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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Project Runway All-Stars: A Look Back at Season 4

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Since Project Runway All-Stars is starting in less than a week, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the previous collections created by the All-Star competitors. I think it will be interesting to see how their work has changed over the years since they were on the show. Some of the competitors for All-Stars made it to the finals in their respective seasons and competed with their collections at Fashion Week. Other contestants didn’t make it to the final, but were able to create decoy collections for Fashion Week. Still others never made it to that point in their season, or their season did not include decoy collections, and so they provided other portfolio work to showcase their abilities.

 
Today will be focused on the competitors who were brought to All-Stars from Season Four. Three contestants from that season are competing this season: Elisa Jimenez, Rami Kashou, and Sweet P. Of this group, Eliza did not make it to Fashion Week, Sweet P showed a decoy collection, and Rami competed for the win.

 
First up is Elisa Jimenez. Frankly, I don’t remember much about her output while on the show. She is probably most remembered for her technique of using her saliva to mark her fabrics, which is pretty strange. I’ll be kind and characterize her simply as a “free spirited” designer. As Elisa came in tenth in her season, she did not create a collection for Fashion Week. Instead, these images are from her portfolio.

 

Images from MyLifetime.com

 
Things I hope Elisa brings back to this competition: I actually find it hard to ennumerate what I hope she brings back, as I don’t remember her output all that well. I’m sure she will bring back some of her seemingly odd peccadillos, which I’m sure will make for good tv. But in discussing her work, I hope that she brings some of the creativity I see in pieces like that in the Second Row, left image. There is something about this red and blue garment that I find appealing. There is something quite interesting about the shape and color combination of this look, so I hope she brings some of that spirit of creation to her appearance on All-Stars.

 
Things I hope Elisa improves upon in this competition: I hope that her sewing and construction skills are improved over what I see in this portfolio work. Although it appears as though this work is for some sort of stage production (play? modern dance?) the construction appears to be quie basic and rather unfinished. Her pants construction (as seen in images Row 2, right image; Row 3, center image; and Row 4, left image) especially needs some work. None of these pants appear to be well constructed or fit the individuals well. Overall, I just find the work in the provided images to be quite amateurish, and I hope that her work on All-Stars will show a sophistication that is not evident in the work shown here.

 

 

Next up is Sweet P. Sweet P is another competitor that is not terribly memorable to me. I do remember enjoying some of her output, but I cannot point to any particular examples of what I liked about her work. Sweet P came in fifth in Season 4, and showed a decoy collection at Fashion Week.

 

Images from Tom & Lorenzo

 
Things I hope Sweet P brings back to the competition: I hope she brings back the finishing skills that this collection exhibits. The looks in Row 1 center, Row 2 center, and Row 3 center show that she has the ability to create interesting, polished-looking works. I also hope that she brings back her way of combining the edgy and the lady-like. This collection shows a lot of potential for this seemingly contradictory combination. I also admire her fearless use of color.

 
Things I hope Sweet P improves upon in this competition: Editing! This collection is really all-over the place. Although I admire her using color, I feel there are too many elements in this collection. And this is not limited only to her color choices. I find the sillehouttes to be quite disparate, and the styling is just too much. I also hope Sweet P is more discerning when it comes to fabric choices. Several of the textiles she used here don’t look particularly high-quality.

 

 

Finally for Season 4 we have Rami Kashou. Rami is probably best remembered as by far one of the best “drapists” in the show’s history. His gowns were always quite beautiful and impressive; he was able to achieve complexly tucked and worked dresses with a light, artful hand. Rami came in second place, so clearly this collection was shown at Fashion Week and was certainly considered a contender for the win.

 

 

Images from Tom & Lorenzo

 
Things I hope Rami brings back to the competition: I hope Rami’s skill with manipulating textiles is as strong as it was during Season 4. In this collection he showcased twisting (Row 1, right look,) weaving (Row 3, right look,) and pleating and tucking (Row 4, center and right looks.) I hope that he also brings back the level of sophistication and elegance that this collection exhibits. His fabric and color choices, for the most part, denote an easy luxury.

 
Things I hope Rami improves upon in this competition: I hope that Rami brings a bit more mindfulness about the body to his work. Some of the looks here are a bit lacking in the way that they flatter the body, particularly the looks of Row 1, left side; Row 2, center, and Row 3, left side. I also hope that he can control his tendency towards fussiness. I love the level of detail and adornment he utilizes in his gowns, but this same level of intricacy looks a bit over-the-top in separates, especially the looks in Row 2, Left side, and Row 3, left side.

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Project Runway All-Stars: A Look Back at Season 2

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In preparation for the upcoming season of Project Runway All Stars, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the “All Stars” previous collections. Some contestants are former finalists who showed at fashion week, so images of their final collections are widely available. Other contestants were incredibly close to becoming finalists and due to keeping the secret of the “aufings” were able to present decoy collections at fashion week. And some contestants never showed a final collection, so instead we get a variety of their portfolio work.

 
Today I’ll be looking at the work of the lone Season 2 All-Star, Kara Janx. Interestingly, she is one of the few designers on the upcoming All-Stars season that I remember primarily for her output rather than her personality. I seem to remember her work tended to have a wearable, sportswear quality to it. I also remember her because she has had what I consider one of the most successful post-Project Runway careers. Unlike many of the other contestants over the years, I have actually seen her work featured in publications.

 
Kara came in fourth in Season 2 and showed a decoy collection at fashion week.

 


Images from myLifetime.com

 
Things I hope Kara brings back to this competition: I hope that Kara has maintained her impeccable finishing skills; the garment in Row 3, right side gives an indication as to the precision of cut and tailoring she is able to achieve. I am also very excited about her bringing her skills with creating separates—each look in this collection is complete, but also shows a great ability at producing interesting individual pieces, such as the shorts in Row 2, left side and the jackets both in Row two, left and middle images.

 

Things I hope Kara improves upon in this competition: I hope that Kara’s editing process has improved since she presented this collection. Although there are interesting elements to the collection, it does feel a bit scattershot. I like that she was able to show a variety of looks, but the collection lacks cohesiveness for me; there seems to be neither a narrative focus based on season or textile, nor is there a clear color story. I feel her main missteps in this collection are when she deviates too much from her established aesthetic, such as the tiered dress in Row 4, center. I hope Kara focuses on the kinds of garments she excels at: wearable dresses and separates with clean, flattering lines.

 

Overall, Kara has shown post-Runway that she makes the kinds of clothes that women want to wear. Considering that she has been a fairly successful designer away from the show, I look forward to her designing garments that reflect this.

Project Runway All-Stars: A Look Back at Season 1

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In preparation for the upcoming season of Project Runway All Stars, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the “All Stars” previous collections. Some contestants are former finalists who showed at fashion week, so images of their final collections are widely available. Other contestants were incredibly close to becoming finalists and due to keeping the secret of the “aufings” were able to present decoy collections at fashion week. And some contestants never showed a final collection, so instead we get a variety of their portfolio work.

For me, the collections of contestants from more recent seasons are fairly fresh in my mind, whereas some of the collections from earlier seasons (especially the decoy collections) feel new to me. So I thought it would make sense to work forward chronologically, starting with Season One’s Austin Scarlett.

Austin was a very memorable character to me, probably best remembered for his impressive corn husk dress in the very first episode of the very first season and for stepping in as a model during a runway show. Austin did not make it to Fashion week, but was able to show a decoy collection.

Images from myLifetime.com

I believe that this is simply a portion of the garments Austin showed on the runway; the Wikipedia page on the topic indicates that the designers created twelve-look collections. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the missing images.

Things I hope Austin brings back to this competition:

It can be hard to critique a collection form seven years ago due to the ephemeral nature of fashion, but I hope that he brings the richness that he was able to achieve in some of his creations. I find the pants and top in the bottom row, center column to be extremely luxurious looking and appealing. His construction also appears quite sound and he exhibits a variety of silhouettes.

Things I hope Austin improves upon in this competition:

In the years since, I hope Austin has become more sophisticated in translating his inspiration to a creation. Clearly, this collection is a reflection of an old-West cowboy inspiration, and unfortunately, this is a pretty literal representation of the inspiration. Related to this, I hope that his styling has improved. There are some quite drag-y hairstyles and accessories up there; some improved editing ability would be very beneficial. I also hope that he is able to have a more discerning eye when it comes to fabrics, for example, the fabric choice for the red dress on the right-hand side is quite inexpensive-looking and overall cheapens the look of the collection.

Overall, Austin was a very memorable and likeable character in the inaugural season of one of the first skills-based reality television shows. I give him quite a bit of credit for coming back for another round.

I’m Here Now!

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As we’re getting closer to the premiere of Project Runway All-Stars and therefore another season of Project Project Runway, I decided it was time to make a proper blog, rather than just posting on Tumblr. Although I have quite a few followers on the Plastic Runway Tumblr, I felt like I wanted to have more possibility for discussion and comments. So today I ported over all my Tumblr posts by hand and from now on, my new posts will be here, too!