Saturday, October 29, 2011

Project Runway Season 9, Episode 14: AAARRRRGGGHHHH!

Viktor, I mourn with you...
This is the "true story" 

             of twenty designers 

                                  picked to live in the Atlas Apartments
use sewing machines, HP TouchPads and the Piperlime Accessory Wall while washing their hair with Garnier Fructis and concealing the bags under their eyes with L'Oreal Infallible,
                                             have their lives taped 
   to find out what happens 

                                                    when producers manipulate the competition and people stop being polite

                                                                                                and start getting real...


Greetings, Project Runway fans....all seven of you who are still fans of the show.  Before I start my recap, I need to confess that I only stayed with the show and in the Blogging Project Runway chatroom until 10 pm.  I had a Thriller rehearsal to attend and that was my priority.

When I came home at 11:45 pm, I checked the blogs and confirmed my darkest fears:  Project Runway has become a Horatio Alger soap opera.  (I know that last comment is sending some of you to Google.  Builds character.)  Instead of re-watching the show, I turned to Fox to watch the last two innings of the ONE OF THE GREATEST WORLD SERIES GAMES EVER!   Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals!  

I haven't gotten around to watching the runway critiques.  In fact, I never intend to.  It's my small way of protesting what Project Runway has become.   Yes, Lifetime, I reject your reality and substitute my own!

When last we left the show, the judges producers were quite horrified at the state of the finalists' Anya's collection and decided to let all four compete at Fashion Week.  After a harsh critique from the judges, the producers decided that Anya had way too much work ahead of her.  So they gave everyone AN EXTRA $500 FOR FABRIC AT MOOD.

THIS is a Project Runway first.  Funny, it wasn't hyped as such.  But it was clearly designed as a softball thrown to Anya.

Better example...

St. Louis Cards are up....bottom of the 10th.  Tying run on third base.  AND THE RANGER INFIELD BACKS INTO THE OUTFIELD.  This leaves acres of real estate close in for a base hit to plop right in.  And that's exactly what happened.   Now, this is understandable when the manager has decided that the power hitter can't resist trying to hit for the fences and his pitcher is throwing crap anyway, so why not send everyone back there to catch that inevitable fly that could have been a home run.

What is not understandable is why producers felt compelled to CHANGE THE RULES AGAIN TO CLEARLY FAVOR ONE DESIGNER.  

But completing the analogy, in my opinion, Anya swung for the fences and she hit a nice pop fly to center for the final out.  

So let's see how those final runway shows went!

Kimberly: Revenge of the booty skirt!

Why did you not take the jacket off? !!!
I would have loved to have seen the dress underneath the jacket.  There was a little cut-out thing happening on the right thigh that was awfully cute.  The jacket is darling.  Strong look from Kimberly!

Stunning.  This was one of my favorite looks.  Forget the bunch up in the front of the pants.  They're moving.  Standing still, they fit perfectly.  Very sweet use of sheer for the top.  

And she kept it in, but reworked it.  The front panel was longer.  Good call!

And two inverted pleats in the back solved the problem of the uncontrollable poof.  The pleats also gave it very nice walking away interest.  

Kimberly's collection was much improved.  Her collection had always been broad: dresses, gowns, jackets, separates, but in the end, it was not as innovative as the others.  Still, well done!

Joshua: turning a negative into a positive.

Is it saying something when I like what the designer is wearing more than I like some of the stuff he sends down the runway in competition?

Because you know and I know that Josh designed the top he's wearing in the picture.

And in my reality, this conversation occurred:

"Josh, seriously, lose the lime green shorts and design tops like the one you're wearing in every color of the rainbow."

Humor me a moment while I rework Josh's entire collection for the win.

Burn this!
You need to work on these shorts.  The fabric on the top belongs in a different show.  Pitch this.
Show this vest on a white top so that we can see the cut-out details.  I don't care what you do with the pants as long as you don't use that fabric or use those hideous, lime green shorts.
Gorgeous.  I would have spent my time concentrating less on the hideous fabrics and making another variation or two of this jacket.  This is your greatest creation.

Now take this dress and turn it into a gown with lime green and pink undergarments underneath.  And Katy Perry be calling in 5, 4, 3, 2....
Josh is at his finest when he is playing with positive and negative space.  He uses the shapes of the opaque material to define contours and lets the fabric under the sheer material form the pattern.  It's fresh, very modern and innovative.  

Sell your beadazzlers for rent money, Josh.  You don't need them.  You do need to make some of those tops with the shoulder cut-outs and sell them somewhere where I can buy them.

Viktor was robbed!!!!

The one reason I will not ever watch the runway critique of this last show is that I have no desire to see an editor manipulated, out-of-context, weird stream-of-consciousness claptrap the judges spewed out at Viktor to justify third place.  Let me venture a guess that the terms "commercial" and "safe" were used.

If this is so 'commercial' and 'safe' please point me to where I can buy this top and that skirt.  Because I want them.
This is a hot look right now.  Half the cast of "Glee" would die to wear this.  The skirt is well done.
That mirrored top has 'Nina' written all over it and probably makes Josh wish that he designed it.
Forget the jacket....I want those pants!  The whole outfit looks great.
You can argue about whether he should have scrapped his original gowns for the ones he made.  But I thought that put all together, his looks were fresh and perfectly executed.  Not a sour note in the bunch.  Which is more than I can say for....

Anya: Life's a beach.

In Anya's world, we don't need no stinkin' sleeves!
In Project Runway, showing a range of looks in your final show is important until it isn't.  In Project Runway, innovation is important until it isn't.  But having a strong point of view always is.  If you can find that and limp a collection out that reflects it adequately...and you're young and cute...the win is yours.

There was nothing in this collection that Uli didn't already do several seasons ago.  No silhouettes that hadn't been tackled by designers before.   I'm not saying there isn't room in the Project Runway pantheon for a designer to run a resort collection.  I'm just saying that this wasn't a great one, when compared to the others.  It was much improved, but this isn't a "most improved" competition.

This is a gorgeous dress--perhaps Anya's most stunning.  I'm wondering how much fabric adhesive she needed to keep it on the model, however...
Another, perfect, stunning dress.
Pants!  Good for you.  Very nice.
I regret that I will never know how the judges managed to praise this potato sack dress.  I like the idea of the collar and the skirt, but the middle is so shapeless.
Trim some fabric, drape it over some gold shorts, toss a belt on it and send it down the runway.  Who would wear this?
I'm sure the judges heaped all sorts of praise for the weird, messy portrait collar.
I won't deny that the gowns were gorgeous.  But Rami sent down a collection full of gorgeous gowns and all he got was criticism for lack of range.

I also won't deny that Anya had a strong point of view.  But so did Uli and Korto.  I don't recall either of them winning the competition.

I fail to see how Anya and Josh managed to be the last two finalists and Anya ended up winning this season.  In my world, it would have been Viktor for the win, Josh for second and Kim in third because Anya would have left last week.

I hope Anya makes the most of her opportunity from Project Runway.  Perhaps she can find someone who makes sleeves so that she can design for the rest of us who do not live in resorts.

As for Kimberly, Josh and Viktor are concerned, you clearly have bright futures.  Make the most of your exposure and lots of luck to each of you.

Thanks everyone for reading.  Keep checking in as I post some things on other topics.


  1. Did I say "not ever" up there? That's how steamin' mad I was!

  2. I agree except I think all the see-thru gave it to josh in the final moment.

    it would be interesting to be there live instead of only seeing editorial shots and video, wonder if my opinion would be different.

  3. Trip, in last week's blog, I have links to the YouTube video of all the shows--finalists and decoys.

    I'm re-reading this and discovering grammatical errors everywhere. Sorry readers!

  4. Project Runway Seasons 1-9 DVD is mainly about Heidi Klum hosts a reality series where aspiring fashion designers compete for a chance to break into the industry. You can watch the perfect show in each season.
    Project Runway seasons are focus on fashion industry. It is hosted by Heidi Klum and the mentor is the brilliant Tim Gunn who I truly adore. At the beginning there are around 15 designers (contestants) and in every project runway episode they need to make an outfit according to the task they were given. At the end of the episode judges will decide which design is the weakest and that designer will go home. The best 3 are going to the finale and they will make the final collection which will be presented at the New York Fashion Week. The best designer wins great prizes that can enormously change their careers.