Darlings, we were thrilled yesterday before we even found out about the return of Project Runway. Why? Because we had just received all the promo materials for Bravo's new show, The Fashion Show. And honeys?
Project Runway ripoff.
If it was anyone else, we'd call them on it, but in our opinion, Bravo MADE PR what it is and they, more than any other network, have every right to continue what they started. Who cares if it's a ripoff? As far as we're concerned, Bravo doesn't have to prove a thing to us; Lifetime does.
"Bravo unveiled the 15 professional designers chosen for the new fashion creative competition series, "The Fashion Show," as they compete for a chance to have their designs sold in the retail market and win a $125,000 prize. "The Fashion Show" premieres on Bravo on Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 10 p.m. ET/PT."
"Internationally acclaimed designer Isaac Mizrahi shares hosting duties with four-time Grammy Award-winning performer and actress Kelly Rowland. Mizrahi and Rowland will also serve as judges alongside fashion luminary and Senior Vice President of IMG Fashion, Fern Mallis.
Each week the designers will be put to the test and will have to face off in two challenges – the Harper's Bazaar Mini Challenge, judged by the magazine's Special Projects Director Laura Brown, and the elimination challenge. In the end, America will choose which contestant will have a clothing line available for retail and win the $125,000 prize."
We've always said that if The Duchess ever got tired of his PR gig, Isaac Mizrahi would have made a perfect replacement. He's an even bitchier and more television-savvy designer than Kors is, so he's sure to be entertaining. Fern looks great and she stands as one of the all-time best PR judges, so we're looking forward to her knowledgeable and practical critiques. We have no idea why the hell Kelly Rowland is there, but y'know? We never would have predicted 5 years ago that Heidi would turn out to be the successful host she is, so we're willing to wait on Kelly to see what she brings.
As for the designers, they're the usual rag tag band of fame-seekers and freaks. Let's meet them now, shall we? Make your predictions for Bitch, Prima Donna, Bad Boy, Freakshow, and other reality competition mainstays! Predict which ones are going to send their friends here to anonymously call us old and fat!
Hometown: Fresno, Calif.; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
Andrew has already conquered the world of designer underwear. He started his own brand, "Andrew Christian" in 1997 and his urban inspired collections are sold in upscale stores throughout the country, including Kitson, Patricia Fields and Fred Segal. A self-described perfectionist and "gaylebrity," Andrew has been known to throw an entire rack of samples across the room if it's not up to his standard. "Don't be caught off guard by my cute smile, I'm a bitch." While his underwear line has garnered worldwide attention and he's known as the "Panty-Christ," Andrew's goal is to take on the world of women's fashion. He says his inspiration comes from everyday life and modern art. He loves creating deigns that flatter the female body and make women feel good about themselves. He has a tireless work ethic and hopes to one day have a retrospective of his works at the MET.
Hometown: Muncie, Ind.; Resides in New York, N.Y.
Angel creates versatile dressing solutions for worldly women on-the-go. Her namesake collection, ANGEL CHANG, was founded in 2006 and grew out of a vision to offer women wardrobes that would supersede solely looking good. Inspired by high-tech fashions, Angel uses innovative materials, such as color-changing prints, light-up fabrics and self-heating linings to compliment a woman's fast-paced life. These pioneering efforts have led her company to receive the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award, the Cartier Women's Initiative Award, as well as extensive coverage in Vogue, Elle, WWD, and other fashion magazines. Angel was also selected for Paper magazine’s 10th annual "Beautiful People" as one of the top emerging talent influencing the fashion field. Her attitude is focused on enjoying the journey and exploring new ways of dressing for the future. She describes her style as a relaxed sophistication that is intelligent, innovative and fun. With a Masters Degree from Columbia University, a design background, and experience working on the Donna Karan Collection, Viktor and Rolf, and Anna Sui, Angel is ready to take her revolutionary ideas to the top.
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.; Resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Anna moved to New York City after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000. She immediately launched her knitwear line, Annabelle NYC, creating unique and wearable garments with quirky details and bright colors that sold at boutiques around the country and abroad. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Anna has consistently challenged the fashion industry standard, holding distaste for the principles that money means power and thin means beautiful. She has put together numerous downtown, do-it-yourself, theatrical fashion shows throughout Manhattan and also served as head clothing designer for Dolce Vita. Anna’s personal designs have been worn by stars Rachel Bilson, Shannon Doherty, and numerous MTV VJs, among others. She currently teaches Fashion Merchandising at Wood Tobe-Coburn, a small college in New York City, and is focused on re-launching own line.
Hometown: Washington, D.C; Resides in New York, N.Y.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Daniella is a true artist whose colorful personality is drawn from her diverse cultural and artistic background. Daniella began her studies as a Fashion and Costume Design major at Syracuse University, but moved to London, where she completed a BFA with Honors from London College of Fashion. Consistently immersed in fashion, Daniella worked with some of the most talented designers in the industry including Luca Luca, Les Chiffoniers and Alexander McQueen. Her final collection at LCF was selected by a panel of industry professionals to be part of an exclusives press show at the Royal Academy in London. Daniella's style is a contrast of classic femininity and modern androgyny. She uses sophisticated silhouettes with unusual details to create modern designs for the strong edgy woman with a bit of rockstar flair. Though she may be young, Daniella has no doubt that it is only a matter of time before she is the creative director of her own fashion company.
Hometown: Chattanooga Tenn.; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
Haven discovered her love for fashion in the pages of high fashion magazines. She would wallpaper her bedroom in their pages and create her own sketches and designs. After high school, she moved from her hometown in Tennessee to Los Angeles where she attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and worked as a stylist on the Chelsea Lately Show. She describes herself as "a bit of a control freak" and likes things her way. Haven designs clothes that she wants to wear, always keeping in mind that a woman should feel sexy, confident and feminine. The greatest inspiration for her clothing comes from the beauty and mystery of women in foreign cultures as well as the work of the great Yves Saint Laurent. Haven currently has pieces in top boutiques in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, and Miami. She most recently collaborated with two close friends to create EliaH Joel, a new clothing line that officially launched in January 2009. In addition, Haven is currently working on a young girls line, Lalu. A warning to the other contestants – this designer isn't afraid to speak her mind. "I can be a bitch. If you ask me a question I'm going to give you my opinion and if you aren't ready for the answer, don’t ask."
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.; Resides in London, England
When he was just eight-years-old, James-Paul knew he was destined to be a fashion designer. After earning his associates degree at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, James-Paul moved to London where he could relate to other unconventional thinkers in the fashion industry. While attending London South Bank University and American Intercontinental University, London, he was inspired by the 1920's Bauhaus movement. James-Paul utilizes the patterns of Bauhaus to create clothes with simplified geometric pieces. After finishing his two Bachelor Degrees in Women’s Wear, James-Paul found a home for his radical approach at the Vivienne Westwood studios, where he was pushed to break the rules and make garments that couldn’t be found in pattern books. He cites an appetite for experimentation as the most important trait for any aspiring designer. James-Paul is currently developing a post-colonialist approach through fabrication and silhouette. When asked what his secret weapon is in the competition, James-Paul's answers: "my brain."
Johnny R., 26
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
Johnny has been designing for over five years, but already holds an impressive resume. After attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, he began working alongside RAMPAGE STORE’s design director in San Diego. After a short stint, he moved back to Los Angeles to develop private labels for Urban Outfitters, Arden B., and Macys. Johnny landed a job developing a contemporary line for Nordstrom, and eventually created his own collection, Grandma's Glock, a modern day streetwear line. Johnny's successful collection consisted of fashion forward basics that barred no gender. Grandma's Glock was featured on the cover of Women's Wear Daily, and is sold throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Korea. Johnny's second line, House of Bare, exhibits his opinionated personal aesthetic – messy, oversized garments that can be worn in multiple ways to give consumers the ability to make each piece their own. In addition, Johnny is currently the creative director for Welcome Hunter’s, a new concept store featuring edgy designers from around the world. He is also developing his own line under the Welcome Hunter’s label that will boast avant-garde and flamboyant styles at moderate price points. Johnny is turned off by most mainstream designers, and instead draws inspiration from the more radical, underground scene. "Fashion should be adventurous. You shouldn't take it so seriously."
Jonny D., 34
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.; Resides in North Hollywood, Calif.
With roots in music, art, skateboarding and fashion, Jonny has developed a raw urban style matched with classic simplicity of the silhouette. In 1999, he co-founded the North Hollywood artist colony knows as "The Compound," and began designing Afroman Skateboards, a company that became an underground icon. In 2002, Jonny and a few of his friends created their first fashion line, Elmer Ave. Their concept was to redefine street style into high-end men's suiting with a rock-n-roll edge. Over the past few years, Jonny's accomplishments have included: dressing the men's collection for Toni and Guy London alongside Alexander McQueen, a role as guest designer on "America’s Next Top Model," an appearance on the "Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency," main stage Mercedes Benz Fashion Week showings and working with an impressive list of celebrity clients including Tommy Lee, Black Eyed Peas, Paramore, and Panic! At the Disco. A story of rags-to-riches, this self-taught designer is inspired by experimentation and is currently developing a new addition to Elmer Ave menswear collection to fit women dubbed "the doll fit."
Hometown: Highland Park, Ill.; Resides in New York, N.Y.
Keith's instinctual love affair with fashion was cultivated during a childhood spent learning about his grandmother and great-grandmother's couture dress shop in Chicago. He studied women’s wear at The London College of Fashion and upon his graduation began designing for Perry Ellis and Ralph Lauren in New York. Keith has since founded his eponymous line Keith Lissner, of women's demi-couture eveningwear. Likewise, he recently launched a line of gently priced cocktail dresses called Keith By Keith Lissner, inspired by his friends in New York and their jam packed social calendars. Lissner’s collection has captured the attention of the city’s young social scene, and his dresses are regularly worn out-and-about by some of New York’s most effervescent young ladies. Lissner’s gowns are frequently worn by a mix of accomplished performers, including: Emmy Rossum, Taryn Manning, Janet Jackson and Natasha Beddingfield. These strong, talented artists typify the Keith Lissner woman; feminine, unique, and exuding a great sense of self. Keith believes this devotion to fashion, his timeless style and a passionate dedication to his work will push him to the top of the competition.
Hometown: Orland Park, Ill.; Resides in Orland Park, Ill.
At only 23-years-old, Kristen is already a successful designer and businesswoman. After graduating from the Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago in only three years, Kristin began her own label, organiK Revolution, where she specializes in creating eco-friendly apparel for contemporary women. Born and raised in Chicago, she draws her inspiration from both the city and her rock-star family. Her husband and two brothers are in local Chicago bands and she likes to describe her style as feminine and fun with a rock-n-roll edge. Often considered "headstrong" by her friends and family, Kristin says she knows who she is and what she is capable of. She may be young, but that will not stop this rising Chicago star.
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio; Resides in New York, N.Y.
Laura Dawson graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning with a degree in Fashion Design. Before establishing her own line, Laura worked for Donna Karan’s Urban Zen and As Four. She has styled and designed for Moby, The Scissor Sisters, The Brazilian Girls, Yelle, and renowned photographer Richard Avedon. Her focus is now directed towards her own designs which features a signature quirky style fused with innovation. Laura's fashion philosophy, in her own words, is that “beauty, after all, requires playfulness.” She approaches her collection with the theory that she is "making toys for life, in a game that one never has to stop playing." Her unique vision focuses on using sustainable materials, organic sources, fair trade, and tree-focused carbon offset programs.
Hometown: Nalchik, Russia; Resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Lidia first exhibited an interest in fashion at age five, when her glamorous grandmother first introduced her to a sewing machine. Lidia’s love of fashion led her to begin her education at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. During this time, Lidia decided to broaden her horizons and study abroad at the Polimoda – International Institute for Fashion Design and Marketing in Florence, Italy. Upon receiving her Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts, Lidia began working under Diane Von Furstenberg along with designing her own line for private clients. This collection led her to receive numerous awards including the Critique Award Winner at FIT and the Piti Filati Award for Trend Forecasting, as well as accolades through the Fashion Group International and the Gen Art Styles Design Competition. A true artist, Lidia is inspired by her Russian heritage, beautiful people, different cultures and art. Her design philosophy is to bring beauty into the world. Lidia is currently at the top of her game and feels this is her moment to shine.
Hometown: Birmingham, Ill.; Resides in Miami, Fla.
Born and raised in Michigan, Markus spent the majority of his summers growing up in New York, where he was inspired by the rhythm and dimensions of the city and its endless possibilities. At just 19 years old, he began a successful career as a commercial interior designer specializing in restaurants, salons and spas. His talent has taken him around the world, giving him a diverse view and a refined eye. Though he has dabbled in multiple avenues of the design industry, Markus found true love when he tried his hand at fashion. After gaining a coveted spot at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, in London, England, where he graduated with a BA Honors in Fashion Design and Marketing as one of the top three of his class, Markus went on to intern at the studio of British fashion designer Giles Deacon and shortly after, created his own modern cut collection. Today, Markus holds the title of Creative Director at the fashion magazine Métier and is working on launching his own label of high-end women's wear, MARKUS KETTY.
Hometown: Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
Always drawn to details and measurements, Merlin went to school for architecture in his home country of Honduras. It was through the guidance of a college professor that he discovered an aptitude for fashion and has since created a career out of this unexpected passion. Merlin traces his earliest design memory back to when he made a dress for his mother out the family's tablecloth – a feat that turned him instantly into the fashion expert for his six siblings. Merlin took his raw talent to Mexico where he studied pattern making for a brief period. Today, Merlin applies his conceptual and theatrical style, inspired by Hollywood, to his role of head designer for his own label, Merlin Castell. He has worked with a number of celebrity clients, including Paula Abdul, N' Sync, Paris Hilton, Marilyn Manson, and many others. This eccentric designer certainly has his own style and knows it, "my fashion is like a fingerprint, I have an I.D."
Hometown/Resides in: Chattanooga, Tenn.
Reco's creative outlook on fashion goes hand-in-hand with his larger-than-life personality. Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, one wonders how this country boy developed such a creative outlook on fashion. Reco is proud of his modest beginnings. He realized his interest in fashion at a young age, while watching a Valentino fashion show on Oprah. Reco obtained his B.S from Tennessee State University and has a strong background in architecture and performing arts. He describes his style as ultra glamorous and oozing with high voltage sex appeal. Reco has moved up in the industry from designing costumes for campus queens to dressing celebrities, and is now approaching his tenth year in the fashion industry as a freelance designer. Reco currently owns the studio 423 Clothing Boutique of Chattanooga and is the Creative Director of his own line, “The House of Chapple,” which he describes as a lifestyle line focusing on everything from luxurious gowns to sexy swimsuits and most he is delving into fragrances, jewelry, and even books aimed at helping young entrepenuers. When it comes to fashion tips, Reco declares, "Do it!" And then, pause of reflection, states "…but don’t overdo it."
[Bio, photos and video: Bravotv.com]
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