Season seven of Project Runway has begun, and the show is back in New York, where it belongs. That concrete jungle where dreams are made of. The place where there’s nothing you can’t do. The streets will make you feel brand new. Big lights will inspire you. Let’s hear it for New York (and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys).
Project Runway is back, and so is the S&C recap and shoe pairing series.
Project Runway’s first episode takes the designers to Central Park where they choose fabrics for a creation that expresses them as a designer. This challenge means that they have the freedom to make whatever they want. Everyone should nail this, unless they can’t really sew (that means you, Christiane).
Things to mention, but not spend a lot of time on — new this season is a gimmicky digital sketch book (guess there’s a new sponsor). Guest judge for this round is Nicole Richie (though she’s more L.A. than New York). Michael Kors and Nina Garcia are still in classic form, describing Jesus’ so-called glamorous gown, “a crocodile trunk that exploded on an evening gown,” and something that “looks like a Hershey chocolate bar.” God love ’em.
Emilo wins the first challenge with a fine, flirty, full-skirted dress with lots of texture. It was my personal favorite, but I think Seth Aaron‘s youthful punk dress, and Ping‘s wacky layered look do a better job of representing them as designers.
For the shoe pairing, I really like the style Emilo chose for his dress. They’re a bit of a surprise. The cut-out bootie sandal adds another textured element, and the greenish color is a refreshing choice. I found a pair of cut-out slingbacks, from Lanvin over at Barney’s. The wooden platform sandal matches the fun flirtiness of the dress, and the bright green color is perfect for warmer weather. They could be yours for a jaw-dropping $1,005.00. That’s Paris luxury for you.
posted by Ms. S&C
The latest Project Runway episode brought back the remaining designers’ most successful outfits. The designers were charged with reinventing those outfits by creating a new, companion design. Creativity-wise, I thought most of the designs were lacking a bit in the inspiration department. Althea created another paper-bag-waist ensemble; Christopher went for drama with a heavy gown; Irina went for oversized glam; Carol Hannah put together yet another simple (but ridiculously cute) dress; and Logan and Gordana disappointed. Here’s a quick recap.
- I’m so glad to see Logan go (thanks to his 80’s-inspired black dress). It’s too late in the game to hold on to a designer who can’t claim a single win.
- The claws came out this week as the designers took turns accusing each other of stealing design ideas. The drama is fun to watch, but isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
- This week’s guest designers seemed to work really well together. PR alum Nick Verreos and actress Kerry Washington provided thoughtful feedback and seemed to click with Nina and Heidi.
- Speaking of Heidi, did everyone see her and Seal’s crow costumes for their annual Halloween bash? Pretty fantastic!
But back to the task at hand. Althea’s simple but sophisticated pants-tank-cardigan combo took top honors – and in my book, her shoes took top honors, too. The black pumps are almost tulip-shaped and are super-chic. But if I had my way, I might pair a pair from Nicole Richie’s new shoe line with this black, white and gray ensemble. The shoes won’t be available until January 2010, but we have this picture of an amazing, almost tribal platform sandal with ankle strap (above, left) to satiate us in the meantime. I think this funky sandal would totally liven up Althea’s outfit.
Posted by Miss Mojito.
Milla Jovovich was the bright spot in last week’s Project Runway. She was insightful and smart, thoughtful and funny. She had a great rapport with Michael Kors. She even shed a tear over Nicolas. I want more Milla.
“Nothing says Greece like gray menswear fabric.”
-Milla Jovovich and Michael Kors sarcastically
commenting on Nicolas’ design
Otherwise, it was a rather dull episode. The designers were challenged to create a look inspired by a famous locale. Only seven designers remain. Christopher took on Santa Fe. Irina used Aspen for inspiration. Nicolas chose Greece. Gordana designed for Park Avenue New York. Carol Hannah picked Palm Beach. Logan turned Hollywood into young Hollywood, and Althea was enthusiastic over her St. Tropez pick.
“If this was project-I-didn’t-mind-it, he would win.”
– Milla Jovovich on Logan’s very average design
Irina’s Aspen inspired luxe snow bunny look
Irina’s Aspen design won. Yes, there was a little too much camel color, but it was definitely the most complete look. The ski-inspired pants, the open-back cowl neck sweater, the faux fur vest — all very sophisticated. Too bad her personality isn’t as warm as these clothes. But, no doubt she’ll be a finalist at Bryant Park.
For the shoe pairing, I love the Frye ‘Deborah’ Studded Ankle Boot. The distressed leather, embellished with sparkly beads and studs — the boots are Western yet urban. Considering Irina’s snow bunny would likely be drinking champagne at the lodge instead of on the slopes, it is reasonable to chose style over function in this circumstance.
posted Ms. S&C
Thank goodness for Christina Aguilera – as the client and guest judge for last week’s Project Runway episode, she inspired plenty of creativity in the PR contestants in the form of sequins, feathers and fun. And with designer Bob Mackie on board as a guest judge, we knew we were in for a runway that would be anything but boring.
- I must admit that I’m happy to see Shirin go. Her whiny ways seemed to get on everybody’s nerves, and her Halloween-inspired costume for Christina received a big thumbs-down.
- CHRISTOPHER – WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??? Hot pants? Bustier? No, thank you!
- Althea was a hit with her grey sequined gown, but the huge feathered shrug she paired with the lovely dress ruined the look for me.
- My favorite pick won top honors. Carol Hannah’s gown–a black floor-length number with tons of feathers and texture–was a stunner.
- While Carol Hannah won with a beautiful design, Nina Garcia truly stole the show. Did anyone catch a glimpse of that enormous turquoise necklace she was wearing? Too fun!
These feathered sandles from Gwen Stefani’s line, L.A.M.B., hit the nail on the head with their sequin-feather combo, and I think they’d make a terrific shoe pairing for Carol Hannah’s fun and fanciful design.
Posted by Miss Mojito.
Last week’s Project Runway took an interesting spin on the wedding dress. Instead of creating a dress for a new bride, designers were challenged to transform an old wedding dress into a new fashionable post-divorce look.
Many of the designers spoke about this challenge being a “fresh start” for the divorcees — out with the old and in with the new, so to speak. Those moments were thoughtful and considerate. But, what I really enjoyed was Michael Kors. Miss Mojito recapped an episode last week, and she thanked the fashion gods for bringing him back on the show. I, too, want to thank the fashion gods. He is responsible for such fierce and fabulous quotes — but, the whole episode was chock-full of them. Here are some of my faves:
- “Looks like tinfoil…a metallic garbage bag.” – Michael Kors on Christopher’s ultra shiny and baggy dress
- “So, you specifically did not ask for Octoberfest?”– Heidi Klum on Epperson’s beer maid/pirate’s wench design
- “Where are the beer signs?” – Michael Kors on Logan’s look, after Heidi said she was having another Octoberfest moment
- “You don’t want her to look like a cougar.” – Tim Gunn on Christopher’s dress
Irina was still on the top of her game. She was a close second with her “age appropriate, sleek and expensive-looking” dress. It was quite lovely and sophisticated, and something I could see Helen Mirren wearing. But, it was Gordana, a divorcee herself, who won. And, it was Epperson who was sent home.
Gordana transformed an old wedding dress into
an edgy and chic design
What shoes to wear with Gordana’s edgy and chic design? I thought the dress was pretty awesome, probably the best item she’s made all season. It was hip, wearable, flattering, and a great color. We need something equally edgy and chic for the shoe pairing. I know I pair booties with a lot of PR designs, but I just bought a pair myself, and I have to admit, I’m a fan. Those of you who are skeptical, trust me, they look much better on. So, I’m going with these Dior Cannage Bow Ankle Booties. They have edgy cross-stitching, but also a delicate bow above the peep-toe.
posted by Ms. S&C
Praise the fashion gods, Michael Kors is back, and better than ever! His critiques made an otherwise yawn-worthy episode of Project Runway worth watching – namely, labeling Louise’s frock “a bridesmaid’s dress with a shower loofah ruched up the front of it,” and calling out Christopher for his monstrosity of a “teal charmeuse disco pumpkin.” Classic Kors.
Unfortunately, Michael’s critiques were the only highlights in an otherwise dismal episode. Read on for the low-lights.
- The challenge is blue. Yes, blue. How does a color even qualify as a challenge?! Granted, the designers must also work in teams, and create two outfits that fit the INC brand at Macy’s. But still, this is a highly uninspiring challenge.
- Louise’s aforementioned bridesmaid’s dress, as well as a blue ruffled sheath, were the losers of the day, and deservedly so. Besides the almost preposterous and costumey ruffles on both dresses, the styling was way off. Louise’s shoe pick for the bridesmaid gown, a mustard ankle strap sandal, was particularly offensive.
- For everyone else, boredom was the name of the game. I actually visited Macy’s just this weekend and found myself drawn to the INC line, but the PR contestants’ interpretations were pretty dull.
- Nina Garcia continues her disappearing act. Come back, Nina. We miss you!
Irina wins, thanks in large part to this beachy, v-neck dress. But I must admit, finding the perfect shoe for this outfit was a tricky task. It’s a summery dress, and needs something fairly delicate and certainly open-toed, instead of a heavy shoe that might weigh down the dress. And, of course, there’s the blue requirement. These phenomenal open-toe slingbacks over at Endless.com might be a good fit – I like the idea of continuing the stripes theme, and the navy coloring is right on. But maybe they’re a bit too heavy for this particular dress.
Miss Mojito wants to know: What shoes would you pair with this tricky number?
Posted by Miss Mojito.
I’ve never been more disappointed with the outcome of a Project Runway episode than I was with last week’s film genre challenge. Maybe it’s because Nicolas drives me crazy. Maybe it’s because Christopher has been passed over two challenges in a row (he should have won the newspaper-fabric-design-challenge also). Maybe I wasn’t ready for Ra’mon to go home. Maybe if Michael Kors and Nina Garcia had been there, the outcome would have been different.
Despite these complaints, I did like the film genre theme. The challenge went something like this: after selecting one of five genres (Action/Adventure, Film Noir, Period, Science Fiction, and Western), designers had to create a costume for an invented “character” in their movie. Nicolas won with his Sci fi ice queen, even though Christopher killed with his Victorian vampire bride. Ra’mon was sent home because his reptilian woman was a “hot green mess,” (and it was). But, Louise, whose mixed-genre “snoozefest,” with no interesting concept, squeaked by.
As far as pairing shoes with the winning design — I’m passing over Nicolas’ design for Christopher’s. Christopher’s dress — the gathering at the neckline, the cinched waist, the layers, the open back — it was Victorian, yet modern. I think Heidi said, “Christopher gave us something special.” And he did. It was gorgeous. And, he made for $150! When looking for shoes with the same kind-of wow factor, I like to turn to Christian Louboutin. Both options here are jaw-dropping for two reasons: the design and the price (both are over a grand). The Clic Clac‘s are au courant with the platform bootie, but the lace instep is certainly Victorian inspired. The blood red color and the strappy maryjane style platform of the Dillian speaks to the vampire character, while the ruffled instep takes it back to another period.
posted by Ms. S&C
Project Runway contestants took a field trip to the L.A. Times during last week’s episode. Their challenge? To create a design using newspaper as fabric. I often enjoy these artsy-craftsy type-of challenges, and this one was no exception. Here’s a straight and to the point recap of this go round.
On the bottom: Nicolas and Johnny, who were so whiny and just effing miserable the whole.entire.episode. Johnny is a liar to boot (that spitting steamer story was ridiculous), so naturally and justifiably, he went home.
On the top: Althea (who had immunity) created a great structured architectural-inspired dress, Christopher designed a flowy feathery show-stopping gown, and Irina (who won) with an embellished trench coat.
Guest judges included: Tommy Hilfiger, Eva Longoria Parker, and Marie Claire editor, Zoe Glassner (Nina’s soon-to-be replacement?). Nina and Michael Kors were M.I.A., again.
For the shoe pairing, I found so many shoes that I loved with the newspaper designs. Shiny patent leather is my fave, and shoes with studs and rivets are kind-of industrial-chic and therefore an excellent complement to the paper fabric. Options: the ultra glossy London Fog patent leather boots (which I own and adore), Calvin Klein pumps with the metal rivet detail and rubber traction outsole, and Bandolino heels with platform stud accents. All fit the industrial-chic bill.
posted by Ms. S&C
This season, the Project Runway folks decided to capitalize on their empire by adding another PR-related show as a companion to the original. “Models of the Runway,” the 30-minute follow-up show to PR, puts the models in a house together and films their feuds, trials and tribulations.
In the last episode, we got to know the models even better when they turn into the clients.
Here are a few highlights:
- Althea was this week’s winner, with her interpretation of a suit: a poofy mini skirt paired with a gunmetal, scoop-neck tank and a black blazer. I loved the concept, but the skirt had a bit too much poof for my taste.
- My favorite vote would go to first runner up Carol Hannah, whose color-block dress with a fantastically texturized black skirt and chic purple one-shoulder top was young and fun.
- We say goodbye to Qristyl (yes, that is really how her name is spelled) who went against her instincts to create a basic, black and boring dress.
- Elsewhere on the runway, dramatic necklines were the order of the day, from Louise’s dramatic ruffles to Ra’Mon’s electric blue oversized corsage.
The winning outfit is one that lends itself to myriad shoe picks. I must admit that I’m a fan of Althea’s selection for footwear: the patent gray mary jane pumps are killer. But, if left to my own devices, I think I’d choose something a bit edgier. I’m crazy about these gray platform ankle strap sandals with gold studs by Groove, and they’re priced right over at Piperlime.
Posted by Miss Mojito.
The Project Runway designers head to the beach for episode three. They are in California, after all. Their challenge — to create a surf-inspired look, and to work in teams of two. One would think experienced designers shouldn’t have too much trouble designing a bikini top and a sarong, so halfway through the show, Tim surprises the teams by asking them to create an additional piece — an avant-garde look to complement their surf wear design. Working in teams, a surprise challenge, and Mitchell still in that workroom — naturally, conditions are perfect for drama.
The big kahuna, Tim Gunn, on the beach in sunglasses, flip flops and a blazer.
A few comments/highlights:
- Ra’mon is paired with Mitchell, and he looks like he is going to have a meltdown every three minutes. Mitchell, on-the-other-hand, is oddly carefree and seems to be amused that: (a) he has been in the bottom two each week, and (b) he can’t really sew.
- Ra’mon’s neoprene hand-dyed dress wins. I like Ra’mon, I really do. But, I can’t believe he won. Was it a sympathy win for pairing him with the worthless Mitchell? I guess he should be given some credit for creating it in an hour, but I thought there were better avant-garde looks on the runway (Althea and Johnny in particular).
- Epperson and Qristyl‘s collaboration was painful to watch, and even worse to listen to.
- Um, not sure what Rachel Bilson added as guest judge. She basically just restated everything Heidi said. Where’s Michael Kors? We need him back stat!
- Mitchell (“I picked Ra’mon to carry me in this challenge”) becomes the first winning team member to get kicked off. Aloha, dude.
Ra’mon’s surf-inspired, hand-dyed, avant-garde look was the winning design.
For the shoe pairing, I like these metallic sandals from Burberry. Ra’mon’s dress has some edge to it, and these extreme strappy sandals, with the cool spiked heel, should pair well with his tie-dyed look. Love the platform, the straps, the dark nickel color. Hate the price.
The Project Runway Shoe Pairing is a reoccurring feature on the S&C blog, where we recap the previous week’s episode, and pair spectacular shoes with the winning design.
posted by Ms. S&C