28 January 2008

Mute Monday: collections

a late entry, not quite as awesome as I had hoped, but still a good "collection."

27 January 2008

shoulder pads

from the fabulous opalescent blog,
photos from spring couture shows. these two are from Gaultier's spring 2008 collection. got that? Gaultier. spring. 2008. couture.

Please note the rather extreme shoulder pads on both of these outfits.

now, kindly scroll down a bit to see the dress that got our chris auf'd in episode 4 (yes, I know he's back, but I NEVER felt good about his aufing in the first place. Ricky's crap was far, far more egregiously bad).

It's hard to tell from this photo (and I couldn't find a good frontal shot), but the biggest criticism of this was - ta-da! - the shoulder pads. The challenge was to "reinterpret" a past trend (and if Gaultier is showing shoulder pads, how past is this trend anyway), and the judges felt Chris used shoulder pads in his garment in a bad way. Michael Kors, I believe, was the one who said it looked like the jacket was still on a hanger.
Setting aside the fabric choice, which I actually kind of liked, but which everyone else has likened to sofa fabric - the silhouette of this little jacketlette is (to my admittedly untutored eye) very like the silhouettes Monsieur Gaultier just shuttled down the runway.
Is it okay because he's Gaultier, and our chris is, well, NOT Gaultier? Is it the color - does black make everything okay?
Hmmmm. This is a Fashion Mystery! but mostly, it's just more proof, for me, that Chris's aufing was the wrong one. I mean - did you SEE that heinousness that Ricky's team sent down the runway? oy. Gaultier isn't showing anything like THAT in his spring collection, I'll tell you that much.

23 January 2008

501 Blues

I do not know what I think of tonight's Project Runway. I am relieved beyond words that the horrible VictorYa is gone. Her "coat" tonight was a joke - sewing fabric to a ready-made jacket does NOT constitute design, or creativity, or anything good.

Christian's denim motocross outfit was cool, but again - skinny jeans and snug ruffled jacket (honey, we've SEEN this before). I loved the bottoms of the jeans he made, though - using the sleeves was inspired, especially since the cuff had the button detail and opening that was hot and boot-y and cool.

Jillian: Ho hum. you made that coat last week, and it looked better then.

Rami: flawlessly sewn but I didn't go WOW. Rami's clothes are always impeccable, but that does not make them interesting.

Chris: Little blue dress. I actually liked it. But what do I know?

Sweet P: good cover, Ms. P. Brava to you for listening to Mr Gunn.

Ricky: holy crap, dude! You made something that wasn't ugly! well done, Ricky! Try to control those tears, though. possibly you need to see a doctor about that.

This challenge was fine, although I think I would have liked it a little earlier on. I feel like I haven't seen much that is BEAUTIFUL on this season, and a lot of that is a result of the challenges (make things with hershey products? old jeans?). Can you just send the designers to Mood and tell them to make a dress for Nicky Hilton or something?

One other complaint, and this is a serious one: ENOUGH with the running challenges. This is the second one this season where physical speed and running affects your materials selection. It's terribly unfair to Chris, who is clearly NOT a runner, and it's uncomfortable to watch him lagging behind. The producers wouldn't force a designer in a wheelchair, or with some sort of prosthetic leg, to participate in a speed race - STOP MAKING THE FAT DUDE RUN! it's just not cool.

I think maybe I'll just keep watching season two over and over again. at least Santino had a personality (a prickly one, yes) that made for good tv. These designers just sit around and sew. BORRRRRING!

17 January 2008


This week's Project Runway made me very, very happy: finally, at long last, my favorite Chris! had a chance to do his stuff in a very big way (45 yards' worth).

Team challenges are a bit tired, and are difficult to judge when the team works well - who contributed what? My only real complaint is that the team leaders in this challenge were the ones who "could" win or lose. Since they were two-person teams, why not have a winning team and a losing team? something? anything? that acknowledges the bipartite effort.

It is FABULOUS. I love the color, especially against model Marcia's skin tone and coloring. The amount of work that went into this meticulously constructed piece is staggering. 45 yards of organza is a LOT of fabric to measure, cut and sew - thank gods Christian is such a speedy sew-er (I hyphenate because otherwise he's a sewer, like where the alligators live in NYC).

The funny thing about this garment is that something about it seemed really, really familiar to me, and I couldn't figure out why - i'm not connoisseur of avant or couture. Then it came to me - a Tissot painting at the albright-knox (to the right, titled "the ball"). The resemblance between the avant gown and the dress of the woman in this painting is striking, and reminds me that sometimes to be avant one must also be a rebours.

Chris and Christian, who I have really come to adore, worked wonderfully together. Chris had the patience and lack of ego to deal with the Princess, who brings enough ego for all the designers and about 50 other people as well. But Chris's expertise in avant garde design was essential to this gown's success - for both designers, this was a game of mutually assured success (or destruction).

And that is why I wish the judges had spoken more to Chris's contribution. Without the "wing" which is what Chris worked on, this is just a gorgeous ruffly dress. That carnationlike bloom makes it over the top and avant. Both components are what makes this a winner. So I feel a bit badly that only Christian won - both boys deserved a prize. Ending up in the Tresemme ad is groovy, of course, but let's face it: only immunity can save your ass.

Unlike many commenters at Project RunGay, I did NOT see Chris's decision to let Christian be leader as a "safe" move, or a lack of courage on his part. Christian is such a busy force of nature, and has such forceful ideas, that I think he would almost naturally assert himself as leader. And he seemed EAGER to assume leadership. Chris didn't say "I think you should be leader," which would be, to me, the phrasing a "cowardly" person would use. He asked: "do you want to be leader?" (almost in the way a teacher or parent might ask which child wants to be group captain for the day). To me, I read this as Chris recognizing the Princess's enthusiasm and energy, and giving him free reign to run with it. But this was not Princess and her assistant - this was truly, fully a TEAM design.

Throwing the pret-a-porter at them last minute like that was cheesy and chintzy and cheap. Again, the quickness of Princess and Chris saved their metaphorical bacon - the construction of their garment was clearly a massive undertaking, but Chris's experience and expertise, plus Princess's fierce speedy skills enabled them to complete both pieces. Obviously, the avant gown was flawlessly constructed; the pret-a-porter not so much.

The top of this is pretty good at capturing the avant gown's feel - the ruffled placket, the color, the collar. I like it, actually, quite a bit (though it has an unmistakeable stamp of the Princess's past work). The skirt - meh. it's just a skirt. Criticisms saying it looks too secretarial or librarianish don't bother me, since "Librarian" is more or less my own personal aeshetic. There was nothing very wrong with this look, which made it workable as the ready to wear.

Kit lost, which sucks, because she is a far, far better designer than - ohmygod i'm weeping Ricky. He's a nice boy, but couldn't find his ass with both hands and a flashlight. But her dress was a costume, not an avant garde piece. I would have loved to have this dress when I was a little girl. I would have loved for my Barbies to have this dress. Alas, Barbie fashions does not avant-garde make, so au revoir to poor Kit. As Tim Gunn noted on his bravo blog, this gown looks like Marie Antoinette's "shepherdess" costume - not a good thing. I kind of like the pret-a-porter Kit and Ricky made - it was a simple, casual summer dress. The fact that it also looked like something I'd buy at Target or Marshall's makes it good for me personally, but bad for Fashion.

Finally, the two cold bitches of the show, Victorya and Jillian, neither of whom I like. I hate Victorya's aesthetic, and Jillian seems like a one-trick pony.
Being inspired by the mohawk of their model to go 80s punk is - well, it's OBVIOUS. and boring. Mohawk - punk. I think it would have been awesome to read that style as birdlike, the crest of an exotic bird, and to create a plumagey gown with feathers, or featherlike fabrics (Laura Bennet's amazing Woodstock dress keeps coming to mind - feathers and birds CAN be fashion). Creating a plaid-trimmed trenchcoat is - yeah, 80s punk. woo.
I happen to like plaidtrimmed 80s punk, so i thought this coat was to DIE FOR, but it didn't seem too terribly avant to me. And the riding pants? what was UP with the fit of those things? Ook. I hated the pants and blouse - it was like shoddy Ralph Lauren.
The ladies got seriously lucky with their pret-a-porter look, which was almost literally thrown together at the last minute. I thought it was boring and only a reflection of this look in its (minimal) use of the plaid trim and the base color black. it was a boring dress that did nothing for me. Those were two lucky judges' pets on the runway.

anyway, it was beyond obvious almost from the word GO that Princess Puffysleeves and Chris were going to win this one. and i am SO glad to see Chris in the winner's circle - I do adore him, and I never thought his design was auf-worthy when he was auf'd in the first place. He's a doll and I want him to succeed purely on the strength of his personality. I'd take Christian, too, for the win.

10 January 2008


well, Project Runway does it again - gag me with a spoooooon!

so: the Prom Challenge! Like Chris, who I adore, I did not attend my prom (junior, yes, senior: no!). I'm not so into Prom Fashion or 17 year old girls, but I think this was a reasonable challenge. Having the girls choose their designer was a nice touch, as was the relative diversity of body types.

This episode was all-Christian, all the time. I go back and forth on him - he needs to be smacked down a bit, but there's also something totally appealing about his unbelievable arrogance at such a young age. The kid is only four years older than the prom-goers, for god's sake! I did feel bad for him, because his model seemed not only opinionated but pushy - I could imagine her literally ripping the dress apart if she didn't like it. What she asked for was appalling bad taste, which didn't give Christian a lot of room to work. The final piece was seriously problematic in construction (wtf happened in the BACK?) but I felt for the guy.

Kevin's elimination was - sort of a surprise. We didn't see much of him or his dress during the show, except the Unfinished Deadly Hemline. I didn't have a problem with the dress, but i didn't really like it either.

Now for the real angst:
were the judges perhaps blinded by the electric blue of her dress? Her model looks TERRIBLE in this photo (stand up straight, for christ's sake!) but the slouchy dumpy-around the shoulders look is heightened by the top of the ugliest dress on the runway. That high waist is quintessential victorYa, who imagines the perfect girl as an ironing board - and that high waist and puffed skirt probably ONLY looks good on an actual ironing board. I hate the halter/collar thing - I thought it looked unfinished and shoddy on the dress form, and then when she pulled out her plastic pirate-treasure "gemstones" I was horrified. I thought: Jesus, this dress will LOSE big time.

and no. the judges LOVED it. How this dress is the winner is beyond me. Darling Tim Gunn, professor and genius, wrote in his bravo blog of this dress: "the jewel emblazoned panel on the front of the halter made the dress look more appropriate for a hostess at a vegas cocktail lounge than a teenager attending a suburban prom."

Speaking of which: the judges are profoundly out of touch with reality. As a person who works daily with college undergrads, sophisticated, red-carpet, plunging necklines are EXACTLY what these girls want (and are wearing) for their proms. They don't want high necks and ruffles and pinafores and ankle-length hems. These girls go for real, hard-core glam, which VictorYa's dress was NOT. And the judges criticised a number of the dresses for being too sophisticated - honeys, that is what your basic 17 year old girl WANTS. were they expecting pigtails and hershey kisses dresses for this prom-goers????

So: Sweet P's gown was freaking gorgeous. She made wise decisions, and I think the dress is glamorous without looking tarty or strange. The color was nice, the cut was nice, the fit was good. I think the girl could have done with a little more in the bosom department to really pull this off, but I could totally picture her (or any girl) wearing that dress to her prom and loving it. It had a nice sort of old-hollywood look to it that I appreciated. Myself, I would have found some killer vintage jewelry (diamonds! i mean cubic zirconia!), an awesome vintage handbag and some glam-as-hell shoes and rocked the shit out of this dress. It was fantastic, world's better (and honestly, more likely to appeal to the target audience) than Victorya's sack of ugliness.

The Crime of the Evening goes to the judges for dismissing Chris's exquisite,,gorgeous garment. Tim Gunn referred to it as "superb" on his blog, so I know I'm not just being biased in favor of my dear darling Chris. He absolute nailed it with the color of this dress - not every girl can wear this shade of green, but this one CAN, and it looked fun, youthful AND sophisticated all at once. The cut of this was incredibly flattering to the model (who has such a great pose in this photo!). I love the flowy bit in the front (and in the back - I wish I could find a back-view photograph). THIS is a prom dress: kicky, sassy (that shade of green) but totally sexy, sophisticated as hell (in cut/silhouette) and gorgeous on this girl's figure and with her complexion. I HOPE she gets to take this gown to her prom, and that everyone oozes with envy. Chris or Sweet P should have been the winner - this is just such a glorious, glorious gown. I could picture either Chris's or Sweet P's dress on a red carpet - and that's the kind of dress girls want for their prom. NOT some heinous bunched sack with pseudo jewels glued on.

The photos below are not laid out well, and blogger won't let me make it pretty, but I wanted to see all three dresses near each other. I think when you look at all three next to each other, you can see how heinous VictorYa's is. Her dress is just unflattering, unattractive and tacky. And maybe would appeal to a young teenager, but by 17 or 18 - these girls want sexy and glamorous, not eye-searing blue and fake jewels.