Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wow! We totally didn't see this one coming.

Those damn Project Runway bitches won't let us have a week off!

From Women's Wear Daily:

"Liz Claiborne Appoints Tim Gunn Chief Creative Officer

By Whitney Beckett

Liz Claiborne Inc. is bringing out the big Gunn.

Tim Gunn is joining the company as chief creative officer, a new post — and the first major appointment by Claiborne’s new chief executive officer William L. McComb.

Gunn is stepping down as chair of the department of fashion design at Parsons The New School for Design, but will continue on as task master for “Project Runway.”

For complete coverage, see tomorrow's issue of WWD."

We don't quite know how we feel about this yet. On the one hand, it's wonderful to see Tim get so much recognition. On the other hand, it's a shame he'll no longer be in a teaching role since he's so damn good at it. At any rate, huge congratulations are in order, so Congrats, Gorgeous!

Thanks Siobhan!

UPDATE: More info here.

"Commenting on the announcement, Mr. McComb said: "Words cannot express how happy we are to have Tim on board as our 'Creative Dean.' His mission is twofold: return our culture to one that is friendlier to the creative process and help shape more competitive, consistent and compelling product."

"Mr. Gunn said: "Though this is not something I had envisioned for myself, I jumped at the chance to serve as a mentor, advisor and sounding board for the design and merchandising community within Liz Claiborne Inc. The talent that currently exists at Liz is phenomenal and I am up to the challenge of harnessing and focusing such strength."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Austin's Runway Collection

Some of you have been asking to see Austin's decoy runway collection and we managed to track down the pictures. A very reliable source confirmed for us a story we'd heard a couple times before: Austin did not know he would be showing at Fashion Week until several months after the final 3 had started their collections. Not only did he not have as much time to pull a collection together as the others, he didn't have as large a budget. We also heard he was none too happy about it.

Because of that and because you really can't judge a runway collection properly without actually seeing it walk down a runway, we don't really think it's fair for us to sit here and judge him with bitchy comments, so we're just going to offer the pictures without comment as a way to close out the season. To us, this isn't really Austin. This is just something he threw together to please the producers. We like some of it. The Revolutionary War-inspired stuff is a little gimmicky but it kindasorta works. We don't really like all the scalloped edges and that red gown is a travesty, but some of the pieces are quite nice and they all have hints of that patented Scarlett sense of drama.

And with that, our exhaustive coverage of Season 1 comes to an end. We're going to take a week off to get our Top Design blog up to speed and devote a little time to our poor little redheaded stepchild, Tom & Lorenzo. Be back here on Thursday, February 8th when the bitchery starts all over again as we rip into Season 2.

Loveya, kittens!

[Photos: FirstView/Getty Images]

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Ripping the Collections: Jay, Part two

Dear Jay, We'll take one in a large and one in a medium.

Oh, we covet that sweater, kittens. Gorgeous. 21st century argyle. We're not sure what that loincloth-y thing is, but it doesn't really add anything to the outfit.

Beautiful. Even though it looks monochromatic at first glance, there are actually several variations and shades in the outfit. Love the patented McCarroll circles on the pants, albeit extremely toned down and subtle. Love the styling too.

Mmmm. Not so much. The hoodie's cute and the skirt is a masterpiece of construction but the tights and the boots kind of ruin the effect.

Another "not so much." We like the tights, but that jacket -- no. It's not just that we don't like it; it just doesn't "feel right" for the collection.

Gorgeous and - unusual for Jay - sexy. The dress is pretty basic but then again, the dress is just an accessory for that incredible coat. We couldn't get any clear shots of the back of it, but it's all done in a traditional quilting pattern, reflecting Jay's rural, crafty background. Who knew a quilt could make a woman look hot? Not the Amish, that's for sure.

Here's the thing: yes, we could easily make another muppet joke here and yes, this isn't something 99% of the women out there would wear, but as a signature look, an aesthetic statement, it's beautiful and powerful. Breathtaking, really. This is really a culmination of the work he started back in the Nancy O'Dell dress. Shredded layers of graduated colors. Dead perfect execution combined with Jay's highly refined color sense make for a stunning look. And kudos on Julia's styling. She looks incredible.

We're finding it hard to write a wrapup because we think we've pretty much used up every synonym for "gorgeous." At any rate, we stand by what we said earlier: this is the most creative and fashion-forward (hate that term) collection Project Runway ever had. A powerful expression of an aesthetic dying to be expressed. In fact, to a certain extent, the show owes at least some of its success to the fact that in its very first season it was able to unearth such a talent. Sure, Jay made for "good television" but in the end, the only thing that mattered is that Jay made beautiful clothing.

[Photos: First View]

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Darlings! You're invited!

The fabulous Malan Breton from Taiwan is showing his Fall 2007 collection on February 9th and he has graciously extended an invitation to the PRGay readership! Seating is limited, so the FIRST FIVE people to RSVP will get a little taste of Malanosity. Send an email with the subject line "Darling! The PRGayBoys are FABULOUS!" to Good luck, kittens!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Ripping the Collections: Jay, Part One

This one's going to be tough to write. How many times can we say "OhmiGOD, this is GORGEOUS!" Ever since we started this blog, the one question that people ask the most often is "Did Jeffrey cheat?" but since that has nothing to do with this entry, we'll move on to the second-most-asked question, which is "Which designer had the best runway collection?" The answer has always been the same: Jay.

Are these clothes you're going to see on the average woman? No, not really. Are these forward-thinking, innovative, and inspired, demonstrating an explosive creativity that literally takes our breath away? Oh yes. Two years later and every single garment is still seared in our minds' eyes. We could describe the whole collection without looking at a single picture.

The headphone thing was a little gimmicky but it worked. He chose unconventional-looking models and wisely had each one styled differently according to the outfit.

Let's start the show.

Gorgeous. Jay has a sense of color that we really respond to. It takes a refined eye to dress someone head to toe in different shades of the same color and not have it look boring or even look like it's different shades of the same color. That wrap is stunning and so is that skirt.

This one's okay. It doesn't wow us like most of the rest and it's not as original as most of the rest. Also, the color scheme is so similar to the previous piece that he probably should have put it later in the collection. Beautiful tailoring, though.

This is one of our favorites, maybe because it's one of the most wearable pieces. That skirt is to-die-for, the belt is fierce and the colors in that scarf are gorgeous.

Another highly wearable outfit. Another instance of taking something that's been done to death - the buttons on the vest - and turning it on its side by re-imagining it as little bursts of color. Could have done without the little frilly epaulets, though.

Goddamn breathtaking. Our absolute favorite. This is what we mean about his color sense. You'd think it would be relatively easy to dress someone in all in blue, but how many people could do it this masterfully? Each shade distinct from the others, each shade making a contribution to the whole.

That poncho -- we hate ponchos and crochet isn't something we'd normally consider chic but it's just so beautiful. And the skirt. Again, patchwork isn't something one would consider stylish but Jay is such an artist that he can take something Holly Hobbie and make it look couture. We also love that little peek of sheer fabric under the skirt. It's just a little touch but it adds so much.

This is a stunning piece, although it's probably one of the less original of his pieces. The leggings, the belt and the accessories are what make it pop. Again, we wouldn't have recommended having two pieces in the same color scheme follow each other on the runway, although it appears this was deliberate as each outfit naturally leads to the next: golds to browns to greens to blues. We always roll our eyes at the fashion term "color story" but you know, Jay seems to have taken it literally. There really is a color story.

[Photos: FirstView]

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