On Project Runway last week, the designers worked in two-person teams and created looks for Sarah Jessica Parker’s fashion line, Bitten, on a $15.00 budget. Team leaders Christian revisited the 80s, Marion made a mess, Ricky cried and Elisa spit. In the end, Marion was sent packing while Victorya took top honors, her outfit landing a place in Bitten’s Fall line. This week starts with some of the guys discussing Marion’s departure, with Chris joking that they should have gotten rid of Christian, since no one would miss him. Christian stands in mock surprise with his mouth agape and announces if he were not around they would all be bored while the rest of the guys laugh uproariously. Which means that when Christian isn’t being seriously pompous, he’s capable of being quite amusing!
Heidi informs the crew that there will be no model selections and sends them off to meet Tim Gunn at Ten Rockefeller Plaza. Once there, he ushers them into a TV studio, where they meet their surprise and their challenge: they will be designing an outfit for Tiki Barber – former running back for the New York Giants and Today Show correspondent. Which means they are designing men’s wear. I am already afraid of what we will see. Immediately the designers start panicking, as none of them consider themselves men’s wear designers and none of them know what to do. They are given 30 minutes to sketch, 30 minutes at Mood and a budget of $150.
The episode is rife with anxiety, broken up only by Jack and Christian’s antics when entering the workroom. In one shot, Jack carries Christian like a handbag, in another he opens the door to allow Christian to flounce in, and there is a piggy-back moment. The rest of the show is people making grandiose plans for sewing three piece suits and then freaking out and editing their designs back and dropping elements left and right. This episode featured the gloves coming off as well. Jack took apart his own pants to create a pattern, which Victorya and Carmen copied, which Sweet P told them they should ask if they were allowed to do that and Rami later recalled by announcing that he was happy with the look of his pants, which were not copied like some people. The nastiest moment was between Carmen and Ricky on the second night. Ricky declared that he was a wreck (surprise!) and Carmen began to sing "Don’t go home too soon!", causing him to parrot back her tune with his own lyrics: "Shut the f*** up!", and which devolved from there.
They were each assigned male models, which seemed to have them quite tickled for the most part. Elisa continued her wacky shenanigans by closing her eyes and turning her back when her model was changing and camera talking that she didn’t want to touch him, as her boyfriend was the only male she was comfortable using her organic methodology of design on. Which made it seem sexualized in a manner I am not sure she was aware of, as her model nervously told her he was interested in Ethnobotany and she rapturously told him "keep talking!". Um. Awkward?
The Runway was, unsurprisingly largely a mess. It seemed like many of the designers got sidetracked and started thinking that simply making men’s wear was the challenge, totally forgetting the design aspect.
Jillian: Excellent execution and she was the only designer to truly finish all her pieces. A black and white printed dress shirt with a white color, a vest, jacket and pants. They looked like something that could be bought in any department store, however. Which means they were solid as a foundation, but contained little interest. I think a pop of color at the collar, or in the vest would have gone a long way for her.
Carmen: Holy hell, what a train wreck. There is no shirt. There is, instead, a swath of light blue fabric wrapped around the models neck and tucked into his waistband, like a dickie – only worse. The jacket is too short, with odd cuffs and a collar that is formless and uneven with a strange wine colored silk lining. The pants are high waisted with a crotch that is painful to look at, it is so poorly executed.
Christian: I think he was trying to pull off a men’s version of the outfit he made in the first challenge. Except with less style, senseless elements and weak structure. The fit of the jacket is bizarre, looking almost like it is fitted similar to a woman’s coat. The sleeves are too long and look bunched, and the collar is uneven, looking like it is twisted to the side – on the jacket and on the shirt.
Kit: It’s actual casual yet classy. She made a blazer, using navy fleece, which softened it’s lines, but stayed away from looking geriatric or formless. She made a white shirt from a textured cotton and a khaki chino pant. It’s all well made, but navy, white and khaki is about as tired as it gets in men’s casual. Michael Kors nails it when he says that if it weren’t for the fleece, it would be mind numbingly boring.
Rami: The fit is good, it’s casual, but for some reason it reminds me of Michael Douglas’s character in the movie Falling Down. Navy pants, khaki jacket, white shirt – same boring color pallet as Kit.
Sweet P: Second train wreck! The sleeves are about 3 inches too short, the tie is about a foot too long and shirt? Oh the shirt. The neck looks huge and is hanging down his chest well past his collar bone, yet the shoulders are so tight that they are pulling and straining the material. The collar is such a mess that she doesn’t even attempt to button it up, leaving it lose and falling around his neck, with the tie hanging off. It would almost look styled to be off putting, but the terrible fit is a dead give away.
Steven: Excellent fit. It seriously looks perfectly tailored to the model (thought the break in the pant is a bit longer than I personally like for men). There is a fitted knit 3 button pullover in a dark gray over a light stone gray dress shirt paired with medium smokey gray pants. There is a strange ascot-like bit of material about his neck, but other than that it’s a solid and classic looking design.
Victorya: She took a risk with her coat, but I am not sure it paid off. She attempted a structured, almost Asian collar, but it ended up looking like a chef’s coat to me. Paired with a plain black tee and dark gray pants, it seemed poorly thought out.
Kevin: It’s very European. I mean very. There is a lavender shirt, a pin stripped vest and matching pant, and dark purple print silk tie and pocket square. The fit is a bit tight in the sleeves, and the styling makes it look sloppier than I think it really is. At the same time, it shows a definite point of view and – more importantly – it all makes sense together.
Chris: It’s a black coat, a black tee and a black pant. There is nothing to break up the solidness of the black, which is a huge drawback. It’s hard to even really tell what the design elements are – but it fits well, and it’s all completed, so he’s ahead of the game there at least.
Jack: A solid design, with pin striped pants and a striped shirt. The biggest design element is the alteration of the stripe in the shirt at the buttons and pocket – which run diagonally in opposition to the vertical stripe of the rest of the shirt. Everything fits well and it comes off as conservative with a kick. It’s biggest drawback was that it was only two pieces.
Ricky: Third train wreck! It’s a black coat and pant over a white polo with an orange silk pocket square. The pants fit well, but the coat is dreadful: not only poorly fit and sloppily executed, but literally pinned together. On top of it? Dullsville. Not a single design element that is even somewhat interesting.
Elisa: A green long-sleeved pull-over paired with a black vest and black pants. It’s another perfectly tailored look, and the green color is devine while the texture of the fabric invites touch. The lining of the vest is also a nice surprise, being a rich dual toned material that is a rich marroon while shimmering ever so slightly blue. Elisa may bt the kook, but so far, she’s done an impressive job this season.
In the end, it’s no shock that Jack wins. While I think there were better concepts and designs, I am not sure the designers were keeping his proportions in mind. However, I am surprised when Carmen gets the boot and Ricky is allowed to stay. While I agree that what she sent down the runway was atrocious – after all her model was half naked and what clothes he had were…um…ugly – she did attempt more than a standard suit. Additionally, looking at the previous shows, her designs have been more solid that Ricky’s. That said, Ricky cries, as he does every episode, and seems a hair’s breadth from cracking through most of the hour. Thus, I don;t think he’s long for the Project Runway world.
Tell me your opinions! What fashions did you like? Which did you hate? Did you agree with the winner and with who was eliminated? Do you want Jack to give you a piggy back ride?