MBFW NY Spring 2014 Schedule Plus Zac Posen, Hervé Léger and Jason Wu

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A model walks the runway at the Hervé Léger by Max Azria MBFW Spring 2014 show on September 7th. There is something seductive about zippers.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is alive and kicking and I couldn’t be more excited. I always find this time honored event an opportunity to discover new designers and catch up with my favorite designers. For the curious and committed, this is the entire schedule for Spring 2014 fashion week festivities.

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Project Runway judge Zac Posen kept it classy with leather and floral prints at NYFW Spring 2014.

September 05

September 06

September 07

September 08

September 09

September 10

September 11

September 12

There is more to come all week long. See more style news, photos, and videos at: http://www.mbfashionweek.com/ and for your viewing pleasure, check out Jason Wu’s fashion show.

Project Runway’s Million Dollar Runway Creates Meltdowns

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Guest judge Eric Damon makes camouflage look good.

The minute I saw the promo for Project Runway’s seasons 2nd episode, “Million Dollar Runway”, I got very excited. The challenge of designing creations worthy of $30 million dollars worth of diamond jewelry is exciting and daunting. For this challenge, Heidi brought back the dreaded “button bag” which was used for picking which model diamond baubles they wanted. Whether or not Model Musical Chairs will continue remains to be seen.

This was the contestants first trip to Mood, and they got 45-minutes instead of 30, and they got their Go Bank cards, giving them the option of spending whatever they want on their designs. The additional challenge of managing a $4000 budget on their own is a great twist. Of course, Timothy Westbrook has no choice but to s rummage through scraps for remnants in an effort to stay true to his sustainability mantra. His concept was “From Trash to Treasure.” Of course it was. So predictable.

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WTF? Timothy’s contribution. What some designers think compliments high end jewelry is eye-opening.

Zac Posen swears the velvet came from his studio, but Zac magic wasn’t cast on his latest catastrophe. Seriously, he is the only thing I can’t stand about this season. It’s like someone is sucking all the fun out of it by placing this annoyance in the midst. I wish he would go away. He is annoying, he looks annoying, he sounds annoying, and if he had any talent I could overlook that because the show is about talent. So far, I don’t see any talent, and he has to go.

This is by far the crankiest and most emotionally unhinged group of designers I’ve ever seen on Project Runway, and I have been glued to this show from day one. Sandro Masmanidi is an immature, confrontational hot head, and Sue Waller can’t thread a sewing machine (did she not watch the show before entering?), can’t be gracious when help is given, or accept responsibility for her own short comings. Basically, there are going to be a lot of mental breakdowns and bitching this season.

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Hot head Russian Sandro’s runway look. This deserved a side look. It does go from seductive to street-walker from this angle.
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Honorable mention goes to Sandro. This was damn sexy.
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His bad attitude didn’t stand in the way of making a show stopping stunner.

Helen Castillo, an evening wear designer, with a rough exterior, was so confident she would nail this challenge that she had time to offer unsolicited opinions about the other designers’ creations, but when it came to her own design, she fell flat. If she had spent more time on her own garment, she would have done better and probably wouldn’t have had a breakdown so epic it stopped the runway show. She was lucky others screwed up more.

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A front view of Kahindo’s losing look.
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Kahindo’s look from behind. A complicated print and unfamiliar fabric helped send her home.

In the end, Kahindo Mateene’s horrific print and off the rack sensibility sent her packing. She chose a fabric that she had never used before (silk charmeuse) which didn’t help her either. Tim’s dress was an ill-fitting, white and blue racer back in the front cut-out which made the breasts look flat and unsupported. He can’t seem to wrap his brain around a head-to-toe look. Helen’s dress wasn’t constructed well or executed properly, but Kahindo’s material choice did her in. I’m disappointed because I wanted to see more of her African influence. That olive green organza over the print only emphasized the hideousness once the judges lifted it.

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Kate’s corseted creation won the challenge this week.
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The back view of Kate’s dress has a certain Gothic romance appeal.

Kate Pankoke’s dress won with what snarky contestant, Alexander Pope crowned a “Vivienne Westwood knock off.” Ouch! It was a beautiful gown and true to her aesthetic but not original or surprising. Her talent can not be diminished however, so congratulations Kate.

Dom Streater’s green and white silk Grecian gown was my personal favorite. It flowed and complimented the emerald and diamond necklace her model wore. As Nina Garcia said, it offered a different perspective of what to wear with extravagant jewelry. Dom’s dress was described as “estate chic” by guest judge Eric Damon, who was the Emmy award-winning costume designer on Gossip Girl. Good looking men make my day.

Unexpectedly elegant. My personal favorite
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Dom’s dress is fantastic from any angle.

I can not wait until tonight’s episode because the folks from Milwaukee, Tim and Miranda Levy, are going a few rounds AND it’s a team challenge, AND the designers will be using untraditional materials again. I wonder if this is the episode where Miranda is predicting she’ll need therapy. I haven’t picked out a favorite designer yet, have you?

Project Runway 12 Premieres Dramatic Season

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Project runway season 12 started out with a blast with “the unconventional challenge” straight out of the gate, an unusual and cunning move. The designers didn’t even get the chance to settle in before Heidi threw what most would say is the most difficult of challenges at them. Usually, the “unconventional challenge” makes an appearance further down the road and the unconventional material that the designers were to make a garment that represented their aesthetic was the nylon from parachutes that were delivered by skydivers on an airport runway. Sweet!

The fans bought Kate from season 11, better known as Project Runway Teams, back for a second chance,and no one wants her there because she has an obvious advantage, but not enough to overshadow anyone else’s talent, in my opinion. This years accessory wall from Belk, me no likey. What I do like is no team challenges smothering the designers and the new changes, especially the fact that Tim Gunn will be on hand during runway and judging to give the other judges, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia,Zac Posen, and the weekly special guest, in this case, Kate Bosworth, his opinions. 

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Bradon McDonald’s winning look.
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Angela Bacskocky’s losing look.

The first runway was great, except that the judges really should have let Mr. Sustainable,  a.k.a., Timothy Westbrook, 24, from Milwaukee, WI, go home. He is an “annoying”sustainability-focused fiber artist” according to the Project Runway blog. Hey, I didn’t write it but I am not going to argue with the truth either. Without getting into his issues too much, let’s just say there is a lot of hypocrisy and insecurity going on. And please find time to feel sorry for his poor model…

Los Angeles designer Bradon McDonald, 38, was this seasons first winner with a flowing, pastel color-blocked gown that highlighted the sheer trend perfectly. Angela Bacskocky, 33 – Richmond, VA, was sent home for being boring and unoriginal, which is not what this season is going to be if this teaser is any indication of what is to come. The drama started before the first episode with a controversial promotional billboard that was banned in L.A.

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Bradon McDonald’s winning look front view.
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Bradon McDonald’s winning look back view.

Another new addition is fan interaction with the new on-screen feature, PlayRunway, which will allow fans to use their smartphones, tablets and computers to share their reactions to episode storylines, design challenges and judging decisions. Fan interaction is increasingly implemented into reality competition shows lately. Social media is the difference between life and death when it comes to fan driven competition shows.

Other changes include, an anonymous runway; the judges won’t know which designer did what until after the points are added up, the judges will look at the designs up close and personal as part of the judging process; not good for any designer with design flaws and glue jobs that would have been hidden previously, and Tim has the power to rescue one designer from elimination for a second chance.

This seasons prize package is the biggest one yet. This is a list of the prizes that are worth over half a million dollars straight from Project Runway’s site on Mylifetime.com: 

As part of the winner’s prize package, this season’s champion will receive $150,000 from GoBank, the award-winning new bank account made to be used on a mobile phone; $50,000 of next generation technology from HP and Intel to help enable their creativity and launch their new business; a year’s supply of Resource Natural Spring Water and an all-expense paid, luxurious spa retreat for two to the exotic Maldives, courtesy of Resource Water; a chance to design and sell an exclusive collection at Belk; a complete sewing and crafting studio from Brother Sewing and Embroidery; a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine; a 2014 Lexus IS 350; a $100,000 fabric allowance from Tide Pods to inspire fashions that truly pop; and a $50,000 styling contract with L’Oréal Paris. It is a prize package worth more than half a million dollars. The model paired with the winner of “Project Runway” will receive a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine and $25,000 from L’Oréal Paris.

This season is going to be SO good, and I can hardly wait to see which one of the remaining designers will fail to measure up. I haven’t picked a favorite yet but who do you think is going home?

2013 MET Gala Ball Exhibition and Fashion Notables

Everyone is salivating over what the celebrities wore to the 2013 MET Gala Ball, when the real fashion moments were courtesy of the Costume Institute‘s Punk: Chaos to Couture Exhibition. Those who were lucky enough to participate in the event, barely put forth the effort to follow the theme. The majority simply wore what they wanted or let their hair and makeup do the talking.

The Costume Institute’s exhibition, led by Andrew Bolton, mixed distress with luxury to tell the history of punk and how it inspired and continues to influence today’s fashion. At this very moment, punk is surging as a trend; so did the MET’s theme influence what’s next, or is this just a coincidence? There was a total of seven galleries, some were interactive, but all of them offered visual homages to a style that will never die. Take a look at a sample gallery of what the exhibition offered and for more pictures visit – Costume Institute: Punk: Chaos to Couture Exhibition.

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I was so excited about the punk theme for the 2013 MET Gala Ball’s Punk: Chaos to Couture Exhibition, because every fashion icon still breathing was there and  punk, THE ‘no rules’ style was being honored. I was anxious to see how creative the participants would be. I have to say, I was disappointed in the lack of effort. With the exception of Madonna, Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie, and a few others, the majority neglected to take the theme seriously, or dressed to impress no one but themselves. Perhaps their anarchist attitude was punk enough?

The one person I wanted to see in reimagined punk was Anna Wintour. Apparently, this floral Chanel couture gown from the Spring 2013 collection, is as punk as she gets. This was her show, and she didn’t even bother to play along. As lovely as that Chanel gown is, it isn’t remotely MET worthy. Boo, Anna! Boo!

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Anna Wintour punk’d everyone by showing up dressed for a garden party. Photo courtesy of Refinery29.com

Let’s give a shout out and a round of applause to those who made an effort and paid attention to the memo.

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Best Dressed ~ Sarah Jessica Parker in Giles. She knocked it out of the park in re-imagined punk & topped it off with Philip Treacy’s mohawk headdress. Photo Courtesy of InStyle.com

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Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge looked like they knew what they were doing. She kept her dress simple and let her studded Burberry jacket and nails handle it. The studded headband was another great choice. Photo Courtesy of Instyle.com

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Ginnifer Goodwin’s look is a complete departure from her Snow White persona wouldn’t you say? She punked it up head-to-toe with dark eye makeup, punked out nails, and a Tory Burch gown. Photo courtesy of InStyle.com..

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Madonna in Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci ~ Go ahead diva, show them how it’s done. She took the theme seriously, down to the shredded fish net dress. Who else was this daring? I love that she wore Casedei pink blade heels that complimented her ageless body. Photo Courtesy of InStyle.com.

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Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs ~ This is her category so I knew she wouldn’t disappoint. Simply and elegantly punk. Sometimes you can make your point without all the bells and whistles. Photo Courtesy of InStyle.com.

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Nicole Richie in Topshop ~ This is another style icon that thinks outside the box. Thank you Nicole for dressing for the occasion and straying away from clichés. Her Bordeaux lips, silver hair, and white Topshop gown were the very definition of anarchy. Photo courtesy of InStyle.com

Even though I was disappointed with the lack of punk fashion, there were some outfits worn by Jennifer Lawrence, Christina Ricci, Anne Hathaway, and other fashion notables that made up for it.

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Not Punk But Who Cares?

For more pictures from the 2013 MET Gala Ball visit InStyle’s Photo Gallery.

Project Runway Teams: What Do You Think Of The New Format?


I was already upset because Anthony Ryan won the second season of Project Runway All Stars instead of Uli or Emilio, and already put-off about Zac Posen replacing Michael Kors as a judge (not that I don’t like Zac, it takes a moment to warm up to change) because Kors has scheduling conflicts. Then, I see Zac and Tim Gunn on Good Morning America announcing that the designers are going to be working in teams. I am not excited about this format at all because it doesn’t give the viewer a chance to get to know the designers as individuals. I don’t remember any designer in the past 10 seasons of Project Runway getting excited over team challenges and the entire season is nothing but teamwork. So at a time when I would normally be getting very excited about a new season, I am anything but.

 

I can’t imagine the designers liked the twist either, as they are coming on the show to show what they can do and express their point of view, not worry about creating something that must be inclusive of others work and opinions as well. I don’t think that any of the past designers have worked with others and most creative types, (writers included) prefer to work by themselves.

The decision to make every challenge a team challenge this season stems from Heidi wanting the designers to work in a realistic environment. Apparently, successful designers do work with others. I don’t know why I thought that it was a one man/woman show where the designer delegates and the others fall in line. In an ideal world right? 

The 16 contestants are divided into two teams, “Dream Team” and “Keeping It Real”. Moving on…

I was prepared to dislike the new format but Emily, who started the episode patting herself on the back and belittling others, sent down the ugliest creation in the western hemisphere. I don’t even know if you can call it an outfit and the judges apparently agreed because they sent her packing. I tried real hard to feel sorry for her but I couldn’t because she deserved to go home based on her attitude alone. There is no “i” in team, but there is an “i” in bitch. Bye, bye.

    

The Loser (The pictures don’t do this monstrosity justice)

    

The Winner

There is some real talent of course, (Daniel Esquivel won the challenge) and everyone is super-nice now, but there is bound to be some drama stitched in the midst of creation and runway. After all, they are competing for a 2013 Lexus GS 350, a spread in Marie Claire, a technology suite worth $50,000 from HP and Intel, and the opportunity to design an exclusive collection for Lord & Taylor. With all of that on the line and the pressure of having to work with others, this season might not be as bad as I thought.