Project Runway Canada- The finale part 1
And so begins the Finale of this season of Project Runway Canada. The final challenge is for the three finalist designers to produce a collection of 12 looks in 6 months with $8,000 each for the collection.
Six months?! That’s a heck of a long time. Project Runway (US) doesn’t give that much time for the designers to produce a collection- maybe three months at best. This is an eternity.
The designers leave the show with some parting words.
Jason: “This experience has opened me up… Jason Meyers is gonna bring innovation and style and grace, timeless design.”
Sunny: “I want it bad.” He describes his collection as something that will be sexy, feminine, and play with hard and soft contrast; a “really confident collection.”
Jessica: “I want this and I’ve gotta bring it all on the table.”
4 Months Later: 8 Weeks Until Before Fashion Week
Brian checks in on the designers to measure their progress and give them some advice. Jason is first on the list and Brian visits him at his Toronto studio. Brian seems to like his first few dresses but gives a weird look (we can read his mind here- he’s thinking GIMMICKY!) when Jason points out the useless strap that he designed on one of his dresses.
Brian: “I think you’ve got some great design ideas. But I’m not seeing ‘new enough’ things. I want more from you! I don’t see runway pieces. I think you think I pick on you; maybe there’s a reason because I think there’s more inside of you than what you’re delivering. If that’s what it takes for me to help you realize what has to go down the runway, Jason, good; let me pick on you. Because I care.”
Jason: “I think it’s a matter of tough love but at the same time, tough love sucks, you know.”
Jason explains that his inspiration is his family and he invites Brian to visit his family’s home where there’s a hoppin’ party going on. We meet Jason’s girlfriend, Evita, and Jason’s grandma who is dressed “Jason Meyers, head to toe” in a tailored white shirt. How awesome is that- Jason designs for his grandmother? Jason, you’re pulling on our heart strings again.
Brian’s next stop: Jessica in Fergus, Ontario.
Brian, to Jessica’s parents: “Jessica’s very talented. Where do you think that talent came from?”
Jessica’s mom: Excruciatingly long pause, looking blank. “I don’t know.”
Jessica: “When I saw my very first runway show I was very little and then when I saw the person coming out at the very end I thought, This is a job? Look at all those people clapping for that person! Ya, I want to be that person!”
Brian’s a good sport and loves his home-cooked meal with the Biffis: “I could almost become a Biffi if I wasn’t a Bailey.”
We then visit Jessica’s work space at home.
Jessica, describing the collection: “It’s all about glamour meets hip hop meets classy 1930s.
Brian: “This is your first time into the public arena. It’s a little nerve-racking. The story has to be really good- has to be amazing.”
Brian: “Glamour, hip-hop, 30s. How is that going to come together when it hits the runway- way to many ideas.”
The only piece that he likes is the jacket that Jessica is creating- everything else “is weak, very weak. You can forget about it.”
Jessica is saddened and she’s crying to the camera backstage but she knows that she needs the criticism from Brian and that he’s helping her.
Brian’s Next Stop: Sunny
Sunny is working on his collection in Toronto; Brian arrives and they get right into it.
Sunny has his collection hidden behind a curtain and he makes a big deal of unveiling it to Brian.
Sunny: “It’s gonna be a big surprise!”
Brian, ecstatic: “I love big surprises!!”
Brian, looking confused and unimpressed: “Where are the garments? How long have you had?”
Sunny, off-camera: “I couldn’t really start working on it because I was doubting everything I was doing. Is it good enough to win…”
Sunny describes his inspiration as “Alexander the Great: mixing greek and india together.”
Sunny’s mom is doing the beading on his garments. Brian: “Wow.”
We learn from Sunny that his mom apparently hasn’t told him that she’s proud of him doing fashion and he describes this in between tears, hoping that if he wins Project Runway Canada that she’ll vocalize that she’s proud of him. This is a sad and moving moment and shows the often difficult leap it is for some parents to accept their children’s choices in life. Such a sad moment to hear this from Sunny- he is clearly very talented and well-liked on the show.
Brian: “I think that you’ve got a amazing silhouettes for runway; I would have liked to have seen more garments. Can you do it?”
Brian: “So you work good under pressure?”
Sunny: “I do.”
Brian: “‘Cause you’ve got a lot of pressure on you when I leave here.”
Sunny: “I know.”
Sunny, off-cam: “I’m freaking out a bit.”
Brian heads out to meet Sunny’s friends- they’re having a fun party at a lounge in Toronto.
We meet Sunny’s friends and his husband Kenny (together for almost 9 years) and Sunny explains that the cost of having his own line Vawk and showing at Toronto Fashion Week sunk him into a $40,000 debt. He sees Project Runway as his second chance and if he doesn’t win, he figures that this is the end of the road in trying to make fashion design a career for himself. I think that by now there are many members of the Canadian fashion community who would be rather disappointed if that happened. Sunny- don’t give up! You have a lot of fans here.
Four Days Before Fashion Week
The gang reunites in Toronto and they catch up about what their collections are shaping into. Jessica looks the same, so does Jason, and Sunny appears to be growing out his mohawk- or at least styling it differently.
Sunny, about his collection: “I didn’t get to finish.”
Jessica: “You didn’t get to finish?”
Jessica: “Yeah but whatever, you’re Sunny!”
Jason: “Whatever that’s bullsh**.”
I think Jason needs to take it easy- he’s obviously intimidated by Sunny and he doesn’t know how to handle himself. He’s always seated on some furniture corner, arms crossed, jaw firm, and gazing at Sunny’s work like it doesn’t matter. Enough already!
In the Work Room
Looking around at everyone’s work, the designers size up each other’s collections.
Sunny, off-camera: “There’s some competition.”
Jessica, off-camera: “Sunny’s collection is pretty amazing. He’s got some pretty amazing pieces but then I think I have some pretty amazing pieces.”
Jason, off-camera: “I’m definitely not intimidated by either collection.”
They get to work and Jason is going through Sunny’s racks as if it was all bad stuff. His whole body language macho and it’s almost like he’s upset. I’m starting to think that Jason just can’t take the heat.
Jason, to Sunny: “So you got some animals in there, eh?”
Oh geez. Give us a break, Jason. Is that the best you’ve got- calling Sunny’s use of recycled fur “animals”? Move on, my friend.
Brian comes in and tells them that the PR show is the most anticipated of the week: “There are going to be 1,000 people at this show.”
Everyone is super-excited and so are we. We want to see these clothes walk the walk. Brian looks over Jessica’s collection and tells her: “I don’t think there’s anything I can really criticize.”
Moving on to Sunny, Brian says: “It’s a good collection. I think you’ve got some stiff competition.”
And then on to Jason. Brian cuts Jason short in his description of the evening wear pieces as combining comfort and style. Brian just doesn’t understand why comfort comes into the design realm for evening wear and Jason argues with him.
Brian: “Who cares about comfort!?”
Jason says it’s important and he cares about it, whereas Brian says it’s all about drama and standout design. Jason tries to mock Brian by asking him to try on a weird poofy black collar piece that Brian clearly does not like. Brian tries it on to humour him, but there’s clearly a lot of tension between these two.
Brian: “Alright, as long as it doesn’t look like two cushions on your shoulders.”
Brian: “I think you’ve got some very nice pieces. Technically I think you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. Nothing can go down that runway that is not finished properly. And if it’s not up to snuff, I’m gonna be very hard on you.”
Jason “Some things never change.”
Brian: “You know what Jason, I’m here for you, as much as I am for them (pointing to Jessica and Sunny)… Present a winning collection.”
Jason: behind the scenes: “I don’t feel any sense of positive reinforcement. I could say really nasty things about how I feel but I was brought up that if I don’t have anything good to say don’t say anything at all. I just want to get on with it now.”
I can’t help but feel like Jason is just resenting the Brian father-figure/mentor role. What’s everyone else’s take on all this argumentative behaviour? I don’t know what’s wrong with Jason- he seems insecure (which explains his bold over-confidence), and he’s just not taking any criticism. Jason is even arguing with makeup wizard Eddie Malaterre about the L’Oreal Paris makeup concept for his collection.
Jason: “You know what honestly I’m kinda getting scared because like I said I don’t want it really dramatic.”
Eddie: “It will be not dramatic at all.”
Jason: “We’ll you’re saying ‘black on the eyes! You don’t think so?”
Eddie: “Yeah but it’s a show!”
Jason, Jason, Jason! Take a seat, already.
The Challenge Twist
Back on the runway with Iman and Brian and two days away from Fashion Week, the designers learn of one more challenge: they need to fit Cheryl Hickey from ET Canada with an evening gown. Brian announces the good news: that Cheryl will be a model in each of their collections.
Brian: “The bad news is, you haven’t made her outfit yet.”
The challenge: make an evening gown that Sheryl could wear to an evening ET Canada event at the Toronto International Film Festival. The dress must belong as a cohesive part of their collection but needs to be something that she likes.
- Strapless or one-shoulder
- Nothing super-fitted
To help with the challenge, in come all the eliminated designers from the season to help Sunny, Jessica and Jason execute the final look for Cheryl Hickey. Apparently they didn’t know what they were going to be doing when they were called to be on the show.
Kim is not impressed and shaking her head, Genevieve looks pissed off. The three finalist designers get assigned a helper randomly from the bag. Jason gets his helper pulled out first: Brandon.
Brandon, off-camera: “I guess I didn’t ‘measure up’ on the show but in real like it’s different- I’m kind of a big deal.”
Did he really just say that-?
Sunny gets Jeff: “I like Jeff. I think he’s really good at what he does and I trust him.”
Jessica apprently prayed for Adejoke but out of the bag comes Kim’s name.
Jessica: “I didn’t want to work with Kim. She had attacked me twice, to my face. And now I see that there’s so much more that she’s said about me.”
Kim, off-camera: “I think she’s probably pissed that she has to work with me and I think that’s understandable because of the circumstances.”
No kidding. By this point the season has been airing for months and Jessica’s had a chance to hear and see all the on-camera and off-camera monologues from all the designers, and a lot of the talk has been hurtful. I feel really bad for her; everyone clears the runway and she’s left with Sunny and Jason. She’s crying and she’s very upset. I can’t help but suspect that these names were strategically chosen- I mean, come on- you’re pairing up a sewing perfectionist (Sunny) with Mr. Glue himself (Jeff)?! And then there’s Jason and Brandon, who basically design the very same thing except that Jason somehow squeaked through. And finally Jessica and “hater-ade” guzzler Kim are working together? There is no way that this is random. Not a chance. This is called television production and I’m sure of it.
In The Work Room
Jason mentions to Brandon that he’s happy to be working with him because they have similar styles and he’s recently seen Brandon’s new collection lookbook. Jason asks Brandon to recreate the bottom three-tiers of one of Brandon’s gowns from his new collection and that Jason will make a bustier top with lace overlay for the upper.
This sounds a little sketchy and Brandon is pretty confident about himself, explaining off-camera that Jason obviously isn’t much of a designer if he can’t come up with his own designs. Clearly Brandon sees himself as a superior designer but doesn’t show Jason; Jason is happy and feels that he’s getting Brandon involved to do something he knows how to do well. Both have a point; the question is whether or not the skirt of the dress is fair game to be transplanted into Jason’s design.
The helpers leave the designers at the work room and they’re off with Brian to go shopping for fabric. Brandon is running around like a child at a circus, ordering $200 worth of one fabric (the entire dress budget) and then tells everyone that he’s done. He’s somewhat annoying the others in the store and Brian asks him to stop. Brandon can’t contain himself any longer and finally he shouts, gleefully:
Brandon: “He’s copying my dress!”
Brian, to Brandon: “How do you know he’s copying your dress? … He didn’t say that.”
Brandon: “He did.”
Kim is watching and loving it. So are we; looks like the party’s over, though: Brian is NOT amused.
Brian, very serious: “Don’t be crappin’ me here. This is a serious competition. Don’t be coming back to me later saying ‘it’s my dress’.”
Brandon: “Oh no I won’t.”
Brian: “Well you just said it to me now.”
Brandon looks down, sad and miserable like he just spilled the beans that he wasn’t supposed to. Way to go. Sure, it’s not right that Jason is basically making a “Brandon knock-off” as Brandon put it but then Brandon should have told him so at the design stage, not like this when he doesn’t have a chance to change his mind before Brian finds out. And Brian would have found out because Brandon can’t contain his happiness about it. Obviously.
Back in the work room, Jason makes a headband for Brandon to wear on that says “Jason’s helper.”
Kim: “Jason’s Helper. A.K.A. The b***.”
Actually, it should really be called “Jason’s backstabber.”
And then, the tension between Jessica and Kim finally gets sorted when Kim asks Jessica how she’s doing and Jessica doesn’t really answer much.
Kim: “I’m sorry, Jess. I was a real b***.”
Kim: “Yeah, I know. And I do apologize. I don’t have an excuse I just feel bad and I wan to move forward.”
Jessica: “Well you’re doing a great job now”
Kim explains that being on the show “turned her into a raging a****ole.” I’m not really sure what anyone else is thinking about Kim’s behaviour on the show, especially at this point when she explains that it was the circumstances. I think that it’s hard to put these young people together to compete for a great prize and expect them all to get along- that’s not what the show’s producers wish for, anyway.
Everyone now seems to be working just fine with their respective helper. Sunny compliments Jeff’s hand stitching and even says off-camera that Jeff’s hand stitching is incredible and even better than his own. What a pleasant surprise and a sweet redemption for Jeff!
Brian comes in and looks at Jason’s and Brandon’s dress. This is the moment of truth. Or not.
Brian: “Do you have a sketch?”
Jason, looking worried and uncomfortable: “Uh, no.”
Brian: “So Brandon, does this look like anything you were talking about at the fabric store?”
Long pause- Jason looks over at Brandon.
Brandon says nothing.
Brian finally says that Brandon expressed concern that the dress they’re making looks like Brandon’s dress from his look book, and explains that that can’t happen. Jason hangs his head and looks like a criminal. He just looks guilty and he knows it. Brandon feels like crap and looks miserable, and on top of that he’s wearing that ridiculous headband and some furry animal around his neck. No one’s happy and no one’s saying anything.
And then the show ends:
The suspense is pretty high at this point; we expect that Jason will have to make a new dress because this one can’t possibly have a whiff of Brandon’s work. I’m really unimpressed with Jason for wanting to reproduce the bottom of Brandon’s dress. I mean, I understand that he’s going to help the guy by giving him something that he’s good at, but if you go to Brandon’s website, that dress is the home page figurehead for Brandon’s label and it’s permanently there on the main page no matter what you click on. I’d say it’s pretty much his going calling card.
Impossible to deny that it’s Brandon’s piece de resistance… Tsk, tsk, Jason. You really should have known better, and I don’t think anyone feels sorry for you.