Saturday, July 4, 2009
And our Chicken Diva goes home. We are both sad and at the same time very, very confused. To our eyes, there is way more good going on with this outfit than there is bad. And there were FAR worse outfits on that runway.Let's start with that coat, which we think is amazing, but the judges nit-picked to death.Beautiful color, amazingly well-executed with lots of detailing. The judges acted as if there was way too much, but have they seen some of the coats out there lately? There's a pocket and a compartment for every possible item one could conceivably leave the house with.And we thought he did a great take on the unfortunate American habit of traveling in sweat suits.It was chic and looked great on her and also had some great detailing. On top of everything else, it was practical.As a traveling outfit, it afforded her some comfort while still looking chic and she had compartments all over her clothing for everything from tickets to breath mints. What else do you need? Maybe he should have added some compartments for holding her shoes. The judges love that sort of shit.The ONLY part of the outfit that undeniably sucked were those ridiculous pants with their ballooning knees. We understand that they were SO awful that they may have overrided most of the outfit's good points, but the judges completely overreacted to them.And why did the judges completely overreact to this outfit? Because the crowd of "fashion insiders" did. That's probably our biggest complaint about the show, the judges are forced to restrict their decisions to whichever garments got the lowest and highest scores, which means by definition, the judges are forced to judge their way around other people's decisions and criteria. It's a murky process made doubly so because we have no idea who the vast majority of these people are (except for a shot of maybe 6 or so every episode) and we have no idea what information they've been given about the challenge and what the designers were required to do. "90% of the audience said they wouldn't buy your outfit." Well, okay. Who the fuck are they, then?
We just wrapped up our interview with designer Merlin from The Fashion Show and, boy, did he have a lot to say! During last night’s elimination, the judges criticized Merlin for being too ambitious in his “busy” design and, ultimately, they just weren’t buying his traveling sweat suit. The judges said bon voyage to Merlin, but he refuses to let the sun set on his dreams. Read on to hear Merlin’s point of view.SO!: Do you think your fate in the competition would have changed had you drawn a different tarot card?
M: No. When I pulled that card, I knew I was out. I didn’t want to waste my energy trying to fight it. I accepted my fate. I believe in destiny - it is why I am here, in this country.
SO!: You scolded some of the other designers for playing it too safe in their designs. What type of risks would you like to have seen the other designers take in their creations?
M: The only person that was playing with his designs and trying to experiment was James Paul. He was trying to find himself. The other designers don’t have an identity - they’re trying to be too commercial. They are so proud of the schools that they went to and brag about their experiences, but they don’t even know how to sew.
SO!: The judges seemed to like the color scheme and concept of your garment, but were overwhelmed with the functionality and “busy-ness.” If you could go back and rework your design, what would you do differently?
M: If you play it safe, you are not going to be memorable or make a point. I have to be happy with who I am. I can’t spend my life trying to please other people. You only live once and have to do what you feel and say what you feel.
SO!: What did being on The Fashion Show mean to you as a designer and did you get everything out of it that you had set out to?
M: It was like rehab for me.
SO!: What’s next for you as a designer?
M: I am working on a spring/summer collection right now. I am going back to my country this summer to put on a fashion show there. I am booked for the next two years, and I am so happy.
Merlin's collection shown at Bravo's The Fashion Show Finale last Friday was definitely an unforgettable one. He opened the show in Elvis-like white bodysuit, providing much entertainment, but unfortunately not from the kind the fashion world is craving for.
The collection, which could be described as a result of a space ship landing at the carnival in Brazil, many times crossed the lines of a good taste. It opened with a green and bronze dress with orange ruffled sleeves and pink belt - a color combination rare to find in woman's closet (no matter how fashion forward she is). It continued with more metallics, feathers, beads and sequins... Yes, it was a great show, completely unrealistic and... unwearable...
Friday, July 3, 2009
The winner this week Merlin was given Mean Girls, which some might think suits his personality but this week Merlin showed a softer side. Maybe it was the stress of not gaining the judges approval but he crumpled a little admitting he didn't know if what he was doing was right. Luckily for him he gained his control and designed a gorgeous little jacket with the cutest knitted panel and sleeve detail. Though for some reason BravoShop have decided not to sell that part of the design! It makes no sense to me as the jacket made the outfit and 83% of the audience said they would buy his design.
Merlin found his creative side in fashion whilst attending architecture school in his home town of Honduras. Though he traces his earliest memory back to when he made a dress out of a family tablecloth! Taking his raw talent to Mexico he studied pattern making and today applies all his education to a theatrical style. Now head designer for his own label, Merlin Castell, he has designed for several celebrity clients. The list includes N*Sync, Paris Hilton, and Marilyn Manson. Wonder if Manson watches Merlin on The Fashion Show!
Merlin, 38 — Los Angeles
Always drawn to details and measurements, Merlin went to school for architecture in his home country of Honduras. It was through the guidance of a college professor that he discovered an aptitude for fashion. Merlin traces his earliest design memory back to when he made a dress for his mother out of the family's tablecloth. Merlin took his raw talent to Mexico, where he studied pattern making. Today, Merlin applies his conceptual and theatrical style to his role as head designer of his own label, Merlin Castell. He has worked with a number of celebrity clients, including Paula Abdul, 'N Sync, Paris Hilton, Marilyn Manson, and many others.
Merlin's Collection can be described as Lots and lots of sequins, puffy sleeves, and fiery tones! Our fave look: an orange beaded and sequined gown paired with a burnt-orange coat.
The taping of the season one finale of The Fashion Show took place at the palatial Cipriani Wall Street on June 26th. On the good side, although I don’t think he will win, Merlin Castell utterly dazzled.I was not expecting this since I have not liked his work in the past, but his show was wonderfully vibrant, lively and full of unexpected details, shapes and accidents.The hair looks, created by Tresemme, were also flawless. However, few of the hairstyles were actually wearable, and they seemed more apt for the theater than what someone shopping bravotv.com would wear (the winning collection will be sold on the site).
Thursday, July 2, 2009
It all started with Reco waking me up in the morning with sleeping robes that were left for us outside the door. Later in the Mini Challenge, we had to make a complementary piece for the robe. I did mine and thought it was one of the better ones made but of course Anna won.
The Elimination Challenge involved visiting a psychic and Tarot card reader that read us our futures. I do not remember what she said to me but I saw that I was leaving or moving on to something else.
The theme was to create something inspired by the Tarot card that we picked from the table. I took the Six of Swords. And since there are six of us competitors, it's fitting although the others have been like sword that have been nailed in my back.
Of one way or another, it doesn't matter what you create, you cannot always fight against nature and sooner or later you'll have to leave with what you carry. That fact is I lost and I went home. Happy? Yes. Satisfied? Yes. Pleased? No. What I showed was a beautiful piece compared to what the others made. I cannot believe I lost. The show might have ended, but for me, I'm just getting started.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
My new mantra is that I can, I am, and I will do everything I can to achieve my goal. The competition is becoming harder and there is nothing but tension and fear between us.
Isaac still does not understand my accent but whether they believe it or not, I'm still here in the competition.
The Mini Challenge was a trivia about fashion history. I'm screwed because the little I do know about fashion history is what I've read in magazines. I answered the first few questions correct but in the end I lost. Because Anna won, she had the power to assign a designer to us for the elimination challenge. The challenge was to recreate an outfit inspired by the designer Anna gave us. Anna surprised me by giving me Madame Grès who I had not heard of before and I was worried.
In the end I made a marvelous dress that was very pretty and I was satisfied with. My outfit was safe and it was Haven that went home, it was just her time. Bye-bye, Barbie. Hasta la vista!
- Merlin Castell
- Born is Honduras, with an innate affinity for fashion and a keen eye for style, Merlin Castell never dreamed that he would be so fortunate to craft a carrier out of what he enjoys doing the most. Los Angeles, Ca- designer Merlin Castell is best known for his Haute Couture Tailored Clothing. Crafted from Highly Luxurious Fabrics. His pieces are popular with Trendsetter’s, Celebrities in Music, Film and Television. The Merlin Castell line has a high hip factor. And has become one of The Most Talked about Collections