The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Baby, You're the Tops

Let's start off the new season by stepping into a little controversy, okay?

We like him. There seems to be a somewhat virulent reaction against him going on in various comments sections and for the life of us, we can't figure out why. Is it the ghost of the angry little peanut, whose name keeps coming up? Because as far as we can see, there's no real comparison.

He seems pretty intensely focused, open to constructive criticism, and desperate to impress the judges. Sounds good to us.

And dammit...

Model: Kristina Sajko

We really like the dress.

We hate the hair and makeup, though.

Yeah, you could make the argument that it's not a particularly innovative garment and that you could find one just like it hanging on any number of racks...

But it's still a pretty cool dress with a lot of nice details. The assignment wasn't to make something innovative, it was to make a statement about who they are as designers.

Done and done.

Don't you now have a pretty good understanding of who he is, what styles he works in, and how much we can expect from a technical standpoint? Mission accomplished. And with enough time left over to do his hair.

It has come to our attention that there are people who aren't in love with Ping. This has to stop.

Anybody that can inspire Tim to go through this many facial expressions: the span of a minute-long conversation is someone who has more than earned her place to be on the show.

Stepping further into it, we're going to ignore the emails and comments and even texts that we got demanding to know what the hell the judges were thinking complimenting Ping's Snuggie, to say, kittens...

Model: Elizaveta Melnitchenko

We kind of loved it.

She's all about form and movement on the body and at first glance, yes, this looks like she just threw some fabric samples on her model and walked her down a runway, but there was real thought put into how it would drape and where it should be fastened and what it will do when a person walks or stands or sits down.

Granted, she's going to have to show a little more ambition in her designs going forward, but despite Nina's (totally on-point) "hanger appeal" criticism, you could tell she impressed the judges with her point of view.

But shit like this has got to stop. Ping seems charmingly unself-aware but that's not going to help her in the long run because this competition requires the ability to edit and the ability to course-correct, and little stunts like the weird direction she gave her model...

Or the Miss Cleo-style headgear she wrapped her up in, is not going to work in her favor.

You can tell that Nina in particular is intrigued but wary when it comes to her. The argument toward hanger appeal may have come off a little pedestrian, but from a fashion editor's point of view, it's exactly the discussion you need to have with a designer like this in order to yank her into focus going forward.

Tim Gunn's Workroom:

Extended Judging:

[Photos/Videos: - Screencaps:]

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I love Ping! And I think she totally nailed the challenge, too - this garment does seem to sum up who she is as a designer, with the Chinese influences, the colour, the draping, the unstructured garments that flow with the body. It'll be interesting to see what she does with other challenges, where there isn't so much freedom, though. I don't know whether she'll have the technical expertise or not. Looking forward to seeing her try, though.

First of all anyone who goes around calling themself "Seth Aaron" and then give his dress a name like "Little Tokyo" has to be kind of a douche. Its a damn stage outfit for Miley Cyrus or Avril Lavigne, a well made stage outfit but a stage outfit nonetheless.
And as for Ping yeah ok shes got a point of view but if you look at other desingers who are more toward the experimental end of things like Gareth Pugh or Raf Simons, they have a definite point of view that pushes the boundaries of what clothes are Ping just drapped a bunch of crap, its the same thing that has been done and called Avant-Garde for years.

I liked both of these better than the winner, which I just thought was okay.
I thought the plaid dress had a ruffle on the bottom which I did not like, now I see it's more of a pick up. I still think it would have been less twee with a very tight semi long wiggle skirt.

I do love Ping. And I thought her dress was the winner. I think she (and Jesus were about the only ones that went out on a limb). I even like the headwrap. I actually love the headwrap. And even though the model did not do a good job, it kind of worked with the bewildered expression too.

Ping's garment certainly wasn't just another pretty dress.

My roommate and I were discussing Emilio and Seth Aaron's dresses and decided that we loved both, but we know that we could never afford Emilio's, while we think that we could find some similar to Seth Aaron's at the mall--which is not to say that it looked cheap, but it was a look that could translate much more easily into mass-marketing.

We also decided that even though we usually loathe such obvious zippers, the one on SA's dress worked. Instead of that tacky metallic look that designers usually go for, the red added some nice pop to the dress.

I was really happy with the top three. I remember thinking that, if this challenge determined who was going to Bryant Park, I would be more excited to see any collection from these three than from anyone last season. I'm a little worried about Ping based on the previews for the next episode, but I was perfectly happy with the top three.

It's not that I don't like Ping, I just don't "get" her. I did love how Tim gave her the "Well good luck with THAT" look before moving on the next designer.

But that Rockette kicking thing Ping instructed her model to do was pretty ridic.


I liked Seth's (I am not calling him Seth Aaron). And he does not seem like a douche like ALP. And I still think ALP had help with his finale collection. Clearly Seth has skill.

I don't get Ping. I would have sent her packing but hopefully she will show me otherwise next week.

I love Ping's -- garment? too! She manages to make those draped sacks look elegant and feminine rather than dumpy and alien. Lovely color sense, too. I'm excited about her, I hope she doesn't get aufed too soon because I really want to see more of her work.

Ping is...a little annoying. Not gonna lie. Going in, I was expecting to like her more than I did during the actual show. I do think that for what she does, she does well (her outfit could so easily come off looking just like fabrics piled on the model, but they don't) but it's really not my thing at all. Don't think she should have been the first off, but I don't think she should probably last more than few episodes unless she pulls some other tricks out of her bag.

(I actually liked the headwrap. It continued the motif of the cloth and did something interesting with the overall colors)

An observant poster on the Bluefly link you guys supplied mantioned the spats Seth Aaron made. So I had to go back and look. I can't see them well, but I adore them.

I thought Seth Aaron's dress was pure Ellie Mae Clampett. ugh.

I'm intrigued by Ping. The colors were gorgeous and gorgeous together and the look definitely drew the eye. I am just wondering how she will do in the competition week after week

I like both of these, I would just place them both in the "safe" group rather than the top group.

Personally Seth and Ping I felt were the 2 most successful in the goals of the challenge. Tell us who you are as a designer. Done and Done. Their ensembles and styling gave you a clear idea of who they are and what a collection of theirs would be like. It is still less clear with the other contestants. Case in point, Nicole Richie's comment about regardless of what she liked about Jesus' dress she still did not have an idea of who he was as a designer

In fact what Ping put out is very consistent with her portfolio-a heavy asian style

I should point out I wasn't crazy about the zipper on Seth's dress

Ping's model however needs work and confidence. Yes Ping gave her some atypical instructions but the way she executed those instructions were awful. Ping wanted her to create some fluid moves to enhance the flow of the looks. Imagine what a model like S2's Grace could have done.

The challenge for Ping will be the things the judges brought up. Like Kors saying not evrey material she gets will be so giving and flowy.


If there is ever a revival of "The
King and I," Ping is certainly the
gal for the job of costumer!!

I loved Ping's, but it sort of felt too derivative of Yohji Yamamoto (but in red). It is so fabulous though to see diverse styles once again.

I love the punk-rock spats Seth Aaron added to his look. Somehow he took punk-rock cliches and managed to make them look fresh and fun. Nothing ground-breaking, but the execution, eye for details, and editing show he has real promise. One of my top picks to reach Bryant Park.

Ah Ping. I love her because she's so, well, Ping. She living in her own world, happy there, but still relating to this world, which I think is a key requirement for a successful artist. She charming and sweet and her smile lights up the room. She's not doing handstands in the corner saying, "look how kooky and different I am!" She's draping clothes around her body and dancing on her tip toes when she's excited. Love. Her.

That said, her style is very Asian. It's beautiful, but it's quite different from the tailored looks we see here in the non-Asian world. There's an artistry to what she's doing, but it's subtle. She reminds me of how some people react to modern art--"my kid could do that!" Her work looks so deceptively simple that it appears she put no effort into it, that anyone could do it. I beg to differ. Anyone can design a boxy glass skyscraper, but that doesn't make it a Mies van der Rohe. I'm not saying she's a genius--we haven't seen enough of her work to know that yet--but I can see the craftsmanship in this look and want to see more from her. That's a hell of a lot more than I could say about Weepy McCryface.

I like both of these looks just fine. Pretty damn good for a first episode challenge. I don't see where all the hate is coming from.

I thought Seth Aaron was going home. I HATED that dress. It seemed much more appropriate for the farm challenge they're doing next week. Hideous. Didn't care for a single thing about it.

I agree with ROS @ 2:52pm that Ping may have real trouble when she is presented with the confines of a certain challenge.

Is Seth Aaron a (love) child of Keith Richard? I get that vibe. Crossed with Johnny Cash and a 60's lounge singer for runway day.

I just love that there are different points of view on offer. There's no mistaking Ping for anyone else - and several of the other designers have very focused points of view.

Thank you Gods of PR for giving us that. . . . and please don't send them home too quickly leaving us nothing but designers who rehash whatever is current, safe, young and marketable.

The more idiosyncratic designers the better, I say.

I loved watching these two designers. For me, they made the show, along with Emilio and Anthony, who just made me smile (and wince). I thought this first episode gave us a glimmer of the excitement that the old PR once generated. The outfits overall weren't that great; but this episode rocked. Nina and Michael were in great form, and I didn't mind Nicole's presence too much. I wish Lifetime would bump up the quality of their commercials - talk about suck.

The challenge was to show who you are as a designer, and Ping certainly brought it. Her clothes may not appeal to a wide range of customers, but for what this challenge was, she nailed it. And, as someone said earlier, at least it wasn't just "another pretty dress".

I'm ambivalent towards Seth right now. He kind of has a Michael Des Barres vibe about him, but I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

I don't understand all the Seth Aaron hate either. I thought he knocked it out of the park on this one. Yes, the winning design was more of a technical and creative feat, but Seth's really showed us *who* he is as a designer- which was the purpose of the challenge.

Ok, I understand that some don't like *who* he as a designer. But, I think that's more an issue of individual taste. /shrug

Then again, maybe the Avril Lavinge in me is just showing...=D

Deeder said "I LOVE Seth Aaron! He's like Angry Little Peanut's nicer, more talented older brother."

...I totally agree!! Seth has the edge and attitude but also the talent to back it up with! Love SA!!!

I love Seth and Ping. It's nice that a lot of the contestants have very different designs aesthetics, because even in these MPD challenges, there's some variation. And, of course, I love freaks. Love them.

I LOVE PING! I love everything about her so far and absolutely loved her garment!

I like Ping's design. I like Ping. She has integrity. She doesn't spit-mark.

I have no problem with Seth personally. I hated his dress. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why the judges praised this and not Mila's design. Yes it showed a perspective as a designer...dressed up skater kid.

I feel challenged by Ping's garment. It reminds me of a Warhol show I saw recently. I say this because at the beginning of the show we were all moved by Warhol's work, but as we progressed to his later works (the show was in chronological order) we began to reinterpret his works as they were presented to us and realized that what we like was his medium, but that there was little message behind it. We appreciated his color sense and his willingness to explore, but we were left wanting deeper meaning.
In the same way, I feel Ping could take this path. I am impressed by her color sense and her design aesthetic is not what we are used to on Project Runway. What she needs to do is go further and develop her ideas about how to present and shape the movement of a woman's body in a way that is accessible. I like her ideas but I want to see her make it relevant to how women dress today.

As for Seth Aaron? I looked at it on the runway and thought, it's not my style, but I see a relevance and a point of view. It will be interesting to see how that develops moving forward.

I think that Ping is far more talented than the bottom two were this past episode. She is unusual and very quirky - but she also is a bit refreshing!

Seth Aaron is going to be interesting to watch, he is a true "designer" with a specific point of view. From head to toe he styled his model. He used his accessories brilliantly. Yes, hair and make up were a bit odd, but then again, he was showing a more editorial look than all of the others. Stepping it up a notch is what this season has needed.

Let's hurry and get through the first three episodes to weed out the not-so-talented and get down to some real design business.

You two have lost your damn minds.

Ping's outfit is a fucking mess. An ugly, unflattering mess. It is for Dorothy Zvornack on Mars, if she was homeless.

You two have been smoking that crack tne judges are always into. I'm worried about you.


I think the difference between Warhol and Ping is that Warhol was very up front about his work *not* having a deeper meaning (even though they certainly can be read to have one, or you could even say that no meaning is the meaning), whereas I believe Ping does intend for her work to have a deeper meaning. Result? If Ping doesn't deliver, I'll be more disappointed.


All of Warhol's work has INTENSE meaning behind it. Formally, people can be critical because it is necessary to contextualize his works and not take them at face value. He's mostly considering the effects of new media under Western capitalism. An example of how his work is contextualized is the way products sell themselves as being "authentic." How can any product be "authentic" or "original" if they can be mass-produced and infinitely copied so that anyone can own them? To be authentic and original does not mean to be unique, but rather the opposite -- to be infinitely reproducible as a copy.

I would suggest reading Walter Benjamin's "The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility" to get a better understanding of some of the things Warhol addressed in his works.

Ok, I missed something. Is "angry little peanut" Jeffrey?

Maybe it's because I'm into dresses right now (and the tendency is to keep being into them) but I just loved every single piece Seth Aaron had in his porfolio and I LOVE TO DEATH his "Little Tokyo" dress from this challenge. The red zipper doesn't bother me at all.

Whoever came up with "Seth is ALP's older, nicer and more skilled brother" was damn right. While ALP just kept talking about how good he was and at the same time kept recurring to the glue gun and so on, Seth Aaron seems to have the execution skills needed to stay on this competition. And I'm with TLo on this one, I just don't get the SA hate. For now, he has just emerged has my early favorite.

On the other hand I really don't know if Ping has the skills to survive much longer in PR. She is really nice and funny, but if she keeps sending the same stuff down the runway, she'll be crushed by one of the PR "10 Commandaments": DON'T BORE NINA. (after all seeing the same thing over and over again does bore people, as we could see last season, even if it only bored us viewers...)

I don't dislike Seth Aaron personally. I just thought that his garment, especially in conjunction with the styling, looked like Mary Milkmaid just had a roll in the hay.

I love Ping's aesthetic, and I find her work very intriguing. I hope she sticks around.

(It seemed to me that Tim seemed to have a quite different attitude towards her work in his extended workroom critique than is reflected in his comments on his Lifetime blog.)

It was very noticeable to me, watching the extended judging, that Nina particularly is more focused on what sells ("hanger appeal")* than she has been in the past. It will be interesting to see if this continues through the rest of the season.

*I have to say that I learned a long time ago never to judge a garment by what it looks like on the hanger. Same goes for the size printed on the tag!

Maybe it's just me, but the first word that came to mind when I saw Ping's garment was shmatah!

oh, it's so nice to have some interesting fashion to be commenting on [grin]

While Seth's look didn't overwhelm me (just not my style), I woulda been perfectly ok with his getting the win for this look. It showed who he is as a designer very clearly. Perhaps part of the issue is that he got a lot of face time during the show and his personality may not be as easy to take to as say, Anthony.

Ping's outfit was also a good showcase for who she is as a designer with the various elements she fuses together. But I can see that eventually turning into fashion roadkill as we get into some of the creative challenges PR is known for (making assumption here we'll have better challenges this season than last season's!). I could see her crashing in the same manner of Elisa; that free-form styling may not translate well with a car parts challenge, for example.

And, yes, her model instructions were painful. Her model appears to be young and not as confident so don't know how well that will mix. I'm hoping that they'll mix up the models much more as that seems to bring out more of the creative tension (and, yes, drama!)


Agree, TLo! I love Ping, too. Her color palette & attitude was the most interesting and it all looked very complete to me. Even the head-dress! I think she should've won.

I see they're giving her the loopy (Lupe!) edit & trying to make it look like she's just throwin' shit around, but, I think she's got the most sophisticated point of view of all the designers.

Poor Tim. He really doesn't get her, does he? All his recent interviews & blog seem to indicate she either crashes out or she's a finalist!

Seth Aaron? okay.

Speaking of the final. Are they showing at upcoming Fashion Week? I don't like that.

I LOVE PING. I think she has a clever point of view.

Mostly I love how she tortured the model by making her do the dance step. The model's just a half note up from a teenager who cringes about going to the mall with their mom.

Thanks for the book rec, I've been looking for something to read since I saw the show. Also, to be fair to Warhol, the show wasn't very well curated. There were four of Haring's "Andy Mouse" pieces towards the end with much explanation of the relationship between Warhol and Haring which I feel was a poor choice in terms of contextualization, particularlly because it was immediately opposite Warhol's "Myths" series, including the Mickey Mouse piece. All without an explanation of why the Harings was included

The point I want to make is that it when medium becomes message, there is an opportunity to innovate, but it is fraught with peril, particularly that of losing relevance and the message being over shadowed by the medium. What I would love Ping to do is use her sense of movement and the body to make a statement about a Woman's body. I'm just worried that it will be to different from past competitors and the judges won't understand it. Or she could get wrapped up in her own emotions and crash and burn. Who knows. But I hope she challenges us in a positive way.

PS - I wish she'd taken Christianne's model.

At least you agree with me, T Lo. Makes me feel less lonely in thinking that, if either of these designs had won the first challenge instead of Emilio's, I would have been just as happy.

They all three showed you who they were in their designs, which was the challenge, and they each did their thing well. Like Mr. Mentos, I think Ping's design was deceptively simple. I loved the movement of Ping's clothes and her color choices. I loved how well Seth Aaron designed his look, how carefully he put that design together. Sure, the makeup and hair were silly (though my inner middle-schooler loved how the lips matched the red zipper), but I loved that he made a sort of foot covering that went over the shoe to match the rest of his look (considering how limited and absolutely fashion-victim fug the Bluefly accessories wall shoe selection appears to be, I don't blame him).

While neither design may be for everyone, I think they both did their styles and their designs exceptionally well. And neither of them were half as obnoxious or stupid as those commenting across the interweb seem to think they were; even if you don't like them, personally, they both backed up everything they were saying and doing with good work. For pity's sake, people, Ping knows what she's doing. She's not like the other nutjobs we've had on PR: she has actual training, both in fashion and in how the body moves, and I appreciate that. And I actually like Seth Aaron; he doesn't appear to be much at all like ALP, other than a superficial similarity of appearance and design aesthetic. (One person summarizing the episode on another site started bitching about his name. That's just pathetic. Really, interwebs, I am disappointed in you.)

I'm very interested to see what they're both going to come up with next, and I'm already bored to death with the silly comments about them both which I've read on Entertainment Weekly's site and elsewhere. They both deserved to be on top. I agree with the win, but Ping and Seth Aaron were close seconds.

"Is Seth Aaron a (love) child of Keith Richard? I get that vibe. Crossed with Johnny Cash and a 60's lounge singer for runway day."

What he wore on the runway was like Beetlejuice on his wedding day.

"Spats"! That's the word! Thank you, PRG commenters!

I thought maybe some of the vitriol was a result of the future episodes promo at the end of the show, where a model refuses to work with Seth Aaron. Now that (Tim Gunn) would truly be a "never in the history of Project Runway" moment.

No matter how much you defend Ping's outfit here, I don't like it. It looks like a bunch of fabric randomly stapled together.

I definitely appreciate her point of view - I really like the idea of maximizing movement. HOWEVER, there are ways to do that without looking like you lost your real clothes in Mood and had to drape yourself in remnants.

I'll be interested to see if she can pull off more compelling looks in future challenges based on her design principles.

if you watch the extended critique with Tim, you'll see some interesting things about ping's garment. she shows him the top without the pants, and with the leggings she was wearing i think the top by itself would be a really nice tunic. i could see myself wearing the top with skinny jeans and even the sweater type thing her model had on. i think the pants kind of destroyed the top.

as for seth aaron, his model looks really wide up top in the first picture because of how the little straps fall. as someone who was into the punk scene in the early 90's, i have to say that i'm sooooooo tired of seeing these plaid dresses with suspenders that people like avril lavgine wear. yeah, it was technically done very well, but it's so boooooooring.

I like her, but OMG did you see that performance on Models of the runway? I agree the headwrap and the instructions she gave the model were distracting, but having looked at her portfolio, I'm still intrigued. I want to see what she does with a more structured challenge.

I love Ping, and I really liked her outfit except from the back. She is a true original.

Both Seth and his dress suffer from a bad case of trying too hard-itis.

love Ping colors combinations.

I think Ping is adorable, but I must disagree on her design. I'm not "conceptual". Her design looked like a sale rack at a cheap remnant store.
Seth's dress was very cute, and if I were a size 2 teener, I would definitely wear it.

Loving Ping. Would I wear this outfit? No. Do I love seeing the work of a designer with a unique philosophy and a strong point of view? Yes. Her work being to my particular taste is irrelevant. I hope she sticks around for a long time.

I liked Seth's outfit. My friend Greg called it "Kansas the state meets Kansas the rockers" but it sounds my tastes. The hair OTOH well... let's just say it's a good thing he's not cast on Shear Genius and move along.
Ping's outfit is good for this challenge perimeter but she'll need to showcase more than draping in future eps. I kinda would like her to stick around a bit, she's funny and intresting.

I love Ping--her mindset is so very Chinese. I'm not in love with her point of view, but I respect it. I want her to make it into the finale, even though I doubt that it's going to happen.

As for actually really didn't like the dress when it came out. I didn't like the colors or the random little straps. I even generally like punk style, too. Eh, I dunno. There's just something about him that rubs me the wrong way.

I wasn't crazy about Seth Aaron's but now I know who he is as a designer. Same with Ping. Although it bothered me that she said her garment was what it would look like if you piled fabric up (or something to that effect.) In any other challenge, she would have been out.

seth aaron seems like a douche but i do like his dress. he's like jeffrey with out the bad taste (as far as designing goes, personal style is a whole 'nother issue).

but piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing omg, i want to take her home! her design is interesting and totally different. it's a nice change.

i also want to take anthony home.

Ping will make it in the fashion industry because she will have no problem finding financial backers. Her clothes can be made in only two sizes P/S and M/L for retail. This is a factor in her favor when finding backers. Also, her clothes can be made in very very expensive fabrics....100% pure silk or in cheaper fabrics.....100% mam-made microfiber. This again is another factor in her favor when seeking backers to finance her line.


PPS - The Lifetime website sux! Can they not give their server a little more oomph to handle the traffic?

I liked Seth Aaron's dress well enough but hated the fabric. It's looks like daddy's bathrobe. He is quite good getting his model styled for the outfit. They managed to reflect the dress in her makeup without mirroring it. Hard to accomplish.

As for Ping Wu, I don't think she has a chance in PR Hell of winning but I am really loving the different POV. I like the way she tried the concept out for movement. I adore the colors, and shaping and just, dammit, for not being a pretty dress. I thought her garment looked like a Sumi-e painting on a moving person. Lovely.

Seth Aaron looks like a very stylized "punk rock" version of Elliott Smith. I couldn't get that out of my mind the entire episode.

I get where he's coming from but I kind of hated the dress and thought the styling was beyond hideous.

I liked Ping. I don't think she's intellectual or a genius or artsy; I think she's true to herself. I hope they keep her around for awhile. And I'm surprised to be saying this, but Tim needs to relax about her.

Seth Aaron, I liked his dress and respect his work, but when he started talking on the runway I wanted to put a zipper on his mouth. Little Tokyo. Please.

I'm not going to drink the Ping Kool-aid...yet anyway. She is interesting and has a's just quite a bit different than mine right now. I do want to see some technical skills...and although you say this takes skill...I don't see it...yet.

Seth...can't believe I'm already changing my mind about him. I still don't like his personality and style much...but I absolutely loved the garment he created for the 1st episode. I'm very interested to see what he does next...will look past his "douchiness." This little plaid dress is edgy and adorable, and would look great with ratty jeans or leggings too. The hair and make-up were a bit much.

Totally with you. I didn't like Seth's dress in a "I would wear or recommend this dress" way, but it was well made, well executed, and well thought out. A well, well, well dress.

and Ping...I adore. I wish it hadn't been paired with those horrid shoes. That is an ensemble that wants flats or boots. I even liked the head wrap with it. On Elizaveta, it came off looking like of Vermeer rather than Voodoo.

I agree with everything you said, TLo. I think Ping's outfit is deceptively simple, and I think Seth Aaron is good at what he does. His construction was excellent/ I do agree with whoever said this would have been interesting as a long skirt. It reminds me a tiny bit of the vibe we got from ALP's yellow plaid couture dress. Little gingham dress—big 'tude. They are two to watch. And I already am more interested in this bunch than I ever was in last year's.

I am skeptical of Ping. I don't like the headgear or the top (which really looks like wrapped fabric), but I loved the bottom.

whenever the judges say "point of view" it seems to me that the designer created a fugly piece of work that the judges don't know how to respond to

Count me among those who just didn't get Ping's design. I'm still not sure what it's supposed to be and I cannot for the life of me imagine any woman wearing this on the street or to any event.

"She's all about form and movement on the body and at first glance, yes, this looks like she just threw some fabric samples on her model and walked her down a runway, but there was real thought put into how it would drape and where it should be fastened and what it will do when a person walks or stands or sits down."

Exactly! I knew I wasn't crazy. I may not be the most stylish person in the room (I'm definitely not the most stylish person in the room), but I started questioning my taste after reading so many people hating Ping's design. I always go for comfort, but I'm not sloppy, I choose my clothes carefully so they compliment me. I thought Ping's outfit (specially the top) was something I could wear and feel comfortable and stylish in. I love Ping, what else can I say? So glad you guys like her too.

Seth Aaron doesn't seem to have all of the horrible baggage that ALP came with and spewed all over the show.

He just seems like a designer with a point of view and technical skills. A great combination if you ask me.

He didn't demonstrate any drama-- although there is time yet. I only hope that he can create things outside of his aesthetic when required to.

How can you dislike someone who's name is the sound of cartoon inspiration, you know, when the light bulb goes on above your head.

Anon @ 3:12 said... That said, her style is very Asian. It's beautiful, but it's quite different from the tailored looks we see here in the non-Asian world. There's an artistry to what she's doing, but it's subtle. She reminds me of how some people react to modern art--"my kid could do that!" Her work looks so deceptively simple that it appears she put no effort into it, that anyone could do it. I beg to differ. Anyone can design a boxy glass skyscraper, but that doesn't make it a Mies van der Rohe.

Yes, this. I'm seeing a lot of people reacting negatively to Ping's look because it's not the typical Western pretty dress, but I am thrilled to see a different style. And folks, it takes a lot of skill to make something look that effortless. I'm excited to see more of Ping's output, and more of her fun personality!

As for the rest (including Seth Aaron), I feel like there are still way too many competitors to keep track of them all or even to feel strongly about most of them. Still holding out hope that this season will end up better than last one, now that we have Nina, MK and NYC back!

My issue with Seth Aaron in regards to the ALP comparisons is not an issue of personality or taste, but that elements of this dress seem way too similar to some of Jeffery's garments. Specifically, these two:
(the front of this garment and the back of Seth's)
(structure constructed around visible zippers/straps, similar [ but not identical, to be fair] garment shape)

P.S. I even like the headdress on Ping's model! Not usually a big fan of turbans and headwraps, but this one is really working for me.

Ping is downright loveable no matter what you think of her design. You could see that design on a runway if not in real life. Seth bugs me a little. Having been dragged into Hot Topic more times than I can count by a fifteen year old daughter with questionable taste, his dress and his portfolio just look like higher end versions of their inventory. And his stated goal is to be an "icon" which seems a little presumptuous at this point in the reality tv show but hey, good luck with that.

I like Ping. I'm interested to see what she will come up with.

At least she has a point of view.

I have to say, her model didn't do her any favors, saying the design wasn't easy to get in and out of, her miserable expression on the runway and her whining about it to Heidi when she chatted with the models. She's lucky Ping picked her again. I hope she'll do her better this week.

I liked both designs a lot. Seth's had a rockabilly thing going on and the zipper made you notice all the great back detailing. I would definitely have worn it back in the days when I could wear such stuff.

Ping's was way cool, but her model is not up to the challenge. She's too shy and washed out. Ping needs a more dramatic looking model who's not afraid to move. As it was, Ping's clothes wore Elizaveta and they weren't seen to their best effect--that kind of stuff is all about motion and ease.

Seth [Aaron] can stop using the verb "rock" any time now. It seemed downright creepy when he did it during model selection.


I also saw Yohji Yamamoto's influence in Ping's work. I like her and I hope her work evolves. I hope she shows diversity in her talent and doesn't just send stuff down that's pinned together.
As for Seth, my problem with him is not that he's a bad designer, he seems to be quite adequate, although I wasn't as in love with his dress as the judges were. My problem with him is that he looks like he's trying too hard with his personal look. It's off-putting to see a grown man who looks like he thinks it's still 1985. It's like he's in a time warp and he looks a bit ridiculous, like he thinks he's fooling someone and they'll think he's younger. Just my opinion folks.

I liked Keith Richards Jr.'s steampunk look with one exception: the zipper. I loved the pop of color and I liked the concept of the exposed zip, but that's a big-ass plastic jacket zipper. I would have liked it better in a bright red zipper with less prominent teeth.

I LOVED Ping's outfit. The minute it came out I immediately thought "Issey Miyake". Okay she isn't IM, but she's headed in that direction and I think if she can edit out the extraneous crap (do-rag, runway rhumba) she'll do really well.

yeah! ho! wah!

just wantd to say... totally agree with tlo here!

I just didn't seem to respond to Seth's design. I don't dislike him as a person. And I do think the judges were able to get a good sense of who he was as a designer, which was the point of the whole thing.

I did like that the top 3 designs were so diverse. I really like Ping. She's fun to watch. And lovely fabric draping that didn't involve churning out a generic gown. But Duchess said it all in the extended judging -- facing constraints in future challenges with her approach may be problematic. It will be interesting to see how she weathers them.

Seth Aaron's actually my favorite so far. I liked his portfolio, and I liked this dress (with the possible exception of the zipper).

I thought Ping was out for sure when I saw her outfit. I thought the judges were going to hate it. Glad I was wrong.

Liked both. Ping's outfit will look like an unmade bed on the vast majority of the buying public - you need a little height and a dancer or acrobat's conscious movement (if you schlep around in this one, you are going to look like the dog is trapped under a pile of laundry) to pull it off. But as runway, I liked how it moved on the body and the color.

Seth Aaron's was, indeed, a cute little dress, but one that showed who he's designing for in spades - I found the red back zipper a little jarring, but perhaps that's why these guys are designers and I'm not. I kinda like matchy-matchy, in most instances.

And I will make my only remark about last season: there is no way that the last crew of designers ever came up with so many respectable and/or interesting garments in any two challenges combined than this crew put up in their maiden episode. Well done in the contestant selection.

I actually liked Ping's outfit a lot more than I thought I would, personally. Yes, the headgear was too much, but she is a crazy little elf and has a very different point of view, and I was frankly very surprised that the judges liked it so much. I was also surprised the judge's liked Seth Aaron's so much too, and I personally do not like that dress (it's boring and been done and I am not personally into that aesthetic) but I do have to admit it was made very well. I guess. I am pretty sure the judge's have panned this sort of thing before though, but this might have possibly been on PR Canada also.

Sixgables said I even liked the head wrap with it. On Elizaveta, it came off looking like of Vermeer rather than Voodoo.


i dont know why people hate ping, but she strongly reminds me of yohji yamamoto! go ping... pong!

Ping! Ping! Ping! Loved this look, the colors, the combo and how she showed how to wear it in different ways. I went to grad school in Boulder, CO and I could see a sea of Ping-wear there, so believe me, there are plenty of women who would love Ping's garments.

Seth Aaron's dress was cute and hip but I wasn't grooving so much on the plaid choice, but it may be that that plaid was the only one around for the challenge. Loved the back detailing and the bright red zipper, though I would've paired it with some hot red shoes to glam it up some. The footwear, while "rocker" kind of screamed cliche.

One thing that seriously annoyed and offended me - in the workroom extended video, what's with the kooky "asian" music during Ping's video? So effin offensive. Did we hear The Cure during Seth Aaron's video? Some mariachi during Jesus'? WTF? Be respectful, B/M!

When Ping's dress rounded the corner, I actually whispered, "oooh." It's weird, but kind of beautiful. Seth Aaron's is good too. I agree with the tops this time around.

Ping's was so refreshingly different non?? I have to say I absolutely HAAAATED Seth Aaron's it reminded me of something Avril Lavigne would wear circa 2003. Blech.

I love Ping, not just for her otherworldly sensibility but for her unique sense of herself.

One thing I think might have helped her outfit would have been to have the single suspender-thingy that held up the pants go underneath the top, not over it. My little OCD brain would explode if I wore pants that asymmetrical, but the top I loved. It really did evoke a monk's robe.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else she can do. She's definitely one of a kind!

Sorry, but I love Seth Aaron (despite the somewhat douche-y name). If I was young enough I'd love to have that dress. I'm still iffy on Ping.

Loved Ping and her outfit. AS someone else mentioned--she has such a Chinese sensibility. I hope she stays for a long whil and we get to see her thought process.
I really liked SA's dress, and I love the plaid (which, I guess I'm the only one...) When Jeffrey did the plaid evening gown, I thought it was a horrible choice of fabric. But, it grew on me, and SA's dress is the next step--from plaid couture to plaid off-the-rack. And I loved the red zipper--it really did bring focus to the great detals and construction.

I am outta the loop, too. Is ALP Jeffrey?

I would have loved Seth Aaron's dress if it weren't for the proportions. The way the pattern is interrupted by the design of the hem/bottom part just looks WRONG to my eyes. It either should have been a bit longer, or if Seth Arron was set on keeping it that length (which in general is a good mini dress length) he should have figured out something that didn't quit interrupt the pattern. Otherwise, I love it - especially the back.

And Ping is awesomely Ping. I disagree with Sir Gunn for the first time - his comments in that interview made me thankful that Nicole Richie was there. Ping seems to be genuinely herself, and I love that she genuinely is what she is. Though I do feel bad for her model - who speaks so many languages, holy shit I'm jealous.

I hope Ping can do more than just hang fabrics on the models; I would totally wear Seth's dress.

Ping, ping, pong ROCKS!!!!

People keep saying Ping is so different? You guys don't have any new-age physical therapists/ holistic health practitioners/ vegan lifestyle counsellors where you live?

Lovelovelove Ping. She's like Guadalupe and Elisa rolled up in one.

I don't get why everyone thinks Ping is that great. She threw fabrics on her model and call it an outfit. After a couple of challenges, that's going to get old quickly.

I thought Ping's outfit was really interesting, and so different from everything else going on. And it did move beautifully. (Though I think she should have dumped that sad-sack model.)

Seth's dress on the other hand? Boring. When is punk rock aesthetic going to cease being considered innovative? Yes, I know who he is, I did like the straps on the back, but other than that, I hope he has something else in his bag of tricks.

For once I actually liked all of the top three, and I loved that all three outfits showed very different points of view. I think this is shaping up to be an interesting season.

Just wanted to go on record saying LOVE.SETH.

I didn't find him arrogant at all. He is confident in his work and himself. I LOVE his style and his design this week.

Good job seth, look forward to seeing you for weeks to come!

Hey, every time I come to the site I get a weird pop-up thing with a picture of a girl and a chat invitation. Is anybody else experiencing anything similar?

Project Runway is definitely on a trajectory. To some degree I see the show as gently pushing the boundaries of what is fashion and what is not. After last season I'm relieved and thrilled to see more variety on the runway. It's good to see so many distinctly different points of view.

Reactions to Seth Aaron's dress
are strong, but seem fairly mixed. In my opinion he did meet the requirements of the challenge by creating something of a signature or identifying look. Like it or not, his dress definitely echoed other looks from his portfolio. However, for me, it had much more of a rockabilly vibe rather than a punk rock one. I "get" the zipper, but have to agree with Sir Tim, it was a bit cartoonish.

Ping is charming and I love her passion and excitement. I also like the fact that she approaches her work with intelligence. I'm very interested in seeing how flexible she'll be with upcoming challenges and if she can adapt her aesthetic to their requirements without repeating herself. I'd also like to see if her looks will evolve over time into more marketable designs.

I don't have much to say about Nina's incessant turn of the phrase, "hanger appeal." I get it, but also get the impression she did some fashion industry workshopping over the hiatus and that's the catchphrase and buzzword in fashion especially given the dramatic changes we've all seen in the financial climate.


Totally agree with those who say they see the Issey Miyake/Yohji Yamamoto (two of my faves!) influence in Ping. I really liked her portfolio, but was worried for her whent he episode started, and as she was making her garment - but then when she sent it down the runway, I LOVED it. Also think the modern art comment is spot on - this is perhaps a simple design to physically execute, but the concept is actually quite sophisticated, and definitely not something just anyone could come up with.

Love Love Love Seth! I am really excited to see what he's going to do next.

As for Ping, well not my style, but I could certainly see her doing an entire show.

Okay, it's just the first episode, but I like this crew - except for the crier. That's going to get old fast.

This season has definitely got talent. I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop!

I loved Ping's work and her portfolio at first glance. There's something very Earth-mother-y about it that I just love. And she's got a distinct approach to design that she's developed with some clarity, which is always refreshing among so many competitors of runway seasons past.

i'm not dorothy gale

Anonymous 3:35 Alex!: "You two have lost your damn minds. Ping's outfit is a fucking mess. An ugly, unflattering mess. It is for Dorothy Zvornack on Mars, if she was homeless."

Hilarious, and I agree. The spit marking was edited out. I don't think she's long for PR.

"And as for Ping yeah ok shes got a point of view but if you look at other desingers who are more toward the experimental end of things like Gareth Pugh or Raf Simons, they have a definite point of view that pushes the boundaries of what clothes are Ping just drapped a bunch of crap, its the same thing that has been done and called Avant-Garde for years."

Ignoring the fact that I don't even really consider either designer terribly "avant garde," Pugh and Simmons will come and go. Rei Kawakubo will be around until death, even longer in influence. I think it's fantastic that Ping got a good reception for her look (I will admit however, that I doubt she will make it far), but to hate on her because you don't have any knowledge of boundary-breaking fashion outside of what pop stars recently began to hold up as goofy stagewear is a little questionable. Open your mind.

I loved Ping's garment, but maybe just because it's different. It's certainly not my style, but I appreciate her approach to fashion.

I liked Seth Aaron's almost as much as Emilio's. Didn,'t love the exposed zipper, but I did love the straps across the back and his styling choices.

But Nina's hangar appeal comment could never have been more valid. Ping can't very well hang out at the store and drape fabrics around customers (and send them home with written instructions.) I didn't get it but I did find her charming. I almost hate to critique her since clearly she's a very sensitive soul.

I also don't get the Seth hate. Yeah, he seems like he might be douchey but he also is interesting. And while the front of the dress might have been a little derivative, the back was awesome. The model's hair and lipstick were wretched tho. All I could think of was Shprockets-couldn't she be one of Dieter's dancers?

Love love love love Ping. Totez agree.

Seth Aaron's dress? I just HATE that fabric. If it was remade in a different fabric, ANY other fabric, I would have loved it. But that heinous washed-out plaid is just...well, heinous.

Oh, no. Alex! doesn't like Ping. Come on... Get on the love train, kid.

I just remembered ... Amsterdam 1982ish. I'm small & skinny and had a belt I could wrap four times around my waist. Sometimes I'd use it like Ping does here to hold up my rolled-up tweed oversized shorts (with leggings underneath....) I think I even wore a ethnic or knit headwrap with this look!

Anyway... A girl I knew said to me, "That's cute! You deliberately dress to be funny, don't you?"


I like Ping because she's Chinese like my grandfather :) As for her design, I think she was put in the top more because the judges wanted to hear her out than because they were in love with it (althought they certainly liked it). It's so hard to say, though, because for this kind of aesthetic there really aren't a bunch of canonized archetypes or distinct time periods to use as reference when formulating a critique. Besides, her POV is so strong that any criticism would end up sounding beside the point. Like telling McQueen that he sometimes goes a little over the top.

Regardless of whether she made a good or bad impression, everybody is intrigued to see what she does next, so I'd say she nailed the challenge. I just hope she is more succesful next time in getting her model to showcase her design's "body liberating" qualities.

And Seth's wasn't too bad either.


Why don't they make them produce a garment in front of their very eyes before they get on the show? I mean in that interview with Tim he talks about her knitting skills but that there will never time to do that on the show. So what exactly can she do?
Its like having all the contestants only submit video tapes of them singing for American Idol.....they should have to perform LIVE and sew something in front of the judges first. I just don't think her stuff will be able to be produced under these circumstances.

i loved ping's outfit. and i loved that nicole richie called the judges out on the challenge. snaps for that!

I love Ping too! An outfit that wasn't short, tight, or shiny. Come on -- many, many women could wear this outfit and look fashionable. 90% of what was put on the runway couldn't be worn by anyone who was healthy and normal sized. I was so bored by all the "pretty dresses" and the extremely tight short skirts. (I'm sure the judges saw several yahoos.) Wasn't that the problem with last season: "Make a pretty dress." Enough! Let's actually get creative!

Ping's outfit looks better in your screen shots than it did in the show. And while I doubt she'll survive many challenges, I'm loving her "I-DO-give-a-shit-about-what-you-think-but-I'm-going-to-do-it-anyway" attitude.

I am trying very hard to like Seth Aaron and getting over the fact that he does NOT look good as a 19-year-old pretty boy.

Miss Cleo? THAT'S IT! (I was thinking Erykah Badu but it's totally Miss Cleo.) CALL ME NOW, Ping! You guys are too damn funny.

LOVED Ping's -yes, very Yamamoto/Miyake/Comme des Garcons but with a glorious colour sense. She should have swapped the model out though.

I liked SA's dress, though it was a bit teenybopper for my personal taste. It's his personal style that annoys me though. It just comes across as being very mutton dressed as lamb and also very try-hard/derivative/wannabe and not remotely original.

He seems a bit Suede-ish in that regard and that's not a good thing...

Ping use of color was amazing. I would never have thought to put those fabrics together, they looked wonderful.
Agree with those that say its NOT just another pretty dress.

Seth has my vote for favorite designer because he put spats on the shoes! Footwear is SO important. :)

Have great hopes for this season.

i think ping is an interesting character but clearly you guys drank the kool aid as much as the lousy producers because that sack that she sent down was an embarrassment....this show has fallen so far from where it once sad...

I don't think this has been pointed out yet about Ping's look: that big strap in the front with the ring in the middle? (You can't really see it in these pics but you can on the Lifetime site.) It's a direct reference to Chinese/Japanese Buddhist priest garb. Thought that was interesting...

Ping has a strong point of view. Ping has something to say about fashion and the way it relates to the human body. She's definitely reminiscent of some of the Japanese designers, like Yamamoto. And, at least she's not going to bore Nina. I have to say that for the rest of the season, I will be watching to see what she comes up with next. There hasn't been a designer that I could say that about for a long time. Yay, Ping. She's a breath of fresh air.

I like them both. Seth reminds me of a couple guys I've known. Frankly, I think he has a kind of sexuality that makes some people uncomfortable.

I like Ping. She's a true free spirit. But she should have changed models, as Elizaveta was not comfortable with the concept. Nothing wrong with Elizaveta, but Ping's designs need a different vibe.

I couldn't remember who Miss Cleo was so I had to google. Holy crap, TLo, that is tooooo funny!!1

What I love about Ping is she keeps me thinking about what constitutes design aesthetics w/out simply adhering to convention. I can't make up my mind whether I like her outfit or not because I can't stop thinking about it.
What an unusual sensation.

Hey, every time I come to the site I get a weird pop-up thing with a picture of a girl and a chat invitation. Is anybody else experiencing anything similar?

Uh-oh sounds like you've got a virus.
Try MalwareBytes (free), it's small and takes care of a lot of things.
Good luck.

The judges were right on with these two. In one look they were able to show us who they are.

A couple of commenters upthread were asking for confirmation that Angry Little Peanut is Jeffrey. Yes, you are correct, here you go:

I love Ping too. I was holding my breath that the judges would get her and not throw her out. I love the draping and the style. I think her model may throw her under the bus though, she didn't seem to "get" Ping.

I liked Ping's, though I worry that even if the judges "get" Ping they might still auf her for being too limited (after all they are looking for a designer that will appeal to a large segment of USAans), if she doesn't manage to magically adapt to forthcoming challenges (PLEASE DON'T BE SHITTY KTHX). I hope her model becomes more agreeable or there is a good swapping scheme this season.

Iiiii did not like SA's so much, it looked like hot topic but more because I found the bust/cups/neckline unpleasant, although I do enjoy puffed skirts and zipper details. Mission accomplished though, I guess; I've seen the beginning of the ep so far and "I want to be a fashion icon" doesn't come off poorly to me, just that he's willing to convey how (tragically? futilely?) ambitious he is and thinks it makes a good sound bite.

Maybe he is a fan of Queen Amidala, though?

I'm curious about Ping and I think it's time for some PR audience members to realize that there are some points of view PR has ignored, sit down, be quiet and give them a chance.

Scott Weiland (that's what I'm calling him), on the other hand, is too old to dress like he does (perhaps that's why he's reminding people of Jeffery), and his clothes are really boring. "It's plaid! It's rocker! It's short with and crunched up looking skirt! I'm so hip and cool and with it!" You're boring and old, Scott.

I hated Seth Aaron's dress from the start: hate the half-cheap-Hot-Topic / half-Daisy Duke look, hate the fabric, hate the precious skirt, hate that fat red zipper (if only the teeth had shown, I would have liked it much more). But at the same time, I think he nailed the challenge because I'm impressed with his technical skills and interested in seeing what else he makes. I wish Seth Aaron had made ALP's runway show: THEN it would have been perfect.

Ping, I just love. I've been reading some medieval Japanese fiction lately and been intrigued by the voluminous robes--sometimes a dozen or more were worn at once over drawstring trousers--in different dyes and textures. Ping may not be the first person to translate that to this century, but on this runway it stands out. What a POV.

YES! Yes yes yes a million times yes, I totally agree with everything you've said here TLo. Man, I was starting to think maybe I was nuts with some of the comments I was reading here and around the web, but you guys definitely make me feel validated in my opinion now. :)
I've mentioned before but I really like Seth Aaron, his personality seems pretty chill but completely focused and into what he's doing, which is good I think. I was rooting for his dress to win, made incredibly well, super interesting, and very accessible.
And Ping, I LOVE Ping. I don't think she's loony or weird at all, I think she is true to herself and her ideas about dance and movement. Even though it is just runway theatrics and was done kind of poorly, I can see where she's coming from with the move at the end. She's always talking about looking at her pieces from every angle and how they change in the different ways they move, and I think she just wanted to illustrate that.
Love it!

damn straight!

at first i scratched my head for a second, but both of these fit the brief for the challenge. there is no mistaking who they are as designers or what their vision is. that was the challenge. thats what they did. both were clear strong declarative statements.

also too - ping is adorable & im kinda routing for her a little bit. and i can see why people are confusing simon le bon or whatever the heck his name is with the angry little peanut - its the neck tattoos, hair product & plaid zippery dress. but thats about where the similarities end honestly. his portfolio showed a LOT of potential, so im optimistic about this one. plus, so far, he doesnt seem to be an egomaniacal jackass

I'll have to disagree about Ping's garment. As I said on Thursday night, in the Lounge, to me it looked much the same as when the fabric was draped on the park bench. Maybe that was her inspiration. I do like her personally though.

As for Seth Aaron, I don't see any similarities with Angry Little Peanut either. Maybe the comparisons are just a visceral reaction to him, as someone who is pushing 40 but still dressing like a teenager. (Though I haven't read his bio; was there anything in the about him having been a member of Dexy's Midnight Runners?)


Grace definitely has a point, we WILL be watching closely to see what Ping comes up with next.
So, well played Ping.

I loved Ping's design, and I love her. I think she's going to be out soon, however, because she has no idea how close that model came to submarining her. To succeed, shes really going to need a model who understands what she's trying to do and has the skills to showcase the garment and the perspective. She should have dropped that model and tried to get one who could do better.

I appreciated Ping's garment and agree that it was exactly right for this challenge, but, to my untrained eye, it looked an awful lot like one of the sketches that flashed during her background bit. I'm witholding judgment of her as a designer until I see if she is anything more than a one-trick pony.

I didn't much care for SA's dress when I saw it on the show but, now that I see the screencaps, I can really appreciate the details. I am SO over the exposed zippers, though.

Seths really reminds me of Christophers first looks vibe of youthful edginess...and when he said the MTV award thing it creeped me out even more. A sign of things to come? I hope not ;/

GothamTomato said...

As for Seth Aaron, [. . .] I haven't read his bio; was there anything in the about him having been a member of Dexy's Midnight Runners?)

Thanks for the laugh (out loud) GT.

Thanks as well GT love the Dexy's Midnight Runners image!!.

Seth Aron's personal style and his garments I suspect are dollar store versions of ALP. I am pretty sure I have seen that dress in Urban Outfitters.

Ping? comic relief for as long as she lasts. Saw that she works in knits in her bio and the drapery she will have to work with on the show won't give the same vibe.

So I am going to give this new season a try solely based on the fact that it used to send shivers up my spine.. but I do fear that it is a romance gone cold.

I'm still not getting how people are raving over Ping's ensemble.

The girl just got out of the shower and wrapped herself in towels blankets. We love it. HUNH???????????

That outfit was so gotdamn ridiculous, it was unsettling.

Okay. Although I rather liked Seth Aaron's look, I felt he was designing for Adelaide and Her Farmerettes in the "Bushel and a Peck" number from Guys and Dolls.

And isn't Ping just the latest in a line of requisite PR loonies, following Robert, Diana Eng, Angela, Elisa, Blaine, and Ari (Malvin, too)? Let's face it: This character type is casting requirement.

How could one not love Ping? I loved her design and find her esthetic very appealing, but I'm worry about what Tim said about her and whether she's going to survive in this knitting-ban environment on the strength of her draping. She's also stuck with a terrible terrible model, very ill-suited to her whimsical designs (why is it that designers feel this sense of loyalty after just one episode? she should have chosen the other model). Let's hope they make them change soon.

I didn't hate Seth's look and can see the detail and the thought put it too it, but I find both the look and his persona vaguely pathetic... like the train had passed already a while ago and he's still waiting for the same one. Both the runway outfit and his look seem to me dated rather than referential, but then maybe I'm wrong...

Loved both designs, they really showed who they are. Love ping pong but I have a feeling that she's going to get on my nerves real soon.

I love Ping's point of view but don't think it's going to work on TV. What I hate about fashion is that it's all about what the person looking at the wearer sees, and nothing about how the wearer feels. I want to wear clothes that feel good to wear. Ping looks like she wants to make clothes that feel good to wear. What that will translate to on the outside probably won't fly, though. Fashion for women is basically uncomfortable if not torturous (high heels, clothes you can't breathe or move in), and Ping seems to have the opposite aesthetic.

I'm in wait-and-see mode with Seth and Ping. I like Ping's personality a lot. She is so happy and her designs are refreshingly different from what we normally, even if not to my taste. Seth's designs could end up being pretty ordinary, but again. I'm going to wait a bit. I liked his design and agreed with the judges about how he styled his model from head to toe. Shows he has some savvy, which will do him well in the competition.

Sorry Ping is a freak.

And the Emperor's New Clothes comes to mind every time I see people contort themselves to make excuses for freaks like her.

Calling her "designs" "intellecutal" just comes off as more fashion elitism.

and for people who so often post how fond they are of Tim, it is telling how little they think of his opinion and how they enjoy seeing him try to not to say to one of the contestants - WTF - why are you on this show and not in some basket weaving therapy program.

/sigh ok now breathe.

Sniffing about "the Emperor's New Clothes" is a form of elitism as well, you know. It's simply approaching it from an opposite direction.

I like Ping. I'm intrigued by her designs. I'm not a fashion editor looking for the Next Big Look to sell or a socialite trying to get my photos in the fashion blogs. I'm on an anonymous blog posting anonymously. I have no need to impress anyone. I like what I like, there's no agenda.

Fashion, art, entertainment--it's all subjective. If you don't like Ping's designs, fine. But I'm getting tired of hearing about kool-aid and emperor's clothes simply because some people don't get why other people like something they don't.

As far as Tim goes, I adore him, but he's not god, and his dislike of Ping is hardly the first time I've disagreed with him.

Grr. Sorry. This is a major peeve of mine. I don't like being accused of being disingenuous, elitist, or a sheep simply because my opinion isn't the same as someone else's. It's dismissive and it pisses me off.

liked her and the the design was beautiful.

I love Seth Aaron! I like what we have seen of his design aesthetic and he is sexy as hell in a gritty sort of way. I hated his runway hair but his workroom looks was...rawr.

Ping is clearly working very hard to be a freak. I don't think her designs will keep her in long but being a freak might.

ASK said...

Sorry Ping is a freak.

And the Emperor's New Clothes comes to mind every time I see people contort themselves to make excuses for freaks like her.

Calling her "designs" "intellecutal" just comes off as more fashion elitism.

Another bizarrely defensive rant from you because you can't handle other people's opinions.

Kindly show us where anyone called Ping's designs "intellectual." Show us this "elitism."

Well I am posting a bit less anonymously.

"I don't like being accused of being disingenuous, elitist, or a sheep simply because my opinion isn't the same as someone else's. It's dismissive and it pisses me off."

MO about the elistism is not based on a DIFFERENT opinion - it is contibuted by people who post that she and her designs are "intellectual" or that people who aren't fawning are fools or bigots.
But also on the disingenuous (I hate that word it really seems like a soften way of saying lying) praise, when noone (ok 1 in tens of thousands) would wear this crap.

And the "pretty colors" comments about HER but ripping on Christiane (with her beautiful bright blue) and Anthony (bright colorful flowers) for their awful construction and TOTALLY giving a pass for the safety pinned afghan. (and whatever the hell that bottom was)

When I read the rave reviews, I have this vision of Tad and Buffy raving about how wonderful some Rorschach-ish painting - done by a monkey or an elephant - is at portaying the plight of the seals.

I agree that both Ping and Seth Allen totally nailed the challenge by presenting excellent examples of their POV as designers. I realize it does both of them a disservice to compare them to previous PR contestants, but if Ping is this season's Malvin and Seth Allen is this season's Jeffrey Sebalia, they are both heads and shoulders above those two. My immediate reaction to Ping was "uh oh" but she turned out a wonderful garment perfectly in keeping with her aesthetic and vision. Would I personally wear it? No, but nor did I have any Comme des Garcons in my closet either. Ditto Seth Allen's young rocker frock, but I can think of a lot of young women who would - happily.

That is what I am already appreciating about this season of PR: Designers with extremely distinctive styles and the construction chops to actually realize those POV in an interesting way. I look forward to seeing how they evolve. And if they don't - well, now that The Duchess of Orange and La Nina are there week after week, we won't see them long.

I thought Ping's stuff was really interesting and beautiful, and I liked that (despite what Heidi said), it looked really comfortable and responsive to the body's movement. I'm a fan, and I'm a slightly chubby person who thinks that Ping is a person who actually could work with a chubby body.

Anon 12:46
(It sounds like you are accusing my of make this stuff up - But I will do some of your work for you.)

From the lounge from this week's show (and I've seem plenty of these comments about Ping, Malvin JP and even ari)

" Anonymous said...
I loved Ping's design. Very organic and very intellectual. I hope she can continue with it without becoming boring and repetitive.
1/15/10 8:14 AM"

I feel like Tim bidding on that Neoprene outfit - come on post the pictures of you wearing something like this out (that you bought, not just an snuggie you pinned on.)

Has Nina ever worn that outfit yet - btw?

MO about the elistism is not based on a DIFFERENT opinion - it is contibuted by people who post that she and her designs are "intellectual" or that people who aren't fawning are fools or bigots.
But also on the disingenuous (I hate that word it really seems like a soften way of saying lying) praise, when noone (ok 1 in tens of thousands) would wear this crap.

I don't see anyone calling people fools or bigots for not liking her work.

ASK, why are you so offended by people who have different opinions than yours? Honestly, what's it to you? How about we all stick to talking about the designers and clothes, and stop bashing people who don't share your ever-so exquisite and unquestionable taste?

Sheesh. Opinions about opinions. I can't imagine what could be a bigger waste of energy than to get all worked up over people who think differently from one's self.


In terms of the challenge, yes, viewers do know who both Ping and Seth Aaron are.

I found Ping endearing, but her design just screamed bag lady to me. I'm sorry, but however artfully draped it is, it still looks like a mess.

So sue me for expressing my opinion.

Ping Wu, sweet chariot.

Say what you will about her, she definitely livens up the bunch. Remember what happened last season when they immediately auf'd all the quirky, oddball designers at the first opportunity. Snoooooozes for the remainder! I think she'll at least provide some fun before she inevitably runs afoul of the judges.

I can see why peeps are drawing parallels between Seth Aaron and Jeff S. -- I have to admit, when she turned the corner I immediately thought of Jeffrey's plaid faux-punk dress. But aside from somewhat similar styles, there's no comparison. Seth Aaron seems much more personable and not out to stake his claim as Group A-hole. I didn't find the dress that interesting, but it was well made and better than most on that stage. I just hope he introduces some color later on.

I adored Ping's dress and here is why: she is a visionary.

Many years ago, Issey Miyake showed a collection that completely deconstructed the idea of the standard shape and drape of modern clothing. He shook it up. His garments had angles, dimension, and some carefully placed and well thought out strange shapes. Some of the clothes appeared, well, ugly, yet they were intriguing because of the beauty of the workmanship and thought that clearly existed within the math of the fabric shape.

Looking around at fashion today, I can see the influence of that collection (I wish I could remember the exact year, I want to say mid-late 1990's). I can see the angles, the thoughtful and beautiful (though now overdone) use of an asymmetrical neck line, the use of exaggerated and architectural shapes around shoulders, hips, arms, necks...

Ping has the same ability to deconstruct fashion like a blacksmith. Our young eyes may look upon her garments with trepidation now, but in ten years, designers will be stealing her influence like hungry wolves.

Ping is a crazy bundle of awesome! I love her, I love her aesthetic, and it's really great to see it all happening on PR. I only hope she isn't so nutty that she can't take Tim and the judges's advice and use it to strengthen her work.

That other dude, though… No thanks. That dress is awful. He's under the delusion that he's the long lost lovechild of Bryan Ferry and Vivienne Westwood, and, well, NO. Canned cheese product more like. He might be a dab hand with the fancy nozzles, but the result is still crap on a cracker.

Am I the only one who thought Seth's dress looked like something cheap that an Avril Lavigne fan would buy from Hot Topic?!?

I don't love or hate Seth. His dress was okay, not great. I'll wait and see if I like it more later, or less.

I love the IDEA of Ping. She has a point of view and the personal oomph to stick with her view. Also waiting to see how she develops.

What I didn't like about Ping is her outfit on the model. Yes, the outfit flowed - but it didn't flow WITH the model. The model's movements weren't reflected in the outfit's movements. And if they were, a little bit, it didn't look beautiful and feminine and synergetic. Ping goes on and on about working with the body, but she didn't work with her model's body - the model wasn't even remotely comfortable. Being comfortable as a model isn't normally important - but Ping made it important by her statements.

"ASK said: Sorry Ping is a freak."

Nope, not at all.

Eccentric? Yes. A freak? No.

She's just an intensely creative person who is stuck in her head. Creative people understand what that challenge is about.


I liked both outfits. I really think Seth was going for an Anime look (rather than a farm girl look), hence the "Little Tokyo" name and the hair & makeup design.

I agree with you guys that both looks were great and expressed the designer's point of view perfectly.

Seth's is very retailable for the young, rebellious crowd, and I know plenty of teenagers who would want it in every color. His detailing was well done and the zippers and nod to suspenders were spot on without being too obvious.

Ping's look was gorgeous, and I would love to wear it. She obviously does less sewing, but her pieces look gorgeous on a human body and are perfect for a runway show. I'm getting a bit of a james paul vibe from her, but with better color sense.

people who post that she and her designs are "intellectual" or that people who aren't fawning are fools or bigots.

ASK, I'm with Anonymous@1:03. Your rant would have some credibility if you would list for us the comments where Ping-positive commenters labeled Ping-negative commenters as fools and bigots.

And yes, I've read through all the comments.


I loved Ping's outfit so much! It is a pleasure to behold and seems to be a pleasure to wear, despite what some may think. I suppose I would only know if I were the model, but Ping herself didn't seem to want to take it off. I wonder if I would need instructions to get in/out of it, though? Something like SethAaron's dress would be easier to navigate perhaps, with flashing red lights pointing to the point of entry/exit.

As Bitchybitchybitchy wrote:

So sue me for expressing my opinion.

And yes GT *I* consider her a freak; and I can't believe that is even in question as the textbook (dictionary) definition is: "a person that is strikingly unusual and appears to be unique or occurs very rarely".

Seriously to those jumping on me - but then posting that *I* am "so offended by people who have different opinions than yours" - MIRROR - pot-kettle?

And then asking ME for examples? HA - what?

No one's jumping on you for having an opinion. We're just wondering why you feel the need to slag anyone else for having a different opinion.

I don't care one way or the other about Ping, but I think those strappy gold stilettos did not go well with body flow and stuff...

Jr. Goddess

ASK, everyone here was chatting quite nicely until your provocative reply implying anyone who liked Ping's work was either an elitist or a fool. If you can't admit that's what you were saying, you're being dishonest. And if you can, well how do you expect people to react to being considered elitists or fools?

As to pot/kettle comments -- honey, that's weak. You don't get to tramp all over people's opinions with derision and hostility and not have people push back. If you build a fire, don't complain it's hot, k?

I like Ping and Seth Aaron as well. Ping reminds me of Issey Miyake and I think Seth Aaron got robbed for the win.

I love the Ping - she has given us a "best costume for the day"!

Ignoring the squabbling, I shall opine this:

1) Seth Aaron does remind me of Jeffrey... but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I didn't like Jeffrey's personality but I did like a lot of his work (and anyhow he seems to have improved in the personality department as of All-Stars).
2) The 80s music video industry called. They want Seth Aaron's judging outfit back.
3) His dress was fine. Not really to my tastes (I'm not fond of the stand-out zipper) but obviously speaks to his.
4) Ping is awesome. I don't know how I feel about her work, but she's a card.

She's the only designer used all 5 fabrics and made this "Central Park Sunset" themed garment. Her scarf wrapped into the hair is actually a transformable multifunctional scarf.

I really liked all three of the top finalists for different reasons and any one of them could have won and it would have been fine by me. Personally Ping's design would suit my less than perfect figure and I do like the draping.

Two comments: First, hooray for the return to NYC, Nina, Michael and Tim as Tim should be rather than a stressed out Tim on the beach in a suit and flip flops. At the end of last season I barely made it through to the finale, which was meh.

Secondly, as someone mentioned, those Lifetime commercials are the worst. They remind me why PR is the only Lifetime broadcast that I watch. I mentioned this to my husband as we watched. We are away from home and unable to silence or run through them, bleh. Step it up advertisers.

Ping used her fabric beautifully, and I like the headcover/shawl part. However, the front looks pinned at the shoulder, which detracts from the effortless draping effect. She needed to secure it differently. Also, the styling was very poor and made the girl look like an extra in "Fiddler on the Roof." Ping's a keeper, though. Let's just see what she does with a more restrictive challenge.

Seth's dress is very nice and there is some beautiful work in it. He definitely has skills and I see a P.O.V. there as well. I don't like the plaid, but it is on trend. As someone else mentioned, maybe that was the only plaid he could find (in an appropriate fabric for his design). A bolder, more tartan-y plaid might have worked better.

As for why people "hate" him, I am mystified. Maybe he is a bit of a poser, but so what? Like Anthony and Jesse and Jonathan AREN'T playing up their images? Granted, he is way too old for the style he has designed for himself, but so what? It's not like he is out there clubbing baby seals and making garments out of them.

I'm sorry. I think Ping should have been the one to go home. Her outfit was a joke!

Hate to say it, but I loathed both of those dresses. When Aaron's came down I braced myself for the little abner barefoot Barbie commentary I just knew was going to happen. but no. where was it? they savage nicholas for a terrible out of touch punk rock dress, but this is just so great? even with batshit zippers and a hem that makes her look fat? But the challenge wasn't to make something good, I suppose, it was to make something that showcased who they were as designers. Well thank you, Ping and Aaron. I know plenty. More than I wanted to.

Seths 8.5/10. With the make up it could verge on costumey [im sure a bunch of cosplay girls would die for it] but its that fine line he treads that makes the appeal for me.

Ping- 10/10. Its just nice to see a designers aesthetic match the personality so well and naturally. Whether you like her or not you have to appreciate she's showed you who she is and her philosophy in one dress, that's something.

Love Seth Aaron! Don't know why there are so many haters, but the guy has clearly shown his skill and his confidence, and I like his style. He's a keeper.

Ping ping pong! This woman cracks me up, in a good way. I dig her unconventional nature and she's great tv. She and Tim are hilarious together. I'm curious to see how she will surive this competition becomes she does seem very delicate and emotional. Not sure of what I think of her style yet, but you can tell she put thought into that outfit.

YOU GUYS. Ping is our little lamb! We have to watch out for her!

Seth Aaron=Brian Setzer. Am I the only one who sees this?

I don't get Ping. Not in any way. Her stuff looked like fabric draped over her model and there was no shape or flattering cut to it. It looked like a mess to me...

I love her personality though. She seems genuine and delightfully happy.

Seth Aaron's dress was adorable. I have teen daughters who would love that. I agree with Michael, it's commercial as well as youthful.

Didn't like the red zipper though. That said "student project" to me.

Seth Aaron's dress is cute. It does remind me of what Harajuku girls wear. Many girls who are into anime/EGL/cosplay would enjoy wearing something like this. Easily marketable. Looks rather comfortable.

Ping's I did not like. I see she is being creative and innovative. She is selling fashion and not clothes. But I do not know how far ahead she will get if what she makes is not wearable.

Seth Aaron- I do like the front of that dress, but that back is WAY too busy, in my opinion. It would have looked a million times better without that exposed zipper.

Ping- LOVE her! She's a complete loony-toon, but I think she also has skills. Her outfit is definitely not my taste, but I think she knows what she's doing. I will make the same argument for her that you guys made for Seth Aaron...after episode 1, we know exactly who Ping is and what she has to say about fashion.

Wow, you guys reeeeeeeeeeally missed the mark here.
I don't think I've ever disagreed with you more-well, except in your favorable view of Christiane getting eliminated.
I'm usually on board with you, though not as often as a lot of the other yes-man sheep who comment here.
This "design" was a joke.
It looks like it took far less thought than you've given it credit for & it in no way deserved to be in the top 3.

I love Ping! If there's any comparison to be made to previous season's designers, I think that she's this season's Elisa. I was instantly enamored with her unique clothes and even if she does need to learn to edit a bit, she's definitely the designer I want to see more from.

"Seth Aaron" looks ridiculous and boring simultaneously... I was SO hoping you'd rip on the outfit he wore on the runway.

I love the look, but that's only because I love Issey Miyake - and thus my point - it isn't really all that original. She is just ripping off vintage Miyake.

Haven't checked in for awhile, but since I felt so strongly about these two, I thought I'd post anyway.

I admit I had a predisposition to dislike Seth Aaron, totally unfounded in anything specific, other than a visceral reaction to a guy in my age group dressing and styling himself the way he did. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw his work however. Very talented and clear point of view (although combining Chinese opera styling on a dress he calls Little Tokyo (ala harajuku) was a bit of a stretch, but that's probably just me). I'll be interested in seeing what he does going forward.

As for Ping, I was on that train already. Perfect look to tell us what she is about. Of course, the proof will be in pudding going forward, when there are restrictions for the design.

"Very Pingish"

I'm surprised you two didn't pick up on this quote in the extended Tim Gunn of Ping (who is wonderful to watch).

It reminds me of something you'd note in a Glee post.

I am going to try using it in real life.

fragile industries

Just checking in late to register my support of the entire top three. Seth I might have put in the middle, but nothing jumps out from mid-pack with more of a point of view. I just don't feel the big plaid skirt -- as Sewing Siren mentioned, a pencil would for me have been a win. I LURVE Ping. Both her and what went down the runway. I don't see her going the distance from a commercial perspective, but she's putting something out there that -- modulated -- could be a huge influence. I love the drapey-drapey and her colors.

No whining allowed after last season on the basis of interesting.

Come on, don't the top three have more of a voice, and in good ways, than the Bryant Park 3 from PR 6 (except for Dr. Whitfield, a personal pet)? We all want to see what happens next this time.

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