Friday, September 24, 2010

PR8EP9: High Fashion, Low Taste


Well, after the debacle of the Jackie Oh No You Di'in't challenge, I'm left wondering if anyone--other than Andy and Mondo--is worthy of hitting the tents.
A new days dawns and Gretchen ad libs Reality Show Quip # 319: With no insert name here  [she used Michael Drummond] it now makes this a competition
Yeah, the first eight weeks were playtime, and now it's time to get crackin'--another of Gretchen's "got-to" words, like "design school project" and "replicator". And "bitch." Oh wait, that's me.
CHALLENGE
Create a high fashion look to promote L'Oreal eye shadows, and the winner's creation will be featured in a Marie Claire advertorial, and they will receive $20,000. Mouths open, but there are no words. They will also have $300 and two days to create their looks.
Mouths open again later, but for a much different reason.
Tim shocks them with the news that they must create a Ready-To-Wear [RTW] companion piece to go along with their couture design, and they will have $100 and no extra time whatsoever. Luckily Tim comes with security, because I could have sworn I saw Ivy reaching for the pinking shears.

Let's rip.....
Christopher
Chris' eyeshadow of choice, and I'm not talking personally here, was the crystal collection, but he didn't take it literally and go all beaded and rhinestones on his look. And I think that may have helped him.
His couture piece was, I thought, kind of a mish-mash. The Cher-inspired nude top with the lace appliques was one thing, but then the covered up right breast and the ruffled sleeve detail were another. Throw in some chiffon hips, which make her look like a wide fluffy cloud, and add some lavender schmootz at the bottom and I just didn't get it. The right breast, the left breast, the shoulder poof, the billowy hips, all seemed to come from five different dresses, and didn't work together at all.
His RTW was totally him.
It was sleek and elegant and, well, for me it seemed a little like a throwaway, because there wasn't a lot of time--no extra time, in fact--to devote to it.
But I am worried about Christopher as the weeks go on. With each week there are clear winners emerging, and clear losers, and clear Middle-Of-The-Road designers. And I think Chris is MOR, and I want mor-e, from him.
I am waiting, week after week, for Chris to do something wonderful, and he always seems to miss the mark.
But, who am I to judge, Christopher got a pass.
April
While every one else in the workroom was thrilled to have a two-day challenge, April was the only one who got to work; making her the only one who wasn't utterly stricken with fear [Yeah, I'm looking at you, Ivy] when Tim added the second dress.
That said, April has become the gal for shorts and sheers and black. I understand that's her style, but as a designer she should realize her audience might want a little variety.
And maybe a dress!
Her couture piece wasn't couture enough in my mind, because when I think couture I think over-the-top, and this was very cool and sexy, and very April, but just shy of Wow!
Still, April's RTW piece was the only one of any of the outfits that had true detail and design and workmanship. It wasn't just a simple, tight, throwaway dress [Mondo? Chris? Andy?] and it wasn't hideously awful with no connection to the couture outfit [Gretchen? Ivy? Val?] and it wasn't just a shortened version of the couture piece [Michael?]..
It seemed to compliment her couture piece and that was the challenge. 
I'm thinking of adding April to my list of tent showers, along with Andy and Mondo. I think those three are the ones who have a fashion forward aesthetic and are true to themselves week-after-week. I mean, remember, April defended her diaper pants.
But it was only good enough to get her a pass.
Michael
He is still the whippin' boy of the bitches, although Val and Ivy were so god-awful at time management, and so far behind, that they mostly kept quiet. Which allowed Gretchen to fill in with her usual snark. Michael C is a replicator. Heard that one before, Gretchen.
But then Gretchen really goes off the deep-end because she discovers that Michael is using the same color for his dress as she is using in parts of her dress.
The dreaded Bordeaux.
Gretchen, whom we are lead to believe, was the inventor of the color Bordeaux, is insulted that Michael would use it use it without the expressed permission and written consent of the House Of Gretchen.
She says she isn't threatened by him--though she bashes him almost as much as she praises herself--but says he "crossed a boundary."A Bordeaux boundary.
What Michael crossed was the line between couture chic and costume. His dress, and the Bordeaux is not a good color, especially that much, went to far over-the-top and down the road. It had a train that Amtrak could use, and a wired hemline that swooped and swirled. But he got props for his construction and tailoring.
His RTW creation he dubbed the Mini-me versions of his high fashion design, and it did look good. But again, that color. It needed something else; some other color, some other detail.
Or he could have been derailed. 
But he got a save because, well, Ivy and Val are horrid designers.
Val
She got the breakdown edit. A tearful fit in the bathroom with Gretchen and Ivy to comfort her, and then trash her off-camera.
I'm missing Val's aesthetic. Her designs started out good; that Marie Claire red dress is still one of my favorites. But she gets stuck on adding odd details like zippers and pleats, and one-winged angel crystals. She's been going cray-cray, acting cray-cray, saying cray-cray.
At one point, she tells us it's time to stop talking and focus, and I couldn't agree more. While I like her so much better, oh so much better, than Ivy, I seem to find myself shrieking at the TV whenever she appears, Shut up? And stop talking in questions all the time? 
Her couture look is a cross between wedding and ice skater one-winged angel. It doesn't say high fashion as much as it says, Get me off the runway and hide me away forever. The judges don't like the idea of her trying to create structure with silk; Kors compares it to making a winter coat from Kleenex.
Don't give her any ideas Michael.
The RTW dress was just sick. Not good sick, but Calling-for-your-Mama-to-take-your-puke-bucket-from-beside-the-bed-because-it's-full sick. The neckline unintentionally sloped, and Val thought hot gluing three crystals down the front would say Crystal Challenge.
Instead, it says Crystal Meth Is Bad.
Val barely gets a pass. In fact, she was so sure she'd be going that she offered to leave instead of Ivy. luckily, that isn't allowed, since i know Ivy would have taken her up on the offer.
Ivy
What a mess. And since she didn't get The Bitch Edit, I almost felt sorry for her. But, in the end I felt sorry for me for having to look at the "creations" she sent down the runway.
From the start, she was behind the gun and making bad decisions. She decided to forgo her usual palette of muted colors like, well, white and cream, and went for the Cobalt Blue.
What is with this crop of designers and their affection for Bordeaux and Cobalt Blue? Seriously? Were they not listening to Kors a couple of weeks back about Cobalt Blue?
But then Ivy takes that blue and started cutting ribbons of it to make waves on her dress, and more ribbons to make water crashing. Tim literally winced when she told him about the waves.
You should have listened to The Wince, Ivy. the Wince is always right.
Her couture piece was a D-I-saster. The top was crooked, and had two-toned stripes on in; the strips continued down part of the front, but completely filled the back to make it look like the dress was half-finished.
Oh, it was finished all right.
And her RTW piece was equally bad. The same misshapened neckline--Why she didn't say that was part of the design, to redeem herself, I'll never know.
Probably because nothing could redeem ill-fitting, poorly made, Cobalt Blue ribbons. 
Ivy was Auf'd, and I did a jig around the living room.
Gretchen
Really? What is with her?
I mean, she trash talks nearly everyone on the show--including her so-called friends--at the same time she heaps congratulations upon herself.
There's confidence...then arrogance....then bitch.....then Gretchen.
And I seriously hope she doesn't win PR, because I think her head has a better, more profitable, future as a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
Picture it: Gretchen's head attached to ropes, and a bunch of little men maneuvering it down Broadway. Fab-u-lous.
And that big head was evident when Tim gave them the challenge, and warned them that velvet is a difficult fabric, Gretchen makes the bold move to choose it.
And then she proceeds to make some sort of hybrid between a Cher Half Breed costume and a castoff of one of Mrs. Roper's caftans from Three's Company. it's like a bathrobe for a drag queen, only nowhere near as fantastic.
And when Tim Gunn says it looks like a robe, well, pay attention.
Her RTW piece is stupid; that's the only word for it. it has a long blouse thing, that hangs down to her knees in the back, and then the skirt looks like a half a skirt, with no back panel. So when the model walks, it flies open up to her bony hip.
But she gets a Top Three for these mistakes. I don't get it. Her aesthetic is billowy boring, dowdy drab, and feathery fuck-ups.
Andy
I like Andy.
He has a very strong viewpoint, and whether you like it or not, he stays true to it. His designs are always wild wacky and wonderful; and I'm including his Jackie OMG cargo pants in that. While they weren't Jackie O, they were very cool, and very Andy.
His couture piece was warrior, and wow. He had the metallic eye shadows, and used some very metallic looking fabrics, and created these pleated pieces for the top. He also made these pants that slip over shoes, and look like boots, ,and a fabulous headpiece RuPaul would die for.
His look stayed to to his Asian aesthetic, but it was still very modern, and very high fashion. All of the judges liked his designs, except Heidi, who liked the Ready-to-wear, but not the couture piece; I don't think it was T'n'A enough for her.
Heidi is all about the T, and the A. I'm sure you all remember the dress she wore to this year's Emmys, and the fact that you could almost see her, um, A.
And as for that RTW dress. Well, it was nice, but it was a simple, basic dress. Nothing interesting, although his use of the metallic fabric insets was nice. I seriously think the designers were so thrown off by the addition of the second piece that they all--except for April--just stapled something together at the last minute.
Andy got the Second Place finish for his designs, but in Smallville, I gave him a First Place for his description of Val's Ready-to-wear piece:
I saw Val's second dress....and it's............................black.
That's all.
Mondo
Once again, Mondo wins.
And for staying Mondo and picking an eyeshadow [Bright] and fabrics he likes, and creating a vision for the entire look. He thought of a kaleidoscope, and used colored striped fabrics running this way and that to mimic a kaleidoscope.
And it worked.
It looked like a cross between Wild West madam and futuristic ball gown, and this time, that's a good thing. It was bustier and bustle, and the judges loved it. Kors scared me for a moment when he said the back looked like a Kentucky Derby winning ribbon, but then he said it was fantastic and dreamy. And Nina gave Mondo props for staying true to his love of color, and wild design, and wackadoo fabrics.
And for the hat he created at the last minute.
And, while Mondo's RTW dress was also simple, and seemed like an after thought, he explained how the lack of color--just black and white--made it a true companion to his more colorful piece. And Kors loved how it would make the wearer look thin; in fact he was so enamored, I started to picture him parading around Chez Kors on that dress and I nearly had to gouge out my eyes.
And, of course, to top it off, while the other designers wanted the $20,000 win to pay off bills, and April wanted to buy a miniature pony, Mondo wanted drinking money.
I could see that.
And I could see having a drink with him, too.

So, what have we learned.
It's good to see Ivy go.
Val will be next because she's losing herself in trying to do so much.
Christopher needs to step it up. Safe doesn't win at the tents.
Michael C is a good designer, but he makes a better whipping boy for Gretchen.
Gretchen is blah. She may call it bohemian, but I call it blahemian.
April is coming up. I can see her at the tents, though I worry about the all-black.
Andy. Always liked him; love his style.
Mondo is the Little Pocket Gay That Could.

And, I hope, does.

4 comments:

robertga99 said...

It was good to see Ivy go. I loved Mondo's designs and was very glad to see him win. However, what the hell was Gretchen doing in the top 3? I hated both of her looks. YUCK! And her attitude...don't get me started.
Does anyone else think her mouth looks like Beaker from the Muppets?

froggy said...

Spot on, as usual :-)
I was a teenager in the 70s - high school and college. We are going thru some boxes right now and ak! ak! ak!, yes it is as bad as I remember!! Gretchen would love them.

To my mind - it looks like Andy, Mondo and April should be the fashion week final three. Gretchen acts like she already has an in - I think she's got something on the production team.

R.J. said...

I'm so glad Gretchen didn't win. I really don't think she's going to win Project Runway. If she does, I might be done with it. Bohemian isn't chic, even if it channels 1973 Cher.

And I love your description of Gretchen's head. She does look like Beaker with long hair.

lelocolon said...

I am just so happy that viper snitch was chopped. I am also concerned about Gretchen's look. WTF happen there?