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Joshua McKinley Blog
Category: "episode 3"
I'm sure we can all agree that it's never fun to be woken up out of a deep sleep, period. But for some reason I always get a kick out of seeing the "Project Runway" fashionistas wiping away the drool from their mouths and crust from their eyes (and in Ken's case the "Phantom of the Opera" cream night mask). To top it all off and really leave you feeling fouler than ever at 5 a.m., none other than Miss Heidi Klum herself to play the part of the Big Apple Rooster! I mean come on, Heidi, this is a very stressful competition and you are a clear example of why the expression "beauty rest" was invented: So the normal folk could potentially blame their unfortunate looks on "needing more sleep!" These designers need all the sleep they can get to make it through this game, and let's face it, some just need the sleep for the "beauty" component alone. Kate was 100% correct in stating "Heidi Klum doesn't make house calls, so this must be a big challenge!" I can't speak on behalf of Miss Klum's previous employment, but I will say that if house calls are what it takes to go from wearing bra-and-panty sets on a runway to judging "Project Runway," I’m in! Hell, I'll even make trailer park calls if that is what it takes.
Speaking of parks, we find out our designers are headed to the infamous Coney Island's Luna Park. It looks like a cold, dreary day down in Brooklyn, but that doesn't stop our designers from indulging in some delicious frozen yogurt from Yoplait! It's a cold day in the devil's lair because Yoplait has only delivered 7 carts of frozen yogurt. 14 designers divided by 7 yogurt carts equals TEAMS! Kate is quickly having flashbacks to the disasters from her season. She reminds us of how much fun she is having designing by herself and that she doesn’t want to have to compromise her vision. If you are an avid fan of the show, you'll remember that Kate barely EVER compromised herself, which is why she always chose to work with Tu, because she was able to boss him around in her kitchen.
On a hometown note, Miranda is praying that she doesn’t have to work with Timothy because they have "bad blood" and she doesn't enjoy his attitude and the way he treats people. Frankly I don’t give a damn about your bad blood; I want you both to do what you were cast to do here on "Project Runway" and that is DESIGN. Up until this point, neither of you has sent anything of validity down the runway that remotely resembles something relevant to the progression of the fashion world. Wake up, Miranda. Odd as Timothy may be, at least he has a vision and an identity as a designer, whereas you merely are a sad knockoff version of a pin-up girl from the '50s. I would suggest that you take notes from fierce pin-up girl Dita von Teese and "Runway" alumna Kenley Collins.
With an explosion of the taste buds, designers are jotting down descriptive words while their brains process a design concept and, in most cases, compromise. Yoplait's frozen yogurt sparks words such as fluffy, foam, divine, natural, luxurious, creamy, arousing, delightful, happy, and energetic. With their lists of words complied from the 15-minute taste test, each team will have to choose 3 that will define the theme and direction of their team's design. While Ken HATES unconventional challenges, the rest of the designers seem to be ecstatic that in order to gain their materials for the challenge, they have 30 minutes to play games in Luna Park to win prizes that will end up being their materials for the challenge. We learn most of the designers are normal while playing in the amusement park. It probably didn't come as a surprise to ANY of us that Timothy turned into an 8-year-old girl obsessed over winning a stuffed animal unicorn. Sandro seems to be an experienced water gun sharpshooter, giving Sue advise on getting the water in the hole straight, "just like you pee in a restaurant!" Was that comment necessary? I'm beginning to think he merely says and does things on purpose to shock everyone. Balanced people just don't talk like that!
However, since we are on the topic, I think I almost peed my pants seeing all the designers with their plush gigantic stuffed animals and blow-up toys, one of the funniest resources for fabric. Thank you, China, for exporting all these mindless toys for children. I am sure parents will be glad for the day their kids turn 16 so the toys can be thrown out. Until then, our designers can be resourceful and turn them into something creative. I always love the unconventional challenge because it's a great way to test and see the repertoire of the designers and see what kind of creative genius they really are.
Back in the workroom, faux fur and stuffing are flying while Sandro is already fuming at Sue in the sewing room over her machine not working properly. Shouldn't Sandro be telling Sue to just use a new machine and leave the damaged one for someone else to fix? Following his tantrum last week that ensued into a Jerry Springer confrontation with Ken, wouldn't you think he would practice what he preaches? Clearly not. Sue is adamant about NOT switching machines because the industrial machine is not her forte, since we learned this is the first time she has ever even worked on them before "Project Runway."
Meanwhile, Miranda is about to pull her stringy damaged hair out because she and Timothy are not meshing well. We knew Team Wisconsin would go south from its inception, especially having a unicorn as their mascot. It's all about the power of positive thinking, and Miranda is not in the right mindset. She is quick to vocalize that she is pissed Timothy is even in this competition, and that he has no talent, which translates to "I wanted to be the only designer from Milwaukee on 'Project Runway' and now he has to be here, stealing all the fame and spotlight!" Well, Miranda, technically you're on a different show called "Project I've Got the Runs-way" because what YOU have sent down the runway thus far has only been worthy of flushing down a john! You're a big talker and really haven't delivered, so in my eyes that makes you a complainer and a fraud. It's time to stop bashing Timothy and put your money and talent where your mouth is, that is if you have any. You think Timothy is "a nightmare" and you don’t care if he leaves, but that doesn't make you a dream to work with either. No one is asking for you two natives to be best friends, but what we do deserve as viewers is to see some FABULOUS FASHION AND DESIGN come down that runway! That is of the utmost importance on this show and in our profession. We shouldn't have to watch 15 minutes of the episode WASTED on you two bickering and crying over a garment that a child could make. As horrible and off-kilter as Timothy may be, that doesn't make Miranda any better a designer or human being, especially when she doesn't give him the courtesy of not talking about him as he enters the room. The fact that you were well aware your teammate was in the sewing room and continued on your tangent about how awful the garment is and how you doesn't care if he hears you makes you a scrap of fabric on the sweatshop floor.
Speaking of lunatics, poor Sue takes the high road and decides to be Sandro's assistant for the challenge, because clearly nothing she is doing can please him. And that works for Sandro, clearly, since we come to find out in an interview that he thinks, "when a woman listen to man, it is so cool." I don't know about you, but that just doesn't sit well with the frozen yogurt in my stomach. Luckily Sue doesn't hear him say that because she looks like the type of chick that would deck him in the face.
The runway show is far more exciting than I had anticipated following all the carnival clowns, criers, and crazies during the whole episode. It is clear Helen needed Kate for this challenge after the disaster she sent down the runway last week, because their sombrero dress is absolutely fabulous! It is such a creative re-interpretation of the hats and the reason why this challenge is so exciting and crucial to each season. In the end Zac Posen said it best when he said Timothy and Miranda's outfit "looks like a life vest, and [the model] is sinking!" The reality is that their outfit was sinking before it even started. It's fitting that a little over a hundred years after the maiden voyage didn’t work out for the Titanic, neither did "Project Runway" for Timothy. However, I think we will be seeing and hearing from Timothy again, even if his ensemble is a strait jacket and it's from behind a glass window. But hey, think about it this way: Prisons and hospitals have "lights out" at a certain time and that should meet Timothy's sustainability goals.
The rooster hasn’t even cleared its throat yet but the designers are already up and primping for their third challenge. We enter into the infamous Atlas Apartments where the designers have barely had enough time to gulp down a "haute" cup of Joe and wipe Mr. Sandman from their eyes before they start pointing out the "weakest links" of their respective teams. LORD, "Can a girl get some breakfast and put on her bronzer game face before you start throwing her under the bus?" Following last week’s challenge it's clear the designers are still "SPiNning" out of control trying to measure up one another’s skills and talents. Cindy is certain that her team is in "a world of hurt," while Michelle’s considering a visit to the doctor for a prescription of a "happy drug." Psst Michelle, let me know who your doctor is. I’m going to need a double dosage on my end as well!
Amid brushing her Rapunzel hair and applying CoverGirl, Kate is taping up her fists and throwing on the boxing gloves to join Mike Tyson in the ring. Let's just hope the fighter in her doesn’t bring out the inner Hannibal Lector because blood stains on couture is just a down right shame, and frankly should be a felony. Speaking of boxing, over in the boys room they are quick to point out all the "lightweights" of the competition. Quoting Daniel, "Patricia is weak, Joe is weak and Kate is weak." In my mind, weak is a state of mind and strength comes from within. Now certainly one can be keen on pointing out whose craft is not as polished as theirs, however "Project Runway" is more than about being strong. It's about having a solid vision and a perspective in design. It's about having the courage and the conviction to stand tall, believe in what you do, have faith that out there in this massive world someone believes in you even more then you do and know that what you are doing on whatever scale that may be is IN FACT helping to change and aid the world to be a better, more inspired place.
This week there's a big "surprise' in more ways than one. Heidi Klum is the designer's client and she's launching a new fragrance "Surprise."
Side note: On Season 9, Episode 5, we had the pleasure of designing looks for Heidi Klum for New Balance, having won that challenge, from experience I can guarantee you she is a woman who knows what she wants and her demographic is NOT "40 to death!"
The designers are informed that they are not only designing looks for the campaign commercial, but also press options. I realize she was describing the scents notes of pink pepper, mandarin and jasmine, however I couldn’t help but wonder if the scent was born during a recent trip to a Las Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet. Just like the licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop, "the world my never know."
In Mood we discover that Matthew is intimidated by the challenge because he is not a dressmaker, ironically did anyone hear Heidi say she was opposed to a pant option for press? It’s upsetting to always see the designers resort to dresses. However Matthew, who is afraid of being "generic," had the perfect opportunity to separate himself from the pack and instead chose to bore us with a tube dress!
Design note: a tube dress on Season 11 of "Project Runway," really? As a viewer you should feel cheated and if you don’t, well…you should have higher expectations.
Even Matthew’s words verbatim: "The colors are boring, the material is boring, my idea is boring." Well handsome, switch it up a bit and have some fun, but to waste this opportunity boring you, and us, is design robbery!
On the contrary, Benjamin is terrified because he feels this challenge is completely in his comfort zone. Never a good thing seeing how there is anything but comfort when designing, cutting, constructing and fitting a gown in one day. Honestly all the rules are out the window and with such tight parameters for each challenge you have to act on impulse and have an immaculate focus on time management and precision. Case in point: Cindy said hunched over the machine, "This is so much harder than it looks on TV!"
Viewer note: the time that is specified by Tim for each challenge is actual, there is no off-camera work time given to the designers.
Perhaps if Cindy was made aware of that she would have reconsidered? Then again, her shantung fabric choice this week could have used a bit of "micro-management." However she seems to have scared her team off last with her vocalization of not wanting help and it seems she got it, having returned to 1407 with the most appalling shades of iridescent pink shantung, it is truly a "Make it Work" moment!
I’m overcome with annoyance that Kate has the audacity to call Daniel out for not using a "silk" for his gorgeous gown. What Kate has failed to realize is that Daniel politely stepped in and gave her and Layana money towards their deficit of over 100 dollars!
Fabric note: with superior fabric technologies today, some polyester blends are extremely difficult to differentiate from the real thing and at times even carry a better "hand."
Speaking of the eveningwear duo, who else was completely uncomfortable with their critique? From Layana’s erratic, marionette doll movements to high pitched shrieks regarding the fabric color, as a viewer I felt awkward watchingthe kind of awkward you feel when you realize your zipper has been down and you can't recall for how long and how many people noticed. And ironically in turn I found myself feeling bad for Kate being totally caught off guard by Layana’s rant.
Patricia worked out a very tedious fabric textile and the potential it would have had with more time would be mind-blowing! However it still looked very much unfinished to me, but I do applaud her out-of-the-box design and I look forward to seeing what else she has in her design technique Rolodex!
Side note: I’ve said in seasons past, "Don’t always rely on an expensive fabric to do your design work."
In the case of Stanley and Richard this challenge, they both gravitated to the "over a 100 dollar a yard sequin fabrics" and with such over-styling on Stanley's end (I know it all too well!) and over-designing on Richard's end (and again, I know it all too well!), it really shows how difficult it is to find a balance with some over-the-top fabrics without relying too heavily on the fabric alone to make the design.
Joshua note: I LOVE a little glitz and glam! As well as anything that sparkles and shines!
I think Heidi and the gang made the right decision by choosing to go with Daniel's look for her press events, even though Daniel had originally designed for the campaign commercial. His dress was stunning and I loved the juxtaposition of the leather against the slinky jersey. So Heidi! So sexy!
Benjamin clearly missed the mark here and Kiera Knightley is now without a costume for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" reunion special. But what gives me faith is that he knows it himself and you could feel the devastation and pain he lived over the course of this challenge. Chin up doll!
In closing, we say goodbye to the lovely Cindy and we stand up and applaud her for following her dream of design. It indeed is "much harder than it looks on TV," but what is easy about it is that you get to discover more about your dream every day, and that my dear is a gift!
Well Kate, congratulations. Brad Pitt calledwelcome to the "Fight Club!"