Thursday, September 04, 2008

Project Runway Goes "High Brow" with Diane Von Furstenberg


Didn’t Leanne surprise us all by winning her second challenge in a row? The challenge was to design for Diane Von Furstenberg, fashion legend and whose brow lift was carefully lit. (Was that an Iphone in her cleavage in the beginning? Qu'est-ce qu'un beau toucher commune. Look it up.)

Leanne's dress was simply stunning, I have NO criticism to offer. (Please do not faint.) Despite my earlier criticisms, she has stepped forward and proved to be the threat she claimed to be. The clumpy jacket, one did not care for, but that dress was absolutely sensational! Diane Von Furstenberg is offering it to American Express customers, and has only changed the color from cobalt blue to purple. And of course, lost the heavy jacket.

Although your faithful correspondent believes that Korto should have gotten the win. That beautiful gown! The yellow and print! The faux lamb jacket! All absolute perfection, and SO DVF. However, Korto has a slight attitude problem. If only she could smile graciously when she does not win instead of sulking. Her sullenness might cause her to be auf'd. (This is said with love, dahlings!)

As a judge, DVF was a tremendous improvement over Rachel Zoe. And Fern Mallis did an excellent job. She is head of IMG, producers of Fashion Week, which starts...tomorrow!

AND Laura Bennett…this may be heresy to some of you out there, but I wish she was on the program every week. I have not had a chance to comment on her since my earlier PR entry some time ago. (Her “excuse me?” to Keith the week before was one of the great Project Runway moments.) Her comments, her eye, absolutely on target.

Heidi the Hun surprised me too, dahlings. Her runway outfit was in quiet good taste, and the first one to be an appropriate length for her age!

Again, do not faint, but I was sorry to see Stella go. After all these weeks, I’ve gotten used to her. However, she insisted on sending the same ideas down the runway again and again, refusing to compromise her "rock and roll" aesthetic. It certainly bears no resemblance to MY aesthetic. Over the past two weeks, some of the designers have been listening to Tim Gunn and modifying their designs, but Stella would not. It was remarkable to see how upset the other designers were to see her leave, and quite touching.

However, at least it was Stella and not Joe. Although Joe’s design was ill-conceived. He might have slipped by if he hadn’t used that hideous shiny fabric for the shawl. But that shawl took the outfit from “tawdry” to “cheap”.

Blayne thinks MARY KATE OLSEN is a fashion legend?? He probably thinks Rachel Zoe is a model of understated good taste. His design was a disaster. (There is NO reason for Blayne to still be there except that some people think he makes “good television.” Good television according to whom?)

I know that Kenley was completely overwhelmed by the prospect of designing for DVF. She chose to make one perfect dress rather than multiple pieces. One has to admit, what she wore on Runway Day was beaucoup plus créatif than what she sent down the runway.

What she sent down the runway:

Her own design off the runway:

One major cavil: The plot of "A Foreign Affair," as Diane Von Furstenberg outlines it and as the designers mangle it later, bears NO relation to the plot of the actual movie! It was made in 1948, set entirely in post-war Berlin, and directed by the great Billy Wilder.

Marlene Dietrich plays a glamorous entertainer, true, but she is NOT a spy. She sings in a tawdry nightspot and lives in near-poverty. However, she is an ex-Nazi, protected by a corrupt American captain (played by John Lund). Jean Arthur, a famous comedienne of the 1930s and 1940s, plays a prim Congresswoman sent to investigate conditions in Berlin and the morale of the troops there. Arthur falls in love with Lund, and Dietrich is exposed and turned over to the MPs. No Shanghai, no New York. Edith Head designed Dietrich's costumes, which ranged from beaded gowns to ordinary streetwear and of course, a trenchcoat.

I very much doubt Diane Von Furstenberg actually saw the movie, and should fire the assistant who told her the plot. Just my non-humble opinion.

My dear readers, you know my opinion of vintage sellers who have no sense of history. If designers spent an evening with a few DVDs instead of looking at photographs, how much richer the design world might be for it!

See you under the tents!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

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