September 07, 2006

Project Runway: Again, Yes, I Know. Shut Up

So here we are again, as Aaron Neville says. I’ve decided to embrace it, in much the same way students will insist they’ll quit smoking “as soon as the semester’s over”. So, once this season’s through… Jesus H, who am I kidding? I’ll be watching this show as long as they broadcast it, which will be longer than Gunsmoke and M*A*S*H* combined, because everyone everywhere is watching it because they can’t stop. You feel bad for watching it and terrible for liking it and you don’t know why you’re drawn to it but you just can’t tear yourself away--it’s the visual equivalent of Kentucky Fried Chicken. So I make no more apologies; it is what it is (an addiction), and you’re free to skip the entry if you don’t watch it (ha! they’ll find you) or don’t care (are there pills?). And I’ll try not to watch the new season of Top Chef, but again, no promises.

I’ve been meaning to say this for a while now, but they really need to change the opening credits. The ridiculous statements from all the people who’ve been kicked off already—most notably Allison’s “I’m going to win”—are just so much salt in the wound now. Also, who would state that they are going to win a reality show before it even started? Never mind the fact that it makes you come off as arrogant (which Allison never was), but isn’t that, um, jinxing it? And the shot of Malan giggling like a creepy pedophile gives me the crawling ickies; he looks like Gargamel.

You can tell we’re getting down to the wire now because there are no more obvious cuts. Every ‘Auf’ from now on is not going to be for the one ugly duckling of the group, but for a tiny mistake that sets your design apart from the rest. Like one of those tests that only has five questions, and blowing just one means you’ve probably failed (curse you, Algebra II!)—only, you know, on a make-or-break your career scale. Damn, no wonder my pulse races when I hear the Didgeridoo of Doom. I don’t know how the designers handle the stress; you could tell they were all a little intimidated by the whole ‘couture’ theme, except—and I hate to say this—Jeffrey, who went balls-out and designed something he calls “cutting edge”, that the judges call “now”, and that I describe with barfing noises, as per usual.

And it paid off: Jeffrey wins, again. Yeah, I hate him, but let’s leave that aside in favor of the bigger issue: the dress was Fug. She looked like Bunchy MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. The runway walk was saved by the fact that Marilinda is a beautiful girl and can wear the hell out of anything. If anyone deserved a win off of this dress, it should have been the Tresemme monkeys, who made her look like she was pissily wrapped up in her dorm sheets after raunchy-yet-reckless sex with an ex; i.e. smokin’ hot.* It doesn’t matter if the sheets are a choppy yellow tartan with a mysterious shoelace tied around the front… ok, you know when Ariel washed up on the beach, and the seagull tied a sail around her with a rope…? You see where I’m going. In yellow. I guess I just don’t get it... and for that, I’ll give Jeffrey credit: For all they threw around the word “couture” in this episode, he was the only one who realized it was just French for “what we’ve been doing all along”.

OK, technically it’s not, so here’s what Wikipedia says it is:

Haute couture is not only made-to-order for a specific customer, it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming hand-executed techniques.

So everyone was at an equal disadvantage, as they only had two days to make a dress that fit perfectly, was hand-sewn and meticulously detailed. But, aside from the detail and time constraints, isn’t that what a designer does? Still, I understand everyone’s getting twitchy; you’ve come so far, you don’t wanna fuck up in Paris—and I’m betting the jet lag doesn’t help. Tim himself remarked how difficult it would be for all of them, as he’s aware how much time it takes to detail such a gown. Given the constraints, I think everyone did a pretty decent job (yes, even Vincent; I can be nice sometimes). I would have loved to see what they could have done if they’d had, like, a week. Although Kayne’s probably would’ve had feathers by then.

And let’s talk about Kayne, shall we? I loved his dress. I loved the colors, the bodice, and I loved the idea of a corset lacing on an angle in the back…hot. I wasn’t in love with the velvet ribbons ‘V’ing their way down to the model’s coochie, but I suppose it could be argued that they tied the colors together. But Kayne… hmm. Kayne makes things beautiful—and makes beautiful things—but the best opportunity PR gives a designer is the ability to pull back and check himself. To not only create, but to edit. We all thought Santino was crazy (re: his ice’s dancer ostrich costume), but his final line was just enough Santino and not a drop more; you could tell that the advice from the show—and from Tim—had an impact on him, and completely for the better. I was in Kamp Kayne from day one, and only wavered slightly at his recycling plant fiasco, and I’d still like to see him win it—but if he ends up opening up a store with Laura making the most beautiful cocktail dresses ever, I wouldn’t lose any sleep.

I’d also like to say a word about the models, because as much as Heidi likes to reiterate that this is also a competition for them, they don’t really have to do much other than walk and stay thin. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the luck of the draw, since the winning designers tend to stick with their models, and the losing designer’s model goes home. There’s not nearly as much model switching / stealing as there was last year (remember the ‘walk-off’? Aaaah, the bitchiness, good times), but keep in mind that some of these models couldn’t walk. Their walks weren’t smooth, didn’t show the garment to its best ability, and that is their only job (one of them clomped down the runway like she was determined to put stiletto divots all they way through the foundation, like, models are supposed to look pissed, but Heidi’s Evian is twitching, Stomps McGee, so pull it back a tad). I am glad to say that the current pool of models is pretty good—Nazri and Amanda in particular are fantastic models (as much as I might find the latter personally annoying, she does her job well). I am a little afraid of Jia, mostly because she seemed to genuinely like Vincent, but I don’t know how his getting axed fares for her; the remaining five designers are less willing to change their formula now that it’s getting down to the wire. Unless Heidi busts out the velvet bag next week, I think Jia’s going home.

I’m not going to dwell on it, but yes, Vincent went home. And I know I said nothing when Angela went home either, because if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything about Vincent having an Uzi named Sheila in his back pocket, just waiting for the aliens to pick out a tower.**

For further commentary, or if you like to laugh, check out this site, which does this way better than I do: http://projectrungay.blogspot.com/ And then bookmark it.


* Yeah, like you don’t know.
** See?

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