Tag Archives: Adejoke

Project Runway Canada Season 2 – “Episode Nine”

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“Gimme Shelter”

March 24th, 2009

When three people left in the first episode of the season, this was an inevitability: it was almost required that there would be some kind of twist where people could gain the chance to come back into the season. It was even something they did last season: finalist Marie-Genvieve was eliminated after a particularly erroneous garment, but then returned to end up clearly better than most of her competition.

However, the difference in Season 2 is that, to be entirely frank, there wasn’t anyone who felt like they particularly needed to come back, people who went home for reasons that weren’t quite true. While an argument could be made foy Baylor, that isn’t who the producers brought back as the designers head into this week’s challenge, and it’s really hard to get excited about Jason and Genevieve coming back into the game when the designs they were eliminated on were, well, deserving of elimination.

So while the show is perhaps justified in using this as a big “A-ha” moment, it’s all backwards: rather than people we missed returning to create some sort of karma, it feels like we’re being punked. And, I don’t like being punked, and neither do the designers who get sent home in the wrong fashion.

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Project Runway Canada Season 2 – “Episode Eight”

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“Return of the Supermodel”

March 17th, 2009

This is going to be a pretty short one, because this episode is as simple as it gets: no gimmicks, no major drama, just five designers given a task to create an outfit for a supermodel. While I think that Adejoke’s depressed take on the challenge was a little bit off kilter, she’s right: while it sounds like this should be really exciting as an opportunity for young and new designers to showcase their work on a grand stage, in reality it’s not actually that interesting.

The only way it gets interesting is if people step outside of the challenge (See: Sunny), or if people are unable to execute their ideas (See: Kim), or if they don’t quite fail miserably but instead settle on being dead wrong about a challenge’s purpose (See: Genevieve). The end result of the entire affair is nothing even close to surprising, and the most interesting thing to come out of the episode were the scenes from next week – that’s never a good sign for a reality show, which is supposed to get more interesting as it goes along.

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Project Runway Canada – “Episode Six”

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“Hope Springs Eternal”

March 3rd, 2009

So, I want to first off apologize that I was nowhere to be found for last week’s episode of Project Runway Canada – I wasn’t able to watch the episode live, had a heck of a time getting it to stream on Global’s website, and then once the decision became clear I just didn’t have the drive to write about it. I did, however, converse with a few people on Twitter about it, and the consensus seems clear: with Sunny running away with the competition, and the rest of the designers failing to bring anything to the table, there just isn’t anything that the show can do to convince us that we’re watching an honest to goodness contest. What we’re left with is, well, the Sunny show.

The thing is, though, other than Danio’s tragic early exit (followed in time by his tragic passing from Cancer), the people who have gone home all deserved to go home until we hit Baylor, who was unfairly punished for a mistake that, while certainly not minor, was not on the level of the episode’s other competitors. It’s not like the designers are just getting rid of all of the talent, it seems like it wasn’t there to begin with and that’s a problem that falls on the producers and not necessarily the contestants themselves.

But this doesn’t mean that this week’s hackjob, where only three contestants really get anything close to praise from the judges, is in the hands of the producers: this was quite honestly the most clear challenge that we’ve had in the show’s run so far. A spring dress, made for commercial outlets, that goes from day to night – they’re buzzwords that these people should be able to work with, and yet again people just go around ignoring them all over the place. And this is the kind of challenge where you show that you can do the most simple basic tasks…and if they’re failing here, what does it say about their future.

It’s all adding up to a lack of desire to really blog about this show when, in the end, it seems like a foregone conclusion, even though we saw a potential competitor emerge.

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Project Runway Canada Season Two – “Episode Four”

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“Re-Fashioning the Houses”

February 17th, 2009

One thing that Project Runway Canada has been good with this year is designing challenges that are actually just that: a challenge. This week, the designers are placed into teams of three in order to complete quite the task: not only do they have to design a three-piece couture collection, but it has to be a collection inspired by a famous fashion design house, and their looks need to be made out of vintage clothing from Preloved. As a result, it’s the ultimate challenge: they need to work together, they need to make something high class out of not so high class fabrics, and they have to show a knowledge of the design world in which they desire to operate. Oh, and they have to present themselves as a designer, because they always have to do that.

Unfortunately for Project Runway Canada, their aspirations for these designers are quite considerably higher than their actual talent level. Only two designers seemed to really earn a passing grade from the judges out of nine, and the other seven were varying degrees of epic failure when it came to meeting the multiple requirements of the challenge. It was like there was one requirement too many for all of them: either they didn’t work well with the other designers, or they failed to make their own stamp, or they didn’t know who their famous designer was (yes, someone failed even this part of the challenge). I admire the show for its high expectations, but I really wish that they had a crop of contestants that was all living up to that potential, as opposed to a bunch of also-rans fighting for the scraps of the top designers.

At the very least, though, one feels as if the judges make the right decision in the end: while they take into account all of the challenge’s factors in the end, it’s the person who most married poor design with poor perspective who got sent home.

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Project Runway Canada Season Two – “Episode Three”

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“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.

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Project Runway Canada Season Two – “Episode Two”

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“Claim to Fame”

February 3rd, 2009

Early in the season’s second episode, Jessica observes that something is beginning to change around these parts: after the first week where everyone was concerned about staying, they enter into one of two modes. They either, like Jessica and a few others, switch from survival mode to awesome mode, or they switch into a mode where all they have is personality-driven drivel. It’s a sad existence for those few, and it is not very surprising that they are amongst those who are almost out the door by episode’s end.

They might be designing a dress for Elisha Cuthbert, but considering that her requests are for a dress for a “night on the town” it’s not like this makes her very special. Instead, it’s a test of the designers’ ability to design a simple dress in a way that isn’t too ugly, and that isn’t too much for them to handle. It isn’t surprising, really, that it is the people who spend more time feuding and ranting during the conception phase are those who can’t put together a dress to save their lives in the end.

But in the end Jessica is right: we don’t get much of a sense of any major design emergences here, instead focusing more on personalities. And considering that they’re dressing a celebrity, I guess it makes sense to focus on some of the people only concerned about trying to become one through the world of reality television.

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Season Premiere: Project Runway Canada Season Two – “Episode One”

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“Fashion is a Battlefield”

January 27th, 2009

[If you’re looking to view the episode online, you can do so at Global’s website, but only if you’re in Canada. If you’re outside of Canada, well, be patient!]

My first experience with any sort of Project Runway was, for a brief moment, stumbling upon an episode of Slice’s Project Runway Canada wherein they were making dresses out of umbrellas. I only watched for a few minutes, but it looked intriguing enough. Eventually, I decided on a few recommendations that I should give the show a try, and I ended up going through three seasons of the U.S. edition during the first half of last year. The show is simply a strong reality competition series: there’s a reason it won a Peabody, after all.

But Project Runway Canada, which I went back to and completed as I was waiting for new episodes of the fourth U.S. season to begin, was in itself an entertaining project. Done on a fairly small network but featuring high production values, there were even things about this particular import that I preferred to the original version. It has a supermodel host (Iman, Mrs. David Bowie), it has a mentor who is respected in fashion circles and quite affable (Brian Bailey), and it has judges that, while not particularly famous, still have those kinds of quirks that make them the right people to be judging these contestants. The show at no point felt like a low-rate ripoff of the original, for one, but more than that had its own identity that kept me engaged until, eventually, Biddell walked away the winner.

It’s been a long time since that finale, and Project Runway Canada has made it to the bigtime with a primetime slot on National network Global. The parts are more or less still the same, but the location has been altered (the show moves from Toronto to the nation’s capital in Ottawa), and the new contestants have not yet really emerged with any sort of identities. The show had some lucky casting last time around, and while the jury is still out on that the things that made the show stand out for me remain: this is a no nonsense, straightforward, well-produced and entertaining piece of reality competition programming, Canada or no Canada.

And apparently, it’s also a show that was designed to break people both mentally and physically, as fashion really is a battlefield in the show’s first episode.

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