PHOTOESSAY: All The Queers Were Equally Hot at Los Angeles’ First “Equality Fashion Week”

Everybody I told about L.A. Equality Fashion Week asked me if Mikey was involved so I wanna say right off the bat that she was not. I’m not sure what Mikey is up to these days, but I hope she feels well-tented.

Luxury gender-neutral footwear designer NiK Kacy is, in fact, the brilliant human behind Los Angeles’ inaugural “Equality Fashion Week,” a 5-day celebration that launched this past Friday at the explicitly queer-friendly Montrose Hotel West Hollywood. This is surprisingly a first for the cityDapperQ has been hosting events at New York Fashion Week for five years, Rainbow Fashion Week has been a thing in New York since 2013, Oakland started its queer fashion week in 2015 and London’s first event of this type happened last year.

Queer designers are often shut out of mainstream fashion weeks like LAFW and NYFA due to the financial investment required to participate, and with this event, Kacy wanted to make space for the innovators whose work is often co-opted by the mainstream but rarely given the spotlight it deserves. “Despite not being considered a fashion Mecca,” Kacy told The Standard, “LA is the Mecca for queer innovation and creativity. LA has a plethora of LGBTQ Folx with creative minds. Because this is the first of this event, I wanted to focus all the talent on local people in Southern California.”

Photographer Robin Roemer and I were invited to the opening-night fashion show by our dear friend Ellen Ford of Sharpe Suiting. Molly Adams was there shooting as well and therefore this post contains photos from both Robin and Molly. It’s like collaging with the stars!

Robin and Molly like to take pictures of each other

On a group chat with Robin and Ellen a few days before the show, Robin sent a pic of Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley at the front row of Paris Fashion Week and said “this is us” and I was like “correct.” I did my best Anna:

That’s all you need to know, let’s look at the show!


5:30 PM: Run of Show Rehearsal with DJ Amara, Carmen Carrera & Designers

Models from the six featured LGBTQ-owned brands — many of whom were walking a fashion show for the first time — gathered on the rooftop to run through the show.

(photo by Robin Roemer)

Mads Paige (Photo by Molly Adams)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Molly Adams)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

Carmen Carrera (Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Molly Adams)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

6-7pm: Queertet Pre-Show Cocktail Hour For Guests, Final Makeup & Hair for Talent

Because it was a lesbian-adjacent event in Los Angeles, I ran into a girl I played soccer with in 4th grade and Sarah Croce and also a number of successful YouTube personalities. They gave us a lot of sparking rose and obviously Noted Bisexual Millenial Gaby Dunn was there, wearing a custom-fitted Sharpe Suiting suit with skull buttons:

Gaby Dunn & Riese (Photo by Robin Roemer)

Backstage, final makeup and hair (service donated by Toni & Guy) was underway.

Ellen Ford (photo by Molly Adams)

Jacob Tobias (Photo by Molly Adams)

7:00 PM – The Show Begins

Sharpe Suiting

Leon Wu‘s Sharpe Suiting provides custom suits “to fit your specific style or body type, no matter how you identify.” I recently witnessed a Sharpe Suiting fitting and it was so cool! We’ve been fans of this brand for a long time.

Ellen Ford (photo by Molly Adams)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

Kristen Laffey (photo by Molly Adams)

Sharpe Suiting founder Leon Wu (photo by Robin Roemer)

Lior Boroda

Futuristic rave-wear and devastatingly sexy wedding dresses abounded.

(photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Molly Adams)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(photo by Robin Roemer)

Performance by Mads Paige

Mads Paige (photo by Molly Adams)

DapperBoi

Founded by partners Vicky and Charisse Pasche, DapperBoi is a gender-neutral everyday clothing line for androgynous individuals of all body types.

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Molly Adams)

Fem/Haus

Fem/Haus LA is a made-to-order collective selling upcycled, hand-block-printed apparel and advocating for femme visibility.

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

Performance by Mortasay

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

Stuzo Clothing

Founded in 2010 by Stoney Michelli & Uzo Ejikeme, Stuzo is a genderless clothing company for “the non-conforming and bold at heart.”

(photo by Molly Adams)

(Photo by Molly Adams)

(photo by Molly Adams)

(Photo by Molly Adams)

NiK Kacy Footwear

The show closed out with NiK Kacy Footwear, a luxury label of gender-free footwear and accessories.

(photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Molly Adams)

(photo by Molly Adams)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

The End

NiK Kacy & Carmen Carerra (photo by Robin Roemer)

(Photo by Robin Roemer)

Riese & Robin (photo by Molly Adams)

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2645 articles for us.

9 Comments

  1. This was great as always! I’ve met Nik a few times(including Sunday at Cuties) and honestly think they are one of the hardest working people in town with all the work being done. It’s really appreciated.

    p.s. I could tell which ones Molly shot because it’s got this film vibe(I don’t think these were taken on film or x100), which I like. But, everything here has that high fashion quality that we see in magazines. Maybe in the near future, we will see images like this in one of the various Vogue magazines.

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