Saturday, October 6, 2012

PRs10e12 • In A Place Far, Far Away •  4 October 2012

Last week on Project Runway the remaining six designers supplied cheap labor for Heidi Klum's Truly Scrumptious toddler clothing line.  Both Sonjia and Christopher won (Sonjia's is available 'as is' while a modified version of Christopher's is available for purchase) and Elena was given the boot.  Melissa was in the bottom, but was kept in.  The fans (vocal on the internet) thought Fabio should have won.

Okay, gentle readers, it's episode 12.  Every other season this has been the make a pretty dress for the red carpet, being sure to show your own point of view, or, make your own pretty dress, being inspired by ... and they show you a bunch of ... something .... to be inspired by, usually something pretty.  Season 7 the challenge was to not be costume-y, but they brought them to the circus.  Oh, hell, let's just run through EVERY year and see what was what.

1 • Grammy Awards for Nancy O'Dell
2 • Red Carpet (after they had started they were told it was for Iman)
3 • Elle First Look
4 • MMA
5 • NY Botanical Garden
6 • J. Paul Getty Museum
7 • Ringling Bros. Circus
8 • NYC sights
9 • Governor's Island

Season One was much too specific to factor in, it was for one particular person, for a specific event.  Most seasons, what it boiled down to was — make a pretty red carpet dress, while showing your point of view as a designer.  In other words, do whatever the hell you want.  Usually, the designers choked, like an indoor cat suddenly escaping outside, only to be freaked out by the unnaturally high sky.

Season two had a mean trick, in that part way through they were told it was for Iman.  If they had been told up front it was for Iman, don't you think the designs would have been VERY different?  Season seven had an interesting twist:  Be inspired by something costume-y without BEING costume-y.  Neat trick, eh?  Yeah, only Emilio Thotha managed that one.

So, good on Heidi & Friends for doing something other than merely "make a pretty dress."  This week the five remaining designers are brought to the Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY where they meet Billy B, L'Oreal Consulting Make Up Artist.  They are tasked to create an avant garde look directly inspired by the L'Oreal Electric Fantasie Make Up Line.  They shop at Mood with $400 and

Wait a minute. 
 We'll wait.  No one is being eliminated while we wait.

1.  How did I grow up 40 minutes East of the Oheka Castle and never hear of it?  It looks like you take the LIE and head West and you're practically there.  Damn, I led a sheltered life.  I guess if Dan Ingram wasn't spinning it on 77 AM WABC, or if it wasn't on the beach, I couldn't be bothered, huh?
2.  Where's Collier Strong?  I miss you, CS.
3.  Is Billy B. no longer with RuPaul?  (Just a few more weeks till RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars, woo-hoo!)
4.  Okay, I'm glad they didn't drag the remaining designers over to Old Bethpage.   That's all we need, Avant Garde inspired by Puritans.  Heh.
5.  In regards to the above pic, do you want to trust your make up to a guy who can't roll his sleeves up evenly, or even make a decent tight knot for his tie?
6.  Why is Tim digging deeply into the bag?  Can't he just lift the bag up?  Geez, and I thought Tim was perfect.

So, they are ASSIGNED as follows, thanks to the Velvet Bag O' Doom:

Enchanted Queen • Fabio
Seductive Temptress • Sonjia
Wise Mystic • Dmitry
Artsy Muse • Melissa

Well, except for Christopher, since he's getting preferential treatment.  He gets to choose.  He picks the Enchanted Queen.   Hmmm ... in essence, they are five people competing for 3 spots (theoretically.)  Fabio *seems* to be some sort of avant garde expert, or at least has a bent towards it.  Do you really want to choose HIS category and risk looking bad in comparison?  Wouldn't it be better to go up against someone who only does ready to wear?  Okay, I know Christoper is the chosen pet, and cannot be auf'd, but, still, what was he thinking?

Both Melissa and Fabio interview that they are thrilled to be able to have an avant garde challenge.  Last week Fabio was thrilled to have a baby doll to hold, rock, feed and change.   I bet Fabio would be thrilled to watch a 100 piece Ven collection of tortured roses.  I bet Fabio would be glad to greet Wendy Pepper, Santino Rice, Jeffrey Sabelia, Kenley Collins, Irina Shabayeva, Ivy Higa, Gretchen Jones and Joshua McKinley with a smile, a hug and a kiss.  No, I have a better one.  He'd be happy to welcome Hannibal Lechter with a hug and a kiss.    Hmmm, maybe I was on the right track with Ivy Higa. 

I like that this is a bit of a mind-### in that this is NOT a 'make a pretty dress that shows your point of view" challenge, per se.  This is more like season seven where they are thrown a curve ball.  Nice.  Good job.  Make the designers think.  Thank you. 

How do they do?  Let's take a gander.

Melissa Fleis

Fabio Costa

Dmitry Sholokhov

Sonjia Williams

Christopher Palu

Yeah, I know what you're thinking.
Michael Costello.
Project Runway All-Stars.
Opera Challenge.
However, these judges weren't there,
and they don't have time to watch All-Stars.
So, they don't care if it looks like that.
Not one bit. 

First off, I have to say I am impressed that the designers did NOT implode.  Often, they all flounder on this challenge.  They did not all do stellar, 100 percent awesome work, but, by and large, they at least got sorta kinda close to avant garde in SOME manner, considering they were (mostly) assigned their inspiration.

In general, the critiques were mixed, not all good or bad.  Think back to prior seasons.  Think of Althea doing terribly, but she's in, or Gordana hitting it out of the park, but she's out.  Didn't that make you mad?  Or, think about Austin creating a MARVELOUS outfit that did NOT fit the challenge.  So, he earned his elimination, despite doing great, albeit irrelevant work.

This time around, each designer honored the challenge, and most had decent construction.  The one who left had the worst construction and fit issues.  So, Christopher is released to create for Fashion Week first.  Did he win?  No.  Do they care?   No.  He is the chosen one.  

Oh, Dmitry won, he's going to create for Fashion Week.

Melissa is in, and then it's down to Fabio and Sonjia.  Fabio had a cool reversible jacket and a goofy, messy dress.   Sonjia had a great idea, that was poorly constructed.  Fabio wins over Sonjia and is kept in.

So, we have four at the moment, and Sonjia is tearfully released to the winds.  Words have been guarded, so we know that the remaining four are still fighting for three slots.  Of course.  We haven't had a regular finale where 3 people are competing since season six, and that was only because of legal battles.  C'mon, judges, do your job!  We'll watch if you only send three to create and compete.  Honest.  I promise.

I still commend Heidi & Friends for coming through with a final 'regular' challenge that didn't completely fail.   Let's see if the chosen one can pull through and win season 10.  Can Christopher lose season 10?  Could Anya lose season 9?  Could Mondo lose All-Stars?



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