Friday, November 20, 2009

congrats, Irina!

Well, I don't have much too much to say on the subject (okay, yeah I do) because I didn't watch this season. I watched the first episode, but I wasn't compelled enough to seek out cable or online streaming to watch more. And I used to be a die-hard fan of the show.

First of all, congrats to Irina, and I truly hope she has a lot of good come out of the experience. For me, the best of it, honestly, has been the exposure to such a big audience. The hundred grand goes too quickly (especially running a business in NY), but having world-wide exposure for my line has been the best of it. I've had some amazing opportunities, and for them I'm very grateful. The show made several of my dreams come true, and I hope it has for her too.

 After seeing the show in February at Bryant park, we knew clearly that the last collection was going to win, and that possibly took the fun out of watching the process. After reading T-Lo's blog, I see I didn't miss too much. Ouch. Harsh, guys. ;)  

So let's open up the critique section of this post, based upon little viewing, some word of mouth from others, and personal experience:

1. Okay, no more LA.  
2. Is there some way, any way, we can have the Magical Elves produce the show again? It's not the same without them. 
3. No more easy "design pretty dresses" challenges. Come on! That's not fair to those of us who made dresses out of car parts, and it's not fair to the viewers looking for entertainment.
4. What's this business of giving the designers 6 months or so to do final collections? We had 7 or 8 weeks, and that was it. Time crunches = meltdowns. Meltdowns = entertainment.

So, I hope Season 7 is going to be better. I will be watching then, because I know someone on it that I'm rooting for. Ultimately, I feel bad for the designers of Season 6. All of us, really. The reason why a lot of us do the show is because we are struggling to make it, and in situations where we desperately need money to invest in our line (pay rent) or exposure to get our names out there. The show used to be somewhat respected, and if it loses that the designers involved lose too, whether or not they win the prize. 

Oh, one more suggestion: I think they should start paying ALL of the contestants to participate. There's nothing that irks me more than the rich getting richer off of people who are struggling. I guess that's how much of the world works, but it doesn't make it right. I don't even want to know what the profits are like there because it's probably too upsetting. But really, the designers deserve a little more for their time and courage of putting themselves out there to possibly be ripped apart than just exposure, which may or may not be negatively perceived by the world and the fashion industry itself. 

Those are just some of my thoughts on the matter. All things aside, let's hope it redeems itself with Season 7. (And Season 6 designers, don't feel bad. With each current season, everyone seems to complain about how much more horrible it is than the season before it. They did it to us, too. It's not your fault!)


kristen said...

I was underwhelmed with this season. There was a recent challenge where they had to design a look that complemented one of their winning looks from before. The winning look from the challenge was a pair of paper bag harem pants, a tank top, and a baggy sweater (the look it was supposed to complement was a pair of paper bag shorts, a tank top, and a blazer). There were never any "wow" moments either, like in previous seasons there were always really innovative things that were just genius, but I didn't get that this season. I don't know if it was the designers or the producers that killed it. I do know it could benefit from having more drag queens, car parts, plants as textiles, female wrestlers, and the like. haha. Their challenges were so tame!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you. Like, what were they doing in LA?! They went back to NY for the Finale, so why don't they stay there? And you're right about the dificulty of the challenges. At s point, I couldn't watch it anymore because it was all about the relationships of the designers and about creating dresses and stuff. I would just go to the site and see the dresses and give the marks to me. I think it was really not fair. But so what, is like they are going to change the program for us? And there were some points where I was totally disappointed with the judges... Did you see Korto at the All-Star Challenge? She was like 'Oh, Daniel [Vosovic] you are so much better than Leanne, blablabla.' I was really happy when she didn't win. Suck it! :P Love you!!!!

Gorgeous Things said...

Great commentary Leanne!

I think the most unfortunate side effect of the whole season 6 Weinstein legal debacle was that it had the effect of cheapening the Project Runway brand. So much of it was hogtied because of the legal wrangling that it just seems like it was a bit of a throwaway. We felt that in the tents and it was reflected in the continuous pretty-dress challenges. I remember an interview with Tim Gunn where he said they would have challenges picked out that they had to scrub because they were done with affiliates of Lifetime and couldn't be used if the show ended up back on Bravo.

I do wish Irina and all the other designers well. I feel badly that they got a bit of a bums rush thanks to the legal problems, but they did get on the air. That's worth a lot to each of them right there.

Irene said...

I was equally underwhelmed! I watched every episode, and I really wanted to be excited about it, but it just dragged. I missed the unusual and quirky challenges, and the consistency of how the judges voted -- perhaps it was due to the fact that Michael and Nina couldn't always be there. I often found myself in disagreement.

I fell asleep during the finale. There was no excitement.

GothamTomato said...

Great hearing your opinion on this. Season 6 is going to become the forgotten season. The designers, after all that, really didn't even get much exposure.

I completely agree, especially about it being set in NYC, and about saying the participants. There is no good reason they shouldn't be paying them, other than greed. I actually wish that AFTRA could eliminate the pay exemptions for reality/competition shows so all participants got union scale (at least). Every designer should be getting union scale & residuals.


CroqueMonsieur said...

Saw the link on TLo's Facebook Page to your post, I had to read it. I love your suggestions!

glam.spoon said...

This is the first season I didn't actually care about any of the contestants. I still watched every episode, but it just felt... different. The LA thing didn't bother me that much, but if something works (NYC) why mess with it? But I totally agree with the "design pretty dresses" thing. Maybe that's why it was kind of boring and no one really broke out in front? Here's to season 7 (clink).

Oh said...

I feel so validated that I was not just a jaded viewer. I had literally so recently posted on my own blog about how disappointing this season was. A friend said well i wont watch lifetime, but that did not seem to justify this season's failure to make an impression me and apparently any of you!

thebubbreport said...

I used to come home and fire up PR before I even fired up Lost, and that's saying A LOT! This season I would save up about three episodes and suffer through them all at once. They were such yawners. I'm glad to read Gorgeous Things' comment about the challenges being scrapped - that gives me hope for a more creative, NON-L.A. season next year.

About the contestants being paid: I've always wondered how they managed to pay their bills at home while they were on the show. Do you receive zilch during the time you are there? They should at least cover expenses at home. I wonder how many broke designers they are losing out on due to financial constraints. I imagine as far as parents go, especially single parents, they just cannot swing it. Only people like Laura who are already wealthy and have help at home can make it work.

joyjoy said...

Gorgeous Things, thanks for the clarification of the challenge/affiliate issue. If PR does go back to LA for S8 (I hope not, but that's me) maybe they'll revive those challenges.

Leanne, thanks for your perspective! Loved the Fashion Week video, too.

jungle dream pagoda said...

I gotta say....many was the time...(yes I geekily blogged about it).....that I said that your season was the best since season 1!!!!!
I think this season was an anomaly...I think there were certainly good designers this season,even if they were not always shown in the best light.
Gosh I certainly hope the brand is not damaged.
6 months compared to 7 weeks huh?

Anonymous said...

Ditto, I kept watching & hoping but to no avail. I got so tired of the whining high school drama amongst the designers. The model thing was a little extra drama I could have done without also. There were definite reasons why this season was flat & disappointing. I hope the next, which begins soon, will bring back some of the creative fire from previous seasons.
Hope life is treating you well. Thanks for your's great to be able to keep up with you & your work.

Provider said...

Damn... I live in europe and we are a few weeks behind. We just had the inspired on former creation chalenge. I didn't think of a spolier here! (totally my own fault)Oh well it will still be fun to watch

Leanne said...

Oh! So sorry for the spoiler, Provider! I'll keep that in mind next time.

And Bubbreport, you're totally right. I had to borrow money from everyone (bf, best friends, and my parents) just to be able to cover my rent and bills for the time I was taking off to do the show. I returned home from filming with about $50 left in my bank account.

ediot said...

I loved every finalists collection. But irinas was the most chic one i think. do you stay in touch with anyone from the show? do you know if anybody are selling their things on etsy?

really thankful for answers. take care xx ediot

Komichi said...

Glad to hear your take on it, it's always interesting hearing from former contestants who have a better perspective of what the show is actually like.

Not much to add except that I agree and I was horribly bored by this season.

G said...

Amen sister..