Thursday, February 14, 2008

Project Runway Episode 11: Chris March Gets Dramatic

Did I call it, or what? Several episodes ago, I'd commented wondering why they didn't just set the designers loose in the Met to find a piece of artwork to inspire them to create a fantastic design.

And hey! That's what the producers had them do!

Given the sheer size of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there's no way they could set the designers loose to run amok through every gallery. That would take weeks. So they limited them to three galleries: Grecian sculpture, European art, and an Egyptian wing that seemed to have only a temple in it.

Surprise, surprise, Rami chose the Grecian sculpture to "inspire" yet another draped dress. Yawn. The lavender-ish color of the fabric did nothing for his model, a freckled redhead. Lavender just doesn't look on people with that coloring -- it brings out any redness in the complexion and just doesn't look good overall.

Jillian took inspiration from an argonaut painting that resulted in her creating a coat (another coat!). Underneath was a tacky little lame dress that looked like something you'd see on the sale rack at Macy's. The coat was dramatic but the dress was dreadful. I don't know what the judges were thinking. But Jillian's comment that, "I can't go back to a cubicle, designing things for other people." Honey, we can all relate!

Peacocks inspired Sweet P, how, I'm not sure. Her end design didn't involve any of the coloration or fringy loveliness that peacock features inspire. (I'm partial to peacocks, as you can tell from my banner, so yes, my expectations were high.) I wanted to see more striations of color, some peacock hues, something over-the-top couture-ish, and like the judges said, she created a very commercial design, albeit wearable. But no splash.

Christian with his multi-pieced design with "jacket," tiered ruffle shirt, and knickers, went for the balloon-y, poufy face-framing drama that, judging from the pics from last week's Bryant Park Project Runway showdown*, have become his signature. That and the gender-bending. While speed at the sewing machine definitely gave Christian the edge, and the time to indulge all kinds of creative exercises throughout the competition, I look forward to what he can produce if he's given a few months to dream up something startling.

Then, there's Chris.

Sure, his design recalled the dress that he and Christian made, but the draping of the side-swept collar and the dress itself were dramatic. As Roberto Cavalli said, Chris just may be the most artistic of the group, he's got flair and an eye for drama. He will put on a Show. Maybe he needs the pressure of the final-three within his grasp to really deliver.

In the end, giving both Rami and Chris the chance to participate in a little mini-competition just before the Bryan Park shows is a great way to end the standoff. Although I don't hold much hope that Rami will do much different from his standard draping-and-drooping grecian-inspired evening dresses. I hold more hope for Chris, who seems to realize the gift he was given of a second chance at competing means the pressure's on to make an even bigger splash than he has so far.

Winners: Christian, Jillian
Tied: Rami, Chris

*Note: Although I've seen the Getty images of the fashion shows, the photos never do the clothes justice, so I'm just taking them all with a grain of salt.


David Dust said...

Poor Sweet P - her Peacockery just didn't cut it.

Click here for DavidDust's Project Runway recap.

Kitty said...

It really is coming down to the wire. I was feeling stressed and bad for all of them.

I think better design come with more limitations. Cool that you thought of the idea as well, Spandrel. How funny?

I've gotten attached to this bunch. It'll be sad to see them go.

Spandrel Studios said...

Hi, Kitty. It's amazing what limitations force you to do - they can sharpen your focus and clear away the clutter of too many choices so you can find your way to the best solution.

To me, Christian seems unusual in that he designs and executes in tandem - he's so fast! I think certain creative people are able to truly multitask like that, and others need the threat of the looming deadline to impose yet another limitation: the absence of time...

Personally, I'm a mix of both - some ideas come to me so easily that when I'm working on something it just flows, and other times the threat of a hard stop makes it happen. I guess it just depends on how excited I am about a project.

I'm definitely excited for all 5 of them and hope this experience gives them the kick-start they needed.

Spandrel Studios said...

Hey, David. Thanks for your comment - Sweet P's was definitely the most lackluster peacock interpretation I've ever seen.

Could you imagine if Christian had used that as inspiration? We'd have seen shredded ovals of fabric trailing the model for miles!