Project Runway: Crew's All In
October 9, 2015 7:52 AM - Season 14, Episode 10 - Subscribe

In which Tim Gunn drops the f-bomb and we learn that there exists the job of 'model wrangler'.

As ever with PR, the 'real women' challenge causes chaos amongst the designers. There was one designer whose look I would totally have worn, but which the judges didn't like - until they looked at it more closely. One look I thought was hideous, from a designer who should totally have been in their comfort zone. And one designer soared above everyone.
posted by essexjan (25 comments total)
The edit sure makes Candace look like she thinks she's the mom/mentor of the group. Maybe she's the only one who gladly takes the producer bait and talks at length, but I don't think she's achieving what she thinks she is.

I am going to need Ashley to get her act together. Hitting the wall of exhaustion and pressure is tough, but that look is the antithesis of what she wants to do/be. She defaulted into "safe" and "expected" instead of blazing a new damn trail.

I LOVED Tim losing it on Swapnil. I didn't think it was possible for Swapnil to have his head further up his own behind, but his inability to design for a client and to use basic listening skills sure blazed a new path.

Merline was the only designer who really managed to turn their terrible first take into something that mostly worked well. (The number of poor skirts on the show this year has been large!)

Kelly is really soaring. I hope she's not peaking too soon, but she did a fabulous job of making her client happy without sacrificing her own persona.

The crewfolk were delightful!

Right now, I think the final 3 will be Kelly, Candace, and Ashley, but Ashley needs to up her game in the next few episodes.
posted by julen at 8:07 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I kind of wonder if dressing crew members is just another result of budget cuts.
posted by drezdn at 9:10 AM on October 9, 2015

Is there any extra gossip about Swapnil. Considering how other people have acted on the show, it seems odd that he would be the first to really set Tim off.
posted by drezdn at 10:23 AM on October 9, 2015

I am listening to the TLo podcast and they make a great point about how bogus the real woman challenges are vis a vis a professional designer and how inappropriate/undeserved Tim Gunn's meltdown was. That was really uncalled for. Zac was an ass as well.

I wish I knew why they were so down on Swapnil. He was always shown as a pleasant, genial person, the other designers respected him, and he won/deserved to win on many episodes. I don't believe the "lazy" meme or the "not trying hard enough" story. They matched him (sophisticated, dramatic style) with a woman who was the opposite of dramatic, self-conscious about her arms and her legs. IRL, she would not chose him as a designer, she'd find someone more suited to her style. IRL, he has his look and the women who like it, buy it.

Ashley is played out, Candace's was awful and deserved to be auf'd, Edmond's was mediocre-bad, Merline's was poorly sewn, and Kelly's only looked good in comparison. If the show were more flexible, the judges could've sent *all* the designers back to the workroom to start over.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:47 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think the producers really wanted Swapnil to be in the finals, and they just weren't getting what they wanted out of him, so they kept pushing, and the more they pushed, the worse he did. I think the same is kind of happening to Ashley, as well. She is supposedly this terrific plus-sized designer, but it could be that she hit on a formula that works for her business, and isn't really comfortable going outside of those boundaries.

I think the finals will be Edmond, Candice, and Merline. I think the producers may have wanted it to be Edmond, Swapnil, and Ashley, for a completely different approach than we've had before, but it's not working out the way they wanted.

Nina's turnaround on Kelly makes me think that production, halfway through, realized there isn't anyone they thought would be at the end really stepping up, so they're going to go with the underdog storyline. Next week, she'll probably be out, just because I said that. I do love her, though.
posted by xingcat at 11:53 AM on October 9, 2015

I love Kelly, and thought her look was fabulous. But I really, really liked Edmond's outfit. I would buy that raincoat.

What is it with Ashley and those horrendous prints? It looked like cheap curtain fabric. The design was atrocious and the client could barely walk in it. God help her if she needed to pee while wearing a skirt that tight!

Candace's outfit was pure hoochy and lacked sophistication and taste. Awful.

As for Swapnil, what the hell was the matter with him? I'm also confused about the 180 turnaround on his edit. Something has gone on there that we're not privy to.

I still don't get why the judges like Merline so much.
posted by essexjan at 12:09 PM on October 9, 2015

Swapnil's path:

2-TOP 2
3-TOP 2
4-TOP 3
5-TOP 2
6-TOP 3
7-BOTTOM 3 (unusual materials, he did the white wire top with muslin bottom)
8-SAFE (for the glen plaid twist bodice/pink chiffon gown)
9-BOTTOM 3 (mass market; he did the leopard print gown)

The matrix is on Wiki here. Someone like Candice has been safe 4x, won/high 4x, and in the bottom 2x.

Week 7 was the first we heard the L word and until then he'd been in the top for FIVE straight weeks, no one else has done that this season but somehow that means he's not making an effort. Aaargh. Week 8 he bounced back, full effort but was only safe while Kelly's bright green lace drag queen outfit was in the top. Week 9 was a mess for most of them, four designers on the bottom, and now this week's horrors. I'm pretty pissed so I'll probably head over to see the final collections which always makes me lose interest in watching further episodes.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:34 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

It was really fitting this week was the UnREAL tie-in challenge (and I shit you not, I actually had the thought "haha, that's such an 'UnREAL' shot" when they first showed the crew member in front of the whiteboard -- called it, I guess!) because they totally produced the hell out of Swapnil this week. They gave him a super difficult model (who was being super difficult on purpose, or I will eat my hat) and subjected him to a series of f-bombs by Tim - you could see how crushed and demoralized he was by the end of it. The end result wasn't even good TV; it just looked like Tim and the judges were playing mind games.

(At least Kelly's cleaning up. She remains awesome.)
posted by en forme de poire at 3:35 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

And lol, those matrices are a trip! Check out Season 1. Apparently, Kara Saun won every time she was in the top, Wendy Pepper was in the bottom literally every time except for her two wins, and Jay didn't win a single challenge the whole time (!!!). Sheer WTF.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:39 PM on October 9, 2015

I kind of wonder if Swapnil said something off camera that pissed off the producers/staff. Like maybe that he just wanted to get to fashion week and really wasn't trying to win?
posted by drezdn at 3:58 PM on October 9, 2015

DISCLAIMER: I have nothing nice to say in this post.

Every week I'm astounded by the love the judges give to Merline. That vest was TERRIBLE. The rest of the outfit was OK, I guess. But to call that vest "luxe" is just stupefying. It seems like her construction skills (and taste level) are really poor and I can't believe she's still in this competition.

I also can't believe that leather overalls won a challenge. I thought the color was bad and the design was... overalls (what design?). This was supposed to be a makeover. Who the hell would ever call overalls an improvement? I respect the fact that Kelly has a clear voice and is totally different from everyone else, but I think most of what she makes is butt-ugly.

I haven't been enjoying this season at all. In general, I think there's a lack of real talent. I recently watched a bunch of the old seasons that I'd never seen, and the difference in the quality of the designs and construction is huge.

And one more thing - HOLY CRAP, PEOPLE. LAY OFF THE MAKEUP! It's so distracting to see just how much makeup is caked on everyone. Ashley especially. It makes me sad to see the makeup in her hair and on the insides of her collars.

Ugh. I'm sorry for ranting. I guess I'm just hate-watching the show at this point.
posted by MsVader at 4:36 PM on October 9, 2015

Remember the challenge was: create a day to evening look and Kelly made pleather overalls.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:14 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

There's a rumor on that Tim had been trying to convince the judges to get rid of Swapnil for a while because Tim thought he was lazy.
posted by drezdn at 6:16 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Which, ugh. People have different working styles and work at different paces. Focusing is certainly an important skill, but if you have problems with your focus wandering (and this is assuming that's even the case -- I'm not convinced, from what we were shown), you can make up for those deficiencies with other skills, and Swapnil clearly had plenty of those. Why should the show be grading him on some private curve relative to his imagined potential?
posted by en forme de poire at 7:53 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Tim Gunn save is still in play. I wonder who's going to get it?
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:18 PM on October 9, 2015

The Tim Gunn save is still in play. I wonder who's going to get it?

Ashley or Kelly would be my guess. Whoever said it in the thread last week was right, Tim Gunn loves the students, and Ashley and Kelly both fit that mold. I might even say Kelly over Ashley since Kelly seems to be the one more willing to adapt.
posted by phunniemee at 9:26 PM on October 9, 2015

This is what was referring to, an interview with Tim Gunn in EW in August:
I think that’s really true to the spirit of the show, because you really just want everyone to be as good as they can be.
Exactly. So when the judges are rewarding work that I think is really inadequate, then the designers think, “Oh well, now we’re being enabled to work at this pace.” When there are that many designers, it takes between four and four and a half hours to make one round in the work room. But even when I’m not there, I’m on set all of the time. I’m in the production room, looking at what’s going on and what’s not going on. I see the chatting and the visiting and the snacking and the smoking, and I lose my patience with it. But there hasn’t been a season prior to this where it’s been so egregious. I’m still puzzled by what’s at the core of it.

Something must have been systemically wrong if the entire group was off their game.
Oh, yes. I kept saying to the judges that there was one designer in particular that needed to go because I felt that once that designer left, it would A) send a resounding message to all of the remaining designers about how serious this is and B) the laziest of the lot would be gone and it would help eradicate all of the other laziness. I was so surprised. These designers had seen the show. It’s season 14. You come with your game.

I feel guilty because I know how personal this is for you, but I’m sitting here thinking that sounds like good TV.
Well, it is. The producers are very happy.
"I kept saying to the judges that there was one designer in particular that needed to go". Gosh, who was that, I wonder?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:55 PM on October 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

Seriously folks he was high as a kite. His eyes were super red. I would bet money he was smoking up and that's why they tied the millstone around his neck.
posted by bq at 11:01 PM on October 9, 2015

He wasn't wearing his contact lenses at the end.

They sign a 50 page contract that stipulates every conceivable circumstance and since they aren't allowed to make phone calls, use the internet, use pattern books, read newspapers or magazines, and are followed everywhere by a camera crew and get five hours sleep per night max, I'm willing to guess they aren't able to smuggle in mood altering drugs either.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:29 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Plus if he'd actually broken the rules, it would have been way better TV to make a big deal out of it and disqualify him, like Willam in Drag Race or that rando with the pattern books whose name I forget in PR S3.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:13 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

High or no, he wasn't really that great. None of them are, in my opinion. This is the worst season yet. Ashley does cutesty retro sexy girl glam and her outfits are fine for Forever 21 but this is supposed to be fashion. I haven't seen any from her. Not one of them seems to have a style or direction. I completely understand that the way Project Runway works is not anything like reality, and actual designers designing designy designs are not time and material challenged like this but damn. I see none of them having any kind of voice yet. I am so bored by all of them. I *think* (??) maybe the dude left is kinda sorta okay? I can't even remember his name. And the woman with the jet black blunt cut with bangs is usually not bad either, although both of them have had atrocious misses as well. And the woman who looks like Boy George sometimes (hah...sorry, I am name challenged right now) is also sometimes okay. Okay! Okay is the new amazing.
posted by the webmistress at 3:03 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

It's kind of a death spiral... the sponsorship gets more downmarket, the reality TV aspects get more overplayed, they have a shallower pool to recruit from as it gets taken less seriously, which means there are fewer break-out stars with top-notch talent, which means they have trouble recruiting sponsors and talent, which means they have to turn the "REALITY" knob up to at least wring something exciting out of the cast, which means...
posted by en forme de poire at 6:08 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

One thing a commenter pointed out, most people were dressing someone who worked the camera, lights, or whatever. Swapnil was the only contestant who had a producer (ie. someone planning the "stories" of the show) to dress.
posted by drezdn at 11:12 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I thought Swapnil would get the TG save. I suppose he still could! (Unless that business about Tim not liking him, above, is true. And by the way, isn't laziness the worst possible interpretation, as mentioned by en forme de poire? How about stressed and exhausted and trying to grab some calm?)

Sad for Ashley. She totally choked. I know they are exhausted, but that dress was a tragedy, particularly from her. I also agree with the person who said she picks awful patterns.

Meanwhile, it's true the editors make the show appear however they like, but how many times did Merline's model say, I do not like big shoulders - I do not want a jacket, before Merline made her a big-shouldered jacket? I think she should go home next.

I still hope Kelly wins! She did good winning over Nina this round, and I didn't think that would be possible.

No doubt the show is a shadow of its former self. But I will probably watch until the very end.
posted by Glinn at 3:17 PM on October 12, 2015

Ashely thought you could wear that mess to a wedding? Nooooooooo.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:36 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

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