Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers about last Thursday’s episode of Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 1, “A Times Square Anniversary Party.” If you’re a fan of the show and you haven’t seen it yet — you stand warned.
So did the wrong crappy designer go home this week?
Ingrid and I have been debating this question at some length. We don’t have any doubt that both Beatrice and Lantie should have been the bottom two designers. (I disagree about the third slot: I actually had a certain amount of respect for Kooan’s original look, especially for its roots in Japanese “fruits” street fashion, and thought Buffi should have been in the bottom. Ingrid disagrees: she has a soft spot for Buffi’s shiny, candy-colored ’80s style.)
But the big question is: Of the two truly appalling sets of work, did the wrong crappy designer go home?
For the most part, I’m leaning towards saying Yes. Beatrice was marginally less bad than Lantie. They sent home the wrong crappy designer.
Here’s the thing about Beatrice’s work: That gray dress was very wearable. It was actually one of the few pieces on the runway this week that I might buy if I saw it on a dress rack. It was a nicely made basic, comfortable and wearable, with some interesting shape and details. With some better styling — or indeed, any styling at all other than “scary Aztec poncho” — it might have worked really well. I, personally, would wear the hell out of that dress: it’s good to have some nicely made neutral basics in your wardrobe, so you can wear stronger accessories without looking like a clown. That dress would make the perfect backdrop for some striking statement jewelry, maybe with kickass boots paired with colored or patterned tights. If it was in my closet, I’d probably wear it every week.
I do realize, of course, that Project Runway is not about “nicely made basics” or “perfect backdrops.” But at least Beatrice sent down one nice, wearable dress. And I can’t say the same for Lantie. There was not a damn thing that woman sent down the runway that I would wear on a bet. That white reworked crocheted thing looked like my grandmother’s tablecloth had angry drunken sex with a tacky prom dress from the mall. And her other piece looked like the tacky prom dress from the mall just sat in the bar by itself, drinking itself into a maudlin stupor until closing, and then tried to breast-feed a dead snake it found on the floor of the taxi. I’m afraid to go back on the Vicodin now, for fear of the opiate-induced dreams those dresses might give me.
But to play devil’s advocate:
Beatrice’s poncho/ cape thing… shudder.
Tom and Lorenzo called it “something you’d buy out of a van at a Phish concert,” and I can’t say anything bitchier or funnier or more accurate, so I’ll just leave it at that. And that ill-fitting top in the second look didn’t just look cheap — it looked cheap trying to look expensive. I have real respect for cheap — cheap often has a brazen “fuck you” charm, cheap can inspire real creativity, and cheap street fashion is where high fashion often gets its inspiration. But cheap trying to look expensive is just sad. It’s the worst of both worlds. And she even botched the simple pencil skirt. It looked okay if you didn’t get a good look at the hem; but that weird flap in the back did not work at all. It looked like the front had been hacked off with kitchen shears, in the dark, at three in the morning, by a ten year old. If you’re passing yourself off as the knitwear queen, and you can’t even do a simple pencil skirt without looking like an amateur, then shame on you.
Maybe more importantly: Beatrice herself acknowledged that she can’t sew. And that, just by itself, is enough to send her home. (Yes, yes, I know. Anya, Season 9. But Anya never said she couldn’t sew. She said she didn’t know how to sew, didn’t have more than a few months’ experience sewing. Clearly that woman could sew. She was some sort of savant genius. Which Beatrice clearly is not.)
And at least Lantie was going for something. Nothing good — but something. Something other than “wearable basic gray knitwear that could be used as a backdrop for fabulous accessories, but instead is being used as a backdrop for a poncho/ cape thing I wouldn’t have worn even when I was a Deadhead.”
So yeah. It’s a tough call. Thoughts?