Friday, February 1, 2013

Project Runway Season 11, Episode 2: "Balls are Our Business"

So Susan Sarandon apparently likes ping-pong... Episode 2 opened with the same teams of designers as last week heading over to SPiN, a ping-pong social club owned by the Thelma and Louise star. 

Is this a thing?  Now I am admittedly uncool and live in flyover country, but is table tennis a thing now?  I am so very out of the loop.  Also, does anyone else think that giving people paddles and serving them alcohol is a recipe for disaster?  Or at least inappropriateness?  Especially when added to the tagline that "balls are our business?"  I've also always believed that darts is a terribly dangerous game to allow the drunk to play, but I digress...

Anyway, the "Dream Team" and team "Keeping it Real" are tasked with designing uniforms for 3 female servers, a male server, and a male "ball boy."  But they can't start designing until they have had to work a shift at the club where poor Tu manages to drop and smash multiple drinks despite his previous restaurant experience.  Tu, I really hope this design thing works out for you because you are terrible at your day job. 

Team Keeping it Real manages to work together with minimal drama.  Daniel and Layana pair up to design a skort and vest combo for a female member of the waitstaff while the charming Richard pairs with the adorable Joseph (he of the round glasses and crazy cat sweaters) to create a harness for their ball boy.  The only personality issue faced by this team is some concern voiced by Patricia that she isn't getting an opportunity to express her point of view as she has been tasked only with creating a pair of "leggins."  Tim Gunn rightly points out that this bit of egoism could easily lead to over designing.  However this particular problem is unsurprising when 8 designers are tasked with making 5 outfits as only so many artistic visions can be accommodated. Despite this minor issue, I believe this team was smart about pairing some of their strongest and weakest designers to work together.

The Dream Team continued their tradition of being a disaster.  Aussie Benjamin Mach is clearly panicked by the lack of taste and skill demonstrated by certain members of his team (namely Cindy) and winds up working in some capacity on several different outfits and repeatedly declaring himself to be a "natural leader."  James, blaming the team for his placement in the bottom 3 in week one decides to work solo, only changing his design after Tim Gunn's critique of a truly hideous violet trapeze top being made for one of the male models.  Cindy makes a tailored jacket which is too formal and too fussy for either the challenge or the tank that Benjamin made to match.  Meanwhile hip "geek girl" Michelle jokingly suggests making a kilt and later wishes herself off her team to the other women at the Atlas hotel.

In the end team "Keeping it Real" was the clear winner despite their inane name.  However I think that both teams showed a mixed bag of hits and misses. Despite landing in the bottom 3, I actually really liked the kilt created for one of the "ball boys."  I think the logo flap over the models private parts was in poor taste and ridiculous but I otherwise thought that it was sort of cool.  I'd much rather see something interesting that misses the mark than something "safe." 


In the end, Layana was named the winner for her "utility skort."  I have mixed feeling about this. First of all a skort is not a particularly fashion forward item.  At the same time it's incredibly appropriate for the challenge and I could see a mass produced version become a uniform staple.  Secondly, I didn't particularly like the vest.  I like the idea of the vest.  I like the idea of the asymmetry mirroring the bounce of the ping-pong balls.  But I don't like the execution.  I think it was too short and the shape of the collar was just too frilly or flowery or otherwise off.  Third and lastly, if this outfit was going to win, it should have gone to Daniel who tutored Layana in how to drape a pant.  On the other hand, he is the one who told the judges that Layana should win... because he won the week before.  Well Mr. Daniel?  You many not have won immunity this week but you definitely won the prize for understanding the spirit of teamwork!

1 comment:

  1. I was also surprised by this ping pong social club. Although a hipster bowling alley did just open near me, so maybe ping pong is next? I'll be interested to see how close to this design the actual server outfits are when they produce this or if they will modify it. I guess it's difficult with the time restraints for the challenges and working as a team, but i just haven't been that impressed by the designs.