Even if having love for fashion-related reality TV is becoming an increasingly rarified quality, you may take at least a passing interest in the fact that NBC's answer to the genre, Fashion Star (click the link just to see the remarkably unflattering and heavily retouched profile photos of host Elle MacPherson and mentors Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos, and Nicole Richie), debuts tonight at 9:30.
Modeled much like The Voice, the season premier of which I actually enjoyed when it came on after the Superbowl, aims to be less about the drama and the whining-about-being-tired stuff you get plenty of with Project Runway, and instead keep the focus on the competition aspect. Designers found worthy will have their designs selected by buyers for Macy's, H&M, and Saks, and they will actually be made available to the purchasing public (the day after each episode, in a filming-to-airing time-frame sleight of hand).
And, if you, like me, find that a home-team player goes a long way toward making it to the threshold of interest, look no further than Lizzie Parker. True, she hails from Seattle and not Portland, but she has shown sizable collections many times at Portland Fashion Week, so I'm grandfathering her in. Besides, as you can see by this a bit too-long profile interview, she is confident, well spoken, grounded, and realistic—we should be proud to "adopt" her as a pet favorite in the season's proceedings. Now if I only had a TV…
Why don't these guys ever make an effort to surprise us?
They're baaaaack.... I just got an email from an associate casting director for Project Runway, and they're sniffing up the old Portland tree again, hoping to shake down some more fruit a la Leanne Marshall, Janeane Marie, Gretchen Jones, Seth "Actually From Vancouver" Aaron Henderson, Becky Ross, and Bryce Black. This is a bit early for them, suggesting that Season 10 might air earlier on the calendar than it has in recent years. (June-September instead of July-October, maybe? Closing the gap between when fashion week photos come out online and the season finales would be a good idea, but summer nights are precious, dudes!)
Ordinarily here is where I'd sternly warn Portland designers against participating in a reality show that suffers less and less credibility every season, most recently awarding the win to a contestant who made some fun maxi dresses but could barely sew anything else. But you know, what? I am done. You're adults, and if you want to participate on a supposedly style conscious program that greenlights an ad campaign like this, that's your own problem:
Behold Shy'm, French R&B singer, at the NRJ Music Awards in what can only be described as a hairy, translucent corset:
Yet again the icy hand of reality fashion TV has touched our shoulder. Don't worry, there isn't a Portland resident competing on NBC's Fashion Star—it's not that bad. But Seattle contestant Lizzie Parker is closely associated with Portland Fashion Week, where she has often shown her spring collections, although she didn't in 2011. If she returns, she'll be helping to fill out an increasingly large contingent of reality fashion show vets, joining ranks with the Seth Aaron-led Project Runway contingent. I'm gonna go ahead and sit this one out, but I'll be keeping an eye out for news on how she does. She is at least a competent if practical designer whose work is mainly easily wearable, simple and efficient separates. Best of luck to her.
Hosted by supermodel Elle Macpherson, Fashion Star features celebrity mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, and John Varvatos. The series will premiere Tuesday, March 13, at 9:30 p.m. with a 90-minute episode. Following that, Star’s hour-long episodes will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.
After the successful 2011 debut of Pendleton's The Portland Collection—wildly good press, serious customer demand, and a dollop of controversy that got everyone thinking about cultural appropriation in fashion (if you haven't already, read this excellent piece on the subject by Lisa Hix)—the company has reinvested in its line featuring Portland designers John Blasioli, Rachel Turk, and Nathaniel Crissman. The Fall 2012 collection is much larger, with more home items, and I hear, more color. The lookbook has not been released as of yet, and Pendleton's doing a good job of teasing the curious masses. The only photo that has been released:
The latest hoopla in the wild and woolly world of fashion models is that H&M got "busted" Photoshopping actual, alive models' faces onto what are basically digital mannequins:
In other, far more disturbing model news, American model Lauren Scruggs walked into the propeller of a plane, losing a hand, slicing a shoulder, and potentially losing sight in her left eye.
Just when you start to get comfortable with your post-Project Runway existence (I hereby ban any more Portland designers from submit to these televised shenanigans... please?), it rears its ugly head again. Those of us who have all but completely given up on the merits of this competition may have sworn off the show, but you could hardly be helped if you formed any attachments to any coulda- shoulda- woulda-won former contestants. Enter the new Project Runway All Stars Challenge, starring none other than Mondo, who will probably be single handedly responsible for drawing 95% of viewers. As you'll recall, Mondo was barely beat out by Portland contestant Gretchen Jones in Season 8 in what was then one of the judges' most controversial decisions (arguably less so than the more recent decision to award the grand prize to someone who doesn't know how to make clothes).
Mondo may have lost that round, but he won the hearts of PR fans, and you can bet they'll be rooting for him when All Stars debuts in its just-announced debut on January 5 at 9 pm on Lifetime. Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive (and non-embeddable) video preview. In the meantime, take a short trip down memory lane before deciding if you're in it for the long haul.
Goodbye and good riddance. Project Runway came to its shameful conclusion last night, ending what has been one of the most dismal seasons of the show thus far. Unlikeable contestants, too many group challenges, a shorter length of time for the designers to put together their fashion week collections, motherfucking stilts—the laundry list of complaints lodged against this season goes on and on. On the positive side, Heidi has been looking really healthy, and they made a big step up in the finale guest judge department, upgrading from Jessica Simpson to L'Wren Scott. Otherwise this season, particularly its conclusion, has been probably the most detrimental to the show's reputation thus far. Here, judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia explain their thinking on each of the final four going into the decision-making.
After a brief hiatus (Portland Fashion Week, vacation), I'm back on the Project Runway horse, just in time for the last, best few episodes. To recap: Bert got done in by a bird, Portland designer Bryce Black was briefly resurrected (along with other eliminated contestants) to referee between former besties Joshua and Anya, and then Laura finally bit it after an exhaustion-driven experiment with circle prints. So! We are left with four: Anya, Joshua, Viktor, and Kimberly. With one more designer set to be eliminated before the final three, it was time for the traditional home visits with Tim Gunn, from Joshua's tiny studio in Queens to Anya's palatial estate in Trinidad. Doop de doo, business as usual, right? WRONG. Last night's episode ended in scandal and bullshit. Don't know what I mean? Don't hit the jump.
Only the truly competent remain on this last leg of Project Runway, meaning we are probably out of the woods as far as construction concerns go, and it's now down to matters of taste—in other words, we're in Nina's world now, and man has she pepped up. Abandoning her usual coiled cool, in which a raised eyebrow and a stern tone are about as hysterical as she gets, she's now screeching that "THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LEOPARD PRINT! ACID COLOR LEOPARD PRINT IS A PROBLEM!" and "IT LOOKS CHEAP!!!!" while frantically looking around for confirmation from her fellow judges of the fact that cheap looking clothing is tantamount to the sky falling. Good morning, Nina, it's good to have you back.
This is also where I start to feel sorry for the designers. All of their looks are generally pretty good, with only the occasional atrocity, and so everything becomes super subjective. One thing, however, that everyone could agree on in this '70s-themed challenge, was that Joshua's plaid pants are... well okay, not the worst thing that could happen to a woman's ass and thighs, but close.
AHHHHH, indeed. No, it certainly doesn't "resignate," as Heidi points out, who apparently caught a bit of the speech impediment from totally useless guest judge Olivia Palermo, who mostly parroted what the other judges said, at one point asked "Why didn't you make a skort?"—NEVER A QUESTION THAT NEEDS TO BE ASKED—and stumbled or mispronounced every seemingly random garment-related word that tumbled out of her mouth.
Portland Fashion Week is creeping upon us (the first night is a week from tomorrow... guess that means I should do some laundry). PFW has enjoyed its fair share of controversy over the years based on everything from its participation fees to its often-douchey attendees, but it rarely enjoys the level of corruption outlined in Glamour UK's recent piece, "The Truth About Fashion Week," which reels off a list of blind items about designers and models engaging bad behavior ranging from job-interview hand jobs to searching models' handbags for tampons—being "in season" is apparently cause for firing in his house. Read the highlights here, and tune in for the highlights of our own Fashion Week beginning next week on MOD, where I promise to keep an eye out for coke-fueled temper tantrums and backstage blowjobs. One can hope.
Ding-dong, the wimp is dead! Sorry, that was mean, I'm still bitter about last week. If you saw last night's installment of Project Runway, you know who I'm talking about. For this episode, the season's relentless obsession with team challenges marched on, splitting into two groups tasked with designing looks for the shaggy haired members of a band called the Sheepdogs for an upcoming Rolling Stone shoot. Luckily for the designers, their style, reflected in their music, is easy to read, and which I would summarize as "retro hippie biker dudes." Shaggy hair, handlebars, denim, leather, dashikis, snakeskin boots, and so forth.
Also, I don't recall Tim ever being so giggly. I'll have what he's having. Speaking of giggly, I would not say that I like Adam Lambert's style choices, but he did make a jovial addition to the judges' panel.
Tony Dimitri Peniche, a recent apparel design graduate from the Art Institute, has announced that a photoshoot for his fashion line on Saturday will feature over 100 naked people traipsing from PSU onto the MAX at 6:45 am ("just heading to work... naked"), down to Ankeny Alley by 9:30 ("acting casual, drinking coffee, riding bikes, getting out of a cab... naked"), then on to Barracuda for a club scene at noon ("people just having fun, dancing, drinking, smiling..." you get it). What's a fashion shoot without clothing? Well, the tag line behind the concept is "If you aren't wearing Peniche, you aren't wearing anything," and the nudists will be joined by a lone model repping the brand.
This is par for the course for Peniche's drugs/sex/rock 'n' roll marketing preferences, and not the first time he's raised eyebrows (witness the extremely cuddly and middle finger-heavy photoshoot he did with his sister, who, incidentally, you might recognize from teen beauty pageants, Playboy, a handful of rehab-related reality shows, or that one naked home video with Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart). That's all fine and dandy as long as he keeps working in the direction of the interesting and well crafted looks he showed us at the AI show—I will, and have said, that he's come a very long way from the screenprinting and bullet belts we first knew him for.
It will be just like the naked bike ride except with guyliner instead of bikes! Plan your Saturday accordingly. (Oh and if you want to try to join in, go here.)
I know, it is way too early to be talking about cold times and holiday parties, but this little rumor just came across my desk: The flagship location of the annual downtown pop-up shop program (you can read some of my coverage of past years here and here) has been accidentally announced. If all goes as planned, Boys' Fort will be housed in the downtown Galleria at 600 SW 10th starting Oct 17, boasting "classic men's products with a modern urban curve."
But settle down there, shoppers: Holiday pop-up honcho Lisa Frisch cautions that this little press release has wandered out prematurely, and final details, including pretty important ones like, you know, the leases, are still being hammered out. So not to count our chickens before they hatch, but Frisch does confirm that "We plan on having three to four PDX Pop-Up shops this year." Stay tuned for the official word, due next month. In the meantime, it's probably safe to start getting excited about the third round for this program, which props up the work being produced by the local industry and has even, in the case of the Portland Design Collective and Crafty Wonderland, produced permanent new residents on the downtown retail map.
It was a bloody massacre on last night's episode of Project Runway in a challenge for which the designers had to—gasp!—design for women who aren't models and have all these weird things that someone whose job it is to dress women couldn't possibly be expected to work around, like boobs and butts and stuff. "Boobs to me are trouble," whimpered Olivier, who probably had the hardest time of anyone dealing with his "clients," a bossy husband and wife duo.
To back up, for a minute it looked like the designers were going to have to design menswear, which clearly struck terror into many of their hearts, but all were relieved when it was revealed that the men they'd paired up with were more like (clueless) consultants on a look for their significant others.
As fumbling as Olivier was, it wasn't he who was sent packing at the end of the night. Get your sad violin music ready and hit the jump to find out who did.
Tragedy struck on last night edition of Project Runway and I'm not just talking about Joshua's cray-cray wicked outburst in the workroom with Bert. I'm still not convinced that Bert has deserved all the trash talking the other designers have thrown at him, but he does have a tendency to say something and then immediately deny having said it. But for the record Bert, we all watched you say "So much for my fucking clocks." Not that it should matter all that much, Josh.
And you thought his eyebrows were intense!
First of all, this is maybe the most amazing outfit I've ever seen on Project Runway:
Sadly the name of the game in last night's challenge was not to design a smashing party look for Humpty Dumpty, or I'm sure I couldn't fathom a better submission than the one from Bert here (who at least outwardly seemed totally serious about his look, trying to branch out of the reach of criticism that his designs are too simple—that is certainly one way to do it). Instead the designers were paired up with teenaged students from the Harlem School of the Arts. They then collaborated on a painting from which they were to take their inspiration for an avant garde look, which the students also had input on. I was excited about this one because it allowed the designers immense freedom and $300 to spend on decent materials, but most of the results were more red carpet than avant garde. Still, some interesting stuff.
The claws came out on last night's episode of Project Runway, in another group challenge that featured vicious words spat out, most notably by Joshua (wow, he has a wicked side), Bert (at this point openly hostile towards his fellow contestants). It got dirty. There were tears. And sorry to say, they belonged to Portland contestant Becky Ross. Ouch. And then the camera followed her into the bathroom where she was crying in a stall. OW.
Oh, the drama. But first: OMG, WTF. We have to see the part again in which Olivier could not make it through a single lap around a track without biffing spectacularly (props to Heidi and Tim for managing not to laugh, at least not in the final edit), skinning his knee and passing out/suffering a panic attack as paramedics attended to him.
Firstly, I should disclose that I watched last night's episode of Project Runway in the very presence of Portland contestant Bryce Black (who told me absolutely nothing of value, the fink). Luckily, he and fellow PDX contestant Becky Ross more or less skated through the dread Nina Challenge, in which the designers were tasked to come up with an office-to-industry-function get-up for the show's most useful judge (Michael, you are funnier, it's just by a hair).
As mentioned yesterday, it truly is a monumental accomplishment in the field of douchebaggery to be offered a princely sum by Abercrombie & Fitch in exchange for not wearing their clothing in public. But according to this report, that is exactly what The Situation (and his Jersey Shore cohorts) have managed to achieve:
Abercrombie & Fitch, the clothing company, is offering “substantial payment” to Mike (The Situation) Sorrentino, of the show Jersey Shore, if he will stop wearing A&F attire on the air. “We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. … We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast.”
Their mothers must be so proud.
However, when the reports came out regarding A&C's plummeting shares, The Situation snapped back, tweeting, “Looks like Abercrombie got themself into a Situation!” As for Paul “DJ Pauly D” Delvecchio, he pointed out the clothing company's sudden change of heart, having earlier come out with t-shirst emblazoned with the Shore catchphrase GTL (gym, tan, and laundry): “Hmmm if They Don’t Want Us To Wear Those Clothes Why Make GTL Shirts #yourPRsux,” he wrote, Tweeting to a picture of an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt with “GTL” stamped on it above the word “Fitch.”
Hmmm, good point Pauly D. Good point.
UPDATE: Oh shit, now the Taiwanese CG recreation people are on it. Okay, that's a bit much. Hit the jump to see it.
Kiddie fashion has replaced skinny models as the Most Popular Ethical Concern Regarding the Fashion Industry of the day. The latest to kick up a fuss is Jours Après Lunes, a French "loungerie" line for 4-12-year-old girls. The gear itself is pretty innocuous (minus the questionable necessity of bras during the younger end of that spectrum), but the lookbook shots have got the 'nets in a tizzy. Much like the now-notorious Vogue Paris shoot, many of the photos are styled to look like the girls are playing dress up, horsing around jumping on a bed, or mugging cutely (I would not say lustily) for the camera—all things healthy girls of that age really do. I tend to think that raising the pedophile alarm in these cases is a bit hysterical. Pervs are going to perv on whatever they like to perv on with or without anyone's help. There's as much skin in these shots as there is at the community pool, and little girls have always worn panties. The only shot that creeps me out is the one of an older girl ("12," presumably) pictured with a big teddy bear. Without the bear you wouldn't know her underwear wasn't intended for grown women, and she's lusting all over that camera. I already said my piece on how these things tend read to me, but by all means, decide for yourself.
Last night's Project Runway challenge was the stilt walker challenge many had already glimpsed on the 'nets after photos of the runway—which, in a first-time-ever move, took place in the public eye, at Battery Park (along with the almost completely contribution-less Kim Kardashian as guest judge). Heidi broke it to the designers by walking out in front of them on stilts herself (is there anything she can't do?). About half the designers took a costume-y route, while the other half just did an extend-o version of ready to wear. Guess who came out on top.
As for Portland contestants Bryce and Becky, things are looking up for one, and down for the other. Find out which after the cut.
At over 57 thousand followers it's hardly a secret, but today I was introduced to the Conde Elevator twitter feed, which is exactly what it sounds like: Tweets of things overheard in the Condé Nast elevators. A few examples:
Well, that was kind of a shit show. Firstly, my love for Bert Keeter? Somewhat diminished. After winning over everyone, including the judges, in the first challenge, Bert self-admittedly phoned this one in. He didn't even pretend to be trying, and just rested on his laurels. (NOTE: This is exactly the opposite of what Leanne Marshall did when she was in the same position, knocking it out of the park despite her immunity. But what does she know? She just WON is all.) Luckily the judges called him out on it pretty harshly. Shape up, Bert! All the other designers have turned on you! Anyway, that's ok, because I found another favorite: the hilarious Joshua.
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