Friday, July 25, 2008

Not an actual green dress among them

Sorry about not getting this up yesterday, I meant to do it but then birthday festivities took over the whole afternoon ; )

First and foremost I'd like to express how much I hate the term "green." For one thing, if I was going to pick an "earth friendly" color it would be blue or brown. For the other thing, you're talking about fashion. In fashion, could we please reserve the word "green" to mean actually green? Please, use something else, it just ends up sounding so silly to be walking around saying "This challenge, we're going green!" and "This time you had to make green cocktail dresses!" and then have the models walk down with not a green dress among them.

Also: I think a fabulous challenge would be restricting all the designers to the exact same fabric. Because seeing the way that different people took the same fabrics was actually the most fascinating part of this challenge.

On to the actual garments, which underwhelmed me completely. Why exactly did the models end up with so little fabric, or are the designers so bad at using what they have? Or do "green" fabrics cost $30 a yard? I guess that's possible at a nice fabric store like Mood, but really last time I spent $75 on a dress it was floor length. Heck, the last one I made was floor length and fully lined, and it maybe topped $120.

I completely expected to hate Blayne's next creation, after I hated his "girlicious" one so much. But actually, I think this is a fun little outfit. I'm not sure what type of girl would wear it, but his model looks very nice. It might not be for cocktails with people you're trying to impress to get a promotion, but it would be good for cocktails with your friends. I'm still floored that this was Blayne's.

I like this dress, it's pretty simple and cute. Any women's fashion that includes pockets gets a bonus point from me. But there's just something about it that makes me think of Cloe's 23th look from season two. Sure, this is black and that one was gold, but for some reason that's just all that comes to mind.

I'm so bored already this season, this dress has so little I can really say about it. They make this big dramatic thing about if he'll finish or not and of course he does and there it is. It's a black dress. It's a cut, unremarkable black dress. A thrill a minute, these people are. He goes from a dress made of plastic cups to this? Oh well.

This is the dress that most makes me think "where was all the fabric?" It honestly looks more like a bathing suit cover-up than a dress. It's really cute, and I like it a lot from the front (I seem to recall not liking the back though) but if it just had a little more length on the skirt it would be nice.

I am glad she actually used different fabrics. I think a lot of the reason that designers made such short dresses and complained about lack of fabric was how almost all of them seemed terrified of the idea of using two colors. Live it up! Geeze.

This looks like something a costumer would put together in a couple hours to wear to a dance at a convention. I'm sorry, I like Jennifer a lot, she seems really nice, and really my type of person. But this dress has absolutely nothing going for it. Why are the gray parts so completely different? Why does the top fit so poorly? Why are those colors paired in that way? I think they could have gone together if there was less gray and it was more prominent. But that's just my hunch.

But if there weren't such obvious mistakes from other designers, I could see this being in the bottom for being so little effort or real "design."

This outfit looks like it should be worn by a higher class hooker. As if the outfit wasn't bad enough, the top doesn't fit, and the makeup is terrible. I don't blame L'oreal for that either.

Is this the same model who was wearing the horribly styled raincoat last week? Because I feel so sorry for her. Why in the world can't she have somebody who knows how to put together a good look?

Ugh. And that blue fabric seems really gorgeous too, it would have probably been a lot of fun to work with. Or was it the mysterious "jersey" everybody hated so much? Because I think they must have forgotten to watch the show for the last four seasons, when multiple designers have made really amazing looks out of jersey, over and over again. It's praises have been sung probably once a season. It could be completely fashionable to make a cocktail dress out of jersey, you just have to be willing to try it. This is why this crop of designers is not making me happy, they don't seem to be all weird ideas and risk like some of the others in the past.

Though I guess you could call dressing your girl like she's about to hit the street corners to get you some extra cash is a risk...

Joe had the same brown fabric as the two people on the bottom and he didn't end up even getting called onto the runway. I think that says something that Wesley should have heard loud and clear: it's not the fabric, it's the designer.

Don't get me wrong, fabric can make or break your outfit a hundred times over. But you can still get it together, and you should be able to when you're competing on Project Runway.

This brown has it's issues, and I think this dress wouldn't really look good in most situations because it's all wrinkles and puckers on all three things made from it. But Joe seemed to understand that, and he made something simple, sleek, and well-tailored to make up for it.

And he didn't win, sure. But he wasn't out either.

This dress looks cute and fun in this picture. This dress moved on the runway like it belonged in a circus. I know that it's my own personal issue against those kinds of skirts but I just can't take it. Standing still, it's great. But the way it moved...yuck.

What is this? Seriously, it's not a cocktail dress. The skirt is so stretched in such an odd way...

I realize it's one of only a handful of outfits to really utilize having more than one color of fabric. But I just can't stand it. The colors look good together, but the top is just too much and it seems badly sewn. Which is dissapointing, coming from Kelli. Did she run out of fabric? What happened on the left side that made it so uneven and strange?

And for something so dull, why do I dislike it so?

This dress is fabulous. I don't really usually like things with a big collar like that, but for some reason it works here. Maybe it's the model, maybe it's the color, but it's fun. I can't imagine actually trying to wear it to an event, how would you eat? I guess you wouldn't because getting a stain out of that would be a disaster and you wouldn't want to risk it. But even sipping cocktails in a collar like that probably has it's own challenges.

But with just the subtle belt to break up the dress, and the collar being the only real draw to it, I think the reason this dress works so well is that it's fitted and sewn perfectly. Kenley certain didn't lament her fabric, she took it and made it into what it really wanted to be. She made something so elegant and classic I almost expected Laura from season three to pop out of the woodwork to applaud.

One question: why? Maybe the outside darts could work, though I can't really imagine them ever looking like anything besides inside-out. Maybe that super small top part could work if the look was meant to be slimming overall, but instead with the point being to accentuate her curves, it makes her look more bottom heavy than she deserves.

But then the wings hit you. They make no sense, I can't even fathom what in the world could have been going through her head as she put them on. Why? How could anybody in their right mind sew those things onto the dress and think it's a good idea?

And the worst part, the back of the dress was completely off-putting. It wasn't symmetrical, though it seemed like it was trying to be. It looked like it was badly done. When you look at the front, you have misgivings but think "it's not too bad" but if you see the back...then you chuck your good faith out the window and say, "Wow, this is just wrong."

Also, at this point in the competition, Korto really shouldn't be so emotional. She's going to get labeled like Andrae. I realize she didn't actually break down for 45 minutes on the runway, but it just made me feel like a horrible person as I watched her start crying.

But as horrible as I feel, I can't change how much I dislike the dress, and neither can the judges.

This outfit is...special. Honestly, I love Leanne, she's exactly my type of person. She seems to be a little shy, but to also really think as she speaks. I like her quite a bit.

But she committed one of the cardinal sins of Project Runway, and I think it's definitely in the drinking game (if there isn't a PR drinking game, then why are you slacking internet? Make one!): she said, "Tim Gunn said XX but I'm not going to listen."

*bangs head on desk* When are they going to learn? WHEN?

Anyway, the thing to remember, and the thing that saved her despite the massive amount of stuff that got thrown on this dress, is that while she made a lot of stuff out of that brown fabric, she made it WELL. It's a terrible fabric to try to make an entire garment out of, but she did as good a job as she could, I think.

I felt really bad when Heidi asked her model how she liked it, because you could tell the model didn't want to hurt Leanne's feelings, but also wanted to be honest. At least Leanne didn't get upset and start spouting off about being thrown under a bus (who started that phrase, and can we go back in time and actually throw them under a bus?) I think Leanne might be too classy for that.

I am 90% baffled as to what the judges loved here. For one thing, this is absolutely the wrong fabric to be making this kind of dress out of. It looks like crushed velvet to me, and who knows, it might be.

But really, in the end, it looks like something Julia Roberts would have worn in the pre-shopping-montage moments of Pretty Woman. You can do the asymetrical one sleeve thing, but this just looks wrong here.

I'm not saying it deserved to be on the bottom, it didn't. But it certainly didn't deserve top three. Not with some of the other looks that came down the runway.

When I saw this dress on the form, half-finished, I made a couple noises that roughly translated to "Oh my goodness, there is a mess of weirdness over there and it's going to be nuts." But it completely surprised me, and I'm glad it won. While I think Kenley's dress was very impressive too, this one was flirty and fun and original.

I like that Blayne didn't sit around whining that he had the wrong fabric and he hated the fabric and blah blah blah. He just said, "This is neat. Everybody else has it too, but here, let's do something else..."

He's one of the only people that really tried to make something great out of what he had, rather than just making something. I personally would like it more pink showed through, and I'm not a huge fan of the tulle because I generally think tulle is a bad idea if you're over the age of five. But it's still much more inventive and fun than anything else people did.

This is the dress I think should have been in the top three instead of Stella. One of the girl's at work said she would buy it and happily wear it. It's not revolutionary, it's not really amazing. But it's very wearable, it's very nice, and it's something that I could absolutely see being on the rack tomorrow at the store.

And somehow Terri managed to actually have a dress of a decent length instead of a micro-mini. Maybe her model just has a little more sense.

First, Wesley can't dress himself, so I'm not sure what we expected. Did you SEE the outfit he was wearing on the runway? It hurts my brain.

Second, apparently Wesley has no color sense. He stood there with some nice green and this brown and said they didn't work together at all, and just chucked the green out the window. I looked over at my husband, who actually has to think about colors that go well together for a living, and we both were completely baffled. Everybody I've talked to has agreed that he should have made the dress with the green as a focus and brown as an accent, so that that fabric wouldn't have done him in like it did.

Third, he came off as such a whiner. Nothing was his fault, nothing was his problem. He basically was like Stella last week. I should establish a Whiner of the Week award. Goodness gracious, what do these people expect? They're on Project Runway!

Lastly, this dress is such a mess. He said it himself, he was completely aware that this fabric was absolutely unforgiving. And yet he did it anyway and he messed it up so terribly. I admit, I couldn't have done anything with this brown. But I also admit that I'm not a fashion designer, I'm a "sometimes it's fun to make costumes" type. The design isn't even one that would look good with that type of fabric if it was impeccably done.

Actually, quite frankly, this fabric is just a bad choice for a dress. One of the main reasons that Joe's wasn't too bad was that he made something that wasn't so heavy with it. But it's a heavy, dark, difficult thing. It's meant to be an accent, or a skirt, or a top, not an entire outfit.

There are a few things about fabric shopping that are always good to remember:
1. Get the best fabric you can afford. Sure, there's usually some $3/yard stuff but your finished garment will look like $3/yard. Maybe you can't get the luxury stuff, and for some projects and budgets cheap is the only way to go. But it's the best advice I've ever gotten about sewing: buy the best fabric you can afford.

2. While you should buy as much fabric as you can afford, and if you're working from a pattern go with their recommendations, cut conservatively. Use every inch that you can. Depending on the width of the stuff on the bolt, you can get a nice dress with very little yardage. But for some reason the Project Runway crowd always seems to be so wasteful with their fabric. Maybe that's just how it looks from this side of the editing. But really, my mom always used to buy a yard or two less than the pattern called for because she could cut the pieces so much better than their diagrams. Thankfully, pattern makers have made better diagrams.

3. Remember money for notions, but that shouldn't be the bulk of your budget. It's easier to get buy without a zipper than it is to get buy with two yards less fabric.

Maybe next week, somebody will do something really wacky. Though I have to say, hearing Tim Gunn say that he wants to jump in front of a cab after he slits his wrists made my husband and I burst out laughing.