Project Runway season 10

7/5/12

PR S10 - - two weeks from today!

Project Runway Season 10 starts two weeks from today!  Thursday 7/19.  I am totally pumped, though I'm a little disappointed that it's still 90 mins long.  Who would guess that I would want LESS rather than MORE Project Runway, but 90 mins is just too much.  Maybe this season will be different (but I'm not holding my breath).

7/9/12

 

My dear friend and loyal reader Frank sent me this bit of PR gossip from the NY Post.  It appears that they’re filming a new season of PR All Stars at the same time as they’re filming PR season 10.  The Project Runway machine is moving forward full tilt boogie!

 

Supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley caused “huge drama” behind the scenes at “Project Runway All Stars” after negotiating hard for the job of host, then backing out just weeks before the start of filming.

 

Sources tell us the British beauty suddenly ditched the job — which would have seen her replacing Angela Lindvall in the host role — when she was confirmed at the last minute to appear in “Mad Max: Fury Road” and jetted off to Namibia to shoot with Riley Keough and Zoe Kravitz.

 

The show’s producers, the Weinstein Co., headed by President of Television Meryl Poster, had to scramble to find a new host and booked the face of Estée Lauder, Carolyn Murphy, just days before the cameras started rolling.

 

A source told us, “Literally days before filming, the show suddenly had no host. Rosie had been pushing really hard for the job. She’d charmed everyone. But then with less than three weeks to go, Rosie pulled out to do ‘Mad Max,’ creating a huge drama. It put the production in a terrible position, and the Weinstein Co. even threatened to sue Rosie.”

 

But CAA uber agent Kevin Huvane stepped in and smoothed over the situation — promising to provide talent to guest-star in the new season.

 

While a source close to Whiteley insisted to Page Six that “she was never fully committed to the project and there was no signed contract,” models, including Karolina Kurkova, Hilary Rhoda and Elaine Irwin /and designer Rachel Roy were hastily auditioned to take over. Murphy was signed after the Weinstein Co. appealed to IMG’s Ivan Bart.

 

The Lifetime show started filming in early June, with Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi as judges and Marie Claire’s Joanna Coles as the mentor. Guest stars have included Kylie Minogue, Stacy Keibler and Katie Holmes — who showed up for filming last Monday despite her dramatic divorce news.

 

The source added, “Everyone expected Katie to cancel, but she didn’t. She’s friendly and professional but didn’t say a word about her divorce.”

 

7/17/12

 

I’m getting so pumped for the premiere of season 10 on Thursday, but I’m also very curious about the next season of Project Runway All Stars, which is currently filming.  My biggest question: who are the All Stars?  Let’s face it: this past season was hardly a bunch of All Stars.  Elisa is an All Star?  Who are they kidding.

 

I’ve made my list of who I want to be there.  I’ll use the same parameters as they had for PR AS 1: 13 total designers, with an even mix of men and women, with every season represented (though season 1 didn’t have anyone from season 3).  I’m also trying to limit myself to people who made the top five in their original season (but not the winner), and have left out anyone who was on PR AS 1.  Here goes:

 

  1. Season 1: Kara Saun.

  2. Season 1: Wendy.

  3. Season 2: Santino.

  4. Season 2: Andrae.

  5. Season 3: Kayne.

  6. Season 4: Jillian.

  7. Season 5: Korto.

  8. Season 5: Joe.

  9. Season 6: Carol Hannah.

  10. Season 7: Jay.

  11. Season 8: Andy.

  12. Season 9: Joshua.

  13. Season 9: Kimberly.

 

You may be thinking - - “Where is the immortal Laura Bennett?”  I wouldn’t subject her to another season of PR.  She’s better off blogging about it.  That gal does not suffer fools gladly, and this show is a ship of fools!

 

PR 10: first episode

 

They’re really pumping this 10th season hoo ha, aren’t they?  As well they should, it’s a big milestone for a TV show.  And a woo hoo to them, starting the show in Times Square and then going all Tarantino on our asses, saying, “One day earlier.”  Check out Project Runway, screwing with the narrative!

 

Before we get to the contestants, I have to mention a couple of frightening commercials.  The bright light pillow totally skeeved me out.  You know that there are low levels of radiation coming out of those pillows, and the toddlers using them are going to be picking up short-wave radio in ten years.  You heard it here first.  And just as frightening, the Lindsay Lohan Liz Taylor TV movie.

 

Maybe I’m too hasty saying this after just one episode, but the emphasis seems to be put on Personality and not so much on Talent.  This was definitely the case with season 9.  If I wanted personality without talent, I would be watching the Kardashians.

 

But since we can’t entirely ignore the personality element of the show: Andrea is a hoot - - she seems more positive than the previous record-holder for Oldest PR Contestant, last season’s Bert.  I like Dmitry, his accent is charming and his low affect is a nice change.  Christopher is a sweetheart.   So far.  And Gunnar is doing his best to be the break-out personality this season.  I predict that every episode will include at least one hissy fit from him.  Or should I say sissy fit?

 

One more thing before we get to the runway.  Why on earth was Lauren Graham a guest judge?  She had nothing notable to say, she had no insight, no expertise to share.  And she’s not even a notable or necessarily current actress, I don’t understand why she was there.  Did someone owe her a favor?  Patricia Field was, of course, brilliant.  We all would have been better off if she had been the only guest judge.

 

TOP THREE

Melissa’s two dresses were marvelous, especially the new one.  And I’ll say what I’ve always said: Have these people never watched this show before?  Every season the judges say they want to see something besides black, because the detail is lost.  I would have loved to have seen the first dress in brown, with a black jacket - - and the second dress would look good in many colors.  How about a dark lustrous purple?

 

It’s nice to start the season with them choosing the wrong winner.  That’s typical, no?  Christopher’s two dresses were well made, but I thought the gown showed too much skin, it was a little hoochie mama.  Likewise the dress, it was too darn short.  Also it was black.

 

I would have given the win to Ven.  He’s one to watch.  That rose bodice was the single most gorgeous thing we saw, and the suit was lovely.  And Michael (who would know) said the crepe is a difficult fabric, and he handled it beautifully.  The pink dress was beautifully crafted - - it did something different with the skirt, and it worked.  Plus it wasn’t black.

 

WORTHY OF NOTE

I liked Alicia’s hooded romper.  Not exactly fashion-forward, but distinctive, wearable.  Dmitry’s gown was stunning, and the dress was sharp.  And you can wear a bra with both!  Elena’s space age outfits were high style, but I wonder if she might be frozen in that mode.  Gunnar’s looks were both unremarkable bordering on bad.  I predict molto braggadocio from him, without the talent to back it up.  Raul’s sponge cake dress looked like it was going to be a disaster when he was working on it, but it turned out OK.  The other outfit (the one he sent ahead) was quite awful - - the bow on the leather jacket didn’t make any sense, and the black leopard pants were right out of a John Waters movie (not in a good way).

 

BOTTOM THREE

Kooan.  Hot mess, the man and the clothes.  The clothes are not well made and goofy in the extreme.  Michael and Nina are already over him.  He’s trying to be Casanova, but Casanova was genuine and loveable in his goofiness.  This guy is just annoying.

 

Lantie said it herself when her looks came down the runway: “It doesn’t look as horrifying as I thought it would.”  Hm, high praise.  I think she should have been auf’d, her looks were the bigger disaster.  Both were ugly and unflattering, especially the new dress with the coffee-stained filmy business and the pasted-on snakeskin bib.

 

Beatrice was sent home.  Her outfits were on the dull side, and that poncho was thrifty.  But the dress she made, with the poncho, I thought that was very well done.  Michael made the good point that you can have comfortable and still be stylish.

 

PR 10: Episode 2

 

A few follow-up items: The blogsters on the PR website are Mila and Bert.  Mila’s blog is good, though I hope she gets over her need to examine every single designer.  Bert’s blog is not good!  He has a very annoying habit!  He ends way too many sentences with exclamation points!  It makes one weary, and is not a valid way to drum up excitement.

 

And I watched Road to the Runway after having seen the premiere episode.  It was interesting hearing more about the designers.  Of course they had to trot out a few Queen for a Day sob stories - - leader of the pack is Christopher, who has severe asthma and almost died of a heart attack when he was in high school.  And am I being too tough, or are we past the point where it’s interesting to talk about how you were misunderstood as a child and teased by your classmates?  This is not news, nor is it compelling.

 

I spent some time on the PR website this week and read the questionnaires by the contestants, they were amusing and informative.  Alicia is my fave designer so far, personality-wise.  She’s genuine and seems to have a handle on who she is and what she does.  The only designer whose work website I went to was Dmitry.  His stuff is fantastic:

 

http://dmitrysholokhov.carbonmade.com/

 

Do some of you other PR old timers remember the candy challenge in season 4?  They went to the Hershey’s store in Times Square.  Jillian made a gorgeous dress with a Twizzler-festooned bustier and a Twizzler-as-fringe skirt.  Rami won that challenge, I don’t remember his dress.  Elisa was sent home, she did a milkmaid outfit that inspired Heidi to yodel.

 

Dylan Lauren has such a raspy voice, if you shut your eyes, the guest judge is Brenda Vacarro.  Actually, she would be a great guest judge.  For the Miss Lake Geneva pageant.  Plus her overuse of the word “like” - - “You really know, like, what you’re doing, like” - - did she take elocution lessons from, like, Caroline Kennedy?

 

I was about to say, “Could Gunnar be more obnoxious?”, but we all know the answer to that question.

 

TOP THREE

Sonjia’s dress was lovely, she expertly used different kinds of candy in a harmonious way.  The hat was stupid.  Gunnar’s dress was cute.  I didn’t care for the peplum, but that’s just me.  Expert use of the materials - - the same as Elena used, but none of it was falling off, and it was well fitted.  Ven: wow.  Unbelievable, flawless, stunning.  I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t make the top five.

 

OTHER NOTABLES

I was sure that Dmitry would be in the top three, or win - - and so was he, judging from the look of shock when his name wasn’t called!  The skirt was divine and had spectacular pop and movement, but the top had nothing original going on.  Still, he’s one to watch.  Nice job from Christopher, but it looked a little heavy.  Andrea is so lucky there were three designers who sucked more than she did.  The front of the dress had nothing to do with the back, and the whole thing was dorky.  Ditto with Kooan and this Aztec candy princess.  He is going to flame out big time, I hope it’s soon.

 

BOTTOM THREE
Buffi’s dress did indeed look like something that eight-year-olds would put together at a birthday party.  And then throw in the trash, or eat.  I love that Lantie said, “I really think Buffi’s taste is not up to par.”  Hm, look at those four other fingers pointing right back at YOU, Lantie.  Clearly she was the weakest link.  Goodbye.

 

I was puzzled by Elena.  She was so high drama with the hot glue gun burns, and trying to get her dress off the form - - I think she’s trying to get an Emmy.  The judges made the inevitable comparison to noodle art, and Richard said, “She’s from Ukraine, she doesn’t know from noodle art.”  I thought it was a little odd that she was third from the bottom, when her dress was a bigger disaster than the other two - - the licorice was falling off at a rate of one piece every three minutes.  But Richard had the good point that at least she was trying to do something interesting, whereas the other two were failures in terms of design.

 

PS - - Richard gets credit for the Caroline Kennedy comment.  He gets credit for a lot in today’s column!

PR 10: Episode 3

 

Laura Bennett is back with her blog!  I am so thrilled.  She is my hero, as you know.  OK, now on to the episode.  Can we agree that the Lexus element is gimmicky?  And why are the contestants cranky and/or surprised that they’re doing a team challenge?  They have at least one of those every season.  Again, have they never watched this show before?

 

It was so fun to see the former contestants as clients/models.  April: so cute!  Valerie: love her!  Anya: so pretty!  Irina: so much makeup!  Mila: so somber!  Kenley: hot mess!  And Laura Bennett: my hero!  Maybe this was edited out, but I was surprised that the former contestants weren’t more aggressive or lending their opinions more forcefully.  Maybe the producers told them to let the designers sink or swim on their own.

 

Elena, Elena, Elena.  She tells us that people in Ukraine are tough and die if they’re not strong.  I doubt that the Ukrainians would have gotten very far if they were such a bunch of drama queens.  Stop being a weirdo and focus on the work.  And that whole pleating skirmish was so unnecessary.  If they were concerned about how much time something would take, she should have done 20 mins of pleating, seen how far that got her, and did the math to see if they had enough time to do the whole thing.

 

My favorite quote so far from this season - - Christopher was complaining about how much time Andrea was taking:

 

ELENA: Go crack the whip.  You can say it in a nice way.

CHRISTOPHER: Like you?

 

As I mentioned, I love Valerie, I think she’s sweet.  But she seems pretty far down the ladder to merit being brought back (she came in 7th in season 8).  Why didn’t they bring back the adorable Carol Hannah?  Maybe her arch nemesis Irina put the kabash on that idea?
 

TOP TWO

Ven and Fabio for Kenley: A lovely dress, beautifully made, effortless.  But really more of a cocktail dress or a bridesmaid dress, not a red carpet gown.  Ven was very sweet the way that he tactfully promoted himself.

 

Gunnar and Kooan for Irina: I wasn’t wild about this.  I thought the chiffon panels along the back (which we at home know were put there to mask the fitting problem with the butt) were very pageant.  And Michael is right, the fabric was a funny choice.

 

THE OTHERS

Dmitry and Melissa for April: My favorite design by far, I can’t believe they weren’t in the top two.  I would have put them there instead of Gunnar and Kooan for Irina.  The gown for April was so gorgeous.  Expert handling of a tricky fabric, marvelous color for her, the style is perfect for her (sexy but not girly), and the open back was a great choice.

 

Buffi and Elena for Laura: A misfire.  It was so dowdy, she looked like Mrs. Danvers at an awards show.

 

Nathan and Sonjia for Valerie: Nice dress.  I like the chevron detail.  She looked cougarlicious.

 

BOTTOM TWO

Andrea and Christopher for Anya: The fitting of the bodice was a major problem, her boob area looked strange.  I didn’t think the slit was too high.  She was very gracious in her critique.  I’m officially over Christopher, I couldn’t stand his weepy “I want this so bad” routine.  Honey, every one of the designers wants it so bad, get a clue.

 

Alicia and Raul for Mila: Horrible.  Heavy and dull.  Bad, bad, and more bad.  The judges are right: they’re both menswear designers, why didn’t they make her a red suit?  She would have looked fab in that.

 

Next week: Andrea goes AWOL!

PR 10: Episode 4

 

I can see the NY Post headline: PROJECT LEMMING.  What is with all these hasty exits?  Ah well, we’re better off without them, right?  Maybe they should have left us without Raul as well, I think he’ll be back on the chopping block pretty soon.

 

Clearly Andrea wasn’t cut out (yuk yuk yuk) for Project Runway.  I loved what Christopher said about her leaving: “It’s like a joke being played on me.”  Um, this isn’t about you!  And re: Kooan’s departure, he had a good point: he knows that he’s a good designer and will find his way in the business, but he can’t work under these conditions.

 

On to the challenge!  They combined two previous challenges, the day-to-evening and the girl-on-the-go.  I think they thought we’d have a new spin on it, with Michael Kors introducing it from his Lifestyle store on Madison Avenue.  Lifestyle store - - please.

 

This might become a running feature of my column: a new word by Tim Gunn - - “concretize”!  Love it!

 

This challenge was such a train wreck, I’m going to address each of the designers.

 

TOP THREE

Christopher: I’m surprised he didn’t win, it was a very sharp outfit, though I didn’t care for the asymmetrical hem.  Loved the jacket, and it perfectly fulfilled the challenge.

 

Dmitry: Designers, keep an eye on this guy!  He keeps doing good work and hasn’t won a challenge yet.  That dress was stunning, and the judges are right - - show it in a pow color (my suggestion: purple) and you’ve struck gold.

 

Sonjia: Nice dress, but I would have chosen either of the guys to win.  Gorgeous use of the fabric, but did she think this was an Ann Boleyn challenge?  The top had a big bulge on the right, ready for a third breast.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Alicia: Total nightmare.  It looks like something a bike messenger would wear to the office Earth Day party.  The patches on the elbows are the final blow.  Should have been in the bottom.

 

Elena: First off, I believe the cap she was wearing was from an East German Army/Navy surplus store.  Did you see the little Stasi insignia?  The outfit she made was an utter horror, another candidate for the bottom three.  What was she thinking with that jacket.  Not pretty, not flattering, not on your life.  She said, “She looks like she belongs on the runway in London.”  Richard said, “She looks like she belongs in front of a firing squad.”

 

Gunnar: Weird.  The purple blouse didn’t go with the brown skirt, the skirt itself was bulky and strange, the outfit on the whole didn’t really work, let alone meet the challenge.

 

Melissa: I have Norma Kamali on line one!  It’s not a bad look, but it’s so Spiegel catalog circa 1989.

 

Nathan: Nice dress, I guess.  Ditch the cape.  Pukey color.

 

Ven: Again, nice dress, I guess.  The zipper was a little gimmicky, and that draping technique is getting a little repetitive.  Come up with some new tricks, Mr. Man, and you’ll go all the way!

 

BOTTOM THREE

Fabio: His outfit wasn’t great, but it didn’t deserve to be in the bottom two, let alone the bottom three.  I’d put Alicia or Elena there instead.  What an idiot, in the workroom, being shocked that the skirt was too short.  Don’t you think you’d cut it so it would be 4-6 inches more than you need, and then hem it after you’ve fitted it on your model?

 

Raul: Wouldn’t it be too dreadful to be auf’d, be brought back, and then be auf’d again?  He dodged a bullet this time.  That outfit was horrific, everything about it was wrong, in addition to being ugly.

 

Buffi: A John Waters aesthetic if ever I’ve seen it (I don’t mean that in a good way).  Michael made one of the funniest comments ever, his scenario about the hair salon being on fire.  Would she have been helped by Christopher’s offer of black chiffon?  Maybe, but she wouldn’t have lasted much longer.  BTW if I were her I would have told Christopher to shut up and go back to his quadrant.

 

Another team challenge next week.  Bring on the drama.​

 

PR 10: Episode 5

 

Have you noticed that the 90 mins fly by this season, unlike the last two seasons?  Or is it just me?

 

Laura Bennett had the most fascinating blog posting last week (the Project Lemming episode), about how grueling the show is.  I’d never heard anyone talk in such detail about what it’s like.  I’ve pasted an excerpt from her blog at the bottom of this email.

 

My overriding question for this challenge: have these people never been in an office?  Judges included.

 

I hate this picking teams procedure, it’s so degrading, so 3rd grade kickball.  But why should Raul be surprised that he’s the last one chosen?  He’s the only designer who’s been eliminated.  He had one of the best quotes of the episode, which was littered with great quotes: “It’s hard to have a voice when no one wants to listen to you.”

 

Let’s go ahead and review the best quotes:

 

Gunnar: “I don’t want to work with all these f-cking people.”  This made me think of my mother-in-law’s classic line, “People in hell want ice water, and they’re not getting that, either.”

 

Gunnar, looking over his team’s collection: “It looks like drag queen cocktail hour.”

 

Dmitry, re: Ven: “He’s a one-way monkey.”  He corrected himself to say “one-trick pony”, but “one-way monkey” is hilarious.

 

But the prize goes to Joanna Coles, describing Gunnar’s bodice: “It looks like two puppies wrestling in a sack.”

 

It’s very rare that they have a challenge where they have to have their outfit more or less completely finished before the end of the day, and time only for little tweaks the next day.  It didn’t appear that they had any fitting time with the models in the workroom, I think that all had to be done on site at the photo shoot.

 

The photo shoot!  You can bet the models, photographers, and other staff were doing a dance of joy when those PR people left the building.  What a mess of temper and hollering and ineptitude.  And the judges’ comments on the photos were funny: “Clearly this girl is the boss.”  Well yeah, she’s the one sitting down!

 

TOP THREE

Melissa was clearly the winner.  Her dress was sharp, perfectly constructed, appropriate for work, and editorial.  In other words, a perfect fulfillment of the challenge while still being true to her as a designer.  That combo will win every time!

 

Christopher’s skirt was pretty, but there were threads hanging off it everywhere, I’m surprised he wasn’t called out for that.  The blouse and jacket were just fine.

 

I don’t know why they were so wild for Fabio’s dress, I thought the waist was very badly fitted and the general effect was very off-the-rack.  And the scarf on her head was a very bad idea.

 

WORTHY OF NOTE

Dmitry is a bit of a one-way monkey himself, this is the second time he’s done a tiny dress with a big zipper down the back, flanked by cut-outs.  Well made, but repetitive.

 

I wasn’t bothered by the fold-over on Nathan’s pants, I thought that was interesting.  But does a woman really wear a one-shouldered blouse to the office?  On a side note, one of the final photos showed that model hovering over another model, who was sitting at a desk.  Richard said, “This looks like the first photo in a Penthouse pictorial.”

 

Once again, Ven needs to come up with some new tricks.  That blouse is too similar to the things he’s done before.  And the fit of the skirt was kooky, it was bunching up in her crotch as she walked, not a good thing.

 

BOTTOM THREE

Elena.  Raul is an idiot but she is a monster.  You know how sometimes you feel like someone is putting on an act on PR, in an effort to be a big personality and stay on the show?  I don’t think Elena is putting on an act, I think she’s really the out-of-control bully that she appears to be.  And talk about a one-way monkey, her stuff all has that same pleated futuristic militaristic big-shouldered Stasi vibe.

 

Gunnar’s dress wasn’t good, but I didn’t think it was awful.  The puppy-wrestling bodice was clearly a problem, but I didn’t think his dress was as big a misfire as Elena’s big-shouldered jacket.

 

I’m sure it must not be fun to be eliminated for a second time, but what other option was there - - did Raul think he was going to win the whole thing?  The blouse with the bib - - please.  And the leatherette tank top was a total throw-away.  This is not how you excel in a design competition.

 

“Ineptitude”?  Am I giving myself the Tim Gunn Award for Invented and/or Obscure Words?

LOVE, Chris

 

LAURA BENNETT

As we sit comfortably on our sofas at home, in familiar surroundings, eating our usual food and un-sleep deprived, it’s easy to question why someone who has been given such a great opportunity would just walk away. “Thousands of designers would love to be in your place” is no comfort when you are near physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. I can’t stress enough how hard it is to be a contestant on “Project Runway.” As hard as it looks on TV, trust me when I tell you it is ten times harder. The fact that someone chooses to walk away, either announced (Kooan) or unannounced (Andrea), doesn’t surprise me at all.

 

You have to remember that what Heidi refers to as “this week's challenge” is really “this day's challenge.” The shooting schedule for the show doesn’t allow days off in between the challenges. The designers are woken early in the morning, sometimes as early as 4:00 am. If you pay close attention to the morning scenes you will notice that it’s still dark outside. They are taken to Parsons or some other location to be given the details of their next challenge. They shop at Mood then begin sewing sometime in the afternoon. If it is a one-day challenge, they stop sewing at midnight, do interviews (the clips you see throughout the show) then get to bed at about 2:00am. The next morning they usually have two hours to finish, fit, and send their models to the L’Oreal hair and makeup room. The actual runway segment of the show starts filming at about noon and lasts to 8:00 pm. It’s long, hot (no air conditioning that would interfere with the sound) and emotionally draining because you never know if you are the one on the chopping block. When the segment is finished being filmed, the designer change their clothes, and meet Heidi back on the runway to get the wacky hint about the next challenge. Then the entire process starts over. No breaks. No down time. No time to recover. It’s hard.

 

The fact that Andrea left in the middle of the night doesn’t surprise me at all. As a matter of fact, the only thing that kept me going when I was a contestant was the knowledge that I could walk out and go home at any time. (I could literally walk home. I live seven blocks from the Atlas apartments.) She must have been feeling defeated after two bad reviews in a row.

 

Kooan’s decision to leave raises a question. Eliminated designers don’t go home. They stay sequestered and actually travel around with the active contestants so that if seen in public, no one can tell who has been eliminated and who is still in the competition. I assume Andrea’s middle of the night slip freed her from the producers grasp. There is no way in hell they could have convinced her to come back just to hang out with the eliminated crowd. I wonder if Kooan was allowed to go home, or held captive in designer limbo. That would suck.

 

PR 10: Episode 6

 

This episode was so reminiscent of the infamous Mom challenge in season 3.  Ven and his client were standing in for Jeffrey Sebelia and his client (Angela’s mom).  In both cases the designer was working with a large woman and was angry about it and had no ingenuity, compassion, or tact.  In both cases the woman was in tears and the designer was defiant.  And in both cases someone ELSE was sent home, even though his work was the biggest disaster!  Jeffrey ended up winning his season.  I still think Ven is very talented, but I don’t like him and am not rooting for him anymore.

 

But before we get to all of that, let’s all breathe a sigh of relief that the models were assigned to the designers randomly.  As Laura Bennett pointed out in her blog last season (or was it the season before?), each time they do a “real woman” challenge (can we come up with a new term?), the largest woman is always picked last.  This is not good for the show, and it’s not good for women!

 

I love Dmitry more with every episode.  His accent is so adorable.  He said he wanted to give his client “some attitude” and the word “attitude” sounded like “ett-i-tyoot”.

 

TOP THREE

I think Dmitry thought he had this one in the bag.  Fabulous dress, and the judges were thrilled to see some color.  Wonderful design.  He has to win a challenge sometime soon.

 

Gunnar’s client was such a hoot!  She was WORKIN’ IT.  It’s very informative to compare his experience with Ven’s: Gunnar’s client was also a larger woman, but he wasn’t put off by that, he was warm and sweet to her (clearly he liked her) and he made her something pretty that made her feel like a thousand bucks.  But yes, Nina was right - - you’ve got nice boobs, let’s see some cleavage!

 

Fabio!  Bravo to him.  What a fascinating dress, full of innovation and design, but not reeking of it.  And most importantly, it was perfect for his client.  It captured her spirit and brought her to a new place that she loved, and the happiness radiated out of her.  I loved that woman - - she was cute and funky, and as Richard said, “She walks like a f-ckin’ coal miner.”

 

WORTHY OF NOTE

Elena finally broke out of her Mister Roboto mode.  That outfit was pretty and flattering to her client.  Is it too soon to count her out?  Is she actually learning something?

 

I thought it was a riot that Christopher’s client walked onto the runway and instantly took off her jacket and crumpled it up into a ball.  And Alicia surprised me with her dress, I didn’t know she could do something so sweet and girly.

 

BOTTOM THREE

I think Sonjia did a fine dress, but it wasn’t right for her client.  The thing that often happens in these types of challenges (or any challenge) is that the designer doesn’t understand that they have to do something more than make a good-looking, well-made garment - - they gave to go the extra 10 miles and make something that’s perfect for that specific person.  Sonjia’s dress was too short and that bunchy business in the solar plexus wasn’t flattering.

 

Ven.  What an ass.  Should have been auf’d.  Even in the green room, after he was almost auf’d, he said that he didn’t deserve to be in the bottom two, because there were other outfits that were worse than his.  The thing he didn’t understand is that the challenge isn’t just about making a good-looking outfit, it’s about working with the client.  He should have talked with her, heard about her life, and asked her what would make her feel comfortable and pretty.  Instead his peevishness totally took over, he antagonized her, and though his outfit wasn’t terrible, the experience was a disaster.

 

Nathan!  I will miss him, he is too cute.  I didn’t mind his dress, but the judges nailed it when they said he went too far in trying to please his client, he should have let his own taste take over a little more.  A major Tim Gunn moment at his farewell, I just watched the ending again so I could get his exact wording.  When Nathan left, Tim said, “We’re losing an individual who has profound qualities of character.”  This is, of course, an eloquent compliment to Nathan, but it’s also a slam against Ven!  Two birds, one stone.

 

PR 10, Episode 7

 

My best friend Karen and I emailed early this week about two PR topics: that dastardly Ven, and how much we love Dmitry.  She sent me this article about Ven’s bullying of Terri, with a special cameo by Michael Costello:

 

http://theclicker.today.com/_news/2012/08/27/13509035-project-runways-real-size-model-show-was-adult-bullying-at-its-best?liteVen

 

And Karen expressed a hope that Dmitry would show us some of his ballroom dance moves, which prompted me to write this scenario:

 

HEIDI: Dmitry...you are the winner of this challenge!

DMITRY: Thang you ferry much.

HEIDI: But in order to receive immunity for the next challenge, we're going to require you to do one more thing.

DMITRY: [cocks head to side]

HEIDI: You have an hour to teach the fox trot to Elena.

DMITRY: [makes a strange face]

HEIDI: Are you OK?

DMITRY: I juss threw up een my mouth.  Weeth all respeck to Yelena, I will bypass imm-oo-nee-tee.  I takes my chances.

 

__________

 

OK, now on to this episode.  I was surprised that there wasn’t a word about Ven and his behavior in the previous episode.  I was sure there would be a few comments from the other designers, or worse, a comment from Ven along the lines of “Thank God I’m working with a normal-sized model again.”

 

I loved this challenge!  How fab that they’ve brought back a dress from each season, and it was wonderful that they had only three season winners in the group.  For the record, they are (I’ll give the prices, too):

 

Season 1: Jay McCarroll (winner) - - $298

Season 2: Nick Verreos - - $275

Season 3: Uli Herzner - - $275

Season 4: Chris March - - $348

Season 5: Korto Momolu - - $275

Season 6: Gordana Gehlhausen - - $275

Season 7: Seth Aaron Henderson (winner) - - $275

Season 8: Mondo Guerra (didn’t win his season, but won All Stars) - - $248

Season 9: Bert Keeter - - $328

Season 10: Christopher Palu - - $275

 

http://www.lordandtaylor.com/eng/CMS/PRDress_Dress.cfm

 

Interesting that each designer has a portrait with their product (Korto looks especially gorgeous), except for Chris March, whose picture looks like it was taken in the green room at Parsons!

 

Am I right thinking that Sonjia’s breakdown might be the worst in PR history?  Maybe she comes in second to Andrae (season 2), but only because his total breakdown happened on the runway, whereas she was able to confine it to the workroom.  And it was so much more painful to watch because we all like her so much.

 

Elena continues to amaze me, not just by her erratic behavior but by her horrid false eyelashes and hot pink lipstick.  It makes her look like a middle-aged drag queen, which I would assume is not the look she’s going for.  It cracked me up when she said, “I don’t understand why I keep being in the bottom, and not noticed” - - um, you ARE being noticed, you’re in the bottom!  Though it was sweet how Gunnar gave her a shoulder to cry on.  Maybe that shoulder will be removed, now that she was in the top instead of him…

 

Speaking of, the judging on this episode was totally coo-coo nutty!  I need to talk about each garment, there’s so much ground to cover.

 

TOP FOUR

How on earth did Christopher win this challenge.  The judges said that the dress was limited in the type of women who could wear it, and they called him out for doing that shredding technique for the third time, and yet he still won?  I don’t get it.  The top looked ratty, and the skirt was very Schoolmarm on the Prairie.

 

Fabio should have won, gorgeous dress.  Though you know I hate that big chunky zipper, and I was pleased that Michael pointed it out (I guess the judges only dislike that sometimes, whereas I always dislike it).  Nina was right on when she said it was versatile, both in terms of who would look good in it and where you could wear it.  Fabio is getting more inventive and impressive as the season moves forward, he’s one to watch.

 

I loved Melissa’s dress, it was stunning.  A little too tight to work for a mass market, but gorgeous.  And hoorah for using a real color.  Also she did a gorgeous job of using a heavy, stiff fabric, but making it look supple and effortless.  The asymmetrical hem was a little out there, but what a relief for her (and for us), that she made a really lovely dress after so much agony in the workroom.

 

What on earth did the judges see in Elena’s dress?  It was a valiant effort to move her wacko aesthetic over to something more commercial, but I didn’t like the dress at all.  It looked like it was made out of a Hefty bag, and it wasn’t flattering.  Plus it suffered from what Nina calls “too much design”.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Dmitry’s dress was fabulous, but maybe a little limited in the kind of woman who can wear it.  Loved the fabric.  Sonjia’s dress was dull, and what’s with the peplum.  But after that breakdown in the workroom, I bet being in the middle felt like a gift from God.  And Ven’s dress was pretty, but his one-way monkey rose technique would be difficult to replicate in mass production (which I think would also be an issue with Christopher’s shredded top, but what do I know).

 

BOTTOM TWO

Alicia’s dress was a misfire.  A good attempt, but again she doesn’t know what her strengths are, or at least how to translate them into something that works.  Gunnar’s dress was cute.  Sure, it’s something we’ve seen before, but it was cute and well made, and I imagine lots of women would want to buy it.  It certainly was better than Elena’s.  I bet he left a wet spot on the runway, being the last man standing.

 

I know why they sent no one home - - they had to do that eventually, to balance out the designers who have left.  Andrea and Kooan left in Episode 4, and they brought back Raul.  They would have had to either bring back another designer or skip an auf to even it out.

 

On a COMPLETELY unrelated note: Richard and I turned on Pix 11 News when PR was over, and they had a story about a guy who went to his old girlfriend’s workplace to shoot her.  She was able to get away from him, so it’s not big news, but it was notable for this reason: she was working at the concession stand at a bowling alley in Staten Island.  And still he felt the need to kill her?  Is that job what you would consider a fate worse than death?

 

PR 10, Episode 8

 

Let’s have a moment for our guiding star, Laura Bennett - - her husband, architect Peter Shelton, died on 8/26.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/arts/design/peter-shelton-architect-who-made-luxury-minimal-dies-at-67.html?_r=2

 

I was a little flummoxed that she wasn’t posting anything on her blog for two weeks, and I was very sad to see that this is the reason.

 

This was like two challenges for the price of one!  The T-shirt party and hawking was a cute idea.  Reminded me of the All Stars where they were talking people out of their clothes.  I won’t spend any time talking about the T-shirt design because we didn’t really see much of them, but I loved Sonjia’s comment: “Those are the most homeless-looking T-shirts I’ve ever seen.”

 

This episode was chock full of hilarious quotes!  Christopher calling Dmitry and Elena “Boris and Natasha” was a high point.  Some others:

 

Dmitry on Elena: “To kill the witch we need a silver bullet and a wooden stick.”

Michael Kors on Elena’s coat: “It’s kicking up and going in a hundred directions.”

Kors on Fabio’s coat: “It looks like an old lady’s housecoat, she should have Kleenex in her pocket.”

 

I was so thrilled that Anna Sui was the guest judge.  I never missed *Style with Elsa Klensch* back in the 90s, and Anna Sui was always a favorite of mine.  Darling clothes, and very wearable.  She’s so cute, and full of wisdom - - she had something insightful to say about each of the teams and how they worked together.

 

CHRISTOPHER / GUNNAR / SONJIA

Very strong pieces from all of them.  Christopher’s coat was high style, but is it practical?  What woman would wear an overcoat with no sleeves?  Gorgeous handling of the fabric, as La Kors pointed out.  Gunnar’s dresses were lovely and effortless.  I really loved the one with the sexy leather insert down the middle, but is it just me, or was it listing off to the side by the time it got to the hem?  Brava to Sonjia, that jacket was sharp as heck.  I’m happy she got a win.

 

FABIO / MELISSA / VEN

Brown and pink?  Really?  A very shlubby performance from all of them, though Melissa’s jacket was fine.  What, indeed, did they do with all that money?  They had $800 to spend at Mood, and it looks like they had $65 to spend at Joann Fabrics.  That filmy pink top pulled down over the ill-fitting brown slacks, it was gruesome.  They’re all lucky that the bottom three were worse.

 

ALICIA / DMITRY / ELENA

Dmitry’s dress was good, but I didn’t care for the exposed darts.  That seemed like an innovation that doesn’t really add beauty to the garment.  The cape was meh.  Alicia’s pieces were direct from Dullsville - - what was with that funny seam in the belly of the blouse?  Elena’s coat could have been good, but it wasn’t, and she has no one to blame but herself.

 

Elena is such a mess.  I knew she was going to be a horror of trash-talking on the runway, and she did not disappoint.  What did Dmitry taking over a whole outfit have to do with her making such a bad coat?  I had a feeling the judges were going to send Alicia home, she’s the weak link at this point, and the pieces she did on this challenge weren’t good, but I am longing for the day when Elena will be sent home.  They’re keeping her because she’s good TV.  Can we call this The Kenley Syndrome?

 

PR 10, Episode 9

 

Let’s do a little score-keeping, shall we?  Our final seven:

 

Christopher (2 wins)

Sonjia (2 wins)

Ven (2 wins)

Fabio (1 win)

Melissa (1 win)

Dmitry (1 win)

Elena

 

This would leave one to believe that Christopher, Sonjia, and Ven will be our final three, but all kinds of big ugly can happen between now and then!  Let’s not forget that Jay McCarroll was the winner of season 1 without ever winning a single challenge: runner-up Kara “Nepotism Footwear” Saun had 4 wins, 2nd runner-up Wendy “Dreadful” Pepper had 2, and Austin “Miss” Scarlett had 2, and didn’t make it to the final three.

 

The HP Design Your Own Fabric challenge is always such a smash, I’m glad they do it every season.  And how funny that they brought back the Loved Ones element that they had in the Mondo season, and just like back then, the arrival of those people threw everyone off their game a bit!  Elena’s mother was cute - - I think it was actually Patti Smith in a blonde wig.  The poor woman, can you imagine what a terror Elena was as a child?  My crush on Dmitry is deepening, those pix of him as a boy were too cute!

 

What a treat to have Mondo and Anya back for the judging.  Mondo was showing some major leg in that suit!  I’m telling you, his style is totally MADE for Almodóvar, someone needs to hook the two of them up.

 

What a hoot that they brought out Tim Gunn during the judging!  I think this was a first, no?  Love how he explained the maxi pad situation with Ven.  That Tim Gunn, he is a scream.

 

TOP THREE

Hoorah for Dmitry, a long-deserved win.  He did so much with this challenge: he designed a cool fabric, he designed a jacket that was not only innovative but directly related to the fabric in its design, and most importantly, he did something besides a damn dress.  He really hit the ball out of the park this time.

 

Melissa’s dress was fab.  My favorite print of all of them, and you could see her inspiration once you knew what it was, but it didn’t hit you on the head.  Sharp dress, and the judges appreciated her doing something different.

 

I liked Sonjia’s, the pants were so beautifully made, but really - - how many women are going to wear them?  Beautiful job with the blouse, it was the perfect companion to those pants.  Another thought: I think the pants might look better if the print was LARGER.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Elena.  What the hell.  She hit the nail on the head when she said it looked like scrubs.  I’ve heard of day-to-evening, but do you really want your friend, the scrub nurse, to show up for cocktails wearing the smock she was just wearing in the OR?

 

Fabio’s fabric was so muted, it didn’t have any impact.  I think we should all be glad that he didn’t get a chance to explain his penis-and-vagina iconography.  And what was with that girl’s wig?

 

BOTTOM THREE

Christopher clearly had no faith in his fabric.  He seemed to be having big time issues this week, may I call it a crisis of confidence?  I liked the fabric, it was whimsical - - he could done some cute sporty separates, or a jaunty little summer day dress.

 

Ven, Ven, Ven.  Mr. Kors was right when he called him “a fabric florist”.  We are all tired of seeing that.  He needs to do something else.  Clearly he knows how to construct clothes, but he needs to apply his craft to another set of techniques.  I wasn’t bothered by the fabric, I thought it was OK.  But that skirt, come on, what was he thinking.

 

I guess Gunnar won’t get to buy his mother that boob job!  I hope she smacked him upside the head when she heard that.  The fabric design was a major yawn.  I wish he would have gone more in a Mondo direction, and taken this negative thing from his life and turned it into something powerful and assertive, instead of sad and wan.  The jacket had a cute design, apart from the fabric, but who really cares.  One last observation about Gunnar: he started the season being Miss Bitch Viper for 2012, but he ended it being a kind of warm and compassionate person.  What’s up with that?

 

PR 10, Episode 10

 

High Kick Heidi!  Who knew she was such a gifted dancer.  But perhaps the Rockettes were making their high kicks a little less high?  Like seeing Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra dancing together - - Kelly scales back his prowess more than a little.

 

I love how Dmitry said Rockettes - - it sounded more like “Rick-yetts”.  He continues to tickle me.  I like the outing to the restaurant, it had a very America’s Next Top Model vibe.  In a good way.  The second trip to Mood, was that unprecedented?  I don’t remember seeing that before.

 

Christopher wearing a ‘do rag and dark lipstick - - say what?

 

Debra Messing - - really?  Why do they bring on these actresses who have nothing to say?  Think of all the great dancers they could have brought on for this challenge.   Paging Paula Abdul, or Rosie Perez!  I love what Christopher said about the runway show looking like a gay pride parade, but I’d like to amend it: it looked like a gay pride parade for a mid-sized Midwestern city.

 

Another first for this episode: Heidi’s little “this is hard for us, guys” speech before the judging.  I don’t think we’d seen that before.  I think they knew Ven was going to be sent home, and they didn’t feel good about it.

 

TOP THREE

Let’s agree that Melissa was in the top three only because the other four were so weak.  The judges kept saying “cigarette girl”, but I saw “singing telegram”.  She was totally saved by that second trip to Mood, she would have been clobbered if her dress hadn’t had that sparkle.  One last thing about her: 18 pattern pieces?

 

I’m conflicted about whether Dmitry or Christopher should have gotten the win.  Christopher made an iconic Rockette design, but then Dmitry did something different for them.  The judges were worried it was too sexy, but they do many numbers over the course of a show, his outfit wouldn’t have been too sexy for just one number.  Plus Dmitry’s dress was a better expression of who he is as a designer.  And I love how his “nude” panels really looked nude.  And the movement of his dress!  It had incredible movement when she was just standing still.  Christopher’s dress had no movement.  Plus Christopher’s cuteness is starting to wear on me.  “Thank you, Debra Messing.”  [insert sound effect of barfing into metal trash can]

 

SAFE

Fabio should have done “nude” panels instead of the gray.  It wouldn’t have gotten him past Melissa, but it would have been better.

 

BOTTOM THREE

Sonjia made a real dud.  Not well made, not nice looking, no movement, and not at all practical.  What was she thinking with those feathers.

 

Elena might have made it to the top three over Melissa if she had chosen a better color and done a good job with the overall fit and hemline.  I don’t think the design of her outfit was the real problem.  I will spit if Elena is in the final three.

 

Ven, Ven, Ven.  Sayonara, Origami Rose (Michael Kors is such a scream).  The dress was great for the Rockettes - - it would be great for an audience member to wear to a Rockettes show.  You could take that dress and redo it in any ordinary fabric and it would make a lovely cocktail dress.  This is NOT a Rockettes costume.  Who would have believed he wouldn’t make the top six, he was so strong early in the season, but he’s so limited in what he can do.  Let’s match him up with Anya: with his skills and her imagination, it would be kapow!

 

Next week - - babies?  Say what?

PR 10, Episode 11

 

Project Runway has officially jumped the shark.  I’m not bothered by them creating an outfit for a baby - - that’s a good idea, and clearly most of them rose to the challenge and did a great job.  And how nice for Heidi that she once again is having the designs for her line made on the show!  As the Church Lady would say, “Isn’t that convenient!”  The shark-jumping element was having them tend to fake babies in the workroom.  That was cheap and pointless, and not even entertaining.  Fabio was adorable with his baby, that was sweet to see.  The rest was noise.

 

Some general observations: Christopher sees his three wins as being proof that he’ll be in the final three.  Well, now he has four, and I still think it’s too soon to count those chickens, sweetheart!  What was with Heidi’s eye makeup in this episode?  She looked positively cubist.  The Dmitry quote of the week: “You can’t go cutie fruity with a boy.”

 

You know how I feel about random actresses being guest judges (thank you, Debra Messing), but Hilary Duff actually did a good job.  She had intelligent and instructive things to say.  BTW, we haven’t seen Dowager Queen Diane von Furstenberg this season.  Wo bist du, Diane?

 

WINNERS

Sonjia’s outfit was well-made and well thought-out, but I think she had an advantage with that endlessly adorable and engaging little boy!  He was so damn cute.  And her mom outfit was killer.

 

Christopher only had the win because the two other girl outfits were such failures.  The dress was cute and the jacket was OK, though I thought the fabric was a little heavy.  And yes, a white outfit on a toddler is a recipe for disaster, even if it is a “special occasion” outfit.  She’s going to be eating food at this alleged brunch, and she’s going to be wearing it.  I liked the mom’s dress and didn’t think it looked like a 1970s tablecloth at all.  That mom was a major crank.

 

MIDDLE

Fabio’s outfit was adorable.  Practical and cute and stylish and smart.  I would have given the win to him over Sonjia, I thought her outfit was a little shlubby in comparison.

 

Dmitry’s outfit was cute, but I guess I’m the only one who thinks a zipper in a hood is a bad idea for a child.  It seems to me that he would open the zipper and his hair would get caught in it, leading to total screaming mayhem.  But Heidi said they do this a lot, so what do I know?

 

BOTTOM

I thought Melissa was going to get the auf, with that diaper on display.  I think she was saved by her mom outfit, which was sharp (except for those ill-fitting shorts, yeesh).  The judges were crazy for the little girl’s vest, but I didn’t find it so remarkable.

 

Elena’s outfit wasn’t bad, but there was too much going on.  The jacket was a cute idea, but might have worked better in a lighter color - - it seemed too adult in navy.  And the bedazzled top with the green pants, it was all a little much.  I am so relieved that she’s no longer on the show, she was tap dancing on my last nerve.  I love that Tim Gunn is such a pottymouth this season!  It cracked me up when he said, “How are we going to survive in the workroom without hearing ‘F-ck, f-ck, f-ck, f-ck, f-ck’?”

 

The big news for this episode was the commercial for PR All Stars Season 2, which starts Thurs 10/25!  You may remember that I made a wish list in July, when we first heard they were filming it.  Here’s the line-up, with my picks highlighted in bold:

 

  1. Season 1: Wendy (PR meets Fatal Attraction)

  2. Season 2: Andrae (I love this guy!)

  3. Season 3: Kayne (Miss Pageant Gown 2006)

  4. Season 3: Uli (pull out that print maxi)

  5. Season 5: Suede (Mr. Third Person)

  6. Season 6: Althea (copycat, copycat, sitting on a lump of fat)

  7. Season 7: Emilio (Bitterness and Bile)

  8. Season 8: Casanova (“Thees show is making me fat!”)

  9. Season 8: Ivy (warm up the Snark-o-Meter)

  10. Season 8: Peach (let’s pray for a Ladies Who Lunch challenge)

  11. Season 9: Joshua (I hope he gets second place again, that would burn his shorts)

  12. Season 9: Anthony Ryan (rockin’ one nut)

  13. Season 9: Laura (she comes from an upper class background)

 

Oh dear Lord, this is going to be a hot mess.

PR Season 10, Episode 12

 

A quick follow-up from last week’s challenge: the winning looks are being sold on Babies R Us for $29 each - - $29 for the dress and jacket for the girl, $29 for the onesie, pants, and jacket for the boy.  Quite the bargain!  And wouldn’t ya know, Christopher’s winning look is being sold in navy rather than white.  Sonjia’s look appears unchanged, though it seems like she made a T-shirt, which they’ve morphed into a onesie.

 

Before I get to my runway critique, what the heck was Heidi wearing?  That dress looked like it was from the candy challenge, and it had been crafted out of Good & Plentys.  As Tim would say, “Good heavens!”

 

It seemed a little pat that the judges were in disagreement over the five outfits for the challenge, and instead decided to do the judging based on their work over the course of the whole season.  And they seemed a little too precise and articulate about specific outfits from previous challenges.  Let’s not forget the dirty secret that Laura Bennett shared on her blog a couple years ago: there are WRITERS on the staff of *Project Runway*!

 

CHRSTOPHER

I wasn’t wild for his dress.  Richard said it looked like Mae West, I will tweak that and say it was Mae West in *Black Swan*.  Hm, maybe she would have won the Oscar!  Those feathers on the arms were goofy as hell, and the bodice was poorly fitted.  Never a good sign when the judges start the critique by saying what a good job you did on the makeup.

 

DMITRY

Fascinating look, but a little underpowered for the challenge.  The sleeve was wonderful, and he shore does know his tailoring.  The judges thought the shoulders were a little much, but I thought they gave it some needed impact.  Ironic that Nina would call him a one-trick pony, when he’s the one who coined the phrase “one-way monkey”.

 

MELISSA

She’s interesting.  Time Management is her middle name, but she always pulls a successful outfit out of the jaws of disaster.  Let’s not count her out just yet.  Of the five outfits, hers was maybe the best.

 

FABIO

Crazy for the jacket, love how he turned it upside down and inside out and around the corner.  He would have had a one-two punch if he had made the outfit more form-fitting, the judges were right when they said you can’t see her body at all.  Volume on the top AND volume on the bottom, not a good idea.  Imagine that outfit with a slim pair of sheer pants, that would have been sharp.

 

SONJIA

Her outfit was pretty awful, let’s face it.  Michael Kors was unusually mean in his critique (his old lady voice was hilarious), but that’s not an excuse to talk back to him!  I don’t think it’s ever wise to disagree with the judges when you’re standing on the runway.  Tim hit the nail on the head when he said it looked like student work.  And I expected him to say, “Sonjia, I have to ask you to go up to the workroom and pack up your ‘do rags.”

 

The preview to this coming week implied that there will only be three competing at Fashion Week.  Who will be auf’d, and under what circumstances?  Will all four of them be doing a Chris March/Rami Kashou-style face off, showing a few pieces?  Hopefully without the human hair this time.

 

PR Season 10 - - Finale, Part 1

 

What a cop out!  I can’t believe they didn’t auf someone.  This four people in the finale routine is becoming way too frequent - - this is the third time in ten seasons.  I know who I would have chosen to go home, but we’ll get to that later.  First let’s talk about the home visits.

 

Christopher’s house gave me the creeps.  That brick and siding thing is so tacky, and when I told Richard how much I hated the dried flower arrangement on the front door he said, “We’ll see what your mother has on HER door the next time we visit.”  Sent a shiver up my spine!  Christopher has a sister named Christina, seriously?  That’s so Joan Crawford.  We didn’t get much of a glimpse of his collection, but I love his x-ray print.

 

Fabio’s boyfriend is so sweet, I adore him, ditto his mom.  Neither Richard nor I were impressed with his collection - - I said it looked like scrubs, Richard said it looked like Easter.

 

Again we didn’t see much of Dmitry’s collection, but what we saw didn’t inspire confidence in me.  And I don’t believe we’ve ever had a home visit with no one present but Tim and the designer.  Chris March is the only person I can think of who didn’t have a significant other or family member, and he brought Tim to meet his circle of friends.  Remember his friend’s apartment, the rococo cornucopia of gold, glitter, chandeliers, and sequin-encrusted tackiness?  Anyway, makes me wonder: does Dmitry have no friends?

 

Melissa’s family is very cute, and her collection was impressive.  The white leather jacket with the crackly paint finish, that was very cool.

 

Back to New York - - I don’t care for the Yotel, too groovy for me, though the views are stunning.  I love how the designers did a walk-thru for each other, through their collections.  They all seem to like each other, another first!  They snark a little bit in the interviews, but they seem to get along.  Someone on a blog mentioned there’s no real villain this season, which gives a different vibe to the whole hoo ha.

 

On to the runway.  One overall note: why are these people afraid of color?

 

DMITRY

The clear leader of the four.  Not so successful in putting things together, but the pieces themselves were marvelous.

 

  1. White dress with cut-outs.  LOVE it.  It gave me goosebumps, or as Dmitry would say, gooz-pomps.  Really gorgeous, the strongest piece of the twelve we saw.  But why does it need to be white?  I’d love to see that dress in light blue, it would make it more feminine and would counteract the edginess or the design in an interesting way.

  2. Black and white jacket with fringed sleeves, see-through overlapping black top, black skirt.  The judges put it perfectly: the jacket is very strong but it shouldn’t be paired with the blouse, it’s too much going on.

  3. Black see-through top with shirred shoulders and jeweled neckline, funky white pants.  I don’t feel like the blouse went with the pants.  If we’re looking for color, how about doing the blouse in purple and the pants in gray?  I felt like the white pants were too heavy with the light-as-air top.

 

MELISSA

Bad choice with those wigs, girlfriend.  Sort of a blah trio from her, I’m surprised.  I wonder if she’s sort of a Daniel Vosuvic, Season 2 - - he was someone who did great when he had a challenge but was a little uninspired when he could do whatever he wanted.  She could use some specificity.

 

  1. Black top, open at the waist, white shorts.  Yawn.

  2. White jacket with oversized collar and cuffs, black top and pants.  I thought the collar and cuffs on the jacket were way too exaggerated, I didn’t like it, it looked cartoony.  I wish she had shown the jacket we saw in the home visit, the one with the crackly paint technique (but then that jacket was a repeat of two jackets she made this season).  Would love to see this outfit in shades of brown.

  3. Black dress.  Very sharp, but a rerun of the dress she made for the Marie Claire at Work challenge.  And why is the dress cooler when it’s black?  It would look great in beige or purple, or sapphire blue.

 

FABIO

The judges liked his collection because it used color and it had a unique point of view.  I wasn’t wild for it, agree with the judges that it was lacking in sophistication.  And the color palette was so washed out, it wasn’t what I would call colorful.  And the jewelry was so fourth grade craft project, I hated it.  And the wigs.  Please.  But I loved the shoes!  He was smart to change the color (the goldish leather we saw in the home visit was horrid).  He was my second runner-up for the auf.

 

  1. Iceberg blue tube top, white shmatte, gray pants, sci-fi necklace.  It was OK, I guess.  You know how I feel about the necklace.

  2. White top over a blue top, gray skirt.  That vest-esque thing was so badly fitted, it made me think he did it on purpose.  And it wasn’t nice looking.

  3. Filmy pink dress.  Big washed-out snooze.  Perfect outfit for a nap.

 

CHRISTOPHER

He was such an idiot during the critique.  If you have more impressive pieces, why aren’t you showing them?  What are you saving them for, Purim?  He’s the one I would have sent home, his mini collection was the least inspiring, it did not make me want to see more.

 

  1. White filmy top, black leather vest, shorts.  Very ordinary.  The bleaching technique on the leather is cool, but it’s invisible, it has no impact.

  2. X-ray top, black leather shorts.  Blah blah blah.

  3. Black bustier, x-ray skirt.  The strongest look of the three, but still not a wow.

 

Dmitry for the win!

PR Season 10, Finale Part 2

 

Dmitry for the win!  I could not be more thrilled.  Can we agree that this season, like last season, was a little lackluster in terms of the talent involved?  Is PR, after ten seasons, running out of talent?  It appears that America’s Next Top Model doesn’t have this problem, but then they don’t really trade on talent, do they.

 

A few observations, before we get to the runway show.  There had been a lot of talk online about how there was no real villain this season, but I think Christopher donned that mantle in these last few episodes.  His petulance and sense of entitlement were very reminiscent of Josh from season 9.  He reminded me of a great Gore Vidal quote: “It’s not enough to win.  Others must fail.”

 

Richard got the feeling that L’Oreal was trying to pack every last product into this final episode, that was kind of amusing.  And ANOTHER trip to Mood!  Jeez, how many second chances are these kids going to get.  We saw how much good it did for Christopher, it just sent him into a new level of frenzy and frazzle.

 

I don’t feel like Jennifer Hudson brought anything to do the table as the guest judge.  I love her, but she had nothing to say.

 

CHRSTOPHER

He’s young, let’s leave it at that.  He doesn’t have the experience to be able to achieve the balance between showing the judges something different, but still remaining true to his style and what he does best.  His collection in general was too tight and too narrow in its scope.  Those clothes would only look good on women who weigh under 90 pounds.  The second look of his collection was the only real stand-out - - the black patent leather jacket with the black skirt.  That was fresh and sharp.  I really didn’t care for the x-ray dress, that wasn’t very well made.  The gown was gorgeous, but as the judges said, it had nothing to do with the rest of the collection.  I really disliked him by the end of the show, so I was pleased that he came in fourth.

 

MELISSA

Huge improvement on the jacket, it looks good with the cuffs cut off.  The black dress with the white vest, fab.  I thought the swimsuit was a little Sci Fi Temptress, and not in a good way.  I think she might have come in second if she had shown more colors.  The red had a great pop at the end, but so many of those outfits would look good in beige or brown or blue or whatever, and it would take nothing away from the red.  She really knows what she’s doing, though.

 

FABIO

He did really punch up his collection, and it didn’t seem like he did more than sort of change the tone.  I’m still not wild for what Kors called the “Jordan almonds” color scheme, but I don’t really have to be wild about it, do I?  It looked like he either took out the 7th grade craft project jewelry, or he redid it to look more sophisticated.  The two best things about his collection: it looked nothing like anything else, and it was effortless.

 

DMITRY

I was real worried when I saw that Reynolds Wrap thing he was doing with the hair, and more worried when I saw the models come out with Frida Kahlo eyebrows.  But I got over it after like three girls, it no longer bothered me - - and the judges didn’t say a word about it, so I guess they had the same reaction.  His collection was flawless, consistent, impeccably crafted, and immensely stylish.  You know how I love that first dress, with the cut-outs.  The Josephine Baker dress (halter, black and white print, feathers at the hem) was fantastic.  The jacket in the same fabric with the fringed sleeves was fabulous, and looked much better with the sheer top under it.  He was smart to put a couple of pieces of color in his collection - - that lemon yellow dress with the jeweled cap sleeves was gorgeous.  And yes, the gown was a little outré, but it was harmonious with the rest of the collection and it would be a killer on the red carpet.

 

On a personal level, I’m pleased that my three favorite people of the season were the top three.  I love how Kors described him as “a gentleman”.

 

Just when you thought it was safe to make a date on a Thursday night: next week, All Stars Season 2!

 

LOVE, Chris

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