Thursday, November 15, 2007

Project Runway Premiere

I have been waiting for entirely too long for a new season of my favorite reality show, Project Runway. We got two seasons of Top Chef in the interim, but it's not the same thing. Although entertaining, there's none of the snark and little of the petty bitchiness of PR.

This time around, PR has upped the GQ. That's Gay Quotient. Eight of the designers are male, only one of whom, at least that I can tell, is straight. There's already been tears, from Ricky, while talking about the opportunity to be on Project Runway. So. Touching. Next week we're gonna get more. Oh baby, bring on the drama! We'll need it to liven things up, as the first few episodes are too full of mediocrity to be really interesting. Too many designers, not enough talent.

The episode started with the customary Meeting of the Designers in Their New Digs, this season at the Gotham rather than the Atlas. As each new person enters the scene, we see a bit of a cutaway interview and get a little info about him or her. When we see Simone, her name flashes on the screen and immediately we are introduced to the next person. "A-ha!" I exclaimed, "Simone will be eliminated this week." ::::cue dramatic organ music of portension here::::

For the most part, this team of designers is young and attractive, apart from all of the scary tattoos and Sweet P's eyebrows. The one standout in all the pretty is Christian, a bloviating youngster from Annapolis and alumnus of the Baltimore School for the Arts (alma mater of Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac Shakur), who resembles a reject from the Flock of Seagulls reunion tour with his intentionally cowlicked hair. He's small and mouthy and one of those obnoxious children one hates at first sight...the Marcel Vigneron of Project Runway. His affected tone also bears resemblance to that other creature I love to hate, Paris Hilton.

Back to the show...once all designers are present and accounted for, they scurry to Bryant Park to drink champagne and meet Tim and Heidi. They then receive their first challenge which resembled a three-legged race to a pre-Christmas one-day sale: run across the park and manhandle $50K worth of Mood-donated fabrics to create an outfit that shows who they are as a designer. Laughter (the pathetic/uneasy sort) ensued when tubby costume designer Chris couldn't get his portly ass to the tents as fast as the rest of the manic gang. He still ended up with good fabric, despite the mess left behind by the greedy gropers as they cadged their loot.

With a challenge like this one expects to see something interesting. Why did the judges choose these particular designers to compete for the big money? That is a question that so far will remain unanswered. Too many of the outfits that came down the runway were just plain uninteresting. There were several short, unflattering, baby-doll-type dresses that resembled prostitutes nightgowns (should they feel the need to wear nightgowns), one pants suit, a few long dresses. Highlights and lowlights follow:

I couldn't really see the details of this black dress too well because of the...blackness...but I wasn't fond of it at all.

Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Dress. The front is fine - slinky, interesting, good color. The back, however, was scary. To paraphrase Heidi, she looked as if she was oozing fabric. Heidi actually said "poo-ing," suggesting some pretty weird anatomy since the "train" was attached somewhere around the back of the knee. And that was probably why it dragged so unappealingly on the ground, making Elisa's model Lea stumble. Or it could have been those 80s cast-off boots. Or all of the above.

Christian made an interesting plaid jacket that unfortunately made his model's head look too small (the Olive Oyl hairdo didn't help), and what was that weird furry trim down the front? I hated the bland beige skirt. Perhaps some skinny black trousers would have worked better but the judges (and I wonder about them sometimes) seemed to like it ok.

Such a sad expression. But you can see why. What is the skirt made of, and why are we seeing the underside of the material? It looks thick and coarse, like denim. Or oilcloth. Or even naugahyde. It makes her look bloated.

The shrugly thing on top hid the ill-fitting bodice, but it certainly didn't improve the outfit. And damn, wasn't I right about Simone getting the boot?

The best and winning look came from Rami who showed himself to be a master draper. He also brought back the fleurchon in a big way. Michael Kors didn't like it, saying it was too "mother-of-the-bride." Indeed. It's something Angelina Jolie might wear to the wedding of her Zahara or Shiloh. Oddly, nobody commented on the fugly shoes that came from the Bluefly wall o' accessories. Too clunky, bad color for the dress.

Thus concludes the long-awaited Season Four recap. Such as it is. I hope to be more entertaining in the future.


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