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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Opening Ceremonies were fun to watch. The teams that look the best are decked out in their nation's ethnic garb, instead of bland blazers. Of course, for our melting-pot nation, there's no way we could do this. But maybe something featuring, say, turquoise jewelry (or hat trim or something) or some Native American weaving patterns discretely incorporated into the outfits would be cool.