Archive for Project Runway

Auditions for new CW Reality Show

The show is being described as “The Devil Wears Prada” meets “The Assistant” and it comes from Tyra Banks and Ken Mok, who teamed up for “America’s Next Top Model.” The new cycle of ANTM starts Feb. 20.

Miss Tyra Banks of “America’s Next Top Model” is looking for contestants for her next reality show.

Bottom line, do you want to enter the fashion world as a minion?

“It is a competition show about aspiring assistants looking to become assistant editors at a fashion magazine,” says Mok. “At the same time they’re trying to prove themselves as aspiring fashionistas, that they have a sense of style and savvyness, all the things to make it in the fashion world.”

Open auditions will be held this Saturday, February 9, at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, 750 Kearny St. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Written applications will be available for download here. , however it’s not required that you have a completed application in order to audition. Applicants must be between 18 and 27 at the time of application.

According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, Eli Holzman, who developed “Project Runway” at Miramax TV, and the show’s executive producers Jane Cha and Desiree Gruber, fashion experts and managers of “Runway” host Heidi Klum, came up the initial idea for the new series and pitched it to the CW.

The network in turn suggested a collaboration with Banks and Mok in mounting the production because of Banks’ background as a supermodel and the duo’s experience in the fashion reality genre with “Top Model.”

Banks, Mok, Holzman, Cha and Gruber will executive produce the series, which has received an eight-episode order and will begin production in April for a launch in late spring or summer.

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Chris March out in Project Runway

Former San Francisco costume designer Chris March bombed out with his hideous creation that made us all remember why shoulder pads were never a good idea.

The challenge tonight was for the designers to take bad fashion ideas from pleather to shoulder pads and whip them into fashion forward statements.

In addition, the designers were divided into teams of three and had to make three different fashion elements blend into a cohesive design collection. One team turned fashion nightmares into a fashion dream, while the others struggled.

In the bottom two, Team March showed what happens when you get three designers with varying degrees of skill. While Chris and teammate Steven came up empty, Sweet P whipped up a delicious dress that was easily my favorite creation.

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Sweet P’s yummy tog

Yet right along side was Chris’ downfall. Chris rejected Tim Gunn’s advice to ditch the jacket, more’s the pity. The short jacket looked like a Ross reject, hurting my eyes and making me feel sorry for the model who had to wear it.

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Chris’ fashion don’t

While Team Jillian, which included Rami and Kevin, agonized over Kevin’s inability to finish a pair of shorts. But in the end, his creation was simply stunning.

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Shorts stole the show

Team Jillian won an overwhelming victory, with all the judges so enamored of the collection they actually named the winner first.

Go to the Project Runway site to see all the designs, and vote for your favs.

With San Francisco designers Simone and Chris out, only U.C. Berkeley grad Jack remains from the Bay Area trio. And, looking at the previews from next week, things don’t look good for our Jack.

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Project Runway: Man O’Fashion

“What was it they had right before the Titantic sunk? Oh, yeah. Panic.”

Steven nailed it. Tonight, the designers were in full-on freak mode as they struggled to make something snappy in men’s wear for “Today” correspondent Tiki Barber. The designers admitted they didn’t know much about designing for men and that was an understatement. The clothes overall were horrible.

Even the tonight’s top designers shouldn’t be patting themselves on the back. It was more about judging the best among the mediocre. There was a sea of barely wearable, with the bottom trio justifiably ashamed of what they had created.

“This challenge is going to be so difficult to judge because there’s going to be so many things that are so jacked up,” Christian said, summing up the fashion disaster that was tonight’s show.

True words, Christian my friend.

U.C. Berkeley grad Jack won the challenge with an interesting stripe pant and shirt combo. He wisely decided not to try to make a vest or jacket to go with it, because he knew he didn’t have the time or the expertise to pull it off.

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Jack’s creation

And speaking of pulling it off, when he couldn’t figure out how to make a pattern for the pants, he pulled his own pants off and turned them into a guide to making a pattern. Cheater? Maybe. But the judges decided to give him the win anyway.

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Jack takes the win tonight

Actually, I thought Kit’s design was better, but Tiki seemed to like the idea of parading around in stripes.

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Sweet Pea in her less haggard pre-taping days

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And her pitiful creation

Sweet Pea dodged a major bullet, probably only squeaking out because of her previous work. Her shirt’s collar went wildly out of control, with too much fabric slopping around the neck. So what did she do? Sweet P put a tie on it. That’s like the days when pregnant women put a big bow on their blouses so no one would notice the huge basketball they were carrying in their tummy.

The tearful Ricky blubbered away when he got a pass for a boring suit held together with pins and good thoughts.

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Ricky when he’s not crying

But at least he didn’t drape fabric around his model’s neck to hide the fact that he wasn’t wearing a shirt under his jacket. Tiki’s wife called the jacket very “Members Only” – a dated throwback that had problems all on its own without any help from the drapery.

And before her model could even leave the dressing room, Carmen was sewing the waistband where a button would have worked so much better. And safer. There was no doubt who was getting Auffed tonight:

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Carmen — Bravo Photo: Barbara Nitke

And the loser is….

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“Project Runway” Takes Off

It’s the first night of “Project Runway” and I’m absolutely giddy with excitement.

Finally, once a week I can wallow in the fashion industry, dish with fashion gurus like Dino-Ray Ramos. Yes, Dino-Ray and I did a SueTube on this season and we’re just not sure how it will all turn out. All the designers already have their own lines, many of them have already worked with stars.

Still, you can’t take away that Tim Gunn pixie dust.

We do have three locals to root for this season, including Chris March of San Francisco. March is a freelance costume designer living in New York, and his client list includes Cirque du Soleil, Madonna and Thierry Mugler. OK, I had to Google Mugler, but I know the other two. But locals would know Chris from his work on “Beach Blanket Babylon.”

We’ll see if this campy costume guy has some hot fashion ideas. I really like him, especially that wicked little giggle and I think I’ll pick him as one of my top-five choices.

In Wednesday’s episode, we felt it was a bit mean to show the designers racing across the park to get first dibs on some pricey fabric for the first challenge.

Poor Chris came huffing and puffing in last place and his material choices were limited, even though he claimed everything that would have been his first choice was still available. Scary.

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We like Chris

But the outfit proved to be quite lovely, and he landed firmly in the middle of the pack.

San Francisco native Simone LeBlanc likes to experiment with fabric but she fell flat with her boring design and even less inspired outfit.

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Then there’s Jack Mackenroth, who graduated from UC Berkeley with a double degree in Fine Arts and Sociology, attended Parson School of Design, which Gunn came from before switching to Liz Claiborne recently.

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Camilla, Jack at the fashion show for the fans on Nov. 6 at Lincoln Center in New York, NY — Bravo Photo: Barbara Nitke

Jack also landed in the middle.

The top three designers of the night:

We really like Christian, who is the youngest at 21 and probably one of the most promising of the lot. His asymmetrical outfit caught the eyes of the judges, although Tim seemed to try to warn him off when he critiqued the outfit earlier in the show.

Rami’s outfit was dubbed “stunning” by Tim, but we thought it had too much draping and knots. The third member of the top-three team was Victorya, who seems a little insecure. Her black dress with the big silver flower was kicky and fun. But we agree with Michael Kors, who called it a little “mother of the bride.”

Michael also pointed out that it would be hard to hail a cab with the straps across the top of your arms. Victorya came back with a line about bleeding for fashion. Um, maybe.

In the bottom of the heap was Elisa, who designed a floaty little blue dress that I liked, except for the ghastly train she put behind it with every piece of material she could snag. It was a ridiculous thing to do, and her model could have been killed from tripping over it.

Ricky did a little signature baby doll dress that was kind of cute for someone visiting the Playboy mansion.

And poor Simone. Our local girl was the first to be cut from the squad, and she fully deserved her dismissal. The dress she designed looked like something out of my 8th grade home ec class.

Well, maybe not that bad. My teacher told me she’d give me a C in the class if I promised never to use her sewing machines again. I don’t know how that thread can get so gummed up in there…

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Project Runway!

Just the other day, my editor Kari and I were wondering when ProRun was returning, and today a lovely e-mail arrived.

10 p.m. Nov. 14 on Bravo. Oh, the joy. The happiness.

The fourth season has our beloved Tim Gunn returning with Heidi Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia with 15 new designers.

“It is very exciting to be going into our fourth season of Project Runway, and I think it will be the best season yet — I’m sure the audience will enjoy it,” said Klum. “Fashion is such a difficult business, and besides being great TV, we’re proud that the show allows some very talented designers to have a platform.”

The 15 “Project Runway” contestants will be whittled down to the finalists who will show their own line in front of an audience of fashion industry movers and shakers at New York Fashion Week.

As part of the winner’s prize package, an editorial feature on the winning designer will run in an issue of ELLE and will be shot by ELLE’s International Creative Director Gilles Bensimon, the winner will walk away with a cash prize of $100,000 seed money from TRESemmé professional hair care to start their own line, and will have the opportunity to sell a fashion line on Saturn will award the winner a 2008 Saturn Astra.

Following are the 15 new “Project Runway” designers, with a bit more on the SF connected designers:

– Carmen, 37 – Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.; Resides in N.Y.
– Chris, 44 – Hometown: San Francisco; Resides in N.Y.
– Christian, 21 – Hometown: Annapolis, Md.; Resides in N.Y.
– Elisa, 42 – Hometown: El Paso, Texas; Resides in Santa Fe, N.M.
– Jack, 38 – Hometown: Seattle, Wash.; Resides in N.Y.
– Jillian, 26 – Hometown/Resides In: Selden in Long Island, N.Y.
– Kevin, 30 – Hometown: Fairfield, N.J.; Resides in N.Y.
– Kit, 26 – Hometown: Los Angeles; Resides in Los Angeles
– Marion, 39 – Hometown: Tyler, Texas; Resides in Dallas, Texas.
– Rami, 31 – Hometown: Ramallah, Jerusalem; Resides in Los Angeles
– Ricky, 35 – Hometown: Escondido; Resides in N.Y.
– Simone, 32 – Hometown: San Francisco; Resides in Los Angeles
– Steven, 30 – Hometown/Resides In: Chicago, Ill.
– Sweet P, 46 – Hometown: Los Angeles; Resides in Glendale
– Victorya, 34 – Hometown: Winchester, Virginia; Resides in N.Y.

AGE: 44
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, CA
EDUCATION: Self taught
FASHION MUST: Bright colored anything

Chris is a freelance Costume Designer in New York City with a client list that includes Cirque du Soleil, Madonna and Thierry Mugler. Originally from San Francisco, he has always kept his eye on a career in fashion.

Chris’ work on the giant trademark hats and wigs of America’s longest running show, “Beach Blanket Babylon,” earned him great acclaim. Without any formal costume or fashion education, he garnered an impressive client list. His love of costuming, fashion, and acting, led him to pursue his fashion design dreams in New York, where his achievements include a “Drama Desk Award” nomination for outstanding costume design. Chris has created looks and styles for many designers that have appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Martha Stewart,” “Rachael Ray,” “Tyra,” “Today,” E! and MTV.

Classic designers like Dior and Chanel, as well as trailblazers like Thierry Mugler, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano inspire Chris. However, he says he’s always had an unmistakably unique vision and talent that includes sculptural lines, lush fabrics, humor and an unpredictable use of materials. Chris says he designs for the woman who wants to stand out in a crowd.

AGE: 38
HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washington
EDUCATION: University of California at Berkeley with a double degree in Fine Arts and Sociology and Parsons School of design
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Diane Von Furstenberg, Alexander McQueen (For Men)
FASHION MUST: A sugar daddy

Jack, 38, originally from Seattle, Washington is a swimmer, model and fashion designer. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a double degree in Fine Arts and Sociology. In 1991, Jack moved to New York to attend Parsons School of Design where he studied fashion design. Fresh out of Parsons, Jack opened a menswear store in the uber chic West Village called “Jack.” There, he showcased new designers alongside upscale brands such as Gaultier Junior, Diesel and John Richmond. In 1997, he went to work for Tommy Hilfiger and then designed for the Slates brand, which is under the Levis umbrella. For the past 4 years, Jack has been the Design Director at Weatherproof Active Wear.

Beyond his professional achievements, Jack has also received national recognition as a competitive swimmer. He has three All-American titles to his name and set a national record in the summer of 2006 in the breaststroke leg of the 4 x 50 meter medley relay. As a fitness and fashion model through the 1990’s, Jack appeared in such magazines as “Paper,” “DNR,” “Men’s Fitness,” “Men’s Journal,” “Genre,” “Blue” and several others. Jack has also always been very open about his positive HIV status. Since his diagnosis in 1990, he has tried to combat the stigma of HIV by living honestly and being a role model through professional and athletic achievements.

Currently Jack is developing his own line of men’s dress shirts and dress pants and hopes to expand into all aspects of men’s sportswear. He is also working on a memoir about his life experiences.

AGE: 32
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, CA
EDUCATION: Parsons School of Design, Paris
FASHION MUST: Organic wool and cashmere

Originally from Northern California and currently living in Los Angeles, Simone, 32, has been making¬¬ clothing since she was a child. Raised in an environment of creativity where artists, designers and musicians were an integral part of daily life, she was encouraged to experiment with every type of material that she could get her hands on. Simone quickly developed an obsession with fabric, form and its natural connection to the body.

While studying at CCA in San Francisco, Simone delved into sculptural and artesianal techniques, gaining appreciation for the historical and the handcrafted traditions of eras gone by. Simone’s love for fashion and history led her to Paris, where she studied at Parsons and assisted a young and accomplished couturier. She says Paris offered a perfect experience for her with dedicated craftsmanship, high-minded fashion and many historical treasures to be discovered.

When Simone returned to the U.S., she began a career of freelance design, personal styling and creating one-of-a-kind pieces for a select clientele. In 2006, this path led her to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she was commissioned to create a custom collection, as well as explore traditional craft and production techniques throughout the region.

Simone currently resides in Los Angeles and is designing custom pieces, as well as TS BLOOM, her collection of women’s wear using organic and surplus fabrics.

“Project Runway” fans can log onto BravoTV for bonus clips of the show, listen to Gunn’s podcast, watch the designers’ audition videos and read blogs written by Gunn and Garcia.

Also on users will have the chance to compete in online challenges by sending in photos of their take on each week’s challenges. Users will once again be able to “Rate the Runway” and vote on which designs they think should have been “in” or “out” after every episode.

On their mobile phones, fans will be able to access the “Project Runway” WAP site at (or text BRAVO to 27286), for exclusive video diaries, photos, fashion tips from contestants, guest judges and more.

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