Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kick It Ladies!

Tim and Heidi High Kicking it with The Rockettes--Project Runway Season 10

This past week's Project Runway Season 10 Episode was all about The Rockettes. The Challenge was to design a costume for the Radio City Rockettes to be worn at a future performance. How Fab Is That??? I would have LOVEd this Challenge. It was sooooo "Season 2 Design a Costume for Olympic Figure Skater Sasha Cohen"!!! If you know me, you may realize I love bedazzling, costumes, and ANYTHING that looks somewhat close to Figure Skating Costumes...and designing for The Rockettes fits that bill.

Candy Cane Kicks: Nick Verreos joining The Rockettes at FIDM Downtown LA Campus, promoting "The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular" in 2010

Two years ago, I had the privilege of hosting a fun Rockettes event at my Alma Mater--the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM, when they came to town promoting their "Christmas Spectacular".

Nick Verreos and The Rockettes: I got the pleasure of meeting lots of the ladies and their fabulous costumes--designed by Erte and Vincente Minelli (yes, Liza's dad!).

Rockettes Costume Heaven: Nick Verreos with The Rockettes in some of their iconic costumes--FIDM

Notice The Beading, Kids: Nick Verreos describing the intricate sequin work on a Rockettes Costume--FIDM 

Now, back to the episode and the Challenge: To Design a Costume for the Rockettes...

The Special Guest Judge was actress Debra Messing, who of course we all know from "Will & Grace" as well as "Smash". Let's just say she might know a thing or two about bedazzled costumes. The Top Designs--according to the judges were:

Dmitry Sholokhov: Dmitry-- was a professional ballroom dancer for over a decade back in Belarus, where he is originally from. Therefore, WE KNOW he definitely knew MORE than a thing or two about sequins, dancing and costumes! His one shoulder/one sleeve asymmetrical design was very directional for the Rockettes. If the ladies wanted to go a little more "Fashion Forward" this could have been it. The midnight blue color was great and it was made extremely well.
Ballroom or Radio City?

But I felt it might have been a tad too sexy for the lovely Rockettes--especially in performances where 8 year old's might be present. It was more appropriate for a sexy Ballroom Dancing performance (very similar to the costume in the photo above) and maybe not the Rockettes. The judges also agreed, so the Winner was:

Christopher Palu: From the moment he described what he was going to do, and then soon after he began working on his costume and hot gluing them NY Skyline sequins on...I was like "There's Your Winner!". The judges tried really really hard to not make it obvious when talking to the top vote getters, that Christopher's was THE BEST, by far. I thought it was a GENIUS design idea and creation. It's sure to become an iconic "Rockettes" costume and part of their repertoire. Too bad little Christopher can't be paid for designing it! LOL!!!

The Bottom:

Elena Slivnyak: She created a royal blue completely sequined number that was part Cleopatra: the Las Vegas version/part HOOCHIE Cheerleader and part Baton Twirler (see above photos for reference!). I kind of liked the "In your Face" bedazzle of it all but it did lack any sort of expensive quality. And the center-front dip on the skirt hem was unfortunate focusing on an area of the woman's body you might not want to draw attention to.

Melissa Fleis: Melissa, one of my favorite designers from this season, created a sassy little number that gave an homage of sorts to the "Cigarette Girl". She did her 'stiffened" front torso panel thing (which she has done before) and used almost 20 pattern pieces to create a black and fuchsia costume. And she finished it off with a little hat. It was cute but the judges didn't like the unintentional "No. 1" in the front and was WAAAY too short. Imagine the kids in the front row of a performance seeing THAT! Oh Dear.

Ven Budhu: But it was Ven--of I Hate Plus Size Girls/Love Origami Flower Pleating--fame, who went home for doing a boring uninspired costume that looked very "Mother of the Bride". The fabric was gorgeous, yes, but the silhouette and demure halter neck looked "Grandma".

Even this mother of the bride in the photo above has a more open neckline!! I think Ven played it too safe and he (worst of all) bored Nina. You do not want to bore Miss Garcia.

Ven Budhu's NY Fashion Week Finale Collection of Origami Flower Girls

And after his elimination Ven was one of the 8 designers to show at New York Fashion Week. And what did he do?! He went right back to his Origami Pleated detailing. I'm assuming he thought of it as an "in your face" to the judges, but to me it just proves that he is the ultimate "One Way Monkey"!

Anyhow, if you want to know how I REALLY FEEL...keep reading below for my BLOG Recap:

High Kicking Couture

We all know the First Rule of "Project Runway": Never Bore Nina. And add to that rule that Krazee will always outlast boring on "Project Runway." With that in mind, on last week’s HP Print Challenge, Gunnar went home just for that — doing something that was boring design-wise. And even though his bullying story was admirable, passionate and endearing, his print was macabre and un-exciting and the end result of his supposedly equestrian-inspired design was more Chico’s than chic. A lot of you weren’t too happy about this elimination. People wanted Ven to go mainly because they just don’t like him (that Ven/Terri debacle will live on for eternity!) and yes, partially, for doing that "origami flower" one more time. However, I feel the judges were correct in their decision last week. Ven’s dress was just a little more creative than Gunnar’s so ... it was Gunnar’s time to go. But guess whose time is now?

High Kick Ball Change

The remaining designers wake up and are all told to meet at Radio City Music Hall. Upon walking inside, Tim Gunn is on stage with a bevy of bedazzled women: The Radio City Rockettes! Gee, I wonder what the kids will be designing this week? As The Rockettes begin their iconic high-kicking dance moves, the curtains part open, and they are joined by none other than Miss Heidi Klum. After one or two Heidi High Kicks, she announces (to no one’s surprise) that the challenge this week is to design a new costume for The Rockettes. Linda Haberman, Director and Choreographer for the Radio City Rockettes, joins Heidi and Tim in explaining to the designers what is expected of them: it must be versatile enough to wear all year long; spectacular up close as well as far away — glamorous and elegant, contemporary and must have a modern aesthetic. The winning costume will also be worn by The Rockettes at a future performance. This reminds me so much of my "Design a Costume for Olympic Figure Skater Sasha Cohen" Challenge back in my season so I am privately smiling. Good times.

My Time With The Rockettes
The Season 10 kids get some time after The Rockettes sashay off, to inspect various actual Rockettes costumes. Last December...

Click HERE to continue reading my Full BLOG Recap of this past week's "Rockettes Episode"


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