Archive for the ‘Project Runway Season 8’ Category

‘Project Runway’ designers tackle jewelry

April 22nd, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

Michael Drummond’s Swarovski crystal bracelet and ring creation.

Yesterday, while lunching with the “Project Runway” designers, Malie Moran put the question of participating in a Swarovski crystal workshop to the designers, and their answer was a resounding “Yes!”

A chance to work with their hands seemed to be more exciting than yet another club event, which tends to get old after a while.

I would be working Good Friday, so I didn’t bother to find out where the workshop would take place or at what time.

It just so happened that The Waikiki Edition Shop curator, Steven Giles, had been in town from Miami, and I was able to interview him at the hotel prior to his heading to the airport.

After he left, I was taking notes in the store and leafing through a lavish Pucci book, when Michael Drummond walked in to purchase a few gifts. I asked if the other designers were awake, and he said they were around the corner making jewelry!

Mondo concentrates on a ring, while Valeen Hirata works on a piece of her own.

Casanova had appeared briefly in the gift shop as well, then wandered off, but Andy and Mondo were still engrossed in their jewelry work, which probably says a lot about how they made “Project Runway’s” Top Three.

Valeen Hirata of Creations By You showed how to use epoxy clay molded to the ring forms to hold the crystals in place. Once finished, the clay dried in about an hour. I think I was there a half hour, and left wearing both the rings I made.

Valeen is the local Ambassador for Create Your Style with Swarovski Elements, and Andy said he frequents her 1801 Liliha St. craft supply store for the crystals. You can check out the store for kits, notions and classes. Call 536-5255.

Swarovski beads and crystals in a variety of sizes and colors were available to the designers.

Andy shows his bracelet, which he plans to flash around.

I made two rings, one dark, and one white, pink and girly for the dual aspects of my personality. They look a little different now, with metallic powders brushed on giving the darker a silver metallic tint, and the white a more glittery look.

A “Project Runway” Season 8 reunion

April 21st, 2011

Nadine Kam photos
There was a “Project Runway” Season 8 mini reunion of castmates, front from left, Andy South, Michael Drummond, Mondo Guerra and Casanova, at Honolulu Community College this morning. After speaking to the fashion students, the whole group posed for photos.

The show will also feature guests appearances by HCC alum Andy South and his “Project Runway” Season 8 castmates Casanova, Christopher Collins, Michael Drummond and Mondo Guerra.

“Project Runway” designers Casanova, Michael Drummond and Mondo Guerra arrived in town yesterday and arrived at the Honolulu Community College campus this morning to meet with the school’s Fashion Technology students and the public to talk about their experiences on the show and off.

The designers were very candid and generous with their time, their personal stories and advice to the students. Their advice was prescient in light of some of the negative comments generated after some of the students designs appeared in the paper. It’s easy to let criticism eat away at you, but when it comes from trolls who don’t even have the courage, conviction and decency to use their own name, hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, you can dismiss them 100 percent. It’s a different story when criticism is constructive, and comes from those in the industry, who want to help you stretch and grow.

Even when criticism is constructive, Mondo said you can probably dismiss 80 percent to remain true to your vision. He said there will be a lot of people who don’t get what you do, but those are not your audience anyway. And Casanova said he is grateful to season winner Gretchen Jones, who saw his frustration over criticism he couldn’t understand, and told him she wished she could have spoken for him when he tried to explain his rationale on stage in English, his second, newly learned language. He said he was depressed by  frequent comments that his designs are matronly, but Gretchen said that he should consider that in a positive light, because that is the market for luxury, with an audience with a lot more money to spend than underemployed 20somethings.

And Andy reiterated, “Don’t be afraid to be someone nobody understands. All of us had those moments nobody understood us and we were just, like, weird.”

Knitwear designer Michael Drummond with the dress he used in his audition for “Project Runway.” The capiz shells are from an old chandelier the eco-conscious designer found. Of course everyone wanted the unisex sweater he was wearing!

I took that to heart, being somewhat different myself, in channeling equal amounts of light and darkness. For every pretty fashion photo you’d find in my iPhoto library, for instance, you’ll find a photo of a bird skeleton, dead moth, funerary statues, burned out building or general decay, which are beautiful in their own way. People have told me those images are gross, so now I try not to show them to anyone without an artistic, creative or open-minded spirit.

Early in the show I was a fan of Michael’s because he has that same sort attraction to deconstruction, found objects, nature and folklore. While the show was airing, I looked up a lot of the designers’ websites looking for clues as to how they finished in the show, based on what they were doing. I saw that Michael’s line was called Exquisite Corpse and got a chance to ask him how he chose the name.

It’s a very clever reference to a 1920s game that involved folding a sheet of paper to hide the various sides, and four players would take turns filling quarter pages, whether with writing or images, resulting in a creative collaboration when the paper was unfolded to reveal the result. And by using the word “exquisite,” he said he must live up to the word and avoid putting out junk.

Another “Season 8″ contestant, Christopher Collins, is also due to show his designs with his fellow castmates, including Hawaii’s Andy South, in a free show from noon to 12:45 p.m. April 23 at Ala Moana Center’s Centerstage, as well as make an appearance later that night at the HCC student fashion show at the school’s automotive department. Admission is $25 and there will be standing-room only tickets available at the door.

They’ll also be at a meet-and-greet event  from 7 p.m. today, April 21, at the Waikiki Edition, where admission is $25. And they’ll present a poolside runway show at the Hyatt Regency Maui in Lahaina, at 7 p.m. April 26. Visit for ticket information.

iPhone link for video

Just wanted to get this information up for those who want to make it to tonight’s event. I have more to add about what was said this morning, and  food photos are up at my other blog Take A Bite.

Mondo shows his audition piece. In the course of the show, he said he learned to edit.

Casanova with one of his embellished creations, and a detail of the gown, below:

The student designers lined up, trading off iPhones, for photos with the designers. Katie Evans snaps a photo of Kiki Leung with Casanova.

After class was over, we headed to Mariposa, at Neiman Marcus, for lunch. Mondo’s at the restaurant with his Louis Vuitton Keepall.