With each new collection, the California label Private Arts moves closer to the epicenter of L.A. cool — that constantly moving target of trendiness that is one part style and three parts attitude.
A few days ago, the five-year-old label might have found that fashion sweet spot when Frances Bean Cobain, the famous-at-birth only child of grunge royalty Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, was photographed in a pair of Private Arts‘ new micro-suede Nine Lives harem pants.
Forgive the cliché;, but how cool is that?
Private Arts is one of a growing number of youth-centric West Coast lifestyle brands that have built a sizable following among style rebels, gypsies, boho beach bums and the girls-just-wanna-have-fun crowd.
There’s a lot of chaotic mix-and-matching and expressive layering in this category, where undergarments of all types become part of a girl’s daily fashion statement.
As a result, for a brand like Private Arts, which specializes in colorful original prints, their collections don’t always fit neatly into underwear or swimwear categories. If the weather co-operates, as it usually does in L.A., you’ll see their pieces anywhere and everywhere.
Private Arts doesn’t actually use words like underwear or lingerie to describe what it does; instead, it uses the phrase “artistic intimates” to more accurately convey its fashion aspirations while blurring category boundaries between its main fashion line and its new swim label Cabana.
Its fall collection, called Foxy, includes bralettes and boyshorts, leggings and bodysuits, but also streetworthy pieces like body-con mini-dresses and pants. Each style range is built around the busy digital prints or original drawings that are PA’s signature.
Private Arts has produced a staggering number of dizzying prints in its brief lifespan but, like other brands that sell through free-spirit retailers such as Free People, Planet Blue and Dollskill, attitude is just as important here as looks.
And there’s no shortage of attitude on display here, from the ultra-cute Nine Lives series (above) to a new animal print collection called Bite Me and an S&M-inspired print called Boy Toy.
Provocative style names like that might be controversial in another market (or age group), but for ambitious labels in SoCal’s competitive fashion landscape, it just another way of keeping up with a fast crowd.
Below are some more images from Private Arts‘ ‘Foxy’ lookbook, shot by Samantha Cobb. It’s worth noting that the models are wearing graphic-print heels from superhot shoe designer Taylor Reeve, which are a perfect complement to PA’s crazy aesthetic. We’re not sure if PA is selling them, but if not you can find them here.