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.