Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oh, Project Runway, you're so crazy.

Fashion industry is not exactly the place for things like cultural sensitivity, respect for women, and common sense. Then there's the guest judge Nick Verreos. This dude, I hear, is an FDIM professor. Wow. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The challenge was to offer a complementary outfit to each of the designers' best looks -- for everyone but Logan, it meant winning looks. Logan realized that he never won a challenge, moped, created this:

and was promptly ridiculed, accused of plagiarism by Althea (who made a collar out of zippers for Christina Aguilera challenge), ridiculed some more by the judges, and sent home. He stayed on longer than I expected considering his consistent failure to make anything interesting.

Too bad they didn't send two people home, because Christopher's gown totally deserved it.

Leaving aside that this dress just got sick all over itself, it is the same damn silhouette he keeps sending out week after week: fitted top, bell skirt, with the side of his "I'm just a poor farmboy with no formal training and look at me, here competing with all these designers who hobnob with celebrities and know what "smocking" means" speech. Seriously, if he's not out next week, I'll have to blog about it indignantly.

Oh, Althea won with this:

Despite being accused of plagiarism by Irina who felt the wide-sleeve sweater was too close to her Aspen look. Because Irina invented wide-sleeve sweaters, apparently.

And speaking of Irina's Aspen look, this is the complementary look:

Not crazy about the dress, love the sweater. The guest judge, aforementioned Nick Verreos, loved the whole shebang -- at least I think he loved it and thought that his comment was a compliment. What he actually said was "this is something a Russian ex-model married to a millionaire would wear" and then during judging added something about "arm-candy". Apart from general misogyny, I found the ethnic aspect of this comment especially unpleasant, doubly so since it was directed to Irina, a woman of obvious Russian extraction. So thank you, Nick Verreos, for contributing to the stereotype of Russian women existing primarily to be trophy wives. Clearly young Eastern European women are not objectified enough.

But older Slavic women fare much worse: Gordana, who is a Bosnian Serb, has been treated horribly by the judges (especially Heidi) this entire season. Clearly, being middle-aged and Slavic are crimes in fashion industry than can be paid for only by frequent humiliation. Nick Verreos, good sport that he is, joined in the fun by calling her outfit something "an office worker in Warsaw, Poland" would wear. As a negative thing, even though I suspect that Nick is not personally familiar with Polish fashions, and for all he knows they might be quite snappy. But he went with the lazy (and dated) Soviet-era stereotype of a drab drone. He also apparently noticed that Gordana had a Slavic accent which he interpreted as Eastern Europe, but of course didn't bother to find out the country or the ethnicity or anything about the woman -- he just went for the laziest insult that jumped to mind. Well done, Professor.

Meanwhile, the jacket:

Notice the pleats and the seaming at the waist and the tailoring of the collar. I like the longer silhouette and the swooping hem, and the wonderful detailing. I wish the judges noticed the tailoring of this piece, but they were too busy thinking of ethnic slurs, apparently. I would love this jacket, with skinny pants and a bright top.

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