Lifetime TV

Project Runway Designer Korina Emmerich: Our Exclusive Editorial Shoot and Interview

We have spent the last year interviewing numerous designers from various seasons of Project Runway, and from their testimonials, we have learned a lot about the PR experience.  Designers are chosen for a plethora of reasons to participate on this show, and it is an unforgiving and tough process.  We would not expect it to be anything less, of course.  If you are fortunate and talented enough make it onto Project Runway–  you are then sent to the location to live with strangers, not allowed to view any type of media, not allowed contact with loved ones or friends, and you shoot ALL of the challenges over the course of about 4 weeks, wherein your days are somewhere between 12-20 hours long.  It is a DREAM opportunity, but we assume it is not a DREAM process to endure.  It is true, though, that some of life’s hardest experiences are the most memorable, and the most life-changing.

Photo by Ben Trivett

Project Runway Season 13 Designer Korina Emmerich

Before you decide anything permanent about any one of the designers on this season of Project Runway, or any other season up till now, we’d like to remind you a little about the conditions these designers are working under while you watch them in your living room.  We’d like you to think about how you might react being in this type of environment, and to think about how you would feel getting closer and closer with each challenge, to a dream you’ve had your whole life.  Now, we’d like you to think about whether in the most extreme moment of stress, you might not give a shit if the cameras are on you or not.  You just might need to let out some steam.  Some people handle stress quietly, others vocally, or by lashing out, and even others by crying.  We’ve definitely seen it all in every season of Project Runway.

Photo by Ben Trivett

Korina Emmerich in one of her own leather designs. Click image to link to our EXCLUSIVE video interview.

HOW KORINA EMMERICH MAKES IT WORK

We said “Auf Wiedersehen” to Designer Korina Emmerich on last week’s episode of Project Runway, Season 13.  We have to say as viewers, that this was the most angering episode we’ve encountered this season.  We noticed other online fans angry about the decision, surprised about the choice to let Korina go, and keep other designers who may or may not have already been saved multiple times, and who from our point of view, have not demonstrated the construction skills needed to continue to this level of the competition.  It was a hard episode for Korina especially, as the show’s editing did not help to paint her in a positive light at all.  She was clearly venting steam and stress in the one-hour final elimination challenge, and unfortunately, the cameras caught a moment of negativity that also seemed to anger some of the fans vocal on the internets.

Designer Korina Emmerich in a jacket from her Raven Collection

Designer Korina Emmerich in a jacket from her Raven Collection

Recently, when this season had just begun, we got in touch with Korina about doing an editorial shoot, using some of her own designs, and playing with a little vintage as well.  We spent the morning together styling makeup and hair, coordinating different looks, and asking questions for our exclusive video interview.

Not only are we happy with the final images and video, but we had a fantastic time collaborating with Korina, who in our minds was one of the front runners in this season of Project Runway.

Designer Korina Emmerich in Vintage from Tattoo Girl Lingerie

Designer Korina Emmerich in Vintage from Tattoo Girl Lingerie

Well, we know now that Korina’s runway show at New York Fashion Week will not be featured on Project Runway, but you can see some of it from Designer Helen’s Instagram feed here.  (Often the last 6 or 7 designers left on the series do show at fashion week.)  Little did we know, we shot one of the leather jackets featured in that very same collection. (See the collection on Korina’s site Here)  Needless to say, the whole experience was a pleasure, and Korina was both a pro and a joy to work with.  We hope to do it again in the future.

Designer Korina in one of her new SS15 Ephemeral Collection Jackets

Designer Korina in one of her new SS15 Ephemeral Collection Jackets

There you have it Project Runway fandom.  We ask you to take everything you see on tv with a grain of salt, and we remind you to see the work of all the designers up close and personal, if ever you get the chance.  Project Runway is a vehicle that can launch the career of a designer, but if these designers strive to be part of this industry for life, Project Runway cannot and should not define them forever.

Special thanks to Korina for her time, her patience, and her professionalism.  Keep up with her on Twitter @EmmerichNY, and on her site at www.emmerichny.com.

Photos by Ben Trivett (Copyright Ben Trivett). Hair, makeup, and styling by Coleen Scott.- C. Scott

A note about comments:  We will approve comments from legitimate email addresses only, and we welcome all to share their thoughts and opinions.

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How Johnathan Kayne Makes It Work

 

Johnathan Kayne’s designs sparkle, just like their creator.  In the literal sense, his signature gowns are covered in Swarovskis, but figuratively, they reflect the care and love Jonathan puts into designing them.  We would go so far as to say that Johnathan is the event gown guru of Project Runway.  Johnathan has the market cornered for red carpets, beauty pageants, and proms.  We would also refer to Johnathan as a Project Runway pro, as he has done his time on a regular season, and a season of All Stars.   Recently, we had the wonderful pleasure of speaking with Johnathan, and he shared with us all of the very exciting things he has going on in his sparkly world.

HOW JOHNATHAN KAYNE MAKES IT WORK

1.  Who are you, and what season/s did you participate in? 

I competed on Season 3 on Project Runway and was a Top 5 finalist.  I also competed on Project Runway All Stars Season 2.

2.  Please give a brief description of your design style.

My design style is very elegant and feminine. My shoe and dress collections are typically adorned with Swarovski crystals and intricate hand beading.

Johnathan Kayne Design SS2014

Johnathan Kayne Design SS2014

 

3.  What was the most challenging thing about the Project Runway experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

Honestly, the most challenging aspect was trying to figure out exactly what the judges were looking for each challenge.

 

4.  Who have you met or worked with during or since the Project Runway experience that you are most proud of or excited about?

I have been most excited to work with and design for Jennifer Lopez, Lee Brice, Martina McBride since my Project Runway experience.

Gown by Johnathan Kayne

Lee and Sara Brice at the American Country Music Awards

 

Maggie Rose at the CMT Awards

Maggie Rose at the CMT Awards

 

5.  What are you currently working on or excited about professionally?

I have moved my home and entire business operation back to my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.  I also serve as a red carpet fashion correspondent for Country Weekly Magazine and Zuus Media. I am building my brand as the go-to red carpet designer of the south.

I am prepping to launch my SS 2015 collections debuting this fall. I also have hired a good friend and Project Runway All Star, Joshua McKinley, to collaborate on an evening wear collection.

This is the first time in history that two Project Runway Alum have collaborated on a collection!

From itsjoshuamcklinley instagram

Johnathan with collaborator and friend, Designer Joshua McKinley (From itsjoshuamcklinley instagram)

 

6.  Besides the basics, what sewing notion or tool could you NEVER do without?

A seam ripper.

 

7. How has social media impacted your life after Project Runway?

Social media has allowed me to give the world a closer look at my creative vision, and allows for my fans to see what inspires me.  I believe a picture truly is worth a thousand words, and a video, millions. We try to inspire our followers through our collections and through our social media. I love connecting with our fans, and am so thankful and blessed to have such beautiful people across the world as followers.

(Johnathan Kayne social media: Twitter: Johnathan_Kayne, YouTube: johnathankayne, Facebook: www.facebook.com/johnathankayne, Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/johnathankayne/)

8.  Is there anything else you’d like us to know or see?

Check out my website, www.JohnathanKayne.com where you will see all of my current collections, custom designs, and related media. Also please like and follow all of my social media links on my website to stay up to date with my brand and I.

Model: Chanley Painter, Photo by Adrian

Johnathan Kayne Dress, Model: Chanley Painter, Photo by Adrian

Thank you so much to Johnathan for his participation and generous contributions to this piece.  Johnathan, it has been a pleasure chatting with you, we wish you all the best! – C.Scott

All text and images provided by Johnathan Kayne unless watermarked, linked, or specified.

 

How Melissa Fleis Makes It Work

Melissa Fleis, Fashion Designer

Melissa Fleis, Fashion Designer

 

If you’re looking for a Project Runway alum with edge and drive, Melissa Fleis is your woman.  A finalist from season ten, and a competitor on All Stars season three, she plays with leather, angle and line, often accented with pops of color.  She likes her black, but she’s not afraid to think outside of the little black box that some designers can get trapped in.  Melissa  uses color wisely, whether it’s to accent her desired silhouette, or to draw attention to details.  She’s a badass, sexy woman, and when we look at her clothes, that’s who we envision wearing them.  We caught up with Melissa, getting her fashion hustle on from San Francisco, and she shared more details about what’s up-and-coming in her fashionable world.  Before we give too much away, we’ll let her tell you in her own words.

HOW MELISSA FLEIS MAKES IT WORK

1.  Who are you, and what season/s did you participate in? 

Melissa Fleis, fashion designer based in San Francisco.  I was a finalist on Project Runway Season 10, and designer on Project Runway All Stars Season 3.

2. Please give a brief description of your design style.

Artisanal modern design with a feminine edge.
MelissaFleis-24-3219081779-O
From Melissa Fleis' Defiant Collection

From Melissa Fleis’ Defiant Collection

 

3.  What was the most challenging thing about the Project Runway experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

The most challenging thing for me was time management. I always found myself working until the final seconds before the runway.

4.  Who have you met or worked with during or since the Project Runway experience that you are most proud of or excited about?

I have been showing a lot with Mychael Knight, Daniel Esquivel, Jeffrey Sebelia, and Michelle Lesniak. I can’t say who I’m proud of the most. I’m just proud of us all!
Melissa at Dirty Habit, Palomar Hotel, San Francisco

Melissa at Dirty Habit, Palomar Hotel, San Francisco

5.  What are you currently working on or excited about professionally?

I continue to work on my own collections, as well as, custom orders, and designing uniforms for a new Kimpton restaurant in San Francisco. Hustling to make this all work!

 6.  Besides the basics, what sewing notion or tool could you NEVER do without?

My leather hammer!

 

 7.  Is there anything else you’d like us to know or see?

Some of my pieces are currently being sold at CHURCH Boutique in Los Angeles and Olivia Boutique in Los Altos, CA. I will also be launching my e-commerce site soon, so customers can order directly from the website!
(Update:  Since our interview, Melissa has launched her site!  You can find it here: http://melissafleis.com)
From Melissa Fleis' Defiant Collection

From Melissa Fleis’ Defiant Collection

Thanks so much to Melissa for taking the time to talk to us!  Melissa, we wish you nothing but the best with the Defiant Collection and the new site! – C.Scott
You can get in touch with Melissa on Twitter @MelissaFleis, or check out the website at melissafleis.com.
All text and images provided by Melissa Fleis unless watermarked, linked, or specified.

 

How Natalia Fedner Makes It Work

Natalia Fedner is a Los Angeles fashion designer, most recently known for her participation in Project Runway’s Under The Gunn.  Our favorite Natalia design from the show was a fantastically innovative Steampunk ensemble with a mechanized skirt.  We became fans of Natalia while watching Under The Gunn, and love her exceptional designs.  Project: Make It Work recently caught up with Natalia to check in with her about all the fantastic things she’s been doing since the show.

HOW NATALIA FEDNER MAKES IT WORK

1.  Who are you, and what season/s did you participate in? 

I’m designer Natalia (Fedner) and I was on Season 1 of Project Runway: Under The Gunn

2.  Please give a brief description of your design style.

A touch scandalous, a touch classic- but always innovative. More art and invention than straight fashion. Heavy on knitwear and unorthodox materials or materials used in unorthodox ways.

Gown by Natalia Fedner

Gown by Natalia Fedner

3.  What was the most challenging thing about the Under The Gunn experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

The time pressure, and isolation from all the comforts of life (friends, family, sleep, the internet).

4.  Who have you met or worked with during or since the Under The Gunn experience that you are most proud of or excited about?

I had the opportunity recently to dress Jennifer Lopez for her “First Love” music video.  She wore one of my chiffon and knit silver gowns.  She looked gorgeous, and I was so grateful to her stylists and Entertainment Tonight for mentioning my designs in their interview with her!  I also had the pleasure of working with Shakira, and a gown of mine was worn to the Oscars by Joanna DeGeneres (Ellen’s sister- in-law).

Jennifer Lopez wears a Natalia Fedner dress in her "First Love" video

Jennifer Lopez wears a Natalia Fedner dress in her “First Love” video

 

Joanna DeGeneres and Meryl Streep at The Oscars.

Joanna DeGeneres and Meryl Streep at The Oscars.

5.  Besides the basics, what sewing notion or tool could you NEVER do without?

My knitting needles. They double as weapons 😉

6.  How has social media impacted your life after Under The Gunn?

Wow! I have loved the social media response.  I never expected so much love and support.  I answer each message I get.  When the show was on, I would spend hours each day reading the tweets, Instagram messages, and Facebook posts. Thank you ALL! You touch my heart and allow me to realize how much impact an individual can have. I wish I had all of you with me while we were shooting the show! If any of you ever have any questions about fashion, life, or me – feel free to reach out! Twitter and Instagram: @nataliafedner,  Facebook: Natalia Fedner Design

7.  What are you currently working on or excited about professionally?

I just bought two computerized knitting machines and am hacking them (yup, I’m a tech geek) to knit any image I would like. I’m pairing this tech aspect with my penchant for unusual/high end materials to create some truly mind-blowing art fashion. It’s like a big fun experiment, and since I love inventing things- it gives me a rush to wake up every morning with endless possibilities at my fingertips.

I am thrilled to continue working with Hollywood stylists to get my avant-garde dresses on some of my favorite icons. Recently, Shakira took my entire collection with her to Spain for a shoot- and even purchased one of my dresses! She’s always been an inspiration to me, so this was very humbling. I’m incredibly grateful to her.

Attaching some sneak peaks at some real silver chain I just knitted- can’t wait to get it on a model!  Also, I’ve been doing a little fun embroidery that is also in need of some model love (it took almost a month to complete – my hands are still sore!). For the latest stuff, check out my site: http://nataliafednerdesign.com

Silver Knit Tank by Natalia Fedner

Silver Knit Tank by Natalia Fedner

8.  Is there anything else you’d like us to know or see?

Just a life philosophy: Be good to people.

It sounds so simple – because it is.  There are many roads to success, and it’s up to you which path you choose.  I have found that treating people with kindness, realizing there’s always more than meets the eye, and not judging too hastily, has allowed me to achieve success without hurting anyone in the process. When you are good to people they are more likely to help you, to be good to you, to care for you.  So it is very simple – and it feels really good – be good to people!

And be good to animals, too. I don’t use fur, leather, or wool in my designs.  Any angora I use is sourced from pet bunnies.

Natalia Fedner Couture Dress

Natalia Fedner Couture Dress

Special thanks to Natalia for chatting with us.  Natalia, we wish you all the best, and would love to collaborate with you if you’re ever in New York! -C. Scott

All interview text and photo content provided by Natalia Fedner, unless watermarked, linked, or specified.

Nick Verreos Blogs about Oscar Lopez, and the Marie Claire Shoot for Under The Gunn

Nick Verreos Blogs about Oscar Lopez, and the Marie Claire Shoot for Under The Gunn

We love Nick Verreos, and we love Oscar Lopez. What we love even more is that the first winner of Lifetime’s “Under The Gunn” and his mentor from the show are part of a beautiful spread in the July issue of Marie Claire. Click the photo for a link to Nick’s blog, and get your copy of Marie Claire now!