Thursday, November 29, 2007

Project Runway Episode 3: Three-Car Pileup

Did you see Project Runway last night? If not, this is about that, so go click on another link really fast and read another post of mine - I don't want to ruin it for you.

But you probably saw it coming . . .

A menswear challenge this early in the season? Clearly it was meant to separate the professionals from the hacks, but still. Not a good gauge of a designer's ability to pull off a show at Bryant Park.


Sweet P was designing like she'd never seen a shirt before. Although I have never tried to make a men's dress shirt, so I can't attest to its complexity.

I remember sifting through Lands' End catalogs at Christmastime, with all their stories about workmanship and craft that went into each shirt. How each shirt was made of 150 pieces or something outrageous like that, which helps the fit.

This is what we kids with aspiring creative dreams resorted to before the Internet came along, getting our fashion inspiration from catalogs and magazines and the occasional coffee table book. With the whole fashion industry a well-guarded secret that never really made it out of the confines of New York City.

I swear, if I were a teenager these days, with Project Runway as my window into even this small a facet of the world of fashion, I would be in design school next fall.

But I digress.

Anyway, Ricky has just got to pull himself together. Ricky, I know this whole stressful situation is difficult. I know you're out of your element, hon, being that there have been no lingerie challenges thus far. But be careful what you wish for, as that will surely be your ironic undoing if they do - it's just the way these reality TV things tend to go . . . the expert in one area will go down in flames during the challenge where he's expected to shine, buttressed by the obligatory B-roll footage of you brimming with confidence, inspiration and vigor. This, just before you run out of time, or realize you misjudged a critical measurement of fabric, or bought thread that's too bright, or whatever tragedy might befall you, before it all disintegrates in a mound of thread and silk. Anyway, how did you ever think the judges would not see, notice, or dock you points for pinned hems? Rule #1: Never call attention to what you didn't finish.

Carmen should have taken note of Tiki's wife's comment about her jacket being too Members Only™. Carmen, when the wife of the judge makes a statement like this, honey that's your clue to either add length, or rip the damn thing off the mannequin and redirect your attention to making an actual shirt, because if they see that thing coming down the runway, they will think 80s-80s-80s (let me guess: you were a model in . . . the 80s?) and never give you a chance. But no, instead you wrapped the fabric intended to be a shirt around the guy's neck as a scarf? A clear violation of Rule #1. And let's not forget the ill-fitting pants that caused Michael Kors, he of the folksy metaphors, to yelp out uncontrollably, "That crotch is insane!"

And then there's Sweet P. Sweet P, week after week, we see you flustered and frazzled - hell, even your dress form fell over this week, taking your down with it sprawled on the floor, a portent of doom if I ever saw one. Yet in the end you seem to drum up a pretty respectable garment. Those trousers looked great, and you deserve to do a happy dance over those. But that shirt was crazier than a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Collar zipping this way and that, twisted neckline and poorly set sleeves, the body all up in the model's collarbone. That tie did look astronomically long, slung lazily around the model's neck like he'd just come back from a hard day at the office, having his neck wrung. But the colors were good - conservative with a twist.

But between the pants insanity and the Members Only™ debacle, Carmen finally was let go to fulfill her dream of resurrecting the Flashdance T and the parachute pant, those 80s stalwarts.

And the night's winner? Jack, who played it safe and just changed up the striping on a shirt. To me, that's not a winning look. For my vote, Kevin deserved to win, given his vision was presented effectively, although he lost points for violation of Rule #1.

I think Rule #1 is really helpful in many aspects of life. Consider it today's words to live by:

Never call attention to what you didn't finish.

Now get out there and start something!


Kitty said...


I didn't read this post. I confess. Because I've dvr'd the show.

But...I will watch it and be back!

Spandrel Studios said...

Great, Kitty - I'd love to hear what you thought of the show, too!

Kitty said...

wow. I just watched the show!!!

I completely agree with you. Kevin deserved the win. As the judges said, he had a 'look', but I guess not the 'right' look.

Kevin had three garments rather than two, and they looked better made.

Do you sew? I used to sew obsessively, though I never got too far. Watching this show makes me want to take up a project myself!!

Spandrel Studios said...

Yes! You'd think with Kevin's three garments (plus the tie - or was that a bluefly wall item?) he'd get more points for going for it?!

Why not get back into sewing? If you sewed obsessively, you must have enjoyed it.

For me, I just don't seem to have a talent for sewing and can't seem to sew consistently. I envy people who can make it work (Tim Gunn-pun not intended).