August 25, 2006

Family affair

Just when I think that Project Runway can't get any better or more exciting, they bust out with a show like the one this week! I predicted maternity wear, but this was way better.

When we last left our designers, they were full of weepy good-byes for Alison. Well, when not chastising Vincent, that is. Jeff interviews that Alison was his best friend, and he misses her terribly. The fact that she could manage to befriend Jeff really speaks to what a good person she was.

At the runway, Heidi tells the designers that this week they will be designing for the everyday woman. But first! Let's bring out your models. The silhouette behind the screen is a larger woman, certainly not one of the frail models they usually have. At that moment I thought, "Women who aren't model-skinny! Perfect!" But it's better - as the women start to come out, we hear Angela shriek, "Mom!" And that's when I realize that these are loved ones of the designers. AWESOME. While much waving and weeping takes place, Heidi asks the ladies to introduce themselves. They are all mothers, with the exception of Robert and Vincent's sisters. The women range in age, size and shape, so this should be fun. But first! Heidi announces that they can not design for their own loved one! An interesting (and will prove fateful) twist.

Last week's winner Michael gets to go first, and he opts for the safe route, taking Robert's sister, who although short is still slender. And then in no particular order, Uli takes Kayne's mom, Kayne takes Michael's mom, Angela takes Laura's mom, Laura takes Jeff's mom, Vincent takes Uli's mom and Robert takes Vincent's sister. So that leaves Jeff with (oh, karmic payback is a bitch) Angela's mom! Delicious.

Off to the workroom, where everyone gets to embrace their loved ones. Uli mentions that she hasn't seen her (German) mother in years - awww! That is really super that she got the chance to see her lovely mom. Tim then comes in to tell all of them it's time for a field trip. And where do they end up? Tavern on the Green for an al fresco brunch, hosted by Michael Kors. And his mom! It's funny and a bit freaky - he looks so much like her. She's basically the drag version of him with big orange sunglasses.

As they all sit down to enjoy brunch, we get the best part of the show - the loved ones brought old pictures of the designers! First we see a dapper young Michael Kors who looks almost the same. This is followed by an "awww" picture of the other Michael in a striped polo shirt for a school picture. Cute! But the topper is Jeff as a geeky teenager - braces, bleached hair and all. Hilarious!

And then the moment of drama - during a chat between Tim, Laura and her mother, Tim mentions that Laura is quite a woman to be doing this as a mother of five. Laura casually says, "and soon six." WHAT? Mom is floored. Apparently Laura hasn't told anyone - she just found out yesterday that she's pregnant. She hasn't even told her husband yet! You can tell that Mom is certainly happy for her, but taken aback to be ambushed on camera in this way. "Gobsmacked" is the only word that really fits here. Then Laura interviews (with the best line of the season), "I figure once you have five kids, another is no big deal. I'll just throw it on the pile with the other ones." HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Also during this time, Jeff's mom reveals that he is a recovering alcoholic. She is so proud of him and the progress he's made. Now, less you think I'm a cold-hearted bastard, I absolutely applaud that. It's great he's rebuilt his life, and it's great his mom is so supportive. That being said, he doesn't get any special treatment from me for acting like an a-hole. Oops - sorry! Spoiler. Oh, and Kayne used to be a real porker. Congrats on the weight loss; I suppose someone could say that he grew into his looks.

No doubt drunk on mimosas, it's time to return to the workroom. The designers get a little caucus time with their clients. Kayne loves the rhinestones Michael's mom (Pamela) is sporting and plans to use some in his design. What a pageant queen. Robert feels a little constrained that Vincent's sis (Patricia) really wants to stick with black and red. Laura is interested in the fact that Jeff's mom (Pam) likes to travel and go on cruises, so is planning a nautical theme. But the real challenge is between Jeff and Angela's mom (Darlene). She expresses some colors that she likes and the fact that she prefers to remain more covered. But they just can't seem to agree on a design concept. Everyone in the room can sense tension already. Tim informs the designers that once again they will only have one day to complete their designs.

Off to Mood, where fabric shopping happens. Jeff says that Darlene expressed an interest in colors like dark purple and dark green. He doesn't find a dark green that works, so he picks...periwinkle. Yep, because that's so much like dark green. Whatever.

Back in the workroom, it's time for - you guessed it - F1! Robert just stares at his dress form, unsure of what to do. Clearly he and other designers are unsure how to proceed with a plus-sized design. You can't exactly put it on a size 2 dress form and tailor it to a 14. Don't they make adjustable forms? I swear I've seen them. Maybe that's just not in the budget for Parsons. Jeff is just going with a concept he thinks will work, and makes various comments about Darlene that are too rude to quote here. He is being a complete jerkwad.

Later in the day, Tim wants to bring in the clients to check in with the designers. This goes pretty well all around - Uli is explaining how her choices will flatter Kayne's mom (Judy). Michael tells Robert's sis (Teresa) that his dress will be reversable. Wow! Talk about ambitious. Vincent asks Uli's mom (Heidi) if she likes the look, and clearly she can't understand him very well, so she just says, "Ja!" So cute.

But all is not well at Jeff's table. Darlene's just not seeing the design, and after some bickering, he leaves. Tim then shows up and asks her what's going on. She explains that the colors don't match what she had asked for at all, and she doesn't feel she's being listened to. Just at this moment, Jeff comes back. Tim fills him in on what's been said. But Jeff (being the ass he is) somehow decides that Darlene has embarassed him in front of Tim, and betrayed him or some other crap. He is then unbelieveably rude to her, basically flipping her the proverbial bird and saying he's going to do what he's going to do, and hopefully she'll like it. She leaves in tears. IN TEARS! For fuck's sake - this is someone's MOTHER, Jeff. And it's not like she's some horrible Mommie Dearest - she's a sweet and gentle midwestern mom. You would be APALLED if someone treated your mom like that. ASS! If I was ever on a show like this, I wouldn't even consider having my own mom subjected to this - the thought that she could end up with someone like Jeff is too horrible to consider.

Darlene goes to the lounge, and Angela arrives to hear the backstory and comfort her, like any good daughter would. Pam then arrives and tries her best to smooth things over. I admire her trying her best, but I think even she knows he stepped over the line. Pam goes back to Jeff a bit teary herself, I think because she's afraid his stubbornness is going to get him eliminated. We can only hope.

Later in the sewing room, Angela bickers with Jeff over how awful he was. He continues to stand his ground. He is seriously so distasteful right now.

The next morning, the designers have a bit more F1 time before the show. Uli off-handedly says to Michael, "What if you won for a third time in a row?" He doesn't even want to talk about it, for fear of jinxing his chances. (This is where I wondered if they showed the scene of him calling his mom 2 weeks ago as foreshadowing for this week's mom & sis challenge?)

Tim brings in the model mothers and sisters to get fitted. As Darlene goes behind a screen to get dressed with her daughter, Angela quietly counsels her to be honest on the runway - "If you don't like it, just say so." Jeff can totally hear them, I think. Off to hair and makeup, and you can tell this is part the moms are just loving. It's like having a mini-makeover!

At the runway, Heidi Klum-Seal introduces the judges, which we already know are Michael Kors, his mom, and Nina. On with the show!

Uli has of course favored using a print. The top is a loose top in a sheer earth-tone paisley. The border at the collar and sleeves is larger and in stripes. Beneath that is a simple orchid tank, and the pants are straight-legged in a golden tan color. She's added an accessory of a long over-sized necklace. It sounds like a bit much, but the overall effect definitely disguises Judy's frame which is a bit larger (she's also a bit short). It's a bit retro, a bit chic, and very Uli. Judy obviously passed on some theatrical genes to Kayne, because she really struts and preens. I love this look!

Vincent's dress for Heidi is pretty simple - a sleek black sleveless dress. There is a faux belt that is attached on one side and attaches at the navel. And the collar is over-sized in off-white. What's a bit odd is the collar doesn't go all the way around - it's only on the front of the garment. It's nothing special, but it's not horrible. When they show it close-up, it definitely looks better.

Michael's design for Teresa is a simple coat-dress that ties at the waist. It's black, but the reverse is black with big white paisley. The way he's constructed it, you see the paisley a bit at the sleeves and the collar, and where it opens slightly in front near the hem. Also the belt is showing just the paisley. It's simple and smart. I admit he had less of a challenge because of Teresa's tiny shape, but the reverseable garment was a challenge in of itself - love!

Laura has put Pam in a high-waisted form-fitting skirt in light blue, with large nautical-type buttons at the waist. The blouse is simple and collared in off-white. A scarf is loosely tied below the collar and hangs free down past the waist. It's pretty simple, but I like it. Again, when we see it in close-up, it comes off better.

Kayne's outfit for Pamela is a bit confusing. The top is loose with long sleeves, all in orange. Across the front is a wide swath of a print fabric (in orange, red, pale green and cream) that hangs assymmetrically and also continues a bit at the back. All this is over a cropped khaki pant (that looks pretty wrinkled). I think I see where he was going with this, but he missed the boat. And where are the rhinestones? Oh, I guess she's wearing some rings or something.

Angela's design for Laura's mom (Lorraine) confuses - the top is a simple black V-neck sweater. Then it appears to continue down into a wrapped skirt over pants, with layers of the skirt having a long fringe. She's also carrying one of Angela's hideous bags (in eggplant color) that is of course covered in those damn rosettes. I don't get it.

Robert has put Patricia in what amounts to be a big black mumu covered in a loose red top that has a scarf on one end that can be wrapped around. Patricia holds it and tosses it around in what I think she thinks is model-like behavior, but it really just looks silly. Considering the gene pool, I wouldn't be surprised if in her mind she believes she's a ballerina.

And last is poor Darlene in Jeff's monstrosity. Seriously, it sucks. A short black jacket covers a long nearly-black dress which has no shape at all. At the top is a bizarre collar - it looks like a periwinkle collared polo is sticking through the main dress (an illusion, it's all one piece), and on one side is a folded piece in dark purple. It seriously makes no sense. But Darlene is a real trooper and struts and smiles as best she can in that horrid get-up.

The judges tally, and Heidi asks one group to stay - Uli, Kayne, Michael, Vincent and Robert. (ScottE figured out that it's so all of them on stage have each other's loved ones.) So we won't be doing the traditional top and bottom groups this time. The judges love what Uli has done, and how much thought she put into the overall look. With Kayne they really question the print fabric - it would have been better if it was smaller and just near the collar, and also the pants are too short. These result in her looking bigger and shorter than she is (true and true). With Michael they like it well enough, and appreciate his explanation of what a businesswoman like Teresa needs in a dress. But they are really bowled over when he says it's reverseable. Michael Kors, however, finds the belt to be a bit matronly. Robert - they are bored. So bored. He counters that he was giving the client what she asked for. But Heidi Klum-Seal comes back (as she does each season) that as a designer you know better what looks good and have to help steer your client's opinion to a good compromise. In other words, he let Patricia walk all over him. They like Vincent's outfit. Sure, I guess it's fine.

In group 2, we have Laura, Jeff and Angela. And the judges just don't like any of it. Laura - the outfit is not "everyday" enough, and Pam looks older than she is. Michael thinks it may have looked better had she tied the scarf in an ascot or something. Angela - the design is too simple. Jeff - your outfit makes no sense. Does Darlene like it? No, she doesn't. She calls it "miscommunication" between herself and Jeff, which is an incredibly diplomatic way to describe what happened. Heidi asks Angela if she likes Jeff's outfit for her mom. No, she doesn't. (ScottE pipes up to say he assume they asked all the designers that, but this is the only one they showed.) Time for more deliberation.

Alone, the judges recap their thoughts. When discussing Robert's dress, Michael tosses his head back and snores. Boring! They really like Vincent's more than I would expect. What's up with that? Heidi says that she still appreciates that Jeff put "his mark" on his outfit. What's his mark - crappy design?

With all the designers back on the runway, Michael is the first one "in," because he had immunity from last week (which I forgot, but that's good). Laura is also in. And the winner is Uli. Wait, what? It's not? It's VINCENT?!?!?! WHAT IN SAM HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!?!?! I'm perplexed beyond belief. Uli was totally robbed! She is of course still in, but she has every right to be peeved. In Tim's podcast, he said the exact same thing - Uli had to deal with a different body type than they normally design for, and she pulled it off beautifully. SUCK!!! Sorry, I'm over it. Well, not really, but this post is already too long.

Kayne is in, and so is Angela. The leaves Jeff, who didn't listen to his client, and Robert, who listened too intently. Robert...you're...out! Boo! I suppose he should go, because he's just been Snoozefest 2006, but I really wanted karma to deal Jeff the final blow. Here's hoping it does next week.

Next week - Jeff and Angela still fight! And the designers create a look for "a jetsetter." What could that be? Flight attendants?

And this week's new Question of the Week! Which outfit would you put your own mother or sister in? I think my own mom could pull off a few of these, but I imagine that Michael's design would be the most flattering for her figure.

For more juicy analysis, check out what they're saying at the Washington Post Express.

7 comments:

The Kara said...

I loved the episode this week! And SHAME on Jeff for being mean to a mom... even if it was Angela's mom... I thought Angela was being pretty reserved actually... if someone had treated my Mom that way I would have kicked their arse all the way to Hoboken. And then, after the arse kicking was over, I'd offer for my mom to put on Ulli's outfit - it would look lovely on her as my mom has a little flair herself. I have to also say, though, that my mom would probably wear Kanye's outfit that he made for Michael's mom. What can I say? My mom likes capris and happy colors?

DC Food Blog said...

Jeffrey was just mean. I can't beleive that they judges didn't kick him out. Although Robert's outser was coming since he couldn't get out of the boring box. I still can't beleive that Vincent's thing won. It made Uli's Mom look like a sausage.

Lady Brandenburg said...

I finally tuned in to Tim's podcast and he's totally right about Vincent's dress collar - very strange. Uli should have won, hands down. Also I love that Tim hates when Vincent says "that gets me off" or "that makes me hot" - so gross!!!!

I was disappointed with Laura's creation - I think Jeff's mom could have looked more stunning, even in "everyday" wear.

I continue to love Michael.

Lady Brandenburg said...

Oh, and QOTW: My mom would look adorable in Michael's since she's so petite (just like J-Lo's mom).

ScottE. said...

I would put my mom in Micheal's dress. She'd fit well in it...and with a hair makeover.

I liked Micheal's dress and Uli's dress. The rest..all very underwhelming. Let's kick up the couture drama kittens!

tsukata said...

I *loved* this ep. It was a way to introduce heart and drama without being over the top. As a "zaftig" woman (to steal Tim Gunn's euphemism), I loved that they had to design for real bodies.

I would have loved to have seen Michael take on a curvier figure, but the shape I want to see him do wasn't really up there unfortunately. I think he could have kicked ass with Angela's mom, but I can understand why he used his privilege to take on someone a bit easier. It's got to be hard as hell to design for a real body (as much as I feel it is a great requirement for them to do), especially in a day. The dressforms are practically useless.

My mom would probably have liked Robert's dress actually. She's a similar shape to that woman, and she would have loved the scarf thingie. I do think the judges were spot on in telling him he could have gone for a red-toned colorful print for the scarf and saved the outfit that way.

I loved Kayne's outfit. I know everyone in the world disagrees with me, but I absolutely adored those crop pants he did, with the vertical piping especially. The melon was a lovely color, muted but still exciting. My guess is that he spent too much time fitting the pants and ran out of time to work the top out better, so he just kinda slapped it together. I think, given time, he could have made a lovely outfit. And knowing he was once a fat kid made me love Kayne all the more, too...I'm prejudiced, I admit it. :)

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