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The official site for "Project Accessory" Season 1 offers video, designer information, Rate the Runway photos, blogs and more.


The Project Accessory Blog


Laura Bennett DIY: Episode 2 – James' Swarovski-Inspired Shoes

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 4:04pm GMT

Oh, please. This one is so easy you can do it with your eyes closed. I am not crazy about this design (the color palette is way too eighties for me) but I love the idea that you can use these techniques to take a plain pair of shoes and make them your own. I used a pair of Christian Siriano for Payless pumps (on sale for $11!), but you can start with any pair you like.

Laura Bennett DIY shoes

Print out pattern pieces
Pair of plain peep toe pumps
Leather, suede, or fabric scraps
A variety of flat back rhinestones (www.m&jtrimmings.com) 3M 365 Adhesive Transfer Tape (Note: industrial strength double stick tape) (www.drillspot.com)
Masking tape
Clear glue (I used Beacon 527 Multi Use glue)


Sewing machine
Size 14 or 16 leather sewing machine needles

1. Make a pattern to cover your shoe's heel, by covering the heel with overlapping pieces of masking tape. Trace the edges of the heel with a pen, Peel off the tape and trim along the pen lines. Use this pattern to trace and cut out a contrasting color of leather, suede or fabric.

2. To adhere the new heel color, cover the wrong side of the cut piece with adhesive transfer tape. Burnish and peel the paper backing. Carefully apply it to the heel of your shoe.

3. Using the pattern pieces provided, cut out two of each piece in your desired material (a single layer of the small triangular piece is sufficient). Using the adhesive transfer tape, adhere the matching pieces together. Topstitch 1/8" from the edge around each shape.

4. Mark the portions of the shapes that make contact with the shoe, apply the adhesive transfer tape to those areas, and apply the shapes to the shoe.

5. Apply the flat back rhinestones as desired using clear drying glue.

For some of my own great DIY accessory projects (including embellished shoes) , check out my new book, "Handmade Chic: Fashionable Projects That Look High-End, Not Homespun."

- Laura


Emily Blumenthal: Episode 1 Review

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 2:58pm GMT

Dear "Project Accessory" Audience,

Let me start by saying that I don't know if I am more excited to be writing or watching this show. As we all have been watching "Project Runway" season after season wondering "When will they finally get to accessories?!" Apparel might be fun to watch, but accessories is what drives the fashion industry. If you aren't feeling pretty, you get a new pair of shoes. If you are feeling fat, you get a handbag. And if you are feeling like you need to treat yourself – jewelry comes next.

I was born into this industry with my father working as a converter in the New York City Garment Center. I created Handbag Designer 101 and then the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, which is going into its sixth year now.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?

Here is the show we have all been waiting for. Enough about apparel, accessories is where the money is at. As Molly said (two times, to be exact), the accessories industry generates billions of dollars. You have coldweather, eyewear, gloves, hats and hairgoods, hosiery, jewelry (that is every kind of jewelry, from fine to costume), legwear, rainwear, scarves and slippers.

When the top three designers were selected, Kenneth asked if Nina's belt had "give," which is a good thing to keep in mind, rather than sewing someone into a garment. Her necklace with matchsticks and crystals is stunning and very on trend with large statement-making neckpieces.

Diego's belt, necklace and clutch look like a clean, cohesive collection. His clutch is flawless and killer with its metal closure, and the fact that he spray painted the necklace lets us know now he is one to watch.

I disagree with the judges' on selecting Brian. That belt looked like it was eating the model alive and I think was sloppy in presentation with all of the stray threads. His cuff with contrasting black and gold was definitely unique, but jewelry is what he, does so it should be. The necklace looked quite cool as a tie, but it wasn't styled right and overall – the look was a bit of a mess and was not a cohesive group and I find his taste level questionable.

As per the bottom three, James' seashell necklace and earring collection looked like it was bought off the street and made by a child. The fact that he belt was made of flowers and not made of shells was an even larger disconnect.

I actually really liked Cotrice's bracelet. When seen as a product shot, it looks quite editorial. Her necklace was made well also and I thought, again, quite unique. If I was the consumer, I would be inclined to learn more since it was from a chandelier. But that belt? Oy vey. Other than not matching at all – I don't even have an analogy to compare it to. It just should have been left in the seventh grade home economics class where it was found. No styling, no taste level, and on the model, looked like a hot mess.

Finally came #Rockstar. Now, I must give Nicolina credit. The bowtie was great, especially in the spirit of Man Repeller, and the leather cuff was nice to look at (again when seen as a product shot). The cuff though was not labor intensive and then put next to the scarf – uch.

Until next week.

Emily Blumenthal


Laura Bennett DIY: Episode 1 - Nina's Matchstick Belt

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 1:19pm GMT

Here is a less flammable version of Nina's winning belt:


5 meters beige 3mm Polyurethane Cord www.tohoshoji-ny.com)
1 meter red 3mm Polyurethane Cord (www.tohoshoji-ny.com)
200@ 6mm red glass beads (www.tohoshoji.com)
2" D ring (www.m&j.com)
2@ ¼" Screw in Studs (www.hardwarelf.com)
4 @ 1" x 4" strips of leather


Sewing machine
Size 14 or 16 leather sewing machine needles
Clear glue (I used Beacon 527 Multi Use Glue)
3M 365 Adhesive Transfer tape, or double stick tape (www.drillspot.com)
Rotary Hole-Punch
Tape measure

1. Using a tape measure, measure around where you want the belt to sit. Deduct two inches from this measurement, and cut five beige pieces of cord this length.

2. Cover the curved section of the 2" D-ring with glue and wrap the ring with the red cord. Set it aside to dry.

3. Cover the back of two 1" x 4" leather strips with the adhesive transfer tape. Burnish and peel off the paper backing. Place the five beige cords, equally spaced, on the back of one leather strip, overlapping by two inches.

4. Place the second leather strip, wrong sides together, on top of the first, carefully lining up the edges. Topstitch around all sides, 1/8" from the edge.

5. Using the smallest size on a rotary leather hole-punch, make a hole 1" from the cord end. Using the largest size on the rotary hole-punch make a hole ½" from the other end. Install the screw in stud into the small hole.

6. With the stud facing up, loop the leather strip through the D-ring and close it by inserting the larger hole on to the stud.

7. String 40 glass beads on each beige cord. You may have to trim the edges to do this.

8. Repeat steps 3 thru 6 on the other end of the beige cords, being careful to prevent the cords from twisting. Attach this end to the D-ring and distribute the beads.

Check back next week for how to recreate Episode 2's winning look ... yourself!

-Laura Bennett


Laura Bennett Shows You How to Do It Yourself

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:07am GMT

I have a new book coming out titled Handmade Chic: Fashionable Projects That Look High-End, Not Homespun. It is full of accessory projects that are easy to make, but look chic, high-end, and anything but homemade.

In celebration of my new book, I will be turning the winning accessory project from Lifetime's new show, “Project Accessory" into a DIY project, complete with a tools and materials list, directions and diagrams, and a list of internet resources where you can find the same materials I used to recreate it. If you try a project and have any questions, just leave a note in the comments section and I’ll try to help.

Here is a photo of my version of the matchstick belt from Nina's winning look as seen in Episode 1. I need a day or two to catch up, and get the instructions posted, but if you see a winner from "Project Accessory" you love, check in here for my ideas of how you can get the look.

Laura Bennett tips on how to create Project Accessory winning items

-Laura Bennett

Get Ready to Accessorize

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:48pm GMT

Welcome to the Official "Project Accessory" Blog, where we'll be bringing you everything "Accessory," and then some!

Visit us weekly for insider info from Emily Blumenthal, founder of HandbagDesigner101.com, plus learn how to recreate the winning looks, D.I.Y.-style, courtesy of "Runway" star Laura Bennett.

Project Accessory Designers

Many of you are asking for details about this new series, and what I can tell you (you need to tune into the premiere on Thursday at 10:30/9:30c for more!) is that these 12 accessory designers are coming to the table with a technical skill set and an eye for design that would impress the pants (or hat, maybe) off of anyone. They've created looks for A-listers to wear on the stage, screen and to red carpet events, and they're ready to take on Molly Sims' challenges for some serious bragging rights.

So, if you've ever wondered what it takes to cobble a shoe, stock a haberdashery or create a clutch clutch, you've come to the right party.