Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blogging Project Runway: Dirty Laundry












Sorry about taking a couple of days to post but I just wrapped up a giant paying freelance project and you know, a girl's got to eat and pay rent...
Last week's installment of the Project Runway was the first "creative" challenge of the season.
So the designers had to construct garments out of newspapers gathered at the LA Times.
I was kind of looking forward to this challenge since thus far, all they have had to produce is nice, normal clothing.
My great grandmother on my Mum's side, Mama Paz was a professional seamstress. She only had a 3rd grade formal education. She could make just about anything.She worked in clothing factories in Cordoba and Orizaba, Veracruz (mostly owned by Spaniards). She also worked at her sister's couture atelier (really a seamstress shop)in Mexico City at the turn of the century through the 1920's, basically during the Mexican Revolution as a single Mom with 2 daughters.
I am giving all of this family history because Mama Paz (who looked in her younger days like Lena Horne or Halle Berry) used to make her sewing patterns out of newspapers.
So I did not think that there would be a big jump from making a pattern out of newspaper to actually fashioning a garment out of it.
The designers got a HUGE break by being allowed to use muslin in their creations. Muslin is the "scratch" fabric used to make the "prototypes" for your garments so you can test the pattern and fit on inexpensive yardage before you cut into your expensive fashion fabric. And it can be expensive. I have sewn on cashmere and silk fabrics that can cost up to 300 dollars a yard.
So let's see what they came up with...

I really loved Irina's winning coat. It was a great idea and I liked that she kept the color scheme in black and white. There were construction issues but with such a fragile material that can sort of be expected.

I think that they judged Gordana's dress sort of unfairly. I thought it was lovely though not spectacular. It was very well constructed though.

Althea's dress was gorgeous and fitted and tailored as if she had been working with an easy fabric like cotton. The design was innovative and the way she used the print to create a print was inspired. To me this was a great contender for the win.

I really liked Epperson's dress. I have a think for Japanese design so this dress really appealed to my aesthethic.

Carol Hannah's lines were a bit over complicated and I did not like the red color she used over the whole dress but it was well constructed.

I really liked Shirin's but it reminded me of one of the dresses that someone did on the Fashion Show.

Logan's was ok and so was Louise's. Usually I love Louise's work but in this case I could not see as much of her in the garment.

I was actually excited about Nicholas' concept because I have a very punk/goth influence as a designer. The idea was actually good and I do not believe that fashion has to always be pretty. I did not think it was really as bad as the judges made it sound.

Ra'mon's was pretty good and I wish it had gotten more attention.

But the one I thought deserved to win was actually Christopher's. To me it was a fairly spectacular look and really well executed. The skirt moved beautifully and the bustier was well made and a very interesting juxtaposition of texture.

Johnny's dress was really not all that bad. I think what did him in was that he had been in the bottom several times and he was making too many excuses. That is sadly a very Anglo-Saxon frame of mind. That people should just "do it" and there are never mitigating circumstances. It's all about the highly touted "personal accountability" and the cultural lack of compassion. But it is a reality show and a product of that culture so what can you do?

I am actually sorry that they booted off Ari and Melvin. As I mentioned before, this season the designers are very competent and professional and they make rather serious clothes. That is great in the case they were vying for an industry job. But in the context of a reality tv show it has taken most of the entertainment value away and has made it into a fairly academic show.

I long for the days of Blayne and Santino...

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