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!

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