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Thread: Jeffrey Sebelia - Season 3

  1. #291
    FORT Fanatic hikari's Avatar
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    Re: Jeffrey Sebelia - Season 3

    Hey, peeps . . .I know I'm a whole sodding year late to comment on the conclusion of Season Three . . .but I don't get Bravo at home and just finished watching it on DVD, so it feels very fresh to me!

    Having seen the first two seasons, I can confidently say that this year's crop of designers were at an extremely high level of skill. OK, so most of them had personality dysfunction in equal measure to their talent, but really . . .if you compare the challenges of the first season with this year's, it's a whole new level. I love Jay McCarroll's unique personality, but let's face it, his work looked extremely "Fashion Design School Final Project". Now here comes Jeffrey with a similar avant garde-funk sensibility, but he had the craftsmanship to back up his visualizations. I don't like J.'s stuff personally--I'm about 20 years too old and 6 sizes too large to look good in any of it--but it was very well-made & thematically tied-together, except for the unfortunate 2 blue dresses that did not go with anything else. One looked like it wandered in from Laura's show, and the long schmatte looked entirely Uli.

    I was rooting for either Michael or Uli to completely rock the house, but considering what Jeff went through just prior to the tent show, and having witnessed him interacting with his family at home, I had formed a softer opinion of him and was happy he won, if only because he seemed, in an emotional sense, to need it the most. These reports of him leaving the mother of his child for his model are, if true, forcing me to reevaluate that better opinion of him, however.

    I guess I have a different conception than the ruling fashionistas of what constitutes "America's Next Great Designer". I view that title as belonging to someone who has the greatest potential to become a household name in stores, like Donna Karan or Michael Kors or Calvin Klein--somebody who produces stuff that actual American women will want to buy and wear . . .as opposed to what a teeny-tiny elite Size 4 minority of snotty Manhattan socialites might buy. If that standard is applied, Uli deserved the title. I have no doubt that Uli will be able to build a successful brand on her own. Even Michael has the potential to do this, after he gains some maturity and tones down the bling. Laura will have a successful, though narrowly focused line of elaborate cocktail attire catering to clients like herself--Manhattan-based, stick-thin and with plenty of money to burn. I wish them well in all their endeavors.

    But I wonder where exactly Jeffrey will be taking his win from here, apart from where he has already made his mark. He caters to L.A. based musicians, Harajuku girls, and . . .that's about it. Apart from attending some L.A. red carpet event, CD launch or perhaps Halloween party, where can J.'s designs be worn by actual women? They are wonderfully well-made . .. for a target demographic of young 20-something rock scene hipsters who are no bigger than a size 4. From the perspective of potential market impact outside of a tiny focus group, Jeffrey was not the best choice. Not to mention, he already did have a successful business and line producing exactly the kind of clothes he is interested in making, so from that perspective, he really didn't require a launching pad of PR. I somehow can't see J. being amenable to mentoring with the INC designers, can anyone?

    With the luxury of DVD, I was able to watch the runway shows several times in a row, and I actually went through and counted up everybody's garments. Jeff had 21 pieces in total . . .at least 5 more pieces than any of the other competitors. I don't know if he cheated or not, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that he got some assistance from somewhere. J.'s designs are just right for Vogue, which I guess is what the people responsible for PR are really interested in. As we all know, the clothes in Vogue are for pictorial shock value only and not really wearable outside of a fashion shoot.

    Just once I would like to see someone win who designs real clothes for real people.

  2. #292
    FORT Fogey TunaFests's Avatar
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    Re: Jeffrey Sebelia - Season 3

    Quote Originally Posted by hikari;2704177;
    Hey, peeps . . .I know I'm a whole sodding year late to comment on the conclusion of Season Three . . .but I don't get Bravo at home and just finished watching it on DVD, so it feels very fresh to me!

    Having seen the first two seasons, I can confidently say that this year's crop of designers were at an extremely high level of skill. OK, so most of them had personality dysfunction in equal measure to their talent, but really . . .if you compare the challenges of the first season with this year's, it's a whole new level. I love Jay McCarroll's unique personality, but let's face it, his work looked extremely "Fashion Design School Final Project". Now here comes Jeffrey with a similar avant garde-funk sensibility, but he had the craftsmanship to back up his visualizations. I don't like J.'s stuff personally--I'm about 20 years too old and 6 sizes too large to look good in any of it--but it was very well-made & thematically tied-together, except for the unfortunate 2 blue dresses that did not go with anything else. One looked like it wandered in from Laura's show, and the long schmatte looked entirely Uli.

    I was rooting for either Michael or Uli to completely rock the house, but considering what Jeff went through just prior to the tent show, and having witnessed him interacting with his family at home, I had formed a softer opinion of him and was happy he won, if only because he seemed, in an emotional sense, to need it the most. These reports of him leaving the mother of his child for his model are, if true, forcing me to reevaluate that better opinion of him, however.

    I guess I have a different conception than the ruling fashionistas of what constitutes "America's Next Great Designer". I view that title as belonging to someone who has the greatest potential to become a household name in stores, like Donna Karan or Michael Kors or Calvin Klein--somebody who produces stuff that actual American women will want to buy and wear . . .as opposed to what a teeny-tiny elite Size 4 minority of snotty Manhattan socialites might buy. If that standard is applied, Uli deserved the title. I have no doubt that Uli will be able to build a successful brand on her own. Even Michael has the potential to do this, after he gains some maturity and tones down the bling. Laura will have a successful, though narrowly focused line of elaborate cocktail attire catering to clients like herself--Manhattan-based, stick-thin and with plenty of money to burn. I wish them well in all their endeavors.

    But I wonder where exactly Jeffrey will be taking his win from here, apart from where he has already made his mark. He caters to L.A. based musicians, Harajuku girls, and . . .that's about it. Apart from attending some L.A. red carpet event, CD launch or perhaps Halloween party, where can J.'s designs be worn by actual women? They are wonderfully well-made . .. for a target demographic of young 20-something rock scene hipsters who are no bigger than a size 4. From the perspective of potential market impact outside of a tiny focus group, Jeffrey was not the best choice. Not to mention, he already did have a successful business and line producing exactly the kind of clothes he is interested in making, so from that perspective, he really didn't require a launching pad of PR. I somehow can't see J. being amenable to mentoring with the INC designers, can anyone?

    With the luxury of DVD, I was able to watch the runway shows several times in a row, and I actually went through and counted up everybody's garments. Jeff had 21 pieces in total . . .at least 5 more pieces than any of the other competitors. I don't know if he cheated or not, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that he got some assistance from somewhere. J.'s designs are just right for Vogue, which I guess is what the people responsible for PR are really interested in. As we all know, the clothes in Vogue are for pictorial shock value only and not really wearable outside of a fashion shoot.

    Just once I would like to see someone win who designs real clothes for real people.
    I just have to disagree with some things. I don't think Jay's work can be compared to Jeffrey's, Jeffrey is no where near the same level as Jay in creativity. He may have more technical skill but in the real world of fashion it doesn't matter. Jeffrey's vision is totally LA. I think he won because he already has an established business, and they REALLY wanted someone who would put their clothes out there so in my opinion project runway totally copped out last season by giving Jeffrey the win. They just didn't want another Chloe. He was nothing new at all, his travel clothes were predictable, his "couture" dress was a total Vivienne Westwood ripoff, and the rest of his designs were dull (except for the dog dress). Remember when Nina was saying "this is totally now, wearable, blah blah blah" in reference to Jeffrey's travel outfit? She was really talking to Vincent!

    Jay on the other hand had a REAL show in NY fashion week a couple seasons ago, a testament to his capability (so did Malan from last season). He wouldn't have gotten near those tents if he was merely "fashion school final project"

    I totally think Jeffrey got help from his team in making the clothes, they would never charge him because they work for him and in the end they would only benefit. In the end, Michael's collection was too video ho, Laura was too niche, and Uli totally deserved the win but her collection was not comprehensive enough. Jeffrey however has a very safe appeal even though he claims these avant garde inspirations, so his clothes should sell well to the general public. At least, that's what PR is betting on.

    Also, the general public does NOT know how to dress themselves so I would not judge the competition based on what the public would want to wear.
    Last edited by TunaFests; 12-03-2007 at 08:56 PM.

  3. #293
    FORT Fanatic hikari's Avatar
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    Re: Jeffrey Sebelia - Season 3

    Tuna,

    Thanks for your response. I was delighted to see that threads from last season are still alive, allowing me to participate even though I can't see the show in broadcast time. I guess Jeff was a good choice insofar as he still keeps discussions percolating along.

    These are of course, my opinions, and you are entitled to feel differently. I have no talent for sewing or design myself, but if I were a designer, the kinds of clothes I would concentrate on would be pieces that would be suitable for working American women who are older than 25 (or, if 25, have a job in a more corporate atmosphere than MTV). That is what is missing from PR in my view--a concentration on working/day-into-evening wardrobes for middle-class working women who want to look good but can't afford couture & are not interested in looking like they are starring in a music video.

    "Video ho"!--love that--it summed up Michael's collection but exactly. I was the most disappointed in his collection of the four because I had visions of him taking the whole pie. He will get there eventually--just not for a few years yet. He has the same narrow focus on a very small demographic of women (upscale Atlanta streetwalkers, maybe?) that lack wide appeal. Even professional women want to look hot sometimes, but having one's booty and other assets hanging out at the office is not the best kind of office impression.

    Obviously the NYC fashion world & the producers of Project Runway have a vision of fashion that is not in sync with mine . . .the kinds of clothes I propose, though they would fly out of stores, would not make a splashy enough impression on the runway. From a distance, and in the space of three minutes, the looks have to be extreme to get attention. But I was paging through Elle recently, and didn't see anything in its pages as garish as what Jeff and Michael put down the catwalk--unlike Vogue, Elle has a bit more mainstream fashion taste. Even if "mainstream" is a filthy word to the denizens of the New York fashion world, it does describe the bulk of the country between the two coasts . . .and the millions of women with millions of dollars to spend on clothes. I have my rock-chick fantasies, yeah . . .but actually none of the clothes presented by any of the designers in ANY of the episodes or fashion shows to date would be suitable for my conservative work environment in a small Midwestern town. So I feel like I am speaking for legions of American women just like me, whether or not we are funky enough for Manhattan.

    I come from more of a "What Not To Wear" fan base--the emphasis on that show is not innovative design so much as helping normal women who aren't supermodels dress their bodies in the most flattering way possible. Innovation in fashion is not synomous with "pretty" or "flattering"--I think there's got to be room for a major American designer who cares that not only the clothes are works of art by themselves, but that they actually serve the woman who is wearing them. Not the case at Fashion Week, sad to say--not just the fledgling PR designers, but their professionally established peers as well.

    I smell disparagement of Chloe in your remarks . . . is that because she is 'commercial' in the sense of making saleable garments that flatter actual women? This is where you, I, and the NY fashion world must diverge, I'm afraid, 'cause I think Chloe was very strong and does indeed have a fashion future. If her clothes are 'safer' (aka wearable in the real world)--well, sorry, but that's the way most customers want to look, if 'safe' means 'pretty, normal clothes that don't look like the wearer is on her way to a costume party'. I'm sure Michael Kors, with his emphasis on classic sportswear, has to agree with me a tiny bit. I don't like the man, but he's successful.

    I guess an aspiring designer has to ask him/herself: "Do I want to be known for making elaborately constructed wearable art suitable for display in a museum or perhaps a costume picture"? or "Do I want to actually see my clothes walking down the street--not just in L.A., New York or Tokyo, but Minneapolis, Chicago, Peoria and Topeka?" Artistic snobbery certainly comes with the territory--but it does not serve the BUSINESS end of this . . .business. Where I come from, a successful product is one with wide appeal, that makes a wide customer base happy, and is not limited to a tiny minority of big-city, anorexic, rich fashion snobs. I can't help but remember how Nina Garcia herself was dressed for a day of work in her offices at Elle--simple pants, a simple sleeveless sweater with a little bit of embellishment, all earth-toned . . .in fact it looked like something that could have come straight out of Uli's collection. Not Jeffrey's.

    I don't dispute Jeffrey's artistic talent or acumen with needle and thread. I just think his win does nothing to expand the parameters of fashion beyond its already narrow and self-congratulatory borders. The rest of America think that high fashion is a ridicuously self-important, insulated little world with no connection to how the rest of us live, work and dress. Project Runway is only affirming that impression . . .though it is a vastly entertaning glimpse into that world for those of us who will never actually get to sit in Bryant Park.

    I'm just catching up on the Jay news on this board as well . . .I gather that he's pretty well had an ongoing nervous breakdown and turned his back on the prize money because it had too many strings. Such fits the profile of the high-strung & arrogant artist . . .but certainly not a businessman! It's been what, 3 years now? Where is the Jay McCarroll line? I hope he gets his life together, because he too has talent--but once again, his designs are nothing that anyone like me could wear. And I do know how to dress myself, member of the bourgeosie though I am, thanks very much!

  4. #294
    FORT Regular LucyVanPelt's Avatar
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    Re: Jeffrey Sebelia - Season 3

    someone said vivienne westwood but i think the collection looked more GO International Luella for Target myself, but seriously.i did like it though, was my favorite-- am partial to/and have always loved stripes, yellow and green plus zippers, so...
    "The most courageous act is still to think for yourself.Aloud."
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  5. #295
    FORT Fanatic CuckoosNest's Avatar
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    Re: Jeffrey Sebelia - Season 3

    Jeffrey is what the Brits call a "wanker." He's got the personality of a cactus, and his tattoos are almost as hideous as the clothes he makes.

    Like her or not, Laura's line was absolutely stunning. If they wanted someone more "innovative", then the winner should have been Uli. Either deserved the prize more than obnoxious heroin boy.
    Coach Ken: "Kid, you make this kick and you die a legend."
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  6. #296
    FORT Regular LucyVanPelt's Avatar
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    Re: Jeffrey Sebelia - Season 3

    cant say much about his personality-- he wasnt the nicest for sure and lauras clothes were beautiful i agree, didnt think much of uli all season long-- just not into her style of design (patterned, flowy fabric) at all and michaels clothes for the finale were hideous, what happened?!he did so well before and always did such tasteful things i think-- unlike his final runway collection.
    "The most courageous act is still to think for yourself.Aloud."
    -Coco Chanel

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