Second Annual Project Red Dress. It was also my Birthday and I was very excited to be celebrating it in Seattle and at this great event! We (David came with me naturally!) checked into LUXURIOUS Fairmont Olympic Hotel Suite, and were greeted by a sumptuous bottle of Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries courtesy of our dear (and very classy!) friend Cindy Tsuji, who lives in Seattle. She even had a "gift package" for our dog, Benny (unfortunately, we left Benny back in his LA "Doggy Hotel"). Let's just say Cindy gets One-Hundred Friend Points for 2009!
Nick Loves a Bag: David Paul and Nick Verreos enter the Clutch Boutique Pre-Project Red Dress Party *photo courtesy of Barbie HullAfter donning our suits and ties, we ventured to the VIP Pre-Party at Clutch, a chic boutique adjacent to the event. Once there, the first thing I did (after grabbing a glass of bubbly) was pick up a big ol' fabulous bag and pose for photos (I know I can't control myself!). I also socialized with the creator of Project Red Dress, the wonderful Monir Zandgoreishi--who also happens to be the regional director of Fashion Group International (FGI). Monir envisioned Project Red Dress as a way to showcase the talents of local fashion design students while bringing attention to the American Heart Association. Red Carpet Glamour: Project Red Dress Designer (and student from IADT) Tera Lee Bacon's design For the Project Red Dress competition, five local schools with fashion design programs (International Academy of Design and Technology, Seattle Art Institute, New York Fashion Academy, Seattle Pacific University and Seattle Central Community College) chose two students to participate. Each student was given $200 worth of fabric and 16 hours to create a red cocktail dress or evening gown. How very Project Runway.
Clutch, the time finally came to witness the student designers' creations. While most guests were enjoying their delicious hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, I was whisked off to privately judge all of the ten designs. But I was not alone. Other judges included the stylish (and looking very Mary Quant-meets-Mia Farrow) Seattle Metropolitan style editor Laura Cassidy, Bridal Designer Victoria Glenn and FGI and PONCHO board member (and Seattle DIVA) Rose Dennis.
How Would Nina Garcia and Michael Kors Score This? Nick Verreos judges the Project Red dresses *photo courtesy of Barbie HullWe surveyed every competing dress, looked up every hem and inspected all the seaming (as well as some double-sided tape used to "Make it Work" unbeknownst to the guests). Our Judging Criteria was based on construction, fit, creativity, design, the overall representation of work and skill, and their use of the color red. It was not an easy task, let me tell you, especially after seeing all the beautiful designs that were up for the top prize. The only section we left blank in our score cards was the "Runway" section. That would soon come.
Now, we were ready for the main event: The Project Red Dress Fashion Show, which was emceed by the beautiful and fun Brooke and Monti of The Ladies Room on 92.5 FM (a popular Seattle Radio Station). After their introductions, they surprised me by singing "Happy Birthday" (I know, I was a mess!!) Red Dress Line Up: Project Red Dress FinaleAll ten gorgeous red dresses--from long Oscars-worthy gowns to short cocktail dresses--paraded down the catwalk, while we, the judges, scored them on their "Runway Presentation". The votes were subsequently tabulated and the Second and First Runner Up Creations (and their corresponding designers) were announced as well as the Winner.
Runner Up Prize: Red silk chiffon "over-gown" with high neck collar featuring a red jersey bloomer jumpsuit underneath (I'm not kidding!!)The Grand Prize (a $3,000 scholarship and the honor of having their creation displayed in the windows of the downtown Macy's store) went to student/designer Rosie Kohlmeier from the Seattle area-based NY Fashion Academy. All the judges agreed that it was our favorite Red Dress of the night. Right after Rosie was announced as the winner, her daughter ran up to the stage crying wanting to congratulate her! It was too cute!
*photo courtesy of Barbie HullRosie Kohlmeier's winning dress was a short red taffeta cocktail dress featuring a knotted front stiffened bow with unique little details that only us (the judges) could appreciate, such as a slot seam center back, contrast-fabric faced hem and pouffed lining. It was constructed perfectly and from what I hear, she had completed her design with plenty of time before any of the other competing student-designers. Miss Project Red Dress: Winning Design and model (left), Nick Verreos, winning designer Rosie Kohlmeier and Project Red Dress creator, Monir Zandgoreishi Congratulations to Rosie and the other finalists. It was the end to yet another successful Project Red Dress event and I hope there will be more to come. Hopefully, I can be the honorary "Lifetime Judge". I would be humbled and honored: Any excuse to come back to Seattle and judge and appreciate some beautiful fashion! Click HERE for some fabulous photos from Jeff LaPlante Photography Click HERE for more photos of the event from Barbie Hull Photography Click Below for videos from Project Red Dress 2009: Emcees Brooke and Monti, as well as Project Red Dress Guests sing "Happy Birthday" to Nick:
Project Red Dress Finale Line-Up: