Friday, August 20, 2010

Project Runway Review - Philip Treacy Challenge

This review contains spoilers. If you have not seen this week's episode, you may do so here.

So, this week’s challenge was to create a look inspired by a hat designed by Philip Treacy. Yes, you did read that correctly. Philip Treacy was the guest judge on this week’s episode! If you’re not having a hat-gasm right now, let me give you the background on this incredible artist.
Philip Treacy is the foremost milliner of our time. Discovered by the late Isabella Blow in the late 80s/early 90s, Treacy has become the most famous hat designer in the world. He has created hats for designers such as the late Alexander McQueen (also a disciple of Isabella Blow), Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, and Donna Karen. His hats have been worn by such prominent celebrities as Lady Gaga, Sarah Jessica Parker, and the Duchess of Cornwall. After receiving countless awards throughout his career, in 2006 Treacy launched a collaborative collection with Umbro, a British sportswear supplier. Like Alexander McQueen's designs, Treacy's hats push the boundaries of the everyday and have made him today's most avant-garde milliner. Here are some of his designs:

Philip Treacy (right) and Isabella Blow (left, wearing Treacy's hat)

Needless to say, the hats were positively stunning. I did feel bad for Kristen, though. Her hat was literally a gigantic orchid and she pointed out, it’s difficult to treat such a literal inspiration. However, the schlep she turned out was in my humble opinion completely inexcusable.
Micheal Costello is proving to completely fulfill my prophesy of being the annoying contestant who's generally safe because he causes a lot of drama. More on this jerk later.
The other Michael is proving to be my favorite contestant. Most of you probably know that this decision has almost nothing to do his talents as a designer and a lot to do with the fact that he wears a tank top really well. I have a similar appreciation for Christopher Collins... Don't judge me!

The bottom and top three were really surprising. It was one of the first times I really couldn’t guess what the judges were going to say. I was expecting April, Chris, and Michael C. to be the top three, but only one of them (Michael C.) actually made it in... The top three were Valerie, Michael C., and Michael! They ripped on poor April, who had a great concept though her execution wasn't the best. I was shocked that the judges liked Valerie's design. I agree with Mr. Treacy when he said there was no correlation between the garment and the mask. Though I appreciate what she said about an evening gown being expected, here is my idea for Treacy's mask:

The mask reminded me of the vintage Maidenform Bra ads, so I went with a classic silhouette in a vibrant orange with a layered chiffon skirt.

I wasn't surprised that Kristin got booted this week. As I mentioned before, her garment was a mess. I would have been ashamed to send something like that down the runway.
I hope I wasn't the only one who screamed at his television set when they announced that Michael C. had won. It was completely ridiculous, and as Mondo pointed out at the end of the program, we're never going to hear the end of this. I'm certain that the producers stepped in and asked that he win to create conflict between the contestants, and no, I'm not just biased towards cute Michael, I really think that from a design standpoint he deserved to win. I really enjoyed the look on Ivy's face when Michael C. told them he had won. To quote her: "What the ----?!?".
Did anyone else think Mondo's design should have been in the top three? I know it was completely out there, but the challenge was, after all, to compliment the hat and not let it completely take over. I really like his design. I also thought that Ivy's jacket deserved an honorable mention. The draped back of her jacket was gorgeous! I would totally wear it.
I really enjoyed this week's challenge, despite the outcome, and perhaps the appearance of these major celebrities is an indication that Project Runway isn't, in fact, dying, but will actually be around for quite some time.

Hope you enjoyed it!
Nostalgically Yours

Photo Credits:
Nicola Formichetti
Vogue UK


  1. Thank you SO much...I'm very, very happy that you like my paintings.
    I've never possessed a hat...what a pity...

  2. Hello! :)
    Sorry for the late answer, I came back from Turkey to Germany yesterday by plane.
    Yes, thank you. I asked because I haven't got a twitter account but mail is OK!
    Now your post: Gorgeous creations! Love your drawning, I am designing fashion and now how hart it is to draw models. :)
    I read an article about Philip Treacy and Isebella Blow for years since then I'm a great fan.
    Very bold!

  3. If you ever go to London, make sure you check out ultra-charming Elizabeth Street in posh Belgravia. It's one of London's cutest streets, zero tourists (well, a few I guess, since I was there), and Philip Treacy's got his main shop there (or is it his only shop?). The whole street, which is 4-5 blocks long, is full of one-of-the-kind shops, and the vibe is similar. (And it's not far from the pleasures of Harvey Nichols and Harrods; what more could a guy want?)
    Take care,

  4. Have always been a fan, and the collaborations between Treacy and other designers has always been full of fabulosity. The milliner of the century!

  5. I love the photos!


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