By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
It doesn't take a designer to know that this stuff is crap. Many boutiques in the Valley that once carried Angela's stuff have stopped doing so or gone out of business. I have been in classes with some of her well-known designers and have noticed that their stuff looks homemade. One designer whom LabelHorde sees as talented doesn't even use patterns or take measurements when designing clothes. Angela needs to take those 18-hour days she spends working on her Web site and devote that time to improving the quality of her clothes, as well as those of her students.
Her fashion show "Sideshow Freak" was exactly that. The clothes in that show looked like clothes that only circus freaks would wear.
I have been studying under a true designer in the Valley; he has designed clothes for many debutantes in the country, including some of the past presidents' daughters, and he even worked briefly for Christian Dior. He has tutored many students who have gone on to pursue degrees at Parsons and FIT.
Angela doesn't traditionally help anyone move on to bigger and better things. She wants them to stay in Phoenix to make her look better. He, unlike Angela, doesn't have to parade his designs in fashion shows to get noticed. His clients have been so impressed with his work that he has received business solely from word of mouth. He can take a picture of a garment out of a magazine and create it so that you couldn't tell the difference between his piece and something that Chanel made.
You have been getting a lot of nasty remarks from LabelHorde members. But, hopefully, you opened up their eyes enough to realize that they aren't getting anywhere working with Johnson.
Lua Rae, Mesa
A positive influence: I'm shocked at the untruth written in the "Angela's Ashes" article. Angela Johnson has been nothing but a positive influence and saint to Phoenix.
She has worked her ass off every day and has made so many extreme sacrifices all in the name of others. She didn't start LabelHorde for any other reason than to see others in our city succeed.
Heaven forbid that we try to create another source of income and attraction to Phoenix! I just don't understand how such negativity can be written about this honest, hardworking and giving woman. Phoenix owes her a lot!
Tiffe Fermaint, LabelHorde member, Phoenix
The fashion school of hard knocks: Amen to "Angela's Ashes!"
Thanks for sharing the truth about the Arizona fashion scene. If anyone really thinks they're going to make it big in the fashion industry, they must move to New York and go through the school of hard knocks.
Salvador Calvano III, via the Internet
Making a fashion scene: Your story on the blowhard Angela Johnson was right on target in one aspect. But you should give Phoenix a break. So it isn't New York or L.A. So what? At least local fashion designers are trying to make something happen in this town.
While I agree with you on Angela's lack of talent, I resent the condescending tone of the article. It's like New Times is saying that nothing good could possibly happen in this hick town.
Like I say, I agree that little that's good has happened so far fashion-wise, but I'm still betting on the future. We are a new big city, and someday we will come into our own in this arena, too.
Toby Zealous, Phoenix
And this person is an optimist: A fashion scene in Phoenix! This is a major, absurd non sequitur. This is a journey to impossibility. Someplace unreachable. Something invisible. Like that which is sought by the man who digs a bottomless pit or who counts the grains of sand on a beach.
Just you try to find a fashion scene in Phoenix! It's a walk through a petri dish of psycho-death germs. The writer of "Angela's Ashes" actually spoke with the Passage boutique people and decided they were the fashionistas in this town? Was he in the middle of a bad romance, or are his ideas just dialectical short circuits? The Passage people are, at best, like dangerously inbred welfare recipients reflecting the tragic complexity of the banal. They are the reverse of glamour, a magnificent eyesore, one of the many reasons Phoenix fashion is in lapse.
I recently awoke to someone with Down syndrome giving me oral, while a group of water-headed people sang "God Bless America" accompanied on the piano by the guy from Shine.No, then I realized I was just at a Passage fashion show, an artificial society that fakes love, sincerity and orgasms. I had awakened to a pneumatic, undersexed, trailer-of-trash nightmare.
Writer Joe Watson did dig up Phoenix Art Museum fashion curator Dennita Sewell, one of the foremost authorities on fashion (old, new, hip and historical) in the world. She was right under his runny nose, and he gave her one comment on some local seamstress. Dennita is royalty, and she should be treated as such. How dare you not allow your readers access to such a brilliant woman, whom this city is so lucky to have!