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Thread: Mall Aesthetic Triumphs As Dao Wins 'Runway'

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    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    Mall Aesthetic Triumphs As Dao Wins 'Runway'

    And the winner was . . . Banana Republic.

    ''Project Runway" fans, you know what that means. All season, Bravo's fashion competition -- in addition to being the most addictive reality show on TV -- has been a philosophical duel between creativity and marketability, art and commerce. And with the triumph of Chloe Dao, the I'm-not-sure-I-really-want-it women's wear designer, marketability took the prize: a car, a chunk of cash, a Banana Republic mentorship.

    For fans of Santino Rice, it was a deflating moment. Santino had carried the show all along with his stratospheric arrogance, his gift for impressions, and his tendency to break out in song. But most of all, he was an unparalleled creative force: surly, yes, often over the top, but undeniably talented.

    Chloe is talented, too, but in a different way. Her clothes are always pretty, if too often turquoise. They fit well and flatter women, and seem made to be tried on and sold. She's a businesswoman, savvy and generally safe.

    That seemed to be the judges' take on her 13-piece collection for the Olympus Fashion Week runway: The seams were nice, the shapes were interesting, but they hardly delivered a knockout punch.

    To be fair, designing for Fashion Week can't be easy. Your collection has to be versatile, wide-ranging, showy, and impeccably fitted. And it has to ''tell a story," which isn't so easy with cloth.

    Still, given the creativity we've seen all season on ''Project Runway," as designers were given impossible assignments and two days to pull them off, Wednesday night's fashions -- conceived and constructed over five months -- were disappointing.

    Chloe's evening dresses were overly shiny; some of her fabrics evoked the wallpaper in your grandmother's bathroom. As host Heidi Klum noted grimly, she went heavy on the shrugs. (''I would never do matchy-matchy-matchy," Klum said. Her English is always so . . . German.)

    Daniel Vosovic, who seemed the front-runner until he unveiled a pair of shockingly clunky handbags, said his collection was ''Japanese sleekness meets the military." It seemed more like ''office wear meets a tassel."

    Even Santino's work, with the exception of a couple of gorgeous dresses, wasn't a showstopper. And, as Klum noted, ''the boobs were never where they were supposed to be." They were typical Santino: conception over construction. They were made for the mannequin, not the actual woman. But, more than his competitors' work, they were art.

    Still, judge Nina Garcia, who spent the whole season trying to squeeze Santino into a mall-fashion mold, admitted that he was a ''great creative thinker."

    Unfortunately, creativity isn't what ''Project Runway" wants. Chloe didn't need to tell a story, in the end. As judge Michael Kors noted, ''Your statement was 'dresses.' " Apparently, that was enough.

    Even Chloe seemed a little surprised, though she gamely tried to channel her family's enthusiasm. ''I am excited," she kept saying, as if she wanted to convince herself.

    Is she the ''next great American designer," or simply the next great Banana Republic intern? Time will tell. But here's one prediction: A few seasons from now, Banana Republic will be very into turquoise.
    http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles...o_wins_runway/

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    Fight Queen corprip's Avatar
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    I think all the best designers came out for the first season, i.e. Kevin Johnn, Kara Saun, Jay McCarroll, and so on. The BR conspiracy theories are misguided, in my opinion. If they had found stronger talent, the final three this season wouldn't have been so weak.
    "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier." The Killers.

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    FORT Fan Brakhage's Avatar
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    That's bull****. A Daniel win would've been a "Banana Republic" win.. he's the safest and blandest of the whole lot.
    Last edited by fluff; 03-14-2006 at 03:43 PM.

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    FORT Fogey TunaFests's Avatar
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    yeah this lady is crazy... i don't think Chloe has a mall aesthetic at all

    would you ever see her first show piece off the runway?

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    Moi
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    I'd bet Chloe turns down the BR apprenticeship since she already said she had done the NYC thing and didn't want to go back to that. She was only interested in the car.

    And I doubt Santino would have lasted a week there. Nobody would have wanted to work with him.

    Daniel would have profited the most from it. But I think he is destined for much better things. I'm not a really big fan of Michael Kors, but Daniel is the only person on the show he essentially offered a job to. I think that says a lot.

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    The Next Lost Housewives fayewong's Avatar
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    what do it mean by "mentorship with Banana Republic"

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    Moi
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    Quote Originally Posted by fayewong View Post
    what do it mean by "mentorship with Banana Republic"
    You'd probably have to ask them exactly what they mean. I presume it is basically an internship with them though.

    AKat
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

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    FORT Regular alphacat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKat View Post
    You'd probably have to ask them exactly what they mean. I presume it is basically an internship with them though.

    AKat
    Jay said that it was basically meeting with them once a month for 6 months or so. They give info on manufacturing factories/options and fabric suppliers, etc. It is not an internship. It doesn't require moving to NY.

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    FORT Fogey Brandy's Avatar
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    fayewong, that means that they can get advice from Banana Republic on their career.

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    aga
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    Quote Originally Posted by corprip View Post
    If they had found stronger talent, the final three this season wouldn't have been so weak.
    I am on the fence whether or not the talent this year was better or worse. What I am not on the fence about is that the judging is worse. Creativity was not nurtured.

    To me, Diana and Andrae were very creative. I am not saying that they should have won or even made the final 3, however Diana was labeled gimmicky and Andrae's creativity was more often panned in the early stages. It is unclear if Kara would have broken out of her basic black safety mode, but she was panned for her ice skating dress even though Daniel's was wrong in a number of ways, Andrae's was unfinished (but creative) and Chloe's Christmas tree was way more impractical that Kara's fringe. Chloe and Daniel were praised for designs that had construction problems - Chloe's Social Scene dress and Daniel's Garden Party dress.

    Of all the judges this season, Heidi was most on the ball: panning Zulema for sending a model down the runway with her booty hanging out; pointing out that Marla plagiarizing was worse than Guadalupe's dress not fitting Nicky Hilton's personal style; wanting to auf Santino for his turkey dress. Nina Garcia and Michael Kors are very accomplished people and I can't believe that their judgements this season (except for their comments during the evening dress challenge) reflects the best use of their experience and gray matter.
    Last edited by aga; 03-15-2006 at 06:37 PM.
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