A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one. - Mary Kay Ash
This week's episode featured four things that make Project Runway great:
|A spectacular New York City location...|
|an epic designer meltdown.|
Give yourself something to work toward - constantly. - Mary Kay Ash
Let's take another look at the rules....and the prize. This is critical.
This week, designers were asked to put a "new spin on an old look." They were to take some inspiration from the iconic NYC skyline, viewed from Long Island City Park, as an homage to Mary Kay's new NYC line of cosmetics.
Got all that? Now here's the thing...
The prize was $5,000 and something everyone missed because their minds fixated on cash money....
Their look would be featured in a Mary Kay advertisement spread in Marie Claire.
OK, fans....what does Nina always say about magazine spreads?
|"It has to be E-DI-TO-RI-AL!"|
That's right! Black! A black garment has never won one of these magazine spread challenges. That doesn't mean a black outfit is never going to grace the cover of a magazine. It's just that when it does, you usually don't end up looking at the outfit.
|Who cares about the dress? Hillary looked freakin' fantastic back in 1999!|
Sandwich every bit of criticism between two layers of praise. - Mary Kay Ash
Before we explore this week's looks, I have to say that for those of us who watched Kiernan Shipka grow up on Mad Men, her appearance this week on Project Runway was poised, insightful and uplifting.
|"I'm the only one on this panel who's not jaded and jaundiced from years in the fashion industry. So I'm going to say something nice and encouraging to each and every one of you!"|
Let's charge on....
For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. - Mary Kay Ash
Ashley Nell Tipton
I've been looking at dresses for a wedding reception I'll be attending in a few weeks. This is a de-rigeur "midi" look. I'm old enough to remember the midi from the 1970's. It was an alternative to the mini and the floor length dress--something halfway between. Thing is, most dresses for the average woman over the age of 30 stop at or about the knee. The midi was always hard to proportion without making a regular woman look stumpy. It's a style for tall-thin people.
What makes this de-rigueur is the high neckline and open back. Dresses seem to be one or the other these days: (much to Heidi's chagrin, I think....) either high in the front and low in the back or low in the front and high in the back. The textiles were luxe. It was a solid safe. Remember, this has to go in a magazine spread....
Joseph Charles Poli
Edmond is like one of those sweatshop workers in the third world. He can whip out garments in no time. Notice how when Tim walked in, he had two options? Way to show off, Edmond.
Anyway, he had this kicking around before he abandoned it....
....and fell in love with this striped fabric at Mood. Yes, the triangle in the back still remains, but what is going on with that peek-a-boo front? The collar is a wonky mess. And where did those sleeve flaps come from? In a less crowded field, this would have gotten a Nina hand wave or finger point for sure.
And not in a good way.
|It's hard to read the fine print, so I'll write it out for you. "Put a new spin on Tom Ford by only putting one number on the dress."|
And making the number in black because when Tim mentioned Tom Ford, you realized that what you thought was a "new spin" could be interpreted as "too referential." Who remembers the halftime show at the Superbowl in 2013 anyway? It was the Harbaugh brothers battling it out in a very close match that was won by 2 pts.
|Got me lookin' so crazy right now...|
I loved the look from the front.
When he said, "new look" I said, "What are you talking about?" This is straight from the great bubble skirt craze of 2005.
So I Googled "Dior's New Look" and came up with this number from 1947...
You win this round, Blake.
|There's no bubble here. Where did the bubble come from?|
|Blake wins "most effective use of the 'Just Fab' accessory wall.|
I think the whole thing looks ridiculous...and so did Zac.
|"I'm the magazine creative director here. He doesn't know anything about publishing..."|
"I'm a fashion creative designer. I prefer my clothes to be properly finished and constructed. She can't wear this outside of a photo studio."
But I'll leave you with this....the ultimate homage to the NYC straphanger....
|I hope the strap doesn't break during the photo session!|
Criticize the act, not the person. - Mary Kay Ash
Lindsey put a lot of thought into this garment.
She didn't put a lot of thought into the fabric choice.
Dorothy Zbornak's closet.
Also, the upholstery fabric underneath looked like something from the early 1960s. I'm surprised that Kiernan didn't say something about that.
You know the expression, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging?" The Project Runway corollary to that is if it takes you more than 30 seconds to explain your design, stop explaining.
|Lindsey is still explaining her design.|
Because the belt is so high and in one color, most judges didn't even know it was a wrap dress. Also, the uneven hem is a total mess. One of the things about a wrap dress that makes it wearable is that where the overlap occurs, the hem is matched so it doesn't look too layered.
Sometimes a setback just sets you back. Gabrielle was struggling with the fabrics she chose for the challenge.
|"Come on...what woman needs a jacket with sleeve flaps?"|
That she rendered it in black totally put her out of the running. That she couldn't make sleeves all the way, completely lost Zac. Lost me, too.
What happened next to Gabby is something I can understand and relate to, but can't believe she couldn't overcome. The serger had black thread in it and she couldn't figure out how to change the thread to white.
SO SHE GAVE UP ON THE DRESS.
That's the part I don't understand.
She originally designed a racer back with a pop of pink at the sleeves. What she ended up doing was cutting out regular sleeves and a hem unfinished because she couldn't serge the seams. She could have turned them all under and sewed them straight on the machine. Add in the "pop of color" as an accent over the hem and you're done. The pop of color should have been reflected in the shoes for a total look. The best she could have been this week was safe. No way could she have won.
Zac likes to talk about finishing, but this week all of that got thrown out the window. Impeccably finished clothes lost out to some crazy, exuberant idea.
A "mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm" if you will.
And if you will, please join us at Blogging Project Runway for this week's chat room. We open up live on Thursday at 9 pm, EDT for real time commentary. It's fun!
See you next week, when the designers go....ballistic!