|Worth the wait...am I right?|
|"Say 'Hello' to my little friend..."|
If you recall, Mondo's design featured plus signs and he used the opportunity to divulge his HIV+ status to the Project Runway audience.
It was also a strong graphic, to boot.
Tim could have just as easily delivered the brief this week. Why was Mondo there, exactly?
|Oh yeah. Mondo designed a carry bag for the HP-Intel, Touchpad, Ultrabook Thingy.|
|"So good to see you! Can't wait to see the 'Real Woman' challenge episode!"|
|Kiss and cry...|
|"I remember how poor we were...and we had nothing. Everything looked like 1952. And everything made ticking sounds because of Chernobyl."|
|"Those were the happiest days of my life."|
Then, we met Gunnar's mom.
|"Mom, when I win, I'm totally getting you that boob job you've always wanted."|
Based on the cultural dossiers, the designers created their own patterns for the fabric they would use in the challenge.
Let's find out....but first, a word from one of our sponsors.
|"There are some days when a woman just doesn't have that 'fresh feeling'....."|
|"Ven...how can I put this diplomatically? Your design is sort of....menstrual."|
|"For those times, you need 'always Infinity,' the luckiest sponsor of Project Runway."|
Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
This week, Mrs. Slivnyak must have brought her daughter's medication because after her cry, she was all "happy happy, joy joy" through the aisle of Mood.
Even her childlike print was happy. Do you see "Elena was here!" inscribed over the onion dome churches?
Her design, however, started out looking like surgery scrubs and ended up looking like a beautician's smock.
|"It's about human copulation...the essence of life itself...the tension between male and female..."|
Anyway, his "mother figure" fed him some story about a grandma and ladybugs and he came up with a fabric pattern that caused him to become indecisive and tentative.
|"Hmm...Wilma or Betty? Which one to choose?"|
|"You covered up your design in chiffon."|
|"This needed to go to another level. Perhaps a level with sleeves, since you know how to make them. If I knew how to make sleeves, I'd put them on everything, which would take it to another level."|
The effect was curiously tropical in feel. Luckily, she showcased the print with a smart and sophisticated dress. It was a delightful counterpoint to her usual black, urban comfort zone.
The print was subtly tribal while being cleverly geometric and modern.
|"You covered your pattern up with a jacket."|
|A rose by any other name does not belong with hibiscus flowers.|
|"I would have liked to see the flowers incorporated into your design."|
|Heidi: "Tim, didn't you tell Ven not to use the origami this week?"|
Tim: "Oh, I told him a lot of things...none of which he took to heart."
|"Actually, the flowers were incorporated...but they were folded into fans and looked like dirty maxi pads."|
OK, producers. You've had your fun at Ven's expense...managing to humiliate him not just before a nation-wide audience of plus-size, menstruating women, but in front of his sister. I hope you're happy with your pound of flesh. Can we move on?
Seriously...as a design statement, the problem with the first dress was that the folding made the flowers look like peppermint candies. Technically, the effect was lazy and beneath his ability. I would have challenged him to do something more sculptural that evoked the hibiscus, specifically--gather it in the middle and give it three dimensions. Ven's such a crazy smart sewing genius, he'd be able to do it, right? It was not the worst outfit up there, but probably was the worst fabric pattern because he had designed it to use as a sculptural element and ended up using it as a pattern.
Gunnar's perceived cleverness got the best of him this week. Let's think back to his testimonial after Mondo's introduction of the challenge. He recalled how Mondo used his HIV positive status--something deeply personal--to draw out a winning pattern. So Gunnar went deeply personal--to his history of being bullied as a child--to draw out his pattern.
The trouble was that he forgot Mondo's caution not to be too literal.
Up close, there's something ghastly about this image, which so literally portrays his feelings of being trapped and attacked as a child.
But prints have a different feel from further away.
Take "Thimbles" from "Little Miss Sew."
Up close, you see thimbles. Farther away, it's just a vaguely textured grey. But Gunnar's pattern had too much white space to blend into a vague texture.
The jacket was nicely tailored, despite what the judges said. Perhaps in person, the juxtaposition of such a literal, disturbing image on a smartly tailored jacket was too much of a visual stretch.
This sort of subversive design can be cleverly done, but it can also be quite provocative.
This is tremendously disturbing and if you are comfortable surrounding yourself with objects of satire, this would be more appropriate for home decorating than for apparel.
Still, in the end, Project Runway is about the garment and I just didn't think Gunnar's garment was the worst one up there. What's worse? A lazy designer who plays it safe (Fabio,) a designer who falls short of his technical skills (Ven,) a designer who completely missed the point of the challenge (Chris,) or a designer who takes a risk and fell flat (Gunnar)?
I would have aufed Chris this week, not Gunnar.
Oh well....see you two weeks....when I finally get around to next week's challenge!