PR’s Super Sweet Sixteen!!

Excited that once again, it is Project Runway time! We were able to see many previews for this upcoming season — looks to be a dramatic, 16th season! The designers met each other during their welcome session, sipping on some Grey Goose “Espresso” martinis. Tim & Heidi soon joined, entering in super big style, specifically in a super gigantic RV. Heidi reminded the designers to expect the unexpected, and with that, we were in store for our first surprise!

This season, the models being used range from size 2 to size 22. The models also will get some airtime thru the use of a confessional mirror. Each week, the models rotate. Tim & Heidi wasted no time getting right into the first challenge. Each designer had to create a red carpet look, demonstrating their point of view as a designer. This was a 1-day challenge, with a $300 budget at Mood.

Huge sponsors for this season — PILOT, with the use of Friction erasable pens for sketching; Brother sewing & embroidery studio; JC Penney accessory wall; Avon for makeup & hair. Prizes for this season include the chance to collaborate with JC Penney to create a limited edition capsule collection; $40k prize pack thru Brother Sewing, including 2 industrial machines; a 2018 Lexus; all expense paid trip to Japan; a spread in Marie Claire; $100k, and more!

The Tim Gunn save is in play this season. And rounding out this week’s judging panel of Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, and Zac Posen was actress Olivia Munn. The judges raved about the 1st runway. I thought there were some highlights, but I saw that many had an upwards trajectory for improvement ahead. Additionally, I don’t think some hit the mark on creating for the red carpet. But all in all, still an excellent runway!

I’m still wavering on my final top 3, but it would have been very different than the judges. But ultimately, I was 100% in agreement with the winner of the week, Deyonte. I could see his bold aesthetic coming thru in this look. Would this look be loved by everyone? No! But I could guarantee seeing it on red carpets now and it would make many best dressed lists.

Deyonte said Cannes, but I could see more. The flower placement perfection comment was spot on. This would be a look for a strong, confident woman.

Avon SHOUT-OUT — not for the hair, little matronly, but the makeup was beautiful!

 

Here are my other faves of the week, giving them a little shout-out!

So I actually know Shawn & Claire’s label and had no clue they would be on this season! I was not impressed this week with Shawn, but Claire’s look was gorgeous! Little more of a departure from the work I am used to from this design team, but if this is her solo voice, I LOVE IT! AVON SHOUTOUT — all around for beauty here, perfection!

I was surprised Amy impressed me this much on Week 1. I know she is known for quality and I saw that in this look. But I wondered what would set her apart from other minimalist designers? The ability to transform this look sold me! With more money and time, perhaps the top bra could have been a bit more elegant or sophisticated, but overall, job well done! AVON SHOUTOUT — love the bun, gorgeous makeup as well

A stand alone photo for Kentaro’s look doesn’t do it justice, but the movement here, the fascination attained as it walked the runway, deserves accolade! His previous work with drama and feminine beauty was a clear read in this first piece.

I was wondering what Ayana would, working with her cultural influences with each given challenge. I was impressed. A woman who wanted to don a head covering could really be a stand-out on the red carpet in this look. But additionally, even if this look was sans head covering, it would be super gorgeous. The floral embellishments were captivating.

Moving on to the judges’ faves. I was not surprised Kenya was in the top. I was surprised to see her more shock value aesthetic tamed in this challenge. Overall she did well, but it was not my fave. There was an elegance to this, but I had 2 reasons for keeping this out of my top, both of which the judges mentioned oddly enough! The bodice was a little wonky. And then something with the fabric choice perhaps, wasn’t making this dress look super high quality. But job well done for the 1st challenge!

Brandon struggled this week, so color me shocked that he was in the top. This was more on the bottom of my list! I think you could see it in his face he was confused on making the top as well. I wasn’t sure what red carpet I would see this on and really, this just lacked sophistication for me. Since he is safe, landing in the top, maybe this will give him confidence to forge ahead and impress me in future weeks.

The bottom 3 made more sense than the top. It seems as if Shawn & Claire will get much airtime this season, so I knew she wouldn’t be going home week 1. But this was disappointing to see from Shawn given her experience. She is all about being bold and modern, so I am hoping for more from her in weeks to come. The shorts were such a throwaway here, not making this fit for any red carpet. One of the judges said “club-by” and that was a good label for this.

Leaving ChaCha and Batani in the bottom 2, I was happy Batani was safe. I was so impressed with her previous work as well, so seeing this trainwreck was very disappointing. Even despite the mistakes seen/made, why was this her goal for the week. The color, the use of lace, doesn’t really seem like her forte or aesthetic. The back was worse than the front. And why did she lie about the hidden mistake/tear/hole!

This sadly left ChaCha out first, which anyone leaving first is always sad! He had such a great spirit. And with a wacky, interesting aesthetic, I would have enjoyed seeing a little more. Not sure he would have had the ability to stay for the long-haul, but seeing the fun exuberance wouldn’t have been bad for another week or two! But this look was not that exciting, very much a hot mess!

Until next week……

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 — Blacklight Fashion

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This past episode of Project Runway, what a fantastic one it was! Tim & Heidi were there right from the get go to intro the challenge, which was a first for PR. Each designer had to create a look that sparkled not only in daylight, but under black lights. Tim then went to meet the designers in the workroom for more on the inspiration behind the challenge.

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Joining Tim in the workroom was Sherrianne James, VP of Marketing for Transitions Optical, eyewear that transitions based on lighting. The winning design would appear in an exclusive spread in Marie Claire. The designers were obviously stoked! The workroom was filled with new UV materials — paints, highlighters, and lights. And a room had been outfitted with black lights so the designers could test their looks.

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It was then time to head to Mood, with a $200 budget, to start this 1 day challenge. Throughout this episode, we saw some touching workroom support, such as ‘Happy Fathers Day’ wishes to Mah-Jing. We also learned these designers were getting a little frisky, talking about wanting conjugal visits and all!

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Tim Gunn time made me all the more excited to get this runway show going! I also later heard Heidi announce the Tim Gunn save was in play for this season. I hadn’t heard her say this before, maybe I missed it, but good to hear it’s there if need be! And the guest judge for this inaugural runway was actress Jaime King. Of course, then all of the judges got to hear Jenni’s crazy laugh! But enough of the pre-runway details, so just how crazy good was this runway!?!

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I was excited about the black light portions. Some of the designs didn’t really work without the black light, but we all know the point here was to look crazy cool under that type of light than regular lights! Picking a top 3 would have been so hard here, I have to give some personal fave shoutouts!

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pr15-ep3-sd-final  Sarah, super cute, very Gossip Girl-esque. The skirt effect under the black light was very cool as well. SHOUT-OUTS FOR SALLY BEAUTY, LOVE THIS CHIC PONYTAIL & MARY KAY, CLEAN, FRESH LOOK!!

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pr15-ep3-rp-final  Please tell me how Roberi missed the top 3 here!! This flirty dress was great, both for the regular runway and the black light portion. It really looked like under the sea magic! Also, another SHOUTOUT DUO FOR SALLY BEAUTY, FREE FLOWING HAIR, & MARY KAY, SIMPLE, CLEAN LOOK!

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And lastly, Nathalia, not the greatest without the black light, a little to crazy coloring, workout gear-esque, but under the black light, this look was DOPE!

JustFab shoutout for Nathalia’s choice of black & white striped heels, super cute and looked very cool under the black light

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On now to the judges top 3, and I’m just skipping to the winner, because here it was clear, ERIN!! This dress looked a little cooky on the runway, but would stand out anywhere! But under the black light, I was in awe! So pretty, so fun, the details on this dress were mesmerizing. The judges I think made a mistake or 2 in their top 3, but this was the winner regardless!

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pr15-ep3-co-final  Cornelius too did a great job this week. I wasn’t sure if the judges would get the now-ness of this emoji dress, but I’m happy they did! The transformation this dress made from white sheath dress to fun spirited emoji dress under the black light was AMAZING!

SHOUTOUTS — Mary Kay, love the pop of colors!

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pr15-ep3-jr-final Rounding out the top 3 for the judges was Jenni. I was a little surprised they were so gaga over this look. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the hand paint detailing on the trim of the clear raincoat aspect of the look. But I didn’t envision top 3 here. Plus, they of course didn’t point this out, but during the judges close up look, you could see the paint was coming off again, a problem which Jenni had in the workroom.

SHOUTOUT — Sally Beauty, love the curly updo

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pr15-ep3-rv-final Moving onto the bottom 3 for the judges, it mostly made sense. The judges, mainly guest judge Jaime King, seemed super offended by Rik’s look. It definitely looked way worse up close than on the runway since you could see the cheek exposure! But all in all, it was too much for the eye to take in.

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pr15-ep3-mjw-final  Mah-Jing also landed in the bottom, actually super close to going home. For the 2nd week in a row, the judges were in such a heated debate on who should go home. Annoyingly, last week, Heidi won out, with I think Zac caving in, saving Brik, sending Linda out. By the way, not really loving Brik — his look this week, not anything to write home about, just a white dress that barely did much under a black light!

But back to this week, Heidi was on the outs again this week, as she seemed to be the only one who wanted Mah-Jing out. Not sure what Heidi is thinking so far this season, but Kimber going home was the better choice! Yes, Mah-Jing’s look was not great, but he owned up to it, and admitted his mistakes. Plus, this was his 1st slip-up, whereas Kimber was in the bottom last week as well.

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pr15-ep3-kr-final  So yes, as mentioned already, Kimber went home this week. Her look wasn’t all that bad on the runway, but it didn’t really do much under the black light. In both regards, it was just kind of a yawn.

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Until next week……

 

And So It Begins….NYFW

RUBIN SINGER

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Rubin Singer’s fall / winter 2016 collection began with an exploration of his intentions as a designer. Staying true to his core image of architectural femininity, Singer delves into new categories, new shapes, and new fabrics for the new season. Unique in his approach to designing, Singer starts with an inspiration, such as the mathematical formulation “Homomorphism” (that any given formula ends up in the same place no matter how many times you change it), which is the hallmark for the fall / winter 2016 season, and then moves to fabrics – textures & colors – and from there the shape and pattern of his creations are revealed.

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RUBIN SINGER FW16

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I have a hard time peeling my eyes away from these stunningly superb looks. There is variety, whether from the silhouette to the fabric. Many of these looks are very much red carpet worthy and I hope to see some of these again soon.

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RUBIN SINGER FW16

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PR — Agentry PR; HAIR — Jon Reyman for Aveda; MAKEUP — Janell Geason for Aveda; CASTING — Julius Poole; JEWELRY — Jacob & Co.

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JILL HABER

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A breath of fresh air from the sea of apparel was being able to the Jill Haber presentation — handbags & clutches galore!

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SACHIN & BABI

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It’s not easy separating oneself from the pack in the contemporary market, but Babi and Sachin Ahluwalia, creators of the label Sachin & Babi Noir, have been able to hit full stride with their strong focus on evening and special occasion dresses and separates. For fall, the duo presented a charming lineup with plenty of Spanish flare — all done in a romantic yet modern way.

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After a recent visit to the Getty house in Los Angeles, Sachin Ahluwalia was so inspired by the colors and textures in the archives that he wanted to reinterpret it all for the label’s young customer. These looks are insta-faves for not only myself, but any other young, modern fashionista.

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These looks were just so imaginative. I loved the use of color, as well as the many floral prints. There was such a regal, luxe quality about these looks and I feel as if I want to own every single piece.

Sachin & Babi RTW Fall 2016

Sachin & Babi RTW Fall 2016

CLAUDIA LI

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FOR FALL/WINTER 2016, CLAUDIA WANTED TO EXPRESS SELF-PRESERVATION: THE IDEA OF PRESERVING ONESELF AFTER AN EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL DESTRUCTION. THE COLLECTION EMBRACES THE PERIOD RIGHT AFTER. THE PROCESS OF RECOVERING AND THE PAST SEEMINGLY BECOMING AN ILLUSION IS SHOWN THROUGH WRAPPED SILHOUETTES, ORIGAMI KNOTS, PANELS AND LAYERS OF FABRICS.

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NOVELTY YARNS, CASHMERE WOOLS AND LAYERED SHEER FABRICS ENHANCE THE COLLECTION. DENIM CONTINUES TO PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN KNOTTING DETAILS, YARN SLEEVED JACKETS AND BANDEAU TOPS.

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CASTING — Andrew Weir, PRODUCTION — Shades of Grey; MAKEUP — Miyako Okamoto for Shiseido; HAIR — Linh Nguyen for Cutler/Redken; NAILS — Lisa Logan for Red Carpet Manicure; VIDEO — Andrew Swartz; MUSIC — Javier Peral; PHOTOGRAPHY — Monica Feudi; SPECIAL THANKS TO — Launch Collective, Commando, Artbeam

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VIVI ACADEMY — VIVI MOYER

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This is a great collection, very amazing presentation. The attention to detail, namely the beauty look, was spot on!

 

PR — The Smurfs v Barney

Project Runway threw in another group challenge this week. And for this episode, it was a battle of the teams, 2 teams that is. Heidi & Tim delivered the challenge details in paintball-esque style.

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Blake, as the winning designer from last week, got the ball rolling on the team building. He would select a designer and then whomever was next selected would pick the following designer until no designers were left. So for the blue team, Blake picked Swapnil, who picked, Joseph, who picked Jake, who picked Edmond, and who then lastly picked Merline.

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The button bag selected who got the ball rolling for the other team, the red team. The blue team was comprised mainly of guys, which meant the red team was all ladies — Candice, Amanda, Kelly, Lindsey, Laurie, and lastly Ashley.

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With the teams completed, it was then time to play some fierce paintball! Each team would defend a barrel of fabric with 2 paintball guns and paintball grenades. Ashley showed she knew how to handle the gun, while Blake decided to kind of sit this one out and hide.

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The fabric captured would be the supplemental material for the challenge. Tim later revealed the actual material for the challenge would be what the designers were wearing, their paintball jumpsuits which had just been splattered with paint. Each team was to create a 6 look mini-collection. Yes, that meant cohesion must be in play! The designers then headed back to the workroom to start on this 2-day challenge.

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The blue team made great decisions right from the get go. They formed a clear concept, assigned tasks, and really worked great together. Their inspiration was the 50s, to have a Jackson Pollock vibe. They also decided to use a unified textile, which Jake created.

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As the designers arrived back to the workroom, Tim told the designers they could make use of extra white canvas and paint that had been provided. Blake too added to the creativity of the textiles by creating a hand-painted floral print for the fabric.

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The red team pretty much went the exact opposite route. They did not work as a team at all. Everyone was kind of doing their own thing, just creating their own look. They did not ever form a clear concept, even though several attempts were made. Ashley made it clear since she was the last picked that she felt the least welcome. The ladies in making their textiles were hoping to gain inspiration for a concept, but instead ended up with a complete “easter egg festival”, as Tim latter dubbed it.

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All of the white canvas fabric was gone and the ladies were worried as to how their collection could be saved from this color explosion gone bad. Candice attempted to take some form of leadership over the group, but the other ladies were not feeling it. The other designers might not have wanted a leader, but if the women were not going to work as a team, I actually feel as if some leadership was needed here. But the reigns should have been taken to direct the ladies toward cohesion, not just crossing fingers that a concept would arise naturally.

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Tim-time made it clear that he saw what we all were seeing at home. He was quite pleased with the blue team, very excited to see cohesion and that they were all working so well together. Tim was rightfully concerned with the red team, telling them they should feel a little scared. The ladies finally decided on a purple supplemental fabric to be their cohesive thread, in hopes it would also save their looks from being amateur hour to chic fashion.

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Tim later brought in Sally Beauty consultant Liddy Bisanz. Sally Beauty had their mobile nail studio right outside, with over 750 nail colors, for the designers to have at their disposal. They would each visit with a consultant to create a nail design to give each of their looks additional dimension. As the end of the 2nd day was winding down, the blue team was still going strong, while the red team was still all over the place. Laurie and Amanda even had some drama in the sewing room as tensions were all over the place. The ladies hoped to leave the negative energy behind for the morning of the runway, but that was not the case. Laurie told Ashley the other team members were planning to throw her under the bus, and both were over their group dynamics. But at this point nothing more could be done and the runway show was about to begin.

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This week’s guest judges were designer Lisa Perry and Kelly Osbourne.

It was clear from the episode which team was going to be on top and who was not. The blue team made wearable art, whereas the red team created arts and crafts projects. There were a lot of great looks that the blue team put out. Blake and Jake offered a lot to their team with textile creation, but the judges rightfully awarded the win and immunity to the best design. And their pick was Edmond. I agreed, but had they picked Swapnil, I would have been fine with that decision as well. It was a close race for the top.

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Edmond’s gown was effortlessly and breathtakingly stunning. It was a win from all angles, including a gorgeous back.

Sally Beauty shout-out for hair, such a beautiful bun updo, also for Mary Kay, great choice of a bold red lip

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Swapnil was a close 2nd here and this dress looked very fun and fashionable. He used a lot of creativity here, even making use of the shoes the designers wore in creating the back of this dress. It was clear he paid great attention to detail, including putting in pockets!

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Sally Beauty shout-out — lovely flowing waves

Blake would have rounded out my top 3, creating a very clean-cut, minimalist dress. The open back was divine. Blake proved he doesn’t always need bells & whistles to shine. The splashed Pollock paint vibe was great, but I thought the floral hand-painted escalated the prints. I am proud of Blake for doing a great job with that work.

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The judges chose Jake as part of their top 3, but I don’t get it. It was great what he did in creating a fabric, but fabric design doesn’t really show me what a great designer he is. Jake has yet to stand out for me and in my opinion could have gone home on earlier challenges. This look was some of his best work, but that is not saying much. And I can’t help but think back to his previous group challenge and how he didn’t work well with Lindsey. Yet all of a sudden he worked just fine here. Does he have a problem working with women?

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Sally Beauty hair shout-out also for Joseph, more gorgeous waves

It was great to see continued signs of improvement from both Joseph & Merline though. I thought this look was quite different for Joseph, still very ladylike and regal, but not so matronly. Merline too also created a beautiful piece, filled with structure and flare.

As mentioned many times above, the red team was clearly on the bottom and the critiques brought out even more drama. The fabric here was not a plus, but even stronger designers such as Candice and Ashley, had looks that were just not great. Bad fabric should not lead to bad design, which is what happened here. All of the looks just kind of fell flat. There was really nothing special. And even though there was drama and fabric issues, the ladies had always planned on doing their own thing. With that I would maybe have expected 1 or 2 decent looks, but overall, it was very eh. And really with the additional drama on the runway, I was over it at this point. I actually blame all of them and do not feel overly bad for Ashley. Added note though, I do like Ashley, did not think she should go home and knew it was not going to happen. But any of these ladies could have helped in making a change to better the group dynamic here and none chose to take that route. No true leadership was seen and the little bit that was attempted was chastised. It was great Laurie stuck up for Ashley at the end, but she didn’t show any support when Ashley was trying to have her voice heard earlier on in the episode. Being picked last sucks. But Ashley has won 2 challenges and she could have sucked it up and tried to make the best of it. And rather than constant complaints from Candice, Amanda, or whomever, focus should have gone on better planning right from the get go. I’m sure these designers have watched PR before and knew the route they were taking was a recipe for disaster. These are some very talented ladies here who have done some great work this season. I will definitely continue to root for them and hope to see better from them in the future. But this work, this episode, these looks were a hot mess!

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Amanda did not have the best look this week, but she didn’t have the worst. At least there was some flare and great movement with her piece. Clearly the judges chose to send her home based on their view of her body of work rather than sending home designers who have been on the top. I’ve disagreed with the judges placement of Amanda in the bottom, but this is where they’ve put her. Ultimately it led to her elimination this week. She may have not made it to the PR show at NYFW, but I’m happy I will get to see her with House of Perna as she is still showing during fashion week.

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Candice was in the bottom 2, which also made no sense to me. It was not her best work, but it was not the worst of this bunch. It was not perfectly executed, but it had direction. It was more than just a basic, boring top or skirt.

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Ashley & Kelly were too in some danger here as the judges brought attention to their looks. This was definitely not Ashley’s best work. It was clear the judges were not sending her home as she has had some winning looks. Kelly too didn’t fair well with the judges here. There were definitely some execution issues here, but just as I said with Candice, I at least appreciated a sense of direction here and thinking outside of the box. The top was a bit crazy, but for these looks, the crazy outweighed the safe, boring pieces.

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Laurie & Lindsey were in the middle of this bottom pack. And just like the rest, nothing overly impressive or to brag about. Two basic tops, culottes, and some capris, whoopee! The girls had a tough week here, all of them. So here’s to hoping the ladies get back in it next week. I know they’ve done better and know most will get back on track.

Rubin & Chapelle Presents at the Top of the Standard

Rubin&Chapelle-FW15-2And yes, I mean that literally – not just high standards, but at the Top of the Standard Hotel! FW2015 is the most recent stop in RUBIN&CHAPELLE’s continued exploration of modern dress codes. Spring introduced prints in soft tops and dresses. This fall brings heavier fare in tweed coats and trousers.

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Designers Sonja Rubin and Kip Chapelle worked with designer Johanna Michel to develop prints based on traditional Scottish motifs. The results are rescaled and distorted digital prints of tartan and argyle in earth tones and pinks throughout the season’s collection. The Scottish menswear influence appears in tweeds, kilt skirts, distorted tartans, and abstract argyles. “We wanted to modernize the traditional Scottish menswear look for women.”

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Jackets and Tops are mechanically edge fringed. Virtual fringes are on dresses and jackets and achieved through print. The silhouette is generally soft and easy. Bottoms include circle skirts and pencil trousers. Tops include button up blouses and looser shapes. Kilt pleats are softened in silk blends and traditional patterns enlarged. “We’re accustomed with solids, but used a lot of print this season. Layering and mixing prints just felt right”, says Sonja.

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Fabrics utilized in this collection were wool tweed, cotton shirting, wool suiting, duchess silk, silk broadcloth, and silk/cotton blends. These eye-catching prints of course provide this collection with some vibrant colors, hot pink, teal, subtle yellow, tomato red, tangerine, and more. But as a great balance, there are some stand-out pieces in basic colors such as black, white, and grey.

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This collection is brimming with classic silhouettes, which are brought to life by bold details, the graphic prints, leather shoulder details, color-blocking, and more. Wearing any of these pieces, no matter the place, you would definitely not go unnoticed!

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Show credits —

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  • Creative Director – Frank Milliren
  • Design Direction – Marcus Huemer

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NOTABLE GUESTS in attendance: Morgan Stewart and EJ Johnson

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Art Institute of NYC, Spring 2015 Student Show – What Wondrous Works!

The talented students of The Art Institute of NYC recently put on their Spring 2015 student show at MBFW, The Theatre at Lincoln Center. One of AI’s underlying missions is “Creativity for Life.” And with this amazing student presentation just put on, I’m positive these young designers will not be running out of creative design juices anytime soon! It’s great they are in an environment where their creative ideas can flourish.

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There were 12 students who presented mini-capsule collections. Nearly 100 students lent a helping hand in making this show a reality. Let’s see what this bright dozen have in store for Spring 2015!

455079592.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000      NASSIM SHADMANI

Black silk charmeuse & lambskin draped slip dress

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Mauve double-faced charmeuse and black lambskin column dress

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Black double-faced satin silk draped dress

455078134.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000       ANGELO ROSA

Black lambskin studded tank dress with charcoal jersey & tulle skirt

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455078788.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000    FLAVIA NUNEZ

Designer also, Charles Anthony — Satin & faille triangle wrap dress

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Off white & light aqua triangle dress

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Off white & taupe tailored jacket with light aqua shorts

455078568.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000     YOHANNA GURSEY

Two-toned orange jacquard chiffon pleated bubble dress with jeweled mesh bodice

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gold jacquard and blush beaded clutch; Gold jacquard jacket with blush beaded mesh shell top & full length gold jacquard ball skirt

455078498.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000      JOSE MEDINA

Metallic silver lame pant suit

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Metallic deep V-neck peplum top with hot shorts

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Champagne satin dress with pleated organza sleeves

455078308.jpg_312_0_1655.28358209_3000   JOSHUAN APONTE

Iridescent embossed patent leather bodice (sheer cutouts), with an indigo sheer pleated skirt evening gown

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Pale salmon and turquoise jersey hip-picket dess

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Taupe charmeuse and canvas trapeze dress

455078210.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000     CECIL DOVE

Copper cropped jacket with black satin side pocket pants

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Raw edge Petrol gauze & print crop top under olive zip front jacket & chartreuse satin lemon hot shorts

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Gold sheer metallic top with stone satin & petrol gauze pants

455078768.jpg_326_0_1669.28358209_3000   KIBONEN NFI

Sequin trimmed printed crop top with contrast-hem full skirt in matching print

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Black printed bow neck crop top with matching high-slit full-length skirt

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Asymmetrical orange, mix printed tufted top with matching printed pant

455078384.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000    NAREESA SHORTER

Lime green crop top with light lemon yellow asymmetrical circle skirt

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Blue crochet duster over “Much Love” tee with lemon origami skirt

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White jersey knit tube top with Jodhpur style pants & blue knit suspenders

455079244.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000   TORY VAN THOMPSON

Black double knit jersey tee with black wool canvas crop pant with gray pleated overlay

455078602.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000  MICHAEL TORNATO

White Canvas belted kimono with grey window pane joggers

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White vinyl insert sweatshirt over long white zip front shirt with white cropped canvas trousers

455078460.jpg_327_0_1670.28358209_3000        LAVAN CHXEIDZE

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Perforated black poplin and print dress

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Shredded tank with long linen striped shirt over polka dot boxer with side kilt

Additional runway presentation details –

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  • AI President – Jennifer Ramey
  • Dean of Academic Affairs – Dave Moughalian
  • Chair of Fashion Design – Amanda Lovell
  • Financial Services – Daniel Lorenzo & Roz Palmer
  • Nails – Jacqueline Saulsbery for INM Nails

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  • Jurors – Victoria Nulman, Jacqueline Mallon, & Gita Omri
  • Models — Q Management, MSA Models, Adam Models, Major, & Identities
  • Shoes – Delman, Nina, Clarks, & Birkenstocks

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