PRAS — All I Can Say is Hmmmmmmm???

Okay. That’s not true. I am a blogger. I have plenty more to say. So note, Project Runway All-Star designers, there is no need for this!

pras4-ep11-episode16And yes Isaac, this was my exact sentiment about this runway too. Your expression here is spot on!


The challenge this week was supposed to be all about bridesmaid dresses. There was only 1 dress this week that ready bridesmaid at all. Two others might have stood a chance, but poor execution issues overwhelmed those looks. And wait, we are watching PRAS right?? This is the point of the season where we are supposed to be watching the best of the best. But seeing so many mistakes, it’s really unforgiving at this point. I know the designers work under time constraints, but the mistakes being made this season, especially on this challenge, seem to be more from construction and fabric choices, not time. I’m not sure what was going on here, but hopefully the designers will do better next week!


But let’s backtrack a bit, the designers went to meet Georgina & Alyssa at the Marchesa showroom to receive their challenge details for the week. Keren Craig, co-founder of Marchesa, also joined Georgina & Alyssa. Alyssa announced she would be officiating a real wedding ceremony and it would be on the PR runway, a PR wedding first! The bride, Dana, was there as well for her final fitting, but a major issue, she didn’t have bridesmaid dresses yet. Cue designers, we need your help! The designers were to create a bridesmaid look that would please the bride and be suitable for events following the ceremony. All in all, the look would need versatility. There was also a huge prize at stake — the winning designer would receive Marchesa for Lenox glassware and chinaware, front row seats during NYFW for the Marchesa show, and a diamond ring from Marchesa’s new jewelry line, which will be exclusively sold at Macy’s. So the designers chatted with Dana for a bit and then were off to Mood with their budget of $150 to get started on this 1-day challenge.


Sonjia was a major focal point this week. She didn’t sketch out her look, so for most of the episode, as we’ve seen happen to her before, she was unsure of the direction for her outfit. She broke down in tears while eating dinner. Designer breakdowns are frequent for PR. The designers hit a breaking point, designer frustrations and exhaustion. I felt for her, but this was not the first week where she showed signs of struggle. The whole breakdown segment was a bit odd since it was over what we’ve repeatedly seen as her normal designer process. Anywho, let’s see what the other designers were up to, check out Zanna-time!


Joining Zanna was Edward Chapman, CEO for Marchesa. They reminded Dmitry to keep versatility in mind. For Helen, she needed to make the transition from business to bridal. Fabio needed to push himself more. But for all the designers, they needed to focus on execution & elegance, and of course to impress Georgina.


The designers were back to work. Fabio helped out Sonjia by giving her some fabric he wasn’t using. She was finally figuring out the direction for her look. It was soon time for the morning of the runway. Michelle was having some fit issues as she was dressing her bridesmaid. Everyone else was doing some last minute fine tuning. Surprisingly, the bride herself was not a guest judge this week. Instead, we had host of SYTYCD, Cat Deeley.

pras4-ep11-episode21Overall, the judges were disappointed this week. No one received a truly great critique. So even with Helen winning, it was sort of a best of the worst scenario. It was a safe dress, very lovely, but where was the WOW factor.


Actually, I didn’t think this read bridesmaid at all. Would I wear it? Yes. But I wouldn’t think bridesmaid if I was looking at this dress online or in a store. I think had it not been fit and flare, just a fitted look, it would have worked better.

Mary Kay shout-out, natural, fresh beauty look — lightly bronzed cheeks, soft, subtle lip, copper eye.


The judges thought the look was a bit on the older side, but for me, that was just the upper portion. I think there was a disconnect, the top read mature, but the bottom read youthful.


So Helen did an okay job this week, I just wish there was something more dazzling since it was the winning look. But there were some lovely aspects, the lace on the neckline, the slightly open back. I liked Dmitry’s look better, but with what the other designers put down the runway, Helen was the only other top 2 contender in my book. Chi hair care shout-out, gorgeous, stunning, up-do, love this braided look!


Sonjia was in the judges top, but I think the judges were way wrong about Dmitry’s dress this week, so I want to discuss him next. The judges seemed to think his look was not special, safe, and that they had seen it before. Really you could of said this about Helen’s look too. And in fact, they did say some of this for her dress. Yet she wins and Dmitry is chastised and put in the bottom. Okay judges, yea, that makes sense.

Mary Kay shout-out, beautiful! Pretty nude lip, great pop of navy blue color on the eye.


Was this Dmitry’s best work? Not at all. But was it deserving of Isaac’s major rant during the critiques? Laughably no! I’m glad that at least Isaac made a point to scold all, but to go over board about Dmitry’s look alone, especially in light of such poorer executed looks. I guess they really needed to make Dmitry have a bad week so the judges put on some major acting. But this viewer is not buying it. And no way does the rant/bad critique match this dress.


This dress read bridesmaid. I would wear it and could easily see it for a wedding. But it also had versatility. I could see this look being worn for other occasions. The sheer neckline was spectacular. There was such a regal, luxe quality about it. And yes, did it look similar to what the bride was wearing at the meeting. A little. There was only 2 similar aspects though, the color and the fact that he made use of a sheer neckline. Dmitry picked navy blue since it was in the bride’s color palette of choices. And with the sheer on the neckline, let’s calm down a bit there. This is a common design detail, so is everyone just copying everyone then?? The rest of the neckline was different. And if you then put the dresses side by side, every other aspect is different. But at least his dress wasn’t riddled with mistakes. Heck, the judges other top 2 pick even had a few, as Isaac & Georgina mentioned.


Sonjia’s look was not bridesmaid at all. It was definitely not safe and there was something intriguing about it. But to wear for bridesmaids, ummmmm, no. Perhaps a theme wedding, but not fitting next to a gorgeous, elegant Marchesa bridal gown. Sonjia focused on making her look sexy and with that, I kind of get a club-vibe.


This is not to say I wouldn’t wear it, but it just didn’t seem fitting for this occasion. But what I would do first here is nix the long-sleeves. I didn’t care for it with this dress.


The triangle back cut-out was a striking detail. But all the twisting details at the waist and it being belted, it was all a bit too much. I don’t think this belted aspect was needed.

Chi hair care shout-out, great top-knot bun!


Michelle was onto something here, but at the end of the day, she couldn’t execute it. There were so many mistakes, and really at this point in the game, that’s inexcusable. She still seemed to be excited about the dress as it came down the runway, which was baffling despite how sloppy this look was.


A designer should in no way, shape, or form be so excited about such a poorly executed look. It was so annoying listening to her all episode long about how she had this in the bag and she was so in love with her look. She definitely needed to be knocked off her high horse and is way overdue for a slice of humble pie. Heck, forget the slice, she should really eat the entire pie. I’m just not even sure if she got what the judges were saying though. I don’t see her taking critiques well.


There were some great details here. Even though I’m not a fan Michelle, I can still appreciate and see the good in her work. I really wish we could have seen this dress in a more resolved manner though. The sheer neckline and back were amazing. But the mistakes, I just can’t overlook with what Michelle was trying to do with this pattern. I can’t tell if I like it or if it looks too busy. Again, I wish we could have seen this without so many mistakes.


Fabio too had a great start, but execution got in the way. The lovely detailing on the shoulders was a great detail. But that is where the good ends here. The flaws really overwhelm this dress. But just like with Helen’s look, there was a disconnect here. The top & bottom didn’t seem to match vibe-wise. And overall, with this disconnect and so many mistakes, it took away from this dress reading bridesmaid.

Mary Kay shout-out, shimmery, bright beauty look — nude lip, lightly blush cheeks, & bold copper eye.


It’s so hard to get over the flaws here. It really makes the dress look cheap. Just as Georgina said, they couldn’t keep forgiving his shortcomings from week to week, and it was obviously time for him to go. But really the same mistakes being made over and over again prove that perhaps Fabio should have been eliminated weeks ago, giving someone else that 2nd chance. When a designer is saved over and over again, but doesn’t make a showing as to why they deserved their many 2nd chances, it kind of means the judges made the wrong decision.


QVC shout-out, love these bold metallic silver heels!

I will give Fabio one other nice comment, love this back, slightly open. But definitely not enough to save him this week and it was the right choice between he & Michelle.







Kate Pankoke for Elaya Vaughn — “Behind The Gilded Veil”



Kate Pankoke should most definitely ring a bell when it comes to the fashion industry. She was on season 11 of Project Runway, aka the “dreaded teams season.” Fortunately she was then back in action on PR for season 12 as a redemption designer winner. And now, she is ready for “third times a charm” as she is competing on PR All-Stars, season 4. Kate was kind of enough to provide Fashion Nexus with an exclusive quote regarding her current time on PRAS —

“I’m not going to lie, I was very reluctant to go on Project Runway All Stars. This is my third time in a row and it is a big emotional roller coaster, not just for me, but my family as well. Everyone was very supportive of my decision to go back on. I think that All Stars was great because it felt less like a competition and more like a design conference or something. You will see the occasional catty remark, but for the most part, everyone was pleasant to work with.”

I know I can’t wait to see how Kate does on this season of All-Stars. But reality competitive TV aside, she has also launched and been focused on her burgeoning luxury bridal and accessories brand — Elaya Vaughn.


Since the line’s launch in 2010, it has gained international prestige, earning praise for its high quality materials & construction, luxurious embellishments, and unmatched fit. Elaya Vaughn caters to brides around the world who want a couture experience without having to pay couture prices. All of the gowns are made-to-order and manufactured in the United States. In addition to highly praised collections, Elaya Vaughn gowns are frequently featured at red carpet events & galas (including the Oscar’s red carpet), charity functions, and acclaimed media publications.


It was such a pleasure speaking with Kate and featuring her exquisite work for her 2014 collection last year on my fashion blog. And now with the most recent launch of her 2015 line and some amazing accessories, I am more than happy to showcase this recent stunning work with my Fashion Nexus readers! The 2015 collection is entitled “Behind the Gilded Veil.” It features clouds of light-as-air tulle, crystal encrusted illusion necklines, and brushed gold accents.


Pankoke describes the collection as being the “first collection where I feel that we didn’t have to compromise on anything! I had so much fun selecting all of the textiles for this collection from the delicate beaded Chantilly to our custom beading along the necklines and trains of the gowns. As a designer, it is so exciting to see your vision come to life.” Eleven gowns comprise the collection, but here are some of my fave standouts. Make sure to check out the entire line here!!


Lanier is a voluminous silk taffeta A-line gown. The skirt is generously bustled in the back. Intricate beading highlights the illusion neckline and the train. The back of this dress, the way it lays, STUNNING! I also am a fan of the intricate beadwork seen throughout this collection, amazing work!



Ella is an ethereal tulle ball gown. The strapless sweet-heart neckline is draped in silk organza that continues into a delicate peplum. This silhouette is a classic style with some Kate touches. The fit, every subtle detail is gorgeous!

ella_back-600x800 bella_front-600x799

Bella is an ethereal tulle ball gown. The Kate Pankoke signature corset bodice is draped in tulle that falls delicately off of one shoulder. I enjoy this off the cuff twist on bridal, with that of nude coloring — always great to have more than just white options!



Alana is an elegant lace gown. The delicate scallop of the Chantilly lace accents the strapless neckline and the wrapped drape of the skirt. Very understated, yet elegant option. And of course the lace detailing is divine!



Ana is a brushed silk charmeuse column gown. The sloped-shoulder illusion neckline is covered in intricate beading. Flawlessly executed gown, very angelic and breathtaking work! I love the back, a little sheer, but open, still with a hint of beading.



Georgina is a classic A-line tulle gown. The signature Kate Pankoke corset top is covered by a beaded lace bodice. The romantic sleeves are fastened with brushed gold stud buttons. The delicate lace grows into a keyhole in the back.


So again, make sure to check out the entire 2015 collection, “Behind the Gilded Veil”, online! But a recent development with Elaya Vaughn, is that now, the brand also carries bridal accessories! This is a great extension of the bridal line and I hope you all are as excited as I am to see what additional Elaya Vaughn touches a bride-to-be can add to her bridal look!


April Veil

Aubrey Belt


Darla Belt darla_belt_close-500x333


Evangeline Veil


Kate Garter

Kate Veil  kate_veil_close-466x700


 Luelle Belt


Marianne Veil/Cape

Theresa Comb

theresa_comb_front-500x323Here are a few stellar press recognitions for Elaya Vaughn —

  • “off-the-charts phenomenal” – Style Me Pretty
  • “timeless and classic” – Eric Daman in COSMOPOLITAN
  • “simple yet still completely feminine and never boring” – theknot
  • “a signature point of view with a fundamental understanding of tailoring, structure, and essential femininity” – The Glass Magazine


For various information on where you can purchase Elaya Vaughn pieces, click here. For the USA, there are locales in CA, GA, IL, IN, IO, NY, & OH. Purchases can also be made internationally in Japan. To contact the Elaya Vaughn team, check out this page, or you can check them out across various forms of social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, & LinkedIn.

I can’t wait to again see how PR All-Stars plays out, especially with how Kate performs. And of course, I eagerly await Elaya Vaughn’s future collections!


To Wear White or Not to Wear White?? — That is the Question!


 (featured bridal image — Marchesa)

Ahhhh, the ever-popular, age-old question, that is still heavily debated today — should you wear white to a wedding?!? Summertime is definitely “wedding season”! And thus, I’ve been asked/invited by to weigh in on this ongoing debate. is a one-stop shop for wedding planning. It’s a site where brides & grooms can search/find wedding ideas, hire people for their wedding, and make purchases. polled their own team of experienced wedding editors & more than 250,000 readers. Needless to say, there was not an agreed upon verdict. But here is Fashion Nexus’ take on this great debate — NO!! I do not think you should wear white to a wedding and it comes down to 2 simplified reasons.


(featured bridal image — Irina Shabayeva)

1) Do not detract attention from the bride — It’s the bride’s big day!!

From what I see, attending actual weddings & viewing bridal collections, white is most likely the color the bride will be in. It’s been a tradition for the longest time that no one else should then wear white to a wedding. Call it tradition, dress code etiquette, being respectful, but I still say don’t wear white. It’s not that someone is going to mistake you for the bride, but if the bride is the only one in white, plain & simple, she stands out.

It’s not likely a big deal if 1 or 2 guests happen to wear white. But think what would happen if this concept were to vanish. Twenty or thirty guests all of a sudden think it’s okay to wear white. It’s less likely the bride will still feel as special and be the focus on her big day.

The point is to not detract attention, right? If you are the only one, or 1 of 2 wearing white, people might start talking about it or the bride could become upset. This could all lead to unnecessary commotion and distractions from the event at hand — THE WEDDING! I would just say, why risk it? You don’t know who it might upset, a member of the wedding party, the bride, her family, etc. And you never know where or what these upset feelings and gossip might lead to.


(featured bridal image — Monique Lhuillier)

If you are enjoying checking out some of my featured bridal images, definitely visit’s bridal gowns’ page & see what they have featured!

There is really no need to take this risk, which leads me to my 2nd reason —

2) Logic — You don’t need to wear white. It’s not like it is your only option!

There are so many events and holidays which call for limits as to what you should wear, specifically the color schemes. For a funeral, you should wear black. For Valentine’s Day, you should wear red. For Christmas, you should wear red or green. Or for the 4th of July, you should wear red, white, or blue. You might be attending an event or a party where preselected colors have been chosen.


Bailey 44 tribal dress

But a wedding is completely different. It’s an event where color options are limitless with one bright line rule — DO NOT WEAR WHITE! And really it’s just all white that I feel is the essence of this rule. You could wear white as part of a print or if it’s not predominant in a color-blocked dress. But with all of the other color options and prints, there is no logical reason for someone to end up wearing a white dress. If you happen to have a white dress that you love, I’m sure there is another occasion on which you could wear that dress. If you are out shopping, it’s not like stores are packed to the brim with only white dresses — just pick something else!









Paper Crown lace dress


Do you need some other ideas of what to wear as a guest? If so, check out’s specific page, featuring dress options for wedding guest attendees.

**Exception to this Rule!!**


(featured image Elaya Vaughn Bridal)

With pretty much every rule, there is always an exception. I say you can wear white to a wedding if (a) the bride is not wearing white, or (b) you asked the bride and she said it was okay.

This is of course just my opinion, the Fashion Nexus take. But definitely let me know you think! Would you wear white? Why or why not?






Carol Hannah bridal


(Jenny Packham)


(Vera Wang bridal)