As the season chugs along and contestants are cut, it’s becoming less laborious to talk about the final looks. This show just has way too many people, most of whom are forgettable. Has anyone ever seen RuPaul’s Drag Race? It’s the total opposite.
I (MJ) liked the challenge — design a manufacturable dress for Lord & Taylor within a set price range — even though it is inherently cross-promotional with a brand, but at least in this case it’s a fashion brand. How is this type of challenge not more common?
Design a uniform for the Postal Service. Design a look for the US Olympic Team. Design a look around a couture shoe.
These are problems for which designers might need to find solutions, and yet they can still be interesting to the viewer. For example, Christopher looks at the existing Lord & Taylor Project Runway collection and notices it has only two evening gowns, whereas Gunnar sees a connection between the styles of two dresses that he could work from. I like this. Plus, there will be drama no matter what. We hear “Lord and Taylor” and know it is a clothing store. I’m just so turned off by the various Lexus/Dillan’s Candy/HP challenges.
On to the looks!
MJ: Hates it. This dress is so. Incredibly. Boring. I am loathe to say I like anything, but I guess perhaps the back straps are marginally interesting. This is a flagrantly commercial dress. I have nothing more to say.
DM: Neutral about it. I have a feeling something about this dress didn’t translate to tv. It just looked like a black dress to me.
GC: Like it. It’s great for the challenge. It’s just nothing to write home about, and it’s certainly isn’t in a window display. Psssh. Freegan.
MJ: Likes it. It’s a viper dress, complete with menacing shoulder points and trailing tail. It’s definitely interesting and maybe bordering on pretty, but it looks so unwearable. First of all, you would need to be super skinny to even pull this off. Secondly, the model appears to be having a hard time walking. Despite all that, it is still a fierce look. Just not Lord and Taylor?
DM: Likes it. There are clearly fit issues with this dress. The dress is too tight and it bunches up. But I really do love that neckline and back. But why does she need to give her all of her models little devil’s tails? Though I am sort of amazed at how the tail wraps around and keeps in shape with the dress. But still it’s a tail…
GC: Like it. I love the neckline the more I look at it. The first time I saw it I really didn’t like it at all, and the more I look at it the more I want it. I hate the hem though. It would work really well as an above the knee or as a gown length. The fabric is unexpected which makes it refreshing.
MJ: Loves it. There is a lot to this look, and yet it’s a pretty simple silhouette. My eye is drawn to the hem, which gently rustles as the model walks in a vaguely flapper tone. It is shiny and expensive looking, while it’s maybe a little too plasticy, which is perhaps a contradiction. Let’s go with “silky.”
DM: Likes it. Of course I do. I’m from the South and I’m a pageant girl. OH! That’s why he was in the bottom!
GC: Like it. The judges are right. I have seen this before. Its cute and all, but boring. Maybe in a cocoa or a cream.
MJ: Dislikes it. Um, I don’t know. It’s boxy and robotic, but I’m starting to get the sense that this is Elena’s vibe. I think I need to give up on wanting her looks to be flowing and pretty; that’s just not her. Still, I’m confused about this dress. Where is this woman going? It really reads gallery associate (AKA, the person who doesn’t greet you when you walk in) to me. The dull color and shimmery texture cancel each other out for me. It’s a confusing look. I think that Elena will eventually win me over, though.
DM: Loves it. Fantastic combination of girly and edgy.
GC: Hate it. I am not sure why the judges are so rhapsodic about this look. I think she looks like an old black bag that has been pinched a little in the middle and strapped down. I also don’t like Elena’s attitude. She is being such a bitchy baby. And as I have learned if someone is negative or crazy. I just can’t enjoy them. That’s why I no longer watch anything with Mel Gibson. His crazy post-ruined many excellent films. I guess Clint Eastwood now falls into this category.
MJ: Likes it. This was almost a dislike, but I admit I am growing to like Christopher and his designs. Sure, the fabric treatment is not new, but I don’t really care. You can’t say this look isn’t put together and saleable. I’m just not sold on the separates-that-aren’t-separates approach. Why the starkly contrasting top and bottom? It almost looks like a very pretty pink dress that your mom forced you to cinch a black ankle-length dress over.
DM: Loves it! I don’t care that he’s done this technique before. It would have been stupid of him not to use his signature on this challenge. Because its being created for a market that doesn’t know him yet, so even if the judges have seen it before, his market hasn’t. And making a gown when there were only 2 compared to 6 cocktail dresses was just common sense.
GC: Love it. I would wear this look in a heart beat. I would hope that my skin would not just blend right into the top. It’s very classic and elegant.
MJ: Likes it. It’s not perfect, and it’s yet another little black dress, but I do appreciate Alicia’s menswear influence FINALLY. I’m not super sold on the skirt’s slits, but they don’t bother me. I like the collar, and overall it’s an appeasing shape. There’s maybe something futuristic about it that doesn’t make sense? She’s serving The Fifth Element sushi waitress realness is what I’m saying. But like, the waitresses on the super fancy space cruise, so it’s OK.
DM: Likes it. It does look like something Venus and Serena would wear on the court. I think this could have been saved by a lower neckline, but I like this from Alicia.
GC: Hates it. Who wants a big ol vag pleat? Not I. I do like the collar and I get where she is coming from with the dropped waist 20s Chanel thing. But it’s not working for me. It looks like a weird costume for a strange production of Shakespeare set someplace random where they would use paintball guns.
MJ: Hates it. I love Sonjia, and I do not want her to go. But what the fuck is this dress. It doesn’t even really look poorly sewn to me, contrary to the heavy melodramatic editing Sonjia received. What it looks to me is the most boring shiny short dress with that absurdly cliché ruffle sewn around the waste. I really don’t think young fashionably women realistically spend hundreds of Dollars on something like this. This is maybe what women in their forties would consider for a company Christmas party. Maybe.
DM: Likes it. It’s pretty.
GC: Like it. It’s merely okay too. I like the little peplum, but I feel like I have seen this dress before, and not at the L&T but at the H&M. The one on 34th that is super swarmed with tourists.
MJ: Loves it. I continue to hate Ven but love his clothes. I really don’t care that he’s done this rosette effect before. Before, as in, a few times on a TV show? So what! How many times in real life might a designer revisit a style choice that 1) worked before and 2) is pleasing to many? This is the only little black dress that fits the mold yet is new and different enough to stand out on a rack at Lord and Taylor. I also think it could work on several body types, ironically. It looks expensive.
DM: Hates him. The dress is a yawn.
GC: Like it. Haven’t we seen this folded rose enough? It would look great on many women and if I hadn’t been over exposed to this look I would like it more, but I am tired. I did see Ven on the street last week and I wanted to smack him and say how dare you about last weeks challenge. He was not as fat as he appears to be on TV.
MJ: Dislikes it. Was everyone required to use shimmering fabric? Apparently. I am not vehemently opposed to this dress, but it just isn’t inspiring at the same time. I think the top 1/10th of this look — namely the earrings and neckline — are pretty and unique. Otherwise? It’s shiny silver fabric panels sewn along the contours of the model. It’s commercial.
DM: Loves it. So Dmitry.
GC: Like it. It’s very L & T. Its just not a WOW dress. Its beautiful and lovely and careful. The man can obviously sew and design. It fits the challenge, it’s just not a window display dress. The model does look Super Russian in it. Ice Queen!