Project Douchebaggery 3.1

A little over a year ago, M got me sucked into Project Runway and I’ve been an avid addict ever since. Its the best kind of reality TV – the kind that requires some actual skill to get ahead and not just a wacko personality. Having said that, the show too often (for my tastes) delves into ‘what makes good TV’ when determining who stays and who gets auf’d© by Heidi Klum. But, at the end of the day, it is a television show, which explains Santino Rice’s magical escape from the flames during last year’s ‘Make-Over Your Fellow Competitors’ debacle, in which Nick Verreos was unjustly eliminated as Santino’s outfit he design for Kara Janx had a sleeve nearly fall to the floor when the non-existant stitching gave out…sheesh.
Despite other websites covering Project Runway, I wanted to blog about it and put my own spin on such a fun, catty, over-the-top show. You know, like a monkey throwing a steaming pile of shit against the wall and seeing what sticks – or is that pasta? Nevermind. On with the douchebaggery!!

Unlike Seasons 1 & 2, we weren’t treated to the amusing pre-show auditioning phase. Bravo decided to air an Audition special episode prior to the premiere this season, so our first episode drops us directly into the action, with the arrival of this season’s designers. They are, for the record:

This dude is the first to walk through the door to 1 of 3 apartments the contestants will be living in. He constantly says he’s from Taiwan and speaks with the most obnoxious, stereotypically condescending British/South African accent. Its entirely unbearable in under 3.4 seconds.

This woman’s goal in life is to be cast as Sigourney Weaver, playing Melanie Griffith’s boss.

The term ‘tool’ does not do this complete ass-boob any justice whatsoever.
“I did not know how to handle stress and pressure well when I
ran my business in New York. It was near death for me.”


This Season’s Emmett McCarthey, who’s constant excuse was “I do menswear” – I will have a running tally count of how many times he says, “I normally do menswear” in each episode throughout this season.*

As this was episode 1, they introduce you to a whole slew of people that never really get much screen time. Once the show gets going and we dwindle down to under 10, it’ll be easier to keep track of. For now, there’s the whole cast.
We see the various designers arrive at their digs and tiny glimpses of total douchebaggery to come. Malan, for example, is a treasure trove of idiocy, pretention and raving homosexuality. Some contestants are just head-shake worthy, like Jeffrey, with his hoodie and hideous tattoo around the entire circumference of his throat. Lovely. Jeffrey also comes equipped with a moronic joy-buzzer (is Pee Wee Herman in the audience…?) that he uses to its best possible effect (in other words, no effect whatsoever) on the unsuspecting and easily duped Vincent. He, as well, is shown in interview clips stating that his previous career as a fashion designer with his own store was ‘too stressul’ – here’s an idea, let’s get on a mutha fukkin’ reality show about design coz that’ll be a walk-in-the-park, knowattamean? Moron. I hate at least 4 of the contestants on sight.
The designers all get to know each other and shoot the shit as they explore their new surroundings. Eventually each group finds a note on their blackboard inviting them to join Tim Gunn (master of the catchphrases*) and Heidi Klum on the roof for a few drinks. How exciting and unlike every other season of the show…
…when they get to the roof, Heidi and Tim await them with a lovely welcome. With introductions out of the way, the designers party it up. Robert B. gets down and dirty first, dishing about a job he had working for Isaac Mizrahi and how it taught him patience…since most lunch hours involved planning Mr. Mizrahi’s death (I’m sensing a green-eyed fagella, myself). The revelling is short-lived though, as Heidi and Tim let them know their next challenge. Ms. Klum begins by asking them how they’ve settled into their new apartments; they all nod, smiling. Then she asks how they like the new apartments; they all say, “Lovely!” with a smattering of “Fabulous!” Heidi goes on to say, “Good! For your first challenge, you must use materials found in your apartments

Shut. Up.

Mr. Gunn then lets them know that like all Project Runway challenges, this one is about ‘innovation.’ Let’s take a moment, shall we, to define innovation:

Main Entry: in·no·va·tion
Pronunciation: “i-n&-‘vA-sh&n
Function: noun
1 : the introduction of something new
2 : a new idea, method, or device : NOVELTY
– in·no·va·tion·al /-shn&l, -sh&-n&l/ adjective

Just remember that, please. So the designers can you ANYTHING in the apartments, sheets, comforters, pillows, window dressing, rugs, wallhangings, food, floorboards, whatever they like. Heidi elaborates futher, telling them that the outfit they create will ‘express who [they] are as [designers].’
We were then treated to another taste of Malan’s complete pompous buffonery as he stated his displeasure in having to use cheap interior fabrics…coz yunno, he thought every challenge would be using 3rd Ming Dynsasty silk as a liner. Seriously, if this asshole is such scary hot shit talented, why the fuck is he on a reality show? I know…because he’s not talented.

“If I had to take another gulp of the Bollinger ’87, which wasn’t even chilled, by the way – I just don’t know what I would have done.”

Everyone had 15 minutes to gather whatever materials they needed so the next montage was a mish-mash of ripping, tearing, tripping, slapping their way through the apartments, destroying everything in the process.
Bradley entered a bedroom and pulled a nice, white pillow and proceeded to pull out the pillow from the case, much to Robert’s dismay, who pouted, “That was my pillowcase cover…” Then he stated in his interview clip that he was a big baby, so my work is done here.
After everyone’s time was up, the apartments looked like disaster areas, but it was off to Parsons Design School where the work room resides. Once there, Tim spoke to them as a group again and reminded them that this challenge was about…

Main Entry: in·no·va·tion
Pronunciation: “i-n&-‘vA-sh&n
Function: noun
1 : the introduction of something new
2 : a new idea, method, or device : NOVELTY
– in·no·va·tion·al /-shn&l, -sh&-n&l/ adjective

For the first challenge, the designers were assigned models (as opposed to choosing them, as in previous seasons) and it was revealed that the winner of the challenge would have immunity for the next one (which, for the record, is an element of the show that I LOATHE because you get a lot of douchebag’s coasting through challenges because they have immunity – I much prefer when people make 100% effort, yunno?). Right before Tim left, however, he managed to throw in his signture catch-phrase: “Good luck and make it work!” That’s a 1 count, baby.
Everyone starts on their designs, with people in varying states of nervousness and excitement. Keith M., thankfully, reminds us that he’s a menswear designer…in case we’d forgotten. Stacey, to her credit, waited less than 15 minutes into the episode to reveal that she has no skills whatsoever. Totally confounded by a sewing machine, she decides to sew her entire outfit by hand. Now – I’m a guy, but I know how to sew (both using a machine and doing it by hand) and to make a hand-sewn outfit look anything but home-economic-chic, you need to take your time. No way this bitch can slide through not knowing how to use a fucking sewing machine.

“You put the thread through the what of the needle?”

Tim Gunn then returns and begins mentoring the designers and their creations-in-progress. Quite smartly, he targets Vincent who has created what looks like a kindergarten teacher’s painting smock, telling him the ‘pockets look cartoony’ (subtle, Tim). Vincent is unphased, however, saying he ‘digs it.’ Good, he’ll need to keep that shovel handy.
After conferring with Jeffrey about his design, Tim moves onto Stacey, who’s ‘sewing machine problems’ have left her far behind everyone else. Thankfully, she has a few things pinned to her dress form and Tim looks on barely able to disguise his complete and utter blah-ness with her design. As he leaves, he utters, “You’ve gotta make it work.”
Keith is next and Tim immediately asks him what he dress is made from. It was made from a bedsheet (and nothing more) and frankly, looks fantastic but is the ANTITHESIS of innovative. I doubt the point of the challenge was to find the thing CLOSEST to garment fabric and make something out of that – in fact, I know it wasn’t. Even Tim points that out to him, but we’re treated to more pompousness (surprisingly not from Malan) as Keith says, “I know of the people that will be judging and some of them, I don’t particularly respect their style. So, if they have criticism, maybe it will be good, maybe I’ll just dismiss it. We’ll see.” Now THAT is a winning attitude, folks. Tim convinces him to try and put something ELSE other than a sheet on the outfit, so at least there’s an argument for innovation and Keith reluctantly agrees.

The designers return to their apartments and have the unmetigated gall to complain that their rooms haven’t been cleaned. Seriously, EVERY person on this season needs an attitude adjustment (ranging from sever 180 turns to slight tweaks). There’s barely a likeable designer amongst them.
After sleeping on Tim’s suggestion, Keith decides to go with his gut and make his outfit simply the ‘sheet dress.’ Surely this is foreshadowing for the catwalk…
T.G. comes back and lets the designers know of their timeline for hair and make-up and gives them the lowdown on the models, who then enter the room following his speech.
Once she put her outfit on her model, Stacey realized her dress was too sheer so she makes a set of pantaloons to go under it. Why she didn’t make sleeker looking panties is beyond my comprehension, but there you go.
Vincent decides to top his outfit off with a basket with dangling chains. Seriously, he is deranged.

After hair and make-up, the designers head to the catwalk and are introduced the judges – Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and guest judge, Kate Spade.

The runway show commences:
















The judges then ‘judged’ and eliminated the mid-range players (people who’s scores were high enough to advance, but didn’t win the challenge). That left Stacey, Robert, Laura, Jeffrey, Vincent and Keith, who had the highest and lowest scores amongst them.
At his point I had decided that Laura should win because she thought way outside the box, while everyone else made dresses, she made a chic jacket. Vincent should lose, simply because of his lack of direction and the stupidity of the hat.

The judges asked him about the hat, saying it was distracting. Vincent, being insane, admits he was ‘in question of the hat, I truly was’ – he thought it was the greatest thing ever last we heard. Interesting. A pathological liar amonst us, huh…?
They complimented Keith on the quality of his design and he went into some long winded explanation, as if anyone cares. He just used a sheet as a piece of material and his accents were BUTTONS from a duvet cover. Gimme a break.
Stacey was next and everyone went on about her bloomers. Michael Kors went on to say that it fit her like the pillows were still in the pillowcase. YOWCH! Nice one.
Robert got big kudos (I have no clue why) because his dress was very cute and had built in jewelry.
Jeffrey was last and everyone admitted that he had a lot going on. When his model came out, she threw feathers in the air to be ‘cool,’ I guess, but neither Michael nor Nina was having any of it, saying it totally distracted away from the dress. They also thought there was just too much with his jacket and the dress underneath.

The designers were then shuffled off stage for the deliberation.

When they returned, they announced the winner…

…Keith. The guy who made the dress out of the SHEET and nothing more.


Both he and Laura were allowed to leave. Heidi then announced that Robert and Vincent were still in and they could leave. That left Jeffrey and Stacey.

According to Heidi, Jeffrey’s design was unfocused and there was so much going on that it distracted from the dress. Stacey, on the other hand, “didn’t choose innovative materials.” Innovative materials? Innovative? Like a sheet?

Anyhoo, Heidi then told Stacey she was out and that Jeffrey was in.

End episode.

*Keith M. “Menswear” count = 2
Tim G. “Make it work” count = 2
Tim G. “I’m concerned” count = 0



~ by seangstm on July 17, 2006.

One Response to “Project Douchebaggery 3.1”


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