Thursday, February 28, 2013

Project Runway Meets the Final Eight: Game 1

So there are plenty of well-informed people out there analyzing this year's eight finalists for sport's most cherished trophy this side of Lord Stanley's Cup. But only at The Big Ice will you find the kind of detailed fashion analysis that makes one wonder if the Commissioner enjoyed the full body shave he endured as a college freshman hockey player more than he initially let on.

Closeted homosexuality aside, this office has projected a state champion, based solely on the one thing that truly matters: uniform design. So in the words of our beloved Heidi Klum, "Let's get on with the show."

Game 1:
These are very important games, so it's absolutely necessary to examine both the home and away jerseys when rendering a verdict. The two versions can vary wildly, as is the case with Wausau West.
The Warriors have made some major improvements with their darks, simplifying the front crest and flirting fearlessly with its size, teetering right on the edge of being too large (that's what she said).

Now that's what I call a crest. And note the nice details: the sticker on the helmet, the West stitched artfully over the shoulder number. Tim Gunn is right: Accessories can make or break a uniform composition. These kids got it right. I'm even willing to step back from my earlier criticism of the number color. White with gold trim is just fine; making those numbers gold with white trim would just be too much gold. And speaking of too much gold, let's take a gander at Wausau West's light jerseys:

Ahhhhh! My eyes, my eyes! Don't even get me started on the crest. That color. Dear God, that color. When I close my eyes, I still see that canary yellow burned against my gin-engorged eyelids. That color makes my rec league team's orange pylon numbers look as elegant as a Montreal Canadiens jersey.

But hold on, Verona, before you get too cocky, let's take a look at what you sent out on the runway:

I must say, your darks are a pleasant surprise. Nice balanced composition, a safe (maybe too safe?) old school crest, and the players seem to share a commitment to wearing the same colored gloves. And as for number size-to-jersey size ratio, it doesn't get better than this:

But watch what happens when make the transition to white:

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of nameplates on the back of high school jerseys. (Last time I checked the spelling, there was no "Fromberger" in "team.") But if you're going to concede to a mulletted teen's ego, at least do it right. These nameplates look like they were done as part of an extra credit project in Miss Huber's Home Economics class; even from this distance I can delineate the patch from the jersey. We expect better craftsmanship from one of the top-ranked teams in the state. An unnecessary, and potentially fatal, flaw.

So, Verona and Wausau West, one of you will be moving onto the next round, and one of you will be out. Wausau West...


I'm sorry, you're out. That means you, Verona, move onto the second round. But just barely.

Next up: Wisconsin Rapids vs. Green Bay Notre Dame.

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