>> Wednesday, October 21, 2009
It's a special Project Runway Pants Party this week--which makes about as much sense to us as it does to you. (That is to say, not a lot.) But we'll get to the pants a little later. First, though we're not excited about it, we're contractually obligated to talk about last week's episode.
"I think this will look fabulous on Sasha Cohen, Nicolas. Wait--wrong season."
Honestly. Bob Mackie? Christina Aguilera? And that's what the designers ran out there? Half of the dresses sent down the runway were gowns--and completely impractical for the kind of shimmying Xtina likes to do on stage. Of the remaining four, only Nicolas' looked appropriately showy, and none of them went big. This wasn't just a starlet challenge, kiddies. It was a Bob Mackie challenge. Have you seen his stuff?
"Considering who your client is, I'm going to recommend just going with the top."
Oh wait. Yes, they have. Project Runway showed the designers a collection of Bob Mackie work. Maybe that was the problem. Some of the Mackie dresses they showed them were full-length gowns. But that wasn't part of the brief this week. The brief was, "Make Christina Aguilera a costume for a stage concert." News flash, designers: Christina Aguilera is not a torch-song singer who's going to be rolling around on a piano.
"First it's Molly Ringwald, then--reveal!--
it's "Like a Virgin"-Madonna singing a Cyndi Lauper song!"
it's "Like a Virgin"-Madonna singing a Cyndi Lauper song!"
Of the designs that actually seemed workable on stage, Christopher's felt like a retread, Logan's looked like Betty Rubble, Irina's looked like a Frederick's of Hollywood nightie, and Nicolas' didn't go far enough. We felt pretty sure the judges were going to slam the remaining four designers for delivering red carpet looks (for lack of a better description) instead of show-stopping jiggle-suits, but no--two of the three top designs were gowns. Shows you what we know.
"I'm going to suggest you add feathers to this to make it...well, less boring."
So congratulations are due to Carol Hannah, who walks away with a first place finish at long last. We've criticized CH a bit for being relatively safe all season, and now she has a first place win to prove us wrong. Still, we cant help but feel a little unconvinced. We're still not sure how this was more appropriate to the challenge than Nicolas' dress, and regardless, we're definitely not feeling the wow here. Maybe she's too distracted from working so close to Logan? Ah, well, that shouldn't be a problem for too much longer. But we're getting ahead of ourselves...
"Her next tour can be called 'Bewitched!"
We also have to say goodbye to Shirin, the plucky little gal who could. Until recently. Though she hit the top three in the previous week, these last two challenges depleted her seemingly inexhaustible joie de vivre, and that spelled the end. Shirin just had nothing to bring to the table for this one, and she knew it. For so young a designer, Shirin's real strength seems to be her level of sophistication--and her Project Runway fatigue plus a challenge that called for her to throw sophistication to the wind proved to be her undoing. More than a few bloggers have cried that Christopher's not-so-hot pants should have gone home over this one, but as much as we'd like to still have Shirin around, we find it pretty hard to argue with the decision. Hasta la vista, Shirin--the workroom and the runway will be more dour for your departure.
"Designers...designers? Where did everyone go?"
And then there were seven! Only Althea, Carol Hannah, Christopher, Gordana, Irina, Logan, and Nicolas remain. What are their chances of making Bryant Park? More importantly, where, oh where, do they stand on the Big Board of Shame™?
Irina: 18 points (Two 1st places, One 2nd place, One 3rd place, Five safes)And this week...a graph!
Carol Hannah: 16 points (One 1st place, Two 2nd places, Six safes)
Althea: 16 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, Two 3rd places, Five safes)
Gordana: 7 points (One 1st place, One 3rd place, Five safes, Two 3rd worsts)
Christopher: 5 points (One 1st place, Two 2nd places, Three safes, One 3rd worst, Two 2nd worsts)
Nicolas: 4 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, Four safes, Two 3rd worsts, One 2nd worst)
Logan: -1 points (Seven safes, One 3rd worst, Two 2nd worsts)
--------------aufed--------------Ra'mon: 3 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, Two safes, One 3rd worst, One Auf)
Shirin: 8 points (One 1st place, One 3rd place, Six safes, One Auf)
Epperson: 6 points (One 2nd place, One 3rd place, Five safes, One Auf)
Johnny: 0 points (One 2nd place, One 3rd place, One safe, One 3rd worst, One Auf)
Louise: -1 point (One 3rd place, Four safes, One 2nd worst, One Auf)
Malvin: -3 points (One safe, One Auf)
Ari: -4 points (One Auf)
Qristyl: -8 points (One safe, One 3rd worst, One 2nd worst, One Auf)
Mitchell: -10 points (Two 2nd worsts, One Auf)
Scoring: 1st place (4 pts), 2nd place (3 pts), 3rd place (2 pts), Safe (1 pt), 3rd worst (-2 pts), 2nd worst (-3 pts), Aufed (-4 pts)
How high tech are we? Yes, you're looking at some awesome Microsoft Word technology here. We'll give you a moment to catch your breath, then we'll make a few observations.
Annotated Big Board PLUS Graph:
- How the mighty hath fallen! Check out Christopher's steady ascendancy from his week one win to his two second place finishes in a row in weeks five and six--and then his steady fall with three bottom three finishes in a row.
- As of week nine, there is Irina, Carol Hannah, and Althea, and there is everybody else. Each of the top three designers has more than double the points of their nearest competition--Gordana. (!)
- Gordana's upswing benefited greatly this week from her immunity. She would undoubtedly have been in the bottom three--perhaps the bottom two--without it. As it is, her immunity plus Christopher's bottom two finish lets her pull ahead to become the leader of the losers.
- While they've both been pretty dismal at times, both Gordana and Nicolas are on an uptick.
- Nicolas, however, despite his first place finish and his two second place finishes, has never had more than four points total at any time during the competition.
- The same can be said of Logan (no more than four points at any time) without the top three finishes. In fact, not only is Logan the only designer left not to hit the top three, he's the only designer remaining who has not had a first place win.
- Nicolas are Logan the only remaining designers to have hit negative numbers before being sent auf, thus completely ruining the aesthetics of our marvelous graph. Nicolas has also owned zero points twice.
Will any of the big three fall from grace? Can Christopher correct his downward spiral? Can Nicolas or Gordana make good on their resurgences? With only seven designers left, will Logan finally be able to crack the top three? Put on your pajama pants and settle in, kids. It's time to answer all...
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SPOILER ALERT: As we point out each week, we don't have any prior knowledge of what's to come, other than (usually) the guest judge, (sometimes) a vague idea about the competition, and (occasionally) whatever preview videos Lifetime chooses to air. Using all these sources of public information, we make guesses about who will be in and who will be out. Often bad guesses but, (we hope!), fun ones. If you prefer to be surprised by this week's episode, why don't you take your pants off and relax?
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"They all had a motive, but which one of them stole the pants?"
We have pants on the brain this week, fellow PR fans. Not literally, of course--this isn't a wardrobe refashion challenge gone wrong. But we have a sneaking suspicion this week will be all about the trousers. First the big-news-that-shouldn't-really-be-big-news: the gang's all here! Yes, for the first time this season since week one, we'll have Heidi, Michael, and Nina together in the judges' chairs. Seriously. The first time since week one. Let's hope the producers correct whatever scheduling problems were responsible for this years's judging debacle by next season. Not only are we missing out on the entertainment value they bring together, we also believe that the designers do better with consistent judging. The threat of "don't bore Nina" has made many a designer get his or her act together, and we've seen before how some designers have learned from--and grown under--consistent commentary from all three.
Somebody get this girl some pants.
Sitting in with the big three this week is Milla Jovovich, she of The Fifth Element and Resident Evil fame. Wikipedia describes her as a model, actress, musician, and fashion designer. We'll leave it up to you to decide which among those is most loosely applied. As for the fashion designer claim, there is actual evidence: for five years, she and model Carmen Hawk ran Jovovich-Hawk, a fashion label with clothes sold at Fred Segal and in 50 stores around the world, with an annual turnover of $21 million. For reals. They also won industry acclaim, and designed a line for Target. The company ceased operations in mid-2008 though when the two principles decided the business end overwhelmed the creative end for them. We suppose making ass-loads of money sucks when you have to actually work for it, but we wouldn't know.
This place sells pants for $500 a pair.
This week the designers go on another field trip--this time to the Michael Kors boutique on Rodeo Drive. There he delivers unto them a "secret challenge," according to the previews. A secret to whom? Nina and Heidi? Tim? Us? The designers themselves? We suppose this is just the preview's way of telling us "we're not going to tell you the challenge in advance like last time."
No, it' not Leanne Marshall's spring collection--
it's Michael Kors' Spring/Summer 2010 line.
it's Michael Kors' Spring/Summer 2010 line.
Kors has had designers out to his New York studio before, but this time we think it's going to have something to do with one of his lines. The "Michael by Michael Kors" is more ready to wear, and in the previews, the designers look like they're using separates, and all with a similar color palette to Kors' Spring/Summer 2010 line. We're not sure that date jives with the filming of the show though--it would have been a full year in advance, and what little we know about how these things are done makes us think that lines are put together a little more last minute than that. We also know the episode's title is "Around the World in Two Days." Does the challenge have to do with clothes you can travel in? We'll have to wait and see.
"I can beat the pants off all these amateurs, Althea. Including you."
What we do know it has to do with is pants. Irina's making them...
Nicolas is making them (with pockets!)...
Logan is making them (in white!?)...
And Althea's making pants. (That's her dress form beyond Irina.)
So, by our count, four of the seven remaining designers are making pants. Let's think about pants for a moment. (And no, we don't mean Logan's shiny pants.) With rare exceptions, Project Runway designers almost uniformly abhor making pants. (We can think of Terri and Chris March, off hand, as two previous PR contestants who have stated or shown they are not afraid of making pants. Others? Anyone?) Dresses are so much easier--and don't usually warrant "That crotch is insane!" kind of comments.
Of the other designers, we never see what Carol Hannah is working on, and this is all we see of Gordana's...
...which could either be the top of a dress, or a halter top worn with pants. And what of Christopher?
That's Christopher, Matar, and his dress form back there behind Gordana. Clearly, NO pants. We do not think this bodes well for Christopher. Really, why would more than half the designers be making pants if they didn't have to? Did four of them simultaneously decide, "This week, I'm making pants!" only to discover three of their fellow designers had made the same decision? We doubt it. Is the challenge to create a "missing look" for one of Michael's line, as was done in a previous season with Diane von Furstenberg, and everyone decided what Michael's line really needed was more pants? Are they merely using his design board and colors to create a summer look? But then, why does summer mean pants?
Dare to be pantsless.
In both the previews we have, Tim tells a designer, "If she pushes you back, you push her right back." The problem is, in one video it's implied he's telling it to Logan; in the other, he's telling it to Christopher. It's also implied that this comment is about Irina, as both previews try very hard to play up her bitchiness. We think Tim is talking to Christopher, and that perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he's not making pants while everyone else is. We also think it's not about Irina, but about Nina, who has heaped the abuse on Christopher of late. Of course, Logan's been on the receiving end of her trouser spankings too...
"Why must I be surrounded by frickin' idiots!?"
We're pretty sure this is a ready-to-wear separates challenge in any case, as almost everyone we can get a full look at is working on at least two pieces. We think the challenge might even be three separates. Irina's separates appear to be overkill, and may warrant the runway comment from Milla that "it's too much," particularly if she adds what looks like the coat in the back left here:
The judges' most damning comments are delivered to whoever is standing on the left. Heidi tells someone: "It was just ugly." Michael says to someone, "I see where you were going, but you didn't go far enough." And who is standing on the left side of the stage?
What did they do, all decide to wear black and gray together in honor of Michael?
Logan and Gordana. Nicolas is over there too, but he tells us in one of the previews he's having "a little mental breakdown," so we're going to go with the old misdirection thing on that comment.We think the "it's ugly" comment is for Logan, and a Nina comment to that side of the stage that "it's just basic clothes" is directed at Gordana. That's two of the bottom three. As for the third Suckateer?
Don't cry for me, Minnesota.
Well, Christopher is crying again, so that's not a good sign. He also didn't send pants down the runway, which seems to be a mistake when everyone else is doing pants.
"Hmm. That's interesting criticism, Michael. Stupid and wrong, but interesting."
Irina looks as though she's getting a bit of criticism. We think the best she'll do this week is third place, and the worst is third worst. She's putting together a lot of look in those pictures. It's probably too much to earn a top two spot, but not bad enough to land her in the bottom two. We're torn here. We keep calling her for a bottom three finish, but she keeps, well, not landing in the bottom three.
Nicolas is also up there for the judging...
"I am seriously freaking out here."
...as is Gordana. They've both been on the upswing of late, but neither has shown the potential to knock our pants off. So to speak.
So where do we stand? We think Logan, Christopher, and Gordana will be in the bottom. Gordana will be sent off as third worst, while Christopher and Logan sweat it out again. Which of them will go home? Well, it all comes down to pants. Logan's pants. He's not wearing The Shiny Pants this week, so we think he's the one who'll get pantsed by the judges. Yes, we've called his aufing before, and we were wrong--but we're not going to start second-guessing ourselves. This is the last strut for David Dust's Captain Shiny Pants.
There are seven designers left, and usually only six get called out for judging. Will they judge everyone, or send off one safe designer? If they send off a safe designer, why not make it Carol Hannah? After Logan, she's been safe the most times--six out of nine episodes. We're back to picking on CH--it's back to mediocre for her this week.
Our designers may put their pants on one leg at a time, but only three of them will make the top: Nicolas, Irina, and Althea. For reasons we've already discussed, we think Irina will place no higher than third, and she'll be really pissy about it. That puts the pants on fire award this week down to Nicolas and Althea, whose outfits will be strikingly similar this week. (Gray pants and white blouses--although Althea's has ruffles!) This week's brief seems right up Althea's alley, so that's where we're going: Althea wears the pants in this challenge.
Vive la pants!
Whooooooooo lives in a pineapple under the sea!?
See you in seven.
Gratz Industries: We watch the previews twenty times so you don't have to!