Project Runway
Road To The Runway

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Jeff Long: A | Grade It Now!
Road To The Runway

Houston must have not been that fruitful -- we're moving on to Miami. Robert Plotkin, from Season 1, is going to help with judging. We see Robert drinking a Mai Tai and flirting with a girl beside a pool. He interviews that a lot of people have hugged him since the show. Everyone from twelve-year-old girls to sixty-year-old men. What a disgusting combo. As well, Playgirl wants to do a full spread of him and he isn't sure if that's "frontal or rear." What magazine just does naked shots of butts? Please no one answer that. He furthermores that there is a website for people who liked his ass, and he thanks those fans. I wonder if there's a website for people afraid of his nipples.

During the interviews, Robert asks one lady why she wants to be on the show. "I've come out of coma, so I think I have a great story." That's awesome. One girl is in head-to-toe pink and just generally crazy-looking. Robert informs her that, on the show, you have to deal with a lot of stress, therefore the girl won't be able to think about pink so much. I know, it doesn't really make sense to me either. One girl declares that she likes to incorporate "weird objects" into her designs. "Are these condoms?" Robert asks as he handles one of her designs. "Mind if I take some?" Ah, Robert. He's nothing if not professional.

Next, a blonde girl walks in and remarks that she knows them from TV. She's a Southerner. They asks her about her portfolio, which includes a page with the Project Runway logo and, underneath it, her apparent mantra, "I so want to be in." She kind of races through how she created the portfolio just for this opportunity and the people she works with think she can do it and she wants to cry but she is not going to. Then she shows them her work, which consists of an old scarf that she transformed into a blouse and a skirt made of upholstery fabric. Sounds cooler than it looks. The fabrics are nice ideas, but her tailoring skills seem to be lacking. Tim tells her that she is a semifinalist (proving false my theory about the insane/semifinalist divide) and she asks, "Can I hug y'all?"

She interviews that her name is Heidi Standridge and she is a twenty-five-year-old childrenswear designer from Atlanta. We see a video of her in her house with computer printouts of the phrase "Think 'IN'" all over her stairwell. She ends her video with "Have a great day." This girl is right on the line. You can tell she's pushing the whole cute Southern girl angle and I don't know whether to hate her or respect her ingenuity.

The L.A. leg of their search is next, and is taking place at the Downtown Standard hotel. Kara Saun is one of the judges. She interviews that she has been going "nonstop" since the show. She is working with business plan writers and marketing companies. I guess that's a big deal. We see her ask one guy why he would "stand out." He's the guy on the credits who says, "Heck yeah, I'm gonna win this." He explains that he is an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design. He teaches pattern-making and sketching. He says that all of his students tell him that he should be on the show. If true, that's very telling. If his students all think that he should be on the show, when it's an opportunity that most of them could use as well? Seems like they must really respect him. ["Or they think he's a natural-born attention whore." -- Sars] He says that he "missed the mark" by being in L.A. instead of New York. The design that he shows is a bias-cut with a fishtail hem. It has what he calls an "angel wing" back. It's a low-cut back with extra fabric on the straps, creating what indeed looks like angel wings. It has a cowl front (draped neckline -- hey, I had to look it up) and an invisible zipper. It's made of silk charmeuse. I'm wondering if we're seeing charmeuse a lot because of Michael Kors's remarks last season about how difficult it is to tailor charmeuse. If so, good for them for trying to impress. This guy's gown is really pretty. He has a model with him and the dress hangs on her really beautifully. Tim tells him that he is a semifinalist and he is thrilled. This guy seems cool.

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Project Runway




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