we just finished watching the replay of this week's "project runway philippines." since this is the sophomore effort, we can't help but compare it with the first one. the competition is already halfway and we're still waiting to be wowed by the contestants. in the first season, early on, it was quite evident who the strong contenders were. this season, we still can't predict who will be in the top three. certainly, the talent is there. what we think they lack is confidence. the confidence to make a statement, to establish their point of view, to tell us—the audience and their future clients—who they are as designers. we like the challenges so far and, just like the judges on the show, we expect a lot.
this week was the tessa prieto valdes (last name spelled with an S not a Z—take note, producers) challenge. we all know the wild and wacky way she dresses; the challenge was to "tame" her look and create a ready-to-wear version of a tessa outfit. as a designer, you should be excited by this challenge (we were)—there's so much you can do! instead, most of the designs fell flat. in our opinion, the judges made the right choice in proclaiming russell the winner—they observed that he could have made something dowdy, like pajamas or a daster, with the printed fabric he bought (the budget was only 800 pesos), but he made a cute minidress and bolero with details that made them distinct. he worked out the orientation of the print. even his choice of jewelry (from michelis) was perfect for the outfit. so far, russell has the strongest point of view and the most recognizable style. when this is all over, we'll still remember this dress and the funky shorts he made for the beach challenge (which he didn't even win). everything else so far has been forgettable. another disappointing result was last week's avant-garde challenge. it was the only chance for the designers to come up with something daring, innovative, and worthy of the stage. instead the outfits were very ordinary. having said all that, we're glad they brought patrick back because we didn't think he deserved to be kicked out during the beach challenge.
to view all the designers' outfits, go to the "project runway philippines" gallery.