The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Dr. Whitfield's Bed

Moving on from the auf'ings...

Dr. Whitfield does solid work once again. In a season that, by destiny or design, wound up with a parade of blandness on the runway, she's nonetheless been a notably solid performer.

Model: Lisa Blades

We really only have one criticism of this dress, which we'll get to in a minute. It's pretty, no doubt about it.

It fits her well and we even like the twisted straps, which is weird for us because we rarely like twisted fabric.

Our problem with it is that, though it's fitted well, it's not particularly sewn well.

Pucker City.

Plus, it only barely touches on the piece that supposedly inspired it.

Okay, that's two criticisms.

We get why the judges praised it. It really is a classically pretty design. It's just that it's not particularly wedded to its supposed inspiration, and once again we're looking at technical issues that in past seasons would have had Nina foaming at the mouth.

Extended Judging:


Tim Gunn's Workroom Critique:



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


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129 comments:

Beautiful, but ultra safe.


I'm not a fan of gold but I love this dress. So glad a Charlestonian is in the finals :)


And I have to agree that it is sort of a leap from the inspiration to the garment.


I'm with Andrae. The dress kind of abruptly chops her in half.


she toned it down a bit too much. had she gone baroque-city on the bottom part of her skirt, this dress would have been quite elevated.

Dr.Whitfield for the win!


Meh.


If the judges were basing their decision of the whole body of work (only rational reason to keep althea over Gordana), Carol Hannah should have gone home.

She doesn't have a strong point of view and she makes dresses almost entirely.

I think the final two is going to come down to Irina or Althea, the two designers with the strongest points of view. I'm hoping Althea can do some better construction with more time.

CH could come out with a knockout collection, but I don't see it happening. We'll see.

I'm not as mad as everyone else here that Gordana was auf'd. On the other hand, the other designers weren't so awesome that she deserved to go home.

I would have rather seen Christopher in the finale than CH.

I'm hoping having Nina and Michael there the whole time next time will prevent one notes from coasting through the whole time, even if they make a pretty dress or two.


Plus, it only barely touches on the piece that supposedly inspired it.

I suppose she could have amped it up a little more, but there's such a fine line between ornate and gaudy. I think she went just about as far as she could go without getting chewed out.

Anyway, I love this dress. Go Dr. Whitfield.


To me it looks like old-fashioned lingerie rather than an evening gown. I can really see Myrna Loy in this, but she's definitely getting ready for bed. All it needs is a long, sheer peignoir of the skirt fabric to go over it and a pair of satin, kitten-heel slippers (maybe with some fluffy maribou) so she can go answer the door.


I liked the dress, but I kind of wished that CH would've put a little blue into it. I mean, I look at the original bed and the first colour that pops out to me is the blue.


Agree with the sewing criticism, but I totally see the inspiration in this. It isn't a literal interpretation, but there are several small flourishes that *suggest* the bed.
I like it. I don't love it, but of the five shown, it's 2nd place, for me. CH has very slowly but surely become my favorite designer this season. Not too much of a compliment, considering all the ass that was sent down the runway this year.


This dress is really pretty, but I gotta agree about the sewing issues. When the judges were saying how it's "perfectly executed" I was like "but the PUCKERING!"

Maybe just compared to Althea's garment this was perfect.


I like this dress...a lot.

Question for sewers, how do you avoid puckering because I have seen puckering before on the red carpet? Is it a sewing machine set up issue? Time needed to gently handle the fabric?


I love the fabric and the top of the dress. I don't like the bottom as much, but I do think this is a beautiful gown and she deserved to go to Bryant Park.

Still, it irks me that two dresses with HIDEOUS puckering could be up there, and Nina criticizes THE ZIPPER. Come on.


when it came down the runway the first thing I thought was OMG this dress makes a model look really hippy!


Will Dr. Whitfield moving to the finals move Alex to pen and paper?


Of the ones that were left after the aufings, this was my favorite.


Clueless Jock

Yeah, it's pretty, but something is lacking. Maybe it needs a few tassels.


But what is up with the styling? I mean, her inspiration is from one of the most ornate eras of fashion history. Why isn't there anything interesting done here with makeup, jewelry, hair, anything?


Cranky Old Fart

It's very pretty, but it doesn't wow me at all. Notice that the dress front is not puckery at all on the mannequin. What might have happened to it? Is it a poor fit on Lisa? Could ironing or steaming it cause this? How odd that Nina said it is perfectly executed. I don't think she would have said that in any other season. I had to look very hard to even see a whisper of the inspiration.

It seemed early on that she would go to BP, as a solid middle competitor, based on the peculiar judging criteria for this season. I'm happy for her.


I think she looks like a twisted up sasuage that was squeezed to tight.


I DO NOT LIKE THIS DRESS!

Not only does it make the model Lisa look hippy (as per TZF's comment, which I think is absolutely correct), but also it accentuates her tummy.

Carol Hannah has been working with Lisa for a long time, and has been picking her repeatedly, so Lisa's unflat tummy is something CH should be expected to know about and to finesse. CH is the only designer of the five in this challenge who managed to uglify her model.


BO-RING. And was it just me, or did Nina seem decidedly over it on this episode? Everything she said seemed to be uttered as one long sigh of ennui. Can't say I blame her.


I don't hate it, but I agree that it is a bit of a stretch to see the inspiration in it. Also, isn't that a zipper I see in the back? Between the obvious zipper and the puckering, I think it is definitely a second place finisher behind Gordana's gown.


Yeah, I'm having huge credibility issues with the judges not only not recognizing the puckering, but claiming that the execution was 'perfection.' Were they not looking at the same garment, or did I just forget to turn off the puckervision setting on my set? Because that's a big rip in the space-time continuum if that was supposed to be reality.


i dont like this dress.its boring and i dont see classic in it (if classic means old then it surely is).and.i think the complete inspiration of carol hannah is the wall behind the bed..


"Because that's a big rip in the space-time continuum if that was supposed to be reality."

LOL, I agree. I would love to see what Rami would do with this as inspiration!


I wish I could see what Chris would have done with this bed as his inspiration. In fact I'd be happy to see a whole season with what PR alumni would do with this and the mackie challenge and such. Even with a few villans sprinkled in i"m sure it would put these girls to shame. Didn't someone say that the fashion show was superior to this? Are you listening lifetime?!?


Adore this entry from the Doctor (with the exception of the puckering, of course). Saw an interview that was taped over the last couple of days with Logan at TVGuide.com where he says he's opening a studio with Epperson and Dr. Whitfield. Hope this isn't a spoiler, but my first reaction was that if she'd won, she wouldn't be going in on a group studio.


I thought it was okay, but nothing more. I was appalled at the bad fit on her model. But I think it was the best of a bad lot, frankly.


Let me amend that - it was the best of the bad lot that went to Bryant Park


Cranky Old Fart

Elaine said:
But what is up with the styling? I mean, her inspiration is from one of the most ornate eras of fashion history. Why isn't there anything interesting done here with makeup, jewelry, hair, anything?

I agree. Styling has been a huge issue the entire season. Hairstyles have often been very ordinary. Didn't Gordana mention that the Macy's accessory wall left a lot to be desired? Ornate hair and jewelry would have been called for here to help evoke this fabulous bed. She was probably too afraid to go over the top, and get criticized for it, or she has little fashion/period history knowledge to draw from creatively.


I don't mind it, but I would have liked to see something closer to the inspiration.

And yes, how the skirt attaches to the top makes her look like she would be split apart there.

Kind of like those chocolate dipped in gold, Oscars that were made a few years ago for the Oscar dinner. If you wanted to share it you could just split it right there...


I do not like charmeuse for anything but lounge/sleepwear.
I particularly dislike it for fitted looks. The puckering may have been prevented by using a very sharp very fine needle in the machine, that could have helped Althea's puckering problem too.
It is puzzling that Nina singled out this dress to praise the workmanship. Makes you wonder if she knows what the hell she's talking about.

The dress it's self I think (considering the inspiration) she could have pushed 10 fold into overworked row-row-rococo tackyland, with drapes and swags and printed dutchess satin all over the place. But she didn't and she's safe so what. I hope she makes the most of her opportunity to show at BP.


Sure it's pretty but is it really Bryant Park worthy? So often the designers fall apart a bit at the last challenge and I think that's what happened to most of them this season. Based on that, sure Dr. W. deserves her spot. The dress is pretty.


The truth is the this season all of them should have been sent home not a good designer in the bunch. Lets hope that next time they do their work and get some talented designers.


I liked the dress and am glad to see CH in the finals, and I suspect she may have more range as a designer than we have seen thus far. Remember how in an earlier episode, St. Tim specifically counseled her NOT to step outside her comfort zone; I'm sure his advice was a reaction to the unpredictable judging from week to week, which so obviously has all the designers running scared. CH's presence in the finals proves the wisdom of his advice; liberated from the constraints of the show, she may surprise us at Bryant Park.


It really is a beautiful dress. It has some minor sewing issues but, nothing much compared to what else went down the runway. I mean did you see the zipper on Gordana's dress? ;* I LOVE the twisted fabric, she made it look like wearable drapery chord. Actually, it totally looks like drapes now. I wonder if she wasn't more inspired by the room than the bed. She deserves her top 3 spot.


I totally saw Dr Whitfield's bed inspiration (as opposed to some of the other entries), and it captured the feel somewhat, but I was underwhelmed by the dress itself.
I really disliked the butt area where the satin sheets met the dust ruffle.
Meh. It was OK.
Was this the first PR season where all three BP collections were based more on potential/season track record than the final challenge results?


"Tlo said: Pucker City."




Yeah, haven't there been some notable designers sent home for puckering?

This last episode actually reminds me of the US figure skating nationals - forget the Olympic year - where they already had 3 of the ladies pictured on the Campbell Soup can labels and there was some notably questionable judging to make sure the top 3 were the same 3 already on the label.

Not a horrible tragedy that these 3 are the to 3, but it does smell a bit.

--GothamTomato


The way they throw around terms like "perfectly executed," "impeccable" and "flawless" really devalues the meaning of these words, which would normally be used to describe fairly objective values with respect to fashion design. It doesn't offend me that they let this dress move forward, but they should be honest about the criteria and said "it has some execution flaws, but overall we think a good job" or similar.


I don't know. I haven't been impressed by most of her work this season. The best stuff she did was on her pairings with Shirin. I don't know if the 2 of them had a good synergy that lent itself to making nice stuff or if it was something else... Her paper dress and her maternity outfit were both so, what word do I want? Well, ugly and tacky. Even a good example of the industry dress for her model, while very nice, had real problems- tacky skirt fabric, ugly unflattering belt, major bust problems.

This dress- while neither ugly nor tacky- is not interesting or inspired. Not well made, fit is okay but not stellar. If I had to pick what her inspiration was, I'd say a goddessy type of dress, maybe something more like the painting Irina used. Definitely not an ornate baroque bed. While I suspect she was afraid of veering into tacky land with lots of billows and swags that could've ended up looking like a coffin lining, she ended up with a basic dress out of David's bridesmaid collection (now on sale!).
When I think of how well sewn some charmeuse entries have been in the past... this is sad. Consider Santino's gold charmeuse bellydancer in a sequin factory dress from the final challenge in season 2. Look at the screencaps from BEFORE the gold paillettes started flying... stunning. Flawless fit, beautifully sewn. Now look at this dress...
I guess I'm just underwhelmed by her work. She seems like a nice person, so it isn't personal.


lala said "And was it just me, or did Nina seem decidedly over it on this episode? Everything she said seemed to be uttered as one long sigh of ennui."

I totally agree! She was not the Columbian spitfire that I have come to know and love. I suspect foul play... I think the producers spiked her drink to keep her from noticing the shit-storms that were coming down the runway and to get her to just blindly agree with everything Heidi said. That's the only explanation that makes sense to me. That's the only reason La Nina allowed Althea to live after seeing her horrid entry.


This dress reminds me of the only one that sent Chloe Dao to the bottom two. Why would you want to put a seam or begin a skirt between a woman's ass and her knees? You might as well paint a bulls-eye right there.


That being said, I liked CH's entry best after Gordana's.

Don't even get me started on Gordana's auf-ing. I see red every time I think about it.


yeah! ho! wah!

mediocre.


CH is a sweetie. I like her and her dresses.

I wonder what she would've come up with if she'd ignored Tim & gone with the drape thing?

PS - Heartbreaking to see the little end-of-episode preview of Bryant Park & CH's distress (although the "It's contagious?" reaction was pretty entertaining).


A pretty dress, but I wonder--could you sit down in this dress? Since the satin band goes right across the thighs? Seems impossible.

I liked the way it moved and I liked the braiding. Given the competition, I can see why Dr. W. was chosen for the finals.


Lovely gown, but I didn't see much of the inspiration piece in it. Still, beautiful and perfect for the Oscars.


I'm glad she did a loose interpretation of the bed. If she would have gone all out, I can imagine Santino's final challenge mess. NO.


Anonymous: "Meh."

Ditto.


Among the designers this season, I think CH was at least as deserving as any (and more than many) to go on to BP.

If she'd made this dress silvery blue, I don't think anyone would have difficulty seeing the connection to the inspiration. It's not supposed to actually look like a bed, after all.

I think the judges said perfect construction, not execution. Maybe they said both; I don't care enough to watch again.


Mike B. said:
This dress reminds me of the only one that sent Chloe Dao to the bottom two. Why would you want to put a seam or begin a skirt between a woman's ass and her knees? You might as well paint a bulls-eye right there.


---------------
Chloe's gown is the first thing I thought of, too, when I saw CH's dress.
Chloe got blasted for her "butt pouch", but this dress didn't??
The puckering CH's dress ought to have been enough to get her in the bottom two.


While I suspect she was afraid of veering into tacky land ... looking like a coffin lining

LOL. Back in the late sixties, my best friend's mom made her the cutest mini skirt and vest, out of burgundy coffin lining. I think she got the fabric from her aunt who was in show biz in NYC. Don't knock it til you've seen it!! Wish I had a picture to post.


I was practically yelling WTF at the screen when she ignored all the fabulous architecture and went with that bed. But shoot me, I thought this was the best dress of the bunch, including Gordana's. I did see the inspiration from the bed except that she didn't go blue. And I'm kind of glad she didn't. That was a problematic and tired shade of blue to begin with.

I do think Carol Hannah has a point of view. It may change because she's so young, but I'd have known this was her dress. Same with her collection. Yes, it was puckered, but it was otherwise quite lovely. Her body of work was strong enough to be in the finals, at least for this lame season. And yes, that is damning her with faint praise but that's what this whole season has been about. Who sucks the least is not where we should be at this late in the game.


construction...execution

pickett/schmickett

it's still puckering that ought not to have been there


It boggles my mind that they couldn't see her inspiration from this dress but they could see the inspiration in Irina's fugly hobo shirt. Did CH have to make it blue or out of the same materials to make it super-obvious? The judges missed the mark on this.


I must say that Dr. Whitfield's comments about why she should be at Bryant Park were the best. She didn't try to make her (or anyone else's) personal story the reason to go; instead she said to look at her work and her work ethic. This has been a boring season. CHW FTW!


I think CH could have done away with entirely the twisty/braiding on the shoulder and gone with an over the shoulder (one, not both) capelet typle of embellishment. As lovely as it is, the gown doesn't quite lend itself to its almost baroquue counterpart. The finished piece has this very quiet and understated classicism about it. Anywhoodle, I am both glad and quite satisfied CH made it to Bryant Park.

- edina -


She matched the WALL COLOR, not the bed in front of it. But she should be in the finals. Good, solid performer.


I also must say that while I respect other's opinions, it irks me when people say that some things make people look "hippy" especially when they mean it in a negative way. Considering how most models are stick figures I think it's okay that this dress supposedly makes her look "hippy" (which I don't see at all but to each his own). It gives her some shape. True looking "hippy" isn't always good but I think it overall depends on the person's individual shape and I don't think CH's model looked "hippy" at all.


I get a little annoyed with the attacks on inspiration. It is not interpretation, inspiration is different. We the viewer shouldn't necessarily expect to understand how the designer's brain was inspired by what she saw. Being inspired by a song doesn't mean you 'interpret' the lyrics into the dress, being inspired by a model doesn't mean you make a dress with dark hair and pale skin... If they were told to do an "interpretation" of something, then we'd be somewhere else, but they were told to seek inspiration, which need not be anywhere near a literal interpretation. And in fact, if she had done a blue print and tassels, I would have been disappointed if the judges didn't call her out for being too literal.

In the bunch this season, I feel CH deserves her spot, and I'm certainly among the ones who think that Althea pulled an Austin Scarlett in the last inning and Gordana not only earned a spot, but Althea lost hers this week. But I am not one of the judges.


It looks to me like she took her palette inspiration from the color of the display walls and used just the idea of grandeur for the shape of the dress. So in that respect, when I look at it again, I think it's go an inspiration there, just not as fine-tuned as Gordana's.

I hope Carol Hannah wins.


sorry, when I watched the show I couldn't see how this dress (lovely yes) was inspired by that bed.

Missed the brief........

.......unlike another contestant that hit it on the nail and was out the door......

Just a thought.


my jaw will dislocate from yawning

that dress reminds me of a dress that chloe dao did but in a different color...this one is better made


Be our Guest! Be our Guest, put our service to the test, tie the napkin round your neck cherie and we'll provide the rest.....


yeah.


Kathleen said...

"Saw an interview that was taped over the last couple of days with Logan at TVGuide.com where he says he's opening a studio with Epperson and Dr. Whitfield. Hope this isn't a spoiler, but my first reaction was that if she'd won, she wouldn't be going in on a group studio."

Wow. Thanks, Kathleen. Logan, Epperson & CH in a shared studio? (I would so go to that open studio event if they ever had one). That would be quite awesome. True or not, I could really see these three designers sharing a space in a state of mellow and creative bliss. Who knows? Working side by side with CH & Epperson could even cause Logan to be inspired as an artist and even grow as a professional in the process.

- edina -


Edina...don't know if we're allowed to post links, but here's that interview (Nov 3) in which Logan talks about setting up shop with CH and Epperson. http://www.tvguide.com/News/Project-Runways-Logan-1011505.aspx Like you, I would SO GO to an event at that studio! Kath


Gorgeous, gorgeous dress. I would have made it have blue and gold, not just the gold. But otherwise spectacular.

I am imagining the story. Carol Hannah is wearing the dress while sitting on the gorgeous bed. There's a rap in the window. CH opens the window and Logan comes in wearing something like what Austin usually wears...

Very romantic inspiration and creation. In the interview on Live, CH did say that she and Logan were "very close".


I didn't start out as a fan but I definitely think that, comparatively, she deserves to be in the finals.

I don't get her preference for Lisa, though.


I actually thought it was a fine piece for her inspiration. It totally makes me think of the kind of drapery effect and the twists working as drapery cords. I mean, I didn't expect her to make something that looks like a bed, so I think she took the drapery aspect and worked with it in a smart, possibly "safe" way that totally reminds me of the original. I really liked this dress, regardless of the puckering, and I considered it a not-so-distant second to Gordana's.

As for CH as a designer, I think she has some elements that scream CH (like the twisting details and a lot of cute ways to play with straps) but I do think she has a bit further to go as a designer. I'd wager that she doesn't win at BP (I have thought that Irina was a shoe-in for weeks upon weeks, and I don't think she deserves it, having seen what she's done and also looking at the actual BP pics) but I think she has a lot of potential. CH was also one of my most favourite people this season, along with Shirin and Gordana, because she was so down to earth and awesome about everything. I loved her answer to the judges about why she should go to BP, because those reasons are EXACTLY the reasons to send someone to BP. She hasn't really gotten into any of the drama or bitchfests, and she seems like a genuinely cool, cute chick. She's someone I'd probably want to befriend, in fact.

So congrats to Dr. Whitfield! I hope you and Logan make beautiful blond babies together (seriously, those two were so cute).


I actually love that this dress didn't scream "BED!" because, really, do we want any dress to scream that? I see the inspiration: the twisted fabric reminds me of the tassels, the bottom part reminds me of the bed skirt, and the whole gold silouette reminds me of the bed's pillars. Yes, using blue would have been interesting, but also obvious. I'm so tired of designers hearing "inspiration" and thinking "literal recreation." This is not supposed to look like a bed, or even remind people of a bed. She used a beautiful piece of art to inspire her art. Done and done.


she has made a dress every episode and something with sleeves only once. and this is finalist? yeesh.


I think that she is not a good designer and should have never made it to the finals. For some reason she got a pass every week. The rational top 3 should have been Gordana, Irina and Nicholas. I just don't understand why Heidi had it out for Gordana in such a bullshit way but so protected Althea & Carol H. Clearly this season had nothing to do with talent. You could clearly tell that Heidi had her mind made up who she wanted in the final from the beginning. CH if you are reading this you ARE NOT a good designer and your laugh after every sentence that comes out of your mouth is the most annoying thing in the world. Also I know about Anderson, SC where you are from and that explains why you are so lame and will never get anywhere in life.


Yes. It was "pretty." "Very nice." "One of the best on the runway."

Compare that to Season 4's The Art of Fashion, when everything that came down that runway was beautiful and some were jaw-dropping. Even Sweet Pea's little peacock dress was better than this. And better than Gordana's.

(That sound you hear is the sound of Gotham Tomato smashing her head against her keyboard.)


I don't know, I'm only looking at her dress in the context of this season because, let's face it, this season is pretty pathetic compared to the past seasons. Really, most of the stuff sent down the runway this season was a total yawnfest. So, within the context of this season, I think CH is a fine contender for BP.


Whoa... some people need a glass of wine. Here, drink some of mine!

Now, I do want to defend my comments regarding not seeing the inspiration because I, for one, do not think she needed to repeat the color scheme or make a dress that looks like a bed.

I think she needed to relate the shapes more to the source- look at that bed. It is full of intricate, diverse draping shapes, structures, flow. It had grandeur from the filial crown over the bed and the bed clothes had multiple colors- white, varied golds, blue. Why a monochromatic dress?
The dress needed an impeccable structure that contrasted with luscious draping and flow, maybe using tone on tone color or contrast shapes to draw the eye to opulent and regal structural details and lines.
The dress she made- pretty, but so basic as to not really reference the drama of the inspiration. Maybe more time would help? I also think she has it in her to pull out that kind of contrast. Look at her first dress or even the maternity dress. Elaborate styles that could have, with tweaking, evoked this bed more than this basic dress did.

I think she seems nice and has some good ideas, if not to my tastes. I think I liked her work with Shirin because they balanced each other well. Both have such a feminine style with different ways of approaching that sensibility that they really helped moderate each other.

I wish her luck at FW and in her future ventures. Like I said, for me it isn't personal.


Just because her dress wasn't blue brocade with a big feathered bustle doesn't mean she didn't take inspiration from the bed. The shape, the fabric, and the drape are completely reminiscent. That's like saying Christoper didn't take inspiration from the fountain because his dress didn't shoot water.

For the person who asked about puckering, it's generally a tension issue which could be because of the machines, the time restraints, or a combination of both. Keep in mind that satiny fabrics like the one she used show minimal puckering to the maximum, especially in that sort of lighting. Also, that fabric is too delicate to rip out stitches and resew just for a little puckering. It didn't look as bad in the workroom because of the lights.

I hope CH wins, mostly because I hate everyone else.


I actually get the inspirational connection here, and while I think this is a lovely dress, no question it has technical issues. But given Althea's pass it is evident that they were not going to condemn their favorites for execution - they saved that for Gordana's zipper.

However, like much of what CH has done this year, it is a lovely dress, unlike that mint green atrocity Irina sent down the runway (but I'll save my ire for the appropriate post). I have always been a fan of CH's and along with Gordana felt she had been overlooked as a strong contender early on. Luckily pulled a tortoise and slow and steady won the race to Bryant Park. I'm happy for her and she deserved her spot. Good job, Dr. W!


and once again we're looking at technical issues that in past seasons would have had Nina foaming at the mouth

god, it makes you wonder if nina and the duchess took one look at the contestants' portfolios and knew they couldn't play nicey-nicey lifetime treacle rules the whole season. the show has been defanged and declawed, and while i definitely prefer a constructive environment over a pointlessly aggressive one, the producers have removed any kind of insight that the judges brought to the table in seasons past.

again: fuck you, bunim/murray.


You know, I do see Dr. Whitfield's inspiration here, and I think choosing a bed was a pretty good choice considering the snoozefest this season has been. Nobody left has a forward-thinking, innovative point of view.

But I'm going to go out into familiar celebrity-guest-judge territory here and say that, of all the designers this season, CH has made the clothes I would wear. Of course, that's because her most successful dresses look like she got them out of a BCBG store....but still, I'm looking forward to seeing her collection. I love BCBG >_<


Now THIS is inspiration that could have come from that bed:

http://www.angelglam.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/04/22/lavazza22482.jpg


In real life the bed is gorgeous and inviting. You want to toss aside the cordons and jump up on it, roll around and lounge there. The color is subtle, the brocade lovely, the touches just so.

CH's dress showed fear: fear of innovation, of creativity, of the sheer sensual abandon the bed represents.

Whether it's the judging this season, or whether CH just can't access those emotions, the fact remains that the dress she sent down the runway was really far too staid and safe to be truly inspired by the marvelous bed.


I protest the comments made by Anonymous 6:55: the second-to-last sentence is unnecessarily mean-spirited, and the last sentence is completely inappropriate. It is sloppy and bigoted thinking to make assumptions about someone's ability based on their place of origin, and cowardice to launch personal attacks of this nature while hiding behind internet anonymity.


I thought it was interesting that when the designers were asked who should go to Bryant Park, neither CH nor Irina picked each other. Is there bad blood between them? They seemed like the two obvious picks. Althea knew it.


About the puckering- a fine needle would help, preferably ball-point; it's also possible that she used the wrong thread, and that the tension wasn't adjusted properly. But charmeuse often needs seam tape for structural stability: the vertical back seams and the top of the bodice where the straps insert both show signs that the fabric is being pushed past its structural capabilities. There's also issues with how well the seams were pressed. Finally, the bodice looks as if it were fitted when the model was wearing a bra or at least a different, more supportive bra.

Pretty dress, rather blah, though.


Everyone seems to be making a big deal about the bed. Perhaps CH was inspired by the entire feel of the Baroque furnishings gallery.

The walls were gold, and gold-gilded woodwork was a feature of the bed. Both the window dressing and the bed featured large swaths of draped fabric.

Just a thought.


I kept thinking about the Vogue editorial featuring the Marie Antoinette inspiration. There were such gorgeous garmenst there. This one is just blahalmost like a first step in brainstorming the dress.

I know that the inspiration is note necessarily the bed but the feeling of the room, but come on! Look at this room!

Her inspiration was not the room or the bed. It was clearly the drapes. It's the only explanation I can think of.

http://www.popsugar.com/files/images/vogue-kirsten.jpg


Kathleen:
Seems pretty clear and legit to me.
Thanks so much for posting the TV Guide link. I'm really, really surprised they didn't edit that part from the interview. Good stuff though.
Thanks, again, Kath. Gotta get ready for MM!!!

Edina/Cathleen


exACTLY. I'm so bored by someone who could spend some imaginative time in 18th-century France and then come back with that.


It was an okay dress, I think, but I thought the fit was really bad and made Lisa look like she had a very unfit body (and no, I don't like the typical stick-like model body). I liked the braided or twisted fabric at the top but that was the outfit's only standout feature. I felt the fabric in fact was a bad choice to be used by itself. Despite its being a rather mediocre outfit, I definitely felt it was in the top three of the week and after viewing the collections shown at Bryant Park I liked her work the best and hope she won (though I'm sure she didn't).


I hate to say it, but I...really don't like this dress. The color seems really bland to me and I don't like the random cut-in-half feel to it. It looks like something from one of those 80s fashion plates I used to play with as a kid. Like...it doesn't seem new or interesting at all. Then with the puckering on top of that...

I like her, and she's the only one at this point I'd want to win at BP, but I don't like this.

And I doubt she'll win because of her lack of vision as a designer. Unfortunate, because I think out of everyone left she's made the most consistently nice things.


CH's design was ok (aka...snorefest)...I do see some of the inspiration in it and I like the proportions and lines (just not the technical flaws.) I'm glad she didn't take the image of the bed too literally ...it would have been too garish...just wish she'd have gone a step further than the safe look she gave. A bit more drape or a bit of fringe...idk...1 thing more. A criticism I do have is that I hate hate hate how the twisted shoulder straps seam/meet the bodice. It really just looks slapped together. Anyway...I don't like or dislike her really...she's just kind of there in a nondescript manner. I really don't see her setting the fashion world on fire at all...none of the F3 tbh. Gordana would have been interesting...I know she would have...grrrr! :)


The question is: how does this dress relate to the inspiration. I can kinda see how they tie together. Well, she said she was attracted to the opulence of the bed. She definitely hit the nail on the head there. She used a similar draping effect and chose Gold, which was an undertone of the bed. Would everyone be more satisfied if she had picked a blue tone to match the bed?


So glad someone upthread mentioned Santino's gold palliette dress. That was the first thing out of my mouth when CH's dress came down the runway. "That's just like Santino's, only his was impeccably sewn."


When the judges were saying how it's "perfectly executed" I was like "but the PUCKERING!"

Heh, that's what I said.

That aside, though, I think this was fairly good. I do get how she got from inspiration to design and why she didn't go wild... what looks wonderful in an antique boudoir will not look so great on a body, after all. It wasn't perfect, no—she definitely fit it in a way that made Lisa's tummy stand out—but it was a reasonable interpretation and fairly pretty with some definite CH touches. I'm glad she's going to FW, though, like others, I don't think she's going to win.

I don't get the problem with her "only" making dresses, btw. Plenty of designers specialize in dresses, and she does make a range of them, not just "only evening gowns" or "only cocktail dresses". Much as I prefer separates myself (skirts over dresses plz) even I own a couple dresses.


Julia nailed it: Charmeuse is a real SOB to work with. You need ultra fine needles & silk thread and that's just to coax it into letting you cut it. Ideally it needs stabilizer, lining and interfacing. And even then it looks for excuses to act up.


Some minor execution issues aside, I think this is a really beautiful dress and to me the inspiration is quite clear - just as clear, or more so, than any other attempt by the designers. Yes, she could have gone all Marie Antoinette but this is a modern-looking dress that someone might actually wear today while still referencing the opulence of 18th century France. I also thought she was the only designer who gave a coherent, reasoned response as to why she should be at BP. They all want it badly, so who cares about that, and I also don't care about your immigrant or hard luck stories. CH framed it correctly: it was about her work, her ability to make clothes people want to wear, etc. Team Dr. Whitfield for the win!

Gordana's dress was beautiful and clearly nailed it in terms of inspiration but upon closer look it's definitely a big ole va-jay-jay walking down the runway. So...no. I love some of what Gordana's done and I adore her personality but she's produced a lot of mediocre (at best) looks so I'm okay with the final three. I'm sure the evil Russian bitch will win but I'm hoping the good doctor takes the prize.


I also think that CH shouldn't have attached the inner shoulder strap the way she did because the charmeuse shows every stitch. I would have tried to attach it on the seam edge rather that below it, as she did. In retrospect, I wonder if it was advisable in the first place to use if for a design with so much seaming. I think she was going to use it for draping but, at Tim's advice, changed her mind.


Okay, I give -- what's with the "Dr. whitfield" nickname?


Carol Hannah's last name is Whitfield and the moniker "Dr." was added because she tends to over-analyze her designs.


"Sewing Siren said: The puckering may have been prevented by using a very sharp very fine needle in the machine, that could have helped Althea's puckering problem too."




But how many times, over he PR seasons, have we seen the same issue with the similar-type fabric? Do they just have the right tools or enough time to tame this fabric?

Every time they are in Mood and are talking about picking out a satin, I'm saying, 'don't do it, don't do it'. It's like watching a horror movie, where you're yelling at the screen, 'Don't open the door!', but of course, they always open the door; and they always pick the satin, and of course, what always follows is blood and puckering. Every time.

--GothamTomato


It looks like Lifetime has an online contest for Victoria's Secret models to decide "who will walk the runway." (Thanks to Ms. Klum?) Makes me think that the last PR season was actually a (behind the scenes) designer walk-off and Charlie's Angels won, which is why the design judging (just a cover) made no sense.


I call foul. Everybody saying this is a perfectly executed dress when the puckers were there right before their eyes!

This is why we need Michael Kors to always be there. He does NOT fake it. The man would quit before he would compromise his principles. When Chloe Dau stood waiting to see if she made it into the finale, he pointed out that her dress was just "a liiiiiiitle bit puckery." And, if I'm recalling correctly, it wasn't nearly as bad as this!

He would not have let THIS go by without comment.

Nina is usually rigidly fair, so the producers must have applied pressure to get her to go along with the young girls as finalists. Either that or she simply finally gave up in the face of the mindless "I would wear that" evaluations that ruled this year. Since when has Nina EVER failed to voice her displeasure over execution issues? Her whole thing is to pick, pick, pick at execution issues as a means of training designers to shape up fast and understand that if something isn't well made, it isn't going to sell. The fact that Carol Hannah may have already known that should not save her from the same pointed comments as others get when execution is flawed.


It makes me ill. I do think this dress deserved a place in the finals, but the blatant favoritism with which the judges evaluated the final four was once again evident here.

Gordana REALLY got screwed.


Reminds me of Santino's Iman challenge dress, only his was a bit edgier.

I'm not getting the CH love. She only makes dresses, albeit nice and well fitted, but that's her niche as a designer. And to paraphrase Milla Javovich, it's not called "Project Make A Pretty Dress". And I'm very bored with her one shoulder thingy and her twisted fabric thingy.

Well she's safe, good for her. I hope her runway collection is more diverse, but I doubt it.


I can't believe Nina didn't go crazy over the puckering. It's a nice (but safe) dress, but the sewing bothered me.


I really hope the "gang" at PR is still reading these comments, because I would like them to know I stopped watching the show a couple of weeks ago. I now just read this blog to get my updates. I will watch the runway show at Bryant Park and the final judging but decide from there if I'm even going to bother with next season. Sorry. Heidi has just gotten too greedy for my tastes and has completely lost touch with the show's demographics.


I will say it's hard not to look like someone trying to get into Studio 54 back in the day wearing a gold dress but this is very tasteful. It didn't excite me but it's tasteful. And that is the highest the praise gets for most of this season. So glad I deleted this ep unwatched off of the Tivo.


I liked it best of the bunch going to BP, by FAR. And it's a lovely gown. Which no one sane would buy if it fit/pulled/puckered on them as it did on the model, but in this crop of designers, that's good enough.


I think it is fine, and did the job of getting her to the next round. I hope you guys get your mojo back to rip Irina and the finals. You sound just... over it or bored to tears or something. Hugs! An aside-- I found it interesting that when they had the designers create a companion piece to a previous creation, everything was black and white and grey with the exception of Irina's camel/brown. The judges should have been ripping them on the lack of color and lame styling.


I'm fine with it. There's only so much referring you can do before you get "costume" shoved down your throat.


Sewing charmeuse is like sewing cat hair or water...Really hard... I used it as lining and it was brutal especially because it was a tailored jacket with princess seams and the bust was 48 inches. So that piece was basically round and the next pattern piece was a straight line. Which leads to almost unavoidable puckering.


This dress is so badly fitted, I am flummoxed as to why no one mentioned it.

It's too tight, too long waisted, and the diagonal on the lower half is too steep.
It essentially frames the upper thigh making it look bulgey. Very bad.
The horizontal wrinkling at the model's hip is blinding; it's all I can see. really poor sewing and fitting.


Heidi said...

I am imagining the story. Carol Hannah is wearing the dress while sitting on the gorgeous bed. There's a rap in the window. CH opens the window and Logan comes in wearing something like what Austin usually wears...


Oh god. Not fan fic. Just don't let it evolve into this:

http://community.livejournal.com/runwayslash/11606.html


Anonymous @ 11/9/09 9:06 AM said... Some minor execution issues aside, I think this is a really beautiful dress and to me the inspiration is quite clear - just as clear, or more so, than any other attempt by the designers. Yes, she could have gone all Marie Antoinette but this is a modern-looking dress that someone might actually wear today while still referencing the opulence of 18th century France. I also thought she was the only designer who gave a coherent, reasoned response as to why she should be at BP. They all want it badly, so who cares about that, and I also don't care about your immigrant or hard luck stories. CH framed it correctly: it was about her work, her ability to make clothes people want to wear, etc. Team Dr. Whitfield for the win!

I was really impressed with Carol Hannah for talking about the work and nothing else. I'm also on Team Dr. Whitfield for the win. I think she could have a decent career ahead of her. I doubt it would be cutting edge, but not everything has to be.

RE: The complaints that the dress made Lisa look hippy. I disagree. It showed her figure, but when did that become a problem? Everyone is always complaining about skinny-ass models, but when CH makes a dress that shows off Lisa's curves (I mean real curves, not "curves" as a euphemism for fat), it makes her look hippy? Color me confused.


Anonymous @ 11/9/09 9:29 AM said... Carol Hannah's last name is Whitfield and the moniker "Dr." was added because she tends to over-analyze her designs.

TLo coined the ironic moniker "Dr. Whitfield" after she said that people always think she's dumb, but she's really not, and.... then lost her train of thought, trailed off, and looked confused.


Isn't this the dress from Beauty and the Beast?

I look at this and all of a sudden Angela Lansbury is singing in my head - "ever just the same, ever a surprise..."


Just a pretty dress, nothing else.


"CroqueMonsieur said...

Just a pretty dress, nothing else."


I agree. I was never wowed by her designs.


It's okay. Nothing to write home about. I've seen this dress before. Can't tell you where because it's too ordinary. I don't have a problem with Dr. Whitfield in the finals but Gordana was robbed.


Maybe she would've done better to say she was inspired by the drapes.


And said it reminded her of 'Gone With the Wind', cuz she's from the south, y'all!


I wasn't crazy about this dress at all. But after looking at Althea's and Irina's, I suddenly liked it a whole lot better.

And I am so done with the "omg I would totally wear that" critiques this season.


loads better than chin-strap's or althea's, and less vagina-y than gordana's, but it still looks like something theresa from RHoNJ would hang on her windows.


Indeed. Pucker central. I love the silhouette but gold? The bed is all blue with hints of gold. What?!


I'm starting to wonder about the tenion on the sewing machines they use because no one seems to be able to sew a non-puckery seam.


This is a decent entry. Good but not Great.


I guess there is no reason CH would have known it, but the bed from which she drew inspiration once belonged to Karl Lagerfeld. Perhaps that knowledge might have pushed her in a more extravagant direction. Her dress seems inspired by an entirely different and much plainer era of French art.


She did reflect many aspects of the bed in this gown. The draping, the weight of the different parts, the feeling of cascade are all a part of the bed's charm. I think she was wise not to use more than one color.





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