Upon approaching The Lincoln Center plaza during Fashion Week, I quickly learned that the show outside is just as entertaining as the one inside. I’m pretty sure that New York City is a place where people want to be seen, and what bigger stage to be seen than Fashion Week? Fashionistas from around the world pack into this one small area for an entire week, wearing the most lavish and extravagant outfits they could find in their closets.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 was not only my first fashion week, but it was my first time in NYC as well. I’ve been all over this country – LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas – but NYC and Miami have eluded me. Arriving in New York, my focus was to make sure that I was prepared for the runway shows and presentations. I was mentally ill-equipped for what I would see during my down time.
I’m sorry, but if someone steps on THOSE shoes, killing the offender is a justifiable reaction. I’m just saying. lol
The next time I return to New York for fashion week, now that I know what to expect, I will put much more emphasis on my street photography. This is a fraction of what I got, but what I got is a fraction of what I saw. I need to get enough street portraits to last me a few dozen blogs.
I like the look on the young lady above, particularly that piece around her neck.
The woman above reminds me of an older version of Krista, the winner of America’s Next Top Model a couple seasons ago. That hat is like a church hat on Super Mario mushrooms. lol I’ve also found myself wondering how I look in the photo that the man behind her is taking.
I did a blog on the young lady pictured above! Check it here ——> https://michaellacombe.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/mercedes-benz-fashion-week-ss-2012-caught-in-a-crowd/
Another common phenomena at fashion week is celebrity sightings. I saw more celebrities in my few days at fashion week than I did during my entire 2 years living in California. Granted, that’s an easy number to top since the only “celeb” I saw in Cali was Cornel West when I went to his book signing. I didn’t always have a camera ready, but I was still able to capture a few celebs during my time in NYC. Again, the next time I go, I’ll know to be ready at all times. I’m mad that I missed opportunities to photograph the likes of Lindsey Lohan, Susan Sarandon, Tim Gunn, and others. Anyway, here’s a few that I DID get…
Miss J from America’s Next Top Model.
Uber fine model, Selita Ebanks. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.
Object of my thirst that no Gatorade can quench, celeb stylist June Ambrose.
I had all kinds of hilarious insult-captions, but I’ll behave. Omarion. lol
Husband of the star of “Lala’s Full Court Life,” Carmelo Anthony. I think he plays a sport, too. Badminton maybe? 🙂
Philadelphia 76ers forward, Andre Iguodala. Are they even called the 76ers anymore? They’re officially just the “Sixers” now, right? When I saw him walk into the show I was photographing, I tweeted him asking if it was him that had walked in, and he actually responded. He also (obviously) posed for one of these pictures. NICE! Props to Iggy!
And last but not least, one of the most-hated women worldwide, Kim Humphries. What? She’s not married anymore? News to me. Well I guess it’s Kim Kardashian, then. Like her or not, this photograph was a huge score for me. While the reason for her fame may be … non-existent … her fame itself is undeniable. Photographing Kim K was one of my biggest wins during all of fashion week.
On that note, my friends, my coverage of #MBFW is finally at an end. It’s been real! I hope you all have enjoyed my coverage a fraction as much as I enjoyed living and chronicling it.
Even though I shot a few more shows, this will be my last runway show post from #MBFW. I think I’ve dragged these photos out long enough. I have one more post coming up about the different types of people you see at fashion week, but this will be the last post featuring images from shows.
Aside from Kimberly during the Project Runway show, Tracy Reese is the only black designer that I saw at fashion week. Hell, I don’t know if there were any other ones anyway. That’s part of the reason I was pulling for Kimberly so much. Anyway, I have very mixed opinions on what I saw during Tracy Reese’s show.
For the most part, there were a lot of very elegant pieces. I loved the summertime hats and umbrellas, and I felt a lot of the pieces had a classy southern look to them, but updated for 2012.
There were still a few things I found troubling about the show, though. My main issue with the Tracy Reese show can be seen in the image below:
1. That shirt…ugh. That print looks so cheap and janky – like a bad curtain or table cloth. She uses it (or a variation of it) several times in several different ways throughout the collection, and it always looks very Salvation Army-ish. That print looks like it’s not good enough to be sold at Family Dollar, let alone be featured at fashion week.
2. That bird’s nest hairstyle. It looks like she couldn’t care less about how her models looked going out on the runway on the largest stage in fashion. This was my first fashion week, so I can’t speak as to how the hair styles typically look, but that just looks sloppy/messy.
3. You can’t see this one in the photo above (but it’s probably visible in several of the other photos in this entry), but a lot of the models sported VERY visible baggy eyes. Again, I don’t know much about what is “supposed” to happen at fashion week, but baggy eyes seems like it should be an easy fix for a fashion week makeup artist. Why was no care given to that? If you’re the only black designer at fashion week, shouldn’t you be making sure that all you’re “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed? Why send models down the runway with messy hair and baggy eyes?
For obvious reasons, I choose to feature only the best photos from a show on my blog. If I have a photo that is out of focus or poorly framed, I won’t post it. Additionally, if I think a model just looks bad in a photo, I won’t post it either. Tracy Reese benefited greatly from this. There were a lot of images that featured the 3 things I didn’t like about this show, and I’m choosing to only post the one. But, take my word for it. There were several instances of that ugly print being used, lots of sloppy hair, and many pairs of baggy eyes.
Aside from those three things, as you can see, there was a lot to like about the collection. Personally, I’d like to see more from what I believe to be the only black designer at fashion week. If I were the sole representative of my race/gender/ethnicity or whatever, I’d make sure that I brought my A-game in every aspect of the presentation – from hair, to eyes, to clipped toenails. This is part of the reason that I was so disappointed that Kimberly from Project Runway seemed to be dismissed so easily as not being “as good” as the other contestants – but I won’t harp on that.
I hope you all enjoyed my posts from #MBFW and Project Runway. It was the experience of a lifetime, and I’m so thankful for anyone that played even the slightest part in molding me into the photographer I am today, and making it possible for me to go to New York. I’ve met so many great people since I moved back to Detroit, and the kindness within our art community can not be stressed enough. People who barely knew me at all have helped me along the way, and during the course of the time I’ve been back, have become highly-valued friends. So again, thanks to all my Detroit artists who helped, encouraged, or motivated me, and thanks to anyone who has ever commented, shared, retweeted, or even viewed any of my blog entries. None of it is lost on me.
Finally, I want to thank myself. I know that sounds very arrogant, but you guys have NO IDEA how hard I am on myself and how little credit I give myself. I constantly find ways to take away from my accomplishments, and the time for that is at an end. While I owe a great deal of thanks to a great many people, when it comes down to it, I did this. I picked up a camera 3 years ago. I taught myself how to use it, and I brought myself from offering free shoots on Craigslist just to learn, to photographing at the biggest stage in fashion, and it’s time I give myself the pat on the back that I deserve.
Thanks for reading. Share, reblog, and/or retweet this post, and I’ll catch you guys in a couple of days with some street shots from New York.
(UGH! It’s that print again! lol)
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Heading into Thursday night’s “Project Runway” finale, Viktor is probably the favorite to win. Over the course of the past 4-6 episodes, Viktor has increasingly ran away with the competition. He’s been strong, week-in and week-out, and has created some truly stunning pieces.
For the finale, he took his creativity up another couple of notches. Note the dangling bit of glass on the top above, and the … well, the EVERYTHING below. lol
Viktor showed a little bit of everything he could do during the final runway show, and my gut tells me that it will pay off for him. I absolutely love what Kimberly put together, but the momentum is in Viktor’s favor, and this collection speaks for itself.
However, while I don’t think Viktor drops the ball on any one piece in his collection, I will say that the look above and the look below don’t really speak to me or evoke any sort of emotion. I find both of them to be …. meh. And I didn’t find ANY of Kimberly’s looks to be “meh.” #JustSayin
While I do find a couple of Viktor’s looks to be somewhat bland, he does have one huge thing playing in his favor: The Jacket. The jacket shown below was not only a huge hit on Twitter, but also among his fellow finalists as well. Unfortunately, I don’t think my photo does it justice (well, if you enlarge it, it does…), but it truly is an amazing piece of work.
Viktor has the support of the judges, the fans, and the quality work to back him up. His chances of being the winner are strong, and while a large part of me prefers Kimberly, I would have absolutely no complaints – not one – if Viktor wins. Check out a couple more of Viktor’s pieces, a shot of Viktor himself, and join me on Twitter ( @Michael_Aaron) Thursday night as I live tweet the finale. Ciao!
Kimberly went from being one of the least noticeable designers on the show, to one of my favorites. Her improvement as the weeks went on was remarkable, and she’s clearly quite talented. The collection she put together to show at #MBFW, in my opinion, puts her in a strong position to be the first African American individual to win.
Kim, (I wonder if she’s OK with being called that…) became known for being able to design a mean pair of pants. But it was when Kimberly ventured away from the pant, that she really began to shine. Some of her strongest looks in her #MBFW collection are, as I would like to say, pants-less.
I love how the way all of her models are styled. Additionally, I don’t think I’ve seen any of the designers feature any bags – much less one so gigantic. lol I like it though, and it works well with the dress pictured above – which I find to be stunning, and fits the model perfectly.
I also love the diversity I see in Kim’s collection. There’s diversity in wardrobe, and well as style/color. For instance, there’s the elegant and sexy dress 2 photos above in a solid blueish/purple. Then above we have the silver jacket, which I feel is great (although I’m not sure I like it with that … what color is that? Fuschia? lol … with that fuschia dress). Although on its own, I also dig the (fushia?) dress. It appears to be cut very well, and fits the model magnificently. Then, as you’ll see below, she goes in a completely different direction…
… and again, I feel like she largely succeeds. Then below, you’ll see she goes back to her trademark pants, and again meets with success.
The skirt below did not go over well with the judges on the first part of the finale. What did they call it? Bubble butt? I like it though, and she uses it well here.
Overall, I think Kimberly SHOULD stand a very strong chance of winning it all. I think it comes down to her or Viktor. While I’ve absolutely loved Viktor’s work over the course of the past few episodes, for obvious reasons I’d love to see Kimberly become the first African American individual to win. While I’m new to all of this (fashion photography, that is), I’m aware of the difficulties that blacks face breaking into this industry, so it would be truly inspiring to see her go from being virtually unnoticed, to becoming the winner. Come back tomorrow to see photos from Viktor’s collection, and join me Thursday night on Twitter (@Michael_Aaron) while I live-tweet the finale! See you tomorrow!
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Joshua McKinley is one of the more interesting designers on “Project Runway,” and I’m not even referring to his sometimes abrasive personality. He often finds himself in a situation that I find both frustrating and envious. Joshua McKinley is a man that is gifted with what may be TOO MUCH creativity.
Joshua often finds himself at odds with the judges because they feel he went “too far” with his designs. He may take what starts off as a good design, and bedazzle it into an oblivion. He may have the courage to take a chance on something wild that no one else would do, but find that no one likes it but him – and more often than not, his own approval is all that he needs. I respect that, though.
As a photographer – I struggle with calling myself an “artist,” and only recently came to terms with calling myself a “photographer” – I often find myself yearning for more ability in the creativity department. I wish I could come up with creative ideas as easily as someone like Joshua. That’s why it’s kind of a sore spot for me to see him get ragged on for being “too creative.” He has creativity to spare, and my creativity tank is frequently running on fumes. I’m always looking for ways to improve in that category.
Take, for instance, the image above. Individually, I like the pieces. I like the jacket, and I like the fabric used for the dress. But together? It just sort of seems like too much. Or, look again at the image at the top of the page – enlarge it if you have to. Look at the belt. Is that the same style of belt they use on shopping carts at the grocery store? lol Again, another example of him doing something someone else probably wouldn’t do, and that may not go over well with a lot of people. At the same time, you have to respect someone who is willing to do something like that.
I think that, ultimately, Joshua’s inability to tone it down will cost him this competition. It seems that, even when he tries to tone it down, he doesn’t know how. He only knows “extra.” lol He will be alright, though, because there will ALWAYS be a market for people like him because there will always be consumers who thrive for “extra.” I don’t even want to make it sound like there’s something wrong with him. There’s not. I’d much rather have the problem of being too creative, than my current problem of not being creative enough. I definitely respect Joshua, but I suspect he will have to settle for a runner up position on this season’s “Project Runway.”
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I make no bones about it. Anya is my favorite. Not only is she beautiful, but I admire her ability to enter into the competition only having sewn for 4 months, and produce such amazing work. Week in and week out, she has sent amazing piece after amazing piece down the runway – sometimes despite various mishaps and misfortune. Remember the outfit she made for $11?
(I dig the belt here.)
So, it goes without saying, as soon as I found out I would be shooting the Project Runway show at #MBFW, I immediately began to look forward to seeing what Anya would send down the runway. While I was not disappointed, I was not floored either.
Anya’s designs often left me in awe on the show, but while everything she sent down the runway at #MBFW was nice, nothing really jumped out to me as stunning. In fact, I’d argue that the best outfit was worn by Anya herself.
Maybe my expectations for Anya were too high, and what she sent down the runway will be good enough for her to win. She also has a great story – having only been sewing for 4 months prior to the competition – and I know that reality TV shows eat up the “good story.” But for me, none of her designs really struck me as fresh or fashion forward. I was expecting to see something jaw-dropping that I’d never seen before – something that women worldwide would clamor for. I didn’t.
There was a cohesiveness in her collection, which I can appreciate. But I wish it could have been cohesively AWESOME. I wish Anya the best of luck, though. No matter what happens, she will still be my favorite because I’m a shallow man and she’s gorgeous. lol
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Clearly, Laura is a fan of sheer clothing. lol As you will see later, even Laura herself was sporting some sheer clothing when she introduced her collection at #MBFW. Laura was the first designer to show her collection, and I had no clue what to expect.
The first thing I noticed was that Laura brought more creativity to her collection than I was accustomed to seeing on the show. She did something a little different with the sheer tops, but I don’t want to assume that was her stepping out of her comfort zone. Maybe the Lifetime Channel isn’t a big fan of nipples. lol Very few (if any) of the other Project Runway designers went that route, so it helped Laura stand out.
While Laura did bring some nice pieces to the table, nothing really jumped out at me as stunning. This may be why she left the show at the time she did. She rarely (if ever) sent some trash down the runway, but she also rarely knocked the judges socks off as well.
I did note one thing (just now) that was pretty cool. See the image above? It appears that very same dress is being worn by the model that graces the background of Laura’s Twitter page (@LKathleenDesign). I’m not sure why I find that cool – it’s not like I took the photograph. 🙂 Also, I dig the golden arm bangles she has on each model’s right arm. I don’t know why I have such a thing for right wrist decorations, but alas… it seems that I do. I’m not a big fan of the hair – looks rather unkempt and has a “just got out the bed, lemme throw this in a ponytail and run to the supermarket” kind of look to it. Overall, I feel Laura did well, and that she will find success as a designer, but I didn’t see anything that made me feel as if she should got eliminated too early and that she should be in the running to win.