SHOES! Tim Gunn and Anne Fulenwider, Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Announcing Episode 7 Challenge, Season 12 Project Runway
On this week's Season 12 "Project Runway" Episode, SHOES were The Star. The Challenge was to craete a look inspired by a pair of shoes. The designers went to the Marie Claire NYC headquarters in the fabulous Hearst Building where they got to "raid" the Marie Claire Accessories Closet. Well, they really didn't get to choose willy-nilly. Instead,
the designers (except for last week's winner, Alexandria) had to play a
"Fashion History" game in order to pick the shoes.
Shoe Heaven: Season 12 "Project Runway" designer Kate Pankoke goes for her shoe pick
Shame on You: Designers Dom Streader and Miranda Levy (above) were the last designers standing at the end of the Fashion History game because they somehow called in sick during "Fashion History 101" classes
One of my biggest pet peeves (I have LOTS!) is when so-called fashion designers (and students of fashion design) do not know their fashion history. Once, I asked a former student of mine to tell me which designers in the past were most influential, and she said (without blinking an eyelash I kid you not!) "Jessica Simpson!". Well, you can only imagine the "Nick Look" I gave to her. Shade doesn't even begin to describe it.
Moving on...during this episode, one thing occurred that REALLY ANNOYED ME: When Tim Gunn (who I love and respect greatly!) said that "this group is composed of THE GREATEST DESIGNERS in Project Runway history." We all know Tim has said this, like, in the last TEN SEASONS! And every time he says it, it's a bit disingenuous as well as knife-to-the-stomach to some other seasons that REALLY HAVE HAD some of the GREATEST DESIGNERS. Ask most die-hard "Project Runway" fans who have followed the show since it's inception and they'll tell you--without missing a beat--that this season ain't one of them. Just sayin'. Let's just skip to The Runway:
Kate Pankoke: Little Kate was "Safe" with this white blouse and black split-front ensemble she created for her red and yellow "Surrealist" shoes. I thought it was a bit of a mess. The blouse was way too tight and those pants were so 1998. She looked like a mistress of a Russian Oligarch.
Ken Laurence: Two words--Too Short
Alexander Pope: Two designers--Alexander (above) was one of them and Miranda was the other--were bitten by the PLAID Virus. The judges did not like Miranda's but thought Alexander's was OK. Go figure because I thought it should have been the other way around.
Alexandria Von Bromssen: Several things here--I thought those thigh-high gladiator sandals were TO DIE Fab. The outfit Alexandria made was OK--a soft-and-pretty counterbalance to those Gladiator Sandals. And finally (and most importantly), her model Ya SOLD THE LOOK and was really the reason Alexandria's outfit was one of the judges' favorite. Just sayin'.
Helen Castillo: Helen's all black very New York and Parisian Look was the Winner. No surprise there. It was VERY Alexander Wang for Balenciaga Fall 2013 (above, right), and "Fashion Folk" LIVED for that collection.
Bradon McDonald: The judge's Prized Favorite of the Season--Bradon--was heck-bent on using this bouillonné technique. The word means "bubbling" in French but it is also a pretentious way of saying "a Pick-Up" or "Puckering". He had these beautiful beaded gold flats as his inspiration, and he went 1982 Prom-Tacky. The top is tragique and that half-circle skirt is straight out of one of my Pattern/Draping class assignments.
Google "Jupe bouillonné" (Bubbled Dress en francais) and you'll see what I mean--it is the exact same techinique one sees in very tacky Prom and Wedding Dresses. The technique was used BEAUTIFULLY by....
Couture Master Cristobal Balenciaga--especially in his Fall/Winter Collection 1967 "chou" coat
Bradon just graduated from my alma mater--FIDM--and I had just seen his "Debut" collection back in March, and he's obviously very talented...
He showed several bouillonné looks which he also brought to the "Project Runway Season 12" Castings/Auditions in which I was a judge. So, in other words, I guess, this bouillonné thing is one of his "Bradon Bag O' Fashion Tricks". Toward the end of this episode, he realized that maybe he shouldn't have used it and kept it back in his "bag". While I thought for sure he had one of the worst designs, he was not the designer that went home. This was:
Miranda Levy: Yes, the other Plaid Girl, Miranda Levy. Miranda did a plaid high-waisted pleated pants with top and bolero jacket look for her patent leather red flats. I liked her look. I certainly didn't LOVE it. But to me, it wasn't the worst. I was happy Miranda didn't do yet another pencil skirt (that's Miranda's bouillonné!). The mitering (matching of the stripes) of the CF seam of her pants was done much better than Alexander's (the other Plaid Girl). But I did think the models hair was a tad too...
Amy Winehouse...but Nina HATED this outfit saying that it was way too Christmas-y...
A Plaid X-mas
Here's my RECAP of this week's Episode--Enjoy! And please, don't be afraid to tell me what YOU think:
I must confess, I'm a shoe-a-holic; I love
shoes. My two obsessions are YSL "Johnny Boots" and colorful suede
driving loafers from Florence Italy. I own three YSL pairs and about
four of the Italian ones. I get the suede loafers from a "secret" little
store in Firenze (and I am NOT telling anyone what the store is!). I am
only admitting this shoe confession to try and dispel the myth that
only women are OBSESSED with shoes. Lots of men are too. And to be quite
honest I think there are quite a few of us that are addicted to women's
shoes too! No surprise that some of the top designers are Christian
Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik and Brian Atwood. So right away, I was excited
about the challenge and interested to see if the designers could make
the shoes the star.
Last week, the designers got to go GLAMPING. Alexandria won the
challenge (much to my dismay, since I liked Jeremy's bias-cut "love
letter" gown better), and Justin was out, almost. Tim Gunn used his save
and Justin was still in, not because (as Tim said) "he's one of the
nicest persons here," but because of his talent and that he needed "a
little more time" on the show. OK Tim, if you say so.
For this week's challenge, it was ALL ABOUT SHOES: the designers went to
the Hearst Building and met up with Tim Gunn and Marie Claire's
Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider. Anne announced that this week's
challenge was to choose a pair of FAB shoes from the Marie Claire
accessory closet and create a look inspired by those shoes. Before they
could pick, there was a fashion quiz they had to take. Alexandria did
not need to participate since...
Click HERE to continue reading my RECAP on MyLifetime.com's "Project Runway Blog"