I like unconventional materials, and I really think no challenge has come close to that first breathless scamper through the grocery store in season one. Pet stores have a lot of promise, though, and it got me thinking what other unconventional places Project Runway could commandeer. A bookstore? A Renaissance Festival? A school room? What zany ideas do you have?
I watched this episode with my mom and failed to ask her opinion on the pieces, as I was feverishly writing notes. I regret that. Sorry, Mom.
Anthony Ryan--I love the collar. The dress shape/fit (mainly the bottom half) wasn't so great, but the neck of the garment is eye-catching in a good way. It looks feisty and not vulgar.
Anya--The leash skirt was cool. I really wasn't a fan of the top. The look seemed complete (see note below re: styling), but the top looked a little too much like a craft project.
Becky--The top of this excited me when it emerged from behind the scrim on the runway. The dress as a whole, though, was too parrotlike. What might have been cool (and of course there was no time for this) was that top with a long, slim gown skirt, of deeper green leaves. But the point is not to make over a garment, is it?
Bert--The look was basically a boudoir babydoll made of actual fabric. I hate when a designer disdains a challenge, especially one that is part of the essence of the show. It's a challenge. I am hoping for Bert to get a wake-up call (despite Heidi's warning, I feel pretty sure he learned nothing) down the road, because I do want him to do well.
Bryce--If you want to make a floofy blue skirt, make a floofy blue skirt. But for heaven's sake, make it happy. This outfit was so heavy, top and bottom, and thus shapeless. I really thought Bryce would go on this one.
Cecilia--There is an interesting contrast between Cecilia and Olivier that I want to point out here and in Olivier's entry. Cecilia's piece was not transformational enough. It was more of "look what I pulled off"--a trick. There is no subtlety of color, and while the fit was good, the movement was not. Thus, this look ended up being a bit ugly, while Olivier's had a more intuitive style.
Danielle--The color sense for Danielle is better this week. The rope top was kind of interesting, but the look as a whole read merely competent rather than eye-catching. Something about it made me think of Gretchen from last season.
Fallene--I cry foul on Fallene's behalf (and here is where Laura Bennett and I agree). Her dress was not bad, and I don't agree that the palette was off-putting. It's a fall piece, sure, but it's not Halloweenish. One could argue that I've spent too long in Falcon country, but I actually think the dress is cute--and a much more appealing color option than, say, spring's lime green and lemon yellow. It also made me think of Gretchen, though more for color than shape. I do think Fallene short-circuited herself by not defending her look, especially because it wasn't bad. She should not have been on the bottom (also see below note).
Josh C.--Oh, Josh C. You got me again. The outfit seemed safe at first look--not intricate or particularly endearing, but, I thought, safe. Then I saw the puppies. Unlike the hurling clown of last week, the puppies did not function as a wry touch of something extra. Instead it was something I kind of wish I hadn't spotted. Even so, and even though the standards thus far seem a bit higher than last season, I didn't think it was Josh C.'s week to go home, especially since designers before have been in the bottom twice in a row and then ended up pulling out something amazing.
Josh M.--Bert is in the 70s and Josh M. is in the 80s. I am not a fan of neon at the best of times, but I did think this look had Heidi written all over it. I also give a nod to the fact that the look was shiny, which would not have been easy with the materials available. Anthony Ryan had his beading look, and Josh M. had his sequins. Even so, I did not prefer this look.
Julie--A few PR bloggers have praised Julie's look, but I do not. I love the child's book The Paper Bag Princess, but now was not the time for it. The draping just didn't work. I remember a few people doing better work with weaving in the past, and I was sorry that Julie didn't pull it off.
Kimberly--I liked the right side of the bust on Kimberly's top, the smoothly coiled side. The other side looked like a tangled boat line. I might have liked to see more of the coiled rope or chain or whatever, because in that electric blue it was really eye-catching.
Laura--What the what? The top's weaving wasn't quite tight enough, and the skirt ended up ho-hum in its final incarnation. Laura talks a big game, but this was not a very fulfilling look. It looked hasty. Thus, while it had a distinct concept, its execution was under par.
Olivier--Okay, now let's talk about Olivier. His look, unlike Cecilia's, felt deliberate. They had a similar theory, but O's style was stronger. The fit was bulbous, I'll grant you, which is why I favored Anthony Ryan. But there is something here that suggests subtlety (eyebrows aside) and art.
Viktor--I liked the color shading here. The dress was simple, but attractive, and it was, in a word, tasteful. It was my second favorite, I think.
Three further notes:
- While I do not necessarily trust public taste, it is sometimes illustrative to go through the Rate the Runway pictures on mylifetime.com and see the average ratings. At this point, the top look is Anthony Ryan, followed by Viktor and Anya. The bottom look is Bryce, just edging Bert, and then Julie. Fallene is in sixth place (of fifteen) and Olivier is in tenth. Thus, while I don't know how representative this is of America in general, or fashion gurus in particular, it is rather intriguing.
- Has anyone noticed that the question, "Where is she going?" keeps popping up this season? I kind of hate that question. I understand its purpose, but it ignores the fact that there are events of all types, while insisting that there is a "right" thing to wear to a particular event. I would hate it less if it were acceptable for designers to spin a concise but creative scenario for the client. Take Fallene's dress, for example: I have a friend who is the wife of a country singer. She would look adorable in that dress at one of his concerts in a large bar, with some sweet boots. "Fashion" does not mean "urban" and Project Runway has made that mistake before.
- I've also noticed how much emphasis there has been on styling so far. It escalated with Irina and Gretchen and seems to have come to the forefront. I'm undecided on this--I know it can sway an outfit's reception, and add to the above idea of the shadowbox of a character being created. Yet I don't want this to be too emphatic on packaging a woman.