Nestled in the hills of North East L.A., Lizz Wasserman crafts her unique brand of geometric femininity

L.A. Designers // Maud Deitch // 10/06/11
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By Magda Wosinska

Lizz Wasserman (R) at POPOMOMO HQ in Glassell Park

Hood: Highland Park
Haunt: The giant picnic table in the backyard of her studio for late night dinners with friends.
L.A. Story: “It’s so weird and magical; relaxed but energized. The art scene is incredible, you can be in the desert or snow in an hour, there's so much cultural and intercultural diversity: I think at this moment in time it's the best place to live in the U.S. if you want to make creative work.”

Lizz Wasserman wades around wood shavings, saws, and various other detritus—evidence of workmanship—to get to the picnic table at the back of her shared studio, which is being pounded by sunlight and is surrounded by cacti. Her studio is in Glassell Park, a neighborhood north of Downtown Los Angeles. You get to it by taking the oldest freeway in the state. I ask if I’m going to get a ticket, and she thinks I should be fine—they only ticket fancy cars around here. This is where Wasserman plans and plots and creates her sustainable clothing line POPOMOMO.

Here, she build her fall collection, filled with highly textured fabrics in warm, somewhat muted colors that look like they’ve been left out in the desert sun for just a little while. She builds shapes around women’s bodies without relying on them too heavily, creating dresses that fall fluidly off of arms and shoulders before being gathered tightly around the waist and dropping down again to the knees. She looks to strong women with singular style; women who enjoy life completely but are also contemplative about how they are living it. Eve Babitz, one of the least known but most essential local writers of the '60s and '70s, lends inspiration to the line in its drape, freedom, and feminine sexiness, while Patti Smith’s boyish and timelessly urbane style injects the pieces with a certain edge.

“I thought the two women were similar in their questing for art, and they’re both so young, and the main love of their life is their work,” Wasserman says of the strange duality. “I think this happens with most of my lines: there’s a little bit of East Coast and West Coast in all of my collections.”

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Originally published in October/November 2011

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