Holy Ken-dolls Batman!
Today's challenge was making a complete outfit for Today show correspondent and football player Tiki Barber, who is a heterosexual.
This has to be taken into consideration right off the bat, because dressing a straight dude seriously limits your creative choices.
He had several things going for him though. He is African-American. Black men are significantly more fashion adventurous than white men (have you seen black men going to church on Easter Sunday?). They have beautiful complexions in rich tones that allow for more interesting colour palettes. And the guy, despite being on the petite side of the spectrum (5'9, only a wee bit taller than me, and shorter than me in platforms), has a body that will not quit. Baby is a brick cottage ( not big enough to be a house) but he be mighty, mighty, letting ALL hang out. Little in the middle but he got much back, etc, etc, etc...Being that a tiny and cut waist and a nice tush are what I find most attractive in men, well, I would have been inspired..
This was one of my favourite challenges ever because I love menswear. I know and understand menswear just as well as I do womenswear, because I grew up and have been styling men since High School and I have been wearing men's clothes a la Victor/ Victoria since middle school.
I wore my Daddy's English, Italian and custom-made finery since before I hit puberty. Even his ledderhosen from when he was in boarding school in Hamburgh. My Daddy was a dandy. He wore beautiful custom-made shirts from Casa Rionda, the foremost tailors in Mexico City and he had his closet stocked with Pringle's of Scottland cashmere sweaters, gorgeous designer ties with matching pocket squares and Burberry's scarves. All of which I constantly purloined. All his suits had to be custom-made with Italian and English wools because like me, my Daddy was not a small guy. He was a medium Teddy Bear guy. But a stylish and impeccably put toghether one.
I learned to tie a Windsor knot when I was around eleven. For about 6 months in college, I wore nothing but menswear. And the occasional sari.
From a construction perspective, this challenge was INSANE. There is nothing harder to make and more exacting than menswear, because it requires immaculate tailoring. I have agonized over a jacket for 6 months. I have taken a week to make a collar. This people had 2 days for a complete look. That is FUCKED UP.
Jack's idea of using the shorts he was wearing to trace a pattern, was a BRILLIANT idea. And probably one of the two things that won him the challenge. The other one, was the fact that he kept it minimal. I agree with Tiki in the thinking that 2 good and perfectly executed pieces, are better than 3 rushed and poorly made ones.
Since menswear is completely dependent on exacting construction skills and tailoring, and there usually isn't as much ornamentation, contruction flaws are exponentially apparent.
So, let the blood bath begin...or in keeping with today's theme: kapow, bang and Zooie!
What the hell was that, and how many square feet of genitals does she think the twink has? That crotch is at least 6 inches too long. And she measured the dude!...The jacket's proportions were weird and poorly thought of. Men don't wear a lot of bolero jackets. Out of the bullfighting rink (unless they are Helio Castronoves). And the wrapped piece of fabric in lieu of shirt because she did not have time to finish, was just dumb. She should have just borrowed a t-shirt from one of the guys and sent that down the runway instead. At least it would have given the outfit a cool "Stella! Stella!" Marlon Brando vibe. And the newsboy cap... Madre mia! When you suck it up and you know it, please don't call additional attention to yourself.
The pants in this outfit were great. The jacket and shirt are a little misguided and kind of overly avant-garde. But it is well-made and tasteful. The jacket is a feat of virtuosity, considering the time constraint. This little dude can sketch like a mother, sew like a grandmother and design like nobody's business. Did I say that he is freaking 21? He blows my mind...
This was kind of adorable and I really liked the fact that the blazer was basically a sweatshirt. As you can clearly appreciate, in menswear, correct fit makes ALL the difference in the world. Girl brought it and it was a great look.
And they were ragging on Carmen for making a "Member's Only" jacket? Double standard me thinks. THIS IS a "Members Only" jacket:
I made my ex-boyfriend immediately discontinue use of one exactly like it, that he must have been wearing since High School. Being my boyfriend has its advantages ( free styling and great food) and its demands ( you have to submit to my wardrobe choices and I am imperious about impeccable manners). The thing is , it is a very well-made jacket. The shirt also looks great ( I would like to take a closer look without the jacket) and the pants look fantastic. The fact that he draped the pants, made a freaking muslin, made his own pattern and managed to turn three clean, finished and professional-looking pieces made me go like Garth and Wayne and drop on my knees and excl... "I am not worthy, I am not worthy!". The ambiguously gay Rami does a great job once again. He reminds me of those hot gay hairstylists who flirt with their female clientele. I am assuming he is gay because they have said several times during the show that ONLY Kevin is straight, thus by deduction, Rami must be gay too.
That shirt is unforgiveable. One way I look at it is, with MY SHITTY sewing skills and with the time allotted, that is more or less what I would have turned up. And that is a BAD thing. These people are supposed to be rocking stitchers. Everything is wrong with the shirt. The fit, the collar, the sleeve lenght and the cuffs. The hem on the pants is raunchy-ass too. Seriously, for me, this was a toss-up with Carmen's to go bu-bye.
The pants are lovely. The sweater/henley garment is nicely done.But what the hell is going on with that collar? It is tasteful and well-done but it does not knock my socks off.
This shit is B-A-N-A-N-A-S! He looks like he is the drum corps captain at the Gianni Versace School of the Arts. It actually really reminds me of a cardigan that Gwen Stefani did for her L.A.M.B line which was inspired by her band hymn "Hollaback girl". As far as construction, I have no major complaints, but the pants and the shirt are nothing to write home about.
Me thinks the lady protesteth to much about his breeder status. His colour choice for this shirt makes me go hmmmmm.... Quinceanera-lavender for a man's shirt is not something I would have expected Kevin to pick. This was the exact hue of my Aunt Lulu's Quinceanera dress circa 1955. Damn, Chris and Christian's looks are butcher than this. I really like the idea of a vest though. It is fresh and flattering and it is well-made and modern. The tie's proportion is weird and he got the short end of the stick with a model that looks like a cross between Lurch from the Addams Family, Little Lord Fautleroy and Tim Curry as Dr. Frankenfurter.
This wins him a tie as the freakiest-looking male model of the nigth along with...
Were these male models cast from modeling agencies or did they go to the Universal Studios "Castle of Horror" show and grabbed everyone who looked like Lurch and Frankenfurter? Maybe I am out of the loop and Lurch is a new "it" look.
I am completely at a loss with Elisa though. This outfit is really great. I love the colours, I love the vest and is looks well-enough made, and the pants are some of the best. Maybe there is hope for freaky-dicky girlfriend.
See? I told ya... WAAAAAYYY butcher. This is well-made, and monochrome black is VERY forgiving as far as construction and fit flaws are concerned, but super-hard to put markings on. It is a commendable effort, but it does not make me tingly.
The shirt is brill. Just brill. and 3 pieces? Girl has it going on... You can so clearly see that this chick used to work with the Ralph Lauren.. I would actually have skipped the vest and let the shirt and jacket shine.
Like Alicia Silverstone said in that cinematographic masterpiece "Clueless", this look is a complete Monet. It looks kind of good from far away, really.All in all, it is boring and safe , but it is a tasteful and seemingly ok outfit. The problem is when you got up close, it was held up with pins, unfinished and poorly sewn. I think that it was still way better than Sweet P's though.
As I mentionned, clean and well-executed always wins at the end. This outfit is really nice and reminds me of what I saw the last time I visited the John Varvatos and Paul Smith stores. It is nice, professional, well-made and wearable, although a little on the "twinks only" side and maybe a little intimidating for a man with broader shoulders, but it is so skillfully tailored and it should work just fine. An aside... I am worried about Jack. For real. He said that he had been living with HIV for 17 years. There is something in the way his eyes look that made me think of something. I really hope he is ok. His model and outfit make me think for some reason of Hugh Grant.
This is Milla and tune in next week, at the same bat-time and the same bat-channel.