HOLA!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.
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.