By Sally Deering Photo’s by Steveamack.com
Glaceau’s “vitaminwater zero” is a naturally sweetened bottled-water drink put out by Coca-Cola that’s nutrient enhanced, flavored with a mix of familiar and exotic fruits and branded with names like “Glow,” “Squeezed,” “Drive” and “XXX.”
On a recent Wednesday evening, the National vitaminwater Color Collection Competition was held at the W hotel in Hoboken where vitaminwater made a huge splash as the inspiration for five up-and-coming fashion designers who created couture dresses that exemplified their take on the flavors, tastes and vibrant colors of the vitaminwater line The New Jersey-based designers – Thomas Layone, Liz Fields, Devon Thomas, Ralph Thurin, and Elena Vasilevsky — put on a beautiful show of dazzling, edgy, and elegant dresses, pantsuits and evening gowns – as they competed for a $1,000 prize and the chance to have their designs strut the runway at October’s New Jersey Fashion Week.
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Set in the sleek, leather and chrome outer-reception area off the main lobby of the W hotel, the vitaminwater competition attracted a huge crowd of friends, family and fans of the designers. Hosted by New Jersey Fashion Week founder Donnella Tilery of DC Showroom in Raritan, the show featured each designer who explained how a vitamanwater flavor inspired their designs and then a parade of models hit the runway wearing a stunning display of eye-popping fashions.
Designer Liz Fields parlayed the colors of vitaminwater’s “Drive,” a blood-orange and mixed-berry drink into fiery orange cocktail dress, orange satin evening gown, a frilly teal gown and a blue satin gown with shiny blue bangles. Thonas Lavone told the audience “XXX” made with Acai berry, blueberry and pomegranate “rejuvenates and redefines the body and mind” and followed that with models dressed in a cranberry strapless flowery gown; a long black skirt with black and white, ruffled, off-the shoulder top; a floor-length pink slip dress with a black lace overlay; a blood orange dress with off-the-shoulder ruffles and a cranberry floor-length gown with a cascade of cranberry-colored feathers down the front.
Elena Vasilevsky, who chose vitaminwater’s “Energy,” a tropical citrus drink, told the crowd that the flavors reminded her of “golden sunshine.” Vasilevsky’s models strutted down the runway in bright gold dresses that included a sassy ¾ dress layered in fringe that swayed with every step and a gold corseted- number with satin panels and spaghetti straps. Vasilevsky adorned many of her dresses with ropes of turquoise beads and feathers.
vitaminwater’s “Glow” a mix of strawberry and guanabana fruits inspired designer Devon Thomas to create a line of originals in bright pinks and blues including a hot pink pant suit and floor length gown. Designer Ralph Thurin completed the runway show with his line of dresses inspired by vitaminwater’s lemonade flavored, “Squeezed” featuring a gown with pale yellow fabric petals cascading down the back and a dress with silver sequins and pale yellow removable skirt.
When the runway show ended, judges Toni-Ann Cerbo of the Jersey Journal, Carly Wikelius with WINK NYC Inc. and Laura P. Martin of NJ Press Media named Elena Vasilevsky and her “Energy” inspired sunburst designs the winner. Along with the $1,000 prize, Vasilevsky will be a featured designer at New Jersey Fashion Week in October.
Diamond Melendez of Solace Day Spa & Salon in Old Bridge agreed with the judges: “Elena had the most artistic line. It was more intricate with the beadwork.”
Joey Alvarez, also of Old Bridge, said “I thought her line was amazing, different and very edgy.”
Tiffany Slavin of Upper Saddle River thought the judges had to make a difficult decision.
“Overall I think every designer had something different to offer,” Slavin said, “but I was blown away by Liz Fields’ designs. They were different and cutting edge. The detailing was amazing.”
But the best judges, were Vasilevsky’s models. Cathy Walker of Paterson said she enjoyed wearing Vasilevsky’s gold fringed dress because: “It makes you feel lovely. Elena loves the body.”
The vitaminwater fashion competition offered a refreshing taste of what’s to come when New Jersey Fashion Week comes to the W hotel in Hoboken, Oct 9-13.
For more information, go to http://newjerseyfeashionweek.com
New Jersey Fashion Week is the brainchild of created by host Donella Tillery, New Jersey Fashion Week founder.
The models’ hairstyles were designed by Frank Lemongello, Senior Stylist for Rebellations Hair & Beauty Studio in Hoboken; make up by Jennifer Belle Make Up Artistry and DJ Matty and DJ Alex provided the fashion show’s soundtrack.