Friday, August 3, 2012

PRs10e3 • Welcome Back To The Runway • 2 August 2012

Last week 15 contestants crashed Dylan's Candy Bar, with a wide range of results.  Ven Budhu won the unconventional materials challenge, Sonjia Williams placed a close second, and Gunnar Deatherage unfairly came in 3rd, when it should have been Dmitry Sholokhov.  Andrea Katz blackmailed God, or Satan, or SOME higher power, as she escaped the bottom three with a lazy, uninspired, although challenge-respecting outfit.  Lantie Foster was correctly eliminated for using umbrella fabric as the main source of materials in a candy store challenge, and joining her in the bottom were Elena Slivnyak and Buffi Jashanmal.  

First off, I have decided to boycott ALL Martin Scorsese projects.  There is such a thing as death by repetition.  I want to live.

Celebrating the past 10 years of Project Runway continues! Heidi tells the designers, "For your next challenge you're going to have to make a look that is red carpet ready."  Woosh and they're off to South Street Seaport to meet Tim Gunn.

"Good morning, designers, and welcome to the Lexus Challenge!" booms Tim, while flanked by Brian Bolain (Dir. of Mktg. Comm. for Lexus) and seven Lexus GS vehicles. "For this challenge, you will be creating a red carpet look for a very special client, and that client is someone who has a good deal of empathy for what it is that you are experiencing now on Project Runway.  And this isn't just any red carpet look, this is a red carpet look for the Emmy's.  It's a big deal, a very big deal. The color of the Lexus GS vehicle that you are assigned to must be incorporated into the look that you design.  You will have $300 and one day to complete your look."  

The one winner gets to go with the corresponding client to the Emmy's.  It's a Project Runway first!™ Tim randomly assigns car keys which brings two designers to a particular car and color.  They are then driven in said vehicle to a prior PR designer, waiting in some random NYC location, because they are no longer welcome at Parsons?  Was there a restraining order put out on Kenley? I guess they couldn't drive the car right into Parsons, huh?  Don't worry, there's a different kind of car crash coming up, courtesy of Mr. Palu.

What are you talking about? 

Which team members were able to take into account the client's image & needs, plus bring their own points of view into the mix?  Let's take a look!   Prepare to be dazzled by the mediocrity, and the ability to make an underweight lady look fat!

Oh, some ABC actress guest judged.  Surprisingly, I didn't hear her say, "I would totally wear that."  The Internet tells me that Krysten Ritter was a successful model before becoming an actress.   Okay, I'll cut her some slack.
client Laura Bennett from season 3, placed #3
Buffi Jashanmal & Elena Slivnyak
B/M sure made it look like these two contestants were going to fight for the auf.  Elena needlessly complained about Buffi, and had a mini-meltdown while in the work room.  Elena's overworked pleats were redone in a softer manner, thank God.  Too bad Buffi wasn't allowed to ever eat again. Wow, Elena has some power & skill there, if not the ability to create fashion and remain calm & polite.   Laura looked event-appropriate, but I wish she had had a more flattering color than black.   Team B&E is safe.
client Kenley Collins s5#3
Ven Budhu & Fabio Costa
Ven managed to use a typical Kenley silhouette, which can be argued isn't particularly on point for the Emmy's, but, it's passable, and it does flatter and serve Kenley well.  Ven used his typical flower petal inspiration, and Fabio seemed to have a nice time watching.  No, we don't "know" that, but that's how Ven sold it on the runway.   To me, this seemed safe.  So, of course, Ven wins, second time in a row.  Team V&F places #1 of 7.
client Irina Shabayeva s6#1
Gunnar Deatherage & Kooan Kosuke
Did you enjoy Meana Irina selling Gunnar & Kooan short on the runway?  In the workroom, was Irina picking on Kooan for being disinterested in craftsmanship?  Was Kooan just not quick enough with the banter back at her?  Did you think that this was a challenge tailor-made for Gunnar?  The color is good on Irina, and the concept was Emmy-appropriate, for sure.  Team G&K #2 of 7.
client Mila Hermanovski s7#3
Alicia Hardesty & Raul Osorio
Mila has a slamming body.  To make her appear dumpy and frumpy, well, that's a strong skill, and one to be avoided.  In addition, the look is too boring and simple.  No ideas, and not flattering. Judging indicated that Raul was responsible for the hair extensions, and for that he is auf'd?   Team A&R #7 of 7.
client April Johnston s8#5
Melissa Fleis & Dmitry Sholokhov
I wish I could get April to go back to her season eight hair color.  The color(s) she has now both age her, and make her seem juvenile.  Let her look like the accomplished, uber-talented young woman that she is.  Sorry, rant over.  April is wearing a two piece silver/gray outfit, fully covered, yet sophisticated and beautiful.  Perhaps not enough skin is showing, but she does look event appropriate.  Did the loose fit keep their scores low?   Oh, wait, I just got the joke, Melissa "black black black" was paired with April "black black black."  How did they NOT get paired with the black car?  Team M&D safe.  
client Valerie Mayen s8#7
Nathan Paul McDonald & Sonjia Williams
Another example of designers with the gift of making an emaciated lady look fat.  Did they make her wear Alexis Matteo's padding?   I can't say that the gold is the antithesis of the Emmy's, but, geez, why do you want to make skinny, adorable Valerie appear lumpy and trashy?  The outfit doesn't appear to fit correctly, but I will admit that the material might be Emmy-worthy.  Team NP&S safe.  WTH?

Thank you, Christopher, for agreeing with me.
client Anya Ayoung-Chee s9#1
Andrea Katz & Christopher Palu

Did you enjoy seeing Anya's crotch?  Did Andrea & Christopher think that that would make it Emmy-worthy?  Honey, that's the VMA's.  In addition to the ridiculous slit, the construction problems really bring the outfit down.  Anya was thin and elegant beforehand, now she's looking thick and cheap with the poorly placed studs.  It's not a gift to make Anya appear unattractive.    Team A&C #6 of 7.
Oh, did you notice Andrea Katz's runway day outfit?

Please, tell me it reminded you of this, right?
Christopher, please discover & utilize your intro words, "Get It Together!," okay?  Andre Gonzalo is worried about you.  That was cruel, I'm sorry.  We are all worried about you.

What was with all the food talk during the judging?  


Did the designers making thin people look fat inspire the judges to get the munchies?   Or did they fight over who would win & lose so much that they passed their meal time?  Or, more likely, did Elena block the door to leave for lunch?

Okay, who are you loving at this point?  Will Ven be by himself in the finale?  Did anyone wow you with their portfolio & casting video, only to fail you on the show?  Yes, Elena, I'm still hoping you pull it out in the end.    Will Kooan grow from his wacky little girl aesthetic?  Will Gunnar grow up?  Will Dmitry finally wow the judges as much as he has the viewers?  Will Melissa learn that there are other colors than black?

Talk with me about Andrea Katz, won't you?  Oh, how about Cecilia Motwani and Maya Luz while we are at it.  Maybe even Keith Michaels.  Hell, maybe even Jack Mackenroth.    These are people who left PR early, for various reasons.  Jack left s4 due to a MRSA.  I am not picking on him here, I'm merely lamenting that he didn't get a chance to continue.  He seems like a hero to me, or at least a protagonist, someone who had to make a serious & wise decision quickly, without a decent amount of sleep or health like we'd all prefer to have under such circumstances.

Was Keith Michaels' disqualification justified?  Well, of course, with three breaches of the contract.  Was Tim Gunn's assertion that Keith rolled over like a puppy accurate?  Yes, but … what was the appropriate thing to do at that point?   I'm not sure, but perhaps asking for mercy after the 1st infraction was the way to go?  Maybe arguing, or at least staying and talking about what had happened would have served him in the long run?  

I understand from Internet surfing that Maya Luz was regularly and continuously told she was "too referential" to other fashion designers.  She felt that she wouldn't be able to change the judges way of thinking, should she have made it to the finale, which did seem inevitable.    Would I have done it differently?  Sure, but the thing is, it doesn't matter what I think.  I'll never be in that position.  Still, I can use the life lessons of others to better my life, or at least enlighten my pattern of thinking.  So, I'm pissed that I didn't get to see more from Maya, because of her great talent, but I think I understand her position, and with the voice of Seth Aaron Henderson ringing "F*** Off!" in my head, I can give her a pass.  I still wish her the very best, just like Jack.

Now, Cecilia and Andrea I put in another category altogether.    When life gets difficult, what do you do?  Do you whine and give up?  Do you focus more and swing harder?  I don't care how much Project Runway has fallen from its glory days, it is still a wonderful place to see talented people as they formulate ideas and create.  I assume it's also one hell of a resume builder, if one just tries to do a good job, even if one gets eliminated.  We all know from the Internet that those who are polite, respectful, and show SOME sort of skill, even if they are eliminated first, do well in the world of fashion.  Or, in other words, don't we all wish we had had some sort of similar opportunity in our careers?

So, how do I wrap this up?  Dear God, I don't want to be like Cecilia or Andrea.  No matter how difficult life becomes, no matter how alone I may be in whatever I go through, and regardless of how distasteful I find any situation, I want power, love, wisdom and self control emanating from me.  I do not want to be so fearful that it keeps me from swinging at the ball.  I want to make the most of life, not run away from it.

I keep hearing Nora Caligari's voice, "No matter what, I signed myself up for this."  Same for me, Nora, same for me.   I know I screw up a lot in life, but I'm still going to try hard, with a smile on my face, and a song in my heart.   People may not be watching me, and people may not be reading me, but I don't care.  I have this moment.

Oh, damn, now I have Whitney on the brain.  That's my cue to stop, especially while it is 1988 Whitney.



  1. Great wrap up this week!

    I didn't think Valerie looked that bad, by the way. I thought just about all the dresses made their clients look bigger than they were.

    I also agree that there's a certain value to staying the course on Project Runway, come what may. Just ask Nick Verreos, Chris March and Austin Scarlett!

  2. I thought Valerie looked terrific and elegant, and Sonjia and Nathan should have had the win.

    And Andrea's runway outfit reminded me far more of Miss Gulch in The Wizard of Oz than it did of anything else. All it lacked was the bicycle.