January 19, 2006

"You've become the designer that it's fun to $%# with."

Says Andrae to Santino on last night's "Project Runway." Santino's rude arrogance and dedication to a somewhat flaky personal vision amuse me no end. People keep telling him his designs have "too much going on," but he won't stop. He thinks he can go wildly astray and then talk a good game:

Speaking of Andrae, he's been so hysterical in the past that it was nice to see him focus when the overlock machines failed. Who gives up his own time to fix the machines everyone needs to use? I liked that.

The task is to make a skating costume for Sasha Cohen, and that's a weird task, not just because it involves stretch fabric and therefore the dreaded overlock machine, but because skating costumes are in such perverse anti-fashion taste. What does it mean to be good in this category? Pleasing the client? And there's the whole aspect of needing to be able to skate in it. But they're worrying that the models will "pop seams" just walking down the runway. And how can a model look right in a skater's costume? Aren't the skaters tiny little women? We see Sasha Cohen sitting there as one of the judges. She really is tiny. Really pretty too.

Spoilers follow.

"It's not easy to be vulgar and dowdy, but he managed to do it." That was said of Emmett's "Starry Night" creation, and so it's Emmett who must leave, not Santino with his crazily befeathered phoenix-rising-from-the-flames monstrosity:

Santino, saved, turned as he walked off to whisper "Emmett, I'm sorry." Can it be that he's humbled now? It's hard to picture him changing, listening to advice, toning it down. But maybe he wants to win badly enough that he will. I think we saw Andrae evolve this week. Maybe next week there will be a new Santino.

Oh, and poor, poor Emmett, forced to wear that skater shirt, deprived of any way to hide his gut.

UPDATE: Here's the Television Without Pity recap: "Emmett is sent home for showing too much 'tootie.' Three cheers for the use of the word 'tootie.'" (Unusual slang, no? It refers to the lower front of the costume.) TWOP also reminds me of the part where Robert Plotkin from Season 1 of the show makes an appearance as the delivery guy. Kind of like when Bill Rancic appears in post-Season 1 episodes of "The Apprentice." Except -- in so many ways -- not. Well, I couldn't understand why they brought Robert back in Season 1 after he'd been eliminated. All I can think is that someone behind the show thinks the guy has major appeal. I tend to think it's a judgment on the other guys: Robert's the genuinely masculine contestant, so they send him out when they want some masculinity. There's something allusively pornographic about the role of delivery guy.


knox said...

I really loved Chloe's dress, but I think that Sasha was afraid it would make her look too "up-and-down" (read: fat). I also thought Andrae's was really cool. Santino's: WTF?

I loved how Emmett, who's usually so uptight, said "Was it the shirt?" as he walked off the runway. And When Santino said "I'm sorry, Emmett" it seemed truly heartfelt.

It was really cute how excited Nick was to meet Sasha Cohen, and I cracked up when Tim Gunn was trying to ice skate and he said in that proper, enunciated way he has: "I can't seem to set myself in motion..."

(It looks like Jay is featured as a judge on a future episode!)

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irene Done said...

I'm glad you're blogging this show because it's just so fun to watch. How ridiculous that Emmett's design was labeled "vulgar" and "too revealing." Has that judge watched figure skating lately? It was boring but not vulgar. And I think Micheal Kors really hit the nail on the head when he said that Santino forgets about the woman in the dress. That's exactly it. The woman is just the thing he has to use to show off his design. In contrast, who wouldn't love to be able to wear the designs of Chloe and Daniel?

Henry said...

This is somewhat off topic, but I inadvertantly saw some figure skating last weekend flipping around for the football game.

So now I remember how garish the costumes really are, but they only match the bombastic musical selections. Some guy was doing his performance to a Beethoven medley: the 1st movement of the 5th Symphony (bah bah bah bah baaaaaah), segues into the Moonlight Sonata, seques into 4th movement of the 9th.

If I was a judge, the Moonlight Sonata would have killed it for me on artistic marks. All I could think of was Lucy singing:

D'ya know something, Schroeder?
I think the way you play the piano is nice.
D'ya know something else?
It's always been my dream
That I'd marry a man who plays the piano....

KCFleming said...

On two shows thus far, the judges roundly criticized Santino for his arrogence, then bounced the nicer guys, smiling , and almost sad. "We hate you Santino. So stay, and please shape up."

I find that approach is present in the work world as well. Arrogant bullies get criticized but then promoted. Nice guys finish last. While this fact is likely simple human nature, I don't quite understand why it works.

In this case, is Santino really more talented than Emmett when he can't make a simple skating costume, creating instead something that looks like he found it in a dumpster behind a disco in 1975?

P.S. Why doesn't Mr. Gunn have his own show?

VW ~ uuvaseua: The dyspepsia caused by combining "fashion" with "ice skating"

knox said...

pogo, I agree, esp. when you consider that Emmett was somewhat handicapped by his background as a menswear-only designer.

Adam said...

This is Tim Gunn's show -- he does more each week than Heidi. He's also got a podcast each week on the BravoTV website that's worth your time.

On this week, as I wrote in the comments to this post, it wasn't that Emmett was worse than Santino this week that justifies the decision -- it's that Emmett had no cahnce of winning the whole competition, but Santino might.

PatCA said...

I thought Santino's outfit looked like a chicken costume.

Jen Bradford said...

But that's the funny thing, patca -

After this episode, they repeated it immediately. Slave that I am, I again watch them meet with Heidi, then return to their hotel rooms to speculate about what the challenge might be. Santino says "I'd like to make a bird costume or a chicken suit" -- this is before they've received their challenge! He's obviously not much interested in what they're looking for, but wants to get his work seen on t.v for as long as possible.

My favorite line of the night: when Santino pretended to be a judge and riffed that it looked like a baboon's ass had exploded on her backside.

Craig Ranapia said...


I didn't think it was that "weird" a challenge. It required the contestants to sit down and go back to Design 101 - remember why viewer favourite Austen Scarlett got eliminated last season? It was all about his "vision", and precisely zero effort went into hearing the client or meeting the brief. As Tim Gunn says on the website, a major component of the challenge was garment engineering. It doesn't matter if you have the most fabulous "vision" if the garment is totally unwearable and non-functional.

Sasha Cohen might go on the ice looking like a hooker auditioning for the X-rated re-make of Moulin Rogue. She won't go out in a garment on the verge of an apocalyptic "wardrobe malfunction".

I'll also go out on a limb and make a prediction - if Santino doesn't get back on the medication he's gone in the next two weeks. IMO, the competition is reaching a stage where the judges can't let slide an attitude that would make any buyer reach for the mace rather than the order book.

Jen Bradford said...

Plus, they've managed to keep so much of Santino's mayhem off the air. In Tim's podcast, he reveals that his harangue to the judges over the lingerie challenge lasted for ninety minutes. (Marla's lameness was revaled to be quite a lot worse via the podcast as well.)

It's funny how Tim makes it obvious when he doesn't give a fig about a contestant whose been given the boot, when he comes in and says "chop chop - time to pack", instead of a nice farewell.

I uydgeaa (my verification word) to listen to the podcast.

Craig Ranapia said...

I adore Tim Gunn - and he reminds me of all the best teachers I've ever had. Really supportive but no-nonsense towards people he senses are genuinely "getting it" (even when he's not that hot on the results); zero tolerance towards game players and drama queens who attitude far exceed their talent. Good on him, I say.

Speaking of Mr. Gunn, is it just me or would it be wise for Santino to stay as far away from him as physically possible? I don't recall Tim ever flat out disagreeing (however politely) with a judge before - though I agree Emmett's design was dull (not "dowdy"), I just don't see where Ann Slowey got "vulgar" from. He just didn't seem happy that Emmett got the boot instead of Santino.

KCFleming said...

I'm glad this post has quit receiving responses, for now I can reveal my embarrassing admission:

I. Love. This. Show.
Yikes. I hate reality TV, but dangit, Tim Gunn is great, and the "cast" actually has real talent, not all games and has-beenery. Whatever. I am truly ashamed.

P.S. Emmett's creation was considered vulgar, as he pointed out, because the skirt wasn't covering the nether regions well enough (mannequin problem, apparently). Again, I am ashamed to even know that!

spyhunter said...

Santino is such a geat character... not that I necessarily like him, but he's good for a laugh...

Project runway humor quote t-shirts can be found here. There's a Santino "I want your soul" design, Andrae's "Where the hell is my chiffon?" and Zulema's "You gotta cut and cry!"