Thursday night was round two of FashioNXT—a night with a lot going on. With a total of ten designers showing pieces, the show offered a near-exhausting amount of eye candy to absorb.

First up: Becky Ross showed a collection of mainly shift dresses perfect for the workplace in colors from basic to for the bold at heart. Yane Mode’s combination of cocktail ready pieces alongside knits provided interesting texture with her separates particularly speaking to me. Though one could caution that sparkly metallic can come across as cheap without the proper styling (which she had, take notes there).

We then moved into the double headliner of the night. Project Runway’s Michael Costello debuted MTCostello and the Up/NXT Emerging Designer competition. Costello’s collection (co-designed with his cousin Stephanie) was billed as “ready to wear,” but if that’s ready-to-wear then I’m the Queen of England. The line of slinky gowns and daring cut out dresses sauntering the runway had signature Costello drama which is what makes it hard for me to imagine combing through it on a clothing rack instead of being summoned for a red carpet event.

We then moved in the Up/NXT Emerging Designer competition, and, as a judge, I can tell you this was one of the most difficult decisions in quite some time. Taylor Trapnell’s incredibly wearable pieces (particularly that navy lace dress) will no doubt make it’s way onto come lucky clients, Bobby Bonaparte’s Lift Label is already in the midst of breaking from its young cocoon with an increasing number of shops carrying his minimalist fashion forward line.

←LeoRevolt’s swimsuits targeted for the young music festival crowd had some fantastic details up close such as the built in bra cups and flattering seaming in the black high-waisted bikini. One black and white dress from Jackie Lipshutz breezed so beautifully from it’s exposed pleats I had to chase it down backstage to understand how it was made, and Cathy Kudla’s high end party dresses will could easily grace any level of soiree.

At the end of the day Amy Sim’s exquisitely crafted clothing was meticulously finished down to every last detail and her go getting attitude from our designer interviews helped to sway the decision to her camp. We wish her, and all the other hard working designers, the best of luck and hope to continue seeing each of them growing their lines in the community.