It’s kind of a chore to get through this show. There. We said it. We’ll watch a fashion design competition reality show no matter what but everything that had us puzzled when this show was first announced has pretty much come true. Right down to its concept, it just doesn’t work. You can’t have a design competition where milliners have to make shoes and jewelers have to make purses. It makes no sense at all and it only ensures that week after week, some really ugly shit walks that runway. And sometimes, the judges even wind up praising it. We still think you can have an accessories design reality competition, but you absolutely can’t have one that makes any sense if you’re trying to adhere as closely as possible to the Project Runway format, which was designed specifically to show apparel.
Whew! Now that we got that off our chests, the challenge this week revolved around accessories for swimsuits. This is not a bad concept; neither were the t-shirt-and-jeans or spandex bodysuit challenges. Starting with a relative blank canvas makes sense, but not if you’re forcing a jeweler to make sandals, as we said, and not if the rules are so fuzzy that a sarong is considered an accessory, and definitely not if you’re not giving everyone the same blank canvas. It was a dumb idea to give some people black bodysuits and some people neon pink ones last week, just as it’s a dumb idea to give some people tasteful one-pieces and some people tacky string bikinis in the same challenge.
So congratulations, Brian. We think your win is utterly ridiculous. Sorry to be such spoilsports. This is Flintstones jewelry; it’s big and ugly and shows little sophistication. We admit his technique for making the bangles was interesting, but the end result wasn’t what we would call tasteful. The ridiculous knitting needles in her hair were a joke. But as far as jokes go, nothing can compare to the judges oohing and aahing over those sandals, the design of which could not have been any simpler or less interesting.
Christine’s taste level once again takes her to the top of the heap. She managed to find a way to make all that obviously-planted-by-the-producers beach material (come now: driftwood, sea glass, a wide range of shells and a perfectly preserved bird skeleton on a small stretch of Coney Island beach?) look chic. The sandals are a great design and turning the t-shirt into a headscarf, Little Edie-style was a great way to top off the look. Unfortunately for her, this was all just a bit too similar to what she did in the bodysuit challenge.
We admit the shoes are cute but who the hell carries a clutch with a bikini? Come ON. Even at a chic little poolside party, where you might see women in jewelry and bikinis, you’re not going to see a lot of clutches. The judges loved it, of course. It’s a decent design but only it and the shoes were interesting. The hat was a joke and the necklace was okay.
Nina really is a superior jewelry designer and if she were allowed to be left to her devices instead of forced to make things like shoes, she’d probably be the clear frontrunner. As it is, she still managed to make a pretty great pair of sandals to go along with the jewelry. The thing she made for the poor girl’s head was what snatched the win away from her.
The charm bracelet isn’t bad and the hat was fine before he attached shells and ribbon to it. The sandals aren’t bad either. His problem is, he overstyled her. But that’s a separate issue from the design of his pieces, which weren’t great, but we don’t think they deserved the drubbing they got from the judges.
We like Rich as a contestant and his jewelry pieces are really great, but this is the second week in a row that he sent a half-assed look down the runway. He really should have gone home for this one. Putting some fabric on her head is not accessories design.
We can’t imagine what it must have been like to be in a work room with Shea for 12 or more hours a day. Just watching the edited version of her on TV was enough to make us say “Does she ever SHUT UP and just get on with all the work she says she has to do?” The sandals aren’t bad, although they don’t look great with that particular bikini. The hat’s a joke and the necklace just looks overdone to us. The killer here was that chain belt, which she didn’t even have to do and it looked like she came up with it at the last second. It instantly turned the look from passable to disastrously bad. Who wants to walk around with a big shell banging on her hip every time she takes a step?
[Photo Credit: myLifetime.com]