We thought this was a pretty great challenge because it was far closer to the real world of fashion design than the fantasy challenges Project Runway normally deals out. Startup or struggling designers will have to jump through hoops to satisfy a boutique owner’s wishes and demands, taking into account everything from hanger appeal to manufacturing costs.
Although we had to laugh a little because reality television can never be reality, so their version of this process basically boiled down to:
“That’s your sketch? Okay.”
*waves fingers authoritatively over a calculator*
“You can only spend 30 dollars! Good luck!”
And Mr. Whiney-Boo gets yet another whiney-boo moment in a season that seems to have been all about How Difficult Everything Is for Mr. Whiney-Boo. We would have had our heads ripped off if we said this eighteen months ago, but we suspect a few minds have been changed in the interim: he’s a pain in the ass. And he’s pretty snotty, to boot.
But this is Project Runway: Coronation, so congratulations once again, Mondo! Your dress looks exactly like a table runner in a Mexican restaurant!
No matter what lingering frustrations we may have with the Michael/Nina/Heidi three-headed Hydra of judging, we have never been more embarrassed on behalf of a bunch of judges than last night, as they all dutifully read their script pages about what a fresh and exciting design this shapeless party-colored sack is.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, because we don’t hate the dress completely. It’s kind of cute, actually. But it’s ridiculous to pretend that this is some sort of exciting design. The dress is on sale at Nanette Lepore now and you can see it here. We’re impressed with how little was changed, but not at all surprised that a tieback was added to give it some shape. In other words, in order for this winning dress to be sold, they added a minor change that altered the silhouette completely. But it’s a great design! Winner!
And it’s Schmauf Wiedersehen to Kenley. Such is the topsy-turvy world of Project Runway: Coronation that we actually found ourselves yelling at the TV on her behalf. In the past, we were yelling at the TV to get her off it.
Yes, this would have looked better if it had been more fitted; and yes, she should have matched up the print (although the judges go back and forth on that principle depending upon the challenge). We think all the obsessing over a keyhole was just a way for them to come up with a justification for Schmaufing her.
We’ve been to several Nanette Lepore runway shows and this dress, while very cute and probably among the most salable of the garments offered last night, isn’t really in the house style (although that was true of more than her entry). We can understand it not winning, but once again the vagaries of this competition and its various twists, turns, and flaming hoops have sent home someone who produced a really cute garment that would sell, while they praised other designers for making garments that were, quite frankly, hideous and would NEVER sell to anyone but a size 2.
This is the problem with PR in the Bunim/Murray age. All reality shows follow scripts, and the tightness of those scripts could be anything from a short, vague preparation before the scene, to a producer actually telling people what to say and when to say it. But Project Runway, for the last 4 seasons, has been one of the most clumsily scripted reality shows we’ve ever seen. The bare minimum of an attempt is made to explain the judges decisions but for the most part, the thinking behind the scenes seems to be “Fuck explaining it. Just give the win to X because that’s who we want to win it.”
Time to be declarative about it: Bunim/Murray has destroyed the Project Runway brand in exactly the way we feared they would when they were announced as the new producers. We’ll be curious to see how PR does for its upcoming 10th regular season, but if it’s anything like the last two or three, it may be time to set this show out to pasture. You can’t keep insulting your audience and expect them to love you for it.
[Photo Credit: myLifetime.com - Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]
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