Photo courtesy of BravoTV
After months and months of intense garment making challenges, the illustrious reality show has finally found its winner: Chloe Dao. The petite designer from Houston, Texas beat out larger-than-life designer Santino Rice and the fresh faced Daniel Vosovic to be America’s next top designer. This is good and all, but it was a bit anticlimactic.
A couple of weeks before the show’s finale, many people had the opportunity to check out pics of the Project Runway show at Olympus Fashion Week (check out my take on the show here.) I, like Michael Kors, was a bit underwhelmed. The most compelling “twist” to the show’s finale was that they had to make a 13th piece to add to their collection. Without a doubt, this added a ton of stress to the already burnt-out designers. But, they pulled it off, and all three of them showed collections that were decent, but not necessarily fashion-forward and interesting.
As for Chloe Dao winning, I halfheartedly agree. I would’ve felt the same had Santino or Daniel won. When all was said and done, the sleepless trio stood on the runway for the final judgment by Nina Garcia, Mr. Kors, Heidi Klum and actress Debra Messing (why she was there, I have no idea.) They had a lot to say (both good and bad) about the three designers, so I understand why the final choice hard for them. It was difficult because all three designers were at the same level, and there wasn’t anything THAT exciting about the collections. It was like trying to pick your favorite brand of toothpaste – they all do the same job, but choosing the perfect one is an annoyingly daunting task.
At the end, I totally agree with almost every single word the judges said. Chloe’s collection was thoughtful and cohesive. Her tailoring skills are unbelievably remarkable. Granted, I didn’t necessarily like the prints she chose, but out of the three, it did shine. That is, it didn’t shine too brightly, but it did stand out.
When it comes to Daniel, there wasn’t a clear “story” in his collection – and what was with those handbags? All of the garments seemed like separate pieces in the juniors department at Macy’s – however, he does have broad versatility.
Finally, there’s Santino. This show was his chance to make the most avant-garde garments – but he chose the "safe" sophisticated route. Given his personality and his previous designs, this just didn’t work. I wanted to see his creativity balloon to the point of excitement, but to my dismay, I was just nodding my head in agreement with the subtle beauty in his pieces.
I try to avoid comparing this season to last season because Chloe, Santino and Daniel each have a totally different voice from Kara, Jay and Wendy. With that said, I’m sad to say that I really didn’t care who won this season. I am happy for all three of the talented designers, and I admit that I was excited to see the outcome, but after the winner was announced, I immediately changed the channel…right to American Idol.
March 8th, 2006
Argyle Style as seen in Union Square, San Francisco
The urban/bohemian/deconstructed look that has been traipsing down city streets is on the verge of becoming obsolete (not to mention a bit boring.) As that fad begins to bow out, it seems as though fashion is about to take a drastic turn towards cleaner seams, lighter colors and country club looks that dwell in the Preppy Zone (just in time for spring, we might add).
In the forefront of these Ivy League looks are styles based on the classy sport of golf. Argyle prints are a must for this look and banded collar golf jackets are handsome with urban appeal. That said, here are some men’s fashions that stylishly update the golf look. All these pieces will keep you looking sporty without the hassle of actually having to tee off.
March 8th, 2006
With a family full of fashion fanatics, it’s no surprise that ROXS founder Shakara Ledard chose the path of a fashion designer. In her own way, though, Ledard took the road less traveled–her clothes are wildly fresh, highly creative, and made of the best fabrics. Omiru got to chat with the talented designer to get the scoop on her oh-so-fashionable life.
Omiru: How and when were you bitten by the fashion bug?
Shakara: Interestingly enough I’ve always had an interest in fashion design. There are doodles from when I was in kindergarten. It’s always been in me. I used to raid my parents closets. I would style all these little things and put on fashion shows. My whole family is in the fashion industry. My parents are in retail. My uncle is in manufacturing. I have an aunt who is a designer. All of my schooling was in fashion [Art institute in Florida].
O: What made you start ROXS?
S: It offically launched in September of 2005 at the Coterie show in New York. It’s such a difficult show to get into–they select the designers. I was thrilled that I had been accepted. I showed amongst the greats like Sean John and Polo Jean. My second collection, we just showed 10 days ago. We had our first runway show in New York, which was extraordinary.
O: What does ROXS mean?
S: My partner
named it. I wanted something funky. We wanted the rock and roll feel.
One of my phrases, though it’s kinda corny, is “man that shit rocks.”
O: What makes your collection unique?
S: My attention to detail that are in the price points that I’m in. In the fall collection, we have a lot of amazing plaids and intricate embroidery. Really high end tailoring, very well made pieces that I rarely come across in the price points I’m dealing with. We’re trying to stay below $250.
O: What are you inspired by?
S: It comes from everywhere. It can be quite overwhelming. I can look at a tree and look at the color of the leaves and think, "that would look good in print." I pay so much attention to everything around me. I pay attention to everyone around me…from the Hassidic man to the African with the Jamaican colors. The world is my inspiration. Everything. Everyone. A dog’s collar with leather and spikes - I incorporated it in my collection. Some of my ideas also come from dreams.
O: Describe your collection and who wears it.
S: The first collection has sweats made of 100% silk terry. The feel of the fabric is extraordinary. Unbelievably luxurious, hand stitching hidden details, great studs; I paid a lot of attention to detail.Very feminine cuts, very flattering. Loungy, a bit boyish, but super sexy and feminine. I made sure that my tops have extra rib around pouch areas to cover the trouble spot. The 22—35 age range is what we’re targeting. We’re about hip younger women (not girls) that are really interested in creating their own style. They don’t so much follow what fashion dictates.
O: If you were to design a new product line to add to your current business, what would it be?
S: I would love to expand into men’s, children’s, swimsuits, lingerie, eyeglasses, accessories, shoes, bags, belts, home furnishing. I want it all!
O: How has your style evolved over time?
S: I look back at pictures 10 years ago. It depends on my mood. I have three residences; Miami, NY, LA, and each one has a full closet. Each is different from the next. What I wear in NY, you’ll never see me wearing in Miami. My environment dictates my fashion and personality too. In NY I’m edgier, rock and roll, intense. In Miami it’s all about flowing and feminine pieces. LA it’s about comfort, a bit sexier.
O: Quick pick: New York or Los Angeles?
LA … I don’t like grind of New York. I love nature, I love water. I
love quiet. I love to pick up and go somewhere. I need that in my life.
I need that connection with nature. The people are much more laid back
in LA; they’re quite friendly and much more inviting. People pay a lot
more attention to health. I love yoga and acupuncture.
O: What’s your definition of style?
S: I’m about creating your own. Not really having the same boundaries that society has set within fashion. I love London, for example. Extraordinary sense of style as a city across the board. They’re not afraid. I really respect that.
O: Do you care about what you wear?
S: I don’t care about how I look anymore. It takes so much energy for me to create. I live in my pajamas.
O: If your house was burning down, and you could only keep one thing in your closet, what would you keep?
S: I would have to say my ROXS zip up skull hoodie. I wear it every single day. It’s a black zip up hoodie; the whole back is a skull printed in pinks and black and blue. It has studs going down the back. It’s really an unbelievable piece. It’s so comfortable and beautiful.
O: What clothes have you worn that you’re now ashamed of?
S: One item (woo wee); my father bought me…a dress. Was it prom maybe? It was absolutely at the time just amazing. It was this fuchsia asymmetrical multilayered strapless dress. The bodice was strapless with fuchsia lace over it. It had a fuchsia satin bolero. Oh, and also my Indian MC hammer pants.
O: What up and coming trends do you see?
S: I have no idea what the trends are. I go where my instinct takes me. My instinct has taken me to what’s in…like really wicked plaids. I am seeing more and more plaids. I would like to create a really extreme drop crotch pants. With say a really wild t-shirt that had a corset built into it. I just pulled that out. That would be outta control. NY and Japan would wear this.
O: Where can we buy ROXS goods?
S: 70 stores nationwide; 10 internationally. Lounge NY, Bugatti in Dubai, Fred Segal in LA, Jigsaw on Melrose, Taste in Atlanta, Lulu in Bell Harbor, Miami.
For more information on stores carrying ROXS, visit www.roxs.com.
March 8th, 2006
On the topic of cool wallets for men, we present The Jimi, courtesy of Christy!
Why’s it so amazing? It’s compact, water resistant, slim, has a detatchable money clip…AND it’s "Made With Respect." That’s right–it’s socially conscious too! 1% of sales go towards the environment, the wallet is made out of recycled materials, and they even pay their workers a fair wage to make the spiffy looking wallet!
What’s not to love?
$15.75 at The Jimi.
March 8th, 2006