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Thursday night marked Gen Art’s 12th annual Fresh Faces in Fashion Los Angeles show—and the first time the organization produced the event in the city since merging with Rock Media in September. Aside from its billing as the “official opening show” for the debut of the two-day program known as Rock Fashion Week L.A., Fresh Faces remained unchanged for the most part, even returning to the Petersen Automotive Museum for the third consecutive year, despite previous plans to take Rock Fashion Week L.A. to Paramount.
“We definitely expected a lot more corporate sponsors—that definitely had a big impact,” said Gen Art C.E.O. Ian Gerard, referring to the venue change and truncation of Rock Fashion Week L.A. from four days to two. “I think bringing the shows to the Petersen and combining sponsors made a lot of sense in terms of where things are economically in October. A four-day show was just not economically viable.”
Gen Art, according to Gerard, had Fresh Faces sponsors, such as new presenting partner Plastics Make It Possible, in place prior to the merger. Gen Art senior vice president of events Elizabeth Shaffer, who has produced Fresh Faces for the past three years, made it her objective to creatively represent Plastics Make It Possible—a new campaign that promotes the importance of plastic. “We weren’t working with something tangible, but more of a collection of products used every day,” Shaffer said. “It wasn’t as easy as activating beverages or electronics, but it was challenging in a good way. It got our creative juices flowing.”
In order to demonstrate plastic’s not-so-well-known role in fashion, for example, Shaffer showcased three live models, styled in clothing and accessories that incorporated plastics in not-so-obvious ways. (Think skinny jeans that would lack stretch were it not for plastic material.)
Shaffer also highlighted the importance of plastics in design through her creation of lounges, where she incorporated plastic Philippe Starck furniture and Lucite coffee tables topped with colorful sculptures assembled—by Shaffer and her team—from Crystal Crawlers toys. In a bolder attempt to impress plastic’s design versatility, Shaffer tapped artist Michael Dee, who makes star-shaped installations from plastic cups, to create a piece at the event, where he melded cups together using power tools. By including an artist who repurposes material, Shaffer also hinted at recycling—another important message in the Plastics Make it Possible campaign.
Plastics Make it Possible will also have sponsorship exposure at the second night of Rock Fashion Week L.A., which takes place on Halloween at the Petersen.
The L.A. Fresh Faces event took place just days after its Chicago iteration on Saturday, October 24.