Saturday, January 11, 2014

Project Runway All Stars Season Three Finale: The Interpreters!

This week at the UN
ALYSSA: Welcome to the United Nations headquarters in New York. You are here to meet the delegates from the countries of your heritage and interpret the spirit of those countries into six piece collections that will walk the famous UN runway four days from now.

Elena meets the delegate from Ukraine:

UKRAINIAN DELEGATE: People wear clothes in Ukraine. You’ll be a huge star.

ELENA: Sounds great.

Korto meets the delegate from Liberia:

LIBERIAN DELEGATE: It is very important that you come with me to Liberia right now!

KORTO: OK, slow down. Why don’t you buy me a drink first?

Seth Aaron meets the Delegate from Spain:

SPANISH DELEGATE: The most important thing in Spain is the earth. In fact, Spain is almost ninety percent dirt.

The designers are now super inspired. After some sketching time, the UN building is evacuated because one of the metal detectors is malfunctioning. The designers head off to Mood to buy fabric. 

Later that night, after the designers are snug in their beds, Nicole Kidman goes back to the UN building to get her flute. The building appears to be empty. But then, as she’s about to leave, she hears voices. They are speaking in a language that only a few people can understand.

“Repetition is reputation. It’s a double edged sword. The peplum story isn’t working. The teacher will not leave this room.”

What the hell?
Nicole doesn’t know what it means, but she’s terrified. She runs for her life.

The next day in the design room Nicole talks to Zanna Roberts Rassi, the Secret Service mentor who has been assigned to her:

NICOLE KIDMAN: They were speaking in the special language of Project Runway judges, so it was difficult to make sense of it, but I think they were talking about the international fashion icon Gayle King.

ZANNA: How’d you happen to be up there after hours?

NICOLE: I had to go back for my flute. We evacuated the building and, as you can imagine, it would have been very burdensome to take my flute with me.

ZANNA: Your flute? Of all the things a writer could make you go back for, why would it be a flute? I mean, even a violin would make more sense.

NICOLE: I know. But it was a flute. What can I do about it?

ZANNA: OK. So, you go back for your flute and you just happen to hear some people talking in gibberish that only a few Project Runway judges would be able understand?

NICOLE: You don’t believe me? You think I’m making it up? I’m scared and my mentor is someone who doesn’t believe me.

ZANNA: I’m not here to mentor you. I’m here to mentor the All Stars. My job, as it concerns you, is to investigate you.

NICOLE: We’re kepĂ©la. It means standing on opposite sides of the design room.

Zanna and Nicole don’t trust each other at first, but their relationship starts to warm up and they soon discover they need each other. They only have four days to solve the mystery of why in the world Gayle King would be the guest judge for the finale and who she will chose to win the biggest prize package in Project Runway history. 

Zanna Roberts Rassi and Nicole Kidman
Alyssa checks in with Zanna:

ALYSSA: So, Zanna, do you think Nicole Kidman is telling the truth?

ZANNA: I’d rather make the mistake of believing her than the bigger one of not.

ALYSSA: This is so important we will be giving you some assistance. Use whatever resources are necessary. The NSA, the CIA, the FBI, former All Stars contestants -- anything you need, it’s yours.

So Christopher, Viktor, and Jeffrey are sent in to help solve the case. At first we can’t decide how Nicole Kidman is mixed up in all this. She seems to be connected to all three remaining All Stars. One is her brother, one is her lover, and one is her friend. But does that mean she is part of the conspiracy?

NICOLE: I walked away from Parsons with nothing. No brother, no family, no lover, nothing. Just a belief that fashion shows at the UN can solve all the world’s problems.

After that moving speech, we are forced to endure tedious scenes of Zanna staring at Nicole, the length of the design room a physical reminder of the metaphorical distance between them. And then that distance disappears in an instant, when Zanna rushes over to save Nicole from an assassination attempt. Then Nicole is almost blown up on a bus. They head back to the UN for the fashion show.

ALYSSA: Like all thrillers, this one has a twist. The twist is that the voice Nicole heard was that of Zac Posen. He was talking with the other judges about who would win this season of All Stars.

That’s the twist? So why are there a bunch of scarves hanging behind you?

ALYSSA: Oh, right. I forgot about the scarves. The designers have to use those to make a seventh look. Now, let’s start the show. For the first time cameras are being allowed into the UN General Assembly room to record the Project Runway All Stars finale. Isn’t that exciting?

Well, I have no idea what that confusing statement means. Are you saying this is the first time cameras are being allowed into the General Assembly room, or are you saying this is the first time they are being allowed in to record this Project Runway finale?

ALYSSA: I don’t know! I’m reading a script! Stop analyzing everything I say!

Fine. Well, the show was impressive, considering the fact that the collections were created in four days. Seven pieces doesn’t really a collection make, though. It doesn’t really give the designer enough space to develop themes while providing the full range of a real collection. The judges are either going to complain that the looks are not cohesive or they are going to complain that the looks are just variations on a theme. There really isn’t a way to avoid that with these mini collections. 

Elena - This was my favorite collection. The judges complained that the looks were all the same and that there was only one silhouette. But I counted two silhouettes: her basic body-con silhouette and a fun trapeze shape. Perhaps the judges were hoping for three or four, but am I expecting too much to think the judges should be able to tell the difference between one silhouette and two? 

Korto - This was my second favorite collection. Her first dress and her palazzo-pant jumpsuit were gorgeous and there were a couple of other nice looks. If the whole collection had lived up to the best looks I would have picked her for the win. But there were a few looks I didn’t like at all.

Seth Aaron - While I thought this was a dramatic collection, it was my least favorite of the three. I happen to like crazy, non-commercial looks, as long as they are exciting and fashion forward. But I found this collection, on the whole, to cross the line into dated clown-clothes territory. The red coat was nice, though.

The judges, as expected, get everything completely wrong:

ALYSSA: Designers, this season you’ve created fashion inspired by the New York stock exchange, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the Great Gatsby. You’ve been humiliated by Miranda Priestly and proven that Santa Claus exists. You’ve designed menswear and womenswear to be worn in the Hunger Games and you’ve permanently ruined the Sound of Music with your complete lack of acting ability. One of you even destroyed the earth on two separate occasions. All of this led up to our big finale, where you created looks based on your heritage and almost killed Nicole Kidman. So, after all of that, it is only fitting that we allow Nicole Kidman to explain the judging process to us:

NICOLE: Everyone who loses somebody wants revenge. But on Project Runway we believe that the only way to end grief is to go back on the show again. If someone is eliminated, several years of mourning ends with a ritual that we call All Stars. There's an all-night party beside a river. At dawn, the All Stars are put in a boat. They’re taken out on the river and dropped. The judges then have to make a choice. They can let them drown or they can swim out and save them. The audience believes that if the right designer is chosen, they'll have justice but spend the rest of their lives in mourning. But if they accept the winner that the judges choose, if they admit that life isn't always just ... that very act can take away their sorrow.

That sounds reasonable. I accept Seth Aaron as the winner. I just can't be super excited about it. Let's see if Nicole can accept the judges' decision:

ZANNA: How do you feel about the Project Runway judges?

NICOLE: I feel disappointment.

ZANNA: That’s a lover’s word. What about rage? Of all the people I’ve looked into since this thing started, the one with the darkest history with the judges is you. Their decision eliminated your ...

NICOLE: Shhh! We don’t speak the names of the eliminated. It's hard to remember that these were once good judges. That's not unusual for these guys. They all begin as liberators and 20 minutes later they're as corrupt as the tyrants they've overthrown. They liberated Project Runway from one of the most corrupt judging panels on earth, gave the audience hope, and were heroes. They need another name for what they are now.

Nicole Kidman is disappointed.
[Eric3000 would like to thank you for reading and apologize for the fact that this was the only UN-themed movie he could think of.]


lower_scott_hill said...

This whole season was a flute.

The selection of designers worked for me. I just think the producers need to rethink. PR is my favorite "reality" show, so I hope it's not on it's last legs.

If they would just focus on fashion and give the people some time to design and sew!

And as always, your recaps are the shit. Many laughs. Thnx!

lovemesomesean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lovemesomesean said...

Kinda surprised that a former winner won again. Figured they might give it to Korto since she came so close to winning before. But I can't be sad that Seth Aaron prevailed again because I dig him and his designs.

eric3000 said...

Yeah, this whole season was totally a flute. Ha ha!

Thanks for reading!

pernoctator said...

I had to stop midway through your recap, hunt down The Interpreter and watch it. What a surprisingly good thriller! Thanks for making me aware it exists.

Also thank you for yet another season of brilliant and slightly insane recaps.
I hope you'll be back, recycling old movies and the like; as will Project Runway, recycling challenges, storylines and (in a vain try) "moments"; as will All Stars, recycling eliminated and winning designers alike; and as will I, recycling encouragement, to keep you going.

Aren't we all an environmentally aware bunch?

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