It's Always the Quiet One

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

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Three Easy Pieces

or "The Tim Commandments"

This week's episode opens with Uli and Bonnie waking up to a Katherine-free apartment. They discuss the possibility that they might have to move, but don't want to live with Angela - which means one of them is going to end up living with her. Angela, meanwhile, knows she has to prove herself after the streetwalker fiasco of last episode. (And her outfit of choice for the day? I'll give you three guesses, and all of them had better be "bubble skirt". When Angela's grandmother entrusted her with the family heirloom quilt that HER grandmother made out of fabric that she wove herself out of prairie grasses while riding in a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail, she probably didn't intend for Angela to turn it into a bubble skirt.) Alas, poor Jeffrey. He hasn't won a challenge yet, so that means nobody understands him. There have only been four challenges so far, Jeffrey; you've got lots of time for people to continue not understanding you. So buck up, little camper!

At Parson's, Heidi comes bouncing out onto the runway with another "Yoo hoo!" (Did she do that last season and I just didn't notice? I hope this is not an every-episode thing.) And she's wearing a much better outfit than last week's 80's disaster. I'm thinking that Heidi needs to be pregnant for every season, because her maternity clothes were much better than the stuff she's been wearing. (Call Kara Saun, Heidi, fast!) She tells the designers that their challenge this week is to design an outfit for Macy's line, INC. During a back-shot of the designers, I notice that A)Robert and Kayne have THE BEST posture, and B)the back of Robert's shirt appears to say "Potty Yacht". Heidi's got the infamous Velvet Bag and that can only mean one thing: we're going to have some model-switching. Kayne and Robert share a precious "here we go again" look. Less than half the designers stay with their original models. Uli pulls a Zulema by taking Nazri away from Keith, which I think was very strategic, but somehow not in the least bit evil (come on, I bet she catches spiders and puts them outside instead of squashing them). Toni of the teased-to-heaven poodle hairdo is out.

In the workroom, Tim introduces the designers to Mehmet Tangoren, a VP at Macy's, who explains the particulars of the challenge - they are to design a three-piece look for INC's fall line. Mehmet explains that the "INC Woman" is fashion-forward, likes to wear all the hot new looks - or as Heidi would say, "Hot, hip and happening" - and ageless (that sounds great, although I really wouldn't want to see my grandma in a sparkly tank top and low-rise jeans). Now I admit that I haven't been to Macy's for a while. When I was a kid it was all for old ladies! I start feeling sorry for old ladies - where are they going to shop now? (Oh, wait, they can go to Sears.) So the designers are all buzzing about this new exciting challenge when Tim rains on their parade - they must work in teams of three. Robert and Kayne are like "YES! We gotta be together", link arms and do their secret handshake, because they are soooo BFF and woe to anyone who even considers splitting up the Wonder Twins.

The designers will have to sketch and pitch their ideas to Mehmet who will pick four team leaders. So they hustle back to their respective tables to get started. Robert upends a giant bag of markers onto the table. I can't believe how many markers he's got. (Remember that scene in The Breakfast Club where it's lunchtime, and Emilio Estevez keeps pulling food out of his bag and all the other kids stop and stare at him 'cause they can't believe how much food he's got? It's like that.) Angela says again that she doesn't sketch as a usual part of her process, but yet she does one. That proves that she just REALLY didn't want to be a team leader for the pageant challenge (she was probably protesting how much electricity the Miss Universe show was going to be using).

Now we see the designers giving their presentations. Laura's inspiration is "the holy grail of shopping" - the perfect pair of black pants! Good job pushing your boundaries, Laura. Kayne pulls the "I'm from the south" card, like it isn't apparent as soon as he opens his mouth, and then makes it sound like Southerners are the only people in the country who love color. Keith makes a LOT of eye contact with Mehmet - even when he's pitching to guys, he makes me feel creepy. I kept waiting for him to make some comment about the guy's legs. I hate Vincent's sketches. (Nick Verreos made the comment in his blog that some of the designers need to take fashion sketching classes - he's looking at YOU, Vincent!) He also makes a statement that "gray will take the place of brown" - the Macy's guy looks at him like he's nuts, which of course he is. Angela's inspiration was a sunrise over the Empire State building. Way to work the New Yorker sense of civic pride, Angela!

Mehmet picks his team leaders: Robert, for his outstanding sketches (it's the markers, I tell you!); Bonnie, because he feels she understands the customer; Keith, for his colors and presentation; and lastly Angela - everyone's like OH SHIT!! Oh no he didn't! - because he loves her inspiration. They cut to a shot of her sketch.

She apparently is designing an outfit for the same lady that Jeffrey did in the first challenge - the mom from The Incredibles. (But seriously - get this lady a good croquis.) Tim chooses buttons from the Velvet Bag. Angela goes first. Everyone is praying that she doesn't pick them. But someone HAS to be on her team, and she very shrewdly picks Mr. Immaculate Construction, Michael. He's obviously thrilled. You can tell by the way he says, "Aww DAAAA-yum!" and rolls his eyes comically. She also picks Laura, because she and Michael are apparently joined at the hip now. Robert picks Kayne (Wonder Twin Powers, activate!) and Vincent (maybe Robert is planning to work a kooky hat into his design, in which case Vincent is the obvious choice for a teammate). Keith picks Alison. She thinks it's because he doesn't know about construction, but we know it's because he hasn't hit on her yet. He also picks Jeffrey because he will be no competition for Alison's affections. Keith says that he picks these two because he won't have to hold their hands. (Well, he won't hold Jeffrey's, just Alison's. Her hands are very important to him.) Bonnie picks Uli, because they worked so well together on the Miss USA challenge. Poor Bradley. He is the last designer standing. He feels terrible, like he is the last kid to get picked at kickball. (Hey! That's the exact same thing I said about him and Angela two challenges ago. That's so weird. Get out of my head, Bradley!) So Bonnie acts happy like she was going to pick him all along.

The best part of the challenge is that the winning outfit will be mass-produced and sold at Macy's. Robert says it would be great to have his clothes at Macy's because he can get his designs to a wider audience. (Um, Robert? Your designs are on Barbies. I think Barbie might be a teeny bit wider of an audience than Macy's.) The worst part of the challenge is that their budget is $100. What? Only $100 for a three-piece outfit? Are they kidding?? Most of the designers seem to be sharing that sentiment. Tim tells the teams to go back to their corners and come out fighting! Or go to their corners and start fighting. Whichever works best for them. Bonnie's trio does a cute little "Go team!" like they're playing peewee football. Robert starts to share his vision with his teammates. Vincent's standing there shaking his head at everything, but comments in the voiceover that "he's team leader" (much like he said to Angela about himself, so at least he follows his own rules). Laura urges Angela to bring her own color palette into the jacket. (Careful what you ask for, Laura!) And Keith starts delegating work, giving everyone what they're best at. The pants go to Jeffrey and the top (which is supposed to be some funky turtleneck-with-a-tanktop-that-can-turn-into-a-skirt) goes to Alison. Those are the two hardest parts of the outfit, according to Jeffrey. What's Keith gonna do, the necklace?

Here's a fun game courtesy of Laura: say "full-tilt boogie Angela quilted extravaganza of puff" three times fast.

Back at the ranch, Bonnie is nagging Bradley about the pants. He thinks she's prejudiced against his facial hair and muses that if he gets rid of most of it, she might lighten up. I have to say that I find Bradley's random comments quite refreshing in a show that can sometimes get very repetitive (Heidi Klum, I'm looking at you!) He makes another one later about being a "squid without an ocean, an eagle without a sky..." Don't we all feel like that sometimes? At the next table back, Keith is trying to use reverse psychology on Alison to get her to do his work for him. "Oh, you're busy, don't worry about coming over here, I can do it. Boo hoo hoo!" Alison says he's never done womenswear before. Honey, he's made three dresses so far! And a SASH. Let's not forget the sash. He worked a LONG time on that. Jeffrey is wishing he had ended up with Angela after all. He sees how Keith is so successful - he just makes very basic garments. Although I have to say - it's hard to make even a basic garment while you're lying on the table, eye-level with the midsection of a dress form and thinking... I don't want to know what he's thinking... while your teammates are doing all the work.

But it's finally time to retire to Atlas for the evening, and everyone gets ready for bed. (This is the moment we've been waiting all season for!) Kayne's got something on his mind, and starts murmuring to Vincent that... Keith has pattern making books!!!!!!! (TreSemme Time Out: I like Kayne's hair down and not spiky.) Kayne also goes to talk to Robert and Michael, who both say daa-yum, they wish they'd thought of that. No, they agree that they need to tell the producers because, as Robert says, they were to have no books or extra supplies so they'd all be on an even playing field. (But what about your gazillion markers, Robert? How fair is THAT? But I'll forgive you, because you are so incredibly buff.)

The producers decide that Tim, in addition to being mentor and all-around good guy, should get some experience being the bad guy, and send him off to Atlas. He's carrying what looks like some books, but this blog has received an exclusive picture of what he's REALLY carrying:

Turns out that in addition to the contraband fashion books, Keith also left the production AND used the internet!! Ack. Tim tells him to leave. Keith says didn't expect to be kicked off the show, that his image is tarnished forever, and he'll be a laughingstock to his friends, but really, what did he expect? He also says he never used the book but I don't believe that either. He leaves. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Keith.

Next day at Parsons Tim gathers the designers to tell them what's happened. The girls are shocked - well, all except Laura, who knew he was an asshole all along and is trying not to be smug about it. Alison looks ready to cry in the workroom, and later we see her as she's crying by the window. (Could she actually be crying for Keith? This girl is angelic.) That leaves her and Jeffrey to "make it work" on their own. I don't see that as a problem, considering the fact that Keith hadn't actually been doing much work the day before. What's different today?

All is not well in Wonder Twins Plus Vincent Land. Vincent's not fully on board with Robert's design, to which Robert replies that he's entitled to his wrong opinion. He also comments that Kayne has the taste of a love-starved heyena. (I guess that's supposed to mean that he will like anything? This is not up to your usual snarky standards, Robert. Must be the pressure of being team leader.) Vincent's advice: "let it flow - let it go." Oh, so that's what's wrong with Vincent.

Cue the cutesy music: Angela is making rosettes. Michael and Laura agonize over this in the sewing room. Laura laments that they can't stop her from hanging herself. (Just make sure she's using a quilted puffy rope with rosettes, Laura. And add a little fur for yourself. Thatta girl.) Angela, predictably, wants to put rosettes all over the pants. In the end, Michael and Laura talk her down to several tasteful, small rosettes in the same fabric as the pants and jacket, and I am shocked that I actually think they look nice!

Tim makes his appearance. Robert's outfit seems matronly to him, and he says "It will be a matter of taste in the judging" which is the kiss of death from Tim Gunn. He's more pleased with Angela's team - the rosettes work for him! Uh oh. Bonnie's pants are having an issue in the back - like her dress form is wearing a diaper that desperately needs changing. Uli says that it's not Bradley's fault (he made them), but Bonnie's fault for wanting them to be so wide. This is trouble. There is a very limited segment of the population that would be attracted to pants that make one's butt look wide on PURPOSE, and I somehow doubt they shop at Macy's.Tim wanders over to Alison and Jeffrey and is pleased to find that they are doing very well without their cheating leader. And so, Day Two is over. Back at the Atlas, there is rampant speculation on what Keith is doing right now. I think he's probably laughing his ass off that he got as far as he did without any of those dorks finding out. And Bonnie actually lets herself be shown on national TV wearing a cardboard thing on her head, and one of Angela's rosettes has attached itself to her sleeve like a fabric leech.

It's D-Day. Michael is rockin' this stylish, bright red "country/western meets R&B" vibe that I love. (Unfortunately, that's the last bit of color we see the rest of the show apart from Bonnie's equally bright red shirt.) Heidi comes out onto the runway wearing little girl shortalls - did she make that herself?!? I'm also extremely underwhelmed by the looks that come down the runway. Robert's model is wearing a jacket made out of a flour sack and a black skirt slit to her butt, but a nice top. (I have one like just like it, which means that it's not going to win.) And at least his model's hair is pretty, unlike Angela's (that's Michael's fault though). She's also wearing dumb sunglasses. (Back away from the sunglasses, people!) The garment is kind of drab-looking, and where's the Empire State building fabric? Bonnie's looks big and shlumpy like Mr. C from the Letter People (after she took the coat off). Alison and Jeffrey pulled it off! Although I don't understand the wifebeater worn at the waist. Overall, I didn't really like any of them. Why didn't they use COLOR? Blue! Red! Green! If being fashion-forward means you have to dress like you're going to a funeral, then I'll just keep going backward. Heidi's was the best outfit on the runway, and that's not saying much.

The judges keeps Angela's team and Alison and Jeffrey. The other two teams are lowest, and will come back later. This is a new twist! First up is Angela. The judges like the rosette detail on the back of the collar, and the propotions of the outfit, and the pink with gray. It turns out that they lined the jacket with the missing fabric (what's with putting the most interesting parts on the inside of the garment? She did that last week too). Alison and Jeffrey worked very well. Mehmet likes the pants - they're groovy, sexy, and stretchy, with nice buttons on ankles. The designers are surprised to find out that they won't know who wins until tomorrow morning, when the winning outfit will be put into the window in the Herald's Square Macy's store.

Now for the bummer part. Everybody hates Bonnie's - Nina can't stop going on about the cowl neck sweater and how 70's it is, the pants look cheap, they hate the fabric, and it's dowdy. They ask Bradley how he feels about the outfit and he very diplomatically says that it turned out really close to the sketch! As far as Robert's is concerned, they think it is for sophisticated classic customer, which apparently is not what they're looking for. The "sporty" jacket doesn't match the rest of the pieces - in fact, the whole outfit screams "Wednesday Adams goes to throw rock-filled snowballs at skiers." Vincent comments that Robert is team leader and was passionate about his design, so he was only too happy to help him. (In your FACE, Angela!) One by one, the teammates are sent off the runway until there is only Bonnie and Robert left. Robert is told his outfit is a total bore. Bonnie's is stale and not fashion-forward. Bonnie's out. I feel bad for her. Finally Bonnie comes to the runway looking put-together and pretty and she's out. (And Uli will have to move in with Angela.)

But who wins?? In the morning, the two remaining teams trek over to Macy's. Angela's team is victorious! She's so excited, but Jeffrey's like "Can we go now?"

Next week the designers will be modernizing a look for fashion icon. Thankfully, Michael Kors returns in all his dayglo orange glory, and the talented Diane von Furstenberg joins the judging panel. Since I doubt she is the icon they're going to be designing for, that means the icon might not be a real person - maybe Ronald McDonald? He's definately not what I'd consider "fashion-forward." I'd love to see what they'd do withTHAT.


Blogger Moi ;) said...

I hope you and I aren't the only ones who are still wary of angela..... Sigh... Loved the In your face comment!!! lol

10:09 PM  
Anonymous tiff said...

I loved this recap, especially your TresSemme Time out! And lots of other things, but none I can find now that I need to quote them.

Plus anyone who gives a shoutout to Michael's insane construction skills is good by me!

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quiet, you're one of my favorite recappers. Seriously funny and on the mark.

--- desertwind

PS - You write so well. I hope you're considering writing a book (do you have anything published?). I don't care what it's about and I'd buy anything you write.

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Dan in Ohio said...

That picture of Tim is priceless. Love the review!

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

I enjoyed reading your recap. For once no one attacked Kayne for bringing Keith's books to the producers attention. I'll be back for the recap of the next episode!

5:09 PM  
Blogger riddiculus said...

hilarious. and i love the screencap of bonnie wearing that...what was it...felt-antlers-cum-waitress tiara so matter-of-factly. i found it very..endearing.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Mags said...

Your recap was awesome, and the shot of Tim's Commandments truly cracked me up! I'll be sure to check you out on a regular basis!

12:02 AM  

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