Emily Blumenthal: Episode 1 Review
Dear "Project Accessory" Audience,
Let me start by saying that I don't know if I am more excited to be writing or watching this show. As we all have been watching "Project Runway" season after season wondering "When will they finally get to accessories?!" Apparel might be fun to watch, but accessories is what drives the fashion industry. If you aren't feeling pretty, you get a new pair of shoes. If you are feeling fat, you get a handbag. And if you are feeling like you need to treat yourself – jewelry comes next.
I was born into this industry with my father working as a converter in the New York City Garment Center. I created Handbag Designer 101 and then the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, which is going into its sixth year now.
So let's get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?
Here is the show we have all been waiting for. Enough about apparel, accessories is where the money is at. As Molly said (two times, to be exact), the accessories industry generates billions of dollars. You have coldweather, eyewear, gloves, hats and hairgoods, hosiery, jewelry (that is every kind of jewelry, from fine to costume), legwear, rainwear, scarves and slippers.
When the top three designers were selected, Kenneth asked if Nina's belt had "give," which is a good thing to keep in mind, rather than sewing someone into a garment. Her necklace with matchsticks and crystals is stunning and very on trend with large statement-making neckpieces.
Diego's belt, necklace and clutch look like a clean, cohesive collection. His clutch is flawless and killer with its metal closure, and the fact that he spray painted the necklace lets us know now he is one to watch.
I disagree with the judges' on selecting Brian. That belt looked like it was eating the model alive and I think was sloppy in presentation with all of the stray threads. His cuff with contrasting black and gold was definitely unique, but jewelry is what he, does so it should be. The necklace looked quite cool as a tie, but it wasn't styled right and overall – the look was a bit of a mess and was not a cohesive group and I find his taste level questionable.
As per the bottom three, James' seashell necklace and earring collection looked like it was bought off the street and made by a child. The fact that he belt was made of flowers and not made of shells was an even larger disconnect.
I actually really liked Cotrice's bracelet. When seen as a product shot, it looks quite editorial. Her necklace was made well also and I thought, again, quite unique. If I was the consumer, I would be inclined to learn more since it was from a chandelier. But that belt? Oy vey. Other than not matching at all – I don't even have an analogy to compare it to. It just should have been left in the seventh grade home economics class where it was found. No styling, no taste level, and on the model, looked like a hot mess.
Finally came #Rockstar. Now, I must give Nicolina credit. The bowtie was great, especially in the spirit of Man Repeller, and the leather cuff was nice to look at (again when seen as a product shot). The cuff though was not labor intensive and then put next to the scarf – uch.
Until next week.
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