Teenage Red Carpet

Prom is a teen's time to shine!


Times have changed, and I think that, just like women in the twenties and thirties, and how their wedding dress becomes their "red carpet moment," teenagers' "red carpet" moment now is prom.

In the past, I'm not sure that Hollywood had such a huge influence. Maybe back in the '40s and the '50s, but during the '60s, '70s, '80s and even into the '90s, we weren't quite as fascinated by celebrity dressing. So today, I think that for a lot of teenage girls, it really turns into a question of which actress or singer she loves, and whatever it is that she's wearing.

That said, I don't think that a lot of people in real life have many "red carpet" situations. So you have to understand why people look to celebrities. Where else are they going to get their fashion information? This is their moment to be on display. So, I think that it's a tricky situation, because it's not something that women do everyday, so you don't get better at it. Most people's biggest mistakes are made at night. If you ask most women, "Show me twenty pictures of yourself, and show me ten evening and ten day," chances are her evening pictures are going to be a bigger mistake than her day. Partially because she doesn't do it a lot. I think that prom fashion today is teenage red carpet. That's what it really is. raterunway_06_220x415.jpg

The arrogance of youth comes up a lot with Christian. When you are a designer, you better be sure of yourself, because you are telling people, "Wear this. I'm right and you're wrong." You are trying to be the voice of style for them. That being said, rudeness does not translate into a long career. And you have no choice, when you are working with a client -- when you disagree, you better learn to disagree diplomatically and try to slide your perspective in there. I don't think that's easy for him. He wants the client to just shut up and wear what he wants them to wear. Which is fine when you're dressing a model and you're paying her. But this is not someone you're paying. This is someone who has to go out there and wear this in real life. I think sometimes his arrogance gets the better of him. You can't blame the client.

My God. At the end of the day, you can't say, "she wore it wrong." No -- you didn't collaborate correctly.Victorya is one of those designers who believes in framing the woman. A lot of the legendary female designers through history, from Claire McCardell and Chanel through Donna Karan and Diane von Furstenberg, are women who really started their whole process by dealing with and understanding their own bodies: how to get dressed, how they wanted to present themselves, and I think Victorya is very much in that vein. Her designs are user-friendly, and they're woman-friendly.


In this instance, she knew she was dealing with a 17-year-old girl, who, my God, your skin is never going to be seventeen again! Show off beautiful skin, let it be a frame for the woman, in this case, a girl, and Victorya's very aware of that. She's not about imposing something on people. And I think there are a lot of designers who've become very successful approaching things that way. raterunway_09_220x415.jpg

I think that sometimes straight men have a very hard time designing evening clothes. It's an odd thing. You would think the opposite. Straight men, when they do evening clothes, have a tendency to go one way or the other. She either becomes a matron, or a mommy, or she's a hooker twirling a handbag. Because I think that it's pushing him out of the boundaries of what he's really comfortable with.

A lot of straight men have an easier time with daytime clothes, because I think they're a little more related to a man's vocabulary. Particularly in today's world, there's nothing worse than seeing a young actress on the red carpet dressed like a fifty-year-old woman, but a prom ... this is not the situation where a girl wants to look old. She wants to look sophisticated, but she still wants to look youthful. I think Kevin took "sophisticated" as "she wants to be a matron."

The Final Showdown

Bryant Park was a frantic frenzy backstage but most kept cool.

After weeks of vigorous drawing, designing and sewing, the final three designers arrived at the last challenge. The pressure was on for Leanne, Korto, and Kenley as they geared up to show their collections at Bryant Park for New York Fashion Week!

As the TRESemmé Styling Team entered the fashion tents, we were filled with excitement and anticipation to see what the designers put together. Since each contestant had 10 models each, backstage was buzzing! Kenley was frantic because some of her models were missing and didn't even show up until the last minute. Leanne was the complete opposite - she stayed calm and collected and even had all her models ready to go way before runway time. Korto looked nervous but was ecstatic to be at Bryant Park. She told us it was something she had been dreaming about her whole life. After we gathered the 30 models, we split them up by designer so that the TRESemmé Styling Team could start transforming the girls. Korto's collection reflected her African heritage and culture. To complement the loud prints and bold colors, we decided to give Korto's models an up-do to accentuate the embellished detailing on the neckline of the garments. First, I started by taking a zig-zag section from ear to ear across the crown. I worked in TRESemme Anti-Frizz Secret Smoothing Crème to help create a sleek base. Then, we tied two separate ponytails to the right side of the head within the top and bottom sections. To add volume to the ponytail, we created waves using a 1″ curling iron, and then teased the hair. After, we lightly brushed the surface for a smooth exterior and neatly twisted and pinned the hair into a doughnut-shaped bun.

For Leanne's collection, she found inspiration by the lake near her home in Portland, Oregon. Each piece in her line had some sort of ripple or wave effect to it in different shades of blue and cream. We wanted to create a hairstyle that had a similar wave-like effect. Leanne envisioned the hair to look natural, organic and earthy. I began by generously spraying TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer throughout the models' hair. After blow-drying, I gave her models a deep left side part and tied back the front pieces of their hair into a ponytail. I pulled the remaining hair and the ponytail into one low pony and curled it to create soft waves.Kenley designed an assortment of colorful knee-length dresses that she hand painted herself! She wanted the hair to be classic and sophisticated, so we decided to give her models Marcel waves. To get this look, I created a low left side part from above the eye to the crown, then sectioned the hair from the crown to behind the right ear and clipped it aside. Next, I put the remaining hair into a side bun to the right side of the head. After, we released the top section of the hair from the clip and misted the hair with TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer before blow-drying for a smooth finish. Then, we finished by applying TRESemme Thermal Creations Curl Activator Spray to the front pieces and used a 1" curling iron to create face framing Marcel waves. Finally, we loosely pinned the remaining length of the hair into a bun.

Even though all the collections looked amazing on the runway, there can only be one winner of Project Runway. Tim Gunn, who surprised everyone as the guest judge, thought Leanne's line was uniquely structured and versatile. Heidi said her cohesive collection floated down the runway. The judges all agreed her designs were flawless and Leanne was crowned winner!

It has been such a memorable experience seeing Leanne grow into the designer she is today, and I'm sure we can expect many more beautiful collections from her. I can't wait to see what type of ripple effect this designer will make in the fashion industry!