Thursday, October 19, 2006

'Project Runway 3' Episodes 11 and 13 - the power of three


The power of three reigned throughout Project Runway, Season 3. In particular, Episode 11 - What the Elle can be recapped in three phrases: three shown-n-tell assignments, three adjectives, and four is the new three.

Additionally, since in Episode 13-Finale, only one of the final four designers could win three were auf'd. My, my, my.


Three Show-N-Tell Assignments: Tasks One and Two

The four designers were assigned three show-n-tell tasks, two of which diverged from the usual design challenges. The first two tasks were delivered by Nina Garcia, who hosted a visit to Elle magazine. Task One (SHOW ): create a signature design to be featured in Elle magazine's First Look page. Task Two (TELL): choose three adjectives describing your point of view as a designer.

Back at Parsons New York, the designers chose these descriptors:

  • Jeffrey Sebelia's: romantic, irreverent, provocative
  • Laura Bennett's: competent, elegant, glamourous
  • Michael Knight's: sexy, sensual, sultry
  • Uli Herzner's: fun, life [sic], adventurous

Task Three: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words or Three Memes and a Babe

Tim Gunn added another wrinkle to the challenge, substantially hiking up the designers' excitement and stress levels. A mere half day before the already tight deadline for finishing assignments One and Two, he squeezed this SHOW assignment out of clenched teeth: outfit the models and capture, in a photograph, the essence of your design perspective.

At this point, all the contestants - except Michael - began fraying at the seams. Michael, as usual, worked fastest and most efficiently and finished with a margin of time to spare. What came to mind was Bravo TV's Project Runway 3 Heid Klum as a sinister priestess holding in the palm of her hand the designers' shrunken heads stuck in a voodoo-like pin cushion.

The upshot: I thought all four designs, descriptors and photos worked well together, but the judges disagreed. They panned Jeffrey and Michael, liked Laura's but cautioned, once again, against becoming a one-note, and loved Uli's, which won the Elle magazine First Look spread.


This time, no one was eliminated. The judges broke pattern, choosing the final four, rather than three, designers to show Bryant Park. Whoo hoo! Happiness prevailed throughout Project Runway land, on screen and among fans.


In Episode 13 - Finale, Jeffrey's model Marilinda and his 12-piece collection bagged the ultimate prizes. Also-rans Laura (whose chic showing of evening and cocktail wear was my second favorite), Michael (whose earlier great work was cheaper by the dozen, disappointing us fans) and Uli (whose collection I thought was best) were winners, too, in that they got to show Bryant Park and receive exposure and positive reviews from fashionistas and fans alike.

My reaction to the outcome:

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

- Gomer Pyle, USMC


I'll unravel more reactions in Project Runway 3, Episode 13-Finale shows a collection of winners and losers, even before Bryant Park .###