Hey Malvin! That sounds great! After 5 seasons of obsessive Project Runway viewing, we can tell ya, that’s exactly what gets the judges moist. Good for you for figuring it out so early in the game! So, what’s your idea for this challenge?
“My concept revolves around the idea of fertility. I’m playing around with images of eggs, birds’ nests; basically this look is called ‘The Mother Hen.’”
We’ll help you pack your things.
With two “conceptual” designers auf’d in the first two episodes under the new regime, we have to wonder, does the Bunim/Murray team have a less heavy-handed approach toward influencing the judges than the Magical Elves somewhat infamously did?
After all, in past seasons, designers like Ari and Malvin were usually kept in the game for having a “point of view,” which among the more cynical-minded viewers (like us) translated as “keep them in because they’re entertaining.”
It’s possible that B/M is taking a hands-off approach. One of the rumors we heard while this season was in production was that the new producers had “heard the fans’ complaints” and were adjusting accordingly. But consider this: the first two challenges out of the gate were as basic as it gets: red carpet and maternity, the dictates of which amounted to “make pretty dresses that women want to wear.” It’s rare for PR to start out with such basic challenges and both challenges are the kind that traditionally trip up the Lupes and Elisas and Dianas of the show.
So let’s talk about his chicken costume.
The one thing for which we’ll give him credit is that he ditched the hilariously bad jodhpurs idea. Then again, when Tim greets your idea with a “Ohhh, Malvin,” can you really be credited with having good instincts?
There’s really not a lot to say about this look other than it started from a bad place conceptually and never once stopped along the way to consider both the practical points and the aesthetic ones. In other words, he never once gave a thought to how your average pregnant woman (let alone your, shall we say, above-average pregnant woman in the person of Rebecca Romijn) wants to look.
Nina nailed it when she said she looked like she was wearing a baby sling. Most new mothers will tell you that such things are practically essential to get through the day but we doubt very many of them praise it as a flattering or fashion-forward look. Otherwise, they’d continue to wear them up until their babies graduate high school.
Furthermore, most pregnant women we know do not want to wear garments that ADD volume to her silhouette, which is what all those folds and twists did.
Sure, from a pure design, pure concept perspective, they’re a little interesting and it’s worth noting that the judges, Nina in particular, seemed to appreciate them. But Project Runway isn’t a “pure design, pure concept” kind of venue. It is a reality television show with fairly structured hoops that the designers have to jump through in order to get a chance at winning a hundred grand. It is, in effect, a high-end game show. It’s also in its 6th season, so we have no sympathy for any contestant who doesn’t realize that by now.
“One of the best things about this experience is that I’ve learned how strong I am grounded as a designer, as a philosopher, and as a person.”
You know, that’s all well and good honey, but it’s a lot of hot air. You weren’t here to have your philosophies reaffirmed; you were here to win a hundred thousand bucks and get some exposure.
We’re being perhaps a little hard on him. You could tell he was shocked and saddened by his auf’ing. Like we said when Ari went home, we’re all for bringing your concepts to the table, but you have to understand the milieu in which you’re working and adjust yourself accordingly. Too bad for him that he didn’t understand that.
“I’m too conceptual for America.”
Oh, Jesus. Please go.
Extended Judging Video: