Project Runway Australia – Episode 2

This week’s challenge is an interesting one — mostly because, if it was a challenge on Project Runway Canada, I’m not really sure what they would have done.

Kristy tells the designers — in what is a disconcertingly slow manner of speaking — that the new challenge is about reflecting the Australian lifestyle — which initially sends Israeli Oren into a bit of a spin.

“Lifestyle. Australia. Four years here. Hello! What the hell!” he says to the camera.

Henry is waiting for the designers to take them on a little field trip — and I have to admit I was a little confused when I saw a few of the designers wearing coats.

It gets cold in Australia?

Henry informs them that they’ll be designing swimwear — which illicits less-than-enthusiastic responses from the designers.

Just thinking back on various Project Runway and Project Catwalk challenges involving swimwear, I remember that designing a swimsuit is one of the last things any designer wants to do…mostly because a lot of them haven’t done it before.

Shane notes that the closest he’s come to designing swimwear is designing outfits for strippers.

Henry clearly relishes telling them that their challenge is to reate a swimwear look that takes you from the beach to the bar — essentially, something that works by day and also by night — and to create it in under seven hours.

They’re given 20 minutes to soak up their surroundings on the boardwalk by Amello in St. Kilda Beach to sketch a design.

Helen, in what’s quickly becoming a trend, is finished first.

“Someone call Greenpeace because there’s a beached whale sunning itself,” Leigh cattily says — to the camera, obviously, and not to Helen’s face.

It’s obvious that Helen is the one that most of the designers don’t like — and when she starts making her outfit, a few of them actually mention how the swimwear makes them think of “granny panties.”

Can I just say how much I’m enjoying the designers on Project Runway Australia? Most of the male designers — the gay ones, at least — are so over-the-top and campy with what comes out of their mouths that you can’t help but like them. You just know most of them wouldn’t have the balls to actually say half of the shit that comes out of their mouths to the person they’re actually griping about.

That being said, I love Leigh — in spite of the obvious Vivienne Westwood influence.

When the designers get back from Rathdowne Fabrics and we start getting a look at the transition from sketchbook to reality.

Sophie, the vintage-inspired chick with the platinum blonde, Gwen Stefani-like locks, is a mess because she’s been cutting away at way too much fabric, leaving her with next-to-nothing to work with.

When her model arrives and tries on the outfit, it’s obvious that it’s not going to fit.

Sophie declares herself “screwed” and starts crying as she moans about how “unfair” it is and walks out of the work room.

Henry tries to help her through it, trying to get her to re-focus.

“If I was in Sophie’s position, I would make a noose out of the tape measure and slowly hang myself because, man…that’s huge work!” my other favourite designer, Mark, says.

Sure, he comes off a bit like a Christian Siriano wannabe, but I still find myself charmed by him because, like Christian, he’s so small and tiny and impeccably decked out…and yet, what a mouth that kid has!

Deborah is also deliciously catty about Helen’s outfit.

“Granny panties. In white. When wet.” She lets the words hang there and then purses her lips as an evil little giggle starts to escape.

Another gem comes from Leigh — who, I have to say, is really fantastic at coming up with the catchphrases.

“Well, in my humble opinion, the frocker has made a shocker!”

(Leigh: will you be my new best friend?)

Oren lifts his eyes up and and groans, “Ugh! I don’t know who would wear that!”

Henry’s more delicate, advises her to think more logically asking practical questions of how the fabric’s going to look in the water and about sizing issues.

Henry, in episode two, is firmly cementing my opinion that he’s actually a very good mentor. Yes, he looks a little bit like he can be incredibly hammy and that he tries too hard to be a big laugh — but I think that’s just how he looks. When he’s mentoring, he’s serious and great.

He’s very natural, actually.

After the models leave post-initial fitting, Mark realizes he has to do another fitting and decides to simply try on the outfit himself.

At first, he’s a little embarrassed about coming out from behind the screen to let the other designers see the outfit.

“I don’t really wear budgies smugglers because the Borat look doesn’t really suit someone without any body hair!” he says.

And…OH. MY. GOD. It really does look like something Borat would wear.


Seriously, though, when Mark’s explaining his concept to Henry and the outfit is back on the dress form, you can see that it’s going to be gorgeous — it’s a black halter and the fabric just hangs wonderfully and is impeccably tailored.

On the morning of the runway show, Sophie is frantically working away on a completely new design that she decided to work on after the first one was clearly not working out.

Poor Mark’s model doesn’t show up.

Oren opines, “Mark should just do the fitting himself — chuck on some heels and walk down the runway. Work it girl!”

Leigh is hilarious when he says, “I don’t want to stress you out, but…ARRRGGGHHHH!!”

The model, Lucy, walks in just as Mark starts tearing down the stairs to go find her.

She’s in tears and they don’t explain why she’s upset.

Brent, who was in the bottom last week, is again struggling with womenswear. It’s clear that this is the first bikini top that he’s ever done. Later, when questioned by the judges, he says that, the problem was, he didn’t have breasts to try the top out himself…and that made me laugh.

Juli comes over to provide a few suggestions to help him out.

At least they were just suggestions — Helen actually goes over to help out Sophie with the sewing and I’m thinking, “WTF? Why haven’t you worked harder on your own design?”

Seriously, Helen’s outfit looks like a mess — the sheer pink sheath that she’s created to cover the granny-like swimwear looks very basic and like something a beginner to sewing would create.

In the runway show, we’re introduced to guest judge is fashion designer Camilla Franks.

You know what I’ve noticed about judge Sarah Gale? Unlike the Project Runway Canada judges (apart from Iman, that is) and especially the Project Catwalk judge…whatshername (Paula? What is it? You know…the humourless, style-less creature who’s the fashion editor of Grazia), Sarah actually looks like she reeks of style.

She has more style oozing out of one finger tip than some of the other judges I’ve seen in the various Project Runway incarnations.

She always looks perfectly put together.

Her comments are always very constructive, too — like when she tells Helen’s bathing top doesn’t look commercial because it’s gaping and not fitted properly.

Sarah loves Mark’s outfit and says that the only thing she’d change is to have an adjustable tie at the top of the halter because not everybody is the same size. It’s a reasonable comment and the sort of thing I like hearing from a judge.

Mark wins for his chic design — Camilla Franks tells him that it would work in a lot of markets all over the world, not just Australia.

Deborah is out — which is mind-boggling considering the huge mess that Helen created.

However, the main problem pointed out by Sarah is that a three-tiered bikini just doesn’t work because it’s too hard to put on.

The second episode courtesy of kimmikimmileon:

~ by justj on July 20, 2008.

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