Ripping the Collections: Chloe, Part One

Monday, May 21, 2007 by

We're actually a little nervous about this one. We've set ourselves up as Chloe's Defenders and we hope we're up to the task.

Judging by online feedback, most people didn't think this collection deserved the win or that it won by default because the other collections weren't good enough. We can't speak to the latter but as to the former, we absolutely believe she deserved it.

The clothes aren't what we could call off-the-rack wearable and that may be part of the reason why people reacted negatively to them because up until that point, everything we'd seen from Chloe was totally off-the-rack-wearable. This collection required a little more interpreting than her previous work.

For all the talk of this looking like '80s clothing we say "Check the runways." This sort of look has been roaring down the runways and onto the fashion mag pages for the last year or two. Big, shiny, away from the body - all of it was on trend, which is why we think Nina loved it so much. Unlike the other two collections, it was very much of the moment.

Let's start the show.

We'll start off by saying our main problem with the collection came down to her fabric choices and color story. This is Exhibit A.

The look is a masterpiece of construction as far as we're concerned. Had it not been done in a shiny pink, we think a lot more people would have loved it. We love it except for the puffy sleeves, which could have been toned down a skosh. Although it is a "wow" piece.

As we said, it wasn't just the colors but the fabrics she chose that hurt the collection, in our opinion. Exhibit B. Her prints were just not very pretty.

This is a fairly basic dress and we can't help thinking that if it had been in a print that popped a little more, it would have had more of an impact.

And we just don't like the styling on this model.

Exhibit B.1. This is basic to the point of boring.

The straps are nice and whatever little business she's got going on in the back bumps it up a little, but for the most part this was a boring dress in an underwhelming print.

We agree with Nina that this was too matchy-match. We like the heavily structured, stiff aspect of it but we can't help thinking it would have been a better look without the jacket.

We're also not crazy about the pleated ruffles along the hem. Too heavy.

Geez, now it sounds like we hated the collection too. We promise we'll get to the parts that we loved soon.

Okay, maybe not too soon. We hated this look. The fabric is awful and once again, she's going for a too-monochromatic, matchy-match look.

We might have been able to overlook it, except for the utterly bizarre skirt on this thing, which makes her look like a drunk celebutante getting out of a limo. If it's not flattering on a size 2, who is it going to flatter?

Okay, this we loved. It's still got that structured look and maybe it's still a little too monochromatic, but it's more sophisticated than the previous couple of looks.

Love the cut on the jacket, the lace top, the tuxedo stripe on the pants. There's a lotta look going on here, so we could have done without the upturned cuffs in the sleeves, which tend to be a little distracting on top of everything else.

This is actually really cute, sofa fabric and all. We love the pockets and the fullness of the skirt.

But we HATE the bust on this thing. It's so tiny and restrictive! Even if the skirt was a little more streamlined, the proportions would have been off, but because the skirt's so full, it just accentuates how small the bust is.

We promise we'll get to the more fabulous stuff tomorrow, kittens!

[Photos: FirstView]

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eric3000 said...

Nina: "What's with all the matchy-matchy jackets?"

Chloe: "I think jackets are meant to come off, Nina! That's what I think!"

Anonymous said...

I think Chloe deserved the win. It isn't the best collection ever but she deserved it, not because she is a good buisness woman or a good pattern maker, because she is the best DESIGNER out of the whole bunch. It was unexpected and a departure from what she was doing though.
I agree the fabric on the first look is a puzzle, I think when going in a really extreme direction with shape it's better to keep the color neutral.
The second look was great on the dress form. Not as good on the runway, but not bad.
The next one would have been better (and more memorable)if she had used that pink (in the 2nd look) for the sash under the bust.
I don't like the stiff pink one at all. Too tin woodsman. What did it look like with out the jacket?
I love the little jacket on the 5th look. The dress not so much. It could have been nice in a softer fabric and maybe the skirt a little longer.
The last one I love. This is her 13th look right? I think it looks the most like Chloe. I just love the pockets, the fullness, the tiny top,... everything. Its playfull, sexy, and still evening.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of your evaluations, but all in all the first half is nothing special.

I'm so excited for the kick-ass topographical seams of the second half. Masterful.

Gorgeous Things said...

I think that last look was Chloe channeling Santino. Doesn't it look like Santino's Musln Challenge dress?

DolceLorenzo said...

I loved her collection! I absolutely LOVE that first look.

Anonymous said...

the fourth look might just be my favorite in Chloe's collection. yes, it's very rigid in design, but it's one of the highest impact pieces and it seems completely unique to Chloe (without being ugly).

Unknown said...

One thing that confused me about the collection was the repetition of fabric. It seemed like she used the same four fabrics for almost every dress. I don't know if such a thing is common for runway shows, but it threw me off.

Donny B said...

Okay, the black suit ensemble was probably her best is very sharp and stunning.

But I just have a problem with the whole way this played out, especially after Laura's runway show in season 3.

When asked what her theme was, Chloe said "evening wear." Um, excuse me? That's not a theme, that's a genre.

And the judges didn't even flinch! And, on the whole, her collection wasn't even all that cohesive. It was reptitive, and there's a difference.

Now cut to season 3 when they ripped on Laura's collection for being too narrow and too much of just evening wear. That wasn't a problem for Chloe, why is it a problem for Laura?

That's all. I'm done with my rant (fow now).

Anonymous said...

I think chloe deserved the win.

you see, clothes on the runway are not all made for off-the-rack wearable.

many of the works from many brands are showing something not that wearable but having some statement.

chloe really deserved the win.

well i just love her work during the show more.

Anonymous said...

I liked Chloe's collection the best and I'm sorry to disagree with you but I thought the prints she used were gorgeous! Hers looked the most sophisticated and runway-worthy of all the collections.

Anonymous said...

she did say it was her "fantasy collection." so maybe the oddness of each of these looks is what she was after.

Anonymous said...

I really liked Chloe's collection when I first saw it, and time hasn't changed my mind. Loved the suit!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the second half of her collection is better than the first half, but I don't think any of these are bad. I like her prints, but they don't provide the high impact runway look she might have achieved if her prints had involved more striking colors. I'm not such a fan of the shiny fabric, but maybe it's the best choice for the kind of structured pieces she was going for.

One of the most striking things for me is that, for Daniel's and Santino's collections, studying the outfits in the screencaps really reveals a lot of weaknesses and flaws I didn't notice watching the runway show (in addition to the problems that were evident on the runway). That doesn't happen with Chloe's--her pieces do hold up under screen cap scrutiny. If nothing else, even for this weaker half of her collection, her pieces look much more professional and are just better done than the other two collections.

But what I love about her collection is the interesting and flattering seam lines we'll see in the second half of the collection. And that's the reason why I think she definitely deserved her win.

Anonymous said...

I really hated this collection. I like Chloe and I admire the swirling seams in the 2nd half, but really, people, it's just plain fug.

1. Way too big, in a bad '80's way. Ugly color, too shiny. Definitely a "couch coming at ya."
2. cute
3. yawn
4. shiny, shiny. What's with those ugly shrugs?
5. #4 redux, but an even uglier color.
6. Only one that looks like something a grown woman would want to wear.
7. Looks like something Santino would make. No one likes to have their boobs minimized and their stomach maximized.

Anonymous said...

I think you boys are totally right; a change of fabric would have made a world of difference. (Especially within the pieces themselves--the entire outfit AND the jacket made of the same material? No.)

Anonymous said...

I love you donnyb. I feel so disappointed when I look at Season 2 and compare it to Season 3. I think Laura's crafsmanship really up'ed the challenge during the season.

Vic said...

That woman can make me look good after a eating my fill during a week's cruise. Her construction is impecable (sp) but her fabrics?

Sofa, couch, Versailles curtains.

GothamTomato said...

Chloe definately deserved the win. Not only was she consistant all the way through the competition, but she was also, quite simply, a class act. I love it when the good guy wins. Doesn't happen too often on reality TV (or even in real reality).

And while I do agree with you guys with regard to the fabric, (It was heavy & a bit Dynasty). Chloe was also the only designer whose final collection fit the models correctly.

--Gotham Tomato

Miranda said...

I do think Chloe deserved the win, but holy cow, that last dress ... Miss Itty Bitty Titty Committee, 2005!

That bust is just awful. Way to make a girl look boobless, Chloe.

Anonymous said...

Chloe, I love you.
But it all looks like an ode to upholstery.
Maybe if the shrugs were a different color...?

Anonymous said...

i love hearing some of these people saying the stuf like chloe deserves the win, and clothes on the runway don't have to be off-the-rack wearable. some of these same people claim that Daniel shouldn't have won the inspiration challenge because his design wasn't wearable enough. which is it? does it have to be wearable or not?

Anonymous said...

Ok..definitely not my favorite collection. I loathed the colors and the heaviness of the fabrics but compared to the other two collections this was the best executed.

I did like the 13th look. It was my fact my fav out of all three collections was the 13th look.

My biggest complaint about the first dress is the model Chloe choose. That dress is so heavy looking and that model's legs so thin and knobby kneed it looked like her legs were buckling under the weight forcing her to clunk rather than walk down the runway.


finding the filth said...

it took me a long time to appreciate chloe's collection. at first, the fabric and color threw me off. i still think it's too much attackofthesofa, but her construction is outrageous. santino was right to call her a great pattern maker. her patterns are fabulous. her cuts are generous and flattering. she's the only one of the three who knows where a boob goes... and she was ahead of the fashion curve with all the volume in her clothes. credit where credit is due. this was the best collection.

Anonymous said...

macasism said...
I really hated this collection. I like Chloe and I admire the swirling seams in the 2nd half, but really, people, it's just plain fug.

Too right! I'm sorry but that first dress just screams "Clearance Rack" at David's Bridal. Anything other than a size 2 wearing heavy satin is just asking to look ten pounds heavier than what she is. The rest of it is just as wretching. Did Chloe never get to attend a prom and that's why all the heavy satin in her collection?

Sad to say but I still think Kara's collection kicked everyone's behind when it came down to it.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is that not everyone of these pieces was, "Oh my god, gorgeous!" But none of them were, "Oh my god, horrible." I also think that Chloe managed to stay within a grouping of colors, so even if they were a little upholstery-ish none looked tremendously out of place. Only Chloe, Laura and Jay have really managed to do that, in my eyes. All the other seasons have had random pieces that didn't fit in with the color-scheme. There was some of that in season three, except for Laura because she also had a set of colors that she was working with and wanted to keep using.

I'm an artist, I pay attention to how a group of things go together with eachother. Sue me!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVED the first look, fabric and all. Also the pants-and-jacket. Agreed that the others in this part one are underwhelming, but even when her fabric was a bit off, her clothes were all so far above the other two in terms of construction and fit that it was as if they were in a whole other fashion universe -- a universe where women's clothing actually looks good on women's bodies! Oh, can we move there mommy, please!?

And I sort of like the sofa fabric. Shhh. Don't tell anyone.

Unknown said...

it's interesting looking at these a year or more after the fact, considering fashion changes so much. definitely a lot of chloe's was on trend for the time, maybe even a bit ahead, with all the volume. though daniel's was pretty on trend as well. i definitely remember brocade and military being big. so these things that might seem odd now really "fit" at the time.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that the styling of all the models is essentially the same? It kind of throws me out of the loop.

No offense, but I think Season 2 has to be the weakest season in PR so far. Then again, I did like some of Mycheal's collection, so, my taste may not be up to standard.

Anonymous said...

So much of this is hugely on trend right now. So much so that it's being mass marketed. Walk into a Zara. You can find the structured ruffle minidress, the voluminous coat and all. Sometimes in satin.

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

Maybe the construction and designs are good. I am not an expert or even an intermediate in this field. But beautiful fabric used in a beautiful way does make me lust for volumes of money. I feel no lust for stiff satin or lame'.

Anonymous said...

You boys are too cute! "Nervous!" And right on the money.

Those tuxedo pants are perfection, aren't they?

The construction, the styling, the cohesion of the collection are also perfect.

And, yet -- what exactly is it that is a bit "off" to me? I feel so conflicted.

And, yet -- excluding Kara Janx -- this is the clear and deserved win.

Maybe my conflict comes from unsophisticated sense that there isn't a piece of clothing in the collection I can identify with. Nothing that I would wear.

And, yet -- there are plenty of runway collections I'd never wear yet identify with.

Oh, wait! Those tux pants. I'd happily wear those. And, another pair you'll review on Tuesday and a jacket. So?

Vic said...

The final collections in this show reflect the show itself: It's just not as good as Season 1 or Season 3.

I hope you show Kara's collection. Now that one had me sit up and take notice. And everyone else too, it seems.

Anonymous said...

donny b:
Now cut to season 3 when they ripped on Laura's collection for being too narrow and too much of just evening wear. That wasn't a problem for Chloe, why is it a problem for Laura?

That's exactly how I felt, especially since I watched season two after season three. It was completely inconsistent of the judges.

Like Jay said in the finale, I wasn't a "Dan fan" prior to this, but at first viewing I liked his collection best.

Anonymous said...

First off, Chloe absolutely deserved the win on this one. Her outfits have indeed held up to the scrutiny of the screen caps, unlike the other two collections. In my humble opinion, the reason Laura was lambasted over doing a line of evening wear and Chloe was praised for it was because Laura had done similar work (yes, beautiful and fabulous work) throughout the competition and it was a surprise from Chloe who had really excelled in the sportswear genre.

Anonymous said...

I had spoiled myself with photos of the collections and wasn't terribly impressed with Chloe's work going into the final episode. So imagine my surprise when the clothes came alive on the runway. I don't know what it was, but they just moved really well and had more of a "wow!" factor in motion. The fabrics look so heavy in still pictures, but they weren't stiff at all.

Anonymous said...

I love chloe!~
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