Friday, February 12, 2010

On the Cover

I had to ferry The Child back and forth to confirmation class, MAB had a dinner date and The Neighbor was singing in a concert so I had to watch PR by myself this week. Which is always dangerous because I sometimes fall asleep during "30 Rock". Which I did. And then The Child came in a little after 10 and woke me up (bless her) but then it took a little time to change the channel to Lifetime because we have 4 remotes and you have to have a degree from MIT to get them to do what you want. Fortunately, The Child has mad techno skillz. But I missed whatever it was Heidi said to the designers. No matter.

When I arrived, they were all gathered 'round with Tim and Ms. Joanna Coles, who is the editor-in-chief of Marie Claire magazine. The challenge is for the designers to create a look for the April cover of the magazine and the look will be modeled by none other than the Great Fertile One herself, Heidi Klum. The designers are all in raptures at the opportunity. Ms. Coles gives them some important instructions. They should bear in mind that the photo will likely be cropped so if they are going to have details they should be toward the top of the look. Color is good and black is a no no. Finally, they need to remember that the look can't make it difficult to read the type that will be laid over it.

They sketch a bit (Gay Ghetto says he is going to do something "form fitting and short but not slutty") and then Tim takes them off to spend $150/ea at Mood (where Janeane, who only has the vaguest of ideas about what colors she wants is just "grabbing, grabbing, grabbing" fabric).

Back at the workroom you could hear the proverbial pin drop, so intent are our designers on their quest. Except for Seth Aaron who has the annoying and juvenile habit of singing and dancing while he works. Which makes all the other designers want to skewer him with pinking shears. At one point Gay Ghetto asks, "Did you smoke anything else when you went outside for a cigarette?" Seth Aaron says 'no' and Gay Ghetto dubiously replied, "I'll take your word for it".

Janeane is concerned that her look is going too "bridal" and she doesn't do bridal and her instinct is telling her to watch it. She then utters one of the best lines ever in the history of PR: "I'm trying not to emote the dread I'm feeling". Good girl. Stay on the meds.

Tim's Walk Around
Tim is worried that Gay Ghetto's look is "gimmicky" and GG takes that to heart. Several times he tells us that he is really listening to the critique of the judges and wants to incorporate the lessons he learns from them.

Mila's "signature" is apparent to Tim and he passes on (though Emilio later snarks that Mila has a one note talent for color blocking and that's it). Janeane, meanwhile, tells Tim that she is doing something with layered ocean-y colors and he muses that she doesn't want the end result to "look like clown clothes".

Ben has some Madame-Butterfly-on-acid theme which Tim likes very much but warns him that plans for a patent leather belt could cheapen the whole thing and make it "look like a joke".

Anna, who is really in the weeds, is cautioned to not lose her editing eye and Tim worries that whatever "wow factor" Emilo may aspire to will be compromised by the fact that time is running out. (He's doing some lacing with ombre that provides a nice detail but is very time consuming).

Tim leaves and we get a nice dose of both worry and snark from the designers. The group has dwindled enough that they more easily pick apart each other's POV or lack thereof. Later Tim reminds them that this is the "biggest challenge in the history of PR". Because they aren't under enough pressure. Gay Ghetto, however, takes it in stride. Like the other designers he wishes there were more time but, he opines, "Life isn't fair; why the hell should Project Runway be?" I admit it. I like him more than I used to. His affectations are a little over the top but brother has a great attitude.

The Runway
Joining our regular panel is Ms. Coles. Which is appropriate. It's her cover.

Amy's dress is great and looks like something Heidi would wear. Amy, I suspect, will go very far in this competition. She is consistently good except when she is amazing.

Seth Aaron constructed a very attractive suit but I don't see it on the cover of a magazine. And it is too dark.

Jesse made a nice dress but it is way way too short.

Anna's ensemble was pure and simple nasty. The shorts were too short, there was a weird and pointless bolero and the whole thing just looked yucky.

Anthony (see? I really do like him more now) sent down a very sophisticated and pretty blue dress with a lovely ruffle detail that wasn't exactly a ruffle that ran from the shoulder to the bodice. A pleasant example of what someone is capable of when that someone is willing to learn. Historically in PR, the designers who come in with a big costume sensibility are never able to learn how to ratchet down the hugeness of costume design to create sophisticated coutoure. Anthony appears to be making the leap. Good on him.

Janeane's dress has but one message: she has ideas but they are not original. Mila's outfit makes me go "blech", Emilio's look is very pretty lingerie, Jay's dress is dramatic and beautiful and Jonathan sent down a romper. Really? Eeewww. Maya was kinda boring and Ben's dress was quite ugly. I quite hated it. The colors made my skin crawl, the cut was very severe and frankly, I've seen prettier potholders at craft fairs.

Of course, that's just me. The judges were delighted with Ben's dress. MK said it would "cut through the noise on the news stand" and Nina said it was "beautiful front and back".

Anna was reamed for a look that Nina said had "no shape or silhouette". Ms. Coles cruelly announced that it was "three ingredients in a dish that makes you nauseous" and that Anna totally misread the typical reader of Marie Claire.

Kors gleefully tells Anthony "The costume drama is over!" and Nina tells him that she liked the dress very much for Heidi and celebrates that he was one of the few designers to embrace color. Heidi, who will be postpartum by the time she wears the dress, remarked that it was "very slimming".

On the other hand, Heidi tells Janeane that her dress is "not fashion forward" and dismisses it as "too sweet". Ms. Coles says that she is "not getting the sea reference....unless it's a polluted sea with plastic bottles in it". Wow. Miranda from "Devil Wears Prada" anyone?

Mila has missed the mark. Kors tells her that the peach color she chose reads like "an Ace bandage". Nina too hates the color and tells her the dress will "crop badly".

Emilio wins praise from Kors for taking jersey, a fabric that does not want to be structured, and crafting it into submission. But Nina declares that the ribbon-y straps are "too junior". The judges make him cut off the straps and take out the model's ponytail and then they like it much better.

I pick Janeane to be out, only because Anna got snaps for doing separates and crafting her shorts well, and Anthony for the win. Oh, and because the reward of this challenge is so huge, the winner won't have immunity.

And the winner is...Anthony! Who is very "oh oh oh" at the news. Heidi tells him that she can't wait to wear the dress and off he happily skips.

(Photo courtesy of

Janeane is tsk tsked for a look "more bridal than fashion forward" but it is Anna who is aufed for a "forgettable look that wouldn't stand out" on the news stand. Janeane cries for her friend. There is some sadness and woe in the green room because Anna is a nice little thing but she is also only 23. She has plenty of time to find her voice.

I'm not ready to pick the designers that'll be showing at Fashion Week but keep an eye on Amy, Emilio and Jay. And unless something amazing happens soon, Janeane is not long for the competition.



Blogger Cliff O'Neill opined...

See, I LOVED Ben's look! Anthony's was fine enough, I suppose. I just feel that with virtually every reality talent competition, folks are more rewarded for growth than for overall talent. If they start strong and stay that way, they rarely win.

But that's me.

And Anthony is back to grating on my last nerve. That too.

February 15, 2010 11:18 AM  

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