Hello sweeties!  Project Runway season 13 is upon us - - it starts next week, Thurs 7/24.  The darling Jeff sent me this article from Variety:

 

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/project-runway-season-13-premiere-1201242197/

 

Don’t you love a man that reads Variety?  You’ll hear from me next week.  I hope your summer is going great.

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 1

 

This season looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun, no?  A good mix of personalities and talent.  It’s too soon to see if the personalities have talent, or if the talent has personalities - - this show needs a mix of both.  Or would “a mix of each” be a more precise way of stating it?

 

Road to the Runway was fun - - the highlight is always seeing the former designers at the judging table.  I was reminded of how much I love Dmitry, he’s such a sweetie and so cute.  Mondo looks the same as ever, Anthony Ryan was playing with his hair, and Laura Kathleen is looking a little like a past-her-peak Mamie van Doren.  Not in a good way.

 

Tim is getting better at talking to the camera.  I would no longer use the word “wooden” to describe his delivery.  One observation, coming from Road to the Runway: Alexander is one to watch.  Tim said, in his audition with the judges, that he hadn’t been so excited by a designer since Christian Siriano’s audition, or since he taught “the Proenza Schouler boys”.  That is high praise.

 

Korina and Mitchell were totally snarkilicious in their workroom commentary.  They reminded me of Statler and Waldorf, the crusty old codgers in the balcony on *The Muppet Show*.  I’m sure we’ll see more of that in the future.  Im equally sure that they’ll eventually turn on each other.

 

On to the show.  Here’s what Richard said about the commercial for Aldo (we didn’t yet know they were the sponsor for the Accessory Wall):

 

RICHARD: Aldo!  Nice to see they’ve got some better advertisers.

ME: If I see a commercial for an animal-shaped plush pillow that lights up, I’m going to kill myself.

 

I can’t tell you how relieved I was that Amanda was chosen as the returning designer.  I was mortally afraid that Ken would be back - - I was amazed that the judges would consider such a thing, when he was more or less thrown off the show in the interest of safety.

 

It’s sad to see three designers get the auf from the get-go.  Tim, I hope you find a fan base for lesbian couture.  Emanuel seemed to be coasting on looks and charm, his garments were not all that.  Neither were they a bag of chips.  And a bazinga to Nzinga!  She might have success making stylish clothes for the forward-thinking Muslim woman, but Project Runway is not the place to develop that brand.

 

ON THE TOP

Amanda proved she was worthy of a return, getting into the top three on the first challenge.  Her look was very cool, wearable, and sale-able.  I love Char, she’s one of my favorites, just in terms of personality.  I thought a blousey top with a full skirt was a little too much volume for one outfit, but the blouse was beautifully draped, the skirt was seriously cute (her pocket fixation will serve her well), and the outfit had a winning vibe.

 

Brava to Sandhya.  Always nice when the other designers single someone out as being a hot mess - - and then that person wins!  I agree with Nina, that Char and Amanda’s looks were more finished and professional, but Sandhya should be applauded for her distinctive vision.  I’m curious to see what else she does.

 

ALSO NOTABLE

Alexander’s dress was a little worrisome - - the collar had nothing to do with the dress.  The bustier on Emily’s dress had nothing to do with the rest of the look, that was a misfire.  Fäde’s outfit was a clunk, it didn’t work together at all.  Kini’s dress looked like it was made out of a tablecloth, maybe he was confused and thought this was the Gristede’s challenge.  Kristine’s outfit was cool, would be perfect on one of the Williams sisters.  Loved Samantha’s outfit, and I love her, she is tough but funny - - she said to Amanda in the green room, “Gurl, yer gonna pass out.” 

 

A Ryan on the Runway first - - I’m completely redoing the top three!  I can see why the judges chose the designers they chose, but I see three others as being better.  Carrie’s dress was sharp and ambitious.  A wow from Sean - - crisp, well made, wearable, distinctive.  A wow from Korina, that jumpsuit was something else.  All three showed a unique point of view and strong construction skills.  The judges’ top three also showed that, but if I had my choice, I’d choose those three instead.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

I didn’t think Angela’s outfit was so bad.  The butt was funny, yes, and the judges didn’t like the side-entry cut-outs in the hip.  Her defense (“But you said I should ramp it up a little bit”) was a red flag.  You should respond to the comments from the judges, but in a way that hooks into what you do.

 

Mitchell’s outfit was blah and junior in the extreme.  I knew they’d keep him, since he’s so bitchy.  I don’t see him doing stellar work this season, but he’ll coast for a while, due to his telegenic personality (and there will probably often be someone worse than him).  Nina had the take-away quote of the episode: “I know what Mitchell will deliver, and I don’t want to see it.”  BTW, did you notice his attack of facial Tourette’s during the critique of Sandhya?  He needs to learn how to reel it in.

 

Jefferson’s outfit didn’t look so bad when it first came out, but the more you looked it, the more you saw the issues.  It’s unfortunate that he didn’t see the problems.  Strange proportions indeed.

 

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 2

 

The darling Jeff doesn’t just read Variety - - he also reads the Washington Post.  Bless his heart!  He sent me this interesting article about how PR hasn’t produced a break-out fashion star:

 

http://wapo.st/1ruhORX

 

This episode was amusing, no?  Interesting that they paired the unconventional challenge with the team challenge, I think that might be a first.  I have a question about team challenges in general: why is that some teams get along, and some don’t?  I guess what I’m really asking is, why are people so inflexible and/or bone-headed and/or egomaniacal that they can’t compromise and play nice?

 

My go-to example is always Shirin and Carol Hannah from season 6.  They had a good time together, they listened to each other, they profited from the strengths of the other designer while expressing their own personal vision.  This is how a team challenge should work.  And you can always see the results on the runway - - you can tell who got along and who didn’t.  I’ll say two things I feel I say ad infinitum in this column.  First, this is the way things will go in the real world, and it’s unfortunate that some designers don’t have the maturity to see that.  They think “I’m going to be a big important designer and everyone will have to do what I say.”  They should read that article in the Washington Post to see what happens to these people after PR!  And second, the issues with team challenges are the same every season - - have these kids never watched this show?

 

Sandhya is the Hilary Rodham Clinton of PR season 13, so vilified and so beloved!  It was hard to watch her getting such attitude from her teammates, and touching to see other random designers encouraging her.  It’ll be good TV to see how these relationships develop.

 

ON THE TOP

This team did a great job of realizing they were going down the wrong road, and then taking a sharp left turn and making it work.  An example to us all.  Korina’s dress was sharp, and it was nice to see she can get along with others (she was giving off a strong odor of Wench in the previous episode).  Kristine’s was my favorite of the group.  The corded bra wasn’t so impressive but I loved the way she used the letters in the skirt.

 

I wasn’t so wild for Amanda’s dress, but I was happy she won.  It was cute that she’s an alum from the team season, and her one win is for a team challenge.  Her dress made me think of that horrid dress that Emilio made out of plumbing hardware in season 7.  And not in a good way.

 

ALSO NOTABLE

I was crazy for Samantha’s outfit, the CDs cut into scales for the blouse and the film looped for the skirt.  That was fantastic.  Mitchell’s Barbie On Acid dress was another one-two punch, loved that.

 

Sean’s dress made out of straws was a stunner, the winning look of the whole show.  Too bad he had Angela pulling him down.  Heavy sigh for her, she’s her own worst enemy.  It’s always painful to have the judges say, “Your team would have been in the top if it wasn’t for the piece of crap YOU sent out.”  You’d might as well paint a target on the girl’s back and hand the other two designers a crossbow. 

 

ON THE BOTTOM

A big DUH to the losing team.  They went from three completely unrelated dresses to three nearly identical dresses!  How did they think that would serve them well.  Oh right, they weren’t thinking.  I was sure they were going to send Hernan home, since he was the self-appointed leader of the team.  As Nina said, it was his vision.  But his dress was the least ugly of the three, and I think Carrie’s lousy attitude on the runway is what sent her home.  We don’t often get such a talk-back in the critique!  Nina was holding nothing back.  She put on her glasses at one point, and Richard said, “Nina put her glasses on, because you’re not supposed to hit someone wearing glasses.”

 

Amazing that Carrie thought she was going all the way to the finale, and in reality she was eliminated in the second episode.  With that kind of self-aggrandizement, she should move back to Russia and get a job with Putin.

 

PS - - I think Wench would be a great name for a perfume, no?  Wench, by Courtney Love.

 

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 3

 

My apologies that my column is late - - Richard and I were in Wisconsin for a long weekend.  My brothers and I threw a party to celebrate my mom's 75th birthday.  It was delightful.  She and Richard and I watched PR together, it was a lot of fun.
 
The highlight of the episode was the flashback 20 years with the four grown-ups.  Heidi was adorable as a youngster, Nina and Tim looked exactly the same, and of course Zac had to mention that he was only 14 years old!

I thought the challenge was a little too involved.  Look forward 20 years and be inspired by something from 20 years ago.  Seems like overkill to me.  I usually write a bit about the workroom shenanigans but there wasn't much going on in this episode.

Amanda de Cadenet.  Have you seen her show?  The dumbest chat show ever.  I watched the first episode, with Coco Rocha and some stylist twit.  All three of them were vapid and twee.  I have better things to do with my time.

ON THE TOP
I loved Emily's pantsuit, loved the little jacket, and yes, the Ewok reference is not a good idea.  Kristine's dress was cool, very Courreges.  I would have given her the win, the outfit was sharp and a perfect solution for the challenge.  And that jacket, how cool was that?

I really didn't like Sandhya's dress, I thought it made the model look like a cocktail waitress at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.  Richard said, "Barbarella at the office".  When she was picked for the six, I thought, "Hm, I would put her in the bottom three, but she'll probably be in the top three."  When she was in the top three, I decided she was probably going to win.  I roll my little eyes.  They're really building her up for a whole lot of hating in the workroom.

ALSO NOTABLE
Mitchell's outfit was so beautifully fitted, but I wasn't wild for his description of it: an "inspirational water suit"?  Amanda's look was groovy.  Kini's dress, with the cut-out shoulders, made me think of Candy Bergen at the 1992 Emmys.  It looked back to the 90s but did not look forward to 2034.

ON THE BOTTOM
Alexander's dress was way too simple.  He might have had a chance if he'd done it in another fabric, it really did look like a shabby old blanket.  I was afraid that he'd be eliminated, but then I thought he'd get the Tim Gunn Save, since Tim is so coo coo nutty for him.  Thankfully he was spared, and will hopefully do something fabulous in the next episode, to redeem himself.

I think Sean had a problem with the math - - instead of going back 20 years and forward 20 years, he went back 40 years.  That outfit was totally *Maude*.  And I love *Maude*!  But that wasn't the challenge.  And the hat, jeez.  I shake my little head.  Richard called it and said that it was *Mary Poppins* - - and Zac said the same thing three seconds later.  But he said it was Mary Poppins at Prada!  Which sounds like a great idea for a challenge.

It's an uncharitable thing to say, but thank God Angela is gone.  She was Debbie Downer for season 13.  Poor thing was in way over her head.  I think it was the ears coming out of her hips of the skirt that cinched the deal.  And the whole outfit was so drab and dull, she might has well have stitched "Please send me home" on that single lapel.

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 4

 

Tim Gunn kicks off the challenge by saying, "Good morning, designers.  Welcome to Red Robin, the home of the gourmet burger!"  As if that weren't enough, he then introduces their Vice President of Brand Transformation.  Four minutes into the episode and I already have a chronic eyeroll.

But it becomes a bug-eye moment in short order.  A fleet of hunky guys come out wearing suits from the 70s and carrying burgers on platters.  The challenge is the take the suit and make a high-fashion outfit, using the fabric of the suit.  I anticipated that Sandhya would be the first to choose, since she won the last challenge.  The surprise was that as the winner, she was given the task of choosing suits for all the other designers!  Yeesh - - clearly the producers know that she's piling up the hate in the workroom, and they want to see more of it.  Of course she chooses the ugliest suit for the person who gave her the worst time in the previous challenge, Hernan.  Hm!  Speaking of, is it just me, or does Hernan look like the Alexis Carrington character on a Mexican soap?

Did you see Tim Gunn take off his glasses?  A PR first?

ON THE TOP
I thought it was very rude of Heidi to say, "Alexander, do you think you're on the top or on the bottom?"  Of course he was on the top.  His look was lovely, well-crafted.  The top was cool and the skirt had such a pretty shape.  The vlogger guest judge said it, that the skirt was the perfect length with the top showing so much skin.  Very thoughtful.  And though it's not the most important element, his styling was spot on.

This was the challenge where they should have had two winners!  The designs were so different, and both perfect in their own way.  I think they gave it to Amanda because it had more punch, and maybe also because her suit fabric was more ugly.  Also her dress had more work, but didn't look worked.  Kini's dress was a wow, in its own way.  I didn't notice the pocket flaps in the back until it was pointed out, that was a cute idea.  I thought he could have used some of his extra time to do a little more expert work in matching up the pinstripes - - it was a little off in the center front of the skirt.

ALSO NOTABLE
I thought Mitchell's plastic coating was an interesting solution to the ugly fabric problem.  Char's outfit was sharp, very YSL. Samantha gets extra points, in my book, for only using the suit fabric.  Cute dress.  Sandhya's look was too wacky, and the green sequined lipstick was just plan gross.  Emily's outfit was very sharp, I thought she might have been on the top.  The pants and skirt were inventive, and the design overall made the fabric look luxe.

ON THE BOTTOM
Kristine's outfit was dull and didn't transform the fabric at all.  The organza insets in the pants, what was going on there.  Clearly she was relieved to move on.  Maybe she spent too much time trying to make a her look different from Korina.

Would Sean have been better off using the finished side of the skirt?  But then the blouse was also mousy and messy.  A drab design.

I was so worried they were going to keep Hernan because he's good TV - - his dress was a disaster on every level.  We saw Nina saying, "Super vagina!" in the teaser leading into the commercial - - was there any doubt who she was talking about?  And he put the cherry on the sundae by blaming it on his fabric, saying it was disintegrating.  I love that Zac called him out on that.  Heidi put it perfectly: "You hated the fabric of your suit, so you went to Mood and bought vinyl."  He showed how delusional he is in his post-mortem interview, saying that he feels bad for the judges, that they're not able to see how talented he is.  Um, I think the judges have seen plenty.  Be prepared for him to be a bag of cats on the reunion show.

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 5

 

Cute bit with Heidi showing up in a trenchcoat.  What is with these designers saying, “I’ve never done evening wear, what am I supposed to do for the red carpet?”  I’m tired of saying this: have they never watched this show before?  Let me make a checklist of things that happen every season:

 

  1. A red carpet or eveningwear challenge.

  2. A menswear challenge.

  3. A team challenge.

  4. An unconventional materials challenge.

  5. A “real woman” challenge.

  6. A challenge tenuously related to the sponsor du jour.

 

I’m sure I’m forgotten a few, but those are the highlights.  Prospective contestants, memorize this list, make it your own.

 

I had no idea what the Creative Arts Emmys were.  Richard’s guess was correct - - it’s the ceremony for the technical and design Emmy Awards that aren’t included in the regular show.  But I’m afraid that if I’ve never heard of it, it can’t be much of a red carpet happening.  It might make it on Fashion Police, but then only in a slow week.

 

Bravo to the production team, they did a clever bit of editing in this episode.  Korina was explaining her dress: “I also got some snakeskin and I think that’s what’s gonna make the dress more interesting and high-fashion.”  Then they cut to a shot of Fäde’s T-shirt, which said HUH?

 

But then I’m taking those producer points away - - Mitchell was having a chat in the green room with a Char and Kristine and he was fiddling with the fridge in a way that clearly showed that the producers had coached him in how to show off the Samsung refrigerator.  “Could you show us the door and the shelves?  Yeah, do it that way, open the inner door to show the extra storage.  I guess you should be saying something to Char while you’re doing that.”  It’s so crass and obvious.

 

http://www.samsung.com/us/appliances/refrigerators

 

I bet Heidi loves having another Deutscher on the show - - that moment with the Lodenjacke (hunting jacket) was hilarious, I had to rewind it and watch it again.  I hope she and Fäde have some more German conversations, that would tickle me.

 

At first I thought it was a cop out to give the designers the opportunity to go back to Mood, but it turned out to be a wash.  The designers who did not go had more time to spend on their garments, and the designers who did go basically started from scratch and were scrambling to finish.  Did you notice that the top three designers did not go back to Mood, and the bottom three did?  This brings me back to season two winner Chloe - - she knew what she could do in the allotted time and she did it flawlessly.  A recipe for success, and not just for PR.

 

Brava to Sandhya for approaching designers directly and asking for their money!  That shows great entrepreneurship.  And brava to Char for supporting her in doing that.

 

ON THE TOP

Kini’s dress was gorgeous but I thought there was something funny about the shape.  Zac mentioned that the train was weighted with horse hair - - do you think he’s talking about the hair of an actual horse?  I didn’t like Amanda’s dress.  Sandhya did a dress for a Luxor Hotel cocktail waitress a couple episodes ago, and now Amanda has done a dress for the woman singing “Midnight at the Oasis” in that cocktail lounge.

 

Holy wow from Sean!  That dress was beyond.  Heidi is going to rock it on the red carpet, though Richard said she’ll probably remake the way she wants, like she always does.

 

ALSO NOTABLE

Sandhya finally did a dress I loved, and she didn’t end up on the top!  The judges continue to surprise me.  Char’s look was very off the rack, nothing special about it.  Samantha’s dress was also ordinary.  Fäde’s dress was cute.  I thought Alexander was in trouble with the butt cheek flash, but he was lucky there were three huge losers on the bottom.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

I thought they might be sending all three home!  Korina clearly got a pass because she’s such a trash-talker.  She and/or Sandhya will make it to the final five, just because they’re such valuable characters.  Her dress was dreadful.  Richard noticed that the halter was held together with a straight pin.  I can’t believe that wasn’t pointed out in the examination.

 

Mitchell’s final look was horrible, but a huge improvement on what he did first.  Have you seen the Nicki Minaj collection at K Mart?  This was the red carpet look, available for $39.95.  His final dress was sloppy and ugly.  No excuses.

 

I felt bad for Kristine, she seemed to show a lot of promise (she was second from the top in the second and third episodes), but totally tanked on this challenge.  A quote from her: “I wish we had more time.”  Made me think of my favorite line from *Bad Santa*.  Billy Bob Thornton, as a drunk department store Santa Claus, says to a little kid, “Why don’t you wish in one hand and sh-t in the other.  See which one fills up first.”  The handling of the boobs in her dress was the biggest problem, but there were plenty of problems to go around.

 

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 6

 

The darling Jeff, that man about town who reads The Washington Post, sent me this link, with a photo of Heidi at the Creative Arts Emmys, which happened on 8/16, just a week before the episode aired.

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/2014-creative-arts-emmy-awards-gallery-1.1906591

 

Why didn’t they include a little clip of her on the actual red carpet?  Surely they could throw that together in a week.  She was one of the worst dressed on Fashion Police last week.  Joan Rivers (say a little prayer for Joan) said Heidi looked like a car wash.  I thought the model did a better job on the runway - - she had a swish, she didn’t do the full twirl.  But hey, the whole point of a red carpet gown is create a memorable photo, right?

 

The delicious Liz noticed that Heidi wore Sean’s dress to the Creative Arts Emmys, but wore a Zac Posen to the actual Emmys!  This is Liz as Heidi, speaking to Sean: "I'm going to wear your dress, you nobody, to the thing that no one watches. But to the big show I'm going with the guy sitting right here next to me...."

 

Jeff also sent me this hilarious link - - Emmy fashion commentary by an eight-year old:

 

http://www.babble.com/entertainment/emmy-red-carpet-looks-judged-by-an-8-year-old/?cmp=SMC|bbl|soc|FB|BabbleMain|InHouse|082614|RedCarpet|Link|famM|Social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=SMC|bbl|soc|FB|BabbleMain|InHouse|082614|RedCarpet|Link|famM|Social#julia-roberts

 

What was Lena Dunham thinking.  I think she may no longer be receiving a holiday card from Anna Wintour.

 

The illustrious Karen Miller came up with a great idea for a challenge - - I’ll quote her directly:

 

“I wish they would do a ‘older women’ challenge. Since designers often get dinged for making their ‘girl’ look 40 (or 50!), I'd love for PR to bring in a bunch of 40+ models (not ‘real’ women) and have them design for beautiful older women who have a fashion sense.  It would be interesting to see the 20-something designers try to wrap their brains around that!”

 

I am all over this like a rash.

 

OK, on to last night’s episode.  They really launched into the drama, didn’t they?  Korina calls Amanda “a phony”.  Korina is the chosen demon for this season, clearly.  But she’s not fun to watch, like Santino was.  Her behavior isn’t amusing, it’s petty, childish, and hurtful.  Korina, please note: this is not good for your career!

 

Is it possible that Dita von Teese is actually living in the 1930s, and through some trick of the continuum of time, we’re seeing her in 2014?  She’s divine, in any case.  Did you get a load of that Vivienne Westwood wedding gown.  Holy smokes, is that a yowza.

 

Of course Korina and Amanda were paired up - - the button bag strikes again!  Would someone on the Project Runway staff please confirm that there’s nothing random about the button bag, and there never has been?  Thank you.

 

How startling that Samantha has never been to a wedding!  I was amused and intrigued by Tim’s response: “You’ve never been to a wedding ever?  You’re lucky.  I don’t LIKE them.”

 

ON THE TOP

Fascinating that they had one top pair and three bottom pairs.  Kini’s suit was total Balenciaga, so gorgeous.  And I loved the other look, it was very pretty and a harmonious contrast to the suit.  Kini is to blame for not getting the win - - when the judges asked them who should win, he should have taken that opportunity to say that he had made the blouse.  I’m surprised he didn’t chime in that bit of info when the judges were raving over it.  He would have been a lock for the win if the judges had known he’d done the dress, jacket, and blouse.  Kini will win a challenge soon, I’m sure of it.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Korina and Amanda were lucky that there were so many losers this time!  I loved Amanda’s dress, but it was maybe a little too babydoll for a wedding.  I’d like to think that Korina would be humbled by being so pressed for time making that sailor jacket, needing Amanda to make the pants, and having such a DOA critique from Tim (did you notice Amanda smiling, BTW?).  But I don’t think Korina will be humbled anytime soon.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Alex’s dress was showgirl, and Nina said it - - the lace was very pretty, but looked awful in his design.  Samantha’s dress was ordinary.  Richard called it “a mall dress”.  Ouch.

 

Emily’s look needed to either be reined in or ramped up - - the middle ground she chose went into the realm of costume.  She and Fäde were talking about denim, and her sketch made it look like the hood stood up behind the head and the lace hung down.  Think of it: a denim jacket with some kind of boning in the hood to make it stand up, and the black lace hanging down.  She’d have to devise a way to get the hood to be swung down along the back, or else the bride would be shielded from everyone behind her for the whole ceremony.  But wouldn’t that be fabulous?  I think Emily’s skirt was a little overworked.  Fäde’s dress was fascinating, clearly showed a lot of thought and effort.  I would have preferred a straight hem, I think the asymmetrical hem was one design element too many.

 

A double helping of ugh for Sandhya and Char.  A fellow viewer said this: “Yellow dresses = 2 sticks of Land O’Quakes.”  That shade of yellow was troubling.  Sandhya’s crocheted bodice was just plain ugly, and the skirt looked like it took about seven minutes to make.  Char’s dress was a total disaster.  Ugly and badly made, the one-two punch.  I’m sad to see her go because I like her so much.  I was touched by her shout-out to Detroit.   Interesting that Tim said he might have used his Tim Gunn Save if it had been later in the season.

 

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 7

 

I’m a little worried about Tim using his save on Char.  I love Char, I think she’s a wonderful person - - but shouldn’t the Tim Gunn Save be used for when he disagrees with the judges?  Char’s dress was the clear loser last week, no doubt about it.  Shouldn’t the Tim Gunn Save be based on the work, and not on the person?  I really hope he doesn’t regret this decision.  I’m worried about Alexander.  Remember that Tim was gaga over him in the casting - - in his audition with the judges, Tim said he hadn’t been so excited by a designer since Christian Siriano’s audition, or since he taught “the Proenza Schouler boys”.  Alexander has been slipping a bit lately, this challenge in particular.  We shall see, the die has been cast!

 

It cracked me up that Korina said she “didn’t want to make another dress.”  Well, honey, last week you didn’t make a dress - - you made a jacket, and Amanda made the pants.  Of course she DID end up making a dress, and a good one!

 

Chopard, oo la la.  Those jewels were stunning.  This challenge reminded me of the Philip Treacy challenge from season 8, where they had to make an outfit to go with one of his high art hats.  The key, for me, is that the dress must display the jewels.  The dress should be a frame for the work of art, and not compete with it.

 

I like Amanda’s idea, that the jewel be the prize for the challenge!  Chopard did not agree.  BTW, I have a theory about Chopard co-president and artistic director Caroline Scheufele: I think she’s the love child of Romy Schneider.  Schneider died at the age of 43 in 1982, which would make her 76 - - Scheufele is 56.  According to Wikipedia (my source for all knowledge), Scheufele was born “to a family of watch dealers”.  My foot.

 

Schneider:

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3316819968/nm0002769?ref_=nm_ov_ph

 

Scheufele:

http://howtospendit.ft.com/style/6531-caroline-scheufele-talks-personal-style

 

Nice that the designers went to the Charles James show at the Met Museum.  Richard and I saw that show and were not so taken with it.  The gowns started looking all the same after a while, though I must say the construction was astonishing.  The show had two rooms - - one room with gowns and another room with more ordinary, ready-to-wear clothes.  I liked the ready-to-wear clothes better, they were more interesting.

 

Did you notice the Miss Piggy gloves on the Chopard jewel handler?  What a job.

 

ON THE TOP

Korina’s outfit was gorgeous, both pieces were beautiful, but I don’t think it all worked together.  The dress looked great with the jacket, but the necklace didn’t work with the jacket.  The jacket was the wrong red, and the big print was too much competition with the necklace.  The dress looked great with the necklace without the jacket.  And Caroline Scheufele was right, the jacket would look great with a pair of jeans.  Very Ralph Lauren (which I’m sure is not what Korina wants to hear).

 

I would have given the win to Sean because the gown was gorgeous and showed off the necklace in the most extraordinary way.  Flawless, classy.  Not innovative, but a perfect execution of the challenge.  But he’s won twice already, and they wanted to reward Korina for doing something unexpected. 

 

This is what I wrote in my notes about Amanda: ???  I don’t understand why the judges were so gaga over this outfit.  The jumpsuit was a daring idea, and they support those, but the jacket looked like a beach cover-up.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Emily and Fäde have been in the middle practically the whole season, this will not last!  Eventually they need to be in the top or the bottom.  Emily’s dress was bulbous and strange.  Fäde’s dress was a yawn.  One more question about him: couldn’t they include a little German banter for him, Heidi, and Frau Scheufele?  Is that so much to ask?

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Kini’s dress, ugh.  Such bad construction, and I don’t think white is the right color to show off diamonds.  Why does no one use grey?  Have these people never seen *Vertigo* or *The Man Who Knew Too Much*?  Hitchcock knew about the power of a woman in a grey suit, these people should learn that, too.  Anyway, back to Kini.  Richard said the dress looked very Vanna White.  Ouch.

 

Alexander was lost.  I love Tim’s maxim about how the challenge is decided at Mood.  That was the case with him.  That fabric was not cooperative, and his handling of it was dreadful.  Worst of all, you couldn’t see the darned jewels!  For shame.

 

Samantha’s dress was a snooze, very off the rack.  Nina was right, it looked like the dress of the intern who fluffs up the stars’ gowns on the red carpet.  Which was NOT the challenge.

 

Next week - - a rainway?  For real?

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 8

 

The adorable Barbara sent me this link - - Tim Gunn did the ice bucket challenge at the PR finale runway show! 

 

http://pagesix.com/2014/09/05/tim-gunn-takes-ice-bucket-challenge-on-nyfw-runway/

 

I don’t have a lot to write about this week’s episode, I think my viewpoint was soured by all the shameless Samsung plugging.  The curved TV and enough already with the fridge.  The integrity of the show is being compromised!  An amusing thing to say about a reality TV show on Lifetime, but there it is.

 

The rainway is an amusing idea.  I wonder if a designer has ever done something like that for an actual show.  I felt bad for Fäde in this episode, clearly he was having a hard time.  And he and his boyfriend, they are totally Akbar and Jeff!  They look exactly the same!

 

ON THE TOP

I thought Sandhya’s look was what the French would call de trop.  You can’t have the striped jumpsuit and the coat with the pinwheels.  One or the other.  Plus the pinwheels didn’t work.

 

I was rooting for Kini in this episode, that outfit was extraordinary, very high fashion, and the umbrella concept was witty.  But Sean’s dress was such a wow.  I would have liked it if he had worked some blue dye in there, that would have given it a little more punch.  I was thrilled that they both won.  And this is a minor point, but the judges were referencing Alexander McQueen non-stop last week - - according to them, it was the designers who were referencing him.  Sean’s dress reminded me of the dress Shalom Harlow wore at the end of a McQueen show - - she came out on the runway in a white dress with a similar swing cut, and two robots go at her with spray paint:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P13oZsD-t4s

 

The overall effect is different - - the McQueen is macabre, Sean is cute - - but the concept is similar.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

I would have put Alexander in the top over Sandhya, for sure.  His dress was very sweet.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Emily’s outfit was a yawn, nothing very special at all.  Korina’s outfit was a homemade Halloween costume, which was not the challenge.  Fäde was the shoe-in for the auf this week.  That dress is the top-selling garment in Dullsville.  I’m going to miss him, he’s a sweetheart.

 

I have an idea for a challenge: give the designers each six yards (or whatever yardage) of the same fabric, and have them make their outfits in isolation.  Interesting, no?

 

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 9

 

The biggest thrill of this challenge, for me, was having the models assigned to the designers, rather than have the designers pick them, and have the chubbiest and homeliest girl chosen last.  The PR designers appear to have learned from their mistakes.

 

May I have a sidebar for a moment?  Lifetime wasn’t playing on my TV last night (I have no idea what’s going on with that) so I watched the episode on my laptop while I was getting ready this morning.  I chose a pair of brown plaid pants (brown base, black and red muted plaid) and a reddish-brown bow tie with off white polka dots.  I call this bow tie my Jimmy Olson bow tie, because it’s one of those smallish 40s bow ties like Jimmy Olson would wear.  I always say to my friend Karen here at work, “Good morning, Miss Lane!” and she says, “Good morning, Jimmy” with a sort of warm hauteur.  Anyway, it’s the shirt I want to talk about.  I originally chose a washed-out brown shirt, the color of powdered cocoa, but that didn’t really work with the warmer brown of the pants.  I looked at the shirt and pants together, and literally thought (I quote directly from my thoughts), “Am I really sold on this color story?”  Too much PR for this boy.  I went with a medium gray shirt, and it’s totally where it’s at.

 

It was hard to see Sandhya be so beaten down in this episode.  I know firsthand how exhausting it is to be relentlessly positive!  I also see this as a case of her tuning out the noise for a long time and then no longer having the energy - - and hearing only the noise.

 

Do you they really need Elizabeth Moss as guest judge  in addition to the American Girl judge?

 

ON THE TOP

How nice for Char to be in the top three, after being auf’d, and getting a not-so-strong critique from Tim in the workroom.  I’m glad she stuck with the fringe - - it was happenin’, and the judges liked it.  Korina’s dress was fabulous.  I loved the pop of yellow on the underside of the rectangles, and it was nice that they pulled the touch of yellow out of the American Girl story.

 

Kini’s dress was great, gorgeous effortless construction, and the coat was very cute.  But I didn’t think they went together.  I didn’t like that ruffle at the waist sticking out of the middle of the jacket, that looked funny.  I would have given the win to Korina.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

The scale of Alexander’s prints weren’t really working.  That’s something that a lot of people don’t think about - - when mixing prints, the colors have to be harmonious, but the scale also has to work together.  Amanda’s outfit was cute, but not as strong as the top three.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Sean’s outfit was a snooze.  He should have done the jumper in the American Girl fabric, or a mix of that with the Liberty print.  The fabric he chose was so very dull.  And the vest didn’t help much, especially with the incorrect peace sign.  Come on.

 

Yes, Emily’s look was too mature (and that little girl was wiggin’ out over the veil), but it would be just as much a miss for an adult model.  It was too somber and did Nina use the word “frumpy”?  She hit the nail on the head.  But Sandhya’s look was the bigger disaster.  The colors were ugly and didn’t go together, and the snap closure in the back was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen.  Why on earth would you do it that way?  Can you imagine how that girl would be teased if she wore it to school?  I was shocked that Sandhya was sent home, since she’s the focal character this season, and Emily hasn’t contributed much in terms of personality.  Nice to see PR choosing their auf based on the work alone.

 

A very sweet comment from Tim, about how at this point of the competition an auf is no indication of your talent as a designer.  He is such a mensch.

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 10

 

Fun idea for a challenge, no?  Washington Square Park is the place to do this - - you’ll find people there who are up for anything.  Ahem.  It’s nice that everyone found someone cooperative and flexible, you know how these real-woman challenges can turn ugly.  I was worried when Kini’s model said, “I don’t like to dress up unless I have to.  I wear a lot of tie dye.”  But he made something she liked, and something that spoke to who he is.

 

What a bizarre and unprecedented moment, with Char’s zipper and Tim’s save (his second for her).  The designers were pissy that Char was given extra time, but Tim DID ask them if they thought it was OK and no one said boo.  Tim had a good point, that with an amateur walking the runway, you have to cover her up.  I have two solutions that would have made everyone happy.  One, have her use safety pins as a closure - - this would keep the model covered up (which was Tim’s stated concern) but would also show the judges that there was a construction issue.  The better solution would be to give ALL of the designers ten more minutes.  That would have been more fair.  Still, this sets up a dangerous precedent.  I’ll be curious to see where it goes.

 

ON THE TOP

I don’t know why Emily was on the top.  The top, I guess, was kinda cool, but the overall effect was Carmen Goes Square Dancing.  If the blouse is going to be ruffled as all get-out, then the skirt needs to be sleek and simple.  Wouldn’t that outfit look pretty with a black pencil skirt?

 

I thought Kini should have been the winner this time.  Sharp outfit, beautifully made, and so flattering on his model.  I wish she had taken off the jacket on the runway, why do they so rarely do that?  Plus her makeover was really wonderful - - I thought she was a pretty woman to start with, but the hair and makeup really made her come alive.

 

Korina is going to be so unbearable with this win.  I try to shut out that “play along” pop-up on the corner of the screen, I find it distracting - - but Richard noticed that at one point they asked, “Is Korina too cocky?”  94% yes.  Anyway, her outfit was pretty cool.  Cool jacket, cool skirt, a cool vibe in general.  Here’s a question for a PR historian: how many of these real-woman challenges have been won by the designer who had a client who was built like a model?  Korina’s client was tall and slim, she’s a ballerina fer cry eye.  Does this give the designer an advantage?  Both in terms of what she’s used to making (clothes for models) and, maybe even more important, what the judges are used to looking at?  Discuss.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Sean’s dress was pretty and well-made but somewhat pageant, not fresh and groovy.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

What was Char thinking with that goofy peplum?  Not flattering, not fashionable, not good.  The judges went on an on about how he’s a pre-school teacher, but this isn’t meant to be an outfit she’d wear at work, so why is that an issue?  Char needs to look at her work with an editing eye.

 

As Nina said, you could see that Amanda’s dress was a cool idea, but the execution was all wrong.  Plus the cut was not flattering to her model.

 

Jeez, what happened to Alexander.  I’m sure Tim Gunn is asking himself the same question, he was so gung ho for this guy.  He just has not delivered in the last few episodes.  I bet he’s a designer who works best alone, he seems like a quiet kind of guy.  As for his outfit, what a misfire.  The cheerleader skirt was troubling, and the top was straight from Dullsville.  It was a big improvement over the outfit he first made (I think Tim’s words, “butt ugly”, will be ringing in his ears for a while), but still, he deserved to go home, based on that outfit.  I bet Tim is already campaigning to have him brought back for an All Star season.

 

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 11

 

My dear friend Frank sent me this charming little article about Tim Gunn critiquing First Lady fashion:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/09/30/arts/ap-us-first-ladies-fashion.html?ref=arts

 

Wow, big drama on this episode!  I like the auction element - - it didn’t have much to do with the challenge, but it was interesting.  I’m sure it’s an idea that was brought up in a writers’ meeting one day.  They should be using our ideas, BTW!

 

I love editors/producers set people up for failure and rescue them.  Amanda and Kini seemed to be headed in that direction - - this happened in three stages.  First, they were the only team to not have two storage lockers.  Second, they had a troublesome critique with Tim.  And third, Amanda said, “Kini and I can’t lose.”  Kiss of DEATH!  But all these signs were put there to lead us astray.  Have the PR writers been reading Agatha Christie?

 

It was a nice change to have everyone getting along with their teammate, though Sean did feel kinda stuck with Char.  Three more random comments before we get to the runway.  It cracked me up that the beefy (yet swishy) makeup guy said he was going to give the model “a bare face and a strong lip” - - and then covered her face with ¼” of pancake foundation.  Did you see Amanda sticking pins in her mouth?  Ew!  And something I’ve heard two or three times on this show, this season and in previous seasons, and always drives me around the bend: Sean said “razorback” when he meant “racerback”.  A racerback is a shape used in the back of a blouse or dress.  A razorback is a hog.

 

ON THE TOP

Bravo to Amanda and Kini.  The pants outfit was cute but not so impressive.  The soccer ball dress was fantastic, but I thought the jacket still read “hooker”.  The two-piece gown was fabulous.  Most importantly, all three looks were cohesive yet showed variety.

 

And then we had:

 

CHAR AND SEAN

I wasn’t wild for any of their outfits - - it all looked dull to me, and making the models do the Morticia Addams walk, NOT a good idea.  They could have fixed this by putting just a few extra inches in the skirts (I guess the lampshade could have had a slit).  But the collection in general looked cohesive and polished.  The bright blue back in the black gown was a great idea.

 

EMILY AND KORINA

Their storyline made me laugh out loud - - a Peruvian photographer going to Helsinki?  Really?  I didn’t mind the sweater made with the Mood fabric, I thought it was cute.  Nina was rabid on the subject, oh how she hated it.  BTW she was on FIRE this week!  I think Michael Kors was writing her lines for her.  The judges liked Emily’s Sponge Bob Square Pants jacket (bless Tim for that reference), but I thought it was ridiculous.  The square shoulder was enough, she did not need to keep the piping from the cushion, that was going too far.  But Korina’s Pueblo Boho look took the cake.  Jeez that was ugly.  The leather blouse was another piece from her Lodenjacke collection - - it was the same dull, flat shade of dark green that she almost got sent home for, the shade that Heidi thought looked like a hunter’s jacket!  The blouse looked ugly on its own, but even more ugly with the skirt.  Neither fit very well.  The cape was sloppy.  Saddest of all, you got the feeling that Korina thought the outfit was a winner.

 

Snaps to Char for using one of the funniest expressions ever: “Shady runway!”  I was introduced to the terms “shade” and “throwing shade” in the film *Paris Is Burning*, a peerless documentary from 1990 about the Black drag contests in Harlem.  “Shade” is another term for an insult, and Korina was definitely throwing shade on that runway.  A lot of good it did her.

 

SHOWDOWN BETWEEN CHAR AND KORINA

I’m sure they did this just to create drama, and it sure worked.  But I can also see why the judges would want another challenge to decide who was getting sent home - - Char’s outfit was a big snooze and Korina’s was a big ugly.  Char and Korina showed their true colors under this high-pressure situation.  Char was on task, focused, delegating to Sean to play on his strengths, and she made a dress that was lovely, effortless, and showed no signs of having been made in an hour.  Korina was relentlessly negative, she clearly felt that she was above this and very far above Char.  Turns out she was not!  Her dress was badly made and not impressive from a design perspective.

 

Did you notice how Emily turned on Korina?  They got along very well during the challenge, but she was disturbed by Korina’s behavior during the final showdown.  And Sean, who usually seems so sweet, I couldn’t believe what he said about Char - - that he was going to help her because she’d be easier to eliminate than Korina in the future.  Zoinks!

 

It was painful watching Korina and Char together in the green room while they were waiting to Tim Gunn and security to escort Korina out of the building.  Korina is clearly her own worst enemy.  Looks like we’ll be seeing more ugliness next week.  I shudder to think.

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, episode 12

 

My dear friend Frank has the funniest idea:

 

“I'm really finding Amanda annoying since she has to respond to everything. This means that she will get her own Lifetime tv show next season, probably called *Living On the Fringe*.”

 

I would watch that show in a heartbeat!  I’m not so sure about this PR tween spin-off, *Threads*.  It looks dubious.  Perhaps also odious.

 

The illustrious Karen Miller had a spot on general comment about PR, most particularly about last week’s episode: “Is this show even about fashion anymore?”  The personalities and power struggles have always been part of the show, but they’ve amped it up over the last few seasons.  Also the level of talent has pretty steadily gone down.  Compare the designers who have made it to the finale lately with the finale designers in the first years of the show.  You will see that there is no comparison!  BTW where is my PR tell-all book, or glossy coffee table book?

 

I’m sure we all felt a little dread for this episode, having seen the preview the week before, with Char and Korina being matched up together.  I thought we had the non-random button bag to blame for that, but it turns out we didn’t.  Here’s how it worked, for those of you who didn’t watch the show.  The episode started with the designers being given a Street Chic challenge.  They were driven around the city in Lexuses (Lexi?), taking pictures and being inspired.  They went to Mood and bought their fabric.  Then, when they got back to the workroom the production staff had set up five mannequins, wearing auf’d outfits.  The designers were told that their second challenge would be to take one of these garments and remake it into a winning look.  Their names were pulled out of the button bag, which decided on the order in which they chose their outfit.  Char chose Korina’s, since it had the most fabric.  But then (cue ominous music) the designers of those auf’d outfits were brought in, and they were being given to the designers as assistants.  So Char was matched up with Korina.

 

Korina had yet another nervous breakdown, she basically said that she was too raw and she wouldn’t be able to do it.  Long, awkward pause.  Tim said she could leave, and Alexander was brought in to assist Char.

 

My question: didn’t Korina sign some kind of contract when she went on the show, saying that she would do what was required of her?  Of course it was better for Char that the two of them weren’t working together, but it seems kinda funny to me that Korina was allowed to make that choice.  Amanda, by the way, had the greatest comment on <<l’affaire Korina>> - - she said it’s hard for everyone to be eliminated, it isn’t any harder for Korina.

 

MOVING ON TO FASION WEEK

I don’t see why the judges were so gaga over Sean’s white outfit.  It was high-fashion, I guess, but I didn’t care for it.  Is it really street chic?  I’m not sure about that.  His Sandyha remake was ridiculous.  Bubblicious.

 

Zac put it perfectly, Kini needs to learn to edit.  The trenchcoat was fantastic, it looked even better on Heidi than it did on the model!  The blouse was cute, and the skirt was inventive.  But all three pieces together are too much.  Plus he had a bit of the same problem as Sean - - is it street chic?  Maybe his street is the east 70s.  The red gown (reworked from Matthew’s gown) was stunning, but would have been more elegant without that darn horsehair.  Let’s point out that his redo outfit was the only one that was a success with the judges.

 

I’m so happy that Amanda made it to the finale, I like her more and more.  Her dress was seriously cool, but I thought it was too roomy, and maybe I’ve been watching too many horror movies, but I didn’t like that big slice down the sternum.  Her Fäde redo was cute, I liked it better than the judges.

 

Was there any doubt that Char would be in the final four?  Or that they would put four people in the finale?  Five seasons out of thirteen have now had four people in the finale.  They should use that more sparingly, honestly.  How about next season we have a final eight?  Anyway, was it Nina or Zac who said that Char’s ideas were strong, it’s the execution that’s problematic.  The skirt was cool, but the petals were too bulky.  And she should have listened to Tim about that damn pocket!  Her Korina redo was lumpy, and hardly used any of Korina’s fabric.  Richard thinks maybe they sent Char to the finale just to make Korina flip out!  Be prepared for fur to fly on the reunion special.  Just think about it: both of the recipients of the Tim Gunn Save, Justin and Char, have made it to the finale.  Makes you think that Tim was right after all.

 

GOING HOME

I’m surprised that Emily made it this far!  She hasn’t impressed me much this season.  I liked her street chic look, but it seemed to me that the fabric on the pajamas was the star, and not so much the design.  But the design was special, ditto the hoodie.  The Samantha redo was a total snooze.

 

Did you see the commercial for Project Runway All Stars season 4, starting on 10/30?  Bring on the PRFS (Project Runway Fatigue Syndrome), I am so on board!

 

Chris March: hilarious guy from San Fran, auf’d just before the finale in season 4 (Rami chosen over him)

Dmitry: loveable Belarussian, season 10 winner

Fabio: groovy Brazilian, season 10 runner-up

Gunnar: tiresome Kentuckian, sent home in episode 9 of season 10

Sonjia: sassy Black girl from Woodside, auf’d just before the finale in season 10

Benjamin: classy Aussie, 6th person auf’d in season 11

Kate: unpredictable redhead from Chicago, on seasons 11 and 12 (first Runway Redemption Repeater)

Michelle: fierce Portlandian, winner of season 11

Patricia: outside-the-box Native American from Albuquerque, runner-up in season 11

Samantha: forgettable Black girl from Brooklyn (I have no memory of her!), auf’d in episode 9 of season 11

Alexandria: frosty, fragile Swede, runner-up in season 12

Helen: tough girl from Weehawken, auf’d just before the finale in season 12

Jay: amusing Filipino, auf’d just before the finale in season 8 (Mila chosen over him)

Justin: sweetheart deaf guy from Raleigh, the first Tim Gunn Save and 3rd place in season 12

 

The casting directors appear to have very short memories.  Chris March was from season 4, every other person was from seasons 10 through 12.  I’m most looking forward to seeing Chris March and Dmitry, two of my fave PR designers.

 

Next week: Tim does the hula!

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, finale part 1

 

As if it weren’t enough that they’re going to Rome, the Eternal City, they’re going there with brand new Tumi luggage!  The eternal product placements!  What a thrill for them to be in Rome, and how sweet that Tim went with them.  But having recently been to Italy myself, there was one thing missing: where was the gelato?

 

HOME VISITS

I think Kini’s home visit might have been sponsored by the Hawaiian Board of Tourism.  As long as I’m using this column to give voice to my personal wishes of what I want to see on TV, would it kill them to do “The Hukilau Song”?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snInS08VFoU

 

The Ray Conniff Singers are the cat’s pajamas, are they not?  Anyway, back to the show.  I love that Kini is making his pleats on the same scale, that is very clever.  But where is the color in his collection?

 

The designers always look so much happier and more relaxed in their home visits, and Char is a perfect example of that.  I’m impressed that she waited this long to share her sad family history - - previous designers would have been trotting out the tears and buying decorations for the pity party since Day One.  Char is a class act.  Tim was right about that grey gown with the blue flounce - - not good.  She could cut it at the knee and make a cute little jacket, that would be divine.

 

The highlight of the Amanda home visit was that adorable cat sleeping on the steps of the house.  Plus it got Tim to say, “Hello kitty”, and you know how crazy I am for Hello Kitty.  Her husband is so cute and so sweet.  Her collection is very Amanda but still high-end - - her jewelry made me think of Gretchen Jones!  Remember how gaga the judges were for Gretchen’s jewelry?  Brava to her for having the knit made, it makes the collection really and truly original.  She’s spending her money very wisely.

 

Two words for Sean: hello, fringe!  Danger, Will Robinson.  I will say this: he appears to be the only one of the four designers who truly incorporated Rome into his collection.  The Kill Caesar theme is interesting, and just bordering on whackadoodle.  Maybe this is the kind of inspiration he should keep to himself.  Sweet that he was talking with his parents via Skype.

 

MINI COLLECTIONS

This should not have been a surprise to anyone.  They should be glad they’re giving the judges a little preview, it’s always helpful, whether they like it or not.

 

Amanda’s looks are sharp, cohesive, mostly well-made.  I didn’t like the cropped top, it didn’t sit right, it rode up in a way that wasn’t pretty.  The slim dress was gorgeous.  And the finale dress was very Amanda, but still had a new, fresh vibe.

 

Two works for Sean: goodbye, fringe!  The white dress was lovely and the orange fringe flourish hanging off the back was totally extraneous.  Ditto with the black jumpsuit - - beautifully made but ditch the fringe.  The top and skirt were fabulous, and the fringe was a knockout.  Richard said this about Nina’s reaction when the models walked out on the runway: “She looks like a python gettin’ ready for the attack!”

 

Char’s romper was sweet.  That Italian silk was a whole lot of print, but she has such a way with print and color, it looked chic and full of pizzazz.  The filmy white top with the grey skirt was a misfire.  It should have been a blouse with a skirt, it wasn’t well integrated, it didn’t work as a dress.  And Nina was right, the top just looked weird.  The black and white zippered playsuit was cute, and so improved by unzipping it a bit.

 

Kini, Kini, Kini.  He has such talent, and what a dud of a mini collection.  The first look, what was going on with that bulbous hip?  Not pretty, not flattering.  I liked the second look, the fuzzy fringe was cute.  The last look was a horror, Joan Crawford in the extreme.  I don’t usually notice or care about styling, but the hair and makeup on those models, blech.  Plus he coached them to have that rich bitch attitude, which did not favors for his presentation.

 

I’m very curious to see how this all pans out.  It seemed, going into the finale, that either Sean or Kini was a lock for the win, but Amanda is looking like a contender.

Ryan on the Runway: PR season 13, finale part 2

 

Another PR finale - - another case where the judges chose the wrong winner.  In my so humble opinion.

I wasn't surprised that the designers got another trip to Mood and more cash to spend.  This, on top of an extensive critique from the judges and a post-mortem with Tim.  They're being treated more and more like students, aren't they.  In the good old days they were sent home to make their collections, Tim checked in with them, and they showed up in New York and did the show.  That seems to me like a much clearer test of someone's talent.  And then Tm put the cherry on the sundae by saying the final four were the most talented group of designers he'd ever worked with.  Oh please!

I'll talk about their runway shows in ascending order of how they placed:

CHAR
We all knew she'd come in fourth, right?  So what's the point of having her in the finale?  Have I become too jaded?  I was a little surprised that she put the turquoise dress back in the collection - - I was flabbergasted that she chose it to open the show!  Girl's got some nerve.  Her collection was well done, but not a knockout.  The black and white dress with the hood was cool, and the two-piece black and white outfit was fab.  I wasn't bothered by the FLY top.  I didn't like the final look at all, it was too heavy and those pants were really mumsy.  t liked the romper that we saw in the mini-collection, but I LOVED that she used that same Italian silk to make a - - wait for it - - palazzo pajama!  Diane von Furstenberg must have been thrilled beyond words.

KINI
I see Kini as a classic PR contestant - - does great with the challenges, but doesn't really deliver when he's left to do his own thing.  His collection was a big improvement over the mini collection, it had a much younger, hipper, and easier vibe.  I especially loved the outfit that Heidi liked the most, the white top with the zipper on the sleeve paired with the black leather shorts.  Very cute.  That pleated little dress was divine.  I loved the swirly skirt, but does the top have to have an open back?  Wouldn't it be just as much oomph without an open back?  To quote Joanna Coles: how do you wear a bra with that?  And that last gown was so extreme - - I hated it before and hated it just as much now.  The shoulders, the train, everything - - Zac used the words that designers hate even more than "mumsy", he said "drag queen".

AMANDA
I thought she should have won.  Her collection wasn't one for the ages, wasn't as amazing as some designers in previous seasons, but I thought it was a lot stronger than Sean's.  I thought it was interesting that she opened with a pair of pants, that was a surprise.  I agree with Nina that suede pants would have been better. I loved the little black and red top with the bit of her custom-made print in the back, that was very clever.  My favorite piece was the beige and black romper.  Again, with the slit down the middle, you can't wear a bra with it, but it bothered me less.  I really didn't like the dress with the suede apron, that was not fashionable.  The top with the buckling hem was still a problem.  The three maxi dresses, of course, were wonderful.  They looked like Amanda's style, but amped up.  The styling was first-rate and the jewelry was marvelous.

SEAN
Three words, and I believe they were words I used last week (why didn't he listen): TOO MUCH FRINGE.  Eight outfits out of ten used fringe, enough already!  A little of that goes a long way, it has less impact when it's done over and over.  But apart from that issue, it was a beautifully done collection, very distinctive and cohesive and built up to a satisfying finish.  The new orange dress was gorgeous, and thankfully did not use any fringe - - though it had a whiff of Michael Costello about it, at least to me.  The final dress was a stunner.  That orange looked incredible against the very dark brown of the model's skin.  Clearly he's a very talented designer.

Completely off topic, did you notice that Nina said "crispiness" when she described his clothes, rather than "crispness"?

AMANDA VS SEAN
This was a repeat of Leanne Marshall and Korto Momolu in season 5 - - the judges had a choice between Art (Leanne and Sean) versus Clothes (Korto and Amanda).  They chose Art both times.  In both cases, I thought the person making Clothes did stronger work, apart from that whole apples and oranges issue.  In both cases the Art collection seemed a little one-note to me, it relied too heavily on a single element - - petals for Leanne and fringe for Sean.

PR All Stars season 4 starts next week.  Heaven help us all!  I DVR'd *Project Runway: Threads*, but I haven't had the strength to watch it.

Project Runway season 13

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