Run Run Run Runway

E: Last night we had not one, not two, but three and half hours of Project Runway – perhaps in an attempt to make up for the fact that the show should have aired when, this time LAST year? Long enough ago that Heidi Klum is hugely pregnant in the All-Star edition and super slim in the ‘current’ season. Long enough ago, anyway, to leave their core audience (like moi!) practically panting for more.

And More is what we got. An All Star Challenge, the original show, and a half hour spin off about the models. More character, more wackiness, more weeping, more frenetic sewing and more swanky settings – but, on the other hand, less innovation in the challenges. You heard it here first; spoilers under the jump.

We got two hours of one straightforward challenge with a single twist; the All Stars had to design 3 looks, including one for Nine‘s premier red carpet. No, C, don’t get excited – not the late lamented tv series The Nine (which I’ve been able to FINALLY see the last few episodes of on directv this month – hurrah for great writing and acting, and boo to the idiots who canceled it!), but something perhaps equally thrilling, an Oscar bait musical starring Oscar winners Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren and Daniel Day Lewis. Yeah. I know. Later the contestant wrecked a sleek restaurant to re-purpose items into a fourth look. Yawn. I mean, fine, it’s perfectly good, and the clothes were mostly really cool, and the contestants surely brought the eccentricities, but it’s a challenge we’ve seen before.

Those two hours remind us all that yes, Santino Rice’s sense of humor gets old as fast as you remember, and that Daniel Vosovic is just as satisfied with himself as you thought. Uli eschewed her trademark prints, and got chewed up for it; a shame, because hers was probably my favorite collection. Mycheal Knight is still going for sexy and sensual. Why did we have to have Jeffrey from season three? It seems unfair to give one of the winners another shot. Why not Laura? Looooove Laura. (I like Jeff too, don’t get me wrong – it just seems odd. As does the conspicuous absence of anyone from the first season.) And for the record, I’m with Korto. When the judges say “you make clothes that every woman would want to wear”, how does that not make you the winner? Why is that not paramount? I honestly don’t know what to say about that. Why is Daniel the winner? Especially with that atrocious blue sports shirt (rendered particularly atrocious with the lack of what the always fabulous Tim Gunn refers to as foundational garments beneath it) paired with the sparkly bubble skirt – I mean, what the heck woman wants to wear that? It’s just so specific, his look, and while that’s great, what’s so wrong with something that’s more wearable and exciting to more people? I mean, don’t you want to sell the clothes???!!!! Not that I’m in love with her assymetry, but Korto’s just so much more interesting. Michelle Obama, let her make something for you. She’s such a strong person and makes such gorgeous dresses.

Anyway, we know I’m no fashionista, but Daniel’s collection was possibly my least favorite of the 8, certainly of the top 4, and I’m bummed that he won.

I enjoyed Sweet P and Chris, and was so pleased to see them do well. Chris is this hilarious, joyous beast and it’s so nice to see him be affirmed. And I loved watching him fall asleep everywhere (during sketching time, model casting, work time) and still get his collection done early. And Sweet P is this adorable amalgamation of romantic girly girl and biker chick, with a big dollop of earth mother mixed in. So cool.

Project Runway Season 6 can be summed up in this one phrase; wallflowers need not apply.

It’s too early to decide if there’s anything going on with these people other than their outsized personalities. In fact, honestly I’m finding it harder to remember the clothes than I am the people, which doesn’t bode particularly well. And the challenge? Well, not so amazing. Design a gown for an awards show; just know which one. I suppose the first challenge has been open ended before, but whatever. I was unimpressed by the Emmy backdrop – perhaps because it was so clear that it was supposed to air LAST September.

That said, I enjoyed the winner, weepy, wedded Christopher with his scrunched up punk ballerina dress. I thought it was going to be a bulked up disaster like Malan’s gown for Miss USA, but no, it was really cute (even if guest judge Lindsay Lohan was right about the skirt needing one less layer of ruffles). The characters, in no particular order, are these: androgynous mulleted Malvin, who describes his simply silhouetted but complicated designs as “ineffable”; lanky dread-locked Epperson, whose children are older than many of his competitors; foxy immigrant shop owner Gordana, whose model Tara looks like she could BE her daughter; Shirin, the Hollywood glamor loving Persian whose name means sweet and whose clothes fit that bill; Althea Harper, a Lauren Hill wanna be who produced a less successful old Hollywood gown; R’Amon, an empathetic fellow with kind eyes who dropped out of medical school to make creations like his top three placed Oscar gown; Logan, a pretty-boy hipster with a bratty looking snub nose and harder edge who wants us all to know he’s not gay; Qristyl (!), the plus sized designer who made the bottom three because of a really alarming print wending its way down the front of her gown; Carol Hannah, who has sold her clothes in Gordana’s boutique and wants you to know that blondes aren’t all dumb; Nick the self- styled feather kind of New York, who used no feathers in last night’s challenge; Irina (and her little dog, too) who looks like a taller Shirin and designs leather handbags; Johnny “I was a meth-head” Sakalis, who had a panic attack in the middle of the challenge, almost dropped out, and in the end made the top three with some very sexy butt cleveage; Louise “vintage” Black, whose portfolio made me hope for interesting things; and Mitchell “Anthony Michael” Hall, who dropped his entire smocked turtleneck gown (except the turtleneck) and sent his model down the runway sporting a diaphonous sheer, full length poncho because she was considerably taller than the measurements he’d been given stated. And finally the eliminated Ari Fish, whose neon 80s prints and hand-stand inspired process and “hexagonal tesselations” (which Tim called a halter diaper, and did not, in fact, produce a gown at all but shorts and a sporty hooded top that looks like it was made out of a flashy soccer ball) lead her out the door. In the battle between bad taste, failing to execute the challenge and totally ignoring the challenge, ignoring the challenge is NOT the way to go.

It’s always hard in the first challenge to get a real idea of who everyone is, and who will consistently come up with the best ideas. Leanne and Jeffrey spent the first several episodes of their seasons in the bottom three, before going on to wow the world with their collections. So we’ll see. I’m withholding my judgment for now.

Models of the Runway wasn’t at all what I expected. I thought it would be larded with backstage detail, but instead, most of it was staged. And not only was it fake, but it was a fakery suspiciously reminiscent of America’s Next Top Model. Girls get a note from Heidi, they have a little chat, the winner of the challenge gets a prize which she gets to share with a friend, which in this case is free stuff. Back at their ‘model house’ we get to see the non-winning girls get fake and pouty when they see the ridiculous amounts of swag bestowed on winner girl (Katie) and her pal (Tara). We have the requisite odd names like Emarie, Kojii (who is Irish, go figure) and Matar. There is appalling and inordinate amounts of creepy unison giggling and pageant-style “this is how you want/expect me to be, so I will” behavior, lots of it from Qrystal’s model Kaylin; despite wearing what I actually considered the biggest failure of taste on the runway, Kaylin was immediately stolen by another designer. Another stand out – but perhaps for the wrong reasons – is ambitious, would-be wacky Vanessa, who provided my favorite soundbite of the night: “Ari’s design looks like a space suit from outer space.”

The eliminated model: Mitchell’s Yosuzi, whose inexact measurements were blamed for his almost ousters, but whose exotic looks and fantastically deep voice will be a loss to the competition.

I don’t know quite what to do with this. I want to know which models get eliminated, and enjoy watching them get picked and stolen and fought over, but I can’t watch a full half hour of this drivel. A, the joys of the dvr!

So, let me know. What did you think? Did you like the winners? Agree with the aufings?

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This entry was posted in TV.

5 comments on “Run Run Run Runway

  1. Heather says:

    I was surprised that silver soccer ball dress girl got booted–normally they keep the crazies for a few weeks to add some spice and drama (I think!). That being said, her dress was horrific.

    I think purple dress girl should have said goodbye.

    Naked dress guy– well, sometimes bad things happen. I’m glad he gets another chance. (Only on a week with the two above dresses can you get that lucky)

    What I would wear? Ra’mon’s long navy blue gown or Shirin’s cute number. You know, for all my upcoming red carpet events.

    Question: Did they chose people based on wacky spellings of names this season?

    I missed the whole model thing–I fell asleep, ’nuff said.

    • E says:

      If I were choosing for one of my myriad red carpet events (ha) I think I’d have gone for R’Amon’s, or for Gordana’s – although the color that was so flattering on her model might not have been so gorgeous on most other people.

      And I agree about the crazies – how long did they keep Blane after his wookie diaper? Way too much longer! I think I’d probably have voted against Qristyl, too. I couldn’t tell that the seaming was off, though I’ll take Michael Korrs’ word for it – but the fabrics! Dear lord.

  2. Heather says:

    PS– I think this was the wrong challenge for a first challenge. I wanted them to break the ice with a crazy food dress episode, or some equally weird thing. I think it gets the creative juices flowing, and makes them think outside the box, before pulling it back for a red carpet dress.

    • E says:

      I totally agree. They did something similar at the start of season 4 (any fabric you want, anything representative of your style) but, I don’t know. I think it was four, anyway. I much prefer the start of season three, where they had to rip up their new apartments and then sleep in them.

  3. Matt says:

    Good calls. Like, a season or two ago it was the repeat of the food challenge for episode one, right? This one wasn’t very inspired. More troubling, for such a seemingly “easy” challenge, there weren’t many standouts. I also was surprised by all the short dresses. I kept thinking, “OK, sure, I guess you can go to the Grammys or MTV Video Awards in something short,” but it seems like a cop-out. Tim told them they should be taking risks and being innovative, but no one is. Someone do a damn Oscar gown!

    As for the results, the more I think about it, the more I’m at odds with the elimination. I think Ari, to an extent, lost it with her description. If she’d ended it with, “MTV Video Awards” and not added, “2080, then go pick up her Nobel prize,” I think she might have been OK. I don’t think it was poorly made, just not what the judges were looking for with their idea of “red carpet look.” I think it’s more egregious that Mitchell pretty much didn’t have ANYTHING done. Fine, the model’s stats were wrong, but still. (And let’s not kid ourselves – that horrorshow he would have done had she not been too tall would’ve had him in the bottom 3, too.) I think Ra’Mon or Johnny should’ve won, but Christopher’s was decent, too. Lindsay Lohan as a judge was annoying, but had decent commments.

    A couple All-Star notes:
    1. I read that Laura was asked to be on, but turned them down.
    2. I think Korto has designed for the President of her home, Liberia. But I love the idea of Michelle Obama tapping her talents.

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