Project Runway: Unconventional Movie Nite
August 1, 2014 11:54 AM - Season 13, Episode 2 - Subscribe

It's time for the first unconventional challenge! But wait, let's mix it up more by also making it the first team challenge! Prepare for team struggles, crying, yelling, and high fiving when you bring things together. Make it work.
posted by Arbac (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just wanted to note that the actual episode title uses the "Nite" spelling. That wasn't me! I'm generally not a fan of the unconventional challenges but I liked the looks on this one. I just hope they don't over use the unconventional challenges this season.
posted by Arbac at 12:24 PM on August 1, 2014

My guess is they kept Hernan because he has some theoretical design potential (having shown at Fashion Week before) that has not yet been in evidence here and for future dramaz with Sandhya since he assumed the team leader role.

Will *never* understand the love for the winning design. Also I think Heidi was pissed at Angela for foiling the white straw group entry. She might as well leave now; she's got a target on her back.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:09 PM on August 1, 2014 many feels. I think as bad as Angela's was, her team should have won. The other two outfits were just too good. So in love with that straw dress.

I absolutely despise the team challenges. So much unfairness comes into play. No one wants to be on a team with someone with immunity, and you have so little time to think and create as it is, so to add the dynamics and tensions of a team makes it that much worse. I wish they would do away with teams altogether. And also immunity. Fugly dress was fugly (the one with immunity, can't remember names yet). The winner should get some other kind of prize. Lifetime, call me. We have things to talk about.

Zac was such a biatch last night. I kind of loved it.
posted by the webmistress at 1:49 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't think this actually happened last night, but when you put an immune competitor into a group dynamic, you definitely create the potential for sabotage. Heidi said as much by telling Angela she was the singular reason their group didn't win. Sandhya could have been the singular reason her group was on the bottom, which caused one of those two people, instead of someone from another team, to be sent home.

I decided to give this season a try. I liked the show on Bravo but haven't watched it in years. I'm also watching America's Got Talent this summer and I find it interesting how differently Heidi presents herself on the two shows. She's friendlier for NBC's audience.
posted by cribcage at 1:50 PM on August 1, 2014

Heidi and Tim are a team so I think they do a bit of bad German cop, good mentor cop.

I do not get why they liked that they liked and I'm assuming there were movement and in person issues that didn't translate because everything looked unimaginative and/or unattractive.

I don't understand why Amanda's won and whether there is a higher percentage of whining, crying and kvetching or I'm less inured to it.

Are CDs easier to cut clean now or do they have a better means to cut them?
posted by provoliminal at 4:55 PM on August 1, 2014

The thing I don't like about team episodes is they have to spend so much time on the team drama, we don't get a chance to see all the good work. I liked the purple/blue team's stuff, and we hardly saw them at all! Winning team and losing team on the runway, that's it? Boooooooo.

Hate Amanda. Oh, you were on Project Runway before, PLEASE TELL ME MORE. Seriously, because I don't remember you at all. She acts like she's some huge expert because she's got, what, 2-3 episodes on the rest of these people? No idea how that hot mess of a clothesline won her immunity.

Wasn't really sad to see Carrie go. Boohoo, life is unfair, you allowed yourself and your vision to get trampled and sometimes thems the breaks.

And Angela needs to get it together! Enough crying! Try to expand yourself, girl! Please, let's get rid of one crier every week until they all are gone. Then the big kids can get to work.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:28 PM on August 1, 2014

I wish they had done the designers vote this episode as well because then I could put forward my theory that the judges are intentionally choosing the most wtf ensemble each week just to breed contempt among the ranks.

Amanda actually made it pretty far on her season if I remember correctly. She played mean girls with the lady with the hair and the pants and was generally insufferable. I remember she made some terrible dress that looked like grandma's 70s-era curtains.
posted by phunniemee at 7:16 PM on August 1, 2014

I agree about the fact that we don't get to see the other stuff! I LIKED the "barbie" dresses!! I wanted to see the comments on those! I dig me some purple, sparkly stuff!! And TBH, I didn't think Angela's was so bad but I wear a outlet RL polo t-shirt and shorts pretty much every day so I'm not what you would call fashion savvy.
posted by pearlybob at 7:23 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tim: This will be an unconventional challenge.
*cut to* Kini: Ugh. This will be an unconventional challenge.

I think (hope) we can all agree that Amanda's winning look was terrible. I bet someone else in a previous season has made something almost exactly like it and got told it was the worst thing ever. It seems like every season the judges pick a favorite right from the start, or sometime during the first episodes. Their little favorite is guaranteed a spot in the "make a line for fashion week" finalists. And I think this year it's Amanda. For the rest of the season the judges will randomly pick her to be the winner and fall over each other praising what she has made, regardless of whether it was good, bland or bad. Of course, maybe I'm wrong, they could just be messing with her.

And that losing team... When they started talking about what they would do, Sandhya suggested everyone just make something and they could add cohesion at the end. Right then you knew this would be the losing team (or by some miracle the winning team). Sometimes I wonder (not just this season) if it is unclear to the contestants what "cohesion" means. I might be misremembering, but I think Emily said that "all three dresses have to have cohesion". It's like they think it's some sort of accessory or color highlight.

I was surprised to not have Tim's critiques of each team. When they announced it would be a team challenge I thought that at least we would get a check-in with each team to see what everyone was doing. But no. Just like in individual challenges there are people they don't show and you know those will definitely be safe (this show Sam/Emily/Alex and Mitchell/Char/Kini).

My PR bingo card still has spots open for "throw under the bus" and Tim stating that this group of designers is the best/most talented so far in PR history (implicitly saying to all contestants of previous seasons that they are increasingly bad).

And Mustache Guy was back in the make-up room. That was nice.
posted by bjrn at 1:47 AM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wished they threw off both the lowest designers instead of just one, they both seemed to be whining a lot.

It's weird how the entire show but the judges have rallied around hating on Sandhya. Is it bullying? Racism? I think her designs (when she gets to do what she wants) are interesting and different and everyone just says she produces crap and sucks and she seems like a nice person. It's impossible to figure out what the reality is given the editing, but they make everyone sound insanely harsh towards Sandhya, and she doesn't seem to deserve it.
posted by mathowie at 7:15 AM on August 2, 2014

I wonder what would happen if they would stop with the manufactured drama and focus more on actual designing. Zac Posen doesn't have to make clothes from trash and really, neither should any of these designers. No one (ok, hardly anyone...) is going to wear a dress made from tickets or popcorn, so why are they forced to use unconventional materials? Why not let them just use fabric? I don't think it really says anything about their potential future in fashion that someone was able to make a gorgeous dress out of straws.

Sick of teams. Sick of immunity. Sick of the same challenges. Sick of crying grown ups.

But I keep watching.

Is it bullying? Racism?

I hope not. I can't believe how disrespected she is. It was disturbing how dismissive everyone was when she went backstage last week right after her win, with the one girl telling her everyone hated her dress.
posted by the webmistress at 7:41 AM on August 2, 2014

why are they forced to use unconventional materials?

Just for the television-y-ness of the thing. It's a trope. The first season of Top Chef, which everybody probably knows is produced by the same company behind Project Runway, sent the chefs into a gas station's convenient store for ingredients. Sometimes it's a train wreck, but sometimes you get amazing results. I thought some of this week's designs were pretty amazing, although granted, I'm not a fashion person.

These talent-based reality competitions walk a fine line. If there's not some degree of seriousness, they lose audience and also their line on participants. (The people auditioning for Top Chef are not, I'd imagine, waiting breathlessly for callbacks for Hell's Kitchen.) I would imagine there are pretty constant discussions at network legal about this balance, too. Nobody wants a repeat of the quiz show brouhaha. It's kinda, sort of, maybe a competition for $100,000, but ultimately their first priority is to make a television show. From a network perspective, these people aren't signing up for a chance to win a prize so much as agreeing to be cast members on a show about sending people home in a to-be-determined order. The show exists for ratings, and nobody watches because they care about Red Robin awarding $100,000.

My PR bingo card still has spots open for...

Has someone already said they didn't come here to make friends?
posted by cribcage at 9:34 AM on August 2, 2014

Oh man, I couldn't stand Angela. I just don't think she can handle it. I mean, their team comes up with a badass concept to create really cool fashion, and she's talking about angels and paper flowers from her wedding? Then her final dress is paper, with more paper on it. I totally get why that team them couldn't be in the top because of the scores, but I think the other two should have won.

I also loved the barbie dresses! I thought they were super cute and fun. They also were really well constructed. I guess maybe their concept was too boring?

I really like the unconventional challenges, but I thought this one was, not well set up. The materials were really boring and similar. There wasn't a lot to really do with them. Plus, gaffers tape? Colored cellophane? Wire? Cording? I mean really? I think it would have been cooler to set them up in a tacky costume department and have them use those materials to repurpose into more lux designs.

I'm not stoked that Amanda is back. Sometimes I like her, but then when she's really cocky my like for her just dips negative. I think she could be a really lovely person if she drops the 'tude.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:40 PM on August 2, 2014

How in the fuckity fuck did Angela win? I hated her in her previous season and she's even more self-satisfied now. All her team's outfits were hideous and unwearable.

I loved that iridescent blue sparkly dress and wanted to see more of that. That's the trouble with the first few episodes of PR (and Top Chef) - there's far too many people for you to know who's who or to get any idea of their capabilities.

But Carrie was the right choice to go. She barely scraped into the selected group in the first episode she was the last one chosen, and I didn't really get why - her talent seemed thin even on a single showing. But it was her whining that "IT'S NOT FAIR!" that really pissed me off and I was glad to see her go.
posted by essexjan at 3:09 PM on August 2, 2014

My PR bingo card still has spots open for...

Has someone already said they didn't come here to make friends?

20 minutes into this episode we got our first "it looks costumey" from Tim. I cheered.
posted by essexjan at 3:15 PM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Has someone already said they didn't come here to make friends?

I don't know if that is something you hear on PR. I can't really remember hearing it, except maybe in the first or second season. I'm glad we got a "costumey", and I think someone called Mitchell's look from last episode "too junior". Now with the thing mentioned above I'm waiting for "matronly", "student work", references to something looking like it could be find on the rack at some store (once in a positive sense and once in a negative sense), a guest judge asking to buy something, a guest judge being "confused" (although maybe we already had that last week?).

As for Sandhya, I think a recurring thing in PR dynamics is that anyone who stands out by having a different working method or design goal will often be looked down on by other designers. Given that half of the designers will at some point mention being bullied for being different, you might consider this ironic or totally expected. Maybe it plays a role in this case, but I think race is generally less of a problem among the designers, and that a non-traditionally western (white) fashion sensibility is more often a problem for the judges.
posted by bjrn at 3:28 AM on August 3, 2014

Sandhya's look when those two were basically saying how much they wish she'd been booted and not taking ANY responsibility for their own crappy design and team dynamics, was class. I hope it turns out that she is a machiavellian genius who will slowly rise to the top through backstabbing and powergrabs, because that would be golden TV.

I think it would have been a better competition if they had been clear at the start that these were meant to be concept/high-fashion garments vs wearable. The more concept the dresses went, the more fun they were, because with those materials, trying to be wearable is hard. There was one designer gushing about how her skirt looked like something you could buy at a store, and all I could think was 'where the hell are you shopping that you can buy a film-strip hulu skirt off the rack?'
posted by viggorlijah at 6:31 AM on August 3, 2014

I think it would have been a better competition if they had been clear at the start that these were meant to be concept/high-fashion garments vs wearable.

The conceptual vs wearable card is something the judges like to pull out at the last minute to confuse the designers. How many times have we seen them judged on something that had not been in the brief given to them by Heidi/Tim? A couple seasons ago, styling was the big issue and bad styling was enough to auf someone.

But I've never read any interviews with former contestants who complained about the vagueness of the challenges or of the judges arbitrariness. Is that because of the contract they all sign? A decision that "it's over, let it go"? Am I just not reading the right interviews? So many questions.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:44 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is it bullying? Racism?

Meh, they pick someone to eviscerate every season. A few back it was that softspoken babyface guy who cried a lot (Michael I think his name was) who made beautiful drapey things and was a judge favorite, and every time the low scores were up on stage they'd bitch to the judges about how babyface couldn't sew for shit.
posted by phunniemee at 6:11 AM on August 4, 2014

I tried to pick this show up again, but I am having the same problems with it that pushed me to stop watching - childish contestants, odd judging choices and the reliance on interpersonal drama.

I agree that immunity should be removed as an option and I think team challenges are a waste just because it protects designers who probably should go home.

I don't know if I'll make it through the whole season.
posted by Julnyes at 8:23 AM on August 4, 2014

I think team challenges are a waste just because it protects designers who probably should go home.

Agreed. And they really don't prove a thing. They're supposed to weed out those who can't play well with others but they really don't. Being difficult doesn't really seem to be that much of a career deterrent in the fashion world. Talent trumps all. So many good designers are notorious for being horrible people. It seems no one really cares as long as the clothes are wonderful.
posted by the webmistress at 2:27 PM on August 4, 2014

So I'm a pro-wrestling fan. I watch WWE, etc. In their scripts, they will spent weeks building up to a big match between Baby Face (good guy) and Heel (bad guy). One week the Face will be wrestling against some unrelated opponent and Heel's buddies will interfere. Then the next week, Face will be relaxing in the locker room and Heel's buddies will randomly attack him. When the final match arrives between Heel and Face, the president of the company decrees that nobody is allowed at ringside so there won't be any interference.

Team challenges in reality competitions aren't intended to weed-out particular weaknesses any more than WWE match stipulations are intended to ensure fairness. It's dramatic television. Team competitions create great drama, so they'll keep being used. Watch the product, be entertained by the product, but don't buy the product, so to speak.

There's an interesting dovetail here with the recurring conversation about why, in twelve seasons, Project Runway has been unable to launch a serious star. Top Chef has launched several. Last Comic Standing launched Amy Schumer. Even The Next Food Network Star, for God's sake, launched Guy Fieri. (And may God forgive them for that.) To say nothing of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jackie Evancho, etc. But Heidi and Tim just can't do it, and I've seen few rationales for it that can't be answered with, "Okay but what about Top Chef?" It's a notable failure—or it would be, if anybody were seriously judging them on that. They get ratings. Mission accomplished.
posted by cribcage at 4:15 PM on August 4, 2014

This article in the Washington Post explores the fact that Project Runway has yet to launch a real national fashion designer. It's an interesting read.
posted by Arbac at 4:45 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

It was a good read. Thanks. And thanks again, Food Network, for Guy Fieri. Don't do us any more favors.

America's Next Top Model suffers the same fate; failure to launch a star. You may know of one or two of the winners (Eva Pigford, Adrian Curry, etc.) but no true stars, in the modeling world or otherwise. The most recognizable face so far, in my opinion, is probably Analeigh Tipton, who didn't win, but does have a decent acting career going for her.
posted by the webmistress at 8:15 PM on August 4, 2014

The winning dress wasn't even the best on her team. She gave her model a tail!
posted by drezdn at 8:22 PM on August 7, 2014

I liked the winning dress. I did!
posted by bq at 5:01 PM on August 13, 2014

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