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Uh-oh! Pocahontas won the challenge and the commenters are PISSED.

Last night couldn't have offered a better primer in the ways this show screws with the judging process. The most common judging fuck-up is one where the designers are given a challenge and then the judges decided to base their decisions on criteria that were never even mentioned to the designers. Were they supposed to design a workable costume for a film or were they merely supposed to be inspired by a genre? Who knows? The judges sure didn't!

In Nicolas' case, they judged him based on his costuming skills, discussing his dress in terms of how it would look on film and praising him for "working with" hair and makeup to create a look. Fine. No arguments there. But then they turned around and praised other designers for going off on flights of fancy and criticized still more designers for doing practical work. Color us two very confused bitches.

Model: Celine Chua

Which isn't to say we didn't like this entry. In fact, we have no problem with him winning it.

Oh sure, our sense of drama would have relished a smackdown since he spends so much time telling us how wonderful he is, but for once, he backed it up. This is a look that tells you a ton about the character at one glance and what more can you ask from a movie costume?

It wasn't shockingly beautiful or outrageously technical, but it did the job it was supposed to do.

To be honest, we can't point to any one thing and say "That, we love." It's all just alright. If anything, those feathers or whatever they are, look a little cheap and sloppy.

But it was the overall effect that won the judges over and like we said, that's something with which we agree. It DOES have an impact when you first see it.

Would it have been our choice? Maybe. Probably. There were looks on the runway that we felt were a lot more fabulous and better executed, but they failed on certain levels as movie costumes. Of course, some of those looks got high praise from the judges, so we're not entirely sure that even they knew what the hell they were looking for.

Let's say this: IF the challenge was to produce a movie costume, THEN this one is probably a clear winner. It's just kind of stupid that we don't even know exactly what the challenge was a day later.

Extended Judging:

[Photos: Mike Yarish/ - Video: - Screencaps:]

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I wanted Epperson to win :'(

Epperson should have won.

"IF the challenge was to produce a movie costume, THEN this one is probably a clear winner. It's just kind of stupid that we don't even know exactly what the challenge was a day later."


You said it all. I feel sorry for the designers at the mercy of arbitrary, "secret" judging criteria - which sometimes seems to change from contestant to contestant in the same challenge.

Silly me, I thought this was a bottom three entry. Looks EXTREMELY cheap, and from a drama-on-the-runway-slash-costume perspective Epperson was the winner for me. And once again, poor Gordana!

Color me confused bitch as well. This challenge was so maddeningly vague as to whether the designers needed create a costume, or create an interpretation of a costume -- and therefore "semi-wearable" garment. If semi-wearable, then Christopher and Epperson both did great jobs, as did Carol Hannah, whose look I actually loved. If the challenge was to create a costume, then Shirin and Gordana had that covered. So why did Shirin get a pass but Gordana didn't? Why did Nicholas win with a cheap ice-queen costume straight out of "Blades of Glory"? Sooooo confused, and frankly THIS viewer is sick and tired of Gordana getting slammed for what others get praised (or at least a pass) for. I am getting further and further over this season.

Christopher kicked all they asses!

I agree with the 2 previous comments. Epperson should have had it - I felt he met all the (screwed-up, ill-defined) criteria. You could see it being a costume, but it also felt genre-inspired without being literal. That thing was gorgeous.

P.S. if the challenge really WAS to produce a movie costume appropriate to the period Epperson, as much as I love him, should NOT have won.

No western woman of ANY decade worked/works her ranch or homestead in that outfit.

Completely agree. This was obviously a movie costume, then they slammed Gordana's dress which was also obviously a movie costume. Then they praised Chris and Nicholas (Whose dresses I did like) for making their period pieces modern? What was the challenge, an authentic costume or an anachronistic one?

Oh lordy, I agree. If the challenge was to create a movie costume, why didn't they just say so? And the stupid little backstories made me cringe.

Peppermint's entry was an OK movie costume, but then again, it didn't exactly blaze a new trail in the costuming department, did it? Boooring challenge and ho hum output from everyone.

I hate this season. And I REALLY hate this crop of guest judges. Just sayin'.

I said it before, and I'll say it again. That was not SciFi, is more fantasy (Think "The Lord of the Rings," or "The Neverending Story"). And it kind of looks like a tame Las Vegas costume. I think Epperson had the best synergy between story and execution.

To clarify: When I say "semi-wearable" above I mean something that could be included in a collection, as the judges felt both Epperson's and Christopher's could be, not something you'd necessarily walk down 57th St. in...

I was surprised by this win. Hell, I was surprised by the fact that this dress was in the top three. I'm a sci fi geek, and I've seen this look and variations on it many, many times. I really think the styling is what put this look over, and not the dress.

I would have given the win to one of the other two top contenders.

I was really impressed with a lot of the work in this challenge. I thought any of the top three could have won. Nicholas was a bit endearing this challenge so IO was cool with him winning it. :)

Gordana ended in the bottom, I think more or less because everyone else did so well and hers was such a practical look. Gordana makes nice clothes...but they are just so. practical.

The challenge was not to create a costume for a movie, it was to create a look INSPIRED by a genre. The judges get it wrong all the time, just like they did with the surfer challenge .. which was not to create an outfit a surfer would wear, but rather create a look INSPIRED by surfer style.
Epperson and Christopher did it right and did it best.

Hey, could someone say what the movie/movie genre was supposed to be? I'm in Canada, and they have only showed up to the Maternity challenge by now.

I was incredibly confused by what they seemed to be looking for, and their comments didn't help a bit! I guess it was an excuse for them to arbitrarily rag on Gordana again. Nicolas' looked cheap I thought.

Calling Gordona a "seamstress" was really cruel. As a 45 year old woman who is not a size 2, I have to say that I think Gordona is getting penalized for being a woman over 30 who is not super skinny. If you look at every season of PR, older women (except for Laura Bennett who's, let's face it, fabulous as well as thin) have not done very well. Older men have faired a bit better, provided they are attractive and slim.

Is she supposed to the the Lady of the Frozen Lake? The sister we never hear about in Arthur? I can just see her rising out of the water and giving Lancelot a, well, lance.

I know you all love Gordana, even more so after she wrote that love note, but her stuff is bo-RING and nothing I couldn't find on a rack at the mall.

Again, this lapse in definable judging criteria points to the absence of Michael and Nina. When you have judges who drop by for one episode or waft in and out of the show, you get a lot of "Oh, that's pretty" type comments rather than judging the contestants on how well they used their skills to address each challenge, and if they've grown and improved over the course of the show. It's like having a semester full of substitute teachers.

There were five genres, Sara...sci fi, western, period, film noir, and action adventure.

The contestants chose from 5 genres, but not everyone got their preferred genre because only 2 (or 3?) could work each genre:
Film Noir
Period (any historical period)

So who thinks Carol Hannah and Logan fucked before one or the other was booted?

Did they even bother to tell the judges what the challenge was about?

This happens so many times. Tim says one thing and the judges decide to judge those designer based on something entirely different.

It's not fair to the designers. What are they supposed to say? "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll be right back with another design."

Okay, I'm usually drunk by the time the show comes on so sometimes I miss the details. But when did they tell them to come up with a story? I didn't catch that part.
Anyway aren't most Sci-Fi movies nowadays kind of dark and grim? His dress would only be suitable for a comic Sci-Fi like a Mel Brooks picture or something.
Otherwise she looks like a Buck Rodgers villan, which is to say at least 60 years out of step.

Sara, there were 4 genres, two people picked one genre, except for Irina, who won last week and was allowed to pick any of the 4.

Film Noir: Irina, Althea and Louise
Sci-Fi: Nicholas, Ra'mon
Action/Adventure: Logan, Carol Hannah
Western: Epperson, who didn't have a choice as he was the last name selected to choose, and Shirin
Period: Christopher, Gordana

The fekakta judging this season is so aggravating! And I think Epperson was robbed. But thank GOD the Persimmon Princess makes a reappearance next week!

It seems from Heidi's pre-runway intro that the goal was to design a film costume. From that criterion PP did a pretty good job of it. The outfit had impact and it was it conveyed her character. As Heidi noted for this challenge his use of lace and feathers worked. As big a bitch as he can be to the camera, he delivered.

Tim's intro did give a little vagueness. At first I thought they were making outfits inspired by the genre but the designers all seemed to be making film costumes. So I think the confusion at least was from the audience.

Thinking about it this actually was a hard challenge since they weren't asking people to re-create outfits from history. They still had to design but in a film context. They still needed to have their POV come through and come up with something interesting. And it's more about how it will come off on film more than anything else. Film costumes often take some liberties to some degree. A good example is the Dracula film w/Gary Oldman. The costumer designer infused a heavy japanese influence and ended up winning an oscar.


I think Tim is trying to sabotage the dressmakers. He keeps giving fucked up advice and when they listen to him they get boo'd at judging. Shut up, Tim!

Epperson should have won, or Christopher at the very least.

They complained that R'amon's looked "home-sewn" but THIS looks home-sewn to me. My grandma could have made this and it probably wouldn't have looked so tacky. And I hated the makeup and hair, which looks just like the way I would do my own makeup and hair if I decided to be an ice queen for Halloween (which is not a bad idea for me but is awful on the runway).

I was super disappointed by this win. I'm a sci-fi nerd who's been to a few conventions (Gen-Con is held four miles from my house), and frankly the people who enter bi-mon-sci-fi-con costume contests make much better costumes than the Feather Prince's entry (and none of them would ever claim to be designers).

It looks SOOO CHEAP. Like I could buy that costume from the CVS Halloween aisle.

Uh, 5 genres, not 4. Clearly I am still in a fog of perplexity after last night's judging...

To me, it looks mailorder bride dress.

Christopher and Epperson had so much better entries.

We want La Nina and The Duchess BACK!!!

I JUST finished an email rant to a friend and clicked over here to find my exact confusion in your very first paragraph!

So what was it supposed to be? Costume or inspiration?

Tim's comments during his visit didn't match the judges criteria either. AGAIN. And I tend to believe that Tim is more likely to carefully read the design brief than Heidi & whoever the hell the guests are.

I enjoyed costume lady's comments - except for the "where the hell did that come from" factor.

Last week was unclear to some people too -- like our Miss Gordana trying to do "wearable" instead of whackadoodle.

Frustrated! Non-eloquently frustrated!

I think everyone is a bit blinded by their dislike for Patty. I thought this was a great entry and entirely deserving of the win. I agree that the judging was inconsistent, but that shouldn't take away from his win.

You're so right, Boys.

I get the feeling the parameters aren't clearly defined for anyone -- neither contestants nor judges -- and so the balance in the judging is more weighted to subjective responses.

Nicolas wins for making a full-out costume, while Gordana ends up on the chopping block for doing the same (and Epperson & Christopher nearly win for doing the opposite). Why? Because Nic's, Epps' & Chris' looks made the judges' hearts go pitter pat, and Gordana's didn't.

This episode was a hot green mess. When Ice Queen came mincing down the runway in that cliched polyester frock, you could audibly hear my eyeballs roll back in my head. Well done, perhaps, but tacky and It's Been Done, darling (mostly by my friends' talented moms at Halloween). Epperson's look was amazing -- I would wear that any day, on movie set or off, and it was a fantastic response to the challenge. And Christopher also did gorgeous work. Either of them should have won. I don't even know how Peppermint Patty's little Disney Princess gown made the top three. My theory is that if Heidi doesn't personally want to wear something, she can't get past that.

As much as I miss Nina & the Duchess, I think Zoe Glassner is a good judge.

The designers were told to come up with a character (and a story for their character) and to create a costume for the character. Nicolas did a good job of that -- he had a clear idea of the character and was able to tell her story concisely, and yes, she looked like a queen from an ice planet.

Epperson had a good story, too, but a lot of the designers... well, let's just say they should stick to sewing instead of scriptwriting.

C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

Amen, TLo!

I have no problem with Nikolai for the win. He did bring it, despite his bitchiness, and showed us what he's got. Whether or not 'what he's got' is to your sense of taste & style is another question.

What I am confounded about is the judging criteria, AGAIN. Good lord, Duchess & La Nina do go off the reservation in terms of their view of what challenges are (surfwear, avant garde, etc.) but I really had it with the judges last night. Zoe and Heidi especially. I don't think the judges or most of the designers had a firm grasp of their genres.

The critiques of the period pieces were just nonsense. I don't think Matt Weiner of 'Mad Men' is looking for a costume designers' own vision when he's asking for '60's fashion. Yes, he's looking for clothes that bring a visual sense of the character, but not, let's say, using a fabric, cut or design that was not part of the era.

Bogus. The judging was totally bogus apart from who won and who went home. (Sorry, Ramon.) And Irina should praise heaven that she had immunity, but more on that later.

They need to be more specific about these challenges. It's really annoying to see the judges praise designers who clearly did not follow the guidelines of the challenge.

I loved Epperson's but can you really see that in a Western? Assuming they're supposed to design a costume for a movie.

Christopher's was beautiful but he couldn't even come up with a story or tell us what period he was talking about.


And can we please retire the comment "Snoozefest" already?

Laura said...

It looks SOOO CHEAP. Like I could buy that costume from the CVS Halloween aisle.

Yes, It did look cheap and what they said about it looking better on film is absolutely false. With high definition film it is more important than ever to have costumes that are perfect to the last detail. It is true that the designers didn't have much money (or time), but this outfit would look much worse on film.
On stage it is a different matter, you can get away with cheaper quality fabric as long as it looks good from the audience point of view, but if a stage production as any kind of budget they usually don't cheap out on the costumes because they want to make it as real as possible for the actors.

Dead-on post. As Fonzie, who once jumped over a shark, was known to say, "Exactamundo!"

And if the designers think the judging has been harsh up til now...wait until next week.

Ms. Kohrs is back and it didn't look pretty. LOVE IT!


I LOVED this dress. Loved it, so beautiful. And how cool they showed this last night, and his birthday is today. The Ice Queen was just out of this world gorgeous, in every sence.

I would have been just as happy if Epperson had walked away with the win, too. His outfit was breathtaking, especially considering he didn't get to choose (again). Poor guy keeps getting drawn last, it is weird to me.

Christopher is boring me. Same dress every week. Mounds of poof on one half and plain on the other. I hope he breaks out of this mold, because if I see that silhouette one more time...yawn.

Sewing Siren said, "But when did they tell them to come up with a story? I didn't catch that part."

Yeah, I kind of feel like the editing of this season of PR veers a bit toward TFS editing principals:

1) leave out big pieces of information

2) fabricate drama

3) fool 'em: i.e. show the judges having orgasms over a design that turns out not to be the winner

It's not as bad as TFS, not nearly, but it's not quite as good as previous PRs.

It's a pulp SciFi look. She looks like she'd be Ming the Merciless's daughter in Flash Gordon. That's not a dig. He designed something that would fit right into that movie. I just think it looks a little shabby - kind of like it actually *was* worn in Flash Gordon, and to a number of costume parties since.

I liked the dress - it was frustrating having so many questions about the exact criteria of this challenge.

Is it supposed to be film-ready? Wearable? Modern, personal look inspired by the genre? Totally unfair, but I kinda love that the bitchery and drama continued. As much as Pocahontas annoys me.

Epperson was robbed

I adore Peppermint Patty! I know he's time is running out, but I just love him. I wish Althea would go home and Logan, too. Keeping them around because they're pretty is irritating.

Gordanna and Epperson are certainly getting screwed over week after week and I'm not sure why. Since when has impeccable sewing been a bad thing?

And how did the saloon girl dress get a pass? That was so unoriginal, at least as unoriginal as Gordanna's flapper dress.

Epperson *totally* should have won! And I think Christopher did a beautiful job as well. I NEVER would have given the win to Nicholas, even though it was pretty. It wasn't *great*.

Why were the judges so wowed by the styling on this one? It doesn't take much talent or ingenuity to paint her face purple and drizzle bird poo on her head!

Um...Where is Michael Kors? And can he and Nine come back so that we can end the junior-varsity judging tour? Ack. I am so tired of these ridiculous judges. Christopher was robbed. Nicholas turned in a hot-mess craft project and won. Epperson was robbed. Gordana is being treated unfairly, and Heidi Klum is doing too much judging.

SO, don't care much who won last night ... wasn't thrilled ... but I did like the top 3 ... and had problems with each outfit ...


The judging. STILL NO NINA AND NO MICHAEL. I am almost over this show.

NO CONSISTENT JUDGING. I am almost over this show.

And mostly just judging from personal taste preferences (LIKE or DISLIKE) ... rather than judging from a fashion/design/execution viewpoint. I am almost over this show.

Not that I am completely pissed ... I haven't given up on the show completely. BUt if this keeps up, I'll watch it after the fact rather than staying up and making it must see TV.

Just sayin-

P.S. What the hell was Heidi wearing last night? Sparkly tights and a baggy ugly sweater? WTF? Is she taking fashion advice from Lindsay Lohan or something?

I was not happy to see PP win, the dress looked super cheap! and the judging was definitely screwed up..... to me it was between Epperson and Christopher...
and I agree with the commenter who said that calling Gordana a seamstress was cruel, it definitely was, a totally unnecessary comment...
and please, bring back Michael and Nina!!! what happened? since they moved to LA they couldn't adapt their schedules to the tapping of the show?

I also thought this look was total bottom three, and was shocked when it was in the top. My husband and I loved Christopher's dress; we thought he should have had the win (neither of us really cared for Epperson's dress, to be honest...way too many frills). I thought Nicolas' dress was just a basic dress with weird cut-out filmy stuff stuck onto it. Yes, there was impact, but when you get into the details...I mean, come on, that piece would never make it on a movie set in that condition. Maybe on a Sci-Fi channel movie of the week...maybe.

And good grief, poor Gordana! I really liked her dress, and I thought she put a lot of work into it. I thought she would at least be safe (middle pack), if not a contender.

I need the Duchess and La Nina back!!! Where are they???


that is all.

The one good thing Peppermint Patty did for this challenge was come up with a pretty decent story for his character. And that's about it.

My whole problem with Nicolas' win is the fact that he made a cheap-looking costume that has clearly been done again and again. One of the judges even said that it looked cheap in person. In fact, the best part of the whole costume was the model's hair and makeup.

I won't hide my strong dislike for Nicolas, so I could be biased. He just irks me.

Please, please, please-- NEVER have so many guest judges, back-to-back, week-to-week. The judging inconsistencies are crazy. I think Tim is having trouble because-- like the rest of us-- he is confused. Heidi is fine, but too much Heidi is too much crazy. Stop the madness! Bring back La Nina and The Duchess! Shame on Lifetime for not working with La Nina and the Duchess to avoid scheduling conflicts. This season of PR is a mess.


I keep thinking of the Chronicles of Narnia and Tilda Swinton when I see Nicolas' design, what with his Ice Queen backstory and the white and silver look.

Honestly, this season of PR is becoming a big yawn. There's no one designer I really feel excited about watching, add in the wack-a-doodle judging and blah challenges, and I'm ready to fastforward to the final collections.

I've costumed a number of operas and operettas, and my dream project—which I've not had the opportunity to do—is a Fledermaus set in the 1920s (with Orlofsky as a young nobleman who escaped the Russian Revolution with all his money and jewels sewn into his clothes). I'd gladly steal Gordana's costume for my second-act Rosalinda.

i thought epperson was going to win.

wtf is with the hate on gordana? i am so irritated by it.

I noticed several different pronunciations of "genre" all from Heidi..did anyone else? Very generically spoken at the beginning, then dripping with "outragious French accent" when slung at Louise..

and the look she gave Giordana when she was given the "in" and allowed to live..(I mean, leave the runway) completely read: "you are lucky I'm not sending you to ze Russian FRONT!"





Gordana- Honey, they're all just jealous of your slammin' legs!

I didn't like any of them too much, and forgive me for venting, but:

How can the judges beat up Gordana for being unoriginal, and let that cheap can-can girl outfit by Shirin got without comment??? It is SO DAMN CLEAR that these judges are playing favorites, and not being objective. In fact, I was so pissed about Shirin's ridiculous plastic bag costume getting a pass that I don't think I am even going to watch anymore.

I will just read what you all say. Less aggravation. And a TV show should NOT aggravate me.

This costume makes me think Ice Dancing.

I can't wait to see the stills of Carol Hannah's costume because, based on seeing it fly by on the runway, I thought it was the winner. But I'm not upset that Patty won.

The thing about movie costume is, they can be anything. They can be just jeans & a t-shirt if that's what the character calls for. So an ordinary dress shouldn't have been judged harshly, based on that criteria alone, if it was about movie costumes. But it's always the sin of being not ambitious enough that gets the harsh criticism - or having ambition but not the ability to bring it to fruition.

The vagueness of the parameters has to be intentional so that the producers can continue to move the narrative along; dismissing who they want, while leaving themselves cover.


I too wondered what in the world Heidi was wearing during the runway show last night. I think that is the worst look I have seen on her.

I don't think Zoe is not a bad judge, I enjoy her comments.


Argh, I can barely drag myself to write another "this season sucks" reaction to express my frustration with the challenges and these temporary judges who are NOT Michael and Nina.
I was pulling for Epperson on this one too just because he brought the awesome to that western outfit.
Nicholas needed to stop telling that ridiculous "three sisters" story and just cut it down to "evil ice queen" just like someone should have laughed at Ra'mon's riff on the Species franchise.

Um... yeah. Nicholas' dress was an eyesore. (And I'm not just saying that because I hate his foul 'tude and delusions of grandeur.) Apparently the stand-in judges had some Kool-Aid before the runway show. Nina and Michael wouldn't have gone for that mess.

Christopher should have won. His dress was the best, by far.

Also, Ra'mon shouldn't have been sent home.

Sorry Ra'Mon went home last night but his shredded Swamp Witch gown just didn't make it. Looked like Kermit in a blender. Whatever the criteria was, I did like Eppersons much better than PP's cheap looking 7-11 Icee Queen. Reminded me of Zuleima's tacky ice dancing costume. And I still thing Christopher is making the same dress each week. Where is LaNina to slap that out of him? And I think the styling failed Gordana...her dress was gorgeous and well made but styled frumpy. I wonder if shorter skirts and a more animated model might have helped.

You know, all the cheap little over-the-counter Halloween costume shops are opening up now that its almost October - I could have sworn I saw this "winning entry" hanging in the window; it was sealed in a nice little zip-locked back, had a bad picture of an aspiring stripper/model working the look, and showed a checklist of everything that came included (such as tacky fantasy collar and inappropriate hair icicles). No, not really. But its a pretty believable scenario.

Epperson (who I always call Epsom Salt) has been growing on me a lot, and proved himself with this design. He had it in the bag until I took a second look at Christopher's gorgeous take on a period piece. It should have been between those two. Hands down. They made pieces that were both costumes AND fashion. Not to mention, they were gorgeous and looked 100x more expensive than anything else on the runway. (Speaking of which, so did Miss Gordana's piece.....which looked like one of the most expensive things on the Runway this season, plus it was stunningly well-crafted and would have worked on any authentic movie set).

L.A....I am over it. Where the hell are the REAL judges?

Sewing Siren -

Tim told them about creating a back story early on. They were told to "invent a character" in their genre.

Agree with all that the judging was weird.

They criticized Louise because it wasn't clear what period her costume was for, but the same is true of Christopher's. (To be clear, I liked Christopher's as a design, but it didn't even whisper "Victorian" - which is what he told Tim it was supposed to be.)

They criticized Gordana because her costume was a literal interpretation of the '20s, but praised Nikolas because his was a literal "ice queen".

And I sure didn't hear them being instructed to consider how the fabric would photograph!

I wish they'd make up their damn minds.

My theory. Nicolas didn't win this challenge, Collier Strong won it for him. They liked the dress. They were intrigued by the story. But they LOVED the frosty hair and silver face. It was the styling that put it over the top.

This is a case of producers peddling product, people. And it was followed up on Models of the Runway when they actually named the specific products they used to create the winning look.

Listen. We've had six seasons of this show already. When you're at the field trip site and Collier Strong is standing there, make sure you're thinking of weird make-up ideas so that you can be at the top 'o the heap.

My favorite part of the dress is the staples in the armscye.

The dress & story were ok, but mid-tier ok. Not win ok! Like Sewing Siren said, this look would suck on HD, and it showed on these very screen caps. And with immunity for next week, we get more PP to enjoy. But Kors will be back next week!

You could buy the same look of fabric PP used on his ice maiden at Walmart--and for a whole lot less. If you're going to look cheap, you may as well buy cheap.

"Sewing Siren said...
Laura said...

It looks SOOO CHEAP. Like I could buy that costume from the CVS Halloween aisle.

Yes, It did look cheap and what they said about it looking better on film is absolutely false. With high definition film it is more important than ever to have costumes that are perfect to the last detail. It is true that the designers didn't have much money (or time), but this outfit would look much worse on film.
On stage it is a different matter, you can get away with cheaper quality fabric as long as it looks good from the audience point of view, but if a stage production as any kind of budget they usually don't cheap out on the costumes because they want to make it as real as possible for the actors."

When they said it would look good 'on film', it's hard to know what they meant exactly, (with the new technologies). On actual film, I think it would look better. It is on digital technologies that it wouldn't.

It's like Pottery Barn catalogues: They look fabulous, but if you see the furniture in person, it's cheap looking. Looks great on film though.


Nancy said...
How can the judges beat up Gordana for being unoriginal, and let that cheap can-can girl outfit by Shirin got without comment??

Shirin's and several of the others were cliche' and more like rental Halloween costumes than movie or theater costumes.
Gordana did what a historical costumer is supposed to do. She took accessories and fabric from this era and made it LOOK like a 1920's flapper, not a cliche' Halloween costume flapper. That is not an easy thing to do do. Recognizing what can be used like the necklaces, gloves , hair accessories , dress length and fabric that is appropiate to give the illusion of the era is the creative part of the historical costumer's job.

They should have said they wanted a Hollywood film costume to begin with. Why was it hard to say "costume"?

In another season, Gordana's look would have been in the top 3. Now, good work lands you in the bottom heap? Please show, get it together!

Thank God Kors is back next week. Although it looks like Gordana wont still be getting a break, being paired with Irina.

I wanted Epperson to win too.

I'm not sure I can make it through this season! I was also confused about if this was a costume challenge or inspired-by challenge. And you are right, the judges didn't know either. I'm not going to begrudge Nicolas this win, though I was a way bigger fan of Epperson and Christopher's looks this challenge. However, I still have a problem with them putting Gordana in the bottom three. That dress was beautiful. What was the all the bullshit about not being able to see her point of view? It's a freaking costume.

The Ice Queen dress looks even worse today on my computer screen than it did last night on my television. How is this possible?

What to add that hasn't already been said. With just a slightly different "take" on the criteria fo rthe challenge and order of top to bottom would totoally change. And that's not even taking technical proficiency into account.

I want to start seeing the challenge card, in print, as it is given by the producers. One has to exist.

Again an unclear set of instructions. Tim to Chris: Victorian ladies would not have bare arms. Of course but who said anything about historical accuracy. I'm certainly glad Chris ignored his "advice" and produced a great dress. Great visual impact.

This is B.S.!! Epperson should have won! But noooooo that troll won =(

So not right, Nick's design was cheap and so first year design student.

You guys are dead on with your opinion of the judging. It's not only difficult to watch - it makes it nearly impossible for the designers. I always try to watch on Thursday night so that I can be ready for your posts on Friday BUT - this show is getting shuffled to the back of the line after last night. Even my husband (who is awesome - but is a manly-man redneck who watches under protest) thinks that this season sucks.

I hate challenges when the designers have to come up with a "story" for their outfit. The garment should stand on its own. In this case, you should be able to look at the costumes and deduce who the character is without the designer having to explain it.

"Western" is not a period. It is a region of the country, and also a state of mind. That being the case, I think Epperson should've said he was designing for the character of Zoe from Firefly. She would've worn that outfit in a heartbeat, although probably over some leather pants and with less frippery. Matar even looked kind of like her with her hair styled like that.

Inconsistent story lines... bad editing... missing major characters (La Nina and the Duchess)... I finally get it. This isn't real. It's just like that famous episode of Dallas when Bobby stepped out of the shower and we learned that an entire season of shows was just a bad dream. Cause that's what this edition of PR is turning out to be.

Obviously there was mass confusion from the designers as well as the audience. It was obvious from looking at what they all made that some believed their look was inspired by that genre and others made direct references and costume design. If the contestants don't even know what's going on, how are they supposed to compete fairly.

I HATED Peppermint Patty's styling. That hair? It looked like someone streaked her hair with Elmer's glue.

I HATED Christopher's look to be honest. I thought it was boring, plain, poorly constructed and barely Victorian in anyway. But that could just be me. ;)

Epperson was ROBBED! BIG TIME!

Couldn't agree more.

Also, I've been bitching about judges' mood-swings for quite some time now... especially Nina: If the guy steps out of their comfort zone, she critiques "it's not representative of him/her as a designer"; if they stick to their style, she wonders in the pannel whether the can "do something else". There's just no winning with her.

"Rillion said...

"Western" is not a period. It is a region of the country, and also a state of mind."

And a film genre.

It's interesting to note that the contestants were clearly as confused as the viewer. Shirin and Gordana CLEARLY heard "costume," and created as such. I suspect even TIM did - hence his admonishment to Christopher about not having sleeves on his garment. Christopher and Epperson clearly just went their own way with little regard for creating a costume, i.e. period look, which served them well. Peppermint Patty made a costume, albeit a rather uninteresting one, but at least he had the story to back it up. In the end the judges just made it up as they went along, literally saying one thing to one designer and then doing a 180 on another, while they were literally standing next to each other. These are people's lives and careers we're talking about here and he judges have never been more random, arbitrary or cavalier. Gordana looked as if she were about to throw up, and frankly I was right there with her.

Accoding to previews - The Duchess and La NiƱa are back next week. HOOOOOOOORAY!

I came to this season with an open mind but I'm becoming more and more frustrated by the arbitrary judging and lack of direction in each challenge. It's hard to say WHO should have won because depending on the guidelines you're using, ANYONE could have been a contender.

Ra'mon getting auf'ed is one of the biggest disappointments I've suffered through so far. In the glory days of The Persimmon Prince and La Nina, risky and ambitious always trumped safe and boring. No disrepect to Louise, who does make beautiful garments and clearly has the talent and passion to make it far in this industry, but she made the dress everyone expected her to make and Ra'mon went out on a (scaly) limb.

It's always so reassuring to read your recap on Monday a.m. and know that I am not going crazy. My husband and I finished watching last night and said, "Wha . . . was it supposed to be a costume or an interpretation?"

Epperson was clearly the best on every level.

Peppermint Patty's looked exactly like my 4th grade daughter's drawings of fairies.


"And a film genre."

No kidding. My point was that you can do Western without it having to be historically accurate. Epperson got dinged for making a denim dress because it wasn't historically accurate, but Firefly is a Western film that happens to take place in the future in outer space. His dress would have fit in there perfectly.

Ugh...Ice Queen, my behind. More like K-Mart after Halloween sale rack.
I loved Epperson's and Christopher's designs, whatever the convoluted "judging" criteria was.
As for Gordana, I could see that dress in "The Great Gatsby", very true to being a movie costume.
I am soooooo over these faux judges. Glad to see Ms. Kors returning next week, the only reason I will be watching, except for this fab blog. BUT, where is Nina??
I'm tired of being crabby over this show.

I thought Epperson and Christopher's entries were better. The problem is Christopher's silhouette is a shape he's used several times already. I bet we won't hear anything about that until or if they auf him.
If it had been me, I would have given the win to Epperson. I think Nicholas' win depended too much or hair & makeup. when I saw it I thought Narnia, not sure that's a good thing.

Brian said....

"I think everyone is a bit blinded by their dislike for Patty. I thought this was a great entry and entirely deserving of the win. I agree that the judging was inconsistent, but that shouldn't take away from his win."

I have to agree with you, Brian. I'm not a huge fan of Patty's, but I did get a chill when his entry came down the runway. Loved the costume and makeup. Sure, the judging was messed-up, but that's typical PR. Michael and Nina were sorely missed in this episode. L adore Heidi, but her judgment this season has really thrown things off. I absolutely cannot wait for Michael & Nina's return next week.

- edina -

Anonymous EEK/STL said...
Gordana looked as if she were about to throw up, and frankly I was right there with her.

Personally, I thought she looked like she was going to look them dead in the eye, tell them this was complete bullshit, flip them off, and then walk out on the show.

I kinda wished she did. She doesn't need this crap and she is better then this.

OMG, are those REALLY staples in the armhole? Oh, Nick... only you...

HA HA - true.

"I think Nicholas' win depended too much or hair & makeup. when I saw it I thought Narnia, not sure that's a good thing."

Somebody actually referenced Narnia on the show, but I sure can't remember who it was. Here's Tilda Swinton as the white can certainly see some similarities.

That being the case, I think Epperson should've said he was designing for the character of Zoe from Firefly.

That would have been brilliant, and I would have squeed like the total fangirl I am.

Shelly said: It's a pulp SciFi look. She looks like she'd be Ming the Merciless's daughter in Flash Gordon. That's not a dig. He designed something that would fit right into that movie. I just think it looks a little shabby - kind of like it actually *was* worn in Flash Gordon, and to a number of costume parties since.

I was also thinking Ming the Merciless' daughter, also not as a dig. However, Zoe has apparently never seen a sci-fi or fantasy movie in her life, because this was not a risk.

I think this was a beautiful dress, but I agree that the styling, and Celine herself, sold the look. Maybe the judges were blinded by all the shiny things.

Epperson should have won.

I'll save my comments on Gordana/the judges for the appropriate post, other than to say WTF?

There was a woman on "Say Yes to the Dress" who wanted a wedding gown that would match the wings she was goig to wear with it. This dress would have been perfect for her!

I was not wowed by the Ice Queen dress. It looked like an overambitious pageant gown with some weird lace shoulders. That vapid judge saying that she would remember the gown later? NOT IN A GOOD WAY! More like, WTF was Tilda Swinton wearing and did the cheap fabric give her a rash??

It's hard to not get connected to the designers so I DVR and before I watch the show, I look at the designs on the internet first (before knowing who made them.) Epperson's and Irina's stood out.

suzq said:
"But they LOVED the frosty hair and silver face. It was the styling that put it over the top."

Exactly what I came in here to say. Nicolas's actual garment was a plain white dress with some stuff glued on it. It may have been well done, but it was nothing we haven't seen before. I thought Epperson's dress was gorgeous and unusual and took more skill, and that's what a *design* competition is about, no?

And speaking of "nothing we haven't seen before" anyone else tired of Christopher making the same skirt over and over again?

Laura said...It looks SOOO CHEAP. Like I could buy that costume from the CVS Halloween aisle.

One of the reason I have always loved Epperson from the beginning is because his clothes do not look cheap regardless of the design.

I do not/ have not love all of Epperson's design but if I had to pick one designer from this "third rate season" to throw a bag of money at to custom design something for me it be him!


I have a hard time being totally objective, as I really don't like PP at all and think he gets too much screen time.

But I will say that his dress looked both derivative and fantasy to me, as opposed to sci-fi and boldly original. This, to me, looked like a knock-off of what Tilda Swinton wore in the Chronicles of Narnia.

You can also count me as confused about the exact directive for this challenge. Make an actual costume? Make a dress inspired by movie costumes? I couldn't tell.

Judging either way, though, I would have given the win to Epperson. I thought his was best by a mile.

I thought it was a movie costume challenge, so I was confused when they went after Gordana for making her dress "no different than my grandmother's" and "not special enough." Shouldn't a period piece be historically accurate with its costuming?

And if Ra'mon had a story about his character being in a sci-fi B-movie, would he have gotten a pass? They kept saying it was too B-movie, but if it's a movie costume isn't that acceptable? Or did it have to be a big-budget movie costume?

The stupidest part of the whole thing is that if they *were* supposed to be making a costume for a film, someone else would have told them the character! Costume designers don't write the scripts!

Bah. Epperson deserved the win - that dress was right out of Serenity/Firefly.

Nicholas's dress looked like it came out of a plastic bag at the halloween store.

Maybe part of the confusion this year is language. Heidi is clearly fluent in English, but she has been unfamiliar with some very basic words, if I remember correctly from the past. Since she is acting as head judge, maybe she doesn't have the language to explain the challenge criteria to the other judges. Do they see it in writing? Does Heidi explain it to them?

And are we sure Heidi knows what Film Noir is? I had to look it up to remind myself, and I am an English speaker as my first language.

I may be grasping at straws here, but I am just struggling to figure out why the inconsistent and unfair judging all season.

I agree that the parameters of this challenge were at best densely foggy.
I think what made me most annoyed was that it was the makeup that really pulled of Peppermint Patty's design. That's the part of his outfit that sold his story to the judges, without that i think he would have been in the middle or bottom.

Echoing Rillion's comment above me, Zoe from Firefly would look awesome in Epperson's design. It was my favorite, I was so hoping he would win.

The winning design was okay. It looked more Narnia-fantasy than Sci-fi fantasy. In harder/darker materials it would have looked like something worn in the Chronicles of Riddick.

Anonymous (11:55am)
"I have a hard time being totally objective, as I really don't like PP at all and think he gets too much screen time."

Why do I get the distinct feeling that PP will be this season's finale villain???

- edina -


Anonymous said:

And speaking of "nothing we haven't seen before" anyone else tired of Christopher making the same skirt over and over again?

9/25/09 11:53 AM

thank you! Yes, we've seen Christopher peddle this look before, and I think that Nina and/or Michael might have called him on this. It's obvious that Christopher likes to play with volume in his designs, so I'd like to see what other tricks he has in his design portfolio.

Epperson was robbed. I WANT that dress.
Nicholas did nothing original as far as Sci Fi/fantasy goes. It's like the dress Jadis, Queen of Narnia would wear if she went on a cruise.
Styled well, yes, moved well, but still nothing off the beaten trail.


Where in bloody HELL are Monsieur L'Orange and Senorita Nina? Get them back post-haste! And strop their hides once they do get back! I'd imagine that some sort of contractual obligations are being tested here.

Thinking far ahead: Epperson and Christopher for Bryant Park. Not sure of the third yet. And Christopher for the win.

I agree that the initial challenge was to make a garment INSPIRED BY a film genre. Okay. Got it. Then clearly Epperson and Christopher deserved to be in the Top 3 (and Epperson to win, IMO). (I'd have put the third spot Carol Hannah, whose Angelina-esque Action/Adventure confection was rather fabulous). So, to make an ACTUAL costume was OFF THE MARK for this challenge. Okay. Got it. So Shirin, Gordana and Nicholas, who clearly made COSTUMES, should have been penalized for making something too costume-y. Okay. Got it. So let's see: Gordana WAS, Shirin WASN'T and Nicholas WON. Okay, Got it. Huh?

Where are Nina and Michael? I hate all the guest judges this season. They give PR a whole different feel. What made the show so great and what made it work was having 3 full time judges with 1 guest judge. I'm so over Zoe and the other "top American designer(s)".

And I too was totally confused as to what the judging requirements were for this challenge. From the previews for next week it looks like Michael will actually be judging, and all I can say to that is Thank God!!!

YAY! I'm glad he won. I thought he had the best "look", and I really don't understand why everyone HATES him so much. I think he's funny. That being said. I don't understand WHY he won. Were they making costumes or clothes that were inspired by movie costumes? OR are they making clothes that fictional charachters would wear if they were real? ie. real fictional costume look everyday -wear (for imaginary people/ sister universe overlords).

I told my husband at the beginning of this season and I'm sticking by my comment thus far: this will turn out be the worst season of PR ever to date, and it will be a well-deserved "I told you so" after Heidi got greedy and wanted it to be moved to a new network with "new and impoved" production values. The next season better be a humdinger -- and I'll bet you they'll do everything in their power to make sure it is -- or the ratings will plummet and Lifetime will be one pissed puppy.

To those who wrote that Zoe was a good judge???

She was right in there with Rude Rade that week attacking. And then this week she just kept going on and on - I am not going back for the exact words, but for a couple - and I think Gordana was the main one,
she just kept going on ...and on ...and on.....
It was like... - it is not my taste, oh AND it was too literal... AND it was boring - well I am not saying it wasn't a lot of work or well done, but it was ugly AND you are JUST a seamnstress, AND you are too old AND I don't like you AND ... when Gordana tried to defend herself then HEIDI jumped in talking over her!!!

ANd have to second Anon 10:43's post about TIm. He has been giving wrong advice and praises the one who the judges attack. *IF* he cared about the designers - he would intercede on the designers behalf - Something like "HEY HEIDI, et all - I told them that this was supposed to be clothing INSPIRED by X" or "I told them that this was suppposed to be a CUSTOMER for their character to wear", etc

Gordana has to want to tell him the either STFU or tell the judges that you told me I nailed it and I should stay in THAT direction.

Someone above said that this looked more like a fantasy design then a sci-fi design and looking back on it I completely agree. That's a Narnia dress not a Star Trek dress. It did look pretty cheap (like something I could buy from Party City) and I don't know what they were talking about with that whole "It looks cheap but it would photograph expensive." I think no matter what it would still look cheap.

I would wear Epperson's dress in a heartbeat. It was very steampunk-esque which is really western/sci-fi type stuff. That comment about how the dress was innacurate because it was made of demin was so stupid. What did they want him to make it out of that would still come across as Western? That dress probably wouldn't have worked in any other type of fabric. And I think he nailed the challenge if it was supposed to be a challenge of creating an outfit inspired by a film genre (which I thought it was) but like you said, who knows what the challenge really was.

I hate to admit it, but I am happy with the winner being who it was. Because from what I understood, it was a competition to produce a movie costume. And in that case I was really confused that Gordana was considered a bottom pick. And downright MAD when they praised Christophers "Period Piece"! What the hell was that?!? There was not one tiny bit of period in that dress. She was supposed to be victorian, but he came up with a fantasy/sci-fi story and made a dress that would have been considered obscene to the Victorians. Of all the people on that stage, he is the one who failed the challenge most of all since his challenge was to design a period piece.

I agree with the vast majority of these comments and have some things to add:

1) Why was Gordana given the "you are in, you can leave the runway" from Heidi first? Usually don't they do the three top people, then the three bottom people?

2) The Marie Claire stand-in judge, whatever her name is, she was ridiculous listing off all that negativity towards Jordana. Maybe she thought the editors would show just a phrase or two, but she barely paused for breath, so they just put in the whole tirade.

3) I think the contestants are clearly confused. Even Louise was like, I'm glad to be here, top or bottom, just so I can figure out what the heck you people are looking for.

4) The commenter above is correct in saying this challenge ultimate was just to plug the makeup and hair care products. But the production value of the show is just not SAVY enough this season overall to complicate things, add layers of nuance, the whole thing comes out...THIN. Not having Nina and Michael judging every week is the huge downfall. We can now really see how much impact they have on the designers throughout the process. In the judging it used to be a really high level conversation, where Nina and Michael really fed off each other (and then Heidi would chime in and say, "plus it looked really expensive/cheap") you can just see Heidi in the driver seat, prompting the two either super-shy or super-over-the-top guest judges to say something...anything.

Just looked at the Rate the Runway page, in hopes they had a good photo of Dr. W's action adventure piece, but they only show it with the coat on. All of the pictures stink, actually, except for Epperson's, because his model ROCKED the look for every nano-second as she went down the runway all bad-ass. (Anyone notice how her hair and makeup were non-existent? Thus the non-win, probably.) Ditto on Chris making the same dress each week, and finally, Althea made another piece for the Express Design Studio.

Sooooooo annoyed! This show is Project RUNWAY - not Project Creative Writing or Project Film Costume or Project Stylist (although I realize that is part of a runway show, just not the primary part). It is unfair of the judges to allow anything other than the garment to give one person a win over another person.

The unusual concept or material challenges are interesting, make for good TV, and a good part of the competition. But the challenge and judging should be based on whether the garment is appropriate to be worn on a runway, where the end goal is to eventually have some version of it end up as a retail garment, couture or otherwise.

Nancy said: And are we sure Heidi knows what Film Noir is? I had to look it up to remind myself, and I am an English speaker as my first language.

Huh? The term "film noir" is a French one that has been appropriated into English. It was coined by a French critic to refer to a particular type of film. You certainly don't need to speak English to understand what it means.

Her hair looks like birds pooped all over it! Then they molted, and their feathers stuck to her dress. Boo. Thumbs down.

Am I the only person who wasn't confused? And who thought the judging was for once pretty consistent?

I thought the challenge was to convey a CHARACTER from a movie genre through the clothes. I haven't rewatched but didn't Tim say as much when presenting the challenge? Certainly the judging was based on this criterion.

Whether the clothes were pure costume or more contemporary clothing inspired by the genre seemed to be left up to the designer - the most important thing seemed to be that you got a real sense of the specific character who was supposed to be wearing the clothes.

And isn't that the essence of successful movie and TV costumes? Costuming Mad Men isn't just about 60s fashions - it's about choosing those 60s fashions that convey what the character is all about. Joan Holloway and Peggy Olson are not dressed remotely the same (cf. Sex and the City and contemporaray designer fashion).

Peppermint, Epperson and Christopher all did well because you could tell a ton about the characters at a glance. If you'd been asked to describe the film characters wearing those outfits you'd probably have come up with a back story similar to the ones they'd invented. They also got extra marks for making interesting clothes that looked good from all angles - I really enjoyed the costume lady's insights.

The middle of the pack guys - Logan, CH and Althea all produced more generic stuff but which at least conjured up easily identifiable stereotypes - sophisticated vamp, tough action girl etc. I think they mostly failed on the interesting scale wouldn't have grabbed the eye on screen.

The bottom feeders - and much as I love her I do believe that Gordana belonged here this week - were there because they did not convey a strong sense of character.

Louise's dress was a mess because even she did not have a character in her head. Gordana just created a generic (and dull) 20s piece. We got no sense of the actual person wearing the dress, except that she lived in the 20s and wanted to fade into the background.

Ra'mon's was a hot mess because of the time but also because he lost his vision. I think if he'd stuck with his lizard woman idea he would have been OK however crazy the resulting outfit - 'lizard woman' was clearly the character that was being conveyed, even if it wasn't that pretty.

Ask said, *IF* [Tim] cared about the designers - he would intercede on the designers behalf - Something like "HEY HEIDI, et all -

He can't. He's not involved in the judging. He's backstage. He cannot come running out to slap their hands (though he has often said that he'd like to be able to do so).

I completely disagree with Heidi's statement in the judging that PP's dress was one the viewer would remember walking out of the movie. All I could remember of the winning look hours after watching it was the hair and makeup... and that the dress was white. Yes, this was a hair-and-makeup challenge, but IMO a cheap-looking, boring, cliche dress shouldn't have won just because of the hair and makeup.

Good point on the lack of clarity in the judging criteria. If they were supposed to make a workable costume, then neither Epperson's nor Christopher's (both of whom I loved) were period-appropriate, and Gordana's and Shirin's should've been in the top 3. The judges need to have 5-minute sit-downs to decide their judging criteria before seeing any of the dresses. Yet another reason why this season's string of guest judges has been nothing but disappointing.

Oh and I've watched enough BBC costume drama (I'm British) to know that Mr Gunn was talking bollocks about Victorian women not baring their arms. Lots of bare arms here.

edit ... or "I told them that this was suppposed to be a COSTUME for their character to wear", etc

I'm really getting fed up with the inconsistent judging panel. At the end who's going to be judging? Are we going to have judges that know nothing about each individual designer and their aesthetics and how they have or haven't grown? When the original three were there all season, at the end they usually always had something to say about how the contestants have evolved. That component is [or should be, considering the inconsistency] in-existent now.

Add me to the chorus of those who miss Michael and Nina!

Any claim that this season is just like any other, and then doesn't have Kors and Garcia for this many shows in a row, is ridiculous.

If it weren't for this blog, I'd be done.

Lilithcat said...

He can't. He's not involved in the judging. He's backstage. He cannot come running out to slap their hands (though he has often said that he'd like to be able to do so).

I don't care. He is one of the few pts of continuity this season. If he expects anyone to take his advice, he needs to recognize that he has been misleading (if not sabotaging) the constentants/designers. I know that based on what we've seen this season that the ones who take his advice have in general suffered for it. And this season as well in some prior challenges, the designers who "stick to their guns" (plans) often do just fine. (I am thinking Kenley for example)

Big what the fuck last night.

I rolled my eyebrows so far back in my head that I saw my brain when this mess came out. But then the other messes made it clear that the challenge was actually "Halloween costume" and I was forced to shut up.

Plus, I think there should be some kind of asshole exemption for the judges. "Well, we LIKE this one the best, but the guy's such an asshole he just can't win."

C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

Joan said:

'This isn't real. It's just like that famous episode of Dallas when Bobby stepped out of the shower and we learned that an entire season of shows was just a bad dream. Cause that's what this edition of PR is turning out to be.'

Oh honey, I'm so there with you.

I also read what Chris March had to say about the challenge, and I think he raises very, very good points about Epperson and Christopher's designs.

The judging has been very disappointing this season. Tim was right when he said that we would not believe the ins and aufs of this season.

Epperson WAS ROBBED!!!!!!

I don't understand this "look good on film" business, I mean it was filmed on tv and it looked like the cheap shits to me. Maybe I too am biased against PP, he is very irritating. I personally think Christopher and Epperson were robbed and when Gordana was up there taking crap AGAIN I had to pull a Chrissy Crocker.


paola said...
Oh and I've watched enough BBC costume drama (I'm British) to know that Mr Gunn was talking bollocks about Victorian women not baring their arms. Lots of bare arms here.

Thanks for bring that up Paola.
Firstly Victorian is roughly 60 years from sometime in the 1840's to 1901. That's a long time and the silhouettes changed drastically during that time. Sleeveless and shoulder baring looks were certainly worn for the evening (only) during that time period. Although I don't think sleeveless would have been worn for a wedding (even a registry office one). For a vampire, who knows?

Christopher's dress was not historically accurate for a number of other reasons though. I guess it would be fine for a historical fantasy like the version of Draculia that poster Frank mentioned.

I'm seriously considering a Project Runway boycott after last night. Let me get this straight: they criticize Gordana for her lack of voice or creativity? This is the most boring ice queen I've ever seen. Yawn white slip of a dress with HIDEOUS whickety-whack trim stapled all over the shoulders and the bodice that looks like it was bought at Hobby Lobby. All right, fine, I guess I'll give him credit for showing his trademark on this one: a complete lack of style or sophistication with a hint of skank.

Also, am I going to have to be the one to say this? It looks like someone came in her hair. I'm THROUGH!


This costume looked cheap. It looked like something I could buy at the Spirit Halloween store. And it was more Lord of the Rings than scifi.

I liked some of the entries they shuffled off the runway better.
Gordana's dress was GORGEOUS. I would wear that tonight to an event I have!

I judged the costumes last night based on what the production budget for their movie seemed to be.

Christopher- massive costuming budget, horrible movie about Sexy Victorian Vampires.

Nicholas- Campy B-movie with lots of heart, low production budget. His villainess would have broken out in an evil laugh.

Epperson- High production budget, fairly conservative reimagining.

Okay, give it to Queen Arachnia if you have to, but Epperson's looked BETTER. It's like when Lord of the Rings came out and the costuming looked so much more REAL than previous fantasy epics (even well beloved stuff like Princess Bride).

I have to chime in, Epperson was robbed.

At least they didn't give it to Tragic Vampire Bride and her melting waist.


Where the HELL are Michael and Nina? Why did they even do this season if those two were going to miss half of it? I don't think Nina would put up with some of this stupid judging crap.

Toph said...

Also, am I going to have to be the one to say this? It looks like someone came in her hair. I'm THROUGH!

This made me do a wheeze laugh.


Interesting that the judges gave Nicholas the win with the shrug that while the work looked cheap in person, it would photograph more expensively. Um, the entire PR viewing public saw how this dress photographed - and it still looked like a $5.99 costume I'd pick up at my local drug store.

Jesus, this ep was annoying.
Were they supposed to come up with a character and story and a design that was based both on their personal design style AND a stand out piece?
Or was it supposed to be appropriate for a movie based on...?

Christopher's was NOT a period piece unless is was a "fantasy" period piece. I could see it in a steampunk inspired League of Extraordinary Gentlemen type movie.
Eperson's was a great riff on a western sci-fi movie, maybe like Serenity....but was that what they wanted?

Gordana's costume on the other hand was period specific.
Very 20's, very sexy.

I don't know what that costume designer was talking about, but as a movie goer, there is nothing that pulls me out of a PERIOD (that means historically accurate) movie more then costumes (or hairstyles, we watched The Godfather again this weekend and man Kay's hairstyles just suck, very 70's...not 40's/50's) that are not historically accurate....unless a movie is obviously a "fantasy" riff on a historical era like that knight movie Heath Ledger was in.

I would say that Gordana's problem was her lack of real "story".
"She is a former gangster's moll named Goldie how runs the best speakeasy in New York city and he's back from prison and looking for revenge since she was the one who sent her up the river."

That's better then Christopher's BS Vampire bride story.

Oh, NO on the winner, not sci-fi, too much fantasy and not FANTASY enough.
If the judging does not tighten up PR and I may have to break-up.

sorry for the rant....

Nicolas' costume reminded me a bit of the White Witch from Narnia, but you know Ms. Tilda wouldn't touch something that bland.

Very well said, TLo. You articulated what I was feeling last night but could not put my finger on. The judging was so random and scattered. They were clearly not all working from the same "design brief," if you will.

PR 6 is turning into a joke. I feel sorry for Tim.

And please, if one wants an ice queen, I suggest Nicholas (and the judges) watch Narnia (movie kinda sucked) for ideas.
The Swinton looked magnificent in her "white witch" that's an ice queen.

I'll give Lifetime credit for one thing, this season of PR has brought a greater understanding of the East coast/West coast Hip Hop Rivalries. If (IF I SAID) this is LA (Vain, "WOW factor" obsessed, stylist driven, movie star layden, self important, egomaniacal wasteland) uh, gross.

Lilithcat said... You certainly don't need to speak English to understand what [Film Noir] means.

Not to mention that it was a huge German (as well as American) film phenomenon. Marlene Dietrich (a German) practically invented the genre. If Heidi doesn't know what Film Noir is, it's not because she's German.

The biggest disappointment with all of the inconsistent/absent judging this season (which everyone has mentioned) is that I think this is one of the most talented groups of designers, both artistically and technically, we've ever seen. And their talents are being wasted on boring/confusing challenges and arbitrary guest judge after arbitrary guest judge. They deserve better!

As for the winner: as soon as Tim commented "a villain... in white!" like it was some novel thing, my mind went right to the White Witch. Yawn. It's been DONE. And better, too.

One final thought: If THIS season of PR were the FIRST season of PR it would never have survived. The only interesting and fair thing about this season is/are TLo.

Alexis, that is certainly LA but please don't equate LA with the West Coast in general. :)

paola - I think Tim's concern wasn't so much bared arms as a halter top. I agree with you that there were many off-the-shoulder looks in the Victorian era, but not many halter tops!

I also read what Chris March had to say about the challenge, and I think he raises very, very good points about Epperson and Christopher's designs.

I had not been reading Chris' delightful blog, but I am now. Thanks for the heads up.

My old man & I have never laughed harder during Project Runway than last night.

Louise eagerly chose "Film Noir", then proceeded to misidentify the genre as 1930's/ 1940's, when any moderately-informed person knows that Film Noir was a genre of the 1940's- early 50's.

Inexplicably, she then predated her category even further, by creating an unmistakably 1920's gown.

When it came time to explain it, she said her girl was invited to a Hollywood industry party, and learned at the last minute it'd be a costume ball, so she opted for a 1920's costume! Save!

Did Louise learn moments before the runway show that her Film Noir timeline was laughably off the mark? Did some fashion-savvy hairdresser set her straight, in the L'oreal Hair and Makeup Room?

Oh Louise, you slay me.

I thought Peppermint Patty was getting the loser edit from the start of the show. Frankly I HOPED he was getting the loser edit. Now it will be at least two episodes from now before he's auf'd. Ugh.

my mind went right to the White Witch. Yawn. It's been DONE. And better, too.

Point taken, Brooke. But, but being fair to Nicholas, Narnia's white witch wasn't clothed in a day on a hundred-and-fifty bucks either.

Outfit suuuuucked, looked like a bunch of Aliens from planet-ice came on her head.

God I HATE!!! PP, I hope that when this bitch gets kicked off the judges rip him a new asshole.

Could someone explain to me the "Ice Queen" in Asian culture? For some reason I hear that a lot with Asian women, and don't know where it comes from.

I'm not that fond of Nicolas either, but I have to say that his look did the job it was supposed to do. I think the judges might have given him more points because his design showed that he really worked with the makeup/hair people, and he did have a very well-thought out story to go with his design. I do think that he was right to be in the top 3--although like TLO and most of everyone commenting, I don't think anyone really understood what the challenge was.

Having said all of that, Epperson finally wowed me. Maybe because his look could have walked off the set of my favorite sci-fi, "Firefly," but I loved his design, especially after seeing how he was stuck with the theme, and didn't choose it.

What confused me the most was one of the guest judges comment on Epperson's dress was that no lady would have worn a dress made of denim in the West, calling him out on historical inaccuracy, but then go off on Gordana's for being so historically accurate.

Christopher's was a nice look--I HATED his story--and thought the look was something more steampunk/fantasy than an actual period piece.

Of course, all of the top costumes would have received some notice if they were at a costume contest, like the Masquerade at Dragon*Con or similiar sci-fi convention.

Hate. Hate. Hate. Cheap-wedding-dress-with-plastic-crap-glued-on-imitating-Tilda-Swinton-as-White-Queen. Did I mention that I'm not a fan?

When they called him out I was so sure he was in the bottom three. I was yelling at the TV when he won.

" Something Witty Here said: I don't understand this "look good on film" business, I mean it was filmed on tv and it looked like the cheap shits to me"

I believe the show is taped, not filmed. There's a difference between the two in the way things look.


"paola said: Peppermint, Epperson and Christopher all did well because you could tell a ton about the characters at a glance."



I do like this. Really, I do. But I agree with the criticisms, and then when I start to think about it I have a hard time picking out high points. When I look at this look as a whole I actually don't see "Galactic Ice Queen" Maybe I see one of her handmaids? This could just be celine not holding up her end of the deal, or it could just be that while it's pretty and fits in the genre etc... It just doesn't wow or punch. I think Logans was the real winner. But that's just me.

Lilithcat said...
Nancy said: And are we sure Heidi knows what Film Noir is? I had to look it up to remind myself, and I am an English speaker as my first language.

Huh? The term "film noir" is a French one that has been appropriated into English. It was coined by a French critic to refer to a particular type of film. You certainly don't need to speak English to understand what it means.

9/25/09 12:20 PM

See, I didn't know the history of this; I bet Heidi doesn't either. And I meant that the meaning may not have been clear to her.

asparagus lust

I guess the handwriting was on the wall when this season got waylayed that it would not come back "right." This season has been screwed. It is the L.A. version, no offense to L.A., but in no way the same effect. Tim belies how totally out of his element he is by how off his attitude and comments to the designers are. Worst is that it is Heidi dominated. OF COURSE CHEAP LOOKING WILL RULE with Heidi spread over everything. The guest judges (real designs welcome, the others weak) defer to her because she is the big whig. The fairy princess dress was middle of the pack at best. Impact? What impact? The poorly made birdies and feather things? Of please. I wouldn't wear it anywhere at anytime BUT HEIDI WOULD. The problem here is Heidi. Never mind the burnt offering of Gordana's entire presence. Her dress was absolutely beautiful. Top 3 without a doubt. There is a conflict with this contestant and it is up to Heidi to even it out, and that won't happen because she is causing it. And Time is right there with her. I definately get the impression that they look down on her as too first generation American. The comments always come out towards her (from all the Judges) sounding like that.

Two thumbs down on this dumb season for the reasons above and all that has been said on this blog. What a let down.

People, please, if you are going to invoke "cheap" as a comment, remember it is spelled "chip, in a very chip way."
At this point, we all need something consistent to hang on to.

I didn't like Epperson's, Christopher's, or Nicholas', and Chris March agrees; you have to go read his blog. It is hilarious!!

• Christopher: The praise heaped on this heap of crap was laughable. Not only could something this poorly made NEVER be in a movie, it would get the costumer fired. And put in front of a firing squad. The judging of this piece made me furious. (Can you tell?)

• Gordana: A quite serviceable beaded flapper gown — they gave her crap for it being too simple. Apparently none of them have struggled with fully beaded fabric and beaded fringe. She deserves a medal for finishing this dress so perfectly in that amount of time. For some reason, the judges won’t give Gordana a break.

• Epperson: If Eppy was going to make a full-on granny ruffle dress out of denim, why did he stop short of getting out the Bedazzler and glitter puff paint? They loved this dress, which belongs in the touring production of “Little House on the Prairie on a Budget.”

• Nicolas: White. Cheap. Tacky. Lace. Glue. Bird poop in the model’s hair. My nine-year-old niece could have made this with a thrift-store bridal dress and some lace scraps and a glue gun. And a blindfold.

• Ra’mon: Oh Ra’mon. “The Hooker from Planet Crocodile” is the easiest (and nicest) way to describe this

Here is his blog; worth the read!!

Hope this is OK to post!

asparagus lust

Typo - real "designers" not designs and Tim, not Time. Sorry! Now for that cup of joe.

I felt like the costume designer judge (I can't remember her name) buckled under peer pressure because all of the other judges liked Nicolas' entry. She said she thought the fabric looked cheap in person but it might translate well on film (which it didn't IMO). Nicolas' design looked like a Halloween costume, although the styling was well done.

It is a shame that the challenge wasn't better defined. I thought Epperson's and Christopher's designs were more interesting and more polished, but you wouldn't see them used in an actual period piece or western because they had too many modern design elements added.

Then Gordana's piece was criticized for not having any of her own twists added to it, although you might see a dress just like that used in a 1920's era film. It was really well done! The judging made no sense to me.

It is too bad Irina had immunity because that dress was bottom 3 material.

i didn't hate PP's design, but i didn't love it either...i too immediately thought "narnia" and completely agree that the goo on her hair and makeup were what won it for him -- the dress was just so-so...

i really wanted epperson to win. not only did he do a fantabulous garment -- he did it in a genre he didn't choose -- got stuck with it. he was very clear that he didn't want to do western, but then he cut the complaining, stepped up to the plate and delivered an awesome dress.

"It's obvious that Christopher likes to play with volume in his designs. " -- he even said during the newspaper challenge that he likes to do very fitted, stiff bodices and full skirts... so what's new here? i agree that the duchess and la nina most likely would have called him out for sending the same silhouette down the runway for the umpteenth time. and the only thing that made that dress "victorian" was the bustle. they certainly didn't do halter style dresses, although tim wasn't entirely accurate in saying they wouldn't have had bare arms -- ballgowns in the bustle era often had very wide, low necks and were often sleeveless or had a little cap sleeve, but not the daywear. of course they would have worn long gloves with it... (i was a costume design major at UCLA and actually did quite a bit of research on victorian ballgowns for a project.)

nevertheless, i agree that the judging was totally arbitrary and the criteria was fuzzy.

LOVED gordana's, but i'll get more to that when tlo reviews her entry.

I wonder if there was something in the notebooks that more clearly explained that the challenge was to design for a movie?
They all seemed to get that, in a way.
Nicolas is so obnoxious. Next week will be awful. I wish they'd get the cameras off of him and more on the other folks.
I'd really like to hear more from Epperson.

I was so mad when Epperson didn't get the win! That dress was absolutely stunning.

@TVKimmy -- Absolutely on the hair. Makeup was great; hair was AWFUL! When she came down the runway I thought, "Did they forget to wash the highlighting creme out of her hair?"

This comment has been removed by the author.

Ugh, ugh, ugh. It looked like a cheap-ass wedding gown. What did one of the judges say about one of the other entries, that it looked like a costume you'd buy in a bag at the costume store. THAT WAS THIS.

Nicolas is a pig and he has no taste, no taste AT ALL. This dress was in the bottom three for me.

The only way this dress should have won was if the challenge was "Give us a copy of the Ice Queen look as seen in elementary school plays for the past four decades."

And, TLo, not for one minute do I believe you two would have criticized some designers for "not bringing anything new to the concept" while crowing the Queen of Cliches the winner.

Epperson's dress (and Matara's performance) made me want to see the movie. NOW. Where's it playing? I want to see what this woman does to the outlaw who tries to steal her cattle.

Christopher's dress made me want to see the collection.

Nicolas' dress told me I've already seen this movie,and its cheesy TV ripoff spawn.

I actually liked the two designer judges - the guy (Vavator something?) was quiet, dignified and knew his onions. The Oscar-winning costumer seemed to me to be one of the perks of shooting in LA, and I found her critiques interesting -- though editing did lead me to believe she was in the tank for Christopher's look.

Re the value of Tim's critiques when the judges smack a designer down for following his advice -- I don't expect to hear from Tim on this until the whole series has gone off the air, but I imagine this is not the first time he's been put in such a position. We'll just have to wait and see if an upcoming workroom edit shows Gordana calling him on it. On the other hand, I get the sense that Tim assesses a designer's vision, and helps them get there. But the designer has to have the vision. Gordana, being a mature professional with awesome skills, appears to be very comfortable with her scope of vision and isn't really testing her own edges. If in a future challenge she decides, "F--- it, I'll do wild, MY kind of wild," I'm sure Tim will do his best to help her realize that design choice.

Gordana was given grief for not bringing anything new to her 1920s look while the least imaginitive Ice Queen I've ever seen wins?

Oh, hell no.

They better bring back Nina and Princess Kors.

"I think the judges might have given him more points because his design showed that he really worked with the makeup/hair people..."

Really? Have you ever seen an Ice Queen whose face was not very pale? And we're supposed to give him credit for coming up with shiney bird shit on the hair?

I don't think so.

The ones who won had clearly defined, reasonably interesting characters. And thats all. I think Christopher and Pepermint Patty's dresses looked like utter shit, but they had decent stories.

Christopher's infuriated me because it wasn't Victorian, I don't even think the bustle looked Victorian. It wasn't PERIOD. Without being told it was period inspired, I never would have guessed. I realize that I'm biased (obsessive love of all things mid to late Victorian and the research to back it up), but there are so many period inspired things he could have done that wouldn't have looked like such crap. It was so sloppy it hurts.

PP...just ugh. It looked like something that had been in the costume stock since the 80s, and dragged out here and there as needed. On stage, it would be ok (not great, but ok), in a movie? Probably not, unless the lighting was perfect, in which case it might look pretty and glowing..Maybe.

Epperson? Great technical skill, remarkably impractical. I love Firefly, I love love love Zoe, and I really don't think she'd be caught dead in something so froofy and silly. I see it fitting into her world, just not on her. I really like his dress, I just can't get behind his story of it being for a practical women. However, this is fashion design, and most people in it have no idea what "practical" means.

All in all though...I've made plenty of costumes for under $150, in a day, that looked much better.

Gordanna's showed amazing technical skill, and I really think she would have been in the top three with a better story. She doesn't have the dreamiest point of view, but her work is always solid, pretty, and interesting. Not enough to win this show, but enough to make it in the real world.

Did anyone else get a 'Firefly' vibe from Epperson's dress? That's the first thing I thought of!

I'm not nearly as incensed as some people here about Nicolas, who I find sorta funny-bitchy, and who, honestly, had such fun with his idea and his story that I think he may actually have deserved the win, even if I would've picked Epperson myself given those three choices. (Possibly given other choices as well, but definitely from the top three.) I give him a little slack on the concept because he is young, and may not realize it's Been Done.

That having been said... I am pretty much over this season's judging and will continue to watch solely because a) I like clothes and b) Tim Gunn (and Gordana and Epperson as long as they last). They're either being unclear in their assignments or just flipping ignoring the criteria to judge on whatever they feel like.

I hate to say this, because honestly I generally like her, but when Heidi's the lead judge results seem to get pretty... odd. ZG is okay but I think Nina has better insights (when we get to Gordana's dress I may have more to say about this) and the Guest Judge du Jour spot is really hit or miss (so glad MK is back next week). Frankly I wasn't impressed with Costumer Lady either, nor some of the other 4th seat people season. If this is what LA does to the show, let's pray that they go back to NY, because, frankly, they're losing my interest.

I agree that the challenge objective was vague. The criticism of the losing garment was it was from another planet; wasn't that the point? Either they wanted something wearable or a costume, how hard would it have been to just say which? I think there may have been more adventurous garments if the contestants knew.

My problem with this win wasn't that I didn't think it lived up to the dictates of the challenge. I just thought that, as a garment of any kind, it looked cheap, and, once again for our dear faberge Nicolas, tacky. The cheap looking white fabric paired with cheap looking bits stuck on it did not do it for me, and will ultimately be his downfall.

What is the point of a costume challenge on a runway show? I much preferred the way Epperson interpreted the challenge, as in, "Use an era as inspiration for a modern look." How could those three designs be in the top three when they all interpreted the challenge in incredibly different ways? Terrible challenge idea. That said, I can understand the win--just not my taste at all.

It said, "I know you all love Gordana, but her stuff is bo-RING and nothing I couldn't find on a rack at the mall."

Really? I need to find your mall so I can buy myself a brilliantly hand-fabricated and gorgeous 1920s dress that fits me to a tee.

Gordana was once again the victim of judges on crack. Logan, Shirin, and Carol Hannah all did costumes that fit their genres and brought absolutely nothing new to the design. But once again, Gordana was singled out. Something is fishy.

The judging criteria were arbitrary and confusing this week, but Epperson, Christopher, and P Patty all did beautiful work on this challenge. And while I would have chosen Christopher's design as the winner, I have to give props to the blabby-bitchy Russian for making a beautiful dress and styling it with a vengeance.

All the "impact" in Nicholas's look was in the makeup, and even that was only because it looked like someone jizzed in the model's hair.

Therefore the real winner of this challenge is... Collier Strong!

THANK YOU! Ugh, a someone who has done costumes for theatre--both for avant-garde and for period pieces--I was LIVID last night by the very nature of the challenge itself. If they had said, "inspired by this genre" then I have no problem with them praising Christopher and Epperson over Gordana, but their looks weren't period, so any directing mildly concerned with verisimilitude would have rejected them as costumes. Why bother going through the charade of judging if you have no consistent criteria?

I was disappointed that this won; he didn't take the idea far enough at all. The dress looked cheap and tacky, while the hair and makeup did all the work.

I thought Epperson should have won, too! I thought of Firefly, too, or Farscape.

I can't believe Christopher dragged out the same old silhouette yet again and the judges were just wetting themselves over it. It's getting boring.

I was completely freaking stunned that they sent Ra'Mon home. I haven't been a big fan of his, but he does take a lot of risks. The judging this season is so fucked.

I suppose I understand the judges' critique of Gordana. While it was very lovely, it lacked Gordana's style. It was straight-up flapper girl.

While I despised Christopher's, it was his interpretation of the genre and that's the difference the judges' were looking for.

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