Project Runway season 12

7/10:

 

Wow, season 12 starts next week already!  That came up quick.  My dear friend Frank sent me this story from the NY Post:

 

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/right_nsfw_project_runway_billboard_hkfnfb3fN5BWZHcY8DrXjI

 

Yowza!  Looking forward to next week!

LOVE, Chris

 

 

PR season 12, Road to the Runway and episode 1

 

I think I’m over my PRFS, I’m totally raring to go for the new season!  And it looks like they’re doing some inventive but not disruptive things to liven up the brand.  It’s going to be a fun season.

 

I wrote out a few quick comments about each designer during Road to the Runway, I thought it might be interesting to look back on these comments later in the season, to see if they bear any fruit:

 

Timothy: He is cray cray but so creative.  The cassette tapes in the dress - - fantastic!  I’m already over his unicorn fixation, however.

Alexandria: Pretty, interesting, Camp Couture is sweet.  Clothes not so much.

Karen: She says she’s 23 but she’s actually 29?  I can’t support that.  Fabrics are fantastic, and the design is also strong.  How does the NY Times feel about her turning the Travel section into a blouse?

Bradon: Mark Morris Dance Group, that is top drawer.  Incredible technique, but lots of his work seems to be very time-consuming (like the hand-ruching, which was sublime).

Justin: His disability is made-for-TV, but he also seems talented and likeable!

Helen: “My work is going to make you go home and cry.”  Hm, sounds like her stuff is going to be a huge hit with the public.  And a flesh-tone bra under a transparent dress - - really?

Angela: Sharp stuff.  Love the camel wool dress with the red leather piping - - distinctive yet wearable.

Dom: Seems like all persona and not a lot of delivery.  Like the dress she had on, though.

Miranda: A soldier AND a weirdo AND from Milwaukee?  AND cool clothes!  My brother Howard would be totally into her, she’s totally his type.

Alexander: The name Alexander Pope rang a bell - - this is what wikipedia says: “18th century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer.  Famous for his use of the heroic couplet, he is the third-most frequently quoted writer in the *Oxford Dictionary of Quotations*, after Shakespeare and Tennyson.”  I assume we’re talking about a different Alexander Pope, though I think a heroic couplet would show great promise going from day to evening.  Anyway, I love his drag, love the gi-normous clutch handbag, was crazy for the toile suit.  Not crazy for the Kabuki eyebrows.

Ken: Love the vinyl suit, cute houndstooth dress.  I just hope he doesn’t spend the whole season talking about having been homeless (memories of Johnny in season 6 who would not shut up about being a recovering crystal meth junkie).

Sandro: Russian AND a cancer survivor AND strangely hot?  The coral crochet dress was conceptually interesting, but the boobies were not good.

Kahindo: Love her Good & Plenty color palette.  Her clothes have a wonderful spirit.

Sue: Cool clothes, but they seem a little one note.  And her hair seems to be her only spark of personality.

Jeremy: So handsome, also his husband, also their twins!  Did I really see his clothes, though?  He’s from Birmingham, which made me think of a funny story.  Years ago my chorus was doing a piece by contemporary English composer Giles Swayne.  Our conductor (Kristina Boerger, for those of you who know her) dug through her bag, looking for something.  She said, “I had a bio on this guy.  The only thing I remember about him is that his wife is from the Third World.”  One of our tenors was from London (Mark Stedman, for those of you who know him) and he said, “Oh, from Birmingham?”

 

Season 12!  I loved the kick-off with the parachutists, it was funny seeing Heidi freak out.  Also any excuse to play the Ride of the Valkyries is fine by me.  Though a big groan from our apartment when Kate was revealed as the Runway Redemptor - - I would have been happy with either Ra’Mon or Valerie (especially with Valerie), but PR viewers (at least the ones who do PR online) probably have a very short memory. Kate was on just last season, so of course she’s the one who’s chosen.

 

Enough with the product placements already!  At 9:13 PM Tim Gunn did a thorough demonstration of the HP tablet and laptop combo.  Twenty seconds later we were hearing all about Go Bank.  And then there was the Belk accessory wall!  Can you believe it - - BELK!  We’ve gone from Macy’s to Bluefly.com to Piperlime.com to Lord and Taylor to BELK!  Those Southern ladies are thrilled beyond words, I’m sure.

 

I was tickled that the two Milwaukee designers (Timothy and Miranda) already have it in for each other.  Milwaukee is a small town for two such big talents personalities, and the workroom is even smaller!  I look forward to watching the Sconnie fur fly.  I hope one of them works in a reference to cheese curds, that would really rock my world.

 

On to the runway!  I love the new runway elements: having the judging be “blind”, bringing in Tim as a commentator, and I really love the judges getting up close and personal with the top three and bottom three.  These are all wonderful developments.

 

ON THE TOP

Sue’s dress was gorgeous, the use of color was brilliant and the placement of the pleating was well thought out.  She’s one to watch.  I was crazy for Bradon’s dress.  I love the long and short, I love the strings, and the full skirt was dreamy.  It really captured the billowy aspect of the fabric.

 

OTHER NOTABLES

Richard said this about Alexandria’s design: “It looks like something the housekeeper would wear on *The Jetsons*.”  Sadly, this was not a Jetsons challenge.  Jeremy’s pants were very cool and beautifully tailored - - nice booty on those pants.  Karen’s dress was a stunner, the color blocking was impressive, and I like that the white bits didn’t quite line up, that gave it a nice rhythm.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Eyeroll on Miranda - - she started in the top three but was knocked down to the bottom.  She deserved to be on the bottom, she didn’t work within the parameters of the challenge at all.  And she knew it.  Shame on her, did she think she was going to get away with it?

 

Sandro’s outfit might have been OK (the crafting of the primary piece was well done), but he needed to rein it in big time, it had way too much going on.  I love that Zac said it looked like a cat toy.  And the peek-a-boo cooter - - anything that requires censorship in TV, that would be a red flag in the work room.

 

Timothy.  Oy.  I like what he did in burning the fabric, but the whole look was such a disaster.  His whole, “I don’t believe in using electricity” stand is so Amish, or as I like to say, Ay-mish.  A good point from Zac about the singed synthetic fabric releasing toxic fumes!  Did ya think of that?  Nina said something along the lines of, “If the model isn’t going to have makeup or wear shoes, your design had better be spectacular.”  And it wasn’t.  It’s great to have a cause, but you have to do it well for it to have any value.

 

I knew Angela was going to go home.  Timothy’s look was a bigger failure, but he has the crazy card to play.  Her look was amateurish and she doesn’t have an outside personality to keep her on the show.

 

The season preview montage is always the high point of the first episode.  This season’s guest judges aren’t as fabulous as last season (Bette!  Susan Sarandon!), but there shore does appear to be a lot of drama.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

PR season 12, episode 2                RYAN ON THE RUNWAY

 

How do you like the new title for my column?  The lovely Susie Braden (one of my most devoted readers) came up with it, I’m wild for it.

 

Quote of the week, and it came from my apartment - - one of the contestants said, “This isn’t what I normally do.”  Richard said, “This is not Project What I Normally Do.”  Runner-up: Tim saying, “Generally, designers don’t say, ‘Go screw yourself.’ “  It’s always a riot when Tim gets profane.

 

High drama with those security guards.  I’m sure some of the designers were worried they’d be making outfits for those guys, needing to come up with clever storage for their accessories (guns, pepper spray).  But no, they were just there for the jewels.  It was great to be back at Mood and see our adorable Swatch!  I love that dog.  And it was very courteous of the producers to come up with a “suggested budget” - - it appears that most of the designers underspent their budget.  I don’t think that will last!

 

Sandro, is he an ass, or what?  That whole scene with the steamer, I’d never seen anything like it.  Was there ever a moment in the previous seasons when a production assistant came onscreen and had to deal with something (or in this case, NOT deal with something)?  I would like to think that Sandro has learned a lesson, that you can’t be a relentless boil on the behind and then expect people to help you out.  But hm, something tells me his behavior will not change.

 

Where is Michael Kors, the Orange Menace?  I miss him.  Zac Posen is cute and has been given some amusing things to say, but he ain’t no Kors.

 

ON THE TOP

I would have given the win to Dom over Kate - - Dom’s dress was more unexpected, but I think the headband might have cost her some valuable points.  Kate’s dress was beautifully made, and I was so relieved it wasn’t full on Scarlett O’Hara, like her sketch led me to fear.  The judges were rhapsodic over the color, but I thought it washed the model out.  Maybe that’s the hot look for this season?

 

What on EARTH was Sandro doing in the top three?  I thought his outfit was awful - - well made, I suppose, but tacky tacky tacky.  To use a word invented by the divine Katie (another of my most devoted readers), it was hideolo.

 

OTHER NOTABLES

So much to say!  Good: I loved Alexandria’s bias-cut gown, would have put her in the top instead of Sandro.  Ditto Bradon for his silver show-stopper and Ken’s teal Barbie-esque gown.

 

Bad: Alexander’s black chiffon monstrosity was memorable.  Richard said, “It looks like Elvira’s wedding gown.”  Remember Elvira, Mistress of the Dark?  Jeremy’s gown was a ghastly tulle profusion (which might be the best band name of 2013).  Justin’s gown was lovely but I didn’t like the dead armadillo hair.  Karen’s dress was quite bad, it made the model look very thick-waisted.  Miranda showed another two-piece outfit with a bare midriff - - it’s the second episode, that’s officially too soon to be repeating yourself.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Helen and Timothy clearly were bigger failures than Kahindo, but Kahindo was sent home.  I understand that the judges want to reward doing something ambitious and not reward something safe, but let’s put a fine point on it: if Heidi had a choice of those three dresses to wear to an event, or Nina had a choice to use one of them in a photo shoot, which one would they choose?  They would choose the one that was dull but well made.

 

Helen’s was so horribly constructed, those unfinished edges did a number on my brain.  Maybe they felt bad for her because of her meltdown?  While we’re on the subject, I think that was another first - - I don’t think a contestant has ever been visited by a judge or mentor during the runway show.  Honey, if you’re having a complete emotional breakdown in episode TWO, you’re in for a whole pile of hurt.  Let’s remember that she’s the one to be FEARED, she’s the one who’s going to send people home crying.  Bark vs bite.

 

Timothy seems to have cast himself in the role of Class Weirdo.  Bravo to him for pulling Zac Posen’s discarded fabric out of the back room, and another bravo for using cosmetics - - but someone needs to pull him aside and explain the difference between a racer back (a style of clothing top with a T-shaped back) and a razorback (a wild or semiwild hog with a ridgelike back, common in the southern US).

 

LOVE, Chris

 

PR season 12, episode 3                RYAN ON THE RUNWAY

 

Did you get the feeling that last night’s episode was brought to you by Yoplait Frozen Yogurt?  Yeesh, enough already!  I just rewatched the start of the episode, and in the twenty seconds it look Tim and the Yoplait guy to introduce the challenge, they used the words “Yoplait Frozen Yogurt” four times.  Four times in twenty seconds!  Did not make me want to run out and buy some Yoplait Frozen Yogurt.  Though I have to admit, from the commercials, that Yoplait Frozen Yogurt does look rather delicious.  Or, as some of the passersby on the boardwalk said, Yoplait Frozen Yogurt is light, natural, and refreshing!

 

I now have absolutely no belief in the randomness of the button bag.  Does anyone really believe that Miranda and Timothy were paired up randomly?  And that they were paired up randomly last?  This is something else I want to see exposed in someone’s PR tell-all book (Laura Bennett, where are you?).

 

I LOVED the carny aspect of the challenge, that was hilarious.  As I said in my notes, “This challenge is WACK!”

 

The quote of the week is from Helen: “I almost feel bad for saying Kate was a b-tch, because it turns out we have a lot in common.”  Uh yeah - - you’re both b-tches!

 

I can’t say I’m pleased with the way Timothy and Miranda are representing the state of Wisconsin.  It was painful watching them torment each other.  As Richard said, Timothy is like a cartoon character, in his own cartoon world.  The moment with him sitting in a dark alley, next to a stuffed unicorn, weeping and reading the note from the model, that wasn’t a cartoon, that was right out of a TV movie!  And not even a Lifetime TV movie, an ABC Family TV movie!

 

Sandro continues along his trajectory towards becoming Most Repellent Project Runway Contestant EVER.  He makes Santino look like Leanne Marshall.   The incomparable Claudia (one of my most devoted readers) told me she was fighting the urge to put her foot through the screen and directly up Sandro’s backside (I’ve edited her remark for content).  Honey, we’re all fighting that urge.  It’s made more difficult with flat-screen TVs, but I still think it would be worth the effort.  He won my all-consuming hatred when he said, “When a woman listens to a man, it’s cool.”  He is a slimebag.  I will rejoice and dance a jig when he’s auf’d.  But he’s such a valuable character, I think he might be on for a while.  Heavy sigh.

 

On to brighter topics - - Kelly Osbourne!  Don’t you love her madly?  Want to be her daddy?  She’s tart and sweet, she’s smart, she’s informed, and she’s freakin’ adorable!  Richard and I catch Fashion Police now and then, and we really need to watch it every week.  She and Joan make the show worth watching.  And the Greek guy is very cute.  And Giuliana gets in a zinger now and then.

 

ON THE TOP

This was a classic PR face-off between wearable and art.  Art usually wins, and this time was no exception.  Helen and Kate’s dress was amazing, you could see the work that went into it, and yet it didn’t seem at all overworked.  Beautiful construction, a great idea, flawless execution.  Bravo to them.  Alexandria and Dom’s dress - - I think I liked it better, just because I can see thousands of women (and girls) wanting to wear it.  Also you can sit down in it.  And I don’t like it when the judges go on about the styling, but you have to admit that her styling was spot on.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Jeremy and Ken’s outfit would have clearly been in the top three, if they’d had three on the top.  Those pants were KILLER.  I look forward to seeing more from Jeremy (I think it was him who did the pants?).  Sandro and Sue’s dress was a mess, it looked like they spent five minutes making the skirt.  Bradon and Karen’s dress was well done by not a knockout.  I was happy to see that someone used the stuffing in their outfit.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Another classic PR face-off - - do you penalize the people who went too far and did too much, or the people who didn’t go far enough or do enough?  Do you want de trop or just meh?  I don’t have any concrete data on this, but the seesaw goes in both directions on this issue.  I think it comes down to the personalities and what they say on the runway.

 

Alexander and Justin’s dress was a total train wreck.  Way too much going on, it really did look like it was made by a sixth grader.  They were saved by the fact that they appeared to work well together.  I think if the judges had only the dress to judge, they would have had the auffing outfit.

 

I was on tenterhooks to see whether Timothy would be sent away (directly back to the land of cast-off fabrics and unicorns) or Miranda (directly to San Francisco and a date with my brother Howard).  It’s a snide thing to say, but I was thrilled that it was Timothy.  He’s so limited, and such an emotional mess.  Miranda is hardly blameless, but he signed his own pink slip by going off on her on the runway.  She had a little more tact.

 

Next week’s bow tie challenge looks intriguing.  And I have a question, about Sandro assaulting the camera operator: are you disqualified from the show if you’re put in jail?

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 4

 

Today's column comes to you from the Jersey Shore!  We've had a glorious week on glorious Long Beach Island.  We all watched PR last night and had such a fun time.

 

The start of the episode was very exciting, the flash-forward of Sandro having his tantrum beyond all tantrums.  It made us all very interested to see how things would unfold.

 

Jeremy's grandmother dying, so sad.  But HIS grandmother?  At one point he said that it was his husband's grandmother, but he kept referring to her as HIS grandmother.  That's odd.  As Richard said, "Are they cousins?"

 

Jesse Tyler Ferguson - - no applause when he comes into the workroom, that was a little strange.  Tie the Knot, what a lovely idea.  And the bow ties are very sharp, and only $15 each!

 

tietheknot.org/

 

Did you notice how Sandro was clutching a couple of nearby guys when they were explaining the challenge?  Spooky.  Here's what my housemates Karen and Claudia had to say about Sandro's shenanigans:

 

Claudia: "He's like a five-year old."

Karen: "On crack."

Claudia: "On crack."

 

This season has been full of firsts - - I don't remember a designer ever being in the middle, being asked to go back to the green room, and then saying to the judges, "I want a critique of my dress."  Uh, honey, that's not the way it works!  But in this case, be careful what you ask for, because clearly he wasn't happy with what his archenemy Zac Posen had to say.  Sandro really is seriously disturbed.  Helen is hardly any better, they're neck and neck in the narcissism department.  But he takes the cheese for being violent, and I loved his lost in translation bark to Helen: "Voice make DOWN!"

 

I raised my eyebrows when he walked out, and was thrilled when Tim announced that he was off the show.  I have a fear that they'll bring him back in a "let's humiliate the auf'd designers" challenge, but I hope my fears will not be realized.

 

Top Gunn.  Can you imagine, I like something that Sandro said?

 

ON THE TOP

I thought Dom's dress might have won, it was so sweet, had such an ambitious construction, and yet was effortless.  And the bow tie element was used smartly.  I can't believe that Kate was in the top three, I thought her outfit was direct from Dullsville.  The judges were rhapsodic over the pants, I was tempted to rewind it to make sure I wasn't nodding off and having a bad dream.

 

Bradon - - I don't want to miss a single episode of this season, but can we just give him the win right now?  Such a lovely guy and what a talent.  The outfit was marvelous.  We all thought he was biting off more than he could chew by making a jacket, but the jacket was great and essential to the outfit.  The top was very bare, but didn't look trashy or slutty in the slightest.  And he and his partner proposing to each other, that was a teary moment.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

A few one-word reactions - - Ken: trashy.  Helen: lumpy.  Alexander: draggy.  Karen: paunchy.  And I need two words for Sandro: Miss Russia.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

I don't know why Jeremy was on the bottom with all the drek they had to choose from.  The pants were gorgeous.  The peek-a-boo navel was a little off-putting, but really not so bad.  And yes, the outfit on the whole was rather mumsy, but certainly not worse than many of the others.

 

Miranda.  She HAS to be sent home soon, she is a disappointment.  Enough with the bare midriff already, and stop talking about your time in the military, it's not scoring you any points.  I think she sees the writing on the wall.

 

Sue's dress was sort of a joke.  She spent all that money and time to make that?  She has talent and ability, but she needs to focus.  I think she would have been the auf if Sandro hadn't gone AWOL.

 

The closing line from Tim, on the subject of Sandro, was so hilarious and so freakin' Yoda: "Sad it may be.  Necessary it is."

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 5

 

This season has been full of firsts (Tim comforting a designer during the runway show, a model getting dressed outside the workroom, Nina wearing glasses), but also full of recycling - - this is their third unconventional materials challenge this season, and their second team challenge.  Next week’s camping trip looks like it will produce something never before seen on television.

 

Why were Ken, Sue, and Alexandria such trouble?  They were all peevish and silent from the get go.  I think one of them (one of the women, clearly, since Ken was throwing his bad attitude all over creation) should have said, “Ya know, none of us is happy about being matched with the others, but we have to make it work.  Let’s check our egos and our prejudices at the door, and start fresh and really collaborate with each other.”  Followed by hand-holding and a chorus of “Living together, growing together”.

 

I need to find that wallpaper store!  What a treasure trove.  To quote Holly Golightly, “The mind reels.”  Whose idea was it to have Miranda sew through the wallpaper to make it more pliable?  Brilliant.

 

Were your eyebrows arched, like mine, when Sandro came back into the workroom?  I’m glad it was just for closure and not for an actual return.  It was sweet seeing him enter the room arm in arm with Tim, and it was a delight to hear more lost in translation remarks from him.  My favorites this week were, “I wish I can” and “I’ve been misunderstood from people.”  Helen said, re: his visit, “Everyone did a 360.”  People often say that when they mean a 180, but this actually WAS a 360: everyone hated Sandro before he walked in the room, he walked in the room, apologized, and everyone was all smiles, he left the room and people were back to hating him.  This show really is like sixth grade.

 

Sue was a total idiot for making her outfit out of curtains, and her teammates were idiots for letting her buy it.  I love that Tim was frothing at the mouth in his consultation with her.  He must get so fed up with the cluelessness.

 

Justin’s call home was so touching.  The illustrious Karen Miller (one of my most devoted readers) said, “I did not know that Anita Ryan was also Justin’s mother.”  HA!  His mom was pretty cute, and had a strong whiff of my mom.  He could do a lot worse, I’m just sayin’!  Plus my mom is fully conversant in American Sign Language.  He’d be a wonderful brother, don’t you think?

 

ON THE TOP

Karen’s dress was interesting, but I can’t say I liked it.  All of the elements worked together in an interesting way, but it was a little shapeless.  Karen’s dress was fascinating, even with the black rice.  Very strong design.

 

I wasn’t wild for Jeremy’s winning dress.  It was well made, but I didn’t like the peplums, also didn’t feel like the boobs were quite right.  I loved the glitter, though.  That really made the dress.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Alexander, Miranda, and Bradon had the right idea.  Their collection had variety and cohesion, a tricky combo.  I wasn’t wild for Alexander’s or Bradon’s dresses, I thought Miranda’s dress was the best of all twelve.  Great use of the materials, nice shape.

 

Justin, Dom, and Helen’s collection was OK.  I liked Dom’s dinosaur dress the best, but it didn’t look high end.  Helen’s dress was fabulous, I loved the shape.  It was novel but not wacko.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Alexandria’s outfit was the best of the three, though all of them, to quote the redoubtable Nina, were “bad, weird, funky, ugly.”  Hers at least seemed to have some sense of what it was doing.  BTW, how the heck do you say her name?  Alexan-DRA or Alexan-DREE-a?  I’ve heard both and I must know.

 

Ken’s dress looked like it was made in eight minutes.  And come on, holding it together with duct tape?  This is not a duct tape challenge.  And Sue, you know how I feel about Sue.  Hand-sewing is great, but you don’t always have time for that.  Again, has she seen the show?

 

LOVE, Chris

 

PS - - “Living together, growing together” is the dopiest song Burt Bacharach ever wrote.  Here it is, done by the incomparable Fifth Dimension:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWeLwBQdwKw

 

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 6

 

Did you notice that Tim had cargo pockets on his camo suit?  This episode was amusing.  I loved their outing but am not sure how I feel about the term “glamping”.  I roll my eyes.  My eyes, they are rolling.  But whatever you call it, clearly the designers were thrilled to get out of the city, breathe some fresh air, and soil their panties on that zip line.

 

Alexander’s remark about *The Witches of Eastwick* cracked me right up.  I have to quote Richard, he said that Karen looks like Drew Barrymore’s older homely cousin.  And Bingo was his name-oh.  Not a lot of drama in the workroom this week, but Ken was doing his best to push Alexandria’s buttons.  Good for her for not rising to the bait, and hey, winning is the best revenge (especially when he’s in the bottom three).

 

Our SDJ (Starlet du Jour), Allison Williams, contributed nothing as guest judge.  Heavy sigh.

 

ON THE TOP

Alexander’s dress was beautifully made, but again his stuff has such a drag aesthetic.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it doesn’t read Biological Female to me.  Plus I really didn’t like the black leather fishtail, that was wonky.

 

I thought Jeremy had this in the bag.  That dress was divine, and he was pushing all those love buttons with the story behind the dress.  It didn’t really have much to do with Nature, but hey.  Gorgeous drape, inventive piecing of the materials, and I was also crazy for those little buttons.  And like Strike a Posen said, bias-cut gowns are difficult to do well.

 

I am mystified that Alexandria won the challenge.  I’ll use my favorite line from *Pride and Prejudice*, one of my favorite lines in all of lit-rah-choor - - “I am all astonishment!”  I thought she might have been in the BOTTOM three.  It was edgy and original, and I guess well made for what it was, but it just wasn’t attractive.  Nina said it was highly editorial, but I would flip right past that in a magazine.  Plus I hated the white eye makeup, that really put it over the edge.  Maybe they gave her the win just to piss off Ken (I wouldn’t put it past ‘em!) - - I was so hoping she would go to the green room, snap a Z in the air, and say, “Whadya have to say now, Miss Thing?”
 

IN THE MIDDLE

Miranda’s dress was so flamenco.  She’s not long for this world.  Bradon was lucky, too - - his dress was a mess.  Dom’s was OK, the hem in particular was interesting.  Helen’s dress was ambitious but maybe showed a little too much effort.  Loved the twigs in her hair.  I loved Kate’s dress, it was cutesie with an edge - - she’s doing so much better than last season.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Ken’s dress was dull and what was with that Merry Christmas color scheme.  Did you notice the back zipper was open?  Still he wasn’t as bad as the other two.

 

The classic face off - - do you auf the one who was a big nothing or the one who was too ambitious?  To the beach-or-rodeo, or to the foaming vagina?  Karen’s dress had a good spirit, but it was such a throw-away.  No tailoring, no skill, nothing impressive.  Justin’s dress looked good in the workroom in the early stages, when the glue was being used as a lining, that was lovely.  He might have been in the bottom three, but wouldn’t have been auf’d.  (BTW when I use an apostrophe in that word, I use it in the Elizabethan manner - - as in kiss’d or woo’d.)  A designer always runs into trouble when they decide they’ve been in the middle too long and they’re going to do something out there and really show the judges.  They always show them a pile of poop, and that is not fashion forward.  Heidi put it perfectly when she said that he should have seen where he was going in the workroom and done a 180.

 

Two words for Tim Gunn: MY HERO!  Richard and I were both in tears with Justin’s auf, and continued crying when Tim saved him.  He is the sweetest guy.  Not, from what we’ve seen, the most talented designer in the bunch, but I was sorry to see him go.  I think his next auf will be easier to take.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 7

 

Note to Ken: no one cares what you think.  He is so full of himself - - I was a little afraid that he’d be even more unbearable, having been in the top three with this challenge, and from the looks of the preview of next week’s episode, I was right!

 

I’m surprised they couldn’t work in a product placement with all those shoes, but I guess being at the Marie Claire offices is s product placement in itself.  Tim gave a priceless critique of Helen’s outfit, saying that the dress looked Kate Middleton, but the cape looked like her mother-in-law.  Note to Helen, and all the designers: any reference to Camilla Parker-Bowles is a bad sign.

 

All that talk about two pairs of red plaid pants - - who the hell cares!  It doesn’t make any difference, and that showed in the results.  Alexander was safe and Miranda was on the bottom.  I love *The Big Bang Theory* (we watch it constantly in reruns), and Kaley Cuoco did an OK job as guest judge, but was she really needed?  They already had Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider, isn’t that enough?

 

ON THE TOP

Ken’s dress was cute.  I agree with Fulenwider that the skirt could have been a smidge longer, but the dress was well made, looked cool, and was a perfect complement to the shoes.  Alexandria’s dress was good and showed some design in the lace inserts, and again, was great with the shoes.

 

Helen’s dress was sublime, but I didn’t like the cape, I thought it looked dumpy.  Maybe if the whole thing was in dark grey, I’d like that better.  I think she was going for a vintage Balenciaga vibe, but to me it looked shapeless and dour.  Was this a Wednesday Addams challenge, and no one told me?

 

IN THE MIDDLE

I liked Alexander’s outfit a lot - - funny how with him a pair of plaid pants look more “feminine” (and less draggy) than a dress.  Dom’s dress was cute - - Richard thought it was a little too junior, I thought it was too bulky.  Jeremy’s outfit looked very forced, and the hips were too full.  Karen was lucky not to be in the bottom with that matchy matchy fabric choice.  She might have been in the top if she’d made the bodice in purple or blue, or Richard’s choice, vermillion.  And Kate - - the pants were sort of interesting, but that shirt was badly fitted, the sunglasses were dumb, the whole thing just looked awful, and you could hardly see the shoes.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

I was worried about Bradon.  It doesn’t seem like he really thought about what worked with the shoes.  Gorgeous technique with the blouse.  I think he might have been better off if he’d made the blouse with pants in the same fabric, that would have looked cute and fresh with the shoes.  And he needed to show a little more spunk with the styling.

 

Jeremy, blech.  The “sweater” could have been cool, but it wasn’t.  The gold camisole was a dumb idea, and was totally invisible under the “sweater”.  And the boots were totally *Pretty Woman*, which was 1990.  But to quote him, “I don’t think the judges necessarily know what they’re talking about.”  Uh, sure.  Go with that.  It’ll do wonders for your career.

 

Arrivederci, Miranda!  Mamma mia, that outfit was so mumsy - - it was mumsissimo!  That blouse, ugh, what on earth was she thinking.  Her stuff is so flat and lifeless.  The dress she had on was adorable.  I’m all for a geeky groove, but it has to be geek chic, not geek meek.  I usually don’t pay much attention to those statistics in the lower left corner of the screen, but I did make note of the fact that 93% of voting viewers felt that the judges made the right decision giving her the auf.  Do you think Timothy had a welcome home party for her, back in Milwaukee?

 

News flash: All Stars Season 3 is currently in production.  The Lifetime website says it’ll be hosted by Alyssa Milano, but doesn’t give any indication of when it will air or who the designers are.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

Next week: Return of La Kors!

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 8

 

I don’t like these sportif show-downs - - maybe it comes from being the last guy picked when they were picking teams in middle school (where was the button bag back then?), but it does not smell like team spirit to me.  It was worth it just to see Justin belly-bucking Dom.  The headwear was perplexing - - Ken was wearing a ‘do rag (the illustrious Karen Miller tells me that “du rag” is an accepted spelling) and a number of designers were wearing sombreros.  Sombreros?

 

Ken is not doing himself any favors by being so obnoxious, both in the short term on the show and in the long term in his life and career.  But still, why does Helen need to bait him?  She needs to learn to walk away and not add fuel to the fire.  It was interesting hearing him talk with his spiritual advisor - - boy needs some grace!  But quick!

 

Wasn’t it great to have Michael Kors back?  He is the master of the cutting remark, and just his facial expressions are priceless.

 

ON THE TOP

I liked Alexander’s look a lot, I thought he should have won.  The seaming was beautifully done, I bet that’s tricky with the stretchy fabric.  Yes, not all the elements were perfect with the jacket, but I thought it was a very strong look.  Kate’s outfit was great, I like the zipper in the back.

 

Oy, another win for Helen.  She’ll be even more insufferable next week.  I did not care for the jacket, I didn’t like the wings, I thought they were goofy.  I was tickled by what Heidi said: “Nina put it already an order.”  It’s easy to forget that she’s Cherman.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

I was crazy for Bradon’s outfit, I was sure he’d be in the top, I’m mystified why he wasn’t.  Ambitious design and beautifully executed.  Dom’s outfit was very cute (I love the hat), maybe it made the model look a little thick.  Justin’s outfit was very well done, but yes, the shorts were a little too short.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Alexandria, what were you thinking with the dropped crotch?  More to the point, Heidi, why were you encouraging her?  I think the judges gave her a free pass, since Tim told them Heidi had liked it.  Hm!  And Ken.  Blech, that was awful.  I hated all the straps in the back.

 

Karen, Karen, Karen.  Why would anyone think a strapless sports bra was a good idea?  I knew that Karen was headed for the glue factory when I saw that.  And the outfit she made was such a snooze.  Michael Kors put it perfectly - - this is the girl who dresses like she’s going to the gym, but she’s actually going to buy cookies.  Nothing special, an invitation to an auf.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 9

 

Two things before we get started - - a friend of a friend (a curling chum of the adorable Barbara) was at the PR fashion show this past week!  No spoilers from her, but she had a good time.  And another devoted reader, the ever-stylish Freya, went to Lincoln Center just to check out the scene.  Here’s her report:

 

Reporting from Fashion Week.

Yesterday (during a break from services), I was at Lincoln Center and saw 3 of the contestants:  I don’t know names, so—

  1. The crazy guy who had a meltdown and left early (and came back and said goodbye)—wearing an army-like jump-suit and posing for pictures.  [That would be Sandro.]

  2. The long-hair, older woman who couldn’t sew.  She looked amazing, but has such glaringly bad teeth.  [That would be Sue.]

  3. The “day glo” loving designer.  She and #2 posed for pics together.  [I think that might be Kahindo?]

 

That place they went to for brunch, Juliette - - doesn’t it look heavenly?  I might have to check it out, though I’m sure they’ll be mobbed now that they’ve been on PR.  I loved it when Tim announced the challenge, that they’re designing for the Belk customer, a modern Southern woman, and Ken said, “I’m going home!”  Honey, I wish you WERE going home.


How is it possible that Helen has had three wins?  Maybe it’s just that I don’t like her, but she’s not really impressing me as a designer.  And I loved Ken’s call with his mom, especially when she said, “Has that other side come out yet?”  Ken seems to only have one side, the nasty side.  I guess we’re still waiting for his good side to come out.

 

ON THE TOP

I loved the top of Bradon’s dress but wasn’t wild for the skirt.  But I was happy he won.  Alexander’s dress was sweet, but I don’t like that handkerchief hem.  He said he was designing for the modern 80s woman - - well, he nailed it.  Kate’s dress was cute, but neither Richard nor I liked the burgundy fabric on the shoulders and in the back, that was peculiar.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

I was shocked that Alexandria wasn’t in the bottom three.  Her outfit was a disaster on every level.  Let’s use Tim’s word from his workroom visit: hideous.  I have a theory that they planned to do the second chance for the bottom two, and knew that she wouldn’t be able to do anything better.  Justin’s dress was sweet but didn’t have any wow.  Helen’s dress was so late 60s costumey - - I have Verushka on the phone, she wants her dress back!

 

ON THE BOTTOM

I can’t remember another challenge where you got the feeling that all six people on the runway thought they were in the top three.  There’s usually one or more who knows that they’re on the chopping block.

 

I am so fed up with Ken!  I couldn’t take him giving the stink eye to Bradon during the runway critique.  He and Dom were both so superior, saying that they were going to nail this challenge because they’re from the South, and going off on the Plaid Twins for choosing plaid.  Well, just see how things turned out.

 

The second chance in the workroom was interesting, I’d like them to do that again.  Bravo to Dom for turning her frown upside down, her second dress was wonderful, though I didn’t like the tumor pocket.  Ken’s second dress looked good from the front, but looked trashy from the back.  And it was too short.  Both of Jeremy’s outfits were dull, and we cannot tolerate boredom on the runway!

 

A few links, for your amusement:

 

http://www.juliettewilliamsburg.com/

http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/house-of-versace

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/360710251374884154/

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 10

 

I have lots of news before I get to the episode.  One of my most devoted readers, the incomparable Claudia, sent me this amusing article about Project Subway:

 

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2294190/subway-goes-high-fashion-with-projectsubway

 

Those dresses are impressive, but to me they read “pageant”.

 

Another devoted reader, my dear friend Frank, sent me this article about a fashion week temper tantrum by season 6 winner Irina Shabayeva:

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/irina-shabayeva-bailed-fashion-week-show-suit-article-1.1458406

 

I never liked her!  And holy moly, did you see the commercial for Project Runway All Stars, season 3?  This season will have three winners of previous seasons, including the aforementioned Irina - - here’s the full story:

 

  1. Jeffrey Sebelia, winner of season 3.  Snide.  Had a hair-pull with Laura Bennett about whether or not he did his own construction for fashion week.

  2. Mychael Knight, 4th place season 3.  Sweetheart of a guy, was fan favorite.  Did a killer Pam Grier-inspired look in his season.

  3. Korto Momolu, runner-up season 5.  Practically my favorite ever!  I adore her!  My fave look of hers was the coat dress made of woven seat belts.

  4. Irina Shabayeva, winner of season 6.  See above re: lawsuit.

  5. Seth Aaron Henderson, winner of season 7.  Loved his stuff and his attitude.  My fave look of his was the HP fabric challenge (was it the first?), he made a cartoony print and used it for a jacket, cut on the bias.

  6. Ari South, 3rd place season 8.  He was the bridesmaid to the Mondo and Gretchen bride and groom.  Inventive designs, but a little tricked out.  Wait a minute: I just checked the website, didn’t see him in the group photo - - he’s a CHICK!  He was Andy, now she’s Ari.

  7. Viktor Luna, 3rd place season 9.  Quiet, by PR standards.  Don’t really remember his work, but have a general memory I liked it.

  8. Melissa Fleis, 3rd place season 10.  Rockin’ looks, like her a lot.

  9. Christopher Palu, 4th place season 10.  He was such a petulant brat, I had a feeling that he was being groomed to continue his shenanigans as an All Star.

  10. Elena Slinyak, 6th place season 10.  Hot mess!  Beware of falling pasta!

  11. Daniel Esquivel, 4th place season 11.  Return of The Moustache!

 

The fun starts on October 24th.  I feel a wave of Project Runway Fatigue Syndrome coming on, will start my meds now.

 

And completely off topic (could not be more off topic), Richard sent me this marvelous quote by Pope Francis: “This church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people.  We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity.”

 

Wow, he’s a rebel!  I think PR should support his life-affirming point of view.  How about a Pope challenge?  Does Mood have off white silk shantung?

 

Those superfans were so adorable, I was teary within five minutes.  Thank God they assigned clients to the designers - - I think someone on the show must have been reading Laura Bennett’s blog a few seasons ago: when they had the Campbell’s soup “real woman” challenge, he pointed out that invariably the largest woman is the last to be chosen, and that’s humiliating beyond words.

 

The product placements this season are giving me chronic eyeroll.  I felt like every single product in the L’Oreal galaxy was featured during the makeovers.

 

Ken!  Like he wasn’t bad before!  Richard correctly identified the origin of the ironing board incident from an episode of America’s Next Top Model, a few seasons back.  And he didn’t even see that episode!  See how these things just seep into the brain.  There’s no excuse for Ken’s abusive behavior, but I have to say that Alexander was baiting him.  Everyone knows that Ken has a hair-trigger temper.  If I’d been Alexander, I would have dropped my bags at the door and moved them into the room after he was done ironing.  Alexander throwing the iron on the floor was the red flag waved in front of the bull.  The fact that Ken was wearing a facial masque gave the whole scene a Pirandello flavor, don’t you find?  And one final question, before I move on to the runway: why would anyone iron denim cut-offs?

 

ON THE TOP

I was hoping Justin would win.  That dress was very sweet, the skirt had lovely movement, and the signature stitching was inventive and very special.  Plus maybe the judges didn’t take this into account, but his client had quite a few limitations with her Mormon thing going on, and he made a stylish, flattering, distinctive dress that made her look like a dream.  I’m sure her sister wives will be very jealous when they see her.

 

Bradon’s dress was lovely, and the vest was cool.  His client had a whole vibe, I loved the look.  And I didn’t think the patent leather piping looked cheap at all.

 

It seems like Helen is a shoe-in for the final three.  She’s now won four challenges, but beware!  I checked my table, and three other designers have won four challenges (Kara Saun season 1, Emilio season 7, Christopher season 10) and one won five (Daniel Vosuvic season 2), but none of them won the season!  I thought her dress was lovely and very well made, but her stuff puzzles me.  It often has such a classic couture vibe - - the black dress and cape she did for the shoe challenge had a whiff of Balenciaga, and this dress looked like Jacques Fath.  The thing that puzzles me more than anything is that the clothes she makes have so little to do with her personal look and personality.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Dom’s dress wasn’t great, but the jacket was awful.  And Kate’s outfit looked very Stevie Nicks (I’m not sure that’s what she was going for).

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Alexander’s outfit was messy, and his client gets an A+ for diplomacy.  This was a two-day challenge, he should have had a sense of what he was able to do in that amount of time.  Alexandria’s outfit was dull, dull, dull.  She’ll be going home soon.

 

How ironic that this episode was in honor of PR’s fans, and we all got our dearest wish: Ken was sent home.  I’m sure he’s blaming it all on his client for making him buy that green fabric - - if I learned anything from Edith Head, it’s all about listening to the client and/or getting them to come around to your point of view.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been so pleased to see a designer go home.  Did you notice Tim’s expression when Ken left the room?  The word is “inscrutable”.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 11

 

My column is late this week because we had a crazy busy week at work, an unannounced accreditation survey.  I was in bed by 9:30 on Thursday and up at 6 on Friday, so I didn't have a chance to watch the show.  Richard and I watched it last night, so nothing can hold me back now!

 

I always love the HP fabric challenge, don't you?  This year's wrinkle was interesting, but not really all that, nor was it a bag of chips.  I think it would have made more sense and had more impact if all of the innovators had been connected to a charity.  Don't you think the producers would have thought of that?

 

Kate had two annoying quotes in this episode.  I'll get to the other one later.  The first was when she was talking about the charitable aspect of the challenge - - she said "I get empowered every time I create a new garment." Yeah, I guess that is just like educating teenage girls or helping the homeless.

 

ON THE TOP

Helen was in the top, seriously?  I didn't like her outfit at all.  The print was underpowered, and I can't believe the judges liked the off white with the white, I thought that was putrid.  The design didn't give any oomph to the underpowered print, it was a blah look in general.  I shake my head.

 

I loved Bradon's outfit.  The jacket was sharp, and I was afraid he'd cop out with the tube dress, but he did something really groovy with it.  But Dom was the clear winner.  Her dress was fabulous, the print was distinctive, and like Bradon, she captured the spirit of her muse without being literal.  I love that Zac said, "If I were a woman, I would wear it."  Richard said, "And it's his size, too!"

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Alexandria.  I thought her outfit was much worse than Alexander's.  Sloppy and dull, and again, the print was underpowered.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Justin's dress was badly executed.  The skirt was dreadful.  The fabric was OK.

 

I thought Alexander's dress was really cool.  I liked the fabric, but wasn't crazy for it.  I thought the long sleeves and cut-out back were a good idea, though as Joanna Coles would say, how do you wear a bra with that?  The white cross was a little much, and his Pope-ish defense was a little lame.  Richard thought it would have worked better with the white just down the center - - I thought with the white just across the arms and shoulders.  Either way it would have been better.  But he did not deserve to be sent home, especially when Alexandria did such a crapfest.

 

Ah, Kate - - leaving just as you were just starting to annoy me.  Her outfit was a just plain dreadful.  The fabric, the design, and Jesus Lord, those chiffon pleats!  What on earth was she thinking.  The second priceless Kate quote, from the green room during judge deliberations: "I just hope they give me another chance."  Hello, this IS your second chance!  You were on last season!

 

The final five, and the final challenge next week!  It's pretty clear that the final three will be Bradon, Dom, and Helen, don't you think?

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 12

 

We’re getting so close!  The designers can totally taste the sausage dangling in front of their heads (Heidi cracks me up).  Let me ask you this: will they EVER just narrow it down to three designers?  It seems like nearly every season lately they either choose four designers for the finale, or do some kind of show-down.  They’ve never done a show-down between three designers - - I think that would be more of a Mexican standoff vs a duel.

 

The butterflies are so magical, I can’t believe they haven’t used it as an inspiration before.  Too bad they didn’t go to the Museum of Natural History!  Ah well, you can’t win every time.  Which do you think came first: the idea for the inspiration, or the L’Oreal butterfly make-up line?  And do we really need a nail expert?  And were the judges contractually obligated to mention the nails on the runway?  I’m afraid they were.

 

Did you notice how frightfully over the suggested budget a lot of the designers were?  Yikes.  Is that cash going to come out of what they have to spend for the finale?

 

Is Justin the dearest thing.  I think he’s made me cry more than any previous designer.  I loved the added challenge of making over a previous auf’d design, and of course Justin had to choose his own auf.  Bless his heart.

 

Emmy Rossum did a good job as guest judge, she had some intelligent things to say.  And this was a new Nina!  Richard said, “I’ve never seen Nina so animated.  She must have new meds.”

 

FINAL TWO

I think Dom would have won this challenge, if it had been a challenge with a winner.  Two really fantastic designs.  The avant garde look was dreamy, what Zac would call “runway-ready”.  And the jacket looked so cute on Emmy Rossum!  That was a first, and totally adorable.  The jumpsuit was gorgeous, I wish she had told the model to take the jacket off so we could see it - - but it was a nice surprise for the up-close examination.  I thought her Jeremy make-over was even more impressive.  She took the Madame and made her a hip chick!  Fabulous, and with great hanger appeal.

 

Bradon’s avant garde dress was marvelous.  It wasn’t at all what he showed in the workroom, the whole back was redone.  I think he was wise to not do the other fabrics coming out of the back AND the tubes in the front.  His was also the most avant garde of any of the designs.  He Sue make-over was a bit of a snooze, but such an improvement over what Sue had done.

 

MEXICAN STANDOFF

Why didn’t they send Alexandria home.  Clearly she was the loser in this challenge.  Richard has a theory: Heidi is crazy for her.  Heidi even liked those poopy pants she did a few episodes back.  She was nearly auf’d in that challenge, I’m surprised she’s still here.  And I was sure, with that Skype call to Camp Couture, that she was packing her bag!  The Skype call is like a moment in an old movie where a solider looks at his girlfriend’s picture.  Bang bang, you’re dead.

 

Her avant garde dress wasn’t avant garde.  Pretty, and representative of who she is as a designer, but didn’t push the envelope.  The way she remade Miranda’s pants was pretty bitchin’.  The rest of the look was OK (I actually liked the vest) but that cock feather headdress was a bad idea.  The braids would have been enough.

 

Justin’s avant garde look was cool.  Loved the coat over the dress.  It would have looked better with a couple more days, but the judges can see the idea was a good one.  The remake of his own auf dress was a total transformation.  I bet his first task was removing the foaming vagina.

 

Helen’s avant garde dress may have looked like orange soda, but it had plenty of fizz!  She wanted it to be “luxe as hell” (is hell really luxe?), I’m not sure she really achieved that.  You know what might have improved that dress: if she’d done black (or blue!) ink blots on it, strategically placed.  Maybe with a mirror image down the center, like on a butterfly.  That would have livened things up a little, and made it more avant garde.  That dress was red carpet-ready, which wasn’t the challenge.

 

Am I blind, or am I not seeing any relation between her Kate make-over and the Kate original?  None of the same fabric.  I am most perplexed.  Beautiful construction on both pieces, though - - the seamwork along the back of the skirt was divine.

 

The “Who would you take with you?” question is always a squirmer.  I felt bad for Alexandria, that must have felt awful, to not be chosen by anyone.  Bradon was so articulate.  The designers often get an eyeroll from me when they say why they should go on to Fashion Week, when they say something like, “I want this so bad, this would be such a dream come true.”  Um, that’s an expression of why you want to go, it’s not a statement of why you DESERVE to go.  Helen got an eyeroll and groan combo from me with her comment about how she’s going to “show the entire universe” what a talented designer she is.  Really?  Those undiscovered life forms in other galaxies, they’re going to be aware of you and your prowess, as a result of being at Fashion Week?  Honey, I hate to break it to you, but I doubt that even Anna Wintour (Queen of the Fashion Universe) will be aware of you.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

PS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_standoff

 

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 12 - - Finale Part One

 

Those home visits are always treat, are they not?  The designers seem so relaxed.  They added something new this season, they filmed the designers talking to the camera in their home environments.  That was a nice idea.  Interesting that they asked the designers to include one unconventional garment in their collections.

 

DOM

Love her family and boyfriend, what on earth is she doing working as a hostess while she’s designing her collection?  Maybe it keeps her sharp, maybe she needed time away from designing, maybe she needs the money!  Love her prints and of course I love the *Blade Runner* inspiration.  Not one of my favorite movies (I prefer the special features to the movie itself) but it has such a distinctive look.

 

BRADON

His fiancé is so charming and handsome - - and the dog!  Love the dog.  Again I love his inspiration and his prints.  But what was he thinking with that unconventional garment.  Tim was right, it was heavy and totally out of place.

 

ALEXANDRIA

Thirty garments, why the hell not?  Like Tim said, it’s nice to have choices.  She’s so fragile, she makes me think of Fosca, the heroine of Sondheim’s *Passion* - - her brother says that her nerves are too close to the surface of her skin.  It was wonderful seeing Camp Couture, and those dolls were hilarious.  Is it worthy of note that we visited the kids, but didn’t visit any of her friends or family?

 

HELEN

Her parents are sweet, and her boyfriend is a pixie.  Her collection did not look interesting at all.

 

JUSTIN

His parents are exactly like mine!  So sweet, so down to earth.  And his work is so high tech, I didn’t even understand it.  But the final product is often interesting.

 

One last product placement with the Tide people!  I’m curious to see what the designers come up with, it’s a lot to ask that a garment be machine-washable - - we’re not just talking about fabric, we’re talking about construction.  I wonder if they’ll do something wacky like make the model take it off after the fitting, and then wash it.  And dry it!  An hour before the runway show!  Can you imagine the drama.  I can.

 

Poor Tim with his subway mishap - - four stitches, yikes.  On to the runway:

 

ALEXANDRIA

Her stuff is very wearable, but why is she so afraid of color?  Her colors are white, taupe, grey, and black?  I don’t know that one can call those “colors”.  The middle look, the suede jacket, that would look cool in shades of red or blue.  All three pants are cool.  I hate that “Half breed” hat.

 

JUSTIN

I thought the white outfit was a little ordinary.  The dress was pretty, and the detailing was impressive, but the neckline was odd.  And that GOWN!  Hello!  The strongest look by far, of all nine looks we saw.  I love that his collection is about his journey towards being able to hear, and the show-stopper is a gown that makes a lot of noise as it goes down the runway.  I wonder if he’ll do anything theatrical, like have no music at the beginning of his show, and then amp it up as it goes on.  But I hope he’ll turn the music down, so they can hear the music of that gown walking down the runway.

 

HELEN

Blah, blah, and more blah.  The navy dress was too short, the red dress was poorly made, and the print dress was washed out, and yes, Nina, it looked like a straitjacket!  Richard said the same thing.  I have a theory about Helen.  She and Bradon are tied for the highest number of wins this season, four each.  That’s a lot.  Clearly she’s done good work and the judges respond to what she does.  But she has a totally student sensibility - - I think she fires on all cylinders only when she’s given an assignment.  She was unmoored having six weeks and lots of time and money.  She needs to learn to put constrictions on herself, to inspire her best work.

 

Once again, four people in the finale.  What a cop-out.  This is the fourth time they’ve done that in four seasons.  It has no meaning anymore, it just seems like laziness.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume 12, issue 12 - - Finale Ultimo

 

Before we get started, the NY Times had the loveliest profile of Tim Gunn this weekend, and they have a video online:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/10/11/fashion/100000002491206/tim-gunn-a-lucky-guy.html?ref=television#100000002489992

 

Dear Lord, I love that man.  I saw him in the street many years ago, when I first started watching PR, and he was taller than I would have thought, we was probably over six feet tall (I guess Tom Cruise has gotten me to think that everyone on TV and in the movies is five foot six or shorter) and also terribly handsome.  He has marvelous carriage.

 

I was sure the Tide people were going to make them launder the garment before it went on the runway.  How did they judge the washability of the garments?  One other question: do you suppose, as a model, you get totally immune to people poking sharp objects in your eyeballs?

 

Lifetime is such a bunch of whores!  It’s always a treat to see past designers at the show, but they had to trot out Alyssa Milano, host of PR All Stars season 3 (starting next week), and seat her right next to the judges.  And some of the post-show commentary was by shoppers from Million Dollar Shoppers (which is hilarious, BTW).  I shake my head at the crassness of it all.  And yet, am I surprised?

 

Let’s look at the designers in ranking order:

 

BRADON

I had such hopes for that boy - - I think he’s like Helen, he showed strong work over the season and then crashed and burned when it came time to make a collection.  His pieces looked promising in the home visit last week, I loved the mix of florals and other fabrics, and there seemed to be a good mix of silhouettes.  But on the runway, some of the pieces were just plain blech - - especially the first one, that was fugly.  Hated the lamé (in this case just plain lame), hated the mix of colors, hated everything about it.  Nina hit the nail on the head when she said the collection lacked cohesion - - he thought he was doing that by repeating motifs and fabrics, but it didn’t quite hold together.  His defense of “this is a capsule collection of a larger collection” doesn’t hold water - - we’re looking at ten pieces, full stop.  I wish they had explained his unconventional materials dress, I don’t know what it was or why it was unconventional.  I loved the blue dress, that was the stand-out.  And I didn’t like the muse model gown, that lamé ruffle on the shoulder was nasty.  I felt bad for hm, his “Why I should win” speech seemed like a concession speech.

 

JUSTIN

I picked Bradon or Dom to win, but was most interested to see Justin's show.  That gown is one of the greatest unconventional garment in the history of the show, definitely up there with Austin Scarlett's corn husk dress (winner of the very first challenge, in the first episode) and Korto Momolu's seat belt coat dress.  Why didn’t he choose that for his muse model?  I thought the piece she wore was a little drab.  The whole collection seemed a little Johnny One Note to me, it needed more zip.  Some color would have helped.  My favorite piece, after the unconventional look, was the white dress with the chiffon overlay.  Beautiful.

 

ALEXANDRIA

Some dialogue from Arden Street:

 

RICHARD: Again, she has no family members there.  Does she have no family?

ME: Maybe they’re in Sweden!

RICHARD: Maybe they’re in prison!

ME: Maybe they’re in a Swedish prison!

 

I liked the unconventional dress, but am not sure it was the best look to start the show.  It seemed to give a warped sense of what was going to follow.  I love all the details in her pieces (especially the thumb loop in the pants) and hoorah for separates.  Kerry Washington was also a fan of separates, and didn’t she do a good job as guest judge?  She’s a real fashionista, they feature her on almost every episode of Fashion Police.  I was singing Nina’s tune about there being no color, but then I saw the washed-out pink chiffon skirt with the lavender and peach vest, and yeesh, let’s stick with white, grey, and black!  Her collection seems very ready-to-wear, which isn’t a bad thing, but in a ten-piece collection, there has to be something special and one-of-a-kind in every look.  Did she achieve that?  And jeez, her “Why I should win” speech seemed very hostile.

 

DOM

Congratulations to her!  She is deserving and such a nice person.  Her show was sophisticated and distinctive, it really gave a sense of who she is and what she can do.  I loved that purple satin pantsuit, but am I alone thinking the plastic jacket looked like a shower curtain?  The plastic peplum on the royal blue dress was a little peculiar.  The swimsuit was not flattering, it made the model look very thick - - but I loved the wrap.  All of the other pieces were marvelous - - love the fabrics, the shapes, the tailoring, the whole vibe.  The Tide look was fabulous - - the shape and the model made me think of Maggie Cheung in *In the Mood For Love*, never a bad reference.  And the finale gown, with all that hardware, that was marvelous.  I could totally see that on some girl I’ve never heard of at the VMAs.

 

Thanks for sharing the ride with me!

LOVE, Chris

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