Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Fashion Show, Season Two, Episode Three: I'm a Sexy Dracula! (obscure Community reference)

We start the episode with the new teams getting to know each other. Calvin is now on team Nami:

Calvin: "I hate fighting."

But you are always arguing and yelling at everyone.

Calvin: "Oh, is that what fighting means? In that case, I love fighting."

Cesar is now on team Emerald:

Cesar: "People often mistake me for Mother Teresa because of all my charity work in India, but the reality is that I'm a selfish, bossy bitch. Just thought I should get out in front of that story."

Cesar then explains to team Emerald what their problem had been when Calvin was on the team:

Cesar: "Calvin was your crutch. So now that your crutch is gone, you should be able to completely collapse into a pile on the floor."

Well, I didn't say he explained it well.

The designers meet Iman in Brooklyn:

Iman: "Seductive. Alluring. Mysterious. Dangerous. Gorgeous. Powerful. Brilliant. But enough about me! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Oh, for heaven's sake, I'll explain the challenge. The designers have to create nightlife looks inspired by the iconic image of the femme fatale. Some examples would be Mata Hari, Barbara Stanwyck, and Jessica Rabbit.

David: "You know what I love best about the femme fatale?"

Her vagina?

David: "That's right!"

Team Emerald has a consultation with Isaac:

Isaac: "You already bought the fabric, right? So, it's too late to do anything about that. Fortunately, it isn't too late to make you feel bad about your choices. So let's go with that."

Emerald is going for a 1940s vampire look, with red jersey and black lace. Because that's totally what a 1940s vampire would wear. They are also using blue and green, just to pump up the awfulness.

Team Nami is also going for a 1940s vampire look, with black and purple satin.

Mata Hari: "What am I, chopped liver?"

Cesar can't resist helping his old team:

Cesar: "Look at them over there. They're as helpless as Indian orphans. I have to do something."

He finally gives in and tells Rolando how to shape his skirt. Just like Mother Teresa would have done.

Eduardo gets an extra hour to work on his dress, because he won last week.

On to the fashion show, with guest judge Dita Von Teese. By the way, this was a one-day challenge. And, boy, do the results show it.

First up is House of Emerald:

Tamara made a red pleather jacket over red leggings. I don't love the matchy-ness of the red leggings, but it's not bad. It's sexy and the jacket has a slight 1940s feel to it. But the judges don't think it's right for a femme fatale.
Cindy made a nice dress of red jersey covered in black lace. It's not very exciting, but it's still one of the better looks of the challenge, which is sad.
Golnessa made a awful green dress with a round lace inset in the back that reminds me of the scene in Death Becomes Her when Meryl Streep blows a hole right through Goldie Hawn's torso with a shotgun. Fun movie. Bad look.
Jeffrey made a blue two-piece evening gown with weird cutouts in the top. It just doesn't work. Dita says it looks like something Dracula would wear to the gym, which is pretty funny. Unfortunately, it is both her first and last interesting comment.
Cesar made a blue evening gown with a ridiculous red and blue cape.

Next up is House of Nami. Their show uses old film-reel clips and is pretty cool.

Dominique made a cute short black dress with a jacket.
David made a not very flattering purple satin dress with a black cape.
Eduardo made a beautiful black dress. Calvin has a point when he says it looks like the other two dresses Eduardo has made. But it's still pretty and it's perfect for this challenge.
Rolando made a black dress with a cool inverted ruffle skirt. It's not an original idea, but it's certainly more interesting than most of the dresses we're seeing. Unfortunately, it doesn't make much sense for this challenge.
Calvin made another ridiculous long evening gown.

This was supposed to be a nightlife challenge. To me, that indicates something you could wear to a nightclub. I think every designer who made an evening gown for this challenge should have been immediately eliminated.

Anyway, House of Nami wins again. Eduardo wins the challenge and gets immunity for the next challenge. If he wins a third time, he will become immortal, like Iman.

Isaac: "I know I'm just a superstar fashion designer and huge celebrity so you probably don't care about my opinion, but here's what I think you should do, Eduardo: go crazy next week and don't make us the same damn dress again. Just a thought."

House of Emerald loses again, despite not having Calvin on the team:

Isaac: "House of Emerald, your dresses were not all the same color, so they didn't look like a collection."

Right. Anyway, there is still a way to stick Calvin on the losing team. Eduardo has to choose a member of the winning team to be on the bottom, for no particular reason. Obviously, he picks Calvin because he has to pick someone so why the hell wouldn't he pick Calvin. Last in, first out:

Isaac: "Oh, I'm so disappointed in you, Eduardo, for doing exactly what anyone else would have done in your place."

Whatever. So Calvin joins the others for possible elimination, although he's obviously safe. The real bottom two are Golnessa and Tamara:


Iman thinks Golnessa's dress looks like something her nine-year-old daughter would make:

Iman: "Iman's nine-year-old daughter has terrible taste! How dare you show this to Iman! Iman doesn't have patience anymore for this ugly dress. SHOW THE FOOTAGE OF IMAN LOSING PATIENCE WITH THIS UGLY DRESS! WHAT?!!! YOU'RE ALL FIRED!!!!"

Tamara is out. That sucks:

Laura Brown: "Tamara, remember last week when we told you to ignore your team and just go with your own vision? Well, this week we're punishing you for ignoring your team and going with your own vision."

Calvin is crying because the only person in the world who actually likes him is being sent home. Iman is confused:

Iman: "Why are you crying, Calvin? Is it because you are sad? Iman has heard that humans sometimes cry when they are sad. Iman finds this fascinating."

Calvin: "Can I go instead of Tamara?"

Iman: "Really? Are you really saying you want to leave the show?"

Calvin: "Well, actually, I didn't think you would take the request seriously."

Isaac: "I think you should stay. I think it's what Tamara would have wanted."

Tamara: "No, it isn't."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Fashion Show, Season Two, Episode Two: I think I'm gonna barf!

OK, I don't know if I can make it through this episode.

Isaac: "What? It's just blood and veins and flayed human corpses. What's the big deal?"

ooooh . . .

Isaac: "Are you alright?"

I think I need to lie down . . .

Seriously, I have an aversion to anything having to do with the human circulatory system. Even typing the V word makes me have a panic attack.

David: "You mean Vaginas?"

No, I don't mean Vaginas, dummy. I mean Veins. OH MY GOD, stop making me type that word! I'm going to pass out!

David: "I'm glad you didn't mean vaginas. Because I really like vaginas."

Dominique: "He is so cute! AND he likes vaginas!"

Well, he sounds like a frickin' dream come true. You should marry him immediately.

We start the episode with Mike completely psyching himself out:

Mike: "There are no snow leopards in Africa! How can I work with people who don't know that?! If the judges are just going to reward mistakes like that, I don't think I can continue."

He's absolutely right. Snow leopards are not native to Africa. Here's the thing, though: nobody gives a shit where snow leopards live. More from Mike:

Mike: "I am so creative! No challenge could possibly be too much for me to handle."

We sure are hearing a lot from Mike. That means one of two things: either he's going to get food poisoning, or he's going to get caught cheating."

Mike: "Those are my only options?"

Well, I suppose you could just quit.

The designers get a note from Iman:

Dear designers,
It's been a day since you had the honor of having me shout at you. Do you miss me? Of course you do.
Best regards,

The designers meet Iman at one of those awful Bodies exhibitions. Iman explains that they will be creating collections based on the inside of the human body:

Iman: "I want you to make my heart skip a beat."

Not there, you don't. They'll pump you full of plastic and put you on display faster than you can say, "I'm not dead yet; I always look like rigor mortis has set in."

Obviously, we have to hear from Mike, telling us how this challenge is perfect for him and he's going to be so great. What could possibly go wrong?

The designers look around the exhibition:

David: "There is nothing sexier than a woman with no skin! I am so turned on right now."

Yeah, I'm just going into another room for a while. Let me know when it's safe to come back.

[a few minutes later]

OK? They're at the fabric store now? Good.

Calvin has a plan:

Calvin: "You want cohesive? I'm going to give you cohesive like you've never seen before. I'm going to cohesive the shit out of this collection."

Back in the workroom, Calvin is still trying to explain his vision:

Calvin: "Let me start at the beginning. OK, so about fourteen billion years ago there was this huge explosion and then the universe started expanding . . ."

Cindy: "Calvin, we don't have time for this."

After some more yelling Isaac comes in and tells them he's ready to see their story boards.

Isaac loves what he's seeing from House of Nami, especially the amazing ideas coming from Mike. I can hardly wait to see those ideas realized.

Isaac tells House of Emerald Syx that their name is really stupid and they should change it to House of Emerald, which is still stupid but slightly more appropriate:

Isaac: "The name change is a big improvement. Unfortunately, you still suck."

House of Emerald picks Jeffrey as the team leader, because he has the highly-desired quality of not being Calvin.

Isaac comes back and tells the designers he's given this a lot of thought and he's decided the challenge needs a twist. Each look will need to have one piece that is reversible.

Mike is losing it. He hasn't done anything. He complains that nobody is helping him but he hasn't asked for help and says he wouldn't accept any help even if anyone offered. He cuts up his dress and then walks out.

Tim Gunn: "Designers, I have an announcement. Mike will not be coming back."

Isaac: "Hey, what the hell are you doing here?!"

Tim Gunn: "Well, you weren't making the announcement, so I had to do it."

The other designers are completely shocked and upset:

Cesar: "Good riddance."

Rolando: "Schmuck is the funniest word I've ever heard in my life!"

Well, alright, so maybe the other designers will get over the loss.

On to the fashion show. The guest judge is Douglas Friedman, who has had an extensive career photographing Rachel Zoe. Show coordinator Stefan, who, by the way, is a huge star now and gets his own Ford commercials, makes fun of House of Emerald:

Stefan: "So, House of Cubic Zirconia, let me see if I understand this: three members of your team wanted the gauzy veils and two members didn't, so you dropped the idea? You make me sick."

House of Emerald looks like a collection . . . of bridesmaid's dresses. Seriously, it's mostly a bunch of red satin dresses with matching jackets! Awful (with two exceptions):

Cindy - She made an ugly dress with a bolero that looks slightly uglier when you turn it inside-out.
Jeffrey - He made a nice dress with really unusual pleating at the ribcage and a fold-down neckline, which is more "adjustable" than "reversible."
Tamara - She also made an ugly dress with another pointlessly "reversible" jacket that looks almost exactly the same inside-out.
Calvin - He made a jacket that folds into a bag and a skirt that becomes a cape. I loved all of it and it was an audience favorite, but it was more "adaptable" than "reversible" and, while the ideas were great, they weren't really appropriate for what looked like an evening gown. Clothes that can transition from day to evening are useful. But a formal gown with a removable skirt and a backpack just doesn't make sense.
Golnessa - She made a nice red dress with an attached scarf that can be thrown over the shoulder. That scarf is in no way reversible.

During the commercial break, David gives an impromptu concert on his mouth organ. If you know what I mean.

House of Nami has a better color story. They use pinks and salmons and layered chiffon to represent human musculature. Stefan yells at House of Nami to stop touching the models:

David: "But I love touching women! They're so sexy!"

David - He made a dress that he thinks looks like a vagina. It's kind of ugly.

David: "You just don't love vaginas as much as I do."

Well, that may be, but that was just not a great outfit.

Dominique - She made a salmon-colored dress with a long chiffon vest that supposedly reverses to reveal a vein pattern [gag], but the model doesn't put the vest back on so we don't see it reversed.
Rolando - He made a chiffon dress with a puffy chiffon thing that he calls a jacket but obviously isn't. I guess it's a stole. it looks inspired by the body but I don't think reversing it makes any difference.
Eduardo - He made a dress with a reversible skirt. The filming seems to be done specifically to prevent us from seeing what the garments look like. The model reversed the skirt but I can't tell if there was any difference. This is another crowd favorite.
Cesar - He made a pretty cool fringed dress that looks inspired by the exhibition. The reversible jacket might be puffier in back when it's reversed, but who knows? We didn't get to see the back of it before it was turned inside-out.
Nami's sixth look is a nice, kind of choppy layered chiffon dress with a scarf that doesn't seem to reverse to anything. I don't know why they assumed they had to have a sixth look. Whatever.

House of Nami wins and Eduardo wins an additional hour of work time in the next challenge.

House of Emerald is the losing team. Calvin and Jeffrey had really good looks, but Calvin couldn't work with the team and Jeffrey, as team leader, failed to magically make Calvin a more pleasant person to work with.

The judges complain about Cindy's weird, awful pleating. They also scold Tamara for listening to her teammates, who forced her to add some stupid pleats to her dress. I don't know what she was supposed to do:

Laura Brown: "You should compromise without compromising."

Oh, Laura, after a promising start last week, you've let me down.

Iman: "Did you think of telling your team that you didn't want to add the pleating?"

Tamara: "Oh, I never thought of that. What a brilliant suggestion."


Calvin says he's not arguing any more:

Isaac: "That sounds like a threat."

Calvin: "No no no no NOOOOOO. Don't worry about me. I'm fine. I'm completed."

Iman: "Calvin, you are a total dictator. And I'm being polite so I added the 'tator.'"

Iman says calvin could be the most talented designer there but nobody can stand to work with him. They punish the winning team by forcing them to take Calvin. Then they give House of Nami one minute to decide which member of the team will go to Emerald. I knew it would be Cesar. I knew he would feel protective of his team and think he needed to take the bullet. But the reality is the rest of his team now has to deal with Calvin. They're screwed.

David has a confession:

David: "I've never actually seen a vagina."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Fashion Show, Season Two, The Ultimatum, Premiere!

Isaac Mizrahi: "OK, people, here's the ultimatum: watch this show or I will make another appearance on Gossip Girl!"

Well, I definitely don't want to watch another episode of Gossip Girl, but I will say that Isaac was better on that show than Tim Gunn.

Isaac: "I like you. You can stay."

Thank you.

Isaac: "Anyway, welcome to the show! We had to change some things because we found out there was this other fashion competition show over on Lifetime Television and it sounded really similar to ours. Yeah, they totally ripped us off! Shocking, right? It's just like that time I invented Eskimo clothes and then the idea was totally stolen by all these people living up near the North Pole!"

You mean Eskimos?

Isaac: "Yeah, my idea for Eskimo clothes was stolen by the Eskimos! I couldn't believe it! So I had to redesign my entire collection! And that's exactly what I had to do to this show. I've made everything 25% better. The first supersized episode is 25% longer, the prize is 25% bigger than that other fashion show, and my co-host is 25% taller than last season!

Iman: "Oh, honey, 25% better doesn't even begin to describe me. I AM fashion! I started modeling for Charles Worth in 1858 and I've worked with every fashion designer since then."

Wow. You look fantastic!

Iman: "Yes, I know. And buy my new perfume! It's called Steel Vagina! It stinks so good!"

You've got to love her.

Let's meet the designtestants:

Jeffrey mixes men's and women's clothing.
Cindy got into fashion because her mother made her wear ugly dresses.
Calvin says he turns into a bitch at 3:00. Gee, and here it is only 2:30.
Cesar is getting back into the business.
Dominique is 21 and seems constantly amazed by this fact.
Rolando tries to blend in.
Francine thinks she has a really good chance of winning.
Tamara grew up in the projects.
Eduardo's work is up here and the other designers' work is down here.
Mike has been to a fashion show before, so watch out.
David enjoys pretending to be playful.
Golnessa wants to be famous.

Now, for the question on everyone's mind: Which designer will immediately have to tell us he's heterosexual?

David: "Oh, that's me!"

Interesting. That would not have been my first guess. I thought it would be Mike.

David: "Yeah, people often think I'm gay, but after I tell them several hundred times that I'm straight, they eventually say, 'Fine, whatever, can you please shut up about it already?'"

The season starts with a surprise fashion show, which is a refreshing idea:

Isaac: "BAM! We give you fashion 25% sooner than other shows!"

Most of the clothes are not terribly exciting. I kind of like Jeffrey's weird unisex hippie outfit. And David's weird outfit also intrigues me:

David: "I work really hard to appear quirky and childish. So my idea is to make clothes that would be worn by indigenous space people who are influenced by space colonization but they adapt the clothes to look like the 1980s because it takes a long time for our television shows to get there. Kind of like Canada."

James-Paul Ancheta: "That idea sounds very familiar!"

So, the only problem with this first fashion show is that there didn't seem to be any point to it. There was no audience, the judges didn't see it, and there were no consequences. The designers were able to see the work of their competitors and we, the viewers, were introduced to their work. But I was still disappointed that it wasn't part of the competition. Maybe the judges could have picked their two favorites and those two designers could have selected their teammates?

After the runway, Iman comes out and does her thing:

Iman: "I am a god! Worship me!"

We pray to the immortal and all-powerful Iman, goddess of fashion. Then we listen to her divine wisdom:

Iman: "Designers do not work alone. Dior, Chanel, Cavalli - they all worked together to make one collection."

No, I don't think that's right.


Sorry. So the designers are split into two fashion houses, where they will create cohesive collections every week:

Calvin: "Here go hell come stay now."

You can say that again.

The designers go to the workroom and name their fashion houses:

The blue team picks the name House of Nami, which is Iman spelled backward. It's a perfectly nice-sounding name, but it's not very meaningful. Iman means "faith," so their name is "faith" backward? The opposite of faith? Maybe not the best message.

The green team wants a name based on the fact that there are six members of the team. Calvin rightly points out that the name won't make much sense once designers start being eliminated. The rest of his team tells him he just needs to have iman (faith) that none of them will ever be eliminated. They finally settle on the name House of the River Styx.

Mike talks about Iman's journey from a tribal way of life to living in the modern world:

Mike: "She went from living in a shack, hunting lions for food, and making necklaces out of shrunken human heads to living in the modern Western world."

Iman: "What the hell are you talking about? I had a privileged life growing up in the city. My father was the Somali ambassador to Saudi Arabia, dumb-ass."

The teams get to work. Mike thinks he's a visionary for making a noose dress. Calvin's dress can be used for cleaning your house. Eduardo doesn't have the budget for feathers so he's making his own feathers except he doesn't know how to make feathers so Cesar is making them. Golnessa and Cindy knew each other before coming on the show. Francine is freaking out about making her stupid ruffles and Calvin is helping her and Francine is just complaining about it. Then they prepare for the fashion show.

Calvin and Francine get into a huge fight right before the show:

Francine: "Excuse me? Don't even give me that attitude!"

Calvin: "J'accuse! J'accuse!"

Francine: "You can't even speak French very well!"

As usual, I have no idea what that fight was about.

House of the River Styx has a cool show with the models draped in fabric and revealed one by one:

Tamara - horrible yellow dress that's way too tight and has way too much going on.
Jeffrey - cute dress with a print jacket but the model forgot to take off the jacket on the runway, so the judges don't see the dress.
Cindy - great purple jumpsuit with a weird back.
Francine - awful little dress with crap stuck on to the front.
Golnessa - beautiful navy dress with stupid crap stuck on the shoulder.
Calvin - long yellow dress that actually isn't hideous from the front but is really tacky from the back.

House of Nami just has graphics on the screen behind the runway and sends down an (almost) all-white collection:

Mike - changed his noose dress so it just has the heavy braids stuck on the back.
David - it's nice but the jacket was flaring out like wings as the model went down the runway.
Dominique - fantastic little dress, fitted with a waistband in front and loose and flowing in the back. This was my favorite piece but maybe it was a little young for Iman.
Eduardo - kind of a silly cocktail dress. It does not look inspired by Iman. I'm not impressed.
Rolando - weird mini-skirt/floor-length gown. I don't like it, but it looks like the kind of mess Iman or Heidi Klum would actually wear.
Cesar - print gown with crap stuck on the shoulder. I'm just not a big fan of this type of dress, but it's well done, and again, it looks like something Iman would actually wear.

The judges are Iman, Isaac, Laura Brown from Harper's Bazaar, and guest judge Rachel Roy, looking stunning in a gorgeous yellow dress (and ugly orange shoes!).

House of Nami wins! Good call. Isaac says the designs looked like they came from one designer but I thought the only thing they had in common was that they were white. Then Isaac mentions Eduardo's Grecian drapery and I realize he must have seen a completely different show than I did. Cesar wins.

House of the River Styx is the losing team. Francine and Calvin are the bottom two:

Francine - I feel like her dress would have been praised on Project Runway and possibly won the cover of Marie Claire. So I am very pleased to hear the judges say how cheap it looks. Laura Brown, who I now love, says she hates just having crap stuck on to the front of a dress. Bless you, Laura! I've been railing against that for years!

Calvin rambles about passing wind and screwing his dress and then argues with Iman about tomatoes:


Calvin: "No no no no no No no, NO no no no no no no no NO!"

Isaac: "I'm sorry, Calvin, but the correct answer is Yes."

Isaac says Calvin's dress looks inexpensive but Iman disagrees and says it looks cheap.

We don't get to witness the judges deliberate, for some reason. Francine is out. She thinks her dress wasn't considered high fashion because she didn't have ENOUGH crap hanging off of it. Yikes! Iman delivers the show's new tagline:

Iman: "This new tagline is 25% better than the previous one. Ready? OK. Here it is: This is The Fashion Show and you are out of fashion."

You're right; that is exactly 25% better.