September 19, 2017 by Chris Kilkus
An Atelier Finds Its Way in Downtown Los Angeles
Atelier Donato keeps its studio in the bustling Historic Core of downtown Los Angeles with an offering different from many of the brands in showrooms just blocks away.
The company, started by longtime friends and roommates Randi Donato and Ralph Prado, is a couture eveningwear company that recently launched its first collection and this week rolled out a more affordable — though still limited-edition — offering it’s calling its Little Black Dress series.
The designers’ debut collection is dramatic and pragmatic at once, with ties and zippers that allow for some garments to be worn several ways. They bill themselves modern-day bespoke tailors for the romantic eccentric, priding themselves on upcycling in an age of fast fashion.
Donato began as a seamstress at the L.A. Opera House, later moving on to work with Colleen Atwood on several movies, including Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Hunger Games.” Meanwhile, Prado comes from a background in leather goods and handbags at the Los Angeles brand Luccol and before that, interned for eveningwear designer and “Project Runway” season four finalist Rami Kashou.
“Not a lot of people who come from design school want to work as a seamstress, but I [said] why not?” Donato said. “I