“Colour Me Right”
February 10th, 2009
Some people design for night. Some people design for day. Other people…well, other people design future sailor pants.
This is pretty much the story of the third episode of Project Runway Canada’s second season, a dreaded group challenge really demonstrating the kind of dividing lines that we’re used to seeing. It’s a really smart challenge for actually testing these people: not only do they have to begin considering how to design for both day and night, but having a specific client experience with a colour palette and everything also lets the judges see if any of these people are in fact colour blind. Combine it with placing them into pairs to see if their design skills can handle the pressure, and it shows us a new side of these designers.
The thing is, though, that it was actually enormously predictable: no one here showed any real progress, and at the end of the day you could have called this one from the moment the teams were picked. This group might shows some potential, but I’m not convinced there’s much growth potential outside a core group.
First and foremost, Sunny and Baylor had this one in the bag more or less before it began. The two of them share two things: construction abilities and a sense for creating a look as opposed to just a garment. I think that the judges are right in that Baylor is definitely the less visionary of the two designers (his use of the tulle being far less inventive than Sunny’s twisting transparent dress concept), but his sewing abilities make him someone to watch. The judges are quite right about Sunny, meanwhile, who is definitely at a point where he might well be unstoppable in this competition. His outfit was just so much more: he had thought about the campaign, sure, but he also brought to them something visually interesting and forward-thinking within the fashion world.
Everyone knew that they were going to win, pretty much: this group doesn’t seem to be very delusional overall, and at least knew that the dream team wasn’t going to be defeated. However, this didn’t have to mean that everyone else would have to struggle like they ended up struggling. It just felt like no other team actually had something of a unified concept, really pulling something together from conception to execution. Kim and Genevieve were the best examples of this: they clearly paid attention to the collection, and designed two outfits that were at least moderately connected, but despite her confidence Genevieve’s outfit was sack-like and Kim’s never did anything either. It’s the kind of middle-of-the-road pseudo-artistic meandering that is going to be problematic the further they move along.
Everyone else had bigger problems, and moved on with different results. For Brandon and Adejoke, the story of the week was keeping the former in check: keeping him busy, keeping his dress on the right track, and keeping his smoke breaks to a minimum. For the most part, Adejoke succeeded: he created something that wasn’t completely atrocious, which is a definite step up. She also redemeed herself after last week’s misstep, creating something that certainly isn’t going to win this challenge but also something that she knew could have been better despite being passable considering the competition.
But for Jessica and Jeff, this is a different story. They are a bit of an odd couple, but they created two outfits that never fit together. They were thinking entirely based on one thing (creating top-heavy looks for an editorial campaign) without actually trying to make their garments similar in any other ways. Jessica made something pretty simple, and was called out for it, but ultimately had no chance of going home with something that wasn’t a complete disaster. Jeff, meanwhile, deserved his spot in the Bottom Two for a dress that was all about biting off more than you can chew. It’s a total reality show cliche, really: people who think they can do one thing and, in reality, clearly can’t. His dress was glued together and falling apart on the runway, so it’s hard to really say that he didn’t deserve his spot. Combine it with the ugly colour, and he seems like one of those designers who has been working for other people for, well, a reason.
As for Jason and Christie, it was a bizarre pairing: it seemed like Christie wanted to be his partner because he had immunity, but this really didn’t make any sense. Unfortunately for Christie, I don’t think anything would have made sense, and no one would really have fit with her as a partner. She seemed to spend the entire episode being angry about not having her initial vision come through, but it appears that her real vision was “Future Sailor” which is just not even close to relevant. She isn’t a designer who has any real commercial potential, and this challenge was pretty much the final test of whether she is capable of compromising her crazy with real taste. The result we saw here was a sign that, no, she can’t: Jason’s dress was alright, at the very least moderately interesting, but she just created pure nothingness that didn’t match, didn’t fit, and certainly created the least cohesiveness day/night combo of the competition.
Clearly, Christie wasn’t up for this competition: Iman literally grabs onto her arms at the end and tells her to think about what she wants and how she should go about it, and it’s good advice. A lot of the other designers will be getting it soon: unless someone like Adejoke really steps up to challenge, Sunny and Baylor are in a position to walk away with this thing barring some sort of meltdown that seems quite unlikely.
- I have to wonder just how much of a “big break” an ad featured at Shopper’s Drug Mart would be. I rarely go into my local drug store and think about who designed the clothes being worn by the models in the L’Oreal Paris ad, personally.
- I know the fashion/beauty industry has its cliches, but “colour story” is just so bloody lame. It’s moments like this where I think it’s pretty clear that I’m in this for the competition, not the fashion itself.
- Enjoyed the Demolition Derby at the fabric store, they were bumping around like crazy. The show apparently loves this, as this is two episodes in a row where it felt like it was the end of the world when Brian started rushing them.
- I love how the show makes sure we know that they get up around 6am, as if that makes their poor designs and their emotional behaviour more justified. I know it totally worked for me: I’d totally cry and explain that I’m just a human being if I was up at 6am.