Thursday, October 2, 2008

Project Runway Recap - Episode 12 - The Breakdowns

So I think we can all safely agree that last night’s road to Bryan Park episode put the nail in the boring season coffin. Before we get to what the designers brought down the runway, let’s just discuss the overall tone of the program. Granted, I do not live or work or compete with these people, but I find myself confused as to why there is so much hate towards Kenley. I get that she is obnoxious and loud and is constantly on the defense, but I didn’t see her being nearly as aggressive towards the other designers as Wendy Pepper or Santino had been in the past. And after comparing her with Jeffrey, Season 3 winner, Kenley looks like an angelic poster child. Maybe it’s because I have been described as loud, obnoxious and yes sometimes, defensive, but last night I really saw that this chick was unaware of a great deal of attitude that she deals out. And again compared to previous drama freaks on the show that all but sabotaged their fellow contestants, she is at least defensive in regards to stuff she creates and loves. I know she’s been a total bitch to the judges, to fellow designers and god forbid, Tim, but I think the context of her bitchiness is a bit different than previous villains of Project Runway. Also, after being called out on her shit last night by Heidi and Co., she oddly felt vulnerable about it. But she did comment on the designer’s aesthetics and give the judges a bit more attitude that the show aired.
Here it is:

Ok, I had just had to address the Kenley hate right away, so now let’s get to the designs and then will probe a bit more into the judging. The challenge should have been an easy one and I think previous season contestants were probably banging their heads that these four designers did not knock it out of the park. The designers were asked to take pictures of flowers, bushes, etc at the beautiful Botanical Gardens here in NYC, which reminds me that I need to do that. Anyways, their challenge was to incorporate their photograph into a ball gown/dress. I always think that the gown challenges are the worst ones because every designers thinks its beyond easy walking into it, I mean how challenging can it be to make something beautiful with something beautiful, but I can see where all of these people got stumped. Unfortunately, all of these designers are over thinkers and work things to death and it showed in their dresses. While I think all of them were able to correlate their photographs with the designs, I don’t think anyone nailed this one out of the park. My favorites and the judges were Jerrell’s and Leanne’s, which were both beautiful. I think if they were given one more day to work on it, they both would have presented some of the best dresses to ever walk down the runway. Jerrell’s was incredibly “new looking” with a wonderful grasp of the concept, a literal take and modern revamp of a gown. Leanne’s detailing was spectacular, her dress was beautiful and represented her photograph well, but it was not as modern as Jerrell’s. My least favorites were Korto’s and Kenley’s designs. I thought both of these women became stumped when attempting to translate their look into gown form, which was not a problem for their competitors. Korto’s choice of fabric was questionable, her construction was well done, but the dress overall was flat, not expensive looking and was quite dated. Kenley’s on the other hand was bizarre to me. For someone who loves to work with crazy floral patterns, this was her chance to work it. Instead she picked some odd magenta snake skinesque fabric and created a dress near costume levels. It didn’t real rich, nor dated, but it couldn’t because you had never seen anything like it before and that is not a compliment. I thought both of these designers fell short, but neither failed in my eyes. Heidi, Michael, Nina and perfectly chosen guest judge Georgina Chapman of Marchesa, the design house that is on top of the beautiful modern gown, all agreed that while Korto and Kenley did not bring it, they were not flops either. And in a turn of events I saw coming a mile away, or actually since episode 7, there was no designer auf’d last night. Jerrell was the winner, but ultimately that means nothing since it did not win him a spot at Bryant Park. He is now the only designer to win three challenges this go around and I think the one to beat at the Park shows.

Here are the designers dresses:
Jerrell - The winner

Leanne - The runner up

Korto - Not so hot

Kenley - Not so hot

The judges gave their canned “this was too close”, but honestly, I agree. I am really intrigued by what all four designers will bring to their Bryant Park show. What did bug me and should bug all of you, is that Jerrell with his win last night, did not secure a position in the final three for Fashion Week. Next week, it will be another battle head to head, similar to last year’s with Romi and Chris March, but instead all four designers will compete. To say this season is a let down is a bit unfair because I honestly think there was a lot of talent this go around. I just felt that the challenges were phoned in, the eliminations were a bit weird in the beginning and since knowing this show will no longer be the property of Bravo, or at least its up in the air right now, many of the fans and I believe producers did not have high hopes for this season. I hope that the runway shows, and I will NOT ruin it for myself with sneak peeks at the MANY MANY photos of the designers’ shows, will prove to me that these four people truly have it to make it this far.