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Who’s In and Who’s Out: Project Runway 2, Episode 4by Kevin Otten -- 12/29/2005
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This week, lingerie led to four different threesomes on Project Runway. However, it seemed that almost everyone failed to do a good job. Even though we finally saw Santino’s vicious tirade against judge Nina Garcia, he was not the one eliminated. Instead, one of the Daniels was - and the other Daniel was the winner!
For this challenge, four different teams of three were required to design three different lingerie looks to execute their team leader’s vision. The rules will apply somewhat differently in assessing who is in and who is out, since the designers were working in groups. We’ll have to look not just at the individuals’ actions, but also the groups’ interactions. In the end, the important fashion tips that Project Runway designers should have learned will still prevail.
Who’s IN: Daniel Vosovic
According to Heidi Klum, Daniel Vosovic successfully led his team to earning higher scores than all of the other design teams. But, as Tim Gunn noted immediately before the runway show, any of the designers or teams could have potentially been eliminated this week: none of them did a particularly outstanding job, even those on the winning team. So there isn’t a whole lot to say about what his team did well, even though for the most part they adhered to the guidelines.
The first rule that Daniel and his team correctly followed was to be original and creative. Daniel’s “revenge” lingerie impressed Heidi Klum before he was selected as a team leader, and later impressed the rest of the judges on the actual runway. This rule is fairly straightforward in Vosovic’s team victory – the concept of a scorned woman raiding her ex-boyfriend’s wardrobe and tearing into his clothes to make lingerie was a unique idea.
Being flexible and versatile, the second tip, is definitely applicable in this challenge, but in a somewhat different way than it has been in prior challenges. This time, rather than having to adapt their particular design philosophies in order to please the judges, the designers also had to adapt their styles to execute the vision of their leader. Every member of Daniel’s team contributed to their overall success. Zulema and Andrae provided feedback to Daniel throughout their construction process, while still ensuring that the final product was what he wanted. More importantly, as the leader, Daniel actively sought out their opinions and ideas throughout the process to improve the look of their collection.
The third guideline, being professional and following the rules, did not play a huge role in Vosovic’s team victory. But it is worth nothing that an important part of being professional is being a team player, and collaborating effectively with one’s coworkers when necessary. Only two of the four teams managed to do this successfully, and Daniel Vosovic’s was one of them.
Daniel’s team wasn’t particularly resourceful, so the fourth rule can be glossed over as well. Though he did make good use of his human resources, beyond that, he and his team didn’t use any unconventional materials, ideas, etc.
The fifth guideline instructs designers to sell themselves and their work to the judges. In this particular challenge, only Daniel can really be credited with successfully following this recommendation. The team did not have an opportunity (or necessarily the need) to sell themselves because Heidi announced immediately that Vosovic and his team were the winners. However, Daniel did sell himself – before the construction process even began. He was able to sell Heidi on his unique revenge concept, which caused her to choose him to be one of the team leaders.
Understanding the challenge and doing what it requires, the final fashion tip, was the most relevant for this task. Vosovic recognized that being the leader put him in a risky position; whether they won or lost, more responsibility fell on his shoulders. He showed that he wanted his team to succeed by utilizing Zulema and Andrae’s ideas and criticism throughout the process, unlike Daniel Franco (who steamrolled over his teammates’ ideas) and Santino (who prematurely dismissed one of his teammates as useless).
On a more practical level, team Vosovic never lost sight of the fact that the challenge was about creating lingerie – each design was supposed to be sexy and beautiful. Also, as a collection, each look was supposed to be related but distinct, and Daniel made sure that this balance was preserved in each of the three lingerie designs. Finally, Heidi informed the designers that the challenge was also about execution – effectively carrying out the lead designer’s vision was an integral part of the challenge. Team Vosovic had a good concept to work with in the first place and each member helped actualize that concept in the final product.
Who’s OUT: Daniel Franco
As a returning designer who was previously eliminated in the first season, Daniel Franco came into season 2 with some strikes against him already. Even though he managed to stick around for the first four episodes, his weaknesses as a designer once again caught up with him. In this challenge, the designers were cautioned that it would be possible that an entire team might be eliminated, so looking at why Daniel specifically was eliminated (as opposed to his whole team) also deserves further exploration. Finally, it appeared as though both Daniel Franco and Santino violated all of the rules this week, so a little bit of time should be spent contrasting the two designers to discover why Daniel Franco was sent home.
Starting with the first rule, we see that Daniel Franco did have an original idea which pleased Heidi Klum in the preliminary pitch each designer made in order to earn the team leader role. However, this challenge was not just about the concept, but its execution, and Daniel’s final product did not align well with the original vision he sold to Heidi. Instead of being elegant, it seemed matronly; instead of being tastefully sexual, it seemed too conservative to be lingerie. Also, the lack of variation in the three different looks suggested a lack of creativity from the team and its leader.1 2 Next-->
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