Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The BPR Top 5: 1st Place!

1st Place, Andrae Gonzalo, Inspiration Challenge
Dirty gutter water!? Of all the beautiful, interesting images one could find in the heart of Manhattan to inspire a new design, Andrae Gonzalo chose to look down. What most people would shun, Andrae chose to celebrate.

The Los Angeles native entered the second season of PR at a turning point in his life. He had just closed his boutique back home and his casting on the show offered him an opportunity for redemption. This was all laid bare for the world to see earlier in the season with his emotional runway meltdown. We didn't quite know what to make of him back then, but he began to win us over with his expressive facial reactions, ever-changing accents and ebullient nature. He ultimately won us over with his talent.

In Inspiration, the seven remaining designers were given 1 hour to take photos of images in the city and to choose one to use as the inspiration for their design. Andrae's choice seemed shocking. He went on to say: "I always like to take something that's humble or low or ugly and apply the big charm gun to it and make it pretty." Did he ever.

His bias cut dress with a braided sash had beads placed in a way that mimicked the stones and pebbles from the gutter. When his model Danyelle walked this gown down the runway it shimmered, and we all gasped. He had done it! He really took something ugly and made it beautiful. And don't we all need a little of that in our lives from time to time?

In the end, it was no contest. More than 60% of you put this dress on your Top 5 lists. This design didn't win the challenge, but it was certainly #1 in our eyes. Congratulations Andrae - you designed the BPR Top Look for Season 2!
Thanks again to Rich at FourFour for his screen caps.


Blogger Laura K said...

I had almost forgotten how beautiful the hem of this dress was. It's great that the "BPR Top 5" were from five different designers. What a talented group! Also interesting is that our top two designs did not win the challenges. This is a gorgeous dress - I miss Andrae. Thanks for the great write-up, TBone, and thanks to Madpawn for sharing this idea with BPR.

5:07 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Jaxx said...

Andrae! finally you get your justice!!! Yeah! for Andrae..I can finally have peace in my heart knowing the right dress gets the crown.

5:14 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous dress Andrae!! Just further proof that you should be in the final 3 instead of SR....

5:26 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger The Scarlett said...

Excellent writing, Tbone!

Laura, I, too, had forgotten how beautiful this dress was from the back. And now I recall Danyelle walking this garment like she was a regal queen.

Andrae, this dress is a winner ... just like you won our hearts.

5:39 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger AJ said...

I can't stop saying how much I love Andrae!

From his demeanor, to his sense of humor and especially his designs...he's just fabulous.

I remember, literally, gasping when Danyelle came out in this dress. It was just so stunning and really perfect for the challenge. Congrats Andrae! You should have made the top three...

and tbone, I outdid yourself with the summaries on the designs. Good job!

5:59 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous pepper said...

I kinda feel like an idiot for asking, but would someone please explain the appeal of this dress? I think I'm the only person that doesn't get it, and I feel like I'm on the outside of a party looking in. Kara's dress in this challenge was criticized for being too literal, but isn't this dress also a literal re-creation of that gutter picture?

6:01 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger praddicted said...

TBone, your write ups were wonderful-they really recaptured for me that *feeling* surrounding each garment and the challenge! Wonderful!

I know I sound like a broken record, but I would love to have seen Daniel, Chloe and Andrae as the final 3. From his initial meltdown to the way he presented himself in the reunion, he totally put himself out there and seems like such a wonderful person which shows in his designs-there is an insight and a playfullness that exists. And you would never have thought that from the beginning would you? This dress and all it represents deserves to be #1, I think.

6:39 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger sarahlad said...

He should have won this challenge. I am glad he is getting recognized here. I think his was a little overshadowed by his wonderful personallity. He is a great designer. I love Andre!

6:41 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger WhicketyWhack said...

I agree with Pepper. I don't get why everyone raves about this dress. I think it looks awkward and unflattering. I just don't see the appeal. I think the sash type fabric going across the chest and the beading looks, well pretty tacky. I'm definately surprised that this came in first.

7:12 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger JRT said...

It is a beautiful dress Andrae, and it deserves to be in the Top 10 if not Top 5. But not sure it is worthy of the number 1 spot. Nonetheless, the people have spoken, and democratically, it take the top spot. Isn't it interesting that the top 2 didn't win the challenge they were in. Do you think it has to do with the people's 'anger,' for lack of a better word, at the fact that the dress did not win the challenge. Anyway, all 5 are beautiful dresses and go to prove this season was not as 'boring' as some people want to make it out to be.

8:07 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Tbone said...

I just want to throw a quick note in about the voting. This dress was far and away the winner, it wasn't even close. Of the 176 responses received between the two boards, 108 of them had this one somewhere in their Top 5.

DV's second place Social Scene dress, for comparison, had 63 mentions. I'm going to do a separate post listing the 6th through 10th place finishers, any of which could have been on the Top 5 as the voting was very bunched up after the Top 3.

8:33 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger JRT said...

hey tbone, that for doing all this, can't wait to see the 6-10 designs. i could look at some of these project runway designs all day long. thanks for the summaries and all the screencaps throughout the process, and for spending all the hours on tallying these votes. this bpr community rocks!

8:45 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THis dress is so unbelievably unique and beautiful!!

8:47 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Fia said...

I am happy that this dress won BPR's Top 5.

9:14 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger gumdropgurl said...

gorgeous gown from my personal PR favorite.

9:43 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger AJ said...

For those who don't see the appeal, fashion is, and has always been, a "to each his own" kind of industry.

For me, Andrae's dress in this challenge was so beautiful because it came from something ugly. It was perfect for the challenge in the sense that he was really inspired by his photo to make a gorgeous gown shine through dirty gutter water. I thought it worked beautifully and really captured the essence of the challenge.

To me, the dress was really beautiful to look at as well. But it's true that everyone's opinions on fashion are different. I think that Chloe's COYB dress is a bit overrated. But that's just me...

It really all depends on your taste...

9:52 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger JRT said...

so true aj, fashion is all just an opinion, as are most artistic fields. which is what makes this show so incredibly difficult at some times. and, i never really saw the beauty in Santino's road to the runway dress. we each have our own design that we question the beauty in.

i also think the dress fit perfectly within the 'inspiration' challenge. he was completely motivated by his inspiration and it was a beautiful dress.

10:37 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Huda said...

I also have come to love and respect Andrae. Early on I thought he was just a buffoon. Then I became aware that he consistently produced amazing designs. Even the Garden Party may have looked like a doormat but it was a nicely constructed doormat with a Point Of View! Others got further with less. Then on the reunion show I finally realized what a fine human being Andrae is. I'm so glad he got first place in this poll. A well deserved accolade.

I'm feeling quite smug that 4 of my top 5 actually made it into the final 5 (in a slightly different order). I'm anxious to see if the other is in the top 10. thanks T-bone for this poll.

10:38 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger nicole angela said...

I was thinking about that same question, pepper, about why Kara was criticized for being literal while Andrae's, which seemed a fairly literal copy of his photo, was so praised and I'm thinking it mainly has to do with the finished product being prettier and more interesting than Kara's (although that's not objective either). Kara's was nice-looking, but perhaps a little blah. Kind of like a friend of your might say that she doesn't find guys with big noses attractive, and then you find out that she has a huge crush on Adrien Brody -- she still doesn't like big-nosed guys in general, but just something about the big nose on Brody doesn't matter to her or even adds to his allure for her. OK, weird analogy.

whicketywhack -- I had the same kind of criticism of this dress, in terms of the trim seeming tacky or the fabric pulling weirdly, but I wonder if up close those things look nicer than they do in photos.

At any rate, I'm glad to see Andrae in the top 5, since I do think he was one of the most talented of the designers.

10:40 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Karen said...

I am soooo glad this dress made number one. It was/is one of the most beautiful dresses I have ever seen. VERY compareable to designers who have been designing for years.

10:45 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Brent said...

Wow - This really gives me increased faith in all of you mutts! I am amazed so many fellow-fans loved this dress. This was the most beautiful to be sure, in concept and design and implementation.

10:55 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Huda said...

I wrote this haiku when Andrae was eliminated and never had a chance to post it. I guess this is an appropriate place. (I know the count in the last line is off, but what's a haiku to do?)

Ode to Andrae

Rain sewer run-off
Into crystal waterfall
Where the hell is my chiffon?

10:55 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why all the backlash? It's fashion and subjective opinion, lighten up!
This dress was like a fairytale to me...a magical transformation. It was cool to see the colors and materials Andrae used to interpret it, to find so many interesting shades in the water, like an Impressionist painter.

12:13 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger iluvtimgunn said...

I disagree that Andrae's dress was literal like Kara's. Kara basically had warning tape wrapped around her tube dress, which is literal. To me, for Andrae's dress to be considered as literal he would have had to have gutter water on the dress! You could tell his inspiration clearly in relation to the photo, but that is not literal at all.

3:03 PM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kara did not have warning tape wrapped around her dress. She had fabric that was made to look like warning tape wrapped around her dress.

3:44 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger iluvtimgunn said...

The point is it looked exactly like warning tape (back to the literal discussion). Andrae's did not look exactly like gutter water. That's the difference. I don't know how else to clarify it.

4:49 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger fluffsters said...

no surprise. this dress should have won. loved it. it was in my top 5. yay, andrae! i wish he made the final three. for those who wonder how this dress made it to #1, there is no reason. there is nothing to "get." the old beauty in the eye of the beholder thing. i thought daniel's was awful, but most people did not agree with me.

5:03 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger PhillyKat said...

yea for gutter water! i can't look in down in the gutter the same way.

6:11 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Brent said...

Re: Warning Tape v. Gutter Watter, 2006

The weird thing about Kara's dress was that it looked like a street with the yellow dashed line through the middle, like a city street - I'm sorry peoples, but that's the *opposite* of "No Trespassing".

No Dress Passing.

Once again, re: Andrae ... just magical...

6:23 PM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only problem I have with this dress is the sash. It's too bulky for this dress.

The representation of everything in that picture is superb. With the gems being the little pebbles within the cement to the shiny and matte fabric of the dress.

1:36 AM, March 02, 2006  
Blogger Aunt Teak said...

This dress totally rocked. Or pebbled. I loved it. Twinkly in the night. It would look FABULOUS dashing under the streetlights from the theater door to the limo...

4:22 AM, March 02, 2006  
Blogger ramonakilldeer said...

This dress was so lovely! Wish we could have seen Iman (sp?) wear in on the red carpet. This was my favorite challenge-so interesting!

1:22 PM, March 04, 2006  

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