Saturday, August 9, 2014

Project Runway Season 13, Episode 3: Back to the Future

Greetings, Project Runway fans!

FINALLY!  We've been looking forward to this challenge.

No, seriously.

"Exactly!  We at Marie Claire have been doing a lot of research about the future.  This year, the magazine celebrates its 20th year.  If magazines are still around in 20 years, we'll be selling them to old people."

"What are these 'magazines' of which you speak?"
The task for our designers this week was to create a design for 20 years into the future inspired by 20 years ago in their past.  To drive that point home, the producers hung pictures of the designers from 20 years ago.

Emily won the best picture from 20 years ago.  

Twenty years ago, Emily was Foxy Brown.
I was really disappointed that none of them embraced the real potential for this challenge.  Since many of the designers were in diapers and onesies twenty years ago, they could legitimately design them for an aging population that will need them twenty years from now.  But no.  Instead, there was talk of designing for the "Marie Claire woman" because we know that she regenerates herself like a time lord.

The real Marie Claire woman.
The designers weren't pleased about the one-day time limit, but that was offset by a $200 budget and a trip to Mood.


Even though Amanda used the "color of the future," also known as black, the judges weren't happy with her outfit.  We don't know if they were messing with her or not. There really isn't much futuristic design here, but I don't think it warranted an admonition from Heidi that she was lucky to have immunity this week.


I would have poked my bony finger at Samantha.  She threw every "futuristic" cliche at this outfit: muffler neckline, leather vest, black fabric... I don't know about the circle skirt except to say that the hem was very uneven.

It does get the award for Best Use of the Aldo Accessory Wall with backpack, boots and a necklace.  


Dear Korina, I want to like you but you are making it so difficult.  First of all, what's going on with the waistband and crotch of those pants?  Second, the Dorothy Zbornak 20 years ago.  The origami top is a mess.  I just note that in an action-packed runway with designers ripping off jackets and parts of dresses left and right, this jacket stayed on.  What were you trying to hide?


Hernan's dress started off as a little black dress.  The model unsnapped two pieces from the bodice that fell to either side creating a "gown."  It's a clever idea that could use about two more weeks of work to perfect.  The pieces that fell became a two-part train instead of a neat, manageable skirt.  How this goes from "day to evening" is beyond me.


More action-packed frock removing....this time it was Kini's cape because we all know the future will be about capes, skinny jeans and poet tops with holes cut out of the shoulders. In black, of course.

Kini, once again, proved the old Project Runway adage that making three pieces only counts when each of them fits the challenge.


I really want to hate this guy, don't you?

His was an idea ripped from today's headlines: global climate change, rising seas, cities threatened with inundation.  His original design featured a ridiculous bubble skirt.  You can count on one hand how many designers have won a Project Runway challenge with a bubble skirt and you'd still have fingers left over.  Tim advised against it and he followed Tim's direction.  The result was ok.

It was a shame he didn't make it to judging because I wanted to hear his rationale for styling it with a purse and high heels.  But as sportswear, it is sophisticated, indeed. Modern?  Not sure.  But a solid contribution from Mitchell this week.


It's an interesting design, but very safe.  The slashes and exposures are right off today's runway.  There's nothing innovative or futuristic here.


fäde has an interesting point of view with print and design.  While it's a fresh take on sportswear, I'm not seeing anything modernistic or innovative.


Alexander intended to do a more complex, jacket-like overlay of leather to go on top of the blanket fabric he chose.  His inspiration was the afghan he had when he was a kid. I'm not sure his planned design would have been received any better than this one.  One last minute thing he could have done was to hem the bottom of the dress in leather.  It would have made the leather look like less of an afterthought and the dress would have looked neater and more tailored.  Still, nothing modern about the dress.


The break-away "Ewok hood" made Zac Posen gasp.

Underneath was a jumpsuit.  

Nina was right.  There are jumpsuits now and there's nothing special or innovative about this one.  You know what would be modern?  Design a jumpsuit that a woman doesn't have to take off from the top just to go to the bathroom.  That would be innovative.  I hope that by 2034, someone has invented that.


Kristine has been flying completely under the radar until this week.  Luckily, she didn't let Tim talk her out of the sleeve treatment.  Smartly, she used a fabric for the jacket that didn't need finishing when you cut it.  

The dress underneath was interesting as well.  Is it modern?  It's more avant garde than anything.  Very cute, though.


"In the future, everyone will want less clutter."  This was Sean's mantra.  Thing is, if you want less clutter, why make an outfit with two pieces? Of course there will be jackets in the future, but if your premise is that people will have less stuff, a two-piece outfit doesn't support your premise.  Then you go in and throw in a hat.  

The hat is too floppy for such a tailored dress.  The jacket and dress are too wrinkled. Again with the black, which made her look more like a bedraggled mortician. Here's where doing more than one piece paid off for Sean.  They hated both pieces, but at least he put some effort into the challenge.


Which isn't to say that Angela did not put effort into the challenge.  She was after my own heart when she wanted to do a take on a modern suit.  I would die for a modern take on a suit.  Suits, as they currently are constructed, are quite uncomfortable.  I happen to have a female boss who has eschewed tailored suit jackets completely.  If you see her in a jacket, it will be knit and soft.  She runs around from meeting to meeting and wants to be comfortable.

So for modern styling, Angela went for a single lapel.  Still, no problem with that.  The treatment on the back of the jacket was very nice as well.  However...

The soft pink looked juvenile.  The skirt was too short and the she did some sort of puckered detail on the sides that looked hideous.


Angela could have totally saved herself this week.


Imagine it rendered in a steel grey with a sheath version of the top and skirt underneath. That would be a totally different take on the suit and would have wowed the judges.

Her biggest problem is not her lack of talent or ideas.  It's that she exudes insecurity-- about her design, about how much time she has left, about how to construct a garment and lastly, about how to sell herself and the garment.  


I'm not on the Sandhya bandwagon.

This was a total cliché of what "modern" looks like.  Oh, space age materials, space suits, robotic clothes.  All of these have promise for the future.  But will we really be wearing clothes like this or just think we will?

Oh look!  Someone predicted the underwire bra back in the 1930's!

The funniest line from the judges was "Maybe we'll be wearing oxygen tanks!"  Still, Marie Claire was doing a spread and the winning dress needed to be "editorial," a definition that Nina Garcia totally made up to describe what editors are looking for in a dress for a spread--visually stunning.

You know what that means.  There will be no dresses in magazine spreads, not now or in the future, that are the color of the future: black.

So if you're playing at home: if you wish to win a magazine spread challenge, don't produce your outfit in black.

See you next week in the blog or join the gang for real-time chatroom fun on Blogging Project Runway at 8:30 pm EDT.

No comments:

Post a Comment