Friday, November 20, 2009
Lucky 13: The Project Runway recap
I believe it was first Confucius—and later Carol Hannah—who said: “If I’m lying with my head in the toilet, I can’t get any work done.”
Poor dear. I can barely manage to crawl from the bathroom back to the bed when I’m sick like that. She was only making finishing touches on the most important collection of her life.
To make matters worse, Logan was in the studio, being all nice and supportive, and I’m sure she was thinking, “Is my hair greasy? Do I have vomit crust on my mouth?”
Thankfully, Christopher stepped in and gave the comforting hug of a gay man, which is the most comforting hug of all.
As for Gordana, she was going all Brokeback Mountain on Irina as the two of them worked feverishly: “I won’t quit on you,” she said. “I promise.”
One thing I noticed when the designers “gathered round” Tim Gunn? Either Althea is a giant, or both Carol Hannah and Irina are 4 foot 8. How had I never noticed that before?
Tim Gunn, bored with this season as the rest of us, fanned the flames a bit (naughty boy!) when he pointed out that Irina and Althea had both instructed their makeup artists to do smudgy eyes. There was briefly some confusion about who invented the smoky eye first (I believe it was Man Ray, in 1921), before everyone got back to sewing.
Backstage at Bryant Park, Tim Gunn was “about to lose it” (something to do with the models not being ready), and of course, it was the most restrained, elegant meltdown in the history of meltdowns. His "losing it" is my equivalent of "admirably keeping my cool."
The collections were all nice. Full disclosure, I had seen them already online and was really wowed by Carol Hannah’s work. Some of her dresses—especially her first dress, plus her inverted tutu dress, and the look she brought to judging—were, to coin a Gunnism, “stunning.”
But seeing Irina’s collection up close, I saw the phenomenal attention to detail and the genuinely luxe quality of the work. I may be a hater, but I will not stand to the left. I’ll grudgingly admit that Irina’s collection was damn good.
As for Althea’s sci-fi inspired collection, I learned that in the future, we apparently won’t need the use of our hands—most of her sleeves went down to her model’s kneecaps. (Also true of some of Irina’s knits. But who copied who?) I liked her collection well enough, but it was simply an extension of the kind of cool, chic, and wearable stuff she had done all season—there were no real showstoppers.
And isn’t it strange that the 13th look was a major success for all three designers? I think if I had slaved over a collection for 3 months and the look I did on the fly was the one everyone was going gaga over, I’d be pissed. It would be like if you sweated over a Thanksgiving meal for hours and then everyone went nuts for the instant stuffing. (BTW, that was just a hypothetical. I haven’t made a Thanksgiving dinner in my life. Hi Mom!)
The judges were Nina, Michael, Heidi and Suzy Menkes from the International Herald Tribune, who was channeling Ed Grimley with her unfortunate hair. (I confess that my faith in her ability to judge the collections was somewhat compromised by that hair don’t.)
Carol Hannah was first to be auf’ed, and even though I think she should have at least come in second, it was too dramatic to pass up on an Althea and Irina showdown.
And congratulations to. . .Meana Irina!
She cried actual human tears and her parents came out, and they cried, too. And Lifetime made a very Bravo-like decision when they randomly showed that vaguely Antonio Bandares-esque photo of Irina’s dad when he was young: "Your daughter has just won Project Runway and. . .here’s how hot you were in your 20s!!" Nicely played Lifetime. Nicely played. There’s hope for this network yet.