The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Girls on the Bottom

Oh, kittens. We're really going to step in it now.


We might as well get this over with, like ripping off a band-aid. Okay, here goes:

We don't think the judges were too hard on Gordana this episode.

*duck*

Are you still there? Are you still yelling at your monitor? Once you're ready to listen, scroll down.

Model: Tara Egan

Here's the thing: we think the judges have been hard on her in previous episodes. We're absolutely in agreement with the seeming majority of our commenters on that point. And while we think the judges had very, shall we say, fluid ideas regarding the criteria for this challenge, we don't think this look works based on any of them.

First, we're going to start with the styling. That hairdo was all kinds of wrong for a flapper look. Way too puffy and big. The thick, heavy eye makeup was a bit too much. Those shoes she put her in are awful. We're sure some flapper at some point wore opera gloves but it's really not the kind of thing one associates with the look. And while we're not entirely sure if the accessories wall contains much in the way of jewelry, the patented flapper look is a lot of long, layered necklaces. Using the left over fringe from the skirt to mimic that really cheapened the look and brought it down to costume shop levels.

Moving on: we'll take the sewers' word for it that this fabric is apparently very difficult to work with. Point for that because the execution on this look is fine; excellent, even.

Except for the glaring uneven-ness of those straps.

And finally, this dress is simply not the right style or silhouette for a flapper look. It's way too fitted. The flapper look was characterized by a relatively loose upper half with a drop waist and a straight skirt. It was meant to make a woman's body look very skinny and angular; all arms and legs.

In the end, it's a decent dress, but no great shakes. And it really didn't work either as a costume for a film or even as an "inspired by" look.

Whew! Done! Still love us? Let's move on to an easier one.

We've been somewhat pleasantly surprised that Louise has shown the ability to work outside her comfort zone and we would have thought that this challenge would be right up her alley, since she specializes in retro clothes that border on costumey. Her first mistake was choosing Film Noir. She clearly didn't have a good concept of what that meant. We would have thought she would run to grab the "period" card out of Tim's hands. She could have done a killer Victorian look, we have no doubt. Before this challenge we also would have thought her capable of a killer flapper look, but as we all saw...

Model: Fatma Dabo

Things didn't quite work out that way. To be fair, it seems that she didn't set out to a flapper-inspired look, but inexplicably wound up with one for a character that should have been inspired by the late '40s and '50s. She could have nailed it with a Mildred Pierce-esque broad shouldered suit or even a Dior New Look-inspired piece.

Instead, she wound up with this. Something that really doesn't belong in any particular era or genre. It has confusion written all over it.

Here's a little quote from her Facebook page:

"Just an FYI about ep. 6: most people don't realize how hard it is. You 2nd guess yourself a lot. As you can see from ep. 6 I had drawn a completely diff. sketch than what my final design ended up as. On our way to Mood, Althea & I were looking at our sketches. I realized we were both doing high-waisted pencil skirts w/ ruffles going down the butt, and blouses tucked in. I was set on this 40's military outfit, but changed it on the way to Mood because I didn't want our outfits looking so similar. I wish I'd stayed w/ my original idea now, because I had a great story for that character & a real direction. Channeling my mind made me lose my train of thought on this challenge."


Even without her backing it up like that, it was easy to guess just from looking at it how much she was second-guessing herself.

It's really not a bad little dress, all things considered.

Take away all the flapper frippery and it's a chic little cocktail dress.

What it is not, unfortunately, is a costume or even a look "inspired by a movie genre." It's just a relatively cute little dress that she tried to tart up in the styling to make it look like more than it is.

Extended Judging:







[Photos: Mike Yarish/myLifetime.com - Videos: myLifetime.com - Screencaps: Projectrungay.blogspot.com]



Post a Comment
110 comments:

First! I was suprised Louise was in the bottom. I thought she was going home based on editing. I want her to do well, but her looks are looking too similar each challenge.


I actually liked Gordana's. :(


I think the judges put Gordana in the bottom because they want to tell her they do somewhat like her work but she has got to step it up and stop playing it safe.


Woah, I had no idea Gordana made that necklace with leftover fringe; I thought it was off the accessories rack.


I just feel bad the way they are treating her... There were worse entries than her last show (I'm sorry, but I found Irina's shower-curtain-like cloak kinda insulting) and they just call on her for making impeccable clothes...

I'm sorry but I cannot remember Gordana sending an unfinished look down the runway 'til now...


of the two, Louise disappointed me most because she should have been able to nail this one. But, really, you factor in the time constraints and all the pressure...I can't be too upset with what went down the runway.


I'm starting to wonder with Gordana - and this is giving the producers & judges way more credit I realize than we've seen evidence of to date - if the arc will wind up being her being pushed to step it up more that then gets her noticed. She's such an able & competent designer.

Her design this week did work, IMO, via the "inspired by" concept - although it wasn't strong enough to be a winner, I did expect it would be in the middle of the pack.

I'm also hoping - and this is no disrespect to Tara, is it? - that with a new model, Gordana might do better in showing off her designs. Tara seems very sweet but somewhat young. Matar might be able to project the fiercer image that Gordana's designs need in front of these crack-smokin' judges.

Along with Math Hue, I was sure that Louise was going home. Her dress just didn't do much. Not bad but just didn't seem to be her best. Thanks for sharing the info from her FB page, as that does make a bit more sense.


I am hoping that Louise will step it up next week--
I think the tiredness factor is starting to set in on all of them.


I think all of Gordana's stuff has been boring. She sews well, but then so does the seamstress at my dry cleaner's. I hope she's gone soon, I'm tired of looking at her garbage.


You're right about everything. And incredibly observant -- you talk about details I never notice on my own.

Poor Gordana reminds me of the kid in school, the person in the office who follows all the rules, works really hard, does everything right. . . only to get passed over for the prize, the promotion, etc. by the charming goof off.


Spot on with Gordana. The back was too low and the waist was too fitted. Besides, her story was incongruous. The only women in the 20's who were discovering oil would have worn very elaborate Asian styled kimono styled tops that were all the rage with matrons of industry.

It's such a shame about Louise. It must be frustrating to totally screw up the one challenge that everyone thought you were going to nail cold.


TLo, I get what you're saying about Gordana's dress, and I agree there's something missing from it. But, considering the time they had, and the apparent difficulty of working with this fabric, she gets a pass from me on any less than perfect construction. I still love the dress.

For me, the criticism she received this week was the last straw in a weeks long pile-on, especially considering there were a few other designers who could have taken her place in the bottom. Neither Shirin's nor Irina's seemed any better than Gordana's, and Althea's didn't show much imagination either. So why was Gordana the one who ended up in the bottom? It feels to me like it was just a knee-jerk reaction to stick her there.

Louise's was a mess. I was sure she was going home. I feel bad for her having to change at practically the last minute. One more reason that a one day challenge is ridiculous.

This is the point where the mid-level people should start to go. Unfortunately, I think Louise is one of them. I do love her and and her style, and I think she has lots of potential. She just doesn't seem to meeting it under these circumstances.


I loved the silhouette of Gordana's dress.

Here's one where Heidi was on the money: With all interesting periods, why choose "flapper slapper" at all? That's what really killed her with the judges. All the styling just became cliche and they didn't look at the dress itself.

Ditto Louise, was far as her story.

LOVE what Louise was wearing on the runway.

Shirin's was MUCH WORSE than these two.


I don't think Gordana's was a winning entry, but it seems that the judges take her middle entries and stick them in the bottom for some reason. At the very least, I could see Gordana's in a film of her chosen genre, which says a lot considering the same couldn't be said of Chris and Epperson's. And they were in the top. Maybe if she'd said she was doing 20s and done something completely against the genre but fabulous, they would have praised it. But my guess is somehow she'd be in the bottom for it.


These two are clearly capable of much more than the weak tea we saw this week.

Refocus ladies!

I'm pulling for you both to make it to Bryant Park.

Suz


I posted this comment on one of the other threads, but I will repeat it here.

Gordana's dress was beautiful! Her model looked stunning. The entire look was unique and interesting. So, I just don't get the "boring" slap from the judges considering Althea sent a plain 'ol white shirt and a black pencil skirt down the runway.

Gordana's garment, and the entire look for that matter, is not something you will see in the mall. But Althea's outfit can be found in any store.

Picking on the historical accuracy of ANY of the dresses is unfair, as science fiction/fantasy will obviously be without any tangible standard.

Perhaps the judges should have expanded on the "inspired by" part of the challenge.


Gordana - the styling was fine, actually. Not everyone had Louise Brooks/Black pageboys. But the colour was overwhelmingly... dull. Amber and brown everything? No.

Gordana seems to be retreating into what Lucian Matis seemed to do in Project Canada Season 1 - Eastern European grandma tacky. I'm hoping this is only really apparent because of the design brief this season and she's under stress. But this was not a good look from her, elaborate fabric or not.

Louise - I liked the fact she tried to do a costume look within a costume look (like Marilyn Monroe trying to be a flapper in 'Some Like It Hot'). But her model is just too dark-skinned to be able to set off that dress's details (if there were any) and she just didn't put enough actual '40s obvious details into the dress to highlight her unique view.

When she brought that up, I immediately thought of all those '60's WWII movies where the women invariably all had kiss curls and variations of bouffant hair-dos... .

Pretty dress, missed the brief.

Yeah, she's going to have to start braodening her sites. I mean, we've already *had* a Louise Black Bryant Park collection. Except it was made by Chris March.


I agree with previous commentors -
1. Tara is a weak model & doesn't do Gordana's garments justice. She needs someone more strong and womanly (I haven't seen Models of the Runway so I'm not sure who she's with next week but I hope it's Matar!)
2. Shirin's dress was AWFUL. She should have been in the bottom, no question. Although the judges wanted a costume, it was so gimmicky and generic.
3. One day challenges are ridiculous.
I UNDERSTAND why poor Gordana was in the bottom again, but that doesn't mean that I'm happy about it :(


I just looked at Gordana's portfolio of looks that she's produced thus far. They all look really cheap but well made. The best critique of the season so far was when that woman told G that she could see her hand but not her eye. I hope it makes a difference.

And Tara is too bony. It's hard to look at her.


love.bites
I think the judges put Gordana in the bottom because they want to tell her they do somewhat like her work but she has got to step it up and stop playing it safe.

This.

I like what she does, and she does it well, but...it doesn't have the same pizazz as some others designs. I suspect that she learned to sew before she learned to design, and has a very hard time designing freely because part of her is always considering how to make it, and imposing limits. I do the same thing, and its very very very hard to get out of that comfort zone. I hope she does, just because I like her. =) Fingers crossed!


I see where people are coming from with Gordana, but I just think she's not given the credit she deserves. I don't think she's sent a poorly-made look down the runway yet (with the possible exception of the collaboration with Nicolas). I also believe fashion can be beautiful and amazing without reinventing the wheel every time.


I think what it comes down to Gordana is she is very very skilled technically but she needs to be more ambitious in her design. A flapper dress is safe since there's not a lot you can do with it from a design perspective.

Based on the edit she was choosing to focus on the execution rather on the concept. When the judges told her her last dress was bordering on boring she should have been more experimental. Her choice of 20s era was sound but she really went the wrong route. She should have made a simple gown and thrown a coat over it with an asian print

Poor Lousie. I'd like her to redeem herself. I dont think she'll make bryant park but even so. And she looks like she's paired with PP. Poor Louise

again the big problem with this challenge was making it a 1 day challenge. you cnat have a costume challenge and make it 1 day

Frank


I think what it comes down to Gordana is she is very very skilled technically but she needs to be more ambitious in her design. A flapper dress is safe since there's not a lot you can do with it from a design perspective.

Based on the edit she was choosing to focus on the execution rather on the concept. When the judges told her her last dress was bordering on boring she should have been more experimental. Her choice of 20s era was sound but she really went the wrong route. She should have made a simple gown and thrown a coat over it with an asian print

Poor Lousie. I'd like her to redeem herself. I dont think she'll make bryant park but even so. And she looks like she's paired with PP. Poor Louise

again the big problem with this challenge was making it a 1 day challenge. you cnat have a costume challenge and make it 1 day

Frank


I actually agree with you guys again, I couldn't really understand the defense of Gordana on this episode, sure she's been unfairly singled out in the past but this look did not really look much like a flapper to me. I think her and Louise had the same problem that they had non-historically accurate designs that were too boring couple with weak "stories". I think there were a few other looks worse than these that stayed in the middle but I wasn't really shocked by the criticisms.


This comment has been removed by the author.

Forgot to mention I was just imagining what Laura might have created with a 20's period outfit

btw sorry about the double post above...internet glitch

Frank


You get no argument from me.


I am very disappointed in Louise. From the designer videos, she picked Film Noir because she thought it had to do with the 1920s. She didn't know until she read the dossier on Film Noir that its a 40s look. How can a designer so involved in vintage and retro fashions not know this?

She was confused from the outset and it just led to a confused product.


I didn't get to watch this episode the day of - I'm watching the episode now. I read your posts and saw your screenshots before watching the episode.

So far you bitches are 100% correct from what I can see. I may not like Peppermint Patty, but he really did pull out the winning look. And as much as I like Gordana, her look was all wrong. Ditto on Louise. I should mention I studied costuming in high school, and even considered it as a career choice. Because of that, I often look at how costume designers re-interpret an era to appeal to a modern audience. The correct silhouettes for these eras are burned into my brain, and most of the designers failed pretty miserably on doing anything resembling 'period.' Even Christopher, who was given praise for some reason, doesn't seem to have much of an idea of what people were wearing during his period. Maybe he got a pass because he ultimately choose 'vampire story' which is more fantasy than period. Epperson's also failed as period but he again got a pass because modern westerns do often contain 'fantasy west' elements. Gordana's dress does look like something you'd find at a cheap costume rental shop for 'generic flapper', or as a simplicity pattern for same - in other words full of inaccuracies, but it's for Halloween so who cares? Louise's was interesting, and I like her subtle details, it just wasn't flapper (or 40s).


Louise was very lucky that Ra'mon made such a mess this week.
Gordana's was a costume an 80's trophy wife would rent for a charity costume party (but with better shoes). I think the reason she was in the bottom and not Shirin was that all the details gave the judges too much to find fault with and countered the difficulty of the construction.


I thought Gordana's dress was pretty, and could have even worked for a costume, but more of a "flapper girl #6" costume than any sort of character or show-stopping look.


I like Gordana overall, but I didn't love her contribution this week. It felt like two completely different looks thrown together.

And, I like Louise overall. I like that she pays attention to the details and has a good sense of how to work within the challenge most of the time. Unfortunately, this was not her challenge.
I also appreciate that she accepted the feedback she was given (and thanked the judges). That could have helped to save her from elimination.


Now looking at it closer, I didn't like that fabric Gordana used. It looked like furniture upholstery. I think the styling/accessories were part of her downfall and maybe if she had gone with Roxie Hart-esque hair and a different fabric (and color) she could've produced a better look that wouldn't necessarily be top 3 material but at least safe material.

As far as Louise, it's obvious why she chose Film Noir. She loves that era. That's all well and good but it was clear that she wasn't really clear on what Film Noir is. She did moreso of a roaring 20s look that was reminiscent of something from Chicago. When I think Film Noir, I automatically think any movie with Humphrey Bogart in it or something along those lines which usually means a long flowy/slinky dress or a suit. I don't see many flapper outfits in crime dramas.


poor gordana, i feel like she's capable of sometihng very amazing, but i don't know if she'll ever get a chance.


I like Gordana, but I thought this outfit looked exactly like a Halloween costume.


Now you two have fallen prey to the same wacko- arbitrary-criteria thing the judges did: Your critique of Gordana's work seems to be based chiefly on what a 20's flapper should be, while the mandate was "inspired by" -- no? Now I'M confused.


"Decade within a decade" CAN work for film noir; the best film noir, in my opinion, is after all Sunset Boulevard. It might have been fun if Louise took that route of the pathetic, vengeful washed up starlet; lengthen the gown and add some Norma Desmond gauze and there you go.

Which would have been infinitely more interesting than the "femme fatale" bore that was Althea's inspiration.


Fata Morgana said: So far you bitches are 100% correct from what I can see. I may not like Peppermint Patty, but he really did pull out the winning look. And as much as I like Gordana, her look was all wrong. Ditto on Louise. I should mention I studied costuming in high school, and even considered it as a career choice. Because of that, I often look at how costume designers re-interpret an era to appeal to a modern audience. The correct silhouettes for these eras are burned into my brain, and most of the designers failed pretty miserably on doing anything resembling 'period.'

Here's the thing, though. You're looking at this stuff with a trained eye, which is understandable. It's hard to shut that off. But I don't think anyone, with the possible exception of Nicolas, has a background in costume design, so there's just so much you can expect from them in that area.

I mentioned this in another thread. I rewatched the beginning of the episode. All Tim told the designers was that they were to pick a film genre and create a character that "lives in that genre". No other parameters were given. They just had to assume what was expected, use their creativity and produce a well-made piece.

Seriously, I feel kind of bad for almost all of them now. Most of the were working blind.


Uh, make that "most of *them* were working blind".


I agree that Gordana's looks are often a little boring but there are usually a few looks that are more boring than hers and I don't this this episode was an exception.

Louise definitely deserved to be in the bottom two for that mess of a concept. Although I was surprised by the judges' comment that the dress looked cheap. They work with really cheap fabric so many of the garments end up looking cheap. This one didn't.


" Maura said...

I mentioned this in another thread. I rewatched the beginning of the episode. All Tim told the designers was that they were to pick a film genre and create a character that "lives in that genre". No other parameters were given. They just had to assume what was expected, use their creativity and produce a well-made piece."


I don't see how that can be taken any other way than to mean that they should create a costume. If you're talking about "characters," then you're talking about costumes. Besides, the guest judge was a noted costume designer. It seems pretty clear to me that the challenge was to create a costume, full stop. Which is what makes the praise for Christopher and Epperson so confounding.


I completely agreed with the judges. Gordana is playing it way too safe. The judges want to see more, and to see a distinct point of view. This dress didn't convey in any way who she was as a designer.

Nice looking clothes isn't enough. The dress was fine, but she needs to take it to the next level.

I don't know why people think the judging was wonky this week. Apart from maybe the winner, the top 3 and bottom 3 were right on imo.


Larry said: I don't see how that can be taken any other way than to mean that they should create a costume. If you're talking about "characters," then you're talking about costumes. Besides, the guest judge was a noted costume designer. It seems pretty clear to me that the challenge was to create a costume, full stop. Which is what makes the praise for Christopher and Epperson so confounding.

Larry, I wanted to clear up all the questions about exactly what the brief was. I agree that it says "make a costume". Other than that, it's pretty vague, especially because most of these people aren't costume designers. I don't think they should be held to the standards of professional costume designers when they don't have the training or knowledge required to create an accurate costume. And that's why I can give almost everyone a pass on how accurate their designs were. The quality of their work is a different story.


Perhaps Gordana was penalized for not using the Macy's Accessory Wall. (wink)

Except for the shoes, which were fugly and did not work with the dress in any way, shape, or form.


I totally understand what the judges say to Gordana, and for the most part they are valid points. The thing is, ALL of the designs have reasons why they work or don't and Gordana is singled out each week, for seemingly not meeting the judges personal style, while others slide by.
She was middle of the pack for me.
I thought Althea should of had to explain why she made what she made. THAT was the most boring design, to my eye anyway.
Oh Louise, that was fug. Better luck next week.


I feel like I am the ONE who picks on Tim...but I thought that he was supporting Gordana's choices and he was the one telling her to cut the back so low.

Again bad advice to Gordana.


I'm sorry, but I cannot see how anyone can make the argument that Gordana's dress didn't work as an "inspired by" look when Christopher gets a pass for creating a dress that isn't even remotely "inspired by" Victorian fashion, and can't even qualify as a movie costume. (That sash ain't no corset, kiddos.) Plus it's derivative of all the other silhouettes he spews out. He misses the mark completely and keeps turning out the big poufs and ends up in the top 3. Something ain't right here.

Gordana came a hell of a lot closer on both counts, and she still gets the nasty comments. Maybe it's not a winner, but it's a solid middle of the pack entry.


Okay, boys, I see your point about Gordana and you make some very valid points, and perhaps I am a bit overly-sensitive given the unfair criticisms she's received from the judges over the past few weeks, but methinks you might be a wee bit guilty of the same random judging criterea used in the episode. While everything you pointed was true enough with Gordana's look, you hardly held Epperson or Christopher to a standard of perfect historical accuracy. Why Gordana?


Sorry, still can't agree Gordana deserved to be in the bottom. The gloves are within the flapper style; it wasn't common but it's not out of the question. And I remember some fairly curly-haired flappers (courtesy of my grandmother); she got the top part tamed down with the headband, which is how they did it, though some more structured curl would've been better. Still, I don't think she was anywhere near as off on the styling as some people do. The shoes, granted, weren't good, but she may not have had a lot of choice there. I liked the necklaces, so maybe I don't have any taste either...

She did go a little too fitted on the dress, but really, not that badly, and while I in no way would've called her for a winner spot, nor do I think she was so off as to deserve a bottom placement.


I have to agree with you here. AS I stated in a previous post, Gordana did not put herself into this challenge, she just made a flapper dress. I disagreed with all her other bottom placements, but not this one. Not personal, just what it is.
Now Louise had a 'hot mess' (BTW, I'm ready for that term to be retired). Without having to read her blog, I get it that PR is hard work. I get that a designer constantly second guesses oneself.

So what if Althea had a similar concept? Althea's dress failed, Louise could have knocked it out of the park. At least she's still in the running.


Love both ladies, but not those creations. I know you can do better than that!


By the way, boys, can I just tell you how much I love these weekend posts? Thank you :)


How you look at this week's contest, so it appears to you. All is relative, grasshopper.

Just a word about Gordana's hair styling - if we're talking about inspired-by-20s blond hair, how 'bout Leslie Ann Warren in V/V?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J8gf9OFTRY&NR=1

-Anon1


EEK/STL said...

Okay, boys, I see your point about Gordana and you make some very valid points, and perhaps I am a bit overly-sensitive given the unfair criticisms she's received from the judges over the past few weeks, but methinks you might be a wee bit guilty of the same random judging criterea used in the episode. While everything you pointed was true enough with Gordana's look, you hardly held Epperson or Christopher to a standard of perfect historical accuracy. Why Gordana?


Here's what we said about Epperson's:

The problem is, this was pitched as a costume for a western and discussed as a topic for a western and to be perfectly honest, this would never work as a costume for a western because it's so obviously historically inaccurate.

And Christopher:
Next, we have to point out that, just like Epperson did, he went toward the "inspired by" route instead of the costume route and just like Epperson did, he nonetheless described it in terms of being a movie costume. Even the judges described it as such, referring to how it would look shot from the back.

The problem is, just like Epperson, this doesn't work as a costume at all. His genre was "period" and this look only slightly evokes a hazy, Victorian-esque period of time and place.


" Anonymous said...

How you look at this week's contest, so it appears to you. All is relative, grasshopper.

Just a word about Gordana's hair styling - if we're talking about inspired-by-20s blond hair, how 'bout Leslie Ann Warren in V/V?:"

VV is set in the '30s, not the '20s.


Neither Shirin's nor Irina's seemed any better than Gordana's, and Althea's didn't show much imagination either. So why was Gordana the one who ended up in the bottom? It feels to me like it was just a knee-jerk reaction to stick her there.
Irina had immunity, so putting her in the bottom 3 would be pointless. I think a key difference between Shirin's (which Nina calls out as way too literal in her video blog) and Gordana's is that Shirin was stuck with Western, while Gordana could have picked any period. I agree that Althea's was dull. But Gordana's missed the mark more, IMO.

Gordana's storyline as told to Tim is a woman in her 30s who discovered oil and is making her first appearance in Society. IMO, her first mistake is making a flapper dress for that character. The high society evening dress for the 1920s is like what you see in the third photo here. Long, sleek, and flowing.

OK, so she went flapper anyway. Having picked flapper, she made something that is more for an extra than for a leading lady. The color is wrong, the texture is wrong, and the length is wrong. Despite the technical virtuosity, the end effect, as Samantha says above, looks like the dress was made from upholstery. The paradigm for the star in a modern flapper role has to be the kind of dresses that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger wore in Chicago. Much shorter. Much shinier. The fringe is longer so the movement in it is exaggerated. Much more slutty, slutty, slutty, but this is the challenge to do that.


EEK/STL said...

Okay, boys, I see your point about Gordana and you make some very valid points, and perhaps I am a bit overly-sensitive given the unfair criticisms she's received from the judges over the past few weeks, but methinks you might be a wee bit guilty of the same random judging criterea used in the episode. While everything you pointed was true enough with Gordana's look, you hardly held Epperson or Christopher to a standard of perfect historical accuracy. Why Gordana?

TLO said...

Here's what we said about Epperson's:

The problem is, this was pitched as a costume for a western and discussed as a topic for a western and to be perfectly honest, this would never work as a costume for a western because it's so obviously historically inaccurate.

And Christopher:
Next, we have to point out that, just like Epperson did, he went toward the "inspired by" route instead of the costume route and just like Epperson did, he nonetheless described it in terms of being a movie costume. Even the judges described it as such, referring to how it would look shot from the back.

The problem is, just like Epperson, this doesn't work as a costume at all. His genre was "period" and this look only slightly evokes a hazy, Victorian-esque period of time and place.


I see your point, but here's why I disagree with you slightly: Both "western" and "vampire" stories often include an element of fantasy. Look at Firefly for a good example of a "fantasy western." I think Epperson gets off better than Christopher, though, because "western" need not be set in an actual historical time; it can be a futuristic or alternate history western. Christopher's was actually supposed to be 'period' and failed on that. But I do think he saved himself by talking about vampires in his story, because that immediately makes it alternate history period, which can be more interpretive.

Just my opinion.


I think the judges also dinged Gordana because she had "period piece," which meant she could have done something with more historical significance, pre-1900. The possibilities were endless: American Civil War antebellum, European rococo, Edwardian England, Gainsborough, medieval gothic, Napoleonic France, Greek revival, etc. Grabbing "1920's flapper" might have felt like a quick, easy choice in comparison to the other possibilities.


And props to the anonymous poster above who pointed out that combining '20s Jazz Age style and late '40s film noir was expertly carried off by Edith Head in "Sunset Blvd."


As 2 others have said, when I saw Gordana's look, all I could think, especially with the blonde hair, was Lesley Ann Warren in V/V.


I like both Gordana & Louise but I hated this week's dresses.

With Gordana, the problem is with the fabric. To me, it makes the model look like a cheap couch in a blonde wig. And I think it was too long to be a flapper dress as well.

With Louise, her comment explains it all. It does look like she got lost on this one.

Both of them are much better than their output this week, so I'm glad they lived to fight another day.

--GothamTomato


I'll take a poorly re-interpreted design over a cliche ridden copy of an old idea any day.

In otherwords, the Ice Queen outfit was perfect for a grade school production whereas at least the other designers put some thought into their ideas.

I have no problem with the bottom three this week.


mll (the first lulu)

Well, I still love Gordana's look, but now I understand better what she did wrong and why she really needs to stretch herself out of her comfort design zone, or she will be the next AUF.

Unless it's Louise, who has great skills also, but bored me with this.

Unless it's Nicholas, or Althea, or Shirin, or......hell, could be anybody, the Persimmon Princess will be here!


Irina had immunity, so putting her in the bottom 3 would be pointless.

Yes, I remembered that after I posted my comment. But I still maintain that either Althea or Shirin could have taken that bottom 3 spot as easily as Gordana.

I'm not one to look for conspiracies, and I agree this was Gordana's weakest piece so far. But it seems as though Gordana is always the one to end up in the bottom if there are only shades of difference among the weaker designs. So after seeing this happen week after week, it feels like overkill and knee jerking. As I said upthread - straw, camel, back.


Wow, I have to disagree, disagree, disagree re: Gordana.

When her outfit came out on the runway, everyone in our household did the pearl-clutch and the gasp. We were sure, finally, our girl had won first place. I mean, compare it to Shirin's saloon girl costume? Logan's dowdy second-place assassin? Nicholas's sloppy white mess?

But nope, bottom three for you, Gordanarelly!

I feel bad for her. Is she not good drama? Does she give boring interview quotes?


" Maura said...

I'm not one to look for conspiracies, and I agree this was Gordana's weakest piece so far. But it seems as though Gordana is always the one to end up in the bottom if there are only shades of difference among the weaker designs. So after seeing this happen week after week, it feels like overkill and knee jerking. As I said upthread - straw, camel, back."

She's only been in the bottom 3 times out of 6 and one of those times was totally Nicolas's fault.


I replayed it twice: Louise said--at some point-- that she thought film noir was late 30s-early 40s. Which surprised me given her background.

Still, Irina's dress, the first one out, was boring and poorly constructed and Shirin's dance hall girl was just boring. Either one of them should have replaced Gordana in the bottom three.


Anonymous said...

I replayed it twice: Louise said--at some point-- that she thought film noir was late 30s-early 40s. Which surprised me given her background.

Isn't 30's - 40's perfect for noir? Little Caesar = 1931, Maltese Falcon = 1941. Double Indemnity = 1944. If she'd made a dress in that era should would have been fine.

Still, Irina's dress, the first one out, was boring and poorly constructed and Shirin's dance hall girl was just boring. Either one of them should have replaced Gordana in the bottom three.

I think Irina's dress might have been lower if she didn't have immunity. But the dress itself did have the bias-cut shape of the era she was going for. She had the correct silhouette, which Gordana did not. As for Shirin's dance hall girl, it was a boring look, but it was the correct shape and look for a western costume. She failed to make it interesting, but she didn't fail the ultimate task which was to make a feasible costume for a character she made up. Gordana did NOT make a feasible costume, it didn't look like the era she was going for, it didn't even look like a fashionable gown for someone inspired by the 20s and besides all that it was boring.

I'm sorry, I like Gordana too, but try as you might you're just not going to be able to make that dress anything other than a failure on her part.


As a working costume designer, I was appalled at the judging.

The challenge was "Make a costume for a movie".

Gordana did that. Her dress would work in a movie set in the 20s, even if it was not 1000% accurate.

Watch period movies. It is extremely rare to get any star to wear something that is completely accurate. Most are too concious of their image for that. Even if they'll wear the clothes, getting them to wear accurate makeup or hair is a real battle.

I won't fault Gordana for having a dress that's a tad too long & fitted. Especially given the time constraints.

That they didn't call Shirin out for her dance hall girl dress jut makes it look worse.


Little Caesar = 1931...

Well clearly we are going to disagree about film noir so let's stick to dresses ; ) Do you think that Logan's was uninspired as well?


I agree with most of what you say about Gordana's, particularly the styling, which was messy and overdone. I barely noticed the dress due to the accessories!

However, despite the fact that we tend to think of 1920s "flapper" hair as a smooth bob, that's not necessarily the case. (Though this one does have more of a '30s vibe.)


C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

Oh boys, I guess we'll agree to disagree on this one.

Why did Gordana choose a flapper dress? Because it was a frickin' ONE DAY challenge and she probably wanted to have the time to execute her garment properly. I give her props for thinking about time management and not sending up something sloppy. If she would have chosen another era, I think she would have had serious time management issues. I still think she should have gotten at least a safe, if not more.

Poor Louise. I wish she just would've brought it with her original design, Althea be damned. At least then if she would've ended up on the bottom, she'd be defending something she designed wholeheartedly.

I'm looking forward to seeing the details on Shirin and Irina's looks, because like others, I thought they could have easily ended up in the bottom.


In Chris March's blog, he spoke of how difficult this beaded fabric that Gordana had is to work with. So kudos to her for the execution, at the very least.

And if you are going to agree with Gordana being in the bottom three, for consistenty sake, I should certainly HOPE that the ridiculous "costure" that Shirin made, the Can-Can Girl, will be slammed by the two of you as well. Gordana's was beautiful. Shirin's was ridiculous.


I really don't think it's fair to point out that Gordana's model didn't have "flapper hair" as a valid reason for saying her look failed. I remember seeing an interview about the making of "Dr. Zhivago" (and I'm sorry I don't remember who I'm quoting here)...a comment was made that the set and costume designers made pains to be accurate to the time period only to have the actresses' come on the sets with 1960's hair. Whoever was talking chuckled and said you can often tell when a movie was made by looking at the hairstyles. Granted that was 40 years ago, but I'd say that's still somewhat true today.
But more than this, shouldn't Garnier be held accountable for the hair? You should be able to tell a hairdresser "flapper" without needing to explain yourself. Maybe Gordana hated the hair too, but seriously how could she have done anything about that by the time she saw it? I don't have any problems with your critiques of the clothes, but don't hold Gordana to task for somebody else's bad hair!


[i]Now you two have fallen prey to the same wacko- arbitrary-criteria thing the judges did: Your critique of Gordana's work seems to be based chiefly on what a 20's flapper should be, while the mandate was "inspired by" -- no? Now I'M confused.[/i]

I second this.

No, this is not Gordana's best work so far, but a blah flapper is far above the cliche of Shirin or Logan.

So what that is was too low in the back or too straight? You didn't have a problem with Epperson's being completely unwearable in the period.

Louise was lucky Ra'mon's was such a mess.

I give up with the judging criteria.


I'd really like to see what Louise's original idea would have looked like, or at least a nice look at her sketches. I like her style and would be interested in seeing what she was planning on doing. I will admit that she's been sticking to very similar dresses too often, though. And I also agree that these two weren't incredibly impressive, as much as I like the two of them as people.


Louise's dress would have bored Nina. If the show had been in NY she would probably be going home.


Something that occurs to me when it comes to "period pieces" is that there's this idea that anyone who lived in the era only wore clothes of that era. It is far more likely that a normal person would wear some combination of items and styles. Also, people in earlier decades were far less likely to dispose of clothing than we are today.

When it comes to the whole "flapper" phenomenon, most women of the time didn't adopt the entire flapper look. But they might have worn items that were influenced by that look (ie shorter hair, but not necessarily a bob; a dropped-waist dress, but not necessarily as short.) This is apparent in some of the pictures I've seen of my Grandmother during the 20s.


Thanks so much for your sanity and perspective, TLo. I wholeheartedly agree.

Just looking at the dresses, with no consideration of whether they were costumes or "inspired by", I think that Gordana's dress was just ugly. Not as bad as Louise's, but Louise's was probably the worst design on the runway this week. They all had the same amount of time to work, and if the fabric was so difficult to work with, she should have chosen something different. The fabric was ugly.

Back to the flapper issue: neither of these dresses is a flapper dress. I don't know that a historically accurate dress went down the runway this week. Besides, how can scifi and action/adventure be historically accurate? I think the fact that they included those two genres negates the concept of historic accuracy in this challenge, and historic accuracy takes research, even for experienced costume designers.

One of the commenters has observed that Irina (I believe) said that they did visit a museum of movie costumes and that Bob Mackie was the guest judge. If this is true, it is obvious that they had to rework the challenge parameters due to some conflict with Bravo. That could be why it seemed so confusing (and confused).

As I've said before, Gordana is starting to strike me as more of a dressmaker than a designer. She has got to show her design chops if she wants to be competitive. So far what she has done has been marvelously constructed but fairly blah in design.


I always think of something to add after I've posted! Shoot!

I believe that the history of Project Runway has favored the more original, creative designers as opposed to the competent technicians. Therefore, I do not think that the judging this year has been all that different, with the possible exception of Malvin's auf'ing. Design, fashion, and trendiness are the trademarks of this show, not wearability or sewing skill.


I LOVE seeing how costume dramas reinterpret period looks. Once, I watched every version of Wuthering Heights I could lay hands on to see how the costume and hair changed depending on the decade it was filmed. So, you know, I was really down with Louise's idea of a flapper as interpreted in the 40's. I just wish she'd done it well.

A *great* example of what Louise was trying to do is the character, Rachael, in Blade Runner - which was an 80's take on a film noir look. I love the way Rachael looks in the scene where Deckard first meets her. Her outfit/makeup/hair are both 80's and also classic noir.

And as far as Gordana is concerned - I think her work this week was better than that goofy saloon girl look. I'd have switched them in the line up.


Though I like Louise's aesthetic, after looking at her dress a second time here, I think she should have gone home. Unlike Ra'Mon, Louise hasn't shown any wow in any challenges, not really; and this....dress....just looks like crap. I'm sorry to say that because it seemed like she did put a lot of meticulous work into it, but the end result is one hot mess. and her "backstory"???? PLEASE. jesus. at least RaMon and Gordana *HAD* backstories that made some kind of mildly coherent sense. Louise's was such an obvious, flailing attempt to cover her ass that I would have sent her home on that alone. Ra'Mon, hanging by a thread and facing Heidi's wrath if he f8cks up again, should have stayed.


TLo, OMIGOSH I've never had you directly respond to one of my comments before and, while honored that you took the time, I am a little nauseated at the thought that you might be miffed at me. Clearly I have some 'splaining to do, so here goes:

When I wryly (smarmily?) mentioned that perhaps you were holding Gordana to a standard of historical accuracy to which you did not hold Epperson and Christopher, you rightly showed me EXACTLY where you pointed out that both their looks were far from accurate. No question about it, you wrote it, I'd read it and you are right right right. What I MEANT by my comment was that I feared that those sins for which Gordana was torpedoed were but a blip on the radar for Epperson and Christopher (Red October references notwithstanding). Again, I was probably over-sensitive because she's gotten a lot of undeserved criticism from the judges the past couple of weeks, but it seemed at that moment that you felt Gordana's historical inaccuracies justified her Bottom Three-ness, while Epperson and Christopher, which as you yourselves pointed out were clearly guilty of equal or worse, got more than a pass, they got Top 3.

In the end it seems Gordana's biggest sin was that she produced something boring and uninspired, no matter how well it was constructed. Had the judges been wowed there is no question they would have made whatever provision for her they needed to, as they did with the gorgeous work of Epperson and Christopher, both of which I loved.

Anyway, please don't be miffed and I'm sorry if I wrote in too much haste to be clear - it's that Sagittarius rising, what can I say? LOVE YOU GUYS!


I cannot imagine what posessed Gordana to choose that fabric....I think it was the fabric that was the downfall of her garment.
Louise's was disappointing- I have really liked everything she did in the beginning and this week and last week were not great...


"So, you know, I was really down with Louise's idea of a flapper as interpreted in the 40's. I just wish she'd done it well."

Huh? Louise had no CLUE as to when Film Noir was, which is why she sent a flapper dress down the runway.

"Flapper as interpreted in the 40's"? Why ever for, given the challenge? Why not do a Medieval gown as interpreted in the 40's?


And, as a huge fan of Bladerunner, I'm baffled by the contention that Rachel's costume & styling were a melange of 1940's & 80's.

Pure '40s, from stem to stern.


Lisa said...
"So, you know, I was really down with Louise's idea of a flapper as interpreted in the 40's. I just wish she'd done it well."

Huh? Louise had no CLUE as to when Film Noir was, which is why she sent a flapper dress down the runway.

"Flapper as interpreted in the 40's"? Why ever for, given the challenge? Why not do a Medieval gown as interpreted in the 40's?



Well, exactly. Let's say Louise loved the look of Olivia de Haviland in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), and she wanted to do a Medieval gown based on that late 30's look. Or maybe she loved the look of 1922 version of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Enid Bennet as Maid Marion. The 1922 Medieval gown and the 1938 are quite different - as is the 40's, 50's 60's . . . . I don't think there is a decade that there wasn't a film version of Robin Hood.

I agree that she didn't NEED to come up with the decade within the decade idea - and she only did it to come up with some explanation for a dress that didn't really evoke *any* time period or genre. And her explanation didn't really make any sense.

I'm just saying I like the idea of doing a garment based on the Film Noir genre as if the film was made in a decade other than the Film Noir's heyday 40's-50's.


I think it's unfair to use "costume shop levels" as an insult. I worked in a theatre's costume shop and I can say we often had to use quality fabrics and trims just to achieve the look the designer wanted.

Project Runway puts such a negative image of what "costume" is. A costume designer isn't a talentless fashion designer, it's a completely different (but related) job. And just like fashion, it has its cheap or quality work, depending on the budget and the designer.


And even though it was completely innappropriate for the challenge... I'd wear Louise's dress to a cocktail party anyday. It would do my pasty white skin favors it isn't doing Fatima.


The first recognized film noir was made, I believe, in 1945. Little Caesar and its genre (Scarface, Public Enemy, etc.) were gangster films.

Sunset Boulevard was set in the film noir era but the leading character of Norma Desmond was a star from the silent era of the 1920s, so her clothes were of that style. She probably got them in the '20s when she was a star. They aren't blended with the film noir era styles.

I took another look at Louise's dress and what was the deal with the sash? If it had hung straight down from the shoulders it would have at least approximated a flapper dress. The pattern on the fabric was right on for a flapper. I don't think they were really into black, though.

I think this was an ill-conceived challenge or it had to be adapted due to problems with Bravo. Why mix period genres with non-period genres? One of the action-adventure costumes was pure Matrix (which would also fit in scifi). They needed to have genres that were more comparable and more defined. Scifi could be anything from The Matrix, to Total Recall, to Blade Runner, to Buck Rogers, to Star Trek. Action-adventure could be James Bond, Indiana Jones, True Lies, Romancing the Stone, and on and on. Yet period costumes are more strictly judged, such as Victorian, film noir, flapper, Civil War, etc.

It was jacked up, let's face it, and I think the judges and designers did pretty well with what they were given.


Clara Fuckation

I know it's cool and trendy and shit to call everyone bitches, it's like a gf thing, so is it okay if I call you all cunts too? Or whores or sluts or dykes? Or is bitches the only derogatory term acceptable right now?
Please advise.


Nope, ain't buying any of it, ladies.

Disagree on all accounts.

I thought Gordana captured the flapper looked perfectly. The curly hair also caputred the look as well. Take a look at pics of Clara Bow, Marion Davies, or even a young pre-talkie Jean Harlow. They didn't have Louise Brooks-type hairstyles, even if the pageboy may have been the most popular look of the day.

The style of the dress didn't show as much curve, either. It was straight and boxy just like the times.

The only one gripe I have were the shoes. They weren't twenties, and she would've been better off with high-heeled Mary Janes.

Overall, I thought Gordana nailed the look perfectly, and the pseudo-judges found bullshit excuses to slam her on it.

Like I said already, they have their little pets. Althea and Miss Crissy could throw some shit down the runway and judges. would call it ice cream. It's very frustrating to see the judges pick on Gordana while they have to hose their chairs hosed down whenever they see Althea, Logan and Christopher's pretty little faces on the runway.


As for Louise, the concept was kind of nutty. A 40s looked inspired by 20s flapper style? While we're at it let's take the 1940s bobbie sock style and blend it with the 1870s Reconstruction period.

If she wanted to do a flapper look, she should've just picked it in the first place.

This look that she made, while nicely done, was altoghter wrong, wrong, wrong.

I like Louise's style alot but she can't mold her aesthetic into the challenges very well, so her days are numbered.


I agree that chosing the twenty's and specifically a flapper for the costume drama was a mistake. Because the flapper silhouette is kind of a cliche' to begin with AND not that far from current styles.
However since she did chose flapper for what ever reason, she did a pretty good job with it. It reads as a flapper to me. It thought she did a good job scavenging accessories and making them look right. Her fabric choice was very good it looks much more expensive than the others. I was very surprised that it was in the bottom.

Lousie her concept was a bit of a mess. But lets face it not all designers are writers and that is not a talent that is usually ask of them.
I don't think it looks 20's or 40's. So she probably deserved the placement she got. I am glad she didn't go home because I think she is very talented. I also do not think this dress looks particularly like any other that she has done for PR. A lot of commenters seem to think she is being repetitive, I don't agree.


Anonymous 9/28/09 1:28 AM said... And even though it was completely innappropriate for the challenge... I'd wear Louise's dress to a cocktail party anyday. It would do my pasty white skin favors it isn't doing Fatima.

Yes. I didn't think it was possible for Fatma to look bad, but she looked terrible in this dress. But, at least she didn't whine about it the way Vanessa whined about having to wear Ra"mon's get-up.


I must say I really liked Gordana's dress, but as was mentioned, it does look like something an extra would wear, not the star. I would have given it a pass as a solid middle entry.

I was sure Louise was going home for a boring and confusing entry. As much as I love her, this dress was a well-sewn disaster, if there is such a thing.


I give you guys much credit for maintaining a cooler analytical eye than I did - I looked at Gordana's, felt like it conveyed flapper, and went no farther. (I still think the use of fringe for necklace was fine, though, especially not knowing what was available on the product placement wall.)

Still and all, compared to some of the middle ground, I don't think she deserved to be in the bottom.

Louise just missed the boat completely. She said in her pre-show material that she's just now going to school for formal design training, if I remember right, and I think this showed lack of grounding in history of fashion - she works a look she's very good at but seems not to be solid on what was going on in each decade.

Enough already. I'm ready for next week and more culling of the herd. (funny, I don't know if that feeling is due to this season or my own life's variables, but I haven't had that feeling about PR before.)


Ellen M said...

The first recognized film noir was made, I believe, in 1945. Little Caesar and its genre (Scarface, Public Enemy, etc.) were gangster films.

Ok, granted, Little Caesar is not a film noir.

But you're not going to tell me The Maltese Falcon (1941) is not film noir. Good lord, it's one of the most famous.


I agree that Gordana's is more of a middle of the pack entry than a bottom (altho, yes those shoes are terrible.)

I really felt for Louise. While some contestants clearly are trying to play it safe and hide in the middle, she really was longing for some kind of critique. Her dress confused me but I didn't hate it. Again I say, wtf were they supposed to be doing exactly?


Oh, I love these kinds of discussions.

Films like Public Enemy, Little Caesar, and Fugitive of a Chain Gang were considered to be crime movies, not film noir. But they do serve as the basis for what was to become film noir. In actuality, Film Noir was more or less matured in European film rather than American film

Movies such as the British-produced The 39 Steps (1935) as well as the French Production of Pepe Le Moko (1937) and Le Jour se Leve (1939) were one of the few film that were dubbed with the connotation of Film Noir.

The earliest film that could be counted as Film Noir would be Dead End (1937) starring Humphrey Bogart, but even that is counted more as a Crime Drama rather than Film Noir.


First, I have to say I don't really understand the critique of the hairstyle Gordana used on her model? It's actually pretty period-accurate, if you're familiar with the period. I thought the dress was boring, but it was in keeping with the period and it was well-made. Which is more than I can say for Louise's dress, which looked like a cheap (not chic) modern-day cocktail dress that was poorly accessorized. If any in the bottom 3 were going to go home, it should have been Louise. (Yes, even over Ra'mon. At least Ra'mon attempted to do the genre he was given. I was so mad at Louise's story about the film noir flapper I got up and left the room.)

Personally, I don't even think Gordana should have been in the bottom 3. If the issue was that it was not entirely period-accurate, Althea or Irina could just as easily have been in the bottom 3. If the issue was that it lacked a point of view, Shirin or Logan ("I saw Carol Hannah making a cool catsuit and thought I'd do the same thing, only boring") could have easily gone home as well.

I hated this episode.


I liked Gordana's quite a bit -- I know any chorus girl would be beside herself to have a costume this nice. Unfortunately, it's not "Leading Lady" enough.

Love Gordana, her good common sense, and her strong showing in wearable clothing, which is actually quite an asset. As a star designer, though, I think she has so far been too understated, and the comment, "We see your hands, not your eyes," was right on.


1920's hair was much more controlled and close to the head.

If a woman sported curls, they were regimented "finger waves", not like the mop atop Tara.


If a woman sported curls, they were regimented "finger waves", not like the mop atop Tara.

If you'll indulge me for a moment: Finger waves. Ack! They were the bane of my existence when I was in beauty school.

OK. Got that out of the way. But yes, you're right, Lisa. I would hope that the hair stylists on set know how to do finger waves, but it's possible the neither the stylist nor Gordana knew they were appropriate. Or frizzing it out was just easier. Oh hell, who knows? I think everyone in charge was on crack with a side of acid for this challenge.


Lisa
9/28/09 1:45 PM 1920's hair was much more controlled and close to the head.

If a woman sported curls, they were regimented "finger waves", not like the mop atop Tara.


True, to an extent. The close fingerwaves didn't really take off until the early 30s. But some of the moptops was a typical look.

Example: Clara Bow

http://mylittlepinkbook.files.wordpress.com
/2008/05/clara6-sized2.jpg


Clara Fuck, if you don't have a sense of humor and the term "bitches" offends you, you probably shouldn't be reading this blog.

Sincerely,
One of the Bitches


Fata Morgana on 9/28/09 at 10:31 AM said..."But you're not going to tell me The Maltese Falcon (1941) is not film noir. Good lord, it's one of the most famous"

Film Noir? I always think "The Postman Always Rings Twice", "The Bad and the Beautiful" and "Key Largo".

TampaBay


Louise has style but no substance. She doesnt seem to know who she is dressing or be able to present a coherent point of view.

totally disappointed that she seems to have 0 sense of fashion history,is unable to make fashion references and is on this show.

and what's up with her name change for the show? is she in the fashion witness protection program? maybe she should be...


The back of Gordana's dress looks very similar to the back of a gold dress from the "Clothes Off Your Back" Challenge. Why did the stylists *SABOTAGE* Gordana's look with such a cheap looking wig?

Louise said crap on the runway. She made up the movie/costume setting in 10 seconds. That is just BS!


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