“Who knows what the hell we’re talking about?” – Isaac Mizrahi
This may be one of the most half-assed avant-garde challenges ever. Or maybe I’m just misremembering how half-assed they usually are. When Alyssa actually questioned whether avant-garde can mean different things to different people, I wanted to throw something at the television. Clearly, these people have no right to be judging anything. Boy George was the voice of reason this week when he stated that avant-garde can’t mean something different to different artists. It’s supposed to be cutting edge and ahead of its time. It’s supposed to challenge you. It’s supposed to piss you off!
Alyssa met the designers at an art gallery in New York that showcases modern artists. She told the designers that their challenge this week was to create an avant-garde, wearable work of art inspired by one of the pieces in the gallery. The designers got to spend time speaking with the artists. They all expressed how inspired they were by this challenge, which makes the end result of the fashion they produced so underwhelming.
I have no complaints with Ken winning this week. He seems to be one of (maybe) two designers this week who understood the challenge. The painting he chose as his inspiration exhibited a woman’s face, partially hidden, yet it also (according to the artist) is about strength. I’m not sure I recall why or how partially hiding one’s face exhibits strength, but Ken somehow nailed that idea with his design, didn’t he? And yes, Boy George was right to say that this look was very Grace Jones. In fact, somebody should get Grace Jones on the phone because she will want to wear this dress every day.
Horrible. It’s a bad dress from a bad 80s movie. The painting that inspired Kini’s look showed a woman’s face in black silhouette (it may have been Queen Elizabeth? I don’t quite remember…) with a bunch of colors all around her. So he deiced to put his model is a black body suit that covers her face. Covering his model’s face in black is the only thing that even slightly makes this look challenging or avant-garde, so that was kind of a cop out on Kini’s part. If he had just sent this dress down the runway, he would have been sent home. In fact, maybe he should have been sent home. That giant bow? I can’t even talk about it.
Boy George felt that this look wasn’t challenging enough, and he may have had a point. It is, however, very visually appealing and looks like wearable art. Dom is (maybe) the only designer besides Ken who seemed to understand the challenge. This outfit also really clearly calls to the mosaic art piece that inspired it. She could have pushed it a little more with the overall shape of the jacket. In fact, if she had pushed the envelope a little more, this probably would have been the hands-down win. It really is cool to look at, but it isn’t quite what the judges were looking for. Although, as Isaac said, “Who knows what the hell we’re talking about?”
So Ken kinda lost his shit this week when Sam sent this piece of crap down the runway, huh? Ken’s big complaint was that everyone was working so hard constructing their garments, and Sam just draped fabric and went to lunch.
Sam was inspired by a piece of “digital taxidermy.” It was basically a digital image of an owl that captured a moment in time, or something. Anyway, Sam decided that he would focus on gay marriage being made legal in all 50 states as his “moment in time,” or something. Anyway, Zanna was NOT feeling it and called Sam out for making a giant rainbow dress. So his solution was to drape purple fabric over his giant rainbow? And Isaac like it? It was his favorite look on the runway??? They clearly don’t know what the heck they’re talking about.
I like this more than I like Sam’s look, and I definitely like it more than Kini’s look, but on some level, I do also agree that Emily deserved to be sent home this week. She completely missed the mark. This is too cool and pretty and wearable. There’s no real art here. It’s just a cool sweater dress! The judges all gave her ideas on how this could have been more successful (wider shoulders, no color, etc), but the truth is that Emily didn’t seem to want to push herself this week. She was so closed off to anything outside of her vision for this dress.
But none of this makes the fact that she was sent home any less unfortunate. Emily has really grown into herself this season, and I find her to be a much more interesting designer than either Sam or Kini.
You know, I actually blogged Emily’s season of Project Runway, and I recall that when she was sent home, I wrote that she was the classiest designer ever to leave the show. I still feel that way. She is a sweet, kind, and beautiful person. Once again, what a classy exit! Other designers should take note. This is how one should present oneself on national television.