nick verreos

How Oscar Lopez Makes It Work

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 Photo by Natasha Kertes

This Spring, Lifetime replaced a second annual season of Project Runway with it’s new fashion designer series, Under The Gunn, hosted by the incomparable, Tim Gunn.  We were skeptical at first, but after seeing the magical garment construction of Oscar Lopez, from Coral Gables, Florida, we were hooked.  Much to our delight, Oscar was the winner of Under The Gunn, and he’s been caught up in a whirlwind of work and exciting opportunities since then.   Just this month, he has replica garments from Under The Gunn being sold through show sponsor Francesca’s, and a feature shoot in Marie Claire magazine.  We had the opportunity to catch up with the very busy, and extremely gracious, Oscar for an EXCLUSIVE interview about his Under The Gunn experience, and what life is like after being crowned the next great fashion designer.

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Photo by Yobe Photography

HOW OSCAR LOPEZ MAKES IT WORK

1.  Who are you, and what season or show did you participate in?

My name is Oscar Lopez and I am the winner of the first season of Project Runway’s “Under the Gunn” series.

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

I am not much of a “ready-to-wear” kind of designer.  Although I do some, my design style is more evening wear, with ensembles that carry the wow factor, and that are elegant, chic, sexy, and glamorous at the same time.  I like the use of beautiful embroideries, sequins, and french laces.  Creating a plain and simple look is just not me.  I leave that for other designers!

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

The pressure and time constraint to design and execute a complete look in less than 8 hours. The fact that we weren’t allowed to have any kind of contact with anybody outside of the production team, meaning family or friends.  Being a bit sleep deprived after a while, due to so many hours of filming daily.

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

Rachel Roy, she is an extremely gentle, humble and sweet human being. I am very excited that she picked me to design her 2014 Met Gala gown, and a few other things that I can’t say for now.

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Rachel Roy in her Oscar Lopez custom gown (and photos from Oscar’s studio) for the 2014 Met Gala.

5.  What have you been working on, and what are you excited about since Under The Gunn?

Working from Monday through Sunday!  Between the work, the trips, the interviews, the galas that I had already committed to prior to the show, the TV appearances, and everything else, it has become a bit overwhelming, but very happy at the same time.  Can’t wait for my Francesca’s collection to come out, and my Marie Claire Spread!

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Oscar’s winning runway design on Under The Gunn, and Francesca’s reproduction.

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

My clothing care tailor’s ham.

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

Social media has always been an amazing outlet for my work, and from the moment I was announced as a participant on Under the Gunn the fans started to pile up.  It’s great to be able to interact with people across the US and abroad almost instantly, as they were watching the show.  Now that the show is done, a great amount of people continue to seek my work, and hire me as their designer through social media.  It is an excellent way of keeping in touch with those that admire my work, and in return I get to give them first hand account of what’s going on with me, and what I’m doing next.

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

Yes, that I thank very much and from the bottom of my heart, all the people, fans, and friends that followed me from the time the show first aired, till now.  Thank you for all the support and beautiful comments sent my way.  Thanks also for supporting me, and rooting for me all the way.  Thanks especially to my life partner.  Without him, this triumph wouldn’t be possible.

Watch out for my next surprises on Instagram and Twitter @realoscarlopez!

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We’d like to thank Oscar so very much for all of his generous, honest, input, and beautiful images.  We wish him the best of luck in everything he does in the future, and hope to stay in touch!  It has been a pleasure chatting with you, Oscar! -C. Scott

All text and photo content provided by Oscar Lopez, unless watermarked, linked, or specified.

 

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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.

TBT: The Time Nick Verreos Designed Barbie Clothes

TBT: The Time Nick Verreos Designed Barbie Clothes

It was 2005, Project Runway Season 2, Episode 3, and Nick Verreos won the My Scene Barbie Challenge with the above number. The doll was reproduced in a limited edition, and sold out quickly. You can still find the dolls on Ebay for a pretty penny. ( http://bit.ly/1yS5rT0 )

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!

Golden Globes Red Carpet Suggestion: Lupita Nyong’o

Red Carpet Suggestion #3: Lupita Nyong’o!  Lupita, nominated for “12 Years A Slave”, is the woman of the moment, and her stylist, Micaela Erlange, is keeping her in the most beautiful fashion.  Lupita likes color, and we think this FABULOUS dress from Nikolaki’s (by Nick Verreos and David Paul) spring runway would be stunning on her! Click the photo for a link to Nikolaki’s site!