Thursday, July 24, 2008

PR: "Green"

General observations:
First, I was surprised that none of the models seemed to know anything about fabric. I can understand being nervous and not having much expertise, but seriously--NO one had a gran who sewed, or a sister who taught them to use a machine? Really? They wear me that translates into at least a basic understanding, but maybe I take that for granted.
Second, I could not believe how many dresses were super-short and tight. Cocktail length is not really supposed to almost show your crotch. It's traditionally thought of as just above the knee (ie, Terri-length). I think a lot of them blamed fabric quantity, but in some ways that supports an idea I have had for some time that these designers often have a lot of waste fabric. Now, I'm not a designer, and I'm not doing a lot of structural things, but I often cut it pretty close for fabric quantity. I don't like to have a lot of discard because it makes me feel bad. You would also think designers would look at the quantity their models got and plan something that fits the quantity without being vulgar. I think some of them were so thrown by not getting their own fabric that their creativity+common sense shut down.
Third, when Heidi Klum was on some talk show the other day she mentioned the vast amount of crying that went on this season--did you notice we're already seeing that?
Fourth, Tim and I are more in sync this week, particularly about what baffled us. Off in a few of the details, but several of the same things caught our eye.
Fifth, I wondered if any designers, just for a second, thought that "everyone will use green fabrics" meant the color.
Blayne: Blayne redeemed himself this week. When I heard side panels I was nervous, but actually the garment was cute and had structural interest to it, even though it was a mite too short for my tastes.
Daniel: I liked Daniel's garment a lot. It was black, which can be boring, and was also insanely short, but I didn't mind the shortness in his dress so much because it wasn't tight to the leg. It didn't look whorish but sweet and kind of dainty. I think this is one of the two dresses I would actually wear. I am concerned about Daniel's time issues and hope that doesn't get him.
Emily: I was intrigued by the top of Emily's garment at first, but for some reason it didn't come together for me on the runway. Maybe it was just too small. Y'all know I'm not a big fan of braiding usually, but I thought this would work. It wasn't ugly, but the proportions of the whole thing were just too small, like she was wearing a child's dress.
Jennifer: I think the Rate the Runway site has their pictures mixed up...Jennifer's is the orange and grey one, no? I was not a fan of this garment. I'd be interested to see the colors in person--on TV they looked frumpy together. On the whole, the dress confused me.
Jerell: Kudos to Jerell for utilizing the peacock feathers his model brought him, which might have thrown off another designer. I felt like the model's and designer's visions came together on the dress. I didn't care for the fit of the top, and it's not something I'd wear personally, but the dress seemed hip. Very club-oriented.
Joe: When I saw Joe's completed dress I was nervous because it was so simple (or even boring) and not as smooth as I'd like to see. But I really liked that cut-out detail, which is confusing to me because usually I don't care for cut-outs. For some reason, though, that perfectly circular and rhinestoned hole helped.
Keith: Had the bottom of Keith's garment not been bubble-skirtish, maybe more flippy, I might have liked this better. And again---WAY too short. You literally almost can see her business. As a runway statement, fine, but this was supposed to be a wearable cocktail dress, wasn't it? Even for a model that's too short.
Kelli: I didn't care for Kelli's dress this week. It wasn't horrible, but it really didn't complement her model client, and in a way it looked sort of like a flight attendant on The Fifth Element. I liked the way it was constructed in shaping/piecing, though, so I remain interested in what she has to offer.
Kenley: Loved Kenley's dress. Duh. It was tasteful and sassy, it looked great on her model, and along with Daniel this was my other favorite that I would actually wear.
Korto: I could see what she was going for, and it worked in the top of the front, but the shaping of the bottom was incomprehensible. A nice A-line with the same size seam all around would have been better and sleeker.
Leanne: Oh, Leanne. Tim's advice completely washed over you, and since I agreed with him, I didn't have much sympathy with your distress. What Leanne wanted to do was noble, but needed some serious editing in execution. The fabric being what it was, a sleeker and simpler detailing with the loops she's made would have been better. The back of the dress particularly suffered from the "overworking." I want Leanne to do better but like Blayne last week, I questioned her eye this week.
Stella: I am rapidly tiring of Stella. I like her pigtails, but "this isn't what I do" and "I wish I had some leather" are not appropriate attitudes for Project Runway. I mean, have you ever seen this show before? The judges want to see your point of view, yes, but also adaptability. Anyway, her dress reminded me of something and I haven't quite put my finger on it. A dance costume, maybe? On the whole its aesthetic didn't appeal to me.
Suede: I was a bit piqued that Suede won, and it is complicated to explain. When I saw what he was doing on the mannequin, I was baffled. I was interested in what he said about tulle, but those strips were confusing. When it was completed, I understood what he was going for. It's not something I would wear, and I am genuinely bothered by the neckline--maybe a sharper, lower point would have done it there. But, it was interesting and original, which is why I think he won; however, how many people going into a store would actually buy that dress? It seems like more a one-0ff you could sell for lots of money rather than a marketable item to the masses. Perhaps I need to investigate Bluefly, because I may simply misunderstand it. Anyway, I didn't at all mind Suede being in the top two, but I had hoped Kenley would win.
Terri: Terri's dress seemed a little cataloguey to me...that isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it fit the model well. I just wasn't excited by it...but I didn't hate it, either.
Wes: Poor Wes. I was sad to see Wes go because he reminds me of somebody I know, which was entertaining. I also think he has a lot of talent. But it cannot be avoided that he midjudged his material, before and during construction. Ooh, La.


Mrs. White said...

Ha! I was thinking the exact same thing about the "green" fabrics. There was a delayed look of understanding after Tim explained the challenge further, and I really think several of the designers thought they were making green-colored outfits.

Also, I was under the assumption that the dresses were so short because the models didn't purchase enough fabric. At least I hope that's why, because otherwise there's a serious lack of taste with this bunch.

Finally, I shared your curiosity on, so I checked it out this morning. There's a very wide variety of stuff there, including Christian Siriano's new line which is truly fugly and grossly overpriced. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

I knew what Tim meant by green fabrics right away, but I'd just recently finished reading Elle's green fashion issue. I'm sue some of the designers were thinking of the color green at first.

I was sure many designers were doomed to disqualification because the models wouldn't have the knowledge to find green fabrics - but I read in Tim's blog that MOOD put green stickers on the eligible choices. Thank goodness.

Could have adored Kenley's dress, but it reminded me too much of Christian Siriano. Saw the cream poufs and black last season, a lot.

Wes was so whingey and blamey. Fer chrissakes, take what your poor model brought and do something awesome. I'm sure the girls thought the brown satin was beautiful, not realizing how difficult it is to work with. It certainly took me a while to realize what a challenge satin is.

I am curious to know how Suede's (interesting but garish) design will be mass-produced. It'll need great workmanship to get that kind of weaving detail done in a non-trashy way, but that means the price will be exorbitant. I only see particularly rich lemming PR fans buying it in that case -- and buying it more as as souvenir than as a wearable dress.

Emily reminds me of some English costume flick actress I've seen - maybe a Jane Austen adaptation. I'm trying to remember who it is. Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

I think the actress I was trying to remember is Hermione Norris, who was in Clarissa and a Poirot or two. Close enough. I think she's had dark hair in some of her roles, which increases the Emily resemblance.


Abs said...

You are probably right about the fabric quantity, Mrs. W. I had to giggle a little on your perception of Christian's line; there are a few cute items, but the "look" part has some items that look totally space-cadety. Anyway, I'm glad you were looking at the screen after the initial challenge announcement. I missed the dawning comprehension. Darn!
Sis, was the green fashion issue any good? I'm intrigued by the concept, though I probably couldn't afford the fabrics. I had your same thought about Kenley's similarity to a past outfit by Christian; but at the same time, Christian's had a similarity to something I'd seen before on PR also. I thought Kenley made the best use of her items. I also agree completely with your vision of Suede--it's a souvenir. That's it exactly.
Interesting thought on Emily...I'll watch more closely in the next show, because I've had that same feeling of vague familiarity.

Anonymous said...

I read Elle's tribute to green fashion with a feeling of crawling annoyance. They pat themselves and the fashion industry on the back for touting all this new trendy stuff with green materials. To me, constant new trends, constant production of new things, and constant buying to stay in fashion (Elle's purpose in life; Elle's bread and butter) are the antithesis of green living even if the materials used are "green."

I think it's more green to use last year's Coach bag for another few years than it is to buy a new "green" bag. It's more green to re-use your Aquafina bottle than it is to buy a designer's fancy water bottle which took all kinds of earth resources to make, package, and transport.

I feel the same way about the cloth bags at grocery stores. I'll continue to use plastic, and re-use the bags for waste disposal and packing materials. That seems more eco-friendly than buying a bunch of cloth bags that took a lot of resources to create.

If a store wants to give me cloth bags for free, plus a small discount on my groceries, I'll rethink.

I could be wrong, but I feel that Natalie Portman's vegan shoes are not necessarily a wondrous green effort. What is more natural, long-lasting, yet biodegradable than leather? If she's using recycled tires and stuff, great, as long as the processing doesn't pollute the world. But are leather shoes necessarily anti-green?

Thanks for the opportunity to rant.


Stephanie King said...

I agree with pretty much everything you've said here. I was particularly annoyed with Suede's dress for the same reason -- that damn neckline. It seemed really wonky... I don't think it was stitched all that great. I admired his effort with all those strips, but in the end I wasn't feeling it.