Project Runway’s Winter Wonderland!

In sharp contrast to the coveted fashion week spots, for S/S 2018, the designers this week were tasked to create winter-themed looks. And with this runway, it was supposed to decide which 4 would be going to NYFW? As we later see, I guess not….

Tim & Heidi met the designers on the runway, snow drifting down, to lay out all of the challenge details.The look created needed to be a high fashion, winter look, one where any fashionista would be thrilled to wear it while out in the cold. Tim & Heidi cautioned the designers to not think of a simple snow suit!

This would be a 2-day challenge, with a $400 budget, meaning the judges wanted to see ambition.To best get in the winter mindset, the designers would sketch in the coldest spot in Manhattan, Minus 5 ice bar. The interior is made of carved ice, a very cool setting!

Mood trips have been pretty par for course over the season, but not this go round! Margarita was the only one who thought fur for a winter look! After planning around this, picking out some select pieces, and even purchasing everything, it was then explained she couldn’t use these pieces. PR is a cruelty free show, so that means NO FUR!! I am not sure if this is spelled out in the massive rule list the designers must follow, but at the very least, it could have been stated as a reminder for this challenge! Tim, with the other designers’ blessing, did permit Margarita 5 more minutes to shop. I understood her initial frustration, given a plan around what she selected. But the constant whining over this, almost the entire first day, eventually started to wear thin.

Tim-time was on Day 2, and while he re-directed a new focus for some, he urged continued efforts for the rest. But the end of Day 2, Margarita was still in struggle-mode! This week’s guest judge was actress Katie Holmes. And what a sight the runway was, all Winter Wonderland’d out!

All designers were on the spot this week, and for the most part it was a judges’ love-fest. Although for some, there was some positives laid out, but mixed with some critique. I think at best, the judges could have picked a solid 3 for fashion week. And if they were set on having 4 show, then as in season’s past, they could have had 2 compete for that final spot, showcasing 3 looks from their collection. However, the judges didn’t allow anyone to receive a pass. This means all 5 designers left will create collections. And when they return to NY, they will most likely select 3 looks that best encapsulates their entire collection. And from that, the judges will decide on a final 4, but who knows, maybe even a final 3??

Personally, I am not a fan of Brandon, but the judges have sang his praises all season, including this week. Every designer also stated if they could go to fashion week, they would want Brandon to join. As much as I am happy he didn’t get a free pass, I think given all of this unwavering support, he could have been set to go. I have not seen growth from Brandon throughout the course of this season. His looks all remind me of each other. What might create an issue for Brandon in the next challenge, is that his 3 looks selected, might all look too similar. And maybe this was thought of internally by the judges.

I guess if no designer was getting a bypass for NYFW, then it makes no sense to only allow for one or two. But another designer who should have gotten this was Ayana. She has been on fire as of late. And while this week, the judges didn’t love every aspect of her look, she still did a great job. She was one of the only designers who I think really strove for full ambition, meaning worthwhile for 2 days of work and a $400 budget. Additionally, most of the other designers also said alongside themselves going to NYFW, she too should join.

Besides Brandon, the only other designer all 4 judges loved was Kentaro. This look really did make simplicity standout. The neutral color palette was a bit grappling for me. I don’t see it working in harsh winters, and this color palette, I just think it would get dirty so easily! But the judges were sold. However, in comparison to someone such as Brandon, who has repeatedly been on top, Kentaro has been in the bottom as of late. I would understand the judges doubting a guaranteed NYFW pass for him.

Margarita was another designer that the judges for the most part loved. I don’t think it was at the same level of Brandon or Kentaro, but approval nonetheless of her fur dress. The judges really liked the coat, but I thought it was okay. In retrospect now, I don’t see that this look felt overall, super luxe. I felt the coat lacked an expensive quality. No other designer picked Margarita when asked about who should join them at fashion week. I am guessing this did not instill much confidence in the judges permitting her the direct shot to show. She too has been on the bottom a lot lately, even being eliminated, but saved with the Tim Gunn save. So with a loved look this week, it did give her the chance to still create for NYFW.

And last, but not least, we have Kenya. She was last to be told she too would get a chance to create and show for NYFW. The sentiment I got from the judges this week was that her looks, even looked at individually, were just okay, but nothing knocked their socks off. Her coat, I find this would be hard to wear a great deal, and I didn’t really gravitate towards the look. Kenya has had no true highs over the course of the season. In fact, as stated at the onset of the week, she is the only one left who hasn’t won a challenge. I completely understand this. The judges have never seemed to gush over her the way they have for others. But I guess given she hasn’t fared too poorly either, this meant she too should get the chance for a mini-preview next week.

So almost a waste of an episode, given no actual decisions were made, but the question still remains, who will show at NYFW!?!

Project Runway, Proceed w/ Caution!

The episode began with the designers discussing the shock of the previous week, 2 designers going home. But all noted, this meant the competition was getting SERIOUS! The designers were off to meet Tim, at an outdoor overlook, for the challenge details. Joining Tim was Brian Bolain, General Manager for Product & Consumer Marketing of Lexus, aka, this was the Lexus challenge!

Brian was discussing the Lexus safety features. This was a play on the week’s challenge, but against how safe Lexus vehicles are. This week, the designers were asked to not play it safe. The 3 Lexus vehicles were filled with many items related to safety, and with that, this week was also an unconventional materials challenge. Each designer would use the various safety items to create a WOW look, to think outside of the safety zone and to not conform to the rules.

There would be no Mood trip this week and it would be a 1-day challenge. With that, the designers had 3 minutes to gather their materials. In getting back to the workroom, Kenya was a focal point. Did she get enough materials? I am not sure of the timeline on her repeatedly asking other designers for scraps, but it seemed often and perhaps a bit early on the day! Tim time was par for course, a couple impressed, but for most, he pressed or urged to see more.

This week’s guest judge was Mr. Robot actress, Carly Chaikin. She was actually at this year’s finale, so it was nice to see her be invested past her point of judging for this particular week.

Heidi pointed out that this was an excellent runway, where there was not much the judges didn’t like. Although Nina & Zac didn’t seem quite on board with that sentiment. The judges seemed to like 4, but not 2. However I thought there was a clearer distinction with a top and bottom 3. So basically I agreed with the judges on the bottom 2, but I would have put Kenya there as well. But I 100% agree that Ayana deserved the win for the week, long overdue if you ask me!

This look was stunning, amazing, so much drama, and definitely not over the top as one jealous designer put it. I am so glad the judges loved it as well!

Next as a fave for me would be Margarita. Zac was right in that Margarita’s aesthetic is probably the least hard to pick out in this bunch, but nonetheless she has created some kick ass looks as of late. And speaking of kick ass, her look here was just that! It was graphic, bold colors, so much imagination. I am glad Nina picked up on the heroic quality as well!

Surprisingly, Brandon was in my top 3 as well. I can’t say I love his looks each week. And I can undoubtedly say, his overall aesthetic is not for me. But the judges seem head over heels with Brandon, so I can’t imagine him being cut before fashion week.

And Kenya also received praise for her look. She was not winning the challenge, but I didn’t see the need to expound accolades for this look. She did peplum, again. And it was a basic, black bandage dress, snooze! It wasn’t even finished properly as her zipper had broken on the runway. I am catching some leniency here, just not sure why.

Everyone left has talent, so until the final group of fashion week is announced, whoever goes, it’s not going to be an easy cut. Sadly, Kentaro & Michael were the clear bottom. I like Kentaro’s body of work better, so for that, I am happy he stayed. But this look could have easily sent him home. Hopefully next week he is way more careful! There was not enough transformation. And I do not get why he went with the Pocohantas vibe? With all of the cultural misappropriation chatter in the fashion realm, one should proceed in that area with extreme caution.

And very unfortunately, this meant Michael went home for his look. He certainly stood by it, still to the very end. It was a sexy look, but perhaps a little too sexy?? However, this look was far too minimal. There wasn’t enough here. Compared to the other looks, it did pale in comparison, which is the same fate bestowed upon Amy just the week before. Neither look was bad, but certainly not up to par with the rest of the bunch!

Until next week….

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 — 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.

 

 

 

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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Style Fashion Week F/W 2016

Some fave looks of mine from Style Fashion Week — definitely fun to look back & reflect!

Select photos by Adam Lein

Malan Breton

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Anthony Rubio Couture

Anthony Rubio Fall Winter 2016, Gotham Hall, NYFW, Style Fashion Week, _1K6A9456-1

Anthony Rubio Fall Winter 2016, Gotham Hall, NYFW, Style Fashion Week, _1K6A9386-1 (2)

Anthony Rubio Fall Winter 2016, Gotham Hall, NYFW, Style Fashion Week, _1K6A9362-1

Anthony Rubio Fall Winter 2016, Gotham Hall, NYFW, Style Fashion Week, _1K6A9178-1 (3)

Bradelis

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House of Perna

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Nancy Vuu

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Nina Gleyzer

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Raul Penaranda

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David Tupaz

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PopImpresska

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Just Drew

Fall/Winter 2016 Collections

Fall/Winter 2016 Collections   Fall/Winter 2016 Collections

Janay Deann

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Farah Angasana

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NYFW — The Art Institute

The Art Institute fashion show is always a delight of my NYFW schedule. It’s great to see such great up and coming talent in the fashion industry. Here was this season’s lineup —

Bahareh Memarian — Art Inst. of Vancouver

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ai-fall-2016-look-52-Bahareh-Memarian   ai-fall-2016-look-51-Bahareh-Memarian

ai-fall-2016-look-50-Bahareh-Memarian  ai-fall-2016-look-49-Bahareh-Memarian

Nhi Nguyen — Art Inst. of Houston

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ai-fall-2016-look-40-Nhi-Nguyen  ai-fall-2016-look-38-Nhi-Nguyen

ai-fall-2016-look-37-Nhi-Nguyen   ai-fall-2016-look--finale-07-Nhi-Nguyen    

Stephanie Castanon — Miami International Univ. of Art & Design

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ai-fall-2016-look-25-Stephanie-Castanon   ai-fall-2016-look-29-Stephanie-Castanon

David Marquise Seward — Art Inst. of Philadelphia

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ai-fall-2016-look-67-David-Marquise-Seward  ai-fall-2016-look-68-David-Marquise-Seward

Alejandra Insunsa — Art Inst. of Phoenix

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ai-fall-2016-look-61-Alejandra-Insunsa   ai-fall-2016-look-66-Alejandra-Insunsa

Zenia De Sousa — Miami International University of Art & Design

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ai-fall-2016-look-10-Zenia-De-Sousa   ai-fall-2016-look-11-Zenia-De-Sousa

Sebastian Cubides — Miami International Univ. of Art & Design

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ai-fall-2016-look--finale-04-Sebastian-Cubides   ai-fall-2016-look-23-Sebastian-Cubides

Tatiana Cochagne — Art Inst. of Ft. Lauderdale

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ai-fall-2016-look-45-Tatiana-Cochagne   ai-fall-2016-look-47-Tatiana-Cochagne

Kimberly Richardson — Art Inst. of NYC

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ai-fall-2016-look-13-Kimberly-Richardson   ai-fall-2016-look-14-Kimberly-Richardson

German Madrigal — Art Institute of Portland

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ai-fall-2016-look-05-German-Madrigal   ai-fall-2016-look-06-German-Madrigal

Altenor Leveille — Art Inst. of NYC — Djoone’s Altenor & Christopher Leveille

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ai-fall-2016-look--finale-06-Altenor-Leveille   ai-fall-2016-look-36-Altenor-Leveille

Lavan Chxeidze — Art Inst. of NYC

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ai-fall-2016-look-58-Lavan-Chxeidze  ai-fall-2016-look-56-Lavan-Chxeidze

Show Credits

 

NYFW & Art Hearts Fashion

Highlights from Art Hearts Fashion — a leading platform for designers and artists to showcase their collections in a contemporary fashion week setting.

Rocky Gathercole

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Mimi Tran

Mimi Tran - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

The MIMI Tran® brand empowers today’s woman by producing apparel in contemporary styles designed to enhance her beauty and celebrate her femininity.

Mimi Tran - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

Mimi Tran - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

Zvonko Markovic Couture

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Charles & Ron

Charles & Ron - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016   Charles+Ron+Art+Hearts+Fashion+NYFW+Fall+Winter+d9JA_sYiDy7x

Charles & Ron is a contemporary lifestyle brand, high-end wearable clothing and bags with a distinct Mediterranean flair and a dedication to superior quality.

Walter Mendez

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Walter Mendez is one of LA’s next top designers, with an eye for texture, silhouettes, and timeless style.

Gregorio Sanchez

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Mister Triple X

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Pineda Covalin

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Pineda Covalin represents the transmutation of ancient cultural expressions that re-emerge to modern life. It is valuable testimony of our popular culture reflected in the mirror of the world.

Shaco Couture

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Shaco+Couture+Art+Hearts+Fashion+NYFW+Fall+gXL0qno7Ec7l   Shaco+Couture+Art+Hearts+Fashion+NYFW+Fall+TFuerqMBq37l

Chaz Aracil

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Chaz Aracil begins to lead the world into his own, constructing a visceral bond with fine art and interactive modes of experience that is possible through precise attention to details and exquisite handwork in each piece.

Marina Micanovic

Serbia Fashion Week At Art Hearts Fashion Presents Marina Micanovic - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016   Serbia Fashion Week At Art Hearts Fashion Presents Marina Micanovic - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

Hallie Sara

Hallie Sara - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

Adolfo Sanchez

Adolfo Sanchez - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

Catch Michelle

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Lulu et Gigi

Lulu et Gigi - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016  Lulu et Gigi - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

Josefa de Silva

Josefa da Silva - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

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Bata Spasojevic

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Mr. Decurtis

Mr. Decurtis - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016Fumo Bespoke

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FuMo brings together the world of traditional Neapolitan tailoring and the influences of high-end fashion.

House of Byfield

House of Byfield - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016   House+Byfield+Art+Hearts+Fashion+NYFW+Fall+dkwLVZZYzfVl

Dunyah

Dunyah - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016   Dunyah - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

Altaf Maaneshia

Altaf Maaneshia - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016    Altaf Maaneshia - Art Hearts Fashion NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

Wilfredo Gerardo

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