Friday, November 6, 2009
A Mess Fest: The Project Runway recap
In fashion—and in Irina’s inner circle—one day you're in and the next day you're out. And so it goes that Althea, who had the audacity to make an oversized sweater the week after Irina made her oversized sweater, has been banished. And Gordana is Irina’s new BFF—they’re both from Europe, you know.
So, with Gordana and Irina locking arms or texting or doing each other’s hair or whatever it is that new BFFs do, the designers make way to the Getty Museum, where they are told to search for inspiration. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art called: It wants its challenge back.)
The Mayor of Los Angeles is there to meet them—because he clearly has nothing better to do. (Luckily, we’re not in a recession and wild fires haven’t recently ravaged the landscape!)
For her inspiration, Althea cleverly picks what is, in fact, the coolest thing about the Getty Museum—the building itself.
Gordana picks Monet’s “Rome Cathedral in Morning Light,” which is just so boring, and predictable and, well, her. “I’m from Europe,” she notes, and somehow this Monet is bringing out both her European and her heretofore undisclosed spiritual side.
Irina picks the oh-so-Sapphic “Mischief and Repose” painting. (Maybe she and Gordana are closer than I thought. . . .) And I find it slightly amusing that Irina, or any designer for that matter, would be inspired by a painting of two zaftig women. Because designers just love making clothes for the chubs.
Carol Hannah falls in love with the European Decorative Arts room and, in particular, the French bed that I’m sure she momentarily fantasizes about a romp with Logan on.
And Christopher falls in love with . . .some rocks with algae on them.
So there you go.
Tensions are running amok in the studio. At some point, Gordana and Irina compare Althea to a dog, or at least I think that’s what they were doing. There was talk of dogs that bark and dogs that bite and cute dogs and they lost me someplace in the middle.
And Althea is BFF-less, so she kind of tries to sidle up to Carol Hannah, who wants nothing to do with the dramah.
Tim Gunn is playing favorites again.
While he tells Christopher to use “an editing eye” (ah, if only he had) and Althea to use a “critical eye,” he gets very specific with Carol Hannah, telling her not to swoop fabric across the bodice of her dress.
“I think it loses its taste and loses its sophistication,” he says.
(An aside: That may, in fact, have been bad advice from Master Gunn. Without any swooping action, Carol Hannah’s dress bore very little relationship to the ornate bed—and the judges whacked her for it. In Tim’s attempt to help, he almost got his pet axed.)
The funniest Tim Gunn confrontation is with Irina. Her dress is a sort of flowy, Gladiator-style mini dress—cool enough.
“But what’s that?” says Tim, clearly horrified. And the camera dramatically pans to something from the costume department of Davey Crockett: The Metrosexual Years. Except it’s actually Irina’s shrug.
“It looks like road kill,” says Tim.
Irina, no dummy, decides to kill the road kill.
Back at the house, Carol Hannah tries to break up a fight between Irina and Gordana, but they’re not actually fighting. This is just the way European best friends communicate with each other, they explain, laughing at her naiveté.
“Oh, it sounded like fighting,” mutters Carol Hannah.
“I’m not here to serve you!” Gordana shouts at her. Which makes no sense at all.
Christopher is sitting by himself in the men’s dorm, forlornly eating his eggs. And he has to be the loneliest self-taught designer on the planet.
He's even forced to write inspirational notes to himself on the chalk board.
“The Big Day!” one reads. “Stay true!” reads another. And then, the saddest of them all: “Good luck!”
His solitude is obviously really getting to him, because in the studio, he picks up an iron and exclaims, “This is hot!”
(Later he will wield a pin, shouting, “This is pointy!”)
Judgment day. And they couldn’t even manage to fly Michael Kors in for the most important judging of the season? This is making me feel like one of those dogs who doesn’t bark or who both barks and bites, or something like that.
The judges are Cynthia Rowley, Cindy Crawford, and, thank God, Nina Garcia.
My two cents:
Irina’s Greek goddess mini is kind of cool. But what on earth was she thinking with those clunky shoes?
Christopher had one-third of a great dress. The top was fabulous. The skirt that looked like the thing the dentist drapes over you when he’s about to take X-rays. The less said about the breast plate, the better.
Althea’s dress was a great concept, poorly executed. (A “mess fest” Heidi called it.)
Gordana’s flowy Monet dress was the best in the bunch. But was it enough to save her? I’ll save the suspense: No, it wasn’t.
The best part is when the designers have to pick which two designers should join them in Bryant Park.
Much to my surprise, both Althea and Irina pick each other—there’s hope for those two crazy kids after all! By my final tally: Christopher got 2 votes; Irina got 3 votes; Althea got 2 votes; Carol Hannah got 2 votes; and Gordana got 1 vote. (Which pretty much sums up the season.)
In the end, the right three ladies made it to fashion week: Irina, Althea, and Carol Hannah. And Christopher cried—again. And Gordana demonstrated a stiff European upper lip. And how about that, people? Babes in Bryant Park. Can’t wait.