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The Project Accessory Blog

Category: "episode 3"


Emily Blumenthal: Episode 3 Review

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 2:47pm GMT

Dear "Project Accessory" Viewers,

This challenge is taking a hot bodysuit and using it as the blank canvas. Now, this isn't something you or I would have the chutzpah to wear, but it is definitely something exciting to work with. The designers can do anything they want with them in order to transform the bodysuits into real everyday wear.

Christina mentions that she is interested in making a belt that creates movement and is draping some stretch jersey to make a sarong. Rich gets his blowtorch goggles on, as always. He makes a concave copper necklace. Diego is making a clutch and necklace. Shea is making about a million things because she is afraid – again, red flag for overdesigning, which is a big problem with designers today #LackOfEditing. David is lamenting how he doesn't know what's going on in today's world, and sadly, it shows in his taste. Eva comes to check on progress and is impressed with the work of Rich, who is making a beveled ring, but she mentions that he shouldn't want the belt to look like a miniskirt, since the whole point of this challenge is to make the bodysuit wearable and not as a background. The key point of being a good designer is that you have to know how to design as well as knowing how to edit. Case in point: Shea is so overdone. Eva says that Shea is having a moment. #Rockstar decides she thinks Eva isn't allowing her to be true to herself by critiquing, which is the whole point of having a mentor. David mentions he is designing for an Aspen socialite with two types of furs and python shoes with a fuchsia bodysuit: a.k.a. Paris Hilton Barbie. And then the zinger happens – DOUBLE ELIMINATION!

Christina says she isn't threatened to help others, and #Rockstar says that's everyone else's problem. We have so seen this "I am here to win" bad guy so many times, and it is just old by now, isn't it? It is always fun to watch the designers scramble during crunch time, because that is just business. #LastMinute is how this business is run. Now, let's hit the runway!

Christina creates a belt, cuff and earrings, which completely transformed her black bodysuit. The stretch jersey sarong, though, I find texturally distracting juxtaposed with the satin. As I said before, she used brown leather, and the turban is so on-point with trend and not fashion-forward. Like belly button rings, not everyone can pull off a turban. She is one to watch, since she did have her own line and then went to work for the majors, and that experience is priceless in the challenges since it pulls the emotion out of the items you create. When talking accessories, look at how Coach runs their business: If an item doesn't sell, it will disappear the next day. But I digress, as the professor in me can't help but come out. The judges loved her look, and guest judge Kelly Osbourne was smitten since the matte jersey wrap belt and earrings were synergistic, all having Swarovski crystals in the same placement. Kenneth Cole mentioned that it would have been nice if the finish on the belt and cuff matched, but he was happy with her overall look. Ariel said that using brown on black makes it look very now. (The editor-in-chief of InStyle and I think alike …)

Diego created a necklace, cuff and clutch (something he likes to do very much), and I must say, I love love loved the styling. His model has a modernized Audrey Hepburn look, and he styled his light blue jumpsuit by turning it into a pedal-pusher length, which is very editorial. The necklace had an oversized medal triangle with gold heavy chain. As always, his bag is flawless. He also created an oversized cuff, which was very jagged but definitely eye-catching. Kenneth Cole said he doesn't know any woman who would want to wear dangerous jewelry, but Kelly and Molly chimed in and said they would happily. Diego said it was his first time doing jewelry and he tried to make it look vintage with the symmetry a consistent part of the look. Molly and Kelly agreed and said his execution was great. #OneToWatch

Rich created a necklace, a belt and a ring that you know people are going to want (after all, he soldered it with his blowtorch goggles …) His model has a Mohawk, which shows Rich has a voice that is cohesive with his look. The hand-cut copper toothlike necklace matches the scoop neck perfectly, and the oversized ring was done to perfection. As he said regarding his model, "She is a modern primitive." We could roll our eyes, but judging by his craftsmanship, we won't. I will say, though, up close I hate his belt. The material is too overpowering, especially with the jumpsuit, and is making it all too matchy-matchy, and I think the style is dated. Ariel said he created a runway look (which he definitely did), and Kelly O loved the necklace and ring.

Oy – now it is time to exhale.

James is worth mentioning even if he has immunity. Props that you made your own booties, but seriously now, I cannot tolerate this. After having taught students fashion marketing and PR for eight years, it is not that hard to figure out what works and what doesn't. Styling is definitely a skill set, and I am starting to realize that is something he does not have. The cuff and the hair ornament, if you look at them from the product shot, may match in color but not in overall look. No, James, your look is NOT popping, and no, a belt would not have saved your look. If you freeze-frame at Kenneth Cole's look at James' model, it is indeed priceless.

Now David. Oh poor, dear sweet David … He creates a white-fur trimmed hat, a necklace, leg warmers (?) and a belt. As you see his look coming down the runway, you think OMG – this is Caveman Barbie, who is tripping. I mean literally tripping and about to fall. The fuchsia stirrup jumpsuit paired with strappy heels, two-toned quasi legwarmers that look unfinished – I just don't know where to start. #PhoneAFriend The fur hat doesn't match and isn't doing anyone any favors either. David then says that the Swarovski necklace adds to the ice of Aspen. Not to be snarky, but girlfriend will be iced out if she shows up this way. And the belt – what is that for? When Kenneth Cole asked him to tell us about his girl, David said his woman is named Kristen and lives in Aspen. He also adds that he tried to accentuate the leather with the belt by creating old-world wealth. (I think he plays WOW with these descriptions …) I must say, it is hard critiquing those who have been humanized by discussing their families and kids, but if you are going on TV, you are what you create, and this was not good. The hat is not young and hip – this woman looks like a pink goat. Kenneth then says he has been to Aspen and he has not seen anyone like Kristen anywhere and that the look is a circus from the knees down. Kelly O asks why someone would wear leg warmers with an open-toe shoe. Ariel says that mixed together they don't work – warm knee and cold toe – and it is strange. Ariel is so kind in giving his critiques.

Shea made earrings, bag, belt. The look is definitely interesting, and even if the judges don't like it, she managed to work under pressure. The earrings look cheap with the multi-stones put together and look like they could have Made in China stamped on the back. The belt with the white bodysuit is a good look, but it looks sloppy with its asymmetrical shape and that unnecessary spider-web fabric slapped on top. The fact that she cut the sleeves might give her points, but I don't know if it will be enough. She definitely is not going to a party and not impressing a lot of important people. Ariel says that the mix and match of shapes and silhouettes is confusing, especially with the boat-neck collar, and is not adding up to one cohesive look. The cuff looks inexpensive, and Kelly O says the pieces look finished.

#Rockstar spends the bulk of the episode complaining about the challenge and camel toe. When Eva comes around to discuss her look, #rockstar decides that she needs to be true to herself instead of taking her advice. There is a reason Eva is Eva and why Eva is there. By the time #Rockstar's look goes down the runway, it is completely disjointed. Her necklace is pretty (again – her specialty is jewelry), but that belt is from hunger. The two-toned leather and snakeskin do not match in the slightest, and no woman wants a tassel hanging between her legs. This is not a sellable piece, and Kelly O said it was reminiscent of a tampon, which is not good for sales either. She did though select some great items from the eBay Fashion Wall, and I would love to know what brand they are.

Which two are going, and who will win? I can take a wild guess, but it is not for me to decide.

Until next week …

Emily Blumenthal


Laura Bennett DIY: Episode 3 – Christina's Crystal Earrings

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:49pm GMT

Laura Bennett DIY earrings

6 Swarovski 26 X 8.5mm Sew-On Crystals, style 39337 6 large jump rings
2 small jump rings
1 pair earring wires

Needle nose pliers

1. Using a pair of needle nose pliers, pry open the large jump rings and form two chains of three stones each.

Laura Bennett DIY earrings

2. Using the small jump rings, attach the earring wires to the top jump ring of each chain of stones.

Laura Bennett DIY earrings

3. Collect your prize for creating a winning accessory (pictured below: orginal on the left, my DIY on the right).

Laura Bennett DIY earrings

For some of my own great DIY accessory projects check out my new book, "Handmade Chic: Fashionable Projects That Look High-End, Not Homespun".

- Laura