Thursday, January 17, 2008

*insert "witty" guarde joke here*

On-Guarde, Off-Guarde. See, it's "Avant guarde" jokes! Haha. Really, we get it Bravo.

This challenge was actually FANTASTIC. Thank you, this is exactly what I want from this show! Please do more of this. And the prize was very good, so please, more of that too. I was actually struck by the fact that the description of taking the avant guarde idea and translating it to ready to wear echoed a lot of what I said talking about Kit's dress in episode one. Which turns out to be rather ironic...

So, we have another team challenge. I find it very interesting that the only people who led teams were ones who hadn't before. Chris certainly wasn't going to step up to that plate again, and Ricky probably couldn't have been paid to go through that again.

Jillian, who had probably one of the easiest times in the previous team challenge would have led again, but lost in a notion toss. What did they toss? It looked like a pack of needles. Anyway, I'm surprised that Victorya didn't think strategically and say she should lead because she was immune. I can't recall a single time they've eliminated a worker in a team challenge, it's always the leader.

On to the fashion! Each team did two outfits that were meant to be a matched set, so here goes:

I admit I was worried about this one. I loved it, but I don't really know much about avant guarde fashion at all. I thought that of the looks walking down the runway, it was the most over the top and conceptual, and the most like it was based on an idea or a word rather than a "look."

Also, I could not in a million years imagine making this dress. I think my brain would freeze about a third of the way through. Over 40 YARDS of fabric? Yikes!

I also think one of the great benefits here was the great synergy between the team members. While Christian had some of his standard diva behavior, it really seemed like Chris knew how to take that attitude and roll with it. Christian also seemed to really respect Chris' opinion and expertise. It was a great partnership, and that was refreshing to see!

Their ready to wear look was a great translation of first dress. I agree with the judges, the skirt is just there. And to be honest I'm not a fan of the shirt, but it works for the challenge. It is what it was supposed to be, even if it was a bit too puffy for my taste.

What was Victorya's contribution to this look? The outfit under the coat? Eh, I was underwhelmed. Okay, I admit it. I just really don't like Victorya, and I can't even completely explain why. Possibly because she hasn't made one garment this season I've actually liked that much. But as soon as I saw that coat walk down the runway I knew this wouldn't be the episode to take her out unless they really hated the ready to wear outfit.

That coat is a marvel. I can clearly see the inspiration from the hairdo (which wasn't as clear to me with Christan and Chris). I don't know that I like the tan pants underneath, just because they don't seem to match the plaid. But the plaid looked much darker on my television, and I liked it.

There's so much to love about this coat. But I think that the reason that Christian/Chris won was because they really were outside the norm. I could see a J-rock star wearing this coat, easily. It isn't something that would be worn every day by an "average" woman, but it's a look that would be wearable in certain situations outside the runway.

If you know the ready to wear outfit was constructed in about twenty minutes, you think it shows. But if you don't think about it (and you have a model brilliant enough to pose like this one to minimize the flaws of the garment) then it's a great. The little strap (which the model is covering in this picture) really wasn't great, and the dip of the dress was too low, in my opinion. But it echoes the original dress very well. It is cute, and fun, and I absolutely can't believe it was made in less than an hour. Actually, I watched Iron Costumer at Technicon last year, so I can believe it. But it's still impressive.

Hey, remember when I said that Rami reminded me of an old co-worker last week? Yeah, this week he acted EXACTLY like the other guy. Guess what Rami? Sweet P was right. When Tim Gunn agrees with Sweet P, you should LISTEN. Kthnx.

What did Rami think "avant guarde" meant? Apparently ribbons and folds and bows. He didn't have drama, he didn't have a WOW factor. There wasn't anything that made you go "How did they DO that?" The fabrics, if you ignore the pants, are beautiful. The corset is actually lovely. If you started to strip off some of the random ribbons, it is a nice dress.

But first: blank pants? Under a dress? Please, Rami, go visit Go Fug Yourself and learn a little about why pants under dresses is bad. It looks like she's trying on the dress in the store and just didn't feel like pulling off her pants because she hasn't shaved lately and doesn't want the sales girls to gossip about her hairy legs.

I also don't see what his "theme" or idea was, or how the hairstyle inspired it. I can, however, see how the first look inspired the second. Sweet P continues to surprise me, and I'm actually finding myself rooting for her. It's strange.

There's a little bit of an odd poof on the torso somewhere. But it's cute, it's a compliment to the first dress, and it's made well. Sweet P, despite Rami's constant micromanaging and his belittling of her opinion, managed to pull out something great.

And for the record, I think the bustle could have been a great idea. It would have at least been more interesting.

I hated that Kit was going to get eliminated, but as soon as I saw it was her versus Rami, I knew she would be out. And it's terrible, because I think she has a lot of talent. But it's not showing in this dress.

I love the corset, I love the sheer apron. But honestly, the fabric selection reminds me of my childhood. Like it's something I would get for a Strawberry Shortcake doll, or maybe Holly Hobby. It's not quite either of those, but I could easily see this skirt being on one of those cartoon heroines of the 80's.

Kit had a theme and an idea, which puts her one up from Rami, but I don't really see it in the dress. She said nesting because the hair was like a bird's nest, but she made a dress that took the idea of nesting from nesting dolls. Those two don't work together, even if they're the same word.

But it just doesn't fit the challenge. I hate to say it, I want to love it. I do, because I like Kit so much and I dislike Rami's dress that much. But it just...I can't see how it has anything to do with what they were asked to do. It doesn't make me think high fashion. It makes me think of little southern girls who think hoops skirts are fun (they are, until you try to sit in them...)

The ready to wear look, well it's made well. It's a cute dress, and I don't dislike it. But again, it's boring. I wouldn't mind it being a little longer, but I also don't see what it has to do with the first dress. It's not even made out of one of the fabrics from the first dress.

Honestly, these two looks were such complete missteps for the challenge that I understand why Kit was out. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

In the end, while I loved the challenge, the results weren't very surprising. So I wonder which I would rather have: to agree with the judges and have little to say, or to disagree and being so angry I could rant for days?