25 August 2007

design star episode 4

I missed the first showing of this, and didn't get to see the rerun until Friday night (unlike Bravo, HGTV doesn't rerun its shows ad infinitum).

I am HORRIFIED. Las Vegas might be a sexy dynamic new location, but it's also apparently totally devoid of taste.

I'm not really into high-end decor. Top Design sat crookedly with me in part because the designs and furnishings were TOO upscale; the aesthetic was far beyond my means and my interest. I watch design shows to steal clever ideas that I might replicate one day. Staging a booth in which the MAIN FEATURE, and really only item of interest, is a $5,000 chair, is NOT within my reach.

That said, I'm also not appallingly low-class and tacky in my design preferences, either. So Episode Four's challenge - design a wedding for two people with no taste - was just horrific.

The couple had extremely different desires: she wanted a lavender sparklepony wedding, he wanted "50s rockabilly/vegas style." She was, evidently, willing to cave totally. The design presentations were not spectacular; Kim's and Will's were the two that seemed most tasteful, as well as meeting the desires of both bride and groom. But based on the strength of stacked, gigantic revolving red dice, bride & groom chose the design of the Odious Robb.

The couple loved his design, though it didn't really incorporate much of the Princess Dream Wedding. Instead, it was big, tacky and hideous. Giant poker chips. Huge playing cards. Garish.

Vegas garishness is one thing for, say, the strip: the outside of casinos and bars and clubs. Everything is big and outsize in vegas - and it's where postmodernism got its start (sort of). But, as others have pointed out, Robb's design was painfully literal in its Vegasness:
The ugly arch reading Viva Las Vegas is neither clever nor stylish. It's perched on gigantic, ugly-colored stacks of poker chips, which were then draped to hide their ugliness, instead creating a BOWER of ugliness. The "flames" behind the dj booth look like something a 13-year-old would put in his basement/video game room. The lavender tablecloths and violet and white feather boa drapes are just ugly; and the feathers reminded me of the tweeny first design Robb participated in, the "living lounge" of ugliness and wasted space in their apartment. It looks like Claire's Boutique and PacSun and Hot Topic all had a baby together, and THIS room is what that baby vomited up.

I was really undone by the bride's excitement over the giant revolving dice. The fact that "they spin" seemed to just blow her mind. The fact that they are also enormous, cheap and tacky evidently didn't bother her, nor did the flashing red lightcubes in martini glasses which were used as centerpiece vases.

The fact that the couple was pleased with their space demonstrates their shitty taste. What's upsetting is that TWO people were eliminated based on the crappy needs of two tacky people. Christina's design ignored the "rockabilly" and focused instead on a My Little Pony sort of froth of lavender, so I guess she didn't meet their needs. BUT, and I think it does matter, her design wasn't awful. It's not like she created something that looked like baby poop. And the outsized poker chips, and Shirtless Todd's enormous guitars, looked like hell. (Now that I think of it, why did our two most butch manly contestants feel the need to go so......big? Compensating for anything?).

Sparkle Josh is my beloved, and losing him over this challenge....is horrifying. His style is not my style, but he does have taste and he can shop and choose accessories well (not everyone can). I actually LIKED his dollar store room; it reminded me a lot of Matt's early room on Top Design (which I also loved).

This is Matt's Top Design room, which is chic, tasteful and a bit glam (and definitely a "celebuteen" room - precisely the kind of girl he was designing for).

And this is Sparkle Josh's room. Everything in it came from the 99 cent store, except: couch, coffeetable, end tables, single lamp and bookcase. Matt's budget was considerably higher. Looking them over, the palette is the main similarity, but I find both rooms rather charming in similar ways.

The remaining Design "Stars" are not stellar. Todd and Robb have abrasive, obnoxious personalities and lame design. If you're a 13-year-old boy, you probably think they are fantastic dudes and designers. For the rest of us: ugh. Will is a very tasteful and quiet designer, but his personality is too hidden so far - I can't see him hosting a show. Kim is the only one I'd actually tune in to watch: she's cute, smart, talented, enthusiastic.

But none of the four is a Design Star.

No comments: