PR Designers Design for JustFab

This week — the RTW, traditional design for the sponsor of our show challenge! More specifically, the designers were asked to create RTW looks that could be reproduced and sold online for JustFab. Tim was joined by Just Fab Fashion Director Yuchin Mao to provide the challenge details. JustFab has various style personas for their customers — Girl Next Door; Bombshell; Trendsetter; Modern Classic; Femme Nouveau. Each designer would be given a persona to design for in order to create a high fashion look that could be sold at an affordable price. In fact, the winning look would be reproduced and sold online!


Last week’s winner, Candice, received the honor then of not only selecting her persona of choice, but the persona for each of the other designers. All were mostly happy!

  • Candice — Trendsetter
  • Ashley — Girl Next Door
  • Swapnil — Bombshell
  • Kelly — Trendsetter
  • Laurie — Modern Classic
  • Merline — Femme Nouveau
  • Edmond — Bombshell


Everyone was then off to Mood for this 1-day challenge with a budget of only a $100. Ashley had to make some cuts at the register as she was over. And to top it off, she bought the wrong kind of zipper. But during Tim-time, others were a focus, as well as a little surprise!


Tim and Swapnil were not seeing eye to eye. Laurie was asked if she was really putting something new down the runway. And Edmond was being labeled as “basic.” Tim’s little surprise was another small component of the challenge. Each designer would have to create a label to print and wear on a t-shirt for the runway show. They would use the Brother printer to assist with the label-making process.

  • Swapnil — Swapnil Shinde
  • Laurie — Wanda Grace
  • Merline — Provoke Style
  • Kelly — Rack Addick
  • Candice — Ccuoco
  • Edmond — Edmond Newton


Model fittings actually presented a lot of major fit issues, leaving some designers unsure and others to start all over again. The “morning of” was just as crazy as the end of the night. Laurie had so much to do in starting over. Swapnil too had a wrong zipper and so he sewed his model into the dress. Merline even had her model assisting. This week’s guest judges were singer Ciara & Yuchin of JustFab.

Shout-outs — Sally Beauty, such gorgeous, flowing locks; Natural, clean Mary Kay look; perfect JustFab accessories, black clutch & killer heels!

pr14-ep9-enHeidi announced this would be the last immunity given out for the season. Somehow, amidst all of the craziness with judging, Edmond was declared the winner. I’m not sure what really happened here, with the designers, with the judges. But this was pure craziness and chaos. The fact of the matter here is no designer had a great look. Edmond winning was really like the best of the worst. This is not to say Edmond’s dress was bad. I agreed with Heidi in that it’s a great red dress, super sexy, and I’m sure people would buy it. But I also agreed with Nina & Zac. This was just a basic, red dress. There was nothing special to it. I didn’t see Edmond in it. And if I saw it hanging on a Macy’s rack, it would blend in. We’ve seen this before.


Shout-outs — Such a cute hairdo from Sally Beauty and love the beauty look, Mary Kay

If there was a top 3, I guess Ashley would be there. I mean really I think JustFab would have just sold this jacket and called it a day, but the look here in its entirety was just ok. And really Ashley didn’t do much to hype up her look. The back of the crop top was very cute, but we only saw it during the judges up close critiques. The jacket was great, but with a basic crop top & flare skirt, where a so-so print is doing all of the work, how can you get all that excited.


I wouldn’t know who to put as the final member of the top 3. The judges were really all over the place. I guess the safe crowd was Kelly & Candice. I would likely wear Candice’s look over Kellys’ so I will discuss her next. Candice had a few finishing touch issues, which is unlike her. But I think she got bogged down in RTW. I don’t think this is her design forte and so she showed some struggles. She really needed to edit here.


Moving on to Kelly, her look was not bad, but it just wouldn’t be for everyone. This was like Kelly to the max and I don’t think it would fit the JustFab clientele, or at least the masses. This would be for a very specific customer and I think that was a major issue here. And really the pale blue furry vest was not a fave of mine. Nina was for sure not a fan!


But compared to the bottom 3, Kelly’s look was top notch! I’m not sure what Swapnil was thinking here. Firstly, mass production, online, JustFab — that is not this dress. And I’m not sure what the deal was with the outer portion. Did he not get that Edmond’s odd outer vest the week before had not gone over well??


Merline has had some ideas all season, but her construction has been very questionable all season as well. But here, even some okay ideas really weren’t that great. Even if this look was fully executed, I wasn’t seeing a winner. I’d rather Laurie have not been eliminated. For me, Merline has had far too many passes on poorly crafted looks.


Shout-out — Love the accessories, sexy heels & black clutch, JustFab & this chic updo is spot on, Sally Beauty

The week before, Laurie’s look at least had some direction, whereas Lindsey, who was eliminated, went too basic. That was Laurie’s downfall this week. Merline appeared to have had some promise with her look, some ideas, whereas Laurie’s look was far too basic — a halter and pencil skirt — not very imaginative. The top was also sheer, showing some side-boob, which was also an issue for her the week before. With that, Laurie was out.



PR Designers’ Broadway Inspirations

This week was all about the magic and glamour of Broadway. The designers were invited to attend the musical, Finding Neverland. And from that visit, the trip, the show, the atmosphere, it was all to serve as an inspiration for each designer to create a look. The designers were joined at the theater by Tim and star of the musical, Matthew Morrison.


So with a “sky is the limit”, 1-day challenge, and a $250 budget, the designers were off to work and to Mood (which oddly enough this season, I feel as if they haven’t been to Mood that much!). Swapnil opted for a smoke/work balance this challenge. Lindsey began her work in fear as she really did not want to land in the bottom again. Merline began her work in doubt as she was drawing a complete blank. Candice came out of the gates strong however, really wanting to own her darkness, to celebrate it and feel hope.


Tim reminded the designers that at this point in the competition, it was anyone’s game, so to remember no one is safe. He urged Swapnil to aim for the win. While others he made sure to remind them to edit. Clearly, the pressure was on!


The morning of was the usual time crunch. A lot of the designers seemed like they could be in trouble! This week’s guest judge was supermodel Coco Rocha.


The top/bottom 3 breakdown made perfect sense here. And of course, by a landslide, Candice was the clear winner. Candice always impresses me with the sheer amount of pieces she can put together in such a short amount of time. And the thing is, I very rarely see any fit or quality issues with the pieces. And to top it all off, she is not just making basic, plain, boring pieces, but rather a look that is uniquely designed and truly showcasing who she is as a designer.


Kelly put out another great, stunning look. I really feel as if she has been a dark horse this season and the other designers better watch out! I’m not sure if I’m completely in love with this look, or at least the pairing of the intricate outer pieces with the LBD. But I know one thing is that it’s hard to take my eyes off of the look! This emerald, sheer, outer piece is just so exquisite. The judges seemed to be a bit split on this as well, but compared to the actual bottom this week, this was top notch!


Shout-outs — Sally Beauty, such gorgeous, wavy hair & Mary Kay, love that bold red lip!

Shout-outs — Sally Beauty, love the updo, Mary Kay, beautiful cat eye & nude lip!


The way I felt about Kelly’s look is similar to how I feel about Edmonds’. I’m not 100% in love with it, but there is still something intriguing about it. Coco was clearly not a fan, but the judges did have some positives to offer. I think the confusing part here is this outer vest — what is it, why did he make it, what is the purpose? Not sure of the answers, but the black pants and top were well made. And the look did need more than just those pieces, so I guess he thought, blob of color maybe??

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Swapnil and Merline were definitely deserving of the middle, but still with okay looks. Swapnil’s look had such a disconnect for me. I didn’t love the pairing of slate grey & baby pink. And with Merline, it was very pretty, but felt more like a costume than a wearable look.

Shout-out —  Sally Beauty, love the waves!!


Ashley’s look was just a mess and truly, quite disappointing. My issue with this is more so that Ashley can and has done better. But when she misses, she really misses. It’s like, why so inconsistent??

Shout-out — Lovin’ these Sally Beauty hair looks this week!


Laurie has had some highlights for me earlier on this season, but a very slow decline the past week or so. I’m just not sure what happened here. It seems as if there is no direction and the fabric choice, very mind boggling!

Another gorgeous Sally Beauty updo!


But for the judges, they saw at least some design and ideas with Laurie. On the other hand, for Lindsey, it was just not enough. Her look did have a pretty color, but there was not a lot here in terms of design. It was kind of basic. Lindsey’s aesthetic is very minimalist, which is hard to make work on PR. And if you do go the minimalist route, it has to be done so well. That was the case here. So with a few constant bottom placements, Lindsey was sadly out.

PR Designers go Dumpster Diving

Ok, well not exactly, but they definitely hit up a rather organized looking junkyard for the challenge and were pulling some items out of the dumpsters! This was the 2nd unconventional materials challenge of the season, and this go round, the designers would be working with recycled electronics. Their goal was to merge the worlds of fashion and technology — take yesterday’s technology and turn it into modern fashion.


The designers were joined by Tim at Editor in Chief of Marie Claire, Anne Fulenwilder, who would also serve as one of the guest judges this week. Each designer had 1 shopping car to fill up with wires, old computers, circuit boards, mouse pads, and the like. So after some fun dumpster diving, the designers were back to the workroom to quickly begin on this 1-day challenge.


Work shots began with a montage of past clips where Joseph had been labeled as “matronly”, clearly would be a heavy focus of the episode. However, it was very clear right from the get go that Swapnil was too a heavy focus of the episode and his taking constant breaks to chat, smoke, or eat. PR might as well have called this the “Swapnil hour.” But of course before all of this, Jake asked to speak to Tim privately. He found out that his family pet was not doing well and that his dog needed to be put to sleep, very sad! Jake decided to leave the competition at this point.


The designers were back to work as Tim-time was soon approaching. Tim applauded some, but not all. Swapnil asked about using muslin for his skirt, which of course Tim quickly answered with a resounding “No!” But overall, Tim seemed pleased. Model fittings were next, which brought lots of fit issues and Ashley was in tears.


The morning of the runway was filled with typical chaos. Swapnil decided he would be using muslin, while Edmond was being even more innovative with the challenge and made his own accessory. This week’s other guest judge was Paula Patton.


My top 3 were right in line with the judges. And I guess since Merline couldn’t have been eliminated due to her win last week, I was okay with the bottom 3 as well. However, Heidi has been quick to tell safe designers in the past that they should feel lucky. I’m not sure how Merline escaped that critique. Her look this week was quite sloppy. In fact, the back was open and coming apart to where you could see the model’s underwear. I’m not sure she would have been sent home this week, but a warning I felt would have been justifiable.


I was happy for either Kelly or Ashley to win. But being that this was Kelly’s first win, it seemed more fitting. This look was detailed, intricate, and super luxe looking.


Shout-outs all around — Sally Beauty for sleek chic hair; gorgeous Mary Kay makeup look & love that JustFab clutch!

Shout-out for Ashley, love the metallic silver JustFab pumps!


Ashley was definitely a close 2nd. This look, made with negatives of film, was really inspired, super nostalgic, but really just downright fashionable, fun, and flirty!


Edmond rounded out the judges top 3 and I was fine on this decision. This look was super polished. The front was so sexy, loved the deep V. But the back was too quite intriguing with an intricate detailing of straps.

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Laurie & Candice made up the middle of the pack. Laurie’s look was a little all over the place for me. Had Swapnil not used muslin, I think she could have ended up in the bottom. It just seemed a little floppy & messy. Shoutout for her Mary Kay makeup look, gorgeous smoky eye!

I really liked Candice’s look. There was definitely something sexy about it, just very eye-catching, with lots of intricate detailing all over the dress.


Shout-out — Sally Beauty hair, super sweet & chic ponytail!

Lindsey landed in the bottom 3. I don’t think she deserved to go home over this look, so I am happy she didn’t. But I do think her skirt was kind of a throwaway. I liked the top, but clearly way too much time was spent on it and her skirt suffered.


I think it was clear from the Swapnil-centric episode that he would not only be in some trouble, but be at risk of elimination. Of course the main reason he was in jeopardy was because he used muslin. I don’t think the judges really disliked his look. Had the skirt been made of anything else, I believe he would have found himself safe. The top was very sculptural and architectural. This was not Swapnil’s best, but was more or less not great because he didn’t follow the challenge guidelines.

Shout-out for Joseph — Striking updo, Sally Beauty, killer heels, JustFab


This left poor Joseph on the outs, in the bottom yet again. It was really his time to go. His look was not matronly, but it really wasn’t much of anything. It wasn’t too creative or exciting, just very bland.

PR Designers Design for Heidi

Fashion Week and a crazy month or so has definitely put me behind in terms of recapping these Project Runway episodes. But as I love the show, I am making the time to catch up! So slowly but surely I will catch up!


So going back, this is the episode where I left off. The challenge was to create lingerie for Heidi’s line. The winning look would be reproduced for Heidi’s brand. The designers had lots of lingerie samples to sift thru, but were not expected to replicate, rather use her previous pieces as guidelines to make their own lingerie set. With that, the designers were off to work on this 1-day challenge.


Lindsey had an unfortunate early mishap as her day began. She cut herself, pretty deeply, and had to go to the hospital to get a tetanus shot. Everyone else was of course hard at work, but were they ready for Tim-time??


Tim was of course joined by Heidi as she was the client for this challenge. She certainly had lots to say! Edmond was quickly dubbed as captain tacky. And while Joseph was again labeled as “matronly”, Jake was on the other end of the spectrum with a look that was more junior. Tim reminded the designers that they had a lot of work to do, but first, a quick surprise as Heidi asked the designers to join her on the runway.


Heidi had good news and bad news. The bad — there was a twist! Everyone had to design another piece, a sexy cover-up. The good — they would have more time to work and were even sleeping at the studio — Project Runway sleepover! With that, everyone was off to get into their PJs and get back to work. This was a crazy challenge, very surprising that everyone was having so much difficulty with the time constraints. At 3am everyone was still hard at work, but it was ultimately time for bed.


The morning of proved no differently in terms of work chaos, right from the moment Tim went to awaken the designers. Joseph found some time to help out Jake. And many, namely Blake, pretty much just thru something random together for the cover-up. Time was running out, but it was time for the runway. This week’s guest judge was actress Bella Thorne. Who knew someone that was barely legal could have so much to say about lingerie!!


Candice would have been my winner this week. I am not so shocked that every judge didn’t agree with my pick, but how she didn’t even make top 3 was beyond mind boggling. Her look had the same sexy spirit as the judges’ winning pick in that of Merline. But, for me, Candice’s look was better constructed and would have worked for a more body types & sizes.


Merline still did good work this week and was certainly deserving of some appreciation though. This was a very sexy and very well-designed lingerie set. But I found her loo, especially the top, to be rather limiting on the type of woman who could pull it off.


Hair shoutout — Sally Beauty, gorgeous waves!


To join Candice and Merline, my top 3 would have included Kelly. I thought her looks so different and very unique. I really thought she put forth her designer POV the best.


Heck, even her cover-up was one of the actually designed ones. She put forth great effort and amazing work on this challenge.


Swapnil was in the official top 3. I didn’t dislike his look, but I definitely had some critiques, as did the judges, which was surprising then in how he landed in the top 3. There was certainly a showstopping quality to his top, it was quite eye-catching. But I felt a disconnect between the top & bottom.



Ashley was the final member of the judges’ top 3. Actually she was in competition for the win, so with that, I am glad Merline won. The top here had an odd shape to me. And I really didn’t see anything unique or interesting about the underwear here.

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As far as the middle of the bunch, there was Joseph, Edmond, and Lindsey. Joseph’s top was okay, but the bottoms were either not constructed well or they just didn’t look good. Edmond’s look was quite sexy, also love the color choice of royal purple. He did a good job this week as well. Lindsey’s bottoms were a bit on the higher side, but I thought she had a great color combination.



The judges were right to call out Laurie on her high bottoms, but Joseph’s look had some wonky construction issues. I think he was more deserving of the bottom 3 than Laurie. Laurie’s top received a good deal of compliments and this should have at least made her safe. I too thought she had great color choices. But lucky for Laurie she was only in the bottom 3 and not the bottom 2!


There was no way Jake was going home over Blake’s messy disaster this week. Although Jake clearly stuck to most of what he has been this season, boring or severely lacking in originality.

Shout-out — Luscious red locks, great work from the Sally Beauty team


Blake has done some outstanding work this season. If the judges had sent Jake home instead, I wouldn’t have seen much of an injustice. I believe Blake is far more talented than Jake. But sadly, this was the worst look this week and very little could have been done to save Blake.

Shout-outs — Hair, love the waves, Sally Beauty, and great job on the makeup, courtesy of Mary Kay

Art Hearts Fashion, Part 2

Art Hearts Fashion was in full swing during NYFW, dominating it with s second day of shows, which wrapped up at the Refectory at the High Line Hotel. Art Hearts Fashion is one event that continues to showcase the strongest designers of the season. After opening day at Grand Central Station, Art Hearts Fashion showcased 7 designers at the High Line Hotel on Tuesday, September 15th.

Singer/songwriter Kelly Saint Patrick entertained guests throughout the night with acoustic performances.

Official Makeup Sponsor The Organic Face™ and Official Hair Care Sponsor Marrakesh worked behind the scenes, bringing to life the artistic vision of each collection. Make Up Teams lead by Head Key Erik Torppe

As a voice for artistic and cutting edge designers, Art Hearts Fashion is paving the way toward the future of Fashion Week. Art Hearts Fashion’s philanthropic drive stretches from coast to coast, putting the spotlight on how fashion can promote constructive ideals and influence the progressive evolution of the fashion industry. Each season, AHF works with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Make-A-Wish. Participating designers can be seen on every major Hollywood celebrity including: Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Nikki Minaj, Rita Ora, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, and countless more. The platform is unequivocally intertwined with the causes and organizations it supports.

Special thanks to Art Hearts Fashion sponsors and supporters including: The High Line Hotel, VOSS Events, Monster Energy, Savvy Traveler and Shibue Couture the official undergarment sponsor of Art Hearts Fashion.   Art Hearts Fashion is produced by Erik Rosete and ParkerWhitaker Productions.

One Rose

Erik Rosete, "One Rose"   Erik Rosete, "One Rose"

Art Hearts Fashion Founder Erik Rosete opened the 9PM show with the debut of his “One Rose” collection. A sophisticated take on youthful ready-to-wear, this futuristic black and white collection featured creative color blocking, volume skirts, and sleek men’s shorts.

Erik Rosete, "One Rose"    Erik Rosete, "One Rose"

Erik Rosete, "One Rose"   Erik Rosete, "One Rose"

House of Byfield

House of Byfield   House of Byfield

House of Byfield brought innovative floral splash patterns to menswear this season. Pops of black and teal accented the tailored menswear, while light flowing dresses came alive with purple floral patterns. Men and women’s leather bags by Carat23 brought trench coat looks to a whole new level.

House of Byfield   House of Byfield

Furne One

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Amato Haute Couture by Furne One closed the show with the darkly romantic “Love is a Battlefield” collection. Magnificent dresses of deep hues emblazoned with intricate embellishment stormed the runway. French laces and tulle paired with stretch & acid washed denims for looks that were volumized and full of the designer’s mark of elegance and drama.

Amato Haute Couture by Furne One  Amato Haute Couture by Furne One

Amato Haute Couture by Furne One    Amato Haute Couture by Furne One

Shoes by EMMETT Shoes and Hades Footwear made special appearances in the “Love is a Battlefield” collection by Amato Haute Couture and in the “One Rose” collection by Mister Triple, decadently accentuating the designer’s looks.

Erik Rosete, "One Rose"

All That Is Art Hearts Fashion

Opening day for prestigious bi-coastal fashion platform Art Hearts Fashion commenced last night with a 5 designer showcase hosted at Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Station, presented by AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

As a voice for artistic and cutting edge designers, Art Hearts Fashion is paving the way toward the future of Fashion Week. The philanthropic drive stretches from coast to coast, putting the spotlight on how fashion can promote constructive ideals and influence the progressive evolution of the fashion industry. Each season, AHF works with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Make-A-Wish. The platform is unequivocally intertwined with the causes and organizations it supports.

Official Makeup Sponsor The Organic Face and Official Hair Care Sponsor Marrakesh worked with designers bringing their visions to life on the runway.

Mister Triple X

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Art Hearts Fashion Founder and Designer Erik Rosete opened the show with his Mister Triple X “Vortex” collection. This season Mister Triple X debuted a flirtatious metallic pallet featuring rich body-con dresses, shorts and the designer’s signature bunny ears.

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Zachary/Nathaniel was next to the runway, presenting an inspired collection of dark hues, plunging necklines and leather features. Expert draping made for flattering silhouettes in the designs, expertly paired with sheer and leather.



Tarek Sinno

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Tarek’s presentation incorporated rich color scheme of blues, reds and golds, accentuating the feminine form with fanciful ornate detailing and unexpected structured features. Striking lines and intricate jeweling elicited excitement from guests and media.

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Gregorio Sanchez

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This designer enlivened the runway with bright pops of color and fine hand embroidery. This cohesive collection full of bold patterned skirts and romantic tops expressed a natural vibrant energy and movement.

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Cary Santiago

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Ms. Santiago closed the evening with a jaw dropping collection full of high drama. The cinematic designs are impeccably crafted demonstrating Santiago’s ingenious artistry.


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Special thanks to Art Hearts Fashion sponsors and supporters including: VOSS Events, Savvy Traveler, and Monster Energy.

Photographer: John Nacion


2015 Supima Design Competition

Supima is America’s luxury cotton. The annual Supima Design Competition was created to give runway exposure to emerging talent and was modeled after the legendary 1954 Wool Secretariat competition that launched the careers of the then-teenaged Yves St. Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.

12052458_10153078104451759_6477756776863435639_oSeven of America’s top design schools (AAU, FIDM, FIT, Kent State University, Pratt BF+DA, RISD, SCAD) are asked to select one finalist from among their graduating seniors. Each finalist is asked to create a capsule collection of women’s eveningwear gowns from premium Supima denims, knits, corduroys, twills, and shirting. A prestigious panel of judges decides the winner at a full-fledged fashion show held during New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. The winner is announced at the completion of the show and receives a $10,000 cash award.


Host & judge details —

Host — Olivia Culpo

Judges —

  • Catherine Baba — Designer/stylist/costume designer
  • Ildo Damiano — Italian trend setter
  • Carmen Lilly — wardrobe stylist and personal shopping consultant
  • Aslaug Magnusdottir — entrepreneur and investor in the fashion space. She is the Co-Founder and former CEO of Moda Operandi and Tinker Tailor
  • Fern Mallis — was the Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) from 1991-2001, and created 7th on Sixth productions or NY Fashion Week as it’s known today. She’s currently President of the leading international fashion and design consultancy – Fern Mallis LLC


  • Jessica Michault — editor-in-chief of Nowfashion, the leading digital magazine specialized in live runway coverage.
  • Naomi Nevitt — digital, editorial and social media strategist specializing in millennial, fashion and shopping trends
  • Nicolas Ouchenir — Ten years ago, Nicolas Ouchenir started to experiment with calligraphy. Entirely self-taught, he invented alphabets – both traditionally crafted and modern in style – for a variety of luxury fashion and arts clients. Today, he is one of Paris’ most sought after artisans (with clients including Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Christian Dior and Cartier).

Supima Design Competition - Runway - Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows

  • Sam Spector — After graduating from Parsons School of Design’s A.A.S program in Fashion Design, Sam Spector held the Fashion Editor position at OUT magazine where he styled fashion shoots and shot celebrity cover stories. Now styling & visual presentation work, editorial & tv shows.
  • Mary Alice Stephenson — world renowned style and beauty expert, fashion commentator, humanitarian and the founder and force behind GLAM4GOOD.
  • David Yi — Mashable’s first-ever fashion hire where he spearheads editorial for the new vertical. From overseeing original shoots, to writing in-depth stories about the ever-changing industry, Mashable Fashion is quickly becoming the go-to destination for the global digital generation.


Kate Mckenna — Savannah College of Art & Design  Kate

Having always been an artistic and creatively driven child, fashion was just one of the ways she expressed herself. After being completely captivated by the dressmaking scene in Sleeping Beauty, she was hooked on the idea of making dresses. Mckenna’s area of design focuses on women’s eveningwear, ready-to-wear and bridal.


Mckenna feels that fabrication is the most important part of her design process. “I design with a narrative, there’s always a reason or inspiration for silhouettes and details. I like to tell stories through my designs.” Here, her focus was on West African and Haitian voodoo in the deep south, with a deeper look into traditional indigo dying & basket weaving.


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Lauren Nahigian — Pratt Institute Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator


Nahigian focuses on designing women’s sportswear but readily admits that her designs are “kind of out there”. An abundance of fabric, crazy colors and prints and intricate embellishments are all design elements Nahigian uses to express her vision.


For this collection, Nahigian says — “1970’s flirty, weird girl. Something’s a little strange about how she looks and acts but you’re obsessed with her anyway. You’ll secretly wish you too were sporting her attitude.”

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Julia Han — Rhode Island School of Design  Julian

Han specializes in women’s knitwear and textile development, believing that fabric is the essential part of any design. With a philosophy rooted in the idea of material exploration and fabrics, Han pushes conventional materials and techniques in unconventional ways to create pieces that make you stop and look. “Fashion is a combination of art, design, culture, business and craft, in short, a culmination of many of the things I am interested in”, says Han.

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Han describes her capsule collection by saying — “Initially inspired by the layered imagery of Patti Smith’s collection of prose poems, The Coral Sea, my Supima capsule collection, translates written poetry into wearable garments. This eveningwear collection mainly plays off of unexpected poetic textures and fabric manipulations in hues of blue. If The Coral Sea was a collection of clothing, rather than words, what would it look like and ultimately feel like?”

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Nnamdi Agum — FIT  Nnamdi

Agum takes more of a tactical approach to design and prefers working with his hands on the form. “ I enjoy creating clothing that makes people think”, says Agum. From eliminating or hiding seams to designing clothing with complicated and unusual seaming, Nnamdi Agum likes to push the boundaries of fashion.

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Agnum says — “New York’s rooftops are noted for their spectacular skyline views—but there’s so much more to them that most people never see. There are often lush, vibrant, amazing things in bloom, cultivated for their beauty, on those rooftops, known only to their privileged inhabitants. The collection is a cheeky nod to the beautiful secrets one may find, tucked away, just beneath the skyline.”


Karen Dang — Academy of Art University   Karen

With an avant-garde approach to design, Karen Dang is not afraid to use colors to set the tone for her collections.

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Here is what Dang has to say on this collection — “I wanted to capture the controlled chaos and beauty seen in the works of Martin Klimas and Ori Gersht. My collection is inspired by Klimas’ series, ”FlowerVases” and Gersht’s “On Reflection”, capturing the events that take place with the explosion of flower and vase. My first look is more structured like the vase and the last look is free and crazy, capturing the image of the shattered flower.”

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Paige Meacham — Kent State University Paige

Meacham’s focus is on women’s designer ready-to-wear and outwear. Her love of textiles and fabric manipulation comes through in her designs where embroidery, smocking, quilting and screen-printing play a roll in Meacham’s signature style.


“My Collection is inspired by my last two years of traveling around Europe and Asia. I believe that traveling is way people form layers. All the places I have been, I noticed the mixture of organic structures and movements, with hard city building lines. This juxtaposition of similar building structures with the vastly different lifestyles all come together to create something beautiful: humanity”


Leetal Platt — FIDM Leetal

Since 2014 Platt has received numerous awards and recognition for her designs including the 2015 Best in Show award at FIDM. Platt takes a fairly loose approach to sketching in order to accommodate for the varying responses to fabric behavior. The use of textiles, hardware and shape all come together to form Platt’s design point of view.

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Platt says — “My collection is inspired by the bouganvillea vine. I am particularly drawn to the colors of its flowers and the contrast between that and the stone and concrete walls the vines canvas. As the collection flows, I try to explore this concept of overgrowth over manmade surfaces, and the juxtaposition of organic textures laying beside the hard geometry of infrastructure, resulting in gowns with beautiful fabric manipulation, color, and silhouette.”



Art Institute Designers for Spring 2016

For twelve up-and-coming designers from The Art Institute of New York City, Fashion Week was a chance to showcase the talent, determination, and hard work they put into their Spring 2016 collections. These promising designers-both current students and recent graduates-presented designs that represented their passion, vision, and motivation to succeed.

ai spring 2016 look 49- deron shields   ai spring 2016 look 50- deron shields

Deron Shields (5th Quarter Current Student, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)–  “Concrete Rose,” created an expressive and experimental look that reinterpreted the classics while fusing together quality craftsmanship and whimsical silhouettes. Layers of tulle in a myriad of shades of white, gray and pink came together to create this fresh look at sportswear that was a perfect balance between day and evening.
Eric Jernigan (6th Quarter Current Student, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– Spirits emerging from volcanoes inspired this eveningwear collection that was entirely made of two colors – ash gray and neon pink. His pieces titled, “Beauteous Eruption,” were electrically elegant; a mixture of fantasy, control and edge.
ai spring 2016 look- finale 11- eric jernigan

ai spring 2016 look 39- nataliya matkivska


Nataliya Matkivska (7th Quarter Current Student, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– Her collection,”Line and Shapes,” took the definition of classics to a new level. Hand beading & flowing textiles combined to create a feeling that was part retro, part futuristic.

ai spring 2016 look 42- nataliya matkivska   ai spring 2016 look 41- nataliya matkivska


ai spring 2016 look 55- melissa d gonzalez    ai spring 2016 look 56- melissa d gonzalez


Melissa D. Gonzalez (Graduate: December 2014, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)–  “Meladama,” was inspired by the surreal and psychedelic elements of the film “Fantastic Planet.” Clashing fabrics, all richly textured, created a mélange of silhouettes that leave observers unsure of season, decade, or even planet, but yet wanting more. Shoes OYSBY London

ai spring 2016 look 60- melissa d gonzalez   ai spring 2016 look- finale 10- melissa d gonzalez


ai spring 2016 look 36- ebony taylor

Ebony Taylor (4th Quarter Current Student, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– Crisp Op-Art lines combined with draping fabrications gave this swim & après swim collection, “End Game,”an easy elegance that could effortlessly go from pool side to evening.
ai spring 2016 look 12- rujing liu
Rujing Liu (Graduate: June 2015, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– Her collection, “Dear Mother,” was organic in nature. Easy silhouettes in moody shades of vegetable dyed, textural fabrics that evoked a feeling of Asian simplicity were sent down the runway.
ai spring 2016 look 10- rujing liu
ai spring 2016 look 18- nathaly meristil
Nathaly Meristil (Graduate: December 2014, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– Shapes and dimensions drove her collection, “The Infinite Climb.” Architectural elements softened by neoprene were draped, cut, tucked, & seamed to evoke feelings both organic & sculptural.
ai spring 2016 look 13- nathaly meristil
ai spring 2016 look 27- monica suemitsu
Monica Suemitsu (Graduate: March 2015, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– Japanese inspired detailing came together with textural fabrics in oversized, silhouettes that gave just enough shape and interest to intrigue in this collection titled, “Onpa.” Bernardo Shoes
ai spring 2016 look 25- monica suemitsu

ai spring 2016 look 04- kiki terrels

Kiki Terrels (4th Quarter Current Student, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– His collection, “Ironclad,” was influenced by medieval armor mixed with modern functionality complete with inserts of paisley, leather, and sheet metal. Shoes by Pikolinos
ai spring 2016 look 02- kiki terrels
ai spring 2016 look 19- matheus rangel
Matheus Rangel (4th Quarter Current Student, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– Druids & gypsies came together to create an easy collection titled, “Druidry,” that was part loungewear, part smart sportswear, & part explorations of androgyny for the modern man.  Pikolinos Shoes
ai spring 2016 look 23- matheus rangel
ai spring 2016 look 46- yurie lim

Yurie Lim (6th Quarter Current Student, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– “Things I Don’t Show,” embodied his personality by fusing together clean and strong silhouettes with more sweet and delicate details. The menswear collection incorporate Japanese patchwork and colors he grew up wearing in the Philippines.
ai spring 2016 look 47- yurie lim
ai spring 2016 look 70- lavan chxeidze
Lavan Chxiedze (Graduate: June 2015, Fashion Design, AAS, The Art Institute of New York City)– Making his second appearance at New York Fashion Week, “Love Letters from Berlin,” was inspired by Berlin in the 1920s and 1940s, especially the history of hardship facing the gay population during that time. His collection pushed the boundaries of menswear and challenged the constructs of gender-appropriate clothing.
ai spring 2016 look 68- lavan chxeidze
Hair by: Jorge Luis for Privé by Laurent D 
Nails by: FABY USA
Make-up by: MAKEUP BY DISCO, Sarah Digisco 

Front of House, Show Production, & Direction (Scott French)– The Bromley Group

Show Production & Direction — Bishop Collective, Mai Vu

Assistant Director — Denise Lacen

Music — DJ Xavier

Models — Adam, Chase, Major, MSA, State, & Wilhelmina

Fittings — Patricia McCoy

Art Institute Corporate Marketing — Alicia Levey

AI Corporate PR — Devra Pransky


NYFW — Modern, Glamorous Womenswear

Great takes on modern womenswear, from evening to cocktail to RTW.

Naeem Khan

Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016   Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016

Naeem Khan is known for his beautiful and ornate gowns, and this season he did not disappoint. Inspired by sun-drenched gardens in the south of France, as well as the waters of Capri, Khan took us on a luxe journey through the Mediterranean. The collection channeled the Fifties and Sixties, with Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot and Jackie Kennedy as his muses. Khan imagined how they would dress for parties while on vacation.

Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016   Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016

The outcome was a collection of brimming with rich embroideries, intricate beading, basket-weave sequins and woven raffia. A vibrant palette included sunset hues of yellow, orange and bright pink, as well as azure, lilac, red rose and celadon green. Even the runway itself was decorated full-on, with a floral wall and an arched white doorway.

Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016    Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016

There were a ton of standout looks that graced this runway. I often include Khan’s work on my Best Dressed lists and am positive we should see a few of these gowns grace a red carpet or 2 in the coming award season.

Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016   Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016

Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016      Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2016


Kye RTW Spring 2016  Kye RTW Spring 2016 

Korean designer Kathleen Kye is known in Seoul for her high-end streetwear looks, but now it’s her bold and witty K-Pop-inspired looks that are hitting it big on the runway. This season she referenced her thoughts on hate, or rather, the kind of hate akin to friendly jealously.

Kye RTW Spring 2016   Kye RTW Spring 2016

The inspiration came across as literal text on tops and jackets, with graphics Kye makes herself in Korea. As expected, prints were abundant in the women’s looks. These prints screamed KYE to me and for me, is what makes KYE stand out!

Kye RTW Spring 2016    Kye RTW Spring 2016

The menswear looks were too quite vibrant. I’m excited for KYE and her super well-rounded collection for S/S 2016.

Kye RTW Spring 2016   Kye RTW Spring 2016

Mitsou Ly

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Mitsou Ly realizes garment’s unique qualities by giving it distinctive perspective, independent expression and personality. Her pieces mix feminine style with an edgy flair. The beautiful fabrics she chooses, combined with the striking designs and silhouettes make her collections truly unique. I was more than pleased to receive an invite to her NYFW show. It was exhilarating and a wonderfully put together presentation.

Mitsou Ly - Runway - Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week

Bold and vivid colors and stunning shapes are a key component to Mitsou Ly’s designs. These innovative designs mix vintage with modern; lady-like looks with revolutionary style. It all comes together to make her collection of-the-moment, sophisticated and modern. She artfully combines ruffles, satin, and geometric shapes. Even her vintage inspired pieces have an aesthetic that reflects today’s trends.

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Mitsou Ly manufactures her affordable luxury line in New York and Washington, DC.

NYFW — The Stunners!

Amazing set of stunning designers who presented stunning collections, whether it be thru elegant evening wear or imaginative RTW.


Libertine RTW Spring 2016  Libertine RTW Spring 2016

Johnson Hartig is one of those designers who can find inspiration in anything, adapting disparate themes to his signature psychedelic aesthetic. His DIY approach to high-end streetwear design reimagines vintage fabrics into eccentric production-ready pieces. His Libertine collections could easily veer into the tacky, but the explosion of color, pattern-play and embellishments changes that up!

Libertine RTW Spring 2016   Libertine RTW Spring 2016 

For women, there was plenty of kitsch — neon chains, beaded fringe, bedazzled teeth, patchwork utensils with dangling spaghetti fringe, etc.— the list goes on. His collection of daytime separates screamed youthful, with bright colors and tailored mix-and-match separates. I’m always excited to see the Libertine show — it’s  a vibrantly rich collection, jam-packed into a high energy show.

Libertine RTW Spring 2016    Libertine RTW Spring 2016

Men’s looks included a disco-ball tracksuit, animal-print sweatpants and amoeba-patterned sweatshirts. With inspiration ranging from Staffordshire dogs to molecular cell research interpreted in fluorescent colors, the men’s lineup was fun and eccentric!

Libertine RTW Spring 2016    Libertine RTW Spring 2016

Stella Nolasco

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Stella Nolasco’s S/S 2016 collection, “POMAROSA”, is inspired by the decadent beauty of the poetry of Jose de Diego, a turn of the century Puerto Rican poet, born in Stella’s hometown. Layers of tulle, lace, and sheer fabrics add movement and give life to gowns that flow with the grace of poetry, floating transparently over the runway. Seeing each breathtaking piece come down the runway I was constantly in awe, thinking ok, this look is stunning, the best of the best, can it get any better?!? And with this collection, Stella was able to prove me wrong. Every look that continued to come down the runway had it’s own individual magic, keeping me awestruck from start to finish!

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The richly embroidered dresses, in colors varying from black to blush, yellow, plum rose (Pomarosa, in various tones), evoke the gentility of a bygone era with a daring, modern turn exemplified by plunging necklines. A sheer, almost lingerie-like quality of the dresses maintains an air of romanticism and whimsicality. Stella Nolasco’s charm and metropolitan sensibility render her designs modern, stylish and edgy. Consequently, she has earned a reputation as Puerto Rico’s most avant-garde designer. Her designs exude elements of both vintage nostalgia, and sophisticated modernity.

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Stella is a household name in Puerto Rico, where her work receives near constant media coverage. Stella’s line has been featured at luxury department store, Neiman Marcus, amongst other prestigious retailers. 

Stella attended the Atmosphere show at Paris fashion week and subsequently was picked up by famous European department store, Gerard Darel, along with international boutiques around the world including Sauce (Dubai), Style (Kuwait), Les Princesses (Paris), Studio Facts (Japan), Lorenzina (Spain), amongst others.

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Stella’s designs have been worn celebrities including Beyonce Knowles (on the cover of Seventeen Magazine), Actress Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes) and Actress Cote de Pablo (NCIS), to name a few. 

After her successful presentation at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week in September of 2014, Nolasco has enjoyed various new opportunities, including the experience of dressing the actress Juliette Lewis, who attended the Vanity Fair Oscar Party and was selected among the best dressed of the night by several fashion critics. Recently, Stella collaborated with the Hollywood actor and fashion designer, John Malkovich, for his clothing line “Technobohemian” at their fashion show in Puerto Rico.

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Show Credits

Photography — firstVIEW

Styling — Shandi Alexander

Casting — Cast Inc/Julia Samersova

Makeup — Fatima Thomas for MAC

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Hair — Laurent Dufourg & Jorge Luis for Prive

Nails — Pattie Yankee

Shoes — Christian Louboutin

Music — Eiko Hara

PR — Emily Bungert/EB Consults

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Michael Costello

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Inspired by feminine decadence, Costello is merging his bold shapes with a softer and sweeter color palate. “This collection has more movement, leaving more to the imagination,” according to Costello. “It evokes the sexiness of a tight dress with the draping of an elegant gown.” For me, these looks perfectly encapsulated classic glam with a edgy, sexy vibe — not going too far, but pushing the boundaries just enough!
Gaining recognition as both a brand and designer, Costello chose this collection to unveil brighter gem tones, using the body as contrast. “These dresses make women feel desired and unforgettable,” according to Costello. There was a lot of great color in this collection, everything from bold tones in bright yellow to forest green, subtle hues in nude and soft pink, and beautiful floral prints.
Michael Costello is a fashion designer based out of Los Angeles, CA, building his brand around elegant and sexy silhouettes. After becoming a finalist on Project Runway, Costello has gone on to design memorable creations for celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears and is known for designing Beyoncé’s iconic 2014 Grammy gown, which is on display at the Grammy Museum. Michael’s designs have also been featured in countless editorials for International fashion publications including Vogue Italia, Elle and Marie Claire.

Photo credit — Bennet Cobliner Photography

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