Kara LaricksIn the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t all that sure about “The Next Fashion Star”.  And when I finally committed to watching, I was pretty sure Kara Laricks would be the first out the door.  It was that initial collection made up of nothing but neckties.  I’m so happy I was wrong, and she’s even more happy, no doubt.

Kara LaricksKara LaricksBackstage before her premiere show at Pier 57, she told me going down the reality route was a great choice.  “I have no regrets,” she said.  “Because, today I’m working with an incredible team of hair stylists, and incredible team of makeup artists, and incredible team of PR, and all these wonderful people who have taken me under their wings.  And I never would have had those opportunities if it wasn’t for Fashion Star.”

As for the collection, well, it shows with perfect clarity who Laricks is as a designer.  Inspired by Japanese matchbook covers from the late 20’s and early 30’s, Laricks put together a collection filled with bold pops of color and bright graphic prints.  There are pretty, girly dresses, skirts and shorts.  Tops are tailored and light for summer.

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But where Laricks shines is in her beautifully structured trousers, each with a little something extra.  Waist bands are a bit high and always have something interesting added.  And that’s where it all fits with her vision of fashion.  She told me, “I am always thinking of that woman who wants just a little something different, a little something special, a little bit masculine and feminine, and then sometimes a little bit quirky, as well.”

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She’s achieved her goal.  Her makeup team helped.  Keri Blair Walden from MAC Cosmetics achieved a brilliant ‘20s look with a black, floating lip (which wasn’t really black but purple combined with gold) and sculpted cheekbones.  As Walden described it, “what she showed me had a lot of elements of architecture, color blocking and a little bit of 20’s inspiration.  So I thought it would be a sweet sort of tribute to that to do a black lip with a rounded bow lip.”

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And the legendary Laurent from Prive never misses.  He described the slick, sleek, finger-waved hair as “a 20’s look, but updated.”

Larick’s first Fashion Week is just right, a combination of lovely, wearable clothes that are a perfect reflection of the designer, herself.  It’s a long way from reality-TV neckties.

To see video of Kara Laricks Spring/Summer 2013 Mercedes-Benz NYFW runway presentation at Pier 57 click below

Video & Edit: Scott Fetterman  Music: Tony Di Pietro  Still Photography: Anton Brookes

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