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!

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