April 19 2014

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4 posts tagged "Des Kohan"

Deer In The Spotlights


Long regarded as the go-to shopping destination for a certain discerning set of Angelenos, Des Kohan ‘s namesake store holds a reliable, oft exclusive stock of merchandise from designers local (Juan Carlos Obando) and abroad (Alaïa). But it’s that energy of exclusives that has kept Kohan’s shop on the map despite its off-the-beaten-path location on South Cloverdale Avenue. The shop owner’s latest endeavor, debuting today, is DEER, a 20-piece accessory collection conceived alongside L.A.-based jewelry designer Annie Costello Brown. “We couldn’t find pieces that we wanted in our wardrobe, so we wanted to create something that wasn’t about following trends but about setting standards for style,” Kohan tells of the collection ($125 to $798). Composed of uniquely paired mixed metals and media to convey a “raw, earthy look,” DEER relies on a multitude of styling options that have, in turn, elevated each piece’s functionality. “We used the materials in a new way and brought the multifaceted styling element to it,” Costello explained of the colored leather, shells, vintage brass beads, and chains she sources from around the world, then designs and assembles in Los Angeles.

In a true partnership, Kohan offers personal styling to complete the looks that Costello Brown accessorizes. “Because we’re just one store, we’re able to create editorial pieces (ranging from a mixed-metal draped trio necklace to a snake belt) instead of trying to please the masses.” It’s an ongoing—and unbridled—partnership that is set to produce new designs on a monthly basis.

DEER is now available at Des Kohan, 671 South Cloverdale Ave., L.A., (323) 857-0200.

Photo: Courtesy of DEER

When The Jet Set Goes Off The Beaten Path: Gypset Chic


Back in 2009, the globetrotting freelance journalist Julia Chaplin coined the term “gypset”—that being, in her words, “the chic speed of the jet-set mixed with the alternative, anti-commercialism and nomadic wile of a gypsy.” She literally wrote the book on the trend—Gypset Style—and that might’ve been it. But as her journeys found her crisscrossing the globe with a wardrobe that couldn’t keep up, the itinerant traveler decided to translate her “jet-lagged view of the world” into a tightly edited collection of summer-ready dresses, too. “I would go to these far-flung destinations and it came down to the fact that I really had nothing to wear,” Chaplin said of the inspiration for her new endeavor. “You can’t quite wear designer and you don’t want to look awful either, so these designs really suit those needs in between.”

Chaplin debuted the five dress designs, in vibrant prints and fabrics sourced from Africa and Holland, last night at Des Kohan, the off-the-beaten path destination shop that has long been home to some of L.A.’s most sought-after clientele and envious merchandise. With a business built around exclusives (Hussein Chalayan and Viktor & Rolf, among them), the store’s namesake figured it was the perfect opportunity to style Chaplin’s new wares. “I work with all these designers already and figured I wanted to showcase Gypset with the appropriate accessories, so I’ve done these exclusive bags from Bare and have Annie Costello Brown of YSL designing limited-edition jewelry,” Kohan said, as Balenciaga’s Katherine Ross, Mad Men‘s Abigail Spencer, and another frequent Des Kohan collaborator, Juan Carlos Obando, browsed. “It’s all just a part of what Julia’s imagined.”

Photo: Alexandra Wyman / WireImage

Istanbul Fashion Week Draws A Crowd


At the still-young Istanbul fashion week, which just completed its third season, the signs of an international fashion week seemed to be in place. Old shows (Chanel’s Spring ’10 hayride, for one) were playing on the hotel television. From the abbreviated crews of American, Italian, French, and British editors and retailers, you could easily pick out Anna Piaggi, Patricia Field, Susie Bubble, Satine’s Jeannie Lee, and Olivier Zahm. Even the absent Bryanboy wistfully tweeted that he’d like to be in the mix.

The runway offered up a mixed bag. There were the cartoony club clothes of Gunseli Turkay and the crafty futuristic eveningwear of Arzu Kaprol, an established designer with boutiques across the country. Central Saint Martins grad and Londoner Bora Aksu created a special collection just for the week, a parade of pretty pieces in nudes and pales with lingerie details inspired by a 100-year-old Istanbul shop called Butterfly Corset. But for his Spring ’11 collection, you’ll have to head to London, where he’ll show alongside countryman Hakaan Yildirim, who nabbed this year’s ANDAM prize.

“The inspiration is very literal, but it’s a first step,” said Los Angeles boutique owner Des Kohan. “The government is really positive, and there’s great buzz.” Kohan saw the pervading influence of Turkish Cypriot Hussein Chalayan, whose retrospective Hussein Chalayan: 1994-2010 is showing at Istanbul’s Museum of Modern Art. (It runs through October 24.) Chalayan, though, shows in Paris, as does another major Turkish export, Dice Kayek, the subject of a concurrent show at the museum called Istanbul/Contrast. And at a dinner for the latter label’s designer Ece Ege on the rooftop of the Marmara Pera hotel, Zahm (pictured with Ege, above) admitted the city inspired him more than the shows. “It’s the first time I’m here professionally. Istanbul has great energy; it’s like New York,” he said, before snapping pictures of the spectacular view. Truthfully, the week seemed to be more about discovering that than anything else.

Des Kohan’s Wedding Dress Requirements


When fashion folk get married, they don’t exactly head to Kleinfeld’s. Often as not, they’ll ring up a designer to have something semi-original whipped up, with shoes, hair, and makeup all following in the same vein. It’s exactly this insider perk that Des Kohan boutique owner Desiree Kohan is providing for her clientele. “We have the designers themselves come in for fittings,” explains Kohan from her Los Angeles store. “We do what we’d do for a friend.” Those designers include CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Juan Carlos Obando, Vicente Vallarin, and Kohan herself. Matching shoes are ordered up from Azzedine Alaïa or Hussein Chalayan and jewelry appears from Gabriela Artigas. She’ll even sort out marital minutiae like hairpieces, tights, and lingerie. The designer-retailer recently cemented the service in place with the addition of a private tea salon for fittings and meetings. One caveat: Not everyone gets to achieve insta-VIP girlfriend status. “We do an interview and if we click, we move forward,” she explains. Frothy would-be bridezilla (be honest, girls, you know who you are) need not apply.

Photo: Marcio Madeira