Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sleeping Beauty

Of all the Episode 3 photos posted at Bravo, this one of Elisa Jimenez might be the most incredible. Faced with the "most difficult challenge ever" on Project Runway, she somehow managed to complete a 3-piece look and still find time for a power nap.

What planet are you from? Heidi asked on the runway in Episode 2, and it certainly seemed to be a valid question. When we first met the ethereal designer, she was treated with the crazy music edit and her odd behavior had us all scratching our heads. Clearly she was destined to become the kooky charachter of Season 4.

But something funny has developed amongst Project Runway fans. Many have come to admire her sweet sincerity and peaceful nature. There doesn't appear to be anything that can rattle her in the workroom. Here is a designer that operates in a different state of consciousness. Perhaps it was Elisa's near-death experience that has given her this unique outlook of life on this planet. Christian has likened her to a rain goddess, Kevin has called her work spiritual.

She eschews most conventions of fashion design with her nature based focus on materials and form. Why use dye when there is perfectly good grass available? Who needs marking tools or measuring tapes when you have everything available right on your own body? And even though her first design nearly got her eliminated with its cascade of phwaah, she came back strong with a beautifully conceived cape and dress for SJP.

I come to your planet with gifts, she replied to Heidi. These gifts have unexpectedly endeared her to a growing fan base. Among the most important lessons she teaches: Never understimate the power of a good nap.

Sweet dreams Elisa, whatever planet you're from. Know that many of us here on Earth are sending you love and cheering you on.