Project Runway: Neverending Story

Posted on January 25, 2013

Here’s the story…

 

…of two lovely ladies.

 

Y’know, we almost embarrassed ourselves by writing “Hey, this wasn’t a bad start.” Not because it was a bad start, but because we’re pretty sure we wrote some variation of that sentence for every single season premiere episode of Project Runway.

 

Let’s just all agree that PR generally opens fine. There are too many designers for major attention-whoring moments (although god bless them; some tried) and because there are so many looks on the runway, the judges’ decisions tend not to be as maddening. You might not agree exactly with their choices, but at this stage of the game, they’re in the general ballpark of making sense.

 

As for the cast, there are too many to make much in the way of judgments, but it strikes us as the usual collection of bitches, attention whores, flamboyant queens, wide-eyed innocents and cannon fodder. There does seem to be a base level of skill here, collectively speaking. The bottom three were really the worst of the lot. The rest ranged from passable to very good. That’s encouraging, especially since they got only a day to put the look together.

 

So far, the team concept bothers us little. It helps when you’re dealing with large teams because the individual designers are, for the most part, left to their own devices, with some agreed-upon guidelines in place. It left little room for disagreement and power struggles and more room for the designers to showcase their goods. Obviously, this format will not stand forever and at some point the rules and the teams will be shuffled unexpectedly. For now, the only real issue we have with it is the open admission that high-scoring and low-scoring looks will only wind up in the top and bottom 3 if they’re on the correct team. That’ll be annoying going forward.

 

As for the challenge, it couldn’t have been lamer or more vague. They might as well have handed them each a postcard.

 

Daniel Esquivel

So congrats, Daniel! While your mustache was epic and your personal style questionable, you did manage a pretty decent look. We felt this belonged in the Top 3, but should not have received the win. It’s too pedestrian, to use widdle Zac Posen’s (who needs to loosen up) word. We’ve seen this. In fact, we’ve seen this walking a runway with Zac Posen’s name attached to it, we’re pretty sure.

 

Richard Hallmarq

Tom felt this should be the win because it was interesting, well-made, and oddly beautiful. As Nina said, it’s totally urban, which means he hit the mark better than the Mustache of Flamboyance did.

 

Patricia Michaels

Lorenzo thought this should be the win because it displayed a level of artistry not seen in the other pieces. It was truly original and had some nice touches, like the hints of blue.

We are both in agreement that Princess Water Lily wore out the whole “Native-American” thing in the first 5 minutes. By the time she got to the ululating, we checked out.

 

Kate Pankoke

We’re not even going to pretend to know who did this. Whoever she is, this is a decent, if unremarkable effort.

 

Amanda Valentine

This was the smirky Mean Girl one, right? It’s not bad at all. Love that she did pants and love that she made them interesting without making them gimmicky. Ditto on the top. It’s extremely simple, but it’s kind of chic.

 

Layana Aguilar

A total nothing of a dress.

 

Stanley Hudson

Stanley made sure to tell everyone that he’s a costume designer about ten times. Well guess what? This looks like a costume. And a poorly fitted one at that.

 

Joseph Aaron Segal

We think we would have appreciated this more if it wasn’t the colors of dustrags. Done in shades of blue or shades or red, we could see this being a pretty sharp design.

 

Matthew Arthur

Cute. Not innovative or anything, but cute.  He seemed like a sweet guy.

 

Samantha Black

We thought this was one of the more interesting of the looks. She made it floaty while still keeping it sexy and modern. Love the neckline detail, even if it’s not perfectly executed.

 

Tu Suthiwat Nakchat

The top is interesting, but the skirt couldn’t be more boring. The creamy white – which is not a color one associates with New York City – made it all the blander.

 

Benjamin Mach

It seems a lot of people looked at NYC and saw grime, judging by their color choices. This is another not-bad design. We’re not crazy about trains paired with short skirts, but the top half is interesting.

 

Michelle Lesniak Franklin

Overdone. Desperately in need of editing.

We had no major complaints about the selection of the bottom three:

 

James Martinez

Another total nothing of a dress. The only reason this deserved the slot over Layana’s plain black dress is that hers looked at least a little modern and upscale. These are sales rack pieces.

 

Cindy Marlatt

HORRIFYINGLY AWFUL. That waist detail looks like it came off a pizza box. The main fabric is ugly, and there’s practically no design here.  One thing’s for sure: she’s neck and neck with Princess Water Lily in the “I’m going to mention one fact about myself over and over again” sweepstakes. Drink every time she says “funeral director.”

 

Emily Pollard

But – to the eternal delight of every viewer over the age of 35 – Lady Funeral was saved by the fact that the snotty girl who kept rolling her eyes at her was the only one to do worse in the competition. We don’t know if we quite agree with Nina that these are the least-finished garments in 11 seasons – Carmen Webber’s imaginary menswear shirt would seem to be worse – but they were certainly appalling. No, this one was a no-brainer, which, we suppose is why it’s easy to remain upbeat at this point in the season. We doubt anyone watching last night screamed “NO!!!! NOT THE UNFINISHED TACKY LOOK FROM THE BITCHY GIRL!!!!!!” in rageful disagreement.

 

 

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for Lifetime – Stills: tomandlorenzo.com]

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