Supima Design Competiton September 8, 2011, During Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York, Hosted by Rachel Zoe

Celebrity stylist Rachael Zoe and Jesse Curlee of Supima hosted the finals of Supima’s fourth annual design competition at Lincoln Center, September 8, 2011, during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  The judges of the competition were Coco Rocha, Charlotte Ronson, Kevin Harter, Buxton Midyette, Nicole Miller, and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson.  The lineup consisted of eight students from FIT, RISD, SCAD, and Pratt.  Each presented five pieces.  One running theme was corduroy!

The first designer out the gate was MaRu Jung (PRATT), who presented four strapless dresses and one elbow-length sleeves dress consisting of bleached, dyed, painted, and stamped denim each tastefully embellished with painted lace and beading.

Designer Dara Rosen (Rhode Island School of Design) had a variety of A-line dresses, diametric single strap with lovely purples.  Her evening gowns were nice with subtle trains and corduroy.  My favorite piece was the sleeveless cocktail dress of the dyed and stamped jersey embellished with beads and sequins.

Rachel Pullman (Rhode Island School of Design) had a bevy of corduroy cocktail dresses, and hoop skirts made an appearance.  I loved the exposed backs—this was the charm of the mini dresses.  Pullman’s emerald gown with a charming cape was no exception.  Corduroy was apparent in this mini collection. Many of her dresses had the cape effect.  My favorite piece was the sleeveless evening dress with plunging neckline, constructed of dyed jersey with black foil embellishment.

Connie Weng’s (Rhode Island School of Design) gowns were bias cut.  My favorite in this collection was the draped, denim, one shoulder cocktail dress with asymmetric hem.  Her beige free-flowing dress was also another favorite.  I appreciated her attention to trend as she incorporated orange floral into her color palette.

Marlow Larson (Savannah College of Art and Design) had really inventive pieces consisting of an evening ensemble constructed of tea-dyed and ink-painted twill.  I also really appreciated her bracelet-sleeved evening dress with elongated side and back accessory, constructed of corduroy.

Lorena Cuevas (Savannah College of Art and Design) showed incredible inspirations.  The one-shoulder evening gown with diagonal standing collar, constructed of dyed denim with hand-painted and embroidered embellishment, giving this collection a futuristic quality.

Amy Bittner (Fashion Institute of Technology) surprised me with peasant influences.  Her strapless cocktail dress in olive twill with gold lace was indeed a surprise, along with her mermaid gown in black corduroy with lace accents, worn with  cage peplum constructed from self-fabric cording.  She also utilized knitted appliqués.

Jusil Caroll (Fashion Institute of Technology) presented leather shoulder harnesses.  She had my favorite dress of all the collections, a sleeveless high-waisted evening gown with layered skirt  and self train, constructed of dyed and digitally printed shirting, worn with a matching digitally printed vest with leather embellishments!  She too had corduroy in her collection.  Her 2-tone dyed denim gown with train was unique and her final piece, a sleeveless high-waisted evening gown with draped skirt was very well received.  Jusil Caroll was the big winner of the competition.  I’m glad I wasn’t on that panel of judges.  There was way too much talent competing that afternoon.

“This is my first fashion week.  Thank you so much for letting me have this amazing experience.  I love my family for supporting me!” Gushed Jusil Caroll. Click to see behind the scenes photographed by Arun Nevader.

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