Thursday, March 06, 2008

Project Runway: The Grand Finale

As we join our designers, 3 days before the runway show, every ounce of fierce had drained from Christian's little tiny frame. He was nervous, scared and just waiting for Friday to come. Rami's response to that: smug.
The Gunn came in for a final look-over. He told Jillian that parts of her collection seemed "incongruous" and he encouraged her to play with the designs and "have fun". He was generally pleased with Rami's collection. His notes for Christian were that he had "so much exuberance" (don't we lurve when The Gunn says 'exuberant' or any of its variations? Yes, yes we do) but mused that it might be "over designed". Christian just sorta stood there looking a little hang-dog and pensive and Tim asked "What happened to the cocky, confident Christian?" What indeed? Although he did do a cute little catwalk in a crazy hat. Adorable.

Rami's role in this episode was that of older, more smug wiser fashion guru. He played big brother to Jillian, talking her down off the ledge and encouraging her to focus on the positive when she started second-guessing her choices during the model casting. (It was her first one and she just responded viscerally to the women..."she's cute," "like her walk", etc. whereas both the guys were more focused on a uniformity, if you will, of look and matching models to their vision). When it came to Christian, however, he was singularly pompous and bitchy; delighting in Christian's apparent insecurities, opining that his looks were "over the top" and that he "has a lot to learn". Yes, yes. Pat the little poppet on the head and stick a pin in him, why don't you?

Some of Christian's models complained that their shoes were hard to walk in. He informed them that he'd walked around his apartment in them for a week and if he could do it, they could do it.

The Gunn came back on the last day and called for a "final gather 'round". He told them how proud he was of them all, how immensely talented they all are, how in all the seasons of PR to date he's never seen such a tremendous group, etc. etc. etc. He got all varklempt and told them how much he loved them and then they had a group hug. Oh, Tim Gunn, into my pocket you's a little bit of cake for you. ♥, ♥, big, puffy ♥ him.

The designers went off to the tent where they would be showing, marvelling at the capacity (2000) and kvelling at what lay before them. There was another group hug. Must say, for all the complaining they did do about each other, there seemed to be more genuine affection overall with this bunch than any season prior. Lovely.

Day of the Show
Christian is frantic because some of his models are late and that wasn't a good thing for him given that he was already on the edge. Poor baby. He wanted this win so badly the desire and hope were just bristling off of him. Rami went on and on (again) about how this had been his dream since he was 5, how he relished having a larger audience for his work, blah blah blah. And Jillian, having come to terms with the diverse looks of her models, was just all dimpled and overwhelmed. She was really proud of herself when she had a backstage "gosh, I really did this!" moment.

Guest judge was The Posh One, Victoria Beckham. Btw, I saw about 2 minutes of the reality show she and David did (which aired for all of, I think 4 minutes) and she is way, way funnier than I would ever have thought. I admit it, I like her. But my like is nothing to the pash Christian has for her and he was all a twitter and going on about how he would love to dress her every day of every year for the rest of his life, amen. You thought he tinkled all over Sarah Jessica? Nothing compared to his love of the Posh.

Girlfriend showed first, coming out and doing a cute little curtsy in a great dress. She noted that she was "astounded" at what she did. Oh, goodie, thought me. I was so eager to see what she did, given my general fondness for her and her consistency throughout the competition.

Everything she showed was fine. But there were no "wow"s. "That's nice," "I'd wear that skirt", "That's a pretty color" but no "Golly Moses is that superfantastic or what!??!" There were, in fact, a couple of "mehs". Jillian could have walked all her designs from all the competitions and we'd have seen more consistency and a stronger POV. Nope, she wasn't going to win.

Dude swanned onto the stage and told us that he was showing a collection he "strongly believed in" that "celebrated women". Whatev.

The professional reviewer (tee hee) in me was willing myself to be objective. The real me was praying he sucked. Of course, he didn't. He avoided overt homages to drapery and had some pieces that were meticulously crafted. He certainly had more stuff I liked than Jillian but still, neither The Neighbor or I were saying "wow" very much. If part of Jillian's problem was a lack of cohesion, Rami's collection was cohesive to the point of being same-y same. He had a weird elongated cap sleeve thing on some of the garments that really put me off and the evening gowns, though lovely, seemed really hard to walk in. The choppy walks of the evening gown models didn't help the overall presentation.


Christian was a poppet. He got on top of his nerves, being cute and sassy during his introduction. The collection was, in a word, stunning. His weakest piece had more oomph than anything in Jillian's line. The Gunn had been most concerned about a big ruffled blouse with a collar that billowed up past the model's cheekbones. It did initially looked weird coming down the runway, especially paired as it was with a face obscuring giant hat but when the model got to the end of the runway she popped back her head and the effect was incredible. In short, his collection was strong, dramatic and full of wows. And yeah, his last gown was a little over-the-top but hello? This was a runway show. Christian had amply displayed his ability to make accessible clothes. Aren't we supposed to expect some drama at Fashion Week? Yes, darlings, we are.

The Judging
Jillian's inspiration, still, was the "Master of the Argonauts" painting she'd seen at the Metropolitan. Posh said that her attention to detail was "fantastic". Kors deemed the collection "feminine and modern". Heidi noted the "new shapes I'd never seen before" and Nina acknowledged that Jillian had taken a chance. They were all pleased and surprised to see that she had incorporated some knitwear into her collection. But Nina spoke for all of us when she opined that there were "too many looks and somewhere we lost Jillian".

Christian said he was going for a juxtaposition of "hard and soft" in his collection. Posh was gaga, having "loved everything". Kors was pleased with most of it but found his use of black to be too repetitive. Nina said she was worried that he had too heavy a hand but Posh soothed that wrinkle by saying he'd made her smile and that wasn't easy to do. (True that).

Joan of Arc was Rami's inspiration (again I say, whatever). Heidi and Kors swooned over the woven effect he used, though Kors suggested that some of his colors were a bit "Brady Bunch". Posh appreciated his level of workmanship and Nina worshipped his "strong point of view", deeming the collection "fantastic". She appreciated that he had tried to show more separates but said "evening is where you shine". (Nina loves Rami. Nina loves Rami).

One last judges conference. Despite being pleased with the inclusion of knits, Kors found Jillian's collection merely "acceptable, wearable". Consensus on Christian was that he delivered consistently and was very stylish. Posh cooed that he was a breath of fresh air and she'd wear everything he showed. "Yeah, but not everyone can wear what you can wear, Victoria", countered Kors. (Again, true. She's a stick). Nina felt Christian's show was overly designed and had too much black and too many ruffles. The judges noted that Rami has a very "cerebral" approach to fashion, fine attention to detail but were very "eeeewww" about his colors.

Out come our designers and the summary judgements:

Jillian:"youthful, beautiful, feminine".
Rami: "stunning, exquisitly crafted".
Christian: "drama and creativity beyond your years".

And then, with little fanfare, Jillian was auf'ed. She said she felt disappointed and let down. Yep, that summed it up for me, too, Jillian.

Then, oh then, tension filled the room and hogged the Prosecco. Christian started to cry. Oh my yord! I almost did, too, and when Heidi turned to him with a soft, "Christian..." he got even more trembly. But her sentence ended with "congratulations, you're the winner of 'Project Runway'". And Baby Boy, who wanted it soooooo bad, got it. Whoo hoo! Cheering from the peanut gallery, clinking of Prosecco filled glasses.

As if all the money, prizes and accolades weren't enough, Posh told him in front of God and everybody that she wanted him to make clothes for her. Sweet! His model came out and gave him a "you are so talented, I'm so proud" speech then started crying and I started crying and there was much hugging and jubilation. The Gunn came out to hug him and said, "Do you believe it?"

"Yeah," Christian said, with a little shoulder shrug. Oh yeah. The fierce came flooding back and he was his old self again. "But," he told us in the end, "I'm taking a vacay - a breaky break". A well deserved one, indeed.

Congratulations, Christian. You showed us what you can do, revealed that there's a pretty tender guy under all that crazy ego and hair and in the end, you won our hearts. You get on with your fierce self. You earned it. (snaps fingers in that way the hip biatches do).

A fine end to a fun enough season. And the good news, casting is getting underway for Season 5.

I would like to send a special shout out to the fine folks over at Blogging Project Runway. They are kind and generous and have been very sweet about my recaps. Thank you Tbone, The Scarlett and Laura K for blogging the love of PR and for letting me play. You're fierce.



Blogger Eric opined...

I just want everyone to understand how lucky you are to even get this recap today.
Seems Lorraine discovered the digital crack that is Guitar Hero last night.
She called me this morning at my office literally at 7:30 AM to brag that she Aced Foghat's Slow Ride. and had top score.
RAWK On Babe

March 06, 2008 11:00 AM  
Blogger Eric opined...

I must add that that was after she woke up early to play. she is so competitive.

It used to be about the music Man!

March 06, 2008 11:01 AM  
Blogger Doralong opined...

You have to give credit where credit is due. The child gets on my last raw nerve- but it was lovely, and it was a runway show in the true sense of the word. Not ready to wear folks, this is supposed to be Couture- which does not necessarily translate into every day wearable. And yes, I can see Posh in most of what he showed.I see a patroness on that boy's horizon.

Jillian- sorry the entire thing, while well done, was pretty much *Meh*.. And I have to say the whole weaving thing Rami did with those bodices? Personally I thought it was stunning.

So, the kid's got game, and talent- let's see if he can do something with it. But looking at that quivering little mass 'o Jack Russell spastic nervous energy designer losing his grip and then coming back to his "Fierce" persona- he may well get somewhere indeed.

Carry on..

(Yes Cuz, I too want Tim to come over for cocktails and help me clean out my closet)

March 06, 2008 11:24 AM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

That was a lovely re-cap! I was really bugged about Drapery dude claiming he had this dream since he was time he said 6...really who the heck has dreams like that so young? I wanted to barf. And what is up with orange face even bringing up too much black? Okay I am done. Waiting for next season...
Oh and how long exactly did it take you to ace Slow Ride?

March 06, 2008 11:26 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

Wonderful recap. And I am so freaking jealous you can handle Slow Ride. I'm barely adequate on Hit me with your Best Shot. And, oh yeah, I majored in music in college. Pfft.

Fab recaps this season, really.

March 06, 2008 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no w)

Uuuuhhhhh, so where were the pictures of the sexy models and such?

Oh well, high expectations are so often let down. lol

So what is your book going to be about? Music, fashion, cooking are perhaps a collection of all 3 in a humorous yet informed manner?



March 06, 2008 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Now you're playing Sims 2 AND Guitar Hero?

Here's the 90's is hiring.

March 06, 2008 2:01 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Honey, what happens in the family room stays in the family room. Didn't you get the memo.

(beams with pride)

Cuz, right? He irritated me so much throughout the season but by the end I was lovin' him. I think he's going places.

Sageweb, thank you (drops Jillian-like curtsey). And I thought the same thing. Good gawd, when I was 5 I had a dream. I wanted to be a firetruck. He takes himself waaaaaaaaaaay too seriously.

About 5 times, btw, but I still haven't aced it. I'm only about 90% on the easy level.

KA, I put up some numbers on "Hit Me with You Best Shot", too, and "Schools Out". But I'm not going to be happy until I can nail "Barracuda".

And thank you. (drops another Jillian-like curtsy, feels woozy)

Anonyba, about that. I downloaded a mess of shots but each designer had 12 looks and I couldn't decide if I wanted to a subjective best/worst for each or what. So I just didn't bother. (totters from pedestal)

JP, no, no, it'll be fine. I can bring Guitar Hero into the coffee shop and play "Smelly Cat" and stuff. Don't worry.

March 06, 2008 3:29 PM  
Blogger hello, my name is danny. opined...

nicely done as usual, lorraine.

poor jillian may not have won but you know she'll have someone givingher some financial backing to start a collection. her stuff was so pret-a-porter, like women would wear her stuff right this very second.

and then there's rami...we are going to see his stuff all over the red carpets during the award shows this year.

of course, mz. ferocia coutura needs to make a men's line because i could so rock his stuff.

March 06, 2008 5:04 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Thank you, Danny, (curtsies one more time, Jillian-like, and falls flat on face).

Of course you are right, being in the top three (and sometimes even less high than that) gets players a ton of recognition. I would TOTALLY wear Jillian's clothes.

And when, in future, stars on the red carpet are asked who they are wearing and they say Rami Kashou, I'll roll my eyes and say "Bless you".

March 06, 2008 6:14 PM  
Blogger Grish opined...

I hear that Guitar Hero is pretty awesome. My son has been wanting it but I've been jonesing for a Wii, turns out we both are a bit dissapointed....heheh

March 06, 2008 10:23 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Ah, but Grish, we got a Wii for Christmas and the version of GH we got is for the Wii. Everybody wins.

March 06, 2008 11:11 PM  
Blogger Dant opined...

No problems with strictly black and beige palate used by our boy? That kinda bugged me.
At least 2 of Rami's items looked duplicated by the next one to appear on the runway, including the opening blue dresses. Also I thought he had too many evening gowns. Seems like in designer terms, a pretty evening gown is easier than an innovative casual wear outfit
Guess the right person one. In contrast to the weekly challenges, I get confused about the goals of a runway show. Are they designing works of art? Or clothes the "real people" would wear? So I had a much tougher time judging than on the weekly challenges.

March 07, 2008 1:55 PM  
Blogger Grish opined...

Ah, didn't realize Wii had Guitar Hero. I am so out of sync with that stuff right now. lol

I've been hunting for GH since before Christmas no stores around can get em on da shelves

March 07, 2008 9:18 PM  
Blogger Grish opined...

Been hunting for 'Wii' as it were

March 07, 2008 9:19 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

No, Dant...I loved Christian's palatte. The caramel color with the black was stunning and it was a way to pull things together without being boring.

I certainly would agree that the judges appear to have no clear criteria, for the competitions or the final runway. "Overly designed", said Nina. Really? I'm still trying to figure out how clothes that were clearly "fashionable" were somehow "too designed" for a runway show. During fashion week. Nina's a bitch. I hate her.

Girsh, ya gotta get a Wii.

March 09, 2008 8:25 PM  

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