Project Runway, Season 5, Episode Two

Manolo says, this week’s Project Runway challenge was the example of how putting two good ideas together can sometimes result in one confusing disaster.

The first idea, to do the outfit made from the ecologically sensitive “green” material, is excellent. Although the Manolo confesses, that when he first heard the term “green cocktail dress”, he thought literally “green” as in the color, which is also the great idea for the challenge, as green is one of the most difficult colors to make fashionable. (Red = Hot. Blue = Cool. Green = Elf or Comanndo, take your pick.)

The second idea, to have the models shop for the fabric, is also the good idea with much potential for hilarity.

Unfortunately, when combined the two ideas resulted in trouble all around, as the significant proportion of the fabric-shopping models settled on the hemp and organic silk blend in the baby-poop brown, the color that flatters no one not born in Tolkein’s Middle Earth.

And so the models return to the work room where instantly the disgruntlement became so thick among the designers that you could have cut it into sections and sewn it into the organic cocktail dress.

But, first, before we can see what the designers are doing, we must be treated to fifteen minutes of personalities on parade, focusing primarily on two of the designers.

Stella is the toughest talkingest biker-rocker chick since Leather Tuscadero! The Manolo expects that later in the season we will be introduced to her “gang”, the Stella-ettes, the group of sarcastic tough girls who aggressively chew gum and smoke cigarettes at the same time. Look for them to extort lunch money from one of the indistinguishable mousey/nerdy brunettes in the girls’ room after algebra class.

Suede likes to talk about himself in the third person, the habit which can be comedy gold in the right hands, but in this case is mostly tedious and annoying. What the Manolo most objects to, however, is the blue faux-hawk. This is what passes for renegade eccentricity this season, the soft half-measure of mild middle-class rebellion.

During this period, the 12th level zen master Tim Gunn walked among then, dispensing advice that could not be ignored.

And then it was on to the runway, where we were introduced to Natalie Portman, dressed head-to-toe in the most fashionable items found in the Fred Segal’s toddler’s department (speaking of green-colored fabric making you look elfin). Ayyyy, but this woman is tiny. Next to her, Heidi appeared to be some sort of Godzilla, threatening to knock the terrified villagers’ church steeples into the sea.

In the end, Suede’s winning dress was interesting and original, but that shorty tulle petticoat rendered it unwearable by anyone other than the 25-year-old Desperately Seeking Susan Madonna.

And the losers? Korto’s dress was the hideous buttocks-emphasizing disaster, and Leanne’s was wickety-wack personified. But it was Wesley’s outift, the unattractive, poorly-made mess, that clearly merited the axe.

As for the other outfits, the less said the better.