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PROJECT RUNWAY.....Project Runway Season 4 Recaps: Episode 3

I just returned from spending three wonderful days in San Francisco where I was asked to host a fashion show/event (more on that in a later post) and literally dropped my suitcase and turned on the TV to watch this third episode of Season 4 Project Runway. Thank God for TiVo, since I got home after the episode aired and therefore could not have my weekly "Viewing Party" with Andrae, lots of champagne and cookies. For this particular episode, I decided to just put down several "thoughts". Hope you enjoy it and would love to read your feedback and thoughts on this episode.

1) Sweet Redemption:
While the episode unfolded--along with all the drama and frustrations--the words sweet redemption kept cropping up in my head, like little "Pop Up Video" bubbles. Now, let me preface my explanation by saying that I have had nothing but amazing opportunities as well as feel blessed by everything that has occurred in my life and my business as a result of being on the show. However, as you may remember, I was voted off Season 2 for making Daniel Vosovic a suit that was deemed "too feminine", as well as for a lack of pockets and jacket button/closures.

Yet, after seeing some of the creations in this episode, I could not help but feel a bit redeemed. Especially, since I remember at the time reading a lot of viewer comments saying something to the effect of "How could Nick not put buttons or pockets?" But somehow, I got to finish a fully lined jacket, a collared dress shirt, a silk scarf and skinny pants with a waistband and zip-fly in the SAME AMOUNT OF TIME as these designers. Go figure. Several of this season's designers could barely finish TWO pieces. It ain't that easy kids. Therefore, again, I have to ask the question I asked in my first recap: Are these really the most talented group of designers ever? (as Tim and Heidi proudly announced in the premiere episode).

Chloe Dao, the winner of Season 2, made a fabulous--and Challenge-winning--three-piece outfit for me, which included hand sewn buttonholes , mitered stripes and a fully lined vest. Season 3 winner, Jeffrey Sebelia made a great "Rock Star" outfit, which was (as far as I remember) fully finished also. So why couldn't these designers, who are supposed be more talented and have far more expertise than us, just finish a shirt or close the lining of a jacket? Just saying...

Now, back to the best and worst of the lot. Like the judges, I also had a difficult time trying to decide which outfit was the worst: Ricky's safety-pinned concoction, Sweet Pea's askew dress shirt or Carmen's 1920's Golf caddie go-go boy. In the end, Carmen 's badly fitting crotch was the one to go.

I did have a couple of favorites, most notably, Rami's, which looked straight out of the third floor at Saks Fifth Avenue Men's Store: Elegant, stylish and very Italian-looking. I also liked Kit's cardigan-like creation. He looked like a sexy "Mr. Rodgers". But the judges chose Jack's safe,well cut shirt and pants. It looked very much like it came from the Macy's I.N.C. brand.

2) Where did all those Men's Forms come from?
If I remember correctly , we didn't even have men's forms when we did our challenge. I actually had to fit it on one of the ladies forms in the room. Daniel Vosovic was a woman's 4, in case you are wondering, without the breasts of course! But, all of a sudden, when they return from the NBC Today Studios, there are a dozen men's forms at the Parsons Workroom. No explanation. Unfair and a bit bizarre.

3) Jack: It's called "Knocking Off"
Congratulations for winning this challenge, Jack. We loved your outfit as well as seeing your GINORMOUS pecs every other second, but there was no need to actually ruin your shorts and cut them to get the pattern. It's on page 535 of "Patternmaking for Fashion Design" by Helen Joseph-Armstrong, and is usually taught to every second year fashion design student. So, next time, no need to cut, just get that old tracing wheel out and some tissue paper and you are ready to go...

4) Speaking of GINORMOUS pecs...
Did a Bravo executive just write a big yellow "Post It" to the show's editors and say More Male Nude Skin? (I'm speaking to you Andy Cohen!!) What was going on? There was so much gratuitous display of male skin, I thought I was standing in front of an Abrecrombie and Fitch store! First, Jack was half naked through the entire episode. Then, after the constant parade of male models with their .00005 % fat content showcasing their taut bodies, I had to check my remote to see if the channel had changed to LOGO. But the sight of "I have the whitest teeth in all the United States of America", Tiki Barber (whom I admit I had no idea who he was) reassured me otherwise. Bravo knows its market demographic: It not only wants to make the gays and their girlfriends happy, but also the girlfriend's beer-drinking, football-watching husbands.
And finally:

5) Open Letter To Carmen:
Dear Carmen: There is a light at the end of the Project Runway Menswear Challenge Tunnel. I guarantee you will get a request (or two) to make your auf'ed ensemble for someone. Proof: Just ONE WEEK AGO, I received the following letter on my website regarding my "way too feminine suit" that I created for Daniel Vosovic TWO YEARS AGO, in which I was booted off the show for:

Dear Mr. Verreos, I actually just saw one of the episodes of Project Runway, and I am very interested in a suit that you constructed for another contestant, Daniel. I have been looking for a suit exactly like that forever. Do you still design men's suits, or is there someplace where you sell suits in that same style? If not, would you be interested in creating one? Please let me know.

18 Responses to "PROJECT RUNWAY.....Project Runway Season 4 Recaps: Episode 3"

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick~
I think the reason that Heidi and Tim keep referring to the current contestants as 'the most talented group of designers ever' is simply to hype the show. It is disrespectful to previous designers, and more importantly, is not even a truthful statement. Oh well, that's the 'reality' of reality TV, I suppose.

You are such a charming and talented person! Your blog is fun to read.

Wishing you all the best~

Kathy said...

I don't think they're the most talented group yet. I do think they're the most professionally established (as actual designers with their own businesses) group that they've had so far. Many of them have their own clothing lines out already. In the past, only a few of you guys had your own design businesses (you being one of the most notable). It seems like most past contestants either worked as a designer for someone else or in a different field entirely.

Anonymous said...

Nick, I totally agree with everything you said. The whole episode I kept saying, "...but Chloe did an entire men's outfit in that amount of time". I can't believe this was the "hardest" challenge ever. Hyperbole anyone? I guess that goes with the "best designers ever" hyperbole. I didn't think your suit for Daniel was that bad. At least it was finished which you could not say Santino did for Kara, which was women's wear. Soooooo? I thought it was a bad episode all around, and just my two-cents as a female football fan... Tiki and his wife deserved better treatment than what was given to them. He was a great player. Enjoy your blogs keep it up!

Anonymous said...

My highlight of every week is reading your recaps on the episodes. You can stress it as much as you want, it's true every time- this season is DEFINETELY not the most talented. A lot of the designers had a lot of execution and design problems. The 1st episode this season was by far the best, but it seems to be getting worse and worse........and worse and worse. I mean, even for Chloe........1st Time menswear! C'mon! Who knows, the challenges are only going to get harder, so I'm really afraid to see what is to come.

In Season 2, I got mad at nearly every episode I watched because sometimes the people that got kicked off didn't deserve it, but because the judges HAVE TO auf someone. In this season, I can pick out AT LEAST 3 people that should go home on each episode. Am I the only one that's afraid for next week?

-Keep the blogs coming!!

TopCat said...

Nick love your recap again and agree with you. I think there is several extremely talented designers across the board from all seasons combined.

This episode I really liked Kit, Rami, Kevin and Jillian's (although her's is maybe a bit too evening and not day TV) designs for TiKi. If TiKi was a bit younger and fashion forward than maybe Christian's and Elisa's.
I think this was very tough challenge!

Joi said...

I hate not having cable, can't keep up with the episodes. But I love reading the blog, keep posting!

Mary said...

I still don't understand how this was "the hardest challenge ever on Project Runway" because in my opinion? Absolutely was not. It was different, in the fact that everyone had to design men's wear instead of just half the designers. But come on. False advertising - especially with the "most talented group of designers" fiasco going on. I don't care if that *is* just to hype the show.

Season 2 and 3 contestants made so many great multi-pieced suits and outfits in the same amount of time - sometimes less too - and those pieces are what got sent down the Runway? Shame.

Reina said...

Hey Nick,

I am very confused on this "most talented" group. There are many contestants who have shown great talent (I'm a huge Rami fan, I think he's been fabulous, not to mention a soft spot for Elisa's cooky ways), and for the most part, everyone's been able to finish their garments.

I think that the great ones are getting separated from the bad ones faster than usual. Even in the first challenge, when each of those those garments came down the runway, you knew who was going to last and who was definitely not.

But my question is... when are they going to take leftover scraps of fabric or something to make an outfit?

Moi ;) said...

Nick, I know why they say this group's the "most talented" - because TPTB at Blahvo are idiots. Do you expect them to have any taste or decency? They are as tacky as it gets!

It was Time for a menswear challenge. If the designers couldn't hang, oh well. Sucks to be them, give them an F or an AuF.

Isn't it common sense to do your homework? If they can't do something before the season starts, practice! I mean, really... then again you teach, so you get ;)

And Hub and I liked your suit for Daniel. I'm not surprised someone wanted one!!! XXOO --

Max said...

While we all love Nick, it seems premature to make any declarations about which group is the most talented until the season is over. I may disagree with Tim on this one, but he does have the advantage having seen the whole season.

It's also worth noting that men's wear came very early this season. If this challenge were leveled at season 2 contestants three episodes in, we would have been treated to Marla's man-design. :-)

Just sayin'. :-)

Bop said...

You are so bitter! Honestly, they aren't saying that every person in this group is more talented than everyone from past seasons, but come on, you had Marla on your season.

And Lupe.

And Zulema.

And Daniel F.

And Kirsten.

Clearly, some folks were bringing down the curve.

loverofnick said...

Hey Nick,

You were definitely my favorite designer on any of the seasons of Project Runway!!! I was so disappointed when you left that I didn't even watch the rest of the season!! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I think you are sooo... great!! Also, I want to know where I can find more of your clothes at!! I love your style and try to imitate it myself!

Keep the blogs coming!!! :)

Candice said...

I definitely agree that these designers aren't the most talented. I was going crazy when they all kept throwing out these ideas to be ambitious and make 3 and 4 piece garments. I don't know anything about design and just from watching every other episode, I know there is no way that would be possible for most people. Its annoying because we have to watch a bunch of unfinished stuff going down the runway. No fun for the viewers. Nick-you are my favorite!

Marc said...


I don't think you need to be offended by Heidi or Tim saying this is the most talented GROUP eve, because that is not a reflection on any individual designer on any of the other seasons.

But it is setting the bar high for any subsequent seasons. Won't they have to say that about every other cast they ever assemble in order not to appear like they're going downhill?

suzyQ said...

At least this episode acknowledged that designing and (more importantly) constructing menswear is a different skill, one in which many designers are not experienced. I spent the whole episode ranting about how in season 2, half the cast was unfairly saddled with this task, while the other half got to work with what they knew. However, your blog reminded me that even faced with this adversity, Chloe made you a fantastic outfit and NO ONE sent a model down a runway without a shirt.

Most talented cast ever? let's just stick with most over-hyped.

btw, your Barbie dress was amazing. I admit it, I have the doll!

christina said...

I agree with Marc that if the comment "most talented group of designers ever" is anything more than media hype, I think it's meant to say the PR4 designers as a group is a stronger group than previous groups. It doesn't mean every member of the set of the newer group is more talented than every member of the set of the older groups (and I have also been quite disappointed with this season so far), but if you look at the bottom of the talent pool here, it's still people who've been relatively successful in fashion as opposed to home sewers and wannabes. Obviously, there are many designers from previous seasons that are more talented (from what we've seen) than some on this season.

By the way, I consider your elimination one of the WORST PR eliminations EVER. (Alison's elimination isn't even close, in my mind, and I was PISSED about that as well.) Not only were two designs objectively worse than yours (Santiago's and, sorry, Daniel's) you made a HOT outfit in a really short period of time, and as for no buttons or pockets, UHM, look at the client! If there is any boy who is going to wear a beautiful but functionless outfit, Daniel would! When I saw Daniel walking down the runway, I thought that you might win! He looked amazing and you should be proud of yourself for your strong performance!!!

Margherita da Fiorenza said...


You were my favorite designer in your season, so I was delighted to see you're blogging! The suit you made for Daniel made him look like a rock star- he could have walked straight off that runway and into a music video- and it was beautifully made. Savor the well-earned feeling of justification!

Joan said...

Nick, I have to say this menswear challenge does seperate the wheat from the chaff.

I am a grad of FIDM Los Angeles (c.1980) and I know that anybody who had any kind of patternmaking training, plenty of muslin and dot paper, a menswear form AND a live fit model, should certainly be able to bang out a reasonable facsimile of a men's shirt and pants. Not to mention their trusty tracing wheel (which I still own and use, by the way). I haven't cut a man's shirt pattern in at least 15 years, but I know I still can.

This challenge made your suit look stellar by comparison. The pattern was cut beautifully and you completed an amazing amount of work in such a short amount of time. It was really the unfortunate choice of fabric and it's inability to stay pressed that was your undoing I'm afraid; all due to having to make an important decision like fabrication within the time constraints of a TV show.

Contrast this with the craptastic drivel this season's designers sent down the runway and calling it menswear and I just wanted to cringe. Most talented group of designers ever? Try most pathetic cluster f***.