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Project Runway’s Fashion Week: A Sneak Peek and Critique of the Collectionsby Sandy McFarland, with Lisa, Heather, Nanci, and Hank -- 03/08/2006
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Project Runway 2 currently has the final three designers creating their collections for Fashion Week, but when Fashion Week actually occurred some weeks ago, there were four still left in the game. Like last season, the final four all showed their collections, but because Bravo didn’t want to ruin the suspense regarding the final three, one designer was used as a decoy. Thankfully, the media and Internet were privy to all four Fashion Week collections, which some Project Runway devotees and I immediately focused on. That said, we gathered together with out thoughts and compared our notes, so we could share our findings with the RNO readers who might want a written peek of what’s in store during Project Runway’s Fashion Week finale. For those who haven’t seen the collections and prefer to be surprised, just say “no” and don’t read any further. Instead please watch the finale then compare your thoughts with ours.
This article will include a brief description of each collection as well as each design; not only of the final three, Chloe, Daniel, and Santino, but also decoy Kara Janx’s line, which deserves, at least, an honorable mention. I’d like to introduce fashionistas Lisa, Heather, and Nanci who have selflessly volunteered to share their views collection-by-collection, design-by-design, along with me, for this article. Also, Project Runway connoisseur, Hank, will treat us to an insightful overview regarding each line:
Because we run the gamut of ages and tastes, you’ll get a peek into the minds of the buying public, and heck yes, we have something to say!
As we are somewhat uncertain of the final themes for each collection, I can only offer up what was shared during the last few Runway episodes (as well as what I have found poking around the Web). Please forgive us, as our views were taken from slideshows, so true colors may be off. Also be aware that we don’t get to examine all the different angles of the designs nor much of their movement. We did our best to work with what we could find, and I have to admit, all four of the collections were different, inspired, and even sometimes surprising. That said, lets start the show! (Insert stompin’ runway music here.)
Hank’s thoughts on the collection: It is interesting that Chloe chose to use so much shiny fabric. She also selected a nice color pallet. The blues and golds look lovely, but some of the shiny pinks would only work for me in a party atmosphere. I find it interesting that Chloe decided to do variation on design as I see five outfits that use the same fabrics, similar designs, while are all very different.
Chloe Design 1 - Chloe's first design appears to be a rose charmeuse, over-the-knee, party frock, with elbow length puff sleeves and a deep V-neck, which gives us a peek of the gold shift under it. The dress is loosely fitted with a drop waist and tie belt. The look is completed with a bouncy flared skirt.
Nanci: I'm impressed with the first design shown on the catwalk. When I saw it, I thought it might be Daniel's collection coming out. Where was Chloe hiding this kind of design during Project Runway? Maybe I just didn't notice it, but WOW, this is good. I am delighted with the design's fresh and flirty, grown-up and girly look. The puffy sleeves go with the puffy skirt, but I also think the shoulders look kind of droopy and awkward on this model. The visual imbalance could be corrected by not letting the sleeve length fall past the waistline. I love this rose color and the fabric, which has a dramatic shine and shadow that creates an intriguing look. (By the way, check out the back of all of Chloe's designs. They’re a delightful surprise.)
Heather: I hate to say this, but the dress looked similar to what I wore to Ted Lichtenfeld’s Bar Mitzvah back in 1983. It’s more Lolita than glamour.
Sandy: This dress is so adorable that I would get a face-lift just to look young enough to wear it. Hey Heather, do you still have yours? Can I borrow it? I didn’t notice the shoulder droop problem that Nancy did so I’ll happily blame that on the model’s stance.
Lisa: When I first saw this dress, I totally hated it. I thought it looked like a parade float. On second look, it’s primarily the sleeves and the design’s pinkness that killed it for me. There’s way too much pouf!
Chloe Design 2 - Next on the runway is a casual mini dress. Chloe has chosen a very dark green or black fabric that has an occasional pink flowered print running through it. This design is bare shouldered, with the fabric collaring the model's neck. The bright pink satiny belt adds a bit of flair that brings out the pastel in the print.
Nanci: Oh, this is cute! What a nice way to show off great-looking shoulders. The dog collar neckline gives a new twist on the usual halter-top loop around the neck. It's perfectly balanced with the width of the satin sash that sits well below the waistline. The dress length is proportional to the overall look, but would only work with the deflated balloon “curtain topper” hemming used to give volume to the bottom. It’s youthfully feminine and not for anyone out of her twenties.
Heather: The pink belt is from the same fabric as the first design. This is a little more wearable, but woe to the gals (myself included) with chunky arms or breasts that need a bra. This would be a bad jiggle fest especially for a thirty-something like me.
Sandy: Thank God the parts of me that jiggle aren’t what Heather mentioned. (Um, I hope.) I do think that this sassy little number could inspire more than a few to firm up a few body parts, though. I’d wear this design in a minute even if it does look a bit young.
Lisa: I agree with all of you. I love this fabric, I think the dress is adorable, and would totally wear it if I had the legs for it… age be damned.
Chloe Design 3 - Chloe's third design takes the same dark fabric with pink flowered print as the previous dress, but this time she presents us with a full-length gown. This garment is loosely fitted and simple.
Nanci: Yes, it seems ordinary, but the fabric flows in a way that makes it sizzle with innocent seduction. The double triangle top is updated with narrow to wide straps that enhance the breasts. That's not to imply that a large breasted woman would look good in this dress. She wouldn't. It would be more flattering on the smaller breasted woman. The rest of the dress is flowing. It has the barest hint of sexiness that would capture the eyes and imagination of many. That is, after all, why’d we wear it, isn't it?
Heather: This dress is fairly wearable and flows nicely down the runway, going by the photo. No problems here. I like the accents of pink because I don’t feel choked by it, so this is lovely.
Sandy: I agree, this is a nice gown that would hide a few blemishes on the less than perfect body. I would totally wear this and I love the subtle print.
Lisa: I really like this gown a lot (but then I love this fabric) and I agree that those that can’t quite pull off the previous design would have better luck with this one (and the bra thing would be less of an issue).
Chloe Design 4 - Chloe has designed a mini dress, once again using the rose fabric of Design 1 with squared shoulders, and straight 3/4 length sleeves. The hem of the skirt is embellished with what appears to be four-inch pleated panel that is sewn on in the middle of the panel to the hem. This design is seriously tailored with sharp edges.
Nanci: Now, this looks like a Chloe design. The first thing I notice is the pleated ruffle at the hemline. It's pure Chloe. I can't say I'd wear it, but it is new and different in a pleasing way. I love the curving boat neckline contrasted with the geometric slash sides of the capelet. I also love the look of the longer sleeves over a sleeveless dress without it looking like a full jacket is being worn. I notice that the positioning of the front darts start below the waistline on the side seams. How clever! This enhances the silhouette without being obvious. I always hated that the front darts which were so obvious, but it's hard to get that fitted look without them. The overall look is dressy and casual without being too much of either. It strikes a mature pose of sophisticated and flirty. Charming!
Heather: Much more grownup than the Bar Mitzvah dress, but still very fun and flirty. The color is not one I’d pick for myself, but the cut is, as the description says, sharp.
Sandy: This is a Chloe design at its best. It is beautifully constructed and very precise, while still extremely feminine. Thus far, I can’t fault this collection. For the record, I love this dusty rose color. (So please knock off with the “PINK” sneers, Heather and Lisa!)
Lisa: Calling it dusty rose doesn’t change the fact that the PINK color doesn’t thrill me either, but I think the design of the dress is terrific. Chloe has always strived to deliver clean lines in her designs, and she was very successful with this one. Heck, I even like the bracelets accessorizing this dress.
Chloe Design 5 - This gold, strapless body fitting mini-dress comes with a cropped jacket with puff sleeves, along with a sewn on inch of pleating before allowing for a sassy little skirt to finish of this design’s look.
Nanci: How cute is this? And this design is so very, very creative. Take two out of the four previous designs, shake and pour. Only Chloe could make this recipe look so good. We have the deflated balloon pleated ruffle curtain topper at the bottom of the dress and the bigger deflated balloon sleeved capelet at the top of the dress all over a fitted bustier-type middle. Isn't she great? (By the way, check out the back).
Heather: When I first saw this design, I thought it was simply the same as the last design but in another color. Then I saw it was mostly the skirt that was similar, leading one design to the other. Not a dress for girls with, as Zulema put it, “a big booty.”
Sandy: The fabric is gorgeous and once again, Chloe hits another design out of the ballpark. This body-hugging little number would look right at home on every delectable rich and famous female body the world over. I want this dress; now I just need to recapture the body to wear it!
Lisa: I love this fabric as well. Give me the last design in this fabric and I would be thrilled! As for this dress, I think it’s cute as well, but I prefer the cleaner lines of the other.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next-->
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