If you want to continue to watch the rest of this dismal season that is Project Runway, I have but one suggestion for you: don’t watch any of the previous seasons when they play them in marathons on Bravo. You’ll thank me for that tip later.
I made that mistake last week while I was sick, and all it did was remind me of how great this show used to be and how soul-suckingly awful most of this season has been. And it wasn’t even the Christian/Rami/Jillian/Chris March season that I watched; if it had been, I might not have even been able to force myself to continue to recap the lifeless zombie corpse of Project Runway that we have now come to know.
But we trundle on, as we have for the preceding 11 or so weeks, and we’re soon to be awarded for our diligence – this thing is almost over! Thursday night marked the last challenge of the season before our final three go to Fashion Week, which means that we’re two eliminated designers closer to seeing a new season that hopefully won’t be as badly planned or cast as this one was. But for now, we’ve got to get to the messy business of dispatching two more lost designer souls.
And surprise, surprise: we actually got a challenge that I LIKED. It reminded me of old school Project Runway, where they were taken to the MoMA and the New York Botanical Gardens and whatnot and they had to find their own inspiration and interpret it. They weren’t just handed inspiration on a silver platter, like most of the preceding episodes, and they actually had to use their designer Spidey Sense to pick something. And if there was ever a place to be visually inspired, it’s definitely The Getty Center.
Which is not to say that our designers did well – a couple of them did ok, but largely, no. Which perhaps is not a surprise at this point, but I was still sort of hoping that when they were given a bit of extra time and latitude to create something that really represented them, a few would shine. I should have learned by now that there is no reason to hold out hope for this season, because it will just disappoint me.
Nevertheless, they all took their little pictures and made their little dresses, and we had a little runway show. At this point, I have to question why they chose to eliminate two designers at once this late in the game instead of earlier. If it has to do with the number of episodes vs. the number of designers, why not eliminate two designers in one of the early weeks, when there are plenty of people that obviously need an auf’ing? It seems kind of cheap to do it this late in the game, when people have gotten this far.
It was obvious, though, that they were judging this runway off of the designers’ body of work instead of off of their final designs, because if it was up to what had been produced for the runway, Irina might have been out. Her diaphanous dress was not at all diaphanous, and the way that it was lined and constructed made it extremely heavy-looking and hang-y. It was baggy, mint green, and calf-length. Plus the styling was really weird and severe, which I assume Irina did because of the contrast in the painting, but it totally didn’t work. Thank God Tim Gunn managed to talk her out of the roadkill vest she was making, because I really didn’t want to see that, and I suspect that she judges didn’t want to either.
And if they had been judging on this week’s look, Althea might have been in trouble as well. I give her more credit than Meana Irina because what she undertook with her desire to emulate the curves and angles of the Getty’s architecture actually looked difficult. And apparently it was – she chose fabric for her skirt that puckered a lot when pleated, and since it was shiny, it was all the more obvious. And because there was so much going on down there, there wasn’t a whole lot going on up top – the fabric went well with the gold skirt, I thought, but it needed a bit more. Maybe a lining? But she was still in, because mostly what she makes doesn’t suck.
Rounding out our final three is Carol Hannah, who made the best look of the day with a tall, gold, slightly Grecian gown that pretty much any star would have been happy to wear to an award show. Which is to say that it was very well made, but also pretty safe. Her inspiration was a French bed inside the Getty that was far more ornate and interesting than her garment, but I could still see the connection.
Her garment was probably the best of the week, and I’m on Team Carol Hannah anyway – doesn’t she seem like a nice person? She wouldn’t even snark with Althea in the work room when Althea wanted to talk smack about Irina. It takes a smart girl to not talk smack on camera (which would mean I’m probably an idiot, because talking smack for all to read is basically my job).
Which, of course, means that Gordana and Christopher were eliminated, which was the correct choice based on their body of work. The problem that I have, though, is that Gordana’s dress was at least the second best look of the day (even though the front struck me as slightly…vaginal). Christopher’s too-long broadcloth skirt reminded me of something that they wear in Christian fundamentalist compounds, and the top was something that he’s done several times before, so it was obvious that he would go, but what of Gordana?
If the designers were just going to be judged on their body of work, why even bother having them make a new dress? The one that she made was her best look so far and two of the other designers faltered pretty obviously, and if that wasn’t even enough to save her, then what would have been? I’m not arguing that she should have gone to Fashion Week, because I don’t think she should have, but Gordana’s elimination simply underlines that this whole episode was an exercise in futility anyway – Carol Hannah, Irina, and Althea were always going to go to Fashion Week, unless one of them accidentally fell out of a window to her untimely death or something.
Which only means that Gordana should have done as all a favor and pushed Irina out of a window. That she failed to do so means that she clearly didn’t want it bad enough to go to Bryant Park.
Not that any of this matters a great deal anyway. Michael Kors couldn’t even be bothered to show up for the final elimination. Let’s just get all of this over with so that the next season, which has already been filmed without the interference of lawsuits and network changes and Los Angeles, can start and perhaps renew my faith in one of my favorite shows. But there I go, getting all hope-y again.
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