Friday, January 27, 2006

Project Runway--Inspiration

Sorry to be slow slow about blogging the Inspiration episode. Work. Sheesh.

Our show opens with a confident Zulema telling us that "anyone could be eliminated." One senses she doesn't really believe it. Too bad. Santino, meanwhile, concedes that his outfit for Sasha Cohen was "ridiculous and horrible". He's not going to take any chances in the new challenge and see where that gets him.

Heidi comes out to explain the challenge. Wow! She looks gorgeous. I love her hair and makeup. "What drives your creativity as a fashion designer? What's your inspiration?" They'll be visiting Michael Kors at his shop to learn about his creative process but first the moment we've all been waiting for, Zulema wants a walk-off.

The reaction shots to Zulema's request are hilarious. Heidi, Rachel-the model, Andrae all could be in the movies based on their ability to convey shock, amazement and anger. Who made up Rachel? Ew, she can barely hold her eyes open she's wearing so much makeup. I've seen hookers in less blue eye shadow. Everyone is upset by the possibility of losing their model. I hadn't realized until now how interdependent the model/designer teams had become. After the walk-off, Zulema steals Tarah from Nick who is upset. Rachel is furious at being dumped but happy to go to Nick who is her favorite. Now we know the models discuss the designers. Zulema sums up her attitude to the whole thing, "I can't be concerned with Nick. Do a good job, win next week and take her back." Well, okay--maybe he will. So there.

We head for Michael Kors and hear about his process and Doris Duke then everyone gets digital cameras and an hour to take photos from which they will select one for their inspiration. One hour to take photos of anything you want in New York. That's not really enough time to go that far what with traffic and the limitations of walking. Guess everyone better hope their inspirations are close by.

Oh but, Daniel V. finds his inspiration while still at Michael Kors. He should win a prize for efficiency. Chloe focuses on buildings. Nick can't focus on anything but his sense of injury. Andrae shoots gutter water. Santino shoots to excess--would we expect anything else from Santino, whose name is now being used as an adjective in the show? Zulema struggles and finally takes a pic of an African woman in a red dress. Kara shoots signs.

The show spends a great deal of time with Nick who is nursing his sense of ill-use regarding the model switch. "If you're not kind, you're not going to get kindness back." He can't understand or respect Zulema's decision. He was inspired by his model....whine whine bzzz bzzzz....only now he has a different model....shouldn't that make it easy to be inspired anew? Apparently not. It was the OTHER model that inspired him. Nick, Cher said to Nicholas Cage--"Snap out of it!"

We buy fabric we go back to the workshop. Now Tim Gunn brings in the big guns so to speak--he wants to have a come to Jesus talk with everyone. "Wake up! The work has been lack-luster!" Then he zeros in and gets personal.

Daniel-you excite early, lose momentum, fall short of potential. Ouch.
Chloe-push the envelope, step out of comfort zone, don't risk being a one-note. Okeydokey.
Kara-you haven't won anything yet, step away from work that we could buy on Madison Avenue. She didn't listen to that at all!
Zulema-take risks. She argues about time management. I thought she had great sewing skills--where's the time management problem coming from?
Santino-you're in serious jeopardy. Ya think?
Andrae/Nick-Be More Ambitious. Andrae handles that advice well'; Nick...not so much.

Tim reviews the designs with the designers. Dan's going for Japanese sleekness. Maybe I don't understand Japanese sleekness but that is not how I would describe what he ends up with. Santino thinks he'll try something tasteful and beautiful. That would make a nice change. Tim gets to Nick and suddenly we get a hilarious inside view of modeling that I didn't know was out there. Tim is horrified that Nick is stuck with Rachel and her "gumby legs" because she's an "elongated marshmallow" who walks stiffly. Strangely, Nick is not encouraged by Tim's reaction to his misfortune and continues to spiral downward mentally. Nick is "over it" and wants to "be done with it." Daniel, however, snaps him out of his lengthy funk and Nick resolves to go for it.

Zulema, meanwhile, spends some time sulking because she senses the dismay her actions have brought into the show. She thinks people aren't being nice even though they are being cordial. They are looking at her funny. She talks herself into defiance. She'll just keep switching models everytime she wins. Yeah. That's what she'll do. You know, if she wins again...
Santino's impersonation of Tim is hysterical. Dead on.

Tim advises Dan, "Don't get seduced by the Santino effect or we'll all crash and burn." Oops, Santino is right there! He overhears. He's bitter. "Now I see how you talk about me when I'm not here." Ahem, Santino--you do realize you've been impersonating Tim when he's not there, right?

At the end of day one Zulema has nothing, or nothing she likes anyway. Karma is quick, I'm thinkin'.

When the models arrive we see that Tarah is unhappy to be stuck with Zulema. She must sense this move is not going to lengthen her time on the show. She doesn't like the dress, it's unfinished and Z stuck her with needles while she was sewing her into the dress. Muy mal, si?

Rachel, meanwhile, has a giant-size grudge against Z. now, so she's going to model "extra-hard" for Nick. Hmm, model "extra-hard". I pause my dvr to consider what this can mean. Nope... still don't exactly understand it, so I proceed with the show.

Tarah, on the other hand, is jealous. Take heart, Tarah, Tim didn't say that you had gumby legs. That's gotta be a comfort, right?

The show proceeds:
Andrae-Love it, beautiful. The beading perfectly captures the inspiration photo.
Kara-simple dress with yellow diagonal stripe going around the hip.
Santino-I've seen the bodice before, the skirt looks like a garbage bag belted around her ribs.
Daniel-very couture. The collar comes up really high, the top is very pouffy. I don't like it as well as Andrae's but I recognize that the judges will love, love, love it.
Chloe-very cool dress with what looks to me like, complicated pleating vertically and horizontal ribbons of alternating colors. She has used her favorite blue again.
Nick-he talks about his model's walk the whole time. The outfit is a two piece; halter top with ruffle in a print and a solid navy fishtale skirt.
Zulema-she talks about Tarah's body and walk the whole time too. She thinks Tarah's look will complement her design. The dress is red, with a layered chiffon skirt and overskirt with a print.

When the models join the designers on the runway I can't look away from the sight of Chloe's model next to her. She looks like a red-haired giantess next to tiny Chloe. The effect is comical.

Dan-Beautiful, well-executed.
Chloe-Not geometric enough according to Jay. Nina likes the juxtaposition of soft and hard.
Kara-big talk which the dress doesn't match. Kara thinks her dress speaks volumes. Michael thinks the dress is very literal.
Andrae-Jay offers the opinion that this was the most inspired dress. He totally got the inspiration photo. Taking ugly and making pretty. Heidi thinks it's expensive looking. Michael thinks it's pretty great looking.
Nick-Paris Hilton? Mikonos? Oy, what's that about? Michael thinks the top is pretty great looking.
Zulema-Poorly executed for the THIRD time according to Nina. Z tries to explain the dress' relationship to the inspiration photo by saying she used a "western cut" and other elements like get from there to here. Nobody's listening they are still to caught up with what a crappy job she did sewing the thing.
Santino-Jay says "Austin's scarlet Grammy dress". I haven't seen season one yet (still holding on to it.) Santino says, "oh my god" I am unconvinced, however, that he didn't know full well that he was using the same fabric. His reaction was so flat. He displayed no surprise. Heidi thinks the skirt is perfect for hiding a big butt. Michael compliments Santino for pushing past his usual thing.

In private the judges makes the following remarks which I'll follow with the end result:
Chloe's dress was pretty. Not fully fleshed out or finished, but pretty. She's in.
Kara's dress was a tube dress with a piece of tape. She's in.
Nick's dress was not memorable and just another fishtale skirt. He's in.
Andrae's dress is Jay's favorite. Finished, sophisticated, well-made, expensive looking and translated exactly from the picture. He's in. Did they edit out extra compliments for Andrae? The judges said nothing about how much they liked his dress and how he almost won.
Dan's dress is Heidi's favorite. Well-executed, sophisticated. Michael is a FULL DAN FAN. The dress is chic and great-looking. Dan changed our eye, it was unexpected. Dan is the winner!
Santino's dress is unfinished, not part of his usual shtick. He's in.
Zulema's dress is a nightmare. No inspiration from the picture, no energy and poorly executed. She's out.

I wonder if in hindsight Zulema wishes she hadn't introduced the model changing tension into the process because one has to wonder how much the opening of that Pandora's Box--so to speak--affected the outcome of the show. All the tension draining away creative energy and causing distraction. Zulema caused the upset sure, but she suffered from it as did Nick.
The other thought that I had was--if execution by which I assume they mean, sewing--meant so much. How did Z stay in so long over people who executed better and were equal in design ability. I'm thinking of Daniel Franco.

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