Project Runway Season 8 – Episode 4 – Hats Off To You

•August 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

We last left Project Runway with Ivy passed out in the hallway and with the designers expressing faux concern while wondering if she was simply not taking care of herself by focusing too much on working.

Dehydration is the diagnosis and Ivy admits she’s a little embarrassed, even though, I can’t really imagine why that would be something you’d get embarrassed over. I mean, you’re in a competition and you’re focused on trying to win — I think everybody knows what it’s like to be so wrapped up in a project that they lose all track of time.

The next challenge seems like it’s all about going way over the top.

“Isn’t this amazing?” Heidi gushes as the models come down the runway sporting crazy looking hats designed by Phillip Treacy.

Honestly, I can’t say I’m a huge fan.

I get it if you’re someone like Lady Gaga and you wear this sort of weirdness all the time, but would the average woman wear a Phillip Treacey hat?

I don’t think so.

This week’s challenge is to create a look inspired by a Phillip Treacy hat.

Interestingly, the designers are encouraged to pick a hat — but the hat goes with the model…and I’m disappointed to see that all of the designers opt to stick with their models instead of going with the hat that intrigues them the most.

Peach’s model, Effie, is labelled the “problem” model because of her attitude problem, but unfortunately, she’s wearing the most interesting hat.

It’s all really a matter of taste, Tim keeps reminding us as he goes around the work room to do his rounds.

Kristin’s having a lot of trouble trying to translate the orchid hat into a real design.

Gretchen opines that Kristin’s work often looks sloppy and like there wasn’t much thought put into it.

The little cry of horror that Tim emits seems to say it all.

Valerie, on the other hand, has given her outfit a lot of thought, but Tim doesn’t really get certain aspects behind it.

I like Tim’s design philosophy: if it doesn’t serve a purpose, why have them?

Valerie argues that the zippers she plans to attach to the outfit is a design detail, but I agree with Tim — I think it’s just clutter and makes a design look messy.

Tim points out that the judges often talk about editing.

When he gets to April’s work station, we’re confronted with a pair of shorts that look a lot like diapers. And really, they look exactly like a diaper — it’s white and it’s got a quilted texture to it…and it’s just…bad.

April still thinks they’re a cool idea and I can’t help but wonder if that’s the faint sound of a death knell in the distance.

My jaw literally dropped when she said that it’s trendy right now — since when was a diaper the next big thing? Why is a diaper “trendy”?

I love the way Tim delivers his critiques. He tells AJ that the sort of woman who’d be able to afford a Phillip Treacey hat would be able to afford a dress like AJ’s where the polka dots actually line up.

Good call.

When he tells designers, “That’s a lot of look” it’s not necessarily a good thing.

Casanova fucking cracks me up when he says he can’t make any more mistakes — after all, he’s not like some cat with nine lives.

When Tim warns him that the dress looks familiar — like it’s been done-to-death.

Casanova doesn’t seem to get it, though.

It’s like Tim says one thing, but he’s either not hearing it or understanding it.

His dress, after all, looks like something you’d pick off the rack at a high end store — something that’s beautifully executed but doesn’t particularly go with the hat.

Someone who is taking Tim’s advice to heart is Michael C., who has concerns over the way his dress is puckering.

Tim tells him to start over — which is the last thing any designer wants to do, but if you can see that what you’re working on isn’t working, then what alternative do you have?

On the runway, it was interesting to see how the designers took inspiration from the hats.

Some were more successful than others.

Gretchen’s dress, for instance, picked up al ot of the same elements from the hat, wehreas Kristin’s dress was one hot mess — odd scraps of fabric haphazardly sewn together.

“It looks like you didn’t have a plan with this dress,” Nina tells her — to which Kristin rolls her eyes.

When Heidi notes that Kristin was very quiet throughout the critique, she flat out says she doesn’t agree with the judges’ assessment.

I couldn’t help but wonder if Heidi expected Kristin to be all meek and grovelling at every crumb of critique that was thrown out.

A good example of that?

When Heidi said that Christopher’s dress was too dark and should have had some sort of colour in it, all he could really do about that slap in the face beyond saying, “Okay”?

I was surprised that the judges were so harsh — I liked his outfit (as did Gretchen, who claimed she’d wear the entire outfit on the street) but the judges felt the dress looked too heavy.

Heidi later expressed incredulity that Christopher could have ever possibly thought the outfit was edgy — instead, she and the other judges would have liked something a little more floaty.

Whatever.

They felt, in comparison, that Michael C. had an outfit that worked in harmony with the hat.

It, again, makes me question all of the judges’ tastes…which I know is a bold thing to say, but I think it’s important to note that opinions vary and differ. Not everybody’s always going to think the same thing looks good.

April’s outfit, however, was universally panned and disliked.

April’s model looked like a Thai prostitute in that God-awful diaper short and hat.

Michael tells her that the model looks like she’s gone for a three day weekend and layered her underpants, each day peeling one off.

“You sold it short — literally,” Nina tells her.

Peach, unbelievably, thinks that April is in the top.

That makes me question her taste level.

Speaking of Peach…her dress didn’t match the hat — it had a fussy looking print that seemed better fitted for a matronly woman’s suit.

You know who created an outfit that worked very well with the hat? Michael D — his outfit looked like it belonged with the hat.

I actually thought he’d take the win and was really shocked when it was the other Michael who won.

The judges felt his outfit was “effortless” and that he managed to pull the whole thing together without it matching.

“It all kind of converged and worked,” Michael said.

I laughed when Ivy’s reaction was, “What the fuck?! There! I said it!”

Amen.

That’s what everyone was thinking.

I sort of felt like, if Phillip Treacy didn’t like Valerie’s outfit, she might have won.

All three permanent judges liked her outfit.

On the other hand, I thought April would be sent home for the “triple panty.”

Instead, Kristin was sent home for a “disappointing” dress that wasn’t complimentary to the “joyful spirit of the hat.”

Project Runway Season 8 – Episode 3 – It’s A Party

•August 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It doesn’t really surprise me that Models of the Runway was cancelled — I’m glad that the picking and choosing of the models has been incorporated, once more, back into the show…though, it’s been my complaint time and time again that the designers aren’t forced to change models every week.

This week is crazy, unconventional challenge week — design an outfit using materials from a party design store. Tim meets them at the store — and for a change, tells the designers flat out that they shouldn’t be taking the easy way out by using materials that are too similar to fabric…but Casanova doesn’t seem to understand that and runs to where the table cloths are.

Hilariously enough, we cut to a repeat of the scene where Tim warns them not to use materials that can easily substitute fabric…and it’s labelled as “2 Minutes Earlier…”

He also grabs these stuffed animals and, once in the work room, starts methodically ripping them open like he’s slaughtering an actual animal.

When Valerie tries to explain it to him, he seems to think that the other designers chose to make weird designs by going for odd materials; that it’s part of their “flamboyant” nature.

It makes me wonder: has Casanova ever watched Project Runway?

“Did you not listen to me?” Tim asks carefully.

Casanova says he did, but he didn’t get the point.

So…uh, I guess it wasn’t a matter of listening — it was a matter of understanding.

The one I’m worried about is AJ simply because he’s talking way too much and getting a lot of face time with the camera.

Other people seem to think that this challenge is right up his alley and he sort of runs with this and oversells this notion — but all this blathering just makes you wonder if this is the set-up for a mighty downfall.

Michael C. points out that the only reason everybody thinks that this is AJ’s challenge is because AJ keeps talking about how it’s his type of challenge.

His first attempts look…tacky, cheesy, messy, and gross.

“This looks like disparate parts put together,” Tim warns him.

Gretchen, who has one the previous two challenges and who has already cited Valerie as her biggest competition, is going around the room, offering up advice like she’s the female Tim Gunn or something.

Okay — I get it: you’ve won two challenges and you’re feeling a bit full of yourself…but now’s not the time to be acting like the mentor. Just stay focused and get your own stuff done.

“I feel like it takes the class out of what you’re doing,” she tells Valerie, who just opens her mouth in apparent wordless wonder.

However, a lot of other designers seem to think that Valerie’s got a dress that is accessible to most women.

Andy, who was the other designer that Gretchen pegged as potential competition, is dismissed as having “student” work — plus, he seems really behind schedule. He’s been spending so much time on working with ribbon that he hasn’t had the time to actually get started on the dress.

When Peach and April offered to help Andy, Gretchen was a little irritated and said that it seemed more like a time management issue on his part that he needed to work on.

I see her point, but I also think that the other designers don’t like Gretchen and would rather anybody else win.

That’s my take on it, anyway — I mean, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind Gretchen, but that slightly smug, superior attitude masquerading under the guise of constructive criticism just makes you a target for others to get their hate on.

When the models arrive with a surprise, the designers are apprehensive. The added challenge is to create an accessory out of what’s in the gift bags only.

Of course, there’s concern from some designers, but when I saw how some of them were creating necklaces and rings, I couldn’t help but think, “So…what’s the problem?”

The guest judge this week is Betsey Johnson, which is the perfect choice for a challenge like this one.

Some highlights of the runway:

The Highlights
– Andy’s dress is amazing — it looked just like how he described it: leather and chains.
– Michael C’s red dress was amazing as well — I don’t even remember what material he used but the overall look was classy and chic

The Low Lights
– Michael D’s dress looked stiff and unwieldy. The skirt looked uncomfortable.
– AJ’s dress was one hot mess — like the sort of awful, frilly concoction that toddlers in pageants wear
– Sarah’s dress looked like a total cop-out. I don’t know what the material is underneath the spray-painted palm trees, but it basically looks like the only thing she took away from the party store were the faux palm tree fronds and that she simply taped them onto a plain dress.

AJ unsurprisingly isn’t winning over most of the judges.

“The dress, to me, looks like you tried to put everything you found in the store,” Heidi says.

Nina agrees and tells him there’s a place for campiness, but it just looks like he went crazy gluing everything he could find in the party store together.

“It looks like a hot mess,” Nina says, to which AJ bizarrely thanks her for.

Heidi pulls out one of her bitch moments by saying, “That was not a compliment.”

It’s crazy, but Betsy seems to actually like AJ’s dress – her only complaint is that he didn’t go crazy enough…though, maybe this was her way of being kind because she was less complimentary after he let the runway.

Andy wins high points by creating what Michael Kors describes an “exciting” dress that he could see both Heidi and Rhianna fighting over it.

In another head-scratching moment, Betsy doesn’t seem to care for it, calling it too beautiful and perfect and not fun enough.

“He really gave it so much dimension,” Michael argues.

Nina agrees that the whole look was very well put together.

She also seems to “love” certain aspects of Casanova’s dress, whereas the other judges were taken aback.

“She looks like a transvestite Flamenco dancer at a funeral,” Michael tells him.

Michael was much more deeply scornful behind his back, by stating Casanova makes himself out to be all about couture when in reality, he doesn’t seem to have any taste.

Sarah also finds herself in the bottom.

“Simple” and “sad” were a couple of the words used to describe her dress.

I think Michael hit the nail on the head when he said that it looked like Sarah tried too hard to make those palm fronds work no matter what. He advised her to take a step back and know when something simply isn’t working.

The main argument here seems to be: do you send home the designer who knew she was sending down a failure or do you send home the designer who was oblivious to the monstrosity that he was creating?

Ultimately, Sarah went home, while Andy took the win.

I’m so glad that Andy won — it was well-deserved and I’m a little relieved that the Gretchen winning streak has finally come to an end.

She’s a good designer, but I think it was getting to the point where the other designers wouldn’t have been able to take it if Gretchen won again.

When the designers initially went backstage, there was some tension when Gretchen started to voice what the judges had to say about Andy’s design, even though nobody wanted to hear her speak.

When AJ pointed this out, there was a look of complete surprise — and that’s the rub, isn’t it? We’re seldom aware of the things we do that annoy others.

At the every end of the episode, we learn that Ivy passed out and fainted and had to be taken to the hospital. There are no scenes of her in the sneak preview for next week’s episode, but hopefully, she’s doing okay.

Project Runway Season 8 – Episode 2 – Larger Than Life

•August 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Ooh. Do we already have a front runner?

I don’t really remember if there was any one standout designer in all of the seasons of Project Runway like there was for season two of Project Runway Canada where you knew Sonny Fong was going to take the whole thing from episode two onwards.

But let’s not spoil things and get into the episode.

Previous winner, Gretchen, voices her surprise that McKell was sent home. Another designer — damnit…what is her name? It’s the same chick I blanked on from the previous episode. The really young one…ooh, what’s her name, damnit?

Anyways, she notes that McKell played it safe, so she wasn’t sure why she got sent home with there were a couple of other designers with questionable taste levels.

But — as we’re told — McKell’s departure shouldn’t hurt us too much because she wasn’t officially a part of the competition…which, you know, sort of irks me. You can claim that the first episode was still a part of the audition process, but if it’s on the air and you’re still structuring it like a challenge, then I consider that “official.”

Anyways…

The designers meet Tim and Heidi on the rooftop and they’re introduced to Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, who presents the designers with their first “official” challenge: create a look that defines the Marie Claire woman.

What does that even mean?

I’ve never picked up an issue of Marie Claire because the covers never really interest me. It strikes me as a low-grade version of Elle — more in keeping with Good Housekeeping or some other mumsy magazine that tries too hard to be fashionable simply because they’ve got Nina Garcia on their masthead.

The real draw here is that the look will be featured on a billboard in Times Square — that is the real challenge.

The designers eagerly start clapping and they look a bit like dolphins performing at Sea World.

As a total aside, when they cut to Christopher Collins, I have to tilt my head.

Really? This is the guy they’re painting as the hottie for the season?

I guess he’s okay.

Jason’s little pitch to the camera of his design is…bizarre. He talks about the infinity symbol and the number ‘8’ for this season…it was the garbled, airhead mumbo jumbo that always disturbs me. What planet is this guy from, anyway? He’s too weird for words.

“So it’s two sides of an 8 wrapped around each other?” Tim asks.

He steps back and his brows furrow as he tries to figure out the weirdness that’s flowing from Jason’s mouth.

Michael cracked me up when he described Jason as “really creepy” and explained he was only super nice to him so that he wouldn’t come up from behind him and stab him with a pair of scissors.

What enrages me, though, is when Jason offers up nothing but excuses, and even says the judges shouldn’t expect perfection from him.

WTF?

Casanova, as we know, was in the bottom for the first challenge, and when he seems to be asking AJ for help, I’m a little taken aback. He seems to let things roll off his back when AJ flat out refuses and reminds him that this is a competition, but what surprises me most is that there’s an undercurrent of holier-than-thou irritation coming from Casanova over this.

Why do people always forget they’re in a competition?

Casanova is constantly asking Gretchen for her opinion and it makes me want to scream. It’s like, “Stop being so afraid. Think for yourself!”

Tim is completely baffled when he looks at Casanova’s design — and he even admits that he’s going from the prostitute to the nun.

“It’s so matronly,” Tim complains.

That seems to be the watch word.

When Michael C. starts talking smack to the camera about how he’s got the win in the bag, but as soon as Tim sees it, he tells him that “fashion forward” is the last thing he’s thinking.

“Blanche Devereux” from the Golden Girls is what comes to Tim’s mind, eliciting a scream of horror from Michael.

Valerie also bugs me. Is it just me or does she look like Parker Posey?

When Tim comes into the workroom, she explains she’s making a trench dress, which Tim approves of.

Gretchen tells the camera that she thinks Valerie is her biggest competition — which surprises me. I don’t even remember Valerie’s design from the last challenge and I just saw the episode yesterday! (Maybe it’s because all the bad ones come popping up in my head when I think about the last episode.)

Mondo, who seems…odd (just like he said people would find him!) tells Tim that he doesn’t have a sketch because it’s all just in his head, winds up stunning Tim…though, Tim seems to expect good things from Mondo, seeing as he takes the time out to tell him he was impressed with how he took a matronly garment and turn it around so quickly.

“You blew me away,” he tells Mondo, who admits he was thinking of giving up.

Was he? I can’t tell with that guy.

Even the other designers note that, while others are forming bonds and friendships, Mondo’s just on his own — totally focused on his work.

Is that so wrong, though?

When the designers are back in their living space, they talk about it, I feel my heart break a little when Mondo tells the camera that he’s really lonely and that he’s failed to make a connection with anybody.

I started tearing up when he started crying and saying, “I don’t feel like I’ve ever been loved for who I am and what I can give back.”

='(

(Yes. I know that was lame, but I’m a sap who tends to cry as soon as I see someone else crying. Damnit, I can’t help it if I have feelings!)

I was concerned yesterday when Tim seemed to be telling Peach what to do, but when he comes around to her work bench, he’s back to being the Tim I know. He doesn’t tell her what to do, but only advises her to stay true to who she is.

I like Peach — I do…but I can’t help but wonder if she’s right: that she tends to stick to what’s safe.

When Tim advises the designers that they’re also going to have their look photographed so they can get a feel of what it would look like editorial-wise.

You know who surprised me at the Marie Clare photo shoot?

Mondo.

He was the only one who really provided direction for his model — and his photos were actually interesting.

Some highlights and lowlights from the runway:

Highlights

– Michael C’s dress had more to do with styling for me. I liked the necklace and I liked the fabric. The dress was chic.
– Seriously, when Michael D flat out refuses to meet Nina’s incredulous look and does his “poker face” I couldn’t stop laughing. Sure, the dress was too short and might have belonged in a “rap video” as he says, but you know what? I actually really like it. The look he had when he learned he was safe was priceless. It was like, “Oh, thank the sweet merciful Jesus!”
– Okay, so Andy’s top was sort of gaudy, but I think I’d actually wear this because it’s interesting.

– OMG. I actually love Casanova’s jacket — it looks so elegant. I’d wear that to work.

Low lights:
– Jason’s disastrous “infinity” dress. The safety pins looked sloppy and unfinished…but hey, as he said, you can’t expect perfection from him. It blew my mind that he said, “It was impeccable, the way it was sewn.” Are. You. Kidding. Me??
– Peach’s dress was so boring — something you’d expect from a housewife who occasionally dabbles in dress making.
– I hated Sarah’s dress — it looks like something a kid would make using felt on a paper doll dress…just pile on all the scraps.

The judges were brutally honest, but I also sort of think they were kidding themselves about the sort of woman Marie Clare represents.

Nina found Valerie’s red dress “sexy and sophisticated” — is that really representative of the Marie Clare woman?

They were less kind about Jason’s dress.

Michael described it as either a walk-of-shame dress or a satin bed spread.

“How could he ever think it was sexy? Has he even talked to a woman?” Joanna asked.

Similarly, they felt Nicholas’ design was too complicated and too detailed — which I agree with.

“It’s supposed to be arresting and simple,” Nina protests and tells him he wasn’t thinking about the bigger picture.

They liked Mondo’s outfit better.

“I love you said that Mary Tyler Moore inspired you,” Joanna tells him.

Nina commends him on the “great spirit” exuding from the whole look.

Gretchen, of course, takes the win.

I have to admit that I liked her outfit more than Valerie’s, even though the other designers thought Valerie would win.


Valerie’s look

“She’s a modern girl from head to toe,” Michael says of Gretchen’s outfit.

Nina goes on to say, “The Marie Clare woman is smart, confident and modern.”

Uh huh.

I’m sure the smart woman likes to fill her time reading thought provoking articles like “5 Things You Should Know Before Kissing Anyone” or “I Fell In Love With A Terrorist.”

I thought for sure that it would be Jason who would leave — what surprised me was the fact that Nicholas was also given the boot.

It was a little sad how Nicholas’ face crumpled when he was told he was out as well.

While Jason bolted, refusing to stay, Nicholas totally broke down.

It irritated me when Valerie tried to console him because it sounded insincere (even though it might not have been) and like the sort of trite thing one would say to fill a void.

On the next episode, it looks like one of the female designers is taken to the hospital.

Project Runway Season 8 – Episode 1 – And Sew It Begins

•August 9, 2010 • 10 Comments

Season 8!

And I’m really late to blogging this season — though, in my defense, I’m all the way up here in Canada and, as always, we get these shows a little later than the rest of you.

To be really honest, I’d felt my interest in Project Runway waning in the last few go-arounds. The challenges seemed tired and there weren’t any designers that stood out and made me think, “Wow!”

Could it be that everything that’s possible to say has already been said before?

I was a little aghast at the thought that Project Runway had tacked on an extra 30 minutes to the air time. Was that really necessary?

Well, let’s get on with it, then, and see for ourselves…

Tim and Heidi welcomes us back and, in a new twist, they give brief intros into each designer as we’re shown the usual prologue introducing us to the new designers…but no, wait! They’re still doing this premiere intros!

Of course. Why wouldn’t they? They do, after all, have an extra 30 minutes to kill.

First thoughts? I don’t understand a single word coming out of his mouth. Part of it is the Puerto Rican accent, but another part of it is the crazy talk.

“New York eat me or I eat New York or New York take me or I take New York from the balls,” he says.

Alrighty, then. Moving on…

AJ is so cute even though his self-described party girl designs give me pause. Sure, it’s designed for the girl who’s “willing to wear anything and everything” but it just looks…unrefined.

AJ tells Sarah, another contestant, he’s glad that he met someone so cool because he was afraid he’d find a contestant who was some old person who knew nothing.

Cue Peach Carr, who looks prim and proper — I half expected a posh British accent.

“Am I going to be the oldest? Hell to the yes. God yes! In fact I’m expecting a nine-year-old to walk in and be my roommate,” she says.

I think I already love her.

I guess that says a lot about me in terms of what I like to wear. I make no bones about this: I’m not exactly a fashionista in the sense that Tavi Gevinson is considered one.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to dress up, but it’s mostly for stuff at the office…except, hopefully, less boring.

Speaking of boring, we get an awkward moment when Jason and Gretchen meet on a street corner.

Apart from asking one white person what nationality she is (which seems to give her pause…’cause, seriously, I was also thinking, “Um…she’s white? Like you are.”) and then answering, Jason seems to have nothing else to say.

Tumbleweeds drift past as we all hang our heads and cringe in embarrassment for him. Gretchen sort of looks at the camera quickly a la Jim Halpert, as if it say, “Awkward!”

He says he’s wearing this boring hat to make a statement — to intimidate people like a Roman soldier. And this just leaves me scratching my head going, “What?”

I think Matt Bomer can pull of a hat in White Collar, but I haven’t really seen any other man pull it off.

The designers converge at the Lincoln Centre, the new home of New York Fashion Week, where they’re met by Heidi and Tim, who tell them that the challenge before them is the last phase of the audition process: the competition really starts after this elimination challenge.

Heidi instructs the designers to take out one garment from their suitcases that they’d like to incorporate into their piece — and then to pass the item to the person to their right.

“I took one of my favourite pants — it cost $1,007,” Casanova says. His face is comically dismayed — after all, they were never-before-worn Dolce & Gabbana pants.

If it was me, I think I would have fallen to my knees, sobbing wretchedly, “Why?!” as I shook my fists at the heavens.

But I’m sort of melodramatic that way.

When Tim checks in on the designers, I’m reminded of how one should always deliver constructive criticism: carefully.

“Is it sexy or is it vulgar?” he asks Casanova.

“Sexy.”

Arched eyebrows. “Really?”

That’s all.

See what the eyebrows are saying where there is silence.

I was a little surprised when Tim seemed to actually be telling Peach what she do with her completely unforgiving fabric.

It harked back to Ben de Lisi from the British version, Project Catwalk.

I don’t think it’s ever the mentor’s place to flat out tell a designer what she should do when she’s at a loss as to how she should make something work. That’s not Tim’s place. He can critique what’s already been done, but that should be it.

Some highlights from the runway show:
-McKell’s dress made from AJ’s boring blue shirt
– Andy’s outfit made from Gretchen’s skirt — it looked very dramatic, very Asian…which is an aesthetic I love (because, you know, I’m Asian)
– Gretchen’s dress — it was understated but floaty and gorgeous

Low lights:
– Peach’s dress didn’t seem to incorporate Michael D’s wrap enough. It was sort of a cop-out to use so little of it
– Nicholas’ gown made out of Christopher’s bomber jacket looked really stiff and a little boring
– Jason’s use of staples on a kimono he barely worked over
– Casanova’s barely-there dress which looked totally vulgar — and Dame Nina agrees with me on that ’cause she arches an incredulous eyebrow and mouths, “Okay…”

The designers left on the runway are among the highest and the lowest scorers.

Gretchen is described by Heidi as “the clear winner.”

“It’s beautifully cut,” Michael tells her. “I can see it on a million girls.”

“It was really a special, simple dress,” Selma agrees.

Heidi then tells the rest of the designers that, because this is the final phase of the audition process, there is no top three and bottom three — everybody is in the bottom.

Ouch.

Michael sneers at Ivy’s reinterpretation of Peach’s pants.

“No offense to Peach, but I have no idea why she packed those,” he says.

I love Michael. He does mean in just the right way.

He tells Ivy that the shirt looks like it’d gone through a paper shredder while Nina describes it as “mumsy.”

Ivy refuses to take their criticism and claims she still stands by her outfit.

The judges’ main problem with her was that she made pants out of pants — the question was whether she had any taste.

Jason’s disastrous reinterpretation of the dress reminds Heidi of the smock she wore when she got her hair cut.

“Did you think you could just put it on backwards and we wouldn’t notice?” Nina further demands of him.

This other chick — the young one who was just out of school (I forget her name) was dressed down for her “raw” look that just looked unfinished. The judges had to ask whether

I was a little surprised that McKell was in the bottom. Is my taste so off that I would like something the judges find fugly?

But when Nina and Michael start their critique, it seems more about the styling than the actual outfit.

Heidi calls it “butt ugly” because it’s not tailored.

“She lives in an alternate universe,” Michael says.

Again, I have to ask, “Was it really that bad?” It just seems like the judges kept harping on the styling more than the actual outfit, which admittedly, didn’t flatter the model.

Meanwhile Casanova’s outfit is dubbed by Michael as looking like “a pole dancer in Dubai.”

It was comical when Heidi asked Casanova to defend himself and explain why he should be given another chance, I had to bust out laughing, ’cause he had the same, “Say what?” expression that I usually have when someone asks me something stupid.

They actually had to get Nina to translate.

The judges continually said, “The taste is questionable” — which is putting it really mildly.

Selma Blair cracked me out when she said this was the sort out outfit you’d find at a discount store called “Dazzles” — which is hilarious ’cause there’s actually a dress store like that in this one mall I go to a lot.

I’ll only admit to going in there a couple of times, but I can safely say that I will never buy anything from there.

Ultimately, the judges had to ask whether they should reward the person who played it safe versus the person who didn’t really complete their look — but only because of the time constraint?

This challenge was the shortest in Project Runway history, after all — the designers only had five hours to design an outfit, Selma was quick to point out.

I was really surprised when Jason was allowed to remain in the competition.

Casanova, Ivy and McKell were in the bottom three and I thought Casanova was the one who’d be booted out — I thought it was insanely cruel to have McKell walk backstage to cries of “Yay!” from the other designers only to have her admit that she was actually booted from the competition.

It was so awful having to see McKell sit there, trying to keep a brave face while Ivy and Casanova walk back in to declare themselves safe.

She tells the camera that, you need to pick yourself back up even when you’ve been knocked down…words of wisdom.

It was interesting to see the designers head back to the apartment and discuss the aftermath of the runway — though, there wasn’t enough of that, I think.


I have to say: I’m actually looking forward to this season!

My love of Project Runway has been revived!

Project Runway Season 7 – Finale

•April 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I know. I know.

In the real world, horrible nasty people often do rise to the top — whether deservedly or not — and I’ve come to firmly believe that karma is merely something that wishful thinkers such as myself believe in.

We’ve seen, time and time again, arrogant drama queens take the top prize on Project Runway (or sometimes, the bland and boring), but I’m glad that this time around, Emilio didn’t wind up walking away as the Season 7 Winner.

Nope. That honor went to Seth Aaron.

Tim Gunn wrote this in his blog:

The looks in his collection demonstrated an unwavering point of view, spoke to qualities of innovation and embraced risk-taking.

That pretty much sums up what I’ve felt about Seth Aaron’s designs from the start.

With a 10-piece collection that was inspired by a 1940s German and Russian military look, Seth Aaron told the audience, “My girls are strong and they are going to kick ass.”

It wasn’t really a surprise that Mila was kicked off first — the judges weren’t all that certain about her to begin with, so when she was turfed, all you could really do is just shrug and go, “Eh.”

The black and white palate was just…so boring! I mean, haven’t we seen these same looks all friggin’ season?!

With Mila eliminated, we’re down to the final two and when Heidi hands down the win, you’re presented with Seth Aaron staring in shock while Emilio’s arrogance crumbles under the weight of disbelief before he disappears backstage, where he sobs.

It was the satisfying slap in the face that I wanted the judges to deliver to Emilio all season.

Ultimately, the judges felt that Emilio’s work was too commercial. You know…like something you’d see at Sears.

“It’s as if he produced a line, not a collection,” Michael Kors says.

More interesting was the 30 minute reunion where Jay’s bitchy side was displayed in all of its ugly splendor.

Dude, seriously, you do not say on national TV that you wouldn’t hire a model with bad teeth and thick legs — it’s just going to make people hate you even more and think you’re nothing but a sour-faced loser.

Project Runway Season 7 – Episode 13 – Finale Pt.1

•April 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Well.

Mila has secured herself a spot in the final three.

While I liked Jay better, I have to admit that in the last few challenges, I was a little taken aback by the fussy, over-designed, unflattering outfits he’d created which made the models look bulky and heavy in the bottom.

When Tim went to visit the designers in their homes, it was clear that Jay had been continuing to do just that.

All four designers were given a budget of $9000 and four months to create a collection.

When I read Tim’s blog, I wasn’t particularly surprised by what he had to say about Emilio, who he visited first.

He writes:

In case it has not been evident, I have a difficult time engaging with Emilio, and vice versa; the editing of the show has been kind to both of us. I find Emilio to be stubborn, an indifferent listener and extremely arrogant about the quality of his work.

The editing may have been kind in Tim’s view, but Emilio’s arrogance has come through time and time again.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind him as a designer. The outfits he has created have been perfectly fine and competent — but I think the judges were wrong to hand him the win in more than one challenge.

I fail to see how Emilio is innovative and daring or even interesting. Unlike Seth Aaron, who has a definite point-of-view and look, I don’t think I could ever point to anything that Emilio did and say, “That’s definitely an Emilio piece.”

And isn’t that the mark of a truly great designer?

His arrogance and contempt for the other designers just baffles me — like, he makes all of these assumptions about what they’re going to do and thinks that his simple use of colour is enough to push him into “innovation” and “daring.”

Whatever.

I really hope to God that Emilio isn’t the one who wins this season. I’d rather the win go to Seth Aaron, who, unlike the other designers, has gone full barrel ahead and already created 15 looks.

Tim advised him that it was time to take a step back and take a look at everything he’d done — because, while the construction was impeccable, it wasn’t anything new that the judges hadn’t seen before.

This sort of shocked Seth Aaron, who seems to think that hard work and complete focus on his collection is enough to push him towards the win.

Okay, that wasn’t fairly put.

I think that, in an ideal work, people should be rewarded for the hard work that they put into projects they’re passionate about — but this isn’t an ideal world. In the real world, it all comes down to taste. And while I’m really hoping he’s going to win, my gut tells me that the judges are going to choose Emilio as the winner.

When Tim visits Jay, Tim writes this:

As the season’s shows have been edited, it’s not evident that Jay and I had our share of differences, which resulted in many awkward and stressful moments between us. And it all climaxed during Heidi’s visit to the workroom in the Red Carpet Challenge, but you don’t see that moment in the show. I think the producers thought that they were being kind to me. Accordingly, the rapprochement that Jay and I have in his studio is omitted from the cut, because it has no context. Jay acknowledged his bitchiness and apologized. I responded by thanking him and giving him a huge hug. We both had tears. And it meant that we could move forward and carry on and leave that earlier baggage behind. Whew. I felt physically lighter and I developed a sincere fondness for him. Bury the hatchet.

Honestly, I can’t imagine anybody not getting along with Tim. I love him. How could anybody not?

Jay’s main problem, in Tim’s eyes, is overdesigning. What else is new? I could hear Tim saying this even before the words came out of his mouth.

When Tim visits Mila, it seems as though she’s disregarded the judges’ constant criticism of her choice in colour palate — because, sure enough, we fine black, white and aubergine. But I suppose, ultimately, the sportswear-minded aesthetic of Mila trumped the fussiness of Jay and that’s why she was moved forward.

Project Runway Season 7 – Episode 12 – The Big, Top Designers

•April 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

They brought Anthony back last week only to cut him loose again this week — but seriously, did anybody really see him making it all the way to the final three?

Emilio, yes. Seth Aaron, yes. And as for the third? Now that it’s between Jay and Mila to duke it out for the final spot in the finale, I really think Jay deserves it more than Mila — simply because if he managed to make garbage bags look like leather, then he’s obviously really gifted…and who can forget that “design” that Mila constructed in one of the previous challenges? As Michael Kors put it, it looked like a gay Mexican flag.

The challenge before the finale was to draw inspiration from the circus to create a high-end look.

As Tim Gunn put it in his blog: “I remind them that it’s very easy to create a costume inspired by the circus, but it’s relatively difficult to create one that embraces fashion.”

Anthony is out — his grayish blue full-length gown was matronly and lacklustre.

When you compare Anthony’s outfit to what the other designers managed to create, you’re hard pressed to find anything whimsical or inspirational in this dress. I find it hard to believe that he went to the circus and this was the best he could come up with.

Emilio and Seth Aaron, however, both secure spots in the finale.

I’m a little tired with the Emilio love-fest and agreed with Tim, who thought that, given all the colour from the circus, it would have made more sense to incorporate that more rather than coming up with a sombre black-and-white number with a touch of cranberry.

Seth Aaron on the other hand, creates what Tim calls “a whimsical look that could have stepped out of a Tim Burton film.”

Even though I’m not sure I’d have the guts or fashion daring to ever wear anything by Seth Aaron, I can appreciate that he’s got an edgy, defined look that makes a statement…whereas Emilio has always seemed to underwhelm me.

With both Emilio and Seth Aaron advanced into the finale, we’re left with Jay and Mila, who are instructed to create collections, but only one will be allowed to show at Fashion Week.

Jay’s design — which seemed to make the model look huge. I mean, yes, I know that he’s mentioned that he seems to like big butts on women, but seriously, Jay, do you not realize just how much women hate it when they put on an unflattering outfit that makes them look bigger than they are?

Mila’s design