Runway Redemption: Vote Ken Laurence for Season 13! #DesignerKen

The VIP with fashion designer Ken Laurence.
The VIP with fashion designer Ken Laurence.

Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog! 

Do y’all remember when the VIP interviewed Project Runway Season 12 star Ken Laurence? To refresh our memory, let’s take a look at the VIP interview with #DesignerKen here + the VIP Project Runway Season 12 blogs here. While we do that…I am going to snack on the gluten-free pizza I just made! *yum*

The VIP interviewing fashion designer Ken Laurence.
The VIP interviewing fashion designer Ken Laurence.

Now, I have some special news to share with y’all…the VIP’s favorite Project Runway designer ever–Ken Laurence–has a chance to be back on Project Runway for Season 13! *little girl scream* Oh, I am so excited–I can hardly wait for the Runway Redemption voting to begin tomorrow! Ahh! 

A beautifully elegant sketch by Ken Laurence.  Photo Credit: Ken Laurence
An elegant sketch by Ken Laurence.
Photo Credit: Ken Laurence

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So…how can you, the VIP readers, help get Ken Laurence get back on Project Runway for Season 13? It’s easy peasy, lemon squeezy! Just follow the directions below:

  1. Go to http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/season-13/instaportfolio
  2. Cast your vote by clicking the “vote” button under your favorite designer–the VIP will be clicking Ken Laurence’s vote button *wink*
  3. Also, do NOT forget to hashtag your favorite designer on ALL of your social media–Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #DesignerKen for Ken Laurence.
  4. Spread the word about your favorite designer! Encourage your friends, family, and strangers *wink* to vote for #DesignerKen!
  5. Pray and cross your fingers *wink*
A magnificent sketch by Ken Laurence.  Photo Credit: Ken Laurence
A magnificent sketch by the amazingly talented Ken Laurence.
Photo Credit: Ken Laurence

Okay, fabulouses. I am going to rest up for a two week tweeting spree–I want to see Ken Laurence back on Project Runway Season 13! Note to self: Go to Earth Fare to get more supplies for gluten-free pizzas *wink*

CONNECT WITH #DESIGNERKEN

Facebook here.

Twitter here.

Instagram here.

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

VIP Scrapbook: Hottest Moments of 2013

IMG_9966Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog! My goodness, can you believe that in just a few short hours (depending on your time zone haha) it will be 2014?! Phew! It has been a fabulous year for the VIP because I have met some amazing people and done some amazing things–and I could not have done any of it without y’all’s love and support.

Now, as we prepare to ring in the New Year, let’s take a look at the VIP’s hottest posts of 2013 (in no particular order)….and then the moment y’all have all been waiting for *drum roll* NEVER BEFORE SEEN PHOTOS. *gasp* Come on, let’s get started!

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1. VIP Interview with Extreme Home Makeover Edition’s Ty Pennington

(click here to see post)

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2. Birmingham Fashion Week 2013

(click here to visit category archives)

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3.  VIP Interview with Denim Experts Chip & Pepper Foster

(click here to view post.)

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4.  Grand Haul Girl with The Outlet Shops of Grand River

Lucky 13 outfit series here. (video here)

Superb Seven outfit series here. (video here)

18 Days of Grand Haul outfit series here. (video here)

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5. VIP Interview with Project Runway Season 12’s Ken Laurence

VIP Interview post here.

VIP Interview video here.

Project Runway archives and mini interviews with Ken here.

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Now, it is time for NEVER BEFORE SEEN PHOTOS! Whoo hoo!

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway Season 12 Episode 10 L’Oreal Makeover Challenge

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Tim Gunn: The designers don’t know you’re here.

Superfans: *chattering with excitement*

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On The L’Oreal Challenge, each of the remaining designers were assigned a Project Runway superfan to give a glamorous makeover–hair, makeup, custom outfit–the whole kit and caboodle.

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With a GoBank spending budget of $200-$400, the designers and their superfans went to Mood to shop for their materials. Oh, how I wish I could have a designer create me a custom garment using fabric from Mood with a GoBank spending budget of $200-$400…that would be so fabulous!

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How would you feel if someone came into your temporary home, intentionally knocked your iron off the ironing board, and ruffled your feathers with a sassy comment?

Hmmmm…in my opinion, it appeared as if Alexander were trying to pick a fight with Ken…or was it just made-for-TV drama?

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You may know Ken as the designer who has been showcased in a negative light, but for those who know him best, he is a true Southern gentleman and a self-taught fashion designer with a passion for creating chic, tailored garments. “Reality TV creates characters, and I’m not the person they make me out to be. I can be sassy, but I am also silly and love to joke,” stated Birmingham-native Laurence.

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I cannot argue with the winning look of this challenge. Helen did a fabulous job of transforming her superfan from blah to glam! Kudos to you, designer Helen! P.S. I would like to have this dress in my closet.

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The losing look of this challenge was Ken Laurence’s garment; however, you cannot argue with how happy his superfan was on that runway! You could tell that Susie was truly confident and in love with her custom dress.

Even though I was sad to see designer Ken go home on Episode 10, I know he was super happy to be back home in Birmingham, Alabama. “Coming to Project Runway and coming this far in the competition was reassurance of myself as a self-taught fashion designer…I am relieved [to be going home]. This [Project Runway] was such a boost of confidence for me. I came in intimidated as hell because of my lack of experience and education in design,” explained Ken on Episode 10.

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No matter how some people, especially the press, paint Ken Laurence’s image, one has to admire his determination to push through life’s hardest moments as well as his self-taught design ability in such a highly-competitive and educated competition. “Project Runway is only the beginning,” stated Ken Laurence in the VIP’s interview at his premiere party for Project Runway.

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Check out my “Abby In the City” article on www.thisisrealmedia.com about the modern Southern woman with exclusive commentary by Project Runway’s Ken Laurence. Click here to read the article.

 See today’s 30 Day J.Crew Challenge here.

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway: Belk Challenge Season 12 Episode 9

THE REMAINING NINE (back row from left to right) Jeremy, Brandon, Alexander, Alexandria (front row from left to right) Kate, Ken, Dom, Helen, Justin
THE REMAINING NINE
(back row from left to right) Jeremy, Brandon, Alexander, Alexandria
(front row from left to right) Kate, Ken, Dom, Helen, Justin

Heidi: “Are you impressed that you’re still here?”

All of the designers: “Yes!” *nodding their heads*

Southern style brunch on Project Runway Season 12 Episode 9.
Southern style brunch on Project Runway Season 12 Episode 9.

Hey y’all!–imagine my saying this in my most genuine Southern Belle accent–Are y’all ready for the VIP’s weekly recap of Project Runway?

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Tim Gunn: “She is a modern Southern woman…She is the Belk customer…She dresses vibrantly and impressively. She is always fashionably put together. She knows how to use accessories, and she loves color and anything with feminine detail.”

Me: “Mom, I think Tim Gunn just described me perfectly!”

Mom: “Sweetheart, he just described every true Southern lady perfectly.”

Ken purchasing his fabric at Mood with his GoBank card. Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Ken purchasing his fabric at Mood with his GoBank card.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

After their classy Southern brunch and thirty-minute sketching time, the designers were given thirty minutes in Mood to find their fabric and were given a suggested GoBank spending budget of $200–$250. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have a $200–$250 GoBank shopping budget at Belk? I can imagine myself walking out of those doors with bags of fabulous attire, accessories, and sweet high heels. Do I have a shopping addiction? Sure, some would call it that…now, back to Project Runway!

With one day to create their looks, the designers were antsy about creating something that a modern Southern woman would wear.

Helen: “I do not design for the modern Southern woman…this is way out of my comfort zone.”

Alexander: “I do not dress like a modern Southern woman…just like a modern 80s woman.”

When time was up in the workroom, Tim Gunn (looking dashing as always) escorted the designers and models to the runway.

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The winner of this challenge was Brandon. I liked the concept of his design; however, I am not too crazy about the plaid. I can definitely see this dress in vibrant colors and a pretty, flowy fabric…perhaps then…the true modern Southern woman would snatch it off the rack at Belk. Kudos for the fabulous design concept, Brandon! Boo on the plaid!

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Heidi: “We think you all did not fully understand the concept of this challenge, and you all could benefit from a little bit more time…For the first time in Project Runway history, I’m going to send you back to the workroom. Right now—you will have one hour to work on your look, and to give you a little help, each of you can choose one fellow designer. You have access to all of the fabrics in the workroom….”

So…Designers Dom, Jeremy, and Ken were sent back to the workroom…all I could think was good luck, my darlings!

Designer Dom's second look. The second winning look of this challenge.
Designer Dom’s second look. The second winning look of this challenge.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

I LOVE THIS DRESS! Just so all of you know….when this dress arrives at Belk, I will be running to get it!

Designer Jeremy's first look.
Designer Jeremy’s first look.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Bless his heart…Despite Jeremy’s valiant effort, he was sent home. I was very sad to see him go because I am going to miss his wonderful designs and especially his British accent.
Ken Laurence's first look.
Ken Laurence’s first look.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Ken Laurence's second look.
Ken Laurence’s second look.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

After watching Episode 9, I chatted with Ken about the challenge and his two spectacular garments.

Me: “If you could have created a completely new garment, what would you have created?”

Ken: “I would have created the exact same dress in a different fabric. My goal was to find a lighter, more flowy fabric, but I ran out of time in Mood…and the color was most important.”

Me: “What was the concept behind your first design?”

Ken: “I wanted to design something that I witnessed selling on a day-to-day basis when I worked as a stylist at BCBG–before Project Runway. Southern women came in looking for maxi dresses that were simple, easy-to-wear, and could be accessorized for all occasions. Another factor I tried to think about was the climate here in Alabama, and that was why I wanted to go with a lighter fabric.”

Me: “What was your goal when you went back to the workroom to modify your look?”

Ken: “My main goal was to just have a dress…I was not thinking about the modern Southern woman anymore…I was just thinking about giving the judges a different look. In my original sketch, I actually created a silhouette similar to the one in my second look so I just went with it.

Personally, I loved designer Ken’s first look the most! I loved the fact that it could be easily accessorized…we all know how much the VIP loves her accessories!

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Phew…this episode was quite the humdinger! I cannot wait to see what Episode 10 has to offer!

Don’t forget to live tweet with YOUR favorite designer by using the hashtags below!

#DesignerKen

#DesignerKate

#DesignerHelen

#DesignerDom

#DesignerJustin

#DesignerBrandon

#DesignerAlexandria

#DesignerAlexander

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway: Season 12 Episode 8

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Hello, my fabulouses and welcome back to the blog! Today, I want to chat about Project Runway Season 12 Episode 8. How did the designers start off the challenge? Well, with Tim Gunn waking them up in a referee outfit! What? Tim Gunn in a referee outfit rather than a tux? Let me tell y’all, Tim Gunn worked that referee outfit like a pro!

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Tossing on some snazzy sports apparel, the designers were off to have a Project Runway field day with the winning team being rewarded with one extra hour of sewing and first pick at fabric.

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Project Runway added a new twist to the show this week by asking the designers to create performance wear for Heidi Klum’s New Balance collection that was not only fashionable but functional. The winning runway look was to be manufactured and sold at select New Balance stores under Heidi Klum’s collection. Phew…talk about motivation!

Ken using his GoBank card at Mood!  Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Ken using his GoBank card at Mood!
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

With a $50.00 GoBank spending budget, designers Dom and Justin had first pick at fabric because they won the Project Runway field day challenge.

After the designers chose their 10 yards of fabric and paid with their GoBank mobile phone apps and debit cards, it was time to head back to the workroom! Go, team, go! Give me a P-R-O-J-E-C-T  R-U-N-W-A-Y…What’s that spell? PROJECT RUNWAY! Go, Team!

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Lessons I Learned From the Workroom on Season 12 Episode 8:

  • Secrets and Name Calling are Never Good:

Secrets and name calling are never good…especially in high-pressure situations. “Pressure pushing down on me. Pressing down on you, no man ask for under pressure…” (Under Pressure by Queen)

  • It is good to have a mentor, spiritual mom, and/or Tim Gunn to talk to and give you advice.

D. Green (Ken’s mentor/spiritual mom): “You can’t give up now. Do you hear me?”

Ken: “Yes, ma’am.”

D. Green: “Ken, you were born for this.”

Tim Gunn (talking to Ken): “You wouldn’t be here, if we didn’t believe you’ve got the stuff not just to sustain this but to win.”

Ken: “Yes, sir.”

  • Pep talks refresh the memory.

Ken: “After speaking with Tim Gunn, it refreshed my memory of why I am here and, in that moment, I just really needed to hear that.”

  • Nonverbal actions speak just as loud as verbal actions…sometimes louder.

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Is Helen smiling like a Cheshire cat while tattling on Designer Ken? You tell me…
  • When under pressure, it is not uncommon to lash out at someone and say things one later regrets.

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  • Some people will do anything to win…even ruffling a few feathers.

Helen: “It is a competition. I cannot comprehend what set Ken off. This is all about strategy; and if you’re going to win this competition, like I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to ruffle a few feathers.”

  • Don’t judge.

Ken: “You should never actually judge a person because you don’t know what they are going through….That struggle [see explanation below] has made me a very, very, very independent person.”

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In an exclusive interview, Ken and I chatted about his struggle and how he arrived to where he is today.

Ken: “I have been designing clothes since I was about 10 years old…and the dream has come true with Project Runway….I have been homeless before…having to live in my car…and all of the struggles I have been through have made me into the person I am today. I am very independent because of what I have been through. If there is one thing I have learned from these struggles is that it is important to have faith in God that your dreams will come true…don’t let the distractions stop you from reaching your dream.”

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  • It takes a strong person to apologize.

Ken (talking to Helen): “I’ve been frustrated all day–”

Helen: “I know.”

Ken: “–I like you, and I flipped out on you for no reason, honestly.”

Helen: “Okay, no worries.”

Ken: “I just needed to apologize. Can I have a hug?”

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Tim Gunn: “I feel like a proud dad!”

Designer Dom (commenting on Ken’s apology): “It felt genuine. I think he just got really stressed out.”

Okay…that’s enough with the life lessons. Let’s get back to the runway!

Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

What do you wear when you work out? Are you sleek and chic or comfy and casual? I completely understand what Heidi Klum’s vision for this challenge was…but when the VIP works out, I like to dress very basic and carefree. I do not care if my outfit could hit the runway after an hour of booty-kicking Insanity with Shaun T…Oh, Shaun T is such a motivating cutie.

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Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

Designer Ken’s athletic wear outfit is something I could wear during my work out–while being covered up and feeling confident. I like the approach with the longer shirt because let’s face it…we all worry about what our booties look like when we are running or doing squats in front of an entire gym of hot guys.

Designer Ken’s look was basic and wearable for the everyday woman; however, Helen took home the win with this challenge because her performance wear jacket exemplified Heidi Klum’s concept of bringing the runway to the treadmill.

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Man…Episode 8 was quite the doozy! Now, I feel like I should go throw on my slouchy work out clothes and go for a run with my precious Giant Schnauzer, Ziva! See y’all next week for yet another VIP Project Runway recap post!

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn