He's chatty, he's sassy, he knows how to navigate a room full of table-tossing Housewives--he's Andy Cohen, and in May he's coming to Washington as the VIP guest at Front Row, Bethesda's three-day fashion and style blowout. Cohen, the producer behind fashion-centric Bravo hits like Project Runway, The Rachel Zoe Project, and Top Design (yes, he does the Real Housewives, too) will be the celebrity eye candy at Front Row's runway show on Friday, May 18. The show, which last year featured an appearance by NYC PR guru Kelly Cutrone, is held at a stage/runway erected on Bethesda Lane; participating stores include Urban Chic, Sassanova, Ginger, Wear It Well, and Luna. Post-catwalk, Cohen plans to sign copies of his new book, appropriately titled Most Talkative.
In addition to Cohen's appearance, the three-day celebration of Bethesda fashion goodness that is Front Row will include the exclusive local screening of the documentary God Save My Shoes, an award-winning film that delves into what's behind a woman's relationship with her shoes, because you better believe there is one. With appearances by Manolo Blahnik, Dita Von Teese, Pierre Hardy, Robert Clergerie, and, yes, Christian Louboutin, God Save My Shoes has been a critical and audience favorite since its release last year. A Q&A with the producer, Thierry Daher, will follow the screening.
All told, this year's Front Row, the fourth, will feature more than 40 in-store trunk shows, a kid-focused day with activities, designer appearances, book parties, and sales galore. Final details have yet to go live, but keep checking bethesdarow.com for more info.
Stylish attendees and intrigued bystanders alike packed Bethesda Row Friday evening for a full-scale runway performance, sponsored by the shops of Bethesda Row, as part of a three-day fashion event dubbed the Front Row.
Despite fears of ominous weather that threatened to move the show inside, models took to an outdoor catwalk showcasing both summer and fall fashions from shops such as Urban Chic, Tickled Pink, J. McLaughlin, Luna, Wear It Well, City Sports, Ginger, and Lucy.
The audience was happy to see summer trends such as bright colors, chic sheaths, and fashionable shorts.
Tweeds, muted colors, and simple silhouettes offered a preview of the decidedly more somber fall ’09 collections, which looked stylish and ladylike—but also slightly boring.
The event—the highlight of three days of trunk shows, book signings, and movie screenings—featured special guest Christian Siriano, an Annapolis native and winner of Project Runway season four.
The Los Angeles-based Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) has partnered with DC’s California State Society to cohost a January 18 inauguration event, the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon and Fashion Show. This will be the third go-round for the event; it’s been a sellout in years past.
This year’s show, which will be held at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C., will feature designs from some of the school’s most prominent alumni, including Leanne Marshall, Project Runway’s season-five winner, and Nick Verreos, a contestant on the show’s 2005 season.
Eighty outfits—both men’s and women’s—will be on display. Many of those will be from Marshall’s winning Project Runway collection; the state society won a bidding war to purchase the line. Our fingers are crossed in hopes that her gorgeous wedding gown from the last episode will make an appearance.
We reach the grand finale—this is it, kids! And with Project Runway’s unclear future on its new home, Lifetime, it really could be the end of Project Runway as we know it. That said, this season has been somewhat dull, and we’re not sad to see it go: When the highlights include Stella’s hammering montages, you know it’s been a bit of a rough ride.
We are, however, excited to see it all come together for the exciting conclusion. The three finalists—Leanne, Korto, and Kenley (this seems like the time to say, “Girl power!”)—are all very different designers, and it’ll be interesting to see what they bring to Bryant Park.
And we’re back! In case you forgot where we were, the show is quick to remind us: Everyone hates Kenley! No one did very well in the last challenge. All four remaining designers get to go home and make full collections for the Bryant Park finale, although one will get eliminated just before the big show. How terribly cruel.
Everyone goes home to start working! Four weeks later, Tim Gunn heads to Arkansas to see Korto, who has a really lovely studio in the middle of the woods. Tim is mostly concerned about some overly suggestive cutouts in the cocktail dress, but otherwise he’s excited and we’re excited about her bright, pretty collection. The two head over to Korto’s house, where a spread has been laid out in Tim’s honor. Awkward communication in front of the camera follows. Tim says goodbye with his signature double-cheek kiss to Korto’s adorable little daughter, Elise.
For weeks and weeks (and weeks and weeks), we’ve endured Olympians and drag queens, incessant hammering and very ’licious looks (oh, Blayne, we hardly knew ye). And it’s finally boiled down to this show: The final elimination, where three designers will be sent on to Bryant Park, while one will go home.
Now the irony here is, because New York Fashion Week happened in early September and Bravo didn’t want to offer any possible spoilers, all of the designers (along with the now-ousted Joe and Suede) actually showed in Bryant Park. So basically, what’s on the table is that only three of the designers will have their shows shown on TV and the other one will have to settle for rampant Internet exposure. Which seems like a pretty nice tradeoff. But I guess, from Heidi’s standpoint, that’s kind of a mouthful to explain. So let’s just play along.
And then there were five. In what feels like an incredibly quick period, we’ve whittled it down to the remaining designers—who, unlike in years past, actually seem to be the top designers of the bunch. (Wendy Pepper, we’re looking at you.)
First there’s Jerell, whose overly ornate designs we’ve never been a fan of, but he can dish out a hilariously caustic barb with the best of them. And then Suede, who looks incredibly exhausted and stressed at this stage of the competition and clearly needs a big nap—and a hug. There’s sassy Korto, quietly talented and seriously fun. There’s Kenley, whose overly ’50s aesthetic totally matches with our own but whose incessant whining is the worst we’ve heard since Stella. And then Leanimal, who has blown everyone away with her massive creativity and unexpectedly dry wit. Er, no, we don’t have favorites. Okay, okay, we totally do.
We’ve reached that point in the season where Bryant Park is within reach for a few lucky contestants and all that’s left to do is weed out the riffraff who are still hanging around—Goatee Joe, we’re looking at you. Surly Terri and wacky Blayne are gone—a cute farewell note on the blackboard reads, “I will miss you and love you-licious!” You know the rest of the contestants are just crossing their fingers and hoping they don’t make anything dumb enough to get them kicked off before it’s down to the final three.
And we’re back! This week’s show promised to start trimming down the remaining contestants two at a time. Thank goodness—tomorrow is the actual Project Runway finale at Bryant Park (and we’ll be attending—whoo!), which means news of the final four will soon be all over the Web faster than you can say “spoiler alert.” Last week, Terri offered a “Peace out, Stella!” to the ousted contestant. Then she added, “Will I miss Stella? No.” Yeah, neither will we.
Okay, and we’re back! With Stella in a bikini! Um. That was totally unnecessary. (Though I did have a small spark of caffeine-addled affection when Terri told her she makes “kick” coffee.) Suede, on the other hand, has had to move in with the remaining guys, but he’s just happy to be one of the one of the last four guys standing. Um, along with the remaining five girls. So hurrah for Suede for solidly proving to be in the middle of the pack? Honestly, Suede, it’s really not that impressive if Stella and Goatee Joe are still around.