Monday, March 3, 2008

The Ideas of March

Since you all apparently can't get enough of him, we're renaming the blog Project SissyBear.

Okay, no. But we DO have a link to a must-read interview with him at AfterElton:


AE: Was it nice to represent a gay person on TV — obviously you’re a big guy — who’s not the cookie-cutter type of gay guy?
CM: Yes! [laughing very loudly]

AE: How was getting along with Christian for you?
CM: It’s funny. I have to say that now I defend Christian to people all day long. They come up to me and say, “he’s so annoying!” And sure, he’s annoying. Fine. But he is very talented and he’s soooo funny. And underneath all that stuff, he actually has a really good heart. They portrayed him as being maybe a little more annoying than he really is, and they didn’t show him doing all of his really funny stuff and just talking. He’s very interesting. He’s had a lot of very interesting experiences for a 21-year-old. And he’s just kind of magically brilliant. Where did that come from? He’s 21!

AE: And what’s Rami really like?
CM: Rami, to me — and I’ve said this to him — is like the little brother that I never had. I don’t know why Rami and I hit it off so much. They’ve shown that close-up of us holding hands in the reunion show over and over again. And I’m wearing an “R” around my neck in that episode, so people were like, “Chris and Rami are dating!” I'm like, “Oh, pleeeease.” Rami has the most gorgeous boyfriend on earth, so everybody can just get over it. But I don’t know… He and I just really hit it off on a really affectionate level. There was just no reason to hate each other. We got that. If we’d hated each other, it would have been a waste of energy.

AE: I loved the episode when Roberto Cavalli was the guest judge and he praised you effusively. What was going on in your mind when that was happening?
CM: It was overwhelming. It was like, “this is now serious.” I mean we’ve had some really great judges, but it was Roberto Cavalli, for God’s sake! And when the judging started and he said that he envisioned me showing in Paris and all that, I was just shaking. And I was crying — they didn’t show me cry as much as I did on that episode — but I was just overwhelmed by the fact that someone like him saw what he saw in my look. I put it all in there and I was happy that he saw it.

AE: And in this last episode, did your use of human hair hurt you?
CM: I’m not sure. Probably, but that doesn’t matter to me, because it’s not always about winning or losing a competition. It’s about being true to yourself and your creativity, and also just showing people that the idea in life is to take some risks. If you don’t, you’re never going to change anything. And I thought it looked amazing on television. Whether they disagreed about whether it’s usable and wearable, that’s their perspective.

AE: And can you tell me anything about Jillian? What’s she like?
CM: The great thing about Jillian — and I wish this had happened sooner — she finally started letting go a little bit. As the show progressed, her character came out more and more, and I think near the end, people are seeing, “Oh, look — she’s actually very funny.” She’s very clever and well-spoken and she’s not just quiet and meek. She doesn’t want to talk and joke, like I do. That’s just her work style.

AE: What’s been the craziest fan moment you’ve experienced?
CM: Well, I don’t know if I can say… I will say that I’ve been shocked by the amount of emails I’ve gotten from men who want to go out with me! And who think I’m really cute and who want to lick me from head to toe.

AE: I have to say, too, that I loved how the show had so much fun showing you in drag, showing those shots of you as Wonder Woman or Cruella…
CM: Let me tell you, the day after the prom challenge where they showed so many pictures of me in drag, my website got 60,000 hits.


[Photo: G. Gershoff/WireImage]

Homeward Bound

Do you want to hear our scattered impressions of the home visits? Of course you do!



Still about as believable as a scene depicting him making out with a woman.


Was ToteGay's little hobbit hole not adorable?


He sleeps on the floor under his creations. Say what you will about her, but that bitch clearly BREATHES fashion.


And how funny was it that Tim thought this was a skirt?


And how horrendous was Jillian's sweater? Girl, you know we're on your side, but ski-themed Christmas sweaters are such a gigantic NO.


Although we did think it was adorably self-confident of her to put herself on the list of great American fashion designers from Long Island. Soon, darling.


Rami, it's okay to introduce him as your boyfriend, you know. No one thinks you're batting for anything but the home team at this point. Points for opening up about your mother, though. That was sweet.

And now, to prove that we can rocket from kindness to bitchery so fast it'll make your head spin...

Yow. That is some serious FUG.


It's a tossup between Chris and Rami, but we think we're gonna have to go with Chris as having the coolest work space.

Okay, now we're gonna lift the veil a bit on the T Lo philosophy. When we discuss the blog and what exactly we're going to write about day after day, there is one refrain we repeat to each other over and over: "We can't care about whether or not the designers like us. We have to be true to our feelings and just hope they have a sense of humor." Now, we may not have always achieved that end, but believe us, it's always been a guiding philosophy for us.

Having said that...

WE WANT AN INVITE, CHRIS!

It's not a place we'd want to live in (or get drunk in) but how freaking FABULOUS was that apartment?


And how adorable was he? He looks like one of the Osmond brothers!


Hysterical.


Winner of the "Best Rack on Project Runway" award. We just hope his nipples didn't come off with the duct tape.

UPDATE: Note from Shannon (Christian's sister)

"Some clarification on the living arrangements for you...it's a small space, but clean and nice. The toilet clogs and the heat goes out on occasion, but it's no dump, just small. He was working before the show started, so he had enough to pay rent and eat ramen noodles. He has a roommate and the family has all been pitching in to pay a portion of expenses for the past few months. His apartment is on the sixth floor! I'm proud of Tim for making it up there.

To comment on the skinny silhouette, no hips and no breasts = me. Granted, I'm not 6 feet tall, but as one of his first clients, I like this very much. I know it's not for everyone.

I really enjoy reading all of the critiques and comments for and against my favorite designer. It makes me happy that so many get so passionate about this show and this is a great place to express opinions.

Love you guys!!"


[Screencaps: Project Rungay]


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Christianology

It's Christian's turn under the microscope, bitches!


Well darlings, we may have to come up with another nickname for Christian because clearly "Princess Puffysleeves" isn't accurate.

Oh sure, there's a surfeit of puffiness (as well as pleating and ruffles) here, but much like Laura Bennett and the bogus "plunging neckline" criticism of the judges, it's not a design element he used nearly as much as is assumed. If anything, he could have just as easily been dubbed "Sir Skinnypants" because he returns to that just as much.

What can we glean from this? Well, despite the fact that it's not as narrow as previously assumed, he DOES show a fairly narrow range here. As we said, girl really likes his ruffles and pleating. He also likes pairing highly structured, voluminous pieces with body-conscious pieces like tube dresses, pencil skirts and yes, skinny pants. He turns to black WAY too much and when he does use color, it's always neutral in tone (browns and creams), with the exception of the SJP challenge dress.

Despite these criticisms, we think he's obviously an extraordinarily talented designer with a ton of potential. Nearly everything he showed during the competition was almost perfectly executed and had some little twist or design element that raised it above the others. Win or lose, the boy has the chops for a tremendous career ahead of him. He just needs to get his current design fixations out of his system.

[Photos: Barbara Nitke/Bravotv.com]

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sew Not Over: Kit and Rami




Kit:

"For my online collection, I just really wanted to push myself to make things I really would want to wear. It's the ideal of the whole Kit Pistol philosophy that you can mix more nighttime-looking clothes with more casual layering pieces, so it's really about the way that I like to dress."









Well it's certainly very Kit, which is as it should be. Although we wish some of these designers would embrace color a little more. We like the first look but there is something a little weird about the proportions. Don't those "straps" look like they come down awfully low? It's giving her a saggy titty look. We like the buttons on the sleeves but we're not sold on the sleeves ending in little fingerless gloves. LOVE the second look. Third look, interesting but the overall effect isn't that flattering.




Rami:

"The three-look collection is about special pieces representing flattering fits and elegant details which play an essential part in a woman's wardrobe -- delicate embellishments such as pleated and ruffled necklines, sleeves, and hems, as well as decorative quilting that make each piece unique. It's about classic pieces with a modern twist that complement a variety of women with different body types. I desire to bridge the gap between the old and the new, the mythic and the ordinary, story and storyteller. I delight to bring allegory to the arena of fashion."









Good god, that boy likes to talk about his clothes. Not that we can blame him, since this was a VERY strong showing. Nice to see SOMEONE using color and that purple is very hot right now. The first look is absolutely flawless. Beautifully done. We love the second look but that jacket looks a bit overworked to us, which as we've seen this past week can be an issue with Rami. Too many design elements for such a simple silhouette. Third look: Lorenzo likes (except for the collar) and Tom vehemently DISlikes. It's kinda pretty and feminine but - again - a bit too overworked for such a simple little babydoll dress.

Click here to see all the collections!

[Photos: Bravotv.com]

Saturday, March 1, 2008

TIMSTRAVAGANZA!







TIMSTRAVAGANZA!

Darlings, let's take a mo to focus on our favorite 'mo: Big Daddy Runway, Sir Tim of the Gunn.

Honestly, there's no introduction that could do this one justice so we'll just reduce it down to three words:

1. Tim
2. Christian
3. Walkoff



Dear Project Runway editors,

This shit is GOLD. Please stop designating stuff like this as "Bonus Footage" and start making it your PRIMARY footage.

Affectionately,

Project Runway Fandom

Also, click here to see Tim's tour of the Bryant Park tents on the morning of the PR runway show.

[Videos: Bravotv.com]

Friday, February 29, 2008

Jillianology

Well poodles, now comes the time when we look at the finalists' output for the competition so far to see if we can draw any conclusions about them. Completists that we are, we'll also be looking at the decoy designers, but for now, let's focus on the candidates for the win. First up: Jillian.



At first glance, it's tough to find a through line here. Jillian doesn't work in a narrow aesthetic. Of the 3 finalists, we think she has the widest range, although she clearly excels at sportswear. Her work is always meticulous (with the exception of the denim coat) and almost always perfectly fitted (weight loss and prom dresses, we're casting knowing glances in your direction). She has a fondness for full skirts and pants and a real affinity for jackets and coats. So much so, that she could make a career solely out of the latter.

She obviously doesn't reach for the prints all that often except to add small visual points of interest to certain looks, like the pink tartan ruffle on the avant garde coat or the eye-catching print in the menswear challenge. She prefers to add her own detailing to bump up visual interest, rather than relying on patterns or even textures to do the work. In fact, we think it's her eye for detail that makes her work. Whether it's the equestrian and military touches she returns to again and again, or the poofy almost bubble skirt on the tangerine dress or the gold piping on the art inspiration jacket or the almost-but-not-quite detail in the bust on the prom dress, Jillian takes an almost architectural approach to building her looks.

She also has a certain...we guess "wit" would be the word, in her designs, as in the jockette look of the Diva challenge or the rodeo Twizzler dress, or the racing stripes on the weight loss dress, or even the aforementioned pink tartan. She almost always has something going on in each look that makes us go "Hunh. That's an interesting take."

She has the Nina-required "point of view" and even demonstrates a certain level of innovation, but like her personality on the show, it's quiet and requires a second look, which sets her apart from her more put-it-all-out-there competitors.

[Photos: Barbara Nitke/Bravotv.com]

Sew Not Over: Steven and Ricky



Steven:
"My life seems to be full of contradictions these days, so I wanted to convey that through the "Sew Not Over" line. I wanted to make cute, fun cocktail dresses that were full of their own contradictions. Instead of bright colors, I used black. And instead of using typical evening fabrics, I used black wool cashmere I bought in Paris over Thanksgiving. I liked the idea of the juxtaposition of these elements with a silhouette that's so familiar -- just reinterpreted in different materials."






Peggy Sue Got Married meets Mad Men. While these are very pretty dresses, they look like period costumes to us, especially the first two. There's no updating or reinterpreting; they're just pretty much exact replicas of dresses our grandmothers wore. The third not so much. Not coincidentally, that one's our favorite.




Ricky:
"My look for the online challenge … it's all kinda sorta built around this lace. I want the girl just to slip in naked and it's perfect."






Well first off, the hats. No. We suspect he thought he was being cute, but...no. The Minnie Mouse gloves don't help. The first and third dresses are okay, but they're right on the border of TackyTown. That second dress isn't on the border; it's standing in the middle of TackyTown Square twirling a baton and setting off fireworks.

Click here to watch the video, kittens!

[Photos: Bravotv.com]

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dame & Diva Deathmatch





Awwww, how sweet was that?

And how unsurprising was that outcome?


Poor Chris. Never was a PR contestant more jerked around than he was. Auf'd, returned, made it to the end, eliminated at the last second after working on a collection for five months. Danielle Steele novels have less plot twists.


As hard as it may be to do so, we would recommend not taking out your frustrations on Rami. It's not like he plotted Chris' downfall or anything. He just did what he does and the judges liked it more.


In fact, we would recommend you do what we're struggling mightily to do and not look at this from a personality perspective at all. We all love Sissy Bear, but let's try and be a little objective here.


To be honest, this was one of those times where we're glad we're not judges because this would have been a tough decision to make.


They both submitted very dark, heavy, over-the-top designs and from our perspective, there was a hair's breadth of a difference between them. We don't want to get too far into analyzing the looks because we'll be doing that extensively in the weeks to come. Suffice it to say, both collections had good points and bad points.


This coat would be representative of the latter. WAY too many elements for one article of clothing. Overwrought and overdesigned.

As an aside, this coat did not appear on the runway in Bryant Park and that strikes us as something of a big advantage for Rami. He got the opportunity to edit something out of his collection that he knew the judges didn't like. We wonder what Christian and Jillian thought of that.


As for the human hair, it was a risk and we applaud him for taking it. We think it shocked the judges and that can only be a good thing since they needed to be shocked out of their RamiLove.


Did Tim overreact to it? Sure, but that's Tim. He has a pretty classic, staid view of what works in fashion and human hair resides way out of his comfort zone.


As for us, well... we think it's an interesting choice but we think that, coupled with some of his other choices, just pushed the collection past the point of fashion and into costume. His looks were too heavy and too goth for us to get on the Sissy Bear Train.


Although to be fair, the safety pin skirt was pretty amazing.


It's not that we LOVED Rami's mini-collection. To be honest, it had almost as many problems as Chris'. The operative word here is "almost."


What probably won it for him was this dress, which the judges rightfully loved. It was the most wearable thing on the runway last night.


People don't seem to like it when the "costumey" tag gets hung on Chris' clothes, but from where we're sitting, it's pretty damn accurate. We give him all the credit in the world for really bringin' it last night and we loved that the judges were shocked by his work. Yes, they made the decision that we all suspected they would make, but they were clearly struggling with it and that, in its own way, was a bit of a victory for Chris.

Auf wiedersehen, Sissy Bear. Thanks for bringing the fun this season.

Read Chris' exit interview here:

"After seeing Rami's collection, did you know who would be going home? The judges' comments seemed pretty deadlocked between the two of you.

Well, to be completely honest, this whole thing was very difficult to navigate. I so wanted to do a collection more along the lines of Christian's (complete over-the-top couture fantasy) but we all know the judges would slaughter me for it. If I was TOO safe, I would get nailed the other way. To be completely honest with myself, I don't know if my heart was completely in it. I never thought they would let the "costume designer" guy into the finals. I guess it's my own fault, and I feel like I let down so many people who were rooting for me. Rami is a wonderful man who lives and breathes fashion. After I was eliminated, we were backstage and Rami hugged me and asked if I was OK, and I told him I was fine and that I was happy that he won, because it was what he needed, not what I needed. I am so proud to have lost to Rami. I hope people understand that.

Were you surprised with the decision?

No, not at all. It was the pure and right choice. And trust me, to have made it that far after being brought back and hearing such praise of my work was so gratifying. I always felt I had to do my best with this incredible gift the producers gave me. I will be eternally grateful."


Watch his exit video:




[Videos: Bravotv.com - Screencaps: Project RunGay]


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Preview: Chris vs. Rami

Well kittens, tonight's the night. Will it be Golden Boy or Sissy Bear who gets to compete at Bryant Park?







For the final time this season (*sniff*) we ask you: Who's in and who's auf?


[Videos: Crewcreative.com]


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Sew Not Over: Jillian and Kevin

Click here to refresh your memory, darlings.



Jillian:
"To break away from the confines of beginning with a concept, for this mini collection, the intention was simple: What do I want to wear tomorrow? Three different outfits to fulfill three different but everyday needs. Clothing should be fun to wear and that was my state of mind when I made these looks. My hope is for people to say, "I would love to wear that." Enjoy!!"







It seems a little silly to say this about three looks, but this little collection doesn't have any cohesion to it at all. None of the looks refer back to either of the others. It's just 3 different looks with nothing in common. Having said that, we love the first one. Flirty and girly and sexy and cute. We kinda hate the middle look. It's boring and basic and it looks a little dated to us. Third look's cute, but that's only because of that ruffly collar or scarf or whatever it is. Without it, this look would be as boring as the second one.


Kevin:
"My collection was inspired by classic European tailoring with a sexy little vixen twist!"






Following the trend, we like the first and third looks but hate the second one. All three of these looks would be better served without the little gloves. Love the dark plaid and the use of leather. In the first look, we love how he used the plaid so that it runs in different directions. Love the little strip of leather along the bustline. Second look? Oh lord. She looks like a Michael Jackson impersonator. Even without the hat and gloves, we wouldn't be crazy about the dress. Third look? Cute. Love the proportions on it. The full shoulders tapering down to the skinny, skinny pants. It's all sexy with a little edge to it.

[Photos: Bravotv.com]