Friday, September 7, 2012

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Meh: The Project Runway recap

From Russia, With Hate

Well, darn.

If Project Runway was a scripted show, there would have been a dramatic moment last night where Dmitry and Elena, in the midst of sniping at each other, would’ve locked eyes, hurled aside their fabric and glitter, and passionately hate-kissed.

Or…or…better still. Cut to a scene of Dmitry alone in the studio.
Elena: What’s wrong?
Dmitry: I am missing my tango. I am ballroom dancer first, designer second.
Elena: I will tango with you, Dmitry.

The lights dim and we see Elena and Dmitry doing the forbidden dance (or is that the Lambada? I always forget). Their eyes lock again.

Dmitry (smolderingly): I hate you!
Elena (smolderingly): I hate you more!

And then…they (smolderingly) kiss!!! And...scene.

Yeah. That would’ve been much better. Instead, all they do is complain about each other for 90 minutes. Oh wells.

So the show starts with Heidi asking the designers, “Who’s good at negotiating?”
Turns out, and contrary to all evidence in previous shows, they’re all good at negotiating.

And it’s a good thing, too, because they will have to earn their keep this week.
No Mood freebies for them.
The studio is filled with glitter, paint, stickers—arts and crafts type materials.
“I don’t like sparkle, I don’t like glitter. I don’t like any of that stuff,” says Elena.
Color me shocked.

“This is a very exciting day,” says Tim Gunn, in his best Mr. Gunn’s Neighborhood voice.

Tim explains that they can make tee-shirts, jewelry, scarves, etc.—anything to sell on the streets of New York.
And it doesn’t stop there: They can give fashion advice, offer to do alterations. “Whatever you need to do to make money,” Tim Gunn emphasizes. He’s basically selling them into sex trade at this point.

But first, the teams! That are totally random and not the result of producer manipulation AT ALL!!

Team one is Christopher, Gunnar, and Sonjia, aka Team Max’s Favorites Except for Melissa, She’s Cool, Too. (Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, though.)

Sassy, adorable, better than your faves, etc.

Team 2 starts with Dmitry. Then Elena is chosen.
In a private interview, Dmitry groans loudly and slumps his shoulders.
OH NOT WAIT. That wasn’t a private interview. That was right in front of Elena!!!
“What did I do in a past life to deserve this?” he moans in a private interview.
OH NOT WAIT. That wasn’t a private interview either!!!

Alicia is also on that team, for what it’s worth. 

Alicia stuck in a Dmelena sandwich

Team 3 is Ven, Fabio, and Melissa. (“A room full of aren’t we fabulous? We’re so fabulous,” as Michael Kors perfectly put it.)

"Our collective awesomeness is almost unfair"

So they all start making stuff and, in truth, the tee-shirts that Dmitry, Elena, and Alicia made are godawful.

Saleswoman of the month Elena is all too quick to point this out to potential customers.

“We’re trying to sell these crappy tees!” she chirps.
(Just once, I’d like an employee at The Gap to say that to me.)

Dmitry is horrified: “Elena iz walking depression,” he says, in that fabulously droll, adenoidal way of his.

Back at the studio the challenge is to make two complete fall looks, at least one with outerwear.

Gunnar and Christopher are getting along adorably well (squee!) but Elena thinks Christopher’s camel hair trench coat looks like a Snuggie. Heh. 

I must be shopping at the wrong Snuggie store

Tim Gunn can’t wrap his brain around Dmitry’s exposed darts. He just stares, slack-jawed, at Dmitry’s exposed darts as if Dmitry himself just sprouted an exposed dart.

The biggest bit of drama comes when Tim assesses the collection of Team Ven, Melissa, and Fabio and decides that Ven’s highly constructed (go figure) skirt doesn’t fit with the rest.
But since compromise is Ven’s middle name, this poses no problem at all!
(Actually in fairness, after a bit of grousing, Ven is fairly flexible on this—but does anyone else think he made the most lame, generic replacement skirt to SPITE his team?)

Really, Ven?

Elena keeps mocking the way Dmitry talks: Apparently, the way he says “sporty” (“spahwty”) is just hilarious to her.
To me, this is the equivalent of an identical twin calling her twin sister ugly. Girl, you sound EXACTLY LIKE HIM.

The other bit of Elenadrama: She wants her coat to be buttoned as it goes down the runway.
This, we find out later, is not because she’s trying to save Alicia from herself, as she claims, but because her coat looks like shit when open.
Alicia, understandably, doesn’t think covering up her only two small contributions to the collection is in her best interest (in hindsight, maybe she was wrong about that, but I digress…).
She insists the coat stays open.

“It’s her ass on the line, not mine” Elena says. Which makes sense cause Elena has immunity. Oh no, wait. . .

Runway Time!
Guest judge is Anna Sui, who has lots to say about teamwork, much of it contradictory.

The looks come down the runway and Team Christopher, Sonjia, and Gunnar are the “clear winners,” says Heidi. Sweet!

Then the dreaded “who should win?” moment (only slightly less dreaded than the “who should go home?” moment.)

Christopher votes for Gunnar. (And somewhere, an angel just got his wings.)
Gunnar says” “I think that I would be a contender. But I don’t want that to sound pugnacious.”
No fear of that, Gunnar!
Sonjia picks herself.

Now time to discuss two-thirds of the contestants, aka the losers.

Elena is already glowering and squirming as the judging begins.

She’s upset because Dmitry created an entire outfit on his own, trying to hog the spotlight.
Then she says, “The whole collection had to be built around your dress because you don’t know how to do anything else!”
(The phrase “oh snap” was actually created for moments like this.)

The judges, however, weren’t wild for Dmitry’s shawl/scarf, or Elena’s hideous “can’t be worn open” coat.
Briefly, like the rest of us, they forgot Alicia existed. Then they finally said, “Wait. Alicia. What did you do?”
And she explained that she “designed” the plain pants and plainer top that went under Elena’s coat.

If Alicia ever starts her own label, it should be called “Meh.”

Onto team Fabio, Melissa, and Ven.
The following words are used to describe their collection: Droopy, lumpy, sloppy, sad. (Four of the dwarves in an existential production of Snow White).
The only thing the judges like is Melissa’s white leather jacket.
They hate Fabio’s coat, as do I. Michael Kors says “it’s grandma’s house coat. She should have Kleenex in her pocket.”
(MC Metaphor strikes again!)

They notice that Ven’s pieces don’t have a whole lot of “Ven” in them.

Decision time.

The winner is Sonjia! She’s got her groove back! (Might her power come from her ginormous headscarves? God, I hope not.)


And Alicia is ….OUT.

After, she turns to the camera and says, in the most diffident, unconvincing way possible: “You haven’t seen the last of me, for sure.”
I swear, it was like she was reading it off a cue card.
But hey, who knows? The “Meh” label might actually take off. I’ll even give her a tagline: “For Days When You Just Can’t Be Bothered.”


theminx said...

"If Alicia ever starts her own label, it should be called 'Meh.'"

"Onto team Fabio, Melissa, and Ven.
The following words are used to describe their collection: Droopy, lumpy, sloppy, sad. (Four of the dwarves in an existential production of Snow White)."


Cliff O'Neill said...

Seriously, when the episode started, I said, "This one should be called 'The One Where Alicia Goes Home As Determined On Week One.'" They looked at the calendar and said, "Yup, today. Out."

Ellen said...

Just read this aloud to Emma and we giggled all the way through!

Janelle said...

I will not miss Alicia & her prison jumpsuits. Later!

Yael Berman said...

This probably has to be the most boring episode I´ve ever seen on this show. And, before reading your recap -which I found FAR MORE entertaining and enjoyed very much-, I actually thought that was what you meant by the title. xD