Project Runway Stars Shine at Fashion Week El Paseo

The designers sold out the Big White Tent and return today for a trunk show

‘Project Runway’ Stars Shine at Fashion Week El Paseo. The designers sold out the Big White Tent

Gerry Maceda

Some may consider it remarkable. Others think it’s a stroke of good fortune. Whatever you want to call it, spectators at Wednesday night’s Stars of Project Runway show at Fashion Week El Paseo agreed that it was cool to see clothes by two of the three show finalists the night before one of them could be crowned champion of Lifetime Television’s “Project Runway All-Stars.”

The popular show, which pits past-season contestants against each other for a second chance at taking home a championship title, wraps up tonight with Fashion Week El Paseo designers Mondo Guerro and Michael Costello vying for the crown against season one runner-up Austin Scarlet.

On Wednesday night at Fashion Week El Paseo, seven of the show’s contestants — Gordana Gehlausen, Mila Hermanovski, Michael Drummond, Seth Aaron, Josh Christensen, Michael Costello, and Mondo Guerro, who wasn’t able to make the trek in person because of doctor’s orders — sent their new collections down the catwalk.

“American Idol” contestant Pia Toscano sang to the sold out, standing room-only crowd wearing one of Costello’s designs.

And the hometown hero was clearly the evening’s star, not only by measure of audience response (he dressed all the Fashion Week El Paseo Divas sitting front and center, and those women can cheer), but also by his clothes.

“This was the first time a collection didn’t completely cause me stress,” Costello says of his neutral, ’70s-infused eveningwear. The six-way stretch material he used allowed him to forgo his standard model fittings, which anyone watching his collection of backless and Grecian gowns, jumpsuits, and beautifully draped, forest green chiffon numbers wouldn’t have guessed. He also returned to a trusty old trademark — the high leg slit.

“I used to make prom dresses for my friends in high school, and I got banned from the prom because of that,” he says. “I thought it was time to bring it back.”

Costello wasn’t the only standout last night. Mila Hermanovski, who showed her complete collection during L.A. Fashion Week last weekend, showed a polished, architecturally inspired selection of color block dresses, sharp cut vests, and leather-rimmed androgynous tuxedo jackets.

“My collection is nowhere near done,” says Hermanovski, who lives in L.A. and is trying to place her line placed in boutiques. “I’m trying to recover from all this now, and hopefully show in New York in September. We’ll see.”

The most exciting moment of all was a blink-and-you’d-miss-it detail of Hermanovski’s show — the geometric, 3-D jewelry, which was custom-made for her by Seattle-based designer Sarah Loertscher.

“Her stylist did a Google search for ‘geometric jewelry’ and my name came up!” Loertscher explained of her accidental pairing with Hermanovski. The two worked together to create huge, hollow geo-dome cocktail rings, breastplate necklaces that look like abstract house frames, and shape-heavy post earrings in sterling and oxidized silver that could be seen in full view from the back of a packed fashion week tent.

“Mila told me to make everything as big as I could, so I did,” Loertscher says of the designs, which will be on offer at today’s Project Runway trunk show for $400-$600.

The duo will continue the serendipitous pairing. “Our designs are so complimentary and based on structures and lines,” Hermanovski says. “We’re on the same page.”

Meet the Stars of Project Runway today and shop their goods at the Big White Fashion Tent on El Paseo and Larkspur Lane from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on 3-22-2012




Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Palm Springs Life

Related Articles

10 Things To Do in Palm Springs This Weekend

Palm Springs Life helps plan out your weekend in Palm Springs and the desert resort cities with concerts, events, restaurants, nightlife, clubs and the world of entertainment only found in the desert.

Wesley Eure Will Co-Emcee at Desert AIDS Project Benefit

Chelsea Lane Bodywear presents Under & Out 3, a fashion show and poolside party on Oct. 5 as part of a benefit for the Desert AIDS Project.

Explore Palm Springs: 139 Club

Opened in the early 1930s, the 139 Club was housed in what was a private residence in Cathedral City, and the name was derived from its numerical address.

Villa Royale Inn Reflects Palm Springs History, Ambiance

What began as film star and Olympic figure skater Sonja Henie’s estate in the 1940s has been preserved and developed into a hidden gem as Villa Royale Inn.

Desert Staycations

The Palm Springs area is filled with resorts offering packages in the summer months to help people unwind and have fun.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.