It's Always the Quiet One

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

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Rain, The Park, and Other Things*

It’s a new day at the Atlas, and Daniel wakes up hoping the auffing of Wesley was just a bad, bad dream, because they were getting along so well. Unfortunately for Daniel, Wesley is still gone. After everyone wakes up, Kelli dons a kicky leopard-print beret, Blayne does a pregnant waddle out the door, and it’s off to Parsons.

The designers get a scare from Heidi, who says it’s time to mix things up a little with the models, but she just means that Suede has to decide if Suede’s going to stay with his model or if Suede wants a walk-off. Suede loves Tia, Suede stays with Tia, and I can’t believe I just typed that. I apologize! Anyway, to make up for causing them to nearly freak out, she sends them home to wait for Tim, who’s going to take them “out”.

Now, “out” could mean dinner, a movie, the bathroom (if you’re a dog) or just the sidewalk in front of their apartment building. They're thinking "out" as in "par-tay". I think the last time the designers were let “out” unsupervised was back in the first season, where they all got completely plastered and one of them ended up bashing his head on a sidewalk and bleeding all over the place. So if they're going somewhere with Tim, the chances of them actually doing something with no challenge strings attached are pretty slim.

When Tim comes to collect them, he passes out ponchos because it’s raining (and they look like the cheap ones you get at amusement parks but have to pay $7.50 for) and walks them to a double-decker sightseeing bus. The challenge this week is to take pictures of New York at night, in the rain, wearing geeky touristy ponchos, and use one of the pictures to create a garment. Yes, it’s another repeat challenge, but one that spawned some incredible dresses last time. Hopefully we will see some equally inspired dresses from this bunch.

The bus drops little clots of designers at four locations: Columbus Circle, Times Square, the NY library, and Greenwich Village. Everyone wanders around their areas taking pictures of things and getting wet. Blayne immediately starts looking for a tanning salon. Stella doesn’t know how to use the camera. (I’m sure if it had been leather she would have had no problems.) Emily takes a picture of a sex shop. Keith tells us that it’s not easy being a gay Mormon. Kenley and Stella get annoyed because he’s taking so many pictures and they just want to go home. Keith then pulls the first “I’m not here to be their friend” cliché of the season.

They make their way back to Atlas and get ready for bed. Jerell comes out of the bathroom in full facial mask and I fall off the couch. When I finish laughing, it occurs to me that he looks really familiar… Oh! He’s the little Nowhere Man from the Beatles' Yellow Submarine cartoon! See?The next day the designers go through the pictures they took and choose one to be their inspiration. Then they go to MOOD for the first time and get to pick whatever they want! Finally! Stella makes a beeline for the leather-like products, which surprises nobody; Kenley buys a print that I swear I last saw on a housedress that belonged to my grandmother; and Emily clears out the ‘bright pop-py color’ section.

When they return to Parsons, Tim tells them that they’ll have a whole extra hour than they usually get to finish! Oooo. What does it matter? They won’t really finish anyway. I’m so over the ‘you have 12 hours’ drama.

The designers are all sewing away, when the hairs on Kenley’s neck start standing up. She looks up to find that apparently, Blayne has turned into a flesh-eating zombie. (He's obviously in the throes of tanning withdrawl – let that be a warning to us all.) Tim comes in to see what people are working on. He’s mortified by Jennifer’s hems. He’s torn on Kenley’s design – it’s teetering on that fine line between costume and fabulousness. Terri explains to him that she’s really hip-hop and street and her fabric shows that. (Sure, if the street she’s on has recently been painted by Monet.) Leanne’s skirt is gorgeous, but Tim warns her about overworking it like she did with her dress last time. Emily’s dress is simply disappointing. Emily considers that a “mixed review” (I consider it Tim's way of saying her dress looks like shit and she better change it now) and states that she’s happy with it, which of course means that she’s in serious trouble because she’s ignoring Tim.

An amusing segment follows in which Blayne and Terri attempt to teach Tim some street slang. Listening to Tim Gunn try to master saying “Holla at ya boy” is cinematic gold. He also endears himself to us further by throwing out a lot of catchphrases as he leaves (make it work, carry on, holla at ya boy) and poking fun at himself.

The next morning Blayne flat-irons his dirty hair and Stella is wearing those god awful Raggedy Ann tights with the leather thong on the outside. They ought to auf her just for those. In the rush to get the garments runway-ready, Tim arrives with some bad news: Keith’s model has dropped out. Luckily the eliminated model is coming back, but Keith’s going to have to do some fast alterations. I don't think it will really matter, since his dress is basically a sack with some quilt patches attached to it. The models come in and get dressed. Jerell, for the third week in a row, tells his model “we got this!” – which means that for the third week in a row Jerell will be in the middle of the pack.

Out on the runway Heidi apparently took to heart Nina’s comment from last week that “short, tight and shiny is the quickest way to look cheap”, and wears something short, tight and shiny. This week’s guest judge is comedian and actress Sandra Bernhard – whom I have never liked - and I wonder about her fashion cred.

Before I start with the dresses, I have to say that I was quite underwhelmed by the majority of these. Which is sad, really – they got to pick their own stuff and this is what they came up with? I’m surprised the judges were able to stay awake through the runway show.

The safe designers Blayne – Oh look! Rainbow Bright grew up and is headed out to dinner.
Joe – This is okay. You can see how his inspiration picture translated into the dress he sent down the runway, although I think the little chain running down from the neck is a bit too literal.
Jerell – When this gown came down the runway I literally gasped with surprise. We saw almost nothing of it during the show, and it’s quite stunning. It's even more impressive that he managed to make something so complex compared to everyone else's. I was surprised it wasn't in the top three based on that criteria alone. However, I’m puzzled by his color choice – is this what the water looks like in New York fountains? If so, then they have a big algae problem. Or maybe he chose this color so it would hide the fact that the train would be filthy by the end of the night. Or maybe she’s going to a hunting awards show.
Kelli – This girl is probably going to a rave at some underground club in an abandoned sewage treatment plant. The fabric she used for the top is different, I’ll give it that much. Not quite sure what's going on around the waist though.
Daniel – Another Audrey Hepburn-esque cocktail dress. The colors are right on and I like the way he used the black. I’d like to see him do something different, though.
Suede – Besides the color scheme, how did this dress come from this picture? You can't tell from these pictures but it's got little blue and gold triangles all over it. During the show, he had a little fort set up around him at his work table. No wonder… he didn’t want anyone to see this!
Stella – Oh geez. Yes, I understand that she’s rock and roll, and will be until she dies and is buried in her leather coffin, but please! Make something less, um, skanky. Just once.
Korto – It’s... a black jumpsuit. Yawn. And I have no idea how she got the idea for this garment from that picture, unless her goal was to make her model appear to have the same basic shape as a concrete column, in which case she certainly succeeded.

Who’s left on the runway?

Keith - Okay, is he not even trying? If I hadn’t seen him at the sewing machine I would have assumed the squares are attached with safety pins. Maybe if he’d cut all the squares and then basted them down flatter, kind of making his own fabric, and THEN made the dress, it would have worked better. As it is now, the poor model has no shape. MK calls it “toilet paper caught in windstorm” and the judges slam it for being unpolished, sloppy, and too white.
Kenley – Whoa! Baby got back! (Well, at least on one side.) And can someone please tell me how her inspiration photo turned into this fabric? They're not even remotely the same colors. For all their talk about it resembling a goiter, which is very unpleasant, the judges respond well to this dress. Nina likes the play on volume. They also say it’s kind of “eighties retro”, but those sleeves and the high neck make me think more “Victorian shirtwaist”.
Emily – Apparently on the way to Parsons, the model was hit by a car and her intestines started coming out, but she threw them over her shoulder and valiantly walked the runway. The black dress is very simple and the ruffles are placed in strange spots, highlighting and pointing out various anatomy. And when the judges use the words “cha-cha” and “Carmen Miranda” you know it’s not a good thing. Some nice bananas and mangos in her hair would really do wonders for this dress. Maybe some maracas. And a stuffed parrot.
Terri – She keeps calling it a dress but it’s more like a tunic over some pants. The judges say this girl is fierce, sexy, and in-control (but… that’s the model... not the outfit!) and that when they see her, she’s someone they want to know. I see her and want to know what possessed her to wear pants with a dress. And she certainly doesn’t look very street or hip-hop to me at all.
Jennifer – Wow, this is a great maternity dress! I had no idea this model was expecting! Congrats! Oh, she’s not? The dress just makes her look that way? Oops. Jennifer keeps claiming she’s influenced by surrealism but I don’t see it. And the hems look horrible. The judges proclaim it matronly, it apparently bores Nina so much that she can’t be bothered to even comment on it, and Heidi is no longer interested in seeing any more of Jennifer’s designs. (Hmm, I think it’s safe to say she’s probably not in the top three this week.)
Leanne – I like how she used her inspiration picture to get the basic geometry but didn’t go too far towards the literal. The simple blouse does a good job of keeping the focus on the structured skirt. The judges like that she made separate pieces, and throw out words like impeccable, wearable and modern. I think this could be our winner!

Okay, so I was wrong – the judges pick Kenley’s lumpy-bumpy Victorian housedress as the winner. The bottom two are Jennifer and Emily, and I am torn, because they’re both not all that great. But in the end, Emily’s distracting cliché is worse than Jennifer’s matronly bore, so Emily is out. She completely disagrees with them and says hell NO it was not the losing dress by a long shot, but she’s going to go home and work on her collection and be fabulous. (Her collection is here, and I soooo want that first red dress, where can I buy it?!)

Next week: Tim has to explain to Blayne what Sgt. Pepper is. That’s so, so very sad.

* In case you're curious, here's where I got my post title.


Anonymous gimli417 said...

Ok, I admit I know nothing about fashion, but that winning dress is (at least in the picture) butt-ugly. Maybe it looked better in motion... but I doubt it. There were others that were much better.
And as always, hil-larious write-up. :)

11:59 AM  
Blogger shirlsd said...

hi there! just dropping by also to extend a "thanks" to you as the Blogging Project Runway folks have for your creating the image (compilation) of the designers' creations for episode 4. i have added it to my blog; hope it's o.k. - i did reference you and link to your blog.

(by the way, your recaps are great. i'm coming back to visit and hope to see one for epi4!)

9:53 PM  

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