Project Runway--2/11/10--Run for Cover

And Models of the Runway too!

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I really enjoyed this episode. I loved how specific the parameters of the assignment were. The challenge came from designing for a unique use rather than from odd materials or non-model clients.

And what a prize! Oh my goodness! You know how they are always saying that such and such a challenge is unprecedented and the biggest ever or whatever? This time they exceeded expectations by a mile.

I really look askance at designers who don’t “get” a challenge when the challenge is to design a garment for a specific type of event or whatever. When they design something that is really unsuitable, it really lowers my opinion of them as designers.

I get that in the context of the show that sometimes they come out not-quite-right for whatever and they have just have to go with what they have. (I think that this happened to Mila last night) But in so many cases, the designers show a major lack of understanding of what sorts of garments are suitable for what sorts of occasions. It’s one thing to take an unusual approach, like Seth Aaron’s pantsuit. It’s another thing to design something that’s just inappropriate.

I was reading the comments on TWoP last night, and someone posited that some of the designers may not be familiar with Marie Claire’s cover conventions, readership, and fashion identity. Dude! That’s like going on Survivor without knowing how to build a fire! To go on the show without being familiar with Nina Garcia’s work, likes, and prejudices is insane. It’s just basic research. Especially as she seems to be the tie-breaker judge. Don’t they have cover blow-ups in the workroom anyway?

The top: It was great to see Anthony win. I agree that it was the right choice for Heidi on a cover. Ben’s was excellent too, and it makes me want to see more of his work. I wonder if he’s a contender who’s been flying under the radar. Emilio’s was just kind of blah. He probably ended up in the top 3 by process of elimination.

The middle: Lots of strong work here. I absolutely loved Jay’s dress, though it wasn’t really suitable for a cover, as everything interesting is on the bottom half. I have to wonder if as he was working, he realized that it just wasn’t going to work out as a cover look so he just figured that he should make it as fabulous as possible anyway. Seems like a good strategy to me. It took guts for Amy to use a print even though she was advised against it. Jesse’s design was blah and the fit and execution were atrocious. The color was nice, though. I don’t think he’s long for the show. Seth Aaron’s was fantastic. It should definitely have been in the top 3 instead of Emilio’s. It may not be a usual cover look, but it was too fabulous to ignore. He needs a better model. I liked Jonathan’s romper, and think it was stronger than Emilios also. It was a daring design, too. Very different. He’s one to watch. Maya’s was sort of interesting. She’s also one to watch.

The bottom: Mila’s was a disaster. The construction was terrible and I’m so over the color-blocking. But I don’t think think the garment reflects poorly on her as a designer. I think it was just one of those things that didn’t work out. Janeane’s was awful. She’s cannon fodder. But her garment was a heck of a lot better than Anna’s. What the holy hell was she thinking? Not only was the look totally inappropriate for Marie Claire, it was even more inappropriate for Heidi. I don’t think Heidi would wear that…in any context whatsoever. There’s no doubt that she was the right auf.

I wonder–is Heidi going to wear the dress that Anthony actually made on the show or is it going to be a copy? Doing a copy would only make sense. I wonder if they went and bought the rest of that fabric at Mood. If they do use a copy, I wonder if they’ll have Anthony actually make it or if they’ll have a professional seamstress make it? Maybe it depends on his sewing skills. Actually, for Anthony’s sake, I hope they DO use a copy, because I’d hate to have quickie work showcased like that. There have to be execution problems that can be overlooked on the runway but would be really obvious on a magazine cover.

This seems to be a remarkably strong group of designers. There are only a few who seem to be auf-bait. Jesse and Janeane won’t last long and Anthony seems inconsistent. I don’t think Emilio is that good overall, and doesn’t seem to bring a lot of creativity to the table. Other than that, the other 8 seem pretty good.

Maybe I’ll get around to yakking about the models in another post.

p.s. Does anybody else have trouble with the Lifetime website just not working correctly? To much fancy interactive crap and not enough plain functionality.

Seth Aaron’s fabric choice is what knocked him out of the running. There is nothing spring-like about black and pinstripes. There just isn’t. And when the guest judge tells you specifically that black isn’t a great choice for this project, it’s not a great choice for this project. That said, it was a great suit, and very, very Heidi. Just not a great choice for Heidi in this specific situation.

What I want to know is this: WTF was up with all the bland, washed-out colors and WTF were people smoking they thought those were in any way good choices? Heidi is fairly fair-skinned, and blond–put her in something pale like that and there’s going to be no damn color in the photo at all, and that sure as shit ain’t gonna grab any eyeballs. Besides, the ethereal look is so very not Heidi, and with people like Nina and the guest judge running the joint, I’m gonna guess it’s not really Marie Claire either. Either way, the guest judge specifically mentioned that it needs to be something strong and eye-catching. So I have to think that Mila and Maya and the rest of the pastel crew really didn’t “get” the challenge.

I think a lot of them have the exact reverse of the problem that…I think his name was Michael, several seasons back had. You know, the black guy who made that gorgeous dress out of coffee filters and did the Pam Grier-inspired shorts set. As long as he had fairly specific parameters like this challenge, he blew everybody out of the water, but when they just turned him loose to make his collection, it got all meandering and unfocused. A lot of these designers seem to do pretty well when turned loose to make whatever they want, but don’t quite know how to work within specific parameters that aren’t necessarily what they feel like making.

I agree, fun episode. And I was happy to see Anthony win. I think he was really the only one who considered who was going to wear the dress and for what purpose. Didn’t particularly care for the color but he’s right, it will look great with Heidi’s skin tone. Jay’s dress was very nice but he should have used that concept for the Metropolitan Museum challenge. I also really liked Emilio’s dress with the shoulder straps off. The one thing I really didn’t get was the love for Ben’s dress. Didn’t like it at all, thought his model looked like parrot in those colors.

Anna totally deserved the auf’ing. Her stuff has been weak before but this was really bad. She made a comment during the episode that she had never designed three pieces before but shorts, a tank top and a vest? I’m glad Michael Kors’ separates fetish didn’t save her.

Oh, and I agree with you about Lifetime’s site. Bravo’s wasn’t great either but this interface is really clunky.

Good point. I didn’t think of that.

As for Models of the Runway–I confess that I love this show. It brings the funny while still shedding light on the interesting (to me) question of why some people make it as models and some don’t.

I have a lot of fun talking back to the TV when Alexis is on.
Alexis: “I don’t see why people don’t like me.”
Me: Because you’re a jerk.
Alexis: I don’t want everyone to hate me."
Me: Then stop being a jerk.
Alexis: “Nobody congratulated me when I was picked.”
Me: They wanted you to be eliminated, you jerk.

I can’t understand what causes someone to deliberately stir up trouble. Vanessa from last season was a shit-stirrer for sure, but she was just an immature shallow drama queen. I don’t think she deliberately set out to cause trouble.

She’s no great shakes as a model either. He look ranges from blah to weird, she’s not a great walker, her figure is just scrawny and awkward, and she brings no presence to the runway. I don’t know why Jesse keeps picking her. Oh, yeah. 'Cause he’s a douche.

I was really surprised when Kasey was aufed. I thought she was one of the best looking girls there and she was in the winning design or the top 3 several times. I’m not sure that I would have picked her either, though. She’s just not that versatile. She always looked like she just stepped in from frolicking preppily in the outdoors. Ralph Lauren needs to hire her. Seemed like a nice girl however.

As far as the sea of blondes–Yeah, pretty boring. What’s the deal with Valeria? We never see her at all. Cerri stands out because she’s SO pale. Someone could really do simething interesting with her coloring. But the rest of 'em? Meh.

I can’t stand Brandise’s personality, but she brings a lot to the runway. She reminds me of Kojii in that she has a hard-edged look. Lorena is good too. And she reminds me of Matar. Monique is adorable, and she seems like she could do all different types of modeling.

Wouldn’t they *have *to make a new dress, simply because the one on the runway was made to fit that specific model’s measurements?

I’m a straight male (I know–what am I doing watching this show?) and in my humble opinion, Alexis is really hot. She’s a bitch-and-a-half, but definitely hot. I know ‘hot’ doesn’t equal ‘great model’ but she has a distinctive look and hard, angular features.

She’s the Irish girl, right? I think she’s beautiful and she seems pretty cool. I’m glad she’s still around.

Another difference–besides their personalities–is that Kojii is actually pretty.

This used to be my fav show in the world. I can’t believe I’m so apathetic about it now.

Having said that, I liked Amy’s dress the best, but I understand why they picked Anthony. Heidi liked it, and what Heidi wants, she gets. She liked how he had placed all the strips on the front for a slimming effect, so she said. I bet the dress will look way different when she actually wears it, or we will actually see very little of it on the cover.

I don’t like how Heidi has changed over the course of the show, or at least how she comes across as being colder and somewhat ruthless in her comments. I guess she has always been like that, though. You don’t get to where she has by being a shrinking violet. The way she threw Jay McCarroll under the bus over that red dress she asked him to design for her told me pretty much all I needed to know.

The only PR designer that has has any real success getting his clothes on the red carpet is Christian Siriano.

I think the top three this season will be Amy, Anthony, and probably Emilio.