SdC

Interior corners & neon light

Here are some iPhone photos I shot last week at Dover Street Market and Bunker259

Dover Street Market

Christina of DeSmitten and I spent a beautiful portion of the afternoon with new friend Matthew Halicki at Rei Kawakubo's Dover Street Market on Lexington and 30th Street today.

After tea cakes and a mind altering latte at Rose Bakery on the main level we ascended 7 floors then walked our way down through exactly what a department store should be: filled with beautifully tailored clothes and a respectful friendly staff. Scatter enough abstract eye candy to keep all shoppers happy and there you have another Kawakubo masterpiece.

CFW

I spent last weekend in Charleston, South Carolina attending preliminary meetings for Charleston Fashion Week.

The Post and Courier snapped myself, Kass Ishmael and Josh Ratliff at the CFW party. Charleston's City Paper wrote about it HERE. 

Da Conceicao wore a fierce pair of knee-length, black leather shorts that she made out of lambskin. The outfit hinted at the line she’s working on for CFW that she said is attempting to recreate the power suit for women. “I used to be a lingerie designer so I’m drawn to those fabrics, lace and sheers,” she said. “I did an apprenticeship at a leather company and I learned to work with leather, so I started combining the two. It doesn’t so much have an S&M feel, it just looks like a little tough added on.”

CONCEICAO debut

Gisel Florez shot the first lookbook for CONCEICAO.

model Katia hair Maryanna Fitzgerald makeup Mariko Hirano styling SdC

MDJ & Sons (Babushka style)

Not many things make me happier than to worship at the church of craft especially when the project becomes a gift.

This project had my creative brain doing pirouettes over learning to decoupage an homage to my friend MDJ and his sons. Flynn into Everett into Matt. Laura and Punkin were the missing crucial players here which is fine for now as it only means there is Mod Podge in my future.

I was on Project Runway

I made it past ten thousand entries, three rounds of interviews (two of them taped) and two episodes of Project Runway Season IF you include the hour long pre-first episode. I DO include it as this is where my band with Laura Seymour, Yum Yum Tim Gunn, had it's fifteen seconds of fame.

The win was not for me and I humbly accept not being cut out for high stakes televised drama. The experience has left me no less of a PR fan.  Getting to be on the other side of the competition was thrilling, each moment completely new.

Thank you to family and friends who supported me and even to people who thought I sucked because at least you thought of me. xo

New York Times BLOG

The New York Times has partnered with the CUNY graduate school of journalism to create a student-run blog focused on my neighborhood of Fort Greene. One of their writers did a small piece on me highlighting just how many times I say "like" in a conversation. Read it here or pasted below.

August 30, 2011, 4:51 pm

Q&A: Local Designer Makes it Work Post-Reality Television

By SUSAN A. ROHWER, CUNY J-School

Video from Lifetime

Clothing designer Serena Da Conceicao, 32, applied to be on the reality show Project Runway twice, but only made it on camera once. The Local contributor got to show off some of her designs on season nine of the reality show before being bid “auf wiedersehen.” Ms. Da Conceicao was one of three contestants out of 20 eliminated on this season’s first episode. And even though she was disappointed to be kicked off the show so early on, she still calls herself a Project Runway addict.

When Ms. Da Conceicao isn’t hunting for inspiration in the neighborhood she’s designing for Miss Tina, the clothing line by Tina Knowles. We’ve edited and condensed this interview with Ms. Da Conceicao which we did in her Fort Greene home.

The Local: How did you feel when you got told you were “out?”

Serena Da Conceicao: We’re all sitting together and they tell us all together and we’re holding our suitcases so after they tell you, you have to get up and go. I knew I was out after my interview.

The Local: Why?

SDC: I just knew it. After spending time with the other people, who I had met, we all really got to know each other. Everyone there is so nice, no matter what they may seem like on the show, everyone was so amazing and nice and sweet.  I just knew that I wasn’t like “bitchy” enough. And I’m not saying that those people were bitchy but they knew how to turn on that bitchiness.

I don’t have the alternate personality or maybe I didn’t think about it enough, maybe they spent more time being like “this is who I’m going to be on the show.” But I didn’t do that. I went in being like — I’m just going to be myself, they can take it or they can leave it. If I lie or try to fake something it’s going to be too stressful for me to keep it up, so I’m just going to act as I am and they’ll either accept it or not.

I knew afterward that I didn’t pump it up enough. I should have been a caricature of myself, and I didn’t do that so I knew, kind of right away — they are so not going to pick me.

I was disappointed but I wasn’t surprised. But I had a lot to go back to so I was okay, and then I like, went and got married!

Local: Right, you said on the show that you had to put off your wedding to Tim Bright — who is also a The Local contributor — to go on Project Runway?

SDC: Tim and I had booked a trip to go to Iceland and we were going to elope and when I found out that I was going to be on the show I had to cancel our vacation/marriage.  Because the day we were going to leave was the day I had to move into the hotel. So I canceled it but then the day I came back we went ahead and did it anyway.

Local: Do you think that you were what Project Runway was looking for?

SDC: I think they are looking for drama, number one — it’s a television show as much as it is a reality show.

I think they were looking for dynamics of people. I said this to them, I don’t really care how it comes off — I think David didn’t make it because he was another “Gay-sian.” They couldn’t have two Gay-Asians you know? They already had two women of color and I was the third woman of color. I can say I was the least dramatic, and I’m not bitchy and I don’t bring that to the table, and I think they made for better television.

I don’t think they didn’t pick me because they didn’t think I was as talented I just think that I didn’t make good television.

Local: Do you pull inspiration from the neighborhood?

SDC: Definitely. This neighborhood is so mixed culturally, it’s amazing.  I mean on the weekends these babies that are being strolled around and you’re like — are they all going to be supermodels? You’ll see African-Japanese or you’ll see someone that may be a weird mix of Icelandic-Hawaiian. There are so many amazingly mixed and beautiful babies around, I love that.

I take a lot of photographs on my iPhone. I think I use the camera feature more than the phone part of the phone.

The street artist Swoon just put up a piece on Lafayette Avenue. It’s not just the piece that’s amazing, but it’s also where she put it.  There are smudges and stuff in the brick and there are these pastel pink smudges on the brick that are gorgeous. I could see it being a print.

Local: What are you going to do now?

SDC: I’ve been looking at retail spaces in Williamsburg and I’ve been considering having an almost weekend boutique. I’ve spoken to some jewelry designers and accessories designers about renting out space in the store.

Local: Has life has pretty much returned to normal?

SDC: It’s different. I find that I still have this burning fire in me to do my own thing, you know? I’ve been working for other people now for many years,over a decade, and I’ve made it up the ladder, I’ve done well for myself, I own a house, blah, blah, blah.  It’s reminding me that I can’t let that go and that I have to pursue it on my own and that I don’t need a reality show to get me there.