Blogging “Project Accessory”: Episode 3

In What's New, Industry News by Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Rich's dramatic 2nd place look with copper flame necklace

New York–Is it me or are there too many things on “Project Accessory” that distract from the actual accessories?

First there were the full-length bodysuits, which had every viewer thanking god she wasn’t a model on the show, then there were Nicolina’s quippy phrases for downtown lady parts and guest judge Kelly Osbourne’s comments about tampon strings. Then there’s always Rich’s beard, which, while despite being a funky fashion accessory in its own right, tends to steal every scene it’s in, particularly when it gets too close to a blowtorch.

The quick-cut editing also ruins the opportunity to really show accessories construction, which is much more mysterious and interesting than the whirring sewing machines of “Project Runway.” But of course, we’re biased. On to the show…

Christina's winning look

Episode 3 challenged the designers to accessorize a full-length bodysuit/unitard. Strangely, some were dark and sleek while others were hideous fuchsia, distorting the playing field. (Coincidentally, the top winning designers were those who snatched up the only black and brown ones.) Unfair. Imagine’s Christina’s winning design on a fuchsia bodysuit? Exactly.

Mid-episode, mentor Eva toured the room, eyeing up designer’s unfinished ensembles and advising them to tone things down with her “Think about it” mantra. Not as zippy as Tim Gunn’s “Make it work!” but it’s growing on me.

Christina’s winning look soared. Chic linear crystal earrings, an open cuff lined with the same rectangular crystals, a “sarong belt” with cascading fabric, and even a turban that the model totally rocked, each worked alone and together. The black bodysuit didn’t hurt either. Kenneth Cole called her out for not matching the metal finishes, though. Agreed.

Rich channeled his inner (and outer) bad boy, with a hand-cut copper necklace that looked like flames, a giant crystal knucklebuster ring and an oversized belt with complementary copper closure. Cohesive, edgy and pulled together, even without the dramatic sky-high mohawk, which added the finishing touch. Rich definitely knows how to put on a show.

Adrian's suede fringe belt

Adrian got overly fringe happy. It worked for the blue ombre fringed handbag-convertible clutch with metal hand strip (fabulous) but not as much for the suede fringed belt (overkill).

Diego's spear-shaped necklace

Diego would have been wise to turn the unitard into a deep V-neck, as his dramatic triangular breastplate landed awkwardly at the u-shaped neckline. The spiked tip was also scary. Remember Steve Irwin, the famous animal wrestler who was fatally stabbed in the heart by a stingray five years ago? Call me crazy, but that image popped into my head when the model walked down. The cuff was great.

David's "Barbie in Aspen" look got him sent home

Nina demonstrated that you can have a good idea but have it fall woefully flat in execution. She created a stripped zipper leather belt that draped, swag-like over the hips but hit in odd places. A miss.

Shea actually had more success repurposing the white unitard (slicing open fabric at spots) than she did with the accessories, which were too overworked with lace, leather cut-outs and crystals, and a bit schizophrenic in tone.

I think all of Nicolina’s talk about the models’ crotches made Brian paranoid, and his belt was actually a concealing miniskirt. This didn’t seem to bother the judges.

James either coasted on his immunity from last week’s win or had holiday elves on his mind (luckily the bodysuit wasn’t red). His white fur cuff was a major fail, as were the red fur-covered boots and weird fur pom-pom hat.

David’s look (“Barbie in Aspen”) was a mess collectively and a miss individually. Fur legwarmers with open-toed shoes just didn’t work. Even the model looked uncomfortable. Home he went.

Wild-eyed Nicolina, who got far more screen time for her antics than her accessories but kept the Twitter boards alight all evening, was also let go. Kelly Osbourne probably put the nail in the coffin by saying no girl wants a string hanging out of her crotch (cue the infamous tampon quote), but the belt worked when turned to the side. The judges actually felt bad when she turned it as they knew that might have saved her. The rolled leather knuckle ring was kinda cool, though.

No matter. Off she went. And judging by the immediate Twitter comments, “Project Accessory” just lost its villan, and as a result, some of its viewers.

But not us die-hards. Tune in next week to see who will step up their inner crazy to fill the void.


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