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Project Runway's Most Dramatic Moments, S1, Part 1

Let's get our crazy on, bitches!


We're at 17 days and counting until the LONG OVERDUE premiere of Project Runway Season 6 and we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the most dramatic moments in the show's history. Sure, we all SAY we watch the show because we love fashion and creativity and enjoy watching talented people do amazing things - and that's true (partially) - but no matter how much we all may complain when the drama gets out of hand, we can't deny that the dramatic moments are what make the show so DELICIOUS to watch. Besides, we'd argue that if you want to watch creative and talented people pull out work under ridiculous circumstances, the drama is to be expected.

We struggled to figure out a way to do this in countdown format but we simply couldn't come up with an order that either of us agreed with. Instead, we're going to break it down by season. We leave it up to you guys to determine what order they should be in, but we guarantee, you'll find it an almost impossible task.

So, without further ado...

1) MUSTACHE-GATE

"The Wendy Pepper that showed up the first day of Project Runway is not the Wendy Pepper we know now."

Oh, honey. Truer words were never spoken.

She's long been considered Project Runway's first "villain," and while we agree that it's a sobriquet Wendy Pepper more than earned, it wasn't quite so simple as that.

The truth of the matter was that Wendy was in fact the show's first walking tragedy. She THOUGHT she was getting by through her scheming and her plotting, but in the end, the people she "plotted" against would have gone home with or without her added schemes. In reality, she was a fascinating person to watch because she was so completely un-self-aware and instead of revealing what a Machiavellian schemer she was, she instead showed the world how low her self esteem was and how out of her element she felt. She didn't make it to the finals because of talent or because of scheming. She made it there because the competition was structured in such a way that consistently doing just well enough to not be auf'd had the same outcome as doing the best work week after week. A flaw in the show that we suspect was "corrected" in subsequent seasons.

All of this came to a head when someone who'd had enough of her crap took a pen and drew a mustache on a picture of her daughter. Now, in real life, with people who aren't completely drowning in stress and low self esteem, such an act might make them angry, but they wouldn't have a complete meltdown over it.

Not so with our Wendy. She completely LOST IT. You would have thought that someone had assaulted her daughter instead of the silly, childish prank it was.

In all likelihood, her sobbing response to the situation was simply another in a long line of ploys to cover for the fact that she thought that EVERYONE ELSE was more talented than her and that she had no right to be there.

Was it wrong for Kevin someone to draw that mustache on a picture of someone's daughter? Absolutely. But people were under tremendous stress at the time and Wendy had just gotten away with throwing Kevin under the bus deliberately in order to get him auf'd.

Under different circumstances, her co-designers would have probably been a little more sympathetic, but she'd burned all her bridges behind her and at that point, no one really cared anymore.

Of course, part of what made it fun ...




... was the bald-faced lying. Like we said, DELICIOUS.

Also, it was hysterical that the whole drama played out with everyone dressed in ugly postal uniforms.

2) SHOE-GATE

Ah...yes. Shoe-gate. Part of what made S1 so great was that the personal dramas all played out like one season-long plotline. Like Melrose Place with sewing machines. There probably wouldn't have been a shoe-gate if there already hadn't been a mustache-gate.

The short version: Kara Saun contracted with Dollhouse shoes to give her custom-made shoes to be worn in her runway show and then when she was called on it by Tim (on behalf of the producers), tried to claim that the shoes were worth 15 dollars a piece in order to ensure that she stayed under her $8000 budget.

A claim that was clearly bullshit after one glance at the shoes.

The reason this made for such delicious drama was because Kara Saun had always been the golden girl of the season. She'd won more challenges than any other designer and the judges clearly adored her. Wendy, dripping with low self esteem and feeling like the dirty girl in the school cafeteria, was LOVING the controversy.

This all played out in the pre-finale show workroom, with two people who HATED each other (Kara Saun and Wendy) and one person who was trying desperately to stay above the whole thing (Jay).

"Finally! Something happens to Miss Fucking Perfect. Love it!"

Although he wasn't coming off as above-it-all as he would have liked. Yes, we know that sound bite was him quoting Wendy but he clearly had a problem with the situation.

Up till that point, Kara Saun really HAD been Miss Perfect. Not only had she won the most challenges, but she'd done almost everything she could to get along with other people and stay above the fray.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason (we suspect she felt she was untouchable at this point), she tried to pull a fast one on the producers, which left her open to criticism from the very LAST person she wanted to hear:


"No, don't talk to me."

"Well, I will talk to you because I'm going to tell you that Jay and I shopping at the store for five-dollar shoes is hardly comparable to you custom-designing shoes and putting an arbitrary value of five dollars on something that looks like your shoes."

"I just heard you on the phone equate a shoe at a sample sale for five dollars to a shoe you custom-designed and had made to your specifications..."

"...and that, my dear, is not fair or above board, Miss Perfect."

All of which put we, the viewers, in the bizarre position of cheering on the person we hated while she tore into the person we previously had been cheering on. The fact of the matter was that Wendy was RIGHT.

In the end, the producers came up with a solution that was so bull-shitty that we're still rolling our eyes 5 years later: the models would walk the runway in the custom-made shoes but the judges were supposed to ignore them in assessing the collection, which is all but impossible when the shoes are perfectly coordinated to the outfits, not to mention when they're knee-high white leather boots with fur trim.

[Screencaps: Projectrungay.blogspot.com]



Post a Comment
117 comments:

I still want those fuckin' white boots with the fur trim. Yeah, don't care about PETA.


And "Mustache" gate, oh good golly Miss Molly!

I remember how Austin pretty much told everyone to get over it at the reunion show.

Ah, happy times...


Funny though, after all that drama, Kara Saun's and Wendy Pepper's runway shows were forgettable. To this day, years later, I still remember details of Jay McCarroll's runway show. It was strange, unnerving, but unforgettable. And that is fashion, no?


TLo -- What a great idea! Love it!

I remember feeling weird for actually siding with Wendy. They should have made Kara get different shoes. And the fact that she was so dumbfounded just made it worse. It is like the Seinfeld episode where George sleeps with the maid in the office: "Was that wrong? Should I not have done that?"


ugh - i freaking love this show.... 5 years later & im still enthralled with the antics of season 1 - so perfect, so raw, so insane, so fabulous. i could watch it a million times XD


I still liked Kara Saun even with shoe gate. I didn't hate Wendy Pepper, just thought she was rather tragic.

I guess the shoes didn't bother me because I'm pretty sure Nina and Michael wouldn't be swayed by them. It's not like they allowed Korto's jewelry influence their decision last season. It's an accessory, but they are professional to judge the clothes in and of themselves.

Kara Saun's downfall was that her collection reminded the judges too much of other designers, not the shoes. Jay had presented an eclectic, distinctly Jay collection and that is why he won. He had a more unique point of view.

I think Morganza deserves a special drama tribute. She had more drama than several contestants combined.


C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

"Like Melrose Place with sewing machines."

I love you guys when you turn it on...

And I second the 'Morganza' tribute.


Sorry, but KSs show remains unforgettable for me. Loved every freakin' second of it, even the "Gucci" dress.


And even though I know this moment is forthcoming, I will never forget Jay's whispering commentary to the camera during The "YOU'RE GOING TO NEED YOUR SOUL ONE DAY" argument:

"If I can get them to fight, then I win by default..."

That still cracks me the fuck up!


Season 1 remains my favorite season of Project Runway!!!


Wendy does perfectly illustrate the problem with a system of sending home the worst designer each week on the basis of just that week's work. I'd be happy if the judges were up front and said that they took into account consistency and improvement (or lack of it) over the whole series when they make their decisions.

Oh, Shoe-Gate. Happy days.


another laura

Wendy Pepper inspired my favorite (never duplicated) Tim Gunn line: "Don't defend that shoe to me." For that, I love her.


Are you going to name all the most dramatic moments "something"-gate? Because that would be too fun. Please do that!

Thanks for the retrospective. It's so fun to be reminded of all the shenanigans. I can't wait to see the rest of the list!


I sometimes forget how amazing Season 1 was. Shoegate was truly thrilling to watch.


Ah yes, Season 1 is when we realized this would not just be a fashion competition, but a delicious soap opera. It's why we keep watching.


I could never bring myself to hate Wendy because watching her was a complete trainwreck, and a vastly entertaining one to boot.

I thought it was hilarious how she was so confident about her ability to scheme and fool everyone when the viewing audience could clearly see that she wasn't that intelligent and cunning. It's the Omarosa syndrome: let her keep thinking she's the evil genius. It always catches up to bite them in the ass sooner or later.


Season 1 is my favorite. I love how Miss Perfect acts like it's no big deal that she's getting custom-made shoes for free while Jay and Wendy have to deal with crappy shoes donated by The Duchess. Not a Wendy's fan here but she was right.


thanks for the delicious post, TLo-and I think you summed up Wendy Pepper quite accurately.


Too wonderfully entertaining!! Thanks, TLo, you come up with the most fabulous ideas!!!
As another poster mentioned that they didn't remember much of the finale showings except for Jay's collection, neither do I. I remember every piece of Jay's, but have completely forgotten Kara Saun's and Wendy's collections.


The editing on Season 1 was horrendous. Kara Saun should have either not been allowed to use the shoes or she should have been automatically eliminated for breaking the rules. Yes, the judges loved her and she knew it and took advantage of it. It seems like the rules were bent for her. I thought she was more conniving and backstabbing than Wendy Pepper on her worst day, but she got the princess edit - all flowers and rainbows and everyone falling all over themselves for her. Ultimately, I'm glad Jay won. His collection was innovative and 5 years later, every piece still looks current and interesting.


LOL. Love it! Aw, I miss the drama and the designers getting drunk. C'mon, Lifetime!...


We wouldn't be here if there wasn't a Season 1. Brilliant, raw, fabulous show! I triple the request for Morganza, pretty please, but might I suggest you looked into the spilled wine at the reunion show? Dee-licious!!!


Excuse me while I rewatch Season One.


LMFAO!!!!!!!!! great idea for a post boys to get us thru. omg forgot how hysterical some of the arguements were.

has it been 5 years since season 1?
wow


"SusanID said...
Excuse me while I rewatch Season One."


I'm doing the same. LOL. I miss Season 1 :)


Awesome idea, guys!! Kara Saun was one of my favorite designers from season 1 - I was actually rooting for her until I saw Jay's collection - and I remember at the time siding with her, but looking back I have to say that she was wrong.


La Pepper, how I love you, how I love you.

I would give anything to see La Pepper back...just one episode. Can she have her own show? Lifetime? Bravo? Anyone?


This was a fantastic trip down memory lane and I look forward to rest of the journey.

"Anonymous suzq said...

Funny though, after all that drama, Kara Saun's and Wendy Pepper's runway shows were forgettable. To this day, years later, I still remember details of Jay McCarroll's runway show. It was strange, unnerving, but unforgettable. And that is fashion, no?"

The only thing I remember about Kara Saun's collection was that she sent Gucci down the runway. That is all, but that says a lot.


Wendy was probably upset but I think she took advantage of the situation and played the victim. Everything she did was calculated. Remember her rehearsing what she was going to say to the judges?


As interesting as Jay's collection was (It was not my personal favorite), I still say this is why Kara Saun didn't win. She broke the rules and was caught at the very worst possible moment...the finale. They couldn't kick her out, they had to come up with the bullshit compromise.

They tightened up the rules and that is why, even if Keith didn't USE the books (please), it was in implication of a breaking the rules and he was OUT.

SisterZip


Kevin didn't draw the mustache. Austin Scarlett's worm turned, he squirmed and his face went all tick-ey when Dominatrix Klum demanded that whomever drew the mustache come up to the front of the class & admit it. With effort he regained composure and sat there as his Serene Highness after Klum's rant. It was Austin.


Like Melrose Place with sewing machines.


Boys, I love you.


"BarbH said...

Kevin didn't draw the mustache. Austin Scarlett's worm turned, he squirmed and his face went all tick-ey when Dominatrix Klum demanded that whomever drew the mustache come up to the front of the class & admit it. With effort he regained composure and sat there as his Serene Highness after Klum's rant. It was Austin."

Kevin later admitted to it in an interview.


"BarbH said...

Kevin didn't draw the mustache. Austin Scarlett's worm turned, he squirmed and his face went all tick-ey when Dominatrix Klum demanded that whomever drew the mustache come up to the front of the class & admit it. With effort he regained composure and sat there as his Serene Highness after Klum's rant. It was Austin."



Noooo, it wasn't. Kevin admitted later in an interview that he did it.


Am I evil to think that Wendy overreacted with the mustache thing? I'd be pissed but not crying.


"In the end, the producers came up with a solution that was so bull-shitty that we're still rolling our eyes 5 years later: the models would walk the runway in the custom-made shoes but the judges were supposed to ignore them in assessing the collection, which is all but impossible when the shoes are perfectly coordinated to the outfits, not to mention when they're knee-high white leather boots with fur trim."



I agree. That's kind of a lame-ass penalty for breaking the rules.


For the mustache thing... I never really thought it was Kevin. I always thought it was Morgan. At least the way the episode was shown, Morgan could have gone into the room without cameras (they would have followed Kevin and we would have footage!) and, well, we all she's crazy enough to have done it!


Love this idea. Can't wait for the new season.


They definitely changed things after "Shoe-Gate." Wasn't the Angry Little Peanut told in Season 3 that he had to remove items from his collection because he was over-budget? So he dumped those hideous blonde wigs all his models were supposed to wear. I guess it's not quite the same thing, but still handled differently.


"Anonymous said...

For the mustache thing... I never really thought it was Kevin. I always thought it was Morgan. At least the way the episode was shown, Morgan could have gone into the room without cameras (they would have followed Kevin and we would have footage!) and, well, we all she's crazy enough to have done it!"

Morgan was gone two challenges prior to this.


Eh. Wendy intentionally tried to make people look bad and get them kicked off, pretending to befriend them and then ruining their chances at a lifetime opportunity and $100,000 because she was insecure about her own mediocre skills. If all she got was a moustache drawn on a photo of her daughter (that I am sure she had 10+ copies of plus negatives at home, since it was her 'favorite') she is lucky. Yeah, I felt sorry Wendy, but that doesn't really make her any less of a bitch in the context of the show.

Kara Saun...sigh. She really did do a disservice to herself at the end with those shoes. Looking at the collections themselves, I think Jay was going to win regardless, but Kara Saun did damage her reputation somewhat with that little stunt. Strangely, for as adored as she was on the show and as 'famous' a PR contestant as she is, I have not heard a single thing about her since that season ended. Anybody know what she's up to now?


bitchybitchybitchy

SusanID said...
Excuse me while I rewatch Season One.

8/3/09 2:48 PM

I feel a Season One marathon coming on in my house.

so many delicious moments throughout!


This comment has been removed by the author.

Ooooooohwee YESSSS, bitches! Great idea!

Totally agree with everything you said. Especially agree with your point about Kara Saun's shadiness during shoegate. That was a surprise turn. Mercy, those three finalists were TV gold during fashion week!

God, what a great season that was....


TLo this is a fabulous idea! Thank you so much.

I can't wait for more.

I too am in the camp of those who can really only remember Jay's runway show-- oh how I want that circle skirt!

I don't remember Wendy's at all, and all I remember of Kara Saun's is shiny.


If Project Runway was anything like Top Chef in the Rules Department, the reason that they came up with a bullshit solution is that they didn't anticipate what KS did, therefore had no rule to cover it. I wouldn't be surprised it was Making It Up As We Go Along 101.


" Shemima said...
Anybody know what she's up to now?"

Kara Saun is the costume designer for “America's Best Dance Crew”.


No matter what the scandals, just looking at your post makes me love Jay even more. Ah, Jay, you will always be one of my favorites.


I always thought Wendy got way more hatred than she deserved. Clearly, she wasn't the next great designer, but she did win a couple of challenges, including the one that narrowed the final four to the final three. It's pretty clear to me after watching five seasons of PR that the pace and intensity of the changes is enough to dismantle all but the strongest of people, and she obviously didn't have what it took to survive. But she was never all that evil. She was just trying to survive.

As for shoegate, it would have been easy enough to look at comparable shoes, put a fair market value on the ones KS had, and let her have as many as she could to stay within the budget. There were other instances of designers being over budget, and they made modifications to meet the ceiling.


What fun, TLo!

Speaking of memory lane, there was an article in yesterday's NY Times about reality TV that quotes Diana Eng, Chloe Dao, and Zulema Griffin:

http://snipurl.com/omjjg


TLo said, "Unfortunately, for whatever reason. . .she tried to pull a fast one on the producers"

PLUS, she's one of those people who pretends her phone is a walky talky, which annoys the hell out of me.


I always thought Wendy paid way too high a price for her would-be-scheming.

Although Wendy *tried* to hurt her competitors, she *failed.* No one actually had standing to complain of Wendy's actions because no one had been injured by them.

There's something else that I think almost everyone -- including Tom & Lorenzo -- has missed about Season 1: everyone else also behaved badly towards Wendy.

The other contestants -- Kara Saun in particular -- were REALLY vengeful towards Wendy -- even though Wendy didn't actually hurt them. Everyone was making this big drama out of "playing the victim" -- when they hadn't even been victimized. -victoria


Never understood the Wendy hate. At least with her you knew she was playing the game. I find it far more insidious the way the favs cheat, backstab and undermine the "outsiders".

I thought Kara Saun did some fine work, but she should have been tossed, like with the pattern/books. And just like ALP, both acted like butter wouldn't melt in their mouths. Jack---es.

Never a fan of Jay's angry weird outsider persona (real or edited?), but the excusing of more behind the scenes attacks or game playing, reminds me of the ignore Jarrell's "humor". (While a few of his challenge outfits were good, his finale collection is not my taste, at all)
Just because someone is in the "in" crowd and the object of the "humor" is not doesn't make it any less wrong.

And the situation with Wendy reminds me of the way ALP attacked Angela's mom - hey jerks - man up and admit when you're being an a-hole.


As others have said here


"There's something else that I think almost everyone -- including Tom & Lorenzo -- has missed about Season 1: everyone else also behaved badly towards Wendy."

Check out Tlo's season 1 posts. They pointed out how badly everyone acted toward her.


FUN! Great idea, sweeties. Now that we are in a hiatus from fun (except for Design Star, which I do love and wish you would mention) I will have to pull out the Season one DVD's and review what the new season has to measure itself against.


I'm watching the wedding gown challenge episode now : ) God, I love season 1! Kara Saun designed the most beautiful wedding gown; I love when her model started to cry trying the dress on. Thank you for the memories, Tlo!


I always believed that Sybil drew the moustache on the picture herself, so she could make that scene and play with everyone's head. Even if she didn't do it herself, the over-reaction was a game.

Her big downfall, was that she thought she was on Survivor.

--GothamTomato


For all the drama about the value of the shoes, I thought they looked like they were from Payless anyway.

--GothamTomato


you know, I was never overly impressed with the shoes KS had made (I actually bought some that looked almost exactly the same at Payless for less than $9 for halloween one year — and my cure for the snagging was surgical tube over the rhinestones), but I really felt at the time, and now, that PR simply hadn't had a rule for the KS situation. I don't think PR thought it through that a good designer would have had the foresight to arrange for shoes. I thought KS should have argued that point instead of the tacky "I'm being punished for having good taste" argument. Thinking through all aspects of presentation is firmer footing to stand on than "good taste". I always thought PR came up with that silly half-assed solution because they realized they hadn't been clear enough in their rules.

And since I am pondering, I'm so curious about the budget situation on PR — can each designer spend as much as they want and they just have to turn in reciepts for what they used in the show (let
s say they bought 10 yards at $10 a yard and only used 8 . . . I'm gussing they'd only have to "charge" $80 to the budget). This would seem to give an advantage to contestants who may have more disposable income than those who doen't . It allows contestants with money the freedom to experiment more and make mistakes they can more easily recover from.

While I understand why Jay won and I admire and remember his collection, I also clearly remember the KS collection (which I still like and think was stunning) as well as most of la pepper (how can so many people blank out the titty dress? Or the hot pink Joan Collins Dynasty dress?) KS did some truly lovely work on the show and her final collection was really sharp and well done (I know, I know, the hem on the dress that caught on the shoes) Why do people need to tear down KS in order to praise Jay?

Don't people think the quality level of Season One's Jay and KS set the bar for subsequent seasons? And, of course, the villianry of WP and insanity of Morgzilla set a standard for the drama side.

- Donna in Seattle


Anonymous
8/3/09 5:02 PM I always thought Wendy paid way too high a price for her would-be-scheming.


Exactly what price did Wendy pay? She made it to Bryant Park, and beat out several other more deserving designers for a chance at the main prize. If you ask me, she did pretty damn well.

And since when did the revisionist history on S.1 begin with "shady" Kara Saun and "misunderstood" Wendy?

Not that any of them were innocent in this scenario, but this Kara Saun bashing is OTT.


Sorry, no. I just watched Season 1 so I'm throwing this out there. Everybody liked Wendy in the beginning. As she later explained was her strategy, in the beginning she was the concerned "Mom" type who was very forthcoming with her nurturing comments and she spoke with a very (affected) caring tone. It was only once this facade started cracking that it became obvious what she was really doing and how fake she had been in the beginning, and THAT is certainly a reason for people to turn off from her. That moment came when talking to Vanessa in the laundry room, and Wendy kinda snapped out of nowhere and showed her decidedly non-Mother-Goddess true colors. Yes, it's very obvious why Wendy felt the need to scheme, and it is pitiable, but it's kinda hard to hear people be all "Oh, poor Wendy." I'm sure at least half of those designers felt insecure in some way being there. Nobody but Wendy acted the way she did (and pretty much in the 4 seasons since). Fail.


And yeah, as someone else pointed out, how did Wendy suffer? She got the consolation prize (getting to show a collection at Bryant Park). We're supposed to feel sorry for her because she practically "won" and, uh...had to listen to a few comments about her terrible behavior? Boo hoo. Wendy was always forthright with the tears and always played the victim card but certainly never seemed to own up to how she victimized others. Double fail.


I loved Kara Saun's collection too — consider it one of the all-time best. The aviatrix pieces especially (less the gowns). It just had the misfortune to be up against *the* all-time best: Jay's, which still (even after re-watching S1 a kazillion times) makes me applaud.

I always thought what tripped her up in the end is she let herself get too focused on hating Wendy. When you rewatch the finale you can see her hatred of Wendy twisting in her and I think it gave her, an otherwise good person, tunnel vision about her own actions.

Still, the source of one of the all-time BEST putdowns: "I gave you a make-over." Really, is there anything worse you can say to someone?

-- CAAF


I always wondered if Wendy herself drew the mustache on the photo so that she could the camera focused on her meltdown and also try to win sympathy as part of her "strategy" to win the contest.


I'm a late bloomer and didn't see the first season of PR. So ... just went to YouTube in an attempt to catch some of the moments I missed and found this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eIPFchXps0

EXCUSE ME, but isn't that RECO trying out at the Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami? (time stamp :58)

OH PEOPLE, I so would have LOVED watching Miss Trashy Thang on PR -- Tim's influence would have been wonderful for him!!

Talk about drama -- woulda, coulda, shoulda ...


The most dramatic thing was Wendy's make-up.


Anon - own up to how she victimized others

Do tell?

you say boo hoo for Wendy, but as others stated what actual harm did anyone suffer FROM her? Did she cut up someone's dress or steal their fabric?

Oh it was Wendy's fault that St Kara was hate filled? Because KS couldn't control OWN actions?
While Kara did try to cheat AGAINST her and Jay.

- Ann


You guys just made me so happy that you're rehashing all this drama! I've missed you talking about Project Runway...


"She didn't make it to the finals because of talent or because of scheming. She made it there because the competition was structured in such a way that consistently doing just well enough to not be auf'd had the same outcome as doing the best work week after week."

Truer words were never uttered.


EspeciallyGay

"Anonymous said...
The most dramatic thing was Wendy's make-up."


Yeah, and Kara Saun helped her look better.


Love this, guys!

Wendy admitted that she would fuck with anybody's head if that's what it took for her to win. She said that like second or third episode if I remember correctly.


I think the person who suffered the most from Wendy was Nancy O'Dell who got all sorts of nasty letters after she chose Wendy's outfit, thus cutting lovable Austin from the final.

--GothamTomato


GothamTomato said...
I think the person who suffered the most from Wendy was Nancy O'Dell who got all sorts of nasty letters after she chose Wendy's outfit, thus cutting lovable Austin from the final.

--GothamTomato



That was awful! I felt so bad for Austin; so not fair. What's worse? A dress that isn't really Grammy material or an orange bird suit? I'm quite sure the producers decided to keep Wendy to squeeze more drama out of those three.


Aw, how nice to see Wendy again on the blog. LOL. She will cut you, kittens.

She's a classic example that talent isn't everything in a competition. They should have sent her home day 1 when she did that awful carnival/Rio/lollipop number.


Gotham Tomato, you nailed it. I always thought Wendy approached PR as if it were Survivor, which was the first competitive reality show and had been airing for several seasons by the time she auditioned for PR. All of the contestants from Season 2 onward had the advantage of knowing and understanding PR's concept, but the first season's contestants did not. That's what made it so delicious.

Brooklyn Bomber, you also nailed it on the "walky talky" cell phone. From that moment on, Kara Saun was dead to me.

Season 1 will always rule!


"Brooklyn Bomber said...

TLo said, "Unfortunately, for whatever reason. . .she tried to pull a fast one on the producers"

PLUS, she's one of those people who pretends her phone is a walky talky, which annoys the hell out of me."

I'm sure she was told to hold it that way by the producers so they could hear the other end of the conversation.


Also, 8/3/09 6:09 PM Anon hit it on the head with the comment about the laundry room scene. I recently rewatched S1 and I was struck by how Vanessa had Wendy figured out way before anyone else did. V clearly knew Wendy was playing games and thought it was funny.


and yes, that's Rico, He also appears on the S3 tryouts.


I think Kara Saun was trying to promote her friend's shoes on the show - a favor.


"She didn't make it to the finals because of talent or because of scheming. She made it there because the competition was structured in such a way that consistently doing just well enough to not be auf'd had the same outcome as doing the best work week after week."

Whoa. Let's not forget that Jay, the S1 winner, didn't win a SINGLE challenge before winning the finale. As he so aptly characterized his performance, "always a bridesmaid, never the bride." At least La Pepper won a few challenges, so clearly she did have some flashes of brilliance (or at least competence when everybody else had an off day).

For all her small-minded schemes and attempts to undercut the confidence of other designers, Wendy remained deadly honest both as to the rules of the competition and in her opinions of others' skills. Her pointedly undiplomatic yet uncomfortably accurate criticisms of her peers' performance when the judges asked for her opinion is what got her branded as a bitch by Kevin John and Kara Saun, both of whom cranked up the hate machine against her.

The surprise of S1 was that you expected Wendy, who was edited to be the ruthlessly conniving bitch, to be "it" if anybody were to cheat. That the cheater turned out to be the wonderfully talented Kara Saun, who could just NOT see her own actions as a clear violation of the contractual rules, was dumbfounding and sobering. It truly was a stunning ending to a magnificent season.


"MouseAnony said...

"She didn't make it to the finals because of talent or because of scheming. She made it there because the competition was structured in such a way that consistently doing just well enough to not be auf'd had the same outcome as doing the best work week after week."

Whoa. Let's not forget that Jay, the S1 winner, didn't win a SINGLE challenge before winning the finale. "


Which proves the point made in the post. Aside from the Chrysler building dress he did not produce anything great until his final collection. Everything he made was good enough to keep going and not be eliminated.


"Montserrat said...

I think Kara Saun was trying to promote her friend's shoes on the show - a favor."


I guess we'll never know what she was thinking, but if the contract stated that you couldn't have anything free added to your collection, then that was kind of dumb from her part.


Martinique said..."Which proves the point made in the post. Aside from the Chrysler building dress he did not produce anything great until his final collection. Everything he made was good enough to keep going and not be eliminated."

Jay had several looks that were contenders for wins, including his wedding gown, envy outfit and swimsuit. "Always a bridesmaid" referred to his numerous second-place finishes. He had a solid performance throught the competition.


I was checking Tlo's PRS1 old posts and I found this:

"A quote from a Fall 2005 Pink Magazine interview with Kevin Johnn:
"When asked about the infamous incident involving Pepper's daughter's photo being defaced, Johnn simply explains, with a devilish grin, that he has an affinity for drawing mustaches."


Oh how I miss PR!

I can't wait for all the fresh drama we're about to see.


A minor component of shoe-gate, but Kara Saun also had a friend come in and help her out with her collection (the shoes) when neither of the other two had the chutzpah to ask a friend to "help out". ... because it would be cheating, obviously. >.>

I forgot about shoe-gate (which I'd read about here) when I finally got around to watching season 1, but as soon as I realized what was going on, Kara Saun was dead to me. :|

Although it is fun looking back at how relatively unstructured the show was then... like how the models just seemed to stop by when they had free time and their designers asked them to; later I guess they decided it would only be fair if everyone had the same amount of time to do fittings.


Timing-wise, I see why ppl would think it were Kevin, but it amuses me to think that, timing-wise, Morganza could also be a suspect, considering Wendy just fucked her over and picked Melissa. (That was one thing I really didn't get, since it gains her no points to screw with a model; it almost makes me think she didn't realize she was leading Morgan on, or that she actually just switched gears mid-stream.)


Oh, dear. I don't have time to get S1 from the public library and watch it for the first time, so can someone please tell me WHY the designers were all wearing USPS uniforms during Mustache-Gate?


" Joy Shayne said...
Oh, dear. I don't have time to get S1 from the public library and watch it for the first time, so can someone please tell me WHY the designers were all wearing USPS uniforms during Mustache-Gate?"


The challenge was to redesign uniforms for the US Postal Service.


They had to spend the day delivering mail in those uniforms :)


Oh, so Kevin admitted to it....

Anyway, adding to the Jay lovefest, the thing that I most appreciate about his collection is that so much of it really is wearable--the long pink gown aside, and maybe the first two jackets (some of James Paul's jackets remind me of the Jay's first one, actually), I think the average consumer would wear that on an everyday basis (assuming they wore streetwear on an everyday basis) if they could afford it. Whereas Kara Saun's, while beautiful and beautifully done (if derivative; I wouldn't know), can hardly be worn anywhere by the average consumer (except for one or two jackets?)

I know runway shows aren't always about wearability, but it's something I happen to care about. "Art pieces belong in a museum", as Iman said. :p


Well, I missed the first couple of seasons, now i'm going to have to go buy the DVD's dammit ;)


I have season 1 on my DVR, ready to watch whenever I want to, and I have seen it A LOT.

Am I the only one who didn't really like Kara Saun that much?

I know she made beautiful clothes, but she was so cold and "professional" only to turn into a spoiled little kid near the end, what with the whole "Wendy stole my colors" thing and Shoe-Gate.

Not that I like Wendy Pepper, she's a liar and a sneak. When you watch most of the season and then the Reunion show, she makes up a lot of garbage to try and justify what she did on the show, when in reality she was just an insecure mess of a woman.

But still, she's probably the greatest reality show villain ever.


Season one also taught us one valuable lesson above all: when it comes to choosing your final three designers, don't put the decision in the hands of Nancy O'Dell.


What an awesome idea for a series of posts! I can't wait to revisit Morganza, Santino, Daniel, Zulema, Jeffery, Angela, Laura, Vincent, Keith, Terri, and Kenley in all their bitchy greatness.


A couple people have ripped on Nancy O'Dell "blaming" her for Wendy in the finale - and Austin's aufing.

That really is not fair.

Austin's pastel outift really was NOT good. With all that fabric twisted and knotted at the waist and oddly sheer in the back to display the hot pants(?), it was definitiely NOT Nancy's style.

Jay's top looked like a cheap fuzzy tube top with a ragged frayed skirt - which Nancy would not have picked.

kara's top may have worked, w/o the pants.

So considering the client and her style, there was no way Wendy should have gone home, even if she had not won.

So should Jay gone home instead of Austin? Or should Kara? Because based on the outfits in that challenge and the parametes of the challenge, Wendy did not rank last in that challenge.


How fun! I love it.
Keep em comin' boys.


I absolutely dislike Wendy because she was undeserving to be in the final three. Austin should be there and in my mind, I know the judges robbed him of that chance. Stupid judges.
I never fully forgave them and by default, I also never forgave Wendy for this lunacy.
Wendy should never have been in the show, let alone in the top three. I cannot remember what she presented during Fashion Week but I remember cringing at the lack of style and fashion sense.


" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eIPFchXps0

EXCUSE ME, but isn't that RECO trying out at the Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami? (time stamp :58)"

I think you're right.


I always thought that Rob had drawn the mustache on the picture. It was such a juvenile thing to do, so it just naturally seemed like it would have been him.

While juvenile, I think the reaction to it was way overblown.


Anonymous
8/3/09 6:41 PM
Oh it was Wendy's fault that St Kara was hate filled? Because KS couldn't control OWN actions?
While Kara did try to cheat AGAINST her and Jay.

- Ann


Kara tried to be friendly to Wendy in the beginning but caught onto her tricks early.

But SHE's the one who's "hate-filled"?

Bullshit.


Kara's collection was very strong, but Tim was right, it was very Gucci. I think that was her downfall.


The producers never do anything about breaking the rules, except in Keith's case, which makes me think that there's more to it than we know, but Jeffrey was also over budget; he produced some fake receipts, got rid of the wigs (what a joke) and was off the hook. Probably because the producers wanted him to win at any cost.


bitchybitchybitchy

unionjgirl said...
Season one also taught us one valuable lesson above all: when it comes to choosing your final three designers, don't put the decision in the hands of Nancy O'Dell.

8/3/09 11:56 PM

OMG- I was thinking about one of Wendy Pepper's wins was the one chosen by Nancy O'Dell-and we all know what a fabulous arbiter of taste she is.


OMG!!! I'm laughing so much I think I peed on my pants hahahaha

I love love love this post guys!!!

You make my day, I love you both.

I remember very well the mustache-gate, it was one of a kind. No other season can be at the same level of hysteria as season 1 of PR.

Wendy really doesn't have it all together.


I always assumed that Kara Saun expected praise rather than punishment for her commissioned shoes. She seemed interested in showing her industry connections and resourcefulness, and I think that focus blinded her from seeing what an unfair advantage she had created.


Wasn't Wendy's marriage dissolving during the competition, and didn't she show up to Bryant Park or the reunion show recently divorced? That must have contributed to some of the melodrama.

I tended to like her, though, and her Banana Republic outfit was a standout.


rachel
8/4/09 9:54 AM I always assumed that Kara Saun expected praise rather than punishment for her commissioned shoes. She seemed interested in showing her industry connections and resourcefulness, and I think that focus blinded her from seeing what an unfair advantage she had created.


That's acutally a very good point that you raised, Rachel. In fact, its an excellent point.


TLO said:
She didn't make it to the finals because of talent or because of scheming. She made it there because the competition was structured in such a way that consistently doing just well enough to not be auf'd had the same outcome as doing the best work week after week.

That's so true. It was embarrassing that she made it to the finals, she never should have been there.


Russell asked, "Am I the only one who didn't really like Kara Saun that much?"

Nope. She never excited me that much. Thinking back now, I mostly remember plunging necklines that no one with tits could ever pull off. I haven't looked (so I may be wrong) but it seems like it was almost always the same silhouette - sleeveles, v down to the pubic bone...

By the time shoe-gate rolled around, I believed that she is the type that can only be troubled to be kind and reasonable as long as everyone is kissing her ass. As soon as anyone questioned her, she was a complete bitch.

Not that I ever liked Wendy either.

By the end, I wanted to cry for poor Jay having to be around both of them.


I always wondered who on earth would be married to Wendy Pepper, and found it interesting that she became divorced very shortly after her awfulness was broadcast on nationally television.

I first got interested in Project Runway when it became blindingly obvious to me that this was *not* Survivor, and that the same tactics used by Richard Hatch would not work on this program. Wendy Pepper came into it thinking that if she just manipulated and lied enough, she could win.

And it was interesting because that sort of not-the-right-stuff attitude was not rewarded -- at least not in Season 1, although when Sebelius was named Best I *still* hold that win against the producers. What a joke and an affront to watchers of Project Runway.


Tamarama said:

"By the time shoe-gate rolled around, I believed that she is the type that can only be troubled to be kind and reasonable as long as everyone is kissing her ass. As soon as anyone questioned her, she was a complete bitch."

I agree 100% with that statement.

Kara could have enjoyed her experience at Bryant Park instead of giving Wendy the silent treatment with her holier than thou attitude. I loved it when Wendy gave it to her.

That episode changed my attitude regarding Kara.

~Sewjourner


Hey even a broken clock i right twice a day, and that is still once more than Wendy Pepper.

Shoegate was a better scandal though. You didn't expect it from Karasaun


Thanks all about the Mustache graffiti misdemeanor info. It is somewhat but not totally convincing. Kevin was accused of not being a stand up guy. I thought he was just fine, and talented. I know I have willingly taken the fall for my gutless wonder friends on more than one or two occasions when they COULD NOT face the music. I knew I could and therefore took the heat as the likely and believable wrongdoing and it was over. I think Kevin is covering like the nice guy I think he was.

Look at Austin's face when Heidi starts up. He is so besides himself he could piss his pants. It was him. Nice, but not that empathetic towards W E N D Y.


Jay was just so VERY wonderful in all of this... He made what would have been painful and sad to watch (or at best a guilty pleasure) into high comedy. Bless him.

Not crazy about KaraSaun's 'tude, but she was/is a fabulous, creative designer and knew how to sew and fit a model. I don't remember nothing but plunging necklines for flat chests...That sounds like Laura. Jay blew her away, though.


And what I've wondered in each following season is what these finalists will do for shoes, its never been an issue again.

First season was the best!!! I loved the model drama as well and they got rid of most of the model drama too.


Anonymous
8/6/09 6:14 PM And what I've wondered in each following season is what these finalists will do for shoes, its never been an issue again.



Bluefly


My hatred for Wendy Pepper was so all-consuming at that point, I was ready to agree that Kara was in the wrong until Wendy went apeshit on the topic. Please tell me Kara calling Wendy on her vileness is on the next part of this list.

I still think regardless Kara was robbed. Her S1 runway show was one of my all-time favorites.


Just caught the last few episodes of Season 1 for the first time. Must say, whatever Wendy's behavior, defacing a favorite photo of a child was wrong and the fellow contestants who didn't speak up for her are weanies. These people need to grow up--totally HS! Kara is really cold. Maybe in the beginning she was as likable as Wendy was unlikable but as one who has come in in the final 5 or 6 episodes, I can't agree with that.


Ahhh Shoegate, the very first time I learned that PR would take my hand and lead me down the road to "I hate Wendyvile" and then reveal that another designer is way more underhanded and corrupt. I wait for that every season.

Shoegate. I roll my eyes whenever I see Kara Saun now ...

And frankly, I have never been okay with Jay after this episode either. I loved most of his designs and think he deserved the win -- but he was no innocent in the drama... he just played it well





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