Jeans: My Trusty Love Magnets

Working with jeans is tougher than one thinks.

I love jeans! They are the most simple and versatile items that one can have in their wardrobe. They epitomize cool and are durable, usually carrying a story with them every time you put them on. It was a pair of faded distressed Levi's 501 jeans that had a rip on the back pocket that first captured the attention of my husband. Although I have retired my trusty love magnets -- mostly for fear that I will not be able to fit in them -- I made sure to include this basic wardrobe staple as an essential for all women in my book, Little Black Book of Style. It was one of the greatest designers, Yves Saint Laurent who proclaimed,

"I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity -- all I hope for in my clothes."

When a man of such reverence can acknowledge and marvel, in a slightly coveted tone, the invention of blue jeans, you know that the designers were up for an extremely difficult task ahead of them. To attempt to find another iconic shape for the Levi's brand is a tall order. raterunway_06_409_220x415.jpg

Sweet P's dress was one of my favorites. I like how she used patchwork denim in a wise way by using it with a simple and classic shape. As the dress came down the runway I could see a woman pair it with high heel sandals and clutch bag for an evening outing or equally as cool paired with flip-flops and a straw bag for a casual afternoon shopping. I was disappointed that we were not able to see it in a longer version but think ultimately it would have made the silhouette more limiting. I love anything that even slightly resembles hippie chic! raterunway_02_409_220x415.jpg

Chris's look was a bit dated for me. Essentially, he was attempting to capture the essence of the little black dress but missed the ball with his lack of attention to detail. The length of the hem, the detail on the pockets, and even the size of the straps need to be harmonious in order for it to be deemed to be a classic, and he failed to do so and in fact looked dated. raterunway_01_409_220x415.jpg

I liked Christian's idea of reworking his pants to give them a motor-cross feel. However I found that his jacket was a little bit too ambitious for a challenge where the objective was to create a classic. raterunway_07_409_220x415.jpg 

I have been pleased with Jillian's performance but watching her work ethic on the episodes, week after week she is unable to manage her time effectively. Her work is full of detail and executed beautifully when I see it on the runway, but I notice she is always in a race for time. Her coat was beautiful in theory, with the ruffled hems on the sleeves and a soft rounded shoulder accented with a patchwork of denim. However the end result was over-thought and overworked, and ultimately her design looked overly contrived. raterunway_05_409_220x415.jpg

Victorya approached the challenge differently. She made little changes to the design of last week, only turning the denim inside out and adding a skirt, which was not really that innovative. raterunway_03_409_220x415.jpg

Ricky has done his fare share of crying this season. I don't think that we have gone an episode without a dry eye from him. Highly emotional! We have been very hard on him, not to discourage motivation or crush dreams but because these are the demands that the designers will face in the industry. I am happy that Ricky won. Caroline loved his dress. I thought it was perfectly constructed and successfully combined the many Levi's 501 details while adhering to a chic, simple silhouette. Ricky, unlike Sweet P, was able to incorporate more elements of Levi's 501 which, in the end, made him the clear winner. raterunway_04_409_220x415.jpg

I love that Rami approaches each challenge in a methodical way. While everyone else was grabbing denim haphazardly, Rami knew that he only wanted dark denim. I love this about him! He incorporated excellent zipper detailing and fashioned his skirt in the same spirit as his winning dress in the candy challenge. Week after week, he is consistent, but I cannot help but want to seem him leave his comfort zone and present something completely unexpected. After seeing those baby pics, it is clear that he has been adorable from day one.

Project Runway is coming down to the wire and the challenges from now on are not going to be easy. Let me know who you think is going to Bryant Park. I would love to hear how you judge the designers!

Till next week.
Nina Garcia
Project Runway judge and Elle magazine Fashion Director

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