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Project Runway 4, Episode 4: When Bad Trends Happen to Good Peopleby Betsy Wasser -- 12/06/2007
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Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to step way out of the comfy world of women’s fashion and into menswear, specifically designing for Tiki Barber. The whole thing reminded me of Gloria Estefan night on American Idol. Everyone struggles, and in the end it’s not so much about who was good as who was the least bad. Jack put together a simple, but well constructed outfit with some interesting details and won. Carmen’s outfit was a total disaster, which she readily admitted. She was sent home.
Morning dawns, and we see Kit snuggled up in bed, then Ricky asking Rami to pass him his toothbrush in the shower. Obviously, the designers get pretty close after sharing such tight quarters. Kit and Sweet P talk about how tough the challenge was, and agree that it’s a shame Carmen is gone. Sweet P does admit that it’s nice having fewer people in the apartment and “better her than me.” Chris and Rami decide that Project Runway should have a perfume. The scent would be a mix of tears, sweat, and Chinese food.
Finally, they all head to Parsons. Heidi brings out the last two winning and losing models’ designers. The losing models are Cheron, who wore Marion’s Chewbacca outfit, and Carmen’s model Anna Lita. Jack won with Christina, but decides to swap. Heidi brings out the rest of the models, and Jack snags Ricky’s model Lea. Ricky is offended, which is ironic considering that he stole her in the first place. Christina will now be working with Ricky. Everyone else keeps the same models.
Model selection is boring to me. If only they could bring back crazy Morgan from Season 1.
Heidi sends the designers to meet Tim in the workroom, giving them all kinds of teasers – he’s with an old friend, and she has brought some friends with her. I am guessing an ex-designer from the show, but we’ll see. Sweet P thinks it’ll be for senior citizens, apparently taking “old friend” literally. Can we pause a moment to think about what an awesome challenge that would be? Take a moment to imagine the models strutting down the runway in polyester blend pantsuits with elastic waistbands. Embroidered holiday sweatshirts, the kind that are “dressy” because they have a built-in faux polo collar. Orthopedic shoes, but with platforms. It’d make menswear seem like a breeze!
It turns out that Tim’s friend is none other than Nina Garcia. Nina and Tim show off photos of what Chris calls “really hideous fashion trends.” I see neon, and am fondly reminded of my Neon Phase, circa 1984. I thought it was totally acceptable to pair hot pink with lime green, especially if I wore my hot pink jelly shoes with the ensemble. Other accessories included armfuls of jelly bracelets and a mesh bow, worn off center. Good times!
Nina tells the designers that Elle has been photographing “the evolution of trends” for decades. All of the ones depicted on the photos are, of course, out. One of them is overalls, which upsets Jillian, since she’s wearing them. She wonders if she is committing a faux pas. I can tell her that yes, she is. The only people who can get away with wearing overalls are little kids, pregnant women, and my grandmother, who has several pair, including a black velvet one for formal occasions. Overalls are adorable on little kids and my grandmother. On pregnant women, I can speak for experience that overalls are just wonderfully gigantic, plus have no waistband, plus when a woman is pregnant enough that she thinks overalls are a good idea, you do not want to tell you otherwise, or she will use her Hormonal Superpowers to rip your face off.
The designers each have to select a bad trend. Jack picks pleather, calling it “Britney Spears on crack,” a joke that might be too close to the truth. Victorya goes for underwear as outerwear, followed by Christian who snaps up the zoot suit without hesitating. Rami goes for the poodle skirt, Kit likes fringe, and Elisa picks cut outs. Jillian decides to bring back overalls, which amuses everyone. Ricky grabs neon, then Kevin goes for ‘70s flare. Chris says, “Joan Crawford it is,” as he grabs shoulder pads. Steven doesn’t want the baggy sweater, so he takes dancewear, leaving that for Sweet P. “Why am I always last?” she laments. She vows to make it fantastic.
Nina tells them they’ll be working in teams of three. They’ll need three outfits, incorporated all three dated looks. The collection must be cohesive and current. Wow, that’s a cool challenge! Tim tells them to select their own teams.
Chris, Sweet P, and Steven think they can work together. Victorya wants Ricky and Elisa, based on their trends. That’s really smart – neon, underwear as outerwear, and cut-outs all seem like they could work together. It also shows that Victorya has an analytical mind, since she’s thinking purely in terms of the design, not personality. Kit, on the other hand, wants to work with Christian and Jack because they’re fun. Each team has a $225 budget and two days. After an hour of sketching, it’s time for Mood. Plus, each team must select a leader.
Sweet P and Steven inform Chris that he is their team leader. He’s understandably nervous. Steven figures they can’t combine baggy sweaters, dancewear, and shoulder pads all in one outfit, so they’ll each do their own look and have common color and silhouette.
Jillian leads her team of overalls, poodle skirts, and ‘70s flair. They decide to put all three trends into all three looks. Well that should be interesting.
Ricky is the leader of his team, with underwear as outerwear, neon, and cutouts. But right off the bat, there’s some confusion as to who is actually in charge. Victorya delegates projects, and Ricky thinks she’s bossy. He thinks if she were the leader, she’d micromanage. This is probably true, but I have a feeling not being the leader won’t stop her.
Kit recommends that pleather and fringe be an accessory, and Christian agrees. Christian is the team leader, and says they need to incorporate all three trends into all outfits.
With that, it’s time to shop. Christian names his group Team Star, because they’re so awesome. Ricky goes for duchess satin, saying it’ll look fresh. Steven thinks one of the fabrics looks like grandma’s couch.
In the workroom, Kit plans a cap sleeve, then realizes that fringe will look like armpit hair. Hee! Team Star has a giggle over that. Chris says Sweet P is going for a sack dress and Steven is doing a wrap dress. His own design is a short jacket over a long dress. He suggests they all have three braided ponytails. He says that he is pigeon holed because of his past in designing outrageous costumes, but he thinks that this challenge will let him show what else he can do. Steven isn’t so sure about Chris’s jacket.
Ricky says that he is trying to speak to Elisa in a language that she would understand, for example, translating Victorya speak to “sculpt the fabric.” Elisa seems to be responding well to that. He says he was a dancer and is used to people with Elisa’s ethereal way about her. He isn’t bothered by the spit marks at all. I liked Ricky a lot in this scene. Yes, Elisa’s a little wacky, but she’s not so crazy that she’s impossible to work with. Ricky just adapted his conversational style to suit her – and that’s good leadership.
Time to check in on Team Jillian. Jillian’s got overalls, Kevin is doing hot shorts, and Rami has a denim dress. Jillian says she and Rami worked well together before, but Kevin’s an unknown to her. Kevin says that she was worried about his complicated pattern. She is afraid that he won’t finish his design fast enough.1 2 3 Next-->
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