Fashion Nexus

A fashion blog for anything & everything fashion, including fashion law topics

2017 CFDAs

The Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards (otherwise known as the Academy Awards of the fashion world) took place this pat week at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The 2017 CFDAs, in partnership with Swarovski for the sixteenth year, was hosted by funny man Seth Meyers, who previously hosted the award ceremony in June 2012.

There were some notable presenters including Karen Elson and Amber Valletta, as well as Jon Bon Jovi’s giving the first-ever Swarovski Award for Positive Change to his good friend, designer Kenneth Cole.

According to Council of Fashion Designers of America’s site, the awards, which began in 1981, are the “highest honor in fashion and recognize the outstanding contributions made to American fashion in womenswear, menswear, and accessories as well as journalism, creative vision, personal style, and lifetime achievement.”

Sprinkled throughout this post are all the winners of the evening, as well as my top red carpet looks for the night!

Menswear Designer of the Year
WINNER: Raf Simons for Calvin Klein
Nominees: Robert Geller; Thom Browne; Tim Coppens; Todd Snyder

Meg Ryan

Kate Bosworth

Accessory Designer of the Year

WINNER: Stuart Vevers for Coach

Nominees: Irene Neuwirth; Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel; Paul Andrew; Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row

Diane Kruger

Lily Aldridge

Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent

Nominees: Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock for Brock Collection; Gabriela Hearst; Virgil Abloh for Off-White; Sander Lak for Sies Marjan

WINNER: Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia for Monse

Olivia Munn

Joan Smalls

Womenswear Designer of the Year

WINNER: Raf Simons for Calvin Klein

Nominees: Marc Jacobs; Joseph Altuzarra; Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler; Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row

Haim

Sailor Brinkley Cook

Elizabeth Chambers & Armie Hammer

Jac Jagaciak

Elsa Hosk

Alexi Ashe

The Founder’s Award: Pat McGrath

Board of Directors’ Tribute: Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem and Janelle Monáe

Fashion Icon Award: Franca Sozzani, Italian Vogue editor-chief, posthumous

Met Gala 2017 — Best of the Best

Each year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art puts on an annual Costume Institute exhibit and this year’s exhibit focuses on designer Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons, and “the art of the in-between.” It pays tribute to Rei Kawakubo, the legendary designer behind Commes Des Garçons. Kawakubo is known for her risk-taking, out-of-the-box aesthetic, and attendees channeled that with a stream of crazed beauty looks and extreme gowns/dresses. Here are my top pics!

BLAKE LIVELY

EMILY RATAJKOWSKI

BRIE LARSON

Larson’s hairstylist Mara Roszak misted her hair with L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Strand Smoother Serum-Spray for the intense shine.

HALLE BERRY

SOPHIE TURNER

  • a white-and-silver lace Louis Vuitton gown with gold panels on the bodice

ANNA WINTOUR

SELENA GOMEZ

  • makeup artist Hung Vanngo — one of the most eye-catching makeup looks of the evening: An electrifying, hot pink smoky eye created by makeup artist Hugo Vanngo. “The twist was the bright pink Marc Jacobs Beauty eyeliner I came across while sorting through colors”
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • cream Coach gown

KYLIE JENNER

CASSIE

KERRY WASHINGTON

RILEY KEOUGH

BEE SHAFFER

REESE WITHERSPOON

KRISTIN CAVALLARI

FELICITY JONES

  • a periwinkle Old West-inspired custom Erdem gown with a bustle, ruffles and high neck

LILY COLLINS

a base of Lancôme Le Crayon Khol in Black Ebony (yep, that’s an eyeliner) then layer Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick in 397 Berry Noir on top. (makeup by Fiona Stiles)

FRANCES BEAN

LALA ANTHONY

ZENDAYA

HAILEY BALDWIN

KATIE HOLMES

  • deep teal off-the-shoulder Zac Posen

NICK JONAS

  • jacquard tux and smoking slippers by Ralph Lauren Purple Label

 

Proj. Runway — The Finale!

Alas, another season of PR has come and gone. So let’s see how season 15 played out, from the final runway prep to the announcement of the winning designer.

After the judges’ preview, with 2 days until fashion week, the designers were back to work. Tim came in to announce a final trip to Mood with an additional budget of $500. Upon return and a little designer re-working, Tim then came by for a critique.

He urged Rik to open his work up, both literally & figuratively — don’t be afraid to show some skin. For Laurence, he advised on reworking a few pieces. He instructed Erin to avoid being too arts and craftsy. And for Roberi, it was all about lessening the confusion.

It was soon the day before fashion week, which hosted for the day some making of new garments and model fittings. Also as a part of the day, it was Tim’s emotional final round-up with the designers. The morning of the runway too had a lot of stirred emotions. Rik was done, all ready for the runway. But other designers were having some final issues, Roberi with a missing model and Laurence with a garment rip.

It was time though for the final runway during NYFW. Guest judge for the show was Zendaya. This was my 2nd time attending the final runway show and it was once again, another surreal experience. It was great seeing the collections live and also being a part of it with other fans. So here are my thoughts on the final runway and my ranking of the final 4.

I 100% agreed with the judges naming Erin as the winner of season 15 of PR. Project Funway was the WAY to go!

I saw such quality in her very well-made pieces. Right from the start, with the very first look, that top, I was blown away! Erin started the season making a bunch of coats and I was half expecting to see many in her final collection, but gladly that was not the case. But with missing coats aside, I still saw Erin’s aesthetic and touches come thru. I saw embellishments galore and I was in love with her uniquely creative prints. This was artsy, but certainly not arts and crafts.

The attention to detail and all of the tiny little erin-nisms, like the bananas, I just loved. I saw a modern, fashion forward collection and I was proud of what Erin sent down the runway. I’m glad the judges too loved the kookiness of her collection. Zendaya pointed it out perfectly by mentioning the balance of kook & chic!

The only negative I can come up with in Erin winning was that Roberi had to lose. I was glad he at least came in 2nd, very close to winning because I too loved his collection.

I saw fun, something different, and it was great to see. He used such beautiful colors. The full on purple look, to die for! I do feel as if some of his pieces didn’t quite fit in with the collection as a whole, like the denim pants look. I also felt like every time he was asked about his collection, he kind of said something different each time.

But overall, I saw his looks being imaginative. The second to last look, the more formal gown, it was stunning! And the very last look, going back to his threading technique, it was so impressive. I was mad that Heidi was hating on the gown I loved, and Nina of course liked the one look I didn’t care much for. But again, Zendaya was spot on in discussing the light versus heavy quality to this collection, how well it mixed or blended together.

The judges pretty much put Rik in 4th, but I thought he should have came in ahead of Laurence. Her collection was a yawn, but at least with Rik’s Bandits collection, there was some excitement.

I loved the leather pieces, especially the ones in black and white. But the denim pieces were just not my style. It was a risk for me, a love or hate type factor, and I unfortunately just wasn’t a fan. I kind of felt that way with Rik throughout the season. I would really love a piece of his, or not at all. There wasn’t much by the way of middle ground. And I guess I didn’t really get the connect between the leather and denim pieces.

I did appreciate his eyewear creations. I think the judges were too still on the same page though about the overall cohesiveness of the collection.

And finally, there was Laurence’s work. She was really working down to the last literal second on these looks. To be so minimal, not much by way of bells and whistles, I’m not sure what was taking her so long to do, but working away she did.

I know she spent a lot of time reworking the “potato sack” looking dress, but I was still not a fan. When I was there watching the finale, before I realized there were no decoy collections, I thought this one was. There were some lovely small details to appreciate with the collection, when you could see the looks up close. But from afar, it was a basic, RTW collection, and with no “Wow” pieces, it sort of seemed very bland.

On the day, seeing this come down the runway first, and seeing the more exciting collections to follow, it was just apparent that this one was lackluster. Zac too pointed out about the lack of runway impact. There needed to be a wow factor. I wondered why during the many Tim critiques or the judges preview that this was not pointed out!

Zendaya kind of made a plea, saying that seeing the collection, it kind of made her want to see more, wondering what else she had to show. But this is not a good thing to say at this point! You need to show what you have now, not leave us all to wonder! I missed the cool-girl factor we saw during the season. This was lacking in the collection. And it was the main reason she didn’t fair well.

What a season — can’t wait to see the next one!

 

Proj. Runway — NYFW Prep!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proj. Runway — The Last Challenge

That is right! We are right at the end of this season of PR, ready to see who will make it to NYFW! I was actually in attendance during the finale. Of course, I saw close to 50 shows during the fashion week season, so I don’t remember everything I saw, but I have a decent idea. And I think I could narrow the winner down to 2! But a hold on that for now, let’s see how the final challenge played out first.

Tim & Heidi met the designers before sending them off on a quick trip. Nothing too fancy, just that of Austin, TX, but it would serve as the inspiration for the challenge. Upon arrival, the designers met Tim by the pool of the Best Western they were staying at. Joining him was PR designer alum Nick Verreos. Underlying this challenge was Best Western as the sponsor. In line with their hotels’ modern, contemporary, and stylish new look, the plan was for these concepts to aide in the design process for the designers this week.

Austin is an unconventional city and with that each designer would be creating a look out of unconventional materials. It would be high fashion, and again, inspired from their trip to Austin. They were given a $500 budget to shop at either Georgetown Farm Supply (America’s country store) or Stubbs BBQ (a legendary rock n’ roll venue and bar). And with Best Western being the sponsor of the challenge, naturally it was announced that the winner would receive 50 free nights to stay at pretty much any BW worldwide.

After sketching and shopping, the designers were back to NY to begin this 2-day challenge. PR is infamous for their twists and turns. I can’t imagine the designers thought for the last challenge, that this would be it, especially being given 2 days. So on day 2, when Tim announced the twist, it was certainly not a “color me” surprised moment.

Tim described this twist as the ultimate test to conceptualize, innovate, and execute. And with that, there needed to be another dimension. Each designer would create a 2nd look, another high end fashion look, to correspond to their unconventional look. This look would be created out of conventional materials though. They were off to Mood then with a budget of $200.

Roberi was at a loss for words, but again, this shouldn’t have been a surprise! At the end of Day 1, Cornelius was already feeling the pressure with time. But in light of this news, Roberi was joining that club. It was soon time though for the runway! And this week’s guest judges were actress Priyanka Chopra and designer Georgina Chapman. So who came up just a smidge short on making it to fashion week?!?

With only 5 left, there wasn’t the standard top and bottom 3. So the designers with higher scores were only Erin and Roberi. I think Laurence was more or less in the land of mixed reviews. Which means it would be either Rik or Cornelius leaving this week. I was in agreement with the top 2 and very happy for Roberi to have the final win! I would have not chosen to send Cornelius home though!

Sally Beauty & Mary Kay SHOUTOUTS — Love the hair & beauty looks for Roberi

Roberi certainly took a risk with his unconventional look. It really rode a thin line, but I think he covered all his bases! It was certainly something different and I could see the inspiration of the trip. But his conventional look was my fave of the 2. It was Roberi all the way — shaping and  mixed prints. I didn’t really get a sense of connection with most of the designers 2 looks, a complimentary thread. But overall, Roberi did a great job with these 2 looks.

Erin too did a phenomenal job this week. Her work on the bodice of her unconventional look was stunning. And the use of mealworms, how quirky and super fitting for the challenge at hand.

And this jumpsuit was a fave of mine from this runway. Not sure why Nina took such issue with it, but I am glad the other judges loved it. I would certainly rock this look anywhere, anytime!

Laurence was placed in the middle, but sadly, I think I would have sent her home this week. I didn’t really care for either of her looks. The unconventional piece read a little sloppy to me. And seeing so many other unconventional looks being very wearable, I didn’t get that this dress was easy to wear. I just didn’t love it.

From the front, I thought this marigold dress was very boring. Great for her to use color, but that doesn’t alone create excitement. The back was an interesting pop of intrigue, but other than that, this sheath dress just looked poorly made and wasn’t extremely innovative.

MARY KAY SHOUTOUT!! — Beautiful glam looks!

I haven’t loved every look Rik has created during the season, but I was surprised to see him in the bottom 2, at risk of going home. His conventional look had it’s faults, but I thought his unconventional look would have been his saving grace. I guess in a way it was, but Rik didn’t deserve his bottom 2 placement!

Mary Kay & Sally Beauty SHOUTOUTS — Gorgeous work for all beauty looks!

In a way, I kind of feel as if no matter what, Cornelius was going this week. But in looking at all of the looks that came down the runway, there is some missing logic! Both of his looks were well-made, had some intrigue, and were fitting to the challenge. I don’t think that could be said of everyone. I guess we already know who I would have sent home, but I hate on some great final work for Cornelius, it really was his end!

 

 

Proj. Runway Goes Hybrid

Yes, that’s right, for the first time ever, PR created a hybrid challenge for the designers to tackle. It could also be dubbed as the Lexus challenge, since that was part of the underlying inspiration and concept of the week. Each designer had to create an innovative, avant grade look crafted from conventional fabric and unconventional metal themed materials. The designers met Tim at a warehouse, alongside the GM of Product and Consumer Marketing for Lexus, Brian Bolane, for all of the details.

As Brian described, just as the Lexus cars push with innovation, so too must the looks for the week. The designers had 5 minutes to gather their various pieces of machinery and metal from the warehouse. They were then off to Mood, in style this week, driving in a fancy Lexus, to spend $150 on fabrics. It was then off to the workroom to begin this 2-day challenge.

Erin had some drama creating her embellishments for her look, which Mah-Jing had advised her against doing. (It worked out in the end though) But it was Mah-Jing, Laurence, and Cornelius who Tim seemed most concerned with on this challenge, and they were the ones who landed in the bottom 3. Needless to say, the pressure was on. At the start of the episode Heidi informed the designers there were only 2 challenges left, not 3 as they expected. Tim too reminded the designers on the expectations for this week, and those were for spectacular and show-stopping looks to be created. As Heidi said, they had to go big or go home!

The guest judge for the week was actress & director Shiri Appleby. I already mentioned the bottom 3, but let’s start discussions on the top 3, Erin, Rik, and Roberi. The judges got the bottom and top correct, but my winner would have been Rik or Roberi, slightly for me would be to name Rik as the winner.

His look was shiny and cool, a great merge of the conventional and unconventional materials. I saw avant garde, even if Nina and Zac had doubts. I’m glad Heidi made a point to really accentuate the positives here. This was certainly the most wearable, well integrated, and avant garde look of the bunch!

A close runner-up for me would be Roberi. This look was futuristic, intriguing in the shaping, and I was saying “Beam me up Scotty!” I loved that Roberi created a well-made, mixed media look.

Shoutouts — Mary Kay & Sally Beauty Love the hair and the makeup went in line with the overall theme for the look, perfection!

Rounding out the top 3 was Erin. I liked the unconventional creation, but the pants for me were a little ho-hum. I didn’t think it made the look overly exciting. Whereas Rik’s look really merged his materials together, I didn’t quite get the connecting link here. The pop of color was great though. And hearing here paper doll concept was what made the overall look, all the more interesting.

Mary Kay shout-out — Stunning makeup look

Of the bottom 3, as sad as it is to see a designer go home at this point, I think Mah-Jing being eliminated was the right choice of the 3. Laurence’s look was only in the bottom because it was safe. She put in some great work. It was a wearable look, but I agreed with the judges in that it produced no surprise effect. I didn’t get why the judges though were focused on discussing colors for this look. There wasn’t a wide variety of choices with the unconventional materials.

Mary Kay shout-out — Love this gorgeous, glam beauty look!

With Cornelius’ look, I really liked the concept actually. The amount of tubing use and certainly the placements were a bit odd. But it was different and intriguing. I liked his use of color, as well as the mixed media. The main positive about the look was there wouldn’t be any lack of conversation regarding ut. Whether it be good or bad, it was attention-grabbing.

Mah-Jing, again, was the one to leave this week. Nina had it right in saying that the unconventional material usage seemed more like decoration than integrated materials. It did kind of looked placed on, not really a true part of the overall look.

Until next week….

 

Proj. Runway — Let’s Take a Ride

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For this challenge, the designers began with a helicopter ride over NYC, to take in the aerial views, but to also be inspired by the sites. The reason for this bold, “power trip” was so the designers could create a bold, high fashion, dramatic and powerful editorial look for Marie Claire. In fact, the winning look would be featured in a spread for the magazine.

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Tim Gunn, alongside Editor in Chief of Marie Claire, Anne Fulenwider, provided all of the details. In addition, Anne was also one of the guest judges for the week, and it was announced she would soon be the new mentor on Project Runway All-Stars. With all that said, the designers were ready to hit up Mood, with a huge budget of $300, all for this 1-day challenge.

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Tim-time was pretty much ho-hum, with the exception of Erin & Nathalia. To each lady, he really urged some re-thinking on what they had already started on. Nathalia was also a focal point of this week, specifically when it came to the newfound help she had been receiving from Rik. Jenni used to be her go-to, but with her gone, Rik has seemingly taken her place in the aide department. He even helped her out in finishing her look. Fellow designers, specifically Erin, took issue of this. My thought — even though Nathalia’s help might have been excessive, the designers always seem to ask each other for thoughts and help at times. It happens. Get over it. Nathalia and Erin are a bit like Dexter and Cornelius, in their somewhat hypocritical back and forth on one another. It is definitely a bit of humor listening to them bad-mouth each other, when more often than not, what they say is the equivalent of the “pot calling the kettle black.”

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Joining Anne Fulenwider this week as guest judge was actress Camilla Belle. So who ended up making the pages of Marie Claire, and who fell short?

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Rik being in the bottom this week was surprising, and this left Laurence and Roberi being safe. This was the area I guess I was most in disagreement with, but it was either Rik or Laurence in the bottom, and both were worthy of being safe from the bottom 2, so I guess all is well that ended well.

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Rik’s look was not all bad, and in fact, it had some huge positives. But the judges were right in pointing out the lack of design on the back of the dress. And while the movement and initial impact of the splotched-created fabric was great, it did lose luster upon further inspection. The splotch-work wasn’t the most glamorous looking. Perhaps in a different color, it might have looked better, but brown on white, certainly an unfavorable color-combo choice. But on a positive note, Anne really loved the look!

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The bottom 2 was Dexter and Nathalia, who both ended up being eliminated. I felt badly for Dexter since he thought he was safe, but it did unfortunately really feel like Nathalia’s time. I think the pressures of the competition have been too much for her to handle. She has frequented the bottom and hasn’t been excelling in this environment. Her look this week did read costume, not editorial. And I agreed with the judges’ assessment that the look was too basic, with reflectors put on as gimmicks.

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A double elimination at this point in the competition was not surprising. The judges had not been feeling Dexter’s work and I didn’t get the feeling he loved the critiques, so it might have been best for him to go. It was a shame to see a similar jacket from Dexter again, but he was correct to point out about designer aesthetics, because other designers, namely Erin, has sent down the runway some similar coats. But I did forget that the first jacket was not loved by the judges, and with this really being the predominant aspect of the look, it was a huge gamble. Especially since the only other item he made was the goth-lace dress. I completely forgot the undergarments were not his creation.

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JustFab, Sally Beauty, & Mary Kay shoutouts — Killer heels, love the hair, and the bold red lip is fierce!

The top 3 this week was Mah-Jing, Cornelius, and Erin, with Cornelius receiving his first win! I was in agreement with this decision and very happy for him. This look had some quirk to it, but it was definitely intriguing and easily wearable. I would think it would span to a wide audience of women who would love to wear this look.

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Sally Beauty & Mary Kay Shoutouts!! — Gorgeous hair & makeup work!!

It was nice to see Erin bounce back this week and finally not send down yet another outerwear piece. Nina was right in pointing out that this was not her best look, nor was it the best look on the runway, but it was very different and a great bit of excitement to see on the runway on the day.

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And finally, we have Mah-Jing, riding a great stride with his recent work — can he keep it up! I am not huge on wearing denim, but I did like what he did here, with the use of denim in a mixed media capacity. It was innovative and it was clearly inspired from the helicopter trip.

 

 

 

Latter 2016 — Best Dressed Round-Up

In the past month and a half or so, there have been a ton of red carpets, not all award shows, but events where stunning looks were nonetheless on display. Check out some of my faves from the LACMA Gala (aka the Met Ball of the West); Elle’s Women in Hollywood Awards; L’Oreal Women of Worth; Baby2Baby Gala; Hollywood Film Awards; Governors’ Awards; MTV EMAs; the Netflix premiere for Gilmore Girls; & InStyle Awards.

Nikki Reed — Elle’s Women in Hollywood Awards

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Karlie Kloss — L’Oreal Women of Worth

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Miranda Kerr — Baby2Baby Gala

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Kate Hudson — Baby2Baby Gala

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Also at the Hollywood Film Awards —

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Nina Dobrev — MTV EMAs

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Attending the 2016 Governors’ Awards

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Rachel Bilson — Baby2Baby Gala

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Salma Hayek — LACMA Gala

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Lucy Hale — Elle’s Women in Hollywood Awards

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Alexis Bledel — Gilmore Girls Netflix premiere

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Jourdan Dunn — MTV EMAs

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Erica Pelosini — LACMA Gala

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Jordana Brewster — 2016 InStyle Awards

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Skyler Samuels — InStyle Awards

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Vanessa Hudgens — Elle’s Women in Hollywood Awards

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Alessandra Ambrosio — LACMA Gala

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Kristen Bell — Baby2Baby Gala

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Selma Blair — Baby2Baby Gala

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Petra Collins — LACMA Gala

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Proj. Runway — Who Won $50K!!

Well it’s more like not just who, but which two! In the setup for this week, an overall $50,000 was awarded and yes, that is actually half of the cash prize the winner of PR receives. Of course the winner gets a host more of other prizes, but $50K is still a pretty hefty prize!

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Tim met with the designers to provide all of the details and joining him in the workroom was Barbara Shipley, Sr. VP of Brand Integration from AARP. AARP was the challenge sponsor, and ultimately who awarded the prize. As part of the challenge, the designers would be creating a look for a very special client and this look would be a part of representing that client’s next chapter. The special client turned out to be for each designer a family member or friend.

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The winning look would not only awarded $25K to the designer, but another $25K to the client. This I believe was the first 2-day challenge of the season. And with that, the designers were off to Mood with a $250 budget.

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When designers typically work with real world clients to that of models, sometimes issues or drama arises. This time there was not much of that with the exception of Jenni and her mom as their seemed to be confusion on the direction of the look. I wondered during Tim’s critiques though if he was being a little extra hard on Erin and Dexter? It was clear he thought Cornelius should not have gone home, only then assuming Erin or Dexter should have. He certainly didn’t hold back on critiques!

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I believe the biggest workroom issue of the week however was Nathalia and really biting off more than she could chew. This week’s guest judges were fashion and beauty trendsetter Olivia Culpo and co-founder of Birchbox, Katia Beauchamp (who also is on the new Lifetime show, Project Runway: Fashion Start-Up).

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The safe designers of the week were Laurence, Cornelius, and Dexter. I pretty much agreed with this result, but Dexter would have been in my top 3. His look was a knockout and really fit his client well. I thought he gave his friend exactly what she wanted, while still ringing very true to his designer aesthetic.

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SHOUTOUTS — Sally Beauty for a gorgeous, chic straight look & JustFab, love these killer blue booties

The judges’ top three was Roberi, Mah-Jing, & Rik. All were very deserving, but my winning look was Roberi. I got why they chose Rik, but Roberi, just as Dexter did, stuck true to his designer POV, all while giving his client a very fashion-forward look. I thought Rik’s dress was super great as well, but I’m not sure I really would have known it was his work in the midst of some very strong designer aesthetics.

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Roberi’s choice of prints and the ability to mix them together was genius. The look was fun and the pops of color were spot on!

JUSTFAB SHOUTOUT — More cute heels!!

Rik was certainly deserving of accolades though. His dress was very cute, perfect for his mom, not about the bells and whistles, but rather conveying a story, with very intricate details. It was very much age appropriate, but didn’t come across as a mature, mumsy creation.

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SHOUTOUTS — Sally Beauty, love the hair & Mary Kay, love the bold red lip

Mah-Jing certainly stepped it up though this week. His look was bad-ass. I didn’t get the same vibe as the judges that his mom was really working the look. I kind of thought it was wearing her and not the other way around. Perhaps in the right setting, but Mah-Jing really did give her what she wanted and he designed the look beautifully.

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The bottom 3 was Erin, Nathalia, and Jenni. All who have been in the bottom before and all who unfortunately had the worst 3 looks of the week. Erin was again saved from the bottom two. If I’m not mistaken, every time she has been in the bottom, she has escaped the bottom 2 — very interesting. I wonder if she can find her way back to the top. I’m not seeing much by the way of improvement or growth from her the past few weeks, and she really is doing the same coat over and over again. And with this being a 2-day challenge, I would have expected her dress to have looked way better since we know she can do a coat easily in a day, if even that.

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JUSTFAB SHOUTOUT — Gorgeous killer heels!

Nathalia escaped elimination this week, I believe her ideas were her saving grace. She attempted to do a lot and pretty much each article of clothing was poorly constructed. Everything read too oversized. She listened to her mom and the idea was there, but not fully conceived with regard to execution. I wish her coat had been longer and more fitting. I didn’t love the concept of a bell-bottom pant either. Jenni has had some success in the top so I would have picked her to stay in this scenario, but with 2 friends making up the bottom, sadness was inevitable.

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SALLY BEAUTY SHOUTOUT — Lovely waves!

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So yes, with that, Jenni was out this week. Her look too had some construction issues, but a more major issue here was this look was not at all suited for her mom. It read “Jenni” 100%, but there wasn’t any adaptability to the client. I really wouldn’t see her mom wearing this at any of the events she mentioned. Jenni does have a strong aesthetic, but in terms of it being expansive and having the ability to be molded to different occasions, I’m just not sure she is there yet.

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Proj. Runway — Sally Beauty Challenge

I’m not sure if dubbing this episode as the “Sally Beauty Challenge” is 100% accurate, but Sally Beauty did play a major role this week. The designers met Tim Gunn and lead Sally Beauty stylist Gregory Patterson on the runway for all of the details!

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Gregory announced that Sally Beauty would be hosting a pop-up shop in NYC, more specifically in Soho. The designers’ looks would be showcased in the window displays and the the public would cast their vote for the winning looks. The public’s vote would count for 20% of the overall results. Three teams would be put together with 3 designers each. The separate teams would each be assigned a color palette to then create a 3-piece cohesive collection. Here were the team breakdowns —

Team Red Violet — Erin, Dexter, & Cornelius

Team New Neutral — Jenni, Nathalia, & Mah-Jing

Team Hues of Blue — Rik, Laurence, & Roberi

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Each team received a $600 budget for Mood and 1 day to create their collection. Naturally since this was a team challenge week, there was some workroom drama. Mah-jing initially felt left out of his group, but after Tim’s critique, they really came together. Cornelius felt left out of his group and never really jived with them as it soon became evident post runway.

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The designers were off to the pop-up shop to see how the public voted. It really came down to neutral versus blue, with Team New Neutral pulling out the win. Each team member received $500 to shop for Sally Beauty products. I kind of wish the judges had not known who the public voted for, although it didn’t seem to sway their scores. The judges went with Hues of Blue as the winner, leaving Red Violet as the bottom group.

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Joining this week’s judging panel was Kelly Osbourne. This was a hard runway I think to really label a “losing” group. I think Heidi said it correctly to Team Red Violet in that their looks were not all bad, but compared to the others, they did pale in comparison. I could see why new neutral won the NY public vote and it was a toss up for me between them and hues of blue. But I think if I had to choose, my winning team this week would have been New Neutral. But my favorite individual look would have been Roberi.

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With New Neutral, there was such a edgy, cool, street-chic vibe with this collection — also very boho chic. These tones could have been a bore, but this group made a neutral pop. I liked the great show quality here, but also wear-ability was a huge factor.

SHOUTOUTS — Sally Beauty for all, naturally with all of the highlights put in

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But as I mentioned, the judges selected Hues of Blue as the winning team. I love blue, so I did love most of what the designers did here. I really loved the plaid. Roberi was the winning designer of the group and I of course loved this decision. The sweater was intricate, very fashion-forward, but was also super practical. It worked on so many levels. And the skirt was also top notch.

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SHOUTOUTS — More lovely highlights from Sally Beauty, but I also loved the beauty look here from Mary Kay

Laurence’s look was also pretty great, especially the blazer. The pants were also nice as well, some stunning details as you looked closer. I was not as in love with Rik’s look as the judges were. I thought the dress was a little plain, a little basic. I recall Tim saying some of the pieces were a little simplistic and that was my thought with Rik’s dress. The plaid coat was okay, but it read a little thin to me. I didn’t look at it and think it would provide warmth compared to that say of Nathalia’s jacket.

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So of course, Team Red Violet was the bottom group, meaning Dexter, Erin, or Cornelius would go. Firstly, I would put out there that all 3 groups were made up of 2 friends. Any of these groups being in the bottom, I feel as if one designer due to friendship would have been the one picked to be eliminated, such as Erin and Dexter did with Cornelius. I don’t think I would have called them “Mean Girls” because we all knew they were friends and would leave Cornelius out in the cold. None of this being right of course, but was fairly predictable from the get-go.

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It did seem as if at first, Cornelius was not being listened to. I thought we were seeing a change here, but the one area that was not truly listened too was regarding the “too much read” comment. This was the biggest problem in my eyes for this group. The other groups had some breaks in the color. And with red being so bold, so bright, you would think a plan would have been executed on this. And then to further exacerbate the issue, the styling was also too red. For more on the direction of the collection, this did put Dexter in jeopardy. His look was also not that great. I felt a little underwhelmed. And when looking at all that Cornelius did, some at the direction of Erin it appeared, I think that is what made his look suffer.

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The judges were right to point out that Erin should have thought a bit more about her team here. She executed an excellent coat, but why would she not do more. I’m not sure of the episode slant in how it was portrayed that Erin & Dexter were goofing off quite a bit, but my thought is that if they weren’t talking and playing around, their wouldn’t have been enough footage to show on the matter. Cornelius did really get the raw end of the deal here, doing all of the work and then ultimately being sent home. Tim Gunn was right in that regard to save him as this was result was not the fairest of all. I was still a little upset Tim didn’t use the save a few weeks back, but Tim’s use here was the right thing.

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