Project Runway Proves Most Designers Don’t Get It!

“I have never known a really chic woman whose appearance was
not in large part, an outward reflection of her inner self.”  Main Rousseau Bocher
Project Runway is in Season 11 and brings a new “team”
concept to every challenge.  This past
Thursday the designers were given the assignment to design for seasoned ladies,
and Joan and Melissa Rivers were the guest judges.  Tim introduced the challenge by explaining
that fashion is timeless and knows no age.

Joan and Melissa Rivers Judge the senior challenge.
Yet, while the designers seemed excited about working with
these vibrant, active women, their designs certainly did not reflect the
enthusiasm.  Only a couple of them really
thought about the woman…who she was inside…what her passions were…what her
lifestyle was.  Stanley Hudson, designer
of the winning look, was the only one who seemed to think past her age to who
she was as a woman.  He brought a design
which made her look fierce and chic, and though there were some construction
issues, she was by far the winning look.
Stanley Hudson: Winning Design
Australian Benjamin Mach was the designer who had to leave
the show at this point…and I can tell you exactly why I believe that was the
right choice.  I was on Twitter during
the show and we were joined by Mach online. 
His tweets referred to the joy of working with the “old” ladies.  So who did he design for?  A stereotypical old lady!  In the show, he describes his client as
cheeky…because she was fun loving and even pinched the butt of another
designer.  But, Mach forgot about her
insides and designed for what he interpreted her outsides to be.  He was still talking about her as an “old”
lady on Twitter that night…so I do not believe he gets it even now.
Benjamin Mache: Losing Designer
But, this is the problem with many designers.  Women 50+ are vibrant, cheeky, fabulous, chic…but
when you look at so many designs on the market target for this age group, you can see they are designing
for “old women,” not the women we actually are.  Shame on them…it is one
of the reasons why I have shopped at Lane Bryant over Catherine’s during my “need- for- women’s- sizes” years.  I find the
clothes at LB reflect who I am on the inside much better.   Now, I know this is a complicated issue.  But I was so frustrated to see the Twitter feeds
that night which kept calling the ladies OLD
On Clearance:  Simply Vera Necklace at Kohls
We need to help out Stanley though.  For some reason, he has the lowest FB likes
of any of the remaining designers.  But in this one
challenge, he got it and proved he could see inside of a woman and not focus on
merely hair color or wrinkles.  His
teammate, Richard Hallmarq, also did well…if he had added leggings and boots to his outfit;
he might have walked away with the prize.
Izod White Tunic Blouse: Ross
Feather Print Skinny Jean by Seven 7 at Lane Bryant
My look today for VISIBLE MONDAY and MONDAY MINGLE is a new outfit I love….and
believe it completely says who I am!! 
Now go visit the other looks and have a fabulous day!

Your “living-like-you-feel-40” tip of the day:  Don’t allow anyone to put you down because of
age.  Wear your inside personality proudly in your
fashion selections!


  1. I love Project Runway and have watched it for years. I still dont see many designs on that show or in retail that capture who we are–and it is a huge vacancy! I guess we'll have to do it ourselves!

  2. I love Project Runway too (but we are behind – they are currently showing us season 10)! I am happy to hear that they designed for chronological older women this time, but sad to hear about all the ageism going on. We are actually planing to have open lectures about ageism at my university, I hope it will attract listeners, as it is an important issue often ignored in the political discussion and in research, which in it self is ageism.
    You look so fresh and ready for spring in this outfit! Have a great week Pam!

  3. I don't watch the show but I agree the top outfit is sizzling, for any age. And designers who think of us as old won't get our business, I think. You look great Pam, and thanks for linking up!

  4. I agree completely with the winning design, it helped that the woman had an outstanding figure, the color chosen was perfect for her. I was sad to see that the less trim women all had the least attractive looks. It is possible to dress a larger woman isn't it?

  5. I've never watched Project Runway, but this sounds like one I would have liked. I love the winning suit, but I think the losing one has some good points, too. I can't imagine the second woman in the suit, and the neckline and color are actually really nice on her. I'd love to see what the other ones were (am I going to have to go to their website now?).

  6. Oh Pam
    I was horrified by what I saw coming down that runway
    I agree that Stanley was the clear winner.
    Even though I liked the leopard print dress, I didn't think it appropriate for the client wearing it
    And Richard's dress which they all raved about…seriously!!!!

  7. I don't watch Project Runway, but I can see why that dress's designer didn't win. Your outfit, however, is a winner! Love the printed pants and crisp white shirt! You look ready for spring!

  8. I haven't had time to watch that episode yet, but thank you for the update. Love your quote and your attitude, we really do have so much to share with the world. I agree with Paula, maybe we'll have to do it ourselves. By the way, great new outfit, especially those wonderful shoes.

  9. I couldn't agree more! And I totally agree with your ideas on Lane Bryant over Catherine's….. If I want the "mu-mu" look I will shop Catherine's…. which is never the look I am striving for….. Your outfit is darling! Spring can not come soon enough for me!

  10. Today YOU walk away with the prize. Your analysis of this season's Project Runway's season is thorough, thoughtful and filled with ideas that designers should consider and internalize. I do love the look of the winning design.

    Your beautiful ensemble provides the perfect example of projecting the inside out!

  11. What an important topic, Pam – and one that goes beyond fashion. It's the notion that "old" is less, easily dismissed, and eventually, invisible – as though the person becomes worthless.

    The same could be said for those who are fat. Any woman who has been over a certain size – especially 20+ years ago – know what I mean. The choices? Horrendous. And you can still look at the lingerie choices for heavier women as well as older women and see that there is an assumption that sexuality is of no importance (or non-existent).

    These are cultural issues that, it seems to me, are worsening rather than improving. We do not value those who grow older (or appear to). We do not intermix the generations in healthy ways any longer, as we once did (for many reasons). And this remains one of the reasons that I'm glad to have spent as much time in France as I have over the years, where, while this is changing there as well, it is less the case than in the US.

    And you can still find gorgeous underthings at any age or size, to boot!

    Terrific post.

  12. This is a gorgeous casual-chic outfit. I really love the combination of your printed jeans and the white shirt!! Reminds me of summer and vacation.

    I have already tried to follow Project Runway via livestream (I am in Germany).

    Lady of Style

  13. I agree with you 100% but the PR designers are not alone in their bias. I think there are two clothing camps, couture and fashion. To me couture is art. It has no practical function. Fashion is what real women wear. Once in a blue moon you run across a couturier who can manage the best of both worlds. I thought a lot of what last season's winner Dmitri Sholokov designed fits that description.
    Your shoes are marvelous – I can definitely see them on the runway!

    Spashionista (Alicia)

  14. I thought this Project Runway was interesting – but not in a great way. I felt like the outfits that won were because the women were size 4. The outfits designed for them would have looked great on any of the models. I really didn't see much that would have looked well on a more mature and more filled out woman. I was terribly disappointed! And I was disappointed in the judges, also. The turquoise "sack" designed by one designer was atrocious. I would never wear it. Anyway, just my 2 cents worth!

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