Season 15 Premieres September 15 at 9/8c

Nick Verreos' Blog

Send in the Clowns

By Tracy_Goldenberg 08/12/2011 05:32AM GMT

Off the Bat ...
I know that I will risk sounding like a big ol’ “Negative Ninny” right off the bat (I promise, just this week!), but ... boy, were these outfits AWFUL! Just awful! Good, I had to get that off my trimmed yet still hairy chest. Oh, and let me add the following while I am on a roll: I am all for Team Bert in this Viktor vs. Bert History of Fashion Terminology Lesson. Don’t say “Elizabethan” or “Victorian” or “Gothic” when you haven’t a CLUE what those terms refer to. Go buy François Boucher’s “20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal Adornment” and then talk to me. Don’t use the incorrect terminology and not expect to be clocked on it. OK, I am done for now. Let’s discuss this week’s Circus on the Runway Challenge.

Miss Heidi walks out in front of the designers, wearing stilts, and announces that this week they are to create an outfit for a stilt walker, and in teams of two. Whoever came up with this idea A) must have just been to the circus and thought, “Gee, this might be a fun challenge filled with TACKY outfits that have nothing to do with being the Next Great American Designer” or B) was smoking something that’s only legal in certain “cafes” in Amsterdam. Well, at least it will make for a fun and very “visual” fashion show. After “picking” the teams from a bag (OK, no one believes these pairings are random anymore, who are we kidding?), la Klum tells them that this will be the FIRST OUTSIDE Runway Show in “Project Runway” history and sends the designers away with a “Think BIG ... really big!” adieu.

Two Bitchy Queens
The contestants make their first Mood Fabrics visit and return to the Parsons Workroom. As soon as their microphone pouches — with a fresh set of batteries — are on, the DRAMA and couples fighting ensue, primarily with “Bert-zilla” and his partner Viktor. Seeing them bicker and argue is like watching two old catty queens at a piano bar debate on whether Barbra or Liza is the better diva. This continues on right through to Tim’s visit, where he just sits and stares at them, probably thinking, “These two queens need to stop!” Speaking of queens, Joshua M. and Julie think they are creating a Toreador Duquesa, but something tells me that it’s one Bedazzler away from Tacky-land.

“Self-Taught” Badge
Hairstylist-turned-designer Fallene and “Bottom Two” Bryce are also having issues. Fallene can’t cut a top on the correct grain of the fabric, which is one of THE FIRST things you learn in design school. Alas, she didn’t go to school and was “self-taught.” “Well, how’s that working out for you?” I want to ask her. Bryce has to take charge and try to correct her lack of expertise. P.S.: I’m kind of tired of these contestants using the “I’m Self-Taught” epithet as a badge of honor, especially when they should be embarrassed by it. It’s one thing being self-taught and being AMAZING, but it’s another thing not even knowing the correct grain to cut a garment in.

Couples Counseling
The rest of the bunch is doing just fine, trying to stay as far away from the Couples Counseling Rehab situation that is surrounding them. I’m a bit surprised that Anya — whose team member is Olivier — never once reminds him that he better not slack off (he seems to be) because he has immunity and therefore risk her being eliminated. I guess, when she looked around at the Ringling Bros. messes, she knew she would be OK. And speaking of that: Why are most of these teams doing such unfashionable, costume-like creations? I can’t help but think that if I got this challenge, I would have thought, “Just do a fabulous, directional and chic look, but EXTEND it by 10 feet!” Done and done. Ignore the stilts and any references to the circus or how RIDICULOUS the challenge even is. Just move on! As Tim said, “Think couture,” not costume-y or tacky.

The Circus Comes to Battery Park
The next day, it’s time for the FIRST-EVER OUTDOORS Runway in “Project Runway” HISTORY (it bears repeating!), and Tim, the designers and their stilt-walker models are transported to Battery Park, where a stunning Robert Palmer Girl–esque Heidi awaits in an Alexander Wang one-shoulder dress and Jimmy Choo pumps. Kim Kardashian is also on hand as the guest judge — as well as an audience of onlookers, press and fans. The show starts and, as I began this blog recap saying, it was one awful costume creation after another.

Leg-o’-Mutton, Meet The Stepford Wife
Back in the Parsons Deliberation and Runway Room, the designers are hearing their fate. The Best include Daniella and Cecilia’s chiffon ensemble topped off with a bouffant hair-DON’T. The blouse and palazzo pants were well done (kudos for making the chiffon look flawless), but it did seem like the model was straight out of “The Stepford Wives” or “Valley of the Dolls.” Kimberly and Becky’s ensemble was great in its tailoring, but a one-shoulder striped jacket with a leg-o’-mutton sleeve and upturned asymmetrical collar? It was so “Fashion School Graduate Collection,” as my dear Tim Gunn would probably say. The clear winner was Anthony Ryan and Laura’s outfit. Laura was given the win, while A.R. got scolded for being too referential (read: knockoff!). I was left wondering why he was chastised, while she got the win. This will undoubtedly be his story arc.

Fallene’s Pas de Deux
The Bottom Bunch included Josh and Julie, whose red look was far from Toreador and more Circus Elephant Ringleader. The Dueling Ladies (a.k.a. Bert and Viktor) also ended up in the bottom, with their oh-so-tacky and costume-y dress that looked as if it was made with curtains and wallpaper from a 1970’s banquet hall. And poor Fallene and Bryce — they tried to do a “Black Swan”/Punk Princess but failed. As judge Nina Garcia said, “It had no effort, no creativity, nothing.” Kim K. mused that the top looked like something she sleeps in! It was “Self-Taught” Fallene’s time to say “bye-bye” to the Project Runway Circus and go straight to a store to buy a book on fabric cutting (one hopes). Again, lucky Bryce gets one more chance. I say have another Team Challenge and put him with Bert next week! More queens bitching!! I can’t wait!