Metropolitan Fashion Week Returns to L.A. for 10 Stylish Days

One of the country’s fastest growing fashion events returns to L.A. with an opening show at the Farmers Market


September 19, 2016 :: 9:00 AM

One of the country’s fastest growing fashion events, Metropolitan Fashion Week, returns to L.A. this month. Unique among the fashion weeks populating the couture circuit, it’s not aimed at buyers of high-end stores but at celebrity stylists and costume designers looking for something to bring to their next project. “This is where stylists go to look for Lady Gaga’s next outfit for a concert,” says executive producer Paul Jaramillo.

The 10-day event begins with a free show at the Farmers Market. “The opening show is where we highlight up-and-coming designers,” says Edwardo Khawam, Metro’s founder. Presented by Dylan’s Candy Bar, costume creations made of candy will be showcased. The audience will vote for their favorite design, and the top three will participate in this year’s big closing event. “Last year, the runner-up in the opening ceremony went on to design dresses for Miss Universe,” Khawam says. Directly following the opening night parade of costumes, join us for a Frontiers Night Out event at Mixology 101, located above Dylan’s.

Organizers have also teamed with Autism Speaks for “La Vie En Blue,” a French-inflected fashion show at the Warner Bros lot on Thursday, Sept. 29. “Blue is the charity’s color, and we ran with that idea,” says Jaramillo. Following the show, Cirque du Soleil will even stage a performance of Zumanity. Tickets start at $300.

Metropolitan Fashion Week started in Seattle, and grew out of a swimwear revue created by Khawam in 2008. The show has stately inspiration—Khawam, who is from Venezuela, was on the brink of returning home when he ran into presidential candidate Barack Obama at a gym. “We didn’t talk about politics, but what I wanted to do while I was here,” he says. “When he left, he turned to me and said, ‘Welcome to America. I hope you’re treated well. We need more people like you.’” Inspired, Khawam launched the original iteration of Metro, and at the behest of other Seattle designers, decided to expand into couture and costume.

The event formally expanded to Los Angeles last year, and tailors itself to our city’s entertainment industry. “We show a lot of unique pieces, something a stylist might see and match with a client. We also try to hold our events in historic places,” says Jaramillo. Since its official founding in 2011, Metro has also expanded to Las Vegas and Palm Springs, with a New York version planned for 2017.

Between the opening show and the closing gala, Metro will host shows from a cadre of international designers, including Ricardo Soltero, Erick Bendaña and Adicora Swimwear.

The L.A. offshoot will feature an awards ceremony—the event’s first—highlighting commentary and creation in fashion, costume design and makeup for live events as well as film and TV. The eight categories are judged by a panel that includes two-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Paco Delgado and Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild President Susan Cabral-Ebert. Tickets to the closing ceremony and awards show start at $95, and will be held at Warner Bros on Oct. 1.

Cirque du Soleil will receive this year’s Excellence Award, and a runway show honoring the company will mark the first time elements from each of its Vegas performances will be on one stage. Regarding Cirque’s inclusion, Jaramillo says, “We’re unique among fashion weeks, and we’re excited to highlight why that is.”

Metropolitan Fashion Week
Sept. 22 – Oct. 1

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