Project Runway Post-Show Chat, Week 6

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 19 2010 12:40 AM

Project Runway Post-Show Chat, Week 6

After each episode of

Project Runway's

June Thomas June Thomas

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

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seventh season, a gaggle of Slatesters will gather to dish about the show. This week the challenge was to create a fashionable age-appropriate children's look, with a "corresponding" adult outfit. Seth Aaron Henderson was the winner; Janeane Marie Ceccanti was sent home.

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Jessica Grose: This week was a big improvement over last week . Including children was a genius twist—the little buggers certainly were charming, especially Anthony's vampy wee one. The top designers are really pulling ahead of the pack: The tailoring on Seth Aaron's modish motorcycle jacket was impeccable, and the design on his kids outfit was whimsical and sweet. As you predicted last week, David, Janeane was auf 'd, and good riddance to that Debbie Downer. Her "taste level" as the Proj Run judges often put it, was not up to snuff. Janeane is so down on herself that in her exit interview, she said: "I'm going to be international in the next two years. Not huge, but around." With that kind of attitude—not to mention her sub-pardesign skills—she is destined for mediocrity.

David Plotz: I knew Janeane was gone as soon as they showed her on the phone with her husband. That always telegraphs: I'm done .

I'm sure I can't be trusted, because I have a crush on her, but I thought the banishing of Amy to the bottom two was absurd. Her kid outfit was incredibly cute in all respects, and the petal clown pants were courageous.

June Thomas: I'm with you. I was mad at the judges for not respecting Amy's risk-taking. And I loved her kids outfit—it felt sophisticated andage-appropriate. And that's without noting some of the horror shows that thesafe designers snuck by the judges. Emilio has lost it for me. His kid's dress looked like a combination nightgown/communion dress, and the adult outfit that was supposed to "correspond" with it was straight-up hooker.

D.P.: Totally agree about Emilio, who seemed to have sized his ugly communion dress for a 10-year-old, not a 6-year-old. No daughter of mine would be permitted in Jonathan's scratchy yellow horror. Jay's outfit would be perfect for a little girl a little girl who spends most of her time in S&M-themed wine bars.

J.T.: The ruffles on Jay's ensembles were technically impressive I wanted to stare at them like some kind of optical illusion but the colors felt way too dark.

J.G.: I agree about Amy's kids outfit! It reminded me of something from the now-defunct kiddie store Oilily. I thought the colors were vibrant and fun.

D.P.: I mostly loved the little girls, but the couture-ing of children is a generally repellent phenomenon. Whenever I see children tarted up in fashion magazines, I want to stick my daughter in a potato sack. I'm all for little girls dressing cute, but I hate the idea of indoctrinating them with fashionism. They will learn it in due time why rush it? And why praise it?

J.G.: I don't think this was indoctrinating them with "fashionism." The majority of little girls like dressing up this wasn't the tarted-up ickiness of Toddlers and Tiaras . These outfits were age-appropriate, and the girls appeared to be excited for the opportunity to prance down the runway, not as if they were pushed into expressing themselves.

BTW, Plotz, when I was 10, I coveted a pair of jeans shorts with brown leather fringe. Make of that what you will.

But back to the designs I thought the way Jesse's designs worked together was quite clever, but good God, I hate his stupid hats and his untied bowtie. Does his little cap not make you want to punch him in the face?

J.T.: Until tonight, Jesse's only role in the show was to draw my hate. He comes across as a selfish, unserious person. But I have to admit, I'm a sucker for an untied bowtie. It's a look I'd sport myself if I were a little more confident.

Still, I liked his kids outfit, with its askew lines and the lovely gray and red palette. And all praise for the jacket, but I didn't like his adult look. It was poorly made around the bodice, and he seemed to use the same belt that Ben did last week though I suppose there's only so much to choose from on the Bluefly.com Accessories Wall (TM).

J.G.: It would be adorable on you, June, and not raise my ire. Maybe it's just his smug, annoying face beneath the chapeau .

What did we think of guest judge Tory Burch? I thought her Quaalude delivery didn't add much to the proceedings.

J.T.: Tory Burch was a human-size dollop of prettiness sitting in the guest judge's chair, but she contributed nothing beyond that.

D.P.: Besides Amy, the dresses that meet my dress code were Mila's dress , which was dull but fine, and Jesse's (though I thought the adult outfit was slightly Nazi stewardess). Seth Aaron certainly deserved to win—I loved the watermelon-shaped pockets—though I personally am not a gigantic fan of little kids in hoodies.

J.T.: I loved the whimsicality of Seth Aaron's kids look, and I'm glad he won. I'm hoodie agnostic, but it did seem as if there was too much stuff bunched up around the back of his adorable model's head. All that fabric reminded me of the ultra-padded Olympic snowboarders uniforms.

D.P.: Curiously, though Janeane certainly deserved the boot, I didn't object to her sacky red kid's dress . It wasn't fashion, but a girl would look fine in it.

J.T.: There was absolutely no doubt that Janeane had to go, but her looks were inoffensive. Her adult jacket, the one that Michael said looked like a "home ec. Project," was far from the worst thing on the runway tonight. But Heidi was right: It's a design competition, and producing garments that women will look "fine" in is not the point of the show.

J.G.: I thought Kors was on fire tonight with the quips. I particularly enjoyed when he called Jonathan's models "Conceptual toilet paper twins."

D.P.: Jonathan's pitch-perfect imitation of Kors early in the hour inoculated me against the quips. Jonathan's mockery made it obvious how formulaic Kors' one-liners can be.

J.T.: Amen. Best Project Runway impression since Santino's Tim Gunn.

D.P.: We've barely mentioned what I think was the truly stellar design of the night, which is Seth Aaron's mod, fake-houndstooth, adult jacket. Wow that was cool!

J.T.: It was gorgeous, and he styled the hell out of his model. Her look was edgy but nothing that would scare the kids.

J.G.: Agreed! Best thing that's been on the runway all season.

D.P.: So over the years, P.R. has done moms, pro wrestlers, teenage girls, formerly fat ladies, heart disease victims, and now little girls. I am worried that there is only one place left to go next season ... dogs.

J.G.: They did dogs in Season 3. And drag queens.

D.P.:  Oh, my God, you're right. Then it will probably be the homeless.

J.G.: Tyra's already done a homeless challenge on America's Next Top Model , so they'd be following in her big, brassy footsteps. 

Previous chats: Weeks 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

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