Project Style 2012: A Recap

VCU School of Design

About a month ago, shoes, models, stylists and fashionistas all came out for the 2012 Short Pump Mall’s Project Style Style Off (whew).  I covered the event for Downtown Short Pump and the full article can be read here, but, like always, I drop  more photos and behind the scenes info here at chicstripes.  Keep reading for full details (and my thoughts on the winner).

Judges (left to right): Julia Naismith, a booker for Modelogic, Lauren Healy, fashion assistant at Belle Magazine, and Larissa Wisniewski, last year’s winner of Project Style.

A good fashion show down will always have good judges (well, let’s forget last year’s Housewife that was a judge), and this year brought in real people with real experience.  Julia, a former model who’s traveled and worked extensively and is now a booker at Modelogic, brought with her experience as well as a simple yet chic style and refined tastes.  Lauren, the fashion assistant for popular local mag Belle, brought an expertise in what’s hot now.  Larissa, last year’s winner of Project Style, represented Richmond style and the local fashion scene.

Contestants (first row left to right: Kori, Latoya, Emily / second row left to right: Hilary, Maya)

Unlike last year, this year included 5 different girls who were given 1 hour and $250 to shop, style and present their winning outfit.  They were judged on their use of the money, where they bought the pieces, how well the outfit was styled and how the outfit fit the girl’s personality.  I thought that all of the girls’ outfit fit their persona and they each seemed at ease in what they were wearing.  I was disappointed, however, to find that the majority of contestants used one store for their pieces, H&M and Urban Outfitters being the go-to.   It seems less of a challenge to piece together an outfit from one store that sticks with the same look than having to create something from different viewpoints and if anyone in Project Style wants to make this a rule for next year I will totally be a judge!  Stands-outs from each contestant include: Kori’s beautifully bright yellow blazer.  She wears this bright color so well, but the mixing of the two patterns (floral and leopard) just wasn’t hitting home for me.  Latoya knocked it out of the park as each of her pieces flowed seamlessly without being too matchy.  The polka dotted neutral skirt was completely on-trend and the addition of oxblood accessories kept it feeling fresh.  Nothing beats a classic trench and she pulled this one off beautifully.  Emily’s sweet peplum and envelop clutch was another great casual look which I loved and could easily see myself wearing.  I think swapping the pants out for a cropped mustard or poppy pant with heels would have put this more on the fashion scale.  Hilary’s look is one I would wear in bits in pieces as I am having a love affair with leather at the moment, adore silk tops and fun clutches, but the overall look was again just too casual for a fashion style off.  Lastly, Maya looked amazing in a jewel green shift dress which she topped off with quirky accessories (all from Urban I might add).  If you were a judge, who would get your vote?

     Winner of Project Style Short Pump Town Center: Maya Shaw

Congratulations Maya!  It was fun to be in the audience and see her friends and family do a little happy dance when she was announced the winner and would be traveling to NYC for a national style off and the chance to win MB Fashion Week tickets.  It should come as no surprise, however, that in a town like Richmond, the most alternatively dressed girl (or guy) will most likely win.  I loved Maya’s outfit for the sheer fact that it completely stayed true to her own personal style sense (and would never be something I could pull off).  But… my vote for best dressed in this event went to Latoya for a beautifully put together outfit where all of the pieces came together.  Her outfit could easily translate to almost any women with a few tweaks in design, accent colors or accessories, but the pieces she chose as the “bones” of the outfit were classic, not trendy, and she styled an outfit that has lasting fashion influence.  If you had judging powers, who would you have voted for?  What pieces of the outfits did you like?

Do you think you have what it takes to be the next big fashionista?  Keep an eye out come next spring for the application process!

All images copyrighted to chicstripes


4 thoughts on “Project Style 2012: A Recap

  1. I think I am inclined to agree with your decision. While I do love the winner’s look, I agree in that it really isn’t too translatable to other women. I also love the other woman’s choices in using more classic staples, and incorporating a few trendy pieces in it to bring it up to date.

    I SO wish I could have been there to see the event!


  2. It’s a toss up – because on the one hand they bill it as looking for “trend-setters” but I think that a trend would need to be copy-able by different types of women to really catch on. Last year’s winner was a trend-setter – she had red pants which any woman could wear. I just don’t see this look translating, although it does look great on her!

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