Project Runway for Betty Boop!!

So firstly, I am a huge fan of Betty Boop. Given that, I was definitely excited for the runway this week, but really cared a lot more than I usually do because, hey, it’s Betty freakin’ Boop! The designers joined Alyssa and Betty herself on the runway for all of the challenge details!

Each designer had to create a young, chic Hollywood look, fit for a modern day Betty Boop. This would be a 1-day challenge, with a $200 Mood budget. It was so surprising given Betty’s classic red dress that nobody went with red. But a fresh take is not necessarily a bad thing!

During Anne’s check-ups, she had some strong suggestions for certain designers. She told all of the designers that she was seeing chic, but not a lot of youthfulness, so a reminder to keep that in mind. The judges later seem to echo this same sentiment. Anne also said a later message would be coming and of course the designers panicked, thinking of a twist! It ended up just being good ole’ Popeye, with another reminder to keep in mind of Betty’s sexiness.

So happy when runway time finally rolled around. Huge fan of this week’s guest judge, designer Rebecca Minkoff!! I was in pretty much full agreement with the judges’ assessments. I thought a couple of the safe designers had some interesting looks, but maybe not for the modern day Betty Boop — Kimberly & Ken. I thought Fabio had slipped a bit from his highs in the weeks before, but so even an off week for him still lands him in the safe zone — good to know! And then just a little shout-out for Anthony because I love polka dots!

But this week’s winner was clear, it had to be Joshua! This was very much an elevated streetwear look, but so fitting for Betty Boop! The top/tee was a winner in my book and I want it now. I did like that you could still see her signature garter. Overall, it was just such a fresh look and I did see youth in it. The judges hit it spot on that it was racy, yet not vulgar, which to me perfectly encapsulates Betty’s look.

Shoutout — Intermix for the cool heels

Shoutouts all around — Intermix on the yellow heels, love the straight locks from Umberto BH, also chic makeup look from Rodial

Helen was also in the top 3, very deserving. This was such a fun look, mixing prints. I did agree with Georgina that perhaps the color choices did give this more of a serious vibe, but it was still on top for me!

Shoutout — Umberto BH on the wavy hair look

Stanley rounded out the top 3, with his very cute romper look. I didn’t love the color choice, which I think took away from a youthfulness aspect, but it was well made and such a fun look.

I think the bottom 3 was pretty accurate as well, although Merline constantly being on the bottom and never going home is becoming quite irritating. However unlike when Amanda went home, Char’s elimination did have some understandable logic to the decision. The look was just so boring, so bad, not her best work.

With Merline, we still keep seeing the same mistakes, and really nothing new from her. I wish the judges would stop giving her so many free passes!

And Edmond rounded out the bottom 3, and certainly needs to step it up in the coming challenges if he wants to stick around. I didn’t mind the print, but maybe with print placement it hurt the look. I don’t think it fit the challenge very well and maybe he just got lost in his head for this challenge.

Project Runway’s Rodial Challenge

Every Project Runway season, whomever the beauty/makeup provider is, we always have a challenge. This season, it’s Rodial! Joining Alyssa on the runway was founder of Rodial, Maria Hatzistefanis, to lay out the full challenge details.

This week, the designers had to create looks for a woman’s inner superhero. Each were given envelopes with a Rodial beauty product, which would serve as the designer’s inspiration. The winner of this challenge would receive a year’s supply of Rodial beauty products.This would be a 1 day challenge, with a $150 Mood budget, a shock to the designers!

Anne’s check-ins for the week were very cautionary; she definitely pointed out her distinct opinion. It seemed a couple of designers disagreed. Joshua was clear of his disagreement. But also, Ken & Anthony let Fabio know of their opinions. Another interesting fact from Ken, Anthony, and Fabio in this episode was that they have formed a great bond, “The Sister Wives.” Very interesting as well that that these 3 landed in the top, granted some of the other designers were curious of this new bond!

Karolina Kurkova, super top model, was this week’s guest judge! Lots of interesting product designer pairs, with of course several designers landing in the safe column. I loved Stanley’s “smoky” heroic inspiration, and wish he had been in the top this week over his last week’s win. This look was beyond better!

Helen bounced back this week with her 24K luxe gold inspiration. I could see this look on the red carpet today. It was amazing!

Char had bee venom, creating an interesting black & white printed look. Not top material, but certainly a good effort on her part.

Shout-outs — Umberto for Hair & Rodial for beauty

Joshua had concealer, and he certainly disagreed with Anne’s assessment, but I think he lucked out this week. His look was daring, but it bordered with a taste issue. I’ve seen him do better. Kimberly was paired with illuminate, and I think she too lucked out on some worse looks in the bunch. Her “gimmick” treatment, I was not a fan of this.

I think overall, the designers did amazing this week. My top 3 looked different. But based on the judges’ picks, I agreed with Fabio’s win. His look was modern, with an edge. He took a print that could have read matronly, but he certainly made it work. I’m not sure it read “snake”, but it was very kick ass.

Shout-outs — Umberto on the awesome braid!

As I mentioned above, the rest of the sister wives trio comprised the top. I think they all did great work, but I was not a fan of the over-sized sleeves. I loved that Ken went with red, choosing such a bold, super color, mimicking in a way I guess super acids. The fit and quality were too spot on.

Anthony had dragon’s blood, but as he mentioned to Anne, he was not going so much with the name of the product for inspiration, but rather the product itself. Another super well-made look, very luxe and expensive looking. Again, just not a fan of the puffed up sleeves!

Shout-outs — Intermix for the pop of color with the heels

This bunch of designers is amazing, so almost any week, whomever goes, it will be sad. For Edmond, with his contouring inspiration, I could see where he was going. But the dress and the cape did not pair well. Edmond designs in a very sexy way, so he just needs to be careful in not crossing the line from sexy to sleezy.

I am still perplexed as to how Amanda got the axe this week over Merlinne. A designer who constantly makes such rookie mistakes as Merlinne does, should not be here this long. The judges pointed out all of the flaws, yet completely ignored them, sounding super hypocritical in sending Amanda home. Yes Merlinne has a vision, but if you can’t execute your concept, why are you on the show! But this look from her this week, it wasn’t even that visionary. The dress was bland in silhouette, as well as color. And the sleeves, nothing overly exciting there! Merlinne had magic gel, but there was no magic in this look, just in her ability to again brainwash the judges!

Amanda is such a classy person, so she of course left without saying one negative thing about Merlinne. That, for me, was impressive! And her look, in all honesty, was not that bad. I’m not even going to dignify her look with a critique because the judges made the wrong choice this week and more senseless critique on Amanda’s look just adds to the delusion that the judges made the right choice!

Project Runway Ball-Mania!

Starting right off the bat this week, Alyssa met the designers on the runway, informing them of a visit to a castle for the rest of the challenge details. However, she didn’t say what type of castle! The designers arrived to find they were at an inflatable bouncy castle, filled with all types of balls — toys, rubber, sports, etc. They were tasked to create a modern day ball-gown with the use of these unconventional materials, the balls!

The designers had 5 minutes to gather their supplies. An interesting note was that it seemed almost all of the balls were taken from the castle, yet the designers were later told they didn’t get enough materials?? Either way, it was a “make it work” moment for this 1-day challenge.

The designers upon arriving back to the workroom were excited to get creative! Helen whined a bit, but most of the bunch were having fun with this challenge. A lot of the balls to choose from were similar in color, so naturally, there were similarly colored looks being created, multi-colored rainbow and gold for example. So who would win those individual duos and who would just plain win out for the week! To help judge, this week’s guest judge was country singer Kacey Musgraves.

For those safe with the week, I felt there was a reason for this. There was some good and some bad aspects within a given look as a whole, so overall, just the need for a bit more of a push from certain designers. Having seen the next week’s episode already, I know Ken landed in the top, but I would have rather seen him on top this week because I did really like his look a lot! It was super sexy and I loved the color!

Shout-outs — Intermix on the killer heels

But onto the judges’ top 3, we have Stanley, Fabio, and Kimberly. I actually think the judges were not all in agreement with Kimberly’s look. It read a little “barbie princess” to me, more junior than modern ball gown. So certainly for the win, it had to have been Fabio or Stanley.

Shout-outs — Intermix, Rodial, & Umberto

I didn’t love Stanley’s look, and certainly not enough for a win. I got this candy-esque vibe from it, but as always, he did do some high quality work. For me, the winner was Fabio. I have been much more impressed with Fabio this go-round than on his original season. And this look was just another check mark in the book for me with him (picture above, Stanley below)!

Shout-outs — Umberto for Hair!!

In the bottom 3, we had Amanda, Helen, and Candice. I am not sure how Helen landed in the bottom. Her look was a basic silhouette, but it was so well-made, great color palette, this just made 0 sense! There were some other options that could have taken her bottom 3 placement.

Amanda and Candice were also in the bottom. Amanda, granted her look had fit issues, it was a little costume-y, but there was an interesting quality to it that I appreciated. It was so different than the rest and really stayed true to Amanda as a designer.

I think from this bunch, it was obvious Candice would be out. The bottom part was just so bad. It sucks to say, but it felt like a let-down. I know Candice is better than this, and it was just one where the challenge won out. I’m very excited to see Candice very soon with NYFW!

Best Dressed Round-Up for Early 2018

Lots of red carpets ongoing in the mix for this early part of 2018 — Critics Choice Awards, Producers Guild Awards, NAACP Image Awards, National Board of Review Awards/Gala, Go Glam for G’Day gala & more! Here are my faves —

JESSICA BIEL

ALLISON JANNEY

ALLISON WILLIAMS

ROSE BYRNE

EMMA ROBERTS

ALEXIS BLEDEL

JAIMIE ALEXANDER

GAL GODOT

MARGOT ROBBIE

MILLICENT SIMMONDS

NIECY NASH

HALLE BERRY

RACHEL BROSNOHAN

CONSTANCE WU

STERLING K BROWN & RYAN MICHELLE BATHE

PR All-Stars Double Up

Project Runway All-Stars this week went for a pairs challenge. In the first episode, Alyssa said that would be the only team challenge of the season, but I guess pairs’ work is still a possibility! We also later found out that this runway would be a double elimination, sending the bottom 2 team, both designers, going home.

The designers met Alyssa at fine dining restaurant in NYC, Daniel. Joining her was the establishment’s head chef Jean Francois Bruel and Head Sommelier Raj Vaidya. The designers appeared to have randomly sat with a companion of their choosing, but it was soon discovered their dining companion was also their challenge pair. The challenge would be for each pair to receive a food and wine pairing. From that, this food/wine would serve as an inspiration to create 2 looks, fine dining for elegant creations. The winning pair would be invited back to Daniel for a full 5 star dining experience.

The designers were off to Mood, $400 budget, ready to get started on this 1-day challenge. Versus being in LA, the designers were in NY, so working at NYFW home Skylight Clarkson Square. During Anne’s check-ins, she noted being thrilled about how well the partnerships were working, but pushed for more creativity, and of course, a bold reminder of the pending double elimination.

This week’s guest judge was actress Whoopi Goldberg.Overall, I thought this was another great runway. I found in most pairings that one look really stood out over the other. I loved Joshua’s sexy black number, a perfect result with an inspiration from the black sea bass. His partner, Amanda, her look was very safe, but I thought it complimented Joshua’s look well, given a more RTW pairing to that of a more upscale piece. Edmond and Helen were paired, but I wasn’t seeing a clear inspiration from their Minted pea soup & Chenin Blanc pairing.Helen’s look was nonetheless stunning. Even though Char’s look seemed relatively safe too, I thought her and Stanley did well, receiving inspiration from their Lobster & Rose of Pinot Noir pairing. Stanley’s look was also amazing, a real stand-out. I believe they should have been in the top!

The judges’ top 2 teams were Kimberly & Anthony, as well as Fabio & Ken. I didn’t fully dislike the winning pair of Fabio & Ken. I wasn’t the biggest Fabio fan during his season, but I have been surprised at liking some of his work so far. I will remain optimistic. And this week, his look was very modern thinking, fashion forward. I also liked Ken’s gown, but did think that the mid-area made the look too boxy.

I would have gone hands down with Kimberly & Anthony. Anthony was the stronger of the 2, but his Jackson Pollack inspired work looked phenomenal. I am not sure how either pair really worked with the food/wine pairing of Lamb Chops and Syrah, but loved the color palette here and the work made.

This season is full of some strong contenders, so almost any given week, whomever goes home will be a shock. As much as I really thought Merlinne & Candice should have been sent home, I hated that Candice would be going. Her first 2 looks were knock-outs, and even though the judges failed to note this, I am at least happy we get to see her again. Merlinne on the other hand as received undue accolades the first 2 weeks and this look was just such a travesty. Her skills are nowhere near the all-star level and I will be highly disappointed if undue judges’ praise continues.

Shoutouts — Umberto for Hair, Rodial on Glam, Intermix on heels!

I guess given the safe designers’ group, finding another bottom 2 pairing was not the easiest. Candice and Merlinne were a given, but joining them was Melissa & Ari. This was such a surprise given how strong Ari had started out. Compared to the mess of Merlinne & Candice, I don’t see much justification of how Melissa and Ari were ultimately axed. And really, shouldn’t some consideration been given for Ari’s 1st two strong weeks! Melissa really steered off course, but I think Ari’s biggest misfortune here was beading placement. With a bit more time, this look could have been such a knockout!

Shoutouts — Umberto for Hair, Rodial on Glam!!

Sad to see both go because this was not the right decision in my book! Hoping for better results from the judges in future episodes!

Best of the Golden Globes Weekend

Lots to look at with the Golden Globes weekend, past just the red carpet, afterparties, Art of Elysium, & more!

MADELAINE PETSCH

LILI REINHART

CAMILA MENDES

AMBER HEARD

LEA MICHELE

VICTORIA JUSTICE

CHRISTINE EVANGELISTA

ABIGAIL SPENCER

KENDALL JENNER

RUMER WILLIS

OLIVIA HOLT

VIRGINIA GARDNER

SARAH HYLAND

CARA SANTANA & JESSE METCALFE

SCOTT EASTWOOD

PRAS Goes Post Apocalyptic

Isaac Mizrahi I believe said this was one of the best runways ever and I totally agree! From the first week until now, I could not have seen a huger difference! From the get go, with the designers meeting Alyssa in the workroom, cages, caution tape spread about, fire extinguisher craziness, I was lit from the get-go!

Alyssa said out of chaos can come a beautiful runway, and that was certainly the case this week! A major trend in fashion is distress, post apocalyptic fashion. There are lots of techiques, dyes, blow torcheers, sanders, etc. For this challenge, the designers had to use at least 2 techniques to create a post apocalyptic look. They also had to create a story, a scenario, for their woman.

So with the concept in mind, a $200 Mood budget in hand, the designers were off to work on this 1-day challenge. During Anne’s check-ins, she was concerned she wasn’t seeing enough distress with some of the designers. An added perk was told in that if Anne agreed with the winning look, it might end up in the pages of Marie Claire.

This week, we were also more formally introduced to the hair care provider, Umberto Salon, and for glam, Rodial. And the guest judge for the challenge was actress Danielle Brooks.

I found it so hard to pick only 3 for the top! I would give huge shoutouts to several, or really certain aspects of a look — Candice’s pants,Helen, Amanda Amanda Amanda, Josh, Fabio’s coat, and even a little with Melissa. With all of these greats, I still agreed mostly with the judges this week. I am shocked though that Merline ended up in the top again, but thankfully not with the win!

Shoutouts — glam Rodial, Intermix heels

Anthony was so deserving of this and he was stressed in the episode. He was having a rough go. But he made it work and this look was truly amazing!

Ari too deserves another week of accolades, creating so much, and everything being a true standout!

The bottom 3 was hard. I don’t know if this was my exact bottom 3, but I don’t see how Kelly is out this early! Her look was not the worst of the bunch. The fishnets didn’t help here, but her top and earmuffs were bangin’!

Of this bottom 3, I would have sent Char out. I guess the judges recalled her top 3 placement last week, but I felt that was undeserving. This was more costume than fashion.

Nice makeup look with Rodial

Stanley was also in the bottom. I could sort of see why, but I am so thankful he didn’t go home. I hope he remembers the judges’ comments on keeping things modern for the weeks to come and he should be fine!

 

PR All-Stars is Back!

Project Runway, the regular season, wound up recently, but it’s already time for another All-stars season! I have watched the first 2 episodes, and thankfully, because of episode #2, I am very excited about this season. With this first challenge, I felt underwhelmed, but after #2, I am hooked!

The designers met with host Alyssa Milano at the MetLife stadium/field, for introductions and challenge details. The theme this season is rookies versus vets, and given that, it made total sense for the 1st challenge to be a team challenge, rookies v. vets! Each team was tasked with creating a cohesive, fierce collection. To choose between fall or spring, the designers did a quick stitch relay (8 stations — sewing, cutting, pattern, tracing, pinning, hand sewing, etc.). The rookies were close, but the vets came out on top, choosing spring, leaving fall for the rookies.

Each team had a $1000 budget, but the winner of the relay race received an extra $500. And so with that, the teams were off to shop at Mood and get started on this 1-day challenge. This season’s mentor, aka Tim Gunn, is Editor in Chief of Marie Claire, Anne Fulenwider. And the same judges as seasons before, Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman of Marchesa. The first guest judge was PR designer, Michael Costello. Also new for this season is Intermix, as the accessory wall sponsor.

Before Mood, each team planned and organized. At this stage, I saw more from the vets, who decided to go with an “Art Basel” theme. Once in the workroom though, it seemed as if the rookies had it a bit more together, focusing on a 70s inspiration. During Anne’s check-ins, overall, she felt the designers were playing it safe and needed to step it up!

I agreed with Anne, but I didn’t see that many of the designers stepped up to the task. I found faves within each team, but if I had to pick a winning overall team, I did agree with the judges’ assessment in choosing the rookies’ Fall collection. I did not agree however with the top 3 from this team. I am surprised that Amanda, Kelly nor Candice didn’t make the cut. Their looks really gave this collection some pop and flare!

Umberto hair shoutout & Rodial for glam!

The judges picked Merline, Char, and Edmond, leaving Stanley and Kimberly safe. I kind of felt all of them played it a bit too safe, but of the judges’ top picks, I would have gone with Edmond.  It was a minimalist look, but I did like the color, and it seemed the most well made of this top 3 chosen.

If not Edmond, then maybe Char?? Her look was very basic to me, so not sure how it made top 3. It just felt safe, but I did love the color used. Merline won the challenge, and even after hearing the judges’ comments, I am confused. I remember she got rave reviews during her season and I was always left perplexed!

Shoutouts for all Styling, Intermix, Umberto & Rodial

70’s vibes are not really my thing, so the vets really should have had this in the bag. But I didn’t see the most cohesion here, and many of the looks fell flat. I was glad the judges pointed out how amazing Ari’s look was because it was such a shame he was in with the bottom crowd!

Shoutout — Umberto & Rodial, but overall for this collection wrong shoe choice from Intermix!

Shout-out — Correct styling here from Intermix, also on point with hair & makeup

The bottom 3 was Ken, Casanova, and Helen, ultimately with Casanova going home. This was the right call based on this bottom 3, and all in all, it was the right bottom 3 as well. Helen was safe from the bottom 2, but I think the reason she landed in the bottom was because of how safe and uninspiring this look was. I know she can do better!

Ken had some construction issues, but just as with Helen, it also lacked vision and innovation. Casanova too suffered from those same issues, but there was not a lot of effort in this look, just far too basic.

Gorgeous hair & makeup, Umberto & Rodial!!

I definitely found much more excitement in this next runway!

 

Best Looks of 2017

2017 offered up some great looks throughout the course of the year. Here are my faves!

Blake Lively — Met Gala

Wearing Versace

Coco Rocha — Cannes Film Festival

  • Styled by Philip Peuter
  • Glam by YSL
  • At the premiere of The Meyerowitz Stories 

Jenna Dewan-Tatum

Giuliana Rancic — Golden Globes

Lily Collins — Golden Globes

rosewood pink floral Zuhair Murad gown adorned with cape and showered with beads

Fan Bingbing — Cannes Film Festival

Atelier Versace gown

Elle Fanning — Cannes Film Festival

At The Beguiled screening, Elle Fanning wore a custom lilac Rodarte gown

Wearing Dior

Camila Cabello — Grammys

Hailee Steinfeld — Oscars

  • Ralph & Russo gown with ruffle neckline and watercolor floral print with metallic details
  • Neil Lane jewelry, total value in fact $750K, including a 10-carat diamond-and-platinum studs, a 10-carat diamond-and-platinum line bracelet and a 25-carat oval link diamond-and-platinum bracelet worth $250,000.
  • smoky eye by makeup artist Mary Phillips
  • use of Essie nail polish

GEORGINA PAZCOGUIN — At the NYC Ballet

Wearing Malan Breton

Jennifer Lawrence

Jaimie Alexander — Emmys

Kate Bosworth — Oscars Afterparties

Mandy Moore

Emma Stone — Oscars

Aishwarya Rai BachchanCannes Film Festival

Sara Bereilles — Tony Awards

Lucy Hale — Golden Globes Afterparties

Kate Beckinsale — BMAs

Kia Von Vega — Latest Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT — Eugene DeVillamil

When I first started Fashion Nexus, back in 2014, I had the greatest pleasure of being introduced to bombshell designer Kia Von Vega. So amazing to now see more work from this unique designer voice, and what a great way for her to ride out 2017, and ring in 2018 with a bang — debuting her latest collection!

Kia Von Vega showcased her Clear Boutique Pre-Fall collection at the False Alarm Warehouse in Williamsburg on December 10, 2017. On top of signature Kia sexiness with her looks, we saw a lot of bold color and graphic prints.

“The collection inspiration was glamour and style for the intellectual woman” says Kia Von Vega. “The pieces have raw strength. The collection is for confident women who are not afraid to be”.

I enjoyed that Kia stayed true to her voice with this collection, but still offered such a variety and something new for her clients with this presentation.

Beautiful styling for the looks was created by Chloe Lynn, Deanna Wilklow, Monty Bee, Taylor Vincenti, Babette Douglas, Jen Elyse Feldman, Haley Conroy & Lauren Moscato.