Friday, January 28, 2011

The Fashion Show Season Two, Finale: Well, that was mildly disappointing.

Can we just pretend that didn't happen? Can we all just agree that the season really ended last week with that really great fashion show from Dominique and Calvin? It was such a high note on which to end.

No? We actually have to acknowledge that anticlimactic finale? Alright, fine.

So, Iman tells the designers they have one week and a few thousand dollars, give or take, to create a nine-piece final collection. Then she sends them off to work.

After a few days, Iman and Isaac travel around to check on the designers' progress:

Iman: "Isaac, what kind of car is this? This is the biggest, ugliest limo I have ever seen!"

Isaac: "This is a public bus. Some people don't have drivers so they use these to get around the city."

Iman: "Poor people are so clever."

OK, so they didn't really do home visits. Instead, they give the designers one last twist at the end of the week: they have to create a tenth look. Each designer is asked to do something specific with his or her tenth look, apparently based on what the judges think has been lacking in their work.

Dominique is asked to make a business look, Calvin is asked to make pants, and Jeffrey is asked to make another boring dress:

Iman: "Yes, but a boring STRAPLESS dress. I have a specific event I need it for. AND I NEED IT RIGHT AWAY!"

The three designers are then paired up with their former lovers, who were previously eliminated from the show:


Get a room, you two!

On to the boring runway shows. I was really expecting so much more after last week. But we got mostly standard "wearable" clothes.

Calvin's collection wasn't bad. I don't know what else to say about it.

Dominique's was the best of the three, in my opinion. But it still wasn't as interesting as I was hoping for from her. Her show production was good. She had a few good looks and only two big mistakes. Her weird final look could have been fine, if it had had anything to do with the rest of the collection. But it just looked out of place. Her other mistake was her businesswoman look. What business is that woman supposed to be in? Did she invent Post-it notes?

Jeffrey put me to sleep, as usual. At the beginning of the season, I thought he would be a little more experimental. He talked about making unisex clothing, but I don't think he knows what unisex means. Wearing women's clothes doesn't make them unisex. His tenth look is dull, dull, dull. The judges love it. He wins. Congratulations, Jeffrey.

Anyway, I was rooting for Dominique throughout the competition and I still think she had the best final collection, but all three collections were pretty disappointing, so I don't really care who won.

Isaac: "Tune in next season, which is scheduled to air sometime between really soon and never!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Fashion Show, Season Two, Episode Nine: Elements of an overused challenge!

Ricky Gervais: "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show. I'd like to introduce Isaac Mizrahi. Mel Gibson just told me Isaac is Jewish. He's obsessed!"

Isaac: "Thank you, Ricky. That joke was was as shocking and new as Michael Kors' Spring collection."

Ricky: "And now please welcome America's sweetheart: Iman! Iman just told me that she hates poor people because they smell bad."

Iman: "That's actually true. I totally said that."

This week is the completely uninspiring challenge of being inspired by the elements. They will be using earth, water, and air as inspiration:

Fire: "What am I, chopped liver?"

Sorry. Fire is so last season.

Fire: "You do not want to mess with me!"

The designers go out on a boat. They have to catch as many fish as possible to use in the challenge:

Calvin: "Yes! This challenge is going to be a hot Calvin Tran-y mess!"

It sure is! The designers are split into teams of two, creating collections of six looks. The fashion-house concept is back and it finally works. Two people is apparently a small enough team to cooperate and make a cohesive collection. And six looks are just barely enough to qualify as a small collection. So, yeah, I thought we got two good collections this week. But that doesn't mean the concept worked for the entire show. In fact, the two fashion houses are completely meaningless, since the designers kept moving around. I think Dominique is the only one to stay in the same house throughout the competition.

Anyway, as usual, nothing interesting happens and then suddenly there is a runway show.

Cesar and Jeffrey make a collection of pretty blue flowing dresses based on water, which is totally obvious and boring:

Cesar: "But they are pretty."


Seriously, Cesar's draped dress is beautiful and probably the best thing he's done all season, but the collection on the whole is so boring I just don't care.

Jeffrey also made some nice boring dresses and topped it off with a ridiculous giant vintage tiara that looked so out of place it was hilarious:

Nina Garcia: "The model looked like Miss Guatemala."

Yeah, I totally get why he picked it. I'm sure ever since he was a little girl he's dreamed of being in the Miss America pageant and getting to parade around in the sash and tiara. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen, and he just didn't consider what it would look like on the runway.

Calvin and Dominique put on the best show of the season. I thought it was dramatic and mesmerizing. It evoked nature and earthiness instead of giving us the predictable literal translation of water. I loved the collection more than the individual pieces, which I think is fine. It was an avant-garde show that provoked an emotional response. It felt modern and exciting, even if all the clothes weren't wearable.

A few pieces could definitely be translated into ready-to-wear. The judges really liked Calvin's camel coat and Dominique's shorts look with a voluminous white top. And it was impressive how those two looks complemented each other so perfectly, while clearly being the work of the individual designers.

The looks the judges didn't like were Dominique's droopy, shapeless white dress covered by a droopy, shapeless white caftan. It definitely looked under-designed, although I thought it worked alright with the feel of the show. They also didn't like Calvin's "pregnancy" look. The skirt was nice and the top was certainly strange and dramatic and worked with the collection, but the judges found it contrived. I can't disagree with them on that, although I still thought it was interesting. It's a look that would need to be toned WAY down for ready-to-wear and I didn't like the silhouette as much as I liked Dominique's hunchback dress last week, but I didn't hate it:

Isaac: "I didn't hate it, either. I didn't like it enough to hate it."


Isaac: "You know when you like something so much you hate it?"

not really

Isaac: "Well, it's kind of like when you hate something so much you like it. But the opposite."

Oh. Now I know what you mean.

So, in a shocking turn of events, the judges give the win to the interesting collection, instead of the pretty collection that would look good on Iman!

Eric and Eric: "Yay!"

Iman: "Calvin and Dominique, I would not be caught dead in any of your clothes. And yet, you are going to the finals. Congratulations! Here, have a car."

Then, as if that weren't enough, there is an exciting bonus challenge! Jeffrey and Cesar compete in a sew-off to see which one can fix his worst look. Cesar manages to make his look slightly better but Jeffrey actually manages to make his mess look really good. Jeffrey wins!

So Cesar joins Eduardo as another early favorite who will not make it to the final. Calvin, Dominique, and Jeffrey are the final three.

Tune is next week when this all mercifully ends!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Fashion Show Season Two Episode Eight: Accessories to the crime!

The designers meet Iman at some cool vintage fashion shop, where Simon Doonan passes out quirky accessories that will inspire looks for this week's collections:

Simon Doonan: "Without eccentricity, fashion is just clothing."

Iman: "And without clothing, eccentricity is just nakedness."

Wow. That is so deep. You are totally blowing my mind.

We return to the completely pointless fashion-house premise, with Cesar and Jeffrey making a four-look "collection" for House of Emerald, and Dominique, Calvin, and Eduardo creating a six-look collection for House of Nami. I'm sorry, but four looks just really doesn't make a collection:

Isaac: "It does if you make them all one color!"

Oh, right. I forgot. If dresses are all the same color, then they magically become a collection.

Isaac: "Well, you know the old saying: if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it's probably Penelope Cruz!"

That is not ... oh, forget it.

Not much drama this week. Calvin was so awful during the last challenge that the producers had to give him the requisite "humanizing" treatment this week. But I don't think anything could humanize him:

Calvin: "My partner is dying."

Shit. They did it. How am I supposed to call him a big old bitch after he tells us that?

Calvin: "Also, I plan to give every cent of my hypothetical winnings to charity."

That would be very generous if he had any chance of winning, which he doesn't.

First up is House of Nami. I think they messed up with the styling. If they had styled the models in a more consistent way, it could have made the collection look a little more cohesive.

Dominique was the only designer who met the challenge this week. She created two eccentric designs inspired by the accessories she was given. So, obviously, she's up for elimination. She made a pig coat, which was cute, but not nearly as fascinating as she found it. She really loves saying "pig coat":

Dominique: "Pig coat! I'm in love with my pig coat! Have you ever heard such beautiful words? Say it loud and there's music playing! Say it soft and it's almost like praying."

Yeah, great. Anyway, her other look was pure genius. I loved the idea of attaching the bustle at the shoulder. She really was inspired by her accessory to create an eccentric, avant-garde silhouette. The geisha makeup was a mistake.

None of the other designers did anything interesting with their accessories. They just made pretty but fairly ordinary dresses and stuck their accessories on them.

Eduardo had a big hat and a silver belt and he stuck them on a couple of decent black outfits. Calvin had gloves and a ruff, which he could have done something really interesting with, but didn't.

Eduardo is out. I'm surprised but I don't mind. I was as sick of his ruffled dresses as the judges were. Calvin is safe. Isn't it fortunate the producers humanized him just in time for that decision?

House of Emerald wins the challenge because they used the same fabric for all four dresses. Yawn.

Cesar made two nice ivory dresses. The only eccentric thing was an exaggerated shoulder. His bird headpiece and flower pin were used as they were originally intended and didn't seem to inspire anything. He wanted to use some color, but both Isaac and Jeffrey talked him out of it.

Jeffrey's accessories were cool merry-go-round earrings and a Dior feather capelet. I hated the dress with the capelet because it was so bland it almost disappeared. He wanted to create looks that blended into the background so that the accessories would be featured. But that really wasn't the point of the challenge. His dress for the earrings was better; in fact, it was beautiful. But it was no more eccentric than the other one. Jeffrey wins, which I don't mind too much because he should have won last week instead of Dominique.

Iman: "Eduardo, it must be so hard to be eliminated this close to the finale. I don't really know what it's like to be a loser, but I would imagine it sucks. Oh, and Dominique, if you say 'pig coat' one more time, I'm going to punch you in the nuts."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Fashion Show Season Two, Episode Seven: Bridal Fail!

Really? You're still reading this? Does that mean you are still watching the show? So, you're the one! Well, good for you! Some people might call you stubborn, but not me. I say you're courageous and principled. You aren't going to stop watching a show just because it's boring. You are a true hero and the world could use more people like you!

This week the fashion-house structure falls apart, as I predicted it would. You really can't build an entire show around an element that will only last a few episodes. This week the designers are split into three teams of two to design wedding outfits.

Let's meet the people getting married:

Dominique and Jeffrey will be working with Bill and his three lovely brides, Trudy, Camilla, and Ruth.

Cesar and Eduardo will be working with 87-year-old Joshua and his lovely 12-year-old bride Samantha. Joshua bought Samantha from her parents for 18 cows, which is a pretty good price!

Lastly, Calvin and Cindy will be working with James, who is marrying his lovely pet goat, Louise.

Cindy: "Oh, thank goodness! At first I thought it was a male goat, and that would have been weird."

Actually, Cindy does have a problem with her clients:

Cindy: "Polygamy and arranged marriages with children are such traditional forms of marriage. But I have to admit I'm a little old fashioned and it will take me a while to get used to the idea of creating a wedding dress for a goat."

Don't worry, Cindy! I'm just joking! Those aren't the real clients! Dominique and Jeffrey are really working with a female couple, Cesar and Eduardo and also working with a female couple, and Calvin and Cindy are working with a male couple:

Cindy: "Two boys? Who want to get married? That's just silly! Am I being Punk'd? Where's Alan Funt?"

Yes, Cindy, sometimes two men can fall in love. They are called homosexuals:

Cindy: "Really? This is the first I've heard of it. Well, if it makes them happy, I guess it's fine with me."

As strange as Cindy's reaction is, Calvin's treatment of his clients is even weirder:

Calvin: "You're fat. Fat people can only wear black. I don't know anything about traditional Korean clothes!"

Client: "That's why I'm trying to explain to you what traditional Korean clothes look like."

Calvin: "I can't hear what you are saying because you are too fat. If you want me to make you clothes, I will make you clothes. But don't try to tell me what to do."

Client: "I DON'T want you to make me clothes!"

Calvin: "Why would you come into my shop demanding a Calvin Tran original if you don't want me to make your clothes?!"

Client: "When I agreed to this, I had no idea I would be working with a total psychopath!"

Calvin: "Well, too bad, fatty!"

Cindy: "Calvin, I think you are being a little rude. Just because our clients are totally disgusting and obese doesn't mean you can yell at them."

Oh, my god. If this challenge is to work successfully with a client, there is no way Calvin can't be eliminated, right?

Cindy: "Maybe if I create the worst garment anyone has ever seen, the judges will have an excuse to keep Calvin."

I really doubt you could make anything that bad.

There are basically two story lines going on in the design room this week, neither one entertaining in any way. The first is Dominique's ridiculous pining for David:

Dominique: "This wedding challenge was created specifically to torment me!"

The second is Calvin's verbal abuse of his client, which is really painful to watch. I know the producers want drama and controversy, but turning someone's wedding into an unpleasant experience is inexcusable.

The runway show was actually quite good. The guest judges were Rachel Zoe and Johnny Weir, both of whom are fun to see, though the guest judges never have much to do on this show.

The two lesbian couples looked great! Dominique and Jeffrey create really simple and flattering linen looks for a casual beach ceremony:

Isaac: "My only complaint is that you could find these looks in any lesbian bridal shop."

Well, whatever. The looks are perfect for this challenge and Dominique wins. Congratulations, Dominique!

Cesar and Eduardo created two fun looks that made their clients very happy. They could have been a little more wedding-y, but at least they were flattering.

Calvin and Cindy were a disaster. Calvin created his version of a Japanese kimono that had nothing to do with the Korean robe his client wanted. Surely nothing can be worse than Calvin's relationship to his client.

Unfortunately, Cindy really pulled out all the stops. She actually managed to create the worst garment I've ever seen. In fairness, she couldn't have done it without Calvin's "help." I think it looked better before he came to the "rescue" and reconstructed the entire jacket at the last minute. They should have just left it unbuttoned. Anyway, I think the judges had a legitimate excuse to get rid of Cindy. Calvin will have another week to advertise his business to women who hate themselves.

Iman is almost in tears as she hugs Cindy goodbye and tells her how talented she is. No one is more surprised than Isaac:

Isaac: "My Queen, you appear to be displaying human emotions and it's, frankly, a little frightening. I think you should return to the Mother Ship and spend some time in your regeneration pod."