Thursday, July 24, 2008

Whoa, guys, this challenge was insaaaane!


Come on, Bravo, I know "Project Runway" is moving to Lifetime and you are trying your best to undersell this program, but you've gotta be kidding me with this crap. Now that they've done a repeat of Season 1 for the premiere episode of Season 5, they've decided to combine all their unused ideas in a hat and blindly pick out eight freakin' slips of paper and try to cram them all into a cohesive episode.

This week, designers choose their models after the first elimination. They find out on the runway that their models will be their clients, and they must design a cocktail dress for them. Ok, fine. Simple enough. They all walk back to the workroom to meet Tim Gunn, who informs them that there's to be ANOTHER surprise: the designers can only work with environmentally responsible textiles, ie green fabrics. Leanne, a designer from Oregon, states she always uses green fabrics. Ohhh I'm so confident, I'm from Portland and I'm so granola that I always use environmentally responsible fabrics. Sure ya do lady. That's why you used a plastic tablecloth in the first challenge, right??

Then, just to make it extra difficult, Tim announces their models will be shopping for them without first consulting the designers on what they would like, what to buy, and what sorts of finishings to purchase. Jesus Hopping Christ. There's interviews with the models as they run around like my cat in the fabric store, saying "Ohh my goddd, I don't know aaanything about fashion design at alllll." Oh my god, so much drama! The tenseness of it all! The sheer mind-blowing task of choosing, gahh, fabric! It's just too much for their pretty little brains to handle. Which might explain why three of the models return to their designers with this putrid, poop-brown hemp/silk blend that will most certainly produce horrendous designs. Let's see what OTHER surprises this episode has for us. That is, if you can take it.

The idea of having the models shop was clever, a PR first. That should have been enough conflict for one episode, enough of a driving force to carry the episode along. Having it be a "green" challenge could very well have waited for another episode. But maybe this was the only week they could get Natalie freakin' Portman, this week's guest judge and recent entrepreneur and innovator of a vegan shoe line. Oh, so that's how the whole green thing ties in. Not because PR has suddenly become environmentally responsible; just because Portman was on the show and probably wouldn't appear if she couldn't promote her new line of cruelty-free footwear. Either way, she's super adorable and I have nothing bad to say about her as a person. Even if a design was hideous, she always had something nice to say about it. But all that just for a guest judge? Kinda far reaching, Bravo.

This week has spawned some retractions from my last post, as well as new "love to hate" designers. For all the shit I talked on Suede in my last post, his dress (which won this week) was my favorite:
It is innovative, interesting, and not nearly as irritating as Suede himself. Little Miss Portland said it best herself: "Leanne likes Suede. But Suede needs to stop talking in the third person." Also in the top three is Stella's lace-up, tacky as hell creme-hued evening dress that looks like it's more appropriate for a $5 hooker than a night in a swanky restaurant. Stella is definitely on my shit list; on top of never blinking, she loves her leather more than a biker, although she said she came on PR to break out of that mold she'd cast herself in. It's certainly true that old habits die hard, which I think will bite her in the ass in the end. Kenley's high-collared, obviously Christian Serriano-inspired gown was beautiful and also in the top three (and my personal top three), even though I'm surprized the judges kept quiet about the rip-off factor.

The bottom three were pretty bad, two of which sported that god-awful fabric I spoke of earlier.

Here's the losing design that got young (and quite cute) designer Wesley auf'd this week:

Tsk, tsk. Look at all that puckering. He tried to make an intricate dress out of fabric that is really difficult to manipulate successfully. He also chose to ignore the sea-foam green fabric provided by his model, a welcomed change to this cheap-looking (so Nina Garcia says, and I certainly concur) garment.
So while this week's episode was definitely chaotic, the work that came out of it was pretty much blah. Korto was a favorite of mine last week, and her inside-out, butt-fin dress, while not totally horrible, was in the bottom three in this episode. Stop crying and think of a way to fix it for next week, woman, or I'll start to loose my faith in you.
Until next Wednesday...auf wiedersehen!

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