It's Always the Quiet One

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

Friday, July 25, 2008

How Green Was My Runway

Welcome to another glorious yellow morning in New York! Sadly, Jerry has left us, but we still have a big mess ‘o designers ready to dazzle us with their stuff. But first, Stella whips up a bit of breakfast – and what’s better than a big glass of… um… well, it looks like the stuff my dad used to rinse off the bottom of the lawn mower. Yummy.Over at Parson’s, it’s time for the designers to pick their models. Heidi, wearing what looks like trash bags left over from the last challenge, brings out The Velvet Bag™. Most of the designers stay with their original models until we get to Joe, who decides to dump his model after making her wear oven mitts and dried pasta on national TV. So that causes a few shake-ups. Jerell gets upset because Jennifer takes his model and then he declares that he’s “salty”. Salty? Is he suddenly a pirate? (Or maybe he says “saucy”, which actually doesn’t make sense either, so never mind him, he’ll get over it.) Nobody wants the poor model who looks like her hair got caught in a hedge trimmer so she is out.

Heidi calls all the models back out onto the runway and delivers the challenge: the designers have to make cocktail dresses for their models. Then she shoos everyone off to see Tim in the workroom. It turns out there is another twist to the challenge – they must use green fabric. Just green? Did they film this over St. Patrick’s Day? Is the guest judge Kermit the Frog? Ohhhhh… not green as in ‘color’ but green as in ‘environmentally friendly’. (That means if you can’t grow it, you can’t show it.) People are generally cool about that, no problem – until Tim tells them that the models will do the shopping! And they get no time to talk to them before they leave! This is met with varying degrees of excitement, horror and disgust.So the designers have no idea how much fabric they’re going to get, or if they’re going to have any thread or zippers. Tim whisks the models away to MOOD immediately. The models are completely lost in the store – they usually don’t have any choice in what they’re wearing on the runway, so they don’t know what colors to buy or, more importantly, how much to buy, and several of them end up picking out the exact same stuff.

Upon returning to Parsons, the designers get to see what they have to work with. Some designers are happy with what they get and some are freaking out because their model has only purchased enough fabric to make a cocktail dress for a Barbie doll. But they have to make it work! Suede is excited about getting to do some ‘green’ fashion – he wants to make it sexy but still put Suede into it. I’m pretty sure suede is not a ‘green’ material.

The models are herded off by Tim and everyone starts working on their dresses. Blayne thinks of Heidi as Darth Vader – all shiny and put-together on the outside, but ca-RA-zy on the inside. Korto is designing a dress that will make her curvy model look even curvier. Suede appears to be making a crazy quilt, and is also continuing to amuse the other designers (and annoy me) by talking about himself in the third person.

There’s also no shortage of whining in the workroom. Stella seems to have no other tone of voice and uses it to complain about - well, everything - and Korto thinks Wesley is copying her design – after all, she’s using darts in her dress, he’s using darts in his dress, so that’s totally copying! She consults with several of the other designers who tell her in no uncertain terms that she is nuts and she should leave them the hell alone and keep her eyes on her own work.
Tim comes in for his mid-design tour. He goes over to talk to Korto and he, like pretty much everyone watching the show, thinks she has her dress on the form inside out so she can work on the darts, and he’s quite taken aback when she tells him that it’s not, and the darts are going to be sticking out like the tail fins on a ’59 Cadillac.

Suede’s crazy quilt turns out to be the bodice of his dress, and it’s getting a puffy tulle skirt. Tim loves it. (I’m sitting here wondering if tulle is a ‘green’ fabric – isn’t it made out of of nylon? But Tim says nothing about it so I guess I’ll let this one slide.)

He’s not so in love with the designs of Wesley or Leanne, who both have the same chocolate brown satin. He’s concerned that any flaws Wesley makes will scream “Look at me!” on the runway. Leanne is adding lots of weird loops of fabric. She has so many ideas and appears to be sticking every single one of them on her dress.

Before he goes, Tim announces that there will be no immunity for the winner of this challenge – but the winning dress will be sold on He gives them a hint as to who the guest judge will be, telling them it’s a glamorous young Hollywood star.

After he leaves, Stella expounds on the joys of sewing with leather. Leather this, leather that. Then she goes through a list of things you can do with leather - it sounds like Forrest Gump's friend Bubba talking about shrimp. Blayne goes into the sewing room joking around with comments like “my husband’s leather” and “my kids are all named Leather”. Of course he doesn’t realize that everyone in the workroom can hear him. They all have a good laugh about it and Blayne affectionately calls Stella ‘leatherface’. (At least he didn’t call her “leatherlicous”.) But it’s good to see some lighthearted fun in the workroom for a change.

Next morning is a blur. After we get our requisite guys-in-underwear shot, the designers hustle back to Parsons.This part always confuses me. They were told by Tim that they had until midnight the previous night to finish the outfit. But the next morning there's always a couple more hours! If they’re supposed to be done by midnight then they shouldn’t get any more major sewing time. Alterations while it’s on the model, I can understand. But something like Daniel’s bodice not being attached to his skirt? That’s a heck of a lot more than an alteration. Tim must have been reading my mind because he comes in and basically chews them out for that exact same thing! You go, Tim!

While the models go through hair and makeup and we get lots of product placement shots, Daniel is still sitting at the sewing machine. He’s got five minutes, Tim says… will he make it? And… he does! Just barely. And with the models finally into their cocktail dresses, it’s runway time.

Heidi introduces the mystery guest judge – it’s the fashionable Queen Amidala herself, Natalie Portman! Apparently she has a new line of vegan shoes. I had no idea there was such a thing. I do think her line is pretty cute, so go check them out. But not until we see what happens on the runway!

The safe designers:Keith – This makes me think of Roman shades, or those big curtains they have in fancy theaters. Just give the cord a yank and whoops! Hello ladyparts! It doesn’t fit too well around the waist when she walks the runway.
Terri – I really like this! I don’t know why this wasn’t one of the top pieces. The color looks great on the model, the shape is nice, the ruffle details are pretty. I’d totally wear this.
Jerell – I would not, however, wear this. The colors are nice but that bodice makes her breasts look like they're growing out of the sides of her chest. And the trim around the bottom is peacock feathers but it just makes her appear to have an unfortunate hair problem.Jennifer – Why on earth did her model pick these colors? It looks like she’s going to a Halloween cocktail party. The design is okay, nothing groundbreaking, and it seems to be nicely sewn.
Daniel – This is really cute. I like the high front - long back skirt design. It definitely captured the Audrey Hepburn look he was going for, and I could see Natalie in this dress. I’d wear this too! I just wish they'd posed the model differently for this picture.
Joe – Here’s a piece from what Jerell referred to as “Team Ugly Brown”. The design is quite basic, and the little round cutout in the front is interesting - but too small. It’s nice that Joe managed to sew the dress without causing a lot of the wrinkles and puckering you get with this fabric. It fits his model really well.Kelli – It almost looks like the model didn’t put it on right, maybe she stuck her arm out of the neck hole? I also think the skirt is way too tight. If it had been fuller I would have liked this dress more.
Blayne – This looks kind of ‘eighties’ to me. Must be the combination of hot pink and black. It’s nice, but nothing special. One good point – she wouldn’t have to carry a purse because she could just stick all her stuff in the shoulder.
Emily – I like the braid detail she used on the bust and waist, but it seems to be sitting unnaturally low on the upper half of her body. If she’d had the fabric to make it longer I think it would have worked better. I do like her choice of accessories.

Who’s left on the runway:Kenley - This is definitely in the top three. Her model loves it, the judges praise the elegance of the design and how well it fits. The first thing I think when I see it is that it reminds me of Daniel Vosovic’s orchid dress from S2 – another challenge-winning dress.
Wesley – The poor boy just didn’t have much fabric to work with, so he had a strike against him before he even got started. He probably could have made it a bit longer if he’d left off the strips on the side. But it doesn’t fit well and it’s really wrinkly and bunchy. MK says he tortured the fabric, and you can almost hear it wailing.
Suede – Wow. While I admire the work it took to sew all those bias strips, this is not a favorite of mine. It looks like something the Mummy would wear on a date. The judges drooled all over it, and both Natalie and Heidi said they would wear it. And they’d be front and center on Go Fug Yourself the next day.Leanne – The woman who wears this dress would be popular on a crowded subway – it's got little handles all over it! And what’s with the weensy little feathery hat? The model doesn’t like the dress, and the judges don’t like it either.
Stella – This dress would be perfect for the woman who really needs something to wear while writhing seductively on the hood of a car in a music video. The judges do like that she put her own attitude into the design and Heidi gives her a gold star for being ‘most improved’ over last week. (Although if you can’t improve over barely-sewn garbage bags then you might as well just go home.)
Korto – Is there some kind of subliminal advertising going on for feminine hygiene products? Last week Blayne had that big maxi pad on his garment and this week Korto does Always With Wings. Her intent was to accentuate the curves of the model but she didn’t sew the seams very well so parts of the model looked crooked, especially in the back. Also, she used a necklace that seems to be made out of fossilized dinosaur teeth, which looks painful to wear.

Surprisingly, Suede is the winner of the challenge. (I would have gone with Kenley’s.) So he’ll have his dress manufactured and sold by – boy, I feel sorry for the people who have to sew all those bias strips.

Korto gets thisclose to being in the bottom two but squeaks by. She goes backstage and cries on everyone. That leaves Wesley and Leanne, and while the judges say Leanne’s dress looks like a school project, it is Wesley that they choose as the bottom designer. Goodbye, Wesley, keep up the positive attitude… but please buy some longer shorts.


Blogger TheNYCourier said...

You're hilarious! Wonderful assessment of each design!

12:07 AM  
Blogger Bittybis said...

Yours is the first blog I've read that mentions the "hair problem" with Jerell's dress. My first reaction when I saw that short skirt with hairlike stuff sticking out of if was "Ewww!". Looks like girl needs a serious bikini wax.

9:27 AM  

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