Saturday, October 31, 2009

Project Runway Season Six Ep 11: The Mediocre-est of the Mediocre

Welcome!  Previously on Project Runway:  Kors Challenge!  The designers had to create a look inspired by a locale.  Chris made "an Amish dress" for Santa Fe, Irina was a bitch the whole time but won with her  "majorly luxe" Aspen look, and Nicolas made Horrendous Not-Grecian Pants and got sent home, just as we were starting to like him.

This week, we begin with poor Chris musing with Logan about how frustrating it is to be given gold stars at first, then landing in the bottom a handful of times: "Congratulations," "Congratulations," "Great work," "Great work, " "Fantastic," "Stunning"..."Sucky," "We hate it," "We hate you," "You're fat."  Hee.

Irina brilliantly deduces that the fashion industry is dominated by men.  This show was so much better in the first year when the contestants weren't so conscious of the cameras.  Althea thinks that she, Irina and Carol Hannah are the standouts of the group.  Foreshadowing?  Gordana's decided it's time to show the judges their imaginations, since they've all shown by now that they can make clothes.  That would be a nice idea, if the format this year would give any of them enough sketching time.  Carol Hannah's worried that all she's made is dresses.  That's okay, CH, that's all most people make on this show.  (I tried including Carol's second name, since there are fewer names to have to type out now, but I just can't manage it more than the once, so CH it is.)

The designers head in to the runway room but must sit facing backwards, away from the stage.  This leads to this season's Most Awkward Moment as the designers act like Mike Meyers might leap out and kill them all.
Calm down guys, it's just Heidi in a dress under which I very much hope she was wearing dancer shorts, who tells them they can turn around and look... at the collection of winning designs so far this season, one by each of the designers.  (Except for Mr. Shiny Pants, who hasn't won any challenges, and thus his garment is the the one the judges deemed his best.)  Their challenge?  Create a companion piece to their best look that compliments and enhances it.

I miss the Hershey Store Challenge so much right now.

Another one-day challenge that gives the designers little time to sketch, and little time to choose and buy fabrics.  Joy!  (Though re-watching this on the Lifetime site, at this point I burst into giggles at the Top Chef advertisement that pops up on the screen.) CH and Althea are wearing matching samurai sashes.  What's up with that?

Althea wants to take the "paper bag waist" of her winning skirt and bring it to a pair of pants.  Urgh, the waist of that skirt was heinous in the first place.  Irina Einsteins how to build a collection.  Thanks!  Gordana's thinking of a blazer, top and pants for a work-ready look to compliment her "edgy" sewn-strips dress.  Chris is going for a gown, with a "different spin" on his winning Lindsey Lohan look.  Oh my god, he's sketching a mishmash of the three dresses he's shown us so far.  It looks like a topiary is growing out of the model's ass.  I'm starting to think that Chris taught himself to sew by deconstructing doll's clothes, because that seems to be the limit of his know-how.

Irina's decided against a skirt, instead going with a dress.  Logan is going to do a load of zipper trim/embellishment.  Wow, that's never been done before, that's so out there.  CH is feeling torn over whether to do pants, for the sole reason she mentioned before, that she's only done dresses.  Tim brilliantly advises her that if she's going to push and go big, she needs to be in a certain comfort zone.  If she's too concerned about properly executing the pants, she won't be able to get really creative with the design.  Reason #4812 why Tim rocks.

Thank You, Mood!  Back to the workroom.  Irina's cutting and placing the pretty tapestry fabric she bought for a look that's more "about work." Illegal-in-most-states work, maybe.  Althea's buddying up to Irina a bit.  Uh-oh.  Logan gets a little bitchy in the workroom.  Gordana's noticing an increase in negativity in the workroom.

We get a glimpse of Gordana as a child, in her village at the Bosnian/Serbian border.  Her parents were uneducated Serbian farmers, she tells us, making it all the more amazing that she's here, in the Top Six, doing what she loves.  Love this woman.  Though she does say her parents were "just farmers," to which I say, "Someone needs to grow the food, you know?"  Seriously, I don't turn my nose up at farmers.  It's nice for people to be able to eat. But I digress. Chris has purchased 30 yards of lining fabric, and Logan interviews snarkily, but correctly, that Chris's signature is just to volumize the crap out of everything.

Tim comes in for the walkthrough.  CH is afraid that her look is looking like "a big scary mess," which gets no argument from Tim, but he does offer some advice for using her fabric that earns a "yay," from her.  I just noticed she has a tattoo of little stars on her right hand (is that real?).  Tim is excited about Irina's Unexpected (In A Good Way) look, but notes she needs to have the cardigan she planned to do.  A lot of people think the camel/copper brown is dull, but I absolutely love that color (I dig fall shades).   Chris's gown is worryingly bottom-heavy and matronly.  Althea's pants are looking like they're "waiting for a diaper," which scares Tim.  Me too. Gordana's liking the rough finish on her jacket's seams, but it looks really crappy.

Althea notes that Logan is making a collar out of zippers, just like she did in the movie challenge.  Wait, that had a zipper collar?  Never even noticed. She decides she's fine with it because she thinks she did it better anyway.  Cool!  I respect that attitude.  But wait, she makes the mistake of having a little bitchfest over dinner with Irina in the fishbowl room off the designing area.  Irina encourages Althea's anger, advising her to say something passive-aggressive to Logan. Of course.

Runway Day!  Chris struggles to get all of the fabric petals sewn onto his Giganto-Gown.  Althea is stressing over having to hand-sew her big sweater: she'll have to do a basting stitch around the bottom, and we all know how good that looks.   Gordana needs a hook-and-eye and Althea offers that she might have one in her bag, but G can't find one and asks Irina.  Irina bitchily and absently snaps "I don't know."  And that shows her character, right there.  The best designers on this show have wanted to compete on fair terms, not walk over weaker people.  If you're that good, it won't matter if you give a closure to someone else.  "When I want something, usually I get it," interviews Irina.  How I loathe this woman.  Logan interviews that she's called "Mean-a Irina."  Haw!  Meanwhile, the Mean-a rubs off on Althea, who interviews snarkily that CH is a one-trick pony who only makes dresses.  Okay, Boobies-Akimbo-Scoop-Top-Thin-Belt Lady, who certainly doesn't churn out the same look week after week.  Geezus.  But then, Irina tops the Stank Cake by accusing Althea of copying her Aspen look, because she invented Giant Sweaters.  This Junior High crap really does my head in.

Thankfully, it's Garnier-L'Oreal-Macy's time.  Let's get to the runway!

HAHAHAHAHA what the hell is Heidi wearing??

The guest judge is Kerry Washington,  actress and L'Oreal spokesmodel.  Who?  Never mind, we've got "Uncle Nick" Vierros, season 2 designer, PR blogger, and instructor at FIDM!  And Nina!  Sadly, no Kors.  Too bad, cause I'd love to know what he'd have to say about that getup Heidi is wearing.  Let's start the show!

We start with this inoffensive little poufy dress from CH:

It's a little awkward in the way that it moves a lot, but is also quite stiff.  A strong wind would just blow that thing right over her head.  And I don't get what's up in the boob area -- it's so weird and looks kinda like giant inverted nipples.  The back is simple but cute.  As a compliment to her winning Aguilera dress, I guess it works, in the sense that it's also black.

Can someone explain to me how this next look won?

Okay, as a concept, this fits with Althea's winning look.  But since I hated that one, too, it makes sense that I would then dislike this one.  Those pants look good on exactly no one, I don't care whether they're on trend.   Baggy butt, wide-looking thighs, sloppy-looking waist. The execution on the sweater is dismal, though I like the idea and it looks really comfy.  But can we get a closer look at that top?

Why are those darts there on the bust??  No really, Althea, why are those darts there on the bust?  And WHAT is going on with those pasties underneath?  It looks like the model has giant diseased nipples.  Why have none of the judges pointed out that Althea cannot fit a bust, and that every week her model's boobies are flying all over the place?  Oh, my head.

Luckily, Logan provides some comic relief:

See, Althea, this is why you don't stress if someone steals an idea.  It doesn't mean they're going to do something awesome with it.  They may, like Logan has, make a cross between a B-movie space costume and a diner-waitress uniform.  He used zippers to line the arm holes??  Yeah, that would feel excellent.  The zippers and the non-color are the only things tying this look to his "best" look.  (Which I don't even agree was his best look; I think it should've been the SciFi look he did for the movie challenge.)  Hilariously, Nina makes a lemon-sucking face as Kojii walks this down the runway.

Here comes this week's entry from Irina, Inventor of the Giant Sweater.  When I first saw this on the runway, I really liked it.  But giving it a closer look in photos, there are some problems with it:

The cut of the sweater is really unflattering, putting a lot of volume right at the model's hips.  While I liked the dress at first, the paneling on the side of the legs is actually really cheap-looking, and the back is all kinds of weird and puckery.  The sewing of the layered fabric pieces is sloppy-looking. I love the colors, and it goes very well with the previously-winning look, but it's not without flaws.

Sadly, Gordana gave us kind of a clunker this week:

I liked the concept and design of the jacket, but the execution is poor.  The front of the jacket bagged out in a really unflattering way, and the seams and hem looked bad.  The skirt is a weird length, too.  It also doesn't really strike me as being from the same collection as her previous winning dress.

Last, and potentially least, it's Princess PuffyBloomers:

This look again.  Sigh.  Actually, if the Bob Mackie episode had been about doing a tribute to Mackie, Chris could've whipped this out as a tribute to his Carol Burnett work.  I am so effing tired of seeing the same shape from Chris over and over.  It relates to his winning look, but so does every single outfit he's done this year (with possible exception of his maternity look).

It's worth noting, here, that this week's Rate the Runway on shows over 700 votes, with only 2 designers earning 3 out of 5 stars.  Everyone else got 2 stars.  At this point in the competition, that is pathetic.  Uninspiring, uninspired.  Designers giving us the same look week after week.  Boring, rushed challenges.  At this point, this season is basically a wash, and I'm only continuing to recap because I've committed to doing so.  None of these designers are exceptional.

Still, one has to win, and one must go home.  All six of the designers remain on the runway for judging: the best are Althea, Irina, and CH.  The worst are Chris, Gordana, and Logan.

Chris's look is unproportioned and carnival-float looking, with a bedskirt bottom.  Irina says her look is something for a cocktail party or evening.  Ohhh, so it *is* that kind of "work" look.  Gotcha.  Nick thinks it's uptown chic.  Nina likes the color and shape of the coat, but thinks the dress looks cheap.  Heidi makes a point to say that Nina was the only one who didn't like the dress.  Nina makes a "bitch, please" face, which cracked us up at Chez Boogie.  On the other hand, Heidi hates Gordana's look, saying it makes her model look "old and sad and drab."  Well, to be fair, Gordana thinks this is an "elegant silhouette," which makes me think she might need new glasses.  The fit is just not good.

The judges do like CH's dress.  Nick puts in "Ava Gardner."  However, they do not like Logan's look.  Logan says he could see Pink wearing it to the VMAs, which sends Washington into peals of giggles.  Ooh, mean!  Nina pronounces it unflattering, student-project work.  "Judy Jetson," offers Nick.  Heidi calls Althea's My First Big-Girl Pants "genius."  WHAT? What is Heidi smoking, and can I have some?  There's no mention made of the hideous boob-darts or those wack pasties Tanisha is wearing.  Instead, Irina throws Althea right under the bus because she invented Giant Sweaters.  What'd I tell you about cozying up to the bitches, Althea?  They'll run you over, too.

After some very Mean Girls-style debate, the decisions are made.  Althea wins, and Logan's shiny silver pants have run out of magic: he gets the auf.  Did you know his design partner was Blayne, of "Lame-licious" last-season infamy?  There's a joke in there somewhere.

Another disappointing week, over.  Next week: The Last Challenge!  Stalactites and roadkill and bemusement from Tim, oh my!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Project Runway S6 Episode 10: Uninspired

Previously on Project Runway:  Bob Mackie challenge!  Lots of not-Mackie creations!   Christina Aguilera!  Nicolas came across as kind of likable!  Carol won!  Poor Shirin had a total meltdown, made a Vampire Bride Halloween costume, and sadly, got auf'ed. And then we all threw things at our televisions.

A preface to this ep: Nina asked on this one, "Where's the fantasy?"  I'll tell you, Nina - the fantasy was the idea that we might get a runway full of well-made, fresh looks.  Oh, I'm so grumpy about this episode.  I initially thought we had a good group of talent, but this particular runway made me think that most of these designers are just so uninspiring.  And the thing is, there *are* some very good designers this year.  I don't know if it's fatigue/burnout, being-on-tv nerves, the too-short challenge timeframes, or what, but they keep turning out really disappointing looks.

Well, let's see what this week had in store, shall we?

The sun rises over L.A., and we get the usual Wow, We're Really Down to the Wire.   Carol interviews some sheep/wolf analogies about the competition side of things.  The only wolf I see is Irina, but whatever. Poor Christopher thinks that being one of the Top 7 is a validation of his talent.  Who wants to be the one to tell him that this is reality television, and it's therefore only a validation of his ability to Give Good Television?  I sure don't.  He's so cute.

Wearing enormous earrings, Heidi greets the designers and instructs them to go with Tim to Rodeo Drive to meet with a Famous Designer.  Logan correctly assumes that they will be doing something higher-end.  Chris is so adorable with his small-town-boy wonder at all of the wealth and power contained on one street.  I was the same way when I went to Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.  (Until I looked around and realized that being rich enough to afford high fashion does not grant one the ability to wear it sensibly.)

The Famous Designer they're meeting with is... KORS!  At his own flagship boutique!  It has become an automatic reaction to start singing the Oompa Loompa song whenever Kors comes onscreen.  Hee.

Kors (oompa) gives (loompa) the designers their challenge: create a fabulous look inspired by one of Kors' favorite locales.  Back at FIDM, Carol, as last week's winner, gets to pick first among the locales, choosing Palm Beach.  Tim  then brings out the Velvet Bag o' Mystery and one by one, the rest of the designers get to choose.  Nicolas decides not to pick New York because he feels it's too easy, and he wants a challenge - I respect him for that - and chooses Greece.  Althea picks St. Tropez with no hesitation.  Gordana takes New York.  After some deliberation, Irina picks Aspen (then interviews that winter-wear is one of her specialties, so I don't know why the indecision, but okay).  Chris immediately takes Santa Fe (hilariously represented in a photo by a steer skull on a stick), which leaves Logan with Hollywood (he does a silly little Touchdown dance).

Argh!  Another overly-restricted challenge: only 30 minutes to sketch, $150-, and one day to finish.  This should've been a two-day challenge.

Sketching begins.  Carol is going for relaxed-but-put-together.  Althea wants to juxtapose the yacht-party and old fishing-town qualities of St. Tropez.  Gordana wants something for Park Avenue to represent a sophisticated, independent woman.

Mood Madness!  Logan lags.  Gordana spends so much money on little jewels that she's only got thirty dollars to buy fabric.  She's anchoring her whole look on a statement necklace.  Logan is doing a "bohemian, comfortable" look with skinny jeans. For Hollywood?  OK.  Irina's trying to make the most of the tiny budget for her winter look, doing a fur vest with a full hood and a cowl-neck sweater.  Nicolas thinks the judges will absolutely love his look, or hate it.  Carol wishes she could have bought more fabric.

Irina's being a grumpy-pants in interview again, but she's not wrong that messing around makes the sewing take longer.  Still, in this environment, it's rare that someone doesn't just need to go slap-happy and joke around.  (Total side note: What the fuck is Gordana wearing?  My God, that's a horrendous outfit.)

Tim comes in to check out what the designers are doing.  Gordana shows him the beautiful necklace she's making, but she hasn't even started the dress.  Tim's nervous and warns her to start the dress soon so she doesn't get stuck.  Althea hasn't yet learned not to talk over Tim.  She wants to make sure her outfit is tailored so that it looks expensive.  Tim warns her to watch the proportions.

Chris is, like Gordana, focusing on an accessory element - for his, it's a wide belt.  Tim's worried that Chris is getting cliche, and that he's too focused on making it all about the belt.  I don't know wtf is up with the minty color Chris is using for the top.  Irina interviews that Chris's outfit is looking Amish.  She's not wrong!  Tim warns Carol that her dress looks too ordinary; she needs to set it apart from dresses you can buy anywhere.  Nicolas is using this gross gray menswear fabric for a pair of pants, and some white fabric for a top.  Logan needs to ensure that his look is cohesive.  Irina's doing some lovely pants with a camel-colored sweater; Tim is concerned about the gigantic cowl.  Nicolas isn't impressed with the borderline film-costume look to Irina's outfit, and says that's not his thing.  Wait, I thought he made film costumes?  Confusion at Chez Boogie.

The models come in.  Gordana's wigging out because she doesn't have the dress completed enough to fit it on the model.  Nicolas, similarly, doesn't have time to drape his top on Kojii.  Logan's pants don't fit.  Irina interviews snarkily about the lack of creativity amongst the other designers.  Here's the thing, Princess:  you're not wrong, but please, include yourself in that statement, because what you are making is not that creative.  Nicolas is struggling with draping his jersey fabric, which he never worked with before.  Seriously?  Chris is making this really crappy-looking dress, and Althea interviews that she doesn't know how Chris will send that garment out and not get sent home for it.  Me neither, Althea.  Chris looks at his outfit, realizes that the skirt is totally farmer, and chops off 20 inches.

Nicolas interviews that of course they all hope the other ones will "choke," but that they're a really good group and he doesn't really want anyone to go home.  Aww, I'm kind of starting to like this guy.  He'll probably get sent home now.

Next day: frenetic as usual!  Scrambling.  L'Oreal, Tresemme, Macy's wall, blah blah.  Let's get to the runway!

NINA AND KORS!  Yaaaay!  The old team is back together.  The guest judge this week is Milla Jovovich, who I always think sounds weird because I keep expecting her to talk like Leeloo but instead she sounds like she just had some bong hits.  Let's start the show!

We start with another basic sporty came-from-his-own-closet look from Logan:
All photos courtesy of

Okay, okay, this wasn't bad.  The jeans fit beautifully, but I generally hate white jeans.  The fit at the waist in back is a little funky, as is the workmanship of the trim of the tank, but I can't really bag on this too much.  It doesn't really say "Hollywood" to me, though.  It's just sort of... okay.

Can I just say how tired I am of seeing this silhouette from Althea?

This is the umpteenth time she has made this look.  V-top?  Scoop-necked shell? Check. High, thin belt?  Check.  Very short bottom?  Check.  The only real difference is the shorts, and they're not very flattering from the back.  The top also looks really shoddy from the back.  I don't dislike Althea's aesthetic overall, but we at Chez Boogie are getting mighty bored with this.  Is this St. Tropez?  I don't actually know, and I'm so bored that I don't care.

Feather Boy, Feather Boy, Feather Boy... With Greece as his inspiration, he created a beautiful wrapped-fabric top, and then...

Why, Nicolas, why did you put it with those gawdawful pants??  They had an insane crotch, were way too tight, and just didn't go at all.  Such a freaking shame.  A swishy skirt or even shorts with sandals would have been perfect.  Even skirting cliches would have been better than this. (Oh, yikes - no pun intended.)

Here's another example of a decent designer boring us:

It's a nice enough maxi-dress, if a bit too long for a casual dress,  and it's an appropriate result for a Palm Beach-inspired dress, but it's nothing we haven't seen a hundred times before.  I do love the print on the fabric.  The twisted details were a better idea than reality - in the back, the straps came out too thick/ropey looking, losing their elegance.

This is the garment that deserved the auf, in my humble, but correct, opinion:

Chris, are you kidding us with this?  Yes, it was a good idea to chop off the Little House on the Prairie skirt into something more modern and fun, but now the lining is showing in the back.  That top is something I could make, and I don't know how to sew.  And the belt... I know he was proud of it and the judges like it, and he spent a lot of time on it, but I think it looks like a costume accessory from the set of Conan the Barbarian or something.  I know the producers want to keep Chris because he's a young upstart and very nice and cute, but meh... his work just hasn't been that appealing overall.  I want this kid to succeed like crazy, because he does have a lot of ideas and he's simply a really nice guy.  But this is crap.  And says nothing "Santa Fe."

Last week, I had to humbly admit that I really liked Nicolas' dress.  This week, I must similarly confess to liking Irina's look, for Aspen:

I really dislike that type of fur look, but it was appropriate.  The cowl on the sweater was pretty much 80's retro, but I love it.  A couple of issues: the sleeve length is weird, the sweater's not that flattering around the butt, and WTF is with the cut-out back?  It looks like she got into a fight and got her sweater ripped, or got attacked by a bear, or something.  That's the only thing I really hate, though. The pants were beautifully sleek and well-fitted. This is my favorite look so far from Irina.

This was lush and beautiful and a definite contender for the win:

Gordana is *back*, bitches!  I love this dress, and I especially love that she created a detachable necklace as the focal point.  New York high-style is about simplicity and elegance (sometimes, the socialite dress code is positively dull) and this fits right in.  I'm sort of undecided about the curving detailing - it would almost be better if they weren't there; at the same time, though, they're really flattering.  This dress had a couple of issues - I'm not enthralled with how the raised detailing meets in the back, and I dunno what is going on with the fit around the model's butt - but overall, this is beautiful.  Now, Gordana, you just have to stop talking down your own work on the runway:  you're freaking great, so just be confident!

Althea is deemed safe, leaving Chris, Gordana, Carol, Nicolas, Logan, and Irina on the runway.

It's roundly decided that Irina's character does not ski.  Kors likes the cutout back of the sweater.  I don't get it, but whatever.  The rest of the outfit is really well-done.  Chris tries to explain his outfit, but the judges, of course, aren't buying this unwearable costume.  Milla mentions that the belt has "charm."  Ruh-roh!  The judges like the print of Carol's dress.  Milla loves it and calls it "at-home glamor."  It is really wearable.  Nina likes the twisty detail but I still think it looks too big and messy.  Kors points out how subtle the patterning is for a Palm Beach look, which is a plus, and also that it's versatile - at that length, not really.

The judges hate Nicolas's look.  Nina asks, "Where is the fantasy?  Why would I want to... spend my money on this?"  Heidi doesn't like the very tight bodice with the very loose sleeves.  Michael exclaims, "You got the wrong Greece."  Ouch!  The pants are just so awful-looking and poorly-fitted.  Milla likes the top and wishes that he had done a dress.  Gordana talks down the simplicity of her dress, calling it "not a great dress," which isn't necessary - the dress is great.  Milla wishes it were a little simpler, but Gordana thought it was too simple without any detailing on it.  Logan was going for a Lindsay Lohan or May Kate kind of look, but Nina points out that the styling is inadequate.  Now that I'm getting a chance to look at it, the vest is awesome, actually.  They all seem to think the look is not innovative enough and kind of boring.  Michael calls Logan's look, "clothes, not fashion."  Good way to put it!

Discussion time!  Irina's look was luxe, though the color was a bit dull.  They like that Gordana's necklace was detachable and the dress was sophisticated, though she needs to be more confident.  Carol's look was definitely Palm Beach, with nice fabric.  On the bottom rung:  Chris's outfit was all wrong (Heidi calls it "unwearable" and "ugly" - ouch!).  Nicolas killed his look with those pants.  Logan's look was way too ordinary - Heidi doesn't mind it, and Milla points out that it'd be great if the show were called "Project 'I Don't Mind It," but that people in Hollywood are doing some incredibly innovative, envelope-pushing things, and this isn't that.

The designers are brought back out.  Carol is in.  Irina is the winner!  Okay, I can get behind that.  Gordana is in.  Logan scrapes by, leaving Chris and Nicolas on the runway. Oh wow, are they going to send Chris home?  Well, frell me, they're letting Chris stay and sending Nicolas home!

This is actually kind of a shock.  I haven't been a big fan of Nicolas, but of course he started being kind of cool in the last two eps, so now he has to go.  His look didn't say "Greece," but neither did Chris's look say "Santa Fe."  Nicolas had a very cool top; Chris had a totally unwearable outfit.  And Chris has been in the bottom a lot lately.  Ugh, another episode of PR gives me the sads.  Will it ever end?  Ah well, off goes Nicolas to make Ice Queen costumes and hopefully to wash his hair.  Actually, he's thinking of taking a break and moving to the UK or Europe (he makes a crack about becoming a sheep herder -- hey, hook up with Gordana; give her a sheep and she'll make you a sweater, remember?).  Whichever it is, good luck!

Next week: Big scary messes, bizarreness, collar theft, horribleness!  Let's hope it's fun.  See you then!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Project Runway Episode 9: Irony: It's Tasty and Nutritious!

Previously on Project Runway, our designers had to create new outfits out of tacky old wedding dresses.  Irina got snitty,  Shirin cried, a whole lot of ugly outfits went down the runway, Gordana finally won, and Epperson was sent home for a dress that really wasn't that awful.

This week, we begin with cutie Shirin doing some yoga with some fierce attitude, inter-cut with her interviewing a little self pep-talk.  Carol makes a Tortoise/Hare analogy as she notes that while she hasn't won, she hasn't lost either, so she's not in the middle of the pack.  Er... yes you are?  Still, she's too nice to hold it against her.

Heidi cutely mocks herself as she presents their next challenge in riddle format.  The designers must create a look that will "upstage the rest."  They set off to meet Tim, who is waiting with a very special guest.

The guest is the legendary Sultan of Sequins, Bob Mackie, who has designed big showpiece outfits for an enormous list of clients; most of you may remember him best for Cher's outlandish costumes.  Nicolas nearly dies of adoration.  Tim tells the designers they will be creating a bob Mackie-inspired extravagant stage look for a 5-time Grammy-winning artist.  The artist is... anticipation, anticipation, anticipation... Christina Aguilera!  Everyone dies, except for Logan, who smiles politely while trying to remember who that is.    Nicolas, who assures us that his work in real life is Very Grand, interviews that "this is, by far, The Best Project Runway Moment Ever."   Chris drags out the vastly-overused term "icon" to describe Aguilera.  If you say so, Chris!

For the first time in what feels like all season, the designers get a sane two days and $300- to create their look.  Still not much sketch time or many minutes at Mood, though.  The designers get to do their sketching amongst the Mackie displays in the FIDM museum, which are, of course, incredible.  Carol interviews that she doesn't often make things that are just for show.  But didn't she say last week that she made a lot of wedding dresses?  How much more "for show" can you get than that?

Off to Mood, where designers are madly dashing to grab as much sparkly shit  as possible.  "Must. Buy. Everything!" Shirin cries.  Nicolas sniffs at the other designers buying prefab sequined/beaded fabric, noting that Mackie uses layers of different fabrics to create his own patterns, and so does he.  Well, la-di-freaking-da then.  He also says "couture" in the most annoying way.  Not to be out-annoying-ed, Irina is snarking at Those Lameasses who don't know what they're doing.  La-di-da to you too, Princess.  But she's not done yet!  According to her, Carol has no taste and Shirin "isn't even a designer."  Please, just shut up and sew.

Random side note:  Carol is so much fun.  I bet she's really cool to work with.

Poor Gordana is having a really hard time.  Every time she cuts into her beaded fabric, whole rows of beads come apart.  She ends up having a bit of a breakdown and completely starts over the next morning  She's just so fried, mentally and physically. Nicolas is working with handfuls of feathers, slightly worried about creating an ice-skating costume.  Shirin is making some kind of scary-looking tattery gown.

Chris is creating a reveal that doesn't reveal much of anything.  Althea is also doing a reveal-that-isn't-really with a jacket.  Tim's got Halloween on the brain, saying that it's like both of them want their model to come down the runway in a pumpkin and pop out.  We are *rolling* at Chez Boogie.  Gordana's dress is looking "matronly."  She admits to Tim that much as she doesn't want to rely on her immunity, she's basically checked the hell out.  Tim thinks that Nicolas is doing a retread of his Ice Princess gown, but I don't think it looks *that* similar.  It's white and shiny, yeah.  Carol's got some Wow Factor going on.  Shirin's got "Guinivere meets Vampira," in a very student way.  He's not telling her to trash it, though, of course.  (He's telling her to shred it.)

Next morning:  models, fittings, snarkery, blah blah.  Irina isn't done being tacky, badmouthing Carol to her model.  She calls Carol "so mediocre," a statement that will later prove to be deliciously ironic.  But she can't even stop there; she says that if you're going to be a mediocre designer, you should at least have a good personality.  Stay classy, Irina!  Even Nicolas thinks Irina is a brat who is mean to people.  Agreeing with Nicolas is not something I'm used to.  It feels kinda funny.

Anyway:  Macy's, L'Oreal, Tresemme.  Let's go to the runway!

Nina is back!!!  She's joined on the judging panel by Mackie, Heidi of course, and Christina Aguilera her very own self!  Oh dear, Christina, the bangs are really not the best look for you.  Still, she's cute as a button.  Let's start the show!

We begin with Althea's look:

Not a bad entry, though the train was way too stiff and heavy-looking, and impractical for someone like Aguilera to move in.

Logan next gives us this really dismal outfit:

If I never see another farking Wilma Flintstone dress again, it will be too soon.  The shrug-thingy looks like a remnant someone just threw on.  Logan put some chains on the back of it, to go with the chain on the shoulder of the dress, but it looked really piddly for a stage look.  There's some lacing up the side, but it just gives the effect, from the front, of a bumpy lizard.  I'm pretty amazed at how basic and dull this dress is.  And Logan still cannot fit a bust.

Next, the gown that Shirin managed to cobble together:

Oh, Shirin, this is just really bad.  The bodice had a good concept, though the execution was bad and created a bit of a titscrepancy, as TLo would say.  Below that is just a raggedy-looking mess.  I'm pretty surprised that Shirin could produce something so, well, yucky-looking.  Irina is shown making a barfy face.  At least put on a poker face out of respect, dimwit.

Last week, Chris showed us a belted silver Hefty-bag bubble.  This week, it's a black crumply bubble over the tackiest corset I've seen in a long time, and a really poor knockoff of the little tiered hot pants that Aguilera wore in Lady Marmalade.  It's just really not-good:

Chris called this a "showpiece."  Well, it's *some* kind of piece, for sure.

I hate to say it, but I can call it straight (no pun intended, har har har): I thought Nicolas made the best dress for Aguilera.

This looked a bit better on the runway than in photos, actually.  It had nice detailing and movement, and with a couple of small changes to the bust, I could totally see Aguilera in this dress.  The skirt needs to be more filled in, but I'm sure time constraints threw a bit of a spanner in the works with that.

Gordana's breakdown definitely showed in her dress:

The workmanship on this dress bears little resemblance to what won for Gordana last week.  The back is jacked-up, the upper hem is all wonky, and what in the world did she do to the poor model's boobies with that design in the bust?  Yech.

Irina shows us a standard sequined Victoria's Secret/stripper look:

Yawn. Next!

I wasn't at all impressed with Carol's dress at first, but the more I see it, the more I like it:

I really think it'd need a little tweaking for the stage, because there is so little contrast, but this is actually quite good.  It's understated, and sexy without being slutty.

Judging time!  Irina is safe.  That's right, miss Everyone-Else-is-Mediocre, your work today was exactly that: mediocre.  Even better, Carol's dress is the winner.  Ha!  Congratulations, Carol.  (And sorry that I never bother to add the Hannah to your name, but there's only so many seconds in the day to indulge the multi-named.)

The bottom three consist of Shirin, Chris, and Logan.  The judges see Shirin's dress as an upscale Halloween costume.  Logan's has a cavewoman thing going on, and you can't even see the colored lining he used, so what's the point of that?  Chris's is just ridiculous and has been done anyway.  The auf goes to... Shirin.  Awwww!  Considering that most of her work has been very good, while Logan's has been pretty consistently average or below-average, and Chris has turned in several duds lately, Shirin defiinitely does not deserve to go home.  You'll be missed, sweetie!  Good luck!

Next week: Kors AND Nina, together again!  Rodeo Drive!  Irina still being a bitch!  Ugly, unwearable clothes!  Chris crying at judging, again.  Ruh-roh.  See you then!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Project Runway Season 6 Episode 8

Previously on Project Runway... one of the most boring challenges ever, a runway of fug, Irina was a bitch to Gordana, Chris cried, and Louise was sent home for designing two incomphrehensibly bad dresses.

This week, we begin with Irina being self-involved as usual, and Chris trying to give himself a pep talk.  Heidi looks like she busted out of the hospital as she introduces the challenge this week: Real Women!  A line of women in wedding dresses comes onto the runway, and all the designers immediately look terrified.  Never fear, though; this challenge isn't about creating a wedding dress.   These women are all newly-divorced, and want to turn their wedding dresses into cool new outfits.  Well, not all of them are newly-divorced: their no-longer-married status ranges from two months to sixteen years.  (To the woman who still fits in her wedding dress 16 years later, I say, way to freaking go!)  Irina, since she won last week, gets to choose first, and then Heidi reaches into the Velvet Bag O' Mystery and draws randomly for each designer's name.

A few of the designers are able to choose women with really voluminous gowns, but poor Shirin, called last, is stuck with a woman whose wedding dress doesn't contain much in the way of fabric: it's a simple straight gown with a tank-style bodice, a back consisting of a couple of straps, and no frills whatsoever.  Unfortunately, the personality Shirin will have to work with is even more difficult than the material.

And here we have yet another ridiculously restrictive challenge that is going to turn out a bunch of crap garments: the wedding dresses are all made of cheap and yechhy acetate/polyester-type materials (materials that actually make Tim almost barf, hilariously); the designers are given a whopping 15 minutes to shop at Mood, and only $25 -- and only permitted to buy up to 2 yards of fabric.  AND they only have until midnight to finish the work.  There's one bit of good news, though: the winner will get immunity, and it's the last time in the competition that immunity will be given.

The clients are a typical real-people mix of reasonable, insanely self-deluded, picky, and indecisive.  Feather Boy's client wants only vegan fabrics (he's already rolling his eyes).  Gordana's client wants something torn up and punk.

But poor Shirin has Charlie, who is obviously on this show just to get the exposure.  She wants, and I quote, a "Cher 'Half-Breed' " look, complete with headdress and a ton of feathers.  Um, sorry Nutty Lady, could you repeat that?  'Cause I don't really speak Crazy. Your designer has about fourteen hours to make an outfit and you're giving her a pretty small, plain, white polyester dress to use.  Also, where the fuck does a Cher costume fit into normal life?

Shirin basically refuses to do it, and good for her.  As it turns out, Charlie is the Hedda Lettuce of this season, ribbing Shirin at every opportunity about how it doesn't really seem like Shirin has been doing anything.  I could go on for pages about how much I dislike this woman and her entitled, tacky, Princess-y attitude -- and she made Shirin cry are you kidding me??  because making Shirin cry is like kicking a kitten -- and about how not only am I not surprised that she's divorced, I can't believe anyone could stand her long enough to marry her in the first place.  But let's forget her and get on with what matters, which is the clothes.

I like the idea of this challenge a lot:  not only is it always fun to turn an outfit into something new, but also there's a cool symbolism to taking the wedding dress from a dead marriage and re-birthing it to become part of one's new life.  Heck, it's better for the environment than burning it!  If only the constraints of the challenge had been a bit more practical, giving the designers more resources to put amazing things on the runway, because this is sure to be another exercise in slapped-together fug-making.  After much flaying of plastic-y textiles and many frustrated tears from Shirin, we finally arrive at the runway to see how it all turns out.

Nice to see our favorite Oompah-Loompah still here, Michael Kors!  Sadly, Nina's not back yet: we have her stand-in's stand-in again.  The guest judge is Tamara Mellon, who is the founder and President of Jimmy Choo and is on Halston's Board of Directors.

Let's start with the winner!

all images courtesy of

Finally, GORDANA TAKES IT!  There was much rejoicing at Chez Boogie.  This dress seemed to be right up the client's alley, and Gordana really embraced the literal idea of tearing something up and constructing something new with the pieces.  It's too bad that the materials the designers were given prohibited them from doing any really good colors.  This dress would look better if made out of a decently dye-able fabric.  Still, after a puzzling amount of brushing-off from the judges (and even still, Heidi is quite mean to her), Gordana finally got recognized for her lovely work.

And now, for some Mother-of-the-Bride fuckery:


The judges heaped praise on this, and I don't know why.  I'm starting to think that Irina could just lay a turd on a piece of fabric and the judges would fall all over it.  Yeah, why don't we make Irina's head so big it won't fit through the door?  Ugh, I cannot express how much I dislike her.  Anyway, I was tres suprised to see Kors call this "sexy and age-appropriate."  If there was ever a time to pull out the "M.O.B." it's now.  In fact, my aunt wore a dress very much like this for her daughter's wedding - a less Cougar-looking version, of course.

Shirin's dress for Bitchy McBitcherson turned out pretty nice, all things considered:

The workmanship on the back and belt isn't outstanding, but it took Shirin a long time to do all of the embroidery.  McBitcherson wanted the dress to be shorter, but this length is perfect for her.  While the silhouette isn't a huge change, Shirin really made the best of what she was given.  The judges gave her kudos for sticking to her guns and not letting her client steamroller her with this Cher shit.  Good for you, Shirin!  And to McBitcherson, I wish upon you a painful, itchy hemorrhoid.

This next outfit should have gotten its designer booted.  But since he's all cyoooot and has the Mind-Controlling silver jeans, it didn't.  Witness one hell of a hideous look from Prince Cheekbones Himself:

Logan's client did not want to show her legs.  Well, she's not going to want to show these poorly-made Grandpa trousers to anyone either.  And wtf is going on with the Frau of the Biergarten bodice?  Heidi called it out as "Oktoberfest Girl" and it really is.  Plus, Logan seems to be stuck on the Little Ruffles bus and he needs to cut it out.

Carol Hannah created something that might look okay on a completely different person.


Again, it's really unfortunate that these dresses could not be dyed better colors.  This ended up looking very dark and dreary and not quite age-appropriate.  I hate the shrug.  Still, it's not a bad effort overall.

What we have next can only be described as People-of-Walmart-Chic:

This is just so ugly and poorly-fitted.  The client worked it like she was strutting for her supper, though!  One thing I do like is that Althea was able to dye it a color other than dingy gray.

Next, Nicolas created a non-dress for his client.  I was going to go on a rant about what an ass he is and how making fun of your client behind her back on national TV is just so fucking classless and mean, but I ranted enough about McBitcherson back there, so I'll spare you.  Besides, this outfit is fug enough all on its own:

To Nicolas' credit, he had the sense to know that this was just bad all around.  Badly-fitted, unflattering, and disjointed.  On its own, the little jacket is kind of cute, though it's not good for this client.

Here's another dress that could have gotten the auf and I wouldn't have cried about it: Christopher's tinfoil/plastic-wrap/baggie-with--a-belt dress!

What in Jesus' Friday Wig was Chris thinking with this?  It's a bubble of crumpled puffiness.  Totally inappropriate for this woman and just not attractive.  I'm starting to think that Chris is incapable of making anything that is not crumpled, pin-tucked or bubble-hemmed.  Next!

I can't believe that this dress got Epperson the auf.  Heidi pegged it, too, as "Oktoberfest Girl."  Okay, I can see that.  It's not good.  The hem is wonky, the bodice is too thick, the bow is ridiculous.  But the worst garment?  Hardly.  There seemed to be a disconnect with Epp's understanding of this challenge - at first he wanted to use as little of the original material as possible, then completely changed tack and used as much of it as possible.  He didn't seem to get the transformative idea.  Apparently, this was enough to send him home.  What a shame; we at Chez Boogie thought that Logan should have been the one sent packing.

Epperson takes his aufing with great grace, and wisely decides to use what he learned on the show to continue to push himself as a designer.  He's got some great ideas and I'm sad that we didn't get to see more of them.  Farewell, Epp!  It was fun having you on the show.

Next week:  NINA IS BACK!  The designers get to design for a big Grammy-winning star.  Sequins are flying all over the place.  We are promised "the best Project Runway moment ever."  Should be good!  See you then.