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PROJECT RUNWAY.....Season 11 Project Runway Recaps: Flower/Hardware Unconventional


A Mini Project Runway History Lesson on Using Green Moss, Giambattista Valli Haute Flowers, Tahiti Tribal Don't, and more...

Time for my "Extended Recap" of this past week's Season 11 Project Runway episode: The Challenge was...

To create looks using Flowers and Plants...

 And materials from a Hardware Store. 

Yes, kids this was this season's Unconventional Challenge. Everyone LOVES this challenge--it's Tim Gunn's favorite as well as most Project Runway fans. This was the second time that  flowers were used on Project Runway as the material for the Unconventional Challenge. The first was my season seven years ago in Season 2. The episode was called "Flower Power":

Season 2 Project Runway Contestants on the "Flower Power" Challenge Runway--notice that this was WAAAY before we realized that during the "Runway Day", we should have a better--i.e. nicer--outfit on, as we stand in front of the judges. The kids these days now are VERY "Red Carpet Ready" when it comes to the Runway Day. In case you may have forgotten, this was what I created:

We only had $100 while this season's designers had an average of $300-$400 per designer ($2500 per team)! And you could see it in their results! Now, I bring up the subject of my season only because a designer this season (Amanda Valentine) created a dress using mainly green moss. And she shouldn't have. Why?

 Season 2 Sistahs: Andrea Gonzalo and Nick Verreos

Because if she had done her Project Runway Homework and watched my season (on DVD, Netflix, YouTube, etc.), she would have realized my Season 2 buddy, Andrae Gonzalo, had done a dress out of green moss and yes, he was (wait for it) Auf'ed.

 Model Flower Shade: Andrae Gonzalo's green moss design (left) and my design on the right.

 Back to this season and the Challenge/Runway Show:

Season 11 Project Runway Teams--Dream Team and Team Keeping It Real designers
Heidi Klum and Special Guest Judge Bette Midler

Actress and Gay Icon Diva Bette Midler (and a fashion blogger) were the guest judges for this Unconventional Challenge. Several of the designs that came down the runway reminded me of Giambattista Valli's Fall/Winter Haute Couture 2012 Collection:

Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012

My Favorites:
Kate Pankoke--Her pouffy tea-length dress was very Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012 in its shape and use of flowers. I thought it was exceptional. I wasn't a fan of the hem and frankly, whatever was there...wasn't needed. I loved the way she kept the torso in a solid color but used the various shades of pink and red flowers in a degrade manner for the skirt.

Daniel Esquivel--Daniel's design was another one I liked. It looked chic, polished and well, yes, very Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012. It was, as Nina Garcia would say, VERY referential. Surprised she did not say so. So referential that well, here's a look from the Valli collection next to it. Notice any shape similarities kids? On a really good note: the model's hair! Grand Dame Diva!

Tu Suthiwat Nakchat--One of my favorites as well. The way he sculpted the vest and neck piece and the perfect yellow and green leaved shirt...Daytime Flower Couture!

Layana Aguilar--This was definitely one of the top creations of the Challenge. The way Layana created the caged skirt, the spaced-out flowers...that fitted top. This easily could have gone down a Couture runway. It shows that when you give these designers just a little more that $100 they can do exceptional work.

Samantha Black--The winner of this Challenge was Samantha and her very stylish design consisting of a high-neck top, peplum and fitted pencil skirt that had leaves/plants "trapped" in it. The design was clean, sleek and NO ONE could tell that its materials came form an actual hardware store and flower mart shop. Congrats Samantha!

And now, some of the Flower/Hardware Don'ts:

Patricia Michaels--Why do I feel like maybe, just maybe, she is going to put a voo-doo spell on me and make me want to eat some Poulet Fafa (Tahitian Chicken with taro leaves) until the end of time!? This get-up was a mess. It was like a bad Miss Tahiti meets Miss Papua New Guinea National Costume and reminded me of these...

Miss South Pacific Contestants in their National Costumes

Amanda Valentine--And now to that green moss dress I spoke of before...yeah, it wasn't cute. Now, this looked as if she had the same budget we had back in Season 2. She used the green moss for most of the dress and well, it started falling off and created problems for Amanda.

Like I said, she should have been reminded of Andrae Gonzalo's green moss dress from Season 2 and realized not to touch the green moss. Only because, it got him eliminated. And by the way, I just want to go on the record with the fact that I LIKED his green moss dress.

Joseph Aaron Segal--Bespectacled and Cat Sweater Designin' Joe created the worst of the designs with this unflattering sack of a dress combining both flower and hardware elements. It was--as my TV Guide Network Fashion Wrap gal pal Tabatha Coffey would say--MUMSY. Oh and yes, the way he piled on the flowers didn't help. The one thing I will miss is that I was sad I didn't see a KAT KRAZEE sweater collection in NY Fashion Week at the Project Runway Finale Fashion Show last week. Maybe it was for the best...

And now, here's my FULL Project Runway BLOG Recap of last week's episode:

Fleur de Hardware

Dear Future "Project Runway" Contestants
It is imperative that you watch previous seasons—yes ALL THE WAY BACK to the beginning—before you even think about going on "Project Runway." If so, one particular designer this season would not have made the mistake she did on this week’s challenge-which incidentally, almost caused her to get the big ol' Auf. It seems to be chic to say that you’ve never EVER watched previous seasons of the show before. How do I know this? Because I hear it ALL the time from contestants as well as EVERY year during the castings. But, as everybody knows "Project Runway" is a competition that requires the knowledge of its history, as well as the obvious skills to do well in it. You would do yourself a disservice by ignoring the former. And if Amanda had done her "Project Runway" history homework, she might have remembered that my dear fellow Season 2 contestant, Andrae Gonzalo, was eliminated for making a dress out of (drum roll) GREEN MOSS, the same plant she chose. And so it goes…

Flowers Are Back
Fans and viewers of "Project Runway" LOVE the Unconventional Challenge. It’s one of the most popular challenges. But for me it was torture. For my Season 2 Unconventional Challenge, we had to make dresses out of flowers. I stood for about five hours in the workroom just spraying water on them because I had NO IDEA what I was going to do. I also kept thinking, "How does this prove to the judges that a designer is worthy of showing at NY Fashion Week?" In my opinion, it doesn’t. It took nine seasons to bring the flowers back and this time it was with a twist. The results were surprisingly whimsical as well as stylishly sublime. For this season of designers there were few mental road blocks and it ended up being one of the best runway shows in PR history.

Smells Like Another Sponsor Tie-In
Team Keeping It Real and Dream Team gather at their workroom to find Tim overlooking many fragranced candles. Another fragranced-themed challenge, I thought? As if reading my mind, Gunn quickly explains that these were Glade 2-in-1 candles and they were there because this was the Glade 2-in-1 Unconventional Challenge. First, he says that the teams will make something using flowers, but that’s not all. Heidi walks in to announce the "2" of the 2-in-1: they will also be using hardware. Each team is to create a cohesive line of 6 looks which will have to include both hard (hardware) and soft (flowers) elements.

Almost Even Teams
Coming off last week’s "Heidi Klum Challenge," Team Keeping It Real is still celebrating its winning streak and Dream Team is feeling defeated, and then there’s the issue of team number inequality. Tim’s gonna fix that: he tells the five-member...

Click HERE to read the rest of my RECAP--and don't forget to leave comments and let me know what YOU thought! 

1 Response to "PROJECT RUNWAY.....Season 11 Project Runway Recaps: Flower/Hardware Unconventional "

Anonymous said...

Hi. Do you happen to know what dress Heidi Klum was wearing this night (white with gray designs, that's featured in one of the pictures in this post?) I've been looking every where and can't find it. Thanks so much!!