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Irinology

Meana Irina's turn.



Um...well, she's got range, we'll give her that. And we like quite a few of these pieces. In fact, collectively, we like her work more than the other two designers. But it's really hard to discern a commonality here. She likes lacey, lingerie-inspired looks and she likes to occasionally play with volume on the upper half (collars, capes, big sweaters). Oh, and sashes. She's really big on sashes. Like the other two finalists, she's not all that big on color, returning to browns and neutrals most often. She also has a bit of a retro, late '70s/early '80s feel to her work, but that's trendy right now so we don't know how much of that is her expression as a designer or just her following a trend.

But mainly, it's about her range, which is broader than any of the other finalists and which makes her the strongest of the finalists. Gowns, dresses, skirts, jackets, vests, sweaters, pants and blouses rendered in the widest range of materials out of the three; fur, knitwear, lace, silk and brocade. Also of note is that she has the best technical skills of the finalists. Like the other two, her point of view isn't as strong as it should be, but looking at this collection of looks, we have to say she's clearly the one to beat at Bryant Park. She may have acted like she farts ice cream throughout the competition, but like her or not, she really is the strongest designer out of all of them.


[Images: myLifetime.com]



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152 comments:

Agreed. She's presented one of the strongest bodies of work this season, even though there's not much of a stylistic thread. But not everyone can be easily identified - I think it's something you grow into.

Kalyn FTW!


Agreed. I can't say I like her personality, but I fully expect her to win at Bryant Park, despite the plagiarism.


Whoa...I never noticed how much she likes sashes until you boys mentioned it. Spot on critique!

Oooh...Katie will not be happy if Kalyn wins...uh oh...=P


There is range there, and a willingness to use different materials. Some missteps, and indeed the last look is one of the weaker efforts. She sure does like her sashes and lingerie looks.And she can assemble a finished, polished look.


I don't know that I see all that much range, certainly a lot of V necklines and variations but for the most part, her clothes look sloppy to me.

She should stick to coats/sweaters. I don't care what anyone thinks that paper coat is fantastic.


agree boys. i do think she is the one to win but i am wondering if there might be an upset?


bitchybitchybitchy

Irina has shown more range than either CH or Althea, and she has the technical skill to deliver the finished product.

For me her strongest looks are the newspaper and Aspen challenges.

She's not a gal I ever warmed up to, but she's been all business throughout the competition, and I respect that.

The only surprise for me now would be if Irina does not win.


i agree that she's the strongest. however, the lack of point of view, coupled with the fact that she's a native new yorker who can't make up five reasons she loves her hometown, makes me think she's either a complete idiot, or a better pattern-maker than a designer.


i dunno... it looks a lot like she really amped it up at the end. excluding the last look those last couple are really good. i like the sweaters and the furs, but the first couple of looks aren't nearly as good. that off the shoulder top is so half-assed, and some of them are boring.

plus, her attitude is horrible, and regardless of her talent, she shouldn't win if she plagiarized anything. that's not designing, that's taking an image from a book and gluing it to a t-shirt. VERY disappointing.


Seeing the looks on one page from a designer is very informative.

I realize she didn't make it, but I'd love to see a Gordanology for comparison.


I'm in the minority here but I love Irina. Her personality, not so much but she isn't villainous compared with the the infamous ones of seasons past.

Her Bryant Park collection was amazing. Many of us complain about the lack of talent/excitement this season but Irina BROUGHT IT. Hers is the only collection this season that can stand next to the best of the past.


Her work is alright, but the bitch ain't special.

I'm still amused at how she proclaimed that Shirin wasn't a "real designer" when all she did was make a baby doll dress compared to Shirin's sophisticated materinity dress and lined jacket.

Yeah, she's alright to go to BP, but Shirin's catalogue was just as good, if not better, then hers.

And I'm not even a big Shirin fan, I'm just sayin'...


To my unsophisticated eye, her stuff may not be the edgiest or most original, but it's definitely the most visually pleasing and wearable. Her personality aside, I'll be shocked if she does not win.


Clearly the one to beat, but still kinda meh. I wish they would have used more color. It's been very drab.

can we do this with all the contestants? Or at least the last half standing? I just can't believe CH got to Bryant Park when all she did was sleeveless dresses, which are quite easy. I would have liked to have seen what Epperson, Gordana and Nicolas would have shown at Bryant Park over her. yes, she makes pretty clothes, but that's it.


By the way, I second the request to see all of Gordana's looks. Pretty please, TLo???


The newspaper coat really is terrific, but not exactly innovative. It's only cool because it's newspaper, not because it's a new take on an old standard. Fuzzy collar and cuff belted coats have been around for ages.

My problem with Irina is that, while I recognize her superior technical skills, I think her clothes are all ugly. I mean, who would wear that blue maternity dress with whatever that froufrou stuff is at the waist? Her "blue" challenge dress wasn't even blue! That last look is so hideous and so removed from the its so-called inspiration that she should have gone home for it.

All that said, I still expect her to win. Inexplicably, Heidi loves her. (OK, maybe it's not inexplicable.)


BTW, is Alex! sick?

Where are the toons, man?


Totally agree with your comments about her range and retro feel.

She's not a fashion forward designer, but certainly marketable and well made. I'm still searching for a spark of originality, but maybe she'll reveal that in the final collection.


As a whole, it's kind-of an odd mix of matronly and trendy. Could be the storyboards for a 'Rhoda' reunion.

But I do think her final collection was definitely the best one.

--GothamTomato


I find myself pretty meh about her stuff in general, but that doesn't make it bad. I think she's got good technical skills and I think she could do some interesting things with jackets and tops in general. I also think she needs to re-think any sashes she considers and get rid of about half of them, and I don't like the prints she used. I wonder if she sticks to neutrals because she doesn't feel she has a strong flair for colour?


Yup, she is definitely the strongest one and I really liked her final collection. Also agree on the sashes, too many.


GothamTomato said...
"As a whole, it's kind-of an odd mix of matronly and trendy. Could be the storyboards for a 'Rhoda' reunion."


LMFAO!!!!


By the way, thank you for the 'ology' posts, guys. I love them!


She makes awesome clothes, just like the other two finalists; but as Ms. Kors, herself, put it, "That doesn't make for fashion."


Yes, she has range, and yes she sent the best made stuff under the circumstances. I just don't see one wow moment. I think all the previous winners had at least one look where you saw real creativity. There is nothing aspirational in her work.


I wasn't a fan during the show, but based on the 'ologies I actually think Althea shows more range and design skill. Irina has her beat hands down technically, but she shows major weaknesses in her lingerie looks (I can hear Nina screaming taste issue) and sashes and really any of her non-themed dresses (in a better year, Nina would be bored). Irina has some nice work here and there, but I'm just not impressed because she can throw together a coat or sweater and pop some fur on it, you know? Doesn't feel original to me, and to my eye Althea had fewer thuds on the runway. I wouldn't have expected it, but I'm pulling for her.


Third request is the charm! Please do a Gordanology!


NotaMondayGirl

"She may have acted like she farts ice cream throughout the competition...."

BWAH!!

Irina's just lucky that she's on top of a fairly mediocre collection of contestants. She definitely has the strongest technical skills of the group but that just makes her a great dressmaker, not America's Next Great Designer.


I'd say she has a new money aesthetic in the stereotype that when some people make money, after years of being poor, they go crazy with ostentatious displays of wealth that they wear.
Her middle name must be more- her companion piece, with the (ugly) print, corset top, big sweater and fur; her aspen piece- big sweater with the keyhole back, fur vest and impeccable pants, blue prego dress with funky potscrupper flowers, the model dress with weird jacket and bizarre sash and flower waist detail. then the styling- girl really likes the make up applied with Homer Simpson's make up gun set on whore.
She also likes her deep necklines. And like Althea, she has some problems with proportion- her skirt lengths are often awkward.
She seems to be able to use prints, though not always judiciously. That corset top/dress is horrific, while the model dress print is very nice and boldly graphic.
Her construction skills sells her looks when they're good, but they don't save her when she's off (green dress).


Third request of a Gordanaology!

Irina's winning looks (the paper coat and the Aspen outfit) were the best of the season, impeccably made and so very stylish.


meh.

On body-of-work she's the best of what's left and deserves to win.

*sob*

My favorite here is the Aspen look. I'd like the 70's feeling of some of her clothes better if she took it farther in the lean, clean direction. For my tastes, there's almost always an addition that's just too much - too girly, too tacky, whatever.

But my personal tastes aren't all that matter here - a sadly universal oversight in the scheme of things that I'd like to correct.


And, yeah. As if you blogging wonders didn't have enough to do - I'd love to have a Gordana-ology, just to see how hers hit me all lined up together.

(Though I know it violates the format and I know we haven't done anything special for y'all to deserve it.)


I love the paper coat, however I have issues with her motavation.

If I recall, Irina mentioned Tim referencing a paper coat from the '60's. Irina said something like "If it was done then that means it can be done again..." I also think it's very close Laura Bennett's look for her seasons first challenge.

Other than that I'm not thrilled with the looks. They're fine. Nothing either really great or really horrible. As usual, and I know I sound like a broken record here, I miss color and prints.

Other than the maternity challenge Irina sticks to earth tones. Not that there's anything wrong with those colors, I wear them all the time, but I like to see pop on the runway.

When Christian showed his black stuff in the season finale I had a hard time discerning the beautiful details in those pieces. I fear the same will be true with Irina's collection. (I haven't looked at the collections, I want to see them for the first time on the runway.)


Well, she does have range. All the way from fur love to humongous sweaters to mother of the bride to disco madness. And she does seem to have the best dressmaking skills.
That's all I can say about Irina other than I really did not like her BP collection at all.


Personally I like the maternity dress. The beach dress I will give a pass on since Johnny was Team Lead on that and the macrame back she did was what gave it interest

To me Irina started to come off strong with the paper challenge. But she definitely waffled on the Getty challenge. It does seem she has a leg up on the other 2 at this point in their careers. Although I think that may not be the case 5 or so years down the line

I too like her finale collection the best. And I dont mind her using someone elses list as long as she admits it. I look at it the same if her clothes had quotes from Shakespeare or George Bernard Shaw. The idea of putting the quotes in is a fun whimiscal one.

FRank


I like Irina for the most part, though her comments about Shirin disappointed me, since Shirin was my favorite and is very talented.

Irina does have a good range. She used color more than the other two finalists. Her technical skills are good AND she is very creative.

My favorite of her looks is her Macy's dress. And I actually like the burgundy dress below the coat- though the execution could have been much better. And as I have said before, I liked the Grecian green dress as well.

Gordanology! Gordanology!


Well, the "strongest" work is still spotty, tacky, and underwhelming.


You forgot to mention that she invented sweaters.


Personally as much as I like Gordana, I don't think there should be a Gordanology. Since Tlo didn't do it for the others in past seasons, I don't think it right to make an exception here

The point of the excercise is to evaluate the actual finalists and ethically I think they need to remain consistent.

Besides there's been no shortage of love from them concerning her

Frank


Maybe my judgment is clouded by the fact that I find Irina's personality so distasteful, but there's nothing here that screams "good design". Most of it is inoffensive, but the pieces with the faux fur are just vulgar. I can see Irina easily going down the BabyPhat road.


I agree. A little more p.o.v., a little more sophistication, at least compared to the others.


Was feeling a lot of Brooklyn Loehmann's Back Room circa 1983 in her work. She is the most commercial of the bunch and will do great as a designer at a department store focused mid-market designer label.


I don't think I realized quite how limited her color palette is until I saw her work this way. Except for the maternity dress, it's all the same! Still, her stuff is mostly nice and I can see how she basically skated through the competition, horrible as her last dress was. I do think she's earned her place at Bryant Park (well, unless she cheated in which case never mind).

I'm still not thrilled about any of the final three. In my head, Epperson, Gordana, and Shirin are battling for the win.


Department store sale rack


After all the complaints about no sleeves or pants - she made the best pants by far (even if there weren't many her were good).

While I didn't love the dress in 11 (companion) the combined look was very good. Unlike many I did like her red carpet dress and except for the front being too short, I liked the maternity dress.

Her worst IMO was the movie challenge.

Geez I didn't agree with all of her opinions but I don't recall her sabotaging or ragging on people like some previous contestants. We don't see everything that everyone else said. But just from the last episode where Althes was really nasty (and she went on about HER zippers - when Logan used them in the FIRST episode), you can see that HEY WE DON'T see everything that happens.


I don't know, I don't think the collection is that great. I just kinda see her work as going from somewhat interesting to blah blah blah. Two of her nicer looks have the same V pattern going on. She uses browns and nudes like there's no tomorrow. The sashes are overused.

Maybe it's because I'm not really huge on fashion, in general--though I DID just buy a cute Michael Kors shirt that was on sale, and I was surprised to find that it was cute and not too plain-- but I don't particularly like her looks. I wouldn't want to buy most of them, and I wouldn't look at them twice while shopping. I think a number of her pieces are boring and "done". I think I prefer Althea because, while she's lacking in the technical aspects, I think her work is far more interesting and, dare I say, experimental (for this season).

Really, none of them did anything spectacular or ground-breaking. I admit that I strongly dislike Irina's personality, especially with her accusations and superiority. I don't think her work matches the level of obnoxiousness, really, and a part of me would love to see her knocked down a notch, which hadn't really happened at all this season. However, if she wins, which I have thought was going to be the outcome since the newspaper challenge, I won't cry foul. She does have a decently strong collection, and clearly has the technical skills. I just don't know if I'd consider it stronger than Altheas-- more that I see the different strengths in both, and I prefer the strengths in Althea's.


Her technical skills do really stand out here, compared to the others.

STILL...I don't think any of these are interesting "looks" except for the Aspen one and the coat. The first dress was lovely...but honestly, you could throw everything except that coat on the burn pile and the fashion world wouldn't be any poorer.


Her last dress
oye


Few of her designs are very exciting. They are just "clothes." Pretty, well made clothes, but nothing new or thrilling here. Again, as with the the other designers, I'm not seeing "who she is as a designer," if you'll pardon the cliche. And I'm certainly not seeing enough talent and vision to justify her attitude.


I feel like Irena's sensibility and Althea's are equally strong, but Irena is better at construction...at least, she's better at it within the crazy time restraints of the challenges. It will be interesting to see what Althea can do with more time. I'm hoping for an upset, because Irena is a nasty, prissy little snot. :)


Meh - looks like she's designing for her mother.


Somebody set me straight here—has there ever been a season before this one where the majority of all the designer's looks required NO BRA????

As someone who never goes bra-less except going to bed, it has driven me cuckoo-bananas.


I'm with you guys. I've had her pegged as the winner for a while now, even though I think she could use an attitude adjustment.

Perfectly wearable, comfortable, well-made clothes. No Grande Vision like PPS, but perfectly sellable.


>>>Personally as much as I like Gordana, I don't think there should be a Gordanology. Since Tlo didn't do it for the others in past seasons, I don't think it right to make an exception here

The point of the excercise is to evaluate the actual finalists and ethically I think they need to remain consistent.

Besides there's been no shortage of love from them concerning her

Frank

Not sure I get this point. How could TLo run into an ethical issue by posting a final round of up any contestants they feel like examining on their own blog? They can't influence the judging by doing so, or have any effect on the outcome. Nobody cries "ethics" when they post interviews or messages from some contestants and not others.

And as for Irina's clothes -- all together they show that she does a pretty nice job in a limited way. In a season with standouts she'd have been firmly middle of the pack, but here she's clearly the most meticulous.


I like a lot of these clothes and I like her aesthetic. However, they (and I) aren't high fashion - there is nothing particularly challenging or surprising that I can see - idea-wise, construction-wise or fabric-wise.

I haven't looked at the final collections but am hoping for something more, somehow.


I disagree that Irina showed the most diverse 'collection', I think that goes to Althea.
I also think Althea was the more 'exciting' designer. Althea's pants were much bolder, Irina variation of a ski pant fit the challenge, but stopped right there.
I will say it is the best made. I'm sure she will win, but this grouping, and her BP collection have one thing in common; it looks as if it been done before.
Now maybe its here '70/'80's retro chic aesthetic, or just the fact she's more of an imitator, I couldn't say.
Her stuff looks great though.


This comment has been removed by the author.

charlie brown's mother

wangh,wangh,wangh,wangh...wangh,wangh,WANGH


Gawd, folks, don't be so vulnerable to the bitch edit! Althea was downright hateful towards others in the BigSweatergate episode, whereas Irina was always just forthright and quite practical -- she wanted to stand out on the runway, something that can't happen if you are being copied. She was also, like everyone else, sizing up the competition, and the producers decided to air her opinions about the other designers from their time with her in the confessional booth. We have no idea what they left on the cutting room floor. And let's not forget that Epperson, a favorite of so many, was really condescending towards Whatzername.

OK, that's out of my system for today. On to the clothes.

There are a couple of other observations that could be made. One is that Irina tends toward what Nina likes to call "luxe" -- looks that are classic and classy, high-end looks for high-end people. They also tend to have some statement while overall being understated -- her Macy's blue look, for example, invents a pattern from different textiles and layers sheerness with opacity while overall looking refined and elegant, not beating you over the head with the innovation that's there.

I think, based on a couple of looks, you could draw out a theme of playing sheerness and peek-a-boo cut-outs against opacity and coverage (6, 7, 8, 10, and 12 in particular).

I don't think any of the other designers mixed textures as much as she did (2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11), either.


Tina on 11/17/09 at 10:39 AM said...I wonder if she sticks to neutrals because she doesn't feel she has a strong flair for colour?

@Tina and all other wonderful minions,

I was at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta Georgia last weekend. With the exception of true blue jeans and Atlanta Falcon NFL jerseys and T-shirts, I was the only person wearing any color and the only person wearing decent stylish shoes. Everyone else was was wearing white, black, grey, beige and off whites with athletic shoes, crocks or flip flops. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP! I was stunned and then to a lesser degree appalled. I cannot figure out who is buying the fashion the stores have to sell. Someone other than me must be keeping the retail establishments in business.
I think Irina ignores color for the simple reason that the general public (read mall shoppers) are not into weqaring color.

TampaBay


It's surprising to see her collected works together, thank you! I think she is definitely the strongest of the finalists. Love her, hate her, or anything in between, she's got potential.


Irina always had the best construction but rarely the best design. Her clothes actually look better in motion than these stills, probably because they were so well-made. Just looking at her -ology, I'd have said she had taste issues more than I remembered. Her BP collection was definitely the strongest though. A bit too Jillian meets Christian with a dash of dominatrix to be truly innovative, but the best of the three.


She definitely has a good body of work and one that would fit in with other PR finalists.

The first dress is great as are the two Aspen looks. I don't think that she should have been in the Top 3 for the divorcee challenge, but she did not seem as weirdly favored as Althea.

I am not too put off by her lack of color, because most of the PR designers who used color - and it was a paltry number, still stayed in one or two color families.

I like her aesthetic, it is nouveau riche, kinda like if you gave Gucci and Balmain sensibilities to Americana designers Michael Kors or Ralph Lauren..

If nothing untoward happened with the Reasons T-Shirt, then Irina deserves to win PR6.


Anonymous
11/17/09 11:45 AM Somebody set me straight here—has there ever been a season before this one where the majority of all the designer's looks required NO BRA????

As someone who never goes bra-less except going to bed, it has driven me cuckoo-bananas.


I have felt that way every season.

I recall having that reaction to many of the designers. I have not gone back to verify - but I think I had that reaction to Chloe, Laura, DEFINITELY Uli.

Although this season I'd say Althea has been the worst; and Irina has not been that bad.
(one shoulder looks almost always look wonky)


I really like the third look up there, the brown top with the light neutral skirt (on TV it looked khaki, but on here it looks white, so no idea what color it was in reality). It just looks really cute and wearable and comfortable. It's the first thing on PR, maybe ever, that I thought I would buy and wear as a regular, non gown needing person. I get that's not the point of PR, but I still like it.

I don't think she's that much of a bitch, to be honest. She doesn't even touch the hem of Jeffery's ugly, ratty jeans in terms of assholery. I think she's kind of cool, really, and that some of the other designers were wayyyyy too prissy and sensitive. I can't believe how many times this season I muttered at my TV, "Just stop your effing whining and sew, bitches."


ETA to my previous post:

I hate the sashes on the Aspen looks.


BTW, I'm not sure why Christian Siriano is being held up as a counterexample of grand vision, innovation, etc. etc. He basically recombined elements and trends from a couple of the same designers time and time again for his looks. They stood out because they were very well crafted, and I assume because most viewers weren't acquainted with the designers he drew upon for his inspiration. Honestly, though, you could see him drawing from the same well again and again and again.

I'm not smacking his talent, his undeniable talent, I'm just saying that he's not really the PR pinnacle.

I think the real pinnacle would be those designers who had breathtakingly unique visions that just came out of nowhere -- and for that, we're really limited to Jay and Leanne. The others, Christian included, were talented and deserving of their wins, no doubt about it, but they weren't the truly unique geniuses that Jay and Leanne showed themselves to be.

And I think Irina deservedly belongs with Jeffrey, Christian, and Chloe.

In fact, looking ahead to her PR looks -- I looked at the pics using a laptop with a bright backlit screen that shows me more detail than I have been seeing in the pics from previous viewings, and I'm more excited than ever. It's hard to make out the shell layerings and criss-crossings and stripping and shredding from the pics online because so many of the looks are black or dark charcoal, but I'm more impressed than ever.

Get over the bitch edit that she's been getting and look at the clothes with an open mind. She's talented and deserving of the win on the runway.


Irina have the best taste but the weakest POV. If the judges will base the win on taste she'll definitely win. About her personality.. Well she really speaks her mind without any restraint but it doesn't bother me at all.


Irina seems to shy away from the fitted looks which are harder and more time consuming. One the one hand I give her credit for budgeting her time so she can finish her work, but it means that her stuff is just blah.


And we are screwed because she picked Gordana, who is just the woman to bail her out.


If you mentally add the black dress with sparkly butterfly (the Macy's holiday dress) to this collection, it brings the whole group down. Really, what a wasted opportunity that was.

BookieBookie


"I think the real pinnacle would be those designers who had breathtakingly unique visions that just came out of nowhere -- and for that, we're really limited to Jay and Leanne."

I wish a future season of Project Runway will be a bunch of like them.. That will be the best season ever.


I think Wendy and Victorya are far more annoying bitches because they're both delusional.. At least she could walk the talk.!


Wow I guess I just don't see what you guys (and a lot of the posts) see. I see a really weak collection with some stupendous dogs. The wedding dress challenge: yikes. That blue monstrosity she won for: yikes again. That bizarre shower cutain cape: oh no. Maternity challenge: a threatened visit tootieville if I've ever seen it.

Seeing it all together, I am struck by how overrated she is.

oh well, I think she's the winner based on the edits. But if Gordana hadn't come in to sew her collection, she would have fallen on her smug copy-cat face.


Unless the t-shirt issue turns into a big deal like Kara Saun's boots, I'd say she's a lock for the win. I don't like her and can't help but wonder how she would have fared on any other season.


I think she has taste and styling issues- a more is more aesthetic- that cloud the quality of her designs.


I'm rooting for Meana Irina.


MyFawny, how would any of these designers have fared in any other season? They would have been booted in the first few episodes. The amount of talent on this show is nearly non existent.


She also prefers very pretty -- conventionally attractive -- models. Interesting.


I adore these -ology posts... possibly my favorite type of post on a blog that I enjoy a great deal, every morning.


"Meh - looks like she's designing for her mother."

Having read the Tim Gunn interview, I think Irina might be...


Meh, I don't hate her work (except that clear-plastic-looking wrap on her film noir look - it's still really bugging me) and she has some very nice pieces, but- Meh.

She's just not exciting me.

I can't deny that she has some talent, but there's nothing particularly interesting to me about her (including her on-screen persona; she may have been the "bitch" of this season but she was nothing compared to Santino or Kenley or Wendy Pepper - in fact even within this season I think Nicolas was a more entertaining bitch than Irina was!)

And I still feel that if some of the more interesting designers weren't eliminated far too early in the season (cough*Epperson!*cough), we wouldn't be calling Irina "the strongest designer out of all of them". But maybe that's because I'd personally much rather see something interesting but flawed than something perfectly-executed but bor-

...

...

...

Sorry, fell asleep there.


Love you Tlo, you guys make our day!

the "ologys" are great fun and incite interesting commentary from the readers. it's a good overview of the seasons work. I would love to see a Gordana, Epperson and Shirin "ology". I'm really missing them in the final 3. ;(

I don't care for her personality but Irina is the strongest, and her bad behavior will probably be rewarded inflating her already super-size ego...

tho once she's out in the real world of fashion I'm sure she'll get taken down a peg or two-but there won't be any cameras around to record it.


If Irina plagiarized her shirts, she should not win.

This season, she's clearly shown she's a strong designer, so let her succeed in the fashion industry based on that talent.

But don't go giving her $100,000 for violating copyright and then lying about it.


I think Irina has the strongest design and technical skills.
Showing silhouettes that are away from the body is taking greater risks.
The reason that most of the designers stayed away from color, is probably to highlight the design itself, same goes for pattern which can distract even more from the line.
I don't hold the "copying" accusations against either Irina or Althea. That kind of paranoia happens alot is school workroom settings, almost never in professional settings though, because nobody cares and everybody is copying somebody.

Sewing Siren (I can't sign in)


She, like the rest of the finalists, does seem to lack a firm point of view in her designs, and yet there is a cohesiveness to what she sent down the runway each challenge. Perhaps her point of view is Sashes. Sashes, sashes, sashes.

I dislike designs #6, #7, #8 and #12 the most. Why? #6 for obvious reasons, #7 because although (I think) it won that challenge I just thought the stripes looked wonky, #8 because while I found it acceptable the first time I saw it on the runway, it just don't think it photographs well, and #12 because, well...look at it. The concept could have been something but the way it evolved coupled with the styling...disaster.

Her ability to use a range of material (albeit with questionable results at time in terms of taste) plus her technical skills has definitely put her at the front when it comes to the competition.

Unfortunately I still haven't decided what that means for her as a designer given the way this season has unfolded. I will reserve my judgment until I see the final episode.


I think she was REALLY lucky to end up with Kalyn.

All the looks on the other models are just meh, but on Kalyn her 'mistress of minor Russian oligarch circa 1984' aesthetic ends up looking pretty good.


Who cares if there is a commonality or a stylistic thread? So what if one piece is different from the next from the next from the next, in idea or point of view or what not. That trait is what I like about her clothes. The other two .. same shit, different color/length/fabric .. boring.
Irina is hands down better than Carol Hannah or Althea and deserves to win.


She's definitely got the most solid "ology" but it leaves me a bit flat. I prefer CH's fairy gowns to Althea's disarray and Irina's cold, smooth surface designs.


"And I think Irina deservedly belongs with Jeffrey, Christian, and Chloe."

Hello, Irina's mother!

Everything about Irina strikes me as "meh." Even the idea that she's bitchy; she's just competitive and direct.


Looking at these now, I feel like her style changed a lot from the beginning of the show. She went from very girlie, almost Barbie-ish clothes (look #4 in particular), and then she switched to more of the late '70s/early '80s/Dynasty-esque looks. Interesting. I'm not sure what that says about her as a designer.


Vian 11/17/09 1:58 PM
If Irina plagiarized her shirts, she should not win.

This season, she's clearly shown she's a strong designer, so let her succeed in the fashion industry based on that talent.


The frustrating thing is that Irina didn't have to cheat to win. She was clearly the frontrunner going into the finale and she has a strong collection. Why did she do it? All she did was create bad will for herself and generate doubt that all her "creativity" is not her own.


Gordanalogy!


I don't like her personality, but I do love two things about her: her hair (I covet that shiny, glossy black hair --- I have a big head of black hair as well but mine isn't shiny and perfect) and that newspaper coat. That was a work of genius, that coat.


I'm sorry, but could we focus on the movie genre (6th) look for just a moment?

What is that?

How did she not get called out on producing that monstrosity the week she had immunity?


That newspaper coat was my favorite look of this entire season...I forgot that it was her design. gotta hate her; but gotta love her look. kinda like kenley. maybe we will get another good jail story, or something equally crazy, out of her.


Drunken Housewife, I agree. That newspaper coat was genius! I also love the next week's black glossy gown with the chevron pattern top. And that glimpse TLo gave us of her runway collection--copyright issues aside--was exquisite. Don't like the designer's personality one bit, but as TLo says, she's the one to beat.


No, we don't need Gordanology.

Tell 'em to just go back in the archives and look at the pictures themselves.

I like G as much as the next person, but EGADS, people!

She didn't show at BP. Get over it!


I really think it's nonsensical when people complain about producer manipulation, argue that the show should be about the creative process and the designs, and then turn around and say that they don't want Irina to win because she's a bitch. Some comments say that her collection is indeed the best but then follow up with personal statements or comments about her personality that have nothing to do with her work, like "she's so mean and she said so and so about such and such and OMG she wouldn't have been allowed to even audition in any other season and her final collection sucks because I don't like black". If you really only care about the designs there's no point in bringing that to the table when (from the post) the bloggers are trying to keep this as objetive as possible. If you let personality issues cloud your judgement as to her work then producer manipulation should be right up your alley and I don't see why all the outrage directed towards.

Anonymous (11/17/09 11:55 AM)
said...
I'm sure she will win, but this grouping, and her BP collection have one thing in common; it looks as if it been done before.
Now maybe its here '70/'80's retro chic aesthetic, or just the fact she's more of an imitator, I couldn't say.

I agree with this. I can find almost nothing here, in the way of concept or aesthetic, that ties together these looks. My impression is that she thinks of stuff she has seen before and uses her design savvy to articulate that "in her own words" so to speak, so everything kinda looks like her, but the ideas don't look like they came from the same person. Not necessarily a bad thing (actually I don't think it's a bad thing at all) but I think she needs to take it further in order to be succesful solely at reinventing looks.

HLB


Becca - in my earlier remarks I agreed that 6 (movie challenge was her worst look) - athough I am not very into old films so I thought negligee looks would work - but that one was bad.

However, that challenge had Ramon's swamp thing so while hers could easily have been in the bottom - she would not have gone home. And it is not uncommon for boring to go something like this.


We can all joke about her stealing comments, but people get crazy in these kind of situations. Our beloved Laura actually went to the powers that be with a nealy fatal stealing story. Different situation, but kinda bitchy just the same.


Oh...and as to the winner. Logan let slip last week that he is going into business with Dr. Whitfield and Epperson. Would the good doctor be going into biz with Logan & Epperson if she'd won? I doubt it. And Althea seems unlikely to win, based on her body of work and the glimpse we've had of her collection. I'd be very surprised if, based on the leading indicators, Irritating Irina didn't win.


Yeah! Do a Gordanology!


She's kind of got the whole package. The drive, the work. But there's something about this collection that leaves me empty: I think I've seen so much of it before.


Out of sheer nostalgia, I looked up all the Ology posts for winners of past seasons, and the tenor of the comments couldn't be more different... The comments here are much more sombre, clinical, and the praise is more often than not qualified.

While designers of seasons past usually divided viewers (between the "LOVE-LOVE-LOVE that Piece!" and "I-don't-care-for-a-one-trick-pony" variety), it seems that Irina has attracted mostly cold acknowledgments of her skill and competency, a low hum of resignation at her impending win, devoid of any excitement or anticipation at what she'll produce post-Runway.

...I'm just wondering whether ANY of the pieces this seasons would make it onto a top 10/15/20 list of PR designs...


"fringe benefit said: Logan let slip last week that he is going into business with Dr. Whitfield and Epperson."




Are they calling themselves 'The Mod Squad'??

--GothamTomato


Gotham Tomato said: "fringe benefit said: Logan let slip last week that he is going into business with Dr. Whitfield and Epperson."




Are they calling themselves 'The Mod Squad'??


ROFLMAO! OMG, too perfect!


Yen said:

"Out of sheer nostalgia, I looked up all the Ology posts for winners of past seasons, and the tenor of the comments couldn't be more different... The comments here are much more sombre, clinical, and the praise is more often than not qualified.

While designers of seasons past usually divided viewers (between the "LOVE-LOVE-LOVE that Piece!" and "I-don't-care-for-a-one-trick-pony" variety), it seems that Irina has attracted mostly cold acknowledgments of her skill and competency, a low hum of resignation at her impending win, devoid of any excitement or anticipation at what she'll produce post-Runway.

...I'm just wondering whether ANY of the pieces this seasons would make it onto a top 10/15/20 list of PR designs..."

You've pretty much nailed it.


Could we please stop with the Gordanology requests? It's becoming cult-ish. I liked her, too, but I think we should start seeing other people...


Its all good stuff (except the last one lol) but none of it is really blowing my mind. I feel like BP finalists in years past have had some real wow pieces leading up to the finale. yawn-fest. And she loves sashes...I like sashes too but I like them bigger and more important or not at all.


The frustrating thing is that Irina didn't have to cheat to win. She was clearly the frontrunner going into the finale and she has a strong collection. Why did she do it? All she did was create bad will for herself and generate doubt that all her "creativity" is not her own.

I know! It's such a minor element in her collection (unless the judges actually read it and praise her ideas). There are a million other things she could've put on the shirts--a list of street names in her neighborhood, an entry from her junior high school diary, part of a public-domain work (as long as she didn't say it was hers)--hell, if she'd just come up with her own damn reasons, viewers could still point and laugh at the _slight_ hypocrisy of Miss OMG-She-Copied-My-Sweater "copying" an idea, but it wouldn't be a legal violation.

Why'd she do it in the first place? Same reason anyone does, I guess--could be laziness, or entitlement, or ignorance... once she tried to say they were her ideas, though, that's just deceit.


Someone call my lawyer...I'm pretty sure I have permanent damage to my nose from spitting coffee through it. Farts ice cream. OMG. Hilarious.

Oh...nice summary too.


What range? I see one pair of pants, a lot of vnecks with skirts or dresses, one painfully overrated newspaper coat (remember the back of it, and designwise it's been done, and newspaper wise been done), a cool fur vest but again been done and worn by every wealthy chick in vail CO since the eighties, and an oddly porortioned sweater that will flatter no one. Technically she's good, but if so she should have been able to give so much more as a designer as presumably she would actually know how to construct it. I disagree that you haw to sew perfecty to be the best designer on this show, but I think understanding construction really well allows you to go bigger wth design because you can tweak small aspects for a big Impact that most would never have thought of. I also think by the end ofthe competition we are used to only the technically-strongest people being left, and that allows wvennplayingdield to judge design. I still think you should all get over it and realize everything irina has made can be bought at macys or bloomingdales for the last 20 years.


This is underwhelming. I can't believe I like the newspaper coat the best. Most of the clothing is incredibly awful and dated. Not young at all. She should stick to coats and sweaters. She'll win, though. Even though everyone loves Carol Hannah, her dresses are really rather the same and nothing we haven't seen before. They make me crave a dress by Uli.


Dame Crankytrou

That tears it. Look at this crap. I don't know how Tom and Lorenzo can show so much class and forbearance writing up these -ologies, because I just want to scream obscenities!

I mean, look at it! Irina's body of work on the show is tacky, boring, uninspired, and common. To whit:

-- I could walk into any Motherhood and find a less tacky version of her maternity dress.

-- This summer, the stores were full of frocks like the one she burped up for the Macy's challenge. Nothing about it was unique or unusual or lust-worthy. It was just a nice dress and oh hey, she made her own pattern so cookies for her, I guess.

-- I own a vintage coat that looks just like the newspaper one that the judges wet themselves over. Nothing about that coat was new or exciting, including the materials. Any art or design student has churned out newspaper clothes as an assignment. (I had to do it for a recycled materials seminar, though mine was a disaster because I thought I could make pants work.)

-- Her divorcée challenge dress is both A) mother of the (David's) bride, and B) looks like something that would be sheepishly displayed in a corner of Lane Bryant during prom season.

And from this, ladies and gentlemen, we are supposed to believe that Irina has what it takes to be a high fashion designer. She barely has what it takes to keep a line chugging along at Kohl's.


(Also, like everyone else, I really want to see an -ology for Gordana and Epperson.)


It's symptomatic of this season that we think of range as an ability to show pants skirts and dresses. They don't have to be interesting, or innovative mind you. They just have to exist to show range. Not one look that made me stop for a closer inspection. She is the strongest, but that is so not saying much. Pity.


I LOVE IRINA!


That third outfit looks a lot like the outfit Gordana was wearing during the runway judging for the last episode (I think). Anyone else notice that?

MadS


Irina's movie costume did not get called out because it was simply middle of the road safeout material. At worst, it was mediocre. It is something that I can see Natasha from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show wearing- and don't characters like her appear often in films noirs? Gordana's was very simple- but I would have safed it out. Louise's was mediocre, but at least it could appear in a Hollywood movie being without anyone saying anything. Ra'mon's looks like something a bunch of bored teenagers decided to make before trying to film a homemade version of a monster movie.

I want her Macy's dress. I did not bid on it because Katie is probably a size 0 and I am a size 6 plus have a much larger chest. But I do wish they would mass-market it.

Her pregnancy dress was cute, though it needed much more coverage and the flowers are questionable. But it was safeout material since it did not have major problems. And she used COLOR!!!


oh...alright...she is good.

But I hate the third look and there is simply NO excuse for the last dress.

It is not that I like any of the other designers any better. I think that all three of them are the weakest group of finalists ever. It is just that she is SUCH an unpleasant person. Her sense of entitlement is what really galls me.

It is not as if she has really accomplished anything in life. Look at what Chris March had done before PR and compare his attitude and personality to Irina's. If anyone was entitled to be an iron-clad bitch (not counting the Wonder Woman bra or the Brunehilde breast plate !) it was Chris March, and he was one of the funniest and most charming contestants ever.

She will win, but I don't have to be thrilled about it.

Sewhat?


Why does everyone hate Irina so? I always feel so out of the loop on these things. I couldn't see why Tim disliked Victoria Hong (as he disclosed in the recent interview -- what on earth did she do to pis him off?), and I can't see why everyone who's watched the show hates Kenley (whose only flaw is her willingness to stick up for her designs, as far as I can tell), but I seem to be the only woman in the western world who can't stand the oh-so-smug Laura Bennett (who NEVER ONCE took a risk or showed us anything new, but who doesn't let that stop her from thinking well of herself).

-victoria


There's some precedent for a Gordanaology and a Christopherology, since both made it to the final five and would have shown decoy collectionss in pretty much any other season.


This may have already been said, but in looking at Irina's collection of looks, I noticed that she tends to focus on one particular element, embellishment or accessory, repeat it for two or three challenges and then move on to the next (e.g., emphasis on the high-waistline, shoulders, lingerie-inspired looks, etc.). While its a very structured approach to take in the competition as a whole and suggests or gives the impression that she's exploring these elements to their fullest potential, on the other hand, it doesn't exactly lend itself to showing one's ability to be spontaneous, inspired, versatile or show off one's ability to adapt to new and different challenges each week. On the whole I can appreciate her skill and talent as a designer, but I also don't feel as though she's the most innovative or groundbreaking of the pack. I was always under the assumption that those two elements were key in winning the competition and discovering America's next greatest designer.

- edina -


Bored. Bored. Bored. Some of the looks are okay--wearable. But there's not one damn look that makes me sit up and have even a suburban matron aha! moment.

I think that possibility was there in some of the auf'd designers.

I think Gordana's Monet dress was more inspired than these things. I think Christopher's and Epperson's movie-inspired looks were more exciting than these.

Of past winners--these are not in the same category as Judy Noodle's car-parts dress, her DVF dress or her Astrology/Scorpio dress.

Nothing comes close to Princess Puffysleeves' jeans-out-of'sleeves denim challenge, let alone the astonishing avant-garde piece he and Chris March did. (That may have been my favorite challenge ever--even the losing stuff was cool.)

It's not even up to Jeffrey Makeyourmamacry's magazine gown and channeling Vivienne Westwood evening gown.

Chloe, the least-inspired of the winners had even better craftsmanship.

And reaching back to Season 1--this ain't no Chrysler building dress.

I actually think the talent was there in this group of designers--but the screwy judging meant that no one developed over the season and that safe designers got in over the more inspired, but erratic ones.

No one, but no one, got better as they went along. Funny, you can really see the lack of Michael Kors and his ability to see things as a designer. Never realized how good he was until he wasn't there.


Gawd. Yes. And no.

Newspaper dress is fabulous.

Wedding & last three looks I really really hate.

So luxe. So icky.


I think it looks like a nice set of outfits. I'm not a fan of Irina's (although I don't think she was the villain that some editing tried to make her out to be), but I think this group is the best of the three finalists. Good work, Irina! She's the one to beat.


Anonymous
11/17/09 2:25 PM "Hello, Irina's mother!"

Hello to YOU, sewsew!


"fringe benefit said: Logan let slip last week that he is going into business with Dr. Whitfield and Epperson."

Are they calling themselves 'The Mod Squad'??

--GothamTomato


I just snarfed all over my keyboard!! Bwhahahahahaha!

Irina has the best collection, but she leaves me cold. And if she plagerized, she needs to pay the Piper.


GT, I know you've been lauded twice, but I scrolled all the way down to the end with the Mod Squad comment ready to past - only to see it's just been done.

So I won't paste but I will laud.

I laughed, I didn't cry, and I thought of Julie and wondered if Epperson will go with a 'fro.


Asparagus lust

Not to be dramatic, but am distraught at the thought of ultra-non-team player Irina the B getting the big money. Tacky. The final collection has a leather-dominatrix taste to it, to be "super cool". It is too trendy for me. I would not wear her clothes. Gimmicky, Kaynebo stuff. She's a huge let down, ala Jeffrey. And she cheats. We deserve better.


There's only one thing in the entire collection that made me say "I want that": it's the second big sweater with the faux fur cuffs.


Hey now, don't forget! She also loves creating a roadmap in fabric straight to the Vjay.


Still not getting the Irena-itis. I found her fun to watch, direct and honest and don't begrudge her a win if that how it plays out. Admittedly, she's not a designer of Leanne's caliber but gosh ... that one was insufferable!


Asparagus lust said...

Not to be dramatic, but am distraught at the thought of ultra-non-team player Irina the B getting the big money. Tacky. The final collection has a leather-dominatrix taste to it, to be "super cool". It is too trendy for me. I would not wear her clothes. Gimmicky, Kaynebo stuff. She's a huge let down, ala Jeffrey. And she cheats. We deserve better.


Waitasec.

(1) You don't want Irina to win because she's not a team player? It's not a team player show -- it's a show about creative talents.

Evs.

(2) You compare her to the Kaynebow? Srsly? Everything he did was a tackygasm. Irina had a slip or two (that VJ pattern dress underneath the big sweater in the related-to-the-Aspen-look look, natch), but she tended to produce classy looks. And I don't mean classy in the way that the Real Housewives of New Jersey go on and on about something being classy ("That Greek column in the foyer... so classy." "Poof your hair more to make it classy."), but real classy, in that rich lady on the Upper East Side going to the museum for lunch way. Aspirational classy.

(3) Cmons, peoples, this is a design contest for creative types, not a personality parade for the winner of the the title Not-most-talented-but-hey-what-a-guy. So she got the bitch edit... get over it!

The more people go on and on about deserving a better personality to win and deserving to watch more interesting characters, the more the producers will keep doing what maddens so many of us ... advancing characters instead of the best designers. I thought last season and the Jeffrey/Uli season were particularly egregious offenders in that sense -- and I think that the run-up to Fashion Week would always be much more exciting if we had the best of the best designers competing for a few slots, rather than a handful of predetermined finalists and some "interesting characters." Kaynebow, Suede, Jerell, Kenley, etc. (Can you imagine if Terri had still been in the running up to the last challenge last season? It would have been taut drama -- not because of the personalities, but because of the talents. Oh well.) As for this season, I think Irina deserved her spot and deserves the win.


Irina's models really know how to SASH-ay!


Of the remaining three designers, she does have the most range and the best execution skills. But as I've said in my own recaps, being the best out of this season isn't exactly high honors.

Personally, her stank personality aside, I just don't like her fashion aesthetic. Late 70's/early 80's fashion was ugly then and it's still ugly.


I don't even remember what challenges that she made looks #3 and #4 for.

Tells you how much of an impression she's made.


Gordanology!


Edinamonsoon said:

This may have already been said, but in looking at Irina's collection of looks, I noticed that she tends to focus on one particular element, embellishment or accessory, repeat it for two or three challenges and then move on to the next (e.g., emphasis on the high-waistline, shoulders, lingerie-inspired looks, etc.). While its a very structured approach to take in the competition as a whole and suggests or gives the impression that she's exploring these elements to their fullest potential, on the other hand, it doesn't exactly lend itself to showing one's ability to be spontaneous, inspired, versatile or show off one's ability to adapt to new and different challenges each week.

Blogging PR has a link to video of her Spring 2010 collection which is exactly what you said...she takes a design item (butterflies and roses) and does it over and over. A few intriguing pieces in 2010, but several that I've seen and worn before, and some that would be on the Fugly list as trite or twee if worn by celebs. Although Matar looks great!


Irina's Christina Aguilara look reminds me of something I used to see while watching the National Figure Skating Competion on ABC sports in the 70's. Her looks all seem "done before" and dated to me.

Irina's in for a shock when reality hits that all the praise she got from Heidi and friends isn't going to continue in the real world. She'll be a little fish in a big pond and will really have to begin paying her dues.

First of all, I hope she gets some professional discretion concerning her trustworthiness. She has no respect for other human beings. Is she going to talk smack about one customer to another customer? Hey...good luck with that!


I'd say that she easily has the most technical abilities, but all of her stuff seems so done, nothing too new or special. I would definitely say she's a pattern maker, not a designer, and the little preview we saw last week didn't persuade me otherwise.


She may have acted like she farts ice cream throughout the competition

Best line I heard (or read) all day

-D


I couldn't remember any of her looks prior to the newspaper challenge and I'd like to forget several of them since. I don't understand the love for Irina as a designer. Seeing her looks as a whole makes me realize that she is not nearly as good as I thought and in fact has a pretty limited viewpoint. She is a good seamstress, though - I'll grant you that.


Ramon said
Yes, she has range, and yes she sent the best made stuff under the circumstances. I just don't see one wow moment. I think all the previous winners had at least one look where you saw real creativity.

Are you kidding? She invented the sweater!!


Asparagus lust

In response, So Said: Many guest judges from prior seasons have pointed out (Roberto Cavalli and Tommy Hillfiger for two whose comments I remember very well) that a designer MUST get along well with others, communicate and deligate. Clearly stated by the top brass, and others. This season's parade of pretend judges offered no such input to the Conney girl. Creative people are not exempt. All of us who got anywhere that took nerves of steel also confronted the fact that the team effort is what gets you where you are going. I saw Irina as desperately weak or unaware in this area. Nor did she face or take just criticism where it should have been offered in many areas (the Kaynebo brocade corset shift, e.g.). (Nor did Althea -- this was "Bimbo PR Season 6".) Yea, I am getting snarky b/c I believe the judges flip-flopped on the usual stringent observations. Heidi got her way and the judging sucked and the results are what we are talking about. Irina did not show herself as deserving even based on above-average skill in execution. Talent? So-so. CH for the win. She does not live in a bubble, she's fresh, young and capable and not a head case. Sorry!


You know, project runway used to be cool when you looked at a bunch of garments that people designed out of strange materials, trying to imagine just waht a runway show would look like. All I see when I look at this is clothes. Where's the innovation? Where's the fun? Where's the point of interest? Why should I watch the finale?
Lots of talented people out there, why should I care about this one?
lame


I agree with Gotham Tomato. It looks like a Rhoda reunion mixed with a Dallas reunion.


I think she was a mean, nasty woman and am greatly disappointed that she won. It makes it look as though bad behavior is rewarded. I thought Carol Hannah was a superior designer and person. It was a crime that she didn't win.


Unless Irina gets some humility and learns how to get along with others, her superior attitude toward everyone will be her downfall. Carol Hannah should have won.

All in all, anyone who shows at Fashion Week has tremendous exposure. They can take that and run with it. So Irina won...big whoop...it's what she does with it that will really define her.

Her line looks like it was made for a dominatrix. Some of those models should have been carrying whips.

Carol Hannah and Althea both have much better people skills and that will take them a long way.


It's a design competition, not a personality contest. So Irina's a little bitchy sometimes. Who isn't? Fact is, she knows how to make amazing clothes. Her collection was absolutely stunning, cohesive, and extremely well-made.
Carol Hannah's and Althea's collections, on the other hand, bored me to tears. It all looked like something you could go find in a department store right now. There was nothing unique about either of them.
Irina was the only one to present any kind of edge. I respect her for making the clothes that she wanted to make, rather than just making what she thinks other people would want to buy.
Kudos to Irina for winning. She fully deserved it.


This is certainly NOT a personality contest. Some people are more competitive than others by nature. Some people have a harder time than others learning social graces. That, and as many have stated before, Irina is NOTHING compared to Kenley. Or Santino. Or Wendy. Or Jeffrey. Or even Christian Siriano or Laura Bennett to be honest.

She had the best collection. She just needed some color in it.


I didn't realize that Irina made so many dresses. Some were good, some were not so good, but you're right. She's got range.

OT observation: I see that a lot of designers used a lot of fabric from previous challenges. Here, Irina used some of that faux fur from her winning ensemble on the next one. Gordanna did it too, with the Monet dress. It looks like she used the leftover acetate from the divorcee challenge as the lining.

I guess they have to find ways to stretch their $100 budget.





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