Project Runway Season Five – Let’s Start From The Beginning

I’ve missed this — it seems like it’s been forever since the last season, even though it was really just a few months ago that Christian won the fourth season.

Tim claims that this season may be the most diverse group of designers they’ve ever had on Project Runway — and I can’t help but think, “Really, Tim? Or is that some pat phrase that we all unthinkingly trot out with each new season?”

What I love about the original version of Project Runway (as opposed to the trashy Brit version, Project Catwalk) is that the focus is really on the designers and the process of designing.

Tim wakes them up insanely early on the morning of their first challenge, looking pristine and elegant as always.

Sometimes, I think Tim just wakes up looking fabulous.

The first challenge is a blast from the past, repeating the first ever Project Runway challenge of designing an outfit using mateirals found at grocery store Gristedes with a budget of $75 and just half an hour to pick and choose the materials they’re going to use.

Special guest, Austin Scarlett, a season one designer, shows up to help Tim provide more details on the brief to the new designers.  

Scarlett actually won the challenge during his season, using corn husks to create a cute little dress.

Can I just say that I love Austin Scarlett? He’s just so old world chic, don’t you think? I mean, not anybody can get away with what he’s wearing — but he just manages to pull it off.

Adding more pressure to the first challenge is Tim on the intercom, urging the designers to hurry up.

“This isn’t idle shopping!”

While I have to give kudos to the designers who opted to make things more challenging for themselves by choosing materials that didn’t resemble fabric, a part of me thought they were totally screwing themselves over in the end.

I mean, haven’t they watched Project Runway before?

When Tim says, “All right! Make it work!”, I feel this little smile spread across my face.

I have a little “inspirational poster” at work that features Tim looking pensively at an outfit with the words, “Make It Work!” under it.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: “Make It Work!” is an extremely useful motto for just about everything in life — not just working under the gun on an episode of Project Runway.

First impressions of the designers in the workroom?

I liked the skirt Kelly was designing, using vacuum bags stained with bleach to give it a marble effect — if it wasn’t made out of vacuum bags, I’d probably want a skirt just like it.

Stella, who introduced herself at the beginning of the show by saying she designed for “hookers or pimps or whoever’s tough enough to wear it” has royally ass-fucked herself by picking garbage bags that disintegrate at the touch. (Memo to self: don’t buy no-name garbage bags because they will not hold your garbage.)

The garbage bags look like garbage.

She doesn’t seem to know what to do and all Tim can tell her is, “Make it work.” I don’t see how she’s going to pull it off, though — and to be honest here, she doesn’t look like she has the talent to pull something great out of her ass.

A lot of people seemed to be using table cloths — among them is Jerry, who initially poo-poohed the notion of using bizzaro items in the name of creativity.

Tim actually comes right out and says to the designers that he’s seeing a lot of table cloths being used in the room.

“The reason we took you to Gristedes was to use materials that were untraditional and unexpected. And a tablecloth is a form of fabric. I just think the judges are going to say, ‘You guys are a bunch of slackers!'”

Tim Gunn is always right. He tells it as it is — but not in a ghetto, attitude-filled way. He’s just got too much class for that. (Can you tell that I think the sun shines out of Tim’s ass?)

“You’ve got to get these things to go beyond what they actually are!” he tells everybody. “Innovate!”

The designers attempt to rise to the challenge

When Blayne — he of the perpetual tan — finishes ahead of everybody else and claims that he was going to dominate and has clearly shown he has, I just stare at the hot tranny mess he’s created and think, “This is every bit as bad as something you’d find from the designers of Project Catwalk!”

Stella is still stressing out over her bad choice of materials with the garbage bags and everybody else is insisting she keeps going and to never give up.

To the camera, she says flatly: “If I’m the first eliminated designer, I’ll be the biggest jack ass of the nation.”

Heading into the first runway show, the designers seem more worried about facing Nina, rather than Michael — and just hearing them talk about the judges makes me realize how much I’ve missed them. (Especially Michael, when he’d laugh his ass off uncontrollably. I heart Michael.)

When Heidi starts calling out names to separate the groups between those who are safe and those whom the judges want to grill some more, she sounds like a stern commandant.

I liked Leanne’s dress — it was really cute! I liked how she added the candies to make it look less like a table cloth and more like a dress made of candy.

Here’s the dress by Kelli — not crazy about the top, but I love the skirt:

Dame Nina applauds Kelli’s way of thinking and says she’s innovative.

Stella’s garbage bag dress looks like crap, though — it looked like something a small child would tape together and present to her mommy with pride, but which obviously looks like something a child made.

“There’s no transformation,” Michael tells her. “She turns the corner and she’s in garbage bags! The dress — it’s a yawn.”

Heidi flat out says she’s not impressed. She thinks that the look says, “I did something because I had to do something.”

Privately, she later says that the dress was just “butt ugly.”

Blayne’s outfit also looked like crap. It was just a huge mess and didn’t look like anything anybody would actually wear, you know?

He tells the judges the last thing he wanted was to send something down the runway that would bore them — to which they all insist he didn’t.

I’m sitting there, waiting, waiting, waiting for them to cut him down because from the second I saw him on the screen, I loathed him.

When Michael notes that, when he first saw the outfit, he thought back to the wrestling challenge from the last season, I flash back to the way he laughed his ass off over that one.

“I mean, it’s provocative. Do I think it’s pretty? No!” Michael says, which makes Blayne’s cocky little face freeze up.

Michael later tells the other judges, “Let’s be honest. She (the model) did look like she had a diaper pushed up between her legs!”

(I’ve missed Michael Kors and his comments. He can be such a little bitch, but I still love him anyway.)

Austin even says that, when he first saw the outfit, he wrote, “hideous” on his card.

Heidi points out that she understands Blayne wants to be seen as edgy, but it’s not pulled off at all.

Daniel gets props from Austin for using the paper cups to create a dress rather than using a fabric substitute like table cloth.

Lady Nina also likes the dress because it’s creative. Later, the judges privately discuss the balls Daniel had to run for something so creative.

Michael points out that this sort of bravado is something you either have — or you don’t…and in a way, it sort of correlates with talent in general. Some things you can learn, but others you cannot — you’re either born with it, or you go without it.

I have to say, though? I wasn’t crazy about it — I don’t think the cups were easy to work with and that’s why the dress looked too large for the model. But, I agree that it was creative.

Michael Kors tells Jerry (the guy who initially says that everything he does has to be taken seriously) that the summer dress he’s created looks like “a handy wipe gone wrong”, which illicits a smirk from Blayne.

The judges privately agree that the outfit looks like something you’d wear if you were going to kill someone. (That was hilarious.)

Kelli is the winner of this challenge. Jerry is out — and I’m shocked over this one, because I thought Stella’s outfit was 100 times worse because she didn’t even really try. It looked like she just taped everything together.

~ by justj on July 19, 2008.

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