Project Runway Season Two, Episode 8: Perspiration: the walk-off episode!
Daniel: "It's a motherfucking walk-off!"
You bet your sweet ass it is! We've been waiting all season for this!
Let's start at the very beginning:
Heidi: "Standing out here on the runway are the winning and losing designer's models from the last challenge. Since Zulema won the last challenge, she will get to decide whether to keep her model. If she does decide to keep her model, life on earth will go on pretty much as usual. However, if she decides to go with another model she may tear a hole in the space-time continuum and there is no way to predict what will happen."
Zulema: "Well, fasten your seatbelts, bitches, because it's going to be a bumpy night! Not only do I want to change models but I would like to have a motherfucking walk-off."
Nick: "Oh, no she di'int!"
Kara: "Oh, my god! We're all going to die!"
Andrae opens his mouth so wide he accidentally swallows his own head.
Heidi: "OK, everyone, let's try not to panic. Kara, stop crying. If we all remain calm I think we can get through this! Now, girls, it's crucial that when you walk, you do it with no energy and that you look really pissed off. Do you think you can handle that?"
Yes, they can handle that. Zulema picks Nick's model, Tarah, from the three zombies who performed for her. And more power to her. She won the right to change models so she changed models. You got a problem with that?
Nick: "I felt like cutting her."
Other Eric: "Ooh, he's going all West Side Story on her ass!"
That is so gay.
Nick: "She wants to fuck me. Well, she can't."
Yeah, we're pretty sure that's not it.
Anyway, Zulema's actions have changed the course of history and the designers find themselves in an alternate universe. But the differences between their universe and ours are so subtle that I'll have to point them out to you as we go along.
The designers visit Michael Kors in his studio, which is in the men's room at Grand Central Station. That's normal, right? They learn about how Doris Duke liked to dress in old upholstery fabric. I think that must be the alternate-universe Doris Duke. He then gives the designers digital cameras and individual printing docks that are clearly beyond our level of technology. He tells them to go find inspiration on the streets of New York.
The designers walk around Manhattan, which is being used as a maximum security prison. That sounds about right. There are no children because some strange medical condition has caused worldwide infertility for the past 25 years. I think that's different. Chloe's purse is bigger than she is but it's probably a normal-sized bag and she has just gotten even smaller.
Kara has never seen warning or Keep Out signs and is completely fascinated by them. Nick whines about losing his model. Andrae is inspired by a puddle of water because they now live in a world where the seas are pure alcohol, the rivers run red with the blood of the innocent, and the human body is 90% olive oil. Nick whines about losing his model. Santino is inspired by graffiti, something that was played out decades ago in our world. Daniel is inspired by a flower in Michael's office because he was too scared to go outside. Zulema is completely disoriented and just takes a picture of a red dress. Chloe takes a picture of a building. And, of course, Nick whines about losing his model.
Andrae: "Wow, Santino, How did you get that woman to flip you off?"
See, in our universe this would not be surprising at all.
They get back to the design room and Tim talks to them about rough sex:
Tim: "No. It's 'tough love.' Sheesh. I just have some constructive criticism for you all: Chloe, you're a one note; Andrae, you're a freak; Zulema, you're a mess; Kara, you're a joke; Santino, you keep making crap; Daniel, you're perfect; and Nick, I just want to slap you. OK, well, I'm really glad we had this little talk."
I'm thinking our Tim would have been a little more supportive. The designers shop for fabric. Nick is having problems:
Nick: "Tim, I'm really having problems finding fabric to go with the coloring of a blond model."
[In this alternate universe, blond models are really unusual and difficult to design for.]
Tim: "What happened? Why do you have a blond model?"
Nick: "I'm glad you asked. Zulema took my model so now I'm stuck with Gumby."
Tim: "Well, there's really no point even buying fabric because you're screwed. Seriously, how could you possibly design something for Rachel? She's pasty, looks like an elongated marshmallow, she can't walk, and she has an enormous ass."
Nick: "Thanks for the pep talk."
In the design room Zulema tells us why this challenge is so difficult:
Zulema: "I just don't know how to make things improperly."
Really? Because you've done an excellent job of it so far.
Nick has his new model, Rachel, walk for him and suddenly he's all excited:
Nick: "You're my new muse!"
Tarah: "I can't believe you got over me that fast. I'm stuck over here with this bitch and this horrible dress and you're getting on with your life! Well, you don't deserve me!"
Nick: "I can't hear you. I'm too busy padding the ass on my dress form. Talk about bum cakes, my girl's got 'em."
The results are a real mixed-bag:
Daniel is the obvious winner. The inspiration is clear; his model looks like an orchid in a pot. While I don't think it's very exciting to be inspired by a flower, he really does an excellent job. The shape is simple and clean yet really dramatic. It's maybe a little costumey but I could almost seeing someone wearing this to a party. It also looks very well made. Congratulations, Daniel!
Andrae's is also very good. You can clearly see the gutter-water inspiration but it's beautiful and expensive looking. The basic shape looks like everything else he has made, though.
I loved Chloe's. I could definitely see the inspiration of the office building in her dress. She incorporated a lot of vertical and horizontal lines without being too obvious about it. Very pretty.
Nick's inspiration for his fabric is ... wait for it ... other fabric! He makes a pretty top and a really ugly skirt to go with it. It wasn't very good but I guess it wasn't terrible.
The bottom three were all so bad it is really difficult for me to decide which was the worst:
Kara sewed together two strips of black fabric and wrapped some crime-scene tape around the middle and called it a day. Morticia Adams would find this dress drab. She just left holes for the neck and arms and, if I remember correctly, the hem also looked really bad. The best thing I can say is that you can at least see what the inspiration was supposed to be. But the "do not enter" theme is just too obvious and pretty stupid. So it's a horrible, plain dress that isn't even well made. Although I like Kara, I thought she should have been out for this.
Santino's inspiration is graffiti. That's a pretty cliched inspiration to start with but then his design had nothing to do with graffiti except that he found fabric in the right colors. But since graffiti can be any color, how does that represent the idea of graffiti? As if that weren't bad enough, he uses the exact fabric used by Austin Scarlett last season. AND, on top of that, it was Austin's LOSING design! I really don't know what else Santino could have done wrong on this challenge. It was just a disaster and he's lucky he wasn't aufed.
I don't know what Zulema's problem was. She took a picture of a red dress and used that as inspiration for a red dress. Several of the designers were not getting the concept of inspiration. The dress was poorly made, as you would expect. But it wasn't a terrible design. It was certainly better than Kara's. The problem was mainly that it was just a dress; there was no connection to being inspired by the streets of New York, which was the challenge.
Zulema is out. Order returns to the universe and the designers join us in reality. Or at least the semblance of reality we have become accustomed to on Bravo.
OK, before we go, let's listen in on Jay McCarroll, this week's guest judge. Jay is in a pissy mood, as usual:
Jay: "I'm going to ask you about your garments but I don't want any stories. Just the facts. Got it?!"
Kara explains how she's inspired by Danger and Do Not Enter signs and how they are such a metaphor for modern life:
Jay: "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. That's just a black sheath dress."
Kara: "I think it speaks volumes."
Yeah, it doesn't.
Jay: "Chloe, why doesn't your dress look exactly like your photograph of a building?"
Chloe: "Well, I think I captured some of the geometric feeling of the building and this was what I was able to do in the time we had."
Jay: "I was on this show so don't complain about the lack of time. I know all about it, sister."
Chloe: "All I said is that this is what I made in the time I had. If you don't like it, fine! You don't have to be such a bitch."
Jay: "Santino, when I saw your dress I just wrote down four words: 'Austin. Scarlett. Grammy. Dress.'"
Santino: "That's five words."
Jay: "Really? No, I don't think so. Let me check ..."
Santino: "I'm just messing with you. What about Austin's dress?"
Jay: "It's the exact same fabric."
Santino: "What?! Well, I'm as stunned as you are! How could this have happened?"
That was a convincing performance.
Jay: "Nick, could you talk about your outfit without mentioning Paris Hilton on the island of Mykonos?"
Nick: "What about Paris Hilton's boyfriend?"
Jay: "Could you leave him out of it too?"
Nick: "Then, no, I don't think I can discuss my outfit under those conditions."