Friday, August 27, 2010

PR part two: Team clothes

I'm breaking my PR report in two this week, though in some ways I could break it even in three parts. In my previous post, I delivered my opinions on the last snip of the show, and discussed some of the dynamics of Group Luxe. If you're not interested in a critique of Tim Gunn or a defense of Gretchen, you may wish to skip it.
I originally thought (this was before the last bit happened) that I would do a blog JUST about the clothes. Michael Kors said on the runway something to the effect of, We pay attention to the fashion we've seen today, during the show. My problem with this is that they clearly don't; they spent most of their discussion time psychologizing and ultimately, while I agreed with their final decisions, I did not agree with the way they arrived at them. The judges were making assumptions from the convoluted stories they heard, rather than paying attention to the clothes. So now, while I could have a lot more to say about the group dynamics and the judging, I myself am going to focus on the clothes. I feel better about that, because to be frank I found this episode distasteful in most ways.
For Team Luxe, I am giving a brief descriptor rather than a name, since they did pieces. For the other team, I will also leave character bias off the table as much as possible, even though we know who produced what.

Shirtdress-- This received my WTF of the week. The shirtdress was strange and malformed with a strange fabric choice. The pants were unflattering and bizarre; they made the model's legs look wider, which is a no-no, especially for the inner thighs. A darker color on the inside would have been more manageable. The jabot was also a poor idea, dating the look instead of updating.
White belted jacket--To be quite honest, I liked the jacket. It may be considered dowdy, but sometimes dowdy can be sexy--hence the whole "boyfriend sweater" movement. I also liked the pleating of the red blouse underneath. The skirt was a bit too short. I liked the drape of these elements and while the looks were not especially "modern," I did think they were wearable.
Camel pants--I loved this outfit. I liked the fluidity and smoothness of the pants, really liked the print top, and didn't get a good look at the jacket. The whole thing had a Katherine Hepburn/Lauren Bacall vibe, and I really respond to that. Once again, it wasn't "modern" but given that many fall collections are referring back to shapes of this era, I can't fault this look for that. In fact, I think it's right in keeping with what fall is showing us. I liked overall the way the look moved.
Cowlneck--I quite liked the little camel jacket that came with this. I didn't realize until just now that that cowlneck sweater (which, it must be confessed, was kind of sad), was completely see-through, which is definitely not a point in its favor. I hate the zipped leggings.
Peasant blouse--This look really was pretty awful. I sighed as I wrote, "Oh, shorts." Then I wrote, "Weird." Unflattering, ill-matched, severely outdated. In another context, with a different neckline, I could see a use for the blouse, but the rest looked very thrift store, in a negative way. It looked like old-school polyester.
Cinnamon dress--The skirt of this outfit was too short and too tight; beyond that, I found it wearable and appropriate for fall. In the context of more flattering garments, or as a standalone look in a different challenge, I think this would have done quite well. I like the top of the top and I like the colors. (Special note--the label given to this on Rate the Runway indicates it is Michael C's garment; I don't think it actually is, though I had a hard time following who made what. It was not identified as Michael's during the show. That is part of the reason I am only identifying the look itself here, free from name bias and confusion. The product is the bottom line.)

April--The pants were kind of a strange shape, and the zipper up the back looked like a rip. The little vest-jacket I thought others would wear, though it wasn't my style. It kind of had an urban flavor I don't like. I think often people confuse urban and modern, to the detriment of modern. I did like the way it utilized the lace.
Casanova--Quite simply my favorite look; it was elegant without being too formal. I am not usually a fan of skinny pants, but I thought these complemented the lace top well. And, of course, you all know I love open backs. This shirt is very wearable, but also has some edge. Probably the best at the union of edgy and soft.
Michael D--I am not a fan of the "stringy" look. This look made me think "spider queen." The skirt looked a little sloppy and the top suffered from overdesign, seen in the back, which was a mess. It wasn't as messy as others, but I didn't like it as I would have liked to.
Mondo--I liked the diagonal pleating in what I thought were to be pants--I hated that they were shorts. I also liked the textile selected for the top, and the drape of it, but hated the epaulettes and that striped open back. And, once again, unnecessary leggings. A couple of seasons ago, designers were called out for making leggings. Now, it is almost as if they are necessary for modern sportswear, which I can't abide.
Peach--When this look was held up as successful, I thought I was looking at a different screen entirely. Doesn't anyone remember the sailor-stewardess costume that someone came up with a couple seasons ago? This was really not any different. Yes, the top was nice. The bottom half was hideous, the chains with what wasn't denim but looked like it...awful. So many comments on the Rate the Runway are positive for this look, but I think they're only saying that because the judges liked it so much. I would never, ever wear this, and can't imagine anyone else doing so.
Valerie--The lace detailing on this one was very subtle; I had to look at the close-ups to really get it. white suit with blue leggings--not a fan. The detailing on the jacket, minus the chains, was interesting; there was a sort of fold above the right sleeve that suggested epaulette without being an epaulette that I found engaging. At the same time, I found the look messy. It seems to me that more and more, when people talk about modern clothing, they're talking about something messy, at least on this show, and I wish it wasn't that way. Casanova's look I preferred because it was modern and sleek. It was an update without clutter.

All I can say after this week is, Austin and Santino, if you're out there, thank you for cleansing my palate after a show that made me feel upset and as disinclined as I have ever been to watch Project Runway. Austin and Santino made me smile again, when I felt like I'd been kicked in the gut.

PR part one: In which Tim Gunn spoils my evening.

In the careers workbook I'm currently working through, in the skills section, Mentoring is listed as the highest-order People skill one can attain. A mentor helps "people deal with problems by giving legal, scientific, clinical, spiritual, and/or other professional advice."
I have always thought of Tim Gunn as a good mentor, someone who listens to a vision, comments with his professional opinion, and does so in a way that does not judge. At times he is called upon to exhort, and he has had to deal with a great many messes in the workroom, but he has done so with aplomb. Even when he has expressed bafflement with the judges' decisions, he has done so calmly and with disappointment rather than anger.
Last night was a game-changer, and I cannot admire Tim Gunn as much as I used to.
I've already pointed out that Tim Gunn has seemed more emotionally invested this season. So, when he began his talk with Team Luxe, I was not especially surprised. But then he publicly shattered Gretchen's character, essentially defaming her in front of her peers, acting very much as though she wasn't even there as he lambasted her.
What was exceptionally griping about this is that what happened was not Gretchen's fault. I mean that. Is she egotistical? Yes. Annoying? Yes. Micromanaging? Yes. A turncoat? Yes. But she didn't ask her team to be sycophants. Did she backpedal on the runway? You bet. But we all knew that the "team spirit" was going to explode on the runway. That is how Project Runway works. It's not her fault that none of her team had the spine enough to disagree with her, or show any ounce of leadership at all. This has happened before--Gretchen is not new. Usually, though, someone else in the group speaks up to put the leader in his or her place. That is the group's job.
In Tim Gunn's speech, all of the negativity was placed on Gretchen's shoulders, most certainly blaming her for the other team members' lack of integrity. He correctly pointed out the team's lack of courage to say anything, but he blamed Gretchen for everything that went wrong (one could see his anger escalate in the middle, and I think he just lost it). What upset me most was his manner of addressing the group, as I said, as though Gretchen weren't present at all. That is not only rude but absurd.
It could have been handled so much more as a mentor should--if Mr. Gunn really wanted to say something, he could have said, "I'm disappointed in you; Gretchen seemed to be pulling the strings here, even though you argued you were a unified team. Gretchen, your micromanaging was a problem, and not collegial. The rest of you need to work on speaking up for your point of view." Speaking directly to Gretchen would have been mature and helpful, especially given Mr. Gunn's credibility in the fashion world.
Instead, Mr. Gunn's anger got the better of him and he has demolished his ability to be objective in the workroom (or at least for me to believe he is objective), or to assist Gretchen, as is his job. As he has said so often in his own blogs in the past, "Shut up, Tim." In essence, he failed to empathize and let his judgment cloud.
All kinds of arguments can be made defending Tim Gunn, against Gretchen, in favor of the rest of Team Luxe, and so on. But here's my bottom line--I know Gretchen. I can understand where Gretchen is coming from, like an A student put in a group for a project, and no one can show initiative, endangering the final product and even the working process. Twice in my life, I have been gently admonished by a superior for making suggestions to colleagues. In my eyes, at the time, I thought I was helping out with colleagues who clearly didn't know what to do and lacked the ability to think of their next step (and really, what I said wasn't an order or a demand, or even a big suggestion). Yet I could understand my superiors' point, and worked on it, especially because it was presented to me seriously but kindly. It would be appropriate, I think, for Tim Gunn to speak with Gretchen, privately, or perhaps during their next workroom critique. Sometimes, people like Gretchen and I need a brief talk to curb our impulses. And perhaps Mr. Gunn's snappish comments will indeed help Gretchen in the future. Even so, the way this was handled was revolting, and worse than Gretchen's own actions, considering her character, that of her teammates, and what actually happened in the workroom.
If you would like a similar commentary from a contestant who has actually been there (and one I also defended in a past season), you can visit Laura Bennett's blog. For a counterview, you can see Nick Verreos's blog.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Need a dose of pretty to eke out your summer? Go check out some butterflies at my sister's not-so-secret-anymore, amazing blog, Cloud of Secrets.

Monday, August 23, 2010

PR: Chapi Chapo!

I love hats. I don't think that's a secret. I have to admit--I was disappointed this week in the results in what should have been a very good challenge. Even given the...exuberance of the hats (I'll say it--Heidi's looked like a growth), a creative designer could and should make something sassy to complement Treacy's work.
Take Valerie, for example--she got a LABYRINTH vibe. That suited me right down to the ground. And then her final result was not even close. She lost her way. Or, Kristin--she couldn't come up with the story for an orchid? Really? Miss Organic Process herself? Then, the judging--it was completely strange. Again, we in the TV audience know the designers' process, but even so, nothing made sense. I keep notes not just on my opinions, but also marking who was top and bottom from who got called out--and this time I completely screwed up my Ts and Bs because I didn't wait to hear what the judges thought. It's like I landed in Opposite World, and judging from a few blogs, I'm not the only one who thought so.

AJ--This polka-dot look reminded me a little of the racecourse. Like something you'd wear at Belmont. That wasn't a bad thing, though I did on the whole find it too stiff and poofy. Even the hat had sort of a motion-of-the-horse abstract way about it. That was probably not its intention, but it's what I thought of. Interestingly, the comments are very love/hate on this look.
Andy--The jacket part of this look was a little too voluminous, basically too big all over, but the look was very whole and complete. Also very Japanese, in a way. These elements looked well matched and bold, at least. I am getting a picture of Andy's work that I wasn't expecting from his portfolio, something smoother and a little more...upmarket, maybe? That's not the word I want.
April--This week's WTF moment. I can't defend the underwear look at all. I feel like April is very much in a discovery zone, and you just never know where she's going to fall. I don't feel any trust about her.
Casanova--I agreed with the comment that the dress looked like something you could buy in a store; I didn't get the impression, though, that Casanova thought that was a problem. All that being said, it did look polished and went with the hat well, and the back was really very pretty. I actually would buy and wear this dress, so I guess I can't complain.
Christopher--I love hearing which were the designers' favorites, as I've mentioned before, and I'm glad they stuck up for this outfit. I completely disagreed with the judges that felt this looked like draping fabric; it doesn't. It just doesn't. I liked this garment and I'm not going to apologize for it. It also complemented the hat in a unique way. Judges, I am so over you. I like the silver and the black, the structure of the jacketlike piece, and I even felt this was an appropriate time for leggings. And, while we're on the subject, everyone was down on Christopher because his look was heavy. I'm here to tell you that hats do not need to be buoyant. Where's the fun if all hats and coordinating outfits have to be airy? In fact, most of these hats did not look light to me at all. In fact, the contrast between the lightness of the hat and the drape of the fabric made me like it more, because it was different and thus complementary in another way.
Gretchen--Gretchen went to a kind of Robin Hoody place with this hat, no? I was not really that impressed with her top, though it was a pretty fabric. I'm confused by the leggings/boots. If anyone has figured out what's going on down there, clue me in.
Ivy--Ivy's look was kind of dull this week, and I was confused by what appeared to be fuschia + beige + white + gray. I quite liked the jacket, with the chiffon or whatever in back, but was bewildered by the outfit as a whole.
Kristin--Even more bewildering was Kristin's concoction. Black was a weird choice indeed, and the effect was sort of harlequinesque. I didn't go wtf, but perhaps I should have. In April's case, it was a question of taste, whereas here there isn't even a story being told.
Michael C--I wrote "wood nymph." But the hat was very Stargate, wasn't it? Did anyone else get a Ra vibe? The dress, though it is not ugly at all, was still very dance costumey. The look blended well in color, but not in feeling. Its references were askew. I would wear the garment, but I could also *make* that garment, thus I was unimpressed.
Michael D--I sort of thought this might snake through as the winner. I personally did not care for the skirt, but was intrigued by the top. It wasn't my style per se, but I liked that it was different and an homage to the hat. The petally look was creatively produced. This is a good example as a look that I wouldn't wear, but a look that intrigues me, makes me want to see more, and makes me think about fashion. Thus, I thought it should win.
Mondo--This is another week where I don't "get" Mondo. His outfit clearly said "Mondo" to me before the label came on, but it looks like clown clothes. I really can't bear it. This was a pick for me for the bottom three.
Peach--Pink floral with a zebra hat. I think Peach is just producing what she produces regardless of the challenge at hand. She could have sent this down the runway for really any other challenge. That troubled me, and made me want to keep an eye on her, as you would a child doing something mildly disturbing that you may want to curb if it happens again.
Valerie--Once again, a disappointment. The dress and jacket are certainly wearable, but why this was in the top three is incomprehensible. It wasn't very creative, and referred to the "hat" not at all. What happened to Labyrinth? It doesn't have to be black--Jareth wore lavender, for pete's sake!

By the way, there's someone who lives on a neighboring street with this license plate:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dream "Man"

I had a dream about my SyFy boyfriend, Josh Gates last night. He was a guest in my home-home, and my parents and sister were also there, so it was a full house. He was nice to everyone, but he kept being a goofball and dropping things on the floor (styrofoam peanuts, cutlery), which I then had to pick up. Just like a toddler.
It wasn't as romantic as one could hope.

Friday, August 13, 2010

PR: Party Glitter

*Laugh* I popped over to Grosgrain today before I started my blog, and darned if she didn't beat me to it! You're stealing my thunder, Kathleen Frances! Just kidding. Really, it's just one more thing we have in common.
Anyway--Unconventional Materials Challenge this week. I love this challenge, but I have to admit I felt like a party store was a little too easy. There are so many fabric substitutes there; it's not like there's no room for creativity, and some designers still had difficulty re-envisioning materials (as I would probably do, to be honest), but still, it was a little less adventurous than, say, a grocery or hardware store.
Has Casanova ever seen Project Runway before? My guess is no. "I just don't see the point." Really?
Two things I noticed about the designers in general, or at least the editing--more specific questions coming from the designers toward Tim, and a more "group support" atmosphere amongst the group. Sure, there are egos and hangups, and cattiness, but I also notice that they're readier to give each other compliments and to support designs they think are great, like everyone liking Valerie's last week, or people being so impressed with Andy's this week that they wanted to help him complete his vision. I like both of these elements--they're more specific, and add dimension to the show.
Also, laughing Tim=adorable. However, is he getting "soft"? I notice he seems more blown away by everything going on. Are the garments really that much better? I can't tell.

On to the fashions:

AJ--I wrote down, "8-year-old's party dress." I hardly ever agree with Kors, but he was right that it was a child's birthday dress. It wasn't for a woman. It also didn't look whimsical to me--it looked, as Betsey said, like too little. And blaming the model's cup size? No.
Andy--Andy was my pick this week. I wondered if he still would be if I hadn't seen the process, but there again, there are balancing factors--time issues and getting help versus doing something really artistic. Carol Hannah said, "I think it has more to do with the realization that something truly amazing, innovative and creative is coming into being. There's an honor in helping that fantastic potential not be wasted because the person needs 15 more minutes." I don't always like ambitious moves, but this one was really spicy. The interplay of textures impressed me, and I really liked the look as a whole. It had the look plus the effort.
April--I wrote down, "Very pointy--this dress is scary!" At the same time, I think a contemporary rock star might wear this structural piece to the Grammy's and be satisfied. I think April is rebuilding after week 1, and she's doing a good job making her statement.
Casanova--I needed another look at this, so I was glad the judges pulled it out. I also "responded positively" to the back, but thought the front was awful. Too busy and confusing. No.
Christopher--Ah, yellow. The fit was a little loose here, but I liked the sequinny detail to give the fabric a little extra sparkle. It was definitely wearable, but perhaps a touch too simple.
Gretchen--The girl can style, boots aside--I wonder if she will be that person who can style so well as to hide her flaws, representing the "shiny things" concept. The skirt turned out well, but the jacket seemed flat to me (though I like it better in the photos), and I wondered what it concealed of the top. I have a feeling that top was not that great. I'm going to leave her attitude out of the question for now.
Ivy--I liked the concept of Ivy's piece, though the color was a bit sedate and the top was too low. It didn't help that her look came next to Michael C's, which had the same shoulder treatment, and done better. There were other looks with similar materials that were sleeker.
Kristin--I needed another look at Kristin's dress. On the runway, it looked like it had a good shape and flow. In the still photos, it looks campier, too bright and plasticky. I do, however, think this was Kristin's best look so far.
Michael C--Very sassy. Someone compared it to Hererra, which I thought was true. It was a little busy, particularly around the middle and the top ruffle of the skirt portion, but Michael used the piecing technique and one-shoulder look to better effect than Ivy.
Michael D--The look was messy, the stringy top especially. It just seemed to be a clunker up and down.
Mondo--Someone in the comments called this "Party Warrior Barbie" which I think is the best description ever. This is a more "sedate" Mondo, and one I can get behind. While I wouldn't wear it, I thought it was kind of cute and, for me, "graspable."
Peach--Peach's garment is a more successful version of what AJ was doing, except for that top--so white, too plain (if you look at the close-up picture, you can see it's actually in a fanlike pattern, but the top seemed wholly reliant on that rather than styling and fitting it also). It didn't quite "get there" but Peach did better this week.
Sarah--Oh, Sarah. And that's exactly what I wrote. Can't we all look at Sarah's dress and think of things she could have done? Like changing the leaves somehow, manipulating them to make the skirt more than just leaves? The top is almost art deco-y in the way the leaf pieces fit together. Something similar for the bottom would have worked. It's like the dress gave up halfway down. But Sarah knew this, too, and Sarah probably could have come up with 100 ways to fix it, but it didn't happen. It's sad, because Sarah seemed a little unusual to me, in a good way.
Valerie--Valerie's look reminded me of one of the garments from the car challenge, and I can't remember which one. The dress was a bit plain, but it was sleek in a way that Ivy's wasn't. A little too daring, but smartly made.

I largely agreed with the judges this week in the results. I actually couldn't predict who they'd call out for the top three, but was right on with the bottom three.
The blogverse has already called Kors out for his "360 degree turn" comment about Valerie's styling, so I will let that rest.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A little blog love

I have to admit to a little blog crush on
Seriously. Go and watch her little video tutorial on how to shir fabric (like smocking). I had a "laaaaaaa!" singing moment by the time she got to the spritzing and ironing and the fabric magically...well...shirred.
Her sweet giveaways aside, she makes "frocks by Friday," does regular tutorials, and somehow manages to take photographs of all of it, even while raising a family (I gather her mum is nearby to help with the kids, which is awesome--go Kathleen's mum!). She also posts pictures of her blog followers' finished garments from the frocks by Friday, which must really give sewers a charge. It's good fun, and useful at the same time. I am amazed by the regularity and helpfulness of her blogworld.
Kathleen Frances and I resemble one another a bit, which makes it extra intriguing. She's also self-taught on the sewing machine, and admits to her own continued learning. I feel a kinship with this person, even as I admire her mad skills.
So, thanks to whomever pointed me in Grosgrain's direction--I can't even remember how I got there, which is the funny part. Someone else's blog, I'm sure. Isn't that always the way?

Friday, August 06, 2010

PR: Your Ad Here

Preface: I'm completing my Project Runway writing this week with a Miss Marple episode on YouTube, with Geraldine McEwan. I like the other Jane Marples for assorted reasons, but McEwan will forever be my favorite, I think. She's adorable but steely. She's the kind of elder lady I want to be, and the way I really think Marple was meant to be--gentle and innocent-looking, but then sharp and mischievous. Every once in a while, McEwan's warm-fuzzy regard suddenly pierces. It's perfect. I don't actually remember the one I'm watching, At Bertram's Hotel, and it has about a million characters, so I apologize if I seem to trail off or make a hideous grammar error.
Now I think on it, I wonder if I should be collecting the dvds of Marples and Poirots. There are rather a lot of them, and I know for a fact I haven't seen all the Poirots, the short ones....

So--a Times Square billboard is the big prize this week. The needs of a billboard are really similar to the needs of a magazine cover: Bold design and color, but simple. Anything too complex will end up looking messy or cluttered. Any mistakes will be blown up and highly noticeable, even from such a height. Think of how Anthony's dress would look on a billboard--pretty striking, I'd expect. I think a lot of designers overdesigned this week, producing fussy garments rather than creating dramatic strokes.
I liked the photo shoot element--it was very instructive about designers' attitudes. Did anyone notice, though, how much trouble some of the models had with posing? They were all waiting for direction, and some of them seemed unable to produce even with direction.
I also liked seeing more of the sketches; though designs change drastically, that strikes me as an essential part of the process, and one I wish I had a talent at.
My favorite quote of the week is Tim's: "I respond positively to this." It sounds like something I'd say, and strikes me as essential Tim.
My least favorite quote is Jason's: "I'm a straight guy in a gay man's world." Excuse after excuse from this guy. He wished that judges could look past his closures. Really? You stapled a garment last week, and I use the term garment loosely. Shut up and sew already.
One further thing: How do you feel about the extended time of Project Runway? I kind of like it, but at the same time I noticed that there were thirty minutes given to the judging portion, and ten for the runway show. I felt like they rushed the photo reveal part before each model walked, and then I had to listen to too much from the judges.

Let's talk clothes:
AJ: I strayed a bit into the judges' snark when I wrote "taxi tart." A bright color is great, but the garment was ill-fitting and the model done up like a streetwalker.
Andy: The fluidity of Andy's pants was really quite fascinating. I love liquidlike pants. I liked the blouse's color, am undecided about the folding sleeve, but felt in general the blouse was a little clumsy.
April: April redeemed herself a bit for me this week. The bust area wasn't well fit, but the top of the garment was interestingly structural and I liked that color combo, though maybe not for a billboard. After last week's train wreck, this was a much needed improvement.
Casanova: I really liked Casanova's coat. The skirt was too tight, yet the whole look perhaps a little too...formal womanly? But saying that doesn't feel right, because I don't really see that as a problem. Think of how that coat would look with a hot pair of jeans. I'd like to have it.
Christopher: Something about this was discordant, perhaps because of the dark black and rather boring skirt with the flirty, flared, and duller black top. It looked mismatched.
Gretchen: Oh, Gretchen. On the one hand, Gretchen has a good model and a good eye. She seems to tailor and finish impeccably. I only just figured out this garment is blue. I guess I'm not surprised this won, because this is the kind of thing the judges like so often, but I really do not like jumpsuits, and thought this one made the hips look wide at the back. I also didn't care for the picture the judges swooned over, though the model eventually did a good job with the billboard shots. I liked the shape of the top, but would have preferred a dress with an interesting hem.
Ivy: I thought this garment was kind of hideous. It was plain and flat--almost too safe to be safe. There were enough disasters for this to slide by, but only just.
Jason: Whether the safety pin closures were intentional or not is immaterial--it was a bad idea, and this kid just cannot seem to take responsibility for his bad decisions. Plain and simple, it looked bad. "Impeccable the way it was sewn"? Gracious. And....done.
Kristin: This whole thing looks rickety and raggedy, as if scraped together. I know some designers make rich livings out of clothes that look cobbled together, but I have never seen any that I like. In my eye, this was a hot mess.
Michael C: This seemed well constructed, but also kind of blah. It reminds me of a Barbie dress circa 1988.
Michael D: I couldn't get behind Michael D. this week. Another flowy drape dress--but this time looking more like a hasty craft project. I actually have some fabric a little like that, and my project didn't turn out either.
Mondo: Still not caring for Mondo's work. That polka dot jabot. Those leggings. I liked the skirt, but all together this was a whole lotta look, and not in a good way. It seemed a little too young for the client as well. I would have been horrified if this had won.
Nicholas: I am so surprised that Nicholas got ousted. He is another with "a whole lotta look" but this was worse that Mondo's. The cape was off, the skirt too short and too tight. The blouse, though, was interesting, at least in the front. I thought Kristin's work was worse than this, and given the horrors of Jason I was surprised that the two were put on such a level by being ousted at the same time. I don't like the message there.
Peach: This was another craft project gone wrong. I thought Peach was a goner along with Jason, rather than Nicholas. While I'm not sorry they spared her, I wouldn't have blamed them if they didn't. Peach gave up on herself in this challenge. I was confused by the judges a little--they mentioned at one point that this was so matronly as to look like something a 70-year-old would wear. What? On what planet? This dress was confusing, yes, and the idea of the collar a little "matronly" but the dress itself was not. Mind your credibility, judges--don't let your confusion make you look like idiots.
Sarah: This looked a little too tacked together, and the top was misshapen. The piecing looked a little clumsy, and I don't think it would have shown up well on a billboard.
Valerie: This dress was the clear winner for me. I didn't like the loop-type construction on the butt, but I liked the vivacity of the collar and the neckline, and the dress was sporty and feminine at the same time. Admittedly, it might not have offered so many options for positions on a billboard, as Gretchen's garment did, but I thought it would be more arresting, less ambient.

Regarding Austin and Santino--Still completely worth it, still making me laugh out loud. It's sort of like watching your friends get silly, isn't it? I liked the garment they produced this week, but I sort of thought it was going to be long, didn't you? I was confused when it ended up being short.
I'm still a little on the fence about who Austin reminds me of, but I did have a sudden inspiration: Mr. Humphries.