Cult Gaia Presents Runway Show at Academy Museum in L.A.

Jasmin Larian Hekmat brought Saint-Tropez to L.A. on Tuesday evening, presenting her contemporary brand Cult Gaia’s resort collection in the first fashion show under the dramatic glass dome of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures that opened in 2021.

“It’s where the whole inspiration of the collection started,” she said backstage of the French Riviera coastal town. “I became obsessed with it, the ease of the people that lived there, but also the glamour and the contrast of that.”

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She explored “what lives so beautifully under the sun” — splashing the runway in bright yellow with a scenic L.A. sunset serving as the backdrop for her fun and transporting collection available to buy now.

“James Turrell but make it yellow,” said actress and model Marta Pozzan of the glowing egg-shaped doorway, where models emerged.

“Yellow to me is the color of love, warmth, optimism and positivity, which we all need, and I think is so central to who Cult Gaia is,” said Hekmat. “And we truly did end up under the sun in this beautiful sphere.”

The last time Hekmat held a fashion show was her debut in Malibu in 2018. “Doing this in L.A. means the absolute world to me,” she said.

An L.A. native, she spends a lot of time under the sun, which influenced the collection’s color palette and silhouettes — lemon yellow, yellow-greens, ocean blues, coral reds and pinks, and beaded, pearled or fringed nudes in reflective, glistening materials full of cutouts.

“I want clothing to feel almost like second skin,” she said.

It’s the contrast of nature and architecture that fascinates Hekmat and it’s seen in her designs, many of which were sculpted to the body in raffia or plissé, with petals and floral motifs.

While the brand has always been known as a go-to for a sexy dress or going-out top, and there were lots of them draped in pearls or clear bugle beads, made of crochet and with peekaboo cutouts, Hekmat also showed sportier denim, shorts and suiting in tropical colors or with crafty details, as well as swimwear, all proving her growing brand’s lifestyle reach.

“I love this one,” actress-dancer Jenna Dewan told Chrissy Teigen eyeing a strappy, backless scarlet red dress.

“Me too,” said Teigen, sitting next to husband John Legend. “Yeah, really pretty.“

There were also a ton of covetable clutches on the runway — raffia shell shapes, Perspex encased shells, leather pyramids and bamboo cages.

“That was great,” said personal shopper Gab Waller post-show with stylist Maeve Reilly, who share Hailey Bieber as client.

“So cute,” said Reilly. “This room is so amazing. I can’t get over it.”

“I want to go on vacation — this made me want to go away,” said Shay Mitchell, standing out in an all-denim look.

“I’m such a fan,” she continued. “I’ve always been a fan. It’s stunning, the creativity behind every single piece, the earrings, everything. To be honest with you, I just showed up at her office and got dressed head-to-toe. and that’s the thing with Cult Gaia — you know, you have shoes, you have accessories, a bag and banging outfit.”

“I’m such a big fan of the brand,” said Ciarra Pardo, president of LA Fashion Week and cofounder of N4XT Experiences. “I am so excited for her. I mean, there was absolutely zero hesitation to come out and support her.”

Pardo is working on next season’s LAFW and hopes to work with Hekmat: “We’ll continue to democratize the event and make it really about the community and support all of these incredible brands like Jasmin and Cult Gaia.”

It was a personal affair for Hekmat, who had close friends and family in the room. She’s come a long way, starting out making goddess-inspired flower crowns while a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. They took off — as did Cult Gaia’s signature Ark bag, shortly after the label launched in 2012, fueled by social media. “I tried to bring back my icons,” she said of including her signature bags in the show.

“This is like my rock concert.”

Launch Gallery: Cult Gaia RE24 Runway Show

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