Saturday, December 31, 2005

Robin Says it Well

I've read with great interest many blog entries, messages boards, etc. regarding the Lingerie Challenge. Mostly all of us say the same things and have reached the same conclusions. Some say it better than others. Here is an intelligent, well-thought-out article from Robin at Banter Basement. I think she says it particularly well.

"Project Runway-The Lingerie Challenge
Project Runway, while still compelling, was a disappointment this week. At the end of the lingerie challenge one of my favorites was ousted. That the decision to get rid of Daniel Franco seems to have been based on something other than good design seems a betrayal of the show's purpose. Daniel Franco's quiet personality, perfectionistic tendencies and issues with time management just didn't have the vibrance desired for reality television.

I haven't read anywhere that anyone thinks that Santino's hideous and ridiculous heidi-like with ruffles and tasteless adornments (Is that a codpiece on the panties?) designs and models made up to look like deer were anything but the ultimate in bad taste and utterly lacking in aesthetic appeal. Unfortunately, Santino's massively overblown ego and talent for saying catty and incomprehensibly arrogant, snarky remarks about other contestants makes better tv.

I think the producers underestimate what it is that makes the show compelling. I adore the show because I'm fascinated by the way these talented strangers interact with each other. I'm interested in their reaction to the stress of art on a deadline. I'm intrigued by their creative process. I love watching them design and seeing how differently the outcomes can be, based on the inner qualities and artistic vision of each designer. I don't need to see meltdowns every week to keep coming back. I do need to believe that the person who ultimately wins the competition was the most deserving. If the show isn't going to be about talent then I'll stop watching.

My disclaimer: I'm nowhere close to being an expert in fashion--it's way outside my knowledge base. I buy InStyle magazine and I used to watch Elsa Klench on CNN every Saturday years ago--that's it. In spite of those handicaps, I'm certainly aware that Daniel Franco's designs depended upon the same themes--contrasting colors/fabrics in the bodice, tailoring, etc, but so do Santino's! Those ruffles from his dress from episode one were an element in the lingerie and showed up in the Barbie outfit. Frankly, all the designers rely on known techniques and design elements. I've visited their websites and viewed the portfolios and collections some of them have. Nick and Chloe are repetitive too. Is this a bad thing? It need not be. Really, it's almost inevitable that they'd rely on design elements they've used before given the time element of the challenges. I mention this because I've heard Daniel F. criticised for being too samey-samey and I just think that's unfair.

On January 4th, I'll still be watching but perhaps my joy in the show will be tainted with cynicism. After all, Santino was told his designs were ugly and he had no integrity because he blamed Emmett. Daniel was told his designs were too similar although prettier, and that he was ethical for taking the blame. For Daniel to be ousted after that commentary makes you really wonder about the ethics and hypocrisy of the producers."


Anonymous said...

Amen. Many people, including me, became very disillusioned with the show after the lingerie episode. I can only hope things will improve otherwise I'm done.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I also think this was well put. As a designer myself, one of the things I enjoy about the show is seeing how they design, how they approach each challenge. Maybe I'm one of the few who watch it mainly for this reason. The drama does add to the show, of course, but drama only can add so much. Otherwise, you may as well be watching any of the other silly reality shows on the air. The designing is what I think (at one time) set this show apart. Now, I'm not so sure.

christopher.john said...

i don't really give a hoot. in my opinion, i'll watch the show until my fav designer losses. Maybe i'm a hypocrite...

Anonymous said...

Daniel is a very talented designer, not a leader. He had a bad showing and sometimes that's all it takes. His sketches are beautiful but the produced lingerie was not what he put on paper. I don't think anyone's worried about Daniel, he'll make it.

I think I'm the only one who likes Santino.

Anonymous said...

Producer "intervention" sullied the first season when Wendy Pepper survived the postal challenge.