Project Runway: The History of the American Girl
September 19, 2014 2:52 AM - Season 13, Episode 9 - Subscribe

The designers are challenged to construct looks inspired by American Girl dolls but updated for the 9-12yo girl of today.

posted by en forme de poire (40 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Love the American Girl tie-in; so random. I loved the designers taking the whole thing super seriously compared to Tim thinking all the stories were horrifying. The dolls are even more expensive than when I was little! Cheapest set I see for a doll and book is $115.

The right designer got auf'd; so done with all the attitude. And the right designer won, too! What a darling look. Did they say they would manufacture the winning look for girls and/or dolls? I don't see it online yet.

The girl models were darling. Liked the Mary Kay guy lightly brushing almost no makeup at all on their little faces.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:35 AM on September 19, 2014 [5 favorites]

Agree PSH. I was really appreciative of how they handled the makeup thing. Very appropriate and fun. Loved the winning look and very glad that ______ is gone.
posted by pearlybob at 5:15 AM on September 19, 2014

Are we not allowed to talk about who got eliminated any more? I would think anyone clicking on this would assume there were spoilers.
posted by the webmistress at 6:16 AM on September 19, 2014

We're allowed but I figure not spoiling in the first few comments gives people a chance to catch up from last night.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:19 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I guess I'm just inconsiderate that way.

So happy to see Sandhya finally sent packing. Everything she designed was clown couture, except possibly her very first dress (the one with the shoulder flap things), which was just sad. Sad as in....the dress itself, and the fact that she won a challenge with it. Last night's onesie with the snaps in back....I was cringing. It was soooooo bad. So so so so bad.

I searched #sandhya on twitter after the show and the tweets were half split between thank god she is finally gone and pr you should be ashamed for allowing the bullying. I wish we had been allowed to see more. From my vantage point it looked like Sandhya was smug and not empathetic at all to the other contestants. She seemed to think they disliked her because they were threatened by her but I think that's part of her inability to see beyond herself.

The judging is just too full of contradictions to take seriously anymore. What they love in one garment, they hate in the next. And Tim Gunn's advice in the workroom has bitten someone else in the butt. Tim telling Sean not to use fringe, when it's so obvious that the judges have a huge collective hard-on for fringe. His design was way too cliche as it was but who knows, they may have gone apeshit over it if it had included fringe. Fringe makes everything better.
posted by the webmistress at 7:25 AM on September 19, 2014

Ahhhh I peeked at the final collections! Fade's is my favorite :(

Kini's dress peplum was super unflattering, even on a child. It was just way too large and jutted out a foot from her body in the front. The little girl really knew how to work the look though. She was good. When she stood at the end of the runway she pressed her fist into the peplum to flatten it out. And did it again when they were looking closely at it. And I already own that coat! Seriously. I have a coat exactly like it, but in a pastel plaid instead of b&w. It's very Chanel-clonish. Fringed raw edges, knee length, no buttons. I got it at T J Maxx. You get the max for the minimum there. And it's never the same place twice.

Korinna's look was adorable albeit poorly sewn. Unless that was part of the look, the frayed edges on all of the blocks. You have to give up something with these quickie challenges!
posted by the webmistress at 8:10 AM on September 19, 2014

Tim apparently hasn't caught on to the fact that the judges are all about fringe this year.
posted by drezdn at 8:36 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is Tim more specific in his suggestions now or am I remembering it differently? This season, he seems far more direct with his opinions than I've seen him, do this, don't do that. Editing or the effects of that mentor show?

When I first saw the show, I remember calling it super accelerated art school, mainly for the critiquing. Being able to discuss and defend the work and be objective, it's all part of having a working knowledge of what you're doing, so when someone decides to be egotistical and emotional about everything, it looks extremely immature to me. I wonder how much of this is editing, because I bet they cut around jargon, references and shoptalk they think the broader audience won't get, playing up the "human" elements--

I forget everything Alexander does except the mouth breathing.
posted by provoliminal at 8:49 AM on September 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

Kini's was beautiful but he had one of the easiest dolls to interpret - the turn of the century rich girl. Everyone loves seeing a little girl in a classic party dress, hard to go wrong there.

His dress was SO Samantha (I read all the books), how did he know that? Does he read as fast as he sews or did he just get lucky in his assumptions?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:09 AM on September 19, 2014

My favourite part of this was seeing Tim's horrified reactions to the dolls' stories. I actually LOL'd when he was aghast about the doll who had to take care of her blind sister. ("Oh my Gaaahhhdd!")

And he basically said to Sandhya "I have no idea what the FUCK you are doing, but the judges seem to like it, so what do I know?" (except I can't ever imagine Tim Gunn saying the word "fuck").

Sandhya's outfit instantly brought to mind this, and - hooray! - thank God the scales finally fell from the judges' eyes. But it was touch and go during the edit of the judges' discussions. Usually Nina overrules Heidi, and Nina hated Emily's outfit (which I liked). I think what saved Emily is her construction. Zac went over that outfit in great detail, and I saw him looking at the way the edge of the sweater had been hand-sewn, and he mentioned how the stripes were all matched. Hers was far superior to that pink monstrosity.

I was shocked at how Sean lost the plot here. His outfit looked so home-made, like the kind of thing my mum used to run up for me when I was a kid. Maybe Sean peaked too soon ...

And - I cannot believe I am typing this - I really liked Amanda's outfit this week. I thought it was very cute and on a kid those two clashing patterns looked great. But we all know that Amanda wouldn't hesitate to put those two fabrics on an adult, with disastrous results. And probably with fringe and appliqued eyes of Horus.

Kini's outfit was lovely, but I also really liked Char's and Korinna's. I wondered how long it'd take for someone to mention Mondrian and Nina finally did.

Next week looks super-dramatic, with Tim saying "This is the most hideous garment I have ever seen!" Oooooooh!!
posted by essexjan at 10:08 AM on September 19, 2014

Oh man, Sandhya's outfit was terrible! It was an interesting challenge, but I didn't really love anything in particular.
posted by Arbac at 10:52 AM on September 19, 2014

When I was watching the preview for next week, when the designers are in Washington Square Park looking for models, I had a vision of The Pink Superhero chasing the designers down screaming "Pick me! PICK ME! MEEEEEEE!!!" as they run away in terror ...
posted by essexjan at 11:00 AM on September 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

If anyone wants to look at Sandhya's decoy collection, it has been posted at TLo's. I loved it.

I normally don't look at the decoy collections, but I couldn't resist checking this out. People have been saying how good it is, but ... I hated it. Apart from one outfit, there's nothing I would ever wear in that collection.
posted by essexjan at 11:27 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked Kini's dress, I liked the coat, I liked the combination of patterns/weaves, but I wasn't 100% with the coat over the dress. The fullness of the skirt made the coat look skimpy. But I'm fine with the win and MORE than fine with the auf.

Sandhya's outfit was one of the worst I've ever seen on PR. There was nothing redeeming about it and I can't imagine how she was able to justify that line of snaps down the back and over the butt. It was hideous to begin with. No self-respecting 8 year old or 10 year old would ever wear something like that.

That said, I was a little confused with the challenge definition. Design a contemporary girl's outfit based on a historical doll costume? I couldn't see how Amanda's dress and jacket had any relation to her doll. Alexander's was under-designed but I could see how his fabric related to the 1930s.

Sean really misjudged this one (but not enough to be sent home). Liberty fabric -> 1970s Sarah Moon Cacharel photos but he made overalls, not a flowy romantic dress. It looked sooooo home-sewn. Have to be careful when using tiny precious prints.

I liked Emily's concept, the knit fabric jacket was inspired, and I don't mind the dark colors; Nina was just wrong about that. It was another special occasion dress, like Kini's, and she had a good story to back it up. She messed up on the too-much tulle underskirt/mullet overskirt. Should not have been in the bottom though.

At this point, it's a mistake to have "top 3" and "bottom 3" if they have to struggle to pick 3 of each. Why not have "top 5" or "bottom 2" if the results warrant it? Keep 'em guessing. "Top 2" and "bottom 2". I can do this all day.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:27 AM on September 19, 2014

Essexjan, you know me too well! We are all sad in this house we didn't get picked for that. Who on earth would say no?! I was pretty pregnant this summer, though...

I didn't particularly care for Emily's look, and I like that her model could not hide how uncomfortable she was, itching and fidgeting. I thought it was a little cruel Heidi asked the models for their opinions in front of the designers. They're children! Surely they're going to say what they think they have to say. I did notice Sandhya's model was able to express a little dislike once she was alone with the judges.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:08 PM on September 19, 2014

Amanda said she was inspired by the patchwork quilt on Addy's bed (Addy is the doll), and found inspiration in that black/bold print that had a modern patchwork design on it. I don't think that fabric read "patchwork" at all though.

I thought a couple of the things in Sandhya's final collection were very pretty. I liked the typography angle. A snooze fest overall though; nothing I haven't seen before.
posted by the webmistress at 1:23 PM on September 19, 2014

So I now have absolutely no idea who they're going to give the win to given that my favorite final collections (Fade and Sandhya) have been auf'ed. Honestly, my favorite remaining final collection might be -- god help me -- Korina's. I KNOW.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:32 PM on September 19, 2014

Ooooh I can't look! At the remaining ones, I mean. If they get auf'ed I can look. That's the deal I made with me.

This is Emily's Etsy shop, she mentioned it last night. She said it was an Etsy cult favorite.

If she says so.
posted by the webmistress at 2:46 PM on September 19, 2014

I wouldn't get on Tim's case about the fringe... it worked for Char's look, but I certainly don't think it would have worked in the back of that jacket. You could tell, just by the editing, that we were supposed to think Tim made a mistake, but no. That fringe was ugly and wasn't helping the outfit.

I really loved Sandhya at the beginning of the season, but this outfit was worse than even anything you'd see a kid dressed in on Star Trek TNG. And, the very worst, she stood by it. SHE STOOD BY IT. Butt flap and all.
posted by meese at 4:26 PM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I was completely bewildered about how Sandhya couldn't even seem to acknowledge that it was a miss in any respect. I can't remember another designer on PR to whose work I've had such a totally bimodal reaction. (Sometimes both tails of the distribution at the same time, like her "rainway" outfit.)
posted by en forme de poire at 4:29 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I forget everything Alexander does except the mouth breathing.

I remembered his shower curtain from last week but only because it made me angry.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:30 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh wowie! Sandhya on that runway critique! I could not stop going "Wow!" and quoting "I appreciate your feedback. Thank you. I wanted it to be that way."

Again, not too wowed by the actual looks. I really liked Char and Kini but everyone else was meh. And yeah Sean's print was soooo... 90's mom who sews all her own kids' clothes and home schools. I don't find that print attractive At ALL!
posted by Crystalinne at 6:25 PM on September 19, 2014

Me! I feel like on the "real woman" challenges there are always a couple of designers who are visibly disgusted by the prospect of dressing non-models. I would be terrified that would happen to me on national television!

Ven Budhu was spectacularly shitty about it last season both on the actual show and on Twitter, to the point where I wanted to kick him right in the Origami Rosebud.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:56 PM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Or whatever season that was. Two ago?
posted by en forme de poire at 8:35 PM on September 19, 2014

Every week that I tune in I am like, oh, there's someone named Emily on this show?

Oh, trust and believe, there is someone named Emily EVERYWHERE.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:29 AM on September 20, 2014

I thought Kini absolutely nailed it and thought he was deserving of the win, although I would have been fine with Korina or Char getting the win. Liked all three of them and their models seemed to love them too.

Sean's was a disappointment. I was surprised Sandhya got the aufing, since based on her decoy collection I thought she was one of the finalists. However, she deserved to go - as soon as her model came onto the runway I thought "clown suit." I didn't mind Emily's - I loved the sweater and I could see some little girls wanting to wear that.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:17 AM on September 20, 2014

Wow, I forgot about Ven Budhu- what a train wreck.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:46 AM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked it, too. I think that the stupid tulle headpiece thing did it in. It made the whole look seem stranger.
posted by meese at 2:23 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I keep thinking about butt snaps. Such a weird way to secure clothing.
posted by Duffington at 2:29 PM on September 20, 2014

I thought Kini's jacket over the dress was a huge mistake because they didn't work together (as demonstrated by the jutting saucer in front of her at the end of the runway), so I was gobsmacked when he won. Both pieces were fine, I thought, just not together.

I loved Korina's concept, but not the execution: she didn't have enough flaps on the back, and her placement of said flaps didn't hide that fact. I wasn't bummed she didn't win, but I'd probably have given it to her over Kini on the concept alone. That was a smart updating, including the risk of not using the provided fabric.

Char's was a nice update. She had the hardest of the American Girls, because the dangers of (crappy) cultural appropriation were plenty. I thought she handled it well, and smartly.

I thought Emily got unnecessarily dinged, but dang, that tulle headpiece was indeed terrible and made the model uncomfortable. And that tulle mess on the skirt - if she had simply layered some tulle beneath the dress, showing some ridges of color, she'd have been safe. But it was the clumping at the front that was the gateway drug into the Bottom 3. That said, that they rated the sadsack Sean produced over hers was inexplicable. Sean's outfit was dull, cliche'd, ugly, boring, and didn't even stand-out for being epicly bad:

There are not words for that disaster Sandhya sent down the runway. Has she ever spent time around kids? Surely the answer is NO. Surely. And even if she hadn't spent any time with kids since she was one, how the holy heck could she believe partial ruffles, snaps, and weird proportions would make an awesome stink suit (which is what we used to call footed onesies when I was little). And she still doesn't get it. I'm pretty sure that she watched that show back and still stood by her decisions. Confidence is all good until it blinds you from the world.
posted by julen at 9:19 PM on September 20, 2014

For a second I had the impression some designers were confused with the challenge and designed to dress a doll, not a human. But man, those dolls wore ugly clothes. They certainly need an update!

I have no words for Sandhya's look. It was plain wrong. Wonder if her upbringing has something to do with it? Maybe children are seen differently in India than in the US?

Sean is 24, of course he has no concept of the 70's. He also likely does not recall any homemade clothes - he grew up with the beginning of fast fashion after all. Definitely a miss for him. I was surprised no one mentioned a pajama - his jumpsuit evoked that look.

I liked Kini's and Char's work this week. Wish Char's model had taken the vest off on the runway like Kini's girl did. Her use of fabric with regard to the pattern was really good. I think that dress would even work for adult women.

The editing was better this week (in contrast to last week). It did not reveal who got voted off and was interesting to watch.
posted by travelwithcats at 6:27 AM on September 21, 2014

Now that I think about it there are a ton of parallels between Sandhya and S10's Elena - both had designs that oscillated between weird/interesting and outright cray-cray, both had personalities that seemed to rub the other designers the wrong way, both were eliminated on a kidswear challenge, and both sent freaking amazing decoys down the runway that were better than the winning collections.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:13 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

(not that I know who won this year yet obviously, I'm just basing that on my own opinion of the collections I've seen)
posted by en forme de poire at 10:14 AM on September 22, 2014

Curiousity got the better of me and I clicked on Sandhaya's final collection, and I'm amazed at how good it is. Like most people I found her grating (low point: begging everyone's $$$ so she had $800 to spend at Mood) and thought most of her designs were bad (this one...OMG) and was happy to see her go but now I'm conflicted. There were some really nice, new & interesting things there, and it was all so restrained - largely without weird things randomly tacked on (wish she'd chosen a more interesting/less default typeface though... though maybe that's a nod to Indian typography?). I feel bad for her that the collection isn't going to have wider exposure.
posted by Flashman at 4:55 PM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

For Sandhya's decoy collection, I was expecting something more like craft store insanity in nursery wall colors. I wish her stuff on the show had been more like this. I'm also kinda glad to see the square grid coat-thing from the rainway return; it was the only part of that outfit that wasn't terrible and I almost felt sorry for it somehow. It looks a lot better dark blue/green.

Even though I hate text as art (for example the "take risk today" dress goes from "okay" to "NO" because of it), I find myself liking the "color bomb explosion" and "love some more" looks. Maybe because they hover at the edge of being illegible weird patterns while still demanding to be read. Or they just overload my objections somehow. My pet peeve is shaken.

Still not a fan of the seekrit shiny lettering on matte, or those post-it strip shoulder pads on the black dress. If Kini is TJ Maxx, then Sandhya is Office Max? (I miss Kors.)

[Char's] use of fabric with regard to the pattern was really good.

I know... I don't think I liked the vest or dress very much on their own, but they were kind of hypnotizingly complementary. The fringe got all the attention, but I felt the dress's loud but not really resolvable pattern was doing all the heavy lifting. My eye went back and forth and I kept thinking, "Yes.. yes.. these go together.. yes.."
posted by fleacircus at 12:08 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I didn't like Sandhya's outfit but I didn't mind her attitude about it. I think she was caught up in her girl's "story" of wanting to be the captain of her own ship, and that's where Sandhya's imagination took her for girl's ship captain outfit.

I do think Sandhya is different from a lot of traditional American women (people?) in that she hasn't internalized any shame over creative mistakes. She lets her imagination go and doesn't feel she has failed as long as she achieves her vision, no matter what other people say. Can you imagine feeling that? It is kind of extraordinary.

On the other hand she was pretty tone deaf when it came to what she said to the other designers, like the judges never compared her to anyone and she didn't want to be compared to anyone. Or that the other designers should show her some compassion, when she did not seem to have much to give to them. Her comments would be more understandable if the other designers were saying mean things to her that we didn't see, though.

Loved Kini's outfit with the cut outs in the dress, glad he is getting some love from the judges.
posted by onlyconnect at 6:33 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

She definitely had a reserve of confidence. I think her early wins, plus dealing with Hernan, might have contributed to her being more standoffish/defensive than she might have been otherwise.

I admire how she didn't let herself get stifled, but OTOH a lot of what she produced really just seemed like random garbage. Maybe that's her fail state, which is still much better than shrinking into nothingness.
posted by fleacircus at 9:44 AM on September 23, 2014

I liked the concept of the challenge. I am glad to see S gone because that clown suit was ridiculous. But I did like her collection a lot and I never would have guessed it was hers!
posted by bq at 6:12 PM on September 24, 2014

I always looked forward to seeing what craziness Sandhya was going to come up with next. It was bizarre genius, and sometimes totally inappropriate but she owned it, and she was never going to apologize for it. Much more interesting than most of the remaining designers.

I'm much less interested in watching the rest of the season now that she's gone.
posted by jjwiseman at 1:01 AM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Wow, I love Sandhya's collection. I'm also a bit mystified, though--none of her stuff on the show looked like this. Maybe it's a time thing?

Her look was really really a baby suit, and she it was a deserved aufing, but at the same time I was sad to see her go. I feel like the editing possibly did her a big disservice--she reacted like there had been some serious bullying, and maybe there was. There was certainly that kind of attitude going around, thinking about how much the rest of the designers talked about her behind her back, and their tone and word choices when doing so. But because we didn't see the bullying going down, and we DID see Sandhya's reaction, it gives this sense that she's unreasonably emotional, and from the rest of what we saw from her that seems super uncharacteristic. It would have been much more respectful if the editing either had omitted her reactions as well as the bullying, or shown both.

About her standing up for her look on the runway, I usually get annoyed with them when they give lip to the judges, but I thought she was super calm, collected, and polite. I remember way back in early seasons of PR, it was a GOOD THING to defend your look on the runway. Now it seems like they just want everyone to turn around and say "Oh yes, you're so right, now I see, what was I thinking?" I like the defend your work way much better.

It was also totally badass when she collected everyone's spare cash and bought $800 worth of fabric. ANYONE could have done that... they just didn't think of it... and then they got jealous when she did. Good for her, I say.
posted by snorkmaiden at 6:44 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

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