PA: Pool Party!

Posted on December 02, 2011

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:]

    • Anonymous

      I have given up on this show. The last time I tried to watch it, I caught myself nodding off.
      I do, however, like Diego’s hat.

      • judy brown

        Yeah! Me, too. (Although he could’ve lost the stupid shell off that fun hat.)

        And right TLO, you don’t find shells (and driftwood) like that on the beach at Coney Island, you find cigarette butts and condoms. (Which would have made for a more interesting competition.)

        The only place you’ll find shells and driftwood like that is in Coney Island gift shops, imported from tropical isles.

        Which would have been fine as a resource, although as boring an outcome, if they’d been honest with us.

        Didn’t get the clunky jewelry win, or the auf for Diego.

        My first — and last — episode of this thing.

        • Anonymous

          Cigarette butts and condoms! I nearly spit when I read this-now those would have been challenging materials for this show!

          I just don’t care enough to watch this show, and even though I know not all bathing suits are actually bought for swimming, the idea of accessorizing them just strikes me as silly.

    • Anonymous

      When I read your recaps, I am so glad I decided not to watch this show.  I am also encouraged by the fact that my confusion about the whole concept of this show is shared by people as media-savvy as your own selves.

      That said, accessorizing bathing suits?  Really?  To me, that is tacky to the core.  Except for a sun hat and sandals and maybe a sarong-y thing, “bathing suit accessories” reads like a scene out of “Valley of the Dolls.” And these photos did nothing to change my mind.

      The contestants who made sandals with a sole that is nothing but a slab of flat leather?  Try walking in something like that, whydoncha?  A clutch?  Must be a handbag designer.  The big necklaces?  Ugh and fug.

      • Anonymous

        AGREED on all counts.  

      • Anonymous

         Try walking in something like that, whydoncha?

        I know! My arches weep just looking at them.

      • BuffaloBarbara

        You should have seen the models trying to walk in those sandals.  Though it did show why it’s a good idea to have an actual runway instead of just stationary models for the judges to inspect.

      • Anonymous

        So, someone is looking for validation, I see.  I like the show.  Don’t care how many “media savvy” bloggers don’t.

    • Eric Scheirer Stott

      After a few steps that big shell wouldn’t be banging her hip, it would be slapping her Good China

      • Anonymous

        Exactly what I thought. If this was PR Michael Kors would have said: “She’s got a clam on her clam!”

        • J Dreesen

          “Like” x a thousand, if i could!

        • Eric Scheirer Stott

          like a slutty Wilma Flintstone

        • Anonymous

          Haaahaaaaa!!! Omg I can so picture that…they should bring him in as a judge to add some life to the judging panel. I love on this past season of PR when he said “She looks like a Teletubby going to a paaarty!!”

      • MilaXX

        She even said it didn’t work once she had slapped it on, so why not take it off. It was beyond stupid.

    • Laurie Cubbison

      In fact, that shell reminds me of a fig leaf.

    • Charlotte Horseman

      Probably been said before (if so, my appologies) but this show sounds like it NEEDS a team challenge format.  Maybe one lead stylist directing each specialist to create a total look with the accessories?? 

      • Anonymous

        Exactly, like the second season of The Fashion Show, when they split the contestants up into two fashion houses. You remember, the season that was all about Iman. That would work so much better on this show with a shoe designer, a bag designer, a hat person and a couple of jewelry geeks per team.

        • Sara Munoz

          This this this!

    • erin l.

      If that shell was a bag made to look like a shell, I think I would have liked it’ it could have been the new fanny pack.

      • Ebony Dawkins

        When I first saw it, I thought how nice to include a little coin purse or whatever. Depending on where you are, you might want to have a place to put, say, your hotel card or something. But, alas…that was just a hard shell that would do nothing more than irritate your hip and little lady all day.

    • MishaFoomin

      I am still waiting for a big and fabulous church hat from Mr. A. Come on, guy! Just do it before you get the boot.

      • michelle abeln

        the one time he’s actually instructed to make a hat, and he just repurposes a cheap one he bought. i was really disappointed.

        • MilaXX

          I think that’s because A) They had to re-purpose junk and B) Yet again make 216665816986 other things as well. I’d be faulting him more if this was a straight, go to Mood and buy materials challenge.

        • Anonymous

          I was disappointed too.  I was hoping he’d bust out some crazy church hat version of a beach hat.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but I haven’t been getting posts so I can’t tell.  It looks like the site’s RSS feed is broken – I stopped receiving posts early yesterday and if you go to the Feedburner link, the page is completely blank.  Make it stop!  Bring back the bitchery!

    • Anonymous

      I liked only Adrian’s hat (though without the shell please!) and tote bag. They were the only useful and appropriate accessories. The hat doubles as a beach umbrella – great for those of us who need the SPF50 sunscreen, and the bag is good place to keep that SPF50 supply. Who wears big honking jewelry to go the lake? (Or pool, or ocean.) Just think of the ugly tan lines you’d end up with!

    • Anonymous

      I liked only Adrian’s hat (though without the shell please!) and tote bag. They were the only useful and appropriate accessories. The hat doubles as a beach umbrella – great for those of us who need the SPF50 sunscreen, and the bag is good place to keep that SPF50 supply. Who wears big honking jewelry to go the lake? (Or pool, or ocean.) Just think of the ugly tan lines you’d end up with!

    • Anonymous

      However, I love that the models are semi-normal looking women. What a nice change from the usual runway mutants.

      • Now I am The Bee

        It was interesting, though, that even though most of the gals are real slim, the flat sandals with the swimsuits make a lot of their legs look really stumpy.  I’ll have to remember that for next summer….

      • Anonymous

        I feel ashamed of myself. I have grown so accustomed to seeing insanely
        skinny models that my first reaction upon seeing these women is that
        they look big (which is so obviously not the case). I apologize to all of humanity. 

        • Shannon Stewart

          To be fair, most of humanity won’t look good in some of those suits.  Even (super skinny) models FREQUENTLY look like they have short or thick legs in bathing suits

    • Anonymous

      Silly me. All these years I have been donning bathing suits without accessorizing. Without even thinking I needed to accessorize. So many wasted years…

      And, excuse me, but that black thing on that model’s head? It looks like a do-rag. They’ve got them at the dollar store here.

      • Anonymous

        that black thing on that model’s head? It looks like a do-rag.

        Indeed it does.

      • Now I am The Bee

        Which is exacly what The Hubs said when it came out–“do-rag!”

      • Anonymous

         Seriously did not get the love over the t-shirt doo-rag.  Seemed incredibly lazy to me.

    • Anonymous

      I cannot believe that Cristina was praised for putting a t-shirt on her model’s head.  Smacks of drunk guys at the beach who think a t-shirt will make the sun’s pounding less horrific.  Ridiculous. 

      the hat was fine before [Adrian] attached shells and ribbon to it.  

      He only did that because Eva told him to!

      What I do not understand is why any of these designers think women wear jewelry to the beach, particularly big, clunky,  metal jewelry.    It’s idiotic.  Diego had the right idea when he made a bag; he just made the wrong bag.  Women take tote bags to the beach.  Cryin’ out loud, why did nobody make one?  At least Adrian used one from the wall for styling.

      • Anonymous

        What confounds me is that Cristina is praised for that Grey Gardens headwear while Rich is slammed for his admittedly half-assed scarf-job. Both of them just wrapped fabric around their model’s head.

        • accidental housewife

          I hear you. I actually liked the Grey Gardens headwear, but Christina didn’t do any more than Rich did. She tied hers, he draped his.  They were both cop-outs.

      • michelle abeln

        i thought that he had already attached the seashell when she came around. my impression was that she was disappointed in what he had done, and told him to fix it or get more creative. and his solution was attaching the ribbon.

        • Anonymous

          This is exactly what happened.

    • Anonymous

      I lost interest in this show about three weeks ago.  The idea of the show is ridiculous- if there were several different cohorts of designers who only participated each week (like one week would be jewelry and all the jewelry designers competed, etc.), then we would see some really great design.  I also don’t like how they have to have a runway show.  It’s not easy to show off a ring or earrings as they are walking down the runway at full speed.  Seems like they could have come up with a better way to showcase the designs.  Thanks for slogging through each episode so the rest of us don’t have to!

    • Libby Myers

      The shoes always look so crude in their construction, which makes me sad because it’s not an indication of talent. This makes it difficult for me to feel any an affinity for any of the pieces. I completely agree that a millner should not also be a jewelry designer et all.

    • Anonymous

      There’s not much more uncomfortable or basically unwearable than completely flat leather sandals. Christine’s ugly little Edie scarf gets over praised but Rich’s prettier scarf gets booed, come on, they each copped out!Chopsticks in the hair are as bad as scarves. At least Nina made her headpiece. Diego, Adrian, and Shea altered store-bought hats. For all I could tell, everyone altered store-bought sandals, and if they didn’t, see first sentence above. Adrian, this is NOT what everyone was waiting for!Once again, clunky jewelry with NO FINESSE!  I’m sorry, am I shouting????Here’s my winner:Christina’s shoesNina’s necklacesAdrian’s hat, which was cool, beachy, and the best of the worstAlthough they don’t work together ;(Grrrrr.

    • karen hung

      It’s an awful show, starting with the Heidi script…last night’s show was ridiculous – really they found perfect seashells,  huge chunks of seaglass, intact bird skulls and other random stuff on that just cleaned beach…it’s insulting to the viewers at this point.

      • Anonymous

        I kept waiting for them to find used syringes and condoms.  Who wouldn’t want medical waste flip flops?

        • Anonymous

          Don’t forget about little kid vomit, half-eaten hot dogs and broken beer bottles. If they could use anything that they found on the beach, does that include stuff they ripped off of passing tourists?

      • Anonymous

        Not only that, they found all those things, AND went shopping, in 30 minutes. Yeah right.

    • bethannstamps

      can’t wait for this show to end so i don’t have to watch it anymore. i know my arm isn’t being twisted but can’t not warch it. Bam Bam won with some God awful 2nd grade art project stuff. ugh.

    • thedogsmother

      Daughter and I are to the point that we keep it on in the background, glance at what comes down the runway, roll our eyes and count the days until All Stars.

      • Angie Tacker

        I think All Stars is going to be Lifetime’s worst mistake EVER. After all, there are truly talented people on there who can compete in the pressure cooker. It will simply highlight the failure of Lifetime

    • Adrianna Grężak

      I agree that this show feels like a chore to watch. Hopefully they’ll work out the problems with the next season. I agree that it’s absurd to ask a jewelry designer to make shoes. They should give the contestants more than a day for 3 different accessories. Better yet, they should require only one or two accessories per challenge, and allow the designer to make their craft. It seems like the designers are struggling to create something they normally never design, rather than offer something new and innovative. I doubt they’ll ever be able to cast designers that make shoes, jewelry, purses, AND hats.

      • Now I am The Bee

        ITA–in fact–I think it’s absurd to ask anyone to make a pair of shoes overnight.  All you’re going to get is a flat sole with shit glued to it.  Yes–shoes are accessories, but they are not something you can just whip up!  When you try–you get stuff as we’ve seen on this show.  I think they should stick to jewelry, hats and headpieces, bags and totes. 

    • Anonymous

      How is what Christina did for the head accessory any more acceptable than what Rich did? Each one just tore a piece of cloth and tied it around the model’s head.

      That runway was painful last night, everything looked pretty bad. I did think Eva finally clicked for me though, when she was telling Adrian that his hat was a cop-out and Rich to sack up and let his talents dictate his design. Instead of trying to be a nurturing Tim Gunn, she should be Eva who will not hear any of your excuses!

      • Anonymous

        I agree about Eva.  I like her, I think she just hasn’t found her footing.  But last night she was right in there telling them where the problem was and that they should get on with it.  

    • Anonymous

      I liked the Bam-Bam hair ornaments. And I was glad he won. Miami was my second favorite. 
      Rich had the best shoes.
      And they sent the right person home . the whole thing was bad, top to bottom.

    • Catherine Katz

      Eva was better in spurts last night.  A couple of times she actually said something useful.  Still no personality from her.  Hate all the shoes.  All of them.  Only Nina’s look like they could actually be worn, but even then the khaki strip for the toes is way too far forward.  Adrian’s do have an arch, though.  I really wanted a killa hat from him.

    • Anonymous

      I just have to say that these are some of the ugliest swimsuits I’ve ever seen.  And they should be THE SAME–I thought the differently-colored bodysuits weren’t fair, either.

    • Sarah

      I like the show. Last night’s episode was baddish because of the crappy output, but I like the idea. TLo is right; the challenges are not homogenous enough (all the same swim/bodysuit, etc.). I don’t have too much of a problem with the varying talents and the fact that they are forced to design items/concepts outside their comfort zone, because I’ve been to art school, and you don’t get to make whatever you want, so these folks, if talented enough, should be able to come up with things that they wouldn’t normally make. My beef is with the fact that they don’t seem to do their best at THEIR OWN specialties! Aside from all the complaining about Adrian’s hat (which was warranted – from scratch, sir!) I am also disappointed in Rich’s lack of confidence in his metallurgy. You see Diego’s clutch out there every time because he knows what he’s good at, and the judges respond favorably to it. Nina is going to wrap some wire around something, and they are going to say it’s elegant and perfect, because she knows how to do it well. So, as much as I don’t like Ms. Crappy Mentor, I think her little speech to Rich was right on; they should stick with what they KNOW and apply it to everything they do.

    • Anonymous

      I give it up to you guys. The show’s unwatchable.

    • Anonymous

      did Gretchen design the blue two piece? because  damn, those bottoms are hiddy

      • Now I am The Bee

        Can I “like” this a million times? 

      • Anonymous

        The only upside to that suit is that it doesn’t make me think I’ll be seeing a wisp of hair-down-there peeking up above the waistband. And believe me, I have had that unpleasant experience sitting across a Metro car from a straphanger with overly low-cut jeans. Not an experience I’d want to repeat even though it proved she was a real redhead.

    • Anonymous

      those chintzy dollar-store chandelier pieces they keep providing them with have GOT to GO. but i suppose that’s part of the challenge…? making them look good?…..or better, at least. no one’s succeeding, though.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      I’m so glad you agree this is a chore.  It’s a chore I plan to continue doing because I like talking about it–like emptying the litter box ultimately because I love my cat–but I’m not taking a lot of joy in it.  The mentor is horrible, and the challenges are senseless. Adrian finally got a chance to make a hat, but a beach hat isn’t exactly a place to show off your hatmaking skills, and there’s not really enough time to make a crown from scratch (so I didn’t drub him on that).  I agree that the drubbing was  unfair; I was with him when he said he didn’t know what he was doing there.  That they were accusing him of being old-fashioned or costumey was weird.  It’s old-fashioned and costumey to wear all of that crap with a bikini anyway.

      I honestly had no idea who was going to be in the top and bottom last night.  I thought they were all terrible, and did  you notice the wince-y way the poor models were walking as all that driftwood and beach-junk poked the tops of their feet?  I thought we were going to see a broken ankle.

      Brian’s bangles were AWFUL.  Just hideous.  Interesting technique =/= good accessory.

    • sweetlilvoice

      I like Rich but he should have gone home last night for that horrible sarong and scarf thing. I also enjoyed the closeup on one model’s butt as she walked away from the runaway. That was a weird shot. I also agree that all the swimsuits should have been the same and no one should have be able to modify them.

    • Anonymous

      Okay, here’s my take. 

      Brian shouldn’t have won, his work was just ugly.  He gets points for putting in the work, but that doesn’t make it anywhere close to a win.

      I loved Christina’s sandals, but that necklace is just tacky.  I didn’t feel the love for the tshirt turned pirate hat that everyone else did.

      Nina was the clear winner here as far as I’m concerned.  All of her pieces where beautiful, and I’d wear those sandals in a heartbeat.  If she’d turned that head treatment into a barrette instead of a fascinator it would have worked just fine.  She was robbed.

      I would have sent Adrian home.  Everything he did was ugly and had no effort whatsoever put into it.  I’m sorry, but if your claim to “fame” is as a hat designer and the best you can do is glue an oversized brim on a cheap hat, throw on a shell and a ribbon and call it a day then you need to go home.  Even what he did was poorly constructed, and ugly on top of it.  He should have made a damned hat.  And when he didn’t, he should have gone home.

      I understand why some would find this show to be boring or not well done, but I think it’s got possibilities.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been making art and artisan pieces for so many years, but I feel like if some tweaking was done and you got to see more of the process involved this show could work.  I still find it more pleasant to watch that I found this last season of PR.  At least they’re not at each other’s throats all the time and I’m not subjected to the weekly “my mother is DEAD” sniveling.

      And also!  If the beach at Coney Island is full of sea glass and cool driftwood then I want to go prowl it.  Never have I been to a beach where there was so much cool stuff to be found without much walking and digging.  Little conceits, people, little conceits.

      • Anonymous

        “the weekly “my mother is DEAD” sniveling.”

        I’ve had a horrible week (I actually cried at my desk today, although I work at home, so nobody saw me). But your comment there made me laugh. Maybe it’s the capital letters. 

        • Anonymous

          {SapphoPoet}   I’m so sorry you’re having a horrible week, but glad I could provide a bit of comic relief.  I, too, have been fed a shit sandwich every day this week, so if misery loves company then we should get together and have a glass of wine.  Hang in there, hon, and I’ll try to do the same. 

    • Anonymous

      Yet another show I’m thankful I stopped watching.

      And to add to the list of complaints about how doomed the show is right from the start: It’s just inevitable that the resulting “accessories” would end up looking dirt cheap and halfass and crafty given the time constraint and how a reality show is produced, all that making stuff with crap and whatever. (It’s not necessarily true with clothes.) If the stuff looks like shit – which it WILL – the show will look like shit. It’s all shit.

    • MilaXX

      I’ve hated pretty much everything Brian has done. His things always look too large and just too much. I also think that the blank canvas of the week should be more of an even playing field. In varying, but not crazy colors, but essentially the same suit/dress/whathaveyou. The main problem is the mixing of mediums means most of these designers end up overdoing things. The results is less than etsy shop quality pieces with the occasion nice item slipping in.

    • spooki C

      This show is losing me, I can usually pick out who will win, who the bottom 3 will be and who will go home 30 minutes in. Also, it’s kinda boring, but I need something to occupy my time until All-Stars airs.

      I’m sure all these designers make great stuff but when you force them to make things they don’t specialize in it just winds up with a whole lot of fug on my TV screen. No thank you.

    • Shannon Stewart

      All of the problems I was hoping they had ways to counter already planned?  They didn’t.  I just can’t watch — it’s like LML or the Fashion Show… ultimately the stuff shown is boring or tacky or both.  There’s no art to it.  (And I love wearable.  The two are not mutually exclusive)

      I do, however, understand accessorizing the bathing suits.  If you go to a resort or a beach party, you do often wear a suit with accessories.  Fine.  But clearly none of these people have ever attend such events, because you don’t pile on gobs and gobs of heavy accessories — they should be light, almost as if you’re still wearing them because you just didn’t notice they were still on.  It’s an artifice but an effective one. 

      Also, the myriad of “repurpose this” challenges?  I’m sorry but I don’t really want to see challenge after challenge using materials and methods better suited to the DIY network.  If I can look at a piece of jewelry and replicated myself, I don’t really think it should be on this show!  With PR, that’s a bit different because I sew quite well and have been poring over high-end pieces forever to figure out how to knock them off for my wardrobe.  Jewelry and shoes, however, I don’t make — so if you want to win a major cash prize in a nationally televised competition, you better do something that isn’t so simple and easy I could do it myself.

    • Anonymous

      Every couple of weeks I come into these posts to see if I’ve missed anything by not watching this show and I never find myself rethinking that decision. How boring.

    • Sara Munoz

      I don’t watch this show. This stuff is so crappy and all over the place that I can’t tell who the winners and losers are. You told us the first one won, which I never would have guessed. But who lost? The last one? 

    • A. Lure

      There’s not much wrong with the show. The T-shirt-and-jeans, the black dress, the bodysuit, and the bathing suit/bikini are chosen because of their bare and unadorned nature and thus serve as backdrop for the accessories. Variances in the bathing suits (or in any other “blank canvas”, to use their term) are a good thing as is selection based on designers’ scores in the previous challenge. Compare this mode of selection to the Project Runway velvet bag. It makes much more sense to have the designers choose in the order they finished in the preceding challenge. It encourages them to perform well and to do so consistently.

      As for having handbag/shoe/hat designers make jewelry and having jewelry designers make shoes, I don’t see much of a problem for three main reasons:
      1. The contestants signed up for this. They were aware of the format prior to appearing on the show. They knew they’d have to make shoes, hats, bags, belts, etc..
      2. Asking a handbag designer to make a necklace is good learning experience. Take Diego, for instance. His limited experience in jewelry designing has not stopped him from producing tasteful cuffs and necklaces and shoes. Why? Because he’s willing to branch out. He was very happy to have designed and executed his very first pair of shoes in the shoe challenge, and I bet he’ll feel inclined to do more of them. Conversely, Brian and Nina, who are primarily jewelry designers, embraced making shoes and bags.
      3. The multiple-accessories approach allows for non-jewelry designers to showcase their bags, shoes, or hats. Diego makes a clutch or a purse for the make-an-accessory-of-your-choice part of a challenge.

      I’m glad Brian won this challenge. He was long overdue for a win. I liked his shoes. They feel substantial. I have a terrible aversion to straps passing between the toes. I’d rather wear the shoes he made. They look stylish, too. The hair sticks are laughable, but the necklace and the bracelets are kind of fantastic. They have an etched/whittled/carved out look about them. The accessories are cohesive.

      I like Diego’s accessories. The clutch is perfectly made, and I like how the clasp echoes the shape of that piece of the necklace. The hat’s not bad– I kind of like that it has a pin. There’s a weaving and artisan sort of theme in these three pieces which I feel is incongruent to the shredded bow/ripped candy-wrapper shoes. Not liking the shoes.

      I like Nina’s work, too– particularly the ring. She does rings very well. I like the coiling of the wire. It’s a great ring. It’s a highly polished version of the ring she made last week. Hate the hairpiece. It looks like something horrible is crawling in her hair. Probably because it is.

      Christina’s shoes are intricately done. I like them. Bracelet’s OK. I’m not liking the necklace. Too busy. Too many disparate elements. The necklace is not greater than the sum of its parts, and it should be. The head-scarf is a flimsy and shapeless version of the much better executed turban she made for the bodysuit challenge, and it is no less a cop-out than Rich’s scarf.

      Rich’s jewelry is stunniny, though. Look at that green ring. I want it. The sarong is laughabl. Why exactly did he insert that bird skeleton thing in the most unimaginative way in the sarong? It’s an interesting material. He could have done a lot more with it.

      Adrian’s pieces are OK. That’s all I have to say about those.

      I’m glad Shea’s gone.

    • Anonymous

      the ‘drift wood’ appears to be cactus skeleton.  

      • Anonymous

        yeah, when t-lo said that about the producers planting that stuff on the beach it was instantly obvious to me.  it looks like stuff you can buy in a big bag at craft stores to mix with your potpourri and put in your bathroom.  that cactus stuff fits right in.  driftwood, indeed.  and that perfectly intact, clean white bird skeleton.

    • Gaby Ripoll

      Yeah I’ve definitely noticed that last picked almost always ensures continuing to be in the bottom because you get the shittiest choices. Eh. BORING. 

    • Anonymous

      I watch PA only through your posts, T Lo, having given up on the actual show early on.  The winner seems inexplicable, but then so does the whole competition concept.  As you pointed out, It really makes no sense.  Several of the designers had some very cute pieces, but no one had everything be great. And that’s almost always going to be true when everyone is designing outside their area of expertise and experience.  Plus, the different bathing suits make for a very unlevel playing field.  I really don’t get the reason for that unless it’s to create DRAAAAAMA.  

      I applaud you, T Lo, for hanging in on this lost cause.  

    • Anonymous

      In all the fug, the weird thing is that I can only focus on the models/swimsuits. That one model and suit… Diego’s, I guess? I can’t figure out if it’s the way she’s standing or how emaciated she is, or what, but it looks like her bikini is going to slide right off her. And that swimsuit on the last one, that horrid emerald green… is the bottom supposed to look like ’70s gym shorts that are incredibly tight and tiny? It’s weird. And not at all flattering. Most of those suits aren’t flattering, or else the models are just standing weirdly. Blech. 

      • Anonymous

        Not one of the models has a swimsuit body. You need a defined waist and a little bit of hourglass curve to properly show off a bathing suit. These girls are all built straight up-and-down and are proportionately thick waisted. And I agree with TLo that they all should have been in the same swimsuit—preferably a plain, solid-color basic tank.

    • Anonymous

      Adrian, I love me some big floppy beach hats, but this one looks like it could double as Captain America’s shield.

    • Pennymac

      My mother went through a crafty period in her life where EVERYTHING was covered in gold metallic paint. We had a beach house at the time, so she spent hours scouring the sands for interesting shapes for funky jewelry (It was the late seventies, after all) One November she found a cache of small coquina stones, added a jewelry finding,hung it on a chain, and spray painted it gold. My sister and I gleefully regift the resulting piece each year at Christmas, teasing each other on whose turn it is to wear “The Golden Booger””. So glad I’m not watching this show. Golden Boogers,all!

      • Now I am The Bee

        That’s funny.  I find myself getting crafty as opposed to arty sometiems.  That stone necklace sounds like it may have been cool, had your mum not painted it gold.  Although–it was the 70s….  LOL…

    • Anonymous

      Diego’s sandals look like a craft I did with my Girl Scout troop.  We tied ribbons around the straps of flip flops.  Maybe a cottage industry in the making?

    • oohsparkley!

      All of the hats were horrid.  I loved Brian’s necklace.  His bracelets were hiddy.  I would have given the win to Nina.  Diego’s clutch and sandals are cute.  Rich’s sandals were ok – nice color.  Shea’s necklace was nice, if un-original.  Everything else – garbage.  The headscarves are a joke, I don’t think they should even count as a hat.

    • Now I am The Bee

      I thought Nina should have won.  I absolutley love her delicate jewelry style.  But yes–the headpiece–while it was interesting and well done–was just wrong for this look. It would look fabulous with a garden party dress, though. 
      I’m glad Shea is gone–I’ve only watched a couple of entire episodes and she would drive me nuts.  She would have gotten a pass, though, if that belly chain just had a couple small shells or rocks on it instead of the plate-sized shell. 

      I loved Christina’s necklace and sandals.  The rest was meh. 

      I thought Adrian should have gone home just for that awful hat.  Worse yet–he’s a miliner, isn’t he?  That was inexcusable! 

      Yes–Brian’s stuff was pure Pebbles and Bam-Bam.  I was floored when they gave him the win.  Worse yet was Rich’s stuff.  He didn’t use any of the materials from the beach for his jewelry and really only used a sarong (albiet a really pretty one that showed off the bikini colors…)  But then–he’s just not “into the beach”.  I guess.  The judges should have nailed him instead of calling the bird skull “edgy” or whatever the hell they said. 

      I guess I’m really over this show.  I hope Chrsitina wins and none of them ever show up on TV again.

    • MandyJane

      Ooooh, I didn’t even remember the show was on. That’s bad.

    • Anonymous

      Diego’s shoes remind me of a pep rally in a 3A Texas High School.  Far too Friday Night Lights (the original inspiration, not the show) for me. 

      Guess the judges are either fans of rural cheerleaders’ style or unaware of it.  I can’t see how those are cute–maybe if you are free of the connotations I have?

      • Anonymous

        i have no ideas about pep rallies or texas high schools & the only thing i think of when i think of texas, itself, is, in fact, that it’s a state full of exotic pet stores. otoh, to me they look just like scuffs. the dictionary definition of scuffs, & not particularly cute ones at that.

        • Anonymous

          Austin used to have an art car parade. I don’t know if we still do. Houston has a bigger, cooler art car parade every year.

          Texas is big and has regional variations in climate, food, accents and cultures. There are several cities over 500,000 and over 1 million and even more small towns under 10,000, under 5,000 and under 1,000. But small high schools in Texas all love football way too much. I went to 5 schools like that and didn’t like any of them. (So I graduated early so I could move to Austin.)

          Glad it’s not the only reason I think those shoes are stupid and not praise-worthy.

    • Anonymous

      I sort of wish they would have made Project Jewelry or Project Shoe (uh, hopefully with a catchier name), and then just got people who did jewelry or shoes or whatever, instead of trying to force people to do things they don’t do. I don’t think it quite works as well as the PR idea does; most everyone who designs clothes and can sew can make pants if they have to (or sleeves *mmmbitter*), but while I make jewelry, I don’t have the first idea how to make a shoe.

      Anyway, the thing that bugged me most about this episode was that Adrian, the milliner, made a hat out of a hat. The hell? That’s right up there with Ivy making pants out of pants.

      I will keep recording it and vaguely watching it while I do other things (and pausing to look up at the Dance Moms and PR All Stars commercials).

      • Anonymous

        I also “vaguely watch” PA while jogging in front of the TV in the early morning and skipping over most of it on my DVR …

    • Anonymous

      I was enjoying Adrian’s look until I saw the top of the hat. Love the bag, though.

    • Anonymous

      As an aside about the shell belt.  I thought it was kind of interesting if impractical when I thought it was something like a clutch-belt.  I expected the shell to be the front covering of a bag.

    • Melvis Velour

      I finally saw this show as there was nothing else on…I lasted all of 5 minutes before I pulled out “What’s Up Doc”

    • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

      Not to be vulgar, but the shell on the chain looks like a female codpiece.

      • Anonymous

        I was thinking Scots Robinson Crusoe whose improvised sporran had slipped to one side.

    • Anonymous

      i think the show is just finding its way. it kinda sorta seems like it should already know the way, seeing as it’s being built upon the back of the venerable project runway tortoise & all, but for some reason they wind up being stumped when it comes to setting proper parameters. if it lasts a bit i bet people will get to design largely w/in their comfort areas [if not zones & apologies for sounding almost television commercial euphemistically obscene], ie: they can make mostly hats if theyre haberdashers w/ a bracelet or something thrown in for spice. there must be a way to make that work. i cant think of it for now but, then again, my mind is supposed to be on photoshopping vintage dresses for xmas purchasing & i cant even think of that real well right now. apologies.

      edited to add:
      oh, i forgot. i tend to like adrian’s or brian’s stuff the best overall. this episode i like adrian’s hat. of course i like it better before the shell was adhered; otoh, i can see it made in precisely that fashion & sold at a boutique in, say, marina del rey. those of us who have not & will not see snow this year due to living where it never appears might know what i mean. if they live here too.

      other than that, i still cant figure out why they like what they like & hate what they hate on this show, if they even like or hate anything all that much. i dont think thats even possible. another show flaw that could get ironed out if the show remains, i suppose.

    • Anonymous

      My thoughts on this episode were:
      Did Gretchen design that blue swimsuit? Looks like her opening piece from her runway show.
      How did Adrian not get reamed for buying a hat and embellishing it? He’s a hat maker and should have made a hat. This is like when Ivy made pants out of pants.
      I’ll give it to Brian that his stuff is distinctly his, big, loud and overdone, but I’m just not a fan.

    • Tee Mmm Zee

      I taught at FIT for a number of years.    The majority of these people wouldn’t have been admitted into the program.   Know where the next great accessory designer is?   Working in the accessory industry.   But they clearly aren’t on this show.   
      This show is a disaster.   A curse on the producers for what could have been highly entertaining.  

    • Ledasmom

      Nina’s jewelry was lovely, but whatthehell was up with calling it “curated”? Is this another usage of which I was not previously aware that I will now feel obliged to deplore? Who was it – Christina? – who was sporting the Joker-style lipstick? I think I said “Why so serious?” every time her face appeared on screen. And would the judges make up their minds, please, as to whether “It looks handmade” is a good thing or a bad thing?
      Pretty much everything this week looked five minutes from a Florida shell shop, you know, the sort of place that has bins of scallop shells and dried fish on the walls. At one point in the runway show (I had not been paying much attention) I turned to my husband and said, “All this needs is a dried starfish,” and sure enough Adrian’s model walked next.
      If they had been offered their free choice of three swimsuits, say a basic tank, a bikini and I don’t know what else, this might have been fairer – with the bodysuit challenge, perhaps a choice of black, pink or white.

    • Amy Weidner-LaSala

      Did that judge even know what the word “curate” means? She used it a million times to describe Nina’s ring and neckalce, but I don’t think it means what she think it means. 

      • Anonymous

        I was wondering whether someone had given her a word-a-day desk calendar, and curate was the word that day. Next week: onomatopoeia!

        • Ledasmom

          “I like the onomatopoeia on your bag, Rich. It looks curated.”

    • Anonymous

      TLo — do you happen to know if they gave a crash course in accessory construction to the contestants? I find it hard to believe that they found a dozen designers who just all happen to know how to craft hats, shoes, handbags and jewelry. Any of those require training, but all of them?

    • Erica Tucker

      I agree with everything TLo said. I think they way they could have done it is to have there be a team each week competing in categories. So every team has a milliner, a jewelery maker, a shoe maker. They accumulate points throughout the season and then each of the categories go for a final head to head to see the winner in each category. That way you see a great shoemaker, milliner, and jewelery maker. Otherwise it’s a mess…

    • Tee Mmm Zee

      “Curate”  I suspect it means take an object and do as little as possible with it and take credit for it.    Some designers use the term “inspired”.   Which is not quite as bad as “curate”.   Maybe “cop”, “steal” or “pinch” would be more accurate.   

    • Anonymous

      I disagree.  I like this show.  Sure it could use some tweaks and I like your suggestion of group challenges.   But in fairness to the contestants, no more crap has been presented on this show than on PR or WOA.  We’re not going to see stunning pieces all the time but I am continuously intrigued by what some of these designers produce, especially Diego, Rich (generally speaking), Nina and Christina.  

    • Pud Blackboots

      The only thing a woman in a bikini would put inside a clutch is cocaine. 

    • Anonymous

      Almost everything in the recap photos for this show has been freaking ugly so far.  You guys are really taking one for the team.

    • Anonymous

      Meh I hear what you are saying but I would rather watch this crap then the crap Project Runway has been spewing down the runway recently. Sigh. That was bitchy.  I mean the judging of Project Runway has been so effing cracked out, this last season the winner was so completely obviously picked from the beginning and it was just sad, sad, sad….I will happily give this show a little boost because it aint that shit happening.  Of course it is on Lifetime, so I only give a season or two to go that direction….just like PR.

      I didn’t get the Brian win. I liked his bangles but feared his shoes were so bad that he would be on the bottom. Who knew?  Okay so judging is cracked out.  Christina, thought the head piece was blah..didn’t get the praising on that.  I’ve got a drawful of ol’ t-shirts, who wants to make head pieces?  Party time!  I hated the necklace. It looked cheap and old to me.  I loved her shoe though!  Loved it!  Out of them all, so far I am impressed with Nina and seriously though her head piece was bad, seriously bad, I thought she should win over Brian. 

      Adrian, you didn’t make your own hat. I can’t forgive that. You are a hat designer. This is what you do.  I’ve defending you on these posts….you made me sad this week.

      Rich, blah blah blah, so much about your bitching of Shea last week, you were just as bad this week. Who cares if this is your thing or not?  Did you not watch one episode of PR or any other reality TV show out there in the last 10 years?  If not, shame on you.  If you did, and still differently, shame on you!  Stop the silly nonsense bitching.

      Shea, yeah saw this one coming from a mile away. Honestly…..due to the bad crap that has gone down the runway, she got lucky.  I was getting mighty sick of the pass she was getting from the judges because “Well what she wear is really cool” Okaaaaay.  This was not surprising.

    • Anonymous

      So Adrian made that cute tote? Or accessories an existing one? Because it was cute and practical. Bikini and clutch, no. Bikini and tote, yes!

      I loved the shape of Adrian’s hat but I think he is just suck of being thrown challenges way out of his skill set. Much like Rich who is vocal about it.

      Also, love Christine’s ring, hate everything else she made. Come on, a fucking knotted t-shirt is an inventive look? Her necklace is vile!

      And I so noticed Shea’s cool ring. Shea, I would buy that in a moment.

      This show needs to retool if it survives. I love it but it makes me frustrated. Talent isn’t getting to shine.

    • Anonymous

      All of these sandals looked boring and uncomfortable.  My feet hurt just watching the runway show.  The episode in general was pretty meh, and I’m wondering if they’ve done everything they can with the concept already.  Breaking out of the PR mold would help a lot.

    • Susan Collier

      If Adrian doesn’t really make a hat for a headwear challenge, he should just go home already. I was underwhelmed by all the headwear this week.

      I only like the necklace from the winning entry. That piece is lovely; the rest, not so much.

      Where is that bangle on Christina’s model? Like her stuff a lot. She did have the most successful sandals IMO, which says something. I guess.

      Like Diego’s stuff (except the hat). The clutch idea was stupid, but I love the transformation of the materials. He should have made a beach mat tote. I would love to recreate something like that! I liked his sandals, but the proportions were off with the fabric.

      Nina’s necklaces were OK, but she continues to underwhelm me. Too much basic wire wrapping, which reads as so early ’90s crystal hippie design. Meh. Her sandals’ front band was placed so forward on the shoe, it looked way uncomfortable.

      I liked Rich’s ring and cuff. It looks as though he stole some sandals from a pedicure place. The hijab was disappointing.

    • Premal Laxman

      I don’t get the difference between Rich and Christina’s head accessory

    • Anonymous

      Yeah.  Why can’t they make quality TV like the Real Housewives franchise that Bravo puts out.

    • Anonymous

      It’s every bit as bad on PR.  I hate the “repurpose” challenges on both shows.  They result in inferior, boring designs.  I think judging the show based upon what you do or do not do is ridiculous, though.  I do make jewelry, and I like this show.  I don’t make clothes, but I also like PR.