by Todd O'Dowd
This week’s episode of Project Runway (you know, the show dear local fashion designer Raul Osorio got unceremoniously bumped off of but is still in the running for the fan favorite contest which you all can help by tweeting #teamRaul – but I digress…) left the world of fashion behind and for a brief shining moment became the all singing, all dancing spectacle that I have secretly prayed for. Okay, the singing part wasn’t there necessarily but the dancing part was thanks to this week’s special guests (and clients) The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes!
Seriously. How can you not love this pic? And cheers to everyone for one of the best openings in the show’s history. And who knew that Heidi would not only look good as a Rockette, but be able to hold her own in the choreography. To use the show’s own terminology, it was a wow moment.
And then comes the challenge: The designers will have two days and $250 to create a modern, fashion-forward, yet functional outfit for The Rockettes. Tim mentions that the look should not look like it’s part of the Christmas show and Heidi mentions that it has to look good from a variety of different vantage points. Then the designers get to meet Linda Haberman, who is the first female director and choreographer of The Rockettes in their entire history. The designers, alas, are underwhelmed.
Frankly, I love challenges like this. Not only does it force the designers to be creative, but they have to make a garment that has to serve some very specific functions. (In fact, there’s a great video with The Rockettes rehearsing their routine for the show and talking about their needs for their costumes.) Usually when you put parameters like this around the designers it forces them to create something amazing, and thankfully this challenge had some good and bad results. And come on, who didn’t love watching the designers fumble through their dance class with The Rockettes.
Once the designers get to Mood, they realize that their $250 budget is woefully inadequate. Sequins, alas, are expensive. This causes everyone to freak out. Surely the producers realized this, because Tim’s little snit was a neat way to allow the designers more time and more money to get more materials.
The only part I didn’t like was Tim taking the designers to a nice dinner. It frankly reeked of the not only producer manipulation, but also attempts of rehabilitating the “vilains,” namely Ven and Elena. It felt hollow as hell.
Runway time where Heidi, Michael, and Nina are joined (oddly enough) by frequent Project Runway guest judge Debra Messing. I get that she’s starring in Smash, but why not have Linda Haberman judge it on terms of practicality.
Christopher was the clear winner. Not only is it chic, but it feels timeless and felt the most Rockette-ish (if that’s a word). My only complaint would be that the skirt needs to be fuller to accommodate all of the high kicks that are de rigueur of the Rockette’s choreography.
Leave it to the former professional ballroom dancer, Dmitry, to make an appropriate outfit for a dancer. The color is great and the skirt is exactly what is needed for a Rockette. The only complaint is that it feels a little too modern and doesn’t have that slightly old New York feel that The Rockettes evoke.
Elena’s look was rendered in a great color but the unevenness of the skirt, especially the way it droops in the front, make it slightly impractical for the task at hand. The bodice, on the other hand, is atrocious and deserved the judges’ scorn.
Love the color and love the faux-gladiator style skirt of Fabio’s look. If he had found a way to continue it, it could have been in the top. That said, the matte gray panels in the bodice ruin the look wholeheartedly. But give Fabio credit for “bitch-slapping that bitch” of a fabric (according to Tim’s advice).
I like the colorfulness of Melissa’s look, but the number 1 is a bit too obvious. And again, the skirt seems a little narrow for high kicks.
Unlike Nina, I’m okay with the feathers on Sonjia’s look (these are showgirls after all). What I have an issue with is the rather artless way she used them. Plus the bodice is boring as sin and doesn’t feel like a glamorous chorus girl outfit.
“Origami Rose” proved something kind of true about designers that have one signature dressmaking trick; take said trick away from them and they fall apart. Ven’s outfit committed the ultimate sin by being a completely boring outfit, and boring is not a word you should ever hear about The Rockettes. (But cheers to Michael Kors for the inspired moment of naming him Origami Rose.)
At the end of the day, it’s no surprise that Christopher won and that Ven was given the auf. And at least one designer was happy about that…
And that says it all, don’t you think?
Image Credits: myLifetime.com