Archive for August, 2010

‘Project Runway’: A close call

August 26th, 2010

If you go to and click on the box that reads “Make Your Style Roiworld,” you can play with the designers’ creations in dressing the illustrated figure, above. In this case I used Gretchen Jones’s jacket and skirt. I don’t know whose top that was. The bag is from Piperlime, which is supplying all the accessories this season. It’s one way for the designers to get accustomed to these mash-ups. Few can afford buying collections, so the normal person just throws assorted designers, different seasons’ merchandise, together.

In my print story today, I promised to recap the “Project Runway” episodes for those who miss the progress of Hawaii contenders Ivy Higa and Andy South. It turned out to be pretty intense tonight with both ending up on the losing team. (Read what Andy has to say about the competition on the bottom of this piece.)

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. After they had drawn up sides, their team, Team Luxe, actually had the most first-place winners this season, four in four episodes. Team Military and Lace had no wins.

Also on Team Luxe were Gretchen, A.J., Michael C. and Christopher. On Team Military and Lace were April (not bound to last), Valerie (overrated by judges), Mondo, Casanova, Peach and Michael D. (one of my faves this season).

Andy and Gretchen pick fabrics.

Tim Gunn showed them boards filled with style and fabric/color options comprising key trends for fall 2010. They were to pick one style and one fabric/color to build a six-piece collection. Team Luxe opted for menswear and camel as their color choice. The other team’s name reflected its choices.

Already, I felt Team Luxe had gone wrong by picking camel; paired with menswear it would be hard to make exciting. I love menswear for women. It can be strong and sexy, classic and beautiful, but it would have to be impeccable and luxe to work. Otherwise, it could easily enter matron pantsuit territory. Judges on the show also tend to favor the dramatic, so I would have gone with bolder choices, like military and leopard or gold, so already, Team Military & Lace had an advantage.

Gretchen, a winner of two episodes, took charge. A lot of the designers on the show don’t care for Gretchen’s bossiness and condescension, but the woman is talented, and hails from one of my favorite creative cities, Portland, Ore. (Let’s not forget Season 5 winner Leanne Marshall is also from Portland.)

I can understand not wanting to be dragged down in a team competition. The business of fashion may take a group effort, but a design vision at their level is individualistic, so the team challenges are dreaded. No one likes to lose due to a weak link, and they had two in A.J. (no taste) and Michael C. (can barely sew).

Andy and Ivy are front and center of Team Luxe.

Ivy, Michael C., Gretchen and Casanova figured prominently in the storyline, which is not necessarily a good sign. It means you’re either going to win or go home, and I didn’t have a good feeling about Team Luxe’s direction. I was scared for Ivy because Michael C. had immunity from last week’s challenge, and with two wins to her credit, I was pretty certain Gretchen wasn’t going home, which left only Ivy and A.J.

Like Jay Sario last season, Andy isn’t getting much air time because he generally ends up in the middle of the pack and works quietly.

Team Luxe did put out a good team effort. Whereas the designers from Team M&L took an individual approach to designing their own garments within the context of their theme, Team Luxe assigned duties based on who was the best at creating pants, jackets, etc.

Casanova won the challenge with this design for Team Military & Lace.

Although the judges thought Team M&L’s collection was the more cohesive, I didn’t think it was cohesive at all, but some individual pieces were beautiful, striking, wearable and on trend.

Team Luxe’s collection was cohesisve, but in a way that conjured images of “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.” Not good in an industry that peddles the sexy and desirable. Judges criticized them for having no sex appeal, no design and awkward proportions.

The way they worked, too, with everyone working on elements of the design, it was hard for the judges to pinpoint the weakest link. In the end, they each indicated the pieces they made, and A.J. was sent home for making only one piece, an oddly proportioned shirt dress.


In the end, Tim Gunn had some harsh words for Gretchen and Team Luxe, saying they should not have let her boss them around at the expense of their own individuality. Huh? How do you create a cohesive collection with everyone going in their separate direction? I think they could have asserted themselves any time, but did try to work together as a team. They just needed more of a “wow” factor.

Ivy’s design.

Andy is credited on the Lifetime Web site with this design, but he only made the skirt and top, and a jacket worn by Michael C.’s model. It was tough to judge the Team Luxe designers individually, because they contributed their talents where needed, on 21 pieces, not expecting to be on the bottom.


A model wedding

August 26th, 2010

Nadine Kam photos
Newlywed Justine Godfrey in a wedding gown by Acid Dolls creator Cindy King.

As a model, Justine Miguel is probably accustomed to donning a wedding gown or two for work, but it was for real on Aug. 7, when she became Justine Godfrey after taking her vows—for a second time that day—with her new hubby Chad Godfrey.

It turned out to be  a fashionable event, with several models who’ve appeared on the pages of the Star-Bulletin, Star-Advertiser and HI Luxury, in the role of bridesmaids. Partly because they’re friends who’ve worked together, partly because of the visual thing. It  just doesn’t look that great in photos when you have a row of shorties and one Amazon, or vice versa.

If you saw my story in the paper today, about Acid Dolls “Urban Revolution” fashion show coming up, the wedding also showed another facet of designer Cindy King, who created the bridesmaids dresses and reception dress for Justine.

Justine had hoped Cindy could also design her wedding gown, but Cindy admitted some trepidation and lack of time due to focus on her fall collection and fashion show coming up Sept. 4.

Guests took notice. As one man told me. “This is the best-dressed wedding I’ve seen. Usually the bridesmaids dresses are ugly.”

Justine Miguel and Chad Godfrey took their formal vows at the Cathedral of Our Lady Peace on Fort Street Mall. An outdoor ceremony took place earlier in the day.

The bride with bridesmaids Rain Maiava-Rusden Umu, left, and Kate Schuette.

As it turned out, the dual dress wedding also happens to be on trend. The New York Times just ran an article Aug. 22, remarking on it after Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, during which she changed from one gown to another for ceremony and reception. The change is intended to free the bride from her bulky or restrictive dress for something more comfortable. Writer Tatiana Boncompagni noted that even in a rough economy, 70 percent of brides opt for two gowns.

Of course, the story noted, the two dresses have been with us for year, particularly in Hawaii, where the tradition carried over from Asian cultures, and because it’s so hot, who wouldn’t want to strip down as soon as possible?

Congratulations Justine and Chad!

Designer Cindy King, right, with the bride’s sister Erica Miguel.

Justine, in a beautiful fishtail gown from Do’s, emerges from the cathedral with her new husband.

The bride with bridesmaid Genevieve Rokero.

Cindy also designed the flowergirls’ dresses.

The wedding party with Justine in a shorter reception dress designed by Cindy King, with train and lace-up back.

Flower girl Ira Rose Miguel, Erica’s daughter, with her grandfather Benny Miguel.