Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a reality television show like Project Runway? The Lifetime cable series recently completed its 11th season with producer, host and judge, Heidi Klum, saying, "In fashion, one day you're in and the next day you're out!"
A bit of Project Runway is coming to Benicia with the appearance of Richard Hallmarq at the Benicia Fashion Runway event September 27-29. Hallmarq placed 6th this season, and stayed on to help the final three contestants show their designs at New York Fashion Week.
He has offered to do a "Meet and Greet Q & A" on Friday night, September 27 from 6pm to 7:30pm. He will talk about his personal experiences of being one of the chosen few to make it on Project Runway. Over a recent lunch with Hallmarq, I learned about the intense schedule during filming, and the personalities of the other designers. I also discovered that he showed his collection at New York Fashion Week along with the seven designer finalists. It was interesting to hear about what the guest judges had to say about his designs and how he keeps in touch with some of the cast members.
Since the show aired, Hallmarq has created a ready-to-wear line using jersey fabrics, which became his signature look during the challenges. He has also designed an eyewear collection, which was recently picked up by the Patricia Field Boutique of "Sex and the City" fame.
Hallmarq will be showing his latest designs during the runway portion of Fashion Weekend on Saturday night, September 28. Having worked with Hallmarq in 2011, I can say that his enthusiasm is even more infectious. He is reaching out to his designer and model friends to be part of the show.
One of those friends is Naima Mora, who is best known for winning Cycle 4 of America's Next Top Model (ANTM), and has agreed to walk the Benicia Runway. Naima was voted the most memorable contestant from ANTM by AOL. Her Mohawk hairstyle and introverted personality did not make her a favorite to win the show but her perseverance did. Besides appearing as the face for Cover Girl and Samsung, she is also an author. Her first book, Naima Mora Model Behavior, is part of her Model Life Series—designed to inspire others to recognize their true potential and achieve their hopes and dreams.
Another one of Hallmarq's friends, Marci Landgraf, will be on hand to stylize the models for the catwalk. Landgraf spent years perfecting her craft in the fashion and beauty capitols of the world. Her hairstyles have strolled down the runways of New York, Paris and Milan and on to the pages of Elle, Vogue, In Style, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar. Modern Salon writes, "Marci expands the boundaries of high fashion and the avant-garde. Understanding simplicity allows her to create the pure essence of beauty."
Fashion is a reality in Benicia! The town offers a unique mix of fashion-forward boutiques and more than 40 salons and spas along First Street. Downtown Benicia is fast-becoming a fashion and beauty destination for women throughout the Bay Area.
Benicia Fashion Runway Weekend is being produced by Christina S Fashion Destination and Be Chic Boutique, and will benefit the newly formed Business Improvement District (Downtown Benicia Alliance), and the Benicia State Parks Association.