Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hurry, Project Runway is casting now for season 7

Wannabe fashion designers – here’s your shot. Project Runway is casting for season 7 right now and the deadline is, eeks, April 30. We caught up with Alissa Haight Carlton, the supervising casting director for the show who told us they are looking for, “Talent, talent, talent. That is what matters most. Of course, we need to have a mix of personalities and maintain diversity on all levels too, but first and foremost, they have to have talent.”

There’s a whole auditioning process, that you can read all about at bunim-murray.com.

Among other things, you need a portfolio and an audition tape. And here’s a little word to the wise from Carlton. “We want people to be themselves and not to put on a show or pretend to be something they’re not. From a fashion perspective, we want them to show us what they have.”

If you make this cut, you are "in" for one of five closed casting calls in Seattle, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta where you’ll be judged by a panel of three including our fave Tim Gunn.

Sew get on it, designers. Lovers of the show will be happy to hear that season 6 will finally begin airing on August 20 on Lifetime after a prolonged legal dispute with Bravo. Mighty Heidi and company will all be there, but this time around, it’s filmed in LA. We shall reserve judgement. – Anne Bratskeir

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Project Runway finale for a season we haven't seen yet

(AFP/Getty Images)

By Anne Bratskeir

If you're looking forward to a suspenseful season 6 of Project Runway…whenever and wherever it finally airs…please don't read this.

The show has been mired in contract disputes between Bravo and Lifetime for months, so while production has continued, no one has seen an episode or has any sense of the players and their personalities. Which brings us to the finale show at the tents Friday morning.

Heidi Klum and company were all on hand. Heidi, who spoke briefly, said she felt "a little bit sad for our designers," for not getting any recognition. To keep the finalists secret, the collections came out like headless horsemen, no inspirational information, no designer intro. Who will the winner will be? Kind of obvious, though we could be wrong...but we sincerely doubt it.

Here we go:

Out of the three, the best was by far, the third shown, which began with a stitched leather corset-sweater over leggings and featured fabulous outerwear, many with strips of fabric encasing the waist or stitched over the back. The knitwear – cushy sweaters, one cocoon-like hooded job in creamy camel, another slouchy sweater coat – absolutely fabulous.

For evening the crisscross effect was taken to another level – black dresses and a gown wrapped in strips featured sparkly fabric insets. Overall, an obvious wow with a touch of rocker luxe.

Even Season 4 winner Christian Siriano, who sat front row, looked impressed. Now all we need to know is whodunit? And in the interest of not being mean (yet), we'll only say that the first two collections, which both had some good pieces, were underwhelming.

Maybe this is too much information for Project Runway lovers but Suzy Menkes, the famed fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune, is the guest judge for the finale. And we're thinking based on other show attendants, that Marc Bouwer will be a guest judge on the show, as will hip-hop singer-songwriter Akon. C'mon Project Runway, bring it on.

>> Photos: "Project Runway" finale at Fashion Week

How do the Season 6 final designs compare?

>> Season 5 finale
>> Season 4 finale

Thursday, January 29, 2009

'Project Runway' will tape finale of unaired season at Fashion Week


You're not watching "Project Runway” on TV because of a nasty lawsuit, but fashion hangers-on will still get a glimpse into Tim Gunn's natty world next month when the program films its traditional season finale during Fashion Week.

"Project Runway” completed taping in the fall -- its first season in Los Angeles. But the popular show hasn't aired because of a battle between Bravo, program producers the Weinstein Co. and Lifetime, which purchased the rights to air "Runway” when its deal with Bravo expired.

The Lifetime deal ended up on life support when NBC-owned Bravo sued the Weinstein Co., claiming they were never offered a contractually promised chance to match the competing offer.

The "Runway” season finale will tape Feb. 20 among the Bryant Park couture-ati, with one major change from past tapings, intended to conceal finalist's identities -- not even audience members will know whose collections they're seeing paraded down the runway. The designers won't be introduced.

"The producers made that decision because we want to keep the finalists a secret for fans,” said Emily Feingold, a spokesperson for the Weinstein Co.

The move adds another level of cloak-and-haberdashery secrecy to the whole shebang. In past seasons, designers would introduce their collections, and a "decoy” or two would be among the so-called "finalists,” keeping the actual finalist lineup vague, but somewhat decipherable.

Producers have booked the Tent, the largest of three Bryant Park venues, for the three-hour taping.

The pending suit includes an injunction keeping Lifetime from marketing or selling advertising for the show. The case is in state court, with no trial date set.

Until the matter is resolved, no one can say when "Runway” might air. One rumor making the rounds has the season eventually going straight to DVD.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Michael Kors Meets Us In Manhasset

His Highness, Michael Kors, turned up in Manhasset tonight at the opening of the newly expanded Michael Kors store -- (beyond gorgeous, the store that is, and Michael looked pretty darn good too) -- located at the Americana shopping center there. It must have been fated - we spent some one-on-one time with the designer-cum-Project Runway judge right on the heels of the finale episode.

We had to ask. How's the new season going? "The commute could kill you," he said laughing and referring to the fact that the show is being filmed in LA. He says the shooting progresses despite contract disputes between the show, Lifetime and Bravo, and he's actually wowed by the new scene. "Oh my God, we have dressing rooms," Kors said. "And there are flowers, and bottled water." Compared to the no-frills aura of Parsons School of Design, which Kors has spent many hours around and in, well, let's just hope it hasn't all gone too, too Hollywood. There is something to fashion and our gritty NY city. Are you ever coming back Michael? "Well, of course we'll be back for New York Fashion Week," he said.

In the meantime, you'll all just have to get your dose of him at the store. Trust us. It's going to cost you. -
Anne Bratskeir

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

5/ The Finale

It is “sew over.” Now we all know that sweet, gangly, self-admitted nerd, Leanne took the win. Did she deserve it? We honestly think so.

For the first time, the women dominated, and, you know what? Their collections were darn good. Kenley didn’t win in part, because she was, to put it nicely, imitative. To put it not so nicely, she was a copycat. And to be mean, there was an element of knock-off artist with at least two of her dresses identifiable as other – famous – designers’ looks. Add to that the attitude factor. When Tim Gunn became the fill-in judge for Jennifer Lopez who had “a foot injury,” (uh, yeah, that’s why our spies told us they saw her wearing five inch high heels later that day) she said, “Okay, maybe I should have improved my attitude.” That said, her collection featured sublime fit and much whimsy.

As for Korto, her collection was stunning, though one of the criticisms was that it was overboard with decoration. We didn’t see that. But perhaps the judges believed that brainy Leanne, who approached each garment with an architect’s eye and had such a unique vision, was the most talented and promising of the bunch.

If you read the last entry, you know we had a little chitchat with Leanne this afternoon. The girl was positively overjoyed. But when we asked her who the meanest judge was, she did not hesitate for a second. “Nina was the toughest critic by far. But you know when you impress Nina, you’ve done something really good.”

As for the show tonight, here’s a rundown of highlights:
-Korto’s gutsy move making two new dresses before the big gig
-Kenley getting Tim visibly mad – ouch.
-Kenley and Leanne throwing barbs at each other on camera. Kenley, “Leanne does not know how to use color.” Leanne, “Kenley’s collection looks like Holly Hobby. It’s so amateurish.”
-In the why- must- we- witness this category, Sophie the dog, relieving herself near Leanne’s gown, and the model who was wearing it cleaning it up. Uuchh.
Sorry, to leave you on that note. Let’s all join figurative hands and make a little fashion wish together…here’s hoping next season (whenever it comes) is as good as Bravo’s five seasons of Project Runway. See you soon. - Anne Bratskeir

Leanne Marshall wins Project Runway

REVENGE OF THE NERD: Leanne Marshall Wins Project Runway
By Anne Bratskeir

It all came down to girl power in Project Runway’s Season Five finale.

And of the last three female designers standing, Leanne Marshall, 28, of
Portland, Ore., who was the show’s definitive shrinking violet, proved that
beneath the nerdy glasses and the goofy demeanor, her talent loomed largest. She
was the mouse that roared.

"I am a fashion nerd," said a very happy Marshall in a phone interview Wednesday. "I just love to have fun, and I’m not afraid of kind of being a dork.”

As for the whole Project Runway shebang, she said, “Without a doubt it’s been the most amazing experience. I would
do it again in a heartbeat.”

Armed with $8,000 for materials and the directive to incorporate a wedding dress into a 12-piece final collection, Marshall’s vision played like a dream sequence on the runway at Bryant Park’s Fashion Week in September. Inspired by rippling water, her two-color palette was soft aqua and cream with a distinct architectural feel including details such as fan-like pleats.

Neither a favorite nor a dark horse, Marshall was a solid contender, who, during the season’s 14 episodes won two challenges -- one using seat covers from a Saturn
car, and another for creating a look for Diane von Furstenberg’s fall collection.

During the finale, the judges took Marshall to task for being "borderline on a one-note," she said. "But I knew I needed my collection to fit together."

Though her two co-finalists, Korto Momolu, 33, of Little Rock, Ark., and Kenley Collins, 25, of Pompano Beach, Fla., exhibited much stronger personalities throughout the season (in fact, Collins was the show’s prerequisite villainess), their collections fell short of Marshall’s, both lacking the cohesiveness and technical skill. As for that evidently hostile relationship with Collins, Marshall said, “We started off as friends but the competition became kind of cutthroat. All Kenley’s relationships kind of deteriorated. There’s a level of respect that she didn’t really have all the time. But
I don’t hate her. I wish her the best.”

Marshall’s Project Runway booty includes $100,000 seed money from Tresemme to start a clothing business and she is doing just that. She’ll soon be
moving to New York to start her new label, “Leanne Marshall.” Musician boyfriend Nathan McKee, who composed her runway music at the finale, is coming
along. “I guess I’m going to have to buy a lot of fabric with it,” she said. She also wins a 2009 Saturn VUE hybrid, a spread in Elle Magazine and a chance
to sell her fashion line on bluefly.com

As for season six? The hit show will go on but will not be aired on Bravo. Instead it moves to a new location, Los Angeles, and a new network, Lifetime -- depending on the lawsuits still at play with the Weinstein company and the two networks. It was originally scheduled to premiere in November but may be pushed back to January.

We’re kind of wondering if without the New York backdrop and Parsons School of Design . . .well, will it be in or out?

Week 13 poll results

Hooray, you finally agreed with the judges. After a consistent disagreement all season between the judges' aufings and our readers' aufings, both sides are in synch.

40% - Jerell (270 votes)
33% - Kenley (222)
21% - Korto (143)
3% - Leanne (25)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tim Gunn

We weren't the only one thinking Tim Gunn was a prime candidate for prez. Reader Molly's boyfriend Duncan did this rendering and we love it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

5/13 Tim Gunn For President

First off, just when we thought that Bravo had totally turned their backs on the show – the new season already being filmed in L.A. for Lifetime – well, they pull out one of the best episodes of the season. Bravo, Bravo.

The four finalists, Jerell, Kenley, Korto and Leanne, are sent home with an $8,000 budget and two months time to create their own collections, which, Heidi dictates, must include a wedding gown that represents them as a designer. Tim Gunn visits each one, and quite frankly, is more charming, more diplomatic, more helpful and more informed on his issues than any candidate for president we’ve seen buzzing around lately. At Korto’s home in Arkansas, he sweetly engages her shy daughter and seems enchanted by Korto’s African drumming. In Portland, he warns Leanne that her wedding dress might miss, and then, despite his formal demeanor, rides a bicycle built for two with her, and (heavens) sits on the grass. With Jerell, he counsels that the overwrought collection has a “lot of look,” and then mingles easily with Jerell’s friends and family who are obviously nervous. His greatest feat may have occurred in Brooklyn, where he meets with Kenley, who has been incredibly rude to him. Here, he leaves it all behind, encouraging and praising her. And then, before the going gets really tough, he sheds tears – he’s embarrassed but tells them all, “I care deeply about each of you.” And you believe him. This is an extraordinarily graceful and gracious person. He’d be an asset in the White House.

Okay, so back to the show. The kids think they’re home free but alas, there’s one more challenge… make a bridesmaid’s dress to go with the wedding dress. Leanne, who totally redid her collection’s wedding dress, aces it with a pale turquoise and cream short strapless number that repeats her wave motif at the top. The judges are swooning. Kenley, too, does a fabulous job. Her navy blue poufy mini dress is the perfect combo with her “crazy good,” as Heidi puts it, feathered wedding dress. Jerell’s stuff – scary – we told you once before – too tricked out, including some styling errors such as “a flower pot growing out of her head,” says Michael Kors. We didn’t much like Korto’s gown either – over-pleated and kind of bulbous or her bridesmaid’s dress…Banana Republic sale rack.

Allow us, for one brief moment, to gloat…we called it…Jerell goes, the women dominate. And now, we’ll go out on a limb. We think it comes down to Leanne and Kenley, and we think that Leanne will take it all. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Readers choose Leanne

Waaaaaaay back on Sept. 12, we posted videos off the six remaining designers' collection at Fashion Week in Bryant Park and asked you to choose the winner.

Granted, three of those shows were decoys to keep the integrity of the competition alive (even though the Bravo people refuse to consult a calendar when deciding when to air each season). But alas, it gave you more to look at.

Here are the results of that poll:

57% Leanne Marshall (1,843 votes)
30% Korto Momolu (989)
6% Kenley Collins (197)
4% Jerell Scott (131)
1& Joe Faris (36)
0% Suede (19)