Saturday, March 31, 2007

Top Design Recap, episode 8: A Bucket of Blood!

My Top Design recap is up, over on Top Design Blogger! Check it out here!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

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."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Top Design Recap Episode 7: My Dinner with Andrea!


My Top Design Recap is up, over on Top Design Blogger! Check it out here!





Kelly Wearstler by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Kelly really went all out this week! Other Eric thought she looked like Meryl Streep in the "French Lieutenant's Woman"!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Project Runway Season Two, Episode 7: A Very Special Episode of Project Runway: the Tootie episode!

Edna Garrett: "Tootie!"

Tootie: "Yes, Mrs. G.?"

Edna: "We have to talk about your obsession with this popular singer."

Tootie: "Well, the word 'obsession' is a bit strong. Jermaine Jackson is just the greatest singer ever and I think about him constantly!"

Edna: "Jermaine Jackson?! Are you freaking kidding me?!"

Tootie: "I know your game, old woman. You think you can get me out of the picture so you can have Jermaine all to yourself! Well, you can't have him; he's mine!"

Edna: "You're completely irrational, Tootie! I've seen this before; back when I was a girl people were going nuts for Al Jolson. They would collect his sheet music and trace silhouettes of his profile. I almost got caught up in all the madness, myself, so I know what it's like! You have to snap out of it before it takes over your life! Now, go help prepare dinner or I'll have you institutionalized like I did with Molly Ringwald."

Tootie: "Yeah, about that ... there won't be dinner because I used all the chopped liver to make a life-sized Jermaine Jackson statue."

Edna: "Oh, Tootie!"

Well, I think we've all learned a valuable lesson: contrary to the opinion of a certain fashion editor who shall remain nameless, there can never be too much Tootie.

But on with the recap:

This episode of Project Runway is not brought to you by Kenmore. In fact, because Kenmore didn't come up with enough cash, the show had to cover their logo with electrical tape on all the appliances in the Atlas kitchens. Cheap bastards.

Chloe has to move apartments because the women on the show are dropping like flies:

Chloe: "I'd rather have my own apartment but it's OK. I've lived with people before. And by 'people' I mean twenty-seven sisters."

Heidi addresses the designers:

Heidi: "Are you ready for your next challenge?"

Designers: "No."

Heidi: "Well, too bad because ... wait, what do you mean 'no'?"

Designers: "We're just joking! We're ready for our next challenge."

Heidi: "That's better. But too bad, because you're not going to find out what it is until tomorrow morning!"

God, she is so hot when she teases us like that!

Heidi: "Someone will come to you in the morning with a little package."

Robert: "It's not that little!"

Anyway, as the designers wait for Robert and his little package ...

Robert: "Hey! Come on!"

Sorry. As the designers wait for Robert's delivery (is that better?) they try to figure out what the surprise will be:

Nick: "Will it be one of those outfits worn by people who pass things out?"

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Santino: "Like someone in a chicken suit passing out chicken coupons."

Oh, now I understand.

Santino: "Yeah, I bet it will be a chicken suit. I'm going to spend all night thinking about chicken suits."

Gee, I hope that doesn't affect your design.

Kara: "I didn't know what the challenge was because I didn't know what to expect."

Or, conversely, you didn't know what to expect because you didn't know what the challenge was.

Kara: "Wow, that's true, too! Freaky!"

Robert delivers a package to Emmett:

Robert: "You don't know who I am, do you?"

Emmett: "Um, of course I remember you. You work in the downtown branch and you helped me mail something at Christmas. You all do such a wonderful job."

Robert: "No; I was on season one."

Emmett: "Of what?"

Robert: "Forget it."

The designers get these ridiculous skating outfits they have to wear. But some are more ridiculous than others:

Kara gets a blue and green velour outfit that's such a retro 1980s horror that it's actually cool.

Chloe gets something that looks like pink tie-dyed cotton. It's pretty awful. It also doesn't really look like a skating outfit. Maybe you would wear it for practice?

Zulema's outfit actually looks like a skating outfit that someone could wear in a lower-level competition. It's like a little pink princess costume, which is kind of a new look for Zulema. She accessorizes with gold glitter eye makeup. Fabulous!

Andrae, Nick, and Emmett get similar outfits with puffy polyester shirts in colors that should be considered crimes against humanity. Andrae is in green and Nick is in purple. I think they are both button-front shirts and, while awful, are not particularly unflattering. Emmett's, however, is an almost fuchsia pink and it's a crew neck that just leaves a solid mass of polyester fabric across his torso that would be unflattering even on someone with a perfect body. How could they do such a thing to Emmett. Seeing such a elegant, sophisticated man in this shirt makes you want to gouge your own eyes out. It just isn't right. It's like the Queen of England in nothing but her underwear. You are not supposed to see that.

Anyway, Santino is in a similar top but in white, which is not nearly as bad. He accessorizes it with a Russian-style hat and he's actually never looked better. Seriously, he looks good. Maybe because he has that awful, greasy hair covered up.

Daniel looks like he's wearing a completely normal outfit. It just looks like a black T-shirt and black pants. The shirt has a stripe of glitter on one side but you don't even notice it at a distance. What's up with that? Why didn't Daniel have to wear an embarrassing outfit? Apparently, someone who has a little crush on Daniel decided to give him the one cool outfit but I'm not suggesting it's Tim ... OK, I'm suggesting it's Tim.

The designers don't know yet what their costumes are. Santino still thinks he's going to be passing out chicken coupons. The van takes them to a prison. The designers are a little worried. No, really, I think Tim says that they parked the van at a prison because it was across the street from the ice skating rink.

So, anyway, they get into the ice skating rink and the designers slowly realize they are wearing ice skating costumes. Yeah, we love our designers but they're a little slow. They see Sasha Cohen out on the ice. Nick creams his pants. Fortunately, they're polyester so that should come out in the wash.

Nick: "Oh, My God! It's Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen! I can't believe I'm ten feet away the Sasha Cohen!"

Oh, please. Wake me up when they get an Olympic gold medalist. Back in the original Olympics you either won or you lost. They didn't have sissy silver medals for people who just didn't lose as badly as the rest.

No, I'm totally kidding! Sasha Cohen is fantastic!

Sasha: "I need something that stretches and doesn't give me a wedgie and it should show up on the ice but the sequins can't fall off because that will make a mess. Here's a picture of my crotch!"

Yep, that's a picture of her crotch, alright.

The designers buy fabric and go to a separate store for trim:

Nick: "I need a shitload of sequins."

Daniel: "I'm spending all my money on trims."

Santino: "I need six dead turkeys, please."

There is much drama in the work room:

Emmett: "I've never worked with stretch fabric before."

For those of you who don't know, Emmett is a menswear designer.

Emmett: "Oh, yeah. Did I forget to mention that?"

Kara explains stretch fabrics to Emmett:

Kara: "You just have to remember that stretch fabric stretches and you'll be fine. Nick, what do you think of mine?"

Nick: "I am not teaching today! I'm on vacation!"

Kara: "Wow, bitch; I just asked what you thought."

The overlock machine is being a pain in the ass. Everyone tells us how important that machine is for sewing stretch fabrics. Of course, Andrae does it in a British accent so it's more dramatic:

Andrae: "I'm going to fix the machine, everyone! Did you hear me? I'm fixing the machine! Please hold your applause until after I've finished fixing the machine! Thank you!"

Later:

Andrae: "You know I can't constantly be fixing the machine for you."

Nick: "I'm doing my best to keep from slapping you right now."

Daniel: "Will you shut up about the machine! Nobody even asked you to fix it!"

On to the judging, where Heidi looks like she's auditioning for a production of "Chicago" and we have to endure Anne Slowey again (Bravo had better not let Nina take a day off during season four or I'm going to punch you-know-who in the nuts!):

Daniel's looks like an walking eggplant. I hate it.

Zulema's is white and intricate and looks like something a skater would wear. I really didn't like it at all when I originally watched the episode but I've changed my mind. Although it doesn't look very well made, I think it actually fits much better than I remembered and it's kind of pretty. Anyway, I don't mind that Sasha chose it as the winner (though I would have chosen Chloe's).

Kara's is all razzle dazzle. It's not bad but it's pretty boring.

Emmett was going to do van Gogh's Starry Night on his but I guess he ran out of time. The shape is way too simple and the skirt is ugly but I love the detailing at the top. At first glance, it's very pretty but then you realize there just isn't much to it. Too bad. Emmett's out. He was my favorite and I really thought he would go all the way.

Andrae's is influenced by a cyclone and it's not bad. It's not a great color but it's an interesting design and would probably flow nicely on the ice.

Santino's looks like a dead turkey.

Nick's is OK. It's very similar to Daniel's; other than having one bare shoulder, there isn't anything very exciting about either design. Nick's fabric is pretty but I don't think it's quite right for a skating costume.

Chloe's is so imaginative. It's really original and if Sasha had wanted something different but still flattering, she should have picked this. Sasha was worried that she didn't have the curves to pull off this outfit but Grace doesn't have any curves, either. In fact, I think this would have looked better on Sasha than it did on Grace. With Emmett gone, this is the episode where I become a full-on Chloe fan.

What do the judges think?

Michael: "Santino's looks like a baboon's ass exploded on her backside."

Santino: "I knew you would say that."

Anne Slowey: "Kara, that fringe would be so unflattering on a skater's giant thighs."

Ooh, look at me; I'm Anne Slowey and I think I'm so smart.

Anne: "Santino's looks like Carmen Miranda on acid."

I'm sure you thought that would sound clever. It didn't.

Anne: "Emmett's is both vulgar and dowdy."

SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!!!!

Oh, I apologize for that outburst. That was rude. Anyway, as I said, Sasha picks Zulema's:

Sasha: "I'll be wearing Zulema's outfit on the ice."

Zulema: "Where and when?"

Sasha: "In hell. When it freezes over."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Project Runway Recap, Season Two, Episode 6: Window Dressing: or The Cry and Cut Episode!

The episode starts with Santino telling us how, in his mind, he has been hired by the Hilton corporation to redesign everything for the hotel chain, from bath-robes to ashtrays.

Santino: "Nick won the Barbie challenge and I won the Nicky Hilton challenge. One of them is a role-model for girls and the other is a fake, plastic doll. I can't remember which is which but I'm sure my win was better."

He stays with his model, Heather:

Santino: "If there is one thing I am, it's loyal. If there are two things I am, it's loyal and creepy."

We meet Deborah Lloyd, a lovely woman with a really unfortunate haircut. The designers will be creating a look for Banana Republic and Deborah tells them how it should be a look that can transition from day to evening.

Deborah: "This challenge is about molding your personal vision to a national brand."

Tim: "Excuse me, but I get to make the educational and inspirational statements."

Deborah: "Sorry."

The designers grab a bunch of Banana fabric and make some sketches. When they get to the design room Nick finds out his table is gone and he has to use a different one:

Nick: "Oh, my god! That table was my muse! I can't use another table! I don't even feel like being here any more."

Tim tells the designers they will be pairing up for this challenge. Andrae tells us he was shocked. Is Andrae ever not shocked? He always looks like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone after he put on aftershave.

The designers stand around completely dumbfounded. You would have thought Tim just told them they had to jump off the roof of the Altas. Finally they start pairing up:

Santino: "Everyone wanted to be my partner. It was embarrassing."

Nick: "I don't know what happened. One minute everything was normal and the next minute I was Santino's partner. This has something to do with that stupid new table."

Tim: "This is really make it work time."

That's not very helpful.

Tim: "Well, what do you want? That Deborah woman takes all the best lines."

Most of the designers interpret "day into evening" as meaning "wearing a jacket and then taking it off."

Daniel and Andrae are making a really cute dress with a jacket that I originally mistook for the muslin. Andrae calls it Edwardian:

Tim: "That jacket really looks stupid."

Daniel and Andrae: "That's the look we were going for!"

Tim: "Well, then you've really achieved it!"

Daniel and Andrae: "Thank you, Tim!"

Marla and Diana are making a suit. Marla is worried that it isn't flattering. Really? Has Marla seen anything she's ever designed? Unflattering would be a step up.

Diana's design has a layered skirt that pulls to the back and buttons for a sexier evening look. It's the most interesting idea in this whole challenge. Tim talks them out of it and they end up making a completely boring pencil skirt. Maybe the original idea wouldn't have worked but at least it would have been better than what they ended up with. I think this was one of those very few times when TIM MADE A MISTAKE. I know I'm going to be hit by lightning but it had to be said.

Kara immediately starts crying in order to get a head start on it.

The next day Tim tells Zulema and Kara that their dress is not working for him. Kara swallows a bottle of sleeping pills. Zulema forces her to throw up and then puts her to work creating a new dress. Kara continues to cry:

Zulema: "I don't care if you cry but you have to cry and cut!"

Kara starts cutting:

Zulema: "Oh, come on; now you're just messing with me. You know I was talking about cutting the fabric!"

Zulema bandages up Kara's wounds and makes her get to work. They create a dress from scratch in about 15 minutes, leaving them a full 45 seconds to make a jacket.

They take a field trip. Emmett is dressed like a member of a barbershop quartet. They stop in front of Banana Republic. Tim tells them they will be creating window displays. Andrae's head explodes.

Emmett is painting beautiful illustrations of his and Chloe's outfit in their space. It's pretty nice. Tim says it's more fabulous than he can say.

Zulema and Kara have cut out a Manhattan skyline and put up circles in colored construction paper that plays on the fabric pattern of their dress. I think the window is visually arresting and the idea of the model walking across Manhattan to go from day to evening is very effective.

Kara: "She'll be walking from wherevah to wherevah."

Yeah, whatevah. Anyway they have my favorite window.

Daniel and Andrae paint two clocks on the wall, both set to 9:00, and the words "dressed to the nines." Other Eric finds this brilliant. Me, not so much. The concept is good; it gets across the idea of day to evening. But how can you tell which clock is A.M. and which is P.M.? And, I'm sorry, but even if it's clever, it's a visually boring window.

Marla and Diana are fighting.

Santino: "I hope they rip each other's vocal cords out."

Diana wants to create an office scene with lots of crumpled paper on the floor. I think the concept is that the office worker has had enough and is ready to go out and get drunk. It's not a great idea but it's not that bad, either. Marla does nothing but complain about everything. She doesn't come up with any better ideas; she just complains about the ones Diana has.

Nick and Santino are creating the shittiest window display in history. Santino is trying to come up with a possible reason for its astounding shittiness:

Santino: "Our window was smaller than the others."

Here's what I'm thinking: if the window had been bigger, it would have just looked like an even bigger piece of shit. I could be wrong.

Supposedly real Banana Republic customers who happen to be loitering outside the store vote on which display they prefer.

Heidi: "Would you like to know the results of the vote?"

Yes!

Heidi: "Well, too bad. I'm not going to tell you."

Man, what a tease! Yeah, baby, you know how I like it!

On the runway, the judges love Emmett and Chloe's outfit but they think it is too high end, too Bergdorf's. I don't quite get that, but what do I know? Their model, Grace, was absolutely wonderful, turning the jacket inside out and putting it back on in one (I have to say it) graceful move. That could have been really awkward but she made it look easy.

Daniel and Andrae's dress is super cute and very Banana. That, combined with their popular window, makes up for the stupid jacket and they win. Congratulations Daniel and Andrae!

Zulema and Kara's cute dress also makes up for their ugly, unfinished jacket and they are still in.

The judges hate Nick and Santino's stupid outfit. Santino, as usual, defends it by insulting the judges:

Santino: "We imagined this for the director of an art gallery."

Michael Kors: "I know all the major gallerists in New York. They're my clients. And they would never dress like that."

Santino: "Yes, but your clients are old and have bad taste."

Michael: "I'm about ready to let Nina rip your face off."

Heidi: "Nick, could you tell us what went wrong?"

Nick: "Well, it all started when I got the bad table in the design room and then ..."

Heidi: "Forget it; we don't have time for that story. You're in."

Michael: "Marla and Diana, could you please ask the flight attendant to bring us some coffee before you go?"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wonderful World of Dining: or Eating at Disneyland!

Last night we had dinner at the Napa Rose at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel. Our friends Geoffrey and Thommy were celebrating their 10th anniversary and they had a party in the restaurant for 52 people! Holy crap! It's been several years since I've had a five-course meal at a nice restaurant and I don't think I've ever had a wine-pairing meal so this was really special.

First of all, the hotel is beautiful; I'd never been inside it. The Grand Californian is modeled after the early 20th-c. craftsman style. It's Disneyfied craftsman but it's still pretty impressive because it's just so big! The lobby is about six stories high and reminds me of the lobbies of huge National Park lodges. We thought about staying down there for the night because it's a pretty long drive but it was a really busy weekend and many of the hotels were booked and it was too expensive, anyway. It didn't take long to drive home, though, because it was so late. I'm just glad I didn't have to drive; I'd had too much wine.

We arrived a little early (but not early enough to go into the park and go on a ride, which Eric had originally wanted to do) so we walked over to Downtown Disney and Eric bought a T-shirt. Our friend, Aimee, did even more major shopping; she decided she was under-dressed and actually bought a dress in Downtown Disney right before dinner! She is so funny! She had been scouting pirate-themed restaurants for a party, as one does, so she had been wearing jeans. There were people in the restaurant who were dressed pretty casual but most of our party was a little more dressed up. We didn't know most of the people there but we had a wonderful time getting to know the people at our table.

The executive chef for the Napa Rose is Andrew Sutton and the general manager/sommelier is Michael Jordan. You were wondering what Michael Jordan was up to, right? First basketball, then baseball, then underwear modelling, and now he's a sommelier. Seriously, though, that's the guy's name.

We started with canapes and champagne in the bar area. Eric was fall-down drunk after one glass so he didn't have any wine with dinner. He tasted mine, though. The mushroom "tartar" canapes were delicious. I don't know what champagne we were drinking but I'm assured it was actual champagne and not sparkling wine. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

We were seated according to Disney characters; we were at the Goofy table. First course was "Lobster & Acocado Martini 'Shaken Not Stirred' with Creamy Mango-Lime Vinaigrette." It was basically a lobster, avocado, and mango salad served in a martini glass with a breaded jalapeno-stuffed olive. It was a cute presentation and it was tasty. It was paired with a 2001 Chardonnay from the Tantara Winery in the Santa Maria Valley.

Second course was a "Salad of Select Organic Greens, Apples and Laura Chenel Goat Cheese with Candied Walnut Vinaigrette." Delicious. We were still drinking the first wine with this course.

Third course definitely made us think of Top Chef. It was a "Coastal Mushroom Bisque 'Cappuccino' with Brandied Thyme 'Froth.'" It was served in a cappuccino cup and looked just like a cappuccino and the "froth" made us think of Marcel's famous foams. It was very good. This course was paired with a 2002 Belle Glos Pinot Noir from Caymus Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast.

For the entree we had a choice of "Sauteed Salmon with Lobster Risotto and Champagne-Basil Essence; Mine Shaft Blue Cheese Crusted Fillet of Beef Tenderloin with Colcannon Whipped Potatoes and Cabernet Jus; or Rosemary Grilled Lamb Chops with Farm House Roasted Potatoes and Merlot Jus." I chose the fillet. I wish I liked fish more because the salmon sounded really good. The entree was paired with a 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Silverado Vinyards in the Napa Valley. I don't know if the wines were getting better with each course or if we were just getting drunker but this Cabernet was delicious.

For dessert we had a "Scharffen Berger Flourless Chocolate Cake with Double Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream." We were expecting a really sweet desert wine with this course so we were very pleasantly surprised to get a red sparkling wine served in a champagne flute that tasted remarkably like a Kir Royale. I didn't know such a wine existed. It was very refreshing. It was a 2005 Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto di Acqui from Italy.

By the end of the night there was a baby sleeping in a tablecloth (the adorable Parker) and we were all very happy. Oh, and the valet service is excellent! It was a wonderful meal with wonderful people! Congratulations Geoffrey and Thommy and thank you!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Project Runway Season Two, Episode 5: Where the hell is my chiffon?!

First I'd like to thank all of you for your sweet comments about my Docorating Schmecorating post. I just have this to say to each and every one of you: I want to have your baby! No, really; I'm almost 40 and my biological clock is ticking.

Anyway, back to Project Runway, which is why we've all gathered here today. We start episode 5 with Chloe still crying:

Chloe: "Wahhhh! I can't believe Daniel Franco is gone. He was such a good person."

Really? I just found him creepy.

Chloe: "Oh, shut up! You don't even know him!"

Alright; don't yell at me! You're the one who got him kicked off the show!

Chloe: "Wahhhhhh!!"

Oh, dear; now I've made Chloe cry. Santino tells us he's sorry about his behavior in the last challenge:

Santino: "Are you out of your mind? So what if I punched Nina Garcia in the face? I'm just being a true artist and I'll never apologize for that!"

Well, I have to respect that. Wait, no I don't.

The designers are told they will be making a party dress for one of the hottest young socialites!

Other Eric: "Ooh, I hope it's Lovey Howell!"

Who the hell is Lovey Howell?

Other Eric: "Hello? Mrs. Howell from Gilligan's Island! What's wrong with you?"

Lovey wasn't her real name! That's just the pet name Thurston called her.

Other Eric: "No, that was her name!"

Fine! I'll check IMDB! ... OK, her character is officially listed as Lovey Howell. However, further investigation turns up that her maiden name was Eunice Wentworth. We're both right!

Tim Gunn: "I'm sure that's all fascinating but can we get back to the show now?"

Sorry. Before we find out who the supposed hot young socialite is Daniel has to pick a model. Gee, I wonder if he'll keep Rebecca.

Daniel: "This is such a difficult decision!"

Oh, puhlease!

Tim comes in with the dossier for the client:

Tim: "Daniel, get that sweet, sweet ass up here and tell everyone who their client will be."

Designers: "Ooooooh! Daniel is the teacher's pet!"

Daniel: "Shut up, you guys! Am not!"

Anyway, we get the incredibly unexciting news that the the client will be Nicky Hilton. Yeah, she really puts the light back in socialite.

Nicky: "My taste is exquisite. That means discriminating. I just looked it up."

We get more useless sound-bites about the various designers' styles:

Lupe: "My style is all about attachments."

Other Eric: "She means strap-ons."

Marla: "I like to put my own signature on my designs."

Other Eric: "She means she likes to take someone else's garment and sew her own label onto it."

In the design room Zulema is going all Shetange on everyone's asses because her dress form is missing. Suddenly everybody's dress form seems to be missing and they are all screaming. I still have no idea what actually happened. Fortunately Andrae manages to bring peace to the region by yelling, "Where the hell is my chiffon?"

Madeleine Albright: "I tried yelling that in the Middle East once and I got bupkis."

Lupe is talking about how she can add and subtract the fleurchons. I vote for subtract.

Santino: "Fine! They want beautiful? I'll give them the most fucking beautiful dress they've ever seen!"

um ... good.

Santino: "It will be so beautiful Nina's head will explode!"

Diana's dress is looking a little Stevie Nicks:

Diana: "What is this Stevie Nicks of which you speak?"

What? Well, we have to remember she's only 14. At least she's probably heard of Cher. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Bradley!

The designers all get drunk at a party where they are trying to impress Nicky Hilton, who seems to be dressed for a late-night incognito visit to Home Depot. I'm guessing she's wearing her own line of clothing.

We get acquainted with Dirty Diana, Santino impresses an easily impressed Nicky Hilton with his black stilettos and business cards, Nicky tells everyone they designed her favorite dress, and then the designers decide to have a ...

Daniel: "It's a motherfucking walkoff!"

That's right, Daniel! It's a motherfucking designer walkoff! The designers strutt their stuff!

So, on to the runway:

Chloe makes a Chloe blue dress. It's perfectly fine.

Diana makes a black dress and the seams are a little puckery but it's not too bad.

Nick also makes a blue dress with a really pretty back but I just can't imagine anyone wearing it to a party; the hemline is just too much.

Marla copies the Chloe dress in Nicky's press picture. It's inexplicable. It was mentioned to her early on and she just kept making it and then at the last minute she said it was too late to change it.

Emmett makes another flawless dress that gets no attention at all. It's just a simple babydoll but the criss-crossing layers of sheer fabric just look gorgeous when the model walks. Once again, Emmett is in my top three.

Zulema makes an absolutely hideous dress that looks like bondage gear and kitchen curtains had a love child. The skirt is so poorly made and the hem is uneven. Once again, she's lucky other designers also made some awful garments.

Santino's is pretty enough. It looks a lot like his first dress but this is blue to match Nicky's eyes. Enough with the blue dresses for Nicky! She must wear other colors. Meanwhile, is it just our television or does Nicky actually have hazel eyes? They just don't look very blue to me. Maybe she's wearing hazel contacts.

Kara's has her signature empire waist and bound bosom. As usual, it's really cute. But I don't know if Nicky appreciated having it pointed out that she has small breasts.

Daniel's is absolutely beautiful! That retro pink patterned fabric is gorgeous! It's a very simple silhouette but he created wonderful tiered detailing. It is so sexy on Rebecca and it is a perfect party dress. Nicky might actually be a little bony for this dress but it still should have been the winner in this challenge.

Andrae also makes a great dress. Perfect for jet-setting. As he says, it's jersey and it can just be thrown into a suitcase.

Lupe makes another dud. It's possibly the best thing she's made so far and it's still horrible. The judges are stupefied. Michael actually gets maternal:

Michael: "There is no way I am letting Nicky go out of the house wearing that!"

Lupe is finally out, though Marla had a very close call. Heidi wanted to get rid of Marla but I think Michael saved her.

Nickey picks her favorite dress, which is Santino's. I have no idea what the party had to do with anything. What it came down to is which dress Nicky would most like to wear. Of course, she pretended to be really impressed by Santino's sparkling personality so she would have an excuse to pick him but we all know it just came down to the dress. Oh, yeah; and Nicky's terrible taste.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Brini Maxwell tribute at Project: Gay!

OK, if you are as clueless as I am and you do not know about the fabulous Brini Maxwell, the boys at Project: Gay will set you straight (well, you know what I mean)! Check out their tribute here!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Casa de Eric!

If you are interested, there are more pictures of our apartment over on Other Eric's blog. Check them out here!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Project Runway Recap, Season Two, Episode 4: Brevity is the Essence of Lingerie!

The boys at Project Rungay are blogging earlier seasons of Project Runway on DVD. It's like Christmas all year long! Anyway, here's my recap:

We begin with Santino telling us how he is responsible for Nick's win in the Barbie challenge:

Santino: "Nick's design was not better than mine. But if it had been better than mine it would be because I helped him."

Nick: "Whatever, Miss Thing. You just told me I needed to glue more crap on it and I ignored you."

Diana tells us her favorite part of doing the show:

Diana: "I enjoy getting the challenges. It's super exciting. I also like hearing that my design was good enough to stay. The rest sucks."

Heidi tell us the challenge involves something she knows a lot about:

Getting knocked up by Seal?

Heidi: "No, it involves lingerie."

Getting knocked up by Seal doesn't involve lingerie?

Heidi: "Well, yes, I guess there is a connection."

First Nick has to state the obvious and say he's staying with his muse, Tara.

Nick: "Tara, you are like my Kira, Olivia Newton-John's character from Xanadu. I need you for inspiration."

Zulema: "Note to self ..."

Heidi explains the challenge:

Heidi: "You will have 30 minutes to draw, then you will pitch your ideas to me for a collection of three lingerie looks. I will pick four of you to be team leaders. The four team leaders will pick two other designers to form teams of three. Then you will have 30 minutes to buy fabric. So, with 12 designers divided by four teams multiplied by 30 minutes at Mood, if you are walking through the garment district at 2.4 miles per hour and assuming that X equals $200, how long will it take before someone hits Daniel Franco in the nuts?"

Diana: "Yay! A math challenge!"

The designers pitch their ideas to Heidi:

Daniel V.: "It's all about girls trashing their boyfriend's stuff."

Heidi: "I like that!"

Lupe: "Superheroes! It will say 'Blammo' over the butt and 'Bang' over the vagina!"

Heidi: "I don't think so."

Andrae: "It's tie me up, tie me ..."

Heidi: "Down?"

Andrae: "Oh, my god! We're finishing each other's ..."

Heidi: "... what?"

Andrae: "You're supposed to say 'sentences'. Daniel V. knows how to do it."

Chloe: "This is lingerie that you can also wear as clothing. Oh, never mind; I forgot you already do that. Oh, by the way, I'm trying to not get picked because I don't want to be a team leader."

Santino: "This is what I think it would look like if the cast of The Sound of Music got in a horrible head-on collision with a herd of elk."

Heidi: "Oh, that's happened before on the autobahn. Yeah, it was pretty cool."

Zulema: "This is my collection of floor-length lingerie."

Heidi: "Next!"

Kara: "Boudoire babes."

Heidi: "Next!"

Nick: "Asiana nights."

Heidi: "Next!"

Marla: "Cutie ..."

Heidi: "Next!"

Marla: "Well, that was just rude."

Emmett: "Heidi's Hollywood Honeymoon."

Heidi: "... um ..."

Diana: "Goddess. The fabric will flow behind her."

Heidi: "So it's lingerie that needs its own wind machine?"

Diana: "Oh, ha ha. No, obviously, the lingerie has built in fans that go on when your heart rate is elevated."

Heidi: "Wow, I thought only the North Koreans had that kind of technology."

Daniel F.: "I love you, Heidi."

Heidi: "If I pick you will you stop staring at me like that?"

Daniel F.: "I cannot promise you anything."

OK, team challenge. Our favorite! Not. Let's look at the teams:

Daniel V. picks Andrae and Zulema.
Daniel F. picks Chloe and Kara.
Santino picks Nick and Emmett.
Diana picks Lupe and pretends to pick Marla, though she has no choice.

Out of 12 designers, Zulema is the third to the last picked. Somehow she brags about this because she was picked before Emmett and Marla.

Zulema: "I'm not surprised Emmett and Marla were last."

Emmett and Marla: "We didn't see anyone too excited about picking you, either, bitch."

Daniel Franco explains lingerie to us:

Daniel F.: "Lingerie should be beautiful and sexy and about making love. It should be about getting some action ... or something. At least I hope people are getting some action. Because I'm sure not getting any. I spend a lot of time thinking about Heidi getting some action, though."

Heidi: "Daniel, don't make me come over there and hit you in the nuts."

Daniel F.: "Sorry."

Meanwhile the only all-girl team, Diana, Lupe, and Marla are giggling and talking about boys.

Santino: "They are so lame. They seriously need to get laid."

Daniel F.: "That's what I'm saying. That's what lingerie is all about."

Santino: "Daniel, don't make come over there and hit you in the nuts."

Emmett is having a little trouble:

Emmett: "I'm a menswear designer so I don't know how to make these designs. I'm really trying to fulfill Santino's horrible vision."

Santino: "Emmett is like a sack of potatoes. What is so difficult about making hideous clothing? I do it every day!"

Daniel Franco is driving Chloe and Kara insane:

Chloe: "Daniel, what are you doing? Why haven't you even started that?"

Daniel F.: "I just have to count every thread in this piece of fabric to make sure it matches this other piece. Stop worrying. I'm not doing this to piss you off. I'm doing it because I'm clinically insane."

Tim makes his rounds:

Tim: "Daniel, this collection is a little Joan Collins."

Daniel F.: "Wow, thanks, Tim!"

Tim: "Diana, I'm not getting this."

Diana: "Well, you know ... um ... yeah, you know ... like, yeah."

Tim: "Well, I think you've summed it up perfectly."

Santino is crying:

Santino: "Oh, my god! The garment Emmett made looks like an insane Christmas elf outfit! It's perfect! I didn't think he could do it but he really pulled it off!"

The next day Team Santino is still pasting crap on to the outfits:

Nick: "There is a point when it's just too much. I'll let you know when we're getting close."

Kara wants to snip Daniel Franco's peepee off:

Zulema: "Girl, you haven't done that yet? Get out of the way. I'll show you how it's done."

Diana's model is being a pain in the ass:

Model: "Do you mind if I wear a burkha over this?"

The runway is pretty much a train wreck. Daniel V.'s team wins. their collection wasn't very interesting but it was the most flattering. Diana's team is safe. Their collection was kind of cool but did not make the model's butts look very nice.

Santino and Nina scream at each other for 45 minutes until they finally accept the inevitable and rush into each other's arms to make sweet, passionate love.

Judges: "Daniel, why do your clothes look like they were designed for the elderly?"

Daniel F.: "Oh, that's because I was really thinking about honeymoons."

Judges: "You are so weird. Chloe and Kara, what did you think of Daniel's leadership?"

Chloe and Kara: "Oh, we were so ready to hit him in the nuts!"

Judges: "Yeah, we can understand that."

Daniel: "Ladies, I may be leaving but I'm making love to all of you with my eyes."

Nina: "Yuck."

Daniel Franco leaves with his dignity and peepee intact.

Chloe: "Daniel, you are such a good person. And that's really important because you are such a terrible designer."

The best part is that now I can start referring to Daniel V. simply as "Daniel."

Legal Disclaimer: Eric Three Thousand does not endorse violence toward either Daniel Franco or his nuts. Please treat them with the respect they deserve.