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Thread: The Seamy Side Controversy

  1. #1
    Endlessly ShrinkingViolet's Avatar
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    The Seamy Side Controversy

    In the semifinale of ''Project Runway,'' Laura accuses Jeffrey of getting some outside help sewing his Fashion Week line.

    by Mark Harris
    EW.Com

    Rarely have viewers of Project Runway been more at the mercy of the show's producers and editors and of their keep-'em-guessing manipulations than we were this week, in an episode that officially existed to showcase the season's four finalists as they prepared their collections for Fashion Week, but actually offered lesson after lesson in how manhandled the ''reality'' behind reality-competition shows really is. In this hour unlike on Jeffrey's dresses all the seams showed.

    Let's start with the controversy although it's not clear how much of one there really is. After having had two months and $8000 apiece to create 12 ''looks,'' Jeffrey, Uli, Laura, and Michael reconvened in New York for finishing touches and fittings, and Laura, convinced that Jeffrey's sewing was too perfect to have been his own work, took her suspicions to Tim, who told the producers, who promised an investigation, while Jeffrey swore innocence. Good TV? Not really. Since the possible rule breaking involved something none of us can judge for ourselves, we were jerked around by what felt like an artificial cliff-hanger. Jeffrey's an egomaniac, so he must have cheated! No, wait Laura's a mean bitch, so she's just making trouble! And in the scenes from next week, Tim gathers the designers together and says ''Unfortunately...'' and then Jeffrey looks sad, so he must have been kicked off the show!

    Or, you know, maybe they just want us to watch the finale. There's a fairly clear line between intriguing the audience and treating us like slack-jawed dopes, and the determination of this episode to turn Project Runway into a clash of personalities rather than a contest of talents crossed it. The conflict felt over-engineered (what exactly was Jeffrey doing out of the room while Laura talked about him to the other designers?); Laura and Tim's ''let's talk out on the balcony'' felt more like a producer's idea than a found moment; and the whole showdown, especially after last week's reunion nonevent involving Keith, had the overfamiliar taste of this season's desire to showcase conflict without ever really getting its hands dirty.

    That left only a little time for the actual work: As Tim visited Michael in Atlanta, Uli in Miami, Jeffrey in L.A., and Laura in New York, each designer's challenge was painted in colors as primary as the red on Tim's shiny convertible. Michael's collection is not ''cohesive'' and needs to be. Uli's collection is ''too one-note'' and needs not to be. Laura's collection is ''too old'' and needs to be younger. And Jeffrey's bowl of porridge is just the right temperature, but he may have had too much help in the kitchen.

    While Tim hauls out his abacus and pores over those receipts, let's recap his excellent adventures: In Atlanta: Loved Michael, loved his braces, loved his family, loved the sight of Tim standing in a prayer circle. In Miami: Loved Uli's water view. Loved her enthusiasm. Loved learning that Miami Vice aired in East Germany. In Los Angeles: Loved Jeffrey's Posture of Calculated Humility; my goodness, they're working overtime to make him sympathetic. Loved seeing Harrison in the flesh rather than on Jeffrey's neck. And love the fact that Jeffrey's wife said the adorable little kid was ''Jeff's best design.'' (Agreed.) In New York: Loved Laura's bravery in risking the wrath of the entire population of real-estate-obsessed NYC by showing us her fabulous apartment. Loved her attitude about the kids; if she loses, maybe she can be Secretary of Defense. And loved the fact that although her kids get interesting names like Peik and Truman, the turtle is...Frank. How'd that happen?

    Official judgment about the clothes will have to wait until next week; meanwhile, let's make some unofficial judgments. Didn't your heart sink when both Michael and Uli used the word ''safari'' as inspiration? At least they were on different safaris: Michael appears to have taken the Booty and Bling Adventure Ride, while Uli's glitter-and-bones look indicated that eighth-row center at the Broadway production of The Lion King is about as close to an actual jungle as she's ever been. Laura's clothes were rich and dramatic and represented a unified, adult esthetic. We'll just forget the appearance of that I-ate-some-bad-spinach nightmare dress that Tim called a ''chartreuse popsicle.'' It never happened. And Jeffrey? Well, if you're going to call one of your own outfits a ''sideshow freak,'' you're pretty much doing my job for me. But all the emphasis on that bizarre green-and-white-striped Hilda-the-Hippo-goes-to-a-party dress and matching mega-ugly overnight bag may have been intended to distract us from the fact that the rest of his collection looked extremely good. To give credit where it's due, Jeffrey's inspiration Japanese ghost and demon stories was exactly the kind of out-of-left-field thing that occurs to a real designer; he's not afraid to follow his own esthetic impulses, wherever they take him, and it looks as if this time they may have taken him on a journey much more interesting than a safari. But just when I was starting to like him, he turned right back into Dr. Creepy, with that collection of Susan Anton-looking wigs and his bizarre statement that he wants his models to be ''a blank slate for the clothes.'' Yes, Jeff, that's what women want to be overshadowed by what they're wearing.

    What do you think? Is Jeffrey out? Is Jeffrey in? Or (brace yourself) will Jeffrey win?

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  2. #2
    FORT Fanatic wooh_okk's Avatar
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    I am definitley feeling that he does not go home, but that they tell him he cannot win Project Runway and he is placed out of the competition but he is allowed to go to Olympus Fashion Week.

    I am getting a Laura/Jefferey vibe for the final two though.
    UNLESS the "two" people that Heide liked were Uli and Micheal, since they have the same theme.
    F:A:B:U:L:O:U:S

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    FORT Newbie MissPriss's Avatar
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    It's definitely something that happens to Jeffrey...like when Kara Saun was able to use her shoes but they couldn't factor in the shoes when judging the clothes...which I thought was sort of stupid anyhow b/c it's about the clothing, not the accessorizing...I realize that ugly shoes or shoes that don't go will make an outfit look off, but since her shoes were made to match each outfit...well it's not like they were sitting around saying "How would that outfit look without the shoes?" I do think her underhandedness did have something to do with her not winning though. Heidi can be a snarky little thing and like most "mean girls" she exacted her revenge! J/k

    So it might well could be that Jeffrey is allowed to show but not allowed to be judged...that would suck, but the exposure alone is worth a ton. The little cheaterpants will be fine!

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    FORT Fan realfun's Avatar
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    Yep, that's exactly what I've been thinking. That he gets "eliminated" from being eligible to win the Project Runway competition, but is allowed to show at Fashion Week, which actually would suck. If he, or anyone else, cheated, they should truly be sent home. Do not pass Go, Do not collect $200.

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    i feel like jeffery probably did his own work, but im feeling as if his affairs aren't all in order as they should be. he seemed slightly jarred when handing his envelope to tim.

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    i think that he may be able to show but not be considered because on the first part of the final episode it shows that jeffery wants to put the blonde wigs on all his models but when you look at the runway collection none of them are wearing them. so maybe his money allowance wasn't in order or hes not being considered.

  7. #7
    FORT Fan realfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicoleyooo View Post
    i think that he may be able to show but not be considered because on the first part of the final episode it shows that jeffery wants to put the blonde wigs on all his models but when you look at the runway collection none of them are wearing them. so maybe his money allowance wasn't in order or hes not being considered.
    or maybe he came to his senses and realized what a crappy idea the blonde wigs were...

  8. #8
    Who-dat Runway victim's Avatar
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    As far as where Jeff was when the designers were talking about him-Jeffrey went out to get some food. He returned with a tinfoil take-out container and was eating while Tim talked to Laura on the balcony.
    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. -Albert Einstein

    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Who-dat Runway victim's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned it seems like anyone who can last any amount of time-(especially until the final 5 or 6) pretty much wins.

    Look at previous winners- seems some of the other contestants have taken their "15 minutes of shame" and done much more career-wise.

    Chloe & Jay???
    I've seen much more of Daniel V., Nick, Kara, Santino, even Raymundo & Malan (who didn't last long at all- but made lasting impressions).

    The show is a platform/stepping stone to fame & fortune. Winning the show seems to hinder careers more than make them.
    Last edited by Runway victim; 10-14-2006 at 07:16 PM.
    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. -Albert Einstein

    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -Albert Einstein

  10. #10
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    The Laura/Tim discussion appeared totally manufactured. Who walks into a room and says "Laura, is there anything you would like to talk to me about in private?" or something like that? The only time that ever happens is if the person walking into the room knows something is up.

    I am definitely on the train that Jeff shows but is eliminated from consideration to win.

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