Project Runway Canada 2 – Episodes 4 & 5 Redux

project runway canada — Danielle on February 25, 2009 at 11:13 am

Project Runway Canada 2

I am posting my thoughts on each episode of my favourite show, Project Runway Canada, in case you are watching too and want to discuss it.  More after the gap —

Here in the studio, I get to watch PRC2 in two ways – on a big fuzzy screen (yes I have rabbit ears) or on a small clear one on the website, where at least I can rewind a bit if I missed something.

Having missed Episode 4 when I was in the states, literally the second thing I did when I got home late on Friday night (after pouring myself a glass of red wine) was turn on the wee website player and watch my show.

On the internet and among my friends, people were talking about how this show takes competent, accomplished designers and by giving them insanely restrictive deadlines forces them to hack out the most atrocious garments they have ever made.  The argument is that it looks bad on Canadian design and even reflects badly on the show.  I was all like “yep that’s what reality television is” until Episode 4 took it to a whole new level.  From my notes as I watched it:

“This challenge is literally torture for the designers.  Imagine having to be compared to master couturiers when you have only hours and some old rags.  No matter what they do its going to be a mockery of couture, an insult to the greats, and indignity to any designer who respects the history and importance of our industry’s highest standard.”

Sadly, so it was.  One one end was Kim’s assertion “its couture streetwear” (!?) and Brandon’s arrogance “YSL who?” (!!???!!!?) demonstrating some designers would throw a real legacy under a bus in the name of reality television.  Then there were the designers with hearts that break when trying to accomplish the impossible – Jessica’s usual confidence cracked in the face of this monstrosity of a challenge and I was right there with her.  When the judges protested for look after look “this is not couture” – ugh, obviously.  Sure it was the most exciting episode yet, and we got rid of a designer who ashamed all of us with his ignorance, but it left me a little angry with my favourite show.

Redemption came in Episode 5.  I’ll never stop watching you, Project Runway Canada.  This challenge was the most intense yet – to create a new outfit for a divorcee from her old wedding gown.  Here the designers could get lucky and randomly end up with a sassy, outgoing lady like Jessica’s or get stuck with a dud like Jeff’s fashion-shy lady.

It was fun to watch Brian be all feisty this episode!  He was encouraging all the designers to sexy it up.

At this point all of the exhaustion is making all of the designers bitchy and emotional, but we are seeing the pack begin to separate in terms of those who thrive on the challenges and those who can’t hack it anymore.  Two designers – Jason and Sunny – automatically pull ahead.  They focus on their clients, they are positive and inventive, and completely transform their bridal gowns into something new.  Their confidence is exciting to watch and their competitiveness with eachother is both friendly and fierce.

Others struggle.  They focus on their limitations or what other people are doing.  They fight with their fabrics, they fight with their clients.  They allow negativity and doubt to overwhelm them.  In this episode, both Kim and Jeff were on a race to the bottom, and both of their designs were neither transformative or attractive.  On the runway, Jeff ended up being “safe” – sadly, because he played it safe and his design was merely boring.  Kim ended up in the bottom two, because her dress was the worst piece of ugly we’ve seen on the runway yet.

But before the judges deliberated, Kim stood up for herself – twice.  First with a passionate plea that she deserved a second chance.  Then, a diatribe against Jeff’s design.  On twitter, the consensus was that she was a goner – Baylor was the other designer in the bottom two – he’s a strong technician though he fought with the fabric on his design. Still, his wasn’t half as ugly as Kim’s.

Kim’s gutsy speech got her the producer’s vote though, and quiet Baylor was sent home.  Can she step it up and wow us?  So far her designs haven’t hit the sweet spot.  I hope for her sake that she can do that, because being drama-fodder on a reality show isn’t the kind of infamy any committed designer would want.

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    6 Comments »

    1. “the worst piece of ugly we’ve seen on the runway yet.”

      Ha! You have a way with words!

      You need to look back at my recaps and the comments to see the note that Brandon left me.

      Comment by Auntie Fashion — February 25 2009 @ 1:10 pm
    2. I was so upset that Bayer left and Kim stayed. I am not a fan of her or her work at all.

      Comment by janet — February 25 2009 @ 3:25 pm
    3. I can’t believe that Kim stuck up her little hand and slagged Jeff down. And then to use the “we all think” line of depersonalized ass-covering…

      The pressure must be insane there to get everyone so bitchy!

      But what a Canadian show, eh? So much apologizing and shame for being the winner.

      Comment by Nadia Lewis — February 25 2009 @ 4:47 pm
    4. I am very very very very disappointed in Kim. That is no way to be. I understand that there are frustrations but slagging another designer who has been relatively stronger than you are shows weakness.

      And I mean yes his laugh is absolutely ridiculous I mean what was that a horse on crack?

      I can’t believe how catty they were yesterday!!

      Oh Kim Kim Kim, I’m really hoping she steps up and forgets about the others and focuses on actually trying to beat Sunny because if I know one thing it’s that Sunny’s seams are seamless unlike that raggy doll dress she had on the runway last night!

      And i’m not sure, wasn’t the whole point to please your customer? and I’m pretty sure Kim’s customer had a look of disgust on her face while walking down the runway!

      I puked for her! Yikes!

      Comment by Kimleestar — February 25 2009 @ 6:53 pm
    5. Auntie – you like my wordiage? Word.

      Nadia – that’s a great point about Sunny being apologetic about his winning streak. Would we see that on the US version?

      Janet & Kimleestar – I think Kim is getting enough hate right now so I’m trying to be diplomatic. Yes they are all under a lot of pressure, Kim is very competitive but she hasn’t focused on the designs and has to resort to gaming to stay in the competition. Its hard not to take what we see and make character judgements, but I think it we should also try to recognize that it is an unusual situation where this kind of thing is encouraged.

      Comment by Danielle — February 26 2009 @ 9:02 am
    6. Also, did anyone catch Rita in Episode 4 – “This ain’t couture.” Ain’t, Rita? Speaking of good with words.

      Comment by Danielle — February 28 2009 @ 9:30 am

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