by Andrew Osborne
Yes, you read correctly: there’s at least one heterosexual male Project Runway fan in America, and for the next few weeks I’ll be offering my thoughts on the Season 10 contestants and my (completely unqualified) perspective on the fashion coming down the runway.
I should mention I came to PR late — just after the season Christian Siriano won and (according to some fans, at least) the show began its slide into self-parody, with “characters” outnumbering genuinely deserving contestants, accompanied by (to paraphrase Tim Gunn) an uptick in the kind of crack-induced judging that resulted in wins for Anya “One-Outfit” Ayoung-Chee and the crunchy-ugly threads of Gretchen Jones.
But I always enjoy reality TV about people who are actually good at something (besides, y’know, shopping and fighting), so let’s meet the new recruits, thank Mood, and get this runway started!
Christopher: At first, I thought he’d be this year’s resident snippy queen…right up ’til Gunnar Deatherage walked through the door, at which point Chris (and everyone else for that matter) instantly seemed far more likable by comparison. Well, everyone except maybe…
Dmitry, who thus far comes across as mostly just sour and Russian (sorry…Belarusian) and seems to make clothes for Morgan Fairchild.
Ven: “I think the reason why I’m competitive is why I don’t have too many friends” is the Samoan-looking Guyanan’s self-assessment, and his no fun, all business personality does make him seem like Season 9’s Bert Keeter (without the hair and charm). But the big man’s arrogance is warranted, ‘cuz he can design like a mofo and seems like an early favorite to make it to Fashion Week.
Gunnar: Gay men of the world, please stop using that fey, jaded Valley Girl accent favored by bitchy fame whores like Season 9’s Joshua McKinley and this year’s model with the fake-sounding heavy metal name! I can barely imagine the head-exploding unpleasantness if Gunnar had managed to stick around the S9 workroom long enough for he and Josh to become mortal enemies (or, worse, friends). But Christopher nailed it when he said Eyeroll McSnippy belongs on Toddlers & Tiaras rather than Project Runway (though, annoyingly, I did actually kinda like the country club looks on his audition rack).
Sonjia seems like a nice enough lady (and she’s from Boston, so I really should be rooting for her), but her stuff seems kinda tacky-blah and I don’t expect she’ll stick around for long.
Elena: On the other hand, blah is nowhere near the word for this avant-garde Eastern European, who’s currently my top rooting interest thanks to her grounded personality and far-out Matrix fashion. I worry the judges may consider her work too costume-y and/or that she may not be flexible enough to survive some challenge where she has to make, like, prairie dresses for sister wives or whatever…but so far, I’m hoping Natasha Fatale’s sister from another mister goes the distance.
Andrea: While Ven may have Bert’s personality, the Katz lady fills the “grey-hair” slot this time around — though my guess is she’s too set in her ways and her stuff is too ugly for her to stick around more than a few weeks.
Kooan: Project Runway judges, please make this icky, icky person disappear from my TV screen as quickly as possible. I don’t know why this bouncing, giggling sprite inspires such a visceral gag reflex in me (and he may well be a lovely person in real life), but all I can think when I see him is that his clothes give off an unsettling odor and his home under blacklight would reveal a horrific Jackson Pollock spatter of unmentionable stains on every conceivable surface. And I’m sorry I called Andrea’s clothes ugly, because the word was pretty much invented for Kooan’s insane clown serial killer aesthetic. Just…ugh.
Buffi: The polar opposite of ick. In fact, I want this charming punkster doofus to move directly from Dubai to Somerville and take me club-hopping to every ’80s night she can find. Like Season 9’s Anthony (or Survivor‘s Courtney, for that matter), she’s not going to win, but I hope they’ll keep her around to make with the wisecracks for at least the first six weeks (and then bring her back after two contestants supposedly drop out later in the season).
Fabio: When a person displays empty picture frames on the wall and calls himself a “freegan” because he only eats from dumpsters, my first instinct is to sigh, then mock. But the surprisingly level-headed designer grew on me during the course of the episode (though I’m not quite sure yet what to make of his…odd…design choices).
Alicia seems like good people and she definitely knows who her customer is. But let’s just say…all those mean, un-P.C. stereotypes about baggy, formless lesbian fashion? Um…well…
Melissa: Like Season 9’s pretty blonde plantation princess Laura Kathleen, I expected to dislike this pretty blonde Goth wannabe on principle. And yet, as a long-time fan of the power of slimming black, I have to say I’m a fan of her dragon tattoo couture (even though I fear the judges will quickly come to think of her as a one-trick Siouxsie).
Nathan: Christ, there’s a lot of contestants, eh? Not sure what to say about Nerdlinger yet, except that he had a super-sweet story in the pre-show about PR helping him to bond with his Bible-thumpin’ papa. My prediction is he’ll swim in the middle of the pack for awhile then eventually disappear.
Raul: If you can look past the greasy forelocks he inflicts on himself and his models, my instinct is that Raul may have the stuff to sneak out of the pack and become a dark horse contender.
And finally, throughout the episode, I kept confusing Lantie with Beatrice Guapo, so I’m glad they both wound up in the Bottom Two together…though I’m pretty sure they sent the wrong nervous lady home. Guapo’s stuff may not have been thrilling (and “dryer lint grey” may not have been the best color choice), but I thought the silhouettes were fine and the outfits were constructed well enough to get her through the first round. On the other hand, I thought Lantie’s shit was hideous (and very unflattering to the breasts of the model in the poop-brown gunnysack). More importantly, though, I’d bet cash money Lantie’s one of the designers who flies the coop this season…but stay tuned!
* There were too many designs for me to have a strong opinion about my pick for winner this week, but that crinkly — taupe? — dress that Christopher presented was certainly eye-catching — plus, his win probably irritated the hell out of Gunnar, so I’m cool with it.
* It’s always nice to have Tim Gunn back, although he looked so tired I’m worried he’s got Lyme disease. Heidi, quick, check him for ticks!
Okay, that’s all for now…see you next week!