March 25, 2009
Project Runway Canada 2 – Episodes 8 & 9 Redux
I am posting my thoughts on each episode of my favourite show, Project Runway Canada, in case you are watching too and want to discuss it.
More after the gap —
Episode eight features our favourite Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha! She is every bit as vivacious as I imagined her, what a terrific challenge. But Adejoke doesn’t seem to care for this gorgeous human being – she wanted a designer. (DKNY isn’t a designer, Adejoke, that’s a diffusion line!) It looks like Adejoke is tired and just wants to go home.
The designers struggle with taking Rocha’s directions too literally. Genevieve is getting really hard to take. It is like she doesn’t have ears. She thinks everything she does is perfect – it is often very nice, but if she thinks it can’t bear improvement, she’s doomed to stagnate. The trash talk she dishes in the confession shots is pretty rank too.
Kim is another designer who is quick to trash the other designers, but unlike Genevieve you can tell she listens to Brian and the judges. She seems very insecure, and with a certain perceptiveness, because her design ideas and construction skills aren’t on a par with the other designers. It is too apparent she has gotten this far because her looks and her vulnerable charisma work very well on television.
Rebecca at The Subadult Years called this episode “Sunny and the girls” and its kind of true. Though Jessica is very talented, she doesn’t have the same level of experience as Sunny. Genevieve is very talented but she doesn’t design for the challenges. So it seems like none of the other designers can give Sunny a run for his money, and it is too bad. I wish we had another powerhouse on the show like Farley Chatto, or last season’s Marie Genevieve or Lucian, to raise the level of competition a notch.
None of the dresses in this episode seems to really succeed. Project Runway in general seems to have this kind of slump in the final challenges as the designers are obviously just exhausted. Even Sunny’s has a kind of boudoir/teddy look to it which seems a bit silly for a fashion week party. Jessica’s is cute but not wearable because it is too tight to walk in. (OT, I saw a lot of that at LG Fashion Week – why do designers persist in making bondage skirts? Putting a vent in the back isn’t that hard to do!) Genevieve, Kim, and Adejoke’s designs are just wrong. Even Coco Rocha couldn’t save these rags if she had to.
Sunny’s is closest to the requirements for the challenge (which he reveals as his strategy) and his dress is on Coco at Balthazar at the end. She looks terrific as always. I love Balthazar – I always go there for solo breakfasts when I’m in NYC.
Episode nine takes the remaining designers camping – very Canadian. Two twists – first, they’re bringing back Genevieve and Jason for flavour – and they HAVE to win or they are out again. The other twist is that they have to select the fabrics they will use from their camping materials for a night in the woods. The challenge is to create looks in teams – one avant garde look and one ready to wear look. Sunny and Jessica elect to keep their tent, and the rest of the designers rough it in the open.
Its “jocks vs. nerds“. Party kids Kim, Gen and Jason are swimming and drinking, keeners Addy, Sunny and Jess stay on the shore, and everyone gossips behind each others backs. It looks like beautiful weather for camping. I miss summer.
The designers are all stressed and the atmosphere in the work room is very tense. Of the three teams, Kim and Adejoke are the most uneven.
The hair and makeup as always is amazing. Sunny’s model Tori has an incredible “cone head” hairstyle.
After the runway show comes the judging debacle. Its obvious that Gen and Jason were brought back because the producers wanted them there. Their pieces are just okay and the judges are far too kind to them. The result – a four-way tie – is improbable and deeply unfair, as Adejoke gets sunk by Kim’s raver monstrosity. Auntie Fashion says it best:
I’ve never seen anyone get the shaft like this on a non-scripted show. Sure, Kim deserved to go, but there was no reason to make Adejoké’s success in the competition contingent upon Kim’s questionable talent.
This is the sort of moment that makes the reality show fans jump ship. It’s great to surprise the audience with the return of both heroes and villains, but it’s aggravating for viewers to watch as the producer’s machinations backfire and put them into a situation like this. Genevieve and Jason didn’t deserve a second chance, especially after creating the outfits that they showed on the runway.
I feel that a lot of the mis-steps this season of PRC have less to do with the designers than the producer’s choices. I’m not ready to jump ship yet, but if any one with any power is reading: less reality show bullshit next season please.