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Wednesday, November 18th 2009

California Designing: Elle Spotlights L.A. Labels

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The phrase “L.A. fashion” often conjures up images of boho-chic sun goddesses in flowing maxi dresses covering teeny bikinis. While this easy look has made it into the closets of Northern lasses via the bright prints of T-Bags dresses and the airy silhouettes of Rachel Pally tops, some California-based designers transcend their sun-and-surf roots. Internationally minded, they create designs that even the most dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker can appreciate. Elle’s November issue profiles these up-and-comers, including two Shopbop favorites, Rory Beca and LD Tuttle.

Designer Rory Edelman of Rory Beca creates pieces that are everyday wearable yet anything but ordinary. Beca’s big break came when a stylist accessorized the Friends cast with her hand-knit scarves; this led to a full collection inspired by unique fabrics she discovers on world travels. Elisabeth Moss recently donned a turquoise Rory Beca frock for a Mad Men premiere, and this season sees Edelman adding more red-carpet-worthy dresses to her lineup.

Baklava breaks, camping trips on the beach, chats on Skype with Italian manufacturers: LD Tuttle designer Tiffany Tuttle makes the life of an L.A. designer sound tough to beat. She shares studio and showroom space with two other designers and collaborators to counter the isolation of L.A.’s urban sprawl, but her experience extends beyond the Pacific coast: she worked at Givenchy in Paris, designed for Rebecca Taylor in N.Y.C., and studied shoemaking in Milan. This pedigree offers a European flair that has made other designers take notice: LD Tuttle shoes were spotted on the Erin Wasson X RVCA and VPL spring runways.

--Tonya

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