #jeans from @pistoladenim (#photo snapped by their #designer), #silver #heels from @zara, a #1940s #vintage #letterman #cardigan, and a few layers of #1960s and #70s #costume #jewelry. Totally got whooped at pool though. #dtla #la #downtownla #downtown #losangeles #fashion #streetstyle #zara #style #fashionstylist #fashion  (at Tony’s Saloon)

Here I am last night, out in the #artsdistrict to play #pool at Tony’s. Wearing #jeans from @pistoladenim (#photo snapped by their #designer), #silver #heels from @zara, a #1940s #vintage #letterman #cardigan, and a few layers of #1960s and #70s #costume #jewelry. Totally got whooped at pool though. #dtla #la #downtownla #downtown #losangeles #fashion #streetstyle #zara #style #fashionstylist #fashion (at Tony’s Saloon)

Recent #photoshoot with @normlaophotography I #styled and #produced for #malemodel and #actor, Robert Brettenaugh. #jeans by @moodsofnorway #stripedshirt is #Zara and #linenjacket is from #theory. Shot in my #studio in the #artsdistrict #dtla. #mensfashion #lastyle #manstyle #style #fashion #ruggedstyle #mensstyle #model #losangeles #downtownla #downtown.

Recent #photoshoot with @normlaophotography I #styled and #produced for #malemodel and #actor, Robert Brettenaugh. #jeans by @moodsofnorway #stripedshirt is #Zara and #linenjacket is from #theory. Shot in my #studio in the #artsdistrict #dtla. #mensfashion #lastyle #manstyle #style #fashion #ruggedstyle #mensstyle #model #losangeles #downtownla #downtown.

#supercool #antique #vintage #toy #guns and #airplane last weekend in #sanfrancisco #california while visiting my hometown. At least I think they’re toys?😳😳 #alameda #oakland #bayarea #summer #ca #cali #californiagirl (at Paulines Antiques)

#supercool #antique #vintage #toy #guns and #airplane last weekend in #sanfrancisco #california while visiting my hometown. At least I think they’re toys?😳😳 #alameda #oakland #bayarea #summer #ca #cali #californiagirl (at Paulines Antiques)

While visiting the #bayarea this past weekend, I stopped by my #childhood #antique #shop in my #hometown. They have every #quirky #vintage item you could imagine. #rummagesale #thrifting #sanfrancisco #alameda #oakland  (at Pauline’s Antiques)

While visiting the #bayarea this past weekend, I stopped by my #childhood #antique #shop in my #hometown. They have every #quirky #vintage item you could imagine. #rummagesale #thrifting #sanfrancisco #alameda #oakland (at Pauline’s Antiques)

Back up in the #bayarea for the weekend. Snapped this of the #oakland #baybridge while waking the #embarcadero in #sanfrancisco. Gorgeous day in the #bay. Back to #LA Sunday morning for a #photoshoot.

Back up in the #bayarea for the weekend. Snapped this of the #oakland #baybridge while waking the #embarcadero in #sanfrancisco. Gorgeous day in the #bay. Back to #LA Sunday morning for a #photoshoot.