A NYFW Show on 9/11: Emily Payne

19th September
Emily Payne and her daughter Devon

Designer Emily Payne and her inspiration, Devon in California

Have you heard of Project Runway? If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a totally entertaining show where talented designers compete for a place at New York Fashion Week via a series of insanely difficult projects. They’ll have to create a New York City-Inspired look from the contents of an abandoned storage closet or maybe an avant garde design using greeting cards. Designers might have only one day before sending their designs down the runway. I said insane, didn’t I?

Well, for those who are seriously hooked like me, I’m sure you’ll remember Emily Payne, that fabulous designer from San Francisco who specializes in edgy, luxurious streetwear – she was at the top in Season 13 and the last All Stars show.

I got to meet Emily in person last July in California and ask her all my burning questions, and so, it was a special treat to see her latest designs walk down a NYFW runway on Sept. 11 in a church in Chelsea – such a beautiful setting for an eye-opening collection. Check it out!

Emily Payne NYFW

Photos by Charles Schoenberger

I loved the finale of the show, when Emily came down the runway with her (speaking of crazy – in the best way) “fashion family”: artists Mary Rosenberger, beautiful first and last model who creates the prints on Emily’s fabrics; Lance Victor Moore, maker of the face masks; and Mary’s mom “Sassy T” (Theresa Reynolds) who masters textile layout. (She’s the one yelling and shimmying at the end.) Sweeet!

Video by Charles Schoenberger

I don’t think Emily will mind my sharing that in this family, she’s “Auntie Em,” and “dad” is behind-the-scenes photographer Charles Schoenberger. More and more designers are collaborating with artists, and I love how Emily has found this group for an amazing collaboration.

But, let’s go back and look at some of these spectacular looks and new ground Emily’s covering – so exciting!

This first dress is my absolute favorite – so modern with its oversized t-shirt feel, playful/edgy print, dramatic color, and surprising “peekaboo” opening in the back.

Emily Payne NYFW show, 1

Back of red dress, Emily Payne's show

All photography by Charles Schoenberger

Although there are loads of fresh ideas in Emily’s designs, I like it that she stays true to her personal style, which you might remember from Project Runway, includes a penchant for incorporating hoods. This body con piece has that great one-shoulder look of which I can’t get enough.

Emily Payne's NYFW show, 3

“What is the meaning behind the masks?” you might wonder….Emily came up with the idea of using simple ones in a show to highlight the pansexual aspect of her collection: many pieces can be worn by men or women.

They were so well-received that she proposed that Lance create more editorial/runway masks aligning with Mary’s prints: edgy, tribal, and reminiscent of African artwork. The result: natural punk masks: up close, you see that they are of all-natural materials but from a distance they’re full-on punk rock / high end couture.

Lance Victor Moore mask

Mask made of leather, wood veneer, and driftwood – resembling a sports car.

While Emily is a true artist, her clothing is not ridiculously over-the-top but rather ultra-wearable. Every woman needs a dress like this – eye-catching, flattering, comfortable, and sophisticated, because who wants to wear constricting skinny jeans every day?

Emily Payne's NYFW show, 4

Looking for a fresh way to wear denim? This is a super cool outfit for going out, especially with the leather cropped top.

Emily Payne's NYFW show, 6

And then there are these next two looks, which are an awesome merging of cool print and design.

Emily Payne's NYFW show, 10Emily Payne's NYFW show, 7

I think I’ll end this mini online fashion show with a look featuring one of Emily’s super fun sportswear/street wear tops – one of which I aspire to owning one day.

Emily Payne's NYFW show, 8

All runway photos and video by Charles Schoenberger

Here are some others, one shot by Charles in New York and another she wore when we had lunch in California. Must have one – so urban chic!

Emily Payne in New York and California

Emily Payne – Leather Tongue / Devon Rose Kids

As you read this, I’m headed to Vancouver Fashion Week and then a show of Emily Payne’s in San Francisco. The plan is to bring you cool news on designs from British Columbia, Canada and more on this amazing designer – including a few new developments. Make sure to check back!

XO, Janea

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25 responses to “A NYFW Show on 9/11: Emily Payne”

  1. LanceVmoore says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely article about Emily and my collaboration for NYFW. Had a great time . Can’t wait for SF!

  2. As the textile/makeup/hair/nail designer and mother of Mary, for this show, I thank you for this spot on brilliant review. Xoxo, Teresa (SassyT)

  3. Atsuna says:

    The NYFW runway show looks amazing! I hope to attend next year.


  4. Mónica Sors says:

    Lovely photos! 😉
    Mónica Sors

  5. Ashley says:

    SO cool and creative!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  6. Jalisa says:

    This is such an interesting collection! I love that artwork was incorporated into the designs and you’re right, more labels are starting to collaborate with artists to create full on works of wearable art. Fashion itself is an art form, so drawing/sketching/painting merging with it, is truly awesome! Thanks so much for sharing, beautiful, and I look forward to seeing what else you share from the upcoming events and shows you’ll be attending!



  7. Dominique says:

    Such a cool show! I dream of going to NYFW! xx


  8. Daisi Ari says:

    This show looked so fun. I am glad you enjoyed yourself! The designs are quite unique and beautiful. Can you believe I have yet to watch Project Runway? Great post!

    Daisi Ari || http://www.onthecolorfulside.com

  9. Gelleesh says:

    The first dress is also my favorite. They are pretty creative and artistic but still wearable. Thanks for sharing! 🙂



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