Thursday, June 18, 2009

The fashion show, episode seven: Catwalk of Shame!

Last week Merlin won and Angel was out, leaving Johnny hanging by a thread and Reco hanging on my last nerve:

Reco: "Well, if you don't like my attitude, you can just ride on the retarded bus with everyone else."

OK, that's it. Reco crossed the line this week between entertainingly bitchy and just plain awful. Being happy about a bad design just because you don't like your teammate is not cool.

We start this episode with Merlin getting a phone call:

Merlin: "What bitch would call in the middle of the night and disturb my beauty sleep?! Oh, good morning, Miss Kelly! What a pleasant surprise! Well, of course we would be delighted to join you in the design room after getting four glorious hours of sleep! See you soon!"

For the quickfire, the designers will be working in pairs to fix "walk of shame" outfits so they are workplace appropriate. It sounds like a great idea for a challenge. Let's see how they screw it up:

Kelly: "You'll have this big box of clothes to work with in order to fix the outfits the Harper's interns are wearing."

Well, of course. Because when you go into work wearing the outfit from the night before, there is always a big box of extra clothes just sitting around waiting for you. That makes sense.

The show wins me back with the guest judge: Amanda from Ugly Betty! Love her!

The teams this week are:

Lidia and James-Paul
Johnny and Merlin
Anna and Haven
Daniella and Reco

Reco hugs his best friend/arch enemy:

Daniella: "Ow. Your touch is like kryptonite to me. I'd rather get a hug from a filthy hippie."

The designers cut and drape new outfits for the interns:

Kelly: "OK, time's up. Get your hands off your interns!"

Bill Clinton: "I swear, I never touched that intern!"

Johnny and Merlin win! Congratulations! I must have missed when Kelly announced this prize but, apparently, Johnny wins the opportunity to have sex with Isaac Mizrahi:

Isaac: "That's a really great advantage, right?"

Uh, sure.

For the elimination challenge, Kelly introduces the designers to their new boss:

Isaac: "I was trying to find a way to make this show more about my favorite subject: ME!"

Yes, this episode is all about Isaac. Just like every episode. The designers will be creating looks that will fit into his next collection. They will be working from Isaac's mood board:

Isaac: "These are all my ideas. It's like my brain exploded all over this piece of cardboard!"

Yes, that's exactly what it looks like.

Johnny gets his five minutes in heaven with Isaac. Isaac shows him his collection:

Johnny: "I was expecting it to be bigger."

Oh, that's cold.

James-Paul says he's designing a fish-shaped dress because there was a fish on Isaac's mood board. There's just one problem with that idea, other than the fact that it's a terrible idea: he's not actually designing the dress; Lidia is. James-Paul is designing some unrelated coat that will look terrible with--and yet be far superior to--the awful fish dress that he apparently decided Lidia would be making.

Haven and Anna are working really well together:

Haven: "I was like, 'let's find the ugliest fabric possible,' and Anna was all, 'oh, my god, that's exactly what I was thinking!' It's like we're sharing half a brain!"

Daniella and Reco are arguing about whether to make pants or a ball gown:

Reco: "Fine, we'll make the pants! But I'm going to make sure they are the worst pants anyone has ever seen!"

Daniella: "Good!"

Johnny and Merlin are working really well together, basically because Merlin is just doing all the work. To his credit, Johnny came up with a nice design but we all know it would have looked like crap if he had tried to make it himself.

Merlin is talking about himself in the third person. What do we think about that?:

Suede: "Well, Suede finds that so tiresome."

Everyone says Lidia sounds like a pigeon. You know what that means: Lidia is going home this week.

The designers get dressed for the fashion show:

Haven: "Hey, look, everybody! It looks like I'm not wearing pants!"

Johnny: "Wow, Haven, it looks like you're not wearing pants."

Haven: "I know, right? So Linda Evans!"

Isaac and Kelly make their usual counterproductive circuit through the design room. First, they "help" Johnny:

Isaac: "Johnny, is this felt? Well, it is now! Hahahahaha! See, because I just felt it. Hahahahaha!"

Johnny: "I don't get it."

Next, they move on to Haven:

Isaac: "Well, of course Haven is making shorts."

Haven: "Actually, they're culottes."

Isaac: "It's really funny that you say that because, actually, no, they aren't."

Out in the Hallway of Pointless Blather, Isaac predicts what will happen:

Isaac: "It's going to get dramatic!"

Kelly: "That seems unlikely."

On to the fashion show:

Reco and Daniella make an outfit with a really ugly pair of pants and a short swing jacket. The overall look really isn't that bad but the pants are pretty hideous and the judges think the silhouette is dated:

Reco: "You're welcome."

James-Paul's coat is pretty cool but I don't know why he chose a fabric that was so similar to the dress. That makes no sense. The dress is really unflattering on the model. It's pretty bad. And, while I'm not completely familiar with Isaac's work, I can tell he wouldn't have that dress in his collection.

Anna and Haven's look is really nice, except for the fabrics. I'm fine with clashing fabrics but I really didn't like their particular choices. But I loved the shape of the coat and I thought the look would probably fit with Isaac's collection.

Johnny and Merlin also had some clashing fabrics but I happened to like their choices more. It was another nice silhouette:

Isaac: "When I first saw that coat, I didn't know why Johnny would use felt. I thought god was punishing me. But now I don't know how he couldn't have used felt. Obviously, I'm a total idiot!"

We meet the guest judge:

Isaac: "You hated her on that show where Tim Gunn rummages through you underwear drawer but you're going to love her as a judge on this show! She's the only person who enjoys talking about me more than I do! Seriously, I could listen to her talk about me all day! It's Veronica Webb!"

OK, she actually is the best guest judge this show has had. In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing her as the co-host:

Kelly: "Hey! I can hear you, you know! I'm sitting right here!"

Anna and Haven win! Congratulations! I loved the coat!

The bottom two teams are James-Paul and Lidia and Reco and Daniella.

Daniella obviously has the balls on her team and she takes responsibility for the outfit.

Lidia is also on the bottom for her awful dress.

Lidia is out. Sorry, Lidia. I loved your personal style. I just wish some of it would have come across in the clothes you made on the show.

Next week will be the men against the women:

Daniella: "Men? That's a laugh."

Warning: While I hate to deny the world the healing power of laughter, I will be on holiday next week and will have to skip the next episode. I'm so sorry! But I will be back the following week!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Fashion Show, episode six: Square Pegs!

All this show has to do is click with the right clique and it can finally have an audience that's worthy of it.

Isaac: "No way. Not even with cleavage."

So, last week Daniella won and Keith lost. Angel is hanging by a thread. And we can see the thread unravelling before our eyes.

For the quickfire, Isaac tells us the client will be someone who is a rising star in politics:

Reco: "Ooh, I hope it's that Sandra Paley woman. She's hot."

Haven: "Um, I hear Hillary Clinton is trying to break into politics. Maybe it's her."

I think Haven's shoulder pads are somehow seeping into her brain. By the way, I know I'm alone on this but I was really digging her Linda Evans look this week.

It turns out the client is running for student body president of her high school. The designers are assigned backpacks full of stereotypes. They have to create shirts that will alienate specific social groups. For instance, Lidia has to create a shirt that will guarantee a nerd to get a beating, Anna has to create a shirt that will make a goth roll her eyes in disgust, etc. Come on! If you put on a costume of a particular social group, they will just laugh at you. Imagine if John Kerry dressed up and pretended to go hunting just to appeal to a particular demographic. Oh, wait, that actually happened. And see how well that turned out?

Anyway, Daniella wins another challenge with her tree-hugger shirt. Angel doesn't even know what a B-girl is. I don't know what that is, either.

Isaac explains the elimination challenge:

Isaac: "You'll either be creating a design for a young woman inspired by the high school clique you had in the mini challenge or you'll be creating a design for a young woman who used to be in a clique when she was in high school. Those are two completely different concepts but we won't let you know which one we want until after the fashion show and we tell you that you just didn't understand the challenge."

I don't understand the challenge.

Isaac: "Let the confusion begin!"

Johnny: "I got jock. Obviously the first thing I thought of was a lesbian working at Home Depot."

Sure, that's the first thing we all thought of.

Johnny: "So I'm making leggings with fringe on the back."

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Johnny has never met a jock or been to Home Depot.

Daniella has "tree-hugger":

Daniella: "Wash your hair, you smelly hippies!"

What the hell is wrong with her?

With four hours to go, Isaac and Kelly decide it's time to screw with the designers:

Isaac: "We really liked Merlin's outfit but we made sure he thought we hated it."


Isaac: "We were bored."

Johnny asks for advice from the other designers and then ignores it:

Johnny: "Send me home."

Yes, please send him home.

Anna's "goth" look is pretty nice. There really isn't anything "goth" about it - it's more "rock" - but it looks fine.

Reco's "drama" look is too short and looks like a negligee. But it isn't awful.

James-Paul's "preppy" look is cute. It's wearable and I see the inspiration.

Merlin's "mean girl" look is very good. He can veer toward costume but I think he pulled it off this week.

Haven's "skater" look is also successful. I see the inspiration but it also looks like something someone could wear. I wish it weren't all black.

Lidia's "nerd" look is not great. The overall look is kind of cute but, after several viewings, I still can't figure out what's going on. I guess that cheap white jacket, if it even is a jacket, is supposed to look like a lab coat but I can't see someone wearing it.

Johnny's "jock" look is truly terrible. It's sort of a jogging outfit that can't be worn jogging. Where on earth are you supposed to wear that outfit?

Daniella's "tree-hugger" look is another success. I can see someone wearing that to a Grateful Dead concert. Or whatever it is hippies do these days.

Angel's "B-girl" look doesn't seem quite that bad to me. Obviously, it isn't good. But it doesn't seem that bad.

The guest judge this week is Charles Bronson. It's possible I heard that wrong.

Haven and Merlin are the top two:

Kelly: "Let me read you some statistics. Nine out of ten dentists recommend Dentine to their patients who chew gum."

Merlin wins! Congratulations, Merlin!

The rest of the designers are brought on stage:

Isaac: "I know I just said that I was really happy with the designs this week. But now I'm going to say that most of you didn't understand the challenge."

Angel and Johnny are the bottom two:

Kelly: "As the official spokesperson for the hip-hop community, I was really insulted by your design, Angel."

Fern: "Kelly's going to bust a cap in your ass."

Kelly: "Nobody is busting a cap in anyone's ass, Fern."

Fern: "Sorry. I got a little carried away. But I also feel a special connection to the hip-hop community."

Kelly: "Really? Were you a B-girl, Fern?"

Fern: "Oh, yes. I was a Bea-girl. In fact, I was the president of the Bea Arthur fan club."

Now on to Johnny:

Kelly: "Johnny, ninety percent of the audience said they would not buy your outfit."

Johnny: "Only ninety percent?"

Kelly: "The other ten percent wouldn't stop crying long enough to fill out the questionnaire."

Johnny: "Oh, thank goodness. I didn't want to be a sellout."

The designers fight backstage:

Johnny: "I don't need to be here."

Reco: "I'm sick of this."

Johnny: "Haven, Reco is mad because you were in the top two."

Haven: "Reco, why don't you just say it to my face?"

Reco: "Daniella, you and I are the only talented ones here."

Daniella: "Reco, I am so annoyed/flattered by what you just said."

Johnny: "Whatever."

OK, did you get all that? Because the important thing to understand is that the whole argument was about ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

Meanwhile, back in the Hallway of Doom, the judges make their bad decision based on a false premise: The judges decide that Johnny is always really close to being good and Angel just has no potential.

REALLY?! ARE THEY ON CRACK?! Every week Johnny throws a bunch of random fabric at a model to see what sticks and then calls it art. Maybe he's a genius but I haven't seen any evidence of it on this show.

Anyway, Angel is out:

Fern: "Yo, check it, dog. We're just not feeling it."

Kelly: "Please don't do that, Fern."

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Fashion Show, Episode Five: the psych out episode!

Last week, after consulting a bowl of chicken entrails, I accurately predicted that Reco would win and Andrew would be sent home. I'm afraid that exhausted my psychic powers so I won't be doing more performances. Please stop asking if I do Bar Mitzvahs.

I have to add that Angel totally should have won with that amazing shirt dress. She's so talented; it's a shame she's such a disaster.

We start this episode with Reco telling us that Lidia should have "went" home because Andrew was cute. That's as good a criteria for judging this show as any other, I guess.

For the Bizaare Quickfire Challenge, Isaac brings out a dress:

Isaac: "Being a designer is like being a secret agent. You get to drive cool cars and talk into your shoe and, most importantly, you get to kill people with impunity!"

Kelly: "I'm pretty sure you can't do that last one. And, also, I keep trying to explain that you don't actually have a shoe phone."

Isaac: "Really? But whenever I scream into my shoe, someone always brings me what I want."

Kelly: "Just explain the challenge."

Isaac: "Right. This intricate couture gown took 700 hours to create and sells at Target for $39.95. Take a good look because I want you to draw me . . . a bath! HAHAHAHAHAHA! No, seriously, that sounds really relaxing. I'd like to take a bath."

The designers draw Isaac a bath. Daniella wins! Congratulations, Daniella!

Daniella: "Wow, thank you so much! I can't believe I managed to win despite that fact that James-Paul's gigantic head was blocking me the entire time."

Daniella wins possibly the worst prize ever for a quickfire challenge: during the elimination challenge, she will have the opportunity to punch one of the other designers in the stomach for absolutely no reason.

Isaac: "That's a really great advantage, right?"

Well, it's no more ridiculous than usual.

For the elimination challenge, the designers go to the famous Cross-Promotion Modeling Agency, where they think they will be meeting their models but, instead, meet a bunch of morbidly obese women:

Daniella: "Oh, my god! I think I'm gonna barf!"

James-Paul: "Where did you find these sideshow freaks?"

Reco: "Well, personally, I like a woman to have a little junk in her trunk."

Seriously, some of those women must have been at least a size 8. That building must have a freight elevator.

The designers spend the next several hours tying mattresses to their dress forms:

Larry Miller: "If we don't turn your dress form into a size 16, your mattress is FREEEEEE!!!"

You're killing me, Larry.

Daniella is crying because she's young and she knows what young people like and young people do not like huge asses:

Isaac: "Daniella, your model is perfectly normal, it's kind of sizist of you not to want to design for her."

Daniella: "Just because I think fat people shouldn't have nice clothes, doesn't make me a sizist!"

James-Paul is also having problems understanding the purpose of clothing:

James-Paul: "As a designer, I don't think I should be burdened by the fact that someone might actually have to wear my designs."

On to the fashion show:

Keith's red dress with a black waistband looks a lot like Andrew's losing design from last week. But it's even uglier and more boring, if that's possible.

Johnny created a little black dress with the picture of a smaller print dress sewn onto the front. It's actually pretty flattering but it's a little tacky and dated. Other Eric says he remembers Downtown Julie Brown wearing that dress.

Anna's black and blue dress makes her model look dumpy. It's not a bad dress but it's completely wrong for that woman.

Daniella created a very flattering suit. Her model looks fantastic in it. The little black sheath fits perfectly and the navy coat is very cute.

Haven created a bright pink monstrosity. OK, it's really not that bad but the weird collar makes her model's neck look short.

James-Paul created a black skirt and a white top that made his model look like a linebacker. I understand he's all theoretical and shit but he's going to have to make something that actually looks good one of these weeks or he'll be out.

Lidia created a nicely draped dress paired with a satin blouse for a lovely woman who must have been eight or nine feet tall. I liked it.

Merlin claims his model wanted a skirt that was too tight to fit into. I thought the jacket was nice; it de-emphasized the hips, if that was the point. But the skirt was just awful.

Angel, once again, didn't finish her dress. It was held together with pins and was kind of a mess. But if it had been hemmed properly and the model were wearing Spanx, it might have been pretty. It certainly eliminated the woman's imagined short-waistedness.

Reco created a charcoal suit with a red top for a woman who was concerned about her perfectly normal breasts. As one would expect from Reco, it was flattering and well-made. And it looked like something a hooker would wear to a job interview.

Daniella wins! Congratulations, Daniella! I think that was the right decision.

Daniella punches Angel in the stomach:

Isaac: "Daniella, we respect your decision to punch Angel in the stomach. But there are two other designers we would like to punch in the stomach this week."

Keith and Merlin join Angel in the bottom three:

Keith: "This wasn't my fault. I had to spend the entire time rescuing this awful dress."

Isaac: "But you designed the dress."

Keith: "Yes, but trust me, it was even worse before I rescued it."

Merlin and Angel are safe. Isaac tells Angel she needs to do some soul searching. I have no idea how soul searching will help her time-management skills but Isaac is the expert so who am I to argue?

Keith is out. Sorry Keith; you'll have to find another venue for sharing your boring stories about making clothes out of sheets.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My Star-Studded Trip to Central Illinois!

Obviously, being stuck in Los Angeles, I look forward to visiting my family in Central Illinois because it gives me an opportunity for celebrity sightings. And this trip didn't disappoint. OK, so most of the sightings were in Chicago but it was still part of my trip to Central Illinois.

First, let me mention my flying experience. Other Eric convinced me to fly out of Burbank, arguing that any inconvenience caused by having to change planes is compensated for by not having to drive in traffic to LAX. But he didn't mention the awful planes you have to fly on. Every plane I got on was smaller and shittier than the one before. I don't recommend Delta connecting through Salt Lake City. The people working for Delta are wonderful but their planes are awful.

And I have to say that if the good people of Utah would stop spending all their money telling Californians whom they can marry, maybe they could afford to spruce up their airport a little. What a dump. Don't get me wrong, I think the Utah desert is gorgeous; it's just where they've tried to approximate civilization that they run into problems. I'm just joking; the Burbank airport makes the Salt Lake City airport look like the Taj Mahal. And I know without Utah we wouldn't have the Osmonds and Other Eric's life would be that much less joyful.

Anyway, I survived the flights (all four of them) and I even got to take Amtrack in Illinois, which was fun! I don't get to ride trains often and I enjoyed it. Apparently, all the guys on the train with the matching sweat pants were just-released prisoners and I got to sit next to one! Jealous?

The first celebrity sighting was at Avec.

As you can see in the picture, there are communal tables so our group of five shared a table with another group of five. I was sitting at the head (or foot) of the table and sitting directly across from me at the other end was the Black Hammer, herself, Antonia Lofaso from Top Chef season four! Sitting next to her was the season four winner, Stephanie Izard! Sorry, I didn't get a picture or talk to them; we decided to let them enjoy their meal. But it was very exciting to be sitting at the same table with them! The food, by the way, was very good.

The next day my sister and I walked up Michigan Avenue and did some shopping with Joan Cusack at H&M! I love her! And she was with her family shopping in the men's section so I was picking out shirts next to her for quite a while. I bought quite a bit because the store had a better selection than H&M in Los Angeles.

After driving down to Sullivan, which is in Central Illinois, somewhere south-east of Decatur, we went for drinks at Jibby's Bar & Restaurant, which was founded in 1947 by a guy named Jibby (obviously). I remember my grandparents talking about eating there. The place saw a lot of stars over the years because of Sullivan's Little Theatre on the Square but it was a little run down.

Well, last year TLC's Doug Wilson bought the place and remodeled it and it just reopened. The place looks great and the appetizers we got were delicious. And we got to talk to Doug! He obviously loves Sullivan (his home town is nearby) and he loves working the room! He was a very gracious host and talked to us about the remodel and his future plans for expanding. We had a great time!

My sister did actually get a picture of Doug, though it was by accident. She was taking a picture of my cousins and some drunken stranger next to us yelled at Doug to come over for a picture so she took a picture of Doug posing with the drunk guy. I'll post it when she emails it to me.

The other thing I have to mention is playing Cornhole, which is like horseshoes but you toss bags filled with corn into a hole in a board. I don't know if it is just popular in the Midwest because the Wikipedia page has been deleted. I can't imagine why there would be a problem with a page about cornholing. Anyway, it was fun!

Well, that's enough excitement for one post. I'll be back this weekend with a new Fashion Show recap!