Tag Archives: Ottawa

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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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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