Saturday, January 12, 2019

Lethal Looks: A New Weekly Fashion Feature - L.A. Weekly

Growing up in L.A. and frequenting nightclubs, art shows and punk gigs, Danny Fuentes became a fan, follower and friend to purveyors of alternative fashion, which led to creating spaces for them in his own gallery and club events. In this new L.A. Weekly Friday fashion feature, Fuentes spotlights the most creative creatures and clotheshorses in Los Angeles, beloved in the clubs and on Instagram. For its debut, he presents a trio of tempestuousness showcasing personal style so wild, it's lethal. 

Los Angeles is a breeding ground for creativity, a place where an excess of events offer opportunities to dress up and soak up the culture seven nights a week if one desires. You can make the weekend last all seven days if you really want to, and make going out an extension of your livelihood. Summer seems to last all year round, and a jacket is merely an accessory. In L.A. less is more and more is always more interesting.

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Creative types flock here from around the country to find inspiration and bring their visions to life, whether it be music, fashion, visual art or, in many cases, all of the above. Los Angeles is a very special ecosystem where expectations are high and boundaries are being pushed further all the time. Those who seek to add to this environment need something bold and meaningful to contribute to the ever-changing landscape.

We live in a post–David Bowie universe, a generation of post-everything. In some way or another, everything has already been done. Or so it seems. But there are those who pull from the past that help shape the future. Those who make it a mission to stand out, provoke, question norms and create dialogue just by stepping out in a public situation and forcing you to look in awe at the dazzling display that is their sheer existence.

I have always gravitated to the rockers, the outsiders, the fetishists, the gender benders, those who compromise simple comfort to achieve their inner perfection on the outside. To me those are real people who represent L.A. The people who really advance our society and really make change in our culture are the artists, not the politicians and the conglomerates. You couldn't pay me to read a Trump tweet but I hang on to see what a Bettie Bathhouse, Ernie Omega or Job Leatherette are up to this weekend. Artists have always and will always be the ones who shape the way we look at ourselves as a species. If we didn't have art and the creative types in the world, what would it be like? Would it even be worth it?

In this new weekly review, we'll highlight some of Los Angeles’ hidden gems and exotic creatures who only come out to play at night. Without them, L.A. would be pretty fucking boring.

Ernie OmegaEXPAND

Ernie Omega

Danny Fuentes

Ernie Omega, fashion designer and nightlife personality

Who are you?
I am a beam of light energy wrapped in flesh and blood structured by bone in this world. I am Ernie Omega.

What do you do?
I perpetuate freedom through visual inspiration wonder and creation gathering as a medium with cues from everything in the universe. I am ushering in the next wave.

What are you wearing?
My wardrobe is all pieces i created extracted from my eighth runway show, Full Metal Angel. This is armor for the Metallic Legion, light warriors. It's every color with no color at all.

What are you inspired by?
Everything from pop culture, relevant to rework in my creations — from deep underground artists here in Los Angeles and New York and Japan to the videos and world tours of artists I've participated in,  like Mama Madonna, Kelly from Destiny's Child, Lady Gaga. Whenever I create I send a message. In 2010 I played on a protest of the British petroleum spill that was destroying our world in a fashion show. I sent a "magik" mirror-finned mermaid goddess down the runway and had artist Robert Vargas slather her on the runway in black paint to look like oil while holding a thought bubble sign that said, "Boycott British Petroleum!"  I very much respect the artists that inspired my youth, like Leigh Bowery (the first "club kid"), Genesis P-Orridge, Rozz Williams, Bj√∂rk and Siouxsie. I am also inspired by all of you!

Bettie BathhouseEXPAND

Bettie Bathhouse

Danny Fuentes

Bettie Bathhouse, muse, model and nightlife personality

Who are you?
I'm a vixen bad girl who carries intense visuals and fierce entertainment throughout Los Angeles. I express sexuality and female dominance through conceptual art, high fashion and performance. I'm a one-of-a-kind visual artist who inspires and is always ahead. I carry on a persona of women dominating men like you see in vintage erotica. The dominance shows through in my performances, where I work with unusual props and perform to house-industrial-alternative music.

What do you do?
Actress, high fashion model, burlesque and BDSM performer, visual artist, conceptual artist.

What are you wearing?
Latex wig and body suit by Venus Prototype and '30s vintage costume piece by Von Follies DTLA.

What are your inspirations?
Dark and edginess. Kitsch and sci-fi. Sexuality. The unknown.

Job LeatheretteEXPAND

Job Leatherette

Danny Fuentes

Job Leatherette, DJ, fashion designer and nightlife personality

Who are you?
My name is Job Leatherette. I am somewhat of a night creature, L.A.  minimal-synth staple and underground “fashion guru.”

What do you do?
I’m a DJ, club promoter and upcoming fashion designer.

What are you wearing?
Look 1: Black Vivienne Westwood button-down shirt, ballerina tulle skirt, black vegan-leather cocktail gloves and “electric-blue” draped plastic top by me … oh and Anglomania “animal toe” heels!

Look 2: Mr. Turk black pinned trousers, white linen shirt, Renaissance-inspired biker jacket, asymmetric ruff, black vegan-leather gloves and soft helmet by me.

What are your inspirations?
Nature, architecture, art movements, cultures, ethnic, historical costumes and music subcultures. I am very attuned to the '80s New Romantics' aesthetics and ideals.

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