Fashion Reports

Fashion Report — Episode 1

Big Slick: Bandanas, twinning, ponchos, Romber, $20,000, and a Canadian fashion diva—welcome to The Amazing Race 7!

This season, the fash rep takes on an international flair as my new better half, Kanuck, joins me in the weekly commentary. Kanuck will be providing a much needed estrogen boost as well as a keen eye for detail, a dainty finger on the pulse of fashion, and a sharp tongue on the ready to lash Racers (dirty!).

Welcome, Kanuck!

Kanuck: Thanks! After a few seasons of armchair fashion critiquing, I’m excited to be joining the always-stylish Big Slick to bring you this season’s Fashion Reports. I’ll warn you upfront that I’m biased towards balancing form and function (read: the chances of finding me in 5-inch heels are virtually nil) and will apply the same principle to the Racers. And now onto the Report!

Big Slick: I have a confession to make. I am a recovering Survivorholic (I’m addicted to Survivorhol). I have seasons two and four all but memorized. And Amber (“Oh . . . my . . . God, it tastes so GOOD!”) and Boston Rob (“They trust me . . . but they shouldn’t.”) are two of my favorite castaways.
It may be my personal Yankee bias, but no one can ever look good in Red Sox garb.
That said, I’d like to point out that Romber is getting special treatment . . . at the very least in the clothes department. One thing former Racers have reported to be verboten is the wearing of logos of major league sports teams. And in what does Rob appear within the first five minutes of the new series? Yes, a Red Sox cap and jersey. It may be my personal Yankee bias, but no one can ever look good in Red Sox garb.

Kanuck: Hey, admitting your addiction is the first step to recovery. The second is to acknowledge that TAR could kick Survivor’s butt any day, which Mr. Millionaire’s-Fiancé needs to learn pronto. Even without his trademark ballcap, their wardrobes clearly announced the team affiliation—did they pack anything that wasn’t red? Even their parkas (and who brings a parka on the Race, anyways?) were his-and-hers red and white styles.

Big Slick: You’d better look out when you get the Fash Reps seeing red. Although I doubt that Romber is really to blame for the choice of color. The producers have gone too far . . . they’ve begun to meddle with the Racers’ outfits. Castaways have buffs, and, apparently, Racers now have color-coded bandanas. Normally, do-rags don’t cause me to go all X-Files. But, this season, we saw practically every team with one or both members sporting a uniquely-colored bandana.

The breakdown:
Brian & Greg were Team Orange.
Lynn & Alex followed in Kendra’s footsteps as Team Purple.
Romber was Team Red.
Debbie & Bianca were Team Turquoise.
Heidi & Megan, Team Pink, of course.
Ray & Deanna became Team Sky Blue.
Ryan & Chuck sported the evil bandanas as Team Black.
Susan & Patrick, Team White.
Uchenna & Joyce brought a little sunshine to the race as Team Yellow.
Meredith & Gretchen’s color looked red to me.
I completely missed Team P.O.W.’s color.

Was this really necessary? Unlike some seasons of virtually interchangeable dating models, the casting this go-round seems to be of individuals, not cut-outs. I think the producers are selling themselves short.

Kanuck: I had noticed an abundance of bandanas in the premiere, but hadn’t realized just how far they’d spread until you pointed out the trend—good call! In the interest of journalistic accuracy—

Big Slick: Oh, don’t worry, we’ll beat that out of you soon enough—

Kanuck: —and, you know, because it was a great ep—I decided to re-watch the premiere paying close attention to the bandanas. And what do you know? Every single Racer had a bandana adorning his or her head, wrist, or backpack, and some had more than one (the brothers, for example, each had an extra orange bandana tied onto their packs). A few of the Racers tried to confuse us by wearing a different colour in addition to their official colours, but your Fashion Reporters cannot be so easily fooled.

Big Slick: Sneaky Racers! And you go, Kanuck, with your U in “colour!” International flava, people. (p.s. Yes, they had me fooled a bit with the colors, but that’s why we fash reporters, like Racers, operate as a team.)

Kanuck: Susan, for example, wore a white bandana with pastel polka dots as a headband, but she and Patrick both had green ones tied to their packs. Meredith wore a red one to meet Phil at the Pit Stop but as we’ve already established, Red obviously belongs to Team Boston. In fact, Meredith and Gretchen had light sky blue bandanas on their packs (not to be confused with the darker evening-sky blue for Ray and Deana). And in keeping with the Iraq/POW theme, Ron and Kelly had sand-coloured bandanas on their packs.
It’s official, folks, TAR7 is the season of the Spoon-Fed-Bandanas.
It’s official, folks, TAR7 is the season of the Spoon-Fed-Bandanas. Production has always encouraged teams to dress alike (remember the Wonder Twins and their matching gingham shirts?), but enough with the team colours, already. This is not Survivor (remember step #2 above).

Big Slick: Oh lord, those twin sleeveless gingham atrocities. No one was remotely as bad in the twinning department in this episode, but we sure did have a lot of coordination.

We saw the Barbi Twins (not Shane & Sia, but Heidi & Megan) twinned it up in pastel sweatpants. Now, the sweats were weird enough, but the Barbies pushed them up to look like knickerbockers—yes, Heidi & Megan looked like a pair of gay newsboys.

Brian & Greg wore their bandanas twinnily. And, with the pattern centered in front and the peaks rising dead-center, they looked a little like Wonder Woman. Watch for them to use the bandanas as boomerangs in future eps.

Ryan & Chuck had looks that revealed character in their boots/shorts/oxford-style shirts. And, in what must be a Race first, they actually quadrupleted with happy boys Lynn & Alex. Hillbillies and happy boys, it’s good to know there’s common ground.

Susan & Patrick took twinning one step too far with their matching hairdos. You can bet that the day I discover I have my mother’s hairstyle is the day I shave it off (of her—I’m too vain for bald).

So enough nastiness (for now)!
In fire-engine red. I loved it . . . although I did wonder how many muppets had to die to make it.
Things I liked:
Amber’s hat. On day 2, Amber sported some wild, fuzzy headgear. In fire-engine red. I loved it . . . although I did wonder how many muppets had to die to make it.

The yellows on Uchenna & Joyce. Great color. Likewise, Brian & Greg’s earth tones. The drabs looked hot on them. Now, if only they can find some shampoo.

Heidi & Megan’s beach ensembles. Daisy Dukes and bikini tops are a smokin’ combo. The choice of shorts instead of bottoms, though, suggests cellulite to me. Nobody’s perfect, readers, remember that. And I LOVED Heidi’s (? Megan’s? I can’t tell them apart yet) star-in-disguise look. Baseball cap and sunglasses. My tip to all: If you want some attention in New York, put on a baseball cap and shades and head to the designer boutiques on West Broadway or Mercer.

Susan’s scarf. We don’t see many scarves on the Race. I liked it.

Rob’s beer gut. I sort of wanted to rub it.

Kanuck: Even if said gut was wearing a Red Sox shirt? I don’t know if a real Yankees fan would do that . . .

Big Slick: Well, I’m a special breed of Yankees fan, to be sure.

Kanuck: I liked Susan’s scarf, too. Debbie (or maybe Bianca) also added a touch of colour with an orange fleece scarf and hat set. Several of the Racers wore toques or winter-type headgear after their night on the beach, so maybe one of the up sides of a winter race is the addition of more accessories for us to critique.

I’d like to give a special mention to the locals in the Peruvian Andes, with their colourful outfits and hats in bright contrast to the more-subdued looks chosen by the Racers.
I liked Phil’s look at the start line—he rocks a turtleneck.
I liked Phil’s look at the start line—he rocks a turtleneck. I wasn’t so sure about his loose-fitting, unbuttoned brown top in Peru, though, but at least it wasn’t as bad as The. Sweater. What looks made you cringe, Big Slick?

Big Slick: Here we go!

Patrick’s softball tee. The green sleeves actually worked against him, drawing attention to his shoulders . . . or lack thereof. I hope he shapes up, because I’m instinctively a fan of his.

Sleeveless Ray. If you don’t have the arms, at least have the sleeves.

The brown and pink vest on Heidi?Megan?(Shane?Sia?). Would you paint your walls brown and add pink trim? I didn’t think so.

Deanna’s eye bags. Woman needs some sleep. Actually, eye bags are easily remedied with a number of creams, including (as you all should know from our various former Racer-slash-pageant girls) Preparation H.
Kanuck: I’ll agree with you on those. The Barbies in particular seem to be channeling Paris Hilton with the sorta-retro* looks and the blond hair, which is wrong on so many levels. They should pay as much attention to the Race as they do to their looks, or else I’m guessing they won’t be around much longer. And did you see their huge backpacks? I’ll fill you in on my backpack theory next week—catch you then!

Big Slick: Barbies and backpacks and theories, oh my! Until next time, TARflies, wear those coloured bandanas with pride.

* Kanuck shows her bona-fides for commenting on a retro look. (It was for an 80s theme party, folks – she doesn't dress like this all the time.)
* Kanuck shows her bona-fides for commenting on a retro look. (It was for an 80s theme party, folks – she doesn't dress like this all the time.)