Project Birds: Now THIS is what I would LOVE to have seen--Miss Bahamas Universe 2011 Anastagia Pierre in her National Costume (Top), and Miss Bolivia Universe 2011 Olivia Pinheiro (Bottom)On this week's Project Runway Season 9, the Challenge was to create a "High Fashion Runway Look" inspired by Birds. A cockatoo, An Amazonian parrot, and a raven. An owl was there but alas, it wasn't picked (it might have been fun to see the KRAZEE mess one of these contestants would have done with an Owl as a Muse!). Part of me secretly wishes some of the designers went all out "Miss Universe National Costume Parade of Nations" .
Polly Want a Gunn Cracker: Mentor Tim Gunn eying a cockatoo, Project Runway Season 9 "This is for the Birds" EpisodeAlexander McQueen comes to mind, especially his Spring/Summer 2008 Collection. Three dresses from that collection stand out as examples of "Bird High Fashion": These are stunning creations that would of course definitely be in the "High Fashion Runway" category of the Challenge, but somehow, because of their overt homage to the birds (the exuberant feathers!), if one of our little 'ol Project Runway designers made one of these, they might have ended up in the bottom for being too "literal". PUHLEEEASE! But, moving on...
the Project Runway vs. Project Seamstress Dilemma crept up once again in this episode. A LOT has been made of the fact that Miss Anya--or as I call her "Cin-Anya-rella". She : A) Just learned how to sew (according to her only 4 months prior top arriving in NYC for the Season 9 shooting); B) Has little construction knowledge and sometimes "forgets" to put an opening so an actual REAL PERSON can get into the garment; C) That she just "whips" up creations like no one's business and "makes it work", and D) The judges just keep letting her through and often times giving her the Win, even though it's been half-glued, half put together "on a string". Most of the comments on my myLifetime.com BLOG have been, in fact, about how a lot of fans are "miffed" at this. And naturally, so were Joshua and Viktor, the "Sewing/Construction Stepsisters":
I side with the "Joshua and Viktor Stepsisters" on this but with a small "BUT". I am of the "school" that as a Fashion Designer, you MUST learn EVERYTHING and learn it WELL. And that includes sketching, pattern making, draping, as well as sewing. These fundamentals are essential, especially if you are just starting out and are a "struggling" designer who cannot afford a pattern maker, draper and/or a seamstress. When I was first starting out in this industry, I made most my stuff. I had to. I had no choice. But...then , after I began my NIKOLAKI company in 2001, I hired seamstresses to sew my creations for me (they did a much better job!). But because I had that knowledge of construction, I could tell them--with confidence--of what TO DO and HOW to do it. In fact to this day, I sew a lot of my collection muslin's/toiles, only because I want to. But what does this have to do with knowing how to sew perfectly on Project Runway? Little. I sadly learned first hand, in my season--how sewing had little to do with the outcome. And it frustrated me, as it is NOW frustrating Joshua and Viktor. Anyway, if you want to read MY FULL THOUGHTS on this matter--click HERE, or keep reading below... For now, let's just cut to the "Bird Fashions": The Top: Joshua McKinley: As I began this posting, I said I kinda wished I would have seen some "Miss Universe National Costume" Bird-inspired Gowns or looks because most of the designs left me wanting just a little more. I am sure that by now, these kids are creatively drained. And it's showing! But still, the judges had to pick their faves. Joshua McKinley's was good. LOVED the color, the one-shoulder drape. Very "Sophisticated 70's"!! Oh wait, WRONG Challenge. Ooooops, well, it still worked for this challenge, although would you really consider this high fashion? Kimberly Goldson: She made this gown in THREE hours. Some of the wonky sewing shows this. But it's PROJECT RUNWAY not Project Seamstress! So, she's one of the top. I liked the gown. And I even liked the pearl trim so Boo Hoo Mr. Michael Kors! The Winner was Anya Ayoung-Chee. It was edgy, directional, High Fashion and not so literal. More importantly: It WASN'T yet ANOTHER Anya MAXI DRESS! Yes, she forgot to add a zipper in her dress but she "made it work" on the runway. Jushua and Viktor were not happy. I think if I was standing there--and knowing that she had forgotten to even put a closure/opening...yeah, I would have been pissed too! But, again--I've gone through six years of "letting it go", so I know now that unfortunately, the judges DON'T CARE. The Bottom: Laura Kathleen: Pants were too tight and the jacket: too predictable. But can we talk about HOW STUNNING her model is???!!! Blessed thing couldn't walk on the runway though for some reason--the shoes must have been too small or too big (or maybe it was the too-tight pants!?). Viktor Luna: One of the "Stepsisters" ended up in the bottom, because the judges deemed it too literal. the shredded raw-edged organza "feathers" were a bit much but I did like the painstakingly hand-shredding he was doing while in the workroom on this gown. I just wished he might have left it at that---oh and lined THE ENTIRE gown! The Worst was Bert Keeter: Plain and simple, it was BORING. The Bustier was cut to perfection, though. But in a challenge that was supposed to be HIGH FASHION and inspired by GLORIOUS Birds, this just looked like a very nice dress at a Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show, in 1998. And now, my Recap from the myLifetime.com BLOG:
Anthony Ryan and his Hippy Dippy Navajo-print Girls are gone. Sigh. I fantasize that they're probably enrolling in a Women's Studies Program in New Mexico — with their mohawk'ed "Best Gay." For now, six designers are left. Now what? Here's a sampling: Birds, birds, and more birds, plus a head-to-head challenge with A LOT of twists and a $20,000 prize! There are glue-gun meltdowns and the infamous Project Seamstress or Project "Make It Work" Dilemma. It's enough to drive a boy to ... write a recap.
$20,000, Sweetie Darling We begin with our fourth Advertorial Challenge (but who's counting!). This one is different. For starters, it's L'Oréal. Second, there are birds waiting for the designers back at Parsons as their next challenge is announced: they must create a high-fashion runway look inspired by a cockatoo, a parrot, a raven and (if you look closely …) an owl! The six designers are split into teams of two and given their Bird Inspiration. Anya and Laura get the raven, Joshua and Bert get "Sweetie" (how ironic) the parrot, and Viktor and Kimberly get the cockatoo. The owl gets left behind, unfortunately. Finally, what makes this challenge really different? The prize (besides the Marie Claire/L'Oréal advertorial): a $20,000 check. Shut. The. Front. Door.
Head to Runway Head Twist No. 1: Instead of competing against the other teams, they are competing HEAD TO HEAD — against each other. As original as this "Head to Head" component was, I was a bit questionable of the idea: What if both members of a team were equally FABULOUS? What then? Moving on …
Twist No. 2: After the designers have been working for a full day, Tim walks in to announce that they are to create a SECOND look as well, and they are given $300! "Project Runway" has definitely upped the budget! I remember having $30 to make a flower dress!Click HERE to read the rest... And don't forget to leave your Comments--I read them all!!!!