Thursday, January 24, 2008

Project Runway Episode 9:
Victorya Felled by Passive-Aggression

You've heard me complain before about Victorya's passive-aggression throughout this competition. And in this episode, her poor attitude does her in.

Victorya got what she deserved by just glomming onto the trench idea she and Jillian went with previously (and that Jillian created flawlessly), but she just sort of la-di-dahed through this episode. No inspiration. Nothing new brought to the table. For crying out loud, she just hacked some denim panels onto an existing jean jacket. Bleh!

So now that Victorya was a team of one, the only thing left to take out her passive-aggression on was the very denim they were all tasked to use to create an iconic look for Levi's.

Getting Catty in the Workroom

Chris March, King of the Quips, hit the nail on the head with his "Ah, youth" dismissal of Christian's obnoxious commentary.

Christian is immature on the one hand, albeit confident as Diana Vreeland and just as full of his own pronouncements as that doyenne of the fashion world. Where's this guy get the chutzpah? I guess he's got the chops to back it up, but it's just annoying. It strikes me as the sense of entitlement among some Gen-Y kids that inspires them to be brazen enough to just go for what they want without respecting authority. Hence, the clashes between Chris and Christian.

Chris March speaks to his designs, or to himself? So what! That's definitely part of his charm. Everyone else is just complain-complain-complain. But like he said after hearing Jillian freak out yet again over yet another overly ambitious design that was poorly executed, "If you haven't learned what this is about by now, you'll never learn." (Or something to that effect.)

Chris is right: While it purports to identify the next great American designer, Project Runway is purely about Great TV.

Christian has gladly taken the role of "The Villain." Chris has a persona that plays well on TV, too - the wizened Comedian who's been around the block a few times. So in the context of making Great TV, Chris is skidding by on his personality a little right now - that's fine by me, frankly, as long as he sticks around a bit longer.

This is the problem with Christian - he doesn't understand how the show works. He seems to think he deserves to win every single episode, appears genuinely crestfallen when he doesn't, and that's because he does not get it.

Yes, his motocross jeans and cropped jacket looked fierce, but that's not all that's getting Christian this far. But really, that's not the point.

Surely Christian realizes that the producers need to protect some of the more colorful characters until the end, to keep up interest - whether all the remaining designers' talent is on par with his or not. I'm not saying that if Victorya was a more colorful character she'd be kept on; her trench was the wrong way to go about it during this challenge.

And the Winner Is... Ricky?!

Oh Ricky, aka Mr Waterworks - who cries when he's sad, when he's inspired, when he's overwhelmed with the emotion over winning. He pumps some theatrics into the show, but he is definitely talented (although last week, when he wore a sleeveless tshirt? No. This week, he looked a million times better).

Kudos to you, Ricky - this time, your design sense was on display, front-and-center. The corset was expertly tailored and fit the model like a second skin.

It's Christian's naivete that convinces him that he can win every challenge, despite the point of the show being about entertainment. Similarly, they're keeping Ricky around for effect, yet, and the best designers are still around, so they're playing the balancing act now.

Pulling Out All the Stops

Sweet P's really pulled out the stops these last couple of weeks, showing she really can design. Her wedding-dress idea was a goofy one, and thank God she was saved by Tim Gunn's extremely judgmental reaction in the workroom. In the end, those dark side panels she created were slimming, like Michael Kors said - the design had "that voodoo," the optical illusion that makes it a dress every woman would want to own because it makes her look fantastic.

And although by designing with denim, they were working with the polar opposite of jersey, Rami pulled off a great design. This reminded me of the skills and vision he brought to the candy episode, where the wrappers became a pleated skirt and the bodice fit like a dream. However I thought the zipper trim in the denim design was a little hokey. I've never liked zipper trim in designs.

I would love to know when they decide on the challenges, whether they're predetermined, or if the producers decide on the challenge once they see who's left? I vote for the latter, because I'm such a cynic.

Final Three: Rami, Christian, Jillian with Sweet P as a wildcard


Kitty said...

It's really coming down to the wire, isn't it? I feel like the ones that are left deserve to be there, and I've gotten so attached to all of them.

I'm not convinced about Sweet P, though she really remedied that dress in a hurry. It looked rather nice.

As for Victorya, I was never fully convinced about her. When she worked with Ricky as non-group leader and created the colorblocked episode, I thought, 'Hm'.

This week sealed it. Her design ideas are as small as her itty bitty voice. Too bad, really.

my picks: Rami, Gillian and Christian. Rami is technically the best of the bunch, and he can be repetitive. Too many dresses. Gillian is wonderful. I love her. And I've grown attached to dear Christian. What a hoot.

have a great weekend, Spandrel!

Spandrel Studios said...

Great comments, Kitty!

I'm just wondering whether Sweet P might be one of those surprise people who pull it together toward the end of the competition.

Totally agree that the ones who are left each have their own good qualities, and at least the talent will make it exciting. Although the commercial for the next episode - involving women wrestlers? - seems like a ridiculous thing to throw at the designers at this late stage. I'd rather see some actual fashion-oriented challenges. Like how Karl Lagerfeld was inspired by seashells for his most recent Chanel collection; give the designers an idea to work from and let the creativity rip. But then, it's riskier to make good TV from that.

Gillian's designs are really good, and she seems to have big ideas, but her personality is hard to pin down. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to her being rather young, and the strain of the competition.

Hope you have a nice weekend!