Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blogging Project Runway: I am BAAACK...Crystal Clear

So I am back from a long blogging hiatus. As I said in the previous blog: life, evil day job, depression, yada, yada, yada.

Now I feel like (a much younger) Madonna in Evita on the Balcony of the Casa Rosada, ready to tear and shred the new Project Runway season.
So far a few of the designer have shown a lot of potential. My picks for top 4 finalists are as follows: Louise Black, Epperson,Ra'Mon, and I am flopping between Shirin and Althea.

All of them have very solid construction skills. All of them have great backgrounds.
Let me start by saying that what these peeps do is bitching. Sewing a decent garment in 2 days requires serious skills. That is why I do not try out for the show. I am a good (actually pretty awesome) designer. I am a somewhat novice seamstress and I am slow sewer. So doing a garment from conception to finish in 2 days is HUGE accomplishment. So hats off to all of them.

On this actual challenge they got a huge break though: Design a dress for a model you have actually sewn for to wear to a party. As far as PR challenges go, that is SO 101. I mean it's not make a dress out of Charmin Mega Rolls or sweet potato peelings or the foil in Marlboro Lights packs or Ex-lax boxes. So really they all should have done pretty good.
Now, the actual looks...

Love Johnny. I have seen his sketches and they rock. But Heidi nailed it on the head when she said bridesmaid. That was EXACTLY the word that popped into my head as soon as I saw it walk down the runway.

I LOVED Gordanna's dress with all my might. That dress had SO much work! It was subtle,elegant modern and tasteful. If it had been longer and in a size 18W, I would have done without something to get it.

Nicholas. It was cool. It was well tailored and it fitted his model well but it was not the most memorable dress ever.

Epperson: What Marc Bower said was scripture. Sewing and tailoring stretch fabrics is extremely difficult. My teachers in fashion school were so terrified of stretch fabrics (and knits in general) they would not teach us how to sew them. Total lycra-phobia. I have only seen stretch jersey executed to a level that made me cry with awes and joy once. That was when I saw the Halston collection that Marco Zanini put out a couple of years ago before Harvey Weinstein booted him off. I saw, touched, smelled and fondled the entire collection at Selfridge's in London. I turned the garments inside out. The seams, stretch jersey seams, were Frenched.... OMG... The drape was like butter... it was awesome.
But the Weinstein aesthetic ( and the Heidi Klum aesthetic for that matter) is very BRATZ doll. Short, tight, bright, and shiny. ZEEXY....A 14-year-old's idea of sexy perhaps.
I keep constantly thinking: "Would my garments sell well at the Harrod's or Harvey Nichols in Dubai?" So there you have another reason why I am not a good candidate for Project Runway. But I digress.
Doing stretch fabrics well and superimposing stretch fabrics is incredibly difficult and takes major construction knowledge. Epperson did an excellent job. Again, too short for me, but for a young Israeli model, lovely, interesting and edgy.

Logan: I designed a dress very similar to his model's specifications for my award theatre banquet in college.Except in iridescent dark red taffeta instead on blue. Mine had a strapless bodice and a pencil skirt but I added a see-through long sleeved black lace blouse on top of it, added a wide black lace sash and wrapped myself in yards and yards of black tulle. Very Goth...After all if you do not wear a dramatic look to a theatre banquet at age 22 when the hell do you get a chance again?
The problem with the dress was mainly that the lace was not used to its best advantage and that the shape of the dress was unfortunately reminiscent of 80's prom dresses.

Christopher: Nice green cocktail dress. That is about it but it was good enough.

Qrystal: I love this woman to bits. A woman to my own heart. She is an inspiration. But that dress was just a black dress and needed something to make it memorable. So, with two previous finishes on the bottom 2, I was not surprised she was sent home. It broke my heart but I was not surprised. But girl, I am proud of you and you represented for all of us Plus Sexy chicks and specially for all of us plus size designers. Power!

Althea: Girrlll... 3 pieces???? A tailored jacket??? That shit takes me an ENTIRE semester... LOL That was hella ambitious and executing it well payed off. Her tiny petit four of a little mini tux was adorable. And it was a deserved win.

Carol Hannah: I liked her dress. It was beautifully constructed. Fabulous use of contrast of techniques (draping vs. tailoring), color (black vs. fuchsia), and texture ( satin vs. brocade). Really interesting concept all around.

Shirin: Therein lies the problem. I have seen the show twice now. I have an almost photographic memory for clothes and I cannot remember this dress for the life of me. That is a problem. So far I have loved her work.

Ra'Mon: I really loved the color and that giant rosette detail. I can see evolution and growth from the first episode and that is great. It was also less hurried and better finished than his previous work.

Louise: I love the collar on the dress and the fact that the rest was so classic an minimal perfectly balanced the effect. Now, was that revolutionary? No. Was it beautiful and well done? Certainly.

Irina: That look was very cute. Not my personal aesthetic but very wearable and ladylike and it looked well executed. I can certainly see that on Reese Witherspoon or even on Shelley O'.

So, here is my fist Project Runway blog in over a year. They will get better as the challenges get more imaginative. It feels good to be back on the saddle....

Carry on :-)

P.S: The comments on all the garments and designers are kind of low-key and positive.
But this season they booted off all of the designers who did and were likely produce crazy stuff very early in the season, leaving us bloggers with a litter of talented, low-key, competent designers who produce competent, interesting and rather serious garments. That, married to the fact that so far 3 out of the 4 challenges have been fairly bland and the 4th one was puzzling, ill-explained and disjointed, has not let to eliciting the usual hilarious, snarky and inspired repartee.

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