It was fewer designers, mo' problems on last night's episode of Project Runway:
Judge not, lest Michael Kors tell you you are a sissy.
The challenge: Create a look for a woman "on the go" that is quasi-inspired by Michael Kors' flagship store but not really.
Guest judges: Hayden Panetierre and Rachel Roy
The winner: Sonjia (FINALLY)!
The auf'd: Buffi. We knew her pink+animal print+overworked look wouldn't keep her in the running forever, but it was still kinda sad to see her go. It should've been you (again) Raul!
On the go (no, really!)
Sometimes reality TV knows itself too well. While the news that two contestants would leave Project Runway started swirling around the internet before the premier aired, it was surprising that not only did Kooan and Andrea leave within the same 24 hours, but also on the eve and day of an "on the go" challenge. While the producers could not have possibly synced up these events (unless everything was staged, which is a degree was manipulation I don't even want to imagine ProjRun as being capable of. They had Mondo win All Stars! Their motives are pure!), the poetry of it all is pretty compelling.
What is sending all these designers out the door? In his departure, Kooan talked about how while he understood the opportunity the show was giving him, he wanted to make his own run at the fashion world. On one hand, yadda yadda so many other people wish they were in your shoes yadda yadda yadda. On the other hand, maybe he's got a point. I've long been frustrated with the show for finding the best Project Runway contestants, not the best designers. Designers don't have to be adaptable. They don't have to make clothing for a red carpet event and an active wear line and a gaggle of stilt walkers. Designers are allowed to have a narrow focus on their "girl." On that note, Buffi's ejection, while appropriate given the low quality execution, seemed cruel. Why cast a self-described "tacky" designer only to kick her off for being tacky? Obviously, Project Runway has to give its contestants a wide range of hoops to jump through in order to produce an entertaining show, and god knows I love it. I just wish they would be a little more honest about what skills they are gauging, exactly.
As seasoned viewers of Project Runway, I know we're all familiar with the general complimentary chit chat the producers intersperse during the runway judging . A designer leans over to another and whispers "great movement" and we're left feeling like everyone is everyone's cheerleader (even Nathan gave Buffi props on her design by saying, "It walked well"). I found it HILARIOUS though that when Christopher's look came out, he whispered seemingly TO HIMSELF "It's so cute. I want that jacket." I would be irritated with the guy if he wasn't so clueless.
FINAL THREE PREDICTIONS:
Figuring out who will make it to Fashion Week is always a game of optimist vs. realist. There are the designers I would want to see, and then there are the designers that the judges love despite their high yawn-quota. Sonjia, Alicia, and Elena would be a fascinating match up. Dmitry, Ven, and Christopher would be soooooooooo boring (but beautifully made, right judges?). Given that some contestants just don't seem like they can make it in the long haul and that the judges will likely go for a combo of interesting and safe, my final three prediction is Sonjia, Ven, and Dmitry.
Bonus video of Kooan dancing up a storm and reminding us how happy he can be when Project Runway isn't squeezing the life force out of him:
I know I made some jokes about Dmitry and his dour demeanor last week, and the week before that, but the saditudes of the rest of the designers last night made him look as bubbly as Richard Simmons rolling on E. Why is everyone so down? Is Flatotel putting depressants in the water or something?
From defeated Andrea and deflated Kooan—both so upset that they hightailed it out of there—to whiny Christopher and downer Elena, practically every contestant had a tale of woe for the camera during the "on the go" challenge. They're bummed out, they're exhausted, they're ready to quit, and they're bringing down the entire show. Come on you guys! You're designing fancy fashion on a television show—it could be a lot worse. TRUST ME. During last night's episode, as the minutes dragged on, I found myself wondering how much of a bribe Lifetime would need to add Santino "Lighten Up It's Just Fashion" Rice to this season's cast. It would be worth it!
Maybe it's the Flatotel water talking, but I also found the "on the go" clothes, for the most part, somewhat uninspired. So many blacks and grays! So many droopy hems and sad jersey knits! I get that "versatility" often means "stretchy, dark fabric," but I once again agreed with Michael Kors during judging: Make your dress in red already!
FINAL THREE PREDICTIONS:
Confession: I had the same ones written down as you, Annalee. In the interest of keeping things interesting, though, I'll mix it up a little. I have to go with Sonjia because I am rooting for her so hard. However, Ven delivered yet ANOTHER spiral pleat-y thing last night (did you catch that? He only designs ONE THING) so I'll take him off my list. Christopher is a megawhiner but the judges seem to love him (probably because they don't have to listen to his crying), so he takes Ven's place. For my third pick I do think Dmitry has a good chance, but I've also got my eye on Nathan, so: Sonjia, Christopher, and Nathan. Get thee to Fashion Week!
Andi wasn't able to do the Project Runway blog this week, but she sent in her final three picks! She says: "Sonjia, Christopher, and Melissa. (No logic to that last one; I just like her a lot and want her to make clothes for me.)"
The Gunn Show: As PR devotees know, this is Tim Gunn's world and we just live in it. Each week we'll pick our favorite Gunn moment (tell us yours too!). This week? Timmy's use of the word "concretize." Not only did his comments about "concretizing" really help the designers, but it turns out that is an actual word. Tim, you teach us something new every week!