2010 March 23

Just Like a Circus

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Richard Chai and Greg Alterman Richard Chai and Greg Alterman
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(LOS ANGELES) Alternative Apparel transformed its downtown design studio into a whimsical big top last night to debut the Fall/Winter collection. Nikki Reed, Shenae Grimes, Lily Collins, Eric Ray Davidson, and Davis Factor, among others, watched the presentation and celebrated into the wee hours with a cocktail after-party (accoutrements included mouth-watering caramel apples and popcorn) and a live performance by The Walkmen.  

No stranger to the brand, Richard Chai, who came into town just for the event, sat front row alongside fashion counterpart Cameron Silver and reflected on his recent experience with Alternative founder Greg Alterman. “I just did a collaboration with the brand for my last runway show in New York, and it was really great," he grinned. "They have unbelievable materials, and I loved playing around with proportions. I wanted to make getting dressed fun again!”

As for his recent CFDA nomination, the young designer couldn’t contain his excitement. “Ohmigod, it’s such an honor! I love what I do, and to have my peers and people I respect nominate me is huge. I feel like the door is wide open right now. I’m really excited about this year, and I’m happy to be in L.A. right now. I’m a city person at heart, but it’s nice to have change once in awhile!"

Sometimes, though, change isn’t always warranted—especially when it comes to clothing items that never fail you. “I literally live in Alternative Apparel. I wear their tank tops and t-shirts on red carpets and talk shows all of the time because they’re so comfy and colorful,” commented Grimes, who also appeared in the brand’s recent catalog as a celebrity role model with an eco-conscious lifestyle.

Rushing over to greet Grimes before the house lights went down, Collins playfully tugged at her tissue-thin tank layered underneath an oversize metallic sweater and raved about the line’s versatility to interested onlookers, including Kristyn Ritter, who wore a hefty leg brace to accommodate her newly sprained ankle. "I wish I had some sexy ski story to tell, but alas, all I did was fall!” she confessed, sporting an elegant Dennis Basso frock, styled by Ilaria Urbinati, who also coordinated the looks in the show.

“I’m a huge fan of Alternative. I wear their clothes with everything all of the time. The basics are so versatile and work really well underneath all of my clothes. The entire brand is so very L.A.,” Collins offered. “And, having this party downtown couldn’t have been more perfect. It has an edgy vibe with a little old Hollywood glamour. It's refreshing, really. It's like…literally, alternative!”

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