Written by: Deena Poythress| Fashion Contributor| Photos by: Chanda Scott
Fashion filled the air in Whiskey Blue at the W in Buckhead Tuesday evening. The eyes of the town were on eight up and coming designers who were given the opportunity to showcase their Vitaminwater inspired pieces to a local style panel built up of Jessica Dauler of Jessica Shops, David Goodrowe Associate Dean of the School of Fashion at SCAD, and Robanne Schulman of Plaid Monkey.
Buzz, anticipation, and Atlanta’s fashion elite crowded around the white platform runway to see whose design, interpretation, and creativity would outshine amongst the rest. Each contestant had 6 weeks to sketch and construct a garment that best represented a particular Vitaminwater flavor. As the host for the night, Christine Pullara of Atlanta and Company, took the runway the house noise simmered down and the crowd focused their attention to the stage. Once the terms of the contest were explained, the time had come to witness 6 weeks of blood, sweat, and tears.
The first designer’s piece to grace the runway was that of Jeanette Benjamin followed by Simone Adams, Claire Buyens, Simone McPherson, Kelvin Parker, Dwayne Woodard, Tian Justman, and Isaac Spry. All contestants proudly looked on as their pieces were embraced by a audience filled with family, friends, and fellow afficionados of fashion. Each piece, unique in their own right, told a story of the genetic make up, color palette and Vitaminwater ’flavor’.
Isaac Spry, whose drink was Revive fruit punch, found inspiration from the purple label that wraps the bottle and the ingredients found inside. The potassium component pushed him to choose a shimmer, metallic organza fabric in the construction of his design. The water in itself, motivated him to piece together a portion of the gown that moved and flowed freely like the drink.
As the design showcase came to an end, the models for Tulipano wowed the crowd with accordion style dresses, one shoulder minis, maxi skirts, and gowns. The colors reminded you of a sour yet succulant piece of punchy grapefruit.
The time had come and the style panel handed over their decision. The winner would win a $1000 and a fashion spread in Jezebel magazine. David Goodrowe called this designer’s piece a mixture of fabrics that were exotic and soft, feminine yet edgy, complicated but simple. He felt the inspiration from this design was taken to another level. Robanne Schulman felt the passion that this designer had far outweighed the rest. She loved the woven structure used to construct the garment. The winner of the night was Tian Justman.
Tian, a native of Atlanta, created her namesake label of haute couture and custom design pieces in 2007. Since then she has developed a following of Atlanta’s tastemakers and fashionistas calling upon her for her designs. Tuesday night, Tian added to her credentials the title as 2011 Vitaminwater fashion showcase winner.
As the show came to an end, cards were exchanged, pictures were taken, and a star was born. Congratulations to all the contestants of the 2011 Vitaminwater Atlanta Fashion challenge and winner Tian Justman. Check out the designs that had us falling in love with fashion all over again