Thursday, October 20, 2011

2.10: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous."

Paul:  First and foremost, any "Where's Andrae?" jokes hereafter are officially bad form.

Laurie:  Agreed. It is no longer funny now that he is really gone.

Paul:  The design challenge was for the designers to design for other designers.  Wait, let's back that up and try to explain it in a way that will avoid utter confusion.  Each designer is to design an outfit for one of the other designers in their own design style.  Is this making sense?  The other designer will then wear the outfit on the runway.

Laurie: In fewer words, the design challenge was for each of the designers to design for one of their fellow designers. This surprise seemed to delight everyone, us included.  As I recall, names were drawn to determine who would design for who.

This is officially referred to as the "Makeover" episode. And so it was.  The whole gang was taken out for a few hours to be pampered with manicures and pedicures. (It's always fun to see our normally tense contestants get opportunities to laugh and play a little.)  When it came time to dress for the runway they would be styled by the professionals, just like their models would normally be.

Paul:  It also makes me feel like a bit of a ghoul realizing I've been entertaining myself with extraordinarily tense people in their struggles.

We are down to Nick, Kara, Santino, Daniel V. (not his fault, we need the extra initial for clarity. Such is the capriciousness of fate), and Chloe.

I didn't write a lot of notes for this episode for some reason, but I did write about them not knowing men's wear.  For the life of me, I can't remember who said that, but someone in particular made that shocking admission of non-versatility. 

Laurie:  Nick was apparently the only one with menswear experience, and he cranked out a suit for the beloved Daniel V. in no time flat. 

Paul:  Right.  You know, there's something strange to me about the movable feast aspect of the show.  We've seen it before and, since we're actually ahead of what we're writing about, I know we'll see it again.  Some people get slammed for things that other people are praised for.  You'll have the judges say "This is too much like everything you've ever made on this show" and the next challenge the designer will think way outside of their box and the judges will say "This looks nothing like your work."

So, you pack your samples, your porfolio, your models, and head off to Capitol City to audition for Project Runway in full  knowledge that you have absolutely no clue how to make clothing for roughly 1/2 of the world's population.  Which is a lot of why this blog project is meant to be more about slightly larger ideas suggested by the material rather than the material itself.  The material itself is mad north by northwest, but when the wind is southerly knows a hawk from a handsaw.

Chloe's winning design
The outfit that Nick wore, designed by Chloe, is the best of the lot and the judges agree.

Laurie:   Chloe's accomplishment in this challenge was even more impressive considering she had absolutely zero experience with menswear. (She's the one you couldn't remember.) This was her first-ever suit for a man, and it was perfect.

Paul:  In a cruel twist of fate, Nick is also ousted this week as his design for Daniel V. is the losing design.  Oh, but wait!  Have you seen Nick's design placed side by side with Santino's design for Kara?

Laurie:  Yes. Nick was sacrificed on the altar of Santino.   Clear, albeit sometimes misguided, talent aside, Santino has turned out to be the single greatest character (and I mean that in the theatrical sense) of the season.  Santino's design was not only hideous and ill-fitting; it was also poorly sewn.  The left sleeve was separating at the shoulder, and when the judges called him on it he blamed it on Karas enthusiastic movements.  To her credit, she did not correct him. Inexplicably, the guest judge liked it....Perhaps this is what accounts for Santino's survival to the next round. (I'm trying these days not to allow myself to get too cynical over the capricious behavior of the Project Runway gods.)

To be fair, however, Nick's apparent over-confidence in his experience with menswear led him to under-work or under-think - or something - his design for Daniel.  On first glance, and in the photo below, it looks really lovely, but the judges were rather unanimous in their criticism.  They might not have objected so much to the soft, possibly feminine, color if the cut had not been so much like woman's wear.  The pants had no pockets.  An omission that, being a woman, I did not pick up on.

Paul:  Being a man, I did immediately.

Laurie:  Apparently it is a cardinal sin to expect men to wear pants without pockets.

Paul:  We don't make the rules.  It's just for the best.

Laurie:  Add to that the fact that the jacket had no pockets either, and no closure, and the soft fabric showed faint bunching along every seam, Nick's design was fatally flawed.  This was a big disappointment in Casa Mathers, since we really enjoyed Nick's talent as well as his gregarious personality.
Image via
Images via

images via

 Daniel had immunity for this challenge due to his having one the last one.  He expressed a firm desire to win in spite of that, but as it turned out it was only his immunity that saved him.  The judges hated the outfit he made for Chloe, saying it aged her.  Also, the hem was fraying and looked sloppy.  I admit to really disliking that vest thing. I just don't get it.  Daniel managed the judges harsh criticism as he seems to do everything else, politely and without argument. His reply was a classy and respectful, "Guess you can't be right all the time."  I like this kid.

And finally we have our winner. Kara's remake of Santino was a huge hit with judges and Mathers alike.  I think I recall one of the judges referring to the look as "Santino on holiday".  The madras pants were perfect and  Kara even recovered the hat with some of the same fabric which lined the collared shirt. It was great to seen our season's biggest ego clean shaven.  He looked shades brighter and less brooding, delightful really, and he clearly felt it too. A well-deserved win for Kara.

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