Saturday, September 12, 2009

Project Runway Season Six, Episode Three: Surfer Girl Look!

I was over a week late in writing this, but I am making an effort to get my Project Runway blog posts going. I wrote this before I watched the Thursday episode, and I will be following up quickly with a post on that episode.

"Rumble on the Runway"

Well, with this episode we had a historic first for Project Runway. The winner and loser came from the same two-person team!!!

Episode Three is a major “product placement” episode----the inevitable “Garnier challenge” where the Garnier guy will work with everyone to create the perfect hair look. The hair-styling aspect does not seem to get in the way or have much to do with challenge, though. The challenge is to interview some surfer girls and come up with a look inspired by them.

Of course, we get a cute Tim Gunn moment on the beach where he appears in sunglasses, suit, and flip flops! "Only at the beach," he says.

Oddly, though, a second look challenge is later sprung on everyone: create an avant garde look based on the first look. Avant garde doesn’t have a whole lot to do with a surfer girl look. Is it a look for an avant garde surfer, or just a weird way to make the challenge stressful? The other avant garde surprise came in season 4, where the avant garde look was very clearly supposed to be based on the first, commercial look, was a pretty successful challenge. This one was a bit wacky.

At any rate, I’m glad they waited until the third episode for the group challenge….I hate group challenges (probably not as much as the designers!). I mean, something unfair and stupid always happens, and how can the judges sort through it based on the runway show??

So, let's break it down:

Not only does Shirin have immunity, she gets to be a team leader and pick first. Sweet! She chooses Carol Hannah. So we have the two talented young women with fluffy hair in ponytails working together, and I think they should be a great team. Their idea is a dress that turns into a swimsuit (surprise, something convertible from Shirin!).

Carol Hannah also has the model drama: her model, the red-haired Erica featured some in the first episode of "Models of the Runway," has to leave to film a commercial and won’t make the fitting. Carol Hannah reluctantly has to let her go and get a new model because the fitting is crucial. Of course, we’ll learn more about the model’s side during “Models."

Ra’mon is somewhat deflated by his being near the bottom during the last challenge, while poor Mitchell starts the show seeming completely flummoxed and does not get much better. “I wanted to work with someone [who] could carry me on this challenge,” he says, and thus chooses Ra’mon. Ramon feels he has a giant bulls-eye on his face and needs to step in and provide some leadership, however reluctantly.

Right off the bat, Mitchell bitches that Ra'mon has picked out ugly things and that they are going to be in trouble. Hmm, I think that Mitchell's talking as team leader about what Ra'mon picked out does not bode well.

I really don’t know how Mitchell manages not to do anything?? At least as Ra’mon gets more and more frustrated, at least the two are not blowing up at each other, allowing Ra’mon to pull a new dress out of his a$$ at the last minute!! I’m sorry not to see his wetsuit-look come to fruition, but Tim is taken aback at how the Grecian goddess look and wetsuit jumpsuit do not go together at all, and they decide to ditch the wetsuit look. The last-minute dress is cute, if not exactly….avant garde?

I forgot the blond Ohio chick in my first post. Althea. Oops. I had thought she definitely seemed to like herself very much. I have been pleasantly surprised at her designs, though. Her pregnancy challenge gown was great (in spite of the too-small “cups”), and she does have potential. She chooses Louise Black because Louise was in the top last time. I am not sure the two have anything in common, though.

Their looks are fine. They present a cute little red mini tulip-skirt dress with some black and white trim…and small cups! Althea's signature, it seems. Their avant garde look wasn’t very related but was interesting…a strapless gown with a bunch of zippers at the top and a train of flamenco ruffles for the skirt. I would have liked to get more of a look at it and some insight on how they came up with it.

Poor Qrystal: she chooses quiet, unassuming Epperson because she thinks he’s a good designer, and he immediately starts disagreeing with her and bossing her around in an annoying, quiet way. Qrystal’s response is puzzlement and indignation: “I’m not no damn student!” She needs to give Epperson the hand (as in, the one you tell someone to talk to) and assert herself somehow, but her protestations make her seem sensitive and insulted rather than strong and effective. I am not sure what she should do. She may just not be able to assert herself appropriately. At any rate, it was an “oil and water” pairing that was disaster from beginning to end.

Well, in my first post I also forgot Johnny Meth. Johnny is the character who has a past to overcome in the form of a meth addiction, and has a melt-down during the first challenge but snaps out of it suddenly after Tim Gunn delivers some concern and platitudes. I think that would probably work for me, too!! I didn’t particularly like---or understand how the judges liked---what he did in episode 1, but it was nice enough to see him triumph.

He is left with Irina, the last to get picked for the challenge. They seem to work together well, though. They are going for effortless Bohemian chic, and their looks are okay. I liked the macramé back of their everyday look. The avant garde look seemed quite messy, but I guess it went with the other look since the gown features oversize macramé. It was interesting.

Nicolas (straight-haired, pretentious guy, Mar-QUESA!) chooses Jordana. Nicolas is excited about bringing back the wrap-around pant, plus they will have a macramé bathing suit, which Jordana executes. She is a little unsettled but trusts Nicholas with his avant garde look. Her explanation that it is kind of a mermaid look is rather plausible.

Logan chooses Christopher, who seems very honored or something. Not a whole lot is shown of them until their looks appear on the runway. The casual look is decent, with long pants and a top over a bathing suit top. And a big floppy hat that Logan made. The avant garde gown seems to marry Logan's rocker with Christopher's volume....according to Christopher. It's a gown with a huge puffy layered skirt and a fitted corset top. It looks kind of costumey, like "I am an avant garde costume!"

Judgment Time

Unfortunately, no Michael Kors this time. Boo!! The panel consists of Heidi, Max Azria, Nina Garcia, and Rachel Bilson (who besides being an actress from California, is doing some kind of fashion design).

Shirin and Carol Hannah, Althea and Louise, and Logan and Christopher get to leave the stage because their scores qualified them to move to the next challenge. Thus, we don't learn much about their looks.

Nicolas and Jordana are stunned to learn they were among the lowest scoring designers. It looks like Jordana is going to give someone hell instead of leaving the stage when Heidi requests to talk to the top scorers first.

Top Scorers

Johnny and Irina’s looks were at the top. I have to say, the macramé theme and the overall look did go together. Rachel liked the casual look the best of all the looks. I liked the handbag!

Ra'mon and Mitchell are stunned to make the top two. Rmon starts off explaining his inspiration, and Heidi jumps on that. Mitchell is put on the spot and can only stutter about having made the bathing suit, which no one even knows exists. Then Ra'mon calmly explains his frustrations, and Mitchell actually admits he did not do a whole lot. I have to give him credit for being honest.

The neoprene in this so-called avant garde look makes Nina giddy: “thank you…GOD….for neoprene!” Wow, that’s quite an endorsement, I’ll have to look up exactly what neoprene is. I liked the dress, too, but thought the skirt had a rumple in the front. Very cool use of the dye, with 35 minutes to runway-time, and the back is super cute.

Time to rake the lower scorers over the coals.

Nicholas and Jordana:

I agree the halter top was well made and the pants were kind of sloppy. While I didn’t like the avant garde look personally, I did think it was avant garde enough, reflected Nicholas’s sensibilities, and mimicked the lacy and frothy water of ocean waves. (I’ve gazed down from cliffs at waves crashing on the beach at Torrey Pines in California, and have thought that the foam on the waves was just like lace, and how cool to design something that could capture that. What that would be, I don’t know….literal imitation is never a good idea in fashion!)

Um, but back to the designs on the show, it seems Nicholas and Jordana aren’t completely done-for in the judge’s eyes. The judges hate the sexiness and garters of the look but Nina said that overall look all together with the hair and makeup was good. So, the judges saw potential there.

Qrystle and Epperson:

Their beach look is fairly cute. Well-made and not so terrible. The avant grade thing is monstrous. Nina says “I mean, what is this??” and that kind of sums things up. I really can't describe’s like…a brown bathing suit with some stuff on it?

The interview is a big bitchfest. Epperson comes across as smug and obnoxious, and Qrystal just lets it all out and doesn’t do herself any favors. I think they are both weak, and I predict neither one will be around much longer.

So, the result: Ra’mon is the winner!! And, Mitchell is the loser. Three strikes, and all that. I think that is was time for Mitchell to go. He had already given up from the beginning of the show, whereas R’mon took his low scoring experience from the last show and worked hard and fought back to stay in the game. I look forward to seeing what he will do in future shows!!

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