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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check out my “Abby In the City” article onwww.thisisrealmedia.comabout the modern Southern woman with exclusive commentary by Project Runway’s Ken Laurence. Clickhereto read the article.
Comfort, style, high-fashion, and quality are words that are synonymous with Donald J. Pliner. Renowned for his luxuriously comfortable and polished footwear, women everywhere want a piece of Donald J. Pliner in their closets. “Fashion is one thing, and comfort is another…I try to combine both fashion and comfort,” said Donald in an interview with Abby Hathorn at his special event and appearance at Belk The Summit on September 14.
Pliner took the fashion world by storm in 1989 with the launch of his sumptuous men’s and women’s footwear/accessories line. Toute de suite, Donald J. Pliner’s cutting edge designs and formidable style footwear placed him at the top of the fashion world’s must-have list. In 2004, he was inducted into the Footwear News Hall of Fame. Today, Donald continues to stay true to his haute, quality footwear by meticulously designing every pair of shoes himself.
“The Donald J Pliner Collection is sold nationwide in select specialty stores and upscale department stores including Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Bloomingdale’s, and at the company’s five concept stores (Aventura, Coral Gables, Houston, Las Vegas, San Jose). The entire collection is also available online at www.donaldjpliner.com.” (press release)
Now, without further ado, I introduce to y’all the VIP’s spectacular interview with acclaimed shoe designer Donald J. Pliner.
VIP: How would you describe the Donald J. Pliner woman?
DJP: “Today in fashion, there is no age anymore…all of a sudden, there is a new world called exercise, a new world called fashion….It’s the customer–she can be any age!”
VIP: Where is your go-to spot for inspiration?
DJP: “Paris! I used to live in Miami, now, I just live in L.A. and New York…but you know L.A. is all about Hollywood…there is a lot of inspiration there [in L.A.]….[Many] of my inspirations come from history, but as far as cities are concerned, I think my favorite cities are Paris and Morocco.”
VIP: (The VIP Question) What is one item in your closet you would never toss out and why?
DJP: “My beaded shoes. It takes 38 hours to make one pair of these. It is all hand-beaded.”
A silent auction of folk art carvings of pigs and masks created by New Mexican artist Larry Jacquez and signed by Pliner was held during the event with the proceeds benefiting Donald and Lisa Pliner’s Peace for the Children Foundation.
“PEACE FOR THE CHILDREN FOUNDATION represents the mission of Donald and Lisa Pliner. Through their foundation, they aim to restore peace in the lives of children who would otherwise be overlooked. The foundation identifies and funds projects that foster peace in the lives of children by eradicating disease, educating, encouraging communication through meaningful play, and providing the groundwork for children to articulate their thoughts and work through their differences; developing a paradigm for problem-solving and peacemaking in the next generation. PEACE FOR THE CHILDREN FOUNDATION believes despite the current injustices that plague so many children around the world, its vision of peace for the children will ultimately be realized.” (press release)
Saturday night’s finale was full of excitement and anticipation from the heidi elnora bridal runway show to the announcements of the Emerging and Rising Design Star winners–not to mention the headlining designer Tibi.
Birmingham Fashion Week 2013 concluded with a big, dazzling bang! The finale began with wedding gown designer and co-founder of BFW Heidi Elnora’s collection, which was inspired by the movie Snow White and the Huntsman. “Brides-to-be can find heidi elnora gowns across the world and in Nordstrom Bridal Salons as she has dressed hundreds of brides from L.A. to Dubai.” (www.bhamfashionweek.com)
Big round of applause to the 2013 Emerging Designers! All of their designs were incredibly creative and aspiring! I am so glad that I did not have to pick winners…It would have been pretty much impossible because each collection was truly breathtaking!
BFW 2013 Emerging Designer Winners:
1st Place: Elizabeth Singleton showcased an eye-catching collection that wowed everyone! She is this year’s Birmingham Fashion Week Emerging Designer Winner.
2nd Place: Sarah Winford exhibited a tremendous collection that crowned her runner up of BFW’s Emerging Designers competition. The VIP would love to wear her garments!
3rd Place: AnnaKay Winford (sister of Sarah Winford) and Allison Mills tied for third place in the competition. Both designers displayed marvelous garments–it would have been hard for me to choose just one!
Let’s give a grand congrats to the 2013 Rising Design Star competitors! These talented rising stars designed garments using nontraditional items (garbage bags, paper, can tops, bubble wrap…) and assembled these upcyled frocks with glue, tape, and staples. The eighteen finalists displayed their designs one last time on the Birmingham Fashion Week runway during the finale. “Birmingham Fashion Week wants to help promote and inspire teenagers to follow their dreams….It makes me happy to involve these students in BFW.” exclaims Jeana Lee Fleming, co-founder of Birmingham Fashion Week.
To learn more about the Rising Design Star competition, click here.
Want to see more photos from the 2013 Rising Design Star Competition? Check out the VIP Facebook page here!
2013 Rising Design Star Winners:
Annie Bloomston (age 16) of Mountain Brooke High School was named Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Design Star of the year. Annie was also the “People’s Choice” when the competitors garments were on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
Preston Mills (age 17), runner up of the BFW Rising Design Star competition, created a garment that weighed a whopping 35 pounds!
Bradford Billingsly (age 11) won the third place prize in the competition. He designed a fantastic hand painted piece!
Featured boutiques of the night were Laura Kathryn, Shaia’s (menswear), and Gus Mayer. Each store exhibited superb spring attire that had the whole crowd ready to shop!
“Laura Kathryn is an exclusive women’s boutique located in Crestline Village. Dressing the city’s women for the past twenty years, it carries one of a kind items and select designer labels,” www.bhamfashionweek.com
Shaia’s displayed sexy and sporty men’s attire on the BFW runway. “Shaia’s is a men’s wear retailer in the finest sense of tradition. More than a shop that sells suits, sportwear, shoes, accessories, and formal wear; it is a destination for camaraderie,” www.bhamfashionweek.com
Gus Mayer featured marvelous fashions that made every lady ready for a shopping trip! “Gus Mayer is one of the premiere shopping destinations of The Summit Lifestyle Center. It sells designer, contemporary, bridge clothing, accessories, shoes, and jewelry for women,” www.bhamfashionweek.com
Headlining designer of the night was Amy Smilovic (Tibi). “Tibi’s contemporary clothing line is sold at more than six hundred retailers worldwide, including Neiman Marcus, Harrods, and Saks Fifth Avenue.” (www.bhamfashionweek.com) ” I love it when I see an individual’s personal style reflected in the way they dress. And I always think a woman should dress in contradictions – youthful and sophisticated, masculine and feminine, bold and muted colors,” http://www.tibi.com/about/inspiration/
Welcome back, fashionistas! I hope you all have had a fabulous New Year! It is the first Weekly Whistle of 2013! Wow…makes me think about what an adventure 2012 was for the VIP! I began my blog in February 2012, and in June, I gained the opportunity to write my own column in The Real Story called “The Adventures of the VIP”. Then, in October, I started writing and styling outfits for Town and Gown Magazine! I could not have gained all of these opportunities if it were not for all of you, my fantastic, fashionable, and fabulous readers! All of the fan emails and comments have made me work harder to achieve my dream of spreading the love of fashion-VIP style! Once again, thank you, fans, for all of your support! I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for me, Miss VIP!
This week’s Weekly Whistle is a sneak peek of my top ensembles to kick off 2013! To see more fabulous 2013 kick off outfits, visit my article on www.realstorypublishing.com! Also, come back Friday, January 5 for more 2013 VIP top pick outfits! You will not want to miss it! Now, let’s see what the VIP’s favorite outfit of the week is!