Project Runway: Season 8 – “And Sew It Begins”

E: Here it is, boys and girls.  They’re back!

Follow after the jump for a spoiler and some ranting.  If you saw the show, I’m sure you’re ready for a good rant yourself.*

Tim and Heidi meet the 17 designers in Lincoln Center (new home of Fashion Week; what, Bryant Park has too much else going on?) and tell them they’re not really on the show (see, that’s why there are cameras and interviews with producers and Heidi and Tim; they’re not actually on the show) and have to go through one last audition.  This is a twist on season 2’s ‘clothes off your back’ challenge; pull something out of your suitcase to use.  (One complete moron grabs the $1,070 Dolce and Gabana pants he hasn’t even worn yet.)  The twist?  You have to hand your clothing item to your neighbor, and they have to make something featuring it (with supplemental material supplied by Mood).  And you only have five hours to do it.  They’ve never given contestants such a short time period.  They only get 15 minutes with their models!  It sounds like hair and make up time was included in the 5 hours, so that’s clearly less working time.  Any designer who doesn’t measure up will go home.

Gretchen wins.

While there were other outfits I liked (Peach’s, mostly, and Tracy Ullman-look alike Valerie’s was okay), I was hugely impressed with Gretchen and the clarity of her vision. When Tim arrived, she could tell him not only what she made, but what kind of girl would wear it and had the styling settled.   Good work, Gretchen!

The Bottom Dwellers.

Everyone else on stage was singled out because the judges (Michael Korrs, Nina Garcia, Heidi Klum and Selma Blair) thought they were pretty bad.  We have:

Pint sized ball of fiercely perky positivity Ivy, who made pants out of pants and thought that ruching and shortening them was a sufficiently creative change.  She actually tried to argue the judges into agreeing with her, which they all thought was very cute. I get that the length on the shirt was off, but I think with a little tweaking it could have been pretty nice, so I’m not sure she deserved falling into the eventual bottom three.

Dreadlocked pixie McKell, who took a shirt, cut off the sleeves, gave it a razor back and added a flouncy skirt with metal accents.  Tim loved it, and so did I on the dress form, but the skirt was too full for her model, and the raspberry colored bag she paired with it was literally the same size as the dress.  The  judges hated the model’s hair, too, which, fine, but there were way more offensive looks on that stage than bad styling.

Jason wore a bowler hat to intimidate his competition (which, huh?) and turned out a backward kimono dress (Heidi rightly noted that it looked like something you’d wear at the hair salon to protect your clothes) out of a kimono.  He promised Tim he was doing something with a hood or a cowl, but he didn’t.  And he stapled the blasted thing together.  Staples.  Staples!   It has nothing to do with the end product, but the way he salivated over his model’s bare boobs (“it’s a distraction”), first claiming that they were his (!) and then saying he has to pretend to be a doctor so as not to “transgress”, well, it was gross.  I guess I’m too used to the designers being gay and not caring.

Terrified-looking Nicholas, whose gorgeous model Julia is the standout of the girls, created a simple and awkward gown; it was almost pretty, but somehow cut up oddly.  Like many other designers, he pleaded the extreme time challenge as his excuse.  And hey, at least it was a finished garment.

Then there’s 21 year old platinum blond April, who displayed student work by turning jacket inside out and using it as a vest over a sheath dress. First the judges called it 80s hooker, and then they decided it was modern – huh?

Puerto Rican/ New Jorker Casanova (who prefers to go by only his real last name) apparently couldn’t understand Heidi when she asked a simple question about his glorified Bikini top and the sarong skirt which fell literally half way down his model’s butt.  (Ivy’s face as this look came down the runway was priceless.)   Then he didn’t answer Nina intelligibly when she repeated the question in Spanish.  Clearly they kept him around for the train wreck factor.   Maybe Dolce and Gabana will take pity on him and send him a new pair of pants?

And of these six, Ivy, Casanova and McKell are the actual bottom three, and McKell goes home.

So, I’m sorry.  McKell was practically the only person in this bottom six to produce a wearable, functional garment.   I don’t know why Heidi made such a fuss about lots of people going home; I could do without a couple of these characters. Most people seem feel like Casanova should have gone home for his half-assed vulgarity, but I think the most egregious offender was Jason.  Staples, people!  Did he sew anything?  If he did, I couldn’t tell.  Ridiculous.  And they kept him around because he was interestingly bad?  Maddening.  The man abjectly failed to prove he was in any way qualified to be here.

What did you think?  Who would you have Aufed, fellow runway fans?  Was there anything in this group that made you excited about the upcoming season?  I vote they never give the contestants so little time again!  There was almost nothing worth looking in this challenge.  I have higher hopes for next week.

*I know, I’m usually insanely detailed.  I should be able to be more focused on this show when So You Think You Can Dance ends its season in a few weeks.

5 comments on “Project Runway: Season 8 – “And Sew It Begins”

  1. MMGF says:

    The elimination choice was horrible. Unacceptable. I swear, since it’s happened the same way all three of the last seasons, that it’s because of the production change from Magical Elves to Bunim-Murray. The Real World vets ALWAYS prefer personality to talent, sigh.

  2. Krizzzz says:

    Since when is bad hair the designer’s fault???

    • E says:

      Don’t forget Allison getting booted for her mini-mouse hair bow! Bad hair is always the designers fault. I just don’t see how that ought to be MORE important than a bad look or lack of construction skills.

      • MMGF says:

        And it’s true. If you say to the hair people, “I want full and curly” and they give you a sky-high mohawk, are the judges going to send you home? I’m with Krizzzz – unfair! (And while I get that the show is about designing, and sending a “look” down the runway, and top fashion designers certainly would direct the makeup and hair styling they want – shouldn’t the show be MORE about how well the DESIGN came out? How well you made the clothes and how original and interesting and appealing they are? Because I’ll bet the Vera Wangs and Calvin Kleins of the world have someone on staff to basically direct the hair and makeup.)

        • E says:

          Oh, I totally agree that it’s wrong. People should not go home for the styling. That’s why styling is a separate job. Not that it isn’t important, of course, but should be secondary at the most. All I’m saying is that it’s not the first time.

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