Project Runway 4, Episode Nine

Manolo says, after studiously avoiding the internets and the television, the Manolo was finally able to see the latest episode of the Project Runway without having heard any results. And now the Manolo can give you his impressions of this moderately amusing episode.

In short, this was yet another good challenge, to take the sack full of Levi’s jeans and jackets and turn them into the “iconic denim look”. Although, what is meant here by the word “iconic” the Manolo does not fully understand.

The truly iconic item appears only rarely, when design and culture achieve perfect symbiosis, and so to ask the designers to produce the iconic item is to ask them to compose the musical masterpiece of enduring importance and popularity. One might be able to maybe, possibly do this, but only if all of the stars are in perfect alignment.

And so it is with the clothing. Clothing designers produce hundreds and thousands of different designs each year, of which none ever become “iconic”. Indeed, if one is very lucky, one might produce one such item over the course of the entire lifetime of design.

Perhaps what was meant was “iconish”, meaning that the final piece was to be vaguely reminiscent of the truly iconic Levi’s 501s.

But, whatever. The Manolo quibbles, as the obvious intention was to produce the piece that could be creditably sold by the Levis Company, something much more achievable than “iconic”.

And so, after being given their instructions, the designers were off and lumbering across the dirty warehouse floor, grabbing up the denim and preparing for the challenge of making this blue-jeansy item.

In the end, the winner was…Ricky???

The Manolo was stunned, as the basic tube dress Ricky produced was blah, blah, blah. Yes it was well fitted, but it was also much less innovative and attractive than either Rami’s sophisticated and flippy little dress, or Christian’s jacket and masterful super-skinny pants.

And while it was mildly amusing to see Ricky get all verklempt on the runway (who could have predicted he would become weepy! He seems so stoical), this small pleasure could not justify selecting this item as the winner.

As the Manolo said, much better were Rami’s little dress, which was complicated and fun, and Christian’s jacket and jeans, which the Manolo liked, although clearly this was something Christian would wear himself.

Every week it is the same, the Manolo finds Christian terribly immature and annoying, indeed slap worthy, but every week, his talent shines through. He is truly gifted as the designer, even if he is the ignorant and deplorable little pipsqueak.

So, to recapitulate, Christian probably should have won, but he’s still the tiny-little, assymetical-headed, nattering jackass.

Speaking of people who annoy the Manolo, Jillian continues to put the Manolo’s teeth on edge, what with her incessant whining and kvetching. On the plus side, this week’s second-from-the-bottom finish will have crushed whatever internal resources and self-confidence she has remaining, meaning she will undoubtedly be unable to function in the coming weeks, thus leading to her quick ejection.

One annoying person who will no longer bother the Manolo is Victorya, who was deservedly sent away this week for her boring and derivative trenchcoat thingy. Good bye, icy queen of tense manipulation and moderate talent.

And now the Manolo has the few words for chubby, sweet, gentle, funny Chris: The first rule of Project Runway is, when Tim Gunn gives you advice you must take it.

Look at Sweet P. She knows that when the Fairy Godfather Tim waves his wand, you must accept his gift, or face the consequences.

That hippy-dippy denim wedding dress she was making was awful; the Manolo could smell the patchouli through his television set. But, with the few choice words, the careful frown, and his signature chin-on-hand, elbow-in-other-hand, look-of-contemplative-disapproval, Tim conveys his doubts. Sweet P listens. Et voila! Sweet P prospers!