August 11, 2006

If Heidi could turn back time

Hooray! This may have been my favorite episode of Project Runway so far this season. So much happening, an interesting challenge, new personalities - fun! Let me tell you all about it - won't you join me?

When we last left our designers, they were sad that Bonnie left. Jeff is still bitter that Angela won the INC challenge, while Michael hopes that he can win a challenge solo. Robert resolves to do something "not boring" this time around, because if the judges don't dig his aesthetic, maybe he should "just go home."

At the runway, Heidi announces that they'll be all designing for a fashion icon. But first - model selection. This time it's being done a bit differently. Heidi will choose one of their names from the velvet bag, and the model will actually choose the designer. Interesting! But with 12 models and only 10 designers, the last 2 not picked from the bag will be out. Shitty! To have them leave from a random draw is unfair, I think. Anyway, they all pick and choose, with Bradley being picked last (again). I forget who got picked first - I'm pretty sure it was Alison. The two left and sent packing are Javi (the she-male) and Katie. Then it's the models sent to meet Tim, not the designers. What could they be up to?

In the workroom, Tim shows the models a bunch of placards featuring 10 fashion icons. They will each pick one for their respective designers. The challenge is to make a design inspired by the icon that she would wear, but modernized for today. When he says go, the models enter some sort of frenzy (I assume because they've eaten nothing but celery so far today) and claw and push past each other to grab the placards. If I was straight, I might have found that hot...but I'm not. Anywho, the designers are then ushered in to meet up with their models and find out their icons.

For the most part the match-ups are perfect. Laura gets Katherine Hepburn. Michael has Pam Grier. Jeff has Madonna. Alison has Farrah Fawcett. Kayne has Marilyn Monroe. Robert has Jackie O. Uli has Diana Ross. But a few of the match-ups worry me - Angela has Audrey Hepburn, Vincent has Twiggy, and Bradley has Cher. They all get a chance to "caucus" with their models, sketch, and then it's off to Mood to shop. Not much to say about this week's Mood trip, except we see Robert choose a soft aqua fabric.

Then it's time to cut, drape and sew (F1). As they all begin to F1, the first major incident is that Jeff sits down to a machine that isn't functioning right, and he blames Angela who was there last. They bicker, they bicker - heck, I might as well call that F2. Laura rolls her eyes, because she now hates Jeff. (Well with Keith gone, what's a girl to do? Hate Jeff! It's the new black!) She inserts her own comment during the F2 festivities, but Jeff isn't having it. Michael finally tells Jeff that it's not really fair to gang up on Angela about it. Jeff tries to F2 a bit, but Michael just gets out of it completely. He's above that. In fact, he goes and calls his mom.

This begins our "Michael is nice" segment. He calls his mom, she's his rock, she misses him, etc. Yes, it's generic to see this on a reality show, but since Michael actually DOES appear to be nice, I don't mind. He seems energized by the phone call and goes back to F1.

A group of tired designers march in for Day 2 which will be a full day of F1. Early in the day, Robert decides that his aqua fabric isn't working. He talks with Vincent, who has decided not to use this drab, oatmeal-colored linen. Robert comandeers that, and you know this is bad. Let's just say muslin would be a more attractive fabric to use. And in typical fashion, Bradley looks like he's floating on Mars. He just doesn't know what to do, and the other designers worry about him. He seriously says he doesn't know much about Cher. What is hilarious is that on Tim's podcast he said that this is what suddenly called Bradley's sexuality into question. Up to this point the assumption was he was gay, but now...?

Towards the end of the day Tim comes in for critiques. Robert's? Boring. Uli's? Yet another interesting print done well. Bradley? He's worried - VERY worrried. When he talks to Michael, Michael says that he's happy with his top, but feels his pencil skirt is too generic and not sexy like Pam Grier. So he's decided to pants. Tim says, "Well, I hate them, but they're very now!" I start to fret - was this a good decision? And worse, Michael will have to sew them in the morning!

Day 3, and the designers meet their models, and have 2 hours to finish, fit, and do hair and make-up. They will also have a consultation from the lead stylist for Tresemme. But the big news - the winner will have an ad for Tresemme in Elle magazine, featuring the winning look and the designer. HUGE! Keep in mind for the model this is almost equivalent to what she gets if she wins the whole thing. In fact, because the prize is so big, there will be no immunity this week. Last minute F1 scramble, where we see Michael sewing those pants. Tension! Also this is when we get to know Kayne's model, Amanda. This segment is called "Amanda is a chatterbox." She keeps talking about everything - how much she's eaten today, which iPod her boyfriend wants to buy her, blah, blah, blah to infinity. Kayne says she's a good model, but needs to shut the hell up and just be pretty. I'll at least agree with him on the shut up part. (But hello - models are people, too! Well, maybe not Jade.)

At the runway, we are all relieved to see that the wonderful Michael Kors is back. And the guest judge is my favorite - Diane von Furstenberg. Let's start the show!

Laura has done exactly what Katherine Hepburn might wear today. A high-waisted tweed pant over a loose wrapped pale pink top. The top has a large collar and a loose tie that hangs down the side. It's very stylish and sophisticated, just like Laura.

In a real shocker, Angela's outfit is nice. It's a multi-layered black dress with a low-cut front, and the dress has the fabric going in different directions in various parts - hard to describe, but it's nice. Of course, the girl can't stop doing those damn rosettes, but at least they have been tastefully placed at the hem (small) and one at the waist (medium). It's...good! I'm in bizarro world, I think.

Uli once again triumphs with a bold print that's mostly purple and nearly leopard-like. The halter dress has a collar that is crossed at the neck, revealing a peek-a-boo middle. It's definitely what you could see Diana wearing were she to be at the Grammys today. (But old Diana, not crazy Diana of today that touches Lil' Kim's boob.)

Alison's look is OK, but not my favorite. It's a very low-cut brown top with seafoam trim, and a loose sheer skirt in the same green color. The model of course has the requisite Farrah feathered hair.

Michael's outfit is awesome. The top is a halter style that is held at the waist by a wide belted swath, which has a nice metal piece sewn in the middle so it really looks like a belt. And the "hot pants" are really just square-cut short shorts. Nazri's hair is big and curly, but a bid more modern - not a full-on afro. The look is really hip - I could totally see Beyonce' or someone in this. Very Miami chic.

Kayne's dress is prety strong. He's got a sheer black fabric over a cream fabric. The halter dress is low cut in front, floor length, with a big opening at the front. The edge of the collar is black leather that also wraps around to form a waist band. And it's topped off with a black stole. It's definitely modern, but you can see this as Monroe material.

Jeff's outfit I just don't get. It's a bustier made up of a hodge-podge of materials in patches, all over a bubble skirt. And the model is sporting a heavy pair of short black boots. The bustier doesn't fit the model at all - it's like it entered the room a full minute before she did. Hate it.

Robert's is also baffling. It's a casual jacket over skirt combo in that awful linen, over a loose black wrap top. And the worst - the coat is tied with a piece of rope. I don't mean a piece of decorative rope - I mean NAUTICAL rope.

Could it get worse? Yes, it could. Here comes Bradley's "outfit." The top is basically a belly shirt made out of shiny silver material that they probably line satellites with. The white pants are too tight and show a bit too much in the pelvis if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Oh, and did I mention there are random pale green triangles all over the top of the shirt? Bizarre!

Vincent is like halfway to an idea. It's a short dress that has a plaid criss-crossed over a black fabric. Both sleeves are long and bell-shaped, and there are a couple faux-pockets on the front.

After the tally, Laura, Jeff (what?), Alison and Uli are all in. This is when I realize that yes, Angela is in the top again. How did this happen? During the judges' inquiry, they first examine Kayne's outfit, and really like it, especially the back. But I also notice that Amanda wasn't kidding about all that eating - I swear she has a little fat roll hanging over the belt, so it doesn't look good from the back to me. I think it's just too tight on her, actually. (Marilyn was not model-skinny, Kayne!) With Vincent, just as I said, they see where he was going but don't think he got there. After Vincent stumbles through his explanation (as usual), Diane corrects him that Twiggy is not dead. Burn! Hasn't he ever seen Top Model?

They love Michael's outfit a lot. He explains how he changed his original vision, because he wanted to give it that sexy Foxy Brown vibe. They admire his tailoring. With Bradley, they just don't get it. Moving on... Heidi shocks me by saying she loves Angela's dress so much she wants it in several colors! Nina very diplomatically says that she likes how she kept it sophisticated and Hepburn-like, but also put in her own signature style (i.e. those damn rosettes). Robert gets ripped apart. They hate the fabric. It looks messy. Michael scolds him, saying, "The one thing with Jackie O is she ALWAYS looked crisp, clean, and put together." Oh, and it's boring. Self-fulfilling prophecy!

The judges deliberate, and basically say the same things they just did, so we'll move right to the end. Angela? Is in. Well, good for her, I guess. At least she's proving she deserves to even be on the show. And the winner? MICHAEL! Hooray! I jumped up and down in bed, I was so happy! And that means he and Nazri will be in Elle for the Tresseme ad. Kayne, to his credit, is a genial loser, and he's in. Vincent is also. So that leaves Robert (boring) and Bradley (WTF?).'re in. I'm guessing on the strength of your first two designs this season. So Bradley gives a disjointed and weird exterview, and ScottE suggests that maybe if he just shaved that beard, Heidi would like him. Not likely! Actually I looked back, and I never really liked anything he did. So, good-bye, Mr. Granola.

We conclude with a brief moment where they are shooting the Tresseme ad. Michael is happy and sweet, Nazri is excited at the opportunity. This time her hair has been really smoothed into more constructed curls. It all looks hot and awesome. I love happy endings!

So someone asked me how I think/want the show to end. At this point I'm pulling for a final 3 of Laura, Michael and Uli. It would be great, as their styles are so different. Laura would have sophisticated Upper East side chic. Michael would have hip and sexy outfits that show some skin. Uli would have a wealth of vibrant prints. But of course that means one of them will surely not make it, because the universe hates me. Maybe Kayne will slip into the end? Alison would be OK. Just not Jeff (ugh), Vincent (wacko) or Robert (snore). Angela? Well, she'd certainly make sure it wasn't a dull finale...

Next week, Tim promises a field trip!


The Kara said...

I love the recaps! I wanted to briefly note Ms. Von F's opinion on Robert's that was shared with us via the Silver Foxpodcast - she said indeed Jackie O WOULD have worn something like that. Really? Well, alrightee then... but it sounds like that finished the argument and thus, Robert was in. Is it me, or does he just keep on making bad jackets? If he could just get out of the jacket biz I think he'd be fine. He needs more musical theatre inspiration. Go back to re-watch WEST SIDE STORY, Robert! Your clothes were much better with that kind of direction :)

ScottE. said...

LOVED Michael's design. It was soo perfect. And that TOP! WOW.

I think that final three would be wonderful. Structure/Free/Sexy!

Lady Brandenburg said...

Yay!!!!! LOVE Michael!!!! Finally he gets some love.

DC Food Blog said...

Love this episode too the the Michael love. Why can't Laura get a break on this show? Her stuff is always gorgeous. And the fact the only people she doesn't get along with are Keith and Jeffrey makes me love her even more.