Q. Who are the judges?
A. This can be found at the Celebrity Judges tab at the top of the screen. Currently, we have two celebrity judges- Jessica of Happy Together and Shannon of luvinthemommyhood. I originally planned on having 3+ celebrity judges, but to be honest, that third spot has been the hardest to fill (even more than the designers!). Last week, I filled in to make it three, but I am still hoping to find a third judge. If you are interested in contributing and have a pretty popular blog- please contact me! It's a super easy job, especially if you're already following the competition!
Q. How do the judges score the designs and how does this figure in to the overall score?
A. The judges award a score of 1-10, based on originality, adherence to theme, wearability, and overall wow factor. I realize not everyone will agree with the judges score, and would like to know more specific reasons for why they voted the way they did. Unfortunately, all of fashion is extremely subjective. Even if we were to break the points down into 5 for originality, 3 for wow factor, 1 for wearability, and 1 for adherence to theme (or categorize it in any way)- the judges would still differ (from each other and from the readers) on their decision of what deserves how many points. My reasoning for allowing the judges to decide the points without strict guidelines is because I want this competition to be as enjoyable and simple as possible. In future seasons (if there are any), I may decide to change this, but right now, I think this would still be best. I assure you, the judges are impartial, and take plenty of time considering their scores and the amount of work and creativity that goes into each design.
As far as how it figures in to the overall score- this is where it becomes rather complex. The judges scores account for about half of the overall scoring. This is to balance out the problem of Project Run&Play becoming a popularity contest, rather than a design contest. I use the average of the three judges scores to determine a percentage. If the average is 9.3, then the percentage will be 93%. I also use the high vote from the reader poll (whoever has the highest votes) as a base. Each designer receives their votes from the poll + the percentage (judges scores) of the base (high vote). I had the designers read over this process prior to the competition, and they were all okay with it. As I said, it's a lot more complex to explain, but I want this to be a fair competition.
Q. Where do we vote?
A. Each week, during the time specified (usually from when the designs are posted to midnight before the winner is supposed to be announced) there will be a poll open in the sidebar. Please do not vote in the comments because I will not be sorting through comments in the early morning hours to find out who won. I'm sorry if you missed voting last week. This week I will also be trying to work the schedule so that the poll is open either Friday or Monday for those of you who read from work.
Q. Why aren't the submissions kept anonymous?
A. Once again, coming back to trying to keep things simple- I know it's hard for bloggers to find anonymous models, and even then you can often tell who's designs are who's just because it's their style. So it's kind of a joke to even try to keep them anonymous, and because we have judges to balance the popularity issue, I think it's ok that they aren't anonymous.
Q. How were designers chosen?
A. Since this was a brand new blog, I spent a couple of months emailing bloggers who I knew have made children's clothes and harassing them until they caved and agreed. :) Just kidding. Most I contacted were really excited and interested. If I do decide to have future "seasons," which is very much up in the air at this point, and you're interested in being a designer, I would recommend a little audience participation. Hint, hint- link up things you make based on the themes; they just might be considered your audition.
Q. What does the winner win?
A. That is something that is a bit of a work in progress. Here's what I know of at this point, but I'm still searching for sponsors interested in contributing to the prize package.
- A $75 gift card from Fabric.com
- A pound of coffee from Espresso Vein Roasterie (yes, this is my husband's coffee)
- A set of fabric notecards and flower hair clips from Ellzabelle
So I hope I've cleared up any questions you may have. If you still have questions, feel free to leave a comment.
But, on that note, if you have a problem with who wins each challenge, or who didn't make it to the next round, or just a certain design in general- I'm sorry, but please don't email me or leave a comment to criticize the designs or the way the competition is run. I don't want to get into too much drama here, but I have spent MANY many hours on this blog- and so have each and every one of the designers and judges- and even if it's not criticism directed at me, it hurts to see someone torn down. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, fashion is very subjective. We won't all agree on what's an attractive design, and, as it is a competition, each week someone does have to "go home." It's always going to be sad or disappointing because all of these ladies are EXTREMELY talented. That much is obvious. So, as I would tell my daughter, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Thank you again everyone who has been encouraging and following this blog! It has been so fun seeing it start to come together- from a daydream to reality.