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Jaysus Chrysler

You'll have to pardon us, Kittens but this post is more than likely going to be sans bitchery. There's simply not a bad word to be said about this dress. In our opinion, this is one of - if not THE - most beautiful garments ever produced for the show, whether in the competition or on a Bryant Park runway. Don't take our word for it. The Chrysler Building dress is legendary among long-time Project Runway fans.

This is why we love the DVDs because we never even noticed the buttons on the back before.

Child, we fell out. We keep trying to write something here and wind up getting distracted by the extraordinary detailing and just sit here staring at it. This is a perfect example of a designer stopping at exactly the point he was supposed to. Objectively, there's a whole lot going on with this dress, but it's all so masterfully executed and thought-out that it all blends seamlessly.

We can say that we aren't crazy about the Carrie Bradshaw circa 2001 Big Fabric Flower, though. That's a little bitchy, right?


Everything about this dress is just so dead-on and such a testament to Jay's vision and skill.

And what made this so charming is at the time, he was completely unaware of it and totally taken off-guard by the judges' gushing.

The beauty of it is he managed to take his own point of view, which is in a different solar system than the one Banana Republic is in, and finesse it to a point where it completely fit with the client's own line while standing out from it at the same time. The one thing that tripped him up is the fact that this dress simply couldn't be manufactured at a Banana Republic price point due to the intricate detailing. Watching it again, we wonder if he was aware of that and was just trying to find a way to stay in the competition, but who cares? As far as we're concerned, he won this one.


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I am in so total agreement. Beautiful. Stunning. This is a standard that few have matched.

It's done in silk, right? Whatever the fabric, it doesn't have *one* pucker. That is the first thing I noticed. The dress is *stunning.*

I always thought about this dress whenever designers gripe about time constraints. He got SO MUCH done in such a little time, it amazes me to this day.

This is definitely a crowning achievement for Jay, especially given that he was working outside the zone of what he normally does.

I agree that the flower detracted from the dress. But as it is a mere accessory to me... it can be removed and WOW!

Jay has exceptional sewing skills. He had no margin for error, and looking at the end result I would say there was no error.

Bravo Jay!!

It's a stunner! I hadn't noticed the velvet on the bodice before. Check out the miters on the appliques - perfection!

This dress is the gold standard by which every dress from every season should be judged. It was innovative. It was well constructed. And it looked very expensive even though I'm sure they had a tiny budget (since the bulk of the fabric came from BR). I bet the judges were dying to give it to Jay but the price point was just too high.

Hated the flower, though - completely unnecessary.

This was my favorite design from Season 1. Without giving anything away, it has the same characteristics of my favorite design from Season 2, Andrae's "Insipration" dress: a perfect marriage of the actual inspiration (in this case, the Chrysler Building), the designer's unique aesthetic, and perfect execution. Michael Kors, if I remember correctly, immediately recognized Jay's inspiration. One of the tonier clothing manufacturers should produce this design. They'd make a mint. It's gorgeous and flawless.

This dress is absolutely gorgeous. I watched this episode with a bunch of friends and we could not stop talking about it.

that is a drop dead gorgeous dress. get that poofy thing off of her breast and it's perfect. jay. who'd have thunk it. beard trim, please.

Busy day, in parting I must say this:


Definitely my favorite design from Season 1, and I hadn't noticed the velvet either. Thank you for the great screen captions.

Unforgettable dress. Yay Jay!

"Carrie Bradshaw circa 2001" indeed. Could this be the first fleurchon sighting? Other than that, an incredible achievement. Could have been put down by The Kors as "too literal," with the Chrysler Building motif, but was instead embraced, and rightly so. Yeah, I think this is when we all knew Jay was the real deal.

"There's simply not a bad word to be said about this dress. In our opinion, this is one of - if not THE - most beautiful garments ever produced for the show, whether in the competition or on a Bryant Park runway."

Yes, Goddamn it YES!!
This is my absolute-number-one-favorite-of-all-three-seasons-dress.
Jay needed to show him he wasn't Mr. Edgy and could design holiday finery with the best of em.

I wonder what lucky stick figure owns this dress now? 'Cause quite frankly I would buy it, hang it on a mannequin and put it in my living room.

We often use this as a point of reference when watching subsequent episodes, as in "Its no Chrysler Building Dress".

Wow -- I'd nearly forgotten what a stunning dress this was. It really is the gold standard of PR. I want!

I LOVED this dress. This dress was a marvel of craftsmanship and sheer beauty. You are a genius, jay!

Stunning! I cannot believe he made that dress in such a short period of time.

Wow--i loved the dress when I first saw it, and now that you've got up close photos, I really really love it! The whole concept behind it and the final construction is amazing. Good for Jay!

fashion curmudgeon

This was the first time that I, too, got the impression that Jay had the skills to make it all the way to the final 3. The craftsmanship and fit were stunning, but what really struck me was that the composition and design was perfectly balanced, particularly with the light brown in the top picking up the color of the skirt. This was truly a tour de force.

Oh so much stuff to say about this dress. The buttons...adorable! And that is the example of a GOOD fleurchon! In the words of our favorite Fruit Loop, Vincent, the whole thing turns me on!

Best dress ever made on PR. I'm so glad so many agree. See, it isn't always "just a matter of taste." Real genius reaches out to everyone.

But I coulda done without the fleurchon.

You guys rock. Thanks for the close-ups so we can see the details -- what a knockout. What a stunning, stunning dress. Really, Jay remains, in my opinion, the best designer of all three seasons of PR.

Beautiful dress. I'm glad I'm not the only one who would have preferred it without the flower--never liked them on Carrie Bradshaw either. I do understand why he couldn't win, given the difficulty/cost of manufacturing this. So in that sense I can't say that he was robbed. But it's a shame when something this well done doesn't get to win.

That dress is so beautiful it's ridiculous!

He hit it so far out of the ballpark with this one, it's amazing. Far more interesting than the Banana Republic esthetic, but not so avant garde as to be completey out of line with that esthetic. There're two other dresses in that challenge that I thought deserved real consideration; I felt they were B.R. enough but showed real spark and individuality. But I won't mention which because you haven't blogged 'em yet. Wendy's dress, I suppose, fit perfectly into the B.R. esthetic, which is why it was good, but not nearly as interesting as Jay's or the others I've alluded to. In any case, this entire B.R. challenge produced many more winners than season 2's B.R. challenge.

One question for those who sew: Did Jay sew all those seams into the bodice, or is that the fabric itself?

This dress is absolutely stunning & thought it (or Kara's) should have won. But seeing the detailing, that you froze, I can understand why it didn't: It WAS the better than Wendy's dress, but that detailing would have made it too expensive to produce.

And that detailing, and the fact that he got all THAT done in such a short time, shows his quilting background. It served himm well here and elsewhere (but I won't post a spoiler and say where).

And BTW, your freeze framing of moments is bringing out great highlights that went by too quickly while watch the show.

--Gotham Tomato

Time for another "don't give away the game" post, I think. Some of us are watching Season One for the first time.

For crazy Angela, each fleurchon did enough damage to put her out of the running. For Jay, one wasn't enough of a minus to hurt him at all. Take it off, and you've got the most amazing thing I've seen on this show. Zowie.

This dress is simply gorgeous. I wish Jay would sell this dress in stores. I would buy one in a second. Can you hear me, Jay?

" Steve Thornton said...
...Some of us are watching Season One for the first time..."

Yes, we are : - )

Jay's design was awesome. Seriously, I gasped when I saw it. The hair and makeup worked perfectly.

Poor Jay had been "sweating balls" over this challenge, but he spotted a picture of the Chrysler Building and he realized that THAT building was ART DECO! VOILA!! He designed the best dress EVER!

Jay is such an artist--a dress like that inspired by the Chrysler building is truly a piece of art.
That's when I realized that Jay was a serious designer.

I second the opinion that Jay's quilting skills are what helped him with this one. The lovely points, the perfect seams, etc. Very miniature Mariner's Compass of him.

Just truly beautiful.

if I was thin and beautifull i would run over my own cat to own that dress.

don't fret too cat is really mean ;P

It's absolutely gorgeous, but I disagree with you, PR guys; the reason why it didn't win was because, c'mon, can you ACTUALLY picture like a 40 year-old, 160 pounds woman wearing that dress?

The answer to that same question for Wendy's dress is yes.

"One question for those who sew: Did Jay sew all those seams into the bodice, or is that the fabric itself? "

Fabric can be purchased having already been pintucked, so I doubt Jay went to that additional trouble. However, it does look like he made his own bias-cut piping out of the skirt fabric to trim the camisole, and he covered the buttons with the camisole fabric. Both of these steps are time consuming, high end techniques, but if manufactured overseas could possibly fit into the Banana Republic pricing structure, so I don't see that as a reason that this garment shouldn't have won the challenge.

potty mouth princess

I missed S1, but have heard about the "Crysler Building Dress" since I became PR addicted in S2. I didn't know which episode it was on, so the Bravo site wasn't much help (and when I figured out it was the BR challenge, the stupid site kept showing me Pepper's cape of doom dress.

All that aside, I have to say that I was not disappointed. That dress lived up to all the hype. Other than the flower (Carrie Bradshaw c.2001 indeed, gah), it was utter perfection.

Jeffrey could learn a thing or two from looking at that dress.

Hated, hated that flower. It really detracted from the overall look of the dress. Definitely not the same esthetic as the streamlined art deco style of the dress. It was hard for me to focus on how beautiful the dress really is because all I could see was that giant poufy thing eating the model's shoulder.

THE most beautiful dress yet, made by the coolest designer!! It puts the other costumey and tacky designs to SHAME!! I loved this episode!

This season is great so far. I can't wait to see who makes it into the top three!


This dress is gorgeous, innovative, and finely constructed. It's interesting to see how the Chrysler Building still holds people's interest. Congratulations, jay!

Jay sewed every single tuck and seam on this dress. He later reveals a history with quilting. He's awesome, the dress is incredible. But there was no way Banana was going to commit to mass merchandising this detailed beauty!

Hate the flower, I agree. And that poodle hairdo? Oh, puhlease. It detracted.

But--Loved Jay's retro 60's fraternity outfit. Special touch? A shirttail's untucked. That's so endearing.

Love this man. LOVE him.

AMEN. WHen I saw that dress, I wanted to buy it then and there. DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. The detailing is to DIEeee for. He won it in my book. It was way better than Wendy's dress.

In our opinion, this is one of - if not THE - most beautiful garments ever produced for the show, whether in the competition or on a Bryant Park runway.

In my opinion too. It's an astonishing achievement. If this had been the only garment of worth ever produced by the amazing Jay, he'd be remembered for this dress alone. Luckily for him, and us, he continued strong throughout the competition, but this remains THE Jay dress. THE Project Runway garment, for many, me among them.

it's a good dress, but not the best ever ever.

Absolutely love the art deco pattern and Chrysler Building reference... however am not the the biggest fan of the dress at large. As with most of Jay's dresses, their cut is too masculine, lacking feminine elegance.

... Jay's dress is made obviously masculine in recognition of his model's bust being hardly noticeable. Also, compare to Kara's accentuating dress.

So true. I always have remembered and loved this dress -- just so gorgeous. Agree about the flower, tho, but easy enough to take off.

anon said:
"Fabric can be purchased having already been pintucked, so I doubt Jay went to that additional trouble."

Thanks for answering my question.

I love this show... bye...


Jay pintucked the fabric. They had picked the fabric up at Banana Republic (reams of it, or what is the term for the rolls of fabric?) and there was no pre-pintucked fabric available from Banana republic.

I believe Jay's pintucked fabric is the same fabric used by Robert Plotkin (the ice blue) and Vanessa, both unpintucked.

Of course, the fact that he did all the pintucking with nary a pull only highlights the mastery of his sewing skills and increases my love of this dress.

There was a lot of debate in teh forums after this show that the reason why Jay didn't win this challenge is that although beautiful, it was not the best design for a mass-produced dress (multiple fabrics, such beautiful seaming and details), which is what Banana Republic was looking for. Wendy's, on the other hand, was more readily translatable to mass production. Same reason could go for KaraSaun's ruffles.

That model is obnoxious. She's not pretty, that stupid jaw and fat bottom lip. Especially that last picture of her and Jay, where she's cowering her head on her shoulder and trying to look cute or whatever. Ugh. I hope she doesn't last long.

I wasn't in love with the skirt but the top was just perfection! He is such an amazing talent!

Well, Season One is up on Youtube, so go and watch it while you can.

I still can't believe Wendy won this one.

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