Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lots More to Come!

Thanks so much to Tbone, Jan and all who contributed to the live-posting last night. What fun! I have read all of your comments in the reaction thread too. WOW! What a surprising and delightful outcome. Congratulations to Chloe! Thanks Travis, for the new BPR Banner. Congratulations also to Daniel and Santino and to ALL of the great Season Two designers. Congratulations go out as well to Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn and to the judges, producers and editors of the show. It's been a great season.

(Of course, next season could always be improved, but we'll save those thoughts for another day... : )

Season Two may be over but that doesn't mean BPG will just fold up until the premiere of Season Three. We have lots to talk about!

We'll be posting links to the various articles and recaps as they become available. Here is one from AOL and here is one from Yahoo. Just Jared has tons of photos. I missed seeing Chloe on the Today Show (orthodontist appointment - life goes on...) but I'm sure she was happy and charming. Also,here is an ADORABLE Star Wars themed interview with the designers. (Thanks, Bonnie.)

Be sure to check out the Bravo site for a video of Kara's Show and more from Tim! Also, Santino's blog mentions that he has been busy with appearances and interviews. Please let us know if you read or hear more about these.

Of course, if any of our readers is planning to audition for Season Three, please let us know. We want to be rooting for you! Violet? Folklore? I'm talking to you! Please let us know when and where you will be. We'd love to hear the stories about what happens during the audition process.

Please continue to send me any news articles or interesting bits about any Project Runway designers. You make this easy!

Last, but not least, we are working hard behind the scenes on our BPR Tour on March 25th. It's gonna be fun and I can't wait!

ETA: Just a friendly reminder here for any newbies. We welcome ALL opinions here, of course - but please use polite language in your comments - and no links. I can't take a chance that someone might link something objectionable or a virus or something. If you want to share a link, please e-mail it to me at Thanks for understanding.


KCF said...

Laura, Thanks for the great blog. It was such an enrichment to an enjoyable season. Would love it if you'd gather our thoughts for improvements in hopes the producers read it (or you send them on!).

Matthew said...

If it's ok, I'd like to post some tips/suggestions to the producers/judges for PR season 3:

1) This show comes across as a very big 'foot in the door' or 'lots of doors opening up' opportunity for all the designers, but especially (and most importantly) the winning designer.

While I'm ok with Chloe winning, I really think that Daniel or Santino could have benefited more from the Banana Republic mentorship and the $100,000 seed money more than Chloe (note I didn't say that Chloe could benefit from it, just not as much).

Perhaps the selection of designer finalists (the ones who make the show) need to take this into account more, or perhaps not. But this type of show would seem to be more beneficial to those just starting out in the fashion industry (Nick, Santino, Diana), or else those who are struggling (Andrae, with his boutique closing, etc.) Allowing someone to be on the show (and win) who owns an already successful boutique in Houston just seems a little odd, but maybe that's just me.

2) I realize that this a reality TV show as well as a design competition, and that Santino no doubt helped up the ratings for this season, but could we please see the fashion establishment practicing what it preaches?

In numerous episodes, podcasts, interviews and behind-the-scenes tidbits, we were told over and over again how the biggest thing in the fashion world is to "be nice." Fern Mallis said this. Tim Gunn said this. Even one of the guest judges (from the 'Clothes Off Your Back' challenge) said this, according to an interview I read with one of the designers.

All this talk about being nice, yet each week we're treated to catty comments by Michael Kors. Now, it's true that he's no Simon Cowell (thank goodness!) but let's be real: MK could have phrased his criticisms much more nicely than he did. And what about Santino. There can be no doubt that he said things about other designers (and the judges!) that were taken as rude and insensitive. Yet Santino was kept on - not because he made good TV - but because the judges thought he was extremely creative and talented, and wanted to see what he could do. This is, on the one hand understandable, but then it contradicts the supposed fashion industry mantra of "be nice."

3) It would perhaps be beneficial to re-structure the season in a way so that the final outcome gels a bit more with what's gone before it. In other words, in season one, Jay wins the entire season because he did well at Olympus Fashion Week, yet he hadn't won a single episodic challenge before then. In season two, Daniel Vosovic wins 5 of the 11 challenges (far more than any of his competitors), yet doesn't win the whole show because his OFW collection was judged to be weaker than Chloe's.

Ok, some of this is understandable. If the person who won the most episodic challenges went on to always win the finale, then there wouldn't be much suspense. But really... can't something better be worked out? Yes, I realize that you have to be pretty good to make it through to the OFW portion, but there just seems to be a dis-connect between the 7-month-old first batch of shows, and then the more recently-recorded OFW episodes.

A few weeks ago, I turned to a friend and said, "I think Daniel V. is this year's Kara Saun. In other words, he's won the most challenges, but probably won't win the whole show." My friend disagreed with me, but alas, we see how things turned out.

These are just some suggestions. Of course, I really, really liked the show, otherwise I wouldn't have watched it for 3 months. But now that's over, these are just some of the things that are nagging at me.

And thank YOU, Laura, for providing this wonderful blog. It's been a great time getting to know you and many of the other regulars. The PR producers owe you a debt of gratitude. I'm sure this site helped the show's ratings, if only a little.

Take care. :-)

Matthew said...

I messed up in the last comment. Instead of writing...

"But this type of show would seem to be more beneficial to those just starting out in the fashion industry (Nick, Santino, Diana)..."

I meant to write Daniel V. instead of Nick. Sorry!

fluffsters said...

march 25 for the tour? is that right? i don't know anyone not in new york who can get away on such short notice. it would have been fun to do either when they are filming season 3 or during olympus fashion week next year. and i loved michael kors comments. they made me laugh. they didn't come off as him trying to be funny or catty. i think that's just the way he expresses himself.

LauraK said...

Oh here's another suggestion: Project 35D! Make it a series!

sarahlad said...

Looking ahead to season three--- what about challenges? I have some suggestions..... I don't think they have officially done a Menswear Challenge.... (I'd like to see the models for that!) I'd like to see an Accessory Challenge--- shoes, bags, scarves, hats-- (inspired of course by Daniel's purses and Kara's hats) Another one could be Plus Size... (I sometimes think our designers need to break free of their size 2 dress forms) Maybe they could work with "real" women on that challenge. And a "Polyester" challenge would be a hoot!

Any other ideas?

LNLisa said...

To be fair to the producers and judges of PR, I doubt that they really know the contestants well enough in the beginning to be able to say whether or not they "can win." Daniel is a classic example of how people evolve through the show: at the start of the season, he barely rated attention, either for personality or design. Midway through, he started showing up with winning challenges each week, and he was so sweet to everyone, like when he tried to comfort Kara, that we all love him now. Then at the very end the stress began to get to him. He started playing safe in his designs, and he was verbally more critical of the other designers. Looking at Daniel from the begining, who would have predicted all of that?

I only have two suggestions for the judges:
1. Make the judging process more transparent. What do the cards look like? Is there a criteria by which the contestants are judged by? 20% construction, 40% originality, etc.
2. For the last design challenge before the final three, build in more time. Whether that last challenge is supposed to show what their future collection will look like or to show their growth through the season, I think the designs would improve tremendously if the designers were given a day or two more to really think about what they want to create.

soldlikebagels said...

Just finished watching Kara's show on the Bravo site. After seeing all the collections in motion, I thought Kara's was better than the final 3. Odd that PR feels it's ok to put her show on the web, but on the reunion and finale they act like it never happened.

soldlikebagels said...

and I would love Project 35D! The new Fab Four!

Tonya said...

I also have a tip for the producers. Although I was impressed with all three collections in Olympus Fashion Week, this is not commensurate with their performances throughout the PR experience. Daniel won the most challenges. Period. What does that mean? Essentially nothing. Designers would be better off just "getting by" instead of breaking their back to win each challenge. The show should balance each win ALONG with their respective line at fashion week. Isn't a true desinger one who can perform consistently? It seems unreasonable that one can win so many challenges, and be thrown out for playing it safe. Do I think Daniel V. was the best? NO. However, what is the point of the judging/rating system? Do the judges even have score cards during each challenge?

gumdropgurl said...

I agree strongly with you, matthew.

There should be some sort of tie in with the wins in the season and the final win, and something needs to be done to light a fire under the designers to encourage them to be more innovative and not play it safe just to move on...that is my biggest criticism of this season, the designers seemed to be too safe and willing to rest in a comfort zone to avoid elimination.

While that is understandable, it doesn't make for thrilling designs or compelling TV. Somehow the scoring needs a cumulative component to keep someone who has been bland, middle of the pack from ending up in the final 6 or below.

and i agree about another benefitting more than chloe will be from the can she be an up and coming designer when she has an established shop? if PR was true to itself, a person with an established business shouldn't even be on the show, IMHO (i know, that might have meant no Andrae :()

Tonya said...

I wish the producers would take into account, the whole season prior to fashion week is meaningless, now that we know it does not matter how many wins someone has. It might even cost a few viewers next season. Am I the only one who thinks the judges are not actually "scoring" during the episodes. Also, is anyone under the pressure that Chloe had help from her siblings? How could she have completed everything so quickly. No, I am not a Chloe hater. I actually loved her, and thought she should have won the ice skating contest. It just seems she probably had some extra hands working.

Jan the Dan Fan said...

Project 35D would be fantastic!!!

I'd watch that every week!!!
Would we be able to live post here at BPR?

Julia said...

What's wrong with Project Runway taking Cloe to the next level of design with the spoils from her win instead if someone having to start from scratch. I think she has shown she's a capable business woman worth the investment. I would guess because Chloe has infrastructure already in place she won't have the difficulty others might have of making it work post PR. Daniel V., no doubt, would also have benefitted but he's so darn talented and level headed he'll land on his feet and maybe benefit more from working with Kors than going it alone the first couple of years. Santino and Kara have also established their names through fashion week and will find their places in the bigger fashion world with more ease than if they had not invested the last 8 months of their lives in PR.

I think Tim is right to some degree, the continued development of the PR pheonmenon depends on designers being able to convert the win to business success and Chloe will do that effectively and in a timely manner. Certainly Kelly Clarkson's success has helped American Idol.

As to next season, my biggest grumble is how the show is timed: I think the filming schedule is so tight for the designers that we see soldiers trying to live though battle rather than creative and competive people rejoicing in another challenge. I know this is often the environment in the fashion world at large but jees... couldn't they go get the darn pedicure and manicures without Tim fussing at them the whole time? Extend the filming schedule, do fewer challenges if necessary and get rid of the need for a fashion week decoy; that's my two cents for what it's worth! ...And keep adding more Tim Gunn!

Last, I would like to add my kudos and thanks to Laura, Scarlett and Tbone for all their work in producing this blog. You've make this show so much more fun with the opportunity of quality, positive interaction and LOTS of PR information. I still think y'all should stage a coup and take over the Bravo Boards!

tmayson said...

For more insight on how the judging really went check out Tim Gunn's podcast on the site. Great job, Chloe, but according to the podcast, the decision was a joint effort between the producers and the judges. Still, a great season and 3 fun months of dish, fashion and Andrae. Theme for Season 3:"Get for real, this is business!"

Folklore Fanatic said...

I'm still planning on auditioning! I'll be going to the Chicago auditions instead of the NYC ones, because my grandmother is there and we're visiting for spring break (the family and me).

I've been averaging one piece every five days, will hopefully speed it up soon and have several (more)for my portfolio.

thescot said...

I think the argument that the judges should take into account both the final collection and the designers' performances on the challenges seems logical. However, I believe it would lead to an outcome wherein the technician would almost always win over the artist.

Technique, I think of, as the skills that must be present to create anything. But in the best creations the technique become invisible, leaving only the "magic".

While I accept there are true artists who work very quickly (Mozart comes immediately to mind), I think their numbers are few. Many artists need quite a lot of time to let their ideas percolate. Often they begin with what has been described as "an end in view" --a concept they work towards, but one that evolves as they work. There comes a point where the creation takes on a life of its own and the artist's interaction with the creation becomes, in effect, a "dialogue" with that creation, during the course of which further creative problems arise. Solutions may take hours, days, or more to burble up from the unconscious.

In a show like PR, there is no time and therefore the designer whose creative process works more slowly, or in fits and starts must fall back on his or her technique and experience. Strong technique should keep a designer from being "aufed", but will not necessarily win them challenges. We may never see what they are really capable of (think Kara). Yet, with several months to stew in their creative juices, they might produce a magical collection worthy of the new great American designer.

hellparadiso said...

Here's what I think should happen next season:

There should be SOME way to make the designers' "scores" more cumulative. It hardly seems fair that someone who consistently performs well week after week could be auf'd because of one mediocre design. Even Kors comes out with mediocre stuff every once in a while...In any case, some sort of informal scoring system that we don't even get the details for would work. If they actually used number scoring, then it would be possible for one person to win the entire season who had never won a single challenge, but it wouldn't be a random, independent thing. I hope that makes sense.

Also, in order to "light a fire" under the designers, and I know this is unpopular, but it seems like awarding immunity to each week's winner would be a great might give designers more incentive to actually WIN.

From the very beginning I thought Santino would win. In the back of my head, I still always thought that, no matter what happened with him. The reason was simple: he was the only designer who consistently said, "I'm going to win this challenge." When he didn't win a given challenge, he was upset about it. Everyone else seemed to be thinking, "I just don't want to go home." Santino had the winner's attitude from the beginning.

As far as the judging goes, I'd like to see little interviews with the judges (maybe except for Heidi, who apparently has a bit of a neutrality thing happening) before announcing the winner. I'd like to hear what Michael Kors says when he's not surrounded by other judges/designers/etc.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for linking to my interview with the designers! It was a blast to talk to them about their Star Wars memories, as well as their thoughts about film costume design!