Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Trend Blends

Previously on Project Runway: Tiki Barber challenged the designers to make an outfit for him. Much freaking out ensued. Jack won with stripes. Ricky pinned his jacket together. Carmen didn't make a shirt, so she got the boot.

Morning meandering. Parsons. Heidi gives brings out Cheron (Marion's model), Annelita (Carmen's model) and Christina (Jack's model). As the most recent challenge winner, Jack gets to choose a new model. What about Victorya, the winner of the Bitten challenge? Shouldn't she get a bite at the model apple? Anyway, Jack decides he doesn't want any of 'em, and nabs Lea from Ricky, who stole her from Elisa himself, so he has no grounds for whining about it. And yet, he whines. So Ricky gets Christina, and Cheron and Annelita get the boot. Which sucks, because they're both better walkers than some of the models left. Heidi sends them off to see Tim for their challenge.

With Tim is Nina Garcia, who brought pictures of "hideous fashion trends," as Chris helpfully describes them. Nina explains that the pictures are all examples of trends that are out. The designers have to pick:

Nina informs them that they'll work in teams of three. They'll have to create three looks incorporating all three trends, but updated for the modern woman. Tim gives them one minute to form teams. And go! It actually settles out pretty quickly. Each team gets $225, an hour to sketch and 2 days to work. They have to pick team leaders, because God forbid people just cooperate.

Off to Mood. There's much running around, and then it's back to Parsons to get to work. Steven worries about Chris' jacket. Elisa needs a draping lesson, so Ricky uses his dance background to translate his instructions into Elisa/pothead vernacular. Jillian frets about Kevin's speed. The day ends.

The day begins. Everyone gets back to work. Steven tries out a Tim Gunn impression that is more realistic but less compelling than the Santino version; his Tim informs the designers that they're all screwed and their situations are hopeless. His fellow designers appreciate the effort. It still seems to be pretty calm in the workroom. Victorya critiques Ricky's work, but he'd rather she concentrate on her own work.

Tim sends in the models for a fitting session. Sweet P worries that Steven's look doesn't blend. Kevin's model is bigger than anticipated, so his tailoring is off, so now he has a crisis. Victorya decides her outfit sucks, so she has to change everything. Which she proceeds to do without discussing it with the others. Jillian frets about Kevin's progress. Except she addresses Rami, not Kevin.

Tim comes in for a review. He approves the modernity of Team Christian. Team Chris has a problem with cohesion, and the jacket is dated. Tim teases that Team Jillian made outfits for Jillian, which makes Kevin and Rami laugh. Jillian, on the other hand, flatly says that's why they made her the leader. I'm confused. On the one hand, Jillian appears to have no sense of humor; on the other hand, she frequently dresses like Ann Miller's understudy. What's up with that? Team Ricky needs to work on their finishing. Victorya starts telling Tim about how she came up with all the designs, which she would tweak "in a perfect world" -- where she has underlings instead of peers to deal with -- and Tim gets confused because Ricky's the team leader. Man, this is where I'd love to get Tim's Take on the situation, but I suspect we'll have to wait until after the season ends. Maybe at the reunion show. He urges them to be cohesive.

So Ricky and Victorya have a discussion, wherein Ricky tries to explain his position and Victorya tries to make Ricky be in the wrong. To start off, he brings up the way she changed the design without talking to anyone, which she addresses by saying the design was messed up. But she already participated in the design discussion with her teammates, so why didn't she deal with the problems then? And what kept her from talking to Ricky about it? Ricky suggests that she just be a team player, but Victorya won't compromise like that. Then she asks why Ricky took the leadership spot. Ricky suggests she take the leader title, since she's being the leader, but Victorya doesn't want to be leader. She just wants to beat Ricky up for not being the leader she would have been. Then she goes off to work, promising to hash things out some more later.

Jillian frets to Rami some more about Kevin, but won't nag Kevin because she doesn't think she should have to. And yet, he's behind, and she's willing to nag Rami about Kevin, so why not nag productively? Victorya tells Ricky he couldn't make decisions, but Ricky was happy with his decisions, so I guess he made some. Just not the ones Victorya would have made. Ricky counters that Victorya was too busy poking her nose in his work to concentrate on her own, although distraction is not the reason she redid her outfit. They both "stand by" their work.

Morning. Off to Parsons to finish up. Tim gives them two hours to deal with the models. Fittings. Victorya likes to flatten the bust because other people do it, which Ricky finds insulting to his lingerie background. Look, I get that she's a pain, but interpreting a preference (however odd) as an insult is taking things waaaaaaay too personally. Ricky suggests a different fit, and Victorya eventually decides she likes it. Makeup. Hair. Kevin finishes the shorts. Jillian feels bad for doubting him.

Runway. Heidi introduces guest judge Donna Karan. And showtime!

The judges saw a "clear winner," so Team Jillian gets the win right off the top for a cohesive and modern collection. Team Christian is also safe. That leaves Team Chris and Team Ricky to brave the judges' wrath. Team Chris goes first and the judges immediately complain about the lack of cohesion. They don't see anything dancer-like in Steven's outfit. They like Sweet P's dress. Chris didn't update shoulder pads. Nina gets Team Ricky's concept, but not the construction. Donna likes Elisa's slip dress and Victorya's fit. Victorya gives Ricky credit for the fit. Nina gets on Ricky's case for his lack of finish, but he says he was busy helping his teammates and Elisa backs him up. Ricky takes the blame for the fabric choice, which Michael thinks put them at a disadvantage.

Heidi starts asking about the teamwork. I'll keep saying it: If you're going to judge the teamwork, you gotta observe the teamwork. She asks Victorya to talk about Ricky's leadership; Victorya talks about her own role and the judges call her on it. Michael thinks the bad teamwork shows in the clothes. Victorya nominates Ricky as the team sacrifice; Ricky nominates Victorya; Elisa picks herself. Because Elisa doesn't play these games. Over on Team Chris, both Steven and Chris pick Chris as their sacrifice, while Sweet P agonizes and then nominates Steven for not blending.

The judges review. Team Ricky tried to have a collection. Ricky's outfit was poorly constructed. Victorya was pushy. Team Chris lacked cohesion and relevance. Steven had the sore thumb outfit. The judges hate everything about the jacket. The designers return. Sweet P is safe. "Lisa" is safe. Steven is safe. Victorya is safe. Ricky is safe; Chris is out. Wahhhhhhhh! Geez, Ricky is all played out; cut him loose already.

Right winner? I think Team Christian had better clothes, but didn't address the challenge as well as Team Jillian. Christian's team really toned down their trends. The pleather wasn't even visible, the fringe was barely recognizable, and the zoot suit was represented by the fabric, not the silhouettes. They essentially made it easier for themselves. Jillian's team kept their trends intact and still made them (mostly) work.

Right loser? Sob. Team Ricky at least had a cohesive concept, although it didn't really deliver on the challenge. The silhouettes were recognizable takes on underwear, but the colors weren't neon and the cut-outs weren't exactly cut-outs. Elisa's dress was the only one that looked like something someone might wear today. Team Chris didn't bother to come up with a concept, which I think was their biggest mistake, but they had better clothes. Sweet P's dress was spot-on for the challenge. Steven's outfit wasn't dancer-y and it didn't blend with the others, but it worked on its own. Chris missed with the jacket, but his dress was nice. I'm trying to figure out how anyone could make shoulder pads modern. Perhaps using them to create "volume" -- assuming that trend hasn't faded from the runways, too. Put the bell sleeves on Steven's wrap top and construct it from a thin knit rather than a shiny satin, and you have something more dancer-like. A little cross-pollination would have helped them so much.

I wish the judges had booted Ricky, but Chris is a reasonable choice. Ricky was distracted by bad team dynamics; Chris didn't have any such excuse. I'm not sure he really had a team, which is kinda the problem. Well, I'm sure he'll be fine back in the real world, but I would have liked to see more of his work.

Controversy: Victorya or Ricky? I think they were both being pains. Victorya didn't want to be the leader, but then she started bossing people around for the design discussion. I suspect she would have been better if Ricky had been stronger and challenged her more; I think she works out her ideas more through conflict rather than cooperation. It can be hard on the coworkers if they aren't prepared for the clash of ideas. Ricky started taking things a little too personally and let his wounded feelings distract him from the issues at hand. But overall, I think Victorya was more at fault. She has to be able to work outside her comfort zone, or explain what she needs/expects from her teammates to succeed. Just assuming that people will perform to unspoken expectations is a recipe for failure, and she is old enough to know better.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Manic Panic

Previously on Project Runway: The designers thrilled to the iconic power of Sarah Jessica Parker, who put them to work for her on-the-cheap fashion line. Elisa freaked out Sweet P with her spit-marking. Steven and Marion started sinking into ugly and couldn't find their way out. Victorya won. Team Christian was too 80s, but Marion got the boot.

Jack reveals that he's HIV-positive, and has been since he was 21. Think that will lead anywhere? In the other guy apartment, Chris and Rami chew over Marion's booting. Chris teases that they should have booted Christian, who would not have been missed. Christian obliges with an appropriately dramatic "I'm shocked!" expression before teasing back that they'd be "so bored" without him. He confesss that he's "not as confident" after winding up in the bottom two. Humbled Christian: "But I just know that I make clothes so much better than a lot of the other designers."

Heidi dispenses with the models for this challenge. Perhaps she's giving them a boot camp on runway walking. Speculation commences immediately. Please don't let them loose on ordinary people again. Of course Heidi spills no details and dispatches them to find Tim at some office building. He leads them off into a studio where they find Tiki Barber, former Giants running back and current correspondent for the Today show. And of course Kevin is the only one who has any clue who he is. Steven reveals his lack of football background, although he believes "it's probably the one time on television where spandex is acceptable" At least for guys.

Tiki reveals that the challenge is to make him an outfit to wear on his show. The "I don't do menswear" collective freakout commences. Tiki describes his figure challenges and his preferences. The designers return to Parsons (Jack toting Christian is his bag). They get 30 minutes for sketching, 30 minutes for shopping with $150 and 1.5 days for work. Jack asks if the men can use their own clothes for "reference" and Tim grants permission.

More freaking out. Except for Kevin, who has some menswear experience under his belt. Mood time! More freaking out. Chris wonders if Tiki likes hot pants, which cracks Tim up. Kit draws on her experience styling on TV shows. Back in the workroom, people break out the muslin and continue the freakout theme of the episode. Jack removes his shorts and uses them as a pattern. Victorya and Carmen help out, so he shares the pattern with them. Rami gripes. I think it's fine. Last season, Vincent removed his pants to make a pattern for an outfit he was designing for himself, so the producers have had plenty of time to rule against any similar shortcuts. Tim calls time.

Morning. The frantic workety-working starts right away. Tim sends in their models for fitting. Mmm, male models. Steven is like, "Okay, I now understand why straight guys envy me for hanging out with women in their underwear." Elisa is too shy to watch her model undress, so she modestly faces the wall. Her model wants to pursue ethnobotany, so I think they're going to get along just fine.

The models leave and lots of reworking happens. Frantically. Tim interrupts in the evening to bring in Ginny Barber, Tiki's wife. "I love Asians," Christian informs us. "Asians are fierce." "Fierce" is officially no longer fierce. Also, Christian is officially a ninny. The lovely but bland Mrs. Barber gives the designers feedback, and leaves. Designers make adjustments, or not. Frantically. The clock ticks and the designers shift into panic mode.

Runway day. The designers dive back in. The models return. Ricky puts his model to work sewing buttonholes. Sweet P's shirt is wackadoo. Hair. Makeup. Last-minute panic. Ricky hems with safety pins. Sweet P's shirt is still wackadoo. Carment sews her model into his pants, and then wraps the shirt material around his neck like a giant ascot. Tim summons everyone to the runway.


Heidi passes Jillian, Christian, Rami, Steve, Victorya, Chris and Elisa to the next round, leaving Carmen, Jack, Kit, Sweet P, Kevin and Ricky to face the judges. Tiki likes Kit's conservative palette and Michael thinks the fleece saves it from being boring. Tiki thinks Sweet P has style, but it's "messy." Sweet P confesses the shirt is all wonky. Tiki likes the texture of Jack's stripes but Nina dings him for having only two pieces. She also nails Ricky for his safety pins; Tiki thinks the outfit looks sloppy and Nina finds the color palette boring. Tiki likes Kevin's vest, which he doesn't normally wear; Heidi thinks it's all wrong for Tiki or her own husband, although it would be fine for David Beckham. Tiki would wear it with a different shirt. He wouldn't wear Carmen's jacket, which would leave everyone looking at his butt. Heidi laughs at a guy having butt issues. Michael hates the crotch on the pants and dings her time management.

The designers go away and the judges review. Kevin had a look. Jack played it smart. Kit was versatile and unique. Sweet P had the shirt from hell. Carmen had no shirt, an unfinished cropped jacket, poorly fitting pants and no cohesion. Ricky's suit was amateurish. The designers return. Kevin is safe. Jack wins -- Tiki will wear it on his show. Kit is safe. Sweet P is safe. The drama queens remain. Carmen is out, so Ricky is safe. Carmen finds it easier to swallow the dis to her menswear skillz.

Right winner? Eh. Despite all the stripes, Jack's outfit was kind of ordinary and doesn't really address Tiki's figure issues. I don't think anyone completely nailed it, but tuck in Kevin's shirt and I'll vote for him. Although I love, love, love Kit's fleece blazer, I think her palette wasn't dark enough for Tiki's taste (conservative as it was).

Right loser? This was quite the race. I think Sweet P was saved by the fit of her pants, although there was something oddly compelling about the wonky shirt. Ricky was boring -- and he really needs to pull out the stops next time -- but did a better job of faking completeness than Carmen. As for Carmen, the design was wrong and the shirt color was an odd choice and the execution failed everywhere. So yeah, I guess she deserved it. Still, it must suck to get booted for menswear.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?