Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Fashion Show Finale Part Two: I watched the entire season of The Fashion Show and all I got was this stupid Bravo T-shirt!

Actually, I didn't even get a T-shirt. What was up with the T-shirt-free reunion episode?

Andy Cohen: "Unfortunately, there was no bromance this season so we couldn't think of anything to put on a T-shirt."

That's understandable. Another problem I noticed while watching the repeat of the first half of the finale is that we were supposed to vote for James-Paul by texting his name without the hyphen! I think that put him at a disadvantage. This election is totally rigged! I'm taking to the streets! Who's with me? Nobody? OK, never mind. I voted for James-Paul thirty times at 99 cents per vote and they didn't count! How much is that?

Isaac: "That's like a thousand dollars!"

Thank you, Isaac. See? I wasted like a thousand dollars and James-Paul is going to lose now. OK. I'm lying. I didn't vote at all because I'm too lazy.

We start the reunion with Angel showing off her totally cute shirt dress and the Panty Christ telling us how his underwear is going through the roof:

Isaac: "How's your underwear?"

Panty Christ: "Exploding!"

Hee hee. Isaac said "underwear."

The Panty Christ then argues that he shouldn't have been eliminated and the judges politely remind him that his dress majorly sucked and he's a psycho for questioning their decision.

Daniella, Anna, and James-Paul come out.

Kelly: "Anna . . . I mean one of you will win a $125,000 and have your clothes sold at Either Daniella or James-Paul . . . I mean one of the finalists will win the judges'-choice prize of $10,000. This is so exciting! Other than the fact that Anna is obviously going to win, anything could happen!"

We get a recap of Reco. Apparently the viewers were very upset by his elimination. There were even accusations of racism:

President Barack Obama: "First, I have to admit that Reco is a very dear friend of mine so I might not be completely objective. And I also don't know all the facts of the case. But I think it is safe to say that the judges acted stupidly. There are several things we can all agree on: First, any one of us would be angry if this happened to us. Second, Reco was obviously the best designer on the show. And third, there is a sad history in this country of African American contestants being voted off of reality competition shows disproportionately. That's just a fact."

Well, you can't argue with facts.

Isaac: "We have a stupid question from a viewer."

Viewer: "Were the judges all sharing the same crack pipe?"

Fern: "Whatever we were smoking, it was obviously some good shit because we made the right decision, dumb-ass."

After an insufficient review of what the designers wore during the season, we get a recap of Daniella.

Isaac: "We have another question from a viewer:

Lulu: "Daniella, I think the sun shines out of your ass. Why does everyone else think you are a total bitch?"

Daniella: "How the hell should I know? They're probably just jealous because I'm young and I know what young people like."

OK, on to the decoy lines:

Daniella: "Oh, and everyone else is old and they just don't get it."

Anyway, this is the first I've seen of the decoy lines because I like to be surprised. And I'm glad I didn't look at them earlier because I think I would have been able to tell right away that these were not created as serious contenders. I don't know if they had the same amount of money and time, but both collections look cheap and rushed.

Merlin created a ridiculous collection of drag queen dresses. Some of the costumes were cool and interesting but there was not a single thing any woman would ever wear. And since that was the point of the show, it was pretty clear that this was a big F.U. collection that was not meant to be judged by anyone.

Johnny's collection was just lazy. It looked like no effort went into it. But, other than the fact that everything was way too short, I guess most of it was wearable and a few pieces were even cute-ish. I guess it's possible Johnny could have created this as a real collection. It pretty much represents his attitude of not caring about anything.

Another question from a viewer:

Alison: "Johnny, are you finally willing to admit you knocked off that dress?"

Johnny: "I've been explaining for weeks that the similarities were just a coincidence. I was influenced by the dress and then it just ended up being closer than I intended. OK, fine, I admit it! It was a knock off! I did it! I'll tell you anything you want to hear! Just make Alison stop grilling me! I can't take it anymore!"

Wow. That was like an episode of Law and Order.

Then we get a recap of Anna and a question from a viewer:

Lou: "Anna, why did you call yourself the dark horse?"

Anna: "Well, I was a little older than some of the designers so I was lacking some confidence in my abilities."

Daniella: "Yeah, she's old."

Kristin: "Really, really old. Like, probably over thirty."

Isaac: "Who loves short shorts?"

Haven: "I love short shorts!"

Isaac asks Kristin why she left the show:

Kristin: "I made the right decision. But I wish I'd stayed."

Isaac: "So you regret leaving the show?"

Kristin: "I regret that I didn't stay. But I don't regret my decision to leave."

Isaac: "That makes no sense."

Kristin: "I don't think quitting says anything about the quality of my designs."

Isaac: "No, it just says you can't handle the pressure of actually being a designer."

Kristin: "You know what? I don't have to take this shit. I'm leaving."

Next, the designers talk about each other. Haven calls Merlin a big old can of crazy and Johnny unsuccessfully tries out the phrase "hot ghetto mess." Then there is a vote on whether "church hat" is better than "Sears secretary." Don't ask.

Isaac is haunted by Jonny being eliminated first:

Isaac: "It's awful! I can't get over the memory of that terrible day. I can't sleep at night. I've turned to drugs and loose women just to try and cope."

Jonny: "Oh, my gosh! I'm so sorry!"

Isaac: "It's not your fault. Don't worry about me. I'm sure I'll be fine."

Finally, we get a James-Paul recap and a viewer asks a question:

Viewer: "Was that S&M gear?"

Judy Bernly: "That's right. I'm into all of it. I enjoy sex games and doing the M&Ms."

James-Paul: "Well, everyone knows that the best S&M gear comes from Pakistan."

Isaac: "Of course."

Then we get a funny piece called "Lost in translation," which mocked Merlin for having a funny accent. The funniest part was Kelly translating for Isaac.

Merlin: "Isaac told us he wanted us to blow him."

Isaac: "Actually, I said I wanted you to blow my mind."

Merlin: "That's what I said."

We learn that James-Paul's dress from the first challenge sold the best on

Isaac: "I'm surprised. I was sure it would be Johnny's Versace-inspired piece. I thought Bravo viewers would love that slutty dress."

The judges pick Daniella to win the $10,000. That was the only surprise of the episode for me. I really thought the judges were going to pick James-Paul.

Then, instead of just telling us who won, they decide to completely humiliate James-Paul by announcing that he only got 19 percent of the vote. Ouch. There's an important lesson to be learned here: my vote really wouldn't have made a difference.

Anyway, Anna wins with 56 percent of the vote. I knew she was going to win by a landslide. Well, that means Daniella only got 25 percent. That makes James-Paul's 19 percent look a little more respectable. James-Paul's was my personal favorite but I also loved Anna's collection. Congratulations, Anna!

Daniella: "I'm happy for her. Now she can afford to retire."

Kristin: "Yeah, because she's super old."

Thanks for reading, everyone! Tune in next month for Project Runway recaps!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Fashion Show Finale Part One: This show could have used a wise Latina judge!

Kelly has a fashion tip for you: Apparently you should have some pants and white shirts and cashmere sweaters and pretty dresses. Now you have a wardrobe. You're welcome.

Kelly: "We started the season with fifteen designers. There were some amazing successes, like the time Anna created a garment that didn't completely suck. And there have been some huge failures, like the time Reco made that flaming dress that gave his model third-degree burns. Now we are down to four designers and it is completely in the hands of you, the viewers, to decide the winner. Oh, after we make one more elimination. Then it will be completely up to you. Except that we don't actually count the votes from the viewers. That would be a total pain in the ass. You won't know the difference."

Let's welcome our final four: Kenley, Kayne, Leanne, and Christian:

Kenley: "Making it to the final is so amazing. Especially for someone like me. Who grew up on a tugboat."

Christian: "This show is a hot tranny mess."

OK, so the real final four are: Daniella, Anna, Reco, and James-Paul:

Anna was inspired by a Bosch painting. You know, the ones with people being eaten by horrible monsters in hell. Oh, she's not doing the hell pictures? She doing The Garden of Earthly Delights? The painting about people enjoying all the sinful pleasures that will send them to hell? Very upbeat.

James-Paul was inspired by Australian aborigines dressed as cowboys. Or something like that.

Daniella was inspired by armor.

Reco was inspired by Aztec prostitutes.

Isaac: "In a few days you'll be presenting your looks at the biggest fashion show of your lives. And I don't just mean your lives so far. I mean this will be the highlight of your careers."

Wow, that was brutally honest.

Isaac: "We've invited the biggest names in the fashion industry! Unfortunately, they couldn't make it. But we did invite them."

We learn that one designer will be eliminated after the show so that the viewers only get to vote on three of the collections.

The models come in for the fittings. Daniella's models are too skinny and Reco's models are all too big for his stupid wedding dress. Why don't they trade models?

Daniella: "I prefer models to be skinny enough to make my tight clothes look baggy and terrible."

The designers are frantically making final preparations for the runway:

Daniella: "Has anyone seen Elizabeth?"

Some Gay Hairstylist: "Uh, you'll have to be more specific. All hair and makeup people are named Elizabeth. It's the law. Would you hand me the Tresemme Shine Spray, Elizabeth? Thanks."

Daniella: "Well, someone tell Elizabeth I requesting Soft Robot and instead I got Sexy Cat. What's wrong with you people? Since when does a soft robot look like a cat?"

Never. A soft robot has never looked like a cat. Elizabeth should know that.

Time for the show:

Daniella: "My collection is so soft robot. I had to live in a bathroom. I wrote this song."

Daniella's collection was mostly black and cream, with a lot of leather and tight pants. I liked the chain-mail pieces a lot. The shoulder details really tied the looks together. I thought it was a good collection but I wasn't blown away.

Reco: "Tonight I introduce you to the high priestess of the Aztec Empire. My collection is so new. At least it seems that way to me because I haven't really been paying attention."

Reco's collection had a nice jacket. Seriously, that's the only thing I liked. He's an amazing craftsman but his designs are really dated. He thinks he's creating things nobody has seen before but that just demonstrates that he really needs to spend more time studying fashion history and looking at what other designers are doing. Because almost nothing in that collection was new or interesting. But, like I said, he makes beautifully crafted garments. I think he could have a pretty good career making one-off pieces for performers and beauty pageants.

Anna: "I'd like to thank my mother, Laura Bush."

Anna's collection used a lot of details from the season. Probably too many. Oh, and some details from Leanne's final collection. Anyway, I loved almost every piece. It wasn't as cohesive a collection as some of the others but I don't care. It's better than collections that are too cohesive because they are all black or all variations of the same dress.

James-Paul: "I was really inspired by indigenous people wearing Western clothes. It's futuristic because indigenous people are wearing what Western people wear but in a different way. Like they could wear a pair of pants as a hat."

Seriously, I think I understand what he means but he's saying it in the most convoluted way. I think what he means is that he's being inspired by the clothes of non-Western cultures that have been influenced by colonialism. So it's an influence of an influence. I like the concept better now that I've explained it to myself.

James-Paul's collection was all black and grey. His color palette is so boring. But I loved the collection. I don't think he was cut out for this show at all. I think he would have done better on Project Runway, where the designers can be a little more experimental. He just couldn't figure out what do for the challenges on this show. But, even though I thought he should have been eliminated several times during the season, his was the collection I was most looking forward to seeing. I wasn't disappointed. The ironic thing is that during the season, when he was supposed to be working on specific challenges for real women, he just produced art pieces that nobody could wear. But now that he had a full collection where he had the freedom to do anything he wanted to do, he created some really wearable pieces that would look good on many different body types. For example, his collection had the only pieces of the entire season that Fern Mallis would wear. That's a real woman.

The judges say that Anna's collection wasn't cohesive. They say that Daniella's models were too skinny. They say that Reco didn't do enough and yet he also needs to simplify. They say that James-Paul needs an instruction card to explain what the hell he's talking about.

Isaac: "We have a very difficult decision to make. Oh, who am I kidding? This is an easy decision."

Reco is out.

I am completely shocked . . . that the judges actually made the right decision. That's really not like them at all.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Fashion Show episode ten: Blood, Sweat, and Beadazzling!

Isaac Mizrahi has a fashion tip for you:

Isaac: "Fashion is all about quality, not quantity. Instead of spending money on ten cheap sweaters, it's better to buy one high quality sweater from Target. You'll be happy you spent the extra money."

Thanks, Isaac.

Isaac: "I'm all about quality. And speaking of quality, did you catch the fabulous Kelly Rowland on So You Think You Can Dance?"

I sure did! My ears are still bleeding!

Anyway, we start this episode with James Paul crying again:

James-Paul: "Nobody understands me, life is so hard, boo fucking hoo."

Oh, get a grip.

Are you ready for the best mini challenge ever? Actually, it's the best challenge, period! The designers have to drape a dress using two yards of uncut silk and 12 pins to hold it to the dress form. That's Fun with a capital F! In fact I'm going to go ahead and capitalize the U and the N, too! FUN!

I think all five designers did a good job. Obviously Johnny screwed up by making his too short--not even Paris Hilton would wear a dress that only went down to her belly-button piercing--but the result was still interesting. The critiques were all appropriate: Reco's looked dated, James-Paul's was really nice but a little too simple, and Johnny's was more about twisting the fabric than draping it.

Anna's and Daniella's were the favorites. I was particularly impressed with Anna's. Daniella wins because it is youthful:

Daniella: "I am so glad you noticed that it is youthful! I don't know if I've mentioned it before but I'm young and I know what young people like."

Yeah, we know.

Daniella: "Also, you're old and you just don't get it."

Yeah, we know.

One surprise is that this challenge turned James-Paul into a real ladies' man:

James-Paul: "This silk is like a gentlewoman. You have to treat it carefully and whisper softly in its ear and if some rogue should besmirch its honor, you have to challenge the cad to a duel."

I'm sure all the gentlewomen in the audience are dropping their panties right about now.

For the elimination challenge, the designers have to create evening gowns with Swarovsky crystals. Are you picturing beautiful beaded gowns like I am? Because that's not what we're getting. We're getting gowns with a couple of crystals Bedazzled on to them.

James-Paul explains that crystals are like a gentlewoman:

James-Paul: "You have to treat them carefully because they can be fickle creatures. You can read all about my theories in my new book How to handle fabric and gentlewomen."

Five of the eliminated designers return for no reason. Merlin makes the grandest entrance. Apparently it's 1975 and he's starring in a new Blaxsploitation film:

Merlin: "Where my bitch at!"

Shut yo mouth!

Daniella chooses to work with Haven.
Anna chooses to work with Keith.
James-Paul chooses to work with Merlin.
Reco chooses to work with Andrew.
And Johnny gets Angel.

Johnny: "I did not choose to work with Angel. She's the last person on earth I would choose to work with. I would rather work with Kim Jong Il. I bet Kim Jong Il wouldn't try to sabotage my career by intentionally not stopping me from making a knock-off."

I thought the designers would be getting help so they could do a lot of intricate bead work but it turns out the other designers are just there to sit around and read magazines.

Johnny made a greenish chiffon leopard-print dress that was "inspired" by the Lanvin dress worn by Maggie Gyllenhaal:

Johnny: "I really liked that dress. So I made that dress. That makes sense, right?"

James-Paul made a black velvet dress with gold at the bottom. I thought it was kind of pretty except for the fact that it was really stiff. The more I look at it the less I like it.

Anna made a pretty floral dress with a big bow on the shoulder. I'm not a big fan of prints on the red carpet and I hate big bows on the shoulder of a dress but I liked this dress and I loved the idea of having the crystals partially hidden in the lining of the bow.

Daniella made a sophisticated grey dress with crystals wrapped around the neck. The judges say they can see Kate Blanchett wearing it (or maybe they said Kate Winslet). The problem is I feel like I've already seen Kate Blanchett wearing it. Seriously, I'm sure it's not as much of a copy as Johnny's but it doesn't seem completely original, either.

Reco made an awful pink and purple piece of crap. I'm having trouble finding words to describe how much I hate his dress. Well, I'll put this the only way I know how: his dress makes me want to punch Daniel Franco in the nuts. (Love you, Daniel!)

The guest judge is the editor in chief of Harper's and she is even more annoying than the regular Harper's lady. First she complains about James-Paul's:

Even More Annoying Harper's Lady: "His dress reminds me of Gone With the Wind, when Scarlett makes a dress out the curtains."

Yeah, both dresses are velvet. And I guess she thinks the fine gold chain looks like the big gold curtain cord. Give me a break. They look nothing alike. Then she complains about Johnny being inspired by Lanvin:

Even More Annoying Harper's Lady: "What if Johnny is inspired by another designer in the future?"

Yeah, that would be terrible.

Anyway, Daniella wins and Johnny is out.

Next week James-Paul finally gets a haircut and Reco takes a bride. Could it be Daniella in that big white dress?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Maui: the trip!

(picture from

The Getty Center was evacuated today because of a brush fire in the Sepulveda Pass so I thought I would use the surprise afternoon off to write about my recent vacation.

Eric and I spent the last week of June on Maui with some friends and had a wonderful time. We stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea and were upgraded to ocean front suites so we had amazing views from our balconies. Yes, we got leied at the hotel -- the girls got orchid leis and the boys got kukui nut leis. The four-year old with us remembered that Eric and I had worn kukui nut leis at our wedding so he said he was going to save his lei and wear it when he gets married. So sweet! The hotel is beautiful and the people who work there are great. The pool area is nice, if you are into that. I don't understand the point in sitting and staring at a swimming pool when you are in Hawaii but a lot of people seem to like that. I probably wouldn't choose to stay in Wailea again, though, because it's a little too "resorty" for me. Other than the ocean, there was no way to know I wasn't still in Los Angeles. There's a golf course and swimming pools and a shopping center full of designers chain stores, and restaurants such as Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Tommy Bahama's. It really could have been almost anywhere and I wish it felt a little more like we were on Maui. There wasn't even anywhere in Wailea to get local food. Not even a plate lunch place. But if you want to go to Maui and still feel like you are in Los Angeles, I recommend Wailea.

But seriously, the hotel and resort were beautiful and relaxing so I'm not complaining. And you don't have to go far to feel like you are in Hawaii. We made a couple of five-minute drives to better snorkeling spots and had pretty good luck spotting fish and turtles. One day we went to "turtle beach" in Makena and swam around for ages before finally swimming out and crashing a tour group. The turtles are really hard to find on your own because they sit on the bottom like rocks. But the tour guides know how to find them. So we swam out to where the kayaks were sitting and, sure enough, turtles! So, once you find the turtles sitting on the bottom, you just have to wait a few minutes and one will come up for air and hang out with you for a while. So cool!

One day we drove up to the summit of Haleakala, which was freezing! I finally convinced the group that a bathing suit and flip-flops would not cut it up there. So we went up with the warmest clothes we had but our lightweight jackets were not enough for more than a few minutes outside the car. The crater is pretty amazing.

After our visit to the summit, I convinced the group to go to Zippy's, in Kahului, which I tried to explain is like the Hawaiian version of McDonald's, with local fast food. They are famous for their chili. I got the chili bento box, with chili, rice, macaroni salad, fried chicken, and spam. I swear to you, that's what was in it! And I ate all of it! I love that place! Needless to say, there is no Zippy's in Wailea.

What? No rice?

On Sunday, Eric and I went to a luau in Lahaina, while our friends went to an expensive Italian place in Wailea, because you just HAVE to have Italian food while you are on Maui, right? Anyway, I had been trying to convince everyone to go to the Old Lahaina Luau as a group activity but our friends were balking and then it was completely booked, because it is supposed to be the best luau in Hawaii (and therefore, presumably, the world). A traditional luau is a large meal with family and friends to celebrate a special occasion so, by definition, as a tourist, you are not going to be attending a real luau. But apparently The Old Lahaina Luau is as authentic as you can get for a fake luau, if that makes sense. If I go back to Maui, I will be going to that luau.

(Check out Other Eric's picture on his blog. It looks like a brochure picture!)

Instead, we went to the Feast at Lele, which is run by the same people but is a different experience. Instead of a buffet and group tables, it is more like a restaurant, with table service at tables for two. It is also pan-Polynesian, instead of focusing on Hawaiian food and dance. We had an impressive five-course meal. The food was nicely presented and there were at least fifteen different dishes to taste. Unfortunately we disliked almost all of it. The show was excellent, however, with dancing from Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Samoa (and Tonga? -- there were five but I forget what the other one was). The Tahitian dancing is amazing but I would have been happy with an entire show of good Hawaiian dance. You don't get to see good hula very often. Most people think they've seen hula but they've probably not seen good hula. So, if you absolutely refuse to eat at a buffet, go to the Feast at Lele for the show. If you can handle a buffet, try the Old Lahaina Luau. That's what I'm doing next time.

The most incredible part of our trip was the Road to Hana! Yes, we did it! And what do you get at the end of the Road to Hana? A T-shirt that says, "I survived the Road to Hana"! It really is an accomplishment and I'm glad we did it. Eric and I did it alone because we didn't think a four-year-old would enjoy the long car ride. So we started at 8:00 in the morning on a Monday and it was raining most of the way there. It's only fifty miles but it is so winding and narrow that it takes hours to drive. The fun part is that there are over fifty one-lane bridges so you have to check to see if someone is coming the other way before you start across. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be because you can see to the other side of the bridge and we were going with the flow of traffic in the morning. We would have to gotten to Hana in an hour and a half if it weren't for two fifteen-minute closures for road work. During one of those stops I had to crawl into the back seat and pee into a water bottle. Eric was totally scandalized but the story didn't seem to faze anyone else at dinner that night.

Anyway, we didn't stop along the way because it was raining and we thought we could stop on the way back. We got to Hana around 10:00 and as it was too early for lunch, we continued on to Oheo Gulch, which I thought was just a few more minutes past Hana but turned out to be the worst part of the road and took almost another hour. This part of the road has really long sections of one-lane road with blind corners so I don't know how traffic is supposed to go both ways. In the morning most of the traffic was going clockwise, with us, so it wasn't a big deal. But I couldn't figure out how I was supposed to go back the other way in the early afternoon, heading into traffic that would still coming from Hana. I wasn't looking forward to that. So instead of going back, we kept going clockwise all the way around the back side of Haleakala on the Piilani Highway.

But first we hiked in Oheo Gulch, which is part of Haleakala National Park. We went on a four-mile hike up to a fifty-foot waterfall. The waterfall was OK but the walk through the bamboo forest was amazing! By the time we got down, Eric was about to kill me because I had told him to just wear flip-flops and his feet were killing him. We really should have had shoes for that hike but I just remembered growing up in Hawaii and not even owning shoes; we wore flip-flops (or slippers, as they are known in Hawaii) for everything. Growing up I would get one pair of shoes to wear to church on Easter Sunday. If you didn't like flip-flops, you were free to go barefoot. Suck it up!

So, anyway, Eric would have kicked my ass if his feet hadn't been hurting so badly. But he did agree to walk the quarter mile to the pools, which the tourist literature calls the Seven Sacred Pools even though they are not sacred and there are not seven of them. They are beautiful, however, and I went swimming in one of them. After that refreshing dip, we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (you can't get food there so bring your own) and I decided to just go for it and drive back the hard way.

The drive west of Oheo Gulch on the Piilani Highway is one of the most amazing things I've ever done. It was scary but worth it. The Hana Highway is like Autopia at Disneyland compared to the back road of the Piilani Highway. First of all, it was completely closed for years after an earthquake in 2006. but it just reopened last October. Famously, people are warned that they will void their rental car agreements if they take this road. I think the worry is that you could get stuck in one of the unpaved sections. Fortunately, that side of Haleakala was completely dry, even though it rained during our entire drive on the other side. So there was no mud to get stuck in and the road hadn't been washed away, which happens sometimes in the rainy season. This road is crazy! It is entirely one lane and it is just randomly paved. Seriously, you'll be driving along in dirt and then there will just be half a mile of beautiful new asphalt for absolutely no reason and then dirt road again. Most of it, though was really old asphalt that seemed to be made up almost entirely of potholes. It was a bumpy ride. The wonderful thing about it is that it is almost completely deserted. We only met three or four cars on the two-hour journey. The most exciting parts were the one-lane dirt sections hanging on the edge of a cliff with no guardrail and no way to see if another car was coming around the corner! Fortunately, like I said, there almost never is. I tried honking my horn to let people know I was coming around the corner but I'm so unaccustomed to using the horn that I would just tap on it and it wouldn't really make any noise. Eric told me I was being too polite. Just watch out for the local drivers. They drive relatively fast (five miles per hour seems fast on this road) and they will expect you to get out of their way, which I was happy to do.

The scenery was breathtaking. You really feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. And you drive across a huge old lava flow. That drive was the highlight of the trip. I don't want to tell too many people to do it because the best part about it was the lack of tourists. But since you are all such close friends, I think I can tell you that you should do this drive if you go to Maui. You'll love it. As long as you are brave. And there hasn't been a recent storm. And you are not worried about your rental contract or your insurance. And you are a good driver. And you are patient. And you remembered to bring sandwiches. Other than that, there's nothing to worry about.

And that's what I did on my summer vacation! Aloha!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Fashion Show episodes eight and nine: Double the Eric Three Thousand for the same low price!

Sorry about my absence but I've been hiking the Appalachian Trail. What! I just really, really enjoy hiking, OK?! Why is everyone making such a big deal about it?! Jeez!

We started last week's episode with Reco and Daniella fighting:

Reco: "But Daniella, wherever shall I go, whatever shall I do?"

Daniella: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Wow, the sexual tension between those two is really getting out of control.

For the mini-challenge Isaac explains the importance of history:

Isaac: "It is really important for a fashion designer to understand history. First, there was a big explosion, then the dinosaurs died, and then you weren't allowed to wear white shoes after Labor Day. I hope you've all learned a valuable lesson."

We are introduced to a bunch of dead fashion designers, who will be the subject of a fashion history quiz.

Quick confession: I have a BA in fashion design and I've taken fashion history courses and I have no idea who Madame Gres is. Embarrassing!

Anna wins the quiz because she got the easiest questions. Seriously, "Who is famous for introducing the little black dress: Prince Charles, Chanel, or Isaac Mizrahi for Target?" Duh.

Well, it doesn't matter because she wins another horrible prize. She gets to pair up the other designers with one of the dead fashion icons. So she'll either pair them up with appropriate icons or she'll be blamed for intentionally making bad matches in order to screw up another designer. Either way, she loses.

Isaac tells the designers to meet him at the runway, where he has a big announcement:

Isaac: "As a special treat, we have brought these fashion icons back from the dead! But you have to work with them really quickly because they can only be brought back to life for sixty seconds; after that, another living designer will have to die in order to restore equilibrium to the universe. It's just like that documentary series 'Pushing Daisies.' And, no, 'can we keep Dior and let Isaac die?' is not an available option."

Anna picks Chanel for herself.
Haven is paired with Yves Saint Laurent.
Daniella is paired with Christian Dior.
Johnny is paired with Versace.
Merlin is paired with Madame Gres.
James-Paul is paired with Pucci.
Reco is paired with Halston.

Isaac sends the designers on their way with one more insightful comment:

Isaac: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to hang by a thread."

Kelly: "Who writes this shit?"

Isaac and Kelly make their annoying rounds:

Haven: "I thought I knew what I was doing but I'm really starting to second-guess myself."

Kelly: "Haven, it sounds like you are starting to second-guess yourself."

Haven: "Um, yeah, I just said that."

Kelly: "Well, I'm glad I could help."

In the fashion show, Johnny wins with a perfectly fine but not terribly interesting homage to Versace and Daniella comes in second with a very cute Dior-inspired Jacket paired with a slim pant. Daniella should have won.

Reco and Haven are the bottom two. Haven's wasn't very good; the pant fit badly and it was pretty boring. The judges hated the color but if it had fit better I think it would have been fine. Reco's, on the other hand, was just awful. It had a corset and a full skirt and, as everyone pointed out, it looked like a costume from Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. Reco didn't know anything about Halston but you really don't need to know much about Halston to know that it isn't that. Besides, he got to see a Halston in the mini-challenge. And, on top of that, he was collaborating with the reanimated corpse of Halston. So there really was no excuse for that mess. It's obvious who should be going home, right?

Isaac: "Well, if Reco had just gotten rid of the corset and changed the neckline and removed the darts and changed the sleeves and basically made a completely different dress, I think his design would have been okay."

Obviously, they can't get rid of Reco, no matter how badly he screws up. Sorry, Haven. You didn't deserve to be out this time (although you have deserved to be out in the past).

We start the next episode with a delivery from Isaac. He sent the designers robes, obviously hoping that Merlin would stop walking around the apartment in his underwear:

Merlin: "Great, now I don't have to wear underwear!"

The designers meet Isaac in the design room:

Isaac: "Oh, my god! There are six of you left! Last week there were seven and then one person went home and now there are six of you. Seven minus one equals six. I don't want to give too much away but if another person leaves this week I think next week there may only be five of you! If that turns out to be the case, you can be sure I will make a major announcement about it."

The designers have to make lounging outfits to go with the Fernando Sanchez robes, which are sold at Sacks.

Daniella tells Laura, the annoying Harper's lady, that she likes sleeping in jumpsuits:

Laura: "Well, then, I will never sleep with you."

Daniella: "Good."

Laura: "Seriously, we have nothing in common. This just isn't going to work out between us."

Daniella: "I wasn't asking you to sleep with me, you freak!"

Laura: "If you lose the jumpsuit, I might reconsider."

Daniella: "Stay away from me!"

Anna wins the mini challenge again. I think her outfit will be sold at Sacks.

Isaac tells the designers to go down to 29th Street:

Isaac: "Kelly and I always come down here for our weekly lobotomies, I mean psychic readings. I always get those confused. Psychic readings are almost as important in the fashion industry as bungee jumping. Why do you think Nancy Reagan always looked so fabulous? Of course the bungee jumping helped but mostly it was the psychic readings."

The designers get their readings:

Johnny will be traveling.

Reco needs to let go of constraints (in other words, stop using corsets).

Daniella will meet a tall, dark stranger.

James-Paul, I'm sensing someone with a name starting with B. Maybe Bob or Bernice? Does the letter B mean anything to you?

Anna will experience a change at the workplace.

Merlin will also be traveling. Really soon.

The designers have to create a look based on their readings:

Merlin made a cute outfit that was supposed to be a sweatsuit for traveling. The pants are silly but the top and the coat are really nice. The judges think it looks like something they would dig out from the bottom of a clearance bin. They also say it simultaneously is too boring and has too much going on. I would agree it's not the most innovative look but that has never really been an important factor in the judging before so I don't know what their problem is this week.

Reco made another hot suit. It looks really good. It had nothing to do with his psychic reading, however, so he doesn't win.

Anna made a cute dress covered in vaginas because vaginas relate to nature and make her happy. The judges love it.

Daniella made an ugly print skirt and a transparent top.

James-Paul made a weird grey dress that was the opposite of his psychic reading. I actually didn't mind the bustle thing in the back but the whole dress was really unflattering, as usual. The fit across the bust was terrible. He says it's not his fault because his clothes only look good on perfect people and his model is horribly deformed. Time for him to go home.

Johnny made a green skirt with what looks like a cage over it. I don't understand it but it does make me smile so I'll give him a pass this week.

Before the judging, Merlin has a rant about Johnny being happy making ping-pong dresses and everyone just stares at him in wide-eyed amazement because they don't have a clue what he's talking about.

Reco and Anna are the top two and Anna wins because her vagina dress related to her psychic reading.

Merlin and James-Paul are the bottom two and Merlin is out because the judges are insane.

Isaac: "This week we started with six designers and one went home so next week there will be five designers. Oh, my god! Five designers! That's one less than six! Holy crap!"