Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Project Runway Episode 7: Every Day Woman

Subtitle: Uli was robbed!

Episode seven brought us some truly shocking events. The show kicked off with the standard meeting of the designers to choose their models. However, when the models are brought out onto the runway, it’s revealed that they are actually the mothers or sisters of each designer. After much excitement and many tears shed, Heidi drops the bomb: No one can use their own family member as their client for the challenge. The drama ensued…

Should Vincent have won this challenge?

Ashley: No way. Like the subtitle says, Uli was totally robbed! Her tailoring of the chiffon poncho was immaculate, and once again she blew me away with her eye for pattern juxtaposition. I thought the look she created for Kayne’s mom was a chic and sexy way to dress a middle-age woman. I thought Vincent’s must have looked different to the judges, because from my couch it looked rather ill-fitting and had what I thought were extremely odd proportions.

This dress was Vincent’s best garment to date, but it was mediocre. The huge collar in front only, with the scoop in back was strange. He should have been safe, but he shouldn’t have won.

Was Jeffrey too mean to Angela’s mother?

Laura: When I listened to Tim’s podcast and found out that the mothers did not know in advance that they would be runway models in front of millions, I felt sorry for Angela’s mom. It can’t be easy to get up on the runway to be judged, especially when it’s a surprise. Jeffrey could have made her feel comforable and confident. Isn't that the job of the designer? In the real world, designers need to work to get along with their clients. Clients can be sensitive, need, fickle, or picky. They can have a hard time communicating their ideas to their designers. Jeffrey’s people skills are clearly lacking, and he failed seriously at this challenge.

Ashley: Yes, he was too mean, but Angela’s mother irritated me too. When the question came up on the commercial break to vote on who was more in the wrong, I couldn’t decide. Although he went about saying it in completely the wrong way, I agree in his thinking she was extremely insecure and somewhat unwilling to go out on any sort of limb with the design. And then again, maybe I’m still holding onto my dislike of Angela and projecting it on the Jeffrey situation…

Should Robert have been the one to be “Auf’d” this week?

Ashley: He’s really been consistently blah these last few weeks. I mean, c’mon, the guy was a designer for Barbie before this! You know he can make some interesting outfits. What he created for Vincent’s sister was something you could find in any plus division of a large department store, but then again, that means it’s an extremely marketable ensemble. My vote was for Jeffrey. The dress he created was hideous: Matronly, poorly constructed, and just all ‘round odd.

I’ll miss Robert as a character on the show. His conversations with Kayne were hilarious. However, I think that he was the right person to Auf. He must have been paralyzed by the competition on the show. What else can explain his uninteresting choices in both fabric and design.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I *heart* Jay McCarroll

The winner of Project Runway Season One, Jay McCarroll is outspoken and hilarious. I'm so psyched to see that he's joined up with the ASPCA to speak out against the use of fur in the fashion industry. In the last few years, animal fur has sadly become popular again, after several years out of vogue.

Visit this website to learn more and to sign Jay's petition.

Visit Jay's Website.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Project Runway: Recycling Challenge

We took a brief hiatus from our analysis this week to attend the Seattle Gift Show. We bought lots of great stuff to stock up the store for Christmas.

Check out this hilarious and fancy recap instead: FourFour Blog

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Day at the Beach

This is a little peak at our current window and central table display. Where's Waldo: find the top of my head.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Project Runway: Foxy Brown Rules

After the earlier Keith fiasco, we were happy to see the good guy get ahead this week. Michael has been quietly racking up points as this season’s sleeper favorite, and the Icon Challenge finally put him out front where he belongs.

Pam Grier is the perfect muse for our friend Michael. He rocked the challenge with bold color, sublime sewing, and sexy style. You know how it went; you watched it!

Do you know Pam Grier? Have you seen the classics Coffy or Foxy Brown? In the 1970s she was the black equivalent of Wonder Woman, without the invisible jet or golden lasso. She was tough and sexy, and ever so cool. More recently, she was smart and lovely in Jackie Brown. Read her filmography here. Props to Michael Knight capturing Grier’s essence in his fuchsia garment.

This week, we’re not going to lament Vincent’s odd rendition of Twiggy, or Bradley’s space age mylar Cher outfit. Instead, it’s time to place our bets on who is going to land in the final three, and why.

Laura’s predictions:

1.) Michael will be in. He’s serious about his work, avoids the drama, and is brilliant at fit and design. I love his excitement about fashion, and his sense of humor.

2.) Laura will be in. She has transcended my original suspicion that she was a rich dilettante. Her construction is strong, and her Katherine Hepburn outfit was underrated on the runway. She'll stay consistent and classic.

3.) Alison will be in. I find her sweet persona a little cloying at times, but I think her mix of avant garde silhouettes and high fashion styles to be unlike anything else that has been on PR. I think she’ll stay in by presenting strong clothes that have her edgy point of view.

Laura's wish list:

1.) Uli could be in. I’m hedging my bets a little here because I think she may get into trouble for making halter dresses for each challenge. She’ll need to show more diversity in her garments to stay in the running. I do, however, love that she uses prints in her garments with flourish and daring. Aside from Season Two’s Barbie challenge, we haven’t seen prints on Project Runway.

2.) Kayne could be in. He’s been a fun surprise this season. I had expected him to create tacky, poofy garments. Instead, he’s responded to each challenge by brilliantly fine-tuning his designs. He still loves color and bold looks, but he’s delivered high fashion instead of high pageant.

Ashley’s predictions:
Go Michael go! I’ve been loving him since the beginning for all the above mentioned reasons, as well as being interested to see how he would transform his hip-hop niche into the sleek requirements of Project Runway. He’s in my ‘Fantasy Top 3’, but I think I’m going to go ahead and say he’s going to be in the actual top 3 as well.

My second again in each category is Uli. Her masterful fabric juxtaposition skills floor me episode after episode – she has the vision! She and Michael both have fairly calm demeanors, which I think also puts them ahead in the crazy world of fashion. The PR winner will have to have good business skills on top of their creative abilities in order to really ‘make it work’.

My third person to fill out the Fantasy Top 3 would be Alison. I’m not sure she’ll make it into the actual top 3 for the exact reason I would want her there: She’s young. Her style is such a breath of fresh air and she has the ability to make a super-girly garment with a little bit of street-wise edge.

I know, there isn’t a number 4 in the top 3, but how I do love Kayne. He would be in my fantasy top group, and I think he has a great shot at being included in the real deal if he keeps up the work he’s doing. He’s gotten lucky with a few gown challenges. I’m excited to see what he’ll do next when the end product isn’t geared towards a black-tie event. So there they are, my hopes, dreams, and predictions for this third season.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Fall Preview

Working title: Winter Floral Collection

We're hard at work on our fall collection. These new products will debut at the Seattle Gift Show later this month. Of course, they'll be available on our website and in our shop as well.

Above: Each microsuede wristlet features a crystal riveted flower embellishment. Colors will include red, royal (shown), lime, and black.

Working title: Mod Chocolate

Taking a rich shade of chocolate brown as our inspiration, we've created this new collection. The bubble necklace features a star pattern, while the wallets have a round dot strip. Colors will include green (shown), red, glossy brown, and teal.

Friday, August 04, 2006

So Long, Farewell…

…Auf Weidersein Keith! And from where we stand, good riddance. Sure, he’s a decent designer, but apparently only because he cheats. (He stashed contraband pattern-making books under his bed, sneaked out to find design info on the internet, and, according to this week’s Tim Gunn podcast, “showers” for hours on end and emerges with said pattern books concealed in his robe. So all-in-all, we at Laura Bee are not to heartbroken that he got what was coming to him.

On to the others! The designers had to work in teams for the second time this season, which of course stirred up some extra (extra good, that is) drama.

Did Keith deserve to get kicked off?
Ashley: Absolutely. He’s a good designer, but such a slimy character. Having a pattern book is a ridiculous advantage, plus if he’s looking at books for inspiration, who knows what his actual ideas would even look like. He could be ripping off ideas from other designers, passing them off as his own, and fooling the judges by being so charismatic. And he was having Alison and Jeffery do all of his construction work for him in the challenge! Project Runway has no use for an idea man with no skills. Good riddance. Yuck.

Laura: I did not understand Keith’s design, which was completed by Alison and Jeffrey. (See the photo above.) Maybe the straps were part of a stirrup pant outfit that he didn’t use for his designer dog last week. He’s a faker. Great TV though.

Are you happy with Bonnie’s dismissal?
Laura: They never developed Bonnie’s personality on the show, so I can see why the judges gave her the heave-ho. There wasn’t anything to make her, or this outfit, stand out. However, I think it’s unfair that the team leader always gets the axe. I think Bradley should have been Aufed, so that he could.go back to his gig as lead singer for the Spindoctors.

Ashley: Nope. I love Robert, but his design was hideous with a capital H. The top was so short and cheap looking – what was up with the flashes of midriff when she walked? I know the slit in the skirt wasn’t supposed to be that high either, but not okay for the target I.N.C. audience. And that “coat” situation… if you’re making a model look fat, you know something’s gone horribly awry. Bonnie’s design, although slightly dated by a season or two, was pretty classic. And wearing a belt at the natural waist is such a super-trend right now! I thought she should have stayed for a little longer.

Do you think Angela’s turn-around is a fluke?
Laura: She proved that choosing a good team is a big part of success. She was wise to choose Michael and Laura, and humble enough to take their suggestions seriously.

Ashley: She’ll still have to prove herself in my book. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I actually really liked her use of rosettes on the jacket and pants! I’m a total detail girl, and I think having Michael and Laura on her team really helped her tone it down and make her lines look a little more clean and classic. It’s interesting to me that Nina Garcia attacked Bonnie’s design for being dated, but let the fact that Angela used a version of a bolero jacket which were in style over a year ago just slide by.

What do you think about this week’s drama? Post us a comment and let us know your take! You can post anonymously, so go ahead and be as snarky as you want – we love it all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We miss you SuzyBuzz

My sister, Susannah Buzard, flew back to Boston on Monday after a whirlwind visit to Seattle. Here she is modeling one of our bags. Thanks for visiting kiddo!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Project Runway Has Gone to the Dogs

Last week was extra busy here at Laura Bee: Visitors in town, the fall line to prepare. And of course our favorite activity, working with lovely clients on custom orders. So with that said, we are posting an abbreviated version of our usual Project Runway blog installment. Episode 4 airs tomorrow (Wednesday) night.

We were thrilled to see that the mysterious “fashion accessory” alluded to last week was the pocket pooch. Each designer chose a small dog from a cute assortment that included a pug, a Boston terrier, and two toy poodles, among others. (In a matter of shameless self-promotion, I – Ashley – do have to say that I called it!) We were entertained watching the designers choose their doggie clients.

Of course we were fond of the charming winner: Einstein the pug! (And his designer Uli, of course.) Both Laura and I were excited to see Uli finally get some recognition. The juxtaposition of fabrics she used on her dress was inspired and tricky to pull off.

My personal favorite canine was Stanley, who was paired with rumpled designer Bradley. They had an uncanny resemblance. Listen to Tim Gunn’s Episode 3 podcast and hear him repeatedly saying “my precious Stanley” in his signature lock jaw – hilarious! Laura was of course partial to Einstein the pug, but had a soft spot for ‘precious Stanley’ as well.

On to the garments for the humans! Once again Michael received no recognition for a beautiful design! Also, Bradley’s skirt and bubble top was somewhat of a repeat of Daniel V.’s orchid-inspired dress from Season Two. And Angela… ohhhh Angela. A Parisian art camp for 6 year olds taught by a woman from England who totes her dog wherever she goes and wears belly-baring sleeveless tops and a skimpy, crazy bubble skirts? The back story alone should have been enough to get her canned. Ah well, at least she continues to make some good TV drama.

Tune in tomorrow night to see which designer breaks the rules and is ushered off the show! We’ve been dying to find out since the first previews for the season came out back in June.

- Ashley

(Note from Laura: Check out this blog, written by a Project Runway producer, who details the inside scoop on actually making this reality phenom. He's funny too.)