It's Always the Quiet One

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

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Floats in a Parade

Apparently every episode of Project Runway must contain a “bare chest moment” – this week it’s Ricky, and it makes my eyes hurt. Christian in his cowhide-patterned boots don’t make it much better. Let’s get out of the apartments, quick, and get the show started already!

This week, Heidi is wearing a white version of her Star Trek dress from a couple of weeks ago, only this one is sleeveless. She brings out the models and everyone starts laughing, because they all have bed-head.

Hmm, is it time to get a new hair-care sponsor? No, it’s the challenge: create an avant-garde piece inspired by the model’s kooky hairstyle. Right away I know that poor Katie the gawky walker is going to be out, because it really doesn’t look like they did anything to her hair but slick it back at the temples, and that’s really not very inspiring. Her only chance is if Sweet P sticks with her out of model loyalty.

Of course she doesn’t. She knows that hairstyle is bad news, so she steals Lea from Christian instead. Everybody else stays with their same models, so Christian ends up with his original model Fabulous Lisa. (I warned you about karma, Christian!) Ricky is last button out of the bag again, which means he ends up having to choose between three models. He bites his lip to keep from crying and decides that he wants “to play with Amanda.” (Seriously, that’s what he said, I went back and listened to it twice to make sure. She better be scared.) So Katie and the model who got the unfortunate dreadlocks hairdo are out.
In the workroom, Tim tells the designers that a look like this that doesn’t even have to be wearable (meaning the model doesn’t have to be able to get into a taxi wearing it), so it can pretty much be anything. But he has The Velvet Bag™ (which means another damned team challenge) and randomly picks teams: Kit/Ricky (um, ok), Sweet P/Rami (they hug, aww!), Chris/Christian (the very definition of fierce) and Jillian/Victorya (I smell passive-aggressive catfight!). Each team has to choose one model to work with. Tim then tells them, almost apologetically, that each team HAS to pick a leader.

Okay, I have an issue with that “has to” crap. Why does there need to be a leader? I would think that seeing how the designers collaborate is enough – the judges ALWAYS ask “what parts did each of you do?” even when there is a leader. If you’re going to have a leader, and the leader almost always gets kicked off, then that leader should be completely responsible for the end product and it shouldn’t matter who did what. If the individual contributions of each team member are going to be considered in the judging, then there doesn’t need to be a leader. My opinion. Off soapbox now.

The teams get down to business. Chris suggests that Christian should be the leader because he’s worked with Alexander McQueen, so this is avant-garde stuff should be right up his alley. Christian is understandably scared to be the leader, but agrees. They choose Chris’s model Marcia as their inspiration. She is wearing a ten-pound hairstyle made of thick, rough braids – if you unwound them, it would probably stretch for a quarter of a mile- and it looks like a bee’s behind. Christian has the idea to make a dress out of billions of circles out of organza. Good thing they have $300!

Kit’s model, Marie, has a lot of extensions that remind Kit of a bird’s nest, so their theme is “garden and aprons and hoopskirts and a bunch of layers of stuff that looks like a birthday cake.” Rami, of course, knew immediately that he was going to be the leader. You can see it here in this screenshot, taken right after Tim announced they had to pick one:

(Be afraid, Sweet P. Be very afraid.) He decides on “hard and soft” for his theme and sketches – SURPRISE! – a draped flowy gown. Only he hardens it up by putting pants under it. Ooooo. Over at Victorya’s table, neither one of them wants to be… the follower. They end up having to flip for it. Jillian loses. She’s pissed, too. (I think they should have had to wrestle for it.) They eventually come up with a futuristic punk trench coat and pants or something. Victorya looks very smug.

It’s off to Mood! Chris and Christian clear out Mood’s entire supply of cream-colored organza. Sweet P runs through the store yelling “Mommy!” Ricky has confused Mood with the laundromat and brought along his dirty clothes.

After returning to Parson’s, Chris starts building a replica of Sputnik on a mannequin. Christian flounces around announcing that from here on out, he is to be called “Ferosh” because if he was a diva that is what he would be called. (Sorry, Christian, if you type your name into this diva name generator that is NOT what comes out.) Victorya and Jillian, who both have time management issues when making one garment, decide to make three different garments. Makes perfect sense.

Rami is being very condescending to Sweet P and I want to smack him. He has taken on the flowy corseted gown part of the design because it’s “very intricate and detailed” and he is the only one with the finesse, sophistication, and sewing skills to do that, apparently. He agrees to let Sweet P help but only if she makes the pants. (She is not allowed to touch, breathe on, think about, or be within ten feet of the dress part.) After a while, he regrets even letting her do that much, and gets very nit-picky with her. Maybe he’s just tired and things will be better tomorrow.

It’s not! Tim comes in with a “special” announcement. That never, never, never means anything good, like “we’re all going out for ice cream!” or “we’re going to the beach!” It’s always bad. (I bet for the rest of their lives, whenever someone says “special,” the designers will all cringe.) The announcement is that in addition to their avant-garde creation, they have to make a ready-to-wear garment to go along with it. Everybody's really excited!! See?

That popping sound you hear? Veins exploding in several people's heads.

After the shock wears off a bit, Tim sends in the avant-garde models for a fitting. Victorya has only finished the pair of pants, and Jillian, who is worried because her partner has immunity, is getting really snippy with Sweet P back in the sewing room. Chris’s Sputnik has turned into an enormous wing of ruffles! Rami’s ragging on Sweet P again – every other sentence that comes out of his mouth starts with “I need”. What he needs is to get the stick out of his butt, and let the woman work. Sweet P’s feelings are understandably hurt, and her model Lea comforts her.

Tim arrives with a “special” guest (a serial killer maybe?). It turns out to be the Nathanial TreSemme guy to talk about – wait for it - hair. (I have a grudge against him, because I never agree with his “Hairstyle of the Week” on the Fantasy Runway game.) He does mention that the winning team will get both of their looks in a TreSemme ad in Elle, so that’s at least a real “surprise.” So they all go off and talk to him and it’s kinda boring. They could have skipped that whole segment and put in more of Christian's runway walking lesson from earlier in the evening. ("You gotta bring it back, girls, from the side and... turn! Ungh!")

Later, Tim returns to have a look at the garments. He first checks on “Team Fierce” and loves their huge, ruffled avant-garde piece. Their ready-to-wear, not so much. He proclaims Kit’s dress “costume.” Rami’s dress does not impress him either, because it's too much like everything else he’s done so far. “But Tim,” Rami protests, “this one has a corset and draping! That’s completely different!”

Tim loves Jillian's trench coat. But they haven’t even started the other outfit they’re supposed to be making! And they have maybe four hours left! Tim goes off to get his cattle prod for these two. Get moving, ladies! Meanwhile, Sweet P and Rami are no longer speaking to each other, which is probably making Sweet P very happy. She knows they’re going to be in the bottom tomorrow so she works on perfecting her ready-to-wear dress while Rami sticks more crap on his beloved corset. 1am finally rolls around and the zombie-like designers leave the workroom to make the long walk back to Gotham and bed.

The next morning everyone gets ready. Christian obviously put a lot of thought into his outfit.

Look! It's Han Solo's kid brother! He is on the imperial side, of course (“Han, you can go off and join the rebellion and look like a scruffy nerf herder if you want. But the Empire is FIERCE!) and his Sith Lord name is "Darth Ferosh."

When they arrive at Parson's before the runway show, Jillian knows she has to make the entire second dress in a few hours, and promises to move at the speed of light (which means she might actually make it all the way into the workroom sometime today).

After getting their hair twisted and ratted and twirled and teased and sprayed, the models come back to get dressed. Poor Marcia went from a bee to being a caterpillar coming out of its cocoon. Jillian managed to eke out the RTW dress, but it looks really plain and cheap next to the other stuff they made. Kit and Ricky’s second dress is the same way. Sweet P’s, however, is cute. (So there, Rami!) Tim herds everyone out the door and up to the runway.

This week’s guest judge is Alberta Ferrari – no, wait, that’s a car – Ferretti. She’s an Italian designer who, judging by this slideshow, likes to design blousy things. On Wikipedia it says “Ferretti is known for her designs featuring twisting, tucking, and draping techniques” which means she’s going to wet her pants over Rami. Let’s take a look at what each team came up with, shall we? Team "I Need" – Can you tell which one was the avant-garde look? Neither could anybody else. Blah. Blah colors, blah shape, and it looks like she forgot to take her yoga pants off when she got dressed to go out. And what the heck is going on with those pants? MK comments that “her ass is in her front” - guess Sweet P should stick to dresses. That RTW dress is completely cute and looks much better than Rami’s. The judges agree with me on that. Nina calls him out on his one-note-ness – can he do anything other than draping? Sweet P mentions that she had suggested adding more to it and the judges concur. (You should have listened to her, Rami, and put a big bustle on the back to give it some drama!) Alberta is not impressed at all. The judges criticize their lack of teamwork, also. Is the Golden Boy going down this week??
Team Fierce – I am stunned. I cannot believe they did this in two days. That big shoulder piece is AMAZING. Kudos to Chris for pulling that off. I looked up Alexander McQueen and found this garment (not for a second implying that anybody copied anything, seriously, I was just struck by the little similarities) but honestly, I like Christian and Chris’s much better. It’s edgy, totally in-your-face and completely memorable. Nina almost smiled at it, so you know it’s good. The shirt on the RTW look goes with the other one, but they phoned in the skirt. And they know it. But do they care? Nope. The judges fall over themselves with love for Christian and Chris’s avant-garde look. (I like how it could double as an umbrella for someone walking next to it. That’s fashion AND function!)
Team Little House on the Prairie – Kit and Ricky tumble over the edge of avant-garde into the chasm of costume. If Strawberry Shortcake was getting married, she would choose this as her wedding dress. (They even styled their model with doll makeup.) It’s a giant, wearable Baked Alaska. I do like the colors, though. Their RTW dress reminds me of one I sewed for my Barbie doll when I was nine, using one of my grandma’s old handkerchiefs. The judges say that the pieces look cheap, and the avant-garde piece reminds Alberta of Carol Burnett’s version of Scarlett O’Hara’s drapery dress. Kit has to help Ricky off the runway because he can’t walk and cry at the same time.
Team Smug ‘n Sluggish – Can we say “The Matrix”? It’s avant-garde, yes, but very close to following Kit and Ricky into the costume chasm. The two pieces under the trench coat are forgettable. And yes, the model’s hair looks like a horse tail, but they didn’t need to make her a riding habit. Don’t get so literal. The ruffles on the side of the RTW dress are dragging the other side of it down, and it looks poorly sewn. The judges like everything, but not as much as they liked Team Fierce.

Not surprisingly, Christian and the fabulous mounds of ruffles are named the winner (although I wish Chris could have taken it for that construction, really!), while Kit and her melting ice cream cake are out. (While I would have liked to have seen Ricky go first, I have to admit that Kit was the right choice for the auf because she made all the wrong choices for this challenge.)

Next week: a “surprising” field trip to a Port Authority warehouse, Victorya can’t be bothered to learn her new roommates’ names, and Jillian has a meltdown.

**By the way, Christian's diva name? Her Royal Highness Bullshitting Hurricane Hottie. Or Princess Smiling Lightnin' Bug. They both kind of fit, don't you think?


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10:35 AM  

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