Friday, February 17, 2006

Were Season One Designers Better?

Now, bear in mind that we haven't actually seen the runway show yet. These designs will look much better in motion, I'm sure. Also, there are surely some back details that we are missing. Here are some more images of the collections including many of the backs.

Anyway, I've been reading on the message boards that many viewers feel like last year's collections were better. By the way - I loved all of the season one collections. It's bothering me right now that we might only get to see three of the season two collections.

I don't think we ever saw Austin's collection except for in still photos. (Did we ever see a video? I can't recall...) There's no way to make this up to Austin but surely the producers will air Kara's "decoy" show as well. Andy says: (We'll post the fourth person's entire collection soon.) Well, we've already seen the still photos - it would be nice to see a video. Also, I'm sure I'll enjoy hearing Santino singing during his show!

Okay, back to the point. I loved all three collections last year. I believe that any of them could have won. I thought Wendy's designs were gorgeous. I was literally crying at the end of her show (when we saw Finley skipping along behind the scrim.) Of course, I didn't have all of YOU to share with. I didn't know one single person who watched the show and I wasn't really aware of any on-line "fandom" except for the message boards on the Bravo site. So I didn't have anyone to talk with about this.

Meanwhile, after the whole shoe-gate fiasco, I knew that Kara Saun couldn't win. It would be just opening up a can of worms. I could easily see Wendy complaining that Kara Saun was in violation of her contract. I could even see a lawsuit. No matter that Kara Saun's collection was supposedly judged "without considering" the shoes, you just know that it was impossible to see the outfit without seeing the shoes. It was completely unfair. Kara should have read the contract more thoroughly. I knew when she sent those shoes down the runway, there was no way she could win and it was a shame because her collection was wonderful.

Then there was Jay. How could this mom ever root for a designer who worked in porn? Ugh! But there was his collection - completely spellbinding. Unlike anything I had ever seen. Once I saw it, I knew he would win. Oh, I was kind of in suspense during the judges deliberations. But I definitely saw it coming. It HAD to be Jay. It couldn't be Kara Saun and nobody really liked Wendy. No one was rooting for her. If she had won, no one would care. (Seriously, anyone want to watch "Project Wendy?" Well...actually I would...but I'm in the minority!) It would be the typical reality show outcome where the most devious person is rewarded. But for Jay to win would be the triumph of the underdog. And he certainly deserved it.

So, what do you think? Were last year's collections better than this year's? Was this season too focused on drama and personality and not enough on talent?

I don't think so. I think these designers are just as talented. Also, there was more depth in this pool. Last year, when Robert was eliminated, it was like "How did he survive this long?" And he was FIFTH! The equivalent of Nick. And who was sixth? Kevin? (I'm not totally sure, so correct me if I'm wrong.) How does he match up with Andrae? What do you think? Were Season One designers better?


Deb R said...

I don't think season one had better designers overall, but I think the final runway collections from last season were more interesting than what we're seeing this season. Unless I change my mind when I see them in motion as opposed to stills, that is. I reserve the right to eat my words after the show airs. ;-)

BTW, Laura, you asked who would have watched "Project Wendy". I'll raise my hand. I'm the one other person in the country who didn't hate her.

Curly Glamour Girlie said...

Laura - I did a side by side comparison as to when last season's people got booted off to this season's and was amazed. It meant that Robert made it as far was Andre!

And I just went back to last year's collections, and I really wasn't too crazy about Jay's. It was a little too...out there for my taste, but that's just me. I did like his designs for the challenges though. I actually liked pieces from Wendy's collection and I really liked Kara Saun's, but there was no way she was getting the title after sending those shoes down the runway. (I think TPTB should have made her find different shoes.)

But looking at the talent left at the Inspiration Challenge and the talent at last year's postal uniform challenge, it's close, but I think this year's group has more talent/vision/creativity.

All in all, I like this year's collections better than last year's and am eagerly looking forward to seeing the looks come down the runway, with the music.

memee said...

I think Santino's and Kara's collections this season are just as good if not better than the collections last season. I have to say I wasn't wowed by Chloe's or Daniel's.

AJ said...

I'm not going to say that last year was better, but I will say that they were much more ambitious!

I think after seeing a lot of the things that could go wrong with too much vision, most of the designers this season played it very safe...aside from Santino of course.

The most ambitious Fashion Week collection (and arguably the best one) was Kara's. However, had she been in the top three would her designs have been so funky? Would she have continued to keep it simple and play it safe?

I think that as a whole, the designers this year were better. I do think that they played it far too safe the whole season though. It's obvious that they are all talented designers...but I would have liked to see more oomph from their designs. Especially in this past challenge. 3 of the dresses were boring and the 4th was kind of ugly. This is the last challenge, for a FW us the goods folks!

Hopefully next season we will have a happy medium between ridiculous ambition and playing it safe.

eric3000 said...

I haven't seen the season two collections because I want to wait and see them on the runway but I can comment on last season's finale. I thought Wendy had some beautiful pieces but I didn't think she created a cohesive COLLECTION. I thought Kara Saun DID create a cohesive collection but I found her inspiration a little dull and tired; I felt like we had seen it before. And, of course, the shoe thing was ridiculous; she should have been forced to have her models walk down the runway barefoot! Jay's collection was both a cohesive collection and stunningly original so I didn't even find it a close race.

I think Jay's collection will be very hard to beat this season. As far as unnecessary drama goes, I don't think this season has been as bad as everyone's unwarranted hostility toward Wendy last season . They could have left all that on the cutting-room floor and I would have been happy.

As I've said before, I think all four designers are winners because the most important prize is showing your collection at fashion week, but I think it's appropriate that we only see the final three on the show; otherwise there would have been little point in eliminating Kara Wednesday night (I know; even if they showed it she wouldn't be eligible to win, but still). But I agree it would be nice if we could see it somewhere; someone mentioned showing it on the reunion show and that might be OK but it would leave less time for the reunion.

Donny B said...

I remember watching the video on Bravo's website of Austin's decoy show and thought it was HIDEOUS! I was a fan of his in general, but his collection of "Oklahoma"-style Western costumes looked ridiculous.

But hopefully they'll have video of Kara's decoy show, because it looks great.

Anonymous said...

I think last season's designers were more talented and certainly more interesting individuals. I would give anything to have Austin Scarlett back again. I adored Austin! When I saw him again on the last episode in his organza stole. And his blonde flip. OMG! It did my heart so much good. That said, there was no-one this season like Jay. I mean, how do explain this kid who grew up in rural Pennsylvania among deer hunters and bingo at the VFW and church potlucks who somehow managed to hang onto his creativity and individuality and use what he grew up with and knew to fuel his vision. Remember when Tim Gunn visited him at home, and Jay was showing Tim some quilts his Mom had made? And then he used that quilting in one of his runway collection dresses (I think it was a runway collection dress). All I could think was -- amazing, wow, that's what true creativity is all about -- taking what you know, turning it inside out, or upside down, or whatever, but making us see it in a different way. There is not one designer -- except for Andrae with his dirty water in the gutter dress -- who made me see anything in a different way this season. When the judges auf wiedersiehn'ed Andrae, that was it for me. For me he was the only one with true talent and some integrity as an artist/dressmaker in the season 2 bunch. AFter that, it was clear to me that they were keeping Santino around because of his Tim Gunn impersonations (which I have to admit, I did love) and his hatefulness, and not because his clothes were any good. His dresses were the same thing, over and over again. The chiffon, the twisted braid, the overdone, blah blah blah. And the jumpsuit for Kara was a disgrace. It was falling apart on the runway. I saw the 4 runway shows and here's what I thought: Daniel- amazingly boring, holy cow, who was he designing for, St. John's? Chloe -- all I could think when I saw those sleeves was, gosh, was she channeling Imelda Marcos? Santino -- Santino can go in either of two directions, Frederick's of Hollywood or Escada. Kara -- whoa! what a total surprise! the aqua and orange dress was gorgeous. her color choices were so sophisticated, rich, bold, wow. I thought she had to be the winner. Wrong. And one last thing. If Michael Kors comes back next season and he says one more time to any of the designers that they have to be more creative I hope that he or she will jump off the stage and throttle him to death right then and there. Okay? When was the last time Michael Kors was creative? Like, uh, NEVER?
Daniel will win. And he'll be perfect for Banana Republic.

Marsha said...

There was something more exciting about Season 1 -- this season has been too "all about Santino." I actually liked Wendy (not everything about her tho). It seems that this season, too many designers aren't doing a good job at construction (why does Santino GLUE clothing together??) -- and I don't know how one can be an actual designer without knowing how to sew. Altho I sort of like Chloe and Daniel as people, I don't feel like there's any 1 designer I'm really wanting to win the whole thing.

AJ said...

donny, just an fyi, I believe that Austin was told only a few weeks before FW last year that he would actually be showing. Apparantly, Bravo screwed up the show schedule and discovered that they would be showing the final three at FW before Austin was actually aufed on the show.

I think that he had to use old samples from a previous line for the show and it didn't get to showcase his new styles. I'm assuming that Kara had more time this season to either revamp old designs or make new ones...

Anonymous said...

does anyone know whare to find photos of austin's decoy line?

Anonymous said...

Wow, "Anonymous" (posted at 8:56 AM, February 17, 2006) I completely agree with every word you said.

Every word.

Thank you!


Cindy said...

Is there a place I can view the season one designs?

I just started watching the show and LOVE it. I wish I had seen the first season!

Anonymous said...

Austin's decoy collection is on his website (which is one of the links on the side of this blog)

I think I remember reading that his collection was inspired by Paul Revere (who was one of his ancestors).

The Scarlett said...

JRT, I just got the Season 1 DVD a week ago and I just finished the finale. IMO, there were only 3 or 4 contenders last year but this year I would say the design pool was deeper.

I loved Austin Scarlett. I would have loved to see his collection come down the runway with the music and the crowd.

I'm going to suspend my judgement until I see the garments in motion. I also think that the music the designers select adds much to the enjoyment. Or, it can take away. Since I hated the movie, "The Aviator" and I found the music she selected horrible, I didn't like Kara Saun's collection as much as I though I would while I found Wendy's more compelling because of the music.

I'll be one of those anxiously awaiting that show to air and also buying the DVD the day it comes out.

eric3000 said...

distressed jeans,
there is a link to "Project Runway Season 1" on the right side of the Blogging Project Runway homepage. Thanks Laura! It is really annoying that I can't find a link from the main Project Runway website. Maybe I'm just missing it.

Anonymous said...

I gotta admit, I wasn't as impressed by this year's final runway showings. I mean, Kara Saun and Jay's were breathtaking for me, whereas Santino, Chloe, and Daniel V. are merely... nice. Well done, but nothing as revolutionary to me as Season 1's were. They are good collections, just not as EXCITING to me. I was underwhelmed.

And I hated Wendy Pepper with a passion. OMG. Her collection didn't even have a cohesive thread connecting the pieces to each other, it was just a bunch of (very pretty) dresses. GRRR.

AJ said...

the scarlett, I LOVE Austin! I started season one late (bathing suit episode) and the moment I heard him speak I was like "Oh, he is fabulous!" Is your sn named after him?

and I agree with what you and jrt said about last season and how there were only 3 or 4 contenders for the top spots. I think this season the designers were much better as a whole and I'm sure next season we'll have a competition full of Nick's! (at least I hope)

I would imagine that all comes from the show gaining popularity, hence more people applying, and more talent showing through. Makes sense to me at least!

And jrt, I agree w/ what you said about Kara Saun. I thought she was a good designer, but a bit b*tchy throughout the season. I wasn't as taken with her as everyone else seemed to be. Austin was by FAR my favorite!

For those looking for the runway collections from Season One here are some direct links:


Kara Saun


I think Jay was the clear winner here...enjoy!

Anonymous said...

OK, this years collections are horrible.
kara isn't funky, shes just sad.
i miss andrae & nick.
im over project runway, i dont even care who wins anymore, they are all horrible.

ScubaOtter said...

I'd have to say yes, I feel that the majority of season one's designers were more talented, exciting and interesting than season two.

Notable season one talent included Jay, Austin, Kara Saun, and Nora. Overall, I thought they had a strong design ethic and I just enjoyed the challenges and runway shows more. At that time, I was thrilled to see Daniel Franco go—his LA affectations just irritated the life out of me. He still does it, but he toned it down and I enjoyed seeing that he had talent to back up the big attitude. I liked most of his results in season two, and I give him snaps for resiliency and determination.

That said, I was blown away by the first OFW show. I was so crushed that Austin didn't make it, and while I can't blame him for it, I thought his decoy collection was rushed and a little phoned in (probably because he had so little time to prepare). Nonetheless, his work is gorgeous and I'm glad he got the exposure, albeit secondary.

Jay's show blew my mind. Kara Saun’s was exquisite; flawless, glamorous, gorgeous, right down to those incredible Dollhouse shoes. However, I'm in the Pacific Northwest. We don't dress like that. "Dressed up" here looks like a Central Park bag lady. So I really couldn't see practical real-world possibilities for wearing any of her stuff. But it was exquisite nonetheless and fun to watch. That girl has real talent and class.

Jay, on the other hand--blew me away completely. It was TOTALLY wearable, a fresh point of view, quirky and fun. I could see a lot of that work on different (read: REAL WORLD) body shapes, sizes and ages. I am just itching to get some of those pieces in my size--guess I'll just have to cool my heels and wait until he strikes a deal with Nordstrom's or Macy's. I think he’s no-nonsense, no BS, real and average. He’s interesting, and opinionated, and doesn’t care about “political ramifications.” Good for him for speaking his mind; there are far too few people willing to speak out these days.

This year’s designers and challenges have me under-whelmed. Nick, Andre, Emmett all had distinctive points of view and design aesthetics, business sense, industry experience, and genuine talent. They were axed early because of Santino's antics, both on the runway models and backstage. This has me disenfranchised (not to mention crestfallen). While I’m not terribly excited about Daniel V and Chloe, I see that they have talent, and I don’t begrudge them their spot in the final three. Santino is another issue entirely; he’s all about the attitude and doesn’t have the style and talent to back it up.

Furthermore, while I thought that the Wendy Pepper and Morgan dramas might have just been an inaugural season anomaly, there is a pattern in the editing and producing that demonstrates a calculated deliberateness. I feel manipulated and frankly, disappointed. I wanted this show to be about honest-to-goodness talent, and not about caricatures.

I wanted to see the creative process, the sketching, the designing, not the drama. I wanted to see the most worthy candidates get the chance to show at OFW. While Wendy's collection was laudable, her work was not consistent enough to earn her a legitimate shot at the final three. I would've loved to have seen the "shows that could have been."

As usual, this is JMHO. YMMV, and all the usual caveats.

ScubaOtter said...

p.s. Laura, you finally convinced me to come out from lurking. Bet you'll live to regret that one!


Anonymous said...

I don't think the designers were better last year but I do think the garments were superior. Perhaps they had more sewing time last season?

Anonymous said...

I have to vote for last seasons' final 3 having more talent. I loved Wendy's line and think that Jay's was the best and deserved to win, although I didn't like him. Hated Kara Saun's only a little less than I hated her. Cheating phoney. I wasn't knocked out by the stills of any of the PR2 finalists' lines - liked Kara's decoy line very much. My wish? That Andrae was one of the final three instead of the truly repugnant Santino. And, please, the color of choice for his line - mauve?!

Anonymous said...

There is such an extreme difference between the designing styles and attitudes of this season's contestants and last season's...I wonder how much of it can be attributed to place of origin. Last season, there were a lot of people from rural areas and the east coast, while it seems like this season everyone's from LA.

And I do think last season's designers were more diverse, talent-wise and personality-wise. This season, everyone seems to be doing the same kinds of designs, over and over.

PhillyKat said...

i not only think that last years collections were better, i think the designers were better, more talented. if austin were in this season he wouldn't have had any competition. unfortunately, i never got to see austin's show. i only saw a few stills. :(

i am so glad to hear you liked wendy pepper's designs because i did as well. i thought they were great. i was surprised. kara saun's left me feeling "eh" but to tell the truth i didn't like her much anyway. i loved jay's and was happy he won.

grudge girl said...

I don't think all the designers were better last year, but Jay's winning runway collection completely blows away anything I've seen of this year's offerings. His work was just so beautiful, so original. There's nothing like it this year.

Anonymous said...

this years collections are terrible and boring.
i hate chloe,daniel kara. so bland and safe.
i wish andrae and nick could have shown at fashion week!i could only imagine how amazing it would have been :(

Anonymous said...

I missed the first season, but have been gradually sneaking peeks at stills. I am not as acute an observer as many here, I am a student of fashion as to studying it as a manifestation of the creative process and creative business/marketing. So I am really appreciating the coverage of the creative process in this series. I also love fashion because of the craft skills involved. My favorite designer is Issey Miyake, his work blows me away for it's multifaceted creativity, particularly his involvement with extraordinarily ingenius textile inventors. In this light I must say that it seems to me that Jay McCarrol is demonstrating a level of creativity far above any of the others in season 1 or 2. Jay seems to understand something about what Miyake achieved and be able to use some of it. His collection was really mind-stopping to me, very delightful, very visually inventive and sculpturaly vivid and surprising.

Jan the Dan Fan said...

I've really enjoyed both seasons, but do you think the designers have a different "feel" because this is NOT the first season? Meaning--they already have been able to watch the first season and have seen what it's like. They may be holding back/and or "acting" a bit more because they're more aware of the cameras.

Think of how type-cast the Real World has become compared to the "real" people on it the first season. They all have alterior motives be actors, muscicians, tv personalities.