Oh, brother. It's a little hard to write the blog this week. I started watching PR, then put it on mute. I saw the collections from the teams of 5, and saw some things I liked and most that I didn't. I really couldn't get behind the prints the designers made--all were black and white, and they lacked anything really special. I liked the clock idea of the Nuts & Bolts team, and the Rorshach idea of the Chaos team, but ultimately felt very little inspiration from either side. I know they have very little time to do this, and I also know that groupthink can water ideas down in the efforts toward compromise. But I just don't get how the make-your-own-print challenges keep turning out such lackluster or even anemic fabrics. And why writing on the prints? It's too easy, just like the patterns of lines are.
Viktor's dress. I think he managed to keep it from looking like a cow print, and I liked the fluidity of the skirt.
Anthony Ryan's skirt. It was perky and had some visual appeal.
Becky's jacket. I liked it better than Josh's. In fact, Becky's outfit seemed to have the most practical usage. It wasn't very exciting, but I liked it better than, say, Bryce's look.
Josh's jacket, with reservations. I have to admit I liked it better on the mannequin.
I did not like:
The flatness of Olivier's pieces. Again. I admire that he puts everything into crafting a garment, but he also tends to fixate too much, I think, and his palette once again was dull.
Kimberly's weird skirt and boring blouse. The shortness of the skirt was not the problem. It looked like she was wearing a bowling bag. Such a peculiar silhouette.
Josh's pants. Period.
Bryce's shorts and slouchy top. There is no fashion here at all. Boring pieces in a lazy-looking style.
Anthony Ryan's top. There was something sort of touristy about it...like a stewardess or a wrangler. Those things are very different and I can't defend why the top reminded me of both of them, but it did.
Laura's jumpsuit. I don't care for jumpsuits, and I didn't see any connection between a blue jumpsuit and a clock dress. It seemed very Laura, but also seemed like jumpsuits we've seen before.
I don't really have an opinion about Bert's clock dress. I liked the zipper idea, but something about the dress as a whole was kind of dull.
I also thought Anya's dress was okay, but not very exciting. It was certainly wearable, but it wasn't breathtaking or unique.
I have to say, and I've hinted at this before, that I think sportswear is killing Project Runway. Kors gets so excited about it, but honestly, the show has been too focused on it, and it's not hard to understand why so much of what has been produced this season, and perhaps the last, has fallen flat.
Contestants used to tell us that so many garments didn't have sleeves because sleeves take time. Yet many of these designers were producing exciting looks. Now, contestants are making pants and tailored jackets and sleeved tops. They're taking so much time doing so that nothing really interesting or inspired takes place. When you're making a tailored jacket and a pair of pants, it's really hard to change direction midstream, or to change your design to fit a new idea. The actual design part of Project Runway is very short. Far more time is spent on actually making the pieces.
I do think sportswear is important. But it's not that interesting to look at, and I think it's hard to do anything really new in its design. Sure, Olivier made a nice jacket this week. But is that jacket really any different from jackets we've seen in fashion for years? It was well made, but it wasn't innovative in design. No one this week made anything that one could obsess over.
No one told the designers this week to make so much sportswear. Nor have they done so any other week. But separates have gotten the praise from the judges, and presumably they were in the portfolios of the contestants selected. Thus, it's become a part of the culture of the show. There are all kinds of other reasons why PR has been struggling, but I think this week was a great example of boring sportswear separates that we have seen over and over.