"Project Runway" Is Back in the Saddle!
Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, it is filmed in Los Angeles ... but so far that doesn’t seem to have affected a thing; in fact, the first challenge is pretty fabulous because of L.A.: The designers are taken to the red carpet of the Emmys, and given the challenge of designing a red-carpet gown of their choice with two days and $200. All the familiar fun ensues that makes us addicted to this stuff — sketching in the workroom (now at FIDM and bigger than ours!), a half hour to shop at Mood (yay! Mood!), and let the drama begin. All under the lilting tones of a certain Mr. Gunn, whom we have sorely missed.
Meet the designers: Ra’mon (the serious med student); Logan (the guy’s guy, letting us know in no uncertain terms that he is straight); Johnny (former drug addict who tried out for the show several times, but made it now that he is clean. Read: drama); Gordana (Yugoslavian tough-chick who will win even if she has to make her dress out of potatoes and corn); Malvin (one word: Sanjaya); Qristyl (oooh honey, step back, cuz Miss Q doesn’t mess around with skinny girls, she is size “plus-sexy”); Shirin (sweet to the point of diabetic coma); Nicolas (the self-acclaimed “Feather Prince” — Good Luck); Mitchell (every show has one, the all-American cutie); Ari (techno-chick who’s tragically into “Blade Runner” Chic); Louise (trapped-in-vintage-land Louise Brooks channeler); Irina (into leathah); Carol (this season’s Kenley? Pixie-couture airhead); Epperson (serious dreads and seems to be the oldest of the bunch); Althea (Cocky with a capital “C,” sure she is the next Christian, Vivienne Westwood, McQueen, blah blah blah); and finally, Christopher (self-taught and second runner-up in the cutie category). We met Christopher last — any predictions?
Some workroom fun that was music to my ears: Ari saying “I don’t sketch” ... Johnny having a drug-free meltdown with Tim coming to save the day and dry his tears ... Mitchell may be our new cryer ... Malvin claiming his garments are “ineffable” and beyond description (Oh, I can describe them alright). The best moment of the show? Qristyl can’t find anyone to cut her fabric at Mood, so she buys a pair of scissors and CUTS IT HERSELF! Way to make it work, Miss Q! Reality-show gold!
The dresses are coming along, and there’s a joyous visit from Saint Tim (do I hear angels when he enters the workroom?), and we begin to see what these designers are all about. Johnny says he will use “spit and gum” to finish his hideous dress if he has to. Tim calls Christopher’s work a “cruise-line cocktail waitress,” Ari is tragically channeling Blayne by making a halter diaper dress and Mitchell is making some sort of Victorian caftan out of coffin lining. Miss Q has completely missed with her quasi–Carmen Miranda wedding dress, and on the morning of the runway show, Mitchell has to start over from scratch and decides to go for a Lady Godiva look and send his model down the runway nude.
Oh Rapture! The Runway! Another byproduct of the L.A. location ... Lindsay Lohan is the guest judge! Here come the dresses!
- Althea: Silver, pretty, nice and safe.
- Gordana: Short blue-green dress with origami floating device around the bust.
- Malvin: Beige burlap scaly ugly boring dress fit for a prison wedding.
- Mitchell: Sheer (butt cheeks on parade) caftan that would make a great maternity dress for JLo.
- Louise: Dress made of drapes with a flowered growth on the shoulder.
- Christopher: ’80s prom dress made of garbage bags and Kleenex.
- Ra’mon: Fabulous eggplant taffeta gown that you could see on the most fabulous star on the Oscars red carpet.
Shirin: Cutesy, short, safe.
- Epperson: More purple, but this one is the wrong way to do it.
- Irina: Literally drapes that the model keeps tripping over.
- Ari: Ridiculous space suit that wouldn’t pass for fashion in any year in the future.
- Johnny: This tragedy looks like a piece of fabric blew onto the model in a windstorm and was held in place by pieces of chewing gum.
- Qristyl: Ouch. I love Q, but this is hideous. How hideous? Kenley would love it.
- Logan: Silver, boring and monotone like his voice.
- Nicolas: Short, black plastic/rubber body condom. No feathers, go figure.
The decisions are made, the delicious drama spills forth in classic PR fashion. Did I agree with their decisions on who they kept on the runway? Yes. But I seriously disagree with their commentary on the top and the bottom looks ... but that’s what makes the show addictive. You want to scream at Nina, pull Heidi’s hair out, wipe the orange off of Michael Kors, and force-feed Lindsay Lohan. We all agreed Miss Q was a wreck, but she’s too fun to get rid of: In. Johnny: In. Are you serious? This same dress has gotten many designers eliminated, but they obviously keep him for what they hope will be more drug-free drama. Ra’mon: In. They called this dress “safe,” even though it was obviously the most beautifully realized piece on the show. Mitchell: In. They gave him a break. Plus they know all the gay men watching the show would be mad if they eliminate the cutest designer. Ari: OUT. What glee to hear Michael Kors call this ugly piece of garbage a “disco soccer ball.” I am swooning with delight. The winner? Christopher. Oh my God. This dress is one pair of fingerless gloves away from the prom scene in any John Hughes movie. (See photo.)They would normally rake this thing over the coals, but to keep us talking about the controversy, they chose to reward the self-taught naive boy who now thinks he’s got a shot at winning. But that’s why we love the show. “Project Runway” is back in all its glory. We can’t get enough of the delicious punishment, drama, hopes and dashed dreams of “Project Runway.”
And, ultimately, of life. See ya soon, Chris
Posted in: episode 1
Season 3, Episode 6: In Marge We Trust
Deceptively simple challenges are my favorite part of "Project Runway," and I got the mother of all deceptively simple challenges this week, in every sense of the phrase.
Marge Simpson herself, matriarch of arguably the most influential TV family of all time on Fox's "The Simpsons," pops up on a TV screen to introduce the challenge to our remaining designers. The gang has to create a dress for Marge to wear on a special dinner date with Homer. The only real rule? No green -- she's worn enough green to last multiple animated lifetimes. Because it wouldn't be a "Simpsons" challenge without a sassy dig, she reminds the designers to take advantage of the accessories on the "Whoever's Sponsoring the Wall Now wall." High-five, Marge.
This task can be boiled down into one directive -- "Design a dress for Marge Simpson" -- but there's a lot at play. The design has to work on a real human model but it must also work with Marge's yellow skin and blue hair. It's gotta be fashion-forward while remaining appropriate for a middle-aged woman on a dinner date. It has to have runway appeal but it also has to translate into 2D animation. See? Deceptively simple. I love it.
Interestingly (or maybe not), the men seem to have the biggest issue in the workroom this week. While Korto, Irina, and Elena quickly settle into a groove with their designs, Seth Aaron, Jeffrey, and Christopher struggle to conceptualize an appropriate garment for a middle-aged woman to wear at a romantic anniversary celebration. Zanna has to talk Seth Aaron down from using polka dots, which sends him on a downward spiral in which he drapes FIVE potential gowns, all of them boring. Viktor, meanwhile, is creating a look that screams "safe" from the beginning: Acceptable and well made but definitely not worthy of a win. He's still stinging from landing in the bottom last week, I think.
Actress Abigail Breslin and alice + olivia founder and designer Stacey Bendet are our guest judges. Onward:
Irina - A royal purple strapless fitted cocktail dress with tea-length chiffon paneling draped from the bustline. Early in the episode Jeffrey calls it a "giant purple nightie" but it walks elegantly down the runway. Stacey thinks it's the most creative, Alyssa compliments the color choice, and the panel is impressed by the different silhouette. Irina wins her first challenge of the season, yay!
Elena - A red gown with a plunging back paired with a quilted black blazer. The dress is beautiful and red is a smart color choice for a character with yellow skin, but the jacket looks oddly bulky, and all of it is, again, so similar to things Elena has already created for this competition. The more the judges over-praise Elena's fine but unexciting work the more I reflexively dislike everything she makes.
Korto - A black one-shoulder dress accented by sheer panels at the shoulders. The fabric has an attractive muted shimmer to it. Everyone likes this dress, especially the sheer panel at the shoulder and the hemline, but it's not exciting enough (and not Marge-enough) to warrant a win. Korto's safe.
Christopher - A floral print strapless belted cocktail dress that Christopher compares to a '50s housewife ensemble but Alyssa compares to a sarong. No one likes the belt and Isaac nitpicks the bubbling at the waist. Stacey's a fan of the print. Christopher's safe.
Seth Aaron - A (yawn-worthy) billowy belted magenta gown. Seth Aaron talks a big game about it but none of the judges are buying it. Their adjectives include "boring" and "lazy" and "rushed." Isaac doesn't like when Seth Aaron insinuates that midwestern housewives deserve boring clothes. "That's the dress of fear, to me," he says of Seth Aaron's gown, arguing that a character like Marge could rise to any fashion occasion.
Jeffrey - A shimmery purple gown with wide pink lapels at the v-neck and a slit up the side, paired with a pearl necklace. Stacey thinks the dress has a "Boardwalk Empire" vibe but something about the pearls and the pastel tone reminds me of both "The Flintstones" and mermaids, for some reason. Jeffrey's choice of shoe is also deeply misguided. "You can't tell me that smart man doesn't know better," Alyssa smirks about the design. After weeks of inconsistency, the judges and Jeffrey have reached an impasse. Jeffrey's out.
Jeffrey and Seth Aaron share a tearful farewell, and that's the end of the road for our third-season champ. I've been disappointed by Jeffrey's output this season so it's sort of a relief to finally see him go.
Do you agree that it was Jeffrey's time to head out? Were you as impressed with Irina's silhouette as the judges were? Do you find Elena's work as repetitive as I do? Let me know in the comments.
See the Judges as Characters on "The Simpsons"!
Cowabunga, judges! In honor of tonight's episode, "Marge Madness," judges Alyssa Milano, Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi, and mentor Zanna Roberts Rassi got, well, Simpsonized! Striking their best pose on the iconic Simpsons' couch with matriarch Marge, the judges look like they'd fit in perfectly in Springfield! "This made me beyond happy!" Alyssa tweeted about the image.
"Marge Madness" airs tonight, December 5 at 9.8c.
Posted in: the simpsons
Q&A: "Christmas in the City" Cast
Photo Credit: Charles Christopher
From cocoa and candy canes to sweet potato pie, find out more about Ashanti and Shanola Hampton's holiday traditions in this exclusive Q&A, and catch the all-star cast in the world premiere of “Christmas in the City,” Saturday, Dec. 7 at 8.7c.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Ashanti: cocoa and candy canes! My mom makes hot cocoa on Christmas Eve and we dip our candy canes in it until they melt then we sing our song, "Cocoa and Candy Canes" --- the best cocoa EVER!
Shanola Hampton: My favorite holiday tradition is the Christmas Eve party at my Grandmother's house! The entire family is there, it's always loud, and we play grab bag.
What's your favorite holiday song?
SH: My favorite Christmas song is "O Holy Night."
A: A song I wrote on my first Christmas Album: “It's Christmas Time Again.”
What holiday dish does your family make every year?
A: Turkey and chicken roast plus all the side dishes!
SH: Every year we have sweet potato pie. My favorite is when the crust is on the top, too.
What's your fondest childhood holiday memory?
A: My Super Mario Bros. pink Nintendo watch I got when I was 8 years old!
Are you on the naughty or nice list this year?
SH: I am definitely not on the naughty list...THIS year
What is your holiday wish this year?
A: Good health, peace and prosperity!
SH: My holiday wish this year is simple...joy and happiness.
What are your holiday traditions? Share them below.
Deck the (AUDC) halls! View photos from the first-ever "Dance Moms" Holiday Special, airing December 10, 2013 at 9.8c!