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Project Runway Canada: Let’s Go Camping Challenge

March 26, 2009
Not Paris- the great Canadian camping experience

Not Paris- the great Canadian camping experience

And the beat goes on this week with an exciting episode full of surprises for the designers and us- we get an avant-garde challenge and an unexpected team challenge that both revives the group and pushes their skills and vision. The final judging decision is hotly debated by viewers of the show- more about that later.

Gimme Shelter Challenge- Otherwise known as The Designers Go Camping

Iman comes in and tells the designers that “they’re about to have an adventure and get back to basics.” The challenge comes in via a note card in the designers’ mansion stating that the designers are going.. camping. The designers had hoped for a trip to Paris a la Project Runway (US) season 3 when the designers were flown to Paris for a challenge. Nope- this is a good ol’ Canadian kind of challenge involving smores and beers by the campfire.

Jessica: “I hate camping.”

Adejoke: “Black people don’t go camping. They don’t do that.”

Kim: “So much for Paris.”

We're going.. camping.

We're going.. camping.

The designers pack their backpacks and off they go into the woods where Brian Bailey awaits their arrival. Kim packs 14 beers, her silver fox stole, and her leg warmers, explaining “That’s all you need.” Sunny has no idea what to bring because it’s his first time: “I only do resorts.” Hm, I kinda like camping.

City-slicker designers arrive. Only Kim seems to be embracing this challenge.

City-slicker designers arrive. Only Kim seems to be embracing this challenge.

"So much for Paris." - Kim

"So much for Paris." - Kim

They arrive on location- a beautiful Canadian lakeside setting. Brian Bailey stands next to three tents on the side of the lake and tells the designers that this is a team challenge. Sunny won the last challenge (Coco Rocha dress challenge) and he goes first, picking Jessica. Kim tells the behind-the-scenes camera that she figures that Sunny picked “Jessica because she won the last two challenges. But she’s won them for no good reason.” That means that Adejoke and Kim are together. Brian announces that one more team is competing in the challenge; Kim is stunned and Adejoke grimaces. Out of the tents come.. Genevieve and Jason!? The only one who seems truly happy is Kim who is jumping up and down at Genevieve and Jason’s return.

"I'm back!" - Genevieve

"I'm back!" - Genevieve

Surprise!

Surprise!

Brian explains that team Jason and Genevieve must win the challenge in order to stay in the competition, otherwise they will be out. If they win, then one of the other teams will be going home. Two people are going home for the challenge. It’s a big deal.

The challenge is to create two looks out of the camping survival materials. One look must be ‘avant-garde’ while the other must be ready-to-wear inspired by the first look. The designers have to choose what materials they will use as fabric and what they will use to survive the night in the woods.

The pack is back

The pack is back

Brian leaves with the stuff and tells the designers: “The stakes are incredibly high on this challenge.”

Back to surviving the camping trip, Genevieve, Jason and Kim are swimming in the lake while Sunny, Jessica and Adejoke are attemping to cook something to eat.

"If I could lose and come back that would be a perfect dream." - Sunny

"If I could lose and come back it would be a perfect dream." - Sunny

Sunny: “If I could lose and come back it would be a perfect dream. Did I say that out loud?”

Adejoke: “…You’re saying what everyone else is thinking.”

Adejoke, Sunny, and Jessica call it an early night. Later, by the campfire while Genevieve is away, Kim tells Jason to watch out for Genevieve, warning him that “she’s a really tough cookie, man. You have to lay down the law. Cause she’ll run you ***** blind if you don’t.” Genevieve comes back and asks them “What are you guys talking about?” Jason and Kim say nothing.

"You have to lay the law." - Kim

"You have to lay the law." - Kim to Jason

Brian comes to get them in the morning and head back to the city to complete the challenge. Off they go and start working on their designs.

In the Work Room

Adejoke recommends that Kim make the avant-garde outfit and that she’ll make the ready-to-wear. Jason starts to come to terms with having Genevieve as a partner; he feels that she’s “cocky”.

Jessica is feeling that there’s a weird mood in the work room every time she walks in. We find out from Kim that she and the others were talking about Sunny and Jessica, feeling that “they don’t have a hope in hell- we’re tired of Sunny winning all the freaking challenges and we’re tired of Jessica sliding through on like sh**y garments.”

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Sunny: “It’s sh**y. Kim got a second chance. Jason and Genevieve obviously got a second chance. I’ve been working really hard to get to this point. And let’s say I get voted off, I don’t get a second chance at this point. It sucks.”

Sunny’s not having a good time. He says that he’s feeling a lot of anger about what’s going on in the work room and he’s not impressed with Genevieve’s design: “If another bubble dress makes it through I’m gonna be f*****g upset.”

Brian likes Kim and Adejoke’s idea but warns them about execution. Brian warns Sunny and Jessica about the details, and tells Jason and Genevieve to make it work between them.

Adejoke worries about Kim wanting Jason and Genevieve to win so that they stay in the competition and Kim could be in second place. Adejoke wants her to worry about them first. I agree; better to try to ace the challenge than to aim for second-best.

Kim: “If Adejoke f****s up and makes me go home, do you know how mad I’m gonna be?”

screen-capture-101

That evening the designers each get to make a phone call to someone from home. Each reach someone- some call their mom, others call their partners. Everyone reaches someone except for Kim. She calls over and over again and she’s crushed. This is a really low moment for her and it’s a sad scene to watch. We feel how alone Kim is and disappointed. Kim says that she doesn’t have a huge life, a huge family, job, etc. to go home to after this show and she really wants to make it. This is one of the few times that we really connect with her and see her point of view and the high pressure to succeed. I suddenly want her to excel and win this competition. I hate to see anyone that low.

Day of the Show

In come the models for a fitting and Kim’s shorts are too small by 4 inches. Yikes. She does her best to make them fit by adding fabric. Brian approaches Adejoke and asks her how things are going. Adejoke expresses that her and Kim have different work styles and Adejoke tells Brian that she is more serious about winning than Kim is and that she has better construction skills. We agree but when you’re a team, you’re a team. You have to help each other!

Genevieve and Jason are happy with their work and they’re feeling very confident, which is no surprise from Genevieve because she doesn’t often appear to lack confidence. Correction: Genevieve NEVER appears to lack confidence.

Styling: Sunny’s cone head for his model is brilliant. Nice work hair artists!

The Runway Show

Guest Judge: Fashion designer Rachel Roy.

Sunny’s design: Modern, perfect, futuristic puffy down jacket with silver spikes down one arm. I want it!

Sunny's avant-garde design

Sunny's avant-garde design

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Jessica’s design: Fun jacket, totally wearable, almost Asian-inspired with fitted pencil skirt. Gorgeous. I want that too.

Jessica's ready-to-wear design

Jessica's ready-to-wear design

Team Jessica and Sunny

Team Jessica and Sunny

Genevieve’s design: a long black v-neck tank top with a long black poofy skirt and silver foil-like strand detailing. Not at all innovative-looking and very predictable from her.

Genevieve's avant-garde design

Genevieve's avant-garde design

Jason’s design: high-waist skirt with poof trim paired with slim tailored black jacket. No cohesion with Genevieve’s look whatsoever. His is far better than hers although neither is very imaginative.

Jason's ready-to-wear design

Jason's ready-to-wear design

Team Genevieve and Jason

Team Genevieve and Jason

Kim’s design: wide-legged blue and grey pants with cute semi-transparent top with fanning collar. I like it; definitely her style and a little off the wall but still fun. Somewhat rave and super-hero inspired.

Kim's avant-garde design

Kim's avant-garde design

screen-capture-231

Adejoke’s design: not very fun or very interesting. Forgettable.

Adejoke's ready-to-wear design

Adejoke's ready-to-wear design

The Judging

Jason and Genevieve go first. Everyone loves their work. Am I the only one who’s just not feeling this team’s work? Genevieve’s design- we’ve seen it before a gazillion times. Jason’s design- not very exciting. What’s the point? The judges love this team’s work. I’m confused.

Team Kim and Adejoke get nailed for Kim’s poor construction. Adejoke gets props for doing excellent tailoring. Iman: “Finally, Adejoke. But then it was the stronger of the two and it didn’t make it cohesive.”

Lack of cohesion and construction skills could take down team Adejoke and Kim

Lack of cohesion and construction skills could take down team Adejoke and Kim

Oh no. This is not good for Adejoke.

Sunny and Jessica: everyone adores it their creations.

Iman to Jessica: “Restricted ready-to-wear.”

Rita to Jessica: “Love it love it love it love it! Clothes that have a sense of humour and are still chic.”

Rita: "Love it love it love it love it!"

Rita: "Love it love it love it love it!"

The designers are dismissed while the judges debate privately.

Meanwhile, backstage…

Kim, to Jessica: “Did you think your model was about to choke because her collar was too tight?”

Kim, to Jessica: “It was funny that they said that your construction was perfect and your garment fit perfectly even though your model couldn’t breathe.”

Jessica, to Kim: “It was really tight. I mean, you could see that it was really tight.”

Kim: “I thought that that was funny. I kinda chuckled at my end of the runway.”

screen-capture-281

During the private judging, Shawn Hewson agrees with Kim’s opinion about Jessica’s tight jacket: “Hers wasn’t the most wearable.”

screen-capture-312

But Shawn also describes Kim’s work as “Backward for me. I saw that through the ’90s.”

Rita: “I think that Adejoke had the misfortune of creating a very strong outfit but with a partner who is not nearly as strong and as a team, not cohesive.”

Shawn says that as a team, it wasn’t fashion. All the ladies disagree. Sorry Shawn, you’re outnumbered on this one.

Rita and Rachel love Genevieve’s top and say that it saved “what was going on with the skirt.” I disagree; I’m so bored with Genevieve’s aesthetic. It’s not new! Where’s the 2009 in that design- let alone avant-garde?

Shawn loves Jason and Genevieve’s team work: “They nailed it.”

Whatever. I’m yawning.

The judges try to differentiate who was better construction-wise between team Sunny and Jessica and team Jason and Genevieve. “They’re equally as good,” Iman. “It’s a decision we have to make and live with.”

Oh dear. This is not boding well for Adejoke.

The designers return and Iman announces that for the first time ever on PRC, there are two winning teams: Sunny and Jessica, and Jason and Genevieve. Jessica calls it a “bittersweet win because they told Adejoke that it was her best piece and they kicked her out on it. It’s Kim’s fault.”

Kim: “I’m sad and mad.”

Adejoke: “I told Jessica you better beat these people.”

I’m disappointed with this decision. Who wouldn’t be? Adejoke should not have gone home. Not surprising that Kim is upset about going home; is she mad at herself? I’m not sure.

If this challenge was about construction and vision, the judges should have sent Kim home and either Genevieve or Jason- but not Adejoke. She earned her spot as a final 4 in that challenge. I suppose that at least she is leaving doing her best work on the show. I can’t believe I’m writing this- the irony is just so thick and stifling. Way more than any ready-to-wear collar.

Images courtesy of Global TV’s Project Runway Canada website.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria permalink
    March 26, 2009 12:18 pm

    Hahah I Loved this challenge so much only because I knew what they were going through. I made a dress out of the emergency blankets and know how hard it is!

    • March 26, 2009 12:28 pm

      Wow Maria- a dress out of emergency blankets?! That’s impressive! I’d love to see a picture of that! :)

      I love wacky challenges, too. They always offer something fun for the viewer.
      – Johanne

  2. Jordana permalink
    March 26, 2009 1:19 pm

    This was a sad episode for me. I did not want to see the return of Gen and Jason. I have a soft spot for Adejoke. I like her designs and I think she’s tried something new every episode. The “Gen Skirt” – hello – boring. How many bubble skirts does one girl need? Not flattering, not wearable. I liked Jason’s jacket but so zero cohesion on the team.
    Sunny & Jessica – how can anyone not love this team? I would proudly wear both of those outfits. I can see them both fitting in nicely in Holt Renfrew (well, in better fabric of course).
    Kim – don’t get me started (again). What were those bell bottoms? Why does she have to be mean to home girl Jessica? Unless the production crew has edited out the “Jessica is mean to Kim” scenes. But, I doubt it.

    P.S. Go Sunny!!!

  3. March 27, 2009 9:42 am

    I loved this challenge, up until the end. I love nature and camping and find a trip to the wild very inspirational. I like some of the odd materials the designers have been given, from old wedding dresses to post it notes to camp gear! In my own blog I envisioned myself doing a ball gown from campstoves, tent supports, fishing line,shock cords and a port-o-johns, but they didn’t ask me, plus they wanted fashion over innovative use of camp gear. Just joking, I would have used propane tanks, not a portojohn. Nylon is tricky enough to sew -I’ve made enough outerwear myself -but mylar camp blankets? I tip my hat to you, Maria! I think we need to start an Adejoke fan/support group. She was robbed by Kim!

  4. March 27, 2009 11:26 am

    Yes I totally agree with you Linda about starting a support group for Adejoke. I think that this raw deal is certainly going to help launch her career. She needs to work on her website, though. http://www.adejoke.com/

    There’s nearly nothing there-! I want to see what she’s up to- anything?!
    – Johanne

  5. Coco permalink
    March 27, 2009 4:33 pm

    This was sooooo wrong on soooo many levels. I have been viewing the internet like crazy trying to watch this show, but I am not sure it is worth it anymore. Why did PRC create the rule for leaving like this on this challenge?

    This was terrible!

  6. Tony permalink
    March 28, 2009 2:36 pm

    WOW! This was a very, very unfair episode – Adejoke should get a second chance like Jason and Gen did!!

  7. jmie permalink
    March 28, 2009 9:14 pm

    This was a horrible episode. Even if this was done because they lost two in the first episode, that means they could have only eliminated one and have the same amount of shows plan at the start. That one should have been Kim, i did not like any of her outfits. That aside she was immature, she could not even take the judges points without an attitude. Editing or not she has been rude to every one she is threatened by. No one would hire her after this she proved she is not a team player or as an individual she cant accept anyones advice. I hope they realize they made a mistake with Adejoke and bring her back. How can you say they didnt measure up after you tell them its their best work. And because it was so strong and the other weak they didnt work together thats a cop-out.

  8. Benita permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:02 pm

    Well I definitely have a problem with Kim, why does she have to be such a hater? I’m sorry that you don’t have the right skills to compete with your competitors but don’t take them down to make yourself look better because it’s just making you look worse! Work on your self confidence, don’t put people down and maybe people will like you better! Jessica and Sunny you guys are AWWWEESSOOME! Love it!

  9. March 31, 2009 9:44 am

    I’ve got the application form for the US show and additionally checked into all that being a contestant on the Canadian show encompasses. One condition of being on the program is that you musts cease and desist all websites, myspace, blogs until the series is finished airing lest you give away any hints or spoilers of the show’s winner and losers. So she’s been restricted in updating her website because of the show. This, among other reasons, is why I’ve been waffling on auditioning for the show. The exposure is huge, but you remain tied to the show for two years. Some manage to parlay this into a thriving career, some can’t. You also run the risk of becoming a villain or being portrayed by the editors and producers as a jerk and having that hurt your career.

    If nothing else Kim shows us why fashion design is more than just pretty sketches. It’s a combination of creativity and technical ability. All the ideas in the world don’t mean anything if they can’t be turned into wearable garments. Design is fabric selection, fabric manipulation, sewing, tailoring, draping, pressing, fitting, finishing…for me the sketch is only the start of the entire design process.

    I should see if there’s an Adejoke fan/support group on facebook. Maybe I could start one!

    • March 31, 2009 10:07 am

      Linda, thank you for this information. I figured that there is a secrecy issue for the duration of the show but 2 years is a long time to have your work on hold if you don’t make it to the end of the competition.

      If I was in the design field and I could spare the time given my life circumstances, I would try out for the show. Some people take out their savings just to try it out and see where it can take them- which is remarkable and admirable. It’s a tough industry and the gamble is worth it for many people. The trick is to survive after the show is over… I think that that’s where personality comes in. If everyone hated you on the show, then who will want to work with you?

      I was also recently catching up on Season 3 of Project Runway (US)- somehow I missed that season- and I was reminded of how much older and mature the individuals are on the American show. They’ve already lived, tried, had successes and failures and are generally over 30 years old. Big difference with the Canadian contestants.
      – Johanne

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