Dueling Designer & The Muse Events for L.A. Fashion Week

Los Angeles Fashion Week prides itself on diversity, but when it starts in October, two separate events will be named Designer and the Muse.

New to L.A. Fashion Week, À La Mode Productions will produce an Oct. 3 event called Designer and The Muse at the Rivera 31 lounge at Sofitel Hotel, across the street from Beverly Center. What is being described as red-carpet event, Designer and The Muse’s featured designers include Gilbert Chigoury, Louis Verdad, Sue Wong and Lloyd Klein.

The Los Angeles chapter of Fashion Group International, a nonprofit professional organization, will produce the Fifth Annual Designer & The Muse on Oct. 23 at the Mr. C Hotel in Los Angeles. The event will be hosted by Kathy Hilton, designer and mother of socialite Paris Hilton. The event’s red carpet will be hosted by Richard Hallmarq, a designer who appeared on season 11 of “Project Runway.”

While both events are taking place in the litigious environment of the Los Angeles area, neither production house is talking about a lawsuit.

“We are in support for FGILA,” said Dorothy Mannfolk, who helms À La Mode Productions with Susan Stein, creative producer and director of Fashion Week El Paseo and a former president of FGI Palm Springs. “The more opportunities for brands, the better,” Mannfolk said.

Linda Arroz, co-chair of programming of FGILA, agreed that there was room for many fashion events in the city but also hoped it was clear that FGILA had been producing the event annually since 2008.

Designer & The Muse started when former FGILA Regional Director John Arguelles helped create an event that would mix celebrity with fashion. Fashion designers would bring a celebrity muse to the event and talk about how they are inspired by the celebrity and more about their designs.

Arguelles stopped participating in the FGILA event in 2010 after disagreements with the organization’s national headquarters. As director of media relations for Lloyd Klein, he will be participating in the À La Mode Productions event. “It’s all about celebrating fashion,” he said. “There’s room for everyone, I guess.”

À La Mode Productions named its event Designer and The Muse in late 2012 after FGILA’s website and Facebook page seemed to be inactive. “It is not a hostile takeover,” Mannfolk said of the Designer and The Muse name. “It is not copyrighted and is not unique to FGILA.”

Arroz said the group maintains a page on the national FGI website. The local chapter’s website was taken down after a national FGI directive required all chapters to have a presence on the national site. “We’re not on hiatus,” Arroz said.

In June, the Los Angeles chapter of Fashion Group hosted a luncheon in Los Angeles in honor of Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association.