Cold And Creamy Couture (My Episode 4 Recap)
I personally would never look to food as inspiration for fashion, I’m not much of a foodie and I tend to think of eating and fashion as opposites, but I guess it worked well enough. It was definitely successful for color inspiration. All of the designer’s fruity confections took a clear cue from their gelato flavor, but because we were dealing with ice cream and not actual ingredients, there weren’t really texture or form ideas to translate into the garments.
More than the assigned inspiration, the decision to give the designers only six hours to make their garments had the most impact on the work. Most of the designers played it safe and made familiar silhouettes, correctly thinking there was no time for experimentation. Kara dress (below) was a total redo of a dress she featured in her final collection from season 2. Because her collection was a decoy collection, an extra collection added to the final live runway show so that the press would not know who the actual finalists were, Kara hadn’t previously received a critique on the style. Had that happened, she might have modified the maternity look. (Which I thought was adorable!)
Mila didn’t exactly go out on a creative limb, color blocking in red and white instead of black and white. I get that there are endless variations on the color block theme, but please, no more shift dresses. I don’t have actual proof because going back through every design Kenley ever created for Project Runway might make my eyes bleed, but I can just bet I could come up with a Peter Pan collared circle skirt dress.
The guest judge was everything I hate in a Project Runway guest judge. I don’t care if she is the one wearing the winning outfit to an industry event. The challenge was not to design a dress for a breastfeeding model that hates ruffles (which are the only two bits of wisdom she contributed). We really don’t need actresses and models telling us what they personally like and dislike, especially when Diane Von Furstenberg is sitting on the stage. I say the rule of thumb should be when the producers are tempted to bring on the actress/model eye candy guest judge, call Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus instead. That was a great guest judge.
I loved Austin’s dress and I disagreed with the judges and like Anthony’s dress, it must have looked worse in person that it looked on TV. Rami’s dress was a disappointment. I felt there was too much going on and the combination of greens was odd. April’s dress was, in fact a Halloween costume. I get her Tim Burton steam punk aesthetic but she has had problems with execution in every challenge. Mondo’s resort wear cantaloupe caftan was great. He may have been the only designer to step away from his expected silhouette and show us something he doesn’t usually do.
What I really want to talk about is Michael Costello. I have not always been a fan of his fashion, but I can’t really explain why. I do think his taste tends to skirt the line between good and bad, but I am the first to admit he can really pull out a variety of successful designs. Perhaps it is his variety that throws me off. I don’t feel like I really know, design wise, who he is. Whether or not I am a full time fan of his designs, he has a list of qualities so endearing, that I feel compelled to root for him. He seems to be some kind of man-child that lives in a constant state of wonder. He always seems genuinely shocked and thankful to win a challenge. His obvious excitement to be standing in front of Diane Von Furstenberg was adorable. It’s hard not to love someone so humble. I did like his dress this week, though I didn’t find it to be out of the park original. When Isaac Mizrahi was saying, “something about it is too on the nose,” I was screaming, “Halston! Vintage Halston from the 70’s!” But six hours? Hey, again, he pulled it out. Congrats man-child. You go boy.
Tune in to "Project Runway All Stars" Thursdays at 9/8c.