Project Runway: Fashion Weak
Project Runway is all about vision and delusion. The vision to ask three designers to compete for a prize. The delusion their entries will look different. The vision to return January 14th, the delusion your audience will come back.
That's right, last night during the disastrous season six finale, Lifetime announced that season seven will debut on the network the second week in January. It's a good thing too, because after this awful, rushed season, both Lifetime and Bunim/Murray, who produces the show, need to show that they can make a good season. Maybe season six was like the muslin version of a gown that a couturier makes so she can figure out what she's doing and next season will be the finished red-carpet ready product. Let's hope.
So, onto last night's finale. Irina, Althea, and Carol Hannah all showed their 13-look collections in Bryant Park during fashion week (way back in February). We actually found some things to love about it, but first:
Things We Hate:
- Crying: Everyone cried. Althea cried, Carol Hannah cried, Irina cried, Irina's parents cried, Tim Gunn cried into his handkerchief backstage that he still has three seasons left on his contract. Everyone cried except Cry-stopher, which was strange. We love drama, but all this excessive crying just makes us want to, well, weep.
- The Other Designers: We didn't even like Logan, Cry-stopher, and Gordana before they were kicked off, and we don't want to see them around again. They really had nothing to add. If the producers wanted to do something interesting, they would have brought back the first three designers kicked off. They all sucked! Imagine weeping Carol Hannah having to deal with Malvin of egg dress fame. Awesome.
- Cry-stopher's Eyebrows: While we're at it, let's talk about Cry-stopher some more, because his eyebrows were so drawn on, he looked like a third-rate drag queen doing an impersonation of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, but without the camp. And why, for fuck's sake, didn't he go to the L'Oreal Paris Make Up room to have them at least draw them on symmetrically.
- Fake Introductions: We all know that the final collections were filmed back in February when the show was still embroiled in about 23 different lawsuits and they were trying to keep production details a big secret. All the press accounts of the runway show mention that the designers made no appearances at all. So, what was up with the fake introductions they each gave their collection? Did they assemble a faux audience and recreate the set and film the introductions then? Or did they do it later that day, but with a cast of extras instead of the general public and a bunch of media types? And did they think that we wouldn't notice?
- Irina Invented the Smokey Eye: It really irked us when Irina accused Althea of stealing her makeup scheme for the final show. As if she just heard what Irina wanted and copied her. Oh, because smudged makeup has never been done before ever in the history of fashion or the world. You made it up, Irina! We know you think otherwise, but you are not original. You didn't invent any of the ideas you have accused Althea of stealing. And all of fashion, like most other art, is about stealing and reappropriating anyway. And this coming from a girl who stole T-shirt designs—twice!
- Heidi's Pink Outfit: It wasn't as horrible as the pink ruffle shirt and sparkly biker shorts she wore earlier in the season, but it looks—as Ms. Kors would say—very mother of the bride. Actually we think Endora wore it to a wedding once on Bewitched.
- No Celebrities: We've said this before, but part of the move to L.A. was supposed to be about getting great celebs as guests and judges. Who do they get for the finale? Suzy Menkes! Who? Exactly. Suzy is great and all (see below), but in the past we had Parker Posey, Debra Messing, Posh Spice, people who have great style and a little bit of pizazz. Suzy has the cred and would have been a great replacement for one of the two frequent absentee judges this season, but she is no finale judge. And if you're going to have another horrible year in L.A., then we want to see some serious star wattage!
- Cohesion: Making a collection of clothes that has cohesion is kind of like creating a concept album—the only people who care about it are industry types. It's not like there are women marching around who buy entire collections or want all their clothes for a season to look like they "tell a story." When everyone is downloading singles, who cares how all the songs sound together on an album? "Cohesion" is some bullshit that the fashion industrial complex cooked up and holds designers to when no one else really cares about it. The only time it looks good is in the 20 minutes when everything walks down the runway.
- No Color: Would it have killed you guys to do something other than shades of drab? Your collections all looked about as washed out as Tim Gunn after three weeks of swine flu!
- Nothing Stands Out: After watching the finale last night, I was thinking about the ghosts of finales of seasons past. Remember Jay McCarroll's multicolored tier tatter dress, Chloe Dao's sculpted satin gem-tone sheath, Daniel V's brown dress with the little embellished flap on the boobs, Santino Rice's babydolls with the breasts flying about, Laura Bennet's glamorous bedazzling, Michael Knight's mess of an urban collection, Christian Siriano's brown and white ruffled ball, Chris March's dresses made of human hair, Jillian Lewis' knits with the poodle tail sleeves, Kenley Collin's retro gowns, and Leanne Marshall's waves? Remember those? I can recall each of those collections distinctly from memory. I couldn't even describe one thing I saw last night other than Irina's stupid hats and Carol Hannah's lilac buttplug dress. That makes me sad.
Things We Loved:
- Tim Gunn Freaking Out: Finally, all the stress of the shitty season got to Grampa Gunn and he snapped. Brilliant. More about it in the videos.
- Jaslene!: Our favorite moment of every television year is when there is complete trashy fashion reality show synergy and contestants from America's Next Top Model strut the runway on Project Runway. The only one we noticed last night was the Cha-Cha Diva herself (and one of our favorite Top Models ever) Jaslene Gonzalez. One is more than enough.
- Suzy Menkes: Now we feel a little bad for picking on Suzy Menkes, the legendary fashion journalist and International Herald Tribune fashion editor. It wasn't fair to not tell us who she is and put her in front of the camera with There's Something About Mary hair and a sparkly gold coat. Of course we were going to crack jokes. We know she is a great writer and deserves all of our respect, but had no clue what she looked like. It's not fair to put her out like that without an id. Don't do that to poor Suzy Menkes. Make her look good.
- Ari Fish's Look: Remember Ari? She was the first one kicked off this season. While Nicolas was at the runway show looking like Pudgy Kurt Cobain as always and Shirina was wearing some gypsy costume from last Halloween, Ari had totally reinvented herself. She looked like a cross between Isabella Blow and Boy George playing Leigh Bowery in Taboo. Genius!
- Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire Magazine Hate's Irina's Collection: Did you see the stink eye that NGFDMCM gave Irina on the runway last night? When she saw that everything was black she said, "We talked about that," like she was the disappointed mother of a daughter who keeps wetting the bed. Then she told Irina that black never gets any editorial coverage. Looks like someone's spread in Marie Claire magazine will be begrudging.
- Lifetime's Commercials: Lady vitamins, pregnancy tests, fat Carrie Fisher, the horrible Georgia O'Keefe Paints Vagina Flowers Lifetime movie promos, cleaning products, tampons—this is what we had to endure being hawked during the commercial breaks, and it provided some wonderfully easy targets. Thanks Lifetime. Also, you made up for it with the trailer for The 12 Men of Christmas. Kristen Chenoweth starring in a movie about making a naked calendar with hot guys? Oh yes, my gay ass will be tuning in, without any irony and a big fat smile on my face.
- Michael Kors Says "Bravo Guys": Was it an intentional dig at Lifetime by bringing up the show's old network? We don't think so, but it was a perfect bitchy end to this horrible season.
So, in the end, as we accuately predicted Irina won for her crappy black collection with ugly hats. Rather than talk about the clothes, go watch the full collections in the videos. How quickly can we forget that this season ever happened? We hope it's sometime around Sunday afternoon, because we want to get back to loving Runway.
For the last time until 2010, let's sashay and chanter our way to the videos.
Meltdown of the Week
Context: Carol Hannah is sick and trying to finish her collection and snaps under the pressure. Thankfully Cry-stopher is there for a shoulder to cry on.
Vision: That she's not going to make it through, and that Cry-stopher and his eyebrows can help her.
Delusion: Of course she'll make it. She's a can-do kid. This was the one moment of real emotion we felt all season. She may not be the greatest designer, but this is a highlight of her young life, and to have it ruined by circumstances beyond her control really sucks. We're glad she made it work.
What Would Nina Say: "Get it togther!"
Under the Gunn
Context: All the girls are late getting their models ready and Grampa Gunn freaks out. He does it in the same way that our high school Latin teacher, Sister Nicotena of the Holy Smoke, used to, where she barely raises her voice, but manages to shame everyone into submission and make them feel like 20,000 monkeys just took a shit on their heads.
Vision: That he can get these looks ready for the runway.
Delusion: The only way to make any of these models acceptable is if Gunn goes back and redesigns every collection himself.
What Would Nina Say: "You should have screamed louder."
Context: Here is the finished product.
Vision: The future.
Delusion: There is nothing futuristic about any of these pieces. In fact, you can buy most of them right now at Express—on the sale rack.
What Would Nina Say: "I would put that suit in my magazine. But you won't let me, because you chose another winner."
Carol Hannah's Collection
Context: Here are here 12 disparate looks. A couple of them we actually like.
Vision: Making a bunch of really great clothes, even if they are disconnected, will win the prize. Also, lilac buttplugs.
Delusion: That these fashion types don't care about "cohesion."
What Would Nina Say: "Can we take another look at Althea's?"
Irina Won for This
Context: The most original collection ever on the face of the earth.
Vision: Black, black, black, brown, more black, and hats. It's like armor!
Delusion: The only thing we have to guard against is our eyes ever seeing something like this ever again.
What Would Nina Say: "All black will get no editorial coverage, even though my magazine is contractually obligated to cover it."