Monday, December 29, 2008

New Shoes for Me!

Every year I get myself a Christmas present, sometimes even a pricey one. This year, I decided to buy a practice tutu. I planned to buy one online for about 40 bucks, but a local store had one for just 16. I thought, I can be frugal and I am amazing.

Then I went shopping with my sister. I was being so good, browsing things without the buy-it impulse. This lasted until we got to the shoe department at Younkers. My heart went out to these Sofft brand red shoes, which were on sale. I tried to walk away, and literally couldn't. I picked up one shoe from the display, and held it while I walked around the department trying to find something similar for cheaper, in a feeble attempt to displace the attraction, or to get rid of that gut feeling entirely. It was no use. Resistance is futile. I had to try them on, or, as I told my sister incoherently, I would cry as we left the store and possibly all the way home. Later, she expressed that they reminded her of the red shoes. Ballerinas, you know which ones I mean. I could not leave the store without these shoes, especially since they are comfortable, with a lightly padded interior, a character shoeish heel, and a rubber sole that includes black and red flowers. They will go with skirts and jeans, and I can wear them with light socks, nylons, or bare feet.

Red. Leather. T-Straps.

I bought them, and lo, they are awesome.

Happy Christmas to me! (Eventually, you will receive a family Christmas update, when I have picked my favorite moments.)

Monday, December 22, 2008


Note to self: When in receipt of an ice storm, then below zero temperatures, do not park so close to the house, because when the sun heats up the ice on the roof, it will melt onto your car, on the shady side, and freeze there, necessitating well nigh an hour of scraping and head-scratching as to how to get the ice off the sideview mirror. There will be no helpful layer of water under said ice, due to the wind chill, so you will not be able simply to pry up whole sheets of the ice--no, it will truly be stuck on there as if superglued, and you will have to, in fact, make little channels with the corner of your ice scraper, and then attack from said trenches. You will, in fact, chisel off enough that you can see, but also give up getting it all off the driver's side windows for the time being, because you value having circulation in your fingers. You'll attack it again early tomorrow, when it is, perhaps, slightly warmer and less below-zero-y.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today's Er...What? Moment

It's been a busy day, and since now the office building is blissfully quiet and I have no other pressing concerns just this minute, I am enjoying one of my favorite activities, which is looking up trivia on imdb.
What connection, you might ask, does My Fair Lady have with Sherlock Holmes? Freddy Eynsford-Hill of 1964 is played by the very same man as Sherlock Holmes in the 80s and 90s versions that sometimes pop up on PBS (like tonight).
I'm pretty good at this game, but I don't think I'd EVER come up with that. His singing was dubbed, but even so. Gracious.

And while we're at it, yesterday's moment came at Home Depot, when I was wandering around and around thinking about a project. I came across a worker who looked exactly like Simon Pegg, sans facial hair (like in Hot Fuzz). When he asked if I had any questions, I told him I was tempted to make him help me because he looked so much like Simon Pegg. He looked at me blankly, claiming he didn't even know who that was and no one had ever said that to him before, but when I brought up Shaun of the Dead and asked him to confirm that he looked like Shaun, he said he could see it.
Seriously, people...EXACTLY like Simon Pegg. And no one had ever told him. Possibly because they were afraid everyone else had told him, which is why I initially hesitated.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Birfday Shout-Out

Happy Birthday to My Sister!

Five random things I love about my sister (because obviously she is smart, beautiful, and loving):
1. She is a Lady, and her manners are impeccable even when she is with her family, except when...
2. We get the random uncontrollable giggles, especially where swordfighting tiki umbrellas are concerned.
3. She has the ability to envision a project and execute it just as she envisioned it.
4. When she was a teenager, she stood up to the bully of our bus when he was following us home from the busstop and making crude remarks.
5. She has beautiful taste in textiles.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Nostalgia, Part One: Emmy Keeps a Promise

At least once a year I read through my favorite childhood book, Emmy Keeps a Promise, by Madye Lee Chastain, usually around Christmas because that's when the climax of the story takes place.

The book is set in the last four and a half months of 1850, and I know that because early in the story Emmy Thatcher (aged 11) and her sister Arabel (aged 19) go to see Jenny Lind's first American concert, which took place in September of that year. I don't think I knew it as a girl, but with all the talk of bandboxes, valises, poplin, satinet, and doing odd jobs for a few cents a week, I certainly knew we were talking about the 1800s. As the story opens, Arabel and Emmy are leaving their Aunt Hannah and Uncle Ben, and are off to New York; Arabel has a teaching job at a girls' school, and Emmy is going with her, because they've never been separated. Aunt Hannah asks Emmy to keep an eye out and see if she can find a nice man for Arabel, but Arabel is determined to be a success and pay back her Aunt and Uncle for all their support. In New York, the girls work hard, but also spend time with their new friends the Spenlows, who are wealthy and who include Emmy's best friend Lissa and her dashing cousin, Captain Andy (both of whom live with their Grandfather). The Misses Thatcher live in an attic room let by the Piddlebys, whose patriarch is in the clam business. All is going smoothly until Christmastime, when Arabel becomes deathly ill, and they are taken in by the kind Spenlows. I'm sure you can guess how the romance turns out.
I am not sure I could describe why this book touches me so. On the one hand, there is the marvelous scene staging, and I love the occasional references to fashion, the adventure of discovering 1850s New York, and the fun of the events described. But there is also a combination of simplicity and independence in the book that I love. While I was looking for the picture, I came across a few other pages about the book, and others have been just as obsessed as I am with it. It is, as one page pointed out, a romance, but its point of view from Emmy's perspective and the well mannered delivery of the story never fail to warm me, even while other romances fail. Every time I read it, I cry with Emmy's desperation to get help for Arabel, and at the book's happy conclusion. It always gets me in the mood for the Christmas spirit. It is a book that I can give myself wholly to as I read.
The copy I have is the copy I checked out over and over again from my elementary school library. The card is absent, but there's a sequence of dates on the date due slip from 87-89 that are probably all mine. That's how much I loved this book, and how pleased I was that they gave it to my Mom when they were getting rid of some things. I'm sorry that other little girls won't get to experience it...but not that sorry.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Who Cares?

I have so much on my mind today, and am really struggling with some final grade decisions. I don't even know why I'm blogging except that I have a few bites of my Jimmy Johns sandwich left and didn't want to get mayo on any essays. On the keyboard is fine, though.
I don't know why these grades are so hard. They shouldn't be. But I'm tired, and making compromises and really need to remind myself that this is not the be all and end all. Sometimes I get very worked up over very little, or what should be very little, and have trouble remembering that I'm not going to get fired, this is just pre-portfolio assessment, my students are all generally very good and in good shape, and overdramatizing things is only going to give me an ulcer.
Obviously, I need a bubble bath and some Lambic. Stat.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

3 Quick Blips

My new favorite ridiculous snack is Orville Redenbacher buttery salt and cracked pepper popcorn. It comes in individual sized bags, and it is stupefyingly delicious. Of course, you can grind some pepper into a freshly nuked bag of regular popcorn (which I did as a test), and probably over regularly popped popcorn also, but I like the small bag thing, because I am inclined to eat rather more popcorn than I should. Today, I am going to be that annoying person who microwaves popcorn in the office building and then doesn't share.

I have been getting a whole slamming of catalogs I've never gotten before lately, and am not sure what's prompting this; the holidays aside, someone is sharing my name, obviously, but some of the catalogs are pretty intriguing. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what they are because I might be ordering some things from them for people that read this blog.

There is a new Librarian movie coming out on December 7. You can bet that my bottom will be parked in front of the telly on that date. The second one wasn't that great, but I find the trilogy's premise entertaining, this one is directed by Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker), and it's going to involve vampires. I expect I shall probably eat some popcorn and look at some catalogs while I watch.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things at which I am bad but love doing anyway

(A tipsy comment about bowling is now a blog post, thanks to a suggestion from Carrie.)
Normally, I hate doing things at which I'm bad, or suspect I might be bad. But some things are just delightful no matter what, and here are four of them:

1. Bowling. I think I might have broken 100 once in my life, and that was surely an anomaly. On Saturday night, I got two strikes, but probably about eight gutters. I can usually get pins down now, unlike in my youth during which, when my youth group went bowling, I was the She-Ra of bowling only because I was so terrible (we were being ironic...get it?), but I'm no great shakes. Yet I love it and will continue to love it, especially if it means I can hear "I Kissed a Girl" and "Crank 'dat" for the first time, mixed in with "Ice, Ice, Baby."

2. Ice Skating. To be fair, I am not as bad as some people. I can usually stay up on my ice skates, can skate forward fairly steadily, and a tiny bit backward. When you grow up on a lake and it is the fashionable thing to have skating lessons, you will tend to pick up a little, but beyond that I can't do much. It is my dream to learn how to skate backward with the panache of a hockey player, or at least to learn proper backward crossovers.

3. Crocheting. I don't crochet much these days, but I go through stretches when that is all I want to do. The only problem is, I usually end up ripping out whatever I've done, because I forget to count, or can't see a stitch. Good times.

4. Painting. Like, art painting (I can paint a fascia board like I was born doing it). Yes, I'm terrible at putting paint to paper, and making something pretty, but the activity is so soothing to my mental state that I sometimes wish I had a little studio set up just for painting. Two apartments is probably enough, though.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Is it Tuesday?

Well, I just did my interview for my current job.
Yes, you heard me right. My contract is ending, and the director decided we'd all go through rehiring rather than renewing, in case we can get raises.
I did okay, I think, especially on the later questions. I screwed up the first question because it was about pedagogical/composition theory reading and faculty development. To be frank, I'm not doing any reading besides reviewing textbooks. I'm too busy reading Amelia Peabody mysteries and the faculty discussion list emails (which brought me as close to incensed last week as I've ever been about them).
Anyway, my interview was at 9:30 am on Tuesday.
On Monday, I woke up at 9:20.
You can imagine how I'm feeling just now.
I was going to take a nap, but I think I might press on (figuratively and literally, because I fancy me some French press-made coffee) and get some work done before then. We'll see how long I last. I have some essays to finish and two syllabi to write.

I would like to finish a dress tonight...I was finished with it, I thought, but something weird was going on in the back, and so I'm redoing the back, possibly several times, until I can get it to work. I had to make an 8 because that was the pattern, and the fit is weird in a few spots. Plus the zipper, which I had sewn in beautifully, is also interfering with the fit for some reason. I anticipate at least three hours trying to fix whatever is causing the problem. The rest of the dress is completely done and ready to go, because of course I couldn't tell the fit was going to be odd until it was finished. Fingers crossed that I can fix it without ruining it, because I've been meaning to make this dress (in black peachskin with small reddish and orangish flowers) forever.

While we're on the subject: Friends, I have a pattern that I particularly like, one that I've made two dresses with, one with gold and brown brocade/satin (for special occasions), and one with a print and satin sleeves. I really like the dresses and have been tempted to make another. Would that be weird? How many dresses in the same pattern is too many?

Veterans, I celebrate you, for giving me the opportunity to wonder about such unimportant things.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

In case you were wondering...

...yes, yes I can fit into Girl's size 14-16 pajamas, purchased at Target last night.

I ended up with two sets: one a satiny set with the Cloud Nine pattern, and one that is pink, with kittens and the days of the week on them. Did I need two sets of jammies? No. But my resistance where pajamas (and shoes, which I also bought) is practically nil.
I am torn between embarassment and amusement about the whole pajama-buying incident.

This was clearly evident when I skulked through the girls' department, grabbed the jammies, and then walked as quickly as possible to the ladies' fitting room to try them on. I guess I'm proud that I can fit into the same size I could wear as a teen, and I am tempted to look at my old pediatrician cards to see when I reached the height and weight closest to my size now. There's also a certain amount of pressure to maintain this size, since I've done it up until now.

True, the jammies were just a touch short, but not really appreciably, and the top was actually just right. I don't expect looking in the girls' department will be a habit, but considering the size small and even XS in the misses' wear at Target is too big for me, and I have to shop in juniors most of the time, I may have a new strategy for when I want something and can't find it in ladieswear.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

More rejected Facebook statuses

Abigail seems to have poured too much creativity into her classes and can't come up with an original post.
Abigail spent a very busy weekend grading papers and has been a slug since they were finished.
Abigail has been nursing headaches that make her teary-eyed.
Abigail found out today that she is willing to drive to Rossford, try on Girls' XL jammies, and buy them if they even remotely fit, so that she can replace her old Nick & Nora Cloud Nine jammies that basically fell apart from overwear.
Abigail's birthday is coming up. What will she be getting herself besides the aforementioned jammies?
Abigail is wondering if she will finally get up the whatever to find a new place to live next year. One that has good parking, wood floors, and no neighbors on the other side of the walls or ceiling.
Abigail has been trying to make a dress, but thanks to the aforementioned sluggishness, she has not made much headway.
Abigail, for once, did not freak out when she saw a house centipede, but as it was small and on the other side of the house, she does not think that's worth much applause.
Abigail did, however, write a charming searching for causes essay about house centipede phobia, during her classes, in like manner to a performing ape, while her students in turn worked on their essays. See prior note re: creative energy.
Abigail is changing the closet tonight, 70 degrees today or no. She is relieved at last to have clean clothes.
Abigail forgot to take the pork chops out of the freezer.
Abigail was wondering how hilarious Pushing Daisies would be tonight, then realized it isn't on. This is evidently a prime time to go to Target and purch some jammies.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Abigail, if she gave in to her Facebook status whims.

Abigail has a new favorite driving-radio song, entitled "North by North," by the Faded Paper Figures. She only heard part of it, but she got all calm and wanted to sing along.
Abigail was not pleased that the first morning she has to sleep in for a week began with the neighboring house's company using saws.
Abigail is wondering if she can avoid electrocuting herself while listening to the 11 pm hockey game while she takes a bath.
Abigail truly enjoys watching Falcon Brandon Svendsen play keep away with his puck handling skills, especially during penalty kills.
Abigail thinks she is developing a widow's this even possible?
Abigail is freaking delighted that her new office computer is actually (sort of--it seems to have trouble with song openings) playing her birthday CD from last year, because she almost broke her old computer's CD player with it when it refused to recognize the CD. "Is There a Ghost," "Harvest Moon," "Bitches in Tokyo," and "These Friends of Mine," you will be the first to arrive on my Shuffle. Get ready to be put on repeat, if I can get you to transfer.
Abigail has not seen the house centipede for a day, but is positive it will reappear tonight while she is relaxing in the bath and listening to the game, thus at her most vulnerable and least attentive.
Abigail has just wreaked havoc with her "Scared Straight: Anti-Plagiarism" program on an unsuspecting student.
Abigail is sizing up the revisions pile, which she forgot about, having only ten or so rough drafts yet to read, and is now brutally annoyed and considering whether the revisions ought to have a tragic accident involving her fourth-floor window and heavy rain.
Abigail spoke too soon about the CD, she reckons, but at least the player will let go of the CD. It seems more than willing to play "I Feel It All," interestingly enough.
Abigail is not looking forward to doing her job application this weekend. Duh.
Abigail wants to play with kittens.
Abigail feels like she really wants to buy something, perhaps one of those cute coats with the a-line-shaped bottoms (and if so, what color?), or maybe a shower radio.
Abigail needs to develop some pictures and write to her granny.
Abigail feels very annoyed indeed by some of the faculty discussion list commentaries.
Abigail resents the idea that a "university of this caliber" doesn't need "remedial classes" like ENG 110, particularly when many of the messages on the faculty discussion list are incomprehensible, or at the very least contain poor grammar and spelling.
Abigail also resents people who complain about clutter on the discussion list in a direct personal criticism, while simultaneously contributing to the clutter with said pointless attack, which was also wildly inaccurate.
Abigail has been storing a lot of animosity and irritation (read: is freaking out), which is why she feels the need to buy something.
Abigail wonders when she and Steve are going to find the time to shop for birthday outfits.
Abigail hearts Jensen Ackles, and about laughed her bottom off the couch while he did "Eye of the Tiger" last night. So when the show itself ends, people who DVR such things, don't stop watching. She also wonders if we are going to get a show by Jared Padalecki at any point.
Abigail is in the mood for a truly horrific Ghosthunters episode, something that gives her shivers and makes her scared to turn out the lights.
Abigail wonders if Grudge 2 is worth a look. Your thoughts?
Abigail mildly regrets getting back into the habit of playing Nabsicoworld MahJongg, and apologizes to her sister for potentially getting her hooked also.
Abigail has found this a super time for putting off work, but she expects she really ought to prepare for her next conference, and research some recipes for a project for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh, Indy...Again

So, I bought Kingdom of the Crystal Skull because, obviously, I want a complete collection, I have in the not-too-distant past been obsessed with Indy, and there are parts that I really liked. But as I was sort of watching it while doing some other things last night (like make pumpkin bread!), I realized that it is actually a movie that might improve with repeat viewings. I really enjoyed re-watching it, and some of the things that bothered me the first time did not bother me in the second round.
Plus that graveyard scene is pretty awesome. Scorpions.

Monday, October 20, 2008

PR Final Report

Dear You,
You have been very patient, for which I thank you.

I finally (!) got a chance to watch the PR finale last night, because I had the sense to look at the tv schedule and find out when I could record it, so I could watch it at my convenience.
In actual fact, I don't have very much to say that is different than my picture-based preview, except that it was good to watch the garments move in sequence. I liked looks in every collection, for instance:
From Kenley's, I liked the black dress with the high feathery collar, the floofy-collared green top (strangely, I can actually picture myself wearing that), and the cream dress with the painted flowers, because even though it was old fashioned, it's the old fashioned that I like. I did not care for a few of her Joan Crawford-esque looks. I feel like I have an advantage over the judges, actually, because they could only see her alleged derivatives, whereas I could see the collection from her perspective--and I still thought it was a third-place finisher.
From Leanne's, I liked both of her tan skirts, the white structured jacket, the aqua skirt (same material as her bridesmaid dress) with the white top (or was it a dress? I'm not sure), and the long gown in blue. I know people have picked on both her color scheme and their concern that she is overly into her architectural thing, but I think her inspiration was clear here, and I thought her garments were very sleek and interesting. She has a way of making fabric look like frozen cream or candy, but still making it move well. I really respond to that.
From Korto's, I liked her new tan dress with the puff sleeves--I actually thought that was one of the strongest pieces. I also liked the white silk pants suit, the short green dress, and the long green dress. I liked Korto's collection as a whole, and I respect what she does for the female curves. However, I also felt like a few of the pieces were a little less relatable--I hesitate to say "too ethnic" because that's not quite what I mean. But some of them felt like real African dresses rather than reinterpretations of that style. The outfits I liked felt like reinventions.
I'm not sorry Leanne won, but I would have been equally satisfied to see Korto win, and that's pretty cool. I actually liked that Tim Gunn was the judge; I know that there might be suspicions of conflict of interest, but aside from it being a nice challenge for him, I think it makes sense to have his input in the most important show of all.

I do wish these designers would practice their runway speeches--they always sound like someone just found them off the street and said, "hey, want to present a collection today?" Why? You know about this for months. Tell me a story, or give me some heart. I know when you're tired it's hard to come up with stuff, but I feel about this the way I feel about athletes giving interviews and using one dead sentence after another. I need more life than that.

So, there's one more hour opened up for me in my TV life. I think I will not watch Top Chef regularly on this go round, merely catching up with it in weeks I don't have a lot to do. This week, I'm grateful for the extra hour, because this kid is busier than ever.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Back in Action

It's okay, everyone, Kevin the Time Warner guy came over and fixed my cable yesterday, long before Supernatural (Dracula on a moped? Yes.). The problem? Well, evidently a "Road Runner only" filter was put on my line. It was marked with my apartment number, but clearly, since I do not in fact have their internet or phone service, this was a mistake.
As you can imagine, I will be catching up on Ghosthunters and Project Runway as soon as possible. I do know who won Project Runway, but I am anxious to see the process and hear the deliberations.
Kevin also said that the big kahunas are not telling them exactly why we do not have Fox right now, but what he has heard is that the networks are asking for money from the cable companies (evidently NBC did this with Buckeye recently), even though network TV channels are in fact free with an antenna, at least for a while. This is all very confusing and relevant to me only because I can't watch House or Fringe.
Anyway, thanks Kevin. And do take my advice on attending a college hockey game. It will change your mind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Little Vicarious Nostalgia

OK, go with me on this...
When I was at MSU, I was an Honors College student, but before I even got there, my sister was an HC student, and lived on an HC floor in Mason-Abbot. I met a number of her friends during sibling weekend and other activities, and they were always a little madcap and wildly smart. One of the people I met was Edric, and I was reminded of both the genius and the madcappery today when I was reading my sister's journal. She posted this video, and I'm reposting it here, because I think you should watch it. In it, Edric uses the groom's facility at the Kevin Bacon game to come up with a unique wedding gift, and his delivery is priceless. I laughed out loud, not because I know who Edric is, but because it is really that funny.

Also, Edric was known for putting up a "happiness board" on his dorm door for people to write up happy things. I was looking at the list, which is now posted online, and I think I actually remember part of the list from 95-96, and I certainly get some of the inside jokes, which is kind of alarming. Here is the list:
The Happiness List

Saturday, October 11, 2008

PR: The Beginning of the End

In a magnificent effort to avoid the crap going on in my personal life, here is my input on the last two PRs. I know you were waiting, you patient public, you.

So, the nature challenge was scary, but also uplifting in a way, because it was pure inspiration. I did have a problem with some of the judging comments.
Jerell: Once again, the top of his dress is too short. I wish he'd figure that out. I found his design intriguing, and loved that sort of swish of color underneath, but the construction issues were really distracting. Things were just puckering at the bottom, and I really don't think that should be happening at this stage.
Kenley: To be honest, I think she would have been better off if she'd gotten off the snake reference and compared it to, say, a tiger lily...the sort of spotted petals some of them have might have been more compelling. I didn't mind the shape, though it reminded me a bit of a Barbie, but it was just a bit garish all together. It did feel costumey, which was one comment I agreed with.
Korto: I couldn't see eye to eye with the judges on this one. I really liked her dress. I might have liked to see some more fiery color in there, to match her flower, but I thought the dress was genuinely pretty and flattering, and not cliche at all.
Leanne: This dress was not my personal aesthetic, and I admit I was afraid she might go home because of the back of the dress. Tim did not mind that fabric back there, but I could understand the judges' concern with it. It seemed sort of stuck on. That being said, the rest of Leanne's construction is always immaculate, and she achieved a sort of confection without being saccharine about it.
As for the judges' cop-out, well, I don't care that much about it this year. No one had a slam dunk in this challenge, and based on the results of this week alone, I wouldn't have wanted to make that decision either. One could have made a case for any of them, and that's no one to determine who gets a whole lot of money.

On to the next, as Jay and Grant would say.
I did not realize that part of the finale challenge was a bridal gown--must have missed something of the parameters on my video tape. I like that, though. It's realistic, since so many collections have such a gown, and it was interesting to watch how the collection's vision was laced through the gown. And, while the designers were pissed, I loved that they then had to make a bridesmaid dress. Having been a bridesmaid twice, both times in pretty gowns, I can testify to the good thinking behind that challenge.
And--hear me out on this--I think the right three people are in the finale. I know Kenley is unpopular, but she definitely has a distinct point of view and I'm excited to see how her collection moves down the runway. I also love that she painted her fabrics. My bet is that I like the collection better in motion than in the still photos.
As for the gowns themselves:
Jerell's was simply too messy. I could see what he was after with the front, but the back was tragic. It looked like he'd clipped it the way they do when it's too big in the shop, when they're trying to see how it will look when it's altered. I really loved the color of his bridesmaid dress a lot, and actually liked the shape to it. I'm still not clear on why the judges disliked it so much. Something isn't translating.
Kenley's wedding dress was, as Kors pointed out I think, a fantasy, and I liked it for that. It showed gumption and drama. I dislike bubble skirts with a passion, though, and I don't think any bridesmaid on the planet would wear a dress that short. At least I hope not. I think the judges sort of forgot the wearability component of the challenge there.
I actually liked the pleating at the shoulders of Korto's gown, though I do think the fabric was a bit voluminuos for what she wished to do with the middle. I did agree with the judges that there were some relationship problems between the gown and the bridesmaid dress, but I think they made the right decision between her and Jerell--that's how strongly I felt about the back of that bridal gown. And, on a personal note, I was really touched by what she said about the other designers in this show.
While I personally would not wear the wedding dress, I think Leanne was the most successful in pairing two garments together. I really liked the bridesmaid dress and I think both garments fit in really well with her collection. She really seems to have control now of her architecturally inclined design elements.

So, the finale approaches. Should be good times. While I realize this may be a forlorn hope, I do kind of wish it could be personal dramaless, and focused on the fashion. I want it to be down to Leanne and Korto, as I mentioned before, but I really think this will be a chacun a son gout finale, and that excites me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

PR Follow-Up

I am in full support of Daniel V's PR blog this week--and also feeling like he and I shared a brain...note his vision for a better hip-hop outfit, and his comments about Jerell's look in particular. Oh, Daniel V. How I enjoy it when you agree with me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

PR: Countrifying Korto

I was nervous about this challenge because I didn't think the designers would handle it well. At least, I didn't think anyone but Jerell would handle it well, because that guy is just not perturbable. But I didn't think that only two of them would create something really good. Oh, well. Let's chalk it up to stress (which seems true if you saw all the runway tears they edited into next week's trailer!).

Jerell: There is no question that Jerell's look was pop. It looked expensive and met the challenge. I hope, in fact, that Kenley realized how many favors he did her, helping her realize that she does actually have a very nice body. That being said, I did not want Jerell to win this challenge for one major reason (and LL Cool J is also on my X list because of this): He leapt straight to skin and body showing. Yes, Brit is an example of a pop princess, and one can think of plenty of others that would wear less...but one can also think of examples that wear more and still look sexy and even over-the-top. I realize you have to convey a lot of information very quickly on the runway, and Jerell's styles have often been revealing, but I guess I might have been more interested if he'd found a more unique way to get us to know "pop" at first sight. In a way, it was more expected than Suede's look, though certainly better executed. Pop should not equal skin. Thus, for my own reasons I concurred with Jerell being in second. (The look also had overtones of Austin Powers' fembots--anyone else notice this? Just me? Okay.)
Kenley: Ouch. Did anyone else think it was weird when she was talking about sagging as "old school" hip hop and then was supporting the high-waisted jean like it was brand new? Girl was alive in the late eighties/early nineties, right? In my opinion, the high-waisted jean is a trend that should never, ever come back, at least not with skinny legs. I can understand how making a hip-hop outfit might be a struggle, but there's more to it than sagging, and I don't think putting Leanne in a pair of nonsagging pants with wide legs (like Michael's travel look a few seasons ago) would have been that much of a stretch, and may have even flattered Leanne. Hip hop dancers wear tons of classy clothes. I was, needless to say, completely disappointed in Kenley this week, in practically every way I can think of.
Korto: Much like Kelli in the first challenge, I thought Korto's efforts to make her materials more than they were was worthy of many extra style points. Her top, as Tim points out, was a little bland (though probably consistent with the average punker), but those pants were really incredible. Also, I have to give Suede major credit here for completely embracing the persona of the punk. He may be a classically trained musician and think of himself as a classicist, but dude's got blue hair in his everyday life, and it was pretty clear there was a punk waiting to come out. In any case, the look fit the client very well and completely met the challenge.
Leanne: I have to be honest...I didn't feel Leanne's look was cohesive. It wasn't the worst look on the runway by far, but as I was listening to the feedback both from Tim and from the judges, I realized I was seeing something different. Checks, purple, gold, and black? This is one of those times when fashion color coordination derails for me, as does style coordination. I know I tend a bit toward matchy-matchy, but still. I was a little flummoxed. I do think she did a beautiful job on that skirt, but I think a different style belt might have countryfied the look more, and maybe been more cohesive with the top. I knew Leanne would be in, I was just confused.
Suede: Suede's look was very 80s European synthpop to me, not rock and roll. It wasn't an ugly outfit, but it didn't fit the challenge, I thought. As someone on the show pointed out, it wasn't transformative. The pieces, neither singly nor together, did anything special. On a more positive note, the U-neck shirt might have been very interesting as part of a dance costume, for a modern piece.

So, it was a tossup for Kenley or Suede. Since I wanted Suede to go before because of poor runway showings, I was mentally voting for him, and for Kenley to go next week. As much as I would like an all-girl runway, I think Jerell has done some interesting work this season and I'd like him to get a third-place finish. (I'm not usually this specific, so it's a little weird.)
One more challenge!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Spoilers, sort of, not really

I've now sneak-peeked at the collection pictures on Bravo's website. I wasn't going to last year, and then I did, and I'm glad I did this year, too, because it actually makes me look forward to seeing the runway show more. I'm going to give my gut reactions here because they really fit with what I think of the designers' work after watching them all season--it's like they lived up (or down) to everything I already think. Here's what I saw, as vaguely as possible:
Suede...yikes. The garments in the photos look really poorly fit. The silhouettes are often unattractive as well. That dress he did with the strips of fabric back in the day was so sleek. What happened? Also didn't enjoy the "color story." It seemed like he wanted to go a little punk 80s, but never arrived.
Joe had a few cute pieces, but the collection as a whole was not cohesive at all. He was sort of all over the place, and I couldn't see the story he was telling. This was a "decoy" collection, but even so, I would have liked to see the collection better as a unit.
Kenley has some flower detailing that I like, though her overall collection doesn't work for's a little too confectionary, rather than reeling that in and letting it emerge as a surprise with a few garments. Nevertheless, she did have several garments I liked.
I liked several of Jerell's looks a lot, especially the first dress shown in the pictures. But a few of his outfits have that old problem of looking messy to me. Creative, yes, but too many go overboard in the busy category and make my eyes hurt rather than making me want to put on the clothes. Also, they are all shiny fabrics again.
Leanne and Korto...I'm glad I looked at the pictures for this reason, too. They are my two favorites, and their collections are the ones I like the best. I would wear just about every one of Korto's garments, but Leanne also has some really innovative Leanne stuff that is unique and beautiful. Both of these shows look like ones I'd actually like to see in person, things I'd like to ahh over in Bryant Park if I ever went.
So, if you're feeling bummed about the season, consider going to the look book, because you may be like me and get a little excited about the final show.

On another note, I have caught the Rachel Zoe Project a few times on Tuesday; this isn't really my kind of show, but I have to say I kind of enjoy it. I think being a celeb stylist is an interesting job; not sure I'd want it, but I think Zoe would be an interesting person to shadow for a few days, as she picks out garments and jewelry and so on, and does fittings. This show is sort of a guilty pleasure.

And finally, Supernatural started last night, and I think we can all agree that we're in for some crazy business this season. Carrie and I were feverishly texting regarding the appearance of Sam and Dean, and the grossness of eyes being burned out of people's heads! When Sam made a body throw up a demon, I just kept saying "omg omg omg" in my head. I Die! as Rachel Zoe would say.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

PR: Frustration again.

First, two notes:
1. The final six designers evidently all showed at Bryant Park, and there is a lookbook on the Bravo website if you want to see.
2. The Top Design episode last night with Project Runway alum was interesting. Jeffrey's design was fairly staid but was inspired by Blade Runner. The window wasn't warped enough, unfortunately, and one of those designers got cut. Sweet P's window team won, and it really did look pretty. Daniel Franco's team's window was also pretty good. Anyway, it was interesting to see the fashion design from a different angle, and I'm always interested in window design, especially since I did a little of that at Pier 1.

I am completely baffled as to why Suede is still on Project Runway after the last two weeks. Did not the judges call his garment horrendous this week? Did they not have nearly the same reaction as they did to Blayne's, in thinking what he did was almost comical, in a bad way? Sure, Joe's look was a little cliche and a little off in the sewing, but Suede's garment was completely out of control, and not attractive. WHY?

The clothes:
Jerell: I think Jerell did a nice job responding to his client. I accept that the client wanted androgeny, but I also think he didn't do her shoulders any favor. I have shoulders that tend to slump and are very narrow, and I frequently notice in pictures that whatever I'm wearing exacerbates the problem and makes me look thinner than I am. In his client's case, perhaps some posture lessons might have helped, but he could also have mitigated the issue. Note, once again, a shiny fabric, though this time more tasteful. All in all, this is the look I'd most likely wear myself. The look was a little formal (a point also made by Tim Gunn, who calls it cocktaily). Tim says that the hat Jerell was wearing was originally meant for the model, and asks us what we think about that. I was glad Jerell wore it.
Joe: Now, people have called Joe's look cliche for his graphic designing client. In some ways that's true, but I am here to tell you that ad design offices and many other graphic design scenarios are still looking for professional looks in their people. There are ways to dress that up, but I thought Joe's sin here was much less than Suede's, as I described above.
Now, was Joe's look great? No. It had flaws, and Joe was a bit single-minded in his approach; but, he incorporated a few more small twists that, as I noted, would be in keeping with a professional graphic design office that works with more conservative or formal clients. There was too much belaboring of a point that wasn't fully correct in Joe's case. I don't know what these people are expecting graphic designers to wear.
Kenley: I am done with Kenley's attitude. I have reached the point everyone else has, in other words. It's like having a boyfriend that seduces you with a few particular strong points, but then eventually, maybe long after others have figured it out, you just realize you can't change him.
I liked Kenley's dress. Not a big fan of the vest, though I realize that she was using it to make the look more officey. I would really like to see her do something truly outside her comfort zone, though.
Korto: I really liked Korto's jacket; it was pretty and original, and it had a great structure to it. The dress was kind of blah; the print was pretty, but the construction just looked a little boring. I was really glad Korto did well, though, because her jacket was my favorite piece produced.
Leanne: I liked Leanne's look on the runway better than I do in the still picture; however, I, like Tim Gunn, was baffled as to why she got such low marks. I didn't like the sleeve of the jacket, but I thought the look was very appropriate to this woman's job. When she took the jacket off, the judges seemed so much happier, but I think it looked less appropriate for her position--especially since some schools are too chilly. I remain convinced that the judges are often in a fantasy world about what they think a job or an experience entails (as in the prom challenge last time around!) and lack the experience themselves to know anything about it. I also applaud Leanne for listening to her client's troubles and editing her design carefully so that it still spoke of her aesthetic but met the client's needs. Her model looked adorable.
Suede: I can't say enough bad things about this look, and I'm not normally like that. It looked like a costume from the movie Toys, but a poorly made one. The fit of that jacket was terrible, and at this stage of the game for me, that is a more horrendous problem than something that is a little overdone. Bleh.

In other TV news, Supernatural starts up tonight. Dean, come back from hell!


By the way, if you like Project Runway you might want to check out Top Design tonight at 10 pm on Bravo for a crossover episode. A few PR alum, like Jeffrey, Santino, and Andrae, are having window designs based on a fashion creation.
Good times.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

PR: One of my new worst episodes ever

There is so much dreadful stuff happening "out there" right now, touched on by my other dear friends in their blogs. But I just spent two days in the company of my beloved niece (and sister and brother and parents, of course), and am relishing those memories as my week gets busier, and I'm going to try to keep a glow for at least another day and a half.
So, business as usual, about PR last week...
Boo. It's well known that I hate episodes where designers come back. There is literally no point to it except to create artificial drama, and I don't like that one bit. As an additional problem, I don't "get" much about avant garde fashion. For me, avant garde is French for "trying to hard" or "self-conscious," which I also don't like. Now, sometimes I enjoy learning about what avant garde is. Last year's avant garde team challenge was actually pretty interesting. This year, it just bothered me. So much so that I saw only part of the episode, caught up on what the challenge actually was with a quick view of the beginning, and feel no need to watch the whole thing.
First, let me say that Suede should have gone home. I know that Terri didn't work well with Keith. I know that there were some problems with her garment, and I learned from Tim's Take that Terri's outfit looked worse at the party, which I didn't watch (somehow it makes me even more mad, since she did some editing that showed she was listening to criticism). But Suede has been a consistently weak performer, this week included. It made no sense. It's one of those times when credibility is lost.
Blayne: He deserved to go. The design was hideous, and if anyone has ever had questionable taste at any moment on the show, it is Blayne with this outfit. My eyes! My eyes!
Jerell: For me, Jerell is just a little too tied to shiny fabrics. Many of his designs look like they are employing lame', and despite certain of my perferences as a teen, I'm not that fond of the look now. I respected Jerell's skirt, am ambivalent about the sweater, and am not at all fond of the blouse.
Joe: I actually liked the look of Joe's outfit, though Tim says that Daniel had a very large role in its execution. It looked a little couture and wearable, and I liked the color story. Put a pair of wings on it, and it might be an Amy Brown fairy picture. Things said about the "team" dynamic turn me off, though.
Kenley: No one seemed to understand Kenley's design. While I don't get the Aquarian angle, I do see what she was going for with the dress. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I see a power struggle between sweetly feminine and uber-strong and severe. Tim called it cartoonish, but I prefer to think of it as caricature, maybe even of Kenley herself. I don't care much for the color story, and I'm enormously tired of bubble skirts, but I as I said I "got" what she was after and could interpret it in my own way. The fact that no one else seems to be able to is perplexing, to say the least. I was sitting there thinking people were being prejudiced against "getting" Kenley or didn't want to see the look. I just don't know.
Korto: I'm not really a fan of this design. Normally I'm all about blues, but sometimes I feel like Korto's color choices are not refined enough. On my TV (and computer screen) at least, they end up looking a little less expensive than I feel they ought (same trouble with the yellow last week). The look had some interest, but not enough.
Leanne: I didn't "get" Leanne's look. Tim and Daniel loved it, so I'm guessing there is something about it that doesn't translate on TV. Maybe if I'd seen the construction, I might have seen better how the thing came together, but I just wasn't with it onscreen. I like the dark red and the black together for Scorpio, and I like the thought of an exoskeleton, and I like that Leanne and Emily got to work together, but in the end...I just don't know. Can anyone help me? It certainly wasn't my pick to be auf'd, but I didn't fully understand.
Suede: I felt like Suede was designing for Aladdin's bride. The look was costumey, the proportions were strange, and the back piece was incomprehensible. Suede should have gone home.
Terri: Editing was a problem for Terri in this challenge, and the color story here was also a little weird. Unlike Suede, though, I could see what Terri was after, and I liked some of the structural elements.
As you can see, this episode bothered me on multiple levels, and left me confused in a manner similar to Blayne's design. I can't even talk about it anymore, I'm so annoyed.

So, based on who is left, I want Leanne and Korto in the finale and don't really care about the last spot or two.

Friday, September 12, 2008

This week's consumer plug

A story demonstrating why you should shop at Best Buy in Rossford:
So, as some of you know, I'm getting a new computer in my office, and due to the transferral process from old machine to new, and all its myriad complications, I decided to get an external hard drive, since I don't have a truly functional computer at home anymore, and storing things just in the office environment suddenly seemed dumb.
I have had no time to work on this. The deadline is Monday.
I was feeling panicky on Wednesday night, latish, so I did something I would never do otherwise, and went to Wal-Mart. They were nice to me there, but their selection was ridiculous, and evidentally they've had some things stolen because they were out of what I needed even though the records said otherwise. I toyed with the idea of traveling to the next closest Wal-Mart, but I wasn't feeling well and I knew that the lateness of the hour was probably going to make me make a bad decision and get something that didn't fit my needs.

Instead, I chose to wait and head up to Best Buy in Rossford on Thursday after a long day of teaching and conferences. I got some McDonald's, hit the highway, and arrived at a clean, cheerful store, bustling with activity even though it wasn't really that crowded. I looked at what turned out to be a vast selection of drives, felt bewildered, and then walked out to an open space to wait for someone to ask me if I needed assistance. Ordinarily, I like to do things myself, but I have no experience in this particular item, and I wanted input.
I ended up with a gal who first went to get another option, an online file service that would hold 25 gigs, and then we together perused the drives, ranging from 160 gigs to 1 terabyte. I told her my situation, and she listened patiently and provided advice. We picked me out a MyBook from Western Digital and discussed the reviews it's had and how popular it is. Now the great thing is this: The 119 dollar item, 320 gigs, was on sale for 80 bucks. I felt confident that she wasn't trying to scam me; she listened to my price concerns and my needs, and as she correctly pointed out, probably any of the items would work just fine for me, but this one was on megasale, and she's never had one returned.
Then, she came with me when I went to pick up a new flash drive. The 4 gig model was also on megasale, so I grabbed one of those. Do I need that much space to store my poetry? No, but I feel like I now have some other storage options. She walked me to the checkout and told me about the MyRewards program. I don't know if I was just feeling relief or goodwill because of McDonald's or what, but I decided to join. But then, halfway through the line, I realized I wanted to look at irons, since mine has stopped steaming and leaks on me. Back she went with me to the small appliances, where she introduced me to Stephanie, who has one of the irons they sell and loves it (she bought one for her grandmother, but then decided she wanted it and had to buy another). The three of us plus the autotech guy had quite a chat about crockpots, their recipes and new liners, and about toaster ovens. I also picked up the iron. It was more expensive than I might usually get, but I also reasoned to myself that I am sewing a lot and really do need a good iron.
Those three items together? About 150 bucks. That's all.

I have had my share of good and bad shopping experiences, and I really felt like this was a great one. I was helped well, by friendly people, and I ended up with what I think are some good products. I am anxious to work with the MyBook today and get things reorganized, but amazingly, I don't feel daunted, after weeks of stress about the whole thing.
So, cheers, Best Buy in Rossford. You rock.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

PR: 00-Diane

This will be a quickie about last week, since I'm behind.
Blayne: Gah! What is up with those hideous pants? I was intrigued by the jacket; however, those pants were clownish and ruined the coat's ability to be taken seriously.
Jerell: I liked Jerell's jacket, too...I liked the blue stripe in the sleeves. As I often feel with Jerell, though, the look didn't cohere for me at all. When he's on, he's on, but when his pattern/fabric choices are off they are way off and we end up with awful.
Joe: Joe is an interesting case. I didn't get his outfit at all. The individual pieces were interesting, but I'm not sure on what planet they would go together. I actually liked the backless "cinnamon" top (that's not cinnamon from where I'm sitting, but that's what they called it), but concurred with the judges that construction fell apart in the back. No matter what, I'm not sure how hot fuschia was supposed to go with his top. Bleh.
Kenley: I'm glad that Kenley stuck to her guns, and I'm glad that she was more human this week. I didn't love her dress. I have fairly specific tastes in prints, and her tastes and mine do not seem to line up much. But she met the challenge and put together something stylish.
Korto: You know, everyone seemed really gung-ho about Korto's design, but I didn't care for it. I really didn't enjoy that shade of yellow for one thing, and I didn't really see how that dress would fit in any of the places they mentioned the spy as traveling. In a different garment that shiny print might be nice, but I just couldn't see this dress as fitting the challenge.
Leanne: How completely proud of Leanne am I? Her look was intelligent and sleek, and I loved the combination of that jacket and the dress, both of which I now want in my closet. Pretty colors, sweet fabric choices, and believable as part of Diane's collection. I also thought she was funny during the episode, pretending to be a spy (well cut, editors!). Honestly, I felt like this garment was designed for me. She totally deserved this win.
Stella: On Tim Gunn's blog, it has been increasingly obvious that he wanted her gone--and Tim is not usually like that. He just completely dismissed her after the first couple of weeks. I didn't mind that Stella had a little cape, but the construction of this issues cannot be overlooked. Yes, it is difficult to get different fabrics to mingle in fitted vests. But this really looked like a school project (did someone say that about this outfit? Or was that about Suede's?) and I am glad that Stella is finally able to go back to what she does and didn't want to stop doing even for a minute.
Suede: Suede missed the mark. The dress was kind of pretty, but like Korto's choice, I didn't think it met the concept of the woman they were all designing for. It didn't tell the right story. Much like Blayne's pants, I find the vest Suede created to be completely incomprehensible. It was poorly shaped for the garment and the color story hit my eye badly.
Terri: Terri's coat was pretty bold and seemed well constructed, and I might want her pants for me. On the whole, though, I didn't feel inspired by this look. It didn't have anything original to set it apart.
That's all I got! I have to go read essays now. And buy an external hard drive.

Monday, September 01, 2008

From the dept. of my weird dreams

If you're wondering whether I had a long, kerrrrazy, Supernatural-related dream last night, the answer is yes.

I wish I could remember more of it--something about an old hag trying to lock us up (I think there was some Elizabeth-Peters-novel-before-bed stuff mixed up in here), and we escaped. The building was like a lavish hotel on one side, like a church basement where we got trapped, and then when we escaped we came out through an abandoned storefront in a mall. One of the stores in the mall was selling incredibly ritzy clothes, and of COURSE Dean had to go look at mad expensive leather jackets. Since the store was also selling perfect cancan style feather plumes, I didn't care too much. I wanted a pink one.

All I know is, I was Sam for a while, but then later I somehow was a woman wholly unrelated to either of them. I think it's because I wanted to make out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

PR: Saturn Guts

So, as a Saturn owner, I don't mind saying that I was cringing as soon as I realized Saturns were involved in this challenge; given the way the designers tore apart their apartments one season, I was reluctant to watch them do the same to the cars. However, the cars were simply stuffed with the kinds of things that are on/in the same time, this made the whole mysterious adventure of going to the parking garage and seeing the cars lined up end with an anti-climax. Also, while I realize Saturn is a big sponsor, I'm not sure they were the best choice for the challenge, since the colors employed within the cars are not super-varied (for instance, all the seatbelts seemed to be tan, which is what I have in my car). I suppose many car brands would be the same, but I might have liked to see more color anyway.
I do like innovation challenges, and I did feel like the designers learned a lesson from challenge 1...most of them. So let's see what they did.

Blayne--I liked Blayne's idea, and also liked that he was trying to do something a little less over-the-top. And while I do not normally enjoy embellishment, I liked that he took that extra step to decorate his garment with the glass. But that sort of unfitted fitted top really only works with lighter materials so that there's a sort of float to it. The seatbelts were so firm that he had uneven bunching instead. Not so pretty. Blayne himself was significantly less weird this week, which was nice.
Jerell--I have to say I hated the hairstyling Jerell chose for his garment. However, I liked that he was thinking of the decoration of his garment, in terms of his pairing of the plastic things and the inset vinyl or whatever it was. Much like the cocktail challenge, I felt like his garment was too small all around, though it seemed well made and sassy.
Joe--Something struck me as a bit wrong about Joe's garment and I can't quite put my finger on it. It might be fit...I love that splash of red, but the garment seems a little baggy to me, or insufficiently tailored.
Keith--Keith's garment also suffered from a poor fit. From the front, in the picture, it doesn't look too bad, but I recall that on the runway it didn't move very well and looked a little shapeless in parts that should have been shaped. The back was a disaster...I was actually surprised when the model turned around because it looked like the back of a completely different outfit, and was very haphazard. I sympathize with the rip problem, but that wasn' t what tore the look for me. The back of the top was more horrible. I felt like Keith was hampered by his handling of the judges' criticism. I can also sympathize with his wanting to please them, but ultimately it's finding what about your aesthetic you can adjust--not change outright, but adjust--in order to bump up the taste level. Witness his outfit for Brooke Shields. It was his aesthetic, but refined. I don't think he ever understood the distinction. The designers need to show the judges they are listening and learning, not that they are changing who they are to fit the judges. It's a big difference. I actually think Keith's auf-ing was related heavily to how he handled himself on the runway, at least from what we saw. (Tim is sick that Keith went home, btw--he finds Stella incomprehensible.)
Kenley--I liked that Kenley sort of created her own design; it reminded me of what Kelli did with those coffee filters in challenge 1. On the whole, the look didn't fully come together for me, mainly in proportion of the skirt, but the creation of the zebra print was an interesting move that I support.
Korto--Korto is so good at coming up with wearable designs, no matter what her materials. She also has a distinctive point of view, one that leads her to produce very structural garments that look like they came from the same mind. I have to confess I like that her garments are so often's so much better than the cheap-looking ubershort outfits that keep popping up, and is more realistic for an actual woman. It's an important characteristic of her aesthetic and makes me want to see what she'd do for a whole collection. I think it would be really beautiful.
Leanne--Leanne has grown on me. I really loved the design she did on the top of her top, with the frayed belts...that interesting spiky wave effect was really clever and I'm still not sure how she did it. Her look was brave and avant-garde, and I was not at all sorry to see her win. Her look wasn't my favorite, but she totally deserved this, and I hope it's a confidence boost for her to make her more amazing. In his blog, Michael Kors says, "She found a way to take something ridiculous and actually make it covetable..." which I think summed up this look perfectly.
Stella--Oh, Stella. I actually thought the skirt was kind of cute, if not well fit. I, like the judges, had trouble with the top with that skirt. I was glad she wanted to do something pretty as a different line for her, but surely there must be a way to do so from within her aesthetic? If the top had been more fitted, more vestlike, it might have been a cute workday outfit, but as it was, things didn't cohere.
Suede--Suede's garment was a little too B-movie futuristic sci-fi for me. It was sassy (and sparkly like a holiday), but when it came down the runway I remember thinking that it didn't have enough oomph for the win. Just not quite enough danger for an innovation challenge.
Terri--Terri went back to her street aesthetic look this week. I actually thought those pants were pretty cute. Both elements of the garment looked like something you might pick up in an edgy store, but the pants looked more expensive.

So, next week Diane von Furstenberg gets in on things. I like her, and hope the strain the designers showed in the preview at least leads to some fabulous garments. My mental top three or four has definitely taken shape since about two weeks ago, so we'll see how things go.

Monday, August 25, 2008

You're In/You're Out

Following are my top and bottom 5 PR episodes of all time...I think. I had to comb back through some blogs to remember my thoughts on some of them. Favorites are generally based on both the results and the challenges themselves, producing synergistic enjoyment. Least favorites made me angry or annoyed for some reason, or were boring. I have also completely left the finale fashion shows out of the mix, because the final runway shows are always exciting.

My Top 5 PR Episodes:

Grocery Store, season 1

I love this episode not just for the challenge, which sort of established the PR "way," but also because when I think about it I feel a little excitement, like the Earth is new. Rose-colored glasses and whatnot.

Postal Uniform, season 1

I loved the idea of completely revamping a truly everyday and almost invisible element, and I loved the results of a couple of the designers--it gave you the feeling like PR could change the world.

Garden Party, season 2

How can you not love designers creating things with plantlife? Despite their difficulties, some of the designers knocked out truly amazing dresses.

WWE, season 4

I lovedlovedloved Jillian's results for this challenge, but it was also fun and relatively dramaless. The drama had its proper place, rather, in the challenge itself. Also, one of my favorite lines ever: Thank you, Spandex House!

Drag Queens, season 5

Fun, madcap, and with a lot of great results.

My Bottom 5 PR Episodes:

Makeovers, season 2

Some truly tragic results here. This episode made me feel bad, and I don't like that. Kara and Chloe both managed some good results for Santino and Nick respectively, but in all this was very disappointing.

Trash challenge, season 3

The result of this episode (the ousting of Alison) made me feel genuine outrage, and I considered quitting PR with this challenge, and several of those following this season, as noted below.

Everyday Woman, season 3

This should have been such a glorious episode, but instead there were tears from clients and ill will, and the results from some of the designers were truly horrible. I'm sorry, but you just don't mess with people's moms.

Black & White, season 3

I wrote in my blog that this was a truly wasted effort. While Laura won, which was good, I really felt like my time got robbed this one. The shenanigans in response to the "no wasted fabric" element and the bringing back of Vincent and Angela were ridiculous.

Denim, season 4

There are probably episodes I disliked more than this one, but it stands out in my mind as being kind of dull, and its results dubious. I'm generally not a fan of denim outfits in general; I like jeans and the occasional mini-skirt, but I associate denim other things with the 80s and 90s and had trouble getting around that.

Friday, August 22, 2008

PR Follow-Up

Well, not only was this drag queen episode one of the best ever Project Runway challenges, but it also sprouted some of my favorite comments from my colleagues, especially on the Joe vs. Terri issue, and the issue of listening to helpful advice. Also, if you haven't checked out Hedda's blog courtesy of SECP, do so. I don't like giving this particular queen more hits, but if you ever have a chance to see her show, maybe this will put you off.

SECP also asked what my top five favorite PR episodes are, which is a great question to which I will be devoting some thought over the next few days. What a good distraction from work! :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

PR: In which Terri gets robbed.

How Jem-Totally-Outrageous was drag queen Project Runway? Yet in the guest-judge blog on PR's website, RuPaul notes: "The biggest misconception about drag queens is that they want to be women. It's more of a celebration of personal freedom, color, texture, and humor." This suggests that, as much as this is about big life, big color, big comedy, there is also to be a sense of the raised eyebrow challenge about the whole thing. A sense of the wry "wink-wink."
Now, I don't know if I could actually hang out with a drag queen. I'm not generally a "big" person (a person who seems to take up the room not in size but in personality/ego), and while I can get crazy or temporarily take on the bigness, I feel uncomfortable that way and with people who are that self-concious. I don't mean self-conscious in the traditional sense, but in the pure sense that this is all put on. Literally, a drag queen must be completely conscious of the put-on self and display it all. I can take it in small doses (like, say, temporarily being around typical "theater people" when I was in Evita), but at that level I couldn't manage it. It's not disgust or hatred, as I think some feel about drag queens, and it's really nothing to do with a man dressing like a woman (I think Dame Edna is hilarious). It's more I get the feeling I want to, depending on the persona, roll my eyes or cringe, or even just leave for a very, very quiet place, in response to the hugeness. It's just not that funny to me. I feel the same way about clowns, and often masks in general. As my mother might recount, when I was a kid I was always looking for what was inside the giant costume in the mall. Right, Mom?
I think some of the designers were the same, and we were able to see those who could adapt to that feeling and get past it, and those who couldn't. The results were awesome TV.
Blayne--Blah. And when I say Blah, I don't mean that it wasn't colorful, because it certainly was, but there wasn't really anything clever or unexpected about this look. It looked like a backup's costume from The Birdcage. It should look like it belongs to a headliner!
Daniel--I was so ready for Daniel to go this week, and I felt the judges made the right decision. There was nothing even remotely drag about his dress; in fact, from conception to fabric to execution I kept thinking, "I've seen that exact dress in a dance costume catalog before." It had no personality.
Jerell--I was actually surprised that Jerell got called out so badly this week. Granted, the proportion of his dress wasn't great. I was really impressed with the views I saw before the runway show, because I couldn't actually see the dress. The collar (minus the fringe) was clever and the whole thing seemed vibrant (Tim points out the color problem with the model's face, which I do understand). Yes, the dress was either too long or not long enough (imagine that collar with a long cutaway dress, which is what I thought he was doing when I first saw the top part). But I really thought Blayne would be in the bottom three instead of Jerell. Daniel V. had a good point in his blog, that the look didn't fit his model's personality, which I thought at the time and forgot about. It was "too loud" for what she projected. So maybe he did deserve to be in the bottom 3 on that challenge parameter.
Joe--Yes, Joe did a good job, and he actually fit that jumpsuit really well, which had to be difficult. Yes, Varla was delighted. But someone who commented on one of the blogs had it right on the money, in that if Varla hadn't helped Joe with that collar, this could have been a disaster. Joe, you got saved by your model this week. I am glad Joe is doing better, and he did what I mentioned above; while this was completely outside his comfort zone, he found a way to deal with it (in this case, pretending it was a Halloween costume).
Keith--I didn't think Keith's outfit was all that bad, but I could see what the judges were saying--especially seeing it in the still shot on the website. In motion, it looked fine; very Tina Turner. It had a punk element that I didn't find inappropriate, but it didn't really have a drag vibe to it, and I kept thinking that with a little more restraint in the top and with a smooth black skirt, you'd have an interesting club outfit (evidently, acc. to Tim, RuPaul said she/he would wear this dress).
Kenley--Kenley's outfit was safe this week. It looked nice and had body and a definite drag flavor about it. But it wasn't super-special, either. It suited her model's persona, but Kenley also suited her model's persona. I don't think she challenged herself this week, just wanting to make something beautiful. (Daniel V's blog is totally with me on this one, as he often is, in a creepy way.)
Korto--Korto also got saved a little this week by Chris' suggestion to make the skirt removable. The result was something a lot more effervescent and more classic, if that can be said about a drag dress. I also liked what she said about fitting full-figured people. She was very realistic about it and welcomed it, which was good to hear. I also think she did well in providing a fully realized vision, one that was conistent, which she has struggled with in the past. It wasn't my favorite garment, but it met the challenge.
Leanne--Leanne kind of picked herself up this week. She's still a little frumpy in the workroom (and I don't mind that, since I'm that way, too), but dolled herself up for runway things. Someone said something about Suede's dress being Jetsonish, but I thought Leanne's was more. Not that this is a bad thing. It was a lot like Kenley's situation in result--it met the challenge and had some structural elements to it, and it was styled well. It didn't feel like a winner, though. (Tim thought it should be in the top 3).
Stella--If Stella's model were a goth Scottish chick, I think this would have been perfect. I didn't really get an idea of what her drag queen's persona was. I think I need to watch the rerun and see how she introduces herself. I had a problem with the weird plaid flap in the front of the dress, how it hangs down below the lacing. Surely that could have been done better, like maybe hoist and gather the dress up higher with the lacing? And then have a valance effect with the plaid hanging down a bit? That flap was just sort of incomprehensible to me. I liked the back of the dress, though ultimately I didn't get a truly drag feel out of this look. It was almost too understated, which feels strange to say about Stella.
Suede--What a strange battle between Suede and Hedda Lettuce. I thought Suede's glove idea was cute, and it made the outfit more interesting. I didn't follow what the problems with the dress itself were, or what was fixed. On the whole, it was simply safe to me, it didn't stand out.
Terri--As I said, Terri got robbed. I know Joe's outfit was good and made sense, but Terri's look was practically monumental. Kabuki drag queen? Yes! You could see on her face that she felt she should have won, and while I would ordinarily be annoyed by that, she was totally right this time. What does she have to do to catch a break? Hang in there, Terri. You are doing a great job.
Daniel V. points out that the look was a bit too androgynous, which is an interesting point, but I really liked that it took drag in a different and less expected direction, which fit her client's needs. Femininity isn't just about big boobs and hips! And she was wearing a bustier anyway, for heaven's sake! Did it look more like a costume or a drag costume? That's a tough call, but as I said, I like the idea that a drag costume could go in a new direction. Tim says he and Terri had a fight about this look, and he doesn't like the "discordant" nature of the white with the red corset. I'm sorry, Tim--have you ever seen Kabuki makeup? I am totally on board with this outfit, and I will defend that position.

Finally, I like that these outfits are being auctioned off for charity. That's a great touch. Next week? Cars.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Good Times--It's Neat!

Things have been a little wild at Avaciousworld. Wild for me, anyway.
I went to a fabulous party last night, full of cute children and chili/gazpacho/cornbread/melon/pie/etc. eating, Olympics, and sorbet. That's right, sorbet-- knowing that Carrie was making pie (peach and cherry, to be exact), I decided to put together some sorbets--just some fruit, simple syrup, and a blender, that's all you need. Pie is always good on its own, but I wanted to bring something to the table that would go well with it and be different. I think it went pretty well--especially the ones I put alcohol in :) Some might find that putting sorbets together is a nuisance, but it's actually pretty easy, and easy to make it to your own taste.
Anyway, I talked, laughed, helped small children get up and down the steps, and ate too much. I also got a little angry about technology and drank some pink champagne. Goodtimes.

How great were Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin on beam, and Jonathan Horton on high bar last night? USA! USA! I also totally forgot about the champions gala. I'm not sure how that's going to work out with Project Runway (drag queens, remember!) and the Ghosthunters International season finale. Guess who's not doing anything productive tonight!

Time to get to work. I have four things on my to-do lst today, and would be completely over the moon if I can finish them all.

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Olympics Miscellany

As bad as I felt for Alicia Sacramone, who got robbed on vault, in Bela's words, my heart broke for Cheng Fei on floor exercise last night. Her routine is my favorite--I love the unique choreography and the homage to Chinese theater, and her execution in the team finals was perfect. I thought it was much better than the other Chinese girl's that everyone was fawning over all week. While I wanted US on top in that apparatus, I wanted Cheng Fei to get a medal. So sad. Oksana Chusovitina's vault medal, though? Awesome.

A good sport to watch if you simply love camaraderie, and the thrill of actually finishing at all, is the triathalon. The first US woman crossed the line fourth, and she was beaming all over. But even further down, way out of medal contention, the women crossing were often waving to the crowd and looking delighted. Considering the Canadian's broken wrist earlier, I guess that's no wonder.

Carrie and I were talking the other day about how men's volleyball is kind of boring. I like the beach for men's, but I watched today's indoor match with interest, trying to figure out why it's not exciting (which seems paradoxical). I think it's because there isn't much real digging or hitting the floor. You're either by some miracle in front of the ball or you're not. It's too much muscling and not enough finesse. I'm sure there's skill involved, but at times it looks like dumb luck--and the appearance of the sport is often more important than the actuality.

I have kind of a problem watching high-pressure situations. I usually look away during vault competitions, and pommel horse, and just watch the replay. I wish I'd been looking away with some of the other mens' routines--I thought someone was going to be killed during the all-around. So, you might very well wonder what I was doing during Michael Phelps' final swim, and the answer is that I was walking around my very small front room and peeking at the screen when it seemed safe. It's a miracle I went to sleep that night.

Have I mentioned how much I like that the equestrian events are co-ed? I really appreciate that component, and I think there are more sports that should go that route. I know badminton has mixed doubles, and one or two others. But why, for instance, have shooting and archery separated by gender? It's just silly.

Still crossing my fingers for some synchro and rhythmic gymnastics footage!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

PR: Appropriately, associated with lipstick

I finished my syllabi for the first four weeks of my classes, which means I get to do my PR post...that's right, I'm bribing myself to work with blogging about fashion. Actually, I am looking forward to getting lots of handouts and lessons taken care of so I can relax a little next week.
And, as a side note, there are few things more frustrating than knowing that your lips will react to your lipstick (having done so on command a few times), knowing that your back has reacted to a chemical that is in your lipstick (namely, propyl gallate), but not having your back or your arms react to your lipstick. I'm chalking it up to skin thickness and sensitivity, but who knows? It really is a nuisance. But I have a new lipstick, which seems to be okay, and I'll be testing the one Outlast type that doesn't contain gallates on Saturday-Sunday. It is worth noting that, if that one works okay, I'll be able to purchase it in a color called "Tutu."

On to the fashion!
I admit that, with GHI and the Olympics going on, I was worried about catching PR. I did, in fact, miss a few minutes here and there, like the first two outfits of the runway show. I saw enough, though, and of course the PR website has the pictures.
I have made no secret about the fact I don't care much for team challenges. I understand the use of it, and I think pairs challenges are better than the en masse "make a collection" groupings, but I still am not super-thrilled. Ah, well. It was time, I guess. Did anyone notice that all the teams were boy-girl? I wonder how that happened.
Blayne, with Leanne--I did think that Blayne's pieces were a little mundane, but I also think he made a bad styling choice. He didn't show what the outfit would actually look like at work, as he did when he showed it to Tim, so the transition from day to night was completely lost. I don't think that the outfit showed boho chic, either. I liked the colors, though not together, and the whole thing just didn't come together. I missed Blayne's pitch to Brooke Shields, and I'm baffled on why she picked him to be a leader. (Also note that for the second time I get a Victoria's Secret catalog vibe from Blayne!)
Jerell, with Stella (bobbarella)--Okay...personally, this look didn't appeal to me. It's too busy, and while Brooke liked the colors, I'm not sure I did. I also didn't really feel like the look would work for the workday or for evening, but maybe more for the ladies who lunch or for shopping. I don't live in a lipstick jungle, though, so what do I know? I am a little confused on why Kelli was busted for leopard print, but Jerell's skirt and belt tie looked jungly and he escaped criticism. Oh well. Anyway, lucky Stella this week, no? I did like watching these two work together. They got along well.
Keith, with Kenley--You know, Keith has really come on for the last two challenges. His oufit was my favorite this week. I really liked that skirt, and while I personally probably wouldn't wear that print (but definitely not the print Kenley was gunning for--girl, what are you thinking?), I liked the transitional design of the top, which was clever. I think this pair unexpectedly worked well together in execution, and their finished outfit was definitely TV worthy. While Tim is skeptical of the day-night move, I think it could be achieved with the top's changeability and a hairdressing shift. Easy. I don't want to talk about Kenley this week because she was completely bizarre.
Kelli, with Daniel--This pair was doomed. I really liked the color of that greeny-blue offset in the jacket, and as I believe Brooke pointed out, the shape was interesting. But Kelli's work has been all over the place since her creativity of the first challenge, and Daniel's weird attitude combination of Eeyore and snobbery is really getting to me. I, like Nina, have not seen evidence of his so-called "high fashion" design--only the attitude. Alas, I was hopeful for Kelli and her Ohioness, but leopard print? Really?
Korto, with Joe--This is a look I didn't get a look at on the runway. While I do not think the shirt looks like a giant sweet potato, as Tim said in the design phase (he's getting snarky this season, no?), I don't think it fit the challenge. It was eyecatching, and might be interesting as the "pop" piece in a travel ensemble with a pair of pants (the piece you bring that is completely impractical but which cheers you up and gets you some attention in the midst of your trip, like when you finally buy a real dinner at a real I the only one who does this?). The skirt was bland, though. (Actually, Tim's Take informs me this was a dress and overshirt. Hmmm.)
Terri, with Suede--I feel like this was Terri designing for Terri. While not unattractive, I don't think the outfit reached the sophistication level necessary--the "expensive look" that Brooke spoke of. Her model also did a very unattractive job of demonstrating how the sleeves can sit on the shoulders, not just off them. I think this might have gone better on the shoulder with a cute vest for work, then off the shoulder and no vest for going out. A different neckline, in other words. Almost like a ruffly cowl. I don't know what you call it, to be honest. Anyway, I didn't dislike the look, but I didn't see it for this show--even though I've never seen it. Also, I don't know why Terri insisted that Suede do that top, even when he expressed discomfort. She knew he could do it, but...I don't know, the whole thing seemed off. And if they'd been called out, it would have been easy for Suede to call Terri out on poor leadership. Bad dynamics.

With all that said, who's ready for drag queens next week?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Invisibility Cloaks and Olympics Miscellany

An update on cloaking technology. Good times. Bring on the Klingon Birds of Prey!

Re: World Records, I feel completely sorry for this guy. I don't know what alternate universe of Olympics he's been in; maybe it's different when you see events in person. But I've been watching quite a bit of the swimming and have watched the little green WR line moving with the swimmers on NBC, and every time a swimmer is looking to beat the WR mark, it gets pretty exciting. It's true that a lot of World Records have fallen at these Olympics, in lots of different events, but swimming's rules and such have only been in place since 1908, according to The sport has changed dramatically in 100 years. Running has grown in technology also, but its rules have been well established for much longer than swimming. The different type of growth in the sports would certainly lead to different world records changes. But back to feeling sorry for the man, he seems very jaded and inaccurate, and I hope they don't have him do any more coverage of swimming.

Re: Swimming commentators, there is a woman doing poolside interviews that I can't stand. She kept badgering Natalie Coughlin yesterday and asking her about getting close to the lane marker, and did that spoil the race, and why is it happening, and are you focusing on that in the rest of your races. She was obsessive, even though Natalie had already told her no, it was just a bad habit and she needed to focus on other things. Geez! Talk about sowing seeds of doubt. She was like that with Brendan Hansen, too, and a few others. I think the woman is a spy working for another country and trying to shake up our Olympians or get them down. In any case, at times I'm a little embarassed for her because she really doesn't have the Olympics spirit. Shut up, already.

Re: Swimming, OMG how exciting was the men's relay win last night? I thought there was no way, and then could not believe my eyes. And the color commentator was so excited it made me even more excited. I love moments like that, and that's why I watch the Olympics.

Re: Gymnastics, does anyone besides me think the names used to differentiate the gymnastics types are completely backward? "Artistic" gymnastics are based completely on rhythm and, while I enjoy them very much, are really not that artistic--aesthetic "choreography" is often overlooked. "Rhythmic" gymnastics certainly include a rhythmic component, but they are based almost entirely on artistic merit and choreography. What genius thought the nomenclature up?

Also Re: Gymnastics, I actually cried for that little Chinese girl when she fell off the bars. Her release skill was so amazing and then to have that freak accident. Our girls had more than their share of hard knocks, and I felt bad for them, but they are such fighters with clearly positive attitudes, and something about this tiny girl trying not to cry really got me.

Re: Opening Ceremonies, my favorite part was the dancing scroll writers. How awesome was that? It was simple but dramatic, and looked amazing visually. It was like all my major interests combined into one package. It seems like in every OC I always love the parts where they do historical nods. In Athens, I loved the parade and the Cupid and, while I loved the later helix, too, it was that sense of the ancient I loved best. When things start to get neon, I lose interest.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

From the Dept. of Psychic Research

So, I was watching the Olympics but also channel flipping, and I landed on the "Puppy Games" on Animal Planet, and found myself watching a bit.
I noticed one very little dog, and she proved within seconds to be fairly quiet vocally but all over the place with tenacity. I thought to myself, "She reminds me of me and I shall call her Abby in my mind."
Then they put her name and "vital stats" you see where I'm going with this?

Her name is Abby.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

PR: Olympic "Glory"

Double-posting today, yippee!

I really liked the challenge on Project Runway this week, and I liked hearing about the designers more, hearing their stories and inspirations. Certainly, some of them missed the mark, but I actually liked watching this entire show, which I can't say about many because of the drama. This week it kept my attention. I also had a really hard time picking my favorite--and least favorite. I also am really glad we haven't yet had a team challenge, because we have gotten to see a lot of outfits. Finally, has everyone noticed how many designers are doing several pieces, and how many have included a sleeve of some kind?

Blayne: This sort of made me think of something I might see in Victoria's Secret for a new take on workout wear. I think he is the first of several designers to forget that skimpy high heels on athletes during the hours-long Opening Ceremonies would be an exception, not something many would do. The outfit was kind of cute, but not terribly appropriate to the challenge-in-hand. Perhaps if the top had bolder red and white and had been paired with a loose pant that could be worn with different shoes.
Daniel: WTF? Airline stewardess much? The only other thing I will say about Daniel this week is this: Even if you have never seen an Opening Ceremony in your life, you surely have heard about them, and barring that, being told by Tim and Apolo that it involves every country parading in and standing around a lot, with some other countries having designers do their outfits, you could still come up with something better than this.
Jennifer: Poor Jennifer. At times I found her a tad annoying, and at other times I related to her as my ten years ago self. Nina (who repeated herself) did make the point we all were thinking, that she designs for herself...but since I do, too, I can't complain. Her outfit looked like something you might pick up at Target--and that's not an insult. I thought her skirt was very cute. But an Opening Ceremonies outfit for the USA it was not. Her auf'ing this week was also down to her previous troublesome work. Her outfit was not the worst of the bunch, but she hadn't shown as much creativity as others previously.
Jerrell: Once again, WTF? Though I don't like Siriano much, I have to bring in his "hot mess" here. I don't know who on what planet would wear this, let alone when representing one's country in front of lots of other countries. Stretch pants? No fewer than four patterns? A pink shirt? The scarf was endearing for the challenge, and I think that's why Jerrell scraped by. You could see the athletes wearing that, maybe. The rest...*shudder* I was a little surprised he wasn't auf'd, actually.
Joe: Joe got the picture. Kors was right in pointing out the disparate length of the skort--it became a sort of sign instead of a skirt, but that could be considered kitschy in a way, and appropriate to the occasion. It certainly wasn't vulgar. While a bit dated, his design was streamlined and eyecatching and I was glad he was in the top 3, though I would not have picked him as the winner. Holla at your boy, Michigan! (I can't believe I just typed that.)
Keith: Keith's outfit wasn't bad, but I think the design (in different colors, of course) might be better for a country like Italy. I don't know why I feel that way. Maybe because it's not quite as "wholesome" as the Americans tend to wear, whereas Italy can get away with a bit more unusual design. The skirt was just a little too short, though with that shape I don't think it could have been longer. It did at least look modern. So not bad, but not a top 3, either.
Kelli: Oh, Kelli. Your design was cute in a throwback sort of way, as an outfit for a person to wear to church bingo or the club's BBQ, but not for athletes in the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. It crossed the line to cute-sy.
Kenley: Kenley's outfit, while sassy, had a similar problem to Kelli's. I can see them being part of the same slightly eclectic closet, this time to wear to the Ladies Afternoon Tea or shopping on the Drive. It had a Pretty Woman thing about it, you know? The skirt wasn't completely out of line for the Opening Ceremonies, but I don't think that top would suit a well muscled athlete--this is something that has to look good on the tiny gymnasts, the shouldery swimmers, the sleek distance runners, and the burly shotputters. I don't see it. (I also don't really follow Tim's comment on this outfit...he seems to be doing a lot of paraphrasing these days.)
Korto: Korto, on the other hand, made an outfit anyone could enjoy. I thought the jacket was a wee bit too boxy/swingy, but I liked her concept and thought it a good update. I think it was she who said "it's 2008. I'm designing for 2008!" and she did. It was wearble, could be dressed up or down (though some might say it was a bit too casual), and utilized a splash of color in just the right place (since during most Opening Ceremonies we're looking down on the athletes first). I thought it said USA without being over-the-top. I never did pick a true favorite, but I'm not sorry she won. (Tim points out something I was thinking, which is that this look could be easily adapted for the men on the team...Tim and I are back on track!)
Leanne: Leanne's design was edited well again this week. I would have placed this fourth, I think. The lower half was a tiny bit frumpy, but I thought she brought her style vision out with the top of the top. Unlike Keith's garment, it was both designed unusually and practical. I never could see what was going on with the stripe on the side of the top and wish I could see it better in the picture. But I could picture athletes wearing this during the walk-in as something a little different but not completely out of whack. (This is the one spot where Tim and I totally disagree this week. I could completely see what Leanne was after, did not think her collar was haphazard, because it was aiming to be scarflike, and thought she was the only one who succeeded at least partially with retro-modern. She was definitely not near the bottom.)
Stella: Yikes. I am impatiently waiting for her to get called out in a big way for her lack of versatility and vision. She has a point of view, yes, but no vision. Really? A belly-bearing black leather top? Why? I could sort of see what she was after, but her attachment to her old ways kept her from reaching it and it ended up looking like a recital costume.
Suede: If Jennifer were going to walk in the Opening Ceremonies, this is what she'd wear. While not completely out of whack, I can't really see this on the athletes. It was pretty, but didn't really have power. It was too little girly. Sueded has seemed very attached to floofy skirts.
Terri: Terri is another one who got it; a bustier might have been pushing it a little, but as someone on the panel pointed out, one could wear her outfit a lot of different ways. It might be just a little too busy, but that isn't unusual in the ceremonies either. It was pratical and classic with a few nice twists, and you could totally see athletes wearing this outfit. Another solid effort from Terri.

Korto and Terri clearly did the best with this challenge; I really liked Terri's take on the scarf, and thought she fully conceptualized the event at stake. Her look was similar to traditional Opening Ceremony wear, though--for some that's a plus and others a minus. Korto's look was a little different--again, for some a plus and others a minus. Her look may have been a little too simple, but as I said I think it was practical and eyecatching. I am glad this wasn't my decision to make because they both had high marks from me. On the bottom, well--it wasn't hard to figure out the bottom three for me, and if I'd had the choice and just based it on this week I would probably have chosen Jerrell to go, even though I really liked his dress last week. His look was just that incomprehensible. I hope he does better in future to redeem himself.