Friday, April 15, 2016

PR All-St★rs 5, Ep 10: Does Anyone Really Know What A “Badass” Is?

Well, it’s the Final Six, meaning there are no more Safe designtestants; everyone’s a Top or a Bottom … and I’ll leave that there. Still, let’s leave it to Sam to cite that age old Reality Show Mantra: “I don’t like being safe.”

Yeah, we’ll see about that. Alyssa Milano meets the designers on the runway to talk about the “Project Runway All Stars” tradition of giving back. To that end, she introduces Yvonne Niami, founder of n:Philanthropy, a women’s apparel company that gives 10% of its profits to fight pediatric cancer through the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Yvonne says the winner this week will design an exclusive look for the n:Philanthropy summer line.

The designtestants will have $250 and one day to create a modern, sophisticated summer look with a “badass” edge, and we hear every from Ken to Emily to Asha to Sam say that they only design for “badass” women.

Yeah, we’ll see about that, too; let’s rip ….
Since “badass” is Ken’s aesthetic, he’ll be making a bell-sleeved top and a skirt because nothing says “badass” like a look inspired by The Flying Nun. Trouble is, Ken then switches it up from a dress to separates to pants to what ends up looking like a jumpsuit after Zanna and Yvonne Niami warn him that his look needs more edge and more sex. And maybe more time because once again Ken is stuck at the last second scrambling to make a top for his look … “badass”?

Let’s keep in mind, I put this together last minute.

It’s chic, but it is so not “badass”.

The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ calls it a summer badass, but then, to Georgina, a stark white jumpsuit must be a gang uniform; she does call Ken out on the cheap looking belt, but he did create it in about 90 seconds. Guest judge, actress Debi Mazar, felt that the top was giving her a sort of medical vibe; she clutched her throat and I seriously thought Ken’s look would kill her. She also felt the model's but was more wedgie than edgy. Fellow guest judge, designer Zac Posen, said it was neither fashion forward nor “badass” and called the pants badly constructed,  while Alyssa had trouble justifying a white jumpsuit as a Top Six design. Isaac called Ken out for the too-long pants — to which Ken snapped that the model had no trouble walking. Isaac then said, “It’s not easy for me to be the biggest bitch in the world,” causing the Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ and Alyssa to say, in unison, “Really??”
She spent a great deal of time telling anyone and everyone that she’d been in cancer research for three years before giving that up to do something more worthwhile like fashion design; she says she is inspired by rubber gloves and stainless steel … and I’m also gonna leave that there without comment.

She doesn’t want to do lightweight fabrics even if this is a summer look, and picks metallic’s and brocades and silvers and ribbons to create a Dom Textile. The skirt that she quilted from lamé looks suspiciously like the pants Layana created for the athleisure wear challenge last week and yet no one called her out on that. Zanna and Yvonne did, however, call her out on the heaviness of the fabrics and the length of the skirt, though Dom didn’t shorten it at all because of the neck-high — I kid, it was thigh-high — slit.

That slit is too high!

It’s a space-age look that doesn’t say summer, or sophisticated or edgy or “badass.”

Debi Mazar loved the inspiration — she dubbed it “butterfly” — and called it chic and elegant, but said it lacked a waist. Zac said the slit was too high—uh, duh—and wanted some movement in the skirt. The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ agreed that the skirt was too heavy and that the look was over-thought, while Isaac called the top an “inside/out aluminum foil” mess and felt that Dom let them all down.
She also rode the I Design Badass Train into the workroom, and opted to create a strappy leather top with nude illusion because she was inspired by Josephine Baker. For reference, Josephine Baker used to wear banana leaves while she danced so I didn’t quite get straps of leather to mean La Baker!  Especially straps in dark oxblood leather, which Asha called fresh for summer. Um … okay … until both Zanna and Yvonne called Asha out for the heaviness of her fabrics and the color palette which screamed fall … into the Bottom.

It’s such a cool take on this challenge.

The skirt seemed bunched up at the waist because the fabric is so stiff that it won’t lie down; plus, from the rear, the print creates a vah-jay-jay-esque look which isn’t pretty.

The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ said the look wasn’t at all Josephine Baker because La Baker was playful with fashion; she called the look strict and buttoned up and said the harness needed to be juxtaposed with something flowier. Alyssa did, however, love the neckline and the back, but agreed that the fabric was too stiff; Isaac called it “not summer” and “moderate.” Debi Mazar it was dated, like Brigitte Nielsen in the 1980s — and Miss Nielsen was over in the 80s, so, yeah, there’s that.
His aesthetic, like Ken’s and Asha’s and Emily’s, is “badass” and so he’s going to make a seersucker jumpsuit because that’s what all the “badass” girls are wearing in Boston in the summer … of 1919. Seriously, you’d really have to know “badass” to make seersucker edgy.

And that’s what Zanna and Yvonne  say, though Zanna adds that she’s seen a jumpsuit from Sam before … and before that, too, and called it safe and the Hamptons … and we all know how “badass” the Hamptons can be. So, again, Sam shreds his look and starts over, and then mutters something about how he’d rather be risky than safe … which begs the question: then why do you always start out making something safe? He ends up with a deconstructed tuxedo that he says a rock star would wear to the VMAs … if they had the VMAs in the 1920s.

I’m so happy that I decided to shred that initial jumpsuit.

This is the hottest of all hot messes. I can’t even begin to figure out what it is.

Isaac liked the seersucker, though he called it anemic and felt the top looked a little baby bjorn. The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ liked it, too, but thought the front piece — the bjorn — was too heavy. Debi Mazar called it a homecoming queen sash, but she did like the shoes … if only this were Project Runway: Pick The Right Shoe, then Sam would win! Zac Posen said a skinny pant and cool top are not enough, and when Sam said this was his second try, Zac said it looked like a save. Alyssa didn’t think seersucker was “badass” and said the design didn’t go far enough.
Kini is taking a risk; finally, someone is taking a risk, though I am kinda scared. His risk is a genie pant with a swimsuit top and a yellow hounds-tooth cropped jacket. Risk, yes. And he worries that maybe it’s too crazy for the judges, and it doesn’t help when the other designers call it crazy and asks what it is … Seersucker Safe Sam called it an iguana.

Zanna and Yvonne says it’s a lot going on and ask that he tone it down and take away what Zanna called the “disco banana.” So, Kini dyes jacket into an ombré fabric that looked good but did not tone anything down. In the end he loses the jacket and keeps it as a simple white top with genie pants.

I’m so happy I scrapped the jacket.

While I liked the jacket, without it the look seems edgier and a bit more summer.

Zac loved the 50s throwback, which I totally do not see but … and Debi Mazar loved the draping on the pants, calling the look both edgy and feminine; she also stole Sam’s line — that he uses to describe his own looks — and says the model is “serving it.” The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ was perplexed by the look, but intrigued as well because she liked the risk. Isaac said the look had wit and was edgy and ballsy and summer time.
She designs for the “badass” girl and is a “badass” herself, though I think blue hair molded into horns and pink eye shadow under and over the eye is more “look at me” than “badass.” And I disagree with Emily that black is “badass,” even in summer; I also disagree a palazzo pant and structured vest power suit is “badass” and I cringe at the idea that she’ll handpaint it.

No handpainting, please! Luckily I get my wish when Zanna and Yvonne love the idea of the suit — minus the pant — but think it needs to be shorter to create that edge. Emily then takes the sheers to the palazzo pant and makes culottes. I’m worried … because I loathe culottes.

I love it. I think she looks great.

I’m not getting summer, but there is an edge to the look. And the culottes are so wide they seem like a skirt, which I like better than culottes.

Alyssa wants to be the girl who’d wear that look, saying it has a punk quality to it, and that she loves the feminine culottes and the masculine vest. The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ loves the deconstructed, rebellious schoolgirl attitude and believes that Emily has come into her own as a designer. Zac hated the shoes … again, if this were Project Runway: Pick The Right Shoe, Emily would lose, and Isaac called it tongue-in-cheek sleazy, and said he didn’t get it, but that if Emily could make him feel like an old geezer with her designs she was doing something right.
Ken’s very safe white jumpsuit, with the too-long pants and the wedgie ass are safe, while Dom’s refusal to do a summer textile, and Asha’s use of fall colors for a summer look land them both in the Bottom. In the end, the non-Josephine Baker look of Asha’s sends her home.

As for the tops — and I think there should have been a Bottom Four to include Sam — Sam’s seersucker suck of a look is safe. It comes down to Kini’s risky genie banana pants and Emily’s punk-edge culottes look. And the win goes to Emily.
I would have given Kini the win just for the risk and the fact that his color palette read summer, but, Emily did step it up this week so I’ll give her props. 

Now … Sam really needs to go for several reasons: he always plays it safe, then he says he hates being safe; that little pat on the back he gives himself after he completely scraps a look and starts over is annoying. Howsabout doing something right the first time and not relying on Zanna to give you direction? Plus, that little cutesy wave he gave to Zac Posen was just another attempt to seem flirty and fun though he comes off desperate. Plus, he like says the word like, like every other like word and it’s like the most like annoying thing like ever. Like, stop it.

Dom gets off a couple of Lines of the Night — mostly at Sam’s expense — when she says:
“I don’t understand Sam’s woman, He designs for, like, fifteen year olds.”
“The challenge was not to create a jumpsuit for a breast-feeding mother.”
Ken’s scoop-neck-pec-revealing t-shirt was a little distracting … in a kind of a good way.

So, last week I said it was Emily’s time to leave and here she is a winner. So, maybe next week she goes? Nothing against her but I don’t see her showing a mini collection. I wanna see Dom and Kini show, and then Ken, though I think they’ll keep Sam around for the drama. Unless they let all four show … ?

What did YOU THINK?


the dogs' mother said...

Okay designers, tell me what is a "badass" woman. I think you all should sell that phrase to the donald so he could trademark it. And PR - you introduced the phrase into this week so you should also get some of the donald's money.

I kind of like Kini's best.
Spot on review as always :-)

Toni said...

Ken and Sam should both have gone home.

Bye, Felicia!

Helen Lashbrook said...

Have you read Josephine Baker's biography? Very interesting and inspiring

Susan said...

I thought Ken's inability—again—not to take the judges' criticisms well, and the fact that those pant legs were ridiculously dragging on the ground, made him the perfect candidate to go home. Even though the other two in the bottom chose non-summery fabrics, at least their designs were well-constructed.

And while I did like Emily's winning design, why can't these designers follow the challenge and use appropriate fabric colors. Her design was great, but IMO would have been so much better if it had not been in black.