Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lighten up, it's just fashion.

I had trouble getting myself to write this critique because I actually have a problem with the latest challenge. Thank goodness most of the designers resisted the urge to be jerks to these women for not being model-thin (I actually thought Kevin's attitude was quite refreshing) but I get the distinct feeling that the only reason they weren't bellyaching all the time was because these women had lost so much weight, so calling them fat on top of that would have been cruel.

I realize that fashion is apparently only for thin people. But PR can stop making it such an important point. Last season, the designer's comments about designing for each other's mothers in the Everyday Woman challenge were ridiculous. They all came off sounding like whiny brats. "But...these women are fa-at. How am I supposed to make an outfit for a fat woman! Fat women don't like FASHION! Fat women aren't supposed to want to look nice!"

Instead, this year they treated these women like their most important thing about them, indeed the only trait we learned about them, was the amount of weight that they lost.

Overall, the idea is interesting. It's just, something about the way it was done that just got under my skin. Not to mention that I've become such a big believer that focusing on mostly meaningless numbers like weight or BMI instead of health is one of the worst things you can do for yourself.

I'm going to try to leave all of that behind and just talk about the clothes.

As an aside, I am going to miss Jack but it really was the right decision to make. Your health should always come first, and I think it's safe to say that even leaving this early on he made his impression on the viewers. Good luck Jack!

I'm happy that Chris is back, because I really wanted to see more from him. I agree with the producers in their decision to bring him back as well. Last season they gave Angela and Vincent a change to return, so why not go back to Chris? Also, there was a sentiment that Dale talked about on Top Chef: you want to win because you're the best in the competition, not on some technicality. So eliminating a person early would make the competition too much easier for everyone else.

To the clothes! I don't understand the bow, I really really don't. It's just, wrong. It's bright and out of place and just, pointless really. I like the little colored pleat, but I think if you made it in the blue of the shirt instead of red, it would be more fun. So if you changed those two things: no bow, blue pleat, then I'd actually be pretty happy with this. Actually, I would considering buying and wearing that top. I think it's fun and structured, and it fits her really well. So I hope that all this hate for this outfit is focused on that bow.

I'm kind of over Christian in so many ways. But I have to admit he did really well on this one, especially considering his picky client. But she looks good, it's tailored so well, it's fun. You get the sense that Christian made it, but it's also very much what a normal person would wear rather than being "fashion."

It's pretty modern and fun, and just well done. I have very little to say about it besides kudoos.

Okay, this is something that bugs me: how much time to the judges spend with the "clients" in this type of situation? Because all of them kept saying it was really "Elisa" and not at all what fit her client. But Elisa spent more time with the lady than they did, so how do they know? They kept saying things like "It's so you!" to other ladies as well. Are they making assumptions based on their appearance? How confident they seem? Or do they actually know these women?

All that said, this outfit doesn't look that great. It reminds me of when I try to dress nice, she looks short. There's something odd going on with the skirt hems, and the boots weren't really a good styling choice.

But I actually really love the jacket, I think it's cute and flattering. Nobody talked about it because paired with that skirt it's not really that great. But with a nice pair of slacks, I think it'd be a nice jacket. A little boring maybe, pretty commercial, and not a challenge winner. But a nice jacket nonetheless. I do not think this was the second worst look of the day. I don't know what else was, but this isn't as bad as they made it out to be.

I won't deny that Jillian made a really cute dress. There were things about the way it moved on the runway that I didn't love, but overall it's a really nice article of clothing. I think it's styling is nice, the color is nice. In fact, if I saw it in a store I'd probably try it on but halter tops don't really fit my figure.

I completely disagree with the judges that it was okay that she didn't really do the challenge AT ALL. I hate how they pick and choose who they will hold to strict standards based on the challenge, and who can get away with not doing what they were told. They were told to transform the existing clothes. Jillian decided that fabric wasn't good enough for her and just didn't use it. She used it for an idea, sure. But she didn't do the same challenge as the other contestants, and I think it should have disqualified her design for consideration. I don't think she should be eliminated for it, but they absolutely shouldn't have called her out and praised her either.

Other people adhered to the spirit of the competition, she didn't bother. When a teacher tells you to do a homework assignment, you can't just randomly decide to do a different one and hope that if you do it well they'll ignore that you did something else. The judges need to consistently apply the rules or not bother.

I know it's a personal preference, but I don't like things without straps. I think they make the top part of the torso look too long, and it just doesn't do any favors for most women. I don't know why I think this but I do.

That is about the only critique I have for this outfit. Kevin, besides being a good sport, really transformed the clothes he was given. And you can even tell in the picture, his client LOVED it. She really enjoyed the look, and he was happy that she liked it. I think that I wanted him to win just because he was so darn nice throughout, without any of the catty comments we keep getting from Christian.

Overall, I think this outfit is a success. I think the only reason it didn't win out was that it wasn't as "everyday" as what Christian did. This is really an occasion outfit. I can't figure out what occasion, but it's not something you could just wear to work.

This outfit is so close to great...I can't put my finger on exactly what bothers me about it, to be honest. I don't really like the color, to be honest. And I think the white patch on the front should be black, or there should be another white accent somewhere to balance it out. But overall, it's cute. Actually, it's not as inventive or odd as most of what we see coming from Kit, which I suppose means that she really tailored it to her client, which is good.

I think it's really that coming from Kit, it's a little boring. I also think the bottom patterned piece needs to flare out more so that it looks a little less like she's wearing a skirt over a dress.

Somehow, this outfit left no impression on me after the show. But looking at the picture, I think it should have taken Jillian's place in the top three. It's really cute, it's fun, and it's everyday enough. The model certainly seems to enjoy it, and it's very Rami at the same time.

Rami seems like such a clear favorite that I hate to be nice to him. I'd rather root for the underdog, but it's a really good outfit. I'd probably pick up that top at the store, it accents all the right parts of the woman's figure. Good job.

I think Ricky is on borrowed time just because he's not innovative or interesting. That said, there hasn't been a lot of really out there fascinating stuff this season, has there? It's become so boring. Robert Best is probably screaming at his tv every week.

The top is cute. If it wasn't for those big gold things, I would probably wear it. Well, if it wasn't translucent. I think the top of the jeans somehow don't fit the bottom of the jeans...there's something odd there. They fit strangely on top.

Otherwise, this outfit is just so...standard. I've got nothing more to say about it. Please stop being so boring PR contestants! Take risks! Do something really weird! Even Elisa stopped being so crazy after the first episode. I want baboon's asses exploding! Project Runway isn't always supposed to be about sellable and wearable, fashion is also part art, and art is about being out there to make a point.

First and foremost: the only thing French maid about this is that it's black and white. That's it, it was ridiculous for the judges to harp on that. It has NOTHING to do with the typical French maid idea.

That said, it also was the worst showing of the night, sorry Steven. He was so daunted by the wedding dress that like Jillian he didn't actually do the same challenge as everybody else. He didn't bother to do what he was asked, and yes it was a really hard challenge but that was a chance to shine and he didn't do it.

I get a little tired of the designers this season when they talk about their fabrics. So it was some sort of weird lace that catches in machines or something. Your point? This show has had outfits made out of corn husks, lawn chairs, peanut sacks, scrap paper, ferns, Spanish moss, etc. None of those things were so easy to sew either, I'd wager.

Also, as a costumer I have little sympathy. I've made costumes out of some really really low quality stuff. I'm talking $1/yard stuff from the Wal-Mart bargain bin. I doubt this wedding dress was made out of something so much harder to deal with.

Of course, I don't think this dress is that bad. It fit her strangely as she walked on the runway, but the fact is I've seen a lot of dresses like this in my day. Which is why I was fine with it being the worst of the night. There was nothing new about it, it didn't fit quite right, and it didn't personify the challenge in any way, shape, or form. I want to know what this lady thinks about all the hate being spewed towards her wedding dress. So it didn't fit her anymore, that was still the dress she chose for a very important day in her life. I would be really angry if people were talking that way about my wedding dress, I loved it so much I'd never bring it to a challenge like this. She took a big risk bringing that in, and she wasn't rewarded at all. And yet she's still smiling. That woman is a hell of a good sport.

It's a shame this dress didn't make it into the top, it's really cute and fun. I don't like the color, but that's what she had to work with. I probably wouldn't pair it with black hose either, but that's just me. I also hate pointy toed shoes, you don't see anybody in the fashion world agreeing with me there.

The only thing that's going against this dress is that again, it's sort of unremarkable. It's very safe, very nice. It was a success, but it took very few risks. Where are the risks this season? I can't believe it's making me long for Santino.

I actually really don't like this dress. I think the chest was all kinds of weird, which you can't really see in the picture here. I don't really know what it was about it, but it just was off. It didn't seem properly tailored to the model's body or something. There was also some odd bunching going on, if I recall correctly.

Maybe it's just that I really don't like green velvet. But this dress just doesn't appeal to me at all. But again, it's BORING. What can I say about it that's positive or negative? Almost nothing! Because it's just a dress.

There is no way this is the most talented group of designers the show has ever seen. Maybe it's that the challenges suck, but for the most part they're just talented seamstresses. They're not showing much vision, innovation, or anything that makes me think they're "cutting edge." They aren't envisioning the future of fashion, they're following along what's been done already.

I'm so bored, please PR, make them make an outfit out of electronics!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: the challenge - I really liked this challenge for several reasons. 1.) what a lovely thing to do for these women who have made such a huge accomplishment. I felt bad for the ladies though, who only lost like 50 pounds and how nonplussed the designers were when compared with their reactions to those who lost 100s of pounds. LOL 50 pounds is hard to lose too, you bitches!! 2.) I liked it from a costume point of view in taking one outfit and making something new out of it.

I didn't get the point of view that they were presenting the weightloss as the most important thing about the women. I think that IS such an important thing, and I think it is for health-reasons, not looks reasons. I think on this type of show though, the "skinny looks is impt" thing is unavoidable, as it is about fashion.

Def agree with kudos for Kevin though, whose point of view is stellar and commendable!

Chris - this outfit was bad. I have a big tolerance for costumey looks, but it looked costumey and old fashioned to me. And something about it felt cheap to me, I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the bow and the presentation. Who knows? But I was thrilled to have him back, as he's more interesting to me than Jack (with all due respect to Jack's health problems)

Christians outfit was great. Not hugely original, but originality wasn't really the focus here, rather transformation was. Its funny that he could deal with this difficult client but not his prom client. I wonder if he was letting too many traumatic high school memories color his experience in that challenge too! haha!

Elisa's work was weird in this. Weird in that it wasn't so much CRAZY as she was able to display, but more that it was.... mediocre weird. Whicih is very strange. LOL. I didn't think it looked like "her" like the judges kept saying. I thought actually it looked like she was trying to meld "her" and "mainstream" but got interrupted halfway thru. And like you said, the proportions are weird. In a challenge that is all about these ladies new figures, you have to flatter them and this didn't.

Jillian: I agree 100 percent - she copped out of this challenge, and she should have been called on it, and warned. Lovely dress - but grow up and do the project you're told to do.

I think Kevin's outfit could have worked if it was dressed down a bit. I also think that it fit her in a weird way - like it was sitting too low on her bust, probably because of the strapless style. If it lifted her a little more, I would have liked it, and maybe would have picked him for the winner.

I think Kit's dress was cute. Like you said, unremarkable. But cute. I didn't mind the color combo.

I really like Rami's piece for this challenge. It fit her beautifully, and the combination of the draped top with the tailored skirt showed a nice combination of his aestetic + his sewing ability.

Ricky's was okay, but it looked cheap. Very clearance rack at Forever 21.

Stephen...what the hell are you doing? I agree with everything you said. He could have made an interesting top at least, out of the white material, and built a new skirt to go with it. Even if he picked a different color than black, it would have been better. This woman should have won something for her sportsmanship.

Sweet P's dress is cute, and literally looks like a sweet pea lol. The black hose and shoes are an AWFUL choice (I love pointy toed shoes, but black doesn't go with this pallette).

Victorya's dress looked really dated. Of course, its hard for green velvet NOT to look dated - it reminds me so much of every Christmas dress i wore when i was in elementary school. But maybe she could have made a cute top and a matching bag or something? unremarkable and awkward.

okay lunch break, and thus a break from the dissertations you've been getting ;)