Friday, December 09, 2005

The Episode With Two Heads

So, I suppose I'll explain the name first. You know, as if I actually had an audience that was curious.
I did want something that had something to do with Project Runway, but not anything blatant or corny, like "Fashion Victim!" or "Project Raechel". I needed some leniency in case I ended up saying, "Fuck Project Runway, I'm going to change my blog to a political blog about the portrayal of transvestites in Hollywood!" Of course, "needs inspiration" would take some stretching to link to transvestites in Hollywood, but then, I probably won't do just exactly quite precisely that.
For whatever reason, the first name I thought of was "unemployed", but that's not as fun a shtick when it's not true anymore (I'm a part-time waitress and a smaller-part-time camp counselor). Next came "uninspired", one of the many runway buzzwords, right below the over-uttered "innovation". "Uninspired" seemed a little lackluster, though. Oh, and it was probably already taken, along with "unoriginal" (as both blogs and popular fashion often are). "Needs inspiration" worked as a runway reference and a motto for an only-slightly-employed high school grad applying to college a year after all of her peers.
Now, enough of that. On to the fashion victims! Elle-oh-elle.

It's kind of hard to break down the first two episodes, as they are continually played back to back and kind of hard to seperate in the mind's eye. There's so many people running around, there needs to be some characterization before there can be a lot of significant action. See, I'm a writer, not a fashionista. That's why I'm writing about the show instead of trying to get on it.
So, here's my takes on the sixteen, and the first bi-episode, or the release special and first episode, or the first two episodes, or whatever the fuck it was.

Image hosted by Raymundo
I like him! He's cute, in this excited, impish sort of way. He puts me in the Christmas spirit, you know? Like, every time Raymundo gets excited, it's like it's Christmas morning! Yay! During his interview the first episode(?), he awkwardly stumbled out of the closet in front of the judges. Some viewers may roll their eyes, but I thought it was a nice moment. I often watch the show with my brothers, who very quickly assume which players are gay or straight- I'm sure this is an unconcious game a lot of people play (sorry ladies, The Advocate spoiled our fun- Daniel Vosovic is gay). I like that Raymundo was direct about it instead of letting everyone assume based on his flamboyanties. His stuff is ok, not explosive. I can see him surprising us and winning a challenge, or I could see him out in a few weeks. I can't, however, see my excitable little friend taking the whole thing.

Image hosted by Nick
I don't know much on him yet. His stuff looks good, he's recently a teacher rather than recently a student, I think he'll be around for a while. However, winning the whole thing? Nah, he hasn't impressed me enough yet.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comKirsten - OUT
I expected her to leave pretty fast, and she did- the second(?) episode. I feel the designers are expected to walk the line between super-amazing high-fashion more-art-than-clothing and, you know, clothes that an actual person off of the runway would wear. Basically, clothes really rich people would wear. People get the boot for leaning too far one way or the other- Austin Scarlett put too much art on the runway, and Wendy Pepper just made dresses. Sometimes they'll look for one over the other for a certain challenge. The people that win are the ones that can go either way, or even better, combine them gracefully. I felt in the muslin challenge, Kirsten's piece was lackluster, just you know, some articles of clothing. Her piece in the second challenge? It wasn't art, and it wasn't ordinary clothes. It was, well, you know... this.

Image hosted by Marla
Another one who hasn't really shined yet. Her stuff is good, but she mentioned designing to get in the next round, not to win. Hey, it might get her to the final three, who knows. By her own logic, she will not win.

Image hosted by Kara
So, the only thing we've found out is that she gets stressed out, and Zulema doesn't like it, and Zulema doesn't like her. Zulema is her own creature. Kara- I like Kara. I like her design in the second challenge, I like her hippie, and dare I say- masculine vibe? I'd be really excited for a decent lesbian designer, but that Advocate article didn't say anything about it. Her stuff is alright, but sadly, I don't think she'll last to the end.

Image hosted by Santino
Santino, oh, Santino. He had bothered me since the commercials aired. "There is something inside of me, and I'm going to change the world." He is going to change the world... with a spot on a reality show and dresses for rich girls? "I want to leave a mark like Shakespeare!" You almost admire his high-aiming and noble dream, except that it's just slightly delusional. Oh, and also, he's an asshole. Every action and word directed at the other designers is condescending. Winning the first challenge gave him the idea that he's the favorite. Losing the second challenge to Chloe, he declared right in front of her that the judges simply did not want to give him two wins in a row. Someone somewhere on the Bravo forums pointed out that he was the only one who hugged the losing players, but first, that's not true- Nick hugged John after Raymundo mistakingly cheered him (Christmas morning!). Also, even when he was hugging, it felt stiff. He also posted pictures of each hug on his blog, which makes it look like a photo op. Whenever someone gets upset or stumbles on the runway, they cut to Santino struggling to mask his glee. His giant ego is not comprised completely of hot air, he is one of the most talented players and has thus far churned out some of the most interesting designs. However, I don't see him going all the way. I see him going down the path of Austin Scarlett, except with more drama. He wins the first challenge, he makes beautiful clothing all season, but eventually his own artistic vision forgoes whatever the challenge actually is and he is dropped out short of the final three. He obviously isn't allowed to give any answers or clues via his blog, but apparently he's been hanging out with Alan Cumming? Maybe they're just old friends.

Oh, and speaking of Austin, my brothers saw him for the first time when he appeared as a guest judge, and, they very seriously thought he was a woman.

Image hosted by

Oh, Austin, you doll. It's not the same without you.

Image hosted by John - OUT
John was out after the very first muslin challenge. He made the mistake of admitting he made his dress in just eight hours, and the description of his inspiration sounded like he designed with the same whimsy and misdirection with which myspace kids design their profiles. Sparkly unicorn background? Emo MP3? Sure! Summer dress? Hideous color? Why not! You see, the reference here is that John was dressed like a myspace kid. Humor! I really think his dress would've looked nicer with no color at all. Oh well, in the end he accepted it gracefully and made the important observation that he had already been selected from thousands of other designers. Of course, at least five hundred of these were fucking nuts.

Image hosted by Heidi - OUT
Also out due to her muslin garment. In her case, she leaned to far into plain, actually wearable clothing. She also ended up using a lot of lace and ribbon and doing nothing impressive with the muslin itself. I consider her this season's Daniel Franco (besides, you know, Daniel Franco)- she was one of the most enthusiastic, but made a lackluster garment and packed up in the first episode, aaand she's kind of creepy. First season, Daniel wished us bliss, leaped around and rubbed everyone the wrong way. Heidi's tittering tendencies seemed more acceptable as she was a little blonde from Alabama. In her interview, she apologized for being such "a spaz", and her giggly, starstruck excitement was endearing. Then, of course, we saw this:
Image hosted by

All work and no play makes Heidi a dull girl.
Sorry, Heidi. There's always next season!

Image hosted by Guadalupe
I don't know what to make of her. She's got that cute artsy girl aura, and sometimes that can make for, well, a really cute really artsy girl who makes you a quilt out of old t-shirts for your birthday, and sometimes it makes for pretension and bitchery. Her audition video was interesting. She lives the ideal artsy-girl lifestyle (making art and clothing out of her neighbor's garage), and apparently got her start studying sleep and dreams and somehow this made her realize her dream was really fashion design. What? Oh well, at least it's an interesting story, though it hasn't been brought to the show yet, and I don't think it will. She has enough personality, and I can forsee her getting involved in a big enough drama to make a mark. As for her clothing? I have to be honest. It's visually stimulating and all, but I can never imagine anyone off of the runway actually wearing it. I forsee Lupe flubbing a challenge and getting out in the next few weeks.

Image hosted by Emmett
Doesn't he kind of look like an ivory dealer? Or perhaps an albino Columbian drug lord. This picture aside, Emmett is one scary motherfucker. He's six feet six inches tall, a loner, doesn't talk much. I took sociology and psychology in high school, and Emmett is giving off big serial killer vibes. Even if he isn't devoid of human sympathy, he's got some kind of secret plan. You get the feeling that this guy is going to fuck you over big time. His clothes are ok, but I'm almost sure he has bigger things in store for us. Of course, it could all be an act. In that case he will get out, oh, next two weeks.

Image hosted by Diana
I love Diana. Of course, she was a student in my home state, so I'm automatically biased. Little artistic Rhode Islanders already consider RISD students the coolest human beings alive. The bus we were on during a field broke down in the center of college hill, and my friend Jennifer and I stared out the back window at the RISD students walking around, commenting on their wild clothes and their handmade bags and which ones we thought were the hottest. Though, compared to most of the people we stared at out of the bus window, Diana is a mild, neat, humble girl. She isn't as colorful and outrageous as the clothes she makes, like a lot of the designers. She speaks softly and laughs awkwardly and is more of a tech geek than an artist. She could have gone to school in Alaska and she would still be my favorite. She's so goddamn cute, and her stuff, minus a glitch with magnets in the first round, is more than impressive. However, she'll probably have to tone down the science for some of the challenges. I think that, given that she doesn't have access to the materials one needs to make a hoodie with an installed camera that takes pictures of what you're viewing automatically when your heart rate increases (amazing, right?), she'll be able to pull off putting more style than science into her stuff. Even if she can't hide the scientific influence and drops out short of the final three, I'll rest well with the fact that she's the most original person the show will ever cast. I love Diana.

Image hosted by Zulema
Great! Just what we need, another image of a bitchy black woman in reality television. Another person on the bravo forums unfortunately went there and dubbed her Project Runway's Omarosa. Insert grooooaaan. Potential drama aside, her stuff has not impressed me yet. I can not yet see her in the final three.

Image hosted by Daniel V
One looks at him and wants to laugh. In a good way. He doesn't say anything funny, but you bet he's probably really funny. I feel like I've hung out with this guy at a post-modern-funk-edge-slop show. I bet everyone looked at him and went, "Ha ha! Hey, he reminds me of my friend/acquantince (insert hipster)!" For me, it's Dave. Daniel looks just like my hipster friend Dave! I bet Daniel listens to vinyl records and likes to knit, too. I bet he's a regular guy and would talk to you or I about his favorite pair of shoes or what he thinks the meaning of life is. As for his designs, they're alright. Unless there's a challenge coming up that fits his style, though, I can see him being dropped out in a few weeks.

Daniel F
Heeeee's baaaaaack! But not as obnoxious at he appeared in that commercial... and his designs are better! Of course, they're also not made of butcher paper and trash bags. If he can manage his time, who knows? I can imagine him going pretty far. He's still acting like a little boy, but, he's now a painfully shy little boy. He mutters and nods, and you just want to give him a hug and a gold star. Oh, for the curious, according to The Advocate- only straight man of the bunch. Power to you, Daniel. Represent.

Another blog (that I should've saved the link to) named her this season's Kara Saun. I think it's possible. Her second design was brilliant, and, like everything Kara Saun made, flawless in its construction. However, her first piece in the muslin challenge left me unmoved. I mean, it was a dress. I guess it was a nice dress, but there weren't that many adjectives to put to it. Long, nice, well made, that's about it. But, I'm glad she made it to the second round, and I'm glad she won it. She walked that line between art and wearability perfectly, unlike Santino's beautiful-but-unwearable creation. Virtually anyone could wear Chloe's dress- rich people, slightly less rich people, upper middle class people- the list goes on. I hope she continues in the vein of the second challenge (and not the bland first), and I'd be happy to see her go to the final three.

Oh, Andrae! You silly goose. The full breakdown was longer than they showed on the television, and he did try to compose himself, but he did sort of rant on and on in either version. I blame half of it on sleep deprevation and stress, and half of it on Andrae just being an outrageous person. I wish I could get any screen caps- if you catch it again, fully enjoy the faces he makes when his model comes down the runway. I hope he keeps giving them specific movement instructions, and I hope we get to see him giving them at some point. "So, down the runway, you're a cute little girl. You giggle, you coo, you're adorable, you're sugar! Then right at the end, you're, you're a tiger, ok honey? Give me a claw motion. Oh, yes, that's perfect! Just do that, right at the end, you're a tiger! Yes! And then just walk back, a cute little girl embarrassed that she was just a tiger. But you're still sort of a tiger, you can give the judges a little lip curl, let me see that- oh, oh yes, BEAUTIFUL."
Oh, and as for his designs? They're good. Not spectacular, but cute. I liked the qipao a lot, except of course that it was unfinished. If he gets more sleep, I can see Andrae staying around for a while.

That's all for now. I'll put up another entry soon(er than I did this one), with some speculations/hopes for the next challenge.


Hoo said...

I am surprised to learn that Daniel Franco isn't gay...I had kinda hoped Daniel V. was the straight one, but oh well...

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