Okay, menswear challenge, without teams – it’s a crazy difficult challenge for a bunch of designers who usually do women’s wear. With women’s clothes, if you’re not very skilled or are in a time crunch there are still lots of shapes and styles you can do that are pretty forgiving and hide flaws. Not so with pants. They show all the mistakes and are not easy to fit. Maybe if David Beckham had been the guest judge some of the designers might have tried a men’s skirt, but for an on-camera look for Tiki Barber or most any other celebrity, you have to go with pants. Plus, two pieces for an on-camera look is pretty minimal. Jack did a nice job of making his two pieces pretty interesting, but ultimately it’s just a shirt and pants. My sister pointed out that this would have been a perfect team challenge – two people could do a better job of getting out a 3 or 4-piece look that really works and is interesting. As it was, most of the designers were lucky just to have a finished product at all. I also noticed that most of the models were walking as though they were afraid the clothes would fall apart.

I went back to the photos on the Runway site, because I wanted to see more of the details, but with all the dark colors the pictures weren’t very helpful. I was surprised more of the designers didn’t go with a knit shirt or sweater option – definitely easier than a tailored shirt. Here are some impressions:

  • Carmen: it was a mess. If she had done a better job on the execution and made a shirt, the design probably would have been good enough to pass this round, although still not inspiring. I did like her color choices.
  • Christian: he made some interesting choices for a tailored look, but the jacket was poorly fit (mainly the sleeves) and so it looked sloppy.
  • Kit: boring color combo, but I like the idea of using fleece; that was very smart. It’s much easier to work with than suiting fabrics, and adds a less conventional texture. If she had made more interesting color choices, she might have pulled off the win.
  • Rami: I actually really liked this look, but I think it might have been a bit too casual for an on-camera look for Tiki Barber. Also, the proportions were great for his model, but probably would not have suited Tiki very well.
  • Sweet P: what can I say? That shirt was a disaster. She’s lucky she made it through.
  • Steven: not a bad look except for the ascot, good choice on the knit, but if I remember correctly when the model was walking, the pants were a really poor fit (I think the crotch was way too low).
  • Victorya: props for trying to do something a little different with the jacket, but the look didn’t really work for me.
  • Kevin: the lavender was a bit much, but otherwise I liked the look and thought it was Tiki-appropriate.
  • Chris: I don’t think head-to-toe black works on-camera, and I don’t like collarless jackets. The construction looked fine from what I could see, but this look was just passable for me.
  • Jack: I liked his fabric choices and thought the execution was good; this would have been better with a third piece; without a vest or jacket it just doesn’t seem quite polished enough for a tv appearance.
  • Ricky: the judges said it all; even if it had been finished, it would have been a boring black suit.
  • Elisa: execution seemed good; I wouldn’t choose the look for Tiki Barber, but I think she was wise to do a knit shirt.
  • Jillian: I don’t remember noticing any construction issues with this one, and I’m amazed that she pulled off a 4-piece look. Maybe a bit boring, but a lot better than some of the other stuff we saw.

Anyway, it was an interesting challenge, but largely interesting because of the process and not so much for the results. I would rather have seen a slightly easier challenge with better chance for good results – as mentioned above, make this a team challenge and it becomes much more do-able.