Project Runway Canada: The Judges

Friday, November 09, 2007 by

ELLE Canada's editor-in-chief Rita Silvan and designer Shawn Hewson share their fashion inspirations.

Rita Silvan's Fashion Inspirations

What's your biggest fashion "don't"?
"Head-to-toe status labels and fur."

What's the most extravagant fashion purchase made?

"My first MaxMara coat, because for spending."

What's your biggest fashion weakness?

What's your favourite piece of clothing?
"My white GapBody tees."

What's your most valued fashion possession?
"My Herm├Ęs scarves and Marlowe cashmere sweaters."

Favourite fashion era?
"The '20s, '30s and '40s."

Favourite fashion capital?

Shawn Hewson's Fashion Inspirations

Who are your favourite fashion designers?
"Etro and Alexander McQueen."

What's your biggest fashion "don't"?
"Fashion victims."

What's your favourite outfit?
"Fall blazers from Bustle and my pink-and-blue-pinstriped Paul Smith suit."

What's your most valued fashion possession?
"My Dolce & Gabbana party suit -- it's a good go-to suit."

What is your greatest fashion influence?
"I find vintage clothing very inspiring."

Favourite fashion era?
"The '40s -- that old-Hollywood glamour."

Favourite fashion capital?
"Milan for its runways but Amsterdam for its street style -- people are just so confident there."


You can watch Parts 2-6 here.

(Photo: John Van Der Schilden/Slice)
(Video: MsRoyalT/YouTube)


GothamTomato said...

Is Shawn always that red? He looks like Alan Dershowitz, with a bad sunburn

--Gotham Tomato

Anonymous said...

Wow, the client was a total bitch. OUCH! Thank you for posting this, darlings!

Anonymous said...

I agree, Meesha was really rude and tactless in her comments/criticisms. What a diva!

Anonymous said...

Meghan fucking wins???? WTF???? Lucien designed a much more beautiful gown. The bitch had no taste. And what's with the attitude? She was sooooo rude.

Thanks for the update, poodles!

Anonymous said...

Love love love Rita Sylvan! She's beautiful and always well-spoken. I'm really kinda hooked on PR Canada now.

Gorgeous Things said...

You know, Meesha may be a Prima Donna Assoluta in her own mind, but she is in for a very rude awakening if she brings that level of egocentricity to any of the major houses. She reminds me of Kathleen Battle, and that's not a compliment. Everyone in the company will get one taste of that attitude and be gunning for her. Big time.

As far as Meghan's gown winning, for me (and I sing), I understand why Meesha chose that. You really do want a detail that brings the audience's eye to your face. Lucien's dress was a close second, but the lack of detailing at the bodice probably lost the challenge for him. I bet if he had just put a little beading at the top of the bodice, she would have gone for it.

SUS said...

Thanks for posting the link guys. site video has been 'buffering' for days! I was getting very frustrated!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! I've been waiting and waiting to see it...

One thing though...your post says Episode 4: Dressing the Diva...should be Episode 5. ;)

Anonymous said...

Awwww, you guys are just the best! Thank you for posting that. (and I'll know in the future to go trawling through YouTube myself)

Anyhoo, I dunno, maybe it's the New Yawker in me, but I don't think Measha was that bad. I had read comments "elsewhere" about her critiques, and I thought she was quite straightforward and reasonable, especially for having given such specific instructions beforehand.

There is so much I enjoy about this cast, but there is also a certain amount of youthful insouciance and disconnect that I find fascinating. Suddenly I understand why PR-US has gone to older and/or more experienced designers.

And to second what Gotham Tomato observed about Shawn, does anyone else find him to remind them of those campy Tanqueray ads?

TLo said...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! I've been waiting and waiting to see it...

One thing though...your post says Episode 4: Dressing the Diva...should be Episode 5. ;)

11:25 PM

Fixed. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Bitch? You people don't know bitch if you think Measha is one. She has definite requirements for a concert gown, made them clear to the designers and, frankly, most of them didn't listen. They were told to be dramatic, they were told that that drama needed to be seen from the gods, they were told the gown needed to hit the floor. Yes, some of the gowns that were criticized were very nice, but they weren't right, for the client or for the event.

I was really shocked at Marie-Genevieve particularly. The front of her dress was a foot off the floor! And then she had the nerve to say, "they don't understand me". Talk about attitude - a shame, really, because she does have talent.

You know why Meghan won? Because she paid attention. She designed not only for the client's needs and expressed requirements, she looked at her as an individual, not a dress form. Remember what she said about her choice for the collar? "I noticed you wear a lot of gold." I'd say it was probably a toss-up between Meghan and Lucien, and that one little phrase put her on top (and deservedly so).

Unknown said...

I found the client to be extremely rude and inconsistent. I thought if something was your "signature" it was the thing about you or your performance that defines you and is shown to the public (ex: Steffi Graf's forehand is her signature) So if the client is so proud of performing opera like a barefoot hillbilly, why is she hiding her feet? Sorry, that's a bit harsh, but that comment she made to Carly at the end was just rude and really irked me. As for the winner, I much preferred Lucian's gown to Meghan's.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. I'm loving this show. I agree that after some of the blog comments I'd seen, Measha actually seemed more reasonable than I expected. She may not have been tactful, but her comments were on point. (Until the end, when she told Carlie to get off the stage--of course, Carlie kind of deserved it).

MG was definitely the right choice to lose this one--not only did she design a really inappropriate dress for this challenge, she behaved like a petulant child.

And good for Megan. For all the ragging people do about her, she and Lucian were the only ones this week who did a good job of understanding the client's needs. I loved Carlie's dress, but she made a terrible choice for the color.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how people can defend Measha's attitude. There's a difference between being to-the-point and assertive, and being obnoxious.

When she was talking to Marie-Genevieve, it felt more like a parent disciplining a disobedient child, or an owner rubbing their dog's nose in their excrement.

Anonymous said...

I know a lot of people like the canadian version precisely because of the bluntness of its judges, but I'm actually very repelled by it, the mean comments in combination with the fact that I like very few of the designers makes for a very uncomfortable viewing. Iman is a gorgeous, gorgeous woman, but I miss Heidi's effervescent personality. Yes, hell has frozen over. Again.

Also, I like Tim's mentoring style much more than the hand-holding that seems to happen much more with Brian. I think Tim actually mentioned in his podcast that he had to refrain from imposing his own creativity on the designers, since he's only there to offer a critical eye, not to lead the designers down a path that doesn't necessarily express their personal style.

GT: perhaps shawn's redness is meant as a compliment to the Duchess' orange glory.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what it says for Rita Silvan's taste that she wore that UGLY dress for the judging! I think Iman was much meaner and tougher than Measha, who has to actually WEAR the dress that is chosen. MG definitely deserved to go this time. I wasn't overwhelmed with Megan's dress. Maybe I didn't get a good enough look, but except for the gold splash at the neckline I thought it was pretty dull. Lucien's dress, on the other hand, was what I would expect a diva to be wearing. Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I Googled images for Measha. Meghan's dress came closest to what the diva wears. Actually, Meghan's dress was more interesting than those I saw her wearing.

-- desertwind

PS - I dunno why I didn't think to check YouTube myself. I was goin' nutso! Thanks, T-Lo. You're the best.

Anonymous said...

I thought Megan's dress was great, it moved well, had clean, sophisticated lines, and was quite different from anyone else's look. And she didn't fall apart despite the model no-show. She seems to be getting the Wendy Pepper edit, but unlike Wendy, Megan is a good designer. She just can't sew very well.

MG always left the impression she felt too hip for the room. She deserved to go. And Lucian is so full of himself. I'm hoping he gets kicked to the curb or at least lands in the bottom two enough times to learn a little humility.

-- rain brain

GothamTomato said...

I have to say, I'm disappointed that no one dressed Opera Girl like a Viking. I was getting a definite breast plate/horn helmet vibe there.

This is the first time I've watched clips of Runway Canada & listening to Iman, I'm wondering- have any of the designers pee'd themselves during the Runway evaluations yet? Because, I think I would.
But, I love that she has a model carry the button bag for her.

--Gotham Tomato

Anonymous said...

How can you guys defend Measha LaBitchA? There's a fine line between being harsh and plain rude. She was VERY rude, especially towards Kendra and Carlie. And what the fuck is her problem not wearing shoes on stage? Weird bitch!!!

Anonymous said...

" GothamTomato said...
But, I love that she has a model carry the button bag for her."

Ha! I noticed that too, although I have to say that Iman needs to bring it down a notch. This episode was like a bitch fest. I love Rita Silvan. She's fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Rita Silvan is fabulous. I was amused that Iman was so protective of the rights and privileges of Divas on Measha's behalf.

The judges may be harsh but they're picking the right people to be out, I feel. They're consistently picking the weakest outfit ... which is refreshing after seasons of watching Santino, Vincent, etc., skate by.


Anonymous said...

Marie-Genevieve acted like a child. Good riddance! I liked Meghan's dress, she definitely deserved to win.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed how annoyed the old man in the fabric store acts? When they leave and he tells them goodbye and good luck, his expression "don't come back bitches!"

Anonymous said...

I don't, by any means, think Meghan is one for the long haul, but I can see why the judges picked her dress as the winner, especially over Lucian's. Her dress had a visual balance that his, which was so exquisite/busy on the bottom, didn't have. Now I am sure that up close Meghan's dress was a construction nightmare (no matter what it was that I believe Iman said: I didn't see her getting up off her bum to go inspect the garment). I think Meghan also benefited from having a last-minute, larger model who probably filled out every last pucker in the seams!

As for Measha behaving like a diva and Iman defending that, hey, I think that's the reality of the business -- and I don't think Measha articulated anything that a concert reviewer wouldn't say in indelible ink. The seemingly more talented designers will have to learn to play the game of "The Client Is Always Right" if they want to make a living, or else they will be relegated to selling to the very small niches of their like-minded friends.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Pat, on the crotchety old man from the fabric store! In fact, watching him wave "bye bye" reminded me of Billy Crystal and Carol Kane in "The Princess Bride"....

"You think they'll make it back?" "Not a chance...Bye, bye, have fun storming the castle, boys!"

Katherine said...

Pretty sure they dyed his face to match her shirt.

Anonymous said...

Another example of celebrity challenges with retarded results. See Nancy O'Dell, Nicky Hilton, Sasha Cohen, etc. This is no exception. Megan's LA Lakers Gown beat out the more deserving Lucian, but I think that Carlie should have taken the win. The color of the dress was fine. Maesha was the one who said she was fine with backless and then all of a sudden she's like, "ew, backless?!" Dumb bitch.


Crow Winters said...

"The Customer is Always Right" card goes out the window when the customer tells you one thing and then back pedals when you deliver exactly what was asked for.

Anonymous said...

Carlie was robbed!! Her dress was gorgeous and what's with the bullshit about blue not being the right color for a dark-skinned woman? Didn't Daniel V design a dress for that bitch in blue? Hello???

Unknown said...

Agnes--"Have fun storming the castle" was exactly what I thought of that little fabric store gnome.

And yeah, Daniel V's Iman dress WAS blue. Hmpf. Carlie's dress was gawgeous.

Dear MG was too cool for school. They don't "get" her. Which is true, but really it isn't that hard to follow directions. If a client asks for fabrics I don't want to touch, I offer something else or just send them elsewhere. Her Gallic shrugs are annoying.

And I fear that Meaghan is going to pepper her way to the end...

Anonymous said...

Gah. I don't get all the hate directed toward Meghan, both on and off the show. She's shown herself to be a decent designer who just had poor technical skills. I don't get the Wendy Pepper comparisons, because if anything, she's more like Angela (only actually having some sense of style). She could execute some of her designs better, and they're not really my cup of tea, but she's not entirely untalented.

Anyway, the whole cliquish thing that people on that show have really annoys me, because there's a certain group that comes across like teenagers who have been forced to show the ugly new kid around school. Some of those people, like Lucien, MG, Carlie, and Kendra, are obviously very talented, but they act like children.

Lucien got major points with me in this episode, though, because he seemed somewhat sympathetic and almost helpful when Meghan was having model drama.

And, seriously people. If you are a highly talented person at the top of your field, and you go so far as to allow a bunch of absolute nobodies to design an outfit for you to wear for a major showcase of your talent and yourself, and most of them design for themselves and forget that their job is to make you look incredible... you might get a bit annoyed yourself.

Wow, this is a long post.

Anonymous said...

Meesha was wearing blue when she sang for them. And her singing made me tear up. I was wishing the voiceover would shut up so I could listen to her. She deserves to be a diva.

Anonymous said...

agnes gooch said...
Good point, Pat, on the crotchety old man from the fabric store! In fact, watching him wave "bye bye" reminded me of Billy Crystal and Carol Kane in "The Princess Bride"....

"You think they'll make it back?" "Not a chance...Bye, bye, have fun storming the castle, boys!"

LOL! You guys are hilarious.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't that blue/navy dresses can't work on a black woman. The problem is that this was a dress designed for a stage performance, with people sitting a great distance from the stage. As Measha pointed out in the briefing, she needed something that would stand out from a distance. A solid dark blue dress on a dark-skinned person doesn't provide enough contrast at a distance--as Iman pointed out, that color on a black woman on stage would completely wash her out.

Anonymous said...

I watched it again and I'm not seeing the rude. She was being honest. If anyone was too harsh, it was Iman, but they should be used to that by now. It was rude of MG to totally ignore everything the client said. The whole point of this kind of challenge is to see how well you deal with the client's needs, given your own style. It's a better test if the client is testy, which really, Meesha was not.

Who would you rather dress: Meesha or Angela's mom?

Anonymous said...

I wonder who's Shernett's guest partner for the next challenge? Iman looked like the cat who ate the canary! And the designers looked thrilled.

David Bowie?

Michael Kors?

-- desertwind

Lilithcat said...

Maesha was the one who said she was fine with backless and then all of a sudden she's like, "ew, backless?!"

There's a difference between backless and racer straps. Someone like Carlie, of the same build, should know how unflattering that style is to larger women.

Anonymous said...

I told my husband that this is like the Dollar Store version of Project Runway. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I do like how young and raw the contestants are.

meh said...

I thought Lucien's dress was way too costumey. I would have picked Meghan's dress in a heartbeat. Stephen's dress was lovely, but you don't design folds like that for a larger woman. Actually, That was the problem of most of the designers.

Fricken, listen to your client, designers!

I was actually angry on Meesha's behalf. she gave them specific instructions and they were too egotistical or dumb to follow them. If they were really creative, they'd be able to work within The constraints she gave them.

Also, to carlieteam, Daniel V only got the win because the other designs were crap. Inman herself said, "This is a boring dress, but I am not a boring woman," if you recall. The color is definitely understated (or "boring" if you want to use Imam's phrasing) on a woman with that skin tone.

Anonymous said...

I thought Measha was blunt but I do think she had a point. She had some very specific needs in a gown that were ignored on some level by several of the designers. And I'm sure the producers just told her not to hold back.

MG - She deserved to go for her attitude alone. Honestly, how could she miss the most important feature? She might have skated by if the dress was, in fact, floor length, but this was an all around miss. "They just don't *get* me." Yawn. Whatever.

Carlie - Newsflash: "Show a little back" is not the same as completely bare and backless. There's no way that that dress would be flattering on Measha. The dress was gorgeous and looked pretty luxe, but how tacky was it that Carlie was trying to sell Iman the dress that she designed for Measha in front Measha?

Lucian - Loved the dress. A little more detail/flash up top and I think he would have won.

Steven - Loved his dress too. Neither his nor Lucian's looked like $150.

Megan's dress - Not my favorite but I can see why she chose it. I guess. The cowl neck thing looked a lot better than I expected.

Shernett - I liked her concept, but I just think she missed on execution. Even on the model, something about it didn't look quite right.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I fault the diva with is expecting Carlie to get her better because they're both curvy gals. Which contestant was it on PR who was supposed to understand a woman's body because she was a woman? That's a bullshit standard to apply to one contestant over another.
Also, what's with the 50 variations on Megan's name here?

Alexis (aka the grumpy spelling police)

Anonymous said...

Meesha behaved like a diva, because well, she IS a diva...i mean, that's where the expression came from...opera singers..they have to be particular about their instrument..

as for no shoes, some opera singers say they 'sing from their feet' it probably is affecting her sound.

and MG's stupid little comment on the blog at slice made me say good riddance although she has been my fave thus far

Kerry said...

Oh my goodness that Iman is one scary bitch! I wanted to cower under my computer desk when she was yelling at MG! Although MG totally deserved it. What the hell was wrong with that girl? Why go to all that effort to get on the show just to screw yourself in defiance??

Personally I liked Stephen's dress the best. I wish, even though he wasn't the winner, he had been kept out in the top tier so we could hear him talk about the dress and hear the judges critiques of it.

And although Carlie has been my favorite so far, I didn't like her little pitch to Iman as she was leaving the runway. That was kind of tactless.

Anonymous said...

This show is divalicious. With Iman bringing it weekly and Meesha's extra helping, scary! It's a wonder the desinger's don't cower in fear. I thought that Kendra looked like she was going to cry.

I like Carlie best. The dress, while not the right color, was gorgeous. She consistantly delivers, but never seems to win. Kind of reminds me of Laura's experience. Solid every single time.

I'll miss MG becuase I think she's got some sass in her designs, but she deserved to go with that pukey attitude. She acts like a diva too, but with no reason. You're supposed to get the huge ego AFTER you make something of yourself, not before.

Thanks for the link. The show is definitely one of my favs.

Only 4 more days ....

Anonymous said...

Is anyone as curious as me as to why Brian Bailey has not made any comment at all as to MG's dress length and how its shortness would be problematic?

I mean, he made suggestions with respect to detail and explicitly told other designers what not to do (i.e., Kendra), and he let slip an important fact that MG's dress was too short and completely ignored the client's demand?

Anonymous said...

The bitchy part of Measha that made her a giant honking bitch was what she said to Carlie when she was leaving. She was like, "Next challenge. See ya later."

MG totally deserved the harshness she got, even though she is my favorite designer. She arrogantly ignored the client's wishes. Meghan got the closest to what she wanted, though I also thought Lucian's was great.