One day, I want a camera crew to follow around all my friends so I can find out what they really think of me.
I’ll walk away from what I thought was a meaningful and loving conversation with my friends and one of them will turn to the camera and say: “What a bitch” or “Could she be more into herself?”
Come to think of it, maybe I don’t want that.
Unfortunately, if you’re Michael C and Valerie, you have no choice in the matter.
So Michael C will find out that Andy, the man he’s been spilling his guts to about how nobody loves him, does not, in fact, love him. (“It’ll be good to have Mondo and Christopher in the house,” Andy reports. “It’s nice to have people I can trust.”)
And Valerie, who felt very loved when she was consoled by Ivy and Gretchen in the bathroom, will come to learn that Ivy thinks she’s whiny and immature. (And Gretchen was just there for the camera time.)
Challenge time. But first, today I introduce a long overdue feature to maxthegirl’s PR recaps. It’s called Mondo’s Awesomely Mondolicious Look of the Day ™! How I waited 8 weeks to institutionalize this feature, God only knows. But better late than never.
Today’s Mondo’s Awesomely Mondolicious Look of the Day ™! is inspired by many things: Raven Symone from her That’s So Raven! days, Bea Arthur in Maude, Mayim Bialik (TV’s Blossom), and of course the Morton salt girl.
There is an acid washed denim cap fastened with a little bow, under which is a lilac purple head wrap. There is a Hawaiian nurse’s hoodie resplendent with palm trees and stars. There are the obligatory short shorts (black or possibly navy blue), the de rigueur dog tags, and a pair of knee high bright yellow galoshes.
Today’s outfit deserves our highest, most Mondoriffic rating of: 5 stars.
The challenge this week: Design a high fashion garment that somehow relates to L’Oreal eye shadow (yeah, it’s a stretch) and will appear in a L’Oreal advertorial.
Plus a Project Runway first! The winning designer gets $20,000. That buys a lot of eye shadow.
They all pick their inspiration word and Mondo picks bright (shocker!) and April picks matte and Gretchen picks velvet, even though Tim Gunn warned that it’s a notoriously difficult fabric to work with.
“Risking big could come with a big pay off,” says Gretchen. Also, a stitch in time saves nine.
They have a $300 budget and two suspiciously long days to work with. Everyone cheers, “hooray! 2 full days!” except for April who is clever enough to notice that every other stinkin’ challenge has come with a surprise twist. You gotta wake up pretty early in the morning to fool that April (10 am or earlier.) As for the rest of the designers? Don’t bother. Just sleep in.
So Swatch’s popularity has really gone to his head and he’s being a total diva at Mood, barking and trying to get some snout time. He is totally going to be sent to his trailer without any kibble tonight.
As the designers go back to the studio, I want my neighbors to turn down the snappy, beatnik jazz music they have playing in the house next door. Oh wait? That music is on the show? Huh.
So Gretchen is working in her normal plummy palette and Michael C is working in a similar hue.
Naturally, Gretchen assumes that Michael C has stolen her color scheme (and possibly her social security number. . .and her breath.)
“I don’t feel threatened by him, I’m just insulted that maybe some boundaries were crossed,” she moans.
(It really never occurs to this nutcase that Michael C may just like the same color.)
“Somehow I’ve created a monster,” Gretchen says. Yes, and the monster is within.
So everyone is having the normal stresses: Mondo’s bodice doesn’t fit so he has to start all over again, Ivy’s wave dress is looking pageanty, Valerie is running out of time.
And Tim Gunn walks in looking stricken.
“I’m loathe to tell you this, but for this challenge you will be creating a second look”—in this case, a ready to wear piece to go with their couture look.
Groans. Utter shock. Feelings of stunned, ineffable betrayal.
Speaking of feeling betrayed, has anyone caught any of Tim Gunn’s vlogs? My buddy Reapy forwarded them to me and they’re. . .eye-opening, to say the least. In the most recent one, he goes on and on (and on) about how inane and confusing the Jackie Kennedy challenge was, and gripes, hilariously, about how he wasn’t able to call her Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis because of some sort of contract dispute.
Between his fearless taking on of the sacred Anna Wintour (I mean, he’s been relentless!) and these unbelievably candid vlogs, Tim Gunn has lately been acting like a man who only has a year to live and has decided to call everyone out on their bullshit. It’s. . .awesome.
[This just in! Tim Gunn took the vlog down! He took it down! His insubordination has consequences!]
Back at Mood, Swatch is chomping away on what appears to be a bagel. New York dogs are just. . .different.
Everyone gets their new fabric, but some with a little less gusto than the others.
“I’m just lost,” Valerie admits.
In the studio, there’s talk of what people will do with the 20 grand.
Gretchen will get the creditors off her back.
Mondo will buy booze.
April wants to pay off her student loans and. . .buy a miniature pony.
Now I have to say, I didn’t see that coming. A whip, maybe. A coffin, perhaps.
But not My Little Pony.
It’s actually kind of endearing.
So Valerie is spazzing out more and more and realizing that she doesn’t have time to complete her look.
Tim comes over and tells her that she has to let go and create a new look.
“I’m releasing you from your look,” he says, in a very queenly way.
Instead of being comforted by this, Valerie has a little breakdown, and this is the part where everyone rushes in to help, while secretly thinking that she needs to grow up and stop feeling sorry for herself.
I actually love Valerie but I will say this… when she’s sad? Her annoying uptalk? Gets particularly irritating?
The guest judge is designer Naeem Khan and he’s a very reasonable, articulate fellow who doesn’t seem at all cowed by Heidi and co. Clearly, he’ll never be invited back.
As the pair of looks come down the runway, here’s what I jot down:
Ivy- Her mermaid dress is a mer-don’t.
Gretchen-Like everything else she designs, it looks like it came off the loungewear rack at Anthropologie.
Andy (whose dress is pictured, above)-For the Gaga of the Black Lagoon collection.
Mondo-My my my, that’s a shitload of color.
So Christopher (whose dress I had forgotten approximately 2.5 seconds after I saw it) and April (who I thought deserved finals consideration) are safe.
Gretchen, Andy, and Mondo are the top 3
Ivy, Valerie, and Michael C are in the bottom.
They praise Gretchen for her bohemian chic and the surprising slits on her ready-to-wear look; Andy for his crazy pant-shoe and the clever way he hid the metallic under sheer fabric; and Mondo for his fierce hat and fearless use of color.
As for the Bottom 3:
Ivy’s dress is described as “nurse-y.” Heh.
Poor Valerie is forced to defend a dress that she knows sucks.
Michael Kors mocks the “metallic diamante hoop on her shoulder” and says that “the only possible accessory she could use with this is a wand.”
Nina Garcia says that she looks like “Miss Guatemala.”
At this, Valerie doesn’t know whether to be insulted or flattered.
“My family’s from Guatemala,” she stammers.
The horrified look on Nina’s face says it all: Be insulted.
“I didn’t mean to offend!” Nina says. (Too late!!)
Michael C. tries to explain himself and stops: “I’m sorry, I’m not used to this. I’m nervous. I’ve never been in the Bottom 3 before.”
And that, ladies in gentlemen, is the genius of Michael C contained in one sentence: Calculated information (reminding the judges he had never been in the bottom before) masquerading as sheepish sweetness. Well played, Michael C. . .Well played.
That being said, even Michael C. can’t escape Michael Kors’ mocking of his ridiculous, block-long train.
“You styled her like Scarlett O’Hara,” Kors quips. “She’s got all the curtains from Tara ripped off the wall and put into one dress!”
So. . .
Our winner is Mondo!
I really wasn’t that keen on his dress, which tasted all the flavors of the rainbow, but who could ever not want Mondo to win at everything?
Mondo for pope! Mondo for president! Mondo for regional county supervisor!
He goes back to the Green Room and cries and cracks that he now has $20,014 in his bank account.
April asks if he can buy her a pony.
Back on the runway, Gretchen and Andy are safe.
So is Michael C.
So it comes down to Ivy and Valerie. Besties who are only occasionally annoyed by each other’s neediness and uptalk.
“Ivy. . .I’m sorry, you’re out,” says Heidi.
“And Valerie”—the Project Runway tribal drum beat of doom is still playing—“you’re in.” (Whew!)
Valerie goes backstage, totally bummed.
“I am stunned,” she says.
“You’re safe?” asks Gretchen. (Ah that Gretchen. If there is a wrong thing to say, she will say it. Points for consistency, though.)
“I feel like she had more fight than I did,” says Valerie. Which is kind of true.
Ivy comes backstage and clearly couldn’t care less about any of her fellow designers.
“I’m really going to miss designing the most,” she says, which would sort of be like if Dorothy had exclaimed that, upon leaving Oz, she was really going to miss the ruby slippers most.
Valerie hugs her and says, “You really inspired me.”
And Ivy, figuring that there are no more camera confessionals in her future, tells the truth to Valerie's face: “Stay strong and stop complaining.”