Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Search for South Bay Galleria's Top Fashionista Trendsetter of 2010 This past Saturday, I had the pleasure and honor of being the emcee of the South Bay Galleria's Project Style Trendsetter for 2010! For the past 5 months, contestants have been applying on Shoptopia.com to be considered, then after FIVE rounds of judging, 5 finalists were chosen. Each were given $200 and a little over 2 hrs to shop at the very expansive South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach and then, on Saturday, got the chance to show their styling expertise--on themselves--at the Finals for Project Style where the Winner would win a $1,000 Galleria Shopping Spree!
I arrived in the shopping center--with my favorite pair of TopMan purple pants of course--and was immediately whisked to a private backroom, where I had a Meet & Greet with about 25 lucky guests of the event, including the 5 Finalists. I talked about how I became a Fashion Designer, how I got started in this crazy industry and of course, my experience on Season 2 of Project Runway, and I also gave them some advice ("Be nice and kind").There was this 1o year-old girl, who even brought sketches she had been drawing for A LONG TIME (since she was 8!), so as a "bonus" for her, I drew her a very special "Nick V. croquis" (a fashion guide figure) so she could trace over it when she drew her designs. Her big ol' smile told me that she was VERY HAPPY. When it was time to start my emceeing duties, I brought her onstage to do an impromptu catwalk down the runway. And BTW: She was better than me!
Going to LA Fashion Week Outfit: Contestant Camila and Nick Verreos during the Project Style Trendsetter FinalsThe event was being held smack dab in the "Center Court" area of the South Bay Galleria. At one point, as I got up on the runway stage, I looked up, and there were four levels with tons of shoppers looking down from the balconies--to see what was happening "down there". Near the stage, lots of friends and family members of the Finalists were positioning themselves to best root for their girl!
I introduced the judges: Warren Chaumont (L) Coordinator and Producer of Style Week Orange County, fashion stylist Jennifer Margolin (R) founder of the fabulous RedSoleDiary.com, and myself.
We had 3 budding stylists from a local high school (2 of them were best friends!), one stylin' mommy and a college student who loves fashion. Styles ranged from Boho Glam, Military to Rocker Chic. Now it was time to pick the next project Style Trendsetter. There was also a separate prize, for the "Fan Favorite" (voted on by texts from the audience).
For the Finals, each of the 5 contestants got to model the outfit they bought (and personally styled) to music they handpicked. Afterward, I interviewed them on why they picked their individual outfits and explain to the judges--and myself--why they should win. Each finalist's style was very different and had their own individual look and aesthetic, and reason for choosing these outfits.Contestant Tanya talks about being a "stylish but practical" mommy, Project Style Trendsetter Finals
Brianna Elce, a very stylish high-school student who in fact, is the Vice President of her school's "Fashion Club". Brianna's winning outfit was a khaki Military-inspired jacket, a feminine ruffled tunic and some sheer-and-black jersey leggings.
That prize went to Kristen Cooper, seen above in a red sequin top, cropped bomber jacket and black skinny diagonally-seamed jeans and Rocker-chic boots. Kristen won a $250 Galleria Shopping Spree! But the Grand Prize "Top Trendsetter" Title (and $1000 Galleria Shopping Spree Prize), went to...And the Winner Is: Nick Verreos announcing Project Style Top Trendsetter
She topped it off with a long necklace, mini-clutch and some Rocker-chic booties. It was a very difficult decision and the votes were VERY CLOSE but she best defined all the trends for Fall '10, and styled them organically and in the end looked "just right". Congrats to the Project Style Trendsetter, Brianna Elce and Thank You South Bay Galleria for such a warm--and fashionable--reception!Click Below for a Fun Video of the Five Finalists On The Runway Showing their "Trendsetter" outfits: