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Project Runway 4, Episode 11 Unbuttoned: Proud as a Peacockby Jenn Brasler -- 02/18/2008
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Color me not at all surprised that Sweet P was the designer sent home this week. You all know I love Sweet P, but you also know that I thought she’d lasted a lot longer than she should have. (You just know somewhere Victorya is gnashing her teeth over the fact that Sweet P outlasted her.) Though maybe her respectable fifth-place finish will give Sweet P the confidence boost she needs. She also got to show at Bryant Park during Fashion Week (all of the final five designers did, so as to throw people off as to who made the finals), and that could mean some work for her in the future, if she caught people’s eyes.
Despite her problems in the competition, I thought Sweet P should have done a lot better in this last challenge. I’ve never quite been able to grasp the idea of the designers being inspired by things like art and candy, but I thought Sweet P picked the most inspiring artwork, the paining of the peacock. I myself could almost envision a dress with a ton of colorful layers like peacock feathers. But Sweet P’s end result was nowhere near what it should have been. Where did that dress come from? And why did she think it would get her to Bryant Park? Especially after seeing her competitors’ designs, Sweet P should have realized that her dress wasn’t going to cut it.
Not that Sweet P had it easy at all during this challenge. Lea’s family emergency is exactly the reason they should have backup models on hand just in case one can’t show up. Remember last season, when Vincent’s model was in an accident and he wound up working with a different one? That’s what they should have done for Sweet P. Not only was she at a disadvantage because she couldn’t do a fitting with Lea when the other designers were doing their fittings, but she also had the added stress of not knowing when (or if) her model would arrive. That couldn’t have helped her during an already highly stressful situation.
Once again, Jillian displayed poor time management - but this time it didn’t hurt her. She’s managed to prove time and time again that even when things get tight and she stresses out, she can still produce a nice design. She completely earned her trip to Bryant Park. The jury’s still out on her personality-wise, but Jillian is absolutely a talented designer and could have a very successful career. I think her showing at Fashion Week will be even more spectacular than usual because she’ll have more time to work - and hopefully she’s learned how to deal with time constraints better.
So it’s all come down to Rami and Chris. These two designers embody some of the big debates that arise on Project Runway, namely, is it better to perform consistently well but never do anything new, or is it better to take risks and not always succeed? Both designers have shown that they’re obviously talented, and though they have very different styles, they could both be successful after the show. The question is, which of them will the judges send through to the final three?
Rami may be more technically proficient than Chris, but he’s already shown that to the judges. They know he can drape, they know he can design flattering and pretty dresses, they know he understands the female form. But does that translate to an interesting, unique line? Do they want to see ten of the same kind of dresses walking down a runway? No, they don’t, no matter how well they’re designed and made. Rami is almost textbook and clinical - he’s a model of proficiency, but not much else.
Chris, on the other hand, has had more ups and downs (and don’t forget that he’s even been eliminated). He’s not as good as Rami with the technical aspect of design. But fashion isn’t all about the technical. Fashion is also about vision and creativity and uniqueness, which Chris has in spades. Sometimes the fact that he isn’t as polished as the other designers is overshadowed by his creativity. He keeps things interesting, and you never know what you’re going to get from him. This freshness and originality are what the judges are looking for, and what will make him successful in the future.
I think the main difference between Chris and Rami is that Rami strives to be perfect while Chris strives to have fun. That’s not to say that Rami doesn’t enjoy what he does - I’m sure he does or he wouldn’t be doing it - but Chris seems to have a more fun-loving attitude towards his work. He’d rather design something lighthearted and interesting than something that’s Design 101. Consistency is important, but how important if you’re always safe, like Rami? I guess we’ll find out in the sudden-death round (cue evil cackling).
I wonder if the judges chose the Greek/Roman sculpture room at the museum for possible inspiration as a test for Rami. They knew that would be something he would go for, and I wonder if they included it as a possibility to see if he would take the bait. If he’d chosen a different room to find his inspiration, his design might have been something different than his usual work, and the end result of the judging might have been very different. But if it was a test, Rami failed, and that might come into play later.
I probably won’t write an article about the reunion show (unless there’s some big revelation or blowup that inspires me), so this is it until we see the designers’ shows at Fashion Week. There are some great contenders this season, and whatever happens, I think we’ll get a good show. I also don’t think it will matter who goes on between Rami and Chris - it’s going to come down to Jillian and Christian in the end.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent articles on RealityNewsOnline:
Jenn Brasler is an Associate Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, Virginia. By day she works for a court reporting firm, and by night she’s a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jenn is 99 percent sure that Christian is going to win.
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