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.


Holly said...

This is the first blog article I'm reading that is in harmony with my personal thoughts regarding this challenge. Many bloggers seem to find that Sweet P should have been the jury's number 1 pick but I too find that there's that "je ne sais quoi" lacking.
I am still wondering how Ricky won, especially with the strong and very iconic look Christian created. Maybe his look is too European appealing (which would explain why I'm so attracted to it).
I'm glad to know that I am not the only one who felt Christian deserved to win this week...

The Modern Gal said...

Yeah, I kept tripping over the lack of iconic status. It was like they were told to do something iconic, then everyone -- including the judges -- forgot about it.

Victorya was on to something with a trench coat, but then she made it look like a jean jacket.

Maud Vrais-Bleu said...

I agree, that had it been well done, or even attempted with any real gusto, a denim trench could have been good. Though I maintain that it was lame for Victorya and Jillian to do coats the week after they made a coat.