Friday, July 29, 2011

PR: Come As You Are

Despite my disappointment and annoyance during the last several years, I have to admit I was interested about the opening episode of Project Runway last night. I wasn't stuck to the couch for most of it, instead working on packing until the runway show. That might be the best way for me to watch now. I can breeze in and out of the room and catch the most important stuff, the essence, and then enjoy the fashion part unimpeded by disgust at the flaws.
The judging process was a little bit different this year, but it's something I think they should have done for a few years prior, and at a larger scale: The early panels of past finalists sent people through with yes or maybe. Then, the main judges looked at the contestants' work and portfolios in New York. They sent 4 of 20 back home, which seemed like a weird number to me. In any case, as I said, I've often thought they should do this, as it gives a layer of professionalism to the proceedings and allows the judges and Tim to have some ability to fight for an intriguing contestant (although, admittedly, they had a few whims that were less defensible).
The challenge for the remaining 16 was typical PR fare, requiring the contestants to use their jammies and a sheet. I thought the ladies might have an advantage here, since typically they have better or at least more interesting textiles available for their night garments. Most of the designers, however, seemed to have unexciting pajamas. Seriously, people--pajamas are important. You need to sleep not just in things that are comfortable, but things that bring you pleasure. It doesn't have to be a fancy nighty, but I really think people should wear things that are pleasing to their eye somehow; even if it's lounge pants and a shirt, it should have some character...especially if you're going to be on TV with strangers.

In the final results, I noticed two things--First, the Kors effect: SO many separates. Second, there was a fine edge between mess and yes.

Anthony--I liked the top, and really thought it was wearable for a lot of women. The skirt? Yuck. Too short is too short, even if the textile is eye-catching. I was surprised he made the top 3 for this reason.
Anya--Did anyone notice that she basically has Andy's-from-last-season hair? Anyway, I was disappointed to see, already, that tiny top thing I hate. I did like the use of print and the architecture of the top, but it was so small! The pants were fine, but why a tab closure and zip in the back? Very odd.
Becky--This was actually my favorite look. I liked the button trim on top and the use of the color. I enjoyed the tucks in the skirt. There were certainly a few puckering issues here and there, mainly in back, but I thought this a nice, wearable but stylish garment.
Bert--I didn't know what to think of this. I wasn't surprised, I guess, that the judges picked it out and gave it the win; it had their aesthetic blended together, and I was glad for Bert. However, something about it troubled me. I liked the humor of the check print, and I think the top of the garment worked, but the The sewing seemed off and the skirt on the whole too slouchy and baglike. I will say that I am interested to see more of Bert's work and I'm glad to see an older contestant doing well.
Bryce--I felt like I should like this more than I did, because I like drapey sleeves. The top was too big, though, like a child in a paint smock.
Cecilia--Great color on the skirt, but Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Thanks, Jill) on the length. This outfit had an appropriate concept, I think--not my style, but kind of urban clubby. The back, however (as one can see in the still photo on is a mess.
Danielle--Good color in the shorts, and I liked the pleating in the pockets. The fit of the shorts, however, was bizarre, and I could not get into them paired with a copper and black top. The outfit made no sense.
Fallene--There was a touch of humor here, which I like. The dress was simple, but pretty. It was safe, but had a bit of personality all the same. There was an indie vibe (not entirely because of the clown), which made me want to see more of Fallene's work.
Josh C.--This earned the second look award, which means that my first look and second look reactions were completely different. When I saw the top with the hoodie, I was intrigued. The shorts were poorly fit, but seeing the outfit, from the front, from the bust upwards, I thought Josh was onto something. Then I saw it during the questionning, and I realized my eyes (blinded by my love of red) missed a lot of wrong. Even so, I still like the hoodie.
Josh M.--I wrote "clean but flat." The look was very casual and dull, and I have to say the vest thing still looked like a sheet.
Julie--I thought Cecilia had the WTF all sewn up, but then Julie's top came out. It was a yellow and pink mess, and the fit of the pants at the waist was confusing. It was not the worst thing on the runway. Barely.
Kimberly--She claimed her top looked great, which was a head-scratcher. The top, like Josh M's, looked like a sheet still, and while I could see the sort of papillon thing she was aiming for, ultimately it looked like the model just didn't finish putting a top on.
Laura--This outfit had good movement, and I think Laura had the most interesting textiles to draw from. I actually quite like this outfit, and I would wear it, I think. I respond to fluidity and a hint of dark sexiness, a bit of smoulder, which is what this outfit had. That being said, I still like Becky's slightly more because it's a bit more unusual.
Olivier--Safe. That's all I got. This was another flat look with nothing that stood out or made it memorable.
Rafael--Didn't we all know this was a doomed contestant from the editing of the show? And then, when the outfit hit the runway, I just shook my head and curled my lip a little. The pants and shirt were both unflattering and made the model actually look bad. I couldn't believe the judges even had to discuss who would go home, especially because Rafael seemed uncertain about what was wrong. Fishscale design in the back of the shirt cannot save it this horror.
Viktor--The look, a white and black shirt dress, struck me as being a little 1999 department store, which was disappointing. In fact, I was trying to think of a catalog in which I have seen something similar, but I couldn't place it, because it's been so long since I've seen a copy of that catalog. Can anyone help me out here?

In all, I was okay with the judging this week, and I'm looking forward to more interesting challenges this season. Hope springs eternal, I guess, right?

In other news, I am moving. This has been my official break for the day!

In other other news, I wish Emily West Lowry the best of luck as she celebrates her Grand Opening tomorrow of her Waterville shop! I made curtains for the shop and had the pleasure of seeing some of Emily's work as she was getting the furniture set up. I can't wait to get in there when it's open for business and get me something feathery and pretty for my hair!


Tudor Rose said...


I wasn't really blown away with anyone's outfits this first episode, and I realize some of that might be the limitations of what they had to work with, but I felt pretty much "eh" about all of them. I hope that isn't the theme for the rest of the season.

Abs said...

I thought that some of them were very dull indeed. Becky's is the only one where I went, Oh yeah, that's a go.
I've noticed they have a lot of established designers this season, people who already have lines. That makes me nervous, because those people sometimes take the fewest risks or produce the least exciting clothes.