Meet Prajje, a very sweet (and cute) young designer who’s gotten a little bit of press, but hasn’t managed to do anything with it. Enter Dr. Joe.
Prajje shows him some of his work, and while the womenswear is passable at best…
… the menswear is a sad joke.
Honestly. We’re not designers and we realize the creative process has all kinds of twists and turns, until you wind up somewhere you never planned to be, but come ON. At some point, you have to step back from your conceptualizing and realize that you’re making a party store in clothing form.
When pressed to describe his aesthetic, the only thing he seems capable of coming up with in response is “Color.” That’s all well and good (and accurate, given that rack behind them), but it’s not an aesthetic or a point of view. It’s a descriptor. This is a problem. A designer has to be able to sum up his work and his approach to his work in a sentence or less. “Punk elegance.” “Ladies who lunch.” “Carribean-inspired.” These are aesthetics. Color is a tool used to support or create an aesthetic.
Joe introduces Prajje to couple of living bowls of oatmeal.
Sorry. That’s mean. But network morning hosts are people we tend to run screaming from in most cases. To be fair, Josh and Lara (because we’re so totally on a first-name basis with both of them) were sweet and game. And it’s true that this was a tremendous opportunity for Prajje. One of the great things about this show is that Joe doesn’t just make use of his vast experience in the world of fashion, he also makes very generous use of the metric shit-tonne of connections he’s made over the years. If it’s true that fashion is about who you know, then Joe magnanimously makes sure his designers get to know some of the right people.
Unfortunately, Prajje didn’t seem to listen to a thing either of the bowls of oatmeal said to him and started working on outfits wholly unsuitable for both of them. Joe came in, had a Zee-Hissy, and told him to scrap the idea of menswear completely and just focus on giving Lara the best damn dress he can design.
Done and done.
Once again, we see why Joe picks the people he picks for this show. They really do have an underlying talent that just needs to be pushed in the right direction. This isn’t just a great dress; it’s one of the best dresses we’ve seen on this show. And Lara was practically speechless at the sight of it. He really managed to zero in on what she wants and needs out of a work dress and gave it to her in spades.
As per usual, Joe orders him to come up with a capsule collection, which he will present to a couple of Bloomingdale’s buyers. As per usual, the designer starts off by essentially making the same garment over and over.
Joe sets him straight and also informs him that, oh, by the way, this dress is absolutely hideous.
Later, Joe brings in Sasha Charnin from Us Weekly, to listen to Prajje talk up his collection. Unfortunately, he’s not up to the task. Again: designers need to be able to talk the talk about their work. They will not only be asked to do so with buyers, but also with investors, the press, and clients. It’s among the most important non-technical skillsets they have to have.
In other news, Prajje’s team is kind of adorable and we want to spend an afternoon sipping tea at a sidewalk cafe with Rayshawn and saying really bitchy things about people’s outfits as they walk by.
The Bloomie’s ladies come in for an assessment and the one on a right is a total pistol. We want her to get her own show – or at least become Joe’s permanent sidekick.
Problems right off the bat. This looks doesn’t know what it wants to be. The jacket is pretty fabulous (if slightly overdesigned), but it’s very upscale-looking. The shorts are … not.
And the proportions here are terrible.
Okay… serious problems. That top is a big ol’ nothing and the pants – the CASHMERE PANTS – are a terrible idea. The pleating at the bottom is nice, but the choice of material is problematic.
This is a really cute look, full stop. It goes against our nature, but we kinda like the neutral top paired with the bright yellow skirt. And there’s some great seaming in the latter.
Horrifying. We’re thinking this look and the next one are what really crapped things up for him. Sure, 3 weeks is not a lot of time to put together 6 looks, but there’s really no excuse for something to be rendered this badly.
And it’s not even an interesting design. As standard as it gets.
Terrible. The jacket and the skirt are fine on their own (if unexciting), but you pair them with each other and that sad yellow blouse and you have an instant “elderly grade school teacher” look.
As we said: amazingly well done. The Bloomie’s ladies were themselves practically speechless with delight at this dress. If he’d produced just two more items as well done as this one, he could have sold his collection.
Unfortunately, none of the looks came close to the Lara look and the vast differences in quality and style were too great for the Bloomie’s gals to ignore. A shame, because he’s a sweet, talented guy who didn’t give Joe much trouble, but he’s too young and unformed as a designer to play in the big leagues right now.