by Todd O'Dowd
And we’re back. It’s week five of Project Runway, and our weekly Project Runway viewing party at moto-i as we cheer on local designer Raul Osorio as he claws his way to the top of the fashion heap (and to help #teamRaul win the fan favorite competition). After all the excitement of last episode (what with people running away, people returning, uneven hems, attention whores making dance videos, vagina dresses, and more!) it’s time to calm ourselves with a pretty straight-forward challenge. So here we go…
•One of the perks about reviewing this show (at least at our parties) is that when we see something crazy going on, we can ask for the inside scoop. And contrary to the editing of the episode, our Mr. Osorio was not having a love connection with fellow competitor Christopher Palu. They’re just good friends, people.
•The dreaded button bag makes its first appearance of the season, and we all know what that means… they have to choose something. Back in the day, the button bag was used to choose models, but now the button bag is used to choose teammates. Yes, it’s another team challenge.
•And the designers get a shock when Nina Garcia enters the runway. At first I was wondering if they were going to repeat last year’s challenge of having to come up with an outfit for Nina, but no. The designers must create a capsule collection of office-approrpriate work wear and then style it all for a photo shoot for Marie Claire @ Work.
•Team 5 (Christopher, Ven, Nathan, Fabio, and Gunnar) actually seem to work well together but it was funny to acknowledge the impracticality of silk chiffon as an everyday work outfit. And props to whomever came up with The Chiffonsies. As for their collection, there were some nice touches: Christopher’s distressed skirt using a granny fabric was chic, and Fabio’s simple graphic dress was easy and chic, if a little too department store for a design competition. As for the rest of the team, Ven makes an origami top (and can we cheer Dmitry for calling him a one way money! best line of the night), Nathan gets dinged for the front of his draped pants, and Gunnar ends up on the bottom for an ill-fitting bodice that offends Heidi, Nina, and guest judge Joanna Coles (editor-in-chief of Marie Claire and the mentor for Project Runway All Stars).
•On a side note: As an example of some of the craziness and arbitrary nature of the judging on the show, let us look at poor Fabio. Last week, Michael Kors lit into Fabio for not putting more of his personal style into the styling. This week, Kors is asking Fabio why his model is wearing a turban.
•Team 6 (Sonjia, Elena, Melissa, Dmitry, Alicia, and Raul) were all over the map. They could not come together to make things work. Now in the case of Raul, I can understand his frustration; he was trying to do everything to prevent getting in the bottom again. Elena, on the other hand, was dictatorial in her behavior and completely unprofessional. As for the looks, this collection rightfully got the most praise; even though the pieces are diverse it feels like a wardrobe for a person. That said, I can see why the judges were upset over Elena’s large shoulder treatment in her jacket. As for the criticism about Raul’s ruffled bib top; I can sort of see it. Maybe if it had been tacked down, it wouldn’t have flapped around so much but when paired with Sonjia’s cobalt blue skirt, it’s a pretty sharp look (and frankly would have been my pick for the win since it looks and feels like actual work clothes). And while I can see why Melissa won, the oversized turtleneck and curved back zipper was too impractical for the office. And while Dmitry’s dress would have been a contender, the peek-a-boo back made it, again, too sexy for the office.
•As for the elimination, again I call shenanigans. As soon as I saw that it was between Raul and Gunnar, I knew that it was over for our boy. This whole episode reeked of producer manipulation and frankly it should have been Elena that went home, not only for her jacket, but for her unprofessional behavior on the photo shoot.
•And then came Raul’s farewell, which frankly wasn’t as traumatic as I had expected. As he admitted in our interview, he has been known to snap on occasion, but frankly Elena deserved it. (And I’m not the only person that thought so; the crowd at moto-i cheered in unison during that scene.) But it seems as if the feud is over: I have it on very good information that Raul and Elena has a chat a few days ago and apologized to one another.
So it’s a sad farewell to Raul this week, and frankly it was a bullshit elimination based more in reality show politics than in an issue with his looks. But what really has me seeing red is the fact that the crazy woman is leading the fan-favorite competition. So, I urge you all to rally and vote for Raul in the fan favorite competition, Vote early, vote often, and don’t be afraid to stuff the ballot box.
As for our weekly viewing party at moto-i, they will continue. Join me on the couch next week at 8 pm, but get there early to nab a choice seat. And remember, vote for Raul in the fan favorite competition, and cheer on #teamRaul!
Watch Raul’s exit interview on the Lifetime site: