Project Runway Season 5 – Rings of Glory

The Olympics — you either give a damn about it, or you don’t.

Personally, now that the latest season of So You Think You Can Dance has wrapped up — Katee Shean was totally robbed…but as a total aside, it’s about America’s favourite dancer and not the best dancer…otherwise, out of the final four, Katee would have won hands down — there’s nothing to get me through the last dog days of summer and into the Fall TV season.

By now, we’ve already seen the Opening Ceremony which was, in a word: spectacular. I seriously don’t know how any other host city is ever going to top Beijing in sheer scope and lavishness, but here’s to hoping we’ll be surprised!

When one of the designers — Daniel (who I actually find really cute and sweet) — mentioned he’d never seen the Olympics, all I could think was, “I hope he took the time to at least watch this opening ceremony.”

Our designers are taken to the Armory Track and Field Training Center in Washington Heights — it’s the largest indoor track in the world and it’s where the designers meet U.S. Olympian Apolo Ohno who tells the designers about their latest challenge: Create a womenswear look for the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics.

I don’t know…there’s something about this season that’s lacking. The designers are uncharismatic and what I’ve seen on the runway so far has been uninspiring. None of them really get me excited about seeing what else they have to offer. Even last week’s winning outfit just left me thinking, “Uh, okay…that does not look good at all.” Sarah Jessica Parker would be the only person in the world who’d be able to make that dress look good, but anybody else wearing it? It’s just too busy.

Another thing that bugs me?

Blayne Walsh.

I know he’s trying to be all cute and have some sort of angle like Christian did in the last season, but Blayne is no Christian. Blayne just comes off annoying, creepy, and…well, that’s it.

When he hears what the challenge is, he has this stupid comment to make: “The Olympics are watched by hundreds of thousands of millions of people. Heck yeah, I’m going for the gold!”

Christ. As annoying as I find Helen on Project Runway Australia, at least she’s not as annoying as Blayne. I take back my comment about wanting to punch her in the face — if I could only punch one person in the face, it’d be Blayne.

That kid should not be allowed to talk.

That being said, none of the other designers are particularly interesting when they speak, either. A couple of them — and I’m not going to say who…but *cough* Goth-like grandma is kinda annoying — sound seriously uneducated.

When Tim opines that Blayne’s outfit looks a little “Sgt. Pepper-ish”, Blayne claims he doesn’t know what that is.

Tim closes his eyes and says, “Oh God! Youth!”

In his blog, Tim writes, “He didn’t know the iconic Beatles reference! I am an olde farte!)”

No Tim, you’re not an “olde farte”. You know, it’s not so much about youth — I think that people who live in a bubble and who don’t seem to know much about the world they live in or who don’t have the thirst for knowledge are the type of people who don’t get pop culture references.

Blayne’s an idiot — a grade A idiot.

Tim is fabulous at constructive criticism. When he gets to Jerrel’s work station, he reminds him to keep in mind that these are women athletes that he’s designing for and you don’t want something that makes them look clunkier than they really are. Also, Jerrel had a lot of stuff going on at the top of his garment that was just too busy and distracting.

Tim has this to say of Jerrel’s design:
“Jerell, oh Jerell! Did he listen to the content of the challenge? I’m still reeling over the look that he created: a high-waisted skirt in vertical stripes with a horizontally striped waistband; a pink top with ruffled cap sleeves; and red, white and blue polka-dot bib kerchief, black leggings(!), and this all topped off with a wide-brimmed hat. In another context, this look could be fun and sexy, but for the Olympics? Preposterous!”

On the runway, Nina actually said she was puzzled by the look and that it even evoked the old nursery rhyme, “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”

“Picture a strong, modern woman in that hat. How uncomfortable!” Michael Kors said. “It’s creative, but…the yiddish word for it is meshungana — it’s out there!”

I understand that a lot of the designers don’t have any experience in designing this sort of thing, but I thought the whole point of visiting the museum at the Armory was so they could get some visual cues of what worked in the past and to just take a step forward.

We’re not talking high fashion or couture — you want something clean that represents your country and will be able to fit women of varying sizes.

Tim has this to say of Daniel’s outfit:
“Daniel finds it difficult to step away from his comfort zone. Yes, he possesses a sophisticated, high-end point of view, but does than exclude everything other than cocktail dresses. ”

Stepping away from your comfort zone is extremely difficult, but it’s what makes you grow as a person — whether you’re a designer or not.

I actually liked the fact that, later on the runway, Nina challenged Daniel and asked him how anybody was supposed to tell that his outfit represented the USA team.

“I don’t know where she’s from. I don’t know. Is she from the Republic of Cocktail land?” Michael Kors asked Daniel, who seemed visibly upset as he wiped his eyes.

The small mini-drama that brews over Daniel “taking” Joe’s usual sewing machine and rethreading it is — well, it seems a tad manufactured for our benefit, you know? Like, let’s face it…this season has been pretty boring so far. The designers are duds on the screen with little presence and it’s just been…bleh.

Rethreading a sewing machine does not take a lot of time — I know because I’ve worked with both industrial machines and portable machines. If we were talking about a serger, that’d be a different story — I’d probably want to break somebody’s knee caps over that.

“Is the drama over or will it continue?” Suede asks in a bored tone.

Daniel and Kenley

“There’s too much drama because there’s too many queens around,” Joe says — which really annoys me because I keep thinking, “Dude! Seriously? Let. It. Go.”

I think this should have been the winning look:

Joe’s outfit was the only outfit that made me immediately think: Olympics. Plus, I think it would have been better to wear in Beijing considering it’s hotter than the sun over there at the moment.

Tim thought it looked dull, but I disagree. I thought it looked clean and would have photographed beautifully.

Nina says that she’s very happy that at least one person took athleticism into consideration when designing the outfit.

Instead, Korto wins with this linen outfit, which was…well, bleh:

I know I would have eliminated more than one designer for this challenge simply because, even if sportswear is outside of your element, as a designer, you need to know how to deliver something that’s wearable for your client. More than half of these designs failed on the brief.

Even Michael Kors said, “It’s like they heard the challenge in another language!”

Jennifer’s outfit, which was the losing design, was especially disappointing because it didn’t fit the brief at all:

Nina seems to carefully choose her words when she tells Jennifer that she always seems to have difficulty separating her personal taste with the brief. The outfit seemed more girly than athletic — the girl almost looks silly.

Okay — before I cap off, I have to say that Apolo was a great guest judge. He wasn’t mean, he was honest, and he had constructive things to say. Bravo!

~ by justj on August 10, 2008.

One Response to “Project Runway Season 5 – Rings of Glory”

  1. I love this season. Great talent. BTW, anyone her playing the last 2 game this year. I think the deadline is this week.

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