THE BRAND NEW FASHION NEXUS IS UP & RUNNING, & I COULDN’T BE MORE ECSTATIC!!!
Each year there is a widely known fundraising gala that is put on for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute — Costume Institute Gala aka Met Gala aka Met Ball. There are many names, but no matter which you choose, it doesn’t take away from the amazing looks that grace the gala’s red carpet & event each year. Many fashionistas, fashion bloggers, and those in the fashion industry eagerly wait to see red carpet looks from major award shows — Oscars, Grammys Emmys. But the Met Gala red carpet is also on this must-see list! I hereby dub it Fashion Prom and I’m very excited to put together my 1st best dressed list ever for this event! It’s been a few days since these stars walked the red carpet, but hey, I go as fast as I can — law school finals must come first!
So the opening exhibit for this year was “Charles James: Beyond Fashion.” Charles James was a major fashion designer in the 1950s; he is widely known for being America’s first couturier. He is all about old school glamor and fitting in with that genre, this year’s theme for the Met Gala was “White Tie & Diamonds.” As with any best dressed piece there are lots of images to look thru. As I was picking my faves I found myself picking between 2 extremes — all out/full on glam (going big!!) to a more reserved look, but still quite fitting to the theme of old-school/Hollywood glam. So my list is full of stand-out drama, but also quieter looks that are nonetheless elegant in their simplicity. Enjoy!
This look is bold, dramatic, and over-the-top, which I mean in a good way! This strapless navy sculptural Marchesa gown is just the sort of wearable art that I’m sure Charles James strove for when he was designing. The look is simply put, STUNNING — the hand-painted organza floral details to the satin organza material.
Karolina probably didn’t need much to compliment the dress, but I guess she truly went with the mantra — “Go big or go home!” She decided to pair with her gown more than $1 million of Harry Winston diamonds — a 44-carat Guipure diamond necklace, queen diamond rings, & diamond earrings. (image above from Karolina’s prep time while at The Mark Hotel)
The more subtle, yet still elegant final touches for Karolina were with her choices for a lovely, chic up-do & clean, fresh makeup beauty look — Hair was by Bryce Scarlett & Makeup was by Steffi Willmann.
SUKI WATERHOUSE — Suki’s look was one of the 1st ones I saw and I immediately fell in love; I knew it would be at the top of my best dressed list! I was instantly mesmerized by this tiered tulle, custom Burberry gown with never-ending layers of silk organza. My hypnosis continued to her wonderful choices for jewelry to finish off her look, pieces by Anita Ko — 18k white gold diamond Fan earringss, Leaf ring, Feather ring, wave ring, and ear cuffs.
BLAKE LIVELY — If I had to pick someone who channeled the old school, Hollywood glam the best, it would have to be Blake. This champagne silk chiffon Gucci Premiere gown with a plunging neckline just had it all to bring back that timeless classiness and glam from the Charles James era. I loved that she went with some color for her jewelry pieces, all from Lorraine Schwartz — ruby swirl drop earrings & diamond rings.
This is a gown so fabulous, yes, I had to share 3 images, showcasing it all from all sides! SJP was the gala co-chair so of course she had to pull out all of the stops & this gorgeous Oscar de la Renta gown with a black velvet bodice and ivory duchess satin skirt certainly met that goal!
The just as amazing accessories for SJP certainly didn’t disappoint either, the many lovely pieces of jewelry by Fred Leighton — 4k 19th century diamond drop earrings, a 19th century diamond & white enamel bracelet, & diamond, pearl circular brooches.
And really, if you are going to walk around with a designer name prominently showcased on your look, it might as well be OSCAR DE LA RENTA!!
There are a few good men….
David looked handsome in his white shawl collar tuxedo jacket by Ralph Lauren Black Label, complete with a black bow tie!
JOSHUA JACKSON — Josh looked like a Boss, pun intended since he is wearing an ivory BOSS made to measure tuxedo jacket, which featured a black lapel and matching black tuxedo pants. He also sported a white bow tie, going perfectly with the night’s theme.
Frank was a Met Gala performer, wearing a sleek Givenchy Haute Couture tuxe (in white) by Riccardo Tisci iwth a black bow tie. He accessorized with a sparkling pair of Jacob & Co. white diamond studs.
Nicholas K recently showcased their bold & dramatic Fall/Winter 2014 collection during MBFW/NYFW. A couple of fun “1st facts” — this was the 1st show in Lincoln Center’s new venue, the Pavilion & Nicholas K was the 1st/opening show for MBFW; how cool!
This collection is of course brought to us by the sister/brother duo design team for Nicholas K, Nicholas & Christopher Kunz. The collection is entitled “Gaumy.” The inspiration is the famous photo series, “Men at Sea” by French photographer & filmmaker Jean Gaumy. The picture gives off a very specific vibe and that is what’s best encapsulated within this collection — darkness, coldness, & a mysterious world. Nicholas further explains the choices behind this inspirational series — “the documented voyages by Gaumy between 1984 and 1998 tell a story of struggles of deep-sea fisherman in a heroic tone. The visual aspect lets us appreciate the struggle between human and nature, mind, and body.”
Naturally with a somewhat darker inspiration comes a darker color palette within the collection. Nicholas & Christopher wanted to make sure a sense of cold isolation & life at sea were conceptualized so they used navy Atlantic blues, midnight blacks, charcoal greys, warm burgundies, neutral creams, and an ocean abstract print.
There is a lot of variety not just with color in the collection, but also the silhouettes. They are slouchy yet sophisticated, lots of layers, & really encompassing the brand’s signature — ease with an edge. Further, the brand is known for their multi-functional knits and leathers. But the Kunz’s don’t just settle. Instead, they deliver new styles, double zippers, multiple pockets and mixed fabrics. Examples of this are with the cable knits with leather sleeves and denim detailings, sometimes worn with wide leg trousers or wrap around leggings.
The dynamic duo design team grew up in Arizona and still pursue active outdoor lifestyles. They look to this for inspiration, ways to dress outdoors, and for protections from the weather and/or the environment. With that, creamy handknit cable sweaters are worn with slouchy pants tucked into boots, or rolled up leather fisherman shorts over leggings, with high collar buckle jackets and quilted, hooded parkas. It’s all a perfect mixture & interplay of functional high-fashion!
And no collection is complete without the attention to detail! The collection is styled with handknit fisherman hats with leather straps and industrial fisherman boots with detailing such as nautical knots and handmade rope jewelry.
There were some VIP attendees who cheered the brand on — Ryan Star (Musician), Eric West (Actor), Tashiana Washington (Actress), Mary Ellen Mark (Legendary Photographer), Martin Bell (Director), & Shaun Ross (Model/Actor).
SHOUT – OUTS
- Featured Music — Paola Prestini
- Hair — Jon Reyman for Aveda
- Make-up — Lauren Andersen for AVON
- Wigs — It’s a Wig
- Nails — Bondi
- Boots/Shoes — more specifically, fisherman work boots by Honeywell, which were customized to fit the Nicholas K collection
So Kate Pankoke was a recent designer contestant on Lifetime’s hit show Project Runway. In fact, she was a contestant on both season 12 and season 11. I enjoyed both of her stints on the show. I was very much honored to see her final runway collection presented during MBFW this past September. Despite her not winning Project Runway, she will always be a winner in my book!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Kate. She was such a delight. I’ve also enjoyed learning more about Kate through her work as creative director for Elaya Vaughn Bridal. I’m pleased to share more information about this stunning brand, it’s upcoming line for next year, and we can’t go without paying a bit of tribute to her standout moments on Project Runway. So here is the brand basics for Elaya Vaughn, and also a bit of background on Kate.
The brand was launched in 2010. As Kate describes the brand, “it’s more than a brand; Elaya Vaughn is an Experience.” She wants to make sure the wedding gown selected by her client, the whole process, down to the big day, is truly an unforgettable experience. She ensures that each gown consists of the highest quality of materials/embellishments, such as silk Swarovski crystals and metal coil boning. Kate’s strongest attributes play right in hand with her work for the brand.
As was seen on Project Runway and as can be seen from her work (images in this post), Kate is all about artful femininity — a true focus and commitment to fit for each woman’s figure. I could go on and on about how breathtaking her work is, how effortlessly the work appears, but that in reality each piece is consumed with very hard and detailed work. Rather, I am going let these images continue this story so enjoy!
A-line gown comprised of silk satin-faced organza with a tulle skirt overlay. The bodice & tulle skirt are trimmed in delicate Alencon-style lace appliques and a scalloped lace hem.
A voluminous ball gown with tiers of silk satin-faced organza and with an asymmetric draped bodice that is accented at the waist by a grosgrain ribbon & beaded silk organza flower.
This is a ball gown of cascading tiers of gathered & pleated silk taffeta ruffles with sweetheart neckline accented by rhinestone edging. The waist also has a asymmetrical beaded rhinestone applique.
A-line gown with asymmetric draped strapless bodice, also with a silk satin-faced organza that overlays a floral print.
Alencon-style lace A-line gown with a neckline & hem trimmed in a delicate scallop. Also with tulle skirt overlay.
Stunning drop waist gown with corseted bodice comprised of silk duchess satin culminating to a voluminous tulle skirt
Silk satin-faced organza mermaid gown with a seductive close-fit, a corseted bodice that hugs the body and is paired with a silk chiffon & silver beaded fringe shawl.
Strapless gown encrusted with Swarovski crystals with a gathered tulle skirt creating an A-line silhouette.
A romantic draped tulle gown with mermaid skirt that wraps asymmetrically
Detailed tulle ball gown with a pleated chiffon bodice overlapped by a draped tulle tank. There are 2 abstract beaded rhinestone appliques which accent the shoulder and then the waistline. The skirt has 3 asymmetrical tulle tiers.
Silk taffeta drop waist gown with a neckline and applique on abstract bow, which is embellished with rhinestones. This is a trumpet skirt with a cascade of ruffled tiers.
A-line gown with a silk charmeuse bodice accented by 2 rhinestone appliques & a lace-up back; also with silk satin-faced organza skirt.
Slinky silk charmeuse gown with silk chiffon accents and a wrapped tank bodice with sheer straps.
And to end, here are some great Project Runway memories. I can’t wait to see what is in store for Kate next — a future RTW line, more bridal, more eveningwear, the sky is the limit!!
SEASON 11 HIGHLIGHTS
SEASON 12 HIGHLIGHTS
- Inspiration :: Project Runway (katieladyblog.com)
- it has surfaced among the most widely used wedding ceremony designs. (happy8189.wordpress.com)
- PRAS3 Judges are Drinking the Elena Kool-Aid, & Bug Juice?? (fashionnexus.wordpress.com)
- Project Runway Collections: The Best of the Rest (fashionnexus.wordpress.com)