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. Sunday, 14 October 2018 .

It’s Sunday evening which means in my head I've basically gotten through Monday already (lol no send coffee pls) and it's Project Runway time! Like I said, I’m very much looking forward to TV viewing old-school style again that I’m even enjoying watching the ad break! Can you believe?

Anyway, I know I said I was posting a recap of the first episode and I didn’t. Ok so I lied. But shit happened (shit being me) and Tuesday came around and my whole team was off sick so homegirl was busy. By the time I got home, all I could do was legit pass out and eat in bed. Ah well, this week is a new week and I am READY!

Here’s what you missed on Glee Project Runway New Zealand: First episode finally aired on TVNZ 2 and of course they wasted no time at all and went straight to the first challenge. Actually, no, the show opened with the designers meeting each other for the first time. Of course this being New Zealand (with a small but vibrant fashun industry), we find out within the first 10 minutes of the show that some of them already know each other. That tug at my heartstrings, to be honest. I love that this is New Zealand and we are so small and that we can have moments like this on a massive TV franchise like Project Runway. The challenge for this episode was to create a cocktail dress inspired by Hopt soda, a major show sponsor. I personally found it to be a bit meh as a first challenge, but then again what do I know?

The first round of eliminations saw Nicole get the cut and while I really didn't like her dress, I do respect the fact that she stuck with who she is as a designer and what she wanted to create. I think that's the most important thing in a show like this - to create what you want. Other's opinions be damned.

Episode two was a bit more exciting for me. First of all, Judy finally got more airtime! We barely saw her in episode one - a sentiment that other people on Twitter shared too so of course I'm feeling validated. This episode opened with the designers on location at everybody's favourite mall - Sylvia Park - home to the only Zara in NZ! We are told that Kiwi Property is a major sponsor, hence the location and the accessory wall. Actually, I feel like we keep hearing about this accessory wall but never get to see it in full. Can someone please do an accessory wall tour like they do in YouTube? Kind regards.

Mentor Andreas Mikellis assigned each designer a store where they get to pick one item to incorporate into this week's look. Ok look, Sylvia Park is my jam. It is my mall shopping destination of choice. I know these stores and their merchandise and their layout so seeing them film inside Gassons was honestly the show's most relatable moment so far. Anyway, the group reconvenes back in the middle of Sylvia Park (idk what time they filmed but the mall was ghost town!) and Andreas reveals that they now need to swap items with the person next to them. They were clearly SHOOK by this and as my friend Geoj said in our comment thread, "were they not expecting the old switcheroo?!"

They weren't. But what can you do, eh? This week's challenge is to come up with a contemporary streetwear look incorporating the item they got and it is ON. I must say this week's outfits were so much better. I'm not the biggest streetwear wearer in the world, but I appreciated how they interpreted this brief. I'm not prepared to talk about each of the looks because it's been, like, a week and I'm kind of tired, but this is something I'd love to go more into this week!

What I will say though is that my boy Massey won this week's challenge with his uber chic cape/top thing that I would 100% buy if I saw it in store. I don't even mind that it's not in black! I loved everything about this look - the top and the handpainted design on the skirt was such a fresh take on streetwear. The only thing I'd probably change is the skirt length. I'd take it up a bit higher so homegirl can show off her legs more while in sneaks. And I say this as someone who wears sneakers 99% of the time.

But of course this being a competition, someone had to be cut this week. And unfortunately that someone is my girl Lenon. I am genuinely shocked about this. All she ever wanted to do was create androgynous and gender fluid garments! Is it too much to ask that we have this type of creativity on our TV screens? Is it too much to ask for Lenon to have her own TV show because I LIVE for her commentary! As I was live tweeting last week, I found that most of NZ shared the same sentiment. We want Lenon back. She deserved better. We all deserved better than this. I still can't believe they picked Beth's design over Lenon's. This is an injustice and I'm still not over it.

So this is an interview I didn't think I would be doing so soon! Lenon and I have been following each other on the ol' Instagram and have slid into each other's DMs before finally meeting IRL at the Project Runway launch last September. Lenon has such a great energy to her - fun, charismatic, unapologetically herself, and just is. She even shared her last pizza slice with me. That's a true friend, right there. I definitely don't think this will be the last we'll see of her. She tells me she's into acting and loves to pursue other creative endeavours. I told her I couldn't wait to make magic with her. It's happening. I'm excited! But for now I leave you with this:

How are you feeling now?

I don’t see leaving Project Runway as the end, it’s more like the beginning of a new chapter. The show has really inspired me to get creating!

What inspires you?

My aesthetic stylistically echoes my African heritage and also reflects my androgynous and flamboyant personality. I am a huge fan rich bold colours and strong silhouettes.

Dream collaboration/dream person to design for/dress?

I dream of dressing up Lupita Nyongo, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Lady Gaga because these figures are not afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to personal style.

Fun fact, I actually had a cameo role in Scarlet Johansson’s movie, Ghost in a Shell, and after meeting her I was in absolute awe of her personality – so I would definitely take up the offer of dressing her if this were ever to arise!

Advice for those wanting to pursue a career as a fashion designer?

Don’t be afraid to take risk; trust me you will be amazed. Keep at it and believe in yourself, and one day you might surprise yourself!

Where can we follow you and keep up with what's next?

Follow me up on Instagram: @lenon_wakuwa
Facebook: Lenon Wakuwa Mudiwamwanawaishe
Also check out my website; it is still under construction, but it should be finished soon:

Project Runway New Zealand airs every Monday, 7:30 pm on TVNZ 2. Watch it On Demand here. Images by Tom Hollow.

. Monday, 1 October 2018 .

I don't know about you, but I've been missing the good ol' days of sitting down in front of the TV to watch a show that you're completely devoted to. Netflix and chill is great and all, but I miss the excitement of watching an episode of your favourite show only for it to end on a major cliffhanger! Do you remember that feeling? The anticipation for the next week, the 'googling' of spoilers and going on forums to read people's reactions. Those were the days, man.

When I found out that Project Runway was coming to our shores for the first time ever, I knew this was my chance to get into TV again. I grew up watching Project Runway. I think I was about 13 years old when it first came out. A High School freshman in an all-girls school in Manila, I lived for fashion and dreamed of being part of that world someday! Unfortunately I quickly learnt that I couldn't sew for shit. Ah, well. I have other skills.

Anyway, back to Project Runway New Zealand...

I came along to the launch party at TVNZ a few weeks ago and got a taste of what was to come. I got to see some of their garments IRL, meet the designers, and got to know them a little bit before the show aired. Needless to say, I am invested AF. So for Season 1 of Project Runway NZ I'll be doing a recap of each episodes, doing some interviews, and live tweeting #projectrunwaynz. But before all of that, let's kick things off with a quick chat with Project Runway New Zealand host, Georgia Fowler.

It's safe to say that Georgia Fowler is definitely having a moment (well, lots and lots of moments. Homegirl is a powerhouse!) A staple in international fashion weeks, Georgia has modelled for all the big guns from Victoria’s Secret, TopShop, Chanel, Yeezy and Armani. Project Runway is her first foray into the glamorous world of TV hosting.

How was the overall experience filming a TV series for the first time?

I absolutely loved filming Project Runway. Though it was such a new challenge for me (most of my jobs have me be seen and not heard), it was incredible to be surrounded by such talented contestants, and judges alike. I feel very blessed.

What are you looking for judging-wise?

A talented designer who would stand out on global scale and fit in at fashion weeks around the world.

What was the most important advice you offered the designers?

I tried to encourage the designers to stick to their strengths and stay true to their brand. I wanted the designers to be brave and trust their instincts to create a cohesive look that was exciting enough to be a runway piece, but alone would fly off the racks.

What can we look forward to?

I think the viewers will be mostly really impressed by the high level of talent amongst the designers, and hopefully slightly entertained by the judges’ chat.

What did you find the most challenging?

The judges don’t know which garment belongs to which designer during the runway show. I surprisingly found it hard to say, “an anonymous runway show!” Try it, it’s quite the tongue twister!

Missed tonight's episode? Catch it On Demand here. Full recap tomorrow, fam! I'm off to watch it again.....

. Monday, 3 September 2018 .

We kissed toxic goodbye at the launch of Nude by Nature's 100% Natural Lip Collection back in August (lmao I love that I'm saying this like August was ages ago. It's September 3, girl. Calm down!) and honestly everything was so pretty that I took about a zillion photos and my poor phone ran out of storage after.

It was the highlight of my day - so much so that I accidentally put too much highlight on prior to the event. What happened was that the lights came off in the office while I was getting ready (they're sensor lights and it was night time) and my Uber was on its way and I really didn't want to lug my bulky make-up kit so I just kept applying highlight in the dark because I'm the type of idiot to do something like this. It wasn't until I was at the event, under the beautiful ring light, that I noticed while I was taking a selfie. Safe to say no selfie made it to this post.

Moving right along...

This was my first introduction to the brand so it's all very exciting! I've seen them around at Farmers but have never tried it myself until recently. At the launch, we got to take home three lip products of our choice and I was buzzing all the way home because we even got to pick which ones we wanted.

What's different about this lipstick collection is that it's free from chemicals like carmine, petroleum waxes, coal dar tyes, or any synthetics. 100% natural ingredients and cruelty free. To be honest I've never been one to pay attention to what my lipsticks are made of and learning a bit more about these harmful ingredients at the launch were a bit disconcerting. I'm definitely more mindful of this now - especially since lip products are the ones we are more likely to ingest. 

I've been testing these out for the last two weeks because I am that homegirl who wants to make sure that I've tested something out thoroughly in order to give a fair and honest review. You know I love a lippie so luckily this 'job' was something I happily took on. Thank you Nude by Nature for gifting me this collection ahead of the launch. So let's get into it...


This is the lipstick that made my mum slide into my DM's - Nude by Nature's Moisture Shine Lipstick in 08 Garnet. First, a bit of context: mum loves anything that looks natural on the lips. Nothing too red or pink or nude. Nothing too glittery or matte or too sheer. She's kind of a fussy lipstick lover and she's forever on a hunt for the perfect lipstick for her very specific taste.

She asked me about the lipstick again IRL the next day and was very excited to see what it was! I, on the otherhand, took a bit longer to warm up to it. On the tube it looks very red, but on me it looks a bit copper/orangey. I've never done orange before so this was a bit out of my comfort zone! 

Then there's the formulation. They weren't kidding with the moisture shine part - this lippy is very hyrdrating and gives a bit of shine. I think the reason why it took me a bit to get used to the lippy on me was not only the orange-y tone on me, but the fact that I've never worn something quite like it in terms of formula. I'm used to either matte or sheer, highly pigmented or barely there. I feel this lipstick combines the best of both worlds. I do find that my favourite way to wear this is by gently dabbing it on my lips for a bit of colour. It looks so natural and slightly undone and I'm 100% here for it. 

Next up is the Moisture Infusion Lipgloss in 08 Violet Pink. Now this was love at first sight! I'm forever on the hunt for good lip glosses and find that I always struggle because most of the product that are out in the market are either too sticky or too drying for me. I also love the shimmer in gloss kind of look but don't want to look like my pre-teen self in one. This has the right amount of shimmer and tack, with the nicest subtle colour for my skin tone.

I tried the Defining Lip Pencil in 02 Blush Nude two ways - alone and under the gloss. I'm super impressed with how creamy it is! I find that most liners get a bit too 'pencil-y' and drying (as much as I love Chanel, their lip pencils are quite drying and hard to apply!) but this one is so nice! It reminds me of the Kylie liners in terms of formulation, minus the chemicals and poorly made product design. This was good enough to use as a little nude lip with a smokey eye and it actually lasted me quite well considering I drink a lot of water throughout the day. This also works wonderfully under the lip gloss and does a great job at holding it in place.

I loved that they had the launch at Whitespace! The gallery was transformed into all these colours inspired by the lipstick collection and they had make-up artists on hand to help us pick a shade and tell us more about the products.

What makes a launch truly memorable for me are always the little details that make it extra special like the mocktails being inspired by the collections different shades, the DJ spinning good tunes at 6 pm on a Tuesday (honestly I love it and really wanted to dance but stopped myself at the very last minute) and the friendly people who are waiting at the door with the warmest smile. It really makes such a difference!

Thank you Nude by Nature and Bare PR for having me! My mum also thanks you for introducing me to the brand - particularly the lipstick - because now she has another shade to 'borrow' off me.

Nude by Nature's 100% Natural Lip Collection is available online from today! The lipstick will set you back a very reasonable $22.95, lip pencil is $16.95, and the lip gloss is $21.95. The perfect treat that's luxurious and affordable at the same time.

Photos of the launch by Ben Loris Blair.