Saying Hello to “Under the Gunn” & Goodbye to “PRAS”

I’ve never been satisfied with only 1 season of Project Runway a year. Well then came PRAS, which I still have my qualms about, but it at least gave me somewhat of what I wanted. Of course now, maybe we won’t need a PRAS EVERY YEAR! WHY? Because now we have “Under the Gunn.”

tim-gunn-anya-ayoung-chee-nick-verreos-mondo-guerra-under-the-gunnSo as PRAS closed the curtains for season 3, Lifetime’s new show UTG unveiled it’s 1st showing! From writing/blogging at this point, I have not watched the 1st episode yet, but I wanted to do a fun intro post to kick things off — discuss the outline of the show, maybe see who my early faves are, etc. But first, since there was a reunion special for PRAS, I have to say a few parting words right!

So the reunion started off with a recap of the finale presentations. Ultimately I still agree with Seth winning, despite all the more detailed backstories given. But Korto is not without other good news since she announced she was pregnant so CONGRATS to her!! We also saw a bit more on the Elena story I always thought they were pushing this season — her dark horse title, never winning a competition her season, etc. I think the producers really wanted to push her as the winner, but couldn’t after the final collections were made. Her collection just wasn’t that great.

PJAS3We also had to relive the Chris/Viktor argument. I still think Viktor overreacted. He gave a few bits of advice to Chris, yet somehow that made his garment suck?!? Ahhhh, no, I don’t think so! But not all drama, we got to see some extras from some of the designers’ wins — Debbie Harry will be wearing Elena’s punk jacket on tour; Jeffrey did costume work for Lifetime movie Flowers in the Attic; Viktor made Alyssa his cocktail print winning look, which she said she would love to wear.

There were some un-fun parts as we saw about Daniel’s horrific-looking car accident; I’m glad he’s okay! Oh and wait, another surprise announcement, what is in the PR water because Zanna also announced pregnancy news. So DOUBLE CONGRATS to her since she’s expecting twins!! Irina was very quiet during the show so it was nice to see some attention finally shift there. We of course had to relive the “bridal” catastrophe. Although I still contend that dress was not bridal and it could totally have been worn on the red carpet! And as she said, I don’t see why she was not given the chance to move forward when other designers this season got 3rd and 4th chances.

But to end on a positive note, it was back to Seth and he said he just finished his QVC line. Also, he will be partnering with Mary Kay to work on a collection so that is great news! I look forward to seeing some of these designer’s names in the future because I think a few will have some continued successes!

But now onto the highly anticipated new reality design competition, UTG! Tim Gunn has been such an integral part of PR and I am very excited to see him in a new role. He is now passing his mentor-ship role to 3 former PR alums — Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee, and Nick Verreos. This is all with the goal of proving they have the vision and business savvy to mentor and manage a fashion empire with 15 new up-and-coming designers under their watch.

TimGunn                    UnderTheGunn_NickVerreos                 UnderTheGunn_MondoGuerra

UnderTheGunn_AnyaAyongCheePersonally, of these 3, I love Nick the most so I am definitely rooting for him. Although Mondo did a great job with his design time on PR, so I am excited to see how he does as well. Now with Anya, this is a whole different story for me. I will say, not a fan, but I am interested to see how she copes with this type of show. She could barely sew on PR, but somehow pulled thru & won, so let’s see if she can self-teach her way thru the business of fashion too!

Each mentor will have a team of designers they must manage, coach and, when necessary, knock down with tough love in order to lead them to runway success. This new crop of designers will face the critiques of designer Rachel Roy, celebrity stylist Jen Rade, creator of some of the most iconic red carpet looks in Hollywood, and TV fashion correspondent and Marie Claire Senior Fashion Editor Zanna Roberts Rassi.

UnderTheGunn_RachelRoy                    UnderTheGunn_JenRade                 UnderTheGunn_ZannaRobertsRassiThe show’s sponsors are: Lexus, Marie Claire Magazine, Benefit Cosmetics, Blowpro, francesca’s, Brother Sewing and Embroidery and ROWENTA. I have to say, I love francesca’s. I have shopped their for years, always considering the boutique vintage shop as almost a hidden treasure. But I’m so ecstatic they are making their way to the forefront on as big a platform as this show! Their jewelry and accessories are some of the most fave pieces I own with my personal collection so I think they will do a great job with complimenting the looks this season!

In the first two episodes, the process is, Tim will present a race-around-the-clock challenge to the fashion hopefuls. The three mentors will measure the skill level of the contestants and duke it out to determine which four designers will land on their teams. Then, Tim will present new challenges that will test the mentors’ ability to bring out the best in their designers as they guide them through the competition. But remember, only 1 designer and 1 mentor will win and I am EAGER to see how this all plays out! And this is what they win:

  • a cash prize of $100,000
  • a sewing and embroidery studio
  • an all-expense paid trip to Paris
  • Blowpro styling products
  • the opportunity to design the uniform for Benefit Cosmetics’ field team members and unveil the ensemble during a national press conference in New York City
  • a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine
  • a one-year position as guest editor for Marie Claire
  • a 2014 Lexus vehicle
  • and the opportunity to design a collection sold exclusively at Francesca’s.

Pretty decent prize pack!! So you can look at all the designers on your own and do so right here, but these are the few I was impressed by the most when looking at their past work, bios, etc.

OSCAR GARCIA-LOPEZ:                                                      UnderTheGunn_OscarLopez

I mean, all I can say from reading his online bio & looking at his portfolio of work is WOW!! His story seems like such a real-life struggle and thru hard work and determination, he is finally living his dream. For his work, I mean the eveningwear is stunning. I could seeing it rivaling some of the many gowns I’m seeing on the red carpet season now! Very eager to see his work develop and hope he does well on the show!




AMY SIM                                                   UnderTheGunn_Amy

So first off, wow, this lady is over 50! I am shocked because she certainly doesn’t design for the over 40 crowd, nor does she look her age! I see from her past work she is very versatile with her range — menswear, dresses, pants, jackets, blazers, etc. I love how fun, flirty, & feminine her looks are and look forward to seeing her on UTG!



NATALIA FEDNER:                                                                              UnderTheGunn_Natalia_Fedner

In just reading Natalia’s online bio she seems like a ball of energy and of charm. So much of her portfolio were sketches and I wish I could have seen those actual pieces, but regardless, she still had a few actual looks that were eye-catching. I am all about gorgeous back details and I saw one from her that was STUNNING!




BRADY LANGE                                                 UnderTheGunn_BradyLange

I can say I didn’t love every look in the portfolio, but there were a few that caught my eye and definitely make me think there is something about this guy! From reading his online bio, it sounds as if he might be a handful, but hey, that’s reality TV!












This is Still Project Runway All-Stars, Right??

So I’ve made the argument before that PR shouldn’t have an All-stars every year. It kind of defeats the purpose in my opinion. But if they are going to do this, they should really remember the definition of the term All-Star: best of the best; a star performer or in this case designer. I don’t know in what universe what transpired this week makes any logical sense. It just doesn’t, plain & simple. But like I’ve thought all along, I think this season has already been carved out for someone. I feel all during PRAS season 1, we knew Mondo was going to win. And then the same thing for season 2. I felt pretty certain Anthony Ryan was a shoe-in; it came as no surprise. What are your thoughts?? Who do you think I’m thinking of!?!



And before we get to the individual image critiques, I want to share some images I quickly discovered in all of 5 minutes. Pictures of what you say?? White dresses, that yes, could go bridal, but were nonetheless stunning on the red carpet. That whole quip this week about white dresses not being on the red carpet was crap. I guaran-frickin-tee, these judges probably loved many of these dresses I’m showcasing, but I guess to find an excuse to get out a front-runner, it was an easy go to!

kate-hudson-white-plunging-back-gown-at-SAG-awards-celeb-red-carpet-fashion                                                             article-2320672-19A6E054000005DC-749_634x865More on that later! So the designers were whisked off this week, by helicopter no less, to QVC‘s headquarters in Westchester, PA. The challenge was delivered this week by QVC program host Lisa Robertson, who also served as a guest judge this week. The instructions were to create a stunning and glamorous red carpet gown. The winning look would be worn by Lisa for QVC’s star-studded gala broadcast for the Oscars. The designers were told the dress needed to be very versatile — had to walk well for the red carpet, ability to stand/sit with ease, look good on TV for the live broadcast & photograph well. Also, the winning look this week would have a version sold on QVC later on, probably after the Oscars broadcast I think.

Snow-White-Celebs                                                                 GGThe designers sketched away, right at home, in Isaac’s studio at QVC. He also stopped in for a visit and told the designers to “Go for it!” & “Pull out all the stops!” The designers were then off to Mood with a $300 budget. This was a 1 day challenge so yes it was filled with freakouts, mainly by Elena as per usual. PRAS also aired a personal share moment from Viktor this week. He apparently has told only his partner, not even his family, but on a show aired to millions, he comes out that he is HIV+. I applaud Viktor for his courage, but I’m not sure where this came from, very left field. Mondo had a similar touching moment during his season, but it seemed to be more in place when it all happened. I’m not sure if PR was trying to repeat that moment, but it was a bit confusing for it to come out now.

The guest judges this week, along with Lisa, were Mondo Guerra (PRAS 1 winner) and talented actress Elizabeth Moss. Zanna made sure to really push some buttons this week when she told the designers that she wasn’t seeing all-star quality this week and I sort of agree. This was an odd week and I didn’t see a clear top and bottom. I had only one designer I clearly placed in the top, my winner and then one I clearly placed in the bottom and who I think should have gone home. Everyone else just sort of drifted in the middle because there were both good and bad elements to each look.

pras03-ep7-episode1Let’s start with Irina and let me get a bit more venting out of the way, haha! Irina’s look was not a winning piece this week, but should not have been the look that sent her home. I was rooting for her so I’m very upset she’s gone. As you can see throughout this post, white dresses are often on the red carpet. And her mermaid gown was more off-white if you ask me. Yes, it ripped. I think the walking aspect was a bit difficult this week. She didn’t quite meet the mark all the way, but still in no way think should she have gone home. Gowns are hard to do in 1 day and this was something, done right with time, that could easily be worn on the red carpet and be on many’s best dressed list. You wouldn’t have to say “change the color and material to make it work”, which I think Alyssa said to do in order to make Viktor’s work more appealing. Why not just change the entire design? But I was surprised Irina even came back on PR. I don’t think she needs this show, whereas other designers might!


I will move to Elena next, since I had issue with her scale-like gown, but I don’t think she should have been in the running to go home. I will say, at least Irina stuck up for her gown, whereas Elena couldn’t muster any support. Her gown was different, it was a risk. I applauded those efforts. The details were great, but I don’t think they photographed well. I also think the shape was off-putting and it needed to be a bit longer. But other than that, it was at least something different, something unique.


Next up, let’s look at Seth Aaron. I always look at Buddy TV. They do a slideshow and rank their looks. As I’ve said and they agreed, Irina shouldn’t have gone home. But they had Seth in the bottom two?? I had a hard time ranking this week, but I think Seth’s look was fitting there or definitely bottom 3. It wasn’t a bad look, but it just wasn’t glam enough for the red carpet. It looked comfortable, easy to walk-in, but hey, Lisa still wants to fit in with the rest of the glamorous A-list celebs while at the Oscars and this dress wouldn’t have done the trick.


Speaking of a lack of glam, let’s look at the winner this week, Korto. This look, while also not horrible, just didn’t translate to Oscar red carpet. I mean, red carpets happen for so many events. Maybe this could have worked for a movie premiere or charity event. But this is for the Oscars and this look is going to fade away that night, guarantee! Adding a sparkly belt doesn’t make this a glamorous red carpet dress. I love that she went for that bold tangerine color and I wish somehow the top could have been just as bold. But the taupe mixed with tangerine just didn’t work.

-project-runway-al3l-So my winner would have been Chris. It could have used a tweak here or there, but this dress worked for the Oscars red carpet. It was a gown, floor length & tulled out to the  max and was stunning. I think the model looked like she was walking just fine. It also had the leather details, which did modernize the look. I also loved the navy blue color and think it would have been most fitting for the night. Lisa would have looked great in this, much more so than Kortos’. Maybe QVC was more about selling the winning look than the gala?? I could see Korto’s being easier to sell than Chris’. But why, because Chris’s gown is just that special and really would only work for a few special situations. Korto’s gown I think has more commercial appeal so that was probably the driving force this week.


So that leaves Viktor, who for me, should have gone home. That olive green color was ghastly. I typed in olive green on google for the red carpet and very few images showed up. The color just doesn’t work. I’ve shared those images as well. But I typed in just green and yes, a few more appeared. But that was more of a forest green or emerald green, something more bold or bright. Color aside, this look also had too much going on, wings, ruffles, etc. I was not a fan. This was the losing look this week, Viktor’s confession aside. I hope that had nothing to do with his staying, but I just don’t see how if someone were Irina’s look and someone wore this one, that Irina’s look would come off worse.

-project-runway-all-No sense, but oh well, onto next week. I’m rooting for Chris now, let’s go!


celebrities-white-dresses-at-met-costume-institute-gala-red-carpet-trend                                     2010-sag-awards-red-carpet-dresses-white-500x436

2010-Emmy-red-carpet-dresses-white-500x415AND YES, SOME, IF NOT MANY OF THESE ARE A BIT BRIDAL AS WELL!











PRAS Designers Partner in Crime to Take on Bonnie & Clyde

PRAS designers get the team/pair’s challenge marching orders this week and so we know what this means, sheer brilliance or utter disasters! I think we got a mix of both, some great looks, no major freakouts, but certainly some interesting collaborations!

So this week was all about Lifetime’s promotion of its new mini-series Bonnie & Clyde, starring Emile Hirsch. It also stars Sarah Hyland and Holliday Grainger who gave the designers the instructions for this week’s challenge. The designers were to work in pairs and create young modern looks inspired by the 1930s and the B&C duo. They were to capture the glamour and romance of this era in both a menswear and womenswear look. The designers were judged separately, but the looks needed to still be complimentary. One designer in the duo would tackle each look for this 1 day challenge.

bonnie_and_clyde_guns_a_lThe PRAS designers definitely showed some maturity and brought some surprises with this pair challenge. Christopher won last week so he got to choose first and selected Viktor. They worked so well and were very helpful with each other. This was so nice to see and definitely was seen with all of the other duos, which was surprising since it would be a solo win, not a team win. Viktor got to choose who would select next and so he chose Seth Aaron who decided to work with Jeffrey. Jeffrey was clearly down this week from his many bottom placements, but Seth Aaron was right by his side, pushing and encouraging, which was so great to see! Jeffrey then chose Irina who selected Mychael. And so, we were left with Korto and Elena, who ended up working very well together. Korto balanced some of the Elena crazy!

bonnie-and-clyde-lifetime-1Elena was of course a bit bothered that Viktor didn’t pick her so I wonder where this frenemy setup is going! Zanna came by for her rundowns and basically encouraged the collaborative partnerships and to use that support for editing eyes! I did feel badly for Jeffrey with his model fitting. His model’s measurements were a year old and Jeffrey was close to finished with his fitted jacket so that blew that he had to make so many changes. But as Irina pointed out, you have to take those moments in stride and move forward.

The gorgeous Georgina Chapman of Marchesa was absent this week so more guest judges arrived to the rescue — former PR and PRAS designer Austin Scarlett, famous supermodel Bar Refaeli, and modern designer Elie Tahari. It was of course sad to see anyone go since there is a lot of talent this season, but the top and bottom were pretty much on point. The winning look would receive a film credit for the film series.

pras03-ep5-episode2It was hard this week to fully grasp the top and bottom because it seemed as if the judges weren’t in complete agreement and that some elements of the garments the judges liked, but for others aspects, they didn’t. Elena and Korto were in the safe zone this week, but who was in the bottom?

I thought Seth Aaron’s popping purple trench coat look was pretty great. I saw the 30’s in the lines and silhouettes, but there were modern touches to it and I loved his attention to details this week. I also thought Alyssa was a huge fan, but then we heard from the other judges who just thought it was a bit too much and that surprisingly placed Seth in the bottom. He was quickly saved and so it came down to Viktor and Mychael in the bottom.

pras03-ep5-episode7I would hate seeing either go, but I did find issues with both garments. Viktor’s look, the fringe was over the top, the cut of the jacket was so wide and a bit off-putting. But menswear is hard to do and is not ever been done very well on this show. Mychael was out this week, which was sad, but his menswear piece was also not a standout. The gold and leather was an odd combo, the jacket was also very short and it just read feminine, not menswear. So adios to Mychael, but what did the top look like this week.

pras03-ep5-episode5                                                                     pras03-ep5-episode15I am glad Irina finally was in the top, but again it was confusing with the feedback. Some liked the masculine leather jacket, while other judges didn’t. I think hands down her sequined top and flowing gold skirt were flawless, but she did find herself nonetheless in the top. Congrats! I was rooting for Christopher this week because his dark red or burgundy sheer, deep V-neck dress was just stunning. But I think the judges were impressed with Jeffrey for his comeback and with a decent menswear look so he got the win with his grey elongated trench coat. He is back on track so the question is, will he stay there?!?




Tune in next week and also remember to keep up with Fashion Nexus by liking my page on Facebook for more upcoming GIVEAWAYS!