Thursday, January 31, 2008

SJP teams up with Elves on new reality TV project

(SJP's darling son pictured here. Not an actual elf.)

Lambs, I heart her too. And who am I to doubt a SATC producer? Still, I'm skeptical. Variety broke this bit of news earlier this week. (Full story here.) What do you think?
Parker to produce art-world 'Runway'
Star teams up with Elves for reality series

Sarah Jessica Parker's Pretty Matches shingle is teaming with reality factory Magical Elves to create a "Project Runway"-type show for the art world.

Potential skein would pit a dozen aspiring artists against one another, following the group as they attempt to produce various kinds of artwork -- from painting and photography to sculpting and industrial design. Pieces would be rated by a panel of judges, as well as by the contestants themselves.

The Magical Elves team of Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz -- whose credits include Bravo's "Runway," "Top Chef" and the upcoming revamp of "Top Design" -- had been developing their own art project with former Miramax Television exec Eli Holzman for some time when they hooked up with Parker and her partner, Alison Benson. Latter duo had been developing their own take on the art world as well.

"We ended up marrying the two formats," Cutforth said.

Pitch meetings with various networks will begin as soon as next week.

While Cutforth admits that doing a show about the art world is "risky creatively," skeptics felt the same way about "Runway" before Magical Elves and Bravo turned the idea into a hit.

"Art is a much more inclusive world than people think," he said. "We really feel there's a way to show people how much they care about art in the same way 'Runway' showed people how much they care about clothes. That accessibility is why we think the show can work."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Just-washed-jeans Yoga and other injustices

That’s it. I’m giving up TV for Lent. I am apparently so easily duped by the editing choices of the PR producers, I actually felt sorry for Ricky at the beginning of this week’s episode. Ohh Ricky, I thought, that sucks to always be in the bottom three. When you’re auf’d tonight, get out there and show the lingerie world how to work it!

Oh the audacity of hope! Ricky is crying out of joy and whatever else makes him cry usually! The judges loved his dress. We know that MK, Nina and Heidi "the boobs are all in the wrong place" Klum appreciate fit, but in this case, I agree with my sisters, the fit shouldn't have determined the winner. Also, doesn't like, mostly everything fit models because they are models? I imagine that when they take measurements, the designers are like, "Oh, I see. You're model size." I don't know, to me Ricky's dress looked very Wet Seal. Hélène and Maud are a bit more generous but not much.

So yeah, except for Wednesdays at 10 (I'm not that upset), I'll be spending my evenings reading Shakespeare, or that other Bard-- what's his name-- Tim Gunn, and maybe some Orwell to protect myself from the evils of the telescreen. When Heidi told Chris March he was safe, leaving Jillian and Victorya in the bottom two, I realized that the tube had finally got the best of me: BravoTV is now more cynical than I am, and I’m a liberal in Washington, DC! Maybe it has always been this way and I’m only just realizing it. Either way—Bravo, I am hip to your tricks. Obviously, Ricky and his hats are going to fashion week, and the more he cries and it looks like he’s going home, the more money I will put on this bet. (I hope mon amie Hélène is not as clairvoyant as she is wise.)

I guess this is why they call it the Stunway, people. But come on, Victorya and Jillian hanging on in the bottom two? I’m sorry but… really? Not Chris March? God bless him (clearly a fan favorite) but CM was already given a second chance, a big one, and he should have gone home if he really was in the bottom three, LOATH as I am to say it. These judges are more unpredictable than the New Hampshire Democratic primary polls.

I really hope that the best designers do not auf each other each week until the competition of is devoid of talent and the Republicans take over again and that’s it, I’m moving to Project Runway: Canada! The designers should take a hint from the Republicans and stick together, even if they run out of time and have to use crazy glue. (Emphasis on crazy.)

"Oh Rudy, you are so hilarious, even if you do hate babies."

Although Christian needed to cool it on the jeans bashing, his look was probably my favorite. "And no stretch," says Michael Kors. "No stretch," says Christian Siriano. Yeah, "no stretch" in this case means you know Lisa was practicing some just-washed-jeans- yoga to get into those babies. I believe this pose is called the fiercest-facing dog. She looked hot, and I like that Christian made jeans out of jeans, instead of a dress, or even worse, a wedding dress. I know Sweet P. just got married like last week but, a wedding dress? What about that dirty warehouse made her think of weddings? Probably the same part of her brain that decided she should mess with Rami or get the face piercing.

The capital L-for-Levi's-losers for this challenge were, in my opinion, Rami, Chris March and Ricky for lack of creativity and originality.

Imagine the horror if these three showed up at the same party? Actually we don't have to imagine it because Bravo took a picture for us:

Now... about that preview for next week. What could scandalize Michael Kors so? Clowns? Children? Child clowns?

I can't wait to find out!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Do we really have to run all that way?

Another classic episode for the Stunway. You don't get much more American than blue jeans, so what a fabulous challenge for the next great American designer! And yet, there were many mishaps as the episode played out.

Time management issues. Oh dear. I really do sympathize with the designers. Making a fabulous outfit in roughly ten hours is a serious challenge, I'm sure. About four years ago I began my own foray into fashion design and production. Four years later, all I have to show for it is one skirt, still in pieces. (Though I still like the fabric). Anyway, my point is that I understand how time consuming it is to make clothing. And it takes even more time to make something of quality. But DESIGNERS, must I remind you that Project Runway is a competition for you as well? Hello Jillian! This happens to you every week! We all realize you're pretty head is just chock full of great, complicated and innovative design ideas, but you need to think about the parameters of the challenge before you decide to go ahead with the ULTIMATE BEST COMPLICATED DESIGN IDEA EVER each week. Here is Jillian, again making her poor model help her finish:

She's totally thinking, "Dude. I did not sign up for this to practice my sewing skills. I wonder if I'll have to walk down the runway wearing only accessories from the accessory wall."

Judging.I must echo Hélène's sentiment about the randomness of the Judges this season. At times it seems as if they missed the memo telling them the point of the challenge. This week is a perfect example of that. The designers were to make an "iconic denim look" using Levi's 501 jeans as their raw material. While I think the dress is okay (and a vast improvement of what we're used to seeing from him), I don't think there's anything remotely "iconic" about Ricky's dress - or any of the mini dresses.

Just what does this "iconic look" say? "I've got great legs?" Hmmmm. Not a very interesting point of view. I liked Rami's best of the three but I'm not sure "sophisticated denim" quite qualifies as iconic.

Nor do I happen to think the coat ideas were any better. Hellooooo! Anyone ever heard of a jean jacket? It's been around in one form or another for about a million years. I've owned at least 5 over the course of my life.

Been there. Done that. And as an added yawn, Jillian and Victorya worked as a team last week on a coat. A bit too redundant for my taste.

So who does that leave us with? Sweet P's dress was pretty, no doubt, but again, lacked that certain something, that je ne sais quoi, that would have made it iconic.

Her original idea to make a wedding dress was ambitious but it goes downhill after that. You can almost hear her internal monologue; "Crap. This is much harder than I thought it would be. And now it's looking kinda frumpy. And Tim doesn't like it either! Damn. How am I gonna fix this... I know! I'll make it a short dress. Whew. That was close." In my opinion, the winner this week was clear.

Levi's and jeans in general were first made as work clothes. Americans have since adopted the jean as our everyday wear and even our special occasion staple. I think in fashion these days, we are most likely to see denim looking sleek, dressed up and sexy. Which is exactly why I thought Christian's look was brilliant. He brought the Levi's back to their functional roots with his biker concept, but still kept the look fashion forward. To me, this defines icon.

Those jeans Christian made were, for lack of a better word, fierce. Heidi agreed, saying she thought a lot of people would be interested in that jean. I'm disappointed that the judges seemed to overlook all this and give the win to Ricky. As Tim would say, it's baffling. Christian can be annoying - that is a fact - but he really seems to get it. He's quick to come up with an interesting idea and he's able to execute his idea well within the time constraints of the show. He really makes it work.


I was just browsing the internets for some pics to include in my post today when I stumbled across the following:

Levi' is SOLD OUT of Ricky's dress! AND they were charging $168 for it! Hmm.


Listen up, people! The PR Blogger's bible, BKA Blogging Project Runway, clued us in to a most interesting topic yesterday. Read on for the juice...

How Will Bravo Make It Work?
We are scratching our collective heads here in the BPR workroom trying to figure out what exactly Bravo is up to with their end game for Season 4. First off, they have confirmed with us that
there is no new episode next week, meaning the next elimination will not place until February 6. But assuming that episode is a single elimination, that leaves five designers remaining when they film the finale at Bryant Park on February 8.Past seasons have always shown four collections at Fashion Week, twice with a decoy (S1 and S2) and once without (S3). (We hate the idea of a decoy collection, if they are going to show, let them count!) But the only way to get to a Final 4 will be by having a double elimination on February 6, or if they run back-to-back single-elimination episodes. Unless there may be more than four designers showing on February 8. Hmmmmmm.......

To preserve the sanctity of the white tents, I hope there is a double elimination in our future. More than four designers in the finale would be so ridiculous in this case - Rami, Jillian, Christian and CMarch are in a league unto themselves. (I love Sweet P as much as you do, but be real - this is Bryant Park!)

So we want your predictions, friends: How will Bravo make it work?

Victorya Hong: Christian fundamentalist

Thursday, January 24, 2008

They tried to make me leave the runway; I said no, no, no.

from: hélène
to: john
date: Jan 23, 2008 12:19 PM
re: two things

also, if ricky doesn't go home tonight, i'm hurling myself in the potomac.

from: john
to: hélène
date: Jan 23, 2008 12:22 PM
re: two things

also, i agree about ricky, only i will opt for the hudson (it's closest).



Much to the dismay of Project Runway fans worldwide (and by that I mean me and my friend John), Ricky Ricardo remains. But seriously? Did he have to win? I am just plain stewing over here.

Alright, let's get down to it. My issues with this week are threefold:

1) Good Accessories Do Not A Model Make: MK was all, "Congratulations, Ricky! You made your model look like a crackhead!" And for this, they awarded him the highest honor?! (Ummm....thankfully that's not immunity anymore.) Judges, come on! Ricky's dress wasn't even that cute! I know styling decisions are important, but handing someone the trophy because they put a beehive and some hoop earrings on their model is just plain wrong. You're better than that, Nina. Plus, I'm sorry, do we want to look like Amy Winehouse now? To borrow a term from my friend Ashley's grandmother (who, bless her heart, cannot spell words with silent w's), Ricky's model looked like a total "H!" Also...those boots? Ew.

2) The Judging Here is More Erratic Than In Figure Skating: I am so sick of trying to figure out how this fickle trifecta makes their decisions! They're willing to boot off Kevin for a flop among masterpieces, but Ricky wins solely because he finally delivered?! Be real with me judges - are we taking this whole thing challenge-by-challenge, or not? If we are, Christian should have won. He adhered closely to the parameters of the challenge, and created an original, iconic look. And if we're contextualizing our decisions through the ghost of challenges past - Rami should have won. Okay, I get it: Ricky usually produces a heaping mound of crap, this time he gave us something passable, and voila - a win! But if it's all about A's for effort, how about Drapey McDrapesalot giving you something structured and denim and CUTER THAN RICKY'S?!

3) The Level of Competition (for you as well): Ricky wasn't up against much this week. Obviously, his dress was a lot better than Victorya's coat. It was also more impressive than Chris March's blah-ness, Sweet P's happy hands parade, and even (I hate to say it) Jillian's faded monstrosity. But even though many of the designers brought their C-game at best, Ricky's outfit was still not better than Christian's trucker homage, and it was only moderately contentious to Rami's zippified cuteness. In fact, Ricky's dress is, at best, a bizarro world version of Rami's. Speaking of(!), that's another reason Christian should have won! The challenge was to create an iconic look, and he made his model look like a bizarro world version of a total style icon:

Look at Lisa! She is sooooo "Tell me about it, stud!"

Clearly, I'm not cool with this week's result. Well, Victorya's gone, and I'm glad for that. She really deserved it the most in this episode: In addition to having the worst design, she was totally rude to Chris March in the 501 warehouse AND she, quite literally, rode Jillian's coat-tails (lack of originality has repercussions, bia). And the other positive note from week 9 is that we're finally starting to see the designers form relationships with their models. Aaaand, okay, I was pleased with Jillian's outfits again (where does she get these skirts?!). But I just can't help to think: When are we going to get rid of the mad hatter, people? What if next week, he edges out Sweet P? And the following, Chris March? Right now he may be this:

But he's a hop, skip and a dye-job away from this:

And do you want that on your hands, judges? I think not.

Better decisions in week 10, please. I've said my piece.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

One trick pony

Rami is clearly one of the most talented designers this season. He is (over)confident, he manages his time well, and his clothes for the most part are beautiful. But who wants to see beautiful week in and week out? Bo-ring! Rami is beginning to remind me of one of my fav designers from season 3, Laura Bennett. I consistently loved Laura's clothes. If my life was filled with cocktail parties and glam soirees, I would pack my closet with Laura B's dresses. But the judges began to grow bored seeing the same (beautiful) thing on the runway each week.

In season 3, MK commented that Laura was really designing clothes for herself. This season during the Prom Ep. Nina Garcia made a similar comment, saying "Rami is designing for Rami."

Drape-y, drape-y, drape-y. Rami, your waterfalls of silk Georgette are pretty and you clearly have a gift for working with the medium of fabric, but if you want to be America's next top American designer, you are really going to have to show us some versatility! The judges on RP get bored easily and are quick to notice a go-to technique and are quick to criticize if they see this technique as over-used.

Another designer perhaps deserving of the one-trick pony label was Uli, also from season 3.

Uli loved prints. I mean, the woman REALLY loved prints. Like Laura, Uli's designs were usually cute and could be interesting, but IMO the bohemian look is only versatile up to a point. Can you really imagine owning more than one of these dresses? As finalists at Bryant Park, Uli and Laura were both talented and driven enough to win PR, however, their inability to venture outside of their creative comfort zones cost them the top prize.

Rami appears to be doomed to the same fate. I predict that he will make it to the end, but unless he can expand his range beyond draping, I fear he will not win.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

You wanna be on top?

Every week when Tim Gunn says -- during that weird, scripted montage before the show starts -- "WHO will be the next big fashion designer?" I am reminded of why we are here. I mean, why they are here. I mean, why they are there. Anyway, if we trust Tim Gunn (the most trusted name in fashion on this one show called Project Runway) it is for the chance to become America's next top American designer! Top! As in, the best! As in, totally awesome. I can't claim to know what it actually takes to get there, but I have a feeling the special ingredients do not include two tablespoons of never stepping up to the plate.

"It's just a reminder that I've got a lot of work to do. I'll miss Kevin, but I'm glad it's not me. Hahahaha." -- Ricky, on the prom challenge.

"It just worked out naturally that I would be the team leader because it's basically my concept, and Ricky is trying really hard to not lose."-- Kit, on being team leader in the couture challenge.

Sigh. I guess I just think if these designers want to be the best, they should act like it! I mean, what would Tyra say?

"Seven beautiful designers stand before me. But I have only six photos in my hands. I will call only six names. The girl whose name I do not call must immediately clean up her workstation, and go home.

Christian: Congratulations Christian. You are still in the running towards becoming America's next top American designer. We believe in you, but more importantly, you believe in you. You believe in you more than is maybe healthy or in line with reality. Fierce. Ferosh. Love it.

Rami: You are the most beautiful designer we have ever seen on this show. You can stay. Watch your 'tude because it makes you look less totally fine.

Chris March: Your text messages to your favorite blogger and fan-favorite 'tude have kept you alive, but it won't carry you forever. However, you know, perhaps better than anyone, that every woman is a queen. You're still in the running towards becoming American's next top American designer.

Jillian: You were hiding under your 550-thread-count RL bedsheets for too long at the beginning of this season, but you've come a long way. Your apocalyptic jacket and dramatic poses are deadly. Keep it up.

Victorya and Jillian: Determining who is team leader by tossing an object of unevenly distributed weight in the air is not very bossy of you. Also, those khaki pants were weird. But you're in. Congratulations.

Sweet P. and Ricky, will you please step forward.

Sweet P.: Why are you not doing everything that Rami tells you immediately and succumbing entirely to his freakouts? Know your place. Rami wanted to drape his love all over your team, and you responded by crying and resisting his obvious gift for team leadership. And how can you resist Rami? Those eyes! Also, no more mention of Elisa's planet, or I will put you on a spaceship, and send you there myself.

Ricky: Your passive-aggressive ways have saved you one too many times. Not losing is not the same as being totally fierce and kicking booty. Do you want to put a piece of Ricky Lizalde lingerie on every woman in America or not?"

More recap to come, biddies.

Oh my gosh...

I'm gonna die for lack of anything to say about this week's ep.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"I want to assert...that this coat is fabulous."

When you have first pick at models, and you know your design will be based on the chosen one's hair, you've gotta be crazy to pick the chick with the pony-tail fauxhawk.

Crazy like a FOX!

When those ladies hit the runway in all their teased/braided/beehived glory, I was quite apprehensive...but by "special announcement" time, I was sold. It was clear that this challenge would allow the designers to display their point of view, technical merit, and ability to make something preeeeeettyyyy - all at the same time! Creating an avant-garde design with a ready-to-wear compliment was a real-world task for the fashionistas...and actually, I was pretty irked at the contestants for being such babies about the second look. Kids, these things are called challenges because they're supposed to....I don't know...CHALLENGE you. Quit your whining and start designing!

And for the most part, they did...albeit dramatically. The top teams overcame the usual time constraints and inevitable diva antics to create truly fierce designs for fantasy and reality. My favorite? None other than Team Monotone: Victorya and Jillian!

Cute belt, J Bugg! And Tim Gunn was spot on - that coat was fabulous! Even forgetting the coat, did you see back of that shirt?! Oh my godddddd...SO CUTE! Love love loved their look - it was the total package. Clear inspiration, truly complimentary designs, and the whole thing would've translated beautifully to a glossy mag. But this shiz was goin' in Elle, and we all know what that means...

"What did the five fingers say to the face???"


Nina Garcia, fashion director of Elle Magazine and Cheertator of this Cheerocracy, got her way once again. I'm not too pissed, because March and Fieroche did do an amaaaazing job with their organza creation. Anyone who turns 45 yards of fabric into haute couture deserves snaps indeed. (Sidenote: I loved how Christian described the couture look as being "all about the cinched waste and hunched shoulders." You mean, Katie didn't have sick posture? She was just high fashion?! Noted.) Let's be real though...that brown skirt was a throw-away, and you know it Nina!

The other winner on the runway this week was Sweet P. Her one-shoulder dress was her best offering so far, and she may have shifted herself to number 3 on the list of people-just-begging-to-be-auf! You go, Sweets! (KsorryboutyourluckRickybyeeee!)

Speaking of Ricky - STFU already. Okay, fine, I always say that. What I don't always say is, RAMI WHAT IS YOUR MALFUNCTION? Could you please remove the tape measure from your neck and the stick from your ass? Your pretensions are starting to outweigh your sultry gazes!

Even Lauren ain't havin it! Moreover, I just can't defend your design this week Ramster. So not haute. Sweet P wanted to bustle, but you were focused on hustle - and that'll get you auf'd, friend! Plus, I mean, you made her cry. Not cool. Lucky for you, your steamy eyes and draping cred saved you this week...unfortch, that means we say buh-bye to Kit. Le sigh, another Team Leader bites the dust. But don't frown, mes amis! She takes with her 2 full suitcases of friendship and success...and perhaps a cake of moonbeams and rainbows...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"We've Got Tonight"

Helene, I too was scouring my apartment for 1999 and 2000 prom pics after last week's Ep. Above is a classic from the 1999 "We've Got Tonight" themed prom. Here we see the date- picking- girl- up- at- parents'- house- and- enduring- embarassing- questions- and- awkward- joking- while- parents- take- pictures- and- Mom- pins- on- my- date's- boutonniere- because- I'm- afraid- to- part of the night. You can almost hear me saying, "Daaaaaaad! We're going to be laaaaaate! No more pictures!" But I digress... the important thing here is that you note the floor length dress. Oh. Can't quite see it?

How bout now:

Ohhhhhh PROM. The most glamourous night of a young woman's life. It is a formal dance. What more can I say that hasn't been said before by my esteemed co-bloggers? It is painfully obvious by the way the judges behaved that they just don't get it. There is, like, a rule about high school dance dresses and it goes like this: Homecoming = short, fun dress. Prom = TOTAL GLAM. Nina, call me and I'll explain. Not sure if they have prom in Germany... Heidi, maybe you should get on this call too.

I'll tell you darlings who does get it.

It's Sweet P and Chris March!

Perfect! Long, shinny and G-L-A-M-O-R-OUS as Fergie would say. High class. And kudos to Sweet P for acting the mom to her model. Low in the front AND in the back is a recipe for regret. The dress ended up being revealing in a tasteful way. And, I must add that the styling could not have been better! Those chandelier earings with the pretty hair? Très bon.

My personal favorite was Jillian's. Though I would have extended the length a bit... I think she was going for a slightly more fashion-y look, but to me that mid-calf length looks a bit odd.

The bodice and back are sooooo pretty! The color is great for spring and compliments her model's skin and hair... LOVE IT! Jillian was the winner in my yearbook. Team J! (I know. I can't believe I'm rooting for her either.)

There were several dresses on the runway that I'm sure were left hanging in closets (replaced by dresses off the rack from Macy's) on the magical Saturday night that is prom. What a shame! These girls had the chance to have a dress MADE FOR THEM by A REAL FASHION DESIGNER. And what did they get? A whole bunch o fug.

Ugh. Christian's model was annnooooyyyying for sure, but he was being a baby about it. Not very professional or fierce. And that dress looks a mess! The only good thing I can say about Victorya's look is that the shoes are très cute. I loathe bubble skirts. And if Kevin was auf'd because his hem was wonky, what about the crookedness going on with V's dress? I swear! This season the judging has been so erratic. I'm not saying that Kev's dress was good. Two things would have saved him IMO: younger color (maybe a hot pink?) and lengthen the dress to the floor. Can't you just picture how cute it could have been?

As for the rest of the bunch...

Kit honey. You totally missed the mark here! This look is not young AT ALL and the colors make me think of the circus. It actually kinda looks like something a teacher/chaperone would wear to the prom. And Rami. Your dress is one drape-y shawl away from being m.o.b. as Michael Kors would say. Mother of the bride! Personally, I didn't hate Ricky's dress as much as everyone else seemed to. His model was happy with it and although the color washed her out a bit, it was much closer to an appropriate prom dress color than all that electric blue, pea green and Crayola red that was out there.

One more Stunway treat:
Here is Marthe (with a friend) pictured wearing her own fav prom dress. Très beau!

Overall, I LOVED the prom challenge. Well done PR! Two good challenges in a row! It was sad to see Kevin go and to me, it was a toss up over who should be auf'd between Kev and Christian. I think it was Christian's potential that the judges were betting on by letting him stay. He'll need to step it up tonight to redeem himself and prove they made the right choice to keep him. It's been a long time coming... feels like it'll be Ricky's time to go tonight. Though we never know! The previews indicate a team challenge. I wonder which designers will be dumb enough to be the leaders?

See you on the runway.