PR fan since it began!



Friday, October 29, 2010

Ep14: The End

We begin with the Final Three waking up. And grooming. And spouting the usual formulaic I Just Want To Make Blah Blah Blah Proud. Can I just say that in the past few eps we've been treated to several shots prominently featuring Mondo's pit hair?


[rant] I live in an area that includes at lot of very old-authentic-hippie types, and in my Master's Swim group there's been debate about whether women should shave their armpits. IMO, everyone should shave their pits. In general I don't find extreme metrosexual looks in men attractive (hate waxed brows unless they're very subtle) -  but armpit hair is unsightly and traps smell. Actors and models wax the chest - why not the pits? Some group of young men need to get the fad going. Unfortunately, katson and his friends have declined. Maybe we'll have a group of hotshot swimmers in the next Olympics who can get it going? [/rant]

When they sit down to breakfast, there's a note that some friends want to congratulate them.

And that gets us into The Reunion.
  •  Valerie and Christopher are still adorable.
  • April has artfully dishevelled pigtails.
  • Asshat Jason is rather attractive without the hat.
  • Peach has a huge gay following.
  • Ivy is wearing a blouse that appears to be patterned in blood spatter.
We are treated to clip segments on Andy, Gretchen and Mondo, and some platitudes on how confident women are considered bitches - a word I have serious problems with. It's incredibly degrading when you think about it - women as not-human, subservient animals. Anway, I don't think the whole cliche applies to Gretchen. She's self-absorbed, not nasty. Ivy is nasty. And appears to think it's fun that people think so. But we don't get to hear about that, and they skate over  the scapegoating of Michael C.

Well, that was one useless reunion. All the elephants are still in the room.
Back in the workroom... it's Tim's Last Walkabout. He tells the Final 3 that they will show 10 of their 11 looks. He asks each in turn what they heard the judges say in reaction to their mini-collections, and what they intend to do about it.

Mondo: Maybe I should replace my final bubble gown with this solid look.
Mondo decides against it after some consultation with Tim. FWIW, I think he's right. The solid look would be strange at the end of his show. It would have been better as a breather in the middle.

Andy: They hated my bikini, so here's a new swimsuit.
Tim is disturbed; he thinks it looks like hair growing up from the crotch. Disagree, but it does seem kind of tortured for a swimsuit.

Gretchen: They want me to pump up the styling.
Tim agrees and wishes her luck.

Before he leaves, Tim congratulates them all once again.
 And I'm struck by how often we've been told by Tim and Heidi so far in the show that these three designers are incredibly talented and that their collections are incredibly exciting. Interesting that they keep hammering the point, like they're trying to convince us. Or maybe themselves.

Peter Butler. Hair.

Mondo is still using his hair ball-and-ribbon connoctions...

... and Andy hasn't edited out his beautiful headdresses.
Collier Strong. Makeup.

Model fittings.

Back in the hotel, the Final Three say pretty much the same stuff they said in the morning.

Next morning, they're off to Lincoln Center.

That's one long metaphor.
The mean side of me wondered if they had the scrub the makeup print off the vinyl.
There's some reflection, and then the usual flurry.

Mondo's lineup is out of order.
There are crazy fashion people.
Andy's making some last-minute pants.
And Gretchen is A-OK.

Runway time!
The guest judge is Jessica Simpson.
I don't know - she has an eponymous clothing and shoe line, but who knows how much she actually has to do with it? I saw part of one of her The Price of Beauty shows, and she came off as pretty ignorant, and not in a charming way.

GRETCHEN

Running through Thunder in her underwear.


Look 1: Let me just go on record that these brief-bottom looks are stupid. The models just look like they forgot to finish dressing, and I refuse to believe there are women who walk around like this. The jacket at least is nicely color-blocked.

Look 2: This isn't boho. It's more little dress from the prairie, with an extra shoulder slit that looks like an afterthought. The slightly Missoni-style print in somewhat interesting if muddy. Total meh.



Look 3: The asymmetry of the tunic is kind of interesting. The pants would be better if the leather was less shiny. In anyone not model-thin, the patent would rub and make a horrible sound, plus chafe. Also, these pieces don't look right together. The pants need a tougher top.

Look 4: I'd wear this to work if the pants were flat-front. The copper color is pretty, and the ombre top adds interest. But this isn't innovative in any way.

Look 5: Grey tee and briefs? Is this maybe sleepwear? Guess not, given the hat.


Look 6: Basic, off-the-rack.

Look 7: Another set of briefs, this time with a leather robe that doesn't close. I've said it before - stripper on a break.

Look 8: Last week's ugly non-matching print look, tarted up with a bare midriff. Isn't that out now?

Look 9: Best look of the ten. The leather shorts are cool, and the print top goes well with them.

Look 10: Can't imagine this on a red carpet. It's more like something Austin and Santino would come up with for a cattle ball. Or it could have been a costume for one of the Firefly characters.



My overall rating: Distant Third. Half of these clothes are recycled Chico's, and the other half are unwearable. You can't tell from these screen grabs, but all of these looks have cut-outs that expose the lower back. You know, the place where anyone with an extra pound or two shows a roll? Katspouse wondered if there was a sale on dowdy brown print. Even the jewelry looks like Frank Lloyd Wright knock-offs. Call it Tranq Lloyd Wright.

ANDY

Dedicates his collection to his mom.


Look 1: Great start! The jacket has beautiful stitching detail, and Andy's signature draped pants are very sophisticated in pale grey shantung.

Look 2: Deceptively simple. There's some very nice play on texture in this outfit.

Look 3: This is so wearable and commercial while being interesting at the same time. I especially love how Andy deals with the sheerness issue in the top organically by layering. I want the whole outfit.

Look 4: At this point I'm really glad for a shot of color. Andy clearly made the decision to let the textiles shine (pun intended), but the subtlety may be lost on the runway.

Look 5: Not sure if this is swimwear or lingerie. The sort of tree-root shape is very intriguing, though.


Look 6: Reminiscent of Laura S3, but with chains instead of feathers. Clever - it's not often you can describe a dress as both subtle and rock-n-roll at the same time.

Look 7: Another great real-world look, and the separates would pair with many other things in a woman's wardrobe.


Look 8: Perhaps a touch costumey - I can picture marcelled hair and tap shoes. But it has great balance and details. I can see Christina Aguilara or Christina Ricci in it.
Look 9: My favorite in this collection, and 2nd favorite in the whole finale show. Love the color combo, the deceptively simple weaving of the top, and the shine of the pants. So flattering.

Look 10: Very, very pretty. Maybe better without the belt?

My overall rating: Close Second. Andy made two big mistakes. First, he should have ditched the headdresses. They're very cool, but also very distracting. Second, there's too much pale grey. If he had mixed in some of his signature black, the individual looks would have stood out more. Still, he's shown the judges that he has more in his arsenal than "warrior woman."

MONDO
Mondo has a spirit guide.


Look 1: Love the blouse and shorts together and as separates. Once they were translated for the sales floor and thus somewhat longer, those shorts could be worn by women of many ages.

Look 2: Another great pairing that would break up equally well. As it is, I can see Chloe Sevigny in this as-is.

Look 3: To me this is dowdy. It might be because the model's hair doesn't work with the others, or maybe the proportions.


Look 4: Fun, cool, and a great transitional look. Women of all ages could rock that skirt.

Look 5: Love this - my favorite of the entire finale. Fun but sophisticated, exuberant but controlled.


Look 6: The black shorts remind me of Mondo's Cabaret Emcee Marionette runway-wear, but they're certainly versatile. Love the top - perfect day-to-evening if you wore it to work with a jacket.

Look 7: The bias-set plaid of the pants is unusual and interesting. The jacket would work as a layering piece with many of the bottoms and shirts in the collection.
Look 8: I wish Mondo had resisted this bubble print - in this look, the circus has definitely come to town.

Look 9: Great as a dress for the younger customer and a top for those over 35. Glad he used an overscale color block instead of a busier print.

Look 10: The bubble print works much better as an expanse than a top, but I think Michael was right - it would be better sleeveless.


My overall rating: The Winner. Mondo's collection reminds me of S4 Christian's, not in the garments themselves obviously, but because it is relentlessly his point of view. It's a bit worrying that he didn't follow the judges' advice to lose the hair ornaments and tone down the wacky a bit. Still, he's got so much talent and so many ideas that he's clearly the winner of the season. 


The judges make the point once again that all the shows were marvelous. Then they bring out the designers.

They start with Andy. There's a lot of praise for individual looks, but overall they felt that he might have gone overboard on the theme. And, after critcizing Andy for being too "warrior woman", Nina penalizes him for moving away from it.


Next comes Gretchen. They are happy with her new styling. They mention that her collection is montone, but feel it is "now." Michael found the leather incongrous.



Finally, Mondo gets kudos for being himself, and for his level of creativity. They feel it might be overboard, and question why he kept the bubble-dress. They like his drama, but think he might have gone into costume.

Mondo thinks he should win because of personal and creative growth. Gretchen thinks she's shown what she can do and needs help to get women in her clothes. Andy really, really wants to win.
The designers are dismissed. And now things get weird.


THIRD
Although everything he showed is beautiful and wearable, Andy's collection is declared the obvious third.
They feel that Andy went too mild.

And Jessica wins my heart when she astutely asks whether they scared him off.
Now comes the great debate, in which Nina and Michael are both enamoured of Gretchen's clothing and think Mondo's are way over the top.

Meanwhile, Heidi and Jessica think that Gretchen is safe while Mondo brings a spark and a wink. 


After a season of talking about how inportant it is to design young, Nina thinks Mondo is too teenage. After wanting runway shows instead of off-the-rack, Michael thinks Gretchen is designing for "real women." 

SECOND


THE WINNER OF SEASON EIGHT

I don't know how to express my disappointment - dismay - disgust. Are Nina and Michael so ego-driven that they can only see that Gretchen followed their directions? Are they so struck by her personal style that they don't see how unappealing her clothes are to women in general? Are they so out of touch with the run-of-the-mill market that they don't know about Chico's? I just don't know.

It's been fun recapping this season, and fun "meeting" some of you virtually. Don't know if I'll be back, either to recaps or the show. And I've never said that before. This has just been really disillusioning.

9 comments:

  1. I have enjoyed your blog all season so don't stay disillissioned. I want more from you next season.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Jane! I think we all need some words of wisdom from Tim to help us find our way back.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have enjoyed your blogs this season (even though I didn't post all the time!) I am also very confused and disheartened by the judging. I am hoping that they take like a year break for PR. Maybe then the judges won't be so stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Jeni! Maybe we need some new judges - ones that don't think that women in 2010 want to run around looking like Barbra Streisand in the 1975 remake of A Star Is Born.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nina has outlived her usefulness on the show. She'd make a great buyer for a mid-market department store, but has nothing left to contribute on Project Runway. Michael Kors is good for an occasional quip and has a few useful things to say, but he needs to be downgraded to an occasional judge and not a regular.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm so glad I won't have to see Gretchen's HORRID hair and orange lipstick that blew out the color on my HD TV anymore...

    Seriously look at the side shot and back shot of her on the judging runway during the finale... her hair is dried out... looks like straw... the cut is HORRIBLE... her page boy bangs combined with a straw-like mullet... she should have lost for that alone.

    OR listen to her incredibly irritating voice and exalted opinion of herself.

    That's the best thing about Season 8 PR being over. Won't watch it again.

    Great recap btw.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really liked your recaps this season and I hope you continue next year. I like your analysis and attitude.

    I also hope the producers learn from this season, which was the worst from a production point of view. They clearly exhausted the designers too early, plus the judges really seemed to be out of touch from the rest of America. Also the muzzling of Tim Gunn didn't help any. Although we (the audience) like a little backstage drama, I believe most of us are in it to see great designers. I think the producers are as much at fault as the judges on this.

    P.S. Sorry about the delay. My computer didn't want to post.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi everyone, Thatks for commenting. I'm mostly over Crack-Smokeing-Judges-gate. Remebered something from Season Two: Lighten up, it's just fashion! Project Runway is my favorite show and I'll stick it out for at least another season. Meanwhile, I'm going to recap the first Fashion Show ep, and then figure out if it's worth going on with. If Iman is a good as she was in PR Canada, it with be.

    ReplyDelete