Saturday, December 24, 2005

And the principled shall inherit, well, bupkis

Okay, time to confess: I watch Project Runway. I turned on the TV one night, and there it was. I told TiVo to tape it, and now I'm hooked! There are a number of simply wonderful things about PR:

1. Heidi Klum is pregnant. After years of flipping past her in the Vicky's catalogs and glaring, there she is, round and glorious. Now, I was afraid that she'd have some petite, barely-there kind of tum, but she is definitely doing a full moon impression from the side, and I am a happy, happy woman. And to clarify: this is not a 'happy to see the thin woman go round' happy, which would be a slightly vengeful thing (not that I'm above that, mind you), but rather a pleasure at seeing a deeply pregnant woman out there in a very public way. Go, Heidi go. You gestate, girl. And where was that gorgeous maternity stuff three months ago? Damn.

2. the clothes really are kind of fun. I avoid runway fashion, because, well, let's face it: I am definitely not built like a model. Not just when I'm three months post-partum. But it's not just a matter of avoiding runway fashion just because I'm peevish over not being able to wear it - much of that sort of thing simply does not appeal to me. I will never want to wear a shirt cut down to there or a skirt cut up to here, no matter how nicely it fits. And I just don't get the McQueen shock value sort of style. Ugly is, well, ugly. Not haute. But the clothing being created by these young designers is often fun, flirty, and even though I'll never wear it or want to wear it, I appreciate much of what I see. Hey, you guys: want a design challenge? Try ME.

What I do not like, though, is that the show is being edited to highlight some of the uglier interpersonal exchanges. I mean, do I really need to see the Aussie designer threatening a Bobbit? Or the bitchier comments between the desirgners not once, but clipped and used to on the 'scenes from next week's show' segment? The show is geared to create a set of stressful situations, in which people persuaded of their own talent (i.e., prima donnas of some variety or another) try to fulfil their tasks. Mostly, the show manages to balance a bit of drama with interesting design, with the spice of human effort thrown in. Not bad. And the judges walk a nice line between critical and thoughtful, avoiding the truly nasty, rip 'em apart attitude of American Idol's Simon They-Pay-Me-to-Be-a-Jerk.

Overall, I'm a happy viewer. But this past week the judges made a choice that just makes me sad. The challenge was to design lingerie, and the designers were divided into groups, under a leader's guidance. It was explicitly a test of vision and leadership, at the end of which the two weakest groups were asked to defend their design. One group, led by a self-centered but funky designer, Santino, had made a simply ugly set of designs. Let me underline this: UGLY. Someone take away that man's right to baste, please! The other group, led by a perfectionist designer, Daniel Franco, made a set of kind of blah designs. Sorry, buddy, but black lace tulle is really old fashioned. It's stiff, doesn't fall nicely, and oy vey, the sashes.


When asked about his designs, Santino ranted and told the judges to cut one of his teammates. Franco took responsibility for his group, and asked that the consequences fall on him, rather than his teammates. So let's break this down: ugly design, jerk of a team leader vs. boring designs and a leader who steps up. If the challenge is to design and lead, who would you cut? Well, they cut Franco, and I am pissed.

What strikes me is that at the end of the show, a screen flashed with lots of small print. Being a member of the TiVo Nation, I paused the show and read it. Apparently, the judges had to take the show's producers opinions into account when they made their decision between Santino and Franco. Which means someone probably told them to stick with Santino, because jackasses make for better TV. Even if they wear silly hats to hide their bald spots. (No, I'm not bitter.)

Oh, Heidi. You might be pregging beautifully, but you've forgotten the cardinal rule of preggo-dom. When someone like, say, a producer, tries to tell you what to do, you sit on them.

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