My apologies for the much-delayed post, but if you knew how glorious the weather in NYC has been this week, you wouldn't blame me for choosing to spend the day yesterday romping around with my family instead of writing. Friday, which is usually when I write my Project Runway posts, was Rosh Hashanah and a public school holiday here, so that's the other half of my rock-solid excuse. Thanks for reading and let's get to it!
Near the beginning of this week's episode of Project Runway, my friend Lizzi texted me to comment on how crazy were all the people who turned down the designers seeking makeover models in Washington Square Park.
But by the end of the episode we both agreed: we wouldn't say yes either. After all, would you want to be on national TV in a get-up like this:
Or have your semi-private parts exposed when a zipper bursts open pre-runway:
Also, if you're a Project Runway fan, then you know the winning designer of the "real person" challenge never has a short, stumpy model. And often (though it didn't happen this time) someone plus-size ends up in tears because there's a good reason why some of these designers are not yet a success: they can't fit clothes on non-model bodies — and their people skills suck. What if, I asked Lizzi via text, someone ignored my bottom-line and put me in a miniskirt and my cellulite was on national TV?
"Oh damn," she replied. "What if they put me in COLOR?" (She only wears black, gray and blue, bless her heart).
Thankfully for the designers of Season 13, Washington Square Park is the kind of place where you can find tall, thin actress/ballerina/yoga teachers with time to spare and low expectations. Did the producers of Project Runway seed the park with the results of a "regular lady" casting call? Or are there truly that many attractive women with no prior obligations just lounging around the West Village on a sunny summer day? You and I will never know.
Moving on to our lessons:
Lesson 1: Tough love from Tim Gunn will only get you so far
One minute, Tim Gunn is holding your hand and telling you that you are the most talented person he's ever met — and in the next he's doing the gentleman's equivalent of smacking the stupid straight out of you.
This week Alexander nearly sent this cropped-top-and-high-waisted skirt ensemble down the runway.
Tim intervened, calling it the "most hideous garment he has ever seen IN HIS ENTIRE EXISTENCE." Those are strong words from a man who mentored Timothy from Season 12:
Sure, it may have resembled an oozing pizza monster costume, but "hideous"? Really? (I bet if Sandyha had designed it — and came up with a good justification, the judges would have eaten it up.) And did Alexander deserve to go home for his final toned-down cropped top and skirt look? How was that look (see the first picture above) any worse than Amanda's dress?
Lesson 2: Side zips and short shorts are not a match made in fashion heaven
It was an apparent Project Runway first when Char was given a few extra minutes to resew a busted zipper into the flaming red booty shorts she made for a preschool teacher. Everyone else conceded she should get a break lest her model be mortified on the runway with her hip hanging out. (But of course they complained behind her back after the fact.)
I don't know. I hate wearing shorts and avoid them as much as possible, but a side zip? To me, that seems weird. I know an actual fly would take longer to sew...and a center back zip on shorts is tacky and gross (like the one sewn last week by Alexander, may he rest in peace). Maybe if they had more than a day for each challenge this season's designers could sew real-world closures for their real-world women.
Lesson 3: Maybe Project Runway should be called "Project Would I Wear That?"
Too often, the most important measure for Heidi, Nina and the guest judge is "Would I wear that?" — which shouldn't be the only test for fashion supremacy. Zac is the one judge who cares more for creativity and vision than whether something would show off enough of Heidi's legs.
How else to explain the fact that Emily's interesting look...
...lost to Korina's motorcycle jacket.
Kini's look, meanwhile, did a great job of answering the challenge; he channelled his model's personal style into something cooler than she would have chosen on her own. Heidi would never wear this though, so sorry, Kini:
Meanwhile in real NYC this week I took my daughter to Mood in search of some Halloween costume fabrics. Guess what we spotted while we were there:
That's right! Char's fabric from last week. It's $18/yard and Oscar de la Renta. You can find it with the printed cottons. You're welcome.
Also: Did anyone see the commercial for "Project Runway Threads" — the kids Project Runway? After Master Chef Junior I knew it was only a matter of time before someone developed a Junior Project Runway. Anyway, can't wait to watch it with my kid!
What did you think of this week's episode? Were any of these outfits a game-changer for you?