Friday, February 19, 2010

Rugrats of the Runway: The Project Runway recap

Children! Puppies! Clown pants! Welcome to what is quite possibly the cutest episode of Project Runway ever.

As the show starts, the designers are informed that they will be working with new models this week: Yes, little girls. Some with curls. All seriously adorable.

One by one, the children tentatively step forward and state their name, their age, and their appointed designer. Watching at home, I felt like an anxious mama at the school production of "A Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving."

"Ben! Ben!" I whispered out loud, when one little kumquat struggled for her designer's name.

Upon seeing these irresistible moppets, Jesse's first response was: "Oh crap! This is going to be a nightmare." Mr. Warmth, that guy.

Indeed, most of the designers seem put off by their pint-sized charges: "I'm scared of children," says Jonathan.

"Honey, these little girls ain't got no booties and no breasts," complains Ant. . .oh, do I really need to bother telling you who said that?

Only Amy has an appropriate reaction to her new mini-muse: "I'm ecstatic." (Let's check in with Amy later and see if she stays ecstatic, shall we?)

Also, biographical background alert! Both Seth Aaron and Emilio have daughters. And apparently Seth Aaron's 11-year-old girl is some sort of budding Imelda Marcos of the purse world.

"Little girls love purses," he explains. "My daughter has 200."
(And you keep telling yourself that's normal, Seth Aaron.)

Most insane child-related comment of the day? From Jay: "Children nowadays are very fashion forward. Especially when they're 8." (Yes, Jay, 8-year-olds are always talking about Hannah Montana, fairies, and the minimalist urban aesthetic of Alexander Wang.)

On to Mood, where the rarely seen jaunty little black-and-white Mood dog makes an appearance. I don't know his name, but I imagine it's Aloysius or Reginald or some such thing. As the camera pans past them, Tim Gunn and Aloysius are contemplating each other, clearly bonding over their mutual distaste for all things garish and unkempt.

Back at the studio, there is a Project Runway first: Jonathan does a spot-on Michael Kors impression.
After all these seasons, and all these Santino wannabes doing their lame Tim Gunns (nobody will ever do it better than Santino, not even Tim Gunn himself), Jonathan made Michael Kors his own.

"It's as if Memoirs of a Geisha met Barney," he imitated, of the ill-advised kimono sleeved romper he was designing. Not only did he get the adenoidal vocal inflections down perfectly, but that is totally something Kors would say.

Another first? Maya attempts to bond with her fellow contestants by mocking her own affinity for color blocking. It's actually kind of sweet, in a "Mom tries to be down" way, when she says: "Add some color blocks to your life!" Points for effort.

It's Maya, I think, who also notices that Tim Gunn has been quiet—too quiet. Indeed, he is back with a new wrinkle to the challenge: The designers have to make a complementary outfit for their adult model to accompany the child down the runway.

Most of the designers are pretty stoked about this new challenge, except for Emilio, who had gone with a little girl's fantasy dress of frothy pink frills. (Which, by the way, looked like a pink tent on the runway, but I digress.)
"How do you make a pink cupcake for a 6 foot Amazon?" he sighed.

Tim Gunn comes through and checks on their work, liking everyone's designs, but a little concerned for Amy. It's clear she is making clown pants. Whether they will be laughing clowns or crying clowns, only time will tell.

On the runway, the little dumplings couldn't be fiercer. I think I actually spotted one doing the patented Tyra back arch.

(This all made me flashback to a favorite picture of me from when I was kid: I must've been about 7. Somehow, against all logic and reason, my mother had signed me up to participate in a local fashion show. Let me tell you, I was an awkward little kid, not exactly what you would call a gazelle. So there I am, kind of galumphing my way down the runway, my arms dangling by my sides in a somewhat ape-like fashion, wearing some god-awful dress, and there's a proper looking woman in the crowd, with her dainty hand held up to her mouth, giving a look that could best be described as: "Oh good heavens." I love that photo.)

For the most part, I was unimpressed with the designs. I seriously hated Jesse's asymmetrical dress set which mysteriously landed him in the Top 3.

Jay's sophisticated and chic plum outfit was just fine, but hardly captured the spirit of the competition.

Ultimately, I did like the winning outfits by Seth Aaron best. I thought the adult jacket was pretty damn fierce and the child look was appropriate and adorable.

The Bottom 3 were Amy (so the clown cried), Jonathan ("tornado of toilet paper"), and Janeane ("a cheap mall outfit.")

And turns out the pint-sized models are exactly like their adult counterparts, with Janeane's little dewdrop totally throwing her under the bus: "The dress pushed into my skin!" she said, wrinkling her tiny little evil nose.

Amy's girl, however, stood by her designer, despite being clad in a shredded orange and blue milkshake: "I would trust her fashion sense," she said, trustingly. (Alert! Alert! This is a child who should immediately be given the "don't follow the strange man with the candy into the van" lecture—the sooner the better.)

Ultimately, it it was Janeane's time to go.

Goodbye little Janeane. You are pretty and your husband seemed nice over the phone and you give good reaction shots, and nobody can take that away from you. However, this design thing? Maybe not so much.


TZF108 said...

Though Janeane had to go (she has already proven her limited talent), based on output alone, I thought Emilio should have been booted off. No imagination, no POV, and a really bad attitude. At least a few elements of Janeane's were good.

The dog's name is Swatch.

Cliff O'Neill said...

SWATCH! That's it!! I was thinking it was Bolt (which would be equally appropriate, now wouldn't it?)

And while Janeane seriously needed to go, I too felt Emilio totally deserved to be in the bottom for that aggressive lack of imagination.

Tbone said...

You must share that photo!