Everything Old is New Again
It's the day after Angela's win and Bonnie's departure, and we are subjected to yet another early-morning "I'm not winning" whining jag courtesy of Jeffrey. (You don't get this much whine from a room full of two-year-olds when the TV's on the fritz and it's time for Barney. And yet we are supposed to believe that he spent eight hours getting his neck tattooed? I can just imagine how THAT session went.)
Michael wants to win also, but somehow he is able to convey this to the audience without whining. (I think Jeffrey needs to move in with Michael and take some lessons.) Robert, on the other hand, is feeling humbled. You can tell it's eating him up inside that anyone thinks his designs are boring. As we see them leaving their apartment I see that somebody has spilled grape juice across the back of Robert's shirt. Not down his shirt, but across the shoulders. It has to be grape juice, right? Because who in their right mind would wear a shirt with a weird purple discoloration across the back, on purpose? Maybe it's a fashion thing I just don't get.
I am shaken from my concern over Robert's laundry by Heidi's appearance on the runway. She is wearing the top of a flagpole as a belt buckle. It's huge! I hope she doesn't have to sit down, or she may not be able to carry any more children. While all the designers are trying to avoid looking at her abdominal region, she uses this distraction to surprise them with an unexpected new twist to the model selection - this week, the model will get to choose which designer she wants to work with! Brilliant! The models are shocked and giddy - the designers are mostly shocked and giddy - and then there's Vincent, who must have been munching on a large, sour pickle at that moment. The only bad part about it is that this week two of the models will have to go.
Heidi starts picking buttons from The Velvet Bag. Alexandra picks first, and she chooses Alison, who actually THANKS her. (That lady is class all the way. I love her.) Anyway, the models pick, we get to hear them actually talk a bit, and some of the designers look kind of pouty that the model they usually pick doesn't want to work with them. Ha! Taste of their own "it was lovely to work with you but I want to shake things up a bit" medicine. Finally it's down to Jia, Javi, Katie and Katia (what happened to her hair?? Did she get attacked by a mutant Flowbee?) on the models' team, and Vincent and Bradley for the designers' team. Jia's name comes out of the bag, and you can tell she's trying to decide between the lesser of two evils. She stays with Vincent, who says, "That's my girl!" and really creeps me out. The last name picked is fresh-faced Katie, and she's stuck with furry-faced Bradley (who is last AGAIN). This means that Javi and Katia are out.
I hope you'll forgive me, but I have to rant a minute. Heidi is a big liar. This is NOT a competition for the models. A competition would mean they are being judged on their abilities. There might be a little of that when a designer picks a certain model, but most of this is just luck. Now if they start letting the designers or judges rate the models on how they walk and pick who's out that way, THEN it will be a competition. Two very good walkers are out this week by mere bad luck, leaving some decidedly weird walkers in the model pool, and that totally invalidates this as a 'competition for the models' in any sense. Thank you.
That being said, this week's model selection process was really interesting. Bravo, Bravo. But there is yet another surprise on the horizon! Heidi tells the group that the challenge this week is to modernize the look of a fashion icon, AND the models are going to get to pick the icon for their designers. Designers are freaking out over their rapidly dwindling control of the entire process. Models are freaking out because they're getting something to do other than walk and get poked by needles. It's a mutha-f*in freak-out!
Tim meets the models in the workroom, and shows them pictures of the icons they will be choosing. The tension is mounting as the girls decide which ones they want to try for, and we see a shot of someone's hands twitching, like she's getting ready for the big shootout at the OK Corral. What happens next is a gem of reality TV - Tim yells "GO!" and the models literally hurl themselves at the pictures, pushing, shoving, flinging undesired icons and less-assertive models by the wayside. "Wow!" is all the usually eloquent Tim Gunn has to say about that as he edges closer and closer to the emergency exit, just in case they come after him next.
When the dust clears, the models all have a picture. Tim sends in the designers (this show is all about the twist this week, baby!) Nazri picked her twin sister, Pam Grier, who is perfect for her designer Michael. Angela ends up with Audrey Hepburn (who must have rolled over in her grave just now to avoid the rosettes) and she starts doing aerobics in the workroom, she is so excited. Robert's model picked Jacqueline Onassis. Jeffrey will be designing for Madonna, and this is a sign to him that the Whining Gods want him to win so they can go back to working with toddlers. Other matchups: Kayne/Marilyn Monroe; Uli/Diana Ross; Laura/Katherine Hepburn; Alison/Farrah Fawcett; Vincent/Twiggy.
But poor Katie. Not only did she get the designer nobody else wanted, she got the icon nobody else wanted - Cher. And Bradley proclaims to know nothing about Cher. I'm.. I... I can't think of anything funny to say about that. It's just... who doesn't know CHER? (Poor, poor Katie. I like her a lot and I hope she isn't out this week.) Overall, I think the models made very shrewd decisions, and in most cases the icon matched up well to the style and personality of each designer.
I'm thrilled by the trip to Mood. Yay! I see color!!!!! Lots of glorious color. $150 worth of color! (Designers, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, and thank Glinda for that!) Michael picks a hot fushia that is going to look awesome on Nazri. He is also getting MAJOR screentime this episode, which in Bravo's predictable way either means he's the winner or he's out. I'm worried about Robert though, who makes the comment "If I'm boring then I probably should just go home." Come on, Robert! You're a friggin' BARBIE DESIGNER! Look at that fabulous aqua fabric you're picking out! It's not boring! Argh. He really needs a swift kick in the butt.
Back at Parsons, Kayne is soooo excited. He starts babbling about Marilyn and Gwen Stefani having a love child. We also get to see the beginnings of his bodice, and it is LEATHER. On Marilyn Monroe. I'm concerned, but I'll reserve judgement until I see more of the garment. Let's check in on Vincent, who is cutting armholes, and he lets us in on his design process: he just imagines someone else designing the garment. Well, that explains it! Last time he had a design business, things didn't turn out so well, so he developed multiple personalties to deal with the trauma. One of them got his fashion designing talent. (His name is Vincennes.) He just lets that personality take over when he needs to design an outfit. Then one of the other ones deals with other designers' issues (his name is Vince and he's from Brooklyn - "I need ya to move three feet away from me or you're gonna find yourself takin' a long walk off a short pier if ya get my drift"), and then the original Vincent comes back for the runway show (which is why he can never quite seem to explain his outfits).
There's trouble afoot in the sewing room. It seems that Angela messed up her sewing machine, so she moves over to Bradley's and messes it up too. That pisses Bradley off, so he now has to use Alison's machine, which means Alison can't use hers. Jeffrey, who is apparently the only one who knows how to use the machines correctly, comes in and starts yelling at Angela that if she breaks the machine, she needs to fix it. She tells him to shut up. (That's her snappy comeback.) Jeffrey states that he's entitled not to like Angela, which awakens the "don't make me come back there" instinct in Laura, and she gives Jeffrey some major lip. (So much for her "fashion spa". This must make her feel like she's right back at home with her bat-weilding boys). Jeffrey starts quacking: quack quack quack quack (surely he's about done) quack quack quack quack (enough already!!!) quack quack QUACK. That's supposed to be Laura I guess. Then he storms out of the workroom saying "I wish that fuckin' bitch would have a stroke!" Not sure which fuckin' bitch he's referring to, but either way that was just bad form, Jeffrey.
In the workroom Michael tries to be peacemaker, which is very cool. Jeffrey does have a point, though - if you break it, you should fix it. Michael says that he's not trying to be "Captain Save-A-Ho like we say in the 'hood", a comment made even more hiliarious by the fact that he's wearing a preppy polo shirt. The night ends back at Atlas, with Jeffrey hating on Laura and Kayne taking notes for the tell-all he's going to write after this is all over.
Day Two! You know this is going to be a faaaa-bulous day by the way Kayne removes his sunglasses with a dramatic flourish and then uses his sheer black fabric for a wig and does a Cher imitation. Angela, to my alarm, appears to be making the exact same dress Audrey's wearing in the photo - shades of Marla Duran, perhaps? I hope not. We finally get to see what Alison's been up to. She has a brownish-looking fabric for her bodice and an icy blue for the skirt - brown and blue are very 70's so I'm sure she's right on track. Vincent and Jeffrey are having a field day over what they're seeing at Bradley's work table (Jeffrey coins the sure-to-be-annoyingly-popular catchphrase "supercalafrajalisticexpiala-crazy"). But that doesn't concern me as much as Jeffrey himself - what the hell is he making? I see red leather, I see black something-or-other, I see rings... is it armor?? Do they sell Kevlar at Mood? But let's get back to Bradley. It appears that he's making a foil-wrapped baked potato. He looks so lost. I'm afraid to say it, but I think Bradley's making something awful on purpose so he can go home.
The models come back in for some fittings and to give the designers some input on the designs so far. Bradley's got an issue with his pants (I think this is getting to be a trend with him.) Katie says they're "cameltoe pants". (Hold on, I have to go look this up. *flipflipflip*) Oh! Ewwww! Fix them right now, Bradley Baumkirchner - you don't want Nina Garcia to see THAT! Moving on to Kayne's table, his model Amanda is talkingtalkingtalkingtalking. She will not shut up. Kayne's all like "Hmmm...okay...yeah...you don't say" as she tells him every teeny tiny detail of her evening out the night before. Then she follows him into the workroom and plants herself on a sewing machine stand and continues talking. Kayne makes a comment to the effect of "You should be pretty and seen and not open your mouth." I think, "That's so rude!" but by the end of the segment I am totally in agreement. Then BFF Robert comes to the rescue and shuts her down.
Tim brings in Nathaniel Hawkins from TreSemme. He's going to tell them how to do their hair. He also has yet another surprise (I don't think my heart can take it!) - he announces that the winning look will be turned into a TreSemme ad for Elle. Everyone flips out because this is huge huge HUGE! Even au naturale Bradley thinks it's cool, because he used their gel today and his hair actually did look curlier. So they all get a turn to talk with Nathaniel about their model's hair. Vincent of course is channelling Vincennes who knows ALL ABOUT styling and doesn't need some namby-pamby corporate stiff telling him how to do HIS job. Michael and Nathaniel discuss giving Nazri more of a 'fro than she already has - is that possible? Will she be able to hold her head up? Kayne is all 3LI (love it love it love it) over his styling. Robert scares the piss out of his model by saying he wants her hair cut short. Of course he is teasing. I think.
Meanwhile Tim is going around the workroom again, and we get to see some of the other garments. Laura's making a Laura outfit and that's all the mention it deserves. Robert's worst fear is realized when Tim feels his garment is incredibly plain and -duh duh DUM! - boring. Michael has switched the bottom of his outfit and is now making hot pants. Tim hates hot pants! You can tell Tim would like to burn all the hot pants in the world. But being the fashion guru that he is, he knows that they're in and that Michael is dead-on in his decision to use them for Pam. Bradley has apparently confused Cher with Judy Garland, as Tim compares his top to the Tin Woodsman. And Angela is making rosettes. 'Nuff said.
We come back from commercial, and it's Runway Day. Michael has a bit of a dilemma, as he still has no bottom to his outfit. But it's okay because he's Mr. Immaculate Construction and will pull it out with time to spare. The designers head over to Parsons, where it's time to style their models and get ready for the runway show. Jeffrey chooses big glunky boots to go along with his armor-dress, and yet doesn't want her makeup to be hooker-like. Robert is sewing Danielle/JackieO into a black lacy baby doll nightie.
Kayne is worried about something on his bodice. Amanda (his chitchatty model) says it looks sloppy and Kayne gives her a look that says "GIRL! What did you just say? Ain't NOTHIN' sloppy about MY dress." He quickly tries to figure out how to make a strip of duct tape look like it's part of the outfit so he can put it on Amanda's mouth. (Maybe some rhinestones.) Michael's shorts are HOT which is good, because they're hot pants.
On to the runway. Oh. My. God. What is Heidi wearing??? My first thought is that she's stolen the Luke Skywalker costume from the original Star Wars movie and chopped the bottom off of it. But then we are treated to a back shot and now she's an Oktoberfest waitress! No! Wait! I see what it is. Heidi's gotten tired of just judging and has attempted to do the challenge herself, modernizing the Swiss Miss Cocoa girl! But joy - Michael Kors is back! And not quite as orange as usual. And there's Diane Von Furstenberg! This is an awesome judging panel. (Oh, yeah. Nina's there too, yada yada yada.)
Here come the models. Alison's Farrah outfit looks like lingere. I guess it's okay. It's mostly the hair that says Farrah, but that's really what she was known for anyway, so Alison could have sent her model down the runway in a muumuu. I'm getting hungry looking at Bradley's baked potato shirt. Like the Farrah look, the only thing Cher about this outfit is Katie's hair. Surprise! Angela's dress has rosettes on it, but it is totally an Audrey Hepburn style. I like the texture also. (I have now decided that it's not the rosettes that were the problem with her previous outfits. It's the fact that she made them out of funky ugly fabric.)
Kayne's model, for all her mouth-diarrhea, is a stunning, red-headed Marilyn Monroe. She has the whole attitude down pat. It looks like she's naked underneath her dress - something I think Marilyn would have done. The dress is very, very tight on her very tiny butt - it looks like two hamburger buns stuffed in there. Laura has made a pair of brown plaid pants with a waist up to her model's nipples. I could see Katharine Hepburn wearing that, I guess, and it's a Laura look - eh, it's boring.
Vincent. Vincent, Vincent, Vincent. Where to begin? I know that Twiggy in the sixties modeled a lot of plaid and mod looks, but I got three different impressions from this. One, Jia looks like a teenaged Raggedy Ann doll on acid. Two, Dr. Evil has taken up residence on the Island of Lost Toys and this is his newest FemBot. Three, she's an extra from A Clockwork Orange. This one will be in the bottom.
Michael's Pam Grier looks incredible. I can imagine her wearing that and kicking some badguy ass. He is my pick for the win. But Robert! What happened? Where is that gorgeous aqua fabric you picked out at Mood? This looks like Jackie O's hillbilly cousin. A rope belt? Was that actually on the Macy's accessory wall, or did you go down to the lounge and borrow one of the curtain tiebacks? The giant sunglasses and the flipped-out hair helped a bit, but man oh man. Robert's grabbing at roots on the slippery slope to boredom. If he put this outfit on a Barbie, nobody would buy it. Not even if it was marked down to a quarter at the thrift store. Ouch is right, Robert. Pull it together, man!!!
Uli's color is beautiful. I could see Diana Ross wearing that. For a bit of sparkle, Uli added some nice jewels up the middle of the butt. BUT... it's a halter dress. Just like every other outfit she's designed. Color and pattern, while nice, can only take you so far. She needs to try something with sleeves next time. I know she can make sleeves - she did a jacket for the dog challenge. Jeffrey's outfit was the only one that made me go "What the HELL?" as it came down the runway - but I could totally see the Madonna of the 80's wearing that. (I said that a lot about her back then too.)
The top and bottom scoring designers are: Angela, Kayne, Michael, Robert, Vincent, and Bradley. For all his whining, Jeffrey is happy to not be left on the runway. (I notice that Vincent has what appears to be pattern-marking chalk dust all over his clothing - do they not get to do laundry? First Robert and now Vincent. I'm concerned!) The judges love Kayne's mixture of leather, stretch and crystals. Marilyn would be goth-faaaabulous in that dress. Vincent offends Diane by talking about Twiggy like she's dead. All the judges think Michael's outfit is pure genius. Nobody likes Bradley's. Heidi comapres it to a cheap Halloween costume you can buy at the mall. Angela's monochromatic rosettes (oh, sorry, she calls them fleurchons. How silly of me!) are a big hit, and Heidi wants a dress like it in every color. (But not every color at the same time. That would be a totally different type of Angela outfit.) Robert's outfit is just plain -dare I say it again? - boring. And old. I guess all that working wtih Barbie, which is for little girls, has caused him to swing the entire opposite direction into designing clothing for old ladies.
And the winner is: Michael! Of course. Because he got the most screen time. And he made a bangin' outfit! He does a touchdown dance on the runway. He is happy to have won, but he doesn't have a big head about it. After all, tomorrow is another day.
Heidi gives Robert an ultimatum: they believe in his talent, but he has to wake them up if he wants to stay. Bradley, predictably, is out. And he's not upset! That confirms my earlier suspicion that he did it on purpose. He gives us one last cute quote: "There is serious fashion going on and I made a tinkertoy." Then he makes a nice divebomber sound effect, and he is gone. Good luck, Bradley! I'll miss your happy-go-lucky attitude and freaky comments. Don't ever shave.
Now, about the TreSemme photo shoot. I saw Chloe's grand-prize spread in Elle this month, and it really wasn't much bigger than the TreSemme ad probably will be. So, didn't they kind of just give the 'grand prize' to Michael? And wow - Nazri and Michael look good together! They should have babies as soon as possible.