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Nick Verreos Blog
Category: "episode 10"
From superfan to supermodel. What a great theme for a "Project Runway" episode. As a former contestant, I can attest to the unwavering devotion, passion and enthusiasm fans of "Project Runway” have for the show. So, when Tim introduced this challenge, it made me smile and happy to see an episode that paid homage to them. That’s the good part. And yes, there was the bad: Ken’s "other persona" made an appearance and this time, it had a mud mask on. So, let’s discuss all the super good and super bad.
OMG! It’s Tim Gunn
"Project Runway" superfans submitted videos of themselves to be chosen for the ultimate "Project Runway" experience: to be made over by the designers. Eight ladies were picked and brought to NYC. They all pull up on a double-decker NYC Sightseeing bus in front of Parsons and guess who is waiting there to greet them? Tim Gunn! No doubt that the eight lucky ladies must have felt as if they died and gone to heaven. If seeing Monsieur Gunn live and in person wasn’t enough, he gives them a tour of Parsons and the Runway set. The superfans then all hide in the sewing room as they await their introduction to the designerswho incidentally have no idea of what is happening.
Who Are These Ladies?
As Tim tells the designers that they will be getting "new clients" and the workroom doors are about to open, you can feel the designers thinking, "OMG! It’s going to be my MOM!!" Soon, they realize, it is not (insert sad face). Any feeling of disappointment is quickly gone once they find out what the challengeand who these ladies are. It’s the L’Oreal Paris Challenge: the designers will get to create a look for these superfans and have TWO DAYS to do it. As a bonus, the superfans will also get a complete beauty makeover courtesy of L’Oreal Paris. While most of the designers are excited, Ken informs us that he’s "never sewn for a real woman." Pardon me Ken, but then who do you sew for? Fake women?
Justin was paired with Tristen, who recently lost a lot of weight and is a Mormon; Alexandria with 20 year-old Stephanie; Ken gets Susie; Dom is paired with Jane-Sarah; Helen gets geeky stay-at-home mom/lawyer Jamie; Alexander is with Andrea; Kate gets Altagracia, and finally Bradon is with Jennifer, who looks like a "makeover after" already. The style makeover wishes ranged from wanting a date dress, a job interview look, a glamorous red carpet ensemble, to looking like a "hot mom."
They are off to Mood (another "OMG!" moment for the ladies) and back to the Parsons Workroom, where Tim Gunn welcomes Johnny LaVoy, consulting hair expert for L’Oreal Paris who will be directing the superfan ladies’ hair makeovers. After the first day, Ken is a little behind on his work, which leaves me dumbfounded: he is making a seemingly uncomplicated sheath dress. Why is he behind? Other designers are doing gowns, separates…And PS: he has TWO days and all he’s making is a sheath dress? Just sayin’.
Mommie Dearest Ken
Speaking of Ken…here comes the "superbad" part of the episode. Back at the Refinery Hotel, Bradon and Alexander have to leave their apartment to move in with Ken and Justin. Ken is not happy that other designers are moving in to "his" place. Someone might have wanted to slip him the memo that A) Ken is NOT paying for that space; and therefore B) it is not his place. As Alexander and Bradon are trying to walk in, Ken is blocking the entrance while he’s ironing denim shorty-shorts. Alexander becomes irate that Ken is not allowing them to enter, and proceeds to shove the ironing board and iron, throwing it to the floor, and before you can say Klonopin, Ken’s other persona makes an appearance. In the UGLIEST of tones, Ken yells and berates Alexander, the poor talent coordinator and random P.A’s that are all rushing to keep peace. And did I mention he’s doing it all WITH his mud masque on! Without realizing, Ken has just become a parody of Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest," performing in a scene that would make even Faye Dunaway blush. I watched it with disgust and yes, a sense of "Oh, his momma ain’t going to be proud." And BTW: in case you’re keeping score, Ken’s now fought with Sue, Alexandria, Sandro, Helen and now Alexander.
You Get Your Own Room
The following morning, Therapist Tim is on call to simmer down the flames. While I agree that Alexander’s actions were unacceptable and he shouldn’t have shoved the iron/ironing board, I’m sure he had reached his point of "I can’t anymore" with Ken and his sophomoric blocking of the entrance. Tim then tells Mommie Dearest Ken that he’s got anger management issues (ya think!?) and proceeds to unknowingly reward him for it…by giving him HIS OWN room (while Bradon and Alexander have to share a room). So the lesson is: you act like a maniacal fool and you get your own room at the Refinery Hotel. Good to know for the future.
Let’s Just Get To The Runway Day
Finally, Runway Day is here. Zac, Heidi, Tim, they’re all there. But where’s La Nina? She must have needed a Capri vacation. But luckily, in her absence, we get the lovely Zanna Roberts Rassi, Senior Fashion Editor for Marie Claire. The guest judge was designer Erin Fetherston. The superfan designs come out and here’s what I wrote:
Justin: LOVE this dress for Tristen; it had great movement, was "Mormon"-proper and very unique with the stitched signature. A top contender for sure.
Bradon: The entire look for Jennifer was elegant, chic, and yes "NY edgy" which is what she wanted. One question though: was that really Jennifer’s hair or a wig? Inquiring minds (me!) want to know.
Alexander: Oh no. The suit was sloppy and a bit "business hoochie." But on a good note: Andrea WORKED that runway!
Dom: Not a fan of this look. To be honest, she should have been in the bottom. The printed hi-lo dress was too "Carnival cruise ship happy hour." And why those brown ankle boots?
Kate: Her superfan client Altagracia looked FABULOUS, sexy, sleek and modern; she looked like a fashion editor.
Ken: Oy vey! Two days and he made that? It was sewn badly, the neckline was neither one shape or another, the fit was too tight. One of the worst.
Alexandria: I loved her client’s hair and makeup but that’s it. The clothing: awful and dowdy; her 20 year-old client looked like a 35 year-old librarian at a Christian College. This is NOT an interview look for a 20 year-old. Alexandria might need to take a trip to Zara, Mango or H & M to see what "the kids" are actually wearing these days.
Helen: Wow. Jamie looked like Anne Hathaway at the Cannes Film Festival! What a transformationboth beauty and fashion-wise. The gown fit perfectly, was made well and draped beautifully. Great job Helen!
Congrats and…Good Riddance
The winner was Helen, naturally. For a minute there I thought they might give it to Justin, but after realizing all the work that went into Helen’s strapless corseted and draped gownand how great it looked, there was no question. The bottom two were Alexander and his sloppy unfinished suit and Ken and his sloppy ill-fitting dress. I don’t usually feel like this but…the entire time I kept thinking, "Please let Ken be out! Please!" because, simply put, I just cannot take his nastiness anymore. He belongs in one of the Housewives shows not on "Project Runway." With that, I got my wish and he was out.
Are you guys happy Ken got the boot? What did you think of his over-the-top outburst? How much in the wrong was Alexander? And who else thinks that Bradon’s Superfan client, Jennifer, was wearing a short pixie blond wig? Until next week…BYEEE!
Art and Fashion. Some people argue that Fashion is Art; and others, tend to believe the opposite. This week’s "HP and Avant-Garde" episode was about the combination of both highlighting the artsy, inspirational and creative elements of making fashion.
Sold Out Michelle
In case you didn’t get the "Michelle Is Back memo, our dear Season 11 voice of reason designer Michelle Lesniak Franklin won last week’s Lord & Taylor Challenge, with the prize being that her dress would be manufactured and sold at Lord & Taylor. According to the web, her dress SOLD OUT by 8:45 am the morning following last week’s episode (I wonder if she got any profits from that!?). I’m excited that Michelle is no longer "Bad Luck Michelle" but "I Might Win This Entire Show" Michelle. Her positive design karma continued onto this week’s episode as well. Speaking of, let’s get to it…
Why Are You Not Smiling???
The remaining six designers are very tired and visibly stressed. I know exactly how they feel. Been there. Done that. When Heidi Klum opens the episode with her traditional, "Hellooo," and follows with a, "Why are you not smiling?" I wanted to shout at the TV and say to her, "Because they all hate each other, have had three hours of sleep and…THEY. ARE. OVER. IT!"
After Heidi’s niceties, the designers meet Tim Gunn at the Guggenheim Museum where he is to announce their next challenge. But before that, the producers, I mean judges, would like to "re-work" the teams. The designers are paired up in boy-girl fashion: Stanley with Michelle; Patricia and Richard, and Layana with Daniel. Once that’s done, Gunn tells the designers that this is the HP Intel Challenge: to create a piece of wearable art which should be "over the top, grand, big!" and along with that look, they should design a companion ready-to-wear piece. They are to use the HP Touchsmart Desktop to execute a textile design. The winning designer will get a whopping $10,000 cash prize plus their very own HP Envy X2.
Oil and Water…and Jersey
After going through the halls of the Guggenheim to get inspired, they head back to the 1407 Workroom to design their prints. Layana and Daniel are doing a geometric midcentury-looking print, Michelle and Stanley go for a macabre face of a woman and Richard and Patricia create graphic exaggerated triangles. Once the draping, patternmaking and cutting commence, there are some polarizing team dynamics: Good (Stanley and Michelle), Confusing (Layana and Daniel) and Hopeless (Patricia and Richard). Patricia (the artsy one) is in her zone with this challenge; she’s known for creating her own textiles so this is right up her (design) alley. Richard, however, is lost. They’re mixing like oil and water. I almost DIED early in this episode when Michelle calls out Richard and how he shouldn’t be on the show still, saying that if he were to show at NY Fashion Week, he would show 12 uncreative jersey looks down the runway. Here’s a Newsflash: HE DID SHOW at Fashion Week (he was one of five decoy designers during the Finale Show) and…he showed 12 (almost all) jersey looks. So, once again, Michelle: you were right!
The following day (one assumes), the prints the teams design miraculously come back finished, printed and in fabric. All the designers are very happy with how their prints turned out. Tim visits and he is positive about Team Michelle and Stanley but worried about the others. Patricia and Richard are still a mess together; while Patricia is excitedly diving head first into her avant-garde creation, Richard has wasted a day making a bracelet. Layana is having issues with her creation. She’s using almost all the printed fabric on her design and finally after some verbal pushin’ and shovin’, she begrudges Daniel about a 1/2 yard for his design. Princess Layana then breaks down as Tim says that her design just "isn’t working." One of the highlights of this episode, is when Tim schools Layana and tells her that this challenge is meant to be out of her comfort zone. You can tell she’s someone who has always gotten her way (possibly through her pretty looks) and is uncomfortable that well, this time, nothing is going her way. As they say in the South: bless her heart.
Daniel Gets His Groove Back and Layana UGHH!!
Runway Day and Zac is still missing. (Someone should find out if he decided to stay in the Amalfi Coast for an "extended vacation" while the show was filming.) Rachel Roy is subbing once again on his behalf. Designer Tracy Reese (First Lady Michelle Obama is a big fan), is the guest judge. The designs come out and here are my "Nick Two Cents": Daniel's ready-to-wear look comprised of a black jacket with leather sleeves and 1/2 yard printed skirt with overlay was GREAT. It was young and directional. The pairing of these two had a positive effect on Daniel in that her eye on what’s cool definitely influenced him. But then, what happened to her? Layana's design was a MESS. The judges suggested that it looked as if she threw in "everything and the kitchen sink." It did. I love when the female judges asked her, "Would you wear it?" And you know the obvious answer is, "NO!" So then, why make it? This is always a point of contention with me when I teach my students in fashion design. Finally, I was very disappointed when both Daniel and Layana were in the holding room and Layana began going off, saying that Daniel’s creation was also HERS, and therefore she was angry she wasn’t getting props for it as well. Daniel’s face reflected what I was thinking: Who. The. He**. Does. She Think. She Is? One word: UGHH!!
Stanley: Shalom Harlow 2013
Michelle and Stanley’s looks were the obvious stars of the bunch. They looked cohesive, inspirational, editorial. The "woman shouting" print was edgy, bold and yes, dark in its intention. Michelle’s coat was stupendous and glorious and very well done, while Stanley’s exaggerated pleated baby doll dress was very Alexander McQueen. Rreminded me of the famous dress model Shalom Harlow wore where the robot spray painted her on the runway stage.) As a result, Stanley wins. Was it ready-to-wear? This could be argued. I would say it was "Ready-to-Wear Runway” for sure. for me.
Patricia, Yes. Richard, No.
And now, for the worstTeam Patricia and Richard. First off, I actually liked Patricia’s look, especially her presentation. I appreciated the avant-garde-like aspect of her design; it was conceptual, thought-provoking and I got it. And I was happy to see that Heidi did too. The rest of the judges did not get it, however. But that wasn’t the biggest problemit was Richard. His design of a printed top and askew pleated skirt was not cool nor ready-to-wear (Well, maybe in 1989). He wanted to stay away from doing his typical color-blocked jersey, but maybe he should have just gone ahead and done that. When the auf was about to be announced, poor Patricia began sobbing thinking she was out, but as we all knew, it was Richard’s time to go. Next week, the designers are finally on their own. No Teams…well, kind of: they’ll be getting help from some of the eliminated designers. Oh, and Zac Posen is back from the Amalfi Coast! Yeayyy!
We all know the First Rule of "Project Runway": Never Bore Nina. And add to that rule that Krazee will always outlast boring on "Project Runway." With that in mind, on last week’s HP Print Challenge, Gunnar went home just for that doing something that was boring design-wise. And even though his bullying story was admirable, passionate and endearing, his print was macabre and un-exciting and the end result of his supposedly equestrian-inspired design was more Chico’s than chic. A lot of you weren’t too happy about this elimination. People wanted Ven to go mainly because they just don’t like him (that Ven/Terri debacle will live on for eternity!) and yes, partially, for doing that "origami flower" one more time. However, I feel the judges were correct in their decision last week. Ven’s dress was just a little more creative than Gunnar’s so ... it was Gunnar’s time to go. But guess whose time is now?High Kick Ball Change
The remaining designers wake up and are all told to meet at Radio City Music Hall. Upon walking inside, Tim Gunn is on stage with a bevy of bedazzled women: The Radio City Rockettes! Gee, I wonder what the kids will be designing this week? As The Rockettes begin their iconic high-kicking dance moves, the curtains part open, and they are joined by none other than Miss Heidi Klum. After one or two Heidi High Kicks, she announces (to no one’s surprise) that the challenge this week is to design a new costume for The Rockettes. Linda Haberman, Director and Choreographer for the Radio City Rockettes, joins Heidi and Tim in explaining to the designers what is expected of them: it must be versatile enough to wear all year long; spectacular up close as well as far away glamorous and elegant, contemporary and must have a modern aesthetic. The winning costume will also be worn by The Rockettes at a future performance. This reminds me so much of my "Design a Costume for Olympic Figure Skater Sasha Cohen" Challenge back in my season so I am privately smiling. Good times.My Time With The Rockettes
The Season 10 kids get some time after The Rockettes sashay off, to inspect various actual Rockettes costumes. Last December, I got the chance to introduce The Rockettes during a special visit they made to LA to promote their "Christmas Spectacular." I got to see and inspect some of their costumes up close and personal. They are AMAZING all the hidden hooks-and-eyes, all the understructures and boning. I even found out that one of the most iconic costumes from the "Christmas Spectacular," the Wooden Soldier, was designed by Vincente Minnelli yes, Liza’s father and Judy Garland’s ex husband. I know first hand how intricate these costumes can be.Dinner vs. Work ... I'll Take Work
Now, the minute this challenge was announced, all I could think of was, "Dmitry has this one hands down!" He was a professional ballroom dancer for over ten years so if anyone knows dance costumes and sequins, it’s him. After their Radio City visit, the designers are off to Mood and then, to the Parsons workroom. Tim enters and tells the designers that they will be leaving early because they are getting a nice dinner out. Now, let me tell you, in my season, they did this to us a couple of times. While it was nice to have a "break," it wasn’t really a break because, PS: they were still FILMING so we are still "working"! And to be honest, I would have rather been back in the workroom creating my design. But this seasons designers seemed to have enjoyed themselves, had some wine … and more wine …a nd got to let down their guards and compliment each other, and apologize for being back-stabbing bitch**. Oh, the power of Vino.Baton Twirler Tacky
The following day, it’s back to work. Tim makes his visit. To begin with, Tim thinks Sonjia looks "disabled" as she struggles to even create anything. She tells Christopher, also, that she doesn't sketch. He wisely responds, "Well, you better start!” Amen sister. Melissa has 18 pattern pieces to cut (it’s not a fully-lined COAT huney!) and is visibly strained and may need more crystal trim. Elena’s is looking like a HOT Band Uniform MESS. All she needs is a baton.Christopher: Skyline Diamante Fab
Christopher, Dmitry and Ven get positive critiques from Mr. Gunn. The very minute I saw Christopher was doing a New York Skyline in crystals on his costume, I was, "Done and Done." This boy has won this challenge (sorry Dmitry). It was so obvious that Christopher was winning and everyone else was failing that Tim (or the producers?) decide that maybe another Mood trip plus an extra $100 was needed (Secretly, for everyone else). Fabio, Ven and Dmitry decide to opt out of this second Mood trip so Elena, Sonjia, Christopher (He needed more crystals to create a starry NYC night skyline) and Melissa took off to Mood on their own.Debra Messing's Biggest Fan
Next day is Runway Day and actress Debra Messing was the guest judge. Christopher is beaming. Yeah, he is gay. A very excited gay (So cute I would've done the same). The Rockettes designs come out and well, it's pretty obvious that Debra Messing's biggest fan is the winner. But we still have to go through the motions. The Top are Christopher (quelle suprise), Dmitry and Melissa. Melissa's design looks like an updated "Cigarette Girl" and she gets props for that. But, the unintentional "No. 1" beaded appliqué gets some negative critiques from the judges. Nina calls it a "miss." Dmitry's was edgy, exciting and impeccably made. But, I just thought it was a little too sexy for The Rockettes. I've been to a Rockettes show and yep, there are children, little children. If this was the Euro version, maybe, but not for America. Christopher's gorgeous NY Skyline costume wins. As Michael Kors says, "It was a Bob Mackie moment"! It was celebratory and yes, magnificent. The BEST design on Project Runway Season 10 thus far.Cheerleader Krazee vs Boring, Guess Who Is Out?
It was down to Elena's royal blue sequined Cheerleader Goes To Vegas Tacky Mess and Ven's tame and proper (and yawn-inducing) halter costume. Kors deemed Ven’s a "glamorous Mother of the Bride who cut off her dress." That's never good. The entire design bored Nina, Michael, Heidi and Debra. You know what that means ... he was outta there. It seems ironic that the one time he did not do his origami pleated flower he was in trouble. But like I said in the beginning, you design something boring and you are guaranteed a ticket home. So, those of you who wanted Ven out last week, you got your wish only a week later. No more Origami pleated roses and no more Ven. I still believe that Ven Budhu was one of the most talented designers on this season more than some of the ones who are still remaining (Even Tim hinted at this as he was saying his "Goodbye" to him). Unfortunately, Ven's ego, his Origami pleated rose and his size dysmorphia issues got to him. Good luck huney.
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."