It's Always the Quiet One

Rambling about life, culture, Project Runway, and the occasional fruity drink.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dumpster Designing

It's a lovely New York morning at the Atlas. It's quite amusing how they can turn something as mundane as people getting ready in the morning into entertainment. Michael, for having so little hair, has an awfully big hairbrush (and you know what they say about guys with big hairbrushes). We have to listen to Vincent whine about his 401k again and talk up his talent and construction abilities (which I have yet to see), and Alison jokes with Uli about having used up over half of her tube of anti-stress lotion already.

Over at Parsons, Heidi comes out in yet another weird outfit. It reminds me of Gwyneth Paltrow's slouchy goth Oscar dress, only uglier, and she's added another giant belt buckle, which has worked its way around to her butt. She brings out the winning and losing designers' models. Michael sticks with Nazri, which is smart; but that means the lovely Katie is out. (Laura is sad, and so am I. Katie was my favorite.) With that unpleasant task out of the way, it's time to find out about this week's challenge. Heidi gets all drill sergeant on the designers: "You're pampered and have had it too easy, and the next challenges will be tough, you bunch of pansies!" Angela's like "nuh-uh!" But Heidi ignores her and orders them back to their barracks to wait for Tim.

Tim gets them up at 5am to take them to Newark, New Jersey to be whacked by the Mafia, because he's tired of the whole Project Runway thing and wants to start his OWN line. Their challenge is to design their own cement shoes (although Vincent opts to make a concrete hat).

No, really, he takes them to a big warehouse, where he dramatically opens a large garage door...some people yell "YEAH!" and some say "oh my God" and I'm saying "WHAT IS IT???" It turns out that it's all quite anti-climactic: Tim has taken them to a recycling center and they have to use recyclable materials to make their garment. "Shut UP! I didn't want to work with trash," laments Robert. They're all wearing totally fashion-backward reflective vests and lemon yellow hard hats. (They should have to redesign THOSE. They could use it!)

Tim tells them this challenge is all about innovation and creativity. Wait, Tim! Didn't we already have this challenge?? Yeah, we did. Keith won with a bedsheet dress. But maybe since it turned out Keith was cheating, they're giving them another chance.

Anyway, since they have to do this again, Michael says it will give them a chance to "think outside of the box." (Just make sure it's recycled, Michael!) Laura picks up a handful of shredded paper and says, "Think I could make fur trim out of this, Alison?" and I'm saying "NOOOOO!" (If Angela is Rosette Woman, Laura is Fur Trim Woman.) Robert shows us his impression of the thread on a sewing machine while pulling a strip of paper off a giant spool. Jeffrey is in heaven after he finds a Martha Stewart magazine.

Kayne is gleefully twisting the tops off of plastic water bottles, and recounts how he spent his white-trash youth dumpster-diving with his sister. Vincent is going to make "art" again (he's holding an old vinyl binder- I'm envisioning a skirt made of binders, held together by the metal rings connected by those tough plastic strips that you find holding boxes of copy paper closed. Yeah, that's art all right. I think when Vincent gets older, he's going to be one of those guys who builds a house using nothing but aluminum cans.) Alison is inspired by the unusual materials. That's good, but I'm concerned - we've already seen way more than usual of Alison, and this is either really good or really bad.

Long, long strips of Mylar seem to be popular with the designers. I forsee a lot of shiny garments on the runway. They also come away with strips of plastic, posterboard, giant plastic bags used for peanuts, and a myriad of other materials. (It makes me proud to be a recycler. After seeing the outfits I may change my mind, so I hope they're good!) Before they leave, we have a brief music and dance interlude brought to us by Michael and Laura, with Laura trying to do some 'yo yo yo" rapper's hand movements that white society women should just never, never, never do. Even her good buddy Michael tells her to stop, and we thank him for that.

So the designers lug their three recyling boxes full of crap - there's no way all that stuff is going to fit into the PR van - and they head back to New York. They now have $25 to spend at an art supply store to get whatever else they need to complete their outfit. Kayne's grabbing a neon green paint that worries me right off the bat, and he's getting way too many sable paintbrushes (heck, one of those can cost $10 - don't blow your budget on brushes unless that's going to be part of your outfit. Earrings maybe?) Jeffrey picks up bright yellow and electric blue paint - two colors you don't usually see together in an outfit unless it's on a varsity cheerleader. Tim's all psyched because he gets to talk over the store PA system! (I did that one summer during college that I worked at Wal-Mart, it's really fun!)

After returning to Parsons and unloading all their bins, the designers are shocked to find out that they only have ten hours to do their garments. Not ten hours today, and all of tomorrow, just ten hours, period. And Tim has already wasted fifteen minutes of it, talking to them. Move on, Tim, let them get started already!

Everyone buckles down to work. Uli's cutting up the remains of a military weather balloon (or is it the Roswell UFO??). Laura has a large peanut bag that has the words "For peanuts only" and folds it so that it reads "for nuts only" - and then there is a sharp editing cut to Vincent (a little joke by the producers there, methinks). Alison has cut some multicolored strips of plastic and is using what looks like bright yellow tape to hook them together, and it looks pretty cool. (But I'm still worried about how much talking she's doing.) Angela, instead of making patchwork rosettes, is just making patchwork - big quilt squares out of paper. No idea where she's going with that.

Michael's got a big piece of clear plastic - is he going to make a see-through dress?? That would have been a great thing to do if he'd had immunity from last week! And they couldn't have done anything about it! That would have been great!! But he doesn't, so I'm curious as to where this is going to go. Vincent lets us know that he doesn't own the future, and we all breathe a huge sigh of relief, because I can see a "Vincent future" and I'm scared. So is Laura, apparently, because she gets a big soliloquy on how 'whack' he is. Then they both make some stupid faces.

Time for dinner! Kayne and Robert enjoy some anonymous dishes in big aluminum covered warming pans. (I'm hoping it's foil and not some of the Mylar the designers brought back with them.)

Robert claims that he only has "two seconds to eat" but then he settles himself in a chair and giggles "Let's trash-talk someone." So they pick Laura. Robert comments that her dress looks like a straightjacket so she must be "sewin' for herself again." Then he advises Kayne to wash his face where Laura pecked him on the cheek earlier, so he doesn't get a rash, gulps down his mystery meat and takes off for the workroom again. So much for those two seconds. Check out Jeffrey's trash-talk about Laura: "F***". THAT'S how you trash-talk when you have two seconds for dinner, Robert.

As we come back from commercial, we get a pan shot of the entire workroom, which looks like a preschool classroom's art center at the end of the day - scraps of stuff everywhere!! The Parsons janitors will not like that. Robert shares with us how he sorts his own recyclables at home: plastic, paper, ex-boyfriends... what? (I've had some of those and trust me, they're not good for anything else useful.) Alison's paper strips look really cool! But apparently it was not that easy to sew it, and her skirt is looking kind of lampshade-shaped, so she pulls a Michael and starts redesigning her outfit - that's either a good sign or the kiss of death. She's got some pretty pastel turquoise and cream butcher paper, so it might not be too bad.

Kayne has made what appears to be a pageant gown for Barney's little sister Baby Bop - it's all green and purple glitter with a big flower painted on it, and then he's gluing the bottle tops (with the insides painted green) all over it. I don't know WHERE his head is at. Maybe that kiss from Laura didn't give him a rash, it gave him brain fever! Somebody get him some antibiotics before he gets auf'd by this dress. The other designers are snickering at him, or just standing around looking at it thinking "I am so glad that's not MY dress." I'd like to have the big flower in a frame in my dining room, it's pretty! But not on that dress. Kayne keeps saying he hopes he doesn't get kicked off. (Me too.)

Jeffrey, meanwhile, is loving the entire challenge. His dress is made entirely out of newspaper. He'd really like to win - and part of me hopes he does so we wont' have to listen to him WHINE anymore! Michael finally gets to tack his name onto his Pam Grier outfit on the Wall of Fame. Everyone claps. (Well, everyone except bitter, bitter Jeffrey.) He shares with us another Heartwarming Michael Moment (tm), showing us a folded piece of paper he's kept in his wallet since he auditioned for last season, that says he will make it and win this season. He's moving in the right direction so far.

Cue the Vincent music! He's made a big white toothpaste tube and is now gluing random pieces of scrap paper all over it - he's also got what looks like grafitti that says "hell and back" on it. It's beyond words. I don't know what else to say about it. I'll wait and see what Tim says. I'm sure he'll have a LOT to say about this dress.

I think Tim heard me, because in he walks. He starts his tour of the workroom with Uli. Hers is very pretty! It's made out of white paper and mylar braided together and looks a bit like a Jiffy Pop popcorn container. Tim also likes Jeffrey's newspaper dress, which he is now painting in his blue and yellow cheerleader colors. Tim then moves on to Vincent, and asks the question every viewer has been asking themselves: "What is it?" To which Vincent replies "I don't know!" (Neither do we, Vincent. Neither do we.) Michael has woven a very nice bustier out of gold mylar. It reminds me of those gold foil-covered coins you get at holidays. But at least the see-through plastic wasn't the shirt! Now it appears to be some kind of shrug. He completes his look with a white canvas skirt with nothing on it. Tim suggests putting... something... on it, and coins a new Timphrase: "Make me believe." (Don't know what that means, but it came from Tim so it must be deep and meaningful.)

Then Tim wanders over to Alison's table and we see her new dress. It is the color of butter (what happened to the turquoise paper she had earlier?) and a little chunky-looking. Tim says the same thing about her model, Alexandra, (which is kind of rude, Tim!). They giggle over that. But he out-and-out laughs over poor Kayne's. It's crafty and amateur and the bottlecaps are horrid. "It's a high school prom backdrop," says Tim. And Kayne, with an HOUR left in the night, trashes his skirt. BFF Robert is "concerned" - but you know that inside he's screaming and gnashing his teeth and renting his clothing. So Kayne abandons all thoughts of winning and just concentrates on staying out of Nina's way, because she will eat him alive if he doesn't come up with a better skirt. He only has Mylar left so he makes a 'fairy skirt' that actually looks kind of cute... on him. His only chance to win is if the judges all "smoke crack before the runway show." (It could happen - they've made decisions before that had to have been the result of that.)

After four hours of sleep, everyone stumbles out of the Atlas and tromps over to Parsons for the runway show. Tim, obviously well-rested, comes in all cheery and everyone wants to slap him. He gives them the usual two-hour countdown. Right away, the biggest hazard of working with recycled materials becomes apparent, as a large number of the designers can't get their garments on their models without ripping. The models make all sorts of annoyed faces. (Cool T-shirt alert: Robert's says "You look hotter online." I WANT ONE!)

Kayne, after being worried that his dress sucks, asks the makeup guy for a crazy not-gorgeous look. Maybe he's just giving up and has decided to send the most God-awful ugly thing down the runway he can, and hope that the judges are struck blind and can't really get a good look at it. Alison appears to be going the same way, when she asks the hairstylist to give her model a big bow made out of hair. We get to witness a lighthearted exchange between Laura and Kayne, and the affection is flying thick and fast.

  • Laura: "I just worry about your choices so often, sweetheart."
  • Kayne: "I worry about your character and that's worse, so..."

(Let's just stick to Kayne and Robert exchanges. The ones with Laura aren't nearly as funny.) Angela is gluing her model into the dress, while Alison uses tape to give her model a waist. Vincent actually told the stylist to give his model cornrows, which only look good on Kevin Federline, so shame on you Vincent!
Heidi comes out onto the runway looking like Olivia Newton-John at the end of Grease when she gets all sexied-out with big hair. Some celebrity stylist gal joins the judging panel. I Googled her, and found out she's responsible for the big black-rimmed eyes Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen sported last year (which I HATED!!), so I have no respect for her as a stylist or as a judge. Michael K. says "Hey" to the designers, and they cut to a shot of Laura and horror! I can see her boob. Ack. Her taste level is just not there!!

But on to the clothes! Uli is first, with her cute Mylar-and-paper popcorn skirt. It's okay. Lindsay is a bit slouchy when she walks, though. Next up is Angela, who completely misunderstood the challenge and made the outfit that Bradley SHOULD have made for Cher last week. Next came Nazri wearing Michael's gold bustier-white skirt (with nothing on it - Tim was probably sitting in back holding his head in his hands) and tarp shrug. Eh. Not horrid but nothing spectacular. (I'm worried about Nazri though - she's got big dark rings under her eyes! Hope she's not coming down with something.) Vincent's model can't even walk in his dress, it is so long and stiff. And I think she's wearing her black bra underneath it, which is good because otherwise she'd be popping out all over. (Vincent says he's doing some popping of his own but I just don't want to think about that. *shudder* I hope he doesn't let his eight-year-old daughter stay up and watch these shows and hear him talking like that!)

Robert!!!! He has designed an amazingly beautiful dress, completely made of mylar. And while his outfit is tinfoil-shiny like Bradley's top from last week, where Bradley's was a dried-up baked potato that had been on the buffet for 6 hours, Robert's is a delicate pomme de terre fresh from the steamer, unadorned except for a pinch of salt and a wee bit of fresh butter to bring out the flavor. Danielle is really working it because she KNOWS she looks awesome. I think this is the best I've seen so far and I really really hope he wins.

Jeffrey's blue and yellow cheerleader-pleat dress doesn't look as bad as I thought it would, although I hate his model's chopped hair. The newspaper moves like fabric, he painted on a fake belt which is kind of cute, and the actual shape is quite nice. Just wish he'd picked a different color combination. I predict top three for Jeffrey. Laura's dress looks like a photonegative of the one she herself is wearing. I'm so bored by her designs, they all look the same. Alison's dress, despite her attempt to give it a waist by using masking tape, just looks clunky. And it's the same color as her model's hair, so it is kind of bland. And poor Kayne. The only thing that can save his green-and-silver discotheque-wood-nymph monstrosity is if the judges hate someone else's more. It's just awful any way you look at it, and Kayne thinks so too.

Heidi calls designers out, and I honestly can't figure out if it's the top/bottom group, or the safe group. Robert didn't get called, and I think his is clearly a front-runner, so I am expecting Heidi to send the called designers backstage. But she doesn't! No WAY did Robert just make a 'safe' dress. His was gorgeous, sister! I'm mad now. Anyway, he goes backstage, and the top three must be Jeffrey, Laura and probably Michael, leaving Kayne, Alison and Vincent in the bottom.

And the winner is: Michael! Our first two-in-a-row winner this season! And while Michael's outfit was okay on television (maybe it looked more WOW in person) I really really really thought Robert's was prettier.

Laura, Jeffrey, and Kayne get sent offstage (Kayne is soooooo lucky and he knows it!!) which leaves Vincent and Alison (shock!) in the bottom two. They do the usual long drawn-out auf'ing sequence complete with suspenseful new age music, but after an hour of waiting, we find that mercifully, Vincent is OUT.

Well, in the real world, that's the way it was supposed to turn out. Four shows ago. But you remember that kooky hat Vincent made in the first challenge? It was actually a time-travel device, and Vincent used it to go back in time and upset the time-space continuum (much like Biff in the second Back to the Future movie, where they get skewed off into an alternate reality and Michael J. Fox's mom ends up an alcoholic floozy with bad breast implants). He fixed it so that he doesn't win, because that would alert everyone to his nefarious deed, but he's never out. This is how we lost Malan, Katherine, Bradley, and now...

Alison. Yes, sweet, perky, happy Alison gets Heidi's auf wiedersehen this week. The designers are justifably shocked, but Laura is pissed and lets Vincent have it. I just can't believe Alison is out. Her dress was not NEARLY as bad as Vincent's. At least she spent some time on it - all that accordion pleating! And yes, it looked like a big stick of margarine on her waist-impaired model, but Vincent's looked like a huge chunk of dried-up bleu cheese.

Good luck back in the real world, Alison. Look at it this way - at least you won't have to worry about running out of anti-stress lotion anytime soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very funny again! Thank you for continuing to repsresent Westerville so well!

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a bad day so I had to come back to read your blog again to cheer me up, it did the trick, thanks. BTW, I must be slow because I just noticed you're my neighbor.
Brenda, New Albany

8:15 PM  

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