Making the Cut: Brand Evolution
April 17, 2020 7:35 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Again, this post will cover two episodes: Digital Marketing Campaign (Episode Seven) and Brand Evolution (Episode Eight).

Episode Seven description (from IMDB): "The five remaining designers are challenged to create a two-look collection and a digital marketing campaign. In addition to a fashion show, the designers will have to act as creative directors in a photo shoot with their models. In an epic and rainy fashion show, some of the designers shine, while others get washed out."

Episode Eight description (from IMDB): "Tim and Heidi take the four remaining designers to a serene tea ceremony before revealing the next assignment. Now, the designers must create a two-to-four look mini-collection that embodies the evolution of their brands since the beginning of the competition. One competitor's ambitious plan quickly unravels, while another decides to go big or go home."

Winning Looks:
Johnny's Episode Seven jumpsuit

Esther's Episode Eight pants and blouse.
posted by sardonyx (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is all going to be a series of random thoughts, very few of which will be about the actual clothes.

I don't really get how the fashion shoot was translated into a "digital campaign." Even Naomi said "when people turn the page they want to see..." These were simply the images for fashion magazine print ads. To me a digital campaign would involve audio and video, and elements we'd see on a Web page.

I also don't get all of the hate for Johnny's brand. Sure, from their point of view, it makes sense that he has a bigger brand with his name on it, but that's not to say he can't keep the Skingraft name for his casual/harder-edge division. I mean Ralph Lauren, in addition to the divisions that are just variations on his name, also has Polo and Chaps labels.

In all of these Japanese episodes, I really feel like the designers are laying too hard into traditional Japanese looks almost to the point of stereotyping or cultural appropriation. I really would have thought they'd know better by now, but apparently not. Sander's highly praised make-up was probably the worst example of this, but it's there in every episode.

I don't know why they didn't ask Johnny about the way he managed his seamstresses. That should have definitely been a ding against him, although, let's face it, there was no way he was going home because a) he had a win and the other designer didn't and b) he was Heidi's choice even if he wasn't Naomi's, and Heidi wasn't going to let Naomi get her way.

I appreciated Naomi's critique of the modelling sessions. Her comments were educational for the designers (and backed up a lot of my first impressions when I was looking at the images).

Tim finally started giving some good advice (have Johnny's models swap tops, have Johnny ditch the pink, etc.) It's about time.

I'm not so sure about Esther's new love of shiny fabrics. I know she's picking them to give life to the all black pictures, but they're mostly cheap-looking materials.
posted by sardonyx at 7:53 PM on April 17, 2020

Yes, the old Tim resurfaced tonight, happy to see it. There was less of the hokey side skit thing going on, too.
posted by the webmistress at 8:22 PM on April 17, 2020

7) I also didn't understand the blather about creating a digital! marketing! campaign! when it boiled down to art directing a photo shoot albeit a photo shoot that only Jonny, Esther and Sander were capable of executing. I really thought Ji Won would make it to the end, over Jonny but she lost her confidence a couple episodes ago and it was sad to see her try to make sense of Naomi's advice to make a close-fitting gown when it's so clearly not her aesthetic. I also didn't get the love for Megan's kimono pajamas in the floral print.

8) Loved Esther's Top Three t-shirt, especially the typestyle used for athletic wear which in turn refers to the ridiculous sparring the lowest two designers have to do to stay in the competition. I loved her collection.

Next week's pop up shop/elimination... wasn't that used on Project Runway a couple seasons ago?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:16 PM on April 18, 2020

There's the glass blowing show that found out about through FanFare. Lately, I've been finding myself watching a sword/knife-making show (I posted about it here.)

Like you, I don't know why this show is so bad. The production values are great (and they demonstrate the budget behind the show), but beyond some nice visuals, everything is so boring. Even the modeling. During the last one the models came down, stopped in front of the judges and just stood there like mannequins. I get that the judges want to get a good look at the clothing--I want a good look at the clothing too--but somehow that just seemed really awkward and wrong.

I still think a show like this would benefit from more discussion and consultation with the mentor. Talk to the contestants about their initials designs to hear their thought process. Talk to them about their fabric choices. Talk about construction challenges or ways to make something more accessible. Explain to them what a digital campaign actually is or give them some examples of good photo shoots versus bad ones.

It has been a long time, but way back in the day when I first started watching reality shows with America's Top Model, I remember Tyra actually critiquing the models and explaining how an arm could be placed better or demonstrating the way to bend a neck for better exposure. Okay, there wasn't a lot of that, but there was enough of it that you could see some of the contestants learning lessons, and there were even tidbits that viewers like me could pick up and use to make our terrible photos better. That's what I want more of in my reality competition shows: an enhanced teaching/learning element.
posted by sardonyx at 10:31 AM on April 19, 2020

kanata, have you watched The Final Table? It's really good.

I love Esther's aesthetic and am really hoping she wins.
posted by the webmistress at 3:05 PM on April 19, 2020

I agree Tim had some useful things to say this time, hooray!
So true about the digital campaign that was just a photograph or two. What the heck?

I did see another making things show, on Disney+ (I would not have signed up but other household members decided! Finally watched Endgame and Captain Marvel tho. And WallE again. And some mediocre shorts). ANYWAY, there is a new maker show but with kids. I haven't watched any of the kid versions (Project Runway etc) but if I run out of things I may give it a shot.
posted by Glinn at 7:19 AM on April 23, 2020

@kanata - I find my "people being competent at their jobs" reality TV itch scratched by Ink Master (tattooing!) and sometimes Skin Wars (body painting!). I can't really do the food ones, but have been debating picking up the Marie Kondo show.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 2:59 PM on May 2, 2020

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