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.
The Challenge: Marie Claire magazine recently launched Marie Claire @ Work. Nina Garcia explained that this branch of the magazine was created “to showcase the strong, powerful and sophisticated women that embody fashion in the workplace.” To that end, the designers were challenged to create a fashion capsule collection that is editorial but will also work in the real world. Each team was instructed to direct their own photo shoot, which will be displayed on the runway and will be factored into the judging.
Memories of not wanting to be picked last in gym class came back as Nathan and Sonjia were asked to pick designers for their teams, Team 6 (Sonjia, Melissa, Dmitry, Elena, Alicia and Raul) and Team 5 (Nathan, Christopher, Fabio, Ven and Gunnar). Unfortunately, it was Raul who was picked last.
Each team went back to the design room to plan and vet out who would do what before going to Mood. Team 5 opted for a “Fall into Color” theme centered around bright hues of fuchsia, purple and turquoise. Christopher pulled some bags and shoes from the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall as part of the inspiration. Team 6 was centered on graphic prints and pop color against sleek blacks.
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.
Team 5 built their collection around printed silk. The idea was to keep the collection light and flowing; Nathan’s wrap around pants and drape top were an example of this. Sonjia remarked that the pink and purple printed fabric looked like resort wear. When Tim went to review the team’s progress, he was concerned that almost all the materials they chose were silk and the hero print was looking “clownish” and the fuchsia silk was saying “Ole” and looking “Bull Fighter”. It was their only option to “Make it Work”.
The photo shoots and runway show pulled together nicely. As the final looks went down the runway, there was a big divide between how Team 5 and Team 6 chose to accessorize their looks. Team 5, with their bright printed silks, opted for more muted accompaniments like nude pumps and demure black clutch bags. The simplicity of the accessories let the prints do their own thing without competing. Team 6 played up their solid hues that ranged from blue down to greys and blacks with shoes and bags in bright blues and purples. The muted materials in black and grey were paired with color popping accessories. Sonjia paired her look with a long statement necklace and snake skin clutch, giving off lady-like splendor.
Time to be judged. Heidi felt that Team 5’s collection had a softer touch for the modern businesswoman and she favored it. The one downfall of the collection, she noted, was Gunnar’s top that looked like “floating soufflé boobs”. While the printed silk caused Tim concern earlier, Michael Kors felt like they created a collection that could cater to a woman in her 20’s up to her 60’s; citing that they made an old lady pattern look cooler. From the consistent construction of the pieces, Nina said it was clear that they worked well as a team.
Nina was an instant fan of Team 6’s collection. She felt it contained “modern editorial touches that photographed incredibly.” She admitted that pants are a large part of her wardrobe and felt their ability to craft both skinny and wide leg pants was key. There was a debate whether some of the more sexy pieces like Dmitry’s color block binded dress would be appropriate for a woman who works as a lawyer or in finance. Melissa’s blue drape dress was a judge favorite and deemed office appropriate for a range of careers. Elena’s big shoulder obsession was noted to be going to new heights, which was considered a new low by the judges.
The Final Decision: Team 6 won and their designs will be featured in a spread in Marie Claire @ Work and Melissa was named winner of the challenge. The final two facing elimination row were Gunnar and Raul. This week, Raul was sent home…again. On departure Heidi said, “I get to kiss you twice goodbye” and Tim said, “Few things pain me as much as telling a designer to go to the workroom to clean up their space twice.” Raul’s leaving was more bitter than sweet as he told Elena that he hates her before going. With that, we’ll be waiting by for next week’s episode.
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?
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!
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!
Project Runway Season 10 premiered with no shortage of drama and “make it work” moments. We are excited to see the eclectic set of new designers and what they will send down the runway this season!
The episode kicked off with the traditional champagne toast and message from Heidi, Tim, Nina and Michael. Before getting to the fashion, the workroom was filled the season’s first feuds. We can’t stop talking about the spat between Gunnar & Christopher (“This isn’t Project Obnoxious!”) and we can’t wait to see how these tensions continue throughout the season.
For the first time ever, the runway show was in “the center of the universe,” Times Square, NYC. The designers were challenged to create a complementary look to one they created at home, so 32 looks went down the runway in front of thousands of screaming fans.
Back at Parsons the judges, including guests Lauren Graham and Patricia Field, didn’t hold anything back in their critiques. Top marks went to Ven (amazing construction), Melissa (most “sellable”) and Christopher (his gown is for “a major star.”) The harshest notes were for Lantie (Patricia Field noted she is “a step below” a designer- ouch,) Koann and Beatrice, who was ultimately out.
The winning designer was Christopher with his original design! The judges loved how he took an “okay” fabric and gave it fabulous movement on the runway. You can shop accessories inspired by his look here.
Want to see more of the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall? Shop it here!
From the makers of one of the world’s finest luxury cars comes an exciting new fragrance just for men.
Join us to celebrate the launch of the Mercedes-Benz fragrance for men. Thursday, June 14th, 5PM, at Lord & Taylor 5th Avenue
Plus, be sure to stop by and have your photo taken with the Mercedes-Benz SLS and see if your key unlocks the prize for a special Mercedes-Benz gift basket.
One key per person, while supplies last. No purchase necessary. Open to US residents ages 18 and older. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize of equal or lesser value. Event subject to change or cancellation.
Join us for our Perfect Pairs Pet Adoption Day on June 23rd from 1PM-5PM in all Lord & Taylor stores to find your new best friend!
We teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society®, a nationwide non-profit organization focused on building no-kill programs and partnerships. Find out more about their No More Homeless Pets mission at bestfriends.org. Animal rescue groups that are part of Best Friends Animal Society’s No More Homeless Pets network will bring rescued pets that are available for adoption as part of a national campaign to put shelter pets in front of retail shoppers.
For a full list of participating local organizations:
Lord & Taylor Announces New Store to Open at Mizner Park
Boca Raton store marks upscale retailer’s return to Florida market
May 21, 2012 – New York, NY – Lord & Taylor, a division of the Hudson’s Bay Company, today announced its plans to return to the Florida market with a full-line store at Mizner Park in Boca Raton, set to open in September 2013. The company will begin construction on its newest location in Fall 2012.
"Everyone at Lord & Taylor is thrilled to be re-entering the Florida market with a full-line store,” said Bonnie Brooks, President of the Hudson’s Bay Company. “Mizner Park is the perfect location for Lord & Taylor because we have a number of existing customers in Boca Raton and will look forward to welcoming them as well as new customers in the region.”
The new 80,000 square-foot store will carry a well-edited assortment of premier designers in all product categories including: women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, beauty, and men’s. The two-level building will feature the company’s newest store design, a modern shopping experience that will mirror the Fifth Avenue Flagship. To celebrate the Grand Opening, Lord & Taylor will develop a calendar of events to drive excitement in the community.
“Our goal at Mizner Park is to provide an unparalleled shopping experience. Lord & Taylor combines reputation, quality and merchandise that complements Mizner Park’s stellar retail line-up and ambiance,” said Richard Pesin, executive vice president, General Growth Properties, Inc.
Mizner Park, located in picturesque downtown Boca Raton, Florida, is the city’s luxury retail, dining, office and entertainment destination in an open-air environment. The 236,000-square-foot retail space offers shoppers and unparalleled experience, featuring world-renowned jewelers, top national retailers and one-of-a-kind boutiques. The addition of Lord & Taylor will enhance Mizner Park’s stellar retail line-up, offering shoppers additional options in the latest fashion and accessories.