L.A. Uncovered: Celine and Versace Shows Coming to Town, Plus Designer Turntable and Pantone’s Color of 2023

Our fashion columnist reveals two major luxury brand shows descending upon L.A., and looks into the current wave of designer musical chairs

Despite considerable downers, 2022 has been a year chock full of major luxury brand fashion shows here in Los Angeles. Are we feeling worthy, or what?

Although awards show ratings saw some precipitous dives, red carpet/celeb associations remain obvious selling points for brands, which means they remain a major presence here. Lucky us.

Gucci started early, with its Hollywood Blvd. spectacular, “Love Parade,” the Fall 2022 collection they showed in November of 2021, to a crowd that included Billie Eilish and Diane Keaton. Prada threw a weeklong art world party during Frieze fest in February. Louis Vuitton showed Resort 2022 in San Diego (close enough) in May. Weeks later, Dior Homme triumphantly showed in a Venice alley near the beach and Golden Goose gave a very special dinner at the Pink Motel in Sun Valley this October, complete with skater champions hitting the cavernous empty pool. Ralph Lauren showed at the Huntington Library this October, as well, with newlyweds the Afflecks in tow.

Celine’s poster for this week’s Celine fashion show in L.A.

Now Celine, the major French brand owned by LVMH—once designed by Michael Kors, then Phoebe Phylon, and now designed by former Dior Homme and Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane—is showing its fall/winter 2023 show at the Wiltern Theater on Thursday, December 8.

Angelenos often claim Slimane as one of their own: he lived here for years, starting in the late ‘90’s, even moving the Saint Laurent design studios here in 2012. Hedi’s used L.A.as a reference for many a rock-chick, skater-dude fashion, Goth/grunge moment at his various brand stops along the way (including Dior Homme, where he launched the decade-long— decades, even—craze of the skinny suit for men). Slimane also devoted a lot of his L.A. time to his second career, photography.

Thursday’s Wiltern show is big news for both L.A. and Celine, as Slimane hasn’t had a physical fashion show here since the pandemic started. Not only that: most New York, French, British and Italian brands will show fall/winter 2023/2024 in February/early March 2023. That’s the way the fashion calendar’s been set up for years. Slimane’s going ahead of the pack, jumping the formal schedule shark. Looking back to when Slimane showed a Saint Laurent collection at the Palladium in early 2016 (with Justin Bieber front row): chairs were cleared out, male and female models traipsed through the seemingly dark cavernous nightclub—complete with a band.

So, which L.A. Celine fans might turn up? Emma Roberts and Dakota Johnson are two likely yeses, as well as various Biebers, Kardashians (on the outs with Balenciaga) and of course, the major Hollywood stylists, gobbling up every gown they can before awards show red carpet gridlock. Expect lots of music stars, too.

Donatella Versace’s set to show fall 2023 two days before the Oscars

Talk about big fashion show news: the news gets even bigger. Versace just decided they’re showing their men’s and women’s fall/winter 2023 collections here in Los Angeles two days before the 95th Oscars on March 10. Talk about timing! Donatella Versace’s been dressing Oscar nominees and presenters for over twenty years—always bringing in her own couturiers, taking up residence at the Beverly Hills Hotel for weeks beforehand. “For me Hollywood is both a place and a state of mind. It is about storytelling and magic, power and vulnerability, creativity and emotional expression,” is her statement about the choice.“It is a perfect location for Versace.” It’s also the perfect timing to have a blockbuster front row, including whoever decides to wear Versace to the Oscars this year. Probably even more lustrous folks than usual.

Pantone’s color of the year 2023: Viva Magenta

Now, drum roll, please… Pantone’s color of 2023 is… Viva Magenta! Hard to imagine, here in neutral winter, with monochromatic black, calming camel, dove grey, monotone metallics monopolizing even most colorful characters. The queen of color herself, Anna Wintour, donned classic black Chanel to the White House State Dinner for Emmanuel Macron. So—magenta?

It isn’t red, it isn’t fuchsia, it isn’t cabernet—or any wine, grape or berry hue. Not even close. Pantone’s description: “It’s rooted in the red family—carmine red. Brave and fearless, empowering, audacious. A nuanced crimson red tone that balances between warm and cool.”  Pantone’s so serious about these color launches, they’re following it up with a huge immersive experience starting at Art Basel Miami this week (running until April 2023) aptly called Magentaverse. Motorola is rolling out a magenta phone. Cariuna is putting out magenta sneakers.

Viva Magenta on the runway

And about that brand musical chair thing: Bit of sea change in the fashion world right now. It’s topsy-turvy, looney-toon times in international fashion. Tom Ford sold his brand, clothes, perfume and all, to Estee Lauder for $2.8 billion (Word is, his women’s clothes just weren’t selling well). Kering, parent company of Gucci, parted ways with their billion dollar boy, designer Alessandro Michele, when their extraordinary sales with him over seven years dip-dived. The previous year, Kering let go of Bottega Veneta wunderkind Daniel Lee, who just jumped to Burberry, having just parted ways with Riccardo Tisci, the sexy-dark-vibe ex-designer of Givenchy, who always seemed like a weird fit in British preppy plaid land.

Raf Simons, now co-designer of Prada with Miuccia Prada, will likely inherit the top job there one of these ways days—after all, he just closed down his namesake brand of 27 years. Balenciaga wunderkind Demna Gvasalia found himself in deep—well, we don’t want to say it—after the brand released their ad campaign with children gripping teddy bears in S&M gear. While Balenciaga tried to pin it on the freelance art directors, Demna—under much pressure—had to step up and take the heat last week. Now with fierce criticism over the pulled ads, can he hang on? After all, Balenciaga is owned by Kering.

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