Friday, November 17, 2017

Project Runway: The Sixteenth Finale

There were not last minute challenges or trips to mood.  No surprise extras.  Kenya is gone, but she did get to make a decoy collection.  Here's what I have to say about that before I get to the final four.  I loved Kenya.  I'm so thrilled she has had this exposure and hope people across the land offer to throw money at her to make clothes. It was a very wonderful Kenya collection.  It was not a winning collection.  
For those of you who watched Tim visit a clearly pre-Irma Puerto Rico, and wondered how was there not even a chyron, there is vague mention.  Margarita is worried, unsure if her parents will make it.  (From all appearances it looks like they missed the show but made it there to hug her afterwords.)  She makes an offhand comment that power probably won't be back on for four months that now reads as prescient but her fellow designers seem unsure if it's hyperbole.  (I would have considered it hyperbole a few months ago.  Even after Flint (and DC and Baltimore).  I should know better.)
Tim, in his very Tim way, asks each designer what they heard from the judges, a very wise teacherly way to say, how did you process that?  Margarita said she heard tropical is bad.  Tim says what you can do with the time remaining is be exuberant and style carefully.  Kentaro, with Margarita's help, arranges a more cohesive order for his pieces even though he thinks cohesion is a trap.  Here's the thing.  He's right.  Doing, what, cough, cough, Brandon did, which is choosing one print and then washing out it's color in a few variations is a really neat idea.  Doing an entire collection that way, especially when you have a very specific style is really boring.  Kentaro's looks do all look like they came from the same brain.  Just not the same day.  Brandon is not worried, and it seems the designers who have been saying all along that the feedback he's been given has been so non-specific that he's coasting may have come to fruition.  He's napping. 
Now look, I don't want to hate on napping.  They have ridiculous hours on this show, plus he has a small time change.  Napping is not a bad idea.  It just doesn't say, I am taking advantage of every opportunity to present my best.  
Ayana was advised to not be lazy on the hijab, to in the looks she is included it in, think of the next wave of style there too.  And to be ruthless about fit.  She has taken this to heart. 
The morning of the show there is the usual chaos.  
Brandon's looks are the flamingo print in various stages of color washout, whites, and a pale pink.  (Kenya had similar colors although she had some black.) Everything's very tailored.  The tops are mostly oversized.  There are a lot of looped edges and ties so that half the clothes look like they are in a state of undress.  It's very very Brandon.  Brandon has Lyris in an outfit that is remniscent of his first winning outfit with a loose crop top and baggy pants with a bunched waist detail that I am not a fan of but that he has generally gotten good feedback on. 
Margarita has gone full tilt tropical, creating prints and sparkles.  There are oversized fish, drapey dresses, bell bottoms, bomber jackets, and she has given Jazmin a wrap skirt that halfway down the runway she whips off to reveal a bathingsuit to incredible audience response.  
Kentaro's looks all look like they come from the closet of his ballet dancer inspired outfit, such that I nicknamed it in my head ballerina's day off.  There is black, white, red, and pale pink.  There is tulle.  There are bunched details, looser gathered tops over leggings and slim bottoms. There are some long skirts, often with pleating.  Everything is impeccable looking, and while things like the tulle tumor ball on the hip are not my style, no one wearing that would look like they didn't have clear fashion sense. The audience is quiet and the judges later say that quiet can mean as much from a Fashion Week audience as applause.  They are leaning in. 
Ayana's is beautiful.  She has taken the hijab and headscarf note to heart and the models are wearing different styles and often have details on the headpieces.  She did this a lot throughout the season so it isn't a surprise. There are embroidery details on many of the pieces, there is shine, there are some lace cutouts designed to fall in places where they only reveal the layer underneath.  Everything looks expensive as has become the show's shorthand for well made with good quality fabric that looks like it would be from one of the good (expensive) stores. And her final dress has a tulle layered skirt with pockets and a matching headpiece with coordinating embroidery that stuns the audience in delightful ways.  
In the judging both Lyris and Jazmin were asked how they felt out there (we're just going to pretend they cut the part where they asked all the smaller sized models what it meant because other wise it seems a little too back-patty).  Both are moved to tears that they got to be out there in front of all those industry people.  Jazmin is thrilled that she got to have a signature moment. 
The judges think Brandon got a little too one note.  His argument is most collections are thirty looks and within the chapters of each set there's less variety. This is a point, but I'm not sure it says what he thinks, it says, I showed you a third of what I could have.  Margarita's they love and think it is fun and very Latina, and very Heidi.  Ayana's they love.  Kentaro seems to have blown their minds.  
Brandon seems incredibly upset to learn he's out.  I think he really really thought he had it and just can't reset quickly enough.  Margarita is out, but her family is here and let's hope they are all still safe and happy.  Ayana is out.  Everyone's family is incredibly proud, including Kentaro's who get to congratulate him on the runway.  I will say, I think this year was particularly tough. I had faves.  But you could not argue that any of these four didn't present a clear point of view.  So, as Tim said to them in his gather round, it all comes down to personal taste and who can predict that. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Three Interesting Things

1. A comparison of all six (yes we now have six) rideshare bikes in DC is just the kind of things I am fascinated by. 
2. Millenials use libraries the most, so poo on your silly stereotypes.  (Not yours, obviously.  Those other people.) 
3. I don't know what it means when people try to term resistance a trend or a theme, but it does mean there's a plan afoot for resistance chic hotel and co-working

Monday, November 13, 2017

Families Created and Given

I was at a family wedding (and related festivities) this weekend.  I was reminded for all our foibles, I am related to a lot of amazing people.  And of course some of them I am related to by direct blood relations, and some because one of my direct relations went out and found another great person to add to our tribe.  My cousin's spouse comes from a great family, if their general ease with my loud, talkative family descending on them was any indication.  People reacted well to various uncles asking various groom side family and friends if they liked him, and they did seem too.
As can happen in this area, I was still wearing sandals as late as Tuesday, and then a cold front came in and even the New England relatives agreed it was very very cold.  (It was below freezing at some points.) I am a terrible wimp in the cold, and it didn't even snow, so I was really regretting that so many of the things that go along with looking fancy are counter to being warm.  I did slide some thermals underneath my leggings for the rehearsal dinner.  My dress for the wedding really needed tights, but I did layer two pairs. 
The bridesmaids were wearing dresses that I'm sure they picked out this summer, that were long but not particularly sleeved.  I did ask one of them if she had thermals or long johns underneath.  She did.  I applauded her fashion sense. Or warm sense. 
I joked at one point that I should be wearing a tag with a family tree and myself circled, particularly as I reintroduced myself to folks who hadn't seen me in a decade. 
Between the various toasts and the sermon, I have heard marriage compared to baseball, heard discussions of love languages, and various other storied about the bride and groom.  The minister said a thing I think we can all remember, that relationships are not about how the labor gets divided, they are about agreeing to work together continually on the relationship. And sure, there are times where you have to make sure you getting things out of a relationship, but a with a lot of other things in life, even if it doesn't turn out fair or even, you put in the work. 

Quick Project Runway Note

Hey, Folks,
Due to a DVR issue I still haven't seen the last thirty minutes of the Finale Part 1.  Obviously, the internet has caught me up on what I missed, but I can't comment on the judging decisions (other than at first glance they seem wrong). I'll try to find it before part 2.  In the interim, the nice people at EW have a recap.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Three Interesting Things

1. An article we don't even need to talk about for it's smug dismissal of romance as it pretended to allow that maybe it was fine that silly women read them, also managed to take a swipe at an author of African American stories because her characters just seemed like people.  Given that this week it was revealed an Korean American author had his book rejected because his characters didn't look in the mirror and think about how Korean they were (ugh), having discovered this response from Cheris Hodges about why she writes happy black characters wonderful. 
2. I have a love/hate relationship with "Younger" because it is spot on about some things, and, well, not about others.  But this interview with their publishing consultant explained some of the things they get very right. 
3. This article touched on some recent YA reads that involved characters that were queer and disabled.