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.

Golden Globes 2018 — Best Dressed

It was certainly a sea of black looks at the Golden Globes this go round. And to support the TimesUp cause, this was the color chosen, and almost every attendee participated. When it comes to making a best dressed list, I find joy in the variety, but even with all black, there were some stellar standouts! Here are my faves!

JESSICA BIEL & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

GEENA DAVIS

NICOLE KIDMAN

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

ALLISON JANNEY

SAOIRSE RONAN

SAMIRA WILEY

DOVE CAMERON

Spinelli Kilcollin rings, APM Monaco earrings, and a Tyler Ellis bag.

ALLISON WILLIAMS

LAURA MARANO

DIANE KRUGER

ASHLEY JUDD

Elie Saab with Martin Katz jewelry.

REESE WITHERSPOON

CARLY STEEL

RITA WILSON

FRANKIE SHAW

HEIDI KLUM

DAKOTA JOHNSON

CHRISHELL STAUSE & JUSTIN HARTLEY

Justin — Valentino tuxedo, Christian Louboutin shoes, Chopard cuff links, and a Panerai watch.

Chrishell is wearing a Jovani dress, an Edie Parker clutch, Hearts on Fire rings, and Hueb earrings

ZAC EFRON

 

2017 Round-Up Part 2

Lots to includes, mainly the American Music Awards, but also various movie premieres!

JENNA DEWAN-TATUM

CAMILA MENDES

ASHLEE ROSS SIMPSON

DEMI LOVATO

2ND LOOK — AFTERPARTY

Same above glam details, wearing Naeem Khan

ZENDAYA

BRITTANY SNOW

At Pitch Perfect 3 premiere, wearing Monique Lhuillier

Jewelry from Marli, Borgioni, and Harry Kotlar

SELENA GOMEZ

KELLY CLARKSON

LAURA MARANO

LEA MICHELE

SADIE SINK

ANSEL ELGORT & VIOLETTA KOMYSHAN

Ansel is wearing a Givenchy suit. Violetta‘s dress is by Givenchy.

for the glam @hairbychantel and makeup by @andrew.toma

JUSTIN HARTLEY & CHRISHELL STAUSE

Justin is wearing Brooks Brothers with a Bulgari watch

Chrishell is wearing Jovani.

JAMIE FOXX & CORINNE FOXX

Corinne is wearing a Jovani jumpsuit. Jamie is wearing Privé Revaux sunglasses on the red carpet.

B.T.S.

 

Proj. Runway to PR All-Stars

This past season of Project Runway has come and gone, and in fact, it is now time for Project Runway All-Stars. I was remiss in putting out my last 2 posts, recapping the last 2 episodes. I want to dole out some final thoughts now, but also, take the opportunity to discuss this new season of PRAS! But firstly, let’s look back at this final 5 with Proj. Runway.

As we all will recall, Kenya was axed 1 episode shy of showing at NYFW. I know there was some outrage. But if I am being completely honest, she was really not ready. While it does suck to be right there at the end and not make it, there was no way she could have re-worked her looks enough to come in 1st or 2nd. Her main style tricks were bows and peplum. I was not a fan. She needed to push herself further and that is a sentiment that held throughout the season. I think she was the only designer who never won a challenge. Had she challenged herself more, perhaps this would have not been the case.

Margarita came in 4th, but I will skip to commentary on Brandon. He should have been the one in this 4th place. I actually think the judges didn’t feel as if they could give him 4th because they sang his praises all season! This collection, having seen it in person, fell so flat. In fact, I thought it was a decoy collection. All in all, no excuses! There is no way Brandon should have created 10 looks, all in this same, not so thrilling flamingo print. His aesthetic already bodes similarities, and using the same print, really made everything look all the more similar.

Moving on now to Ayana — she would have been my third place. This really saddened me because I loved Ayana’s work throughout most of the season. I know she faced some problems upon arriving back at home and wondered had this not happened, would it have made a difference?? Her color palette wasn’t overly exciting and similar to Brandon, her looks read a bit repetitive. There were a couple of standout pieces and of course, her finale wedding gown was immaculate. But overall, I was left expecting more.

I loved both Margarita and Kentaro’s collections, so either winning was a plus for me. As much as Margarita’s collection was so well-received at NYFW, I knew the judges were not going to award her the win. But she very much deserved more than 4th place! Similarly to my reasoning with Brandon, I think the judges felt as if they couldn’t give her a higher placement because they did not sing her praises all season. But this collection was fun, feminine, super sexy, and was really very memorable.

This of course meant Kentaro nabbed the win, which was really so well-deserved. I know he had fumbled a bit with his looks leading up to the finale. But this collection was truly sublime. I still remember it to this day, just a very haunting, memorable collection. It was poetically beautiful!

Moving on now to this next season, #6, for PRAS. I still find it weird to say that there has been so many all-star seasons?? I get that Lifetime understands that PR is a hit, and they want to spin that gold as much as they can, but 6 seasons of all-stars, it’s a bit much! Given that, I am excited about this cast and looking forward to the concept of Rookies v Vets.

I love Amanda Valentine. I have followed her since her stint on PR, and she has created some eye-catching pieces. I will root for her! I am also a fan of another rookie, Candice Cuoco, and look forward to seeing her talents at play again! Two vets I am looking forward to seeing are Joshua McKinley and Melissa Fleis. I was always captivated by their work on any of their given seasons!

2017 End of Year Best Dressed Round-Up

Many red carpets and events right at the end of the year, CMAs, Baby2Baby gala, Patron of the Artists Awards, MTV EMAs, SAG-AFTRA Foundation event, BAMBI Awards, and more. Here are my faves from those various events!

KELLIE PICKLER

MIRANDA LAMBERT

MANDY MOORE

VICTORIA SWAROVSKI

RITA ORA

ALY RAISMAN

CAMILA CABELLO

JULIE BOWEN

KATHARINE MCPHEE

KARLIE KLOSS

DANIELLE BRADBERY

REBA MCENTIRE

MADDIE & TAE

MICHAEL RAY

HUNTER HAYES

Project Runway’s Winter Wonderland!

In sharp contrast to the coveted fashion week spots, for S/S 2018, the designers this week were tasked to create winter-themed looks. And with this runway, it was supposed to decide which 4 would be going to NYFW? As we later see, I guess not….

Tim & Heidi met the designers on the runway, snow drifting down, to lay out all of the challenge details.The look created needed to be a high fashion, winter look, one where any fashionista would be thrilled to wear it while out in the cold. Tim & Heidi cautioned the designers to not think of a simple snow suit!

This would be a 2-day challenge, with a $400 budget, meaning the judges wanted to see ambition.To best get in the winter mindset, the designers would sketch in the coldest spot in Manhattan, Minus 5 ice bar. The interior is made of carved ice, a very cool setting!

Mood trips have been pretty par for course over the season, but not this go round! Margarita was the only one who thought fur for a winter look! After planning around this, picking out some select pieces, and even purchasing everything, it was then explained she couldn’t use these pieces. PR is a cruelty free show, so that means NO FUR!! I am not sure if this is spelled out in the massive rule list the designers must follow, but at the very least, it could have been stated as a reminder for this challenge! Tim, with the other designers’ blessing, did permit Margarita 5 more minutes to shop. I understood her initial frustration, given a plan around what she selected. But the constant whining over this, almost the entire first day, eventually started to wear thin.

Tim-time was on Day 2, and while he re-directed a new focus for some, he urged continued efforts for the rest. But the end of Day 2, Margarita was still in struggle-mode! This week’s guest judge was actress Katie Holmes. And what a sight the runway was, all Winter Wonderland’d out!

All designers were on the spot this week, and for the most part it was a judges’ love-fest. Although for some, there was some positives laid out, but mixed with some critique. I think at best, the judges could have picked a solid 3 for fashion week. And if they were set on having 4 show, then as in season’s past, they could have had 2 compete for that final spot, showcasing 3 looks from their collection. However, the judges didn’t allow anyone to receive a pass. This means all 5 designers left will create collections. And when they return to NY, they will most likely select 3 looks that best encapsulates their entire collection. And from that, the judges will decide on a final 4, but who knows, maybe even a final 3??

Personally, I am not a fan of Brandon, but the judges have sang his praises all season, including this week. Every designer also stated if they could go to fashion week, they would want Brandon to join. As much as I am happy he didn’t get a free pass, I think given all of this unwavering support, he could have been set to go. I have not seen growth from Brandon throughout the course of this season. His looks all remind me of each other. What might create an issue for Brandon in the next challenge, is that his 3 looks selected, might all look too similar. And maybe this was thought of internally by the judges.

I guess if no designer was getting a bypass for NYFW, then it makes no sense to only allow for one or two. But another designer who should have gotten this was Ayana. She has been on fire as of late. And while this week, the judges didn’t love every aspect of her look, she still did a great job. She was one of the only designers who I think really strove for full ambition, meaning worthwhile for 2 days of work and a $400 budget. Additionally, most of the other designers also said alongside themselves going to NYFW, she too should join.

Besides Brandon, the only other designer all 4 judges loved was Kentaro. This look really did make simplicity standout. The neutral color palette was a bit grappling for me. I don’t see it working in harsh winters, and this color palette, I just think it would get dirty so easily! But the judges were sold. However, in comparison to someone such as Brandon, who has repeatedly been on top, Kentaro has been in the bottom as of late. I would understand the judges doubting a guaranteed NYFW pass for him.

Margarita was another designer that the judges for the most part loved. I don’t think it was at the same level of Brandon or Kentaro, but approval nonetheless of her fur dress. The judges really liked the coat, but I thought it was okay. In retrospect now, I don’t see that this look felt overall, super luxe. I felt the coat lacked an expensive quality. No other designer picked Margarita when asked about who should join them at fashion week. I am guessing this did not instill much confidence in the judges permitting her the direct shot to show. She too has been on the bottom a lot lately, even being eliminated, but saved with the Tim Gunn save. So with a loved look this week, it did give her the chance to still create for NYFW.

And last, but not least, we have Kenya. She was last to be told she too would get a chance to create and show for NYFW. The sentiment I got from the judges this week was that her looks, even looked at individually, were just okay, but nothing knocked their socks off. Her coat, I find this would be hard to wear a great deal, and I didn’t really gravitate towards the look. Kenya has had no true highs over the course of the season. In fact, as stated at the onset of the week, she is the only one left who hasn’t won a challenge. I completely understand this. The judges have never seemed to gush over her the way they have for others. But I guess given she hasn’t fared too poorly either, this meant she too should get the chance for a mini-preview next week.

So almost a waste of an episode, given no actual decisions were made, but the question still remains, who will show at NYFW!?!

Project Runway Warriors

At the start of this week, the designers woke up to Everlast boxing gloves, stating the fight was truly beginning! I also picked up from the women, a little guy versus gals mentality! The designers were off to meet Tim at a boxing ring gym. Shocker — Tim was in sweats!! Alongside Tim was Evy DeAngelus, the Executive Director of Sales Development for Avon. We had the JC Penney challenge, the one for Lexus, so now, it was time for the Avon one!

Avon is all about improving the lives of women, and with that, Avon is steadfast in its commitment to the breast cancer crusade — help today, hope for tomorrow! Also in the ring with everyone were breast cancer survivors, sharing their inspirational stories. Each designer was tasked to create a high fashion, editorial look, with a warrior woman inspiration. This was all up to each individual designer for interpretation. Firstly though, the designers engaged in a boxing boot camp to get into spirits!

Each designer was given a $250 Mood budget for this 2-day challenge. On day 1, Kenya was struggling to get going, while Brandon & Kentaro were sort of working in the same aesthetic vein. But Kenya’s early struggles were nothing compared to Kentaro’s final craziness in trying to complete his look! Guest judge this week was actress Rachel Brosnahan.

The judges were gung-ho about the designs they loved, but for me, being so close to fashion week, I was underwhelmed with this runway! I was certainly left wanting more. I guess I wasn’t head over heels for any one look. Not all of the looks were bad, but they did not stand out as memorable looks!

I still do not get the judges’ unwavering affection for Brandon. He has not shown any growth with his creations. And to me, they all do look the same! He won this week, so I guess the judges’ love-fest is not dying down anytime soon. I did see a street warrior vibe in his look. It was well-made, but nothing new from previous weeks.

Ayana is still a fave of mine, but this look was not my fave from her. I am glad the judges liked it, making her safe for another week. It seemed very heavy on fabric in my book, but a great effort nonetheless.

Kenya rounded out the top looks. I guess of this top 3, if I had to pick a winner, it would have been her. I did love her color choice. And I really liked the concept with the petals. But I wish there were more. Other than that, itwas a simple dress. For a warrior look, it fell a bit flat. But on another positive note, I was also pleased that Kenya didn’t try to hide her model’s figure.

This left Margarita & Kentaro in the bottom. As I stated last week, the cuts are not going to be easier. Seeing either designer go for me was going to be sad. I will state now, Tim did finally use his Tim Gunn save, and I guess best to do it now, before time ran out. I am guess though that this next episode will be a double elimination.

Kentaro was not the planned eliminated designer. With his bottom placement the week before, I think Kentaro should have been out this week. There was nothing to his creation for the week. It was a lot of basic items, placed over basic items. It did give off an Asian warrior vibe, but overall, a let down. I am hopeful had he been eliminated over Margarita, the save still would have come into play.

AVON SHOUTOUT — LOVE THE HAIR & MAKEUP HERE!!

Margarita’s dress, under the armor she created, was very beautiful. But the final pairing of the pieces didn’t make this look a warrior great. It was very literal of an interpretation.

So with next week, I wonder if 2 designers will go home, right before fashion week!