Sunday, September 30, 2012

Project Runway, Season 10, Episode 11: Baby, Baby, Baby, Oh!

This is Project Humiliation!
Greetings, Project Runway fans!

This week's blog is posting a little late, due to a family trip to Italy.  Stay tuned to this blog for more of that later.

Project Runway is at its best when designers are utterly humiliated.  Designers have had to run laps around a gymnasium, pick through garbage, design outfits for each other, and beg complete strangers for money and clothes. This week, the humility came in layers, like a good collection of separates.

First layer: Promotional Product Placement for Heidi.

"This week, you'll be designing for my new line for babies and toddlers at Babies R Us!"
Heidi would pick a "girl outfit" winner and a "boy outfit" winner and sell the winning outfits in her collection.

It's so nice that Heidi produced a fabric design in honor of Project Runway contestants!
Second layer: Real people!

"Just what I wanted...another scratchy, designer outfit to drool on."
"Listen, designer dude...don't you go dressing me up in silk chiffon!"
Third layer....

"Just one more thing.  A little twist.  We've provided producer manipulated computer babies that you have to care for.  If you knew more about babies, we wouldn't have to do this."

Fabio had the most fun.

"I would make a good father."
I agree.  You'd be a much better father than Dmitry!

I realize that Dmitry understands the physical properties of fake babies and that they pretty much stay put wherever you put them...but...
"C'mon babies, let's make a break for it.  These designers have no idea what they're doing!"
Actually, Heidi, they didn't need to spend 24 hours with an infant to understand the special needs that mothers have with toddlers.  All they really needed was 20 minutes to dress a wriggly, fidgety toddler in clothes from Heidi's collection.  They would have immediately been grateful for velcro and snaps.  But then we wouldn't have precious moments like this.

Fourth layer: make an outfit for the mom, too, but this won't be part of the score.  It will just be another opportunity to see Chris work with chiffon.

However you feel about babies, children or parenthood, personally, you have to admit that children make up a huge portion of the fashion industry.  We were all babies, once and we all know people who are parents.  I have two kids of my own, born three years apart.  Between the first and the second, I was amazed at the new things designers created to make dressing the little tykes more interesting and fun.  

Both Heidi and Nina are moms, so wouldn't that be enough?  Apparently not.  Cue new mom, Hilary Duff.

So let's sit back and enjoy the show!

How cute is Arjun?

What a cutie pie!  Dmitry was clearly inspired and produced a fun outfit.

Michael Kors said the pointy hood looked like a crayon.  And I thought the pants hiked up too much.  But as jumpers go, the bright color was cheerful and the car on the front was a strong, playful, graphic touch.

And it cleverly zips open, creating a cape-like effect.

Michael: "It looks too much like a superhero's cape."
Nina: "Kids like pretending they are superheroes."

Fabio came oh, so close this week.  Bobby was so full of personality and energy.  Fabio also went for a one-piece and after advice from Heidi to make it more whimsical, he went full-bore with a unique take on a nautical design.

With colorful designs on the front and back as well as a cute outfit for mom, Fabio was a real contender this week.  I loved the outfit but just wish that the pants were a little longer.

My girl, Sonjia channeled her boyfriend this week and made an outfit that he would probably like wearing...because all men are really just grown-up boys.

"We're so totally ready to crash P-Diddy's party, Mom!"
And that was just the runway.  Then came the judging.

He's got the royal, princely wave down pat.

Gotta love that.  Sonjia made an outfit that was as soft as a sweatshirt but with the addition of a collar, pockets and elbow patches, made it look as formal as a suit.  It could be dressed up with a plain undershirt or dressed down, as she did, with a t-shirt made from Heidi's monster fabric.  She was the "boy outfit" winner.

Nancy was very opinionated, for some reason (cough, producer manipulation, cough...)  She wanted a white jacket with 3/4 length sleeves made from non-dyed and chemically treated organic, free-range cotton.  Ok, I'm making up that last part.  

Melissa tried to stir up some drama.  Apparently, she invented the white jacket.

Christopher had bigger fish to fry.
Nancy: "This print looks like my grandma's table cloth."
Chris: "Yeah, if your grandma sets her table with silk Oscar de la Renta fabric..."
Had she no idea that he was up all night with a screaming, fake baby?
Sonjia gave Chris a talking to about making too much of "Mary J. Blige's" unsolicited opinions.  The next day, she was apologetic.  Perhaps the producers took pity on Chris, seeing how well his designs were turning out.  Or perhaps Nancy had a talk with her grandma about Oscar de la Renta.

Seriously, these two look perfect...although, I thought I caught Chris saying that the little flowers and leaves were attached with snaps.  They might want to change that for the final design as some kids would have all those flowers snapped off in a gnat's heartbeat.

Oh, there was some debate about how practical an all-white outfit would be for a toddler girl, but thre was never any question that this was the winning "girl design."  Here's Heidi with the two winning outfits.

Which leaves us with....

Melissa's client's aesthetic was feminine and frilly and as we know from past challenges, this stymies Melissa a bit.  She's not a fast seamstress to begin with, so what she had planned to be a jacket ended up as a vest.  She threw together a quick top, cardigan and shorts for the mom's outfit at the very last minute.

The back of the vest was very cute and certainly in keeping with some of the fun fabrics in Heidi's line.  She decided on a sheath style dress as the underlayer.  The look on Tim's face says it all.

The dress looked too grown-up for such a little girl.  Furthermore, the ruching on side kept bunching up, exposing her diaper, like a little Lindsay Lohan.

Did I hear Nina blurt out that this was one of the best mom looks that she saw?  Really?  If so, Dmitry would like to have a serious talk with you.

But what's worse, a clever layering piece with an ill-fitting inappropriate outfit or a clever accessory piece with a mishmash of an outfit?

The mom wanted a blazer.  

Elena did backflips.

Heidi: "This is a very nice jacket.  DON'T SCREW IT UP!"

I be the judge.

It really is a mess, but I think Elena's jacket was better constructed than Melissa's outfit.  I would have given Melissa the auf this week, but it wasn't my call.

Melissa, we'll miss you, but I think Tim will miss you most of all.

"Whatever will we do with out your f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck!"

On the toddler show, yet.

Next week is the avant garde challenge, with two designers getting the boot.  Heidi kicks off the festivities with her Xena, Warrior Princess outfit.


Until next week, good bye for now!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Project Runway Season 10, Episode 10, Sew You Think You Can Dance?

Greetings, Project Runway Fans!

I'm headed off to an overseas trip, so I'm making this really fast this week.

"Perhaps I can help.  Tonight's challenge is to design an outfit for a world class dance troupe...."
"Meet the Project Runway Dancers!" 
"Actually, tonight, I would like to indulge you with a boyhood dream of mine.  Ever since I was a tyke, I wanted to dance with the best dance troupe in all of America..."
"The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes!"
That's nice, Tim, but I really don't need your help.

"But don't you want to talk about how I let the designers go back to Mood after I saw how unimpressive the designs were half-way through the production?" 
No, Tim.  I don't have time to go into the producer manipulation that occurred when they saw Chris's New Yorky outfit and found out he didn't have enough fabric to make the skirt.  That's my working theory, anyway.  No, let's just go straight to the outfits this week.


Whatever force possessed Fabio to use grey chiffon to line the top of the dress needs to be exorcized from him immediately.  It was wrinkly and made the outfit look dowdy.  The outfit itself isn't bad...kind of an art deco throwback.  If he had used neutral or sheer illusion at the top and a little contrasting outline around the bustline and straps to give it a bit more pizzazz, he could have been in contention for a win.  As it was, he was safe.


Girlfriend almost said goodbye this week.

She looked like a purple bird.  Michael Kors said it was too cocktail (pun intended, I'm sure.)  Debra Messing, guest judge this week, said the feathers would molt all over the place.  This costume wouldn't last past one performance.  I don't know what Sonjia was thinking this week.  Perhaps she has a sequin allergy.


I don't understand the thrall in which the judges hold Melissa.

Melissa's "ode to art deco" ended up becoming a cross between a cheerleader and a cigarette girl from the 1940's.  She said that she didn't see the "1" on the front until the model walked down the runway.  I can't figure out what she was trying to do with the front.  The back looked so symmetrical and the front was a total mess.  She once again tried the straight neckline in the front, but that really didn't add anything to the outfit.  The outfit didn't move at all and would do nothing to showcase the dancers.  This would have been one of my candidates for an auf.


Circus performer meets Vegas showgirl.  That's what Michael Kors said.  For me, it's more Aztec Warrior Princess meets Romanian gymnast.  She didn't need all the cut outs in the front.  She certainly didn't need to add the triangle of sparkles at the neckline, either.  The "V" shape of the skirt makes it look like a cheap, eBay costume.

Compounding her troubles was the very poor fit in the bodice.  It bunched up and wrinkled and made the outfit look sloppy and poorly constructed.


But worse than bad circus performer or sad, purple bird was someone who missed the brief entirely.

It's a nice dress....tell me more.

"I like the fabric and the color really stands out."
At one point, while working with the fabric, Ven said the color was "loud."  I'm beginning to wonder if he sees colors the same way everyone else does.  In any case, there was nothing outstanding about this dress, which is exactly what it was.

Is Ven even that familiar with the Rockettes?

Even the toned down outfits have some strong, visual interest.  These aren't just pretty dresses for dancing.  Ven's dress wasn't the worst outfit up there (Ven certainly knew that...) but it was the one that took absolutely no chances whatsoever.  Bye bye, Ven.  We'll sort of miss you, I guess.

So what's better, treacly sentimentality or edgy perfection?  This show is on Lifetime.  What do you think won?


For me, Dmitry won the challenge.  There was nothing bad about this outfit at all.

Seriously...cheer up, you two!

The fit was perfect.  The fringed skirt moved beautifully.  The sleeve and diagonal bodice would have created a strong visual image for a chorus line of dancers.  To me, this was not only excellently produced, but a very innovative design.


There's no doubt that New York City can be a designer's muse.

Remember Jay McCarroll's Chrysler Building dress from Season 1?
Well, Rockette fashion doesn't get any more inspired than this.

He took a pre-beaded fabric and appliqued it onto a sheer illusion bodice.

You'll notice that in this picture, he does not have the skirt attached.  He completely ran out of fabric.  It was at this point that the producers decided Tim announced that the designers could return to Mood for more materials.  Chris made a beeline for the beaded fabric.

Then, he glued sparkly jewels to the bodice to make "stars" and around the buildings in an outline.

The effect was beautiful.  The fit was perfect.  No, it didn't push any envelopes, it simply paid homage to one of the most iconic cities on earth.  Well done, Christopher.

The judges announced that the Rockettes will be wearing Christopher's design in an upcoming show.

I'll be late with next week's post.  Since I was late last week, you may have missed my post on last week's challenge.

See you when I get back for the last few challenges before the final show!