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.


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