We thought this was a truly great-looking gown and were a bit surprised it wasn’t in the Top 3. It deserved to be. Although we have to point out that Mila sniffed at Austin’s gown for being too traditional, but we’re not really seeing anything groundbreaking or fashion-forward on display here. We’re not huge fans of the shape of the skirt, but a more conventional shape would have tipped this over into boring. Basically, it’s a good, solid answer to the question posed by the challenge.
That was pretty much our reaction when this walked out. We would NEVER have picked this out as a Rami dress.
Honestly, this might be one of the worst things he’s done on Project Runway. The color is garish, the fabric is too shiny, and there are so many design elements in the bodice that it looks tortured. A puzzling misstep, because next to Austin, the designer most likely to ace this challenge should’ve been Rami. He needs to get over the fact he was criticized for draping too much. It was a valid criticism, but it didn’t mean he should abandon his aesthetic and force himself to do things he’s not particularly good at. Go with what you know.
And here’s where the commentariat will erupt at us: We were not at all in love with this look.
If you want to dress a drag queen or provide costumes for a Mad Men-era drama, then this would be the way to go, but if you’re designing a dress for a real person in 2011/12, this is not much more than a fantasy. People not only don’t dress like this anymore; they don’t want to dress like this anymore. Otherwise they’d … y’know, dress like this. We think of the lines of Mad Men inspired clothes that were foisted on the public in the wake of the show’s success, none of which really took off and none of which spurred a trend toward mid-Century style dressing. Sure, elements pop up in current styles, like skinny ties and pants for guys and pencil skirts for the ladies, but never anything as head-to-toe literal as this.
Taken purely on its own merits, it’s stunning; an absolutely beautiful design rendered in a gorgeous fabric and impeccably styled. But there’s no way in hell this would sell to the average customer, nor would the average opera-goer ask to have a dress made that looks like this.
We suspect we’re going to hear a lot of “I would LOVE to dress like this!” responses, but unless your wardrobe is mostly vintage, we kind of doubt that most of you would dress like this given the chance. It’s a lovely fantasy ensemble, perfectly suited for a Barbie, but we can’t ever picture an actual woman in the present day wearing it. Admittedly, if you took away the styling, the gloves, and the train, it’s a very pretty dress that would work well in the modern day, but that’s an awful lot of editing to have to do.
[Photo Credit: myLifetime.com – Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]