“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.
“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.
“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.