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If the clothes fit

A Vegas designer heads to LA’s Fashion Week

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Vegas-based designer Lana Fuchs puts the finishing touches on an evening gown for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Her hand-made dresses run from about $300-$3000.
Photo: Sarah Feldberg

On the far end of designer Lana Fuchs’ Vegas workshop, a model is pacing back and forth in an extravagant black gown that glides on the floor around her in a wide puddle of dark fabric. After a few laps, Fuchs calls the model to a halt. She kneels before her creation and spends a moment pinning the pillowy black-and-gold flowers that float on the skirt into the perfect formation. Then, satisfied, she stands up to assess her work.

Prepping for Fashion Week

The fitting in progress is for Fuchs’ October 14 runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in LA. The show marks her first Fashion Week appearance, and Fuchs will be in the company of industry favorites like Kevan Hall, as well as newcomers like The Hills’ Lauren Conrad. The lineup for her show, titled Rhapsody in Bloom, features Fuchs’ specialty: evening dresses that evoke the wealth of Russia with rich fabrics and imperial lines.

The Weekly sat down with the Russian native-turned-Vegas-designer to talk fashion, Vegas and wearing weaponry.

What’s the inspiration behind the line you’re showing at Fashion Week?

My gosh, I love to travel. I think that the last couple of countries I visited were France and India, which I loved. So this collection’s inspired by what I saw walking through the gardens of Giverny, the house of Monet in Giverny, France. That mixed in with some of the beautiful, vivid, colored saris in India.

A grid of photographs displays the dresses Fuchs may use in her October 14 fashion show.

How long have you been in the fashion industry?

Well, I wanted to be a fashion designer ever since I was 8 years old, but being from a family of immigrants, it wasn’t allowed. My parents didn’t think it was a real education, a real job. So after having completed my education and worked in the real world, about five years ago I decided to do what really made me happy, which is fashion design. So I never looked back.

Tell me about your ready-to-wear line. What is Billionaire Mafia?

Billionaire Mafia is my fun project. It’s all about street couture. It’s jeans and T-shirts and hoodies and sweatshirts. And it has a really edgy twist to it. So while it’s still couture quality, these are pieces that are more edgy. I think that the message behind it sets us apart from other companies, because the message is we work hard and we play hard, and we expect the best in everything we buy.

What are some of the recurring icons in the Billionaire Mafia line?

Well, gosh, I love weapons. I was raised as a boy, so I love all kinds of knives and daggers and guns, and so a lot of what you’ll see are AK-47s and the Russian roulette, which is our trademark and signature.

When you’re creating the couture dresses, how do you begin?

If the truth be known, the fabric talks to me. My husband thinks I’m insane occasionally. But I think it’s the fabric that really tells me what it wants to become. Some of the chiffon wants to become some cocktail dresses, and some of the silk or satin brocade wants to become evening gowns.

Is the Vegas fashion industry evolving?

I don’t see many designers here in Vegas. I know there are some students here who study fashion design, but they always go somewhere else, because it is truly very difficult. But I’m hoping that that will change. I really think that Vegas would be great venue for a fashion week, and hopefully we’ll have it here within the next year or two.

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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