Diamonds + Girls = Best Friends, Diamonds + Some Project Runway Designers = Not So Best of Friends!

This week, on Project Runway, each of the designers were to select a model donning some very luxurious jewelry of diamonds and gemstones galore! This of course brought out the dreaded button bag, but as luck would have it for the designers this week, this assignment was solo. The downside being they only had 1 day to create a garment to accentuate and compliment the jewelry. Of course we had to hear Timothy complain about no inspiration coming from jewelry and picking the prettiest one so I guess it was good he was last to pick! The designers were then off to sketch and head to Mood!

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It was also learned this week more about the GoBank budget for each designer. We knew the designers would not get weekly budgets as per previous seasons, but instead would receive a budget they must adhere to for the entire season. That budget is set at $4000. However, Tim did provide a suggested budget for this week of $300, which is a good thing as I would think a few of the designers could have gone overboard! Here are some of my thoughts as I watched the designers work:

  • It is good to branch out, but you can’t pick fabrics and concepts to challenge yourself with such a short challenge and it sent one designer home-Kahindo, leaving another in the bottom 3, Helen.
  • Alexander said something about his design and looking at Kates’ and then making a snarky comment about that at least he was trying to be original. Kate was doing Kate and she won, whereas Alexander made some garment I thought best suited for Count Dracula’s wife so I would focus on my own work from here on out!
  • We again saw some major moodswings from Sandro. He went from fighting with Ken, to lecturing harshly to Timothy about not speaking, but then showed a kinder side on the runway by sticking up for Helen. I almost forgot his steamer incident and how he aggressively grabbed a worker of Project Runway, which seemed very inappropriate to me. I would have run off as well!
  • Each season we get designers fussing about machines, but Sue really made such a spectacle last night. I was giving her some much needed credit after last week, but if you are a designer, I would think threading your machine would seem sort of basic. I don’t sew so I have no idea, but at least then if someone is going to help, be appreciative!
  • Finally, a Project Runway first as Helen’s drama and crying antics stopped the runway! Can you say Wow and perhaps a bit unnecessary! Yes, her garment had some issues, but so did many others and I don’t think it helped her case at all so I wonder if it was for show or to try and get attention/sympathy.

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It was great to see Eric Daman join the judges this week. I know he has done such great work on shows like Gossip Girl. He is a real talent in his industry and I enjoyed this critiques this week!

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Moving onto the judges top and bottom. The bottom 3 made sense to me and I can even grasp who went home, but the real head-scratcher to me was the top 3. I had a completely different set. I really thought Justin’s look (middle picture above) was chic and effortlessly designed. After last week, I was thinking it was okay they missed his greatness, but now after 2 weeks of him missing out of the top 3, I really hate he is not getting the credit he deserves. I also really liked Jeremy’s gown (3rd picture above) and I could certainly see it on the red carpet. The bottom looked like it took so much longer than 1 day to create, yet he did just that and it was gorgeous! Finally, and this is who my winner would have been for the 2nd week, Bradon (pictured 1st above). This gown was shimmered perfection. It would have no doubt been an A+ for the red carpet for the woman who wore it. Again, the judges had a different top 3, but of their group, I would agree that Kate should have won this week.

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I didn’t have Kate in my top 3 because I thought her look was too costumey and it really over-powered the jewelry rather than working with them. I also didn’t care for the sheer cut-out at the side or the off the shoulder hanging sleeve. However, I am not surprised the judges loved her flare of drama. Dom’s look is the next one and I guess I see it more as a love or hate look and I just didn’t care for it.  The print didn’t work for me and the overall aesthetic had a lot going on. I don’t think any woman could have worn this or that it could have worked for a plethera of red carpet events. The oddest contender for the top 3 however was Sandro. On Project Runway, the judges usually go between the top and bottom as they are announcing who is where. When it was Sandro’s turn I thought for sure he was in the bottom, although I didn’t think that was deserving. But I was way more shocked to find out he made top 3. I think it was guest judge Eric Daman who said it best that Sandro walks a fine line between chic and stripper. I thought the garment was way too tight and the sheer effect up and down the side of the skirt was very revealing. While the top 3 was a shocker for me, the bottom 3 was fairly on point.

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Several designers probably lucked out in that this bottom 3 was some fairly poor designs. Many designers, from what I saw, had some construction, fit or taste-level issues so it was a lucky week that for 3 other designers the bottom was fairly clear. I will say Miranda’s garment didn’t impress me this week. She also did a 2-piece garment again, which was very similar to last week’s challenge so on top of a messy construction of a crop top, with an overall garment that looked very off-the-rack, I had her in my bottom. However, I was not surprised by the judges picks or for them sending Kahindo home. I would have much rather Timothy left, since again, he had a messy look, which actually looked like toilet paper was used on top of a very difficult fabric to make work, velvet. Kahindo’s fabric choice with the print, she just didn’t know how to make it work and it ended up looking so mis-matched with the print not lining up where it should. It also didn’t look expensive at all. Finally, there was Helen who definitely had the most construction issues this week. Simply put, she bit off more than she could chew. However, I’m glad she is here another week and hoping she can get back on track next week!

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I can’t wait for next week, looks like a team challenge, yippee for the drama!!

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PONO Jewelry: From Making Buttons to Designing Bold & Beautiful Jewelry

I had the distinct pleasure and greatest time this week sitting down with the business and design team behind PONO Jewelry. I met with everyone from the designer, Joan Goodman, to her sister and business partner Barbara and others who contribute to making this jewelry brand a success. It was also great being in the office and getting to see many of their amazing pieces available for purchase now!

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PONO, of course, offers a wide variety and selection-cuffs, bangles, chokers and necklaces. The pieces are truly bold and easily classified as statement jewelry. I couldn’t imagine that anyone wearing any of these pieces would not receive a large number of compliments that day! The various pieces are also diverse in the types of materials utilized, from horn, wood, metal, shell or Italian resin. The aspect that probably caught my attention the most was the use of color or the effect that certain pieces had. Perhaps it was the way the color caught the light, but my eyes were certainly distracted from one piece to the next. I found so many pieces that I instantly fell in love with! Another great part to the PONO brand is that they have some basic pieces that are always available for purchase, such as their chain-linked necklaces, but the team also mixes in some great pieces for a given season.

Take for example, the Fall 2013 collection, which several of the pictures in this post represent. The collection represents all things dark, rich and luxurious. As Joan discussed with me, there really is a deep richness to every color chosen. It was great seeing these amazing jewel tones and once Joan mentioned the night sky or the Arctic Circle, I could very much see how this collection came together. It truly is an inspired collection that works perfectly for the Fall of 2013, without being so literal! I love seeing these collections/pieces firsthand, but also being able to meet and talk with the designers/creators!

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Joan Goodman has done a magnificent job with the pieces she has designed. I have no doubt that their 10-year anniversary capsule collection for January 2014 or Spring 2014 will be anything less than perfection. It might be hard to imagine that someone who once was only working within the button industry could be designing jewelry as wonderful as this, but believe it because its true! Joan was in the position of some major changes in her industry and she did a very bold and courageous act by branching out and I have to say Bravo!

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PONO was launched in 2003 (with its 1st collection being Spring 2004), but Bobbi Trim, the button company, is also still in operation. PONO is easily described as a line that exemplifies classic pieces that encapsulate a twist with touches of Italy, Hawaii and of course, NYC. PONO is in fact a Hawaiian word for “goodness”. The brand really prides itself on being anchored, expressive and illuminating with their overall business process and practice. The final product is the creation of timeless pieces that are creative, colorful, conscious and collectibles.

PONO has experienced a great amount of press in publications such as Essence, Italian Vogue, and even in TV shows such as “The Good Wife.” The pieces are again, available for immediate purchase, so click here if interested! You can also keep updated on their work via social media as well, so Follow PONO on Twitter.

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The Sky is the Limit: Over-the-Top Gestures & Designers, Alongside Parachutes Point of View

What would Project Runway be without a few over the top gestures or designers?! The 12th season kicked off with a private airplane bringing in both the mystery 16th designer and the challenge for the week. This season will host 16 designers and the 16th had remained a mystery until premiere night. America was voting between 3 past Project Runway contestants for a chance at Runway Redemption and the winner was from Season 11, Kate Pankoke. I was certain she would not get the chance, even though I was secretly hoping she would. Yes, she had a strong personality, but of the 3, her season was likely the most disadvantageous with the teams concept. Further, Project Runway now seems to be doing so many All-Stars its likely any of them could have appeared on that show! So what did the private airplane bring for this weeks challenge?

(all photo credits to Lifetime/Project Runway)

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As the designers were looking up, skydivers started falling from the plane/sky. Upon landing with their open parachutes, Heidi Klum announced this week’s challenge-early unconventional. The designers had to scurry over to select which parachute they wanted to work with this week. This was their material for the week and each designer had to utilize it into a garment which best demonstrated their point of view as a designer. I’m certain this won’t be our only unconventional challenge this season, as parachutes are hardly candy or hardware supplies! The designers were also given some supplemental fabric to use, but were warned it couldn’t substitute for the parachute material! So the question remained, could these designers tackle this task so early on?

(all the looks this week-Alexander, Alexandria, Angela, Bradon, Dom, Helen, Jeremy & Justin-top; Bottom-Kahlindo, Karen, Kate, Miranda, Sandro, Sue, Timothy)

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Yes of course! This season is not lacking in some very over-the-top and perhaps overly confident designers. We certainly have some that right out of the gates appear to have strong personalities-Alexandria, Ken, Sandro and Timothy. There was also a few other early season announcements worth mentioning. The prize package is so lengthy so I won’t write it all out since we will hear it week to week, but Wow up to a value of half a million! The contestants also learned that their budget this season will be managed via GoBank and will be done for the entire season, not week to week. I’m curious if there are still limits and how this will all work, but I’m sure more will be learned about it next week. I was also intrigued by both having a 1st deaf contestant, Justin, and 2 contestants who seem to already know each other, Timothy & Miranda, all which should make for an interesting season! We also have the contestants living at Refinery Hotel versus Gotham Towers and that this season’s accessory wall and host of the winner’s capsule collection is Hudson Belk’s (interesting choice, definitely more available to the mass public!). So who stood out this week and who fell flat?

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The judges, who were joined this week by the genuinely down to earth Kate Bosworth, had in their bottom 3, Sandro (with his costumey bathing suit), Timothy (with his messy, burnt up dress) and Angela (with a basic and bare color-blocked poncho). I wasn’t surprised Angela went home because in the history of Project Runway, when it comes to doing too much versus too little, too little always goes home. This is exactly what Angela did. Although, personally I would have rather Timothy gone home because I just don’t think he knows what he is doing. He took too long to discuss his view, explain his sustainability mindset and trying to make his model dance down the runway-Come on now! However, the bottom 3 actually became a bottom 4, once one the top 3 soon fell from grace. Miranda was originally in the top 3, but upon the judges learning about her disregard to this week’s instructions, they probably made her wet her pants a bit by giving a stern lecture and putting her in the bottom. Her pencil skirt and color-blocked crop top were perfectly fine, but I never thought worthy of being in the top 3 anyways. I wish the judges had picked a different top 3, but overall the right person won this week!

(bottom 3 Look-left to right-Angela, Miranda, Sandro, Timothy)

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(this week’s winner-Bradon & other top 2 member Sue)

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The judges top 3 were Bradon (corded fitted bodice with long train) and then really just Sue (sculptured maxi dress with neon ruching and pleats), with Miranda being moved to bottom 3. Sue’s dress did catch my eye as well, but I was not a fan of the sculptured neckline; it seemed a bit bulgy too me. I would have have rather seen Justin and his very simple and elegant cocktail frock and Ken with his sculptured neckline tangerine minidress. But again, Bradon won and I think he was the right choice. Most of the designers did very well and many impressed me, so I am really looking forward to this season. Originally, I had in my top 3 early picks-Ken, Bradon and Sandro. Now Sandro disappointed me this week and in the highlights preview he looks like he goes off the deep-end, so I’m probably looking for a new 3rd and I can’t wait to see this season unfold!!

(my additions for a top 3, if I picked-Justin & Ken)

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The Kardashian Cosmetic Brand Legal Battle Ensues-Will Their New Mark Be Granted Federal Trademark Protection?

The Kardashian cosmetic brand legal drama is the 1st fashion law issue I ever wrote about. I am going to keep updates coming as all of the legal details unfold because I want to follow it from start to finish. I believe that a settlement should occur and so I am hoping to report that aspect one day! I wasn’t sure if the recent updates were worth reporting yet, but after some research I am very eager to blog about 2 areas, the first relating back to a legal series I just recently blogged about.

With my own legal series I am writing, it is all culminating to exposing some very serious legal issues that the fashion industry must face. One major area being the lack of protection afforded to designers and for other aspects of the fashion industry. I will leave that soapbox for another day. Today I am posting about the serious practical issues for trademark law today and demonstrating it thru this case. Lee Tillett, owner of Kroma Cosmetics, is just one of the opponents the Kardashians/Boldface have with their legal battles. Tillett, while successful, is comparatively a smaller business model to that of the Kardashians. However, she took the time and budgeted the funds to register her mark with the USPTO, with of course, the hope being that her mark would be sufficiently protected. However, that is not the case as it’s presented today-a brief recap of the Chroma v Khroma v Kroma battle.

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No final determination has yet been issued from the court. Neither has an official settlement been reached. However, in the meantime, Tillett’s smaller company must continue to pay legal fees and bonds to ensure that her mark remains protected. It’s truly a sad day that a company who abided by the law is now having to pay more just to  ensure enforcement of protection. Even though I believe a settlement will occur, it might not cover all of the damages or legal fees Tillett has accumulated. But the public can help! Friends of Tillets have created a webpage , twitter and facebook forum for any members of the public to donate to her cause. These are great sites to look more into if this issue has sparked your interest. If you believe in the cause and if you have the capability to assist, I would urge you to do so.

Getting back to the actual case updates, it is official that Boldface’s motion for a stay on the injunction has been denied. Tillett was also able to successfully lower the cost of the bond to secure the injunction to go from $50,000 to $5000. Perhaps the biggest update is that the Kardashians filed for a new trademark application for that of KARDASHIAN BEAUTY. These products are already in full force and are on the market-CVS, Ulta, UK website, Facebook and Twitter. However, my recent visit to check the official status of the mark showed that initially, it was denied. A couple of issues were raised and so now the Kardashian legal team must address those issues in order to receive federal trademark protection. One of the issues is a familiar one to Boldface and that is the likelihood of consumer confusion. It’s a bit odd however that the cited marks that KARDASHIAN BEAUTY is too similar to are marks already registered by the Kardashians. Other issues are the relatedness of the goods and trade channels, but more specifically is that all of the marks feature the term KARDASHIAN. The other issue is that the mark is merely a surname. The USPTO does recognize that it’s a rare surname, but that combining a surname with the generic name of the goods doesn’t overcome this issue. So this is not to say that the mark, since its already in use, will not ever receive federal trademark protection, but it brings up some questions, again, for me about the level of diligence the Kardashian legal team is providing.

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Let’s do a recap of the failed legal work for this case:

  • Attorneys are generally the ones who file the trademark application, so now, 2 have been filed and rejected by the USPTO. I question if due diligence existed with the research and use for either of the marks. I also question counsel being provided to the Kardashians on pursuing other names or taking alternate courses of legal action.
  • Rather than appealing the initial trademark rejection, attorneys filed a declaratory action for the Kardashians-basically skipping an integral step of the Trademark process.
  • Also, it’s unclear that any warnings were given to the Kardashians to not launch or use this mark, despite the USPTO rejection or receiving cease and desist letters from KROMA and CHROMA
  • Being that no settlements have been reached yet, I’m questioning the advice being given for this area, at any point during litigation. Legal teams have instead vehemently argued against an injunction and lowering of the bond amount and for the stay of the injunction, all of which were denied.

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It appears to me that there was some knowledge, yet no great advice given to deter the use of a mark that would certainly face legal troubles. If this was the plan for the Kardashians to have a successful cosmetic line, I’m not seeing how these courses of actions will help in that regard. My hope for the future is that this all does come to a quick end and that more diligent legal efforts are offered to the Kardashians.

All About Lollipuff: The Safer Place to Buy & Sell with 4 Major Fashion Brands

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There are 2 major retail trends currently ongoing in the fashion industry: the resale of your major labels for extra $$s and purchasing those major labels for a bargain. There are of course some issues that can arise with either of these areas. A buyer wants to ensure they are not only getting a great deal, but actually purchasing a genuine article from a particular brand/label. A seller will want to reach a large market of interested buyers for as low a fee as possible. Right now, there is only 1 place that can offer buyers and sellers, for a few specific brands, the ability to sell for a low fee and provide 100% guarantee of authenticity to buyers-Lollipuff.

Lollipuff is an online auction site that pre-screens each and every item to guarantee authenticity. One of their main goals is to weed out the counterfeits, which is what other sites or consignment stores are unable to do in the same manner. Currently, Lollipuff works with 4 major brands-Herve Leger, Balenciaga, Chanel and Christian Louboutin. (click each of the links to see what amazing auctions are currently ongoing!!) There will be other brands added over time and those decisions will be based on what brands are in high demand and the desire to be resold. As I discussed with co-founder Fei Deyle, some brands that I think would make as great additions would be Tory Burch, Louis Vuitton or Michael Kors. So you might be asking, what is it that makes this site unique or how is the authenticity guarantee ensured?

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The Lollipuff authenticity model is based off a non-provisional patented process that combines software and fashion brand experts. If a counterfeit is later discovered, Lollipuff offers back a full money back guarantee. Further, as sellers on this site are just as important as the buyers, the listing fee is only 7%. This is drastically lower than consignment stores and websites, which generally are 30-60%.

If you are interested in buying, the operation format is that of a 10-day silent auction. A potential buyer places a bid that matches or exceeds the minimum starting bid and after 10 days, the highest bidder wins. If there is no winning bidder, the item is available for immediate purchase to the 1st interested buyer. Click here for more information on the bidding process. Lollipuff offers great customer service as well and if you don’t believe it, click here to read through all of their rave reviews! There is also a good amount of press coverage as well-StyleCaster, Marie Claire, Forbes, etc.

PLEAES NOTE, ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE OF AUCTIONS THAT HAVE ALREADY CLOSED!!

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If you are interested in selling on Lollipuff, or even buying, make sure to visit here to register. There is a different process for the various brands. Different articles require a minimum submission of photographs, which are used to verify the authenticity of the item. So if you are interested, get started by clicking here!

Also available on Lollipuff is a blog which discusses topics involving these various brands. CEO Fei Deyle, who has worked as an online authenticator and is an established authenticator expert in this area, heads Lollipuff. In fact, it all began from Deyle’s blog and selling some of her own Herve Leger clothing on her blog. She saw a need in the market and made the leap.

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It’s a great action that was made by Deyle and Lollipuff has certainly experienced success already. The need for buying and selling these major brands is certainly not decreasing so I’m sure continued success is imminent. I look forward to following their journey, seeing what expansions are made brand-wise and perhaps even making a purchase myself at some point!

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Ted Rossi: A Jewelry Brand thats Both Bold & Luxurious

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I had such a great time yesterday meeting the founders of the amazingly unique jewelry brand Ted Rossi, Ted Wertz and Sebastian Rossi. I have to say, if you ever have this distinct pleasure as well, you will instantly be in the best mood and really see why these 2 love their brand and being a part of the fashion world. The passion and enthusiasm they have is very abundant and its easy to tell why Ted Rossi exists and why the brand has experienced success. Personality aside, this jewelry brand really is so gorgeous, it offers many options and could really be the perfect accessories for any woman to own!

The brand’s beginning started with a basic black bangle, using leather and python skin. More skin, leather and color options soon surfaced. The central focus has always been the use of leather and exotic skins (python, lizard and viper), just in different forms. There are cuffs, bangles, smaller bracelets, statement necklaces, rings, earrings and even handbags. Later, the use of some sparkle and bling were added by using Swarovski crystals and elements. The Ted Rossi brand has certainly grown since its inception in 2003 and has adapted to changing trends and seasons, but still remains true to its original voice and aesthetic. Shop here!

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The original voice comes from Ted Rossi designer, Ted Wertz. One might find it hard to believe that someone who was once in an engineering background is now making such fabulous jewelry pieces. But believe it because its true! Ted experienced some rough times back in 2001, but didn’t let hard times keep him down. He started out by cutting belts, and using  trial and error to create his pieces. He was in NYC and literally selling jewelry as a street vendor. With hard work, trusting instincts and finding passion in the work you are doing, are the reasons why Ted is a jewelry designer today and that the brand has experienced such success. The brand is still growing and expanding, and I look forward to following its journey! Follow Ted Rossi on Twitter!

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The 10 years of being in fashion has certainly brought some great success for this brand. The jewelry has been featured in a vast array of magazines-Lucky, People, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire and more! There are also a large number of celebrities who are clients of Ted Rossi-Eva Longoria, Ashlee Simpson, Kirsten Dunst, Leighton Meester, Miranda Lambert and more! This is not just a jewelry brand for the celebs and its certainly affordable for even students like me! You can shop online at Amazon, Max and Chloe, Henri Bendel and more! The brand is also available in several different specialty boutiques and stores-Kitson, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Singer 22, Bloomingdale’s, and more! See all shopping options here.

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celebsI am happy to feature this jewelry brand on Fashion Nexus. It is very fashion forward and modern. New collections and styles are often released during a given season throughout the year, such as the pictures below, which show some upcoming pieces! The pieces are so chic, but definitely have some edge so wear and don’t be afraid to make a statement! Like Ted Rossi on Facebook! Or if you have any questions or want to contact, click here!

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Project Runway 12: Introductions & Some Early Predictions

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I am so excited that season 12 of Project Runway starts next Thursday, July 18th, at 9 pm. One, because I am a huge Project Runway fan and I am ready for another season! But a major 2nd reason is that I can now blog about it on, Fashion Nexus! It is perfect timing to make this addition. What I will do is of course watch and then discuss the episode-provide a brief recap. I will also discuss my thoughts on top looks and the pieces that end up on the bottom. And of course, I will give my opinion on who went home or perhaps should have gone home! Before the episodes begin, here are my thoughts on a few changes for this season and a few early contenders I see!

(photo credits to Project Runway website on Lifetime’s website)

I have to say I am so glad Project Runway nixed their concept from Season 11 and the “teams” aspect. I was not a fan! I think had the competition ensued as usual, the final 3 would have been different and perhaps even the winner. Although, I will say I was rooting for Michelle Franklin of the final 3 and I am glad she won of that group. Another great change is MORE TIM GUNN!! Even I needed more Tim Gunn in my life so I have a bobblehead & t-shirt now!!

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Tim Gunn will be joining the judges panel for the runway critiques this season! A major change/additions is that Gunn can apparently rescue 1 designer during the course of the show, that he feels deserves a 2nd chance! This is big! He knows how the designers work, where there inspirations and thought processes come from and really how the final garment ended up in that final form. I am looking forward to seeing more on his thoughts/critiques and of course The Save. Other competitive reality shows have it, so why not Project Runway!

One aspect, akin to a save i guess, is that of this Redemption being given to one previous designer. America has apparently been voting between 3 previous designers, Valerie Mayen (season 8), Kate Pankoke (season 11) and Ra’Mon-Lawrence Coleman (season 6). The highest vote getter will return to compete this season. I am not a fan of this aspect. I don’t care for mixing past and new competitors for any show. I much prefer doing an All-Star show. Clearly, Project Runway has no problem doing this as they have already had 2 and are planning for a 3rd, which sounds quite odd since they have only had 11 seasons? It almost appears anyone could be an All-Star, so why not 1 of these 3? It also seems a bit unfair as these 3 will have that edge on what to expect, but the judges might be harsher as well so I guess its a balance. I guess I am a fan of new talent so we shall see how this aspect goes!

Not much else has changed. There is a bit more of an interactive aspect between fans and contestants. The prizes are all still great and a few changes here and there. But most importantly, lets get to the new slate of 15 designers and I will pick who I feel could perhaps make top 3! You can look at all of the designers and learn more about them, see their portfolios and watch videos here!

Predictions are hard to make early on because you are only seeing where these individuals are at now. I see in this group, that there are some clear visions and clear voices. If these people can find versatility within that vision & voice, success will be within their grasp. There are also some individuals who seek to be a bit more unique with their creations. Again, if they can work within that unique quality and adapt it to this show, success can be likely. I really like to root for strong women designers and its not to say a woman will not make it to the finale and win, but my early prediction of top 3, are all males! So my advice to these women, is step it up and keep the focus on the end prize!

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Sandro Masmanidi: How could you not pick this guy is my question! He is sporting a pretty fierce pair of newspaper pants in his promo picture. This to me says, unconventional challenges, BEWARE, because Sandro will likely have a handle on you! If he did make the pants, it also says he can likely do both women and menswear. I see with Sandro, versatility, the ability to work with structure, he can work with prints and he seems to have a good amount of prior work. These are all great qualities and that is why I am saying it early on, potential top 3 here!

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Ken LaurenceI also see with Ken, many of the same great qualities I listed for Sandro, all of which are great for a Project Runway designer to have-versatility, structured designs, working with prints, etc. I also see with Ken some great trends he has incorporated in a vast body of work-prints, peplum, etc. This is great for the show in making the work current so I look forward to what else Ken can bring to the design table!

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Bradon McDonald: Bradon brings a bit of a softer side to his designs versus the more hardcore type design seen with some of the other designers. I think, with Bradon’s designs, more women could wear his clothing, or I guess more types of women. He also delivers some  of the great elements or qualities as listed above-versatility and design experience. I like that with his designs there is a great use of color and prints. There is also great flare and glam that he brings to the table so I’m interested to see how he does on the show.

These are my thoughts as of now, but you never know with competitions such as Project Runway, My predictions are likely to change and I do hope a woman can breakthrough and be in the final 3 as well! There is also room for unique spirits and voices so an underdog could also take a final 3 spot. Can’t wait for this season to begin!

Project Runway-First, A Look Back

I watch a good deal of reality competition shows. With that, I always love reading blogs and recaps. I have always wanted to do one myself. In starting Fashion Nexus I wanted to add this as a category I could blog about, but nothing was starting at that time frame. However, now Project Runway, on Lifetime, is premiering next Thursday, July 17th with its 12th season. I can’t wait to start blogging about the episodes!! Before it all begins again, I want to take a look back over the 11 seasons  and discuss who would be in my Top 10. (no particular order) Photo Credits to the Designers and their respective websites.

cs4     #1                    Christian Siriano-Season 4 Winner

It was several seasons back, but Siriano has never stopped with bringing some FIERCE Fashion. Coining that term throughout his tenure on the show, he has truly brought it to his work after Project Runway. He designs for A-list celebs, has written books, designs shoes now and generally shows at least 3 collections per year. His work is always daring and fashion forward!

cs1          cs2             cs3     cs5

is3           #2-Irina Shabayeva-Season 6 Winner

Irina was very daring on Project Runway. She really demonstrated great strengths in versatility. She worked a lot with knits and heavier fabrics. Since then she has cultivated a breathtaking bridal collection. She has also been busy designing for celebs such as Carrie Underwood and Selena Gomez.

is1            is2              is5             is6

kenley       #3-Kenley Collins-Season 5 & All-Stars 1

I did an entire piece on Kenley a few weeks back. She is amazingly talented and so creative with her design endeavors. She still designs window pieces for It’Sugar Candy Stores. She is also still custom designing for up and coming artist and actress Ariana Grande. I am also sure she is working hard at another great collection!

ka7                     kd3            kd2       21

ds1         #4-Dmitry Sholokhov-Season 10 Winner

Dmitry is a very recent winner, who designed an immaculate capsule collection for Lord & Taylor. His pieces are all just wearable, but still so fashion forward. I can’t wait to see his next collection, hopefully this fall during fashion week.

ds2              ds3            ds4        ds5

lb1                  #5 Laura Bennett-Season 3

Laura is not still designing as much as other past contestants, but I enjoyed her so much on the show. She was a strong woman designer who really paid attention to the details and knew how to make a woman look good in what she was wearing!

lb2               lb3                lb4                           lb5

lk1        #6-Laura Kathleen-Season 9 & All-Stars 2

I love Laura Kathleen because she is again, a strong woman designer, who knows the woman’s body and how to make her look feminine, chic and sexy! I hope to see more from her in the future. Recently, she has also dabbed in jewelry designs.

lk2                        lk3                         lk4                          lk5

cc1         #7-Christopher Collins-Season #8

Chris brings the glam, he can work with prints and he is all about being fashion forward, but working with silhouettes and styles that are classic and elegant. He is based in San Francisco and has been featured a few times in Lucky Magazine.

cc2                 cc3                 cc4                    cc5

mf1              #8-Melissa Fleis-Season 10

I loved how Melissa grew on Project Runway from working with a bit of a darker aesthetic to taking her strong work in leather and bringing in the boldness and color! Her work with leather, whether a dress or a jacket is always on point!

mf2                mf3                     mf4                  mf5

cd1               #9-Chloe Dao-Season 2 Winner

Chloe has maintained a great career since winning season 2. She works out of Texas and has a boutique there as well. She has developed work in bridal now as well.

cd2                 cd3              cd4              cd5

cp1                 #10-Christopher Palu-Season 10

And last but not least, rounding out my top 10 is Chris Palu. I think season 10 may have also been a fave of mine since I had 3 contestants from that season in my top 10! Chris always brought it each week and just maintained such consistency throughout the competition.

cp2           cp3                  cp4                 cp5

The Best of “Big Brother” Fashion

Every summer, for over the past 10 years, I enjoy one of my favorite TV shows-Big Brother. This summer, as I have embarked upon a new passion and journey with my blog, I decided to combine it with an old summer love in Big Brother. Perhaps a bit of a stretch, but yes, often on the live shows for this summer reality competition, contestants will wear some pretty great clothes. However, being trapped in a house all summer, some contestants clearly show what not so great pieces they have also packed! I have often imagined myself on this show and I always think about what I would pack and wear on finale night, the live shows or special contests or events throughout the summer. This is the 15th season of Big Brother, but with the past 14 summers of contestants, I have named my top 3 for the ladies and top 3 for the guys!

This would have been a great featured to have written in years past, when images were a little easier to find, but I have some good examples hopefully to demonstrate why I selected who I selected. I will start with the guys, who generally love showing off 1 article of clothing, shorts or swim trunks! Most of the men do walk around shirtless, which is not a bad thing, necessarily. However, a few have shown some great style over the years!

Dr. Will Kirby-Big Brother 2 & Big Brother 7

will1             will2               will3                   will4

Dr. Will had 2 seasons to show off his style. He gets the title usually for Best everything else, so why not fashion too! He was never afraid to dress it up with a sport coat and dress shirt. But really even in just sweaters or tees, he could clearly make anything work!

Beau Beasley-Big Brother 6

beau1                                      beau3                                  beau2

A lot of BB guys could easily make a dressy look work, but it was there more casualwear where the ball was dropped. Not with Beau, he clearly knew how to pack to dress for the summer, still look great and not look as if he only brought swim trunks and tank tops.

Mike Dutz-Big Brother 8

mike1                                       mike2                                       mike3

I didn’t have a lot of great pictures to choose from, but let’s face it, I had to include one guy as Best Dressed, that was also best with the shirtless aspect as well!! Plus, who could rock a coconut bra any better!! I couldn’t find the best pics, but I remember that he dressed great, no matter the occasion.

NOW ONTO THE WORST!

Mike Boogie-Big Brother 2, 7 & 15

boogie1               boogie2           boogie3        boogie4

Yes, some get to be on the show for 3 seasons, go figure?? Each time, Boogie would wear the classic Boogie style, including bold t-shirts with his emphasis salutes to his season 2 alliance-Chill Town. I could never get past the bad hats and denim shirts, for me, that is a no-no.

Dan Gheesling-Big Brother 10 & 15

dan1             dan2             dan3    dan4

Dan was one such contestant who certainly recycled clearly what some of his favorite pieces of clothing were, they were just not mine! 2 items always stood out-the 1st picture above, black and white swim trunks and then all of the bandanas. Black and white swim trunks, worn often, just always looked so dirty. And then there was his kung fu warrior attempt look. I never got it and was always just like-Take the bandana off!!

Lawon Exum-Big Brother 13

lawon1                       lawon2                        lawon3        lawon4

And who could forget this guy, the bold colors, always worn together, the paisley ties, the bad silk dress shirts. I don’t mind a bold style, but pick 1 and wear it, don’t just throw every bold style you can think of together!

Now onto my fave ladies, who yes, I wish I could have found some better pictures because I can vividly see what they look like now. The internet search has failed for me today, but hopefully you get the big picture!!

Britney Haynes-Big Brother 12 & 15

britney                     britney1                      britney3         britney4

Britney clearly had a favorite color during her tenures on the show, PINK, but she wore it well! She wanted to do very feminine looks, but that were still youthful and fun, not so much with trying to be overly sexy.

Dani Donato-Big Brother 8 & 13

dani                   dani2                              dani3

Daniele sported blonde one season and brunette another. She wore a wide range of clothes both seasons, but one thing I remembered when her 2nd season rolled around was how much her fashion style had changed. It went from a more basic and LA trendy style to boho/rocker chic. She clearly knew how she liked to dress and always looked great in anything!

Janelle Pierzina-Big Brother 6, 7, & 14

jan1                  jan2             jan3          jan4

Janelle is another contestant who had a 3 season tenure, but she made this work to her advantage! She is also one who always gets Best everything else, so why not fashion too!! Janelle always packed some great dresses for live shows, but could just as easily rock the more casual-side items too!

Some of the ladies went a different route, not really my style or what I would wear if I were on national TV!!

Natalie Martinez-Big Brother 11

nat1      nat2          nat3         nat4

Nat was clearly a more sporty dresser, but you can make sportswear still look fashion forward. The problem with her dressier side then was the colors, too much brown and then some odd prints, yikes!

Maggie Ausburn-Big Brother 6

mag2                                        mag3                                          maggie1

Its okay to be laid back when choosing your style, but for many, there was too many pant suits and again, odd prints & patterns.

Erika Landin-Big Brother 4 & 7

erika1                                       erika2

Erika is won who didn’t know how to make the pink work. I wish there were better pictures, but anyone who saw season 4 and remembers the track suits, the ugly pink cap and I think there were even these ghastly pink boots in one episode, would agree, to put her in the worst dressed category!

This was so much fun going back through all of the Big Brother seasons and remembering the fashion. It is shown 3 times a week during the summer and people are watching these contestants on a daily basis! So I say, remember to dress your best!

Sydney Evan-A Jewelry Brand Designed From Inspirations, Instincts & Meanings in Life

logoIn the world of fashion, and yes, even with jewelry, it is often trends and other designers’ works that guide what is being created. This is not the case for this immaculately designed jewelry brand, Sydney Evan. This is a jewelry brand that is not afraid to let inspirations, instincts and real meanings from life guide their design process. From this process, it actually sets trends, whereas letting an already set trend dictate their designs. This is all possible due to the amazingly talented, knowledgeable and experienced designer, Rosanne Karmes.

designer

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Rosanne at a Custom Diamond Charm Bar event she recently held at Bergdorf Goodman. I immediately knew I wanted to do a more in depth feature on her and Sydney Evan. From further speaking with her, I can see why she has the ability to create these remarkable pieces and achieve the success she has had. Sydney Evan is fast approaching its 12-year mark of being in the jewelry business. The name comes from two of the most important people in Rosanne’s life, her daughter Sydney and her son Evan. Rosanne and I spoke about having the opportunity to be re-acquainted with your past and the realization of just how much it can attribute to where you are at in life now. From this conversation, it is no surprise to see how someone who was making and selling jewelry in her early teens can be where she is at today. She has always worked in some realm of fashion, whether it was sales in fine jewelry companies or as a representative in independent sales. Attaining a vast amount of knowledge and gaining invaluable experience with jewelry and fashion are the reasons why Rosanne was able to conceive Sydney Evan and grow the brand to be as successful as it is today.

Rosanne has created several different collections over the years. I would say there is likely something for everyone depending on which collections would most speak to you as a customer. I would also say they are perfectly fitting as to how Rosanne describes her pieces as being classics. This is not to say they don’t make a statement or wouldn’t fit into a given season or trend, but rather that these are high quality pieces you can purchase that have the capability to be worn for many years to come. You can look through the 15 collections and shop by clicking here. I have gone thru and selected my favorite pieces within each collection, which was a very enjoyable experience!

celestial   Celestial-full of stars, moons, wings, starbursts & more!

devout  Devout-various forms of the signature “Evil Eye” and  more!

discs  The Discs-all in so many sizes, forms and colors!

duality  Duality-Find here, the lotus, Venus, Mars, Yin-Yang or more!

edge The Edge-So unique with horns, matchsticks, skulls & more!

initials  Initials-Of course I went with “S”, so find yours now!

mammoth Mammoth-True ability to create variety!

nautical Nautical & Sea Life-Starfish, turtles, anchors Galore!

numerology Numerology-Find your # and pick the colors and jewels used!

peacelucklove Peace Luck Love-Is it from horseshoes, wishbones or peace signs?

shy Shy-most recent, bringing affordability to this classic brand!

sticks_stones        Sticks & Stones-So many options of jewelry types and bead colors!

sweetthings  Sweet Things-Jewelry shaped as cupcakes, yes please!!

wildthings Wild Things-So hard to choose a fave here with owls or butterflies!!

words The Words-Live, Dream, Faith, Believe

Sydney Evan really does offer a wide variety when it comes to what you are purchasing and how. There are tons of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, beaded bracelets and rings to choose from and of course all within the 15 different collections presented. When purchasing earrings, you can even just buy for 1 ear instead of both! Necklace options offer choices for chain lengths as well. All pieces are also offered in 14K yellow, rose or white gold, or black rhodium with pave diamonds or precious stones. Sydney Evan can be purchased online or in various retailers across the U.S., or even international retailers.

I always enjoy looking at the various press for a given designer and Sydney Evan does have a fair share of celebs who also love this brand as much as I have come to! I see some personal favorites on the list-Lauren Conrad, Hilary Duff, Kate Hudson, Audrina Patridge, Lea Michele and more! Celebs aside, I also know that this is not why she creates her jewelry, as I personally saw how attentive she was when I attended a recent Custom Charm and Bead Bar event at Bergdorf Goodman. You can also enjoy that personal attention and even meet Rosanne by keeping up with the upcoming events she holds by looking at her Events page.

Sydney Evan really seeks to satisfy each and every customer. If you have any questions there are a myriad of ways to communicate, including on social media-Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I hope you enjoy reading about Sydney Evan and looking at the astounding pieces as much as I did!