Project Runway: Meh, Feh, and HOLY HELL!

So, like most people who like shiny things, fisticuffs, and the crazy, I am a PR girl. Or was, then wasn’t, and maybe kind of am again. I was, like many, nauseated about the idea of having to watch it on Lifetime, even though technically speaking I have two cats and am therefore completely eligible to watch Lifetime. And last season certainly validated all my fears about the switch. But so far this season shows a bit more promise than the last. Which isn’t to say that it is at ALL near the epic levels of awesomeness that were Seasons 2 and 4, or even the less awesome Season 5.

Here are some insights and rants to the Season 7, brought to you by SFL and my fellow PR ladyfriends, guest SFL commentators Big Red and Iris Tramm.

Welcome ladies. How the hell are you? Can I pour you a HUGE glass of wine? Good – let’s talk about…

How PR has sucked since the move to Lifetime:

Iris Tramm:  Meh.  WTF is with these lame-o challenges?  Run to Central Park and stuff some fabric in your bag and then make a design that reflects your vision as a designer.  Blech.  That’s what the freakin’ finale is for.  The run up is a whole bunch of crazy crap asking them to make outfits out of car parts, foodstuffs, and recycled garbage?  This was one of my biggest beefs with the last season (right after the almost total absence of Kors/Garcia).  Every single challenge was “make a dress out of fabric”….I fear the show has peaked.  Was LA jumping the shark?

Also, and I say this as a totally heteronormative female, but Heidi Klum is the hottest pregnant woman ever.  I don’t know why she’s not making a bijillion dollars from mom-n-baby-related endorsement deals.

This Season’ contestants and challenges:

IT:  So far, I am not impressed. [Episode 2] was another uninspired, post hoc, make-a-garment-out-of-fabric, bullshit design challenge, I do recall that.  WTF was the point of standing in a field of mud if they weren’t going to, you know, have to actually USE farm stuff for their design?  Oh, and here’s some end caps from Mood with buttons, go shopping!  In the mud field!  Whee!  Now let’s all go back to Manhattan and sew!  Why not say, look, here’s a barn and some tack.  Make a party dress!  Oh, and you can only sew with horse hairs you pull yourself from that giant Tennessee Walker Stallion galloping towards us!  Now, THAT would be interesting, yes?

I did give props to the Sconnie girl for being the only one to use an actual farm product (a potato) in her design.  Unfortunately, I don’t think the girl’s gonna go far in this competition.  Her designs are not very sophisticated (a Lanvin lover, I had hopes), and they don’t show enough of her work for me to tell whether it’s well crafted if uninspired.

Big Red:  So I’m cautiously optimistic about this year’s designers.  There is some talent, although I’m not sure on what i base that because I wasn’t overly wowed by any end results, and there is definitely some crazy for entertainment purposes (hello Ping?  hello Anthony?).  Although I also must note that I disagreed with most of what the judges said.  Ping’s [first] outfit…..Seriously?  It just looked like a bunch of fabric wrapped around her model’s body.

But the [second] challenge was again a bit of a snore; if you are going to make contestants whip up an outfit from farm materials, they could have done way better than just use a potato sack.  I’m from farm country and trust me, there are lots of “organic” materials available for construction that would have been much more interesting. I did like the Sconnie girl’s outfit, and the intriguing use of the potato to create a print that disguised the potato sack. And Jesus with the skirt that wasn’t really potato sack but just ribbons covering a potato sack…..so last week I liked Jesus’s brown leather look dress; well, maybe not liked but hated less than everyone else.  It was good enough for me to want to see more from him.  This week…..not so much.  I’m ready for him to go as well.

LISTEN TO THE GUNN OR FEEL MY FURY!

SFL: The challenges are not challenging in the least. Unless one of the contestants is my dad, and then yes, telling him to make something out of fabric would indeed be challenging. Actually, I am pretty sure that whatever it was that Ping non-sewed [in the first episode] would pretty much be what dad would make. I do think that there seems to be a LOT more talent – at least I thought so until I saw the veritable yawnfest that was the parade of WAY too crotchtacular sundresses. Ummm….call me crazy, but I don’t think that “youthful” really needs to be the sole criteria for fashion. Seriously, WTF? Are they designing for Target? Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of the Target Designer Collaborations, but I am just NOT that interested in watching a season of cheap looking Rodarte knock-offs.

[As to episode 1] OH THE HORROR what was UP with that fakeskin tube of poop?!? He should have gone home for sheer failure to design, but I am glad chickie went home because her dress was an insult to dresses. Kind of was hoping Season 7 Cryer would go home. You know who I mean. The one that cried her way through the whole show. NO CRYING AT ALL EVER ON PR OR I WILL HATE YOU AND ALL YOU STAND FOR. She has now inherited the mesh hat of shame and I will forever refer to her as Mesh Hat #3. Also? The dude with the Gwen Stefani red zipper dress? What the hell is up with his carefully crafted “Dirty Bartender” look? Ewww…. looks like the kind of guy that takes a 16 year old to her prom when he is 26.

[As to Episode 2] I *really* could have gone the entire run of PR — from its quirk-tastic crazy beginning through the sluggish decline into mediocrity and Lifetime all the way to the inevitable end where Bachelor rejects are brought on as “celebrity” contestants and the “challenges” all involve ill-matched product placement and poledancing — without seeing 100% of a model’s ass as it awkwardly horsestomps down the runway.

Ping, generally, and her HOLY HELL MODEL ASS thing, specifically:

SFL: Ping is clearly Pingtastic. And full of what we observers would have characterized as ‘agonizing whimsy’ in another season.  During the first ep, I looked at her “creation” and thought, kind of neat, but I bet she can’t sew for shit. So, yeah, she did well on artfully draping some fabric. But this is a *DESIGN* contest. We aren’t looking for the next budding display associate for Hobby Lobby.  And it turns out, I was right.  Second ep Ping made a contractor’s belt/apron and matching roadside public service vest out of a potato sack. And by “made,” I do NOT mean “sewed” because while Ping the Faux-Arty Fairy of Layering and Nachos did many unspeakable thing to the sacks, ‘sewing’ is not one of them. I could see keeping PTFAFOLAN around for entertainment value IF she had a grasp of basic necessary skills. Like, say, sewing and covering your model’s special places. But nay. I was and remain horrified.

IT:  I didn’t like Ping’s [first] outfit either, but it was the most interesting thing out there, which isn’t saying much.  Everything else looked like something I swear I stocked when I worked the Junior Misses department at JC Penny’s in the late 80s.I do adore Ping — as a contestant.  She really shoulda been auf’d for the bareass model, though.  In fact, I think there should be an AUTOMATIC auf’ing for something like that, regardless of the aesthetics of the rest of the design.  And she was warned!  Tim made a (rather hilarious) point about the height of the runway and the angle of perspective of the judges.  (BTW, does it seem to either of you like Tim’s phoning it in these days?).

BR:  First of all, any contestant who ignores the advice of the most awesomest Tim Gunn should be auf’d based on that kind of stupidity alone (Ahem…Ping…Jesus are you listening?).  However, based on design (or lack thereof) alone, Ping should have been auf’d.  Anyone who intentionally or unintentionally sends her model down the runway with her ass hanging out, particularly after having been told “your model’s ass crack and lady bits will be more exposed than they should be”, should just be automatically disqualified.  But pursuant to Santino theory, crazy people with bad designs can stay, so long as they continue to bring the crazy/ratings.

Add to that injustice is that Ping really doesn’t know what she is doing.  I hated last week’s design, it was just fabric draped all over the contestant, but OK, whatever.  This week it looked like she glue-gunned all the potato sacks together.  She clearly doesn’t have the technical skills necessary to be a contestant; if I were a rejected wannabe contestant, I’d be furious.  As for the losing outfit, it looked ridiculously dated; I did admire how she was able to transform the fabric to actually look like denim, but then to make an ugly denim dress?  Come on.  Hello, 1990s?  But still better than Ping’s disaster.

XX

Tim Gunn is Perfection.



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4 Comments

  1. Iris said,

    January 28, 2010 at 7:04 am

    We really should do this as a live blog with non-hypothetical wine. After next week, I will be housesitting and able to watch in real time. Yay! Cable! And live taped Tim Gunn! (But also, and mostly? Yay, no more brothels! Or roosters! I can’t wait to live in a building with windows again.)

  2. January 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I am very disappointed in the show now. 😦 Leaving Bravo took all the chutzpah right out of it.

  3. January 29, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Dang I swear you are my altar ego. We have to meet someday.

    I’m a huge Project Runway fan but I hate it being on Lifetime. Too many commercials, for one thing. Also, I would watch episodes three and four times, since they are endlessly repeated on Bravo. Can’t do that on Lifetime.

    That said, this week I had a big sad when Ping was eliminated. Yest she sent a model down the runway to moon America but she also had a really fresh vision that I don’t see too often on this show. Oh well.

  4. Dusty said,

    February 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I am a Bravo watcher(the real housewives horseshit, all of them) and recently a TLC watcher of “What Not to Wear”. I consider myself a nitwit for even watching both of those channels..but I can not stop!

    Is there a 12 step program for someone like me? 😉


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