PR: Third Floor: Juniors, Misses, and Meltdowns

Posted on August 31, 2012

Okay, Jay McCarroll and his boyfriend Matthew showed up with two bottles of wine AND a bottle of tequila just before the episode started last night. Can we just say? In six years of blogging this show, we’ve never actually started off a Thursday night viewing session with a shot of tequila? Can we also just say that there’s a good reason for that?

Because between the wine, tequila, nonstop gossip and backstage dish, we barely had time to register what was happening on screen. And since what was happening on screen was the usual combination of psychological dysfunction paired with a department store aesthetic, it was difficult, to say the least, to remain focused.


Everyone was ordered to Occupy Lord & Taylor…

Then they were forced to paw their way through bins of colored fabric, only to all run screaming into the arms of sweet, sweet black, which instantly makes every dress better. Apparently.

And then?

The crying started.

And it just wouldn’t stop.

Until everyone got a chance to just let it all out all over their workspace.

The really confusing part was when all the dresses walked out and they were TOTALLY not worth shedding any tears over. Bland, black department store cocktail dresses, one after another. If all the crying had been along the lines of “Oh fuck! I made a totally forgettable garment!” we might have understood, but these silly little things were sobbing like their life’s work was on the line. Honey, if at the end of the day you’ve got something on your dress form that half the women in America own already, it’s best not to get worked up over it. Suck it up and slap a visible zipper on it. That usually gets the judges on your side.

So congratulations, Costello-Lite! Your win is RIDICULOUS.

Because this is bland, repetitive, shapeless crap. There. We said it. Why the judges didn’t say the same thing eludes us. Really, Lord & Taylor? This is what you want on your racks? This post-apocalyptic t-shirt paired with a religious cult skirt? Feh. Jil Sander did it better years ago.

It really says something about the output when the judges get all misty-eyed over a plain black skirt and t shirt that looks like a badly dressed wound.

And Auf Wiedersehen to… NOBODY! Because EVERYONE DID SUCH AN AMAZING JOB PRODUCING HIGH QUALITY WORK two people who are looking smarter with each passing day ran for the door unexpectedly a week or two back and now we have to even things out!

Whatevs. Boring episode. Even with the tequila shots to start it off.

EDITED TO ADD: Final product. Get your piggy banks out, girls.




[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for, – Stills:]

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  • Sobaika

    I was too busy watching Clint Eastwood talk to a chair last night, but it looks like I missed out on something equally cray. Thank you for your recaps!

    • SassieCassy

      OH MAN I saw that shit too and TIVOd PR. By the time I got to PR I had no energy left to be outraged.

    • Between Sonjia’s peplum and an elderly actor gibbering incoherently onstage at the RNC, it was the 1980’s all over again last night on teevee!

    • ChiliP

      It was a great summary of the RNC- old white men yelling at who they imagine Obama to be. Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to admit that his speech was cray.

  • Stubenville

    And the loser is the audience.

    • Clueless_Jock

      It was a non-challenge.

    • mshesterp

      Makes me VERY happy that the only time I spent on PR is reading these recaps.  Life’s too short to yell (or sleep) through an hour’s worth of boring, uninspiring fashion.

      • AuntieAnonny

         Hour *and a half*.

        • mshesterp

          Oh, shoot me now already.  I realized i was done (I think Anya’s year) when every episode made me roll my eyes, and the clothes were boring!  Life is too short, son!

          • AudreysMom

            I too am official member of the PR Recap Only club. Life is indeed, too short.

    • This show is never more interesting to me than when they talk about the interplay between design and production (and thus cost). They hardly ever do, I suspect partially because they think the viewers won’t be interested in the business side and partially because they suspect the viewers will be *very* interested in how big the mark-up is (and where the manufacturing actually happens).

      •  I suspect that, in a situation of this sort, the store is less interested in profit margin than they are in the press coverage they get from it.  Besides, this will be a very limited run, and a one time only thing.  In and gone in a month, tops.  Hell, they aren’t even doing enough to put it in more than one store. Its at their flagship and on line, and that’s all.

        • Good point, and I suspect the “$200-$300” pricepoint was less about the actual profitability of the “line,” and more about Lord & Taylor positioning itself in consumers’ minds as an expensive (i.e., “fancy”) but not too expensive retailer.  True story: I once worked at Lord & Taylor’s “flagship” store.  Alas, I have no interesting stories to tell.  It was a retail job, like any other.

          •  That’s a really good call — I think you’re right on the thinking behind the line.  High enough to convince average people that it’s quality, but low enough not to be overly intimidating.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          I saw the Lord &Taylor ad featuring this look in today’s New York Times and the dress looks much better in the print ad than it did on TV.

          • Chantelle James

            It looks like the bodice fabric is darker than the original. The construction is also different in the L&T version. They finished all of the hems, for one thing. They’ve also taken out the vertical bust darts and either kept them out or replaced them with french darts, altered the back cutout to be lower and more flattering (although not symmetrical), and lowered the front center neckline. 

    • Love you!

  • OhSayNow

    I thought the whole getup made her look consumptive.

    • Terrie_S

       I think it was Heidi who said she looked “pale” and “powdery” and declared this to be a good thing.

      • I notice Lord & Taylor went for a less consumptive color in the actual dress.

        • I noticed that too and it was a good change. Honestly, wtf was Heidi thinking? I’m about as pale as that model is. I’m keenly aware of how pale I am. Wash me out and I look corpse like. The producer manipulation reeks with this episode.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            I think we can take the questionable nature of Heidi’s taste and comments as a given.

          • e m

            I’m about as pale, too and I love this color and wear similar tones all the time. Plus I think it looks great on the model!

        • Yes, a bit darker and tawnier, to match more of their clientele’s complexions.  Which probably are more like the Lord and Taylor model’s than Christopher’s.  And that annoying stark, stark contrast between the fussy messy short flesh blouse and the severe very black very long skirt was mitigated.

          • e m

            Yes….they totally ruined the original dress.

          • e jerry powell

             And that’s a bad thing?

          •  Yes.  Because if they didn’t want it the way it was, they should have chosen something else.  I always hate the production challenge on PR, because not only are two companies making money off your work without you getting a share, but they can also change your work as much as they want, without considering how it reflects on you.

          • e jerry powell

             You’re not wrong, but…

            Do you deny that there were elements of the gown that were unfinished due to time constraints?

            More than changing up elements of the dresses, I hate the one-day challenges.  There’s really not enough time to finish, much less polish anything to the point where it looks retail-ready, and the hems on those sleeves are mortifying, so you have to concede that there were things that needed to be done to have a presentable piece of merchandise.

            I don’t feel too bad for Christopher with the “clean-up” of the design, because his name is still on it, and given that his basic design is being turned over to a manufacturer who can change things more or less at will anyway in the interest of expediting the manufacturing process (and he was sinking only the producer’s money into assembling the sample) and, more importantly, under the terms of his Project Runway contract, the sample is “work made for hire” which he doesn’t own in any way and can be modified by a manufacturer over whatever objections he might have (few, I would imagine, given that, again, his name is on a Lord and Taylor retail product that he at least basically designed, less the manufacturer’s editing)…

            And, as a matter of fact, what uninvolved party can conclusively say that the other nine designs weren’t modified by the manufacturer either?  We can’t conclusively say that any of the designers for the established portion of the collection did anything other than sketch.

      •  I think it is a good thing.  When done properly.  I really like my fair skin, and I prefer to play it up most of the time, so something that brings that out is fine with me. 

  • ccinnc

    By 10:15 I had a raging headache and couldn’t stay up another minute. I’m glad I didn’t miss much. This dress is terrible. The others were meh and forgettable, except for Ven’s, which gave the model a big open sore on her chest. 

    •  I’m rather shocked, actually, that he didn’t get dinged for turning out the same technique AGAIN.

      • ccinnc

        Like Christopher, he prob. thought using his trademark – and having it appear in L&T – would immediately propel his designing career and make his name.

        •  Only if that technique is something that, as Nina said last night, “has lots of legs”.  It is an idea that is limiting, stiff, and will not move forward as styles change.

          •  The rose thing is so irritating to me.  For one thing, it’s not the height of anything, Ven, and for another IT IS NOT THAT HARD TO MAKE A ROSE.  You can make them from paper, from play-doh, and from frosting — the fact you can make one out of fabric is not particularly impressive.

          • The man needs to seek therapy about his obsession with roses.
            And Paul Iribe, an artist and illustrator at the beginning of the 20th, defined this type of rose first. It ain’t new, dude.

          • Monkey Toe

            It looks like a 19th century Glasgow Rose from Charles Rennie Mackintosh to me.

          • Its where Iribe got his inspiration to take the notion further.  Bravo for seeing that!  I loves me some C R Mackintosh.

          •  Love Mackintosh!!

          • Susan Crawford

            So do I! I have several CRM pins with VENom’s folded rose pattern. But I do wonder about Ven’s preoccupation with this design – it’s getting beyond a style choice and into the kinda creepy area: maybe I’m being too (c)literal? 😉

          • I don’t think you are. He creeps me out. Deeply.

          • Susan Crawford

            I cannot IMAGINE going to his “atelier” for a fitting! The thought makes my butt clench involuntarily.

          • If I were a woman, I suspect I would find his repeated, mysogynistic remarks so off putting I would never consider hiring him. His oft repeated claims that men are stronger designers, is only one example.

          • Susan Crawford

            I guess Coco Chanel, Schiaparelli, Valentina, Madame Gres, Bonnie Cashin, Sonia Rykiel, Miuccia Prada, DVF, Donna Karan, Jil Sander, Phoebe Philo, Ceil Chapman, Temperley, Missoni, Georgina Chapman, Donatella, the Rodarte team . . . just to throw out a few names . . . I guess they don’t count in VenWorld. *butt-clench*

          •  So agree. Not to mention that it was a woman, Lady Duff Gordon who practically invented the profession. She invented both the runway show and the idea of using models and created an international persona for herself. Without her, Ven might just be a tailor.

          • Celandine1

            Well you know it’s because we are “practical” or whatever. Does that mean that female designers actually sell the clothes they make, cause you know people want to wear them? I guess we of the unwashed masses don’t have any taste. He is an asshat.

          • So fine, he can sit in his workroom and make all his perfect little conceptual stuff, and watch it pile up Round him cause it won’t sell.
            Douche canoe.

          • Celandine1

            There must  be a BM producer at every casting call who has a list of questions linked to a checkbox for douchebaggery potential:
            5-duche canoe (ding ding ding! cast immediately

          • You know, I am a more practical designer (in the very small way the term can be applied to me, since I do design stuff to make).  And I’m more than a tad offended by that comment. 

            Practical designers ARE stronger designers.  It’s not easy to make a skirt that’s appropriate for business, flatters the client’s shape, and is still interesting enough to be special. 

          • His remarks peg him instantly as a vain, self absorbed twit, with little knowledge of, or regard for anyone else.

          • e jerry powell

             Any worse than Angela Keslar’s obsession with fleurchons?

          •  I’d say on a par with it.

          • e jerry powell

             They is all cuckoo, in a manner of speaking.

        •  remember, he “invented” the technique (tivo back, I am quoting him). Sigh (one of the best moments was the look of utter <> when Ven was in the middle- one of the few smiles of the whole show (tho the other garment I liked better, the strips of cloth look?)

          • Frank_821

            oh puleaze. Angela was doing this kind of cray cray long before anyone…lol

          •  Oh but don’t you remember?  Her technique was so innovated and marvelous that people mistook her looks for YSL.

        • CozyCat

          Didn’t there used to be a rose in the L&T logo?

      • Jessica DiMaio

         No one has said it yet? He’s a one way monkey!

    • I agree about Ven’s.  I saw it and thought, who is going to buy a dress that makes it look like you have a sucking chest wound?

      • Carleenml

         I looked at it and thought Sigourney Weaver/Alien busting out of the chest…

    • fashionzombie

      Re: Ven’s chest rose — I kept saying “an alien is going to pop out of that thing right…about…NOW. Wait, maybe this time…”

  • I’ve been wondering, since Andrea and Kooan left the show, how they were going to resolve the fact that they have a commitment to a certain number of episodes for the season. This is how they resolve it.  Don’t send anyone home, regardless of how much someone needs to go. Frankly, I will stand with my statement yesterday that it was time for either Elena or Alicia to go. And both of them turned in work that was auf-worthy.  Elena’s was too complex to construct within the price range described, and absolutely not the L&T customer, plus the proportions were way off and the skirt was a wreck of bad pleating. Alicia’s, though I got what she was going for, was badly sewn and she made the wrong choice for the fabric. it was too stiff. If she had made something fluid, in the same shape, it would have been a huge success.

    For me, it should have been Gunnar or Fabio for the win.  Both turned out immaculate looking work that is spot on for the Lord and Taylor customer.

    • Mb

      Agree with you about Alicia and Elena, but I liked Dimitri’s dress the best, it’s the only one I would have worn.

      •  My only problem with Dmitri’s effort was that it was so relentlessly tight.  Great looking, standing, but I wondered just how comfortable it would be to sit in. I wish he had adjusted the fit a tiny bit looser.

        • Mb

          Yeah, probably a bit too tight, but nothing looked tighter than Melissa’s and she was in the top 4…but only due to an unusual neckline, which looked like it might decapitate the wearer 😉

          • Vickiefantastico

            Was the front of Melissa’s dress just a flap that stood up straight? How on earth does a regular woman wear that? Sure, it looked great on the runway, but I didn’t get how it would function.

          •  I was really surprised at Melissa’s being in the top 4. Though I like her work, usually, this was WAY too tight looking.  And the neckline was going to be a tough sell to the L&T customer. Plus I don’t know if anyone else noticed the amount of side boob the model gave us in her dress.  And this was a woman with smallish breasts.

          • Vickiefantastico

            Yeah, I did notice that. And I kept envisioning the flap falling down while you’re at a cocktail party, exposing your ladies to the room.

          • In production, the side would need to be closed up a bit, and there would have to be some understructure to that faux boat neck. Imagine what that would look like on a hanger, with no one inside to hold it up?

          •  And how could you ever manage to make it work in standard sizing rather than custom fit?  Can you imagine how awful it would look on anyone who wasn’t a perfect retail proportion?

          • The only way to make that work would be to build in an under structure that can support that shape, regardless.

          • I’d think you’d have to have almost a corset and even then, I doubt it would work very well unless you allow for the flexibility in adjusting the size the way traditional corsets do — which would involve a significant change to the design.  I mean, can you picture it with a corset back?  It’d be awful, and I say that as a woman who loves corsets.

          •  Actually, some light weight boning along the seam lines of the front would probably do the trick.  You could even end the boning just under the bust.  All we’re talking about doing is supporting a single piece of fabric that has little weight.

          • No, it’s not just supporting the neckline that would be the problem — it’s also making a woman FEEL secure in it.  I think you’d need something far sturdier to make most women feel like it wasn’t going to have a major malfunction at some point. 

          • True true true.  I had forgotten the psychology factor.

          • First thing I noticed was that side boob and thought how unflattering that was! I also thought that the dress made her model look like she had a belly and that neckline is a joke for the average person. Her being in the top made about as much sense as Costello-Lite winning it.

          • Susan Crawford

            I actually liked Melissa’s effort – I had a lot of fit issues with it: it was way too tight, the bustline especially. I liked that high front, though. It was original and edgy. Could definitely have done without the asymmetrical hemline. Obviously, in production, the front panel would need modification, since the non-model world generally does not have that long, swan-like neck to accommodate a high front like that.

            The side-boobage was def related to the tightness of the dress, I thught. But considering everything, I thought she ended up with something interesting. Not L&T, for sure, but interesting.

          •  I loved it, and I even liked the hem.  It was a very dramatic and interesting dress.  I just can’t see it working in a production challenge.

          • Mb

            I think so.  They kept saying the dress was strapless, so don’t think that flap was actually attached to anything.  I’d like to know how you make sure the dry cleaners don’t kill that effect.

          •  A regular woman could wear that — providing it was custom.  I don’t see how you could make that dress work for retail.  Too much depends on it fitting just so.

          • ballerinawithagun

            I agree that Melissa’s would have to be custom. Great design but side boob even on the model! I’m assuming the stand-up collar would have been self lined for the best look and to make it stay up. Brocades are very uncomfortable against the skin; her chest would be quite irritated. 

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            When Nina asked Melissa about the neckline on the bodice Melissa said that the fabric she used, a brocade, had enough weight to it that it took and held that shape.  We’ve seen enough of Melissa’s work now to see that she likes to use unconventional shapes for her necklines.  The dress was striking, but I can see it working for a very limited number of women who have the body and the style to wear such a dress.

        •  For actual wear, I’d go with a bit more forgiving fabric, too.  It looked beautiful but it didn’t seem very comfortable.

          I could see that dress in a hundred different fabrics with a hundred different functions — the cut and the seaming would work for everything from a casual day dress to evening wear if handled properly.

      • Call me Bee

        I loved Dimitri’s as well, but it would have been hard to produce cheaply with all pieces and seams.  It was a wonderful dress, but not for this particular challenge. 

        • annieanne

          How do you produce Chris’ winning look cheaply? All that shredding can’t be easy to do.

          • Call me Bee

            The finished dress is on the Lord & Taylor website now.  They did it with cheaper fabric that is pre-pleated to give the *illusion* of that shreddy look.  But the basic shape of the dress is really simple and easy to replicate. 

          •  I actually like Christopher, he seems like a decent enough guy.  Enough that I feel bad for him.  He said multiple times that he wanted to use this technique because it’s his signature, and if it went into production, it was something he wanted to be known for.  And then they totally got rid of it. 

          • ampg

            They’re not doing the shredding at all. If you zoom in, it’s pleated instead of shredded.

    • I almost liked Alicia’s. It was problematic, for sure, but I kept thinking the drop waist was kind of cute, but that collar (!?) took it way into tennis-town. If she had perhaps just put a simple spaghetti top on it, it would have been better. I thought Elena’s was far worse, and I don’t know how the extremely poor construction was let through, much less praised. It was like a twisted smock on that model, and the waistline hiking up in the back made me grind my teeth!

      • amian3

         Yes, the drop waist seems very in with current designs too. I think she is one of those people on  PR with good instincts and design skills who doesn’t have the technique yet.

  • muzan-e

    So congratulations, Costello-Lite! Your win is RIDICULOUS.

    My eternal, undying love. For both of you. For this. 

    • Cathy S

      I thought for sure Fabio would win. It was the best of the 4 they said were in the top.  When Chris won my jaw dropped open and I couldn’t yell in shock and horror.

      • CT14

        I gasped in horror when I saw the back of Chris’ dress.  That gap was ugly.

  • Elaine Lang

    Safe money is that the dress sold by L&T will look only marginally similar to the one Costello-lite showed.

    •  My god, I sure hope so.  That shredded technique top was a mess.  The back was twisted, and the zipper looked like something I did the first time I ever tried to sew one.

      • Elaine Lang

         I predict:   back cutout shrunk, moved, or eliminated due to the fact that most L&T customers have breasts and wear bras.   Also, the shredding technique will not be done in a double layer of chiffon, painstakingly sewn, but will probably be a single layer of taffeta with raised seaming (probably the wrong term…possibly pleating?   I don’t know.   A sewn-in ridge.)  spaced wider.    They are trying to produce these things cheaply, after all.  

        •  All really good notions, based on production time and their customer base.  All those rows of parallel stitching?  NOT going to happen.

          • ballerinawithagun

            I couldn’t believe they didn’t comment on how expensive it is to produce that shredded look.

          •  Plus, the fit is less structured on top in the final version,which lessens the cost, and the color is richer.

        • formerlyAnon

           Well, they did keep the cut out, but lost all the deconstructed/shredded edges in favor of plain pleating(?).

          Not that astonishing.

        • DinaSews

          You are correct. On the Lord & Taylor page it appears to be pleated fabric.

      • Lori

        The back cut-out looks like it was literally cut out. Like he just hacked the back open and hoped for the best. I did better edged than that in junior high home ec. (And that’s saying something because that skirt I made was OK and one of the tops turned out well, but the shorts and the other top were both firmly in the land of “let us never speak of this again”.)

        •  Well, get a load of the finished work on L&T’s site. TLo just added the link.

          • Susan Crawford

            I just knew all those flopping threads would be a no-go in production, and that pleating would be the direction they would take. And the color choice (still sort of meh) is probably more saleable as well. No way would L&T hang something on their racks where the cut-out back is just chopped out and raw-edged! Nor would most women hang it in their closet, either.

          • Elaine Lang

             I do like the color SO much better…and the pleating is prettier than his tortured technique.  Still not buying.

  • Vickiefantastico

    I wish I had been drinking last night. Maybe that would have made this episode entertaining and not infuriating.

    You’re right, that win is ridiculous. I looked on the Lord and Taylor’s website, and you know what? It still looks ridiculous.

  • Boring indeed, and I actually thought Christopher’s dress would be in the bottom.  Shows you I don’t think like Lifetime Execs.  Whatevs.  I think that’s a good thing.  BTW, I love Nick and Seth Aaron’s dresses, and I would’ve given Dmitry the win.

    • Terrie_S

       Dmitry should have been in the top three based on (as always) impeccable work and the fact that he didn’t use black. Seriously, it was like they’d decided to hold a runway show at a funeral.

      • That seaming was so fantastic for any woman who’s looking for a more hourglass shape.

      • Susan Crawford

        ABSOLUTELY, Terrie_S! OK, black is a true staple in the wardrobe, but WHY is it the go-to all the time? Did NONE of the designers actually look at the clothing on the racks at L&T? Or at Bonnie’s cobalt color choice? I’ve shopped L&T for years, and they have always had a very strong commitment to providing women with classically chic clothing in MANY color options, including a signature American Beauty Rose red.

        But remember, dear Terrie_S, this has got to be the most angsty, nerve-wracked, emotional, mentally fragile group of people assembled in one place since the “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” crew highjacked that tugboat.

        • baxterbaby

          I’ve always thought of L&T as having a more southern sensibility.  I’ve always found the branch stores in the south to be better stocked and more patronized than the flagship (although the Christmas windows are an annual fav with us).  It is a more conservative and “colorful” store and retains that feeling of old school calm it always had.  It’s tried to hang on to it’s charm, but I miss the darling little restaurants and the smell of the beauty salon that used to permeate the back elevator bank!  I’ve often wondered how it’s stayed afloat, as especially during the week, it’s so quiet compared to the other NYC dept. stores.  (I was surprised that Ven didn’t work up a spiel about the iconic L&T rose vis a vis his dress, but then he didn’t get a chance to explain his garment and probably didn’t think of it anyway.)

          • Susan Crawford

            I used to love going to the L&T restaurant, The Birdcage to have Southern baked ham on a fluffy cheese biscuit. And yes, there was always a waft of the beauty salon. I really like the calmness of the shopping experience there, but I am concerned that it may have grown TOO calm.

    • Vickiefantastico

      Dmitry’s was hands down the winner, or so I thought

    •  I have to say I think they are messing with Dmitry – deliberately withholding a win in order to force some kind of a meltdown.  I wonder how extensively the producers profile the cast.  Do they look for buttons and then push them for our entertainment?  I mean, I know they do, but how much foresight do they have, how deliberate is it?

  • Jangle57

    Glad to know everyone else was as underwhemed as I was.  My only question:  all the other dresses in the collection were from designers who did NOT win PR (though I still feel Mondo got robbed): is that an omen for Costello Lite?

    • Seth Aaron won

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        So did Jay.

        • Sadly, before my time (I started watching in Season 6, because my husband is friends with one of the models that season).  I have since learned I missed all the good seasons.

    • Seth Aaron won his season.  And I agree with you about Mondo.  It was the most emotionally involved I’ve ever been in PR- raging about that decision the next day.

    • Susan Collier

      Jay also won.

    • Stubenville

      Jay won as well.

    • unbornfawn

      I do think the connection with the designers in the  L&T collection were that they were designers that were truly favorites of the fans, with Costello-light, I’m not so sure.

  • BobStPaul

    I thought this season was shaping up to be fairly decent and the winners and the auf’ed were comparatively reasonable.  I didn’t always agree but I could see why the decision was made.  And then this episode.  If there were ever any doubt about producer manipulation this should have resolved it.

    • fashionzombie

      When the challenge = buyer, there’s more than just producer manipulation to consider. L&T wasn’t going to walk out with a garment they wouldn’t produce just because PR wants drama. I always like the production challenges, because it’s good to force designers to think their designs all the way through to retail. However, the “best” garment rarely wins because of the realities of mass-production.

  • I did not have nearly the level of ire for this you guys apparently do, but I love the description anyway.  The world needs more post-apocalyptic fashion.

    • formerlyAnon

       Darn but you are an energizer bunny, keeping up with all the young persons, plus your custom work and having seasonal design projects!

      •  It’s not seasonal projects, it’s just winter.  It gets damn cold in the Windy City, so I look for anything to occupy me indoors for the winter, and give me an excuse not to leave my heater. 

        And the kids are frequently with me when I’m sewing, especially my daughter.  She’ll watch me and I’ll explain what I’m doing and why so that she knows how to do it when it’s her turn at the machine (right now she’s working on pillows for her room with curving seams, so that she can move on to teddy bear clothes). 

        • formerlyAnon

           Ahh, hanging out with mom when you’re still so young you don’t mind! It’s how I learned to cook. Not sure my kids learned much hanging out with me except cussing at bad drivers. I’ll  have to ask them one day.

        • Susan Crawford

          I love the thought of you and your daughter sewing away together during those freezing, windy winter days! What a great way to both bond with and inspire your little one. And to make some memories that you will both really treasure. Your post really made me feel HAPPY!

          • I learned basic sewing in the early 60s by watching my mother make clothes on her Singer Featherweight, a 1948 college graduation present from her parents.

            I wanted my (original model) Barbie to look like Jacqueline Kennedy, so I made her a navy blue sheath.  I decided that fashion required a coordinating pill box hat, and I used scraps of my blue fabric, some cardboard, and marabou left over from a Swan Lake ballet costume.

            When the hat wouldn’t stay on Barbie’s head as jauntily as Jackie’s did on hers, I had to scramble to get the chic presentation I was going for.  After much thought and consultation with my very practical father, I solved the problem by using a decorative straight pin to anchor the hat to Barbie’s head.  The pin, of course, went right down through poor Barbie’s skull, causing massive trauma and brain injury, and that’s probably the reason later editions of Barbie had such vapid personalities. 

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            My Barbies all had strapless floor length sheath gowns with lace flounces, lovingly handsewn by me. My aunts were kind enough to pretend to be wowed, and they actually paid me to make clothes for my cousins’ Barbies.

          • Susan Crawford

            That explains SO much! LOLZ!

          • Oh, we had an absolute blast a couple weeks ago — my niece was in town and she spent the night with us Friday night.  I taught her how to work the machine and the basics (inside goes to the outside when you’re doing seams, that kind of thing) and then we made wrap dresses for the girls.  Kate’s was a sheath in pink and orange cherry blossoms on white with a pink ribbon wraparound sash, and Alyssa’s was a full skirted green, white, and dark brown abstract print with a skinny brown tie.  They wore them all day on Saturday:)

  • Frank_821

    The part that I thought was stupid was they were all forced to make cocktail dresses or evening gowns instead of something to “go with the collection”. Yes Costello-lite’s win was ridiculous. Rough and bland. the only thing goign for it was it bridged the color scheme of Bert’s and Chris’ gowns. Melissa’s dress was at least interesting.

    The only thing this episode established for me is how much I’m over Ven. I can’t believe how he bitched about not being in the top 3. That fold treatment made it look like his model was carrying Charybdis on her chest. (That’s a gaping whirlpool for you non-fans of Greek mythology)

    he is a one way monkey

    • Terrie_S

       I looked at it and thought “Black hole.” Repeating a technique endless is dull. Doing it badly is a sin.

    • Lilithcat

      Dimitry bitched a lot more about not being top 3 than did Ven.

      And Gunnar!  Oh, how I loved the look of shock on his face when he realized he was in the bottom.  

    • drdirection

      “one way monkey” is my take away phrase from this season.  i love it

    • TheOriginalLulu

      He’s DEFINITELY a one way monkey, and apparently not the only one this season. How many times has Christopher done his shredded edge technique that he “invented”?  I think this makes three challenges.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I suspect we’re going to hear more bitching from the judges if Christopher and Ven employ their signature techniques again. We’ll soon be to the point in this season when the judges sharpen their knives.

    • SewingSiren

      The problem is Dmitry is sort of a one way money too. At least in this competition so far. He has made sheath style sleeveless cocktail dresses for every challenge except the Lexus one when he was teamed with Melissa. He has used pewter gray alot too, And back cut outs, visible zippers, and multiple seam lines. Part of the problem is that the challenges have been very similar, and very short. Dmitry is one of my favorites, but he hasn’t shown a lot of range.

      • Cathy S

         I think though that this challenge was right up his one way monkey style. It was made for him. And he didn’t even get in the top 4, although I thought his dress was the most unique and fit the collection.

    • muzan-e

      Charybdis! My thought was autopsy mishap, but Charybdis is much more interesting.

      If I remember, it was Bert’s blog that agreed with the ‘black hole’ descriptor. 

  • Please let me get this off my chest: “SHUT UP KLUM!” There. I feel so much better. I know you are one of the executive producers and all but I would really like to here more than one or two words from the other judges. I can picture you in the editing room just madly slicing the judging session to bits. Dear readers: If you ever need a new drinking game, gulp a shot every time there is a tight shot of Heidi during the judging portion of the show. Just please have a designated driver. Now about the winner dress: Pricelessly funny. Does no one else see all the loose threads? The back looks like the model spread here arms too wide and ripped it apart. There was alot of crying associated with the show last night – the audience crying from boredom.

    • Frank_821

      In fairness, she did make a great crack about herself being dressed as a pink disco ball

      • formerlyAnon

         That’s the reason I can’t quite work up a head of steam with which to hate Ms. Klum. Just when she’s getting really irritating, her sense of humor peeks out in a good way.

      • Yes, she did, and then oddly gave Gunnar the business for making a black disco ball dress. If he had left the sheer part off the top, it would have been almost the same dress she had on in a different sequin.

        • altalinda

          I think Heidi said she liked Gunnar’s dress, but the other three outvoted her.

        • altalinda

          I think Heidi said she liked Gunnar’s dress, but the other three outvoted her.

  • Christopher’s dress looks almost exactly like several different concert formals I’ve owned as a musician. You know-when you’re supposed to be just kind of part of the backdrop in an orchestra and be completely unnoticed? They’re always either white/cream on top and black on the bottom, with a long skirt, or solid black, usually have just enough of a neckline that they’re going to be modest no matter what instrument you play, and usually have capped sleeves to allow mobility.

    I’m convinced that it’s a dress that looks equally bad on just about all body types. I can’t say I’m impressed. I do want Bert’s design, though-although I expect I’d have to grow about 8 inches to look good in it.

    • Call me Bee

      Oh yes!  Plain white on top, long black skirt. And–we wore red kerchiefs (this was high school in the late 60s)–making us look like the Soviet Young Pioneers.  My skirt had to be pleated as I played the cello, so modesty prevailed on top and on the bottom!

    • Susan Crawford

      You nailed it! I volunteer as an usher at a music venue in my area, and our “uniform” is a long black skirt and a white tailored blouse. We are women of many ages and body types, but we all look completely anonymous, yet immediately identifiable as ushers. So, yeah, when I want a glam evening look, that’s what I’m going for, Christopher.

    • SapphoPoet

      Yes, me too. I’ve worn that dress for many concerts where I played violin in an orchestra. Background clothing. 

    • muzan-e

      Yes. I could never wear the long skirts myself (tympanist/aux. percussion), but what he’s put up there was the standard uniform for everyone forward of the brass line.   Excepting first violin, who wouldn’t be caught dead in anything that didn’t scream delicately for attention. 

      • formerlyAnon

         “scream delicately for attention”

        Excellent description!

      • DLJoe

        The musician talk is miles more interesting than the entire episode.  Calling this a musician’s dress is about as close to perfection as can be. 

        And I hated my performance tux 🙁

        • e jerry powell

           A pianist in particular.

  • Joe J

    The back of the top looks so sloppy and cheaply-made.   It makes the model look so unhealthy, too.  Part of it is the way she’s got her arms positioned in the photo, but that pale color of the top combined with the way her shoulder blades are jutting out of the cut-out gives it a really ghastly look, to me.

    • formerlyAnon

       Maybe it’s just that the model, like all of us, is not symmetrical, but the cut-out looks more finished (and no jutting bones) but even wonkier in the photo of the dress for sale on the L&T site. It’s one of those “and this is the BEST shot you could get to sell this?” photos.

    •  I thought Elena’s model had really unattractive shoulder blades.  I don’t think the dress really worked for her simply because of that.

  • mjude

    i thought it was me who didnt want costello lite to win especially compared to the L&T collection. i didnt really have a fave but for some reason i was hoping it was gunner, he is making me like him. 

  • Susan Collier

    Yeah, his dress was nothing special. I really hate that hole in the back. I guess because of the shredding technique and the shape, it looks like it was busted open by her shoulder blades.
    The best last night were Dimitry’s and Fabio’s. But there’s nothing amazing like the sheer output of work for that Banana Republic challenge in Season 1.

    • Burkyquirky

       And she had some pretty amazing shoulder blades — they were like back boobs.

  • Pupioso

    I wish I had had two bottles of wine and a shot of tequila. Maybe the dresses would have looked better.

  • janierainie

    Well the show may not have looked better through a tequila haze, but your post is really funny! (This is not to say your posts aren’t always funny) They’re really dishing out some great blogging fodder, aren’t they? That look of pity on Nina’s face when Heidi mentioned Elena’s reaction during the judge’s discussion. Poor little designers!

    Christopher kept talking about taking a risk. I don’t get it. It’s his magic shredding! It put’s any PR judge in a stupor! It’s like kryptonite.

    I didn’t realize how boring this episode was until you guys pointed it out, but you’re right. I think it’s once again the time constraints. Although, that wasn’t as big a factor this time, because the fabric was still in the next room. Overall meh. (except the part where they nearly offed Gunnar)

    •  He was taking the risk that using the technique again was going to bother the judges, and they did basically tell him that he shouldn’t do it again.  Personally, I’m fine with his use of it.  It’s not that he can’t do anything else — he’s used it 3 times, and in ways that were appropriate for the challenge.

  • Mb

    I didn’t like the back of that dress but didn’t realize just how awful her shoulder blades/chicken wings looked with that cutout until I saw your photos.  Yuck.  And the zipper looked stupid too.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      Agreed!  Her shoulder blades in that dress look like back boobs.

    • Kayceed

      It’s not particularly flattering to a thin body type, and a heavier body would likely need a bra. Problematic, this cutout.

  • amian3

    This episode really made it clear that 90 minutes is way way too long. The first hours is each designer repeating “OMG having a dress in production!” “This is a really important challenge!” “OMG having a dress in production!”

    More sewing less nattering.

    •  I always wonder why the designers get so psyched about this.  Yes, the dress is going into production.  BUT… it’s still owned by the show, so they won’t see a dime.  They have no control over it, so the retailer can make any changes they want regardless of how much it may stray from the designers vision.  And the people who are going to buy your dress are either doing it because of your presence on a show they watch (in which case you don’t a dress in production for name recognition) or they just liked the dress, which means they probably won’t be able to tell you who designed it 10 minutes after checking out. 

      • hoez

        It’s about getting their names out there, I guess. I don’t think they’re in it for the money but the potential that’s there in having a garment put into production =without= having to foot the bill for costs. 

        •  See, to me — being a paranoid control freak about things like that (I always chose groups in school who would be happy to do nothing so that I could make sure everything was done the way I wanted) — I would be worried about my name.  Because you don’t retain the design, they can do whatever they want to it without consulting you.  Your name may end up on something that doesn’t represent you as a designer because of those changes.

    • formerlyAnon

       90 minutes wouldn’t be way too long if they spent more time discussing the decisions they make about design/construction/fabric choice, etc. and the way they work their way through the trade-offs that come with the time constraints.

      Assuming, that is, that one is actually interested in the process of creation.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I thought everyone did an adequate job and it was as good a time as any to make up for Kooan’s departure.  No train wrecks, as one or another of the judges said… which sums up the whole thing.

    I really, really didn’t get the win.  It doesn’t look elegant, and that fabric treatment–the only vaguely notable thing, though I haven’t been fond of it in any of its uses–would have to put the price point through the roof, unless they just plan on getting some pre-distressed fabric.

    I also did not get Elena in the top scores.

    • Me either. Praising the harness seemed to trump the fact that her dress was wonky, ill fitting, and puffy in weird places. And they seemed to think lots of women would choose that? Nah, don’t think so.

  • I think the idea here is quite nice. The back cutout strikes me as impractical for movement and it’s imperfectly made but it’s crazy to expect things to be perfect and interesting in such a short space of time.
    What bothers me most is that it’s retailing at $275 and it’s polyester… polyester/ spandex to be precise. 

    • formerlyAnon

       I can’t speak to what anything costs wholesale, but in terms of wearability, some of my favorite work clothes over the years have been good quality polyester – polyester crepe in particular – used in the higher end of department store retail.  In a well made garment it keeps its shape, hangs nicely, stands up to repeated dry cleaning or hand washing and the blacks stay black.

      • True. I just realised my favourite long vintage evening dress (also my only long evening dress!) is polyester crepe!! I’m just an awful fabric snob sometimes. Mark up from wholesale is usually about 2.7ish but think it’s less in the states. 

  • Judy_J

    I’m beginning to think none of these people could design their way out of a paper bag. I really don’t see how Heidi, Nina, Michael & guest judge can sit there week after week and judge this crap with a straight face.  So far I’ve seen NOTHING that has impressed me in any way, shape, or form.  If you held a gun to my head, I couldn’t describe one winning look from this season.  Boring, indeed.

    •  Oh, I disagree.  I’ve really enjoyed this season.  There aren’t a lot of WOW, couture-like moments, but they’re turning out interesting RTW, and I can appreciate that.

  • Kayceed

    This is an unbearably sad, drab gown.

  • Pam Winters

    In 1974 or thereabouts, I needed to have a white blouse and long black skirt for an event. I think my Girl Scout Troop was singing at Montgomery Mall or something. Anyway, through some process I barely understand (which may have involved the financial and/or shopping assistance of a better-off family friend), I ended up with a skirt that was this well-made heap of black polyester. When I saw the “Lord & Taylor” label, I thought that it was from or for some religious group.

    But for the shredded pale blouse, the outfit that won last night could have been bought at Lord & Taylor. In 1974. Or thereabouts.

    • 1974, even earlier.  My mom, who was watching with me, said she wouldn’t wear Chris’s gown – too dowdy.  and old-fashioned.

  • Holy mother. I swear, that was some stupid shiz. If they do this fake-out elimination thing again, they are the Judges that Cried Wolf. I know we have all posited that it is senseless to judge the logic of the judges, but lambasting Gunnar for being staid and boring and “done already,” (but not boring enough to eliminate?) then giving the win to Christopher, whose was so done it was ridiculous, WTF ALREADY. ACK! “I’m doing a GOWN, darlings, and it is going to be my SECRET WEAPON and I will WIN.” And he was RIGHT??!?!?!? OK, sorry to yell, but I am aghast.

    P.S. Ven is still a dick. “Men tend to be better designers, because one-way rose monkeys are superior to women.” Asshole.

    • waitwaitwhat

      I know we all hate Ven but let’s be fair, didn’t Sonjia make an equally ridiculous sweeping statement? “Women be making edgy, hard stuff that women want to wear, men be making beautiful silk stuff.”

      •  Yeah, I thought those comments were ridiculous.  My God, look at the amount of business Kors himself does — clearly women want to wear his clothes. 

  • elleg929

    This is the first episode I watched this season and I am glad I have stayed away.  It is so awful.

  • SignLadyB

    And what is it with his continued fraying seams? It seems to me a week or so ago you commented that it was “fringe” although it looked like fraying to me. And in the pics above the top seems to have all sorts of loose threads. I’ll watch the show tonight, then maybe I’ll understand. And yes to Mb, that back is just hideous–both the model’s chicken wings and the cut of the top. Looks like he ran out of material so he just wildly cut around a large part of her back. If this is the winner I can’t WAIT to see the rest!

  • Sigh. I just can’t see going to L&T and paying hundreds for a dress that starts off looking like my cocker spaniel slept on it. I can throw a Wal-mart tee shirt on the floor and get that effect for free. 

  • I would never wear that shredded crap Christopher keeps doing. It looks like it’s poorly made and unraveling on the spot, and seriously looks like pink grated cheese with a ziplock bag on the bottom.

    • ampg

      The thing that nobody ever seems to mention is that his shredding technique wouldn’t last past one wearing – the fabric would unravel itself too quickly.  What woman would pay L&T prices for a dress she can only wear once?

      •  Not necessarily.  Not being able to see the finished pieces up close, I can’t really tell how the fabric is manipulated, but there are ways to get that sort of finish while still protecting the rest of the fabric.

  • Tamara Hogan

    Dmitry was robbed. And Elena’s dress looked like ass.

  • Sweetpea176

    The MOST ridiculous thing about that win for me was the L&T exec saying during the judging that she didn’t think  L&T could even sell “hundreds” of them.  I don’t know L&T’s business, but I have to figure that they would expect volume greater than that to bother having something manufactured.  In other words, the winning dress of the L&T challenge is a dress that wouldn’t sell well at L&T.  Hi-larious!

    • Kayceed

      Tis a puzzlement.

    •  AMEN, Sistah!    How could she sit there and say it wouldn’t sell all that well, and then turn around and award the win to it. Fabio, Dmitri, and Gunnar all turned out dresses that would sell, in truckloads.

      • Susan Crawford

        Indeed! I worked for years in the toy business as a buyer, and when I went to Toy Fair, I was looking for items to order that would sell by the THOUSANDS, and that would justify at least one re-order. Yes, in retail, it is TRUCKloads, not a couple hundred. L&T is a major chain, and even limiting to the flagship and on-line, they want to move an enormous number of pieces. Otherwise: why bother? 

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Don’t  you wonder about producer manipulation here?

        • Laughing loudly. I don’t wondr in the least. It is patently obvious.

      • The second I saw Dmitri’s I let out a gasp.  That seaming is so perfect for so many body types.  I have a rather extreme hourglass shape (my waist is 14 inches smaller than my bust/hip) and I love things that emphasize that, which these seams would do, but it’s still conservative enough that I could wear it to dinners for work for my husband. 

        And I will most definitely be ripping off that pattern for the capsule collection I’m working on for my sister-in-law.  (She runs her own small business but has to travel, so I’m doing a capsule for her that she can just pack the collection for business trips and have everything she needs –I’m very excited by it)

        • Wow. I’d love to hear more about what you do for her.

          •  Right now I’m planning on 4 dresses, 4 pants, 4 skirts, 8 tops and 6 jackets, so a total of 12 looks.  It’s going to be heavily black, white, gray, and navy.  Then I’ll bring color in with the tops.  It’s very structured, because that’s her look — she’s very angular.  All of it has to be mix and match, and all of the dresses (at least the dresses, though I’m hoping for some of the separates too) have to be able to be dressed up or down. 

            I think when it’s done it’s going to be the first thing shot for my portfolio — which I’ve never had before, but I’m considering expanding my client list to people who are just clients rather than friends.

          • Let me know when you do!  I would love to see your work. It sounds like a great little mini line.

  • jennmarie19

    “Suck it up and slap a visible zipper on it.” Bwah. Love you guys!

    And $275 for that dress? Ummm . . . no.

  • I knew they weren’t going to send anyone home as soon as they declared the chick with the dreads “in”.  Still can’t believe Christopher won the challenge (wonder if they kept the hideous open back), and I was really surprised they praised Elena’s dress. I thought it was awful. 

    • granddelusion

      I liked Alicia’s dress. It was at least “different”, and outside her bailiwick yet reflecting her asthetic.. And well made. She also gave my favorite sound byte, “Sure, it’s just another dress.” Yep. They all were sure that.

      • I liked it too, but I thought the collar was not cocktail-y enough. Sleeveless, yes, but leave that collar off and I think it would have been better by a long shot. The drop waist was cute.

      •  I agree. Alicia’s wasn’t so bad, just needed a little more work to make it work. I liked it more than Elena’s, for sure. I only meant I knew they weren’t going to send Gunnar home, and they did it that way to stir up drama. 

  • gabbilevy

    Well at least the other 9 dresses are nice.

    • granddelusion

      “Nice.” On a design show. And I would argue that elena’s, at least, was a hot mess.

      • gabbilevy

        Oh, no, I meant the rest of the L&T collection. Please. Not this season’s designs.

        • granddelusion

          I think I agree with you. “Nice” is about the best one can say of most of these dresses. But this is a design show, even for the blah L&T challenge, and “nice” should be left in the dust. I was so unimpressed with what most of these designers churned out. (I thought Dimitry’s was the most interesting.) And maybe that’s all they could do with this mundane challenge. They sure weren’t going to win by thinking outside the box.

          •  I disagree.  I think they had to do something subtle enough to work in production and to work with the other dresses.  For that mark, I think they did well.  Most of the dresses had a little something to make them special but toned down enough for the market.  I like that. 

            Fashion is a business, and the end goal of this show has always been to find someone to launch a line.  You can’t do that without knowing how to water down your looks to the point of hitting a market.

            Yes, it’s a design competition, but I think it’s good to have one or two challenges per season that see if you can be an artist and a businessperson at the same time.

      • Considering the past few seasons, all of the dresses being “nice” is something of a relief.

  • DaveUWSNYC

    I never thought I would have said this during Seasons 1-4, when I was a devoted fan…but I will never watch PR again. I think it’s lost its way. The only reason I care at all is because of you two wonderful gentleman, whom I was privileged to meet during Season 3 at Emmett’s store and who can STILL find –  amidst this dreck – the means to delight us BKs and PUFs. I thank you and salute you!

  • With every T.Lo post I am happier and happier with my decision to quit watching the show.

  • jennmarie19

     Disagree. As much as I love Chris March (see the gorgeous white dress he did for Meryl Streep at the Oscars a few years back), I think his gown in this collection is atrocious.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    Just looked at it at L&T online.  Looks like they opted not to distress the fabric at all.  Apparently, the Lord and Taylor Woman ™ does not want to look like her clothes are unraveling.

    • Oh, just went and checked it out. Yep, looks like just sort of pleated material. It looks very, hmm, unremarkable.

  • The visible zipper. Gah! It’s everywhere on this show. It’s like when everyone did sleeveless because sleeves made them cry – now they do visible zippers so that they don’t have to set it properly. And, BTW, sleeves are not that hard. 

    • DinaSews

      Jay did tell TLo last night that the visible zipper is just easier to put in because of time constraints.  It is fugly and I am sick of seeing it too.

    •  Neither are zippers, comes to that.

      •  Really really not.  It saves the competent ones, what do you think?  Maybe 5 minutes?  Maybe? 

        • Pretty much, yeah. I will grant you, getting a zip fly just right in a pair of tailored slacks takes a bit of time, but really setting in a zip in the back of a frock is Home Ec 101 stuff.

          • Girl_With_a_Pearl

            Kiltdntiltd, I am so glad that you wrote that part about tailored slacks.  Now I get why in past seasons making men’s clothes always threw the designers into a tizzy.

          •  It always chaps my hide when these supposed professionals complain about, or avoid doing some of the most basic things in the sewing lexicon.  Any of these people should be able to insert a zip in no time, with their eyes closed.

          • formerlyAnon

             Set in pockets, too. That one bugs me because it was the last thing I mastered before I quit sewing regularly – had a harder time with that than zippers.

          •  It’s not just the zipper.  Getting comfortable with pants is just like getting comfortable with jackets — it takes time and practice. 

            However, these people claim to be professionals so there’s no damn excuse.  While designers often don’t sew, if you know you want to go on PR, you should be practicing.  And trust me, when you offer to make clothes for people on your own dime, it’s not hard to find guinea pigs.

    • Judy_S

       Actually I was trying to see the zippers and some of them were properly sewn in. Chris’s is, above, and Dmitri’s dress had a really nice zipper. It did occur to me that Sonjia must not have actually had a zipper at all, hence the difficulty inserting the model into the dress.

      • janierainie

        She had a zipper, it was one of the many things she was crying about to Tim. 

    • I liked Fabio’s dress, and the Duchess was right that the zipper was extraneous, but it was also not tacked on straight and I saw puckering all up and down the sides.

  • granddelusion

    Ridiculous. Even his model looks confused. And all that sturm und strang — dont tell me this show is not scripted.

  • Call me Bee

    I just don’t know what to say.  Did Chrisotpher win because his “gown” is the easiest to produce?  I’m thinking so.  Of the four (!) top designs, this is the simplest.  So yeah–I guess that was the particular criterium upon which this dress was chosen. 

    On a side note–I went to the L&T website to look at all the dresses, thinking I’d love to purchase Jay’s lovely little can do.  Only up to size 14.  Grrrrr…..

    • formerlyAnon

       Yes, it is perplexing that while several of these designs would look lovely on a larger sized person, they are not being sold in those sizes. And while I am probably incapable of out-guessing the calculus of the production/marketing/profit margin bean counters who decide such things for a major store, you’d think that the point of this exercise is to lure PR watchers into their stores – and if PR watchers include mid-life American women at a slightly lower average income level than the usual L & T customer, I’d think an awful lot of them are above size 14.

      • Call me Bee

        Agreed.  Except that we Boomers–we’ve made our money and have the wherewithall to shop at places like L&T and Nordstrom’s.  (Nieman Marcus and Barneys–not so much!  LOL…)  And yes–I believe most of us are above size 14.

      •  That was my reaction when Lagerfeld did a guest line at Macy’s last year.  I was so psyched for it and then I discovered that nothing came over a size 12.  Which on some of the pieces was fine — for instance, I’m doing a skirt right now that I would never put myself in because my hips are too wide for it to look good.  But there were some that would look great at any size.  It bugged me so much that I refused to buy anything from it, even though I was only an 8 and there were some I loved.

    • Miss_Magpie

      My reaction, too.  Grrrr!

    • Qitkat

      For years I’ve wished that there would be a ‘Mother of the Bride’ challenge. After all of Kors’ snarky remarks, it would be very interesting to see what he would think is a good look for MOB. Of course, it would have to be real women; not too many real MOB’s still have the figure of a 20 year old model. And I dislike young models wearing things clearly designed for more mature women. But then again it might be too much angst for the designers. OTOH, is it possible to have too much drama for the shark-infested waters we’re all swimming in week after week?

      •  To be fair, so does Kors — he has a policy of only using models of a certain age (still very young but not nearly as much as a lot of designers).

  • All the dresses are made in polyester

    • l_c_ann

      Too many esters died.

  • zaynSF

    Dmitry was robbed.  That is all.

  • tataconic


  • MissAnnieRN

    I didn’t watch last night owing to being completely exhausted after work, but it looks like I needn’t bother.

  • lizajane1776

    Oh, my gosh! They didn’t even change the back cut out on the production dress! No wonder it only goes up to 14. 

    • Lilithcat

      None of the designs in this collection go over size 14.

  • DinaSews

    I would like a non-black challenge.  Just so I could really see the quality of what they are making.

    • 3boysful

       What a FAB idea!

    • formerlyAnon

      This makes me nostalgic for the days before I’d given up on taking PR even semi-seriously. Back when I bothered to complain about getting micro-second views of the backs of garments, and being unable to see the details of the garments because of (pick as many as apply): the shitty lighting, the lack of close-in shots, the brief glimpse of garments seen mostly breezing swiftly by or in a quick pan over the designers & models.

      Ahh. Those simpler days of naivete, before PR had beaten me down.

      • DinaSews

        Haha.  How right you are.  I must still be feeling the affects of the TLounge hangover and temporarily lost my mind because there really isn’t ANY quality to their sewing, is there?

        • formerlyAnon

           Who knows? Not as if show will be lit & shot so that we can tell.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      I’d love a challenge in which the designers were prohibited from using black. I’m really bored with their constant default to black.

  • michelle shields

    Holy Hell what a mess! Another episode of butt fugly dresses. I loved Heidi’s pink disco ball dress over all that other shit they sent down the runway. What is wrong with these people?

  • michelle shields

    btw loved Jay’s dress! Hi Jay!

  • jw_ny

    C-Lite’s top is much nicer in the final L&T color…still on the bland side tho, especially with that “religious cult” (lol) skirt. 

    The color he chose for his model…totally washes her out. She looks like a black plague corpse.

  • l_c_ann

    So Christopher got away with sending totally unfinished edges (back view) down the runway.  Contestants from years gone by are screaming in agony.

    One of the things I liked about the front of Christophers’s design bodice was the way the front darts (the ones that start at the waist and go up to the tip of the breast) melded with his designed fabric to make for an interesting chevron.  Well, L&T didn’t think that part was interesting- those darts are gone and with them the nuanced fit that they produced.

    • BrooklynBomber

      Apparently the unfinished edges are part of the look. Go figure.
      It actually seemed like a fairly lovely look, but the L&T version is (as expected) not so hot. The ballet pink was nice – it’s gone. The higher waist – gone. The fitted sleeves – gone. I’m wondering if they kept the open back. I doubt it (which is fine with me; that was my least favorite part of the dress).

  • formerlyAnon

    Sigh. They kept the demi-demi-train or mini-mullet hem, lost the shredding/deconstruction and cut the back cut out in a way that looks kind of wonky, at least on the model.  And I hate to think how that cut out will be either too tight or gaping on half the wearers buying it off the rack.

    If it were separates, you might at least get you money’s worth out of them.

    • Snailstsichr

       I don’t see the point of that little train – other than to collect dust.

  • FloridaLlamaLover

    I dvr PR now because of the ridiculous number of commercials and all the stupid drama crap that fills out the 45 minutes of actual show time, and watch it in the morning.  I USUALLY stay awake when I watch it (admittedly I multi-task and check e-mail, sort documents, blag, blah, blah). Not today.  Had to replay the catwalk 6 times before I stayed awake during the whole thing. Cannot believe that Elena got such high praise — I thought it looked like a trash bag.  And this shredding stuff that Christopher does just looks a mess to me. I agree.  BORING.

  • I’m betting that there was no elimination because they only brought back one designer after Frokemon and whats-her-name quit so they had to have a freebie challenge to manage to get through all the planned episodes.

  • afabulous50

    Well – at least TLo’s tweets kept me interested last night!

  • BrooklynBomber

    “we barely had time to register what was happening on screen.”

    That pretty much describes my viewing of every episode so far this season. Something else is going on, or someone wants to talk through the whole show. And I’m finding it works very well. I still enjoy the show, but half of what makes it onscreen could be cut, so not really paying attention most of the time seems just right.As for the no elimination gambit. . . I hate to say it, but I think it was fair. This may be THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF PROJECT RUNWAY that every entry was okay enough. Nothing really merited an aufing, at least not as far as I could see.

    • Call me Bee

      Exzaaaaatly!  These PR episodes are far more tolerable while posting on the Tlounge and following tweets all at the same time.  Not much to miss. 

      • BrooklynBomber

        I’m not usually online during the show, but I agree: whatever it takes to keep you only half watching is a good thing. Tequila, apparently, works well, too!

    • Yes, nothing really stood out for me (except maybe Fabio’s in the workroom but it lost something on the runway) and nothing was egregiously bad. I liked what Alicia was going for, it was beyond her skill level but she had a definite point of view and –ominously–I have seen a lot of dropped waists lately.

      • MilaXX

         I think I liked the idea of what Alicia was aiming for more than the actual execution.

    • MilaXX

       True there were no real train wrecks on the runway for a change. Just varying degrees of boring

      • BrooklynBomber


  • SewingSiren

    This dress would make a fine backdrop for interesting jewelry . A lot of people wear special jewelry during the holidays so maybe Lord and Taylor wanted a real bland dress. 
    I personally thought Melissa had the winning design , though it looks like the lounge didn’t agree.

  • I’m also in the Dmitry-was-robbed camp. Can someone please explain all the love for Fabio’s look? Maybe I’m just biased against asymmetrical hemlines and visible zippers…

    • dschubba

      I’m with you there. I could have made Fabio’s dress, though it would have taken me much longer than one day.

    • MilaXX

       I could have lived without the exposed zip, but I liked Fabio’s. His and Dmitry’s were my top 2. I would have been okay with either of them winning, but Christopher’s win was a joke.

      • Cathy S

        I agree. The zipper on Fabio’s wasn’t well done–there was puckering and I’m not crazy about the exposed zipper–but I thought the dress was very pretty. He and Dmitry were tops for me.

  • LCTerrill

    I actually loved Christopher’s dress, and went to their site this morning to see the price. Talk about hideous! They took all the soft, ethereal romanticism of the original design’s top, and replaced it with fugly, Mother of the Bride fake-satin pleating. Ick! And seriously, I am not paying $275 for 4 yards of cheap polyester.

    Lord and Taylor Fail.

    • Judy_S

       Is that what it is? I thought it was “burnout” velvet.

    •  Don’t worry, I highly doubt it’s even four yards

  • Susan Crawford

    First of all let me say that Korto and Gordana produced two stunning dresses for L&T! Loved them BOTH!

    As for the workroom drama, the women went wonky with emotion, self-doubt, anguish and existential questions about the very essence of life (in Elena’s case). And look: Clinique-Deux emerged once again as Mr. Empathy and became Elena’s huggy-bear bestie. Elena, you need to get OVER yourself because you are still too young to be saying you cannot merge your aesthetic with saleability. Same for Alicia – you are an embryo, honey, and embryos don’t get to say “I CAN’T design in this style . . . blah, blah, blah.”

    I noticed VENom was kept pretty much in the background after last week, and I laughed aloud when he said, “It’s not just about me; I’m thinking of my customers.” I’m sure Terri’s blood pressure went soaring at that comment. And I’ll bet there was a giant-sized pod in the basement at Parsons, because that was not VENom up there. But again with the rose-o-gami?

    Now as to the winning design? Awful. Compared to Comrade Snape, Elena or even Melissa – – – awful.

    Kors LOVED the way it looked like a tee shirt and skirt. Yes, it did. And not a GREAT tee shirt and skirt. Heidi claimed to LOVE the pale, washy pink color against the model’s pale skin. OK, Heidi, let’s see YOU wear something that makes you look like you’ve been incarcerated for a year on YOUR next photo op.

    The back of the garment was an unfinished-looking mess, and I can’t believe none of the judges (who actually did a fairly good job of giving real feedback this week) pointed out the lack of a sharp finish. None of the judges went after what was essentially a long a-line skirt with only a teensy bit of oomph in volume. Where was the creativity THERE? Oh, wait, Costello-Lite was too busy inventing the idea of shredding to have much time left over for anything original in the skirt.

    And the “Nobody gets aufed” finale? It’s all SO staged, no? How convenient for next week’s team challenge of three teams of three – WHAT a TOTAL surprise that it worked out! Not.

    Anyway, another episode passes with tears and fears, and lots of black dresses. Sigh. Comrade Snape, I’m in this all the way for you – you MUST prevail!

  • BrooklynBomber

    And that L&T judge – what’s her title? What a bean counter.

    • Lilithcat

      But counting beans was part of the challenge.  

      • BrooklynBomber

        True, but only part of it. I didm’t get a sense that she thought about or cared at all about fashion or the art of design.

        • formerlyAnon

          And yet, she chose a dress about which she’d remarked they could only sell it in [quantities of] the hundreds. Inexplicable.

          edited for, I hope, clarity

          • hoez

            I remember it specifically as “It won’t sell hundreds of units” but then she mentioned that there is a customer out there that would wear it. 

  • SapphoPoet

    That is really unfortunate. 

  • emily mcginnis

    i kind of liked it. at least it looked different from every other knee-length cocktail dress that was sent out on the runway. 

    • BrooklynBomber

      I kind of liked it, too. KIND of. (Just like I kind of liked Alycia’s for having a dropped waist, which made it different.) But the L&T version is horrible.

  • l_c_ann

    When did The Bay Company buy L&T?  and why?

    The Bay was always such a rock of a store in Canada.

  • kat89

    I called it last night that no one was leaving. None of the dresses were particularly innovative, but I’m kind of surprised that Dmitri didn’t win. I just ended up seeing a lot of the same old stuff. Ven needs to stop wi the origami roses. His dress last night looked like it was inspired by Ironman’s costume.

  • yulaffin

    I sort of liked Christopher’s gown until I saw the back – what a mess.  Dmitry was robbed!

  • fnarf

    Christopher’s dress was abysmal. Just unbelievably lame. 1960s junior high lame. Badly made, stupid color, stupid “shape”, stupid shredding, stupid everything. When I compare it to the things I see every day, even stuff at DEPARTMENT STORES, let alone cute modern catalog stuff like Boden, I can’t believe it. This is terrible little girl’s nightgown stuff, like a Lanz of Salzburg nightgown or something. 

    Seriously: the worst winner of all time. It’s not like there were genius efforts being overlooked, because the others were all pretty boring, but Christopher’s was TOTAL CRAP. 

    And he didn’t address the challenge! The only way to make that for a department store was to lose the goddamn stitching he’s so goddamn proud of. And make the skirt out of polyester fake velvet or something. All she lacked was a cameo on a black velvet ribbon around her neck. And here I was just starting to like this season. FAKE.

  • Judy_J

    I just checked out the dress on the L & T website, and it looks unbelievably cheap.  The opening in the back is wonky, and the fabrics used look inexpensive and pedestrian.  Coming soon to the clearance rack at TJ Maxx….Christopher’s dress!

  • Zippypie

    The L&T version is worse than the original, and I didn’t think that could be possible.  All the dresses are polyester.  Shiny, permanent pleated blush polyester???  YUCK.  Is this 1973?  For that price point.  I don’t think so.  I think my mom had a shirt like that.

    Too bad, because I love Mondo’s mod dress and Gordana’s is lovely but I’m not paying $275 for pure poly.  No sirree.

    All the default to black was a mistake but I think part of the problem lies with the fabric they were given to coordinate with the fabric of the established dresses.  Ugly.  Poly stretch with metallic sheen.  Or shiny poly.  Yick.  It looked like fabric you see dresses in Conway made from. (Conway is a store in NYC where the clothing is all $19.99 and below and made in China and thereabouts.)

    However, this dress is just boring.  If the L&T rep knew that they would remove the shredding in production, which is the only interesting design element about this dress, why the hell did she pick it, also saying that this dress “won’t sell hundreds”?  And believe me, I would make sure I brought a rep from the manufacturer to the judging to make sure the garment could be made for the price point before choosing a winner.

    I think Costello-Lite nailed it in the beginning.  It was picked because it was a GOWN and there were only two gowns in the collection.  What a high standard!!!

    •  There are some great poly blends — it can be very nice and incredibly functional.  This didn’t really appear to be good poly, but don’t just discount all polyester.

  • My daughter was late getting home and walked in during the runway.  After watching a few models go past she looked at me and said, “Was the challenge to design something black?”  

  • Kasie Hilburn

    The only reason the show was halfway interesting was because of the girls synced PMS cycles. Someone needs to put Elena out of her misery.

  • siriuslover

    I have nothing intelligent, or even snarky, to add to this post.

  • Dmitry wuz robbed!

  • What. The. Fuck?  No-no-no-no-no-NO!  The only redemption I can see for watching this episode is if TLo divulges the conversation with Jay last night.  :]

  • Checking out the collection dresses on L&T site, I’m really diggin’ Mondo, Uli, Nick, Kortu and Gordana (which comes in two colors). Also, I liked the revised version of Christopher’s dress. 

    But all of this is pointless because Dmitry wuz robbed.

  • We very badly need a No Black Fabric Permitted challenge for this group of “designers.”

    • YES!!!

    • MilaXX

       yeah but the rules would also have to state no charcoal, slate, grey, navy or brown because you know some of these folks will go for the closest thing to black they can get

      •  Remember the stupid gelato flavor challenge on All-Stars?  It’s not like that produced anything great, and it was basically a color challenge.  And the Lexus challenge earlier in the season had color requirements too.

  • What I don’t understand is how that top can really be put into mass production!

    • Anathema_Device

      I agree. I didn’t mind the dress as much as many others here did, but I thought he wouldn’t win b/c of the construction. Maybe they used a pleated fabric that mimics the technique he used?

  • Kasie Hilburn

    I’m buying a dress… trying to decide between the Korto and the Uli dress

  • ashley d

    I think the dress is pretty– it’s like working from the Downtown Abbey aesthetic. So there.

  • paintedfish

    Those back cutouts make it look like she has bony back boobs.

  • It looks like they changed the color on the final product so it doesn’t look like “almost white, but got a pink sock in with it” and it looks more pleated than shredded. I still think it’s a boring dress, but I like this version better.

  • Actually, that final product looks more like the original than many of the commercial knockoffs do. But does it still have the sexy “scapula frame” peekabo back? It would look a million times better and more Jil Sander without it.

    • Yes. L&T kept the back cut-out. 

  • CozyCat

    Cussing at bad drivers is an important life skill.  You sound like an excellent parent!  🙂

  • quiltrx

    I actually don’t mind their finished version of the top.  But you know who that kind of skirt looks good on?  Nobody.  Except a model built like a stick.

  • well, i liked it…and think he was smart to do a gown…and think it looks very lord & taylor-y. 

  • I still like the show but I am over you two. Did you happen to mention to Jay that his dress was nothing special and totally ‘done’ before. You guys have become so negative and bitchy. Your posts used to be thoughtful and funny, and I actually contributed to your cause from time to time. Good-bye.

    • Joshua

       Thoughtful and funny were in order when Project Runway wasn’t so classless and irrelevant. If you actually watch the show, how could you expect anything but negative and bitchy now? Bitchy is what these bitches do!

    • So, let me get this straight.  You think TLo are negative and bitchy, yet you chastise them for not mentioning to Jay that his dress wasn’t anything special?  Does not compute.

    • AthenaJ

       Christopher, is that you?


      “Did you happen to mention to Jay that his dress was nothing special and totally ‘done’ before.”

      No, honey! We were FAR too busy talking about entitled people on the internet who think they can order up content like a pizza! That topic NEVER GETS OLD!

      “You guys have become so negative and bitchy.”

      And this is … what? A love letter you’re writing?

      •  Guys, do you get bored when people tell you they won’t be reading anymore?  I think it would quite tedious.  Or do you keep a list of everyone on Earth who DOESN’T read you…?  ‘Cause that’s the only reason I could see for informing you in the comments section…

  • CozyCat

    I am SO impressed that you’re a “tympanist/aux. percussion”!  Seriously, That Rocks!

  • VivianAdvanced

    I was shocked when it was announced that this got one of the higher scores, let alone when it got the win. BO-RIING! It looks like a cat made it! The model looks so droopy in it. The actual product for sale looks somewhat better, but still. Most of the designers’ pieces were pretty dull, as if all their creativity was constipated. I would have liked to have seen what they had to choose from among the fabrics they were given.

    • fashionzombie

      “It looks like a cat made it!” Hahaha! And got bored partway through.

  • allcapsERINN

    I wanted to buy Dmitri’s dress. My credit card was out and everything. Bah.

    Gunnar is starting to grow on me. I tried to resist, but he makes me laugh out loud. 

    TLo – are you going to do a post on the whole L&T Project Runway collection? Curious about your thoughts. 

    • YES!!! They should so do a post about the collection. I would love to know their opinion. In fact, let me tweet this to them, too. lolol. Giving you credit, of course. 

  • artgirl9

    The back of Christopher’s dress looked terrible- as if someone had simply taken scissors to it- absolutely no grace whatsoever.  And I am so tired of the big fugly zipper down the back.  The first hundred times I saw it I was sort of okay with it.  But now?  Enough already!  Time to drive some other detail into the ground. And stop with the asymmetrical hems while I’m at it.

  • MilaXX

    It appears even Lord & Taylor knew this look sicked cause they changed the skirt.  I’d have to be on some hard core pharmaceuticals in order to pay $200 + for this fug of a dress.

    • mskgb

      The Lord & Taylor representative remarked that the dress “wouldn’t sell a lot of units,” but awarded it the win.

    • Qitkat

      You made me laugh. I was on hard-core pharmaceuticals, arriving home from out-patient surgery just in time to catch most of the episode. In spite of being completely numb on my entire right arm, (I had a plate put in to repair my broken wrist), I was still alternately amused and outraged with this ridiculous challenge and outcome. If I had +$200, and if it came in a larger size, I would pay that for either Korto’s or Gordana’s dresses, polyester or not. Madly love both. Christopher’s was truly awful.

      • MilaXX

        Hope you’re feeling better. Glad I could at least make a fellow BK laugh a bit. I agree with you completely re: Korto and Uli dresses.

      • Awww, hope you’re feeling better!  Don’t worry, hon, the drugs wouldn’t have made this fiasco of an episode any better!

      • mhleta

        That is some FINE ass typing for a person who’s just been through all this! Props to you.

      •  I could see paying $200 for Dmitri’s though. It was a deceptively simple-looking dress, but fantastic.

  • guest2visits

    I thought Christopher’s fabric for the top of his dress was much nicer than the one L&T used. The original color was daintier and
    seemed to be a better quality material. But they kept the ugly cutout, which was the worst element. The L&T buyer talked to
    Fabio about how the exposed zipper would have to be modified for their customers; – but not Christopher’s open back?
    Nothing makes sense with this challenge.   I liked Fabio’s along with Dimitry’s and Ven’s for the top spots. I would have given Fabio
    the win again (with a different zipper). 
    I liked the rose motiff on Ven’s; I just figured it would be even further designed down by the production process. I could see his
    design in various colors. Dimitry’s was also very nice; I could see it designed abit less snugly for each size, without any problem.
    I also likes Elena’s design (not so much the back) but it was very badly fitted and constructed in my opinion.
    I disliked Melissa’s fabric as much as she did, and I didn’t think it was anything for a L&T (maybe a boutique?) but the construction
    came out really well.
    Alicia’s was an obvious out to me. It was neither constructed well, or remotely attractive. And it didn’t fit the brief given at L&T.
    So not looking forward to next weeks’ challenge; making clothes with scraps of other clothes. And teams. Ick.

  • I did like Christopher’s dress, but my fave was Dmitri’s.

  • Dagney

    uh, what?

  • dschubba

    I’m kind of glad Alicia’s still around. She seems like a decent person, but I can’t say that I’ve loved anything she’s made so, her days are numbered. When I look at her dress, all I can hear is “the pretty lady to O-Ren’s right, who’s

    dressed like a villain on Star Trek …”

    • AthenaJ

       I love a good Kill Bill reference!

  • mhleta

    Christopher is growing on me, (I love that he has the self awareness to realize when he sounds “like a total tool.”) But this dress. This dress. Honest to God, it is the fashion equivalent of full-blown catatonia, of the bland diet old people must adhere to when their teeth have fallen out and the acid reflux has rendered them unable to eat anything with taste and they have to defecate into a bag attached to their leg. This is the fashion equivalent of Fifty Shades of Grey with female frigidity and erectile disfunction. This dress is birth control and a sleeping pill all rolled into one. I can’t even get angry about it, it’s so fucking dreary. 

    • God, I love you!

  • I thought that Christopher’s gown belonged in the basement with Alicia’s dress and that either one of them should have been told to pack their knives and go home.   I don’t appreciate his supposedly innovative frayed fabric technique at all.   I think it looks silly and wasteful.

    I would have been happy to see either Dimitry or Melissa win this episode. Though the pointed tail on Melissa’s piece looked foolish, the bodice was startlingly good; and the bronze fabric was exactly what she needed to use.

    • meowing

      PYKAGH…oh, how I wish these designers had half the chops as the Top Chefs.

  • OMG…I fell asleep after the runway….I was totally bored.  Jay’s and Bert’s gowns are SOOOOO much better. And I thought Costello-lite’s t-shirt had something wrong with it until the Duchess said something to him and i realized it was intentional….i have a t-shirt like that that I clean my house in.  I agree with Stubenville…we all lost out on that one.

  • Cathy S

    The mass produced dress is nicer than his was. The back was, and still is, horrible. Dmitry was robbed again. His dress was actually different than everyone else’s, plus–not black.

  • marilyn

    Project Station Break (PSB) has hit a new low.  I thought the winning dress should have been the losing dress.  It was boring, and the top did not go with the bottom.  Apparently this is what the L&T gal wants to spend buckets of money on. Okay………

  • Wow, the finished look is really different. Mostly for the better, I think. Man, this challenge was boring though. I think my brain has partially shut down? I am feeling pretty foggy right now. 

  • MoHub

    Am I the only one who repeatedly heard Heidi referring to the store as “Lorton Taylor”?

    • Meelah

      Lorton Taylor and always Mary-Clare

  • That’s it, it’s unwatchable – officially.  Guys, I recommend a bottle of a nice single-malt for next time.

  • I thought the winning design was a bore and one any woman not a size 2-4 and six feet tall would look bad in.  While I think her skirt had issues, Elena produced the best…but it certainly wasn’t going to fit in with the rest.  For the perimeters given, I thought Dmitry and Ven (I know, yuck) met it best though truth be told, all of the designs were bland to not great.  Even though she seems cool as hell and someone I’d love to kick back with, Alicia isn’t turning out anything so far to keep her in.  Ah well.

  • Emmyllou

    I liked Elena’s best.

  • I don’t understand why everyone constantly complains about these recent episodes. I thought it was a good challenge and everyone put out tasteful, if not 100% exiting, work. I’ll take that over screaming marmoset child/old lady outfits any day.

    Also, clearly many enjoyed it, because you still blog about it/ comment on blogs about it CONSTANTLY, even if it’s just to complain. I think that some people just like to complain about this show, legitimate criticism or not.

    As if the show JUST STARTED milking the drama. Anyone remember Wendy Pepper or godforsaken Kara or “Women are like Racecars” Dude and Blonde Girl from Miami? Once again, I’ll take Costello-lite over the horror show that was the Wendy Pepper hate train.

    • Honestly? I’m complaining because the clothes are so boring. It seems like more than half of the designs thus far have been neutral-colored (usually black) cocktail dresses with a couple interesting but subtle details each. That’s fine for shopping, but I want a little more out of Project Runway than that.

      • I don’t think they were boring. We will just have to agree to disagree, fellow bitter kitten. 

        What kind of challenges do you wish they had (from the past, etc.)?

        •  I didn’t think the clothes were boring either, exactly.  I think the show has just shifted a lot of focus to more RTW the last few years, and that’s not as exciting to watch. 

          My issue is that the manipulation is different.  It’s more transparent than it was — Wendy Pepper, for instance, made it to the finale because of Nancy O’Dell’s choice to wear her dress, not because the judges apparently lost their minds.  They now have the judges saying things that are completely nonsensical, and reaching so far for justification for their decisions that viewers are left wondering if they hallucinated the garments.  If they want to keep someone who makes a trainwreck, fine.  But don’t pretend that it’s the best thing since McQueen.  Last season, I didn’t mind that they kept Anya week after week — I minded that they kept throwing her wins in weeks that she didn’t deserve and blatantly lied about the appeal of garments.

  • Rebecca J.

    I think that shred shit that Christopher does, that he wants to “BEKNOWNFOR,” is the stupidest thing ever.  It looks cheap and dirty, just plain ugly.  And stupid.

    • Thank you!

    • Meelah

      It’s not even original.

  • Anathema_Device

    I thought Christopher and Ven would be in the middle, as they both defaulted to their signature/standard technique. I didn’t mind the dress, but nothing really wowed me this week. If Elena’s had been a little more sharply constructed, I could see giving her the win.

  • snarkykitten

    I really wish Frokemon was back. His outfit would have at least been interesting, if not balls to the walls off topic

  • You know the editing genies cut out any commentary at all about the shi$$y fabric provided, right? I think that explains part of Elena’s and Sonjia’s meltdowns.

  • voter1

    I would have like Christofurrrrrr’s dress better if it had been a short one.  The dresses for the night zzzzz…. 

  • kikisayshi

    That “winning” look is craptastic. The L&T version looks moderately better, but definitely nothing to write home about. Fabio’s simple LBD should have won this challenge. I would wear it in a second.

  • watchmeboogie

    The winning garment is just… it’s Claire Danes on the red carpet in 2000. This is one of the more incomprehensible wins.

    • Amy Ennis

      I knew I had seen that somewhere before. You are right. 

  • JMansm

    You guys I LOVED this episode. And I thought you would too because you have been expressing the same opinion as me that this show needs to not focus on the drama – just people making clothes. I loved that there was so little interpersonal drama and a great sense of camaraderie – who knew that Gunnar and Elena were friends, or that Elena and Sonjia were friends or that apparently everyone loves Melissa because they all wanted to help her? I found it all really charming and endearing. Sure, none of the dresses were stellar but the challenge was basically to make a non stellar but vaguely interesting and wearable/sellable dress. We couldn’t expect virtuoso work, just decent work and we got a lot of it. There are many more challenges this season where hopefully the designers will be pushed harder but right now I like them all except Ven (and Alicia probably should have gone home). 

    •  I’m glad no one went home.  If someone had, I’d have sent Sonjia, and she’s done enough good work to give her another chance, I think.  And I really don’t want to see Alicia go — I really appreciate her willingness to try to stretch herself to meet the challenges.

  • Hi, I’m home from work so I can post!  And I’m still pissed.  Y’know… just in case you were wondering.

    As you were!

  • joe_tey83

    The finished product looks like a wrinkly skin graft. It’s kind of disturbing.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    This post-apocalyptic t-shirt paired with a religious cult skirt? Feh.  Bwahhhaaahaaa!! Post-apocalyptic T-shirt-perfect!
    I have even less love for this look today than I did last night, and there was precious little love for it then.

  • GTrain

    Ridiculous win indeed. God he GRATES. Lord & Taylor has long had a reputation of being a store for old ladies and that’s basically what this dress is an ever so slight update of so whatever.

  • e m

    I thought he was the deserved winner! It was a department store challenge, you cannot expect dramatic couture. But still, this is the kind of dress I would love to wear (me who cannot afford any Jil Sander). It’s super modern and a little edgy. It’s what an edgy Berlin gamine would wear to a wedding or fashion gala or whatever.

    But I’m disappointed in the version you can buy. The cut of the t-shirt is too body conscious, the skirt is too wide at the bottom, the fringing is missing. It’s not half as dramatic and ethereal as the original.

  • hoez

    I really enjoyed this challenge. No one really did too badly though it’s a bit odd seeing four people do somewhat similar things every episode or so… 

    Sonjia had her knots, Dmitri tends to do a tight shift dress (hasn’t he done that for the last 3 challenges?), Melissa’s had two extreme necklines with stiff fabrics (this episode + Marie Claire), and Chris does his shredding thing a lot. 

    I really hope Chris tones down the shredding in his finale collection if he ends up making one because he is NOT winning if he does more of it. They even hinted that he should stop while judging! 

    • Christopher will do a collection, even if it’s a decoy

      • I’m losing count – are we there already?   Is everyone still in going to do at least a decoy collection?  I thought there was one more auf before it was time.  I could be wrong though.

  • CarolinLA

    I didn’t love Christopher’s but I absolutely see why it won.  I think the choice to do a gown is what put him in the top.  LIke I said on last night’s board, a ration of 3 gowns to 7 dresses is more visually interesting than a 2 to 8 ratio.  

  • My reaction to the winning look:  Ew!  No, seriously.  I can’t believe that won.  Ew!

  • tessasouthworth

    As I haven’t been able to read through all of the comments yet, I’m wondering if anyone here has seen the collection in the flagship store and could give me their opinion of the quality. I went a little over the top today and ordered 8 pieces: Jay’s, Korto’s, Uli’s & Gordana’s for me, and the others for my sisters, mother & mom-in-law (no Christopher or Bert for us I’m afraid). This is to make up for last week when I tried to order Heidi’s striped Vivienne Westwood but it was sold out in all sizes close to mine! Does anyone know if the dresses are lined? I called L&T to try to find out, but they didn’t have the information. And BTW, I definitely would have gotten Dmitri’s dress if only it had been awarded the win! 

  • adnama79

    RE:  winner – I can’t wear that color.  You have to be milk-pale or way dark to wear that color.

    Lots of bland department store looks, but also wearable and saleable. Why pick one most can’t wear?

  • turtleemily

    Is there not a better way to attach the top to the skirt? Or is the visible whip stitch (?) intentional so customers buy a belt?

  • Thathoodwink

    I wanted Dmitry to win.

  • Megan Hutchison

    I don’t watch PR anymore, but when I saw the title of this post I thought they had to design clothes for kids, and was very disappointed when that wasn’t the case.

    But, got me thinking, that would be an awesome future challenge!

  • bitterk

    Keep in mind the L&T buyer hadn’t seen his other similar dresses.  On it’s own, it’s not horrible, just boring and repetitive if you’ve seen the technique as we the audience have.  I certainly like Christopher’s version better than the final product which muted the pink and fraying which was all the character the dress had to begin with.  I think Dmitry was robbed.  Again.

    • LambeeBaby

      I remember thinking that Dimitry’s dress would have fit in well with the collection and that it should have won. I am not sure what kind of wild hare the judges have up their asses this season, but there have been a couple of challenges that I thought he should have been in the top, if not the winner.

  • Meelah

    This has to be one of my least favorite Eps of Project Runway of all time.

    They tell Costello-lite to cut it with the fringe cuts but forget to tell Ven to cut out the flowers.

    Vens dress looks like a worm hole is sucking the life out of his models chest.  

    Gunnar’s dress really wasn’t that bad.  It was was boring enough to make it into safe.  I think they did that because he was over confident in the lead up interviews. So why not take him down about 20 pegs for our viewing pleasure.

    Alicias dress looked like a 70s tennis dress made for some space movie. It was ill fitted, ugly, poorly made, and nonsensical.  She couldn’t even explain it or defend it to the judges.  She should have been sent home but of course we don’t have enough people to do that and also making her last wouldn’t be as entertaining.

    Dimitri’s dress should have been in the top 3, 4, or 5 or whatever.

  • Were all the ladies cycling together? Is that why for the group cry?

    And all black! Or dark! Why?? Why aren’t the judges punishing these people for not using color almost ever, as they were told in the first episode by the judges? Arrrrrgh! Maybe the winner won because it was not just black!

  • Sobaika

    Oops… did I say something wrong? 

    Either way, losing the will to catch up on this episode.

  • DesertDweller79

    This would probably rank 10th on the list out of the entire Lord and Taylor PR collection for me.  Even though the final look is better than Costello-Lite’s winning design.  I quite liked a few of the other dresses. I think a few of them did great work for a dress that can only retail between $200-$300. 

    I thought this was a great idea by the show.  Great for the former designers.  And it was a great challenge.  And then the producers/judges totally blew it with the final results.  Ah well.  It isn’t as if I watch the show purely to see who wins.

    I really like the challenges that deal with the business side of the industry.  I liked watching all the contestants react to the limits of commercial manufacturing. 

  • DesertDweller79

    This would probably rank 10th on the list out of the entire Lord and Taylor PR collection for me.  Even though the final look is better than Costello-Lite’s winning design.  I quite liked a few of the other dresses. I think a few of them did great work for a dress that can only retail between $200-$300. 

    I thought this was a great idea by the show.  Great for the former designers.  And it was a great challenge.  And then the producers/judges totally blew it with the final results.  Ah well.  It isn’t as if I watch the show purely to see who wins.

    I really like the challenges that deal with the business side of the industry.  I liked watching all the contestants react to the limits of commercial manufacturing. 

  • I do NOT like this garment at all (I admitted as much yesterday). I don’t find it all that commercially viable. First to all, you’d have to be 5’9”-6′ foot to wear it (nothing wrong with that, of course, but the judges’ assessment of it is unrealistic: this gown does NOT encompass many demographics). It is also noteworthy that most women do NOT wear gowns. Gowns are very event-specific. In fact, this garment seems to be made for a specific customer. Then again, who is that customer? This is not sufficiently “dressy” or upscale to be worn as an evening gown. The skirt portion is quite frumpy. It’s a drab black. It’s not a dazzling black. That shredding technique? In the two previous instances, he used it to good effect (to transform a not particularly attractive fabric/not to let the fabric do all the work but to work the fabric instead). The fabric in THIS instance is sad-looking. It DOES wash one out, and looking washed out is not attractive, regardless of what Heidi thinks. It’s almost the same shade as the model’s skin. She looks as if she’s wearing nothing; I should know, I’m pale myself. The shredding here is NOT meticulously rendered. It’s a poorly conceived look, all in all. Would I have placed in the bottom? Probably not. I see it as a low middle.

    • guest2visits

      Agree with so much of your assessment. Except; I have to say, I liked the delicate porcelain pink over the black. And I liked
      the shred technique (not the fraying though), creating more softness. The top was pretty to me until we got a look at the
      back; with it’s horrid, unneccesary gaping hole. That ruined the sort of French palate/mood of the design for me. And I would
      not have wanted it as a gown either; I thought the design would have worked better at that just under-the-knee length
      that Elena used for her skirt in the last challenge, that also seems more in keeping with the french style to me.  (page 524
      of the current InStyle, w/JLo, has a comparable color scheme) 
      Most of all, I cannot see this as a marketable design; specifically because of the cutout and the floor length skirt.
      I thought it was mid-level as well. 

      • mhleta

        To illustrate just how UN remarkable this piece is, let me tell you that I bought a top last March, Lauren Conrad for Kohls, that is exactly this color with this same shredding technique, (but actually I kind of like mine better.)

  • The model in the final 2 photos looks like she’s going to cry.

    I was kind of pissed that nobody went home because I stayed up really late and kept dozing off and rewinding and making myself stay awake so I could see who got eliminated. Had I known that the answer was NO ONE, I probably would have just gone to bed.

  • Ok I know last night was weird but honestly, I love this dress. Does that make me crazy? I think the long black skirt is both flattering and really “in” and the top is so interesting because of the way he cut it…. 
    Usually I 100% agree with TLo but tonight… I just love this dress

  • mrmonkeybottoms

    If I have to see one more visible zipper as an interest detail I’m gonna puke

  • Funny, I just saw this same outfit down at the Salvation Army store.

    Why can’t any of these designers take boob placement into account, like, ever?

  • Clacey

    The idea of this dress is okay, but the fabric choices really killed it for me. I don’t like the idea of the top blending in with the model’s skin tone and that skirt is a really flat black. I don’t know what fabric he used, but something with a little sheen or even a monochromatic pattern would have helped. I wish that Comrade Snape had done a gown – then he might have got the long-overdue win. 

  • Derek_anny

    I like Christopher’s garment.  Sue me.  I’ve been hoping for Edwardian influences to come to the forefront ever since Satine dumped Christian in Moulin Rouge.  I love that grey wool suit she wore in that scene.

  • kaydenpat

    Christopher’s dress is fine.  Not sure if it would fit someone with a different complexion, but it’s alright for the win.

  • Qitkat

    it’s a giftchallenge 😉
    mostly i’m just mouthing off to myself

  • missinmass

    Years ago I had a psychotic break, just before I knew what was really happening I looked down at the pink linen shirt I was wearing and there were two words written there in laser beam red…”shred it”. This brought all those memories flooding back.

  • SewingSiren

    Finally got the chance to watch the episode online. It was very enjoyable. But it appeared at one point that Christopher claimed to have invented or developed the “shredded” technique that he is using. It is entirely possible that it was only edited to make it appear as such. But the technique he is using is called chenille. If you google “Making chenille fabric” you will see dozens of how to video’s including “Sews with Nancy” ect.. where they show you how do it. Including examples of clothing made out of homemade chenille and printed fabrics made into chenille.It’s popular enough that a little roto cutter is manufactured specially for this craft. I don’t know why he doesn’t his fabric chenille. I have no problem what so ever with him using this technique , even frequently if he wants to show case in his designs. But he did not invent it.
    I think his garment would have been more interesting if the skirt were a knee length A line made out of the same homemade chenille with no cut out in the back (because that was a sloppy mess).

  • Jolene Barnett

    I’m glad to know that this was actually a boring episode, and it wasn’t just me being unable to focus on it because I happened to be in the early stages of labor at the time.  However by that same token I will probably always remember the episode by association.

  • Nixonesque

    Anyone else think Costello-lite won because he has the most modelly model? The others are kinda dreggy.

  • Allison Woods

    I have problems with this challenge. THAT won? Can you wear a bra with it? Can it be WASHED?

    Visible zips were cool for five minutes like 2 years ago. Srsly.

  • ZnSD

    Welcome to the Russian Prostitute Challenge! Design a dress for a Russian Prostitute, Her Multiple Prostitute Friends, Russian Prostitute Hostess, Russian Prostitute Secretaries, Sad Russian Prostitute who washes dishes in the kitchen with built-in apron, and Mother of the Russian Prostitute! Congratulations! You all get to stay in the Brothel!

  • megfraz

    How is Costello-Lite’s the first dress to  be sold out online?  Did they only make like 2…as in the two that were purchased and already reviewed with five stars?

  • Elizabeth San

    Combined with the hair, I thought the long black skirt made the model look like some sort of Anne of Green Gables school-teacher or something…and the waist-line just seems off. I remember thinking it should be either *much* higher, for drama, or a little lower.