Final Recap from NYFW:Men

SUIT SUPPLY

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Suit Supply was one of my most fave presentations for NYFW:Men. It was a great showcase of the F/W 2016 collection, lots of great suit options for the modern man. It would take him from straight off the rack to a well-dressed, modernly fashionable man.

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CONCEPT KOREA — DBYD (by Dong-jun Kang)

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Concept Korea is a global project that publicizes Korea’s fashion culture throughout the world and supports domestic designer brands make in-roads into overseas markets. This year’s 2 showcases were presented by Korea Creative Content Agency & the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, & Tourism.

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This F/W16 collection — I’m Yours and I’m not yours. The concept behind the collection was from the film “Her” by Spike Jonze. Whenever the main actor’s emotion changed, the color of the cinematography would change as well, depending on the mood. The two key words of this film contrast with the colors are “owning” and “being”. It makes one think psychologically, owning the assurance of being, or being as its complete measure of his existence.

The color palette is sand beige, melange gray, cool gray, burgundy, red, black, and white.

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CONCEPT KOREA — ORDINARY PEOPLE (by Hyeong-cheol Jang)

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Entitled “Hotel People”, there are always rest points/commas in musics and writings, and with this brand, they also believe that we need rest points in our lives to make it more valuable and bounce back to reality, which one usually calls it a holiday. In the background of a perfect holiday, one spots that there are people who are off for a holiday and people who chase for a holiday.

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Ordinary People brings the story of a hotel where people stay for holiday. With the theme of Ordinary People’s hotel, we not only go thru the bright sides, the shoppers, and the limousines, but also every little element that makes people’s holiday perfect. With this collection, Ordinary People are proud to show every moment happening in the hotel with their own Ordinary style.

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Sponsors of the overall Concept Korea show are Soko Glam! and AVEDA.

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GENERAL IDEA

General Idea Men's RTW Fall 2016  General Idea Men's RTW Fall 2016

Designer Bumsuk Choi presented a lineup that managed to remain playful while still maintaining the minimal tone that is a hallmark of the brand. The collection included modern elements such as oversize coats with exaggerated patch pockets in monochromatic tones, color-blocking on outerwear in bomber and leather moto jacket styles and various zipper treatments on sleeves.

General Idea Men's RTW Fall 2016   General Idea Men's RTW Fall 2016

The outerwear pieces here were truly phenomenal, so mind-blowing!

General Idea Men's RTW Fall 2016   General Idea Men's RTW Fall 2016

 

More From NYFW:Men

RICARDO SECO

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Ricardo Seco’s collection focused on contemporary Mexico, highlighting the country’s bold and unique culture. For his 9th collection, he featured 22 pieces at the presentation. I felt the inspiration with this collection, but I also felt joy and just a refreshing spirit. There were some staples in black, which is always great, but the pops of color were also great to see!

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Ricardo stated, “We live in a timeless world filled with color. We know who we are, we are our past, and we are our present. We create our future based on traditions  and heritage, which makes our time here beautiful. Now is the time to enjoy sarape and other street styles of the world.”

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Venue Sponsor — Dockers; Front of House — Paula Rosado PR; Hair — John Ruidant for Axe; Skincare — Shahzada at See Management; Lighting Designer — Jan Kroeze; Set Production — Kadan

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KENNETH NING

Photography by Shanise Gibson

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Kenneth Ning pulled from a varied set of influences for spring. Moroccan spices informed the bright palette, sand storm references came through in cotton face masks, and floral tapestries were used to disrupt pinstripe suits.

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The prints in this collection really caught my attention; they were visionary and unique. I thought the designs were really fashion forward.

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FEIT — AUDIOVISUAL INSTALLATION — MAN VS MACHINE

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FEIT’s first ever film commission contrasts the iconic mass production imagery of the 1982 cult film Koyaanisqutsi (Life out of Balance), with the unique artistry that defines FEIT’s commitment to handmade. The number of shoes created globally is very much on the rise. With footwear being such a booming industry, FEIT believes that creating high-quality, handmade shoes from natural materials will reduce production of harmful pollutants and our dependence on petroleum and landfills.

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The installation was and will continue to be at The New Museum.

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Director — Jack Riccobono; Composer/Producer — Nicholas Britell; Producer — Benjamin Millepied; Editor — Jiye Kim; Stock Footage — Macgillivray Freeman Films; Installation Technical Director — Michael Brown Designs; Installation & Lighting Design — Jordana Maisie; Installation Fabrication — Arc Fabrication; Installation Video Tech — Aion Entertainment; Live Artist — Rock

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DEXTERDEXTERDEXTER

Photography by Shanise Gibson

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Following his debut private client presentation last summer, Dexter Cheston showed his
DEXTERDEXTERDEXTER FW16 men’s collection for the first time during NYFWM. The F/W 16 collection is defined by the theme of “simply integrity” and “being able to see past the
immediate,” says Cheston.

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Cheston was inspired by the Coco Chanel quote “a trendy dress is easy, yet a black dress is difficult.” It is clear to see how this idea shows up in Cheston’s work, which is full of modern takes on classics. Cheston built upon his classic cuts from last season, reinvented for inspired eye wear, and outerwear. He continues to showcase quality craftsmanship with the line, which he proudly states, “is all handcrafted in New York.”

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NYFW:Men — A Few of My Faves!!

NICK GRAHAM

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You can’t deny that this was a true show! No detail was left unnoticed and with a theme in mind, Graham went for it! I loved the suits, but I must also give props to Nick for doing a great job with model casting for this presentation. Good looking guys in some even better looking suits, I feel as if Nick knew what he was doing here!

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Nick Graham transformed the show space into his interpretation of a national park, complete with several fully uniformed rangers milling around. The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial this year. Models were perched on platforms surrounded by live pine trees wearing outfits that were each named for a different national park.

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CARLOS CAMPOS

Sin Agua no Hay Cafe — From Fields to Fashion

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The Carlos Campos Fall 2016 Collection is inspired by the quiet elegance of “El Capataz” (The Foreman), the native son of the coffee-growing highlands who returns home from the city every October as an overseer to take the crop to the urban marketplace. A man born in these lands, he inspires camaraderie and respect with the workers in the fields, but keeps to himself.

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In line with Campos’ inspiration, the collection is presented in a controlled palette of classic camels reminiscent of the color of lightly roasted coffee beans, alongside Campos’ signature navy, with accents of winter white and burgundy. Texture plays a significant role in the plush but lightweight zibeline brushed wools and cotton velveteens, which convey the practicality of natural fibers while maintaining a luxurious, sophisticated feel.

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With a nod to the importance that ecology plays in coffee production and the fluidity of Campos’ design aesthetic, a sweatshirt playfully proclaims “Sin Agua No Hay Café,” which translates as “Without Water There Is No Coffee.” Carlos never disappoints in delivering a well-made, high quality, truly inspired collection!

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OVADIA & SONS

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Ariel and Shimon Ovadia, the twin brothers behind Ovadia & Sons, spent two days in Israel’s One Hundred Gates neighborhood studying what Hasidic Jews wear. “It looks simple, but it’s very calculated,” said Shimon. The brothers brought that same level of meticulousness to their fall collection, which merged streetwear tropes with the Hasidic uniform.

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They presented the collection to a room full of retailers including Kevin Harter and David Fisher from Bloomingdale’s; Ken Downing from Neiman Marcus; Tom Kalenderian of Barneys New York, and Eric Jennings from Saks Fifth Avenue. The brothers have previously said they want to dress America in a way that’s “not too safe, but not too fashiony.”

Ovadia And Sons RTW Fall 2016  Ovadia And Sons RTW Fall 2016

Front of House — Maguire Steele; Grooming — LAB Series for Men; Music — Mike Nouveau; Special thanks to — The Juice Shop, Fiji Water, & CFDA

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PERRY ELLIS

Perry Ellis Men's RTW Fall 2016   Perry Ellis Men's RTW Fall 2016

Michael Maccari continued to put his own modern twist on the venerable Perry Ellis brand. His fall show offered “a new definition of sportswear” with updated proportions and silhouettes.

Perry Ellis Men's RTW Fall 2016   Perry Ellis Men's RTW Fall 2016

There are great, refreshing pops of color throughout this entire collection. That and the prints really caught my eye here and for my first time attending Perry Ellis, I was vastly impressed!

Perry Ellis Men's RTW Fall 2016   Perry Ellis Men's RTW Fall 2016

 

NYMD — Part 2

Here is my follow-up pieces for the remainder of the presentations for NYMD, hosted by Cadillac!

ROBERT JAMES

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MAKEUP — Mario Badescu; HAIR — Oribe; PR — Agentry; HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY — Ben Kuto, Keith Carlson Video; SHOES — Johnston & Murphy; MODELS — One 1 Management, Tom Winslow Bella Agency; MUSIC — Love & Rockets, Matt Pickles Caveman DJ; HATS — Stetson; GLOVES — Icon

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Robert James has done quite well here with this collection. The suits are very modern and well-made. I appreciate the minimalist quality of the collection, but there are some fresh pops of flare here and there, showing great attention to detail.

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HVRMINN

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Hvrminn designer Minn Hur’s appreciation for World War II was prevalent throughout his fall collection. The lineup, which emphasized soft traditional tailoring, offered pieces inspired by the era’s military garb and interpreted in sartorial clothing.

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“My specialty is about finding the perfect balance between tailored clothes and military uniforms,” Hur said. I appreciate the clear vision and inspiration found in this collection. I see growth from it in some more literal elements to translated facets.

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CWST

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Orcas Island — 70 miles NW of Seattle lies the San Juan Islands, a secluded archipelago, barley tucked into the Puget Sound pocket. It’s a cellular dead zone. The type of slow paced offshore counter culture the CWST wanderer prefers. Inspired by grey washed rain shadows, cordovan tide lines, sandstone outcroppings and weathered Douglas fir, CWST veils the sun for A/W 2016.

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CASTING — Drew Linehan for Trew Productions; MAKEUP — Suzana Hallili using Perfekt Beauty and Mario Badescu skin care; HAIR — Dan T. Nguyen at Oribe; MUSIC — The Eyes; JEWELRY — Fay Andrada; ADDITIONAL SPONSORS — American Woolen Co, Johnston & Murphy; SPECIAL THANKS TO — Agentry PR, Alon Entertainment

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LUCIO CASTRO

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The Stonehenge Collection — THIS COLLECTION IS INPIRED BY PHOTOGRAPHS FROM TRAVELLING COMMUNITIES IN THE UK FROM THE LATE 80’S TO THE EARLY 90’S, WHO HAD SPIRITUAL AND MUSICAL GATHERINGS AT STONEHENGE.

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These communities lived and moved around in old buses that they had transformed into their homes and their creative spaces. From this starting point, Lucio created clashing patterns, oversized silhouettes, and a sense of lazy-­comfort, always picturing the wearer at a midnight concert in Stonehenge.

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STYLING — Benjamin Sturgill; PR — Agentry PR; CASTING — Trew Productions; SET PRODUCTION — Cooper Vasquez; MUSIC — Stephen Kisko

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CHAPTER

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Entitled Admission, Chapter’s F/W 2016 collectioni is inspired by Los Angeles and its inclusive nature, reveling in confidence, intention and the experience of finding yourself on a path lined with distractions that can be all consuming. The city has many nocturnal faces, each unearthing a subculture sought after by the individuals who seek to not only fulfill their personal ambitions, but to encounter new experiences along the way.

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This collection brings those elements of transformation and distraction to life with a new approach to familiar Chapter silhouettes. In a nod to the styling of the city’s mid to late 90s swing revival, The brand’s signature color palette is highlighted by a rich dark emerald green, clay, and mud.

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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER — Frank Delegadillo; CREATIVE DIRECTOR/DESIGNER — Devin Carlson; SHOW PRODUCER — Julie Shumaker; IN-HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY — Shawn Punch; ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY — Jayson Payne; PR — Raluca State; SET BUILD — Cush Design Studio; STYLING — Richie Davis/Chloe & Chenelle Delgadillo; CASTING — StyledbyPhil; MAKEUP — Suzana Hallili using Perfekt & Mario Badescu; HAIR — Oribe; MUSIC PROGRAMMING — Bladerunner Trio; LIVE PERFORMANCE — Brooklyn Circle; MODELS — Ford, Americana, Re:Quest, DNA, MSA, Fusion, Major, Red, D1, Q; SPECIAL THANKS TO — Townes, Agentry, PBLC TRDE NY, Dr. Martens

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MATIERE

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For Autumn/Winter 2016, Matiere explores a sense of modern migration, updating the traditional traveler with the functionalities to explore today’s world. Mixed fabrications reflect the blend of cultural inspirations, from the edgelands of England to the cityscapes of New York. This duality between the natural and the urban is expressed through the use of materials on modern silhouettes.

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Many of the fabrics and textures conjure natural landscapes, while design details provide the ease to navigate them. Subtle tech elements include sealed zippers, protective funnel necks, covered plackets and adjustable cuff straps. The brand’s beloved apron front pant returns with seasonal updates, in addition to a selection of updated jogger pants and modern trousers. Outerwear remains a focus with collarless bombers, modern Harrington jackets and contemporary topcoats. Knitwear is also a stand-out category with cashmere cowl neck sweaters as well as light Japanese double knit and linen-cotton blend tops.

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CASTING — communa-K; MAKEUP — Perfekt; HAIR — Oribe; PR — Agentry; HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY — Driely S.; FOOTWEAR — Dr. Martens; BAGS — Graf & Lantz; ACCESSORIES — Lucky Selectism

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NYMD — Part 1

No better way to kick off NYFW:Men then New York Menswear Day, presented by Cadillac at Industria Studios. Here are the first set of designers!

DAVID HART

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The AW’16 collection is inspired by Blue Note Jazz and the effortlessly cool musicians like Jimmy Smith, Art Blakey, and Max Roach. Photographs by Francis Wolff and graphic design by Reid Miles were the inspiration for the color palette and textiles this season.

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David Hart always puts out a superb showing and this collection is right in line with what I’ve come to know and love about the brand. The pieces are high quality and really perfection for the modern, trendy man. His plaid pieces this season really caught my eye!

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STYLING, CASTING, PRODUCTIONConsortium; HAIR — Kien Hoang for Oribe; MAKEUP — Suzana Hallili using Perfekt Beauty & Mario Badescu skin care; PR — Agentry PR; SHOES — Johnston & Murphy; MODELS — Red, Wilhelmina, DNA, NYM; MUSIC — Xavier Aimes; GLASSES — Moscot; ADDITIONAL SPONSORS — William Grant & Sons, Glenfiddich, Aqua Brands, American Woolen Company

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GARCIAVELEZ

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This season aims to shift away from New York’s fast-paced environment to seek renewal and reflection in the healing environs of thermal baths tucked away deep in the Alps. With that, we get pieces that are wearable, comfortable and the perfect blend of luxury meets function.

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The outerwear pieces for Garciavelez’s collection are eye-catching, I love the loose fits, with mixed media and multi-toned color palettes.

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MAX N’ CHESTER

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For Max N’ Chester, designed by Peter Trainor, this collection puts together a 54-piece line including tailored shirts, suits and contemporary outwear for men. Trainor also included expanded womenswear matching its male counterpart. He introduced two exclusive fabrics to the collection.

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“I am excited to bring forward a collection that offers the signature Max ‘n Chester look and also incorporates modernity and newness,” said Trainor. “Maintaining our four pillars of brand philosophy: fabric, design, silhouettes, and comfort, the fall winter 2016 line is impeccably curated for anyone that seeks ultimate luxury.”

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EDMUND OOI

Edmund Ooi Men's RTW Fall 2016  Edmund Ooi Men's RTW Fall 2016

Edmund Ooi aimed to blend collegiate prep with club kids. Inspired by the class of 2525, the designer offered up a futuristic take on the schoolboy uniform, complete with turtlenecks, leather perfecto jackets and duffel coats, all styled with cuffed denim jeans.

Edmund Ooi Men's RTW Fall 2016   Edmund Ooi Men's RTW Fall 2016

“I’m thinking about the student of the future and played on the idea of the uniform,” said Ooi. I really like this take myself. There is a futuristic vibe and I feel as if I’m seeing something quite different here.

Edmund Ooi Men's RTW Fall 2016

KRAMER STOUDT

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Mike Rubin, a Southern California native who launched his line in 2012, consistently draws from the surf, skate and punk culture of the Seventies and Eighties. But for his fall 2016 collection, he also pulled from German artist Markus Lüpertz, who regularly depicted a male dandy in his paintings.

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With this collection, Kramer Stoudt not only captivated his audience with an intriguing presentation set-up, but also well-made, impeccable pieces, varying form suits to basics to outerwear.

Krammer & Stoudt Men's RTW Fall 2016

PLAC

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Titled “Retro Spectrum”, PLAC’s fall/winter 2016 collection is filled with textures that evoke 1990’s grunge between the Britpop and Madchester sub­culture music scene. Nostalgic sports aesthetics from the late 80’s and early 90’s are apparent throughout with pops of colors, prints and patterns.

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Using familiar materials in an unfamiliar way is a core statement throughout the collection with pressed wool coats, knits infused with rayon, jackets with raccoon fur lining, and fabric blocking. Pops of cyber blue stand against a neutral color palette of black, white and olive.

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STYLING — Tom Van Dorpe; CASTING — Maurilio Carnino for MTC Casting; MAKEUP — Perfekt; HAIR — Oribe; SHOES — Dr. Martens; PR — Agentry PR; HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY — Eric White; VIDEO — Alexey Yurenev; MUSIC — Yun B; STAGE & LIGHTING DESIGN — Max Relax; ADDITIONAL SPONSORS — American Woolens, Johnston & Murphy, Mario Bedescu, Aqua Brands

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My Fave Fashion Nexus Posts of 2015

Wow, what a year 2015 has been for Fashion Nexus. I wrote almost 140 individual posts. Updates and creations of various site pages and features. I attended 2 seasons for NYFW, probably with invites to well over 150 shows, attendance at near half. And what I love is knowing that there is still more to come. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for my fashion blog!

It was so hard to pick a few faves of the year, but I selected 12 fave features of mine throughout 2015. But, right here are the top 4 posts of 2015 — What’s Hot for Prom, 2015; Best Dressed at the 2015 Golden Globes; various Project Runway postings; and Best Looks 2015 Golden Globes AfterParty.

Onto the top 12, ENJOY!

DRAMATIZON MAKEUP’S ICE KING & QUEEN SHOW

I love attending fashion shows, specifically thru Dramatizon Makeup, which I was introduced to about 2 years ago. This show is all about creative makeup looks and fierce inventive hair stylings. And on a side personal note, this show really helped to make 2015 all the more better for me. 2015 would have been very different had I never attended this show, not meeting some very special people, one in particular, that night.

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PRODUCING MY OWN FASHION SHOW

Actually producing my show and then writing about it, very much a highlight of my year!

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FORDHAM’S ANNUAL FASHION LAW SYMPOSIUM

I wrote a few posts on the Fashion Law Symposium, but I selected this particular one because of the riveting sessions I featured and it was so great being able to meet top model Coco Rocha!

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THE RED CARPET TRENDS OF THE 2015 AWARD SEASON

Inspired from collaborative work with Mac Duggal, I went back thru all of the recent red carpets, highlighted trends, and then identified looks from the Mac Duggal catalogue of dresses.

Take for example a gorgeous go-to for any red carpet, a sizzling, bold red look —

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And then, here is a stunning Mac Duggal look to match —

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2015 INDEPENDENT HANDBAG DESIGNER AWARDS

Such a pleasure being able to attend the IHDAs, being in the presence of such great talent — definitely looking forward to more award shows to come!

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ALL THINGS LAUREN CONRAD

Huge fan of LC, so being able to dedicate this #WCW feature on this fashionable icon was so much fun, such a pleasure!

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MAXI DRESSES GALORE

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I am a huge fan of maxi dresses. I had such fun looking thru maxi dresses for my fave designers and brands, and then being able to highlight some very unique finds for the season!

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NYFW — REEM ACRA

Reem Acra is a designer brand I often feature on my own best dressed lists. It’s worn by such gorgeous ladies of Hollywood. So to be in attendance amongst some of the elite in the fashion industry — this is a true pleasure!

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NYFW — TADASHI SHOJI

Tadashi Shoji is an amazing designer, with looks always on the red carpet, and it was such a thrill, a true honor, to attend this show again!

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NYFW — DESIGUAL

This show is always a fave of mine during NYFW; it’s lively, vibrant, and exciting!

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NYFW — LEANNE MARSHALL

Leanne Marshall was the first NYFW show I went to ever, way back when I first moved to NYC. Now that I am so in with my blog, it’s been great to witness Leanne’s journey thru several fashion weeks. I will always be happy to be in attendance.

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NYFW — IDAN COHEN

This was my first time being introduced to this talented designer — wow, so many gorgeous, red carpet worthy looks — a new and instant fave!

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PR — The Finale

So yes, finally getting around to blogging about the final eps of Project Runway and definitely just happy to get it over with at this point. I got behind on the episodes, but ultimately, I wasn’t feeling these final few shows of the season, all in all, quite disappointing. And the way everything ended up with the final 4, it certainly wasn’t making me jump to my computer to blog away. But as an avid PR fan, blog away, I must, and I did want to applaud one designer I was happy with this season — Kelly. She was my winner for the season. More on that later, but first, a bit on the episode before the finale (yep, definitely not dedicating 2 separate posts for this finale!).

pr14-ep13-episode15So of course as the almost finale began, it was clear Edmond would be saved, despite the edit attempts of it all being drawn out. Tim Gunn save used. The designers were headed home with 9k to create a 10 look collection. The Tim visit of course came sooner rather than later and the designers were quite eager.

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Tim advised Ashley to keep her hand natural when designing and not to go too matronly. For Candice, he made sure to warn her about over-designing, to keep an editing eye. Kelly found a fan in Tim, but he asked that she make sure her looks had a luxe feel, not to go the cheap route. And finally, with Edmond, he was left with a lot of work to do as not much had been accomplished.

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The designers were back to NY, Kelly feeling as if she was done, while Edmond still had 3 looks to complete and he was not even unpacking! Tim came by shortly after everyone had settled into the workroom. He told the designers they would present 3 looks to the judges for feedback. However, one of those looks had to be brand spankin’ new, created just in that 1 day. The designers were then headed to Mood with a budget of $250, which could be used in any way to enhance their collection. At Mood, we saw some zipper wars and Edmond somehow racking up a whopping $395, way over budget!! It was then again Tim-time.

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Tim instructed Kelly to think of proportion and Ashley received this same critique. With Edmond, it was all about what to present to the judges. And with Candice, there was worry over cohesion. So at this point I would cut to the judges’ critique on the 3-look presentation, but I will save that for my final discussion on each collection. So instead, I will skip to the next segment right before the final collections were presented at Fashion Week. After the judges’ critiques, the designers had 2 days to get to work and many had lots of work to do, well…..according to the judges.

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The final episode of the season began with Tim allowing the designers to hit up Mood once more. Tim himself would do the shopping. Ashley & Kelly only took part, with no objection from Candice or Edmond. Tim later went over the judges’ notes with each designer. Brian Bolain of Lexus popped in to let the designers know they could make use of 2 Lexus coops to arrive in style for their shows. Lots of last minute craziness was of course occurring in this episode. But as per usual, everything seemed to go off without a hitch. And the guest judge on the presentations of the final 4 was country music superstar Carrie Underwood.

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So without further delay, let’s get to the most important part of the finale of PR — the fashion week presentations. Ashley won, but I am going to begin with my choice for the winner, Kelly!

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After the judges’ initial critiques I was afraid Kelly would drastically change up her collection as Candice did and that would have been such a shame. Kelly is a really cool designer and this is a very hip collection. I am not sure I can rock all of Kelly’s looks, but they do make me kind of want to try. Kelly is all about experimentation and she very much makes me want to experiment with my own fashion choices.

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Kelly was the designer who stayed most true to herself. She has such a clear vision. She has a type of girl and this girl will go and buy these pieces. She has a unique spirit and you can see that in her work. Her styling was also very spot on, just such great work on the accessories, the hair (Sally Beauty), and the makeup (Mary Kay) — it was all spectacular.

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When it came down to the judges thoughts, early on, Nina was quick to quip that she couldn’t tell what garment was made in only a day, because what she saw, it was hard to tell. She also said that this didn’t feel like a collection that was 9k worth. How the judges could think this, but somehow feel as if their winner Ashley’s collection looked like 9k, mind boggling! Like seriously! I think the tip to amp up the styling was a good thought, but overall, Kelly was lacking in judges’ support and the producers when it would come to naming her as the winner. There were other plans in mind!

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But overall I applaud Kelly for staying true to herself all season. She was a dark horse and coming in 2nd was a huge accomplishment for her. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this talented lady in the future!

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I wish Candice had channeled some Kelly vibes when it came to her final presentation. I will still keep an eye out for Candice in the future, but her major downfall in this finale was listening to the judges in their initial critique. Her collection could have used some downplay, but taking out most, if not all of the drama, spice, and intrigue was a major mistake. She had some highlights still, but her moment felt much more blah without the full on Candice I’m sure we all wanted to see.

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If the winner was always going to be Ashley, even if Candice had gone full on in her presentation, it wouldn’t have gotten her the win, but it would have made her way more memorable. Having seen what was there before, it just really made me want more. I really just wanted to see that big ole’ dress she made, hoop skirt and all walk the runway!

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And I think the last minute changes led to some of what the judges later critiqued on, which was fit issues. I’m not sure what the judges were going on about with cohesion. I totally still saw Candice in what she presented. And had she done it the way she initially intended, I think the cohesive elements would have in fact been stronger.

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I’m sure she will present again and I’m sure she will not let anyone hold her back this time! But another great bit of work here from the Mary Kay team, Sally Beauty squad, and Just Fab accessories!

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Edmond, sadly, was the throwaway of the final 4. He started out so strong this season, but started to lag in the final few challenges. Tim Gunn had a save to use and thus he was saved. But based on this collection, it was not needed. The judges’ critiques early on were about ampin’ up the sexy vibe they had come to know from Edmond. But that was my biggest issue I had with his final pieces — where and who was Edmond??

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I’m not sure based off these final pieces if I could pick an Edmond original out in the future. This collection left me wondering who he is as a designer. There were some pretty dresses here, but nothing inventive or too creative. In fact, the one piece I adored the most from Edmond, below, is the one I see as the least like him of the bunch.

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More gorgeous work from Mary Kay, Sally Beauty and the Just Fab accessories!

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This work reminded me of Edmond’s Just Fab challenge win — the sexy red dress. It was a gorgeous dress, so sexy, so wearable, but a bit of a snooze-fest in the way of being unique. Nothing really here knocked me out of my socks or was that intriguing. I wasn’t taking too many 2nd glances. I’m sure a lot of women would want to wear some of these dresses, but likely wouldn’t know who they were wearing. It wouldn’t me memorable enough for them to want repeat looks by the designer.

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This leaves us with discussing the winner of Project Runway this season, Ashley. I have loved so many of Ashley’s looks this season. But as the season dwindled down, I became less and less of a fan. There always seemed to be so much drama and so many tears. I was kind of over it after a bit. And then came her final presentation — a first ever for PR, a plus size collection. I applaud the effort and I was happy she went for it, but to me, she came up sub-par.

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I know I am not the only one to think this or to even say it, but Ashley won this season solely so PR could get the headline — “First plus-size designer wins PR.” It was all about the press and the headline because it surely wasn’t about these pieces. It was an okay collection, but there were so many fit issues and so many flaws. There were very few standouts. I was also unimpressed by the repetition — lots of crop tops and skirts — yawnnnnnn!

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And the only way I think 9k was utilized on this collection was because of the headpieces. They were gorgeous and looked more thought out than some of pieces. But yes, we sure had to hear enough about them. I think Ashley missed out by not using any prints, but many of these pieces didn’t feel luxe to me. And I again point out the flaws — all of the shorts were so ill-fitting.

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The color palette didn’t lend a hand in that department either, so many baby pinks and light teals, left the collection lacking in a rich, special quality. The exception is this look below, which was oddly enough the one she banged out in a day. The deep color was beautiful and the overall quality was heightened.

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One other standout was the floral motif skirt below and it was a bit of a showpiece, but one of very few that looked like work was put into it and even some of that 9k.

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I digress again, it seemed as if the end was predetermined — that a larger vision was in the midst. It’s happened before where the winner was a bit questionable and I’m sure it will happen again in the future. But for an overall disappointing season, I didn’t expect much here.

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A final rant/note then on reunion episode, which of course was filled with some laughs, drama, and intriguing aspects. But of course the focus was back to the most drama-filled episode this season, we all know it, the “Mean Girls” episode. And yes, I use quotation marks because I questioned the episode back then and still question the big deal over it now. I loved that it was pointed out that the girls were all being judged, yet none of the guys got called out for not picking Ashley. I don’t care if they had a plan to not do so. If she was such a great designer, one whom everyone should have wanted to work with, how only the female cast should take the blame is beyond ridiculous. She didn’t lend much to the creative process and her look was pretty much crap that week. It was one of the worst ones, so she should have taken some heat on this. She had already gotten one free ride from the Hallmark challenge, so to see her put out another bad look on the runway was clearly an issue in my opinion. It seemed to me as if all of a sudden, just this episode, those few girls were dubbed as mean girls, no mention of this before and really there was no evidence of anything shown in the episode where these girls were badmouthing Ashley or treating her so poorly. If the drama was there, the producers would have shown more. It was such a stretch. And then poof, it was all soon forgotten. No more mean girls the rest of the season, yet somehow, in the reunion episode, it was all brought up again.

Very much ready at this point for All-stars, next season, anything to get true competitive juices flowing again!

PR Designers Go Red Carpet

So it’s that exciting time on PR, the final challenge before Fashion Week. And for this challenge, the designers traveled to the glamour capital of the world, LA, to create red carpet looks. LA and red carpets of course go hand in hand; it’s the city where the lights shine bright and the stars shine even brighter. The designers would visit L.A. to get inspired and also work there. So needless to say, the fight was on for the final 4.

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Upon arrival, the designers met Tim by the Best Western hotel pool. He was alongside Tammy Lucas of Best Western. The winning designer for this challenge would receive 100 free room nights at any Best Western worldwide. The designers were off to sketch at a gorgeous home in the Hollywood Hills, a great vantage point for inspiration. Keltie Knight, The Insider correspondent, later met with the designers to encourage them to bring the drama, color, and to make sure they took risks. It was then off to Mood, the start of a 2-day challenge, with a budget of $400.

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After Mood, the designers headed to their new workroom for this challenge at FIDM. Ashley was making multiple plans. Edmond was talking to his fabric, very unsure of his initial cut, while Kelly was unsure on the silhouette. As Day 2 began, Kelly was pressed for time and really needed Tim-time. With that, Tim encouraged Candice to remain flawless. He told Ashley to steer clear from over-designing. With Edmond, it was all about not being afraid — fear never conquers. And from the convo with Kelly, the direction led to that of a jumpsuit.

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After Tim-time, Edmond knew it was time to cut. He stared his form down, but soon it was that time and he cut right on the form. While Edmond was in cutting woes, Kelly was on fit concern patrol. Ashley mentioned concern for Candice because she made a black dress. Although I’m 100% positive that almost every red carpet has a few black looks on the red carpet — GEEZ!

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That was a wrap on the L.A. work and it was back to NYC for the runway show. Kelly’s fit concerns dwindled down and Ashley was in dire need of a strap. Edmond was on a rampage though, still shortening and cutting his look.

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This week’s guest judge was Christian Siriano.

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It was a bit on the safer side, but my fave look this week was Candice. The back of this dress is stunning. I could very much see it on the red carpet. Depending on the wearer, it might get more recognition, but this was certainly deserving for Candice to then go to Fashion Week.

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Shout-out — Gorgeous, luxe beauty, both with Mary Kay makeup & Sally Beauty hair, also, such elegant accessory choices, JustFab, the earrings!

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The judges however named Kelly as the winner. And I could see why. This was a very intriguing look. I didn’t love the fit of the top portion and not such a fan of the triangular cutout, but the vision here was superb. The textile print creation was far above & beyond what anyone else did.

I wasn’t totally in love with Ashley’s gown. She had a great concept and vision, but to me, it wasn’t well-executed and that took away from the runway wow factor. The strap and top portion was definitely off.

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Shout-outs — So chic, both with the luxe makeup Mary Kay look & blown out, wavy do by Sally Beauty

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Edmond for sure was the one to go on this challenge — hands down! It was so obvious. This print could have done all of the work here. And in almost any other silhouette, Edmond would have been A-okay. But for him to pick this silhouette, super short and wings, I was confused. The judges were far too kind here. He was out, but of course we all knew Tim Gunn would use his save come the next episode.

Shout-out — Another great Sally Beauty updo!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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