Project Runway Season Four, Episode 8: Haouw Aouwt!
What? What's this episode about? Well, we have that great Dane Rene Fris from Shear Genius to explain it to us:
Rene Fris: "It's all about haouw aouwt!"
Oh, my god! I don't even know what that is!
Rene: "You know; they have to make aouwt with the model's haouw!"
Cool! . . . no, sorry, I still have no idea what you're saying.
Other Eric: "He's saying 'hair art.'"
Of course! Hair Art! We love us some good hair art! Bring it on! Boy, do I miss Rene and his tight, tight pants.
The models walk out with some freaked-out dos. We learn that the designers have to make an avant-garde look inspired by a ridiculous hair style. Fantastic!
Bravo: "Did you know that 'avant-garde' was originally a military term meaning 'to demoralize the enemy by administering a bad haircut'?"
No, I didn't know that.
Tim: "Unlike the challenge with clothes made out of candy wrappers, these looks don't have to be practical or wearable. In fact, the look can be completely conceptual; you don't actually have to make anything at all!"
Some ideas for a conceptual fashion show:
1) Just have the models wear their own clothes and write a manifesto about how this addresses issues of consumerism.
2) Lock all the models in a closet and then dismantle the catwalk in silence as the audience watches you. (Note: this would probably fall into the category of performance or institutional critique.)
3) Show a home movie of you taking all the models out to dinner at the Red Lobster.
Tim: "OK, wiseass. Because of that stupid outburst I'm going to make this a team challenge."
Sorry. Well, these are the teams:
Kit and Ricky
Sweet P and Rami
Chris and Christian
Victorya and Jillian
They have to choose team leaders:
Chris: "I'm tired of being eliminated. Christian should be team leader."
Sweet P: "Rami can be team leader because I'm not very avant-garde. Avant-garde means traditional, right?"
Ricky: "Kit has such great ideas so she can be the team leader."
Victorya and Jillian have a staring contest to determine who will be team leader. Neither one blinks so they decide to flip a coin. But they can't find a coin so they flip a golf ball instead:
Victorya: "It landed on the dimpled side so I win!"
OK, so Kit and Ricky use the model that has a huge, ratty beehive and decide to make a dress based on a bird's nest, which is an interesting concept. Unfortunately, the dress they make has nothing to do with the concept.
Rami decides to make a normal Rami dress because he is so avant-garde already he doesn't need to do anything differently:
Rami: "Actually the judges haven't seen me make a corset before so I think they will be stunned by my range. Oh, yeah, and I'm putting pants under the dress and that is such an avant-garde idea. Because there is nothing more avant-garde than a ten-year-old look."
What does it have to do with the hair?
Rami: "Well, see how the hair is tight on top like a corset and then it gets loose and flowy at the bottom like a dress over a pair of pants?"
Sweet P, bless her, tries to make the look a little more interesting:
Sweet P: "I think she needs a little junk in her trunk. Why don't we add a bustle?"
You know, it couldn't hurt. But Rami is the team leader and he doesn't want anything dramatic.
Chris and Christian, or Team Supercalifragilistic, make piles of ruffles. Because apparently the model's hair looked like ruffles. I don't remember, to be perfectly honest:
Christian: "We need four thousand yards of chiffon!"
Chris: "Oh, My God! I was just thinking the exact same thing!"
Yes, they are sharing a brain this week and it is working for them.
Victorya and Gillian, or Team Sourpuss, use the model with a faux-hawk:
Jillian: "So we're making an apocalyptic trench coat."
Well, obviously. I mean, what else could you do?
So Tim goes around the room and tells Rami his dress looks like something the avant-garde's mother wear. He tells Team Supercalifragilistic and Team Sourpuss that he loves what they are doing.
He tells Kit and Ricky that he's concerned:
Tim: "I'm concerned."
Ricky: "Does it need more of this?"
Ricky: "How about this?"
Tim: "That won't help."
Kit: "Well, we're going to do more of this."
Tim: "I don't see what difference that will make."
Tim has a "special" announcement:
Tim: "I have a special announcement."
Would you mind making air quotes when you say "special"?
Tim: "Fine. I have a 'special' announcement. Are you Happy?"
Other Eric guesses that they will have to make a second look.
Tim: "In addition to your avant-garde look, you will also have to make a smaller version for Barbie."
Christian: "Oh, no! Now we need an additional four thousand yards of very, very small chiffon!"
Chris: "We can just use regular chiffon but less of it."
Christian: "Oh, right. I knew that."
Victorya: "My feeling right now is basically nausea combined with a little more nausea and topped off with some nausea. Pretty much how I usually feel."
Tim: "I'm just joking! You won't be making a Barbie outfit. Instead, you will be making a second look that is a ready-to-wear interpretation of your avant-garde look."
This is the best challenge ever! Creating something dramatic but unwearable for the runway and then creating a ready-to-wear look that is a more toned-down version of it is fun but also related so something that really happens in the design industry. I assume the designers will get an extra day so they can really put some effort into the second look!
Tim: "Nope. No extra time. They'll basically just have time to slap some meaningless detail from the avant-garde design onto the ready-to-wear design."
Oh, well. Never mind.
Tim: "OK, everyone. We have a special guest."
Did you forget something, Tim?
Tim: "Sorry. We have a 'special' guest."
That's better. It's some guy from TRESemme. The winner of the challenge will be featured in an advertisement in Elle!
On to the runway with guest judge Alberta Ferretti:
Kit and Ricky created two really bad dresses. The one that is supposed to be avant-garde is apparently based on a Little Bo Peep costume, which I think Austin Scarlett already did but better. I think they wanted it to look messy but instead it just looks sloppy. The judges think it looks poorly-made, though they are impressed with the hoop, for some reason. The mismatched fabrics just look ugly and there is nothing cutting edge or even dramatic about it. I can't even talk about their ready-to-wear dress. maybe some time in the future when time has healed the pain a bit.
Team Supercalifragilistic did a great job! The model is a tall ruffled column with this gigantic plate attached to her shoulder. Chris's costume experience really paid off in this challenge. The judges say it is very well constructed and I'll just take their word for it because I can't tell from here. I wouldn't call it avant-garde but it's certainly dramatic without looking like a costume from a specific musical. I can imagine seeing this in a couture runway show (in fact, I feel like I already have). The ready-to-wear outfit does not do anything to capture the feeling of the original but it's a decent look and it has ruffles on the blouse so it is related. Imagine if they had had time to make a little ruffled cocktail dress that was similar to the first dress but wearable.
Team Sourpuss made a very cool black trench coat that, again, was not avant-garde but was very dramatic and looked great! It was over a decent but fairly basic pant and top. For the second look they made a perfectly fine, perfectly pointless black dress. But still a good job! They are in the top two with Team Supercalifragilistic!
Victorya: "And we made four pieces so we should win. Ha ha!"
Christian: "That's so funny I forgot to laugh."
Rami and Sweet P made a . . . well basically Rami was responsible for one outfit and Sweet P was responsible for the other and it seemed that the looks had never met before. Rami made a fairly pretty dress that was not at all interesting and definitely not avant-garde or dramatic and he put it over a pair of pants to make the look completely stupid and yet still not avant-garde. Sweet P, who was not allowed to have any input in the first outfit and is, therefore, blameless, made a very cute dress for the second outfit. It had nothing to do with the first outfit but it was still a great dress.
The judging was actually easier than it usually is for team challenges. Team Supercalifragilistic and Team Sourpuss were obviously the top two. They both had good, dramatic first looks. But only Team Supercalifragilistic had a second look that had any relation to the first look so I think they deserved the win. Christian was the team leader and he did a good job so he wins the challenge. And he wins immunity for next week! So the next time you ask, "why would anyone volunteer to be team leader?" you can remember this challenge. Sometimes it pays off big time.
Both of the bottom two teams did a bad job with this challenge. The first looks are not dramatic and the second looks are completely unrelated to the first looks. The difference is that Rami's and Sweet P's looks were OK. Rami and Sweet P are safe.
You could argue about whether Kit or Ricky should be out, especially since Ricky was responsible for that horrible second dress, but I think Kit was responsible for the main concept and fabric choices, she volunteered to be team leader, and there is no indication that Ricky wasn't a team player. So Kit is out.
Victorya and Jillian are very happy that the judges liked their work this week and it shows:
Victorya: "I think it would be OK to smile as long as we take turns."
Jillian: "Yes, I think that would be fine. But I don't think we should exceed five seconds each."
Victorya: "Oh, I agree. Let's not overdo it."