Sunday, September 6, 2009

One day you're in, and the next day... You're out.

So far, the new season of Project Runway has brought us quite a few interesting episodes loaded with highly entertaining characters. And while I'm not particularly thrilled with the move they made from New York to LA, I suppose I can handle it since I can finally have my weekly dose of Tim Gunn again. Just hearing the phrase "Make It Work" makes me happy!

This week the designers had to pair up in teams and tackle the seriously non-high-fashion task of making surf-inspired beachwear. They were taken to the Santa Monica pier and given some time to interact with several California surfers for ideas (ideas which some of them promptly disregarded and decided to do their own things anyway). By the way, only Tim Gunn could get away with pairing his beach flip flops with a blazer without me making fun of him. He can do no wrong.

Now, I understand that as a designer it is truly your own vision... But if you're asked to design a specific type of garment then maybe you should take the opinions of the people who will be wearing your outfits into some sort of consideration? Upon hearing one of the surfer girls say that hoodies were a big part of surf wear, designer Nicolas Putvinsky immediately declared that "hoodies are not for the runway!" Obnoxious. But, maybe I just don't get it.

Anyway, after the teams have chosen their fabrics and gotten to work the judges decide to throw a wrench into the process. Apparently designing one outfit isn't difficult enough since they are working in teams. So in addition to the surf wear, they will need to create a second look that must be avant garde. What for?? They kicked off the two "avant garde" designers in the first two weeks. Seems pointless.

In my humble opinion, there were more disasters than usual on that runway. I have to wonder how some of these people get through every day life, let alone a stressful reality show about an intensely high-pressure industry, without hurting themselves or each other.

I have to admit that I got this week's top/bottom looks completely wrong. I'm not sure if the judges were looking at different garments than I was, but I was completely blown away by the winners (and certainly not in a good way).

Let's take a look at some of the designs, shall we?

None of the surf wear really did much for me and I don't think it was really even interesting enough to mention here, but this was my favorite (as well as the judges favorite) look. Designer Irina Shabayeva gave us a comfortable, simple, and chic beach-inspired outfit that even guest judge, Rachel Bilson, said she would happily wear.

Of course, this sheer top looks like it came straight out of a C&C California catalogue, but I suppose I can forgive that since technically that was exactly the look they were supposed to be going for. The best part of this look was the lovely back of the swimsuit top, which I unfortunately could not find a photo of, but I you assure it was really pretty. It was colorful and woven and the way the shirt sloped off the shoulder it was completely exposed and basically, it just worked.

This was the avant garde look to accompany the piece above and I just... Yeah. I'm not sure I know what to say. The woven fabric does tie in with the surf wear since the back of the bathing suit was done in a similar macrame way and I can see how the two outfits kind of coordinate. But this just seems like a mess... The ruffly-poof thing just seems like it's trying to be a Christian Siriano dress, the extra straps around the neck and under the armpit seem pointless and the bottom just looks messy. I'm not completely horrified by this, but I'm kind of just... Eh. Though I guess in comparison to some of the other atrocities, Johnny Sakalis did a pretty okay job.

Christopher Straub doesn't go the beach very often, does he? The only thing beachy in this outfit is that bikini top peaking out under the tank top. Slightly ill-fitting skinny pants that are kind of metallic yet kind of not, plus an intentionally skewed hem? Really? This is how people show up to the beach in Christopher-Land? Oy vay.

On a side note - does this guy remind anyone else of Season 3 winner Jeffrey Sebelia?

Christopher's partner managed to come up with this. A motorcycle vest, pleated tutu, and...uh...tulle? Lots and lots of tulle? I'm not even sure if that's tulle, but it scares me. I just cannot support this look.

Logan Neitzel, honey, back to the drawing board for you.

I truly hope that you guys saw this on the runway for yourselves because a photo cannot accurately display the disturbing mess that was this outfit. Self-described Plus-Sexy designer (she refuses to use the term plus-size) Qristyl Frazier has outdone herself this time. It's like...every worst nightmare come true. She gave us something that looks like pleather, has random fabric floating off of it, and makes a size-nothing model look like she has a poochy belly, large thighs, and a booty the size of Texas (be very glad that I don't have a photo of the rear view). This is the third week in a row that I am seriously questioning if this woman has any taste at all. She needs to go. Now.

Just NO.
Who told Mr. Hoodies Don't Belong On The Runway to make an easy-access, see-through, dyed-lace garter monstrosity? And not only did he create this thing and think it was awesome, but then he had an even more brilliant idea.

Hey! Why don't I get one of those packages of fake spiderwebs people put up for Halloween and just haphazardly attach it to the shoulders. OMG, yes! That's exactly what this outfit needs!

Gag me. Please. And somebody hit him over the head with a sewing machine to remind him that he's on Project Runway, not Project Streetwalker.

So, after all that... Here it is. The winning look:

Uhm... Looks a little bit like a lettuce leaf (I can't even take credit for that term - designer Ra'mon Lawrence-Coleman described it this way himself) wrapped around a skeleton that had an unfortunate run-in with an exploding grey marker.

Okay, it's avant garde.

Okay, it's an interesting (bulky) shape.

Okay, it's different.

Okay, maybe I just don't get it... But the WINNER?

Seriously? Ugh. You have got to be kidding me.

Somebody get those judges some glasses.

Ugh. Wow. What a disappointing episode.

The only bright spot was that designer (and I use that term very loosely) Mitchell Hall was finally kicked off after admitting that his partner, Ra'mon basically made both outfits and that he didn't really do anything at all. The man clearly can't sew. How did he even get on this show? I really have no idea. But at least the judges finally got it right and for the first time in Project Runway history, the winning design was also the losing design.

Auf Wiedersehen, Mitchell!

(Photo credits belong to