Thursday, January 24, 2008

Project Runway: Home of bad puns

You know, I realize I should have seen this before. But the titles of Project Runway episodes are alway terrible puns, and they usually give away the content of the challenge before it gets started. I wasn't shocked in the slightest about the denim.

The actual context of gathering materials was just odd to me. Why this warehouse? Why make them sprint 50 yards to get to the material? Why hang it up so high that I would have never been able to reach it? And why did the warehouse have a dirty, dirty floor?

Do viewers really respond to the scramble? It reminds me of the food flurry* on Top Chef. I don't really like what it brings out in the competitors. Is it just me, or does Victorya seem reminiscent of the type of person that no matter what you say you found, she'll say it's probably hers? "Oh, Victorya, there was some money on the floor in the hallway, do you know whose it is?" "Oh, it's probably mine, yeah, I think it's mine..."

*(I fetched that term from Television Without Pity, it's not mine)

The outfits themselves, I have little to say about. You'd think I'd be more excited, since if I had my way I'd wear jeans all the time. But for some reason all I kept thinking of was the time Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake showed up at some red carpet with denim formal wear. They're still on worst dressed lists for that.

You know, this dress is so close to nice...honestly, I think that weird little piece that Tim pointed out is hat ruins the effect. If I have to hear one more designer say to Tim Gunn, "But I like it..." I'm going to scream. Listen guys, any artist should know and embrace the fact that sometimes you're too close to your design. Sometimes the best thing you need is an outside pair of eyes. Especially an extremly creative, knowledgeable, and intelligent pair of eyes as Tim Gunn possesses.

I also don't really see the "little black dress" interpretation. If this was made out of a nice black fabric, it wouldn't really fly very well. It's too...something. I always thought the point of the little black dress was that it was entirely timeless, and as long as you fit into it, you could wear it. It's outside of the trend-sphere. The actual skirt here is cute, but the top is just not working in a way that's timeless.

I don't think it was a travesty though, I'm not sure why the judges were so upset about it. But then, I'm often confused as to what upsets the judges. They seem to find one thing and harp on it for ages. Look at Stephen's "French maid" debacle. That dress looked nothing like a French maid, and they never stopped saying it.

All that said, the dress certainly doesn't wow in any way, shape, or form. Chris is back to be being a little non-plussed and boring. Stop that!

Okay, I should preface this: I absolutely without a doubt, with every fiber of my being, hate skinny jeans. The depths to which I hate this fashion trend know no bounds. I think they always look terrible, I have yet to see them on anybody of any body shape that I think they look good.

So making his model look like she's teetering on stilts instead of legs? Not winning me any points here. I personally think adding the sleeves on the bottom makes it look like she's wearing leg warmers.

Also, the outfit just reminds me of everything else Christian has done. Maybe it's that he's putting his personal touch in everything, but really? He reminds me of Santino more ever week. I first started writing up these recaps because I was trying to show that Santino was using almost the same techniques from week to week and that I couldn't see this amazing talent people kept talking about.

I say the same about Christian. And his attitude is even worse. For one thing, yes, getting denim wet changes the color. Does it do it permanently? Not to any jeans I've had. A damp cloth wouldn't have done so much damage that it deserved Christian's little preachy speeches. You know what? How hard is it to say, "You know, that might not be the best idea. If you're going to get it wet, do it today so it has more than enough time to dry." And then? DROP IT. Walking around boasting about how right you are? It's so utterly childish.

Also, might I point out that once again, Christian was "above" the challenge. You know what Christian? If you're so "above" this? Then leave. Walk out. Quit. Nobody is keeping you there. Of course this thing isn't how "fashion is." But it's how the SHOW is, and if you didn't know that before you auditioned I have no sympathy.

As for the outfit, well, honestly, if I hold my hand up to the screen to block out the pants, then the jacket is kinda nice. But the poofs on the shoulders confuse me. They looked on screen like the seam had ripped and the lining was poking out. Other than that, I actually like it. The collar is fun, and I really enjoy that it's made out of pants.

I'm really baffled by all the hate for Jillian's coat. Okay, so I completely recognize what Tim said in Tim's Take: this is too similar to what she sent down the runway last week. I also do think that taking off a row or two of the red tags would improve that idea.

But overall? I like it. I actually think that it takes Victorya's idea of updating the classic trench and actually DOES it. I think it flows well, for denim, and the color is really the right one for it.

The construction can't really be seen on a screen, so I can understand if it was made poorly. But I don't think it makes the model look huge, it makes her look like she's wearing a coat. They're in New York City, it gets cold there, and women wear coats when it's cold.

Actually, employing the same method I used for Christian's outfit, I covered up the red on the shoulder and the whole thing was more interesting. So while I think the idea was cute, that probably should have been ditched.

But overall, it's not a bottom two garment, in my opinion.

Okay, here's the thing: Rami obviously watched season three of Project Runway. How do I know this? When talking about the field trips, he says you could be making a dress out of trash or going to Paris.

Both of these things were very significant moments in season three. Season three ended with the victory of one Jeffery Sebelia. Whose final dress happened to use zippers along the seams as an accent. It was, in fact, widely praised for this.

So why exactly has everybody, Tim Gunn included, been oohing and aahing over the zippers like he invented the idea? Yes, he uses it to really good effect. Yes, I like it overall. No, there are no new ideas in fashion. But I don't like that everybody seemed to be acting like it was so brilliant. Yes, it was cool looking. Fine, I'll give you that.

Actually, with the exception of the way the zippers go down in the front edge of the skirt instead of just going around and doing a full ruffle, there's not much fault I can find with this dress. I love the top, it's really cool looking. The buttons are something that reminds me of a sailor costume, but it's pulled off well. It's a great garment, and if it had won I wouldn't be surprised.

I will however point out that Rami's assertion that he's more sophisticated and fashion forward because he's not American is insulting. What is it about this season? First Michael Kor's says that straight men can't design women's evening wear. Now we get that American's aren't fashionable.

You know what Rami? That's ridiculous. Think before you open your mouth. If you said you have a different design sensibility? I would be behind you. But saying it's BETTER because it's not American? Whatever.

Okay, I really don't know why Ricky won. For some reason I'm okay with it, I don't know why. I don't understand why it's any more or less impressive than Chris or Rami's designs (in fact, it reminds me a lot of Chris' design). I can't explain to you a single reason why this is a winning design other than it must have been constructed impeccably.

Now, one of the parts of the challenge was to represent the Levi's 501 brand. And I can see how this dress does that more than the others. Certainly more than Rami's. I think that it was probably what helped it win, that it seemed to fit 501s so much more than the others. Even Christian's, as much as it was based on their "trucker jacket" didn't quite capture it. Don't ask me to explain why, but 501s are in my world rugged, real world jeans. They have their own laid back style, but they're not high fashion. So maybe that explains the win.

I do have to say thank you to Heidi for asking Ricky what the hell was up with his crying. She said it exactly the way I wanted to.

I probably would never wear a denim dress. But if I for some reason decided to, it would probably be one like this. Now, the fact that the dark patches don't line up at the waist bothers me. But having just made a dress that had a similar issue I can tell you I understand 100% how hard that is to do, especially if you're in a time crunch.

There's just so much that is right about this, and it puts me right back on the Sweet P bandwagon. I would like her more if I didn't see her reactions to criticism, but her clothes are getting better and better.

This dress has so much to like. The pattern, the construction, the shape. It's all in all just so well made, I think the only reason she didn't win was because it was more dressy than the idea of 501s.

Okay, sometimes I say things like "I could make that!" Most of the time, it's not really true. It's usually especially not true if you take into account the time constraints that these contestants have.

But I do not exaggerate here: I could make this. Something like this, any costumer with a couple hours and the right supplies could throw together. I know she tried to say on the runway that it took her a long time to do, and it LOOKS simple but isn't...and I think the judges believed that as much as I do. If it was that hard for her to do this, then how has she survived so far?

There's nothing to like about this. The jacket was probably pretty standard before she altered it. The collar is okay, but the skirt-that-isn't-a-skirt is weird looking. It doesn't match, it doesn't flow well. I can't find a single thing to praise about this coat.

My picks for the top four are changing, slowly. I'm not entirely sure that Jillian can survive much longer. She's been about to miss the runway for weeks now, and seems to be falling more and more unhinged. Rami, of course, is a shoo in. Sadly, Christian probably is as well.

So the question is, Chris, Ricky, or Sweet P?