Friday, August 12, 2011

Project Runway Season Nine, Episode 3: Plus-size challenge!

We start the episode with Josh spending an eternity doing completely mysterious things to his hair, all the while complaining about how Fallene seems more interested in hair than in designing clothes:

Josh: "All she talks about is hair. I bet she hasn't even had grain training."

Grain training, for those of you who don't know, is that thing where you learn how to cut fabric pieces with the grain of the fabric so they don't go all wonky. You have to go to school for at least four years to learn how to do this. The only way to test out of this training is to be voted Miss Trinidad and Tobago.

Heidi comes out on stage wearing stilts. Then she appears on the catwalk to explain that there will be special stilt-walking models this week.

Me: Why do they need special models? If Heidi can do it, it can't be that hard to walk in those stilts?

Other Eric: "You'll notice we did not see Heidi step down on to the catwalk."

Ah, I missed that! Obviously, she was lifted with a crane and set down on the catwalk. OK, they probably need special models to do the real walking.

So, this is the dreaded plus-size challenge.

Heidi: "Your regular models are very small and they don't represent 'real women.' Most women are closer to ten feet tall, so this week you will be designing for them!"

Well, it's nice to finally get a real-world challenge. Designers never think about designing for the ten-foot-tall woman. For additional excitement, the designers are paired off:

Bert and Ernie, the squabbling comedy duo from our childhood.

Anthony Ryan and Laura Kathleen, a team with four first names and one testicle.

Joshua and Julie, a team with an unspecified number of testicles.

Danielle and Cecilia, a team I totally don't care about.

Anya and Olivier, the apparent dream-team of the challenge.

Bryce and Fallene, the apparent nightmare-team of the challenge.

and Kimberly and Becky, two designers who wouldn't be able to pick the other out of a police line-up.

Bert and Ernie immediately start one of their hilarious arguments:

Bert: "I think we should do Old Hollywood."

Ernie: "Yeah, like Mae West. Let's do pants."

Bert: "Mae West never wore pants. You are a complete moron and I'm not speaking to you anymore. Also, if you don't get your rubber duckie out of the bathtub, I'm going to set it on fire and then watch you cry."

Oh, those two always make me laugh. Unfortunately, after such a good start, things go downhill:

Ernie: "I'm thinking an Elizabethan look, with a little shapeless dress and a coat and pillbox hat all in matching pastel fabric."

Bert: "That's not Elizabethan! You're describing Queen Elizabeth the second! I can't work with someone who doesn't know one queen from another!"

Ernie: "Being around you has taught me more than I want to know about queens."

Bert: "One of these days, Ernie ..."

The other teams are not faring much better. Josh thinks Julie doesn't understand couture like he does. Kimberly and Becky both think the other is being too costumey. Danielle and Cecilia are arguing about, oh, who gives a crap. Anya and Olivier are getting along really well, but maybe too well:

Olivier: "This challenge is really about working together with your teammate. And I think Anya and I are working together really well."

Are you forgetting something?

Olivier: "I don't think so."

Are you supposed to be creating a garment for this challenge?

Olivier: "Oh, right. Well, we'll get to that, if we have time."

Meanwhile, the supposed nightmare team is managing to live up to all expectations:

Bryce: "You need to cut those pieces on the grain. Have you had grain training?"

Fallene: "No, I haven't had grain training."

Bryce: "O to the M to the G. I can't believe you haven't had grain training. Well, there's no way I can help you because it takes at least four years of training to cut a piece of fabric on the grain. So, you'll just have to cut out the pieces all wrong and then sew them up into a completely unusable garment. Seriously, I would totally show you how to do it but, obviously, I need to spend my time complaining about you to the other designers."

Fallene: "Of course. I completely understand."

Bryce: "Oh, my god, you guys! You are not going to believe this! Fallene has not had grain training!"

Josh: "You mean, like, she only had, like, two years of grain training?"

Bryce: "No! She didn't have ANY grain training at all!"

Josh: "That's impossible! You can't get your license to buy fabric until you've had at least some grain training. AND HOW DID SHE EVEN GET A PAIR OF SCISSORS?!!!"

Tim makes an announcement:

Tim: "Designers, please gather 'round. It has come to my attention that one of you has not had grain training."

Fallene: "I'm sorry. I didn't know it was such a big deal."

Tim: "Well, that's the point, Fallene. If you had had the training, you would understand. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to clean up your workspace."

Fallene is out. Sorry, Fallene. We'll miss you.

The designers head over to the first outdoor public runway in Project Runway history! It's a huge event, with a crowd of literally tens of people!

Heidi: "Welcome, everybody! I see someone brought me flowers. Seriously? Only one person? Well, never mind. Let's start the show!"

Josh and Julie created a blinged out matador costume. It was dramatic and seemed well made. It was not until I saw the other looks that I realized how bad the proportions were on this one. I can see how in theory you might think the cape-inspired sleeve would help balance out the extended leg, but in reality it just made the model's arms look shorter.

Bert and Ernie created the worst Queen Elizabeth costume ever:

Queen Elizabeth II: "Hated it. I wouldn't even force Camilla to wear that piece of crap."

Bryce made a stupid black tutu. And I'm sorry, but the little maroon bustier top would not have helped. It still would have been crazy boring.

Becky and Kimberly created a really great look with a beautifully tailored pant and jacket. The proportions were perfect. Yes, the collar was a little "Star Trek," but I can understand Becky wanting to add some dramatic detail.

Anya and Olivier made a super-boring purple print dress with an ugly chopped-up top. I did not get this look at all.

Cecelia and Danielle made a chiffon pant and top in brown and teal. I loved that color combination ... about seven years ago. Now it looks really dated and the overall look was very matronly. The judges, of course, think this color palette is just as fresh and exciting as it was last season, when it was used in the winning collection of She Who Must Not Be Named. I have to admit that I might have liked this better if the hair weren't so awful. It's hard to say, because I just couldn't ignore it, as hard as I tried. And, although I didn't love the look, I have to admit that it was very well made and the proportions were perfect.

Anthony and Laura made a red dress that was very good. I wasn't as in love with it as the judges were, but I can't really find anything to criticize about it, so I guess that makes it the winner.

Heidi: "Which one of you is responsible for this winning look?"

Anthony: "Well, I decided that Laura should get the win, which is a not-so-subtle way of saying that I'm really responsible for the look."

Heidi: "Great! Laura, you win!"

Anthony: "son of a bitch, I mean, I am so happy for her."


Cliff O'Neill said...

In doing my dramatic reading, I so totally broke up over the Team With One Testicle that I fell down and simply could not go on without getting a drink of water.

Kinda throws me off. Watch that in the future. ;)

Ellen said...

Like Cliff, I too had an LOL moment reading your description of that team with all the first names. I'm sure that Anthony Ryan will, by the time he gets voted off the island, regret spilling the beans about his testicular "situation."

The winning outfit was hideous. In fact, all the outfits were hideous. The challenge was hideous. Time to stop wasting my time and have a challenge that includes design and not from crappy products (like pee pads) and for circus freaks.

Once again, you have come through with a truly meaningful synopsis of the latest episode.

Monica said...

Why on earth does Heidi have such a hard on for Bert? Ernie definitely didn't throw Bert under the bus. Bert was all "blahblahblah, read a book, I'm a snob." I kept imagining that Heidi et al were going to watch the episode and feel very bad about slamming Viktor.

lovemesomebertnjulie said...

"Bert and Ernie, the squabbling comedy duo from our childhood."

Ahahahahaha! I was thinking the same thing about them. Oh Bert, I loved you so much at the beginning that I picked you for the win. Now I just want to drown you in the tub with the rubber duckie. Come on, let's turn it around so I can save face, 'cause it's all about me and my choices, you know. I won with Seth Aaron, but she who shall not be named screwed up last season for everyone.

I like Josh and Julie as a team. I thought they were hilarious. He was putting her down, and she was basically not caring what he thought about her. Priceless entertainment. I liked their outfit the most, but I get what you mean about the proportions. Then again, they are frickin 10 ft tall! Are we really so concerned about proportions?! This challenge was cracktastic all the way around, including the addition of Kim Kardashian. Let's just pretend it never happened, mkay?

Eduardo said...

LMAO! That last comment was exaclty what I thought when they gave the win to Laura. ROTFL!

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

Oops didn't know the season had started. Read your recap laughed my flat old bottom off ( it won't be missed ) I will have to read all previous posts. Can I just read your posts and not watch the show! ??

Tom Saaristo said...

I couldn't agree more about the teal and gold costume! Just because you can pull a rabbit out of a hat doesn't mean it's going to be cute and cudly. Same for chiffon. Just because you can sew the heck out of it doesn't mean your model won't look like a marshmallow from 1987 and have the worst styling (styling matters, remember!?) this side of Zsa Zsa Gabor's hospital bed

TLo said...

Ernie: "Being around you has taught me more than I want to know about queens.



Catherine said...

Stilt walkers? Now there's a fashion trend for the real world real woman. I can't wait to rush out and buy my own stilts.

Everything was uniformly ugly.

Have you ever noticed how on every reality show, everyone chooses one person to hate? Then everyone's energies revolve around trashing that one person. This show, it seems to be Bert.

There was so much cattiness on this episode, it should have come with a bag of litter. Maybe next show they'll be forced to design clothing using cat litter and pet bedding and ... oh wait, they already did that.

eric3000 said...

Thanks, for your comments, everyone! I really appreciate them!

Andrea said...

This recap is one of your best yet! I see high potential for comedy this season.

The collar on that jacket was bad, but it didn't really say "Star Trek" to me and I've been reading a lot about Star Trek fashion lately.*

"The only way to test out of this training is to be voted Miss Trinidad and Tobago."
I laughed like a mad woman in my living room.

*No, seriously, this blog is amazing:

kittens not kids said...

"Well, it's nice to finally get a real-world challenge. Designers never think about designing for the ten-foot-tall woman" -

this was about the moment I started laughing uncontrollably. the tears started when I got to 4 names and 1 testicle.

I had shoulder surgery a week ago and laughing hurts like hell but I wouldn't have missed this recap for anything.