Thursday, August 28, 2008


I can't believe it, but seven episodes in this season of Project Runway seems to have found it's feet, and so did the designers. All it took was horribly blatant product placement! I can't believe how good this episodes was, it was like I was in a completely different series. Maybe it was that Laura came back. If you follow my blog you'll know I'm not actually a huge fan of Laura, as much as I think she did impeccable clothes I also didn't really buy into her specific style. But she did know what she was doing and it almost made up for Rachel Zoe, who I really just can't stomach.

On to the showcase of this episode, since the challenge was just so dang weird, the clothes!

On the dress form and in the sketch this dress was amazing. It was so pretty looking, and I thought "Hey, Blayne is going to pull it out once again! When is he going to stop doing this to me?" But no, instead when the garment actually came out onto the runway it just...was fitted so wrong it was depressing. What in the world did he do to make the top fit that poorly and couldn't he have stuffed her bra or something to make it a little better? Heck, Leanne stuffed our model's hips!

The concept was great, the fit was terrible. And that seemed to be universal in the lower levels of this episodes.

I hate the styling of this outfit but I can see how it's "runway styling" and not "everyday styling." But the garment itself is really great. It had some problems with bunching, but I've started paying attention to other people's clothes lately and realized that fitted clothing just bunches strangely all the time, it's only flat when you just put it on or something.

But the ideas here are sound, the colors are great. It's a little on the micro side but I love it still.

This is a little too similar to his work in the Olympic challenge, IMHO, but I like that he incorporated the logo for the car. It's a really cute outfit that I could see on the girls that walk around race tracks for some reason (do they hold the flags? I'm not sure, I'm not that into racing). But it really looks like something you'd see around a track. Only, the cars were Saturn's and I'm sorry but race cars they are not.

I love the colors though, I'll say that. I'm a huge fan of that color palette.

This is the thing about Keith's downfall: he forgot what the judges are there for. It's kind of easy to do. See, I'm in film school right now and I know how it is to be in classes or be judged by people constantly who are critiquing your work and going on about what you're doing wrong. I know how easy it is to get down on yourself and assume they hate you.

But the other thing I know, and the thing that Keith lost sight of is that the judges aren't there to make you into somebody else, just like professors aren't (if they're good professors, I've had some that did seem to want to make me in their image). What they're trying to do is help you be a better you. Help you find your voice and use it to the best of your ability, to be the most effective.

Keith couldn't figure that out, and that's part of why he's gone. If he hadn't made those comments on the runway, I'm convinced Stella would have been eliminated instead. But he decided he was a victim, and I've been there so I can't make fun of him too much for it.

The dress itself was a pretty big failure, to be honest. Seatbelts are kind of horrible for stuff like this, I've seen them made into bags a lot and they're stiff and have very little give, and they very easily pucker and twist. Though I do think that them making his model sit down in hair and makeup was just wrong. If she walked in and said, "I can't sit in this, it'll split" then they should have worked around it. Maybe she didn't say that, maybe he shouldn't have let her leave the workroom in the skirt. But all the same, something smacks of "not his fault" while at the same time reminding us of "make it work."

The problem, I think, was completely in the top. Sure, the skirt was uninteresting but if it was countered with a truly fabulous top it could have been something, and instead it wasn't.

I love the handmade zebra print so much. That was such a creative use of air filters, and I think Kenley really made something that was creative and used interesting materials. My biggest problem with it is just that it's a little boring, and it's just so much like everything else that she's given us. Where's the thing that's supposed to make it memorable?

I like this coat, don't get me wrong. But the one thing that makes me not love it as much as some is that I've seen this woven seatbelt thing before. They sell these bags at the Hirschorn in different sizes, and they do some interesting patterns to. So that's not really something that is new.

That said, it's still very impressive. I think that Korto is absolutely a lock for the final three, there's no doubt in my mind about it. One of my friends said that everything she's made has been a kimono, and I do have to admit that she goes with similar styles often enough. But she's been strong in almost every single challenge and she's definitely got a handle on herself and her own style.

I am so in love with this garment. Leanne impresses me more and more every episode, and I'm so happy that she's also got a fabulous personality and great manners to go with a good aesthetic.

I just really love what she did, with taking the natural flow of the leather and letting it really just do what it wanted. Also, for me, this is an example of a garment that isn't something you would just wear to work but isn't' so over the top that you look at it and say "WHO would wear that?" It's just well made and well thought out so you look at it and you don't care who would wear it, the model is wearing it and she looks fabulous.

I love that she decided to fray the seatbelt too. I never really thought that much about seatbelts before, but the frayed ones I've seen haven't been nearly as attractive as she made this. You also can see pretty quickly how fast she learned how not to just pile things onto the dress because the trim is so understated and it's really a trim.

An absolutely deserved win.

Stella is the same story as Keith: she was on the bottom because instead of trying to be better at what she does she decided to be something else. But also, because it was a poorly fit, boring and drab little outfit. Not to mention the fact that the seatbelt skirt had this huge pucker in each layer going down the back. I know it's a horrible "fabric" to try to work with, and that puckering like that was probably their number one enemy. But the fact that it was so bad just speaks to how little Stella wanted to work on this challenge.

I'm really a little baffled about Stella suddenly deciding not to be herself. I don't like her garments or her style, but at least she was unapologetic for it up until now. Unlike others, she just said, "this is what I do, these are the clothes I make." Sure, I wanted to see her branch out, but there's a difference between branching out and wussing out.

If the top had been more fitted and the skirt hadn't had those puckers then I think she probably would have still been in the bottom for being a touch boring, and because so many of the dresses were so good. But I wouldn't be thinking she should have gone home.

This is a really fun little outfit, but it reminds me so much of most of the things that Suede has made up until this point. I do like that he was the only one that used some of these materials, but it's overall effect was really impressive, but would have been more so if we hadn't seen this dress from him before just in different fabric.

This is a fabulous outfit, it's absolutely wearable. I could see this model walking into a club right now. Some of the praise that was heaped on Terri's earlier inspiration design fits right here. The only thing for me is that it is a little plain and safe at the same time. And saying that makes me feel like a hypocrite because both things can't be true at the same time.

I wouldn't have replaced anybody that was in the top (except perhaps Jerell, I think that this garment is on par with his) but at the same time, I think it was really fantastic and I could see this actually being sold in stores.

While on the one hand I absolutely hate this challenge because of the product placement and the cheap commercialism of it. On the other hand, it's more along the lines of the flower challenge or any of the crazy weird ones we've had in the past. I also think that these are just the best garments that these designers have produced so far. Congrats guys.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'd rather have more Chris March

Really, bring back Chris March. You did it once, maybe could we do it again? Then I would have a designer I actually cared about in this year's crop. Instead, I just keep rooting for one of my five least favorites to get eliminated every week. At least this week I got my wish.

Okay, Blayne seriously needs to put tape over his mouth and stop speaking. Immediately. I think he might be sealing his fate in the fact that he'll never be able to get a serious job in his life because every employer will just keep saying, "oh, you were the licious one."

There's nothing wrong with this outfit. Which is probably the most distressing part of it all, because I wanted him to make something terrible, but he didn't. It's perfectly capable, and it looks like it's straight out of Adventures of Priscilla. It fits his Queen perfectly.

He really did need to think about the wings falling though, I know costumers who are more competent when it comes to that, but when they're standing up like they're supposed to they are pretty fun and wild.

Thank goodness that's the last time I'll have to see Daniel look so appalled at the judge's opinions of his work. Did you see the condescending look he had when talking about the challenge? The man didn't want to make a drag queen outfit and so he didn't, he thought he was above it. That's fine, Christian thought he was above everything and somehow managed to make everybody love him anyway. But Daniel came right out on the runway and said to RUPAUL of all people that he didn't want to be tacky etc. Um, you don't really know your audience, do you Daniel?

The dress is pretty, it's really nice. It's made out of great fabric, and if he had made it for another challenge I would have talked about how great it was. But once more he came in about three levels short on the challenge. He never was somebody who really could make things pop (after the cup dress anyway) and kept making rather boring, simple outfits. So I'm not surprised that this was the challenge that did him in.

I think Jerell had a bit of a difficult task ahead of him, because La May seemed to be one of the more subtle Queens on the stage, and how do you impress in a drag queen competition if you're subtle?

This is, again, a very costumey look (I hate using that word but it's all I've got for Jerell) and while that's what the challenge called for, there's something about how the collar and the dress go together that doesn't work.

But, I really think that Jerell ended up on the bottom three because everybody (except Daniel and Keith) did such a fabulous job that they had to pick SOMEBODY and they had to say SOMETHING negative about it.

It was a great dress, and so it's a little longer, it's not THAT long. And it's plenty dramatic. I think Jerell just ended up in the bottom three of a very strong group, and the judges were more harsh than even they wanted to be.

I find it amusing that Joe, who seemed just a touch too uncomfortable with the challenge, was the one who won. But he really did take his Queen and give her a fabulous outfit. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if she goes and buys it off the auction so she can keep it.

It does look so fabulous on her, it fits so perfectly. It's eye-catching, it's fun, it's dramatic. There's so much about it that's perfect.

I'm not sure that I think it should be the winner, just because it is rather simple and doesn't amp up the drama that extra little bit.

This is such a terrible outfit, and if it wasn't for how insulting Daniel was on the runway, I really would have wished for Keith to go home because of it. It does the Queen no favors, it isn't fun, it isn't well made, and it just doesn't convey anything except being raggedy.

I can't for the life of me figure out what Keith was doing here. Apparently he really needs Kenley to temper his crazy and deconstructed ideas, because he could have done something with this if he had scaled back and edited a little bit. But instead he just went all out and it looks terrible. It's like he ran out of time and glued strips to a bra.

This is so typical of a Drag Queen outfit that I really don't have much to say about it. It's pretty, it's well made, it's very classic and goes with the client's style very well.

But it doesn't really pop, does it?

I love this dress, I absolutely would have picked it for the win over Joe. The biggest reason? Because Sweetie obviously loved it, and loved wearing it. It made her feel beautiful, it made her feel confident, and it showed in the way she wore it.

And that, my friends, is an amazing success. She looked and felt fabulous. The dress had drama without having too much, it fit perfectly. I love the colors, I love the sculpture on the shoulder (and unlike Blayne's wings, it was made really well).

Korto is becoming one of my favorite designers this season.

If Leanne had wanted to bring out the word surrealism, she certainly could have with this dress. I don't really like it as much as most of the other's this week, but it's a little wacky and a little fun, and it fits the client.

I love the colors too, they work so well together. There's not a false note for the fabric at all. It certainly isn't a winning garment, but it's a good effort. There's just a few more awkward looking parts to it, but I can't put my finger on what.

Stella gets a challenge to make an outfit for a drag queen, and she makes this? I'm so baffled by it. It's interesting, a little different, but I really don't see what it's about, what point she's trying to make...

I just don't understand the plaid. Not enough to think it's a bad garment, but enough to say "Eh?" I actually would have put it on the bottom instead of Jerell just to ask her what she was going for.

Dead grandfather's advice aside, what the heck was actually up with those little lettuce roses on the gloves? I didn't like it, I don't understand why Tim loved it, and I just don't get it. The dress itself is fun, but it doesn't look like a showstopper. It looks like something Hedda Lettuce would use as an intro outfit, or something for a more casual event instead of a show. It's a party dress.

But I guess the challenge didn't specify that it needed to be a show dress. Actually, looking at it, it seems like a traveling outfit to me. Like she's about to get on the train to go on some sort of exciting adventure.

I definitely like it, but it's again just the middle of the pack.

I am one of the only people who probably doesn't really like this outfit. I think it definitely deserved to be in the top three, because it does very perfectly fit the Queen it was made for. I completely agree with the top three pics (and the bottom two). But I don't like this better than Korto and Joe's for one reason: it's too much. I know, can you have too much with a drag queen? But I think this one does get there, because there's just so much going on. Not to mention that I can't imagine her actually doing a show in this. Modeling? Sure. But anything past a runway walk, what would she do? It doesn't look like she's meant to really talk, you couldn't do stand-up, you couldn't really dance...maybe you could sing, but for some reason the makeup and garment together make me think it's not meant for somebody who will be making any noises at all (maybe it's the white mime-face).

I will say that I'm so glad RuPaul mentioned Mahagony because I was desperately trying to figure out what it reminded me of.

I think Terri is probably starting to get frustrated, and I know her fans must be. She's had fantastic showings for a few episodes now but not managed to pull out the win. But I really don't think up to now that she deserved it yet. But I see it coming, I think she'll get there, and I can't wait to see it. I might be tired of her ego, but I'm in love with the fact that she really puts herself out there and makes outfits that I can remember the next week and want to talk about. Most of the other designers aren't accomplishing that yet.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Where's the drama, team challenge?

Hey, remember back in the day when Project Runway used to do these team challenges? And the people would argue and cause all this drama, even if up to this point they always got along? There would be at least one crying meltdown, and at least one angry accusation on the runway and it was when PR really delved down into typical "reality tv" territory?

I hope you remember, because I don't think this season can deliver. The drama we get is:
-Terri fusses at Suede, and he efficiently fixes the problem!
-Kelli tells Daniel that his skirt stinks and to remake it. And he gripes but does it and nobody mentions it on the runway!
-Joe says something to Tim about Korto's design, and she says she's looking out for HIM and wants to hear MORE of his imput! The nerve of her! He apologizes and says it wasn't a big deal! It all is solved with a minimum of fuss!

The interviews were so much more confrontational than the actual moments, and I have a feeling it's because the producers went, "well, crap. We tried to make something drama-rific and they didn't deliver. Quick, bait the questions and make them sound more angry!"

At least this episode the garments were so much more successful than the last, for the most part.

This is the thing about Blayne and Leanne's contribution: it doesn't fit the challenge. This isn't something that's even slightly formal, it couldn't be worn to work as is. BUT, it's really well made. I wouldn't choose most of the pieces to put them together the way they are, but I don't see anything that looks particularly borked up.

And on top of that, I really like that blue shirt. It's a bright and pretty color, it hung really well, and I just liked it. Maybe not with the purple shirt under it, but I liked it.

I think Blayne scraped through on this one not because of the actual look but because it at least was well made. Also, as bratty as he was you could tell that he and Leanne worked well together and respected each other. I like how Heidi tried to call in and say "Why didn't Leanne speak up" when really, the design was approved by Brooke Shields so what would she say? "No, you really need slacks with this." Slacks weren't what he pitched.

Though they would have improved the whole thing enormously.

Laura K. at Blogging Project Runway said that she was impressed with Jerell's attitude and the way he treated Stella. It was really admirable, and I think that the dress really shows how much they respected each other.

It's not my personal taste, but I could really see it working on Brooke Shields and on the show. I can see it working in an office setting with different accessories, and as it is out on the town. A side note, I'm really tired of this "day to night" junk on the show. Everybody seems to think it means some sort of wacky convertible thing, but really it could just be a look that works well in both settings, like this one.

The only qualm I have about this one is that the very top of it doesn't seem to fit the model very well. There's something about the way it flowed on the runway that didn't look fitted properly.

I have to say I really love the skirt. I would actually like to see if I could pull off a skirt like that. It's the type of subtle but fun print that I think they expected out of Kelli.

Am I the only one that is completely reminded of Ugly Betty with this model and the styling here? Yeah? Just me? Okay.

I love the top, I think it's really fabulous. The print is, again, really great. It's a fun bit of design and I really like it. I'm also so glad that the other print that Kenley was advocating was nixed, because seriously, what in the world was she thinking? No, please, no.

I'm not actually that big of a fan of the skirt, but it's just not my style. I can see how it could come off pretty well in the right setting, but something about it on the runway didn't seem right to me. Maybe it was the unfinished edges on the scallops, or just that they looked unfinished.

You know, I don't really like the high-waisted trend, have I said this before? On this dress it almost works, but I think lowering the waist even a few inches would have made it more successful.

But as it is, it's still a deserving win.

I have so many problems with this outfit, and that's why I'm not even that sad to see Kelli go, even as good as her first outfit was.

The colors don't seem to go, the print is just not the right choice, and my biggest problem? That the construction just seems shoddy from top to bottom.

The top is cut strangely, the bustier left this swatch of midriff that was entirely inappropriate, and it didn't look at all like they had the same time as everybody else. It looked like they took three or four hours less.

I would have been okay with Daniel going home too, if only because if you notice, I still haven't seen him repeat anything nearly as good as the cup dress and because I'm so sick and tired of how absolutely APPALLED he looks when anybody disagrees with him or says something bad about him.

Watch his reactions to anything from Joe fussing at him at his machine to Michael Kors' insults last week to Kenley's outburst of laughing (which matched my own, I admit): he's shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that anybody could doubt him! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Really? Daniel, you haven't even shown the personality and the ego to back up your indignation (see Santino for an example of this) so just let it go.

I know, I must be crazy, but I kind of enjoy this look. The colors are fun and bright, the skirt is a great counterpoint to the jacket, and it might not have as much flash as say, Jerell and Stella's contribution but I like it. It's something I could imagine seeing on stylish women in NYC.

The sleeves are a little much, but only a little.

I'm getting a little tired of Terri's schtick. This is a perfectly acceptable garment, I couldn't wear the shirt at all but I could imagine the girls I work with looking really great in this outfit. It's a little casual for the office, but not too bad for the type of office Shields' character works in.

But I really don't see anything extraordinary about it. What sets it apart? Why does it deserve any praise? I'm not really getting on the Terri bandwagon. I want to see her do something new and different, and something really fascinating. I guess we'll see.

This episode was so emblematic of this entire season. I could write an essay on it. But when they had the bottom four on the runway, all I could think was "As long as Leanne stays, I won't feel at all sorry for anybody else leaving."

Though that weird brown thing Leanne was wearing did try my patience a little.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Nobody likes to settle for silver

Finally, Project Runway 5 has an original challenge! It's even timely and could have been really fun and fascinating! You know, if they had some more imaginative designers who liked to take more risks and just be more out there.

The think I love about the early seasons of Project Runway, and the thing I love about a lot of really creative types, is the way they're willing to do something really wacky. As much as I don't personally like Daniel V's orchid dress from season two, it was really an amazing risk.

This outfits were all so safe, except for Jerell, that I was afraid I had missed a part of the challenge that said that they couldn't do anything too weird.

I'm also surprised at how most of the outfits don't really fit what I think of the Opening Ceremony outfits at all. If you watched last night, and saw the garments created by Ralph Lauren then you would see that the only person who really came close was Terri, and I have my own opinions about hers, which I'll get to. But in general, everybody seemed to miss the mark. (I actually delayed this post so I could watch the opening ceremonies and compare them).

Okay, for the challenge, this outfit is generally awful. It's not something that American athletes could really wear, and you couldn't make anything remotely similar for the men. Plus, it's pink and light blue, which are not the colors of our flag.

But if you take it outside the challenge, as much as I hate to say it, it's pretty cute. He must have changed the sweater a lot after he talked to Tim, or Tim didn't really see what he was saying. Because I don't see anything Sgt. Pepper about it.

I do take points off for the skinny pants, just because they work on the model but they would never work on anybody else. But really, the sweater is neat, I could see somebody wearing that if they had the confidence to pull it off.

I don't care how much I did or didn't like Jennifer, this dress is a travesty. It has nothing even remotely to do with the challenge, and if it was a challenge to make a cocktail dress, it still doesn't look very good. The buttons are just wrong, they throw off the balance completely. The shade of blue with that bright red don't really work well either. And maybe it just needed a good ironing, but why is it so wrinkled? Why did it seem so puckered on the runway?

I think both Jennifer and Daniel had an equal chance of being eliminated, and personally I think both equally deserved it. After that one high note, Daniel hasn't done anything really spectacular. If he doesn't really bring something to the table next week, then he should go.

Also, I realize Joe's little freakout was pretty unreasonable, but Daniel's reaction to it was equally idiotic. He just kept whining over and over about it when really, he could be sewing.

Last note: I don't think a bolero jacket would have saved this. In fact, I think more red would have killed it.

Again, this dress has nothing to do with the Olympics. But what it has going for it that Daniel's doesn't is that at least it's wearable and cute. But I can't make a case for it even beginning to fit the challenge.

Nina was very accurate to say that Jennifer couldn't get out of designing for herself, no matter what the challenge was. But the sad thing was that even the clothes Jennifer wore seemed very "same thing, different day" to me. I wanted to like her so much, she seemed like such a nice person. But in the end, her garments just weren't very creative at all.

And I really wanted her to just stop it with the surrealism bit. I've studied surrealism and I won't ever pretend to understand it, but I do like it. Nothing that she presented, nothing that she wore, was even remotely related to the word surrealism. If you watch Un Chien Andalou or go to a Dali exhibit (as she's always mentioning) then you'd see how little her clothing relates to the word. When Michael Kors said something about the surprise of surrealism he hit it perfectly on the head. But there's nothing surprising about Jennifer's designs.

Oh, gracious. Again, Jerell puts out something that looks like a costume more than anything. This one makes me think of boating, like it belongs in a 1950's movie with a yacht scene.

The biggest problem is that there's far too much going on. There's a hat, there's leggings, the skirt, the belt, the shirt, the two scarves and it's just all stacked one on top of the other. A little bit of editing (and a lot less hat) would have made this really work, I think. It at least would have been much more like the actual outfits worn by the athletes in the opening ceremonies.

An important note: I normally hate high waisted skirts, pants, and shorts because I think they typically make people look downright strange. This really, really works. I'm a fan of it, and that gives this a bonus point. Jerell certainly didn't deserve to be eliminated for this, but I think it's good that he got called out and told to tone it down a bit.

Joe is the only person that I thought made an effective mix of red, white, and blue. Everybody else had too much of one, not enough of another, and it just didn't work for me. But because I thought the colors were so balanced on this one, I'm glad it got in the top three. Though I have to admit that the Ralph Lauren outfits had almost no red.

I think it's much too casual for the opening ceremonies, but it would still make a really cute garment for publicity shots or some other event. I even like the USA down the side, though a lot of people think it's a little too much.

The one thing that kills it entirely though, and the thing that I think clearly lost it for him, was the mismatch of lengths on the skort. If you're going to do something like that, then you have to have the lengths match, there's no changing that. I honestly think if he had made just a little skirt then he would have had a clear chance at winning.

What in the world is that skirt? Did he just bunch of the fabric like that because he was in a hurry? Because it really just looks like a ruffle on the bottom of the jacket instead of an actual skirt.

The scarf is definitely too much, though it could have been nice if it was a little smaller. But in general, I think this outfit would look horrible on most of the athletes competing in the games, and popped collars are not actually in right now among the demographic I belong to.

A different bottom and this jacket could have been something. But with that skirt it just all falls apart. I would have put this in the bottom over Jerell, even though I thought Jerell needed waking up.

I'm really, really unsure what Kelli was going for here. It's very Pleasantville, and with this years Olympics people have been talking a lot more about the modern age and technology, so I think retro is the exact wrong direction to go.

It's a nice enough outfit, for a certain type of person. You have to be really into that 1950's look to be able to do this, and I think Kenley could probably pull it off (though she'd probably not pair the top and skirt together) but I don't really see it working as an Olympics outfit.

This is a really smart dress. I like it a lot, if you look at it completely separate from what they were trying to do. It does seem really similar to a lot of the things Kenley has made already, but it's nice, it's well made, and the model looks fantastic in it.

It's a shame it doesn't look like what they were supposed to be making at all.

Korto again is showing that clean, simple, but stunning garments are just what she does. It's very impressive, because she's not doing flashy things but she's showing how impressive something simple can be.

I have two qualms with the outfit, the high waste makes the model's lower torso look abnormally long, and that there's not enough color. I don't know where she could have incorporated very much more color, but it still would have been nice to see it.

I don't agree that this would look good on a lot of body types, anybody even slightly short would look terrible I think. People with muscular arms, it's iffy. But on the model, it's fabulous. It's a deserved win, I think.

While it's not shockingly good or bad, I really like this outfit. The model looks very happy and comfortable. The only change I would make is that the shorts make it more casual, when the opening ceremonies are a little more formal. But it's all well made.

I would still want a little more color though, personally. But it's a good effort from Leanne, I like seeing what she'll do next.

Why hasn't anybody looked at Stella and said "Please stop making the same thing over and over again!" I mean, they told Jennifer that, why not Stella? Oh, wait, because the judges went nuts over her "green" dress for some reason.

But really, tight pants. A simple vest. Blah, blah, blah. I like the colors and the contrast on this, but I want Stella to actually branch out and do something different. I also don't think it would work on anybody but somebody the model's size, and I don't think that it befits the American Athletes.

I have to admit it wasn't the worst thing out there though, and it is really well made and fitted. Begrudgingly, I have to say that it does look good on the model so it was a success on a few levels.

A lot of the designers are having trouble being really creative, aren't they? Sure, little things might be different, but I see such similarities between their outfits from week to week. Change it up people! Be different! The whole point is to show a range.

This is a cute little dress. I like it. But it's not very imaginative, it's not very different, and it's not even that difficult looking. I've made skirts like that before, and I'm certainly not that skilled.

The worst part is, this actually fits the challenge really well, unlike so many of the others. Well, if the skirt was a little longer.

Like Joe, two changes and Terri might have walked home with this one (and been really similar to the designs that the athletes DID wear). First, get rid of the scarf. What in the world is the scarf? Why does it exist? Why did she add it, and when she did, why did she make it a billowing tumor down the front?

The other thing she needs to do is not have the top fit so poorly so that the model was falling out of it. When I saw it, I assumed there was some sort of flesh toned top part on the shirt, and that it wasn't fitted properly so it looked like the model wasn't wearing a complete shirt.

Nope, turns out that it really was the model spilling out of her shirt. That's just completely ridiculous, and I can't believe somebody didn't mention it on the show.

Like I said though, those two changes and this is easily the best effort on the runway and the clear winner. The jacket is just fabulous, the pants fit well and aren't those cursed skinny jeans type fit. Everything else about it is spot on.

Enjoy the Olympics everybody! I had a lot of fun watching the opening ceremonies and seeing what all the countries had their athletes wearing. There were a few too many solid colored blazers though, and I was sad that the U.S. outfits were so boring. Fashionable, I guess, but boring.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Inspiration take two

Sorry this is a few days late, I was in the land the internet forgot for the week watching the ponies swim on Chincoteague Island. It was a ton of fun, but they also didn't have Bravo so I had to wait until I got home to post.

I know everybody is saying it, but it bears repeating: what's with the recycling old challenges, Runway? The first one was kind of cute, and interesting to go back and do it again. But this one? Blah, blah, and more blah. All it did was really put a spotlight on how dull this pack of designers really are.

I really don't understand why Emily got all the dislike and this dress didn't even make the bottom three. They're really extremly similar, and honestly I think Emily's is better made and more presentable.

Blayne is going to be one of those who is either really good or terrible isn't he? For one, his inspiration photo wasn't all that fascinating. Actually, almost none of them were. For two, what in the world is that collar?

I would have made this dress be out before Emily's, honestly. It's so...amateur and simplistic. It's a little literal, which is never really fun, and it just makes me think of the kind of thing a teenage girl makes when she first decides she wants to be a fashion designer.

First, I don't understand this dress exactly. That little bit of black bodice at the top just makes me think the dress wasn't finished and it's her bra showing through or something. But the fabric is lovely, and if it didn't have that one thing that confuses me, I'd like it more I think.

But it is just rather dull. And aside from the materials, the cup dress wasn't that amazing either. I guess you could argue that Daniel is all about simplicity and classic sillouettes but so far I've just been wondering what he can do and when he's going to stand out again.

I can't understand why so many people seem to think that Jennifer's dress was a bigger disaster than this one. For one, her picture was so typical. It's NYC at night, let's do time lapse of car's lights. Never heard of that before.

For another, it's supposed to be a photo about energy and movement, and this dress has NONE of that. It's just a ruffle. A big, funny looking, not very colorful ruffle. And it looks like it's supposed to go all the way around but one end got detached and is just hanging down the front.

Plus, Emily committed the cardinal sin of saying, "Tim Gunn told me X, BUT, I like my design so I'm not listening." STOP DOING THAT. How many times do we have to repeat this over and over and over? Maybe Tim isn't always right, but don't discount him without thinking about it.

If the dress had been strapless, then maybe the ruffle wouldn't have been as bad, but instead you've got this one shoulder that's thick and doesn't make sense.

The only thing that keeps me from confidently saying this dress deserved to be eliminated is that I think Blayne's was so much worse.

So help me, I cannot figure out what the heck matronly means while watching this show. I've tried to pay attention, and I just don't get it. Is it the fabric? Is it the length? The sleeves? I don't know, nothing is consistent about when they employ that word, except maybe that the dresses are a little more conservative.

This is the thing with Jennifer's garment though: her inspiration photo was actually kind of neat, and different than what most people come up with. New York City at night, and we get graffiti and we get lights every single time. But we don't neccesarily get a well-cropped photo of a pretty nifty looking clock. And maybe it's just that I often find myself taking photos of neat clocks when I'm on vacation, but I like it.

I like her fabric, and I see where she went from her photo to the dress. Okay, it's not gorgeous, it's not perfect, and it maybe deserved to be pretty low on the scores because it's a little dull, and only the sleeves really make reference to the clock. But you can't convince me that it's not a better garment than Emily, Blayne, and Keith's creations. The worst part of it is the top layer of blue skirt, because it poofs out in an odd way. Otherwise, it's not THAT great, but no, it isn't an elimination dress either.

I admit that Jennifer shouldn't have started her whole Holly Golightly/Dali thing and talking about surrealism because it's not in this outfit. She even said in an interview that she was going literal. So that was a major misstep, she sold it wrong. There's nothing slightly surreal here.

I have so little to say about this dress. It's a step up from last week, but at least it looks more like a flamenco dancer than an exotic dancer. The bust fits oddly, and really, that's all I've got. Why are these designers so dull?

I liked Joe's photo, it stuck out in my mind. Plus, he did a more literal take that still managed to be interesting, and kind of cute. But he's still coasting along the middle of the pack, when is he going to do something that's going to get him noticed?

Oh, Keith. His photo was intriguing, the idea was really interesting. Most people in a challenge like this, if they're not Andrae, are going to look for all those bright flashy and beautiful things that make up NYC. But Keith found something dirty and discarded, which is also a part of any city.

And then he went completely in an opposite and strange direction that I couldn't follow. How did he get from that photo to this dress? I absolutely don't get it. It just looks like a bunch of rags pinned onto a sack. The fabric choices don't make a lot of sense to me either. I have no idea what he was thinking, and honestly thought he was going home. Which would be sad, he's grown on me.

To be completly honest, I keep going back and forth on if this one is worse than Emily's, and the only reason I think it isn't is because he at least had a different kind of inspiration photo.

So promising right out the gate, and yet what has Kelli given us in the two challenges since? I know they're designers and not photographers, but her photo was kind of bad. There's a way to take a photo of a fire hydrant and that's not it. But that's just me being picky.

This is not my type of dress. At all, it doesn't even come close to the types of things I like. I can see the Mad Max influence, I can see how it could be an expression of her as a designer. But I don't really care for it anyway.

Okay, I want to say first that I kind of like Kenley. She seems like a nice and fun person, she has a design sense that I like. I like vintage, I like that older pin-up style. I really enjoy some of the clothes she's made and worn so far.

I really don't like this dress and I have no idea why it won. I can't figure out who would wear it, where they would wear it, and what the relation to her photo was at all. It had generally nothing to do with her photo, let's all admit that right here. The colors weren't even similar.

The tulle-like skirt part is interesting, and if it had been with a different pattern for the main dress, or different sleeves on the dress, I might have gone for it. But putting it all together, I just simply don't like it at all. Thick collar, puffed sleeves, bubble's all too much.

I have no idea why this won. No idea at all.

Remember when I was talking about Daniel and how he might just really like simple garments? I get that feeling from Korto, she's seems to be very focused on simple ideas done well. But here's the thing: her outfits aren't boring. They're just not flashy.

I don't even remember her inspiration picture, but this jumpsuit is completely wearable and I could see it on store shelves right now. It's nice, it's well made, and it's just a good, solid effort. I can forgive the misstep from last week easily when you put this and the first dress together.

I think I'm joining a chorus from the rest of the internet when I say I want this skirt. Leanne deserved this win, hands down. She looked at the city and found something commonplace for inspiration, and said as much. That's something that a good photographer has, the eye for seeing things that have always been there as something worth looking at, for not glossing over the commonplace and forgetting that it's there.

Then she took that inspiration, and made something classy out of it. Something simple, beautiful, and it's very easy to see how she went from the photo to the garment. But at the same time, it wasn't a literal translation of it, it was just an inspiration.

She learned so much from last week, and I'm sure it makes all the judges happy they didn't eliminate her because I don't think Wesley could have done that. It's always impressive to see that kind of progression from somebody on a show like this. Most of the time they walk around saying, "I don't care what the judges think this is what I want!"

This whole piece is just absolutely fabulous, and I have no idea why it didn't win. Apparently the internet feels the same, because every poll I've seen has said by a gigantic majority that it was the favorite.

Deserved praise, every bit.

Can we eliminate Stella before I fall asleep? Or before she wears those atrocious pants again? Please?

This is so boring and typical that I refuse to talk about it.

Kind of cute, kind of fun, not that fascinating. I'm so running out of nice things to say about some of these people's outfits. Somebody on Blogging Project Runway commented that this looked like it belonged in Michael Knight's collection from season three, and I completely agree. But it looks made well, and it fits her nicely.

I have absolutely no idea why the judges loved this so much. I can see how she went from her picture to this, that's fine. I can see how they enjoy it in a 70's throwback kind of way.

But I just don't like that pattern for the top at all. There was something about it on the show that bothered me the entire time. The horizontal nature of it? The darkness of the colors? I don't know what it is, but that pattern on that dress seems completely wrong to me.

So I didn't like it, and I think I really could have if it was slightly different. A little lighter maybe? I don't know. But I certainly don't get the idea of wanting to get to know a girl that's wearing that outfit. I wouldn't think she was anybody intersting at all. Sure, attitude, I can see that. And I can completely understand why it was in the top, in fact I think the top dresses were the best ones. But I don't understand the overwhelming praise.

It must be that it's just not my style, I guess.

Let's see which challenge they crib off of next week! I would guess a team challenge, but it's not the right number of designers for that. I'm going to guess there's unconventional materials involved.