Thursday, November 22, 2007

Project Runway: Sex and the Runway

Last night on Project Runway, we had our first pairs challenge, which was disappointingly lacking in the "cry and cut" variety of conflict. In fact, the most mismatched pair ended up (gasp) actually complimenting each other's strengths and weaknesses! Yeah, I know. But since this is Project Runway, which is all about the quality competition, rather than the drama, I was totally into it anyway.

We begin, after a few half-hearted "I miss Simone" comments, with The Choosing of the Models. This week it's the original style, with last week's winning designer (Rami) picking whomever he wants, and the rest subject to the mercy of Heidi's velvet bag 'o buttons. Several designers choose new models, and Ricky's model from last week is eliminated. The challenge, we find, is to design an outfit for a "fashion and pop culture icon." Whom I imagine will be another total disappointment, like Kim Kardashian, or a Cabbage Patch Kid. But in the workroom, Tim introduces the designers to none other than...

SARAH JESSICA PARKER!!!1! Holy crap! A real fashion icon, for once! (Not that I didn't constantly mock everything she wore on Sex and the City, and rightfully so, but still!) Everyone is suitably excited. Because, you know, WOW. Chris actually cries, which may be a bit much. Rather than actually design an outfit for her to wear, as Heidi implied, they'll be creating a two-piece look for "Bitten," her new clothing line, which focuses on stylish but affordable sportswear--less than $40 retail. Which makes their budget $15. Yikes. this by default another "make a dress out of garbage" challenge? SJP will choose seven designers based on their pitches, who will then pick partners from the losing half of the group.

Pitch standouts for the worse are Chris, who is painfully nervous, and Kevin, who leaves SJP hanging on the handshake. On the other hand, Kit has a really fun design, Rami has a great line about his outfit fitting women of all sizes, and Christian (he of the side mullet) has a great sketch. SJP chooses Elisa (really?), Kit, Victorya, Marion, Ricky, Christian, and Rami (of course). She also announces that the winning design could be sold nationwide, at some store I've never heard of. This only adds to the excitement.

The winning designers select their partners in random order. The pairs are: Marion/Steven (Really? Steven is the first one chosen? Didn't see that coming...), Ricky/Jack, Victorya/Kevin, Kit/Chris, Rami/Jillian, Christian/Carmen, and Elisa/Sweet P. Rough on Sweet P, though Elisa does do her the service of claiming that Sweet P would've been her first choice anyway. At Mood, $15 buys you about enough nice fabric to make a napkin, so the designers have to make do.

Time is tight as well as money, so the pressure is really on. Steven, in particular, is worried that Marion's design is too involved for the time they have, as is Tim. I am worried that Marion's design is being constructed out of what appears to be burlap. But that's a whole 'nother thing. Elisa's process, as we might have guessed, is a bit...unusual. As in, it involves saliva. To "imbibe the fabric with energy and essence." And also to mark spots to cut, or whatever. Is "spit marking" seriously a thing? Because if so, GROSS, fashion people. Gross. Dude, Elisa is CRAZY. And Tim agrees, since she's doing insane amounts of hand stitching. Elisa, in the face of Tim's and her partner's concerns, caves and decides to listen to Sweet P a little more. Good call, Elisa.

Ricky, it should be noted, is a total crybaby in interviews. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Rami, to his credit, is making a real effort to have his dress fit all body types. On Christian's end, Tim is worried that the design is too retro, though Christian thinks it's totally perfect as is. Ignore Tim's opinion at your own peril, Christian! Many a young designer has been eliminated for failing to follow Tim's advice. On the other hand, Tim is really into Victorya's design, which I'm going to wait to pass judgment upon until I see the finished product. Though the plaid already bothers me.

The morning of the show, the usual "finishing everything at the last minute" craziness ensues. Sweet P struggles to make Elisa's unfinished, hand-stitched style work. However, they end up really pleased with their design. Christian and Cameron are already done (another potential portent of doom, if you ask me), if by "done," you mean, "done making their size 2 model look chunky." Marion's garment is way too big for the model, requiring some massive cinching, Gap Girls-style. Though the cinching doesn't help the fact that it looks like she has an afghan or something wrapped around her waist. And that's really being charitable. With some moccasins (which I assume simply weren't available on the Wall o' Accessories), she'd be perfectly costumed for a "First Thanksgiving" pageant.

Kit and Chris are up first on the runway, and their outfit is very cute, but nothing new. Elisa and Sweet P are next, and though it's "interesting" in a way that I would never wear it (a cape with a "polymorphic" dress, which sounds like some sort of evil creature that looks like a dress before it comes to life and strangles you with those strappy things wrapped around the model's neck), I can say that it looks really cute and chic on the model. Rami and Jillian, on the other hand, have veered too far towards frumpy on the top in their effort to be multi-size-friendly. I'm pretty sure multi-size-friendly doesn't entail putting a plus-size shirt on a stick-size model, guys. And really? Leggings? That's as inappropriate as the top, but in the opposite direction! A top that would fit a size twelve and bottoms that would fit a size 0 do not an average of size 6 make.

Marion and Steven are next, and, well, you've already heard my thoughts on the matter. As for Victorya and does everyone love this outfit so much? It has a horribly misplaced (and simply horrible) plaid vest, and a giant crazy bow on the shapeless dress! I really, really don't get it. Or fashion in general, apparently, since everyone else loved it. Christian and Cameron are next, and the outfit as a whole is kind of unfortunate. It has a completely out-of-place jacket (which actually would be cute on its own), and looks extremely 80's in general (which is in style now, yes, but a bit too overboard in this case). Were the jacket and dress separate, I might actually be a fan, but here? Not so much. Last but not least are Ricky and Jack, who made a really cute dress that really shouldn't qualify as a two-piece outfit. Unless you count the belt.

On the chopping/awarding block are Elisa/Sweet P, Victorya/Kevin, Christian/Cameron, and Marion/Steven. SJP loves Victorya's outfit, and thinks it goes with the collection very well. (WHAT?!) Elisa's outfit also gets mad praise from everyone, though "spit marking" makes an unfortunate appearance during the discussion of how she and Sweet P worked as partners.

Michael thinks that Marion's outfit is rather Pocahontas (AGREED), and SJP finds it unwearable, and less sophisticated than the sketch. Heidi, even harsher, thinks it looks like a rag, while Nina slams the proportions. Christian's outfit is criticized for being too retro, and SJP found it to be more severe in person than on paper, as well as too short and too snug. Fair enough. The judges ask Carmen who in her pair should go, and she doesn't want to make a choice until Christian tells her to have him go, since it was his design. She tearfully agrees. Marion also falls on his sword, while Steven obnoxiously hedges.

In deliberation, the judges absolutely love Elisa's and Sweet P's creation. They call Victorya's and Kevin's "versatile," "beautiful," and "simple," which is wrong on all counts, if you ask me. They universally slam Marion's and Steven's dress, especially its baggy length. They find Christian's to be way too retro, which proves that you should always listen to Tim.

The winner, in a MASSIVE miscarriage of justice, is Victorya. SJP thinks that the vest has "charm," irritating me even further. SJP, you have confirmed every nasty thought I ever had about your clothes on Sex and the City. Elisa, Sweet P, Steven, and Carmen are in. The judges found Christian's to be too 80's, and too inadaptable to larger sizes. They thought that Marion's was poorly-constructed, and had terrible fabric. Christian is in, and Marion is auf'd, which is about as fair as the choice of winner was unfair. And I'd just like to add that these eliminations are waaay easier to take when you aren't emotionally invested in the designers yet!


Vance said...

Oh shoot. I had Victorya, Kevin and Marion in my fantasy league. The elimination practically cancels out the win.

Liz said...

Whoops. Yeah, on the one hand, it was kind of a shame, since he clearly has skills. On the other hand, his garment was a train wreck, and anyone else being eliminated would've been ridiculous. I'm intrigued by your fantasy league, though. What fun!

TheQuietOne said...

"Side mullet"?? I just choked on my drink from laughing. That's exactly what it is! Brilliant. :)

Anonymous said...

Jack and Rickys dress was by far the cutest. Poor Jack, I hope Ricky didn't cry constantly in front of him. I bet in the next episode Elisa uses Rickys tears to imbibe her outfit.

Moi ;) said...

Liz, I don't get it about the Victorya thing, either. Two nighties in a row, big deal...

Liz said...

thequietone- I'm always on the lookout for anything resembling a mullet, out of the extreme fear it will come back into style...

anonymous- Yes, I think Ricky's tears would imbue Elisa's fabric with the essence of gay sorrow/joy.

moi ;)- I KNOW, right? I think she and I just must have the exact opposite aesthetics, since the added touches on top of the nighties have been uniformly horribly in my mind (giant metallic blow, ugly plaid vest...)