Project Runway 3, Week 11

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, and it was the disappointingly anti-climactic week of disappointing anti-climaxes.

First, the Manolo must admit, that the previous week without the televised episode had diminished the Manolo’s enthusiasm, especially when he had already seen the final collections on the runway, collections which did not overly impress the Manolo.

And so because his ardor for the designers had perhaps cooled, the Manolo found that he was this week less interested in their risible antics, and much less interested in their “artistic” visions, having already seen the disappointing final product of those visions.

But the Manolo must carry on manfully as his many internet friends are awaiting his ridiculous pensées.

As for the anticlamatic anticlimax, the Manolo was disappointed that no one was sent away, just as he was disappointed during the previous episode when the Vincent and the Angela were brought back.

These instances seem to the Manolo to be the unnecessary bending, twisting, breaking of the rules by the producers so as to increase the dramatic tension. Although last night the rule-fiddling was not so much about the increasing of the tension, as about the acomodating of the favorites, so as to prevent the Michael, the beloved one, or the Jeffrey, the pathetic-boy sort-of-villian, from being sent away.

Yes, on the one level, the Manolo understands this decision to keep the Jeffrey and the Michael for the final runway.

Both the Uli (who deservedly won last night) and the Laura (who again showed too much of the sternum) are the completely predictable designers. While, the Michael seemed (until the Manolo saw his final collection) to have the impeccable sense of what worked. And the Jeffrey, for all of his many and manifest faults, is entertaining in his way. Thus the decision was taken by the producers and the judges to keep the more interersting designers, even though their final outfits last night were very weak.

Of the course, this decision, to end in the giant group hug, it undermines the point of the show, which is the fierce competition.

Without the competition, the Project Runway is not worth the watching. And when the losers arbitrarily can be brought back, and the final three arbitrarily made the final four, the show is revealed as silly and artifical. Yes, the Project Runway it was always silly and artificial, but as long as the competition seemed plausibly fair we could ignore this, so accustomed are we to the nature of games. In the world of games, the one thing you do not do is change the rules halfway through, for to do so is to render the game not worth the playing, or the watching.

Thankfully, however, last night, there were still the Tim Gunn, the Michael Kors, the pillowy Heidi Klum, and the Ninotchka Garcia de Castellanos to observe. Indeed as far as the Manolo was concerned the only truly amusing moment was at the end when the Tim Gunn became almost verklempt, the eyes welling-up, the voice almost demi-semi-quavering, and the lower-lip seconds away from full pout. Who knew that beneath the steely grey hair and the all-business demeanor there lurked the soul of the sentimental, marshmallowy romantic?

Now, it is on to the reunion show. Perhaps the return of the dangerously egomaniacal Keith can provide some true amusement.


27 Responses to “Project Runway 3, Week 11”

  1. Andi Says:

    I agree with the Manolo 100 percent. Fiddling with the outcome because Uli was an upset ruined the show. The demonic Jeffrey should have been given the heave ho and Michael a stern warning about evening wear. But that would leave the viewers with two mild-mannered gentlepeople and an overwrought pregnant woman for the finale and that just wouldn’t do! Does Manolo – like moi – suppose Michael is sabotaging his PR career because he has better offers elsewhere? Tommy Hilfigger, Sean Jean pour quoi?

  2. gemdiva Says:

    I thoroughly agree with the Manolo. The rules should not be tampered with. That’s why they call them “RULES”. Although I would have been disappointed if Michael had been Aufed, it would have somehow seemed more fair. I was not bowled over by any of the designers and felt that any one of them would have deserved the boot. Uli and Laura were just plain boring and repetitious with their choices. Jeffrey’s dress looked like something from Dr. Seuss and then there’s Michael. Perhaps it was the loss of Nazri as his Muse (way to undermine the competition Uli! And we thought you were just a simple little German peasant girl), but he was dismally off his game and, I hate to admit, would have deserved an Auffing. A less than stellar performance all the way around.

  3. Lee J. Cockrell Says:

    If The Manolo can’t trust a reality TV producer, who can he trust?

    I dislike consistency for consistency’s sake, and think this was the right call. None of the outfits last night were fantastic, much less super fantastic, but neither were they Kayne’s monstrosities or Angela’s flaming-bags-of-crap-on-your-doorstep.

    Laura and Uli did the same old thing they’ve always done and were rewarded approvingly. But it would have affected every future season of the show if Michael and Jeffrey were punished for taking chances. No one ever would have deviated again had they been kicked for subpar but minor transgressions.

  4. tommytimp Says:

    So there was a little drama after all, with the model selection. But I feel as do all of us, apparently, that everyone was boring last night. And yes, Uli did deseve to win.

  5. cocktailgoddess Says:

    Mon cher Manolo,

    I respectfully must disagree. Both Jeffrey and Michael’s dresses were appalling, but completely unrepresentative of their oeuvre. Why not keep them on? They are entertaining and less predictable. I enjoyed the camaraderie, watching these four so disparate people gel into a little unit was most amusing– a cross between Amazing Race and Project Runway. If we live in a world where Laura and the odious Jeffrey can be friends, why can we not find peace in the Middle East. Indeed, it gave me great hope. Uli, most unexpectedly, rose to the challenge. Her dress was “fun”, “adventurous”, “lively”, and most appropriate for “the hot weather.”

  6. Que Sera Says:

    Manolo – I am surprised at you – the great entertainment of last night for me was watching Uli steal Nazri – how sneaky – how underhanded – she should have been auffed just for that. To me that was like trying to steal his ideas! She must have known that it would have made him all confused so she pulled a tricky little fast one on him – she will fit in perfectly with the fashion world methinks.

  7. VeddyVeddyBadAng Says:

    Oh no, the Manolo has somewhat spoiled the ending for those of us who haven’t seen the collections on the runway! Although it doesn’t surprise me that the collections will be lackluster on the finale. That happened last year as well. When I think back to Jay’s sublime showing on Season 1, it makes me sad that he hasn’t lived up to all of our expectations, and that subsequent seasons have not given us designers with his level of artistic vision.

    This season of PR seems to confirm my opinion that even the best of reality shows tend to fizzle after the first couple of seasons. The same level of creativity and novelty can not be sustained for much more than that. After awhile, certain patterns and plot contrivances start to appear (The Amazing Race is another good example of this), and watching the show becomes tiresome. And you can’t help but compare the new “characters” with previous (beloved and hated) characters, usually to the new characters’ detriment.

  8. trixie b Says:

    el manolo — you are speaking the truth. my interest has waned: too much vincent sucked out the joy: the manic crazy makes me tired. then the break in schedule and the so-so collections. for all the producers manipulations to make the show “interesting” they made the dumbest mistake in television — screwing up the schedule. they are promising to bring out the angry sociopath for next week. it better be good. I want to see laura bring on the bad mommy big time.

  9. Joan Says:

    I think there’s a topic for exploration here: the losers of previous seasons — the close runners-up, that is — are a lot more visible (at least online) than are the winners. I mean, when is the last time anyone wrote about Chloe, or seen her picture, or anything that she’s done. Admittedly, I am only peripherally plugged into fashion via a few online sites and blogs, but I seem to hear about the Karas and Danial V and others from previous seasons much more than I hear about the winners.

    None of the collections wow’d me, and with my new attitude that winning isn’t necessarily the best thing, I’m not particularly interested in who wins! It really seems as if getting Fashion Week is pretty much “winning”, as connections are made and the designers get their esthetics “out there”. If they’re really serious about a career in fashion, they needn’t worry about winning to make it in the industry.

    And now that I don’t care about who wins, I’m not all that excited about watching the rest of the season. It’s sad, actually. It used to be fun, and now, not so much anymore.

  10. carter Says:

    i must say that i am surprised at the manolo for dropping that little spoiler about the runway shows on the rest of us who weren’t in attendance. surely he knows that the anticipation of that event is a great part of the fun, regardless of the outcome? it seems so out of character for the usually funny and fun-loving blogger extraordiaire to embrace the theory that misery loves company, no?

  11. Texasexile Says:

    Once again, the Manolo has hit the nail on the head. It’s all just . . . meh.

  12. La Gémelle Says:

    The excitement of the PR fizzled when L’Enfant Terrible Keith made his fatal error and got the auf from the Stern Papa, Tim Gunn. No villain + no backstabbing = no drama.

  13. Manolo the Shoeblogger Says:

    Ayyyy! Many apologies. The Manolo did not consider those of his internet friends who have the patience to wait to see the runway collections. The Manolo had wrongly assumed that everyone was like the Manolo and had rushed the internets to find the photos of the collections presented in the Bryant Park.

    Please forgive him this error.

  14. polyrose Says:

    There is no need for the Manolo to apologize…haven’t we all seen the sad but pretty collections on the internet? This still does not spoil the anticipation and enjoyment of each Project Runway episode, and especially the blog fare after each!

  15. Chris Says:


    I don’t have any problem with your connection with Pajama’s Media, but your website just took a REALLY long time to load, involving multiple attempts. The culprit seems to be something come via your site from Pajama’s Media.


  16. rrr Says:

    sob sob :-(
    Every where one clicks the mouse ——- spoilers :-(
    It wouldnt matter if it were the riff-raff opinions not worth noting. But The Manolo’s?

    At this point, what with all the links in BPR, One feels as if One erected the tents of bryant park, hemmed the dresses of the models, checked what they had for lunch (to tell the Kors) and need only tune in for the last 2 minutes of the finale to gain closure.

    Still, there is always the obligatory twist. I’m hoping amniotic fluid and moisture intolerant fabric.

  17. desertwind Says:

    Dear Manolo, did you go to the show?

    Ooooooh — if so — we can’t wait to read your dish.

    Well, I guess we’ll have to wait until Oct 18th…

  18. eowyn_2 Says:

    Hmm, we weren’t so concerned about rules when l’enfant terrible was sent home for breaking them.

    But I do agree – lengthening the time between new installments was a terrible mistake. Imagine my shock 2 weeks ago when I sat down to watch who would make the final three to find only replays of last season. By the time this week’s episode arrived, I really didn’t care a large amount, but watched out of habit. Now that I know all four of them are going to fashion week, I don’t care anymore who wins. And I *certainly* don’t care about the b**** session to be aired next week. I’ll just go find pictures on the internet of Fashion Week now and be done with it.

    Somebody tell my why Laura wasn’t auf’d? She did not do *anything* different from her usual. I like her and am glad she’s going, but I thought she was the last of the one-trick designers left who couldn’t get past it…

  19. joelgriffith Says:

    One trick designers who fabricate wearable clothing are the backbone of
    pret-a-porter… and sportswear…and evening wear. let’s face it, the product has to be consistently commercially viable, or the company folds… the money french designers spend on couture is off-set by sales of licenced products like sunglasses and handbags. They can take risks, only because they are funded by the likes of

  20. Phyllis Says:

    So Nina Garcia went to BU? Why does that not surprise me…

  21. VJ Says:

    The Manolo is forgiven for revealing his opinions about the Fashion Week shows. I also took a peek.

    Sad to say, The Michael, for whom I have been rooting all season long, fell flat on his 70’s t.v. derivative outfits. Ah, Michael, what happened? Your clothes, which have been so inspired thus far, looked even worse in close up shots.

    Uli and Laura are both one note designers. But this is the difference (as I wrote to Capitol Hill Barbie):

    Uli’s customers will wait for her halter dresses to hit the bargain rack. She’ll be most successful selling those gaudy gowns in cruiseline stores.

    Laura’s upscale clientele will beg to pay full price for those elegant, figure-hugging gowns. Laura designs for WOMEN, that is, grown women with huge titties, tiny titties, or your every day average ordinary titties. It just won’t matter. Women who are not afraid to flaunt their curves and their oh-so-elegant gams will flock to buy Laura Bennett gowns. If only one is left, they will bid the price up.

    As for Jeffrey, I’ll use an 80’s term to reflect his 80’s rocker designs: “Gag me with a spoon.”

  22. kim Says:

    The Manolo, how do you do it? The Ninotchka. You never fail to put a smile on my face. All the rest, yes, I agree entirely.

  23. Ninjarina Says:

    Her name is NINOTCHKA!? That is adorable and weird at the same time.

  24. twistygirl Says:

    Ayyyy, NINOTCHKA! I will never be able to call her the simple Nina again. Twistygirl, she only wishes that the Santino would have known the real name of Ninotchka last season, methinks he would have had some fun with that.

    Perhaps the Twistygirl is just too easy to please, but she was not disappointed that all four are moving on (or have moved on) to showing at OFW. Although after having seen the various collections (but of course I looked at them the day they were up on the Internets) this could be the first season in which they have four finalist but no winner. Perhaps that will be the twist.

  25. gidget bananas Says:

    This was the season of the gimmicks on the Project Runway. The Gidget hopes the twistings and the turnings are not repeated next season, and that the designers return to the amusement levels of the Jay, the Nick and the Andrae. It is also the opinion of The Gidget that all four of the designers were allowed to compete because last year the decoy, the Kara Janx, sent out the collection most beloved by the fashion press.

    Yes, it appears the losers of Project Runway enjoy the most of the success after the show. The Austin Scarlett has the best of the gigs as the designer of the upscale wedding gowns for the most successful line of the Amsale. Is that not a perfect job for the petit Mr. Glamour?

  26. lolaphilologist Says:

    ahhh, Manolo. You included “risible” in a sentence. One of my favorite words. I adore you linguistically as well as stylistically. I also think your choice of font is choice. kisses!

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