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Project Runway Season 11 Premiere – Together Everyone Achieves More

Season 11 of Project Runway has arrived and it snuck up on me. I must’ve got caught up with other shows like Scandal to forget, but I’m back on track now. Before watching the episodes, I took the liberty to review past work from the designers to make early picks of who I will have my eye on. Samantha, Kate, Layana, Richard, Stanley were my favorites, but how did they fair in the first episode?

The first challenge was to create a look inspired by New York. That should be easy – New York has inspiration everywhere! The twist this season is the designers were split into 2 teams and judging would be based on selecting one team as a winner and the other a loser. From there they would pick a sole challenge winner and one to send home.

The team names were Keeping it Real and Dream Team. From the jump it appeared that the stronger designers were on Keeping it Real and Dream Team had a mix. One thing about groups is that you have to work together to win and that’s an upside, but everyone’s look should blend and standout. Some people will get saved by having their team “win” when their look should be on the chopping block. Case and point, Joseph.

I’m going to keep it real for you Joseph since nobody on your team would – this looks like a hippie housedress. Nothing about this screams New York.

Joseph's Look

Joseph’s Look

Layana, I’ve seen this dress many times before. Cool idea for the back, but the dress doesn’t seem to fit well in the bust area. Watch out for that and hopefully your teammates will give you more feedback.

Layana's Look

Layana’s Look

Amanda, what happened? This look is way too simple and I could probably find something similar at Forever 21. You gotta step it up twofold!

Amanda's Look

Amanda’s Look

Now there were some looks that I loved on Keeping it Real, and I agree with the judges selections of Patricia, Daniel and Richard, but Stanley could’ve been in the top 3 as well. I would’ve chosen Patricia as the winner with her unique take on the buildings, hand painting the shapes, and adding a pop of blue as a backdrop behind the flaps. It gives great movement and the look of the model is on point from head to toe. Is it me or does the model look like Christy Turlington’s daughter?

Patricia's Look - My Fave!

Patricia’s Look – My Fave!

Now onto Dream Team. There wasn’t much of a wow factor in this group. I feel bad because a lot of the looks were mediocre. It was a tossup as to who was going home, but James look was just bad. Kmart could produce something better than that!

James's Look

James’s Look

Cindy’s fabric was very animalistic, and maybe she could’ve created something magnificent, but the dress along with that checkered piece was hideous. The cut of the straps were way too thick and she even said this look didn’t represent her. Then why did you do it?

Cindy

Cindy’s Look

Poor Emily, she seemed like she had all these great ideas, but couldn’t pick one and focus on it enough to make a full garment, so she made this. It was very thrown together and the result of someone who maybe was under too much pressure and had given up. I guess the youngest does get eliminated early in this show.

Emily's Look

Emily’s Look

I noticed Michael Kors was missing from judging, I hope it is temporary. Zac Posen is cool, but I’ve gotten used to Michael’s Korisms. The battle is on as the show continues! I know not all will be friendly on both teams, but they should work together to win.

Project Runway Season 10 Ep. 6 – Keeping it Real

This episode was a feel good, makeover party for everyday people to get a glammed up transformation from head to toe.  Friends of the clients brought them to the show and decided it was time that they changed their look and show their true self.  Each designer got randomly teamed up with a client and the end goal was to make them happy, but create a look that would work for them in their everyday setting.

First off, I’d like to say that the group of women on the show is what most women in the US represent, which is all shapes and sizes.  Why not have some expertise in working with different types?  Life isn’t all about models, and I applaud people who realize that.  To me it appears that all the designers didn’t really step up their game and rise to the occasion of creating a showstopper look for these deserving women.  It was as if they were surprised that they didn’t have a model to work with and didn’t know how to proceed! The hair and makeup looked great on all the ladies, but the outfits didn’t get me outta bed.  So unfortunately, I don’t have a favorite this week and this is a first in Project Runway history!  However, I do have some bones to pick with Ven and his hurtful words about his model. 

As soon as Ven realized he had a model that was plus size and not a “real” woman, he began to complain that he’s never worked with someone this size, it’s hard to pick fabrics, the belts are too small for her and he got the short end of the stick since other designers got slimmer body types.  I was shocked that he would say all this and I wanted to slap him numerous times.  Ven, it’s time for some REAL talk:

Ven’s model – what do think of her look?

1.  The client is plus size and you complained about working with her shape.  Hello, have you looked in the mirror lately?  You have no room to talk as your plus size yourself!

2.  You’ve never worked with real women.  Seriously?!?! Is she not real?  Was she a figment of your imagination?  What are models then? 

3.  The outfit you put her in was horrible and didn’t go together at all.  That zipper skirt wasn’t a great fit and the top was average. 

4.  You didn’t really listen to what the client wanted and you upset her to tears.  You were very selfish and didn’t execute to the best of your ability.  

5.  Your best client may be someone you don’t expect or a size you haven’t worked with. If Oprah calls you, I hope it’s to shame you for being inconsiderate and not to design a look for her.  You don’t deserve that opportunity. 

6.  It isn’t fair that you were given the client you got and the others were lucky because they got more smaller body types?!?! Please!!!  Grab the bull by the horn, man up, and MAKE IT WORK!!

There is no time for excuses with each challenge you are given, and there are only solutions to create the best look ever.  I would’ve been happy if Ven got eliminated, and that would have been the best revenge on his poor attitude towards working with a plus size woman.

Not only is he a one trick pony with his “fan” aesthetic in every look, he is now a dead-end douche bag in my book. Exit stage left.

Past Commentary

Episode 5

Episode 4

Episode 3

Episode 2

Episode 1

Project Runway Season 10 Ep. 5 – Work Appropriate Attire

Early in the game there is another team challenge with the entire group separating into two teams.  The teams have to create a cohesive, fashion forward work collection that is editorial and wearable.  They also will direct a photo shoot where 3 of the photos will be shown on the runway.  It’s always interesting to see how the teams are picked, and Sonjia started off the selection by picking Elena.  Great that she has fab tailoring skills, but after watching this episode I think she will be the last one picked instead of Raul. One team had 5 people (Ven, Fabio, Gunnar, Christopher, Nathan) and the other 6 (Sonjia, Elena, Melissa, Raul, Dimitry, Alicia), hence the name of the groups, Team 5 and Team 6.

Right out the gate Team 5 had a theme, made a plan and was organized.  They worked well together, but Gunnar was micro-managed throughout the challenge.  I liked that for the most part they were calm, cool and collective.  The fabric they chose was mostly silk and chiffon and not all women wear that to work all the time so I thought that wasn’t ideal.  As a group they did pull together a cohesive collection that was evident to the judges and they got points for that.

On the other hand, Team 6 decided to go the route of each person focusing on their strengths and create pieces that each would do well.  It would then somehow come into a collection hopefully.  Because there wasn’t a true vision, everyone had a say, there were arguments, and in the end the pieces could have come from different places.  Elena was the one person who just brought too much stress to the team by barking orders, putting people down and cursing every minute.  Didn’t she say she doesn’t like working in teams?  Their collection was definitely more modern, editorial, and fashionable.  So who’s look on each team stood out good or bad?

Melissa

Melissa’s work look – The Power Dress

Out of all the looks presented, Melissa’s was the true standout and the “power dress” of the workplace.  I absolutely LOVE the royal blue color of this dress, the neck style of the front and the sexy zipper design in the back.  Any woman in this dress will feel like they are running the show while looking fabulous and get work done. Kudos for her for breaking out of black and selecting this amazing hue to design a great piece!  I was so happy she was picked as the winner because she definitely deserved it.

Elena

Elena’s top as a work look – what job is this?

Elena has a thing for puffy shoulders, but her top is not for the workplace.  I didn’t like it all and the way she carried herself during this episode was inappropriate.  I’m glad Raul dogged her out at the end, and that the judges didn’t like her look.  Who wants to work with someone so rude and loud? She needs a reality check that in the design world you must be able to work with all types of people!

Fabio

Fabio’s look – Would you wear this to work?

I don’t agree with the judges positive review of Fabio’s design.  To me it reads as cheap, plain, and unflattering, especially the turban headband.  Looks like someone didn’t finished getting dressed.

Raul

Raul’s ruffled top missed the mark again

Everyone on Team 6 got asked who was the weakest link and Raul was the target.  There is too much ruffling going on in the front, and the top doesn’t look flattering.  He did stick with what he felt was right, and sadly that was wrong for the judges.  He was eliminated again and his comeback was short-lived.  Hopefully now he has learned some things to polish his sewing skills and taste.

Do you agree with my thoughts on the show?  Feel free to chime in and share your opinion!

Past Commentary

Episode 4

Episode 3

Episode 2

Episode 1

Project Runway Season 10 Ep. 4 – Where Are You Going?

The show opens with the news that Andrea has left Project Runway.  I’m a little surprised that she left, being a teacher and all.  Her time was coming anyway.  And then Kooan drops a bomb and says he is quitting too!  We are only 4 episodes in and 2 people want to leave!  Yes, Kooan is quirky, but there is always that out-there designer on the show.  For them to leave now so early in the game makes me question why they were on in the first place.  Do you know how many stink eyes they’re going to get because there are thousands of people who would take their spot and stay?  There is a huge amount of pressure in the fashion industry and if you aren’t cut for it don’t come on the show!  So two designers are gone and I thought, hey it would be great to bring back some of the eliminated designers or pick from the audition pool.  Instead they bring back Raul.  I don’t really get his aesthetic yet.

With the rest of the designers ready to rock, the challenge this week was to create a look for a woman on the go.  I could totally use an outfit like that to wear from sun up to sun down and no wrinkles!  I enjoy being able to wear pieces and remove or add as the day goes on or a versatile dress.  There was really no love for color when it came to choosing fabric colors.  Everyone mostly did black, grey or neutral.  Why are those colors such a default?  I wish someone was on the show that was all about color and never used black fabric.  Instead we always have many designers who love making black clothing.  We have got to spice this up twofold!  My thoughts for some of the looks this week:

Buffi

Look designed by Buffi

This dress wasn’t well put together nor had any vision.  The pink sheer overlay was a nice color, but it did look as if it was just thrown over the zebra print with a belt.  Michael Kors calling it a hairdresser cape was classic and the judges made the right choice in sending her home since nobody in their right mind would wear this on the go!

Christopher

Look designed by Christopher

Here we go with our favorite color, black!  This look by Christopher is good, but I’ve seen this type of gathered dress to the side look before.  The jacket is nicely made, and it looks more like something to wear in the evening only, not during the day.  Points for adding a pop of color with the blue pumps!

Dimitry

Look designed by Dimitry

Dimitry’s dress is nicely made, but there is no wow factor.  He is however, the one to watch and will hopefully step up and give the others a run for their money.  This dress looks like it could be a part of the Calvin Klein fall collection and I agree it would totally stand out more if it was red.

Elena

Look designed by Elena

I wasn’t going to mention Elena and I’m not sure why she is the fan favorite, but this look is ridiculous and the model is WAY too skinny.  This is a woman on the go to the dark side!

Sonjia

Look designed by Sonjia

I am so glad Sonjia won this challenge!  The style of her dress is versatile, can be worn front or back, and adds sexiness without going overboard.  I love that she wants to make dresses for all sizes and that Hayden Panettiere wants to wear her look to a red carpet event!  She chose grey as the fabric color, but I think she could’ve gone for a royal blue and it would be even more stunning.

It appears next week the designers will be in teams again, get ready for the drama!

Past Commentary

Episode 3

Episode 2

Episode 1

Project Runway Season 10 Ep. 3 – Me & You, Just Us Two

We are three episodes in and one of the best tests of compatibility and willingness to work with others is center stage on this show early on while designers are still getting to know each other.  The challenge was to create an Emmy dress to be worn by past Project Runway contestants and the fabric had to be influenced by the color of a new Lexus car.  It’s more exciting to have partners picked randomly, so when each person grabbed a key to a car, there was a matching key for another person and that would be your partner.

The matchups were interesting, especially Buffi and Elena.  Right out the gate Elena said she doesn’t like to work with anyone.  Have you watched the past 9 seasons!?! It’s going to happen so adjust and deal with it.  The past contestants chosen as the client were: April, Laura, Mila, Anya, Kenley, Irina and Valerie.  I was excited to see Anya and Valerie, but the others I could care less. Why bring on April and Mila who like black and grays and won’t have much of a wow factor? Kenley’s voice is just annoying and Irina is mean and snooty. I don’t think I watched much of Season 3 when Laura was on, so I’m indifferent about her.

The clients did have a voice in creating the vision of the dress they wanted, but many didn’t execute accurately.  Also, when I look at the Emmy’s red carpet there is a lot of eye-popping looks.  A lot of the dresses missed that important factor too.  Let’s talk about those looks first.

Alicia & Raul – Mila

Mila in the dress designed by Alicia and Raul

This pair together was two people who only make menswear.  They got Mila as their client and instead of doing a pantsuit that she could at least look polished with clean lines and impeccable tailoring, they ventured to the wild side and decided to take a chance and make a gown.  And instead of listening to the client and what she wants, they pick a pattern instead of a solid.  Hello, are you trying to impress Mila or set her up to crash and burn? Mila looked so frumpy and hideous that I wouldn’t have walked down the runway in that non-Emmy gown.  It was ill-fitted and the v-neck cut was way too high.  And the hair weave didn’t do anything for the look but make it worse – FAIL!

Christopher & Andrea – Anya

Anya in a dress designed by Christopher and Andrea

It was great to see Anya back on the show and I loved her colorful zig-zag dress she had on once she was revealed as a client.  I wasn’t sure how the pairing would be between Christopher and Andrea, but it took a turn for the worse as Andrea was very slow doing her part and taking 12 hours to do one piece.  That really took a toll on Christopher and he kept trying to be nice and not say it, but on the runway he finally let loose and complained about her work.  As soon as it started happening, Christopher should have spoke up and nipped it in the bud.  I was surprised that Anya picked brown as the color of her dress when she is such a vibrant, bright person I thought maybe a yellow or pink or royal blue would have looked better on her. Another dress gone bad that looked like a prom project with a very bad upper body design.

Buffi & Elena – Laura

Laura in a dress designed by Elena and Buffi

So we already know Elena doesn’t like to work with anybody.  Then to make matters worse, she feels partnering with Buffi isn’t the best fit either.  It seemed like Elena wanted to do everything so it would be perfect and just leave Buffi in the background as the iron lady. I don’t recall what Laura wanted, but the end result was another black dress – YAWN!  It was OK for me, not a showstopper at all.  Laura would fade out at the Emmy’s and it wouldn’t be memorable.

Gunnar & Kooan – Irina

Irina in a dress designed by Gunnar and Kooan

When I saw that Irina was one of the clients, I felt bad for whoever was going to work with her because she is a snappy, snooty, difficult person to work for.  I felt worse that Gunnar and Kooan were the lucky recipients of her wrath because she didn’t hold back and was already talking to them like minions.  She was very clear about what she wanted which is fine, but get your point across with class and not sass.  Gunnar wasn’t happy with her since she was hard to work with and Kooan didn’t even know what to say when she got mad about the stitching in the back of the dress.  Irina will crack a whip any day and you don’t want to be in the way.  Her dress was alright, but again, it would be looked over at the Emmy’s. Of course when asked how she liked the dress she was going to mention the sewing could be better.  Irina, what are you up to now?

Nathan & Sonjia – Valerie

Valerie in a dress designed by Sonjia and Nathan

I was happy to see Valerie return to the show and glad she got Sonjia and Nathan as designers.  Finally we had two people who know what type of fabric to use for the Emmy’s!  I loved what they picked for her dress and the cut in the front was sexy but classy.  The back could’ve been done up a little more, but this was truly the first dress I saw that I would have pinned as a wow factor.  Valerie is a pretty girl, but her hair was looking gray and her makeup a little bland.  Glam her up folks!

Fabio & Ven – Kenley

Kenley wearing the winning design by Fabio & Ven

Going into this show we all knew Ven would be immune from elimination and whoever was paired with him would probably be safe.  Kenley is another person that knows what she wants and the vintage but modern style is her look.  Her dress was the winning design, but it wasn’t Emmy-esque.  I could see her dress being worn to an awards luncheon or the Kentucky derby.  As the winning look, the designer who created the dress would accompany her to the Emmys.  One look at this dress and you know Ven was all over it.  He has continued to impress me and I hope to see something different from him.

After watching this episode, there are a few things I have to point out to designers who want to be on this show:

  1. Be ready to partner with someone who may have a totally different aesthetic than you, but be open to working together to complete the end goal.
  2. It’s great if you specialize in one type of look, but be versed in others especially if you are only good at menswear.  The show mostly focuses on clothes for women, so it would be nice if you knew how to make a dress and gown.

Looking forward to the next show!

Past Commentary

Episode 2

Episode 1

Project Runway Seas. 10 Ep. 2 – Sweet Success

Whenever Project Runway has the unconventional challenge, my expectations are high and the anticipation to see where the designers take their imagination is exciting! This week the theme was Candy Couture where you had to make a dress out of candy.  There is no better place to go than the world renowned Dylan’s Candy Bar.  I was familiar with the store, but didn’t know it was created by Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren.  It was then I had the “aha” moment and put two and two together.  This candy shop is an adventure for all ages with so many different types of candy you could truly buy more than you can chew!

Some did struggle with getting their look together and others soared with their vision.  The main goal of this challenge was to create something that doesn’t look like candy and could be wearable.  I completely agree with the judges’ selection of the challenge winner and the person they sent home.  However, there were some designers who I felt should have been in the high/low score group:

Dimitry 

When I saw Dimitry’s look come down the runway I thought it was very well done and could pass for a beaded dress!  Using gumballs to make the skirt, he strategically placed the gumballs in a eye-catching way and the entire look was flattering on the model.  He should’ve be in the high score group along with Ven and Sonjia.

Dimitry’s beaded candy dress

Andrea

Andrea has struck out again for me this week and should’ve been in the low score group.  She had this idea in her head to design an apron out of candy.  I immediately thought it wasn’t going to be any good and I was spot on!  Even though she was born on Halloween doesn’t mean you have skills to make a dress out of candy. There didn’t seem to be much effort on transforming the candy, just taking strips of candy dots and sewing them together.  When Tim Gunn said he was underwhelemed, I was too. It looked like a craft project a five year old could make.  She’s is next on the list to go and maybe the judges will see that more clearly next week.

Andrea’s candy apron look

Elena

Elena likes to use black to make her designs, and this time she went with a colorless candy, like beige twizzlers and made this dress.  When her look came out all I could think of was pasta. Was she hungry and decided she was cook this after judging was over? She did the square shoulder again and it was falling apart on the runway.  Not a great color choice and it wasn’t appealing at all.  Elena needs to break out of her comfort zone and use some color!

Elena’s pasta dress

Gunnar

Does anyone think that Gunnar’s look could pair well with a taxi?  That’s all I could think of when I saw his candy design come down the runway. Either that or hanging with the bees.

Gunnar’s look – You’ll definitely get a axi with this dress!

Ven

For someone who graduated from FIT at top of his class and also received all four awards for his class is truly admirable for Ven.  His look last week got me out of bed and his candy couture dress had me floored!  He has such a creative mind to smash candy to give a stained glass look on a dress outlined with black licorice.  This is a red carpet ready look that would sell fast!  Did you notice the rose design again on this dress?  I think that’s his signature look, which will definitely make him stand out!

Ven’s winning candy couture dress – LOVE!

Lantie

Lantie wasn’t my favorite last week and should’ve got eliminated then. However, she dug her own grave this week by putting together an unheavenly design with more fabric than candy.  For someone to make excuses and say you don’t have enough time or you’ve never worked like this before, is grounds for you to leave immediately.  Project Runway has been on TV for 9 seasons now and you don’t know what to expect if you’re on the show?  Her umbrella dress with some candy glued on here and there was horrendous!  She acted as if she didn’t care and you could totally see that.  Her exit could have been a spot for someone else more deserving who really wanted to be on the show and give it their all.  There is no room for excuses, just get your S%#! together and make it work!

Lantie’s look – not so sweet

Sonjia

Sonjia is definitely the one to watch and possible give Ven a run for his money.  I love her use of different candies such as gumballs, gummie sharks and hard candy to make such a stunning dress!  Sonjia brings the wow factor to her looks and I love the colors she chose, going with an aquatic theme for her dress.

Sonjia’s dress – Aquatic candy delight!

Next week the designers will be put into teams and this is always a true test of who can work together and agree on a cohesive design. On another note, is it me or do the models look mediocre this season?  Well, the fun continues and can’t wait until the next show!

See all my favorite looks from this episode on Pinterest! http://pinterest.com/thestylegoddess/project-runway-season-10-fave-looks/

Project Runway Season 10 Premiere

I was so excited for a new season of Project Runway to start that I literally raced home like a speed demon to make in time for the 9pm show!  I think with every season there is always someone who is way out there with their designs (Kooan), the elder (Andrea), and then drama queens (Gunnar & Christopher).  After that, there are the others who I can’t quite peg as anything yet.  One thing I will say is that whatever bucket you might fit into doesn’t matter to me that much, I really want to see what your design aesthetic is and if you can wow me with your looks!  So with that being said, there were a few I will comment on:

Andrea

I was definitely digging Andrea’s cool neon frames and her long earrings.  That’s where my love for her ended.  First off, just plain black and white colors is really boring without the proper pop of color.  And who would wear this type of dress?  I can’t think of anyone.  I could only see this circle dress worn in a theater setting or for someone who is trying to conceal that they’re pregnant or look pregnant without even trying.  How do you sit in this thing?

Design by Andrea. Would you wear this?

Beatrice

I actually like the concept behind this dress, pairing jersey with sheer, but the knit cape doesn’t go with this at all.  I didn’t expect Beatrice to get cut, since the judges steamrolled Lantie in her critique.  Gone too soon!  Since she is local, I hope to visit her store one day!

Look by Beatrice – Perfect for the Summer!

Buffi

I love that Buffi embraces color and loves to incorporate that into her look.  However, these 2 looks both look cheap.

Looks by Buffi – Cheap or not?

Christopher

I do like the design of this dress and it does look like an easy, breezy dress, but I don’t agree with Christopher being the challenge winner.  The wow factor wasn’t high enough for me.

Look by Christopher

Kooan

He has a voice, he’s different, but is it a joke? Props for color, but as long as he’s in the running I feel like I will repeatedly be saying, “OOOOOOOOK.”

Look by Kooan

Lantie

It can down to Beatrice and Lantie in the bottom 2.  With Lantie’s take on making old dresses youthful, this one failed to make it’s mark.  The judges sounded like she was the one that would be eliminated with all the negative criticism they gave her look. The pasted on pattern in the front isn’t flattering, and I hope she can turn it around next week.

Look by Lantie

Ven

Ven is my front runner and the person who I thought would win.  The rose bustier was phenomenal, and the structure exquisite.  I loved the whole look with the clean lines and pleating.  He is definitely one to watch!

Look by Ven

Overall, the first show was fun.  I do think the designers need to work on how they style their models, especially hair and makeup.  Stay tuned for my thoughts next week, and go here to see all my fave looks on Pinterest!

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