Friday, January 22, 2010

Project Runway, Season 7 - Episode 2


I think we might have to amend the phrase "She could wear anything and still look good, even a burlap sack!" to say "a well-designed burlap sack." Because as we saw last night, even the fiercest of models can look like she weighs 700 pounds in the hands of a sub-par designer.


The challenge was clear - take a burlap potato sack (courtesy of the muddiest farm I've ever seen) and turn it into a look for a cocktail party, with the help of a few embellishments, buttons and zippers. Okay, maybe I need to amend that statement, too. The challenge was clear...to everyone except Jesus. Why oh WHY are designers in the seventh season making these rookie mistakes? Don't they own the DVDs?! If the challenge is to use a burlap sack...why would you cover it up? Jesus, Jesus. And if you're going to completely ignore the rules of the challenge, at least make a worthwhile garment. Instead, we got a pea green and mud brown disaster that somehow eluded elimination. Taking his place on the Auf'd List was Miss Pamela, whose demise I may or may not have predicted in my review last week. There were certainly a lot of fit issues last night, probably due to the difficult material, but Pamela's was by far the worst. Although gorgeously dyed (I was ooo-ing and ahh-ing when she was in the workroom), Pamela's dress fit her model horrifically, exemplifying her lack of construction skills. Can I understand the judges kicking her off? Sure. But let's be honest, Jesus' days are numbered.

Another designer who missed the mark...by a few hundred light years...was Ping Pong. And if her word vomit of excuses and apologies on the runway were any indication, she was well aware of this misstep. Let's forget for a minute that her poor model's rear end was poking out for all of America to see. Even at the correct length, that dress was hideous. The skirt made the model's hips look enormous and the color made her look completely washed out (not buying the skin tone excuse, Ping...you knew what she looked like!). I'm slightly embarrassed to say I'm still not-so-secretly rooting for Ping to do well, though I'm not holding my breath. Say what you will - Ping makes great reality TV.

With the exception of those three aforementioned catastrophes, the designs that were sent down the runway last night were really impressive. This crop of designers seem to have distinct points of view and are way more experimental than in previous seasons. Jay's winning garment didn't even come close to resembling a potato sack - it was chic and expertly crafted. He had me nervous with his dying snafu early in the episode, but he came back and delivered a youthful and sexy design. Mila, who seems to be getting the bitch-edit already, really surprised me with her dress - when she first presented it to Tim, she seemed to be set on pleasing her model instead of staying true to her aesthetic. Luckily she pulled through; the ribbon treatment was really unique and allowed the dress to shimmer on the runway. My favorite design of the night, however, came from Amy who, to be quite honest, I have no recollection of from last week's episode. She is certainly on my radar now. From the open back to the detailed halter straps, from the stylish cowl neck to the wonderful dying and movement in the skirt - this look was an absolute 10.

Some of the other noticeable designs of the night came from Anthony, Janeane, Jonathan, Emilio and Jesse. With such a large crop of talent, this is shaping up to be a redeemingly wonderful season of Project Runway. It would even look good in a well-designed burlap sack!
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