I’ve admitted it in the past and I’ll say it again. I, Jodi Triplett, love Project Runway. Possibly more than brownies. Certainly more than the caramel apple I consumed at the LA Country Fair, which I found to be woefully inadequate in the treat department. Get the funnel cake, people.
At any rate, in this stage of your LSAT development, you’ll have noticed a propensity to spot fallacies in many of the ads you see and in the television shows you watch. For me, this surfaced while watching the latest episodes of my beloved PR. So for your enjoyment, here are the biggest Project Runway fallacies I’ve spotted that also appear quite frequently on the LSAT.
1. Because you’re a good tailor, you’re a good designer.
A good sewer does not always equal a good designer. Take the case of über meanie Ivy Higa, who can tailor chiffon like nobody’s business, but who also designed the mint green Greek Goddess of flowy ugliness outfit.
The mistake? Part to whole fallacy. Just because one part of something has an attribute doesn’t mean the entire thing possesses that attribute. In Ivy’s case, she sews well but that doesn’t mean her final outfits are going to look good. Other variables, including fabric choice, design, and the karmic implications of being a cold-hearted bitch all play a part, too.
2. Because you’ve done well in the previous challenge, you’ll do well again.
Mondo (who incidentally wears the sickest outfits I’ve ever seen), exemplifies this concept. The 6th grader appropriate bathing suit he made for the sportswear challenge in episode 7 landed in the bottom that week. But the following episode his Jackie-O inspired hound’s-tooth skirt and striped blouse crowned him the challenge winner.
The mistake: Temporal fallacy. Just because something has happened in the past, that doesn’t mean it will happen in the future. In Mondo’s case, the fact that he was terrible in a previous challenge doesn’t mean he’ll be terrible again, knee high socks notwithstanding.
3. Doing well on the show means you’re a good designer.
The best example of this fallacy is actually season 3 designer Michael Knight. The guy did amazing things within the confines of the challenges. I mean, his modern interpretation of Pam Grier, sewn in less than a day, was so genius even Diane von Furstenberg cooed over his hot pants.
But just because some designers flourish in the crazy, time constrained challenges, this doesn’t mean they’ll have a great collection when they’re given more time, money, and freedom of design for New York fashion week. Case in point: Knight’s shudder fest for his collection debut.
The mistake: Sampling fallacy. You can’t make a valid conclusion about something based on an unrepresentative sample. In Michael’s case, the fact that he was able to create a great outfit out of garbage in a day doesn’t mean he’ll be able to make a great outfit out of fabric in several months.
In the end, those who study for the LSAT diligently will find that argument evaluation will invariably creep into other aspects of their lives. So if you find yourself screaming, “That’s an appeal to emotion!” while watching Huggies commercials, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Somewhere on a couch in LA with a funnel cake by my side, I’ll be screaming with you.