ETV: Project Runway and Models of the Runway – Hey, That’s My Fabric

E: Well, I don’t think I like that one bit.

I love the idea of this challenge, though.  Vivienne Tam – a designer who has sold out to corporate America – has come to promote a system where they get to design their own fabrics. They can make whatever they want using their fabric, they get two days (the first to design the fabric and shop for supplemental material at Mood), and they get to do something super cool while pimping the new HP touch screen machines.  They can draw with a stylus, their fingers, or even paint brushes.  How awesome is that?  They’re all drooling over the chance.


But, ugh.

The Top Three:

For the second week in a row, Emilio takes the win.  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  I love the colors of his fabric.  I love the graffiti meets Old (French) Hollywood glamor aesthetic.   I love the back of that dress, and I’m not surprised that Heidi and Nina and Vivienne Tam all wanted one.  But we haven’t really seen the graffiti side of Emilio before, so it seems a little odd, and when I saw his fabric, I thought the same thing that Tim (and virtually all the other designers and models) did – why’s he’s putting Seth Aaron’s branding on his work?  The judges went mad over the textile, imaging all the possible sizes and colors it could translate into.  I’m not so much a branding person.  I don’t even like it on luggage, so why would I wear it on my person?  On the other hand, I like the way he folded piece of fabric to form a pattern out of the writing.

You know what I love about Seth Aaron?  It’s impossible to confuse Seth Aaron with anyone else.  I love his punk/pop art sensibilities. And his jackets fit like nobody’s business.  He and Valeria are a perfect pair.  (More on that later, of course.) But geez, was I the only one bothered by the – ahem – exuberant collar on the shirt?  The jacket and the print needed to be the star there, and I thought the giraffe-like collar distracted.  At any rate, I thought SA produced a really nice outfit, and I appreciate that he can make thoughtful, wearable separates.

Poor Maya – always the bridesmaid.  I wonder how much the choice of a faux hawk on Monique distracted the judges from the dress?  It certainly did for me.  I feel like Monique is wrong for her clothes (although Maya doesn’t, so I guess that’s her business.)  The judges thought she had the best textile, hands down.  They appreciated the way she paired the lightning print, tipped horizontally, with a crinkly, textured black with vertical folds.    It may interest you to know that Maya and Seth Aaron are the only designers left who have not yet graced the bottom three.  Maya (as she’s been complaining now for several episodes) can’t find a way to win, but she’s been in the top grouping several times.


How is it humanly possible to think that Jay‘s black and green tribal military dominatrix suit was better than the other outfits that landed in the bottom?   I loathed his print, especially once paired with the black, and generally just thought it was ridiculous.  I actually yelled at the tv when Heidi told him he was safe.

The Bottom Three:

Do you remember Vincent, back in season 3, with his column dress out of recycled paper?  Something he thought of as Jackson Pollock inspired, but was just a big piece of paper with random stuff stuck to it that his poor model couldn’t walk in.  Well, if you saw this week’s show, you know where I’m going with this.  Mila‘s ridiculous painted print and her preposterous off white beach coverall.  She had the nerve to be mad at “the model” for hitching up one side so she could walk a little.  Come on!  She freaking tied the top with yarn!  Poor Brandise.  Much as I’m loathe for another woman to leave, I thought Mila was the obvious choice for the boot.

Oh, Jonathan.  I don’t think your print looked like a dirty napkin.  I loved it, and I loved your dress.  I don’t think it was sad.  How could it be sad?  So much black and grey has shown up on this runway and this is sad?  Now, the jacket that opens from the back?  Not loving that, or the way the ruffly collar conflicted with the tie on the grey dress, but I did love the golden color, and thought that if he’d made a dress with that jacket as the top, I would have loved it. But oh, did the judges hate it.  Wow, that was so harsh.  I can’t even believe how undeservedly harsh the judges were (and I’m not the only one).

And that leaves – gulp – Anthony to go home.  Anthony!  No no no!  So maybe we’ve seen that shape before from him.  And the jacket was kind of silly, I admit it.  And I liked Jonathan’s dress more – but I sure didn’t think that the judges did!  Proving once again that it’s better to be crazy (in their opinion) than to bore Nina.  Anthony, how I’ll miss you with your ill-fitting Mr.Rogers cardigans and your insistence that you don’t need a crown to be a queen. Perhaps he wasn’t the most innovative designer, but EW is right; he’s the most jolly, hilarious, warm, huggable contestant since Chris March, and oh my goodness am I going to feel the lack of him!  I don’t suppose we’ll get lucky like in Chris’s season and someone will fall ill so Anthony can come back?

Models of the Runway:

The judges tell Jonathan (a bit we didn’t see in the preceeding hour) that every time he dresses Cerri he makes her look shorter and wider.  Um, hello – the last time he dressed her, he won!  And they said she looked great, and particularly praised his ability to make her look good!  Wow, fashion really is a fickle business.  Do they not remember that they sent Amy home for making Cerri look wide?  That it wasn’t Jonathan who dressed her the last time?  I don’t think they do, and that ignorance is kind of inexcusable.

Seriously, that makes me mad.

Then they tell Brandise she made Mila’s dress worse.  Is that actually possible?  Mila seemed to think so.  Weird, because in the past, they’ve criticized the designer for making something unmovable, and now they’re going to blame the model?  I wish I knew exactly what went wrong here, btw.  This is exactly what I wanted this show to be about. Does the fabric just not have any give to it?  It wasn’t slit on the side, so perhaps that was the problem?

We started with a quick assignment to take pictures of each other to help them “find their light” (jeez, couldn’t they have sprung for some expert to talk to them about this?), which they then downloaded into a touchscreen product placement of the week and played around with.  Interesting, but that’s not what this episode was about.  I know – it was actually about something?  How novel!  The big drama was a call Valeria received from her agent, saying she’d been booked by DKNY for a print campaign.  Trouble is, it’s at the same time as the next runway, so she can’t do both (kind of like Carol Anne’s model – was her name Erin? – and that Arby’s commercial from last season).  If Valeria leaves, she’ll get a huge paycheck, and boost within the modeling world – AND no other girl will get eliminated.  She hems and haws, and then everyone decides that the best way to do this would be on the runway during elimination.  Damn!  And it turns out that – despite faking everyone out with some talk about how great Seth Aaron is (which sounds like a way to let him down gently), Valeria thinks he’s going to Bryant Park and wants to go with him.  Damn.

Seth Aaron is staggered, not less when Heidi helpfully adds that Valeria’s giving up a big paycheck to do this. “I better win, huh?”  “You better, ” replies a laughing Valeria.  Wow.  I respect her loyalty, but I also kind of think she’s crazy.  She’s won his loyalty, sure, but it’s not like he’s going to be able to pay her the big bucks any time soon, or give her the same sort of exposure that a DKNY ad campaign would.  Or at least, I don’t think being on Project Runway gives you the same level of exposure to the industry, does it?  I don’t know.  Maybe.  The model from last season left because she could get a SAG card with the Arby’s commercial, so even if the commercial itself wasn’t glamorous, you can see why she did it.  Although Carol Anne managed to make Bryant Park.  Life isn’t all about building one’s career, and I suppose even from that point of view, most models don’t get to be the muse of a collection.  And most people – including me – think that Seth Aaron is very likely to make it to Bryant Park.

Emilio picks first and decides he’s settling – finally – with Lorena.  He thinks they can get to Bryant Park together.  Interesting.  Brittany stays with Jay, Monique with Maya, and Valeria (duh) with Seth Aaron.  Jonathan says that the judges have worn him down, as they’re so convinced he can’t dress Cerri, and takes Brandise back.  Mila is not pleased.  (Cerri isn’t so happy, either, because he did it in such a way that you think he’s going to say “screw the judges, I pick you” and got her hopes up.  I can picture Jonathan crying when he sees her say that.)  Mila picks Kristina (who’d done so well for her in the NYC challenge), and Cerri goes home.  Kristina was dead certain no one would pick her but Anthony, and is shocked and chagrined to see her good friend sent packing.  Such is a model’s life, shrugs Cerri.  We’re always flying here and there, getting to like people and having to leave them.  Ten years into that kind of career, you learn to insulate yourself.

Why can’t the models I don’t care about leave?  Like Kristina, who barely registers as a personality (editing, I’m sure, but that means I’m not emotionally attached to her) or little baby Brittany, or Valeria, who’s only gotten air time this week.  (She does seem very nice, now that she’s spent more than a second on air, but why did they not go there earlier?)  I want Cerri and Holly and Allison and Kasey back!  Boo!  Cerri had personality in spades, and has been the most sound-bite ready model all season.  I’m going to miss the sassy, tart, honest little Irish chick quite a bit.  All in all, we’ve gotten some upsetting eliminations this week.

8 comments on “ETV: Project Runway and Models of the Runway – Hey, That’s My Fabric

  1. MMGF says:

    That model was INSANE for not taking that DKNY job! How can that not be better on your resume than Project Runway?? (No offense, PR.) And I thought it was a little weird that they had her make her whole announcement about it on the runway – before she’d been picked. I guess there isn’t really any suspense about Seth Aaron and Valeria sticking together (unless someone picks her first, I guess.)

    • E says:

      Baffling, no? I think the best you can say for it is that she had the PR job first, and that in not booking something which conflicts with it, she’s showing herself as a trustworthy employee, which all the models seem to think is really important. And a lot of industry people watch PR. But yeah. I hope she didn’t do it because she has a little crush on the very married Seth Aaron.

      And it sounds like she went to the DKNY casting without knowing when the shoot date would be if she got the job (which seems pretty reasonable).

      • Krizzzz says:

        E — I agree about the trustworthy employee thing, and I think I might even admire her for it: I bet she can parlay that to her advantage later on.

        • E says:

          I hope so. I think it makes most sense in terms of Models of the Runways itself – that she’s been contracted to be in this competition first and it’s a good thing that she’ll go against an easy pay day to stay true to her original contract.

  2. thepresidentrix says:

    I am with you on *everything* this week. I can’t believe I am going to miss anything or anyone from Models of the Runway, but I am SO going to miss Cerri. And it’s not just her accent I love; she’s just so no-nonsense. Reality shows everywhere are crowded with flighty people who can’t express themselves at all without cliches, and Cerri is like a breath of fresh air. Plus, I’ve thought she was the prettiest of the models since well before we found out she had a personality.

    Valeria is a seriously lovely girl, but I don’t understand her decision. She’s made it to the top – what? – seven of an extremely arbitrary competition that isn’t really even about modeling? What guarantee is there that she’ll even go to Bryant Park? Maybe I’m just under-informed, but I would think a high profile print job would be a much bigger deal. Plus, couldn’t it damage her career to *blow off* DKNY? I wonder if she didn’t, after all. I mean, I know high profile campaigns probably don’t normally rearrange themselves to suit their models, but if they built their ad around her, she agreed to do it, and then she decided to do something else instead, that would also mean a lot of wasted effort on their part. I would not be surprised to learn they just used an apparent conflict to generate drama but that Valeria still did both things, in the end…

    I, too, loved Jonathan’s print and dress and was excited to hear them talk about his place in the top three. Only to find out that he came *thiiis* close to being sent home, instead. WHUT? The colors of his polka dots were so delicate, and the fabric looked diaphanous. I suppose grease spots technically do come in some of those shades, but the thought never occurred to me as his dress came down the runway. I was caught up in its loveliness. And the jacket did look disturbing as he was putting it back on Cerri during the judging, but I thought it was quite cool the way she snapped it off during the runway show.

    And why didn’t Mila go home? 1) Her print was uninspired, 2) her dress didn’t move, 3) the shape wasn’t special in any way I could detect to explain why it needed to be so impossible to wear, and 4) she still hasn’t shown that she can successfully work without her typical tricks. Anthony’s dress may have been a tad boring, but it wasn’t ugly, and it worked. He may have done what the judges have come to expect from him, but so did Mila, and at least Anthony’s dress was wearable.

    The show just won’t be the same without him. His turn of phrase was such a delight – and he never came across as trying too hard to be weird, just because he was on tv. He always seemed extremely genuine. *sigh*

    I wasn’t impressed with Emilio’s dress, either – the cut was just fine, but the triangle collar at the top looked cheaply tacked on when his model walked, and, like you, I’m not really moved by branding – and though I did like the way she made use of it very much, I wasn’t as excited as the judges by Maya’s print. It reminded me too much of lasers from the tech museum in my childhood.

    If nothing else, I am getting extremely excited to see Seth Aaron do a whole collection. Is he my favorite? Who am I rooting for, anyway? I don’t know at this point. But I do know that S.A. executes eccentric garments so impeccably that there is always a high level of spectacle in his work. And I love me some spectacle!

    • E says:

      I suppose it’s silly to say how much I agree with you agreeing with me? 😉

      I’ve been puzzling about my favorite, too. I love the showman in Seth Aaron. Would I actually want him to win? I won’t know for sure until I see the collections. I don’t think I’m rooting for Mila (generally don’t get her aesthetic) or Jay (hit or miss) or Emilio (personally problematic). I’m not sure how I feel about Jonathan overall. So that leaves Maya, and I certainly hope she does well.

  3. Krizzzz says:

    1. Agree about Seth Aaron being unmistakable — and I think the judges even said something to that effect last week, which is nice for him.

    2. I wonder where Maya will end up. She could be that dark horse that finds her way and her stride….

    3. I’m worried about Jay: he’s made some STUNNING stuff, but he seems off his game these last two weeks.

    4. Jonathan made Cerri like shorter and wider?? What about when he made her look like a cloud at sunset???? I’ve never seen a designer play up a model’s particular beauty so well as that. He’s been on the fence now and then, but that comment doesn’t seem fair.

    5. I actually like Brittany, but yes — I miss the older souls. All 25 years old, but hey.

  4. […] Chris March, the last contestant eliminated is ushered back in.  Surprise!  It’s Anthony!  Am I psychic or what? He’s bright and bubbly and overjoyed.  “Hell, who wouldn’t want Anthony back?  […]

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