Friday, August 22, 2014

Project Runway S13 E5: "The Klum of Doom" there's Runaways, how was everyone's week? Do anything interesting? Is anyone else trying their best to avoid news about Ferguson because they find it so horribly depressing and a sure sign that we're in the end of days? I mean, things are rough right? Is anyone else wondering how long I can go without talking about the actual episode of Project Runway from this week? Because I'm guessing quite some time.... quit....awhile....indeed.....

Alright, I got nothing. Welcome to that PR staple: the Heidi Klum as client episode. This week, the designers are asked to design a look for Heidi to wear on the Red Carpet for the upcoming Emmy's. In one day! Winning look gets worn; when Heidi gets asked who she's wearing, that designer gets name dropped, blah blah blah. While the designers fret about how one goes about designing a Red Carpet look for the Goddess that is Klum, I sit back and wonder how does one go about writing a review for a show he's pretty much only hate watching at this point. I mean, admittedly, this season hasn't been as bad as this last season of True Blood, at least I haven't felt the need to develop a drinking game around PR in order to get through episodes (which I totally did for True Blood and it's glorious, you should play for the finale). But at this point I'm not sure exactly what's sustaining me on watching anymore. Are we only tuning in each week because we always have and don't know how to stop? And while we're at it, what really is the meaning of life?

Anyways, everyone goes to Mood, they buy fabric, and everyone debates what's needed for a Red Carpet look. Color? Fabric choice? What color would look good on Heidi's skin? The last one I find to be really interesting as I didn't realize Heidi had a skin tone that was so wonderfully unique that she had to match it with a specific color to really make her pop. Sorry to get on my POC high horse on this one, but Heidi's just another white girl super model, the colors that look good on her are all the colors that would normally look good on the Red Carpet. She could probably even pull off a boring Taupe color.

To be honest, the real problem I have here is just that the beginning of this episode felt so boring to me. It's nothing new or innovative on the part of the show. As I've said, we've seen this challenge a hundred times by now. Every time it comes up, the contestants talk about the same thing: How to make Heidi happy without losing my own aesthetic. There's only so many different ways to have the same conversation before we are left realizing it's just the same damn conversation. And there's something off about the pacing of those opening moments of the episode. Or is it just me? It just feels like there's no sense of urgency, there's no passion or drive. And I was just bored.

And then Heidi came in. This felt a lot like a "Let there be light!" moment for the episode, because Heidi hates EVERYTHING in sight. And with good reason: it's all so horrible. Ok admittedly, Kini and Sean are on the right track, but Kini's got construction issues that need to be reworked, and Sean's got vision but nothing definitive has been executed yet, so we're all kind of just taking it on faith that he'll pull it out. Luckily for him, he trusts his vision and doesn't allow Heidi's pointed "You know you've been on the bottom a lot now" statement to sway him.

But everyone else? Holy shit! Heidi and Fade talk smack about Korina's look in German, and it's the giddiest moment of my life. Heidi ends that exchange by telling Korina not to cry as if she takes anyone crying in her presence to be a great offense. And I'm left wondering if this is how she raises her kids. Because that's just priceless. Sadly, on this front I agree with her about Korina not crying. As much as I understand that I'm alone in liking Korina's Mean Girls vibe this season (I mean really, her snide "Not making what you're making" comments in the workroom make me so happy), I think that her crying in this moment isn't really the way for her to gain any sympathy from viewers who already hate her. It doesn't feel like a kind of crying that would go a long way towards conveying some heretofore unseen depth of personality, right? So she should stop.

I really do want to just keep talking about all the bad designs out there for this one. I mean I haven't even mentioned Sandy and Kristine's looks yet, but I feel like we should keep going. Having seen nothing that she'd even remotely consider wearing on a Red Carpet, Heidi decides to give everyone $100 and an extra twenty minutes at Mood. No one gets any more time, because one day is still somehow reasonable for a fucking Red Carpet dress, but you can have more fabric and even less time to finish. I mean I don't know how far the workroom is from Mood (someone want to Google that for me? because I also don't know that I care to do the legwork on that one), but I assume that 20 minutes in Mood, plus whatever the travel time is between Mood and the workroom would come out to at least 30 minutes of not working, if not more. So it sounds to me like instead of enhancing their looks, the people going to Mood are actually just shooting themselves in the foot... We'll circle back around to this concept. people who choose not to go to Mood aren't allowed to keep their money, but instead have to give it to one of the designers who are going. Is this right? Or was it just suggested that they give their money away? I ask because Sandy seems to be the only person asking for money, and everyone she asks at least seems to give her a very sad and resigned yes. Could they have said no? Could they at least have run to one of the designers and had a Fry moment?

Who knows, either way the result is what it is: Sandy spends over $400 on her return trip Mood. While I think this is a bit ridiculous because I hate her and I want her to die lose every week from now until she finally goes home, I also have to agree with Char's point that you can't really be mad at her for playing the game. Unlike last week's episode, everyone has the same opportunity to go back for more fabric, everyone has the option of getting money from the people staying behind, everyone has the ability to spend more than the $100 they are given for this. So it's at least fair, and Sandy exploiting that option is resourceful.

Everyone comes back to the workroom and I think the theme of the Mood trip was something along the lines of "Heidi complimented this one little thing about my look, so I'm just going to run with it!" Korina, having been insulted in multiple languages over her Hunter's Green, comes back with something she seems to think is Emerald Green. It isn't, but I worry that telling her that might have the same effect as telling a child there is no Santa, so I guess we'll just run with it. Heidi complimented the red in Kristine's look, so she just buys a lot of that and starts a new look. What could possibly go wrong?

The Runway:

Char: It moves beautifully, and I love the color, but something in the construction of the top and the back looks a little messy and unfinished. It looks like she had ½ of an idea and never finished it.

Emily: The look is certainly sexy, but it isn’t Red Carpet. Or at least not Emmy’s Red Carpet. Maybe the Grammy’s? Certainly an after party. But anyone wearing this on the Red Carpet would get ripped a new one.

Mitchell: I don’t like the front, but I don’t hate it either. I think considering the amount of time he had to throw it together, you can’t be too upset. But the back, oh God the back. That was just a serious miss on his part. That should have been much cleaner. I like the weaving detail he attempted, but he didn’t execute it well at all, which is probably because he didn’t have time.

Korina: Again, I don’t want to hate on this because she didn’t have as much time as she needed. I think the biggest problem with it is that I find it to be a boring dress that no one would wear on a Red Carpet. The color is muted and unflattering, the construction issues with the back just are what they are, and the front is boring. The styling is boring as well.

Fade: I love this. I don’t know if it’s Red Carpet, but I love it. I think it might be Red Carpet in the sense of someone really making a statement, but it’s certainly not a “gown.” I think it’s a bit too casual, but I love it. What can I say? I love it!

Alexander: Hm…. Even when we ignore the butt cheek issue (which we probably shouldn’t ignore the butt cheek issue), I’m still not really a fan of this dress. I think the construction is nice, but I don’t think the fabric photographs all that well. And the only interesting thing about the back is the butt cheek issue. Which shouldn’t be the best thing about the back of your dress.

Sandy: It’s beautiful, but I hate her, so I don’t want to talk about how beautiful it is. I don’t want to talk about how expensive it looks (which it should since she spent more money than everyone else), or how perfect the open back is, or how elegant it is, or how Red Carpet ready it is, because I hate her.

Samantha: It’s pretty; it’s more memorable (maybe) than anything she’s put down the runway thus far, but I still don’t like it. I find that black on black looks don’t tend to show up as well on the runway on this show. So the detail she added to the bodice doesn’t show until you see the dress close up, which makes it look like just a basic black dress. It also doesn’t scream elegance or sophistication to me. But it’s not an ugly look by any means.

Kristine: I know the Red Carpet portion of the event takes place in the evening, but that’s no reason for your model to look like a Lady of the Evening. Those are two different things, Kristine. And this dress is just a no!

Kini: Look out everyone, Kini is rocketing to the top of the ranks of this season. The way the sparkle (is that sequins?) perfectly adds that hourglass shape. It accentuates curves in a perfect fashion, the back is breathtaking, I love this look so so so much!

Sean: My sweet handsome Aussie boy. Here’s my one question for you more design savvy people, is there any way this dress could have been made and still function while being strapless? I love the movement, I love the color, I think it’s very fun, but there’s something about the spaghetti straps that makes it look a little cheap to me. I hope he’s in the top this week, because I think he needs a confidence boost, but I’m also starting to think that as much as I love him, he doesn’t have what it takes to win.

Amanda:  Is anyone else kind of bored with Amanda’s aesthetic? I think she saved this look from where it was during Heidi’s visit, but I’m still not impressed. It fits the challenge, although it doesn’t scream Heidi Klum to me, but I don’t find it to be very attention grabbing. 

Sean, Kini, and Amanda (really, guys? really?) in the top 3; Korina, Kristine, and Mitchell in the bottom three. Ok let's get it out of the way quickly because I want to talk about other issues than just the judging as we wrap this up: Sean wins, and Kristine and Mitchell go home. I know most people won't be sad to see Mitchell go, but even if I did like him (and I did) the truth is that his look this week was very not good. I almost wish he'd gone with his more typical and flashy aesthetic which probably would look at home on the Red Carpet is he just classed it up a little. 

The thing I want to talk about here is the extra trip to Mood. You'll notice that the three people in the top refrained from going to Mood, but the three in the bottom all did go back. All of them also had the added "excuse" of not having enough time to really finish their designs. Because you can't make a polished Red Carpet look in five hours. However, then there's Sandy. Who totally made a fully Red Carpet ready look in that same five hours. Granted, she had a lot more money and purchased fabric that was a lot more expensive, but still. So as much as it kills me to say so, Sandy should have been in the top in place of Amanda if for no other reason than to add in the drama of "But Sandy also pulled her look together in five hours and it's good." Not that I'm advocating someone being in the top just to add drama, but let's not pretend like this show is above so doing. 

The other thing I want to point out is that the judging problems of this season kind of continue. I don't think it's as problematic this week since someone other than Amanda or Sandy has won, and also because the winning look is really beautiful and totally something I think Heidi would (and should) wear. But I don't think there's really any doubt that Kini's look is the best of the night. If you do have an argument in favor of Sean over Kini, please share it in the comments. So we do have another week where a clearly more deserving designer doesn't get the win for some reason, but the deserving designer(s) go home. I say all that to say the problems with this season haven't gone away after 5 episodes, and I can't tell if I'm worried about that, or if it's still too soon to really worry. Will the judging finally even out a bit more now that we have our first non-Amanda non-Sandy win? Will there be an actually original challenge at any point this season? Will we ever discover if we're actually alone in the universe? Or, the more difficult question by far, figure out why we're still watching this damn show every week? Tune in next week, Runaways, where none of these questions will be answered. 

Stray Observations:

--In accordance with our semi-ongoing conversation about how the judging for this season might be fully purposeful: Does anyone think things are being staged in a fashion to stop Tim Gunn from using his save? Like maybe so much attention is being paid to who should go home in an effort to not enact the save at all, that less attention is being paid to who really should win? I don't think it's a mean thing, per se, but more like the judges want to constantly feel like they're right and the easiest way to do so is to not place yourself in a position where Gunn will have to contradict you. 

--In Mitchell's confessionals this week, he's wearing some plaid shirt with cutoff sleeves and open buttons at the neck. The entire thing just screams Red Neck. And I have never been more attracted to him in my life!!!! My God, I don't know who that person was, but I would do naughty things to him. 

--Tim Gunn pointedly telling Mitchell the look this week has to be tasteful was hilarious.

--Also hilarious: the looks on the designers faces when they agree to give Sandy their money. Which is why I wouldn't have given it to her. I literally would have stood up and said "Does anyone other than Sandy want my money to go to Mood?" but I'm not a very good person.

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