Friday, March 26, 2010

Project Runway, Season Seven, Episode Ten: The fabric of our lives!

Vivienne Tam: "I'm Vivienne Tam, and Windows 7 was my idea."

Whatever. Previously on Project Runway, Seth Aaron and Emilio won and we lost Amy:

Jonathan: "I can't believe we lost Amy! I did everything medically possible to save her. Oh, the humanity!"

Calm down, Jonathan. I'm sure she's in a better place. In model news, the models had a rare opportunity to experiment with make-up and get drunk and then Holly was sent home.

We start this episode with Anthony telling us he's going home this week. Well . . . not in so many words, but you get the idea. The designers go to the work room and Tim tells them about this week's challenge:

Tim: "Designers, you've all dreamed about creating your own textile. Well, keep dreaming, because you certainly aren't going to get a chance to do that here. Instead, you will have the opportunity to create a design that will be printed onto a horrible, stiff cotton twill that is really more appropriate for drapes or upholstery than for clothing. Vivienne Tam is here to sell you a computer."

Vivienne Tam: "A while back, I was taking a shower in a cab outside a cafe and I thought, You know, computers should be more personal! So I called HP and now I can make butterfly fabric! It was my idea!"

OK, so the printing technology could be the same, but Vivienne doesn't just print out her designs onto any random fabric; I'm sure she actually selects fabrics that will work with the print and the clothes she's making. And even then, printing a picture onto fabric isn't the same as creating a textile. Don't get me wrong; it's a fun challenge. I just don't think it's quite what every designer spends his or her career dreaming about. And really, why that awful cotton fabric?

Tim: "It's the fabric of our lives."

Of course. So, the designers start making their garments using paper printouts that are perfect substitutes for the awful fabric they'll be getting the next day. Anthony entertains the other designers with sad stories about his life:

Anthony: "So I was on Oprah talking about how my mother coughs in church and of course I was totally overshadowed by Beyonce, who was talking about how she lost her job and then Oprah starts giving away cars, and I'm all, Hey, my uncle is addicted to porn!"

Jay: "I just love Anthony and his funny stories! Too bad he's going home."

Mila: "Yeah, Anthony always makes me laugh. I'm really going to miss him when he's sent home this week."

Anthony: "Everyone always laughs, even when I'm telling sad stories. I don't understand."

I can totally relate. I tell a tragic story about my house being destroyed and everybody thinks it's hilarious. What is wrong with people?

Oh, wait! Seth Aaron is on the phone talking to his wife! NOOOOOOO! Hang up that phone! OK, he wasn't crying too much so maybe it's a false alarm. That was a close one!

Tim: "Designers, please use the Bluefly wall sarcastically."

Before we start the runway, let's try to guess which garment will be referred to as a disco straightjacket!

Heidi introduces the judges. She's dressed in a shiny chainmail top:

Michael: "It's like a disco straightjacket!"

Sorry, no. Wrong garment.

Seth Aaron - He made another hot look. It's the same silhouette he makes every week, but it looks good. His print was a little drawing inset in a windowpane pattern.

Jonathan - He made a dress with a little jacket. The dress is pretty. The fabric pattern is almost cute close up, but from a few feet away all you can see is little polka dots, which is kind of boring. The jacket is a weird color and has a stupid gold collar but I don't have any problem with the fact that it closes at the back:

Michael: "It's like a disco straightjacket."

Yes, that's it! Congratulations, Michael!

Maya - She made a little dress. I love the orange and black print! However, I hate the dress. The black, fluffy panel all the way down the front is kind of gross. It looks furry.

Emilio - He made a simple little dress with a cool black jacket. His print is pretty great. He used his initials and Seth Aaron's initials with a little heart! That's so sweet! No, seriously, it's a Keith Haring-inspired print incorporating his name, which was appropriate for this challenge.

Mila - She made a mind-blowingly awful maxi dress that doesn't allow any room for moving your legs, making it impossible to participate in certain activities, such as walking. Brandise somehow gets blamed for not being able to walk in this. But it was like a hobble skirt:

Michael: "It's like a disco straightjacket."

No, Michael. You can stop that now.

Anthony - He made another simple black dress with some decoration stuck on it. It didn't look well made, it didn't feature his print very well, and his print was boring.

Jay - He made a pretty hideous outfit in black and neon green. His print was so unimaginative.

The judges tell Jay his outfit looks like a gay Christmas ornament so he leaves to change his pants. Emilio, Seth Aaron, and Maya are the top three. Mila, Anthony, and Jonathan are the bottom three. Michael makes Jonathan cry by saying his print looks like a dirty tablecloth. Nina says the outfit makes her sad:

Jonathan: "But isn't sadness an emotion?"

Michael: "You're right, Jonathan. Sadness is an emotion. You win. Your outfit is fantastic."

Oh, my god. Who wants to wear a sad outfit? I didn't hate his look this week but I really wanted to see him go home after that judging session.

Emilio wins! Congratulations, Emilio!

Michael: "I want that dress in every color!"

Anthony is out. Sorry Anthony. We'll miss you.

Anthony: "I may not have a crown, but if America has learned anything this season, it's that I'm a huge queen."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Project Runway, Season Seven, Episode 9 1/2: The Designer Who Shagged Me!

Dear readers, many of you (two, to be exact) asked about my intense hatred of Garnier that I mentioned in last week's post. Although I've signed a confidentiality agreement, I've decided to share my terrible experience with you, in the hope that it doesn't happen again. Here's the story:

A while back, a gang of young attractive people with gorgeous hair were horsing around on my property (you know -- laughing, running around in slow motion, etc., as young attractive people with gorgeous hair are wont to do). I kept yelling "Get off my lawn, you filthy hippies!" but they wouldn't listen. One of the young women had incredibly long, luxurious hair because she obviously uses Garnier Fructise products, and, as a prank, some of her friends tied her hair to a railing while she was distracted by a dandelion. Well, because her hair was so strong (in addition to being very thick and shiny and completely free of split ends), when she turned and ran after the others, she tore the entire railing off the front porch of my house and the roof collapsed!

I'm grateful nobody was hurt! But because of Garnier, my house sustained over $170,000 in damage. The insurance wouldn't cover it because my contract has an exclusion for damage caused by natural botanicals (I urge you to check the fine print on your policies ASAP). After repeated requests, the people at Garnier still refuse to reimburse me for the damage. So I'm taking this opportunity to air my complaint in public and ask Garnier once again to do what's right and accept responsibility for creating hair so healthy it's dangerous. Thank you.

Anyway, last week Jonathan won and Ben went home. In model news, nothing happened and I think Alison was out.

We start the challenge with Heidi telling the designers that she is in a New York state of mind:

Anthony: "I don't know what that means, so I'm certainly not going to waste my energy thinking until I absolutely have to. Thinking is hard."

This week Collier Strong will be doing the infomercial and he will be selling us L'Oreal cosmetics. Have your credit cards handy!

Collier Strong: "Studio Secret Professional Line allows all women to get professional results at home. In conclusion: bullshit."

For some reason, that didn't bother me nearly as much as last week's infomercial. It was somehow less intrusive.

The designers are working in four teams of two and they will be venturing out into the neighborhoods of New York City. Coincidentally, there are exactly four neighborhoods in New York City:

East Dead Duck in a Window: Anthony and Maya have this neighborhood and they are inspired by the bright colors (i.e. black), crepe paper dragons, and buildings.

Snootyville: Amy and Jonathan have this neighborhood and they are inspired by the complete lack of color (i.e. bright orange), wrought iron, and buildings.

Clintontown: Emilio and Seth Aaron have this neighborhood and they are inspired by church, fried chicken, liquor, and old ladies in jeans. Just like every challenge.

Crack Village: Jay and Mila have this neighborhood and they are inspired by all the stuff that is old and new and borrowed and blue.

Emilio is from New York so if he doesn't win this challenge it will be a huge disappointment for him and his people. Who are Emilio's "people"?

Emilio: "People who wear hats."

Oh, right. You don't want to let them down.

Emilio didn't want to work with Mila so he picked Seth Aaron, which left Jay and Mila as teammates. For some reason, Emilio seems to think this makes him some sort of evil genius:

Emilio: "When Emilio gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, people die!"

His evil "plan" does seem to be working, though. Jay and Mila are not an ideal team:

Jay: "I want to do something modern but from the past. A jacket with a super-elaborate pant. Lines to create texture. A short, like, jumper."

Mila: "Right. Black and white color blocking. Got it."

Although there is some concern about under-bus throwing, the designers are mostly doing individual looks and, therefore, don't have much opportunity to turn on each other.

Tim: "Designers, remember to use the Bluefly wall audaciously."

On to the runway, where Francisco Costa is filling in for Michael. I think we can live without Michael for one week, but I was sure we had been promised that he and Nina would be here for every challenge. The guest judge is some blond woman, whose qualification is that she is supposedly "fashionable."

Maya - She (in collaboration with Anthony) made a gold and black jacket (apparently based on a pagoda) and skirt with red inserts. It's nice, if a little boring.

Anthony - He (in collaboration with Maya) made a black dress with gold detailing pasted on the front. The accordion detail is very cool, and if they had done anything -- ANYTHING -- other than just pasting it onto a boring black dress, I would have been impressed. As it is, I hated it. I was surprised this team was in the top two.

Jay - He made a pretty cool jodhpur-style pant and a pretty awful black and red tank. He assisted the judges by saying his tank "tanked." Have we really come to this point in the judging where the designers are left to mock their own garments?

Mila - She made a cool black and white jacket over a short dress. The judges seem to like it a lot but she's at the bottom because of Jay's look.

Amy - She made a pretty orange top with lots of pleating detail over black leggings. The orange and black doesn't work and the look has no relation to Snootyville.

Jonathan - He made a long gown that was almost elegant but looked too busy.

Seth Aaron - He made a great denim outfit (with helpful input from Emilio). It was close to being a costume and I agree with Nina that a little editing would have greatly improved it, but it was still a really stunning look.

Emilio - He made a gown (in black or really dark blue) with green lining and front zipper detail. It was made really well, but I found it a little boring. Still, he was a good team leader.

Emilio and Seth Aaron both win the challenge! Congratulations!

Tim: "That's a Project Runway first! Also a Project Runway last."

Amy is out. That's too bad. She's done some really good work and I thought her look for this challenge was almost cute. But she completely missed the mark on her inspiration. The other thing that comforts me is the fact that she should have been sent home last week. There, I feel better.

Poor Emilio wasn't able to fully execute his evil plan to get rid of Jay or Mila:

Emilio: "You know, I have one simple request, and that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Project Runway Season Seven, Episode Eight: remember, designers, hair is important!

What the hell just happened? This season was going so well and then we are suddenly in a gruesome head-on collision with product placement. I can accept the ubiquitous sponsor tie-ins, but when the entire challenge becomes an advertisement for hair products, it's not surprising that the actual designing goes out the window.

In model news, Heidi organized a pool party, that was big on "pool" and decidedly lacking in "party." Alexis was finally eliminated, after doing all of our heads in and having inappropriate relationships with trees. And I'm suddenly feeling very protective of Holly because of the douchy way Emilio treated her:

Emelio: "Holly is such a fantastic model, I think other designers should have the opportunity to work with her. That's the kind of generous person I am."


Emelio: "Well, if she hadn't been such an Amazon woman, I would have had enough materials."

So, if she had been a couple of inches shorter you would have been able to make a dress?

Emelio: "Maybe."

What a douche.

Anyway, last week Jay won immunity and Jesse was eliminated. We start the episode with Emilio telling us he needs therapy because he was so traumatized by going to a hardware store. And Mila tells us about the connection between her and Maya:

Mila: "We have such a bond even though I'm twice her age. She's forty, right?"

In one of the boys' apartments, Seth Aaron, Anthony, Ben, and Jay talk about how great it is that the four of them are still together:

Jay: "You guys are the wind beneath my wings. We support each other like Spanx."

One of them will be going home this week. Duh.

The designers go up to the roof of the Atlas apartments to learn about this week's total bullshit challenge:

Tim: "Designers, look at New York City. I won't do the Earth, Wind & Fire joke because I'm pretty sure we've already done this challenge. Whatever. This is Philip Carreon."

Philip Carreon: "Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, Garnier. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, hair-care products. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, natural ingredients. In conclusion, bullshit."

Well, that's what I heard, anyway.

The designers pick their elements and then immediately get to work completely ignoring them:

Ben: "I picked water but I hate water so I'm doing a shark."

Emelio: "I picked earth and my model is a woman of color so I'm going to make a dress that will look good on her and has absolutely nothing to do with the challenge."

Anthony: "I chose fire so I'm going to make a grey dress because my pastor's house burned down."

Seth Aaron: "I have air but I hate the sky so I'm just going to do whatever the hell I want."

Before Tim makes his rounds, the designers have to endure an extended Garnier commercial, with Philip Carreon demonstrating his amazing technique of spraying hairspray at a model's head. What a shear friggin' genius.

Ben calls his husband and talks about how much he misses him. That was a mistake. Now they have to send him home.

On to the runway, with some French guy as the guest judge.

Maya - She made a pretty dress that looks like it's inspired by water. She actually followed the instructions of the challenge. How strange. Anyway, the judges like it but don't think it's original. And the Garnier hair looks like crap.

Jay - He made an outfit with pants and a flowing chiffon top. I guess I get the air inspiration, but the outfit is really kind of ugly. Again, the hair is awful.

Ben - He made a white suit that really wasn't bad. Obviously, it could have fit better, but I liked some of the design details. I didn't get "water" from it, but I could kind of see the shark inspiration.

Anthony - He made a nice gray and black dress. I guess I get the smoke reference. But I wanted to see "fire." Anthony calls his model a Clydesdale. As a compliment.

Mila - She made an outfit with a vest, pant, and top. I see the mineral influence in the vest, representing "earth." But the look is boring. I do like the hair, though.

Jonathan - He made a beautiful little dress. I love the cut and layered fabric. It definitely has an airy quality. I finally see where gritty meets pretty. I'm a little sick of hearing about "pale people" and I don't think matching Cerry's skin tone by putting her in cream and peach is quite the big friggin' deal everyone made it out to be. But I love the dress. and the hair works.

Amy - It's really not that bad. OK, I'm totally joking. It's complete shit, from concept through execution. For the sake of argument, let's say the top had stayed up the way she wanted and the hair looked better. Are you picturing it? Still shit. It's still a black body stocking topped by one of those cones you put on your dog after surgery. I understand she wanted to represent fire by having an explosion of hair, but the garment itself needed to have some fire reference.

Emilio - He made a greenish dress to represent earth. Does he even want to be here?

Seth Aaron - He made a beautifully tailored jacket that had nothing to do with the challenge.

The judges rip Ben a new one:

Heidi: "If you don't know how to make a shark, you shouldn't make a shark. This looks like the first shark you've ever made."

They go easier on Amy, even though hers is clearly a million times worse:

Michael: "It looks like a barmaid serving her chest hair to a cat in a sling."

Nina: "I think I'm gonna puke."

Jonathan wins! Congratulations, Jonathan!

Jonathan: "Go, pale people!"

Oh, shut up.

Ben is out. Whatever.

Ben: "Gee, you're grumpy this week."

Sorry. I just really hate Garnier. They know why.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Project Runway Lucky Season Sleven, Episode Sleven!

Once again, the title of my post is just a pointless reference to a movie I know nothing about. You're welcome.

Tim: "This is the first time in Project Runway history that the season number and the episode number are the same!"

Nope. There's one of these in every season.

Tim: "Well, it's the first time this season!"

That's true.

So, last week we all watched the Olympics and were reminded that every famous person in the United States is actually from Canada. The week BEFORE that, Janeane was finally put out of our misery and sent home.

In model news, Cerry informs us that she is not a child lover, to which I can only say ... um ... good?

Cerry: "I was acquitted."

Meanwhile, Megan is out but she thinks that because she and Heidi started modeling at the same age, she can expect to have Heidi's career:

The Late Senator Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr.: "Megan, I served with Heidi Klum. I knew Heidi Klum. Heidi Klum was a friend of mine. Megan, you are no Heidi Klum."

And that's how Hillary Clinton almost became President of the United States. Or something like that. Anyway, back to Megan:

Megan: "I really got along so well with my little girl model. We have so much in common. We both love ponies and the color pink and we're both majorly addicted to black tar heroin."

We start this episode with the designers telling us they are the top ten, which means there are only zero challenges left before ALL of them will go to Bryant Park. You do the math.

Mila: "It's really empowering to know that Maya, Amy, and I are the strongest women here."

You're the only women there.

Mila: "Bummer."

Seth Aaron has immunity so we won't see much of him this episode. Jay, however, tells us his life story so he's either going to win or be sent home:

Jay: "My life has been so hard! I went to a community college in Hawaii! COMMUNITY COLLEGE, PEOPLE!"

Look, I went to a community college in Hawaii for a semester. It's hardly a tragedy.

The designers go on a field trip:

Tim: "This episode will have a lot of banging. Speaking of something that's seen a lot of banging, let me introduce you to a familiar face."

Michael Kors: "Thank you, Tim. Designers, I want you to push the envelope, think outside the box, go the extra mile, do the unexpected, and be all that you can be. Now, get out of my store."

The designers go to the world's most expensive hardware store, where $150 won't even buy you enough washers to cover an eight-foot-tall woman.

Amy couldn't be more excited. However, she could sound a little more excited. In fact, any emotion at all would be an improvement.

Emilio doesn't like this challenge because he's such a great designer and he doesn't do crafty things:

Emilio: "In other words, I'm a total pain in the ass."

The designers get to work. Jesse wants someone to crash a burn:

Jesse: "But not in a mean way."

Of course. Jesse wants someone to crash and burn in a nice way. Anthony thinks everybody's garment looks tortured. Jonathan says his dress is Veronica Lake meets C3PO, which was actually in the original script of Phantom Menace but had to be cut to allow for more scenes of Jar Jar Binks. Seth Aaron tells Emilio that his garment is interesting:

Emilio: "Whatever. I'm a little busy over here being a great designer and an even greater pain in the ass."

Tim gives his last words of advice:

Tim: "Whatever you do, don't use the goddamn Bluefly wall."

On to the runway, where we have two guest judges, for some reason: fashion designer Isabel Toledo, and jewelry designer Stephen Webster. Keep in mind the criteria for judging this week are innovation, creativity, and point of view. You'll be quizzed on that later.

Mila - She made a striking black and white dress out of pieces of plastic. It used materials creatively and was all about her point of view. She is deservedly in the top three.

Jesse - He made a silver bubble dress that the judges likened to a big Hershey's kiss or a dirty vacuum bag. It was not attractive or very creative. But, worst of all, it showed no point of view.

Jonathan - He made a copper dress that managed to move well. It wasn't amazing but it was kind of pretty and he's safe.

Anthony - He made a purple mini-dress covered in mesh. The judges thought he played it safe. Michael thought it looked like a cheap prom dress. In my opinion "cheap prom dress" thoroughly describes Anthony's point of view. So I think he hit this one out of the park.

Ben - He made a shapeless, stiff, completely unwearable copper dress. In concept and execution, I thought it was just as bad as Jesse's. However, the shape did manage to show Ben's point of view so he's safe.

Emilio - He made a bikini out of washers. I would have given him points for creativity if it weren't for the fact that this is the EXACT SAME CRAPPY GARMENT WENDY PEPPER MADE out of Life Savers in the first season.

Jay - He made a fantastic pair of pants and belt out of trash bags. He's not out, so I guess that means he's going to win.

Seth Aaron - Homemade lady-robot Halloween costume. Another one that's almost as bad as Jesse's but has a little Seth Aaron personality so he's safe.

Amy - She made a pretty sandpaper dress.

Maya - She made a cool silver sheath dress under a net jacket with a huge collar. She also made a beautiful necklace out of keys. If we had gotten her life story this week instead of Jay's, I would have picked her as the winner.

Emilio could hear people's jaws drop when his awful Wendy Pepper rip-off went down the runway:

Emilio: "I don't know if it's because they thought it was amazing or because they are wondering what the hell just happened."

Let me clear it up for you: the second one.

Jay wins! Congratulations, Jay!

Mila accepts her silver medal and then posts on her website that it's actually platinum.

Jesse is out. Sorry, Jesse. You did some good work, but your lack of a point of view did you in this week.

Now a message from our sponsor:

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Monday, March 01, 2010

Project Runway garments on display!

Three looks from the season six newspaper challenge are on display at Topanga Plaza in Woodland Hills, California! Sorry for the terrible cellphone pictures.