An all access pass to Project Runway’s All Star during NYC Fashion Week Fall 2014
By Ylani Salcedo
It’s a Friday evening in NYC, the night is young as you feel the rush throughout the streets with a mixture of all kinds of people. From models to editors to publicists, to all the in-betweens of the fashion world, the city is as lively as it could get and it seems like there is no way of stopping it as we’re at the starting point of New York Fashion Week 2014. This week is anticipated months in advance for designers and every living fashion guru, not only because of the shows, the best of the business being out throughout the city and a whole lot of socializing, but it includes what everyone gets together for, the designers. And with the designers comes the most extraordinary part of it all, the clothes.
With Korto Momolu’s fashion show just hours away, the walk to Helen Mills on West 26th Street is a breeze. You walk in to see how everything is beautifully decorated giving you such a tranquil feeling as the vast space is decorated with white flowers and candles. On every chair from the first to the last row, you find Shea Moisture’s bright orange gift bags that include so many wonderful things inside, it’s like a little holiday celebration all in itself. We shift our attention to everything else going on in the room which we can’t forget; the team setting up for the evening, the photographers organizing their equipment, Korto herself finalizing a few interviews and the bustle as the guests start to arrive. The night is about to be a good one.
Music fills the room sending excitement throughout as everyone fills the seats, jamming along to it as the launch of the collection “Urban Coup” is moments away. At last the moment has arrived sending awe all around as the designs come down the runway. Hues of purple, olive and black are incorporated within this collection giving it the fall look that Korto set out to give. One of our favorite looks that stuck out the most was the first one that arrived on the runway, it was a a-line dress with a collar and a gold belt accompanying it to pull the whole look together. As the fashion show continues, snaps of pictures from all angles are being captured, selfies are being taken with the runway as the background, whispers on how wonderful everything looks are being shared and with all of that happening one thing can be definitely said about this collection, that it is a phenomenon.
We couldn’t get enough of her so we had to get some questions in to get a sense of what was Korto’s real goal of this evening. The goal was to show for fashion week, “Showing people that you’re still standing…I’m pregnant, you can still do whatever you want to do, you just got to get up and do it”, the designer explains. It is no doubt in our minds that she has endless style, with her collection just released on the runway. Along with the clothes, we also had to take a look at the makeup and hair.
She aimed towards a 30s inspired hair style with black liner and green lipstick. The green lipstick wowed us as Shea Moisture came in handy with their team to make this all come together. Here are words from Korto on why she chose this look, “Boldness is always great when you step into a room, that even though it’s green, it’s a look that you could actually pull off if it’s done right.” It’s important for a woman to build up confidence, this look gives the empowerment not only to get all dolled up but also to think outside of the box when putting looks together.
Fashion week has become a regular year-to-year event for her just as many others in the industry. It has been a time where she is not only active within it with her own work but has been able to walk alongside the people she has idolized throughout the years. Experiencing times like these can be surreal as you’re watching your dreams unravel right before your eyes. It isn’t everyday one could say they’ve made it regardless of anything in the way as Korto could.
One of her many accomplishments has been her earning the prize of “fan favorite” and placement of 1st runner up in the 5th season of Project Runway. These opportunities has opened many doors domestically and internationally for her, continuing not only for the duration of the season but many times after, as the show continues to show re-runs all over the world. Being internationally known is a win no matter what the level of being runner up is. For any designer an accomplishment as so makes you no longer just the designer known in your city and that’s one of the most amazing things that could happen to a person.
The work that goes into everything is probably far beyond more than anyone can possibly imagine but put into these weeks whether it be for Spring/Summer season or Autumn/Winter season, are many months of setting the bar high for greatness as the collection of ideas, anticipation, inspiration but most of all passion all come together to make every piece being displayed express a major part of who the designer is. Korto’s fashion speaks to us as vibrant, sultry, woman, beauty and culture. That’s exactly what she comes across as and what she truly is.
A main reason we believe things have come out beautifully is because she has the capability to pour her culture into a lot of her work. With the colors, style and assortment of pieces put together, it speaks to us as fabulous but also says Liberia. Korto is a Liberian native always making sure that she doesn’t leave her customs behind; she loves her roots and is very proud of where she has come from. Her way of expressing through her talents is an inspiration to young Liberians to always strive and continue living out the dream that they see themselves having. The country has been through a lot but discouragement should never be there because there’s nothing to be ashamed of. As Korto tells us, “We’re great people and we’re capable of anything amazing.” We couldn’t agree with her more.
As we continue finding out what makes Korto’s fashion so unique, we get the chance to find out who she is as a person. We learn that she is not only busy with fashion but she is also very giving to organizations that offer help all over. She especially wants to collaborate with UNICEF alongside any other organizations that are into helping children, breast cancer funds and African based charities. We can say for many that we’re excited to see to what ends she is able to do things as her help throughout the world continues to expand.
It’s wonderful to see a movement within a person, not only through a career path but in the personal part of life where giving back to others means just as much a succeeding. As she gives us a lot to think about in a humanitarian matter we are also able to take advice from her as the designer that she is. We wondered in what approach would a person take if being part of the fashion industry was their ultimate dream whether it be independently or with a family involved. Her answer is just as you expected, perfect.
Her advice is this, you have to be firm in what you believe in and really know yourself as a person. There will always be people who will try to steer you away from who you are to mold you into their way of being but as long as you know your voice that’s all that really matters. When it comes to having a family or being in the process, Korto says it simply, “I always say once you’re breathing you can go out there and do what you want to do…doesn’t matter if you have one child or four kids.” Take this advice readers because we definitely are.