The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Launch My Line S1E4: Congrats & Goodbye

The stripper episode without the strippers.

"Designers, this week you have to design genitals for these poor freaks of nature."

You know what? Honestly?

It was a pretty decent challenge. Except for the indecency.

Oh sure, it was cheesy in that reality TV way, but once you stop focusing on the weirdly genital-free naked people you realize it's a basic inspiration challenge, tarted up. These things normally go the fairly pedestrian route of flowers, water, and buildings most of the time, so it was actually a little refreshing to see designers use hair, skin color, body shapes and tattoos as inspiration.

The ones to beat. Didn't we say that? They just happen to have a highly functioning relationship. It's nice to see a little bit of tension so they're not annoyingly competent, but for the most part, they're both on the same page, all the time.

So congrats to them. They both have a talent for really thinking the hell out of a garment. That's not always a good thing, aesthetically speaking, but it just happens to be one of those skills that really has its benefits in a reality TV fashion competition, so long as they can be productive about it.

The result is another in a line of gimmicky items. It's her thing and she's established it. It tends to remind us of something you'd see on an infomercial at three in the morning, so we can't always support it as capital-F Fashion.

But here's the thing: One: yes, it's gimmicky, but it happens to be a highly practical gimmick; the benefits of which are immediately apparent.

Two: So far, Merle has demonstrated very good taste, which helps all these looks rise above mere gimmicks.

As for this one:
We're truly sorry to see her go. Give us this kind of whacky in a design competition. Instead of the pretentious and rehearsed whackiness of an Ari Fish or the walking soundbite generator of a Christian Siriano, we'd rather see someone like Vanessa clumsily stumble through the competition in her platform heels, loudly and somewhat cluelessly churning out clothes solely to be worn by herself. Contestants like this can be so raw and entertaining, even if they do routinely demonstrate their complete lack of proficiency in or understanding of the design process.

And attention must be paid to the skilled half of The Essas. We kind of doubt that Tressa had any illusions about their chances, but she was game to see Vanessa express herself as purely as possible and did everything she could to help her realize her vision, whacked out and impractical as it may have been.

Strangely enough...

She went out on her best look yet.

We kinda think she shouldn't have gone home for this, honestly.

Yes, those pockets are all kinds of insane but we have no problem envisioning, say, Lindsay Lohan stumbling out of a club and into a line of paparazzi at 4 am, wearing this. Which means you'd be seeing knockoffs on the racks in 8 weeks. It's the least crazy and most marketable look she's made yet, which, to us, meant she was improving as a designer and still had potential.


[Photos: BravoTV.com/Trae Patton - Screencaps: Projectrungay.blgospot.com]


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51 comments:
potty mouth princess

Adios to the Essas!

Agreed, Merle FTW.


I totally agree with your comments on the Essas dress! I actually really like the color and can see quite a few "stars" going out on the town in it. I thought it was pretty clear looking at the composite looks for the bottom three that "club wear guy" (I forget his name...) should have gone home. His looks aren't different enough from one another and they're borderline tacky.

I was sad to see Vanessa go, but I'm THRILLED for Merle's win! I fell in love with her during RuPaul's Drag Race, and now I'm even more in love. She's fab.


Very sad to see Vanessa go.


idnt actaully watch this episode- so i am confused as how tu those clothes are 'genitals'?


I haven't been watching this show religiously (although I'm definitely tuning in for the Lady Gaga episode) but from what I have seen, Merle is absolutely the best there.


Ellie, in case you were serious, I think Tom and Lorenzo were joking. The contestants didn't have to design genitals. For television, the genitals on the "inspiration" models were blurred, so it looks as though they don't have any.
Of course, if you were just being silly too, ignore me.


When they announced that this week's winner would have immunity, my first thought was "oh, they've been saving a Merle win for this." And she won it.

Oh, Miss Vanessa. Loca. Knew she would be gone soon enough, but kinda sad to see her go. Especially since she's more entertaining than DJ & the Harpy. Oh well, he'll be gone next.


I too thought this was the 'essas best outfit. I knew she'd be headed to bottom territory though when she wanted to make pockets. Knew they would slam her for over-emphasizing the hips. Having a detail on the hips would have been a good idea just not big baggy pockets

However I would have preffered her to stay over the DJ and his pushy partner. The edit makes it look like he's not really pushing his own vision and incorporating too much of his partner's ideas

Merle's was excellent. best thing she designed. and as you say a gimmick but a good and practical gimmick. Personally though not every outfit needs some modular trick. How about some outfits made from just versatile seperates.

Frank


Merle totally deserved to win. The dress was really clever, and it was beautiful, before and after the bottom was removed.

I'm a little torn about Vanessa going home. Maybe Eric should have gone instead. And she was really entertaining with her delusions about her work. But when I saw those Peggy Bundy pants she was wearing, I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry. I mean, WTF?


I was sorry to see Vanessa go, she surely was entertaining. Merle deserved to win, her dress was beautiful and perfect for the challenge.


When Vanessa's dress walked out, I yelled, "She kicked it up! Yeehaw!" And then they jumped on her about those pockets, which I have seen on several runways by established designers, and they sent her home.

I was definitely thinking DJ would go. He's just saying "Yes" to whatever his expert does.

Merle FTW.


Yeah, when the judge said "What woman wants to emphasize her hips?" My husband cried "Men LIKE hips!!" He dug the dress and I thought it was far less hideous than some of the other ass that got trotted out. Surely it could have stayed over that Same Dress that DJ FancyHat keeps churning out.


"Tlo said: It tends to remind us of something you'd see on an infomercial at three in the morning, so we can't always support it as capital-F Fashion."





Yes! Mark my words, that Merle is going to invent the next Snuggie.

As for the Essas; I don't see a human body in that dress-- I see a Tiffany favrile vase.

--GothamTomato


Had DVR'ed the whole series and since it is Christmas break (woo hoo)have been able to watch. Liked the winning oufit lots, but agreed that the gold dress of the Essas was not the worst, the guy with the hat should have been dropped.


I was sorry to see Vanessa go. She was truly entertaining and I think, genuinely weird, but you must admit, as wacky as it was her vision was pure. However, the embellishment of hips in womenswear is a big no-no in the industry and she should have known better. Loved Merle's dress/gown and I agree that she seems to have the most talent, skill and fashion-intelligence. Most importantly, she also seems to have a strong and consistent vision. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have DJ Eric. I loved how the DSquared teased and taunted him so much this week. I don't really get why he's on the show, unless they wanted someone who might appeal to younger viewers or to simply have someone represent the music industry. One thing about DJ Eric is that I definitely think the clock's a-ticking and his challenges are numbered. They seem to focus on his team quite a bit. It would be totally ironic and even a bit amusing if he was eliminated in the upcoming Lady Gaga challenge.


Capital F Fashion--how I feel about my waistband after a week of nogging it up.

Can't wait to see Ms Gaga this week.

Suz


I apologize if this is considered impolite (or has already been discussed in an earlier thread, or both!), but was Lisa Klein born a man? I'm serious.


I completely agree and thought Eric should have gone instead. I didn't think Vanessa's dress was any worse than the various cupholder dresses we've seen before.


As usual I liked Merle's ..BUT.. while I liked the way it looked totally backless, I did think the left side around the breast was a little overly exposed.

And I hated Vanessa's first two outfits, but I agree that this was her best. BUT.. I disagree about the emphasis on the hips.

Top-heavy women without a tiny waist benefit from clothes that do emphasize the hips to balance out their top halves. You'd think designers and fashion people OUGHT TO KNOW THIS! (But more likely they do, but as usual it is just the disdain that fashion has for women with less than ideal shapes.)


ASK said -- Top-heavy women without a tiny waist benefit from clothes that do emphasize the hips to balance out their top halves. You'd think designers and fashion people OUGHT TO KNOW THIS! (But more likely they do, but as usual it is just the disdain that fashion has for women with less than ideal shapes.)

Yep. Just ask those two on What Not to Wear.


Sad to see Vanessa go before the Lady Gaga challenge...

Is it just me or did anyone else almost think Vanessa was Lady Gaga when they first say her? :)


OK, OK, there was no surpirse with Merle's win... it was clearly the best outfit.

However, could we please see a total moritoriam on "Wilma" dresses for the rest of the season. Please? pretty please?


The authoritative answer, it is tempting...


Blogger MyFawny said...

I completely agree and thought Eric should have gone instead. I didn't think Vanessa's dress was any worse than the various cupholder dresses we've seen before.


Exactly where my mind went. Maybe it just needed enough cupholders for a 6-pack for balance?


Gerry, at 9:02 PM....

Yes, unfortunately I know that you are being serious. So if a woman living in L.A. doesn't have plastic surgery to make sure her nose is little and her jaw delicate, well then she must have been a man once, right?

Sigh.

If you really have such strange questions, before posting them publicly, you might want to google around a bit so you don't have to make such a posting. Let me help you:
http://lisakline.com/about-lisa/bio/


Hooray for Merle! She was well past due for a win, and IMO really blew the competition out of the park this week.

I couldn't agree more with you guys on Vanessa. It seemed to me that the judges must have pre-judged that she needed to be sent home this week before actually seeing her look, because I really didn't think her look this week should've even been in the bottom 3! She's had a clear progression from assy to tacky to not-bad to pretty-good and I'll bet if she'd been kept around she would've continued to improve.

I get the judges' concern over the pockets, but while I wouldn't look good with those hip-enhancing pockets, lots and lots of skinny young girls would. In my younger days, I had more than one naturally-thin friend who bemoaned her lack of hips and would've loved this dress, so I was kinda shocked when the judges pronounced that no woman would ever want to emphasize her hips.

But this was definitely the funnest episode yet. I loved Jewelry Girl's discomfort around her junk-displaying older man model!


Merle may have the most talent, but she just bugs the heck out of me. She is so damned superior to everyone else.


Merle may have the most talent, but she just bugs the heck out of me. She is so damned superior to everyone else.

I notice you didn't say "acts superior," but "is superior." It's not conceit if you really are better than everybody else.

And Merle is clearly on a level by herself. I didn't love this week's entry, but it still hit both parameters of the brief while remaining cohesive with her line.

I started to address the others but there's just no point. Too many duds, and I don't much care which ones go home when.


It seems to me that they are not sequestered during the filming. Is that correct? I wonder if they would be able to continue letting them go home if the show gets popular?


Anon @ 1:47 am said: It seems to me that they are not sequestered during the filming. Is that correct? I wonder if they would be able to continue letting them go home if the show gets popular?

I dunno, it's possible that they are sequestered but there just isn't enough interesting footage to show it on TV.


It's very unfortunate Essa is gone since I actually think she would have actually had a chance of being in the top next week, seeing as it's Lady Gaga.


LOVE Merle.
And I can barely wait for Lady Gaga.
Did anyone else think that, even though their relationship seemed a bit better this week, that CHDQ and Dandy still produced one hell of a horrible outfit? Again, I think they deserved the ax this week.


Oh I knew the Essas would be on their way out soon, but it's unfortunate that it came as she seemed to be starting to figure out how to tone it down a little while not losing herself in the process.

I liked Merle's look minus the side boob exposure and the gimmick actually was very practical this time.


"I couldn't agree more with you guys on Vanessa. It seemed to me that the judges must have pre-judged that she needed to be sent home this week before actually seeing her look, because I really didn't think her look this week should've even been in the bottom 3! She's had a clear progression from assy to tacky to not-bad to pretty-good and I'll bet if she'd been kept around she would've continued to improve."

I agree on this too, I really think this is all pre-determined because the judging is so inconsistent. They sent her home because the pockets made a woman's hips look big?!? First off I don't agree, a woman with huge hips probably couldn't even get into a tiny dress like this and secondly if she went home for this sole reason, then they should have sent her home the week prior since that outfit was way bigger on the hips. I'm starting to think that they have this all figured out all ready.


"Yes, unfortunately I know that you are being serious. So if a woman living in L.A. doesn't have plastic surgery to make sure her nose is little and her jaw delicate, well then she must have been a man once, right?"

Lisa Kline couldn't be more LA, with her worn out mudflap girl gimmick that should have been thrown out with the trucker hats ten years ago! She sells over priced denim and camisoles to the same tasteless people that wear the Ed Hardy and Von Dutch B.S. off Melrose. Lisa Kline is a joke in LA, plastic surgery can't fix her reputation. No one with any taste in fashion takes her seriously.


I too thought that Lisa Kline was born as a man. Gerry, you are not the only one! Her mannerisms and voice are very masculine, and her hands are huge. The poor pixie twins sitting next to her are like Grace Kelly in comparison.


bitchybitchybitchy

Michael said:

Did anyone else think that, even though their relationship seemed a bit better this week, that CHDQ and Dandy still produced one hell of a horrible outfit?

Yes, I thought that Roberto and Patrick's look was awful, and was surprised when the fashion pixies pronounced them safe.

Vanessa, bless her wacky little self, was true to whatever visions dance in her platinum blonde head.


Sorry if this has already been posted but the judge Lisa Klein seems to have had a tough year. Her husband died accidentally in January.

http://www.tmz.com/2009/01/22/lisa-klines-husband-dies-in-tragic-fall/


I'm sad that our blondevu with Vanessa has been cut short, I want to see more!


I LOVE THIS SHOW. I haven't been so excited about watching a new episode each week since Seasons 1 and 2 of Project Runway. I love seeing/hearing the whole creative process unfold. With a dash of drama to boot. I like the show to be 75% creative process, 25% drama. When the creative process is focused on only 50% of the time (or less), the show suffers and becomes just another boring reality show. If it was 100% creative process it'd be like watching a dry how-to show. The 75-25 ratio is the magic and lifeblood of these designer shows. Listening, Bravo and Lifetime???


Loved the winning dress. It was ok as a long gown, but really darling as a short one!
I think DJ should've gone home. Yes, all the looks should relate to each other, but his were the same look over and over.
I also agree Vanessa's dress was actually kinda cute. The pockets didn't bother me at all. But then again, she sould have been gone the very first week with that wacked jumpsuit.
It just goes to show you that the winners and losers are determined much more by the producers wanting "good TV", and not on the talent or creativity of the contestants.


All of Essa's work has looked like pure ass to me. I can't believe she made it this far....then again considering some of the other people on the show I can kinda see why.

Merle has this in the bag by a mile


Peggy Bundy deserved the win, no doubt. The dress reaked red carpet runway.


I haven't been wooed over Merle's designs, I did like this week of her's the best out of all of her looks but I thought the back zipper looked crooked. Merle's line is basically a gimmick and when people need gimmick's it's because they are trying to detract attention from something else. She has managed to focus the attention of her designs on how it converts from one piece to another that no one else is really critiquing the actual look and details like all the other designers. I'm not buying it!


I'm going to miss Vanessa - she's a crazy little white haired critter. I like her.

Her clothes are kooky 80's - which I wouldn't wear. But I'll miss watching her.


"Sorry if this has already been posted but the judge Lisa Klein seems to have had a tough year. Her husband died accidentally in January."

Lisa Klein is a big girl. She agreed to go on a reality show and she also decided to be crass and ruthless. Therefore she opened herself up for criticism. Lisa Klein has no problem passing harsh judgment on others, why should she not get the same respect?


Merle, Louanna and Marilyn seem to be the strongest. But all of them have said things that put me off. Louanna shushed her model on the beach challenge, Merle called her model fat (they subtitled it without the word fat, but that's what I heard her say) in the third episode, and Marilyn is pushy most of the time. I like their work, but I'm not so fond of them.


Tlo: said,
We're truly sorry to see her go. Give us this kind of whacky in a design competition. Instead of the pretentious and rehearsed whackiness of an Ari Fish or the walking soundbite generator of a Christian Siriano, we'd rather see someone like Vanessa clumsily stumble through the competition in her platform heels, loudly and somewhat cluelessly churning out clothes solely to be worn by herself. Contestants like this can be so raw and entertaining, even if they do routinely demonstrate their complete lack of proficiency in or understanding of the design process.

I really liked Vanessa, she was entertaining to watch and seemed very sincere unlike some of the other designers. I wish she would have gone further and I think it would have been totally rad if she won because she is so raw and pure, you don't really see too much of that on reality TV, all you see now is a bunch of cutthroat asses or rehearsed camera whores.


Is Merle the first person to be a contestant on one reality show while serving as a judge on another reality show? Sure, Santino went from contestant on one show to judge on another (with Merle!), but Merle the first one I can think of who went from judge to contestant. True? Or have others done it?

The clothes she makes now do align well with the fashion criticisms she made as judge. I love the fact that she really seems to practice what she preaches.


Vanessa was my favorite. I would buy and wear ALL her designs.


I saw a re-run of Ru's Drag Race this weekend and was reminded that loverly Merle previously served on the judge's panel on that show. That bitch has class.

Didn't they just piss in their pants over pockets over at PR? Granted, they were a bit more flatteringly placed. I do agree for Vanessa this was easily her best look (altho with a little toning down, I do swear the pink blouse and white pants would be wearable.)





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