Thursday, November 15, 2007

Project Runway 4, Week 1

Yay! Project Runway is back! Not only am I happy because the show kicks arse, but I'm absolutely thrilled that I won't have to hear any more of those cheesy promos with the "It's sew time" tagline. Hard to believe that a bad pun-lover like me wouldn't go for that, isn't it?

For those of you (under-rock dwellers) not familiar with the show, Project Runway brings together a group of aspiring fashion designers to compete for the chance to show an original collection at New York's Fashion Week (sponsored this year by Mercedes-Benz) and win money to start and/or promote their own line. Week 1 is all about getting to know the contestants, and letting them get to know each other.

The first challenge required each contestant to create an outfit that embodied their individual design styles. After meeting up in Bryant Park with hosts, Heidi "In Between Pregnancies" Klum and Tim "Mr. Fabulous" Gunn, the designers were set loose to grab as much fabric as they could from three tents.

Here's a peek at this season's designers and what they chose to create as a "signature" garment:

Carmen, 37 - This model-turned-designer is the co-founder of the Sistahs of Harlem clothing line. She also reminds me of Joan Armatrading. Her design looked like something a modern-day genie with a thing for huge scarves would wear. I thought it was really interesting, and I loved the metallic and autumnal colors represented. My Grade: B

Chris, 44 - One of my favorites so far, this flamboyant funny guy has designed outrageous costumes for Madonna, Cirque du Soleil and a variety of stage shows. He looks a bit like a chubbier version of Ricky Gervais, and he's got a great personality. Chris created a silky, flowing gown in a gorgeous eggplant color. The top fabric was a green and purple print that wrapped around the neck halter style, with a lot of excess fabric tied in the back. It had that touch of pizazz that Chris obviously likes, but was still very elegant. My Grade: A-

Christian, 21 - The early front-runner to take the "most obnoxious designer" crown. He looks like your typical art school know-it-all punk. I was watching the show with my roommate and his friend (both gay) and they agreed with my assessment that Christian might be trying too hard to prove his gayness. Actually, they just rolled their eyes and snarled, "Queen" every time he was on-screen. Still, we all had to begrudgingly admit that Queen Christian's ensemble was strangely cool. It was certainly nothing I'd ever wear, but I could see it featured in a Vogue spread. My Grade: C

Elisa, 42 - As you might expect from someone who creates giant marionettes, Elisa is kind of a weird one. She's got the whole Schizo Earth Mother thing going on. I could totally see her designing clothes for someone like Bjork. The dress she created was a beautiful aqua/turquoise color and had a pretty shape, but then she went crazy and added multi-colored, tattered remnants on to the back as a train that her model couldn't quite walk with. The addition of green boots made the whole thing a little too Stevie Nicks. (I love Stevie, just not her clothes.) My Grade: D

Jack, 38 - A swimmer and model, Jack graduated from Parsons School of Design and opened a menswear store in - where else - the West Village. Jack has an unbelievable body, but I don't know what he did to his face. It looks like he spent too much time in the tanning bed and may have made a few too many trips to the Botox doc. (Don't let this small pic fool you. He's a Monet.) He seems like a nice guy though, and I liked his design. He created a cute little cocktail dress in a black and white print with blue accents. The color scheme was hot and the dress was constructed very well. My Grade: A

Jillian, 26 - A Long Islander who seems to be just another typical New York fashionista who will eventually get on my nerves. According to her bio, her "fashion must" is a sweater dress (ideally with pockets hidden in the side seams) worn with opaque colored tights. Gee, you don't see that every day walking through Midtown. Sorry, I just don't see her bringing anything original to the competition. Her design was nice enough, but it was just your average red cocktail dress. Nothing exciting. My Grade: C

Kevin, 30 - Kevin is the managing partner and head designer of two labels, one of which (KJEANS) was featured in the Victoria's Secret catalog. He mentioned on the show that there are a lot more straight male designers than people think, yet I'm fairly certain that he is the only straight guy in the competition. His design certainly looked like it was created by a straight guy, so he needs to find his inner gay soon. The dress could only be described as Maid Marion-meets-Lita Ford. Not great. My Grade: D

Kit, 26 - The creator of L.A.-based fashion line, Kit Pistol, this girl seems to be the female version of last season's champ, Jeffrey. Well, she's bringing the "rocker" attitude but whether she can win the whole shebang or, more importantly, make someone's mother cry, remains to be seen. I didn't like her outfit at all. It was a lightly printed, black, strapless, knee-length dress with some kind of awful one-shoulder, puffed-sleeve, cropped, red and black print jacket on top. Even Maid Lita Ford wouldn't have worn that mess.
My Grade: F

Marion, 39 - No Maid here; this Marion's a dude. He owns a small boutique in Dallas, TX and his fashions have been used for editorial spreads in magazines like Bazaar and Cosmopolitan. He says his "fashion must" is thin, stretch suspenders, so you would think he has kind of a retro style. Judging by last night, you would be wrong. His dress was atrocious. It could've only worked on Lily Munster. My Grade: F

Rami, 31 - After moving to the U.S. from Jerusalem as a teenager, Rami attended, but never graduated from, design school and later learned pattern-making on his own. His designs have been sold in high-end stores in the U.S. and Europe and he has dressed celebs like Jessica Alba, Tyra Banks and a couple of Firecrotches. He created a very pretty, heavily draped dress in a dark gray fabric. Everyone loved his design and he emerged the first challenge winner. My Grade: A

Ricky, 35 - A lingerie designer with a seemingly endless array of weird hats, Ricky started his own label in 2004. His designs can be found in Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and specialty lingerie stores throughout the U.S. Predictably, his challenge design was inspired by his experience with lingerie, but it came out looking rather blah. It was just a black metallic baby-doll dress that looked a bit like a costume. My Grade: D

Simone, 32 - Simone is another Parsons graduate who designs her own collection of women's wear created from organic products. I won't spend too much time on her because she was "Auf'd" last night. Her dress really did look like something that I could make, and I'm actually afraid of sewing machines. My Grade: F

Steven, 30 - Steven is a kind of quiet, nerdy guy but he seems to know what looks good on women. His design was a sleek, black coat-dress with a deep V-neck and turned-up collar, paired with a bright red scarf. Trés chic. Don't underestimate the nerd! My Grade: A

Sweet P, 46 - Half hippie/half biker, Sweet P most recently designed sleepwear before deciding that wasn't what she was interested in. Strangely enough, her design looked rather nightgown-esque. I liked the gold and red color scheme, but I wasn't too wild about the cut of the dress. It was one of those sack dresses that becomes a little more tapered near the bottom. I don't understand why this look is so popular now, especially with skinny girls who have nothing to hide. I think that style makes everyone look bigger. My Grade: C

Victorya, 34 - Born in Korea and raised in Virginia, Victorya worked as a journalist in Europe before moving to New York. She runs her own line of women's wear and has a very classic style with a bit of edge to it. Her design was a cool, modern take on the little black dress, accessorized with a large, metallic "flower." I'm not one for big brooches, pins, flowers and such, so this wasn't really for me, but I liked the overall design of the dress. My Grade: B

For more info on the show or to get a look at all of this week's fashions, go to Bravo's Project Runway site.

Since I already told you who won and who lost, I don't have to talk about the judges right now. It's a good thing, too, because I'm too tired to give Nina Garcia the proper barbs that she so greatly deserves. I'm coming for you next week, Nina.

Auf wiedersehen! (Just try to sue me, Heidi. You own those words about as much as Paris Hilton owns "That's hot.")


Anonymous said...

woooohoooooo I was hoping you'd do a PR post! Rami is my fave to win, he's hawt! I think the judges got it right the first week however I would have gotten rid of Earth Mother Carmen first. Her dress was stupid, the model couldn't even walk in it. I think they're keeping her around for her weirdness.

Beth said...

Brilliant summary, BeckEye. Looks like we're on the same designer page so far.

Anonymous said...

Two thumbs up for your comments/predictions.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well I guess if people can watch other people play poker on tv, why not watch them sew?

pistols at dawn said...

Do dudes watch this show by themselves, or only if forced to by their significant others? I know that I don't give one great goddamn about it, but that's kind of my go-to emotion.

Dale said...

Hmm, is this playing up here I wonder? Project Runway Canada is still on so I'll have to search the guide before I read your breakdown.

I saw a few episodes last year and was impressed with Heidi's excellent OUT! Schnell! dismissals.

chelene said...

I just caught the first ep in repeats. Simone's dress was awful and she deserved the boot.

Too bad Anna Wintour wouldn't be caught dead on this show because I would love to hear her rip someone to shreds as a guest judge.

Beth said...

Ooh! Chelene has a great suggestion with Ann as judge.

Much as I don't like Kit Pistol, I love her line: Life is too short to have on a bad outfit. It appears, though, that it's a subjective call, based on what she showed.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

So far I like the fat guy, despise Kit Pistol and the gay kid with the funky hair, and I am baffled as to why that Israeli guy won. I thought his dressmade that model's boobs look like scrambled eggs.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

I'm interested to see what other weirdness comes from the puppet lady who used herself as a dress form. Also loved Heidi's comment about how her dress made the model look like she was "poo-ing fabric".

Also hoping that someone puts gum in Queen Christian's hair.

Leonesse said...

Is Kit Pistol the love child of Katrocket and Pistols?

And I have never got to watch this show. House of boys.

Moxie said...

Yay! Another Project Runway fan. I am in agreement with you on: Kit Pistol-as-the-new-Jeffrey; puppet lady's weirdness (Remember the nutter who got drunk during the reunion show and babbled nonsense? Puppetmaster totally reminds me of her.); Christian as a sniveling brat; Rami and Chris' designs. Ricky reminds me a lot of Andre from Season 2: on the verge of tears in his video diary and completely wrapped up in himself and his vision. I keep waiting for one of the other contestants to imitate Santino-as-Tim Gunn and make fun of Ricky. That would be great television.

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Travis said...

Every so often my Lady will find this show. She enjoys it. Some of the fashions don't make sense to me, but I'm a guy - WTF do I know?

We'll be checking on your updates.

cube said...

I love PR and I love your analysis!


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