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sleepyjean

Suggestions for improving the show

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Is it possible that the producers just need to be told? Could it be that simple?

 

Probably not. But on the off chance this show sucks for reasons other than the fact that nobody behind the scenes gives a crap anymore, maybe it can be saved.  I want to believe that a show can be resurrected after jumping the shark. Even though it jumped the shark so long ago, the shark's grandbabies are are having babies.

 

They just don't get why we watch this show. Lots of creativity with a little bit of drama = compelling tv. Lots of drama with very little creativity = dreck. And a pissed off fan base. For whatever reason, the designers can't create on the spot anymore. Whether it's less time, less talent, or both, they're producing crap. So maybe it's time for the format of this show to change. Maybe give them more time to sketch.  On Skin Wars, which I liked (but admittedly did not watch with regularity), they told the artists the challenge the night before. That gave them plenty of time to conceptualize. Maybe give the designers more time to shop at Mood. Although some of us would miss Swatch, we can live without the 2 minutes of every show devoted to designers running around the store and hauling those bolts of fabric around. Axe that portion of the show and give the designers a decent amount of time to choose their fabrics. They need better challenges. Better guest judges. Better prizes. Better sponsors. We want to see amazing fashion. Give the designers the tools they need to really wow us.

 

The fact is, other shows are doing it better than PR. Maybe PR needs to take it's head out of it's backside and take a look around.

Edited by sleepyjean
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I have theorized that the decline of PR had everything to do with making a majority of the challenges one day challenges, and I still think that may be true.

 

1. If you have a one day challenge, no one wants to take a risk.  Risks on PR either payoff amazingly well on the runway, or they flop horribly on the runway.  But generally to get something amazing and out of the norm, you gotta take a risk.  With a two or three day challenge, if a risk doesn't pay off, you have some time to fix it and at least produce something that...while not amazing, can at least be safe.  So now, most every contestant just aims to make something that will keep them safe.

 

2. Because there are no risks in order to win a challenge, you don't have to produce something shockingly good, only something that is well sewn and constructed. It doesn't have to be shockingly good and original.  You don't have to have it walk down the runway and just blow everyone away.  Because few of the contestants, and I would think few designers in the world, can sew that fast you don't see design come to life anymore on the runway and just blowing your mind.  Now you see someone win who just sewed an outfit really, really well, and even that person doesn't want to take a risk.  This means that the entire bar is set lower, if winning only means you have to produce something that is only well constructed, but not particulary a novel design then everyone else gets in line under that just to be safe.

 

3. Because the show doesn't produce groundbreaking exciting work anymore, it doesn't create the same buzz that it used to (IMO).  That means that you don't have people in the fashion industry clamoring to be on a show.  If its basically a show about refined mall clothing, a guest judge in the fashion industry doesn't get any special "reputational" or "coolness" points for judging the show.  

 

4. Because you don't have cool guest judges anymore, because the show isn't producing the same groundbreaking, interesting fashion work that it did when it started, its slipping into the Fashion Star demographic.  That means high end sponsors like L'oreal, MUFE, Lord and Taylor, and BlueFly aren't interested anymore.  The show used to have a more aspirational, cool feel to it.  Like I knew I wasn't going to wear any of the clothing, but it was chic, cutting edge clothing, and so the brands that sponsored it could use that vibe to appeal to the audience.  It was a way for people like me (normal folk) to get an inside view of cutting edge fashion design and the beauty it could create.  Now you're getting sponsors that honestly, are more geared towards the Fashion Star demographic - Red Robin, Mary Kay, Yoplait.  I feel like Philip B (I'm not sure if Philip B is high end, I've never heard of it) and even Aldo didn't know what they were getting into.

 

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If they want to improve the show, and bring it back to its former glory, I think that they need to bring back the 2-3 day challenges.  If I were a young, hip designer, I might not even want to be on Project Runway.  While you can win a lot of money, given the crazy time constraints, you have a much, much, much better chance of being in a position to send some shitty version of your work down the runway, and now you're going to be known as "the designer that sent shitty design x down the runway" which can probably ruin a reputation.  

 

Some of Unicorn Tim's sustainable work is very pretty, but after seeing him on PR would you ever take him seriously?  Miranda as well, would you ever be interested in hiring her?  A young designer who is serious about their craft has to be concerned that being on PR might really hurt their career.  Personalities matter, but they matter much less when you are sending awesome work down the runway.  While I was in the minority, I loved Sandro (my little crazy Ruski!), but I also loved his work, no matter how much the judges hated it.  People have said Christian Siriano was a jerk, but he produced beautiful clothing.  Because he had the chance to, if he had just been a bitchy man, and sent shit down the runway, his career would have been in serious jeopardy.

 

So, I wonder if really amazing designers simply aren't auditioning for PR because it has become somewhat of a risk, without a reward.  The risk is that the time constraints cause them to send something shitty down the runway, the reward is that they end up sending somewhat safe shit down the runway.  The use of the show to highlight their talent to a national audience is somewhat diminished when...at best, you only have time to send down something that is only safe.

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I think they just need to pick a lane and own it.  Do they want to have over-the-top runway fashion, where creativity is prioritized?  Or, do they want more ready-to-wear stuff, where the priority is more...getting something decent made?

 

I would love it to be more like what I remember of the Bravo years.  So, I'll echo the need for multi-day challenges in the hopes that contestants would be able to produce something more spectacular.  They can cut the number of contestants in half to keep from having a longer production time- and because 16 designers is totally unnecessary.  They also don't seem capable of finding 16 interesting people.  It would mean fewer episodes, but a shorter season might keep us all from getting burned out by the time the finale rolls around.

 

I also think it's time for a total refresh of the judging panel, and a replacement for Tim.  Tim doesn't seem to be in sync with the judges, and based on the polls they show on-screen the judges aren't exactly in sync with the audience (or maybe that's just an editing issue, and they aren't showing the audience what the judges see).  It's hard to get into the show when I'm not seeing what the judges see, then I hop on here and other people aren't either so it's not just me.  I guess what it comes down to is they aren't really that credible anymore, imho.

 

The show used to have a more aspirational, cool feel to it.  Like I knew I wasn't going to wear any of the clothing, but it was chic, cutting edge clothing, and so the brands that sponsored it could use that vibe to appeal to the audience.

 

I think this is a great point about sponsorship and what it's communicating about the show.  It's proudly sponsored by AARP now.  I might sound age-ist by saying this, and I'm not looking for a bunch of 18 year-old designers to come on and tell me they've been watching the show their whole lives, but...it's frickin' sponsored by AARP!  That doesn't exactly suggest cool, hip fashion.

 

All that said- I think if they just pick a lane they'll instantly improve.  And they need to cast better.  Those two things would help a lot.

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Go back to the one-hour format, focus more on the actual runway show (critique EVERYTHING, don't dismiss anyone as 'safe') and cut out all/most of the product placement. I mean shit... does anything dramatic ever happen at Mood? Does anyone ever go over budget or not make it to the register on time (In the olden days, I think there were some close calls there). At this point it's just a five minute commercial for the store. 

 

Honestly I think the move to Lifetime was just the kiss of death for the show and there's no hope. But that's the Mary Sunshine in me.

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The show used to have a more aspirational, cool feel to it.  Like I knew I wasn't going to wear any of the clothing, but it was chic, cutting edge clothing, and so the brands that sponsored it could use that vibe to appeal to the audience.

I agree with this too. The cool factor is definitely gone. We used to talk about this show every Friday at work. Now I'm the only one left who still watches it.

 

Another thing, I wish there was a way to keep the designers longer. Since the only thing that interests me about this show is the garments that are created, I'd like to see how some of the eliminated designers would approach the later challenges. Maybe if they changed the format to give those who are eliminated a chance to win their way back onto the show. Like, maybe they work on the same challenge somewhere else. And if they create something phenomenal, they could have a chance to bump someone like Char out of the running. Or maybe if they changed the whole entire show format to keep all of the designers until the very end. Assign points to each challenge, with a sliding scale so later challenges are worth more points. Then at the end, the three designers with the most points go to fashion week. They'd never do that, but a girl can dream.  This show gets kind of boring to me when we get near the end and none of the designers are doing anything interesting.  In the beginning, there are so many garments to look at and assess. At the end, it's just four or five "blah" garments and the runway portion of the episode is over.

 

And finally, give us a chance to miss you, project runway! I realize they're just trying to squeeze the last drops of juice out of the lemon before they chuck it, it but I need a break. The way this show is now, I end the season feeling irritated by the drama and a little bit robbed. Let me cleanse my palate for a couple months, before you fling All Stars or Under the Gunn at my head. When I saw whatever the hell this new "Threads" thing is, I actually groaned aloud. Not another spin-off. And seeing Christian on it really bummed me out. He's so above this. Why is he back???

Edited by sleepyjean
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I think it's a combination of challenges and talent.  For me, the best designs and the best overall runways sprang from great challenges.  Like the Postal Worker uniform, Banana Republic, the Hershey challenge, the Marlene Dietrich/DVF challenge, the mom/kid challenge, or the WWE outfits.  There were DESIGN challenges or challenges with specific customers in mind, and the only one so far this season has been the "rainway" challenge or the one where they had to use old suits, but even then neither were that spectacular.  A good example of this idea is that in Season 2 for the unconventional materials challenge in the flower shop/greenhouse, the designers didn't get a very large budget and couldn't purchase flowers, only greenery, but it was still pretty good-Nina commented on the lack of color and the designers were clear that budgets didn't allow for the purchase of flowers.  In the Teams season (and that season SUCKED in a lot of ways), the designers were given boatloads of cash and the result was a showstopping runway.  So, it all starts with the actual challenge concept.  Another example is the wedding challenge from season 1 versus the current season-they got 2 days to work on it, and they had a specific customer.  On Top Chef, they create challenges and then actually do a mock run through to see if the constraints are feasible, but so many Project Runway challenges anymore are "design a pretty dress based on X," which is such a broad challenge that it creates a lack of focus for the designers.  

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Another thing, I wish there was a way to keep the designers longer. Since the only thing that interests me about this show is the garments that are created, I'd like to see how some of the eliminated designers would approach the later challenges. Maybe if they changed the format to give those who are eliminated a chance to win their way back onto the show. Like, maybe they work on the same challenge somewhere else.

 

I think this (and the rest of the paragraph) applies to a lot of aging reality shows.  The drama of the elimination ceremony is a little played out, imho, and years of questionable choices make judges look a little...foolish- even if the audience is serving in that role.  Someone needs to change it up- why not Project Runway?  

 

I suppose a point system could allow someone to run away with the competition, which would mean less tension, and I'm sure we'd have some of the problematic editing choices they make when they have to account for more than 5 contestants, but I still agree that it'd be nice to see people stick around longer.  If nothing else it eliminates the need for filler in the final third of the show.

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I agree with everyone who says to bring back multi-day challenges. The designers need the time to actually, you know, DESIGN. My other thoughts on improvement would be these...

 

1) Give the designers more money. I liked where the show was heading when it gave out the debit cards during the teams season (and season 12 IIRC). The show usually does somewhere in the realm of 12-14 challenges per season and usually only give the designs maybe $150-200 per challenge. This amounts to $2100-$2800 per person if they make it to the end. I don't understand why they don't up this amount to $5000 per person for the entirety of the season on a debit card and give them no limit on how much they can spend during each challenge (unless it's a budget challenge obviously). I hate when the designers can't execute their idea because the fabric they need is out of their budget. I know they need to "make it work", but a good design shouldn't be brought down by a third or fourth pick fabric choice. Plus, they could let designers that make it to the end use whatever was left on their debit cards toward their final collection. 

 

2) Add some stipulations to the Tim Gunn save. With the exception of Big Brother and Survivor, which are non-judge, non-talent shows where someone can be shown the door again as soon as they reenter by the participants, I am firmly in the camp of people who get eliminated staying eliminated. If they want to "save" people on PR then they need to make it hard on them. They could give the saved contestant half the money for the remaining challenges as the other designers (or cut their funds in half on their debit card), make them last pick for every challenge that involves picking a model/muse/lipstick color, ect., make them leave the workroom an hour or two before everyone else has to, or make them wait five minutes until they can join the mad dash for unconventional materials. They need to do something other than letting the person back in with a hug and kiss and then sending someone else home the next episode that would not have been in danger otherwise (double-elimination). 

 

3) Make a rule about color selection. It seems like everyone's favorite color on this show is black. They either need to put a rule into effect that says you cannot use the same base color for an outfit two challenges in a row or they need to structure the challenges to not allow it so often. I want some colorful clothes dangit! 

 

This is all I can think of at the moment given this season in front of us. I'll add more if something pops up in my head. 

 

ETA:

 

4) Give some feedback to the MOR contestants. Sometimes the designers in the middle of the pack have no idea where they went wrong or why they weren't in the top/bottom until they find themselves auffed for one tragic design. It'd be nice if the judges could just give even one word to these designers to let them know how their work was received. It could be as simple as one sentence or one word. 

Edited by PinkSprinkles
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2) Add some stipulations to the Tim Gunn save. With the exception of Big Brother and Survivor, which are non-judge, non-talent shows where someone can be shown the door again as soon as they reenter by the participants, I am firmly in the camp of people who get eliminated staying eliminated. 

 

3) Make a rule about color selection. It seems like everyone's favorite color on this show is black. They either need to put a rule into effect that says you cannot use the same base color for an outfit two challenges in a row or they need to structure the challenges to not allow it so often. I want some colorful clothes dangit! 

 

 

I think the Tim Gunn save can be useful if used judiciously (which arguably was not the case this season).

 

I knew that Chris March re-entered the competition during his original season due to mitigating circumstances, but I think he would have been a worthy recipient of the Tim Gunn save if it had existed at that time. 

 

Re: Color - Kini certainly loves to use a lot of black. As polarizing as Sandhya was, at least she liked to use color!

 

 

They just don't get why we watch this show. Lots of creativity with a little bit of drama = compelling tv. Lots of drama with very little creativity = dreck. And a pissed off fan base.

This is why I respect past contestants like Santino and Chris March over some other reality stars who are famous for being "famous": Santino and Chris March are entertaining, but they are also damn talented. 

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I suggest reducing the cast by 2-4 contestants, but take the same amount of time to film.  That would give leeway for a couple of 2-3 day challenges, and a potential higher budget for some of the challenges. 

 

I don't mind the 1.5 hours, but I'd like to see the model selection again. 

 

Lastly, a couple of challenge ideas
- have 1-2 challenges where they get sewers.  Let's see how much of a difference that makes in execution and design.  (i.e. who does it help and how much).
- a challenge where they cannot use any of the "basics" or "neutrals" - i.e. no black, white, navy, tan, red

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To me, the best way to improve the show is to reduce the number of decoy collections.   I just don't get the scheduling problem--would viewers not watch in June?  December?  Remember the great fall/winter shows, where they had time to make jackets and coats?

 

Make the showing at Fashion Week the prize it used to be.  I'm surprised the PR franchise isn't embarrassed at FW these days.  Does the fashion press even show up any more?

 

That and more time to shop, and two-day challenges.  See how easy it is?  :-)

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It's proudly sponsored by AARP now.

Which suggests that the audience is now an older group. Otherwise AARP wouldn't waste their ad budget here.

 

I'd also suggest that the judges be tossed and replaced. I actually like Posen and like that he checks the technique, isn't always all that nice--being able to take criticism is part of any creative career. Lose Nina--she's bored and it shows. She's helping to set a tone of 'been there, done that, seen it all before'. Not good. Obviously Heidi will always be there as she's one of the main producers and so calls the shots but she's also getting bored and has her attention diverted by too many other ventures--her kids, her jewelry line, her modeling and whatever else. The later crop of guest judges--what rocks did they crawl out from under? No-name, third rung actresses who know squat about fashion. Bring in some more real designers if they can--Cavalli, Lauren, Von Furstenburg was fabulous. Bring in some of the manufacturers who will be blunt about what will or won't sell.

 

Have people there who know what the hell they're talking about, not random nobodies.

 

Yes--more time, and maybe more money for challenges would help up the designs.

 

Bring in designers who have actual talent (talent isn't that hard to find--superior talent, exceptional talent is rare), not just drama. The drama is bull--this isn't Housewives of the Garment District.

 

This is a design competition--let them design.

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Top Chef originated around the same time as Project Runway and has pumped out about as many seasons, but the difference in quality is marked.  Top Chef has very well-regarded contestants and industry heavyweights regularly show up as judges.  I think their turning point was before season 3, when Tom Colicchio used his industry cred to recruit some serious contenders, and the show became a legitimate contest in the eyes of the restaurant industry.  Meanwhile, over on Project Runway, even talented finalists are treated as mere novelties by the fashion industry.

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over on Project Runway, even talented finalists are treated as mere novelties by the fashion industry.

This is something Ive wondered about. With the exception of Christian none of the contestants, let along the other winners seem to have made much of a splash. Austin Scarlett landed a gig designing bridal for Poole for a while but that's really all I can come up with. Santino said his line in LA is doing all right but nothing else comes to mind.

 

My question is why? Certainly they had talented designers go through the program among the dreck and drama and, yes, I know that the competition to launch a line and have it succeed is huge but still...

 

Thoughts?

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This is something Ive wondered about. With the exception of Christian none of the contestants, let along the other winners seem to have made much of a splash. Austin Scarlett landed a gig designing bridal for Poole for a while but that's really all I can come up with. Santino said his line in LA is doing all right but nothing else comes to mind.

 

My question is why? Certainly they had talented designers go through the program among the dreck and drama and, yes, I know that the competition to launch a line and have it succeed is huge but still...

 

Thoughts?

This has nothing to do with fashion, but Santino is a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race :)

 

ETA: what am I talking about??  Drag Race is all about fashion!

Edited by RealityGal
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Michael Costello and Chris March have had thriving careers although they didn't win. Emilio Sosa got a Tony Nomination for costume design for the recent acclaimed revival of "Porgy and Bess"

 

I agree wholeheartedly that a return to two and three day challenges as a matter of course would help enormously, but only if the talent pool can really take advantage of that time. Which goes back to another suggestion - not quite so many iterations, with time to grow and examine said pool. Get people on production who can get high-end sponsors again. I am NOT looking forward to the inevitable "Claire's accessory wall".  Ditto to getting great judges from the actual world of fashion. I still remember how Kenley Collins and Michael Costello both reacted with awe and excitement to Diane Von Furstenberg's presence.

 

And yes, please, get rid of Nina. (I like Zac quite a lot). She's no longer relevant, and she's clearly bored and annoyed.

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I agree wholeheartedly that a return to two and three day challenges as a matter of course would help enormously, but only if the talent pool can really take advantage of that time. Which goes back to another suggestion - not quite so many iterations, with time to grow and examine said pool. Get people on production who can get high-end sponsors again. I am NOT looking forward to the inevitable "Claire's accessory wall"...

 

And yes, please, get rid of Nina. (I like Zac quite a lot). She's no longer relevant, and she's clearly bored and annoyed.

 

Yes and yes. I absolutely get the sense that these people are being chosen by the same criteria as the people who inhabit Hell's Kitchen - maybe two or three who have some kind of reasonable shot at being able to do something with the prize, and the rest people who will behave stupidly on TV.

 

I get a sense that part of the reason Zac is becoming a bitchy clown this season is to protect Nina from being the one people are annoyed at in the morning. He's far too talented to behave this way and to make all these awful decisions, and he never has before.

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Michael Costello and Chris March have had thriving careers although they didn't win. Emilio Sosa got a Tony Nomination for costume design for the recent acclaimed revival of "Porgy and Bess"

 

I agree wholeheartedly that a return to two and three day challenges as a matter of course would help enormously, but only if the talent pool can really take advantage of that time. Which goes back to another suggestion - not quite so many iterations, with time to grow and examine said pool. Get people on production who can get high-end sponsors again. I am NOT looking forward to the inevitable "Claire's accessory wall".  Ditto to getting great judges from the actual world of fashion. I still remember how Kenley Collins and Michael Costello both reacted with awe and excitement to Diane Von Furstenberg's presence.

 

And yes, please, get rid of Nina. (I like Zac quite a lot). She's no longer relevant, and she's clearly bored and annoyed.

I think more 2-3 day challenges will bring a more talented pool of designers.  If I were a talented, young (or older) designer looking to make a name for myself I would probably run from PR at this point.  PR should be a showcase for super talented fashion designers.  The prize is great, but even if you don't win the Lexus, you should be able to know that you got to display the best of your design talent to the world.  1 day challenges are set up for designers to just fail, and so if I were a talented designer I wouldn't want to carry the big risk of not only having no time to produce anything amazing, but the distinct and very real risk of having so little time that you have to send something shitty down the runway.  And then people only know you for being responsible for sending shit down the runway on national TV.  A serious, talented young designer may simply decide its not worth the risk, especially because with one day challenges as the norm, you'll never really be able to put anything spectacular down the runway and you run the risk of sending something truly shitty down the runway.

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Top Chef originated around the same time as Project Runway and has pumped out about as many seasons, but the difference in quality is marked.  Top Chef has very well-regarded contestants and industry heavyweights regularly show up as judges.  I think their turning point was before season 3, when Tom Colicchio used his industry cred to recruit some serious contenders, and the show became a legitimate contest in the eyes of the restaurant industry.  Meanwhile, over on Project Runway, even talented finalists are treated as mere novelties by the fashion industry.

Interesting comparison.  I think Top Chef has had some seriously weak seasons, and I took a break after the Texas season because it got pretty bad, imho, with the "bullying" on top of ridiculous challenges (like biking from one place to another to cook).  But, it hasn't faltered quite as much and it manages to course-correct, imho.  I'm guessing a lot of that is just the Bravo name vs. the Lifetime one.  I also think Top Chef got lucky, in a way, by hitting some hardcore bullshit drama its second year, making drama via personality conflicts slighty-less of a tool/crutch than it is on Runway.

 

But then...it does seem like they actually want to be recognized as the cooking competition show on television.  Someone behind-the-scenes manages that brand, so to speak.  Who at Runway would be that invested?  It kind of does what it has to- pulls a decent (for cable), stable audience.  Is there anyone who makes the show that would care for it to be something more?

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This is something Ive wondered about. With the exception of Christian none of the contestants, let along the other winners seem to have made much of a splash. Austin Scarlett landed a gig designing bridal for Poole for a while but that's really all I can come up with. Santino said his line in LA is doing all right but nothing else comes to mind.

 

My question is why? Certainly they had talented designers go through the program among the dreck and drama and, yes, I know that the competition to launch a line and have it succeed is huge but still...

 

Thoughts?

 

I think the amount of money that is necessary to get up to the level where the average person considers you "a success" in fashion is absolutely humongous.  Big houses that sell in department stores and things are owned by vast multinational conglomerates and it is just not very realistic to imagine a designer getting to that level in the time since Project Runway has been on.  And it's tough to make money--look at Gaultier shutting his ready-to-wear down.  Even a talent as out-of-this-world amazing like John Galliano couldn't keep his house afloat, much less sell enough to be a 'name' to the average person on the street, until he got hired by LVMH; and that was apparently the result not only of a unique moment in time (the 90s were weird) but also some hardcore politicking by Anna Wintour and others on his behalf.  I don't know what Anna Wintour's opinion on PR is?  But I imagine probably not so good, and if so that's bad news for any designer, but especially bad news for an American designer. 

 

Even if this was not the case, I don't think there's ever been anyone on Project Runway talented enough--or shown off well enough by the show!--to make it over the hurdles of insiderism and conservativism to get hired by a big house.  Imagine if you are a giant company, looking for a designer for a line that will be manufactured in tens of thousands of pieces and sold all over the world, would you hire a Project Runway designer?  In the world of restaurants, I think, being able to cook is a mark of skill and professional pride (though still not all that important--I'm sure Colicchio vets everyone very carefully before they're allowed on, and many people are already chefs in charge of kitchens when they compete), but in the fashion world being able to sew is literally irrelevant.  I remember reading that Ralph Lauren didn't even sketch, much less know how to sew.  In the olden days perhaps real couture designers like Chanel, Vionnet, and Balenciaga could sew--but it still wasn't important; I'm sure Christian Dior could not.  There's no way a multinational would risk putting someone who has no proven track record in charge, just because they won some money and prizes for home-sewing on TV.  And if they hire you as a designer deep down low in the trenches (because Designers with a capital D have zillions of designers with a lowercase d working for them, I have an acquaintance who designs for The Beautiful Georgina at Marchesa) the fans call you a failure and pathetic.  They don't expect you to be like a respected chef in a small hip restaurant; they expect you to be Chef Boyardee.  They want to be able to go to a store and buy your clothes.  That's the only kind of 'success' that people know in the fashion world.

 

ON TOPIC, I think there is no way to save the show without taking a break.  The talent just isn't there--whether because they've drained the well of people who are both talented and willing to be on TV, or because the talented people have realized that everything they make will look like butt because of the conditions of the show...Put the show to sleep for a decade.  It will come back with nostalgia-prestige and there will be lots of new hungry kids with stars in their eyes to be on it.

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I absolutely do NOT want them to have seamstresses doing the sewing for them. From day one, PR contestants had to have a modicum of sewing ability (well, except for Anya, although I guess she DID have a modicum) and I don't want to see them go the Fashion Star route on this.

Also, as I've mentioned in another thread, I've been rewatching my seasons 1 - 5 DVDs and there were plenty of one day challenges in the original seasons as well, but here's where I've noticed a difference: for their one day, they would have from 9 or 10 in the morning until midnight that night. That's more than 12 hours.

Nowadays, and many times, we will hear Tim say, "designers, you have until 7 pm tonight OR you have 6 hours or 8 hours remaining for this challenge. So not only have they taken away nearly all of the 2 day challenges, but the "one day challenges" are not even a full 8 hours in some cases.

 

Nina does need to go or at least to take a break. And seriously, if Heidi really cares about this show, maybe she should stop hosting America's Got Talent cause she's really awful on there anyway. Tim could have gone after season 12 and I wouldn't have cared. I dunno....perhaps there is nothing that can save the show at this point. As someone else mentioned, it's old for a reality show and the seams are just wearing thin.

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I think more 2-3 day challenges will bring a more talented pool of designers.  If I were a talented, young (or older) designer looking to make a name for myself I would probably run from PR at this point.  PR should be a showcase for super talented fashion designers.

Well, yes. But I still suspect that one reason for the one-day's could well be a cost saving device on the part of the producers. Less time for the challenges means fewer days renting the living spaces, fewer meals, fewer days to pay the crew and rent whatever production space they use.  Just MO, as they say but I'd say it's a real possibility.

 

 

I think the amount of money that is necessary to get up to the level where the average person considers you "a success" in fashion is absolutely humongous.  Big houses that sell in department stores and things are owned by vast multinational conglomerates and it is just not very realistic to imagine a designer getting to that level in the time since Project Runway has been on.

Very true but still, the big designers, the Laurens, the Kors and so on started somewhere, started as assistants (Vera Wang was an accessories designer for Lauren, as memory serves, before she struck out on her own). Perhaps a good prize, instead of a car or a roomful of sewing machines or whatever would be an assistantship with some successful professional for , say, two years. Work with Von Furstenburg, Lauren, at Dior or someplace. Get to really understand the various facets of the industry from the inside, get your name out there, maybe get some great recommendations. If you can make that work that would be a valuable prize.

 

As for designers not having to know how to sew. Okay, granted, some couldn't put in a zipper if their lives depended on it, depend on assistants, describe what they want instead of draping or sketching. It does happen, of course. But (you knew that was coming...) it's of obvious advantage to fully understand construction to be fully aware of what both is and isn't possible to do with different fabrics and techniques. To not have that knowledge is to have to rely on other people and then you've put yourself in the possible position of having your ideas compromised or changed or simply fail. My own grandmother was a well known designer in NYC about a century ago and into the 1940's. I can sew--she could conceive and make anything, using any fabric. She was a true expert and professional at patterning, cutting, building a garment. She was also a businesswoman of the highest order, kept a close eye on that side of things and only stopped with her death. Tough as nails but respected and somehow managed to treat people well. She had the foundation and balls to make a success and sustain it through the great depression.

 

Okay, that was a lot of years ago but it can be done. It isn't easy, but it can be done. There are plenty of talented people. Talent isn't that hard to find--big talent combined with the wherewithal to make a success, make and maintain a reputation, be able to sell yourself and your product and still keep an eye on the bottom line--that's the hard part.

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I absolutely do NOT want them to have seamstresses doing the sewing for them. From day one, PR contestants had to have a modicum of sewing ability (well, except for Anya, although I guess she DID have a modicum) and I don't want to see them go the Fashion Star route on this.

Also, as I've mentioned in another thread, I've been rewatching my seasons 1 - 5 DVDs and there were plenty of one day challenges in the original seasons as well, but here's where I've noticed a difference: for their one day, they would have from 9 or 10 in the morning until midnight that night. That's more than 12 hours.

Nowadays, and many times, we will hear Tim say, "designers, you have until 7 pm tonight OR you have 6 hours or 8 hours remaining for this challenge. So not only have they taken away nearly all of the 2 day challenges, but the "one day challenges" are not even a full 8 hours in some cases.

 

Nina does need to go or at least to take a break. And seriously, if Heidi really cares about this show, maybe she should stop hosting America's Got Talent cause she's really awful on there anyway. Tim could have gone after season 12 and I wouldn't have cared. I dunno....perhaps there is nothing that can save the show at this point. As someone else mentioned, it's old for a reality show and the seams are just wearing thin.

 

I felt like 2-3 day challenges were the norm, and one day challenges (with more time) were the exception.  I can always remember the designers groaning at a one day challenge because they weren't the norm, now they are pleased as punch to have two day challenges.

 

Now - I know I'm going to be in the minority here.  And I can appreciate it, and please, all of you pelt me with your hate and snark.  Mentally, I have put on my snark/hate raincoat (in my mind, it looks a lot like Sandaya's pinwheel coat) so I'm ready.........

 

But, I actually wouldn't mind seeing them take some elements from Fashion Star.  Actually, just one.  I would like to see high end retailers weigh in on the designs, and have some sort of mechanism in place for having them available in a ready to wear format.  Three retailers, maybe like a Nordstroms, Lord & Taylor, and maybe an online retailer like Zappos or something.  

 

Maybe it would be another iteration of PR.  Maybe like a Project Runway: Ready to Wear or something, I'm not sure.  But I like the idea, because first, it would give the show more money/budget, and they could bring back the 2-3 day challenges.  Second, I like that it connects the audience more solidly with the show.  Third, it allows for the designers to get into stores and get exposure in a very real way, instead of the derivative way its done now (show at NY Fashion Week, and hope that exposure turns into people buying your clothes).  Fourth, I think if done correctly, it can create a buzz for the show that they haven't had in a long time, which can bring back higher end judges.  Fifth, I think it will force the designers to design for real women, because they will have to consider the real woman in their designs, because the stores will want to have a design that can fit a variety of women, not just 6 foot glamazons.  Sixth, the designers can get a real world perspective from actual buyers who are in the business of selling to the public, which I think is invaluable.  Eighth, I think if done correctly it can attract higher end sponsors, especially through cross promotion, if I'm L'oreal, MUFE, MAC, Urban Decay, Ojon, or any other high end brand and I can be featured in an in-store ad in Nordstrom or Lord & Taylor, right there at point of purchase, in a situation where people are already geared towards buying I'm a happy camper, not only are my products being featured on a national TV show, but now I'm getting advertisting at a point of purchase.

 

As much as Fashion Star sucked absolute monkey balls....and it absolutely sucked all the monkey balls in so many ways, almost every winning design sold out online, or you couldn't find it in the store after a few days.  And that was even at Saks where the stuff was wildly overpriced and not even that good.  I think Fashion Star just had so many things wrong (the team approach, the mentors [you'll never convince me Jessica Simpson, or Nicole Richie are really designers in the same way DVF or Elie Tahari, or Betsey Johnson are], the ridiculous runway with "song of the day" tie in and Hula dancers and shit, the fact that seriously, no one with any real talent was cast) that the few things the show did right were hard to see.

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Well, yes. But I still suspect that one reason for the one-day's could well be a cost saving device on the part of the producers. Less time for the challenges means fewer days renting the living spaces, fewer meals, fewer days to pay the crew and rent whatever production space they use.  Just MO, as they say but I'd say it's a real possibility.

 

As Jack Donagee once said on "30 Rock" sometimes you have to go "into the crevasse" in order to succeed.  I understand 2-3 day challenges cost more money, but the current situation IMO is the alternative.  Fewer talented designers, crappier designs, designers terrified to take a risk and just sending boring stuff down the runway.  I think there is a chance that PR will start to lose viewers because the one thing that was the most important was the runway show.  Without a cool as hell runway show, its just drama, and I have many Real Housewife options to choose from if all I want is drama (and please believe, I do love some drama on PR, but I want to see amazing fashion walk down the runway!)  I think if they "went into the crevasse" of spending more money on the 2 day challenges they would get more viewers in the coveted demographic, and then they could charge more for ad revenue.  

 

They need to know, I will draw the line at a Payless accessory/shoe wall, and a Wal Mart hair and makeup studio

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I absolutely do NOT want them to have seamstresses doing the sewing for them. From day one, PR contestants had to have a modicum of sewing ability (well, except for Anya, although I guess she DID have a modicum) and I don't want to see them go the Fashion Star route on this.

 I only suggested it for 1-2 challenges.  I think it could be interesting to see if it really has an impact on the designs and creativity.

 

Well, yes. But I still suspect that one reason for the one-day's could well be a cost saving device on the part of the producers. Less time for the challenges means fewer days renting the living spaces, fewer meals, fewer days to pay the crew and rent whatever production space they use.  Just MO, as they say but I'd say it's a real possibility.

Unless you do as I suggested upthread - start with fewer designers but use the same amount of time to film. Then you could have more 2 day challenges. It still wouldn't be all the challenges, but even adding a few 2 day challenges would help.

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I'm not even sure it's a money thing, RG.

I think, from what I've read and as we all know from having that awful Under the Gunn foisted at us, it's more of a Heidi scheduling issue. She hosts Germany's Next Top Model, as well as America's Got Talent judging duties, and others had mentioned, of course, she has 5 kids or however many, plus she EPs Project Runway and is judge and host.

I know higher end sponsors have dropped out, but that's due to the quality of the show waning, I'm sure. If they had better design talent and longer time for challenges, we might see some measure of return to glory.

Heidi's overextended though and I maintain: IF she still cares about PR at all, she might want to drop another project so she can devote some more time to the flagship. I'm looking forward to PR AS this season because of all the hateables involved, but when I saw the ad for that teen version, I thought, OH NO. Kinda like Project Accessory, I'm sure it will have the same longevity. And as always, here's hoping UTG does NOT rear its ugly head again.

 

And aquarian, it might be interesting for one challenge for sure, kinda like they did in season 8 when the designers partnered up and had to execute each other's designs. If they used actual seamstresses/ seamsters though, no one (IVY) could blame another designer for not being able to execute their vision.

Edited by PepperMonkey
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Very true but still, the big designers, the Laurens, the Kors and so on started somewhere, started as assistants (Vera Wang was an accessories designer for Lauren, as memory serves, before she struck out on her own). Perhaps a good prize, instead of a car or a roomful of sewing machines or whatever would be an assistantship with some successful professional for , say, two years. Work with Von Furstenburg, Lauren, at Dior or someplace. Get to really understand the various facets of the industry from the inside, get your name out there, maybe get some great recommendations. If you can make that work that would be a valuable prize.

 

As for designers not having to know how to sew. Okay, granted, some couldn't put in a zipper if their lives depended on it, depend on assistants, describe what they want instead of draping or sketching. It does happen, of course. But (you knew that was coming...) it's of obvious advantage to fully understand construction to be fully aware of what both is and isn't possible to do with different fabrics and techniques. To not have that knowledge is to have to rely on other people and then you've put yourself in the possible position of having your ideas compromised or changed or simply fail. My own grandmother was a well known designer in NYC about a century ago and into the 1940's. I can sew--she could conceive and make anything, using any fabric. She was a true expert and professional at patterning, cutting, building a garment. She was also a businesswoman of the highest order, kept a close eye on that side of things and only stopped with her death. Tough as nails but respected and somehow managed to treat people well. She had the foundation and balls to make a success and sustain it through the great depression.

 

Okay, that was a lot of years ago but it can be done. It isn't easy, but it can be done. There are plenty of talented people. Talent isn't that hard to find--big talent combined with the wherewithal to make a success, make and maintain a reputation, be able to sell yourself and your product and still keep an eye on the bottom line--that's the hard part.

 

Oh I totally agree with both of these points!  But I don't think the fans will really accept a minor position in a fashion house as a success (maybe unless you're Dmitry and they love everything you do).  People expect your name to be on a brand with fancy ads in the front pages of Vogue as soon as the show is over and the winner declared.  I think a modestly successful bridal line like Leanne has (or for that matter, selling enough to keep the business running on etsy) is an amazing success story but there is a persistent idea that "only Christian went anywhere" with maybe an honorable exception for Chris March and Michael whatsisface because they make dresses for celebrities on the red carpet.

 

And I definitely think all designers should know how to sew, but it's not my opinion I was talking about, but the businessmen's.  I'd love to have a meeting with them and argue about it, but in the world we live in, it's just a sad fact that sewing skill is irrelevant to fashion design.  Just as people who design cars probably can't build them on their own.

 

This is exactly why, by the way, I myself gave up on fashion school and am just a lowly garment worker.  Project Runway didn't exist yet when I started out but I had a similar conception of designer-as-fine-artist who does everything herself and works with her hands and answers to her own muse.  What I found instead (I was naive) was a world of money money money and people who vaguely suggest buzzwords to an army of assistant designers who then draw something which is made into a technical drawing which is made into a pattern which is cut and sewn by poor oppressed people in Bangladesh.  I love sewing, so I decided to give up the 'glamour' (which I was never interested in anyway) to be a seamstress on a factory floor and make dresses start-to-finish for private clients and friends when I'm asked.  I can imagine what the PR fans would think of me if I were a winner!  But this is success to me.

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I know higher end sponsors have dropped out, but that's due to the quality of the show waning, I'm sure. If they had better design talent and longer time for challenges, we might see some measure of return to glory.

The high end sponsors will be back if and when the ratings go up. The more viewers, the more people see the ads and the sponsors products.

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But I don't think the fans will really accept a minor position in a fashion house as a success (maybe unless you're Dmitry and they love everything you do).  People expect your name to be on a brand with fancy ads in the front pages of Vogue as soon as the show is over and the winner declared

 

The fans may not but the designers would, unless their egos are ridiculously outta control. A year or two spent in Cavalli's workroom, doing assistant work for St. Laurent or some such would be a major plus for anyone who understood the value and I suspect that many fans would get it.

 

Galliano, a very talented designer, no question, shot himself in the foot a year or two ago when he made widely repeated and widely reported anti-Semitic comments. He may well make a come-back but he left a bad taste in many mouths when he did that. I believe he apologized but many found it too little, too late.

 

 

My own grandmother was a well known designer in NYC about a century ago and into the 1940's. I can sew--she could conceive and make anything, using any fabric. She was a true expert and professional at patterning, cutting, building a garment. She was also a businesswoman of the highest order, kept a close eye on that side of things and only stopped with her death. Tough as nails but respected and somehow managed to treat people well. She had the foundation and balls to make a success and sustain it through the great depression.

With apologies to my old granny, I wanted to add that she was also a damn good designer which she could tie her technical and business abilities on. She understood her clients and came (literally) out of an orphanage to head a company still in existence , though without her guidance and without her taste level, nor do they still target the high end clientele. Sorry, Grandma..

 

 

This is exactly why, by the way, I myself gave up on fashion school and am just a lowly garment worker.  Project Runway didn't exist yet when I started out but I had a similar conception of designer-as-fine-artist who does everything herself and works with her hands and answers to her own muse.  What I found instead (I was naive) was a world of money money money and people who vaguely suggest buzzwords to an army of assistant designers

But you've stayed in something you obviously still get pleasure in; a good thing and credit to you. Sadly, the designer as fine artist is an incompatible concept on a large scale, or so it seems to me. To do that you pretty much have to be the one man band, doing everything (or almost everything) yourself. With success , with a business which grows, some control or hands on work has to be delegated. The bigger the business, the harder it is to do it all.

 

And just BTW, a friend is an auto designer for GM. No, he doesn't build the cars but he does know how and spends spare time rebuilding his own car. He knows carburetors and all that stuff--it's not just a concept. He understands the nuts and bolts inside and out. There are some who have that passion if you look for them.

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Galliano, a very talented designer, no question, shot himself in the foot a year or two ago when he made widely repeated and widely reported anti-Semitic comments. He may well make a come-back but he left a bad taste in many mouths when he did that. I believe he apologized but many found it too little, too late.

 

With apologies to my old granny, I wanted to add that she was also a damn good designer which she could tie her technical and business abilities on. She understood her clients and came (literally) out of an orphanage to head a company still in existence , though without her guidance and without her taste level, nor do they still target the high end clientele. Sorry, Grandma..

 

Oscar de la Renta gave Galliano a tryout as creative director last year, he said after Anna Wintour lobbied for it, but said he was too expensive. Apparently there are some folks who weren't offended.

 

I don't mean to be intrusive, but would you be comfortable saying who your grandmother was?

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I don't mean to be intrusive, but would you be comfortable saying who your grandmother was?

Without trying to be obtuse or in any way rude, in all honesty I prefer not revealing too much personal info on line. 'Not to offend anyone here but I've had problems with idiot stalkers who disagreed with things I wrote as well as others who wanted to become my bestest friend and come over for tea (no kidding) and also have had identity probs.

 

She was a high end lingerie designer who worked in the garment district in NYC, specialized in the good stuff--top of the line silks, imported laces and all of that. My father told me stories about how, when he was a schoolboy in NYC, she would go to the usual parent/teacher conferences, size up the teacher and then, come the holidays or end of the year, pull something from the line as a teachers gift. His poor 9 or 10 year old self would stand by teacher's desk, wanting to fall through the floor as the teacher exclaimed over the silk slip or nightgown in front of the class.

 

My other favorite story was told to my by my great aunt--close friends with my granny. One day they were hanging out, chatting, catching up on the gossip. As they talked Granny was studying a piece of fabric spread out on the living room floor which her husband had brought back from a business trip to the Far East...looking at the pattern, grain and such. Finally she got down on her knees and started cutting with no pattern. The aunt shrieked "____ What are you doing????" "Don't worry, it'll be fine." A month or so later they met up for dinner or a show in the city. Granny work the dress she'd cut during their gossip. Not only fabulous, but it fit her perfectly. Yeah--she was that good. She was also the reason the family stayed solvent during the Depression--she got her butt to work every day and kept producing for the clients who could still afford her stuff. Sadly for me, she died about a decade before I was born and I never actually met her, though have the proof of her career in bulk (and a few fabric remnants). I've been told, over the years, that 'Oh, you inherited ___'s talent!' No, I sure as hell didn't and wish I had. 'Maybe a very tiny percentage, but that's it. Would that it were true.

 

And apologies for going off topic...but I question how many of PR's contestants could have handled the stuff she did and made a success. Not to make her sound like a female Horatio Alger, but she (and her 3 sibs) were dumped/abandoned into an orphanage when their widowed father remarried to a woman who wasn't into kids. All 4 made a success out of their lives--a lawyer, a theatrical agent, granny and a sister with a very good marriage. Widowed herself with two young kids, she remarried, kept her design career and had a good life. Like I said above, all of them were tough as nails but still, somehow, remained nice people.

 

Yes, I know that some of PR's contestants have had tough lives--Kortu (sp?), and others but...yikes.

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Without trying to be obtuse or in any way rude, in all honesty I prefer not revealing too much personal info on line.

 

Totally understandable. She sounds like a really impressive woman.

 

My nonna was the same with food.

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I don't think the show is ever going to get any better.  Weinstein doesn't care about PR prestige in the fashion world, as long as the ad revenue keeps coming in.  Heidi and Tim can't care either because they've done nothing to halt the decline.  Tim even keeps up the "this is the most talented group of designers we've ever had" BS. 

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I don't think the show is ever going to get any better.  Weinstein doesn't care about PR prestige in the fashion world, as long as the ad revenue keeps coming in.  Heidi and Tim can't care either because they've done nothing to halt the decline.  Tim even keeps up the "this is the most talented group of designers we've ever had" BS. 

I think you're right, but the viewers have to be there to support the ad revenue.  I don't know if the ratings are in decline, but if they are, advertisers may look for a show with more viewers in the right demographic.  Or, he could just try to sell more ads.  I think I read somewhere that he didn't care who advertised on the show as long as they were paying.  And thats fine, I suppose, but if ratings slip, they may not be able to sell the sponsorships for as much anymore.  And frankly, I'm still confused as to what Red Robin is getting out of this.  I think the sponsorship had to have been sold to them on the way cheap.

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I don't think the show is ever going to get any better.

Gosh that's depressing. True, but depressing, because just think of what might have been. All the wonderful things that could've been created if only the people behind this show gave a damn.

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My only suggestion is for Heidi and her production team to watch the seasons on Bravo with Lifetime executives and recreate what made it so successful.  That is it. Done. 

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I know the producers are probably trying to bring in new viewers by casting guest judges from TV shows or whatever, but as I said in a PRAS thread, I don't think anyone wants to see the sidekick's second-best ex-friend in a judges' chair.  Bring on people who are relevant and who will have something to say other then hem, haw, I would wear that.  I would wear that is NOT a valid critique.  WHY you would wear that gives the designer something to go on, and shows you have a thought in your head that wasn't scripted by your show's writers.
 
Even though fashion is supposed to be fluid and constantly changing, this show makes it feel tired and over, so come up with concepts that would blow some fresh air into the room.  Let's go back to very specific challenges:  prom dress, wedding gown, UPS delivery person (because we've already done postal worker, and wouldn't a runway of brown be a nice break from all that black?!).  Design an outfit for a character on a TV show--a suit for Alicia Florek to wear to court, or a gown for Big Bang Penny to wear to an awards show because her hemorrhoid cream commercial won a prize.  I would love to see one of the judges from Face Off judging a challenge of outfits inspired by iconic characters from science fiction movies.  If you want to tap the Broadway well, design a costume for the lead character of a musical.  Heck, why not redesign BDUs for the Army, or come up with a new Navy dress uniform?  Give the designers enough time to design and make a winter coat, a decent pants suit or long-sleeved dress for the office, a Sunday go to church outfit. How about a challenge to make a LBD, except you can only use a rainbow color?  Or a challenge where you have to make a pink outfit to celebrate breast cancer awareness?  Or a challenge where you have to use a print fabric? 
 
I want to see a challenge where the designers are not allowed to use neutral colors, especially black.  And let's put a moratorium on crop top/pencil skirt outfits, sleeveless sheaths, jumpsuits, or anything that shows the good china.  Any outfit that exposes butt cheeks, vajajays, or nipples should automatically land the designer in the bottom even if it's made of $500 a yard fabric and is otherwise amazing.  I'm sick of seeing the models hanging out of their very skimpy clothes because the designers don't understand how to fit a garment properly. 
 
Another thing I would change would be to have an extra choice in the button bag or whatever they're using.  It really sucks to be the last person choosing, because you get whatever is leftover and have no choice.  Why not put an extra choice in so the last person isn't just stuck?  The upside to that is they can't say, well I was stuck because that was all that was left.  Even if they're just choosing between two crummy options, at least they HAVE a choice.

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Design an outfit for a character on a TV show--a suit for Alicia Florek to wear to court, or a gown for Big Bang Penny to wear to an awards show because her hemorrhoid cream commercial won a prize.

 

As long as the guest judge isn't the actor, but the costumer for the show.

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I'd like to see a SEASON in which they can't use neutrals.

 

"Orange is the new black": design any dress you like, but it has to be some shade of orange.

 

"Out of your comfort zone": you can't use your signature look.

 

Reprise the Wicked Challenge as Good vs Evil, with the proviso that Good has to use darker colors and Evil has to use pastels.

 

"The Uses of Adversity" (2 day challenge): the contestants have to use whatever fabric is in the black bag. All of it is difficult in some way: slippery, stiff, a hideous print.... You have two days to make a fabulous gown.

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The producers would hate my presence in the Oval Office because I'd suggest:

Mainly, stop with the pointless challenges. Seasons 1-3 featured some great tasks whose clothes were theoretically made to serve a purpose, go somewhere, or define/fill a role. Maybe they were updates and redesigns, like the USPS uniform challenge, or even the Miss USA challenge. Now what do we get? Designers, design a dress with wood chip clippings, but first, you need to cross the monkey bars over the cave of a dragon whom we didn't feed for 48 hours, so he's very hungry.

Edited by BathKol

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And to also add: PR has such a Western/Eurocentric aesthetic that I think they are seriously overdue an overseas trip to Japan. I hated the ignorance displayed by Heidi and Nina Barfcia at Kooan Kosuke's designs. The Japanese have some totally cool and very beautiful avante garde/alternative trends like lolita, visual kei, some gorgeous gothic wear, and the best cosplay you could ever imagine. And seeing that Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Commes des Garçons, and a few other Japanese or Japanese-based designers are big in fashion, it is an utter shame PR has not devoted more exposure to them, or been more welcoming to designers with a very Asian aesthetic.

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Now that it has been revealed that the challenge given to the designers may not have the same criteria the judges are using (see Project Runway All Stars thread on "Something Wicked This Way Comes" or the interview with Chris March (http://bloggingprojectrunway.blogspot.com/ ), a big improvement would be to have the judges show their criteria for judging the fashions both with the designers and the audience. Right now it seems altogether arbitrary.  Certainly rules should not be made at the beginning of a challenge that are then changed when the judging is made.  That's just ridiculous (and Chris March's interview has a ring of truth to it).  I agree with stopping pointless challenges, giving more time, and broadening out the challenges.  What we are ending up with is very short dresses, very long gowns, and camel toe pants, mostly black.  I know why this is true, but it doesn't have to be if the producers gave the designers more options. 

Edited by dialyn

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Now that it has been revealed that the challenge given to the designers may not have the same criteria the judges are using (see Project Runway All Stars thread on "Something Wicked This Way Comes" or the interview with Chris March (http://bloggingprojectrunway.blogspot.com/ ), a big improvement would be to have the judges show their criteria for judging the fashions both with the designers and the audience. Right now it seems altogether arbitrary. Certainly rules should not be made at the beginning of a challenge that are then changed when the judging is made. That's just ridiculous (and Chris March's interview has a ring of truth to it). I agree with stopping pointless challenges, giving more time, and broadening out the challenges. What we are ending up with is very short dresses, very long gowns, and camel toe pants, mostly black. I know why this is true, but it doesn't have to be if the producers gave the designers more options.

I figured something more was going on than what we are being shown. I'm sure that's not even the half of it.

I think it would be interesting to limit the materials the designers choose. Especially for specific chalkenges for X Client who wants a Y Dress for Z Event. Then there wouldn't be such wide gaps in dresses and awkward judging. Like say, a singer name Lazy Poo wanted a gown to wear to the 500th Alternative Music Awards. You can only design a dress in either metallics, black, or lavender grey. No polyester please. And they should provide a portfolio of looks (like with Nikki Hilton) so that they can have a general idea of what style the Lady goes for. I could see that have helping in the Miranda Lambert Challenge, so that we could have avoided fringe galore.

I think they should also have more entertainment based challenges. They have only done to my knowledge two challenges for television shows, three if you include Marge Simpson, but she isn't technically a 'real' person. Jean Paul Gaultier has designed costumes for numerous films like 'La Cité des Enfants Perdus' and that one with Mila Jokovich I can't seen to remember now (GAWD it's on the tip of my tongue, too!!!). Making costumes for films is great fun and you can be really creative at times. It's interesting they've never had a challenge like that. I guess the closest thing was Season 1 and the recycled clothing collections where Jay et al had that fun futuristic dystopian society look.

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I believe you're thinking of The Fifth Element. Notable for Leeloo's "thermal bandages."

Oh yes, thank you!! I hate it when that happens...I knew the sound but could not form the words!!

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To branch off of whimsey98's idea, they could have over-50 models choose over-50 celebrities as style inspirations, or just inspirations, such as Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Clinton (ha), Cher, Marie Osmond, whoever, just needs to be an over-50 female celebrity.  But the fashion should be contemporary, not from the period when the celebrity became famous or was the most well-known.

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I'd like more challenges centered around fashion history -- the quirks and fads and moments of genius that changed the way we clothe ourselves -- this show now feels so dumbed-down & chain store ready.

Rework the old stealing-the-model bit into a challenge (call it "A-musing") about designers being inspired by their models (St. Laurent and Lou Lou de la Falaise, Lagerfeld and Ines De la Fressange, Marc Jacobs and Sophia Coppola, etc) and how those women, and the qualities they embodied changed the way designers looked at materials, silhouettes, movement. (i.e., Demeulemeester for Patti Smith vs Givenchy and Hepburn.) I'd like a challenge highlighting the greatest female designers ("Ladies Who Don't Lunch") Paquin, Chanel, Vionnet, Madame Gres, Lanvin, Schiaparelli, Valentina, Quant, Westwood, Fursternberg -- and on and on -- and I'd bring Mizrahi in as guest mentor for these challenges. (I'd much rather have him in charge than this base, bastard version of Tim Gunn now on display.)  Mizrahi's knowledge (and love of) fashion history is wide and varied (I can just hear  him: "And who did you get, little chicken? The Mother of sportswear herself, Coco? Did you know her whole house in the country was in black and white only?") He can be pretentious and annoying, but (at least for me) Mizrahi can still get excited about something that catches his eye -- which is more than I feel watching this joyless exercise now -- an endless parade of shitty clothing, third rate drama and guest judges I wouldn't trust to help me buy yoga pants online, never mind assess an original design.

Edited by film noire
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