Last week, Season 10 of "Project Runway" premiered with the "Biggest Fashion Show" in "Runway" history. This week, our little ol’ show loses not an ounce of couture steam and keeps the strong momentum going with one of the most iconic and beloved by fans "Project Runway" challenges, the "Make a dress out of crap you would NEVER use to make a garment challenge" … in other words, yes kids, it’s the Unconventional Challenge. I’ve always said that this is a fun challenge to watch by the fans and TV viewers alike, but in terms of it being a guide rule in finding the "Next Best American Fashion Designer"… not so much.Candy Re-Run
As "Plaid Heidi" saunters onto the runway congratulating last week’s winner cutie Christopher she tells the designers that this is "no time for child’s play." Instantly I think, "Oh Dear, they’re making clothes for bratty Upper East Side kids!" But oh no, I was wrong. Soon, the designers meet with Monsieur Gunn in front of Dylan’s Candy Store where he is flanked by it’s owner and CEO, Dylan Lauren (Yes, of Ralph Lauren fashion blue blood), announcing that their second challenge will be to create a look out of candy using materials bought from Dylan’s Candy Store naturally. Now, I remember back in Season 4, the challenge was done at the Hershey’s Times Square store (Rami won it), so it seemed like a slight re-run challenge idea to me, but one figures that it’s difficult to come up with new "Unconventional Challenges" year after year.Gunnar and Christopher: Please Get a Room
After a mad "Candy Dash," the designers get their sugar tooth couture fix, buy out half the store and then head to Parsons to #makeitwork! The workroom quickly begins to resemble a 5-year-old’s birthday party after a piñata has exploded. Several designers are spending their early hours doing muslin dresses to build the foundation for their candy creations. Others are crushing candy, gluing candy … or just eating it! And then there’s Gunnar Siriano 2.0 and cutie Christopher who spend a lot of their time being Bitchy Queens (more so Gunnar than Christopher) talking smack and "throwing shade." It’s only the second week (In real time, it’s only been like TWO DAYS since they’ve met each other!), but there’s already this weird tension between them. I have a feeling that either A) Gunnar feels threatened because he thought he was going to be the only "twinky gay" or B) They just need to GET A ROOM! But I digress, let’s move on…Coochie Shorts + Glue Gun = Disaster
Tim visits the workroom in his very expensive custom plaid suit, tie and pocket hankie (Things have a come a long way since his "Banana Republic" days) and sees the designers' progress, or lack of. He likes Sonjia’s shark gunmmies and what she’s doing with them and sees the potential of where Ven’s look could end at. On the other hand, Tim is very concerned and disappointed at Andrea BA MA and MFA’s "I just got some candy-in-a-wrapper-and-called-it day" look. Elena is hot gluing Piña Colada twizzlers, while wearing hoochie-coochie hot shorts and little else. Naturally, the glue falls onto her arm, then leg, burning her, thereby needing emergency medical attention. As Christopher rightly noted, who uses a HOT GLUE GUN wearing hoochie shorts??!! Amen Sistah!Cotton Candy Puke-a-Licious and Lantie’s Delusions of Grandeur
Next day, the designers return to the workroom and some designers (Buffi and JapaFro Kooan) find out that using cotton candy might not have been a good idea since it deflated creating something that looked like a 7-year-old got sick after a raucous birthday party! Lantie started fresh making some concoction out of umbrella fabric and little candy. She proudly states, "I’ve never seen anything like it!" Lantie, let me inform you: there’s good reason why you’ve never seen anything like it it’s NOT CUTE! Poor thang is having delusions of Candy Grandeur. We can guess where she’s going to end up on the runway.Twizzler Road Kill
Runway time and "Snakeskin Jumpsuit Heidi," Michael Kors and Nina Garcia are there, along with Guest Judge Dylan Lauren of course. The show begins and the designs are a combination of fun quirky creations fit for a candy store window and some "What the Heck is That?" messes. I was perplexed by all the tacky 1998-esque midriff-showing looks. I could just see Nina’s face wince a thousand times while several tasteless midriff-baring tops kept walking down the runway. And poor Elena and her dress: by the time the runway show had ended, half her Piña Colada Twizzlers had fallen off and ended up as candy road kill.Runway Eye Candy
But in terms of good, there was GREAT! Sonjia and Ven’s were standouts. Using jelly beans, white chocolate-covered almonds and shark gummies, Sonjia created an outstanding dress. I loved how the shark gummies seem to be swimming in the neckline creating what looked like a blue bejeweled neck piece on the dress. But then, there was Ven. His strapless dress was something out of an Atelier Versace or George Hobeika Haute Couture Collection. Nina said it was "sublime." As I predicted in the "Road to Runway Casting Special," Ven gave Nina a Colombian fashion orgasm! He wins this challenge easily, getting immunity. I loved how respectful and thankful he was to the judges. Class.Toddlers & Tiaras Puke-a-Licious
At the bottom were Buffi and Lantie. Buffi wove chewy candy to create a top section but then got what looked like a tablecloth and slapped it together to make a skirt. It was too much pink, too much tackiness, too much of everything. She looked like Paris Hilton’s really, really, REALLY tacky 5 year old daughter! As Kors said, "It was 'Toddlers & Tiaras' Gone Bizarre'" But worse was Lantie. She literally got some umbrella fabric, then slapped some candy flowers on the skirt and declared herself done. Her failure in transforming the fabric is what caused her loss. And the nail in her coffin was when she used the "I didn’t have enough time" excuse. Oh huneeeyyyyy!!!! I was about to SCHOOL her via my yelling at the TV, but luckily my Colombian sister from another mother did it perfectly. Adios Lantie and take your time management excuses and candied umbrella with you. I hear it’s raining in NYC right about now and well, you might need it for cover.
Happy 10th Anniversary "Project Runway"! As a member of the "Runway Club" (it's like the Mickey Mouse Club, but more fashionable), it's not surprising that the show has survived this long. Back in 2005, when I did Season 2, I knew that I was going to be part of something that was iconic in TV History. The show premiered almost 8 years ago and well, as we now know, it has become the "Grand-Daddy" of all Fashion Reality Competition Shows. In fact, last week, while on a trip to Mykonos, Greece, I was switching channels and stumbled on Greek TV and guess what was on my hotel TV? Season 6 of "Project Runway"! In Greece! Say no more. 2012 marks the Tenth Season of the show and last night's premiere was a doozy so let's get to the Recap'ing shall we.Center of the Universe Fashion Bang
It is quickly revealed that the first challenge and runway show is taking place in the HEART of NYC, "Center of the Universe": Times Square, for the first time EVAH! Models are under a tent squeezing into their clothes; designers are putting the last minute touches on their garments and the Stars of the show Heidi, Tim, Nina and Michael are greeting the crowd with a Champagne toast. Cut to the previous day...The Who, What and Where Are You From
Since Season 3, I have had the privilege to judge the castings and this past Spring, I took part in the LA Castings for Season 10. I, obviously, had no idea who would make the Final 16, so it was with great delight to see several of the designers I saw during those castings, actually make it onto the show. This included Elena (Miss Futuristic Thierry Mugler-meets-Claude Montana-meets Lady Gaga), the lovely Beatrice "jersey knit" and blonde-haired Melissa, who loves black and edgy.JapaFro, Dumpster Diving and Christian Siriano 2.0
Besides these three ladies, we quickly get to scope out the rest of this season's talent and characters. Speaking of characters, between Buffi the "Roller Girl" with her sequined hot pants and Kooan "JapaFro"/Harajuku Boy hair and style antics, it's a tough one as to who is the most kooky (Team Kooan is my choice!). There's also earthy-crunchy-hipster Fabio, the first ever "Freegan" (He searches dumpsters for food say WHAT!?), dark and serious Dmitry from Belarus who used to do Ballroom Dancing (Love that!) and the requisite bitchy Twinky Gays cutie Christopher, Christian Siriano 2.0 Gunnar and Raul "Pointy Hair McBitchy." Other designer highlights include the grandma of the bunch, 58 year old Andrea who has a BA, an MA and MFA, in everything but the sun, Lantie, who likes Snakeskin bibs and Ven, Mr. Couture.Now That's a Well-Made Suit Mr. Gunn
Their first challenge involved bringing one look from home that best exemplifies their design aesthetic. But then Tim Gunn after the requisite "Welcome to Parsons," and "How do you like my custom-made windowpane plaid suit, tie and hankie ensemble," tells them that they must create a second companion look in one day and with a $100 budget. It's "Make It Work" time! He then officially tells them that the fashion show will take place in Times Square. After screams of "OMG! I will be a STAR!" they all get to drawing, Mood-shopping and Parsons work time.Beatrice Sewing Fail
During the workroom, there is evidence of who is doing well (Ven, hello!) and who might not. In the "Might Not" column, Beatrice admits that designing is her forte but sewing ... not so mucheey. Time for a "Nick Side Bar": Beatrice grew up in a family who owned fashion manufacturing businesses for TWENTY years! At the LA castings, we thought this would be an asset. It would seem that she ate, slept and breathed sewing machines and sergers. She gets on "Project Runway" and can barely sew a knit v-neck collar. What gives?! What was she doing the entire time at her parents businesses?! Brushing her pretty long hair?! I digress. Let's just get to the runway show and the Top and Bottom.Crochet Pooping From a Dress and Draped Flower Couture
We're in Times Square, thousands of fans, tourists and photographers everywhere, all trying to get a glimpse of the fashion madness. In the middle of it all are the judges: Heidi, Nina, Michael, actress Lauren Graham and the first-ever "Project Runway" guest judge, Patricia Field, of "Sex And the City" styling fame. Here's the rundown: there are some crafty student projects for sure. Lantie, what were you thinking with the crochet-pooping-from-a-dress look? And Andrea BA MA MFA Katz her second hooped-skirted look was from a Cirque du Soleil show that never made it to Vegas. Good ones for me, included Ven's elegant Angel Sanchez-meets-Giambattista Valli ensembles, as well as cutie Christopher's bias-cut paneled backless and fishtail gown. These last two were the top, naturally. I would have picked Ven, only for the fact that BOTH of his looks were sublime whereas Christopher only really had ONE strong winner (His LBD's fit was awkward at best and the zipper buckling was wonky). But alas, Christopher won. And congrats for that first challenge win. Now to the bottom.The First One Out
Kooky Kooan created two cartoony looks that I was sure costume designer/stylist Patricia Field would love, but even she wasn't in on the joke. Kors rightly called one of his looks "teletubby"-like. True. His designs were very Agatha Ruiz de la Prada (Look her up kids she's from Spain), but they need a bit of refinement. Less cartoon, more couture. Lantie and Beatrice were also at the bottom (No surprise there). This was a tough one and I probably would have bet money on Lantie being out only for her mud-colored tulle, snakeskin bib and pooping crochet concoctions. But ... it was pretty Beatrice who was the first one Auf'ed. Her two looks were uninspired and sad as La Klum pointed out. What a bummer to be the first one out for sure. When she came for the LA Castings, I warned her that she would have to do something more than knits and that might be her Achilles Heel. I never would have guessed that her downfall would be because A) she sewed poorly and B) her clothes would be deemed sad looking. She was so nice and cute too. Oh well, one down, fourteen more to go until we have a Season 10 winner! Oh, and did I mention how excited I am that "Project Runway" is BAAACK?! Oh yeah, I just did!
"Project Runway" Rewind: Back in September, I flew to the East Coast for two things: to host a "Fashion's Night Out" event in West Virginia (technically "The South" but still East Coastadjacent) and then to attend the Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week "Project Runway" show. It was two days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and traffic in Manhattan was at a standstill. I barely made it. I watched NINE yes, NINE shows (five "decoys" and the four finalists). There was a whole lot of mess (little Bryce, I am talking to you!), but there were some shining moments. I SWORE Laura Kathleen was one of the finalists. Hers was one of the strongest collections. I was wrong. And I thought Joshua's was all over the place and too "kooky" ('80s neon-green "bicycle shorts"?). I would have bet one of my Hermès ties that he was a "decoy" (wrong again!). But one thing stuck out: Those glorious dresses from Anya. I thought, wow, if she made it THIS far, and with barely knowing how to sew … Atta-Gurl!
A Gift of $500 … to Anya!
Let's see how it really turned out. As of last week, the Top Four finalists showed the judges three looks that were supposed to be representative of their collections. Anya suffered. Her pieces looked like she had made them in three hours. Under any other circumstances, she would have been OUT. But the judges decided to keep her. "She has come this far …" they argued. Going into the final two days before the Finale Show, she was the underdog. Out of the blue, Monsieur Gunn walks into the workroom and provides them all with a "gift." The conspiracy theorist in me felt it was intended for Anya, as a "GURL, you better 'Make It Work' and redo your damn collection!" She did.
The Susan Lucci Award Goes To …
How are the rest of the finalists doing? Viktor inexplicably buys some see-through, stretch cheetah print that has nothing to do with his collection, to add some new looks. As they showed him going through his rack, editing out some of his custom prints, I thought, "Oh dear, he's heading down the wrong path!" Kimberly is making more of those not-so-flattering "booty bump" skirts (NO!), and Miss Joshua is doing his best Soap Opera Digest Award Performance of how he has "NOTHING … to come home to … not even a job!"
Kimberly: Hoochie Fabulous
It's New York Fashion Week show time. Statuesque (6'3") designer L'Wren Scott (a.k.a. Mick Jagger's "Main Squeeze") is the Guest Judge. Kimberly is up first. Her collection was inspired by the Urban Brooklyn Fashion Girl, or as I like to call it, Hoochie Fabulous. It was very Rachel Roy meets Baby Phat, which is good and bad. Good in that it's sellable (minus the "booty bump" skirt), colorful (that blue-green metallic shift dress with pockets is fab!), and I can see the girl who would wear it. Bad, because it's already out there; not so new, directional, or "winner of Project Runwayworthy." The judges liked it, though, saying it was "a great collection."
Viktor: A Tale of Two Women
The collection began strong. His prints were marvelous. That first look — the printed dress with the strong shoulders: Done and done! The printed pants, jeweled tank and jacket look: UBER-chic! I can see this girl. I know her! She lives in NYC East Village, is a trust-funder, loves fashion, and interns at Marie Claire with Nina. But then, that girl went into dominatrix, sheer-chiffon, those-are-my-undies and where's-my-whip mode! When I am teaching my students about creating a collection, I always say, "Think of ONE girl, one vision and the pieces she would have in her closet. This is what a collection should look like. Does each piece, each look, seem like 'Yeah, that's that one girl'?" Kimberly got it. Viktor did not.
Joshua: A Neon Jazzercize Class and a Met Ball After-Party
Oh Josh-y. I'm obsessed with his black jersey gowns with plastic collar accents. Hot. Hot. Hot. So "Met Ball" after-party at The Standard NY Boom Boom Room. And that one scuba-plasticized look with the bra top underneath: so Proenza-Schouler! But then he went into Olivia Newton-John "Let's Get Physical" territory with the neon-green laced-up bicycle shorts. I don't want to see those four words together ever again. I think he also suffered from the same "two-headed woman" syndrome that afflicted Viktor. Here were two girls in his collection, and one would not hang out with the other. The judges, however, LOVED his entire collection. Nina, in fact, wanted to photograph it all and couldn't get enough of those '80s neon-green shorts. They deemed Joshua "most improved" and complimented his styling and editing. My heart started beating a very nervous beat with the thought "Is Joshua going to win this whole thang??"
Anya: Beyoncé Sipping Champagne
Then it was time for Miss Anya. She showed a very cohesive, feminine, sexy "Resort Luxe" collection. Although the minute the show finished, my first thought was that it was very similar to Uli Herzner's collection from Season 3 (take a look, you won't believe the similarities!). But I think in a head-to-head competition Uli's was better and more polished. With that being said, Anya's first plunging-neck caftan gown was GA-GA gorgeous. Her prints were fabulous, and I could see photographs of Beyoncé sipping Champagne in Capri with almost EVERY single dress. Did it seem "one-note"? Yes. Were the shapes simple and very "Pattern Class 101"? Yes. Could she have done without a couple of those awkward-fitting short tunic dresses? Yes. But it all looked like ONE girl. And surprise, surprise: Miss Caribbean Queen WINS! (Joshua: You can collect your Susan Lucci Award now).
The Sash and Crown
Well, after watching the entire season, it doesn't come as much of a surprise. This season was almost scripted for Anya to win. It was a Made-for-TV movie: "From Beauty Queen to Fashion Queen." She was the Cinderella "heroine," Viktor and Joshua were her "construction stepsisters," and Kimberly was one of her loyal besties. And in the end, she perseveres, puts on a great collection and voilà: She gets her crown! Atta-Gurl. Anya will be great for the "Project Runway" brand: She speaks well (hello, she's a former beauty queen!), women EVERYWHERE will want her clothes — well, at least for their vacations in Hawaii or cruises to the Bahamas. And, as Kors summed it up, I can also see Anya necklaces, Anya bags, and Anya big straw hats … and if I were Beyoncé, I'd have my PR team get in touch with her to send them to me ASAP!
This episode is definitely going to get the fans riled up! I can already see the comments here. I don't know if the producers planned it this way, as it's always good to have people talking (or so they say), but they certainly aren't playing it safe this season. We're down to the Top Four, and Heidi states adamantly that they still have one more Final Challenge to narrow down the designers to the Top Three, and ultimately, who will show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This is repeated over and over again throughout the episode. But then, right at the end, it's changed to "Psych! Just Kidding! Y'all are IN!" What happened?
$900 Per Look
Let's rewind a little bit: As the episode begins, Heidi greets our Top Four and gives them $9,000 and five weeks to create a 10-look collection. That's a very short time, but honey, I've done TWENTY-plus-piece collections in the same amount of time so, no sympathy here. Also, if my calculator works correctly, this means they each get to spend $900 per look – for fabric and accessories. No money can be spent on any pattern or sewing (hired help). At $900 a look, they better be AMAZING! Finally, before saying "Until next time," Heidi adds, "Only THREE will get to go on ... to NY Fashion Week." Not "MAYBE three of you" (as she has done in the past). No, "THREE."
Here's Your MetroCard ... Now Go!
The designers go home. For New Yorkers Joshua and Viktor, this means "Congrats! Here's a one-way MetroCard! Now get to cuttin' and sewin'!" Kimberly goes to Maryland, and Anya heads to Trinidad and Tobago. Three weeks later, it's time for the "Tim Visits." Kimberly is first. She seems to have been working "like the rent is due." Her collection is based on the Urban Brooklyn (pre-gentrification) Fashion Girl. Prints, colors, a '90s "Banjee Girl" vibe, and (I'm afraid) lots of gold-and-silver hoop earrings and bracelets. Read: Glam Hoochie.
Next, Tim heads to Trinidad and Tobago to check in on Anya. She has NOTHING, except some fabrics and her inspiration. No actual garments, not even sketches. Seriously? What. Has. Anya. Been. Doing? Drinking rum & Coke and laying out at the beach? Tim tries to shake her out of her funk, but I'm not sure it quite worked.
Guadalajara: Bien – Queens: Not Bien
Back in New York, Tim visits Viktor and is wowed by the clothes on his rack, inspired by a trip to Guadalajara. We knew Viktor would get to work right away, so no one is surprised that he was muy bien. Next stop: brunch in Queens, New York, to visit Joshua. Here, we find out Miss Josh was good at sports. See, the gays CAN do sports … and then switch over to fashion design! In his studio, he has a sad, thrift-store-looking printed fabric which Tim hates (I do too!), as well as lots of loud, neon-y "Joshua" colors. You could just see Tim's "What the heck is that?" brow go into overdrive.
Five weeks are up, and they reunite at the Hudson Hotel Penthouse. After a day of rest, they head to their new workroom, where Tim then tells them their next Challenge: to present a three-look mini-collection to the judges. Tim reiterates that this will decide the THREE who will go on. Cut to Runway Day. Heidi, Michael and Nina are all there. No actor or celeb fashion designer "guest" judge plugging their latest projects. Yea!
Overall, I liked Viktor's girls. His custom-made "photo" prints were fabuloso, but I thought that leather zipper "car wash" overskirt was tricky and so "Fashion School Graduation Show." I was happy to see my South American "sister" Nina also feel the same way and make him remove it. The three looks Joshua picked to show were surprisingly dark, modern, and oh-so-not-bedazzled and tacky-licious. He either listened to Tim's critique following the visit or he was very smart to not show the "Joshua McKinley" Neon Ladies to the judges ... just yet.
Anya's three-piece collection looked as if she had made it in a 48-hour challenge, and the judges tell her so. The pieces looked sloppy, half-double-stick-taped and reminiscent of something one can find at a street bazaar in Port of Spain, Trinidad. What happened? The judges LOVED that first (printed) dress, but I wasn't a fan; the gaping armhole was worrying me. Kimberly's looks were OK – that black gown was SO Heidi, but the back booty bump skirt: No LIKEY. But at least Kimberly's was better than Anya's. Both of the girls are at the bottom. Kimberly is deemed IN … so is Anya out?
Too Much Advice?
The judges' critiques dumbfounded me this week: They were giving A LOT of helpful advice to the designers – especially Anya. As it turns out, Anya is also IN. What happened to the Top Three? Was this changed all of a sudden because the judges felt bad since she had done so well throughout the season? Or did the producers already have this "twist" in their minds from the get-go?
This is what it looks like to me: Anya's was the obvious worst, but the judges didn't want Anya out. Am I on the right path or am I being a "Project Runway Conspiracy Theorist"? Many of my readers think there's quite a bit of favoritism being placed on Anya by the judges, and now I kind of have to agree. Based on these four finalists, it's not that she isn't worthy of being in the Finals and showing at NY Fashion Week. In fact I think she and Viktor are the top two designers. However, if we are just judging by the three looks they presented, Anya should have been OUT. The only thing consistent about this season is its inconsistency. It seems that the judges have decided to evaluate what they have seen over an entire season as opposed to what is presented on the runway each week. Heidi, early on, seemed to try to take a stand for her catchphrase "One day you're IN … and the next day … you're OUT." But clearly this season it should be changed to "One day you're IN … and the next day you're IN"!
Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: “Cind-Anya-rella and her Construction Stepsisters.” Starring “Cind-Anya-rella” – the former beauty queen who just learned how to sew; her two “Construction Stepsisters,” Viktor and Joshua; and finally, the two supporting “Design Damsels,” Kimberly and Laura. How will this movie end? Stay tuned …
Boxers and Pumps
As the episode begins we are told that it is the final challenge, the outcome of which decides who will show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The five remaining designers head out for a ferry trip to Governors Island. Kimberly is wearing her highest pumps, while Anya is sporting a pair of fur Uggs (?) and Joshua, bless his little heart, is wearing printed boxer shorts and combat boots! In those getups, did they think they were going to a gay club in Atlantic City? Anyhow, Tim Gunn is there, along with Leslie Koch, president of The Trust for Governors Island, and John Stern, president of the Storm King Art Center.
What, No Standard Hotel Rooftop Pool Bar at Governors Island?
Gunn announces the final challenge: to create three looks that show a “range” (meaning a dress, pants outfit, a skirt ensemble, etc.) inspired by the island, its landscape, architecture and/or the fabulous Mark di Suvero sculptures on the island. They have two days and a $500 budget (Lordy!). After 30 minutes exploring the island, Joshua realizes that there is no Standard Hotel with a Rooftop Pool, so he ends up going to a church for his inspiration. Kimberly decides to be motivated by one of the di Suvero sculptures, entitled “New Beginning.” Anya is drawn to the positive/negative spaces of the artwork. Laura is inspired by circles. And Viktor likes the juxtaposition of the NYC metropolis vs. the island’s scenery.
Back on the “mainland” at Mood Fabrics, Laura somehow thinks $500 is $700 as she almost ends up buying too much fabric. Laura, you’re not at the Plaza Frontenac Neiman Marcus in St. Louis! The designers then return to Parsons, where Tim enters with the dreaded button bag. “You could all benefit from help,” he says. The last five eliminated designers walk in to be “assistants.” How excited they must have been when they were allowed to leave their sequestered hotel and endless Netflix viewing, thinking they were going to go shopping on Fifth Avenue ... only to discover they were back at Parsons to work.
Time to choose assistants: Kimberly picks Becky; Viktor picks Olivier (Did you catch the MOST APATHETIC hug in Reality Show History??); Laura picks cutie Anthony Ryan; Anya goes with Bert, and finally Joshua gets Bryce. Soon, it’s back to bitching. Joshua is in fine form, blathering (quite loudly) to Bryce about how he “just got $20,000 swept away from me by a beauty queen” and something about “Beauty” (Anya) vs. “Talent” (himself). Fellow “Construction Stepsister” Viktor is also kvetching but more “privately.” When he feels his “inner Chola” coming on, he just goes to the confessional and vents his displeasure with everyone that way – so they can see it later on TV.
It’s Runway Day, and understandingly, stress is high, with lots of self-doubting and emotional hiccups. Kimberly and Laura change their looks at the last minute, scrapping already-made pants for skirts or dresses. But thank goodness not a single one of the assistants has been harmed by either Viktor or Joshua. In other words: a good day so far. Heidi introduces the guest judge, actress Zoe Saldana, with much fanfare (how come all the other judges didn’t get this kind of an A-list entrance?). The Governors Islandinspired mini-collections come out, and it’s truly a “fashion hodgepodge.”
Here are my two cents:
Anya Does Bert, Viktor Goes Bland and Joshua Goes Kooky
Anya’s three looks were very “Bert” (did Anya design them or did Bert?). The looks were simple and architectural and had hints of “Art Gallery Owner” sophistication. The judges LOVED it. She was the first to be let through for MBFW, so basically she was, once again, the winner. Viktor’s designs were well-merchandised and constructed marvelously (loved the cascade-front leather jacket). But, as Michael Kors said, his looks lacked that runway “punch.” He was in. Good. Joshua’s group of ladies was a mess. I disagree with the judges about that cream sheath dress; the back was gaping and not fitting well, but I liked the metallic-mesh shoulder detail. The vest-skirt-and-top look was very “Mean Girls” cheerleader, which made me smile, and then there was the “Statue of Liberty” gown that looked A LOT like a silver toga costume. But yes, kids, he was in. Why, you ask? Because he didn’t BORE anybody. What have I said before? Boring: OUT. Kooky: IN.
Neiman Marcus Called and They Miss You, Laura
Anyhow, Cind-Anya-rella and her Construction Stepsisters are all in, which leaves our two Design Damsels: Kimberly and Laura. I completely agreed with Heidi’s comments on Kimberly’s looks. The first was a hot girl at a Hollywood club, the second looked like a Dutch exchange student in London, and the other, a Las Vegas hoochie. Kimberly loves doing those side cowl-draped skirts that ENHANCE a woman’s hips; I don’t know why. But then there was Laura. I liked the gown, but I think she should have stopped with the overt use of that circle fabric right there. What destroyed Laura’s mini-collection was that boring (that dreaded word!) pillow-case-wrapped-with-a-tie dress. It came out of nowhere and essentially should have never made it to the runway. Therefore, it was Laura’s time to go. Now, go join your fellow designers and rent some Netflix movies and do some Web shopping at Neiman Marcus!
Speaking of Movies ... Movie Costume AMOUR from Nick
Recently, I was asked to give my “Nick Two Cents” (like I do here on the myLifetime.com blog) on the costumes of the upcoming film “Anonymous.” Starring Vanessa Redgrave, her daughter Joely Richardson and Rhys Ifans, “Anonymous” is set in the turbulent times of the succession of Queen Elizabeth, and it explores the question “Was Shakespeare a fraud”? I’m not sure if he was, but the Lisy Christldesigned costumes were FABULOUS! Now, I love “period” films, especially from that era. The farthingales, the plunging décolletage, the ÜBER-fashionable dandy men ... With “a little” help from my NIKOLAKI design partner, David Paul – who has a master’s in costume design from UCLA – and the many, many books on costume history that we both have in our “library,” I made sure to try to blend in the right amount of correct research and terminology but also add some fun “Nick-isms” to my take on the costumes. So, be sure not to miss my “Anonymous” costumes DISHING right here on myLifetime.com!
Anthony Ryan and his Hippy Dippy Navajo-print Girls are gone. Sigh. I fantasize that they're probably enrolling in a Women's Studies Program in New Mexico with their mohawk'ed "Best Gay." For now, six designers are left. Now what? Here's a sampling: Birds, birds, and more birds, plus a head-to-head challenge with A LOT of twists and a $20,000 prize! There are glue-gun meltdowns and the infamous Project Seamstress or Project "Make It Work" Dilemma. It's enough to drive a boy to ... write a recap.
$20,000, Sweetie Darling
We begin with our fourth Advertorial Challenge (but who's counting!). This one is different. For starters, it's L'Oréal. Second, there are birds waiting for the designers back at Parsons as their next challenge is announced: they must create a high-fashion runway look inspired by a cockatoo, a parrot, a raven and (if you look closely …) an owl! The six designers are split into teams of two and given their Bird Inspiration. Anya and Laura get the raven, Joshua and Bert get "Sweetie" (how ironic) the parrot, and Viktor and Kimberly get the cockatoo. The owl gets left behind, unfortunately. Finally, what makes this challenge really different? The prize (besides the Marie Claire/L'Oréal advertorial): a $20,000 check. Shut. The. Front. Door.
Head to Runway Head
Twist No. 1: Instead of competing against the other teams, they are competing HEAD TO HEAD against each other. As original as this "Head to Head" component was, I was a bit questionable of the idea: What if both members of a team were equally FABULOUS? What then? Moving on …
Twist No. 2: After the designers have been working for a full day, Tim walks in to announce that they are to create a SECOND look as well, and they are given $300! "Project Runway" has definitely upped the budget! I remember having $30 to make a flower dress!
The Unraveling of Kim
Day 2, and stress is in the air. Joshua hates his first creation (with good reason it looks like a pleated nightgown for a woman who pops a lot of pills!). He asks Anya if he can borrow fabric. She disregards him, acting as if he's speaking in tongues. Kimberly begins unraveling emotionally. She's having issues: She sews through her finger, and her fabric gets stained. Oh, and a glue gun melts a hole in her dress. Not a good Kimberly Day. Bathroom crying ensues. Anya and Laura console her, as well as Tim, who gives her a "Poppa Gunn" hug.
Girl, I Feel For You ...
I unraveled and almost threw in the Frette towel back in my season. It's a result of the abnormal and surreal work environment and pressures of the competition, so I get it, Kimberly. In my case, I had my own Anya and Laura in the form of my fellow designer (Daniel Vosovic) who pulled me aside and read me the "You've Lasted This Long ... Don't Give Up" Riot Act. I snapped back. So did Kimberly. She decides to make a new dress with only THREE hours remaining in the day. As Tim is about to lock the workroom doors, he announces Twist No. 3: Only one look will go down the runway. Stress relieved.
Runway Day, and Anya is struggling to get her model into her dress, after inexplicably forgetting to put an opening/closure. She seam-rips it open and sews it back (or glue-guns it, who knows?) Well, that little detail of construction ignorance did not sit well with Viktor and Joshua, the "Sewing & Construction Stepsisters."
Here's the deal: I know it's frustrating when you see and know how some of your fellow designers can barely construct a garment but then are able to "Make It Work" come runway time. We all must come to realize that the judges don't care how the model gets into the outfit and arrives on the runway. They turn a blind eye to sloppy hand-sewing and glue guns. Yes, they praise good construction and sewing, but they praise design, presentation, good taste level and the "It Factor" more. There is NOTHING in the "Project Runway" Rulebook that says that it needs to be made so well that it can be sold in a store and worn by an actual non-model in an everyday situation THAT NIGHT. Is it fair? No. But again, as Ms. Kors has repeated several times this season, "It's NOT Project Seamstress, it's Project RUNWAY."
Miss Elie Saab 2011 or Miss Anya
Speaking of The Runway, Francisco Costa, Women's Wear Creative Director for Calvin Klein, is the guest judge for this challenge. Kimberly, Joshua and Anya are deemed the best. Kimberly's "3-Hour Gown" was very Elie Saab and yes, a little pageant-y, as Nina Garcia said. The construction was wonky (what were those unintentional mini-pleats in the waist?), but overall, it was an elegant and sensual representation of her bird. Joshua did a one-shoulder side-cowl draped orange cocktail number that wasn't Bedazzled or tacky-licious. Also interestingly enough it was VERY "Sophisticated '70s." Why didn't he do THAT dress in the previous challenge? Anya's edgy, black, high-necked, shoulder-capped dress was exceptional (minus the "How Does She Get Into It" factor). It was my favorite, in fact, reminding me a lot of the dresses Karl Lagerfeld just showed in his Chanel Spring 2012 Collection in Paris. She wins, much to the dismay of her "Construction Stepsisters."
Shredded vs. Un-Joyous
Viktor's shredded gown was not a favorite and was labeled too literal by the judges. For me, a bigger problem is why he didn't line the entire floor-length skirt? I know the whole transparency thing is "In," but there's a difference between when Frida Giannini of Gucci did it (Fall/Winter 2011) and when Viktor attempted it. Laura's too-tight skinny pants and bird-feather-like-neckline jacket was not High Fashion Runway. But poor Bert; his strapless faux-python-skin bustier with matching belt and multi-layered-skirt gown with a center front slit was oh-so-boring, not joyous and, more importantly as the judges (again) correctly stated not NEW or INTERESTING. It also looked like a Pageant Gown that a Miss Cayman Islands would wear in 1998! And when Bert got the boot, even he concurred that "You (the judges) made the right choice." Yep, they finally did.
Hello, Blog Readers! Can you believe we've made it this far? (Don't answer that! It's a rhetorical question!) I LOVE reading everyone's comments, because they are always enlightening, thoughtful and make me feel at least somewhat "sane" when I get some people agreeing with me. I've discussed Joshua M. being a Mean Girl, and you agreed. I've also talked about Madonna I mean Olivier and my distaste for his "I Hate Fat People" comments. And, yes, y'all agreed. So, let's see if you agree with me on this week's analysis … Let's begin this week's Recap:
Last Week Was NOT a '70s Challenge!
We are now down to seven designers, and Heidi tells them that they will have to "look to the past" for inspiration. First thing I thought was, "Oh, Ol' Man Bert should do well!" Cut to the Parsons workroom. They meet up with Tim Gunn and Heather Archibald of Piperlime, who tells them that they are to create a look inspired by the "Sophisticated '70s," and that the winning look will go into production and be sold on Piperlime.com. Instantly, the designers scoff, saying, "Well, the last challenge was '70s and that didn't go so well ..." Oh, sit down, kids. Poppa Nick needs to discuss something. Here's a news flash: Last week's challenge WAS NOT '70s! See, that was their problem. The Challenge was actually to Design a Look for a Rock Band. That shows you how much these designers didn't "get it." And by their comments in last night's episode, they still don't.
Bring a Purse to Mood, Ladies
They all go to Mood and Miss Anya loses her money (A very "Amazing Race" lose-your-passport moment!) and is generously given $11.50 by Anthony Ryan to buy one piece of fabric. If ever there was a Make It Work moment, it is now. There have been many "limited budget" "Project Runway" Challenges in the past, but never one in which one contestant had $11 and the rest had $100. If Anya hadn't already secured her role as Fan (and Judges') Favorite before, she sure has now!
They're Not Your Friends
Later, Tim informs the designers that they have to create a second look with an additional $50. They will have the same two days to complete both looks which should be no problem, right?! Not for these designers. In addition, the girls the REAL girls, Anya, Laura and Kimberly have made some sort of a "pact" that if one of them was doing something "Style Questionable," they would inform each other. Are you kidding me? Are we in high school? It's a COMPETITION. None of these people are your friends. Friends are what you have for, say, FIVE YEARS, not people you met THREE WEEKS ago. Viktor finally turns on his inner Sassy Chola Girl and enlightens the ladies on how SILLY this "Girls' Pact" is. Gracias, Viktor.
Two Days and Two Outfits
Let's get to the Fashion. Two days later, it's Runway Day, and some of the designers Anya and Kimberly in particular are barely finished. Seriously? Two days. These designers should not have a problem making one outfit per day. The only person who should have been struggling would be Viktor, with his tailored pantsuit, and he sailed through the challenge effortlessly. Nevertheless, Headmaster Gunn reins it all in and declares "Time's up," and somehow, they make it work. Guest Judge is socialite and red-carpet and fashion-show-front-row favorite Olivia Palermo. I didn't realize she also had a new position as well: Guest Editor for Piperlime.com. Interesante.
'70s Classy, NOT Trashy
The runway looks come out and instantly in my eyes Viktor's seems to be the most polished. He did two great looks, while most of the other designers missed the mark on one or BOTH. Bert's printed-chiffon one-shoulder tunic with black hot pants was OK but was verging on a "1982 Prostitute at 3 am." His second dress which won the chance to be sold on Piperlime.com was not that good. The hem was (unintentionally) pointed at the sides and, frankly, looked too "basic" even for It-Has-to-Sell-to-All-of-America Production. When Anya's jumper came out, I just knew she would be the winner. It had the print and silhouette that would be very Web-friendly and was chic enough that you could imagine it being worn to a posh resort in the Caribbean.
Just Because You Were Born in 1985 ...
At the bottom were Anthony Ryan and Joshua. Joshua's pieces were, as the judges said, schizophrenic. The plaid pants made the size 2 model look HUGE, and the mixing of prints was tasteless. It was over-the-top, and there was NOTHING sophisticated or '70s about it. While the judges were deliberating, "Mean Girl Joshua" reared his ugly head and got in a cat fight with Viktor when he tried to give excuses on how he didn't know what the '70s were since he was born in the '80s. Viktor got his Chola Girl out again and called him on it. Listen, I do A LOT of 1930s/1940s-inspired gowns for my NIKOLAKI Collection and I wasn't born until … (never mind!), but I have done my research and KNOW my fashion history. Joshua should too. No excuses.
Tasteless and Mean, or Boring and Nice?
In the end, it was NOT Joshua who went home, but Fan Favorite Anthony Ryan and his depressing Granola-Crunch Hippie-Dippie girls. While Joshua's were over-the-top bad fashion, Anthony Ryan's were boring and not-so-cute clothes made for Cult Girls who've drunk the "Ugly Fashion" Kool-Aid. So, I ask you: Is the final lesson that over-the-top, tasteless designs and being a b**** always win over Boring and Nice? Take those lessons and "talk amongst yourselves."
The episode begins, and once again, within 30 seconds, there are two ominous hints at what’s to come: Anya’s can’t-sew issues and Olivier’s time-management problems are both quickly revisited. Unless the editors are trying to throw me for a loop, I just have a feeling one of these two is going home. And I just KNOW it isn’t Anya those judges have drunk the Anya Kool-Aid, and they’re not sending her back to Trinidad and Tobago, that’s for sure! Oh and yes, Olivier still hates fat people …
Musique C’est Chic
Let’s begin. Last week, the designers thought that they were designing for men when they saw nine guys walk onto the runway and they weren’t happy. But as “‘Project Runway’ luck” would have it, they had to create looks for the men’s respective girlfriends/wives. Whew! That was a close one. Well, kids, don’t do the “happy dance” just yet. This week, the designers head out to Rockwood Music Hall, where they meet up with Monsieur Gunn and Peter Butler, Consulting Stylist for Garnier. There, Tim tells the designers that fashion and music are forever linked, adding, “Think The Beatles and,” um, “Lady Gaga.” (I know that took A LOT out of Tim to even mouth the Lady Gaga part, that is).
The Dogs Get Groomed
It turns out that Garnier and Rolling Stone magazine have partnered to showcase a new band, The Sheep Dogs. Here’s the first catch: The “Project Runway” contestants would be responsible for creating the band’s fashion image, and the winning look would be worn by a band member at an event as well as be featured in a Marie Claire/Garnier advertorial. Here’s the second (more important) catch: They’re ALL men! Yes, kids, this is THE Menswear Challenge, officially. Third catch: They must work in teams ... again.
I Don’t Do Men
After a brief “Oh no, not teams again!” scuffle, the designers are told to make sure each band member looks like they belong with the band ... but they will be judged individually. Predictably, MOST of the designers have never done menswear, do not want to do menswear, and don’t know how to do menswear. Hello, why do you think the producers picked this Challenge?
A “Massive” Schooling, From Uncle Nicky
Team Harmony and Team Untitled are set up, and they “choose” their band members. Madonna, I mean Olivier, gets lead singer Ewan, who happens to be 6’3” and not a Man-o-rexic/no-carb-eating/Twinkie male-model size. In other words: A real MAN. Naturally, Olivier begins with the “I Hate Fatties” talk, complaining that he “got the biggest guy,” saying, “He’s MASSIVE” and “I never thought of designing for PLUS-SIZE people.” Back in the workroom, he continues his kvetching, now saying that there are no FAT MALE body forms for him to use. What a crock. First of all: Pad the form! Use fabric, muslin, shoulder pads. What an amateur! (Sorry, I am using my “Nick Loud Voice.”) Also, I don’t know what body-dysmorphic planet Olivier is living on, but his client AIN’T fat maybe “thick,” but certainly not fat. And in fact, in some gay circles, he’d actually be considered kinda hot.
Runway Rock Idol
It’s Runway Day with 30 minutes left and Olivier is having time-management issues (quelle surprise) and is leaving his client in his skivvies waiting for his outfit to be finished. Somehow, he makes it work (double-stick tape and pins, I guess). For the first time in “Project Runway” history, the fashion show will be in the form of a concert. Kors, Garcia and La Klum are on hand, as well as Lady Gaga!! Just kidding … it was singer Adam Lambert. The Sheep Dogs perform in their Team Harmony and Team Untitled looks. And honestly, even though the band members did say they liked a ’70s Boho vibe, BOTH teams’ looks were more reminiscent of cheap Jimi Hendrix mockumentary costumes. Kors must have been salivating, barely able to restrain himself from spewing out a cacophony of one-liners.
Our Buddies Back Home Are Going to Give Us (Blank)
As the teams are brought onstage to face the judges with the band members standing beside each designer I can’t help but notice the facial expressions of The Sheep Dogs. I so wish there were “pop-up” bubbles, because they would saying, “What the he** did we get ourselves into?” “This just might be the biggest mistake of our young careers!” and “Our buddies back home are going to give us s***!” But moving on, first up was Team Harmony. The judges all agreed that their creations were too literal and bad Woodstock-y. They liked “Old Man” Bert’s just for the plain fact that it didn’t look like a cheap costume from a bargain store in Omaha. Anya’s was a mess evoking the spirit of a bad Brady Bunch hippie costume. She even confessed that it was horrible. And wouldn’t you know it: She really can’t sew; her client’s jeans were splitting in the back. And I bet she makes it to the finals ...
Team Untitled is next, and the judges love “I’m Not a Mean Girl Anymore” Josh’s cream bell-bottom pants look (what was up with all the cream pants?!) and think it’s “hip and sexy.” I wasn’t a fan of the contrast pockets and those flared legs, to be honest. They also liked Viktor’s fringed-and-braided pleather jacket, Western shirt and distressed jeans. I think that this one was the best if only for that jacket alone. Viktor wins. In the bottom were Kimberly and, yes, Miss Olivier. Olivier did a too-cropped bedspread-print shirt and GREIGE pants for his BEAR of a client. On the positive side: It wasn’t a bad Jimi Hendrix costume. On the negative side: It was BORING, ill-fitting and not even FINISHED! Remember what I said at the start of this recap? Yep, I just knew he would be gone. He calls himself a menswear designer, yet he was out on the Menswear Challenge. Poor thang. At least now he’ll be able to go home and make endless greige collections for all his fantasy “size 2 only” clients. Good luck with that!
Last night was the 8th episode of "Project Runway" Season 9. And Bryce was OUT …Yes, I just told you how it ends. Why? Because the editors ruined it for me too: The episode was barely 30 seconds in when Bryce laments that he’s never won a challenge and in fact, has been at the bottom several times and is wondering if he's the “Weakest Link.” Um, Ya Think So??? I immediately exclaimed (in my loud voice), “He's GONE!!” (Thanks, Editors). Oh, and did I mention Joshua won? Yep. Sorry to ruin that for you, but right as the nails were being pounded into Bryce’s "Project Runway" coffin, “Orange-ua Joshua” was stating how he was in a “Much better place today” ... Seriously, RIGHT AFTER Bryce. Thanks, Editors, Part Deux.
Now that I got that out of the way, let’s talk about the rest of the episode. The nine remaining designers (can we just get to the Top 5 PLEASE???) are sitting there as Miss Heidi Klum brings in what they think involves their next Challenge: nine men. Immediately, the Gay Claws start coming out as several of the designers don't want to pick “the Fatties” (Yes, I am talking to you, Madonna British Accent Olivier!). Jeeeesus! Now even the men have to deal with what women have been dealing with for AGES from these “kooky” Fashion Designers; it’s a syndrome I call BPB, short for Body Prejudicial Behavior, and this group has it in spades!
It’s the Women, Silly Kids
Soon enough after several ignorant “I'm so pissed to be left with the FAT one!” comments, the designers find out that they will actually be designing for THEIR WIVES and/or GIRLFRIENDS, whom they haven't met yet. The designers meet with the men and discuss their thoughts on what would be nice and cute for their respective female partners. Frankly, I wish they had taken this to a whole other level and decided to make this a Gay & Lesbian Partners Challenge, in honor of the NYC Freedom to Marry Act. Now, that would have been a good one! Just sayin’.
Anyhow, the designers go shopping, and the highlight here is that Madonna I mean Olivier doesn't know what “Double D” means (supposedly that is his client’s bra size). Oh Olivier, I am about to slap you UPSIDE the head! First he does not like so-called “Fat Men”; now it’s the “Big Boobs.” That boy has some major issues. Wait until his metabolism hits. Or better yet, wait until he wants to design for the rest of America. Oh, and I do not believe for a HOT MINUTE that Olivier didn't know what a Double D was. Olivier looks like he is two free drink tickets away from doing Drag at Barracuda NYC. I think he would make a great Imelda Marcos, don't you?
Amateur Hour: The Private Client Edition
Back at Parsons, the designers are working on their creations under the watchful eye of their clients as Tim walks in after some lunch at Le Cirque (I’m just assuming!). He deems Viktor’s “Just perfect” (it was!). Bryce is contemplating his use of Pepto-Bismol pink in his dress creation (it looks really badly made!), but Tim assures him that his client looks good in that color. He questions Anya’s kimono sleeve addition a bit (I would too!). He calls Olivier’s design “crayon-y” and clocks him on having “time management issues.” At the same time, Olivier is having some problems connecting and interpreting his client’s desires quelle surprise. It’s “Amateur Hour” up in here when it comes to little Olivier and working with nonsize 0 people.
The Dress I Made in 1998
It’s the Day of the Runway and the judges are ready. Actress and one of the models in my First Ever NIKOLAKI Los Angeles Fashion Week Show back in 2003! Malin Akerman, was on hand as the Guest Judge. The results are in. The Top were Anya, Joshua and Viktor. Viktor created a perfect ensemble that looked chic and modern. I almost fell off my couch when they said Anya’s was one of the best. I think I designed and made that dress back in 1998. How was a one-shoulder, asymmetrical and high-low printed dress with a kimono sleeve relevant in 2011? And judge Michael Kors went on and on about how it was THE PERFECT Gallery Opening Dress. Maybe for South Beach in 1998. I actually liked Joshua’s creation. Yes, he’s a bully, and a whole lot of other things, but he was able to rein in the crazy and make a cute dress that, as I stated at the beginning of the post, won the challenge. Viktor’s was actually my favorite this week, and again, I couldn't understand why the judges did not choose him.
The bottom 3 were Anthony Ryan, ol’ man Bert and Bryce. Bert’s plunging-neckline sheath dress was well made but yes, it’s already in EVERY STORE across America. Anthony Ryan’s creation was very “Retro-Vintage” but not in a good way and, as Kors said, reminded him of a “Super Hero Ice Skater” (love him!). So in the end it was Bryce’s time to go. The judges liked the pink, but the dress itself was badly made, fit poorly and had way too many details that didn’t work together. His departure was something so obvious to everyone involved that even the editors couldn’t wait until the end of the episode to let everyone know!
No-Drama Thursdays ... NOT!
Last week, "Project Runway" viewers got a "drama reprieve." This week? The Drama Is Back, kids: We got an immediate amuse-bouche of things to come when the opening credits had barely finished and Josh McKinley was spouting things like "The Winning Look from last week's Avant-Garde Challenge should have been MINE!!!" So we knew it was only going to be a matter of time until the nails, gold-hoop earrings and wigs would be a-flying once again.
Team Mean Girls Part Deux
So what brought the claws back out? Let's begin with the Challenge: As the 10 remaining designers sit with bated breath, their smiles are instantly turned into dropped heads and "Oh no's!" as Heidi announces that they are to be split into two teams of five, with no team leaders. However ... Anthony Ryan (the winner from the previous week's challenge) gets to pick who is on "his" team, and then Heidi gets to "randomly" pick from that bag who would be the other team "Non-Leader." Take a guess who it is? Just one guess … of course, it's Josh "Queen Mean Girls"! Do you think for a hot minute it would be anyone else? HELLLLLLSSSS no! Side note: I don't even think there are actual names on those chips in that bag, but if there were and Olivier's name came up first, even Miss Heidi would quickly throw the chip back in the bag and keep doing it until Josh's name was picked! Just sayin'.
Me! Me! Me!
Each team then chooses their members, and of course, "Old Man Bertie" is the last one standing. After this junior high-school P.E. class moment, they are at the Parsons workroom, where Tim Gunn and the ageless fabulousness that is designer Betsey Johnson announce that this week's challenge is the "HP & Intel Challenge," where each team is to create a five-look collection as well as design custom textile prints. Before departing and doing a cartwheel, Johnson reminds the ego-tastic designers (well, really, only Joshua M.!) to "throw away 'Me, Me, Me!'" and "Go, Team!" We'll see how long that will last.
I Want Your Queen Card Back!
One-thousand one, one-thousand two ... nope, not long. "Team Chaos" (Anthony, Anya, Bryce, Olivier, Viktor) and "Team Nuts and Bolts" (Mean Girls Queen Josh, Laura, Kimberly, Becky, Bert) begin to caucus to choose which prints to use. As "Team Nuts and Bolts" are deciding, Bert is having printer issues: His print isn't coming out. No one in his team seems to care especially Joshua, who begins berating Bert in such a volatile and evil manner that I feel embarrassed for Joshua. In fact, the entire Parsons workroom feels discomfort. He's being a very (Rhymes with Witch-y) Queen. I know that Bert is not always an innocent wallflower in these situations, but in this case Joshua M. is clearly in the wrong.
Apologies & Arguments
Hours later, after realizing how the cameras captured him looking nasty (just like when he exploded on Becky several episodes back), he returns to the workroom to make a "Public Service Announcement" offering an apology for his un-ladylike behavior. As Bert correctly stated, he could have come to him one-on-one and made his amends, but he didn't. Almost as soon as he finished his apology, Joshua was at it again, arguing with Tim, as Tim was trying to give him constructive criticism. Obnoxious and tacky. Even Tim tells him, "Let your ego go!" and forces "Team Nuts and Bolts" to hold hands and vow to get along.
Up next: "Project Psychotherapy." As soon as we get a major spoonful of "Evil Joshua," there has to come the "Let's Feel Sorry for Him" arc. Joshua calls his father; we get more into his mom's passing two years ago and how he is still grieving; and of course, there's lots of crying. In addition, he vents his anger and resentment over not being as successful as "he should be" after all his hard work. First off: A) I feel his pain for his grieving, but does that make it OK to bulldoze and bully people? And, B) I also have empathy for anyone who struggles to achieve their dream, but this isn't "Project Psychotherapy." Diary Rooms are meant to give us a little background let your point of view be known but not for getting out issues y'all should have worked out A LONG time ago on a professional's sofa! News flash: Probably EVERYBODY going on "Project Runway" is STRUGGLING to achieve their DREAM that's the reason you are going on the show!
Next Time, COLOR PRINTS!
Let's get to Runway Day. Please. Besides Heidi, Michael and Nina, the gorgeous Rachel Roy and actress Rose Byrne are on hand for the judging (what happened to poor Betsey Johnson?). Fasten your seatbelts, LADIES it's going to be a bumpy night. First off, BOTH teams only used black-and-white prints, AND both teams' prints were not-so-good. Can we please make it a rule for next season's "HP & Intel Challenge" that they HAVE to use COLOR?
The Perfect Mini Collection
Continuing ... The collection from Joshua's Team oops, I mean "Team Nuts and Bolts" was all over the place, design-wise, and "Team Chaos" was anything BUT chaotic. It was stunning, in fact; one of the best "Project Runway" group efforts in a LONG time. They win. And it's between Olivier (he did a perfectly tailored jacket, albeit in GRAY again!), Viktor (who did a stunning gown) and Anya (who created a sublime printed sheath dress). Anya surprisingly wins. I really thought it was going to go to Olivier or Viktor, but still it was well deserved! I love that the fashion still "ruled" on "Project Runway" against all that "Joshua Drama."
Fragmented Team=Fragmented Collection
Speaking of ... it was down to "Team B**** Queen" to battle it out. Nina Garcia asks them about their "team interaction," but Joshua rightly pulls her back to the fashion (1 point for Joshua!). But here's the deal: Their fashion was disjointed! Joshua's geometric jacket ensemble was actually quite good (2 points for Joshua) and had some design quality, while Becky's was not. She did use Joshua's print, which had the words "canceled" and "delayed" on it (1 point off for Joshua!) but her look was almost "Missy" and, as Heidi stated, it was "weak ... in a weak collection." I knew Becky was going home the minute she landed on Joshua's Team. Hello!!!