Joshua McKinley Blog
Category: "episode 11"
Last week, not even eight cheerful, bright eyed superfans could keep Ken cool. I imagine it would have taken an entire fleet of air conditioners to cool that Napoleon Express steam engine! Now that I don’t have to watch in fear for the contestants' lives from the "Phantom of the Refinery Hotel," it’s nice to know that we can get back to viewing educated and trained designers work. Still feeling the aftershock from the derailed train though is Alexander who says he feels "stifled creatively." However it’s all about getting back into your shiny stilettos, apply a reasonable amount of bronzer and making sure your eyebrows are sharp enough to cut the next amateur designer to cross your path. Who needs to dwell on the past when the present is staring your right in the face with only seven designers left in the competition? Each designer is aware of what’s at stake and they all are starting to feel the intense pressure. What better way to elevate that stress then to let your imagination run wild while designing your own textile!
HP and Intel have chosen seven "innovators" from around New York City that are changing the way the world operates and inspires creativity and opportunity for others. From BMX bike riders to pastry chefs, each designer is paired with an innovator, which will serve as their source of inspiration for their print and garment. Having the opportunity to meet with each of these individual’s, the designers are fortunate enough to absorb the environment the innovators work, what drives them to have a voice within their community and the world, as well as getting to know them to the core of their boisterous personalities. Graphix will be printing the fabric over night for the designers after they create and nail down their chosen print.
After a day of mingling with their innovators, each designer’s fabric is hot off the press and ready to be cut! With sweat beads rolling down the necks of each designer as they reveal their fabric, one can only imagine the intense pressure that they are feeling, relying on it being 100% correct! Even though he was concerned with "the scale of the print translating correctly from the computer to the fabric," Bradon nailed it with a gorgeous cross-hatch plaid in a beautiful blue and black. But even with a gorgeous print Dom; the queen of prints says, "I’m not even sure what his esthetic is, or who he designs for," and I have to agree a bit. I can get lost too with Bradon, like a 13 year old lost in the make-up isle at the grocery store. But what I do appreciate about Bradon is all the interesting techniques that he tries, because it at least shows me that he has an overly creative operating brain, and that’s sexy! During Bradon’s critique, Tim however exclaims, "I don’t have adequate words to describe this!" Now that’s a first for Mr. Gunn! He is basically a walking dictionary. Perhaps he should have just said this look is "twerking," but perhaps he didn’t know that it was just recently put into the dictionary. Maybe he needs and Apple update!
Speaking of updates, Helen is completing draining all the other designers with her plethora of questions, her obnoxious whining, and her lack of confidence! Clearly four wins under her belt and she is questioning why she is here? I am always on the fence about Helen, and have been since the beginning. From her dramatics with Sandro to cat fights with Ken, she was really able to use the spotlight to advance herself as a focal point in the competition. I’m definitely not the first or last to notice since each of the remaining designers have choice words to say about her, especially Alexandria who says, "She's crying so they will feel bad for her and she will be safe!" It’s okay to ask questions, but to distract the other designers from their own tasks is disrespectful. It’s a good antic to play, but not a fair one. But I do love most of what Helen designs and I just pray that the whining doesn’t ensue for the rest of the season because I have no patience for it.
Patience is the one thing the judges don’t have, and with time running out quick Heidi mentions "one or more designers will be going home!" This is a HUGE red flag on any seasonand a scary one! I am confused how Alexandria was safe this week. She met with an innovator that was helping to rebuild a restaurant that was hit by Hurricane Sandy which is ironic because what Alexandria sent down the runway looked as though it was caught in Sandy itself! From the "newspaper" print devastated wrap skirt, as Justin mentioned, to the raw edge of all the leather and the once again bustle at the back of the jacket which we have seen on numerous challenges from Alexandria! It’s safe to say she doesn’t know how to properly finish the back of a jacket. She truly had an angel on her shoulder this week and even with the religious reference in his design and my prayers to the Gods, Alexander was sent home while Dom had the angels singing with her gorgeous print body con dress this week. Unfortunately the devil had a calling card for Kate this week as she joined Alexander and received a second Auf Wiedersehen from Heidi.
Tim was as shocked as I was, but do you think it was necessary to send two designers home this week?
It's that time of the season. Some call it spring cleaning, while we on "Project Runway Teams" call it "Reorganizing and Reconstructing!" With Richard gone it's down to the Top 5, and honestly probably the point of the season in which the show is just beginning. Would it really be a complete season without bringing back some familiar faces to the show? Never! What always alarms me about this point is that they come back as "sewing assistants." Now doesn't that just sound demeaning? I mean we did cast them as designers, so wouldn't it be more appropriate and politically correct to call them "design assistants?" I'm just saying!
Speaking of politically correct, Tim tells the designers it's time to utilize the communication and management skills they have developed throughout the season thus far. WHAT!? The only thing that has developed for the designers this season is their tolerance for insanity! With the five that remain, I think there are some of the WORST communicators of the cast, e.g. Patricia. She doesn't even comprehend what she is saying half the time, and the wide-eyed facial expression that seems to own her face, should be an indication that she's lost herself. As a viewer it's hard to understand what she is trying to say if it doesn’t have to do with complaining about someone else.
Daniel has me singing "Oh Happy Day" from "Sister Act 2" while he is describing what a relief it is to finally have to chance to design alone and be 100 percent him. I think he has really summed up that feeling for the other 4 as well. It’s the moment they have all been waiting for, to develop and carry out their own ideas as a solo force. I would like to reference back to the very first episode when on set, on hot cameras, and in front of the viewers the designers learned that they were on a brand new format of "Project Runway" -- TEAMS! I personally applaud each and every one of them for sticking it out; they are all troopers in my eyes.
We descend upon 57th Street and 8th Avenue on the gorgeous architecture of the Hearst Corporation building, home to Marie Claire and numerous other affluent publications and businesses. The camera pans onto the impeccable Nina Garcia and ever-so-handsome Tim Gunn waiting to deliver the news that this week's challenge is all about creating a Spring/Summer high fashion editorial look that will be worn by Jordana Brewster and run in the May issue of Marie Claire! What a fabulous challenge, a fabulous prize, and a FABULOUS opportunity for the designers to expand their EDITORIAL wings.
Nina design note: No red carpet looks, no t-shirts and pants, think BOLD in terms color, shape, silhouette and print.
Back at 1407, the designers learn who will be their sewing assistants, and for some the reveal is dreadful. Most, if not all, fear the possibility of having to work with Richard, but as the universe states the law of attraction nailed Patricia her fate. She's paired with Richard once again, while things work out in favor for Michelle. Stanley goes to left field in most people's eyes with his choice of Tu, while I see it as the perfect opportunity for him to be completely in charge. He always had something harassing to say about Kate's overbearing and controlling personality while working with Tu, and now after a good Windex to the specks you can clearly see the twinkle of Hannibal Lector in his eyes.
Opinions are flying about opposing teams throughout the day while Tim stops in for his weekly visit with an overall message for the room to be designing "what's next, NOT what's now!" Daniel has definitely honed in on the "fantasy" of high-fashion editorial that Nina spoke of, and Michelle had me rolling with probably the best line of this entire season: "If you don't know how to get to 'Sesame Street,' Daniel can tell you how to get there!" There definitely has been a lack of comedy this season, but I imagine that's because we have been focusing on such great work. NOT! I have yet to be BLOWN away by something, and I think Layana is definitely serving up something fabulous this week. Rihanna says it best that "Chains and whips excite me!" and Layana is delivering on her leather and chain look. Patricia, however, seems envious that she hasn't used the technique yet, so instead of giving compliments she chooses to take the low road and bash Layana's technique. All the while, Patricia has a disaster happening in front of her that she would rather complain about than change. With all the attitude and negativity spewing from her mouth, I would have just watched her crumble hearing all the excuses. There is no doubt she has unbelievable talent, however I don't think she knows as much about construction and sewing. Perhaps she and Richard should take a class together?
Side note: Even having a sewing assistant, you should plan to finish everything yourself. You are still in the competition with a huge prize at stake, and I imagine you don't plan to share your winnings with your helper.
In most factories around the world, there is a standard of treatment for the employees even if the minimum wage is unfathomable to most, but the way Stanley is treating Tu would call for a government inspection! At points it is truly unbearable to watch and honestly just sad. It's one thing to tell someone to "take a nap," but to attack their skills as a designer is so belittling. I'm extremely sad for Tu, but ultimately the jacket that Stanley is harping on him for "f*cking up" turns out to be the piece the judges love the most!
While Nina had forewarned the designers to "do your BEST work," she, along with the other judges, is disappointed in some. They all really come down hard on Michelle for the t-shirt and pants, but Michelle does not waver from her idea of "a b*tchin' giant pair of linen pants and the weirdest little t-shirt you have ever seen!" It was a risk that at this point might or might not pay off, because we now have a cliffhanger until next week!I am on the edge of my seat. Tell me what your predictions are!
To Be Continued...