“It’s a very different Korto,” fashion designer and Project Runway alum, Korto Momolu told me while we chatted at Studio 450. I was able to grab a few moments alone with one of my favorite designers at her pre-show First Look event. Amongst the swarm of photographers, press, special guests, hairdressers, and makeup artists, I took the chance to thank Korto for inviting me back to the runway to preview her Spring/Summer 2015 collection. Calm and collected, Korto joked with me about the show starting on time before introducing me to accessories designer Darrell Roach, who had contributed the very bold, very present pieces Korto’s models would be wearing. “Wait until you see them,” she said before being ushered off to take care of last minute show business and pre-show interviews.
Slipping out of the loft space, I exited onto the rooftop where show sponsor Shea Moisture was showcasing their new line of products amongst the New York City skyline. Shea specialists were on hand to instruct guests on how their products create #abetterwaytobeautiful. Enjoying a complimentary beverage courtesy of Vita Coco (I had the Cafe Latté flavor), I chatted with fellow guests about Korto, what was currently being shown on the runway, and the brilliance that was Michael Jackson (one of his songs was being played by the event DJ). It was great to be around fellow fashionistas and fashionistos all ready to see what Korto Momolu had dreamt up for the coming year. It wasn’t too long ago that I had first attended a Korto runway show. I had the honor of seeing her Fall/Winter 2014 collection walk. Korto had just come off of coming in second place for the third time on All Stars, one of the many Project Runway spinoffs. You can read my thoughts on Korto’s journey to the Runway and Urban Coup collection in Part 1 and Part 2 of “Korto Momolu: Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady.” Milling about, it was clear to me that this Spring/Summer 2015 show was next level. Korto was moving ever forward, exactly how she should be. In fact, a fellow VIP had commented on how Korto was doing things “the right way” in her goal to build the Korto Momolu brand. I couldn’t agree more. Each step Korto takes gets bigger, better, and closer to the level of success she deserves as a designer. When it was time for the show to begin, we were ushered downstairs to the studio space, a vast white room with plenty of windows to let in the natural light. It was the prefect space to feature a collection of clothes that would soon prove to be as light and airy as the late summer/early fall weather the day of the show.
To the sound of drum beats, Korto’s models began their walk and as soon as the first model sauntered past me, I knew Korto had been right. This was a very different side of the designer. It was as if Korto was designing for the modern Grecian Goddess. Effortless dresses, gowns, shorts, and separates in oranges, tans, browns, blues, and golds spoke of both strength & femininity. The inclusion of jacquard amongst such light and flowy garments created a true feeling of luxury for this ethereal collection. Darrell Roache’s impressive cuff and collar accessories were the perfect hard to Korto’s soft. And of course, no Korto look would be complete without a gorgeous O’Faolain by Bryant Phelan handbag. I didn’t get to speak with Bryant this time around, but I did spy him watching the show from the back of the room. While the collection was indeed fresh and new, there were elements of Korto’s expert hand at work. The manipulation of the fabric, fit, and styling were all signature Korto. As the models took their final walk with Korto and son in tow, I couldn’t help but be reminded of why Korto is so special. She designs for the everyday woman who just happens to be strong, confident, fierce and fashionable. She’s an everywoman, and this “very different Korto” was just a new way to help bring out her inner goddess.
When it was all done, I headed on over to Korto to congratulate her on a very successful collection. Curious, I asked what her inspiration was. Korto nodded to her 6 month old son nestled in her arm and said, “This one.”