Project Runway: Fashion Headliners

Last week’s episode, “What a Woman Wants,” proves someone most of us already know: Models, especially those getting their start in the industry, should not be creating their own dresses. While they often make good walking clothes hangers, most of them don’t have a sense of style. Then, the Heidi’s and Tyra’s of the world keep telling them that it’s necessary for them to have a smart, unique way of presenting themselves. Then, models should have some kind of sartorial mentorship. Heaven forbid these models then become candidates for What Not to Wear. That would earn a special kind of chastisement from Clinton and Stacy.

This week, the designers got to make paper dresses. While it’s not the first time  for this type of challenge (the recycled plastic and paper challenge, the Hershey’s dresses), it is the first one solely devoted to paper and a shameless plug for the LA Times. Even with them, the NY Times, BBC News, and every small newspaper outlet going online, the LA Times seems hell bent on preserving their paper edition. This, of course, means ink-smudgey fingers while going through the Style guide. Oh, let’s not forget that the designers must also have inky hands by the end of this challenge.

Shirin, who’s normally one of the more innovative designers, came up with a style of skirt we saw on the 5th season of Project Runway and the more recent PR knockoff The Fashion Show. Still, it’s Bjork-worthy along with the time consuming “feather” skirt made by Christopher.

With this season, there now seems to be a thread of lameness with some losing designers. First, Mitchell goes home for doing nothing while his partner does all the work and wins. This week, Johnny comes up with the lousiest excuse ever for having to make another dress when the first one wasn’t working. It was DAMAGED by the STEAM and WATER sputtering from the IRON? He wasn’t willing to own up to the fact that he panicked after Tim Gunn tore apart his origami motif dress. Living up to an addict stereotype, he came up with an alibi which only made him look worse in front of the teammate and the judges. His model became his enabler as she bought the story and then backed him up in front of the judges. She gets points for being loyal, but she should have seen through that. Nicholas, who had punk rock fail when it came to vision, called him out in front of the judges.

Althea, Ra’mon, and Gordana definitely made dresses that didn’t look like newspapers at all, though Althea had the more striking design. Either one should have won instead of Irina. Irinia did some arresting work with the faux-faux fur touch on the trenchcoat and it was 1950’s couture lovely. I didn’t care for the seam that was drawn on the back vent with a pen. It won because the Desperate Housewife wants to wear it.

Speaking of which, is it just me or is there an actress featured as a guest judge for the episiodes. There’s also more industry people showing up as guest judges as well, but can’t PR go actress-lite? Perhaps these women are essentially audience surrogates – their opinions and point of views may be closer to the Lifetime viewer than those of Tim Gunn and the regular judges. This Project Runway definitely feels different than it’s Bravo incarnaton.

Project Runway: We Expect Fashion

This is definitelty a Lifetime type of episode as the designers are faced with creating a beautiful, fashion-forward maternity dress. This time, there are some guest industry types involved: Rebecca Romijn (model, actress, now mother-to-be) and notable FIDM alumna Monique Lhullier, best known for her wedding gowns, who fills in for catty orange designer Michael Kors. Another made for Lifetime motif is that the panel this week is all female and they’ve all been pregnant, absolutely qualified to comment.

Big bummer this week – gender-fuck designer Malvin loses out with a risky design. Of course, the mother hen motif explained doesn’t go over well with the panel. Unfortunately, hack designer/love child of Perez Hilton and John Mayer, AKA Mitchell stays, even though his outfit execution is atrocious.

WTF – Ra’mon looks to his bowling bag for inspiration. That and the stripey dresses the Supremes would wear, with disastrous results. Also, he has boob issues.

Althea definitely has boob issues with her dress, though her dress is more flattering than Ra’mon’s.

Shirin definitely creates a lovely dress which all of the judges want to wear (thus wins), though Louise definitely has a better design instinct, as she anticipates the various stages of pregnancy.

Next week, Project Runway goes where no episode has gone before – the beach, which promises some hot mess drama.

Catch up with the second Project Runway episode “We Want Fashion.”

The Fashion Show

For the past three weeks, I have been following The Fashion Show, Bravo’s slapped-together replacement for the recently departed Project Runway. It’s certainly a low-frills, bitchier show than it’s predecessor, especially with Isaac Mizrahi, who manages to make Michael Kors look like your nice gay uncle. That’s because he’s the other gay uncle, the one whose zingers really do sting. Like Kors, he is actually qualified to evaluate fashion as he has been in the industry for over 20 years. He judges the designs, but also gives some Tim Gunn-ish feedback when the designers are working. Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child fame, on the other hand, doesn’t fill Heidi Klum’s fashion icon shoes as she’s more of a self-styled fashionista who’s been to numerous shows. This is like throwing an armchair quarterback in to the game.  As for the third judge, thankfully they did away with fashion editors (the Anna Wintour parody would have been too much) and go for fashion executive Fern Mallis. Unlike Project Runway, where the weekly walk was for the benefit of the judges, The Fashion Show’s designers’s models parade their designs before not only before the judges, but also industry people and an audience.

Continue reading “The Fashion Show”

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

This post is for Danny, who’s been microblogging a lot on Facebook lately. Strangely, this post grew out my response to one of his Facebook statuses from last weekend, so this is a shindotv/Ink2metal collaboration. Also, it’s the Thursday morning after the latest Project Runway episode, so it’s only appropriate, even if it’s frightening.

Read with caution. You don’t want your boss to peek over your shoulder and see you looking at this.

Continue reading “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”

Project Runway: Bright Lights, Big City

Project Runway has officially been around long enough for it to have generated some clichés. The one that gets used since Season 2 is the show loans contestants digital cameras and they are set loose in Manhattan to take pictures. From simply roaming around in broad daylight to perusing the Met, the idea is that inspiration can come anywhere at anytime. It seems that the producers and writers need a professional equivalent of this exercize.

Of course, the shutterbug clichés meets another one: bait and switch. Whenever Heidi Klum greets the designers with that clipped but chirpy hello, we know something is up. So do the designers, and the silence really is golden (pardon the cliché).

This week’s bait and switch – a night out on the town turns out to be too literal. No going out, no needed stress relief by dancing one’s ass off; just roaming around four key points in New York City taking pictures of the lights. They all seem to take it very well in their ponchos and rainboots. Perhaps they were compensated with a bottomless supply of cocktails after they returned to their suites.

Blayne, AKA Tweaker Beck, takes a beautiful picture of the light, but his dress becomes a walking Gay Pride flag on his model.

For some odd reason, Leanne reminds me of Cassandra, long haired girl who wore sundresses and Doc Martens, on Beavis and Butthead. Her slow, thoughtful way of speaking and even her odd inflection were a little too dead on. Unfortunately, I remember that more than her dress. Not good.

While I don’t care about Keith being ultra pushy during the snap shoot, I thought his dress was conceptually brilliant. It looked great on TV, but it must have sloppy close up. Or, Nina was reaching for a comment.

Emily of the Sarah and Tegan haircut goes. The ruffle is just wrong and now that’s a cliché.

This is where some will ask me to turn in my gay card: Sandra Bernhard as guest judge? Seriously?

Ugh, this season seems like it’s going to be full of celebrities trying to establish their fashionista cred. The only one who really has it so far is Natalie Portman.

Project Runway: Season 4: Episode 2

Project Runway really seems to be grasping at threads for this one: Have the model shop for the fabric, make sure it’s eco-friendly, and have the designer make a dress out of it.  Strangely enough, it reminds me a bit of the weight loss episode from last season in that some of the current designers viewed the models shopping for them as “death on a stick.”

Right now, I’m inclined to think Suede, the guy with the blue mohawk, is the spiritual son of the Björk Lady. Talking about yourself in the third person is a little too Björk Lady, even for the Björk Lady. There’s probably a bit of Chris March in him as well (remember the big guy who talked to his garments?). For all I know, Suede probably put a spit mark on his fabric, but he seemed to have talked strips of organic silk into a winning number.

I like to think of Korto as the saner counterpoint to Season 2’s Zulema, but there’s a little bit of an echo of the “clothes off your back” as she makes a dress a little too short in the back. Luckily, it’s not butt-less.

Biker Chick/Betty Paige on crack comes back from last week as she puts a very LA kind of rock and roll chic into a one sleeve white satin number (with lace ups). Nice recovery from the trash bag from last week.

As for the brown fabrics, the and the designers are ephemeral. No wonder the guy who does a brown dress gets canned.

As for Tweaker Beck, he’s much more memorable when he makes fun of the Biker Chick. I can’t even remember what he does.

I guess that’s what happens when you go to Comic-Con and delay the posting, My memory seems to gone right now.