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.

PRAS, The Red Carpet Challenge — Sizzle or Fizzle?!?

Let’s call this an in be-twizzle. But really, let’s be real. No red carpet look here was exactly ready for prime time. It was perfect timing for this episode as we are right in the midst of award season, with the Grammy’s this weekend, and the Oscars right around the corner. But everyone here needed way more time and likely a bit larger of a budget. Nobody really would commission a dress for a major red carpet and leave only a day to put it together. This is especially considering the many other details this challenge entailed.

pras4-ep12-episode14So the specific details were given by Alyssa and Kelly Garner (via a taped announcement), who is portraying Marilyn Monroe in an up and coming Lifetime miniseries. The Marilyn part of the challenge was that the designers were to be inspired by her timeless beauty and create timeless red carpet gowns. The look had to sparkle and shine, as well as being suitable for the Oscars. It needed to be an iconic, timeless look that was memorable. So again, this was a lot to get out of any designer in only a day! And then going back to Lifetime, there was a huge prize at stake.

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The winning designer of the week would get the chance to design the wardrobe for a future Lifetime project. With that, the designers were off to Mood, with their largest budget of the season, $500. Still not likely enough for this challenge, but nonetheless, it was all they had. Michelle decided to spend nearly her entire budget on 1 really expensive fabric. On the other hand, Sonjia bought lots of options. Dmitry went with fringe (seemingly a PR fave as of late), and Helen decided on Chantilly lace.


The designers quickly got back to the workroom to begin work on their gowns. Dmitry had quite a bit to do, working with fringe and all. His fringe didn’t quite match his fabric so he had to tea-dye the fringe. Sonjia still wasn’t sure on the direction of her look — no surprise there! All while Michelle decided to designate herself the sparkle police. Isaac came by for a surprise visit. This was the first of a few surprises during this episode, which literally made it feel like one of the longest episodes in PR history!! If it wasn’t already preposterous enough to have the designers make such a major red carpet look in 1 day, they also had to take on a mini-challenge, seriously?!? Why was that needed?


Oh, I know. I guess it was to give Michelle some bragging rights, giving her a chance to win something during this season. It would have been quite sad being that she was a former PR winner and all to have not won 1 challenge during her time on PRAS. This whole design couture for a dog challenge was a waste of time at this point. I get dogwear and doggy couture exists, but it wasn’t needed right now. But it seemed besides allowing Michelle to have 1 win, PRAS also needed to make the episode last for an hour and a half versus the standard hour.


I love dogs, cute segment, but still didn’t get it. Isaac, along with Michael Francis and Lassie, set up the mini-challenge. Each designer had to work with a rescue dog, making a piece of canine couture. The doggy wear had to be inspired by a particular movie genre. So Dmitry worked with Dolla for Gangster, making a gangsta suit; Helen with Scrappy for Sci-Fi, making a rocket ship; and Sonjia with Cha-Cha for musical comedy, making a sparkly get-up with some feathers for flare. And with Michelle for the win, she had Taz, designing for western, making a bandana look.

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I’m sure everyone appreciated some fun, but with time wasted away, they were all quickly back to work, literally with Helen banging away. It was then Zanna-time. Michelle wanted to put chains across her open-back, but Zanna thought this cheapened the gown; I agree. Zanna & Dmitry discussed crystal placement. She asked Sonjia about if her look would stand the test of time. And finally, with Helen, Zanna worried the look read too old-fashioned. But Zanna was clear in saying to everyone, she wasn’t seeing anything timeless quite yet.


With time running low, Helen scrapped her entire bodice. And more trouble, right at the end of the day, Sonjia’s zipper broke. The morning of the runway left no time for dawdling. Everyone still had plenty to do. But it was soon time for the runway. Guest judge this week was CEO & Founder of Nasty Gal and author, Sophia Amoruso.


After critiques, each designer felt good. They all pretty much received both positive and negative comments. All really except Dmitry who was the clear winner this week. There has been a lot of predictability over this season and sub-par designs from the other designers. But predictability aside, Dmitry not only was well deserving of this win, but his spot as a finalist. He has consistently done a great job every week, and was never in the bottom. So if the PRAS season comes to an end with a headline reading “Dmitry is two for two”, I would be 100% fine with this.


Dmitry had a great start here. Honestly, I could see this on the red carpet now. Not so sure about the Oscars, but I can only imagine how great this fringed look would have been with more time and money.


This look definitely had stand-out appeal. Fringe and the hints of sheer are certainly eye-catching details. The fit was perfection. And it wasn’t a safe look. Very happy to see what Lifetime Project Dmitry will get the chance to work on. I’m sure he will go a great job.


Sonjia came in 2nd, another designer who has consistently done well all season. She has stuck true to her own voice and I’m eager to see if she could gain her redemption win. This bold look was far from perfect, but it was the most risk-taking look of the four. It was also the most fresh, and not something I’ve seen before.


The judges clearly rewarded risk and the thought, and I think that was a good decision. Helen & Michelle’s look were not innovative or fresh at all. So it made sense for them to make up the bottom 2 and for Sonjia to attain her spot in the finale.


I do agree with Georgina here. There was a bit too much going on, but the ideas were there and I appreciated the direction. And I believe this dress would for sure stand-out, but I’m not sure how timeless it was. But I think Sonjia took on a different definition to timeless. This look would no doubt be memorable.


I think this was Michelle’s best work of the season, but why did it take so long? And, was that alone enough to make her the 3rd finalist? I’m not a fan of this 1 hour challenge mess we had to watch happen, but really Michelle and Helen didn’t do themselves any favors here. Michelle was way too safe with her look.


The chain was a pointless detail. The sleeves gave this gown such a heavy feel to it. And really it was the fabric that did all the work here. There wasn’t much design here. It was a shimmery gown, open back, fitted. I really didn’t see much of Michelle in this look at all.


Mary Kay make-up shout-out, such a bold, luscious look, love this daring smoky eye/bronzed cheek/nude lip combo!


Helen lucked out here. Clearly Helen had the better look in the 1-hour duel, but Michelle’s gown was a lot better than Helen’s gown. It had no Wow factor, way too safe. I guess the judges either were more on the Helen-train or they really didn’t want to send someone to the finale for selecting a prettier fabric.


Helen’s fabric wasn’t all bad. I could easily see it on the red carpet. But she ran out of time on this one. I’m not sure if she is quite ready to take on Dmitry & Sonjia in the final 2, but she has gained her spot so ready she must be!


Because as we know, Michelle and Helen were left to battle out for the 3rd and final spot in the finale by taking on a 1-hour live challenge. Oh but wait, even before that, they brought them back out to state why they deserved that spot. Really! As if that was going to help at all in making the decision. Again, longest PR episode ever!!


So in this last live challenge, Michelle & Helen had to re-invent from failed, eliminated looks, a totally new look. They had to choose 3 looks from the previously eliminated designers, and in 1 hour, they had to create a new look.


Helen was upset right at the get go. She hated tearing apart someone’s look, even if it wasn’t great to begin with at all! Thankfully she got over it because that was the challenge at hand. Enough with the tears already. She was lucky to be getting this chance so pointless to waste any time over needless tears.


With the Michelle/Helen red carpet looks, it wasn’t a slam-dunk that Michelle was the clear victor. But this time around, it was laughable there was any debate over who made the better look. Helen worked great under pressure and created an understated look, but it was quite lovely for an hour’s worth of work. It was wearable and I could see it donned by fashionistas all over.


I’m not sure what Michelle was thinking though. Even if she had used 3 looks, which apparently she didn’t and that broke the challenge rules, but really, regardless, this look was not good. It was hardly wearable. And really, the only part she did true design work on was the worst part. I know she only had an hour, but everything read sloppy and just thrown together. I’m not even sure I understand what she did to Jay’s tank top, but I’m not giving anyone credit for literally shortening a skirt. The challenge was to re-design, and other than this pant-cho, I’m not sure what her design work here was. It seemed as if she just re-arranged some pieces, a little re-styling. This was nowhere near enough to garner Michelle that third finalist spot.


Kenley Collins — This Thriving Designer Marches On!



The lovely Kenley Collins is a long-time friend of Fashion Nexus so I’m very pleased to continue to show my support of her outstanding work! So here I am now to feature her latest collection launch, “American Geisha.”


Fans a Blossom crop top & skirt, and Geisha Garden Party dress

First though, just as a quick recap, here is a brief bio on the insanely talented Kenley. She made a huge name for herself by appearing in 2008 on the hit competitive realty TV show, Project Runway, season 5. A few years later she made a stint on the 1st season of Project Runway All-Stars. Since then, she has been working diligently as a fashion designer, creating collections that not only I love, but that truly speak to the heart of any burgeoning fashionista. Her collections make me smile, touch my heart, and make me feel so nostalgic. She takes an inspiration and really makes it come to life. She’s gone “As if” with Clueless


said it’s Grease lightning with her Pink Ladies line


taken us back in true fashionable style with her Marilyn Monroe inspired collection


and gave us her take on PopArt!


Her current holiday collection is once again entitled “American Geisha.” This line has all the Kenley touches that I have come to know & love! As always, I can see Kenley’s unique designer POV & hand in each piece. Her amazing work is ever-present and more captivating than ever. Her work is vintage, an era of long ago, but as with any Kenley piece, there is still a modern vibe.


Hummingbird party dress & Cherry Blossom Fan Wiggle dress

Her looks are always playful and full of character, demonstrating a genuine spirit for whatever underlying inspiration she is creating from in her mind. She is doing again with these American Geisha pieces what she does so well — fully embodying a given concept and making it come to life in true Kenley form & fashion. She designs for the masses and it’s so hard to not instantly fall in love with every print, style, silhouette, and piece.


Land of the Rising Sun dress

As always, you can make this collection work for you in a dress or separates piece. Here are some more amazing pieces from the American Geisha line!!!


Birds a Humming crop top & pencil skirt, and Land a Rising crop top & pencil skirt


Geisha Garden Swing dress


Cherry Fan Mandarin dress


Hummingbird Mandarin dress on left


You can now shop online for these amazing pieces! And yes, there are still some fun menswear and accessories pieces to peruse as well!





You can also shop for Kenley at Slapback in Brooklyn. And check out Slapback’s owner having a great time in Collins’ American Geisha pieces!




Besides designing imaginative and stunning collections, Kenley has achieved other great feats as well. A huge success for Kenley is her custom design work for major pop star Ariana Grande. Since I’m obsessed with both Kenley & Ariana I have to share Kenley’s crazy cool pieces for Ari!

















Most designers are generally pleased if a major celeb dons one or two of their pieces, but clearly Ariana loves her some Kenley originals just as Fashion Nexus loves to feature them! Until the next collection launch……eagerly awaiting…….can’t wait!

Kenley Collins — There is Just No Stopping this Designer!


It amazes me how much this young talent can do — coming out with yet another collection, which now even includes menswear, still designing stunning and sexy pieces for the young pop starlet, Ariana Grande, and just to throw some fun in the mix, designing looks for the windows of various It’Sugar candy stores. Kenley Collins‘ latest collection has been out a few weeks now, but great work still deserves recognition. So just like her past collections — Grease “Pink Ladies” & Marilyn Monroe-inspired line — I am here to now write about her PopArt collection.


(Pop Cassettes printed Crop-top & pencil skirt, and a black Holly Golightly dress)

The one aspect of Kenley’s work that I always love and commend, is that no matter what the underlying theme of the line is, you can always tell when you are wearing a Kenley original. She has such a unique and distinctive voice and aesthetic within her designs. You can see it in the cut, the silhouette, the dynamic prints, and more! And I always feel there is something for everyone — dresses, separates, accessories, bathing suits, and more! Also now, that “something for everyone” includes men! Yes, you heard it right, now those bold Kenley prints can also be rocked by any man who dares and I say WHY NOT!

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You can always shop online (always some great sales going on!) for stunning Kenley originals or, if you are in NYC, you can head over to Brooklyn and shop for her pieces at Slapback. Taking a closer look at the menswear pieces, there are a lot of fun selections — from the Cool Rider tie to the Pop Cassettes printed shirt to the Ronnettes Rose printed shirt to the Citrus Squeeze tie (all seen in the image above). But of course, there is even more fun in store for the ladies!


(Audrey swimsuit in black; “Be My Baby” pink swimsuit; Tiffany’s swimsuit)



Kenley-LOOK7-Front-A             Kenley-LOOK5-Front-A

TOP — “Chapel of Love” dress & Crystals Chevron; BOTTOM — Sinatra dress


With the above picture, the look on the right, we have the Ronettes Rose crop-top & circle skirt, which brings us to some very versatile SEPARATES!!

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(White Bardot crop-tops; Pop pink skirt; & Blue sea skirt w/ sheer overlay)


Kenley-LOOK14-Front-A             Kenley-LOOK13-Front-A

(Pop Cassettes print & Chain of Hounds)


(Watermelon Supreme top & skirt and Shangri-Las top & shorts)

And so as mentioned above, aside from being so creative, always coming out with chic collections, Kenley also manages to make custom outfits for pop sensation Ariana Grande. So it’s highly likely if you’ve seen Ariana perform lately, she was wearing a Kenley custom original!!

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Also, and this is very Project Runway-esque, she is still whipping up unconventional materials looks, specifically candy, to liven up the windows of It’Sugar candy stores- SUPER FUN & EXCITING!!

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KENLEY, YOU WILL FOREVER HAVE A FAN OF YOUR WORK WITH FASHION NEXUS!! & I’m sure my readers will enjoy seeing what you’ve been up to and we all can’t wait to see what’s next!

Exciting Updates For the Passionate & Innovative Designer Kenley Collins

1454766_10152126700786874_1181591451_n                                                                     1457736_10202003308838342_15567068_nIt’s safe to say the multi-talented designer, Kenley Collins, is working hard in the fashion world and is here to stay. I previously wrote an amazing piece about Kenley and now I’m so pleased to showcase to you all her most recent and fabulous work! Please read the earlier piece, but here is the brief rundown on this major talent.

Kenley emerged in 2008 when she was a finalist on Project Runway Season 5. A few years later she made a stint on the 1st season of Project Runway All-Stars. But Kenley has not rested on her laurels. She has shone like the sparkling star she is since her time on PR. She often releases collections that demonstrate her aesthetic and style — bold, retro, feminine fashion. My previous piece was all about her Grease Pink Lady collection. Well now, GET READY, and enjoy the perfectly inspired Marilyn Monroe collection. Also, enjoy the many images and if you get a chance, tweet Kenley how stunning they are because really, they are!

Here are the various individual pieces and pricing information. You can shop the line online under What’s New.

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1452099_10200820224414953_580480422_nI certainly see Marilyn when I look at these pieces; in fact, I’m sure it’s the point. But I also 100% see Kenley’s gifted hand and creative mind in this pieces. I would know if I saw it that each one was a Kenley Collins original! I see a nod to the past in these pieces, but with a fresh take. Black and white is classic and the pops of royal blue are sheer perfection. Anyone who would wear these pieces is certainly a woman who knows fashion and style, and that is someone who wants to have fun! Take a look at these gorgeous editorial images Kenley shot.

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1422907_10151693006517016_1526957291_n                                                                     1452497_10200848885291457_586789564_nOnline, Kenley still is offering other pieces so check out her Dresses, Separates, Accessories, Vintage, and Sale categories. Another fun way we get to see Kenley showcase her talent is with the unique and custom dresses she makes for none other than Nickelodeon pop starlet Ariana Grande. Ariana has been on my best dressed list, as well as many others, so I’m sure for future events, while wearing Kenley pieces, she will continue that trend!

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1374877_10200713015414795_1970433354_n                                        1380567_10200658031040220_1790316693_nJust as with all of Kenley’s other work, when Ariana is wearing a Kenley Collins original you will know it! So one final little piece of fun, Kenley is still demonstrating her talent in more ways than one. She is still having a great time while designing window displays for the candy emporium, It’Sugar, with candy clothed pieces. (various locations)

1457736_10200854445390456_1739761831_n                                                               971323_10201420148449366_777924638_nHere are a few images from Kenley’s launch of the Marilyn collection, which was at SlapBack in Brooklyn. You can also purchase Kenley’s pieces there.