Friday, August 24, 2012

Ven Diagrammed: The Project Runway recap

This photo will double as a nice dart board

Gather round, children, hold hands, form a semi-circle, and let us all bask in our hatred of Ven together.
There can be some sort of  hate-chant involved.
It will be cleansing.

Yup, with one show, Ven has officially become Project Enemy No. 1, the Todd Akin of reality fashion TV. (And yeesh, this was the one place I was sure I could avoid the War Against Women. Is nothing sacred?)

We’d all secretly suspected that Ven was an ass—but no one could’ve possibly anticipated the extreme levels of asshood. This is advanced stuff, people. Jeffrey “penis neck” Sebelia (Season 3 winner) bows down to his asshood.

Okay, let’s take it from the top.

Heidi comes on stage with a bunch of semi-stylish but very “real” (whatever that means) looking people.

The designers collectively gasp, as though there isn’t a frickin’ "design for real people" challenge every season.

But there’s a twist: The designers won’t be designing for this bunch but for their fashion-challenged friends, who will be getting a total makeover.

(BTW, an aside: I’ve already established my love of Sonjia and her funky fresh style. But if she was my BFF, we’d have a little fashion intervention on those oversized babydoll head bands. For reals.)

What I'm talking about

Now. .. if Project Runway was super evil, they’d have the designers pick their clients based solely on their impressions of the friend.
Then the mind-fuck could truly begin: Would the stylish attractive woman have the most attractive friend—or the least attractive friend? Would the skinny guy with glasses have a lookalike girlfriend? Or would he go the whole Jack Sprat route?
But they are mercifully spared this kind of guessing game. Clients are randomly assigned.

And, as real people are wont to do, the clients come in all shapes and sizes. Some are skinny, some are fat. Some are tall, some are short.
It’s called the HUMAN ANATOMY, people.

The clients also have very particular ideas about what they like and don’t like:

There’s Melissa’s client Kandace, who really like things that match.

There’s Alicia’s client, Martina, who wants “men to want to marry me and women to want to be me.” LOLOL. No pressure there, Alicia.

We have Elena’s client, Jenna, who wants to dress like a THIS parachute, for reasons not quite clear.

Nathan’s client Liana, is an R&B singer who wants her midriff out, but doesn’t want to be overly sexualized.
(So, she’s looking for a tasteful bare midriff. Riiiiight.)

“Is she going to wear shapewear?” Tim Gunn says, peering at Nathan’s dress form. “Because otherwise, you’re going to have a really vulgar moment happening.”
(And, yes I am putting that line in my Big Book of Handy Tim Gunn Phrases. Sample usage: “Should I wear these torn fishnets to the club tonight?” “Only if you want a really vulgar moment happening.”)

Fabio has quite possibly the cutest client of all: Ko-Rely (dafuq?): An Asian girl who dresses like a Brooklyn hipster. A male Brooklyn hipster, that is.
“I just don’t want to be sexualized, you know?” she says. No worries there, Juno.

And then we have the yin and yang of this week’s episode.
We have Gunnar Deatherage, who really is just the sweetest Gunnar Deatherage he could possibly be, isn’t he?
His client Kim, is a large and in charge woman with a great smile.
Her faithful BFF wants her to have a big look that matches her big personality.

“I make clothing for regular women that want to look great,” says Gunnar. (Just imagine that quote surrounded by hearts, unicorns, and rainbows in my mind.)

“I’m going to make you into a fox,” he promises her. (More hearts.)

Anyway Kim is so excited about this makeover, she starts to cry and then Gunnar hugs her and then I’m crying. It’s all very emotional.

Kim and Gunnar 4Evah!!!!

Feel the love

Then—feel free to boo, hiss, and throw tomatoes—we have Ven.
His client, Terri, a mother of two, needs business casual.

“When I first see Terri I’m in shock,” says Ven. “I’m very disappointed. These women have wide waist lines and hip lines so this is definitely a challenge.” 

How DARE she have hips?

(At least, thank God for small favors, there was no talk of secretions.)

So Tim Gunn comes into the studio and Ven airs his grievances, yet again.

Ven: “I was in shock. I’ve never worked with a plus-size before."
Tim: “What size is she?”
Ven: “Ohmygod, I’m thinking around 14.”
Tim (befuddled): “That’s just on the cusp.”
Ven: “She’s not fashion forward. My client doesn’t really have a shape. The before picture is definitely a nightmare.”

Oh god. Where. To. Begin.
First of all Ven, look in the mirror, buddy. I didn’t nickname you Buddha because of your washboard abs.
Second of all, you condescending piece of shit. How dare you judge this woman? How DARE YOU? (Ahem.)

I literally could not hate him more at this point.

“Also, there’s her age,” Ven says. “She’s almost 40.”

I stand corrected.

This challenge may be bringing out the worst in Ven, but it’s bringing out the best in Elena. She loves her client and is in a good mood and actually—gasp—smiles.

“This is the first time I see Elena be nice to somebody so it’s about time.- Dmitry.

Dmelena Lives!!!

Anyway, it’s not enough that Ven insult his client behind her back. He starts to insult her to her face.

He starts talking about how he’s dressing her in black because it’s “slimming.” Then he tells her how “surprised” he was that she looked beautiful after her L’Oreal makeover. (That’s Ven’s idea of a compliment.) “Thanks,” she says, sarcastically.
Then he starts trying to wrap these tiny little belts—made for models, mind you—around her waist. And then he makes her cry.

That was when my hate-on for Ven soared to new heights.
I wanted to start smearing his bald pate with shampoo, saying, “Why isn’t this shampoo making your hair clean?”
Then I wanted to rip off Gunnar’s skinny jeans and try to cram Ven’s lard ass into then. “Why aren’t Gunnar’s skinny jeans buttoning on you, Ven?”

Okay, I’m getting all worked up again. Need to hold hands in the hate circle. BRB.

Meanwhile, everyone in the studio is giving Ven the stinkeye. Christopher’s mouth literally drops open, as it does. He’s like a silent film star.
Everybody seems to know what an ass Ven is being . . . except Ven.

Runway day:
Guest judge is British designer Alice Temperley, for what it’s worth.

It was very cute to see the non-professional models strut their stuff down the runway.
A few of them got their model stank face on.
A few giggled adorably as they galumphed down the catwalk (that’s how I would do it).
Terri, Gunnar’s client, absolutely WORKED IT OUT.
Christopher’s client had a tiny issue with the jacket.
(“I spent 8 and a half hours on this jacket and she ripped it off and held it in a ball.”)
One client stopped and randomly posed like a weathervane at the end of her catwalk. (Not totally sure why.)

Anyway, the top 3 are Dmitry, whose dress really was smart and stylish, but—just between you and me—I found it a little dull. 

Solid but unspectacular

Gunnar, whose Top 3 appearance was obviously fueled by ANGELS. 

And Fabio, who made this awesome cool-girl dress that everyone and their hipster sister now wants, including me. 

Get in my closet, dress!

And the winner is: Fabio!
And the best part? He’s going to celebrate his big win by SHAVING HIS BEARD!!! (I wish.)

Bottom 3 are Nathan, Sonjia, and Ven.
No mystery here: Nathan is toast.

His clients are already subconsciously distancing themselves from him

But Heidi has a little fun at Ven’s expense. (Go Heidi, go!)

“One, or more of you will be going home,” she says.

Sonjia is safe!
Nathan is toast!

And now it’s just Ven alone on that stage, twisting in the wind.
“You didn’t do your client any favors,” Heidi scolds. But he’s—sigh—in.

(By the way, they could’ve totally had a heartwarming, Extreme Home Makeover moment by having Michael Kors offer to make Terri a dress. Seriously, it’s the least the damn show could’ve done after putting her through that hell. Get your shit together, show!)

Anyway, it’s clear that Ven just got a valuable lesson in humility. I’m sure we’re going to see a whole new side of him.

“Honestly I don’t think I should’ve been the last person there,” Ven says. “I think there were some weak looks.” (*Record scratching sound*)


As for Nathan. We’ll miss him, but luckily he can now resume his career as the lead singer of 80s hip-hop band, Digital Underground.


Ellen said...

This is HILARIOUS, Max!

And now, of course,I'm picturing a venn diagram, illustrating where narcissism, ego and lack of self-awareness meet ...

BadMonster said...

Made my day! Oops gtg, about to get caught grinning while at work. PS I hate Ven. Sign me up for the circle!

SamiJ said...

Michael Costello offered to make Terri a dress.

Venn is a sass-clown who thinks all the women he dresses are just inhuman little dolls. He gets peeved when his dolls are in the 'wrong shape' -- I guess he plans on being the silent partner in a design firm - because he certainly couldn't work the front room.

Zosia said...

I didn't even watch it and you made me laugh out loud. At 1:40am. Damn you.
Also, you make it sound so fun that 'Live watching Project Runway with Max' is on my bucket list.

Evelyn said...

I'm eager to see the show where all of the designers get together with Tim in a group and talk about the show - they still do that, don't they? This is sure to come up then and I'll be interested in hearing Ven's defense of his deplorable behavior. I bet the blowback on the website is having an effect, too. I just hope he doesn't turn out to be this season's winner.

MoHub said...

Best recap I've read so far. And to add insult to injury, what Ven perceived as a size 14 is actually 10/12, and "almost 40" turns out to be 36.

The upside, though, is that Michael Costello has been in contact with Terri with an offer to make her an outfit.

suzq said...

Suede has also offered to make Terri an outfit.

Great pull on the Nathan/Digital Underground link. Brilliant!

Not a fan of our "one way monkey," Ven, but I always welcome these challenges where designers who think they are so strong get rattled, even if it's just a little.

melissa green said...

Like Chris, my jaw dropped to the floor while I watched Ven’s double-chinned face spew those terrible comments at his beautiful client. I felt personally insulted since this hard-working woman reminded me so much of myself and the ladies around my office at Dish that work 24/7 and wanted to feel like beauty queen for one day. Is that so much to ask, Ven?! He disgusts me to think about and, after I wrap this comment up, I never plan to speak of him again! In fact, I’ve already decided to record each episode just so I can fast-forward through all this self-appraising monologues. Besides, his dresses turn out all the same anyways, so why bother watching his fat butt make them! It might be a trying task on my DVR to record each lengthy episode but I have the Hopper DVR, with a memory space as big as Ven’s belly, so I’ll be good to go. My fingers are crossed that he is out next!

Yael Berman said...

Just caught up with the season so I just read your recap.
I really like Ven´s clothes in general, so his attitude and words were a major disappointment. I´m glad the judges left him standing there the last, making him believe -at least I hope so- he could be going home as well, but IMO they let him off the hook too easily. I hope they had a harsher talk with him behind the cameras.
I´m glad other designers offered to make Terri a dress, and also that she has such a loving and caring friend. To be honest, I was surprised the other designers didn´t say called Ven out on his asswholery.
Unfortunately, I don´t think it´s odd to find attacks against women in the fashion industry, but rather quite common and even expected. I mean, using only super skinny models in a runway show is an attack on women by itself.
It was nice to see some usually grumpy or nasty designers showing so much enthusiasm for their models, listening to what and treating them with great kindness and warmth. I specially liked what Gunnar said about Kim making him feel better without even knowing it. That was really sweet (hearts, rainbows and unicorns FTW! :). I personally wasn´t a fan of the dress, but Kim liked it and it gave her what she wanted, and that´s what´s really important. I really liked Elena´s dress and I was impressed with the fact that she managed to make something so different from her usual style and I thought the dress was beautiful.
I agree Fabio did a wonderful job, I loved the dress he designed and I was very happy he won. Dimitri´s dress wasn´t very special, but he accesorized it perfectly, and with the hairstyle and attitude of the model, I think the result was amazing.
Can´t wait for the next episode.

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