Project Runway 4, Episode Five

Manolo says, finally, with this episode, the old make-it-work spirit of Project Runway has returned, and the value is again placed on creativity and not the commercial prospects of the outfits.

This challenge, to take the big lady clothes from the former big ladies and make them into something new and beautiful, was ingenious, especially as it forced the designers out of their comfort zones, and into the world of real peoples.

From the beginning it was good. Witness the moment when the models were paired with the designers. As the choices were made, some of the designers (Elisa in particular) seemed truly happy to meet the model, while others (Jillian, Christian, Victorya) could only manage the most forced of smiles. Such marvelous suffering on the faces of such shallow peoples!

And then it was good bye to the Jack. Yes, the Manolo often found you annoying, but he was still sorry to see you leave in this manner, and he wishes you well. You should be given the chance to come back in the next season, Daniel Franco style.

After that, it was hello again to the Chris, even though it is now clear that your talent cannot overcome your innate desire to make the world your burlesque stage. Forget the Irma La Douce sash. What about the red kick pleat at the back of that skirt? You might as well have installed the feathery bird’s tail back there.

Happily, the loser was not our beloved (but inept) Chris. That honor was reserved for Steve, who produced the steaming pile of drab. The Manolo has nothing else to say but that this was the fully deserved expulsion. (By the way, there must be the entire story behind that woman’s decision to wear her old wedding dress out onto the stage. This story, the Manolo does not wish to hear.)

Speaking of just desserts, Jillian should not have been allowed to make it into the top three. She broke the rules. But, wonderful are her powers of self-justification, and her dress was good, even if it contained virtually none of the original outfit.

As for the winner, Christian, all the Manolo can say is “fierce this, motherfiercer” (insert rude hand gesture here). Your outfit was not all that, honey.

Worse, Christian is so terribly annoying, and his “talent” is nothing special. Yes, he can sew very fast, but then so could the Manolo’s aged granny, and dozens of other old women whom the Manolo knew back in the day. And when they were done sewing, these old ladies would get up and fix you the nice chicken dinner. All Christian is going to do is sit there, stroking his lop-sided noggin, while tossing off witless witticisms in that whining voice of his.

Advantage Grannies!

And yet, it was during the judging of Christian’s outfit that the single best moment of the evening arrived, when Michel Kors paid Christian the highest compliment in his entire arsenal by ecstatically shouting “But it’s Super Commercial.”

“But it’s super commercial!”

“Huzzah! Hip Hip Hooray! Bottle that and we shall sell it to the masses from the back of medicine wagons!”

“But it’s super commercial!”

“Praise the lord and pass the cash register!”

“But it’s super commercial!”

“Art be damned! Give us more Gap!”

“But it’s super commercial!”

Did you know that this is actually the motto on the Micheal Kors coat of arms, etched in gold right above the polecat rampant on the field of Indian head pennies?