Friday, September 23, 2011

Project Runway Season Nine, Episode 9: Daydream believers!

Yeesh. I don't even know where to start. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time:

"Hey, guys! Let's start a band! Maybe we'll get on the cover of Rolling Stone!"

"But what if we have to wear really shitty clothes?"

"Why would Rolling Stone do that to us?"

Yeah, I don't think anyone has an answer to that question.

So, this challenge should have been fun. The designers were supposed to do a makeover for the members of a new band. That's usually more of a job for a stylist than a designer, but some bands get custom-designed clothes, so it could have worked. Unfortunately, the results were spectacularly awful. And not in a good way. The designers managed to make clothes that were almost breathtakingly bad and yet at the same time so boring I have nothing to say about them.

First, let's get to all the drama, since that's why we all watch. Oh, what's that you say? You don't watch for the drama? You watch for the fashion? Well, too bad for you, because this episode didn't have either.

Remember at the beginning of the season when there were way too many menswear designers? Guess what? Now nobody does menswear! Even the menswear designers can't do menswear!

Olivier: "I can do menswear. But only on a mannequin. And only if the mannequin is very, very quiet."

Yeah, sometimes the little wheels on the bottom squeak.

Olivier: "Oh, my god, I hate that."

Anyway, the designers are split into two teams of four, but it doesn't really matter, because they will be creating completely independent looks. One person from each four-person team will be creating an individual look for one of the four members of the band. So each band member gets two looks. Don't worry, I checked the math and it does work out.

The producers showed the designers all getting along really well together. Which made me wonder who these new producers are and what they did with our old producers. The designers are all in a giving mood. Bert gives money to Laura, Anya gives fabric to Kimberly, and Joshua gives everyone crabs. It's touching, really.

Well, we're going to have to discuss the clothes at some point, so let's get it over with. The band performs and the guest judge is Adam Lambert:

So, guys, what do you think of your new look?

Guys: "We love it. We wish there were more sequins. Can we have our recording contract now please?"

In a minute. First we have to critique the individual looks:

Micky (By Joshua and Anthony Ryan)

Nina: "He's a little over-accessorized."

Michael: "Those horizontal stripes aren't working. No man on earth wants to wear something that makes him look wider."

Heidi: "He is really rocking that Garnier Fructis, though."

Peter (By Anya and Kimberly)

Nina: "It looks like a woman's blouse."

Michael: "It's Peter Brady at a harvest festival."

Adam Lambert: "I think it's very dash-chic-y! Get it? Dash-chic-y?"

Michael (By Bert and Olivier)

Nina: "I like this look."

Michael: "Who knew Bert had a rocker's soul?"

Adam Lambert: "I would totally wear this on the red carpet."

Davy (By Laura and Viktor)

Nina: "It looks like a woman's blouse."

Michael: "You think everything looks like a woman's blouse."

Nina: "Well, at least I don't say everything looks like a Golden Girls Brady Bunch hooker."

Adam Lambert: "Scooby-Doo?"

Nina and Michael: "Oh, shut up."

And now I'm done with those awful clothes. Viktor wins and Olivier is out.

Nothing. Will ever. Be the same. Again. This Sunday. The lies. The betrayals. The season finale of Drop Dead Diva.

Oh I'm so sorry. I have to wash my hair that night.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Project Runway Season Nine, Episode 8: How Does She Do It?

Eric3000 is brought to you this week by the wacky new comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker. She plays a woman who literally juggles her children's toys and her blackberry. It's a very subtle metaphor referring to how the modern woman has to juggle family and career. Have you ever heard of anything so crazy? Well, welcome to the 1970s!

Heidi Klum: "I just have to say that I have approximately eight children and I also run a multi-billion-dollar media empire. It's not that hard."

Anyway, last week Anya won and Becky went home. Bryce is convinced he is next to be out and he sets out to fulfill the prophecy. Josh decides to try to be nice this episode, so the producers need to find a new villain:

Olivier: "I think all women should be forced to have radical double mastectomies so I can design flat clothes."

Oh, my goodness! How could he say such a horrible thing? Oh, that's right, he didn't. Unfortunately for the producers, Olivier is just too helpless and weird to be turned into a villain. At worst, he's slightly annoying. And even then, I can't take anything he says seriously.

Heidi: "So, yeah, this challenge is all about the boobage. Major boobage."

Designers: "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"

Apparently these designers do not like the boobage. I think they need to get over that, as they will be encountering breasts from time to time in the fashion industry.

Heidi: "And here are the boobs now!"

A group of men walk out on stage.

Heidi: "I'm just kidding! They are all really nice guys! You will be designing for their wives and girlfriends. Some of the wives have never met their husband's girlfriends before, so this should be exciting!"

Well, that just seems cruel.

The men are picked in reverse order by weight. The men then tell the designers everything they know about their wives and girlfriends:

Men: "They have breasts."

Really. That appears to be the only thing they know.

Men: "No, you don't understand. We really like breasts."

Got it. Straight men really like breasts. Let me just write that down so I don't forget.

But, seriously, the designers need a little more to go on:

Viktor: "So, if your wife went shopping at a store, what store would it be?"

Client: "Hmmm . . . she must shop for clothes, right? I do notice that she isn't naked all the time."

Some of the men do have a few suggestions:

Josh's client wants something simple:

Josh: "Oh, don't worry, honey. It will be simply fabulous!"

Client: "No. Just simple."

Josh: "Simple . . . as in simple simple? . . . plain and simple? . . . I think I just died a little bit inside."

Bryce's client wants something girlie and pink and is so in love it makes Bryce physically ill:

Bryce: "He's so in love. I just want to punch him in the face. It's rude to talk about how in love you are when you are around someone who might be missing his boyfriend. I just want to go home."

And so it shall be!

Anthony Ryan's client wants a red dress to replace the one he accidentally set on fire:

Anthony Ryan: "Could you be more specific? Do you want amaranth? Beet red? Candy apple red? Cardinal red? Carmine red? Cerise? Coral? Crimson...?"

Client: "Um..."

Anthony Ryan: "Hibiscus? Hopi? Ruby? Sangria? Scarlet? Tomato...?"

Client: "Well, I..."

Anthony Ryan: "Venetian? Vermilion...?"

Client: "Please stop."

Anthony Ryan: "You know what? I just remembered; it doesn't matter anyway because I'm colorblind!"

We don't actually witness the beating that follows, but we do see the resulting head wound.

Bryce buys a terrible pink fabric and then dyes it a nice fuchsia. He and Viktor then perform their favorite scene from Steel Magnolias:

Bryce: "Pink is my signature color."

Viktor: "That dress looks like it's been hosed down with Pepto-Bismol."

Bryce then has a baby and dies. Oh, did I give away the ending? Sorry.

Olivier is having trouble with his model. Mainly because she is not a cardboard cutout and she has working vocal chords:

Olivier: "I'm not here to make my client happy. I'm here to make fashion."

On to the runway with guest judge Malin Akerman. You remember her. She was in that movie? Yeah, I didn't see it either.

Laura made a hideous teal gown.

Anthony made a terrible red and black dress that was a cross between a cheerleader and superhero costume.

Bert made a boring/tacky dress.

Josh made a pretty black cocktail dress.

Bryce made a hot pink mess/dress. It would have been really cute if it had fit properly and he had simplified the back and the hem. The pockets were actually a nice design detail, although the fact that his model thought she was going to put her keys and phone in there was pretty scary.

Kimberly made a dress with a black skirt and purple top. It was OK.

Olivier made a blue trouser and beige top that looked pretty good.

Anya made a ridiculous black-and-white print gown. I did not like this dress. The whole thing looked like an accident and the detail on the hem was awful. I don't know what the judges found so original about a skirt that is floor-length in back and coochie-length in front; we've seen that many times before and it always looks just as stupid. Nobody should wear that dress to a gallery opening. I can, however, imagine someone with bad taste wearing it on the red carpet. And I'm looking forward to that.

Viktor made a very cute retro/funky skirt and top that is exactly what his client was already wearing. I thought it was the clear winner, but he also had the least challenging clients. The judges make weird comments to justify not giving him the win:

Nina: "She's over-accessorized."

Michael: "Yeah. Why would a woman need sunglasses and a purse?"

Oh, I don't know, maybe because it's sunny and she needs somewhere to carry her credit card and lip gloss?

Heidi: "Just hire someone to carry that for you."

Anyway, Josh wins for his pretty if unexciting black cocktail dress. Bryce is going home to listen to Lady Gaga until he creates an amazing collection. Even Lady Gaga couldn't survive listening to that much Lady Gaga. I'm scared for him.

Stay tuned for a new episode of Dance Moms, staring Olivier Green:

Olivier: "I wasn't put on this earth to make my client feel special! I was put on this earth to make my client dance!"

Friday, September 09, 2011

Project Runway Season Nine, Episode 7: Can't we all just kill each other?

Bert: "What the hell was that?"

Joshua: "That was the sound of America suddenly liking you again."

Bert: "But why? I'm as rude and unsociable as ever."

Joshua: "Yeah, but compared to a full-on sociopath you're almost adorable. I wish I could feel sorry for stealing your thunder, but obviously that would require empathy. Too bad."

The designers are split into two teams of five for a textile design challenge. In addition to creating textile designs, they will also have to create videos, record music, construct a new runway, redecorate the studio, perform a minor outpatient procedure on Michael Kors (he has a mole that doesn't look quite right), and make an amuse bouche that will delight the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

The good news is that they have two full days. Also, Betsey Johnson is here to help:

Betsey Johnson: "Here is a four second video of my new collection that will give you all the inspiration you will need!"

ooh ... ahh ... oh ... ooh ... and that's it?

Betsey Johnson: "My collection is so amazing that any longer than four seconds would make your head explode."

Team Chaos is Anthony Ryan, Anya, Viktor, Olivier, and Bryce. Team Nuts and Bolts is Joshua, Laura, Kimberly, Becky, and Bert.

Team Chaos is a vision of order and reason, while Team Nuts and Bolts is falling apart.

Alanis Morissette: "There's a word for that. It's right on the tip of my tongue ..."

No one cares, Alanis. Anyway, Bert was picked last again:

Heidi: "I feel so bad that Bert is always picked last. Why doesn't everyone else love Bert as much as I do?"

Bert: "Probably because everyone else has actually spent time with me."

Heidi: "What was that?"

Bert: "Nothing. I was just swearing under my breath."

Heidi: "Oh, good."

The teams get to work. For Team Chaos, Anthony Ryan comes up with the theme of a Horshack test. That's that thing where a therapist forces you to look at pictures of Ron Palillo from Welcome Back, Kotter until you start crying. It's surprisingly effective.

For Team Chock full o'Nuts, Joshua decides that this would be a good time to argue about the Village People:

Joshua: "Shut up, shut up, shut up! There is no fireman in the Village People!"

Laura: "Well, there should be. Firemen are national heroes."

Joshua: "I. Will. Not. Have it."

Joshua storms out of the room.

Tim makes his rounds in the design room. Team Chaos has some nice black-and-white prints, their designs are looking good, and they are getting along really well. Tim doesn't know what to tell them:

Tim: "I'm flummoxed. Hmmm. Oh, I know; make sure your garments fit well!"

Wow, Tim. That was so helpful. Maybe you should have told them to use a Magic 8 Ball to predict what styling the judges would prefer for this challenge.

Team Chock full o'Nuts made some really tacky black-and-white prints, their designs are terrible, and they all hate each other. Tim knows just what to do:

Tim: "I learned this from my dear friend Madonna, who does this before every concert. Let's form a prayer circle and pray for a good show. Now, gargle with some salt water and make sure you pee, because this is going to be a long set."

In addition to Heidi, Michael, and Nina, we also have Rachel Roy and Rose Byrne as judges this week. Why do we keep getting five judges this season? Is it just in case Nina doesn't show up?

Nothing about Team Chock full o'Nuts worked. The prints were dreadful (Becky's giant gear print was the best of the worst), The designs were even worse than the prints, and the video was pathetic. The video, which was supposed to be background imagery for the runway show, featured a storyline about a woman who likes shoes and getting out of taxis. Joshua should have been deported from New York City for making that.

Michael Kors: "It's like hookers who went to a hooker convention at a place where hookers go."

He's right, you guys. That's exactly what it was like.

So, yeah, everything went wrong with that team and it was all Joshua's fault. Obviously, Becky is sent home. Sorry Becky.

Team Chaos has a great show. Nothing terribly exciting, but still some of the nicest garments we've seen all season. And they worked really well as a collection. And their video was really good. The judges love Anya's cute print dress and Viktor's beautiful gown and they totally cream themselves over Olivier's jacket. Other than the styling (they should have used the Magic 8 Ball), the judges love almost everything about this team's work.

Heidi: "Team Chaos wins."

I just have one thing to say about that: duh.

The winning team has to pick a pirate king:

Olivier: "I pick myself."

Viktor: "I pick myself."

Anthony Ryan: "I pick myself."

Anya: "I pick myself."

Geoffrey Rush: "I pick myself."

Keira Knightley: "I pick myself."

Johnny Depp: "I pick Anya."

Anya is the only pirate to get two votes so she becomes the pirate king! Congratulations, Anya!

Oh, and the new exit line for the show is going to be "Your crotch has been cancelled."

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."