Friday, September 2, 2011

Project Runway Temporary Snark Station

I have always pictured Bert Keeter at his best designing something über urban sophisticated, along the lines of, say, Ellie Saab or Donna Karan.

See? Tres chic.

But knowing the man is, in reality, capable of putting together something only an Oompa Loompah could love . . .

Makes me want to kill him before he designs again!


czar said...

Looks to me like he unnecessarily redesigned the human body.

This is a serious question, and it also goes back to Aunty's culture-of-death posting. What percentage of fashion designers' work has the sole intent of attracting attention to the designer, regardless of the quality or usefulness of the creation? I mean, some of this stuff is absurd and by no means attractive or complimentary to anything.

fishy said...

I absolutely love the concept behind this challenge. To pair children's art with avant garde fashion?
The results?

I had hopes for Anya because her conceptual sketch was good. Once she made her fabric selection at Mood all hope was dashed. There is no way the weightiness of that fabric, both visual and factual, could have ever translated into the airy concoction of the sketch. Plus, she railroaded a fabric meant to drape? Can't happen. There is a reason to learn the characteristics and properties of thread,grain, weft, warp, weave, weight, texture.

Anthony Ryan's design: was this "a winner" or the "least offensive"? The design of the sheer under dress, the tight close shaping at neck and shoulders, the semi fitted bodice flowing into a gracefully moving hemline was lovely. I liked the concept of the applied brushstrokes. Like guest judge, Kenneth Cole, I just could not get beyond the juvenile crafting look of the execution.

Bert's creation was excruciatingly poor design, and poorer judgment. However! it WAS at least flawlessly executed.

This season of contestants seem to share a ginormous disconnect between conception and execution.
Once this group gets to the workroom there is a general "descentigration" of purpose! Do they actualy succumb to art school bitch clique demeanor becoming THE reality while the actual assignment gets relegated to virtual status?
Whatever happens it is a plague on the season!

chickory said...

bert is a dick. seeing him cheer behind the backs of his teammates last week turned my stomach. that garment should have sent him home. i also thought when that chick went home before the race, that instead of bringing back bald sweet guy, the last one voted off -the outdoorsy girl, should have come back. Baldy had one of the better paintings. instead of literally doing the wolf, how about a little red riding hood riff to go with it instead of being it. DOLT!

I thought the black chicks outfit was pretty cool. and i liked anthony ryans but it was poorly made - the brush strokes were all flopping around.

I miss Kara Saun and Christian Siriano and Mondo.

these designers are weak. they are killing this show. I would auff them all and bring in a whole new crew. why not? wouldnt that be a show stoppa!

They should give them an hour at mood and set a deadline like: you have to be finished by X time. then if they want to work all night while others sleep - so be it. there isnt enough time to do anything well.

Jenny said...

blah, blah, blah. I feel asleep again but this time I think it was the lack of creativity. I was thinking, why don't they let those children design the dress?

Bert is not a good role model for over 40. Too bad because despite his age he's acting the most childish at times. As for his design? I got nothing. Too horrible. I'm actually enjoying your, Chickie and Fishy's the most this season.

chickory said...

i bought the fall vogue and bazaar. I do so every year because they are FAT with ads which i love to look at. wait til you see what missoni made for Target. they are incredible. the dresses with the cardigans? uber.

Jenny said...

my cousin and her daughter are big fans of Target's fashion designer lines... many times they sell out in minutes and are on Ebay within hours. I actually buy the Fall Vogue also... sooooo much to look at.

Love link, thanks Chickie.

czar said...

@all: Ladies, I want an answer from each of you, not just Moi's perspective. Every one of you is an artist in some form or fashion. So, dish: to what extent is highbrow fashion design look-at-me-look-at-me-look-at-me? I know not all of it is, but some of this stuff is clearly never meant to be worn seriously. So what's the point?

moi said...

Czar: Fashion design is in part art, so I'm fine with something visually interesting but unwearable. Couture, for instance, is really meant as a fantasy jumping off point for reality. I DO have a problem with butt ass ugly, though, and, yes, there are a lot of designers (cough, Marni, cough, cough Marc Jacobs, cough, cough, COUGH Prada) who are guilty of Emperor's New Clothing their lines.

Fishy: Well, hell, hon, I can't articulate it any better than you just did! Thanks for that spot on summary.

Boxer: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Chickory: Those issues are awesome (however, not for plane travel :o) ) I devote an entire evening alone with each of them to tear out and paste in a look book, it's so much fun. The Missoni Line is Da Bomb. I'm a gonna be there Sept. 13 when the doors open, you betcha. I want: the suede stitched pumps with the wood heel, the brown and baby blue and orange zig zag glove and scarf set, one of the silk print scarves (maybe the tulips?), that floppy hat, the stockings, and that mini dress/cardi ensemble on the first page of your link. Okay. I need to stop or I'm going to hyperventilate from the stress of not having this stuff NOW.

What do you like?

Boxer: Some of the lines are better than others and most, I've found, are too juvenile. But this, this one looks AWESOME! Of course, the quality cannot be anywhere near a real Missoni (there are few things in fashion as totally, completely beautiful, as full on bust-the-bank-worthy, as a Missoni knit), but I'll take what I can get :o) Also, I think that floppy Missoni hat would be great for you.

Czar: See my answer, above.

Jenny said...

First, to Czar; I'm from the Pacific Northwest where everyone looks like they're ready to go camping... even at that Opera (which annoys the hell outta me.) I don't understand fashion.At.All. Moi has opened a whole new world to me about why/how and so has Project Runway which I watch more from the Peanut Gallery... trust me. But good question. Now to go hide my sensible hiking shoes I wore to work today from Moi.

@Moi - my Father was a Customs House Broker and I worked for him through college, helping clear things made in Hong Kong/China/etc. Calvin Klein jeans were made in the same factories as product shipping to KMART. I saw the factory invoices and it was shocking to see just how little a difference there was between the two; the mark up in the U.S. is the big difference. I agree there is a quality difference..... but just how much and does it warrant a $100.00 pair of jeans (original cost; $10.00) to a $30.00 pair of jeans (original cost: $5.00)? It ruined me and I wish sometimes I had never seen those invoices.

Aunty Belle said...

heh...well goodness--I reckon I'se boring ole skool cause I favor a three tiered approach: Investment dressin' that must be classical an' classy, cause ya keep it forever; fashionable accessories to keep thangs au courant, throwaway trends that are in the Goodwill bin by the end of the year.

@ Czar,
thas' the right question.

czar said...

@Moi: So, there's something to Aunty's fashion-as-propaganda line?

@Boxer: Regarding retail prices, I can't stand department stores for a related reason. Way back when I was in the ATL, I was proofreading for a catalog publisher that did Macy's and a few others. (And, Chickory, I also labored a few months in the Rich's/Federated marketing home offices. Talk about an education.) I think it was in August when we got a series of three catalogs that would be used as mailouts from around Thanksgiving to New Year's Day clearance. The initial catalog of course had "great sales" to lure saps into the store on Black Friday. The second was the heavy markdowns around mid-December. The third was for the post-Christmas clearance. All featured roughly the same product. You could buy it in November at their advertised prices or you could buy it December 30 at greatly reduced prioes. The point is that you know they were making money at every stage of the game, and they knew in August what they'd have for "clearance" based on alleged overstocking four months later. The prices had nothing to do with supply/demand, and the stock that they were claiming they had remaining at the end of the season, they knew all along it would be there. A damned racket. If I were 14 years old again, I'd just as soon shoplift anything out of a department store as buy it, unless it's on a 50-percent-off rack, and they're having a 40 percent daily sale to boot.

PS to Boxer: I'd love to jump in on your blog, but I'll be damned if I know what you do, what you're talking about, or how to get a handle on any of it. I keep feeling like I've come into the house in the last 10 minutes of a play, and everyone in the crowd knows what's going on but me. That's not a knock, by the way. One day, I'll figure it out.

@Aunty: Hi, Aunty. How's your summer reading?

Not trying to hijack your blog, Moi. I figure snark comes in all flavors and timing.

fishy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fishy said...

@ Moi,
Didn't mean to be so long winded. I am just very annoyed with this season because the challenges are better than ever and the participants are just ... dismal.

Do some of your authors write outrageous stuff? What are their motivations?
Same thing in fashion.

On the retailing aspects of business models and greed... have you read the book "How Companies Win" ? It postulates supply side economics is OVER. The Macy's example of loading up a HUGE supply of a product so you can hawk it at tiered pricing is passe. (According to the ads in my newspaper this morning, nobody informed Macy's.)

Back to the book, the "new" economic principle is how to profit from DEMAND driven business models. The internet has changed supply side economics forever. Now it is about using the new tools available for "precision marketing". The tools of social media marketing are blasted to phones, facebook pages, twitter, groupon, living social, etc. All are based on data of "demand groups" The key is to identify and then fill the demands, not create a supply and generate a demand for what you have.

The good/bad news... most of this is done by computers, thus eliminating jobs and lowering overall costs.

moi said...

Boxer: I hear ya. However, there is a huge difference between the last remaining privately held luxury houses that pay good money to talented artisans to craft beautiful, built-to-last things BY HAND (Hermes, Chanel, Missoni, Louboutin, etc.), and "so called" high end designers that source everything to China, Malasia, and who have sold out to the luxury conglomerate LVMH, which has nothing but shareholder profits in in mind.

Aunty: Exactly. I save my pennies for stuff I know I will wear forever. Trends, I buy on the cheap, deeply discounted, and re-sell at consignment stores at the end of the season, using those funds to put in the trend kitty. My mother's high school graduation gift to me was a Coach bag, the kind they don't make any more with that beautiful heavy leather and tight stitching. I know it cost her at least a month's salary even back then, but she insisted that I enter adulthood with something of real quality. I can't begin to count the number of times I've carried that bag and it still looks brand new. THAT'S what a luxury good should be.

Czar: I buy almost everything on sale and have always been astonished by how low those sales can go. Which is why, lately, I only feel like buying consignment or bespoke from an up and coming local designer.

Fishy: No, I'm glad you were long-winded! I like the idea of custom filling orders for things we need. I need X, I find someone who makes it, I order it from them, they make it and send it to me.

czar said...


If you looked at the books my authors wrote, you'd come to the conclusion that they were trying to attract no attention to themselves whatsoever -- and maybe even quite the opposite. But that's just because of my little niche.

But certainly, many books and much art is produced to bring attention to the creator. I think of Piss Christ as an example. The difference, in my mind, is no one is expected to display books or art on their own bodies. And that, I suppose, is the root of my question. Is this type of fashion presented as something someone is actually going to wear? From what Moi says, the answer is no.

And if that's the case, I wish we had similar shows dedicated to the production of similar nonutilitarian art. But the general public doesn't fantasize about buying that stuff (present company excepted). Nor would there be runway models to gawk at and get all upset about if they're too thin or what brand of heroin they were fancying these days.

Not that I'd watch those shows either, in the realm of full disclosure.

I guess a closer parallel would be frou-frou restaurants where you just can't imagine some of these ingredients put together, or the ingredients at all. Very creative, but do people eat it because they enjoy it, or because they can then say they went to that restaurant, and on the way home they go to Steak and Shake?

Regarding the retail paradigm, don't get me started. Wonderful that these companies are cutting costs through technology. Are they cutting prices to match? No. So the profit margin goes up, the jobs go elsewhere, fewer people can afford the product, company management hoards the profits, and the middle class goes in the shitter. Oh, but that's OK. In five generations the free market will sort all this out, because corporations are delightful people who want to stay in business so they'll find a way to keep the customers happy. [Biting tongue, barely.]

Here's my question, though. If you're generating demand through those methods, there's a great deal of instant gratification underlying all of this, from the adrenaline rush of the blast marketers to the must-have-latest-thing desires of the consumer. Don't companies still need to actually produce product to satisfy that demand quickly once they generate it, or risk buyer's remorse and cancellations of orders down the line? Or is there a great deal of just-in-time production going on here?

And to the Macy's ads in your newspaper . . . my mailbox is still filled daily with catalogs from companies that didn't get the memo either. At least, maybe, there are some proofreaders getting some work from those catalogs.

Jenny said...

to Czar - for reals? :-) It's actually really simple, because I think my blog is really/really simple; I box for excercise, I have dogs (no kids) and I co-own a small plastics bidness. Oh. And I drink more vodka than I probably should.

does that help? I used to write real posts but the last year(s) have left me bitter and tired.

chickory said...

@czar: fashion is an art form that is interesting to me. Not just the couture stuff either: street wear, flea market style, cultural costuming. the reason i watch this show is because it is a creative contest - a reality game where you dont win by being the most manipulative, but by talent. (although lately, i am worried by who has been rewarded)

I mostly dress out of the Goodwill and I am not joking. I hate spending money on clothing because i need all the money to go to my place (chickory). Every so often though, a situation like this Missoni for Target happens and that is a treat because it is great design at the prole price point. another big name that did Target lines that i liked were housewares by architect Philip Johnson.

Not too long ago, I did a post pairing the work of Valentino with photographs from my neck of the woods. It would best explain my relationship with high fashion:
me and valentino on a hike

I remember Rich's!

czar said...

@Boxer: I think the thing that throws me is the plastics bidness. I just can't figure out what that is, nor are you under any obligation to explain it. And I'm right there with you on bitter and tired.

@Chickory: My two main takeaways from my time at Rich's (offices near Perimeter Mall, if I remember correctly) are

(1) a T-shirt from there I just found that had quotes from and drawings about all the excuses the buyers would give for why the product was not in the stores when it was supposed to be


(2) being there the day the OJ verdict was announced and seeing otherwise intelligent and personable people cheering at the outcome.

moi said...

My interest in fashion is the same as my interest in art. (I don't distinguish the two) and I believe how people outfit themselves is just as viable a cultural expression as shooting a film, writing a book, or making music.

I don't care if it's haute couture or street wear, a NYC socialite or Zulu warrior, I want to see how people put color and form together on their bodies to express themselves, as well as their specific culture and the times in which they live.

And because my schooling, both privately from friends and family (many of whom are artists or craftspeople of some form) and at the university was essentially in learning how to distinguish quality, I have an intense interest in the materials that go into making things: wood, cloth, plastics, clay, what have you. In other words, what makes one thing "fine" and another "cheap," and I'm not only speaking in terms of economics.

Not a day goes by that I don't make some kind of decision that involves fashion and art. To me, nothing about it is superficial; it is in fact, one of the most deeply interesting things about the human species, this desire to decorate ourselves and our environment, to express in form and movement, color and sound, who we are and what our purpose here on earth should be.

czar said...

@Moi: What a beautiful statement.

The contempt you have for most heterosexual men must be without bounds.

moi said...

Contempt for heterosexual men? Seriously, that's what you get from my statement? That I have disdain for men who can't appreciate fashion? I totally prefer more Hercules than Cyrano, and the fact that there is no way in hell I'm ever getting S.B. (or most of the men I know) into anything more fashionable than a pair of Dockers doesn't bother me at all.

czar said...

I was kidding. This is the snark station, after all.

moi said...

And my brain is mush, incapable of sussing out nuance today. You need to put one of those smiley things after your sentence if you're kidding :o)

Aunty Belle said...

Oh? thar's a yak fest over heah?

@ Czar
uh...I know I know--summer readin' is goin' toward deadline stuff so I can be gone in October. I ain't fergot that I has a few reviews to do--beggin' yore patience. When it comes, it will be a doozy--prepare for lift off: Everybody will be incensed in one fashion or t'other.

@ Boxer
"I used to write real posts but the last year(s) have left me bitter and tired. "

Amen, B-Babe, AMEN. Me too. I mean, I'se happy that we's havin' a good exchange on fashion (an' like Moi, I think it is a cultural indicator, so we's in quicksand) but what I regret most in last year or so, is that even us'uns is steppin' lightly around "real posts." I miss the Dawg's yard. I miss the Back Porch free-for-alls. I does go off the reservation (reckon y'all do too) to visit the tough topic blogs--but most of 'em have audiences of thousands an' no real exchange happens.

@ Chick9

Target also had Issac Misrahi. I like the idea that great design need not cost a year's pay.

@ post topic

Aunty wears her clothes until they fray. Thar'fore I likes designers that design. I do not like "fashion" that depends on color or frippery. Prefer true design--structured or fluid, it must be wearable, not contrived.

As fer fashion as personal statement--then I be in trouble. Ain't got gobs of time to be worriet about what statement I'se makin' unless it is an occasion. Fer dressy, I'se presentable. Fer runnin' to the produce market, I ain't no fashion or cultural statement--I'se in whatever came to hand.

Aunty ain't likely to be of interest to any of y'all who happened into the same party--no current fashion, no hollywood bling, no dramatic hair color, nothin' to draw yore eye. I might be a wallflower. Unless yore taste runs to deliberate understatement, yore eye will pass right over me.

chickory said...

@moi: i will get (if i can) these items:

the same baby blue and brown scarf/glove combo
maybe the computer bag
rain boots and umbrella
the tights and socks
and depending on what dresses are stocked - maybe. when i can wear tights, my choices are greater. you know what i mean.

@aunty: the dawg yard. that was before i understood that everything i wrote meant nothing and did nothing. who has time for it? i figured id just concentrate on surviving "hope and change".

chickory said...

forgot: great statement on fashion, Moi.

Aunty Belle said...

Oh--I forgot to say somethin' to tag onto Czar ( The Macy's retail set-up)--hyper capitalism ain't capitalism, it becomes totalitarianism.

Thas why the Ayan Rand program goes too far. The ultimate capitalistic excess is to create a monopoly an' force or pay the gubmint to protect that monopoly.

In the same way that unions have become corrupt behemoths that rarely serve their members, capitalism run amok also forms "union shops" whar' the gubmint is used as enforcer. Both paradigms destroy the common good.

Please, folks, read some Wendell Berry. Leave it to a farmer-poet to teach true economics.

fishy said...

@ Czar,
I think of "piss christ" as government run amuck as I recall it was paid for by us while the pisser laughed all the way to the islands. (Feel free to edit that into three sentences :-)

@ Boxer/Aunty/K9
substantial posts, relevant subjects and a true desire to communicate what is important was BEFORE we all became bludgeoned by this new reality. Now, we comfort one another, pray for one another, visit one another and do our damdest to lighten the loads of each other.

@ Chickory,
the laptop bag and the floppy hat were my favorites. Good for Target bringing real design to the masses. I agree with Moi, Target clothing is good for one light season.

@ Moi,
I heart your Mom's guidance.

moi said...

Aunty: I refuse to believe your assertion that you are a wallflower :o) And just because you don't do anything trendy or blingy or ostentatious doesn't mean you don't have a point of view. Making a statement doesn't even have to be deliberate; it's something we do whether or not we're conscious of it.

Chickory: Yes. Tights rule :o) It's why I mostly wear dresses in winter, and pants in summer. Oh, and darn it; I forgot about that computer bag . . . (runs off to count her pennies . . . )

Fishy: I think Boxer once said this community has become like a water cooler. Most of us work at home, alone and for ourselves. We don't have offices to go to and if we do, there aren't many people there. So the blogging thing has become like hitting the water cooler for a brief check-in.

Chantel said...

I used to model. Seriously, the mental assault of swearing that went on while this girl was "suiting up" would curl your hair. Damn the gods.

Aunty Belle said...

did'ja see in the WSJ magazine (Sept) how Hermes is fightin' fer its life against the takeover attempt by LVMH?

I pray they can fend off the luxe goons--Hermes still makes their perfumes in Grasse, while the other "luxury" names farm it out to grocery labs. They still weave their own silk twill in France, each bag is hand made--they may be the world's last true "in house" luxury line.

If ya git the WSJ, read the piece--very dramatic stuff.

moi said...

Chantal: Welcome to Moi's Blob! There has to be a better way to show off the clothes than by sticking them on walking toothpicks. Modeling is a sucky-ass business. When I was a teen trying to get into the industry, I was told to lose 20 pounds. I was all, "Yeah, let me remove this turkey leg from my mouth and beat you senseless with it."

Aunty: Just loaded the piece and read through it quickly. That would be the end of Hermes and my love for it. Bernard Arnault is a thug, and a man I hate with a white hot passion. He dilutes—literally and figuratively—everything he touches. The perfect example of the kind of "totalitarian capitalism" you spoke of in your last comment.

The quality of Hermes goods, as you point out, is unparalleled, everything made by hand (it's an 80-step process alone for the scarves and I'm honored to own one), each perfume painstakingly guided by Jean-Claude Ellena (one of the greatest "noses" in the industry), and they pay their artisans top dollar. All that would end under LVMH.

Hermes should never have gone public, never.