No, but there is a Gretchen in “team”

What’s Project Runway’s answer to the cosmic, need-a-new-idea production question, “What’s worse than two designers working together and bitching at each other?” Why, SIX designers working together to create a cohesive collection, ego stroking each other throughout last night’s episode, at least until the lights came up and the judges were present.

And God forbid if you’re with Gretchen’s team, because guess what? Here comes the bus. When Tim called her out at the end of the show in a verbal dressing-down that would have left anyone feeling about 2 inches tall… I died. Jaw open, knitting down, died.  I almost felt bad for her, both being in the bottom two, and then Tim’s pronouncement after the judges’ harsh critique… because she had really put herself on a high pedestal. It musta hurt to hit bottom like that. What she does next will show her character to the viewers. And while we’re on the topic, let’s lose the see-through shirts with bra tops, and no more dancing in Mood.

And who doesn’t love a comeback, eh? Way to go Casanova, that outfit was gorgeous. I wanted it, I did. But the pouting and waiting for your model-turned-angel inspiration to kick in before returning to the work room was just a wee bit diva, don’t ya think? And what’s up with them pixie shoes? Michael C., pull back on the everybody-hates-me. Please? We get it, they don’t respect you, but enough is enough.

Other than that, the collections left me feeling flat, and that was a disappointment, because my Fall inspiration has been camel (got a blog in progress for it!) so I had high hopes there for Team Luxe. I’m also getting into military, as a theme for some wardrobe pieces, so Team Military Lace piqued my interest, and yet…. Sigh.

Published in: on August 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm  Comments (1)  

Rachel’s hunt for Oscar gowns, RZP3

Pros of this week’s episode:

  • Oscar de la Renta’s runway show, and backstage cameo interview appearance
  • Seeing Brian Atwood… and exactly why hasn’t he designed a shoe for me (yet)?
  • Seeing Rachel circa 1998 on her honeymoon, before blonde hair, with normal makeup, and chubby cheeked
  • The silver beaded Marchesa gown, with the gorgeous bow on the single shoulder, that closed the episode. This one made my heart flutter. Will Camaron wear it, or will Demi? Will it even show up on time?

Cons of this week’s episode:

  • Rodger fondling “intimacy kits” at the lingerie store with his sister-in-law in attendance
  • Brad mentioning Taylor… again and again and again and again and again
  • Rachel’s baby angst with her big sister. We get it already. Producers, please advance the plot, or quit belaboring the point. And yes, Rachel… having a child will change your priorities, but it’s not like you don’t have the resources to hire childcare assistance

Mehs of this week’s episode:

  • Michael Kors’ runway show and Rachel’s struggle to arrive on time, to anything, ever
  • The white Derek Lam gown that Brad went gaga over for Camaron Diaz’s potential Oscar gown, which never worked out anyhow
  • Rachel styling her QVC show… zzzzzzz
  • Rachel’s self-bought anniversary gift of rosegold handcuffs (but Rodger’s Rachel Zoe Barbie doll surprise gift redeemed the moment) 
  • Demi Moore’s cameo at the Donna Karan show
  • The white Calvin Klein shearling coat that Rachel considering absconding with
  • The entire Marc Jacobs show… “it’s theater?” Meh.

Next week… more Marchesa madness while Zoe’s in Milan. This week seemed to slow down the pace of the series, but the excess of runway footage made it worth the watch.

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 11:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Because all the world’s a stage, or runway

Remember that Zac Posen dress I scored last Christmas for 95% off $1500 retail? Well, guess who finally got a chance to take it out for a spin last night?

 Musical Theater Southwest is a local company that is dear to my heart. Over the years I’ve performed for several of their shows, and I’ve also worked behind the scenes for others. In May, their warehouse burned, destroying 50 years of costumes, props, sets and local history.

Last night, I attended a fundraiser for the company, and seized the opportunity to finally wear my Posen dress for the first time. It felt amazing! The dress is a body con design, with a nod to the bondage trend, wrap dresses made famous by other designers such as Herve Leger, but done by Posen in an evening wear style. The spandex bands wrap you up tight from the top to just below your hips, coupled with light boning to provide attractive lines, and functional support. The bottom is a sheath of delicate pleats in a lighter fabric that swishes at your heels while you walk. Heaven!!!

To finish the look I wore silver and gold Jimmy Choo heels, and my Chanel double-sided flap. Jewelry was simple with rings and black pearl teardrop earrings, and you can’t see it, but both my hands are hennaed with an Indian style lace design. For hair, after much deliberation regarding wearing it up, I chose to leave it down instead, with emphasis on polished and straight, and heavy eyelash-dusting bangs. And for my makeup, I went with a toned-down smoky eye (I fail at creating a true smokey eye that doesn’t end up looking ghoulish) and berry lips, with purple-gone-black nail polish on nails and toes.

The dinner was hosted at Perrenials, a local restaurant owned by the Harris family. Their son, Neil Patrick Harris, got his start with Musical Theater Southwest and flew in from L.A. to attend the benefit dinner and show his support. He has amazing skin. I wish I could have asked him what he does to maintain it.

My favorite part of this picture? My friend Tahirih in the background, peeking over at us. She cracks me up, I love her! My favorite part of the picture above? Check out the baby toy scattered about the floor in the background for a taste of my normal life.

Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 10:08 am  Comments (3)  

Hustling for Naomi… err, Haiti

I kinda hate Naomi Campbell. People who conduct their lives with an air of supreme entitlement bug me. I want to knock them off their high freakin’ horses, it’s just my nature. Having said that, I grudgingly admit the chick pulls together some high-minded, idealistic fundraiser events that send resources to places and people who need it, and that’s where Rachel Zoe comes in for this week’s episode.

The Fashion for Relief Haiti runway show couldn’t have been more inconveniently scheduled with only 3 days to organize and produce, and hitting smack dab in the middle of February’s Fall Fashion Week. And then there’s the U.K. version of the Haiti Relief runway show, scheduled on the same weekend as a trans-Atlantic event, which is grand in concept but fails in practice, due to the shows having to compete with each other for designers’ donated looks, as mentioned. Why? Why schedule them this way, if no other reason than to show off? Let’s not forget Mother Nature’s influence during this event as well, since the blizzard certainly complicated matters considerably.

But with Naomi Campbell, like most divas, it’s not so much how it gets done, it’s just the fact that it will get done, and done exactly when and how they demand it. So, as they say in our house, poop rolls downhill. Naomi gets pissed at Rachel. Rachel dumps the blame on Brad.

Result? Brad dumps on his friends in one of the most contrived and unnatural scenes in the entire episode. After seating himself around a group of anonymous people that we the viewers don’t know and don’t care about, Brad opens a conversation to himself in the guise of sharing his woes. He is met with the unsympathetic sound of crickets chirping, which causes him to burst into spontaneous soliloquy. Simply the most painful and useless 2 minutes which do nothing to advance the plot, and slows down the entire show’s momentum. 

The death of Lee Alexander McQueen is mentioned, and the five McQueen commemorative looks as an homage at the end of the runway show were quite a moving tribute (did you see the tears in the models’ eyes?) but hearing Rachel discuss her grief while looking at one of his stilettos? Superfluous.

In other news, Gwen Stefani’s brief appearance seemed strained, a bit unnatural in front of the RZP cameras, which is shocking considering her megastardom. I would have liked more of her and of L.A.M.B. Other notable cameos include Diane von Furstenberg, walking the fund raiser’s runway. Wasn’t she adorable? Love her.

Best thing about this week’s episode… no one discussed “the Taylor situation.” Since 2 months have passed since Taylor’s leaving and the filming during Fashion Week, let’s hope they’ve dropped it for the rest of the season in favor of building baby anticipation.

P.S. Did you die over Rachel’s Chanel? Because I did.

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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No Project Runway? Whaaaa?

Imagine my dismay when I came home last night after ballet class, settled down with my tea and my knitting nearby if I had any energy left, picked up my remote, started last night’s episode of Project Runway… and after 2 minutes, the program shut off.

“Whaaa?” I cry out in dismay. My husband mumbles something about a rain storm that could have knocked out our satellite while slaying minions on his computer game. A hurried search shows the episode isn’t set to repeat until late next week.

This is me, heaving a heavy sigh. It’s just not fair, I tell ya.

Published in: on August 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Changes in the Zoe Camp, RZP S8 premiere

Well, kudos to the producers for stacking the episode with a ton of content! Immediately we get right to the heart of the Taylor Jacobson matter, who was summarily dismissed from the company after Rodger’s accusations of financial misdealings. Rachel’s word was “betrayal,” and Brad Goreski was promoted immediately within the Zoe hierarchy. And he rejoiced. Rachel wore her Hermes cuff and waved it around often, and I rejoiced.

Then they interviewed for the new intern position, which montages quickly, thank goodness. Suffice to say, many of her applicants seemed woefully inept. Oh, to have a 23 year old clone of myself to send off and live an alternate life.

Demi Moore’s Harper photo shoot was full of red and glittery Louboutins, white mice and Chanel, and Alexander McQueen’s armadillo shoes on a spiral staircase to nowhere on an empty beach… with a giraffe. Of course. I enjoyed Demi’s presence on camera as herself, she came off as unpretentious, unlike Rachel who was carried down the hill due to her impractical 6 inch heels for a beach shoot. But it was Brad who tripped over himself to do a good job with Demi, running around and pulling zillions of pieces for all of her looks. Sigh… to paw through such racks!

I could have done without the scenes of vitriolic displays of anger whenever Taylor’s name continued to be discussed, although I forgive the producers for exploiting Rachel’s emotional pain. This isn’t over yet, but I kinda wish we could forget about it, as the viewer, and move on.

The Chanel scene? I have no words. How much those items cost? I can only imagine. Gorgeous? Beyond measure. Let’s not forget why I watch this show.

And how cute was it that they’re teasing us with future scenes of Rodger and Rachel discussing pregnancy and making a baby? Awwwww! I would love to see Rachel have a family, but realistically, I can only imagine what her schedule is like. But, I bet you she could do it… what with the nanny for work hours, and such. Think they’re gonna spin a future season of RZP with a Bethenny’s Getting Married? pregnancy theme?

Published in: on August 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Project Runway: the pole dancer in Dubai?

It’s been crazy busy, but I had to take a moment to write about the Project Runway premiere. Where to even start?

I didn’t mind watching the designers battle it out in their final “audition” and certainly the 5 hour deadline was a bit extreme and created a great deal of conflict to drive the plot.

It’s always hard to get a feel for the individuals’ personalities early on, but right away Casanova takes the eccentricity award. How sad was it to watch his Dolce & Gabbana pants getting destroyed for this challenge? However his “pole dancer in Dubai” outfit was beyond “beach chic.” I agreed with Tim, it was vulgar. And he gets an F for time management skills — not having your model dressed when everyone’s lining up to walk? Seriously not okay. I half expected him to be voted auf.

As a knitter, I was excited to hear about Michael’s work and am hoping we might see him work more knitwear into his looks. Time constraints aside, it was surprising to see the gamut of entries from this season’s contestants.

I fully expected the bowler-hatted Jason to be sent home, if for no reason beyond the fact that he sent a dress with staples down the catwalk. It’s not like Michael Kors didn’t notice, he mentioned what he thought were pins, and yet they still gave this guy the green light? And how original is it to just turn a kimono backwards anyhow?

However, the lack of originality award would have to go to Ivy for making a pair of pants out of a pair of pants. I disagreed (as usual) with the judges about her top though, I liked the shredded and deconstucted look. However, interrupting Nina Garcia and backtalking Michael Kors is never a good idea. But I don’t mean deconstructed like April’s hideous inside-out nightmare, which I REALLY expected to be sent home.

Gretchen’s win blew me off my chair because I thought her look was very matronly and not exciting in the least. My choice for the win would have been Kristin’s look, the kilt that became a collar. I’m probably betraying my own style, but I dig cowls and thought her look was modern, chic and extremely wearable. I liked Peach’s dress too, but thought it looked like 1000 other dresses I’ve seen on the hundreds of racks for the past 10 years.

And who got auffed? McKell? And that’s it, no one else?? Yes, the fuchsia tote was a horrible styling choice, but I didn’t think her dress was that bad. I do think the metal epaulettes would have added a design element that the dress needed. Tim talked her out of using them, but I actually liked the way it pulled the metallic in the skirt’s fabric up into the top half of the dress.

So, what did we learn today? The girl with the weirdest hairstyle in any reality competition (almost) never wins.

p.s. Rachel Zoe starts tomorrow! Hooray, hooray happy fashion TV day!

Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm  Comments (1)