Thursday, July 17, 2008

PR: Back to the Store

Okay, so maybe last night didn't go exactly as Steve so aptly put it,
For those of you not in BG, the cable it was on Pause (you should have seen Sally Field's sad face stopped on Steel Magnolias!) the middle of Ghosthunters (the plan was to watch GHI at 9 and then PR at 11), and didn't come back on for an hour. At 11, I had to watch PR. So, I will not know for a while if the demonic black dog ever made an appearance. They might put the episode online at some point, which would rock.

Anyway, let's PR it up.
I was excited when they decided to re-do the grocery store challenge, and surprised when one of the designers fessed up that he never thought about what he would do. Are you kidding? How can you not? I also thought it was fun to have the irrepressible Austin Scarlett back. His dandyism was in full foppish glory, and his first outfit was very "The Blue Boy." Sadly, it seemed to me that more of the designers this year had that "I'll play it safe for a while" mentality; they should have known what to expect, but they weren't really aiming for extraordinary. I hope Tim was permanently successful in jolting them out of their creative inertia, so we don't run into that season 2 nonsense where no one embraced the final dress challenge. I also can't believe that the designers were all surprised at how many people picked table cloths. Really, designers? REALLY?
An interesting note on this season--no surprises as to the challenge itself. You can find out what all the challenges for this season are on Bravo's website.

Ok, the runway rundown.
Blayne--Yikes. Making some hot shorts for the bottom with some weaving for the top might have worked...but somehow the weaving ended up with the bottom of the onepiece. I could see the shape he was going for, but the garment was hideous. He seems incapable of seeing flaws--as further evidenced by his addiction to tanning. You look like a carrot, dude. Not cool, or good for you. (Tim's Take seems to see the materials more than the final look also, which is irritating--yes, he met the parameters of the challenge, but his product was awful!)
Daniel--I was worried about Daniel's cup plan, but impressed when he carried it out. He created a confection more than fashion, but I agreed with his placement in the top 3. The design was vivid and sassy...and probably intensely difficult to produce.
Emily--I liked the asymmetrical line of the bottom of her skirt, and her idea for the big scarf thing, though I was not in fact that interested in the "Scarf" itself. Without it, though, the dress would have been too dull. Ultimately, execution just wasn't there.
Jennifer--She seems like a sweet girl, but the dress was boring. It looked exactly like a dress. I know it was made out of paper towels and that's great, but she was missing that oomph that the winning dress had.
Jerrell--I would have liked this design better without the fringed sleeve and the neckline parasols in front. I liked the print of the bodice, but it might have been nice to have that parasol detail in the back, maybe right at the seamline in a little arrangement. I might have even been able to deal with it in front sans sleeve.
Jerry--I didn't agree that the look was creepy per se (though the yellow gloves were a definite cry for editing). I think the raincoat would have been nice...but the look all together was too busy and bushy. I think a more fitted duster-style coat would have been perfect, and then he could have skipped the dress, which added unncessary bulk.
Joe--Joe is from Troy, MI, which is cool. His garment was summery, but I didn't care for the top (Tim, on the other hand, liked it). If he could have made a whole dress with more of that print of oven mitts, with some kind of pasta creation as trim, then I would have been more satisfied. As it is, it screamed clash to me, in a bad way.
Keith--"I added some netting so it would look less like a tablecloth"? Oh dear. Points for being structural and wearable, but if netting is his version of taking something out of the box, I'm concerned. His design looked complete ultimately, though.
Kelli--I didn't care for the "top," but I loved the skirt and I loved the idea of the chemical dye. Kelli was thinking about material, but also about the extra cut above everyone else--actually changing the material and imposing her own aesthetic on its basic self. The outfit wasn't the prettiest, but it showed a depth of quick thinking that no one else showed. I wish I'd gotten a look at this spiral binding closure she did. Also, she's from Columbus.
Kenley--Again, l like the print, this time in the skirt. I am actually kind of intrigued by Kenley as a designer...the outfits they showed when introducing her looked like smashing Chloe and Austin together--whimisical, but also sleek and wearable. Anyway, her skirt had an interesting shape.
Korto--I don't usually completely agree with Michael Kors, but his comments about Korto's dress were dead on. It was the right styling on the right girl. Yes, she used an easy fabric substitute. But the dress was amazing! It had structure and flair and was totally wearble. If it wasn't yellow, I would buy it and wear it around. I also liked her vegetables--good use of kale as frills. The whole thing looked suitable for a fashion shoot (except that Tim found it enormously boring--I am concerned that this season Tim and I are going to be at odds, but after his Guide to Style show, I'm not sure I care. Sorry, Tim).
Leanne--This was a little too Playboy candy-striper for me. (Guess who liked it? Tim.)
Stella--For such a hard rocker chick, with such high-profile clients, I was surprised when Stella had a meltdown so early. She didn't even bother to hide it. I hope these self-confidence whinges aren't going to be a regular feature. Anyway, Stella suffered from trying to cheap this challenge out, I think--she got the wrong trash bags. Given her goal, I think a safer bet would have been buying four boxes ($75 bucks goes a long way!), maybe some white and some black, but making sure they are the good kind. Go for the sturdiest kinds you can find. But if all else fails, geez, just adapt already! Make something poofy if your bags are poofy.
Suede--Kind of blah, though I like that the dress matched his hair.
Terri--Not a huge fan of this outfit, because while I respect the mopheads usage, the result almost looked too normal. I didn't not like it, I was just ambivalent.
Wesley--This dress didn't do it for me. It met the challenge requirements and wasn't ugly, but I wasn't interested in it. I thought at first it was because it was yellow, but really it's the severe shape of it. Again, Tim loved it. Oh, Tim Gunn. How we have fallen out.

So that's it! We'll see how this Tim Gunn vs. Avacious thing plays out this season. I'm anxious to see the next few designs from everybody, and which time I can be more secure in my favorites, but I'm rooting for Kelli and Kenley right now.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe they've posted all the challenges and guest judges right on the site! Maybe it was getting too hard to control confidentiality.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the hinted drag queen episode.

I was so disappointed in last night's creations. Too, too much reliance on tablecloths and other fabric surrogates. They might as well have been taken to a dollar store, not a grocery store. It would have been more interesting if the designers had been taken to a farmer's market and directed to get all their materials there.

I was ready to like Stella, but as soon as she started whimperwhining her problem to Tim, like he could give her a free pass to go back and get better trash bags or something, I started to feel revulsion. Her continued sulks and whinging did not help.

Jennifer's National Honor Society pleasantness and borderline frumpiness have me wary. I wonder if we're going to see her snap as stress mounts and the other designers' attitudes and (probable) decadence start to eat at her. I can't believe she's worked in Italy for Blumarine. Maybe she just does her embroidery designs in a little apartment, where she drinks tea and reads Victorian novels and never goes out except for the occasional museum exhibition.

Or maybe I'm totally wrong about it. As they say, it's always the quiet ones...


Anonymous said...

...wrong about *her*, I mean.


Abs said...

I was shocked, too...I saw Heidi Klum on a talk show, and she said they'd released the challenges, but I thought she was kidding!
I thought you would probably be bored by the fabric surrogates (good word)...I like your farmer's market idea. Maybe they should do a combined Top Chef/Project Runway challenge...Meet Me in the Market. Design a garment that complements a meal?
I felt kind of the same way about Jennifer...there are a couple of designers who look a little too innocent to be believed. But I guess Chloe was sort of the same way...she had more pizzazz, but she was quiet and generally nice, and then she won.
We should come up with a crazy list of challenges and sell it to Bravo.