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.


Mrs. White said...

I really thought I'd hate this challenge since I find such obvious product placement incredibly grating, but it was pretty interesting to see what they were able to come up with. Leanne's blew me away, and her's was a well-deserved win. Blayne's didn't bother me as much as it did you, although I agree that something about Joe's. I didn't love it. His model looked like a sexy racecar driver or something. I was sort of surprised he wasn't in the bottom three until I got a closer look at Stella's. Ol' leatherface should stick to leather, methinks.

Anonymous said...

Was I the only one who thought Leanne's dress looked like a waddling duck tail in back? I liked 4/5 of the dress, but really had problems with the back hem. Still, the garment fit well and was painstakingly crafted, and she deserved a win at long last.

Like Mrs. White, I think the blatant sponsor product placement is annoying. As soon as I saw the auto hints last week, I thought, "Woo. I bet it's going to be a Saturn episode."

I wanted to like Jerrell's garment. The idea was great, but it just didn't *fit* very well, especially around the bust, which should look great in a bustier top or what's the point? The ponytail hairstyling was very...fetishy, I have to say. I won't go further than that.

I was glad Jerrell got in his snipe about Terri, because I'd been feeling similarly about her two faces. Nice Terri and Mean Terri. I'm not a Terri fan.

I'll take a risk and say that the strongest three contenders are Korto, Leanne, and Kenley. Terri might be in there as the fourth decoy designer at Bryant Park. If the producers wrangle things so that there's a male finalist, it'll be Jerrell. As much as I like him, I think he's made some poor design judgments.


Carrie said...

Yeah, I've enjoyed Terri's bitchy comments in the past, but this week she was unnecessarily mean to Korto. Whatever. And I really didn't like her outfit. I thought it looked like something Stella would make.

I really liked all of the top 3, and was really happy Leanne won. I agree about some fit issues for Jerrell, but I liked how he used the materials differently. I was puzzled by Joe's design, but I didn't get that good of a look at it. Was he trying to use the car theme as the inspiration for his design, and not just for the materials? I guess that could be clever, but he didn't pull it off exactly.

I appreciate that Stella tried something different, but more than the judges appeared to. She seemed off this week though, like her hearts not in it anymore, or she's realizing the limitations she has compared to the other designers. Huh.

I'm glad Keith's gone. I hated his attitude on the runway this week. He feels way too entitled for the work that he's shown on the show.

I thought they were going to tear apart the cars too, and I was cringing at that. Whew! I would've been mad at them for being so wasteful.

Carrie said...

Oh yes, more thoughts: I wanted to barf on Keith when he chewed out his model for sitting down. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU EXPECT WHEN THEY GO GET THEIR HAIR DONE? They're tall girls, are the stylists supposed to stand on chairs to do their hair and makeup? Are you really expecting someone to not sit for hours and hours b/c you can't sew well? Jerk.

Oh, and I hated Blayne's dress. That top fit horribly, and I wish he would've ended up in the bottom 3 instead of Stella.

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