Friday, February 22, 2008

Project Runway Reunion Show

Did you cast your vote in my Project Runway poll, yet? It's easy... and it's right over there, at the top of the last column. Go ahead, vote!

The reunion show was... well, it was a clip show. Under normal television standards, these are hack job affairs that don't provide any insight into the show or its underpinnings.

But Michael Kors losing it during the WWF Divas challenge? That just got me. He's normally so, I don't know, reserved and together, sort of approachably imperious with the occasional kooky commentary. To see him just flat-out overcome by a fit of the giggles made him more human in a way.

But oh, how they didn't let the designers get away with a thing!

With a nod to both Marion and that girl who was eliminated first (oh yeah, Simone), they were asked each about their experiences. Marion seems like a genuinely earnest sort, disappointed at not having had the opportunity to showcase his avant garde side and accepting of his fate. Simone marveled at how she's been stopped while out in the airport with Kit Pistol (um, probably because Kit was around for a while and developed a following?).

Carmen, who boo-hooed too much about not being properly missed after she was dissed by the judges? With her massive architectural shouldered jacket, just begging to take up more space on the screen, I kept yelling "Grow up!" at the television. And her sarcastic "Thanks, Heidi," sort of snort she made when Heidi mentioned the menswear challenge after Ms. Klum specifically mentioned "an outfit that had no shirt." Maybe Carmen will see how a lack of grace and gratitude aren't exactly becoming a former model turned fashion designer. Perhaps she could take a cue from some of the other auf'd designers who handled their fate in a more mature way.

I'm no fan of Victorya, but I lost a bit of respect for Heidi after her derisive remark about Victorya's uptight nature -- when they'd just been describing Jack's very sad departure and how Victorya felt about it. Tim, too, joined in the slam, which surprised me, because Mr. Gunn is nothing if not the master of courtly politesse. Something tells me there's something going on, what with Victorya showing at Fashion Week in spite of her being dismissed weeks before the finalists were a glint in the judges' collective eye.

Was anyone else surprised by Jillian beating the crap out of her dress model? The girl has moves like she's taken a self-defense class, or at least an aggressive form of Tae-Bo.

As a fan of Catherine Keener's movies, I was glad to hear Sweet P got some attention from her at some point. Catherine Keener's got an interesting sense of style, and I admire how she got started late in the acting game, but carved out an indie-film career for herself (one of America's most underrated actresses, along with Hope Davis).

It was a shame that the segment on Kevin focused so much on his not being gay. Wouldn't it have been more interesting to see how he thinks being a heterosexual male means he's got a unique angle on for designing for women?

The way Elisa acted on the reunion show now makes me suspect that she adopted this interplanetary character/persona and played it to the hilt for the sake of getting more air time. Boo.

Was it me, or did every shot of Ricky make it look like he wanted to strangle the producers? He looked angry from every angle. And when the feature on his crying jags was introduced, he seemed ready to punch someone. Can't say that I blame him.

All the bellyaching about having no money is getting old, actually. Sweet P mentioned it, and so did Christian. I realize this is a tough business -- but having any business is hard work, labor intensive, and financially risky. Get used to it! Like Michael Kors says, the insecurity never goes away because like Heidi says, one day you're In and the next, you're Out. There is no more fickle finger of fate than that of fashion.

I loved how Rami's advice for subsequent contestants focused on how you've got to love what you do, that this isn't a springboard -- even though it really could be. It's clear that none of the previous contestants have really used it to its fullest advantage, at least as far as I can tell. Michael Knight is coming out with a fragrance? What about a line of clothing? Did he, too, fall prey to the licensing bug, a la Jay McCarroll? And what of Chloe? Jeffrey? Hello?

Christian being voted Fan Favorite wasn't surprising, I guess. He had the most over-the-top, made-for-tv personality, garnering him the most screen time, albeit with the overuse of a tired-old expression (I thought "fierce" went out after the inaugural season of America's Next Top Model?). For me, though, his winning the Fan Favorite award was a teeny bit jumping the shark, because his persona seems so calculated and sound-bitey.

These reunion shows are seldom as good as the clips lead you to believe, and it's all due to the editing. I can't imagine fitting together such a disparate group of comments into an interesting narrative, when people aren't really as inspired as they may be in the heat of the battle.

The clips quoting Heidi were the lamest group of snippets ever! Maybe they didn't want to harp on the worst outfits, but how can you do a segment on Heidi-isms and leave out her assessment of the outfit Marion and Steven cobbled together? Behold:

"It's like 'out of the basement.'
It looks dirty -- it looks like a rag to me."

Honestly, ever since Heidi uttered those words, that phrase runs through my mind whenever I feel disheveled or not at my best, fashion-wise. It's like the title of a bad made-for-TV movie: "Out of The Basement," the tragic drama of an outfit gone horribly wrong.

The dish from the other designers over who they thought would win? Clearly Christian has their respect, but I suspect that his Fan Favorite status means he'll never take home the big prize. Jillian had her share of supporters, too, with the exception of Victorya, who clearly seems jealous of Jillian's talent, having worked with her on the coif challenge that got them attention for Jillian's dramatic coat design.

Rami had a few nods, too -- and one from Marion, (or was it Steven?), who said he was confident that given Rami's skill that he'd do besides the draping (Note to Marion/Steven: Uh, don't hold your breath!). Only Jack put in an off-hand good word for Chris, while hedging his bets in speaking kindly about all the finalists. Shades of things to come? Or Red Herring?

It will be an interesting final two shows, no?


Kitty said...

I thought the Victorya comments were pretty bad and felt badly for her for the rest of the show. She said nothing, except that what you see of people isn't necessarily how they really are.

You'd think if those kinds of comments are made that the editors would edit them out.

There were parts of the show that were surprisingly funny. I don't typically enjoy the wrap-up reunion type shows. The Ricky crying thing was a little funny, I have to say.

Anyhoo, we'll see. I'll miss this bunch of people very soon!

Spandrel Studios said...

As I've said before, Victorya was never my favorite designer, but I think she was treated a bit harshly on the show. I definitely think there was something going on there that was left unsaid.

For one, I was glad to hear Christian vow to never say "fierce" ever again on the show!

This group definitely had its share of personalities... can't say the same for every other season!