Sunday, November 22, 2009

PR: The Finale

I'm sorry I've been so long with this post; I had a hard time picking things out that I liked and disliked about the collections--for some reason, thinks seemed like a blur. Actually, I'm pretty sure the reason is that things were not very exciting, and some of them (looking squarely at Irina) were very difficult to describe for myself--I mean, black coat. Short black coat. Long, formal black coat. It just doesn't "make good copy."
But I have watched the runway show again and am ready to comment. And, for fun, I'm going to do it a bit like a dog show.

Fave from Althea's: I know this will surprise you, but it's the look with the white satin pants and jacket, with the gold shirt with runs in underneath. I'm not sure why, but I think if I were a rock star I would wear that for a concert.
Honorable mentions: The gold gown was pretty--it was a little like updated medieval, but it was fluid, and I like fluid.
Least fave: This may surprise you, too, but it was the outfit Jaslene had on, the dusty lilac short dress. It didn't respond well to the styling required of it to fit in the show, and I had a hard time coming up with a girl that would flatter.
Interesting note: The black and gray off-shoulder sweater was very 80s dancer. You could put that on a ballerina for warmups right this minute. In fact, that disappointed me about it.

Fave from Carol Hannah's: The very first dress, the gold draping with the black stripe. It is a similar shape to the Althea dress I dislike, but it's more sensual and flattering. It's sassy, not flat.
Honorable mentions: The gold gown--love. Also, the purple gown. Girl can make a gown.
Least fave: The turquoise cape with the shorts. Huh what?
Interesting note: Didn't CH's collection remind you of holidaywear? Like, Dillard's (depending on ultimate fabric choice) might stock all of those items right about now to sell to people to wear to holiday parties. The black sweater and poofy skirt (2nd look) reminded me of that most. I honestly think if she'd stood up there and said, "A Carol Hannah girl is one who has lots of Holiday Parties to go to and never wants to repeat an outfit," she might have won this thing.

Fave from Irina's: The 8th look, with the gray sweater coat and the bird tee.
Honorable mentions: I liked the big floofy dress, but not the strap style.
Least fave: The travesty that Kalyn was wearing. Props for the carapace armor look, but the shape was incomprehensible. I guess K deserved to win because she was forced to wear that garment.
Interesting note: Evidently, by "taking care of herself," Irina means she wants her woman to be A: a beetle, and/or b: in bondage. Did no one else get the bondage thing out of her garments?

Best in show: My favorite from Carol Hannah's show
Worst in show: My least favorite from Irina's show.

Overall, I could appreciate the craft of Irina, but the boredom I felt while watching her collection was very much a concern. I was the most interested by what Carol Hannah showed, though she also had some big clunkers, or looks that seemed like inexpensive Barbie outfits. Althea had some looks that women would like to wear, but her variety not just in the show but throughout the competition was static. Her clothes are not a "feast for the eyes," which is what I look for. So, if it were my 10,000 dollars, I'd have given it to Carol Hannah. Her looks were the ones that caught my eye the most and made me think about them longest--and, I could describe them. Her looks were not the best crafted, and perhaps she isn't as strong an investment as Irina, but on the whole my taste is for the pretty.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hearts for Nathan Fillion

If I were in charge of finding entertainment's sexiest man, I might be inclined to skew things in favor of Nathan Fillion.
Sure, he's handsome, well spoken, and considered extremely nice by his peers. He also gets personally invested in his projects, and if you read the blog at his myspace, you'll see that he's a funny man, and big on respect for others.
But did you know that he also helped found a charity called The Kids Need to Read? I didn't, until this week.
I feel strongly about children loving to read, wanting to seek out reading and bring imagination into their lives. As my niece and nephew start to grow up, it's been my pleasure to see that they're going for those books the way my sister and I did. I feel passionately about books, about holding them in your hands and poring over them, getting lost in them. I want every kid to grow up the way I did, wanting to read and learn more.
And Nathan Fillion is passionate about that, too.
That's sexy, friends. Sexy times a million!
Nathan Fillion, if you're out there, GOOD ON YA!

Monday, November 16, 2009

To give you a little more literary heft for your week, check out this blog by Stephen Burt about the parallels between Project Runway and poetry criticism, which I was in turn alerted to by a friend at Winter Wheat.

PR: Oops, the real penultimate

I don't actually have very much to say about the first half of the finale. Just this:
1. Carol Hannah, I feel you. How awful is that, to be wicked sick during fashion week?
2. Irina's Coney Island imagery mishap reminded me of Kara Saun's shoe thing (sheesh, remember that season? I still think that was one of the best, if not the best showdowns, between Kara and Jay).
3. Tim Gunn making biscuits.
4. Didn't we all guess in our hearts that Irina would have a prissy dog named Princess?
5. I love seeing the designers' families. And I love that this season all the designers are from supportive families that want their children to succeed. Too often there is the idea that artists have to have messed-up childhoods, which is dumb.

Even though I'm not super-excited, I am looking forward to the final runway, and seeing how things move. And hearing the music choices!

Friday, November 06, 2009

PR: Penultimate

Hey, everyone. It's time for this week's PR throwdown.
I love the art inspiration challenge. It's the kind of thing I'd like to do, and it is great to see it with the final challenge when great things should be created...even if they aren't always. I could really relate to the inspirations of Irina, Carol Hannah, and Gordana. CH in particular--I have been known to be moved by furniture (and have been known to move furniture, also). I thought that was a great choice of muse, especially sitting down in the middle of the floor and enjoying its ambience.

Althea--I, like the judges, was disappointed with this look. Looking at the "behind" picture, it is even more incomprehensible. As one commentor pointed out, we have yet another "floppy tank top" and a skirt that ended up all over the place. It reminded me very much of when Austin Scarlett designed a "wedding dress" for Morgan on his season. It was just a moment of "what just happened?" Althea has had some clunkers in the past, and sometimes I really like her work and sometimes I'm not impressed. But I really thought she might be out. And, to be quite honest, maybe she deserved to be.
Carol Hannah--Nina called this gown safe, and I don't really think it was safe. Yes, CH makes a mean dress, but we've seen much safer gowns in the past. I quite liked the combination of the satin and the chiffon, especially that transition. Did it relate to the bed? Hard to say--It captured the drape of the bed with the gold of the bedposts and decor, and I was fine with that. Just because it isn't the direction you'd take your inspiration doesn't mean it wasn't inspired. No one said the final look had to look like the picture. Andrae was of the opinion that the sweep should have been higher at the hip and lower at the knee, but I disagree. I think the proportion was very suitable.
Christopher--I have seldom agreed with the judges more. I was interested in the design when it started down the runway, with the subtle color play of the greys and greens, but I immediately responded negatively to the stiff bottom of the dress. It was just sort of like he'd taken a yard of tough fabric and made a tube. That's how it moved. I liked the color burst on the skirt, but the dress didn't move in a way that was sinuous, which I think it should have. The look, together, just had an amateurish cast to it, kind of like when I make clothes. Not terrible, and probably wearable to something, but not something that will win you Bryant Park status.
Gordana--I really loved this dress, and I felt a little heartbroken for Gordana. I knew the judges had some prejudice against her for previous flaws (some that I didn't agree with at all), and I can't really think of anything she could have done that would have won them in her favor. I'm really glad that she opted to do something personally edifying, and I was so irritated with Nina when she picked on Gordana's selection of a gauzy Monet painting for her inspiration. I was not bored by this piece, nor did I find it safe. I also thought it accurately represented Gordana as a designer, and I can't help thinking that if Nina had actually been present at all of the challenges, she would have more ground to stand on in her statement against Gordana's aesthetic. The dress was simply beautiful.
Irina, on the other hand--Truly hideous styling choices. It was not better when Kalyn stripped off the accoutrements, because the hair was still wackadoo. I liked the top half of the dress and the color, but was disappointed in the placement of that belt and in the seemingly heavy skirt's length (and uneven hem--the back was shorter than the front, even with the front gathered up so, so much). I am all about ethereal goddessy garments, but really. There was nothing ethereal about this, and if it were a goddess it would be a jaded Hera, moved to Miami, overtanned, sitting on a lounge chair and chain-smoking (Dance, Pool Boy!). The look, in essence, was midjudged.

So, there we go--all-girl finale. I kind of hoped they'd send the four girls, but what can you do? I am hoping Gordana will pick up some business from people who saw this last challenge and felt bad for her, or wanted her to win. I surely wouldn't mind having that dress in my closet--in fact, I'll go so far as to say it is one of my favorite looks of the season. This and Epperson's movie genre outfit.
Speaking of favorites, you should maybe check out Tom & Lorenzo's Worst PR Looks Ever
On another note, did you notice how they didn't have everybody dress each other this season? I wonder if it's because it's so often a disaster.

In other news, Supernatural was hysterical last night and Josh Gates fortunately did not die in Wednesday's episode of Destination Truth. Ah, TV. Next week, I am too busy for you mostly. VCR, you had better function.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I had a dream

You know what would be awesome?
A listing, in pictures, all together, of every look ever created on or for Project Runway, with a label of by whom each was created and for what challenge/show it was.
What I really want is a database, you see. A visual, easy-to-navigate database so I can look at past looks side-by-side when I'm complaining about not being inspired or impressed, or when I want to compare seasonal results of a challenge type.
That would be rad.