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Category Archives: Project Runway

Project Runway Season 10 (I’m Back, Y’all!)

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Hey! I’m back! So here’s the deal. I just don’t think I have the desire to recap Project Runway any more. Unlike every other season of the show, I haven’t really felt all that excited. Maybe it’s Project Runway fatigue or maybe I’m just getting lazy, but it just doesn’t have the same thrill to me any longer. That’s not to say I won’t still be watching the show; I will. I just don’t feel like I can put the mental energy and time into writing recaps any longer.

On the other hand, I’m still incredibly excited for Project Project Runway. So I am still planning on participating this year. I’ve been on the fence about it because in the next month I’m going to be making a fairly long distance move (it’ll be my fourth major move in five years.) I’ve been feeling like I shouldn’t participate because of the stress of preparing for the move, the being in-transit, and the stress of setting up a new apartment. But I’ve come to the conclusion that if I miss a couple of weeks, it won’t be a big deal and I would feel even worse if I didn’t at least try. Because I really enjoy PPR and the creativity it entails. So hopefully I’ll have something great to show on Thursday’s Runway Day!

Project Runway All-Stars: Finale Part 2 Recap

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The final episode. By the end of this hour, someone will have won the whole shebang. I really have no idea which of the three finalists will win this season!

Since the show has to shove three runway collections, judging for all three, and results into only an hour, we get to the runway at a rapid pace. I feel like maybe the show should have done a two-hour finale on a single night rather than splitting it up into two episodes a week apart. Even though I spend a couple of hour every Thursday and Friday recapping this show, I really can’t remember what the designers’ inspirations were or their foibles from last week. Oh well.

One of the guest judges tonight is Tommy Hilfiger. Man, that dude is parading himself on every damn reality tv show, isn’t he? He was on American Idol last night! I’ll borrow (steal) from Joe at The Ruined Auditorium: “He hasn’t been hot since Playstation 1.” His brand got so diluted, he was shilling his gear at K-Mart. I don’t know if I could take seriously the critiques of a guy whose brand was genuinely competing with the brand of ex-Charlie’s Angel Jaclyn Smith. The other guest judge is Ken Downing, the fashion director of Neiman Marcus.

So for this runway show, each of the three designers made six looks. That’s eighteen different garments to critique, and I just don’t feel that I have it in me to write extensively about each and every one. Thus, I’ve decided I’m limiting myself to one single (possibly long and convoluted) sentence for each look, and then an overall impression of the collection. Sound good? Let’s go!

As per usual, all images are from myLifetime.com.

Full coverage is under the cut; 18 images is a whole lot to render for those with slower computers!

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Project Runway All-Stars Epsiode 11: Finale Part 1 Recap

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(Images from myLifetime.com)

This is the episode that I typically kind of skip over, as it is pretty much a wind-up to the big finale.

The challenge will be announced, however.

Isaac and Georgina come out. The designers are to design a mini-collection of five looks and have four days to put it together.  They receive $3000 to shop at Mood.

The designers head to Marie Claire to meet with Joanna Coles. I wouldn’t bother to mention this except the offices look exactly like the offices of Poise magazine in the movie 13 Going on 30 so much so that I’m wondering if it was actually filmed there.

The designers are sent out to Central Park to sketch for an hour.

They shop at Mood. They only have an hour. Yikes.

They get to work. Everyone but Mondo seems to be taking it in stride. Mondo just seems totally defeated by the proceedings.

The twist comes around 40 minutes into the episode (because of course there has to be a “twist” even though that “twist” is usually the same reality tv show cliché.) Yep: they have to make a sixth look. Okay, the show gets some credit, there is a little bit of a new idea behind it: the sixth look must use some of their leftover fabric from any of the previous 10 challenges. That’s kind of fun. They also (as per usual) pull in the eliminated designers to work as helpers. Each designer gets to pick one person. Mondo picks Mila, Austin picks Anthony (hilarious) and Michael picks April.

I don’t really like this truncated finale. This is All-Stars, the finale shouldn’t be a mini-collection, it should be a bigger-than-usual collection. I really wish the final three were showing at a fashion week. It just seems a bit rinky-dink. And with such a short turnaround (4 days!) I just don’t feel like we will be seeing anywhere near these competitors’ best work. I can’t even fathom how mentally and physically exhausted they are after just having filmed the rest of the season. Part of the reason the finale of Project Runway is usually so fun is that we get to see the wonderful output the designers are able to achieve when given a budget and time, not only for constructing their garments, but also for developing new, interesting ideas. Given the ridiculous time constraints for this finale, it will be more of the same–garments that are basically shorthand for real collections and garments that have an undertone of being chosen for being able to be made quickly rather than being new ideas and ebing impeccably constructed. It’s a real disappointment. But what can I say, with this franchise, I’ve gotten used to disappointment.

Project Runway All Stars: Episode 10 Recap

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Once again I’m watching this on Friday morning. I’ve had a cold all week and went to bed early last night. Thankfully, I’m feeling quite a bit better today, so let’s get to it.

We’re down to the last challenge before the finale, narrowing down the contestants to the final three, so of course this is going to be a big challenge.

This week they will be designing for a client: Nanette Lepore. The winning design will be produced and sold at Nanette Lepore stores, and it must be manufactured to fit a particular price-point. Interesting. This challenge is a pretty good reflection of “real” designing. I’m not sure if this is a very good final challenge though; it seems a bit odd to expect these designers (who have been encouraged to develop their own styles throughout the show) to create looks based upon and be sold amongst an already established label. It’s a good reflection of what a large portion of fashion school grads will end up doing, but I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense on this show, which hasn’t really placed much of an emphasis on saleability or working with an established company. In fact, it seems to run counter to the persona and personal aesthetic-based quality of the show. This might be a train wreck. We’ll see.

 

The Runway

The guest judge this week, is, of course, Nanette Lepore.

All Images from Rate the Runway on myLifetime.com

 

Austin: The coat starts out looking pretty cute, but when the belt came off, enh. It really needed the shaping of the belt, without it, it looks like a maternity coat. I’m not totally sold on the cranberry color of it. Clearly, the textile is something in Nanette Lepore’s fabric room, but it just doesn’t have the happy exuberance that I think the coat needs. A pinker or more fuchsia color would have really made this coat sing, but as it is, it just looks a bit boring. I also can’t say I’m a fan of the slightly asymmetrical (longer in the back, shorter in the front) hem of the coat. It’s slight enough that it looks more like an error than a purposeful style aspect. All that being said, this coat has a lot of detailing on it, and it was clearly a lot of work, not just another simple dress.

 

Michael: Michael falls back on the same silhouettes over and over when he gets flustered. Yes, this is very much a retread of the gelato challenge in almost every way. It’s like he can’t break out of the techniques and silhouettes he feels like he’s mastered. That being said, he tends to repeat the things that the judges have complimented him on; he’s definitely playing the game. If this dress weren’t an almost exact replica of his previous look, I would probably be a lot more complimentary about it. The textile is very pretty and I think some women would want to buy this dress. I’m not completely on-board with the sleeves; they are a bit awkward in length and shape. Joe does point out that the color combined with the plunging neckline does look quite a bit like Jennifer Lopez’s green Versace from a few years ago. Also, the back is poorly fitted.

 

Mondo: Sorry, Mondo, but no. This is not good. He totally self-destructed this challenge and it shows. The colors are fresh and very much in his wheelhouse, but pretty much everything else about this look is bad. The shape of the dress is way too simple and it doesn’t even fit very well. The sewing looks sloppy along the neckline. The whole thing looks like a pillowcase with head and arm holes cut out. The ruffle at the bottom is the saddest ruffle I think I’ve ever seen; it is so limp and awkwardly attached. This is just a huge pile of fail to me, and it pains me because I have been vehemently rooting for Mondo, and he completely screwed this up.

 

Kenley: As per usual, a very cute dress from Kenley. I agree with Mondo’s “confessional” criticism that it would have been better had she lined up the print better. It does look a bit unfinessed in that regard. I’m also not completely sold on the sleeve treatment; I actually wish they were a bit more fluttery. But really I’m nitpicking. I think this dress would probably sell quite well, it’s one of those dresses that one could just pull on for a myriad of occasions, and the print makes it stand out. Yes, it is a typical Kenley dress, but in this case, it fit the challenge perfectly.

 

My rankings

1. Kenley

2. Austin

3. Michael

4. Mondo

 

The Judges’ Top and Bottom

Mondo: top…?

Michael: bottom

Kenley: bottom

Austin: top

 

The Results

Austin is safe. He’s heading to the finale.

Mondo is…the winner. Whaaaa?! What the heck? His was not good at all. I’ve always been a Mondo fan, but this was really undeserved. I really, really do not understand the judges at all. Whatever.

That means Michael and Kenley are in the bottom.

Michael is…in.

Which means Kenley is out. Enh, I actually thought her dress was saleable this week. This show confuses the crap out of me.

Project Runway All Stars: Episode 9 Recap

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We’re really narrowing down the contestant pool now. I’m still kind of grouchy about Mila’s elimination last week. The more I’ve thought about it, the more sure I am that it was a really craptacular elimination. I certainly wasn’t rooting for Mila to win, but there is no way her dress last week was the worst of the bunch or deserved to get her eliminated. I just really don’t understand that judging decision. I’ve felt otherwise that this season has been a return to form for the show, but now I’m a bit afraid that we’re suddenly going to be once again thrust into a producer manipulated program in which judging decisions seem to come from the shadowy producers rather than the judges themselves (or the judges just make incomprehensible decisions) and someone is going to win for storytelling reasons rather than quality output like in the past couple of seasons. I’m not saying that this is going to happen, it’s just that last episode’s elimination left a bad taste in my mouth. It has kind of shaken me out of my complacency with this show; I am now going to look on it with a bit more suspicion as I have the last couple of seasons and prepare myself for possible disappointment. Over the years I have fallen in and out of love with this show fairly often, but a three season run of undeserved wins may land me firmly in the “out of love” camp and I may be ready to move on. Would I still watch the show? Probably. But it would be the kind of angry, caustic viewing, like Joe does for American Idol over at The Ruined Auditorium and I’m not sure I would continue blogging about the show. That Jessica Simpson fashion program is coming out soon, right?

But anyway, onto the show.

For this challenge, the runway will be lit with black lights, and the avant-garde garments they create will be made using vaguely described “lighting technology” that lights up or fluoresces or glows in the dark? All of the above, apparently.

 

The Runway

The guest judge this week is the awesome Pharrell Williams. Love that guy!

All runway images from the Project Runway All Stars section of MyLifetime.com 

 

Mondo: I’m not going to lie, when this stepped out on the runway I giggled and blurted out “pointy boobs.” It’s hilarious. Intentional? Not intentional? Hilarious nonetheless. I do like the use of the tech, the stripes are pretty cool and I suppose they succeed in highlighting the exaggerated shape of the dress. The styling is total crap, the whole headpiece needs to be taken outside and set alight. Do I love the look? No. Do I hate it? No. It’s goofy, but fine.

 

Jerell: Okay, I can actually kind of see the “African tribal” inspiration he had for this look. (You know, Jerell resorts a lot to describing his clothing as “tribal” and “ethnic” but he rarely specifies which tribe or which ethnicity he is referencing. It makes me wonder why he uses these references so often if he is not personally invested in even delineating between different tribes or ethnic groups. Maybe he is more specific in his cultural touch points, but he’s bad at explaining them, or his more specific descriptions are edited down. But I do get a huge sense of cultural appropriation from him that bothers me quite a bit.) But anyway, as per usual, dude could not get this look edited down to make it look good. Minus the vertical fiber optics at the waist and the fascinator, this actually could have been close to right-on for me. I actually love the collar that he made, and the shape of the peplum is cool. It does seem to be riding a bit low on the model’s waist; I want to hitch it up about an inch. It is certainly not the worst thing Jerell has ever made.

 

Kenley: I know it’s her usual silhouette, etc. but this is really cool. I love the plaid she made; it fluoresces in a really cool way. The jacket is interesting in the way it glows under the black light, but I think the small “fairy lights” are a bit lost. The wig, though interesting, was kind of a poor choice. I’m actually wondering if the designers were required to use some sort of head covering as all three designers thus far have plopped something on their models’ heads. My biggest concern with this look, though, is whether it fits the avant-garde requirement of the challenge. The cage-like jacket is interesting, but the dress is so standard that I’m not sure it fulfills the challenge. We’ll see.

 

Austin: Has Austin designed for drag acts before? Because this is a total drag act costume. I see a pretty big disconnect here between his inspiration and actually bringing that to fruition. This look had a good idea, but the execution just looks really sloppy. The lights aren’t artfully placed at all. It looks like he started out strong in the headpiece and bodice but ran out of them by the time he got to most of the skirt. The tulle seems really thrown on as well, not polished at all. I find myself wonder what he did with all of his workroom time. The previous looks haven’t been perfect, but have looked a lot more finished and finessed than this one. Not good work again this week.

 

Michael: Well, it is a bit of a different look than what he usually does. Though my first impression is that Michael has used that boned hoop technique before this season: in the Miss Piggy challenge (which he won.) I criticize Kenley for returning to the same shapes over and over, so I have to point out Michael doing the same. Other than the shoulder treatment, this is not all that exciting to me. The lines he applied with the tape are basically seam lines, and that seems like a cop-out to me. I don’t know, it just kind of seems like he made an outfit and then affixed glow-in-the-dark tape to it. The tape on the footwear looks sloppily done, too. Joe says this looks like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, and I have to agree.

 

My Rankings from top look to bottom look (though I really didn’t love anything this week):

1 Kenley

2 Jerell

3 Mondo

4 Michael

5 Austin

 

The Judges’ top and bottom:

Kenley: top

Mondo: top

Jerell: bottom

Austin: top? (Joe has started his “Chosen One” chant)

Michael: bottom

 

The Results

 

Mondo is safe

Kenley and Austin are in the top.

The winner is…Austin. What. Ever. Should have gone home last week and shouldn’t have won this week.

That means Kenley is in.

Michael and Jerell are in the bottom.

Jerell is…out.

Which means Michael is in.

Bye Jerell. Once again someone who I haven’t been rooting for is eliminated when they make something I actually kind of like. His aesthetic certainly hasn’t been my cup of tea, but this really wasn’t that bad, and I don’t think Jerell should have been sent home for this look.

See? More evidence of this show heading a certain direction; a direction I don’t like one little bit.

Project Runway All Stars: Episode 8 Recap

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I’m actually writing this on Friday morning rather than my usual live recap. I had such a busy day yesterday I just could not commit myself to the 2+ hours it takes me to do these recaps. So Project Runway and breakfast it is!

The designers head to the United Nations. For the challenge, they will be designing dresses inspired by, as Angela says, “these flags.” So are they designing based on the actual flags or by the countries they represent? Its a little bit unclear. Kind of a weird challenge. The options are Chile, Greece, India, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, and The Seychelles. Each designer will pick a flag, and the colors and culture of the country will be the inspiration for the look. So I guess it is kind of both the country and the flag itself? Hm.

Mondo: Jamaica

Michael: Greece

Mila: Papua New Guinea

Jerell: India

Austin: The Seychelles

Kenley: Chile

(All flag images from Wikimedia Commons)

They get $200 to make a look. And that’s pretty much all the direction they get. Not what kind of dress they need to make (daytime? eveningwear? casual? formal?) it’s really quite wide open. So I predict we’ll be seeing a fairly wide variety this episode. But maybe that’s the point.

The Runway

The guest judge this week is Catherine Malandrino. I think she was a guest judge in season 3. Kind of cool that she’s still game to do this show.

All images from myLifetime.com. You can rate your favorites there if you disagreed vehemently with the judges. That’s fun.

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Project Runway All Stars: Episode 6 Recap

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You know, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I find myself quite impressed by Angela Lindvall. She seems very genuine and actually quite natural in her role as host on this show. I feel like she is doing a really good job of injecting her own personality into the gig and it doesn’t feel at all like she is trying to be Heidi-lite. I like her a lot; she brings a breezy warmth to this show that is quite refreshing.

Since this show is only an hour, they get right to the challenge. Angela comes out with eight different “weekend getaway bags.” Each designer chooses a bag. Inside the bags are luggage tags with one of the four seasons printed on it. The designers will be creating sportswear for a weekend getaway. It will be a “Fashion Faceoff” Each season will have a high scoring designer and a low scoring designer. So the competitors are:

Summer: Mondo vs. Kenley

Winter: Michael vs. Jerell

Autumn: Mila vs. Rami

Spring: Kara vs. Austin

They get a budget of $200 and 1 day to complete their looks. They do not have to use the bags for their designs.

 

The Runway

The guest judge is designer Cynthia Rowley. Meh. She’s kind of a boring judge on 24 Hour Catwalk. I guess she’s just making the rounds.

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