I had high hopes for the “Window Display” episode of Top Design this week—after all, it had all the elements of what makes Bravo such fulfilling trashy TV: design, fashion, and Project Runway. The challenge was to design window displays for the “boutiques” of former Project Runway contestants. Given the personalities involved (Santino! Andrae! The Other Daniel Who Isn’t Daniel Vosovic!) I thought it was going to be completely awesome.
But not even Santino couldn’t breathe life into this episode. In the end, many of the designs looked like teenage bedrooms (broken mirrors! Fuschia and black!), rather than fashionable window displays. And many of the designers—Eddie and Teresa, Kerry and Wisit, Nathan and Shazia—just didn’t realize that the whole point of a window display is to display clothes—rather than just make overly-neon design statements.
Oh sure, there were a couple of choice moments. When the Other Daniel dreamily recited a poem about his window display (it involved branches, golden sand, and floating), which would have been creepy were he not a reality show celebrity. When Eddie wouldn’t stop talking to Santino in their initial meeting, all but begging with puppy dog eyes to be named team leader. When Wisit mentioned kept on talking about “Rococo” this and “Rococo” that, even though his client (Jeffrey) had specifically told him that he didn’t like the Rococo idea at all.
Still, these moments couldn’t make up for the “meh” designs. I understand that the show’s producers want the designers to work under tight time constraints to rev up the drama factor, but I think that the time limits are ultimately hurting the design and the show. The end products the contestants come up with are entirely underwhelming. And who wants to tune in for “meh” design?
Even though they didn’t win, I liked Preston and Andrea’s design the best. Granted, their client (Daniel) spoon-fed them the concept, and they had the best dress to work with, but still—the lemon-yellow dress contrasted against the gray background was fabulously dreamy.
Kerry was sent home for this window he and Wisit designed for Jeffrey. His and Wisit’s choice to black out two of the windows made the space feel cramped, and their color choices were just bizarre. Still, I felt bad for Kerry. I think he was trying to include Wisit in the design process, and it was Wisit’s ideas that ultimately derailed the concept.
The winning design, Nathalie and Ondine’s window display for Sweet P, was pretty—I liked how the draped cloth and butterflies added a feeling of movement to the space, and the blue background set off the dress well. But it was a bit too precious for my taste—although perhaps I didn’t like it because it’s the kind of thing I would have loved when I was twelve.
I was not a fan of Eddie and Andrea’s design for Santino’s gothic outfit. While Eddie said in this episode that he can do more than just preppy rooms, its seems like “edgy goth” (or, Miley Cyrus’ dressing room) is not quite his forte.
Nathan and Shazia has a big explanation for this concept for Andrae’s window that didn’t make a lot of sense (something about the stacked shelves representing chaos and the chair representing order). But ultimately the big problem was that there was too much gray-on-gray action going on here. The bottom line is that it didn’t show off the dress—and a good window display should show off the dress.
Next week: They’re designing for bachelors! And I see that one of the bachelors has a pillow that is shaped like a pair of breasts! Let’s hope this is as good as the preview makes it out to be.