Dropped The Baton
A disappointing episode of Olympic proportions.
Wow. I'm usually left with a much different feeling after watching an episode of Project Runway, but this "Olympic" challenge has really gotten the best of me. I was so disappointed throughout this entire episode with how ridiculously catty some of the designers are becoming. Some of them seem to lack knowledge of the actual challenge, as well as an actual TASTE LEVEL! Where oh where has it gone my lovelies? If it wasn't for the fact that my friends and I were actually yelling at the TV screen as the runway show was taking place, I would be at a complete loss for words. Nevertheless, I'll try to suppress the cattiness myself and focus on what we're here to applaud: good design.
Let's do this!
Like many of the designers in this challenge, I feel like Blayne forgot whom he is designing for. As a fashion-forward, runway-ready look it's a little messy, but still not horrible. But as far as addressing the women who would actually be wearing it, I just don't see it. Although I like the way the asymmetrical stripes work around the torso, I don't understand why they're in hot pink and teal. Also, the fit of the pants could definitely use some finessing. Overall, I think the look comes off as sporty and somewhat modern, which is definitely the direction more of the designers should have gone.
I felt bad for Daniel, because I know what it's like to choose fabric in the store, only to bring it back to the studio to have it turn a completely different color under different lights. Side note to all you designers out there: Always try to take your chosen bolt of fabric to the store's window BEFORE you cut - seeing what it looks like in both sunlight, and harsh indoor lighting.* That being said, the design was so completely off for this challenge, it really wouldn't have helped that much. Like a few others, Daniel seemed to struggle with keeping his design identity in a challenge that he obviously wasn't accustomed to. There are no indications of athleticism, modernity, or appropriateness for the occasion in his design. For Daniel's sake, let's hope next week's challenge is a posh one that his "cocktail party glamour style" will mesh well with.
I've rallied for Jennifer for weeks now, but unfortunately, discomfort got the best of her. Similar to Daniel, she wasn't able to separate her own designer style from what was needed for the challenge. Proportionally this MAY have worked if the colors were different and she had lost the coy-looking sweater and turned it into a sleek blazer - it not only would've moved well, but would've covered a range of body types. However, in all honesty, as is, it really was off the mark. To me, this is another example of a good designer who makes clothes many women will probably like to wear, but who just wasn't ready for the chameleon-like challenges that this reality show demands. Jennifer, I know you're talented, you're a sweetheart, and I wish you the best of luck. I know you and your ladylike point of view will go far!
I died a little when I saw Jerell's garment. In fact, I died and then came back, but I was screaming the whole time at the possibility that Lindsay Lohan was the guest judge - what with her new line of overpriced leggings and all. ASIDE from the absolutely atrocious design of this look, I simply can't forgive Jerell for styling his design in such a horrible way. That hat is one of the worst Holly Hobby monstrosities I've ever seen. I simply can't imagine what he was thinking, putting a modern women living in 2008 in that hat. I can't! THEN, in what looks like a last ditch effort to make the look trendier, he paired a pencil skirt with cut-off leggings!?!?! GAHHHHHH!!!! I don't...I can't!!! Ahhhhh... I'm finished.
I applaud Joe for actually making an outfit with an athletic edge, considering the challenge it seemed, thankfully, apropos. I really liked the athletic, color-blocked piecing on the jacket, as well as the proportions. But there definitely looks to be some sewing issues along the jacket's hem, and it appears slightly short waisted. I thought the skort idea was also appropriate for the occasion - a slight nod to the athletes wearing them - but I just feel the "USA" logo looks a little cliche and the asymmetrical hem looks irrelevant. Overall I think that Joe had one of the better ideas, but I definitely think he could've pushed the finessing of this look a lot further.
I think that if there were fewer designers to choose the "bottom half," Keith's look would've been in there. It just makes no sense to me at all. Yes, the colors are "America," but the proportions of the high-collared vest with its dropped-waist hem looks so bulky and cumbersome that I can't imagine someone with some muscle wearing it comfortably. Styling the look with clunky, lace up, platform pumps just doesn't really work for me, and furthermore, a chiffon mini-bubble skirt for the opening ceremony of the Olympics? Didn't the designers actually KNOW whom they were designing for?? Also, isn't this like the 4th week in a row that Keith designed the same tucked skirt, in different lengths?
Wow, I really think that the designers need to keep their blinders on when at the fabric store, because there is no reason that more than one (or ANY) should be designing for our 2008 athletes in polka dots and boring old cotton, seemingly from Joann Fabrics bargain bin, considering what is available to them! This look is not only dated, it's just so wrong that I don't know where to start. Most of the designers seem to have forgotten that though athletes have no fat, they most certainly do have muscle, and wearing a pencil skirt with contrast piping on the widest part of a women's body just wouldn't be flattering. Yes, I think it's an okay design for a rockabilly swing dance, but it is just so wrong for this challenge.
I... what... who?! I'm sure that most of the designers were stuck looking at photos of iconic opening ceremonies from the 30s and 40s and really couldn't get past that. They weren't considering what women TODAY would actually be wearing. The high-waisted skirt is cute (though in purple), nice top, and okay styling, but much like the others, it just wasn't remotely appropriate for this challenge.
I'm glad to see Korto picking up the slack from the past challenges where she's floundered, because I really think she has a great point of view and she's one of the ones I'm rooting for. In regards to her design, I do think she thought about the visual impact of seeing all of the athletes together, which would look pretty bold with all of the white and the crispness of the color-blocked shoulders. However, I have issues with the fabrications. I don't see linen pants being that wearable for most people, considering that they wrinkle in a moment and stay that way all day. Also, I like how it moved, but making a vest made out of leather for the Olympic games just seems a bit off the mark to me - great for an everyday fashionista perhaps, but for an athlete competing on a world stage? Nevertheless, congrats to Korto for jumping back into the game!
I really enjoy watching Leanne commit to her designs, especially after almost getting kicked off for the second challenge. I think she has shown excellent tenacity in her designing. Yes, her outfit doesn't exactly work for the challenge, being a bit over-designed, but I do really enjoy the overall feel of the look: crisp, clean, and modern with an athletic sensibility. Pairing it with clean hair, makeup and accessories really kept it from going way too far over the edge. I wouldn't have chosen it for the win, but I think Leanne, like Korto, is finding her footing yet again.
My boyfriend loves Stella because she's so different from everyone else. Unfortunately, that "difference" only takes you so far. I think we've realized she is a "one note" designer, which is sad because I think she actually knows what she's talking about most of the time. Yes, the look is extremely unflattering to the models midsection, and comes off looking more like a biker babe than an Olympic athlete, but I do like the athletic vibe it's giving me... those gold metallic booties on the other hand...
Like Keith, didn't we see a version of the same look last week? The skirt has nice movement to it, and though the fullness seems to be a bit out of proportion, it is still kinda cute and flirty. I remember watching the show on high-definition last night and thinking to myself "I bet I can see more construction issues than the judges can in person"... which is where I stand on the top. It looks like an afterthought and though the model looks cute wearing it, I don't think a sleeveless turtleneck is really that current, or appropriate for the challenge.
I went back and forth on Terri's design. Yes I think she captured the sportswear feel that the opening ceremony, and America, is all about, but I still think that the look could've used both editing and some kick. The top/scarf combo look is confusing to me and kind of looks like the model is wearing a striped tube top that has slipped down, with a frilly scarf to try and hide it. The jacket also seemed a bit dated to me, very late 90s (I'm sure it was the pattern) though the shape and fit of the pants definitely win me over - definitely a universally chic style. I also applaud her for completing so many garments in the time allotted - if she is able to make her designs more cutting edge, and pair it with her sewing skills, I think Terri's in it for the long haul!
Overall, I was completely disappointed with what the designers brought to the table this week. Do all of you remember Kara Saun's designs for the "post office challenge" in Season 1? The way she so effortlessly paired together function and fashion into one universal design was truly phenomenal - I wish that I had seen more of that for this challenge. Not to use a bad track-and-field pun to end with, but I feel like most of the designers really dropped the baton on this one.