Thursday, January 28, 2010

Project Runway Season Seven, Episode Three based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire!

Sorry, I'm not actually doing a "Precious" parody because I haven't seen the film (though it's high on my list of movies I should see but never will). I just really enjoy saying "based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire." Instead, we'll go to an audition room at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena:

Daniel Franco: "Neeeear, faaaaar, wherEEEEEver you are, I belieeeeve that the heart does go oooooon!"

Randy: "I'm feeling you, D Franc!"

Kara: "Your raw sexuality is giving me chills!"

Simon: "If I'm being honest, Daniel, your singing makes me want to punch you in the nuts. That's a 'yes' for me!"

Daniel: "I love you, Simon."

And with that, our dear friend Daniel Franco makes it through to Hollywood (in his mind). Meanwhile, back on Earth ...

Elizaveta is out because Ping decided she needed a stronger model. Elizaveta was sweet and tried her best, but I really don't think she belonged there. A good model will subconsciously send the message, "I look fantastic in this shitty outfit! Worship me, bitches!" But Elizaveta seemed to be sending the message, "Please don't throw things at me." And in addition to her general terrified appearance, she also has a bad knee that prevents her from walking or standing for very long:

Elizaveta: "Well, what are you gonna do?"

I'll tell you exactly what you do. Pick a different profession. Anyway, last week the models were harvested from a potato field, Pamela was out, and Jay won immunity. Heidi starts this episode by asking a weird question:

Heidi: "Would you like to meet a bunch of dead designers?"

Uh, I guess so? We meet Tim at the Met, in the Temple of Dendur, where he introduces us to the mummified remains of several famous fashion designers:

Tim: "You will be working in teams of two to create a 'signature' look. Yes, you heard me right. You'll be designing a 'signature' look with two distinct signatures!"

That makes no sense.

Tim: "Well, maybe I can buy your love. The designers will be getting $500 for this challenge, the most money ever in the history of the show!"

Make it an even thousand and it's a deal.

Tim: "I'm not bargaining with you!"

Then I'm sticking to my opinion that this challenge is stupid. The team leaders are Jay, Jesus, Anthony, Janeane, Mila, Ping, and Emilio. Ping practices her routine for the Laugh Factory:

Ping: "I will be a good leader because I'm very good at explaining my ideas to people."

Oh, Ping! Stop! You're killing me!

Ping: "Thank you. I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your servers."

The designers spend time being inspired by iconic dresses. The designers are thrilled by the experience:

Seth Aaron: "It is so nice to have the opportunity to look at dresses without being attacked by pit bulls. "

Yeah, pit bulls are the one downside to the museum experience. After the museum, they go to Mood and Ping loses her sketchbook:

Jesse: "I swear I'm not the one who ripped up her sketchbook and threw it in the trash!"

Who said anything about it being ripped up in the trash?

Jesse: "what? ... uh ... I thought you said that ... oh, look at that shiny fabric!"


So, anyway, since it isn't possible for two designers with completely different styles to make one signature look, the teams end up either creating looks that have the signature of one of the designers on the team or that don't have a signature at all. Either way, they don't really fit the challenge. I don't know how you judge the results. Tim makes an announcement:

Tim: "Designers, this challenge was so clear and straightforward ..."

No, it wasn't.

Tim: "In any case, we decided the challenge needed a twist ..."

Of lemon?

Tim: "Stop interrupting me! You'll need to create a second outfit for a Barbie. Because Barbie is very small, this will be a 'look for less.' The look will be derived from the signature look of another team. You are not supposed to copy the look, just be inspired by it. However, the look that the judges rave about the most will be almost an exact copy. Also, this second look will end up not having any effect on the judging. So make sure you waste a lot of time on it."

Perfect. That's exactly what this challenge needed: one more element that makes no sense.

Tim: "Will it help if I give you another $50?"

Do I look that cheap?

Tim: "Do you really want me to answer that?"

Okay, let's just move on. On the day of the runway, Tim gives his last words of advice:

Tim: "Use the Bluefly wall preciously."

Say it!

Tim: "Fine! Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire."

Thank you. The models go to hair and makeup:

Sophia: "Ahhhh! My spleen!"

Sophia is apparently allergic to being touched:

Sophia: "I have crazy-ass-bitch-itis. It's a serious medical condition. Look it up."

I believe you. But modeling requires being touched. A lot. So maybe you, like Elizaveta, should consider a different profession.

On to the runway:

Anthony and Seth Aaron made a pretty yellow and black ball gown for the vice president of McDonald's, who happens to be a drag queen. Apparently Anthony thought they were supposed to imitate a signature look so he designed an imitation Dior:

Michael: "I wore this dress in the 1950s to a cotillion. In the south. In Hell. Yes, I grew up in southern Hell. A little warmer than northern Hell, but we had more parties."

Jesus and Amy made a gown with an awful mermaid silhouette and a really beautiful fabric treatment.

Mila and Jonathan created about the only look on the runway that could be considered a signature piece. It's sixties-inspired without looking like a costume. I think this was the clear winner, since they were ignoring the second looks.

Janeane and Ben made a perfectly nice outfit but there is nothing that made it a signature look.

Emelio and Anna also made a perfectly nice dress that doesn't qualify as a signature look.

Jay and Maya created a gown that is signature-ish, with a big wavy collar piece that extends down the front and back. I feel like I've seen many versions of this dress for several years, but the judges find it completely original. What do I know?

Ping and Jesse also made a look that is signature-ish. It definitely has Ping's signature. And it has a very dramatic presence on the runway. And Brandise worked the shit out of it. But, when it comes down to it, it's just a pretty sari. Except that a real sari is much easier to wear because it is pinned to the shoulder; you don't have to carry the fabric around with you on your arm:

Michael: "She looks like the Statue of Liberty. In the South. In Hell."

The top two teams are Team Mila and Team Maya and Mila wins immunity! Congratulations, Mila!

Jesse's model: "I need to tell you that Ping did not do a personal fitting for my outfit."

Well, it clearly states in the rules that Ping needs to do a personal fitting for the second look on Jesse's model. So she's out. Sorry, Ping! You should have done that fitting. It would have made all the difference. Seriously, I'm really sorry to see her go. Ping definitely has a talent for creating dramatic looks with beautiful fabric. She just needs to figure out how to make actual articles of clothing.

See you next week. And don't forget to tune in for the new Lifetime movie "Sins of the mother ... based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire"!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Project Runway, Season Seven, Episode Two: Garanimal Farm!

Project Runway is brought to you by Centrum Pink Triangle, the vitamin supplement specially formulated for the needs of gay men and straight men going through an "experimental phase." contains sixteen vitamins and minerals essential in regulating the body's natural ability to be fabulous.

Welcome back to season seven. We are back in New York for episode two because the commute to the distant planet of Endora was too much for Nina and Michael:

Nina: "Hello? I have a real job, you know! Ever heard of a magazine called Marie Claire? You haven't? Well, I assure you, it exists!"

Michael: "And that 150-year time difference was wreaking havoc on my body. Look at how pale I am."

OK, we get it, New York is the greatest place in the universe. Last season was terrible because it didn't take place in New York:

Tim: "Last season made me look forward to death panels."

Let's just get on with it, shall we? Nothing too exciting in model news. All the designers kept their models, so Christiane's model was out. We get to meet the models and we learn that there is a witch, a bitch, and a control freak. So far, not a single one appears to be completely psychotic. But it's early, so there's still hope.

For the second challenge, the designers go on a field trip. Literally. They meet Tim in a field:

Tim: "Designers, some of you may believe that all of the fabrics used in the fashion industry are grown in Central Park. But that isn't the case. In fact, the majority of fabrics and trimmings are grown in other parts of the country and have to be trucked in to Manhattan. And that's bad for the environment and fabric-diversity. Mood is a leader in the "design-locally" movement and buys 80% of it's stock from the button and ribbon farms just outside the city. We're going to be using this fresh crop of burlap sacks, just harvested this morning. Then you'll have the opportunity to pick your own trimmings, fresh from the vine."

OK, so the designers have to make a party look out of burlap sacks. I like the challenge! On top of that, the models are going to be the clients and will be wearing the dresses to an "industry event." Fine. But then the models pick the designers they want to work with, which seems completely unnecessary. I think it would have worked if the models had been forced to pick a new designer, but, of course, most of them stayed with the designer who had already picked them. This made the one model who switched designers look like a traitor, even though she's the only one who had any guts.

Obvioulsy, Mila is hurt by the fact that she is the only designer whose model didn't want to work with her. Can you blame her for being upset? Well, apparently Anthony can:

Mila: "I can't believe she didn't pick me. I thought we worked well together."

Anthony: "So you're saying you're better than me?"

Mila: "um, no, I'm just ..."

Anthony: "It's fine. I left my feelings in Atlanta. And my heart in San Francisco. But my big black ass is right here and you're welcome to kiss it."

Tim makes his rounds:

Tim: "Pamela, should this be one piece? And when I ask if it should be one piece, what I am subtly suggesting is that no, it shouldn't be."

Pamela: "I think I'll make it one piece."

Tim: "It's your funeral."

Jay: "I'm dyeing this fabric and then sewing on all this trim."


Jesus is covering his burlap skirt with ribbon:

Tim: "You've skirted the challenge. Forgive the pun."

I can't do that, Tim.

The day of the challenge, the designers obsess about what to wear and how to do their hair and then they go in to the design room and start freaking out. Tim gives them their final instructions:

Tim: "Please use the Bluefly wall surreptitiously."

On to the runway, where the guest judge is the professional icon, model, actor, pilot, dog-whisperer, family therapist, humorist, nuclear physicist, justice of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and spy Lauren Hutton.

Anthony - Glory hallelujah, the girl might have some talent, after all! There is nothing new or interesting about this little pink dress, but it looks fantastic! The skirt is draped perfectly, with just the right amount of volume. It looked like chiffon instead of burlap.

Ping - I appreciate Ping's attempt at working with interesting shapes, but this looked like shit. Obviously, nobody could wear this to a party and that's what this challenge was about.

Ben - He made a pretty pink dress with a full skirt. It's fine but it suffers in comparison to Anthony's.

Mila - She made a great little grey sheath with silver trim.

Anna - OK, so this is the same dress she made for the last challenge. But I really love the print she created with the potato.

Jesse - I appreciate that he made pants, but it's just a weird outfit for a party. Matching top and pants? Nobody would wear that.

Seth Aaron - He made a weird Jetson's dress with a hood. Again, for some challenges I would be fine with that. But it doesn't work for this challenge because nobody wants to wear that to a party. It's just not attractive.

Amy - I really like this dress. She worked with the burlap instead of trying to hide it. The dip-dye effect on the skirt is really pretty.

Janeane - She made a perfectly fine dark grey strapless dress with burgundy trim. It seemed a little too formal and old for the model.

Jay - I love it! The effect he got with the ruffled skirt is amazing!

Emilio - He made a knee-length sheath in raw burlap with a geometric pattern made with ribbon. I don't love it.

Jesus - He created a little dress mostly covered in green ribbon. It was mostly well made but, just like Christiane, he abruptly cut off the fabric at the zipper in the back, which looks awful. While the layered ribbon is actually pretty, he was clearly not interested in working with the burlap, which was the point of the challenge.

Jonathan - Gritty meets shitty in this burlap sheath covered in black lace. It's not terrible but it's so uninspiring and not really a dress I could imagine someone wearing to a party.

Maya - Yuck. This was awful. Why wasn't it in the bottom three?

Pamela - The judges were ridiculously hard on this dress. Yes, there's a little problem with the butt flap. But I like that she was able to get the burlap to look like denim. And, of all the garments this week, I can't believe this is the only one a model didn't want to wear to a party. Seriously? This is much more wearable than some of the others.

Anyway, the top three are Mila, Jay, and Amy.

Heidi loves Mila's dress but Michael doesn't like seeing the model's boobs:

Michael: "Ew."

The bottom three are Ping, Pamela, and Jesus.

Ping: "When you said to make a dress for an 'industry event' I thought you meant the potato industry."

Oh, OK. I'm sure that dress would look much better at a potato industry event.

Heidi doesn't like that Jesus used so much ribbon:

Heidi: "For accounting purposes, could you tell us exactly what percentage of that dress is burlap?"

Lauren Hutton: "Dresses are like paintings and that dress is like a really bad painting."

Jay wins! Congratulations, Jay! The judges made the right call on this one.

As for the loser, obviously Ping's dress is the worst. But the judges clearly want to keep her around. And I don't blame them. She's safe purely because of her potential to do something interesting some day. They are within their legal rights to do that.

So the judges decide to get rid of Pamela, supposedly for making her size two model look like a size four (gasp!):

Heidi: "Pamela, thanks for playing the part of the older designer who gets eliminated right away."

Sorry, Pamela. I don't think you should have been out this week.

Before we go, a promo for a new Lifetime movie:

What would make a successful businesswoman give birth 47 times? Find out in the new Lifetime movie "The Pregnancy Pact," starring Heidi Klum.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Project Runway Season Seven Premiere: Now in 2.5-D!

It's Lifetime; you didn't really expect them to spring for the full 3-Ds, did you? What is the extra half D, you ask? Well, I can't tell you. All I can say is that it will give you fuller, longer, darker lashes is just six weeks.

Welcome to season seven, which takes place on the distant planet of Endora, home to a species of old red-haired harpies who dress in chiffon housecoats and complain about their stupid mortal sons-in-law. As you recall, the city of Los Angeles single-handedly destroyed Project Runway last season. So they had to find a new planet. Los Angeles is near and dear to me. I love Los Angeles. But not in that way. Anyway, as an Angeleno, I just want to apologize to all the PR fans for what my city did to the show. Clearly LA is a cultural black hole, from which no light can escape. It is a destroyer of all that is good and decent in this world. Also, I'm sorry I got Heidi pregnant again. I'm only human.

Fortunately, Tim Gunn made the journey to Endora with us and he is just coming out of space hibernation:

Tim: "I'm Tim Gunn and this is the Situation!"

OH, MY GOD! We are so tired of looking at your abs, Tim! We get it; you're totally ripped! Get over it!

Tim: "sorry"

So unprofessional. Anyway, the designtestants this season are from Endora and they are blue, which makes me think of Smurf prom dresses:

Tim: "I told you never to use that term in my presence!"

Gee, I forgot how touchy he was about that. Well, let's meet the natives and describe their hair (which is how I tell them apart):

Amy is the tough-talking scientist who has taken alien form so she can learn more about the magical fabrics of the planet. She has brown hair.

Anna is the evil corporate leader who doesn't care how many people have to die in order to get her hands on the natural reserves of Garnier Fructis buried beneath the planet's surface. She has long brown hair.

Anthony is the wise-cracking sidekick. He seems useless at first but he'll come to the hero's defense and save the day. He has hair.

Ben is the military veteran who has become an unthinking killing machine. But I'm sure he's really sweet once you get to know him. He has your typical military haircut.

Christiane is the daughter of the chief. She knows all the secrets of Endora, like where to find the most colorful fabrics and how to get a taxi when it's raining. She has long black hair with bangs.

Emilio is the leader of the Endorans. He is wise in the ways of ombre and applique. He is much loved and respected. And he wears a hat.

Janeane is the high priestess of the planet. If you ever need to swap bodies or make an entirely new dress at the last minute, she might be able to help. She does not understand revolving doors. We'll see how she does with escalators, or, as she probably calls them, "moving stairs." She has shoulder-length dark-brown hair.

Jay is the greatest warrior on Endora. So obviously he has a faux-hawk.

Jesse is the former soldier who infiltrates the native population in order to learn about the biggest mystery in the world of fashion-related competition shows: the meaning of the term "avant-garde." But he ends up falling in love and becoming one of them. To fit in, he dresses as the most famous pirate you can think of: Captain Hook.

Sorry, but I've run out of characters.

Jesus is really young and he has big hair. Like all really young designers with big hair, he thinks he is god's gift to evening-wear.

Jonathan has regular hair and he wears glasses. He's trying to find the place where gritty meets shitty. I think he's already halfway there.

Maya has shoulder-length black hair with bangs.

Mila and black bobbed-hair with bangs.

Pamela has long brown hair and is the oldest. She got bored with being the best at everything she's ever done so she decided to try fashion design.

Ping has short black hair. She is from China, is an American-trained physical therapist, an Italian-trained designer, and studied choreography on the moons of Endora.

Seth Aaron has your typical douche-rock hair and a big red hickey tattooed on his neck. He would like to be a famous fashion designer, if you don't mind. Hmm ... I wonder if that's why he auditioned to be on this show.

The designers get to know each other by comparing their weights and then they go up to the roof to drink sparkling apple cider with Heidi and Tim:

Janeane: "Oh my god! I'm on the roof! I was down on street level and then I got into this very small room and when the doors opened I was suddenly on the roof! Is it witchcraft?"

Tim: "Calm down Janeane, you'll be fine. Welcome, everyone! I can honestly say this is the first season that we have had this exact group of designers! And I couldn't be more proud!"

Heidi: "Tim, you're so full of crap. But I love you anyway. Pour the champagne."

The next day the designers meet Tim in the Garden of Ancestors to select from the fabrics that grow there:

Tim: "Designers, the Garden of Ancestors is a very special place. The fabrics of Endora are all linked together by electromagnetic pulses. So if you choose the right combination of fabrics, you will be able to get fashion advice from your dead relatives."

The designers start working and Tim makes his rounds:

Tim: "Designers, are you completely confident in what you are doing?"

Designers: "Yes!"

Tim: "Alright, then. That's all I wanted to know."

Actually, though, there are a few designers who are not completely confident. Janeane was planning to wow the judges with originality by making a little black cocktail dress, but she changed her mind. Anthony is shocked that he hasn't already been eliminated. And Emilio has only finished the top of his dress and there are only two hours left in the day.

Tim acts like he's never seen designers this close to not finishing a garment, even though, just last season, there was a designer who had nothing but a collar finished and just threw some fabric over his model thirty seconds before the runway.

Tim: "Remember to use the Bluefly wall salaciously."

Heidi welcomes the designers to the runway:

Heidi: "Jesse, why are you dressed like a member of the Hitler youth?"

Jesse: "I thought this was an audition for The Producers. I'm supposed to be a hotsy totsy Nazi."

Heidi: "I never thought I would hear myself say these words, but I think I would prefer it if you would dress as a pirate from now on."

Jesse: "Arrrrrr."

Both Michael and Nina are judging! Last season someone was spreading the rumor that they were actually the same person and that's why they never appeared together. Oh, wait, I was the one spreading that rumor.

The guest judge is Nicole Richie, who I'm sure is really great, but I don't know if she's a huge improvement over the guest judges we got in Los Angeles.

Here's the rundown of the runway:

Jonathan: Fine, but a little boring.
Seth Aaron: Pretty cute punk dress.
Jesus: His name is the first thing I said when I saw this dress, though I pronounced it differently.
Ben: I don't hate this weird dress it but I think the fabric is wrong.
Jay: It's awful, but at least there isn't much of it.
Pamela: This pink monstrosity looked even worse from the back.
Emilio: Very cute little dress.
Jesse: Interesting suit. I like it.
Ping: Dramatic. I'm intrigued but not convinced, yet.
Christiane: This is a very unfortunate dress.
Amy: Fine.
Janeane: So much better than her first look. I like it.
Mila: Yeah, OK, it's nice, whatever.
Anthony: Well ...
Anna: It's pretty. Not exciting. But pretty.
Maya: She went with the classic simple-dress-with-big-piece-of-crap-glued-onto-it look that I hate.

Emilio, Seth Aaron, and Ping are the top three and Emilio wins! Congratulations, Emilio!

Jesus, Anthony, and Christiane are the bottom three. While there were a couple of others I didn't like, there is no denying that these three are bad. Anthony is safe:

Anthony: "WHAT?! Are you sure? There must be some mistake! I demand a re-count!"

It's true! He's safe! A note to future contestants: if you don't have any design skills and you plan to get by on personality alone, this is how you do it. Don't go with the escaped-mental-patient routine; be charming and funny and lovable so people actually want you around.

Anyway, the bottom two are Jesus, who is designing on the level of a first-year fashion student, but at least has some construction skills, and Christiane, who could have some interesting ideas but totally blew it on this challenge.

Heidi: "One of you will be going home and, unfortunately, Jesus, it will not be you."

OK, that's not exactly what she said. But I know it's what she was thinking.

So, Jesus is safe. Christiane's beautiful 2.5-D pterodactyl is shot out of the sky and she comes crashing to the ground:

Christiane: "Ahhhhh! My spleen!"

People of Earth,

NBC asked me to move my blog to a later time-slot but I wanted to let you know I will still be recapping the new season of Project Runway, which starts tomorrow. I may not get to it until Saturday, but fear not, I will do it.