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Who doesn’t love a good fashion makeover? This week’s episode of Project Runway tasked the designers with making over a group of real women, whose friends brought them there as an act of love. Each designer was paired with a makeover client to create a new look for them involving an outfit, a new hairstyle and a make-up transformation. The goal: To make each woman look and feel her best. This was one of the best challenges because the diversity of clients in all shapes and sizes, describing their own personal challenges with fashion, was very relatable. Sonjia’s client Amanda doesn’t like to shop or know how to buy things – so she just doesn’t shop. Fabio’s client, Ko-Rely, hates dresses and she only wears them, “when I’m forced to.” Ven’s client, Terri, never wants to leave her jeans. The beauty of this challenge was the emotions involved as personal relationships developed between the designers and their clients. We really enjoyed the playful interaction between Gunnar and his client—showing a softer side to him. The transformation process is not without it’s own sense of drama. A theme that was played up in this episode was the need for sensitivity to different sizes of “real women” versus models. Some of the designers were concerned that the challenge was not fair because of the client they were assigned to. Ven seemed to have a hard time grasping the needs of Terri. His constant references to her size set the other designers off, while he remained defensive about the difficulty he was having in creating a look for her. Even Terri felt offended, and at times was teary-eyed. Elena’s client Jenna wore a lot of color before, so her design was based around a more neutral color palette. Fabio designed Ko-Rely into a dress that she’d want to wear. Gunnar put his client Kim in a slimming black silk chiffon LBD, after her friend told him Kim’s fashion sense never matched her larger than life personality. By the time Kim went down the runway, she had a strut that was unmatched. Michael Kors noted, “You could teach Giselle how to move.” Accessories took a front row seat on the runway, right along with the new hairstyles and make-up that completed the makeovers. It was hand-held fever as clutches completed the looks in various hues and degrees of ornamentation. Nina called out the studded clutch that Dmitry’s client Angela carried; appropriately paired with booties. Manrepeller would have been proud because there was no shortage of “arm parties”, as colored bangles were stacked high. At judging time Nathan’s look wasn’t well received. Heidi said that Liana looked “cheap” and like a “hoochie mama”. Nina dismissed it as being a complete disaster while Michael said Nathan’s use of “illusion creating” fabric was best served on someone closer to Betty White’s age. For this, Nathan was sent home this week. This week’s winner was Fabio, for his asymmetrical dress in different shades of gray, with various seams and unique proportions. He paired it with medium heeled Chelsea boots and a graphic necklace. Along with her really edgy haircut, Ko-Rely’s outfit got a lot of attention from the judges. The judges decided to keep Ven, despite his misgivings about working with his client and the less than tasteful look he created for her. It makes us wonder, did they save him for the drama? We will find out more next week!
Last week’s episode of Project Runway featuring drama filled departures by Andrea and Kooan gave way to a more temperate climate this week. While there were no melt-downs to send designers packing, they were very expressive about the prospect of working in teams for the challenge.
Back in the design room, Team 6 went for it with color. A standout was Melissa’s bright blue cotton sateen drape dress with and her classic asymmetrical zipper detailing. Raul stuck to his ruffles and Elena stuck to her big shoulders, while Dmitry opted for a color block binded dress. Accessories filled the gap when Elena was concerned that her black look was “boring”. Melissa cited that they could grab a pair of bright blue shoes or a clutch to balance. With the right accessories, plain won’t surface.
If you don’t believe in miracles, episode 4 of Project Runway Season 10 might shift your perspective. Some designers ‘dropped like flies’ while another did a reappearing act. There was a lot of fashion with some swift mood swings woven into the fabric of this episode. We were impressed with the looks we saw going down the runway, well orchestrated with pieces from the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall. However, nothing rivaled Michael Kors’ cutting commentary in his classic ‘I’m not holding anything back’ way. His line “Fashion is not for sissies” doesn’t escape our minds. It’s time to start an MK quote log.
Last week we were left hanging with Andrea’s disappearing act in the middle of the night after Christopher (admittedly) “pushed Andrea in front of a bus” in a heated discussion in front of the judges. The morning after, Christopher lamented about how his actions might have influenced Andrea’s escape, while others used it as an excuse to trash her. Gunnar was observing Kooan’s increasing silence and withdrawal from the group after their last project together. The apartment was like an unsettled stomach.
The troops rallied and made it up to the new Michael Kors Flagship on Madison Avenue, where they were met by Michael and Tim Gunn to get instructions for the next challenge. Tim made it official that Andrea had left in the middle of the night and that they have not been able to reach her, but they believe that she was safe. Michael shared some wisdom to ease the group, saying, “I’ve been at this for over 30 years. It’s still tough.” Followed up by, “Fashion is not for sissies.”
Cut to the challenge: Michael Kors’ business caters to the modern woman who is on the go. She wants to look stylish and chic with outfits that are relaxed and versatile that can go from meetings to cocktail parties. The designers were asked to create a single look for a “woman on the go” with the caveat that the look needed to represent the personal aesthetic of each designer. It needed to be stylish, fashionable, versatile, practical and comfortable. Easy, right? Not so much. They had one day to design and a budget of $150.
They got 30 minutes to sketch in the boutique before going off to Mood to select materials. Most of sketch time was consumed by some of the designers gossiping about Andrea. Ven felt what Andrea did was “a poor example, especially being a teacher, to give up and walk out”. The stop at Mood was the usual panicked running around and grabbing at yards of fabric. We found ourselves impressed, if not amused by Sonjia, who was still making major decisions with a minute and 30 seconds left—and still got out on time with everything she needed.
The design room back at Parsons did a little time travel back to the high school cafeteria as conversations about Andrea continued. That’s when the retreating Kooan decided to speak up. “I’m a funky and weird person and I thought about it for 3 days, and I think I should go”. That’s when everything shifted and the designers bonded together. Despite them all competing against each other, the walls came down for a little emotional camaraderie. While Buffi remarked that people were “dropping like flies”, Christopher told Kooan, “You are special. You have to stay here.”
Tim came in to interrupt the truth circle, letting the group know that Andrea had officially terminated her participation in the competition. Tim said, “There are thousands of people who would want your place here.” This was the perfect throw back to the Devil Wears Prada, when Miranda Priestly told Andy Sachs that “a million girls would kill for your job.” This is what they call fashion.
Kooan announced to Tim and the group that he was leaving too. He didn’t think he could handle it and wants to do it in his own way “out there”. He chose to take a different path and with that, Tim escorted him out the door. Here is where the door began revolving. Tim came back in to let everyone know that it gets hard to have a real competition when so many people are leaving. Which is why they decided to bring back Raul. That’s right; Raul was brought on to get a second chance. That was the miracle. The depression lifted into screams and Raul was mostly warmly welcomed back. Ven did protest too much about the reappearance of Raul, saying that he’s tired of his complaining. We wonder what’s really going on. Is Ven threatened or is there more that we are not seeing?
The designers finally got into work mode – scissors out and sewing machine pedals pressed down led to looks developing on the forms. We were quickly taken in by Melissa’s idea for creating multiple flowing layers, Fabio’s use of unique prints, Christopher’s mini leather jacket (reminiscent of a bolero) and our favorite, Sonjia’s charcoal form fitting gather dress. Some of the designers’ takes on day to night “on the go” dressing were interesting. Gunnar’s dress has a triangle cut-out in the back, which could be a little too sexy in the office, but nothing a sweater can’t disguise until 5pm. Buffi’s concoction of a zebra underpinning with pink silk over it was not well received. Christopher asked her if it was “resort wear” because it looked like a beach cover-up. He offered her some black material to fix it up but she stayed true to her aesthetic. She said, “I’d rather go down with something that I know is me than going down because I changed it.” She stuck to her plan which is something we admire. With little time left, Raul was struggling; the pants he created didn’t fit the model. They were 4 inches too short every which way and leather accents needed to be sewn in just to expand to fit the model!
Our favorite part is always when the designers are clamoring to get everything pulled together and then the models come in for the fittings. We might be more partial to these moments because it’s when the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall shifts from being a backdrop in the room to being the vehicle that brings the outfits to life. The designers were reaching for tall heels with hidden platforms, cuffs to wake up the wrists and bags that ranged from thin hand held clutches to chunkier top handle bags. Some designers really stepped out with accessories in bold colors while Sonija kept her look paired down to only heels.
Watching the final looks go down the runway was somewhat moving. This episode had so many emotional twists in the beginning that for a lot of the episode we were waiting for the fashion to appear. Seeing what these designers were able to do in 1 day with $150 dollars was quite impressive. A trend we saw was that so many designers hung back from bright colors for their fabrics in favor of rich blacks, grays and neutrals. This allowed some of the accessories to play 1st string with their bright colors and hints of flash. The high volume of colors the accessories provided allowed for the perfect divide between daytime seriousness bleeding into nighttime frivolity. For us, a good shoe or bag is everything to an outfit-especially if it can make it transitional.
The judging panel was worth waiting for. Guest judges Rachel Roy and Hayden Panettiere joined Michael Kors, Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia. In the final round, Sonjia’s gather dress in dark gray received much praise. Heidi loved it for the great manipulations in fabric and Michael praised it for its versatility. He noted, “You could load on diamonds and wear silver shoes. You could take it all the way down and wear a pair of riding boots.” While we liked Fabio’s printed dress perfectly paired with a statement necklace that managed to keep the look understated, the judges did not. It was criticized for being too short, too structured and it was remarked that it looked like it shrunk on the model. Christopher’s sophisticated look paired with mini leather jacked and jeweled clutch bowled over the judges. Heidi found it crazy that he was able to make the entire ensemble for $150 and Rachel said it was “modern and relatable”. Michael said he “nailed it”.
That is where Michael’s generous compliments ended. Buffi took a serious hit for the team with her Zebra/pink ensemble. Michael opened with, “It looks like a hairdressing smock,” but didn’t stop there. He said, “It looks like she was cutting her hair, there was a fire in the beauty salon, she belted it and she ran out in her zebra dress.” We have nothing more to add to that. Raul didn’t fare much better under Michael’s watch. He didn’t hold back in saying he hated it. “She has vampira points and it’s too short. I hated it.” He also remarked that he felt the jacket was on deathwatch. Dmitry was given honorable mention for the construction of his dress. Rachel was a firm believer in his craft. She said she’d hire him because his “execution is flawless”.
So where did this all end up? Sonija won the challenge and Buffi was invited to leave. It was a fair decision and it was obvious who was really rising to the occasion. Buffi departed graciously, which we liked. It’s never fun when someone who gets eliminated starts attacking other people’s work or gets defensive. We’re looking forward to next week because we have a sense that Raul is on deathwatch, just as much as his pointed blazer is. What did you think of tonight’s episode?
The winning look and accessories:
On Friday, August 3rd, our NYC Flagship store was filled with tons of exciting guests! To start off, we had the best Mommy bloggers around come in and enjoy a day of pampering. They began their morning with a fresh makeover in our first floor beauty department and then gathered to hear the fall trend forecast from our very own fashion director, Paula Correri. Paula showed them everything. From sneakers with a heel to fun accessories for your ipad, the Moms got the in!
We were also so lucky to have three designers from Project Runway Season 10, Dmitry, Fabio and Buffi, come to our flagship store to take part in this wonderful event. They were there to answer all of the questions from our Mommy bloggers and shop around the store with them as well. Picking out items for them and styling what they pulled, our Mommy bloggers enjoyed a city day in style!
Snap & Win! Seeing an outfit topped off with a good accessory is everything. If you are anything like us, you have your own “Accessory Wall” where you display your goods! For a chance to win a $250 Lord & Taylor Gift Card, send us a picture of your favorite accessory and how you display it.
Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, August 12 at 11:59pm. The top pic gets a $250 Gift Card and will be displayed on our Facebook wall! Need some inspiration? Check out ours!
Episode 3 of Project Runway Season 10 was all about figuring out how to combine two different design aesthetics into one cohesive piece. The designers were soon to learn that ”the hardest person to impress in fashion is a fashion designer,” as Gunnar stated.
Tim Gunn met the designers at South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan to deliver this week’s challenge. The designers were placed in teams and asked to create a red carpet look for a surprise client, which would be worn at the Emmy’s. They were each given a key to unlock a Lexus GS that would inspire their look.
The teams left the Seaport to discover who their very special client would be. They were told by Tim that this client has a great deal of empathy for what they are dealing with now on Project Runway. Thoughts of Heidi filled the air but the unexpected shocked them. A previous Project Runway designer awaited each team. They jumped immediately into likes and dislikes, and what they hoped the designers would execute in such a short amount of time.
It was then a race through Mood and then back to the workroom. There the designers had to work together on their red carpet look. Tim instructed the designers to “use the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall thoughtfully” since the complete look is so important on the red carpet.
Since this was a team challenge the workroom was filled with more drama than usual. Christopher was concerned with his piece after Tim and his client Anya come in for their critique, and he begins to pull fabric out of the garbage praying for a miracle. However, the bigger issue was the speed Andrea was moving at. Placed in the bottom two, guest judge Krysten Ritter noted, “I think that this looks like a Halloween costume that you can get at a drug store.” Luckily this criticism did not deter them from moving on to next week’s challenge! And it was not only Christopher who was dealing with team issues. Elena stormed out of the design studio because she could no longer handle the speed at which Buffi was moving at. Nevertheless, in the end, their client Laura Bennett’s garment came together!
In the top, Gunnar and Kooan stood proudly next to their all white gown, as Heidi proclaimed, “Personally I think it’s a beautiful dress. I think you look stunning in it. If I look at both of them to me this is more of an eye catcher. It’s a little bit more exciting. If I had to choose to wear one or the other I would want to wear the white one. “ That’s one of the best compliments she could give! Nina admired the beautiful collar the two had chosen to include in their design. Gunnar noted: “it was a necklace. Thank you Lord & Taylor!” (The necklace is Robert Rose, coming soon!) Even though this pair did not win the challenge, their white dress was stunning and absolutely suited the taste of their client. In the end, Ven was victorious, winning his second challenge in a row! With his team partner Fabio, they were capable of pulling off an expensive looking dress for their client Kenley, who completely adored this design and asserted, “This is adorable. Very like modern Grace Kelly. Just what I wanted!”
His look was finished with nude pumps. Shop them here.
From 14 to 13, Raul was kicked off because he presented a frumpy, boring dress that was not red carpet ready, especially with that horse-tail hair extension. ONE DAY YOU’RE IN and THE NEXT YOU’RE OUT!
See more of the winning and losing looks below:
Judging by the cliffhanger to next week’s episode, it looks like there will be some twists and turns as one designer goes missing! See a recap of the episode, plus a sneak peek at next week’s serious DRAMA!
Cropped pants are in this summer and we can’t get enough of them! To either dress up or dress down, cropped pants provide you with a range of stylish looks! We love how these two fashionistas made their outfits look casual but chic! Shop cropped pants!
Episode two of Project Runway Season 10 aired last night and was all about the sweets, sweets, sweets, oh yes and drama!
A Project Runway favorite, the unconventional materials challenge, led the designers to Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City. Met by Dylan Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s daughter, each designer was given $500 to create a look made out of SWEETS. The designers flew through the aisles, filled sky high with colorful, tasty sugars, to find the perfect treats for the runway. In 30 minutes they found varieties of candies to inspire their pieces. From gumballs, to candy legos and dots, the designers were in a modern day Candy Land with over 7,000 choices from around the world.
The designers went back to Parsons where they began designing their candy-chic looks and style them with the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall. Mid-way through Tim Gunn stopped in for his honest and sometimes painful critiques. He praised Sonjia for her creative use of gummy sharks and jelly beans, which gave her piece a sophisticated look with a sea glass appeal, but was upset with Andrea’s look and took her from a high to an instant low. “This looks sloppy, unaltered, a craft project, and it looks like a throw away piece. I’m disappointed and concerned for you.” OUCH!
However, the drama did not end there! Once on the runway, pieces of licorice were falling off Elena’s monochromatic outfit, which led to Michael Kors saying, “It looks like a rigatoni Mad Max!” while cotton candy melted from Kooan’s bright dress and Buffi’s bird-nest hat did not pull of the Carrie Bradshaw look she as going for. Her model looked “like a five year-old going to a birthday party,” stated Heidi Klum.
Sonjia, Gunnar and Ven were the top 3, and it was anyone’s guess who would win. In the end it was Ven who came out with the win. His wearable, stained-glass inspired dress wowed the judges. Heidi Klum gave him the best critique of all claiming that she would love to wear that dress, while Nina said it was, “sublime, candy couture and on trend!”.
See more of the Accessory Wall and how Ven used it to help win the challenge in the video below. Then shop accessories inspired by the winning look here.
We said goodbye this episode to Lantie, who struggled with “time” during this challenge. Sending down the runway fabric from Dylan’s umbrellas, the judges were unimpressed, disappointed, and confessed, “it was a literal meltdown.”
See a quick recap of the drama from this week’s episode below!
Last Tuesday night, July 17th, we gathered to celebrate the start of Project Runway season 10, on the High Line in NYC. The High Line, which is an abandoned-railway-turned-public park, hosted Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, designers Francisco Costa, Nanette Lepore & Rebecca Minkoff and Project Runway designers Mondo, Chris March, Austin Scarlett, Kenley Collins, Joshua McKinley & more! Plus, there was an interactive digital runway with Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Michael Kors, and Nina Garcia, interacting with the audience!
Tune in to Lifetime every Thursday night to see the designers make it work with the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall!