Friday, August 8, 2014

Project Runway S13 E3: "Past, Present and Future"

Before we get into tonight's show, I have to rewind because Project Runway is pulling some total shenanigans this season.

Project Runway, in the 90 minute Premiere edition, cuts immediately from the runway show straight to the designers standing on the runway with the runway finding out who has been on the top and bottom. Once they find out, the non top/bottom designers go to the green room, and chit chat about who they think is top and bottom, but it's really casual and nothing ever really coheres.

Project Runway, in the shortened 60 minute Rerun edition, cuts immediately from the runway show to a mini collage of the designers doing a confessional voting for whom they think was the best and the worst. The Green room segment is cut out.

In episode 1, the majority of the designers didn't like Sandhya, and voted against her. So, when she won, there was a lot of animosity since they thought she was the worst.

In episode 2, the majority of the designers think that Fade should have won (7 votes), and 3 people chose Amanda (whose dress still makes me SO MAD...UGH). But, as we know, Angela brought Fade's team down, so he had no chance. A couple people voted for Angela, but, on the whole, the designers were split with the designer with the worst votes being Emily, getting 3 votes. Nobody liked those giant avant garde hips. The editors did not highlight any votes for Sandhya.

The thing is, this new segment is extremely important to the drama of the season. While the green room segment shows us the face the designers are giving to the other designers, the montage shows what the designers really were thinking, and they start resenting people who give them the opposite. Such as how I'm still completely resenting Amanda's win awful. Worse than Angela's napkin dress.

That the "who we think should win and lose" is kept from the viewer of the premiere episode is baffling. I love this segment so much.

Today's episode is "Past, Present, and Future." Apparently Marie Claire magazine is 20 years old, and started in 1994. Which means that the Teutonic Goddess was just a Teutonic Princess-in-Waiting, Tim Gunn was in his 12th year at Parsons and becoming Assistant Dean, Nina was working as an assistant, and Zac was...14 and making such terrible sartorial choices he gets cut off.

Which brings us to the stupidity of this challenge. Marie Claire wants to see what the designers think that 2034 fashion will look like when filtered through the eyes of the present designer, inspired by some distant memory past.  Oh dear. Designing for the future is never good. Because, unless you're Elena and your aesthetic is already in the future, this will probably mean a lot of dark sci-fi bullshittery. Especially because the editor-in-chief referenced grunge as something she liked and that was coming back.

The whole goal of this episode is to try to bring the designers out of their Reality Show Archetypes and try to humanize everybody by bringing in their past, and letting them ping around with their past swirling through their head. But, the producers know that the challenge won't be enough on its own, so they make a bulletin board with a bunch of pictures of the designers from 1994. And...OMG, Sean has a sword! So adorbs!

Really, the past pictures can add only so much, and tear down so many walls. The picture they chose for Amanda has her wearing the first dress she ever made, and she humblebrags that she played bass guitar with her brother one band? Yeah, she's going to remind you at every minute that her brother is her most interesting characteristic. Similarly, Angela had mastered her petrified look 20 years ago. However, this only lasts for a brief segment.

There's also a whole segment where people are gathering as friends (knocking off the team challenge from last week which was actually, like, yesterday in their time). The Texas Hipster says "Oh, yeah. I don't care about fitting in. I'm just gonna do my own thing. And, The Oppressed One comments, "Nobody likes me, but I'm just going to go with it. I don't care." You know, even though she bitched about it to Tim Gunn last week.

To be totally honest, the ones who, so far, haven't escaped the archetypes I proposed in the first episode have been Emily (The Mom), Sandhya (The Oppressed One), Angela (The Nervous One), Amanda (The Elder Statesman), and Mitchell (The Obnoxious Bitch). Really, I'm getting sick of both Angela's and Mitchell's shit. Unlike Adrian, I think a lot of this is in the editing actually. Because, we see Mitchell becoming friends with Char while Texas Hipster is having her "woe is me" aside. Amanda is having talks with Fade. Sean and Alexander are having private talks.

There are a lot a lot of moments that are in a 9 hour day, and the moments that the editors choose really create these characters in subtle ways. I think there's more to Angela that has been on display both in the work room and in the hotel room, but the editors choose not to highlight that. Sandhya gets a more even treatment, emphasizing her point of view, but she's still An Oppressed One. These are the stories that we're told from the producers and editing rooms.

The one person I really like is Char, whom I had previously labeled as a potential Sassy Black Woman, but is totally reminding me of some of the amazing women I met in Southfield (which, given she's from Detroit, about 15 miles away from there, of course). The editors are letting her be a full fledged woman. I like Fade (who had a really dour German picture from a crop his status as Dieter) and Emily, but Char is the one whom I'm rooting for purely based on personality. She's warm and funny and smart, and amazing.

But, enough about that...what about the clothes?!

As OB rightly intones (goddammit, I hate saying he's right), the majority of the people probably heard Grunge and went off on it. Alexander gets hung up on his single mother's afghan blanket, which means he was going future horse blanket. And, he had a complicated top that looked like it could have been fucking amazing, if he had figured out its construction. The lines were sleek and motorcycle future inspired by grungy past over a raggedy blanket, it would have been amazing. And, I think he should have send out the sloppy top.

The ones who are designing with bold color are Sandhya (pink and gold), Angela (fleshy pale peachy pink?), Char (bright blue), Fade (light blue), Korina (Yellow) and OB (greys with turquoise lining). Everybody else is doing grungy colors. It's a very dark runway show we're in for.

The most interesting story of fashion was Alexander. But, there's also Sean's last minute hat he makes from a Mood Bag. And, Mitchell is trying to make a story about Miami being underwater because global warming.

But, I'm cutting those stories short because, I have a few bones to pick with the judging this season. So, hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen, it's Runway Time, bitches!

Today, we're given two guest judges. The editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, and some fashion photographer who was granted a shallow-ass talk show that follows Project Runway. Which, has anybody actually watched the show? It's the worst post show ever. Can't we get Chris Hardwick to host? Or, even TLo? Or, may I suggest Adrian and I? We'll actually talk about Project Runway and not TMNT.

Anyways, Runway.

Kristine - I fucking love this look. This is, hands down, my favorite look of the night. It's sleek, it's past modern, and the jacket is kind of killer. The lines are gorgeous, and the white on white tonality is flawless.

Hernan - TRASHY. OMG. It's like some kinky fetish bra type thing with a harness, but with drape fabrics and...this isn't even the day to night challenge! This is just all sorts of wrong, and I really truly hated it. But, the back was gorgeous as hell.

Mitchell - I hate saying it, I like it. It's sportswear and it's tongue in cheek (comical is the word of the night). The lines being of completely different widths on the top and bottom kind of bug me, but the overall look is fun and sporty.

Amanda - I didn't hate it. That doesn't mean it's actually good. But, it's like 1970s crashed with the 1990s, and fucked up the model's hair. But, what was with the gold chain harness?

Angela - No. Terrible construction, even from afar. The idea was bizarre to begin with (a single white lapel that goes down and points at the girl's hoo haa? A sleeveless jacket in that fabric?), but the styling is so boring. Oh, Angela. This was terrible. And, the look of the label was copied from your first week's look that the judges hated. In the end, it's like the new look at the Clinique makeup counter.

Emily - Emily has the best model ever. She's got the best fiercest look coming down the runway, and the makeup Emily chose accentuated that strength. Then the clothing is just the best kind of warrior princess sci-fi inspired action movie outfit imaginable. The fit is great. And, it just works.

Samantha - Snooooooozzzzzzzeeee. A rich girl is going to school in the winter and threw on some random nice clothes.  SNOOOOOOOZZZZZEEE.

Kini - Its a nice pants and top with a decent cape. But, Emily's got you beat with almost the exact same look.

Fade - Here is somebody who had a very different future from everybody else. It's like, light blue and fluffy and feels like a European surrealistic future, perhaps in a Michel Gondry film? I really like it. It doesn't feel like the challenge at all, which is my favorite part about it. It feels like a take on the fashion we're seeing now and would be in the future. The best of the bunch.

Sean - BORING. It's clean, sophisticated, simple, modern, and very boring. There is no life in it, and it feels like somebody would have worn it in the 60s, the 90s, the 00s, the 10s, the 20s, and the 30s. In otherwords, it's moderately timeless and old hat. But, honey, your construction is shit.

Char - A miss. I mean, I love the two-toned pants. They're very graphic. But, the top doesn't belong with the pants, and it just doesn't work for me.

Korina - She has a terrible model who doesn't sell the look at all. But, it feels modern. Not of the future. Not of the past. But of the present. Like, "Hi, I just made a good looking outfit because I want to be safe."

Alexander - It's a potato sack dress in a bad fabric. I really feel I should hate it, but I'm so pessimistic about the future I really love it. This is what we're all going to be wearing in the future, you guys. It's really costumey though.

Sandhya - Speaking of costume, what the fuck is this? You guys might remember, I was a total Patricia apologist back in Season 12. But, this is just beyond Patricia. I can't even. It's like a costume from an Italian space opera of the 1970s that ripped off Star Wars. I'm not even joking, I can't deal with this. It's just awful.

Which...brings us to the judging. First of all, let me get this out of the way...what the fuck was Nina wearing? She was dressed like a disco ball...again? I swear I've seen her in similar awful tops. This kind of is as bad as the kindergarten alphabet sweater from Season 11. It's like she interprets the future as being a mirror computer. I was clawing my eyes out.

Besides this, the judging this season has been a season long trolling, I think. The winning dress every week has been calculated for #ProjectRunwayFail tweets. I liked Sandhya's first week dress, which was avant garde and announced her as a designer, and I could see the Indian styling to it. But, it wasn't the best of the week given it had some rough patches that needed to be worked out.

But, her dress this week was fucking awful. And, making her win again for something so inscrutably underdesigned, terrible and costumy. Heidi is right on this one. It was comical. And, it was awful. And, last week's had a similar DIY awfulness to it that just makes me think the winning design for the next few weeks are going to be college runway show shit.

The judges also were having fun tearing the dresses apart in the closer look. The editors really made them look cruel this week. And, they were even kind of cruel to the model.

But, when they were judging Alexander's look, I had a brief flash of them as judges in the Capital in the Hunger Games universe. They wanted the future to be fun and bright and silly and cheaply made! Alexander's dress may have been dour, but dour and dreary is not a valid criticism of the future when the present politics are so uneasy.

The worst dress this week was the winning look. But, I'm not too sad to see Angela go. Girl might be a better designer when she's not under pressure. But, the pressure got to her from when she was on the fucking plane, and she couldn't escape it because she was repeatedly on the bottom. Totally expendable, if only because she shouldn't be on a reality show.

The judges are going to smoke crack for awhile until it's fairly obvious their judging shouldn't be taken seriously at all.

The designers are going to be bitter at Sandhya for winning, when most probably felt she was going home, re-emphasizing her The Oppressed One archetype and storyline.

Korina will still be striving for villain.

We'll keep watching. Can you send us some burger coupons?

Random Observations

  • Happy Birthday Adrian. 
  • Also, I should say that this year is Project Runway's 10th anniversary season. Yeah, yeah, I know they celebrated their 10th back in Season 10. But, really, the first episode was aired in December 2004. Shhhh. 
  • Tim pronounces quasi "QUAY SZIGH"
  • Does unshaved Alexander in the confessionals remind anybody else of Zippy the Pinhead? Just me? It's mainly the hair which has been waxed to death
  • Das Ist Kunst!

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