You are a young1, aspiring designer. You have a dream: wealth, fame and the possibility of immortality via your own couture label (plus maybe a low-end spin-off at Target®). When you are given the opportunity to compete for the realization of that dream, you jump on it. Nothing can stop you now! Nothing except…yourself. DUM DUM DUUUUUUM!!!
Is it any wonder that Bravo’s Project Runway is a runaway hit? This is no mere reality trifle exploiting the fashion world, this is an illumination of the human condition, of the triumphs we rejoice in and the tribulations we muddle through. Like all great works of art, by focusing intensely on the specific, Project Runway speaks eloquently to the general. And the Lessons of Project Runway are like the Lessons of Life (only more stylish and way funner to watch). Listen to Tim, Project Runway‘s designer-judge liaison-type person (and resident sage), and learn…
Lesson 1: Make It Work
For the materials with which you will construct your first creation, a fabulous couture dress, you are sent to the store, the grocery store.
No problem, ever-creative, you fabricate an fanciful frock from packing tape and strategically placed corn husks. You are a genius. You run off to attend to some details (how does one accessorize a husk dress? A tortilla tam? A Sno-Caps clutch?) and when you return, sacre bleu! The husks have dried and shrunken, leaving unseemly bald patches all over your glorious creation!
Do you panic? Do you cry out at the unfairness of the universe, rend your flesh, curse your ignorance of husk water retention? Heckers, no! You slap a bunch of husk shards on the blank parts, et voila: you not only save your dress but win your round, and immunity going into the next challenge!
So the next time tragedy parks itself on your couch with an oversize rolling duffel, remember: if Austin can resuscitate a couture dress under that kind of pressure, you can certainly fix an overly-cumined batch of chili or salvage your crappy relationship.
Better yet, give ’em both the heave-ho and make yourself your fixer-upper. Because let’s face it, what are we really trying to fix when we work on our dresses?
That’s right, people. That’s right…
Lesson 2: Make The Most Of Your Resources
Daniel thought he was soooo smart.3 Everyone else was freaking out about how to make a grocery-store dress with only 50 bucks, and he fashions his from butcher paper and a garbage bag. But as Tim says,
For me, that statement was an instant uh-oh,because he wasn’t fully utilizing the extent of his resources. It’s a bit like saying that you have $500.00 to spend on an outfit at Banana Republic and you come away from it wearing a pair of [Banana Republic] boxer shorts and a [Banana Republic] scarf why? [NOTE: This comment, like Project Runway, brought to you by Banana Republic.]
If life gives you the equivalent of a $500 shopping spree, don’t â€œchintzâ€ out (LOL!!! ROTFLMAO!!!) at skivvies and a scarf. Unless, like, the undies are Hanro and the scarf is Hermes or something.
But seriously, use all the brains, beauty and talent you were born with4. To do anything less isn’t humility, it’s insulting. I mean, you don’t see Paris letting the moss grow under her feet, do you? Ha. I think I’ve made my point.
Lesson 3: Candy, Not So Dandy
Whew! There are a lot of lessons packed into this episode! (Kinda like…life!)
Wendy crafted her creation out of candy, which the twin terrors of body heat and runway lights almost melted into, as Tim sez, (a) design too revealing even for cable TV! Yikes!
“Where is the life lesson in a melted candy dress?” I’ll bet you’re asking. Well, I’ll tell you, smarty-pants: Choose the people surrounding you not for their sparkly appeal, but for their ability to make it through the long haul…and for their sparkly appeal.
Wow! That was hard and took a long time, too. I guess I’ll come back later with more lessons. In the meantime, make sure you watch Project Runway tonight, Wednesday, on Bravo. Back-to-back episodes at 8pm/9pm! First, they each make a swimsuit. Then they make something else, I think together. Oh, bother. I’m too tired to watch the video clip and report back to you. My advice to you is look it up yourself.
Hey! I like giving advice, too! Maybe I should create a reality show where the contestants are all aspiring to be the advice people on reality shows!
1My bad! Not all of the Project Runway contestants are young. Project Runway prides itself on its diversity. For example, Kara Saun is black!* And Austin is gay! And Wendy, the old one, is also kind of fat! I heart diversity! And Project Runway, too!
2Sorry, I don’t know his last name. I am new to the show since I am a dork who doesn’t watch enough TV. Actually, I watch a lot of TV, but mostly reruns of Law & Order (comforting), King of the Hill (hilarious and comforting) and Judge Judy (disturbing but oddly comforting, and often hilarious). I will try to watch more TV in the future. But all the lesson titles are actually by TIM, called “Tim’s Takes.” Don’t believe me? Go look it up!
3Only I guess he wasn’t, ’cause he’s not on the show anymore!
4And your trust fund, too, if you were born with one of those. Only don’t spend it like a jackass. And tithe. Everyone should tithe. Maybe if you’re rich, even double/triple/quadruple tithe. Oprah tithes, and she has lots of really nice clothes and shoes and stuff. But she is also nice, and changes the world for good. So I guess, if you’re rich, call Oprah and ask her about the tithing thing. If you’re that rich, you probably have her number or something anyway.
*And she is so the best one! I hope she wins. Hey! I just realized this is, like, a footnote in a footnote.**
**Wait, this is one, too! Cool!!