It's Always the Quiet One

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

Friday, November 30, 2007

To Boldly Go...

Fashion: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Runway. Its season four mission: to explore strange new looks; to seek out new talent and new silhouettes; to boldly go where no designer has gone before!
Captain Klum: Designers, you have a difficult mission ahead. Perhaps the most dangerous and difficult mission ever. But of course I will not tell you about it now; I prefer to let you stew in worry and speculation. First Officer Gunn will meet you on the surface of planet Rockefeller 10 to fill you in on the details. In the end, one of you will be victorious, and one of you will be the expendable anonymous crewmember that is sacrificed in every episode. Now all of you get to the transporter room! GO! RUN!

In last week’s episode, we had the ‘best judge ever’. This week, we have the challenge they’ve “been waiting a long time to do.” Let’s see… they’ve already done plants, trash, beauty pageants, postal workers, wedding gowns, dolls, and dogs. What else is left? The designers head over to Rockefeller Plaza to find out.

But oh, there is something left. For this challenge, everyone is going to have to do (cue ominous music) MENSWEAR. Tim introduces Tiki Barber, who used to play football but now does commentary for The Today Show. Kevin, reminding us once again how straight he is, launches into a detailed description of Tiki’s entire football career, while most of the rest of the male designers are like, “Who? What’s football? Oh, that game where they run around wearing spandex pants? LOVE it.” The winning design will be worn by Tiki on The Today Show.

He explains to the designers that he has a really hard time finding clothes that fit him due to the fact that he has a huge neck and a fair amount of booty, and that he’ll pretty much wear anything on camera as long as it’s just like what he’s wearing now, because his wife picked it out. He’s not afraid of color, or pattern, or texture, as long as it looks just like what he’s got on. I’m wondering where they’re going to get the models for this. If the outfit has to be for him to wear on the air, they’re going to need dress forms and models that are built like football players. And let’s face it, the typical model is not built like that. And the majority of the designers typically do womens’ wear. This should be interesting.

After their usual sketching time, during which most of the designers sit there staring at blank sketchbooks, they head off to Mood. They get a more reasonable budget and more time for this challenge. This is good, considering that menswear requires more tailoring, details and pieces per outfit. The few designers that actually have a clue what they’re going to make have really ambitious designs: suits mostly. Did they not learn from Michael Kors in season 2 where he said “mens’ suits are the hardest things to make and sew”? (Um, how else would you make a mens’ suit without sewing it?) There’s a lot of frantic running at Mood, and a lot of dark colors being purchased.

They return to Parsons. Christian plays Chihuahua to Jack’s Paris Hilton and lets himself be carried into the workroom in a tote bag. Everyone gets to work, but it doesn’t take long for most of the designers to find their way into the dreaded 'fear box.’ Jack, however, get the bright idea to take apart his own shorts to use as a pattern. (And since he can’t run around the workroom in his underwear, he also fashions himself a nice kilt out of muslin.) A lot of the women are asking Jack for advice, even though he admits that he’s never actually made menswear.

Being a giving kind of guy, Jack shares his deconstructed shorts with Carmen and Victorya so they can make patterns too. (I don’t know how much good that will do them – Jack is muscular but he’s no Tiki.) This irritates the heck out of Rami, who whines that it’s not fair, but really is just steamed he didn’t think of it first.

The next morning, Kit sets the tone for the day by commenting, “OK, get ready, this is the last time we’re gonna have fun today,” as they run out the door to Parsons again. Is she ever right! These people have a LOT of work to do. Some are sewing actual garments, while others are still working on their muslin mock-ups. Pants are strewn everywhere! Chris’s description of what they are – “... just two big sleeves sewn together” – is surprisingly true. I never thought of it that way, but yeah, they kinda are. Over in the sewing room, Christian appears to be sewing his entire garment on the serger. Is that normal? Won't the seams be all bumpy?

Rami is quite proud of his draped pants (as opposed to others’ dirty rotten cheating traced-shorts pants). I'm starting to think he doesn't know how to make patterns at all. But he doesn’t have much more time to bitch because Tim is sending in the models!

Swoon! The first set of professional male models on Project Runway! (And wow, some of these guys look familiar - but that is a topic for another post.) There are many good-looking guys here, and pretty much everyone in the room (except Elisa, who can’t bear to watch her model change) is admiring the view. There are a lot of gratuitous butt and ab shots. Kevin, again, chooses to inform us how straight he is. Ricky is so stressed out that he can’t even chat with his model. Several people have to start from scratch after attempting to fit garments and failing miserably, which adds to the stress level tenfold.

Tim comes in to interrupt them yet again. For some reason, the producers decided to bring Tiki’s wife in to look at what everyone is doing. She likes some things, and shoots down others. Especially Carmen’s jacket, which causes Tiki’s wife to invoke the cursed name of Member’s Only. Tim even advises her to reconsider what she’s doing, but darn! She didn’t buy enough fabric to do something different. (I've seen them use this edit before. She’s either going to be out, or she’s going to rally and win the whole thing.) It also looks like Ricky has gotten a little ambitious with his design and doesn’t have a lot done. So the two of them release some frustration by composing an insult-laden opera in the sewing room.

The next morning, they return to the workroom to finish up as much as they can. Christian appears to have forgotten how to walk because Jack is carrying him AGAIN. (What does he weigh, like 75 pounds? Maybe it was windy and Jack was afraid he was going to blow away.) They have three and a half hours left, and Carmen has no shirt. Why was she making a jacket when she had no shirt?? Is she seriously going to send her model down the runway in a pants, jacket, and bare chest? That will go over well on The Today Show.

The models return to get their final fittings. Ricky immediately puts his to work sewing buttons so he can work on his jacket. He doesn’t finish and ends up answering the question I posed earlier about suit construction – you use safety-pins! Doesn’t that boy have any glue? The judges are going to see those pins in a second. Sweet P’s shirt looks, basically, like an eight-year-old sewed it. The neck is huge and crooked, the sleeves are too short, and the model’s biceps will rip the sleeves off entirely if he flexes them even a tiny bit. Carmen desperately makes a shirt substitute out of a big piece of fabric, but it ends up looking like she’s wrapped Linus’s blanket around the model's neck and tucked it in to the his pants. (I'm thinkin' there's your bottom three right there, for certain.)

Captain Klum: Welcome back, away team. Remember, one of you will be getting a commendation from Star Fleet, and one of you will have an unfortunate transporter accident. Before we see the strange alien life forms you brought back from your expedition to Rockefeller 10, let me introduce you to the judges:
Dr. McKors, Yeoman Garcia, and Klingon warrior Tiki Barber. Let’s start the show!

The safe designers:

  • Christian – What is up with that collar? It looks like he’s got the shirt on sideways. Did the model put his arm in the neckhole and his head through the sleeve? And the little weird rectangle appliqués on the jacket pockets are at the same level as the waistband. They need to be either higher or lower. It visually cuts him in half.
  • Jillian – She made four pieces. FOUR. Amazing. Doesn’t look half bad either. Imagine how much better it would have been had she concentrated on just making three. Maybe she would have won.

  • Rami – He has made his hot model look like a nerd. All he needs is a pair of taped-up glasses.
  • Steven – I can just hear his model saying “Come, Miffy, let’s take a cruise on Daddy’s new yacht” as he straightens his ascot.

  • Victorya – I don’t think that white jacket will work on television. But for everyday wear this is cute.

  • Chris – It’s so dark that I can’t see many of the details. A little color would have been nice. Put this on Tiki and he will practically disappear.

  • Elisa – A bit too casual I think. It would be perfect if Tiki does a story on camping, or a historical retrospective of Woodstock.

Who’s left on the runway?

  • Kevin – This was my pick to win. The color he chose would look good on Tiki, and the pattern on the tie is subtle but interesting. Heidi’s not fond of it at all – she says he made it for David Beckham (and it would look good on him, yes). Apparently Heidi’s not fond of Mr. Beckham either, as she says his name in the same tone of voice as one would say ‘baby vomit.’
  • Kit - The blue fleece jacket makes me think of Mr. Rogers and his cardigans, but in a good way. Tiki likes it. The other judges like that she used the unusual fabric for the jacket.
  • Jack – Stripes everywhere. Maybe it’s stylish, but I just don’t like stripes with other different stripes. Or the way he set them on an angle for the pocket. The model looks like a piece of Fruit Stripe gum. Nina doesn’t like that he only made two pieces.

  • Carmen – Oh, this is more horrible that I imagined it would be. The golf cap – what on earth made her decide to put that cap with this outfit? The color blue she was going to use for her shirt doesn’t go with anything else she made, the jacket is way too short.

  • Sweet P – It’s a mess. Everyone agrees. Her model looks like he had a rough time at the office Christmas party. All he needs is a little lipstick on the collar. (But they like the tie, at least!)

  • Ricky – Yawn. You can buy this at the Men’s Wearhouse. Without the pins. And the judges drag out the ‘boring’ card again. How many more of those can he survive? At least his model looks happy.

After the Q&A period is over, they announce who’s in and out. Jack wins, and in his joy makes devil horns and drops an F-bomb on the runway. Carmen is out – no surprise. I would have auffed her for that weird topknot alone.

Next week: a team challenge causes bitchiness. What else is new? And I hope that I can get a download of the episode somewhere before I write my recap, so I can quit torturing everyone with my photo-editing.


Blogger Kathy said...

ok - so I wasn't the only one who thought Heidi's outfit looked like it came from a back lot at Paramount!

8:08 AM  

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