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

Project Runway: Season 12 Episode 12 L’Oreal Makeup Challenge

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Hello, my fabulouses! There is not much to say about Project Runway Season 12 Episode 12’s L’Oreal Makeup Challenge because no one went home! The remaining five designers were given a run for their money this week as they had to complete two challenges in one.

Challenge One: Create an avant-garde look inspired by butterflies.

Challenge Two: Create a new look using an eliminated designer’s garment.

To see the designers before and after remakes of the second challenge of Episode 12, please visit www.mylifetime.com/projectrunway

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Bradon was the winner of the avant-garde challenge. He spent a total of $984 to construct this look. The super edgy approach he took knocked the socks off of the judges. Way to go, designer Bradon! We will see you at New York Fashion Week!

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The clear winner in the VIP’s opinion is Dom. Spending only $628, she truly hit this look out of the ballpark! The mixing of patterns, flowy yet fierce construction, and extreme attention to detail made this garment look phenomenal on the runway. I am super excited that Dom will be heading to New York Fashion Week. Congrats, girl!

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The designers were given a suggested GoBank spending budget of $500 to purchase fabrics for this challenge. Oh, how I would adore to have a $500 GoBank spending budget at Belk! That would be beyond fabulous! What would you buy with a $500 GoBank budget?

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Although none of the designers went home this week, the bottom three will have to battle it out with their New York Fashion Week collections to see who will snag the winning spot to show at NYFW. Who will be crowned the third spot? Hm…I have my eye on my favorite designer.

Who do you want to see join Dom and Bradon on the runway? Justin, Helen, or Alexandria? Comment on this post to tell the VIP!

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Lucky 13: Weekly Whistle Day-Cation–click here to view post.

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway Season 12: HP Intel Challenge

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There was a lot of pressure on Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 because the remaining seven competitors had to design their own textile prints inspired by next generation innovators for the HP/Intel Textile Challenge.

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As the designers were creating their prints on the new HP Rove…I could not help but flashback to my time at the Auburn University Project Design Week 2012 where I had the opportunity to experience some of the classes of a fashion design major. During fashion camp, I got to play around with draping, making prints on the computer, and participating in lots of other fun activities! I would love to go back–the VIP had so much fun at Auburn Project Design Week! Whoopsy….I guess I got a little distracted there. Let’s get back to Project Runway!

Once the designers had their textiles designed, they embarked on their usual trip to Mood where they had a suggested GoBank spending budget of $100. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a GoBank card, an HP Rove, AND a Belk accessories wall?! Oh…it most definitely would! Okay, Birthday Fairy and Santa, why don’t y’all get on that for me *wink wink*

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Time to Hit the Runway:

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As soon as Dom’s model hit the runway wearing the brightly colored garment inspired by Premal Shah…I just knew that she was the clear winner. Dom truly grasped the object of this challenge and DOMinated it! See what I did there *wink, wink*

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Call me crazy, but I actually liked this look by designer Alexander. I thought it was very artsy and futuristic chic; however, the judges disagreed. I was so sad to see Alexander go home because of this garment. “I guess I should not mix religion and cake together anymore…except for at a wedding,” said Alexander jokingly on Episode 11.

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I am choking up just typing this…I was literally crying when they sent Kate Pankoke home. No, the garment was not very well executed…but Kate is talented and fabulous. Kate, keep reaching for the stars!

Phew…Episode 11 was quite the humdinger! I cannot wait to see what the designers will be bringing to the table on the next challenge!

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: 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