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Carol Hannah Whitfield

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Category: "episode recaps"


Who Would Win in a Fistfight; Heidi, Michael or Nina?

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:00am GMT

Do you want to talk about it now or later? I think we should start at the end, yes?

So you all know I was on Team Mondo (I think my neon “Team Mondo” T-shirt and matching hat gave it away), so I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I’m surprised. I’m conflicted. I don’t know what to do!

Rate the Season 8 Finale DesignsSo let’s just jump into it. I think it’s worth explaining that seeing these collections in person all at once from whatever odd angle your seat affords you is quite different than seeing them on TV. For one, in person you often miss most of the knees down (if not more) because it’s blocked by the person in front of you, and you never get the full view of the garment from the front. It’s also a bit much to see 10 shows one after another (as all the designers who had not been booted off by Fashion Week showed decoy collections), so your senses are a little overwhelmed, to say the least. So it’s awesome to push pause and really check these looks out again.

That said, I do remember being surprised and disappointed by Gretchen’s show at the time. I was sitting by Christopher Straub, and the first thing he said when it was over was, “I feel sad?” Yes, with a question mark, because what he really meant was, “Why the heck do I feel sad when Gretchen has so much sass and spunk?” I agreed. The feeling of that relaxed, cool girl was there, but the colors and prints read as underwhelming to me. As I said last week, though, this family of colors just isn’t my preference, which is a matter of personal taste and is very subjective. I do like her silhouettes, and obviously the collection is very easy to wear and sell, but isn’t this “Project RUNWAY”? Not “Project Ready-to-Wear”? Or did “Project Ready-to-Wear” just not fit in the logo? I do love Gretchen’s style, and she has shown a huge amount of talent through the season — no doubt about that (in my mind at least — I know you all have your own opinions!). I love her clothes ... just not these in particular as much as Mondo’s.

Andy South PhotosAndy’s collection seemed totally new to me when I watched the episode today, and I realized that it is because I barely looked at the clothes at the show! Those headpieces were so distracting that it made it really difficult to look at anything else. Probably best to save for a photo shoot rather than anything with any movement ... at all. Andy is wandering off his normal path here, as you do when you are pushing yourself and growing. I like a lot of the detail work and texture in the collection, and I like the colors he used, but would love to have seen maybe just one more color thrown in there. Or more tonal variation. Definitely something with a bit more volume. All in all, not what I expected from Andy. If you are really good at something (like edgy, dark pieces), then cultivate that rather than trying to pursue something different. Could it be the pressure got to him a bit?

Mondo’s collection made me smile. It was lighthearted, happy and vibrant. The concept was clear, and the story was easy to see. The styling was a touch over-the-top for me, but the looks were great and the showmanship was clear. It felt like a SHOW, not just a line. He’s innovative and fresh and exciting! Mondo makes me want to wear crazypants (or at least try?), but him not winning makes me just crazy! Hmmph!

Watching “PR” always makes me think about my life and how weird? awesome it is to be where I am now and the absolutely enormous amount that I’ve learned, both during the show and increasingly afterward. My goal with this blog during the past two seasons has been to try to give y’all a bit of the perspective of what it’s like to 1) really be on the show and 2) be in the fashion industry once the show’s over, so I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. My line has taken off with such great response and my company is growing so quickly (we’ll be in 33 stores by December!) that I’m finding my time to be quite limited these days, so this will be my last season of blogging with Lifetime. If that’s not encouragement to Mondo and a testament that you don’t have to win “PR” to be successful, then I don’t know what is!

If you’d like to keep up with me, please check out my personal blog and such at carol-hannah.com (and of course there’s always Facebook)! Thanks for reading, thanks for the support, and thanks for caring about a show that gives hope to struggling designers across the country! If it weren’t for you guys, I’d probably still be just sewing secretly out of my apartment.

Happily Yours,

Carol Hannah


And Then There Were 3

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 6:00am GMT

If I had to choose one word to describe this week's episode, it would be "painful." (This may have something to do with the fact that I'm writing this in the airport after two hours of sleep and a hella early flight, but I'm blaming the show. Ha!)

I don't know what's harder to see: Gretchen's struggle with many pieces of her life changing at a very inopportune time, Michael C.'s response to being outed and what can only be described as the terror of telling his family, or the completely blissful and beautiful life that Andy lives in Hawaii. Okay, so that last one is only painful for those of us who are watching with jealousy ... not so much for him. But, still! Did that remind anyone else of Swiss Family Robinson a little bit? Cutting sugar cane, the fish, where he lives? Pretty awesome.

Having already seen all the finale collections during Fashion Week, it's probably a little harder to write about this episode. It is always interesting to see what the top three (or four) choose to base their collections on. All of the mountains of "Project Runway" pressures aside, I can imagine that Gretchen has it the toughest right now. Design is such a personal thing because it is kind of an extension of you — your personality, the way you see things, the mood you're in at that moment. If there's something in your personal life hanging over your head, it can come through pretty clearly in your work.

As far as the collection beginnings go, here's what I think:

Michael Costello, Season 8 Finale Part 1Michael C.Nina really hit the nail on the head when she said he isn't bringing much new to the table, but rather showing something that has been seen before quite frequently, albeit in a nice way. Beautiful clothes are beautiful clothes and there's clearly a place for that in the world (thank goodness!), but I think I'd have a hard time picking out Michael C.'s designs from the myriad of others out there. What makes him "him"? He's claiming an "effortless chic" aesthetic, but many of the pieces he showed were too overworked. It doesn't take many trims and tricks for there to be too much. I can easily pinpoint what makes Andy, Gretchen, and Mondo's aesthetics theirs, but it's a bit fuzzier with M.C. ... which is why he was the right choice for the out.

Andy — I like Andy's color palette, details and overall looks, but I think he could use an editing eye. The headpieces, though interesting, are really distracting. Accessories are meant to complement and support the looks, not dominate them. Andy is a bit like me in the way he designs. He gets in trouble when he has extra time and continues to add things. The trick is learning to step back and edit things out. His 11th look was the best because it wasn't over thought. Lack of time forces you to go with your instincts and trust your judgment.

Gretchen — I'm not really feeling this. "Approachable" is one thing, but I'm finding a lot of her looks underwhelming for the runway. I'm not a big fan of her color choices either, but that is really just a matter of personal taste. Gretchen seems to go in two different directions when she works: "downtown cool" or "pretty hippy." I prefer the downtown cool of the earlier looks she showed in the season and wish she'd gone more that way.

Mondo — I think Mondo's going to win. He's super innovative, fresh, and takes giant risks. I'm not in love with the long polka dot dress (it reminds me of Cruella de Vil), but I do enjoy the fun vibe of the collection as a whole.

I've often wondered through this season how genuine Michael C. is. He obviously plays a bit of a character and tends to cause a little drama, but how heartbreakingly real was that emotion? I know everyone from my season always said the worst would be to get cut right before the final three, and now we've seen how crappy that really feels. Brutal. "Project Runway" should win an Emmy for "Most Likely to Make You Cry While Watching" this season.

Now the big question: Who are you rooting for?!

See you next week!

P.S. Sorry for the lapse last week. Did you miss me? :) First, I was at this event in L.A., then this one in Baltimore (with Jay Sario!) and then it was Bridal Fashion Week in New York. Wheewww!


No, Thank You

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 6:00am GMT

Uuugh, activewear. Do we really have to talk about this?

So the challenge this week is to make boring clothes make A LOT of boring clothes make more boring clothes for an already boring line create three new looks for Heidi’s collection on Amazon.com.

Ah, and because we know the clothes won’t be too interesting, let’s bring back the most dramatic of the auf’ed designers, shall we? And then let’s have Heidi come critique in the workroom. And then let’s make Mondo look like a bad guy.

Let’s talk about the teams:

Christopher partners with Ivy to form the most boring design team ever (“with these powers combined ...!”). Ivy makes up for it by being the biggest B possible. That’s right. I said B! For Bitter. Possibly the most bitter and resentful character we’ve seen to date. Way to go, Ivy! Shoot for the stars!

Rate this week's designsAs she’s speaking I’ve begun to hear the Wicked Witch of the West music from “The Wizard of Oz,” which makes me think of Halloween. Speaking of which …

Michael C. retaliates against Ivy’s accusations by making grown-up Pilgrim play clothes. Cool — I’m feeling pretty fall-ish right about now. We can make our own hand-outlined turkeys to put on our “kooky” headbands, drink apple cider and call it a day! This is a very festive episode, yes? Even Nina is reading Halloween in Andy’s looks.

Unfortunately, we never get to the hypothetical Christmas of this holiday-laden disaster, as most of these looks are the equivalent of opening a present of socks from your Great-Aunt Mildred. To be honest, I’m not sure what you could show me in the realm of activewear that would make me excited. I’d think that Michael K.’s comment that none of Christopher’s looks seem like they would cost over 10 bucks would be a compliment — if I’m buying something to sweat in on purpose, you can bet there’s nothing expensive about it. That’s what high school T-shirts are for, anyway. I know I run a heck of a lot faster when I’m wearing my Mathletes 1997 tee. (Clearly, I can’t slow down — someone might be able to read it!)

To make things worse, half of the top three looks consist of party dresses (though it doesn’t look like a very fun party, to be sure), which are praised the most by the judges. At least be consistent! You asked for activewear, but you’re only excited about things that ... aren’t activewear. Even the judges are bored by this challenge. And the winner? Did they really, well, win anything?

Sweatpants on a runway? I think not. “Project Runway,” stop selling out! I’m tired of this giant commercial (this is not the Super Bowl!). Show us the innovative, fun fashion that made us love the show in the first place!

See you next week (I hear they’re going to have the designers make Snuggies and Slankets)!

P.S. Shout-out to Betty in Kansas City! It was a pleasure meeting you at the trunk show, and I’m so glad you love the blog!


"Project Runway" Episode 10 Recap

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 6:00am GMT

Check out more photos from this episode!What the cuss? A frickin’ day off in the park with your mom??? Are you kidding me? These kids must have been struggling for real for the producers to give that up.

So after 30 minutes of mom-dates, we are off to the runway!

April: Fun, sassy, and interesting. She really has a knack for combining textures. I feel like April came on so strong at the beginning of the competition, with so much to prove as the youngest, but over the weeks her overanxiousness has really calmed, and I’m liking what she’s doing more and more.

Andy: Now, this is just sad. And he knows it. It’s like the whole outfit just said “meh,” gave up on its high-fashion life and threw in the towel to spend the rest of its days saying, “But I was such a cool print!”

Mondo: Fun! OK, so I don’t know if many beyond his model can successfully pull off a pant like this, but it sure makes you want to try! Mondo so perfectly mixes prints, which I think is a hard thing to do.

Valerie: Some little fit issues up top, a little too much going on in the skirt. My main issue is that it feels neither light nor dense ... kind of in a strange limbo of medium volume ... or like it used to be fluffy and got squashed. You get the concept, but it’s not quite there. Kind of reminds me of when I see mass-market designs in chain stores that clearly started somewhere cool, but got so watered down (to cut costs, no doubt) that the result is just a little depressing. So much potential!

Gretchen: Not enough print for my taste. When I think print, I think big and flowy and full of movement. Prints are bold and fun and vibrant!! Let’s not take a print and try to hide it and pretend like it’s not there.

Michael C.: This is kind of cool. Interesting lines, very graphic. Feels a touch medieval in a way that I’m not entirely convinced that I like. Not my favorite, but could be much worse.

Christopher: Christopher has turned into Ivy, and sends out boring plain clothes. Oh man, I do not like this. Let me rephrase that: I do not like this offered as fashion-forward and exciting and new. I’m sure that this would fit quite fine into any career gal’s closet (minus the aggressively exposed-for-no-reason butt-crack zipper), but that’s kind of a problem when you’re on “Project Runway.” And how does she “look like California” exactly?

Valerie Mayen's design portfolioOverall, a disappointing runway show for me. Prints can be so amazing and so fun to work with, especially when you are making the fabric! I think mostly we’ve just reached that point where the designers’ work is suffering on account of exhaustion. For any of the designers reading, I get it. I’m not judging. Well, yes, I am, but I’m not hating! It gets pretty impossible to keep pulling out these amazing things week after week (or in real time, day after day). It’s always funny to me that when you are at the end of your rope, so tired and delirious, you either just can’t pull it off completely or you do your most amazing work. This time around was, unfortunately, the former, it seems. I will miss Valerie. She was one of my favorites, and I think she is quite fantastic!

On an off-the-runway subject, Mondo is awesome. In many ways. He’s clearly a super-strong kid with a vision and a goal. Get it, Mondo! I’ll try not to hold it against you that you made me cry this week. (Gah! Really, I did.) I have so much respect for this kid.

As we get closer to the finale, who is your favorite designer?

See you soon!
Carol Hannah

P.S. I’m on the road again this week! If you are in the Kansas City area, please come by the trunk show at Altar Bridal and say hello! More info at www.carol-hannah.com.


Drinks Are on Mondo!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:00am GMT

Watch the full Project Runway episode online!In the morning, these kids are looking pretttttty rough. I think it’s pretty clear we’ve hit that point where true and utter exhaustion has set in. I remember that oh so clearly. We knew we were running out of steam when we started lying down on the floor in a pile and napping on each other whenever we were in between places, waiting for the crew to set up. Tim walked into the stairway one day at FIDM, and there we were, all passed out on the dirty floor. Classy. Fashion is sooooo glamorous!

The challenge: try not to lose it (or pee your pants) while frantically attempting to outdo each other for $20k while pulling two looks out of nowhere. Mondo has 14 bucks to his name, Gretchen is in major debt, and April wants to buy a mini pony. Lesson learned: It’s a good thing these kids are in design and not finance! (Also, April and I may have more in common than I thought.)

On to the runway!

I can’t say that I was all that wild about Gretchen’s looks this time. For a “WOW” challenge, my reaction was more like “oh ... look, a dress ... I’m hungry (while leaving to go to kitchen).” I like the bohemian vibe and the textures, but this just didn’t pack the punch I wanted it to.

Andy’s designs were fun to look at, though not my favorite of the day. His warrior woman was a bit too much, what with the hat and allll the details. I loved the RTW piece, but also feel like I’ve seen it before. Still, there was a lot of strength here and a lot of interesting textures and shapes to these garments.

Christopher’s looks were deservedly in the middle. He’s a solid middle man, that Christopher. In coming weeks, as there is less and less of a middle, I think we may see him get squeezed out altogether. :(

View more of April Johnston's designs April is impressing me more and more. How fun was her big look this week? Maybe she’ll be able to get that baby horse sooner than expected.

Michael C. Surprising, right? Yes, there was too much business happening with the train and hem of that dress, but overall both were pretty decent. Nothing new, by any means ... this type of thing was all over the runways last year. Several challenges and more designers ago, this simply would have been in the middle without a second thought given to it, but we just don’t have enough designers left for everything in the bottom to be truly awful.

Valerie, Valerie, Valerie. Gosh, this was not her week. I don’t think it’s fair for Michael Kors to say that she doesn’t understand fabrics. I wish he would stop making such extreme pronouncements (i.e., Andy last week). She clearly has a fantastic understanding of woolens, as she is an outerwear designer. Silk, however, is another story altogether. As someone who works exclusively with superfine silks, I can tell you that they are difficult indeed and rather a pain in the arse if you aren’t used to them ... multiplied by a million if you are in a rush! Valerie is tired. That black dress was an obvious last-resort-I-can’t-even-think-anymore-I’m-so-drained-of-all-creative-energy move. I hope she finds some renewal before the next challenge!

Ivy was seriously in over her head here. It’s a tricky thing when you plan out a design based on two full days of work time and have to chop that in half when another look is added. She scrambled and hustled, but it really just didn’t turn out. Beyond looking simply unfinished, the fit, the construction and the proportions were all quite bad. It seems compromises were made from every angle in order to have SOMETHING to send out, and that caught up with her in the end.

As for Mondo, I’m officially on his team. He has consistently shown interesting, risky looks and is definitely the most innovative one there. This week was no exception, and his Crayola/Beetlejuice explosion completely rocked. Mondo is officially my pick for this season’s winner.

We shall see soon enough!


Jackie O, Camel Toe, Boring Vests, Mondo's Best!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:00am GMT

Wow. Crankypants left and right. Those judges are the feistiest they have ever been, it seems!


Little Letters to the Designers

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:00am GMT

Hello hello! This week’s blog is short and sweet as I am literally writing it on my phone between shows. Hooray for Fashion Week! As such, here are my little letters to the designers:

Dear Ivy,
Staring crazy-eyed at someone from four inches away does not a) make them sew faster or b) make your design into something less boring. It does, however, make most of America a little bit afraid of you.

Dear Michael D.,
Hooray for integrity. Five stars for good behavior on reality TV.

Dear Mondo and Michael C.,
How cute are you, snuggled on the couch all I-used-to-hate-you-but-now-you’re-my-best-friend style?! That shot in the greenroom was the best thing about this episode. Twenty bucks says they have those corresponding half-of-a-heart necklaces that say “BFF.” You know what I’m talking about.

Dear Gretchen,
Can I borrow your closet, please? I don’t care what you say about her — every time she puts something else on, I want it.

Dear April,
I like your dress, but I wish you weren’t obsessed with that little-baby-bun-on-the-very-top-of-the-head business. BUT I like your dress.

Not a serial killer.

Dear Christopher,
You are veering dangerously close to no-man’s-land. I think it’s time to amp things up! Can I bring you a coffee?

Dear Valerie,
I believe in you! You are so flipping cute. How much does watching people cry stink? But wowza — a fantastic execution job with Andy’s look! A bathing suit like that is no easy task!

Dear Andy,
I wish you had won. And I wish I could wear that every day (but it probably wouldn’t fly so well on the subway).

Dear Casanova,
Though your designs were a roller coaster of scandal versus grandma, at least it was a fun ride. I will miss your honest and funny observations, your puppy-dog-like cute little expressions and your dramatic phrases. Doesn’t it seem like the person who made the most boring look (*cough.IVY.cough*) should go home instead of you? Exxxhhhhhaaaaaaactly!!

With love,
Your friend,

Carol Hannah


Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something ... Ugly

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:55am GMT

Wow — this week is right up my alley! Since launching my wedding line this year, the idea of making a bridesmaid dress into something you actually want to wear is a challenge I face every day! (It’s a little ironic that this episode aired this week actually, because I watched it in San Francisco where I met with the owners of the Bella Bridesmaid stores. My bridesmaid line will be debuting in Bella Bridesmaid stores across the country in December!)

Rate your favorite designs!What I liked:
1. Michael Costello: It’s sharp, edgy, and well proportioned. All drama aside, this is a beautiful, very current dress.
2. Casanova: Dude can make some pants! Love the color combination, the ease, and the detail on the motorcycle pant.
3. Gretchen: Love the ombre, love the casual cool feel. I also loved that she maintained the actual weird, bad embroidery and used it as a rather cool texture instead of doing away with it altogether.
4. April: This was actually really fun. Great silhouette and detail. My favorite thing from April so far.

What I didn’t like:
1. Michael Drummond: I feel like he just got lost in this one. It’s definitely still yelling bridesmaid at the top of its lungs! You can’t win them all. It’s okay, buddy. You can try again next week.
2. Peach: Drab and sad. Pretty much the opposite of Peach herself.
3. Valerie: It’s just too busy, and the seams are not in the best places. Looks a bit overworked and just not like something you’d pick out to wear. Whoomp whooooomp.
4. Ivy’s stinker attitude. Michael C. had the character to try to settle whatever happened during the presentation, but she certainly wasn’t receptive. Even if Michael isn’t the best sewer/patternmaker, etc, he certainly hasn’t done anything immoral, as Ivy refers to in his “track record.”

Certainly some great quotes this week!
Tim: “These are terrifying garments. What’s wrong with the bridesmaids dress industry, I ask you?” Well Tim, I’m only one woman. ;)
Tim: “Make her a thong and call it a day!” Is it just me, or is Tim getting sassier by the day? And I love it!
Casanova: “Exahaaahhhhhcttttly. Exhaaaaaactly” Oh Casanova, you are so suave! And you are growing on me.

The whole Michael C. can’t sew well, make patterns well, etc thing really puts the focus on one aspect of the show that you don’t always think about. There’s obviously a difference between a seamstress and a designer, and there are different views as to how important it is to be highly skilled versus having the big picture, innovative vision.

View more of Michael Costello's workIn the real world, there are plenty of people designing lines who can’t necessarily sew well, drape well, make production patterns, etc, but who can sketch out great designs. There are lots of highly skilled patternmakers and samplemakers out there for hire that can fill in the rest of the process. I personally think it is über important to have the understanding of the construction and patterns, but there are many ways to skin a cat.

It also depends on what you want to do with your career. Do you want to make couture quality gowns on a client by client basis? If yes, you’d better have those skills. But if not, then you can get away with less construction knowledge if you can afford to hire others to do it for you. Either way, in "Project Runway" you can’t always see what’s really going on with the garments. I remember the judges lauding the construction of pieces that we (the other designers) KNEW were horribly made because we had seen them up close five minutes before. There’s a certain amount of… well, to be cliché, “making it work.” That said, I think that if Michael winning with a poorly made garment insults all the designers, then there must be truth in what they’re saying. I remember feeling the same way at certain points, but when it comes to the judges, this is a DESIGN competition, not a sewing one.

So Peach makes a graceful exit this week, and I’m not worried about her. Peach doesn’t actually need to show at Fashion Week. In reality, the vast majority of what you actually see in stores isn’t shown at Fashion Week. Peach’s aesthetic is very specific to a particular market, which from a business standpoint is fantastic. Her “ladies who lunch” looks really don’t require such a show, so all she needs to do is produce her line and get into stores. Combine her exposure on "PR" with her spunky personality and she’s going to be just fine.

I can’t wait to see the finale show at Lincoln Center this coming week! My favorite part!!


Love Me, Love Me Not

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:55am GMT

This week...
Gretchen gets confused.
Tim gets sassy.
Casanova gets fed up.
A.J. gets the shaft.
Lace gets a makeover.
Annnnd menswear meets camel becomes "Little House on the Prairie" meets seventies thrift-store grandma.

I have to say, when the two teams began the challenge of making a mini collection without a designated leader, I thought that it was a really bad idea for the members of Team Underdog to each make their own complete look. It seemed like that was just asking for discontinuity of theme. However, when given the alternative of making separate pieces with no overall vision (aside from dump and frump), the former was clearly the better route!

Team Luxe or Team Sad?

It is so odd to me that Team Luxe, which has so many strong designers, put together something so ... sad. Strange necklines plus awkward, bulky layers and bad styling all from the former challenge winners! Hellloo, Team Bland. For Gretchen to take so much credit for doing so much of the work (quote: "I feel like I'm in every piece, even if I'm not the one sewing it."), not to mention the styling, and then to switch like that on the runway, is obviously quite a contradiction. Granted, you aren't ever going to let the first words out of your mouth in front of the judges be that you hate it and are disappointed in yourself and have already packed your bags. There's always that chance that they DO like it. Buuuut the melodramatics were a bit much, what with all the crying and holding of hands and singing "We are the world, we are the children" on the runway. So maybe that last bit was only in my head, but really? This is Season 8, people! That kinda crap may have had some small impact in the beginning, but these judges have now heard the pleading arguments of 128 individual contestants. They are not amused, nor are they easily swayed, when presented with something so banal. Put your feelings in the clothes and in the design, and stop wearing them on your sleeve as justification for a failed challenge. (Too harsh? Arrgh, I'm just so disappointed such talent was wasted in this one. Show us something else!)

I don't think that Gretchen is intentionally manipulative, but she obviously likes to be in control. I do think it's a bit of a random shame that A.J. went home this time. If the judges weren't going to put responsibility on Gretchen, I'm surprised they didn't come down harder on Ivy, as her look was truly bad. Honestly, who is this girl wearing this outfit, and where the heck is she going? To fashion hell, apparently, for crimes against perfectly good camel cashmere.

More Michael Drummond, please!

Enough of that. Here's what I liked. No, here's what I lovvvved: Michael Drummond's gorgeous lace business. I'm a little obsessed with the way he transitioned from prim and proper lace into deconstructed knit and texture across the back. Classy hot. I also loved Mondo's beautifully made draped halter with epaulettes and pops of yellow ... fun, young and interesting. I would absolutely wear both of those looks this fall.

OK, so put all the drama aside and look at the designers. Not the personalities, but the designers. My current top three are Andy, Mondo and maaaaybe Michael Drummond. Well, this week, anyway! I would really like to see what kind of collection Michael Drummond would do. His knits intrigue me.

Other thoughts to leave you with:

1) Michael C. is clearly lacking in the skills department when compared with the other designers. If you have to be taught how to drape a cowl and you didn't bring a ruler, you may have an issue. Yes, he has immunity, which to the judges makes him look like a convenient target for a scapegoat. BUT! The other designers had to help him too much. You saw it. I saw it. The judges couldn't see it, but that doesn't mean there's a conspiracy going on.

2) Have they put some kind of crazy hormones in the water at the Atlas Apartments? Why is everrrryone crying? So much drama! I mean, you prett-ty much have to expect it from someone named Casanova, but geeeeeez!

3) If the judging is NOT based at all on past history, as Michael Kors states, then why did Casanova just win "most improved"?

See you next week!

Carol Hannah


You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me!!!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 6:00am GMT

Ya’ll, I am so flipping mad! What the heck just happened? I’m not even sure where to start! I thought this episode would be a nice enjoyable end to a rather long day (popcorn and “PR”? Yes, please!), but now I’m all riled up!

As the challenge is explained, I realize I’m eating my popcorn faster and faster. I’m stressed out! What on earth am I going to make to go with a crazy-ass hat? Oh ... I don’t have to do it. Right. Whew! Back to watching.

Let’s just jump in and talk about the clothes:

Michael C.: Oh, gold goddess dress, where have I seen you? TJ Maxx is a fan. Street vendors of NYC are a fan. Cheap touristy stores by the beach are a fan. I am not a fan.
Check out Gretchen Jones' portfolio!Gretchen: Interesting to see something besides a dress (out of MY mouth, of all people). Almost looks historical. Love the print of the top.
Kristin: The overall idea of the black with the burst of pink is not so bad, but the execution is off. The draping is rather messy, and the way the pink wraps around looks like it may trip her. Haphazard, deconstructed design is one aesthetic, but only really works when it is purposeful. A catch-22, no? Epperson was (and still is!) a master of this.
Michael Drummond: This strikes me as a bit odd, really. A kind of cool, can’t-look-away type of odd. And maybe a liittle bit “bad milkmaid costume”? Also, I don’t understand why all the judges freak out over Michael Drummond’s skirt pleating. Umm, hello? Have you never heard of a broomstick skirt before? I’m pretty sure that I and all of my 11-year-old friends had them. And we got them from Walmart. Not kidding. Yes, Michael’s was beautiful, but we aren’t reinventing the wheel here.
Valerie: I was feeling where she was going with the David Bowie references, but this isn’t that. I feel like she needed a few more hours for this to really develop. Go back to the sketches! They were amazing! What does this have to do with the lace mask?
A.J.: It’s like the model’s face is being eaten by the hat and the dress’s giant stand-up collar. Remember those words about proportion and volume?
Andy: That’s a lot of pink. Reminds me of the lady in the Roger Rabbit cartoons. You know, the blonde one? I’m not sure why, but it does. Like the double collar.
Ivy: Classy and sophisticated. The neutral palette really sets off the pink of the hat. Lovely.
April: Does this futuristic resort not have bathrooms?
Christopher: Get rid of the boots and maybe simplify a bit, but I like this overall. Interesting without being too much with the hat.
Peach: I think Peach had one of the best hats of them all, but what does this dress have to do with it? Also, for 10 hours, that’s not a whole lot to show for it. (Sorry, Peach!) Everything she has made seems like it has come straight out of a McCalls or Simplicity pattern book. She needs to get more creative, but I don’t think that pushing it is within her aesthetic. And losing your aesthetic is the last thing you want.
Casanova: Well, he’s not going home … today.
Mondo: Fun and lighthearted. He is not afraid of a risk, clearly. Makes me giggle.

Hear what Michael Costello has to say!

And then the world goes topsy-turvy and Michael C. wins. Is it Opposite Day? I loovvve the looks on everyone’s faces as Michael C. gushes about everything the judges said about his dress. They’re clearly all asking the same question in their heads that I was: “Whhhhhaaaaat?”

My favorite pieces were Michael Drummond’s (solely because I just can’t stop looking at it! I don’t even know if I like it or not!) and Mondo’s (because it made me laugh, in a good way). I don’t think I even have a third favorite, which is kind of sad.

Quotes of the episode:

“I’m not like a cat with seven lifes!” No, you are more like a cat with six lives, because you obviously used three of the original nine in managing to still be on the show.

“There are many ways to skin a cat, buuuutttt you should probably bring a knife.”

“It’s trendy right now.” In reference to wearing a diaper. Oh, kids these days!

“There’s something very effortless about Michael C’s design.” Yes, there is. Because it’s been done a million times over.

Annnnnd close on a shot of Michael C. talking about how awesome he is.


See you next week!

P.S. By the way, if you’re in the NYC area, be sure to come by New York’s newest and “loveliest” bridal boutique, Lovely, on Friday night, August 20 from 6 to 8 pm for an ice cream social to celebrate the launch of my line in the store! Click here for more info.