This is the last of the last. We are down to the final four, and this is the moment where they realize THIS IS REAL. I so excited for all the remaining designers. All are very talented and deserving of being the champion. But as we know, there can only be one. BUT they're not at the end of the road just yet. Only THREE designers are going to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Lets see who's got the goods.
As customary with all finalists of seasons past, Tim Gunn made his consult rounds, around the country (and across seas) to dish some encouraging and constructive criticism. I always love seeing this, because Tim's sincerity and genuine nature always shine! It's enjoyable to see his interaction with the finale designers' friends and family, as well as the endearing tutelage he shares with each of the finalists.
This season/episode was no different. The first stop: Maryland, to see Kimberly's collection. I was so happy to see the episode open with her visit. Her garments excite me. Her voice as a designer needs to be heard, not because it's extremely different, but because it's a voice that HASN'T been heard on "PR." And from the commentary from Tim, he agrees.
Kimberly's collection is inspired by the Brooklyn Girl; who she was and who she is now. Her inspiration was intriguing to me because her options and directions are limitless! Although the "Brooklyn Girl" is and can be an actual person, Kimberly has to capture the SPIRIT of who she was and is. From the look of the few pieces, I think she was going in the right direction. I love her color palette. The cobalt, fuchsia and dashes of ivory are youthful but sophisticated. I wasn't so moved by the few patterns I saw. There's something about them that didn't speak to the silhouettes they were used for. Tim seemed to be pleased with her direction. He even commented that her pieces "looked" like her. Let's hope that the rest of the collection is equally amazing.
Mr. Gunn's next stop was beautiful Trinidad to check in on Anya! I'm sure this was a welcome departure from being on U.S. soil. Just seeing where Anya calls home, figuratively and literally, is instantly inspiring. The colors, the landscape, the energy, ALL make the perfect amalgamation for a fantastic collection. Unfortunately, there wasn't a collection to look at. I mean, NOTHING … NOT. A. STITCH. Lol. Of course, Tim's distress was written all over his face. We WERE able to see her inspiration and fabric. She was inspired by Trinidad's sister island, Tobago. There were fantastic photos of the sea, the coast and all the beautiful tropics of the island. But again, there were no garments to reflect it. Anya did have her fabrics for the visit. She managed to maintain her easy, flowy and print-heavy aesthetic there. I wish I could expound more about her visit with Tim. Anya has been known to pull a rabbit out of a hat, so let's see what happens.
Next, Tim is back in New York! His first stop is to see Viktor. Viktor's collection, "Urban Coast," is inspired by his trip to Mexico, which he visited for the anniversary of his brother's death. Initially, I expected the collection to be dark and broody, but once he began to show the photographs of his trip, it felt energetic and spirited! Viktor literally infused that same energy and spirit into his collection by creating printed fabric using those very photographs. I am super impressed. One thing I can say about Viktor (despite his "PR" competitor conspiracy theories, lol) is HE IS A DESIGNER, in every sense of the word. That became more evident as he began to unveil the collection. The pieces were inspired. There were a lot of wearable, approachable pieces, but he didn't sacrifice design. Tim felt there could be a few issues with styling, but I must say, I LIKE where Viktor is going with it! Can't wait to see the collection in its entirety!
The last of Tim's finale visits was to good ole Josh. To be honest, Josh's collection is the one I'm the most compelled to see. I am GUARANTEED that it won't bore me (or Nina ;-)! It didn't take long to see that Josh went full speed ahead! I mean, the whole Crayola box! Lol. I didn't really see any clear inspiration but the wildly chromatic fabric that Tim passionately told him to scrap. In addition, I didn't quite get a sense of the shapes and silhouettes. I am actually really pulling for Josh. I get his aesthetic. GRANTED, there is a little honing that needs to be done, but you can't say the dude doesn't have a voice! Let's just hope it's loud enough (or in Josh's case, not too loud) to keep him in the running for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
So finally the gang is back in the workroom. And wouldn't you know it, ONE MORE FINAL CHALLENGE! The final four has to pick three pieces that represent their collection to present to the judges. This can be tricky. They all need to show the best looks that show forward, inspired design, but also make sure they tell the story and the direction of the collection.
SIDEBAR: Being in this situation before (in the final four), I can sooo relate to that moment when you all reunite for the first time and have to "unveil" your collection. It's one moment of silent competition. It was so funny seeing everyone's side eye peeking at each other's collection. Lol. Classic!
As Tim worked the room to see everyone's three pieces, he had concerns with all the designers' selections except for Viktor. I agreed with all his commentary. Viktor's picks are SOLID. Total cohesion and direction. Everyone else's seemed a little frantic. This is such a hard task to undertake. But at the end, it's about taking a risk and PRAYING it pays off.
The final runway show before the FINAL RUNWAY SHOW has arrived. I am amped! The little prelude of glimpses here and there was cool, but I'm ready for the story to unfold.
First to present was Viktor. His three looks were rock-solid! My favorite was the mirrored tank, pant, and tuxedo-jacket look. MY ONLY gripe with the collection is it felt a little familiar. The prints were a little McQueen-esque, and the white leather moto jacket with the pearl beading … I'm pretty sure I've seen Lady Gaga in a similar moment. The references are DEFINITELY not a carbon copy, but again, they just felt a little familiar.
Anya then presented her looks. I have to say, I wasn't really moved by her choices. They just didn't look designer. I also wasn't a fan of the color palette. With the combination of the two, it looked a little effortless … and not in the "chic and easy" way.
Kimberly presented next. I'm kind of on the fence about her three looks. They weren't bad, but they were mind-blowing. The palette is really amazing to me. Maybe a little more black should have been added to tie in the RADTASTIC black gown! The issues for me were the pieces she used. I felt Kimberly should have mixed and layered more of the pieces to create more cohesion.
Josh was the last to present. I WAS SHOCKED. Josh pulled it together and presented some KILLER looks. That blazer, SICK! The LBD, amazing! The jumper, loved it! BUT, I think the back of the jumper should have been a different silhouette and matte in color. Also, the LBD should have been on a different model. Didn't really like the fit in the midsection.
SIDEBAR: Everyone's styling needed work. Lol. Except for maybe Josh.
Well, there is no need to draw this out and be wordy. Lol. I KNEW that they all were going to make it to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Each of them REALLY deserves to show. All of the final four are very strong and have a definite point of view. Next week is it! CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THEIR ENTIRE COLLECTIONS!
"I think it is MAJOR HOMELY." "SAD. It makes me want to weep." - Tim Gunn (DAMN, Lol)
"Love it from the front, hate it from the back."
"The notion that any women is gonna have her ass exposed in Olivia Newton-John's leggings …" - Michael Kors
"I am so impressed. You are a very good designer." - Nina Garcia to Josh M. (MAJOR MOMENT)
We’re getting close!!!! Five designers are left standing. THIS WAS THE FINAL CHALLENGE! Now, “PR” history has shown that in seasons past, a couple of designers (me included) failed … epically! This challenge was a BIG ONE! Create three looks inspired by Governors Island and everything on it, including a sculpture exhibition by Mark di Suvero. This is going to be an amazing challenge for the designer to sink their teeth into. Finally a moment to design outside of the confines of Parsons and some wacky directional challenge:
Source of inspiration: Mark di Suvero sculpture “New Beginning”
Source of inspiration: The South Battery and Chapel
Source of inspiration: Circular shapes on Governors Island
Source of inspiration: The structure and silhouette of Governors Island
Source of inspiration: Governors Island and Mark di Suvero sculptures
SIDEBAR: I actually saw some interesting fabrics being selected from Mood! FINALLY. YIPEE!!! lol
Back in the workroom, Tim delivered his customary twist … this time, a good one. The final five will be able to choose an assistant from five of the ousted designers.
Assistant: Anthony Ryan
As the duos begin to work, it seams to be smooth sailing. All the assistants are really dishing constructive criticism … except for that damn Olivier. He is Daria (youngsters, Google her)/Debbie Downer PERSONIFIED! I mean, he even dubbed himself/compared himself to a SLAVE! (HUGE SIGH) He’s so wack. lol
Tim’s one-on-one consults with the designers were entertaining as usual. His thoughts about Laura’s looks were spot-on WAY TOO MUCH GOING ON. His thoughts about Kimberly’s weren’t that far from Laura’s. He encouraged her to scale back. Viktor was given positive praise about his looks, as was Josh. He didn’t have much to say about Anya’s looks. I guess it’s because she really didn’t have much for him to speak on! But as we all know, she’ll pull a trick out of the hat.
Morning of the runway, everyone has PLENTY to do. Kimberly has LOTS TO DO! She actually scrapped her pant to do a “quick little skirt,” LOVES IT. Laura actually decides to do the same some major “make it work” moments.
So let me just get to it about the runway show. Josh’s looks … so bad. The first piece looked inexpensive, the second wasn’t flattering, and the last was just not good.Kimberly’s looks had highs and lows. The highs: the color palette. The lows: It didn’t look as complete as I wished. Laura collection just didn’t look “designer” to me. The shapes and fabrications were so ordinary. Nothing exciting. Anya’s collection, on the other hand, was quite exciting but in a really cool, quiet way. Her looks were more forward than everyone else’s. Really inspired. Viktor’s collection was impeccable as usual, but I also found it a bit ordinary. Sophisticated but not moving.
Now we get to the infamous, “Who do you think should go to Fashion Week?” question. Universally, everyone chose Anya to go, and rightfully so. Her work is always consistent and focused. Viktor was also in the top to be chosen to go to Fashion Week. His designs are always directional and well-constructed.
SO GOING TO FASHION WEEK ARE:
Laura was the unlucky designer sent home. She IS a FANTASTIC designer, but with final challenges, there is no room for error.
I am soooo excited for them all!!! THE FINAL BATTLE AWAITS … MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK!!!
NOTABLE QUOTABLES (well, QUOTABLE)
“It looked a little bit like a condom to me ... just a tad.” – Zoe Saldana (LMAOOOO!!)
OMG!!! This is the best challenge to date, but not because of the challenge itself (which was to design a high-fashion look inspired by a bird). What made this challenge so interesting were a multitude of things! The first being it's ANOTHER team challenge, so I thought! The designers had to go head-to-head with their teammate:
- Anya vs. Laura (Inspiration: Raven)
- Josh vs. Bert ( Inspiration: Amazon Parrot)
- Kimberly vs. Viktor (Inspiration: Cockatoo)
I got a strange sense of pleasure after hearing this. Lol. There is nothing like good ole COMPETITION! This little monkey wrench will definitely do the trick. The prize for the winner of the challenge: an advertorial in Marie Claire and 20,000 SMACK-A-ROOS!!! MAJOR. I am immediately ready for the designers to get to work! THE CLAWS ARE OUT, AND LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
SIDEBAR: Even with this fantastic challenge, the trip to Mood was just as blah as it usually is. NO EXCITING FABRICS! I mean, I didn't want to see flamingo plumes, but damn! LOL! I give up. Lmao!!!
So the workday begins and everyone's pieces are developing. And wouldn't you know, there's A TWIST … or as Tim called it, "another dimension" to the challenge. Create a SECOND HIGH-FASHION LOOK! This is what "PR" dreams are made of (well, for me at least)! So of course the designers are in a frantic. What I found interesting is that all the designers' second looks seem to be more provocative. Being a designer and knowing the work it takes to achieve to create a high-fashion design, it's A LOT of effin' working to do!!!
This couldn't be truer in Kimberly's case. Even by the end of the first day, she hadn't even HALFWAY completed her first look. I SOOOOO was sweating bullets for her. There's nothing like hitting a brick wall when time is a-ticking! Anything that could happen to slow up her process, HAPPENED. I mean from stains, to sewing a finger, and then later a burn hole from a hot-glue gun, the fashion gods were not on her side! The mishaps were enough to give her a little mini breakdown. Ugh, I'VE BEEN THERE AND IT SUUUCKS!!!
SIDEBAR: You all didn't get to see it, but on my season of "PR," I had the SAME experience during the Couture Challenge (Paris trip)! Besides the egg being thrown on my gown (which was slightly apropos, lmao), I stupidly chose a fabric I rarely work with (chiffon), my model ripped a hole, a GIANT hole, in the gown, she also spilled baby oil on the gown, and OH, the model I originally made the gown for, DIDN'T SHOW which means I had to take the gown in 30 minutes before the presentation and TOTALLY screwed up my fit. I wanted to punch everybody five times each. LMAO!!! So in a nutshell, I FEEL KIMBERLY.
Tim Gunn's visit, as always, is insightful. His first stop was Laura. Laura's looks were … interesting. They looked a little Goth/Wendy Pepperesque. BUT, maybe that's what she was going for. Anya's looks looked cool! I REALLY wanted to see what the first look was going to develop into. The second, pretty damn RAD, different for her! Josh's first look, godawful! Fortunately, he scrapped it and began a second look. I can say that the second look he created was, OMG!!!! A HOME EFFIN' RUN!!!! Bert … poor Bert. Both looks were bad. Viktor's first look was quite pretty, especially the "feathering" detail. The second, I kind of just ignored. And finally with Kimberly, her first look was still developing, which was unfortunate so late in the workday. The second, NO BUENO. It's very much a "Make it work" moment for her. BUT through some twisted luck of fate, the glue gun burn to her first look (as mentioned earlier) pushed her to create a GORGEOUS gown!!! Pressure + Passion = FAB! #TeamKimberly ;-)
SIDEBAR: Viktor. Everyone's not copying you. Stop it, sir. Lol!
The day of the runway show has come, and yet there is ANOTHER monkey wrench thrown to the designers!!! Tim announces they have to CHOOSE one of the two designs to present on the runway! I thought this was pretty fantastic! I mean how often do you have the opportunity to choose from two pieces to present? Sounds like a winning situation to me!
The runway presentation was literally a head-to-head battle! So who chose what:
Viktor vs. Kimberly
Viktor chose his Grecian gown. Pretty but a little too inspired. Kimberly went with her three-hour gown. The movement and cut were SICK!!! WINNER: KIMBERLY!
Inspiration: Amazon Parrot
Bert vs. Josh
Bert decided on his sweetheart, strapless number. It was not pretty at all. Josh chose his orange second look. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! WINNER: JOSH!
Anya vs. Laura
Anya went with her second design. It was great, just felt a little familiar. Laura went with her jacket/pant look. It looked as if there was no effort in the look. WINNER: ANYA!
In the end, the judges felt as I did. Anya was the winner and won the Marie Claire advertorial and $20,000!!! Well executed, well deserved. Bert was the unlucky fellow sent packing. His design was a cry to leave. You could totally see where he was not inspired. Guess that's how the cookie crumbles.
"It's gonna be "GLAMAZING!" – Viktor
(in sassy chick tone) "I DON'T NEED YO FABRIC" – Josh (HA!!!!)
This episode (9) of “PR”9 was refreshing! A challenge that was GUARANTEED to make the designers sweat ... A MENSWEAR CHALLENGE! The eight remaining designers had to create look for unsigned recording artists The Sheepdogs. For the winner: the piece would be shot for, and worn on a red carpet event for, Rolling Stone magazine.
Much to my disappointment, it was a team challenge. I TOTALLY get why it is a team challenge, but as a designer, you really want the opportunity to sound your voice as a designer. BUT, that's neither here or there.
- Anthony Ryan
- Laura Kathleen
- Josh. M
SIDEBAR: Was I the only one noticing the unwarranted LOVEFEST among the members of #TeamHarmony??? I mean, even at Mood, Bert not only gave Laura $150 of his budget because she was over hers, but they sealed the deal with a HUG! (Macaulay Culkin “Home Alone” face!) LMAO!
After the trip to Mood, the designers are off to work. And wouldn't you know, Olivier is already AGAIN bitching about how his client Ewan (lead singer of The Sheepdogs) is too “BIG.”
SIDEBAR: At this point, Olivier has lost ALL credibility to me as a designer. GRANTED, high fashion is known to be a little “size-ist,”but at the end of the day, you don't design garments for a SIZE, you design garments for PEOPLE REAL PEOPLE WHO COME IN DIFFERENT SIZES. I think it's so lame to complain about.
As all the designers' fabrics/designs began to be revealed during Tim Gunn's consult, I was feeling most of the designers' selections seemed a little ... fem. Lol. The first look to come to mind, BERT'S. I MEAN REALLY, purple denim, WHICH IS COOL ... when it's not paired with a purple, floral BLOUSE (as Bert dubbed it). Josh. M's look was “tilting” as well, in addition to Olivier's chintzy print used for Ewan's shirt and Kimberly's “top” (I used “top” because men should never wear “tops”, lmao!).
SIDEBAR: Do you know whose look DID have amazing fabric & color choices??? TIM GUNN! His ensemble worn during the designer consult was SMA-SHING!!! Love the colors. Love the mix of prints. Love the fit. (I know, I know ... MAJOR SIDEBAR, LOL!)
The day of the runway, many of the designers are still working on their looks. Actually, THEY ALL ARE! I don't blame them, though. I've designed/constructed men's garments, and it's all about FIT & DETAIL! BOTH take time. Looking at what is done, no one's look is “striking my fancy.” Olivier and Kimberly's “tops” still look ... well, like tops. I'm kinda confused by Josh M.'s look, and Laura Kathleen's looks a little inexpensive. But much to my surprise, Bert really rocked his design out! Me likey!!!
The runway show, which actually doubled as a rock concert, was pretty cool. You were able to see the garments actually being LIVED IN. Looking at all the designs as a whole and as a team effort, the #TeamUntitled looks had more rock-star appeal … MINUS a look or two.
The individual designs that I feel really tackled the challenge and gave the artist “a look” were the ones by Bert, Viktor and Josh. They looked totally rocker and were extremely well executed. The looks that I didn't like so much were the ones by Kimberly and Olivier. Poor Kimberly. I'M A FAN OF KIMBERLY, so I won't burn her too bad. We all have a bad day. (For me it was the “Couture Challenge”! Lawd have mercy, lol). Olivier's ensemble was just vanilla and oatmeal. It gave “full nothing.”
The decision was made, Viktor was the winner and Olivier was sent packing! I TOTALLY agree with both decisions. Viktor's design was so well thought-out and completely a look. With Olivier, I'VE BEEN READY FOR HIM TO GET HIS PINK SLIP. I think he is a good designer, but his lack of being able to work with “plus sizes” (as he said) just doesn't fit (TO ME) in the world of fashion. Maybe it's his youth, who knows. BUT WHAT I DO KNOW is he won't be around to deliver a bowl of “design porridge.”
“Being that the guys are from Canada, I don't really see them in those SHADIKIES, whatever they are.” - Bert (LMAO! It's DASHIKI, sir.)
“That top looks like, 'Do you want that with biscuits?'” - Bert (LMMFAO!!!)
“I think he's like REGGAE JESUS. He looks like he has a suede lobster bib on. It's like a Brady Bunch dashiki.”
”I think he looks like Peter Brady at autumn harvest.”- Michael Kors (LMAO! Perfect!!!)
Challenge 8 was one of those challenges I always like to see designers on “Project Runway” get: DESIGNING FOR REAL PEOPLE! Lol. When Heidi presented the challenge, she introduced them to nine average Joes. Most of the designers freaked to be doing menswear. But as Tim Gunn later revealed, the designers would actually be designing a look for their male client’s wife or girlfriend.
SIDEBAR: Poor Olivier. He is terrified and confused about designing for a woman and a woman with “BOOBS.” HI-LA-RIOUS!!!
As expected, the designers’ consultations with their male clients were all over the place. Many of them (the men) wanted to make sure that the breasts were accentuated. Totally expected. There were a few of the men who were pretty knowledgeable in the direction the designers should go. Javon (Bryce), Josh (Josh M.) and Brian (Anthony Ryan) gave great direction on what their female counterparts should wear.
SIDEBAR: If you haven’t noticed, I RARELY speak about the trips to Mood. To be honest, they are quite boring. No one ever chooses exciting fabric. I just choose to think this part of the episode never happens. Sorry. #KanyeShrug
Back in the workroom, the designers get to meet the other half of their client duo. Surprisingly, all the women weren’t as opinionated as I thought they would be! Laura got her wish Rebecca! She had a great body, and was receptive of the glam Laura is so great at creating. Ariana agreed with her hubby: more boob! Lol. Bert was happy to oblige. Anya was right on track with her look for her client, Raylene. When Viktor’s client, Victoria, (the irony of their names) arrived, it looked as if he had already dressed her! The piece was spot-on, and Victoria had no complaints. It was a win-win for Anthony Ryan’s client, Caitlin, as he designed a referential look of a long-lost piece of hers. Kimberly’s client, Kenya, was literally petting her garment! She loved! Bryce’s client, Janine, was easy; she likes pink! And pink is what Bryce gave her.
Josh M.’s client, Charlene, and Olivier’s client, Suzanne, definitely had some things to say. They both were almost designing the pieces themselves. Both designers were being accommodating, but it’s a tightrope you have to walk. They must make sure that their (the designers’) DNA is in the design.
Tim’s walk-through went as usual. He absolutely raved over Viktor’s (Victoria) and Josh M.’s (Charlene) looks! With everyone else (with the exception of Kimberly; he just stared), he gave a few small critiques.
SIDEBAR: Viktor dubbed Anya’s look a “student’s pattern,” and Laura said Josh M.’s design looked as if his client was going to a funeral. THE GOTCHA, GOTCHA: Both Anya AND Josh’s looks were in the top! BOOYOW.
In the end, Josh M. was the winner of the challenge. This was a well-deserved win! The design, cut and fit were immaculate! Bryce, FINALLY, was sent home. The fit was just godawful!!! I’m sure there is some great design in him; it just didn’t come out while he was on the show.
“… in the end, we’re left with all these fat people, and fat is fine, but not when I’m making clothes” ([SIGH] a DAMN shame)
“Her breasts are like GIANORMOUS, is that correct?”
“I don’t like women having boobs, I just like them to be flat.”
“Those boobs are trouble.”
Olivier (I have NEVER heard anyone so frightened of breasts! Lmao!)
“PLEASE DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN, BE LOADED AND HIS WIFE IS REALLY HOT AND SHE’S A GOLDDIGGER.” Laura Kathleen (HA!!!)
Olivier: “Am I allowed toask you what double D means?”
Tim G.: “What do I know about it? I just know it’s a bra size; I don’t have any personal experience with them, Olivier.”
“Big boobs, big hips, just … BIG ALL OVER.” Josh M.
Episode 7 was yet another group challenge, BUT with a fantastic dose of freshness! The two groups of five had to design a five-piece collection and print, and produce their own fashion show! An added twist was to create a video that would be used as a backdrop.
"Nuts & Bolts"
- Josh M.
- Anthony Ryan
When it was time for the teams to design their prints, I was kinda disappointed to just see black and white (or maybe that's what they were limited to, can't recall). Team Nuts & Bolts decide to go with a clock motif: numbers, words about numbers, and clocks. They looked a little heavy and stiff. Team Chaos went graphic: dashes, zig zags and ink blots. I thought their prints were great! Modern and now.
But the design juices couldn't begin to flow before team Nuts & Bolts (who really should be team Chaos!) began to go HAM! Josh goes bananas over a alleged curse word said by Bert. Erratic shenanigans between the two ensue, and it's an all-out war! I honestly thought it was going to be a fist fight (...windmill style, LMAO)!
Tim's visit to the workroom proveD to be a night and day experience for the teams. Team Chaos' critique was full of raves and praises. I honestly saw their process as thinking as one. Such a live fest. Team Nuts and Bolts, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky. Tim wasn't too found of the fabrics either!
In the end, both teams managed to put all together, but it was obvious who was the winner of the challenge! Team Nuts and Bolts' collection was all over the place. The collection looked young and contrived. All I kept screaming in my head is, "GO, GO, GADGET ARMS!" (Rremember? From the cartoon "Inspector Gadget"!?) Not a good look. I also didn't think their prints were sophisticated enough. Something about them looked "discount." Kimberly chose not to use the prints, which was a smart decision! Her look was the only one that I liked!
Team Chaos (who's name should of been Team COHESIVE) had the complete package! The pieces, the styling, the runway production ... EVERYTHING! They were totally deserving of the win! The hits from there collection: EVERYBODY'S! There was not one piece I did not like. I do have favorites, Viktor and Olivier. Both were modern and chic!
The challenge finally came, Becky was given her pink slip. I really think that Becky is talented, but "Project Runway" is about what's NEXT, not what's NOW. Her aesthetic doesn't seem to be about being forward, which is OK. Not everyone wants to dress like Lady Gaga, BUT when you get a opportunity of a lifetime (no pun intended ;-), YOU HAVE TO GO HARD! Her designs, unfortunately didn't.
"...such a plain skirt might read MATH TEACHER."
"I think it looks like Judy Jetson with a vacuum cleaner."
- Laura Kathleen (she was on a roll! lol)
"it was like a hooker convention coming home after a late night!"
"You wanted to JUMP INTO THE UGLY!"
"...maybe not a lot of women who want 'CANCELED' on their crotch!"
- ALL Michael Kors
I hate to say this, but avant-garde challenges are NOT my fave. It’s not because I don’t get the art of it; it’s just that I’m always underwhelmed and confused. It always seems that the designers feel that the more you pile on, the more “forward” it is. In my opinion, NOT THE CASE. But hey, I am game to be proven wrong (side-eye).
The Challenge: Create an avant-garde look inspired by artwork. NOT a Van Gogh or Georgia O’Keeffe, but a piece from a student of the Harlem School of the Arts. I must say, that was the only part of this challenge that was interesting.
The deviant part of me wanted to see the awkwardness that could have possibly happened between the students and the designers. They all actually fared pretty well. Laura even called her student Kai a “little Dalai Lama or something.” Poignant.
So, the inspiration … let me make it easy:
Viktor & Skyy – Swirls
Bert & Antonio – Graphic shapes
Josh C. & Sasha – A Wolf
Becky & Maris – Outer space
Josh M. & Patrice – Tree and Roots
Anya & AJ – Tree O’ Fire
Bryce & Audrey – Eerie Man
Laura & Kai – Randomness (I know she said roses; not to me. REMEMBER, art is subjective, lol)
Anthony Ryan & Wu Qing – Self-Portraits
Kimberly & Claudette – Red Bird
The designers’ exploits in Mood were made apparent upon arriving back to the workroom. The usual suspects were present: feathers, fur, tulle, organza and every other fabric used to create volume and drama. I can’t take it.
By the time Tim comes for his routine visit, the designs have developed further. Anya and Anthony Ryan’s designs are the ones that catch my attention most. The silhouette of Anya’s piece is familiar, but the colors and textures interested me. Anthony Ryan’s concept for his piece was quite provocative! I was REALLY excited to see how would develop! Love the movement, love the texture, love, love, love it!
SIDEBAR: HI, I’M MYCHAEL AND I’M AN ANTHONY RYAN FAN. LMAO!
There were a few somewhat referential pieces in the workroom. I find it ironic that Viktor gave his rundown of all the designers’ looks (clever references I might add) but his design, or maybe just the fabric, felt a little … ummm … Austin Scarlettesque.
Maybe it was just me. Becky’s cubed situation felt a little Lady Gaga, circa “Poker Face.” Forward then but extremely familiar now.
The day of the runway show was more of the expected. When it’s time for hair and makeup, half the designers ask for BIG, CURLY HAIR. No bueno. Nothing new, nothing forward.
On the runway, I was given a few surprises. Kimberly’s piece was pretty cool. Love the asymmetry and the texture. Although Becky’s look was familiar, it came together beautifully and it was an energetic departure for her. And of course, do I have to mention Anthony Ryan!!! GORG!!!!
THE NOT SO GOOD: Josh C., Bryce and Bert. Josh C.’s garment was pedestrian and not expensive-looking at all. Bryce (sigh), I don’t want to say about this kid. He’s hanging in there, though! Lol. Bert’s look was just unnecessarily offensive to God’s creation of the human body! His design was totally out of control.
As I expected, Anthony Ryan was the winner! I will say, just to be honest, it wasn’t all that avant-garde, but no one else’s was either. But what DID feel avant-garde about it was how he abstracted his direction from the artwork into the garment. AND THAT is what makes it forward. Josh C. was sent home … AGAIN! To be real about it, Bryce should have been sent packing as well. I just don’t get his aesthetic!
So, needless to say, this challenge (and these designs) didn’t really move any mountains for me. But there is still hope! “Project Runway” is full of surprises.
“Sometimes you don’t need the crutch of styling. Let the garment shine.”
“I think it looks like something a Teletubby wears to a party!” Michael Kors
“I’m gonna be a hooker for Halloween.” Heidi Klum (A-HA!!!)
Challenge five was a doozy! So many LAYERS of this episode! The Challenge: a team challenge to design a three-look collection inspired by Heidi Klum’s sneaker designs for New Balance. I must say, although I love the sneaks, I am SO NOT A FAN OF FLATS, no less SNEAKERS ON THE RUNWAY (1st layer)! LOL!!! But…I get it.
To decide who would lead the team of three, the designers must LITERALLY race to be the chosen one! This was going to be interesting, as I don’t usually equate designers with athletics. I, on the other hand, would have smoked them all! Lol. Track and Field was/is my thing!
SIDEBAR: WAY TO GO OLIVIER FOR PROVING MY THEORY OF DESIGNERS and ATHLETICS. (Second layer) (SIGH)
BUT before that even happened, Cecilia decides to BOUNCE (third layer)!!! I must say, I SAW THIS COMING. You could see it all over her face the previous episode. Unmoved, uninterested, and not motivated; all the signs were there. Such a shame, though. I know there are a gaggle of designers that would kill to be in her spot.
SIDEBAR: I actually FEEL Cecilia. You get to a point/place in your life and career that your happiness comes first. You don’t want to feel obligated to prove yourself or talent. It’s just unfortunate she found that out on national television. lol.
So the race is on! For some reason, this made me chuckle. I also found it odd that NONE of the ladies won the race. I was kind of surprised who the team captains were, but intrigued with their choice of teammates:
Team Josh: Anya and Becky
Team Bryce: Kimberly and Danielle
Team Anthony Ryan: Laura and Bert
Team Viktor: Olivier and ….
This process was such a day of recess in the fifth grade! I KNEW Anya would be the first to be picked (The “Pop”) and Bert would be the last (The “UnPop”). Everyone else’s choices seemed a little random. Team Viktor had the coolest choice of them all: Viktor was given the opportunity to bring back one of the four ousted designers. His choice: Josh C. (fourth layer). Not quite sure how I feel about that. #KayneShrug
When it’s time to sketch, there are designs being tossed around among the teams, but nothing seems to be concrete.
SIDEBAR: If Bryce DESIGNS, SKETCHES, SUGGESTS or PROPOSES another damn COWL NECKLINE…
The trip to Mood is also a little uneventful. YES, the designers had to incorporate denim and suede into their designs and work with the color palette of Heidi’s shoe, BUT that didn’t mean to go “matchy matchy.” It would have been nice to see more color and texture.
Heidi’s visit to the workroom proved more of the same. Most of the designers pieces were a little on the conservative side. I think the whole “athletic” angle threw a few of the designers of. I did like the direction of Viktor’s moto jacket, but it just looked a little “familiar.” I really wish I could speak about more of the garments, but there was absolutely nothing in that work room that caught my attention. Heidi OBVIOUSLY felt the same as she extended the work time. The only things that kept me interested were Bert’s surliness and Josh M. and Becky’s love fest! lol.
SIDEBAR: BRYCE…AGAIN WITH THE COWL (hooded cowl, that is)?! REALLY??!!
Needless to say, a runway show had to happen. I was somewhat pleased to see A TEAM push through this challenge. Team Viktor, who WAS THE “VICTOR” in this challenge, put together a decent presentation. It was modern and sportive, but most importantly, COHESIVE. Josh M. also won the challenge but I wasn’t really a fan of his piece. The other teams, not so much. From team turmoil to confusing fabric selections, the final looks in this challenge have been my least favorite this season (maybe even E-VER, lol). It was all over the place.
Danielle received her pink slip, and rightfully so. She has been kind of a one-note.
I am EAGARLY anticipating Episode 6 as this challenge.did NOT fulfill my PR fashion fix (fingers crossed).
“I would have like to be team captain but unfortunately, I had to fall like a bitch.” –Olivier (HA!)
“The 'KLUM OF DOOM...'" – Josh C.
“Your demographic is like, 40 TO DEATH” – Josh M. (LMAO!!!)
"Becky, you do dowdy dresses. You know that.”
“Bert you’re closer to death then I am!” -Josh M. (Ha!)
“She has CAMEL TOE, in BIG SHORTS!” - Michael Kors
“She has camel butt." - Bert
I am soooo jealous!!! I would have been all over this challenge! The fourth challenge of this season was another first: design a look for Nina Garcia! How fab is that, to get an opportunity NOT ONLY to dress a fashion director/editor but also have that very piece featured in Marie Claire magazine!
SIDEBAR: How chic did Nina look as she entered the runway!? Love the blazer. Love the trousers. Love the hair. And the pièce de résistance, hands in pockets THE BEST way to accessorize a look!
The designers' consultations with Nina seemed to move fairly smoothly! Nina was extremely gracious but never compromised her style identity: classic, clean and modern. There were a lot of "I like" and "I love" and very few "Yuck" and "Yikes!" (although she did tell Bryce "I hate cowl" [I agree] and Cecilia "It looks a little 'Dynasty'!") What I found quite interesting was that Ms. Garcia was really accommodating in suggesting/requesting a few of the designers to design within their strengths. This was the case with Danielle and her blouses, and Kimberly and her pants. I find that to be a "thumbs-up" of approval; it means she's noticing.
The looks that sold me during the designers' consultations with Nina:
Josh: Lots of structural detail. Looked as if it could be pretty sexy too.
Julie: I love a coatdress. Very transitional, always appropriate.
Kimberly: The design of the dress was really modern and very Nina.
… aaand that's it. Lol. Sorry, nobody else's sketch excited me. #KanyeShrug
The trip to Mood wasn't too eventful. Lots of black and taupe and gray and other neutrals. Danielle and Anya were adventurous and stepped outside the expected for Nina. I love Danielle's kelly green, not so much with Anya's mustard yellow. Anthony Ryan and Becky were adventurous as well, not only choosing a print but THE SAME PRINT. This is the fodder that "Project Runway" is MADE OF! The print is absolutely gorgeous! I was interested in seeing who was going to do it justice.
Ms. Garcia's visit to the workroom seemed a little premature, as most of the designers were still draping (designing/creating garment on the dress form) their pieces! I wasn't able to get a feel for any garments. I saw a lot of V-neck and cutout style lines (taped lines on a dress form that denote the future design of the garment), but nothing made me shiver. "Carry on, designers."
SIDEBAR: Brilliant idea for Anya to dye her fabric! Mustard belongs on a Nathan's hot dog, never a runway. Lol. But it's unfortunate that that color was transformed into brown, which is equally horrible. The only things fantastic in brown are chocolate, leather goods and skin tones (like mine ;-).
As the designers were prepping for the runway, Laura decided to assist Anya, and Cecilia helped Julie. Viktor had issues with this. Personally, it wouldn't have bothered me. The designers DID design the garments, AND the garments were basically completed. Sometimes you can't sweat the small stuff.
OK, on to the runway show. BUT let me first sound off on how much I LOVE this challenge's guest judge, KERRY WASHINGTON! One of our true style icons!!! She is always prefect and amazingly coiffed! She is extremely well-spoken and such a class act. LOVE HER! OK, I'm done. LOL!
I was finally ready to see the garments!
Josh: Great colors and cut. Wish the dress was pencil-length and belted.
Julie: Love the design! The fabric and color selection weren't the best for daytime. Felt a little holiday.
Viktor: So smart! And I am all about separates!
Kimberly: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS! Sexy & smart!!!
Bryce: Not well done … AT ALL.
SIDEBAR: I really did not see what the judges saw in Anya's piece. I DO think it was constructed well. But the design … it didn't move me. AND was I the only one who noticed all the short hemlines? I know it's for the runway, but Nina WILL be the one wearing the garment. Just a thought.
The champ of the challenge was Kimberly! I think her look was and is the best to date!!! It was extremely well done. The funny thing about it is Becky, Julie and other designers predicted her to be in the bottom. Well … they were wrong. Lol. Kimberly won the bragging rights.
Danielle, in the end, was sent home. Her look just didn't have enough design in it. The object of "Project Runway" is to excite, wow, and inspire! I guess her pop of color wasn't enough "POP" to move her forward in the competition.
NOTABLE QUOTABLES:"This is just SOFT and SOFT."
"It's just looking a little sad."
"It's MOUSEY and MOUSEY."
"Do you/we have a Plan B?"
Nina Garcia (#DontBoreNina)
"I leave you feeling confident, then I see you on the runway and I'm like, 'OH MY GOD!' (flailing hands)" Tim Gunn (Hahaha!)
"I felt a mum could wear this in a kitchen making pureed acorn squash for her children." (HAHAHAAHAH!!!)
"If Nina wore this dress, I would have her committed."
Joanna Coles (M. Kors has met his match, lol)
"Unless you're going to a Joan Crawford, St. Patty's Day party, I mean … WHO IS WEARING THIS BLOUSE!?" Michael Kors
Kerry Washington: "Is it a dress, is it a coat, is it a DRESS COAT?"
Joanna Coles: "… It's like a DROAT!" (LMAO!!! I'm so using DROAT!)
Boy, Oh, Boy! WHAT AN EPISODE! The third installment of Season 9 was quite refreshing! The challenge: sesign an outfit for stilt walker. And to make the challenge more exciting (or more terrifying for some of the designers), it's a TEAM CHALLENGE!
The episode begins with Heidi strutting her stuff (quite well, I may add) on the runway in a pair of stilts WITH the infamous button bag in tow. This COMPLETELY EXCITED me! My elation continued when I saw all the models were wearing them as well.
So...THE TEAMS. I love team challenges because they usually happen early on, which means the designers don't TRULY know fellow teammate, which ALSO means HIGH-FLYING OPINIONS AND EMOTIONS! The teams selected were interesting, frightening, and perfect:
BERT & VIKTOR - #TeamCrashAndBurn - This is a disaster waiting to happen at CONCEPTION!
ANTHONY RYAN & LAURA - #TeamWinning - Of course we KNOW they won, but I REALLY thought were a winning combo upon selection.
JOSH & JULIE - #TeamLooseCannons - I don't mean "loose cannons" in a bad way, but in the way of freely creating and awesomely amalgamating one a other's design tastes.
DANIELLE & CECILIA - #TeamTightRope - Their design(s) could go either way. It'll be about balance.
ANYA & OLIVIER - #TeamDreamTeam - Her fearlessness, his expertise, a fab fashion moment to follow.
KIMBERLY & BECKY - #TeamOddCouple - I don't even know where to begin to fathom a THOUGHT on the design direction of this team. Such opposites in designs aesthetics.
BRYCE & FALLENE - #TeamPoorThangs (lmao) - I KNEW...INSTANTLY this team may not be able to "make it work."
The workroom sessions were...just...I dunno. lol. Tim stated, "...question what's real and what isn't." MANY of the designers took that literally! The inspiration that was thrown around went across the gamete. I heard: Old Alabama Plantation Girl, Circus/Romantic Matador, Elizabethan, Victorian, AND Dark Ballerina (which means 'Black Swan'). Why so many costumes? I mean, the models are stilt walkers but this IS a show about fashion! I understand that there is a bit of "showiness" to the stilt walkers profession, but REALLY??? I think Laura had it right; bring the croquis (sketch) to life. MIND YOU, the designers only had ONE DAY to create the challenge! That's a quick turn around for such ambitious costuminess.
SIDEBAR: What's up with the awesome budgets!? $300! $500! WOW! I get why with this particular challenge with the croquis-esqe models, more fabric is needed for the length. I'm not mad but I don't recall (well, it was a zillion years ago, lol) those rockin' budgets, that frequently!!! S/O to PRW accounting! LOL!
DOUBLE SIDEBAR: LOTS OF SCARY FABRIC PURCHASES FROM MOOD.
It seems to be smooth sailing after the trip to Mood when the teams began to work, EXCEPT FOR Bert and Viktor and Bryce and Fallene. #TeamCrashAndBurn just don't like each other...not a little bit. I am unfortunately realizing Bert is kinda of....SURLY. lol! I mean all the unnecessary explanation of the references and so on so forth. It's not that deep! SHOW AND PROVE. Let's see a hot design! EITHER WAY, the piece was EXTREMELY dated and heavy and NOT "in." In addition, was I the only one who noticed that the team's consult session with Tim was basically a tattle-tell session??? It was so out of control.
#TeamPoorThangs (I chuckle EVERYTIME type/say that, lol) aren't any better. Fallene is totally taking a backseat to Bryce. PRW history has show: The backseat rider ALWAYS get a shotgun seat home. And as we know, she rode shotgun.
I was a little disappointed in Bryce's 'tude (attitude) towards Fallene. I think he's a cool kid and designer, but his tone about Fallene's lack of education was a little disheartening. LET'S KEEP IT REAL, she's on the show just as you are. There must be a certain level of skill set there, B.A. or NOT. BUT, on the flip side, Fallene did let him take over the design. You gotta man up sometime!
SIDEBAR: Fallene is (well, was) the crier of this season. I mean, she cried, "I felT bad for Bryce." WHAT the ?!??
Fast forwarding to the runway show, I was able to get a really good look of everyone's garments. There was a clear line of demarcation of the garments that were costumes and those that were wearable!
My Favs: Anthony Ryan and Laura and Anya and Olivier. #TeamWinning won me over with the color! I do agree with Nina, I did feel I've seen it before (Marchesa), BUT it was absolutely gorgeous and felt like FASHION! #TeamDreamTeam's garment surprised me! In the fitting, I was not sold. But on the runway it was quite stunning.
My NOT SO Favs: Josh and Julie, Bryce and Fallene, and Bert and Viktor. #TeamLooseCannons was just that! So much going on. #TeamPoorThangs (REALLY LMAO) really had no design....AT ALL. #TeamCrashAndBurn (THE longest sigh). Enough said.
In the end, it was down to Viktor and Fallene. Honestly it should have been VIKTOR and BERT. Their design was bad. Dated, heavy, and unsightly. Both were deserving of being ousted. But as I stated earlier, Fallene's submissiveness did her in. PRW is about a designers voice. It's unfortunate that she didn't utilize it.
NOTABLE QUOTABLES:"She is rockin my nerves!"
"You're such a poker & pincher!"
"Oh Julie...OH JULIE! (mincing eyes, Lady GaGa 'Monster' claws) - Joshua M. (LMAO)
"Well, off to one strange outfit to another" - Heidi Klum
(spastically) "OLAY OLAY OLAY"
"Everything bad in the house on your body..."
"It's like the wallpaper and curtains at catering hall with a gold dust ruffle" - ALL Michael Kors HI-LA-RIOUS)