Saturday, September 1, 2012

Project Runway Season 10, Episode 7: Sell Job

Greetings, Project Runway Fans!  The contestant designers are now 7 days into their Project Runway experience.  They've been a week away from their friends, family, jobs, television, radio, all contact with the outside world except for field trips with Tim.

It begins to wear on them after a while.

You think it's bad now, Sonjia....when this show airs, it will compete with Mitt Romney's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.   So while Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney endeavored to reach out to women and the nation with his message, the women of Project Runway were having dramas of their own this week.

"I love you WOMEN!"
I think the women of Project Runway could have used a little dose of Ann Romney love this week.  Don't you?

This week's challenge was brought to us by Project Runway's accessory wall sponsor, Lord & Taylor, and honored Project Runway's 10 year season history.  The cheerful Bonnie Brooks joined Tim to explain the details.

"We have an outfit designed by one designer from each of the previous seasons of Project Runway.  One season is missing.  Yours!"

"You'll choose from some fabrics by J&S Corporation, makers of the finest petroleum-based synthetics in the industry.  Your look will have to retail between $200 and $300, but we won't bore the viewers with how we determine those costs...not like Project Runway did during a similar challenge with the All-Stars!"
Thus begins an exposition into why it is virtually impossible to find anything innovative or fashion-forward in a standard department store.

"This is Capitalism at its finest. We're going to let the market forces decide the winner and loser this week--the way it should be in a free society."  
Perhaps, Paul, that's the way it should be.  In reality, however, selling to the masses and still maintaining a profit margin for everyone in the food chain means that style flies out the window.  The first thing to fly out was any hope that these would be produced with any natural fiber content at all.  Let's see what else was compromised.


Fabio had immunity this week, but didn't design like it.  His entry was thoughtful on design but very simple to produce, with an eye toward the sort of versatility a woman would want in a $200 dress.

"Designing for the masses was such a heavy burden to carry on my shoulders.  I had to make sure the dress would be simple enough for the third-world slave seamstresses to sew.  Then, I had to make sure that I didn't use too much of that hydrocarbon gas- emitting fabric, lest the buyer develop some sort of immunodeficiency disease."

It was very nice.  With a jacket, it was very versatile.  It was EXACTLY WHAT YOU WOULD FIND IN A DEPARTMENT STORE, so he was safe.


Speaking of immunity, Melissa was not immune to the collective despair this week.

"If I don't make some sort of dress in this horrible synthetic fabric, it's auf wiedersehen for me!"
"The choloroflourocarbin gasses from the synthetic polyester are aggravating my manic depression!"
"Remember the hope and optimism you felt about Project Runway when you first heard you were chosen?  Don't you think there's something wrong when you haven't felt that good about it since you've been on the show?"
Mitt's got a point.  Being in the competition is a lot more challenging than thinking about being in the competition.  Somehow, Melissa either found some inner competitive fortitude or perhaps she just cycled through her depression to her manic state.

She produced an asymmetrical hemmed cocktail dress with a gravity defying front.  Michael Kors loved how the front framed the face.  It was SOMETHING A BIT TOO UNIQUE FOR A DEPARTMENT STORE, so she didn't win.


The one-way monkey one trick pony was back.

"An origami rose is just what the Lord & Taylor collection needs."

"It's like that movie, Alien.  You almost expect an alien to come crawling out from between the folds..."
"Mitt gave me a hand-folded origami heart for Valentine's Day when we were first married.  He handed it to me while we ate tuna noodle casserole over the ironing board in our basement apartment."
Seriously, do you think Bonnie Brooks even considered for one moment producing a garment with complicated origami folds?  Think of the third world labor that would have to go into that?


Dmitry was safe this

Actually, in Bonnie Brook's defense, I think that she thought she already had a similar dress to this one already in the collection.  This is Korto Momolu's dress.

You can argue amongst yourselves about whether or not this is too similar and whether Dmitry was robbed, but that's my theory.


Elena was having a crisis of confidence this week.  She loves producing one-of-a-kind garments with detail, drama and exoskeletons.  She really struggled this week trying to produce something true to her vision but commercial enough for Lord & Taylor.

The judges loved it!  Woo hoo!  She took the breastplate from her armor and softened it up in the front and back, so that it produced a cinching effect.  The unique strapping allowed the model to show off her tattoo.  Thus, Elena was able to avoid all the drama that plagued the women this week....

Well, maybe not.
It was the most uniquely designed dress on the runway this week, but IT WAS JUST TOO UNIQUE FOR LORD & TAYLOR.

"This is why I don't shop at Lord & Taylor."


It was just too much for Sonjia this week.  She struggled with the fabric, the design and getting it ready for the model.

Then she struggled to get it on the model.

Sew and cry...
And broke down when she realized that she simply had no time to hem up the fabric.

"The beauty of these space-age, petrochemical, miracle fabrics is that they don't fray if they're not properly hemmed.  It looks good enough.  Go out and fake it on the runway."

What was all the fuss about?  She was safe.


"America is at its greatest when there are no restrictions on our entrepreneurial spirit."
"I know you're really talking about taxes, but I find it inspiring for my aesthetic vision.  Let nothing stand in the way of my stripped chiffon.  It's what I do."

Chris immediately saw that there were more dresses than gowns and decided that a gown would be a better choice for the 10th outfit.  He set about ripping some pink chiffon into strips and sewing them together to make a top.   With an....interesting back, to say the very least.

Coupled with a sister-wife skirt, the look is sophisticated enough for Lord & Taylor.  Right Bonnie?

"Hundreds of women would buy that."
Well, there's an endorsement right there.  Chris, you're the big winner!

"You're kidding me. That's the winner?  Do you expect a woman to walk into Lord & Taylor looking for a ripped up, synthetic dress with a keyhole back?  Not even Sarah Palin on her worst day would do that."
Listen, Nikki, I'm not the judge here, just a humble blogger simply reporting out on this week's episode.  I report, you decide.  Perhaps they fixed it in production.
Or maybe not.

Gunnar and Alicia

Why bother to go into details here.

Alicia attempted to make a Chanel dress, circa 1928 and Gunnar thought the collection needed another lacy, heavily sequined dress.  I'd go into more detail about why neither of these were even remotely worthy of being considered for sale at Lord & Taylor, but neither one of them went home.

"What the hell?"
Well, Clint, a few weeks ago, Andrea Katz and Kooan Kusake quit the competition.  This left them two down, even though they had challenges left to go.  They continued to knock off designers the regular way.  I don't understand why they chose this week, of all weeks, to keep everyone there.

"They clearly met the brief."
"Are you people ON CRACK?  I always knew you fashion industry people were a little too liberal and wishy-washy, but this really takes the cake.  I've cast movies set in 1928 and I wouldn't let any of my actresses near Alicia's outfit.  And I've had plenty of floozies in my movies too.  I've seen costume designers with failing eyesight and missing fingers sew better than that."
Go on, Clint, tell us how your really feel.

"For me, Project Runway is all about the empty chair at the end of the show...the designer who Tim has to send back to the workroom to pack up their things.  It's my favorite part"
I think the Governor of New Jersey also has something to say about this week's challenge.

"Listen.  We've become a nation that values love over respect.  We've grown soft and weak.  You can't truly appreciate the thrill of victory without the risk of utter and total defeat.  When everyone wins, no one wins."

Yeah, you tell 'em, Gov. Christie.

I can't believe I wasted blog space on nine mediocre, polyester dresses.  Seriously.  Next week, we have another team challenge: three teams of three designers each and Ven is back in the hot seat.

Also, this means that unless they knock off two or maybe even three designers, the Project Runway Fashion Week show will have eight designers showing.

Unless they keep them all AGAIN next week, in which case, I will start talking to empty chairs.

See you then!


  1. hah! your blog is way more clever and interesting than the actual show.

  2. Yes, Dimitry was robbed. In fact, I was certain that the middle three would be the top three, as much as I can't stand Ven. And Elena's dress? Really? I just can't fathom how that wasn't the worst of the bunch.

  3. "Mitt gave me a hand-folded origami heart for Valentine's Day when we were first married. He handed it to me while we ate tuna noodle casserole over the ironing board in our basement apartment."


  4. I think Elena's dress looked better as the model was standing than when she was walking--a sign that there were some issues with fit. For such a complicated dress, I could overlook those issues. If you look at the final, sale version of Christopher's dress, they had to correct a few things (like no raw edges...and properly hemming the back keyhole) so the outfit on the runway is understood to be a prototype.