Monday, November 14, 2011

Should Project Accessory Hang Up Its Hat?

I've just watched two back-to-back episodes of Project Accessory...Are any of you guys watching it? Because I'd love to know what you think. Because my 10 year old 5th grader viewing partner and I keep likening it to a train wreck. You know you gotta rethink when even a 10 year old (who loves and breathes fashion) doesn't like it.

We actually both just started to watch the latest season of Project Runway together on Lifetime. I had seen prior seasons when it was on Bravo but then missed probably the past few years worth, both when it was on Bravo and when it debuted on Lifetime. We really had a great time watching this last season of P.R. with Anya and the gang. At the beginning of the season, we'd even sketch alongside the contestants and create our own looks. It was the perfect before-bed ritual on Monday nights (courtesy of the DVR).

When we saw ads for Project Accessory, we were kinda doubtful off the bat. For some reason the ads with INXS's "The Devil Inside" just didn't provoke in the right way. And you're talking to an ex-accessories director...of In Style no less! After I heard that In Style was going to be the magazine connection (like Elle was and now Marie Claire is for P.R.), I definitely knew I'd have to watch just to see Ariel Foxman, the current editor of In Style (he wasn't while I was working there though he and I did work together at In Style when he was an associate editor and then a senior editor). And of course the guest judges (let me guess, perhaps Brian Atwood will be one?).

There are a whole lot of things that just don't work on this accessory rendition of P.R. First of all, the medium just screams crafty-Holly Hobby. When on the first episode they had to go through and scavenge  through a storage unit in New Jersey and people were fashioning things out of lamp shades, springs on a mattress and ice skates....well, I just kind of cringed. To have accessories as a back drop to 1. Jeans and a white t-shirt, 2. A black dress, and 3. A bodysuit: it's just way too gimmicky.  And it's so difficult to see the accessories on the runway (especially when they have that God awful Project Accessory logo thing in the bottom right hand corner which blocks seeing the close up shots of the accessories!!!). The producers really need to rethink the branding of the show that covers up the shots of the accessories. Really? Has no one seen or commented or tweaked this yet?

And the "foursome" just isn't the same. Really. Not. The. Same. Molly Sims just shows you how simply radiant, natural, gorgeous, personable and charismatic Heidi Klum is. I have met Heidi on numerous occasions and she is all that and a bag of chips. And I love that is translates so well on TV...she really has great television presence. And every week we used to comment on how beautiful she looked in her different outfits, her various hairstyles, her radiant makeup. Every week she was polished and sophisticated and looked terrific. And then there's Molly. Oh, no she didn't. Who is styling her? More importantly, who is styling Heidi and can Lifetime get Molly some of that? She is also stiff as a board and does not offer anything constructive. I am at a loss for words. (Or not, clearly, as I've just gone on and on about her.)

I LOVE and Eva JeanBart-Lorenzotti is a true pioneer and genius in the internet, luxury goods business. But I don't think she translates well on TV. She seems a little stiff...well, her hair is definitely hair sprayed to an awkward stiffness. I want to root for her on this show but every time she walks in the work room, I feel like she is sauntering seductively and it just seems off. She is definitely not warm and cuddly like Tim Gunn (who, to Eva's credit, also at the beginning of the series seemed a bit stiff himself). I don't know about her as a mentor...I actually think the guest judge of Nadja Swarovski was very good...maybe a thought for future seasons (if there are any?).

Kenneth Cole isn't Michael Kors. If it was me, I would have put Richard Sinnott, the head of accessories for Michael Kors in that role. Yeah, maybe they need a bona fide accessories designer but I think Richard would be hilarious and very knowledgable as he's worked both as an accessories editor and now at a fashion house running accessories.

The best judge hands down is Ariel. He makes the show worth watching just for his one liners. His Xanadu comment, his quick, "Ok, you can design," or whatever he says very matter-of-factly to the designers. I wondered whether he would be able to convey constructive criticism as he hasn't spent that many years studying the accessories market as a Fashion Director or Accessories Director does. But then I realized that you really don't need the fashion knowledge background to be able to know what's ok and what's crap going down the Project Accessory runway! I think it's safe to say that most people watching from their couches can figure that out.

Like this "Aspen snow bunny" outfit whose designer was booted from the competition last week. Though I really tend to scratch my head when Kelly Osbourne and the rest of the gang thought the winning look (all black with turban) was "sophisticated" and that you could see all ages wearing that look. What? I was not a fan. Frankly, it's just hard to take the show seriously when they ask the "designers" to create looks for a bodysuit? This is not constructive. This is like amateur hour.

Anyone else feeling the same as me? Or am I being too highly critical? Is it worth blocking space on my DVR or should I leave more space for HGTV's House Hunters? Seems like I'm not the only one who is questioning NY Magazine, they asked, "Did You Give Project Accessory a Second Shot Last Night?"

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Susan Freeman said...

i haven't watched project accessory, but you should definitely watch project all-stars when it airs! i ran many errands this summer helping georgina get dressed & ready for filming!

Alice in Wonderland said...

Susan, that's a great story! We will definitely tune in. Hope all is going well at college. Come see us at the holidays. -Alice