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Designer Crack Goes Testosterone!

Caveat lictor: Blogger is running largely on Excedrin. Objects in post may be snarkier than strictly necessary.

Image-heavy behind the cut.


Okay, two WTFs to get off my chest upfront...

WTF #1: Excuse me, designers, but do you WATCH this show? Because while yes, this is the first challenge in which everyone had to do menswear, EVERY SINGLE SEASON has had at least one where some people did. For themselves, for each other, whatever. Every. Single. Season.

One guess what I think is the FIRST thing anyone should do when they get selected to be on the show? Yup. TAKE A FRELLING MEN'S TAILORING CLASS. :: lines up designers all in a row and dopesmacks them ::

WTF #2: And after I was all pleased with them last week for not making them design clothes for teeny Sarah Jessica Parker and present them on six-foot teenagers... Oh, look. In parade the models, every one of them a standard male model type. Which is to say, BEARING NO RESEMBLANCE WHATSOEVER TO THE CLIENT. Halfway through the construction process, yet. Because, y'know, these poor people's brains weren't dribbling out their ears already. (Which is because they arrived without consideration for WTF #1, but didja have to kick 'em when they were down?)

Jillian: I don't like this picture, but she had my vote for the win, hands down.



It's impossible to tell without actually transposing it onto Tiki Barber, but I think it would have actually looked better on him than on this guy. I am seriously impressed that she finished all these pieces so professionally in the allotted time, and it's just good. Not surprising we didn't see much of her during the work process sequences, since she was just off quietly making it happen instead of hyperventilating photogenically. My one reservation is that the pattern of the shirt fabric isn't TV-friendly, and the rest of it is probably too much black. But I was still shocked to see her pulled for the middle group.

Carmen: The most severe casualty of WTF #1. Any comment on the actual product is pointless, because she was the first to admit she was simply unable to achieve anything she had in mind.



Fatal mistake, IMHO: she let herself get too thrown by the wife's concern about the design. Yes, it was ill-advised, but honey, it's too late now. Trying to fix the jacket was the wrong solution. Better strategy would have been to trash the jacket, make the pants fit, and make an actual shirt. She still would have been ripped up one side and down the other for the boring, but with the epidemic of Everything Going Horribly Wrong, it just might have made the difference between "in" and "out."

Christian: It's not that he doesn't have ideas, and certainly not that he doesn't execute them well. But he puts the weirdest shit together, and his ability to fit his ideas to a given purpose is, to put it kindly, underdeveloped.



Honey, look at your client. What about the man made you think he would want to go in front of the GMA cameras in a shirt that looks like the underlayer of the next generation of Starfleet uniforms? Also, I can't tell if the jacket has lapels or not (possibly it has only one?). Charcoal grey + tan = NO. Just. No. And the light grey stripe across the pockets makes them look like they start that low, and throws the proportions all out of whack. Actually, I think maybe the pockets are too low anyway. The whole jacket is vaguely geometrically disconcerting. If I didn't already have a headache, I think it would give me one.

Kit didn't impress me nearly as much as she did the judges.



The innovation factor of doing a sportcoat in fleece is diluted for me by the bottom of it looking like, well, a fleece. And the hem is cockeyed. The rest of it is a white dress shirt and khakis, which is just "And...?" Plus, she kept reminding us that she styles people for TV for a living, and she put him in a solid white shirt?? For live TV, yet? Does she want the DP to burn her in effigy?

Rami made a very classy outfit. For his model. Not for a man who specifically pointed out in the briefing that he has a thick neck and a big butt.



I do like the seaming detail on the jacket for itself, though. And the collar of the shirt got fixed for this picture; on the runway it was getting swallowed by the collarless jacket somehow, and looked all kinds of awkward. Poor guy's neck looked two feet long.

Sweet P, bless her heart, is still in by the skin of her teeth.



I'll bet it's illuminating for the judges to see the finished episode (since they don't see any of the work process before the runway judging), and find out that the sleeves are so short because that seems to be how she solved the problem of them setting into the armscyes all wrong. I don't know what the hell happened there, but I applaud her for not, like, fainting the first time she put the shirt on him, poor thing. And she was clearly listening when Tiki mentioned his neck -- she may have overcompensated, because I think that collar would still be big on him, but it wouldn't be nearly as ridiculous. This is the most obvious consequence of sending the models in for fitting when the construction was already so far underway.

I did like that everyone got a kick out of the Big Long Tie -- not that it was a good thing, but at least everyone seems to have had fun. And she presented it about as well as could be expected.

Steven, honey? Make the ascot thingie GO AWAY. Tiki does not want to be Fred from Scooby-Doo, I guarantee it.



And what's worse is that it's ruining an otherwise perfectly good outfit. I think he must have panicked and decided it was too boring, and he needed to throw in some color or something?

Memo to designers at large: The panic response is always the wrong thing to do. Do not listen to it.

Victorya: Not bad. For a bellboy on a smoke break.



Also, OMGWHITE. Television Rule Number One, people! How do you not know this??

Kevin scored higher than I expected. The fit (or lack thereof) of the shirt across the shoulders really throws me, as does the overly casual presentation. But if I can edit that in my mind's eye, the big picture suddenly works.



Interesting that there was some discussion of the purple being Evil (and I gotta disagree with Heidi, I think it would be a damn good color on Seal), when it was clearly Kevin's response to Tiki saying he wasn't afraid of color. Tiki commented that he'd wear the outfit with a different shirt, but even though it was in the context of everyone else talking about the color, I wonder if he was talking about the fit. Because the color would totally work on him, and I think I recall his wife saying something to that effect when she visited the workroom.

Chris surprised me by being one of those vocally panicking about menswear. Yet another thing that makes me wonder what the heck kind of costume designer he is that he keeps being thrown for a loop by things that he should have at least some experience with. First the extremely limited budget, now this. What kind of work does he do??



I think he made something with decent lines. I can't really tell, however, because it's a BIG BLACK HOLE. Again I ask, do you people WATCH television?

Jack: I'm happy he won just because he is rapidly becoming the Cutest Thing Ever. Seriously, when he said "I have no idea who he is, but he's gorgeous"? Died. Laughing. Also, whom was he carrying into the workroom in a tote bag? I thought the migraine had gotten worse again and I was hallucinating.



That said, however? I don't care what the judges said. YOUR STRIPES ARE TRYING TO KILL EACH OTHER AND THEY ARE HURTING MY BRAIN. Yes, the pinstripe in the pants is subtle, but not subtle enough. (Though it sort of looks that way in this picture. But on TV? Ow.) Sorry.

Ricky: More black. More white. More construction issues.



He was unhappy with his own work, but not melodramatically so. Definite points for that.

Elisa is going to do her entire run on this show without once touching a sewing machine, isn't she?



And gods help me, I think she might actually get away with it. I'm thinking she'll get to about the three-quarter mark at this point. This was dull as dishwater, and the olive drab is all kinds of bad for the client. But it looks like, y'know, clothes. Which from her is always sort of a question.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
beebalm
Nov. 30th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
Wasn't Kit's shirt a navy and white check or small plaid? Not that you can see from the photo. That's just what I remember...and that the overall look was too casual for TV.
wiliqueen
Nov. 30th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)
Now that you say that, it may have been. I was puzzled looking at the picture, because I could have sworn she was specifically talking about her shirt fabric when she kept saying she's a TV stylist, and then thought I must be remembering wrong. (The fact that it was less than an hour ago notwithstanding, my brain being at rather less than 100% atm.) But I think you're right. Only she still judged it wrong, because it does not read except maybe in closeup.
boundbyspells
Nov. 30th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
Yep, that's what I remember, too.

Great recap.
phantomminuet
Nov. 30th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
I'm trying to get into this new season, but it's a struggle. I knew last season who my favorites were by the middle of the second episode. Not so much with this one. And I didn't like any of the outfits, except the big black hole, and I might not have liked that, if I could have seen any detail.
wiliqueen
Nov. 30th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
Hmmm. I've had also had more definite ideas about people early on in the past, but then again I've also revised most of them as the season went on. With notable exceptions, like Chloe.

I do have the impression that there's less emphasis on the draaaaahma this season, which I can heartily get behind. Although it may be selective memory on my part -- it could be always like that early on. With the big gap since last season, I'm fuzzy on that.
melyanna
Nov. 30th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC)
I don't remember much early drama last year until the third episode where Laura freaked out at someone (Keith?) for using someone else's sewing machine. Granted, a good deal of Laura's behavior becomes far more understandable when you know that there were pregnancy hormones at work.

Wait, no, I lie. The second episode last season was almost wall-to-wall with Vincent and Angela getting stuck together on the pageant dress.
wiliqueen
Nov. 30th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
Granted, a good deal of Laura's behavior becomes far more understandable when you know that there were pregnancy hormones at work.

True, but she also just struck me as terminally Type A to begin with. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the woman working in cocktail dresses. That's some choice crazy right there.
studiesinlight
Nov. 30th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC)
I don't get the channel on which this show airs, but I really enjoy reading your reviews of it. This evening, I saw that your post had gone up when I briefly popped in on LJ before leaving work, and when I got home, I warmed up some leftovers and read your review while I ate. :-)
wiliqueen
Nov. 30th, 2007 05:02 am (UTC)
Thanks! I think my favorite thing about doing these posts is that people enjoy them who don't watch the show! :-D

Then there's poor brainiacfive, who came into the the kitchen last weekend going, "I read your posts, and I just don't get this stuff. You seem to talk about it intelligently, but..." Of course, he then promptly noticed some woman on one of the morning shows giving style hints while appearing on-camera in an Amorphous Blob of Black. You can't spend fourteen years under the same roof with me and not absorb something... ;-D
padawansguide
Nov. 30th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
I agree with every single thing you said here. I would have picked Jillian to win too - yeah, the pattern of the shirt might be bad on TV, but they picked LOTS OF STRIPES to win? It was nice, but all I could think of was how bad that would look on TV.

And yeah - take a menswear class!! :-)
wiliqueen
Nov. 30th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)
Jack's shirt will actually probably work fine -- it's a very clean stripe, in colors that won't go pixelated and wonky. And I do love the bias detailing.

But together with the strong pinstripe in the pants? Brain. Ow.
padawansguide
Nov. 30th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
Well, that's good - yes, the bias pocket was nice. But still, lots of stripes!
tytaniaherself
Nov. 30th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
My first thought for this challenge was "Duh, they do this every time, why are y'all so shocked?"

I thought this was Elisa's time to crash and burn, since she likes to drape everything. I was shocked when her garment came out looking so decent. However, it isn't as if the menswear lesson isn't always the same- fewer pieces and better construction always wins.

After the last episode, I went out and bought myself another simple jersey dress. I am so suggestible, I really am. I am secretly glad when they do menswear because it means that I won't spend the weekend shopping for something not entirely unlike the outfits I liked on the show.

wiliqueen
Nov. 30th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)
My first thought for this challenge was "Duh, they do this every time, why are y'all so shocked?"

So glad I'm not the only one...

After the last episode, I went out and bought myself another simple jersey dress. I am so suggestible, I really am.

It just makes me want to sew. Which is impossible at the moment, until I take several hours to clean up and organize my workroom, starting with transferring stuff to a new "heavy-duty" garment rack from the twisted wreckage of my old covered one...
cjmr
Nov. 30th, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC)
My first thought after watching the episode was, "Now I don't feel so bad that it took me three tries to make a lined vest that turned properly, and that I am totally incapable of making a 'simple' dress shirt with a collar that looks right. Apparently it is hard to do. But at least I know how to set in sleeves."

I didn't get Kevin's look at all. It looks like how a 9-year-old boy comes down 'dressed' Sunday morning, before he gets sent back upstairs to tuck and button and put his belt on. But most of the people over at the _projectrunway group are all gaga over it.

I think Steven's ascot was a way to cleverly disguise the fact that his shirt collar was too big, too. It was much more successful that SweetP's method. (Looking back, I see that only half of them actually attempted a shirt collar, but two-thirds of the people who did, succeeded.)
wiliqueen
Nov. 30th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
Dress shirt collars are a NIGHTMARE, and I'm impressed as many of them turned out as well as they did.

ICON LOVE!
hildy
Nov. 30th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
I kept imagining Emmett "I only do menswear" McCarthy from a previous season licking his chops at the idea of this challenge. On the other hand, he now has a fairly successful boutique in NY, so maybe he's having the last laugh.

It was such a contrast from the previous episode where everyone was going ga-ga over Sarah Jessica Parker to Tikki Who? Why should we care? *shakes head* I would be over here going "You ran roughshod over my Redskins, but I'll dress you anyway".

Didn't care for the winner. Actually preferred Kit's look. I don't like the untucked-in look. It just looks messy and I can't see that on the "Today" show. Not even on "Football Night in America", which he also appears on. I had to laugh at Tikki's comment about the short jacket "All they'll do is look at my butt". And Heidi was "This is bad how?" And I thought "He's a running back, not a tight end." Bad bad football fan, no biscuits.
wiliqueen
Nov. 30th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
It was such a contrast from the previous episode where everyone was going ga-ga over Sarah Jessica Parker to Tikki Who? Why should we care?

I dunno, I think there was more "Tiki who? Who cares, can we keep him?" Which was just all kinds of funny.

Tikki's comment about the short jacket "All they'll do is look at my butt". And Heidi was "This is bad how?"

I loved that. And then her trying to backpedal it with "I'm just glad it's not girls who worry about that!" Sure, Heidi, that's what you were thinking... :-D
aliwings
Nov. 30th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
Sign me up!
Love your review - you totally should be a judge. I watched the episode at 3:00 this morning when a dread cough was keeping me awake - I think if Kevin had presented the outfit with a tidier look it could have been a winner I thought the color was bold and loved the vest!

But does Ricky have to cry 3 times each episode? I think it may be in his contract...
wiliqueen
Nov. 30th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Sign me up!
But does Ricky have to cry 3 times each episode? I think it may be in his contract...

Could be. And I just keep telling myself there are much more annoying things he could be doing. :: pats him ::

I would be all over being a judge, except for the part where I'd want to strangle Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. Which would probably be frowned upon...
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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