Project Runway 4: Episode 7 - Prom Dates from Hell

>> Thursday, January 10, 2008

It was Prom Night on Project Runway this week, and it proved to be a night some designers won't want to remember. We enjoyed the top ten list format last week, so we're stealing the idea again. Here now, from the home office in Penland, North Carolina, the Top Ten Moments Episode Seven:

"Look, I know Jersey proms, and if all goes well you can use this as your maternity dress afterward --"

10) One of the most important days in a woman's life? As we noted in our preview, wha-huh? Prom may be one of the biggest events in a high school girl's life, but please--besides some tedious fumblings in the back seats of cars there really shouldn't be much you look back on in high school as "the most important" anything in your life. And as reader Anne pointed out, how wrong is it to encourage this kind of thinking in young women? Prom can be fun, but it shouldn't be a young woman's end-all, be-all. Prom is something you look back and laugh at, not something to fixate on as one of those moments in time where everything must be perfect and timeless. It's that kind of thinking that leads to insanity like that "My Sweet 16" show.

9) Embarrassment that lasts a lifetime. We didn't have to go further than the designers to prove Heidi's words wrong. How many of them really looked back on their proms as "one of the most important days" in their lives? Well, none of them, actually. But it was sure fun to hear their stories. Sweet P told us she had a great time at her prom, and then waved off the hot flashes. Chris stayed home and watched old movies and drank beer. Kit was a prom princess. (!) "It was very Orange County," she says. Christian? He was the best dressed person at his prom. He knows because there was a vote. It was a great idea for the producers to dig up embarrassing pics. And speaking of embarrassment, we're pretty sure the girl who wore Victorya's dress is already regretting flashing that peace sign--or was it a V for Victorya?--at the end of her runway walk.

8) Teenage girls are dogs. At least that's what the background music implied. Did anyone else notice the "Meet the teenage girls!" music was exactly the same as the "Meet the dogs!" music from Season Three's Pooch Challenge?

"If you feel a pin prick, that's me stabbing you in the back with a needle."

7) Irresistible "fierce," meet unmovable object. The fix was in. We're sure of it. Christian so completely deserved his client that we absolutely refuse to believe that wasn't a set-up. When the girl started to question his design within the first five minutes--and then took the pencil out of his hands and started drawing in his book!--we were sure of it. We cracked up when Christian's client told him she'd been studying design for two years. Um, sweetheart? Even though Christian looks twelve, he's got you beat there. The result, of course? A disaster of a dress, and the usually cocksure Christian rolling around on the floor in agony. To his credit though, he never got nasty with his client in the workroom. He may have blamed her on the runway, but he never got snippy to her face, which, considering this was Christian, we thought was positively Herculean. (Which means super-fierce, Christian.)

You cannot out-pity Mr. Pitiful.

6) How low can you go?
Sweet P: I really need to do well this week! I've been on the bottom, you know?

Victorya: I've been on the bottom twice with my group.

Chris: I've been voted off!
Um, yeah. Chris has totally got you losers beat.

5) They didn't! Did anyone else catch that slightly revised Levi's commercial in the ad mix tonight? Usually we tune out the commercials to discuss what we've just seen, but for some reason we were both looking when a commercial we'd seen a few times before came on. At least, we thought we'd seen it a few times before. The one where the cute guy pulls his jeans up and the cute girl in the phone booth comes crashing up through his floor? Yeah, only this time there's another cute guy in the phone booth! We couldn't believe it. This is the first overtly gay commercial we've seen since SNL did "Schmitt's Gay" -

SNL - Schmitt's Gay

Kudos. And, we suspect, there were few better times and places to show the Levi's ad. (Something makes us think we won't see that one during the Super Bowl.)

And while we're on the topic of interstitial stuff, that millionaire matchmaker lady needs a Tim Gunn Guide to Style intervention--stat!

"I want you to look sexy, but don't get sexy!"

4) "Give it up" for Sweet P's dress. Her client wanted Hollywood style that showed off her bootie, but P drew the line at ivory. "This isn't her wedding," P told us. "Hopefully she's not even losing her virginity!" Great line, P. But that dress is so good her corsage might not be the only flower she loses on prom night.

3) Youthful excess. One of our favorite exchanges of the night:

Chris: Do you want it low in the front or low in the back?

Client: Both!

You stay classy, girlfriend.

"If I was gay, I would totally wear that clubbing. Wait --"

2) And speaking of . . . Yes, Ricky drives us nuts, and yes, we predicted he'd be gone last night, and yes, we'd rather still have Kevin around. But one of the absolute best lines of the night belonged to Ricky:

"When I had a girlfriend, I made her prom dress. That should have been a clue right there."

That and the way you cried every five minutes.

"Here, this should really accentuate your slouch."

1) You chose . . . wisely. Even so, our favorite moment of the night came in the form of some brutally awkward teenage honesty.

Victorya: So, to start with, I'd just like to know why you thought we could work well together.

Client: Well, um, actually, I got the last choice.

Priceless. Now, on to the runway!

"Dear Michael--Will you go to prom with me? Check Yes or No."

Turns out choosing last wasn't so bad after all, as Victorya took home the brass key and immunity for next week. We have to say though, her dress wasn't even in our top three--and Tim Gunn agrees with us! From his Tim's Take blog:

Frankly, the decision to toss Victorya this win eluded me. In my view, the electric blue textile said “superhero” not prom. Furthermore, the jewel emblazoned panel on the front of the halter made the dress look more appropriate for a hostess at a Vegas cocktail lounge than a teenager attending a suburban prom.

Who did we like better? Well, certainly runner-up Sweet P impressed us. We thought her dress was really beautiful and classic. A real knock-your-socks-off prom dress, and the color was great on the girl.

Sweet, P.

Better, we thought, was Chris's green creation. We would have given him first place, and the judges didn't even think enough of his design to put him in the top three! We know, it sounds like we're starting to lap Chris up around here, but we promise we judge on the dress alone, and for two weeks we've been really impressed by what Chris has brought to the table. And Tim agrees with us again!

His design was superb in my view. The silhouette was sleek and elegant, the slit up the front was sexy without being even remotely vulgar, and the proportion of the train (almost always a risky design element) allowed the dress to still be navigable. Go, Chris!

And we'd give third to Jillian, partially because the dress grew on us in a second viewing, and partially because there just wasn't another dress anywhere near the top three. (Including Victorya's.) Wendi liked the way the dress flowed when the girl walked and thought it would be fun to dance in. The colors were pretty too, and worked well together. But Jillian was among the three sent off as safe, along with Chris and Kit.

"I know I'm making you look 35, but trust me, nothing interesting happens between 18 and 35 anyway."

As for the losers? Wow. Good thing Rami had that immunity, since he put his teenage girl in a dress meant for a lady who lunches. Great dress, great color, great hair--for a thirty-five year old. Rami didn't have a clue about what a prom was--and didn't really care. Yes, immunity means you can take chances, but we think he was maybe using it as an excuse to just do the kind of dress he wanted, appropriateness be damned. Let's hope he's learned his lesson.

"--and I didn't even cry, I swear!"

Ricky and Christian were in the bottom, just as we expected, joined by Kevin, whom we hadn't guessed would be there. (At least before we saw his dress.) Ricky's design was washed out and strangely rouched. Christian's was a "hot mess," to coin a phrase. And Christian might have been able to skate by a little better if he hadn't come out attacking his teenage client from the start. Add to all this that Ricky had been getting the loser edit--including a feel-good call home to mom in Espanol--and we thought he was a goner for sure.

You're only as fierce as you look.

But when Ricky was sent off as just the third worst design, we knew we were in trouble. Christian and Kevin left on the runway!? Those two have been bandied about by prognosticators as possible final four/final three material. But one of them was going to be gone, and it proved, rightly, to be Kevin.

The token straight guy is finally gone.

What a stunner! Not because this dress was good--it wasn't--but because he'd shown such potential. We thought he was a real break-out candidate. Kevin hadn't won a challenge, but he'd been second on his own twice (Menswear and Weight Watchers) and been in the first place team twice (SJP and Fashion Don'ts). That's four top two finishes in six episodes! But honestly, that red dress was the worst of the lot. Bad color, bad shape, bad styling, bad finishing. Kevin was just as blown away by his collapse as we were, stammering through a desperate "This won't be the last you've seen of me!" speech before he left the runway. We sympathize, Kevin.

And then there were eight. And next week, it looks like another dreaded team competition--but we'll save that for next week's preview!


(egg) January 11, 2008 at 2:44 PM  

I, too, was incredibly relieved to find out that Tim Gunn agreed with me. Because I thought the world had gone MAD - up was down, black was white, Victorya was first & Ricky wasn't last? Please - I want to wake up from this nightmare. I disliked Kevin's dress was Ricky's was B. A. D.

Cry, cry. I lost the lead in a PR pool I'm doing, too!

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