Ripping the Collections: Daniel, Part Two

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 by

As manipulative and cruel as the "13th look" was, Daniel should have kissed a couple producers for coming up with it.

Maybe he works better under stress, because this? Best thing in the whole collection. Cute and flirty and sporty, which from our perspective is exactly what Daniel was trying to do with this collection. There's not much to talk about because it's such a simple look, but we love the collar, which is reminiscent of the ivory coat and we love the styling. The boots and gloves make the look.


Remember when we said there was one other look we hated more than the puffy shirt? That would be this one. She looks like a little girl trying on her mother's clothes - all of them at once.

An ivory pleated skirt is a tough sell, but pairing it with that mismatched top and vest was definitely not the way to go. And that stuff coming out her armholes - what is that? She looks like an upholstered chair after our cats get a hold of it. Nope. Don't like this one at all.

On the other hand, we really like this one. Great proportions. There's yet another mismatch in color, but the pants are sexy and we like the buttons, but there's probably too many of them.

The top is great though. Love the trim and the sash and the low-contrast colors.

Another teacher heading to the faculty lounge while those little bastards kill each other on the playground.

There's nothing particularly wrong with this look; it's just that it's so dull for Bryant Park. Sure, there's a little interest with the sleeves, but for the most part, you could find this outfit at any Target.

And can we just take a moment to talk about the bags he loved so much? Those handles! They look like knitting bags. Stick a couple skeins and needles in there and you'll have something to do during those boring faculty meetings! Sorry Daniel. These just weren't as fabulous as you thought.

As St. Tim would say, "That's a LOTTA look." Had he toned down one or two elements or maybe worked in a more...sophisticated color, we probably would like it more, but there's just too much going on here. The sleeves, the collar, the embellishments, the lace, the overwhelming grapejuiciness of it ...too, too much.

And those are the wrong shoes.

Is it us, or are his busts a little weird? They're all cut low and wide so the girls all look like they have really wide shoulders.

Let's ignore the fact that this looks like it belongs in a different collection. It's still kind of a weird dress. There was no need for it to be that long. It was not only impractical, but aesthetically, it's just distracting.

Then again, this look was nothing but one distraction after another. Oy gevalt, the TASSLES! And what's going on with that trim around her armpits? It's never a good sign when someone has to ask this question, but is that on purpose or just poorly finished? We can't tell.

At first we were all "Take a couple elements away and it would be a perfectly fine dress."

Then we saw the back. What the hell is going on there? That looks like the front of a different dress. In fact, that looks so much like a bust that she has this weird, Death Becomes Her twisted-head vibe going on when she walks away.

We're really getting our bitch on and it sounds like we hated this collection, but that's not it. It could have been a very basic, if a little boring, American sportswear-inspired collection and that would have been fine. Problem is, he went for all these crazy embellishments, which, one after another, became more and more frustrating. Plus, taken as a whole, the collection is pretty disjointed. It's good that he showed a range, but he had no through-line. It wasn't helped by the fact that there were too many colors (blues, purples, ivory, light green, browns, not to mention the plaid and that black and white print or jacquard). We still think he's talented and he's got what it takes, but he needs someone standing over his shoulder and editing him.

[Photos: FirstView]

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Colin said...

Oddly, the dress you single out as your favourite was probably my least favourite look of the whole collection. I really didn't think it worked on any level. It's not very body-flattering, and the proportions seem off. And as for the gloves, well insert your own prostate examination and/or Minnie Mouse comment here.

Anonymous said...

13th look? Give Uncle Nick some credit, kids. He was a collaborator here, and I mean that in the best possible sense.

Andrew said...

I recalled liking daniel's collection more than i did.

But there's really only a few really solid looks in that collection. Compare them to say Kara Saun's or Jay's collection... this one pales in comparison.

There's some great pieces, but some of them were as you said, nice but boring.

And of course a few clunkers.

After seeing your screencaps, I hate the brown dress rebecca is in. It's just a horrible gown for all the reasons you pointed out.

I still have my impressions of the other two collections. But haven't looked at em since season 2 ended. Wonder if I'll still feel the same after I see them again and your comments.

Anonymous said...

I agree his 13th look was the best and most original in the collection. Not my personal favorite though.
I kind of like the vest the cat played with. The skirt not so much. I would be very expensive to dry clean!
The wrap top is the only one were I can see the Japanese influence. It's cute I think he should have tried a few more versions of the wrap.
The teacher.. I don't see anything different here.. And it looks like he used the basic pant pattern a few times.
I actually like the lace dress better with the jacket. Without it it looks like it came out of the JC Penny holiday collection.
How did Rebecca walk with a train in the front of the dress? It seems like that would be impossible! From the front it looks too similar to the black cocktail dress Rachel wore. Did the black one have all that mess in the back?

Anonymous said...

The sunburst pleated skirt and the white coat were my two favorite looks. The rest of it reminded me of Isaac Mizrahi for Target and something that the emocor kid who draws dragons and anime in the back would come up with.

Anonymous said...

So let's set the disagreements on the table first...

I actually thought some details worked, such as (call me crazy) the patch on the front of the final gown. I could see it kinda whizzing down Dolce and Gabbana's Fall06 collection and it being rather successful (given the execution was elevated). Then again, Daniel wanted to be the next American designer... some details felt like they would be seen moreso in Paris or Milan as opposed to New York.

But we're on the same page for the rest of your critiques.

Some of his looks, such as the "walmart" look seemed too mute a concept for showcasing at Bryant Park *under* the wings of Project Runway (in contrast with a designer like Jil Sander).

The collection was disjointed... but I value it for some of the better pieces. That milky trench coat was heaven.

I wonder when we will see a collection that matches up to Jay's...

Jules/JAA said...

Those purses...I had some like that in the 70s. I think Daniel raided his mother's closet or attic for inspiration for them. Does anyone else remember this type purse/handle from waaaaay back when?

Anonymous said...

My mom used to have a white pleated skirt. I used to put it on and twirl to watch the pleats fly up. I'm a guy btw. Shoulda known then I was gay.

Roxy said...

Didn't like the collection much (or the other two in PR2), hated the purses... Boy, was he annoyed with Tim over that! Remember when Tim said something along the lines of: "Maybe it's a blessing in disguise" when the purses disappeared at Bryant Park?

And didn't Michael Kors offer Daniel V. a job? He should take him up on it. He works much better under supervision... even though he shouldn't have won so many challenges IMO.

Anonymous said...

i actually liked daniel's collection. i know it was simple and basic, but I loved that about it. I don't need a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on acid show like Jay did. Jay's collection was gorgeous to look at, but it was just art. That is what fashion does in my opinion. It makes something very artistic and makes it wearable. Jay's walks the line of unwearable. Daniel's walks the line of unartistic.

So from your opinions and looking at the collection again, one thing I noticed is he found no middle groud. He either over-decorated the outfit or he under-decorated the outfit. And there was no need for that final evening gown, he should have at least continued with the sportswear theme. I loved the pleated skirt, and I actually liked the purple top, just not the vest.

Julie said...

Oh my God...y'all friggin crack me up. I love your blog!!

eric3000 said...

"that looks so much like a bust that she has this weird, Death Becomes Her twisted-head vibe going on when she walks away."

OMG, you're right! The back of that dress looks like the front of a belly-dancing outfit. I can see Barbara Eden wearing that!

Anonymous said...

Two things.

First will somoene who knows photoshop pleeeeaaase shop a picture of the back of the final dress with the model's head and arms flipped to make it look like the front?

Second I said it in the first part but it rings even more true. It's like he made his very basic collection and just tried to at the last minute Japanese/military -ify it. Which explains all the tick tack, rick rack, and fug.

Anonymous said...

I know you guys didn't like the busts and straps that make the girls shoulders look wide, but I kinda dug it. I think that would actually help a few of us pear shaped girls.

Anonymous said...

"We still think he's talented and he's got what it takes, but he needs someone standing over his shoulder and editing him."

This is part of the reason he should have won, in my opinion. Part of the prize is an internship, yeah? I don't know the exact details of that, but it really seems like he would benefit from an internship somewhere, whereas Chloe is already established. But I suppose Jeffrey is too.

As for the Michael Kors job thing, it didn't work out, and everyone says it's someone else's fault.

Queer Jesus said...

Daniel is way overrated.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

My mom used to have a white pleated skirt. I used to put it on and twirl to watch the pleats fly up. I'm a guy btw. Shoulda known then I was gay.


Dude. I adore you.
I hope your journey to discovery was w/out pain; obviously you're full of self knowledge and incredible wit.
You just made my day.

Anonymous said...

A tepid mess.

A factor related to all of the fit and execution problems -- very few of these clothes moved well. Even disregarding Rebecca's near-faceplant (which you guys did, interestingly), we are still left with an awful lot that flaps, lurches, bunches, and hangs -- little of it flows.

If we mentally scrape off the annoying things (armpit decor, Decepticon badges), we can consider the textural contrasts that Daniel built into the collection -- I count leather, a few kinds of wool, cashmere, fur, charmeuse, taffeta, organza, chenille, stretch silk, velvet ... Using too many colors minimized this (admittedly wonderful) aspect of his line.

Better luck next time.


finding the filth said...

ive always hated daniel's collection. i never understood why so many people gushed over him. sure there are a few nice pieces, like that wrap sweater. and that 13th look (thank god for uncle nick!) was fabulous. but the rest of it was a huge disappointment. tim was right to hold his tongue. there really isn't much nice to say.

overall, it was underwhelming at best. i think it highlighted just how much of an amateur he really was. much like last season's michael knight, this runway collection fell totally flat. and i honestly believe that it did not merit a second place finish. those hideous (and i mean HIDEOUS!!!) handbags, alone, should have disqualified him entirely. how could anyone - especially a fashion designer - look at those things and think they looked nice? nevermind the fact that they didn't even go with the clothes the girls were wearing. there wasn't anything even the slightest bit cute about them. and the tassles... just ugh! what was he thinking?? and the final look - again, huge mistake! he made a pretty girl with a perfect figure look a mess with wonky boobs. and didn't she trip on the skirt?? a mess from head to toe, seriously.

i expected so much more from daniel. this collection made him look like he had no idea what he was doing.

Anonymous said...

The back of the last dress looks like this piece from Santino's "Heidi's Homeland" lingerie collection:

- Montserrat.

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who didn't like this collection. too matchy-matchy and weirdly disjointed all at the same time. the 13th look was cute - go Uncle Nick! Daniel was way overrated. maybe with time. He's super young

Anonymous said...

The details are usually what make or break it--and here, his details pretty much suck--the patches, the epaulets, the purses, the weird armhole stuff, etc. There are a few good, though not particularly original pieces--the jacquard jacket, the white coat, and the 13th look are his best. But there's a lot of boring here. There's a lot of derivative here. And there's a lot of execution problems.

Rebecca's dress may be the worst final look in PR history. Yikes, what a last impression to leave us with.

Anonymous said...

those busts scare me. i have semi-broad shoulders and if these models look massive across the shoulders and bust, i can only imagine what it would do to most women...

Anonymous said...

Brian, I agree that Daniel could have benefited from an internship. But the win does not go to the person who could benefit from it the most. It goes to the person with the best collection.

In other words, it's about merit, not need.

(And I would just like to say that the teachers I know have much better taste than to be seen it that outfit!)

Anonymous said...

the 13th look is to help daniel.

the producer loves him and he is the golden child.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 5:10 ... as you wish, master!
photoshopped brown dress here.

Anonymous said...

You know, some of us dress pretty well in the faculty lounge. I'm just sayin'.

Fnarf said...

"My mom used to have a white pleated skirt. I used to put it on and twirl to watch the pleats fly up. I'm a guy btw. Shoulda known then I was gay."

OK, I did the same damn thing, and I'm NOT. Apparently I should be. Why did God make me like the girls? I'm so ashamed.

I was a big fan of Daniel's collection, but you have almost, almost convinced me. Not quite, but I'm a rank amateur.

Brandenburg3rd said...

I actually like the ivory skirt--but only if you take away the rest of the, uh, stuff Daniel put with it.

Jules--yep, I remember those purses. My mother had several, so she could keep her various knitting and needlework separated. Ugly then, ugly now. (She donated the lot of them to charity within a year.)

Don't even get me started on that brown monstrosity. You could walk in a Morticia Addams dress with greater ease.

Anonymous said...

OMG, Anon @ 12:10 AM... that is awesome.

That last piece really is a hideous, hideous dress.

After looking at Daniel's collection I went and looked at Jay's collection to un-disgust myself.

Anonymous said...

So glad to see some agreement here...I could never figure out why people were freaking out about Daniel not winning when the show ended. Did they look at his collection at all? It doesn't matter who your favorite is at that point; if their collection bombs it bombs. Oh god, those handbags...

Yeah, the biggest problem for me is that I'm confused when I look at all of the outfits together--I can't seem to find cohesiveness in the line, and several individual outfits perplex me. There shouldn't be questions!

(He got lucky on that first look, having Nick around to make it.)

Anonymous said...

Oh Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. All this recapping is making me rethink you mightily. Was I seduced by your looks into thinking that your "looks" looked better? Oh, I am ashamed.

This season recap has really convinced me that there really wasn't all that much to Daniel after all. This collection, while not hideous, is boring, disjointed, and, in several cases, not well made. That last dress! Deer Loward! Did he not know Rebecca's measurements by then? The fit on that is horrible. Poor Daniel. Poor little cute overrated Daniel. You were always more fun to look at than your creations.

Gorgeous Things said...

The bags reminded me of those Papagallo bags that were all the rage at my prep school when I was a kid. they were fug back then, and they are still fug.

Anonymous said...

Is it us, or are his busts a little weird? They're all cut low and wide so the girls all look like they have really wide shoulders.

When you make dresses for men this is the side effect!

Jessi said...

This collection was basically just Daniel saying "HEY LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!" with the handbags and such. Rather than focusing on making the runway show cohesive.

This season, the contestants were so pressed into being versatile, that two of the final collections were just a showcase of what the designer can do, rather than putting on a good show.

Which is probably why season 1's final collections were the best out of the three seasons.

Anonymous said...

I guess I have no taste because I liked the pleated skirt outfit, and hated the wraparound sweater with the satin trim. I even liked the purses, but then, I'm a knitter so that might explain it.

Poor Rebecca, tho. That dress was ass, from the color to the everything else. Yuck.

Anonymous said...

Those purses...I had some like that in the 70s. I think Daniel raided his mother's closet or attic for inspiration for them. Does anyone else remember this type purse/handle from waaaaay back when?

4:05 PM

Oh, yes, I remember those purses- very preppy, and they were teamed with the David's Villager dresses-dropped waist, twee little pleats/tucks down the bodice numbers. I think that I was one of the few girls in my high school that didn't have one of those dresses, and matching/coordinating wooden-handled purses. Also teamed with the madras kerchief and preppy summerwear.

Bill said...

"Another teacher heading to the faculty lounge while those little bastards kill each other on the playground." - hahahahhaa

And the "Death Becomes Her" comment was so out of left field and so utterly perfect.

I want to go inside your heads and walk around. There's so much going on in there...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anon @ 5:10 ... as you wish, master!
photoshopped brown dress here.

Good glory! How did I miss that? Perfect!

GothamTomato said...

I loved the cream colored wrap top, as well as the print jacket & the Jackie Kennedy coat in the first half. They were real stand outs. The rest, not so much. But I think Daniel, maybe, like Michael in Season 3, suffered from too many expectations on someone too young.

But 'oy gevalt', with regards to those bags is right! I don't know what it is about hand bags, but there are way too many people designing them nowadays; and none too well. They're always too, too fussy. It all actually reminds me of that episode of 'Sex in the City', where the loon starts designing handbags as therapy after a breakup.

-Gotham Tomato

Oksana said...

You sillies, the wood-handled bags are much too small to hold knitting needles and yarn! And is there anything wrong with knitting? I admit, I'm a smidge biast about the craft, but seriously. There are amazing knitters out there who create gorgeous items. Besides, do you really want to piss of a bunch of men and women wielding pointy sticks? No? Wise choice.

Keep on writing! You're awesome/fabulous.

Vic said...

If you are going to design simple and elegant clothes, your cut and fit had better be perfect. Perfect.

Daniel's wasn't. Tim was right. Isn't he always?