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.