Friday, October 05, 2012

A Lesson in Avant-Garde:

Let's get this out of the way...


Gareth Pugh

Comme des Garcons

John Galliano for Dior Haute Couture

Alexander McQueen

 Viktor & Rolf


Avant-garde design by Dmitry Sholokov from last night's "Project Runway" Season 10 L'Oreal Paris Makeup "Avant-garde" Challenge--his design won--and was generously praised by the judges. It was made impeccably, yes. But was it avant-garde?

 Five remaining designers on Season 10 Project Runway, traveled to...

 Oheka Castle in Huntington N.Y. known as the second largest private home in the USA--owned by financier Otto Kahn

The five remaining designers traveled to the expansive Oheka Castle in Long Island to get their challenge. At first when Heidi said that they were going 'far, far away", I got excited at the prospect of them getting on a plane and going to Florence, Milan or Paris...but not so mucheey...For the past four years, I've had the pleasure of going to Florence Italy to do Fashion Lectures and presentations of my NIKOLAKI Collection so if the producers ever want to have a challenge in Florence Italy...Call me!

Let's get back to last night's so-called avant-garde designs inspired by L'Oreal Paris "Electric Fantasie" Makeup Line:

 Judges Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, Heidi Klum and Zoe Saldana

Fabio Costa: I thought of all the five creations, Fabio's "Enchanted Queen" design was the most avant-garde with his upside-down coat and sheer palazzos and top, but Miss Heidi was NOT a fan.

Christopher Palu: For his "Enchanted Queen", Christopher did an all black satin, sequin and feathered gown that was very elegant but certainly NOT avant-garde...

It was a cross between a "Black Swan"-inspired dress and "Madame X" from artist John Singer Sargent-I wish he would have done something more like the photo below--for his "Enchanted Queen":

Model Adriana Karembeu in Thierry Mugler Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 1997--Now THAT'S an Enchanted Queen---and avant-garde!!!

Melissa Fleis: Her "Artsy Muse" creation was kind of fierce in a 90's sort of way--the popped collar leather vest and top, the arm cuffs, the neo-punk hair...the print on the skirt--as well as its shape is grand. Overall, a good showing from Melissa and I would say "Avant-garde Lite".

And then, there was poor Sonjia:

Green moiré is never good--unless it's a Nolan Miller 1988 "Dynasty" suit worn by Joan Collins. Not only did she chose that fabric but then she also added nude illusion--that didn't even match her olive-skinned model. It was SOOOO Bad Figure Skating Costume. It kind of reminded me of this:

Russian Ice Dancers Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin and their offensive "Aboriginal"-inspired costumes from 2010

Well--enough of all that, let's get to my real Recap for last night's Project Runway Episode and what I really thought of all this--Here's my Recap:

Safe Garde

This tenth season of "Project Runway" can pretty much be defined by one word: safe. Most of the designers have "played it safe" when it comes to their designs and creations. They've been harmless in terms of their "characters" as well; there's been some bitching and hate-talking during their confessionals but the season is so safe that we don't even have a "villain" making the Final Four — which for almost every season, has seemed to be de rigueur. It could also be argued that a couple of the contestants played it so safe, they just got up and left the show altogether because they just didn't want to "Go For It!" So, it comes as no surprise that for this last Avant-Garde Challenge, the designers played it safe. And in my feeling, it was a let down. Let's recap...

Tim, Is That Your New Home?

Five designers left and this is the challenge that decides who gets to go to NY Fashion Week. If you REALLY follow the show and its designers, we know now that the last eight designers actually showed at Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week last month when in "TV Time" there were still eight on the show (five were "decoys" and the other 3, actual finalists). But let's just stick to the "script" shall we? Sexy "Spartan Supermodel" Heidi walks in to tell the designers that she is sending them "far, far away" where Tim and a guest will be waiting. I'm thinking, "Yeaay! They get to board a plane and fly to Florence, Italy!" Nope. Not so much. After crossing a bridge and driving for over an hour, they arrive at Oheka Castle, a historic mansion in the Gold Coast of Long Island. This estate was the home of financier and philanthropist Otto Kahn and in fact, the second largest private home in the entire US. Waiting for the designers is Tim Gunn (who looks perfectly at home outside this castle, I might add) and Billy B. Consulting Makeup Artist for L'Oreal Paris.

Electric Avant-Garde
Billy is there to introduce the new L'Oreal Paris makeup line called "Electric Fantasie" based on four "muses/color themes": Enchanting Queen, Seductive Temptress, Wise Mystic and Artsy Muse. Tim announces that this is the "L'Oreal Makeup Challenge" and the designers will have to create an avant-garde Look inspired by this new L'Oreal Paris makeup line. Tim then takes out the dreaded "Button Bag" and...

Click HERE to continue reading my Recap on  


twang2000 said...

Nick is right! None of them thought outside the box. It seems like most designers on Project Runway have troubles with any "Avant Garde" challenges.

Amy Elder said...

Thank you for the pictures explaining avant garde.

MoHub said...

Melissa also used the colors of the makeup palette literally. She should have been gone rather than Sonjia, who at least made a stab at pushing the boundaries.

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