I know I abandoned you all midway through Season 15 as my many activities caught up with me and overtook my freetime. But this year, due to an illness, I've got nothing but free time. Time for Project Runway and time for you, the voracious Project Runway junkie.
Let's dive in!
After 16 seasons, there are things about Project Runway that will always make me giggle. I love how the designers dress to the nines on Runway Day. Sometimes, they dress better than the models they're sending out. If I were doing this show, you'd see me in the same thing every day: tee shirt and yoga pants. I'd bring a half dozen of them and rotate them. All solid colors. Who has time to doll up? I don't care if it's national TV.
I love how the designers are so bewildered with Mood the first time they walk in. You'd think they'd sneak up the NYC and scope the place out before going on the show, just once. We have a fancy pants fabric store in our area (well, we used to...it's really downsized over the years) and I figured out every square inch of it within a matter of minutes. Me? I'd head to the remnant table every time. I'm cheap.
This year, Bunim-Murray decided to face the diversity issue head on. The majority of contestants are minorities. We have our first, hijab-wearing, Muslim designer. Two menswear designers doing womens wear. If everyone brings their point of view to the runway, this season could be very interesting and innovative. I've been wanting to see real creativity for a long time, not just pretty dresses. This season promises that. I hope it delivers.
I like the behind-the-scenes touches. It brings a freshness to the show that's been needed for some time.
And let's talk about the real twist this show has needed: REAL WOMEN MODELS. Nina and Tim have been pretty vocal for some time about the need for the fashion industry to embrace women of all sizes. And it's not just wideness of size. Some of us have long torsos, others short. Some of us have long legs and some have short legs. Each of us has a set of proportions we have to deal with--even if we are the perfect weight for our size. Say, you start working out and all of a sudden your shoulders and biceps get big. Try finding a shirt! Or you just never lost that belly after the baby. It's not huge, but try finding jeans!
Randomly chosen models each runway will be a very interesting feature this season. I like the variety they offered up: tall, short, skinny, voluptuous, etc... It will also be fascinating to hear their confessionals. I miss the models' point of view. My favorite season featured the models' aftershow.
As for strategy, designers should know that if they get a standard proportioned model, they need to step up their game, as at least Nina and Zac will consider their job to be easier from the start. Designers getting a larger proportioned model will have a bit more leeway, provided they respect the model's body and don't make her look completely ridiculous. That's how real woman challenges have worked in the past. Heidi and the guest judge will always add the emotional element into it. That's what makes it fun, right?
|The twins are going to drive me batty!|
The challenge for this episode was to make a red carpet dress in one day (plus a little extra time on the runway day.) I didn't catch the budget here, but it seemed to be tight. No one really used very luxe materials.
The guest judge this week is Olivia Munn. She provided the wild card that got at least one designer to the final consideration that I found a bit questionable.
The safe group is pretty large, so I'll split them by what I consider to be hits and misses.
This gown was beautifully designed. I only have a couple of issues with it. I think the more modern (and practical) approach would have been to lose the train. The train, to me, adds nothing. I think the veil is too long in the back. I would have liked to see it drape in a more interesting shape. I also would have liked to see the veil in the back pick up some of the green in the front.
That said, please use the J.C. Penney accessories wall THOUGHTFULLY. Do women carry shoulder bags on the runway? Because I don't recall ever seeing one that wasn't carried by a handler or press person.
1. Black is not "editorial." It doesn't get picked up by the camera. It is why, back in the day, Michael Kors always wore it. That way, he could gain or lose weight and we would never be the wiser.
2. Judges (and the Lifetime photographers) don't care that your skirt started out as a coat. It's kinda gimmicky and other designers have done it.
Thus and still, in a different fabric, say something sheer, you could totally see Rihanna wearing something like this. Heidi would still ask what use a jacket that turns into a skirt has on a runway...and that would be a very good question.
Gosh darn it, there were a lot of looks that I thought missed the mark or were just really pedestrian.
Flappy sleeves always seem like a good idea on paper. Someone tried them last year to the same, flappy, pointless effect. Finally, the shoulders just aren't exuberant enough to warrant a potato sack shape for the rest of the dress.
Who knew Avon stylists could do hair like that? Did anyone catch the product that made her hair stay like that? Your Aunt Rhoda, who sells Avon on the side, would not be amused if you asked her.
Who are you wearing? "I had this dress made for me by Christian Siriano because I needed pockets and everything Versace had available required me to carry a handbag."
I'll be very happy when this droopy top phase finally leaves us, once and for all.
Ever notice, that your neighbors and friends and prom goers have all embraced this "off-the-shoulder" look, but you rarely see it on the red carpet? No one wants to look all droopy on the red carpet. Save that top for your cousin Kaylee's bachelorette party.
Note the darts at the bottom of the blouse. This keeps the blouse from flaring out and it hugs her curves. The ties on the left sleeve pick up the color of the skirt.
I'm torn about the combination of the camo with the peach. It's unexpected. The easy thing to do would have been to make a darker skirt--I would have been tempted to do that. He very smartly picked a bright color that would pop on the runway, but in real life, I wonder if this would look really tacky.
OK...I'll admit it: I TOTALLY HATE THE SKIRT. Sorry. The top is inspired but if I saw that skirt on a hanger, I'd walk right past it. But I understand completely all the fuss that was paid over this look.
OK, maybe Deyonte is really, really short...but I don't think so. This model towered over the other ladies as well. She has broad shoulders and realistic proportions. Deyonte went bold and bright. He carefully and thoughtfully placed the print on the bias so that the petals of the flowers opened up into her midsection. The gown is actually two pieces--a top and a skirt. It was all cleverly designed and constructed.
The judges totally read "Michelle Obama" and the styling of the model's hair--as well as her confident, graceful, but not too fierce walk, very cleverly played into it. The red carpet she's standing on is in front of the White House. A winner all the way and one I wouldn't dispute.
Yeah, the top is interesting, but those shorts are just ridiculous. However, Olivia Munn had the quote of the night for this look: "This is the sort of outfit I'd want to wear and I'd try on and hate the way I look in it. Then, I'd see someone else wearing it and looking fabulous." It's a kind way of saying that some outfits are easy and comfortable to wear and other outfits take a lot of work to look good. Good design shouldn't take a lot of work.
What the hell is going on with the magenta stripe?
Those appliques are simply cheap and bring the whole look down.
Why a fishtail? Is that in the least bit flattering to the model?
Now, I don't mind what she was trying to do with the panel in the front, but had it been constructed as part of the top (like Deyonte did...) it would have been way more flattering. Batani was hell-bent on cinching in this model's midsection rather than letting the design of the dress emphasize it.
As it is, the back and the front of this dress do not belong together.
I won't even get into the construction issues, of which there were many.
Here's my theory, Batani tried too hard to go very glam, which isn't her wheelhouse. Look at her own personal style. Wouldn't it be exciting to see more of that reflected in her designs? Nina wants to see more of Batani in her designs. I want to see that, too. Let's hope she brings it because she was given another chance.
None of that was taken into consideration here. The sleeves are too long and sloppy. The dress is poorly constructed. The ruffles are just a bunchy, puckery mess.
He wanted to make this look fun. Clowns are fun, no? Yes they are, but the clown top is designed for a performer. It's a uniform, of a sort and the performer is what makes the top fun. I think ChaCha needed to take an entirely different approach to this challenge if he wanted to bring some fun to the runway. But it's probably a big waste of time to expound on that.
It was painfully clear to the judges that ChaCha's style was not going to go far in a season with a diverse set of models. So, we must say goodbye to ChaCha. You can follow him on Instagram.
Until next week!
Photos courtesy of Lifetime Network