In fashion circles, the name Cynthia Rowley is synonymous for whimsical dresses and feminine separates, but America has yet to meet the woman behind the designs. That's all about to change, thanks to a brand new show called "24 Hour Catwalk," which airs on Lifetime this Tuesday night. Called "a 'Project Runway' knockoff for Goths on speed" by Variety, the reality series features Rowley, It-girl Alexa Chung, editor Derek Blasberg and P.R. guru James LaForce. Though the "Runway" comparisons exist, the format of "Catwalk" is slightly tweaked. Each episode, four designers compete for the title of winner in 24 hours, hence the name. Naturally, hijinks ensue -- it wouldn't be reality tv otherwise. "The contestants had to work under extreme conditions: crazy time constraints, limited resources and little or no sleep," said Rowley. "One of the contestants lost it and dropped trou right in front of us."
But even with such outlandish stunts, Rowley found empathy for the designers: "It's hard for me because I can still identify with the position that these designers are in. I was working on my runway show at the exact time we were taping, so I was feeling the same emotions, so I never wanted to vote anyone off." Still, when push came to shove, Rowley gave her two cents, "The judges all have pretty strong opinions, so if we disagreed, we had to duke it out for a while before we came to a conclusion."
In honor of Rowley's debut, we took a look back at her own fashion evolution -- no trou dropping included. What does a megastar-designer-in-the-making wear in 7th grade? To Homecoming and the Oval Office? We've got those answers below.
Though she now describes her style as "clean and sophisticated and a little bit artsy," this wasn't always the case. Take a tour through our gallery below -- and read her commentary in the captions -- for Rowley's life in outfits. We would choose a favorite look, but as you'll see, that's impossible.
Meanwhile, don't forget to take a tour of Rowley's closet with StyleLikeU.
FASHION RELATED LINKS YOU MAY LOVE:
30 Denim Finds Under $50 - iVillage
The 'It' Girl You Don't Know - The Daily Beast
25 Teeny Tiny Ways To Be A Lot More Fabulous - The Frisky