Runway Recap: Did The Wrong Crappy Designer Go Home?

Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers about last Thursday’s episode of Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 1, “A Times Square Anniversary Party.” If you’re a fan of the show and you haven’t seen it yet — you stand warned.

So did the wrong crappy designer go home this week?

Ingrid and I have been debating this question at some length. We don’t have any doubt that both Beatrice and Lantie should have been the bottom two designers. (I disagree about the third slot: I actually had a certain amount of respect for Kooan’s original look, especially for its roots in Japanese “fruits” street fashion, and thought Buffi should have been in the bottom. Ingrid disagrees: she has a soft spot for Buffi’s shiny, candy-colored ’80s style.)

But the big question is: Of the two truly appalling sets of work, did the wrong crappy designer go home?

For the most part, I’m leaning towards saying Yes. Beatrice was marginally less bad than Lantie. They sent home the wrong crappy designer.

Project Runway Beatrice gray dress with poncho/cape

Here’s the thing about Beatrice’s work: That gray dress was very wearable. It was actually one of the few pieces on the runway this week that I might buy if I saw it on a dress rack. It was a nicely made basic, comfortable and wearable, with some interesting shape and details. With some better styling — or indeed, any styling at all other than “scary Aztec poncho” — it might have worked really well. I, personally, would wear the hell out of that dress: it’s good to have some nicely made neutral basics in your wardrobe, so you can wear stronger accessories without looking like a clown. That dress would make the perfect backdrop for some striking statement jewelry, maybe with kickass boots paired with colored or patterned tights. If it was in my closet, I’d probably wear it every week.

I do realize, of course, that Project Runway is not about “nicely made basics” or “perfect backdrops.” But at least Beatrice sent down one nice, wearable dress. And I can’t say the same for Lantie. There was not a damn thing that woman sent down the runway that I would wear on a bet. That white reworked crocheted thing looked like my grandmother’s tablecloth had angry drunken sex with a tacky prom dress from the mall. And her other piece looked like the tacky prom dress from the mall just sat in the bar by itself, drinking itself into a maudlin stupor until closing, and then tried to breast-feed a dead snake it found on the floor of the taxi. I’m afraid to go back on the Vicodin now, for fear of the opiate-induced dreams those dresses might give me.

Project Runway Lantie crochet dress

Project Runway Lantie snakeskin panel dress

But to play devil’s advocate:

Beatrice’s poncho/ cape thing… shudder.

Project Runway Beatrice poncho cape

Tom and Lorenzo called it “something you’d buy out of a van at a Phish concert,” and I can’t say anything bitchier or funnier or more accurate, so I’ll just leave it at that. And that ill-fitting top in the second look didn’t just look cheap — it looked cheap trying to look expensive. I have real respect for cheap — cheap often has a brazen “fuck you” charm, cheap can inspire real creativity, and cheap street fashion is where high fashion often gets its inspiration. But cheap trying to look expensive is just sad. It’s the worst of both worlds. And she even botched the simple pencil skirt. It looked okay if you didn’t get a good look at the hem; but that weird flap in the back did not work at all. It looked like the front had been hacked off with kitchen shears, in the dark, at three in the morning, by a ten year old. If you’re passing yourself off as the knitwear queen, and you can’t even do a simple pencil skirt without looking like an amateur, then shame on you.

Project Runway Beatrice top and skirt

Maybe more importantly: Beatrice herself acknowledged that she can’t sew. And that, just by itself, is enough to send her home. (Yes, yes, I know. Anya, Season 9. But Anya never said she couldn’t sew. She said she didn’t know how to sew, didn’t have more than a few months’ experience sewing. Clearly that woman could sew. She was some sort of savant genius. Which Beatrice clearly is not.)

And at least Lantie was going for something. Nothing good — but something. Something other than “wearable basic gray knitwear that could be used as a backdrop for fabulous accessories, but instead is being used as a backdrop for a poncho/ cape thing I wouldn’t have worn even when I was a Deadhead.”

So yeah. It’s a tough call. Thoughts?

Runway Recap: Did The Wrong Crappy Designer Go Home?

17 thoughts on “Runway Recap: Did The Wrong Crappy Designer Go Home?

  1. 1

    I had the same reaction as you, and I think your devil’s advocating might have pushed me away from my initial response – not in the sense that I care how much longer Lantie’s in, but that I’m less bothered by Beatrice going home. I’d liked her style in the “Road to the Runway” preview, but looking back – especially knowing from this episode that she can’t really sew* – it seems to me she’s more of a stylist/decorator sort than a designer. That’s not a bad thing: I recently saw The Roommate (a film crying out for MST treatment), and Minka Kelly’s wardrobe was gorgeous. …In fact, I think what I liked about Beatrice’s style was its similarity to that, especially the scarves. (I think if she’d done a nice scarf rather than that idiotic cape she might have squeaked through.)

    In any case, I don’t think Lantie’s long for the show. She seemed to think her looks were just fine, and I don’t believe they care for her aesthetic. But you never know…

    *I get annoyed at the great importance they place on sewing sometimes. Of course it’s important in the competition, but it’s not like Giorgio Armani’s sewing his own stuff. I’m sure the top designers do know how to sew and have to understand enogh to design clothes that can be made, but at that level I can’t imagine it’s that central of a skill. Speaking of which, I know they’re impressed by Ven technically, but I’m not feeling it. I hated that pink color, everything looked overworked and overly formal. And the zipper on the pants was poking out.

  2. 2

    Can I just say: I’m so happy you’re covering this, Greta! I love TLo, don’t get me wrong, but I spend all my time on FtB and I squealed like a hyena when I saw you had a Project Runway post up. My two guilty pleasures collide!

  3. 3

    Bleh. I totally agree with you. Why is fashion so… ugly? I have been having a hell of a time finding a simple cute skirt to wear. They’re either these horrid, flat things with no personality, or a waaaaay too frickin’ short skirt that I would be majorly uncomfortable wearing (tucking has – ehem – issues.)

    All I want to find is a nice mid-length skirt with some personality, some flirtiness, and some fun. One of my Pharyngulite friends – Triskelethecat – gave me this awesome black knee-length skirt with a bit of a pleat to it. It’s fun to wear and totally has personality!

    I can’t find anything like that!

  4. 5

    That white reworked crocheted thing looked like my grandmother’s tablecloth had angry drunken sex with a tacky prom dress from the mall. And her other piece looked like the tacky prom dress from the mall just sat in the bar by itself, drinking itself into a maudlin stupor until closing, and then tried to breast-feed a dead snake it found on the floor of the taxi. I’m afraid to go back on the Vicodin now, for fear of the opiate-induced dreams those dresses might give me.


    I haven’t seen the show yet, but I watch more to see creative people struggling to make fabulous than to see the end results, so spoilers usually don’t spoil it for me. I’m curious about the challenge itself, though (no, don’t anyone say!) The first one is usually a “use clothes you brought as your base materials” or “strip your hotel room and use that fabric,” which makes me wonder where that awful print in the poncho came from. And that (hopefully) faux fur.

  5. 6

    I agreed with who they picked as bottom two. I was OK with their choice of who to send home, but I would have voted to send Lantie. Of her two looks, the flower one reminded me of a tacky 60’s hat your aunt would wear, but that you’d never have been caught dead in. Or those awful flowered bathing caps your mom made you wear for swim class. The other dress actually made the fashion model look fat and dumpy. I’m just a home sewer, and I think I could make a more attractive dress in a day than that. The colors on that dress were sad, and why a bib? Both dresses and the designer’s own dress had bibs hanging down the front. (Can we honor the snake and remove the bib from that dress and make a nice purse out of it or something?)

    At this stage of the game, the question should be “who do I want to see more from?” Between the knitwear designer with marginal sewing skill and the bib lady, I’d prefer to see more of the knitwear.

    And I think I’d have picked Ven as the winner. Christopher’s dress was very nice, but the sculptural rose on Ven’s outfit was stunning. I’ll have my eye on him as a possible winner.

  6. 7

    Gregory in Seattle(slight spoiler here):

    Sadly, she had ample time and infinite options from which to pick that poncho fabric. The challenge was to bring in a look that they made beforehand, so she must have actually thought it was exactly what she wanted.

    Katherine Lorraine:

    Not sure what your budgetary constraints are, but here are some online retailers that have a lot of nice midlength skirts: J. Crew, ModCloth, J. Jill, Boden, Weston Wear.

  7. 9

    Haha, I love that Phish poncho. I’d wear the hell out of it, although probably at a Phish festival or Burning Man. So I guess y’all are right about it.

  8. ik

    What on earth is wrong with that pencil skirt? It looks like my first attempt at sheet metal work!

    I am not sure what is so bad about the sheer red top, but the belt definitely doesn’t match. It looks really awful.

  9. 11

    I know absolutely nothing about fashion, and I’ve never watched Project Runway until this season when my roommate hooked me on it, but I concur. I liked Beatrice’s first skirt very much, and I couldn’t stand anything of Lantie’s. What’s worse, if you watch the prologue episode (it shows some of the audition process and introduces all the designers – its on the website) pretty much ALL of Lantie’s dresses have a similar “bib” panel on the front. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was out soon.

    I’m delighted that Christopher won – I thought his dress was stunning (although I’m probably biased because I think I’m in love with him). The burgeoning rivalry between he and Gunnar will be interesting to watch unfold. I’m not normally violent but I can already imagine wanting to bludgeon Gunnar with a roll of fabric. Or perhaps just cut his hair.

  10. 12

    James – I’m glad he won, just to piss off Gunner. Gunner Deathrage. Gunner. Death. Rage.

    Christ, If that isn’t a name for a 14 year old Slayer fan, I don’t know what is.

    I cannot take him seriously. Did you see him in the workroom waving that bit of cloth and squeaking “I’m having a fiiiit” I nearly choked on my own uncontrollable laughter!

    Uhoh, My yearly shameful love for the Proj is surfacing…

  11. 14

    I’m not normally violent but I can already imagine wanting to bludgeon Gunnar with a roll of fabric. Or perhaps just cut his hair.

    James Croft and I agree. The end of the universe is nigh.

    (I always knew accommodationists were repressed thugs and Romneyan bullies.


  12. 15

    I once made a top from a pattern that ended up having what I now realise is an eerie resemblance to the sheer red top. I kept it in my drawer for over a year since I never felt good enough in it to keep it on for more than an hour and I made it so was more hesitant about throwing it out. One day I ended up just sticking it through the serger almost completely at random until it turned into a skirt. It took maybe an hour to make it into something I wear all the time now.

    Also, since I haven’t seen this season, did anyone comment that there is a Vogue pattern that looks almost exactly like that top?

  13. 16

    I was out of town last week and didn’t catch up on the premiere until last night. Can I just say I love TLo and I’m delighted that you read them too, Greta.

    I started watching PR during Season 3 because I’m a Barbie collector and had heard Robert Best would be on this show. It was a fellow collector who turned me on to TLo; at the time their blog was called Project Rungay and they were just getting started.

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