Wednesday, October 18, 2006

why I don't want jeffrey to win

It's nothing personal. My main gripe has to do with the way the show has been focused. Well, I suppose that it is partly personal in the sense that it is about the person that is represented on the television program. Whether or not that is the real person I cannot say.

Perhaps I am just being perverse, but my primary reason why I don't want Jeffrey to win has nothing to do with Jeffrey's actual collection. (At this point I'm not going to discuss the collection but I will say that I think it is good.) My problem is that I feel that Bravo has set up the finale in a way that is so heavy-handed that I fully expect Jeffrey to win. So it will be boring if he does. So therefore I don't want him to win.

This is connected to the reason I have for not liking Jeffrey. That is, Bravo keeps trying to make me like him. Bravo has been shilling for Jeffrey for weeks now and that is what makes me suspect that he is going to win. His hard-luck life story has been milked for all it is worth. The baby boy has been trotted out at every opportunity so we can admire the fact that Jeffrey loves his offspring. Some people call it adorable. I call it treacle.

Which one makes you want to hurl?

I'll take the turtle poo.

(And by the way, the classic, perhaps even the number one "jump the shark" scenario is the introduction of the cute child.)

It is great that Jeffrey got his life back on track and as I've said before, overcoming addition is an impressive achievement. However, the fact that he works hard and loves his kid doesn't really wow me: these are also things that ordinary people do all the time and don't expect to get any prizes. It is just what a person does as a member of society. He can love his kid and still be an asshole. And so what if he is. I might like him more if they just said, yeah, he's kind of an asshole. This manipulative bullshit is trite, transparent, and most of all, it distracts from a focus on the design of the clothes.

I don't like being told that now I am supposed to like someone. Especially when what I've seen of that person is someone who appears to be a selfish, rude, immature, gasbag who goes around imitating Rush Limbaugh by calling women he doesn't like "feminazis" (and he didn't appear to actually get along with any women he actually spoke to). Now that may not be an accurate portrait of him but that is what we saw of him.

He just doesn't seem like the kind of person I'd want to spend much time around, including time watching him on television. His little blow-hard testimonials are tiresome. He likes to insult other people. He likes to talk about how great he is. He seems like he never outgrew being a little playground bully. He's a bore.


About this whole ersatz punk rocker thing Jeffrey has going: does it strike anyone else as a tad . . .
manque? You have to ask yourself, for someone who is a fashion designer, why hasn't Jeffrey noticed that he looks like a complete doofus?

I mean the rat-tail hairstyle: when was that EVER hip? Stripeys in his eyebrows? What is he, like twelve? And into Kid N Play? And his girlfriend looks lovely and sweet and she must be something of a saint to put up with him and has anyone noticed that he talks on and on about how he loves his son and he lives for his son but he never says anything about how much he loves Melanie? But it's been 30 years for Pete's sake! The whole mohawk thing isn't punk anymore, it's just cartoonish.

I will say this, however: the Chuck E Cheese portrait is the coolest punk thing I've seen in at least a decade:
As for this look:
Leggings with rhinestone snaps on the crotch? It's very Derek Smalls, isn't it?

If that was the kind of rock star look he was going for -- the Spinal Tap look -- then he hit it spot on.
There something a little sad and outdated about the whole thing. I mean, at this point Jeffrey's style is just outdated of fashion as Angela's hippy-dippy macrame/granny circle look.


(Keep in mind that I'm not talking about the collections -- I'll discuss that after the finale.)

For the record I have a hunch that Jeffrey probably did outsource some of the sewing but I doubt they can prove it so that is neither here nor there. A more important issue that the producers should consider for the future seasons is the fairness of having a designer in the competition who already has his own successful business. I mean the prize money is for someone to start their own line of clothing. Perhaps one of the requirements should be that someone not have already have a line of clothing that is at the level where one owns the kind of equipment Jeffrey has and employs the number of workers that he does.

From the start of the show, and repeatedly throughout, Jeffrey let everyone know that he already had a successful business selling to Hollywood and rock star clients. Remember Laura asking him why he was there if he was already so successful? His constant bragging begged the question although for some reason he was annoyed when she asked it.

He wants to win because everyone wants to win. It is validation but it isn't need and it isn't really appropriate. Does Jeffrey really want to design for I.N.C.??? Probably not. Laura and Uli -- even Michael (if you exclude his final collection) -- seem much better suited for that mentorship.

If it doesn't seem appropriate to give the money to Jeffrey, it also doesn't seem right to give to Michael in the sense that he is not yet ready to start a line on his own. Michael's a dear but his collection is a disaster. He probably needs to work with a major designer for a while. He's not yet ready to be on his own. That stuff was trashy but when he was at Parsons he made some fantastic pieces. He needs some guidance in order to produce the quality work he's capable of -- he needs a mentorship at I.N.C.! There is a bit of a Catch-22 there.

At any rate, Uli and Laura are the two designers who are at the right stage in terms of their talent and abilities to take best advantage of winning. Uli could probably use the car more than Laura. On the basis of their collections I'd have a hard time deciding.


bungle said...

You make such a strong case, and the importance of that mainly is that you're a must read.
I didn't mind too much that he won, I just wanted to see what the Bryant park scenario was all about (the stated goal of all designers in the beginning). Wow that was something!

Anonymous said...

Seriousness of purpose... to charge advertisers American Idol prices? Bravo! Tis better to show than win this season.

Anonymous said...

... This goes up to eleven.

Well, The Angry Little Peanut won. (and, you're so, so right re Bravo's foreshadowing BS with a trowel)

In my heart-of-hearts I was rootin' for Uli. (and I love Mrs. -- and Mr. -- Bennett). She just couldn't please Mr. Kors, could she?

Oh well, I think the kids will go for Jeffrey's stuff (it was cute, wasn't it?). I sure would've (back in the mid-70s before punk saved the day). Faux-edge to go with the faux-hawk.

(The only thing I really dread re his win is that BPR's comment thread is gonna be a drag.)

PS - I love your writing!

-- desertwind

ID#94076205 said...

I like your blog. It's kind of strangely philosophical considering it's about Project Runway... but hey, it's cool, I think the same kinds of things all the time.

kora in hell said...

thanks people! I'm glad you like my rambling! And I do tend to go rabbiting on and on . . .

wildflower38 said...

I agree with what you said about Cosa Nostra. It doesn't seem right that Jeff should be on the show. Having that business should be a disqualification. When I saw the part 1 finale, I totally thought he was the winner. The PR producers are ratings whores.