Tag Archives: television

Fashion Sensei Scoop! Interview With Project Runway’s Joe Faris


This morning I had the privilege to interview Metro Detroit’s own, designer Joe Faris.  The latest contestant to be bid Auf Wiedersehen by Project Runway, we chatted about his experience on the show, Project Runway’s influence, Bryant Park and his upcoming collection.

After being away from his family for 6 weeks, Joe didn’t have to wait long for the first episode of Project Runway to air; just 10 days. I asked him what it was like to watch that first show at home.   “Surreal” he replied. “It’s similar to when you hear your voice on an answering machine.  You know what your voice sounds like in your head, but until you hear the recording, you don’t know what everyone else hears.”

So were there any surprises when Joe saw himself on television for the first time?   

“Yes, my nose.”  Your nose?  “Yes, it was BIG.”

Joe has an excellent sense of humor.  I prefer to live in denial of what I would look like on camera.  I couldn’t bear to see myself another, 10 pounds heaver.

Prior to the show airing, Joe commented that he might only watch the first episode.  I was curious to know if he watched all the episodes and if there was anything said behind the scenes that may have bothered him. 

Overall, he was pretty happy with the way he was portrayed.  Some other unnamed contestants felt that they were “edited”, but his philosophy was if you said it, you said it.  There’s no editing words into your mouth. 

He did however, find Leanne’s comment “Why is Joe still here?” a little surprising because he felt that they were on friendly terms.

Speaking of editing, I asked Joe if he had any funny stories about his time on Project Runway.  There seemed to be nothing more that the banter that we saw on the show, with the occasional teasing or jabs.  He did say though, that there was certainly enough filmed material to put out what he called  “box set” of extras.  That could be interesting…

I was curious to know what sort of opinions Joe’s friends and family had when they watched the show with him.  Several people told him that he should have won and that he did a great job.  Others, didn’t hold any punches.  Those folks pointed out where he may have made mistakes or what he should have done for better results.  He said that he didn’t get much positive feedback when it came to the last challenge.

Viewers may be wondering why he struggled a little when it came to draping and sewing.  After all, he did go to school at Parsons right? 

Well, on a typical day, Joe uses a computer to create his designs, rather than a form.  Re-discovering those those skills proved to be a bit of a challenge.

One of my favorite episodes was “What’s Your Sign” where contestants created a design based on either their astrological sign or their former contestant partner. 

Remember my favorite Michael Kors “Pooping Fabric” comment?

During this challenge, contestants had the opportunity to meet with Heidi’s “favorite” NYC designers.  During the four hours that the contestants met with prior Project Runway favorites, Joe seemed to connect with fellow Michigander Daniel Vosovic and Kara Janx.  When asked about the others, Joe said he couldn’t believe how vulgar Jaye was.  He wouldn’t be specific, but it seemed to make a lasting impression.  And Christian was, well… Christian.

joe_final_23Moving on to Bryant Park, those of us who followed New York’s Fashion Week two weeks ago, discovered that six contestants were chosen to show their stuff at the famous venue.  I asked Joe what it was like being apart of such a coveted experience.  He told me that he was home for 10 days and then he was called back to the show to spend another 4 weeks working on his Fashion Week collection. “It was everything you would think it was. I was incredibly happy.  That’s the prize.” 

But what about that moment when you are standing on the runway, ready to introduce your collection?  “It was nerve wracking.”  He told me that he asked the producers “what do people say?”  At which point the producers reassured him to speak from the heart. 

Joe described his collection as representing “America, multi-cultural, motor cycle, and Rock & Roll”.

When speaking about his collection, Joe felt less pressure in his position (he knew he was already eliminated) to design for the judges.  Had he been in the top three, he felt that he would have focused more on evening wear rather than leather.

Joe currently works as Senior Designer at Schott NYC and has worked with companies like Inkslingers where there has been a heavy focus on jeans, t-shirts and leather.  I wanted to know, after competing in Project Runway, did he think that it may have a new influence on his work?

“Yes” was his answer.  He customarily does not design dresses which have the need for draping.  So, Project Runway sparked that interest somewhat. 

While working on a collection for Schott NYC, he is also developing his own collection of approximately 20 pieces.  When speaking about dresses, he felt comfort was key, “it should feel good, like a great pair of jeans.”

Well, I could sure use that.

The collection is due to launch in January.

To read more about Joe Faris and his work, go to redflyusa.com.

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Filed under Beauty, blogging, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Week, Fashion Writer, Metro Detroit, New York City, News, pop culture, runway, Style, television

Mad About Mad Men


If you haven’t tuned in to Mad Men on AMC, you’re missing out.  Mad Men is set in the 1960’s at a fiercely competitive Madison Avenue advertising agency in New York City.  From the onset, one can’t help but be a little surprised by the dynamic of the men and women depicted during this era.  The men run around like dogs in heat and the secretaries are subjugated to sexual toys for their male counterpart’s amusement.  But it’s so much fun to watch!

While Mad Men is overtly politically incorrect by today’s standards, I’m fascinated by the complex characters, each of whom seems to be harboring an unethical secret of their own. 

Holding true to the time period, pregnant mothers are seen smoking and drinking, unseatbelted children climb from the back to front seats while their mother is driving and smoking cigarettes reign supreme.  It was this sort of behavior so acceptable to that era, that will have you asking yourself, “What are we doing now that will be considered so deplorable in 40 years?”  It certainly gets you thinking.

For the fashion lovers out there, you will not be disappointed.  Fantastic full skirts with petticoats, perfectly coiffured hair and sweater sets, all hide the dirty secrets that lie beneath; suffocating girdles, garters and the pointed bra.  And we complain about panty hose…

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Then there is the antithesis of the prim house wife and office girl; the bohemian artist…


After one season, this show has already made a big impact on fashion.  Michael Kors unveiled his Mad Men inspired Fall line this week with the following looks.


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Don’t forget that if you are going to wear one of the above form fitting dresses like that little purple number, you must wear some sort of shapeware.  My only exception would be if you are a size 2 and are absolutely without cellulite.  Proper foundation will give you a killer, smooth silhouette.

If you haven’t caught an episode of this fantastic show yet, it’s not too late.  Season one is out on DVD (and On Demand for you Comcast subscribers) and Season 2 is now underway (you have only missed one new episode).  The show is on AMC on Sunday nights.

Light up a cigarette, pour yourself an Old Fashioned and enjoy!


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Filed under Advertising, Beauty, Business, controversial, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Hair, Love, Marriage, Metro Detroit, pop culture, retail, runway, Style, television, Trends

She’s Got The Look

With the advent of the new Sex And The City Movie, all the newspapers are abuzz with women of a certain age.  Articles from the Wall Street Journal to local newspapers are discussing the “untapped” market of women over 35.  Can you believe 35 is considered old?  Is seems that once you graduate out of the 18-34 marketing category, corporations and marketing firms consider you dead.

Well, with unmistakable timing, a new reality series called She’s Got The Look is America’s Next Top Model for the over 35 set.  She’s Got The Look is looking for a women with beauty, but more importantly, a relatable personality with depth that comes with maturity.  Ten women will compete for a contract with Wilhemina Models and a photo spread in Self magazine.

Judges include:

Sean Patterson, President of Wilhemina Models, Inc.


Beverly Johnson, The first African-American supermodel to appear on the cover of VOGUE.


Robert Verdi, whom you may recognize as the host of shows such as Surprise By Design and Fashion Police.


Photo Source

As you can imagine all sorts of fashionistas turn out, from a man in the process of becoming Trans-gender to a leopard-print, body suit wearing diva.  Each hoping to have “The Look”.

She’s Got The Look airs Wednesday, June 4th at 10:00pm on TV Land.  To read more about this show and to view some great sneak peaks, click here.  I’m really interested in your opinion on this. 

I think it’s smart of TV Land to recognize that women over 35 aren’t dead and we still do care about what we look like.  I hope that a show like this encourages women to take better care of themselves and inspires them to follow their passion at any age.  We’ll see…

Any 35 or over gals want to weigh in? 

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Filed under Aging, Beauty, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, pop culture, retail, runway, Style, television, YouTube

America’s Next Top Model Finale

And America’s Next Top Model is….

Whitney Thompson of Atlantic Beach Florida.

America's Next Top Model

Photo Source

A big surprise to me.  I really though Anya was going to win.  The representative from Cover Girl was fawning over her at the photo shoot with comments like “You model from your toes up!”

I think it’s a positive and interesting choice all at once.  The ANTM gals haven’t become big stars as the show suggests.  There are rumors that top modeling agencies and designers don’t like to be “told” who will be the next “it” girl.  So maybe Tyra and the show have decided to change direction a bit.  Neither girl did well in their commercial and Anya was a real disappointment in the final cat walk.

Was it just me, or did anyone else think that final runway show in Rome was only staged for the show?  Other final runway shows seemed to be actual shows by the designer.  This one just had Versace clothes, not a Versace show per se.

What do you think about the choice?  I also found an interesting link of pictures of the past contestants and some pre-show photos of Whitney when she was a bit slimmer (or really sucking it in).  Click here.


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Filed under Beauty, Cosmetics, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, Magazines, pop culture, runway, Style, television, YouTube

America’s Next Top Model Controversy

It’s been awhile since I last posted about ANTM and thought it was time to comment again.

The ladies are now in Italy and last week they shot commercials for Cover Girl.

It was no surprise that Lauren. was. sent. home.  (An ANTM reference)

She can’t walk and was buckling under the pressure.  Whitney was on the chopping block too.  What do you think? Is she Top Model material?

I would say my top two pics would be Katarzyna and Anya.  The thing is, Anya has that really strange accent.  Somebody, tell me what is that all about?  But I will say Anya seems like a really sweet person.

Now on to the latest buzz.  In a report on the New York Post,  The Parents Television Council has filed an indecency complaint with the FCC over the March 26 episode where

“…a model posing for photographs, fully nude, while lying on a bed.

While the nudity was partially blurred, PTC president Tim Winter called it ‘irresponsible’ and said it ‘crossed the legal threshold for broadcast indecency.’ “

Isn’t this the episode when Anya won a photo shoot with Nigel? I did some digging on YouTube and here is the video.  Fast forward to near the end.  Notice that when Anya is getting ready, there is a nude colored thong hanging up to put on.  I don’t think she was totally nude.  You be the judge.

I find it interesting that there wasn’t any outrage (or at least I didn’t hear of any) when one of the ladies breasts were exposed during a High School fashion show.  The boys got a little treat that day.


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Filed under Beauty, Fashion, runway, Style, television, Trends, YouTube

More Flight of The Conchords

While researching an article in Maxim for today, now tomorrow’s post, my eyes were immediately drawn to this photo.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a big fan of the breakout HBO series Flight of the Conchords and their “folk-parody”. 

Jermaine Clement (34) the hunk of burnin’ love to the left and his fellow Kiwi band mate Bret McKenzie (31) met at Victoria University where they later dropped out of school.  Prior to their breakout success, Clement who studied theater and film, was the voice of Outback Steakhouse.  McKenzie a former music and engineering student, won followers as an extra in the Lord of the Rings series.

Now, they have become stars and in the most recent issue of Maxim, the magazine explores the unlikely sex symbols success and the pressures that ensue with fame. 

I doubt whether this issue weighs on the guys minds presently, considering they are slated for a second season of their HBO hit series and will be releasing a new CD on May 12 (according to NME.com).  Their first full length album is set to include 14 songs including the two songs I featured in my last post; ‘Business Time’ and ‘Hiphoppotamus vs Rhymenoceros’.

Check out this behind the scenes video from their Maxim photo shoot and their silly “mustachioed guitar faces”.


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Click here to read the entertaining article in its entirety.


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Filed under Comedy, music, News, pop culture, television, Uncategorized, YouTube


Some time ago I saw some of these shows highlighted on Ellen and thought I would pass them along to you.

If you are tired of the Game Shows here in America, take a look at a few that are popular in Japan.  (Air-E if you check out this post, let me know if you have seen these before.)

The first is a show called HUMAN TETRIS.  The participant must contort their body in the shape of the oncoming target or risk falling into a pool of water.

The second is HUMAN BOWLING.  In this video it appears that the man submerges himself in a pool of what maybe gelatin and then runs down a lane head first into a set of 500 bowling pins.

Last is this ridiculous marshmallow eating relay, with a rubber band around their head.  Just a nice little game to play at family gatherings.


Filed under Comedy, pop culture, television, Uncategorized, YouTube