Break it down one time.

Monday, October 02, 2006 by

Oh, for crying out loud.

Bravo execs? A suggestion. Next season, have the first 3 challenges be "Design for a Hooker," Design for a Stripper," and "Design for a Porn Star." Just let the designers get it out of their systems.

"Nina, my story is...she's rich; right? Really classy. And she's just coming out of the shower, ok? And uh... the poolboy barges in! She barely has enough time to get her evening gown on!"

We love Michael and we're glad he made it to OFW, but he was obviously fashion-fried at this point and he'd just had his muse - who just happened to be the best model of the season - taken away from him unexpectedly. We've all been there.

Well...okay, none of us have been there, but still.

Still cute, though.

Three things:

1. His rejected designs look more interesting than his final one.
2. You can tell he was still sketching for Nazri and that's probably what tripped him up the most.

3. His sketch for his final design looks a helluva lot more interesting than what he produced.

Let's break it down; shall we?

Poor choice of fabric. The color is a little tacky and the excessive shininess screams "PROMSLUT!"

Second problem: poor styling choices, both in the photo and on the runway. All she needed was a pair of clear-heeled shoes and a pole at the end of the runway and the image would have been complete.

This is basically Act 2 of every Lifetime movie. The part after the troubled daughter runs away and gets herself into a hot mess, but just before the mother heroically sets out to rescue her.

Final problem: Poor execution and fit - which is the most surprising of all, since Michael is usually meticulous in these areas.

And speaking of's not just that the poor fit gave Clarissa a little belly bump; it's that it gave her a very oddly shaped, lop-sided, baby alien belly bump.



Anonymous said...

I love Michael, but I was "underwhelmed" by his dress. If he had been able to execute what he had sketched, it would've been beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Muse, shmuse. He can't drag Nazri around with him for the rest of his career so I am a little over that excuse.

Michael does much better when given narrower parameters. It seems like the more freedom he has (this challenge, the couture gown) the more he flounders.

I still love him though. 100 bucks says he is the fan favorite this week.

Anonymous said...

OMG! i laughed so hard, a cheerio came out my nose! perhaps michael's model put the dress on wrong? there really can be no other explaination for this.
"prom slut".......classic guys.

Anonymous said...

I wanted so much to like this, because I could see where he was trying to go with it. And I thought that his intention was truly a gorgeous dress. Maybe if he'd been given the amount of time he'd budgeted for he could have pulled this off a little better. I still adore Michael and hope that he or Laura takes home the prize. I'm not allowing myself to look at the OFW collection photos before the show airs, so I guess I'll have to wait to see if he can pull it off.

Anonymous said...

This dress is the reason I'm glad no one was eleminated-- I wanted Michael to go to OFW, but honey, that was the dress to be eleminated if they had to make one. Just dreadful.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree about the sketch, the drawing looks like some kind of futuristic fembot. If the color had been more metallic & the styling cleaner... then it would have been better.
I almost think that if he'd chosen Amanda he would have picked a better color & she would have walked it better.

Embeedubya said...

It was like watching a train wreck in the making. You wanted to scream at the TV screen, "Calling Captain Save-A-Ho's Designer!"

madelineanne said...

I LOV Michael, but I did feel this dress fell short of his usual mark.
I think part of the problem was that the fabric was too flimsy for his intended design.
And I have definitely learned that shininess and tummies (even ickle tiny model tummies) do not mix.
I do tihnk I'm in the minority in kind of liking the color and suspecting/hoping that the color was even better looking in person.
And yes, Clarissa, STAND UP STRAIGHT!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love Michael! I did not love Michael's dress.

I think that Malan may end of being the fan favorite. He was sweetly pathetic in the end (the story of his mom and the reminded me of Joan Crawford and the wire hangers).

My favorite was Robert Best. Just a total cutie pie. I love his design aesthetic...but for Barbie. He didn't show us what he was really made of. He acted like a deer in headlights.

Love you boys.


Anonymous said...

'WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON THERE' and more importantly: how the hell did y'all see it?

is that photoshopped? geeze, it does look like she's got an ovarian tumor or something.

i thought it would have helped a lot not to have all of that long hair slinging around over her shoulders . . . just looked tacky. but the bust was so poorly fitted on that dress. . . and he is still cute.

Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem also is he got way too hung up on his "three words." "Sexy, sultry, sensual" or whatever. They all meant the same thing, and really they don't reflect what his best work has been. Sexy? Yes. But his better stuff has also been classy. Urban. Hip. Even refined. By choosing the wrong words he sent himself in entirely the wrong direction. The pressure was on and he choked, basically.

Anonymous said...

Uh....she's carrying Vincent's erection? :)

eric3000 said...

I don't care if purple IS the new black, I hate it! (besides, I thought Vincent already decided that grey was the new black)

Anonymous said...

yes....yes..damn and this keeps on hurting. This was the emperor's new clothes, for some of us, as finally we have to admit Michael is not really ready. The freedom to design brought out a lack of ideas and incentive even. He should get that "working at Michael Kors" gig offered Daniel last time.

And yes, he needs limits, but thats always easier, and true for any of those designers. No one really amazed me with their freedom.

One thing became clear. Throughout, Jeffrey-snarks were used to say things that contained a kernel of truth about the others. It was balanced out by his rampant stupidity and ego. But in the case of Michael this episode...ouch. He was close. And Uli was close in what she said.

But.. there is another line of thought to all of this. Just look at the average red carpet styles for openings at certain "urban" or hip hop or even MTV music culture events, and Michael's aspirations are ... spot-on. So in a way, he just needs tuning up, and when he's off it shows more. But when Laura is off, its sort of "elegant" so no matter, or when Jeffrey is off, its anyway trash so who cares. Michael's balancing act is more a cultural thing as well, and with more time and working for a bit with others, he will be great.

Bill said...

Like a Candies shoe ad for their new Prom Pump. Maybe Alissa Milano will wear it.

From the look of his sketches I was expecting a Blade Runner/Japanese military style garment. Something very Issey Miyake. Instead we get Messy Mi-yucky.

I could see where he wanted to go, he just didn't get there. IMHO he missed by a mile.

Anonymous said...

Check out the bump on Clarissa's belly when she is wearing Angela's Edwardian-collared black & white design. I first noticed the bump and her poor posture during that episode. But it looks even worse in Michael's dress.


Anonymous said...

Nichael's dress design is on the same line as when he first showed up at the interview with Tim Gunn.

Tim Gunn wanted to pass on him, but Chloe liked his style.

After seeing his collection at OFW, Tim was right. Michael is not ready and will not have enough customers that would wear his style.

Anonymous said...


It's a FARCE that he wasn't eliminated.

"Michael, your dress was by far the worst ... however ... we've changed the rules. No elimination."

There should have been a LOT more uproar about this travesty. Instead, just sympathy and relief.

Click here for a more balanced, unbiased (and screamingly funny) assesment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this was just a case of Michael being "burned out". This final outfit was supposed to be a window into the collection he would show at Bryant Park and, well, I don't think that's an unfair characterisation of the dress he made.

I'm pretty sure people have said this before, but there's a real dichotomy between what Michael makes under constraints and what he makes when left to his own devices. In the audition, the "challenge" dresses he showed were quite nice, but the ones that were just his personal style had... "taste level" issues. This dress, and his Bryant Park show, hark right back to his portfolio.

Anonymous said...

I know, what the hell with Clarissa? Is she pregnant?

I wish he had chosen Amanda!

Anonymous said...

Jeff Blowz, agree completely about the freedom Michael had tripping him up. His final design and picture looked like a cover from King magazine. Some of his final collection had that same look as well. Still, I thought some of the print dresses were nice (even if some did display a tad too much tootie).

FIT GRAD said...

She looked like the hostess at the Saprano's favorite could just hear her craking her gum. Alien baby bump...priceless! When I saw this ABB during the original bradcast, I tought she was wearing her fanny-pack backwards. Nothing a few water pills couldn't handle. I love Michael and was disappointed with this garment. In all, this garment seemed like a bride's revenge again a bride's maid who slept with the groom.

marniecel said...

Love Michael but he lost it, left on his onw, he needed Tim Gunns careful input to give him a higher taste level.

Lisette said...

Sorry but as soon as he said he was buying stretch charmuse I knew he was dead in the water -and that was before he had even designed anything! I think Michael is a cutie-pie but he needs the internship more than the cash right now.

Anonymous said...

Oh my Zod, next year they really must have a "Design for a Drag Queen" challenge. Think of them having nervous breakdowns trying to disguise an award winning tuck! FUN!

Anonymous said...

you know, i noticed that bump Clarissa had on Angela's black and white dress. i figured at that point that it was some not-so-cleverly concealed leftover fabric that had bunched up.

Anonymous said...

you're right, "he's still cute though."

Anonymous said...

Nothing a few situps won't cure. I're 19, 6' tall and weigh less than women a foot shorter, by and large.

Whoda thunk a little workout and a lesson on how to stand as a model (even the wannabe's on ANTM do it) to put your arm BEHIND YOUR BACK to pull your shoulders up.

Maybe that's the tall girl curse?







I'm just sayin...

Anonymous said...

as long as you're making suggestions to the producers for next year, can I make a plea for less of the forced "color soundbyte commentary" from the designers?

Sure its funny once, but after a while, Vincents erections, Michael's observations on his prowess of givin a white girl some ass, Jeffreys every word basically, but particularly how people cried over his genius work, and so on.

Maybe suggest instead, they hire you guys to just watch the vids and then package the contestants mantras, you do a good job here. 50% of the contestants phrases could be like video thought-baloons or just plain old overdub.

I don't know, the idea just gets me off.

Anonymous said...

Michael has talent, no question. But he's just starting out in a lot of ways and obviously needs more guidance. He'll do well in fashion, and yes, I have to agree with Duchess Kors that he might be more sportswear, even though that muslin cutout gown he auditioned with was lovely. And you know what? I LIKED his couture dress, even though it was poorly sewn. With the bunny ears down...

He tripped up on this one, but as last season's golden boy Daniel V once said "I guess you can't be right all the time".

A matte fabric, less chesticles and perhaps it would have worked.

Anonymous said...

omg it wasn't that bad jeesuz people. ok he made a bad design move. what? that's like, one out of a million. everyone's frying him like he's pulled on nina's hair and insulted michael kor's shoes.

Anonymous said...

I would rather wear Michael's than the Peanut's demented milk maid outfit

Anonymous said...

Can't help it. I think Clarissa looks like a ho no matter what she wears.

LOVE MICHAEL, but really honey. What were you thinking???? Shiny, shiny, shiny equals tacky, tacky, tacky.

Anonymous said...

It was rotten to cut their construction time basically in half the 2nd day. It served no purpose other than to create fake drama. I think if he had the time he was told he would have, the execution would be much better.

I am not a fan of the time constraints that they have overall. I would like to see them all have at least a day and a half for all challenges. Get back to the clothes and away from the drama.

Anonymous said...

"This is basically Act 2 of every Lifetime movie. The part after the troubled daughter runs away and gets herself into a hot mess, but just before the mother heroically sets out to rescue her."

If you are both to be loved for nothing else, you should be loved for this little gem alone. But who am I kidding? I love it all.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the "alien bump" is not Michael's fault. I noticed it even when she was in Angela's Audrey Hepburn dress. She just has a curvy tummy I guess.

I love Micheal, but didn't like this dress. Unfortunately it was a prelude to his final collection. However, his final OFW dress on Clarissa was my absolute favorite dress out of all of the designers.

Anonymous said...

You know, after watching the reruns last week I realized that Michael's collection just reverted to his original roots. He SAID he designed for the urban, hip-hop trade, and that is what he wants to do. This dress would have been head and shoulders above Jeffrey's if he had just done a narrower slit and fit it well enough to keep the boobs corraled. It lost a little in the execution, but the angled strips were pretty. I guess his choice of fabric was another mistake,because it took away from the design instead of letting it be seen. I suspect Michael will meet with plenty of success with his chosen clientele, and won't need any mentoring to do so. (Just as Kayne will be hugely successful with his audience, and Jeffrey will continue to design for his rock stars.) Oh, well, we all enjoyed his responses to the challenges, bugt he doesn't really want to change, you know.

Anonymous said...

Shoot me, but I liked Michael's gown. Sure, it wasn't him. And it was a little vulgar. But it was a hell of a lot better than Jeffery's, and I didnt have a problem with the fit other than the awkward "key hole." And I agree - the gown that he had Clarrisa wear in his final collection was outstanding.

Anonymous said...

Michael is talented. And most likely he will go on to channel his spirit into being a great designer. And comments here got the problems in that gown: wrong material matched to cut, execution issues, taste issues. It really was a window to the collection.

But comments also point out the fact maybe there is a kind of bias here? Maybe there needs to be a watching-PR from an "urban" perspective too? Next year.

Uli mentions its like a call-girl ad, and so on. That is also from a German, living in Miami. I've lived in europe, and I am positive she doesn't know urban American youth or identify their various consumer fantasies as seen in "red carpet" shots, videos, and entertainment culture. The one all designers market to as well.

Laura, Uli and Jeffrey are all often equally tacky as Michael's misstep - but get more allowed because its all rich, white, straight fantasy dress-up (Noel Coward-cocktails, 70s miami / mallorca parties of rich Europeans, and baaaadddd haha-hollywood rockers)

Michael is alone there. So Michael has to step up his game IN his world, and there isnt much feedback there that he can identify with either. And that dress, with corrections made of course, wouldnt be false on some red carpets (not just KING covers).

He wasn't good with this gown, but I also get the feeling he is stuck between a rock and a hard place, and that is what we see in the lack of determined focus in his collection. He didnt have much around him to identify with and got lost.

Anonymous said...

I think Michael misunderstood the "three words" challenge. He thought "three ways to say what my collection is about" instead of "Three different qualities of my collection" ... I wish someone woulda figured it out in time to help him.

Anonymous said...

Actually I think it looks almost exactly like what he did for the dog challenge.

Gidget Bananas said...

I think Michael got screwed when the time was cut and he didn't have time to construct the top as well as he could have. If the top had been constructed and fit just a little better, the whole garment would have been much improved. I don't think I'd ever love it, but this one dress is not a reason to dis Michael's accomplishments in their entirety.

junior_goddess said...


hahahah, that was funny. I didn't like it-there were big trouble spots. But it IS marketable-if you like Baby Phat. My guy stumbled! Oh no! Keep dancin' Michael!

Anonymous said...

Did you all hear that Michael is dating Brandy, as in *the* BRANDY?:

Go Michael! He's such a totally hottie and nice guy. He deserves someone who will elevate him in social spheres (to get more work and do cool things).

Anonymous said...

Rule of Runway: attempt a red dress and the Duchess will shoot it down every time as trashy and slutty!