Season Premiere July 24 at 9/8c
Nick Verreos Blog
Category: "Shirin Askari"
I just have one word for episode nine: OMG!! But I will get to that in just a minute. Critics and some fans have argued that maybe some of the early challenges have been, well, a bit lackluster. However, I have been noticing that in the recent weeks, the show has been gaining “Challenge Momentum”: The Costume Challenge and Nicolas’ fierce Ice Queen; the Newspaper Challenge and Johnny’s lie and Bleeding Bird Dress; and last week’s Divorcée Re-Do and accidental Oktoberfest fashion disasters, have all made for major highlights. Our favorite show is definitely taking its “fashion vitamins.” And now Xtina AND Bob Mackie?! Can a gay man ask for anything more? It’s called absolute H-E-A-V-E-N.
Sequin Crazy at the FIDM Museum
Eight designers are left, and Heidi Klum walks in — looking especially HOT. She tells the designers that A) they have no immunity from now on, and B) this challenge will be their time to shine. With that, they follow Tim Gunn into the hallowed corridors of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum and Galleries, which, incidentally, houses one of the most comprehensive (12,000) archives of costumes, accessories and textiles from the 18th century through to the present day, including film and theater costumes. At the Gallery, “The Sultan of Sequins,” Bob Mackie — along with Tim Gunn — awaits them.
Bob Mackie=Sasha Cohen
Standing next to all the iconic costumes he has designed for Cher, Madonna and Diana Ross (see photo above), Bob Mackie introduces the next challenge: to create an extravagant stage look for pop SUPERSTAR Christina Aguilera. Nicolas “I-never-met-a-feather-or-sequin-I-didn’t-like” was DYING! When he saw Mackie, I was afraid a team of medics would have to be called in to calm his excitement! He acted the same way I did when I saw Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen in my Season 2 Figure Skating Costume Challenge — I guess Sasha Cohen was my Bob Mackie!
Vegas Drag Queens at the Ice Capades
$300 worth of Mood feathers and sequin fabric later, the designers return to their FIDM workrooms to begin their stage looks, which they have two days to create. The following morning, Tim arrives to see whose outfit would “Shut It Down!” and which ones would be worthy of showing at a Vegas off-the-strip Drag Queen Review. Gordana “I’m a DEEEEESIGNER” is safe (because of last week’s win) but stressed: Her beads keep falling off, and Tim thinks her dress (which she is remaking) looks matronly. Tim looks at Christopher’s outfit and calls it a “general disappointment” and adds that it reminds him of a 1999 ice skating look (Hi, Sasha!).
Guinevere-Vampira meets Irina McBitch
On the other hand, Tim thinks Carol Hannah’s look might have a “wow factor.” I’m just afraid of how dark the colors are. Nicolas — who should have this one in the bag — is making a “Mini-Me” of his winning Ice Queen design, and Tim calls him out on it. Shirin seems to have bought every tacky cheap sequined fabric at Mood, and her creation is looking like a “throw-in-everything-AND-the-kitchen-sink” dress. Tim says it looks like not only Guinevere-meets-Vampira but also a really bad prom dress for a 16-year-old. If I was Shirin, I would crawl under the table and hide until one of the production assistants slips me a BIG OL’ strong drink, and call it a night! But of course, you can’t really do that. On the sidelines, Bitchy McBitch, Irina, is at it once again, talking trash about everyone within a five-foot radius. She’s good at what she does, I’ll give her that, but it seems like an insecure mechanism (isn’t it always?) to be doing that, especially if you are so sure of how good you are.
Season 6 Supremes: Diana 2.0, Mini-Me Ice Queen, Elegant Xtina
Tensions are high on the day of the runway show as the designers are sewing their last sequin and feather on their figure skating outfit … I mean, 1999 Prom Dress … I mean, Stage Look for Christina Aguilera. At the judges’ seats are Nina Garcia (she’s finally returned from her lovely vacation in Cartagena), Bob Mackie (Nicolas is having a second cardiac arrest) and yes, the one and only Miss Christina Aguilera (EVERYONE is having a cardiac arrest now!). The Project Runway Stage Divas come down the runway, and Althea’s model, Tanisha, looks more Diana Ross than Christina, but that’s still good in my book — as well as the judges’. Aguilera loves Nicolas’ “Ice Queen Little Sister,” giving praise for its “booty-shaking” drama. But Carol Hannah Whitfield’s sophisticated black feathered gown takes home the Project Runway Grammy for Best Dress.
Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Christopher?
While the top three looks were stunners, the bottom, not so much. I actually thought Logan’s look was cute, but it didn’t stand a chance next to the “you-can-me-see-from-row ZZ1,008” creations of Nicolas, Althea and Carol Hannah. The judges deemed it a bit “cavewoman,” and I agree; she looked like Wilma Flintstone going to the Nokia Theater. The bottom honors, however, went to Christopher and Persian Princess Shirin. Christopher’s look reminded me (and Bob Mackie) of a hoochie Pussycat Dolls costume. (See photo.) The judges nailed it when they told him it was reminiscent of Aguilera’s “Lady Marmalade” period. What was he thinking? Christina does not want to look like a cheap VH1 hooker anymore — that was Christina EIGHT years ago! And then there was poor Shirin. It was too much dress and suffered from the “student project” virus. It also reminded Heidi of a Halloween witch dress. So it was between Lady Marmalade Hoochie Soul Sista and Halloween Witch Couture. And with a wave of a broomstick, Heidi bid adieu to our little Shirin Askari.
Last week, Samantha Ronson look-alike and Disco Soccer Ball lover Ari was given the Heidi "drop and kick" and sent home. Who would replace her as the weird one of the group? We would soon find out. But first, I introduce to you the six-pack abs of Logan Neitzel.
Gratuitous Logan Torso Shot
When this episode begins, the designers are waking up to a new day, lamenting what they need to do to stay on the show. For Logan, it seems he decided that walking around shirtless might not be such a bad idea. I want to make a suggestion right here and now to the producers and editors of the show: Please show Logan’s six-pack abs and shirtless torso at the beginning of EACH EPISODE. Most of Gay America — and lots of 18-year-old girls — will thank you!
“Project Runway” Gets Knocked Up
But I digress. What was this week’s episode about again? Oh, yes, “Cheetah Girl” Heidi Klum saunters onto the runway and introduces the very pregnant actress and former model Rebecca Romijn. It quickly becomes apparent what the next challenge is: To Design a Chic Pregnancy Look for Rebecca. Something with a beautiful silhouette that would celebrate her figure, she tells them.
The Part of “Kooky” Ari Will Be Played by Malvin
After making a mess at Mood L.A. (I’m talking to you, Qristyl!), the designers returned to work on their designs. The designers walk over to their Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising workrooms (I’m not over the colorful walls and fun interiors!) and find “gifts” on their tables. They have been given a “pregnancy pad” to help them with this challenge. Most of the male designers didn’t know if they should put them on their heads or wear them as “man bags.” The only mom of the group, I-was-a-former-KGB-spy Gordana, quickly rushed to their aid, explaining the precise position of those padded pregnancy “bumps.” Tim Gunn is later brought in to do his walk-through. Louise tells Tim that her dress is looking a bit like a nightgown! Vocabulary God Tim mouths a fabulous “Tim-ism” when he tells her, “If your viscus [though Tim pronounced it more like “vicerous”] says ‘Uh-oh,’ then it’s probably true.” Say what? A high school diploma, two college degrees and I still had to look it up! Well, by the sound of the kooky music that came next, my viscus tells me Malvin Vien is making a mess! Malvin is trying to describe to Monsieur Gunn that his design is inspired by a chicken and its egg.
And if that isn’t bad enough, he wants to give his “pregnant” model jodhpurs shaped like chicken thighs! Uh, No! Poor Malvin. I venture to guess he’s one of those designers who have no real concept of how to design for a specific client — other than maybe a size 0 editor of an avant-garde Japanese fashion magazine.
Models then come in for fittings and get to try on their pregnancy bumps. We see Johnny has worked out all his “Hot Tranny Meth” addictions and taken up runway coaching. Miss J from “American’s Next Top Model” better watch out! If designing doesn’t work out, maybe Johnny could get a job there!
Is Michael Kors Back in St. Barths?
The runway show is about to begin, and — wait, where is Michael Kors? Is he in drag and now has suddenly turned into a red carpet gown designer by the name of Monique Lhuillier? Well, of course not; it IS Monique Lhuillier filling in for Mr. Kors! Heidi gives the designers a sly warning by telling them that each and every one of the judges has been pregnant before — in other words: “Don’t mess this up!”
Liz Lange: Are You Watching?
As the designs come down the runway, I am loving some, and just grimacing at others, mirroring the judges’ responses. Qristyl somehow found class in that sass of hers and created a pretty copper jersey one-shouldered dress. One of my favorites, Irina’s flirty blue dress, wasn’t even chosen as one of the top. Althea made one of the best “red carpet” pregnancy gowns, but I thought that it was just shy of being an Hervé Léger knockoff. Shirin’s wine-colored dress and coat were splendid and appropriate, therefore garnering the honors as best choice for pregnant Rebecca and winner of this challenge. Safe and pretty can go a long way sometimes on “Project Runway.” Rarely, but sometimes.
Who Laid the Golden Egg?
I wasn’t a fan of Epperson’s jumpsuit (a jumpsuit for a pregnant woman?), but I did like the top section. Poor Ra’mon; his fitted anti-Goddess vision was a bad jigsaw puzzle of a dress. The contrasting pattern pieces were ill-placed, as judge Nina Garcia said, pointing awkwardly to the pregnant belly. But it was down to Mitchell and Malvin to fight it out for the most unflattering of maternity designs.
Mitchell’s looked like a trailer trash pregnant girl going to Vegas for a weekend! He even completed the look with an askew pigtail hairstyle. All that was missing was a cigarette from her mouth and a bottle of liquor in her hand. Those shorts were sewn so badly that even my first-quarter FIDM students have done better work!
But we all knew from the first sound of that kooky music back in the workroom that this would not be Malvin’s night. His hen-carrying-an-egg design ended up looking like a bizarre papoose as opposed to a conceptually chic ensemble. With that, he was sent home. Malvin tried to get the last word by saying he was “too conceptual for America.” Honey, keep telling yourself that, but I have a feeling that even in the hippest section of Tokyo, Berlin or Amsterdam, no pregnant girl would get this. But we will miss kooky Malvin and his unique creations.