Friday, October 22, 2010

PR: Winding Down

I didn't post last week. I reversed my usual order of viewing and watched Fringe while recording PR, then I half-watched PR and fast-forwarded through whatever looked like nonsense. It kind of worked--I didn't watch obsessively, so I could ignore what would annoy me. I did it again this week, for the home visitations and the mini-collection stuff.

Do you know what? It turns out that Project Runway isn't that interesting a lot of the time. I always talk about watching the designers' processes as being a positive, but when you don't really care that much about the individuals in question stylistically, or you're not attached to them I should say, and when the show is more concerned with drama than the creativity anyway...well...I throw up my hands and jut out my hip, as Jack McFarland would say. Why watch it the same way just because that's how you've always watched it? This way, I still get to see the clothes, but the experience isn't so abrasive.

Last week:
I thought it was awfully rich for Christian Siriano of all people to be sitting in as the guest judge, and then the judges attack people for repeating themselves. How many pairs of black skinny pants does one girl need? Siriano's final collection, while dramatic and well sewn, was dreadfully repetitive, and reminiscent of everything he produced in the season. Yet that is the very reason April went home.

The clothes last week were admittedly deflating. Are the producers pushing too hard, or did the designers burn themselves out too early? I don't know the answer, but there really wasn't any power in the results:
Andy went to a park and came up with a Matrix dress. Surrounded by organics and natural lines, he comes up with something artificial and "wet." I could not get behind this concept at all, and thought the final product was whorish.
April went to the bridge and created the same kind of look she's always made. I liked the fit of the top a lot--that cut out thing is hard to do neatly. But when you're sent somewhere to be inspired, it seems like you should show something inspired. Inspiration suggests something new worked into your aesthetic, a new spin or new tendril, and there was nothing new or twisted about April's look. It also looked like a maybe a sci fi maven from a previous year's challenge.
Gretchen's look--I'm not sure what to think. I was actually kind of intrigued by the jacket. The skirt, though--I swear I have a pattern for just that skirt, with a lace overlay. Then the blouse was kind of a throwaway. As with April (and, to be fair, everyone) this didn't seem at all inspired.
Michael went to the Statue of Liberty and created a black, draped gown with an uber-slit. The dress was pretty, but I was shocked to see the judges fawn over it so much. Yes, it moved beautifully, but it's goddesswear. Just like the dryad dress from weeks ago. Most controversial is his lack of knowledge on the fabric. I can't decide how I feel about this. I don't always know what I'm using either, but I'm not on TV trying to prove my design prowess.
Mondo's garment didn't appeal to me either. It didn't fit well, and it wasn't surprising or unique. The one interesting thing is that the top of the dress sort of looked like a backward blazer (particularly when you look at it from the back).

This week:
We are seeing this season how PR has changed over the years, and sensing that it has lost its mojo. This was evident to me as I viewed the mini-collections and heard the judging. No one agreed this week. The judges were contradicting each other, and just seemed to circle and circle. I always thought it was weird that they didn't disagree more actually, so perhaps this is just a more authentic judging. But it also felt too divergent to be trustworthy. Additionally, the kinds of things they were supporting were the opposite of what they'd have been supporting at the beginning of the show.

Witness Andy. I actually liked Andy's looks and, get ready for it, I enjoyed the headpieces. Sorry, judges (and bloggers): I may be in the minority, and I don't care. I thought they were interesting and I enjoyed the extra dimension. I liked Andy's silver look, but not the fit of the shorts. The bathing suit was just okay, and I did question its function in a mini-collection. The green dress was too short, but I appreciated that he did something interesting with his textile, and that he used colorful Laosian fabrics.
I didn't care for Gretchen's looks at all. They were kind of sad. The hang-butt dress was probably her best, but it looked kind of dated, and the fabric was not attractive on the runway--in fact, its wrinkling made it look like the model just rolled out of bed and slung something on. The pants and blouse looked even more dated and unsophisticated, and I found the coat and panties just bizarre. I don't get the cohesion Tim was talking about at all. A fashion show is about wanting more, more, more. I don't want more of any of these ideas or garments.
People cooed about Michael's 11th look, but I have to level with you--it looked sloppy. The way the fabric was cut made it look kind of cheap. I loved the beaded strap and the belt, but the shape of the dress just didn't thrill me at all. The feathered skirt look was interesting, but the shape seemed awry, and the fit of the top a little baggy at the waist. Still, this was his best look. I can't even talk about the fringe top and bell bottoms. It looked like a dance recital costume. A messy one at that. End of story.
And Mondo. I actually liked his print short and blouse, though not together. At least there's a concept there. I didn't care for the fit of his brown and black skirt, and wasn't into the dotted dress, though you can certainly see that on someone like Heidi. I've liked or at least respected some of Mondo's work in the past and hated other things. This week I was merely ambivalent.

In sum, I was disappointed. When looking at these mini-collections, I actually liked Andy's best. I liked the aesthetic of them. I'm glad that I will get to see his full collection, because I actually want to see more.


Cloud of Secrets said...

I only finished watching last week's episode this morning. Still haven't seen Finale Part I.

But yes, very little to inspire and crave last week. So much black; so many references I just didn't see. I did think it was unfair that the Mayor offered them the whole city of New York, but then the challenge was qualified so that the look must be inspired by a _landmark_ -- which is usually interpreted as a distinct physical location or structure. What if I wanted to be inspired by the *mood* of Times Square on NYE; or by the colors of wonderful wines and labels at a little hole-in-the-wall shop; by the text in a tome I picked up at an antiquarian bookshop; by a great neon restaurant sign; that sort of thing? I suppose I could reason the "landmark" coincept into any of these inspirations. e.g., some wonderful neon in Chinatown, a NYC landmark. But the designers went really literal, with the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park (or so Andy claimed...) All expected, boring, and so much black.

Abs said...

I'll be interested to hear what you think about the mini-collections.
I couldn't agree more about the inspirations issue, and the black. I mean, I get the problem of exhaustion combined with wanting to present a garment that is truly representative of the designer, but ultimately nobody did that *and* produced something interesting. I wonder if this is a function of the experience level of the designers going up in these past seasons. You notice that April, a newbie, and Michael, who doesn't know a lot of terms, made it almost to the end--maybe because their creativity is not overshadowed by too *much* experience or disenchantment? I don't know.