God, how I’d love for this show to surprise me, just once. And not by having Tim Gunn say the F word again.
The Challenge: First, we were “treated” (sarcastic quotation marks required) to some extremely over-the-top performances about how SHOCKING it was that Edmond went home. We all knew last week that there was virtually no way Edmond was really gone, not with the Tim Gunn Save still fully intact. But I refuse to believe there wasn’t a better way to use it than have Tim appear to say goodbye to Edmond and then suddenly be all, NO! I VOW TO RESCUE YOU FROM THE DEPTHS OF DESIGNER HELL! No one on this show is a good enough actor to pull off any of the emotions or reactions that were required for this scene. It was extremely hard to watch, even by Project Runway‘s extremely low standards.
Anywho, as per usual, Tim Gunn visited the four remaining designers as they worked on their collections from home, and “surprised” them with a new challenge – one more look, of course – when they returned to New York for Fashion Week. Like so much else on this show, it was painful simply because it was supposed to be a twist, but instead it was expected and dull. You know what would have been a REAL twist? Seeing the designers get more than thirty goddamn seconds with their models. Because it virtually doesn’t matter how great a designer or seamstress you are – if you don’t have time to fit the clothes to your model, they’re not going to look very good. That’s just a fact, and a fact that gets ignored constantly in the making of this show. I’m not saying every episode requires hours of model time – part of the challenge is the time constraints, after all – but for the finale collection, to not have long and in-depth fittings is positively insane. Alas, instead, we did the same old shit as usual, with the designers hauling two looks out and creating a third to show to the judges as a preview of their full collections.
ASHLEY NELL TIPTON
I think the lack of time for model fittings hurt Ashley the most. Uber-thin models can wear a potato sack and still pull it off – that’s part of the reason so many models are so thin – but curvier folks need their clothes to be tailored properly. (Tailoring is a must for us all, but my point is that bad tailoring looks much worse on a curvier person than it does on a skinny one.) And the tailoring on every single piece was a nightmare. The skirt is too tight in the rear, and the fabric puckers and wrinkles at every seam. Furthermore, making sheer clothes without creating the proper undergarments beneath them is downright offensive – unless you’re doing a real, nontelevised runway show where you can show as much nipple as you please, you better damn well be making bras instead of just exposing the ones your models showed up in.
And how many seasons ago was it now that exposed zippers became my worst enemy? The contestants on this show refuse to stop using and over-using that trend even though its heyday must have been nearly a decade ago by now. I can’t believe how many years I’ve spent railing against a trend that I wouldn’t even have an opinion on if it weren’t for this show. Every dress I bought in 2006 had an exposed zipper, sure, but I’VE MOVED ON. Why can’t these designers do the same?
And I don’t think the headpieces, which Ashley clearly thought were genius, had anywhere near the effect she intended. They’re distracting, and they make Ashley’s collection look like a cheap Dolce & Gabbana knockoff. For all the bullshit the judges spew, Nina hit the nail on the head when she demanded of Ashley, “do you want people to remember the headpieces, or the clothes?”
Speaking of knockoffs, that’s virtually all we got from Candice, who fancies herself a creative genius but can’t come up with an idea that twenty other designers haven’t already ripped off from Alexander McQueen. Like her competitors, and every designer on earth who doesn’t have enough time to fit their damn models, the terrible fit really hurt her, cheapening every piece she showed.
Is it still a boast-worthy achievement to make your own hat, if said hat is derivative, poorly made, and all-around ugly? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
This robe-like garment is probably the best piece Candice showed – though you’d never it know it by the throwaway clothes she paired it with. What are those, spandex pants and a Hefty bag top? Even Kanye could design a better garment than that.
Oh, Edmond, who was brought back into the loving arms of Tim Gunn, and immediately proved the judges were right to eliminate him in the first place. He has no vision, and a dearth of creativity. Being able to make a sexy little red dress that a thousand designers have made before shouldn’t qualify you to show at New York Fashion Week, and I think Edmond has proven he can’t make much else.
And the concept for your collection definitely needs to be something more than just “RUFFLES!” Ruffles: great for a potato chip; somewhat less great for the inspiration of your career-making fashion week collection.
Blech. Hard pass.
What’s strange about Kelly’s mini-collection is that the pieces she showed Tim at home, and even the ones she unpacked in the workroom, looked SO MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE than this. I know I caught a glimpse of a textured dress that looked fascinated and detailed and beautiful. So why was her mini-collection full of throwaway looks? Was this an intentional move, to show them her worst looks up-front, and blow them away with an amazing full collection next week?
It’s not that this is a throwaway look because it’s a tee shirt and shorts. Streetwear is Kelly’s bread and butter, and her collection should reflect that. But the high waist of those shorts makes absolutely no sense. It destroyed the proportion of the look and made the garments look cheaper.
Seriously, where are the incredible detail-oriented textures that Kelly was showing off to Tim? Did I make those up? Why am I looking at this weird club top and these supremely ugly stretch pants instead of a cool, Kelly-made textile? Did I just hallucinate an alternate universe in which a designer actually brings some runway-ready pieces with them to Fashion Week? (Probably.)