The challenge is a PR staple--create a day-to-night look for a woman-on-the-go. The look should be comfortable, versatile, and practical, and, for the judges, glamorous. Oh, yes, and it should be in the designer's own aesthetic.
The real challenge is with the people. Andrea is gone. There are a lot of harsh words for her from the remaining designers, and a lot of forgetting that they themselves have been in meltdown mode and walking away, albeit temporarily. And then, Kooan announces his departure. Nathan, et al, try to talk him down, but Tim escorts him out. And then, Raul comes back.
And then...there is some sewing.
I was disappointed this week--not in the garments themselves in design, because there were several remarkable garments. But most of the designers picked such safe, boring colors. I can only guess that there wasn't enough time at Mood to find both the desired fabric and an interesting color. With a grey or black jersey, you know what you have. Still...no sparkle? No color? I am the first to decry a design that is only interesting because of its color (as with the white dress made for Irina last week); yet, the blur of grey, black, and brown this week dulled my interest.
Sure, as I said, there were some engaging designs. Even so, the world really has a lot of black dresses with unique designs. It's a staple of the fashion industry. As a woman-on-the-go, I'm trying to keep color in my wardrobe and find professional clothes in nice colors, like my beloved boucle sweaters. I really wanted to see something new in that arena.
This brings me to this week's gripe: I really hate the rush at Mood. I always have. It's one of my least favorite things, watching designers scramble through that Shangri-La of fabric. I also think the tiny visits are one of the major reasons we so often get yucky runway results. I would go even further to say that it's a mockery of the important role fabric (and good fabric stores) play in the fashion industry. I would much rather the designers get a full hour in there. I don't necessarily need to see more as a viewer, but I would like to see more carefully considered and interesting decisions rather than see people just pull out black and grey, or prints of the two, all the time.
I do have to admit that a lot of the designers were heading for the greys and blacks even in Kors' studio as they sketched; however, some of the others' plans changed when they got there, as can be seen in their sketches.
Alicia: Her shirt was too short and the look, while she called it crisp, to me looked sloppy. She certainly did not have the worst design up there, but it was not a look that could win a challenge.
Buffi: Oh, Buffi. I will miss your accent and humor. When you saw the garment come out on the runway, you knew it was going to send her home. Not because it was pink over zebra print. But because it really did look like a pink sack over the dress. When you use such a color, you really need to make it count, and it just didn't here. A banging zebra dress with, say, a red jacket vest in a nice thick something or other would have been preferable. Something fierce! As it was, it was not.
Christopher: It's true; his jacket was pretty rad. It had some sleek flair to it. I also appreciated that his black fabric had some sheen to it, which makes it better for the evening portion. But, like Dmitry and Sonjie, it was a basic color. Black is suitable for night (and he did throw in a blue shoe), but amdist so many other basic colors, I was less excited. I also felt that the drape in the skirt was too long, though that is a minor complaint.
Dmitry's dress had one seam? What the what? I wish they'd brought that up on the runway, so I could try to figure it out better. In any case, I liked the weaving in Dmitry's garment, which gave it at least some interest. That being said, it was a grey jerseyish dress. I agreed with Kors that this dress in a color--not even a bright color necessarily--would have been better. A nice cranberry or emerald green. Or a deep, sapphire blue. Then I would have wanted that dress in my closet immediately!
Elena: I really am not a fan of the shapeless, or rounded shoulder thing that Elena seems to love. I don't really want to wear a jacket that doubles my size. It's her thing, but I can't like it.
Fabio: As I believe I may have mentioned, I hate it when designers make dresses that are too short. It's supposed to be practical and comfortable--if I'm constantly worried about giving an impromptu peep shoe, that isn't going to happen. How could I sit down? Fabio picked a print, which was in his favor, but I agreed with Kors (twice in one week!) that the look didn't have much of Fabio's personality in it. I also agreed with Heidi that a long jacket would have been better.
Gunnar had a tiny bit of color in there with the eggplanty shirt. The skirt was interesting, but it didn't say evening to me, and the two pieces didn't really fit together. Not that they came from different closets, but as if the wearer hadn't had her coffee and had her eyes half shut when she was pulling things out of the closet. Or, maybe she pulled something out of the laundry hamper.
Melissa: The combination of draped garments reminded me of Robin Hood, the way Robin Hood really would have dressed, with the leggings, the layers, and the hooded cloak. It didn't look very evening to me, though, and so it clearly wasn't going to be a winner.
Nathan: Well, he is the drape person. His commentary was correct, though, that this wasn't a wow look. The draped jacket vest thing was interesting, and I think gold was a good color for him to work with. But pairing it with another color might have taken it further. A nice forest green?
Raul: I wrote "the fabric of the top piece is interesting." That's it. Raul dodged a major bullet this week. I know he has better capabilities than this.
Sonjie: Drapey grey dress. The back of the look was actually quite interesting. It did remind me of some multi-way-to-wear dresses already out there, but there was some originality. The middle seemed a little pouchy to me, which wouldn't suit too many ladies. This and other dresses most likely would require some Spanx. I wasn't sorry she won, but mainly because I think all three top looks could have won.
Ven: Hey, guess what! Ven had pleats! No, I'm not accusing him of being a one-note, and I have nothing against pleats, but I hope he is ready to mix it up in future. The crossing zipper in Ven's look interested me, though I'm not sure how practical it is. I also wondered if his fabric would wrinkle. He also used brown; a lighter brown, true, but still brown.
Next week: A team challenge. You know. My favorite.