Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Clothes on T.V.

Yes, Project Runway is back, in spades and in bulk: specials and the show and a spinoff and all sorts of extras online. It's no wonder Lifetime is working the show like crazy, considering that the channel's other programing consists entirely of reruns of Reba, Will & Grace, and, no kidding, Cybill. All it needed was reruns of The Golden Girls and Lifetime could have changed its name to the Nursing Home Channel. At least with PR and its spinoff, Models of the Runway, viewers in the über-desirable 24-54 demographic -- and I -- will tune in to Lifetime for at least an hour and a half every week.

Anyway, the show looks good, the contestants are interesting, and Tim Gunn is still a style god. I enjoyed the first show even though the garments the designers produced were pretty boring, and I was floored when Lindsay Lohan was trotted out as the guest judge. Lindsay Lohan, she of the tights and lateral boobage, a fashion expert! Can't say that wasn't entertainment, though.

Been there, done that.

I'm sure the show will get better as the season progresses, too. The first few episodes of all these reality shows have too many unknown people throwing too much unfamiliar -- or too familiar -- stuff at the screen to really engage me. And I insist upon being engaged. Make it work, people!

I really enjoyed the first episode of The Rachel Zoe Project, Season 2(hereinafter TRZP2) because it featured lots of dresses, and some of them really, really great dresses. Rachel was dressing five stars for the Golden Globes, and our girl did good:

Demi Moore in Armani Privé

Debra Messing in Vera Wang

Eva Mendes in Dior

Cameron Diaz in Chanel Couture

Anne Hathaway in Armani Privé

The big drama was over the pink Chanel Couture dress worn by Cameron Diaz. Rachel not only wanted it shipped to L.A. from Paris, she wanted it altered to remove the cap sleeve on the runway look. But lo! The dress arrived on time for Cameron to wear, and, apparently, roll around in the limo until that beautiful garment was crumpled like a plastic bag. I preferred it on the hanger.

I confess I don't understand why so many beautiful women in Hollywood (and I have to admit that they're all beautiful, even the ones I don't like *cough* Lindsay *cough*)) have such hard dressing themselves, but, alas, they do. Are there no full-length mirrors in Celebrity Land? Whatever, stylists need jobs too.

Oh, this is fun. Pictures of "Rachel Zoe Through the Years." Heavy on the vintage, unfortunately uncredited. I think looks 5 and 16 are vintage Halston, look 24 is vintage Stephen Burrows, and looks 14 and 25 are vintage Pucci. Any other guesses?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I See Ugly Clothes.

Oh my darlings, I have been having an fashion-based existential crisis. I look around, see nothing but ugly clothes, and I question my very existence. I question how history will define Millenium fashion (in fact, I wonder how history will describe the first decade of the 21st Century -- the Zeros?). So much current fashion looks like it was made by a designer recovering from a stroke: waistlines floating nowhere near any near any natural division of a woman's body, pleats and gathers placed in random, body-deforming locations, hemlines so short it looks like the manufacturer ran out of fabric (although sometimes that's the choice of the wearer, not the designer), bodices all askew. No proportion, no flattery, no . . . look. Gah!!!

I've barely been able to click on Red Carpet Fashion Awards to vote for Look of the Week, so great has been my malaise, though I did visit long enough to snatch the above example of "where's the rest of the dress???" See? I'm not just being a cranky old broad. Proportion is important!

Let's look at some of the other recent similar crimes of fashion:

Random pleats and wonky bodice

Too short, too lumpy, mystery waistline

Where to begin? . . .

The Celebutard look. What a contribution to history.

There was one bright spot in Spring -- I got myself in gear and went to see the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. The whole thing was, as I heard a man say, "luscious."

Pictures from the Exhibition

Pictures don't come close to showing the luxury of the fabric, the brilliance of the colors or the intricacy of the beading. Luscious, indeed!

There are a few clothing bright spots on the television horizon, too. Kayne Gillaspie, the pagent dress designer from Season Three of Project Runway has his own show on TLC called Gown Crazy. This is not a show about fashion; the dresses he makes look like leftovers from Dynasty's wardrobe, shoulder pads removed, but as, well, fabric artifacts, his stuff is fascinating. And now we know what happens to Toddlers in Tiaras when they grow up.

The new season of Mad Men starts Sunday --- goooooo vintage!!!! Project Runway Season Six is premiering Thursday on the Lifetime channel. I hope its move from the gay-friendly Bravo to the housewife channel doesn't ruin it, because I really need a good fashion reality show to wipe away my memories of Bravo's replacement, the truly horrendous The Fashion Show. And Rachel Zoe is coming back -- go more vintage! -- although not until October. Until then, I'll amuse myself with the Rachel Zoe report, which I suspect will be very relevant to my life, um, style. But amusing, I'm sure.