Friday, January 18, 2008

Project Runway: En Garde

This episode opens with Rami playing the part of producer, starting awkward conversation with Christian while he beats his hair into submission with a flat iron. He asks, what do you think of Joey Faketone leaving?

To which Christian pricelessly replies, I don't care.


On to the challenge!

Heidi brings out models who have these horrific hairstyles which must inspire an avant-garde piece for the runway. They all chose and two more forgettable faces are sent packing.

Back in the workroom, Tim explains that they will be in teams of two, with one leader, and $300 dollars to spend on fabric. The teams are chosen "randomly" from the velvet bag of horror, and break down thusly:

Team Ferociousness: Christian and Chris

Team Police State: Rami and Sweet P

Team Whiny Pants: Victorya and Jillian

Team Send in the Clowns: Kit Pistol and Ricky

Christian and Chris get to work on a gown made of layered circles of rough edged fabric inspired by their model's enormous cinnabon hairstyle. Rami gets started on a Rami dress with draping and also begins to simultaneously ignore and abuse Sweet P.

Victorya and Jillian spend most of their time figuring out who will be the leader, ultimately flipping something to make the decision, which leads to this conversation:

V: Ok, so, I'm the leader. Are you comfortable with that?

J: Yeah, I'm ok with that. I mean, I guess I'm not ok with it, but I'm comfortable with it.


Despite "leader" issues, they sketch out a Mad-Max-meets-Vivianne-Westwood design of dramatic trench coat and pants.

Kit and Ricky (guess who the leader is there? the one who can brush her teeth without crying?) work on a design based on "nesting" since the hair is like a bird's nest. I want to say up front that I thought this could be interesting. Obviously, I was wrong.

They all begin to work and it becomes very clear that this is a doozy of a challenge. Things are being cut, thread is flying, Christian is mugging for the camera, Ricky is on the verge of tears. But, then Tim shows up and delivers the cortisol elevating news that they must design a ready to wear piece to go along with the avant garde-ish ensemble. The designers all look like are about to yak all over Tim.

Except for Ricky, who just spills out the tears that were at the ready.

They get to buy more fabric and strategize about the new look. This leads to multiple scenes involving Sweet P suggesting things and Rami shooting her down. One priceless comment is that he proclaims that navy is too evening for a ready to wear dress. Ummm, ok. Sooo, navy is not appropriate for daytime? Like satin slip dresses and french twists? Only after the coup which leads to a regime where all clothes must be flowy and grecian.

Furious sewing and stitching ensues on both garments, except for Team Whiny Pants where they only work on the avant garde piece and ignore the need for a second dress.

As Tim rolls around, it is becoming clear that Kit's design is shaping up to be more Little House on the Prairie than Dior Haute Couture. I die a little bit inside, since this pretty much ensures that Ricky will cry on the runway.

We also get to see Rami scream at Sweet P, question her ability to handle the simplest of tasks, micromanage, and generally be a dick in the name of his avant garde dress which looks remarkably like all the other dresses he made. This leads her to cry into the nonexistent bosom of a model. I've been there Sweet P, bosses can suck.

After one scene that looks like a model being born through Team FierceFierce's dress and another where Victorya and Jillian somehow have a dress that didn't appear to be sown by human hands, it's onto the runway!

Team Fierce is clearly the winner here with their absolutely stunning champagne layered dress. I could rave about this thing all day. It was elegant, interesting and unwearable, but inspiring for a ready to wear section. (I didn't happen to love the RTW piece, but let's face it, only Sweet P came up with something decent for that.) The thing about this piece that made it so special was that it didn't look amateur. It looked like something Galliano would send down a real runway.

Team Whiny Pants gets high praise for their exceedingly awesome trench in which their model thoroughly worked down the runway. I thought the pants looked a little more SS than Hampton's Polo Club, but whatevs, maybe that contributed to the look. I thought their RTW piece stunk. It was so very Express. And I wanted to scream at the judges, they don't deserve to win! They made that at the last second! But overall, I think the avant garde piece earned its accolades.

Team Rami got the comeuppance it so deserved. The judges laid into Rami for sending them the same crap on a different day. They assaulted him for the superfluous pants. And they said he was being mean to Sweet P. (Hey...what the hell happened to Mean P? I was promised an evil alter-ego, dammit!) They did, however, like Sweet P's flowy minidress.

And then there were two. Poor Kit Pistol was standing next to Ricky the spineless wonder to defend her hoop skirted dress and calico shift.

I have one important thing to bring up. The judges went on and on about how it felt old fashioned, and they wanted to be taken into the future with this challenge. I'm not disputing that Kit's dress looked a little 19th century in a literal way, but I do think that historical references can be avant garde. Remember all that Marie Antoinette mania? Remember how an entire issue of Vogue was dedicated to looking like an antebellum France on crack? I think, when done properly at the right time, use of an anachronistic look can be very avant garde. Unfortunately, it fell flat here.

Which left Kit holding the bag. Clearly Ricky wasn't getting tossed here because he simply had no input and Kit didn't throw him under the bus. Well, Kit took the boot gracefully. We'll miss you and your bleached hair! Give our love to Orange County!

Comme toujours...Blogging Project Runway, c'est magnifique!


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