Pop Culture Junkette

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Mom mom would have totally rocked the runway

Spoilers ahead, of course. [Blogger won't let me post photos, yet again. I will try to add them in later.]

I really wanted to like this week's Project Runway. The idea was cute--everyone's mom came to the show (in Robert's and Vincent's cases, their sisters instead of their mothers) and each designer had to make an outfit for someone else's family member. But there was one major problem with the concept--Vincent's sister (Robert designed), Kayne's mom (Uli designed), Michael's mom (Kayne designed) and Angela's mom (Jeffrey designed) were all plus-sized, while Uli's mom (Vincent designed), Laura's mom (Angela designed), Jeffrey's mom (Laura designed) and Robert's sister (Michael designed) were average-sized (and in the case of Robert's sister, pretty hot). I love the idea of the designers making clothing for large women. Hell, I would love it if they had to design for non-model sized people who weren't even plus sized every once in awhile. But the problem here is that half of the women were large and half were not. Those with an average-sized model were at a huge advantage--most of these designers don't make clothes for larger women all that often. And this was apparent when they had to choose--the first four designers picked the smaller women, leaving the last four designers with the larger ones. Not only was it unfair to the designers, but it was unfair to the women as well--I felt so sorry for the bigger women as they stood while the smaller ones were picked first, and then for Angela's mom as she was the last one taken. A 55 year old woman shouldn't have to feel like the last kid picked for kickball.

The main controversy of this episode was Jeffrey's treatment of his model, Angela's mother. Angela's mom told Tim Gunn that she didn't like the fabrics Jeffrey had chosen for her outfit, and Jeffrey got really angry with her and was totally insulting and rude. I really had no sympathy for him there. The thing that shocked me the most about this wasn't Jeffrey's behavior, it was that he behaved this way in front of his own mother! His mom then tried to apologize for him (after he made Angela's mother cry) by saying Jeffrey was under a lot of stress. I know she's his mother and all, but, um...aren't the other seven designers under stress too? Not an excuse to be rude.

The runway was the most disappointing part of the episode. The judges' three favorite designs--Uli's, Vincent's and Michael's, and their least favorite--Robert's, Kayne's and Jeffrey's. What do the bottom three have in common? All plus-sized women. And in the top? Two of the three were small women. I don't think this is a coincidence. Throughout the episode the designers complained that they just didn't know how to drape clothing for large women. And it showed. Except for Uli. Her plus-sized design was really great. It looked really good on Kayne's mom, and I thought it should have been the clear winner, particularly because she had the challenge of working with someone larger and made something that looked really nice.

But no. Instead the judges continued with their inexplicable fondness for Vincent. Vincent! Vincent won a challenge! I actually thought the dress was hideous, although I know Wilder, Holt and Bailey all disagree with me (although Tim Gunn is totally with me on this). The collar was not only ugly, but the color of the collar was almost the same as Uli's mom's skin tone, so the effect was to make her neckline look like an exaggerated sweetheart and her boobs look odd as a result. It also made her look like she had a little bit of a stomach paunch, which she just didn't, and the just-below-the-knee length wasn't flattering. More importantly, the construction seemed really poor--when Uli's mom turned around, there was puckering all over the dress seams down the back, particularly at the butt and waist. I actually thought that Vincent's design belonged in the bottom three. He had so much to work with, and really came up short. Again. It's really a good thing that there is no immunity for this week's winner.

And then for the bottom: Jeffrey and Robert ended up as the bottom two, and the judges pointed out that they had opposite problems. Jeffrey didn't listen to his client at all, and she hated her dress (as would have anyone with taste--it was ugly and just didn't really make any sense. What was it? All of those layers and the strange collar? It just looked thrown together). Robert, on the other hand, listened to his client completely, and as a result made something boring and unflattering. Much like Nora in season one, Robert was eliminated because he failed to bring his own sensibility to the design and relied too much on his client's direction.

And I will agree that Robert's dress was ugly. But Vincent's sister was the largest person on the runway, and she didn't seem very confident. I can understand that this is really what she wanted, and Robert wanted to make her happy. When one is really big they have an idea of what they "can" wear and can often be adament about not wearing anything different. I think that Robert just wanted Vincent's sister to be comfortable. In the end, it was his undoing.

I'll miss Robert. His white dress with the red bows and wall hanging from week one will remain one of my favorite outfits. I know the designers found his stuff from the last few weeks boring, but I think that had he been able to stick around he would have shown us some really cute stuff. Maybe I can commission him to make me something?



Blogger Pop Culture Diva said...

I agree with you 100%. Jeffrey's behavior was appalling. I can't believe he wasn't booted for that alone. His attitude sprang from his own paranoia. Quite frankly, I'm tired of his snarky attitude and his giraffe-like neck. The final designers will be Michael and Uli. Kayne or Laura may get the final spot.

8/25/2006 10:21 AM  

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