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A Runway SPiN-Off

By kim_messina Fri., Feb. 1, 2013 ,4:21 am EST

Dream Team vs. Team Keeping It Real: this is the premise of Season 11 "Project Runway." Sixteen designers split up into two teams and every challenge this season is promised to be a Team Challenge-with one winner and one loser. Team Keeping It Real had the highest scores last week with "Mustache Daniel" coming out on top and Dream Team at the bottom losing sewing-deficient "Hot Glue-Loving Emily." Nina described her outfit as the worst made garment in "Project Runway" history. PS: I wonder if Emily is adding that accomplishment to her bio or Wiki page?

Oh Cindy...
Now that the "Team Twist" novelty has worn off and the "Oh No, Not Teams!" shrieks have subsided, reality is setting in. One of the designers who was at the bottom last week—"Funeral Director Cindy"—feels like her team may see her as the weakest link, even though you could tell she doesn’t quite understand why. PS: did she see what she created? It always strikes me as both naïve and unrealistic when I hear some of these designers and their self-assessment of where they think they are on the "Project Runway" contestant totem pole within a season.

Ball Happy Heidi
Back at Parsons, Heidi greets the teams, congratulating them for "making it." All I want a say is, "GURL, they’ve only had ONE CHALLENGE; simmer down on the effusive words; let them get through FIVE more without beating each other up and then we’ll talk." Heidi tells them they are to meet Tim at 23rd and Park Avenue.

Ping Pong Couture
The designers arrive at SPiN NYC, a Ping Pong Social Club owned by actress Susan Sarandon. A) I had no idea there was such a thing; I am so LATE on what's HOT in the NYC night scene. B) I had no idea Susan Sarandon loved ping pong. Tim gives them their Challenge: to create five uniforms for the club—three female server outfits and one for a "ball boy"—the boy who gathers the ping pong balls from the floor. That may not be quite how my friends would define the term "ball boy" in my inner circle, thank you very much, but I digress. The uniforms must be fashionable and exude the fun and upbeat environment of the club. Finally, they must utilize the tagline "Balls Are My Business" somewhere in the garments. How cheeky.

Working Girls and Ball Boys
The teams are then put to work as servers and "ball boys." At first I thought, "This is a little humiliating," but then realized what a great idea it was that the designers could get a feel of working at the club to help in their design process. After picking up all the broken beer bottles7#151;and balls—from the floor, Dream Team and Team Keeping It Real assemble separately to decide who is doing what.

Platinum Micro Manager
In both teams, some of the designers (Daniel and Layana, Richard and Joe, Kate and Patricia) couple together while others do a complete look on their own (James, Stanley). They're off to Mood and then, to their 507 Broadway workrooms. Benjamin—of Dream Team—takes a team leader role, much to Cindy's chagrin. Their drama continues in the workroom as Cindy feels like she’s being micro-managed by the platinum-blond Aussie. My guess is that he’s worried she’ll make another printed "Going to Aruba on a Carnival Cruise" look like last week. Team Keeping It Real's Daniel is schooling his young partner Layana in making a shorts/skirt/apron combo while Patricia is having "I'm just making leggins’ and nothing else" issues. A screen printer is brought in to aid the designers in the "Balls Are My Business" logo making, which is a nice addition.

Kilts, Wack-a-Doodle and Emily 2.0
Tim visits and besides having to clock Patricia for sensing too much self-ego within the team, he thinks Team Keeping it Real is in good shape. However, it’s the Dream Team he’s worried about. Matthew is making jeans and Tim asks why. Michelle uses her "loud voice" and brings up the subject of a kilt, which Tim thinks is "quite interesting." Stop it Tim, use YOUR quiet voice! He also thinks Samantha’s jacket and Tu’s dress don't belong together and deems Benjamin and Cindy's creations "wack-a-doodle." In addition, James—who is "Emily 2.0"—is obviously in over his head. It's only the second challenge and we can ALL tell this boy's construction, as well as his design skills are lacking. Tim calls the shirt he is making, a "construction disaster." Tim thinks the entire team is in trouble. They sure look it.

It's a Runway Spin-Off
Day of the SPiN NYC runway show and guess who is the special guest judge? Yep, Miss Susan Sarandon, looking quite good in a printed wrap dress (DVF, I presume?). Both teams show their SPiN NYC uniforms and the results are in: the winning team is Team Keeping It Real (again!) and Dream Team is at the bottom. Not a surprise. Even the editors of the show couldn't hide what would eventually happen during the runway show day.

It's a SKORT Susan
Let's discuss the Good: Stanley's sweatshirt top and drop-crotch pants for his "ball boy" looked great. There was style and functionality. Joe and Richard made a super-tight t-shirt with logo-printed pants and (the piece de resistance), a harness to hold the ping-pong ball picker-upper. So cool. But it was Daniel and Layana's vest, long sleeve top and skort (a skirt/shorts combo) that won the judges and especially the SPiN NYC CEO, Susan Sarandon. Sarandon somehow has been living under a "fashion rock" and didn't know what a skort was. Bless her heart. In the end, Layana got the top individual win—for that skort...that Daniel actually helped her make. PS: Layana, I hope you sent Daniel a BIG expensive bouquet of flowers.

Oh, Cabo
Yes, Dream Team wasn't a dream—yet again. Two for two. To start, the Kilt Boy was cool and appropriate if SPiN NYC opened a club in Hell's Kitchen or South of Folsom in San Francisco; but for this location, not so much. Those straight "ball boys" would not be having any of that kilt and the placement of the "Balls Are Our Business." Next, I figured Micro Manager Benjamin and his horrid shorts look, would be at the bottom. But somehow, Aussie Benjamin walked away unscathed; it was Cindy, once again in the bottom two. Joining Matthew and Cindy was James and his tank top and board shorts atrocity. James' look was better suited for a beach bar in Cabo and as Heidi correctly said, no one wants a server bringing them their drinks—or tapas—with their armpits showing, in Manhattan at 11:30 pm. Ultimately—and without surprise, it was James who got the "Auf." As I said, I knew James was in over his head, and the judges told him so. But on a good note: maybe Señor Frog’s will call James to design their uniforms in Cabo. That should be fun.