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]

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

T Lo at the Oscars

Darlings, SO MANY people offer their opinions on red carpet dresses that we feel it's a bit of a cliche to do so. Then again, we DID make our name by being opinionated bitches, so we almost can't escape it. Onward to bitchery!


Amy Adams by Proenza Schouler

We adore Amy Adams and we adore this dress. Oh sure, it's a little done and she looks a little bit like The Little Mermaid, but that beautiful shade of green makes up for her wearing a dress we've seen plenty of times before. Not only does it flatter her coloring, but it stood out in the sea of red that seemingly everyone else was wearing.


Anne Hathaway by Marchesa

Case in point. Although to be fair, this was our favorite out of all the red dresses the other night. We're not crazy about one-shoulder gowns and we're not crazy about frippery like flowers all over the bodice but somehow, this worked. The color is beautiful against her flour-white skin and the girl does know how to wear a dress.


Calista Flockhart by Vintage Valentino

Pretty, if a little plain, which is something you could say about both the dress and the person wearing it.


Cameron Diaz by Dior

Do not like. The color is too pale and boring and the folded napkin quality of it isn't very flattering. Plus it just looks wrinkled and disheveled. Maybe she had sex in the limo on the way there.


Cate Blanchett by Dries Van Noten

We love Cate. Not just for her roles and her general fabulosity, but also for her risk-taking on the red carpet. This would be a risk that failed. Not crazy about the bustline or the color on this.


Diablo Cody by John Galliano

Flintstones go Hollywood. Seriously ugly and worse, cheap-looking (which it isn't, of course). General rule of thumb: no animal prints on the red carpet.


Ellen Page by Jean Louis Scherrer

Feh. It's dreary and dowdy and old looking. The proportions do nothing for her. She looks blocky and a little uncomfortable.


Faye Dunaway by Pamella Roland

Let's give it up for the nearing-70 Miss Dunaway, y'all! Better yet, let's give it up for foundation garments! Unfortunately, she sort of looks like a female Oscar statue herself. One with a vascular disorder.


Hellen Mirren by Georges Chakra

Oh, Helen. You are so fabulous and such a hot and spicy little sexagenarian, but this is just a big no. Too shiny and too satiny and we just don't like the sleeves on this thing.


Hilary Swank by Versace

Yawn.


Jennifer Garner by Oscar de la Renta

Yawn 2, Electric Boogaloo.


Jennifer Hudson by Roberto Cavalli

Girl needed more support for her, well, girls, but aside from that we thought this was a beautiful dress.


Jessica Alba by Marchesa

We don't think that color flatters her all that much and the fussiness around her bust doesn't appeal to us. Granted, Jessica Alba basically has a career due to people fussing over her boobs, so maybe this was a bit of payback to her straight male fans.


Julie Christie by Julie Christie

YES! In this age of the stylist, it's so refreshing to see someone put a little old Hollywood glamour out there. By which we mean "crazy fucked up clothes." God bless you, Julie. At least you didn't bore us.


Katherine Heigl by Escada

It's a pretty dress. We especially like the detail on her shoulder. Unfortunately, we don't like the color and we think she looks too made up.


Keisha Whitaker by Domenico Vacca

Pretty. We like the flowy, ethereal quality at the bottom. It's a shame the color's so boring, though.


Kelly Preston by Roberto Cavalli

This actually looks better in pictures than it did when we saw it onscreen. We don't love it, but we do love whenever someone takes a color risk on the red carpet.


Keri Russell by Nina Ricci

Yawn 3: This Time It's Personal


Kristin Chenoweth by Armani Prive

Mmmm. A little slutty-looking, no? Too much, Glinda.


Laura Linney by Michael Kors

Yawn 4: The Calls Are Coming From Inside The House!


Marion Cotillard by Jean Paul Gaultier

FABULEUSE. Very pretty, very striking and very, very French. Oh sure, it looks a little fishy, but it's certainly eye-catching. Our favorite of the night. Those French bitches know how to dress.


Miley Cyrus by Valentino

Yawn 5 - oh, the hell with it.


Nicole Kidman by Balenciaga

Christ, enough with the boring black dresses! Yes, this was the "dark" year for the Oscars, but all you bitches didn't have to take it so literally. And the Martha Stewart Christmas Tinsel around her neck didn't help.


Penelope Cruz by Chanel Couture

Penelope Snooze.

We feel like Mr. Blackwell! Only younger and hotter and not so bitter.

Renee Zellweger by Carolina Herrera

Get over yourself honey. You don't look THAT good.


Saoirse Ronan by Alberta Ferreti

Alright, we said we applaud color on the red carpet. Just not THIS color. It's like that industrial paint they use in nursing homes. Appropriate, since this looks like a nightgown. It's pill time, Saoirse!


Tilda Swinton by Alber Elbaz for Lanvin

Well, it's black but at least it's not boring. Unfortunately, it's ugly and she looks like a sleeve got ripped off by a crazed Chronicles of Narnia fan.

And speaking of crazed...

Rebecca Miller by ????


Honey, we ask this in the nicest way, but what the fuck?