Friday, January 25, 2008

PR: In the Jeans

I shouldn't be doing this because I have a HUGE load of stuff to do, but...
Tim said something interesting in his blog, which was this: "On the show, you hear me say, “It’s stunning,” and it’s true that I did say it, as in, “Fix all of this and make certain that it’s stunning.” That was about Ricky. He says he was baffled by Ricky's win, and that the editors couldn't use much of what he said about the look in the workroom. I like reading Tim's Take because it reminds me that everything we're getting is chopped up into rounded pieces.
Anyway, Rami or Sweet P should have won. However, I was irritated that everyone kept oohing over the zippers on Rami's garment. Uh, hello! Jeffrey? The zipper dress? Rami's was a cute garment, though, with interesting neck draping. I liked Sweet P's fix to her dress, and it looked very wearable. I will note that I wish for fewer strapless dresses from these people (there aren't too many ways to add straps to a denim dress without making it look bad, I mused to myself last night, but all the same...)
Not sorry to see Victorya go. It really looked like the model for Victorya was wearing a jacket over a skirt...they didn't look attached in the front, and the matte of the underside of the fabric which she used as the top was confusing. Concept was good, execution baffling.
Not a fan of Chris's work this week. His work and a few others reminded me how challenging this challenge was...making denim into anything other than its usual pieces is hard to make look good.
Christian...both Tim and the judges rhapsodized about his use of a sleeve for the leg, but I do not believe that to be very innovative. I've seen buttons on the back of skinny jean legs before, and maybe I'm influenced by my interest in making over clothes, just wasn't that genius to me. It just seemed sort of logical.
Jillian's design confused me. I liked the neck design she did. It reminded me of the crazy deconstructed 2050 or whatever challenge from a few years ago, and I bet if she did something like that she could have won. Sort of futuristic denim. Wouldn't that be iconic in a way? As is, the top and bottom didn't mesh and I didn't blame the judges for putting her on the block. But I'm glad she didn't go home.
Guess that's it...the competition is dwindling! So what did you all think?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend's Brief Escape

Aside from hockey overload, here are some things I did at home this weekend:
  • Watched the extras on my mother's HP 5 dvd (I got the one with just the movie).
  • Ate delicious and balanced meals prepared by my mother (seriously, I never make roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for myself, so I ate kind of a lot).
  • Ate lunch at Panera with my Mom.
  • Looked at a picture of my niece's first playdate about a thousand times, because it's too cute for words.
  • Did a lot of laundry.
  • Went to church, and got to see the new baby of one of the pastors.
  • Watched the almost incomprehensible but still enjoyable Northanger Abbey on PBS with my folks. At one point my Dad said something to the effect of, "I can't follow this, but it does suck you in!" (Carrie, how did you do with this one?)
  • Looked at all seven of my old yearbooks. I was a total geek, you know. But I sure was in good shape in high school. I rediscovered such hilarity as the boys dressed up in the cheerleaders' uniforms to support the Powder Puff football game, the glory of our senior year air band to "Love Shack," and the inane ridiculousness we used to write in each other's middle school books...but also the secret codes we had. I can't remember what they all mean.
  • Went to the eye doctor.
  • Went to Bottom's Up, the best dance store ev-ah. I bought blue pointe shoes (except my laces are also blue) and some new pointe shoes with thermosomething technology, and some new leotards and warmups, and generally had the time of my life. The store is tiny and packed with dance stuff and lingerie, and there were four helpers there, so I had lots of input. The lady who does the pointe shoe fittings, just by checking sizes for me, could tell that my achilles tendons are as hard as rocks, and she gave me a marble to do exercises with to help loosen them up. I hope it works, because my calves and achilles are indeed always tight, and it would be awesome if they didn't hurt so much. I was jumping up and down when I got home to show my parents my purchases, and when I got back to BG I went straight to the arena to test out the blue pair (ostensibly to see if I needed to do any work on them, like sewing elastic, but really because they're fun).
I got way lucky with weather both directions, and had a great drive. I listened to the radio most of the way back, which I hardly ever do, but the trip seemed short, so that was ok.
In other words, I had an awesome weekend, and I hope yours was groovy too!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


This weekend, among other things, I watched and listened to a heck of a lot of hockey. The action began on Friday night, when I witnessed one of the, if not the biggest fight of my hockey-watching career. I mean, I've seen lots of dustups, and on TV I've seen some two or four man boxing matches, but this was all 10 players on the ice, and I was right there.
Let me make two things clear:
  1. I hate boxing. I can't watch it, and seeing people hit each other makes me upset in a generally awful way I can't really describe or defend.
  2. I have officially discovered the drawback to knowing guys on the BG Falcons team.

The fight happened 12 seconds to the end of the game, with BG up on Western 4-1. Western is a chippy team anyway, and BG has had more of a physical presence this year. I have no idea what precipitated this fight; all I know is that for a long time I had no idea who was in a four-man pile, and the other three Falcons became involved in various fracas with some Broncos.

The worst for me was when my favorite successfully tugged a guy away from a Falcon teammate and this Bronco just started maniacally punching anything he could get hold of. He landed some blows to the head, neck, and face area, and I'm just going to admit that I kind of freaked out, quietly and invisibly, but certainly internally, especially since the officials were busy elsewhere. When my guy got up his face was bloody and I couldn't tell from where and as I observed to some friends, when you mess with my favorite, I'm going to get mad. And worried.

Then I finally saw that one of my other former students was at the bottom of the main pile, and that wasn't great either. Another of my acquaintances was stripped of most of his top equipment. The upshot of all this was that all ten players got disqualified for fighting. For Saturday's game, Western was so short that their fourth line had one person on it to rotate in the other lines. BG barely had enough players to make up its lines, and was missing some of its major workhorses, but it was in better shape. Fortunately, BG pulled out an overtime win on Saturday, which I listened to on the radio (along with the Michigan State game, win; the Sabres, in a game I watched on mute while I listened to two games on the radio, sadly did not win).

In any case, I'm anxious to see the guys, maybe pick up some hugs, and reestablish some normality in my brain, making sure they're all right...the first time I've ever felt that anxious about a fight, and certainly due to knowing them personally. I seem to remember a game fight somewhere in which the benches got involved (the people on them, not the benches themselves) but I didn't know the players in that instance. This was much worse. I know it's totally girly, but I worry about my guys, and while I respect that they had to stand together on this, I hope they're not called to do so in quite such a dramatic melee again!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

PR Points for the week

  • First, Nina mentions in her PR blog that, as she watched the episode on TV, she "anticipated" (even though she knew the outcome) that Rami would be the one to go, based on his conflict with Sweet P. I gotta be honest, while I was worried about them, as soon as I heard Kit say, "It's awesome, it's fine, it's great," while Ricky was fussing worriedly over the ready-to-wear, I was almost positive she'd go. I thought to myself, "She got lazy about this challenge" and sure enough, auf'd.
  • I loved the avant garde outfit of team Jillian-Victorya. While the judges passed the ready-to-wear dress, I didn't care for it. It looked kind of little girly to me, and the top part was uninspiring in cut. Sure, they had practically no time, but the taste level seemed off to me. I think, if they hadn't both had time problems (Team Last Minute) they could have knocked out a winner there.
  • I was not at all sorry that Chris and Christian (Team Fierce) won. I am an established Christan naysayer (I don't think people with bad attitudes and poor people skills should receive fame and financial success, in the natural order of the world...that's me), but their team spirit was incredible, and from start to finish it felt good to see them joyful about a project together. It was like reveling in fashion playtime, which is really how things could be in the best world and how things should be for avant garde. I loved their interpretation of the romantic hairstyle (which I would love to do with my own hair, in a slightly less exuberant way). The blouse they did for the ready-to-wear is very similar to things I've seen in Victoria's Secret and Kohl's and such. Not sure that's a point in their favor, though it was tidy.
  • Add two inches to Sweet P's dress, and I would buy it, to wear with jeans, maybe. Hearts.
  • I don't know what the heck Rami was thinking...I expected him to understand avant garde for some reason. Did anyone else have this perception? In the end, I was really confused about what he was doing. I could see a sort of Midsummer Night's faerie queen thing with the hair, but...yikes. It needed to be overdone more, be more dynamic. Instead, it was drab.
  • On the model side of things, I was not sorry to see Katie go. If you're looking at models as clothes hangers, fine, but her walk was really not strong. I don't think she really showed anyone's work off well.
  • No more team challenges!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ghost Hunters in the House! Well, Air Force Base.

Pretty geeked this week to find out that Ghost Hunters is filming for an episode in Dayton this week. How beyond cool is that? Can't wait for the episode. I hope they find something ridiculously creepy that makes certain people and I text message each other for reassurance, and that other certain people can only watch in the daytime.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Prom and Ghosts

Reality TV...I don't like it, but last night I was grateful that two of my shows are realityesque, because they had new episodes for me last night, which kept me fat and happy (figuratively speaking) on my couch for hours.
So, our weekly PR report: rarely have I disagreed with judges on so many points than I did this week, not the least point of which is Heidi's comment that they only liked two of the dresses...since I disliked Victorya's garment and loved Chris's, this struck me as ridiculous. I will pass over the color comments about Victorya's dress (electric blue is fine by me), but I really cannot stand bejeweled placards like the one she had. Interestingly, Tim Gunn is with me on this point: "Furthermore, the jewel emblazoned panel on the front of the halter made the dress look more appropriate for a hostess at a Vegas cocktail lounge than a teenager attending a suburban prom." So. Not a winner for me.
I was for Sweet P or Chris, and that is that (also the top two favorites of the Rate the Runway on Bravo's website). I would have liked a better look at the back of Chris's dress...I thought it looked interesting, but couldn't commit to it if I couldn't see it clearly. But his dress was tasteful and looked very nice on the model, as did Sweet P's. I was, thus, SO irritated by the judging. I thought Chris's dress was more unusual, but I would love to have worn Sweet P's because it was so sleekly feminine and flattering.
I also disagreed with a lot of the judges' visions on prom. It was increasingly clear to me that they had no idea of what goes on at proms, and that they had a skewed picture of being a 16-18-year-old girl. They kept talking about "teenagers" and what they want, but these girls are about to be adults. They are trying to leave standard clothes behind and take this first step into looking like a woman. Well I remember the search through Gantos in particular, wading through racks and racks of colors and shapes. You can have a similar experience now in the back of Windsor, and find a wide range of garments...and though it's a younger woman's store, many of the popular looks are adult shapes. Furthermore, looking whorish is not about age, and looking adult, even if it's not sophisticated, does not make a girl either matronly or whorish.
Kevin's color, for example. Passing over the lack of finishing on his garment, I have to say that bright red is a popular prom color. My own junior prom dress was red, and I looked fabulous in it, in my own opinion. I loved my dress. Now, the dress Kevin made was a little trampy, but others described it as matronly...I begin to suspect that this is now a byword like "society" that doesn't actually mean anything anymore. Looking older is not looking matronly. Red is not an inappropriate prom color.
I felt similarly about Ricky's color. Sure, they wanted something that popped, but I think with a different garment, that color would have been absolutely ethereal. I've mentioned before my hatred of bubble skirts, so that knocked his dress out for me, but the color, I think, suited his model...and ballet pink is also a popular prom color.
Rami...what to say about Rami? I did not agree that his look was matronly (again that word--it doesn't mean what you think it means!) or that the dress was too adult. The way a lot of proms work, that look would have been perfectly appropriate, and even admired. I didn't love the dress, and I didn't love the color, but I didn't think it was as far out of whack as they seemed to think it was. I firmly believe you could find a shape like that (excepting the front drape) in Windsor. Ladies wear women's dresses to prom. That's the whole point for a lot of girls!
And the rest: I liked the color of Jillian's dress...the camera angles made the bust look weird so I didn't like it on the show; it looks better on the website pictures. I didn't care for Kit's dress much; just didn't add up for me. Christian? Gah. Has there ever been a challenge that that kid didn't complain about from the get-go? What DOES he like doing? I sympathized with his situation, but his people skills are frightening. The dress, to be frank, was ridiculous. It reminded me of a four-year-old flower girl's dress. But his complete lack of will to fix it hurt me, especially when Tim expended so much energy trying to get him motivated, as if he were, indeed, a Parsons student. I feel like he got coddled in the workroom because he's young and was suffering a lack of confidence. I'm kind of done with his whining, I guess.
Ultimately, I was disappointed not just in the judges' decision, but in their attitudes about young women and prom in general. If you're talking about homecoming, fine, but prom is a whole other entity, and I think they seriously missed the mark.

Fortunately, my frustration was mitigated by the two hours of Ghosthunters that preceded it. I about laughed myself off the couch when Kris got stuck (totally saw that coming) and I enjoyed the spooky thermal footage in particular. My jury is still out on International Ghosthunters. I get a kick out of Irish Barry most of the time, but I think the whole group is a little too...harsh? Grant and Jay sort of balance each other out, but I feel like most of the Int'l group is a little too grr. Donna is very nice, but she's not one of the major leaders at this point. Ultimately, I am still geeked, though.

New Supernatural and Pushing Daisies? I miss you heartily.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I'm still sick, with about three quarters of a voice, and I haven't slept well for coughing.
So, please enjoy this hilarious commerical starring former Spartan goalie, Ryan Miller, whom I heart:

Friday, January 04, 2008

PR ep. 6

Righteo, let's get on with it, shall we?
It always seems like right after I say something, PR gets there. So, when I was ready for group collections, bam. When I was ready for the unconventional materials, bam. Maybe a LITTLE late, but close. I probably would have switched the two. This week's candy challenge was fun--it didn't quite force everyone to work outside the comfort zone (witness how many people chose to work with fabric) but it did reveal who was willing to. I give major props to Jillian, but also to Jillian's model, who was open to the experience and participated in the creation of the garment by handsewing Twizzlers. Good on ya, Lauren. She is a model who seems to have a personality, which I appreciate (she was also Jillian's bib model from ep. 4)
Has anyone besides me noticed how much more scared this year's designers are? I think back to the grocery store challenge of season 1 and how everyone just sort of leapt in, some reluctant and some freaking out, but everyone his or her own private tornado. Now so many seem to just be in a corner rocking back and forth mentally.
Anyway. About our winner, Daniel V. in his blog writes: "She looks like [a] perky, little robot that would be stationed at the front of a candy store in the year 2046, handing out free Chiclets and pinching little kids['] cheeks." And I agree with that. In a good way (as Daniel in fact meant it). Rami's dress is pretty adorable, it showed innovation, and it was dangerous, being made mostly of paper. I wouldn't call it super wearable, and I thought it was interesting that the judges disregarded that when they called others out on it, but I had no regrets about it being named the winner. I felt that Chris's dress represented more a personal triumph; it was tasteful, a little undercooked I thought, but for him I think that is a remarkable achievement. Next to others, not as grand, but for him a great job. I've already commented on Jillian--I think she like Rami caught the purpose of the challenge and I admired her guts. Tim, in his blog, indicates that she won for him, and I was definitely torn between her and Rami. I'd really like to see those two in the finale.
Christian...Christian's dress reminded me of Mario's dress in season one...the shower curtain thing. It was pretty, but he himself seemed to point to his unwrapping of hundreds of candies to be his major achievement. I liked that he had a little hat with his garment, and his piece was certainly attractive, but...I really question whether it had enough difficulty to it. I also wondered if those candies had foil wrapping as well...wouldn't an accent of that gold foil somehow have been stunning? Tim Gunn mentions in his blog that he thinks Christian will be very polarizing, and I think he's dead center with that. He has so much to offer, and some gravitate towards his attitude, while others want to punch him. I cannot stand it when people are high on themselves to that degree, and I feel like I probably would not be friends with him. And he wouldn't care.
And the rest of our cavalcade: Not a fan of Victorya (not confectionary enough, or ice princessy), Elisa (good concept, but execution not so much), or Sweet P (who was not really a fan of her own work, either, this challenge). Ricky's garment seemed slick, but I am sick to death of bubble skirts, and frankly I think they're grotesque when used outside of the costume world. I liked Kit's garment more than the judges seemed to, but mostly because I really liked the bustier, and because I love KitKats. Kevin's garment was well put together, but I was disappointed that he didn't select any more challenging materials. It was cute, but safe.
I still don't feel like I know the designers well enough to pick favorites; often I do, and then they do or say something horrible, and I can't stand them anymore. Jillian is my frontrunner on average at this point. I think Rami is skilled, though I don't always like his style. Ditto for Kevin and Kit.
Next three weeks are going to be pretty crucial as we get down to less than half of the original set of designers. I have to count on major mistakes being made, and I think the judges will too, because I believe we have a larger than usual set of talents here.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

If you needed any more reasons...

to go and see the new Star Trek film when it comes out, I just found out that Karl Urban will be playing Dr. Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy.
Yes, that's right, Eomer is a doctor, not a bricklayer.
And Scotty? Simon Pegg.
Is this even possible?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

She sends her regrets

Yes, it's true; Avacious missed yet another New Year's celebration, this time due to a fever, coughing, and loss of voice.
Good times.