Saturday, August 27, 2011

Eye Brow Down To You: The Project Runway 9 recap


Wow. Most eventful first 8 minutes of Project Runway ever, amirite?

It starts out with Bert having another senior moment (should we just officially make those a drinking game at this point?), as he stares in a stupor at the running-shoe boxes lined up in front of him on the kitchen counter—seeing them, but not actually noticing them. 

“What are those?” asks Anthony.

“What?” says Bert, perhaps having a reverie that he’s a on a veranda somewhere on the Amalfi Coast, drinking limoncello, surrounded by people his own age.

Then we have Cecilia, practically looking like a PSA for depression (“Are you having a hard time getting out of bed?” “Do you feel no joy in tasks that used to give you pleasure?”), positively paralyzed with reality show ennui. 

“I’m so hungry because the judges sent Julie home,” she moans.  . . Huh? (*Rewinds DVR.* Ooooh. . .angry, not hungry. Nevermind.)

The contestants are ordered to put on their new running shoes and t-shirts and meet Heidi and Tim at the track. (In a completely out-of-character move for Project Runway, the t-shirts are emblazoned with New Balance logos so big they could be spotted from a space station on Mars.)

“Do you think it’s a weight loss challenge?” Kimberly asks. (Oooh, like a Biggest Loser meets Project Runway mashup? Me likey. Lose 50 pounds and then design a streetwear collection for the new emaciated you!)

But no, it’s just another “do Heidi’s job for her” challenge, where the designers—in teams of three (cue the dramah)—are instructed to make sportswear looks to go with Heidi’s seriously fugly denim and suede running shoes.

To determine team leaders, they must win a race! On a track! Ha, ha, seeing artsy people run is never not funny!

Meanwhile, Cecilia is so not into it, she’s practically falling over. She’s like a balloon running out of air, farting in the wind. 

She pulls Heidi and Tim aside and says that she wants out.

“We can’t want you to succeed more than you do,” Tim says. (I love when he uses one of the phrases from my Tim Gunn bobblehead doll!)

“If this is too hard for you, you can leave anytime,” says Heidi. (As always, Heidi manages to turn an ostensibly compassionate moment into a slight dig.)

And Cecilia is all like, peace out, Project Runway. See you, wouldn’t want to be you. And with that, she exits, bleachers left. (Her 170 fans are apparently taking it hard.) 

Time to sweat!

Surprise, surprise: Josh is like frickin Usain Bolt out there—the velocity must come from his eyebrows.*

Conversely, it’s clear that Olivier has never run on a track before in his life (apparently, every time he was required to run track at school, he just transferred to a school in a different country)—so he totally wipes out. And then he sees the medic and then he has a panic attack! 

So we’ve had a drop out, a wipe out, a senior moment, a patented Tim catch phrase, and a panic attack all within the first 8 minutes of the show.  My work here is done, people.

It shakes out like this:

The team leaders are Josh, Bryce, Anthony, and Viktor. (Who knew?)

Josh picks Anya and Becky.

Bryce picks Kimberly and Danielle.

Anthony picks Laura and—grudgingly, because they won’t let him pick Jojo, the one-eyed groundskeeper—Bert. 

Viktor picks Olivier and  . . . well, Cecilia’s abrupt exit, has left him with a vacancy. He’s told he can pick any of the auf’d contestants. “Gunnar Deatherage,” I mutter at the screen. “Gunnar Deatherage.” But my pleas fall on deaf ears. He picks Josh C. The stormin’ Mormon is back! 

Anyway, back to 3 being the cruelest number. No matter what Chrissy, Jack, and Janet may’ve told you, it’s not company. It’s a goddamned crowd.

So, as Anthony and Laura huddle together, Bert sits apart, literally and metaphorically.

And as Josh and Anya have formed a mutual admiration society, Becky gets every single one of her ideas shot down. (It becomes clear that Josh has basically selected Becky for her sewing prowess and has no intentions of letting her design a stitch.)

Team Bryce seems pretty united, mostly because underdogs have to stick together. And Team Viktor is riding a wave of Josh C. “I’m the happiest boy alive!” good vibrations, so they’re pretty harmonious, too.

But Bert and Becky have it bad. And I actually feel sorry for them both.

Look, I understand that Bert is stubborn and a pain in the ass, but Anthony and Laura can’t have it both ways. You can’t mock his ideas, shut him out of brainstorming, treat him like some sort of musty design relic who needs to be rolled into storage, and then expect him to be an eager team member. Especially when he’s already demonstrated that he’s a bit prickly. (I said prickly. Prickly.)

“Is Andrew using leather?” Bert asks Laura at one point. 

“Anthony?” she corrects. 

“There are some names worth remembering because they’re not that significant,” Bert mutters, justifying his second senior moment of the episode as a kind of triumphant put-down. 

Still, the thing with Bert, as we’ve already established, is that, like Honey Badger, he just doesn’t give a shit. He’s going to do what he wants to do. He’s got toenail clippings older than Anthony. He will not be deterred.

Becky, however, does give a shit. So when Josh tells her that she does “dowdy” dresses and that her demographic is “40 to death,” she takes it (understandably) hard. 

She begins to sniffle  just a bit, and Josh gets defensive.

“That wasn’t meant as a bad thing,” he says.

And I literally  shout at my TV screen, “Shut up, Josh.”

Then suddenly, Josh is channeling Season 2’s Zulema: “I don’t care if you’ve got to cry and cut, but cry and cut” and telling Becky that she needs to stop her blubbering. (Which is sort of like telling someone you just stabbed to stop self-indulgently bleeding out.)

So Becky goes off to the bathroom to have a proper cry and Anya comes to comfort her, because Anya is actually a decent human being (3,000 Facebook fans can’t be wrong!). And then Josh either realizes that he’s being a dick, or realizes that he’s on the verge of a villain edit, or realizes that he needs Becky to be cutting, not crying, but he comes into the girl’s room and—once he gets over the icky “sanitary” girl things—apologizes and they all come together for a diffident group hug.

But Josh is just getting started. He’s now about to have a confrontation with more formidable competition: The Honey Badger, who is apparently using his favorite sewing machine.
“Talk to the eyebrows,” Josh says. (Well, it’s implied.)

“Drop dead!” Honey Badger says. 

“You’re closer to death than I am,” Josh says. (Really Josh? Really?)

“That might be a blessing with you around.” 

Round one: Honey Badger.

Runway time. The guest judge is model/designer Erin Wasson. She’ very pretty. . . and that’s all I got.

The collections come down the runway and I must say, Viktor’s outfit is boss. And I love Kimberly’s jacket. And Anya’s dress is pretty cool, but I could do without the racing stripe down the middle. And. . .uh. . .er. . .did I mention how pretty Erin Wasson is? (My mama taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.)

Heidi and co. are also flummoxed. In fact, the hot messes are so equally spread out among the teams, they can’t pick a clear winner (or loser). 

They bring out the teams, two at a time.

First, it’s Teams Dysfunction. 

Anthony immediately starts dissing Bert for his grandpa outfit and how hard he is to work with and how he totally smells like mothballs and Heidi is all, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself, Anthony” because, you see, the judges kinda like Bert’s outfit (Lord knows why) and they think Anthony’s outfit is a train wreck. Which it is. It basically looks like a sumo wrestler diaper with a shirt from the “before” collection on Project Biggest Loser.

“You have achieved the impossible,” Michael Kors says. “The shorts are big and tight at the same time.  She has camel toe on big shorts.” Heh.

Then Kors asks to see the back of Anthony’s shorts. Upon seeing the load-in-the-pants debacle, first he gasps, and then the entire judging panel sighs in unison. I need that as my ringtone, like, now.

In case you were wondering, they’re not particularly fond of Laura’s outfit, either.

“Bert’s outfit is the only good outfit standing on the runway from your team,” Heidi says.


Once again, Honey Badger has struck.

The drama with Team Josh is a little more lowkey, with the judges liking most of the outfits and secretly impressed with how Josh bullied Becky into being a glorified seamstress.

Then Team Viktor and Team Bryce are brought on stage. And Viktor’s team is really quite good, despite the fact that Olivier stuck with his Amish-style maxie skirt against Heidi’s wishes. (Never a prudent strategy.)

Team Bryce did okay, with Bryce sort of triumphing a bit with his snap-side dress. (To me, it looks a little too much like what people in 1956 might’ve imagined as the “dress of the future” but what do I know?)

So the judges have a “little chat” (and Heidi makes her “or a big chat” joke for the gazillionth time) and there’s some basic confusion about the rules of the show. (It’s good to know that after 9 seasons, they still haven’t gotten a handle on this.)

Should Anthony go home for his outfit, which is clearly the worst? Or should Danielle go home for her consistent mediocrity? Are we looking at body of work? Or what have you done for me lately?

“I don’t think it’s so cut and dried,” Michael Kors says hopefully.

“I thought it was one day you’re in, one day you’re out,” Heidi says. It’s hard to argue with her point, what with that being the catch phrase that made Project Runway famous and all. (That being said, I don’t want Anthony to go home. He might have been a little teste with Bert this week—still too soon?—but I like the little bugger.)

They bring them back on stage. 

Viktor is the winner. (That’s his outfit, above. I'm so buying it.)

And Joshua is also the winner. . .except he wins for Anya’s dress. (Odd.)

And Anthony Ryan is. . .IN!

So Danielle is out.

Oh, the awkwardness of Josh C. now going farther in the competition than Danielle. Cecilia, what have you wrought?

*Any and all references to Josh’s magical eyebrows are in honor of my homie Spencer Cox.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Do You Have a Plan B? The Project Runway recap

Have you ever known somebody who was super intimidating? Just one of those fierce, formidable people who seemed to really know how to be an adult, while you were still fumbling through your own arrested adolescence?

And then did you ever meet that person's mom. . and everything just kind of snapped into perspective? Because no matter how fierce somebody may be, odds are they have mother who makes them feel awkward, unsuccessful, and inadequate—just like you!

Such it was with Nina Garcia and her boss, Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles. One gets the sense that Nina, quivering in her Fendi boots, has to submit to some sort of wardrobe inspection every day when she arrives to work.

“Does this meet your approval, Generalissima Coles?” she would ask tremulously.

And if the answer is no, it’s back home to change for Nina or she runs the risk of being fired for insufficient fierceness. Yikes.

But I’m ahead of myself, as usual. . .

The show starts with all my hopes and dreams about Fallene giving me a fetching haircut being shattered.

“I miss Fallene,” Julie says wistfully. “She gave me a wonderful haircut.”

Now, is it just me or is Julie’s hairstyle the style of not having any style? And hey, look, that’s a life choice, but I’d hardly be bragging about a haircut that looks like what happens to POWs when their hair hasn’t been cut in 387 days. (Of course this all makes sense. Fallene didn’t give herself that dang haircut. The person I really need to hire is the gal who works in the next chair over.)

Anyway, it’s off to the runway to get their assignment and Heidi comes out with a sneaky grin on her face.

“Today you’ll be designing for a client who knows a lot about fashion. . .”

And out walks Nina Garcia. A Project Runway first! (Which begs the question: WHY is this a Project Runway first? It seems like every other week the contestants are designing a look for Heidi Klum. . .I always had the sneaking suspicion that Nina thought she was a little too good to wear the clothing of these reality show wannabes. “Oh Heidi, all that design-y stuff always looks so good
on you,” she would demure, whenever Heidi asked her to be the client for the challenge. Hmmm. Maybe Joanna Coles made her do it.)

So Nina will need an outfit to transition from work to an “industry event.”

“I like classic with an edge,” she says. “Streamlined, clean, tailored. I do not like voluminous. I do not like a lot of pleats. I do not like loud patterns or colors. I do not like Green Eggs and Ham.” (Just making sure you were paying attention there.)

The designers are, understandably, freaked out—all the more so when Nina comes to check in on their preliminary sketches.

“I made you a slight cowl neck!” says Bryce.
“I hate cowl,” says Nina.

“I’ve designed a mini dress!” says Josh.
“Do you have a Plan B?” says Nina.

“I’ve made you this jacket!” says Cecilia.
“It feels a little dated,” says Nina.

(Poor Cecilia, upon hearing this news, feels an “awful pang in her stomach.” Imagine if she knew that she has the least Facebook likes of any of the Project Runway contestants—165 compared to Anya’s mighty 3,000—and zero votes for fan favorite. Then she’d REALLY have a pang in her stomach. )

Meanwhile, Kimberly wants to show the world she can do more than design a great pair of pants so she has cooked up a really nice sketch of a dress for Nina.
“I would love pants,” says Nina. “I really love your pants.”

(She also really loves Danielle’s blouses, forcing Danielle to consider scrapping her design. Nina is a one-woman tough crowd.)

To Mood they go, where Becky and Anthony get the same speckled (and ugly? amiright?) fabric.

Of course, Anthony thinks she copied him, but what does she have to gain in copying Anthony’s fabric choice?

Here’s what I think happened: Anthony found the fabric first, but didn’t properly push the fabric roll back far enough so it was kind of sticking out, practically begging Becky to notice it, which she did.
(There. Mystery solved. Where do I send my bill?)

The designers get cracking and then it’s time for round 2 of  the game show sweeping the nation: “How Much Will Nina Think I Suck?”

Here’s a typical exchange, when Danielle shows Nina her kelly green jacket:

Danielle: The stitching, I could do it in black.
Nina: No.
Danielle (holding up dark green contrasting belt): Would this ever be an option for you?
Nina: No.
Danielle: I was planning on doing a cuff at the bottom.
Nina: No.

(Watch out Anthony Robbins! Nina Garcia can give an inspiring pep talk like none other.)

Upon seeing Anya’s mustard yellow pattern for her jumpsuit, Nina trotted out the dreaded: “Do you have a Plan B?”

And no, Anya didn’t—but, unlike Cecilia who just moaned and groaned about her lousy fabric choice— Anya is flawless and fearless and is determined to dye that fabric into submission, which she does. (*Off to “like” her on Facebook.*)

A few more notable moments before runway day:

We got to meet Anthony’s adorbs fiancée Matthew via video chat. And they both have the most precious, slow Southern drawls. It’s like Forrest Gump if he were fabulous!

“I need to fix my model’s nipples,” says Cecilia. (That’s all. I just wanted to make sure that quote made it into my recap.)

I’m back on the Olivier crush train. . .a little. He’s better when he doesn’t talk much and just flops his hair around.

With two hours to go, Tim Gunn parades into the design room.
“Alright designers!” But the room is empty. Is it a surprise party? The apocalypse? Is Tim being Punk’d? No, they’re all in the sewing room—i.e., they’re way behind schedule.

“I’m really alarmed,” says Tim. “I’m sweating through my suit!” (Oh, Tim.)

Meanwhile, Laura is bemoaning the difficulty of sewing in high heels, because she is contractually obligated to have at least one “dumb blonde” moment per episode.

(In fairness, I like Laura now. All the more so when she helps Anya finish her jumpsuit—and no, Viktor, that’s not “cheating.” )

Guest judges are the aforementioned Simon Cowell in drag (aka Joanna Coles) plus the lovely Kerry Washington, who is number 2 on my list of actresses who should be bigger stars (number one is Rosario Dawson).

So there’s the awkwardness of Becky and Anthony using the same fabric, especially since they go back-to-back on the runway.
“I’m sure the judges are thinking, Didn’t we just see this fabric,” sighs Becky.
(Cut to Heidi, furrowing her brows, with a look on her face that unmistakably says: "Didn’t we just see this fabric?").

When Cecilia’s seriously drab dress comes down the runway, a kind of funereal hush descends upon the room. That’s rarely a good sign.

As for Bryce, he feels good about his dress but for one concern: “The noticeable imperfection is the hem.”
(Cut to Heidi, her eyebrows now raised, with a look on her face that unmistakably says: “That is one fucked up hem.”)

Soooo. . . Top 3 are Kimberly, Viktor, and Anya (!)
Bottom 3 are Cecilia, Julie, and Danielle.

Backstage, the contestants mull who has a shot.
“I have a sneaking suspicion Olivier really has a chance,” says Bert.
Senior moment alert! (Olivier is sitting right next to him.)

Then they all talk about how Kimberly is going to be in the bottom, because they are all dumb.

Back on stage:
Everyone loves Viktor’s not-so-simple little black dress.

“You can never go wrong with a beautiful black dress,” Heidi says. Preach.

Julie’s house coat is a bit of a disaster, though.
“She should have a pocket with Kleenex in it while she dusts,” says Michael Kors.
 “It’s unwearable,” says Joanna Coles. “If Nina came to the office wearing this, I’d think she was asking to be fired.”
(And with that, Nina’s sphincter tightened just a little bit.)

The less said about Cecilia’s dress the better.
“It’s just very sad,” Nina says.

However, they can’t get enough of Kimberly’s fitted gold top with flare-leg pants.
“It’s transformative,” says Joanna Coles, who is a true believer in the healing power of clothes. “You could come in and be doing your expense forms in that and you’d feel like you were living a million dollar lifestyle.  And if Nina doesn’t want to wear it, I will.” 
(Uh oh, Nina. Hide your wardrobe! Run for your life!)

Everyone is amazed by Anya’s jumpsuit—they all think it’s super fun and marvel over the shape and how expertly she dyed the fabric.
Heidi praises the tailoring and Viktor is giving Anya the stinkeye, as if she’s going to volunteer the fact that Laura helped her with the finishing touches. (Keep your eyes on your own damn garment, Viktor.)

Danielle’s unfortunate kelly green blouse leads to this little gem from Joanna: “Clothes are emotional. They make you feel something. And they make other people feel something about you. This makes me think your model’s depressed and that you’re a little depressed, too.”

(Considering the fact that there is nothing Americans like more than being scolded by snooty Brits,  it’s amazing that Lifetime hasn’t given this woman her own show.) (Just Googled, she did have a show once called Running in Heels but it got canceled. I bet she was especially mean to Nina that day.)

Not knowing their fate, the 6 designers trundle to the green room.
Everyone is amazed that Julie is in the bottom, which amazes me, because that House Coat—is it a dress? is it a coat? “it’s a drote,” declares Joanna (hey, that’s funny!)—ain’t got no alibi.

“We thought your dress could be in the top or the bottom,” says Becky. (Also, the winner could be a male or a female. And the loser could be Julie or somebody else.)

“I live in the bottom,” cracks Julie. “It’s like I live in a bad neighborhood because I’m always in the bottom.” Sigh.

They’re summoned back on stage and Kimberly wins! Kimberly wins!
Will she have the guts to design anything other than a pair of pants ever again?

And the loser is. . .Julie (much to Cecilia’s dismay, by the way. She has so emotionally checked out. We should seriously throw a few Facebook “likes” her way, just to buoy what’s left of her spirits.)

“Hey, we had fun,” Julie says. She’s actually kind of charming, which I’ve just noticed now. (Ain’t that how it always goes?)

Bonus footage! Nina looking ah-mazing in her office and perched knowingly from atop a NY taxicab in Kimberly’s outfit.

You better watch out, Joanna. A few more "transformative" outfits like this and Nina might be gunning for your job.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fallene's Basement: The Project Runway 9 recap

Let's just call this episode what it was, okay? The Victor and Bert show, a.k.a. the buddy film they're playing at the cineplex in hell. You didn't know which villain to root for. It was like watching Alien vs. Predator. Or the Republican national debate.

But let's rewind a bit.
First off, I should apologize to Fallene. Last week, I selected Josh, the curiously heterosexual Mormon as my favorite and he got the Klum double kiss-off. This week, I selected Fallene as my new favorite and, well, er. . .. Suffice it to say, I’m 2 for 2 at this point.

Maybe I should select Viktor as my new favorite.

Poor Fallene. She’s really living the nightmare, isn’t she? She probably tried out for Project Runway on a lark, thinking it would be a good learning experience, maybe something to grow on. Then—holy shit!—she got on the show. Then she found out that she needed to know stuff (about sewin’ and fabric grains and the like) and all she wanted to do was paste barfing clowns on her garments and call it a day. Then she cried but no one comforted her. Well, Tim Gunn tried, but he’s not a warm, soft grandmotherly type with folds of skin you can get lost in who always has a tissue and a mint. He’s more like a reassuring, “tut-tut,” “buck up” pat-you-on-the-shoulder kind of fellow. And then she was partnered with Blayne who basically hated her guts and blamed (or should I say blaymed?) her for everything. And then she got sent home in shame. Yeah, I’ve seriously had nightmares like this.

So to start the show, Heidi comes strutting onto the runway in a pair of giant stilts and I’m struck by 2 things:
a. She is working those stilts!
b. Proportionally speaking, she doesn’t look that off. Models already have long, stick-like, vaguely inhuman legs, so there isn’t as much cognitive dissonance going on here as one might expect (or hope.)

But then a bunch more models come out in stilts, and all the designers freak out like it’s some sort of zombie attack.

“For your next challenge, we want you to think outside the box,” says Heidi (everybody drink!). “We want you to create a look that is eye-catching, challenging, and truly larger than life.” (See what she did there?)

Yup, in teams of 2, they’ll be designing a garment for models on stilts. Or, let’s just call it what it is: August 11, 2011: The day Project Runway officially ran out of ideas.

As I already mentioned, Bert and Viktor are a team and Viktor, well, let’s just say he isn’t shy about expressing his displeasure over this fact.
“My heart dropped,” he says to Heidi. In front of Bert. (And this, sadly, was the highlight of their creative pairing.)

Other teams:
Anthony and Laura
Joshua and Julie (lolz)
Danielle and Cecilia
Anya and Olivier (dream team alert!)
Kimberly and Becky
and, last—and decidedly least—Bryce and Fallene.

To Mood they go, and we get our first glimpse at Swatch, the awesomely stylish Mood dog, who probably has a Facebook fan page at this point and if he doesn’t, I may have to start one.

At Mood, Bert picks such a truly ugly fabric I wonder if he might actually be sabotaging Viktor. (Does he not realize that his own immunity only lasted one week? Does he not understand the rules? Or does he really just have THAT bad taste?).

Back at the studio, Viktor and Bert have the same discussion over and over again:
Viktor: *Says something seriously ignorant and misinformed.*
Bert: You, sir, are seriously ignorant and misinformed.
Victor: Well, you’re mean and immature! *Storms out in a huff.*
Bert: I know you are, but what am I?
And on and on it goes.

First, Viktor says that their model should sport a pair of Mae-West-style pants. And Bert’s all like, “Yeah, Mae West never wore a pair of pants in her life, you dolt.”

And then Viktor says they should do something sexy, like Queen Victoria. And Bert says, “Yeah, Queen Victoria was in mourning for 40 years and is pretty much the opposite of sexy, you rube.”

And then Viktor tries to describe the kind of awesome, Queen Victoria-esque look he has in mind with tall collars and ornate ruffles and bright colors and Bert is all, “Yeah, that’s Queen Elizabeth, you troglodyte.”

Oh old people and their pesky facts. Always getting in the way of a good idea.

Meanwhile, there are other contestants, too, as far as I could tell.

The problems of Blayne and Fallene have already been well-documented, although something tells me that her off-grain corset was probably better than the “tank top that Kim Kardashian wears to sleep” look that Blayne cooked up in a last minute panic, but we’ll never know for sure. . .

Also, Fallene saying that she feels there’s a “black cloud over her,” while sitting under a giant, poofy black tutu is one of the best visual jokes on Project Runway ever. So good for her. . .

Crunchy Julie thinks that she and divalicious Josh are getting along fine, until he makes the Mr. Burns “I want to strangle you” gesture behind her back and she kind of catches a glimpse of it, but politely pretends not to notice.

Runway day—outdoors! at Battery Park!—and Viktor is decked out in a piped blazer with shorts and patent-leather blue shoes and if he thinks he’s doing “the Mondo” he should think again. (Viktor’s outfit wouldn’t even register on the Mondo’s Awesomely Mondolicious Outfit of the Day ™ scale.)

The guest judge, as I hinted at before, is noted fashion icon Kim Kardashian. (What, was Snooki not available?) Keep it klassy, Project Runway. Keep it klassy.

I must confess that there is something a bit nightmarish about these models staggering down the runway in stilts, like something out of a Guy Maddin film. (That was for my Canadian readers.)

They're back on the usual runway for judging. Olivier and Anya are declared safe, which is good for them, but has to rate as a disappointment, considering they’re the Dream Team and all.

The Top 3 teams are:
Anthony and Laura with their gorgeous red feathered concoction.

Becky and Kimberly, who went for the punk glamazon look and I loved it.


Danielle and Cecilia, who fought chiffon and actually won. (Sadly, they also fought the Garnier hair stylist, and he won.)

Bottom 3 are:
Bert and Viktor (shocker!) with their “wallpaper and curtains at a tacky catering hall”-MK.

Joshua and Julie, with their “Wonder Woman as reimagined by Ernest Hemingway”-maxthegirl


Fallene and Bryce, for the saddest tutu of them all.

The judges assess the Top 3 first and backstage Josh makes this observation: “Who’s back here? Costume, costume, and costume. Who’s on the stage? Ready to wear, ready to wear, ready to wear.”
(It’s season 9, buddy. You’re just now figuring this out?)

So Anthony and Laura win, which I’m cool with, but Anthony graciously gives the credit to Laura, which is confusing because it’s obviously much more his creation than hers. . .If I didn’t know better, I’d say this guy was missing a ball! (Still too soon?). Anyway, Laura gets immunity.

The bottom 3 teams come out and there’s this hilarious moment where Kim Kardashian, addressing Team Bert and Viktor, says: “It almost looks like The Sound of Music when they took off the curtains and made their clothes.” And if she had only quit while she was ahead it might’ve actually been an apt thing to say, but she had to add: “Like Marie Antoinette days.”
And you can see that Bert is dying to correct her. Just dying. But he somehow manages to hold his tongue.

So Bert is in and it comes down to Bryce, Fallene, and Viktor.
And Fallene is . . .OUT.
She has Fallene, and she can’t get up.
Next time I go to Denver, I am totally getting my haircut by her. (And giving her a hug.)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reverse type is so last decade

Is my new "simple" template freaking anybody out?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Poo-Poo Platters: The Project Runway 9 recap

Episode 2 is where it really all begins, right?

We’ve got those first-episode jitters out of the way; Mr. and/or Ms. Redundant is but a distant memory (oh Rafael, we’ll forget you, but we’ll never forget your awesomely bad hair); and first impressions are either confirmed (Anya) or challenged (Bert).

The first episode is the prologue. And the second episode is Chapter 1.

But before I get into the nitty-gritty of things, can I just say how much it irks that Project Runway is trying to tell us which hashtags to use when identifying their precious little contestants on Twitter?

Perhaps instead of calling him #PR9Olivier, I want to call him #FauxEuroAccentOlivier? Or maybe instead of #PR9Bert, I want to call him #PhoningItinBert? Maybe instead of #PR9Anthony, I want to call him #OneBallWonder (too soon?).

Let me be the boss of my own hashtags, Project Runway! (By the way, if you’re not already following me @maxthegirl, what are waiting for?!? You can hashtag me up anyway you damn please).

So yeah, about Bert. I had totally planned to root for him this season—a story of redemption. A man who had come close to the top of the mountain, who had battled demons and overcome loss, who was now willing to supplicate himself to begin the long climb back up. (I mean, I could practically hear the theme to Chariots of Fire every time Bert was on camera.)

And then he farts out this poor excuse for a dress? Seriously, dude? I’ve seen better beach coverups at the Rite-Aid. If dresses came in Cracker Jack boxes, this is what they would look like. 

But I’m ahead of myself.

Heidi informs the group that they’re going to “unleash their creativity” this week, so naturally Joshua M guesses it’s an “S&M challenge.”

Sorry Josh M, it’s not the common S&M leash she’s referring to, but the far less widely recognized dog leash! An understandable confusion. (One can only imagine what Joshua might’ve guessed if Heidi said they needed to “bone up on their designs.”)

Anyway, to Petland Discounts they go for the unconventional fabric challenge. Will they ever get to Mood, Anya wonders (and so does maxthegirl. . . but Swatch, the awesomely stylish Mood dog, actually wants Joshua M to stay as far the fuck away from Mood as possible.)

As always, Tim informs the designers that the idea of the unconventional fabric challenge is to use unconventional fabric (hey, sometimes you have to really spell things out for these people)—so tearing up a doggy sweater or a plush toy ain’t gonna cut it (*cough* Bert).

And then, someone—the voice was off-camera but I think it may have been #FromHerotoZeroBert—asks, and I quote: “I guess the animals are off-limit?” People, he was staring at a widdy-biddy bunny rabbit when he asked this question!! Oh, the humanity! Tim Gunn, who only drinks TrueBlood ™ and would never drain a living creature, is appropriately disgusted.

Lots of the designers are buying bulk bags of dog food, compelling me to wonder: Is craft services not feeding these kids? But turns out, they just want to use the bags as material.

Also, the password is: Wee-wee pads. Everyone’s usin’ them. They’re the new black.
Back in the studio, I form a few more iron-clad—and by “iron-clad,” I mean lasting at least until the next episode—opinions of the gang.

First off, I kinda love Joshua M now, despite the fact that he looks like he just finished a triumphant run as the Emcee in the Wünderhausen Dinner Theater production of Cabaret.

For starters, I love his motto: “If you feel like it’s too much, add something else.” I find it downright refreshing. That whole Coco Chanel “less is less” aesthetic is so overplayed.

Also, he seemed to be genuinely fond of the other designers—complimenting their outfits, even giving them helpful tips and pointers. I even liked the outfit he designed, although the dangling “roadie pass” thing was a bit odd.

On the other hand, I’m kind of over Olivier already. He’s as cute as a patoot, but I’m beginning to find him about as drab as his color palette. He just seems so very. . .meh. Also, what the hell, dude? You’re from Ohio. . .Enough with the “international man of mystery” accent.

Perhaps my new androgynous crush will be transferred to Fallene. I want to move to wherever the hell she’s from (just looked it up—Denver) and have clown-puke-pajama parties with her and have her style my hair into a charming pixie-esque bob much like her own. (Also—*small voice* —I didn’t think her dress was that atrocious.) But something tells me, I shouldn’t get too attached.

Then there’s the squeezable Mormon Josh C. I was informed last week that he claims to be straight. Really Josh C? Really?

As for Viktor Luna—soap opera villain name alert!—he’s already working my last nerve. I hate someone who has clearly been practicing their Project Runway catch phrases in the mirror since 2002.

“This is not fashion, it’s trashion!” he says at one point. (See what he did there?)

“It’s alright, it’s okay you’re going to pump my gas one day!” he sings. (Even in 2002 that cheer-sult would’ve been dated. . .) Also, it’s hard to take anyone seriously when they’re wearing a beanie with a pom-pom on top.

And then there’s Laura Kathleen, who hails from an “upper class” family—seriously? who says that? —and has been shopping at Neiman Marcus since she was “in single digits.” (Is that a reference to her IQ or her age?)

At least she has the common sense to jettison her Elizabethan dog collar skirt, which barely covers her model’s upper butt, in favor of a serviceable, if stiff, cardboard creation.

(True story: When Lifetime first began airing Project Runway, they tried to make the models happen. They had their own show, remember? Ha, now they don’t even get names!)

Runway time! Guest judge is Stacey Bendet of Alice+Olivia. (I always thought Alice+Olivia was designed by two besties named Alice and Olivia. #Dreamsshattered.)

Big improvement over last week. I like lots of the stuff. In fact, with the exception of Bryce’s powder blue wee-wee dress, Becky’s piñata, and Bert’s dime store cover-up, nothing is seriously revolting. (Once again, Anya stunned. And, much as it pains me to say it, I also liked Danielle’s woven boho creation.)

Bottom 3 are Bryce, Fallene, and Josh C (again, poor dear.)

But Bert, who has immunity, gets a stern warning from Heidi. He walks off proudly. Much like the Honey Badger, Bert don’t give a shit.

Top 3 are Anthony, with his dazzling bird seed creation; Olivier, with his dog bed hombre look; and Joshua M, with his AF (aquarium fabulous) get-up. 

So the best part is when Heidi and Nina argue between Anthony and Olivier. Heidi is totally on Team Anthony. But Nina is on Team Olivier, as she thinks Anthony’s dress is too short and not quite as editorial. Michael Kors is pretty much just munching on popcorn throughout this whole debate—barely saying a word. (Oh and let me take this opportunity to congratulate MK on his recent engagement to his longtime boyfriend. Way to go, Your Orangeness! Would His and His liquid bronzers be too obvious a wedding gift?).

The designers are brought back on stage and Heidi is forced to say, “Olivier, you are the winner of this challenge.” But it’s like she has swallowed a cookie full of arsenic when she says it—it’s killing her. (Is this the first time in the history of PR that Heidi has NOT gotten her way?)

Anthony is declared safe—and, of course, Heidi has to tell him that he was HER favorite. Losing gracefully is not one of her more well-developed personality traits.

Joshua M is safe, too—but they want him to tone down the accessory explosions. (I say, Joshua, ignore the good taste police and get down with your rococo self.)

Miraculously, Bryce’s dress is safe (so Smurfs are cleaning up at the box office. . . and on the runway!). So it comes down to Josh and Fallene, which sucks, because I like them both.

And Josh is. . .out. Too bad, he made quite an impression in a mere two episodes.

And a few farewell hashtags for Josh, before he goes: