Friday, September 17, 2010

PR: Remember, She's a Former First Lady.

Yowza, these PR reports roll around rather quickly, eh?

The challenge:

This episode was about style iconography. In this case, Jackie O. served as muse, or at least she was meant to. She's such a rich subject, but as edited the show was not. The first fifteen minutes were low on drama, which is okay with me except that even what should be highlighted, the fashion creation, was also flat. Granted, American sportswear is not heavy on bells and whistles, but I was still expecting a little more oohing and aahing. Our "surprise" came at roughly 9:25 by my watch--the creation of an outerwear piece. More drawing, back to Mood (and by the way, 15 minutes in a fabric store is simply ludicrous. Except when I have I needed, say, a zipper or a spool of thread, I have never spent under half an hour even in tiny JoAnn's.) Aside from the usual hasty finishing of some designers, even the creation of these jackets and coats was not that thrilling--a shame, since outerwear can be fun and certainly would be for Jackie O. She was married to the president! I don't think anyone really remembered that.

A nice site on Sportswear can be found at the Victoria and Albert. I've been there!

On the upside, I thought there were a few clearly successful garments.

The clothes:
Andy--Taking a risk is one thing. Taking a risk that falls completely outside the challenge is another matter entirely. Could I see Jackie O. in a pair of cargo pants? Never. And those boots--again, never. I can imagine a world in which she might wear the vest, but only with sleek, fluid pants--which Andy has successfully made before, challenge 2. I don't know what he was complaining about with the American sportswear problem. American sportswear is so called because it originated here, not because it doesn't incorporate other influences. In any case, this was a matter of Andy doing what he wanted to regardless of the challenge at hand, and that's never a good idea.
April--April designed a black, front-zip dress and a boudoir cover. It could be described as sportswear, but it was also just a bit too tight and flat. There wasn't anything glamorous about it, and it struck me as too night club to suit Jackie O.
Christopher--Christopher's look was not one I considered successful; yes, the dress was glamorous and sleek, but it wasn't sportswear. Not really. The point of sportswear is versatility; you could wear it for a dressy day at work and then move on to a cocktail hour. If you wore this look at work you would be in trouble. The tie-front fur cover was also ill-conceived. It was kind of cavewomanish; or, more Valkyrieish. None of it said Jackie O., either. I think this was pulled out as top 3 only because January Jones liked the dress.
Gretchen--This look seemed sloppy to me. The top was not very nice (again, another tiny tank top), and the coat and skirt together just looked heavy and droopy. The skirt was okay, it was certainly sportswear, but it was also a little shapeless. I would have liked that jacket in a different context, I think. The outfit didn't come together at all, especially with the styling, which is usually Gretchen's forte.
Ivy--Ivy was hands-down my favorite this week. I loved the cut of the top and the jacket both, and was not at all bothered by the jacket as the judges seemed to be. I was not a big fan of the see-through component of the bottom of the blouse, but liked the updated collar of the neckline. I don't like high-waisted pants all that much, either, but appreciated the way the pieces fit together collectively. I could see Jackie O. in this, it was modern sportswear, and it was uniquely Ivy, with an architecture that wasn't over-the-top but still eye-catching.
Michael C--The dress was nice and vivid, but I didn't see Jackie in it, and it, too, was not really sportswear. The coat didn't go at all with this outfit (and to his credit MC knew this). The coat was actually much more sportswear than the dress. There was simply no relationship between these two items.
Michael D--MD, last week was the resort challenge. Seriously, that skirt and top together were much more young, casual travel/resortlike (as in, a day at museums and a walk along an aqueduct, in different shoes of course) than Jackie O. I thought the jacket worked for the challenge but that was about it. And, indeed, the top of the skirt was much too heavy. That's not really how pleating works at waistbands.
Mondo--You kind of had to know that Mondo would win. It wasn't my favorite, but it was a modern Mondo version of Jackie O, and it had that urban feel that the judges are really going for this season. The silhouette was right, with a runway edge. Unlike Nina, I thought the pattern crossing was kind of tacky, but I understand the combination. I wouldn't wear it, because it's too urban in feel (too Sex & the City, maybe), but I understand why it won.
Valerie--I was afraid for Valerie. Yes, the pieces are interchangeable, but everything was soooooo dark and heavy, and really too casual. It was sort of LL Beanlike; when I saw that vest I thought, is Jackie O. going camping? Camping fashion is great, don't get me wrong, but not for modern sportswear for a style icon.

In other news, Santino singing on Austin & Santino? Absolutely priceless. It's absolutely stupefying how much more I like him now than I did when he was on the show. This is, I think, at the heart of why I hate competition and am myself overly competitive. The crucible of a reality show competition absolutely crushes people's character. In A & S, they're meant to be having fun, and though they're putting in a lot of work, they are also letting their personalities gleam. Shiny.

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