Saturday, September 03, 2011

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:


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."


lovemesomenobody said...

Tim: "Designers, welcome to the Harlem School of the Arts, where even the least talented student is more creative than any of you."

As Casanova would say, ezaaaaaaaaactly. How bored am I with these so called "designers?" I would take last season back in place of this. Yes, I said it. Oh, and my word verification word is scrump. I like it. I'm going to use it from now on.

Monica said...

your comments on bert and his student slayed me this week. also, can we discuss how josh said "if it weren't for my mom, i wouldn't be here today"? thanks for telling us how biology works, josh.

tim's comment at the end was amazing, too: "josh, you got to experience twice what most designers only get to experience once." yes. it's called losing.

i find myself wishing the show was over, sooner, so i can log on to your blog. i should probably stop watching altogether, and just read.

eric3000 said...

Lovemesomenobody - you did not just say you want last season back! Actually, now that you mention it . . . No, I won't allow it!

Monica - "if it weren't for my mom, i wouldn't be here today." LOL!

terpsichory said...

Brilliant recap!

Oliver - to say he designed a dress for this challenge would be an exaggeration. = LOVE!

Josh C. completely saved Lil O's ass.
In return, he should send him a fruit basket.

eric3000 said...

Thanks, terpsichory! Yes, I think at the very least Josh is owed a fruit basket.

kittens not kids said...

I am SO glad you mentioned the sleeves on Bryce's look, because they really were the most interesting thing on the runway, by far. We barely got to see them, too, which sucked. Though if I remember correctly, he paired his straitjacket top with a sister-wife prairie skirt, so....

There has been SO. MUCH. CRAP thrown down the runway this season. It's staggering to me how, for the last couple of seasons, I keep saying to myself: "well, PR can't get any worse" - and then it does.
Thank god for your recaps, and TLo's - that's where all the PR entertainment really happens.

eric3000 said...

Thanks, kittens not kids! Yeah, the rest of Bryce's dress was awful; I wish he had just gone all-out with the straightjacket look. I think all the most fashionable people will be wearing straightjackets next season.

Ellen said...

And I am STILL waiting for a somewhat "se" challenge like creating evening wear for a little person or someone with no arms or legs. How long can they continue to make costumes?

As far as "avant garde" - the only real avant garde outfit ever made was the extravaganza by Christian and Chris a few seasons ago. Now they got it!

Thanks for the chuckles.

Cliff O'Neill said...

Who knew they would make a sequel to BoobTapeGate?

Catherine said...

Come on, that straight-jacket-inspired look (and really, who DOESN'T find straight-jackets inspirational?) made the model look like someone from Whoville. If she had worn stretch pants with super long, tapered feet and a sticking-up ponytail or two, she could easily have been passing the Roast Beast on Christmas morning.

I have no idea what avant garde is.

MoHub said...

If one wants to be truly literal, avant garde is equivalent to "cannon fodder," as it's the troops who precede the main army into battle to suss the conditions and likely get killed first. Under that definition, Olivier probably should have won—especially since we could clearly see the model's underwear on Olivier, which strikes me as even more risky than exposed butt cheeks.

Ellen said...

what I meant to say was a "normal" challenge.

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

Baby mobile yes! I was trying to figure out what that reminded me of.

Wow no mention of the word edgy in this episode.

Great recap Eric!