The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Ripping the Collections: Jay, Part One


This one's going to be tough to write. How many times can we say "OhmiGOD, this is GORGEOUS!" Ever since we started this blog, the one question that people ask the most often is "Did Jeffrey cheat?" but since that has nothing to do with this entry, we'll move on to the second-most-asked question, which is "Which designer had the best runway collection?" The answer has always been the same: Jay.

Are these clothes you're going to see on the average woman? No, not really. Are these forward-thinking, innovative, and inspired, demonstrating an explosive creativity that literally takes our breath away? Oh yes. Two years later and every single garment is still seared in our minds' eyes. We could describe the whole collection without looking at a single picture.

The headphone thing was a little gimmicky but it worked. He chose unconventional-looking models and wisely had each one styled differently according to the outfit.

Let's start the show.




Gorgeous. Jay has a sense of color that we really respond to. It takes a refined eye to dress someone head to toe in different shades of the same color and not have it look boring or even look like it's different shades of the same color. That wrap is stunning and so is that skirt.




This one's okay. It doesn't wow us like most of the rest and it's not as original as most of the rest. Also, the color scheme is so similar to the previous piece that he probably should have put it later in the collection. Beautiful tailoring, though.




This is one of our favorites, maybe because it's one of the most wearable pieces. That skirt is to-die-for, the belt is fierce and the colors in that scarf are gorgeous.




Another highly wearable outfit. Another instance of taking something that's been done to death - the buttons on the vest - and turning it on its side by re-imagining it as little bursts of color. Could have done without the little frilly epaulets, though.




Goddamn breathtaking. Our absolute favorite. This is what we mean about his color sense. You'd think it would be relatively easy to dress someone in all in blue, but how many people could do it this masterfully? Each shade distinct from the others, each shade making a contribution to the whole.

That poncho -- we hate ponchos and crochet isn't something we'd normally consider chic but it's just so beautiful. And the skirt. Again, patchwork isn't something one would consider stylish but Jay is such an artist that he can take something Holly Hobbie and make it look couture. We also love that little peek of sheer fabric under the skirt. It's just a little touch but it adds so much.




This is a stunning piece, although it's probably one of the less original of his pieces. The leggings, the belt and the accessories are what make it pop. Again, we wouldn't have recommended having two pieces in the same color scheme follow each other on the runway, although it appears this was deliberate as each outfit naturally leads to the next: golds to browns to greens to blues. We always roll our eyes at the fashion term "color story" but you know, Jay seems to have taken it literally. There really is a color story.


[Photos: FirstView]


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79 comments:

Oh, dear. Where to begin?

#1's "wrap" makes the model look like an invalid who's buried herself in a quilt with only her hand showing, reaching for the tissues. And what is with those leggings sticking out from under the skirt?

#2 is good - especially the jacket, but nothing to write home about.

#3 - stripes or circles, not both! Pick ONE!

#4 - tuck in those shirt tails. And finish the shirt - it looks like he ran out of time.

#5 - can't see what's under granny's poncho.

#6 - best of the lot, but once again, the leggings have to go.


"Again, we wouldn't have recommended having two pieces in the same color scheme follow each other on the runway, although it appears this was deliberate as each outfit naturally leads to the next: golds to browns to greens to blues."

I was hoping you'd comment about it..I have no doubt that it was very intentional: he went through the colors of the rainbow, in order Jay style, no doubt for another layer of continuity from one outfit to the next. Sequencing colors like that was yet another riff on quilting technique.

Every model that came down that catwalk was wearing at least ONE thing that I would wear, whether it was just a belt or a skirt or a wrap.

This collection was so masterful on such a multitude of different levels that it took my breath away It blew Kara's collection out of the water, and could probably blow away quite a few established designers, too.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.


I meant to sign that...
SNF in VA


Completely agree with Jay's collection. That last Blue-piece remains my favorite PR-piece ever.


jay's collection definitely remains unmatched by any other PR finalist.


about the 3rd outfit you guys say:

"his is one of our favorites, maybe because it's one of the most wearable pieces. That skirt is to-die-for, the belt is fierce and the colors in that scarf are gorgeous."

MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!!! I've been obsessed about that skirt and scarf since I saw them during the show and I have been hoping that finally Jay will have something like that on sale all this time. they are gorgeous!!!

and you are right this has been the best runway show of all the seasons, that is why it has been so painful to see Jay struggling so much to move forward in his career, but I know he'll finally do it.

and thanks again for the reviews, they are awesome. Monica


This shows that Jay successfully did what others like Wendy tried and failed. Metallic fabrics done to look elegant and expensive. Sheer fabric done as an accent not an afterthought. Runway should be extreme to show how far it COULD go then brought to a street like Wendy's "boobie" dress could have looked great if the model had a body suit on underneath it to hide the headlights.
Anyway love the Jay stuff, esp the sweater at the end. It is so sculptural it seems more like a piece of art then a piece of clothing.


looks like erin and...is that allison?


I absolutely loved it. And wanted all of it. He is such an incredibly original talent. And I am glad he hasn't rushed out to get his name out there and design some crap just because he is famous for 15 mins. Jay will prevail. Real talent always does.
CP


so stunning. the color choices are beyond beautiful, especially the blue. the styling is perfect and original, not just another 'smoky eye' and 'glamorous' look. I would wear these items at the drop of a hat. Oh, and Wendy, take note--that blue sweater? That's risqué done right. It's cut down to there and spread out to there, but it's tasteful and beautifully accessorized, so the first thing you think is definitely not "boobs!". I'm excited to relive the rest of his show!
oh, one last thing: love the shoes. and he didn't even have to cheat to get them!


There wasnt a doubt in my mind that jay should of won with this collection not only beacause his collection the best and every piece in his collection was stunning...............the reason i thought he should win was the fact the he took a HUGE risk with this collection - this could have crashed and burned but it came off as fresh, young and inovative - BEST PR COLLECTION EVER !!!!


""looks like erin and...is that allison?""

that is def. erin but jay kept calling her karen backstage lol - i think that is allison - i loved her on season 2 and i thought she left way 2 early


Jay really knows what he is doing. His designs have class and style. His people skills are really what held him back.

If anything that should show you just how important people skills are in the fashion industry. He has all that talent and he doesn't have a label yet?? There has to be a reason...


If I could walk around every day of my life looking like the 3rd look, styling and all, I think I just might exchange my first born child to be able to do so.


"If anything that should show you just how important people skills are in the fashion industry. He has all that talent and he doesn't have a label yet?? There has to be a reason..."

i agree that hay lacks some people skills but the reason i think he hasnt launched a brand yet is beacuse he's really trying to make a honest brand with things such as
organic fibers and no fur and no leather and no slave labor

id prefer to buy from a designer that has thought behind his clothes


LOVE LOVE LOVE his collection. Best collection EVER!! (Laura's is the second best!)


In Project Jay, he addressed the reason behind why he hadn't launched his collection yet and it is more then just being organic and anti-whatever. He admitted that he didn't realize everything that was involved in launching and he didn't want to sign something and be locked into a commitment that would compromise who he was as an artist and designer.


In response to jlp's points overall: I am not a leggings girl, a quilted wrap girl, or a crocheted poncho girl. But overall, each look is so amazing, my biases don't matter. He managed to create extremely modern looks that are clearly Jay, not Gucci or some catalog, without making us go, "WTF was he THINKING?"


I love how you can see things that became popular a season or two after the show--military, wide waist-cinching belts, leggings--in his collection. It's like he predicted the future.

And those colors are to die for.


I agree with (almost) everybody: best PR runway show ever. Jay's color sense is staggeringly good, and I would wear happily (in a relatively ordinary life) lots of pieces from this collection. (One of the earlier anonymouses was especially fond of the skirt with circles and that wonderful scarf. Me, too.) Rumor a while back was that Jay was going to have things in Urban Outfitters in February. Any news on that?


i hate to say it but i didn't get the yellow blanket wrap in the first design. sure, it looks comfy, and i might love how i feel in it, but it looks a little too literal.


On the 3rd piece, the model looks like a Clydesdale with those boots. And I would slash car tires for that scarf. Stellar! I want it so badly.


I agree that Jay has been the clearest winner since PR began.

I don't think it detracts from how innovative he is to say that there are pieces that are just damned desirably wearable. (And--hemmed properly--they'd look fine on someone who is 5'3" and wearing 2" boots not 4" heels.)

While Uli has a great eye for color and the use of pattern Jay takes it one step further: he creates textile art. What I like the most is that it isn't pretentious. After all, why shouldn't you have something you can wear everyday that is beautifully designed?

And I do admire his firm stance against the use of fur. (And you don't have to agree with PETA tactics or eat Tofurkey for Thanksgiving in order to find the fur industry reprehensible.)


I can't agree more. I've said for the past two seasons, that we need more designers like Jay McCarroll from PR1.

Everyone has been marginal to good, but no other designer has brought it the way Jay did in his final collection.

Jeffrey's was awesome this year, but it still lacked that X-Factor that made Jay's so amazing. The knits and the colors of the whole collection were just fantastic and I think his win over Kara Saun was totally justified.

Plus, he's Jaysus;) And was doing leggings LONG before they were cool again.


"In response to jlp's points overall: I am not a leggings girl, a quilted wrap girl, or a crocheted poncho girl. But overall, each look is so amazing, my biases don't matter."

YES! Exactly.

Quilting? Hate it.

Leggings? Aren't they ten minutes ago?

Stripes with circles? Only works in magazines.

Poncho? Are you kidding?

And I would kill to be able to afford these clothes. It's like he took "quilting" and made it uber-quilting or something. I don't even know how to explain what I mean. I'm staring at the piece, and it's quilted. But it's so fashion-forward, so fabulous, that I want it.

I'd have loved to have seen what was under the poncho, but it's not like you can whip a poncho over your head gracefully.

That vest outfit, or the scarf outfit, or the last blue outfit, I'm serious I would cut a bitch to get them. With the boots. Those boots are as fabulous as anything Kara had.

Still not over that. Nope,nope,nope.

Anne
(Who's 5'4 and 225 lbs)


I forgot something. What else I loved about this collection is that it's a sportswear collection. I mean REAL sportswear. I don't recall that anybody else has attempted to dazzle without resorting to glittery dresses interspersed through out. Jay truly dazzled with the construction and the concepts. I really respect that.

Anne


T&L you are totally justified in your love for this collection!

It was truly masterful, very fun, very wearable. Stepping back from it I can see where Kara Saun's line would be more appropriate for Motion Picture costume design...which...seeing as how folks make millions and collect Oscars for that kinda stuff...ain't nothing to sneeze at.

Jay line reads like the relevant look for the next genration of fashion conscious but functional buyers! As a couture line you could easily see these looks being appropriated by/for the masses. Well deserved!

Interested to hear your take on the Elle photo session spread Jay's take vs. the Stylist vs. the Photographer.

xxoo
Flo Evans


One of the things I think is so successful and interesting about Jay's collection is that of the final three, it's the most daring (in a fashion sense, not in a nipple sense) AND the most wearable. That can't be easy to pull off.


I've said it before and I'll say it again: Jay is way ahead of the game. It will be years before the rest of the fashion biz catches up.


God I just love his work. What woman would not want to wear these outfits? Even the 'ok' outfit would make a woman feel so chic and dare I say it.. powerful. I simply can't get over his genius with knits or his use of accessories. This man is a genius! In many ways I am glad he never won a challenge because I think this final collection was fueled by his desire to finally win. What a benefit for us!


i loved this collection

but i don't think it's the best ever
kara janx's one was GREAT too


Actually, I think a number of Jay's outfits are wearable in the real world, and even when the entire ensemble might be too much, there are still specific pieces that could and would be worn as is in a number of real world settings.

That last blue sweater ensemble is one of the most memorable and striking looks PR has produced in all 3 seasons.


"Gorgeous. Jay has a sense of color that we really respond to. It takes a refined eye to dress someone head to toe in different shades of the same color and not have it look boring or even look like it's different shades of the same color."



That al stems from his quilting background. It isn't just the needlework aspect of the clothes, but the color sense/useage as well, that is from a serious art quilt foundation. That is how art quilters play with fabric; as if it is paint on a palette.

I think it was his ability to take that and add a twist to it that made his collextion the standout of all 3 seasons. (In fact, if he had been in the finals of season 2 or 3 with that collection,he would have won those as well.)

--Gotham Tomato


FashionFanatic

The last two looks are stunning! I would wear those in a second!!


And the thing is, most of the "wearables" (aka pieced/quilted clothing) designed by quilters are, how do I say this... terrible. Somehow he was able to created pieced/patchwork and quilted clothing that is stylish and actually looks like you could wear it without it being reminiscent of the boxy, quilted cat-festooned vests that you see all too often at quilt shows. Just Google "wearable" and you too will know the horror, oh! the horror...


"chicksinger said...
And the thing is, most of the "wearables" (aka pieced/quilted clothing) designed by quilters are, how do I say this... terrible. "


Yes. Quilted clothes usually look like they belong on housewives from Utah. The kind of de-sexualized former women who wear those 'mom jeans'.

But Jay's work belies the fact that it isn't the quilting medium that make those clothes so horrible. Jay's collection shows what you can really do with that medium if you have vision and talent.

--Gotham Tomato


Did anyone else notice that the clothes on the rack afterwards seemed influenced and inspired by Jay's collection? especially J.Jill -- leggings, patchwork circles on skirts, an inch of netting under skirts and dresses. Remember this was a time when the masses weren't doing those things.


"Rumor a while back was that Jay was going to have things in Urban Outfitters in February. Any news on that?"

YES!!! this rumor is true , he will have pieces available from his newest collection and they will be up for sale in MARCH.

I can hardly wait !!


The 4th look has to be my favorite followed closely by the third. Why the 4th look? It's probably the only piece in any PR collection ever that could be worn by a male and you would never know it was a woman's design.


IIRC didn't Jay say that he didn't accept the prize money because of the attached strings?


I really should rent this season and watch it. I'd only seen a few pieces and parts. This collection is really fabulous. Like everyone, I loooove the scarf/cicle skirt outfit. OMG... love the circles w/stripes. Love the pushed up sleeves with gloves. Gal on a mission look. I also like how the big circles on the skirt become little circles ("little burst of color") on the vest in the following look. I wonder if those two looks had been reversed, how would that read. I like the idea of going from small to large - almost like you've exploded a single idea.

I love the colors in the blue quilted dress/poncho outfit, but can't say I like the outfit. The dress looks like a table cloth I pieced together once. Love the gloves with the poncho, tho.

I love the blue on the last look - how stunning against the model's complexion. I don't mind the leggings. I think that Jay managed to create a really sexy, yet not tarty, look. He created a wide open chest and short mini skirt - then covered up the nekkid bits. It's restrained - but in a good way, if that makes any sense.

The first photo doesn't appear to be working - something about a yellow wrap?


"we hate ponchos and crochet isn't something we'd normally consider chic but it's just so beautiful."

As a crochet designer, I take exception to the comments that suggest crochet can't be chic. Perhaps a trip down the runways of Isaac Mizrahi, Ralph Lauren, Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang and many others would punch lacey holes in some people's narrow vision of what crochet can and can not be.

The image of "granny's poncho" is so far gone in the knitwear industry. It'd be grand if the rest of the world caught up to the rest of us.


I absolutely love the two green pieces and the first blue one. I would buy those. I think his collection is the only one I looked at and said "I could really see myself in that..."


LaFemmeFatalede(former DU)NY

Oh, I'd give anything to wear that first blue look. It is gorgeous!


I just noticed something really cool about that second blue look, and that there's a gradiation in the leggings that makes it somewhat difficult to tell where the leggings end and the boots begin. Cool.


I always thought that his color scheme made a rainbow during the finale. Am I the only one thinking that?


With all this talk of "wearable", I also remember noticing, first time I saw Jay's show, that the models seemed to really like wearing these clothes...even without the "german horse step" walk Jay forbade, there was a certain energy from the models which translated to "I like wearing this" to me.


The Individualism-- The fun yet deeply symbolic headphones shutting out outside influences.
The Optimism--Bright yet rich colors in such amazing but not jarring variation.
The Sensuality-- That roll on the sweater collar teasing to look further; the adorable wink of jewelry halting the eye so we won't see too much-- No Hootchie Zone!
The Craftsmanship-- Buttons, bows, circles, crochet-- though some designers use them (& mostly as accessories), certainly not @ such an artistic level and not a single hint of tacky.
I could go on about this incredible artistic statement.
STUNNING!
This collection singularly embodies what Project Runway is all about.


While I totally agree that Jay is probably the best designer so far on the show, I do agree with Michael Kors that it was a little too "dyed to match".

I love the color palette that he used, but think if he had mixed it up more the collection would have been perfect. Right now as it stands it's just 99.9% perfect.


I love that brown skirt with the circles. I wanted it when I firs saw it and I still want it, two years later. I also like that patchwork skirt. These are exciting clothes, and I think that's why Jay's collection is the best. It's exciting.


I wanted to like Jay's collection, but in all honesty I think it is one of the ugliest collections I've ever seen. I just don't see what everyone finds so inspiring. I wish him success though!


i'm another one who, two years later, still wants the brown circle skirt and the blue patchwork skirt.

i was nursing a newborn/heavily pregnant during the last few episodes of season 1. i also missed the first few episodes, so i missed the wendy pepper byplay. i was rooting for kara, but when jay's collection came down the runway, i was in love.

watching the show again without the fatigue of pregnancy/newborn issues, i got jay much earlier in the show. i don't care for the colors in his new line, though i think the pieces are fabulous.

heather


I remember thinking "What would he design for men? Could he do creative, interesting clothes that wouldn't make us look like clowns? Cause we need it!"

Brian


"I always thought that his color scheme made a rainbow during the finale. Am I the only one thinking that?"

Nope, you are not alone...
Read the second comment.

:)


Wow. I didn't even realize it as much when I saw it on TV. But when you scroll through Jay's collection, and then on down through Wendy's and then Kara's. . . I don't want to put down Wendy and Kara because they're both good at what they do, and there's room in the world for all of it. But after scrolling down through it all, I realized that, with a few exceptions (i.e. Kara's white coat & boots look, which is great):

Jay's stuff is FASHION. The rest is just clothes.


Does anyone know, did he knit the knits himself, or outsource?

Anne


Every piece a work of art!


The knits were all outsource - he talked out how he never could have finished knitting all of it in time. I can just imagine a circle of little old ladies sitting around in podunk PA knitting for NY Fashion Week. Wild.


(I'm 23 and knit)


I don't remember seeing the second look during the episode or is that just me?


are you guys doing Austin Scarlett's decoy collection, too?


I know I haven't been posting much (still faithfully reading everyday!!), but I had to come out of lurkdon for Jay.

I said many times that I do believe Jay is a genius and truly the next Great American Designer. I can't express how much I love him...I think he's brillant. Brillant.

Some people have this uncorrupted, pure talent. Is almost like when a child makes art out of his/her own head and heart.

Damn! I'm sounding so cheesy.. hehehe.. But art really inspires me (doesn't matter in which form in comes), and I really get excited when somebody so original and true like Jay comes along.


IMHO, anyway. :-)

PS: Love you boys! Still the first blog I check in the morning! *muah*


Aaah, yes, the patchwork/poncho outfit. Wanted that desperately the first time I saw it. Still do.

Yeah, this comment would just be me going "gorgeous!!" over and over again as well, so I'll let it go at that. GORGEOUS.


I would so wear that polka dot skirt and long striped scarf...you know if it was socially acceptable for a 41 yr old male insurance analyst to dress like that...


I keep looking back at this and thinking about what it must be like to watch him in his zone while he's coming up with this stuff.

My eye was drawn to the second look from the start, if you ask me, this is ready for the market as is, no editing, no dumbing it down. Something I hadn't noticed before, the sleeves are pieced at the lower arm with a different shade of gold, right where the hem of the jacket hits. Look at how that line runs in the second picture. Now that's what I call the genius is in the details!

I can't wait to see part 2 of his collection!

Brian


Bill said:
"I could so wear that polka dot skirt and long striped scarf...you know if it was socially acceptable for a 41 yr old male insurance analyst to dress like that..."

You said it! If you showed up at my door in that outfit I wouldn't turn you away! I'd probably be in that second gold number. But I want to wait till I see the second half of the collection before I commit!

Brian


Funny how Wendy's collection ended with a quilting "don't" and Jay's entire collection is full of quilting "do's".


"Bill said...
I would so wear that polka dot skirt and long striped scarf...you know if it was socially acceptable for a 41 yr old male insurance analyst to dress like that..."



Where I live, it would be perfectly acceptable for a male to wear that outfit. The only thing that might trip you up is your age. Might just be too young for 41.

--Gotham Tomato


anna said-
I can just imagine a circle of little old ladies sitting around in podunk PA knitting for NY Fashion Week. Wild.
(I'm 23 and knit)

I'm 26 and I knit too! When I saw Jay's collection I just loved all of his knit/ crochet stuff and the fact that it was so chic. I'd been telling people FOR YEARS that this is not your grandmother's knitting and I reference Jay's collection to show how chic a knitted scarf can be. I'd love to know where he got his yarn for his collection.


Oh! I forgot to say something! As a knitter I have to say that the whole Knit/crochet/grandma connection is no more!

Everyday younger people (men included!) are getting into knit and crochet and the new patterns and projects you see out there are modern, fresh, chic and have a complete new face!


"Lelê said...
Oh! I forgot to say something! As a knitter I have to say that the whole Knit/crochet/grandma connection is no more!"



Same goes for quilting.

--Gotham Tomato


Gayboys, you're not going to forget Austen's collection, now are you?


"that is def. erin but jay kept calling her karen backstage lol - i think that is allison - i loved her on season 2 and i thought she left way 2 early"
the two allisonS in season 1 and season 2 are different people i think. lol. or you mean you like that one in season 2. lol.
yeah season-2-allison is beautiful.

with not a good luck.

i found that people called alison(there are three) in project runway all have a bad luck.


*grabby hands*

In total agreement with the person who said that there was at least one piece in each of these looks that they would wear. I'm still pining away for some of these, actually.


Question regarding "boobie" outfits. How come the top designers can get away with designing clothes that show models' boobs/nipples? I was reading an old issue of Vogue just yesterday and noticed this regarding runway shows.

How come PR designers got knocked down for this?


"I remember thinking "What would he design for men? Could he do creative, interesting clothes that wouldn't make us look like clowns? Cause we need it!" "

In his fall 06 collection Transport that he showed at Olyumpus fashion week he had several mens pieces. Nothing groundbreaking, but very real, and very Jay. I would totally buy some of them.


"Question regarding "boobie" outfits. How come the top designers can get away with designing clothes that show models' boobs/nipples?"



They're not on basic cable.

--Gotham Tomato


Plaigarism Watcher

You can bet your life most majors and other stores are watching the reruns and this blog for ideas and "inspiration". Jay in Urban Outfitters ? His designs and ideas will and are popping up everywhere as we speak, as most "department stores" don't even have design divisions.Haven't in years.
I think they call that area the " product interpretation" division.
Some even sketch and make notes during these shows, turn up for work the next day and try and take credit for original design.

By posting these online pics, it gives all the chains access and pretty soon the sample makers in Asia are hammering out their interpretation!!!

Jay, don't sell out to goofs like Urban Outfitters.Unless it contains many, many zeroes on the cheque.


I think I'd kill someone for that skirt with the circles on it. I'd wear with the scarf too. I don't care if I live in Arizona where wool scarves aren't exactly comfortable. Jay...when are you going to be in stores ::sob::


I realize I'm way late jumping into this but...that scarf you like so much? It's a dead ringer for the one that Tom Baker wore as the Fourth Doctor in the British SF program Doctor Who.

Huh.

Mister Terrific


I have to say - I literally gasped when I saw #5. That hardly ever happens...ever.

Also, #3 is awesome.





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