Now that we have had a minute to digest the extravagance of the El Paseo Fashion Week Wednesday night show, we believe even more that any designer sown from the Project Runway cloth is the real deal! Since season one, we have always been fans of Heidi Klum’s smash hit Project Runway. It is not just your run-of-the-mill reality show, it truly produces stars. The light couldn’t have shone any brighter during the runway show held at this year’s El Paseo Fashion Week featuring Michael Costello, Uli Herzner, Viktor Luna, Helen Castillo, Irina Shabayeva and Ariyaphon Southiphong.
Starting the show off was the MT Costello Collection which was a collaboration between Michael and Stephanie Costello. A most vivid description of the fashion was given by the designer when he said, “whips and chains and handcuffs and a woman you want to keep your husband away from.” We certainly got that vibe when the opening look, a purple gown of exquisite, curve hugging proportions, proudly forced the runway into submission. The designs were definitely for the confident woman, unafraid of drawing attention to herself and demanding the spotlight wherever she goes.
Viktor Luna’s collection was a tribute to his love of outerwear. Going forward Viktor would love to expand his brand by designing outerwear such as raincoats and leather jackets. That was abundantly clear when we got a look at a leather, biker jacket with gold studs on the collar and on the outside of the sleeves. The accent zipper on the shoulder breathed new life into the familiar, classic leather jacket look. His ability to transform the typical jacket into something fresh just proves that he is more than ready to take his brand to the next level.
Ariyaphon Southiphong was all about ease and comfort with long, flowing gowns embellished with tribal markings down the center of the body, creating a statuesque physique. This collection had great ready-to-wear pieces that could literally be taken off the runway and sported around town immediately which is the goal of every designer who wants to be mainstream.
Helen Castillo’s collection pulled off a modern, futuristic look that had an underlying tone of elegance and sophistication. The futuristic look even influenced the color palette of the collection. The entire look was anchored with a sleek, middle-part ponytail gathered at the nape which added to the regalness and mysteriousness of the line.
Crowd favorite, Uli Herzner, presented a fun and whimsical collection that played in the clouds. In keeping with her personality, the collection projected a light and airy atmosphere that put smiles on everyone’s faces. Every piece had a breezy, ethereal delicateness emphasizing the femininity of being a woman. The movement of the clothes gave the impression of floating, not walking down the runway. The pale colors used in the collection actually brightened the room and left a lasting impression on all in attendance.
Irina Shabayeva’s collection was bursting with colors of bright pink, yellow and blue. It was flirtatious frills and swirling feathers which inspired thoughts of late-night flamencos. The sashaying models brought life and movement to the pieces reminiscent of gentle, rippling waves. This former Project Runway winner didn’t rest on her laurels, but soared to new heights with her free-flowing collection.
The show ended in the best way possible with local, home-grown talent, Michael Costello. He started his fashion career in Palm Springs but left for the bright lights of New York City where he made his mark on Project Runway. The hard working Project Runway alum is now enjoying the fruits of his labor by seeing his exquisite designs being worn by the hottest celebrities such as Beyonce and Tamar Braxton. It was great to see Michael Costello’s homecoming prove that he is no fly by night designer. He has a strong asthetic and knows the woman he designs for which was never more evident than at the El Paseo Show.