To most unknown and/or struggling designers trying to break into the industry, winning the grand prize on a season of Project Runway sounds like an absolute dream come true: $100,000, a major fashion mag editorial, an ultra-expensive technology suite, website partnerships, instant name recognition, and endless opportunities for publicity. But what happens when the cameras stop rolling? When Tim Gunn is no longer hovering over your shoulder in the workroom, telling you what 'worries' him? Or when, instead of competing against 15 designers in a challenge, you're competing with potentially hundreds of thousands of designers around the world? With Project Runway All Stars (finally!) premiering tonight, it got us wondering about all the seriously talented individuals to whom Heidi Klum never said "auf wiedersehen."
AUSTIN – Day two of South by Southwest’s Style X has come and gone, leaving fashion lovers longing for more of the up-and-coming talent spotlighted this week. The style showcase’s second, and last, day was jam packed with shopping, panel discussions, and another runway show featuring festival musicians strutting their stuff in designers’ looks. Opening the day was American Apparel’s hotly anticipated Factory Flea Market, where shoppers got to scour discounted and discontinued merchandise from the Los Angeles-based retailer. The event has added Austin to its list of targeted cities for the third year in a row, bringing more than 20,000 reduced-price garments to Style X and SXSW attendees. Lines were long and jackpot items were scarce, but finding that perfect pair of high-waisted pleat-front trousers at 50% off was well worth the effort. While SXSW is known for its fair share of celebrity cameos, Style X hosted a few familiar faces of its own with a series of insightful panel discussions on various fashion-related topics. Chloe Dao, Project Runway season two winner and owner of Houston boutique Lot 8, Moe Boualaphanh of Marilyn Modeling Agency, and other industry figures hosted a conversation on fashion vs. style and the ever-present issue of how to break into the industry.