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Who’s In and Who’s Out: Project Runway 3, Episode 4by Kevin Otten -- 08/08/2006
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Like the prior two seasons, we see early on in the show a challenge requiring a design for a corporate client, this time with Inc. and Macy’s. Keith, who seemed to think he was superior to the other designers despite his safety net of fashion how-to books, stole the show with his shocking elimination. So let’s cover that first and get it out of the way, before analyzing the crucial fashion tips for Project Runway designers in this week’s episode.
Who’s… disqualified?! KEITH
After all the hullabaloo, Keith’s kick-off seemed a little anticlimactic. Fans across the country seem to have shrugged off his untimely departure, as message boards, blogs, etc. all indicate the sentiment most seem to share: yeah, he broke the rules, and he should have been asked to leave. He had some impressive designs, but an equally unimpressive attitude. What else is there to say?
With respect to my set of fashion tips the designers are to follow, Keith actually did a pretty good job with all of them, with the exception of #5. (Be professional both on and off the runway.) As his elimination did not occur on the runway, and did not occur because of any particular garment he made, the usual application of the rules as a method of evaluating him as a designer don’t really apply. Actually, until his devious behavior was discovered, he was doing quite well.
Ironically, rule #5 on my list was edited for this season – last season it specifically instructed the designers to “follow the rules,” but this season that seemingly common sense piece of advice did not seem necessary. That specific component of the rule never really played a role in anyone’s success or failure last season. The guidelines I’ve written are designed to help delineate which designers do well and which do poorly, but when it comes to following the rules we have an all or nothing issue, with little room for gray in between.
Such is the situation with Keith and his bad-boy behavior. He violated the contract he signed in order to be on the show. Thus, he was asked to leave the show. It was intense and the build-up was huge (who would be the first designer ever asked to leave!?) but in the end, not much happened. So let’s move on to the truly exciting dish for this week – who was IN and who was OUT!
Who’s IN: Angela’s team, with Laura and Michael
Audible gasps were heard and jaws dropped to the floor when Angela (!) was selected to be a team leader this week by Macy’s representative Mehmet Tangoren. No one seemed to want to work with her, and everyone seemed surprised that she mustered up enough showmanship in the one-on-one consultation to make a good impression. (After all, she admitted she didn’t even sketch as part of her work!) But she did. So what was it that made her team win, much to the surprise of many? They did an excellent job following each of the rules the designers must adhere to in order to succeed…
1. Stand out! Be original, creative, and show a unique, strong point of view in your designs.
Laura and Michael had worked together before, and they were able to identify what they perceived as the shortcomings and flaws in Angela’s style. So they worked together to combine their own unique chemistry with her point of view to come up with a design that had great appeal to all of the judges, including guest judge Mehmet from Macy’s. Laura had the brilliant idea of meeting Angela half way with the rosettes. Using them as buttons still allowed Angela’s signature touch to be evident in the design without going over the top and making the look gaudy. It was a creative idea, and both Laura and Angela should be lauded for their teamwork (though Laura did come up with the idea). All three designers played a role in harmoniously working together to make the cropped jacket, wide-legged pants, and top which the judges loved. The concept of using the Empire State Building as her inspiration was not that original (hello?! Jay from Season 1 anyone?!), but her take on the inspiration was in fact unique. The entire look meshed well together, just as the three designers did during the design task.
2. Demonstrate flexibility and versatility with each challenge.
Each of the members of this team demonstrated flexibility in one way or another. Laura and Michael already had a chance to get to know one another and collaborate in the prior design task for Miss USA. When Laura first selected Michael for that challenge two weeks ago, she did so because she felt he would complement her style and offer a different but valuable perspective. She was right, and the two continued to complement one another – and Angela in this challenge. Team leader Angela also did a good job listening to their suggestions, especially their cautionary words of minimizing rosettes, if they were to even be included. All three designers showed a willingness to listen to one another, adapt their styles to form a unified vision, and to ensure that their work fit within the parameters that Mehmet explained to them in their briefing for the challenge. A definite job well done!1 2 3 Next-->
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