Thursday, August 29, 2013

Previously on Project Runway: Episodes 5 and 6

Episode 5
AKA Choose Your Own Adventure

Previously on Project Runway the designers met Tim Gunn in the Meat Packing District where the designers were split off into teams of 3 and asked to create a look inspired by Lexus cars using materials from 2 out of three locations: Surprise! Surprise! (a 99 cent store), an antique wall paper store, or the Garden of Eden (a New York Market). Sandro also stopped by to apologize for his behaviour towards Helen and Ken in the previous episode. This is the 3rd unconventional challenge in 5 episodes! What gives!? Let's take a look at the designs. 


Safe

Team Helen, Justin and Dom only spent $600 on materials from the market and wall paper store. They collectively said that they were going for an art deco/1920s theme but there wasn't anything very art deco about their looks except the wall paper. Overall the wall paper still looked like wall paper and their looks were rather dull.

The wall paper still looked like wall paper on Helen's outfit and I'm not a fan of this silhouette. 
Helen
Boring!
Justin
Lady Gaga meets wall paper?
Dom
In my opinion, team Miranda/Alexander/Bradon should have been on top. The team sourced materials from the wall paper store and dollar store and had a consistent color palate and created 3 high-end looking designs.

Hurray! Miranda didn't make a crop top!
Miranda
Alexander's look is a bit drag queeny, but I like seeing designers go a bit "over the top" on unconventional challenges. What can I say! That collar is Fab-u-lous!
Alexander
I thought Bradon's wedding gown was perfection and should have been the winner! The gown moved elegantly down the runway and I never would have guessed that it's made from wall paper and cheap drapes.
Bradon

Top

Team Karen, Kate and Jeremy were on top for this challenge, but I didn't think their collection was the most cohesive. Karen's look had a 1920s drop waist meets 1960s mod patterning, while Kate's was fiercely modern and Jeremy's was elegant. But I guess they all looked high end. 

I can appreciate Karen's use of mixed media to create the mod patterning, but I am not a fan of the dress's drop-waist silhouette and I felt like it made her model look wider in the waist than she really was.
Karen
The judges never would have guessed that this dress came from Kate. Instead of creating her typical girly outfit, she went for a fierce modern outfit that still looked well made.
Kate
The judges thought that Jeremy's outfit looked more like a Kate dress. Although it is impeccably made, the outfit is made almost entirely of place mats with glitter detailing down the side. I guess the judges overlooked his not-so unconventional materials, because they awarded him with the win.
Jeremy
Bottom

It was pretty clear early on that team Ken, Alexandria and Sue were going to be on the bottom as Ken quickly deemed himself the boss of the team and began vetoing ideas and material ideas from his team-mates. Although they did end up spending $1400, it did not show. Their outfits were cohesive in the materials they used, but not in a good way. Sue's lack of sewing skills and Ken's sour attitude and lack of team work definitely brought this team down. 

For a guy that was complaining about Sue's lack of sewing abilities, Ken ended up slapping duct tape on his dress at the last minute in an attempt to cover his own outfit's flaws. I thought Ken's dress plus his bad attitude might get him sent packing, but the judges decided to give him another chance.
Ken
Alexandria's raised collar top was...different. I'm not sure if it's different in a good way or a bad way, but she was kept safe.
Alexandria
In the end, the judges noticed that Sue's dress was poorly sewn and oddly designed. Sadly, Sue was out this week.
Sue
Episode 6
AKA Let's Go Glamping

glamping- Pronunciation: /ˈglampɪŋ/ noun
[mass noun] British informal
  • a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping Oxford Dictionaries
Previously on Project Runway the designers climbed into a van where they were taken on a much needed respite to a glamping. In a challenge inspired by Resource Natural Spring Water, the designers were asked to sketch and create high-end looks inspired by nature. Let's take a look at the designs:

Safe

Helen's look was inspired by a dead moth that she saw in the sink while glamping. Knowing that I can see the reference, otherwise I'd just think it was unfinished.
Helen
Bradon's dress was put together at the last minute after he created the collar piece and just could not figure out what to put on bottom. In my opinion, he should have just tossed out the collar and started fresh. Although his dress looks a little circus-tenty, it moved well on the runway. He's luck to have been safe.
Bradon
Hurray! Miranda created another non-crop top! Her gown was inspired by moss growing on the trees which is clear to see in her design- if not just a little bit too literal.
Miranda
People may disagree with me, but I thought Kate's dress made her model look like a pregnant fairy. I mean, the top part was interesting but the silhouette looked like a snowball.
Kate
Nice print!
Dom
Top

Alexander's dress fit his model like a glove. I loved the way he painted the trees onto the gown. And even though Tim suggested that Alexander not use the leather "oil slick" on the back, I think Alexander made it work. I thought Alexander might get the win this week, but the judges just kept him safe.
Alexander
Well, if Alexander didn't win, I thought surely Jeremy would take home the win. Jeremy transcribed a letter that he wrote to his husband on silk to create this dress. The dress moved beautifully and was very romantic, but the judges just kept him safe.
Jeremy
Alexandria was the only designer to make casual separates. She managed to make a drop-crotch pant that even Zac Posen liked. I guess the designers were more into separates than gowns, because Alexandria surprisingly got the win.
Alexandria
Bottom

Karen created a gown that was inspired by tents (and literally could have doubled as a tent). The judges felt that her design was too simple and that the tent dress and leather strap had been done before. I thought the ombre looked like an "unfortunate accident". Guest judge, Allison Williams, suggested that if Karen had added waist shaping or moved the belt to the waist, that it would have looked better. In the end, Karen was kept safe.
Karen
The judges called Ken's dress the "Frog Queen" dress. His dress was very top heavy with too much fabric at the chest. Overall, it wasn't enough to send him home.
Ken
Justin had a great idea to use a glue gun to emulate lace to create a gown inspired by the frothing water. But Justin would not quit with the lace. I even shouted at the screen "PUT THE GLUE GUN DOWN"! On the runway Nina Garcia said the dress looked like his model had "a foaming vagina". So in the end Justin was out.
Justin
But wait! After the elimination the whole cast was in tears over Justin's elimination as he is their first ever deaf designer and Tim Gunn opted to use his one and only Tim Gunn save. So Justin will be back to sew another day! I'm not sure if this dress was worthy of a save, but okay.

What did you think of these too episodes? Do you feel like the right people were in/out? Do you think Justin's look was worthy of the Tim Gunn save? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What's Making Me Laugh: Nina Conti and Monk


I'm absolutely in love with the show Family Tree and my favorite character has to be Monk the puppet. Apparently Chris O'Dowd and the casting agents hand picked Nina Conti to play Chris O'Dowd's sister to add her ventriloquism comedy to the show. So if you haven't met Monk, check out the video above and then marathon Family Tree. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What to Wear to the Black and White Ball

I've never been to a black and white ball, nor do I have any plans to attend one any time soon. But, I am a fan of wearing black and white and I can pretend that someday I'll get to go to the ball, and if I did I would probably wear something like this.
What to Wear to the Black and White Ball


Everleigh black and white dress / Chinese Laundry pointy-toe pumps / Betsey Johnson pink jewelry / Parisian Pagoda Parasol in Black and White


Snap back to reality. Here are some of my favorite black and white looks that I've actually worn.

To the theatre (seen here)


Biker (seen here)
Bicycle (seen here)
Casual pirate (originally seen here)

This post was inspired by the IFB Project #109: Share Your Favorite Look in Black and White

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Previously On Project Runway: Season 12, Episodes 3 and 4

Episode 3
AKA Coney Island Corniness

Previously on Project Runway the designers visited Coney Island's Luna Park where they were divided into teams of 2. The teams then had to peddle free frozen yogurt samples to visitors and write down descriptive words about the frozen treat which they would later use as their outfit inspiration. Then the teams were sent out into Coney Island to win carnival toys to use as fabric for their garments. Let's take a look at their designs.

Safe

Karen and Bradon tried to take on an more avant garde approach with their sculptural design, but I didn't really the placement of the stuffing on the bum. Oh well! To each their own.

Jeremy and Ken went all bow-chicka-wow-wow 70's disco on their outfit. At least it was good 70's. I'd so wear those pants.

Sandro and Sue had a hard time working together, but I think it would be hard for Sandro to work with anyone, especially a woman. I was amazed that this team wasn't in the bottom. I got so mad when Sandro said "when a woman listens to a man, it is so cool"." It's like he's from a different planet! And I felt so bad for Sue when Sandro wouldn't compromise with her, so she just agreed to be Sandro's assistant. 


Top

Alexandria and Dom created a fun, kitchy outfit (that looks a lot like Domo-kun). I wasn't sure if the judges would go for it, but I'm glad they did. The judges agreed that this outfit made them smile.

Helen and Kate got along like peas and carrots. Helen even apologized to the camera for calling Kate a bitch in earlier episodes. These girls knew exactly what they wanted to do when they got to Coney Island and collected a bunch of red sombreros. When it came down the runway it was clear that this dress was going to be the winner- you could read it all over guest judge, Kelly Osbourne's face. When the judges asked the girls who should get immunity if the dress won, the girls agreed that Helen should get it- and Helen was awarded the win.


Bottom

Alexander and Justin really needed to edit their look. To me this was the worst outfit of the bottom (even though I still wanted Timothy to leave) because the "fin tails" made the model look hippy and the weird little embellishments fell off when the judges were examining the outfit. But the judges decided to keep Alexander and Justin safe.

Miranda and Timothy were full of drama in this episode. The Wisconsin duo decided to be friends at Coney Island, but in the work room the two could not agree on their construction, and when Timothy made some changes without consulting Miranda, Miranda started trash talking Timothy behind his back AND TO HIS FACE! This lead Timothy to grab his stuffed unicorn from Coney Island (didn't he remember that the toys were supposed to be for fabric!?) and to run, hide, and cry and read an endearing note from his model in the bathroom. The next day Miranda cried and apologized and they finished their look. Although their outfit wasn't very exciting, I thought it was very ready-to-wear. But Kelly Osbourne commented that she'd seen on-line tutorials on how to construct Timothy's vest, Timonthy's story about his model being on the Titanic didn't help, and the judges communicated that they expected more from a designer that specializes in using eco-friendly and recycled materials. In the end, Timothy was sent home.

Episode 4
Aka Fit to be Bow Tied


This episode started out with a punch as we see Helen and Sandro yelling it out in the runway break room and then Sandro stomped out of the studio, threatened and then punched a camera. Then the episode flashed back to 36 hours earlier as the designers prepared to discover what their next challenge would be. The designers got a visit from "Modern Family" actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson who introduced the designers to a huge selection of bow ties from his company, Tie The Knot, which supports marriage equality. The designers were asked to create a look using the bow ties as fabric. Let's take a look at the designs:

Safe

Karen's look was definitely inspired by the tie, but it looked a little sloppy. I mean, what is going on with that crotch?
Karen
Justin used the ties as piping to accentuate his model's figure. I thought it was kind of boring.
Justin
Ken also used the ties as piping. I wish some of the designers would have made the tie fabric more predominate. At least this was a good looking leather dress.
Ken
Helen had immunity from the previous challenge and just used the tie fabric to make a harness. The judges told Helen is was a good thing she had immunity or she may have been in the bottom. They wondered if she was only able to win immunity before because of Kate's help.
Helen
Alexander's outfit made his model look like one of those creepy porcelain clown dolls. He may have been safe, but I'm starting to question his taste level.
Alexander
Alexandria's dress may not have featured the ties very much, but I thought it was very fashion forward. I'd take this one home with me.
Alexandria

Sandro's dress was an awful bubblegum pink color and the placement of his bow tie fabric was tacky. Throughout this episode Sandro was overly concerned about Zac Posen's criticism's from previous challenges and before walking off-stage with the rest of the safe designers, he demanded that the judges give him some feedback. When the judges communicated that they didn't love his outfit, Sandro stomped off stage. Back-stage Sandro started criticizing Helen's outfit and when Ken and the other designers started to intervene, Sandro left the studio.
Sandro


Bottom

Jeremy's heart was barely in it this week after he got news that his grandmother passed away just before this challenge. Kudos to Jeremy for carrying on and he created an outfit inspired by his grandmother's outfits in the 1940's. He landed in the bottom because the look wasn't very "fashion forward" and the judges didn't like the exposed belly-button, but Jeremy was to remain in the competition.
Jeremy
Sue spent twice the recommended budget on fabric and ended up making two dresses before settling on sending this black jersey maxi dress with a weird, octopus-like harness and train down the runway. The judges were really surprised that this is what she came up with and she may have been eliminated, but Tim announced that Sandro had left the show and would not be returning, so the judges kept Sue safe.
Sue
Miranda created a look that seemed very "home sewn" this week and (surprise surprise) she turned her tank into a crop top at the last minute. I thought it was a toss up between the judges sending Miranda or Sue home, but Sandro's leaving kept them both in the competition. 
Miranda

Top

Dom created another fun, young and fashionable look with stripped shirting fabric arranged in varying directions for the dress and the tie fabric for the bib collar. This was my favourite look of the top and Dom is quickly becoming one of my favourite designers this season.
Dom
Kate was on top again this week. This time she created an equestrian inspired look with a feminine tunic and she mimicked the bow tie shape in her leather tuxedo striped pants. While I really liked this look, I'm glad the judges awarded the win to someone else.
Kate
Bradon may have had the best challenge ever. He created a tweed short suit set and made a tank entirely out of bow ties using a technique called faggoting. He definitely made the ties the main focus of his outfit! After Bradon was awarded the win, Bradon decided to take the opportunity to propose to his boyfriend of 16 years. At the end of the show, the episode flashed forward 2 weeks later to Bradon talking to his boyfriend on-line as his boyfriend announced that Prop 8 was overturned and then Bradon's boyfriend proposes TO HIM! So then Bradon told his boyfriend that he'd actually proposed to his boyfriend first on a yet-to-be-aired episode. In conclusion, they both accepted. Awe!
Bradon
What did you think of these two episodes? Did the right people win/ get kicked off? Were you surprised by Sandro's walk-off? What about Sandro's comments to Sue? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

What I'm Listening To: Swim Deep- King City


Here's another song that just screams summertime (and apparently YouTube really wants me to pay attention to them, because there's always an advert for this band every time I pull up YouTube). Swim Deep will be touring through Cambridge, UK on the 24th of September so catch them if you can. And in the mean time, give this song a listen and hang on to these last few weeks of summer.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Previously on Project Runway- Season 12, Episodes 1 and 2

Hello everyone! Did you miss me? If you didn't already know, there's a new season of Project Runway on. This season, there have been a few changes to the structure of the show. Namely, Michael Kors is out and Zac Posen is in again as judge; The judges get to spend time "up close and personal" with the designs before making their decision; And Tim Gunn gets to sit on the runway panel and he has the power to veto the judges decision on who is out 1 time during the season. Oh, and Kate's back (from Season 11).

Episode 1
Aka The Sky is Falling
Previously on Project Runway, the new designers got to experience perhaps the most elaborately set up task to date as they witnessed skydivers jump out of an airplane. After the skydivers touched down, Heidi and Tim explained that the designers would be creating their looks out of the skydiver's parachutes. Let's take a look at the designs.

Safe


Dom
Alexander Pope
Alexandria von Bromssen
I was not feeling Helen's parachute dress. I think it looks a bit tortured.
Helen Castillo
Jeremy made some pretty awesome parachute pants. I wouldn't mind having a pair of those in my closet.
Jerermy Brandrick
Justin LeBlanc
Kahindo
Karen Batts
Of course Kate would manage to create a bouncy cocktail dress. Totally expected.
Kate Pankoke
I'm not really feeling the ruffles on Ken's dress. They kind of look like they're swallowing up his model's head. But, I guess it's constructed well.
Ken Laurence



Top

The judges thought Sue was able to use ruching in an interesting and flattering way.
Sue Waller
The judges loved former army girl, Miranda's, look and thought it was very fashion forward, but they were a little peeved that she used more of the black supplemental fabric than the parachute fabric.
Miranda Kay Levy
The judges loved how former dancer-turned-designer, Bradon's, dress flowed and moved down the runway. Out of all the designers, he was the only one to take advantage of the lightness of the fabric. This week Bradon was the winner and I expect to see great things from him in the future.
Bradon McDonald

Bottom


Vagina alert! It was obvious that Sandro was going to end up in the bottom with his vagina exposing playsuit and weird shawl thingie. I thought Sandro was going to be sent home for sure, but I guess the judges (ahem producers) probably wanted to keep him around to stir up some drama and tackiness for few more episodes.
Sandro Masmanidi
Well, I thought that if the judges wouldn't sent Sandro home, then Timothy is surely out! Timothy's fashion philosophy is to make clothing from sustainable, eco friendly and innovative means. But for some reason he decided to torch his parachute fabric to create added texture which also releases toxic fumes into the environment. I felt so sorry for his model during the hair and make-up session because he refused to let the hair and makeup team put any product or makeup on his model. I'm just glad that Tim convinced Timothy not to have his model do a weird performance on stage with her arms bound in rope. But, Timothy did steal the heal from his model and wore them himself.

I keep wondering if Timothy had any idea what he was getting himself into before he came on the show. I mean, I can totally respect his philosophy of creating eco friendly, sustainable fashion, but did he not consider that the show has sponsor's to please? I just feel like his designs may be better suited for a student fashion show than for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

Anyway, for some reason the judges kept Timothy safe.
Timothy Westbrook
Out of the bottom 3 looks, I thought Angela's was the best of the worst. Out of all of the pre-released home video/closet tours, hers were my favorite. So it was unfortunate that the judges thought her design looked like a child's smock and her bust darts were not in the right place, but at least it was wearable. In the end, the judges made Angela out, but I think that she was gone all too soon :-(
Angela Bacskocky
Episode 2
Aka Diamonds are Forever

This week on Project Runway, the models were draped with millions of dollars in diamonds on loan from the Diamond District and the designers had to design a look to showcase the jewels on their models. In this episode the designers got to shop for fabric at Mood where they used a new electronic system which allows them to spend as much as they want per challenge, but they only have $3000 to spend all season. Let's take a look at the designs.

Safe

Alexander's look was very dramatic, but what's up with those sleeves!?
Alexander Pope
Just a basic, pretty blue gown.
Alexandria von Bromssen
A basic, pretty gold gown
Bradon McDonald
Jeremy Brandrick
A basic, strapless black gown
Justin LeBlanc
The top on Karen's dress looks to be gaping at the armpit. Not good.
Karen Batts
Ken Laurence
Surprise! Surprise! Miranda gave us another midriff baring dress, but the top on this looks ill fitting. I hope she's not a one-trick-pony.
Miranda Kay Levy
Sue Waller
Top


I was surprised that Sandro ended up on top this week. His emotions were all over the place during this episode: he got angry when another designer used his machine and later he was desperate when he couldn't get his steamer to work and was nearly in tears over it. His design is interesting and manages to stand out amongst the sea of solid color gowns, but I think the shear panels on each side of his skirt make his outfit rather tacky.
Sandro
I liked that Dom went for a print rather than a solid color. The judges applauded her for making her printed gown seem young rather than dated. I thought maybe Dom would score the win this week, but instead she came in 2nd.
Dom
Kate's dress was rather stunning on the runway, but it does resemble a Vivienne Westwood gown. Perhaps the judges were just amazed that she could recreate a Vivienne Westwood look in such a short amount of time because the judges awarded her with the win.
Kate Pankoke

Bottom

This week Helen was the girl who cried wolf. All throughout this episode Helen proclaimed that she's a gown maker, but as it got closer to runway time it became apparent that Helen bit off more than she could chew as her first attempt at bust cups was not good. When her model walked down the runway, Helen burst into tears and had to be consoled by Tim Gunn. Apparently she forgot that there's not crying in fashion! During her critique Helen proclaimed that she wanted to be a couture dress designer. I guess the judges took pity on her and she was safe for another week.
Helen Castillo
This week Timothy raided the scraps and trash bin at Mood and allowed his model to have some hair, make up and SHOES. The judges were divided about Timothy's racerback front (I didn't think his look was so bad) and the judges decided to keep him in.
Timothy Westbrook
Kahindo made the fatal errors of attempting to use a fabric that she wasn't familiar with and using a boring pattern. She took Tim's advice in the workroom and layered some black organza over the loud patterned fabric to let the jewels shine, but there was no saving this dress from the poorly constructed circle back opening. Unfortunately Kahindo was out.
Kahindo
So after the first 2 episodes, my favorites are Bradon, Alexandria and Dom but I'd also like to see more from Jeremy and Miranda. I predict that Helen and Karen may be the next to get the boot (there first 2 designs haven't been great) and Timothy and Sandro will be off as soon as they've thoroughly stirred the pot and the producers tire of them. What did you think of these two episodes? Who are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below.

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