Episode 2 wastes no time in giving me and all you "PR" fanatics the most beloved of all challenges, THE UNCONVENTIONAL CHALLENGE! This is the moment where the competing designers' true creative spirit and innovation come to light. For me, it's also the moment when I can usually catch sight of the designers to watch and who has the chance to claim one of the coveted three spots in the finale presentation. Yesterday's episode/challenge was a very clear indicator of who's IN and who will be OUT!
Leashes and dog food and wee-wee pads OH MY! The designers receive their first dose of "PR" shenanigans: Design and create a garment using items from a pet supply store!
*SIDEBAR: When Heidi was giving her customary ambiguous talk-off about the next challenge, I love how Joshua M. immediately thought S&M upon hearing "unleashed"! Too funny!
Any who, as the designers scrambled inside of Petland Discounts, it was interesting to see who was grabbing what. Everyone who grabbed leashes or textiles/textile-based items immediately lost my attention. Bert makes sure to mention (as he fetches textiles) that Michael and Nina don't want to see anything "spoofy" and he would leave the "clown stuff" to the other designers. True, Michael and Nina ABSOLUTELY DO NOT want to see foolish garments, but they DO want to see imagination! "Project Runway" is about the challenge of creating something beautiful from things that aren't. IT'S THE NATURE OF THE SHOW, SIR! I also love that Laura chooses the dog collars! Although her little comment (among others in the past and for sure in the future) about refinement annoyed me. I'll revisit that shortly. Cecilia and Fallene go for dog food; kinda gross, but hey, it's about being unconventional. Anthony Ryan literally goes in a different direction than the other designers to source his materials. I SOOOO LOVE THE BIRDSEEDS!!! As I said in last week's blog, it's something about this guy! A man after my own heart.
In the workroom, it's just s#*% everywhere! Lol! EVERYONE has EVERY item they could snatch from the pet supply store. I guess it's always good to have too much than too little.
It's always really hard to tell everyone's direction early in their construction process in unconventional challenges. As I was looking at the bodice made from the plastic aquarium plants, Becky's garment actually interested me. I thought that the violet color and the pattern created from the leaves were pretty. Anthony Ryan's birdseed beading and Olivier's hamster-bedding appliqueé have me UBER-excited! Laura's dog-collar dress looks interesting, and I think I like her aesthetic, but it quickly gets ignored after her "upper crust," "shopping at Neiman's since single digits" spiel. Let's be clear, you're on the show for an opportunity (and $100,000) just like ALL THE OTHER middle-class people on the show ... just stop it. Bryce's look is trying to happen, but handkerchief hems are always treading in treacherous waters. Josh C. (sigh) ... Enough said. Anya is slightly giving me what she gave last week, so there's no interest there.
Danielle, Cecilia, Julie and Fallene can also be grouped with Anya. There is nothing there to excite me. Bert's piece is developing aimlessly. His immunity is his saving grace. That's the funny thing about immunity: It can be a gift AND a curse. It allows the designer to design freely but it's that same freedom that can get them in hot water! In addition, I REALLY want him to realize that an element of "Project Runway" is about creating the expected (clothes) from the unexpected (pet randomness). At the risk of sounding redundant, IT'S THE NATURE OF THE SHOW, SIR. Viktor's piece gives a faint wink to a staple detail of Rodarte. Joshua M.'s look interests me as well. His "more is better" philosophy is definitely respected ... when applied well. And if I missed a designer, my bad. It's a million of them! Lol. No love lost.
The moment of truth! The runway SHOWS IT ALL.
*SIDEBAR: Heidi's raspberry minidress, SICK! Gotta find out who it's by.
I was enthusiastic to see who took the challenge at hand. My likes: Julie, Kimberly and Viktor. All did a good job tackling the challenge and making a wearable garment. Their garments also appear to have quality fit and construction.
My LOVES: Anthony Ryan, Olivier, and Joshua M. OMG, where do I begin! Anthony Ryan's mini frock was just RIDICULOUSLY FANTASTIC! Sexy, chic, modern, just well-executed and NOW. Olivier's dress was also very modern and spot-on! The ombré detail was very well done, and the neutral palette was exceptionally smart. Joshua M.'s look surprised me. I was expecting to just like it, but his last-minute changes completely won me over. So young, so current! What also made it a hit for me was that he was one of a few designers to use a splash of color.
My dislikes: Fallene, Bert, Bryce and Cecilia. Where Fallene went wrong with me is her use of brown! NO ONE, AND I MEAN NO ONE, SHOULD EVER WEAR BROWN. I just don't think it's flattering on any skin tone. THEN to pair it with burnt orange ... #TheSixties. Bert's garment showed no energy. It was almost disrespectful, the design effort he DIDN'T put into the garment. With Bryce, as I said earlier, handkerchief hems, NEVER SUCCESSFUL. The crop top wasn't well executed at all. Cecilia's dress didn't look expensive (as she boastfully announced) AT ALL. She managed to make a horrible material (hamster bedding) look like an even MORE horrible material, carpet padding.
In the end, It boiled down to Anthony Ryan and Olivier for the win, and Josh C. and Fallene to be ousted. I too, like the judges, was torn between Anthony and Olivier. Both designs were extremely modern and gorgeous. The deciding factor was made on a matter of taste. Personally, Anthony would have been my choice to win, but the judges ruled in Olivier's favor. Josh C. and Fallene's demise was interesting as well. I found myself posing the question, "Who should go home?" The person who used expected materials and created a boring design, or the person who used a dated color palette as well as a bland design? NEITHER. Bryce was the answer to that question! Lol. His look was not good ... not even a little bit. Obviously, Josh C. was the choice to be out. Josh C.'s aesthetic as a designer is a bit tame for "Project Runway." The show is about having guts and taking it there. Too bad he didn't take advantage.
On a final note, I noticed something being said repeatedly this week as well as last week: "the designers' CHOICES when STYLING." It's definitely not a prerequisite for designers to be amazing stylists, but it IS their job to convey the message and complete the story of the look. I'm hoping in episodes to come that all of the designers have taken heed.
"This is not fashion, this is TRASHIN'" — Viktor
"Where is she going? WHY is she going ... IN THAT?" — Joshua M. (Ha!)
"You have to have candy corn teeth to wear that dress."
"She has sunglasses on; what, is she INCOGNITO in napkins?"
"It's getting hot! I'm going through MAN-a-pause." — ALL Michael Kors (I can't w/ Mr. Kors, lmao!)
Heidi: "Who is this girl? Where is she going?" Bryce: "I don't know." (Huh, lol!)
"Boob and a skirt." — Heidi Klum (lol, best description e-ver!)
"I wanna do-over." — Fallene (Luckily, she'll get one.)
I'm baaaaack! This time as a spectator of this fascinating fashion menagerie of "Project Runway," I finally get a chance to be on the administering end of the comments, thoughts and constructive/creative critiques.
As a designer and veteran contestant, I understand the insecurities of creating under the extreme measures while trying to maintain your aesthetic as an artist. But as a viewer, I expect to be totally engaged and WOWED by the designer's creativity. I WANT TO SEE FASHION! Beautiful fashion! I care less about drama and kookiness, JUST SHOW ME THE GOODS. I want to give you MY REALITY of this season of "Project Runway"! I welcome you into my "Fashion Bar," where the insight is straight up, no chaser!
The Season 9 premiere episode opened with a "Project Runway" first: 20 designers are vying for the spot on the throne! If your thought process is like mine, I'm sure you thought, "How in the hell am I going to remember all these people?!" Well, no need to try. In true "Runway" form, four of the 20 designers are eliminated immediately. David Chum, Gunnar Deathrage, Amanda Perna, and Serena da Conceicao were the unfortunate souls to receive the axe. With the exception of David, I'm not mad at those who got the boot. I must say, I really was intrigued by David's navy frock that I got a quick glance of during the casting. It appeared to be super chic and sophisticated. But, that's how the cookie crumbles. Someone (or some FOUR) had to be the first to go.
So, NOW we're down to 20. Cheers and champagne ensue, not realizing they will literally be awaken later (well, early) that morning! The challenge: Create a look from the PJs off their backs and one of their bed linens! I like this challenge! It felt like my season's (Season 3) first challenge where we had 10 mins to grab everything out of our apartment to construct a garment with. (Shout-out to my coffee filter dress. ;-) Unfortunately, most of the designers didn't make me as excited as the actual challenge.
To be honest, I would love to chat about each of the 16 designers but it's just to damn many! LOL I was able to get a better sense of a FEW of their design aesthetics with their first experience in the Parsons workroom. Immediately, I wanted to see Anya in action. Being that she only has four month's experience sewing, I was interested to see how she was going to "make it work."
I loved that she ambitiously takes on constructing a pant. Not an easy feat for a beginner. Anthony Ryan caught my attention in the workroom as well. I can't really put my finger on it, but there something that intrigues me about him and really makes me want to see him create and view his creative process.
Initially, I'd already discounted Bert just because I figured he was going to give me something very vanilla. But, the peak of his piece being draped TOTALLY shut me up! One to watch? We'll have to see. Rafael caught my attention, not because of his design, but because of the dose of "Tim Gunn medicine."
I totally agreed with Tim. The silk headscarf was the most interesting of his textiles. I did feel Rafael for wanting to stick to his direction, but I do think you should always have an open ear, especially if you're teetering on being ousted! The rest of designers didn't strike my interest while looking at their process in the workroom. It's still very early yet, and the runway is where it counts the most!
The runway show was quite easy for me to sum up. When there are so many designers in one presentation, it's easy for the really good AND really bad designs to stand out. I was pleasantly surprised to see a garment that I didn't notice in the workroom previously: I genuinely liked Danielle Everine's look! I think her pieces were SUPER CUTE, very fresh and now!
Joshua McKinley's look also had a cool factor to it. I was impressed that Laura Kathleen created not a ONE, but a THREE-piece look. Very smart separates, clean and wearable. Anthony Ryan's pieces were great too, but as PIECES. I wish he would've maybe designed another separate for the tank or another piece for the mini.
My favorite look of them all was Bert Keeter's! FAN-EFFIN-TASTIC!!! Uber chic, super sexy! The frock definitely gave me a fashion moment.
There were a few designers on the other end of the spectrum who weren't as successful. Julie Tierney's look was just everywhere. I do appreciate her effort, but the look was CONFUSING. Josh Christensen and Cecilia Motwani's looks weren't necessarily bad (uninspiring, but not bad), but they had issues with the fit! If you are going to do a restrained and simple design, the fit should NEVER be an issue. The lines of the garments were easy. A little more attention to the details would have made a big difference.
The moment of truth finally has arrived: the "first" IN and OUT for a challenge! I was very pleased that Bert won this challenge. He did a fantastic job stepping out of his comfort zone and taking a risk. His design was absolutely amazing! A well deserved and worked-for win!
Julie, Rafael, and Josh C. were the three unlucky designers in the bottom. Just like my thoughts about the initial four designers eliminated at the top of the show, I also agreed with all chosen here, except for Rafael. Although his garment didn't WOW me, I will say that among the three, his pieces showed the most design effort. I mean, really. Josh C.'s shorts were horribly fitted, and Julie's look, in addition to the fit issues, was just not good…at all. But the fashion gods spoke, and Rafael was sent packing. Following your heart sometimes comes with sacrifices. I guess it's just the nature of the beast.
Before I part, I want to leave on a fun note! "Project Runway" is BUILT on quotes. From "You're either in, or you're out" to "Make it work," the show has been an incubator of catch phrases. So for every blog I post, I'll be leaving you with "NOTABLE QUOTABLES"! They will be all the little things said that made me chuckle during the week's episode. So, here they are!
"I see you gulping. I WANT YOU TO GULP!" - Tim Gunn (Hilarious!)
"Are you speaking foreign?" - Laura Kathleen (Huh? LOL!)