Project Runway: Muse on the Street
September 26, 2014 6:58 AM - Season 13, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The designers have to select their next models from whoever happens to be in Washington Square Park. The Real Women™ get a makeover and, of course, a new outfit.

posted by en forme de poire (41 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ugh, there was so much drama!
posted by travelwithcats at 7:07 AM on September 26, 2014

Tim Gunn said BUTT UGLY.

I'm glad that Alexander got the boot. He wasn't very good. And I can't figure out how he somehow got Fan Favorite every freaking week.
posted by MsVader at 7:12 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

I was surprised when Tim said that Alexander is one of the best designers he'd ever met. Pretty much everything he made was either terrible or mediocre. Or, like this week, "the most hideous garment I have ever seen in my existence!" What was he thinking? But then, with all that plaid fabric, he could've made his model a cute little suit with a lovely fitted jacket. But I suspect he didn't have the sewing skills to pull it off.

I wish it hadn't been the 'real woman' challenge because, as Tim said, if they'd been the regular models, he'd have sent Char's model down the runway with the side of the shorts hanging open. Char would definitely have gone home if Alexander's outfit hadn't been so unimaginative and badly made.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the vagina-directed chevrons on Amanda's godawful dress. Whatever fabric that was, it had zero movement in it. I have a horrible, horrible feeling that Amanda will make it to Fashion Week, but only by default - not because she's good but because other people are worse than her, like Wendy Pepper did in Season 1. (BTW, I read somewhere that Wendy Pepper is now working as a barista.)

I loved Emily's dress - I could never wear anything like that but it was beautiful on the model, who clearly loved it and had places to go in it. Zac was right that it wasn't something you could buy in a store, whereas Kini's outfit, although beautifully sewn, was nothing out of the ordinary.

I would definitely wear Korinnna's biker jacket, which I thought was so cool. (Kicking myself that I missed out on the tweed biker jacket that was on special in Lidl the other week.)

So for me, it would've been Emily FTW, but I can't really argue with Korinna winning either, because I loved her look too.
posted by essexjan at 7:28 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

We liked Kini's the best, in our house. Mostly we were just relieved that Amanda didn't win.
posted by rtha at 8:20 AM on September 26, 2014

That was a really weak episode. The "real women" they picked up were all somewhere around 25-35, white, thin, tall-ish women who were interested in artsy-funky things that could easily be picked up on as "inspiration." I'm guessing that they were all hand-picked from the production peoples' friends and family, because there was absolutely no way all these articulate, interesting, perfectly-proportioned women happened to be on the street in that hour the designers were given.

Then the zipper thing happened, and the judges' scripted comments about, "Oh my god, we're late! What's going on!?!!?" were so badly acted that I wanted to reach through my screen and rip the cue cards up. You can't tell me that a design competition where real people are dressing other real people is such a well-oiled machine that a 5-minute delay caused any sort of concern. Like Heidi Klum is let out of her dressing palace anytime before she has to actually talk. It is to laugh.

The clutched pearls at the idea of a preschool teacher wearing short shorts made my head hurt. You know, she may be able to teach preschool and be interested in being sexy! It's not like the cultural leadership of her community would stone her to death for showing some leg.

All the designers left are so mediocre, it's sad. The only ones who had ideas are gone, and now we'll have a final 3 of nothing but mall clothes.
posted by xingcat at 8:20 AM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]

I don't get why they didn't give ALL the designers an extra ten minutes instead of making them 'agree' to sit around waiting while Char sewed in the zipper. And I'm pretty tired of designers blaming models for problems with the clothing. Own your own workmanship, people.
posted by QuakerMel at 8:49 AM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

I don't agree that Char would for sure have gone home because of the busted zipper if she hadn't been able to fix it. I think it's entirely possible - and Alexander's dress was bad enough - that the judges could have gone "well, zippers break, whatever" and still auf'd Alexander. They've done crazy shit like that before.
posted by dnash at 10:44 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

From reading T Lo it seems like one explanation could be that because the zippers they buy at e.g. Mood are designed to be able to be trimmed to an arbitrary length, they don't have stoppers at the end. So if you weren't familiar and/or careful you could easily just zip the zipper all the way off. I still think it came off as a little tacky to be like "my model ruined the zipper!" but it seems like it might not have actually been a construction issue, in the usual pejorative sense of "it was weakly made and so it came apart."

On the plus side Alexander's private army of fan-favoriters is now free to do whatever they want with their lives!
posted by en forme de poire at 12:09 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

"nothing but mall clothes"
Unfortunately, this is what most people wear. The show serves its viewer demographic.
posted by travelwithcats at 12:13 PM on September 26, 2014

I dunno man, I can see what you're saying but I think you might be underestimating the demo. I mean I dress pretty boringly on the regular, but when I watch PR I really want it to be fashion escapism and not just a bland recapitulation of stuff I can see everywhere. Judging from comments on T Lo I think I'm not alone there. I mean, of course it's not going to be models covered in bees coming out of biohazard waste boxes, but I think a lot of people would want to see something with at least as much panache as what was regularly on the first few seasons. Jay was massively popular on his season; so was Mondo. And Santino had both cool, kooky looks and cray cray misfires, both of which were reality TV gold.

I think some of it is about the tastes of the judges/producers, and some might be about having a harder time recruiting really awesome designers, given the show's failure to actually launch/bolster many careers compared to other reality shows like Idol or hell, even RPDR. Siriano was really the only breakout star and that was what, 8 seasons ago? Even finalist favorites like Mondo still seem to be struggling despite the exposure. Plus, there's the shift in format: all the 1 day challenges reward people who can bang out something safe vs. people who are trying to do something difficult but (more) unique.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:06 PM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

(Btw I meant "I dunno man" as gender neutral there, just reread that and it might've come off weird, my bad)
posted by en forme de poire at 1:10 PM on September 26, 2014

I was so annoyed at the designer whining about Char's extra 10 minutes. If you don't have the guts to say "No" or the genius to say "If we can all have the extra 10 minutes, too!" then you don't get to whine about it behind Char's back (because none of them had the guts to say it to her). Also, Korina's superiority scaffold is built on some serious crap she's sent down the runway. I look forward to her boomeranging back to something terrible.

Also, good on Char for trying out every possible avenue to doing well. Why not ask; it might work out! That said, I didn't like the shortsuit or the peplum jacket, but not because it wasn't appropriate for a pre-school teacher (it was perfectly fine for some pre-school teachers, Nina. One's job is not one's character)

Amanda used a brocade for that dress, so it was doomed to be heavy and drapy and not moving at all.

I too am glad to see Alexander go. I sometimes think people need to be at least 25 before going on this show, but designer immaturity is only one of his problems. That he could not see the horrid horribleness of his first outfit is appalling, even if it did lead to Tim using the phrase "butt ugly."

I find it fascinating that Sean's dress was so ordinary even with his oh-so-secret-weapon, fringe. I'm sure he's going to bland his way into the Final 3. (Kini, Amanda, Sean? That's my current guess of the final 3, but who knows with this lot.
posted by julen at 1:18 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I definitely think the judges/producers have caused the "safe" designers. I think it's not just the one day challenges, but that the designers are mostly judged by their latest look only (endlessly reiterated through the "one day you're in, the next day you're out"). If you never give the breathing room to innovate (and make mistakes) you will only get safe designers. You reap as you sow.

I have a horrible, horrible feeling that Amanda will make it to Fashion Week, but only by default - not because she's good but because other people are worse than her
Almost each season there are designers I'm certain will get booted off for consistently showing dull or ugly clothes, and then suddenly it's the last regular challenge and there's no more time to kick people off. Especially with the "surprise" twist each season that four or five of them get to make fashion week collections instead of just three. In the beginning of the season I was convinced Amanda would be in the finale, but the judges have been merely positive lately, not giving her any wins, so it might be a repeat of Kate who got booted just before the finale in her 2nd chance season.
posted by bjrn at 1:30 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think it was kind of Tim to not let a guest to the show walk down the runway naked. And knowing how much it bothered Korinan is also a plus. What a snot she is.

I couldn't believe it when Sean turned down the short girl in the park. She was willing!!! I guess letting the designers pick their own models mean they're going to try and find people who look as close to real models as possible.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:46 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

en forme de poire, just think of the last few threads where people exclaim "I would never wear that!" or "How could s/he think someone would ever want to wear that?" (paraphrasing here).

If the design fusions of Vivienne Westwood and Yohji Yamamoto populated Project Runway, I don't think people would love the show that much. Evidence is the "everyday woman" challenge, that happens basically every season. The producers want the average Jane to identify with the show.

Plus, the sponsors might have a say in this as well. Most of those brands have a wide target demographic. There is more hanky-panky going on behind the scenes than is healthy - last season a girl I kinda know who is not a model but was dating a celeb got to be one of the models on Project Runway. Just based on her/his connections.

If we're talking about hunches, I have the feeling Kini will not be in the top 3 (I have no idea who went to Fashion Week, just a guess).
posted by travelwithcats at 1:48 PM on September 26, 2014

en forme de poire, just think of the last few threads where people exclaim "I would never wear that!" or "How could s/he think someone would ever want to wear that?" (paraphrasing here).

Sure, but while I can't speak for everyone, I think sometimes when people say that, they may mean something more like "I can't imagine a situation where it would be fun to look like that," not literally "I wouldn't wear this to go out or to go about my daily life as it is right now." Like I wouldn't really wear h-to-t Ann Demeulemeester just as a matter of practicality, but that doesn't mean the fantasy of being some kind of impeccable ragamuffin flaneur wizard doesn't appeal to me. Whereas there are things I really just would not wear even given an imaginary scenario where I was a rich supermodel who could dress solely to please himself.

I totally agree about sponsors, etc., but I don't know, I think at least some of these average Janes actually want to see some crazy shit too. Plus the polarizing WTF-vs.-wow nature of it makes for good TV, IMHO. (Even when it fails: I'd take a thousand woodland-creature lingerie attempts over something that's both bad and completely forgettable.)

I mean, of course, PR has always skewed commercial; the disappointing bit for me is that it now seems to be set up to reward exclusively the super-wearable side.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:20 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I couldn't believe it when Sean turned down the short girl in the park. She was willing!!!

Yeah, Sean lost so many points with me when he turned her down. It came off really snotty.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:30 PM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

BTW: T Lo has a recap and Alexander's decoy collection up. Upper abdomen peekaboos abound.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:35 PM on September 26, 2014

I peeked! It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good. It skews very young...surprise surprise! The first white dress (I think it was the second photo?) looks like a giant labia. With that cute little slit in the middle there. Um. Year of the vagina!

Everyone left is just so middling. I just can't find it in me to root for anyone. Not that I'm judging personalities here at all (oh hell yes I am ok ok ok...) but I will be sad if Korina wins. Do not want. Sean bores me. Kini bores me. I'm rooting for Emily I guess. Said with soooo much passion. ;)
posted by the webmistress at 5:52 PM on September 26, 2014

How--HOW--did that guy get fan favorite even once? I just don't see the appeal.
posted by meese at 6:32 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

There are a lot of mouthbreather fans??

I don't know either. I can only come up with.....maybe the majority of fans bothering to vote are young, and so relate to Alexander because of his age.... ?
posted by the webmistress at 6:38 PM on September 26, 2014

Two speculations lifted from the Bitter Kittens of T Lo:
  • he's a super-recent grad alumnus and everyone in his class is voting for him because school pride and/or it's in their alumni newsletter or whatever
  • he bought a botnet

posted by en forme de poire at 6:45 PM on September 26, 2014

Aw man, Sean had my favorite dress and I wished it won.
posted by mathowie at 7:06 PM on September 26, 2014

"My model was smiling from ear to ear!" [Camera to sweet little Marisa, smirking demurely.]
posted by phunniemee at 7:18 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

While I'm not a fan of either of the bottom two designers, I think the wrong one went home. To me Char's outfit seemed like the adult version of Sandhya's onesie. If somebody put a gun to my head and said wear one of the bottom two, I'd go with the green two-piece--mind you that's the only way I'd put either of them on.

Forgetting about the pre-school teacher thing, I have no idea how Char thinks that would be the type of outfit that would fit into a rock concert scenario or be what the wife of a lead singer would want to wear.

If it's about the clients' reactions, Alexander's seemed happier with the clothes than Char's did, so for me that tips the scale in his favour.

I'm really starting to hate myself for thinking this, and I'm sure I'll be taken to task for putting it up online, but the thought briefly crossed my mind that perhaps keeping Char on helps the show's cast seem more diverse.
posted by sardonyx at 7:29 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't disagree with that at all, sardonyx.

I just noticed the tags up there. Heehee.

Aw man, Sean had my favorite dress and I wished it won.

Sean was jelly of the sweet judge loving that Amanda was getting for her fringe, so he stole the fringe crown from her and has been snipping away at threads ever since. He's taken fringe a bridge too far.

I think his muse liked his dress though.
posted by the webmistress at 8:30 PM on September 26, 2014

I really thought it was Char's week to go home. (Next week Emily, whom the judges haven't much liked, then Korinna, then Alexander, with the final three being Kini, Amanda, Sean) (Tim's pre-show glorification of Alexander throwing a wrench into the calculations because he never showed any promise but we're all like, but Tim said...)

I still think Char should have gone home not because of the zipper malfunction (when I have to shorten a zipper, I sew a bar tack of thread across the coils to prevent the slide from falling off. Or I pry the zipper stop off another zipper, it is just prongs folded over) but because those hot pants made her client look like a street hooker. Seriously unflattering as well.

I can kind of see where Alexander was going with his original idea and I liked it a lot better than his revised garment which was a repeat of his black & white suit-remake challenge outfit. He might have still been in the bottom because he can't sew well enough to construct those tricky seams but he would've gotten points for trying something different and Char would've gone for that ugly pedestrian *tacky* outfit.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:32 PM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've got questions with Tim telling Alexander to make something new. If he'd finished what he had, he may have gotten points for at least doing something different instead of a badly made boring thing, because Char's is all kinds of wrong. It makes no sense in any context: color, proportion, occasion, etc. And she can't sew? Tim vouched for someone without basic construction skills? Did someone mumble to him between shows about saving her? I wonder about his growing emotional effusion and I love the guy. Alexander isn't confident enough to say no while I think Char refusing his opinion before has curbed his impulse to do it with her, besides the presence of shorts. He never knows quite what to do with shorts unless it is a clear cut "youthenizing."

Sean has become so boring in what one could have hoped was subtlety before. That dress looked like something scavenged from a high school theater department decades ago. And why does Korina come off as such a bratty little shit? She only won because this was yet another parade of crap and her model had the best styling (sans booties.) Amanda's was all ganked up. People get all confused with "hot mess" as if it's steaming pile or fresh vomit. "Boho/rocker/etc. chic" is almost what hot mess was: sloppy yet sexy, funky yet funky, but then people make up meaning after they say whatever they want. It use to be a good thing, but I digress. Even on a model, Amanda's planned dress wouldn't have worked. I like Emily by default but that doesn't even feel right. Heidi should gleefully announce they all suck while wearing red horns while Tim weeps and shakes his halo.
posted by provoliminal at 12:07 AM on September 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Why is it that designers just suck at designing wearable garments for the 99.9% of people walking around on the earth?

Also as a fat person, WTF show??? Not one plus sized person? Not even a fake, size 10 'plus'? Michael Kors isn't too proud to design plus (although it is BUGLY and cheaply made.) Calvin Klein has been making plus items for years (the exact same thing year after year...) But you know, I guess my money isn't green enough, or perhaps I don't deserve to wear fashionable clothes.

I get so angry that every, single thing is made to flatter an ectomorph. Mesomorphs and endomorphs need to dress too. It's easy to make clothing that looks good on a tall, thin woman who is only ever standing up. Can you make something that a cube dweller can wear to work?

Sean and the short girl, that was just nasty and stupid.

Char's outfit was more of the same, cheap-assed, peplum-having, ugly colored shit she's been making since day one. Frankly, since her save, she's made NOTHING that has warranted her continuation on the show. Alexander's outfit was so ugly it hurt my feelings and frankly they BOTH should have gone this week.

I loved Kini's outfit. I have been searching for a great denim dress to wear when I go on my fruitless trips to the mall. Also, YES people wear denim on first dates. Newsflash Nina.

I do like Emily's clothes. Sure, it wouldn't flatter me, but that dress was actually quite beautiful and I can see it at a Ukrainian wedding or party. (I think we're genetically programmed to like ruffles.) Kini can sew his ass off. So if those two are in the final at least the work will be well done, if very accessible and expected.

I just don't think we're going to see anything innovative or interesting or even actually wearable from the remaining designers. Korina's hubris is off-putting, especially considered that her eye for color and pattern is horribly flawed. Sean has made a version of the same dress for 7 challenges now. Amanda...really? No. I can go to any head shop and get similar gear.

The preview for next week has cheered me up. I just hope that it lives up to the actual episode. And yes, clearly Char has made it this far without knowing how to sew.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:33 AM on September 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

...and another QUICK way of preventing the slide from falling off the coils is to staple across the bottom.

I think the shorts were probably too tight and the zipper split and the slider fell off.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:41 AM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Emily has generally come off as one of the few adults in the room, but I don't think the show is bringing out the best in her as a designer. That was sort of typified last week by comparing her actual kids line to what she produced in the kid challenge. And yet, looking over the miscreants left, I'd be happy if she managed to survive to the finals.
posted by julen at 7:43 AM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

last season a girl I kinda know who is not a model but was dating a celeb got to be one of the models on Project Runway. Just based on her/his connections.

That doesn't really surprise me, if they're not exactly hiring professional models for this anymore. In the early years of the show, they did use real models and made them part of the competition. But there was a lot of drama and models not showing up sometimes because - (I think it was Tom & Lorenzo who explained this) it seems the show wasn't quite paying them a rate high enough to commit ALL of their time for a full month or so, so during their non-filming time the models were still going out to castings, and if a better job came along they'd take it.

Now that they've scrapped the terrible extra show about the models, it doesn't really bother me if they're just using whoever fits the bill.
posted by dnash at 7:54 AM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

it seems the show wasn't quite paying them a rate high enough to commit ALL of their time for a full month or so

For the first few seasons, they didn't pay the models at all. They told them it was "good exposure."
posted by xingcat at 9:08 AM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

This was a pretty blah episode. It does seem to be true that there just isn't a lot of talent in this season. To my dying day I'll curse Tim Gunn for wasting the TGS on Char (who I do think is a lovely person, based on the cutaway interviews: she tends to praise rather than snark) when he could have saved it for Fade's off-day.
The 'average' people they picked off the street were hilarious - ballet dancer... actress etc. Most could pass for models already. But I wonder if the designers didn't try to sign up more 'ordinary' looking people, only to find that it's the people who know they're cute that have the confidence to agree to be models, whereas plainer folk are reluctant to being put on display.
posted by Flashman at 9:54 AM on September 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also, who else has the time but less rigidly scheduled people? Who else is in Washington Square during the day? Did they get rid of all the dealers?
But the Sartorialist said something to that effect, that the ones you see consent when asked.

On the models, there were many stories of how badly they were treated, so then when Lisa from Top Model was on, I was happy for her, but then I thought, does this mean she can't get proper modeling jobs or that they offered it to her? Girl use to not be able to stand from a half-squatting position, so I'm just glad she's still alive.
posted by provoliminal at 11:03 AM on September 27, 2014

Getting back to the models not being paid, are they still using the work rooms at Parsons? I assume they pay rent but it also means working around the school schedule, filming in unairconditioned spaces during summer and weird timing issues with out-of-contention designers showing at FW. It just is a strange mix of false economies.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:53 PM on September 27, 2014

Return of clown suit onesie
posted by bq at 10:24 PM on September 27, 2014

Goodbye Cletus (the slack-jawed yokel)!
posted by bq at 10:26 PM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

"That doesn't really surprise me, if they're not exactly hiring professional models for this anymore."

As if there was any question of the depths to which the show has fallen. I mean: Red Robin and Mary Kay Cosmetics. It's rather sad, really!

Also holy cow, I have to admit I did not think I would find PR here at Fanfare, but hooray! I know it's kind of terrible now (the show), but I do keep watching. And I don't mind Amanda. This last dress was completely horrid, but overall she's really not a mean girl and that deserves some points.

I think Char is still there because Tim Gunn saved her and it would be embarrassing if she left soon after he did that. But it's time. As for Korina, yuck. There is nothing entertaining about that much nasty. Her outfit was ok but Emily was robbed.
posted by Glinn at 9:22 AM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

And I don't mind Amanda.

I have to admit she's actually grown on me. Her confident-but-self-effacing schtick can come off kind of humblebraggy now and then (though reflecting a little more, you could say something similar about Kini), and I thought she was really over-praised in the beginning of the season, to the point where I thought it had to be some kind of producer manipulation. But ultimately she seems pretty benign and self-aware, she's a good sport about it when she fucks up, and she's said some pretty reasonable things when the camera was on her. Except when she was all, "these meticulous, bespoke, expensive and luxurious gowns, constructed for rich socialites by someone who studied his craft for decades, are totally punk rock," as if up were down and all of those things were not the complete opposite of punk rock. I rolled my eyes pretty hard at that one.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:29 PM on September 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

The T&L commenters think Nina has it in for Emily and that Heidi likes her stuff. I'm really tired of Korina, but I think Char will be the next to go.

With Korina, I've started to wonder if she has been getting an edit where she goes from mediocre to successful, but you'd think they'd show less of her complaining about other people. Maybe she makes it the final three, but her constant complaining about other people backfires when they pair up with eliminated designers.
posted by drezdn at 5:19 AM on September 29, 2014

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