Bravotv.com: For the elimination, they had to create gown looks with crystals — what did you think of the looks?
For the most part, the evening looks were terrific. I don’t think they necessarily used the crystals as effectively as they could have. It was like a Pandora’s box with thousand of dollars worth of crystals, and for the most part they were used in very small trim and accents. I think Anna actually used them very effectively, even though it was subtle inside of the big bow.
Bravotv.com: Probably the biggest controversy was over Johnny’s dress — did you all know right away that it reminded you of Maggie's?
I couldn’t put my finger on it immediately as Maggie’s, but Alber Elbaz at LANVIN had been getting great press and coverage of his collection, which has been widely copied/interpreted with those non-traditional colored leopard patterns … and once Glenda brought it up, it clicked in very quickly to all of us. We asked for some pictures on the Web and it was all there. Having seen the episode run, it seemed pretty clear during the work room phase that Johnny had acknowledged and referenced the dress, which he denied during the elimination deliberation.
Bravotv.com: Isaac was worried about Daniella’s use of the color grey — what’s your take on it? It has certainly been everywhere over the past few seasons.
He seemed concerned when he visited the studio – and it did look drearier at that point. In the final execution however, Daniella pulled it off, and the “clouds” parted, and it was far from dreary. Grey can be terrifically chic on the right woman. I picture it on a “woman of a certain age”,, perhaps with blonde short hair, or platinum hair. It can be very elegant, and indeed it was!
Bravotv.com: How important was the use of the actual crystals to you?
Given the chance to use such an amazing variety and amount of gorgeous Swarovski crystals, I was a little surprised that they were used as minimally as they were. It is clearly time consuming to apply these, and since they were all very focused on doing their version of a drop dead red-carpet dress, I think they probably just didn’t have enough time to play with all those crystals. It was a great opportunity however, and I personally would have liked to see a few more used throughout this challenge.
Bravotv.com: With Johnny’s blunder, one could argue that Allen Schwartz has made a career out of copying other designers. Do you think there’s a place for that?
I cannot possibly endorse the business ABS has created as an instant knock-off company. I think how he has capitalized on instant copies and the amount of media coverage he gets for it is pretty pathetic. Our industry has always been built of designers “paying homage” or “re-inventing” certain designers creations. In fact, how completely and totally original can every garment be, but when one is clearly nailed as a "knockoff’ company, that can never be a good thing. I wish there were no place for that in our industry. I was, however, sorry to see Johnny go, as I do think he has spunk, and talent, and when he finally got his attitude in check, and decided he really wanted to compete and win … but he screwed up.
I also want to comment on James-Paul’s dress: I really wish he had stayed true to his usual conceptual vision, and just executed one of his ideas in that gorgeous soft velve, iit would have been a fabulous, glamorous gown, but he got caught up in the fitted tailored bodice, which is not “him” and so he added the flounce and pouf around the hem and it didn’t work. It was trying to be something that it wasn’t….
You and Isaac are so great on this show. You make the best comments b/c clearly you have a vast knowledge of fashion. Kelly, not so much. She just kinda repeated what Glenda said. I think you guys made the best choice with letting Johnny go.
I could not take my eyes off of your garment in tonight's show (the crystal show). I would LOVE this for myself(altho I am sure it's a hand-apinted original, never in my size)--You wore it well but I wish I could. Could you say something about the who what where when of it?
I think Daniella's dress was nice, but those crystals around the neck/shoulders looked heavy - more for an middle aged woman. Maybe if she used more sparkles. Anna's dress was loud if you like large prints, but the bow was too large - if a short woman has to wear it she would be overwhelmed. Reco's dress was more flowing and could be wore at the MTV awards. Like the colors, but he did not use a lot of crystals. James Paul's dress would have been nicer if he used chiffon instead of velvet.
I actually loved James-Paul's dress. I totally see how it can be interpereted as medieval, but I really think that's what was appealing to me. A little bit more construction help from merlin on the bottom, and more/bigger crystals, and it would have been AB-Fab.
My favorite of all was DAniella's Thunderstorm gown. I can appreciate Haven's suggestion on more color, but Daniella put it together beautifully, and I would be glad to wear it.
Reco's gown was more for Cabo than the red carpet.
Anna's dress was georgeous, and I believe she may have beaten out Daniella, except for the small fact that the color/pattern resembled last week's creation - WHICH I LOVE!.
As for Johnny - all I can say is I saw it coming. When I saw the previews that mentioned someone showing a "knock-Off", I knew right away it was him. He is a fabulous artist, but I don't think he is very original. however I have to say, I would call him in an instant to make me something that I had seen... Sorry Johnny!
I think this challange was fun and creative. Designing an evening gown is such a step in a designer's career. I'm not a fan of Daniella, but I could see myself wearing the dress. Anna's dress was...interesting. And I'm totally ga-ga for Reco's design...and I'm SO glad Johnny FINALLY went home!!
I have to disagree with you about James Paul's dress. I really liked it more than anything else he has designed this season. Please get rid of Isaac, he totally makes me ill. You have been a great judge this season, hope to see more of you. Daniella's dress, I thought, was boring and drab. Liked Anna's, but J-P's was my favorite this time.
I LOVED Anna's dress. I just loved how different it was and not typical of what comes to mind for an evening gown. I loved Anna's too, so I was happy to see them in the top 2. I am SO HAPPY that Johnny is finally gone. He readily admits that he does knockoffs and I'm glad he finally got busted. Not to mention that he is obviously artistic and creative, but the guy can't sew. How does he expect to survive in the business if he can't even sew? And I'm glad we don't have to look at his ridiculous Amy Winehouse hair anymore.
Johnny showed a total lack of character. First he plagarized, then he lied and finally had the nerve to blame Angel. I'm so disappointed that Merlin isn't in the final four. I really think he deserved the chance more than Johnny or James-Paul.
I also really love James-Paul's dress: of all the dresses, that is the one that I would pick to wear, hands-down. It was classy and elegant. While clearly all the designers demonstrated tremendous talent, I was quite shocked at the negative reaction to his creation. I look forward to seeing all the designers collections!
I was interested to hear ya'll's comments on Reco's dress. I really liked it, but it is only for certain body shapes I think.
I was really disappointed in Johnny. I think he got away with on in the homage challenge.
You all are excellend judges. I enjoy watching you all.
I think you all missed the mark by not declaring Anna's dress the winner. It was so fresh, yet very elegant. The grey was too drab, though I did like the collar around the back of the neck.
I also wonder if being able to reproduce the dress to be sold on Bravo doesn't play a large factor in who you declare the winner.
After watching this season, I think talent, expertise was really lacking except for Anna, Daniella, Reco and Merlin (for individuality).
Want to share Anna Sui Fall 2009 NY Fashion Week with your readers. It is global, ethnically blended, an extravagant mix of color and pattern. I was mesmerized!
(Click "watch the video")
Good luck to the designers for the finale!
Fern, YOU should replace Kelley -- you have knowledge, vision and experience in the industry. I also absolutely LOVE watching what you are wearing each week. Your style (tunics, leggings, heels and fabulous jewelry statement pieces) assert that you have a strong and unique fashion view point and a signature look. Where on earth do you find those beautiful tunics??!!! You could be the female counterpart of Tim Gunn for sure and you and Isaac would be a terrific team.
Dear Fern you were wearing a drop dead gorgeous necklace on show #10. Please tell me the name of the designer. I love your comments on the show. I appreciate your assistance. Thanks, Carol
I liked JP's dress. And I'm saying that even though I've hated practically everything else he's ever done on the show. I do wish he and Merlin had been able to do something with the bottom of it so it wasn't quite so heavy but I loved the look of it from the waist up. Which leads me to ask: as judges, why are you all so against medieval / renaissance inspired clothing? The designer(s) who made "peasant" blouses of the 70's obviously found their inspiration in clothes of the middle ages yet that certainly didn't stop those tops from being popular nor from being pretty. Renaissance can be cute if you let it! Otherwise, your judgment is usually quite good. Isaak's judgment.. well, sometimes he runs hot and cold. I've no comment on the other judges.
I've never written before but wanted to tell you how much I love your comments both on and off the show. You ask compassionate and insightful questions to the designers and your blog tells us what you learned at the shows, what you learned from the aired episode and what you know from your obviously vast knowledge of fashion. This makes a lot of difference to a fashion ignoramus like me. I'm sure the blog is time consuming for you but it's always the first thing I read on Friday!!
Perhaps more helpful commenting goes on with the designers in the workroom, BUT what is shown on the show is not constructive or helpful ... for example, the fact that no one warned/cautioned Johnny about his lookalike creation. Neither Kelly nor Isaac ever actually offer usable suggestions - they just grimace and look blank and then look amazed later. Even though Johnny deserved to be eliminated - I really question the retention of John Paul. People keep lauding his 'vision' and true skills as a designer. His things are really lame. That baggy grey dress and then the velvet outfit which reminded me of 'formal' prom dresses in the 50s are explicit examples of poor execution and a blurred 'vision'. I plan to watch the finale but then this show leaves my list of things to watch. If the show continues (God forbid) please revamp and reorganize and find someone else (not a judge) to visit and critique the work being done. Fern, I see you as sanity on this show. But the show is seriously disappointing.
You were right about Johnny - he had to go - I wish other shows would do the same when they see obvious "knock offs" being presented as original design.
I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed the show. I understand that it is quite different that other fashion based reality shows in the fact that the audience decides who is in the top two as well as the bottom two. With that being said, I understand that there are times when maybe you didn't agree with the overall vote? Also, you don't see what goes on back stage and the work room. I was grossed out on Johnny's behavior. Not only did he LIE about knocking off the Lanvin dress but he was rude the entire show to Angel. She seems like a very nice girl and I don't think she deserved to be thrown under the bus. Also, I think it is funny that there was talk of not knocking off another designer's look (i couldn't agree more) but Bravo sort of knocked off another show that I won't name and changed a few rules and catch phrases.
I do enjoy the show but had to say the obvious.
I liked James Paul's dress the best. I thought it was elegant and was surprised at the negative response.
I think people just don't "get" James P. He's not a commercial designer his looks are edgy and different. There's also very sculptural quality to them. I actually liked the last dress, I didn't find it ugly at all.
I'm an upcoming jewelry designer (look for Jewels of Beauty (tm)) soon and I hope you review me well when the time comes. I'm a great fan of Daniella's-nearly everything she has come up with I want to wear..and made so beautifully. 2nd in line to me is Anna (her coats) but my vote is for Daniella (remember the tree hugger coat! So original). The dress in the beginning with the leather and chiffon top and finally this gray dress, mmmmmmmmmmmm. I need an occasion! And yes, Johnny needs a come uppance. So annoying.
I miss Tim Gunn, his comments in the work-room were always on mark, not so much for Isaac and kelly, and I think the designers suffer for it. not to mention, The gossip hallway talks afterward are crass. I miss evening wear challenges, just now letting them make a dress? Anyway...Johnny messed up, he didnt push the lanvin design to a new spot. This is true, but Issac certainly didnt let him know in the work-room, why not tell him there when he had time to fix his lack of judgement? This show will never reach PRseason3, It has been entertaining, but I miss the glory days. You are a much better judge than Nina Garcia, Isaac is a mess though
I would love to see a season where the designs and styles are made for women that have bust and curves in all places. A season designing for mature and or plus size person's would be a true chalenge.
Fern, During one of the first shows, Johnny cheated and used Daniella's design. When brought to the judges attention, it was dismissed. It was obvious through the entire show that Johnny was copying other designers so why be surprised at this fiasco. I do enjoy the show and you and Isaac.
I totally agree with Brian's comments. I think that someone who is not a judge should do the workroom comments for the designers. Isaac and Kelly don't offer helpful suggestions - perhaps because they think they would be 'helping' too much?? So far, they haven't helped anyone. I miss the objectivity of Tim Gunn - and I think he was successful because he wasn't a judge. And I agree that the hallway commentaries are tacky and show bias. Johnny's elimination was deserved but he should have gotten some advice about the similarity of his dress to Lanvin. And why, oh why do the judges keep praising John Paul? The judging should be handled the way Top Chef is judged. The chefs are judged on what they cook today - not last week. Both Angel and John Paul have been given second chances based on prior designs. I'll watch this show to the end (ever hopeful that it might get better) and then wait for Project Runway to come back.
This challenge was good. I, too, wished that the designers utilized the crystals more than simple embellishments. However, perhaps the 15 hour deadline may have made that impossible. It is not as though their "helpers" were actually good workers (being dismissed by you (et al) in earlier challenges.
I have to say that having the audience vote during the final is an assinine idea. The garments probably look much different live than on screen. In addition, you professional judges know what to look for in workmanship rather than we lay people. Therefore, the vote will probably just be another American Idol / Most Popular person rather than the most talented. What a pity.
It does seem like the judges pick the winner by who's product can be marketed easily. I understand that James Paul style ideas are different but something about the way he designs his clothes, seems like the finished product is always off the mark. This week, his design wasn't that bad, probably should have chosen a different material. I do feel that Merlin's design was better than JP's last week and he should definately be in the final 4. Johnny acted like he was too good for the show from the beginning and it wasn't surprising to me that he was a cheater. I am really looking forward to Reco and Daniella's line since they have been at each others throat the whole season. But I truly think Anna will win the competition because she has never been up for elimination and even though she hasn't been in the limelight, her designs always stand out. Reco is my favorite though! Good Luck to all the designers, I am really looking forward to the finale.
I agree with others that Isaac should give a little more input. And Kelly??? What IS she on this show? The critiquing you give is amazing! More of Issac and less of Kelly!!!
Yes, you shoould have sent him home ...I have recently started watching & thank god I did get to watch..as per one of the judges ..it was a cheap knock off...not that he was right , but isn't this show a cheap knock off of Project Runway??? I mean really if you are gonna throw words around ...you guys should look at yourselves & the cheap knock offs you guys are ...kinda lame
i think that last weeks outfit (the travel one) by merlin should have definately beat john-pauls hideaous excus efor a dress. i saw at least three instances where johnny admitted to knocking off other designers and while he is great i think it was good for him to go.
You may have been sad to see Johnny go, but you must know that Anna's clothes are knockoffs too. Her designs are just like Leann Marshalls from Project Runway.
What the hell is the problem with all of you judges? Picking James Pauls crap over Ricco's beautiful clothes? What not who in the world would buy James Pauls things. Ricco had gorgeous clothes and should have been in the finals. I hope there is not another season for this show, you people are out of your minds and I regret wasting a moment of my time. For the record I think Anna should win but I will not vote nor watch the finale.
I was bummed that Reco was let go this go round. And I am happy to see Johnny go, he should have left a long time ago. His designes were average and his attitude was poor and below average. Pretty much everything Reco made, I would buy. BUT I would love to see Anna take it home!!!!!!!!!!
I totally agree with everyone on Reco and Johnny. I think Reco's collection was more interesting than the other collections. Even one of the housewives who was at the show said she would buy some of his clothes. And who wouldn't? You guys made a big mistake in keeping James Paul and letting Reco go. Who would buy James Paul clothes? He's just boring and a nerd of fashion! I'm so glad Johnny was let go! He constantly stated in every episode that he knocks off other designers...baby, you just got caught this time. And don't think those investors of yours didn't see the show...think you've got investors now? Think again!!
Johnny bothers me. He always seemed to be squeaking through. Designing an evening gown is foreign to him, pajamas are foreign to him, and athletic wear leaves him lost. how did he sneak through?? and i was incredulous at the fact that he claimed he didn't realize he was stealing from Lanvin. He admitted to knocking off other designers.
I agree with the selections for the final three designers, although I did enjoy Reco's collection as well. As for hosting duties. I thought Veronica Webb was a great guest judge and would be a really good partner for Isaac next season. When she was on Tim Gunn's show, she really didn't have a chance to do all that much. Nice to actually see and hear her thoughts on fashion. Fern? She would rock as judge or co-host.
To the directors and producers of The Fashion Show: I love your show and watch faithfully but...I want to see the clothes. Too often we see only snatches of the full look after confusing close-ups of the details. Please linger even a second or two so we can actually see what the outfit looks like. Then show us the details, not the other way around. Very often you will begin to zero in on a gown and then we see the faces of the onlookers instead. In the episode where the designers sketched a dress they had only seen briefly, I wanted to see the sketches, not just the top three, but at least a glance at all of them. Personalities are interesting, but it is not a fashion show if we cannot see the fashions. They are often hidden behind another model or character. I know you have time constraints, but even seconds more on the clothes would be greatly appreciated. I am lucky enough to have Tivo so that I can stop, go back, and pause on the fleeting glimpse you gave us of what I wanted to see, and I can forward in slow motion, but it makes the program more work to watch, interrupts the flow, and not everyone has that technology. Please consider my comments for future episodes so that I can enjoy your show even more. Thank you.
James-Paul is an awesome role model, he was very diplomatic and that is a great feature for a leader in fashion. I'd buy his stuff........what a world class collection.
A great sales person should be friendly, and all of the contestants of this show are so obnoxious, except for James-Paul, he was very humble and you could trust his opinion and I wish he would have won, he represented himself very well. Love Love his collection.