Nick Verreos Blog
Category: "episode 5"
In my last "Project Runway" blog recap, I ended with "hope the drama has left the room and now we can get back to the FASHION"... Well, I got 50% of my wish. Last week, we had the celebratory episode involving the designers creating looks inspired by bow ties and Bradon's heartwarming-and tear inducing marriage proposal. Also, Sandro "The Drama Diva" left, punched a camera and POOF: no one is out. Now is a new week and a new challenge. And yes, new DIVA Drama...
Bridge and Meatpacking Tunnel
Miss Heidi greets the designers by telling them that they are to meet Tim (and a guest) in the UBER hip (still?) Meatpacking District of NYC. Cut to the Gansevoort Plaza. PS: I had no idea that's what it was calledI just thought it was the place where drunk "Bridge and Tunnel" couples stumbled along the cobblestone streets. Tim Gunn is there with several shiny new Lexus automobiles. He's with Brian Bolain, Corporate Manager for Lexus.
And You Must Solve a Crossword Puzzle Too!
Oh yes, it's another "Brand" challenge. As it turns out, it's not only that but...
A) It's also a Team Challenge (the designers are put in teams of three).
B) It's an Unconventional Challenge (The third in 5 episodes! What is this, the "Unconventional Season"?). The designers will not be going to Mood but instead, get their materials from an antique wallpaper store, a specialty food store, or a home goods/party store.
C) The designers must design a mini-collection of high-end looks.
D) Be inspired by the Lexus automobiles...or not.
E) They have a $1500 suggested budget.
F) Have only one day to do it.
G) And they must do all the above PLUS solve a Crossword Puzzle involving World Politics...OK, not this last one, but I wouldn't have been surprised if they did!
Driving Miss Sue
Teams are announced and they are Jeremy, Karen, Kate; Alexander, Bradon and Miranda; Dom, Helen, Justin; and Alexandria, Ken and Sue. The last one being the most contentious from the start: Ken is not happy from the minute the Lexus ignition key has been turned onand especially after Sue makes a remark about Ken being the Chauffeur(?). He immediately goes into Diva mode, not for Sue implying this is a remake of "Driving Miss Daisy," but the fact that Sue doesn't know how to machine sew, thread a bobbin or make patterns. All the teams go shoppingpicking two of those three aforementioned locationsand then, head back to Parsons. There, "Team Drama" continues with Alexandria, Ken and Sue. Ken is very argumentative, divisive and quite nasty to Sue in particular, demeaning her non-sewing/patternmaking skills to her face as well as in front of Tim Gunn during his requisite visit.
First, I get what Ken's frustration with Sue is about. I have NO PATIENCE for someone who comes on "Project Runway" not having their skills down pat. Even if you are not a "machine sewing" person, have never threaded a bobbin or made patterns, I cannot, for the life of me, understand why you didn't take the time between getting chosen and actual filming to learn and school yourself. There is nothing wrong with being self-taught...if you actually TEACH YOURSELF something! With that said, I don't agree with the manner of which Ken went about it to let her know this. He was abrasive and insulting. As a team member, he should have just sucked it upand maybe just complained during his direct-to-camera confessionals. On a side note regarding Tim's visit to their team, I was so happy when he ripped them ALL a new oneincluding the fact that Sue was using FABRIC in an Unconventional Challenge and that the other two weren't doing much better either. Good Job, Top Gunn!
La Diva Is BAACK!
Speaking of the workroom and Tim, guess who showed up? La Diva Sandro. I wasn't expecting this one. I thought he was, by now, in a JFK Airport Transit Hotel waiting to go back to Moscow. But alas, he wasn't. Sandro returned to apologize to the designers for his behavior and put closure to all his nonsense. The jaded person in me thinks that he had to come back to pay the producers for the broken camera. Just sayin'.
Runway day is upon us and Team Alexandria, Ken and Sue are still a mess. Sue's look is not done and they have been told that, "It's runway time!"; Tim says that it was an "unprecedented moment" when Sue's model walked out of the workroom IN HER OWN CLOTHES. Somehow I am beginning to side with Bitchy Ken right about now. June Ambrose, Stylist to Jay-Z, Diddy and Missy Elliot is the guest judge. The designs come out and here are my "Nick Two Cents":
I thought two teams in particular did a great job. First Team Alexander, Bradon, Miranda. I especially loved Bradon's; that "wedding gown" of his was draped magnificently. I also thought Alexander's shawl made of window blinds was pretty FIERCE. Surprised Miranda did not do a PENCIL SKIRT but...she did do a fitted skirt dress, so very close. At least it wasn't a PENCIL SKIRT! When Team Jeremy, Karen and Kate's designs came out, however, I was like, "Done and Done." Those were some of the sexiest, hottest looks that have been achieved using placemats, wallpaper, glitter, drawer lining and coconut, EVAH. Karen's black flapper-style shift dress was SO Prada. Kate, who's on my Top Three Final List as of last night, did a marvelous design that looked like a $3,000 designer dress at Barney's NY. Her model Roberta looked INCREDIBLE; she needs to be the next Miss Universe! But it was Jeremy's ivory placemat strapless dress that won meand the judgesover. It was a complete opposite of a "Madame" look, which is the critique he got last week. This dress was so Victoria Beckham it was RIDUNCULOUS.
And Now to The Bottom
After the runway show, I thought Justin would be OUT because of his uninspired outfit comprised of a top and sloppy, stiff pants. The fact that they showed a tender "family Skype" moment earlier, also added to my "He's out!" speculation. But, it was Team Drama that was in the bottom. I actually liked Alexandria's high-neck vest as well as her ruched mini. The outfit looked modern and kind of chic. It was obvious then, that Ken and Sue were at the bottom. Ken's duct-taped dress was cheap-looking and screamed, "Oh wait, I need to cover my mistakes." But it was Sue who got the eventual boot for her outfit that was poorly sewn, haphazardly designed and just plain odd. On top of everything else, it was shocking to learn that Sue's model sewed part of the dress herself. Wouldn't that alone be cause for elimination? Hopefully she'll go learn some machine-stitch sewing skills and take some pattern-making classes (it will only make her a better designer)...and continue making those great leather jackets.
So...what did you guys think? Was Ken's approach to Sue completely wrong? What did you think of Sandro coming back? Should Ken and his duct tape ensemble have gone home instead of Sue? I'd love to know your thoughts. Until then, see you here next week!
"A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock N Roll"…that’s the name of this episode, but it easily could also have been titled "A Little Messy, A Little 80s, Little Self-Confidence and LOTS of Miranda Lambert’s Boobies"! When we last left our designers, Tim Gunn had made an announcement as he waved adieu to bespectacled cat sweater-lovin' Joe, saying that there was still "some business to be taken care of." I fantasized that maybe there would be a revolt of angry cats outside of Parsons, or better yet, someone had cheated and put extra fertilizer spray on their flower creations. Alas, none of that…
No More Teams!
As the designers gather at the foot of the runway stage, Tim and Heidi come out with the dreaded button bag. They announce that there will be no more teams (cue the SCREAMS of delight!). Instead, each designer will be paired up. Samantha chooses Daniel; Richard goes with Stanley; Patricia picks Layana; Matthew is with Michelle; Kate goes for Tu and finally Amanda and Benjamin are left as the last couple standing. With that, it’s back to the Atlas apartments to get some sleep.
Line Dancin' & Tequila Shots (NOT!)
The following day, the coupled designers make their way to Johnny Utah’s Bar, a Country & Western establishment. Tim is waiting and again, in my fantasy episode, he’s there to teach the designers how to line dance and down tequila shots. But no, he's there to announce their next challenge: to design for country music star Miranda Lambert. Each two-designer team must design 2 looksa performance look and a red carpet ensemble. With that, they’re off to Mood with a whopping $400 per team ($200 each) to gather supplies for their looks. PS: I am now officially really envious of all the money they are getting as compared to what we got back when the show had NO MONEY!
Now, speaking of money, some of the designers didn’t even NEED all that money. Benjamin comes in way under budget when he goes to check out at Mood. Then there's "Team Richard and Stanley" who again, had money left over and (wisely as it turns out) decide to buy "Thank You Mood" t-shirts. Back in the workroom, after several hours of designing, Tim finally returns from his Boot-Scootin'-Boogie Line Dancing Class at Johnny Utah’s (my fantasy bonus episode), to make his visit. One designer from each pairing takes the "Performance" look while the other takes the "Red Carpet" and all of them discuss with Tim what they are creating.
Gaga for Tu
There's lots of leather, denim, some lace and curiously enough, a "Fringe Virus" attacking the workroom. Amanda, who lucky enough lives in Nashville, is hand-cutting jersey fringe for her "performance" look and Richard is also making a fringed "Tina Turner"-looking creation. Of note, little Tu is getting a lot of airtime this week with his cute Thai-accented comments as well as his Lady Gaga-inspired creation. Mr. Gunn is NOT having any of it. Here's a little DISH: Tim is not a fan of people-especially young upstart designers-using Lady Gaga as their muse. You should see his face when we are at the castings and we hear designer after designer, exclaiming in adulation, "Lady Gaga" when Tim asks who or what inspires them: he takes off his glasses and gets hot under his Brooks Brothers collar! Tim wisely advises Tu to tone it down and make it a bit less "Gaga."
A Pleated Skirt???
Day of the Runway Show and some of the designers are having issues: Richard has no lining for his fringed creation. In a perfect Make it Work moment, he remembers his Mood t-shirt, cuts it up and sews a tube-dress lining. And then there's Matthew. He's partnered up with Michelle and he's in way over his head; he's got about an hour before the runway show and doesn't have a bottom to his look. Really?!? I am sure that he is a sweet, sweet person, however...When you come on "Project Runway," you should arrive with your "ammunition", i.e. knowledge of quick draping, pattern making and sewing skills. In a simple challenge like this, he should have been able to go on "Design Auto Pilot" and pull out something creative from his bag of tricks. But stalling, going through the I-can't-believe-it's-Runway-Day-and-I-don't-have-a-bottom is amateur hour. At the last minute, he went for the "I'll make a pleated skirt" and well, as you know, the end result wasn't so creative-or good.
Thank You Mood
Heidi, Nina, Zac and Miranda Lambert, are present to judge. Miranda is va-va voom in a very cleavage-revealing black ensemble. All I could focus on were her "sisters." She wasn't lying when she said she embraces her curves! On the runway one of the best coupled teams were Amanda and Benjamin. Amanda's performance look was fun and very performance-appropriate, while Benjamin's red carpet strapless gown was slithery and sexy. I wasn't a fan of the one-breast sequin fringe; it was distracting and trust me, it would get a no-no from red carpet commentators. Nevertheless, the judges ADORED it. Richard and Stanley's looks were my favorite. I actually thought Stanley's red carpet plunging neckline gown was a definite YES!, even with the full gathered skirt section. But it was Richard who got the win for his fringed dress-with lining. Thank You Mood!
Thank You Zac Posen
And now for the not-so-good. Team Daniel and Samantha were in the bottom, along with Matthew and Michelle. First up, Daniel: his design was tragic and tacky. He was so proud of the leather "soutache"-like detail he created, yet it looked like a crumpled-up Hefty bag. Nina called it, "Bad, bad, bad." Ayyy dios mio! Zac Posen, interestingly enough, called him on his inclination for being referential. Thank God somebody (other than me) said it. In the first challenge I said his winning design looked very similar to what Raf Simons did for his first Dior Haute Couture collection. Then last week's design reminded me of Giambattista Valli Fall/Winter 2012 Haute Couture.
Bad Luck Michelle and Sad Matthew
But in the judges eyes, the worst of all were Matthew and Michelle. Poor Michelle, she is like the Season 11 bad luck charm. Not sure why. I love her personality and I actually think she's pretty great as a designer. But somehow, she's always on the losing team. I actually liked her design this week. Yes, that necklace was a bit much but the rest was directional and well-made. The problem is that it was a design that reflected Michelle's cool aesthetic but had nothing to do with Miranda Lambert. But I do think they were a little too hard on her. I'm glad Michelle stood up for her design and her love of Rock of Ages and AC/DC. Her coupled partner, however, did not stand up for his (lack of) design. Matthew's creation of a strapless pointed hem bustier and basic pleated skirt had zero performance appeal and no sparkle that someone in the "nose bleed" section could see. They looked like separates a teenager could have bought on sale at Forever 21. You could tell that he knew it was bad, and it reflected in his ability to barely stand up for himself on the runway. With that, he got the boot-scoot. Next week, we go from country and western fringe to...elderly Couture? Yikes!
Hello "Project Runway" fans and blog readers. A new week and a new recap ... and yes, another chance to get something off my chest. Here we go:Why is EVERYONE on Season 10 So Miserable?
People are crying left and right, contestants are bolting out in the middle of night, everyone is OVER-stressed and swearing like drunken sailors (What. Is. With. All. The Swearing by the way? I feel like I'm watching Snooki on "The Jersey Shore"). The whole thing is kind of depressing. Now, granted, it is always easy to remember the good and not the bad, but I don't recollect the environment back in my season being so miserable, or my fellow cast mates being so contemptible (Or at least most of them). We would be in the confessionals cracking jokes, saying this-and-that (and not in a nasty, spiteful way) and the requisite "I'm not sure I will be finished on time" comments. On this season, it's been a cloud of unhappiness and doleful anguish almost every week. And it's only week five. I'm beginning to understand why Andrea and Kooan did a "I'm OUTTA here!" without even batting a L'Oreal mascara'ed eyelash.Design a Working Woman Collection, Direct a Photoshoot, Work on a Team & Go to Mars!
Heidi enters the runway and brings out my Colombian sister from another Mister, Nina Garcia. Nina announces to the designers that this is the "Marie Claire Team Challenge" and they must create a capsule collection for a working woman that is both editorial AND will also work in the "real world," AND they will work in teams AND they will also direct a photoshoot of the collection with the winning team being featured in the Marie Claire @Work supplement of the magazine. Oh, and did I mention that the winning design will also be launched in the Mars Rover to be used as an instrument to find proof of water on the planet? Just kidding. But seriously folks, that is a LOT rolled into one challenge...Bromance Ends As Soon As It Begins
The designers begin to choose the members of their teams and Raul is the Last Man Sitting. He's feeling like a "schoolyard reject" as Christopher, whom he thought was his new Bromance love, ends up passing him over for Potty Mouthed Snooki, I mean Gunnar. The final two teams end up being "Team Five" (5 designers) Nathan, Ven, Christopher, Fabio and Gunnar, and "Team Six" (6 designers), Sonjia, Elena, Melissa, Dmitry, Alicia and Raul. During the pre-shopping pow-wow meeting, Raul (feeling his ego at an all-time low) is confrontational, already predicting his teammates will throw him under the "Team Challenge Bus." He also declares that he's "good at making pants" at which point I almost hear the producers rushing to the "Project Runway Season 10 Wall of SHAME" and showing proof of just the opposite from last week. Oh these kids, they SLAY me.Gunnar: Good Luck Next Time You Want Your Pants Hemmed
After a frantic Mood shopping trip, the teams head back to Parsons. Raul now has switched his "I'm the King of Pants" tune to "My strength is in doing ruffled blouses." If you say so Raul. Elena is quickly becoming the Grinch of the workroom, being combative about anything her team is working on. And then we have Gunnar, who is trash-talking the entire profession of Tailors (and Savile Row for that matter!) with his "I'm NOT a Tailor. I don't do that F'ing Sh**" confessional. Nice.How Is Everyone? Don't Ask
Tim walks in and makes the mistake of asking how everyone is doing. One word: MISERABLE. They all looked like they would rather be getting root canals. Tim tries to relax the tension in the air by telling "Team Six" how he liked what they were working on. On the other hand, Tim thought the "Team Five" creations were looking a bit clownish. Then, in a rare moment of Season 10 light-heartedness, Elena jokes, dubbing the "Team Five" boys the "Silk Chiffonies" because of their constant use of silk chiffon. She then calls Raul "Eddie Munster." I secretly chuckle.Editor-in-Chief Elena
The following day, both teams meet up at Go Studios to direct, style and set-design their respective Marie Claire @Work shoots. Miss Elena is on FIRE, directing everyone and everything. She's being Negative Ninny, quarrelling with teammates Melissa and "Eddie Munster" Raul. Raul argued that they should use some of the furniture that was provided while Elena favored a clean, white backdrop. I liked the clean background of the photographs but I also agreed with Raul that they should use something or else I could just see the judges calling them out on it.Color Me Melissa
It's Runway Day and who was on Top and who was the Weakest Link? I loved Dmitry's color-blocked dress, but the judges argued about the appropriateness of the peek-a-boo back, except for Miss Heidi who favors the less appropriate. I also liked Christopher's outfit with his signature ruffled skirt. Eventually, the judges, including Marie Claire's Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, chose Melissa's design as the winner and I can (kind of) see why: the color was impacting and it was dramatic, especially in the photograph. I give Melissa points for NOT using black, I just didn't agree with Nina's assessment that it was "wearable." Wearable for a fashion diva like Nina might mean something totally different than the average woman. In addition, Melissa's "Team Six" won the Marie Claire @Work photoshoot sub-challenge and will be featured in the magazine. Congrats.The Weakest Link ... and Weakest Goodbye
In the bottom were Gunnar and Raul. It would make sense for Gunnar, who was on the "losing" team to be the one out. But, oddly enough, Raul, from the WINNING TEAM, was booted. Were his designs/creations bad? Yes. Was Gunnar's dress horrible? Yep. Was one worse than the other? Looked like a tie to me. But in the end, Gunnar looked like an angel compared to that awful, cringe-worthy goodbye in which Raul said to Elena, "I hate your a**!" amongst other things. Let's just say for the sake of argument that Elena is an awful person. Still, really? On camera, that's how you want to go? That's the last image you want people to remember of you? Classy with a capital "K," I say. He then doubled-down with his "I don't make garments in 5-7 hrs!" comment to the camera. Darling Raul: why did you sign up for this show? You did know that you were going to have to make garments in 5-7 hrs, right? Bitter Eddie Munster Party of One. Adios Raul. Next time watch your potty mouth and get a spoonful of humbleness and think about your goodbyes, por favor.
Five things I learned from watching last night's episode:
1) Joshua M. is mean. OK, he's downright CRUEL.
2) Bert is also mean, but in a Bitchy Old Queen sort of way
3) Mean and bitchy gets you places … at least on "Project Runway"
4) Reality shows LOVE a villain ... or two!
5) A basic tank maxi dress can win in a fashion design competition! Who knew?
Running With Pattern Shears
After last week's "Dress Nina la Diva" episode, the remaining contestants woke up only to find boxes in their Atlas Apartments. I started to get the shakes, as this reminded me of my Season 2 "Figure Skating/Make a Costume for Sasha Cohen" Challenge, when we received boxes of snap-on body suits and leggings to wear during our ice skating outing. Oh happy times! No figure skating for these kids; they were going to the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory. Heidi and Tim were there to tell them that they would be working in four teams of three. They all had to do a lap around the field, and the fastest four would be the captains/team leaders.
Before H & T said "Go!", "Death-Warmed-Over" Cecilia was DONE: She decided to quit. Fab one less person to write about! Bah-bye. BTW, can we have those shiny new HK New Balance sneakers back? Sans Cecilia, the remaining contestants do their lap. Olivier falls and passes out (will a PA please get him some Craft Service! Stat!), Heidi helps "old" Bert make it to the end (in 6-inch heels!) and then we find out the captains: Joshua, Bryce, Anthony Ryan and Viktor. Yes, kids, The Gays can do sports!
The Heidi Challenge
The captains then choose their team members: Joshua picks Anya and Becky; Bryce is with Kimberly and Danielle; Viktor picks Olivier, and Anthony Ryan and Laura Kathleen are left with Bert (uh-oh!). Since Viktor has only one companion, they bring back Joshua C. to even it all out (lucky him!). Heidi then finally announces this week's Challenge: create 3 cohesive looks for her HK New Balance sneakers. "Think fashion," "Think 'basic with a twist,'" she tells them. The prize: The winning look will be sold and manufactured online on Amazon.com as part of Heidi's line.
Joshua: "Mean Girls" Queen
Back at the Parsons Workroom, the "Mean Girls" captain, Joshua, begins his needless cruelty by belittling Becky's design ability and basically making her his seamstress. He continues this throughout their entire time together, saying that she's someone who "does dowdy dresses" and not someone he would consider a "style icon." Ouch. He also gets WAAAY too close to copying my fellow Season 2 veteran Zulema Griffin's quote of "I don't care if you gotta cry and cut, but CRY and CUT. Don't stop and cry!" Let's discuss Joshua for a second: There are times that I just want to say some of the cruel things he said last night (to people who shall remain nameless), but I happen to have a filter/edit mechanism in my brain especially when there's a camera 10 feet away from me which stops me from being so cruel (also, my mom taught me better!). In addition, it's the WAY he says it, his intonation. It's actually quite disgusting. I'm done with Joshua.
Anthony Ryan and Laura join Joshua as members of "Mean Girls": The Parsons Edition by being quite dismissive of poor ol' Bert. But as it turns out, Bert is not helping matters by being incredibly uncooperative and sour and making condescending statements under his breath basically, just being a bitchy old queen. He also cannot remember his own team players' names (Henry?? No, Bert, its Anthony Ryan). Bert seems to be forming his own chapter of the Mean Girls Club! Ah, Bert: Sometimes after nine hours of teaching 19-year-olds at a fashion institute and grading, draping and correcting pattern assignments for another 12 hours, well, I feel like being a "Bitchy Old Queen" and snapping at an unsuspecting student. But I do not; I know better. Also, what part of "You will have to work with people who are NOT from your generation and who do not have your background and expertise" did you NOT understand when you signed up for "Project Runway"? Instead of being a condescending sourpuss, it might behoove you to be cordial, be a team player, and later after you finish filming and return to your home in L.A. bitch with your "girlfriends" over a Liza Minnelli Tribute at some piano bar in the Valley! Trust me, that's what I did!!
Motorcycle Ridin' With a "Generic" Tank Dress
OK, let's discuss the Runway Day and the results. Heidi, Michael, Nina and the guest judge, the sublimely gorgeous model Erin Wasson, were there to see the results from "Mean Girls": The HK New Balance Sneakers fashion show. It was a mixed bag, naturally, considering all the dysfunctional behavior happening among some of the teams. The judges were all over the place with their comments and who they liked and did not like. There were two "best," according to Heidi (since, after all, it was HER Challenge): Viktor's gray dress and black motorcycle jacket was the winner, and "Joshua's Team" with "their" maxi dress (created by Anya, by the way) also won. I loved Viktor's, and that win was well-deserved. I understood the salability of "Team Joshua's" maxi dress, but seriously, that gets commended in a DESIGN competition? It's a two-piece tank dress!
A First: Camel-Toe Romper
At the very bottom was Danielle and her green top and skirt (yes, she did ANOTHER chiffon green top!) and Anthony Ryan's diapers-looking romper. Poor Anthony Ryan's design was the worst (in my eyes). Even Michael Kors told him, "You've achieved the impossible: Your shorts are big and tight at the same time. She has camel toe in big shorts." But he's too cute to go away well, in "TV Land," anyway! In the end, it was mousy Leanne Marshall I mean, Danielle who went home for her "Chiffon Addiction." If I were Danielle, I'd be happy to just be away from that "Mean Girls" environment once and for all. Now, what shall we do about Bitchy Bert and Cruel Joshua? Unfortunately, they're still in the show. Oh, yes, lest we forget, reality TV loves a villain ... or two. Mean Girls rule!!! (I hope not).