PR: Those Golden Oldies of Yesteryear

Posted on September 11, 2012

It pains us to have to revisit this shitty fashion while surrounded by decidedly less shitty fashion during Non-Shitty Fashion Week. But we’ll do it for you, kittens. And for the sake of completion. As God is our witness, we’ll never let a dress go unremarked upon again!

Onward! For GLORY.


Alicia, Dmitry, Elena

What’s left to be said, darlings? Elena’s coat was like a sleeping bag with sleeves, Alicia’s contributions were minimal, and Dmitry made yet another fitted cocktail dress, this time with extra bonus tacky-ass fringe action. Considering how much bickering was going on, it’s amazing the pieces look as finished as they do, but not one of them is impressive from a design perspective.


Melissa, Fabio. Ven

Maybe this is weird, but we burst out laughing every time we look at this collection. It’s such a perfect storm of bad decisions all around that it’s almost impossible for us to figure out how three relatively talented designers got to this point. We think the Duchess nailed it with his acid “Aren’t we fabulous? We’re so fabulous!” teasing. The one bit of potential conflict came with Ven and his petal skirt, but that kind of fizzled out when he grumpily went off and made the ugliest skirt in the history of skirts. We kinda think that was a bit of passive-aggression on his part. He’s not so untalented that he can’t make a decent skirt. He just didn’t like the skirt they asked him to make.

Other hilariously bad decisions happened, like choosing these fabrics in these nausea-inducing colors. And also, completely disregarding any knowledge about proportions and how to dress a woman’s body. Basically, these models look like refugees from either a war-torn country or a disaster-ridden one. Little bit of both, to be honest.


[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for]

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  • janierainie

    Meh to the meh meh. Oh and by the way, meh

    • YoungSally

      Of Course.

    • Violina23

      You said it…oh and… meh

    • KC

      I really have to disagree with you guys. It really was more “Eh” then “Meh”, I think “Meh” is giving it a little too much credit.

    • DeborahJozayt

      m. e. h. spells meh!

  • Even the models cannot hide their contempt for this clothing. Love it. 

    • charlotte

       The one with the shades is hiding her tears.

    • IMNAngryLiberal

      But can’t you see one of the Olsen twins in the Ven/Melissa/Fabio collection?  (I’m not saying that as a POSITIVE, mind you.)

      • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

        Ven/Melissa/Fabio present – The Sister Wives Collection – now available at K-Mart.

      • StellaZafella

         They’d all have to be in shades of dulled black and have lace at the collars…and the sleeves would have to be able to hit the floor from a standing position.

        • Introspective

          and ven’s ugly skirt would also have to pool at the floor.

  • Yep, and three of the four looks above appear to have already been slept in. Dreary, disappointing and lame. And Dmitri must have been smoking crack to have added that stupid cape. It looks like one of those kits you buy at JoAnn fabrics and tie the strips together. Perfect with yet another cocktail dress that looks like Barbie clothes. *eyeroll*

    • Pennymac

      I was going to post “depressing” but dreary is ever so much more apt! You’d think the challenge would have been titled, “Make a collection for a post apocalyptic TV show.”

      • Add tepid, vacuous, and banal, and I think we have it, ahem, sewn up.

        • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

          “Tepid, Vacuous & Banal, may I help you?”

          • tignor

             They did my Estate Planning documents.

          • “Whitcomb, Applewhite, Gutterman, Bibbermanand Black!”

          • Awesome.

          • Don Howe

            That’s it! I KNEW I’d seen Ven’s skirt before – pre-makeover Agnes Gooch!

          •  Mame!

      • muzan-e

        Except that way back in the beginning, the designers as a whole conceived of 2050 as a post-apocalyptic environment, and turned vintage garments into something horribly flawed yet interesting

        Nah, this? You can buy this stuff at the Gap, and you’ll find it under “Made For Layering”.  *g*

        • “Made For Layering”. I’m filing away that comment for future use. 😉

      •  No.  Just no.  Absolutely no.  If you are going to do post-apocalyptic, then I expect Mad Max and if you are going for dystopian I want fucking Blade Runner here, people!  Do not insult the genre by tying it to this sad sack crap — in fact, that scenario should produce more creative results because real people don’t have to wear your work in the real world.  I have been in suicide wards with patients too cheery for this challenge. 

    • 3boysful

       I’ve seen the girl scouts make no-sew fleece blankets using this “technique.”

      That said, I did like how he turned the upper edge of the cape out when he styled her, so you got the gray contrast.

      The other team?  Except for Melissa’s jacket, Team Goodwill.

    • annieanne

      But he didn’t put an exposed zipper on the back.

  • Jennifer Coleman

    It literally looks like the Melissa/Fabio/Ven collection got hit by a magic ugly stick. It’s such a feast for the eyes in its hideousness. How did they find that coat fabric that looks like 4 cats had a fight on it? And who makes socks that color?

    Dimitry cocktail dress. Yawn.

    • I love “fabric that looks like 4 cats had a fight on it.”!  It is a perfect description of that coat.  Cat hoarder coat!

      • I have three cats, and they DO sleep on my coats (or anything you’d rather they didn’t, to be honest) and my coats STILL don’t look as crappy as that number. It gives me hives just looking at it.

    • AnneElliot

      “Magic ugly stick”  — LOL!!  I almost spit out my Diet Coke on the keyboard.  And WHAT WAS WITH THOSE SOCKS AND HIGH HEELS???  I haven’t seen anyone older than ten wearing that since the 1980s.  It was ridiculous even then.

    • “Four cats had a fight on it”!!!  I love it!  Bwahahahaa!!

  • SewingSiren

    Well time we’er all challenge winners was clearly the bottom. I knew Alicia was going home before the episode even started. So they put both teams on the bottom. 
    Team Russe , I didn’t think was that bad.  I liked Dmitry’s dress and Elena’s coat. Alicia’s contributions were minimal, but at least they didn’t bring the team down.
    Team we’re all winners, was terrible. I can’t believe they all thought it looked “young” . Fabio’s coat was the worst. But really it was all bad. Bad and sad. 

    • Glammie

      Yeah, Alicia knew it too.  She just kind of gave up.  Once you do that, the judges feel fine about sending you home.  She was kind of the last of the obvious sacrifices.  Everybody else has had a moment and been in the top three.  About now’s when I started getting annoyed with the judges.  Just hoping the producer machinations aren’t so effin’ obvious.  At least everyone left can actually sew.  Some less well than others, but still.

      And, er, I’d probably wear Ven’s skirt, but as sort of nonthinking easy-to-wear nonfashion.  But not with that jacket and top. That was just strange.  How could you not put a narrow skirt or pants with that?

  • PatRoadtrip

    I think the poor woman in the gray coat got lost looking for her cats. Someone help her, please. I laughed as hard as Nina did when Michael said she should have wadded up tissue in her pocket. I fear for Fabio next challenge.

  • Maria Rosenfire

    It’s like a visual representation of the concept of apathy. Made by an uninspired art student. Who was drunk. And just broke up with their girlfriend.

    • SapphoPoet

      Apathy Clothing–come soon to an Urban Outfitters near you. 

  • Susan Collier

    Man, is Ven the one who always picks these ugly colors for team challenges?
    This time: mauve, grey, and off-white.
    Businesswear challenge: black, white, horrendous white-black-mauve-pink print.

    • 3boysful

       And since when are gray and mauve “Fall” colors?

      • janetjb


    • Rachel Sawyer

       I was screaming about those colors while they were still in Mood. It looks like the color palate for a  1980s office. Hideous!

  • Susan Collier

    Team Slapov does manage to finish their work despite the inter-team conflicts. What was their fall pop-of-color? Grey?

  • newleaf1

    Wow.  It would be an insult to librarians to call that a librarian skirt.  That is one ugly ass skirt.  Did they have a special on poop color fabric?  

    • muzan-e

      And what kills me is that I get what they were going for with the colours. Pink/Grey/Off-White?  So desperately, timelessly elegant a combination! … hinging, of course, on your ability to choose the correct pink, grey and off-white. Otherwise it’s Nap Time At The Golden Twilight.


    • BuffaloBarbara

       Yes, as a librarian, I can safely say, I would not wear that thing. ;p

      • gsk241

         I’m a librarian, too, and as little fashion sense as I have, I know better than to wear something like that!

      • Hear hear. I’m a librarian, too, and my pants today are red, man. No sad dirndls for me!

        • AnneElliot

          Nor would I.  Librarians against ugly fashions, unite!

          • Now, this is impressive! So many librarian kittens! I feel proud.

  • Best part was Tim asking Dmitry if he was sure about using exposed darts. The look on Tim’s face was priceless.

  • EverybodysStarling

    I’m getting a little disappointed with Dmitry. I am waiting for something truly spectacular from him. 

    Ven’s skirt is hilarious. That look reminds me of Kirstie Alley in “For richer and poorer”.

    • momjamin

      Ven’s skirt…I finally remember where I’ve seen it before…I made it in 9th grade home ec. The shirt does not get tucked in because the waistband is cray cray.

      My fabric was prettier, though.

    • BrooklynBomber

      I don’t know… I thought from the start that Dmitry has “taste issues.” Well-made, yes, but sort of Real Housewives clothing.

      • EverybodysStarling

        I kind of agree with you and maybe it is just wishful thinking, but I’m really hoping, he will surprise us at least once this season. 

      • carolclark12

         Not Real Housewives clothing unless it is made of unforgiving satin.

  • greyhoundgirl

    One way monkeys all around.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    i’ve owned ven’s skirt. it was at a time when i was trying to look less like a sex object so i wouldnt get in trouble at work. i didnt really understand what i was doing to look like a sex object in the first place, mind, but i kinda sorta knew what i could do to look less like one. i dont think that is a good recommendation for something thats supposed to be couture, however.

    otoh, the top look is fairly nice, fringed blanket included. it looks like something i wouldve worn to work that wouldve gotten me in enough trouble that soon thereafter i would resort to ven’s skirt.

    also, i’m not sure any people on a television program whereupon theyre forced to create collections in two days are gonna do anything at all in the everlovin park du ball of stuff that spent a whole season getting prepped for new york preview. i’m not even sure, say, diane von fürstenburg could do it. & i love diane von fürstenburg. even if i’m not 100% certain whatupon that umlaut goes. still.

    • muzan-e

      …post-ww2 eastern bloc higher end worker. 

      Oh geeze. Yes. That’s perfect, thank you.

    • BrooklynBomber

      You’re right – to be fair, they get, what? 20 minutes to come up with a concept and sketches, then half an hour to shop. Did they have 2 days for this one? I missed the first 45 minutes of the show.

      • I don’t even think they’ve had a two day challenge yet this season – that’s what I think is the huge part of the problem here.

        • BrooklynBomber


    • formerlyAnon

      “post-ww2 eastern bloc higher end worker”
      Brilliant. In my comment I thought their first look reminiscent of a post WW II refugee in England, trying to be fashionable out of charity clothing drives. But you managed to sum up the whole ‘collection.’ 

  • Judy_S

    I didn’t hate these collections all that much, except for the sloppy tops. In the context of the season, it was not a good display of what these people can do, but I thought the coats & Dmitry’s dress were not all that bad for  a day’s work. Although I would like to have all the leftover fabric from these sessions–certainly this array does not look like, what, $1200 worth of fabric?

  • MoHub

    I can’t take my eyes of the anklets.

    • bluefish

       Best part of the entire runway show … but I’m a sucker for anklets and heels.

  • The judges all talked about how Melissa’s leather jacket was the one nice item in the collection, but now taking a second look, it’s not that nice.  It just doesn’t suck.  There’s no detail work on it, no hardware, no pockets, no closures, and the proportion of the collar doesn’t match the rest.   It’s a decent base, but it looks like it needs more work to be finished.

    • Introspective

      Melissa’s lifted collars seem to be her one pony trick though. And Im weary of them because they totally ring 1999 when we were collectively immersed in y2k hysteria and we had all kinds of stock interpretations of what looked “futuristic.”

      color me unimpressed. but then again im unimpressed by all of these washed out grey looks from both teams…

      (admittedly, I do see great versatility in dimitry’s dress, but he’s also completely stuck in the sheath wheelhouse and he may soon go home for it.)  

  • Are we now doing exposed fly zippers, too?  STOP THE INSANITY!

  • I loved Melissa’s dramatic collar in the Marie Claire at Work challenge (the blue dress).  Here, although it’s better than the other pieces in the collection (which is not saying much), I am not loving the Melissa collar in that jacket.  I hope she doesn’t dip into that well too often.  It was intriguing the first time, but will become decidedly less so with each repeat.

    • Funny that, the Marie Claire blue dress. A week later I opened my september issue of W and there was the dress: in a full page OPI advert.

    • CarolinLA

      And that coat is almost an exact copy of one in her portfolio.  There you can also see that she made that blue dress prior to the show only it was gray.  And now she’s made an orange one for the finale.  What is with this group?  

      • BrooklynBomber

        That happens all the time.  They have about 20 minutes to come up with an idea, so there’s very little reinventing-the-wheel. They’re going to adapt something they’ve already done, and who can blame them?

        • I think it’s more the choice of copying something IN YOUR PORTFOLIO that’s the problem — you’ve made so few pieces that you have to rip off one of the 10 that Lifetime is publicizing on your behalf?!?

          • BrooklynBomber

            I don’t know … I haven’t looked at the portfolios. But I also think that people have things the do. . . like what’s his name and that technique he does to fabric, and like Ven & his roses. It’s natural they’re going to use what they do best.

          •  Yeah, but I think going in to this, you know that you’re going to have to design on the fly and you’re going to have to work in teams and you’re going to have to meet specific challenges and you’re going to have to do it all while still showing them a POV.  Which is pretty nearly impossible.  So I would think that the sensible thing to do is take your POV and come up with a mental file of things you can pull out that AREN’T in your portfolio — Christopher and his rippy bits, for instance, should have looked at what was publicized and seen what else he could do with that same technique. 

            (Which completely ignores the fact that A TECHNIQUE IS NOT A POINT OF VIEW, YOU HALFWITS!!!  Dear God, why doesn’t Tim leave a freaking dictionary on their beds on move in day?!?)

          • BrooklynBomber

            Haha– no outside books allowed! No, but I get what you’re saying, and it makes a lot of sense.

          •  You can’t really prepare for every challenge, but every season is going to have at least one red carpet challenge, several that you can get by with cocktail dresses and a few more that you can do day dresses for… that kind of thing. 

  • muzan-e

    True story: I made that grey Ven-skirt in 8th Grade Sewing. 

    I was stuck right between “This class is practical, I’ll sew my own clothes!” and “I actually don’t really like sewing much and I have no eye for colour”, which put me in pretty shaky territory to begin with. And I might have not paid so much attention to the pattern-cutting as I ought to have.  It was going to be a gorgeous electric blue (this was the eighties, okay), mid-thigh, snug around the hips, drop-waist, and pleaty-flairy in the skirt. 

    What I ended up with the Ven-skirt. In electric blue. With a crooked hem and an exposed zipper (accidentally!).

    See the first picture up there? See the look on her face?  
    That’s my face when we do our ‘runway show’, modeling our own terrifying creations.
    That face. Except my shoes are worse and I don’t have a cute little tailored jacket.

    Seriously, Ven, WTF.

  • bluefish

    Dumb challenge all around … Everything about it was both boring and contrived.  Way way too many group challenges this season.  It’s like the show has been sucked of all creativity.  I liked Dmitry’s dress and think he’s been long overdue for a win — though not this one.  And the fringed cape was very kind of depressed Ann-Margret.  Nicely made — good colors.  Nothing so dreadful about it.  I don’t even recall the winning look at this point.  A snoozer.

    Once again, the most memorable part of this episode was the fabulous pairing of suit jackets, shirts, ties, and pocket squares concocted by Tim Gunn.  He had one ensemble going when he was advising the hamsters that was an absolute show stopper and that I will be attempting to replicate.  Red, white, blue, purple? — stripes and other etcs.  He looked absolutely smashing! 

    I do so wish that some sharp producer out there would figure out how to give him a tv show that plays to all his strengths and works for him.  He’s just a gem.

  • nannypoo

    Didn’t the contestants on Project Runway used to make an effort to show attractive, well-made clothes? Didn’t they know something about fabrics, facings, the human figure and basic sewing skills? Ironing, even? Where did they find this group? 

    • CarolinLA

      I’m beginning to think they got a casting consultant for this season who didn’t know what they were doing.  I have a hard time imagining Nick or Tim or Mondo or Seth Aaron fighting to have any of these designers on the show.

  • Judy_J

    The Melissa-Fabio-Ven collection is the most depressing clothing I’ve ever seen in my life.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    Elena’s coat looked like, with work, it might have turned into a decent average coat. 

    Three-quarter coat sleeves over a long-sleeved shirt look so, SO bad.

    I like a full skirt, but full skirts in heavy materials are double-plus ungood.  And yes, that one looks like it belongs in 1984 somewhere.

    • Call me Bee

      Or perhaps 1884.  On a peasant somewhere east of the Danube.

  • Anathema_Device

    I thought all six of these looks looked like they came from one (very sad) collection. What fashion snoozefest.

  • luluransom

    Wasn’t there a time when PR contestants had some semblance of talent? I can’t take it anymore. For several seasons we’ve had nothing but hacks. This stuff isn’t worthy of my local JC Penny. I’m only hanging on to read your recaps, boys.

    • MilaXX

       It seems now a days we’re just happy if they can actually sew.

    • formerlyAnon

      I think this group is better than the average on the last few seasons. But this group has had even fewer (any? I don’t remember) 2 day challenges, which once were (as best as I remember) at least half of the challenges. In a one day challenge it’s HARD to get inventive.

      •  They have had no 2 day challenges, and this was their THIRD team challenge already — how much are we really going to see from any of them when they have to keep marrying their looks with everyone else’s?

  • alula_auburn

    What did color ever do to these designers?  Beat then up and steal their milk money?  (I hear forest green is a bitch, man.)  Maybe it’s being a ginger, but I LOVE fall colors.  (I also love gray, when it’s sharp and crisp and basically not like this.)  This is just so, so sad.  Even the models look sad, except maybe Dmitry’s when she got to take the shawl off.  (I kind of love her, for no particular reason.)

    (Maybe the sheer passive-aggressiveness of Ven’s ugly skirt will make people stop speculating he’s on the spectrum, though?  That’s not a (stereotypical) ASD move.)

    (this post brought to you by parentheses, apparently)

    • SapphoPoet

      I know. Eggplant, green, pumpkin, deep turquoise, camel, chocolate brown–many lovely colors out there that they could have used and everyone comes up with gray. 

    • TheDivineMissAnn


      There has been a serious, serious lack of color since Episode One.  Has a collective depression overtaken them all?

    • BrooklynBomber

      At least this group can make sleeves. 

    • formerlyAnon

      I love  parentheses. Also the comma and semicolon. Not necessarily used correctly, as what I mostly love is the dependent clause, the interjection, and what used to be called the parenthetical aside.

      • And dashes, and ellipses… I’ve come to the conclusion that I clearly don’t breathe enough while talking since writing as I speak requires many short pause punctuations and very rare long ones.

  • petalfrog

    I was just happy to see a smooth back on Dmitry’s dress… no exposed zipper! 

    •  That’s because he didn’t make a smooth front because of those damn dart things!

  • PinkLemon

    looks like Fabio may have taken over on that round. his nyfw collection looked a bit referential, non?

  • TheOriginalLulu

    Alicia, Dmitry & Elena – I like the look overall, but I understand what you’re saying about it being a big snooze from a design perspective. I really liked Alicia, but if you’re the designated pants person, you really need to bang out some amazing pants, otherwise your contribution will just disappear into the background. Those pants seem to fit nicely, but they’re as basic as can be.

    Melissa, Fabio and Ven – Man, that’s bad. One thing about this layerd kind of slouchy look they were trying to do. You really have to know what you’re doing, otherwise your girl just looks like she should be on anti-depressants.  

  • The socks with the pumps. Is that a *thing* now? Because that was a *thing* back in the 80s and it didn’t look good then either.

    Both of these collections are yawn-inducing. When the best thing are the purple suede pumps used from the accessory wall, it’s bad. 

    • mhleta

      I saw it all over the runways on another fashion blog last year. I think Prada started it. Blecch. 

  • tallgirl1204

    Put me down as a (slight) dissenter for actually liking Dmitry’s cocktail dress– the neckline was both sexy and modest and it fit like a dream.  He may be a one-trick pony but it’s quite a trick.  But I agree that all the rest was a big yawn.

    •  I liked it too!

    •  I really don’t feel like he is a one trick — yes, his thing is structured dresses.  But he’s managed to interpret that in many ways and that’s a vague enough thing to work.  It is not, for example, sticking a ridiculous rose shape on every shiny piece of fabric you can get your hands on.  (And with a total lack of creativity, I might add — this week he could have really worked something like that and didn’t.  Plus I can give you 10 sketches in an hour using a sculptural floral motif in different ways beyond just tacking it onto any plain shiny — why is it always shiny? — bodice.)

  • BrooklynBomber

    And in the history of coats, that must be the ugliest. I forget who made it – was it Fabio? What’s with that collar? I got so tired of hearing Nina say, “It looks expensive” or “It looks inexpensive” (which has become her version of “I would / wouldn’t wear that”), but “inexpensive” doesn’t even get close to that coat.  And I couldn’t understand the response to Melissa’s jacket; I have to assume it looked better in person. Well, this is what happens in team challenges. So few of them can handle it.

    • MilaXX

       That’s Fabio’s limp home ec project of a coast.

  • mhleta

    Crap on Dmitry’s ensemble for it’s lack of innovation if you must, but a guaranfreakinty if you were lunching at power restaurant and a dame sashayed through the dining room in that get up, all eyes would be on her. The minute she shrugged the shawl to reveal the devastating form underneath the collective “SHWING!!” would lift the tables off the floor. This is woman who should not be trifled with. Her path is littered with the corpses of those who question her authority. Innovative? Maybe not. But I still think it’s a badassmotherfuggin business outfit.

    • The shawl thing is too old for the dress — you should never put them on the same woman.  And no, I disagree on the business outfit side of things.  No woman who really wants to be taken serious would ever wear that dress for a business lunch.  It’s far too revealing to be appropriate (it’s incredibly fitted) and a woman who is going to be in good enough shape to pull off the dress is already going to have a hard time being taken seriously.

      • ampg

        Plus there’s (yet again) no way to wear a bra with it, thanks to the collarbone cutouts, and going braless in a formal business environment is never OK.

        • AthenaJ

          She could definitely wear a strapless bra with it.

      • AthenaJ

        I think it depends on the type of business/career. I’ve seen some business lunches conducted where the woman was wearing sexier clothes like this, but I think they were more high end sales or marketing… basically where image was everything, and they weren’t shying away from the fact that looking sexy can definitely sell, and make a woman feel more powerful, too. However, I agree that most corporations/businesses do usually demand a more conservative look. I know at my work this would definitely be out of place, but we’re a healthcare research company filled with a lot of medical and research professionals.  

        • Right, it’s going to totally depend on the industry.  You couldn’t wear that dress in banking, but for advertising or fashion marketing, it would be great.

      • mhleta

        Why is the shawl too old? People keep saying it, but I don’t see it. It’ not like it’s a crocheted afghan or something. It’s certainly not for a 19 year old, but would be perfectly appropriate on a 30+. Very cool with boots and jeans, too. And that dress is great for the same age range. I know a lot of 50 year old women who could rock the shit out of that dress and I think both pieces look fantastic on this young model as well. I maintain the dress is great for business, depending on the business. Not if you’re in wealth management or a funeral director, but certainly a great piece for a power player in a more creative industry. The bra issue, yeah. I’ll give that to ampg. Strapless?

        •  I can’t see the type of woman who would want to wear this dress being able to wear it for business.  As a general rule, while women can look attractive, fit and attractive women have to be very conscious of their business wear — nothing too girly, nothing too sexual.  Basically, this kind of dress could work as a cocktail dress for those women, but for day time, it’s very form-fitting and has a cut-out.  That doesn’t exactly scream take me seriously.  (In my experience, the point those women have to hit is ridiculously small — go too masculine or bland and you’re insecure, go too elaborate or attractive and you’re using your looks to get ahead.) 

          How many women do you know who walk around with a shawl drapped around themselves?  And how many of what I suspect is a rather limited number want one with a depressing color scheme and oddly fleece-like fringe?  As a soon to be 30 year old, I can tell you that not one woman I know under my mother’s age would wear a shawl like that.  It’s just far too impractical, even if it was gorgeous — you can’t really use your arms when they’re draped that way.

      • formerlyAnon

        Though it would work with a jacket, at least in some fields.

        •  It absolutely would, though you might have a hard time finding a jacket that completely covers the cutout — had they gone that route instead of the ugly shawl, I would have applauded them because that is actually an incredibly sellable look.

  • SapphoPoet

    Didn’t someone on the list coin the phrase “depression clothing”? This is all depression clothing. It’s just all so sad. Makes me want to curl up with some ice cream and watch daytime tv. 

  • Was it part of the challenge to use the most boring colors ever? Lord.

  • Snailstsichr

    Melissa, Fabio, Ven – The whole team could have gone home for dreariness. It is even worse than I remembered in the recaps. I must have chocolate as I fear the dementors are near after seeing this soul sucking collection.

  • Call me Bee

    Wow.  I had forgotten how utterly unforgetable all of these outfits were. 
    Random thoughts: 

    I really hope Dimitry steps up this week and does something exciting and unique. 
    Ven’s skirt is truly a skirt among skirts–the ugiest skirt ever.  The dirndl on my folk costume has more shape than this thing. 
    It was surely Alicia’s time to go.  The girl just doesn’t know how to make pants, and people keep asking her to make pants!  You’d think she’d have figured out how to do them by now…
    The Mellisa/Ven/Fabio collection reminds of the one made by that group in season…3?  The BLP year.  They were to make a collection for INC at Macy’s and one team made theirs pink and gray and brownish, and Nina called them out on the old and tired color palette back then! 7 years ago!  It hasn’t come back yet. 

  • My little German soul (as the importance and proportion of my ethnic heritage varies based on what point I want to make at a given moment) is always waiting for parliamentary procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order to be busted out during the team challenges.  Wouldn’t you just love to see Elena told that her points could not be considered because she didn’t not conform to proper procedure for voicing a dissenting opinion?  Sadly, there seems to be a rather distinct separation between designers and poli sci majors…

    Now, the collections: I simply do not have words to explain how underwhelming they were.  Yes, the team selection was problematic and the basic challenge was designed to illicit breakdowns rather than fashion.  But still.  Come on, people, have a little pride in your work! 

    Dmitri’s team was ridiculously uninspired.  To mix up PR history, I always imagine the “it’s not aesthetically pleasing” followed by “it’s not supposed to be elegant, Heidi” exchanges whenever I see Elena’s work, particularly her coats.  I understand wanting to do something different and challenging the expected silhouette.  But they simply are not appealing, no matter how much she believes that there is a huge market of women who want to look like Lego blocks on stilts. 

    That shawl thing was just tragic.  Are there any women under the age of 70 who still wear that look?  And are there any locations where that look would work?  It’s definitely not warm enough for cool climates and not thin enough for warm ones.  And the dress?  Why?  Just… why?  There were no good decisions made on that team.

    But sadly, that wasn’t the worse.  No, that belongs to Melissa’s team — which pains me to say because I really like Melissa.  From the color palette (even if we changed up the shade, a pink/gray/white color scheme doesn’t really scream “fall” to me) to the fabric weight and texture, the choices made at Mood were simply terrible).  Then to make such horrifyingly bad pieces out of the shitty fabric… That skirt should immediately be taken by either the UN for crimes against humanity or the Vatican as evidence of demonic possession.  Just so very awful.  I can find nothing good to say about it. The pants were poorly made, the tops were simply nothing.  The cardigan thing was too long and too shapeless and too everything bad and sad in the universe. 

    The only moderately decent piece was the white jacket.  Even that’s uninspired and boring.  It just looks good because it’s surrounded by awfulness.  It reminds me of the valedictorian of the class in a class ahead of mine in school.  She graduated thinking how wonderful her life would be and had to drop out and come home 6 months later because she’d developed an eating disorder and a C average — she was used to being gorgeous and the top of her class because her class only consisted of 65 students, so of course she looked great! 

    • ampg

      I agree with everything you said, BUT the shawl look is great for the mid-Atlantic and similar areas, where the winters never get really cold.  Shawls/wraps had a moment again about 10 years ago (I think it was right before ponchos were also briefly in), and I found them to be very convenient.

      •  I find them the exact opposite — how does one just wrap a piece of cloth around herself and still manage to get anything done?  You can’t use your arms for virtually anything!  I think the better option is lightweight sweaters or jackets like Melissa’s — or any blazer ever.

        • ampg

          It’s all in the draping – once you get the hang of it, they’re very easy to wrap so that you can free one or both arms when needed, and you can loosen them easily when getting on the train or some other, warmer location.  Plus you can tuck your hands under them on chilly days when it’s not quite cold enough for gloves (e.g. most of what passes for autumn in DC).

        • these sorts of shawl looks are good for going out to a restaurant or party.  something to wrap up in while in transit, and then you take it off after you enter the venue.  they definitely are no good if you are shopping or taking public transit.  you can’t use your hands and they’re a pain in the butt to carry a around in the store.  that said, just because you’re wrapping up in it doesn’t mean it should look like a blanket.

  •  am i the only one who really likes fabios coat? i can soooo see it on one of the bohemian-whimsy-chic japanese girls at my academy.

    • l_c_ann

      I like the idea of what Fabio’s coat might be, but I see it interlined with a light interfacing, properly lined for support for the collar and lapels, and some suggestion of female form worked in. 

      I’d really like to take that piece of mohair and make it sing with the right interfacings, top stitching and (definitely) different buttons.

  • Jane_Lane

    Why is that model wearing socks with her heels? They’re not even cute socks. They’re the kind of socks I wear with jeans because they won’t be seen. 

    • NCDFan

      Someone was looking at the Korean Vogue

      • TheDivineMissAnn

         Yep.  Korean Vogue was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw that.

  • Second to last coat girl pic – “I sleep in barn with cows, is warm.” 

  • janetjb

    Dmitry’s shawl belongs with a pair of wide leg pants in the 1970’s, although I don’t remember much grey back then.
    In the past designers have made fantastic jackets/coats, it hurts to look at these atrocities.

  • MilaXX

    This stuff is so dull I forgot half of it. Completely forgot that Dmitry did that little cut out on the neckline and missed the fact that Ven & Co. added ankle socks to their depression collection. I also agree that Ven skirt o’ ugly was a passive aggressive move on his part. This way he could blame Tim and even his team members for not making a decent skirt. I cannot wait for his auf’ing. He irks.

  • I love Dmitry, but I’m beginning to see why he isn’t winning challenges. I REALLY hope he can do something besides these dresses he keeps sending down the runway. 

  • ampg

    I hate that point in the season when I realize that I don’t like any of the remaining designers and am not interested in what they’ll create for the finale.  Having seen the actual collections just reinforced that feeling.  I wanted Dmitry to win for a while, but he’s made the same dress about 5 times now, and I just can’t get excited about it any more.  Gunnar’s personality has really grown on me, and I think he could make a solid career for himself in retail business wear, but he’s not the Next Great Designer. As for the rest..meh.  Seeing these pieces again (after completely forgetting about them 10 minutes after the end of the show) just reinforced that.

    •  I really like Melissa.  I think she has good instincts, and while she does keep going to the weird collar well, she’s no worse about it than Siriano was during his season, with the sleeves he kept going for.  And I think that works anyway — she’s interpreting that same style into a variety of garments and in different ways: a couple dresses and a casual jacket off the top of my head.  That’s how one builds a collection. 

      As opposed to the far more limiting Ven and the Beauty and the Beast rose.  If he were to turn out a folded look representing some floral motif each week, that would be fine.

      • l_c_ann

        Siriano got called Princess Puffy Sleeves and it was a wise choice for him, because puffy sleeves allow for all sorts of fit errors to go undetected.
        Now about Melissa’s collars.  Someone she knows (maybe even she herself) heard La Nina for the Nth time say ‘  But, but, that’s very editorial”  which could be translated into “it’s as ugly as the south end of a north bound mule, but if I photograph just a part of it, it will do quite nicely”, and because starlets get their photos taken wearing collars, big photogenic collars translate to being Nina-editorial-love. 

  • formerlyAnon

    I thought better of Elena’s coat than did you guys, but otherwise can’t disagree. At least Elena, Dmitry and Alicia made clothes someone might wear to an ordinary office without anyone actually feeling sorry for them.

    That first, skirt ensemble from Ven et al. is like a stylist’s Ph.D. level final exam: Can You Save This Outfit. We’ve all had exams that seemed unpassable, yes?  She looks like a poor refugee in post-WW II Britain, struggling to be fashionable dressing in charity donation clothing.

    •  Do I have to use it as an outfit or can I break it into pieces and use for multiple looks?

      • formerlyAnon

        Oh I think using the three big pieces together is what makes it such a challenge!

        •  Can I make on the fly alterations?  Like safety pin alterations?  ‘Cause that gets done for shoots all the time.

          • formerlyAnon

            You can do all the pinning & tucking you want, though no taking apart & re-making, as long as the result can go down the runway/red carpet.

            If the safety pins/clothespins/hem tape/duct tape/etc. is visible, you lose a full letter grade. No deductions for pins, etc. artfully concealed by belts, scarves or what-have-you.

          •  Alright, then… First lose the stupid shoe/sock combo and go with a great boot.  Then cut off the neck of the top and into a moderately deep V, using hem tape to tuck the edge under, and a long necklace just in case.  Arrange it so that it’s not all bunched at the waist, because that’s never a good look.  Slice off the waist, and pull the fabric way, way in, making it a just below the knee pencil skirt.  Pair with a hobo bag in a brighter color and a sleek ponytail.  Low-key make-up.

            Still not great, but better than what they sent down.  Oh, and a great big honking ring.  Maybe it’ll distract at a casual glance.

    • how about you take it all apart at the seams and start over. are we allowed to use dye?

      • formerlyAnon

        C’mon now. “Stylist” not “artist/designer who works with found materials from Goodwill.”

        •  Though that would almost certainly produce better results than this challenge.

  • With no due respect to Dmitry, Elana and Alicia – because their collection is butt ugly – I still think it should have landed them in the middle.  Because butt ugly would be a serious improvement for Fabio, Melissa and Ven’s collection!  Mon Dieu!  It’s even worse than I remembered – I hadn’t noticed the hiddy mauve knit socks with shoes – GAH!  I used to do that back in 1984 when I was a 14 year old Molly Ringwald/Madonna fan, and at least I used to wear lace socks with black high heels.

    All three of them should chip in and send a muffin basket to Alicia with a note saying “Thank you for saving our asses by being cannon-fodder who had overstayed your welcome!”

  • pippitypup

    That stitch across the stomach of the pink shirt makes it look like someone had an accident with the shears and is trying to save it.

    • really, what was that?  is she trying to be ironic or something?  “i’ll just slash this thing in the middle and sew it bacdk up, and that will make a statement.”

      • pippitypup

         Of all the things on the runway, this was the weirdest. Maybe she figured if she was weird enough she’d get a pass for being boring.

        • I know, I couldn’t figure that out for the life of me either!

  • Tracy_Flick

    I love all these looks, but only because I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Goth baby blanket shawl, coats that look like the blanket you keep in the trunk in case of emergencies, a skirt so dowdy that even an octogenarian church lady would pass it up… awesome. Thank you, PR.

  • EEKstl

    Heidi may overuse the word “sad” to describe lackluster designs but I beat her to it this time.  I started muttering “Sad.”  “Sad.”  “Sad.” as these looks began to take shape(less) in the workroom.  Sad.

  • Melissa, Fabio and Ven’s collection looks like something i would sleep in 

  • Rebecca Zmarzly

    I honestly fail to see how Fabio’s clothes in his runway collection are much different from the ones in the F/M/V “Sad Refugee” collection. Sure, the palette is a little lighter and the fabrics are shinier and he used platform granny boots instead of socks + pumps, but to me the overall aesthetic is almost identical.

  • sdtripper

    I have been rewatching Season 3 lately.  The color scheme for Ven & Co. reminded me of the Macy’s challenge that got Bonnie eliminated.  I wonder if a pale pink top really looks good with any color pants.  Anyway, I totally agree about Ven’s passivity/aggressivitivity.  We saw it also in the dreaded Real Woman challenge.  There is perhaps a hint of smugness about it also – the judges wouldn’t dare eliminate me, I am so tasteful and sophisticated, let’s see how much crap I can send down the runway and get away with it, because you KNOW I am capable of so much better, ultimately it makes the judges look bad not me.

    •  Yes.  A pale pink will work very nicely with gray, but you need the right shade, and most importantly, it shouldn’t not be transparent.

  • jw_ny

    The little white jacket and pants that Melissa made are the only things from that collection that are noteworthy…the rest is sad crap.  Mauve…who does that anymore?  It’s so ’80s.  That retro trend should never come back.   Ven & Fabio…major fails.

    Dmetry makes consistently nice and well made dresses at least.  Nothing ground breaking or memorable tho…but they’d be marketable.  Elena is just all talk and no action…honestly if it weren’t for the annoyingly funny drama she brings, I’d have said to boot her out.  The Boris and Natasha reference is so spot on…the humor in it makes her tolerable.

  • We actually referred to these as “Inspired by ‘The Hunger Games’ “

    •  Because wearing them would make it easier on the conscience of whoever shot you?

  • macostacruz

    I stopped watching after last season but enjoy your posts. Question: is this still a design show?

  • cleep1000

    The clothes seem to get more dreary and dull every week. Can’t we have a challenge where they have to create something fabulous? No more guidance than that. Just fabulous.

    I really hope Melissa wins, because she’s talented and has a heart. She doesn’t like criticizing the other designers and doesn’t seem to have an over-sized ego. She’s the only one to root for, at this point. I like Dymitri but HE has become the one-way monkey.

    • JMansm

      lol “HE has become the one-way monkey.” so true and so amazing. and re: Melissa I totally agree about her having a heart and wanting her to win. also, a few challenges ago (whenever the “real woman” challenge was, i forget) when she was really struggling to get her garment finished at least 2 of the other designers were saying that they couldn’t help her because they didn’t have time – not that they didn’t want to help her because it’s a competition – so they all must really really like her and imagine that she’s authentically a sweetheart and they all respect her talent. 

      • I really adore Melissa too – I’d be happy with her winning.

        •  I like her.  She seems like she’d be really cool, and she makes odd collars and I have a long and skinny neck (seriously, it’s a wonder it manages to hold up my impressively large skull — I am physically incapable of riding a roller coaster because it’s too stretched out to hold my head against the seat), so I approve of difficult to wear collars.

  • have none of these designers heard of color?  and the mere mention of prints makes them run screaming from the building.

    •  It’s very difficult to do a print in a one day challenge — you not only have to pick the right kind of print, but you also have to make sure it lines up in a pleasing fashion.  That shit takes time.

  • Scarlet39

    They really chose similar color stories, didn’t they?  Amazing considering these colors are so drab.   I don’t think that light mauve-y pinkish, whatever color can ever not look cheap. 

    I’m probaby in the minority, but I liked Dmitry’s cape.  I would wear it with a black cashmere turtleneck, slim black pants, little booties, and my Tom Ford sunglasses.   I’d be ready to go for errands on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

  • CarolinLA

    I bought Ven’s skirt at Carroll Reed in 1987.

  • poggi

    Ponchos always make me think about spaghetti westerns.  This is certainly both bad and ugly.

  • Markatha

    “these three models” ?  Am I the only one who only sees two models?
     Keeping up with the fabulousness of fashion week in NYC is starting to take it’s toll. 
    You two are seeing models in crappy clothes that only exist in your minds.   
    Take a deep breath boys. 
     Don’t crack up now you’re near the finish line & we need you to bring us all the dishy details.    

  • KC

    “Maybe this is weird, but we burst out laughing every time we look at this collection.”

    When I scrolled down and saw those pictures I started laughing as well, good thing its the end of the day and everyone in the office is slightly drunk. And glad to see there’s someone else who felt the same way about the collection created for orphaned youth in “Oliver”.

  • Stubenville

    Ankle socks. Ven’s poor model was forced to wear ankle socks on the runway.

    • God, she looked so unhappy, too!

  • guest2visits

    Actually – I think Ven turned out the exact skirt they asked him for. It even looks like one that Fabio would wear. Not that
    I think it’s good design, but I do think he tried to fit the feel of the other pieces. And I like pink and grey together, just not like
    this dreary, flappy nothingness. The tops were sad, and badly constructed, – the pants not much better.
    I thought Fabio’s material was nice, but it turned out looking like an old sweater. Elena’s coat wasn’t a coat; it reminded me of the
    zipout lining FOR a coat. It was too shapeless, sloppy. It’s like she can’t makeup her mind if she’s making something casual, or more formal/tailored.   Melissa’s was nice, if a little 80s evocative. 
    And I didn’t get all the hate for Dimitry’s; I don’t think it’s easy to divide 3 people’s ideas evenly, especially if there’s conflict.
    The dress turned out beautifully, even if it was another Dimitry dress.  The shawl was old, it’s too bad Elena couldn’t have found
    time to modify that fabric into a short, simple bolero style (since she loves outerwear); but she was busy fussing over Alicia’s work.
    One of my least favorite challenges, hated the premise at the start, hate the team challenges anyway since the majority of the
    results are sure to be bad.    After viewing their RWs; I’m thinking Melissa-Elena-Fabio-maybe Christopher.

  • Zippypie

    This was one of the few times in Project Runway history where I agreed with Heidi’s repetitive use of “SAD.” Clothing for the end of the world.

    •  Absolutely not!  If the world is going to end, you should put on your most fabulous ensemble, completely with drag queen eye make-up and see just how many martinis you can pound down at a Studio 54 style party before it does!  Fuck it, we’re all gonna be dead tomorrow who cares what embarrassing shit we do today?

  • DeTrop

    I may be a lone wolf here but I love Dimitri’s dress and see nothing wrong with the shawl.  Why all the disdain for the shawl?  It shows contrast and falls beautifully over the dress.  His work is impeccable compared to the other poseurs.
    I also love the outside darts. She looks elegant and fabulous.  

    • I love Dmitry’s dress too. I think the issue is not with the dress itself, but that he needs to show the judges he can construct other garments. Hopefully we’ll see that in upcoming challenges! I think he has the talent for more. As for the shawl, I’m personally not a fan of anything with fringe on it, so I’m predisposed to disliking it, but I agree the shawl drapes well. Of the six bottom designers, his work is definitely the best.

      • Yeah, I’m with both of you – his dress was stunning, and honestly, I had no issues with the shaw.  It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst thing up on the runway by far.  But now the judges have officially called him out on not doing enough, so there’s trouble.

    •  I hate outside darts.  Good construction should highlight how the woman is put together, not how the clothing is. 

  • mbelchic

    The skirt looks like my mother would call, “Nell at the Well”

  • Veronica1022

    If the professionally thin models are looking dumpy & frumpy-the rest of us are doomed!

  • Trisha26

    I don’t think Alicia deserved to go home – AT ALL. The tops/bottoms in the Melissa/Ven/Fabio group were far worse. And, dated or not, I don’t have a problem with Dmitri’s shawl. I wouldn’t wear it, but it’s far superior to Elena’s Frankenstein coat and almost everything from the other losing team.

    • I know, and I agree with you, but given the over all quality of work as a total (because we all know that “one day you’re in and the next day you’re out” crap is just a load), you know they weren’t going to get rid of Fabio, and Elena makes good TV. 

  • ha!

  • See, here’s my issue with these looks…

    Okay, so I’m not gonna bag on Dmitry, because pretty much everyone here knows… that’s how I roll.  I have very little time left to gaze upon him before the season ends, and I can’t spend it mad at him over safe dresses.  Y’know – call me if he sets an orphanage on fire and then runs over a pile of puppies.  I know I’m hopeless, but there you have it.

    So, having gotten that out of the way, I’ve reached the point where I think they’re *all* One Way Monkeys – BUT, I need to stop blaming the designers, because I really just don’t think it’s their fault.  I’ve noticed that since Lifetime and BM took over, it seems that was when all these one day challenges have been going on.  Correct me if I’m wrong (seriously, I mean that, because I’ve been wrong plenty of times), but have any of the challenges even been two days this season?   They’re given 30 minutes to sketch out a design that fits within the parameters of the challenge, they shop at Mood under a time shopping sprint, and then they have one day for a challenge.  No wonder practically each and every one of them falls back onto their safety net – who can break out of their comfort zone under that kind of time limit?  Christopher with the shredding, Dmitry with the safe structured cocktail dresses, Melissa with the big high collars, Elena with the boxy coffin coats, Ven with the roses – I pretty much feel bad for all of them.  For me, the absolute quintessential quote of the season was when Sanjia was throwing random accessories into a giant tote bag during the Marie Claire challenge, muttering to herself, “They wanna do this slap dash? Fine, then it’s gonna be slap dash!” Because – yes , exactly! So, with that said, I love this show, but I’m done being mad at the designers, you know?  That doesn’t mean I won’t make fun of them – but I’m done being mad.  😉

    I will say, I do love that everyone’s making fun of the mauve in Melissa/Fabio/Ven’s collection, because – I KNOW, right???!!  It’s a very “Petite Sophisticate in the 80s” color – and I unfortunately know about that from experience.  I graduated college in 1987, and my brother and sister in law took me to the mall to buy me a couple of job interview appropriate outfits, and that’s where my short little 5’3″ self wound up – Petite Sophisticate.  Wall to wall hideous, mauve clothing.

  • siriuslover

    pet peeve: if you’re designing outerwear for fall, presumably the air will get chilly and you’ll want to button up. Can Melissa’s even close? This is all hideous. 

  • Meredith_P

    I had Ven’s skirt…in the 80’s.

    • Melvis Velour

      I thought someone had taken the Prairie skirt out into the back 40 and finally shot until until I saw that craptastic skirt.  And who on earth would pair it with those pink ankle socks?  Oddly, to me that was the ultimate fashion faux pas out of this whole mess.

  • LambeeBaby

    Blech! Does Natasha realize that those bulky broad shouldered coats and pulled back hair make her models look like Q-tips?
    Fabio’s coat gave me seasonal affective disorder in one glance.

  • ccm800

    Man – when you can made models look big and frumpy  you really have talent. NOT design talent mind you but something special. I think 

  • ccm800

    Also, I think Fabio needs to start wearing Jeans and a TShirt and put his limited fashion energy into his work because HE looks terribly creative and dressed and the clothes he produces are SO pedestrian that I think he shoots his proverbial wad on his own outfits and leaves nothing for his work. Take a page from Georgia O’Keefe who lived in a black white and gray environment and clothes so she could use ALL Of her color mind on her paintings to terrific result.  

    • Hmmm… interesting theory!  I like it.

    • formerlyAnon

      Very few people agreed with me but I thought the same about Jerrel. He was dressed fabulously (if idiosyncratically) and his models more often than not were clad in sad attempts.

      •  His construction was just so very odd… everything looked like it was fitted wrong, but it always seemed like he had done it on purpose, so I’m still not sure what was happening there.

  • Sweetvegan

    Isn’t it odd how all 3 teams had very similar palettes?

  • Allison Woods

    I like Dmitry’s boring black Barbie dress, but the rest of it is just heinous.

  • Ven’s team ended up looking like Gretchen’s team challenge of yore, only without the scapegoating. Dimitri’s dress is nice? I can’t believe that shawl BS though.

  • libraangel

    Just like Meredith P – I had Ven’s skirt – in the 80’s. All of the designs are so BLAH!!!

    • khh1138

      I think I *made* Ven’s skirt in the 80s, when I was 12. I didn’t know any better. 

  • lolaleen

    Hey guys – I don’t think this is categorized under Project Runway. I see the tag but it doesn’t show up in the category. Just FYI. 🙂