Sunday, December 02, 2007

Katy's Take

Season 4: Episode 3 “Fashion Giant”

As someone who has never sewn men’s wear, I have to say that I’m REALLY glad I didn’t have to go through this challenge. The actual “designing” part of the challenge wouldn’t have scared me (I did design men’s clothing for almost 4 years for Target), but the construction/sewing part would have freaked me out! I know a lot of people think menswear is probably a lot easier that women’s, but I have to disagree. Women are much more adventurous with their fashion, so there is a lot of leeway with what you can design. Men tend to be more conservative, and therefore the design part usually needs to come in all the details (such as Kit using fleece or Jack putting a few pieces of the shirt on the bias).

Although I’m relieved I missed out on the menswear challenge, I’m also glad PR finally did a challenge with men’s clothing (and not one where just a few designers had to create menswear). The only thing I wasn’t happy with was their pick of athlete for the challenge. I didn’t know who Tiki Barber was and have nothing against him personally, but designing for a conservative man who’s on the Today Show really limits what the designers can do. They were basically limited to versions of a dress shirt and suit. If they had picked a different athlete, they might have had more room for creativity. For example, if they had been designing for David Beckham or Tony Hawk (as the Bravo poll had suggested), they would have been able to create funky casual looks as well as higher-end “dress” looks. Personally I think that would have resulted in a much more exciting runway.

Oh… and in case you’re wondering, I definitely DON’T think Jack cheated and think he was pretty smart to use his shorts as a pattern. First of all, he got the okay from Tim and anyone of the other designers could have done the same thing (well, maybe not the girls…but he did share with some of them). I’ve heard some people say that if Jack was a good designer, he wouldn’t have had to use his shorts, but let’s face it, a pair of pants is pretty much a pair of pants. There’s really not a whole lot of “innovation” in the basic shape. All the design comes in the fabric choice and detailing and even the shape of the leg (flared, skinny, etc…) is based off the basic block pattern. With this in mind, anything that can speed up the process of creation while you’re in “Project Runway timing” is a good thing. And finally, I know that Vincent traced his pants and even Jeffery used his own as a reference for construction, so it’s not like Jack is the first to do this (although I think he’s the first to actually take apart his pants!).

Let’s get going…

Click here to continue reading Katy's Take as she critiques each design from Episode 3.