Sep 17, 2010

Project Runway 8 Episode 8: Jackie Kennedy Inspires a Snooze Fest and Dog Fight

Blame the judges for aufing all the colorful characters of Project Runway, resulting in last night's sleep-inducing episode. With this 8th installment of Season 8, Lifetime has found a cure for insomnia - Heidi and her merry band of producers could rake in millions selling the DVD to sleep clinics the world over.
The Jackie Kennedy American Sportswear challenge should have been exciting
For over 45 minutes of this 90-minute episode, my head kept nodding. I literally napped through the middle section, even during Tim's critiques, and woke up every once in a while only to see Gretchen making judgments of other people's designs, Valerie questioning herself, Michael C. making one new outfit after another, and Ivy frantically sewing at a machine.


However, I sat up and remained wide awake when the judges entered the pitbull arena. They then began to tear the bottom three contestants to pieces to the point where I squirmed at the verbal evisceration. All participated in the blood bath, except January Jones, who had been sleeping along with me.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, style icon
I intectually understood the judges' frustration, for they must have been working up their excitement to see the results of this challenge: To reinterpret Jackie Kennedy's classic American sportswear style and give it a modern twist. The challenge should have been a shoe-in for the designers, instead all of the outfits, except for Mondo's and Ivy's, fell short of the mark.

No other First Lady influenced fashion in the 20th century they way Jackie did
I began to wonder if these folks had ever seen an image of Jackie Kennedy, the style icon of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Her style hallmarks were good taste, impeccable fit, simplicity, perfect proportions, rich materials, and classic lines. Her clothes were “boxy”, angular, and lacking over embellishments.

It was apparent that 7 out of the 10 contestants left in the competition had no idea what Jackie's style was about.And only two figured out how to pair their Jackie-O-influenced designs with outerwear.

The Top Three

Mondo nailed it with his modern reinterpretation of Jackie's look.
Mondo's winning design...
...was definitely influenced by his Muse...
...from the short boxy fitted jacket to the short fitted skirt.

Ivy understood the challenge as well. While she is one of my least favorite PR designers ever ...
...she channeled Jackie's elegance and came up with a winner.
Christopher's dress was beautiful, though not sporty. Michael Kors mistook the wrap for a toilet seat cover, and I am convinced that Jackie would not have been caught dead wearing an assortment of bath towels around her shoulders... the wraps in these images clearly show.
The Bottom Three
I agree with the judges: Valerie's color sense is vile. And why she chose these Piperlime shoes is beyond me.
Jackie liked large lapels on her fitted raincoat classics, but they were sharp and stiff, and played an important role in framing her face and hair, a detail Val forgot.
I am switching the order of the bottom  three, since I sincerely believe the wrong designer got aufed. I do agree with the judges - almost every proportion and detail about Michael D's outfit is wrong. Michael Kors described it as "schizophrenic Jackie Kennedy: an old lady on top and a cheerleader on the bottom." Ha!
Jackie always pulled together a look, even when going casual, and seldom got it  wrong. Her casual clothes were tailored and slimming and pulled together...
...even when the event was extremely casual.. 
An now for the design that should have come dead last: "MC Hammer meets the Beverley Hills grandmother." The judges this year have have been so obsessed with spouting clichés like throwing "someone under the bus" or accusing the designers of creating outfits for old folks, that their decisions have been out of whack all season.  I have rarely agreed with their top and bottom choices.

This week they were more correct in comparing Andy's outfit to a costume Nicole Kidman would have worn in Cold Mountain.In no way did this design evoke Jacqueline Kennedy in any way, shape or form.

The fact that Andy liked his final product, while Michael D understood that his outfit sucked, should have clued the judges on who to auf.
Nothing in Jackie's extensive wardrobe resembled this hot mess...

...which she would not have been caught dead wearing, not even for a stroll in NYC or a ride in the park.
Michael D. was robbed! As for Michael C, Gretchen, and April, their designs were off too, especially Gretchen's, who continues to be inspired by Nottingham Forest and fabrics dyed with natural substances by primitive tribes.

Note to Lifetime: Piperlime has to go. These granny boots are seriously ugly.

Since Episode One I've been suffering from a serious case of Mondo worship. After this week, there's no question in my mind that he will be among the three designers to compete in NY Fashion week.

1 comment:

Aubrey said...

Thanks for this post. Have a happy holiday season!