Project Runway: Highs and Lows

Posted on July 20, 2012

Quick n’ Bitchy-style, kittens! Hit it!


Ven Budhu

Ven is clearly the one to watch. He’s the Rami of this season, bringing lady-like elegance and impressive technical skills. As was the case with Rami’s work occasionally, we detect in this look a need to edit himself. This is breathtaking in a lot of ways but we tend to think that’s more because the skill behind it is so obvious, rather than because it’s all working beautifully. As much as we love the top and the pants, it can’t be denied they both add a LOT of volume to any woman’s body – and in exactly the places most women don’t want it. Proportionally speaking, that bodice would work better with a a floor-length skirt.

But the followup piece is lovely. Perhaps not innovative, but very stylish, flattering and well-made. We would have been fine with him winning this one. He certainly expected it.


Melissa Fleis

At first glance, we thought the judges’ praise for Ashley-Kate’s looks were more than a little overstated, but y’know? The gal’s got that all-important “point of view”in spades. These pieces are unique and elegant.

And while we don’t love all the asymmetry in the followup piece, it’s got a lot of interesting details to it. She’s likely one to watch too.


Lantie Foster

DISASTER. She looks like she’s going to a cocktail party, post-apocalypse. And this was the look she actually had time to spend working on.


The irony is that, while the followup look is bad, it’s no worse than the first one. We didn’t like the knitwear pieces that sent What’s Her Face home, but one would think these two looks together were equally as strong an indication that Lantie had little to offer the competition. In other words, we would have been fine with this one getting the boot.


Kooan Kosuke

Stand back. We’re going to defend this one.

Whatever else you might say about this look, it’s all impeccably executed. Frokemon knows what he’s doing. In addition, whether Nina wants to accept it or not, this is not completely un-representative of Japanese street-style, from a certain segment’s point of view. He’s working what he knows and what he responds to. It’s 100 hundred percent point of view. It’s not weird for the sake of weird, to our eyes. It’s nuts, and he’s not likely to make it past the halfway point of the competition, but we fully support keeping him in on this look alone.

This one, on the other hand, looks like a hospital gown on Star Trek.


[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for – Stills:]

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  • I liked Frokemon’s first look, even if I can’t see anyone wearing it on the street. I thought the same about a lot of Mondo’s looks, too. He obviously has something to say, though, and I’m glad he didn’t go home, even if I do find him supremely weird.

    Lantie should have gone home. That second look makes the model look hippy and makes her waist look thick. Not to mention, it’s ugly as fuck. 

    • mjude

      “it’s ugly as fuck.”    i needed that…LMFAO!

    •  I agree! The dress adds bulk to the model in some really unflattering places.

      • Lauren Hall

        Also it gave the model a UNIBOOB- a look every girl wants.

    • JosephLamour

      OMG he has a blog!

      Also, I really enjoyed that jumper. If you stripped it of the wierd fabric choices and rendered it in a deep purple or some other bold feminine color, paired it with a short sleeved shirt/blouse, and sent that down the runway, it would be accepted by the arbiters of simple on the panel.

    • Celandine1

       I actually loved Frokemon’s polka dot shorts overalls! I could totally see an Earth girl from the future wearing that on a space station when The Doctor visits and she accidentally ends up as a companion.

      • Am not gonna waste my precious time watching the show but I’m here 100% for the commentary.  First off, Frokemon?  Amazing nickname.  And his little jumper, so cute!  I would totally wear something like that.  I don’t know why, but it makes me think of Princess Peach.  Totally made me forget about the “highs” in this post.  But that just goes to show how much I don’t care about this season.  Couldn’t even remember what the winning/losing outfits looked like.  Oh well.  I just really enjoy all the activity that PR brings to this place.  *hugs to all*

      •  Well if there is a ‘design for a pregnant woman’ challenge Frokemon is the one to beat.

        • marishka1

          I don’t know…the anti-fashion fashionista had a structured bubble-dress that could accommodate quite a belly.

    • TxMom2011

      Yeah…. that second look was pretty bad … but I agree with her that it looked better on the runway than in the workroom.  I also liked her first piece… TLO thought it was a disaster but I like the combination of the soft and the snakeskin.   Not worthy of the boot yet, but certainly in her near future.  None-sewing-knit-cape girl had to go.  When she said she took four weeks to make that first look I started yelling at the tv.  Has she never watched this show?!?!  Guess she thought she could ANYA her way through.  Glad she was first to go.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        She took FOUR weeks to make her first look?  That says so much about her lack of experience with actually sewing.

      • boomchicabowwow

        She said 4 DAYS, not 4 weeks.

    • Verascity

       Actually, TLo’s right — I live in Japan and I can totally see someone wearing the overalls, if not with that shirt.

    • EveEve

      Kooan was on TLC’s “I’ve Got Nothing to Wear” reality fashion show a few years ago.  Search for it on YouTube – TLC I’ve Got Nothing to Wear Final Episode, to see that he’s pretty much the same character now.   I don’t remember that show at all – looks pretty awful, as did the garments he created. 

    • funkypeanut

      I’m sorry, but I can’t get behind the first look because she looks like she peed her pants after drinking a blue Icee.

    • adnama79

       I can’t see anyone wearing it on the street here, but I bet in Tokyo that shit would work.

      Love the moniker Frokemon.

  • PR is nothing without your AWESOME commentary!  Love you both!  Is it bad I keep referring to Ven as Buddha?  His second piece did not fit well in the torso and bust. It looked sloppy and floppy…major ew.

    •  His name just slays me — it kind of reminds me of a drag queen.  Not so much the name itself as way it reminds me of another term (Zen Buddha, in this case.)  And the fact that he has a round face and a shaved head?  I hope they keep him all season just for that. 

    • EveEve

      I am not so sure he’s THE one to beat, but definitely top tier.  Let’s see if he can bring it with quick turnarounds that don’t allow him to show off all those mad tailoring skilz.

      • Monabel

        I don’t see mad tailoring skills in that pink number. That shiny bodice does not fit.

        • EveEve

          That’s my point:  he only had a day to do the pink number and it didn’t look all that great.  If this show is about anything, it’s about performing under utterly unrealistic time deadlines.  Not sure he’s got what that takes.

        • Samuel Donovan

           The back of the skirt is off, too.  It looks like the entire garment is being pulled around by the waist seam on the front of the dress; my guess is that the front skirt panel is too small, and too bulky.

        • The detailing on the skirt was nice, but the bodice was a blob.

        • Sweetbetty

           The bodice was horrid!  It looked like a bad home ec project.  The armholes and darts were misplaced and the waist seam appears to be crooked, though that could be from the way the model is moving.  He appears to be a master at fabric manipulation but he needs to learn how to fit a woman’s body.

          • Srw27

            And the pants make the model look hippy so I would look like a whale in them. No thanks lol

        • To my eye, the pant suit isn’t that great either. It makes the model look thick, and the zipper is wonky.

  • Frank_821

    Yes frokemon’s original piece was strangely fascinating. Bright colors and wild patterns but there was a weird unity to it.

    I was about to say with Ven. The womanship was great but the model looks so wide. That’s probably why they didn’t give it too him. too much going on

    • LesYeuxHiboux

       I don’t think Frokemon’s first look is as far afield as Nina would like to paint it, either. It’s certainly not her “all greige and Martha Stewart lines” aesthetic, but I can see Proenza Schouler in the top and Marc Jacobs in the jumper. I could see someone like Willow Smith, Elle Fanning, or Tavi Gevinson wearing the whole look; while more mature gals might wear the top (or a more adventurous one might wear the jumper with otherwise very subdued styling).

      • Sobaika

        Willow would werq that look.

  • I think the thing that takes Frokemon’s first look out of “possible joke” and into “Intentional choice” are those oversized buckles on the jumper.  Giant bright pink buckles MEAN BUSINESS.  And it also ties into the whole play with scale thing that happens with the rest of the jumper, the oversized polka dots, the weird proportions.  I don’t think his second look had the same sort of intent to it.

    I also agree with T&LO that he is not mugging for the cameras.

  • Excellence_and_Elegance

    Kooky Kosuke has a strong point-of-view, which when combined with his technical skills, should carry him far. However, knowing the Duchess, I am sure that Kooky will be labeled a one-trick pony and aufed sooner rather than later. And that will be sad because at least his drama is entertaining to watch, unlike that of Little Miss Guttersnipe.

    • lilibetp

       Yeah, I’ve been calling him Kooky, too.

  • Vlasta Bubinka

    Frokemon’s 1st look was remarkably well made, but a box purse over the box???? And Lantie’s stuff looks like it was held together with old overchewed gum.

  • AudreysMom

    for the “cable starved yet content to just read TLos’ recaps because I’m 85% over project runway” group: what was the challenge? 
    (thank you).

    •  Bring one piece from home and then make a companion piece and show it in Times Square. Like you do.

    • neighborhoodmap

       Full episodes are available online at I don’t have cable either. They post the shows up on Saturday mornings.

  • I didn’t watch so maybe I missed something, but are these plus size models? because they sure look like it in the clothes. 

    •  It’s the clothes. Those girls are definitely not plus-size. The designers would have had a collective freak out if they’d had to design for even normal people, never mind plus sized.

      I recall one designer having to take in his outfit 2″ because the form was bigger than the model.

      • Remember that designer who couldn’t deal with breasts?

        •  Olivier, yes.  Fucking halfwit.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            Ah, yes, Olivier, or Oliveireerere, or however he called himself.  His reaction to breasts will be a lasting memory from season 9.

    •  Yeah, they were stick insects, so it’s just crappy design.  Lantie’s second look made that poor girl look like the broad side of a barn.  A barn draped for mourning.

      Ven’s top, while so well crafted as to look like a museum piece, was not flattering.  And paired with the pants–beautifully constructed and completely unflattering–it just didn’t make a good look.  I’d still have given him the win, though, given the competition.

      • Celandine1

        Late last night I caught snippets of the road to the runway show that aired before the PR premier and I swear that the while suit Ven made for the home challenge looked similar if not identical to something he took to the audition. But that top was stunning and a piece of art.

        • Lisa_Cop

          It was something Ven took to the audition. But Dimitry’s sparkly gown was also something he took to the audition.

      • littlemac8

        Lantie’s second look was tulle draped over a slip.  I use that tulle all the time to gift wrap packages because it’s quick and easy and it looks kind of like  Lantie’s outfit before I tie it into a pretty, colorful bow!

  • umeboshi

    agreed, gentlemen. frokemon’s first look would absolutely not be out of place in harajuku, or maybe shibuya (both areas of tokyo). i mean, the wearer might get some second glances, but believe it or not, people wearing even weirder outfits strut those streets.

    •  This is true about his personal style, too. That blonde afro made me immediately think of ganguro styles.

      That said, I’m really posting to say, “Frokemon” is the funniest thing TLo has ever done.

      • Ledasmom

         Frokemon. Gotta wear ’em all.

    • angryparsnip

       Yes, More so in Tokyo this look is not out of place.
      I hope he can channel this vibe and bring some interest to the show already dominated by the Micheal and Josh 2.0.
      I swear I almost got an stroke watching them.
      Love your name, I must tell you I am a huge umeboshi fan. Friends in Osaka just sent me some special ones that I have been hording !

      cheers,  parsnip


    • CozyCat

      He is so obviously representing the “Tokyo street style” POV that I was surprised that he ended up in the bottom.  His challenge piece actually works in its own quirky way.   Perhaps the judges just assume that he’s this year’s sacrificial kook (Ping, Elise, etc.) 

      But the guy obviously does have some strong construction skills.  He may be surprisingly strong in the non quirky challenges.

      • BrooklynBomber

        “This year’s sacrificial kook” – ha!

  • mjude

    my inner goth girl loved melissa’s 1st look

    • MilaXX

       I liked her jacket, but that all black thing will wear thin with me real fast.

      • Spicytomato1

        Yeah, when her stuff came out on the runway I felt like I finally understood why judges always caution against using too much black. The craftsmanship and details got completely lost in a sea of blackness, especially with the first look. I felt like she was a bit overpraised, too.

      • TheOriginalLulu

        Definitely, like Mila with her black & white mod stuff. Her clothing was gorgeous and well made, but after a while, it really upset me that she couldn’t break out of her mold a little bit at least, you know? You kind of have to in this competition.

  • Honestly, I think Kooan *should* stay. It’s not really my (anyone’s?) taste, but TLo are right that he has a POV, and his items seemed to be fairly well-made.

    Agreed that he’s not likely to win, but it’s refreshing that there’s at least a couple of contestants who are putting some slightly more original, non-department store pieces on the runway. 

  • I love the look of Ven’s work- very glamazon-90s-esque, but I want to know who those pants would flatter? (not me…) And the zipper killed me a bit.  But I LOVED the details of his top.  The follow-up piece was a bit off on the fit to me.  Maybe it was a transition from a form to a model, but it was giving droopy boob.  It could have been the fabric choice or the seem placement, but I couldn’t figure it out.  I like it very much over all though.

    And goth-Olson, while black and modern, I sure see this stuff all the time, and it looks comfortable 

    Lantie… That lady is interesting… Not only is her stuff crap- Thank you Mr. Kors for “dirty mosquito netting,” but she states she’s from Northern California… multiple times.  It’s a pretty large area, it irks me.

    • Northern California means the San Francisco bay area and one of its fairly close cultural offshoots.  There is a distinct culture there.  Left-leaning, cerebral, toned-down colors in-between the bright or just plain toned-down, introverted, natural, turned-on, and experimental.  Different from the Los Angeles area in Southern California which tends to be extroverted, highly tuned into surface style and charm, tanned, infused with light, shiny, and also left-leaning but less committedly so than Northern California. Stereotypes from the top of my head. There is often talk in California about two substates, northern and southern.  The south has goodwill for the north but the north can sometimes have contempt for the south.

      • T

        Nice try, but no. People who say they are from northern California or the Bay Area are not from any of the cities that matter — San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland — and are desperately trying to hitch themselves to a regional cache. As for political/color relationships, these head-top stereotypes barely connect to any reality (I’m from San Francisco and live there). Last, the part about contempt, people from the north have never cared about any place outside of SF (which is why it’s been called the City for so long), so saying there’s contempt for southern California is like saying we have it in for Chicago or DC or NYC. It’s not that anyone’s hostile, it’s just that nobody cares.

      • I am from San Francisco and still live in the city (born in Berkeley) and I know this whole issue, but it really annoyed me, but this woman was being so weird in saying Northern California instead of the city or town… it struck me as very odd.  Why not just say it?  Was she embarrassed? 

  • piecesofconfetti

    Off topic, but what is up with the Lifetime logo? Is that new? 

    • Haha, it looks just like the relatively recently redone Kraft logo. Lifetime: Like Processed Cheese. 

      • piecesofconfetti

         Haha, how apt. Definitely cheesy.

      • formerlyAnon

         I wish you had started commenting earlier!

        We’ve missed so much.

        • I’m confused. What have we missed?

          • formerlyAnon

             You, not so much. But the rest of us have missed the amusement of your comments!

          • Aw shucks. 

  • I do not respond well to Frokemon’s style.  BUT… it’s one worth keeping.  Yes, I don’t particularly go for the Harajuku thing, but I’m hardly his target market either, and he did it quite well.  Not being really into the Japanese street scene, I can’t say if it’s just a pale imitator of that style or not, but he certainly didn’t commit the most offensive sins this week.  I think that prize goes to Lantie. 

    There was no innovation, no point of view, AND they were ugly as sin.  At least Knit Girl’s stuff looked comfortable.  I really can’t see anything that would argue toward keeping Lantie.  I’m hoping she goes next.

    I can’t get too worked up about it though, because Knit’s stuff was pretty craptacular too. 

    Ven’s I liked.  The technique in the bustier was fantastic.  But it wasn’t new or innovative.  I’m hopeful that future efforts will show more creativity.

  • StellaZafella

    If Ashley Kate aka Melissa/Alisa ? were actually designing for the Olson twins line…perhaps they’d seem more edgy and fashion forward instead of looking so often like they raided a goth Grandmother’s burial trunk.
    Any new/better way to say “Fashion Forward”? Just writing those word makes me feel old and more un-hip than usual.

    • CozyCat

      I think she may have already accomplished one of the primary goals a PR contestant should have:  people have now seen her work.  There is a market for what she’s doing.  That first jacket/vest would appeal to a lot of women. 

  • PaulaBerman

    I thought the fit on the bust of Ven’s second dress was not that great. Of the above designer’s, I liked Melissa’s the best. I need to see the other ones again, as it was just a blur. Interested to see if TLo thought there were any looks that didn’t make the top that deserved to be there.

  • Cathy S

    I liked Frokemon’s first look, although I wish he hadn’t put that bag around the model’s neck; it looked stupid and it covered up some of the outfit. And it was totally unnecessary. I hope he’ll be fun to watch. I thought Python Bib should have gone home. Beatrice wasn’t all that, but I liked the shape of her first dress (minus the cape) and I thought both of the snakeskin outfits were horrible. Ven’s cool though. I loved the pants on that suit, and although the flower bodice was beautifully made I thought it was a bit much.

    • Lingus

      I actually thought Kooan put that purse there to look like the bigass camera, like the old stereotypical Japanese tourist in America. I might be reading too much into a purse, but it made me smile when I saw it.

  • fnarf

    Japanese street style from the 1990s, you mean. There was a book packed full of looks like these about 15 years ago — from Taschen? I can’t remember. But it’s quite well-done, and I would have put him in the top three or four. Hearing these four dinosaurs — seriously, these judges are all in their 50s or 60s — complain about his stuff is just ridiculous. It’s not FOR YOU. Club kids would wear this (either one) in a heartbeat.

    The only thing Lantie’s got going for her is the inexplicable popularity of hideous, poorly-made “upcycled” Etsy crap amongst so many people these days. She can sell that crap to dim-bulb hipsters here in Seattle as fast as she can get those old tablecloths ripped up. Well, not that second one. Not even an ironic unicorn sweatshirt could save that one.

    Whatsername who got aufed will have a job at INC churning out shapeless knits that fall to pieces after one wearing by this time tomorrow.

    • formerlyAnon

       Ahh, fnarf. I’ve missed your trenchant dis-embowelments of the metaphorical halt, lame & blind!

    • You’re probably referring to the book “Fruits.” According to Amazon it was released by Phaidon Press in early 2001. The styles are very much like Kooan Kosuke’s first outfit.

      • fnarf

        That’s it! Who needs a memory when random strangers on the internet can do it for you! Thanks.

      • DesertDweller79

         Well, he did say that was an older look.  Representative of the kind of style he used to design with.  But the second look was more representative of what he is currently designing.  So, it sounded to me like it was retro on purpose.  Well, retro as far as Toyko street scene goes.

    • muzan-e

      Absolutely. In its way, it’s dated – but then, you can still spot variants of this floating about on the streets here and there, and I remember a point at which the general feel was beginning to influence European designers… several years after the trend’s popularity had begun to wan for Japanese youth. 

    • Cali Sherwood

       Just to clarify, there are two books and both are compilation of pieces from the Fruits magazine published in Japan covering the Harajuku district. The magazine started in 1997.

  • Judy_S

     I thought Lantie should have gone home–or not been cast in the first place–those dresses were dismal. They NEEDED an Aztec fur coverup.  Floor-length.
    Kooan on the other hand I really enjoyed, both as a person and as a designer. I just realized that the two dots on the forehead correspond to the extra eyebrows of the Japanese actor (or mask) portraying a divine or aristocratic person.  “Skybrows.” I even liked his Star-Trek hospital gown.
    With Ven, I think the assumption is maybe that he will be winning a lot of them down the road, so why not give somebody else this one? His clothes are so beautifully made–far beyond the usual red carpet or gala “designer” glitz and dip. I hope he can keep it up as they start pushing on morale with the challenges, time frames, dollar limits, etc.
    Melissa, aka Ashley-Kate, I don’t get the fuss about.

    •  Aztec isn’t accurate.  Crap tourist serape from the gas station is more like it. 

  • I was sure that Melissa would annoy me, but I actually like her (well, so far). Her looks were the most polished, and I get the sort of understated goth thing.

    I thought Ven’s pants made his model look fat, but I agree that it took some talent to make what he did.  I’m so glad there are some real talented people on the show, I just hope the producers don’t kick them off in favor of the crazies.

    I was happy they kept lil Japanese Richard Simmons on the show. He may be hamming it up a bit, but he seems kind of adorable. I’m sure he’ll get on my nerves eventually, but I just loved how he bowed and said thank you no matter what the judges said to him.

  • I understand and appreciate where exactly Frokemon is taking his style cues, and I really like the first look (though that purse should be MUGH smaller and covered in phone charms).  This is way more interesting that a lot of the designers, and at this point I’m asking the clothes to be interesting, unlike Lantie’s dishwater doilies.  I’m bored and I want color, FROKEMON! I CHOOSE YOU!

    • formerlyAnon

       Jesus people! PR brings out the best on this blog. At least when it comes to making me laugh/snort out loud from my cubicle.

      (“Frokemon! I choose you!” I’m grinning wildly just typing it.)

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I’m waiting to see if Frokemon has hairy hobbit feet-I think he’d be an amazing hobbit!

  • kingderella

    kooans first look not only has “a point of view”, its also rooted in some serious fashion. the polkadots and oversized-ness are pure comme des garcons, and the colours are M.I.A., whom you may or may not like, but is unquestionably a trend-setter.

  • NDC_IPCentral

    I’m in complete accord with your assessments, Tom and Lorenzo.  There do seem to be a few designer-contestants, barely visible (besides Ven and Melissa) in yesterday’s opener, that seem to have some designing chops, and we can hope against hope that the juggernaut that is Bunim-Murray’s production philosophy won’t preclude our seeing something of these folks’ abilities.

  • l_c_ann

    Why are both Frokeman’s models designed with patches on their foreheads?  It might have some meaning.

    • greyhoundgirl

      He instructed his makeup artists to do this, as I recall.  Meaning?  Place for antlers to grow?  Where they tune into outer space?  Just decoration?

      • My guess is that he was trying to invoke the high eyebrows of Noh theatre masks, which themselves were based on the stylized eyebrows from the Heian period of Japanese history.

      • My frantic googling can’t turn up any more details, but it’s definitely something I’ve seen in manga and old Japanese wood block prints. I think they also turn up on masks in Japanese theatre. I’m pretty sure they are meant to be aristocratic eyebrows, indicating the high class and possibly divine nature of the people in question. Definitely in the Heian era, aristocratic Japanese women would pluck their eyebrows and draw on new ones way up on their foreheads, in oval or circular shapes.

        In other words, like the rest of the outfit, it’s definitely not weird for the sake of weird– it’s drawing on a long history of cultural references that just happen not to be part of the American mainstream.

        • greyhoundgirl

          Thanks–that’s pretty cool!

      • It’s probably a Heian era makeup callback, when aristocratic women would shave their eyebrows and redraw them as little oval higher on the forehead.  It’s not that unusual for people to sport modified version of that.

        • greyhoundgirl

          Thank you!  Kind of cool!

        • l_c_ann

          Thanks, Barbara,
          I sort of knew it couldn’t be random.

          • formerlyAnon

             And I think this will characterize much, if not all of his time on the show. He does something that most of us (and some of the judges) don’t ‘get’ – or think we get, but don’t fully get – because it is out of our frame of reference. As here, he will not explain the context – either because he doesn’t think he needs to or the language barrier prevents. (Or, maybe, the format of the show prevents.)

            And he’ll be dismissed as being “cartoony” etc.

          • I’m holding a betting pool to see how long it takes before someone uses the word “Japanime.” 

            This work is outlandish in the United States (…sort of, there’s a lot of weird and interesting street fashion here too), and I feel like the judges are going to pick bones with that, especially given their tendency to talk about how “commercial” work is lately.  I don’t think that’s fair either, given how much praise they heap on couture-ish designers, whose work is far less wearable or marketable.

          • BuffaloBarbara

             I expect that Frokemon will go before the finals because the prize is sales by Lord and Taylor… not exactly a venue where giant pink buckles will go over.  And it’s a shame, because the more I look at that, the more I kind of like it, and I love that he’s using historical and cultural references in his styling.  I’m strongly suspicious that there’s a pretty high-powered brain under that hair.

  • Lattis

     “This one, on the other hand, looks like a hospital gown on Star Trek.”

    haha Yeah, the fabric also reminds me of the “blankets” on Star Trek beds. Real cozy. snort. Have you ever seen “Mon Oncle”? I love the scene where the mistress of the modernistic house is giving her guests a tour of her living room and she gestures to a stark, concrete floored area with a sort of medical examining room style sitting couch and says, “this is our cozy corner.” 

  • tignor

    Designers: Please retire the slicked-back-on-the-sides-top-poof-with-ponytail-faux-hawk hairstyle. PLEASE. Thank you.

    • Vera L-


  • Just as Tim has said, “Don’t bore Nina,” someone should tell the designers, “Don’t confuse Tim.” 

  • Lattis

     “As was the case with Rami’s work occasionally, we detect in this look a need to edit himself.”

    My biggest problem with Rami was that I VEHEMENTLY disliked his color choices. He took his color palette from my mom’s 80’s sofa fabric. I’m hoping that Ven does not suffer from the same disorder.

  • crash1212

    Of all of these, I responded to Melissa/Ashley-Kate’s the most. I loved both pieces. That off the shoulder-sleeve treatment in Look #2 – sublime. I also thought it was interesting that most judges mentioned more than once how the disliked designs in black because the work is so hard to see…could not bode well for Ms. I Only Work in Black. We shall see.

    • michelle shields

      I agree. How many episodes into this season are we going to get into before we hear about getting out of her comfort zone?

  • GTrain

    I really liked Melissa’s work and hoped she had won. I can’t believe Lantie made it through. Maybe they kept her for any easy out next week if no one else has a colossal fail.

    • CozyCat

      They kept Lantie because, as ugly as her clothes were, they were not as ugly as the Aztec cape.

      • Lisa_Cop

        Oh I think Lantie’s clothes were far uglier. But Beattice not only couldn’t sew, her nice personality was probably not dramatic enough for Bunim Murray.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          A non-sewing contestant on PR has got to have other attributes that Bunim-Murray prizes-charm, a funky/vaguely scandalous backstory, and personal attractiveness among others-in the PR archives, SEE Anya.

  • Indovina

    Ven is rather like Rami in many respects. I think that’s a good comparison – and not just because of the shaved head. So far, he seems more like a master craftsman whose work skews a little older than Project Runway likes it too. Not unlike Rami.

    I like Melissa and Melissa’s work well enough, but her penchant for black, as always, makes me hear Tim Gunn’s voice in my head saying “student work”. Nevertheless, she does seem to have more of a point-of-view than just “all black all the time”. I’m reserving judgement.

    As for Lantie, I will say only that Michael Kors line about python bibs was the funniest thing he’s said on the show in seasons.

    Kooan has no hope of staying in the competition till the end, simply because his work is not what the show is actually looking for (no matter what they may sometimes claim), but I appreciate the concepts and craftsmanship. He was also in little danger of being sent home right away: only in S6 have they sent the kookiest home before the most boring. The much vaunted point-of-view will usually buy a ticket to episode 2, at the very least. I like him.

  • I have to disagree Ven Budhu’s “follow-up” piece is “well-made”, nope, the bodice is crappy, it does not fit the moldel, all the darts did not add shape to the bodice, but look bad.  the pleated mini skirt is a match to the rose bodice. maybe he should piece the rose top and the pleated mini skirt  together and make a cocktail dress.  photos show that Melissa does better job when it comes to tailoring.

  • dorothea_brooke

    I like Melissa-Kate’s stuff well enough, but sense it’s going to get old fast. And the model in the long skirt looks constipated.  Is that a thing now?  I guess at this point complaining that it shouldn’t matter what the designer looks like, or what the designer’s personal style is a lost cause.  Sigh.  

  • msdamselfly

    I thought Lantie’s first piece was lovely

  • SewingSiren

    Venn’s original look is very pretty, but it  looks too small for the model. Why is the jacket just over her shoulders instead of on her? Maybe he should have shown it without the jacket, but I almost think the bodice isn’t closed in the back, or the pants are split. It looks like something is hiding back there. 
    The skirt of the competition garment is okay. The bodice looks kind of a mess to me.The judges didn’t have much to say about it at all. He definitely made top three on the garment he brought with him. I hope he’s not so in love with that pant suit that he can’t move beyond how great it is.
    Both of Melissa’s pieces are strong. I can’t really tell which one she brought with her and which she made for the competition. I that way she should have won, because the the boys were very weak on their challenge garment. Although I thought the other girl that made two black looks had even stronger looks.
    Both of Lanties looked like they were made under severe time and money constraints. If her original is the best she can do , perhaps she should have been put out of her misery first.
    The clown thinks he is on a Japanese game show. Maybe they will cover him in mud or have a bee hive drop on his head on the next show.

    • Lattis

      I agree with you about Melissa.

      But, on the subject of Frokemon and mud/bees etc. Man, don’t put that idea in Bunim-Murray’s head! Next thing you know they’ll add another company to their already lengthy product placements: “Designers, all organic beneficial insect pest control is provided by . . .  

    • Spicytomato1

      The asymmetrical dress is Melissa’s second piece. I agree that they were both strong, but I was a little overwhelmed by the blackness when both pieces were on the runway.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        The overabundance of black could work against Melissa. She has point of view and the judges already see her as knowing “her girl”, so hopefully she broke out of her black box and used some color or prints at some point.

    • Lilithcat

      Why is the jacket just over her shoulders instead of on her? 

      My guess would be that the bustier wouldn’t show as well if she put the jacket on.

      • Neither piece would look good — if the jacket’s cut the way it appears, some of the folding on the bustier would be covered, which would hide the work and would also throw off the way the jacket should lay.  The two pieces should really never be shown together, because they couldn’t be worn together. 

  • MilaXX

    Not a lot to say since I don’t disagree with what TLo said.
    I really liked Koonan’s first look and Lante must be smoking crack if she thinks she’s the “pretty girl”. She’s average at best and sorry to say those childhood photos were not doing anything to support her pretty girl claim. They typical tragic childhood photos. We all have them. I have a picture that makes me look like a black cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      If I remember correctly Lantie seemed rather stressed out about being 38, thereby being close to 40. If so, that is a bit sad.

      •  Actually, she said “did I say 38?” and the caption with her name & age switched from 38 to 48.  I think that means she’s 48.

      • carolclark12

        But didn’t it actually show her age as 48?  She laughed and said something like, “Oops!  Did I say 38?”

        • formerlyAnon

          Girlfriend is looking 50 in the face and isn’t at peace about it.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            So she is actually closer to 50…and isn’t cool with that.  Sad.  I say that as someone who’s now on the other side of 60 and OK with it.

      •  I’m more than a little stressed about hitting 29 in two weeks, so I can understand that.  It’s so close to 30.  And yes, I know my life won’t end at 30, it’s just a different era of my life so that makes me nervous.  Plus, it’s one of those things that when you want to hit certain marks by a certain age, and then you realize you’re close to that age and nowhere near where you wanted to be…

        • formerlyAnon

          It’s funny how different ages have meaning for us all in different ways, no matter how hard the culture tries to convince us that certain ages are milestones in good or bad ways.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            I remember feeling more anxious or stressed when I was approaching 30, too, and I agree that when you’ve thought about goals that you’ve set for youself, that that contributes to the angst.

        • 30 was a good year for me, I finally felt like a grownup… Now that I’m looking 50 in the face I’m feeling like you, not anywhere near where I wanted to be by this age.  But I’m ok with the number.

  • MilaXX

     I swear Guinan (Whoopie Goldberg’s character) actually did wear an outfit made out of that same material.

    • formerlyAnon

       If not, one so similar as to make no meaningful difference. (And more than once.)

  • sashaychante

    I really like Melissa’s two looks.  The are edgy, and actually would probably work on a wide age range.  Ven might be this season’s Romi.  He has walking a thin line between elegant/classy and clothing for the “mature” woman…and not in a good way.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I guess I can see the “needs editing” with Ven, and he’ll probably get it quite a bit.  But more to the point with Ven, I can see his stuff in Lord and Taylor, which probably has some say in the judging.  Alas, I can’t see Frokemon there, unless he’s lost on the way to a con and needs to drop in and use the facilities.

    I’m still not really feeling Melissa’s.  I’d have to look at some middle of the packer’s to know who else I’d have put in the top three, but I recall thinking she was kind of a yawn.

    On the Lantie vs. Beatrice, all I can think is that there is some clothing deconstruction challenge coming up, and they’re waiting for it to auf Lantie in her specialty.

    I’m with you guys in defending Frokemon’s first garment, and I’ll even add in his idea of making the tie-in colors on the inside of the second garment, with the subtle little hidden half polka dot in the hem–it’ll never win, but it shows the wheels turning in his brain.  Plus, he looks like he’s having fun on PR, just playing it like a weird sport, which is something of a relief after all the “I just HAVE to have this” contestants.  I don’t doubt that he will disappoint me on this count soon, but so far, it’s fun to watch someone just goofing around, kind of like Peach did.

  • SapphoPoet

    TLo, may I make a suggestion? Would you be able to state the challenge at the beginning of the blog post? I don’t watch the show so often I don’t know what I’m looking at or reading about when reading your blog post. It would just help to clarify things. But just a suggestion, of course. 

    • H3ff

      As far as I remember, they had to design a look that represented their aesthetic before coming to the show, then at Parsons they had to design a vaguely-defined “companion piece”. 

      I don’t remember when Tim Gunn actually told them this, however.

      • SapphoPoet

        Thanks much.

    • EveEve

      Enthusiastically Seconded!

    • SapphoPoet

      Although to be fair, TLo did state the challenge in the “Shall We Begin” blog post. 

  • MoHub

    Well, I got folled. When they called the six top-and-bottom, I thought Frokemon was in the top three and Melissa was in the bottom. I really liked the little romper—and I’m over 60—in a Japanese preteen kind of way. I thought it was far more interesting than Melissa’s sad work.

  • formerlyAnon

    Now that I’ve seen all of it, (thank you lord for high speed Internet & lunch hour) I am surprisingly not-yet-discouraged.  Though if the idiots who edit and run this show – let alone some of the people who’ve been on camera the whole time – can’t distinguish between 10 SEASONS and 10 YEARS, my document editor OCD is going to drive me to violence.

    I suspect I am going to wind up outraged on Kooan’s behalf – unless he simply refuses to accept that suitability for sales in a U.S. department store somewhere is a big part of the criteria for success on PR.  Kors & Nina are supposed to know more about fashion than do I – and I ‘got’ where he was coming from, even though I don’t have the correct stye vocabulary to discuss it.

    I thought Lantie’s dress made at home was decent without the bolero jacket, which definitely brought it down, and if her 2nd dress had picked up on the more romantic, Miss Havisham elements rather than a literal “let’s transfer the snakeskin and the vertical panel” approach – and onto an anti-ethereal shapeless & unflattering base, to boot – I might not even have thought she deserved bottom three. (Did she pick that hideous purse off the wall in the hopes the dress would look graceful in comparison?)

    I still think Ven is going to have more trouble adjusting to the time frame than most. The bodice on that pink dress had issues. But if he pulls through next week’s candy challenge in the top half of the field, I bet he’s final 3.

    • Lilithcat

      though if the idiots who edit and run this show – let alone some of the people who’ve been on camera the whole time – can’t distinguish between 10 SEASONS and 10 YEARS, my document editor OCD is going to drive me to violence.

      I am so glad I’m not the only one who was driven batty by that!

      •  I gave them the benefit of the doubt, maybe it really was 10 years with the odd gap between Bravo and Lifetime, so I checked, and no, it’s only been 8. 

        • formerlyAnon

          Thanks for checking – I was too lazy – but I vividly remember discovering PR while packing a house to move so I had a firm reference for season 2 & knew it wasn’t 10 years!

          •  Like Tinkerbell when I was a child, I WANT to believe in the PR people.  But like Tinkerbell, I also know it’s not a great idea to trust that belief really far…

    • Lisa_Cop

      I think Lantie acknowledged that her first piece was a vintage garment she “reworked”.

    • Linderella

      THANK YOU–that whole “10 years” thing was making me seriously nuts!

      •  Seriously.  Every time they said it I’s start yelling and wanted to throw things.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    I think Frokemon is one of the funniest nicknames you have come up with thus far.
    He DOES know what he’s doing, and I think if Tim and the judges can get him to edit carefully, I have no doubt that he’s capable of turning out some really amazing looks. I really hope he tones it down and gives himself a chance to go far in this competition. Nobody’s saying he can’t make fun clothes; it’s just that he really needs to cut down on the clownish aspect of his designs, at least for this competition.

    Ven- The man clearly has talent, but he also needs to exercise some restraint. He needs to step back and examine whether or not an outfit is flattering. Definitely agree that this beautiful bustier would have been amazing with a straight skirt. I don’t think it really works well with a jacket either. Perhaps he just wanted to show a lot because it’s the first challenge, but there’s entirely too much going on. That thin model looks like an average-sized woman in that outfit. So an average-sized woman would look how?

    Agreed on Lantie. Oy vey, those were some ugly clothes. I wanted her to get the boot over sweater girl, just because she annoys the hell out of me.

    Melissa – Girl definitely has a point-of-view, now I wonder if everything is going to be black? Kinda makes me think of Stella and her “leathuh”, except Stella was all kinds of awesome. Wonder what girlfriend is up to.

  • nannypoo

    That brown netted thing has to be the most unflattering dress I have ever seen. If Lantie is smart she will turn out to be the one who sneaks out in the middle of the night.

    • Susan Crawford

      My money is on her for the Midnight Escapee. She was truly savaged in the judging – and rightfully so. As for the breakdown, I’m betting the fellow with the widow’s peak hairdo who looks like Pugsley Addams after two semesters at design school. He was melting down a bit, I thought, in the workroom.

      Oh, and hasn’t Swatch grown into a lovely doggie since his last appearance? So cute!

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        You could be right that Lantie and Raul (widow’s peak guy) are the ones who hit the road. They both seemed quite stressed during the first episode, and that might bode ill for the long haul.
        And yes, our little Swatch is quite the handsome doggie!

    • Lisa_Cop

      Nope, she is in another apartment than Melissa-Kate (who heard the escapee depart). By looking at which women are in which apartment I think 58 year-old cat lady was the one who left.

  • butterbean

    You guys seriously didn’t like Lantie’s first dress?!? I thought it was cute and showed beautiful technique!

  • TxMom2011

    My problem with Kooky Frokemon is more personal than his designs.  I didnt like either design, but that’s no surprise.  The thing is he drove me KRAZY during judging with his wacky answers and goofyass giggling.  I have no idea what the second piece had to do with the first.  And I truly don’t think he got their criticism….. which will get him auf’d pretty quickly anyway.  

  • guest2visits

    So glad to hear your appraisal of Ven’s white pantsuit. I wasn’t as thrilled about it as everyone else seemed to be.
    I thought it was much nicer on the ‘hanger’- or in theory; than actually on the model. The beautiful rose top was very ‘fattening’
    suddenly for the model, both it and the strangly pleated pants made her look a mile wide. I liked the second dress, though
    I thought it should have fit alittle better.
    There were a few others I would have said auf wiedersehen to; Fabio, Beatrice, Lantie, and Andea or Buffy.
    I thought these were either much too simple, or odd for the sake of being odd, or dated; as in Buffy’s style.

    •  I think the bustier might have been more flattering on a non-model, actually — models don’t tend to have a lot of curves, and a greater definition between bust and waist might have made it look better.  Then again, maybe not…

  • H3ff

    I loved Ashley-Kate Olsen’s looks. Impeccably made and very dramatic, with none of the gimmickry you normally see with this kind of style (see: Andy and April from two seasons back).
    Ven seems cocky in the Emilio mould. It is probably for his benefit that he didn’t win this challenge.

  • I loved Ven’s sculpted rosette. The rose-petaled treatment recurs in the pleating of the sleeves (how the pleats come together at the sleeve-ends) as well as in the structuring of the 2nd look. Problem is, such elaborate sculptural detailing requires much time, and that is why his 2nd look is nowhere near as polished as its completed-at-own-pace companion. The hem of the dress is not great (check out all the puckering). I don’t like the bust-darts either. The rose-folds are nicely done, though. I respond to his aesthetic. His clothes exude refinery/finesse/delicacy. I hope he can render such exquisite detailing in the allotted time (though his 2nd look leaves me in some doubt).

    Melissa: I like the looks, of course I do, that’s precisely what I wear; thus, I appreciate her aesthetic: edgy but not too severe, gothic but not baby-doll goth or shredded or tulle-abundant or heavily deconstructed. I like the leather vest; it’s very well tailored. I don’t mind the full-length black dress: its simplicity & flow serves as a counterpoint to the austerity of the jacket. 2nd look: pretty good. I don’t mind the asymmetry; it’s the crinkling at the back that bothers me. Such a look needs to be sharp, sharp, sharp.

    The blond gal: puke-worthy clothes. Hate that snakeskin panel in the 2nd look; if you want it to undulate, it better look deliberate.

     Mr. Bathroom: I love the 1st look, esp. those circular appliqués. The bag & bracelet, too, work well as accessories. 2nd look is competently made, but not as loud or cartoon-like and less interesting for it. As far as I’m concerned, tho, he’s good.

    •  Melissa would definitely have gotten my vote for the win if not for the back of the skirt on her second look — it made her look like she had a tail.

  • Samuel Donovan

    The issue I’m having with Ven’s work is that it doesn’t seem to really take the way a body moves, or the dimensional differences between front, back, and side, into account.  The effects he creates are beautifully done, but he doesn’t seem to put much effort into making the rest of the garment look good.  And why wasn’t that dress steamed?!

    • Pupioso

       It’s a cross between his afro style hair and Pokemon the Japanese cartoon character series. Very aptly named. I love it!

    • Laylalola

      Frokemon is so perfect a nickname, reading the boards it’s clear more than half of us already think of him only as Frokemon. I’m actually already so used to seeing it I momentarily forgot that it’s not his real name!

  • I was so surprised that the girls whose designs were based on fencing uniforms (was her name Eliana?) didn’t make the top three, let alone win the challenge. I can just tell this season is going to be hard to get through…

    • formerlyAnon

       Her better design (the one made at home) isn’t going to fly off the racks at a ‘better department store.’ Which, whatever they say about ‘fashion’ is the bedrock esthetic of the show.

  • Lantie’s first one looks like she cut up a 70s bedspread to make it out of.  Should’ve stuck with curtains.  😉  Ah, well, at least she didn’t go for bathrobe/towel sheik like Squiggy (Raul) did. Sorry, had to look up the dude’s name.  😛 Squiggy is the same idiot who didn’t know that if the stitches aren’t staying in the fabric, the tension is too loose…. you know the idiot with pre-ruffled chenille!

    • formerlyAnon

       Her better design (the one made at home) isn’t going to fly off the racks at a ‘better department store.’ Which, whatever they say about ‘fashion’ is the bedrock esthetic of the show.

  • marilyn

    Is Ven doing plus-size wear? I am not opposed to it, but I think it takes nerve to present it to the pirhana-type judges.

    Melissa’s first look makes the model’s butt look very big from behind, and not in a good way.  I can hear the nagging already, for her to do somehting besides black.  I think she is a one-note designer. 

    The designer who went home needed to go.

    Frokemon’s first look was cut so the prints were cut in an artful way.  A detail that is very thoughtful and evolved.  I am not sure if I like his perspective, because I think fashion should make women attractive, so I don’t know if I will like his designs in general.  But, this one thing is important and, who knows?, maybe his work will grow on me.

    •  Personally, I’d love to do plus-size fashion on this show.  Think how fun it would be to see all 3 judges twitching at the sight.  And no matter how badly they wanted to, no way the network lets them slam on plus-sizes in general 😛

  • You know, Kooan’s second look isn’t terrible. It’s the styling that did him in. If he went for a more hip hop vibe, I could see that piece working in a weird sort of way. Of course, then it wouldn’t have gone with the first quite so well.

    • Spicytomato1

      I kinda liked it, too. 

  • Lilithcat

    I’m crazy in love with Melissa’s first look.

    • minnye

      She seems polished & marketable. That look could appeal to a lot of women of different ages & different sizes.

  • I think it was a tie between sending Beatrice home and sending Lantie home. I would probably have sent lantie (what was with the python bibs?  Who wants a snake stuck to their boobs???), but you know, I think this is likely a case of what (fairly arbitrary) order you put them in. Betcha Lantie strikes out next week, unless she pulls something fab out, and unless someone else crashes and burns.

    And the more I look at little Frokemon’s first look, the more I like it. And TLo is right–it was impeccably constructed (unlike a lot of the other people’s stuff. Like the so-called winner Chris’s hiddy black fiasco…)  Frokemon  sure is entertaining too.  Can’t see him lasting too long, but it’ll be fun watching Tim struggle to say something relevant about his stuff…

  • alyce1213

    I think Frokemon certainly has a unique point of view, which could be a lot of fun, but I can’t say his execution is impeccable. That back seam on the overalls is wedging up her butt crack like crazy.

  • ASK26

    Freakymon reminded me of ping on the odd all scale. ..
    And while the first one seeker well made yet odd… The second one was awful. I want to know how good the white suit jacket would have looked on. And how the arms would have fit

  • snarkykitten

    Kooky-san is my favorite because as you boys say, he doesn’t appear to be trying to play any character. He’s just this weird dude who makes clothes that if you break them down, could be worn by a lot of different celebs. & isn’t that the point of fashion?

  • Toto Maya

     I found myself defending Froke’s look to my family. The Japanese culture really shows in his looks. Yes, it’s weird, but from a Western standpoint, the Japanese are weird. I think he could hit it big in Japan, and if we’re willing to be open-minded he can do some great stuff here. But let’s face it, these judges can’t even appreciate black fashion yet.

  • Susan Crawford

    Ven’s abilities are a cut above, that’s for sure, and I look forward to seeing if he can take his real talent for cut and fit and general design and break out of his comfort zone. Or he will run the risk of being the too conservative guy who will not bend to the cray-cray just enough to kick some butt. The more I look at Kooan’s first look, the more I kind of sort of in a way get it. It’s . . . anime Harajuku cosplay fun stuff, but lurking under that insanity is a pretty damned good craftsman

    Melissa definitely interests me – she has a real point of view and some mad skills.

    Michael Costello-Lite won for a couple of overpraised designs that really didn’t appal me but didn’t wow me either. The back zipper on the black dress was atrocious, but he was getting all the love so that’s that. I think he and Gunnar Death-Ray-Gay are gonna annoy the hell out of me in no time at all.

    As always, Bunim/Murray is building up the drama for episode 2 by playing up the missing designer and the breakdown that had Michael Kors delivering the inspirational/motivational “You can DO this, kids” speech. You know you’re headed into the wild blue yonder when Mr. Orangina is the “voice of reason”, amirite?

    Tim looked fabulous, as always – often nonplussed, but always fabboo: that’s St. Tim of Gunn. Heidi’s green dress has been shredded already, so I’ll say nothing; Nina looked cool, chic and elegant, as usual; Patricia Fields should get a cabaret act together with Harvey Fierstein – those two voices NEED to be together. Maybe Santino could join them for a little medley? Lauren Graham? Srsly? I mean, I love her madly, but as for fashion credentials? Hell-ooo?

    Crank up the nutzo-factor and let it rip: Season 10 has been LAUNCHED, Kittens and Fawns. And thank gawd we have Tom and Lorenzo to lead us through the wilderness – they’re the BEST gay uncles we could dream of.

  • spooki C

    NGL I’d wear Kooan’s first look, but then again I am in’s target market. Still, I like the colors and those giant ass buckles are totally something I would go for.

    His second look, make it more of a standard hoodie and I’m all for it. As it is now it’s kinda unflattering and that fabric is too thick for what he was trying for.

  • GorgeousThings

     Perhaps not innovative, but very stylish, flattering and well-made.

    Darlings, I must disagree with you here. The waist to bust darts land squarely in  “HEREAREMYNIPPLESville. I think he is immensely talented, given time to work. It will be interesting to see how he does in short-time challenges.

    • BrooklynBomber

      Maybe well-designed is more apt. I mean, it is what it is (not innovative), but it’s in a fabric that shows every hastily-sewn rippled seam, and it seems very few contestants “in the history of Project Runway!” sew really well when they have only a day.  And I hate the flowy pants with the rose top — what a mistake. Pairing the top with white was brill, but slim pants or a slim skirt would have worked much better. I suppose he wanted to show he could do pleats as well as roses. (Or is that pleated fabric? I didn’t even know there was such a thing, but I learned it on PR!) He’s one to watch, though.

    • So. Much. Bulk. No!

  • snich11

    Ven’s second dress (the short one) well-made? Are you kidding? The top and hem are sloppy as hell!

    •  The darting on it is nipple-y, too.  And it’s very boxy on top and doesn’t really fit well.

      • mhleta

        I agree. It’s puckering everywhere. 

  • Isana Leshchinskaya

    my first reaction to lantie’s looks: KILL IT WITH FIRE.

  • Ven should have won.  Costello-Light only won because the Bunnim-Murray producers wanted to complete their “story arc.”  Remember when PR used to be about the talent?  Then Anya came along.

  • FloridaLlamaLover

    So which one of the gents was so nervous that he had a meltdown and had to leave the show?  And which one of the NYC-based women quit the show? (My guess on the latter is the lady — having a brain meltdown myself right now — who makes Vogue patterns)

    • Lisa_Cop

      Slowed my DVR – it was Nathan.

  • judybrowni

    i LIKED frokemon’s designs, not for me, but i’m not a japanese teenage girl.

    I could see Melissa’s designs selling like hotcakes at Neiman Marcus, but how the hell could you mass produce lanie’s ripped up vintage? With a time machine?

    And her other dress: pfffft, no one in their right mind would buy, no less wear, that thing.

    Ven’s model is engulfed by the white pieces, with a pin head sprouting out of that rose.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I like Ven, and thought the bodice/bustier was so beautifully done, but if he had paired it with a bottom that had less volume he might have pulled out the win. 
    That cocktail dress with the tulle overlay was just ghastly-talk about a dress that could be described accurately as sad.

  • quiltrx

    Ven’s work is really lovely.

    I think the styling on Melissa’s second looks is really good–the accessories and hair go with the look nicely.

    And Frokemon’s first look is adorable and fun.  The second, not so much, but I really like the fabric as far as ‘fun fabric’ goes.

  • NCDFan

    Hospital gown on star trek! Love

  • BuffaloBarbara

    Random and unrelated, but does anyone happen to know this?  There are lots of jokes about how sour models look on the runway, but what is the real reason?  I assume there’s some reason that they’re instructed not to smile and give what’s really more a totally neutral look than a sour one, but I don’t know what it is.

  • Having lived in Japan, I have to say Kooan’s first look is not off the rails.  The singlet shape, the candy-land colors, the whole Pokémon vibe – right on style; street style, OTT street style – but still seen.  Think daytime Shibuya flash mob à la 1986.  Funky, I know.  In the 80’s the 50’s were all the rage, now the 80’s seem to be making a resurgence.  Tokyo was always a hoot on a Sunday afternoon.  Japanese culture is infinitely interesting.  The strangest things strike a chord and get assimilated in odd and unusual ways.  As for Kooan….. I like him.  He’s fun.  He seems guinuinely interested in everything and everybody.  For sheer entertainments sake I hope he hangs around for a while. 

    • formerlyAnon

      ” I like him.  He’s fun.  He seems guinuinely interested in everything and everybody.”
      Exactly. I hope we’re not disappointed in his personality, and I hope the show’s meat grinder doesn’t tear him down too quickly.

      • meowing

        Yeah, at first I thought he was this season’s Ping, but he has loads more happiness inside him.

      • holdmewhileimnaked

        i like him too.

        less obvious is that, old as i am, i would still wear his little hot pants & jumper jumper combo, there.
        i like the plastic. if i live through all this facial tumult, perhaps i will still look half my age & be able to earn enough money to buy it. not that at the size it is it would fit me but, you know, he might make me another. he’s definitely the kind of person that people i know would implore me to take in if he landed in LA.

  • malvernite

    ven’s blouse is beautiful, the pants are a mistake. melissa’s clothes are nice, despite the angry discontent of her models. ~ bypassing lantie ~  i like kooan’s star trek hospital gown, i really do.

  • Bytez

    I like harry pah-ter’s polkadots anime inspired design, same with professor snapes beaded dress; however, i dont like the clown dress design by prof mcgonall and pink and green dress done by Ginny weasley…i cant remember the dress xcept for the miumiu inspired designed by draco malfoy…oh i guess as dumbledore says “make it work”

  • mhleta

    Can we please talk about Heidi’s green dress? I was shocked no one tapped her on the before she went out the door to say, “Heidi, not only is your belly button showing but we can see your pubic bone clearly defined and your clitoris as well.” Dear God, just stop with the tight satin. Everyone!

    • Lilithcat

      Read TLo’s “Judging the Judges” post.

  • Frokemon’s first look would be at home in the extreme fashion areas of Harajuku in Tokyo. It looks like some of the cyber rave wear you see sometimes. The second look could also pass here, but I don’t think anyone would wear it.

  • GillianHolroyd

    Watching the extended judging for Ashley-Kate (Melissa), I was surprised that she got dinged by all three (pro) judges for being derivative (Kors), referential (Nina) and for “copying a famous designer” (Patricia Field) but none of that made it to the final cut.

  • Scarlet39

    I’m bothered by the casting of Kooan.  He has absolutely zero chance of winning.  That’s not to say he isn’t a talented designer; he’s just wrong for this competition.  I get the uneasy feeling he was selected because the producers think he would be good for shits and giggles. 

    • SewingSiren

      The absolutely did cast him for comic relief , but they have cast a comedian every season since the show began.

      • Scarlet39

        True, but I think there’s a difference between being cast as a comedian and being cast as a joke.   J

        •  Oh there have been many of those over the years too — you think Blayne was really cast because they found his talent intriguing?  Or Ari? 

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      theres a teensy tinsy itsy bitsy bit of a possibility that they also had an idea that the teensy tinsy itsy bitsy bit of their viewership that is made of the artsiest of art people would take one look at sir fro, there, & decide there might be something left here worth watching after all.

      not likely, more likely of course is that they cast him as something of a joke. but i can dream.

  • Anathema_Device

    Lantie’s dresses were awful. About 4 years ago, I was shopping for something to wear to a wedding, and pretty much every “special occasion” dress at the Nordstrom website had an overlay and full skirt just like that second dress of hers.

    I can actually see young women wearing modified versions of Kooan’s designs, or a few elements. He has to walk the line between young and junior, though. The judges love “young” and hate “junior.” If nothing else, his personality will keep him in for the next 4 or so episodes.

  • BelleBook

    I honestly thought Ven would win.  I thought that overall, his two looks were better than those of Christopher’s.  But I’m sure Ven will win eventually.

    As for Kooan, I figured he’d be safe.  I’ve watched enough Project Runway to know that the judges tend to keep the crazy ones who can still design yet take risks over the boring ones who don’t have a point of view.

  • I would’ve sent Lantie home and given Ven the win.  I agree with you about Frokemon’s 1st look.  Dude knows what he is doing and I don’t think he is being a character just to get attention.  I love his “all about love” quirkiness!

  • petalfrog

    My boyfriend thought Ven’s suit would look better with white skinny pants instead of the palazzo look. “A rose and her legs would be the stems” he said. Heh.

  • EEKstl

    I, too, liked Frokemon’s first look.  At least it’s well-executed and has a real point of view.  His 2nd piece was a housecoat from the year 2097, but I’m glad they kept him in.

  • By far one of the worst runways I’ve ever seen on the show. So much ugly.

  • roseofharlem

    I beg to differ on Ven’s second look – I actually don’t think it’s so well made — the top puckers and pulls toward the armpits (not flattering) and the darts from waist to bustline are horrible!  I thought they way over-praised that second look, and I’m surprised that you, ever-watchful TLo, slipped into the same smoke-haze as the judges on this one!

  • jjfg

    Glad to see you defend Frokemom.  I got his look, and was actually disappointed in the judges for their criticism of it.  It is TOTALLY Japanese street.   Maybe not to their taste, but as you said, perfectly executed and clearly showing his POV. 

    How well he’ll adjust to some of the challenges remains to be seen, but if they’re going to hate on him b/c this is what he does, they shouldn’t have brought him on in the first place.

  • Oh Frokemon, so long as you don’t go making up for model to look like a ganguro panda-girl, I am still with you.

    The top of Ven’s second look did not look that well made. It looks baggy and uneven to me.

  • Michael Spencer

    In what universe is Ven’s second look well fitting? Look at the armscye! And the bust darts are shaped around air, i.e. there is no there there. If she’s going out in that top, at least shove some Kleenex in there to fill it up. And his first look makes her look like a linebacker. It’s a pretty art sculpture, but a train wreck of an outfit.

  • Michael Spencer

    That’s a very old blog, but still fascinating. He hasn’t updated it since 2009.

  • minnye

    I really like the Star Trek hospital gown!

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    After watching this episode, I realized that for all of the bitching, moaning and snarking that i’ve done that I still get a kick out of PR-especially the community here that TLO preside over.  Who else but TLO and my fellow Bitter Kittens and Precious Unborn Fawns understands the fascination/irritation/amusement that this show can provide?

  • Jazzybelle2

    With some re-working from a realistic point of view, the Kooan jumpsuits would be the hottest trends on the street. Especially the quilted jacket.

  • Jazzybelle2

    With some re-working Kooan’s jumpsuits would be the hottest thing going on the streets.  Very on trendy

  • April Zhang

    Your nicknames are perfect. 

  • Can the judges PLEASE get some new dialogue? If I have to hear how something doesn’t look “expensive” one more time… why does everything have to look expensive?  Not looking expensive isn’t necessarily looking “cheap”. They’re conflating monetary “worth” with innovation and desirability.

    • iibii

      “Why does everything have to look expensive?” Why would average, normal-priced, middle-of-the-road clothes be presented in front of Heidi, MK, and Nina as the next big thing…?

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    i barely know who any of these people are at this point so please excuse me for sounding formal. ven has been discussed so i think i know him by proxy enough to call him ven. my question in regards to ven, there, is is his first model plus sized? meaning, of course, model plus sized [ie: a 6 – 8 & not a 0 – 2]. i have the same question in regards to, one sec, lantie foster’s second model. if they are it isnt quite fair to judge the garments they are wearing in a way that references phrases such as adds twenty pounds. if not, well, if you either are or are not looking for that addition, it’s what all this stuff does.

    i actually like ven’s pleated palazzos &–& i am perhaps alone in this–lantie foster’s home-created dress. the second numbers of both of these people i could live w/o having ever seen. &, of course, neither of them holds a candle to anything made by the guy w/ the fro. i’d call him the one to watch but then i would. i even like his hospital gown [but then i would] for its interesting shape & fabric. it’s the seussian end of star trek.

    as an aside, i wouldnt have tossed the girl who made the blanket cape. i actually liked that semi-getup. her second one, eh feh, but a lot worse ran that runway than both, or either, of these outfits. then again, theyre gonna toss & keep for personality, i’m sure, more than talent–even still, i may watch some of this for frogo, frokemon, there.

    i’ve worn the black dresses too often to make any comment about them.

    okay done.

    • Indovina

      Very late response:
      Regarding the model sizes, it’s actually possible. The models on PR are sample size rather than runway size; they’ve generally been either a size 4 or 6 (the dress forms are a size 6, for instance, but the only model whose card they’ve shown that I can remember was listed as a size 4). A size 8 would not be impossible.

      Bearing in mind that there are all sorts of different sizes 4, 6, and 8.

  • iibii

    lol, or should I say ror, at associating the Japanese designer with Pokemon! xD Pokemon, asians, they are so intertwined. I bet when he put the round dots on his dress, he was thinking of pikachu! ^_^

  • Helene Holter

    Holy smudge, I didn’t realise Kooan was in the bottom until the judges explicitly said so. I mean, really? Really? They put Melissa’s plain aesthetic and Christopher’s disaster cocktail dress in the top – and then they don’t just fail to appreciate this fantastic creative outlet, but rather rag on it and deem it of equal worth to Beatrice’s and Lantie’s? Honestly?

    I thought they appreciated creativity, but I guess they haven’t tired of retail on the runway yet. Gonna be so pissed when they send him home.

    •  I don’t think they did equate it to Beatrice or Lantie.  I got the impression he was never in any danger, but they wanted to talk to him and give a couple cautions for going forward — the format doesn’t allow for that unless he’s in the bottom.

  • I know ZIP about sewing but the hem at the bottom of Ven’s pink dress looks weird and puffy…. is it me? And is Ashley-Kate going to make everything in black this season??

  • meowing

    Saturday?  I saw it on Friday morning.

  • VivianAdvanced

    In studying Frokeman’s original overalls piece, I realized that I actually liked the overalls; it was the gawd-awful print top that I hated and made it look crazy. I disagree with Kors that his work could be perceived as a joke. I don’t mind crazy, but I personally don’t like nauseating neon colors or animal prints, especially used together. With a tamer T-shirt or tank top, the jumper would be adorable. His second look was just kind of sacky and unflattering. I do hope he gets to stay for awhile.

    I feel vindicated that my first thought upon seeing Christopher was that he was like Michael Costello in his dreams. I hope he won’t be as weepy and annoying. Does anyone think that Gunnar was prodded by producers to be the bitch-queen clone of Josh so we’d have someone to hate this season? He was booted so early on last season, we really didn’t get to know him, but I didn’t get the vibe that he was an a-hole at that time. It seems as though he’s cultivated that persona since then.

  • Kooan’s first look is something I would have worn in my 20’s (which was the 80’s). A lot of the clothes I’ve seen in these posts look like mall clothes. At least Kooan’s doesn’t.


  • aristida_girl

    Oh man I forgot Melissa, I love Melissas work, especially the things she brought for the trials, I love her jackets!

  • Presumptuous Insect

    Budhu’s white outfit makes the girl look like a box. I didn’t get the fawning.

  • GillianHolroyd

    This just now occurred to me: where did the Japanese kid get the massive pink plastic buckles for his outfit? 

    They have to get the notions from somewhere, if Mood doesn’t sell them which is more than likely. It’s just that I’ve never seen massive pink plastic buckles for sale in the notions shops around 7th Ave.

  • Already over Ven. In fact, I’m over him AND winner, whatshisface, Chris. Since when is “fabric manipulation = win”? over it over it over it.

    Never thought I’d say it, but I think I like Goth Michelle Tanner. 

  • Totally with you on Frokemon’s new look. Aligning that fabric perfectly in the back was pretty spectacular. Kenley couldn’t pull that off.

  • ccm800

    The fit on the top of Vens second look is ATROCIOUS! 

  • Ash

    I thought it was very discriminating the way the judges picked on Frokemon’s behavior simply because he is Asian and different. (Good for Heidi she tried to stay neutral)  I stayed in Japan for a couple of years, frokemon is quite queer but some of his mannerisms are actually just quite Japanese. It’s cultural.

  • bitterk

    I will give Frokemon credit, his looks are new.  As much as I love Vin and Ashley-Kate, I can see a pattern developing already.  And who doesn’t want to be surprised?

  • Erika Magdangal

    Sorry, I know I am late in the game  I didn’t know much about Japanese street style, so I Googled it and found a very interesting article on a blog.  Kooan’s designs really does seem to go with what’s going on in Japan, but I don’t know how it would translate here in the U.S.  However, I am interested in seeing what more he can do.  On to episodes 2 and 3!

  • About Kooan, the writer(s) say:  “this is not completely un-representative of Japanese street-style, from a certain segment’s point of view.”  Are you kidding me?  Not “completely un-representative” of some street-style “from a CERTAIN segment’s point of view”?  (emphasis added).  To what “segment” do you refer?  And, exactly what is it that Nina is supposed to admit that you have not admitted with your rather pathetic attempt to, as you put it, “defend” Kooan’s work.  Honey, if it needs defending, there is a problem.  Kooan behaved and designed like a clown.  How many times did he “bow” to the judges during the critique?  And what Japanese person did not laugh at the deep Samurai bow?  Stop trying to be shocking and/or politically correct, and focus on the design.  Nina could teach you something . . .