Sunday, October 30, 2011

PR: 4-Way Showdown Throwdown

So, the finale has come and gone. And next week, we'll be shown the decoy collections evidently, to which I can only say--it's about time! I'm geeked about that because I'd like to see Laura's collection in motion, and see the others to find if it changes my view on them at all. I also just love the stage performance of a runway show.
So. Anya wins. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was unenthusiastic about the remaining 4 designers' collections anyway, with some notable exceptions. That being said, I can understand why they picked Anya--business. I usually complain when the judges pick someone for what seem to be pure business reasons. In this case, though, there weren't that many outs for them.
Anya is young and has experience being in the public eye. She has an affinity for easy garments that make good resortwear. She is the type of designer that people will seek out so they can have one of her pieces. I'm not sure you could say the same for any of the others.
Viktor is really the more talented designer, but the judges, to my eye, were quite right to point out the inconsistencies in his looks...not missed opportunities, as Nina said, but judgment errors. You really scrap that lovely flowy white dress for a black dress with dominatrix cross straps? See-through all-black blouses are very nineties. I had one. And then I got rid of it when its time had past. There were just some strange decisions on Viktor's part that cost him dearly.
I actually appreciated more of Kimberly's looks than others', which surprised me. She had some clunkers also, but she had some looks that were both practical and beautiful. I also appreciated her use of color, though there was really too much metallic going on, I think.
And then there is Josh. The looks weren't all bad, but as others have pointed out, his color palette is unsophisticated, a factor not mitigated by his shapes. For a few moments, I was very afraid they were going to pick him.
So those are my general observations. Here are some particulars.
Yes--short gold dress, black and white bambooesque print dress, black and white halter dress
No--gold and turquoise jump suit, short blue and print romper
Yes--turquoise top and skirt (I like that top's fit), blue dress, pink pants and black top, white feather top and pant
No--black pants and blue top, drapey thing with pink skirt/dress
Yes--blue print dress (short), blue print dress (long), print top and black skirt
No--black top and leather skirt, black dress with X straps
Yes--Purple opening dress, draped closing dress
No--Laced biker shorts, striped top with red jacket, green skirt, etc.
Best in show--I really think I have to give this to Kimberly's white pants and white feathered top. My lands, that was gorgeous. It stood out in all the good ways. I'd love to have that in my arsenal.
Worst in show--I have to give this to those hideous lace-up shorts of Josh's. I just cannot be convinced that they are attractive in any way, no matter what the judges said.
I hope to do a similar analysis after the decoy show, so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

PR: Laura Laura Laura

I haven't been around for a while, I admit. A lot has been going on with all kinds of tasks piled up, and I'm only getting to this blog now. I apologize.
Since last I posted, we had the mini-collection week and the home visits/3-looks trial.
The mini-collection week was kind of a bummer.
Anya's pieces were okay...I liked the understated structure to them. But the cinnamony two-piece look sort of reminded me of yoga wear and I didn't care for the pointy hem of her black dress, which just made it look like the dress was backward.
Viktor's pieces were highly praised. I really didn't care much for the blouse print he chose. I could see where it was coming from with the skyline thing, but the blouse looked kind of cheap to me.
Kimberly's looks...oh, sheesh. The silver dress was the only thing I liked. No, let me clarify. I liked the coat she made, but it looked slubby on the runway especially because it was so poorly styled. The third look, the orange top and silver skirt, were unsophisticated (Tom and Lorenzo call it out for hoochieness, which is accurate).
And then there is Josh. His looks were just silly. There were pieces that worked, like the white dress with the mesh, and maybe the striped top. But nothing else worked, and certainly not together. The runway judging at this point was equally ridiculous and ill-fitting.
But I'm really annoyed at the judging (and other comments made) of Laura. I loved Laura's pieces. I really did. I liked the circles and the extent to which they were used. I liked the sassiness of it, and the open fretwork of the top of the dress, with the black cap to the sleeve--I thought it was awesome. I could so rock a dress like that. And the dress they complained about looking like a pillowcase? Couldn't disagree more. The top didn't fit properly, it's true. But I liked the ease of it, and I saw the relationship between that dress and the other looks.
Thus, I was completely upset when Laura ultimately went home, after a total lambasting on the runway. In my view, Josh should have gone, and if the producers were really resistant, Kimberly. Laura has much more spunk to her looks, and a much more interesting point of view. Sure, her stuff is often "pretty," but since when is that a bad thing? Women like pretty clothes.

This whole situation (namely Laura's ousting) was made even worse when you sneak a peek at the collections, on or Tom & Lorenzo's blog, for this reason: LAURA'S COLLECTION IS CLEARLY THE BEST. How depressing is that? Her collection is the only one with style and no real inconsistencies. There were one or two pieces I felt meh about, but I feel like Laura's "decoy" collection is the first collection I've really and truly loved in years. Literally years. In fact, Jay McCarroll is the only one I can think of that I really loved as much. The only one I remember, I should say. And guess what? While we don't always see eye to eye, Tom & Lorenzo agree with me. Can you beat that?

In some ways, I lost interest as soon as Laura was auf'd. I didn't really watch the home visits, though I turned in to the second half. I wanted to see who would go home. Surprise! No one.
Here's what happened:
Kimberly had a sleek sparkly dress (plus), a pair of blue pants (plus), a southwest top (minus), a boring blue top (minus), and a poofy pink skirt (minus).
Josh had a crazy muumuu jumpsuit (minus), a pair of pink pants (minus), a weird jacket (neutral), a print/mesh top (minus), and an ill-fitting black dress (minus).
Anya had a brown print dress (plus), a tan coverup (minus), a weird black swimsuit (minus), and a misshapen gold dress (minus).
Viktor had a flowy dress (plus), a white jacket (plus), a cool print dress (plus), a leather overskirt (minus), a pair of print pants (neutral), an embellished top (plus), and a black jacket (plus).
You can do the math. Viktor is obviously in. To my mind, Josh needs to exit, or Anya. Kimberly is safe.
And yet Kimberly and Anya are at the bottom. I will admit that Kimberly didn't pick the best looks from her collection to show the judges. The pieces didn't relate well. That being said, Josh's looks were all shady, whereas Anya had one adequate piece. I know the judges always want to see more Josh, because he's crazy, but they always seem to love Anya, too. I think the judges kind of missed the boat on Kimberly being at the bottom--I didn't necessarily care for what she had, but she does actually have a particular aesthetic that some people to respond to. I felt like the judges missing that is why she was on the bottom, whereas Josh's work, which supposedly has a point of view (even if that is something I don't want to look at) got a free ride.

Since Laura is gone, I couldn't win anyway, so I guess this past week was an academic exercise for me at best. I've seen all the collections and there are pieces I like from Viktor, Kimberly, and Anya. Maybe one or two of Josh's. But all have serious missteps as well. Judging might be interesting, but once again, I sort of feel like they should do what one of our Mid-American Review contest judges did once--reject the finalists we sent them and ask to see a different batch, and hand the crown to Laura.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

PR: Dresses At Last!

Let's have a look at the gimmicks from this week's episode:
Makeup brand emulating birds
Pairs, which turned into...
Head to head competition
Two looks
One high fashion look
But wait--only one look is being shown
Not one, but TWO makeup decision scenes.
20,000 dollar prize...and an advertorial

I'm really tired of the teaming up of the designers. This is yet another reason why I think the show is struggling. Sometimes they do it when it's not even related to or needed in the challenge. For this week, for instance, why pretend to team them up? Why not just announce that they are picking buttons for head-to-head competition? That whole scenario was clunky as composed.

Another of the things I'm tired of is the sketch and go to Mood, and then sketch again and go to Mood again. They've done that several times this season. Why not just put the designers on an obstacle course? If the goal is to exhaust them and then see what they create, surely there is a better way.

Project Runway challenge designers--YOU HAVE AN EDITING PROBLEM. Seriously. Is no one on the production team sitting back and saying, "That's too much. You have a lot of ideas, and I've seen this from you before. You need to edit"? If Nina Garcia is so tired of Josh M's overbedazzling everything, surely one of those people can see how his aesthetic translated to TV is crushing PR? Am I the only one thinking this?

Reality time: Birds and two looks would have been enough. Or why not birds to inspire a look to wear to a benefit, with head to head competition? Some of the gowns that have resulted would work for such an event.

In Viktor's look, I'm not a big fan of the frizz on the shoulder. Along the sides and skirt I think it's fine. The colors are lovely and soft. It's just that shoulder that strikes me as odd.
I prefer Kimberly's dress to Viktor's in its movement and its draping. I don't really see cockatoo inspiration in there, though. I'm confused on why she said Viktor was at fault for burning her dress--didn't she own that in the workroom? Anyway, I would wear this dress. Actually, seeing it closeup, I see that lightish pink in the skirt, which is good.
I'm not a big fan of Bert's look. The top layer of gray is a strange shade. I like the layering of the color underneath, but there's definitely a more African Gray parrot inspiration there as opposed to an Amazon. It's not actually that the top is gray that bothers's the shade of gray. What annoyed me more about Bert is his dissing the bird. That just seems very whiny to me.
I liked Josh M's look better without the weird corsage. I like the back better than the front. In some strange way though, it kind of reminds me of a towel toga.
Anya went for structure, and it does have the raven structure in an inspired-by way. I wouldn't wear it, but it's interesting and I could see it on a runway. That's what high fashion is, really. Josh is very bitter about the model having to be cut out of the dress, but that, too, is common in fashion shows, not just on Project Runway.
Laura's look is very wearable, but the pant is kind of ho-hum. I like the organza peplum idea. I am not agreeing with the judges that it is too literally birdy. I don't think it's costumey, any more than anyone else's.
What I love more is Laura and Anya's compliments for each other.
My least favorite look this week was Bert's. I also hate to say this, but Laura's look suffered in comparison to others this week. It was different for her, and still wearable, but not great.
The right decision was made this week. Bert's exit was very classy, which made up for the fuss about the bird.
I did not watch the "After the Runway" show that followed this week's PR. No point--that's not why I watch PR.

Monday, October 03, 2011

PR: Throwback. Throw it back.

Ah, the 70s.
This was not a good week, fashionwise, but is it any surprise? People keep wanting to revisit 70s and 80s fashion, but...they're not good, people. There are fun elements in both, but they just are not that worthy of being remade. Even modernizing them seems sort of weird. Sure, put some legwarmers or bell bottoms on. But revisiting the aesthetic of those eras? It's just an odd choice.

Anyway, here's what we had:
Anthony Ryan--This reminds me of his collection from Fashion Week--sad and shabby looking. The dress was very bohemian, but even so the colors just didn't feel right. I like red and grey together, but to do it you really have to have crispness, and that was lacking.
Anya--Anya's top had nice detailing with the pleats. I would have liked to see something done with the print fabric that was less busy. Up close, the pattern is quite nice, but as pants it's too overwhelming, and the fabric didn't move well in that shape. The jumpsuit shape was all right, but I wasn't keen on that print choice.
Bert--I don't know, guys. That first outfit was just odd. It was too referential. It made me think of Xanadu. The little dress was cute, and it grew on me, though it was a little nippy for the runway. I was wondering if the gold might have been a better choice for the front, but then the white would get dirty when sat on. I noticed the hem was a little wonky.
Josh M.--It's a look that is obviously JM, therefore, I can't stand it. I thought it was odd that Heidi was so in for Bert's whackadoo avant garde look, but then couldn't get behind Josh's pants. That whole outfit looked more 80s, maybe early 90s to me. The dress was fine, though bunchy at the bust.
Kimberly--I don't get the weird midriff baring thing with this. I thought the skirt was fine. The jumpsuit, though? It didn't look well made up top. These two looks were both kind of bewildering for me.
Laura--I actually really liked Laura's jumpsuit. Subtle it was, but it looked comfortable and flattering, as well as new. That's pretty much the only way I'd wear a jumpsuit. I wasn't excited about her top with the skirt look, though I thought the top was all right.
Viktor--Viktor's looks were obviously the most polished, but I thought they were kind of dull. The dress is okay, though I'm not keen on the snakeskin. I actually liked the tee shirt with the dress pants idea. That is something I would do. And have done. I thought the jacket should have been longer--it looks a little juniory. I thought a slightly longer-than-normal jacket would say more safari and also be a wink at the 70s.

This week, I can't really agree with Laura Bennett, who would have sent Josh M home over Anthony Ryan. Did Josh M make a hideous outfit? Yes. But Anthony Ryan's outfit was more awful, frankly. I loved Anthony Ryan's effort to help Anya, and I'm no fan of Josh M, but the issue here is still that the crazy vest and top AR made was crazier than Josh M's crazy pants and (80s) top.

That's all I got this week. I finally have a couple of nights of free time (I think) and I'm going to work on a few projects, get some plans done and maybe start testing things. That's after I wash the dishes that have piled up for days now.