PR — Budgets, Wabi, Tsunamis Oh My!

I feel as if Project Runway, season 16, is going to be one super dramatic season! And starting off on that note, episode 2 brings us the first team challenge, which almost always brings some drama! The designers woke to safety gear — vests/helmets — and were off to meet Tim at the Royal Waste Services, a recycling & waste facility.

Joining Tim to lay out the challenge details was Anne Fulenwider, Editor in Chief of Marie Claire. For this challenge, there would be 3 teams. Each team would be creating a 5-piece mini collection. Each look would be made out of recyclable materials. So yes, not only was this a team challenge, but also unconventional materials. Each team would be recycling, reusing and restyling to create a high fashion transformation! The winning look from the winning team would be featured in Marie Claire for a piece on sustainability.

Team 1, aka “Wabi Sabi” — Kudzanai, Kentaro, Margarita, Michael, Deyonte — focus on structure, texture, and origami techniques

Team 2, aka “Ballin’ on a Budget” — Aaron, Batani, Brandon, Kenya, Ayana

Team 3, aka “Tsunami” — Sentell, Samantha, Amy, Claire, Shawn — translucency, seaglass focus

Tim reminded the designers that cohesion would be required. And this would be a 1-day challenge. Guest judges for the week were Anne Fulenwider and actress Maggie Q.

My ranking of the teams was different than the judges. I actually did not care for Ballin’ on a Budget. So for me, a toss up on them versus Tsunami for safety. But given the editing of the show, I think we all knew Tsunami was landing in the bottom! Since Wabi Sabi didn’t receive any accolade on the show, I will devote my attention to them here as they were my winning team! And Deyonte, Kentaro, or Margarita would have had the final win for me!

Loved Margarita’s silhouette here and the bottom portion was nicely detailed.

SHOUTOUTS FOR THE TEAM — JC Penney, love the red heels & Avon for gorgeous beauty look and I love the chic ponytail!

Simply stunning & beautiful work by Kentaro — love this guy!!

Love the volume and something different by way of silhouette than the repetition seen by some of the other designers. Another great job by Deyonte. He was clearly not resting on his laurels and relying on immunity!

Kudzanai’s look — nice show piece for the runway!

Probably my least fave of the collection, but the bodice detail embellishments were nice — Brandon

Team Wabi Sabi had a cohesive collection, but each designer still had their own POV. The judges, however, loved Ballin’ on a Budget. I thought the pieces read more arts and craft than recyclable fashion. The group said this was meant to be fashion on a budget, but all I saw was the budget part. I agreed with the judges naming Ayana as the winner of the group though.

Ayana’s look

I was too happy to see that Batani did better than last week!

But it was Tsunami who landed in the bottom. There was very little transformation. Example, trash bag dresses still looked like trash bags. I liked the color palette though. And there were some positives here. Amy’s look did not fit in as much with the rest of the collection, but I loved her look.

Amy impressed me week 1 and so did this look.

Also, shout-out for the group here. Loved all the choices, JC Penney’s heels, braided ponytail, gorgeous makeup from Avon.

Samantha too did a standout job here. The bodice of this dress was super sexy and the belt detail was a great touch. It was not enough to save the team though. I was confused on the bottom 2, except for knowing that there was no way PR was letting go of one of the twins this early. And seeing Shawn with Sentell in the bottom, I knew Sentell would be going.

The reason I stated confusion on the bottom 2 was because even though Shawn did not fair well under pressure this week, it was Claire’s look (above) that was one of the worst. I did love her look so much though last week, so glad she was not at risk in the bottom 2.

I guess Shawn was not feeling the vibe of the collection, but had she focused a bit more on this, it could have been much better!

But sadly, Sentell’s uninspired garbage bag dress was the loser of the week. Sentell did stand up for himself by stating what he did for Shawn’s look. But truth be told, each designer is responsible for their own individual design and final look. But another truth, even another hour on this was not going to to save it. I then remembered his look from last week and it was too unimpressive. I am just not sure Sentell was quite ready for the challenge of Project Runway!


Until next week…..

Proj. Runway — NYFW Prep!

As per PR tradition, the finale was divided into 2 parts. The first being the road to fashion week — the preparation, the changes, Tim Gunn consults, all concluding with a special judges’ preview presentation. Sometimes during the judges’ preview, one designer is eliminated right before fashion week. But luckily for this final 4, that was not the case. All 4 would show at fashion week! And so the mini-presentation would be the chance for the designers to get some vital last minute feedback in hopes of being the final one standing!

But before all of that, we start with Tim & Heidi sending the final 4 off to begin work on their collections. Each designer would have 6 weeks to work on a 10 look collection, with a $9000 budget. And with that, each designer was off and soon, Tim would be too for his visit and check-in with the designers.

SHOUTOUTS — Mary Kay & Sally Beauty fresh faced & easy going

He started first in L.A., 2 weeks until fashion week, with a visit to Laurence’s studio. Laurence’s collection was about the story of her life, going thru some rough times, starting dark and finishing with light. She had 7 pieces made and Tim was all on board. I think he could have stood to give her some real words of wisdom though. I was seeing some very wearable, minimalist pieces. But I was worried how this type of collection would standout above the rest? What was the draw?

Around the same time, while also in L.A., Tim met with Rik next. They started with some bowling fun, but then it was on to his work. Rik’s inspiration was a 70s vibe, Sgt. Pepper feel. It was a mix of denim and embroidery, unique artist collaborations and optical illusions. He had a lot made, even some cool accessories, like eyewear. Tim saw what I saw, too much! He worried about cohesion and seeing more than one collection.

Next up, with 10 days until fashion week, Tim was in Boston, visiting Erin. She lucked out being able to use MassArt studios. What wasn’t quite so lucky for her was that she didn’t have a single garment made. She had been busy creating textiles and fabrics. Her inspiration was all about positive vibes, thinking of her friends. She had a lot going on as well, embellishments, sequins, plexi-glass, bananas and more! For her though, Tim saw rule breaking and encouraged her to go with it!

SHOUTOUTS — Sally Beauty & Mary Kaystunning, gorgeous beauty looks!

Tim’s last visit was back in NY, with Roberi. His inspiration was about a woman going to different places, in search of something wonderful, different pieces, different moments, all at those different places. Just as with Rik, he too had lots of ideas. Tim wondered if the looks were representative of the same customer. He encouraged Roberi to think of being a designer versus a mere dress-maker.

After the visits, all 4 were back to NY. Naturally, they all wanted to see what each other had been doing. With the exception of Rik who was in the sewing room, very hard at work! Tim joined to inform them of the preview for the judges. Each designer would show 3 looks to the judges on the next day, a tease, an amuse-bouche! They would also use the Brother Dream Machine to present a logo. Laurence went with her initials, Rik with a graphic signature logo, Erin’s full name, but handwritten, and finally, Roberi, Ro.Pa., but as typography.

Tim then consulted with the designers again before the preview. His thoughts were pretty much the same as the visits, happy to see pieces from Erin finally, but very encouraging, and positive words for Laurence as well. But with Rik & Roberi, he was still worried on cohesion. As we all would later see from the judges, cohesion was the main criticism!

For this special preview, Heidi was judging remotely, but to sub for her in person, they brought in former PR judge, designer Michael Kors. So who seemed most ready for fashion week, and who still had lots of work to do?!?

While this above look was my least fave of the 3, I still loved the other 2 and what I had seen in the workroom. I was actually in attendance during the finale, and now that I can put the pieces of the puzzle together, Erin’s collection was my most fave. I believe she stuck true to who she is as a designer, minus seeing all the coats we had during the season.

The embellishments were great. I think she received the least amount of negative feedback from the judges, so I am hoping that is a good thing! I’m happy they saw the sparkle in her collection, and to encourage her to stay on that track.

This maxidress was amazing though! I’m mad at the judges for the bit of hate they gave on it. The print was unique, all the little characters. I can’t wait to re-visit her entire collection during the finale.

Roberi created some debate amongst the judges, but it wasn’t so much a negative debate, just some ideas on tweaking the collection a bit. But from what I remember, Roberi’s collection was pretty close to how I felt about Erins’ — it was great! My hope is that either he or Erin will win!

I do wish Roberi had worked a bit more on shapes and innovative silhouettes, as he had done during the season. But I did appreciate his interesting use of materials, and while there might have been a lot to take in, I was impressed. Of these 3, the pant look was my least fave, but I know he has more to offer with the whole collection!

The judges’ debate was centered around excitement versus sexiness. We all know Heidi was pushing for more of a sexy feel. But I’m glad the other judges, namely Michael, was able to state it wasn’t necessary to make the collection more sexy, but just to make it a bit more exciting. There is a difference!

I feel as if the judges, as did Tim, really were all loving Laurence’s work though. I just wasn’t seeing it. I remember during the finale, her pieces showed first, and I immediately thought, oh, this was a decoy collection. Usually during the finale at fashion week, they show 9 or so collections, just so you can’t tell who ends up making it to the finale. This year was different though, they only did 4. So after that, I knew there were only 4 and I remembered being underwhelmed by this collection.

The white pearl top from above was a standout, but I don’t remember caring for much else. All during the season, we saw Laurence creating crazy cool leather jackets, designing for a modern, young, hip girl. This collection seemed very mature and just full of a lot of basics. Laurence has always been a minimalist designer, but that is hard to pull off for a runway show and achieve excitement.

I think it is safe to say Rik received the most by the way of feedback. This can either be great, in that he can make some changes to elevate himself to the top. Or it can be bad, in that he is just doomed and there is no time left.

Rik’s collection wasn’t really my taste, but there was at least some intrigue. He still had a lot going on, so I am not certain that he was able to simplify into one collection, with that needed cohesive thread. I recall seeing a lot of denim, so I think he tried to focus on that, but the denim wasn’t my favorite choice. So depending on the judges’ mood that day, we shall see if it pays off. My hope, my guess, and really what makes sense though, is that it come down to Erin or Roberi.

PR Goes Avant Garde-ish?!?

The avant garde challenge is always a fave for PR, so did these designers live up to the hype?!? We shall soon find out, but first, let’s break down the details. This season there was a slight addition in that each designer could make use of 3D printing technology to incorporate into their avant garde looks. The designers met Tim to get their instructions.

pr14-ep11-episode1Tim was joined by Annie Shaw, Creative Director of 3D Systems. The designers would be taking NYC landmarks to life thru the use of the 3D printing technology. The NYC landmarks serving as the inspirations for this challenge were the various bridges of the East river — the Queensboro, Manhattan, and Brooklyn bridges. Kelly as the winner selected first and the button bag determined the fate for the other designers.

  • Kelly — Brooklyn
  • Candice — Queensboro
  • Merline — Queensboro
  • Edmond — Manhattan
  • Ashley — Manhattan


The winning designer this week would take home a Cube 3D printer with accessories. During the designers’ sketch time, they worked with a 3d modeling expert to assist in creating a 3D textile. After that, the designers were off to Mood with a budget of $200 to get them going on this 2-day challenge. Day 1 back in the workroom involved a great deal of planning and some watching of the 3D printer doing its work!


As day 2 commenced, the designers were all eager to finally see their 3D textiles. Ashley was quickly in worry mode, wondering if she did enough with pushing her creative bounds with the 3D technology. Later it was Tim-time. Tim was feeling Candice’s passion with her work, also being quite impressed with Edmond. Tim was very concerned though with Merline, wondering what her plan was. And with Kelly, he made sure to tell her let’s not do a Brooklyn bridge costume.


As the day winded down, Ashley was in more worry-mode, thinking of how best to make use of her 3D textiles. All while Merline and Kelly seemed to be having some interesting, amusing convos.


This week’s guest judge was former Spice Girl Mel B.


Shout-out — Love the dark, smoky beauty look, Mary Kay


Kelly was the much-deserved winner this week as her garment was the closest thing to actually being avant-garde. It definitely takes some getting used to, but the more I look at this, I have grown to like it.


I know Mel B. loved Candice’s gown as she offered to wear it. And I too am a fan. It’s definitely sculptural at the bottom, not really all that avant garde, but it is a superbly made, gorgeous gown. Candice too also used her 3d pieces the most creatively and she put the most thought into it. Other designers’ looks were too not avant garde, but they also then let the 3-d aspect fall to the wayside. So I appreciate Candice making an amazing look, but also being so creative with the 3-d printing.


The judges were correct here in noting a disconnect. But I love the polka dot under portion. I think that is very snazzy & chic. I’m again not sure this is at all avant garde and Ashley really didn’t make great use of the 3-D aspect, but I appreciate the work put forth and she put something down the runway that was still fashion forward and trendy.



Edmond’s look was another that was not avant garde. He was clever with the 3-D aspect, but overall, I was underwhelemd here. There was nothing too special here.


Sorry, but I’ve not been a huge Merline fan and after this look, it was definitely her time to go — a little overdue if you ask me. This look was poorly made and there was nothing innovative about it. And then in terms of her 3-D pieces, she created nothing imaginative and then she just placed them to the side of the bodice. There was no thought put forth here.



Nolcha Fashion Week — The Collective Show

Showcasing at Pier 59, with Nolcha Fashion Week in a 2nd series of shows during NYFW, presented during the evening a vibrant mix of elegant eveningwear, classic RTW, and bold, dynamic looks.

Danny Nguyen

a model walks the runway during Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Danny Nguyen Couture at Pier 59 on September 13, 2015 in New York City.

Danny does couture like no other. Every season I’ve seen him present I’m left in awe, mind blown. To see his vision come to life in these exquisite wearable works of art, you just can’t help but know you are in the presence of a great talent.

a model walks the runway during Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Danny Nguyen Couture at Pier 59 on September 13, 2015 in New York City.

These were some of my fave pieces from his collection, but really hard to pick a few. Each piece was unique in it’s own right, telling it’s own story. Each gown was so delicate, yet filled with a strong passionate vibe.

a model walks the runway during Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Danny Nguyen Couture at Pier 59 on September 13, 2015 in New York City.


a model walks the runway during Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Danny Nguyen Couture at Pier 59 on September 13, 2015 in New York City.

Acid NYC

A model walks the runway during Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Acid NYC at Pier 59 on September 13, 2015 in New York City.

Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Acid NYC   Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Acid NYC

ACID NYC is a brand comprised of Evelyn Luna and Scott Chester’s fashion talents. Together they have created clothing that is both unique and versatile. The sharp lines and sultry silhouettes allow their designs to be easily worn to almost any occasion.

Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Acid NYC   Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Acid NYC  

With prints made of microchips, wires, and more, the fabrics would make any tech-savvy girl excited to wear the garments in their Spring 2016 line. The prints use vibrant colors like green to really make their designs stand out. The clothing line is also full of both structured and loose fitted garments which make the clothing a great choice for every woman no matter what her preference or style is.

These dynamic, alluring, captivating prints really stood out for me. I was very much impressed and pleased with the S/S 2016 presentation.

Intrepid by Ao’C

Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Intrepid By Aoc   PBN_5287

Intrepid is all about the style of classic, feminine RTW with a twist. The brand’s philosophy is classic innovation and chic. I have featured Intrepid on Fashion Nexus before and it’s great to see more amazing work from this amazing brand.

Nolcha Shows During New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections NYFW - Intrepid By Aoc

In presenting for Nolcha, Designer Aerin O’Connell had to say “This is such an absolute honor and I am beyond thrilled and humbled. I know this will be a very memorable experience, and want to thank everyone who has made this possible. This is the beginning of everything, an amazing journey; I can’t wait to see where it ends up.  I am a blessed and very lucky designer, this really is a dream come true.”

Nolcha Fashion Lounge


During NYFW, Nolcha hosted their semi-annual fashion lounge at the Bo Concept store in Chelsea to spotlight the season’s hottest trends in apparel, accessories, and beauty.   The lounge showcased a range of independent brands including jewerly and accessories by Syd and Pia, Raje, and Zayver Designs, handbags by Adora and Charles & Ron, and apparel by Haute House.


The lounge also featured beauty and wellness products and tips from LumaRX (the skin beauty system) and Dr. Gary Levine (women’s health expert).   On site, guests were treated to complimentary beverages courtesy of Coco Libre and Sparkling Ice, and celebrity stylist Derek Warburton was on hand signing copies of his Fall cover story in LAPALME Magazine.


Official sponsors — Citibank, Don Q Rums, Luma Rx, Sparkling Ice, Dr. Gary Levine, Bo Concept, & Lyft

Epson Presents Digital Couture for Fall 2015

My 1st day of NYFW was all about Epson’s fashion extravaganza – 33 looks, 11 designers, fusing technology with fashion. The presentation featured new cutting edge fabric printing and design technology donated by the global leader in image printing technology, Epson. Fashion designer and Project Runway season 9 alum Kimberly Goldson hosted the event alongside Epson.




Maggie Barry

The two-hour presentation was held at Industria Superstudios, displaying interactive design interface monitors, a special art projection installation, and a LiquiFusionIV vitamin drip bar, alongside new digital techniques for fabric printing and pattern making from Epson’s SureColor F-Series printers (the latest in a line of digital dye-sublimation printers for textiles).




Pineda Covalin

Designers hailed from both the US and Latin America — Pilar Briceño of Colombia, Dual of Costa Rica, Ay Not Dead of Argentina, Moah Saldaña of Peru, Marco Antonio Farías of Chile, Elisa Guillén of Ecuador, Pineda Covalin of Mexico, ESOSA of the US East Coast, Mariana Morrell of Brazil, Leonor Silva of the Caribbean (Venezuela/Miami), and Maggie Barry of California.




Epson used this event to show the world just some of the possibilities of its new Epson SureColor F-Series printer. According to its press release, the “F” stands for Fashion Forward. Now more than ever fashion designers are using computer technology to assist with the creation of their garments. Each designer contributed three outfits of mostly womenswear with some menswear, using the Epson printer to print the colors and patterns right onto the fabrics.


Ay Not Dead


Marc Antonio Farias

According to Alejandro Ordonez, Epson regional marketing and communications manager of Latin America, this product reinvents the dye-sublimation by introducing digital printing of images which dry instantly for quick transfer directly onto fabric. That allows designers to do test runs and produce samples in-house with the click of a mouse.


Moah Saldana

Special celeb guests in attendance included The Misshapes, Analeigh Tipton (Mississippi Grind), Jessica Stroup (The Following), Lilla Crawford (Into the Woods), Julie Henderson (Sports Illustrated), Kira Dikhtyar (ANTM), and Cory Kennedy.

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Leonor Silva