At Circus Disco in Hollywood, Saturdays are devoted to the artistic interpretation of fashion designer Levon Mouradian. Unlike other designers who like to plan, sketch and organize months in advance, Mouradian likes to design spontaneously, figuring out what he likes and doesn’t like an hour or two before the start of his show.
"I’m an expressional designer. I don’t go with whatever is ‘today’ in fashion," says Mouradian.
The only two things Mouradian will obey are his feelings and emotions. Calling a recent Saturday-night collection "Mercy," as a political anti-war statement, Mouradian chose vibrant, loud colors like fuchsia, gold and blue as his personal subliminal message of freedom and hope.
"I’m trying my best to bring out more colors to make things more beautiful," says Mouradian.
Attention grabbing colors are only secondary, though, compared to the actual finished designs. Working with giant-sized shears, the 40-year-old designer likes to drape his models in sheets of fabric before snipping and shredding his way (á la Edward Scissorhands) into different styles and varieties of dress.
World and historical influences could be seen in Mouradian’s collection such as a yellow and black empire style dress, which had a renaissance look with a modern twist. The dress was paired with tight black pieces of fabric that crisscrossed tightly on both arms, bringing to mind naughty thoughts of bondage and S&M.
A bold fuchsia dress with layers of western-style fringe clung tightly to accentuate the curves of one model, while a matching birdcage-like piece perched uncomfortably on top of her head.
Mouradian likes to accessorize by utilizing common household items such as Saran wrap, duct tape, spray paint and even thinly cut strips of plastic. Nothing is off-limits for this Armenian designer who went so far as to attach a giant shell on the back of a model’s head.
Although his finished creations are certainly imaginative, they are also a bit amateurish and unpolished. It’s almost as if Mouradian is trying too hard to create art.
The fashion show got off to a slow start, and a temporary blackout inside the club only delayed the show further, forcing Mouradian to work with candles and flashes in the back room. Unfavorable weather conditions may have accounted for the low turnout inside the club, but a handful of curious onlookers and dancers – who were able to put down their glow sticks for two minutes – were able to enjoy a fashion show that was pure spectacle. And, according to Mouradian, that’s all he could ever hope for from his audience.
"Just a beautiful couple of seconds. If I get them that much, that’s enough for me," says Mouradian.
Levon Mouradian’s live art fashion show is featured every Saturday night shortly after midnight at Circus Disco, located at 6655 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood, two blocks east of Highland. Tickets are available at groovetickets.com.
For more information, visit circusdisco.com or call (323) 462-1291.