PR: The Colorful Middle

Posted on August 22, 2011

What does it say about this weeks challenge that some of the most interesting entries were stuck in the middle? Granted, “interesting” doesn’t necessarily mean “good.”

This is almost certainly going to bite us in the ass down the line, but for now we’re willing to admit that we kind of dig Blenley here. She’s both more talented and less bitchy than we originally assumed. All of this could change once they’re down to 6 designers and less than 4 hours of sleep a night (assuming she makes it that long), but for now, she seems like fun.

One thing’s for sure:


Her dress was hilarious.


We don’t like this look at all. In fact, it could reasonably be considered a disaster. The thing is, she did some interesting things from a design perspective and we suspect that’s what saved her from ending up in the bottom.

Her first mistake was choosing that fabric; a horrific shade of shiny green that’s at least 2 decades out of style. We don’t know what the hell she was thinking.

To her credit, she seemed to realize the bad choice and made a decision that basically came down to “I’m going to design the SHIT out of this thing to cover up the poor fabric choice.”

And so, every single design element she could pull out of her trick bag was flung at the dress form.

The result was more interesting than it had a right to be, even if it was still a pretty bad design. But we look at the final result and see someone who can sew like gangbusters, course-correct, and has a lot of techniques and ideas at her disposal. It’s a bad dress, but it’s the kind of bad dress the judges like to see, if that makes any sense.

Clinique Counter’s easy to make fun of because he’s a camera whore and … well, just look at him. He looks like Gay Astro Boy. But even bitches like us have to admit…


He’s definitely got something.


You don’t have to be mindreaders to understand the thinking of the judges here: A great dress that’s totally unsuited for Nina. Clear middle-of-the-road entry.

Although it does raise questions as to whether he can design for a specific type of client or if he can only whip out these youthful looks.

And we would be remiss if we didn’t point out the rather obvious inspiration for his color choices.


But the back of this dress looks pretty amazing.


And the front is pretty fun and bold.


And we like the neckline and sleeves.

It’s kind of a shame this didn’t get more love from the judges, because it really is a great design on its own. But he was kidding himself if he saw Nina wearing this. Silhouette-wise, this is fine, but Nina doesn’t normally do bold graphics like this and we suspect the cut of this dress is unforgiving on anyone who’s not a model.

The problem with a lot of these uber-gay “fierce” designers is that they have a hard time seeing the woman in the clothes. Of the many Verrei who have appeared on the show, it’s only the original, Nick Verreos, who had that understanding. Even Christian Siriano, for all his design talent, rarely demonstrates any understanding of a woman’s body or how she wants to dress it. It’s almost always about the visual and not about the person.

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/MyLifetime.com – Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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