The Best Judge Ever?
Before I start with this week’s recap, I have to comment on the show opening. They’re cheesy every year but I think this one wins the prize for cheesiest. I mean, what is up with Jillian’s goofy ballerina-princess pose? And the ghost model kissing Marion looks like it belongs on Ghost Hunters, not Project Runway.
After all the hype last week about this week's judge, I was thinking they might skip the whole first part of the show and jump straight to that part. But they don't. It’s the day after the runway show, and some of the guys are talking about what happened. Simone, who was out, seems to be held in much higher regard than Elisa is. Elisa could care less, and hums "I'm organic, essence-imbued rubber and you are synthetic glue and whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you."
This week, everyone gets a chance to pick new models. Heidi has her Magic Velvet Bag (tm), and calls the models out on the runway. Wait a second. This is supposed to be the day AFTER the runway show, yes? Then why are all the models sporting the exact same hairdos and makeup as the day before? Did they SLEEP in that? (I’ve noticed that the editing on this show is really bad. For example, Tim will come in to look and a dress will be almost finished, but in the next shot it will be in pieces on the dress form. I hate that!)
For the most part, the designers stick with the models they were given. Until we get to Ricky, who decides to switch and picks the model Elisa had last challenge. In the first speech he’s made so far without crying, he tells us that he doesn’t care if everyone thinks he’s "the bitch that stole Elisa’s model." But nobody’s thinking that, because we don’t know any of these people well enough to have an emotional investment in anybody’s model. So Ricky just ends up looking like "the bitch that’s trying (and failing) to be Zulema." But kudos to him for not crying. It won’t last.
After that, pretty much everyone switches models. At the end we are left with Kevin’s previous model (the brunette that has a very pretty face but is really gangly, like a baby giraffe) and Ricky’s (the blonde that looks like Nicollette Sheridan). Sweet P will have to make the difficult choice between the two. Well, I don’t think it’s that difficult – I figure she will definitely go for the blonde. But she doesn’t! She picks the brunette.
Heidi quickly moves on to the challenge because Ricky’s starting to get teary-eyed again. This week they will be designing for a "pop culture and fashion icon." Speculation in the workroom runs the gamut from Madonna to Snow White. Luckily Tim comes in to let them off the hook and introduces… (drum roll)… Sarah Jessica Parker! The actress who, back in the eighties, made giant bug glasses all the rage. I used to watch her on Square Pegs! (Oh, and I guess she was later in some TV show about fashion and sex. I don’t have HBO. *shrug*)
The designers start freaking out to varying degrees. Christian takes the name of the Lord in vain about forty times, and Chris just flat out bawls his head off. Most of the designers look like this: Sarah Jessica tells them the details of their challenge – design a two-piece look that will fit into her new line, Bitten - which is the reason she finally agreed to come on PR, so she can plug it repeatedly. The line is supposedly affordable high-end sportswear (you go look at it and tell me what you think). The outfit they create can only cost a buyer $40 – which means that they have to make it for a lot less. They get a whopping $15 (which at Mood will maybe buy you a couple of buttons - I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of tootie showing on the runway). Chris feels he will get more garment for his money if he buys his supplies at Staples. This also turns out to be a dreaded team challenge, because SJ will only pick seven designs.
Everybody begins sketching, except Ricky, who starts doing this again.
And if this whole fashion designer thing doesn’t work out, I think Ricky could have a good career as the Train Engineer in a Village People tribute act. He’s already got a mesh engineer’s cap.
Now it’s time to pitch to Mrs. Broderick. I am impressed with some of the designers' sketching skills – notably Jack’s, Christian’s and Kit’s. Chris is so nervous he can’t even explain what he’s drawn. Elisa has drawn a Boobah (which explains a lot, actually). Christian gets all fanboi on SJ and hugs her. Rami has designed an outfit inspired by Transformers (“a woman can buy this, then get married and get pregnant, take off the belt and still wear it, and it also turns into a baby carrier and a high chair and a car seat”). Carmen takes the opportunity to unashamedly network like nobody’s business.
The pitching is over, and it’s now time to find out who SJ picked as team leaders. Her fashion credibility goes flying out the window when her first choice is Elisa. Everyone is stunned. (Come on! She drew a balloon with a head!) The other leaders are Kit, Victorya, Marion, Ricky, Christian (like he needed an ego boost), and Rami. Carmen and Chris are devastated. SJ also comments that the winning design MAY be sold with her fall line if it doesn’t suck too badly.
After SJ leaves it’s time to pick teams. This is how they ended up: Marion/Steve, Ricky/Jack, Victorya/Kevin, Kit/Chris, Rami/Jillian, Christian/Carmen, and Elisa is left with Sweet P, who gets very very scared. Then Tim gives them their $15 and herds them off to Mood to pick stray threads off the floor, which is all they can afford. Marion nicks a blanket that an employee brought from home, and Elisa picks the same exact material she bought last time.
Back in the workroom, everyone gets down to business. Since Elisa doesn’t believe in tape measures, she holds the fabric up to Sweet P to measure it. Then, to Sweet P’s horror, we find out that she also doesn’t believe in writing utensils – she uses spit to mark the fabric! (I guess it’s better than some of the other things she could have used.)
After they’ve been working a while, Tim comes in to see how things are progressing. His first stop is Marion and Steve. Their blanket-shirt is almost done, but their skirt is laying in pieces on the table. The design of light and dark heather grays in stripes is really interesting – I’m curious to see how it looks when it’s all put together. (Looks hellish to sew, though.) On to Christian, who of course thinks his outfit is perfect no matter how much Tim tries to tell him that it’s not. Victorya has designed a dress made out of an extra-large garbage bag and a little boy’s suit vest. When Tim comes to Elisa, he is flabbergasted that she is hand-sewing all the edges, and actually uses the word “cuckoo”. Elisa smiles serenely as her animal friends cavort about the workroom.
The next day, the designers have a little bit of time to work on the finishing of their garments. Ricky’s dress, while pretty, is not technically a two-piece outfit, even though he made a belt for it. I just really don’t think a belt counts as a second piece. A belt is an accessory. I hope he gets blasted for it on the runway. Rami’s Transformers shirt looks like a paint smock from a preschool classroom. Marion and Steven are worried about their skirt – apparently Marion doesn’t know how to measure and made it way too big. But it’s okay, because you can’t see the skirt anyway - the blanket covers the whole thing up! Victorya’s got some kind of giant Goth Christmas bow around the neck of her model.
In the hair and makeup room, there is a LOT of teasing going on. (I think the phrase is “hair teased up to Jesus!”) And I really think Christian must have skipped the classes on model styling because his looks are just really awful. Again, he has aged his model about twenty years and given her a very severe hairstyle. Out on the runway, Heidi is wearing a top that looks like a very different type of runway. Maybe it is a landing strip for Elisa’s alien friends.
The ‘safe’ designers:
- Kit and Chris - This one should have been a contender for the win. It’s simple, but it would fit in with the other pieces in the Bitten collection very well. (You can't tell in the picture but the leggings are a deep maroon color.) Their model is really pretty. I love the kicky beret, too.
- Rami and Jillian - Big hair, very black, eh. I’m glad they used the cute model though.
- Ricky and Jack – More giant hair! The color is pretty, the design is nice, but I hate the belt.
Who’s left on the runway?
- Elisa and Sweet P – This actually turned out way better than I expected. The shapes of both pieces are really nice. Elisa makes the mistake of telling the judges that she spit on the dress, causing Heidi to blurt out “What planet are you FROM?” Elisa replies that she’s come from her happy planet bearing gifts. Whatever that means.
- Marion and Steven – This looks very ‘1960’s hippie commune’ to me. The colors are depressing, the top is way too long, and you can’t even see the skirt that Steven spent so much time on. The top is actually getting longer as the model stands on the runway. (I predict that it will be a floor-length dress by the time the season is over.) Michael Kors comments that a short woman would look like Cousin Itt if she wore this outfit.
- Victorya and Kevin – The judges gush over this, calling it ‘interesting’ repeatedly. Maybe it looked better in person but like I said before, it looks like a garbage sack to me. And I can’t tell if the bow is part of the dress, or just some extra fabric that they hemmed and tied around the model’s neck.
- Christian and Carmen – The first thing that popped into my head when this came down the runway was “flight attendant”. Yes, the jacket has some intricate pleating that looks like it took a long time. I’m not going to deny that Christian appears to have some excellent sewing skills. But I agree with Michael Kors in his assessment that the model looks like she just stepped out of a Robert Palmer video. I’m not sure Christian actually heard that comment because he was too busy cutting him off – he only wanted to hear what SJ had to say, because he was SURE she was going to say it was fierce. She didn’t.
So it was between Elisa and Victorya for the win, and of course SJ picked the garbage bag over the spittle-encrusted alien dress. Poor Marion was out, because his design made the judges sad. I think if his top had been different, the outfit would have worked, because what I can see of the skirt is very impressive. And as far as Sarah Jessica Parker being the best judge ever, I'm not sure I'd agree with that, even though she seems to know what she's talking about.
Next week: Heidi continues the space theme and dresses up like Lt. Uhuru from Star Trek. The challenge is described as “something we’ve always wanted to do,” and the designers appear to be ripping clothing. (So THAT’S what happens to the throwaway clothes on Tim Gunn’s other show!)