Archive for the ‘Project Runway’ Category

'Project Runway All-Stars': Ari out

October 25th, 2013


Ari South's punk challenge design.Lifetime photo

When it comes to state pride, Hawaii has a strong reputation for supporting its own in the national arena, so many were looking forward to seeing Ari South compete on “Project Runway All-Stars” Season 3, which began airing last night.

Unfortunately, the euphoria was short-lived as Ari was the first to exit the show, in the episode, “Punked,” an ode to the punk trend, fueled in part by Spring 2013’s Met Costume Institute exhibition, “Punk: Chaos to Couture.”

Studying the exhibition would have been helpful to many of the designers, who didn’t seem to have a feel for the punk ethos. Only Seth Aaron Henderson and Jeffrey Sebelia seem to have grown up with the punk mindset, and, though Seth Aaron’s ensemble was fabulous, it wasn’t really punk in that it was way too polished. Similarly, judges’ “criticism” for Ari was, her design was “too well tailored.”


Punk from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute's “Punk: Chaos to Couture” Spring 2013 exhibition.


Designer interpretations of punk from the Met exhibition.


The Met show noted how American punk fashion was simply anti-fashion T-shirts, denim and leather jackets, while the British style we came to associate with the punk scene grew out of the mainstreamed designer aesthetic of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.

The designers were sent to a makeshift workroom in the basement of the MOOD fabric store with the idea of creating a crude workspace for work that was initially rough, torn and battered. I think only Jeffrey got the challenge, in that he created a messy tangle of a skirt, with an imperfect fitted black jacket with leopard collar that a true punk might have come up with by Frankensteining thrift-shop finds.

In the end, Elena Slivnyak (Season 10), won her first challenge after following her model’s advice to wear her jacket backward. That gave it a straitjacket effect the judges, including Blondie’s Debbie Harry, liked, though Elena’s colorful jacket still registered more as New Wave to me.


Jeffrey Sebelia's design came closest to the makeshift, DIY spirit of punk.

After the episode aired, Ari posted to her Facebook page: “Thank you, to all my fans and family for your ENDLeSS love and support ... And for the result of tonights episode: Too well tailored, too well designed, and too classy might get you eliminated, but they also get you into Neiman Marcus. #stillwinning #honored #grateful @projectrunway thank you for the opportunity, it was a great experience. #itiswhatitis blessings are coming and I am ready. There is always perfection in the plan. Live and love to no end.”

Ari remains a fan favorite at the Lifetime site, with the most Facebook likes of all the designers. You can still show your support with a “like” at

You can also show your support by shopping the designer’s latest collection at Neiman Marcus.


Elena's design more New Wave than punk, but the winner nevertheless, with the approval of Blondie's Debbie Harry, herself borderline punk/New Wave.

seth aaron

It will be really interesting if the competition comes down between Jeffrey and Seth Aaron Henderson, who created this ensemble. I was a fan of both "Project Runway" winners during their respective seasons, though Seth Aaron may have an edge because Jeffrey's been working in children's design, and as he said, hasn't been hands-on sewing for a long time. Other designers mentioned during the episode that he was struggling.

Ari South to debut on 'Project Runway All-Stars'

October 24th, 2013


Lifetime photo

Don't forget to tune into "Project Runway All-Stars" tonight, when local designer Ari South makes her national debut on the Lifetime fashion design competition.

You can read all about it in my story that appeared in the paper on Oct. 17:

'Project Runway' billboard too sexy for L.A.

July 10th, 2013

Lifetime photo

In the land of plastic surgery and loose morals, a poster for the new season of "Project Runway," premiering July 18, has been banned.

Perhaps anxious to fight the tide of boredom that has seeped in over 11 seasons, the new billboard aims to wake up viewers with a rather risque image of show host Heidi Klum and designer mentor Tim Gunn holding court, 18th century Parisian style, over a number of nude models.

The image was deemed as too sexy for L.A. and banned, but will appear in the future with the models wearing underwear. The image will appear as is on billboards and posters in New York City.

'Project Runway' seeks fans for makeovers

June 14th, 2013

Now you don't have to be a designer to be a part of "Project Runway" Season 12. The reality fashion design competition is looking for fan fanatics in need of a makeover.

Submit a video telling produceers why you love "Project Runway" and deserve a new look, for a chance to be featured on one of Season 12's runway challenges.

Winners will be flown to NYC and paired with a Season 12 designer for a fashion and beauty consultation, makeover and chance to strut their stuff on the PR catwalk. June 20 is the deadline for submissions.

Entrants must be 18 or older, and up to seven fans will be chosen for the opportunity.

Here's a link to contest, upload site and rules:

For instance, videos must be a minimum of 10 seconds and no longer than 2 minutes, and answer the questions: “Why are you a Superfan of Project Runway” and “Why do you deserve a fashion makeover”?

'Project Runway All-Stars': Auld takes top prize

January 17th, 2013

finalistsLifetime photos
The finalists, from left, Emilio Sosa, Uli Herzner and Anthony Ryan Auld.

"Project Runway All-Stars"
Episode 12 Finale: "Go Big or Go Home" recap

Heading into the final competition, the designers—Emilio Sosa, Uli Herzner and Anthony Ryan Auld—were told they have just four days to create a runway collection. The designers were free to choose their own themes, colors, visuals, music and the number of pieces to show (or manage to finish in the brief time frame).

The designers were afraid when on their first work day, host Carolyn Murphy drops in on them in the workroom. That usually signals a difficult twist. But this time, it was good news when all the season's ousted designers filed in and the finalists were able to choose one to assist them for a couple of days.

designersThe ousted designers returned, looking very relaxed, most ready and willing to assist if needed.

Anthony Ryan picked first because of his win last week and tapped his apparent frenemy Joshua McKinley, who basically said he was too tired to do it. (Refusing never seemed to be an option in "Project Runway's" history." So the designer extended the invitation to Kayne Gillespie to work on his collection, themed "The Thin Line."

Uli chose Casanova for her collection of whites and creams, themed "Mystical Winter." During critiques Joanna Coles asks Uli to save her little fur jacket for her. It's always a good sign when editors want to wear your designs.

Emilio picked Althea Harper to work on his conceptual showcase, "Urban Plantation," an ode to working women from the plantation to Rosie the Riveter, who took over when men went to war during World War ll. The idea was that the pinnacle of fashion is often the domain of celebrities, the wealthy and the celebrated, and he wanted to honor working women who rarely get the recognition they deserve.

His collection turned out to be colorful and gritty, and very true to his spirit. Uli's was the opposite, ethereal and mythic and the most  artistic and designerly. I was hoping she would win, but true to the favoritism shown all season long, the judges chose Anthony Ryan's collection, which was modern, clean and very commercial. Yet, it's so 2010-11 with its linear and mod-ish color blocking and cut-out backs, nothing that hadn't been in the stores all last year, which to me, was representative of everything he showed, one of the reasons the show has been on a downhill trajectory and is applying more gimmicks. The next season of the original "Project Runway" will have the designers working in teams, rather than as individuals.



Two designs from Anthony Ryan Auld's winning collection.



Two looks from Uli's collection.


Designs from Emilio's collection.