As the latest celebrity to jump on the reality-show bandwagon, pop star and fashion icon Rihanna debuted her newest project this week: a design competition entitled Styled to Rock. Among the 12 handpicked designers that are tasked with creating looks for celebrity clients is Philadelphia local and inaugural Fashion Incubator member, Autumn Kietponglert. Philadelphia Style caught up with Kietponglert after the show’s Friday night premiere.
Did your experience with the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator help prepare you for being on Styled to Rock? AUTUMN KIETPONGLERT: The schedule and commitment to the mentorship program at the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator was very intense. It definitely helped prepare me for the next level of mentoring and hyper-intense schedule I was to receive from our Styled to Rock mentors, stylist Mel Ottenberg, supermodel and design Erin Wasson, and the iconic Pharrell Williams.
What did you enjoy most about working with the other designers on the show? AK: I really enjoyed the diversity of styles and personalities. We were all very different, but I found myself clicking with each of them in some way. Every designer on Styled to Rock had a different brand of crazy self-expression, and being in the room with 12 completely varying styles was a really creative and invigorating experience.
Besides Kaleidoscope Boutique, will any other stores in Philadelphia be featuring your work? AK: In addition to Kaleidoscope Boutique (151 N. 3rd St., 888-796-8144) in Old City, my work will also be at Joan Shepp's Pop-up at Liberty Place (1650 Market St., #650, 215-851-9055) during the Made in America event on November 20, and at Ritual Ritual(716 N. 3rd St., 215-964-8262) in Northern Liberties in November.
What are your favorite clothing staples for winter? AK: My favorite items this winter are my Doc Marten black patent leather knee-high boots, and my oversized tan and black skull sweater. Punk is a huge trend this season, from punk-inspired couture to casual punk elements. Punk style is actually my favorite look every winter; I find it’s a great way to look edgy and fashion-forward while layering.
Are there any trends we should look out for this season? AK: I think we'll see a lot of patent leather this season, in the form of coats, boots, and even patent dresses and tops for holiday. For my AUTUMNLIN ATELIER line, it will be patent leather dresses and tops for sure.
Catch Autumn every Friday night at 8 p.m. on Bravo to see if she wins the grand prize of a fashion feature in Glamour, $100,000 cash, and the chance to become the next member of Rihanna’s design team. Also check out Autumn’s white zipper corset worn by Cher in her latest video, “Woman’s World.”