Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Project Runway 4: The Catwalk Fight Begins

Admit it: Project Runway ("PR") is the shit. The 4th season of Bravo's hugely successful reality show began tonight and I'm already hooked (again). The 15 designers hell-bent on making it to a tent in Bryant Park are as varied and talented as each of the prior seasons and this season has all the hallmarks of another successful season. PR's formula is genius: unknown raw talent, huge egos, impeccable style, throw-away trendiness, highly caffeinated genius under impossible deadlines, catty homosexuals, bitchy male & female judges, beautiful clothes, stunning models, celebrity cameos and a drop-dead Supermodel with an accent and "Voila," [or whatever the German word for "Voila" would be].

The first episode, "Sew Us What You Got" challenged the designers to sprint across Bryant Park to snatch up material ($50,000 worth from Mood Fabrics -- ooh, ahh, ooh) and create a garment that represents their design vision. My assessment follows:

Carmen - SCAD graduate, attractive, but annoying; seems to be over-compensating for something. 1st design: vest and balloon pant outfit, uninteresting 1970's knock-off. "Retro nightmare" is apparently her vision.

Chris* - Love this man. Already exhibits confidence in his abilities and that certain flair. 1st design: regal, very Adrian, very strong. He's the real deal.

Christian - HUH? Has already built a respectable resume (McQueen, Westwood, etc.) but how fucking annoying is one gay boy allowed to be. So cocky, so soon; but he does make great TV. This bastard gay offspring of last-season's Malan & Keith is high drama, but he'll eventually trip over his own veil.

Elisa - She's an artist, and don't you dare forget it. She should have been "Auf'd," but saved due to technical ability. Quirky, weird, subtle charm. No staying power as, I suspect, she will be uncompromising and will eventually refuse to sacrifice her Art.

Jack - This season's (surgically-altered) eye candy is a shoe-in for at least half the season on the basis of abs alone. Dress was adorable, but safe; vision reminiscent of Robert Best (last-season's "Barbie" designer). A+ for sincerity.

Jillian - She's utterly forgettable. Red "poppy" dress looked like a 80's prom dress gone bad. Nothing to hang onto with her.

Kevin - Wasted no time in telling the world he was straight. Newsflash to Kevin - that ridiculous beard / sideburn thing you have going told me before you did. He may be a victim of editing and I'm willing to withhold judgment at this point. Kinda liked the pinstriped babydoll thing he did; silver bullet-proof vest was overkill though.

Kit - She reminds me of last-season's Alison. Dress was basically a flowered breast bullseye. Not very flattering to my sensibilities. She's adorable, good for ratings, but don't really get her vision.

Marion - owns a florist shop in Dallas?? Yikes. I've done my time in Dallas and I feel for the boy. The dress? Over-the-knee goth prom. No Thanks. He seems sweet, though a bit lost. Lose the hat. Shave your head if you have to.

Rami - Won first challenge with beautifully done Grecian-inspired dress. This season's Uli. Beautiful, but there is this looming sense that he's a one-note queen. Time will tell.

Ricky - Former lingerie designer who remains kinda adorable despite an ever-present train conductor's hat. Dress was, uhm, boring. Undecided otherwise.

Simone - Adios Ms. LeBlanc. She was humorless (who can blame her), but her dress wasn't so bad she should be packing her bags.

Steven - I want to take him home to my mother, but I'm afraid he would spend all his time talking to her and make me wait while he whipped up a new set of curtains. He is adorable and the dress was sweet. As much as I like him, there doesn't seem to be much originality here.

Sweet P - The female version of Jeffrey, last-season's winner. Too edgy, too nuts. Adios by Week 3 or 4.

Victorya - Hate the name, loved the dress. Talented, but a little bitchy. Kinda would like to see more of her.

Not planning on writing every week, but only when the urge strikes.

* Full disclosure: I have a working relationship and friendship with Chris March. Although I will not benefit from any success he may garner as a result of this show, I have to admit that I have everything I possess crossed and re-crossed hoping that he takes the whole thing. You go, boy!!

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