Rami (kicking off this week's episode again, although this time, trading in the tank top for a white tee, a classic choice of muscular hotties across the land!) narrates the designers’ long and arduous journey — no sarcasm here, I know that walking around NYC in the summer is verrrry sweaty — in the hot sun. Angela waves at them from across Central Park, like she’s one of those women in the deodorant-or-something commercial where they wear bells to track their movement, which is the creepiest concept ever now that I think about it.
The challenge this week is to nab a New York City muse. Mila wrinkles her nose in disgust at the khaki-wearing common folk gnawing on hot dogs and asking "Which way is 9/11?" and off-camera requests her muse be shipped in from Brooklyn at the very least. BUT, not only do they have to find the Baptiste Giabiconi to their Karl Lagerfeld, they have to get their fashion inspiration to give them their clothes.
Kara is the dream reality television show contestant, “WHAT?!” she gasps and giggles with wide-eyed astonishment, mouth agape, looking at the stunned faces around her. “You want us, the esteemed designers from the first eight seasons of the Emmy-nominated television program “Project Runway” to walk the streets of the Big Apple and ask strangers to give us the clothing off their backs? Why, that’s preposterous and delightful all at once and should provide us with loads of laughs!” All with a South African accent! She’s great.
Anthony’s response is my favorite and he looks like he’ll be the star of this challenge. I bet he’s been “taking daggers” for having a good personality all of his life, which is likely why he’s a brilliant, hilarious misfit on our television screens and not Joe Schmo in the button factory. In other words, go Anthony!!!
The others process the news with a mix of skepticism and fear. Rami says: “New Yorkers don’t take that sh*t very well,” but he’s only partly right. Give us a break; our rent is high, most of us have been mugged and/or had a near death experience at some point and we've maybe never even tasted In-N-Out! Sure, a small percentage of NYCers will wave their weapon of choice in your face at the mere suggestion that you take something of theirs (re: mugging) but you can spot angry-crazies as you approach. Ignore them and anyone with headphones on or phone-in-hand and you will likely find other eager participants in highly-populated public spaces: nice-crazies who would love an excuse to take their clothing off, good time-loving NYers who are still drunk from brunch/the night before and, of course, non-NY tourists (“Honey! Honey, we’re going to be on TEE.VEE! You know, that one where the people make fashions? Get the camera!”). What city on Earth would be better for this task? Besides probably anywhere in Europe?
The designers’ actual experiences are too good for words, so if you haven’t watched the episode yet, please do it immediately. Like any challenge, everyone has a different approach to their quest. Watching people say no to the designers reminds me of that time Lady Gaga and Anderson Cooper went to the singer’s old NYC apartment and the current tenant wouldn’t let them up because she wasn’t wearing makeup! Who says no to people on TV?
Mondo’s delivery would have made me stress-cry, but he snagged some of the best goodies. Michael and Austin sweetly charm the shirts off their lovely lady muses, Mr. Scarlett’s earnest flattery making me yearn for my “On the Road With Austin & Santino” box set. Kara proves my theory that men in indeterminable shades of pink polo shirts cannot be trusted and Jerell, my theory that many a New Yorker will offer to strip for you, no questions asked. As promised, Anthony is adept at charming all articles of clothing off of people, including aspiring actor/models (?) with designer man panties and the latest in chin beard fashions from Milan. Who knew that a line like: “Hi, Hot White Guy, how are you?” works so well? Duly noted.
Even though the designers do get a trip to Mood this episode, 50% of their creation must come from the clothing they collected. Mondo tells us that this challenge is similar to his early work as a designer except back then, he was ripping apart and recreating clothing from thrift stores. A story like this can be a contestant’s final words, but I believe in Mondo’s ability to make something out of something else, and even his muse’s dress looks like a fabric he would pick out at Mood.
The next morning we get to see Austin do his hair for Workroom Day 2 and go from Tom Sawyer chic to vintage 2009 young popstar.
Dapper in straw hat:
Austin, Austin, Austin, oh
or Bieber-like swoop.
Maybe six hour challenges aren’t the worst thing to happen to our beloved All Stars, who, with an extra day to work on their looks, start to crumble. Anthony has taken his farmer market muse’s flowery top from hot pants to a top to a cardigan — and is only now being hit with a brainstorm. Jerell decides to find inspiration in the skin-baring NYCers he saw in the park with a look that Anthony likens to “Coming to America,” which ties with “League of Their Own” for my favorite Movie Always on TV. As you can see below, it is a very accurate comparison.
The vibe in the workroom goes from snarky to full-on “how DARE she?!” when Michael spots Kenley sewing Kara’s pants. Kenley is already too loud (by racial and regular workroom standards, according to Anthony) and now she’s being helpful. Mila is absolutely furious, and she isn’t the first designer in “PR” history to feel this way. As a viewer, I never really care about the helping thing. This is a “design” competition after all, so as long as the help in question is only in the final stages, that seems like fair game.
Sean Avery, controversial hockey star, man about town, friend of Anna Wintour, perpetual wearer of rose-colored glasses, teaser of Isaac, lover of all-black ensembles, defender of women’s stomachs is this week’s guest judge. I can’t tell how I feel about him, but I promise you I’ll Google the crap out of him and let you know.
It has gotten even more difficult to put our designers in top/middle/bottom, so I’ll organize this week’s looks into emotive utterances:
Ugh: Rami’s ornate shirt I liked, but I wouldn’t touch pleated, trimmed khaki shorts with a ten-foot pole. Also, everyone, in the key of Mommy Dearest: “No fedoras, EVERRRRR! I haven’t worn an outfit in the last nine years where I’ve been like, “Hmm, you know what would elevate my look? A fedora!” The last time I really saw more than one girl wearing fedoras was in the crowd at a Justin Timberlake concert… and that was five years ago.
I love Kara as a person, but I’m not at all interested in her clothing. To me, they all have a faded, blah quality. The fabrics for her top were a letdown and we’ve seen the cross shoulder thing a million times on the “PR” runway and off. Plus, those pants looked like ill-fitting sweats. Not a pregnant cupcake, but still “not the business.”
Deal with it: I loved the top of Jerell’s look. Maybe it’s because I’m watching “Friday Night Lights” right now (Season 3, Episode 12 — don’t you DARE spoil a second for me!) but the shoulder piece was really cool, both in fabric and construction. The rest of it was a complete disaster. And it looked way more Fergie-Gwen Stefani than Gwen Stefani-Gaga, by the way.
Eh: Mila’s top was average, but what I wouldn’t give to own a lifetime supply of her glorious pants and leggings. They looked amazing as always!
Michael’s jumper was fun, if ill-fitting on the top. I couldn’t tell if Mila was being snarky when she said, “she’s very elegant,” after his model did her runway walk but it’s Mila so probably. When Michael took his model to hair and makeup he gave a direction that I thought was ridiculous: “Sarah Jessica Parker 1999 meets 2002, but futuristic.” But that’s exactly what he gave us.
Ooo!: Kenley’s dress was different than anything we’ve seen from her this season. I don’t know what this means (besides the All Star is truly a star designer in his own right,) but it looked “very Mondo” to me too.
Austin’s look was incredible, and in terms of a muse, it was clear that he kept his New Yorker in mind and designed for her. Georgina mentions that his look is sweet but has a toughness to it, which is exactly what I thought of his muse. What he put on the runway looks like the high fashion, designer version of Jamie’s casual streetwear.
Mondo’s shorts are in my “top,” but I was disappointed by the rest of his look. The bikini was a snooze and I hated the fabrics he used for his jacket. YES, the construction was impeccable, detailed and incredibly well put together. But the faded black and the (gasp!) light denim were so undeserving of his craftsmanship. I would have loved to see a basic top underneath, maybe utilizing the green fabric and then a jacket that was black lined with accents of the shorts’ fabric!
Aww: Way, way too soon for Anthony to go home. You know who loves a jumpsuit more than Isaac and Georgina? Heidi Klum and Michael Kors (ahem, just look at the last two winning designers’ collections, Gretchen and Anya). This is the first time I missed their critiques, because I want Anthony Williams in my living room for one hour a week at the very least. The only plus side to him leaving, is that I get to interview him for the blog!
Read Anthony’s sassy Q&A here, check out Laura Bennett's Episode 5 recap on LifetimeMoms.com and share your Oo, Eh, and Ugh picks below: