November 21, 2007

Pooh-Pooh Platter

Project Runway is back! Let's return to a world of deadlines and hemlines. Let's make it work, people!

Unfortunately this season we don't have much introduction, and just dive right into the designers moving into their apartments. Throughout this sequence we get little interviews where you get to know a bit more about the designers. I'd address them all, but you'd be better served to just read up on their biographies on Bravo's website. To sum it up, these folks are far more accomplished than those in prior seasons. Rami has designed for celebrities. Kevin's had his jeans seen in Victoria's Secret. Carmen is a model turned designer. And Sweet P (a nickname that makes her seem more cutesy than she is) needs the money to restart her career. Oh, also Kevin wants to make very sure you know that he's the lone straight guy this season. He's straight. Did you hear that? Straight! (Ugh, men like that annoy the fuck out of me.) Ricky interviews and starts crying. Already. Good grief!

Anyway, let's get down to brass tacks - the designers get Heidi Mail, saying that they should head to Bryant Park. Wow - everyone gets to show this season? Where's the competition?

Just kidding, they get to the park and meet Tim and Heidi while sipping champagne. Heidi makes sure to mention Tim's new job (he's not at Parsons anymore). And then they present the challenge. Quite simply, they have to design an outfit that best expresses who they are as designers. And they can choose from a lot of expensive fabric which is hidden in 3 tents across the park.

Now, on the one hand this seems like a silly challenge to start with - there's no restrictions, really. But as I thought about it, I wondered if the producers chose to do things this way so that no one could whine that, "The only reason I was eliminated first is because I had to design with aluminum foil." Well anyway, we'll see how this goes.

And they're off! The designers charge across the park and grab fabric desperately, as if this was a Barney's clearance sale. Chris just has to shuffle along, because the man is rather...portly. Rotund, perhaps. Anywho, he isn't complaining, as the one fabric he could see from a distance he wanted is still there. Meanwhile, we learn that Elisa is a bit odd. She is rubbing a fabric on the grass to make it stain. Because she often "imbues fabrics with things from the earth, like tea." Uh...huh...

Next up the designers enter the workroom, and you can feel the excitement. Tim comes in to explain the parameters (they only have about 16 hours), and leaves them with a little "Make it work," to make us all feel warm and fuzzy inside.

The designers set to work, but with 15 of them we don't get much time to focus on any of them. We do see that everyone can tell Elisa is a bit odd (she uses herself as a dress form while sewing a skirt), Sweet P and Simone have time management issues, and the girls think Jack looks hot. Because he kind of is.

Tim comes in midway for his usual checking up. He questions that Christian has made the back of his jacket appear asymmetrical. He loves what Rami is putting together. He also points out that Simone has a lot to get done.

As the designers continue to work, Elisa announces that she's done. The others can't believe her, but she seriously goes into the lounge and takes a nap. Crazy AND lazy! Anywho, they wrap up for the night.

Next morning, we get a gratuitous shot of Jack in his underwear getting dressed. Ahem. His basket overfloweth.

Back in the workroom, the designers scramble to work on details, but to no avail, as Tim announces that the models are here. The models are assigned, and fittings begin. Christian (who is so very full of himself) is glad that his model (Lisa) likes his design. But when she says she sees a lot of great designs around the room, he retorts that he sees a lot of crap. Bitchy McBitcherson, that one.

Runway! Heidi! Michael Kors! Nina Garcia! Ah, it's like I'm putting on a warm cashmere robe. Welcome home! Our guest judge is "big designer" Monique Lhuillier. I think she mostly does wedding dresses? Whatev - on with the show!

Jillian's dress is an orange halter style with a shorter flared bottom. She's included what I believe is her signature - hidden pockets. I like the idea of pockets on a dress as long as they aren't obvious. And here they're not. So, I like this outfit. Simple, but nice.

Christian is mixing an older style with something modern - a puffy jacket in brown and black plaid, with a black ruffle in the front. The bottom is an asymmetrical beige skirt. It's unique, but I'd like it more if it had some real color to it. In something like green or orange it would be veyr striking.

Jack's outfit looks nice, with a split halter top and knee-length skirt which is all white with a black print, edged by turquoise. It definitely is attractive, but I think he relied too much on the fabric print.

Kevin's design bored me. It's a double-layered black and red dress with a silver bodice covering the middle. Also, this should be the time to point out that the models this year are mostly terrible! Where did they find these girls - in line at Burlington Coat Factory? I know I poke fun at Top Model, but any of the girls on there right now could model better than the ones we're seeing now.

Getting back to the runway, Chris' design is chic, with a floor length amethyst fitted skirt, and a wrapped halter in a gold and purple print. Again, simple but lovely.

Marion's design may not have impressed others, but it was one of my favorites because it's different and more daring. It looks like a cross between lingerie and a Butterick pattern. Which sounds bad, but it's not.

Kit puts a red half-bodice (on one side only) over a plain print in black and gray. *snore*

Steven came up with what looks like a nicely tailored black suit accented with a red scarf. It's not very daring, but it's certainly well made.

Carmen has designed something right out of Aladdin. Black Arabian pants are topped by a gold print sleeveless jacket over an orange shirt and some big fugly bow at the neck. It's creative, but I don't love it.

Sweet P's outfit makes no sense to me. It's a shapeless dress in beige print, with red detailing and the top and bottom, and pastel blue/purple straps.

Ricky did a baby doll dress in a silver print. And that's it. Seriously - that's it. I'm so bored with it that I'm afraid drool will start slipping out of the side of my mouth.

Victorya has a layered black mini dress, with a big metallic silver flower at the left breast. But across the upper arms are horizontal straps that basically mean she can't lift her arms. A bit dull, I thought.

And now here comes Elisa's. From the front, it's a lovely turquoise number with one shoulder exposed. I like it...oh wait. Here's the back. It's like a bunch of shredded fabric just sticking out a hole in the back, leading to a long train. Which the model (Lea) trips on. Yuck. It's like a dress that's just half-good.

Simone's is a really dull halter in beige (with a little yellow above it) covered by a little shrug jacket in a metallic print. The jacket is totally discordant with the dress. Not good.

And then we have Rami's dress. It's a glamorous gray dress with many layers - some loose, others flowing. It all meets with a bow at the shoulder. I do like it, even if it's not earth-shattering.

And now the judgments. All but 6 are dismissed, as those others got high enough scores to move on - Carmen, Chris, Jack, Jillian, Kevin, Kit, Marion, Steven, and Sweet P.

The judges comments make it clear that the top 3 are Victorya, Rami and Christian. Michael isn't bothered by the horizontal straps on Victorya's dress, as he knows many women that will squeeze into something painful and impractical if it's beautiful. They actually like the assymetry on the back of Christian's jacket. And they love everything on Rami's dress except the bow, which Michael thinks is a little too precious.

Meanwhile, the bottom 3 are Ricky (for doing something way too easy), Simone (for having a dress that doesn't make sense and looks unfinished) and Elisa (duh).

The judges deliberate. Of note, Heidi wrote down that Elisa's dress looks like it was "pooing fabric." Ha! And also, true.

We return and hear the drumbeats of doom. Yay! I have missed those highly dramatic percussionists. Victorya is in. And now the winner...Rami! Which is nice. Did I mention that he's very, very pretty? You can feel Christian's withering gaze pierce the TV screen, but he's gracious when told he is also in.

Ricky is in. Seriously? I totally would have eliminated him. Anywho, let's talk with the bottom 2. Simone, your design was odd and was poorly constructed. Elisa, you are nuttier than a fruitcake. But for having such a lovely front to her dress, Elisa is spared. Auf weidersehen, Simone. I can't say we'll remember you until you show up at the reunion.

So what was with the lack of creativity this week? I blame it on the openness of the challenge. I've noticed that when I'm dancing in an improvisation piece, the best work seems to come out of scores where we're given a lot of restrictions. Having fewer options forces you to think in new directions. Having a world of options may actually be stifling. So here's hoping next week we're off to a remnant rug sale or something!


ScottE. said...

I'm so happy the show is back.

If you want to view Jack's basket overflowing, you can check it out here:


Brunette said...

OK, chiming in very late (just watched this and the second episode, thanks to my friend DVR). I loved Jack's dress - it's totally something I'd wear out for a fun lunch date. Also thought Rami's dress was gorgeous; he deserved the win.

Am I the only one who doesn't "get" Christian or Victorya's designs at all?

"Burlington Coat Factory"? You crack me up.

Fredo said...

Because she often "imbues fabrics with things from the earth, like tea." Uh...huh...

So, in other words... she's a klutz who figured out how to use it to her advantage?