Nick Verreos Blog
Category: "season 10"
It seems like every season of "Project Runway" or at least the last eight seasons of which I have had the honor of blogging there always comes an episode in which I need to Get Things Off My Hairy Chest. Usually, these "nuggets" of recap-wisdom come later in the season, however for Season 10, this desire to vent came early. If you’ll allow me kiddies, let me begin:1) Cowards, Cop-Outs & Quitters
Well, well, well. At the end of last week, we find out Andrea BA MA MFA Fashion Instructor who likes Hoop Skirts and Victorian Gallery Owner fashions ... is OUTTA HERE. Her roommates wake up and they're like "Where's Andrea?" She gone, as they say. Then, as this week's episode is still on its "Act One," we find out JapFro Kooan also wants to leave. Alrighty then. Either something is rotten in the Atlas Apartments water or we've got (in case you're counting) TWO Cowards, Cop-Outs and yes, Quitters.2) Quitters Make Me Angry
Let me get on my "Uncle Nicky" soapbox if you’ll allow me: I get SO mad when this happens on "Project Runway" (and it doesn't happen very often). First off, I am so proud of being an alumnus of the show and all the wonderful things that have come forth as a result. I have worked my little butt off for 95% of them, but ... it is undeniable that being on the show has been a trampoline. I am honored to be an "ambassador" of sorts for "Project Runway." THOUSANDS of people apply for just SIXTEEN spots. I have seen many of these designers, since I have been a casting judge for the last eight seasons of the show. In fact, there were several I saw in Los Angeles THIS season, that did not make it onto the show who were more talented than both Kooan and Andrea, yet by the luck of the Casting Fairy, did not make it. And if you remember way back to my season, I had a moment of weakness myself and considered calling it quits, but truly deep in my heart I could never imagine walking away from such a great opportunity. So, when I see not one, but TWO contestants quit, I am both dumbfounded and angry.3) Kids, Get Back To Work!
When Tim Gunn comes into the Parsons workroom and informs the (remaining) designers that Andrea has left and then Kooan says his "I think I should go" announcement, the designers are all verklempt about it. Nathan is actually CRYING (seriously huney, get a grip!). Cutie (but has become quickly annoying) Christopher, is self-blaming (PS: it's not all about YOU, huney). The designers spend all this time huddling together and commiserating over the loss of the two designers. GET OVER IT. I don't even care if this sounds insensitive but, I would have been cuttin', drapin' and starting my sewin' as all that mess was going on. I would have also been mad and thinking, "Ummm, we only have A DAY to make this week's challenge look and now we've wasted an hour of it ... can we move on?!"4) Raul, You Need More Time in The Fashion Incubator
Raul got the chance to come back into the show after Andrea and Kooan left. That's nice, however, usually if you have been auf'ed very early in the season, it pretty much means that you probably deserved to be sent home. It's the "Project Runway" Darwinian Law of Fashion Evolution (yes, I just made that one up). Raul's bravado is a little much: "I'm back Bi***!" Wow. Not the classiest return I’ve seen and please, let's discuss the look he made: those awful, awful pants. Even Kors during the judgingaid he HATED IT. Ouch. How do you not measure your model correctly? As my dear friend Tim Gunn would say: he needs more time in the fashion incubator. And then, and only then, can he have the resume to have this bravado that he seems to have.5) The Challenge: The Real Thang vs. The "Marie Claire" Editorial Version
The challenge which was dubbed the "Michael Kors Challenge" was to design and create a look for a "woman on the go," i.e. something that can take a woman from the office to cocktails. Or so they said. Later at the runway judging officiated by Kors, Nina, actress Hayden Panettiere and the gorgeous Rachel Roy Miss Nina says the look must be "comfortable while glamorous," as well. Let me get this off my chest: I did not necessarily agree with the top choices. While they were fab, chic and oh so sexy, I cannot see an actual real-life woman, in say, San Francisco, Seattle or even Little Rock, wear Christopher's asymmetrical jersey dress and cropped leather jacket, or Sonjia's peek-a-boo twisted draped jersey dress at 8 am as she drops her kids off at school, then heads off to her desk job, returns to pick the kids back up and then somehow end the day having apple martinis. Not happening. I LOVED those dresses, but they were the "Marie Claire" Fashion Editorial version of what one would think "women on the go" would wear. Maybe if the challenge was to design what Victoria Beckham and JLo would wear "on the go" from their British Airways First Class LAX departure to landing at Heathrow Airport, some of these outfits might make more sense.6) The Real Thang
To me, what I did think worked was Melissa's layered look. Now this, I can see a web-designer mommie in San Francisco wear "on the go" from day to cocktails. I also think Elena's grey structured coat and skinny pants look, was nice even if the jacket was a bit bulky. Finally, Dmitry's dress was very day-to-cocktails. It was glamorous, on the go and yet not so "that's Victoria Beckham not Jane Smith of St. Louis, Missouri". But in the end the judges LOVED Sonjia's dress. Hayden even said she would wear it at a red carpet event. Well, I think that says it all. A red carpet event really isn't a scenario for a real woman on the go. But it was a very cute dress, for sure.7) Bye Tacki-licious
I was not very surprised that the bottom two were Buffi and Raul. And while Raul should have been there, Buffi was the no-brainer as the one to be eliminated. As Nina said, she really showed lack of technical ability to do anything worth sending down a runway during NY Fashion Week. I think she might be a better stylist than an actual fashion designer, but that’s just my opinion. She did, however, earn some points in my book, when she said that this "goodbye" would push her to make more tacky-licious stuff. PLEASE do! With that we get another "Hasta La Vista Baby!" Three designers eliminated in one episode. I think that's a first and I hope the last.
We knew it was going to be a KRAZEE episode the minute Tim Gunn said that this was a "Team Challenge." No One. I reiterate, NO ONE, likes the Team Challenges on "Project Runway" (except the viewers). The challenge this week? To create a red carpet look that is to be worn at the Emmys in September. Lest you forget, our little ol' show is nominated this year! This challenge was also dubbed the "LEXUS Team Challenge" because the designers also had to incorporate the colors of the new LEXUS GS cars (the automobile sponsor) into their red carpet creations. I almost wished they had to make these looks out of actual LEXUS car parts! But oh wait, I think that's already been done...Red Carpet Sacrificial Lambs
Seven Teams of two were created Christopher/Andrea, Sonjia/Nathan, Elena/Buffi, Ven/Fabio, Gunnar/Kooan, Alicia/Raul and Dmitry/Melissa. Now, who would these teams be designing Emmys red carpet creations for? Heidi? Nina? Sofia Vergara?! Nope, darlings. Remember the debacle years ago when Season 1 Winner Jay McCarroll created La Klum a gown for the Emmys and she ended up not wearing it? (Oops). And the mess Wendy Pepper made for Nancy O'Dell to wear to the Grammy's as a result of a challenge she won? Yeah, in other words, not such a good history of these collaborations. So, instead, the show brought back seven past Runway contestants and winners Season 9 Winner Anya, Season 6 Winner Irina, Laura Bennett, Kenley, Mila, April Johnston and Valerie Mayen (who?) to be the Red Carpet Sacrificial Lambs ... I mean clients.Time Complainer, Hissy Fits, Ironing Assistants
Team Elena/Buffi got Laura Bennett as their red carpet client which immediately scared me. If Laura and those two were the last people stuck on an island, she still wouldn't choose them to make her a dress (But, alas, she has no choice). Laura is elegant Manhattan chic, while Elena is Lady Gaga futurama and Buffi is just tacky-licious. Strong-headed Elena is delegating Buffi to steaming/pressing assistant status while she's just running around stressed and panicked. She's also complaining about the lack of time they are given to make an evening dress. Really Elena? What part of "Project Runway" did you NOT understand? These kids, they slay me.Professor Christopher and Menswear Kids
Team Christopher/Andrea BA MA MFA got Anya and in a weird twist of fate, Christopher seems to be schooling Andrea on proper sewing techniques. PS: Andrea is supposed to be a fashion school instructor. Slightly embarrassing, if you ask me. Team Gunnar/Kooan were paired with Irina and Gunnar is having trouble with the fact that there can only be one bi*** in the room. Take a guess who that is. Team Alicia/Raul are assigned to Mila. They just spend their time kvetching about how they HATE doing red carpet dresses and that their "expertise" is menswear. How do you have an "expertise" when you've basically just started designing? On a good note, Dmitry and Melissa seem perfectly matched with lilac-haired Goth-girl April. Team Ven/Fabio have I-Threw-a-Cat-at-my-Boyfriend Kenley Collins, yet they seem to be working seamlessly and finally, it's all good with Team Sonjia/Nathan and client, Valerie.Where's Joan?
Day of the runway show and Heidi walks onto the runway in a perfect sequined strapless LBD with a wink and a nod almost saying, "Just in case y'all forgot what a Red Carpet Dress is supposed to look like, well, here it is ... on me!" I am prayin', hopin' and wishin' that the guest judge is Joan Rivers but it's not. Instead, it is actress Krysten Ritter, looking pretty in a black with gold piping halter-neck dress. The designs come out and Team Elena/Buffi's design for Laura Bennett isn't that bad. Is it Laura Bennett's style? Not so much but at least, it wasn't tacki-licious or futurama. Team Sonia/Nathan's gold sequin dress for Valerie had elements of being red carpet-worthy. They were smart to chose a fabric that did all the work, as opposed to Buffi and Elena wasting all that time trying to transform their fabric. But I couldn't help but think, "This dress would have worked better on Laura Bennett!" One of my faves- Team Dmitry/Melissa's silver charmeuse siren gown doesn't even make the judges Top Cut. I'm perplexed.Bridal Sale Rack or Cocktail Hour at the Emmys?
The Top Two: Team Ven/Fabio (Kenley) and surprisingly, Team Gunnar/Kooan (Irina). Sorry to say but Team Gunnar/Kooan's white dress was a MESS in my eyes. There were fabric and construction issues, it looked a little "bridal boutique" sale rack, and it was four inches too short. But the judges deemed it "dramatic" and Heidi said she would wear it. Really? Don't know how that ended up in the top two EXCEPT for the fact that Irina SOLD it she's the reason it got placed so high. The winning honors went to Team Ven/Fabio's short navy silk gazar dress for Kenley with Ven, winning yet again. While NO ONE wears short cocktail dresses for the Primetime Emmy Awards, or at least not any of the A-list nominated actresses, it was definitely Kenley's style and she can get away with it and come away unscathed from the Fashion Police.The Loser and the Missing
On the bottom are Team Christopher/Andrea BA MA MFA (Anya) and Team Alicia/Raul (Mila). Team Alicia/Raul's design was uncreative, poorly-made, uninspiring and certainly NOT for the Emmys red carpet. It was dowdy to boot, as the judges all agreed, having the effect of almost aging Mila by 20 years. And then there was Team Christopher/Andrea's chocolate colored gown: it was Pageant Betty 101 with that too-high slit. You could almost see Anya's "Britney." On a good note, though, Anya a former "Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe" did know how to work it on the runway. Christopher was distraught (A little too much so!) at being in the bottom two and not very happy with Andrea's team performance. In the end though, it was Raul who went home for his non-effort in making Mila look Emmys red carpet-worthy. Now speaking of going home...
The next day, the designers awake in their Atlas Apartments to see Andrea BA MA MFA missing and not in her bed. Did Andrea leave the show? Was she embarrassed for being "schooled" by a 24-year-old--on TV no less? What happened? Stay tuned kids...
What do you guys think happened? Any first guesses on why Andrea isn't in her bed? Let me know with your comments below. I can't wait to read your theories!
Non-Project Runway Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Last week, Season 10 of "Project Runway" premiered with the "Biggest Fashion Show" in "Runway" history. This week, our little ol’ show loses not an ounce of couture steam and keeps the strong momentum going with one of the most iconic and beloved by fans "Project Runway" challenges, the "Make a dress out of crap you would NEVER use to make a garment challenge" … in other words, yes kids, it’s the Unconventional Challenge. I’ve always said that this is a fun challenge to watch by the fans and TV viewers alike, but in terms of it being a guide rule in finding the "Next Best American Fashion Designer"… not so much.Candy Re-Run
As "Plaid Heidi" saunters onto the runway congratulating last week’s winner cutie Christopher she tells the designers that this is "no time for child’s play." Instantly I think, "Oh Dear, they’re making clothes for bratty Upper East Side kids!" But oh no, I was wrong. Soon, the designers meet with Monsieur Gunn in front of Dylan’s Candy Store where he is flanked by it’s owner and CEO, Dylan Lauren (Yes, of Ralph Lauren fashion blue blood), announcing that their second challenge will be to create a look out of candy using materials bought from Dylan’s Candy Store naturally. Now, I remember back in Season 4, the challenge was done at the Hershey’s Times Square store (Rami won it), so it seemed like a slight re-run challenge idea to me, but one figures that it’s difficult to come up with new "Unconventional Challenges" year after year.Gunnar and Christopher: Please Get a Room
After a mad "Candy Dash," the designers get their sugar tooth couture fix, buy out half the store and then head to Parsons to #makeitwork! The workroom quickly begins to resemble a 5-year-old’s birthday party after a piñata has exploded. Several designers are spending their early hours doing muslin dresses to build the foundation for their candy creations. Others are crushing candy, gluing candy … or just eating it! And then there’s Gunnar Siriano 2.0 and cutie Christopher who spend a lot of their time being Bitchy Queens (more so Gunnar than Christopher) talking smack and "throwing shade." It’s only the second week (In real time, it’s only been like TWO DAYS since they’ve met each other!), but there’s already this weird tension between them. I have a feeling that either A) Gunnar feels threatened because he thought he was going to be the only "twinky gay" or B) They just need to GET A ROOM! But I digress, let’s move on…Coochie Shorts + Glue Gun = Disaster
Tim visits the workroom in his very expensive custom plaid suit, tie and pocket hankie (Things have a come a long way since his "Banana Republic" days) and sees the designers' progress, or lack of. He likes Sonjia’s shark gunmmies and what she’s doing with them and sees the potential of where Ven’s look could end at. On the other hand, Tim is very concerned and disappointed at Andrea BA MA and MFA’s "I just got some candy-in-a-wrapper-and-called-it day" look. Elena is hot gluing Piña Colada twizzlers, while wearing hoochie-coochie hot shorts and little else. Naturally, the glue falls onto her arm, then leg, burning her, thereby needing emergency medical attention. As Christopher rightly noted, who uses a HOT GLUE GUN wearing hoochie shorts??!! Amen Sistah!Cotton Candy Puke-a-Licious and Lantie’s Delusions of Grandeur
Next day, the designers return to the workroom and some designers (Buffi and JapaFro Kooan) find out that using cotton candy might not have been a good idea since it deflated creating something that looked like a 7-year-old got sick after a raucous birthday party! Lantie started fresh making some concoction out of umbrella fabric and little candy. She proudly states, "I’ve never seen anything like it!" Lantie, let me inform you: there’s good reason why you’ve never seen anything like it it’s NOT CUTE! Poor thang is having delusions of Candy Grandeur. We can guess where she’s going to end up on the runway.Twizzler Road Kill
Runway time and "Snakeskin Jumpsuit Heidi," Michael Kors and Nina Garcia are there, along with Guest Judge Dylan Lauren of course. The show begins and the designs are a combination of fun quirky creations fit for a candy store window and some "What the Heck is That?" messes. I was perplexed by all the tacky 1998-esque midriff-showing looks. I could just see Nina’s face wince a thousand times while several tasteless midriff-baring tops kept walking down the runway. And poor Elena and her dress: by the time the runway show had ended, half her Piña Colada Twizzlers had fallen off and ended up as candy road kill.Runway Eye Candy
But in terms of good, there was GREAT! Sonjia and Ven’s were standouts. Using jelly beans, white chocolate-covered almonds and shark gummies, Sonjia created an outstanding dress. I loved how the shark gummies seem to be swimming in the neckline creating what looked like a blue bejeweled neck piece on the dress. But then, there was Ven. His strapless dress was something out of an Atelier Versace or George Hobeika Haute Couture Collection. Nina said it was "sublime." As I predicted in the "Road to Runway Casting Special," Ven gave Nina a Colombian fashion orgasm! He wins this challenge easily, getting immunity. I loved how respectful and thankful he was to the judges. Class.Toddlers & Tiaras Puke-a-Licious
At the bottom were Buffi and Lantie. Buffi wove chewy candy to create a top section but then got what looked like a tablecloth and slapped it together to make a skirt. It was too much pink, too much tackiness, too much of everything. She looked like Paris Hilton’s really, really, REALLY tacky 5 year old daughter! As Kors said, "It was 'Toddlers & Tiaras' Gone Bizarre'" But worse was Lantie. She literally got some umbrella fabric, then slapped some candy flowers on the skirt and declared herself done. Her failure in transforming the fabric is what caused her loss. And the nail in her coffin was when she used the "I didn’t have enough time" excuse. Oh huneeeyyyyy!!!! I was about to SCHOOL her via my yelling at the TV, but luckily my Colombian sister from another mother did it perfectly. Adios Lantie and take your time management excuses and candied umbrella with you. I hear it’s raining in NYC right about now and well, you might need it for cover.
Happy 10th Anniversary "Project Runway"! As a member of the "Runway Club" (it's like the Mickey Mouse Club, but more fashionable), it's not surprising that the show has survived this long. Back in 2005, when I did Season 2, I knew that I was going to be part of something that was iconic in TV History. The show premiered almost 8 years ago and well, as we now know, it has become the "Grand-Daddy" of all Fashion Reality Competition Shows. In fact, last week, while on a trip to Mykonos, Greece, I was switching channels and stumbled on Greek TV and guess what was on my hotel TV? Season 6 of "Project Runway"! In Greece! Say no more. 2012 marks the Tenth Season of the show and last night's premiere was a doozy so let's get to the Recap'ing shall we.Center of the Universe Fashion Bang
It is quickly revealed that the first challenge and runway show is taking place in the HEART of NYC, "Center of the Universe": Times Square, for the first time EVAH! Models are under a tent squeezing into their clothes; designers are putting the last minute touches on their garments and the Stars of the show Heidi, Tim, Nina and Michael are greeting the crowd with a Champagne toast. Cut to the previous day...The Who, What and Where Are You From
Since Season 3, I have had the privilege to judge the castings and this past Spring, I took part in the LA Castings for Season 10. I, obviously, had no idea who would make the Final 16, so it was with great delight to see several of the designers I saw during those castings, actually make it onto the show. This included Elena (Miss Futuristic Thierry Mugler-meets-Claude Montana-meets Lady Gaga), the lovely Beatrice "jersey knit" and blonde-haired Melissa, who loves black and edgy.JapaFro, Dumpster Diving and Christian Siriano 2.0
Besides these three ladies, we quickly get to scope out the rest of this season's talent and characters. Speaking of characters, between Buffi the "Roller Girl" with her sequined hot pants and Kooan "JapaFro"/Harajuku Boy hair and style antics, it's a tough one as to who is the most kooky (Team Kooan is my choice!). There's also earthy-crunchy-hipster Fabio, the first ever "Freegan" (He searches dumpsters for food say WHAT!?), dark and serious Dmitry from Belarus who used to do Ballroom Dancing (Love that!) and the requisite bitchy Twinky Gays cutie Christopher, Christian Siriano 2.0 Gunnar and Raul "Pointy Hair McBitchy." Other designer highlights include the grandma of the bunch, 58 year old Andrea who has a BA, an MA and MFA, in everything but the sun, Lantie, who likes Snakeskin bibs and Ven, Mr. Couture.Now That's a Well-Made Suit Mr. Gunn
Their first challenge involved bringing one look from home that best exemplifies their design aesthetic. But then Tim Gunn after the requisite "Welcome to Parsons," and "How do you like my custom-made windowpane plaid suit, tie and hankie ensemble," tells them that they must create a second companion look in one day and with a $100 budget. It's "Make It Work" time! He then officially tells them that the fashion show will take place in Times Square. After screams of "OMG! I will be a STAR!" they all get to drawing, Mood-shopping and Parsons work time.Beatrice Sewing Fail
During the workroom, there is evidence of who is doing well (Ven, hello!) and who might not. In the "Might Not" column, Beatrice admits that designing is her forte but sewing ... not so mucheey. Time for a "Nick Side Bar": Beatrice grew up in a family who owned fashion manufacturing businesses for TWENTY years! At the LA castings, we thought this would be an asset. It would seem that she ate, slept and breathed sewing machines and sergers. She gets on "Project Runway" and can barely sew a knit v-neck collar. What gives?! What was she doing the entire time at her parents businesses?! Brushing her pretty long hair?! I digress. Let's just get to the runway show and the Top and Bottom.Crochet Pooping From a Dress and Draped Flower Couture
We're in Times Square, thousands of fans, tourists and photographers everywhere, all trying to get a glimpse of the fashion madness. In the middle of it all are the judges: Heidi, Nina, Michael, actress Lauren Graham and the first-ever "Project Runway" guest judge, Patricia Field, of "Sex And the City" styling fame. Here's the rundown: there are some crafty student projects for sure. Lantie, what were you thinking with the crochet-pooping-from-a-dress look? And Andrea BA MA MFA Katz her second hooped-skirted look was from a Cirque du Soleil show that never made it to Vegas. Good ones for me, included Ven's elegant Angel Sanchez-meets-Giambattista Valli ensembles, as well as cutie Christopher's bias-cut paneled backless and fishtail gown. These last two were the top, naturally. I would have picked Ven, only for the fact that BOTH of his looks were sublime whereas Christopher only really had ONE strong winner (His LBD's fit was awkward at best and the zipper buckling was wonky). But alas, Christopher won. And congrats for that first challenge win. Now to the bottom.The First One Out
Kooky Kooan created two cartoony looks that I was sure costume designer/stylist Patricia Field would love, but even she wasn't in on the joke. Kors rightly called one of his looks "teletubby"-like. True. His designs were very Agatha Ruiz de la Prada (Look her up kids she's from Spain), but they need a bit of refinement. Less cartoon, more couture. Lantie and Beatrice were also at the bottom (No surprise there). This was a tough one and I probably would have bet money on Lantie being out only for her mud-colored tulle, snakeskin bib and pooping crochet concoctions. But ... it was pretty Beatrice who was the first one Auf'ed. Her two looks were uninspired and sad as La Klum pointed out. What a bummer to be the first one out for sure. When she came for the LA Castings, I warned her that she would have to do something more than knits and that might be her Achilles Heel. I never would have guessed that her downfall would be because A) she sewed poorly and B) her clothes would be deemed sad looking. She was so nice and cute too. Oh well, one down, fourteen more to go until we have a Season 10 winner! Oh, and did I mention how excited I am that "Project Runway" is BAAACK?! Oh yeah, I just did!