Posts tagged ‘Project Runway’

Uniform Disaster: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 4

What a bunch of totally crazy, often fugly looks walked down the runway this week! And how many of the designers were so caught up in their “design vision” that once again, they completely ignored the “givens” of the design challenge? I mean, what Jerrell put up there, however inventive and well constructed it may be, could in no way have been feasible, applicable or even desirable as a Olympic ceremony outfit.

My top three this week were Leanne, Joe and Terri. I thought Korto’s was ok, but the proportions of the vest to the pants looked odd and it didn’t seem as “sportif” as the outfits Leanne and Joe sent down the runway. And Terri’s design was, to me, a marked improvement over the much-heralded official Ralph Lauren uniform.

 

Ralph Lauren’s Beijing Olympic uniform

Ralph Lauren’s Beijing Olympic uniform

Image via Guest of a Guest

 

Terri’s Beijing Olympic uniform

Terri’s Beijing Olympic uniform

But while there were plenty of missteps this week, there’s no doubt it was time for Jennifer to leave. From the beginning she kept referencing “surrealism” in her designs and yet I found little trace of it in her Chanel/prep/WASPy looks. It reminds me of that line from “The Princess Bride” when, after Vizzini has exclaimed “Inconceivable!” after each of The Man in Black’s many escapes, Inigo Montoya says: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” That’s Jennifer and surrealism.

Here’s hoping I score more points this week!

10 August 2008 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

Deja Vu: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 3

Ok, maybe it’s because my PR team isn’t doing so well, but I have say, I’ve found PR to be a little blah so far this season. So far they’ve repeated two of the same challenges without producing nearly the same interest on the runway that the originals did. And if Austin Scarlett was back to be the judge for “grocery store” challenge, why wasn’t Jay McCarroll judging the photo inspiration challenge? Evidence of the not-so-happy relationship between McCarroll and PR?

Anyway, the most interesting thing about this episode for me was the runway, simply because you saw so few process shots and so little mention during the episode of Jerrell, Joe, Korto, etc. And then when you saw their designs on the runway, it was a revelation. I thought for sure Jerrell would be in top three with that gorgeous flamenco-inspired dress and although we so saw little of it, Kelli’s top look a-maze-ing. Not my taste, but interesting, innovative and clearly related to the challenge.

The judging overall was bewildering to me. As soon as I saw Kenley’s dress I remarked to my fellow PR-watcher “They’re either gonna love it or hate it for the late ’80s LaCroix reference.” It also reminds me a bit of the current, very structured looks from Balenciaga SS08.

 

LaCroix Dress

LaCroix Dress

 

 

 

Balenciaga S/S 08

Balenciaga S/S 08

And while I didn’t find Emily’s dress that interesting, I actually think it was more polished than Blayne’s slightly similar piece and more visually appealing than Daniel’s bronze & black asymmetrical look.

I don’t really know still who I would’ve sent home, I thought there were plenty of boring, not-so-great looks on the runway, but I am still surprised at the top three. Ok, Stella’s grommet jeans and “leathuh” vest appear to fit the model perfectly and she looks hot, but Stella needs to break out of her rocker chick groove…if all she wants to do is work with “leathuh” why is she on PR? 

And Terri’s design? It seemed ill proportioned and bottom heavy to me. I thought slimmer pants, a cigarette pant or something similar would have looked much better with that rather floopy dress. And although Michael Kors was impressed by the dress/pants combo; it’s a look the hipster chicks already took up and discarded three summers ago.

I’m very disappointed in the season so far…I hope episode 4 includes some drama and some decent fashion otherwise I’m going to be very grumpy.

5 August 2008 at 3:34 pm 2 comments

COM Disaster: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 2

 

I watched this episode live, with Deb and was interesting to hear her take on it in real time. First, she complained and I completely agree, that there wasn’t any discussion about what qualifies as a “green” fabric. Lots of model/clients chose silk or a silk-hemp blend (hello teams Ugly Brown Fabric!) but what about those particular fabrics qualifies as “green.” It’s never clarified and it give the impression that anything from a “natural” fiber source can be considered green, which is completely misleading. For example, the tulle that Suede used in his winning design, what was that made of? Inquiring minds want to know! Even if they couldn’t have fit that info into the episode, Bravo could have posted the details on the “Rate the Runway” section of the site.

 

 

Suede’s dress from "The Grass is Greener” episode

Suede’s dress from "The Grass is Greener” episode

 

 

It was also interesting to how the clients as buyer’s resulted in so many of the same mistakes. Not buying enough fabric (there was more than one ultra-mini on that runway!)  Not buying appropriate fabric. Not buying fabric appropriate to the constraints of the challenge (satin is difficult to work with, especially on very tight time frames). These are all issues that any designer or workroom who deals with COM has had to face.

While I didn’t particularly like Suede’s design, as it looked very mall girl 1987 to me, I did appreciate how he took the generic cream silk and transformed it into something else. Kenley’s solution to the cream silk was also well-conceived, with minimal seaming that might pucker or pull, and using the inherent stiffness of the fabric to create the oversize collar. I also thought Terri’s design was well-done, although the navy fabric did nothing to flatter the model and Jennifer’s relaxed, full-skirted dress was a welcome change from all the hoochie-mama looks on the runway. As for the rest, the least said the better, because this challenge resulted in some seriously ugly garments. (I’m talking about you too, Mr. Team Ugly Brown Fabric, with your tacky, Bob Mackie-wannabe peacock dress.)

 

Kenley’s dress from “The Grass is Always Greener” episo

Kenley’s dress from “The Grass is Always Greener” episo

 

 

Terri’s dress from “The Grass is Always Greener”

Terri’s dress from “The Grass is Always Greener”

 

 

 

 

Jennifer’s dress from “The Grass is Always Greener”

Jennifer’s dress from “The Grass is Always Greener”

 

 

Jerrell’s dress from “The Grass is Always Greener”

Jerrell’s dress from “The Grass is Always Greener”

Oh, my team scored a big, fat zero this episode, but at least I didn’t lose any points. On my team for this week: Stella, Leanne and Jerrell, not because I think they’re the best designers, but because I think they can score me some points!

29 July 2008 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

Understanding the Challenge: Project Runway #1

I know this is an interior design blog but honestly, neither Deb or I have ever been very impressed by any of the interior design challenge shows out there. But Project Runway (and Top Chef, too)? LOVE.

That said, the final Bravo season of PR started off rocky for me. For one, it seems like every season they cram more contestants on which makes keeping them straight at the beginning a chore. And two, is it just me, or do Heidi, Tim, etc. seem a little over it? Maybe it was just an off-day for them.

Anyway, I love the fact that the producers repeated the grocery store challenge (and how could Austin keep all that foundation in place on what I know was a rather steamy day in NYC?) But what I found particularly interesting about this challenge was, as noted in many other comments about this episode, the choice so many contestants made to use the obvious textile substitutes available, rather that recognizing the challenge for what it was. 

Like any design challenge it was about breaking out of your comfort zone, thinking on your feet, executing on a tight deadline, etc. But the core concept of the grocery store challenge is the use of unconventional, unexpected or unfamiliar materials. Vinyl tablecloths and shower curtains are just fugly “fabrics”, absolutely not unconventional or unexpected, just unattractive. How could soooo many of the designers have missed this key fact? And with the previous, acclaimed winner of the challenge giving them the perfect example before they even walk in the door of the store!

I think it comes back to the fact that, in the design process, it frequently happens that you get stuck on one idea, one approach, and you work that concept, often to the detriment of other, better ideas. And often, client requests and other important issues get pushed aside, forgotten or ignored. Stella’s day-long dithering is a great example of this. She obviously thought she was getting “contractor” garbage bags and instead ended up with those cheap-@#$ bags that rip as soon as you try to open them! But hours and hours of fretting, worrying, taking smoke breaks (they didn’t show that but you know she did) without stepping back and re-evaluating  her idea is what happens when you become too focused.

She and Jerry deserved to be in the bottom two and both because they stuck too firmly and too long with ideas that just weren’t working. And they both got in that situation by ignoring the main purpose of the challenge and choosing simplistic textile substitutes. BTW: I think it was either Leanne or Jennifer, but one of them actually said something like “I wanted to be different and use a tablecloth…” Whaaaa? I think it must of been Leanne, because she worked the whole candy angle after Tim called all the faux fabric folks “slackers”. So at least she listened.

Which is better than Jerry did. When Tim tells you to “really think about this” as he said to Jerry at his first pass through the workroom, it means absolutely the opposite of “carry on!” Adding yellow rubber gloves and constructing, badly, an ugly dress, is not the solution. I’m wondering if Jerry felt his dress was so bad that he instructed his model not to open the rain coat. Because you only really saw how sad it was when he was called to task by the judges.

It was difficult to tell during the broadcast which finished piece was worse (another problem with having so many designers at the beginning, the runway portion itself gets shortchanged) but if Stella is hoping to be this season’s Jeffrey, she better snap out it!

And, Deb and I are in a Project Runway league over at Fafarazzi. If you’re interested, pick three designers and join us! I’m going with Jerrell, Terri and Blayne for episode 2.

24 July 2008 at 9:22 am Leave a comment


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