The Avant Garde Project Runway challenge is hit or miss. Sometimes it's intriguing and educational, and sometimes it's a mess. This year, for whatever reason, I got engaged when I heard it was the AG challenge, because I thought maybe we'd finally get some fashion, some risk-taking. We didn't, always, but this was on the whole a less frustrating episode than last week.
I enjoy having the designers collaborate creatively with young people. Sure, they don't always like kids, these designers, but it was fun to hear kids articulate their artistic process and vision. I think this was meant to be a feel-good episode, as edited, anyway, and I'm okay with that. Others have noticed how much better designers got along this week, though it seems we're in an explosion again next week.
Anthony Ryan--I liked the idea of brush stroke translation, and I liked AR's look the best, I think. It wasn't really Avant Garde so much, unless the sheer fabric of the underdress was to count as the experimental part, but it did have a point of view. I'm pleased that he won
Anya--Half a costume from CATS, half a hiked up Renaissance skirt...and I kind of dig that. It was definitely a little weird, in the sense that it seemed to have multiple personalities, but sometimes that's the point of avant garde.
Becky--Denim with blocks, squares, and holes. That pretty much summed up the dress. It was safe, better than some of the other looks out there, but definitely not a contender for an avant garde winner.
Bert--Raise your hands, people who predicted that Heidi would like this. As much as I hated this Tweedledee nightmare, I knew Heidi would be okay with it. This is the type of thing that people do send down runways sometimes, things which make me laugh at the fashion industry. Go on. Go to Google Image and type in avant garde fashion. I'll wait. And I think the fact that it is sort of like some of those disasters is what saved Bert. I'm wondering if Heidi's experience as a model kicked in here. I'm sure she's worn equally foolish things.
Bryce--Bryce was my least favorite this week. Much like last week, the construction was horrifying. Sure, a straightjacket mermaid dress is pretty avant garde, but the cut and fit were bad, the movement droopy, and as a result I was sure he would be out. And yet...not.
Josh C.--I secretly think Josh was onto something better with his first idea. While more literal, it was a bit more interesting to try to translate a wolf into fashion. I liked the idea of leaving the heart bare, just like the painting. I can't help wondering what would have happened if we'd gotten an over-the-top faux fur skirt. Also...I quite liked the blouse. It had an interesting shape and neat pleats.
Josh M.--Ok. Take a minute, go to Rate the Runway, and look at the picture of Josh M's design. Does his model not look like a drag queen? There's nothing wrong with being a drag queen, but it's not really indicative of avant garde fashion. I thought this outfit belonged squarely in the middle. It wasn't really that engaging to me. Just very voluminous.
Kimberly--Okay. Let's take that furryfeathery stuff and make a skirt out of it for Josh C's outfit...Now. I wasn't excited by Kimberly's look, but I didn't dislike it either. It wasn't terribly memorable, I guess that's my problem for an avant garde challenge. It was a dark version of a party dress.
Laura--This dress kind of reminded me of my Peaches and Cream Barbie doll for some reason. I'm not really buying the visible boning versus the chiffon as being avant garde. That being said, I thought the dress was fun to look at, and would make an interesting component of a runway show with a similar stripe running through it. In that regard it was successful, and more memorable than other runway looks.
Olivier--Olivier survived this week. Barely. I think it's because the judges recognize that he does have skills. And for once I agreed with Kors when he exhorted Olivier not to be afraid to be powerful. His dress this week really was just a whirlwind of fabric tacked together. Very disappointing.
Viktor--There are elements I liked about Viktor's blue and white swirled confection, and elements I didn't care for. But I could easily see a singer wearing this outfit at the VMAs or onstage, which tends to be a little funky if not avant garde.