Nick Verreos Blog
Season 13, Episode 3: 2034 Is The New 1994
1994. Part of me doesn’t want to admit that I actually remember 1994 and that I was already a just-graduated-from-college 20-something. Unfortunately, there are photos to prove that I was not only an adult but that I wore oversized blousy shirts, had a Caesar haircut and goatee, and loved boxy Nehru-collared suits. What got me strolling down Fashion Memory Lane was of course this week’s “Project Runway,” which involved 1994 and the future. If you think that the future in terms of fashion will be inspirational, exciting and innovative...keep reading. Let's hope that at least there will be no blousy shirts, Caesar haircuts and goatees involved.
Flanked by photos of supermodels on the cover of past Marie Claire magazines, Tim Gunn and Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider announce that the magazine is celebrating its 20th anniversary and that this week’s challenge is to create a look inspired by the past, but for 20 years in the future in 2034. “What does the future of fashion look like filtered through your design aesthetic?” asks Tim. Before the designers can ponder the thought, it’s time to go on their first trip to Mood!
Post-Mood shopping, the designers arrive in the workroom to see old photos of themselves on the wall showing how they looked in 1994. Realizing that some of the designers are so young, I wondered if any of them had been born yet. I'm happy to say that the answer is “yes” and therefore my thoughts of feeling like an old grandpa subsided. Yes, some were barely walking (Alexander was 2!) but then there was Emily who by the looks of it was a smokin’ HOT music video model back in the day. P.S.: Do people still say “smokin’”? I doubt it. So 1994 of me.
The designers are busy working on their retro-future fashions as Tim does his check-in. Sean sees a cluttered future so he wants to go the minimalist route. Tim thinks it might be chic and sophisticated. Personally, I’m bored and despondent just looking at it. Habitually depressed Angela is inspired by her Wall Street past and is looking to update corporate style for 2034 -- with a jacket, and that’s it. Ripped-jean aficionado Mitchell sees the future as wet (since where he lives will probably be underwater by 2034!) and is going scuba, but as Tim points out, it’s looking like a figure skating costume. Sandhya wants her woman of the future to be a strong, stylish Recyclable Queen. Tim is concerned, but I’m intrigued. Finally, Alexander, who is inspired by an Afghan blanket his mom wrapped him in as a child, is trying to make a dress using tweed fabric plus a leather top. He’s having issues with the top and Tim is happy to point out each and every problem: puckering, gaping, leather stretching. During the model fittings, Alexander realizes that he now has one more issue to deal with: a “uni-boob” top. Time to scrap the entire thing, darlin’.
Heidi, Zac, Nina, Tim and Anne Fulenwider are present as well as photographer, Lifetime show host, and former wife of Duran Duran’s John Taylor, Amanda de Cadenet. The 1994-2034 runway designs were a mixed bag to say the least; lots of drab and sad, some questionable designs, and happily, a couple of shining moments.
The good: I loved Mitchell’s scuba diva. The colors were great, especially among all the dull-colored outfits from the other designers. I just wished his seams matched. Samantha's vest/a-line skirt/turtleneck "Backpack Girl" was cute (Samantha could be a silent threat!) and Emily's "Ewok" hooded and jumsuited diva was powerful, mysterious and sexy; very "Mata Hari 2034." Kudos to her model for stomping it on the runway like the rent was due. My favorite was Sandhya's by far. I loved her explanation that "Strong women don't have to wear menswear-inspired fashion." Her design was editorial, exciting and futuristic but with the right touch of couture in her hand-done metallic detail work. Queen Amidala has just arrived. Sandhya won (Yeah!). The look on Korina's face after finding out who won was priceless. It should be played on a loop over and over again. Seriously.
My not-so-faves: Kristine’s olive neoprene coat with slashed sleeves was too "Matrix" costume-y. Hernan’s black cocktail-to-gown concoction was two seconds from looking like a future hooker. Fade made a female version of himself at a cruise ship’s all-you-can-eat buffet. Korina: What. Are. Those. Pants? Sean and Alexander: Please don’t let me live until 2034. Not surprisingly these two were at the bottom, along with Angela. I honestly thought it was between the boys. Sean's look was sewn poorly, he made bad fabric choices and that hat should have stayed a Mood bag. And when "Meana" Garcia tells you that your look reminds her of "Planet of the Apes," you know you are in big trouble; Alexander really should have gone home for that raw hem, homeless-looking blanket fabric dress.
But nope, it was Angela. Angela wanted to design a vision for a Corporate Woman of 2034, but by the looks of it, Wall Street executives will be serving warm nuts and hot towels in the future. And then there were the construction issues. She should have admitted that the pleating detail at the hem was a mistake; I'm sure she thought the sweep (at the hem) was too much and figured, "Let me take it in...oh yeah, I'll put a pleat on each side." I think she went home not because of her design, but more because of what the producers -- and Tim -- were thinking: This environment is not right for the very neurotic and depressed Angela. So while Angela is off being debriefed by the staff psychologist, it's on to the next challenge, with Sean and Alexander lucky to be saved and Sandyha riding high with her second win!