Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Project Runway Episode 1 Round-up

I'm not even going to try to hide it. I missed Project Runway. A lot. If you catch me in a super-decisive moment, I'll even call it my favorite reality show (those moments happen about twice a year, sadly). It's the perfect mix of trashy drama and actual fashion credibility, so it's entertaining, but believable--unlike shows like ANTM, where winning means absolutely nothing. I cried a little inside when it took that yearish long break and moved to Lifetime, but it doesn't seem to have done the show any harm. In fact, it pretty much looks exactly the same as it did back when it was on Bravo. Which I think is a good thing. I don't want Project Runway to change. It's like reality show comfort food, it's consistent and satisfying. But I'm obsessing again, so here are the looks from last week's episode, divided into the categories Good, Bad, and Fixable. Oh, and this was the Red Carpet challenge. Which is WAY too easy/conventional for the first week, but whatever.

Bad: This first look screams trashy tranny diva that got attacked by a flesh-eating jungle virus. The ruched fabric inset on the right is just all kinds of terrible. The print looks like something cooked up on Paint, and the ruching is not only terribly unflattering, but just gross looking. For this second look, I'd like to remind you that this was the red carpet challenge. Formal shorts are not acceptable on the red carpet, especially when paired with a halter top that looks like it was sewn by a blind alien with a creepy super hero collar thrown in for kicks. In case you were wondering, this girl got voted off. Shocker. The last look is basically just a smocked, high collar with a panty hose improvised dress. That poor model is basically naked. I think the idea of a flowing, nude dress isn't a bad one, but with a smocked collar like that in nude, it just looks like wrinkly skin. Gross, gross, gross. Not to mention that it's totally shapeless.

Fixable: Most of these are just boring. I mean, I know fashion risks don't always work with the red carpet, but sometimes being boring is just as bad as being a train wreck. The first look is just too casual, too plain, and not all that flattering (and what's going on with the hair). The red dress draped very nicely in the back, but any starlet who wore that would be torn to pieces for how unflattering the front is. Can you say pregnancy rumors? Without the capelet/jacket and with some nice beading, this third dress could work in a very Ralph Lauren-esque way.

I like this nude dress from the black waist up, but I think since it's so nude and in such a clingy fabric, a simpler bottom without the split skirt would have been a much better choice. I'd take off the scarf like thing and axe the split skirt on this black dress, and it would be boring, but not totally odd like it is now. This silver dress needs more of a different embellishment. The shape is very simple, so it needs beading or detailing in a color with more contrast to keep it from being just a bunch of washed out satin.

I get where this yellow dress was going, it just didn't quite get there. I think with the detail on the top, the similar pleated detail on the skirt is overkill. If that bodice flowed in a simple, maybe multi-layered chiffon skirt the overall look would be much more chic and focused. If this grey dress had fit better, and the cutaway panel had been heavily embellished a la Balmain, it would have been edgy and interesting instead of boring and blah.

Good: I like that this black dress is red carpet appropriate, but it's still fun and modern. The one strap/sleeve combo is on-trend and the pleated detailing in the bodice adds visual interest, but when done in basic black the overall effect is still chic and glamorous. This blue dress would work for maybe a premiere, or a less formal red carpet. It's just such an adorable little cocktail dress. The blue on blue palette is soft and feminine, but not boring, and the balance of the abstracted pleating at the neckline and the slim body is perfect. You get the effect of origami folds with the flattering lines of a body-con mini. Love. This dress dress was actually the winning design. It's fun, and young, and the right mix of sweet and rebellious, and it would be so much more perfect if the bottom was lighter and a little less ruffly.

The draping on this gold dress is insanely gorgeous. Yes, it would only work if you had absolutely no hips, but the upper half of the dress is so flattering, and the shoulder detail is organic and polished. I think this is one of the most fashion forward ensembles from this episode (draped, pleated skirts a la Balenciaga are so in). This little black dress has a bit of a Balmain vibe, since it's uber body-con and uber-mini. The hint of sheen with the grey ribbon adds just enough of an edge to keep it young and fun. Just imagine it with sky-high Louboutins and some serious bling. I die.

Image Sources:
all from mylifetime.com

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