Last week’s episode, “What a Woman Wants,” proves someone most of us already know: Models, especially those getting their start in the industry, should not be creating their own dresses. While they often make good walking clothes hangers, most of them don’t have a sense of style. Then, the Heidi’s and Tyra’s of the world keep telling them that it’s necessary for them to have a smart, unique way of presenting themselves. Then, models should have some kind of sartorial mentorship. Heaven forbid these models then become candidates for What Not to Wear. That would earn a special kind of chastisement from Clinton and Stacy.
This week, the designers got to make paper dresses. While it’s not the first time for this type of challenge (the recycled plastic and paper challenge, the Hershey’s dresses), it is the first one solely devoted to paper and a shameless plug for the LA Times. Even with them, the NY Times, BBC News, and every small newspaper outlet going online, the LA Times seems hell bent on preserving their paper edition. This, of course, means ink-smudgey fingers while going through the Style guide. Oh, let’s not forget that the designers must also have inky hands by the end of this challenge.
Shirin, who’s normally one of the more innovative designers, came up with a style of skirt we saw on the 5th season of Project Runway and the more recent PR knockoff The Fashion Show. Still, it’s Bjork-worthy along with the time consuming “feather” skirt made by Christopher.
With this season, there now seems to be a thread of lameness with some losing designers. First, Mitchell goes home for doing nothing while his partner does all the work and wins. This week, Johnny comes up with the lousiest excuse ever for having to make another dress when the first one wasn’t working. It was DAMAGED by the STEAM and WATER sputtering from the IRON? He wasn’t willing to own up to the fact that he panicked after Tim Gunn tore apart his origami motif dress. Living up to an addict stereotype, he came up with an alibi which only made him look worse in front of the teammate and the judges. His model became his enabler as she bought the story and then backed him up in front of the judges. She gets points for being loyal, but she should have seen through that. Nicholas, who had punk rock fail when it came to vision, called him out in front of the judges.
Althea, Ra’mon, and Gordana definitely made dresses that didn’t look like newspapers at all, though Althea had the more striking design. Either one should have won instead of Irina. Irinia did some arresting work with the faux-faux fur touch on the trenchcoat and it was 1950’s couture lovely. I didn’t care for the seam that was drawn on the back vent with a pen. It won because the Desperate Housewife wants to wear it.
Speaking of which, is it just me or is there an actress featured as a guest judge for the episiodes. There’s also more industry people showing up as guest judges as well, but can’t PR go actress-lite? Perhaps these women are essentially audience surrogates – their opinions and point of views may be closer to the Lifetime viewer than those of Tim Gunn and the regular judges. This Project Runway definitely feels different than it’s Bravo incarnaton.