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Tiffany Haddish turned up wearing a see-through velvet tiger-stripe mini-dress by designer LaQuan Smith. Julia Fox, who walked in his fall 2022 show in New York, showed her midriff in a red bandeau top and black pants by the 33-year-old designer. And recently departed Netflix marketing chief Bozoma Saint John also wore a LaQuan Smith design, a bias-cut slip dress in sparkling metallic green.
They — along with names including Ava DuVernay, January Jones, Savannah James (wife of LeBron) and models Jasmine Sanders and Winnie Harlow — were all present at a party at Olivetta restaurant in West Hollywood on Thursday night to fete Smith and his clothing.
Hosted by Net-a-Porter — to help announce the arrival of Smith’s designs on the shopping platform today — the party started with a cocktail hour where Smith described his customers and what they want.
“Women come to me for catsuits, bodysuits, mini-dresses. I think that any woman who wants to get her life back — she’s wearing LaQuan Smith. My clothing allows women to feel empowered, sexy, feminine. Really, it’s just about celebrating the female form,” said Smith, who was wearing a black crystal-beaded top of his own design and carrying a Lanvin bag. “Women know they can feel unapologetically sexy in LaQuan Smith,” he added.
The party’s host, Alison Loehnis, who is head of luxury and fashion for Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter and The Outnet, told The Hollywood Reporter that “deciding to spotlight LaQuan was not a difficult decision to make. He’s so amazing. I feel like he carries around his own natural spotlight because he just glows.” Loehnis also noted that over the last year, she had been a mentor to the designer through the Council of Fashion Designers of America; at the same, her buying team at Net-a-Porter was “really excited to pick up the collection. The stars were really in alignment.” Smith, she said, has told her that his customer is “the woman who wants to be the center of attention.”
After cocktails, the party’s many attention-getters — who also included stylists Law Roach, Ty Hunter, Sophie Lopez and Wayman + Micah, Bling Empire‘s Christine Chiu, singer Tinashe, Olivia Culpo, and actresses Gabrielle Ryan, Mena Suvari, Jasmine Cephas-Jones and Larsen Thompson — moved to the restaurant’s private dining room, where dishes included branzino, roasted chicken, shaved fennel salad and sweet potatoes. Haddish, Saint John and DuVernay all sat with Loehnis, while Fox was at Smith’s table.
The designer said he was happy to be in Los Angeles during Oscar week. “It’s great to be here having a presence, just the option of women being able to come to us for Vanity Fair [parties] and after-parties,” he said. “Of course, someday I would love to dress a beautiful Hollywood star on the red carpet of the Oscars. That’s definitely a dream some day.”
Asked what some of her favorite pieces are by Smith on Net-a-Porter, Loehnis responded, “There’s a really amazing sort of nude mesh turtleneck-like mini-dress that’s pretty fab, and there’s a really great pant-slash-leggings that are in a metallic blue.”
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