Friday, October 10, 2008

Upset of the year

In the third season of Top Chef, Casey started winning challenges partway through the season. She took home plenty of different wins, and in the end it was her game to lose.

Then, in the last meal and the last challenge, she lost it. She put together a lackluster meal and in the end she had nobody to blame but herself.

Last night, Jerrell did the same thing.

There is no other way to explain this. I was Jerrell's game to lose and he lost it. Everybody is so upset that Kenley is still in but the fact is no matter what came before, Kenley went home and actually made something that was better than what Jerrell made.

I don't understand how he could like these dresses and think they're beautiful. I was talking to somebody about him the other day and I said that I still couldn't really get behind him because his early stuff had some pretty serious missteps. This dress is going back to what he was making at the beginning of the show.

The poofs of fabric on the chest are borderline ridiculous. What are they there for? What do they add to the dress? Nothing. The skirt itself is just messy. The whole dress is very messy and unkempt. I have met not one single bride who wants to look unkempt. Brides are some of the most put-together people ever.

The bridesmaid's dress showed no effort at all. It was made out of a fabric that showed too many wrinkles and creases, which is a common problem with Jerrell. It was an interesting color, but I didn't see how it really related to the bride's dress at all. They weren't a set, they didn't go together really. I just don't understand it.

The more I look at these pictures the more baffled I am that Jerrell thought that messy would actually be acceptable.

This is the thing about Kenley's dresses, as much as they aren't my style and as much as I don't like them, they're really well made.

You can go on about how her dress is a rip-off, but this is my problem with that statement: I think the dress is not a rip-off of a specific garment made by a specific designer. I think it's just generally not all that original. When she said there's no silhouettes like that, I wanted to smack her. I thought it looked like something Bjork has worn but I couldn't come up with a specific dress like Michael Kors did.

But I can't deny that both were at least well made, fun, and well done. I have a very big issue with the bottom of the bridesmaid's skirt. That problem primarily being that absolutely hate bubble skirts and that I especially hate extremely short bubble skirts.

Actually, I was surprised nobody said that her bridesmaid's dress was boring and derivative. Because it was nothing special, it was barely noticeable. The top is exactly like a thousand dresses I've seen and the bottom doesn't do anything special enough to offset that.

I wish they had declared a winner in this episode just so I at least would feel that Kenley knew that while she did well she didn't have a slam dunk either. But I guess at this point the final collections are made, so what could she learn?

As for the whole liking ropes thing...and when have you ever used ropes before Kenley? I mean, I think they can be pretty cool when used right, but that seemed out of left field.

I don't understand what's very wedding or bride-like about this dress. I don't think it's the color that is throwing me because well, I've seen bridesmaid's dresses of all kinds of colors. But the fabric itself wasn't really well suited for all the ruffles and pleats and folds that ended up on the dress. It didn't feel right, somehow.

I don't know why the judges disliked the bridesmaid's dress so much, honestly. It was a little odd that they said it was underworked because it seemed the right amount of work when you compared it to the wedding dress. But the other thing was that it wasn't really different enough from the wedding dress to feel like something you'd put a bridesmaid in.

But I do want to say thank you to Korto for saying bridesmaids are allowed to be beautiful. Brides that are all worried about their bridesmaids stealing the show are just far too insecure for my tastes. But then, I have a very very long rant about making good choices during the wedding and getting rid of the whole "it's about me" ridiculousness.

Why they chose not to actually display any of the great features of either of these dresses on the Bravo site confuses me. Why was there no photo shoot of these garments? Since I avoid spoilers, I haven't look at any of the collections so I can't get better pictures. Bah!

First, Leanne's wedding dress was by far the best one out there. It didn't fit my personal aesthetic at all, I wouldn't in a million years wear it or encourage anybody else to. But I have to say that it was innovative, it was interesting, and it was certainly what fashion is all about. The only thing I hated was that the model walked the runway with her hands in her pockets.

It's interesting that it had pockets. I might have liked pockets in my wedding dress even. But the way that it changes everything about the model's posture and walk was horrible. She could have shown that it had pockets without schlumping down the runway.

I loved the bridesmaid's dress. I thought it was just beautiful, though a little short for my tastes. My bridesmaid's wore tea length skirts, so it's not that I think it should be to the floor. But it's been a constant this season that the dresses have just felt too short. Have they not been thinking about their model's measurements?

But all that aside, I really loved it. The color was just absolutely beautiful.

Leanne was the clear winner, and I admit that I want her to take it all home. But I would be fine with Korto winning too.

The only reason I wouldn't want Kenley to win is because I agree with Television Without Pity, she seems more of a stylist than a designer. I feel she does a great job putting together bits and pieces from other people, but that her work has never really struck me as being really original. It doesn't strike me as copying either, just not as creative as she thinks it is.

Friday, October 03, 2008

What a twist

I am so tired of Project Runway thinking they need to throw a twist our way. Two things the producers need to learn:
1. Organize your shows better so that you don't have decoy collections anymore. It's useless and it makes you look dumb to have everyone on the show talking about "I have to win so I can show in Bryant Park!" when we all know that they showed anyway. Last year's Rami and Chris faceoff was the worst offender, but this season isn't that much better.

2. At this point, actually eliminating somebody in the episode before the finales would be a twist. Maybe you should start doing that again. Your little bit of not eliminating anyone is lame and it's a lackluster end to a lackluster season.

Seriously, what a complete let down! This entire episode was generally dull and petty. It reminded me of the point in the second season of Top Chef where they eliminated Cliff for manhandling Marcel. You realized that everybody there was a generally petty and annoying person, none of them seemed all that talented, and you were just bored to tears with the whole thing.

This is my view on the "drama" put as succinctly as I can. Kenley completely brought this on herself. As my husband put it when she started saying that everybody always turns on her: the only common denominator in all your failures is yourself. Kenley really needs to take a step back and say "is there a reason people always do this to me?" because the reason is that she acts like a terrible person. I don't think she actually IS that terrible, but she's very self centered and has poor manners. She needs to take a look at herself and make some changes and maybe she'll be happier and have more friends.

That said, all three of the remaining designers had an opportunity to be the bigger person. I don't blame them or fault them for their behavior, especially Leanne who had to deal with Kenley so blatantly giving her the silent treatment (how quickly viewers are forgetting that). Kenley was not a nice person, and they gave up trying to be nice to her. Nobody can say they've never done that, and the amount of anger directed at the other three is very hypocritical.

HOWEVER, I have to say that Korto and Jerrell both were given a chance to show themselves to be a better person than Kenley. I can't say what I would have done in their situation, but I can say that they can't claim any kind of moral high ground after they refused to help her.

Also, Korto's anger in the room after the runway judging was uncalled for. She had absolutely no right to try to make Kenley feel guilty for picking her. They all chose Kenley to be eliminated, and she was trashed much worse than anything she said about Korto (at least, that's what we're shown). Kenley shouldn't have interrupted Jerrell, and she shouldn't have pretended that the judges didn't want him to elaborate on why he wouldn't take her. That's why they asked the question Kenley, they wanted the other designers to bash each other. Don't act like it was out of line.

Okay, now that the drama is over with, let's look at the boring dresses from a boring challenge!

I agree that the bodice of this dress desperately needs to go higher. This is the problem with garments with this type of "neckline:" they elongate the top of the woman's body and really made her chest look abnormally long. This is one of the reasons that I almost always dislike strapless dresses. But it is especially evident on this dress.

Otherwise, this isn't amazing, but it's not bad either. It looks more like something they would have made early in the season, but when you look back on previous seasons people are always universally disappointing at this part of the season. Remember the challenge that claimed Kara Janx? How boring and terrible were those dresses? This felt like a redo of that.

This is clearly the weakest of the dresses that went down the runway. I agree with the other designers that Kenley's set of tricks is rather limited. The silhouette is very similar to most of the other things she's sent down the runway. I don't really understand the scales/leaves at the bottom, I can't really get what she's going for and why they're there. But I also don't think this was some sort of hideous costume either.

Okay, the fabric here is doing some odd little crinkling things and that's not good. But I honestly don't understand why everybody hated this dress so much. The curves of lace along the back don't really do it any favors in this picture, and possibly not at all. While I might not think it's worthy of this level of the competition, and while I think the fabric certainly should have been smoother, I also think it was only the bottom because Jerrell's and Leanne's were just a shade better.

Okay, I'm really torn between liking this best because at least it's a little different or liking Jerrell's because this is a bit typical for Leanne. And really, it's partially that I absolutely love this color, and Leanne didn't end up with crinkled looking fabric. But in the end I think it was really six of one, half a dozen of the other between Leanne and Jerrell. I love the flow of the skirt, it's very beautiful. I really wish she could have incorporated the other fabric because that blue with the lavender looked very beautiful.

Leanne's is the only dress I would consider wearing, but that doesn't necessarily make it a winner. But really, how dull was this entire runway show? I expected so much more, but I should be used to this part of the season being boring and disappointing.

I wonder how much Tim didn't want to go to Kenley's house. That's bound to be at least a little amusing.