Monday, August 28, 2006

Project Runway -- "Mommy Dearest"

You probably already know from the thousands of other PR posts that the Judges Did It Again in Episode 7, that is, they picked a winner that made most watchers go "wah???" The winner was Vincent, aka Vinsane, who proded an ill fitting black sheath adorned with large and unusual tan -- sweet mother of 70's tan -- lapels. The wags at Project Rungay (how do I love them? a LOT) pronounced the collar "pure Carol Brady," another wit posted a comment calling the dress "soooo Sister Batrille" (that's the Singing Nun for all you young things), but when I saw that dress, I thought "Adrian!" No, not Rocky's girlfriend, the MGM costume designer Gilbert Adrian, and not good Adrian, but still . . .

Adrian's "kite lapels" or "Crawford collar" to be exact. "Gowns by Adrian" describes the style as follows: "[T]he "Crawford collar" was Adrian's little inside joke. Here was the ferfect fashion innovation for society women who never need to use their hands, as they always have someone on retainer to light their cigarettes or pour their drinks" I don't think Vinsane got the joke.

(Speaking of the fabulous Adrian, check out the photos from an exhibition of his designs at Kent State University. There are also line drawings of each garment, so you can see how they were put together. I lust after the yellow silk dress believed to have been worn by Mommy Dearest Joan Crawford herself. )

The rest of Episode 7 was as cringeworthy as the winning design. The producers had the bright idea of bringing in the designers' moms and sisters to be the design inspiration and models for this challenge. They didn't share their brainstorm with the moms and sisters, who arrived in New York thinking they were getting a surpise visit to their loved ones as a treat. The women ranged in size from very slim to very large, and after the challenge was announced the expressions on their faces left me with the impression that the larger ladies weren't that enthused about marching down the runway in whatever size 4X schmatta the designers could create in one day.

The designers weren't allowed to work with their own relatives; instead there was a very grade-school team line-up and the end result was that the prickly bad-tempered tattooed guy Jeffrey was paired with the whiny passive-aggressive plus-size Mom of his least favorite competitor, Angela. Neither Jeffrey nor Angela's Mom was shy about expressing his or her displeasure with the other. There was shouting, there were tears, there was one effin' ugly dress. In spite of the backstage drama and spectacularly poor customer relations, the judges still found Jeffrey's hot mess better than Michaels boring red tent, so that the by now thoroughly loathed Jeffrey got to stay and the beautiful Barbie Boy, Robert Best, got the boot. Farewell, fair Robert, may choirs of plastic dolls sing thee to thy rest, or at least as far as some jumping bar in West Hollywood.

No comments: