Thursday, February 11, 2010

Project Runway: The Fashion Farm

The challenge! Actually make a model look great in a burlap sack. This necessitated a trip to a farm, which...I guess is okay. I get the sense that many of these throwaway trips are opportunities to put Tim Gunn in unGunnlike situations, and I don't like that because Tim Gunn is not a novelty item but a brilliant, wonderful advisor who provides terrific guidance to these designers. Shouldn't that be enough? Isn't he hilarious enough in that context? Isn't that why everyone loved him so much in the first place? It may also be a change in audience; some people don't settle for wit, and just want to see some cheap, slapsticky laughs. NOT WITH TIM GUNN!
Jay won the challenge and I thought it was well deserved. There's an argument to be made about dyeing the burlap being a circumvention of the challenge - it dramatically changes the look of the fabric - and this dress is probably the height of said argument, but man...what a great looking outfit. He really took advantage of the way burlap unravels in the skirt, and the tailoring is amazing. This was a really sophisticated, pretty look - well done, Jay!
Pamela decided to take a trip to the mid-nineties to apply the "Everything Is Awesomer In Denim!" theory to her dress, and was rightly ousted. I think I knew a girl who HAD this dress. I think I hated her. Normally I can understand where an outfit is coming from even if I don't like it, but I don't know what possessed Pamela. The acid-wash-y finish, the too-mini minidress cut, the weird slit...oof. The judges really had no other option.

Also, is it me or is the styling this season just completely wack? I usually see one or two outfits that are helped or saved by styling but man, it has been a hot tranny mess all over the place. It looks like they're getting styled in a homeless shelter.
Seth Aaron made this funky little thing, and though I am starting to find his personality seriously repugnant, I like this. I am not usually one for hoods, but the way he attached it made it one of the more interesting elements of the design. The bodice is kind of unfortunate, but it coheres with the skirt and that saves it a little bit. I love the skirt...I suspect it was a bit revealing from the judges' vantage point, but the structure and the piping looked great, and the bell-like movement actually worked for the dress, where normally I would hate it.
Ping should be counting her blessings after this one. I think she banked a lot of her good will and curiousity on this one, because the poor model's whole butt was on display. The IDEA was certainly interesting, but the execution was disastrous. The bodice is actually fairly cute, but the skirt is...not.
Mila made a club dress for Mars and I fucking loved it. I was glad the judges took note of her amazing construction, because the fact that that model's breasts stayed locked and loaded in that dress is a display of serious genius. The neckline was so dramatic but the way it changed depending on your perspective was what made it truly special. Very, very cool. I liked the treatment of the fabric too; the purply-charcoal tone is gorgeous and the band of striping makes the whole thing look sleek and sophisticated. Nice work, Mila!
Maya was one of the people who kind of missed the point of the challenge, but I will admit I loved the colors she used. The actual structure was problematic. I basically felt like she needed to either take it way over the top with the ruffling OR choose the top or the bottom to embellish. In its current state the ruffles just look kind of anemic. Promise, unrealized.
Jonathan's was another one that fell a little short for me. I liked the idea of the contrasting textures and the overall shape, but something just wasn't there for me. I wish I could explain it better, but I genuinely do not know what the problem is. Maybe the neckline? It was perfectly nice and totally boring.
Jesus made a fairly boring dress that missed the point of the challenge. I love the vibrant green, but the cut of the dress is a snooze and frankly not very flattering. If that kind of neckline is going to look good on ANYONE it's going to be that model (i.e. flat-chested and willowy) but it doesn't. Boring.
Jesse made a cute little riding outfit type thing that I really enjoyed. I thought that the vest was really well-fitting and the pants were very sweet. I liked what he did with the texture of the fabric, acknowledges the roughness of the burlap, but makes it looks more like linen. This was a creative, interesting look, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of Jesse.
Janeane Marie also did some nice dyework, but the cut of the skirt falls short of what it could be. I like how it looks like it swirls around her hips - it adds the illusion of movement even though I don't think there is much - and the bodice is very sweet, but it's not blowing my mind. It's solid though...definitely worth our continued attention!
Emilio created the kind of interest that I think Jonathan was shooting for. The skewing of the blocks of lace and the outlining in red really adds something to it, and I like the modern effect it creates. Cute! Not revolutionary but cute.
Ben's dress was a little too formal for the weight of the fabric - can you imagine how lovely this would have been in a cotton blend or a satin? The scalloped hem is really pretty and the shoulder is lovely, but the overall effect is one of weight and dragging. I think he was on to something, it just manifested in the wrong challenge with the wrong fabric.
Anthony did a much better job of taking advantage of the fabric. (Still annoying as hell though.) I would like to know more about the dyeing process because I do like this soft red, but it seems an unusual color to see repeated in a challenge. I kind of wonder if they were going for a strong true red and the burlap just refused to tune up properly. I like the drape of the skirt and the bodice is very sweet. Again, it's not reinventing the wheel, but it's perfectly cute and saleable.
Anna's potato printing was a great idea, so I wanted to like this, but it really left me cold. I don't know if it's the length or the size of the pleats, but the skirt is screaming "BORING SCHOOLGIRL SKIRT DESIGNED TO REPEL BOYS!" at me and I can't get past it. She certainly gets As for both effort and innovation, but the end result just doesn't do much for me.
Amy's dress was cool, and I loved the treatment of the skirt - I think it's the first handkerchief hem I haven't wanted to set on fire - but it wasn't my particular thing. Combine the skirt with the shape of the bodice that Anthony put together and we're in business!

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