Thursday, July 24, 2008

Project Runway 5, Episode 2: Models! Finally.

I thought the choice of challenge for Project Runway Episode 2 was brilliant for several reasons. One of the problems the show has had since the beginning is that it’s also a competition for the models. In Season 1, the models got more face time and were much more well developed as characters. Subsequent seasons pushed the model competition to the fringes of the show (Season 4 had three challenges that didn’t even use the competing models) and struggled to keep it relevant.

I understand why they don’t eliminate the model competition aspect, as it raises the stakes for the models. The designers need models who are engaged and out there doing their best work because they stand a tangible benefit from being paired with the winning designer. The model competition just doesn’t add much to the show because there isn’t room to develop it.

Bringing back the models as clients challenge from Season 1 was a great way to give the models more face time. Then they took it a step further by having the models shop for the fabric. Boom, suddenly some of them start to develop as characters. (Though, it does make me wonder if every challenge this season will be a re-hash of a Season 1 challenge.)

It was also a great challenge for the designers. Episode 1 should have challenged them to think outside the box and use different materials, but it didn’t. This challenge did force them to use fabrics they would never have purchased themselves.

Stella created a wonderful dress, making a dramatic comeback after her near elimination garbage bag dress from Episode 1, but she never would have made that dress had she not been forced to use fabrics outside of her comfort zone and forced to please a client. And yet, she still put her style into the dress. She still showed the judges her aesthetic.

She could make it far, if she doesn’t stay inside her leather box for the rest of the challenges.

Leanne and Wesley got screwed by the fabric their models choose. Watching it on TV, I thought Leanne’s dress was uglier, but they kept her because they saw potential in her. Looking at the dresses online, Wesley’s looks far crappier. My girlfriend was sorry to see him go because he was hot, but he really screwed that dress up something awful.

Leanne won’t last though. You can see it in her eyes.

(photo credit)
(Left: Suede's winning dress. Right: Wesley's losing dress.)

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.