Atlantic City Fashion Week At The Pier Shops at Caesars To Feature Project Runway Stars Lantie Foster, Helen Castillo & Reigning Champ Dom Streater!

Last updated: February 27, 2014 at 6:05 pm. Posted by in Atlantic City, Atlantic City Hotels, Caesars Atlantic City, Events, The Pier Shops At Caesars. No Comments on Atlantic City Fashion Week At The Pier Shops at Caesars To Feature Project Runway Stars Lantie Foster, Helen Castillo & Reigning Champ Dom Streater!.

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Atlantic City Fashion Week is about to kick of tomorrow evening in full force at The Pier Shops at Caesars Atlantic City, ya’ll. The weekend festivities will highlight collections from 35 designers worldwide. We’re talking from Australia to India to the U.S. of A. Some familiar faces in this group include three designers from the hit TV show Project Runway – Lantie Foster, Season 10, Helen Castillo, Season 12 and reigning champion Dom Streater (also Season 12).

We were lucky enough to catch up with all three of these lovely ladies while furiously in prep for the big event. Check out the Q&A’s, below.

 

Lantie Foster

Project Runway 1

TAC: What are you most looking forward to about participating in Atlantic City Fashion Week this weekend?

Lantie: The moment it starts! I’m looking forward to sharing my collection with everybody in Atlantic City. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there.

TAC: What can ticket holders expect from your designs this weekend?

Lantie: I mainly work with a lot of upscale and luxury fabrics, so it’s definitely elegant and whimsical at the same time.

TAC: We like it! What is your story behind being part of the 10th season of Project Runway?

Lantie: I had heard about it years ago and I tried out once in the very beginning, but I didn’t have a whole collection together and that’s what they were looking for. I waited awhile until I got things together, and the second time, I had a collection together. It was pretty fast, I made up my mind that I was going to do it within two days and there I was!

TAC: Spur of the moment decisions are sometimes the best! What is the biggest lesson you learned from Project Runway?

Lantie: That I don’t work well under a stopwatch! I thought I was fast because I would make a lot of garments one day and wear them the next day, but apparently I’m not as fast as I thought I was!

TAC: How would you describe your design style for people that may be unfamiliar with you?

Lantie: Again, it’s elegant and whimsical at the same time. Everything has a bit of fun to it and a little quirkiness, but it’s elegant at the same time. I put a lot of classical things in with girly things and mix it in with edgy, downtown, funky things. I know that’s really popular now, but I’ve been doing it for a long time!

TAC: What are some of the best designs you ever made that really stick out in your mind?

Lantie: I did a couple dresses for the Oscars. One for a TV anchor, and one for a Producer.

TAC: Very cool! What is the key to a successful piece?

Lantie: It’s a combination of line, color, balance and surprise.

TAC: What are some newer styles that you are really enjoying at the moment?

Lantie: I started working with metallics a bit, but it kind of just creeps up on me. I was doing laser cut leather about three to four years ago before anyone started doing it again. I’ve been using a leather combination with fabric for the last six years.

TAC: What is something that every woman should have in her wardrobe?

Lantie: A killer, fitting pair of pants. Not leggings, but a really, dressy, fun, pretty pair of pants that you can wear any kind of top with and wear with heels. I have the perfect pair. They are a silver, metallic cotton blend, so they look like platinum. They’re high waisted with a side zipper and padded pockets, slim leg and a little dip in the back.

Project Runway 2

TAC: Ooh, we love! What do you hope to accomplish next in your career?

Lantie: I work with a lot of different startup companies and do a lot of designs with different clients, so I’m doing that as well as lots of illustrations. I’m an illustrator as well. There is a company in Paris that I do illustrations for – wall decals and murals. I do tons of illustrations for pattern companies, all kinds of stuff.

 

Helen Castillo

Project Runway 3

TAC: What are you most looking forward to about participating in Atlantic City Fashion Week this weekend?

Helen: I’m excited. I’ve never shown in Atlantic City, I’ve never even been to Atlantic City which is crazy! I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. My parents are coming and my best friend will be my backstage hand, so it will be really awesome. The itinerary was finalized yesterday and it seems like it’s really well put together and there are going to be a lot of fun events. The only other designer I know that’s showing is Dom since we were on the show together. I’m stoked to show with her too. It’s not a competition anymore so it’s like I’m showing with my friend!

TAC: Have you two seen each other since the show?

Helen: I went to her show in New York about two weeks ago. She’s been crazy busy! We text almost every day and she’s always going somewhere new, saying she just got to another airport or just out of another meeting, it’s crazy.

TAC: Sounds like it! What can ticket holders expect from your designs this weekend?

Helen: My inspiration is the Marie Antoinette retreat house at Versailles. I’m a really big fan of that era and the inspiration is really subtle. I did a lot of tailored pieces. I took more of the high end approach because I feel like a lot of women really appreciate high end fashion and all the Paris and Milan shows, but even if it’s someone they admire like Prada or Gucci or other household names, a lot of people see those designers as avant-garde even though they’re not. I feel like I took all of the right shapes, sizes and silohuettes that are more practical but have inspirations from those designers that are better known. I have a lot of capes, those are my signature thing. I played with style lines that are consistent throughout the collection. I used metallic lace and my colors are all royal colors, so I took a more subtle inspiration from Marie Antoinette. The capes are timeless. My color story is gold, cobalt blue, and a forest green. The print I made is from certain photographs I took when I was interning overseas with Vivienne Westwood. I took a photo of roses in a garden and manipulated them. It’s fun and flirty. My target market is a woman who is trend savvy, knows what looks good and what fits right, and is conscious of what is relevant. A lot of my pieces are classics reborn. I did four lengths: mini, knee, midi and floor length. Any successful collections need to have separates, so a lot of my pieces are mix and match. I have five capes, a lot of lace, and a few stretch fabrics.

TAC: Amazing! You really try to understand the human body and encompass that in your designs. Do you have a particular body type in mind with each piece you make?

Helen: In school you are taught to use a size 6 which is a model size 6, a 5’10” model with a perfect figure, but not everybody has the same body type. I just did four dresses for the Grammy’s last month for a plus-sized musician. It’s not something that I have ever done before, but I was conscious of what she was comfortable in and what she would prefer to perform in and wear on the red carpet. I made her a red carpet dress that was a strapless high low which is so trendy right now, and she looked and felt amazing. In my collection I have one fitted, floor length dress, a few fitted pieces that stop at the knee and kitten flare. There’s definitely range with my shapes and sizes. A garment in my collection that’s particularly fitted could be done easily in a size 8 or size 0. It’s not restricted to any particular body type. There’s something for everyone.

TAC: That’s what we like to hear! And yes! Mary Lambert’s Grammy dresses! How did this come about?

Helen: Right after we finished filming, we had been invited to all of these events in the city and I attended one for GLAAD where Mary was performing. I went up to talk to her after and told her congratulations and that she had an amazing voice. She told me that she loved my work from the show so we exchanged information and have been friends since. I flew out to Los Angeles in January for a fitting. We had four dresses and everything was perfect. She was glowing in her red dress on stage. I was crying while I was watching!

Project Runway 4

TAC: Is this experience your best one since the show wrapped?

Helen: It was definitely a landmark in my life as a designer, but it’s all what I make of it. If I wasn’t brave enough to exchange my information with Mary Lambert that day at her performance, I would not have had that opportunity. The biggest thing that’s happened to me since the show is that I’m confident now. On the show, I was really insecure and learning a lot about myself as a designer. The show was definitely a kick in the right direction to take myself and my aesthetic more seriously. The Grammys was empowering, though. It made me realize more that this was the right path.

TAC: What else have you learned since your exit from the show?

Helen: How to sew better! Practice makes perfect. Being my own boss, I have to do everything from illustration to draping to pattern making and sewing. I’m a one-man team. It’s a learning experience. I’m learning a lot about myself and what I’m capable of.

TAC: And what else do you have in the works?

Helen: I’m taking one day at a time. After this collection, which is definitely a good decision that I made because it represents me and my work and my capabilities, if it’s successful, I will sell it online. Maybe I’ll try to get contracts with Gucci or some kind of department store, but that’s down the line.

 

Dom Streater

Project Runway 5

TAC: What can ticket holders expect from your designs at Atlantic City Fashion Week this weekend?

Dom: Because I’m known for my graphic and bold prints, there’s going to be lots of that. For winter I wanted to show printed gowns for special occasions and the usual Dom, quirky, fun, peppy clothing!

TAC: YAY! You grew up not too far away in Philly! Do you have any favorite memories of coming to Atlantic City in the past?

Dom: Oh, yeah! I used to go to Atlantic City with either my mom or my dad every summer. They would bring my brother and I down to Atlantic City. It’s very much a big part of my childhood. We used to go to the boardwalk and ride the rides. It was definitely a big part of my growing up and a place that we frequented a lot. It was my summer! We also went right before I went back for the finale for Project Runway for a little re-set.

TAC: We love it! Most people know you as the latest winner from Project Runway. What did you think you were getting into when you signed up for the show and what surprised you about your experience?

Dom: I kind of knew from watching the show for so long how crazy it would be. I don’t think anything can really prepare you for the pace and amount of pressure that you experience when you’re actually filming. For the most part it was what I expected, but times two! What you don’t expect is the moments where you have fun and bond with your cast mates. That’s kind of what made it special for me.

TAC: How is your day to day now opposed to when you were working two jobs before Project Runway began?

Dom: It’s lovely! I’m so happy. Before, my days started around 5 a.m. and they didn’t end until one in the morning. I was working two jobs and on top of that, I was also sewing. I was miserable because neither one of my jobs were dream jobs, and I barely had enough time to pursue fashion. Now I can wake up and only focus on fashion which is pretty awesome. My day to day is pretty good now!

TAC: You’re actually the second Philadelphian to win since Jay McCarroll. Has he given you any advice?

Dom: Yeah! Jay actually lives in South Philly and I don’t live too far from him. I was working as a hostess before I left for Project Runway and Jay frequented the restaurant I worked at. I couldn’t tell him that I was chosen for the show, it was a secret. I told him that I applied and was a big fan of his. He told me not to be an a-hole on TV and to be nice in true Jay McCarroll voice! He gave me some really good advice before I left and was really supportive and was just as much supportive when I got back after I won. He’s been a really good friend.

TAC: What about you? What advice do you have for future Project Runway contestants?

Dom: It’s important to not take yourself too seriously. I think that a lot of designers forget that there are fifteen other designers in the room in addition to three hundred other people on the set and they think that it’s their show. You have to learn to not make everything about you and focus on the creative aspects and trying to produce the best garment that you can. It’s important to not become wrapped up in the reality TV aspect of it all and remember why you are there.

TAC: What is one of your most favorite designs that sticks out in your mind either before or after the show?

Dom: I love the garment I created for the butterfly challenge. It was the avant-garde challenge, the last one we did. That was such a fun challenge for me creatively . It was fun to go all out and create something that was crazy looking. I love the mix of the prints. It was very descriptive of my style, so it was pretty cool!

Project Runway 6

TAC: What big names have you designed for since the show ended?

Dom: I have been talking with LaTanya Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson’s wife, about designing something for her. And I’ve been reaching out to magazines and smaller celebrities as well as people who are fans of mine and want something made by me. These are all small projects I’m doing in addition to designing my women’s Ready To Wear collection.

TAC: Speaking of small projects (and totally just kidding on this one), you just presented your first NYFW collection that was inspired by a photograph of a Russian Ballerina. How did you know that this was what you wanted to base your collection on and what else inspires you to create?

Dom: Once you finish a collection, you are looking and wondering what you can do next to take your aesthetic to the next level. I knew I wanted to do something that was really feminine and use colors that I never designed with before. A baby pink collection was definitely not something I had in my designer tool box! It was really challenging for me and that’s when I know it is something I should go with, when what I’m designing is challenging and I can have fun with it. And I just thought the photograph was really beautiful. Sometimes it just happens like that, I’ll stumble upon something that’s really beautiful to look at or I might hear an album from an artist that I like that I might think is amazing and I get really inspired to design a whole collection around it. Sometimes it just kind of happens organically.

TAC: What’s next for you after Atlantic City Fashion Week?

Dom: After Atlantic City Fashion Week, I’m going to finish making stock for my store online. I have a Mini Capsule Collection that I will be releasing online for purchase for spring and summer that I’m very excited about. I’m also working on spring and summer 2015 because that’s what comes next! I’ll never be bored!

And there ya  have it, folks. The latest 411 on some of your favorite Atlantic City Fashion Week designers. The Project Runway ladies will be showing their creations this Saturday. Friday’s and Saturday’s fashion shows will both start at 7 p.m., however guests are encouraged to arrive at 6:30 to experience the awesomeness of the red carpet. Tickets still remain! Click here to purchase! Atlantic City Fashion Week at The Pier Shops at Caesars is definitely the place to be this weekend! See ya there!

 

 

 

 

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About The Author

A music junkie and pop culture nerd, Jackie has been storytelling and producing exclusive content through various forms of media since she was a teenager running online fan clubs on Yahoo Groups. Remember those? A Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College took her to the City of Angels where she scored bylines in The Hollywood Reporter and dabbled in music PR. An East Coast girl at heart, she circled back to her home state of New Jersey where she penned Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Blog and hasn’t looked back since.

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