Leanne Marshall — Modern, Breathtaking Beauty



Forest green silk wool tank gown with hand painted ivory silk organza skirt

In Leanne’s own words — “This was a dream come true!” There is likely no better way to describe the debut presentation for Leanne Marshall at MBFW, Lincoln Center than her own words. Presenting for her first time at Lincoln Center, The Pavilion, I’m sure was nothing short of a dream come true, an unimaginable experience! Leanne’s show was my 1st ever, and I’m happy I was able to be at her 1st showing at Lincoln Center, a very momentous and memorable occasion.


Ruby silk chiffon gown, plunging neckline, hand painted silk ivory organza detail



Forest green silk wool empire waist gown with silk chiffon draping


Tea length white double crepe wool skirt with sheer black chiffon blouse

For her A/W 2015 collection, Leanne was inspired by director Francois Truffaut’s 1975 tragic film story, The Story of Adele H. The film was based on memoirs of Adele Hugo, daughter of Victor Hugo. It follows a young woman across the globe as she pursues the love of a man who doesn’t return her affections. As this man continuously rejects her, love turns into obsession, which slowly drives her insane.


Sheer black organza silk arapea short dress



Hand painted ivory silk organza gown with forest green asymmetrical velvet detail


Hand painted sheer silk ivory organza dress with draped details

Staying true to the film, this collection is segmented into 4 sections.

Le Voyage — The Voyage

The woman is making her passage, journeying for love. She is full of dreams, that the love she awaits for will to be waiting in return for her. The color palette here is black, with pops of olive green and gold. I can see a free-flowing vibe here with the silhouettes though, suggesting hope, openness. A woman here is carefree, unbeknownst of any negativity or trouble around her.


La Chasse de l’amour — Love’s Chase

Next, the woman is actively pursuing her love. She will stop at nothing to win the affection of her dream lover, even if he says no. The color palette her is deep, emerald greens mixed with taupe and ivory. We also get to first experience some lovely dye treatment from Leanne. The theme here is pursuit and what I’m seeing is a mix of purity, lots of white, representing this woman’s pure, clear vision of her love. But some of the pieces, the ones working with dye, show that this vision, upon closer inspection, is clearly a bit muddled. The woman’s vision is blurred.


La Obsession — The Obsession

Love turns to obsession. She can think of nothing but one man and her determination to have him. As she is haunted, day in and day out, her grip on reality loosens. There is a lot of red and deep burgundy in these pieces, clearly representing a lustful, passionate love. The silhouettes are very loose, not as pulled together, showing a woman who is in shambles.





Handpainted burlywood and wine silk chiffon gown with spaghetti straps & asymmetrical draping


Rust silk chiffon gown with spaghetti straps & draping


Sheer rust silk chiffon tank gown

La Demence — Madness

For this woman, all logic and reason is now gone, leaving her a total mess and in tears. Thus, her descent to madness begins. There is still such a beauty to these pieces, but structure and form are not by the book. Colors are void, very deep and dark.


Sheer navy long sleeve silk organza gown with textured skirt


Navy silk wool strapless gown with hand-painted textured silk organza skirt


White & navy silk organza gown with asymmetrical hand painted bodice detail


Navy blue long sleeve silk sheer chiffon gown


Strapless navy blue gown with silk chiffon organza skirt

I am in love with this collection. Her work with hand-painting and dye treatments have created pure magic in these pieces. You can see this crazed woman represented in these pieces, yet there is still elegance and glamor. The pieces here are truly stunning, very eye-catching, and I love that there is such a focused story here. Leanne presented 2 collections this season, a RTW, and more upscale as seen here. With so much work on her plate, she clearly could have let some pieces slip, but she has not done that. She has stuck to her high quality, ethereal signature, but has still evolved and created some very modern pieces. CONGRATS LEANNE!



Silk ivory chiffon gown



Taupe, ivory, rust silk chiffon organza gown

Celebs & special guests in attendance — Nervo music/Nervo sisters, Kira Dikhtyar, Andrew Werner, Jason Christopher Peters, DJ Helena, Lily Lane

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Show credits —


Ivory silk chiffon organza gown with asymmetrical hand painted bodice



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Rust silk chiffon gown with spaghetti straps


Ivory silk chiffon gown






Leanne Marshall Designs for the Modern Ethereal Woman


For NYFW, Leanne Marshall presented her S/S 2015 collection to an always welcoming crowd at Helen Mills Event Space. The theme was fairy tale-esque, very ethereal. I will always remember that a Leanne Marshall fashion show was the 1st one I ever attended at NYFW when I moved up to NYC 3 years ago. And each and every show I attend, it’s the same feeling, every piece that comes down the runway catches my attention and I am in awe!


From flowing sheer fabrics to structured shapely garments, each silhouette was feminine and soft, yet empowering. Leanne described the collection as being for “a very ethereal woman – someone you would find in the forest – but then she moves to a city and becomes a little more cosmopolitan and sophisticated. So, a cross between a woodland fairy and an urban woman.”


Detailed features of this collection were fabrics to create a delicate balance between free flowing movement & structure, so use of tulle and sheer organza.


Lots of sheer organza overlay!


Peach tulle & organza, providing for structure, but also ease of movement!


Leanne also incorporated the use of varying floral prints and fabrics, but manipulated them very gracefully to work with a vast array of styles and silhouettes.


Basics in black and white were used,


but there was also some lovely pops of color in mint green


and light, soft hues, such as tans, off-whites, creams.


But what’s always great about Leanne’s designs are her ability to replicate her signature aesthetic to work for a modern woman who is on the go. She really knows how to be and is a very versatile designer. Her looks can take you from day to night, from formal occasions to less formal ones. You can find separates, cocktail dresses, semi-formal looks, and full on eveningwear.


This is definitely one of my most favorite looks — sheer organza overlay, side cutouts, use of a dominant floral print as seen throughout this collection — the perfect fun, girly, flirty, feminine cocktail dress!



Hair & make-up were courtesy of Aveda.


Hair was done in a chic up-do.


While the make-up’s focus was to re-emphasize the ethereal look and almost give the models an alien-esque quality. The Aveda and design team worked tirelessly to pull off the exact look they wanted!


Leanne as fully amazed me yet again — such a creative mind, who sticks to her design aesthetic and makes clothes that all women would love to wear!












What’s Going on with Kate Pankoke for Elaya Vaughn?

headshotkate                                                                       PJRKPSo Kate Pankoke was a recent designer contestant on Lifetime’s hit show Project Runway. In fact, she was a contestant on both season 12 and season 11. I enjoyed both of her stints on the show. I was very much honored to see her final runway collection presented during MBFW this past September. Despite her not winning Project Runway, she will always be a winner in my book!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Kate. She was such a delight. I’ve also enjoyed learning more about Kate through her work as creative director for Elaya Vaughn Bridal. I’m pleased to share more information about this stunning brand, it’s upcoming line for next year, and we can’t go without paying a bit of tribute to her standout moments on Project Runway. So here is the brand basics for Elaya Vaughn, and also a bit of background on Kate.

4dc50df70afdf148bd28fbf4d62e0e28                                elaya-vaughn-lovely-jeweled-empire-waist.previewThe brand was launched in 2010. As Kate describes the brand, “it’s more than a brand; Elaya Vaughn is an Experience.” She wants to make sure the wedding gown selected by her client, the whole process, down to the big day, is truly an unforgettable experience. She ensures that each gown consists of the highest quality of materials/embellishments, such as silk Swarovski crystals and metal coil boning. Kate’s strongest attributes play right in hand with her work for the brand.

As was seen on Project Runway and as can be seen from her work (images in this post), Kate is all about artful femininity — a true focus and commitment to fit for each woman’s figure. I could go on and on about how breathtaking her work is, how effortlessly the work appears, but that in reality each piece is consumed with very hard and detailed work. Rather, I am going let these images continue this story so enjoy!


A-line gown comprised of silk satin-faced organza with a tulle skirt overlay. The bodice & tulle skirt are trimmed in delicate Alencon-style lace appliques and a scalloped lace hem.

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE AKIANA

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    AkianaFA voluminous ball gown with tiers of silk satin-faced organza and with an asymmetric draped bodice that is accented at the waist by a grosgrain ribbon & beaded silk organza flower.

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE ELLOISE

ElloiseB                                                                                            Ad1This is a ball gown of cascading tiers of gathered & pleated silk taffeta ruffles with sweetheart neckline accented by rhinestone edging. The waist also has a asymmetrical beaded rhinestone applique.

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE JUNE

A-line gown with asymmetric draped strapless bodice, also with a silk satin-faced organza that overlays a floral print.

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE GWEN

Alencon-style lace A-line gown with a neckline & hem trimmed in a delicate scallop. Also with tulle skirt overlay.

Elaya Vaughn | Carolina | 2013                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE JORDYN

579682_445515482203162_1554397252_n                                      Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogStunning drop waist gown with corseted bodice comprised of silk duchess satin culminating to a voluminous tulle skirt

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    JordynFTHE DAISY

Silk satin-faced organza mermaid gown with a seductive close-fit, a corseted bodice that hugs the body and is paired with a silk chiffon & silver beaded fringe shawl.

DaisyF                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE ZOE

Strapless gown encrusted with Swarovski crystals with a gathered tulle skirt creating an A-line silhouette.

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE DARLA

A romantic draped tulle gown with mermaid skirt that wraps asymmetrically

DarlaF                                                                                   DarlaB

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE MARIA

Detailed tulle ball gown with a pleated chiffon bodice overlapped by a draped tulle tank. There are 2 abstract beaded rhinestone appliques which accent the shoulder and then the waistline. The skirt has 3 asymmetrical tulle tiers.

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE GISELLE

Silk taffeta drop waist gown with a neckline and applique on abstract bow, which is embellished with rhinestones. This is a trumpet skirt with a cascade of ruffled tiers.

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE DAPHNIE

A-line gown with a silk charmeuse bodice accented by 2 rhinestone appliques & a lace-up back; also with silk satin-faced organza skirt.

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogTHE MARLO

Slinky silk charmeuse gown with silk chiffon accents and a wrapped tank bodice with sheer straps.

Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | Catalog                                                                                    Elaya Vaughn | 2013 | CatalogAnd to end, here are some great Project Runway memories. I can’t wait to see what is in store for Kate next — a future RTW line, more bridal, more eveningwear, the sky is the limit!!


KatePankoke-620x913                                                                    slide13-ytv-Project-Runway-Heidi-Dresses-08-Layana-Aguilar-Kate-Pankoke-jpg_010522


-project-runway--sea                -project-runway--sea2                   -project-runway--sea1MBFW COLLECTION

bd0HPNr                                                             Kate7


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