Hello. My name is Joshua David Stein. Today we will be discussing Project Runway, Harvey Weinstein's ailing reality television show that has to do with fashion and the human heart. Last night was that show's finale.
The fifth has been a brutal bruising hurricane season of Project Runway, full of tempests and tulle. Wednesday nights have ended typically in disgust and the nausea of knowing you've partaken in something unclean. For me and many of you—-you too, Joe the Plumber—the finale was a relief, not just because the winner deserved the honor of victory but because finally this sad vessel of Saturn and spite has finally found port and won't trouble our waters any longer.Gloom aside, though the season offered the most meager of heroes and the most grating of personalities, the runway collections, I think, were some of the best of all the seasons. Kenley's collection was full of color and ruffles and managed to cull from her the best of her personality (color and ruffles) and not the worst (underminery cheesefaced bitch!) Korto's collection, as MIchael Kors correctly pointed out, managed to incorporate her ethnicity whilst not avoiding the costumey. The rich deciduous green Korto used for her signature look, a spin on a classic halter top, was arresting yet not jarring. And Leanne. I'm no petal pusher or concept slut. But her Wave Collection effortlessly wed a clear, concise and fertile concept with aesthetic beauty and wearability. It is only fitting that Leanne won. Her collection embodied the craft of Korto while adding the intellectual rigor of Comme Des Garcons, Rick Owens, Martin Margiela and other successful avant garde houses. It was only Kenley's collection that, upon closer inspection, fails in terms of ideas (there were none), craftmanship (capable but not outstanding) and originality (Balenciaga Spring 2008, Ready To Wear). Leanne deserved to win not only for her collection but for her response to Heidi's query, "Why do you deserve to win?" Korto reverted to tautology. "I deserve to win," she seemed to say, "because I am worthy of winning." Useless. She did cry. Kenley, who also cried and whose voice warbled like the black-throated green warbler she is, said something (I think though again this is just a guess) about how she has personality and came to New York with personality and that she is capable of doing much more than what she did. She basically admitted that though what she has done thus far doesn't warrant victory, what she might do in the future does. It is no surprise that the judges decided not to award her a current trophy for something she has yet to accomplish. Only Leanne answered the question forthrightly with rock solid reasons and aplomb. "I'm innovative," she said, which is true. "Half of my fabrics are sustainable." Nailed it. She fucking nailed it. Never having to hear Kenley's voice again gives one the same sense of relief after having moved from a fifth floor walk up for two years into an elevator building. (A supposition. I'm still in the walkup.) Yet seeing her father in this final episode gives one a peek into perhaps why Kenley is annoying as she is. Her father, the tugboat captain, never smiled and looked, on the whole, as if he'd rather be on the deck of a ship somewhere. It's very unlikely that he noticed the rope details with which Kenley sought to bind herself and her work to him. No wonder she acts out for attention. When shall we see Project Runway again? The future of the show is murky and doubtful, buffeted about by the superegos of Harvey and Lifetime. If and when the next season airs, we'll be asked to throw our emotional lot in with another group of eager contestants. We'll go through the motions of being depressed, outraged, confused and engaged. But just as surely as seasons change, leaves fall and Michael Kors grows cattier every day, so too does the utility and relevance of Project Runway diminish. We may see you all on the runway again but the real question is if we'll care. Before I leave, I'd like to thank Mister Hippity, Richard Lawson and all those who have journeyed with us this season. It has been a pleasure and an honor to work beside and amongst you. Your dedication and perseverance in the face of a season with little to commend it is impressive, a boon to me, to our readers and to all who value a vital and honest exchange of ideas. And with that, auf Wiedersehen, I'm out.
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