It's Always the Quiet One

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

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Prom Queen’s Got a Glue Gun

Let me start off by saying I’m quite concerned about the air quality in New York. Every single episode contains street shots and the air is so yellow! I’m surprised New Yorkers don’t walk around with gas masks, because the only think I know of that makes yellow clouds like that is sulfur, and that smells like rotting eggs. Eww!

It’s a poisonous morning in New York, and the designers are getting ready for a new day of design torture. Christian is blow-drying his hair, and it looks all soft and fluffy, like a baby sandhill crane. Of course then he will put a bunch of gunk in it and he’ll end up looking more like a lopsided porcupine, but we can revel in the cuteness of the soft hair for a fleeting moment. And I’d really like to buy Chris a new robe, or pajamas, or sleeping bag, or whatever that blue plaid thing is that he’s always wearing. (Sorry, Chris, I’m sure it’s comfy. But I don’t like it.) Victorya wistfully comments that she actually misses Elisa. Of course she does, because they moved her into the other girls’ apartment and she went from sharing a bathroom with one person, to sharing with three people.

It’s time to get the new challenge. Heidi, looking like she’s just gotten out of a catfight where the other gal ripped the shoulder out of her dress, tells the designers they are going to be designing an outfit for “one of the most important days in a woman’s life.” Of course the first thing that comes to my mind is wedding. But that can’t be it, because they did a wedding dress challenge in the first season. (My next idea is childbirth - wouldn’t that be funny to see them design hospital gowns with no backs??)

Heidi brings out the models. A shadow appears on the scrim as usual, and Kevin says he’s thinking midgets or oompa-loompas.

(Um, Kevin? That shadow is nowhere NEAR as short as an oompa-loompa. Even the freakishly tall oompa-loompas from Willy Wonka were nowhere near that tall.)

Instead of tiny orange men in matching outfits, we get teenaged schoolgirls in matching outfits. This weeks challenge: make prom dresses for them. This sends the designers into fits of giggles. Except Christian, who thinks proms are horrible and tacky and anti-fierce. In a surprising twist, the girls get to pick which designer they want to work with, based on the designers’ portfolios. (I really wanna see which girl picked Chris!)

So everybody gets paired with a designer, and they all meet Tim in the workroom. They will have $250 and two days, which should be enough to make some tasteful, elegant dresses that make the girls swoon with happiness for the couple of hours they actually get to wear them before they’re auctioned off. (The dresses, not the girls.)

Several of the designers share their prom experiences during this episode. In our first trip down memory lane, Jersey boy Kevin shows us that in the past he was just as orange as Michael Kors, and at his prom he looked like a tuxedoed cabin boy on leave from his pirate ship.

Christian’s high-schooler turns out to be a ‘fashion student’ who grabs the pencil from him and starts messing up his fierce sketches. He’s more than a bit put off by this, and after she leaves he ends up in the fetal position on the floor, sucking his thumb and crying “Mommy!”

It’s off to Mood! Chris has some lovely pear-colored satin with a big glob of red material sitting on it, and I hope to God he’s kidding when he tells Tim he’s making a poinsettia. Christian informs us that he was voted best-dressed at his prom, which I’m surprised he even went to, considering that earlier in the show he proclaims proms “tacky and gross”. He and his cousin Larry look like they’re having a great time, don’t they?

Back at Parsons, Jillian (in one of the few times we actually see her all episode) is quite worried about her design because the candy keeps falling off. Oh, no, that was last week. This week she is worried about her frizzy poofy hair, which looks the same as it always does. Then we get to see her fabric, which is a range of nice aqua tones, and not a bit of red in sight. (Jillian likes red. So do I. Just not on every piece of clothing she makes.)

Next we get to see Kit’s prom picture. It’s straight out of a Seventeen magazine pictorial shoot. She proclaims it “very Orange County” and shows off her fabric, which is the same color as Cookie Monster. Or Grover. One of those muppets.

Ricky gets all melodramatic on us (quell surprise!) and calls his mom. They chat in Spanish for a while. And he cries. He then states that winning Project Runway opens a lot of doors for a person, which can be true, but if by some miracle he does win, he’ll be hydroplaning through the door on his tears.

Christian is very frustrated by the brown poofy mess of a prom dress he’s making, calling it “tickety-tack.” Everyone’s looking really tired. The stress of constant sewing is getting to them, and they’re all rubbing their eyes. Aww, how cute! It’s time for bed.

The next morning, Sweet P channels Debbie Reynolds in “Singing in the Rain.” Christian got a little sleep and decides that he’s not gonna let some high school chick tell him what to do, so he’s gonna completely change up the design... by putting black lace cutouts and beads all over it. (Take THAT, girl!) Now instead of looking like an overly-roasted marshmallow, she'll look like an overly-roasted marshmallow with burnt parts on it.

Tim brings the girls back in, but this time they have their moms with them. Awkward! Kevin’s client’s mom thinks the dress makes her daughter look pregnant. Chris decides to ask his client’s mom what she thought of his portfolio, and she says they were nice costumes, and is shocked to find out that most of the pictures are of Chris himself. (I had to go look at them again myself, and darned if it isn’t!)

Of course, Christian’s client has all sorts of opinions on her dress - too much junk in the trunk, too short, too brown, too shiny, too lacy, too one-strapped - and it makes her look like a giant Hershey kiss. (Too bad he didn’t make this dress last week!) Sweet P tries to talk him up to the client’s mom but is Christian grateful? No. (Little snot.)

After the girls and their moms leave, Tim comes back in to see how things are progressing. He’s worried about the fact that Kevin is not planning to hem his dress (and also that there are chocolate fingerprints all over it because Kevin’s munching on Milk Duds from the Hershey store while he’s sewing). Kevin brushes him off with a “pshaw, they won’t even notice” and Tim is all, “Oh, yes they will, Nina has unfinished-edge radar!” Tim then moves on to Rami, who apparently couldn’t decide which of his two designs he liked best, so he made one half of each design into one dress. Victorya has a bunch of plastic craft gems and is planning to glue them onto the yoke of her redesigned dress. (Hey, my kids have some of those in their craft supplies box! They look great on a popsicle-stick picture frame, but on a prom dress? I hope she got some pom-poms too. That'd be perfect!)

Tim goes over to Christian, who is moping. He knows he’s making a piece of crap and that his time on PR is just about over. But Tim isn’t going to take that from him, oh no. He gives him a stirring speech to boost his confidence. “Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough... the tough get goin'!” (Oh, wait. That was the wrong speech - that’s from Animal House. Well, you get the idea.)

After some witty banter in the sewing room (YES! Thank you producers) the second day is finally over. The next morning it’s the usual frantic runaround of finishing and fitting and hair and makeup. Ricky informs us that he once had a girlfriend and he made her prom dress. (I want to see a picture!!) We do get to see Sweet P’s prom picture. She looks real cute with her date, Gregg Allman. Poor Chris didn’t go to his prom, opting to stay home watching black and white movies and crying into his box of wine.

They manage to get their gaggle of teenagers up to the runway. This week’s guest judge is Gilles Mendel, who is the lead designer for J. Mendel. I don’t know how he is qualified to judge prom dresses. I really think they should have gotten Nick, who recently put out a prom dress line, or Kayne. (Or maybe “Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax,” who was all over my Seventeen magazine prom issues when I was in high school. I still have a couple of those, and for laughs I dug them out. 80’s prom dresses were hilarious! She’s still designing, though – she would have been good to have judge, too.)

The girls, in general, did a good job on the runway, a couple of clompers in the bunch, and some wacky hand signals, but not much different from the professional models they usually use, just shorter apparently.

Let’s get these designers up on the runway (why are they all wearing black and beige?) and see who gets elected Prom Queen, and who runs off to the bathroom crying.

The ‘safe’ designers:
  • Chris – AGAIN! Why can this man not win a challenge? This dress was great (and not a bit of red in sight, thank goodness!) Very flattering, pretty color, nice peek-a-boo slit in the front, interesting ring details on the back train.
  • Jillian – The color is gorgeous, but those eyes on the bodice! They follow me everywhere I go! It’s freaky. I do like the way this dress flows, and the length would be just right for dancing – not too short that you have to worry about flashing people, but not so long that you’re stepping on it all night. The only thing I don't like about it is the fact that the thin straps trail down the back of the dress like reins. People will be grabbing them all night.
  • Kit - I think she got her inspiration from the Fisher Price xylophone. It's different, I'll grant her that... but guess what the guys will be staring at? Uh huh.

And who’s left on the runway?

  • Sweet P – I love the color of this, and the way it moves – it’s very liquid. The accessories she chose are also very good. I think she could win it with this dress! The judges agree with me on color, but Nina thinks it’s too sophisticated. (She throws this word around during the episode the way the Democratic presidential hopefuls throw around the word “change”. Very annoying.) This is one of only two dresses the judges like.
  • Victorya – This is the other one. What? I like the blue color but the jewels on the yoke are cheap-looking. If she’d gone for some more realistic looking jewels or some rhinestones even, it might have been okay… but these are made of plastic and it looks like a jeweled toy baby bib. And it’s a bubble skirt. She also needs to take a styling class or two, because that hairstyle makes the girl look like Jan Brady. (Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!!) Of course the judges think it’s chic and hip and “appropriate” (yeah, for a kindergartener).
  • Kevin – The color is nice. But Kevin, for a straight guy who probably has a healthy appreciation for female anatomy, you put ‘the girls’ too low. (Don’t make her saggy before her time!) And it’s a wee bit too short. I think if you’d put a bit of length on, it would have been better. The judges think it looks cheap and of course Nina jumps all over the hem. I don’t see anything wrong with it, from here, but I guess from a couple of feet away it looked bad. She also doesn't like the red (even though she's wearing the exact same color).
  • Christian – I think he is subconsciously crying for help with an apparent constipation issue, because his last two dresses have looked remarkably like, well, you know. (And brown? To a prom? Really? How depressing.) He did have a difficult client, yes, but the judges (especially Nina) do not like that he complains about her. They also don’t like the amount of whickety-whack on the dress.
  • Ricky – He also made a bubble-skirt dress. It’s the same color as his model’s skin, too. If it wasn’t for the belt/sash thingy, she’d look like she was naked. MK tells him he needs to turn the volume up.
  • Rami – This dress is from the lost M*A*S*H episode where the 4077th has a big party to celebrate the end of the war, and the only material the nurses have to make their dresses are leftover tents. Rami also had an issue with placement of ‘the girls’ – in fact, he flattens one out completely and just denies the existance of the other one by covering it with a big swag of fabric. She looks really lopsided.

I really, really thought Sweet P was going to pull this one out, but the judges decide that Victorya’s Bedazzled romper was better. They also chose to eliminate Kevin, who has been in the top of most of the challenges, over “non-event” Ricky. Both of those decisions totally sucked.

I also have an issue with the fact that they brought the girls out on the runway for the discussions. What girl wants to stand there and listen to her dress being chewed up like that? Or that she looks like a forty-year old? That’ll do wonders for the self-esteem. I also didn’t like the “sophisticated” card Nina kept playing. It’s PROM, Nina. Of COURSE girls want to look sophisticated. What Nina wanted to see, apparently, was something like this (which, of course, is me in, um, an earlier year than the current one.) If the designers can drag out their prom pictures for the whole world to see, I guess I can too. I was happy to be going, but my friend used a lot of hairspray to make my stick-straight hair do that, and I think my face was stuck. (The prom ended up being really boring because my date wouldn't dance. Most definately NOT what I would consider one of the most important days of my life.)

But I hope these girls have fun at their prom, in completely different dresses. Maybe a nice Nick Verreos one.


Blogger TropicalChrome said...

I always wondered what happened to Jessica McClintock...besides the Gunne Sax pattern my mother made my prom dress from, I wore a Jessica McClintock dress at my wedding! She'd've been perfect to judge this one. And I do like your prom dress a lot!

And I agree, Chris and Sweet P were robbed. What great prom dresses they made!

8:37 PM  
Blogger David Dust said...

Ricky hydroplaning on his THAT'S something I'd like to see...

12:33 PM  
Anonymous gimli417 said...

I would have loved to wear Sweet P's or Chris's dress to my prom! Instead, I ended up looking like a California Raisin, blech.

11:17 AM  
Blogger The Style Bard said...

Haha, I'm so glad you said it about the 'eyes' following you on that bodice. I was scared to be the first! I think Chris really should have won -- but I love your prom dress! Red and dramatic, much like mine: Did you ever wear it again?

1:47 PM  
Anonymous thequietone said...

No, I never wore it again, but if I'd had one like yours I sure would have! Not too many places I could have worn mine BUT to prom. :)
And Gimli, I don't remember your dress being brown... (you do know that raisins are brown.) ;) It was pretty ruched up, though, if I remember correctly.

2:29 PM  
Blogger The Style Bard said...

I won't lie... I haven't been able to wear the dress again because of its floor length... but my mother stole it from my closet while I was in college to wear to a "Mayor's Gala" or some such. Dare I say she looked at least as good as I did?

I've fiddled with the notion of having it taken up to the knee (note: yes, that would make it more casual and less appropriate for prom - not more youthful, PR judges). But then I'm scared some formal event will come up and I won't have anything to wear! So it sits in its dry-cleaned glory in my mother's closet...

3:25 PM  
Anonymous gimli417 said...

No, it was the cartoon purple Raisins that I resembled!!
Yours, however, always made me think "Gone With the Wind", heh.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous belleplaine said...

love your writing. hilarious.

10:00 PM  

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