A digression – Project Runway’s 10th season – #long!

I believe I have said before that I don’t watch much tv.  It’s true – I don’t, but it isn’t because I don’t love tv or that I have some high falutin’ moral opposition or feeling against it – ‘cos I don’t. I have learned so much & seen so many things, heck that’s how I learned to READ.  I *do* feel it is a huge time waster, the commercials are often racist, sexist, materialist, ageist and create desire for stuff I don’t need anyhow, the news ain’t really news, it’s noisy, it tends to make me passive and even more sedentary & I decided in 1997 that if I was gonna do music, have a good family life, read books and be a Baha’i the way I think I should, something was gonna have to give! That was even before I got online….

I love PBS. It’s my FAVORITE thing to watch. Still, most of those things on PBS – they make you think. Deep thought kind of thinking and I do plenty of that already (just ask my family…..). Now reality tv – that’s what I call low-brow entertainment and when I wanna turn off my brain – which still goes about 300 mph most of the time – that’s where I go.  I love Netflix & Hulu; you can watch stuff with few or no commercials, and often you can watch stuff all in a row whenever it’s convenient. What could be better?

It can’t be just any old reality show either.  I don’t really have clear criteria; I just know it when I see it.  So I got hooked on Project Accessory last summer and so I’ve been watching the 10th season of Project Runway.

**********SPOILER AHEAD***********

The final episode of that cycle was aired this past week, and I was surfing around trying find out a bit more about the winner. I read a recap/review by Mondo that I enjoyed and I decided to respond in the comments section….which turned into a fairly long essay.  I thought you might enjoy reading it, so here it is, with some photos added.

Read Mondo Guerra’s Recap here

(He *did* say to tell him how we really feel in the comments….)


A disclaimer: during all ten seasons of PR, I have watched a few episodes each season here & there, but this season I have made it a point to watch every episode!  So I’m pretty late to the party…… Also I have been a serious sewist for almost 30 years.


I believe the exact right choice was made in Dmitry as the winner of this season – he’s the complete package! All of his clothes I could actually imagine women wearing who are not walking clothes hangers and 6 feet tall. My only critique of Dmitry is his fear of prints, color & lighter hues. Dmitry? This was for spring? Hmmmmmm……. I think he played to his strengths instead of designing a spring collection, and I am very glad it worked out for him.

4 of Dmitry Sholokhov’s looks

I adore Fabio – such a sweet guy!  His designs are REALLY good & I hope he has a big future ahead of him.  I so loved his clothes BUT those accessories that he made out of plastic needlepoint canvas? For me, they WERE SO DISTRACTING!  They weren’t in any way editorial or avant garde IMO; they were straight up HOBBY LOBBY. I thought for sure he wasn’t gonna make it to Fashion Week once Nina & Michael saw those. His color palette was pretty – a huge contrast with the other 3 it’s true, but after 3models down the runway, for me it was kinda boring. Even if normal women could wear his looks without looking rather strange, how on earth do you wear all that beautiful drapey stuff and 1) not freeze and 2)keep it clean?  This collection was for spring? Really?  No – more like beach/vacation/cruise attire.  Now if Fabio & Sonjia wanted to collaborate on some clothes – look OUT!

4 of Fabio Costa’s looks

Melissa’s clothes were my favorite hands down, but she made a huge mistake with the dress you couldn’t walk in.

It was PAINFUL to see the model try to walk in this thing…..

I feel that it’s really a blessing for Melissa that she did not win; she seemed so much happier and confident in California. She makes really WONDERFUL clothes – I personally would like to own every single thing she wore on the show & 90% of what she made for PR- but would let the atmosphere of the show get to her & doubt herself so much…it was truly painful to watch. Now that she’s been on this show, her clientele will grow HUGELY and she can go on making her wonderful clothes for those of us who will appreciate them, as opposed to the high fashion world, which is a kind of weird cosmos unto itself that worships art/innovation/cattiness/commerce/youth/backstabbing/beauty/sarcasm.  Perhaps an edgy pop star will hire her, as Madonna did with Jean-Paul Gaultier back in the day, and elevate Melissa Fleis to legendary status.  I sure hope so.  One other thing- Melissa, I adore you but move away from black. At least half of your collection in color – perhaps even prints!- every time dear girl.

4 of Melissa Fleis’ looks

Now Christopher….that fella……he pushed himself. Pushed and pushed and pushed himself so hard that he kind of  blew up. His “spring” collection (I mean did ANYBODY actually design for SPRING?:::::::::crickets chirping::::::: Nope) was based on an x-ray – very cool and surprising.  Using bleach to change the leather – WAY COOL & innovative. And he’s got a great big ego and is rather a diva and very young – so much fun to see what he was gonna do next, but even more fun to see what he would SAY next. Plus he’s super-talented.  I agree with the judges on every point ( too many looks, not cohesive, he needs seasoning, etc.) about Christopher’s collection except one:  I loved the gown.  Unfortunately, the gown did not go with the rest of the collection; if only he had used the x-ray print fabric – that would’ve been smashing. We’ll be seeing him more in the future.

4 of Christpher Palau’s looks


Others have posted here about getting new judges; I don’t agree.  Michael Kors is still a kick-ass designer and the *marie claire* magazine is serious fashion and Nina Garcia is on point. But I do have some suggestions for some changes that I think might work and change things up a bit, just in case anyone might be looking for ideas.

1) A good prize for second place – perhaps a tenth of what the winner receives. To me it seems so wrong that the winner takes all. This time the winner got great stuff and so did the  model; I find that kind of ….odd. I’m *not* hating on the models.  I just think the other designers who don’t win overall work extremely hard under near-impossible deadlines and they should win something. I mean, The Price Is Right gives out consolation prizes and PR is at least as classy as that show, right?

2) Guest judges – please can we either have: actual people from the fashion industry, celebrity stylists, fashionista bloggers or perhaps grab some ordinary people off the street. My point is: no more actresses please. Except for Zoe Saldana or Thandie Newton. Nuff said.

3) Do some cycles for other fashions. I kind of got hooked on PR this summer watching the Accessories cycle. I was ill for a week and that’s what my cable company had available streaming. I found it fascinating!  My suggestions for other cycles are:

– menswear; the whole range from casual to evening wear.  Let’s see some innovation!

– shoes.  Not “accessories” – just shoes. I mean, my sister-in-law has a special closet just for her SHOES. If you make shoes, they will WATCH.

– Petite sizes.  You think proportion is tough to figure out when your model is 5’11”? Try getting it right designing high fashion for those who are 5’2″  and under.  Male and female.  They buy lots of clothes too and I think their money is as good as everyone else’s.

-street wear/hip hop wear: you could gain an entirely NEW audience of young people who buy a LOT of expensive clothes OFTEN. And you could add some really different guest judges.  Just imagine Tim Gunn helping mentor some young fella who makes fantastic t-shirts – the opportunities for misunderstanding/drama/good reality tv are myriad.  Plus folks who wear street wear, their money is as good as……yadda yadda yadda

– PLUS SIZE. This would really really really put designers to the TEST because 1) adipose tissue deposits itself on every body differently – especially the larger you are, and 2) human beings as they age tend to gain weight & have more money and we are aging!, 3) obesity is on the rise wherever on the planet people have money and people with money buy more clothes, and 4) this is a seriously underserved population design-wise. When was the last time you saw innovative fashion for plus size women, much less plus size men? 5) Ven Budhu. Need I explain further?

This suggestion could be a true lifesaver.  How many women & girls suffer from eating disorders and/or poor self esteem trying to be 6 feet tall and 120 lbs.? Even America’s Next Top Model has plus size girls on their show….  So many have died or shortened their lives or wasted their time,  plus it could REALLY be a gold mine. I beg of the PR folks to consider this.

Thanks for reading all my blathering.  Cannot wait til PR All-Stars!*

See the length of the legs? No wonder high fashion doesn’t fit normal humans….

*BTW: Project Runway’s All Stars Season 2 starts on Lifetime October 25, 2012