Friday, August 31, 2012

Project Runway Season Ten, episode seven: The progress of our values!

That's right, the progress of our values! It's a phrase that doesn't mean anything at all, but if you say it people will cheer! Because people love values! And people love the word "values" randomly linked to other words that sound good! Yay!

For this challenge, the designers take a field trip to the flagship store of Lord & Taylor, where they find a line of the most boring dresses you have ever seen, created by designers from previous seasons. We meet the president of Lord & Taylor:

Mitt Romney: "This president promises to slow the rise of sea level. What a joke. I pledge to flood New Orleans on a regular basis!"

wrong president

Mitt Romney: "He sure is!"

No, I mean you're complaining about the wrong president. This is a lovely woman who is the president of a department store chain.

Mitt Romney: "oh. Well, I probably gave her that job. I give lots of jobs to women. Obviously they don't need jobs, because their husbands can take care of them, but I think it's cute that they try."

Yes, well, anyway, back to the boring dresses at Lord & Taylor. Can the president please explain this to me?

The President of the United States: "My opinion on this matter is still evolving, so I generally leave these decisions to Michelle."


The President of Lord & Taylor: "Oh, yes, of course. The Lord & Taylor customer loves fashion, but not enough to actually buy something fashionable. She wants something that's cheap for an expensive dress, but expensive for a cheap dress, if you know what I'm saying."

I know exactly what you're saying. The designers will need to make really boring dresses that will retail for $200-$300.

The designers do a good job. I think most of the dresses are easily boring enough to meet the criteria of the challenge. They mostly make little black dresses. Which would have been really good, if this had been an LBD challenge. But it wasn't. Except, I guess it sort of was. Whatever.

Ven, Dmitry, and Sonjia are safe. Ven deserved to be safe, with his tacky, but adequately constructed dress. It looked a bit like the model's chest was collapsing:

Yeah, sort of like that, but not as cool.

Dmitry's was better than most of the designs this week, though the back was not as good as the front. Sonjia's was horrible and she should have been on the bottom. I get the retro 1980s vibe, but there is no way a Lord & Taylor customer is wearing that dress. No. Way.

Elena created a poorly-fitted little black dress. It's weird. I like weird. Her clothes tend to make her model look very thick waisted. But if it had fit better, I think it would have looked pretty good. The judges like it, shocking everyone who has eyes. I'm shocked. Elena is shocked. The judges pretend to be shocked that Elena is shocked, even though they obviously knew she would expect them to hate it, which they probably would have, except they were trying to shock us. And they did. Have I mentioned that I was shocked?

Melissa created a sheath dress of stiff bronze fabric, with a cool neckline and a really stupid asymmetrical hem. She's in the top four with Elena.

Christofur created a gown with a shredded blush top and black skirt. It's very nice (nice is boring). He's also in the top four.

Fabio created a pretty little black dress. It's also very nice (getting sleepy now). He rounds out the top four. Fabio is wearing a garland of flowers in his hair, like a hippie:

Fabio: "My foreign policy is Make love, not war."

Condoleezza Rice: "OH, MY GOD, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!"

The bottom two are Alicia and (GASP) Gunnar! Look, I totally agree with the judges that Gunnar's dress put the B in boring, but that's exactly why it should have won this challenge. Gunnar and I thought they were supposed to make boring dresses. Gunnar and I totally agree on this. Gunnar and I don't know why I keep saying "Gunnar and I." Gunnar and I have never met.

Alicia, obviously, has been a perpetual bottom dweller and one of these weeks she's got to go. But her awful dress was not a total failure. It was even weirder than Elena's. And if it hadn't looked like total shit I think I might have liked it. She really needs to improve her construction skills.

Anyway, Alicia is safe! Meaning Gunnar is ... also safe! I was shocked! But it makes a little more sense now. Because Gunnar's dress was obviously not the worst thing out there. But they decided to keep everyone, which meant they could go through the elimination process in any order they wanted. So they chose to be shocking. And it worked. Did I mention I was shocked?

So, yeah, there was a lot of crying in this episode, both in despair and in joy:

Clint Eastwood: "I haven't cried this much since Oprah caused the recession!"

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Project Runway: Big Bliss, Season Ten, Episode Six!

OK, so the big news last week was that all the remaining designers quit the show and basically nobody noticed the difference.

Heidi, Michael, Nina, Tim, and some guy we are supposed to know, named Johnny Lavoy, try to figure out what to do:

Tim: "You know who Johnny Lavoy is!"

No, I really don't.

Tim: "Everyone knows who Johnny Lavoy is. Don't insult my intelligence by pretending you don't."

Fine. I'm a huge Johnny Lavoy fan and have been keeping up with his career for years."

Tim: "That's better."

Let's get back to the issue at hand: what are we going to do without the designers?

Nina: "Why don't we just pull some regular people in off the street. 

Michael: “You mean ‘real women’?”

Heidi: “That’s so crazy it just might work!”

Johnny Lavoy: “Why am I here?”

So, our new designers are:

Amanda is a social worker, who wears casual clothes every day. She needs a cocktail dress to wear to the office.

Jenna has a bubbly personality and loves color. She needs a severe black cocktail dress.

Kate is a woman in desperate need of a cocktail dress.

Terri needs business casual attire. She’ll be getting a cocktail dress.

Angela likes contrast. She likes her cocktail dresses to contrast hard and soft.

Martina likes cocktail dresses so she’ll be getting ... oh, what the hell, let’s give her a cocktail dress.

Kandace likes dresses. Good thing, because she’s getting a cocktail dress.

Lana is a performer who wants a classy cocktail dress with an exposed belly.

Ko-Rely only has friends who hyphenate their first names, like her friend Judah-Lev. She doesn’t like looking feminine. She’ll be getting a cocktail dress.

Kim needs a cocktail dress as big as her personality.

So, the runway is a disaster. Just like every week. Ko-Rely wins with her cool, edgy dress that seems to fit her personality perfectly. Lana is out with her hooker/ice-skating costume.

Meanwhile, Ven is spending time with Lars and the Real Girl:

Ven: “This is my first experience with a Real Girl. I really like her. She doesn't have her own opinions. I can tell her she’s fat right to her face and she doesn’t complain. From now on I’m only going to work with Real Girls.”

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Project Runway Season Ten, Episode Five: Working Girls!

Joanna Coles: "Marie Claire is launching a new publication called Marie Claire Working Girl, for the strong, powerful, and sophisticated women working in the world's oldest profession. It's the fastest growing segment of the fashion industry and we're very excited about it!"

That really is a huge untapped market! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

The designers will be working in two teams and they can't hide their enthusiasm:

Gunnar: "Teams are awesome!"

Raul: "I love working in a team!"

Elena: "Growing up in Ukraine, I was only able to survive through teamwork."

Ah, that's nice.

Elena: "Obviously, I had to kill off my teammates after I got what I needed from them, but the teamwork part was still really important."

Of course.

The teams are:

Team Six: Sonjia, Elena, Melissa, Dmitry, Alicia, and Raul

Team Five: Nathan, Ven, Christofur, Fabio, and Gunnar

Raul is picked last:

Raul: "I'll show them. I just have to punch them harder."

Well, that should work.

I can see a problem already with the teams. There are no women on Team Five. They don't know what a modern, sophisticated working girl wants to wear!

Each team has one designer who will end up on the bottom: Gunnar and Raul.

In the case of Gunnar, I really don't think it's his fault. He raised his objections to the stupid fabric choices and the inappropriate aesthetic that the rest of the team decided on, but was outvoted so he tried to do what the team wanted. Unfortunately, he couldn't figure out what his teammates wanted, so he ended up with a total mess.

And Raul is just a disaster, as usual.

OK, so they have to do a photo shoot. Elena, who is usually so calm and collected, becomes completely unhinged. She's screaming at everyone and complaining about the props:

Elena: "You can't have a chair in a photo! Chairs are what you sit in when you are going to the bathroom! Are you all crazy?"

Yes, we are all crazy. It isn't you.

Anyway, the teams finally manage to take some decent photos of the models looking like they are at work:

Ooh, that's very convincing!

Time for the runway:

Despite the fact that Team Six is clearly much better, we are told the score is tied. Team Six has a couple of duds, but on the whole, it's much more fresh and modern and Melissa wins:

Joanna Coles: "Oh, yes, I could definitely see a woman in either the street-walking or the legal profession wearing that!"

Michael Kors: "She looks like a hooker."

High praise, indeed, Michael.

Team Five has created a collection of old-fashioned resort wear:

Patty the Daytime Hooker: "Maybe if I were a nighttime hooker I could get away with wearing that. But I'm a daytime hooker, so I have to look good."

Patty knows what she's talking about. The only good thing in the collection is Christofur's skirt. He managed to turn an ugly fabric into something beautiful. Too bad picking an ugly fabric and making it beautiful was not the challenge this week. The judges loved Fabio's dress, but I thought it was ill-fitting and awful. Ven made something that would have been perfect for a working girl:

Specifically Ann Southern in the 1950s.

Raul is out again. He says goodbye in that special Raul way:

Raul: "Goodbye, everyone. Elena, I hate your guts."

Oh, my God, Raul, that is so rude. Of course you hate Elena; she's awful; everyone hates Elena. But the rest of us have the common courtesy to bitch about her behind her back. It's called manners.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Project Runway Season Ten, Episode Four: Quitting Time!

Tim Gunn: "I have an announcement to make. Eric3000 left his hotel room in the middle of the night. We have every reason to believe he is still alive, but we have not been able to contact him."

Melissa: "Yeah, I just heard him mumble something about how the stupid Hilton doesn't have Lifetime Television and then he was gone."

Kooan: "That makes me sad. And being sad makes me not happy. If Eric3000 leaves, then I'm leaving, too."

Christofur: "Why does all this terrible stuff keep happening to me?"

I'm fine! Sorry to worry you!

Melissa: "I didn't really care."

Well, anyway, I'm staying at this stupid Hilton in San Diego and the only thing I needed was access to Lifetime, but apparently Cox Cable doesn't carry it."

Heidi: "Ha ha! You said Cox!"

Oh, grow up, Heidi. This is serious.

Heidi: "Look, maybe you just aren't cut out for this. This is a tough business. Instead of whining about not being able to watch on television, why don't you just watch the episode online?"

I can do that?

Heidi: "That's what I've been told. One of my dog's chef's personal assistants watches the show that way."

Wait, does your dog have more than one chef?

Heidi: "No, sorry, I have more than one dog, and each dog has its own chef. Each dog's chef, of course, has several personal assistants. I don't know how many. I can't be expected to keep track of these things."

I feel like we've gone off on a tangent. I've seen the show now, so maybe we should talk about that.

OK, so, Andrea and Kooan left the show. To make up for losing two designers, they bring back half a designer: Raul. That's Project Runway math. The designers meet Tim at Michael Kors' new lifestyle store. Because a lifestyle is a choice. And you buy it in a store.

Tim: "You have fifteen minutes to grab as much of this lifestyle crap as you can."

Michael Kors: "Wait, what?"

The designers go batshit crazy, ransacking the store.

Michael Kors: "Man, I just cleaned up in here."

They take their loot back to the design room to make garments for me, a blogger on the go. So here are the requirements:

1) They crank the shit out of the AC on Amtrak trains, so I will need a ski parka that will also be appropriate to wear outside, where it is over 100 degrees.

2) I will be doing a lot of walking and dragging around a suitcase, so obviously I will need extremely high platform stilettos.

3) I do not wear black.


Alicia made a pant and a white shirt. It's fine, but it's not really very versatile.

Melissa made a black and grey knit layered look. It's nice and it should keep me warm on the train, but she ignored my instruction, as usual, about not using black.

Fabio made a black and white dress with a bolero. Is he serious? I can't wear that!

Gunnar made a weird paneled skirt that is not nearly as ugly as his sketch.

Nathan made a pretty, if unexciting, mustard-colored dress.

Dmitry made a very nice grey jersey dress that only has one seam, which would be really impressive IF ANYONE CARED!

Ven made a nude cocktail dress that made me want to bang my head against the wall.

Raul is just a disaster.

Elena made a giant grey jacket.

Christofur made a black draped dress and almost made up for it with a nice leather jacket.

So, the best and the worst:

Buffi is out with a totally Buffi creation of pink chiffon over a zebra print. I feel like the judges wouldn't have hated it as much if it weren't so horribly constructed:

Buffi: "It only has seventy-two seams!"

That is surprising. Sonjia wins with another grey knit dress. There was a lot of grey and there were a lot of knit dresses on the runway, but I agree with the judges that this was probably the best. Oh, and did we mention the dress only has one seam?

Hayden Panettiere: "Sonjia, I would be totally honored to wear your dress to a red carpet event."

Sonjia: "OK. Who are you?"

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Project Runway Season Ten, episode 3: Welcome Back, Kotter!

John Travolta: "Seriously? You're doing a 'Welcome Back, Kotter' theme this week, just because previous designers are coming back? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of and I refuse to be involved. Good luck doing it without me."

Well, up your nose with a rubber hose. OK, so there will be no theme this week. Just the facts. The designers are making red carpet looks for designers from previous seasons to wear to the Emmys. Why these designers will be going to the Emmys is not explained. Also not explained is what the hell Lexus has to do with any of this:

Tim: "Everyone knows that all great fashion design is inspired by Lexus, the greatest car ever in the history of the world. Just look at it. Have you ever seen anything so magnificent?"

It looks like a car.

Tim: "Maybe to the untrained eye. But if you drove it you would understand what it means to truly be free!"

Can we please get on with the show?

Tim: "Not until you go test drive a Lexus."


Tim: "Geez, Louise. I was just trying to add some glamour to your life. Some people just refuse to take my advice. Carry on."

So, anyway, back to the challenge. The designers express their feelings about the red carpet:

Ven: "I've been watching the red carpet arrivals on television since I was a child. I can tell you are intimidated by that, but I don't care."

Kooan: "This challenge makes me sad. And when I'm sad I'm not happy. And not being happy makes me sad. I don't like being sad."

Raul: "I hate the red carpet. This was the one thing I didn't want to do. I was hoping this challenge would take place on the fourth week, after I was already eliminated."

The designers will be working in teams of two:

Christofur and Andrea are working with Anya:

Anya: "I don't really like to show my stomach on the red carpet."

Christofur: "Ha ha! Don't worry, we would never do that. We are only going to show your cleavage and your ass crack."

Anya: "Um..."

Back in the design room, Christofur is mystified by a request to alter the design:

Anya: "Could you cover the cleavage with a piece of fabric?"

Christofur: "What are you talking about? Are you all insane?"

Meanwhile, Andrea is not working fast enough for Christofur. She seems completely oblivious of the fact that they are running out of time:

Andrea: "Merrowing, merrowing, merrowing, merrowing, life is but a dream."

A merrowing machine, by the way, is the same thing as an overlock or serger. I had never heard it called that before, but I looked it up and it turns out the machine was invented by a Mr. Merrow. Isn't it amazing that someone as knowledgeable as I am can still learn things? Life is full of surprises.

Their resulting "gown" is fascinatingly horrid. It is completely inexplicable. Anya suddenly has the bust of Queen Elizabeth II. How is that possible? Did they stuff a diaper into her top?

Sonjia and Nathan are working with Valerie. Absolutely nothing interesting happens.

Elena and Buffi are working with Laura Bennett:

Elena: "Growing up in Ukrain, I spent every day fighting off packs of wolves that were trying to take my food. But nothing could prepare me for the harrowing experience of working with Buffi." 

After all the drama of Elena walking out of the design room and Buffi missing dinner, the resulting gown was not bad. It should have been in the top two.

Ven and Fabio are working with Kenley. They make the same dress she is already wearing, but in a fancier fabric and with added fullness on the top, which, in my opinion, doesn't look good with a full skirt.

Gunnar and Kooan are working with Irina:

Irina: "I can't wait to have you two freaks make me a gown! I am so glad I agreed to this!"

The resulting white gown is not quite the tragedy I expected, but it's still pretty bad. The judges, of course, love it and it is in the top two:

Irina: "Please, I'm begging you, don't make me wear this to the Emmys!"

Alicia and Raul are working with Mila:

Alicia and Raul: "We are actually menswear designers, so we want to make a menswear-inspired look."

Mila: "That sounds great!"

Alicia and Raul: "That's what we want to do. But that isn't what we are actually going to do."

Mila: "oh."

Yeah, this was bizarre. If they had thrown a wad of fabric at Mila it would have looked better than this. No, I take that back. I think that's what they actually did.

Dmitry and Melissa are working with April:

Dmitry: "I found the charmeuse."

Melissa: "Is it chartreuse?"

Dmitry: "No, I couldn't find any chartreuse charmeuse."

Melissa: "If we don't get the chartreuse charmeuse we're going to lose!"

Fortunately, they find some charmeuse in silver and, against all odds, create a beautiful, interesting gown that looked good on April and could be worn on the red carpet. It was by far the best thing on the runway. The judges don't even put it in the top two. Was it not Lexusy enough?

Raul is out. Ven wins.

Kenley, of course, is causing her usual problems:

Kenley: "I love the dress! It's exactly what I wanted!"

God, she's such a bitch.