Friday, January 15, 2010

Meant to Be

The economy may still be stuttering, wars still raging and Haiti in a horrible mess (you're sending money to the Red Cross, right?) but last night, for an hour, all was right with the world again. Project Runway was back. And it was back in all the right ways: shooting again in NY, Nina and Kors back on the judges panel and Heidi Klum is cooking up yet another Seal Pup. It just felt right.

On the down side, it was the first episode, which is stuffed full of 412 contestants and little time to get a handle on any of 'em. But we'll make a cursory attempt.

Some of the folks who stood out, for good or for ill:

Seth Aaron, who looks a little like Bryan Ferry, sports hair that belongs in an '80s band and claims to be about "retro" looks.

Janene, heretofore to be referred to as Portland (where she's from and place of my birth), who spent 3/4 of the show moving herself to tears every damn time she spoke.

Ping, a physical therapist by day, who is all about how clothes move (since she knows how the body works) and who drapes herself instead of dress forms. She's a freak.

Anthony, who informed us that it is hell to be "black and gay in the ghetto". To which I reply, "Then perhaps you should lose the apricot tux shirt". His dream is to do pagent dresses. We all know what that means.

Pamela, who might be the sneaky bitch of the season. Or not.

Jonathan, who is exploring "where gritty meets pretty".

Jesse, whose day job is pretending to be Jack Sparrow at a theme park.

Mina and Maya, who are interchangable in looks and aesthetic.

Jesus, who is into evening wear and coutoure.

Emilo, who speaks Spanish and wants to do "real clothes".

We have champagne on the roof and next day the designers meet Tim in Central Park. The spot is littered with bolts of fabric and they all have a mere 3 minutes to grab what they want in order to create a look that "embodies who you are as a designer". Then The Gunn gives them 5 minutes to edit and select but a few of their fabric selections to take to the work room. These they must also unfurl and stuff into their Mood bags. This confounds Ping.

In the work room they all get a little tablet computer thingy to sketch upon and have until midnight to work. The models have been preselected for them and the winner will get immunity.
People sew.

The Gunn has a walk about. Ping is a freak. Portland weeps. Anthony annoys with his cliche "personality". Jesus is making something out of reptile and chiffon and The Gunn suggests it would work better as a short dress. But Jesus wants it to be a gown and smugly holds his own. Rainey applauds self-confidence. But The Gunn is always right and should be heeded. This is one of the immutable truths of the universe. Just sayin'. Emilio has constructed a nice bodice for a dress but The Gunn is worried that it is attached to nothing and notes that no one, in any prior season, has failed to send something down the runway. This week's Gunnism: "Recalibrate your ambitions to accommodate the time frame".

Panic. Sewing. Portland weeping again.

The day of the runway show arrives and thankfully, everyone has finished, everyone has thoughtfully used the Bluefly accessory wall and Portland has found her meds and is miraculously calm, cool and collected.

Nicole Ritchie (eeww) is the guest judge.

I tell The Neighbor that I can't possibly comment on the runway show as there are just too many designers. Then Pamela sends down a pink kite that she thinks is youthful and I throw up a little in my mouth. And when Emilio's dress comes down we chime in unison, "That is pretty cute!" We were mixed on Ping's look. The Neighbor claimed she'd wear it. "You would NOT!" I rebut. "I think I would," she asserts. "Not even," I say. The Neighbor still looks convinced and I try to imagine any scenario in which I've ever seen her where she might wear such a thing and then I think, "Oh, of course, to Gay Bingo. When the theme has something to do with blankets".

The Judging
Seth Aaron has done a plaid, zippered dress that reminds my friend, DC Karen, of the yellow plaid dress Jeffrey did a few seasons back. The judges think it is "fun" and Nicole Ritchie "appreciated the back". MAB says it is something I would totally wear.

Anthony has made a dress with an appendage on the side, which Kors notes would be good for stealing champagne bottles from a party.

Ping's design was declared "a show in itself".

Kors says Jesus' gown looks like a crocodile trunk exploded and the judges agree it might have been more successful as a short dress. Jesus concedes he had considered that and Heidi shouts, "AH HA!" (The Neighbor asks, "Do you think he will go home for the crocodile dress?" I reply that anyone who disregards The Gunn deserves punishment).

Emilio gets kudos for a dress that is "deceptively simple". (Also, it is adorable and the color is fantastic).

Bottom 3/Top 3
In the bottom:

Christiane, who the judges said had "no theme, no vibe". Perhaps because her dress looked like a refugee from the Easter collection in the 1972 Sears catalog.

Ghetto Anthony, whose work they just didn't love.

Jesus because even though Kors noted a "sense of the unexpected in his design" they were not thrilled with the croc gown.

Top attention getters:

Seth Aaron, whose design made Heidi "want to know more" and who Nina praised for creating a "head to toe" look.

Ping, for crafting something "unusual" which "transported" Kors.

Emilio, for a sexy, girly dress that employed a "smart" use of fabric and impeccable technique.

We vote. The Neighb picks Jesus for the auf and Seth Aaron to win. I choose Christiane to lose and Emilio to take the crown.

I was right. On both counts. Yay me.

There were some other tidbits of note. The phrase "hanger appeal" has been introduced and I'm telling you right now that if it becomes a watch word Mama is going to whack someone. "Hanger appeal"? I have known plenty of clothes that look sensational on the rack and suck once donned. Let's not embrace this criteria, people. Please. And also, Anthony did this big dramatic gasp-and-become-rigid-with-relief nonsense when Heidi told him he was safe. It was so over the top that Heidi even said something along the lines of "Get out of here before I change my mind". Some people do confusing being a personality with having a personality. Too much of his showboating is going to leave me in need of some of Portland's meds.



Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha

Ho, Ho, Ho. Thanks again.

You should be a judge.



January 15, 2010 1:34 PM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

tim gunn was on gma.....i just love to hear him talk.

January 15, 2010 5:24 PM  
Blogger Anne opined...

Who's this DC chick?

January 15, 2010 8:30 PM  
Blogger Cliff O'Neill opined...

Yeah, I think I can't stand Anthony already.

And, for some reason I don't understand, I actually liked Ping's outfit. I must not be well.


January 16, 2010 3:46 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Anonyba, Nina would eat me for lunch.

Rosie, I want a Tim Gunn ring tone.

Anne, good buddy who has brilliant fashion insight.

Cliffie, I think I might be the only one who DIDN'T like Ping's outfit. So you just go on with your bad self.

January 17, 2010 9:16 AM  
Blogger jp opined...

I was impressed with Nicole. Ditching Paris was a good move for her.

And while annoying, Anthony did make me snort once when they were all announcing their weight and he said "I'm thirsty."

I have nothing to say about the dresses. I just don't understand this stupid show.

January 19, 2010 9:12 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Hey, way to not watch it, JP!

January 19, 2010 6:25 PM  

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