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Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Project Runway Canada Season II Episode 12: The finale!
Mood:  loud
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

Finally!  Not only is this the moment we've been waiting for it's the one episode that hasn't been previewed to death in promos.  The other episodes all had their big twists revealed in the endless promos globalTV ran constantly all the time non stop.

The show begins with a quick re-cap of last week.  I ponder many things, what was Brandon smoking?  What was Jason thinking?  What is Kim wearing?  What was up with all the horrible performances on American Idiots?  Have they all just accepted the fact that Adam and Allison are the finalists and last night was their surrender? And what WAS Brandon smoking?

The is on and when we last left Jason he had a problem.  Upon further review, meaning watching the endless re-running of the last episode on Slice, it seems Jason's problem was communication.  He simply did not properly communicate his intentions to Brandon.  the intent was to ellicit Brandon's input on the skirt while Jason executed the bodice.  The problem was that it wasn't input, Jason simply said, I want your three tiered skirt.  Better he should have said, "Brandon, what do you think would work?  Something voluminous and tiered and..." And then Brandon would have interjected "I know!  A three tiered balloon skirt similar to one I did already!" and everyone would be happy.

The controversy is cleared up in a fraction of a second after a few quick camera cuts between Jason looking upset, Brian looking concerned and Brandon's pupils slowly return to normal size.  The drama is defused and the two guys go out for a stress releasing smoke.  Er...didn't Jason say he would;d give up after the breast cancer/post it note challenge?   Jason says Brandon was always talking and talking and telling stories and spinning yarns that no-one paid attention to because no one knew if anything he said was true.  Apparently, Brandon is Meatwad from the Aqua Teens.

Jessica is still working with Kim and it's obvious that she's starting to crack from the stress. Kim is still best buddies with Jessica because it's still in Kim's best interest.  She can go from zero to hero and she can make us all think she's really a nice person after all.  I'm sure she is, albeit a bit of a narcissist. brain checks out Jessica and tells her not to "overdo it"  She backtracks on the idea of adding chains to the Cheryl Hickey dress.

Sunny's collection is still head and shoulders above everyone else's, the more I see of it the more I think of Gauthier.  Jeff continues to wield one mean needle, he really is a master of hand sewing once to pry the sharpie from his hands.  Brian's concern with Sunny's 13th look is that it's maybe a bit too white. I agree, it should have been a warmer white.

Brian tells the designers they have to come up with a presentation for Winners, describing their brand style, who they hang with, their customer profile and price point.  While we break for a commercial I think that the designers should know all this already, Sunny needs to make his presentation about a down-market interpretation/adaptation of his couture line, Jessica needs to point out the commercial potential of individual pieces as opposed to the entire collection and Jason needs to pull his head out of his ass,. 20 years old to 60 years old?  C'mon Jason, your line is aimed squarely at cougars and you know it.

After the commercial we are greeted with sunny picking at seams, Jessica is nowhere near finished as she jabs herself with a needle, and Jason realizes that he's almost finished. They then go to make their Winner's presentation and they are all given constructive criticism. They tell Jessica she needs to re-think the price points for her target youth age demographic or aim her line at a higher age group.  Jason spews about perfect for 20-60 year olds and they call him out on that.  Sunny doesn't know about down-market adaptations and he's told his price point is way too high for the Winner's customer.  Seeing hows he's not interested in the Winner's customer, this isn't really a problem.

They now have a fitting with Cheryl Hickey.  Sunny does his best sales pitch to her.  the fit is nice, the colour a bit plain, perhaps too white for September,  but overall, it's nice.  Next is Jason.  He doesn't need a hard sell, his dress is perfect for her, the glitz and glam level of a movie festival, the red carpet occasion, and the time of year.  If i were Cheryl I would pick Jason's in a heartbeat.  Jessica is last and there are serious problems.  Ms Hickey is quite concerned with a possible wardrobe malfunction.  She doesn't want nipple slippage and she says the fit feels weird. It doesn't fit at all and it look amateur.  There's no sophistication and it looks like a student project.  (Wait until it's on the runway, this is a "doesn't measure up" dress for sure)

Kim gives Jessica a little pep talk and Jessica is in the "confession booth" or whatever they call it stressing out and crying some more. Brian comes for one last pep talk and one final group hug.

Into another commercial break and The conversation once again turns to Idol suckage.  We all know Sunny will win, it's about as obvious as that thing on that Idol guy's forehead.  We're all Adam fans and none of us are bothering to preface with any justifications or apologies.  Adam's in on the joke, he knows it's all a craptacular cheese fest and he's milking it for all it's worth.  It's all theatrics and not to be taken seriously.  I want to see Adam slaughter Sweet Child o' mine.  I want to see him fronting Velvet Revolver, I want to see him as Dr Frank N Furter.  This is rock and roll, it's impossible to be too out there.  Better to go out in a ball of flames (get it?  Flames?  Adam and Flames? Get it?) than with a mushy balladeer's whimper.

It's now the morning of the show and we have some serious hair and make up going on, there's eyeliner. mousse, ceramic straighteners...and that's just on the designers. On the runway Bidell greets them.  He tells them all how fabulous he is and how fabulous his life is and how he's dressing the stars and how he made Iman's dress for the evening's show. An awkward edit send is backstage for serious crunch time as make up, hair spray, and mascara is flying everywhere.  The designers are engaged in some serious needling and threading and we are sent to another round of commercials and a bathroom break,  Now all of the family is watching, hubby and the boys.

Showtime, and Sunny goes first. The first coat is dazzling,  He likes his short hemlines.  So far so good, I like the vintage furs, they add a luxury touch and fit his theme.  The 13 look is mostly meh, he shows a skirt made of fur.  The gold beaded pieces are spectacular.  I know why I was thinking Gauthier, his design aesthetic is very similar to Gauthier.  Iman will love this one. he gets a lot of spontaneous applause.

Jason is next and his theme is global Glamour.  Wow.  the first black lace look is beyond risqué, it's bit over the top.  There's a pantsuit with pants so low and worn on a model with hips bones so sharp it looks like they could be used as letter openers.  There's a lot of sameness,  black lace, black silk and lots of gold sequins.  The 13th look is really nice and I can tell Ms Hickey loves it, she's smiling and absolutely glowing in it. He gets a little spontaneous applause.

Jessica is last and she's presenting two different collections at the same time.  the first coat is nice.  The sheer pink boho dress is the stand out.  The yellow hot-pants jumpsuit is sassy and sexy and young.  The pink things don't fit with the brown things.  the chain dress is a show stopper, it must have been some kind of wire working nightmare to make.  The Cheryl Hickey dress is a disaster, it makes her look short and wide and the fit on top is awful.  Her one arm is squeezed to her side to keep it from slipping down and giving the world a nip-slip.  Embarrassing and amateur.  if this were a regular challenge she's be out. She gets some applause, mostly for the chain dress, the yellow hot pants and the chiffon boho dress.

After the show we have our schmooze booze and audience reviews.  Past challenge muses return, Coco Rocha is in Gareth Pugh and doesn't look any less absurd than Beyonce looked in a similar dress.  She looks like she belongs on "Go Fug Yourself" or "OMG what were they thinking?".  Meesha...whatever is back.  She liked Jason's collection.  After seeing more of her personal style on Bravo Canada I can see that his stuff is right in her style zone.

Sunny will win, no question.  We have a commercial break and the designers meet with the judges.  Shawn Hewson has taken an assertiveness training course and is basking in the glow from reviews of his collection. Rita Robot has frozen in that pose on her chair.  She almost manages an expression on her plastic face. Bidell is there and still basking in his own fabulousness. Iman is wearing a Bidell dress, the one he designed in last years final four challenge, only it's in a springy and trendy leaf green.

Jason is first.  Shawn says he took a risk with the black and gold sequins but Shawn thinks it paid off.  Rita says there were some real hits and a couple misses.  Iman said one skirt was so tight the model couldn't walk.  She hates model torture. Bidell says a few were almost too sexy, the only place they could be worn was the Playboy mansion.

Sunny is next. Shawn loved it.  Rita calls him a superstar. Bidell loved it. Iman LOVED THE COLLECTION and she want some of the pieces.  Much of this season she's been wearing Gauthier and i wonder if Sunny had that fact in mind while working on his collection.  Hmmm. Interesting to ponder.

Jessica is last.  Bidell wasn't sure about the cowl bum skirts.  He liked it...but... Shawn said it wasn't quite cohesive.  he too noticed that there were two collections going one.  he loved the chiffon dress. Rita thought it was okay, loved the chiffon and would have loved to see more of the sassy boho.  Iman loved the chiffon dress and not much else.

The judges discuss the collections.  They were disappointed with some of Jason's stuff.  They also noticed there was much of the same thing going down the runway over and over.  They feel he needs to clarify his vision.  They though Jessica was okay, some was good, some was very good, and some was not so great at all.  They all loved Sunny.  They all loved his point of view.  They loved his couture techniques.  They loved the juxtaposition of leather versus chiffon, it was cohesive, and they loved his leather mask-hat.  The winner will be announced after commercials and a weather break.

The next few days are going to be the warmest we've had this year.  Yay!  I plan on taking full advantage of the warm weather. 

And we return to the final judging.  Really, there's no question about who will win.  They blather a bit to the other two and hand the crown to Sunny. Iman calls him "Sunny the Great" and says the choice was unanimous.  From the first coat to the last look there wasn't a weak look in the collection. 

It wasn't until the middle of the night I realized that they said nothing about the thirteenth look.  Does Sunny's win mean she must wear his dress? I think Jason's was far better on her.  And that's it for this year.  With the troubles Canwest Global is having, there might not be a season three in spite of the international success of Season Two. I'm still debating putting together an audition video for myself.  I'd need to create three super fabulous looks and make sure all my finished sketches are impeccable, and somehow work in my knowledge of pattern making and draping, convince everyone that I'm a ~~*Fabulous**~~ personality and do it all in a five minute video. I dunno. 

In conclusion, the whole series gets a B+.  It was difficult to watch in the middle episodes, some of the designers seemed talentless, losing two in the first half hour of the series was lame, some of the challenges were too gimmicky, and the producers seemed to pick personalities over talent. Still I enjoyed the series, and I'm looking forward to the original Project Runway season seven, if we ever get to see it here in Canada.

And now: back to our regularly scheduled blogging of squirrels, sewing, beading, fashion and stuff!

Posted by lincatz at 11:19 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Project Runway Canada Season II Episode 10: This is business no april fooling
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

This is it for our remaining four designers, the Final Challenge.  The theme, which has been previewed over and over, is business suits, and of course, a twist, which has also been previewed to death, which is that they must also make lingerie to go with the suit.

The designer's mansion is quiet this morning, the same type of quiet one feels the morning after a tornado has roared through.  Sure, there's debris strewn everywhere and it will take weeks to repair the damage, but there is calm in knowing that the tornado has passes and Kim is gone.  Every one is visibly breathing huge sighs of relief, even Jason.

The fearless foursome arrive at the studio for the new challenge, which is bogus, next morning is actually filmed the day before, after the previous elimination and the designers change into their "tomorrow morning" clothes.  Iman enters, she's resplendent in a purple sheer blouse, purple skinnies and killer black boots.  She gives the designers their challenge, the business suit for the modern woman, it must be tailored, appropriate for the boardroom, and represent their vision as a designer.

Tailored suits are the ultimate expression of the designer's art.  The fit, the finish, the details must all be perfect.  A designer should be able to make a suit from scratch by hem/her self without any help at any phase of the construction process.  Lagerfeld of Chanel. is a master of women's dressmaking and tailoring, so was the original Coco Chanel. Gianni Versace was a master tailor who, along with contemporary Giorgio Armani, discovered new methods of making tailored clothes without the hard edges. Alexander McQueen began as a hand tailor in London's Saville Row.  Vera Wang, Anna Sui, Michael Kors and alice+olivia are all American designers who have talked extensively about their experiences in learning not only quality design, but quality construction.  As one of the first two ladies said, "If I don't know how to do it myself, how will I be able to tell anyone else how to do it?" I just wish i could find the exact quote.

Back to our designers, only Jason seems to have any real experience with suits.  Jessica hasn't done any since design school, Genevieve admits she's a draper and tailoring is not her strong suit.  Get it?  Strong suit? 

Off to the fabric store and the designers are given 225$ and thirty minutes to shop.  Genevieve decides to do a pencil skirt rather than a bubble skirt, and wants a clean 1930's art deco modern look.  Good for her, but it's difficult to execute a clean finish when you have little experience tailoring  Sunny wanders around like a little lost puppy dog and says he has no idea where to start.  Don't let us down Sunny!  Jessica is shown rolling fabric of a bolt, and then we see Jason unrolling some more of the hideous post it note bright pink.  a bright pink chiffon suit? they don't show anyone buying interfacings, linings or structural elements that are almost more important than the outer fabric.  This saddens the part of me that loves good construction.

The return to the workroom and they have two days to complete the challenge.  That's not a lot of time for a suit, but if fusibles are used for structure rather than hand pad-stitching, it can be done.  I;ve made a few things with hair canvas hand stitched to the outer fabric, it's called pad stitching and you can build shape and structure using this method.  It's what many people associate with true fine tailoring.  I used this method for the suit I made for Dave, it's become his favourite "go-to" suit for dressing up. 

Jason works hard and seems the least stymied by the challenge.Sunny is trying the shorts on himself.  No!  No shorts in the boardroom!  No Capri's either! Ignore what fashion magazines say, and keep a boring wood panelled bank uppermost in your mind.  Jessica wants a look that's sexy and feminine.  Genevieve is hung up on a sleeve and trying to get it perfect. Sunny discusses that he's self taught and learned sewing from his Mom.  If he wins it all that will be two self taught designers taking it all home, which is quite intriguing and brings up a fascinating sub-text.  Which we won't explore, but we will keep in mind.  Jason is enjoying his underdog status. The first day ends, and we've gone through one day of work in ten mionutes of TV time.  no whining, no Kimmy!

Commericals...and didn't Adam totally BRING IT to American Idol? He is like American Idol's Sunny, he's head and shoulders above everyone else.  And have you noticed that Kara is so hot for Adam that she loses her ability to count?  Last week she had six words for him, and spoke an eight word sentence and this week she said something about studio 57.  Was that the far gayer place across the street from studio 54? Oh yeah...Project back on:

At the start of day two Jason is almost finished. Brian arrives for some wise mentoring and I realize that Brian does have a buzz phrase it's "I'm concerned" "I'm concerned is his "make it work" He uses this when ever he wants to say, "It's ugly" "it's horrible"  "it's a mess of dangly threads" or "are you bat shit insane?  What is that thing?"

The visits goes thus: Jessica is scared of sleeves.  She hasn't done a sleeve since design school, and where ever she went I want to avoid. Sleeves are tubes with a part that goes up to the shoulder.  It's not advanced engineering.  She's also scared of pants. biting my tongue about my reaction to her leggings...
Genevieve has picked the 1930's which she keeps repeating over and over and Brian is concerned that there's not enough power in her power suit.  She tries to listen but she admits that it's difficult when you are as stubborn and naturally talented as her.
Jason has a bustier, a pair of sleeves and a pink jellyfish strangling the dress form.  Brian Baily tries to smack some sense into Jason's head. Jason looks critically at his hot mess and wisely decides he needs a jacket.  Good for you!
Sunny is just beginning and Brian does his best to build Sunny's ego. C'mon Sunny...we're all rooting for you.  You and Adam Lambert.
two more hours go by and once again, no whining, no drama, and no Kimmy Pie.  again they all sigh with relief. 

Morning arrives without a commercial break.  Brian gives them two surprises one nice, the other not so nice. Nice surprise, they have ten extra hours to work.  The not so nice surprise:  They need to come up with a second look "From boardroom to bed room" a lingerie look. The final four all make that yakking noise my cats make when a hairball is about to come up.  Then there's one more surprise, the designers will get some help.  the doors open aaaaannnnnddddd: In walk the models.  Everyone sighs in relief that it wasn't the return of Kim.

The real twist is that the models will go fabric shopping for the designers. The designers make detailed lists and give the models swatches of fabric.  This will be fun! Jason comes out and says he's never made lingerie. There's a far more dramatic coming out from Jason in ten minutes!  The models go to Rockland with 75$  They are all quite lost a clueless.  The one asks for Char-mousse, which she says sounds like a desert. Another model sighs and looks for something moose, isn't that an animal?  Another says she needs nine meters of lace because her designer is making a little pair of booty shorts...that's one huge booty he's covering!  This is the funniest scene all year.  this scene is for teh LULZ

Commercials, and the weather for the next three weeks is April showers.  I'd love to see ADAM LAMBERT do "singing in the rain" 

Commercials are over and they begin their lingerie.  Most opt to do a set of undies, Genevieve does a little slip. I would do a sexy little thing with french knickers and a lace trimmed cami and have the cami peek out from the neck line of the jacket.  And now, the moment we've been waiting for: Jason confirms everyone's suspicions and comes out of the totally straight woman loving closet.  He's hetero, no more questions about it.  And he most certainly was flirting with Kim. The only thing that concerns me is that with so much emphasis on Jason, does this mean he's the loser?

Morning dawns and Brian comes in again, there's two hours left to go yadda yadda His last critiques:
Genevieve has twisty wavy seams.  She describes them as wonky, I describe them as poorly cut with no regard to grainline.
Jason's lingerie look is too small so he's adding to the centre back.  Good call Jason!  quick and easy and it will work.  Jason is impressing me with his level of skill, where was that in the rest of the series?
And I don't see Sunny or Jessica because or television is having weak signal issues. 

They are in makeup and hair and there's the usual flurry of shoes, curling irons, clothes irons, sewing needles and make up brushes. Jason works up to the last minute. and we have some commercials before it's show time!

Iman, in delightful red, introduces the judges: We meet Shawn, curled up in a fetal ball because no one listens to him; rigid plastic Rita the mannequin is introduced and doesn't move, and the guest judge is David Dixon, who has small shop in Waterloo Town Square.  his stuff is sophisticated and bit too old looking for me.  the mayor shops there, she was trying on suits when I checked the place out. The show begins:

Sunny's model wears a jacket and wide legged pants in pale shiny grey silk tweed.  Some seam edges are frayed out on the jacket, and it looks nice. The lingerie look is a bra and panties that did not take nine meters on lace.  the fit of the lingerie is excellent, considering it's his very first bra.

Genevieve presents a green-grey suit with black piping,  The piping lines of the skirt don't line up with the lines of the jacket and it throws the whole look off.  Her little black slip for the lingerie look is far stronger, but in her typical draped bunchy look.

Jessica goes for a sportier look, and it's only partially successful.  The fit of the wide legged pants is off a bit at the crotch and the sleeve is ridiculous nd not in a good way.  Her lingerie look is awful, it's a far too sporty tank and panty set.

Jason's model makes me say OLÉ! She's wearing tight cropped pants and a killer fitted jacket.  I love the jacket, it's the stand out of this group.  It makes the pink thing vanish and it almost forgives the capri pants.  For lingerie he presents a sexy little cami set.

The designers face the judges.  Sunny:Of course they love Sunny.  They find the lingerie a little too basic, but considering he's never done lingerie before, he did what he know he could accomplish successfully.  Shawn tries to speak but Iman cuts him off.  He returns to his fetal ball and whimpers.
Genevieve: Rita doesn't like it.  She can see the seams don't line up and it throws everything off.  David Dixon says she over-designed the suit but he loved the slip.  Shawn uncurls long enough to say he loved the slip.
Jason: They love the Jacket, wish he would have done a pencil skirt instead of shorts.  They all hate whatever the pink thing is. They love the fabric and fit of the jacket and all four can't say enough about how much they love the jacket.  The lingerie might have been a bit too basic.  He has some story about how him mom influenced the suit, but not the lingerie, which makes everyone laugh uncomfortably.
Jessica: They liked the pants, but thee were problems with the jacket and the details.  I think the jacket is too sportswear and not sophisticated, my main complaint against Jessica is her lack of design sophistication.  They all point out problems in the fit of the sleeve, the neck is a bit too low and it didn't really work. The lingerie was too boring, not sexy at all and not sophisticated, more for watching TV in bedroom rather than seducing the CEO in the boardroom.

The judges deliberate and they take thee designer's entire season's output into consideration for the final results.  They think Jason is very versatile and would like to see a collection from him.  the jacket was such a stand out that it negated everything else from this challenge.  They like Jason and it's obvious that he's going to fashion week. Sunny, needless to say will be going on.  they loved the sheen of the fabric and the details, they have no doubt that he's versatile and will produce a good collection. They think Jessica either goes too far, or not far enough.  In this challenge neither look was successful. They think she has a good range, but notice she lacks a clear artistic design vision. They wonder if she can produce 12 strong looks.  That comes from being fresh out design school and having little to no real world experience.  They think Genevieve has better real world experience and would probably make a better collection.  Her suit was heavy and clunky, but her lingerie was the best of the bunch.  They think she has a clear design aesthetic and a clear artistic point of view, but they question if they want to see 12 draped skirts.

The designers are called back and the winner and loser announced.  To the surprise of absolutely no one, Sunny wins and is off to fashion week. In second place is Jason.  Yay! the jacket was brilliant.  The final two are Jessica and Genevieve.  Jessica goes on, she told to develop a better range, and Genevieve is out because when you've seen one draped bubble skirts, you've seen them all.

Brain consoles Genevieve and we get a preview of next week.  The designers work on their collections and they are told they need a 13th look.  Brian is very concerned about a couple collections, one he says he sees nothing runway worthy.  Brian is concerned, and the preview is over!

I can hardly wait for next week!  My sketch will be up later, I seem to have misplaced it.  it's a little jacket with a bias skirt that has a bit of a flare at the back, and the lingerie is a lace trimmed cami and French knickers.

Posted by lincatz at 11:54 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Project Runway Canada II Episode 9: Answering Nature's Call!
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

...and once again I take my place on my end of the couch and eagerly await the start of Project Runway Canada Season Two. According to the advance previews the designers go camping.  In two of the three tents are previously eliminated designers, and the challenge is to make something out of camping gear. The big twist is spoiled by the previews.

You have no idea how intriguing and inspiring I found this concept.  A ball gown from a camp-stove and flashlight bulbs!  Camping gear is made of synthetics such a nylons, polyesters, olefins, mylars, and other long chain polymer fibers sold under a variety of brand names.  How about a cocktail dress from camp cookware and a port-o-john?  These fabrics look lustrous but can be difficult to sew.  An evening gown from mosquito netting, mylar thermal blacket...and...and...Sleeping bag! How creative and innovative do they want?  Or do they want fashion and wearability first, innovative material use second?  Oooo!  A bustier from a backpack and a skirt made of propane tanks! I've always enjoyed camping, forests, nature... here's the best idea so far: fishing rods, tent pegs and shock-cords woven together into a sporty shorts and jacket set perfect for camping.

Why don't I wait for the show to start, and the challenge to be given for real?

Iman makes her entrance, she's in black high waisted skinnies and a sheer blouse with a high neck ruffle. Finishing the look is enough gold chains to make Mr T envious.  Once again she's gone for a slightly futuristic look this time with a romantic twist. The designers do the model no-shuffle and she tells the designers to go back to the mansion for a good night's sleep and to prepare for a real back-to-basics adventure.  The designers wonder if they will be off to somewhere exotic, like Paris, New York, Los Angeles... Yes, nothing says back to basics like Los Angeles California. Next morning dawns and they find back packs and a note, they are to pack warm clothes because they are going camping.

Mute trumpet goes  wah-wah. Jessica hates camping.  Adejoke hates camping,  Sunny doesn't like camping.  Kim says you don't send fashion kids camping.  Kim packs like a true Canadian: seventeen bottles of beer, a fox stole and leg warmers. In the car they all sing annoying in the car songs and Jessica looks mortified. Kim sings "seventeen bottles of beer in my pack!  Seventeen bottles of beeeeer! Take one down pass it around...but not asian dude and fat chick who are better designers than meeee! Sixteen bottles of beer in my pack!"

At the campsite they meet Brian, in our last episode he played the wise Galactic Guardian to our troop of intrepid, dysfunctional yet oddly endearing group of superheroes. Today he's camp counsellor Brian, imparting the wisdom of the ancient forests.  He tells them they need to pair up in teams, Sunny picks Jessica, which leaves Kim and I'm sooo screwed...I mean Adejoke.  Then Brian says there's one more team and out come Genevieve and Jason from two of the tents. 

The challenge is spelled out: It's titled "Gimme Shelter" and the designers must create two looks from camping and survival gear.  One look must be avant garde and push the boundaries of fashion while the other is a ready to wear interpretation of the avant garde look.  They must select the materials from the survival bag and the tent contents, the materials selected will go back to the work room and they will use the rest for the overnight stay.

A few go swimming, and a few sit on the shore and stew about how unfair life is.  Kim, Jason and Genevieve have a good time splashing in the water and fooling around, which is where I would be.  If there isn't something flirty and romantic going on between Jason and Kim I will eat my backpack!  Only Jessica and Sunny have a tent, to which they retire after a campfire.  The others sent the tents back to the workroom. There's nothing more relaxing and peaceful than a campfire.  I think they are at the Ottawa Municipal campground, just off the Trans Canada highway.

Morning arrives and Camp Counsellor Brian wakes everyone by banging a wooden spoon loudly on a camp pot.  They all moan and groan and return to the workroom. They pull out camp chairs, tents, sleeping bags, screen tents, tent covers, mylar survival blankets, sleeping bag stuffing.  Everyone hate Jessica and Sunny in the way that six year olds hate the kids who get the most gold stars in class.

The teams work as follows: Kim will do the avant Garde look while Adejoke does a ready to wear interpretation.  Brian reminds them the their workmanship must be perfect.
Sunny will do his teams avant garde look, he's inspired by the crystal formation outside the Royal Ontario Museum using the thermal blanket for the crystals. Jessica will do the ready to wear look.  Again, Brian wants impeccable technical skill to shine through. (Theres quite a bit of internet chatter about dangly threads, wiggly seams and quality issues with all the designers this year, and these issues are allegedly magnified in the final three fashion seek shows.)
Jason and Genevieve are pulling out all the stops, going all the way over the top because if they don't win the challenge then they are both out.  Genevieve tackles the avant garde, using mylar and nylon to make a ball-gown and jacket.  Jason takes on the ready to wear interpretation. Brian, once again is tough and tells them not to hold anything back.
They have two days to complete this challenge, which should be adequate time. As they work I am thinking: JASON AND KIM: get a room guys...or maybe a tent.

Morning of day two dawns and the designers are allowed one phone call, much like the recently arrested are allowed.  Jason calls his mom, because as we are all so painfully aware he was raised by a single mom yadda yadda.  Sunny calls his boyfriend; Adejoke calls her mom; Jessica and Genevieve make mystery calls and poor Kim gets voice mail and busy signals.  Our eyes are moist with pity as Kim relates her sad life story.

They return for day two of the challenge and we should  see lots of sewing machines humming, irons belching steam and scissors flying.  We should see the designers focus their energy and attention on the task at hand.  We do see some of that but mostly we see them putting down everyone else's designs while bragging how superior they are to everyone else.  As the sewing machines sew and the designers design the hands of the clock spin furiously and it's now down to one hour. The tension between two of the designers is unbearable.  Once again: Kim --Jason GET A ROOM!

Another commercial break and I slip into my happy camping place. The fire burns brightly as I return from a mushroom expedition.  We have chanterelles, black trumpets and icicle mushrooms for dinner, varnished conks to decorate the living room when we get home and a couple unidentifiable boletes to examine carefully.  There's also cattail-on-the-cob -that is: the unopened flower buds that can be boiled and served with a bit of butter, salt and pepper. From the pond I gather water lily buds, delicate and tasty, and also waterlily tubers, which look and taste like slightly flower-perfumed potatoes.  While the commercials run I also think that I need to make myself a long day gown, a maxi dress.  I have some pucci inspired print stretch silk satin, that would be perfect.  For camping?

Day of the show dawns and the designers are in a sewing frenzy. Brian arrives with the models and they have two hours.  Kim has a few fit issues and must sew her model in.  Adejoke complains that she might be pushed out because of Kim.  (Cry me a river, says Carly Wong. At least the incompetent partner goes with you, unlike weepy Megan who shafted Carly) Kim's 20U machine makes an odd ping and bang noise.  That's never good.

The designers go to hair and make-up.  Jason and Genevieve are confident and the team gives them an amazing hair and make-up look to go with the dress.  Kim and Adejoke go for a pale and pure look. Sunny wants conehead hair and Jessica wants flushed-from-the-cold cheeks.  Fifteen minutes remain and there is an insane flurry of shoe straps, needles, threads and sprinting designers.

More commercials and a news break! Our top story! Someone stole a penguin, leaving only his feet attached to the ground!  It was a statue...couldn't they have said that first? I'm thinking about my long day dress, I'll make it tight at the rib cage, draped at the neck and sort of flowy to the bottom, like every other day gown I've seen this year.

It's time for the show and Iman is once again stunning in mellow yellow.  Quite stylish! The judges are introduced, Comic relief Shawn, Rita the plastic robot, and Rachel Roy.  That's Rachel ROY designer, not Rachel Ray, TV personality who makes me feel all stabby when her show is on. The runway show starts.

Sunny shows a quilted dress with a very high neckline and silver peaks on the one shoulder. Jessica shows and not quite ready to wear quilted short sleeve dress with a similar constricting neckline. 
Genevieve and Jason show an over the top ball skirt from nylon with mylar ribbons. Jason's ready to wear dress is a bit too short and reminds me of Brandon's bad figure skating dress for Elisha Cuthbert.  The top cancels out the bottom, it's very good.
Kim shows an avant garde jumpsuit that is completely out there with a padded high collar and huge bell bottom pants. It looks a bit clunky but the concept is good.  Adejoke shows a capri length jumpsuit that I don't like, but I think the judges will love. I don't personally like or wear capris, and jumpsuits have never fit me, ever.

They line everyone up on the runway and the designers explain and defend their dresses.
Jason and Genevieve are first.  Shawn really likes how they pulled out all the stops and went over the top.  Rita likes it too, so does the guest judge.  They think Jason's' skirt might be a bit short but they love his jacket.
Rita thinks Kim showed that she is an excellent avant garde designer, but Shawn thinks it's a little too Toronto Queen West Rave scene. Guest judge and Iman aren't as happy, pointing out construction issues.  They all love Adejoke's jumpsuit saying it's the best she has done and they think it's absolutely perfect.
Needless to say Rita loves Jessica and Sunny.  They could put burlap sacks tied with sisal rope on the runways and Rita would love it.  I don't think her programming allows her to dislike Sunny, or maybe it's merely an error in her AI's algorithm.  Guest loves the crystals and spikes on Sunny's dress.  There's some concern that Jessica's dress isn't ready to wear or commercial enough.  Shawn does have a good eye for what will sell and what won't, but he's merely comic relief so they ignore him.

The designers are dismissed to the green room where we see the usual tiresome crap, the designers who got a bad review open up a can of woop-ass hater-ade on those who got a good review. Whine whine whine.  Jason...Kim...keep your hands to yourself!

To the judging: The loved Sunny's Avant Garde more than Jessica's RTW, saying it wasn't RTW enough.  But they did like some Jessica's technical details such as the pin tucks, which as we remember completely flummoxed poor Margarita. The knock against them was the their clothes weren't the most wearable.
They like the concept of Kim's Avant Garde, but they felt the construction let her down, it wasn't well made.  They loved Adejoke's jumpsuit, but it didn't link up with Kim's making the pair un-cohesive.
They like Genevieve's look, calling it well made.  They loved Jason's jacket more than the skirt.  They say that they made a good cohesive team and they are a potential for the win.
It almost sounds like they don't want anyone to lose this one.

Commercials, and I really do like the maxi dress design I've scribbled out, but it would look better in a floral print rather than an abstract op-art.  So what will Kim do if Genevieve and Jason knock her out of the competition?  These three have been thick as thieves, to use a cliché.  Would it mean no more noogies for Jason and no Christmas card for Genevieve?  The survivor theme is quite appropriate in this series, especially this episode.  This bunch has plotted, complained, sabotaged and done everything to defeat the other contestants, whether by means fair or foul.  The quality of the challenge and the way the designers rose to the challenge barely offset the bickering.

The show returns and all get a big heartfelt congratulations on a job well done.  They all rose to the challenge.  There is a surprise in the judging, two teams have won, Sunny and Jessica; Genevieve and Jason.  This means that Kim is the real loser and Adejoke gets royally butt****** by Kim.

M. Night Shamalan couldn't have come up with a worst twist than this.  I'm mad that Adejoke is gone, she deserved to sty to the final three. Kim was let down by her lack of technical skill.  It really doesn't matter how brilliant your designs are, or how pretty your sketches are, if you lack the knowledge and ability to turn an idea or a sketch into a finished wearable garment then the brilliant creativity means zilch.  fashion design is at the heart, about making clothes.  Drawing sketches is fashion illustration, design involves actual fabric and clothing.  If Kim works on making her designs, she could be brilliant.  All she really needs is a bit more focus and a bit more practise.

Coming next week:The final four and the pressure intensifies! They are making dresses and there is another twist as Brian opens the workroom door to some help! and once again we hear the mute trumpets go wah-wah.

Here's the sketch I did for this challenge, no porto-johns, no propane tanks.  The left look is made from camp chair webbing, tent nylon and mosquito screen.  It's twisted dress, boned under with carbon fibre tent supports and webbing and backpack buckles over the bone channels,  the entire dress is cut with a twist and the seams are slightly ruched and gathered.  Under the dress is mosquito netting cut in random jagged peaks and gather to form a tulle-like underskirt.  The idea is a forest fairy or a forest spirit, a sylph who lives among the trees and the ponds. The right side is a trench coat with padded lapels and a poofed out padded hem,  There would again be webbing and buckles used anywhere that there are tabs and loops on normal trench coats.  Backpack pockets would be transferred to the coat.    Some of the details would be worked out in contraction, such as one shoulder or two in the dress, and if the coat would have ruched seams.

Next week decides the final three: Sunny, Jessica, and Jason? Or Sunny, Jessica and Genevieve?

Posted by lincatz at 11:40 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Project Runway Canada Season 2 Episode 8: Comic Book Edition
Mood:  loud
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

As Canwest Global fills the news outlets with stories of impending bankruptcy, their own airwaves are filled with previews of their one bona fide international hit.  This week's challenge on Project Runway Canada Season II is a spectacular red carpet dress for an international supermodel.  Also -as the non-stop previews tell us -the mean girls are ganging up on Jessica. This season has almost caricatured heroes and bad guys defined in broad brush-strokes; they are mean, they say mean things and we are told they are mean.  Between the broad characterizations and all the advance hype I am reminded of comic books! The heroes are good because we are told they are good, the bad guys are painted in broad strokes with few nuances, and the hype is over the top. It's so over the top it's like when Marvel or DC releases special comic book series that you know will be re-released as a special trade paperback graphic novel someday.  Even the challenges title reads like it's a comic book. So we shall treat this episode like it's a special series of comic books:  Part one: The Return of The Challenge!

Opening panels: day dawns over Ottawa and the city slowly wakens as it always does, unaware at the festering troubles in the Designer's mansion.  Tensions have been building (see last issue! ed.) and some are close to breaking point. (see issue 4,5 6 and 7. ed.) The designers are waking and breakfasting in the increasingly empty designer's mansion,  Kim is upset because Jason is gone, everyone else is talking about Kim being upset because Jason is gone, and Kim decides to take out her hurt feelings on Jessica because that's what mean girls do: take out their negative feelings on people who were never responsible or involved in the first place.  Character development takes three panels, plot development takes four panels.

The designers head to the studio, take their seats and Iman makes her entrance. She's in a leopard print bustier and basic jeans, if by basic you mean 700$ Gaultier five pocket selvage jeans.  There's a theme to Iman's entrances: in the beginning she's dressed in casual denim fashions and on the day of the show she's wearing something that best exemplifies, interprets, and demonstrates the week's challenge.  The babies stop bawling, I mean the designers stop whining long enough to pick their models.  To the surprise of absolutely no one they all keep their models. 

The challenge is return of the "The Return of the Supermodel" The designers must create a spectacular red carpet outfit for this week's "It" girl Coco Rocha, who will wear the dress to a red carpet event during New York Fashion Week. Their muse is waiting for them and she gives the designers a briefing on her personal style and what she likes. 

She likes feminine and sexy.  She doesn't mind exposing her legs and her back, but she doesn't want to feel undressed and doesn't want excessive exposure. This is fashion week in New York so the dress must be cutting edge, chic and sophisticated.  She also says she's quite enamoured with Tudor, Victorian and Elizabethan era clothes with ruffles and volume, but she doesn't want a costume.  She wants something that will make her stand out from the crowd.

The designers are given a budget of two hundred dollars and thirty minutes to shop.  There's the usual flurry of flying fabrics, grabbing at notions and unrolling of bolts.  It's all quite fascinating to me, but likely boring to anyone not obsessed with fabric stores. They show Jessica unrolling yards of reddish-plum taffeta and they focus on Adejoke, whose is neither excited nor enthusiastic about the challenge; indeed her spirit has been broken by being in the bottom two lest episode. We break for a commercial and the little coming up bit makes me think of comic book style lettering saying "Next ish: When Mean Girls attack!!"

The show returns after commercials in which I run and get a skirt that I am in the process of covering in sequins.  The skirt will be heavy, but it will be spectacular. One can never have too many sequins on a boho skirt.  They seem to be focusing on Kim. Once again she whines, complains, bitches and snips up everyone while not focusing on her own design.  Genevieve also whines and complains.  Jessica has dropped all of the act and is focused on the challenge, what it involves and what it means.  We switch to the sewing room where Sunny is doing his best impression of Crusty the Clown in an attempt to lighten the mood.  Jessica confesses that she is mortally terrified of clowns.  She's obviously more freaked out by Sunny's Crusty the Clown laugh than she is by the attack of the mean girls.

Brian, also know as The Galactic Guardian, arrives for a bit of wise mentoring.  He has yet to come up with anything as memorable as make it work, but he tries his best.  He knows what to say and when to say it, and he knows when to reign in an overly exuberant designer and when to let them go design-crazy.  His comments are as follows:

Genevieve: He likes it so far, but tells her to keep the skirt drapery under control.  My television sees her skirt fabric as khaki/sandy silk.  That's a little bland and not a stand out colour.
Jessica is told to be careful about the fullness at the hips.  She seems to be making a taffeta prom dress with a pleated cross between a tulip skirt and a bubble skirt.  It's not bad, but it's not overly original.
Kim: Brian does not like the hip detail and he says the proportions are a bit off.  I love her rich black and white brocade. It's obviously a costly fabric and she doesn't seem to have much of it. If I were Kim I'd discard the hip detail, make a pencil skirt on a skinny darted bodice and add plenty of crystal organza details and trims in black and white, maybe adding some well placed ruffles and frills, like the Elizabethans did.
Adejoke needs a wise a kindly mentoring.  He tries to build her enthusiasm while telling her that her dress is a bit to basic and needs jazzing up.  He want her to go a bit more over the top.  She gets a bit more of a pep talk.
Sunny: ???? No Sunny?  Obviously he doesn't need Brian's help, or the producers want his winning design to be a surprise.

The designers have two more hours and we are given close ups of everyone at sewing machines.  I can here the whine of Adejoke's 20U motor in the background and Jessica is hunched over the CG590.  Kim is intently sewing on a domestic model Singer.  To me it symbolizes their abilities as designers.  The two best -Adejoke and Sunny -use the industrial 20U.  The less adept but still professional Genevieve and Jessica use the commercial grade machines. Kim has confessed she's less technically skilled as the others uses the much easier but far slower domestic Singer.  You can buy this machine anywhere, the CG is available only at dealers, and you need an speciality dealer for the industrial.

Designers, tailors, dressmakers, and dry cleaners prefer industrials. Fast industrials make sewing anything fast and efficient.  They hold fabric far tighter and there's no wiggly seams and no fabric slippage.  If you adjust the presser foot lighter you can use the feed dogs to ease a sleeve cap into an armhole with no advance gathering or ease stitching. You can do a 2:1 ease with no puckering or problems.  It also has more needle varieties than anyone could ever use, and mine can be set up for free motion thread painting embroidery.

While the machines hum Mean Girls Genevieve and Kim plot, plan, conspire and whine about Jessica.  They return to the mansion and as the night grows dark around them  Kim and Genevieve continue to hatch nefarious plots against our good guys. They still continue to pick everyone apart as the scene goes dark. Change font to comic book lettering: Coming next issue: Genevieve's nervous breakdown! Kim battles the wiggly seam monster! And the return of Brian, the Galactic Guardian!

Morning dawns and the designers are hard at work finishing up. Jessica now discovers her prom dress is too tight to fit over her dress form. She goes back to her worktable and Brian enters with the models.
Kim: she has fit and construction issues and rather than concentrate on her own problems she focuses on Jessica and what she's doing.
Genevieve is very intense, her eyes are once again doing the popping out her head thing. 
Sunny has a very good black chiffon thing over a black under-dress. It's quite chic, has ruffles and doesn't have a corset top.  He looks like a winner as his model gets her hair and make-up done.
Genevieve continues to freak as her zipper malfunctions.  This leads to a complete meltdown.  Brian tells her to sew her model into her dress using a whipstitch.  She looks at him like he's speaking Klingon.
Adejoke is still looking defeated and says that the challenge sucks.
Coming in Part Three of our superhero supermodel limited edition stand alone series available only in special comic dealer shops: The stunning climax! Will Will Genevieve's dress fall apart? Will Jessica's model be able to walk? Will Sunny win again? Will Adejoke's broken spirit be made whole again? All will be revealed in out next exiting issue!  Excelsior True believers! 

It's time for the show and Iman introduces the judges. She is wearing a black and white dress that's short, draped and would win the challenge.  There's Shawn Hewson, he's our lovable but bumbling second banana sidekick, there for laughs but he has no real impact on the outcome of our story.  Next is Rita Robot.  She looks human from the outside, but she has a deep dark secret that is hidden from all who know her: she's really a robot from the planet Braniac.  Next we have the star of our comic book, The SuperModel!  She returns in the next to last issue to Save The Day!

Genevieve shows and white top and sandy/khaki draped taffeta skirt.  It's a bit plain and we've seen her do the same skirt before.  This time it's a bit more sack like on the bottom
Sunny shows a sheer black chiffon dress over a black satin minidress under.  the under-dress is a bit too short, but the chiffon overdress is wonderful, it has ruffles, gathering and it looks chic and original
Jessica shows her prom dress.  It's not bad, but the back should have been lower, supermodels don't need to wear bras so there's no need to cover that part of the back. The bottom is a bit clunky. It looks a little familiar.  Didn't we see it in issue 6 of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series The Doll House worn by Rose Walker? Or did we see it in Le Château last prom season?
Adejoke: For a broken spirit, she did pretty good.  The fabric is nice, the construction is good, the front is nice, again with a lower back it would have been quite special.  Second or third place?
Kim: Love the luxe brocade fabric, hate all the bulky pleating at the hips.  The fit is a little off at the sides.  her model's torso is a straight tube, not a cone tapering at the waist, so the under-bust is too wide.  This is a common problem as pattern making books assume everyone is a cone from shoulder to waist.  Some are tubes, not cones.

One awkward film splice/panel transition later the designers are on the runway defending their designs.
Supermodel likes Jessica's until she sees that the hem band is too narrow to walk in.  Models need walking room.  I know I have seen this shape before.  If this were Project Runway USA Nina Garcia would haul Jessica's butt to the carpet over the old lady colour choice.  Nina Garcia has called that dark red old lady looking every time she's seen it used on the US show.
All the judges love Sunny's design, calling it sexy, witty, flowy, they too would have liked the under dress a bit longer, but Iman is sold on it being perfect for New York Fashion Week.
Adejoke's dress is a moderate success, They like the top part but they thought she could have taken the design elements further.  The think it's cute and Iman loves the streamlined look of the dress.
They think Genevieve's dress isn't fashion forward, not red carpet worthy, a little plain, and far too heavy on the bottom and too much like everything else she's done.
Kim's dress is called clumsy, heavy, rich fabric but poor fabrication, Iman says it isn't fashion week worthy. The designers are dismissed as the judges deliberate.

They quickly decide they they love Sunny's dress in spite of the fact it's too short.  They keep mentioning that over and over and over. They thought Jessica's dress fell a little short of the mark. They Liked the Victorian feel of Adejoke's dress, but hated the back.  Not quite perfect.  They decide Genevieve is too one note, her dress was over-draped and looked too much like a pageant dress and not enough like a fashion dress.  Someone said "the skirt was bunchy for the sake of being bunchy" They all thought Kim's dress was droopy, bulky and not well made.  my comment: she needs to spend more time on her own dress and less time snipping at everyone else.  Coming next: The final issue! The Judgement! The Winner! The Loser! And: Is this the end of The Mean Girls?

We're back after a brief commercial break.  I'm tired of sewing sequins. I've gone through one pack of 300 and that's enough for one evening.  The designers are once again on the runway and the winner is announced.  Sunny wins with his witty and sophisticated black dress.  Jessica is second, and they say she and her dress were "safe" which is a bit of an insult, safe is sometimes considered "bland"  Adejoke is third and I cheer loudly.  Remaining are The Mean Girls.  The mean girls, together where they belong.  the camera lingers lovingly on the two of them as they prepare to be punished for their crimes against the viewers who have had to suffer through this nonsense for several weeks. They tell Genevieve she's made too many dresses the same, and they tell Kim her dress suffered from messy execution.  In the end Mean Girl Genevieve is gone, and Mean Girl Kim is in.  Mean girl Kim is now lonely girl Kim, and if the others gang up on her it's her own damn fault.

In the confession booth Genevieve tells us she's still a fabulous designer and this won't break her spirit, while Kim tells us she's sad.  Kim has done nothing but stir up the hornets and now she's stuck alone in the nest with angry hornets and no allies. Nor does she have a can of Raid.  You can't do what she's spent all her time doing and not expect some type of denouement. Karma's bitch and will bite you in the butt every time.

They show Coco Rocha wearing her dress on a very windy cold evening going into some night club.  Then come the previews for next week: The remaining four are shown with backpacks and tents. CAMPING! Talk about a Made in Canada segment! I love camping! After so much stress that would be so peaceful and relaxing and inspiring!  I love being out in the forest with the wild animals, wild flowers, and eating wild mushrooms!  Yummy! It looks like chanterelle season, they are sweat and delicate with a slight fruity flavour. Sleeping outside listening to the insects chirping the the frogs trilling and the owls hooting is so relaxing, the sound puts me into a deep and dreamless sleep. I love the outdoors, nothing phases me, not even the lack of flush toilets. Just direct me to the nearest shrubbery, give me some birch bark and we have nature's bathroom! In addition, two previous contestants are returned which makes sense as two contestants dropped out in the first episode. I wonder which one hates camping, the outdoors and everything associated with the great outdoors. I'm sure at least one hates camping! 

Posted by lincatz at 10:58 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 20 March 2009 11:34 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Project Runway Canada Season II Episode 7 and the New Word Post-iting
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

Tonight our intrepid designers have a very sticky challenge and we viewers are stuck with this season's Gimmick challenge take THREE.  We've already had the gimmicky recycled clothes challenge TWICE now we have the non-fabric challenge.  Over the years Project Runway has presented some far-fetched non traditional fabric and gimmick challenges with varying degrees of success.  They've done the food store twice, Car parts, candy stores finds, plants and flowers, home furnishings, Umbrellas, and recyclables, (which is a nice way of saying trash) Car parts worked well, plants and flowers, not so much.

These challenges are supposed to be about innovation, creativity and artistry. The truth is they are unrealistic and more about creating high drama than high art.  Usually novelty materials are only used for gimmicky contests, attention grabbing promotions and as centrepieces for fund-raisers.  An excellent designer can be absolutely stonewalled by non-fabric challenges and they really don't tell anyone anything about a designer's talents.

The designers are given the challenge of making artistic evening gown for breast cancer survivors from post it notes as part of some big cross promotional fund raiser.  The dresses will be auctioned off and the money raised will go to breast cancer research.  The contestants pick a word and then match the word with a woman who will serve as muse and model.

Cue the violins and the sad yet inspirational stories.  Cue designers getting all mushy and poetic over the stories.

Making a dress from paper presents several technical challenges.  It is versatile, it can be pleated, folded, sculpted, painted, stencilled ruffled, cut apart, put back together, turned into thin strips and woven into fabric...but it is still paper and the way the fibers are oriented makes it stiff and unyielding.  Add to that the fact that too many layers of paper become cardboard, this adds a level of extra difficulty.

I love some of the paper cut sculptures that were done in the 1960's as part of the Op Art And Pop Art movement.  It was in this time that it was discovered that if you skillfully cut a 3x5 index card you could make a hole big enough for someone to walk through.  It's quite easy once you know the trick.  These lattice works were used as mobiles, in the manner of Calder and some were woven together to form checker-board type fabrics sculpted into undulating shapes and stiffened with glue.  The more paper is cut into, the more flexible it becomes because you are breaking the fiber chains.  paper cut into thin fringy strips will be the most flexible,

Post it notes come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and colours.  There are arrow shapes, rounded shapes, rectangles, squares, some are small and thin, some are wide and long, some have things printed on them, most are blank.

So this is the sketch I did while the designers and muses/models were engrossed in each other's heart wrenching yet uplifting stories of courage and yadda yadda.  The paper will be fluted, ruffled and left to flutter on the over skirt and one the ruffled flots  of the straps and bands.  The bodice will be made of the smallest post-its woven into a checker-board. The tighter underskirt will be made of post-its going from small at the waist to large at the hem cut apart and re-woven and re-cut into swirls.  I have a bustle-like thing sketched made of pleated paper.  The back of the overdress will be made of small pleated pieces of paper.  The inspiration is 18th century mantuas, I'm sure I could also have it mean courage or strength or faith or any other of the buzzwords.

The designers go to the fabric store for their foundation fabric and structural elements.  For me this would be a light drapy foundation such as chiffon or china silk, a bit of elastic, some plastic bones and cases and a zipper or two.  I would allow the stiffness of the paper to become part of the bodice's structure.  Not much time is spent in the fabric store, and it's not exciting except for Kim who want to make a pair of wings for her "angel"  This is an artistic dress, Kim, not a maxi-pad.

After the commercial Sunny increases the English language by one word by describing his process as "post-iting" Brian arrives for some wise mentoring. Although Jessica is immune Brian is concerned about her dress which has all the drape and flexibility of a skirt made of newspaper.  He tells Jason that his dress is gimmicky and he doesn't want gimmicks.  Hello!  This whole challenge is a gimmick!  Brian tells Jason to edit and I agree, lose the train! He likes Kim's leaves and says the big pink foam wings are disrespectful and turn it into a cirque de soliel costume. (now there's a challenge i would love to see! Over the top cirque de soliel dresses!  She wisely jettisons the wings and focuses on the leaves, which are absolutely gorgeous.

Night falls and they go for three hours of restless sleep and return for another full day of paperwork.  Jessica dumps her entire dress after spray painting it black. She starts anew.  Brian enters with the models for a fitting.  Sunny has clipped his paper into feathers making the skirt light as can be.  Kim brags about her sparkling personality (NU-UH  BEEYOTCH!) Now Kim hates her dress because there are no wings.  Or whatever, she's harder to follow than Paula Abdul was during tonight's American Idol, which was far more entertaining than this.  Jason calls Kim a Lunatic, which makes me forgive him for his hideous dress.  Jessica is making thousands of little thingies.  Once again while she's under stress the obnoxious gangsta garbage is gone and the real Jessica comes out.  She would be ten thousand times more likable if she would completely drop the badly dated street act and just be herself. That type of slang was funny and dated when the Aqua Teen Hunger Force did that three years ago, now, not as funny and more dated.

Once again Brian says no Gimmicks, yet this entire challenge is nothing but a gimmick

One more four hour night and it's the morning of the show.  Brian sends in the models and we get our first look at the complete dresses.  Genevieve's is gorgeous, I love the little origami thing on the bodice.  Sunny's model loves her dress and I think it turned out nice with it's feathery skirt.  Jessica now hates the challenge and doesn't like the big hedgehog on the shoulder and the back. Jason's dress is truly horrifying, from the colour choice to train to everything.  Brian want the dress refined and Jason cut off three feet of train, which is still not enough cutting.

In make-up and hair my husband says that all the dresses are ugly and look like piñatas.  He thinks it's the dumbest gimmick challenge ever.  He thinks it was a waste of the designers time and effort and the forty minutes of this show seems far longer than American idol's two hours.  Go Adam Lambert! And not just because your brother is a fellow Something Awful Goon.

We finally arrive at the runways show and I have some unexpected company arrive at my door, which means I miss some of what the judge's say.  I do catch that the guest judge is an avant gard designer known for her innovation.  The few things they show look not quite Gareth Pugh unwearable, but close.  The show:

Genevieve's dress looks like a real dress and not a piñata.  The blue is watery and pretty and i do like the origami on the bodice.
Jason's dress is a train wreck and one of the ugliest things ever on any Project Runway show, Canada, us, UK wherever.
Adejoke is over the top, she presents a green nature goddess dress that looks not too bad, at least to my eyes.
Kim: I love the leaves on the skirt, the back lacing is a bit sloppy, but it is paper after all.  Not too bad, really.
Jessica presents a weird red Carmen Miranda type dress with a anemone and hedgehogs as decoration.  the judges will either love this or hate this, it could go either way.
Sunny's dress doesn't look like paper, it also looks like a dress.  The top is a bit of snooze, but the skirt makes up for it.

I miss the judges comments as i am updated on a family member's health, but they appear to love Jessica and Sunny.  I think I hate this guest judge, she's a bit on the pompous ass side. My father thinks she's rude, even for a judge.

There are deliberations which I miss completely and the designers return for final judgement.  They seem to think Jessica is this amazing original, yet there's nothing from her that I haven't seen somewhere else.  Jessica wins.  Sunny is second.  Genevieve is third.  Kim is fourth. It's between Adejoke and Jason for who is out.  They thought Adejoke was too literal and too busy with this and that and the other thing going one.  They thought Jason was a train wreck.  In the end Adejoke stays and Jason is told that he doesn't measure up. 

In the end Brian says Jason is fabulous and he'll do well in the future because he loves women.  Oh no!  Was Jason just outed as a straight guy? Doesn't matter really. Next week's preview tells us that the designers will have a super-model as their muse and they must design something spectacular for her. 

Here is the link to the auction site for the dresses:  The reserve bid is 10,000$  Yeah, right.  The winning dress is already off the block having been purchased by 3-M, probably as a promotion piece.

Here's the cross promotional post it site with its own little design contest: site not yet live!  Sorry! Maybe later today.

Posted by lincatz at 10:03 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Project Runway Canada II Episode 6: Spring is the Season of Hopeless
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

The theme of this week's challenge is "hope Springs Eternal" in which the intrepid designers must design a day to evening spring dress for the Winners clothing chain to be featured as part of their "welcome to Spring" promotion. The dress must be an "it" dress, a fashion must-have that women will want after a long cold winter.

Day to evening is, at the best of times, difficult.  it can, at other times; be well nigh impossible.  It's a lot to ask of one single dress, to be appropriate for the office and then sashay off for cocktails and dinner in the evening.  You either end up with too day, or too evening.  It's easier if you are allowed a second piece such as a jacket, but in this challenge it's one piece only.  Add to the challenge that a first burst of spring must be bright without being loud and springy without being summer.  And because this is Winners, the dress must suit wide variety of shapes and sizes, not too out there and solidly commercial.

Whew!  All that in one little dress?  That's a pretty tall order!  I think I would choose a floral not too bold, classic and subtle.  Florals are HUGE this spring and summer.  A floral will brighten up an early spring late winter day worn with a jacket, and a change of accessories will take it to evening.  A nice challis will work in both moods.  Also, combining a solid with a floral trim would work, possibly having more of the floral visible for evening.  A tie scarf for the day that hides a lower neckline in the day can be turned into a belt for evening, opening up the neckline and adding a bold splash of colour.  Yeah...that's what I would do!

And now that the show has recapped last week's episode and we're through with the designer's musings in the designer's mansion, it's off to the runway.  Iman is once again in Gaultier jeans, a red leather biker jacket and a pink and gold bollywood inspired tunic top.  It's quite striking and she pulls it off effortlessly.  I love bollywood inspired style, it's so happy and cheerful!

Models are selected and Jeff takes Kim's model.  If anything says NEENER NEENER! it's stealing a designer's model. The designers are told this is the last time for immunity.  She tells the designers to meet Brian at Winners.

Winners is owned by The US company TJMaxx and it is essentially the same retail concept, high fashion, lower prices.  Why pay for the fancy setting of a department store when you can get the same for less in a big store that resembles K-mart?  Winners describes the customer as a savvy shopper, fashionable and smart. They meet the PR person for Winners who gives them the challenge.

The title of the Challenge is "Hope Springs Eternal." we are still hoping for spring around here, it's been brutally cold, the coldest it's been all winter! They need to make a day to evening dress and they are given one day, 100$ and 30 minutes in the fabric store.

Maybe i would do a maxi-dress, maxis were the rage in summer and didn't show any signs of going out in the fall.  Or maybe a cute little bias cut floral dress that's fun and flirty.

In the fabric store: Jason picks green satin and Brian warns him against it.  Remember poor Margarita and her stretch satin betraying her? Genevieve is picking out sequins by the yard and clashing colours.  Jessica is going St Patrick's Day green.  What?  no florals?  Spring is about florals!  Yet not one designer picks a springy floral!

Here's a Little dress sketch that I did while watching commercials.  The main parts would be solid, the inserted godets in the skirt would be floral, the empire band would be floral, and possibly the sleeves.  I would also add a scarf in the floral.  The floral would have the colour of the main dress in it.  I think this would work for both day and evening, I would wear it for either.

I can imagine that the time limit of sketching and shopping could lead to giant brain cramps, where you don't see ANYTHING, or worse, where you get your brain stuck in one spot and you spin your wheels on the same idea.  It it's a bad idea, you can sabotage your design right from the fabric selection onward!  It looks like maybe Jason is doing that with his snaps and satin.

So the designers arrive in their retro-riffic studio.  Have I mentioned how much I love the studio?  And things begin to turn ugly.  Not the dresses, but the designers themselves become ugly.  The snipping into each other is quite vexing and is detracting from the enjoyment I usually get from this show.  A little of Teh Drah-mah is okay, but this is no fun to watch. It's beyond nasty. brain arrives with the models for a quick fitting and an early critique.

Jason: picked green satin, still wants metal snaps, and Brian is concerned, he want the construction to be impeccable.  This is Brian's theme for the day.  I wonder what construction flaws we aren't seeing?
Genevieve: He's concerned that's it's too evening and not enough day.  She's convinced she's more than enough day, and all women love three inch bands of sequins on spaghetti strapped dresses.
Jessica: He likes hers and tells her no to overdo it.  Her craftsmanship must be impeccable, again I think television is hiding some construction quality issues. She still bugs the heck out of me, there's something about her that comes across as disingenuous.
Kim: seems more concerned with Jeff than with herself.  I understand what she's doing, and she's playing it extra safe.  Which is a brilliant strategic move on her part. She certainly doesn't want to draw any attention to herself this time.
Jeff is trying to think outside the box and make a reversible dress.  This is tricky, how can he show it as reversible on the runway? Jeff is a lost and confused mess already, it's obvious he's cracking under stress.

They have until one, and with two hours left to go, Jeff decides to have a nervous breakdown.  He wanted to do hand cross stitches on his reversible dress, but he doesn't have time.  He decides to try the zig zag on the 20U's but they are set up for straight only.  Apparently he has either forgotten how to change the plates and the foot, or doesn't have access to the plates and foot. (it takes about five minutes)  Um...Dude?  The CG590's have a cross stitch, so do the others domestics... The domestics have over 30 decorative stitches, use them -and if you can do a hand cross, what about a hand worked saddle stitch or a plain running stitch? Those are quick and easy and any designer should be able to do them in their sleep!  Or is that part of your brain also inaccessible, along with the 20U plates?

Jeff runs around in circles, holding his fabric above his head and screaming.  I'm serious.  He does this right into the commercial break.

Day of show, and everyone is tense.  Jeff is drawing x's and gluing post it notes to his dress.  Kim and Jessica have no issues with fit or construction. Adejoke is finally seen, her dress is sixties Mod inspired, but has a few puckering issues with the binding used on the armhole.  She should have used bias, but it's too late now and Brian is concerned. Genevieve is far too evening and not enough day and Brian is concerned. Jason's green satin and snaps is too shiny and gimmicky and Brian is concerned.  Brian seems very concerned about everything this episode.

I have some concerns too.  Why no florals? Not one designer chose spring florals!  Why is Jeff so stuck on his x's?  Too much attention to one little thing has distracted him from the bigger picture!  I have so many questions regarding the design decisions made in this episode.  The skill level of this bunch seems way below even horrible weepy Megan of last season.

Time for the show, Iman is stunning in Wait for it...a wonderful purple and yellow easter feaster floral!  She interpreted the theme of the challenge perfectly! The flowers are neither too big or too small, the yellow is bold, but the print isn't loud in the least!  Magnificent! The judge include the PR person from Winners, the final judgement is hers.

Sunny isn't too bad, I can see him winning this, but the dress would have been prettier in a FLORAL!
Adejoke isn't too bad, but her straight line silhouette is a little stale, she needs to mix it up a bit.
Genevieve:To quote Tim Gunn"That's a whole lotta look going on" too evening, maybe if one fabric were a FLORAL  it might have been more day time?
Jeff: I dunno...its a dress.  what else can I say?
Jason: Very green, snaps worked, will the judges understand what he was trying to do?
Kim: not too bad, very safe, won't win and won't lose.
Jessica, Damn.  i think she has the winner.  Damn.  I really don't like her!

So Kim is safe, and the other must defend their designs.  The judges love Sunny, of course, and they love Jessica's.  I don't like to one shoulder look, it not appropriate for an office, I'm not sure what they are thinking.  They think Adejoke's dress was an excellent idea but suffered in the execution phase. Genevieve talks back saying she wears sequins and puff skirts to the office, Jeff lies about his cross stitching They notice Jason's dress is too tight, too evening and too gimmicky with the metal snaps.  Everyone leaves the runway and exists to the green room where the claws come out and everyone becomes really really ugly.  This poo-poo is impossible to watch.

The judges deliberate, don't like Jason or Jeff, so the cross stitches are a moot point, the liked sunny best but are reticent to have him win four in a row, they like Jessica's but are concerned whether it will successfully grade up to larger sizes. (it won't trust me) Genevieve was too mouthy and Adejoke would have been better served by better execution.  They make up their minds and bring out everyone again.

Jeff confesses his sin of using a felt tip marker.  But it's irrelevant. Jessica wins because they didn't want sunny to win a forth time. Damn!  The win made the gangsta poser come back.  I was hoping that was gone forever. 

(Digression, if she would have used the term "Street" "Urban" "Hip-hop" or anything else that would have been fine and cool and completely appropriate.  Instead she uses a word associated with crime.  That's not cool. I have no problem with street or urban or hip hop culture or styles, not in the least. I enjoy all forms of culture, the farther from mainstream the better.  it's the associating of gangsta and crime that's the problem.)

Sunny is second, Adejoke is third, Jason is third last. It comes down to Genevieve and Jeff.  Genevieve showed some imagination and skill, Jeff didn't so Jeff doesn't measure up and he's gone.  He gets all emotional, everyone hugs him and all is forgiven. Or something.  And so ends a very unpleasant episode that I did NOT enjoy in the least

Next Week!  The Gimmick challenge!  Making a dress with POST IT NOTES!?!?!  Adejoke did this in the second challenge, so it should be easy for her.  Post it notes? This could be fun! And colourful. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:27 AM EST
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Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Project Runway Canada II Episode Five: We Have Our Villain!
Mood:  hug me
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

Today's episode is "Something Old, Something New", in which the designers take a wedding dress and transform it.  It's the real woman challenge, the models are all divorced women looking for a fresh new look as they start their new life.  Or so the previews on Global TV's website tells me.

Fashion design school don't teach how to design for or how to fit real body shapes.  Patterns are tested on dress form, draping is done on forms and fashion runway models tend be about 5-10 with measurements of 32 22 34.  real women have hips, boobs, butts and tummies.  You can buy plus sized dress forms, but unit recently forms in sizes 20 and up still had flat asses, B cup breasts and flat stomachs.  They were however; WIDE.  Instead of the girth being applied evenly, the form merely widened.  the side view silhouette remained flat and skinny, with little difference from size 6 to size 26.

One season of Project Runway US had a real woman challenge in which the models had all lost weight and wanted their fat clothes restyled to fit their new life and body.  One got a wedding dress with lots of fabric, beads crystals and lace.  He kept moaning that "i don't deeewww polyester satin" and made a horrible old lady POS dress.  He didn't do anything after that as he was eliminated.  Michael Kors hit the nail on the head, why didn't he give her a sparkling white anniversary dress using the flowers, the sequined re-embroidered alencon lace the organza...there's so much happy he could have wrung out of the dress and he only could come up with sad.

The show begins with Iman, looking wonderful in jeans and a cinnamon red hand painted ruffle blouse.  Don't ever use the words too old around Iman.  She's over 50 after all.  Rather than bring out the models, she sends them away to a party.  If it's in Ottawa, that means three things, Conservative, Liberal Or New Democratic Party.  You need to cross the river into Hull Quebec for the real parties.

It's PARTAY! time.  Brian greets the designers and asks them to select a box.  Inside each is a wedding dress, he tells them the challenge is a celebration of individuality and a change in direction from old to new. Their models are everyday women all divorced and the designers have  their old wedding dresses.  The dresses have beads, satin, some  don't have a lot of fabric, some do, and one lucky contestant gets yards and yards of silk sari fabric.

They then cut the "divorce cake" with a mutilated groom perched atop, and then designers and models get down to business with consultations and sketching.

Jeff's model wants shorts, preferably black.  From a white wedding dress?  I think not!  Her dress is small with little fabric, he might get a leg and half. There is little detail to the dress, it seems to be very plain and basic.

Sunny's client wants a dress for a child's graduation, two pieces, and there's maybe enough fabric.  There's some lace and cut work detail on the source dress.

Baylor gets the Sari and she wants a beautiful feminine dress

Adejoke gets a woman with a list of five hundred things that she wants/needs on her dress. There is a written list, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were pictures.

Jason gets a good customer and an excellent dress.

Jessica gets a Gunne Sax farm dress with lace, eyelets, puffs, more ruffles and puffs and in the wedding picture the dress is too elaborate and not flattering to the bride.

The others are just glanced over, Kim seems to identify with her client.  Kim Talks far too much. The party ends with the clients throwing bouquets of extra fabric and notions to the designers, the way that a bride throws a bouquet.  "Here's some rayon challis and weft insertion knit fusible!  The person who catches it is the next to be divorced!"

Commercials: and hubby Dave says nothing except: "I'm not surprised Kim is divorced."  I am too enthralled by a preview for The Jonas Brothers movie in 3D...who the heck are these mop top urchins anyways?  I can imagine a zillion 12 year old girls willing to tell me while screaming all the while. No thank you, as a comic book geek all of my movie attention is focused on watching The Watchmen.

We're back and the designers waste no time in cutting into the fabric and cutting into each other. Brian comes in to start everyone on the right foot.  He wants sexy, feminine, and he wants the designers to give the models excitement in their looks and something fresh and original. 

The models enter for a quick fitting and consultation.  Jeff's model still wants shorts and he tells her she can buy shorts anywhere, this is a dress competition.  She pouts and gives in, but she's not happy.

Kim is having real issues and she knows she's in trouble.  Does she focus her attention and talent on solving her problems?  What do you think?

The consultations finish with Genevieve telling her client that she's a master cutter and a master draper and a master everything.  She's doing the bulging eye thing again, so we know she's very intense in her work. Kim continues to bitch and snips away at everyone. For some mysterious reason Jeff is now giggling like Tatiana from American Idol. He's bearing the brunt of Kim's verbal assaults and the more he giggles the angrier she becomes. 

I would love to work with the sari. They often have elaborate brocaded and embellished borders, repeat patterns and a wedding sari is the literal whole nine yards.  I would make a soft wrap dress with petal or cap sleeves, perhaps bit of gathering at the waist for skirt and bodice, have the waist raised to the rib cage, closely fit that part,  which would allow a full skirt to float away from the lower half. The skirt would end just a bit below the knees.   I would then make a drapey long open-front tunic to go over.  She would get her lovely pretty dress

If there has been one flaw in this season, it has been the lack of a good villain.  We now have ourselves a bona fide bad guy in Kim.  She's paying so much attention to everyone else's designs and not enough attention to hers. tatiana...I mean JEFF continues to giggle. Kim snarks away at Jeff, to his face and in the interview room.  Jessica has lost all her "gangsta" which is good.  I imagine the producers might have advised her to tone it down, last summer the news was filled with stories of Toronto gangstas shooting each other and innocent bystanders.  Gangs are a serious problem, it's not just a fad or a lifestyle. Nor is it fun, fashionable or harmless in any way, not when so many kids are being killed and wounded.

Enough of that.  It's now the next morning and we get to see our best friends in the whole world, the ones who never let a designer down no matter what: the sewing machines.  The 20U's are all humming away, and Sunny is busy at the CG590.  I also see a Singer Inspiration 2932 in the mix.  That's a good variety of machines!  I would still use the 20U as it's fast and reliable.  BTW-Singer now has some easy to do free sewing projects, since denim skirts are making a huge comeback, you might want to check out the pants to skirt makeover:

Brian arrives with the clients and they have until noon to finish everything up and get everyone looking pretty.  Who gets the client who doesn't wear make up or do anything to her hair?  Let the chaos reign supreme! Kim hates her dress, but hates Jeff's more, which makes him giggle more.  Jeff's model really wanted shorts, pout, but he points out that there wasn't enough material to make shorts, and she should trust him, he's the designer.  Jason add a special touch to his evening coat, it's quit adorable, her son's name is embroidered in the lining next to her heart.  Kim is worried that her dress is awful and ugly and she'll be eliminated and it's all Jeff and Jason's fault.

Commercials agian...and THE BIG SHOW! We meet our judges, Rita is posed the same way she has been in every show in both seasons.  At least she's wearing a colour that does wonders for her, she looks warm and glowing.  Last week's blue satin did nothing for her.  The guest judge is a wedding gown designer Justina MacCaffery.

The show begins. Adejoke shows a wonderful classic A-line shift with contrast fabric details.  It fits her client and it looks wonderful.  Sunny makes a two piece dress with a nice back peplum and incorporates some of the dresses cutwork into the top.  Looks amazing, and I think sunny can do no wrong at this point.  Genevieve sends a dress down the runway that will leave her safe for another day.  Baylor shows his lack of experience in fitting a woman who isn't a size two. He dress is far too tight in the hips and butt causing it to ride up to far at the back hem.  It's too tight and has stress lines everywhere. Jessica at first glance looks good, but I'm not sure.  It's not sophisticated, but neither was the source material.  Jeff is nice and not bad.  His client was the most difficult of all, she didn't like to wear makeup and she didn't want her hair fussed with, but she looks good and the dress suits her.  Kim's dress is horrifying.  If she would have spent more time on her work and less time ripping into Jeff, she might have been more successful.  Jason's coat is marvellous and hides the fact his client can't do a runway walk to save her life and she looks nervous enough to puke.

The designers face the judges and Jeff and Genevieve both receive middling scores, meaning they can both leave the runways.  Kim almost FREAKS!  in the green room Jeff giggles some more.  The models are brought out and the designers are critiqued one by one.  ~rubbing my hands together~~anticipating Kim's blowout/meltdown~~this should be good~~ 

Jessica: judges like the aqua but say it should be knee length or longer.  I agree, it would make the proportions work.  The judges like it and don't like it.  I know how they feel.  the more i see it, the more ambivalent I feel.
Adejoke:They like it, calling it happy and they all say she hit the mark.  Candidate for the win.
Baylor: They don't like it, it doesn't fit, there's too much going on, he had a sari's worth of fabric what happened?  They all can see that the problem begins and ends with the poor fit.  They say it's too busy.
Sunny: they liked his, perfect for a graduation, it's afternoon formal and he used the parts of the dress wisely.  A candidate for the win.
Kim: kim, kim kim, what do we do about Kim? Iman sits stone faced through her very lengthy explanation, her alligator tears which quickly turn to whining and back to tears.  Shawn hates it.  Rita hates it. Guest judge hates it.  Iman stares her down in the way a stern mom stares down a three year old caught doing something naughty.  I can imagine Iman's children don't dare act up when mom gives them that look.
Jason: The judges all love his coat and Iman, still in mommy mode, gets all moist eyed over the embroidered name. So does Rita and guest judge, which tells me all are mommies. The more i see the coat, the more  like it to.
Kim redux: She decides the best way to defend her design is to rip apart Jeff, who isn't there to defend himself. Hubby Dave adds his two cents: "SHUT UP KIM" and then calls her a coward. Iman disagrees in angry clipped words and sends them all off to the green room, where Kim immediately lays into Jeff who continues to giggle.  She won't stop, Jeff doesn't say anything and lets her continue as we segue to the judges.

The judges disagree on Jessica. I disagree with myself over her dress. They love Jason, calling it sweet.  They love Adejoke and say she nailed it. The guest judge says some garble about happy confident seams a couple times. I think I know what she means. Sunny can do no wrong. They hate Baylor and think he overdid it on the ruffles. They hate Kim's attitude and her dress. They call the designers and we have one more commercial.

This week's news break is tainted meat and a car accident. Maple Leaf uses wheat filler in their all-beef wieners, so they are poison to me even without listeria. And we are back for the final judging. The winner has immunity. Sunny wins again, three in a row, and he's worried that everyone is now going to hate him. Second place is Jason, third place goes to Adejoke and Jessica is told to leave the runway, meaning she didn't bad enough to face elimination, but she wasn't very good.  Once again she is betrayed by her lack of sophistication. Final verdict: Kim lives to fight another day and Baylor didn't measure up.  Or down, or wide enough, or long enough in the back hem length. 

Brian says good-bye to Baylor, calling him classy in defeat.  Was that a not-so-subtle dig at Kim?  Ya think?  SO Baylor leaves with his head held high, and I ma sad to see him leave.  I don't think we saw the true range of his talents through these challenges, and i wouldn't be surprised if we hear from him again somewhere.  Bye Baylor, we all will miss you! Here are my sketches that i did while watching the show:

Preview for next week: It's the big Winners challenge and the winner will have their outfit sold in the Winners stores.  It appears to be a team chellenge...but they now have an odd number of designer?!? how can this be?  We will have to tune in next week, same fashionable time, same fashionable channel, not so fashionable blog.

Posted by lincatz at 11:49 AM EST
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Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Project Runway Canada II Episode Four: YSL Never heard of YOU either!
Mood:  loud
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

Welcome to Project Runway Canada episode Four.  We are down to nine designers now.  Japan believes nine in and unlucky number and, needless to say, one designer will find his/her number up. Today's challenge begins with the designers being greeted by Iman who, once again is amazing. She can make almost anything look fabulous, which makes the farmer Brown outfit all the more perplexing. The models are brought out and for the first time, they are mixed up as the designers switch models.  They now all hate each other. 

Why do they tend to keep the same model episode after episode?  Because once they know the model's size, they can concentrate on the design and they don't have to worry as much about altering the fit.

Iman then divides the designers into groups of three by pulling names from the magic bag.  The challenge is to create a collection that pays homage to a Haute Couture designer. They will each produce a look under the direction of a team leader and the collection must be unified and cohesive. There's that devil word again, cohesive. They will have time to discuss and sketch, then off for fabric.  The teams are as follows

  • Brandon, Kim, and Baylor.  They choose Yves Saint Laurent from the list.  Kim is the leader.  Brandon confesses he has no idea who Yves Saint Laurent is or what he did.  Kim suggest the classic men's wear as ladies wear theme.
  • Jessica, Jeff, and Jason.  They choose Valentino.  Jessica is the leader and realizes she's in over her head.  She doesn't admit she isn't very familiar with Valentino, but she drops a few hints along the way.  The oldest guy, Jeff -suggests classy evening wear and Jessica suggests red as the dominant colour.
  • Sunny, Genevieve, and Adejoke make up the last team.  They select Versace, and all three are very familiar with Versace's work.  Sunny is the leader and he decides to go for the sexy dominatrix look and focus on purple.  As Gloria Vanderbilt once said, "never say no to purple"

They are taken away for fabric, arriving at a tatty area filled with dirty warehouses and such.  They come to a dirty garage door in the middle of an otherwise blank cinderblock wall.  Inside there are hundreds of clothes strung from clothes lines.  They meet the owner of a vintage store and she tells them they will be using vintage garments to make their couture inspired looks. 

I love this idea!  In the bizz we call this "re-con" short for reconstruction and it's something many budding designers do when they can't always afford new store-fresh fabric.  We all quickly learn that old clothes are a rich source of material, and thrift and vintage stores are filed with fun and funky fabric finds.  Taking apart old clothes and transforming them into something new should be second nature I've made many, many re-con projects over the years.  Almost all of my denim skirts are re-cons, I'm wearing one now.  Re-con can be fun and challenging and requires a designer to think and design on the fly.  You can't let the original purpose of the source garment dictate the finished form.  Pants can be turned upside down and made into jackets, jackets can become skirts, skirt can become shirts, drapes can become evening gowns.  Just ask Scarlett O'Hara.  Or Carol Burnett! The official title of the show is "Re-Fashioning the Houses"

  We all quickly learn that old clothes are a rich source of material, and thrift and vintage stores are filed with fun and funky fabric finds.  Taking apart old clothes and transforming them into something new should be second nature. 

The designers seem to be untroubled by their source material.  Sunny finds the prize, a disgusting stain in one item.  He's not really surprised, the designers seem more amused than anything else  Sunny, Genevieve and Adejoke hum along like well oiled sewing machines.  When Genevieve concentrates hard she gets these maniac's quite cute.  You can clearly see how intense she is on this project.  Some comments are made about Sunny doing another corset on top and a ~~afterthought thing~~ on the bottom.  The purples are quite lux and they appear to be on the right track.

Meanwhile at team Valentino one is draping some red satin Jacquard curtains over his form.  It's already looking very Valentino.  Jessica is worried that he's too old and doesn't have fresh ideas.  Darling...Valentino is mature and refined.  This is why I call Jessica's street act posing: the more stress she is under, the more the street slang and street accent deserts her.  You can't keep up an act when you are under stress.  The guys are doing well, Jessica is falling apart under the stress of trying to figure out what gives a Valentino it's unique look.

Finally, Kim Brandon and Baylor are functioning like a poorly oiled sewing machine.  Kim is a marvellous sportswear designer and her couture looks more and more sportswear and less couture.  Baylor is doing fine, his top looks mid seventies YSL.  Brandon has abandoned the nail polish, the trappers hat and is flying without an airplane on this one.  How can he not know who YSL is?

Okay, I can understand, sort of.  As a designer you can't spend too much time looking at other collections lest you become too inspired, or worse something you see gets implanted in the sub-conscious part of the brain only to come out later in a place where you can be called out for copying someone else's work.  On the other hand, there are valuable lessons to be learned from studying the masters.  Pouring over the latest collection by heatherette could be a bad idea, examining what made Dior so special is a good idea.

Speaking of Dior, I would have picked Dior and focused on the "new Look" era.  It's true couture, the vintage fabrics would have lent themselves well to the style, it's easy to put one's own stamp on the look, yet remain true to the influence. 

A digression.  What is Couture?  It's one of the most misunderstood and misused words in fashion.  Haute Couture is heavily regulated by the French Government and is considered high art and a national treasure. For a fashion house to qualify they must produce two lines a year with a minimum of 23 looks, including one wedding gown.  All the clothes must be of the finest materials and made to exacting standards of craftsmanship, artistry, and originality.  Machines sewing is minimal, much of the detailing, embellishment and finishing is done by hand.  A true Couture garment looks as impeccable in the inside as the outside.  There are no shortcuts.   A true couture garment starting price is in the thousands, and they can go into the stratosphere from there.

Couture dressmaking techniques include precise hand basting (my teacher measured our stitches and marked us on how we held our needle!) precise hand seams, pad stitching, catch stitching interfacing's, tailoring, hooked needle (Tambour) embroidery and embellishment, needle embroidery and embellishment, painting, dying and fabric manipulation and attention to small details.  There are no true couturiers in Canada and maybe one or two in the US.  And no, Juicy Couture is NOT couture.  It's false advertising.  Having the word "Juicy" embroidered on the ass of your sweat pants does NOT mean you are wearing couture. There are many who practise couture techniques.

Early in the challenge the designers are told by Brian there is a special guest.  they all gasp as we go to a commercial break,  The same six commercials are shown and DAMN!  I NEED a Winner's accessory wall. The special guest is Iman -she enters and says "this is where the Fashion Magic happens" --this is where the real work is's work, not magic. It's also where all the grousing and sniping go on.  She gives the designers her impressions of each of the designers, and her special relationship with each, including YSL.  Brandon is visibly sweating.

Brian does his mentoring thing and tells Jessica she needs to lead the group.  She's being overwhelmed by this and the previous challenge and it shows. Once again, she has no experience with mature and sophisticated and it shows.   Jeff and Jason are doing well and I like Jeff's curtain dress, it's very Valentino.  I keep getting Jason and Jeff mixed up.

He likes the YSL sort of, but wonders if they are bit too sportswear.  he tells them to up the sexy and the sophisticated.  They all tell Brandon not to admit that he has no idea who YSL is.

He like Sunny, Adejoke and Baylor, but they need to get busy and work hard to finish the looks.  Versace is over the top, and they need to pump up the drama.

There's some garden variety snipping, snarking and cutting up the other designer's work.  It seem disingenuous and like the producers asked them to do it to add drama.  They all leave and tomorrow is the big day of the show.  At the mansion Brandon is rehearsed on what he is to say to cover up that he has no idea who Yves Saint Laurent is.  They all know if he admits his ignorance he will be barbecued alive.  There is no clear cut villian this season, no Bidell, no Santino, no bad mommy Laura...sad.

It's the morning of the big day, and Jessica is falling apart into little red chiffon pieces.  Brian comes in and gives her his standard cheer-leader pep talk, rising like a Phoenix, she can do it, rah-rah...all he needs is white boots and pop poms.

Jeff gets some pointers in spin, he doesn't need them as far as I'm concerned.  One dress is getting padded to compensate for an excessively skinny model, Genevieve is very intense, her eyes are almost popping, Sunny has some excellent styling ideas, Jason's zipper broke, and Jessica is pinning and sewing up to the last minute.


Iman is in Gaultier again and she's impossibly perfect.  The judges are introduced, and Wayne Clark is the special guest judge.  I think he did Margaret Trudeau's wedding dress long long ago.

The Versace collection is first and it's excellent. Sunny is well done Genevieve's eye popping was all well worth it, and Adejoke was okay.  Of all the designers I think Adejoke has become the one note, we keep seeing the same over and over.

The Valentino group is next.  The curtain dress is the best of the bunch.  I don't understand Jessica's dress, the red and lace is a little scanty looking, but does capture some of the Valentino flare.

YSL group has some fine! Brandon!  No!  Making two pant legs different colours never works, even the Joker wears pants with the legs the same colours. YSL would never make anyone look like a clown!  That's Betsey Johnson's job! Kim has a nice sportswear look, maybe not YSL enough.  Baylor has a nice top that captures a bit of the YSL spirit, but no.

JJJ is called out and they are safe, much to Jessica's undying relief. All three live to sew another day.  I am assuming the Sunny will win and either Kim or Brandon will be out. I hope Kim stays. 

The judges love the Versace look, It seems that Sunny can do no wrong, he could put a model in a flour sack and they would all applaud.  Adejoke must have been quite confused by the judges, they hate what she did, and then they talked themselves into liking what she did.

Next is The YSL group and Brandon commits fashion suicide by admitting he isn't familiar with St.Laurent's work.  The judges take him to task for not knowing, especially Iman, who was the designer's muse for several seasons.  They liked Baylor's top, he hit the mark, and while Kim's outfit was nice, it wasn't YSL in the least.  She then almost talks herself off the show, too. Be quiet Kim, you are making the judges angry. Who wins?  Who doesn't measure up?  We find out next after the newsbreak, in which another storm is on its way.  The warm interlude appears to be over.

We're back...And team Versace is the winner  Sunny is the individual winner.  They tell him he's got the entire season wrapped up and it's his to win. Genevieve is second place.  Baylor leaves next, meaning he came in third.  Adejoke is next and she must stop being a one note. We are left with Brandon and Kim.  Kim is taken to task for re-constructing the rules, and Brandon is taken to task for being clueless.  Kim is in, and Brandon is banished because he didn't measure up.

And I didn't see the preview because my kids were talking to me.  Sorry!

I'm not sure if I'm liking this season.  It seems disjointed, all over the place.  We aren't really getting to know the designers unless they are on that episode's chopping block.  It's making it too easy to guess the losers. The personalities are being allowed to shine, I'm constantly getting Jeff and Jason mixed up, Jessica's urban-tough act slips under pressure, and we have barely seen enough of Genevieve.  I like Sunny, Adejoke, Baylor, Kim is my dark horse, although based on precedent she's probably out next week; Jason/Jeff might pull a trick or two out of his hat, Otherwise I'm still ambivalent about this group.  Here are a few of my own re-con pictures:

This was a skirt, one of those with the cut-work along the hem.  I turned part sideways so the cut-work is along the neckline and the rest is on the hem.  I added sew-on glass stones for sparkle and some matching glass buttons. 

This is a simple blouse made from a 1950's dance dress.  This is all that was salvageable. The original had a cheongsam top and a flared skirt.  The top of the dress was stained beyond use, and parts of the skirt suffered from severe abrasion, especially in the butt. I got the dress for the rhinestone buttons and it was simply a bonus that there was enough salvageable material for a sleeveless blouse. I tried to keep the oriental mood of the fabric and the original. The rest of the buttons have made their way into other projects. 

The top is made of a burnout velvet skirt and the sleeves are a lace panel from a whatnot bin, and the denim skirt is two skirts fused into frankenskirt.  One came with the rhinestone embellishments, but in a girl's size 6.  I added to the length, the width and wondered, what size six wearing girl needs a rhinestone trimmed denim mini dress?  it was unworn, the inner brand tag looked unwashed and unworn. the other was ripped in the front and the fly was defective. The two became frankenskirt! 

See y'all next week, there are eight remaining and only three can go to fashion week, five more need to be eliminated and this means five more challenges ahead.

Posted by lincatz at 11:56 AM EST
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Saturday, 14 February 2009
Sad News
Mood:  sad
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

On Friday it was announced that Danio Frangella, the contestant who dropped out for health reasons, succumbed to cancer on the 10th of February.  Here is the obituary as it appeared in the newspaper:

"FRANGELLA, Danio 34 years of age on February 10, 2009 after a lengthy seven year battle with cancer surrounded by his loving family. Cherished son of Riccardo & Amelia. Loving brother of Sandra and Gianni. Sadly missed by many aunts, uncles and cousins residing in Italy. Danio worked in many countries around the world. He will be fondly remembered by his colleagues for his contribution to the fashion industry through his unique artistic talents. If you so desire, donations to the charity of one's choice would be appreciated by the family. Visitation will be Thursday 3-5 & 7-9pm and Friday 2-5 & 7-9 pm with parish prayers Friday 8 pm. Funeral service will be held at 8:45 am from Families First Funeral Home & Tribute Centre to St. Angela Merici Church for mass of Christian burial at 9:30 am. Entombment Heavenly Rest Cemetery."

He was the one i was most curious about and I had hoped they could find a reason to bring him back, either as returning contestant, like MG from season one, or as a contestant on season three.  Quite, sad, he was very unique and an fashion artist with a deep imagination as well as top-notch technical skills.  I'm sure he will be missed by all who knew him. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:26 AM EST
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Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Project Runway Canada Episode 3: Spring Meltdowns!
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: New Order: Substance
Topic: Project Runway Canada II

It's Tuesday night, and in a few minutes Project Runway Canada, Season two Episode three begins.  I promise I'll be less negative and grouchy this time, okay?  I might have been a bit harsh and snippy last week. As a bonus, I've got two sketches at the end of this post.

So it's spring, and as we all know in Canada, spring is the perfect time for meltdowns!  As the contestants face their first team challenge, I expect at least one or two meltdowns.  Team challenges are difficult because as a rule we designers are an arrogant ego driven bunch, and it can be difficult to curtail one's own ego at the correct time to benefit the team.  As we all know from past PR team challenges, the best teams don't curtail egos, but instead channel them into one big ego that works for the greater good. Team challenges can also bring out the worst in the contestants.  Weak designers can slide through working with a strong designer, while the opposite can also happen.  One can overwhelm another, one can actively sabotage the other. 

The challenge is sponsored by L'Oreal, and involves two looks -day and evening -that best express L'Oreal's spring advertising theme, make your own fantasy.  This is quite clever. Many consumers face bad economic news at every turn and everyone knows at least one person/family affected by the downturn.  For many the biggest fashion indulgence might be a tube of mascara, a new eye shadow colour or perhaps a box of hair colour.  The palette of pinks, pale greens, oranges and golds is a soft comforting combination, it speaks of the first primroses that bloom as the snow melts.  The colour symbolize hope and warmth. As we have struggled through several very harsh winters in recent years spring becomes all the more eagerly anticipated.  We can't wait to doff the darks, drabs and dulls for something fresh and bright. The palette also goes with the basic neutrals that defines modern business casual wardrobe, khakis, greys, blues and pale greens.  It's warm and flattering to most skin tones, except for the very sallow. The looks requested must be sophisticated, sexy and feminine and the individual looks should work together as a coherent unit.

The show begins with the designers rolling out of bed at six thirty in the morning.  It must be nice to sleep in like that!  Oh wait, they are complaining that it's too early.  Never mind, one person's too-early is another blogger's sleeping in.  Wusses. Off to the Arte Moderne atelier.

Iman enters and she is looking less like a farmer and more like the super-model goddess that she is.  That much natural glamour should never be wrapped in a farmer's plaid shirt with pearl snaps.  Again, she's in Gautier, this time a cross between fetish wear and Judy Jetson in leather and spandex.  The silver chains are an interesting but unnecessary addition, the cuff bracelet looks like she wrestled Wonder Woman for it and won.  Iman reaches into her magic bag and pulls out names, the name pulled out picks a partner.  The pairings are as follows: Sunny and Baylor.  (This pairing is so full of WIN I will be more surprised if they lose.) Christie is next and picks Jason, who has immunity, meaning if they fail she takes the fall.  Next is Kim and Genevieve, whom we have seen working maybe three times and heard her speak maybe twice. A good pairing, full of "you are safe" Brandon and Adejoke are paired.  Brandon looks a bit like a whipped puppy; he says he knows now he needs to be a bit more disciplined.  Good pairing.  Last and not least Jessica and Jeff are paired together.  This could be a problem, Jessica is a poser and Jeff is competent but a bit inconsistent.  Her take is that they are opposites, she's young, hip and street and he's old.  My take is that he's experienced and she's a poser.

They are led to the hair and make-up studio where they are given colour samples, sample faces and sample pictures in a brief dossier of L'Oreal's spring line.  The winning team will be featured in a print ad for Shopper's Drug Mart.  For the Americans reading this, SDM is the biggest drug store chain in Canada, they have a large extensive cosmetics department and I think everyone in the country buys their day to day toiletries there.  The exposure this offers the designers is beyond huge, it will put them in front of almost everyone in Canada.

They have a bit of time to sketch and then it's off to the fabric store. They take little time deciding who will do day versus evening, and some ideas are knocked out. They have 45 minutes and 250$ for fabrics and notions including embellishments, elastics, zippers, fasteners, interfacing's and linings.  At the fabric store it's the typical blur of flying fabrics, snipping scissors and running designers.  (Which reminds me, I need to make a trip to Len's for a bolt of interfacing.) (the bengaline has nowhere near as much body as I thought it did.) Jason wants Christie to use cheap fabric while he uses expensive fabric.  (carly and megan?) A compromise is reached and everyone is out the door.

Brian comes in for a quick look-see of the basic concepts.  He likes Sunny and Baylor, they have all the L'Oreal's listed colours in a cloud of tulle, which is light and airy and looks like a cloud of spring flowers.  I love the first flowers of spring, fragrant primroses against granular snow, the dusting of deep purple violets against the deep green of the grass, snow drops bursting from the frozen ground, crocusses...where was I? Sunny is my early pick for the winner of this season. In the sewing room it appears that cracks are beginning to appear in the Christie/ Jason pairing.  I don't like Christie.  She's too high strung, too weepy, and she's falling apart over everything. While talking to Brian she insults her partner.  I could make a snarky comment about her head band being too tight, but I promised to be nice.  Let's just say she can't cut and cry.  She's also not very good at the sewing machine. 

Adejoke and Brandon are working well together. Adejoke has become Brandon's mom, making sure he gets his work done and when he's finished he can have a cookie -I mean cigarette. They are trying to focus the attention up to the face to emphasize the make-up and hair and to make the customer want the products produced by L'Oreal.  She's one of my favourites for the final three.

Kim and Genevieve are also working well, there are some frustrations but nothing excessively dramatic.  A few minor changes are made on the fly, but they get along well.  Genevieve is a little less invisible this episode, which is good.  I like Kim simply because of her performance under pressure last episode.  She steeled herself up and delivered and dress that rose up to the challenge. She didn't fall into little pieces, and i admire that.  She can cut and cry, not to mention sew and cry. I like what Genevieve wears, several application form questions were about personal style,  public persona and what we, the designers -would wear on screen. Next season I hope to have a working computer, a good video camera and I can send in a good audition tape. I missed the casting call because my computer was down for several weeks.

There's a lot of sewing, a lot of tape being pinned to dummys, but not a lot of clothes.  Jessica is making a bright pink halter dress.  The colour is simply scrumptious, but the halter itself looks like nothing special.  She's toned down most of  the street slang, except she wants to make the 41-year old  Jeff "Gangsta" <sarcasm> I mean gangsta is so harmless, it's not like kids are out there downtown Toronto shooting each other and killing innocent by-standers in gangsta wars.  </turn off sarcasm> tatters?  I've heard ta-tas, but only from Stacy on What Not To Wear.  They're boobs, it's okay to call them them that. They don't need any additional objectification...hooters is bad enough...we could also try Breasts, bosom, boobs, décolleté, décolletage, or upper chest.

Commercial time...for some odd reason when I was last at Shoppers Drug Mart I got a tube of Double Extend Mascara, Perfect Powder and a box of preference Dream Blonde in "Sunflower Princess" As I got to the check out I also grabbed two twelve packs of "cashmere" brand toilet paper.  Does anyone in the real world actually say "bathroom tissue?"  I thought not.

And here's my interpretation of the challenge.  Whether or not I would be able to accomplish one of these in 10 hours is whole different issue.  The flowers are motifs cut from lace, it's a way to make a little lace go along way.  I would use either twill weave or corded weave silk, lots of frothy chiffon and use the same lace on both day and evening.  I was thinking afternoon spring socials, surrounded by cut flowers.  The stand up collar of the evening dress is made with a frame of plastic bones and organdy.  the ruffle at the hem of the chiffon peplum is bias cut chiffon stretched and steam pressed into ripples.  Since chiffon hems ripple on the bias, why not take advantage of it?  The day look has chiffon overlays on the lapels and cap sleeves of the top, the skirt would be have chiffon over the silk and the two layers sewn as one. 

Day of show, there is furious cutting, sewing, pressing and more sewing.  They had a full day to work, yet a few have surprisingly little to show for the work.  Christie took a full day to make one pair of sad shorts with puckered seams.  Brian arrives in time to be her cheerleader.  He gives her a hug, a few rah-rahs, and tells her she's a Phoenix who can rise from the ashes.  (Like Kim in the previous episode) He also sees she's over working the shorts and needs to get aways from them.  (I takes me ninety minute to make basic tailored city shorts, from layout to ready-to hem) (Not that I'm bragging)  Sunny is surrounded by a delightful sea of pale green tulle.  Jeff is gluing a dress together, there's hundreds of shiny bronze strips being glued to a muslin base.  The dress is gorgeous, it's a shame he didn't have the proper amount of time to work on it.

Time for the show.  Iman is stunning in yellow wool crepe jersey.  Yellow is her colour.  There are two guest judges, one from L'Oreal. Rita looks as prim and proper as ever, I bet she wears pantyhose on the summer and matches her shoes and purses, and regrets that women no longer wear white gloves in the afternoon.  Shawn Hewson is wearing a shirt proclaiming his undying admiration for season one winner Even Bidell.   I want that shirt!

Sunny and Baylor are first and they nailed it.  Baylor teams pink and khaki into a sophisticated woman on the go look with capris and a high necked sleeveless top. Sunny offers a short strapless satin under-dress with a green tulle floor length overdress.  It's sophisticated, sexy and it's pure fantasy. My choice for first place.

Jeff and Jessica are next.  They are not as successful, the dresses are nice, but they are not cohesive. The pink halter dress is nice, but not very sophisticated nor is it very original. Second last.

Christie and Jason show next.  Christie threw together some pale green chiffon for a top and her high waisted shorts look like a home sewing project.  Jason does better, but the two looks are not cohesive.  We should say good bye to Christie now.

Adejoke and Brandon worked well together, she kept his cigarette breaks to a minimum, helped him keep his focus and it paid off.  the look is good. Adejoke present a pale green cloud and Brandon gives us a long double layer dress with light chiffon over shiny silk shantung.  The chiffon mutes the shine and the dress is fluid and flattering.  Good job.  Second place.

Kim and Genevieve present a lot of poofiness and an odd colour choice.   They both could have edited the look down a bit, Genevieve's model looks broader than she should.  It's not bad, but there's a lot of look going on.  Third place. 

The judges call out C&J, S&B, and J&J.  The judges don't like Christie's little wisp of fabric that's she's passing off as a top, and they call out Jason for being a bad partner for railroading her into doing something she didn't want to do. They can tell she's struggling with the technical aspect of design, meaning the sewing and construction.

They Love S&B.  The common elements they call out are sexy, feminine, sophisticated and cohesive.  The Judges tell Sunny he is their favourite designer and that the competition is his.  I agree, he's consistent, imaginative and he pays attention to the parameters of the challenge.

J&J and not cohesive, and while the dresses are good, they aren't terrible original.  They could tell Jeff had a good idea, but not enough time to execute it.  They like Jessica's colour, but call the dress unoriginal and something they've seen many times before. They also call it un-sophisticated.  This isn't meant as an insult, but her gangsta street poser act is holding her back. The persona she presents is not original or authentic, nor is it sophisticated. She doesn't have any sophistication to draw upon, and that is hurting her.  Once she discovers her true identity as a person, her true originality as a designer will come out.

We have more commercials.  I wonder if Dave would notice If I changed our closet to a Winner's accessory wall? I'm re-doing the basement computer/TV room...would my 20 something year old guys notice that the DVD storage has been changed to a Winner's accessory wall?  I need an accessory wall!  Everyone needs and accessory wall.  Two weeks ago there was snow warning, last week it was extreme cold, this week it's rain and floods.  What will next week bring? 

And we are back...Sunny and Baylor have won, and no surprise.  Jason is immune so he leaves the runway.  Christy's nose is red and raw looking.  Jessica is safe.  It's Jeff or Christie.  Jeff's design was superior in spite of the poor execution.  Christie has show anyone what she can really do, and she's had three chances.  In the end Jeff is in and Christie doesn't measure up.  Jeff is warned he's on notice and he must produce a dress that combines idea and execution

We have a preview of the next episode: it's going green , it appears that they select their fabric from someone's laundry line and the dress must be couture quality.  So, they are recycling old things into new things?  BRING IT ON!  I do that all the time, a thrift store is as good as a fabric store as far as I'm concerned.  I'm always re-making old things into new things.

Here's my sketch for last week's challenge, the night on the town dress.  This is made of shantung with organza over the bodice and the skirt.  The bands are all shantung and would be embellished with something shiny, perhaps silver fabric shredded into yarn, perhaps large jewels on the shantung. The midriff is pleated shantung.  The dress could also be a tone on tone bordered Jacquard with the bands being the border parts and the skirt being the main repeat part.  The skirt would be two layers of Jacquard, to prevent flash through. (That's when a camera flash renders a dress suddenly transparent) .  The neck could be either halter or an X in the back. The colour could be black, or it could be pale aqua. There would be a slight slit in the two centre-front bands between the breasts, it would allow a glimpse of skin without excessive exposure.

Normally my sketches are bit more detailed, not on three hole loose-leaf and worked in pen and coloured pencil, but this is what I did in about five minutes.

See everyone next week!  Same fashionable time, same not so fashionable blog! 

Posted by lincatz at 11:19 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 12 February 2009 8:36 AM EST
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