Friday, February 05, 2010

I Like Soup

Heidi, wearing a very unfortunate muumuu thing, informed the designers that they would be designing a look for a Fashion Week gala and would be introduced to a group of "very inspiring" women. Tim further clarified the challenge. Campbell's Soup has an "Address Your Heart" project raising funds and awareness for heart related illnesses and the look in question would be worn to their big event. It had to be red and it had to incorporate the Campbell's soup branding. (We all immediately thought of Andy Warhol).

The inspirational women? Ladies who had been impacted by various heart conditions. They were also real women of different sizes, colors and ages. Winner of the challenge would accompany his/her "muse" to the event and the dress would have a limited production, to be sold on, to help raise funds for the charity.

So we have our feel good challenge and are treated to the designers talking with and being moved to tears by their models and their stories. Except Seth Aaron, whose model has very strong ideas about what she wants, which could lead to trouble. There is a lot of bonding with models, especially between Jesus and Gay Ghetto.

$100 dollars and 1 day to create, plus Campbell's has provided a bunch of logo fabric.

One of the issues that becomes immediately apparent for nearly all the designers is working with new models who are not models. As Seth Aaron delicately put it, this was the "largest challenge" he'd ever faced as a designer; meaning his model was not a size 0. Pft.

MAB notes that Jesus has hair like a Chai pet.

Seth Aaron's model wants something Grecian and he goes along because she is the client, but he's not convinced. Janeane is still using the good meds because she doesn't fall apart when she drops her fabric into a bucket of water that is inexplicably standing near her ironing board.

Tim's walk around is uneventful except to tell Snotty Jesse that his look doesn't have "much in the way of fashion" if one disregards the jacket he's working on. He muses with one designer that the challenge is a "good lesson for all of us" in having to work with "real women". (And let me just say that while some of the ladies are of a size, it's not like they are working with tubs o' lard. This whole thing really points to the bias of the fashion community against anyone with boobs or hips and makes me a little sad because these are, for the most part, young and unformed designers and even they already resist womanly shapes).

Tim is all astonishment at the Grecian thing, noting Seth Aaron is the last designer he would pick as the creator. He doesn't hate it, per se, but it gives rise to the obligatory "don't lose yourself as a designer in order to please your client" speech. Which results in Seth Aaron beginning to completely remake the dress with only hours left.

In this regard, however, he is not entirely alone. Amy notes that she has about 70% of her dress left to make and most of the other designers are similarly struggling to complete their ensembles.

The Runway

Guest judge is Georgina Chapman. (That's ok. We'd never heard of her, either).

Some of the looks that come down the runway are notable for their ugliness. Maya has done something that puts The Neighbor in mind of Miss America. There is "draping" to create the illusion of a heart but it is very heavy and stiff and the gold sash-y thing, in our view, does nothing for the dress or its wearer. Amy sends down something very pretty and flowy although there is a lack of obvious branding. She is not alone in this, however, and of the designers who do use the logo fabric, it is only as trim. The exception is the immunity bearing Mila, who has used the Campbell's star as the inspiration of her dress. Conceptually this is quite clever but the execution, in our view, has resulted in a very hideous flag which reminds MAB more of Macy's than Campbell's.

The Neighbor is not impressed with the little confection that Janeane has whipped up. MAB and I mostly like it, save for the underskirt which should have been more flow-y or made of tulle or something. But still. Seth Aaron's model worked her dress and it has a more fitted and "designed" look than the original.

Top Three/Bottom Three

This is the point where the 3 of us enter a parallel universe, where nearly everything we hated is lauded by the judges and nearly everything we loved is loathed by them. "Well, remember, we aren't seeing it live," says MAB. True that. But really? On what planet is the flag gown "fun" or deserving of a "job well done?"

Anysoup, Mila's flag is in the top, as is Amy. Nina loved the fabric and movement, Chapman found it both "ethereal and confident" and Kors deemed it "elegant but modern". And Maya too is in the top. Heidi finds it "interesting" and notes "the design in there". Nina applauds the effort that went into the draping and at this point MAB says, "I have lost my mind". (Honestly, the front of this dress is sooooooo heavy and sooooooooo without movement it strains the boundaries of credulity that the judges could truly admire this dress without benefit of psychotropic drugs).

The bottom 3 are Jesse (Kors said it looked costum-y and he should have used another fabric. Nina is unimpressed with the pocket square he did of Campbell's fabric) & Anna (Nina likes the bottom of the dress but not the racer back and Chapman says it doesn't "feel like evening"). But the most stern comments are reserved for Jesus. Given that the only time he hasn't been in the bottom was the one time he was lucky enough to partner with a talented designer, this is no surprise. Kors is flabbergasted and says, "Where do I start?" then accuses Jesus of making a checklist of every tacky element in the world and then proceeding to make sure it was all incorporated in his design. Heidi concedes he has excellent construction skills but notes his lack of taste.

We all agree Amy should win and that Jesus should be out and that is exactly how it played out. Amy won for her dress which "moved beautifully" and in which her model looked "happy and elegant".

Jesus fundamentally was sent away because, as Kors said earlier, "Taste is not something that can be taught".

Jesus was remarkably perky after the aufing, even saying "Cool" when Tim sent him to the workroom to pack up. And that was nice. With any luck he will be hired by a good design firm where he can employ his construction skills to good effect.

Now, quick show of hands: when listing your top 5 comfort foods, how many of you include Campbell's tomato soup and grilled cheese sammies? Me too.



Blogger Cliff O'Neill opined...

Come to think of it, I would have preferred dresses inspired by grilled cheese sandwiches.

And I kind of liked Mila's dress, in that I found it intriguing. It didn't make me gag like Jesse's and Jeneane's and didn't make me nod off like the others.

Oh, and I've learned that the guest judge no one recognized is Mrs. Weinstein. So there's that.

February 07, 2010 10:54 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

True dat, Cliffie. Grilled cheese inspired ensembles. Love.

And thanks for the scoop. Sleeping with the boss can get you on the judges panel. Except sleeping with a Weinstein would be gross.

February 07, 2010 11:59 AM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

I saw Heidi on a morning show this AM.....she is s.t.u.n.n.i.n.g. and has had 4 kids. Damn.

February 08, 2010 9:35 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Rosie, I know. And if she wasn't so adorable I'd hate her just on principle.

February 08, 2010 11:22 AM  

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