Sunday, January 22, 2006

Advice for Project Runway Season Three Contestants:

1. Use bright colors in your designs. These look great on the screen. Don't use anything that can be described as natural, beige, oatmeal, or cream. These just appear bland and washed out. Also, don't use maroon, burgundy, plum or navy. These colors are regarded as "Mother-of-the-bride" or "Dowdy" by the judges. Also, generally avoid pale pastels. Bright pastels are great - just no pale yellow, apricot, or powder pink. Black and white are acceptable, but not as preferred as bright, clear colors.

2. Don't be afraid of prints. These can be used very effectively and can really make your design stand out. This is of course, provided that your "taste level is there."

3. Do not offend your model. Do not insult her, do not say any part of her body is anything but ideal. You and your model - in any particular challenge - are a TEAM. Do not criticize anyone else's model either. She could be yours for the next challenge. You want your model to love you and your garment. Ask her for advice. She is your advocate on the runway. Keep her happy.

4. Personality counts more than talent. Let your personality shine. You can be overly emotional, you can be angry, you can be funny, witty, dramatic, bitchy or outrageous. You can even change your traits from episode to episode. Just don't be boring. Boring is the kiss of death on a reality show.

5. Your personal style counts. We notice what you wear on the runway, what you wear when you are out shopping, even what you wear when you are sewing. Please make it count. We can't have a winner without any personal style. And again, we don't want boring and we don't want dated. We want something fun. Pay special attention to your face and hair. These count the most. We're checking your hairstyle, your hat, your earrings, your jewelry and your eyeglasses. Take advantage of the make-up artists. It really makes a difference. Your face is shown the most on television, more than your body, so please pay attention.

6. Above all, remember that you are designing for a hip 18-year-old girl who is built like a fashion model. Do not suggest that your design is for anyone more mature. Kiss of death.

Okay readers, please add your advice as well!

11 comments:

Deb R said...

7. It would be good if you know how to use a sewing machine and understand the basics of garment construction before you come on the show. It's all very well to design on paper, but if you get in front of millions of people and must confess that you don't know how to change the thread on your machine or how to make a bodice fit properly, that's not too impressive.

8. Not all sins can be hidden with trim.

leopardrose said...

LK, great list! I'll add #9 (after debr's comments): Learn to play well with others!! Truly, teamwork is very important in business -- and ultimately, fashion design is business.

tbone said...

10. If the Good Professor comes into the work room, puts his hand on his chin and says "I'm just not seeing it", by all means scrap the design and start over.

gothamaniac said...

awesome advice....spot on all the way!!!

ps - just discovered your blog, and have become obsessed. u rule!

ps...i got some dirt on zulema from a friend who went to school with her.

she aint 28 :)

Sam said...

My advice: If you're a man, be gay and outrageous. Women love over-the-top gay male fashion designers...like Jay. Or Mizrahi, etc.
If you're a woman, be kind of plain in a pretty way. Don't wear too much make-up. Women don't like female fashion designers who are more glam than they are. Think Wendy before the makeover. Think Vera Wang or Donna Karan.

The Scarlett said...

My advice: have some signature sound bites. Think of Andrae and you think of "Where the HELL is my chiffon?" Think of Nick and you hear him talking about the "Whickety-whack." We like to hear this because it gives us something to say to each other the next day. Learn from Michael Kors who gives some of the best sound bites of all!

Moi ;) said...

Excellent list!

I really hate beige....Gak...But Daniel V. used maroon/burgundy in his skater's costume...so I think it really depends on the fabric...

I would suggest the producers make sure the designers they pick know how to use a sewing machine...to pick someone who doesn't is really an insult to designers who do, and an insult to us, to think we want to watch someone that inept...

Oh - and gang - bring a change of clothes (or two or three...)...watching you in your hunting shorts week after week gets kind of icky.

fashionasart said...

You all get an "A". And your thoughtfull ideas will be published in the Spring issue of Elle. (I wish!)

Qualification, regarding designers' personal appearance (clothing, hairstyle, makeup, accessories):
1) I AGREE AS FAR AS THE RUNWAY.They might freshen up a little. I have the impression that they're ***rushed*** from the workroom to the runway though, probably timed to when the judges are in place. Can't keep these CEOs waiting!!!
2) I DON'T AGREE AS FAR AS THE WORKROOM. They are often there for 8 to 10 hours at a stretch, and probably often working up a sweat under less than ideal ciircumstances. Remember this is NYC in the summer!!! (And we don't know how effective the airconditioning in the basement at Parsons is.) ABOVE ALL THEY NEED TO BE COMFORTABLE, not restricted by jewelry, heavy makeup that will run or cake., tight trendy clothing that will inhibit their breathing or get stained or caught in the sewing machines.
3) I DON'T THINK THAT AT THE TIME, AS THE EXPERIENCE IS ACTUALLY BEING LIVED/UNFOLDING, ANY OF THEM HAVE ANY CONCEPT THAT WHAT IS HAPPENING WILL BE SHOWN ON NATIONAL TELEVISION SIX MONTHS LATER. They are single-mindedly (whether rightly or wrongly) focused on the intense competition. Actually I think that it's rather charming to see them dressed au natural, even on the runway. And some of them do alter their image dramatically.

Final thoughts: do you think that there are seamstresses anywhere in the world now or ever dressed like fashionistas? PULEEEASE!! It's damn hard work. And is the implication here that, if required, none of these designers could or would come up with a tastefully elegant, or at least dramatically artistic, ensemble. (Again we come back to the critical question [and one that seems to plague Jay in particular]: whether they are being prepped as businessmen/women or artists.)
At any rate, I DISAGREE PASSIONATELY. Every deesigner here could turn themselves into their own models, if necessary, or at least examples of their own personal taste and take on fashion. With eyecatching results!!

With this strong exception, I agree with nearly all the points in Laura's Manifesto, and subsequent postings. ESPECIALLY all comments and observations regarding the models. Just as a playwright or director has to totally trust the instincts of the actors once they are out on stage, the designer (granted, a kind of puppetmaster operating behind the scenes) has to totally rely on the savvy and art of his models to instill his designs with breath and vitality and dazzle as they are walking down the runway, At such almost mystical moments they transform into dream figures, fantasies, ideal women stolen from the imagination or subconscious. In order to assure that this does in fact happen, the relationship/collaboration between designer and model requires the cultivation of deep bonds of trust, unique communication skills, intuitive nonverbal understanding, loving mutual support (emotional/physical/technical) and a specialized language that speeds the exchange of information between them. Fantasies, in short, are much more difficult and inntricate to produce than plainjane reality, if anyone ever doubted it.

And I feel that it's exactly the element that was missing from most of the Sasha Cohen designs. Nick went for prettiness. Emmett definitely tried for it (his design on paper must have been exquisite.) Chloe, Kara especially and Andrae made stabs at it. It's the single most diifficult thing to achieve without sacrificing elegance in fashion/costume design: to enter magical realms and yet make the design both believable and workable (essentiall in iceskating).

JMO :D
Don

Laura K said...

You all are great- my blog would be totally boring if everyone typed "I agree with Laura K." Thanks for all of your input! Austin Scarlett is an example of someone who always looked impeccable. It can be done, if they care.... It was just really fun to watch Austin and to see what he would be wearing in any episode or setting. Now I'm not saying that the designers should be "impeccable." In Austin's case, that is his style.

Zulema does this well, with the earrings and sunglasses and hats and EYESHADOW. Santino also has a great personal style. Even though it might not be to everyone's taste, at least he makes an effort with hats and cuffs and his goofy t-shirts. I've already mentioned Diana's jewelty and sweaters. This makes the show more interesting for me. Thanks for listening!

Uyut Beni said...

practice sewing seams and hems and making things even. the judges are always harping on the puckering of the fabric or how there are threads hanging off or the such like. the more you practice, the more likely you'll do it right the first time. the best thing would be to practice seams with spare fabric pieces and different types of fabrics so you know how they move and how they fit together.

also, come up with as many ideas for as many different types or garments as possible in short amounts of time so that you have practice with coming up with unique, individual, creative designs when you're in a rush.

Laura K said...

Oh I thought of something new! The judges are seated lower than the runway and therefore they are in a great position to view the hemlines of your garments - so PAY attention to your hems!

And leave time to steam your garments before sending them out to the runway.