Project Runway: YEEHAW! Kiss My Grits, Miss Scarlett!

Posted on September 13, 2013

Look, before our southern kittens get upset with all the stupid New Yorkers on display last night, let’s just say this: the world of fashion (and the world of reality TV, for that matter) speaks in shorthand. About pretty much everything. If you’ve ever read the show notes provided before a runway show, it often reads like that magazine editor scene from Absolutely Fabulous: “Faces! Eyes, lips, nostrils!  This is all off the top of my head. Skin is in! ‘Moist’ is my word du jour.  …  I see sun, sand, water, beach…” It’s an industry that shorthands a pencil skirt and blouse as “sexy secretary,” decades after the phrase stopped having any real-life meaning. It’s an industry that defines “urban” as “what people in New York wear,” and “New York style” as all-black clothing.

Our point is this: try not to get too worked up over the broadness and vagueness of the phrase “modern southern woman” or the rather laughable attempts to define it as a cross between the Grand Ol’ Opry, Blanche Deveraux, and Steel Magnolias. It was a dumb design brief to begin with because, despite the attempts by everyone involved to work Belk’s tagline into the episode, you really can’t define something so incredibly broad without lapsing into some sort of stereotyping. Of course women in the southern part of the U.S. dress pretty much in the same range of styles that most American woman dress; from corporate to princess to boho to preppy to rockabilly and all the countless variations in between. Sure, every region has commonalities particular to that region, and we can look to things like weather patterns and cultural influences particular to each region to make some style definitions, but for the most part, we’re all shopping from the same stores in America.

Now, why so many of the designers defaulted to plaid completely eludes us. If you’re going to attempt to impose a style on such a huge region as “the South,” then we’d think you’d default to something like a pretty, southern belle-esque floral; something that can go from church to country club; that sort of thing. Don’t get us wrong; that’s still a stereotype, but at least it’s rooted in a recognizably southern image. All those plaids looked more like Depression-era Dustbowl dresses rather than anything identifiably southern.

One final note before we break down the dresses: this was one of the most arbitrary things we think we’ve ever seen on the show. We don’t mind the idea of sending bad work back to the workroom. In fact, we kind of like it. But the choice to place these three in the bottom didn’t seem to really have anything to do with their entries. We simply find it impossible to believe that the judges thought their three dresses were the worst. “It looks like something you’d see in a mall.” “It’s not fashion-forward”. We’re sorry, but there is no way to take any of those critiques seriously when we’re talking about a dress for a mid-range regional department store. It was laughable.

And as happy as we are for Dom, we don’t think it’s quite fair of the competition to give her the same reward as the person who won it outright. If you need to scrap your first dress completely and make an entirely new one, is it really fair to the person who nailed it in one try to give you the same prize?

 

Bradon

 But congrats to Bradon anyway. It’s a pretty plaid and we like the top half, but that skirt’s kind of a mess, in our eyes.  There is nothing identifiably “southern” about the design, but as we said, there’s no good way to define the term.

 

Dom

Congrats also to Dom. This was the very best dress on the runway last night. We understand why Prince Vlad of Botoxylvania liked it so much he bought it on the spot, but it really was kind of unfair to Bradon, who didn’t seem too thrilled by the outcome.

For the record, we loved this dress. She shouldn’t have made a gown, but this, with a knee-length skirt and the right styling could’ve been killer. We think the judges only pretended to hate it.

 

Jeremy

And it’s Auf Wiedersehen to Blanche Deveraux’s favorite couturier, Jeremy, the bitchiest gay daddy you ever did see. This was not great, no doubt about it, but this would also sell like crazy in an average department store just like Belk. We can see not awarding the win to something so pedestrian, but we simply don’t buy that anyone in that judges’ panel – especially Prince Vlad – thought this was a bad design for a department store.

This actually was a really cute little piece to whip up at the last second. Not impressive in any way, but cute and a modern. We wonder if he’d been allowed to stay if he’d have learned a lesson from this.

 

Ken

To our eyes, this was the most problematic of the arbitrarily decided bottom-3 looks. A basic gown like this probably would sell in a department store, but this was really heavy-looking and it looked slightly overworked. Still, it was a masterpiece compared to what he turned it into:

That’s just plain tacky-ass shit.

 

 

Kate

 Good god, this was ugly to our eyes. But they claimed to love it, the little crack-smokers.

 

 

Justin

 Blandy Blanderson strikes again.

 

 

Alexander

We have NO IDEA why this got praised at all, except as a way to ensure the bottom 3 that we got.

 

 

Helen

Pretty, but old-fashioned. And it looks like bathroom wallpaper.

 

 

Alexandria

Should’ve sent this one home. It’s not only bad; it’s borderline offensively bad. We get that as someone who’s not American she might not be tuned into the culture, but L’il Abner was just about the worst way to go.

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for Lifetime - Stills: tomandlorenzo.com]

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  • FunButNutz

    I was rooting for Coco Montrese to be sent home just to watch her head explode. Oh well, maybe next week.

    • StellaZafella

      Ken’s head won’t explode…he still makes everything wrong with him somebody else’s fault. Even his mother can’t get through to him when asking if “that other side” of his personality has come out, she’s clearly been in his bitchy sights over the years!

      • FunButNutz

        Come on….In my head he’d start screaming “Plaid Plaid Plaid” and maybe stab Tim Gunn with some scissors.

        • StellaZafella

          Ooooh. Thank god they don’t let them carry scissors on the runway…Heidi would have lost an eye last night.

          • Ginny Ellsworth

            Heidi could take Ken in a grudge match Wrestlemania bout. And remember Stacy was there for the tag team slap!

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            Did he honestly think he could out-stare a mother of four? Really??

          • Lattis

            Big loves for this comment!

        • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

          All that plaid on the runway had me just about screaming “Plaid, Plaid, Plaid”. If there had been scissors close by, who knows what kind of damage I might have done to the furniture and the floors.

    • Samuel Joesph Donovan

      Calling him “Coco Montrese” has become an insult to Coco Montrese.

      • mhleta

        At the risk of being banished from this forum, I have to ask, who is Coco Montrese?

        • keall

          No banishing here! Coco Montrese was a contestant on the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She and Ken share a sour attitude, a groundless infatuation with their own talent, and a tendency to antagonize their fellow contestants and then refuse to take any responsibility for the ugly conflict that results. RPDR was much more pleasant after Coco’s tired antics left the building–please, PR, give us a chance to find out if the same is true of Ken!

          • lilyvonschtupp

            I kind of felt bad for him in the beginning, thinking he was just insecure and misunderstood. But either he’s playing it to the cameras Santino-style, or he’s in serious need of therapy. It must be miserable being Kenya.

          • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

            Why do you call him “Kenya?”

          • lilyvonschtupp

            Just a nickname. If he can be called Coco Montrese or Carmen Ghia, then why not Kenya?

          • MsAfroCAN

            funny, but kinda sad for those of us who come from Kenya

          • kahudson

            Also, not great for those of us named Kenya.

          • mhleta

            Thank you! It’s a great name.

          • FunButNutz

            “talent” – slightly more apropos

        • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

          Thanks for asking for me. :-/

  • Laylalola

    Honestly, Dom’s first entry (if it hadn’t been a gown, as TLO notes) really is the closest to what I’ve seen women in Nashville wearing this century. The bright colors, the simplicity, that dress was it (had it been shorter).

    • BookishBren

      I think if she had used different colors her first dress would have presented better. I did agree with Nina (?) that the green looked a bit like hospital scrubs.

    • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

      This challenge reminds me a bit of the prom dress challenge with the Duck Tape. “Design a real prom dress that girls would actually wear.” That’s what Kate did and she was booted off for lacking imagination. She had imagination but she was trying to give the judges what they asked for. In the meantime, the designers who’d gone over the top feared that they’d be too controversial or too weird, and the judges loved them (Michelle, for instance). In this case Dom didn’t know which way to go. This was Heidi’s goof for not explaining the challenge better. Sometimes Heidi and the designers don’t really know what they mean until a better definition is required. When half the class flunks, the problem is with the teacher.

    • Levedi

      Seriously. But I have family in Fayetteville NC and they would have LOVED Jeremy’s first entry. So much for the real South being any part of this challenge.

  • 909girl601world

    Dom’s 2nd dress and Kate’s dress were the only two that I could see women in the Jackson, MS metro area wearing. All that plaid ish made my eyes water and my head hurt. Horrible!

    • Leigh

      I thought Kate’s dress was exactly on the mark for this challenge–bright colors, perfect for summer or with a cardigan for fall and spring–it would have sold out at Belk, no problem.

      • Ginny Ellsworth

        I don’t know. I thought it looked a little maternity from the side. But they could fix that in production.

        • Michelle Wilson

          Agreed. That was the one thing Heidi got right last. (That and not backing down to Ken’s death stare.) The waistline of that dress was really unflattering to the model. Maybe with a belt of some kind it would have worked.

          • gubblebumm

            My daughter wore a dress with a similar silouette to a wedding recently. If you are 22 have a rocking body, and have killer legs, the side view is hardly noticeable. Really. Its that babydoll feel

          • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

            That waistline was killing me, and not in a good way.

            She made the same damn dress a few weeks ago, in white. It looked like a wedding gown for the Modern Pregnant Cupcake.

        • Miranda Prince

          The first thing I said was, “She looks pregnant.” I also hated the sleeves and the back.

          • Ramon Figueroa

            I hated that color. Talk about Halloween.

        • KaytJ

          Kate’s dress would have sold out at Belk. The problem is that the “typical” Belk customer, while Southern, is in no way modern, young, or fashion-forward, so this whole challenge was an oxymoron. The brightness and tackiness of her fabric and even the maternity fit would blend in with the rest of Belk’s merchandise. Pause the episode at 29:02 for a peek at Belk’s clothing!

        • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

          Kate has a style that could be called a signature that is a full full skirt with a high waist. It isn’t meant to be a maternity dress or an empire waist. It’s her type of “look” that is between a regular dress and an empire. I don’t care for it, but I’ve seen her do this high-waisted look on more than one occasion in the past.

      • 909girl601world

        Exactly!

      • Stacy Genobles

        Bright colors are fine. Day-Glo orange and fluorescent pink are NOT. I don’t know of any store that wants all their customers to look like walking neon daisies. Kate needs to be auf’d.

      • lilyvonschtupp

        Kate’s dress had nothing going for it but the pattern. The pattern did all the work. But I ain’t in MS *shurgs*

    • HM3

      The pattern on Kate’s dress is Indian, not “Southern”–the flower garlands and Hare-Krishna orange are from a different hemisphere entirely. Pretty, but not ideal for the challenge.

      • 909girl601world

        I didn’t say anything about the pattern on the dress. I said it was one of two I could see women in my area wearing. That was the challenge, yes? I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a “Southern” pattern.

        • HM3

          Agreed, it is too much of a generalization. But as TLo also rightly pointed out, if the challenge had any parameters at all, the design should at least be “rooted in a recognizably Southern image.” The Hare-Krishna pattern is beautiful, but it constitutes a huge chunk of the dress, and seems as about UNrecognizably Southern as a southewestern Navajo print, or a Japanese scape. The cultural reference was too strongly off for me.
          I live in the South, and I do not see a lot of women in my area wearing this.

      • Heather

        That’s hilarious. I didn’t see the episode – did they specify “the American South”?

        As a Southerner myself (and with many generations of Southern women behind me) and occasional Belk shopper (MAC counter, housewares, decent shoe selection if I need something generic, like ballet flats), the only thing noted above that I would think would sell at my local Belk is Justin’s first design.

        But then, I’ve never bought clothes at my local Belk – they seem to cater to teens and elderly women, and virtually nothing in between.

        • MilaXX

          I wonder if Belk’s is trying to revamp it’s style and target audience like Lord & Taylor did? So many of the designs appeared to be the sort of thing they would carry, yet Belk’s guy acted as if they wouldn’t.

          • Heather

            Good/interesting question… not sure. Also, as one poster notes below, Belk’s target audience can differ significantly depending on location. A Belk’s in a small, rural town is going to have significantly different merchandise than a larger flagship store in a large city (Charlotte, Greenville, Atlanta) with a more cosmopolitan population.

          • Munchkn

            And I think that the clothing carried in a Belk store in Charlotte would be a bit more sophisticated than it is in Greenville. I know the clothing found in the Greenville store is more sophisticated than it is in the Greer store just a few miles up the road.

          • Heather

            Yes I’ve been to that Greer Belk, it sucks! :-)

        • mhleta

          Hence the nickname, Blek.

          • Big Bear

            Oh, mhleta! If you don’t have anything nice to say then…come sit next to me!

      • BeccaGo

        OT: I love your avatar. <3

        • lilyvonschtupp

          I want to be Jane Lane when I grow up.

      • write_light

        The “Southern” Hemisphere?? XD

      • leon pon

        Yes, I felt it had more of a hippie feel to it, which is retro, not modern.

  • Tanya Wade

    Julia Sugarbaker was NOT amused by this episode.

    • StellaZafella

      “Class is not a birthright…it’s something you have…or don’t have.” -Julia Sugarbaker

  • rkdgal

    And again with the poor model wearing Alexandria’s dress! She has worn the worst garments the entire season; I’d love to see a slide show (a sad show?) of her waa-waaaaa looks back to back.

    • http://heartprintandstyle.com/ Vivi N

      LOLOL @ ‘sad show’! And I wanna see a slideshow, too. Just so I can laugh.

    • MoHub

      Nastassia should get a medal just for not having thrown herself in front of a bus.

    • NMMagpie

      I agree. That poor girl needs to do some adversity billing for this job.

      And let be honest: Braden is benefitting from having the best walker this season. That girl can sell.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      How Alexandria’s shit got passed…smh…

    • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

      Haha. I’d like to see that slide show, too.

  • Samuel Joesph Donovan

    I disagree about it being unfair to give Dom the win after crowning Bradon–I think what was really unfair was that they praised any of these garments at all. Clearly, Dom is being built up to be the Chloe Dao of season 12: she’s LEAGUES ahead of all the other designers this season (as her finale collection proves) and the judges wanted to give her that turnaround moment in the second half of the competition to give her that new oomph to win her some new fans.

    What I’m saying is: Bradon never should have won in the first place, and it was nice to see the smug grin smacked off his face by a designer who has a clearly superior, more modern aesthetic.

    • Kate

      I agree Brandon should have never won. The bottom half of that gown made me gasp in disgust when it walked down the runway. It looked like it got in a fight with the sewing machine.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        I do like Bradon a lot, but no way should that have won.

      • Rhonda Shore

        I really liked Bradon’s dress, it was light and breezy and perfect for the hot sultry weather i associate with the south. By the way, I never heard of Belk.

        • s elin

          All that fabric is perfect for the south? That dress is the recipe for a heat stroke. A handkerchief linen or a cotton lawn might work, but that dress as-is would kill.

          • GillianHolroyd

            yes but the material was light-weight and the skirt stood away from the body. I can tell you that Dom’s, Helen’s, and Ken’s floor-length looks would be punishingly hot to wear.

          • kahudson

            Helen’s and Ken’s would. Both of the fabrics appear to be very heavy and the dresses were form-fitting. Dom’s would be easier to wear in Mississippi heat and humidity because the fabric is lighter and it is less form fitting especially below the waist.

          • mmebam

            As someone who has spent her summers near the swamp in south Georgia and always lived south of Tennessee, I can tell you that Braden’s dress would be one big wrinkly sweaty mess.

          • Rhonda Shore

            It didn’t look heavy to me, but i’m only seeing the pictures in this column, i wasn’t able to watch the show last night.

          • demidaemon

            It was made of cotton shirting, so it would be light and breezy. I also think the judges responded to the silhouette and the top half, because they all ignored that WTFuckery on the skirt, which made me cross-eyed when I first saw it, and make me cross-eyed now. Also, they clearly had some different set of criteria for judging that none of the rest of us were privy to AT ALL.

          • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

            that WTFuckery on the skirt

            Heh. Those strips of fabric look like they were velcroed on. I don’t even know what he was thinking.

          • demidaemon

            He was probably thinking, “Here’s this awesome technique that will again make everyone think I had a seizure while sewing it.”

    • SRQkitten

      I disagree with it being unfair to give Dom the win because she did that look (albeit with help) in ONE hour, which was pretty impressive, given what it was standing next to. Her first look in a shorter version I could see selling at Belks.

      Alexandria needed to go home. That dress was beyond ugly. You can find versions of Jeremy’s outfit in Belks, I don’t know who they’re trying to kid (certainly not those of us who wandered through a Belks in the past).

      • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

        I thought I misheard when Heidi called Alexandria’s name and then announced that her group was safe, because that thing was a big old mess. I will cut her a little slack since she had no clue what “Modern Southern Woman” meant, but the fabric she chose was cheap looking and ugly. And the dress looks unfinished. I don’t mean in a fashionable way either.

        I hated Jeremy’s jacket, but I don’t think it was inappropriate for the challenge. And damn if I can figure out why everyone hated his fabric so much. I thought it was gorgeous. It would totally stand out on a rack of clothes.

        I can’t even discuss Bradon’s dress. Gah!

        • demidaemon

          To be fair, it was better than whatever travesty she started with. Not that the design she ended up with was great, but it was better.

        • Sarah

          I liked Jeremy’s fabric, too. I thought it was pretty and much more in the demo than plaid (wtf). And yeah, the whole look was Belk-y, and that’s not good, but it was spot on for what they would sell in a southern dept. store. If he’d made a swingy, youthful dress sans jacket out of it maybe he’d have done better…

    • NMMagpie

      All I saw was a businessman making a good decision in the moment. If he wants to grow his store brand, he was smart to not let that dress get away. Exclusivity is what fashion thrives on.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      I really couldn’t see much of a difference between Bradon’s and Drag Brows’ attempts,anyway.

  • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

    As soon as I caught sight of Alexandria’s jiffy cloth frock, I thought she was a goner. When will I learn?

    • Pennymac

      Stop trying to make sense, will ya?

      • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

        It is rather a dreadful problem of mine.

        • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

          When Heidi announced the first three designers who were safe, I wondered why Alexandria was in that group. Her plaid dress was a stinker. And she knew it.

    • Vanessa

      Maybe she thought Tim was instructing her to make it “hideous” in his workroom critique.

    • ampg

      I really thought she was getting the loser edit, between her general flailing about and the worst Tim critique “IN THE HISTORY OF PROJECT RUNWAY!!!”

    • Meredith_P

      THAT’S what that fabric texture was. Thank you! Stiff and hideous!

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      Oh, don’t be silly! The ugliest, most poorly made dress is always at least safe! This is the show that crowned Anya, you know!

  • Ginny Ellsworth

    The bitch face stare down when Heidi called Ken on glaring at her made me actually laugh. I used to watch this show for the creativity it inspired. I have sunk so low.

    • StillGary

      Cheers! *clink*

    • alannaofdoom

      “[silence] [silence] [silence] [silence] [slight smirk] [silence] [silence]“

    • rainwood1

      I hate to admit it, but I was bottom-feeding that moment right along with you.

    • zenobar

      You’re not alone. Honestly I was basking in the lurid glow of that exchange. Wheeeee!

    • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

      I thought that more would be said by the judges about Ken’s attitude.

  • StriderDogBlues

    Who is Justin’s model?? That lady could sell… well that gawdawful dress even.

    • SouthernGirlRena

      She is stunning. I almost didn’t notice how poorly the dress is made because I was distracted by her fabulous hair.

      • s elin

        Wow. You must really like that model if you failed to recoil in horror at Justin’s little contribution to the Modern Southern Woman’s wardrobe.

    • JustWannaBeFriends

      She’s Karen’s model from last week. She suggested Karen make shorts instead of those baggy pants and told the judges she felt awful in that sloppy mess of an outfit she had to model. However, I do think she’s awesome. Karen should have listened to her.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Yes, she is quite beautiful.

  • HM3

    I HATED Bradon’s look, which evoked a Frankendress: it had so many elements, between the asymmetry, the strange horizontal pattern across the front, the fullness and not-so-fullness, and the HIDEOUS plaid. Nothing even references the words “modern” or “Southern.” I was shocked that he won. I’m also shocked that Justin and Alexandria’s looks passed by, as those were truly hideous. Justin’s seemed as if it was badly sewn, and pulling in all the wrong places…even if the execution was there, she looked like her dress was being tugged at by various people when she walked.

    • Samuel Joesph Donovan

      The biggest issue I had with his dress was that it would have been impossible to produce for a mass-market retailer, given that the two pattern pieces were just…well, they would have wasted countless yards of fabric.

      • ampg

        That was one thing Justin had going for him; his dress was only two pattern pieces.

        • Samuel Joesph Donovan

          But the pattern pieces NEVER could have been utilized in any marketable way–they were long and wide, and for a little slip of a dress like that, you should need 2 entire yards of fabric. That he likely wasted more material than he used in the dress should have gotten him an elimination, and I bet would have on earlier seasons of the show.

          • JustWannaBeFriends

            Hi. I’m not a designer and can’t sew, so this is a genuine question. He only had two yards of fabric, so how much could he possibly have wasted? I am confused. Thanks!

          • Samuel Joesph Donovan

            Hi! When you go to cut pieces out of a length of fabric (which is almost always going to be rectangular) you subtract different shapes and leave the remaining “extra space” behind. Looking at one of the pieces Justin cut out (it’s featured somewhere in the middle of the episode) you can see the piece was long and wide, but had a lot of “extra space”left over that couldn’t have been used to cut out the second piece, meaning he’d have had to go to the next, uncut section of the length of fabric. I would estimate, given the shape of the first piece that I saw, that about 50% of the length of that two yards of fabric was wasted as “extra space” after he cut the pieces out.

      • s elin

        But didn’t it win and isn’t Belk a mass-market retailer?

        • demidaemon

          My guess is that the final version of Bradon’s dress will be in a solid color and strip away many of the unnecessary details. So much for “the only person who got it right,” as Heidi said.

    • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

      I disliked Bradon’s dress as well. That strange application of the horizontal strips on the skirt front were not only pointless, but also killed the movement of it.

      • ampg

        I liked that – it seemed like he was going for sort of a trompe l’oeil apron effect, which I thought was a really neat idea. The mullet hem was a bridge too far, though.

      • Fanny_Trollope

        My blood ran cold when he started brightly chatting about the “technique” he was using on that skirt. Looking on every challenge as an opportunity to showcase a different technique is such a mistake. I think he really lucked out last night.

  • Pennymac

    As a modern southern woman, I must confess that there is not a single plaid item hanging in my closet.

    • Ginny Ellsworth

      As a modern southern woman, I admit to plaid flannel pajama pants.

      • http://coyoterose.blogspot.com/ Coyote Rose

        As a modern southern woman, I admit to having a plaid miniskirt and pajama pants. But I’d like to note that I also don’t know a woman under 45 that shops at Belks.

        • StelledelMare

          Maybe it’s just me but I’m 23 and have bought a decent number of things from belk (just last year I bought an amazingly cute sweater dress). I wouldn’t say in general that their clothes are very “me” so I guess I can’t say that I “shop” there but I think just about any department store can have a few pieces that you like here and there even if their overall aesthetic isn’t to your personal taste.

        • purpleprose78

          As a modern southern woman, I admit to having shopped at Belk’s and gotten three cute work-appropriate maxi dresses this past summer and a couple of bras that actually fit. (I also own no plaid.)

          • EspyRants

            As a modern sort of southern woman (does Virginia count?), I only have one plaid and that’s a gift from my super Scottish best friend.

          • adnama79

            VA counts unless you’re in Arlington. Like East Texas counts but not the rest of the state.

          • Sarah

            I grew up in NoVa, so I know what you mean, but I have to point out that to the rest of the world, VA counts all over. In fact, to the rest of the country, we are just as big of a set of hillbillies as WVA has to offer.

          • Heather

            Indeed, a friend of mine was telling me (a Southerner) that she was dating a guy from “the South,” and when I asked where she said, Missouri.

          • http://dcmoosings.blogspot.com LouC

            There are parts of Missouri that qualify as the South. The Ozark Mountain area, definitely.

          • Scoobydrew

            that depends who you ask … I live in the Arkansas Ozarks, Missouri is 15 minutes away. No one in my family would ever consider Missouri part of the south. It’s all about which states joined the Confederacy.

        • adnama79

          Based on where the stores are located, I would guess they aren’t going for the under 45 market, no matter what Project Runway says. It’s not like they are in New Orleans or Atlanta.

        • KaytJ

          As a modern woman in the south (Birmingham: home of the largest shopping mall in the southeast and featuring a Belk) I have never known anyone hip or fashion-forward to “shop” at Belk.

      • DuBey2

        As a modern southern woman, I admit to nothing.

        • Pennymac

          Here here!

        • BeccaGo

          WINNER!

        • Kit_W

          Well BLESS YOUR HEART.

    • Michelle Wilson

      This modern southern woman hasn’t worn plaid since the early 90′s grunge era.

    • Catherine Katz

      Amen! Another one here.

      And, as awful as it is to admit it, I shop at Belk. Wouldn’t look twice at the plaids shown. Any of them.

      • Munchkn

        I mostly go to their cosmetic counters which are awesome and skip the clothes.

    • JasmineAM

      As a fellow southern woman, I was yelling at the screen “WHY PLAID?! HOW IS PLAID SOUTHERN!?” I’ve never seen women wear plaid dresses down here. Gingham or houndstooth, or even polka dots, yes. And Ken, I’m SO disappointed that you didn’t choose houndstooth and you’re from Alabama.

      • 3boysful

        Houndstooth would’ve been hilarious! Roll Tide.

      • Laughingworld

        I too, am a Southern woman and rationalized the choice of plaids by the fact that substantive portion of the white population is of Scottish descent. Somehow, I don’t think the designers are aware of it. I did once own a plaid shirtdress in my twenties. I bought it at Saks.

        • Kit_W

          Oh yeah, that’s true. Scotch-Irish are everywhere.

    • Heather

      Moi non plus!!

    • RebeccaKW

      Texas girl and the only plaid I own are in my pearl snap shirts. Which I love, but I agree are not A. fashionable or B. modern.
      I wonder if that’s their inspiration-”I saw one episode of the Beverly Hillbillies and they all wore plaid shirts.”

      • adnama79

        Girl, if you are west of Huntsville, are you really in the South?

        I say pearl snap is western.

        • RebeccaKW

          Of course pearl snaps are western. My reply was about owning a plaid shirt. Not that plaid was ‘modern southern’
          And yes, Texas is generally considered the south.

    • s elin

      As a modern southern woman, I have a Pendleton plaid straight skirt (not quite a pencil skirt), but that’s it.

    • Lanus

      As a totally old and out-of-touch New Englander, I will share that my closet is full of Tartans, Plaids, and Madras. So…..

    • Sarah

      Me either, sista. Nor do I have pastel florals, big hats, or white anything. According to Fashion, I must live in New York and not Richmond.

  • Vanessa

    Just do not believe Heidi and Nina claiming that they would wear anything with a handkerchief hem. All that drooling over clothes I can’t ever imagine either of them wearing!

    • s elin

      Thank you, Vanessa.

  • Vanessa

    Noone mentioned that the buzzword “modern southern woman” means white modern southern woman. Of course that is Belk’s customer.

    • purpleprose78

      Depends on your Belk’s really. My hometown Belk’s serves a diverse customer base or it wouldn’t stay in business.

      • xay

        Definitely. My mom has been shopping at Belk since the 80s – for a long time it was the only department store in town.

        • Kit_W

          The Belk’s in Charlotte has a tremendous portion of the upstairs devoted to Micheal Kors’ merchandise and I think his stuff is pretty much geared to everyone, isn’t it?

    • seleena

      I totally disagree. I see women of all colors shopping at Belk.

  • BookishBren

    It really is starting to feel like Ken is being rewarded for bad behavior. Not that PR hasn’t pulled this BS before, but I am not sure (and correct me if I am wrong) if we have seen the kind of anger he and Freddie Mercuryovich have displayed this season. If someone talked to Ken the way he speaks to other contestants, he would be screaming his bloody head off. His attitude is so disrespectful. At some point, conduct needs to play a role when someone is being so incredibly over the top. Can’t believe Heidi let him behave the way he did on the runway.

    I really felt like Jeremy should have been passed through and Alexandria in his place in the bottom three and with the auf. I am not sure how she keeps being shuffled through. Maybe Heidi feels a model kinship with her.

    Also, Zac Posen’s expression when Heidi suggested they send the bottom three back to fix their dresses was laughable. So clearly rehearsed- I laughed out loud.

    • Ginny Ellsworth

      I raise my eyebrow at you!

    • Vanessa

      So glad I only watch the runway show and not the workroom shenanigans.

    • MilaXX

      Other the stupid Heidi stare off, he didn’t behave that bad last night. He was seen joking with his cast mates.

      • DinahR

        Yeah, and I don’t really put the blame for that little moment on his doorstep. There was no response to Heidi that could have gone well for him, best just keep his mouth shut. That panel of judges can’t abide a silence and he was bound to be saved by someone. Thank you, Nina, for steppin’ up there.

        • MilaXX

          Exactly! and moments like that scream producer manipulation. You know someone in production is telling her that Ken acts out of pocket in the workroom. This was just an easy way to poke the bear.

      • BookishBren

        I distinctly remember getting in trouble in my teenage years for having facial expressions that were “disrespectful” (at that point I also knew to just keep my mouth shut…lol) so I guess I found his stare-down with Heidi a little disrespectful. I can’t believe no one called him on it. I mean, he was even rolling his eyes when someone else’s garment was getting compliments (Braden’s?). They have called other designers out for that (seems like Kenley used to get called out for giggling at other designers). He wasn’t screaming (would seriously pay to watch him do that to Heidi…hahaha), but I really thought his overall demeanor and sort of dismissive attitude with her was out of line.

        I am a Southern gal and we DID get in trouble for that kind of thing growing up. Mr. Thang knew what he was doing.

        • MilaXX

          I agree he’s over the top and has a bad attitude, but Heidi was definitely poking the bear.

        • Targettaste

          Disrespectful and dismissive were my exact words for Ken’s runway behavior. I’m sure Heidi was very aware of the eye rolling, and then when she dared to criticize him he tried to stare her down. She’s the judge (and producer) of a design competition: it is her job to judge him, and he can’t take it. I think maybe her mom mode kicked in too!

          • demidaemon

            I’m thinking–probably next week when he lands in the bottom again for being a tacky-ass designer–he is going to have a magnificent blow-up on the runway. I can’t wait.

          • Targettaste

            But, of course, it won’t be his fault.

          • s elin

            I hope not. I really don’t want to see that.

    • neeBarbero

      I just don’t understand the tolerance for whatever Alexandria sends down the runway. This week, the dress was hideous (that’s not really strong enough, but I can’t think of another word to use), and last week those idiotic poopy pants were let through. That she ever won with a pair of poopy pants I still can’t believe.

      I too wonder about the acceptance of bad behavior. Today on NPR I heard the judge sentenced the Indian rapists to death (which from what I read, is appropriate); yet here we are not having consequences for behaviors which could lead to that type of behavior. Have I gone through the looking glass?

  • StriderDogBlues

    Hands down the winner of this episode… Heidi’s “I Dare You” look at Ken. I so wanted one of those trademarked Klum put-downs.

    • Samuel Joesph Donovan

      I was praying that he’d say something; the smackdown would have been a GLORIOUS finisher to Ken’s sourness.

    • DuBey2

      The Faceoff! Was worth DVRing the whole Season just to see that. She backed him right back down, didn’t she?

    • http://heartprintandstyle.com/ Vivi N

      That Ken-Heidi stare take-down made my night. And Ken knew better to NOT say a damn thing during that ‘challenge’, too.

    • LittleMissSunshine1989

      I was almost in tears with that! I just wished he would have opened his mouth to say something and then watched himself being steamrolled by the Kluminator.

      • BelleBook

        It *would* have been funny — and it might have gotten him thrown out and saved Jeremy! Alas, Ken was smart enough not to speak since it would be professional suicide!

    • CozyCat

      It was fun to watch Ken during that “exchange.” You could see that he desperately wanted to go off on her the way he has with the contestants who have “disrespected” him. But he knew it would be professional suicide, so he held his tongue, despite the fact that Heidi kept daring him to talk.

      Except to say the truest words ever spoken on this show: “What I’m feeling doesn’t matter.”

    • Scoobydrew

      My mom is German ( and learned to speak German in the south, so she has a Southern- German accent ) and I have seen that face, I got a little scared for Ken, i know what comes next.

  • alyce1213

    When they sent the safe people off, I thought Dom was going to be in the top three for her first dress. I don’t love the main color, but the contour and construction were really good. I was shocked that they put her in the bottom. The redemption was good for her confidence and finally, she got to hear what the judges had to say about her work.
    Alexandria’s was the worst – a square with a hole and a belt. She should have gone home a long time ago.
    The praise of Ken’s re-do was ridiculous.

    • marlie

      That’s right… just last week Dom was lamenting that she didn’t know what the judges thought of her work because she was always “safe.”

    • Lanus

      Ken’s Re-Do looked like the “dinner dresses” that women used to wear on 80′s soap operas. I half expected the model to saunter over to a stocked bar cart, pour herself a drink and say, “The thing is, Clint….Little Jessica is…Not….Your…..CHILD!!!!!!!!”

      • alyce1213

        Exactly.

      • neeBarbero

        YES! This! Thank you.

        • Ramon Figueroa

          “And I’m not really a woman. I am my twin brother.”

          • lilyvonschtupp

            When Emily Kimberly revealed herself to be Edward Kimberly.

      • Carrps

        Hee. Ken’s re-do reminded me of his glamping dress … with all that fabric folded on the model’s shoulder. WTF?

  • Katharina Ofelie

    How the hell was Alexandria not eliminated?!?!
    Her dress is ugly, and sloppy-looking!

    • elikit

      Indeed – were we meant to be able to see the model’s granny panties?

  • DuBey2

    I wish Helen and Alexandria had made separates. A’s skirt part of the dress with an interesting black top would have been cool. And I wondered why no one did white – so Helen’s white *daisies* might have been so cute under or over a sheer white. either as cute cigarette pants (then maybe use the yellow for a great top? or as a short dress. Anyway, I’m happy for Dom but I truly hated her 1st dress.
    And TLo, thank you for the disclaimer. As a Southern woman, I think I just want to be respected. And allowed to shop at stores other than Belk.

  • spooki C

    Wow, that’s a lot of fug on the runway. Haven’t seen the episode but this sounds like one of those obnoxiously vague challenges that I hate.

    I like Alexander’s a lot, it’s something I’d wear with a leather jacket and a pair of Doc’s. I’m not a Southern lady though, a year of living in Mississippi and Texas taught me that I am, with out question, 100% New York.

    • Datura

      I liked it too, and I agree with your styling suggestions. With everyone was defaulting to plaid, it was nice to see someone pick a “punky” pattern.

  • Ruth Sawyer

    I made my four year old watch the runway portion with me again, just to see what would happen. I shouldn’t have. He was PISSED that Helen wasn’t in the top 3. It took a few minutes to calm him down.

    He also said Brandon’s dress was “weird”, and he liked Alexandria’s because it was the same color and pattern as his boxers.

    I might have to start his own mini PR blog just for the crap he says. :)

    • Kate

      My husband has boxers just like that too! It was also the first thing I thought.

      • largishbearishAtlish

        big southern bear here, with boxers just like that (tho I prefer all cotton, not that polyester crap the model looks to be wearing). At least there were not petticoats, Tara references or Tim whipping out the brand approved Mint Julips. I kept falling asleep during this mess. That said everything. (and NO SWATCH this ep :(

        • Pink Sith

          Swatch was in the episode. The shoes him lying down resting his beautiful ugly face on his front paws. He looked utterly disgusted at the fabric selections from the contestants. I can’t believe you missed it. ;-) I still love the one time Tim Gunn is chasing him around the store , trotting like a toddler with his arms outstretched saying “Swatch! Swatch!”

        • RroseSelavy

          Swatch was there! Did you miss that pointed sidelong glance as somebody was having some plaid cut or something?

        • Targettaste

          Swatch was there, but is it the same Swatch, or are they trying to pull a fast one on us?

          • Meredith_P

            There’s only one Swatch. He was there sleeping intensely (in front of Dom) when Tim was giving the designers their marching orders, and then again randomly sleeping later on.

          • Targettaste

            Ha ha, I love your descriptions of “sleeping intensely” and “randomly sleeping.”

    • StellaZafella

      “…he liked Alexandria’s because it was the same color and pattern as his boxers.”
      There have been odder reasons for liking stuff on this show…your four year old could give the Duchess some tips for being clever!

    • random_poster

      Do it! Create the mini-blog for your mini-guy, and invite us all!

    • marlie

      Your four year old’s reason for liking Alexandria’s is more legit (less arbitrary and contrived) than the judges’ stated reasons for liking/disliking something.

    • LJCdoc

      I would so read that blog.

    • SugarSnap108

      Ha, his reasoning sounds as legit as the judges’ — and a lot more honest.

    • MilaXX

      That would be a hoot. There’s one on Pinterest from the pov of a very NYC little girl named Quinoa that is a hoot. It’s all kids wearing fashiony looks like Alexander Wang’s niece wears.

      • Ramon Figueroa

        Quinoa? Really? Some parents should be flogged.

        • BeccaGo

          Quinoa’s not real, the name’s part of the joke. The full title of the blog is My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter and it’s hilarious. :D

        • MilaXX

          It’s not real child named Quinoa. It’s a spoof of NY fashion pretension. The board is called My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter

          • Ramon Figueroa

            Got it. I am so fed up with absurd children’s names. It was a reflex.

          • BeccaGo

            Although I wouldn’t put it past half of Brooklyn to have actually named their kid Quinoa by now. PARK SLOPE REPREZENT!! :D

      • LongTall_Sally

        I love that board and have been expecting it to be referenced in the comments section on this site at some point!

        • MilaXX

          It’s hysterical!

    • GinAndPopcorn

      Add me to your son’s growing fanbase! I’d much rather read his commentary than watch Heidi try and say “It’s too short.” without her head exploding.

    • Alloy Jane

      I’m going to encourage you to do this because that sounds hilarious.

  • tonibaloney

    I thought FOR SURE that the bottom three would be the three plaids, just because they were so totally off-base and I had issues with the skirts/hemlines. I can’t stand a handkerchief hem; Alexandria’s looked like she just took a few yards and tacked them on without any thought to the shape; and Bradon’s failed voluminous skirt just looked limp and sad.

    Color me shocked when Dom’s lovely dress was called out.

    • Laylalola

      I have never this century seen a Southern woman in plaid, and in the past it was only during Grunge era of the 1990s.

      • housefulofboys

        Well, I live in a big college town, lots of students and preppy fashion, and I see a lot of madras in addition to florals and pastels/sherbet colors. Even plaid patchwork, and even on the guys. I would guess that it depends on your location.

      • BeccaGo

        Long live grunge!! (I was a college radio DJ in the mid-’90s.)

  • NDC_IPCentral

    Maybe I’ve just been dense for, oh, a lot of PR seasons, but wouldn’t it be more straightforward for the judges and Tim Gunn to tell the dresstestants that anything they create (whip together) needs to be aimed at a youthful 20-something female? Anything that isn’t – that would be a garment that a woman in her 40s or beyond (and plenty of us BKs are in that cohort) – gets the collective judgmental stinkeye as being OLD and MATURE. And heaven forfend, Msses. Garcia and Klum, in your 40s, that you would countenance that.

    Ageism.

    • alyce1213

      Youngfreshyoungfreshyoungfreshyoungfreshyoungfresh. The contempt for maturity and sophistication is palpable.

    • largishbearishAtlish

      Next week- they are going to sit on horses and design for a “midwestern girl” and hold fake guns. Maybe in a corn field?

      • NDC_IPCentral

        As a native Midwesterner (which status I will never relinquish), albeit one who’s lived in greater NYC for 36 years but who returns to The Mitten State a lot, I can just imagine what these Open Minds of the Judging Panel would do with that concept.

        • largishbearishAtlish

          I think we just planned the next 2 or 3 seasons worth of ‘fill-in’ shows (that aren’t team or non-standard or PRODUCT placement challenges) pick a ‘theme’ restaurant, or simply serve them Baked Alaska and then design for the ‘modern Alaskan woman’, vague stereotyping- serve them cornbread and pig parts for the ‘Modern Alabama Woman’, trout and gin could be ‘Mondern Tennessee Woman’ (or just put up a sign read “go to visit(statedejour).com… offer to DOUBLE their cloth allotment for FREE (and to mess with their minds) the ‘modern size 4 woman (oh the horrors, their heads would explode! a REAL woman? ono!) the crap just writes itself…

          I would/would not wear that!

          • wontons

            “Your challenge is to design for the modern Maryland woman. Here’s a bushel of crabs and some DVDs of ‘The Wire.’”

          • Datura

            That made me snort loudly.

          • Munchkn

            The modern Tennessee woman would have to be inspired by barbecue and Jack Daniels.

      • BookishBren

        Original post and all of the responses made me loudly snort. lololol

    • Kate Andrews

      I wonder what’s going to happen next week when the designers do looks for PR fangirls. Some of them are not gonna be fans afterward, I’m sure.

      • wontons

        I love the idea of this challenge, but yeah, I can imagine the angst over all of those “weird body types.” Of course, everything will be overshadowed by Ken’s meltdown or whatever we saw in those brief clips (plus my DVR stopped partway through the coming “attractions”).

  • buttercup

    So, wait.. If Jeremy got to show at NYFW and Ken didn’t.. Does that mean next week Ken is getting booted or leaving before the challenge, with Jeremy being brought back?

    • BelleBook

      Yeah, that’s what I’m wondering.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      I think everyone that was in the competition by the end of last week’s show were given the chance to show a collection at fashion week (either a decoy or real collection)

      • DuBey2

        Correct. According to the TLO Lounge last night.

    • alinana

      I read that Ken did make a collection but refused to let it walk the runway because it wasn’t ready or some crap.

    • Pink Sith

      I don’t know if you saw “next week on …” But the show Ken having a meltdown with Drag Brows and Ken screaming at a member of the production staff. I saw that as maybe why he didn’t show at NYFW. But then again. I would like to pay him as little attention as possible. He seems like a really mean and unbalanced person.

  • Jacquelyn

    I’m glad Dom finally won something but it came across as “we need to let Dom win something finally so we’ll do a double win!”

    Man, Kate’s dress is hideous.
    I am SO OVER KEN. (by the by, why wasn’t he as Fashion Week. I was convinced he’d get the Auf this week to explain…)

    • Ginny Ellsworth

      From the previews for next week maybe, it looks like Ken is going to get into a fistfight with Alexander when he moves into the hotel room.

      • ampg

        Yeah, I was assuming he’d blow his top and be asked to leave.

        • MoHub

          Tim has referred to an “intervention” with Ken in his latest BPR interview.

      • Jacquelyn

        I thought the same thing. I think I knew it was coming. I expected Ken, Helen, and Sandro to have a fight earlier this year. The producers are currently rubbing their hands together, chuckling evilly and delighting in their genius.

    • Meredith_P

      On the internets, it appears that while backstage at NYFW, Ken felt his collection was not “runway ready.” So…he didn’t show, his choice. Whatever…

      • Ginny Ellsworth

        Hmmm. Thanks for the gossip.

      • Jacquelyn

        Hmmmm. Interesting. Thanks for that. So, if true, that means he’s not top 3 but we still have to put up with him for the foreseeable future.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        And I’m sure it was someone else’s fault in his mind!

    • http://heartprintandstyle.com/ Vivi N

      I, too, felt that the whole Put-Dom-in-the-bottom-three-oh-wait-let’s-make-bottom-three-redo-their-looks was all for Dom to be redeemed. And when her garment walked out on the runway, I’m sure the producers shrieked in delight into Heidi’s earphone. “Yes! Our plan worked!” Felt a bit all, too, pre-planned.

      With that being said, I was so fuckin’ happy Dom finally ‘won’ AND is getting her look made for Belk.

      Meanwhile, all that plaid loving was just so off and contrived. Seriously, every last one of them should have had the chance to redo their looks. Such a sad and uninspired looking runway.

  • Wendy Lane Bailey

    Ken’s first dress was a snooze, the second was, to quote MK, “Slutty, Slutty, Slutty”, and also tacky. Those are the two things NO Southern woman, modern or otherwise wants to appear to be. And I say this as a “Modern Southern Woman” transplanted to NYC.

  • StellaZafella

    Dom will have learned to follow her first instinct and stop trying to second guess what the judges want to see…when she said “fuck it, I’m gonna make what I really wanted to make” I knew it would be fine. If her first dress had been short and sassy, Bradon would have only been safe.

    • sojourneryouth

      Agree completely. Dom learning to trust herself is the one upside of the crackheaddery and slight unfairness. I also think that the “southern” aesthetic really needs to also include Dom’s first dress. The minute it came out, I thought, “oh, Ebony Fashion Fair!”, which is exactly the aesthetic that all my female relatives dispersed throughout the South follow for church, semi-formal, and formal events. I know my aunties would rock that dress so hard, long or short. Dom nailed the Black southern aesthetic there, even though I did like her second dress much better.

      • purpleprose78

        I loved her first dress too. :)

      • RroseSelavy

        Evidence they need a permanent judge “of color” (however much I hate that phrase) on the show?

        • sojourneryouth

          I hate the phrase too, but I think they do need a judge of color, but ONLY because each of the current judges has no clue about urban or ethnic fashion references. Of course, considering how some of the challenges are described and judged, and the producers’ fingerprints on everything, they are confused about a lot of things.

        • BeccaGo

          Amen. I thought it was telling that the only 2 contestants who actually had some personal experience with The South™ “didn’t understand the challenge.” No, Heidi, I think it’s YOU who doesn’t understand THEM. *cough*KAHINDO*cough*

          • sojourneryouth

            Exaaaaacly :)

      • wontons

        That’s what my spouse was guessing. (We’re white.) Dom’s and Ken’s were both in solid shades and were long dresses, and they both have Southern roots; he was wondering whether they were responding to some aesthetic–maybe an African-American aesthetic–that the judges weren’t getting. (Which was about the time I started noticing the craziness of these non-Southerners judging a “Southern” competition.)

      • lilyvonschtupp

        I’m just giving you a bigup for mentioning Ebony Fashion Fair. Man, I ain’t heard about that in decades!

  • Kate

    I laughed out loud at Zac’s “it looks like a college fashion show in a nonmetropolitan city”. Spot on!

    • elikit

      Totally! Jeremy’s dress was something I’d've seen sold in Sears in the late 90s…

  • Meredith_P

    Alexandra’s was the worst. Take a bolt of crappy quilting fabric (not even quality fabric). Staple to dress form. Skate through as safe for some reason. Blech!

    • tonibaloney

      SPOT ON. That fabric was offensively bad.

    • RroseSelavy

      She THREW that shit on the model.

  • cocohall

    For once I was with Heidi on her comments about Kate’s dress. It made a 5’11″ model look stumpy. What would it do for the rest of us? Plus, the repeat on the print she chose was so long, that if the dress were made for a more typically sized person, you would have had the teardrop pattern chopped up in weird places. I couldn’t believe how much Nina was praising it. I agree that all that plaid was some sort of distorted collective unconscious about how Southern people dress. But I liked Bradon’s use of his plaid (the other two not so much). As for Dom’s redemption, it did seem a bit unfair, but it was an object lesson in the real world – the buyer’s aren’t going to give two whits about your inspiration or your process or your struggle; they are thinking how much merch can I move on this sku# at full retail. I wish they would do the challenge again where the designers have to really cost out their fabric, notions, production, etc. to produce something realistic for the mass market. Bradon’s look was going to have a lot of waste with all that pattern matching of his plaid, whereas Dom’s look appeared to be much more straightforward to produce. But I barely based Home Ec in 7th grade, so perhaps I’m wrong.

    • Kate Andrews

      Kate’s was way, way too bright too, as was Jeremy’s. But as much grief as he got over the original dress, I could totally see ladies in my church wearing it. And I wanted to cut Heidi for insisting that every damn thing has to be sexy. No, it doesn’t, and for those of us who work in offices, we can’t dress sexy during the majority of our week. She needs to be taken down a notch.

      • Pink Sith

        YES! If I had a shot of tequila for every time Heidi said “sexy” I would be in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO LOOK SEXY Frau Klum! As a not modern woman that happens to live in the south. I cannot wear “sexy” clothes to work, grocery shopping, or to pick up my kid from school. SMH

  • ampg

    Ken’s second dress reminded me of that recent meme where guys wear oversized gym shorts as dresses.

    • alannaofdoom

      NAILED IT.

  • kcliff

    I wonder what Helen’s would’ve been like without the stupid sunflowers. I think the shape was nice and I liked the yellow color. Could’ve been simple and stunning.

    • ampg

      I really liked the idea of the sunflower overlay, but covering a gown entirely was just too much. If she had used it more sparingly I think it could have been a winner.

      • VictoriaDiNardo

        If she had made it short and Lily Pulitzer-ish it would have been better. Even a – gasp – Modern Northern Woman could wear it in the summer!

      • sojourneryouth

        I think that part of the problem is that the overlay is too heavy-looking, which makes it look more ’70s and bridal. I liked the idea, too, but it just looked polyester and Brady Bunch wedding the way she rendered it.

      • GillianHolroyd

        The yellow fabric and the sunflower cotton lace were a good combination but she flubbed the design.

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com/ The Gifted Collector

        My daughter wore that dress as a flower girl for my sister’s wedding in 1976. I wore something similar with a much smaller flower in 1966. Both dresses were yellow with a white overlay, just like Helen’s.

  • http://heartprintandstyle.com/ Vivi N

    Uli would’ve whipped up a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ with Kate’s print and absolutely would’ve KILLED it. I don’t know what Tim was puffin’ on when he whispered to Kate that she’s the only one he trusts with that print. Bullshit.

    • alyce1213

      Hell, I think even Anya would’ve whipped up something better with that print. No sleeves, though.

    • s elin

      That print was unredeemable.

      • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

        I can’t decide if I like Kate’s fabric or hate it. I love the colors, but I’m ambivalent about the print. Maybe she should have broken it up; that would have made it more playful and fun. I don’t know if that’s practical, or even doable, but I think the print is so overwhelming that it looks kind of clumsy.

  • HM3

    Ken’s major downfall–as Prince Vlad astutely pointed out–is that his outfits have been made before. I know plenty of women who would buy (and who already own) a gown like the one he created. It’s just not fashion-forward. Then again, I agree with TLo on the ambiguity of this challenge–they are supposed to design for a department store, but create something that DOESN’T look like it belongs in a mall?
    Finally, there’s something to be said when the ONLY TWO designers actually from the South are thrown in the bottom. Didn’t any of the judges (including Prince Vlad) consider what would be perfect for a “Southern” market, or were they just hoping to infuse what is already in the New York market into the South?
    Ambiguous challenge.

    • seleena

      I wonder why they kept saying only Dom and Ken were from the south. Justin is from Raleigh, NC and last time I checked NC is well below the Mason-Dixon line.

      • kahudson

        Justin never played the “Southern” card either. Maybe, he just lives in North Carolina and grew up elsewhere?

        • s elin

          Doesn’t Dom live in New York? She said her mother is from New Orleans. If that’s true, the only southerners were Justin and Ken.

          • kahudson

            Dom is from Philadelphia.

          • Ramon Figueroa

            A lot of my students in Mississippi don’t consider North Carolina “the real South.”

        • Meredith_P

          Justin’s whole family is in the Raleigh area, I believe. Go Wolfpack! And he teaches at NC State, so he’s transplanted southern for sure. I liked his dress very much, as a southerner myself. ;-)

  • Adrianna Grężak

    I didn’t watch the show, but my theory with the plaid fabrics is that one designer picked it, and the lost designers copied him or her, thinking “ok, plaid must have something to do with the South if he/she picked it”

  • Fanny_Trollope

    Boy, did I hate the judging last night. If I heard one more “It’s sexy! I would wear it!” or “It’s not sexy,” I was going to throw something at the TV. Everything doesn’t have to be sexy. Sometimes sexy is not good. As demonstrated by Ken’s homage to trash.

    • Samuel Joesph Donovan

      Ken’s second dress reminded me of Tatianna from the 2nd season of Rupaul’s Drag Race; considering that he seems to HATE and disrespect all women, it might not be a bad idea for him to solely dress Drag Queens from now on.

      • StellaZafella

        Ken couldn’t survive among us Drag Queens…when we’re paying somebody to do something for us, we’re some of the most difficult clients in the world. And we know the damage a pair of scissors can do, too.
        I see Ken becoming the snooty receptionist in some wacko second rate designer’s salon somewhere we’ve never heard of…he’s gonna always act like he could have done it better than you.

        • Meredith_P

          On Twitter last night, Ken says he was lying in all his interviews. So I’ll be interested to hear the deep dark secrets when he chooses to reveal them. He appears to be very well liked by the other contestants (on Twitter).

          • BeccaGo

            I loved this from him on Twitter, too: “I wonder if @ProjectRunway will make history this year and cast more than 3 blk pple for season 13!”

        • Ramon Figueroa

          Hedda Lettuce had her designer in tears in that season of PR they worked with drag queen.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            No she didn’t. Suede bickered and bitched with her, but he didn’t cry.

    • FunButNutz

      What I can’t stand is the Manhattan fashionista vision of a “southern girl” a “prom girl” or a “regular girl”. If there ever was a moment that showed how pathetically out of touch Nina, Heidi, Zac and/or Kors are, it’s to have them tell us what their idea is of how woman that doesn’t live between 45th street and 91st street would dress.

      • Kate Andrews

        Yeah. I think Kors has a bit more of an idea of how women really dress, since his clothing is sold in department stores (even, gasp! in plus sizes), but I find it truly irritating that Nina and Zac are so clueless. Heidi, hey. She has no reason to understand how normal women dress, although she could use a lesson or two about how to not be mutton-dressed-as-lamb.

        • RroseSelavy

          Hey, this fat girl is wearing a Michael Kors right now. I might just go get a cookie.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      1,000 likes! Saying that something “isn’t sexy” is just a lazy critique (along with “that doesn’t look cool,” or “I would buy that.”)

      • StellaZafella

        The judges on PR are not fashion experts…they’re only that in their heads. Even Nina isn’t a Wintour, or TLo…and I always get a giggle when I picture Anna Wintour saying “I’d buy that!” sitting in the front row at fashion week.

      • largishbearishAtlish

        does Heidi actually BUY clothes, don’t designers just ‘loan’ her things (oh wait, she buys thongs and…oops no, all those Victoria Secret shows I am sure she has closets FULL of all she needs)

  • Jackie4g

    Super dumb and condescending premise, let’s call that a given. The only thing relevant about Bradon’s dress is that it could be worn in very hot weather. I didn’t get the plaid reference AT ALL, and Alexandria’s dress ought to have sent her home. Project Runway is stretching their credibility this season with the absurd way they tie in (but really don’t tie in) their sponsors. It’s embrarassing to watch. I also liked Dom’s first dress in a shorter version, and seeing as how I could never, even when younger and slimmer, wear the ‘produced for Belk” dress, I didn’t see that as a just reward under any circumstances. Well, at least it was more interesting than a show about work out wear!

    • Meredith_P

      I think the plaid came out because they were too afraid to use florals as being too derivative. I have to agree with Belk’s VP that Bradon’s dress could be made in multiple fabrications.

  • HM3

    Though I cannot see HOW this relates to “The Modern Southern Woman,” I LOVED Alexander’s dress, from the color, to the shape, to the movement of it. I would buy it in a heartbeat.

  • marlie

    I’m so done with the judges picking arbitrary themes “Modern! Southern! For Belk!” that are sometimes arbitrary, if you really delve into the stereotypes of those themes. And then to completely disregard those same parameters when it’s time for the judging. The designers weren’t asked for fashion-forward and sexy; they were asked for mass-market department store wares. If Heidi said “it’s not sexy” one more time, I was going to throw something. UGH. Dom didn’t deserve to be in the bottom at all, and Ken should have gone home. I’m tired of his attitude.

    • VictoriaDiNardo

      I’m stilling working on “clavicles are the new cleavage” from a few weeks ago. Good grief!

  • DuBey2

    When Heidi put the red jacket (Jeremy’s) on and portrayed a stewardess, I loved it. She can be funny & I like that side of her.

    • marlie

      See, those are the kinds of things that I *don’t* like. Regardless of what the judges think of the items, most of the designers do take their work seriously, and for her to do that takes the critique to a “mean-girl” level of mockery that I don’t like. It’s one thing to say “this looks dated” or “this looks poorly made,” but it’s a step too far in my book to start mocking a designer’s work that way.

  • BitterOldQueen

    I was sent straight for the smelling salts last night when two of my picks for butt-ugliest were pronounced safe, and Kate’s hideous monstrosity (my grandmother had that print in flock in her bathroom, people) was heaped with way overly effusive and forced-smiling praise (Seriously, Nina, was there a reason why you grinned like a jackal and shrieked “I love it!!!!”? Really? That? Did someone threaten you?) Why Alexandria’s ill-fitting and unpleasant dress wasn’t sent straight home is a mystery to me. A further mystery is why anyone had anything nice to say about the bridesmaid-turned-whore pieces that Creepy Eyes McBitcherson perpetrated. Jeremy went from mallwear to Sacheen Littlefeather, but neither were offensive enough to deserve the auf. I just don’t get the lovefest for Dom: Item 1 was boring, cheap-looking, and in unpleasant colors; Item 2 gives the wearer some sort of mysterious massive carbuncle under her right breast. Maybe they like that in the South. And it was utterly mystifying and unfair to aware the “winner of the losers” with the same prize as the actual winner. Heidi’s efforts to goad Ken into exploding were just odd. Honestly, this show is becoming more and more of a trainwreck by the moment.

    • RroseSelavy

      Please write more. Sacheen Littlefeather? You’re killing me!

  • SewingSiren

    Modern Southern Woman. Yeah right. Kudos to Belk for trying to make their dept store original and regional, but if you were blindfolded when you walked in you couldn’t tell the difference between, Kolhs , Macys , Belks or Dillards.
    A. Are handkerchief hems a must in the south? Seems like the judges and half the designers thought so.

    1. Bradon deserved the win. I like his dress. I was thinking with all that back and fourth between the draping and sewing it might be too many operations for production. It’s cute the skirt would have been just as good with a straight hem.
    2. Dom’s it’s okay. I would be kind of embarrassed (as the buyer for Belk) to purchase a dress that only had an hour in it.
    3. Dom #1 I also thought this should have been just above the knee , no slit. Not bottom three even as is.
    4. Jeremy #1, Looks like moderate dept store “career wear” all over the country.
    5. #2 looks like a dress that took an hour to cut, drape and sew.
    6. Ken, I thought he was right on with the fabric selection. But a long dreary bridesmaid dress? He should have done a sleek sheath with an interesting neckline.
    7. Ken 2 – Tacky club wear. Worse than the bridesmaid.
    8. Kate’s is ugly. I hate it when a designer or buyer says something to the effect. I would never wear/buy this but “they” will. Gross. Never have contempt for your customer.
    9. Justin. A little too on the mark. Dept store ready. But already there.
    10. Alexander- Ilke it but would look much better in a solid color. Like black.
    11. Helen – Ugg- This should have been in the bottom. She is a fool if she thinks she is so edgy . I see middle aged women in the car pool line with the black tanks and full sleeve tattoos right here in The Belk flagship city. Get over yourself sweetheart. Your personal look is 30 years old. She should have been in the bottom and sent home to boot.
    12.. Alexandria. Another one with the “Why don’t they were black?” nonsense. Just because the tag line uses “colorful” does not mean it has to be colorful, plaid, or ugly. Idiot. She should have been in the bottom

    • Ginny Ellsworth

      Handkerchief hems are in to disguise the fact you caught your dress in the wheels of the wagon the mules are pulling. Yee Haw ya’ll.

      • s elin

        Wear a disguise the next time you come to the south. :)

  • bizarro

    I live in the South and Kate’s dress would sell like hotcakes here. And I’ve seen versions Dom’s dress in several boutiques here. We have a Belk store here and their local clientele is 50+. The two dresses they are producing skew younger so I was left scratching my head a bit. ANd just for the record, although I hate Ken and his second dress was tacky, the 20 somethings here would definitely wear it. With big platform sandals, big hair and lots of bangles.

    • Kate Andrews

      I lived in a town where the only dept. store was Belk. Everything skewed old there, and I could totally picture Jeremy’s first dress selling there. As for me, out of the first looks, Dom’s was the only one I would have worn. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Heidi was right that Kate’s dress would look frumpy on anyone shorter than a model.

    • s elin

      I knew a store called Rayless (no, not Payless, Rayless). Kate’s dress would be perfect for Rayless. It looks like a cheap Rayon. It would fit right in to the Rayless design aesthetic.

  • soadchik

    I was born and raised in the south. I do not understand why the designers all chose plaid. I would think florals, seer sucker, and light tweeds as traditional southern fabric.. Taking a seer sucker and rendering it in a modern way was my first thought when I heard the challenge. Anyway… I loved Dom’s maxi.. I pretty much live in maxis and sun dresses in the summer in Mississippi. They are comfy and easy to wear when it is sweltering hot and humid. I actually liked Kate’s too. Those kinds of patterns and that color scheme are pretty popular around here.

    • s elin

      Florals and seersucker, definitely.

    • RroseSelavy

      Seersucker would have been refreshing. I think the plaid was all just a weird coincidence.

  • deitybox

    If you stare at Helen’s dress long enough it turns into a Kate Chopin story.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      Karen Carpenter called. She wants that dress back. And if she has to, she’ll fight Laurie Partridge and Marcia Brady for it.

      • RroseSelavy

        I thought Bobbie Gentry, but you might have called it closer.

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          Oh, YES!! All she needs is that giant Priscilla Presley long hairdo – you know, all long and down, but still really high on the top!

    • s elin

      I am not a Helen fan, but I like that dress.

    • BeccaGo

      Genius.

    • Nicole

      or Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

      • BeccaGo

        Even genius-er. :D

  • kat89

    So, I wonder if this means that next season there is going to be a one-hour challenge? It seems to me that the stuff they came up with in one hour was far better than the stuff they had a day to make.
    Ken needs to go home. He has been in the bottom almost every week, his attitude is terrible and if he stays in this competition any longer, he will ruin what little bit of a career he has left outside of the show. These designers need to realize that violent, rude and nasty behavior on TV is not going to translate into a great future career offscreen. Even if they don’t win, this is a chance to market themselves and create or expand their brand and get some publicity for their businesses. If these designers are not smart enough to realize this then they deserve whatever happens.

  • HM3

    Maybe the judges have a Wheel of Adjectives that they spin before every show, and this time, they landed on the words “Modern,” “Southern,” and “Belk.” Ill-conceived Fashion Madlibs.

    • RroseSelavy

      Wheel of Sponsors

  • http://aldonsusi.blogspot.com/ Susi R

    Reading your commentary in a southern accent made it even better. : ) Thanks for the laughs.

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    I liked Alexander’s last night, but now seeing it in still frame I can see more of the problems (uneven bodice, etc.). I think during the judging they mentioned that Bradon’s dress would look good in different prints, so I wonder if they are just going to take the basic shape and use a solid print (or maybe a more flattering print) instead. Alexandria should have cut her losses and made a pencil skirt with the blue fabric and some sort of blouse for the top. True it wouldn’t have been “fashion forward,” but I think it would have shown better than that tacky thing she let walk down the runway.

    I’m starting to think that Alexandria’s model, the one that usually gets stuck with the crappy designs, is a lucky charm of sorts. True, she’s almost always in the bottom (or the designer should be in the bottom), but her designer never gets sent home!

    • Eric Stott

      Redesigning the dress before manufacturing it goes on all the time – sometimes it has very little resemblance to the runway model. Expect the construction of Bradon’s skirt to be radically simplified.

  • StillGary

    I am curiouse to see how simplified Bradon’s design will be modified to mass market — very surprised that won for a department store placement!

  • http://aldonsusi.blogspot.com/ Susi R

    I thought Dom’s first dress was going to be the winner, so I wasn’t upset when she won for the second one.
    I disliked Brandon’s dress and he shouldn’t have won to begin with.

  • bittersweet73

    I can’t stand Ken. Having said that if I was the only Southerner facing criticism from a group of people who aside from the Belk guy would never condescend to set foot in the South I would be pissed off too.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      Yeah, but Dom’s family is southern, and she didn’t go popping off at everyone. Then again, a cool breeze on a hot day pisses Ken off, for whatever reason.

      • bittersweet73

        Your family being Southern isn’t the same thing as actually living in the South. Trust me.

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          Being born and raised in NJ and living in NY, I will defer to you! However, I’m not wrong about the cool breeze! ;-)

  • StillGary

    Ken’s firt look made the model look like Carrie — not in a good way.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      Except that if Piper Laurie had chanted, “They’re all going to laugh at you!”, she’d have been right.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    You boys need to stop being funny when I have a mouth full of food! Lemme get this bite down, and THEN you can crack me up again… Because, “Prince Vlad of Botoxylvania” – I’m over here asphyxiating on grilled chicken because of you two!

    There was nothing on that runway that was pretty last night – NOTHING! Zip, zero, donut holes, goose eggs, negatory. Going back and trying again wasn’t going to help. By the time this pack turned out something acceptable, Helen, Dom and Ken would all be cashing in their Social Security checks!

  • llewyrr

    I cannot even begin to describe how OVER the handkerchief and high low hems I am. Modern my ass.

  • StillGary

    I think the model Alexandria had is cursed– that girl has worn more shit than a pig farmer this season.

    • bingo

      definitely. every time there is a designer in crisis, I look for poor Nastassia (started with sustainicorn, and hopped from disaster to disaster)

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      Ah, but she’s still there and I don’t think a designer has been auf’d while she modeled for him/her.

    • DeTrop

      Best laugh of the season. THANK YOU

  • HVM

    The shoes are just so. ugly.

    • LittleMissSunshine1989

      THANK YOU!!! I totally screamed “oh God the shoes!!!” when (I think) Alexander’s model was walking down the runway. There are some truly fugly accessories this year…

      • Carrps

        Oh, man, is that the truth! The designers heard this was a “Belk” challenge and used the accessory wall as inspiration. That’s why everything was so ugly! Must have made them think the Modern Southern Woman is fond of the fugly.

  • LittleMissSunshine1989

    Totally rooting for Dom and I’m really glad she won. I really liked her first entry too, however, as soon as La Nina said “hospital scrubs” vis-a-vis the colour, I could NOT unsee it. Although I love a good plaid, I really thought Bradon’s dress was too fussy with all those different lines and techniques. Couldn’t believe I was agreeing with Heidi but her comment about Kate’s dress was spot-on. Also, as a former stewardess, I laughed my ass off when she did her safety demo joke :) And I so wished Ken opened his mouth on the runway, I’d have loved to see Heidi and/or Nina rip him a new one… clearly he’s been sorely lacking it.

    • MoHub

      Bradon isn’t so much “form over function” as he is “details over the whole picture.” He gets caught up in technical show-offery and fails to produce cohesive garments.

  • http://magnetgirl.tumblr.com Anika

    Alexandria’s looks like the “dress” Ariel puts together when she first gets legs in The Little Mermaid. By way of Dorothy. It’s horrible and I do not understand how it was safe.

    I’m Dom for the win at this point.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      LOL, I thought Karen made Ariel’s first dress a few weeks ago during the camping challenge!

      • http://magnetgirl.tumblr.com Anika

        I have heard mermaids are the new vampire ;)

  • StelledelMare

    I have not actually been watching this season at all, just reading your recaps and I must say that from what you’ve said the challenge entailed (even though I’m sure it was completely obscure), none of these clothes read “southern”. I just don’t think the south is as easily pinpointed as that. I live in SC, on the coast, and you’re absolutely right when you say that women in the south dress just about the same as women everywhere in the country. We have access to most of the same exact major stores as most.

    And I know I’m one of the few people out there who still loves handkerchief hems. I am certainly tired of the high lows but I’ll still take the kerchiefs anyday.

  • Shibori Girl

    When I read “a pretty, southern belle-esque floral” my mind immediately went to Austen Scarlett. Why oh why did nobody take his garden party aesthetic as inspiration. A foolish question, I know, but do none of the clothestestants review previous seasons?

    Great review by T-Lo BTW

    • conniemd

      I think the challenge would have been better stated as a “southern belle inspired” girl that a modern woman would wear. I completely agree that garden party and floral and Sunday church wear is what comes to mind when I think “inspired.” I was totally expecting to see beautiful bright colored florals. That also eliminates the stereotype. After watching the Fashion Week shows, it’s clear that fashion involves inspiration rather than stereotyping. Southern belle is a fine inspiration. It doesn’t stereotype southern women of the 2010 decade. I hated to see Jeremy go home because I think his design best fit the look of Southern woman church to brunch wear.

      • MoHub

        I’d have given my eyeteeth for a corseted bodice and a hoop skirt with a big straw picture hat.

        • Shibori Girl

          With the curtain rod still in it? (Sorry but that Carol Burnett moment is seared in my brain.)

          • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

            It should be seared in everyone’s brain. It’s one of the funniest television moments in the history of the medium.

          • MoHub

            Not so much. Just a “true” Southern Belle take on the challenge. Or, if you’ve seen The First Nudie Musical, the “Dancing Dildoes” number features topless Southern Belles in hoop skirt infrastructure with nothing underneath but wearing big picture hats and carrying lace parasols.

    • Carrps

      Yeah, I’m not terribly familiar with what passes for fashion in the south, but this is exactly what I was thinking of. My sister was thinking Dior’s New Look, but in a floral.

  • lojoso

    My favorite part of the whole night was Heidi repeatedly saying “It’s too short!”

    • Stubenville

      For the first time in Project Runway History.

  • MilaXX

    This was easily the worst episode this season as far as judging was concerned. So far. The crack pipes were out in full force. Alexandria should have gone home. As fr the rest, whatever.

    • SewingSiren

      Both Alexandria’s and Helen’s were far worse than all of the bottom three.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        I think that the only reason Helen’s wasn’t in the bottom was because it was at least well made. It was ugly, but the skills were there. It was your basic “mermaid” dress, sure, but in an acceptable material and color, it would have been fine.

    • Michelle Wilson

      I felt is was also the worst with regard to designer results and I blame it all on the lack of clarity in the challenge, YET AGAIN. There’s far too much of that going on this season. If I were a designer considering auditioning for this show I’d be working on 10 go-to designs that I could recycle as needed. There’s really no need for originality or creativity for anything other than the non-traditional materials challenges. The challenges are all vague enough that nearly anything you manage to do well can be deemed appropriate for any of them.

      • MilaXX

        Someone on TWoP suggested that the designer ignore the briefs and simply focus on making a pretty dress for challenges like this. Then just make sure to have a good story to justify the dress. I’m beginning to agree.

        • Michelle Wilson

          That certainly seems to be Kate’s game plan and it’s working.

    • Stubenville

      Even with the usual producer dodge of making the challenge as vague as possible so the judges can criticize anything, Alexandria’s dress was clearly the worst garment to walk the runway.

  • bingo

    for all the complaining about time constraints, it seems like 1-hour is a good limit for these designers. after that, they start garnishing, bedazzling, and embellishing in ways that only lead to disaster.

  • Fanny_Trollope

    I loved Dom’s print and was so sad when she decided not to use it. And then so happy when she did! It’s the little things.

    • Carrps

      Me, too!

  • Lilithcat

    I’m really annoyed at Comcast. Neither this nor the previous episode is available on their On Demand. They suddenly stopped with the 8/29 episode. I cannot fathom why.

    Yeah, clearly way too much plaid in the room. In fact, it seems to me that there’s been an over-abundance of plaid this entire season. Or am I imagining that?

    • http://aldonsusi.blogspot.com/ Susi R

      Just watch it on the Lifetime website, it should be available. I have trouble getting it to work on my PC, but it works on my phone.

      • Lilithcat

        I, too, have a hard time watching videos on my computer. They’re continually pausing to buffer. Not to mention that my living room sofa is a lot more comfortable that sitting at my desk!

  • nannypoo

    To name Dom a winner when she didn’t even make the dress by herself was unfair. If the guy from Belk wanted to buy it they should congratulate her on that success, but they didn’t need to call her a winner.

    I just reread my comment. Why would I think the judging would be fair? Never mind.

    • s elin

      She designed it. The helpers were manual labor.

    • MoHub

      Since there’s no more immunity, and the designers do not get points for number of wins, the “winner” designation was no more than a word.

      • nannypoo

        I think being called “the winner” would mean something to the winner. It certainly seemed to make the winner(s) happy.

    • Carrps

      I think Ken got a lot more design help from Kate than Dom got from Helen. It looked like Kate was actually telling Ken what he should do.

  • krissyt67

    I have been waiting for this review all morning and it did not disappoint! As a Southern woman I was appalled by this episode! The judges were just as offensive as the designers themselves! If they had used Southern women as models, the outcome might have been better! Your “Prince Vlad of Botoxylvania” title is hilarious! After hearing his critiques I know why I don’t shop at Belk.

  • Paula Pertile

    Did anyone else catch Ken’s mom (on the phone) say something like “… you go into the bathroom and come out someone else?” – like, asking if he’s done that yet since he’s been there, and he was saying ‘yes’. I shivered a little.

    Didn’t understand all the plaid.
    Don’t know why they’re keeping Ken around.
    Not fair to give a second win that way, imo.

    Vlad von Belk was strangely hypnotizing – he had me with that salmon jacket at the beginning. He was the best part of the show.

    • wontons

      I came here hoping that people would be discussing that exchange with Ken’s mother. I wondered what it was about.

      • Paula Pertile

        Maybe people tweeted about it live. I watch it old school, without devices.

    • http://aldonsusi.blogspot.com/ Susi R

      Yes, the conversation was disturbing. It freaked me out….I feel bad for the other contestants who have to deal with him.

  • hughman

    As an (ex) southerner, all I thought was “well bless their hearts”.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      That’s so Irene Dunne of you.

  • BeeBeauNYC

    I’m surprised no one tried to do a modern take on Laura Ashley, which every southern woman loved in the late 80s/early 90s when I grew up in Georgia. Also, pilgrim dresses were huge – would’ve been great to see if someone could make a pilgrim dress fashion forward (though I don’t know if that’s possible!).

    • Michelle Wilson

      As I recall they were all the rage in California during the same period though. As someone who has lived all over the country but reside in the south currently, I feel pretty confident in saying that we follow all the same trends that everyone else in the country follows. The only thing I think is truly different is our preference for college sports over professional teams and our willingness to consider our favorite college team jersey business casual..

      • RebeccaKW

        Texas women also like to wear their cowboy boots with everything.

        Someone should’ve made a sundress in white eyelet lace or red and white gingham. (I know sundresses aren’t strictly a southern thing, but it would definitely be better than a lot of these entries, and eyelet lace or gingham is a more logical choice than plaid)

      • Indigo54

        BRAVO, BRAVO! I live in Atlanta and spend a lot of time in NYC, LA and Miami. Fashion wise, you see the same stuff here that you see there.

      • Angie

        The only thing markedly different about Southern clothing from that worn in the rest of the country is the use of lighter fabrics (i.e., you’ll find a lot more cotton, linen and cotton/linen blends than wool and wool blends in a Southern woman’s closet than you would in a Northern woman’s).

  • majorbedhead

    As a dyed-in-the-wool Masshole, the only place I’ve ever seen that much plaid has been on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

  • http://caffinatedlemur.wordpress.com/ caffinatedlemur

    I could have been slipped whatever the judges get before the runway, but maybe the abundance of plaid is mixing up of stereotypes into Southern = Country?

    • Indigo54

      I tried that theory but found it to be a stretch. Maybe a few male country singers might wear a small plaid shirt but they typically go with western wear. Again, the whole episode was stupid and insulting.

      • Munchkn

        I made the comment elsewhere that the plaids are straight out of the “Louisiana Hayride” number from movie musical The Bandwagon. You can get a glimpse of the costumes in the movie trailer on youtube.

  • madscntst

    Helen’s dress looks like something you put on a table to serve tea and scones.

    • SewingSiren

      And then wad up and throw away with the rest of the disposables when it was over.

    • MoHub

      Very reminiscent of my grandmother’s crocheted table runners.

  • http://twitter.com/MandySCG MandyJane

    As a southern woman I kinda sat in shock during this episode. Do they think we’re from another planet? lol I mean, I like plaid but it doesn’t evoke the south to me. Did they get us mixed up with lumberjacks? I kept hoping Ken would stop rolling his eyes and just say what was going through his mind out loud.

    • Michelle Wilson

      Yeah, I felt the same way, but it’s really asking a lot to expect Ken to be the voice of reason. I was rolling my eyes just as hard as he was though.

    • Indigo54

      I know, right. Maybe I hung out with the wrong crowd because where I come from it took a lot of balls for a woman to wear a plaid dress – even at Christmas time. I have no idea where that came from.

    • Shibori Girl

      Maybe they meant to say “North West Grunge from the 90′s” I am in Seattle and frankly don’t see much flannel plaid here anymore – at least not on women who are not hiking in the Cascades.

  • valerie saenz

    Alexandria dodged a bullet.

  • LadyCelia

    Jeremy and Justin’s designs look the most like something that you’d actually see for sale at Belks.

  • Becca

    Ok I haven’t watched the episode yet, but were they not allowed to use seersucker? Is that an extraordinarily expensive fabric? Because that’s what I think of when I hear “southern”. Plus twinsets and pearls.

    • Stubenville

      Unfortunately that would probably be suicide; despite what the brief and the judges say, they always ant garments appealing to a sophisticated twenty-something demographic.Seersucker wouldn’t be “modern” enough for them.

      • Michelle Wilson

        I also wonder just how much seersucker Mood keeps in inventory. There’s probably not a lot of call for it in New York and possibly why so many designers defaulted to plaids instead.

    • Indigo54

      I live in the south and I can’t tell you the last time I saw seersucker! Matlock wore it on TV but the real Matlock never did. I never see anybody in twinsets and pearls either! It was a dumb challenge, typical PR pandering to a sponsor.

      • Munchkn

        I had a maternity top that was pink seersucker and wore it all the time when I was pregnant more that 20 years ago. I think that was the last time I wore seersucker, though.

    • banal banana

      Mychael Knight used seersucker in the challenge where they had to design for themselves as a “jet setter.” He damn near won that challenge too. He made some very modern and hip-looking pants.

  • Denise Plank

    Ken’s second design looks like those dresses made of basketball shorts on Reddit.

  • Wellworn

    You guys really got the southern directive correct, better than the winners or the judges. I’m from Los Angeles and have lived in a small southern town for the past 6 years. Women do dress differently here than the east and west coasts, and it is all about going from church to country club or a nice dinner out with your husband on a Saturday night and getting home by 8 pm. Women are, by and large, belles here, and florals are still a big thing. Belk is the nicest store in our town. Now big city southern is slightly different, but Belk dominates the small towns here, and in the bigger cities, it pales in comparison with more major department store names. Project Runway are hypocrites – they want fashion forward but that isn’t the Belk reality. If they want a sponsor like Belk, then they have to accept Belk style. I wonder if John Thomas has even been in the store the way he rejected the bottom 3 last night. So many of the outfits that walked down that runway last night would have been laughed at in my small conservative town, and I’m talking about the winning outfits. The original outfits by the bottom 3 are probably already sitting in the Belk racks at this moment. Sorry Belk, but even though your tagline is Modern Southern Woman, modern ain’t what you are all about, and it ain’t what sells in the south. At least not what I see. I know I am generalizing, but I am here living in the south, with a fresh perspective since I am not from here. PR needs to stop selling out to sponsors that don’t connect with the fashion that they want to see on their runways. Last night was a joke for anyone who has actually been in a Belk store.

    • kipper

      I grew up in a very small southern town where Gallent-Belk was the nice store in town as well – and you are so right on. Blazers over nice plain dresses – the way EVERYONE out of high school dresses….

      • R. L.

        When I was living in Georgia Belk was the hot thing. Even as a 70′s something teen there were great things at Belk and I saved my money for the after-Christmas sale one year and had my first really great shopping experience. Now when I go back and look at Belk clothes I am completely unimpressed and head for Kohl’s. I now live in a small western town where black jeans are considered dress-up so take my opinion and comment with a grain of salt. The judges were on crack.

        • Indigo54

          Your experience with Belk’s matches mine. Even JCPenny has better stuff than Belk’s does!

          • lilyvonschtupp

            F-that! Burlington has better stuff than Blech’s

    • seleena

      I would not call any Belk really “fashion forward” but to be fair there is a huge difference between a Belk in a small town and one in a larger town. Some are so small you can barely move around and others are multiple floors with many more lines to choose from.

      • Indigo54

        True, the Belk stores I know are in the city and they do have more lines to choose from. Unfortunately most of them are ugly and/or matronly. They do carry your Michael Kors, Jones of NY, Ralph Lauren, etc. But frankly, I’m sick of those lines too. And don’t even get me started on Belk shoes…

  • Linda Brinkley Noble

    Oh hell no- why does the brief ‘modern Southern woman’ bring out such horrible clothing, before watching this, I kept reading ‘plaid’ & I thought they were required to use it. I am from the south & why’ll I don’t take it personally, the commentary was laughable, offensive, & misguided. A word to the contestants- if you hear this, instead of saying, ‘I don’t know anything about the modern Southern woman’, pull out something amazing & sell it…

    IMO, Alexandria, Helen, & Kate had the worst looks, I don’t like the maxis, the judges were drunk, & you can’t blame this on Belks-I bought my first serious pair of shoes (after my first paycheck) at Belks.

    • Indigo54

      Bravo neighbor, I’m from the south too and I hated some of those comments. But I do think Belk’s – at least the ones in my area- have given southern women a bad image with those ugly, polyester, cheaply made, loud print, super conservative clothes they’ve been selling for the past few years. I used to LOVE Belk’s. Now I only go there to buy make-up and housewares.

      • Linda Brinkley Noble

        Admittedly, those shoes were years ago-faux lizard strapped wedges (w/ a gold cutout in the wedge)-awesome for a 15 yr old girl from Sneads Ferry, it just pains me that we didn’t see anything wonderful for this challenge. I liked Justin’s look (even though I hate orange), but it could just be that he’s from NCSU-go Wolfpack! (I’m a Tarheel). I love PR, but I think the limitations of the challenges (1 day, athletic/unconventional/’southern woman’) are really constraining the designers. I would like to see more time, more freedom…I think that we’d see better clothes.

        • seleena

          Sneads Ferry <3

      • Linda Brinkley Noble

        Admittedly, those shoes were a long time ago-faux lizard strapped cork wedges (w/ gold cutouts in the wedges)-pretty awesome for a 15 yr old from Sneads Ferry-I liked Justin’s dress (even though I hate orange)-I’m just pissed that they limit the designers w/ 1 day/athletic/unconventional/modern southern woman-they could do so much more with a longer design time & bigger budget.

  • valerie saenz

    I loved Helen’s fit of pique, complaining bitterly that her baby-yellow-lace-daisy-dress went unappreciated. She lamented to her fellow contestants, “I put so much work into it and I worked so many hours on that look” …. completely oblivious to the fact that everyone she is complaining to worked equally as hard and as long.

    • Michelle Wilson

      Helen doesn’t appear to be the brightest bulb and certainly is very self-involved and not very self-aware. After School Special is absolutely the perfect moniker for her.

      • valerie saenz

        She’s young. Hopefully she will develop more tact and discernment and self control as she matures. Same thing I might hope for Miley Cyrus!

  • jeneria

    Kate’s dress was poorly made and ill-fitting, however, the colors and pattern are very similar to what my friends and I would wear in Louisiana. Ken’s second dress was a hot mess. Hooker/stripper/Barbie wear. His first dress was just kind of boring. Bradon, Alexander, and Alexandria should be chastised for going hokey plaid. That said, Bradon and Alexander’s dresses in a different color would have worked. Justin’s dress is forgettable. Helen’s dress was a freaking joke. It looked old, heavy, dated, musty. Jeremy’s outfit was an odd mix of young professional meets stewardess. His second dress was nice. Dom’s first dress was okay except for the colors. I hated that color combo. Her second dress was really cute if not derivative of Uli.

  • conniemd

    I was totally shocked when Alexandria was not in the bottom . Her dress was far, far worse than Jeremy’s suit. As you say I can see lots of women buying Jeremy’s look, it looks Dress Barn to me. Nobody, but nobody would ever buy Alexandria’s look. During Tim’s critique, what I really wanted to see was the skirt she first designed, and a cute blouse made out of the off-white material with the plaid design thingies as a blouse to go with the skirt. That could have been cute. But her original material choice for the challenge was awful.

    • housefulofboys

      Alexandria’s safe-ness was what drove me craziest last night (in 90 minutes of truly crazy-making content), hideous fabric, no style, poorly made. I can’t figure out how she spent a whole day on that and only came up with that.

    • Tracy_Flick

      I was absolutely certain that Alexandria would go home. SHOCKED that she was safe.

  • YoungSally

    Jeremy’s outfit looks exactly like what they sell in Belks….I wonder if it’s just that Belks wants to stop being perceived as Belks. Lord & Taylor knows its customer – so there was no crackpipe needed to understand the judging in those cases.

    • Jacquelyn

      I *totally* agree. Put that outfit in Belks and it WILL sell. But Belks doesn’t want to be seen as selling the type of stuff it does sell.

    • JustWannaBeFriends

      I’m so glad to keep reading this. I wasn’t a huge fan of the outfit, but I definitely didn’t think it was worthy of being in the bottom three, let alone an elimination outfit. It looks like something you’d find at a mid-market retailer like Macy’s or, I guess, Belk. It was a bit too business suit/older consumer, but it looked mass-market. The second outfit was younger-looking and simple, but miles ahead of Ken’s redo. I can’t imagine that outfit would be found outside of some horrid Forever 21 knockoff for “modern Southern” women planning to get wasted in a New Jersey nightclub.

  • Jacquelyn

    I think with each passing episode, I grow to hate the shoes more and more.

    I’m starting to become convinced that I only tune in nowadays so that I can snark here at the blog and to see Swatch.

    • Munchkn

      Why don’t they just cancel PR and give us the Tim and Swatch Show instead? I’d watch it!

  • Judy_S

    As a Belk’s credit-card holder, I can certify that Jeremy’s red outfit is just what one would expect to see there.

    • Indigo54

      It is! It really is. And if you wanna really look modern and hip, cross the isle to the junior dept and you’ll find plenty of poufy at the waist, large scale print dresses like Kate’s. I’m so thru with Belk!

      • MoHub

        I was surprised the word junior didn’t come out regarding Kate’s dress, because that was my first reaction. But then, Kate is the Anointed One this season.

  • berlinmama

    I agree with every single word you wrote! (except didn’t think Alexander’s was THAT bad) You, TLo, and I have good taste!

  • Eric Stott

    Next season PLEASE let it be the Goodwill Accessories Wall..if they did that there might be some actual NICE pieces!

    • Michelle Wilson

      I love that idea.

    • Indigo54

      ROFLMAO! HILARIOUS and right on point!

    • meowing

      Have they ever done a Thrift Store challenge? Could be great with some blah, blah about recycling. Oh, Unicorn Boy could have had a field day there.

      • MoHub

        Yes. In season, the designers were tasked with creating a futuristic collection using clothing from a vintage store as their materials. I believe there were seven designers left at the time, and they had to work as a single team.

        • Eric Stott

          “Designers, we are at Goodwill. This will be your materials source for the challenge, which is to create a high fashion look for Nina Garcia. There is a catch….you are ONLY allowed to use the Men’s Suit Racks. Bonus points for the best use of a Michael Kors suit (if there IS one)”

          • Shibori Girl

            I actually made a great wool jacket out of a find in the men’s section of Goodwill.

          • Eric Stott

            Hiding in with the polyester and $99.99 Mens Warehouse specials I’ve found some fine pieces, if a bit old. I occasionally wear a handsome chalk stripe suit that some businessman paid the Tom James Co. about $800 for back in the mid 1980′s. I paid $15.00 – and it came with two pairs of pants.

      • Shibori Girl

        As I sit here reading the blog in my thrift store ensemble.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Sounds like a plan.

  • Sweetvegan

    I’m really curious how they translated Dom’s and Bradon’s designs into something for Belk, because those prints are copyrighted by the fabric companies. They must have changed the prints a bit. But I can’t find them for sale on the Belk website.

    Actually, I can’t find Helen’s New Balance jacket online, either.

    • Michelle Wilson

      I believe I read that Helen’s jacket sold out pretty quickly. They probably didn’t manufacture a whole lot of them.

  • Annaline39

    Two words: HeeHaw

  • GillianHolroyd

    I absolutely love Bradon’s dress, it’s crisp and breezy and it just says: summer!

    Now it would be hell to mass-produce and that’s why I was surprised he got the win. Also it’s not something you’d expect to see in a middling mall department store where most of the clothes default to generic.

    Alexandria should’ve gone home for her wretchedly stiff mess. To not even be in the bottom 3 just highlights the producer interference.

  • s elin

    Alexandria’s dress was the clear loser. I thought Kate’s dress was an insult to my favorite color: orange; I really don’t like that print.

  • s elin

    There was nothing new about Bradon’s design. I share the collective
    bewilderment about all the plaids. Since when do Southern women drape
    themselves in plaid?

  • Indigo54

    Honey child, as soon as Kate’s dress came out I was like, oh yeah, that’s Belk’s all the way. That’s why I don’t shop for clothes there any more. The print reminded me of a festive turkey serving platter.

  • JMB_edits

    This modern, southern woman has never screamed at the TV so much at something that wasn’t a sporting event. They were driving me crazy. It’s about the only thing I’ve ever agreed with Ken about. Ug.

    • DinahR

      Yup! The judges earned Ken’s and Dom’s incredulous reactions last night. Dom was more subtle, of course, but was obviously having similar thoughts as Ken when they were drooling over all that plaid.

  • Indigo54

    TLo’s right. I should let those stereotypical comments about southern style just roll off my back! But it’s too late, I’m already pissed off! Hell, I was born and raised in the south and I still live in the south and I didn’t see one damn thang that was typically southern. Know why? Cuz there ain’t no such thing! Fuh sho southern style ain’t PLAID! All y’all presumptuous non-southerners can go to hell!

    • StriderDogBlues

      Well then it’s a good thing that only one outfit was plaid then, right? The madras prints, however, didn’t fit the bill either.

      • DeTrop

        Now. Now. :)

        • Indigo54

          sorry, just had to vent…

    • Tracy_Flick

      Shit, I live in the least southern state in the union, and even I know that southern ladies don’t wear plaid. Memo to PR contestants: the prairie is north of the Mason-Dixon line.

    • Shibori Girl

      I hope those of us who are non-presumptuous can continue to hang out with you!

      It is hard to see such unfortunate and incorrect stereotypes promulgated by the Lifetime folks (Bless their hearts.) (I did live in the south for 11 years, and know the nuances in that phrase!)

      • Indigo54

        Awww, of course y’all can hang out with me. C’mere and hug my neck. I didn’t really mean what I said….

  • Stubenville

    Apparently the dresstesants have no idea what a Southern woman looks like, does or wants to wear. But they looked like Einsteins compared to the judges. Nina, a “Southern woman” is not someone who lives in Battery Park City. And obviously Heidi has been replaced with Folgers Crystals a look-alike; since when has any dress been too short for her? Remember, this is the forty year old mother of four who posed nude earlier this year.

  • Indigo54

    When I saw that Belk dude’s first jacket I understood why Belk has gone so far down hill in the taste department.

  • Rroxy

    I didn’t see this — as for some ridiculous reason, Lifetime Canada hasn’t yet aired SEASON FREAKING 11 — but… who is Prince Vlad of Botoxsylvania? It’s driving me crazy.

    • meowing

      The Belk’s guy.

      • putacorkinit

        ‘John Thomas’?

        I am so surprised TLo did not aim at that target. A trebuchet firing grand pianos could have hit it time and time again. What would it taken for them to riff on his name? ‘Johnson McCockweasle’? ‘Dick Bulger?’

    • conniemd

      The Belk dude judge, Johnson or Thompson or some such name.

  • dixie murphy ross

    “did you kill that French toast? and you’re getting married in November?” Kudos to Kate for not knocking Helen’s block off.

    • BeccaGo

      “Yes, I did kill that French toast. And you’re next, bitch.”

  • ShaoLinKitten

    I’m relieved to hear that TLo also thought Kate’s dress was ugly. UGLY. No redeeming features. The bottom three should have been Ken, Alexandria, and Kate. I actually thought Jeremy’s was perfectly Belk-like.

  • Etiger

    I am from the South and very familiar with Belk. If anyone wants to complete my wedding china, I am registered there!

    I guess they are trying to change their image, but Jeremy’s is nothing I would wear yet is definitely in Belk. That is a Sunday Church dress. I agree that it isn’t modern or anything great. However, Mr. Belk is redic for acting like Belk would never have that in the store!

    I like Dom, but the bust of here “winning” dress is making me crazy! If I put it on, I would feel likei had it twisted up the whole day. The boobs looked like one mosquito bite and one big flopper that was hanging in the armpit! But she def needed to stay. shouldn’t have been in the bottom to begin with.

    Alexandria’s dress is horrible. And if anyone walked into a party in the South wearing Helen’s tribute to the Brady Bunch, she would be read for filth preceded by “Bless her heart, but she just….”

    • dixie murphy ross

      I said the same thing “I think I just SAW that same outfit at Belk. I didn’t buy it, but it was there.”

      Bless their hearts indeed.

    • golden_valley

      I’ve also shopped at Belk. Fashion forward is not what they do…it’s all mainstream middle of the road stuff that any other department store sells anywhere in the country.

    • housefulofboys

      I love you saying “Bless her heart,” we southerners know exactly what that means. :-)

      • Munchkn

        Oh yes, we do, don’t we. For the non-Southerners among us, it’s not very nice at all.

    • chylde

      I know Belk too. My mom lives in NC. Last time I walked into one it looked like a circus had exploded in the ladies department. Jeremy’s was a perfect “Belk look” I think Botox boy was “shamed” into not liking it because he was sitting there in New York City with Nina, Heidi and poopy pants Posen, who said it was matronly. Belk is all about matronly and Southern tacky. Either Jeremy or Ken should have won on that account.

      • chylde

        And I want to know why they haven’t auffed Alexandria yet. She sucks! That was the fugliest dress on the runway.

    • kahudson

      “Bless her heart, but she just doesn’t know any better.”

  • JauntyJohn

    Helen’s piece looks like it is part of a promotional event for a product that screams “Lemon Scented!”
    Justin’ dress may be bland, but that model is giving me life.
    The skirt on Bradon’s work seems so poorly constructed that I picture hot glue guns and a ticking clock. Wait… was that what actually happened?

  • housefulofboys

    I have yet to read all the responses below, but thank you TLo for making me feel that I have not completely lost my mind or – far worse! – my sense of style. You confirmed everything I thought last night and that makes me feel better!

  • kahudson

    I’m not sure if this is also on the Lifetime site, but iTunes (don’t judge!) has winner’s and loser’s interviews. First, both Bradon and Dom were featured as winners. Second, Jeremy has this to say about who should have gone home:

    “I actually think that Bradon deserved to go this challenge because his girl looked like she was cotton picking on the plantation which I found and a lot other people found very offensive.”

    • Angie

      OMG — I never would have thought that about Bradon’s in a million years, but now that I’ve read Jeremy’s quote, I totally see it. Especially that skirt — it looks like an apron there in the front. Eek.

      • kahudson

        I didn’t see it that way either especially not the top. At any rate, the challenge might have been better if they asked contestants to design an outfit for a Sunday brunch.

        BTW, I grew up in Gulfport.

        • Angie

          Hi Neighbor — I grew up in New Orleans — been to Gulfport many, many times!

          And yes, Sunday brunch would have been a better (more focused) challenge.

    • janierainie

      I absolutely agree about Bradon’s dress. I thought he was going home for sure. That apron stuck out a mile to me. People who pick cotton have a long bag they drag along behind them. Kind of like the train on Bradon’s dress.

  • unbornfawn

    I couldn’t stand any of the plaid dresses. They were all overworked and had too many elements. Hurt my eyes. I think they ALL should have been sent back to the workroom.

  • Tracy_Flick

    Apparently the modern southern woman, much like Scarlett O’Hara, wears home decor as dresses. So many tablecloths and bedspreads.

    • madscntst

      I’m reminded of Carol Burnett wearing the green velvet drapes with the curtain rod saying “I saw it in the window and I just couldn’t resist it.”

  • Angie

    I am from the South (grew up in New Orleans; have lived in NC for the last 5 years) and I get what y’all are saying about not taking the stereotypes to heart BUT — After School Special’s comment about her tacky 60s Morticia Adams dress being perfect for drinking champagne “or whatever they drink in the South” really *did* tee me off. While we’re not all such sophisticated goth-girls with Halloween tattoos, we’re not all toothless hillbillies drinking moonshine (btw — I think that stereotype is what led to all the plaid). In fact, serving Mimosas is SOP at Southern brunches. It’s that kind of casual ignorance displayed by After School Special — she not only doesn’t know, she *revels* in her ignorance — that I find most offensive.

    And given the brief, I really think Justin’s dress should have won — it’s the perfect Belk-like dress while being more modern than Jeremy’s matronly offering (although his too was very Belk-like and he definitely didn’t deserve to go home for it).

    • Tracy_Flick

      I really liked Justin’s dress too, I thought the seaming was cool and a little novel, while still being something that you can wear a bra with.

    • epenthesis

      I understand how that comment could be taken that way, but remember that the designers were tasked with dressing a “modern Southern woman” and not given much direction beyond that. The Northerners were trying their best to figure out what was unique about Southern women, and that occasionally showed in their comments. I would take it as more confused than condescending.

      • Angie

        I’m not confused: she was condescending. To clarify: it wasn’t After School Special’s lack of knowledge, per se, that was condescending, it was her dismissive attitude (i.e., that it wasn’t even important for her to know because she’s too cool/urbane/hip to care, or what I call her “reveling in her ignorance”) that was offensive.

        There was plenty of ignorance about dressing a “modern Southern woman” from the majority of the designers last night (as their designs showed), but it was only After School Special’s comment that I cited that irked me — “champagne or whatever they drink in the South” (because those hillbillies probably never heard of champagne) didn’t have anything to do with the challenge of dressing a modern Southern woman and thus wasn’t connected to confusion about the challenge on her part; it was complete ignorance coupled with her “who cares anyway” delivery that made her comment stand out from *all* the other designer’s comments/attitudes.

        • epenthesis

          To get this out of the way, the nicknames lose 95% of their wit on second repetition. Her name is Helen. Also, I’m not sure if you read it that way, but I was calling Helen confused, not you.

          The designers were racking their brains trying to come up with things that could be spun as distinctively Southern, and in that context Helen made an off-the-cuff remark (selected by the editors from many hours of footage) that came off the wrong way. I think it’s appropriate to give someone the benefit of the doubt in situations like this.

          I think the designers are getting a bum rap from the Southerners here, frankly. This was a poor challenge, guaranteed to force designers to risk either doing something condescending/clichéd or not meeting the brief. Blame Bunim/Murray, who thought they would be sufficiently inspired to think Southern by going to brunch.

  • bertkeeter

    Nothing on BELCHES website?

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Check out TLo on facebook. They’re not releasing the dresses until next year.:0s

  • MilaXX

    The other thing that cracks me up? Even on an episode that is trying desperately to make the Belk wall happen you can see how awful a match they are as sponsors. Look at the footwear the designers have to choose from. It’s so bad that you see the same 2 – 3 shoes repeatedly.

  • Scoobydrew

    As a modern southern woman, I didn’t get the plaid thing either, Seersucker? I could see that, it’s certainly traditional and something that is seen as southern, although anyone I have known to own a seersucker suit has been male. But plaid? I decided that the plaid peeps were inspired by Tim’s tie, who by the way is NOT a modern southern woman,

  • epenthesis

    I quite like Helen’s dress, which I’d call retro rather than old-fashioned. As her status as a frontrunner has solidified, her designs have gotten less depressing. Or maybe she went back on her meds. I also liked Kate’s overall (the fabric is an interesting take on a floral print), but Heidi was right that it somehow bulked the model up. Alexandria really should have had to defend her look; I didn’t even notice the hillbilly effect because I was so distracted by the translucency of the fabric. Why does she insist on making her models look like they’ve soiled themselves?

    Ken and Justin will not survive the next few weeks unless they start getting high scores immediately, and Alexander and Alexandria also have very little room for error.

  • JaCory Deon

    Oh my god, I thought my head would explode watching the shenanigans on this episode! You had ignorant designers, stereotypes, ridiculous judging, and a horrible design (Alexandria) deemed “safe.” That’s some good crack they have in that building to one: not find Kate’s dress eye-bleed inducing; two, to praise an 80′s plaid dress with a mess bottom (Brandon); three to pretend like Dom’s first dress was this horrible gown when it clearly wasn’t (though I did enjoy them giving her the win too, sort of a smack in the face to Brandon really). IMHO, all of the designers bombed on this challenge (here’s looking at you Yellow Wallpaper aka Helen) and would greatly benefit from a vacation to the south sometime. Seeing as how a good percentage of New Yorkers are people originally from the south, how can these designers be so ignorant about it? Hearing the judges praise this plaid as something “modern” just shows how out of touch they can be sometimes, especially about how southern women in 2013 really dress. My god.

    You know, it was all almost worth it though to see that inner bitch come out full force in Jeremy upon elimination though he could’ve taken Ken AND Helen with him.

    • Indigo54

      Git me off the floor! I just choked on my southern pound cake. Hilarious!

  • rainwood1

    Based on the previews, I thought Heidi was going to send everyone back to the workroom and after I saw the runway show, I could see why. The top 3 were terrible, but maybe a little less terrible than most of the others. So I was surprised when they actually gave ANYONE the win. And I was okay with Bradon getting it because I saw it as a make-up win because he should have won last week’s Heidiwear challenge.

    I loved Dom’s print the moment I saw her select it at Mood (that girl has a great eye for prints) so I was glad to see her finally use it. And she deserved a win so many other times that I’m happy with any way she gets one.

  • Miranda Prince

    WTF was with all the handkerchief hems? Are those back? Please tell me they’re not back.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      I never knew they were “in” in the first place!

  • rivula

    Southern fashion and not a monogram in sight?

    • meowing

      LOL! I grew up in the South, and out of college, one of my first clothing splurges was some monogrammed stuff. Good catch!

  • Indigo54

    I think the only reason they’re keeping Ken around is to milk him for drama! Did y’all see how Heidi was egging him on on the runway – trying to get him to erupt?! Shameless display!

    • Angie

      Sandro walking out is the best thing that happened to Ken. I think production’s original plan was to milk the drama from Sandro (hence his landing in the “top looks” undeservedly) and Ken was to be early to mid-season cannon fodder. Once Sandro left, production had no choice but to go with Ken for the drama. Now he should last until at least Final 5.

  • Elizabeth Szubert

    For Ken’s: That’s not a dress, that’s a long t-shirt. Ugh. Only reason to keep him is he’s a pot stirrer. Annoying.

  • Anna

    I loved Dom’s look, it was the best dress out of all the ones created. I did think it was ok that her dress will be sold: mostly because she made it in one hour and under a lot of pressure.

  • FloridaLlamaLover

    Jaysus, Mary, and Joseph. Yes, I’m Southern…born in Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta, GA, a “few” years ago. If this is what the modern Southern lady wears…well..as my mother taught me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything.

  • putacorkinit

    I just don’t get the approval for Dom’s second dress. The front draped her left boob under her armpit and the back looked like the rigging of a schooner after a storm. There is so much about fashion that we, the people who just look it, have yet to understand.

    • s elin

      I get an Elephant Man vibe when looking at the back of Dom’s second dress based on the droopy drape. Props to her for winning. She should have won before, but I was a little underenthused about this dress.

    • Lilyana_F

      Right there with you on this. I mean I loved that print and the way it moved, the bottom was fine, but that wonky boobs effect was just ugly. I thought she just ran out of time.

  • JustWannaBeFriends

    I admit that I’m totally biased, but I laughed out loud at Helen’s dress. No joke: My mother’s bridesmaids dresses (circa 1968) were the same color yellow with a white daisy lace over it. Though the lace daisies were smaller and there was a cap sleeve, the dresses did have a high neckline. I wonder if Helen’s mom had the same bridesmaid dress.

    • Robert Alden

      I thought that dress would have looked great as either the top with a simple skirt or a basic top with the floral skirt. But all together, hot mess.

  • guest2visits

    As someone living in the deep, hot south (NYC born and raised, but lived all over the beautiful US of A) I felt Ken and Dom’s choice of fabrics abit heavy and cloistering. And in Dom’s case; dull and dated. I mean – I love the combination of blue and green but not in this material or design, I guess. I had to agree with Nina; it was a dated prom dress in hospital scrub colors. Ken’s didn’t fit well and it certainly wasn’t anything fresh either. Too bad he couldn’t have scrapped the material altogether – like Jeremy and Dom did, for something lighter. It looks like light and breezy was the real target of the challenge.
    When they asked for something for the southern woman, I just thought – make a pretty summer dress. A pretty summer dress/design can be appreciated by ALL, it translates into wearable for north-south-east-west. And I’m sure the women folk of the south can see the difference between what’s new and trending, and what’s yesteryear’s faded frock. The depressive plaid by Alexandria, and the unstylish print by Jeremy, the frumpy vintage results by Helen, and the hefty poly looking designs by Dom and Ken were just incredible misses for the challenge; especially if Belk was trying to attract a younger clientele.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I’m glad you guys were also kind of head-scratching at the hate on Dom’s dress. I thought it was pretty. Would have been prettier as a day dress in non-shiny material, but still, much better than, say, Alexandria’s. (ETA: I guess it’s not shiny, per se, but there’s something about it that reads “gown” rather than “day dress.”)

    The judging was completely and utterly arbitrary, and what’s with the plaid?

  • http://mutteringfool.com/ Suzy Smith

    The first thing I said was, “Where are the florals?” then, I couldn’t get over the plaids. I live in the South. Plaid is for boyfriend shirts and flannel.

    Jeremy’s first outfit was so much like the outfits you see on Southern women of a certain age.

    • meowing

      Used to live in the south, and one of my favorite go-to dresses for weddings or ladylike lunches was a beautiful floral. Was surprised, too, not to see any here.

  • Munchkn

    I know what all those plaids remind me of. Earlier this week, TCM showed The Bandwagon one afternoon as a birthday tribute to Arthur Freed. Those plaids are straight out of Nannette Fabray’s musical number “Louisiana Hayride” and, damn, if those flowers of Helen’s don’t seem to be inspired by the song, too. I will say that the flowered accessories in the musical are way less tacky though.

  • Samuel Joesph Donovan

    Also, does Alexandria not know how to do darts? Princess seams? Why is nothing around the bust ever fitted?

    • lilyvonschtupp

      I think all of them do a baste stitch, especially around the crotch in pants.

      • Samuel Joesph Donovan

        Why do you say that?

        • lilyvonschtupp

          Just a bad joke.

  • save_the_hobbit

    I was just….confused the whole damn judging process. Alexandria’s was AWFUL. Ugly, badly constructed…I couldn’t believe she wasn’t in the damn bottom. AND THEN DOM WAS IN THE BOTTOM AND I GAVE UP. I loved Dom’s (I also liked the second dress she made), it was just ridiculous. And although I don’t like him, Ken’s dress was very pretty.

    Just stupid. It gets stupider every episode.

    • Passionflora

      Why were the judges beating up Dom? They didn’t offer much constructive criticism only how “bad” it was. And Alexandria is safe full stop? Serious fug. Ken’s was boring. I hated Jeremy’s dress, but he shouldn’t have been sent home.

  • LJCdoc

    Every time I saw it in the workroom, I loved Helen’s dress. That was before she stole the doily off my grandmother’s dresser and covered the dress with it.

    • Eric Stott

      The result was actually attractive in a very dated way – I could see Helen’s dress making an appearance at a party towards the end of MAD MEN

  • Robert Alden

    Watching, I kept thinking, “Southern Woman or Southern Manhattan Woman”?

    I thought I noticed that Frau Klum didn’t mention that it was an “anonymous” runway show, which immediately screamed that the fix was in. Love the show, but the judging was just flat out awful last night.

    I also thought Alexander’s dress was a straight-up knock off of Jeffrey’s “Haute Couture” dress from Season 3.

  • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

    I’ve been careful not to label Ken because name-calling doesn’t come across as reasonable or objective. It’s more accurate not to discuss who he is, but what he does. I don’t know if Ken is bi-polar or psychotic or what. I see him as dangerous. (Yes, I’m an arm-chair therapist when I’m not busy as an arm-chair fashion judge.) I know that he uses his rage to manipulate people, but I think that designers like Alexandria and Helen realize that he’s a dangerous man. When they backed down, they were smart, not weak.

    On the other hand, my opinion of Heidi grew exponentially when she calmly stood there and stared back. How dare he put the judges on notice that he was p*ssed off? I was surprised that Ken’s behavior hasn’t been discussed during the judging, but maybe they’re intentionally ignoring his tantrums in front of the camera.

    Ken’s anger goes very deep. I thought he was angry at his mother but she seems to be his support system. My other guess is that Ken’s father–if he was available–was very abusive to Ken. Often when you hear boys and men use angry language like uses, his exact words or expressions can be traced directly back to an important adult in their life. In other words, Ken was abused badly as a child.

    I’d had high hopes for Ken, but his problems are too big for the show. Ken’s problems will impede his career until he learns how to cope. He is frustrated because he thinks he has earned success, and it should be his. It doesn’t occur to him that the other designers feel the same way.

    • janierainie

      I thought the remarks by his mom about “going into the bathroom and coming out as someone else” and “going to that other place” were telling. I don’t care what his background is. He is a bully.

      • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

        I agree that he’s a bully. I hope the show does a background check on its competitors. I’m guessing that he has spent time locked up for his behavior, and that concerns me. He originally said he’d been homeless three times. A healthy single person can earn enough money to rent a room, if nothing else.

        • Trickytrisha

          Wow, talk about unfounded speculation re the “locked up” thing. And, “a healthy single person can earn, etc” – I know several young people who cannot find a job after quite some time searching, thus having to live at home.

          Ken has problems, acts out, is unpleasant even vile at times, but he’s also somehow endearing and sad. I hope this upcoming episode doesn’t tarnish him even more.

          • BeccaGo

            THANK YOU! I completely agree. I find him a lot more pleasant than some of this show’s former drama vortexes. People are WAY overreacting to him and it’s making me very uncomfortable. I mean, really? He’s an angry black man so he must have been locked up? You don’t see a problem with saying something like that?

        • BeccaGo

          “A healthy single person can earn enough money to rent a room, if nothing else.”

          Wow…there are SO many things wrong with this statement I almost can’t grasp it.

          • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

            I’m saying that he is a person with problems. He obviously gets violent. Don’t make this into a black thing. You know nothing about me or my family or what color we are or what my passions are. I’d be shocked if this man hasn’t been arrested for his outbursts. He bullies women. If he acts this way in front of the camera, I can only imagine how he acts when there are no witnesses. I did not mean he has been in prison; I meant that he has probably been arrested and put in jail. I started out on his side. I’ve tried to be on his side. He is very angry. Don’t pick at me.

          • BeccaGo

            There’s a difference between prison and jail…?

          • lilyvonschtupp

            Jeffery Sebelia was an ex-junkie who was vindictive, condescending, and a bully who cheated in the competition. Think he spent some time in jail, too?

          • lilyvonschtupp

            Because of my sensibilities whenever I hear someone say, “It’s not a black thing,” or “pulling the race card”, it really IS a racial thing.

          • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

            Your generalization is more inaccurate than anything I’ve said about Ken. I don’t think you’ve seen every episode. The man needs help.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            LOL! You concluded that a black, bitchy, argumentative designer must have been a felon, and *I’M* the one making generalizations?????

            But you are right about one thing. I didn’t see all of this episode. But I’ve dealt with 11 seasons, of crying, screaming, plotting, degrading, breakdowns, smack talk, misjudging, drama queens and drama vortexes to know that if I just tune in for the judging, TLo and the BKs can supply a fairly accurate and trustworthy recap to get an idea of what’s happened.

            You also didn’t see when I stated that Kenya may be in need of therapy, too. Or he’s playing the game to the hilt. Either way, BM is getting what they want out of him, and we’ll most likely never see him again after this season so I’m not sweating it. I don’t know him, and I don’t wish to know him. I just think your comment was out of line.

            And you never did answer my question about Jeffrey.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            Wait a minute, you call the guy Kenya and say that he should be in therapy but you’re going to needle another poster and call her racist for saying she thinks he’s violent and might have been locked up? And now you admit that you didn’t even fully watch the episode being discussed? I don’t think so. I’m getting a little tired of cleaning up and deleting your comments each week because you go after posters for not discussing this show in the manner you’d like. Learn to disagree respectfully and stop going after other people for having a different take than you do.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            ” how can someone come to such a conclusion after watching a person on a
            HEAVILY EDITED show that they probably see for a total of 30 minutes
            once a week?”

            The same way you decided he needed therapy and was playing the game to the hilt. There is literally no difference at all and you’re just harassing people.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            I’m not harassing anyone. I was just having a conversation, and I’m not the only one who suggested Ken might benefit from professional help. Why single in on me?.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            Because you’re harassing people. You’re “just having a conversation” where you laugh at and needle people and call them racists.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            I’m harassing no one. I’m merely stating an opinion. But if that’s how you feel… *shrugs*

    • NinjaCate

      I don’t necessarily disagree with you re: his anger, but I also don’t think it’s productive to speculate about abuse in someone’s past.

      • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

        Speculating about his past may be more compassionate that calling him names, although I’m not criticizing anyone for doing that. This should be a light-hearted place to share. This guy is obviously in a lot of pain. He’s extremely unhappy. He may provide entertaining TV; I don’t think he should be on the show. Anyway, I’ve speculated enough. I hope he gets voted off. I thought he’d go this week. I think Jeremy was a better designer. Ken hasn’t won a challenge, has he? Do we expect him to? Not necessarily. Many of us have expected Dom to win a challenge. And she finally got attention that she deserved.

  • janierainie

    Maybe if Helen had made a daisy cape her look may have been more successful.

  • crash1212

    Could not understand the whole default to plaid thing. WTF? These were some pretty awful dresses walking that runway last night. Caveat – I really loved Dom’s second look. I thought Justin’s was pretty, not bland. It had great movement, was a beautiful color and had just enough interest in the seaming to keep it from being bland…at least to my eye. This was a dumb, ill defined challenge and we saw the results.

  • Anne

    And Alexandria was the only one not to praise her own garment during the runway show. Everyone else was like, the fabric looks amazing, it’s moving so beautifully, I love my design, and she was like…I should have picked a friendlier fabric.

  • Ramon Figueroa

    I can’t stand Ken’s voice. He sounds like a judgmental, gossipy old church lady.

    • Eric Stott

      I don’t mind his bitchyness all that much (sometimes he’s right on target) but it’s his sense of self-entitlement that gets me.

  • http://phantomminuet.blogspot.com/ MinAgain

    As a native southerner, I will say that they got one thing right, for the most part. Southern women still like to wear colors. However, I haven’t seen much in the way of plaid since the mid-90′s, regional Scots-Irish heritage notwithstanding.

  • Laura Davies

    I AM the modern Southern woman and the last time I wore plaid was as a teenager in the 90s when everybody I knew was wearing plaid flannel shirts. Florals, yes. Polka dots, yes. Stripes, patterns… but plaid? Nope. Thing is, I’m also an alum of Converse College. Yes. Southern single-gender school. (My father loved the idea of sending me where there were no boys…) And we didn’t wear plaid there, either. And the winning dress? The skirt is just too weird, and even if I *liked* plaid, the plaid is too big. I see not much of anything, as usual, that I would normally wear because it’s either ugly (most of it) or it wouldn’t be appropriate for where I’d be going in a dress…

  • gurl boy

    Not a soul! BAD BELKS!

  • Emmyllou

    As so obviously stated above in You might also like: “The remaining designers as of this past episode (with one notable exception) etc” clearly tells us, since Jeremy showed at Fashion Week and Ken didn’t, that Ken does something appalling next week and they reinstate the last designer to go: Jeremy. I, for one, will be relieved.

    • BeccaGo

      They don’t have to reinstate Jeremy: he was still there during Fashion Week. And Internet gossip says Ken did make a decoy collection, but decided not to show at the last minute.

  • elzatelzabelz

    I want to watch PR Coco Montrese design for actual Coco Montrese. Oh, and then all the PR designers get read by the Drag Race queens. OMG, yes.

    • Eric Stott

      Pray to the Goddess of Crossover that some day RuPaul will be a judge.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

        Rupaul was a judge in a previous PR season (5?) for the drag queen challenge, and looked rather busted. For reading of the PR contestants, I’d rather see Jujubee or Willam doing it.

  • BeccaGo

    WTF?? Let’s wait until the dresses are out of fashion again before we sell them! Who were the ad wizards behind that one?

  • http://www.readbarbara.com/ ReadBarbara

    Personally, I didn’t like either of Dom’s dresses, especially the second one — who wants to look like you have both your boobs on one side … and slipping into your armpit at that?

    • meowing

      I was hoping that was just a function of too little time, rather than a design flaw. I’d expect that to be fixed during real production.

      • http://www.readbarbara.com/ ReadBarbara

        We can only hope!

  • BeccaGo

    Alexandria’s, uh, garment looks just like something I wore with ripped fishnets and combat boots to an event called My So-Called Prom a few years ago.

  • mhleta

    For me the main usefulness of this blog is in helping to ensure people like myself that we are not COMPLETELY crazy. Once again, you have taken almost every thought I had about that show, particularly the utterly obvious HEINOUSNESS of Alexandria’s tragic dinner napkin, and written them down for me. My only point of disagreement is with Helen’s dress. I almost really loved it. In fact, seeing that dress has me convinced me she should work for Marc Jacobs, because he could have tweaked that dress into greatness. A goth designer working with daisies? Fabulousness is at hand. As for the judges, all that plaid praise has destroyed any shred of respect I may have had remaining. They’re delusional. Completely.

    • Stubenville

      The judges aren’t actually delusional; they’re well compensated to say whatever cracktastic pronouncement the producers want in order to expedite the pre-ordained outcome.

      • mhleta

        I don’t buy it. For that to be the case, two things would have to happen. 1) The judges would have to be willing to completely sacrifice their credibility in the fashion world for the sake of the show and 2) they would have to believe that the viewers are so ignorant as to blindly accept any pronouncement they make based on their supposed credibility, of which they have none, because they’ve sacrificed it to indulge the shenanigans of the producers. More likely, the judges are merely hoist on their own petards.

    • BeccaGo

      Helen’s a poser. She’s about as goth as Miley Cyrus is “ratchet.”

  • Agatha Guilluame

    Is it me or is the model Alexandria an albatross to whomever she’s assigned. Like she always ends up wearing a bottom look.

    • mhleta

      I could not believe it when I saw that Alexandria drew her. I dont know whose punch bowl she pissed in in her past life, but that model is working off some bad bad juju.

  • KaytJ

    I’ve lived in Birmingham Alabama for 18 years now and if the challenge was to make a dress for an actual Belk customer, then Jeremy should have won. Belk IS very Madame, and I’ve seem Jeremy’s frumpy middle-age-lady-trying-to-look-young look a hundred times. Pause the episode at 29:02 and take a peek into Belk’s oh-so-chic selection, and tell me Jeremy’s and Kate’s dresses don’t belong on those racks. That being said (ignoring the controversy for a sec) I did really like Dom’s second dress, but then again I am definitely not a Belk customer.

  • adnama79

    Alexander’s dress looks like something Manila Luzon would wear.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      A.S.S.’ dress looks like something Manila would wear.

  • greengirl

    Here’s the thing… there IS a Southern look. I am a Northerner who has lived in the South for 18 years in B’ham Alabama. Southern women like fitted clothes that look expensive, lots of accessories, immaculate make-up, salon-styled hair, and manicures & pedicures. Yes, not all women in the South are like that, but you will find far more women dressing and accessorizing that way than in the North. NONE of the designers accessorized and not one of the judges picked up on that. I really don’t think the judges have any idea of Southern style. Women simply don’t wear plaid here. Houndstooth, however, is really popular. Sundresses are huge in the South, and again, nobody thought about them. The whole show was a miss.

    • IamstillAnonymous

      THIS! Greengirl, you _nailed_ it. The judging on this episode was a truckload of BS.

    • SirLouie

      You nailed it. Next time I’d prefer they do a Waffle House challenge. Not sure what it would be, but it sounds like WAY more fun.

    • DuBey2

      I think I liked Bradon’s because it was kind of like a sundress.
      Well, maybe this week they’ll show us what to wear to a Hootenanny. Oh, wait, they already did…

  • Annie Lure

    I really enjoyed the analysis of this episode.

    When the season commenced, I had to look up Belk. I’ve verified that we do have it where I live; evidently, I’ve been oblivious of its existence. Judging by the shoes and jewelry I’ve seen this season, I’ve concluded that it is by far the worst sponsor. I did skim through the official belk site. The clothing’s very much what one would find in many department stores across the country. Now, the preponderance of prints and the favoring of flared silhouettes to sleek, tailored ones I encountered there may have informed the selection of printed fabrics and the making of flared, asymmetrical, handkerchief hems. Braden’s interpretation of the shirt-dress is fine. The bodice is well-rendered, and I can see what he was trying to do with the bias insets (you don’t want the fabric to do all the work; you want to work it) even though it’s not as crisp as it should have been. Alexander’s dress is fine. Perfectly presentable (bodice is well-fitted) with a little bit of style (it is playful and energetic). Kate’s is fine, too. The solid fabric is integrated well into the design, and the design’s harmonious for it. Justin’s is poorly executed. For a department store challenge, one can’t expect anything intricate, for too much detailing skyrockets the manufacturing cost; however, the garment needs to contain *some* design interest, a selling point, as it were. Is the flared, petaled hem sufficient? Could have been had he constructed the dress well. He clearly didn’t. There’s gaping at the back, and the bodice is so badly and hurriedly sewn together. Alexandria’s is no good. That square neckline’s highly unflattering. Helen’s is fine, if old-fashioned. I can appreciate the superimposing of the lace onto the yellow. She did attempt to do some work with edging the top portion of the dress (i.e. back, arm-holes) with lace. I did see a couple gowns in the Belk site. Dom’s gown is quite nice. Not anything I’d ever choose– it’s too pageant for my taste–, but that’s irrelevant. I can acknowledge it for what it is. First of all, it’s well-rendered. There’s some clean seams at the bodice, and the skirt moves well. I do recall seeing this EXACT color combination at the Belk website. I do not think she should have been chastised for this entry. But then again, her win seems scripted (safe for several consecutive challenges, yelled at, then miraculously redeemed). Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great what she came up with in an hour (the print’s graphic, and there’s some pleasing drapery on display). I just think there’s a narrative here that the producers are ascribing her. Jeremy’s isn’t awful. Again, nothing I respond to, but it’s well executed, colorful, and very much in the same category as the existing Belk garments. I didn’t quite hate Ken’s dress; I actually like the pleating (I thought it generated sufficient design interest) but don’t think the racer-back, a detail that’s kind of inextricable from sportswear, is particularly synergistic to an evening-oriented look. How he reconfigured the dress, however, is beyond atrocious and reveals terrible instincts about editing, and on that count alone, he should have been out.

  • cbcb

    That poor model that Alexandria had – they are all trolling her, right? She’s the same poor girl who Unicorn put in no-heel and tried to force to do shitty modern dance. She’s had other bad looks too – I think almost every week! Is she the designated model-victim? Is the game to make her snap?

  • lilyvonschtupp

    Call me crazy, but I liked Gay Daddy’s first number. I’m no hoity-toity New York fashion hog, (I make my living in Mid-Atlantic Deer Country) but it looks suitable for work, the colors were fresh and lively, and it fit pretty well, at least to me. How Kenya stayed while he went…Well, we all know what that was about.

  • April

    Alexandria’s dress was so bad. Seeing undergarments beneath a sheer skirt was like working at American Apparel again.

  • Big Bear

    Alexandria should have been deported back to Finswedistan or wherever for that dress. I’ll pack her things.

  • mhleta

    AND….Ken, dear. Dear Ken. You can not go ballistic on Helen for withholding the subject of her private conversation with Tim and then turn around to withhold your supposed deep understanding of The Southern Woman without coming off like a complete nut ball so steeped in hypocrisy and lack of self awareness that he does not see the preposterous irony of it. I’m glad you’re proud of the fact that you are self taught, but your teacher has emotional issues and serious limitations and I think you should ask for your money back. Get yourself a good therapist and enroll in design school. You have great potential, but you will never realize it if you don’t do those two things.

  • Beverly Miller

    Alexandria’s dress was dreadful! She should have been sent home.

    • ItAin’tMe

      Yeah…what the hell? I wasn’t a fan of Jeremy’s look, but a few inches off the hem would’ve helped it a lot. And it had way more work in it than Alexandria’s.

  • kathrineb

    I have never disagreed with the judges more. I was not a fan of Bradons look at all!

    • ItAin’tMe

      I didn’t mind the dress, but I didn’t like the plaid, and didn’t understand that piecing “technique” he did in front. What was the point of that? It didn’t add any interest and it would make it more expensive to produce, right? It was telling that the Belk guy said he “could see it in other patterns”. I bet when it does come out it will be minus the piecing, and maybe minus the plaid.

      • kathrineb

        I was not wowed by his choice of textile either and perhaps I am being too practical and not fashiony enough but I would no it want to walk around in that contrived skirt for any length of time. Expensive to produce and not even cute!

  • SimpleSins

    I thought handkerchief hems went the way of poddle skirts a few seasons ago. And, while I hate to admit it, Ken was right in that these people all seemed to have decided South was synonymous with country, which even I know is not true. I haven’t seen so much plaid used since the lumbarjack games, and can’t really understand the praise for it. While I liked the top of Bradon’s dress, I frankly found the weird rectangles of mismatched plain on the skin to be irritating and hard on the eyes. Alexander’s was just blah, and Alexandra’s was grandma housecoat color without the style. And I frankly didn’t like Dom’s second look, either. While I don’t have a Belk around here, I would probably be one of their customers, or my daughters in their more youthful/young adult stuff, and I can’t see either of them liking all the random weird pouchings of fabric.

    I don’t know what the judges were thinking. Either hallucinogens were in play, or they were judging something totally different than we were seeing on our screens.

  • ItAin’tMe

    Earlier in the thread there’s some discussion about Ken. His mental health and sociological history are speculated about. I just want to say this: we don’t know what he’s been through or why he is the way he is. But we can see that he is abusive and threatens violence. And that shit should not be tolerated on this program. I thought that Sandro’s actions should’ve gotten him kicked off in disgrace with a statement about how abusive behavior would not be tolerated on PR. Instead, he was led back into the studio by an indulgent daddy, and allowed to apologize and demand hugs from the rest of the designers. I understand that the contestants are stressed. Too bad. That’s part of the test here: can you use the pressure to enhance your skills, or will you come undone? There is no reason not to demand professionalism, though now that I say that, I realize that the drama, and not the fashion, has become the focus of this show. That being the case, no wonder you get the Kens and the Sandros.

    • DuBey2

      Hear, Hear!

  • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

    If Ken’s gown had palazzo pants instead of a skirt and rhinestones scattered over the bust, it would be my high school Colorguard uniform.

  • Chartreusite

    This is the first time I’ve watched part of a Project Runway episode of my own accord in ages (I barely paid attention to the bowtie episode earlier this season because my friend wanted to watch it) and I was SHOCKED when Dom’s was in the bottom. I thought for sure her, Braden, and Kate were the top (I didn’t necessarily like the latter two, but I figured Dom was a shoe-in and the judges love those two soooooo). Congrats to her for pulling out a win regardless and I’m still rooting for her to make it to the end. Dmitry won his first challenge in episode 9 as well so I think she may have a chance.

    Side note: I’m not a seamster(tress) and I don’t have major technical knowledge when it comes to Braden’s, but didn’t his look kinda flimsy and a little rough around the edges? They were zooming in on it and it looked like a mess to me. The way he organized the plaid in the skirt too just made it way too busy and dissonant for me. Additionally, is anyone else noticing that Kate keeps pulling out this silhouette? I feel like she’s all about the nipped in waists and poofy skirts or round volume right after the waist, and I think we’ve had to have seen this type of thing from her four or five times by this point, no? Off the top of my head, the parachute challenge, this one, and the one where the judges gushed over her pants-making at the very least…

    • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

      We’ve seen that silhouette from Kate at least twice, maybe more and I’ve just forgotten about it. I wouldn’t mind so much if the judges would call her out on it. They tore into Alexandria last week for making those dropped-crotch pants again. They might want to acknowledge the repetition on Kate’s part too.

    • ItAin’tMe

      And the ” pregnant fairy” from the glamping challenge.

  • Sarah

    Huh. It’s weird to find myself saying this, because I’m not a fan of Kate, but I liked her dress. And my south of the Mason Dixon pals did, too. I thought it was very cute, vibrant, and fun. I get the question about the silhouette, but I think it’s easily rectified/not a problem if you’re tiny (not saying I endorse clothes only for tiny folks, but they do make them all the time for the runway.) Just wondering if ANYONE liked it, because I’m surprised by all the hate!

  • Shawn EH

    Lana Del Rey has already called for Helen’s gown.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Oh god, I don’t have the strength.

  • peacelovecrazy

    I didn’t mind the plaid (even though I’ve lived almost all my life in the south and have never worn a plaid dress). I did have a patchwork plaid skirt once. I was more put off by all the handkerchief and uneven hems. I don’t like those and I have almost never seen anyone wearing one. When I think fashionable Southern woman I think Ann Taylor, piping, tailored suits made from cream or pastels in textured damask-like fabric. Pencil skirts. Sherbet-y colors. Big prints on skirts or pants. Silk shirt-dresses. Sheath dresses, again, with textured, rich fabric, and a high neck.

    I didn’t like Bradon’s crosswise plaid pieces either, although I did think his dress was the best. With Alexander’s dress it seemed like it was so well done that they had to put it in the top 3, but that they were reluctant to praise it. I felt the same way. I think it was the fabric. But I came here mainly to say Belk needs to step up it’s game. We had Profitt’s before Belk and it was so much better (we had a Parisian too; I still miss that). Belk has so many more JC Penneyish clothes than the previous store did, but at non-JC-Penney prices. The dresses and purses are pretty good, but the shoes and other women’s clothes are uninspiring. I almost never shop at Belk anymore. I hope they really are trying to improve.

  • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

    Obviously Sandro’s behavior was inappropriate when he was still on the show but he drew my attention to something before he left that I hadn’t thought about in previous seasons. The designers who think they should have won a challenge get disappointed when they’re immediately “saved.” Those who leave the stage immediately get no feedback for their work. They stay under the radar.

    Dom has been frustrated over this very thing until she found herself in the bottom three; she then took the judges’ advice and got some great feedback.

    I wish the show would implement some kind of feedback system so that the designers in the middle pack knew how to improve. It would be great if they could look at the judges’ score cards. Sharing these cards could make the judges more accountable, and nobody could slip through (like Alexandria did in this last challenge).

    I like Alexandria but I thought her design was the worst. And there were NO COMMENTS from the judges.

    • ItAin’tMe

      Doesn’t Tim provide feedback? I can understand the designers relief/frustration when safe, but after all, this is a contest, not a workshop situation. If they listen to the directions of the challenge, and do their best work, they can get to the top three and earn the feedback, if they are in fact skilled. Sandro didn’t have a leg to stand on because he had already been in the top group and the bottom group, so he’d gotten quite a lot of feedback by that point.

      Also, I doubt it would further the interests of the production, to make the judges more accountable.

      • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

        I couldn’t remember if Dom had been in the top three. She had never won a challenge; correct? She had expressed the need for feedback. Mine was just a thought. Tim is a separate entity from the judges. He only had that one SAVE. Otherwise, he doesn’t vote, I don’t think. He gives advice in the workroom but sometimes he accidentally steers a designer wrong. I think Dom had planned to use the print. She didn’t know which way to go on the challenge. I don’t think Tim liked the print. His suggestions are only suggestions. I like Tim. I love Tim. I’d just noticed, since Sandro had made that remark, how we hear nothing about the designer once they’re put into that middle group, which is a great place to be, but not if you really want to win a challenge and you think you have a great chance. Think of it this way: A good part of the show is about the top three and the bottom three. If you’re a designer who had worked super hard (as they all do) and are excited about your work and you think your look is the best thing you’ve ever done and it comes out on the runway and then, Poof! No comment. No feedback. You’re safe. Do you at least get what I’m saying? I’m not bent on changing things. I’d just noticed for the first time that the middle place is sometimes uncomfortable for a designer. Sandro thought he should have scored higher. I thought he was very talented. His clothes were too tight. And he showed too much skin. But his technique, his sewing was great. He had huge potential, but his temper ruined it for him. I’ve been watching Dom, who’s a good designer, and she’s always (almost always?) in that middle group.

    • ItAin’tMe

      Also, Dom has been in the top in previous challenges.

    • Indigo54

      Yeah, you’re right. Everybody should get feedback. The middle guys must feel totally ignored. Nobody likes feeling like that, especially after working your ass off to make a good impression.

  • Dawn Kahl

    I also didn’t understand why Alexandria wasn’t bottom 3. Awful hemline that has been ridiculed in past seasons.

  • queenceleste

    I actually like Kate’s dress, although for probably the first time ever, I agreed with Heidi re the proportions. It was definitely bunchy around the waist.

  • queenceleste

    What is up with the all the judge love for mullet hems??? Surely they are over by now.

  • Indigo54

    That evidence is OVERWHELMING! I defy anyone to disprove your conclusion about Jeremy’s design after seeing that HORRIBLE Isaac Mizrahi design. Who would want to wear those old lady living room drapes? Hideous! OMG, I’ve gotta lay down for a while….

  • fashionzombie

    So, I’ve loaded many, many pages of comments, and I haven’t seen what I’m looking for.

    Am I the only one that smelled setup from the beginning? There was no reason for Ken and Dom to be in the bottom as the worst — there was EVERY reason for them both to be in the bottom for the do-another-look bonus challenge. And I knew Belk-droid was going to buy someone’s second-chance look. The buyer-based challenges have purchased two looks before, and I saw that coming. Maybe I just read a lot of formulaic fiction.

    • SFree

      Because they are the southerners and they wanted to give them a lesson in humility?

  • Clydette Wantland

    The entire show this week was fake, set-up, ridiculous.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

    The looks won’t show up in Belk stores until spring 2014! I guess their planning department is not as good as New Balance’s.

  • veleri

    I don’t know. I believe this is the weakest season of PR at all.
    or is it just me?
    I never see something new, or show stopping, or over the top. Never.
    I believe there have been so many much more talented designers in the past seasons. sorry.

    • veleri

      I am just rethinking about the challenge and maybe I simply didn’t get it. I was born and raised in Italy (and I still live here) so I have no idea of the differences (if any) between northern and southern women in the US.

      I genuinely thought everybody had the same shop where to buy clothes and that’s it.

  • MondoWasRobbed

    OK, I know it’s almost a week later–but TLo’s description of the Belk guy keeps randomly popping into my head, and I can’t stop laughing. “Prince Vlad of Botoxylvania,” indeed.

  • SFree

    I was truly shocked that Alexandria’s dreadful blue plaid dress was “safe”. I gasped with horror when it walked out and again when it was not in the bottom. And that purple remake was really hideous! They must see something in Ken that is not apparent to the naked eye. Or they just want the drama to last a little longer.

  • peebles808

    It has nothing to do with the designs, but was anyone else turned off by Helen’s snarky comments about Kate eating French toast? You know, asking her if she was nearly done, commenting that Kate had a wedding soon (to imply “you don’t want to be fat”)? I really hate that size or weight-shaming she was trying to do, really bitchy. Not to mention pretty pointless, as Kate looks great. One of many reasons I can’t stand Helen.

  • MisScarlett

    I’m just catching up on Project Runways and therefore, your summaries. I had to stop right here.

    “If you’re going to attempt to impose a style on such a huge region as
    “the South,” then we’d think you’d default to something like a pretty,
    southern belle-esque floral; something that can go from church to
    country club; that sort of thing.”

    This bitch is bowing right down. Thank you, TLo. As an Alabama girl who also loves fashion, you get us… and for that, I will never quit you.