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.


Tudor Rose said...

Valerie's Project Runway viewing party for this week, the 12th, is at my usual haunt here in Cleveland, and I will definitely be attending. I'll let you know how it goes!!

Cloud of Secrets said...

I am always surprised by model passivity, on this show or on, say, Top Model. The only explanation I can come up with is that these girls really are so young and uninformed that they think good figures and bone structure are all they need. They haven't seen photo shoots happening and don't realize that they need body movement awareness and an actor's expressiveness.

I bet fashion photographers like working with trained actresses better than with models, even though they're 5'6" size 6s rather than 5'10" size 2s.

AJ-Agree, agree. I thought "taxi," and then I thought "okay for Cosmo but not for Marie Claire."

Andy - I liked the idea and the colors, but it looked a little....uptight office for a billboard. Albeit festive office, but office nonetheless. And the little poufs seem clumsily placed.

Casanova - Not bad! It said Evita to me, or wealthy, dramatic South American woman of a certain age attending a classy afternoon event. Formal womanly, like you say. Not sure if it's right for Marie Claire, but it was striking and sumptuous.

Gretchen - Nice, fluid fabric, and good sewing, but I was surprised that the judges chose such a mass of grim navy for a billboard. I guess it will be right on-trend if it's to be displayed this fall, with its grim palettes.

Jason - Oh, so glad he's gone. He was making me downright uncomfortable, not so much for his bad sewing and obliviousness but for his...creepiness. I think I used that word in my comment last week, and that aura was brought into the designer interviews this week. It's not just me!

Mondo - Young, girly, arty...not suitable for Marie Claire, but I could see it for Lucky in the right kind of editorial, and if the jabot were done more..."expensively." I hate the craftsy fabric insert and buttons on the leggings, though. "Student work" -- too much design. Just leave them off.

Nicholas - I was oddly fond of Nicholas's concept and palette, if not his finishing. If the blouse were better made and the skirt longer, this is me when I'm a wealthy, dramatic lady "of a certain age" attending a classy afternoon event. I'd probably toss the belt and fasten the cape with a vintage brooch.

Valerie - I don't know. Well constructed, but to my eyes, with that hot color, low vee, high skirt, and EZ-access zipper, it was just a step above the taxi dress. More Cosmo or Glamour than Marie Claire. But perhaps that is appropriate, as I consider MC to be on a tier between Cosmo/Glamour and, say, Elle. The zipper makes a lot of difference...the dress would be more classy without it, and there would be a lot more styling options.

I was giggling out loud at Austin & Santino, too. I was trying to be all firm and serious, as I'd told Ruth we could watch it quietly if she stayed still and rested on the sofa with her pillow and blankets. I was hoping she'd drift off to sleep as she sometimes does. But I couldn't help breaking Mama discipline.

Abs said...

@Tudor Rose--Do! I'm very curious to know what such a party entails.
@Cloud--I think you're probably right that the models are just so young. Some of them I think have had jobs before, but they all seem more interested in runway--not that they all walk properly, either.
I was hoping you'd comment on your reaction of what would be right for particular magazines, so thank you for that. I don't know a whole lot about Marie Claire, but I could see your point re: Mondo and Lucky. I also agree with you re: Valerie's zipper, and interestingly the commentors on the website are completely fed up with the loud zippers the designers always put in. Valerie isn't the only one who had a clunker.
I wonder what Ruth is thinking while she watches Austin and Santino? It's like Sesame Street for adults.