Fall Fashion Fix: Skingraft

By: Rebecca McQuigg Rigal

Despite the fact that SoCal temperatures remain unseasonably warm well into the perennial indian summer months of September and October, the rules of fashion state that it’s never too early to start planning next season’s wardrobe.  It’s a good thing then, that fall fashion in LA has more to do with layering multiple pieces to achieve effortlessly stylish temperate friendly looks (that keep us looking and feeling cool), than it does with piling on pieces made from heavier fabrics to achieve meticulously styled cold climate combinations. Any local designer worth his or her weight in year-round sunshine knows a thing or two about catering to LA style setter’s appetite for great trans-seasonal fashion but one who does this particularly well is the man behind the DTLA (that’s Downtown Los Angeles) based street-chic brand Skingraft.  Jonny Cota, a former stilt-walker cut his design chops creating custom couture looks for a  vaudeville performance troupe in San Francisco before launching his definitive mens and womanswear collection in 2005.  Since that time, the edgy-yet-understated line – known for beautifully draped, body conscious leather pieces (jackets, vests, dresses), unusually shaped-yet-always-flattering  separates in movement-friendly fabrics (like jersey knit, modal and cotton), and street-wise, rock-in-roll inspired  finishes and hardware choices—has grown a substantial celebrity following (Rihanna, Usher, Ciara and Wiz Khalifa to name a few) while maintaining legit street and design industry cred.

Celebs and street noise aside, what I love most about this unique line is the bespoke, artisanal quality of the garments (which are made in Bali and Los Angeles) and that pieces are interchangeable and practically scream to be layered, and can be easily mixed and matched into my wardrobe! The Autumn/Winter 2013 is particularly fierce, featuring neo grunge-infused looks that meld soft and hard lines – think fitted lightweight leather and fur paired with flow-y plaid dresses and scarves. I am DYING for the tartan scarf cardigan with leather details, the hooded motorcycle trench and the grunge leggings. Really, the whole collection is quite fabulous; I could take it all if I could afford it. Skingraft pieces aren’t cheap but even the edgier items have a sophisticated timelessness about them that will relevant and in heavy rotation (in your wardrobe) for years to come.

In addition to rockin ready-to-wear separates, Skingraft offers super-cool accessories including leather gloves, hats, holsters and harnesses and will soon be introducing shoes, sunglasses and jewelry.  It’s no wonder Cota’s layeriffic collection has flourished in the trans-seasonal fashion capital of the US. And I imagine Skingraft’s recently opened New York flagship store in Nolita is doing swift business; no doubt, helped by last month’s strong showing at New York Fashion Week.   That’s a whole other story altogether though… it’s far too easy to get ahead of ourselves when it comes to fashion but in this case, I’d just like to pause and revel in the magnificence of  Skingraft’s current collection; layer by sublime layer.


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125 W. 4th St #102

Los Angeles, Ca 90013

(213) 626-2662


7 Prince St

New York, NY 10012

(212) 226-8467


About the Author:
Rebecca McQuigg Rigal is a trend analyst, market research consultant and writer living in Los Angeles. For over 10 years, McQuigg-Rigal has been uncovering trends and providing comprehensive consumer insights, market intelligence and strategic counsel to forward-thinking brands and Fortune 500 companies, including Pepsi Co, H&M, Nike, Adidas, Equinox, Honda, HBO and FOX (to name a few).  As a trend expert, she has contributed GOOD, C Magazine, iMedia’s Entertainment Spot, Examiner.comHypervocal.com, and The Wall Street Journal online.  Follow Rebecca @p0psmART. Find her on Linkedin and/or check out samples of her work here:www.rebeccarigal.com
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