Two emerging labels that put feminine glamour back into womenswear are split by a great divide. A look at L’Agence, the LA-based brand launched in 2008, and Alex Casertano, a New York label established in 2010, raises notions of the East Coast-West Coast division that seems to divide more than physicality by separating womenswear into two followings, the bohemian and the urban chic. However, the two labels are not so different because both collections are confident, edgy and simple.
L’Agence emerged in 2008 from the combination of the creative talents of Margaret Maldonado, Jeff Rudes and Susie Crippen. When these three came together to create the collection, they began selling through Ron Herman in LA. The team’s designs have a casual West Coast feel—shorts, sandals, button ups and simple colors. I like how L’Agence maintains simple construction while using edgy fabrics to distinguish the designs, like the metallic blazer with matching shorts from their Spring 2011 collection.
Alex Casertano’s eponymous label is two years younger than L’Agence, but for his first collection, the New York-based designer showcased thoughtful and chic designs in a very simple show. In many ways, Casertano designs are similar in outlook to L’Agence’s, but they definitely have a more distinct East-Coast look. The fabrics are heavier and the designs are more layered than L’Agence’s simple combinations. Colors are also more prevalent. For Spring, Casertano used lots of khaki, green and red layered atop short white dresses. My favorite pieces from the collection are the combinations of khaki and black that the designer uses in his cropped jackets.
(images: lagencefashion.com, NYmag.com)