All in the Family
This weeks' episode of PR starts off as most of them have: with Jeffrey whining. Only this time he is sad because his good friend Alison is gone. And he assures us that he's finished harping on Angela. (We know that's a big ol' lie.) Meanwhile, over in the apartment of two-time winner Michael, he's making sure that he stays hydrated because dehydration is a major cause of headaches. (Grinning too much because you WON TWO CHALLENGES IN A ROW doesn't help either.)
It's time to find out this week's challenge. Heidi is thankfully wearing nothing I can badmouth - someone's chosen a safe tank top in black for her. I've noticed that she has been wearing a lot of black this season. Perhaps she's in mourning for her last season's stylist. I know I am.
This week the designers will be creating an outfit for the 'everyday woman'. Heidi calls out the models. We see a shadow on the scrim and everyone is very taken aback, as they were expecting their regular models and this is DEFINATELY not one of their usual models. Taken-aback-ness turns to shock and then to glee as the designers' mothers (and a few sisters) come onto the runway. Robert is pleasantly shocked to see his sister, who has come all the way from England. Laura starts crying when she sees her mother. But she hasn't lost it completely because when Jeffrey points out his mom, she quips, "I thought she'd have a mohawk!" which causes all the other sniffling designers to laugh. (Good job, Laura!) I admire all these women for being brave enough to do this. (Would I have done it, had my son been a designer on the show? Well, heck yeah!)
Joining Heidi on the runway is Judy (Kayne's mom), Darlene (Angela's mom), Patricia (Vincent's sister), Pamela (Michael's mom), Teresa (Robert's sister), Pam (Jeffrey's mom), Heidi (Uli's mom), and Lorraine (Laura's mom). Then Heidi drops the bomb that the loved ones will also be the models - but the designers CANNOT pick their own family member. This elicits much "awwww"-ing from the designers. I think that it's a horrible idea, considering that it sets up the whole "last one at kickball" situation. And using moms and sisters makes it that much worse! What were the producers smoking at THAT production meeting? (My suggestion would have been using two Velvet Bags and picking designer/model names out randomly. But c'est la vie, it is what it is.)
Michael won last week, so he gets to go first. He picks Robert's sister (Robert approves). Everyone else gets drawn from the Velvet Bag. Laura picks Jeffrey's mom, just to torture him, she says. (I'm sure that makes Jeffrey's mom feel great.) Vincent picks Uli's mom, and Angela picks Laura's mom. (It has not escaped my attention at this point that the designers have picked the thinner women first.) Kayne picks Michael's mom, Uli picks Kayne's mom, Robert picks Vincent's sister, and last but not least, Jeffrey "picks" Angela's mom (because she is the only one left - kind of like during the Miss USA challenge when Vincent "picked" Angela) and she smiles graciously. Then they cut away to Jeffrey saying he ended up with her because "God got drunk today" which is just totally tactless but totally Jeffrey, and I hope Angela's mom throws something at the TV when she sees this episode. To her face, Jeffrey assures her she's going to have fun, but I don't think she's so sure. Angela herself is less than thrilled that Jeffrey is going to be designing an outfit for her mom. (In case you've missed it - you might have, it's been so subtle - Jeffrey and Angela are not BFF like Robert and Kayne.)
The moms/sisters all hug and visit with their designer kin in the workroom for a few minutes. Uli had not seen her mom in a year, and they're both a little weepy. Michael gets to show off his winning designs to his mom. Kayne takes some pictures.
But enough Old Home Week. It's time to get down to business. Or... brunch! Tim takes them to a party instead, hosted by this week's guest judge. They head over to Tavern on the Green, and are greeted by the very orange Michael Kors and his equally orange mom, Joan, wearing the ultimate in mommy/son matching outfits: black blazers and shades. They have a lovely garden party, complete with champagne and mimosas. Then, as moms always seem to do when at a gathering, they start bringing out pictures of the designers as kids. Everyone is shocked to see pictures of Kayne at twice the size he is currently. He makes a great comment that I totally agree with: "Sometimes the past needs to stay in the past." But you can tell he's kind of glad to show people the pictures because it shows how much work he's done to lose weight (110 pounds!). Michael was a totally cute kid. However it's Jeffrey's mom who brings the pictures that really shock me - Jeffrey in a suit with frosted blond hair.
MK, who is making the rounds of all the tables, moves on to Laura and her mom. He tells his mother that Laura has five children, to which Laura replies "Working on number six!" and about gives her own mother a heart attack on national TV! Her husband doesn't even know! Real subtle way to break the news, Laura. (No wonder Laura's been so bitchy lately. She's totally excused!)
Back at the workroom, Tim gives them a half hour to caucus with their clients, and freaks everyone out again by telling them they only have a day to finish the garments. Kayne says a silent prayer. Last week's "one day only" challenge didn't go so well for him, so that's probably a good thing for him to be doing. Vincent comments that there are going to be a "lot of secret hidden things in this one", but what the heck does that mean? Coming from Vincent, it's scary. He's gonna have all sorts of whack popping out of his outfit. Poor Uli's mom!
Right away you can tell that this is going to be harder for some of the designers than others, because several of the moms/sisters are decidely more plus-sized than others, and they're not experienced in designing for this segment of the population. Robert is visibly concerned about not being able to work on the dress form for this challenge. In his conversation with Vincent's sister she comments that she really likes his kimono idea, and I immediately think, "Kara Janx! Do a Kara-style kimono dress that looks good on everyone!" I'm hoping Robert is joking about putting her in head-to-toe zebra print with a "Stop picking on Robert" sign on the front. On second thought, Robert, do it. It can't possibly hurt.
Laura's mom wants an Audrey Hepburn-ish type look, which might work in Angela's favor since she just made one of those. While Lorraine obviously wants her daughter to win, she says she won't sabotage Angela. (It's okay, Lorraine, Angela usually does that to herself.) Kayne picked Michael's mom because she had rhinestones on her shoes. I predict his outfit will be fabulous. And sparkly. I think Kayne has the edge in this because he used to be much larger and knows how clothing fits (or doesn't fit) on a larger person. Vincent comments that Uli's mom has a European air about her. (Well, duh, Vincent! She's German. Germany is IN Europe.) I think this pairing might work out well, because Uli's mom doesn't speak a lot of English and neither does Vincent.
At Jeffrey's table, Angela's mom is trying to tell Jeffrey how to take her measurements. (Um, I think he knows how to do that.) She also wants a jacket and he right away shoots her down (not in a nice way, either, he's like "Oh, I don't like that at all"). After all, they only have one day. Angela's mom says she feels like she wants to cry (not a good sign). Jeffrey is visibly worried about this whole thing. I'm worried that she's going to end up in some Madonna-esque bustier.
Over at Mood, Robert despairs over his model's choice of red and black for her garment. ("Oh God, here I go again with BORING colors!")
I would like to know how red is boring. Maybe you would have felt better with a nice cream, Robert? Because that's certainly not boring.
Back in the workroom, there's a lot of confused-looking people just sitting around staring at their useless size zero dress forms. Jeffrey has improvised and taped a bunch of padding onto his dress form and I wonder why some of the other designers haven't done that as well - it makes sense. Robert's especially nervous, to the point of fright. I'm expecting to see him in a dark room, wearing a stocking cap and holding a flashlight a la "Blair Witch Project" whispering, "I'm scared of this and I don't know what to do. I'm so scared!" Another thing that's scary is Vincent actually making a sensible statement - "You have to be able to compensate and deliver to real women, because these are the people that wear your clothes." He's not talking about Jeffrey, of course, because only rock stars wear his clothes.
Michael gets all ambitious on us and designs a reversible dress for Robert's sister, using black and a very busy white-and-black print. I'm a little leery of the print, it looks too much. It would probably be all right as an accent but as an entire dress? Hmm... Kayne, meanwhile, just impressed the heck out of me by tailoring a pair of pants for Michael's mom, and yes, Kayne, they are damn cute. I think he's the only one making pants. But I'm not sure because they're not showing us much of what people are actually MAKING. I hate that.
Laura has made a lovely blue skirt with a double row of buttons down the front that makes me think of The Monkees' stage outfits, but I hope she's planning on adding a shirt because her dress form has giant puffy pasties on it right now. Jeffrey's mom seems kinda hip but I don't think she's THAT hip, somehow.
Tim interrupts the work by sending the models in to see what's going on. I crack up over Uli's mom and Vincent. She speaks very little English, as I said before, and he's doing that same thing that some people do when talking to a deaf person, talking loudly as if that makes them hear what's being said. He's just using very basic noun-verb combinations - "You like?" - while she just nods and smiles and thinks "What a nutcase!" in German. We also need to thank Laura's mom. She appears to be reining in Angela's full-tilt boogie.
Tim goes over to chat with Angela's mom about Jeffrey (without Jeffrey around). She very meekly says that she basically hates everything he's doing, but does it in such a way that you feel sorry for her - but I also see some passive-agressiveness going on here. She says the colors are matronly and she tries to avoid that - but she asked him for dark colors and that's exactly what she got. Huh? Okay, so she wanted greens and purples, but I have to side with Jeffrey and say that I think the blues will look nice with her coloring. (Personally I would have tried a burgandy but I'm not a fashion designer, am I?)
Tim walks away and I think that's the end of it, but oh no. They get into it - not a loud shouting match, but loud enough so that other people develop Rubberneckers' Syndrome and stop what they're doing - and it's very uncomfortable to watch. Jeffrey's being his usual honest self, telling her that he's going to make what he's making and he hopes she likes it, but that he doesn't appreciate her even standing there. She's wringing her hands and saying that she's not excited and it's not what she wanted. Jeffrey starts to make a surprisingly nice comment - "Maybe other people find things about you that are beautiful that you don't find in yourself..." (and I'm startled and pleased to hear that, but then he ruins it by adding,) "...because of your insecurities." And on top of that, he goes into the sewing room and calls her a crazy bitch. Oh, Kaaayne! Where's that duct tape?!?
I'm ready for that part to be over but noooooo. We now get to watch Angela talking to her mom in the lounge and there's sniffling and stuff, which is even more uncomfortable to watch than the last segment and I really wish TV had a fast-forward button. Now, I'm not trying to be mean here, or saying that Angela's mom isn't upset or justified. But I think she could have a career as a soap actress because some of this is just really fake-looking. And I can see that Angela gets it honestly. Vincent even gets into it and starts giving Jeffrey advice (which I'm sure Jeffrey has tuned out) and some of the other moms/sisters close ranks around Angela's mom (even Uli's mom, who doesn't understand most of what they're saying but is empathetic anyway). At this point I'm getting annoyed because they've spent ten whole minutes on this and that's ten minutes we didn't get to see what anyone else was doing. I don't even want to comment on it anymore.
Kayne's being ambitious. He's making three pieces... AND jewlery! (Did he say that? Sure sounded like it.) Uli starts teasing Michael about winning three in a row and Michael swears he'll faint if that happens. Oh no! Who will save Captain Save-a-Ho if he falls backwards off the runway?
The designers are released for the night and back in the girls' apartment there is much teasing of Laura for being pregnant. We get to see the same disturbing shot of Laura's boys smacking each other with baseball bats, and she jokes that she'll just throw this new one on the pile with the others. (I think she's joking, at least.) Do they make armor for babies? This one's going to need it.
Much awkwardness ensues in the workroom the next morning, as the designers have to dress their models. Usually the models are stripping down to their underwear and not caring much about who's looking. But these are people's moms and sisters! Can't have them doing that. So there's a nice folding screen provided for modesty, and that's very thoughtful. The designers seem to be very weirded out by having to fit each other's relatives. (Good thing Keith's not around anymore to feel anyone up.)
On to hair and makeup! It's fun to see all the women getting glammed up for the runway show. And there's not a funky hairdo in sight, thank goodness. There are some definate "hot mamas" (and sisters) at Parsons today!
It's the moment of truth on the runway. Heidi comes out in black - AGAIN - although she mixes it up by wearing a see-through skirt, and announces that there will be no immunity for the winner this week. Michael Kors and his mom are wearing basically the exact same outfits they had on yesterday. (I'd love to see their closet. You know they share one.) Thank goodness Nina's wearing some color, or I'd think this had turned into Project Funeral.
First on the runway is Jeffrey's mom. Laura is suddenly worried about her garment, that it's not right for her figure. (I'm worried about the dress Laura is wearing. I know it's nude fabric under that stretch black lace but she always just looks NAKED! And let your hair down sometimes, Laura. There are no kids here to pull it or stick gum in it.)
Kayne's mom walks the runway. Uli has designed a lovely flowing sheer print top with a thistle-colored shirt underneath, and pants (okay, see, Kayne wasn't the only one, but did they show us that? No.) that looks really good on Judy. Uli's mom is next. Vincent's dress for her is black with what looks like a wrestling belt around her waist, and a huge fawn-colored collar that looks like two dinner napkins. And the collar doesn't continue onto the back of the dress, which looks very weird. But, it's rather subdued for Vincent, I guess.
For Michael's mom, Kayne has designed a bright coral-orange shirt with a coordinating print scarf (he called it a poncho but it looks like a scarf to me) and tan capri pants. Very nice! Angela's look for Laura's mom is too bohemian. It's all black, with flapper fringe criss-crossing the front of it, and the black shirt and skirt/pant/whatever it is are not the same shade of black. She's also carrying what looks like a metallic purple gym bag. All she needs is a nice scarf for her head and it's off to a community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof for her!
Robert's totally "boring" bright red kimono shirt and black dress for Vincent's sister looks very nice, but she is not walking straight and looks like she might be in pain, and I feel very bad for her. Robert's sister is next, wearing Michael's reversible skirt dress. I like the dress but... Michael! Dude. You need to work on the hair. Almost all of your models that weren't Nazri have had the "mean school headmistress" pulled-back hair. Take some advice from Vincent: Let it flow, let it go. Last to come down the runway is Angela's mom. She's smiling and trying to have fun but we KNOW she hates that dress, and I know I hate that dress. It looks like something a prison matron would wear.
So now the judges do their usual talking to everyone, and it's pretty uneventful except for Heidi talking to Uli's mom in German, which is cute. And Heidi also lets Robert have an earful - "Too safe! No prints! You should know better!" The B-word is thrown about among the judges like a beach ball at a high-school graduation. (Nobody seems to care that Vincent's sister really liked the outfit.) And Angela is accused of making a Stevie Nicks dress, but not even Ms. Nicks would wear THAT lampshade wanna-be.
After the dust clears, Heidi announces that the winner is... not Uli! Sorry, but she should have won. Instead, it is Vincent. (I predict that Vincent will now be VERY popular in Germany, much like David Hasselhoff.) Last on the runway are Robert and Jeffrey, and despite the drama and hideousness of Jeffrey's dress, Robert is given the kiss-off for committing the unforgivable sin of boredom.
Dear Robert. I shall miss your snark, your gab-fests with Kayne, your buffness, and your perfect white teeth smiling at me every week. Allow me, if you will, to leave you with a final bit of advice:
You better go wash that. You'll get a rash.