Project Runway Season Nine, Episode 6: Avant-What?
I have a dream that someday all the children of the world, regardless of their race, religion, or sexuality, will figure out what the hell 'avant-garde' means. Look, I never claimed to have really important dreams, okay?
So, yeah, this is the ridiculous 'avant-garde' challenge, in which, as usual, not a single designer will create anything even remotely avant-garde. Part of the problem is that the designers, after all these seasons, still have no idea what the term means:
Laura: "Avant-garde means it has to be unwearable."
Bert: "Avant-garde means really futuristic, like those Pac-Man video games all the kids are playing."
Olivier: "Avant-garde means boring clothes that I don't usually make."
Josh (Either One): "Avant-garde means drag queen costumes. Fabulous!"
Yeah, so that's part of the problem. But really here's the main problem with an 'avant-garde' challenge:
EVERY FRIGGIN CHALLENGE ON THIS SHOW IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN AVANT-GARDE CHALLENGE!!!
Avant-garde just means experimental and cutting-edge and that's what we should be seeing every week. It's never a "Make us something we've seen before" challenge.
So, if every challenge is an avant-garde challenge, what do you do for the actual "Avant-Garde Challenge"? Well, obviously, you glue a bunch of crap onto a dress:
Tim: "Be careful not to cross the line into costume. Oh, who am I kidding? You are all going to make costumes, no matter what I say."
Anyway, last week Danielle was out and everybody else won because the judges were too lazy to pick just one person.
The designers talk to the camera:
Bert: "I'm going to try not to be such an asshole."
Maybe you should start with more realistic goals, Bert. How about just not acting like such as asshole?
Bert: "I can do that."
Laura: "It is a well-known fact that I am not the biggest fan of Becky's."
This is the first I've heard of it.
Laura: "Well, I don't know where you've been because it's all anyone can talk about. The whole country is consumed by the Becky-Laura relationship. Will I continue to not be the biggest fan of Becky's, or will I become a little bit of a fan?"
Oh, my gosh! Now I really want to know!
The designers go back to school:
Tim: "Designers, welcome to the Harlem School of the Arts, where even the least talented student is more creative than any of you."
Harsh, Tim, but true. These art students are talented. I'm not saying their work is avant-garde, but it's a hell of a lot better than any of the clothes we're seeing this season.
Anya is excited to be working with children:
Anya: "If I could be any kind of tree, I would be a really big tree that would provide shelter to children so they could grow and flourish. Where's my crown?"
Viktor's art student is precocious and hilarious:
Student: "So, what was art like when you were a kid?"
Viktor: "Well, oil paint hadn't been invented yet, so . . . how the hell old do you think I am? Go ask Bert what it was like to paint the caves of Lascaux."
Bert actually likes working with his art student:
Bert: "My student is so quiet it's almost like he isn't there. Children should be seen and not heard. Also, they shouldn't be seen. Have I mentioned how much I like being left alone?"
Major drama again at Mood this week:
Josh C.: "I didn't spend all my money."
OK, well, if you have recovered from all that drama, it's time to move on to the runway with all the art students and guest judge Kenneth Cole and no Nina:
Kimberly made a pleather and feather dress inspired by a painting of a bird. It wasn't bad.
Becky made a gray denim gown with green Borg spaceships stuck to it. It was inspired by a gray denim painting with green Borg spaceships painted on it. The nicest thing I can say about this dress is that it completely sucked.
Oliver - to say he designed a dress for this challenge would be an exaggeration.
Josh M. made a pretty cool drag-queen outfit inspired by a painting of a dead tree. I liked it, but let's be real, the neoprene skirt pushes it way over the costume line.
Bert created clown clothes. I actually liked the fact that he played with volume and proportion in his pant; that's appropriate for an avant-garde challenge. Unfortunately, he covered it with a mobile from a baby's crib. It made no sense.
Viktor made a chiffon gown that was in no way avant-garde, but his art student thought it was pretty and that's really the only thing that matters, right?
Laura made a ruffled chiffon gown inspired by a painting of a rose. It wasn't avant-garde, but the visible boning was interesting and the overall effect was pretty good.
Bryce made a blue and orange gown with straight-jacket sleeves inspired by a creepy-looking portrait. The sleeves were probably the most interesting thing on the runway this week and I just wish he had taken the idea a little bit further, because the overall look didn't work.
Josh C. made a complete disaster inspired by a painting of a wolf. Combining the judges' comments, it was a Victorian cocktail waitress crossed with a dominatrix prostitute Halloween costume. Which obviously would have been completely awesome if he had done it correctly. But this just looked cheap. He had originally planned to go with a faux-fur headpiece, which was admittedly looking like a wolf costume. But a little faux-fur hoodie might have been cute. Josh C. is out again. He really does seem like the sweetest guy. I hope he does finally find a nice girl . . . to go to gay bars with him.
Anthony Ryan made a nude gown covered with little strips of fabric inspired by brush strokes. I'm with Kenneth Cole in not loving the execution, and obviously it wasn't avant-garde, but it was a pretty nice dress. Anthony Ryan wins.
Anya made a dress with way too much going on. I liked the print hoop skirt. I think it was the feather top that made it look like a costume. Again, avant-garde does not mean "stick as much crap as possible on a dress."
Tune in next week when we get a team challenge and, God willing, someone accidentally creates something avant-garde.
Before we go, Tim has an announcement:
Tim: "I just want to remind you that it is against the rules to glue your garment to your model. Please use staples. Thank you."