Project Runway: Kermit Was Right
It's not easy being green, as our challengers discovered this week. Just before the show started The Neighbor opined that PR had never had a challenge where all the designers had to use the same fabric. They still haven't, but this week they did have to use "green" fabric; not green the color, but sustainable-organic-ecofriendly-low-carbon-footprint-put-a smile-on-Al-Gore's-face "green".
But first we pick our models. (PR has moved away from the whole business of focusing much attention on the models and I think overall that is a wise decision. There are enough people to keep track of as it is). Heidi reminds us that this is a competition for them, too, and after the auf'ed model swans away, Ms. Klum announces that the designers will now meet their new models for this challenge. (Huh? Why the humiliation of the dodgeball-at-recess selection process if we aren't going to use the regular girls?) Oh, that Heidi; she was just being coy. Of course the models are going to be working. They are also going to be the client.
At the first "gather 'round" with the Gunn the challenge is revealed: to create a cocktail dress for a "young, glamorous woman" with aforementioned "green" materials. And just to make it extra fun, it's the models who will be going to Mood with Tim to purchase fabric. Oh, the twitterpattedness that ensued from that little twist. The designers were ringing their hands about fabric choices and whether the models would be clever enough to remember things like trim, fasteners and thread while the models look like deer in the headlights given the gargantuan responsibility just placed upon their size 0 shoulders.
$75 apiece and 30 minutes of shopping later, the girls are back to consult for another 30 minutes with the designers, who have until the witching hour of midnight to complete the dress.
(Speaking of witches, Scary Stella started the day by ingesting some frightening looking concoction of grasses and twigs and other newt-friendly substances. She so struck me as the sort of gal who would start her day with a bottle of vodka and a pack of Camel straights. Dig me, judging a book by it's leather binding).
Some of the designers are happy with what the model purchased; most are ever so disgusted.
Speaking of disgusted, Lorraine wishes Suede would get the memo that talking about yourself in the 3rd person is as annoying as sh*t.
Stella is kerfuffled because her model/client wants something flowy and earthy while Stella's aesthetic is "very urban". Much draping and discussion and then she announces that she's not really going to listen to her client but will instead create something "classy and elegant, like Audrey Hepburn" would wear. Because, you know, Stella just oozes Holly Golightly from every pore.
Classy and elegant:
Not classy and elegant:
I wasn't super enamored of Blayne last week but may be warming to him now. He has tanning issues but dude is funny. He likened Heidi to Darth Vadar. Someone else who is funny (although her personal "look" runs a little toward "Square Pegs") is LeAnne. Lorraine likes LeAnne because LeAnne riffed very effectively on the annoyance of Suede's 3rd person thing.
Korto, who we are pretty sure is very talented, is making something that will work with her model's "butt and hips"...it's an African thing, she tells us. The dress is intriguing to Tim until he discovers that the darts she's making are going to be on the outside of the garment: "uh, ohhhhh" he says in surprise. He rallies with "This has to be perfection or you're looking at a hot mess". The Gunn said "hot mess".
(Let's start a pool now: in which episode will The Gunn slip and say "hot tranny mess?")
Then Korto notices Wesley's dress, which is of similar fabric and she becomes paranoid that the dresses are too much alike. They aren't remotely but it provides an opportunity for other designers to make asides about how really, one ought to just keep one's head down and work without constantly referring to the work of the other designers. Korto, we think, might be a little high strung.
Lorraine worried that The Gunn has snapped because he didn't hate Suede's horrid looking mess of bias cut wicky whackety stripes as much as Lorraine did. Tim said he was "excited". Lorraine thought it looked like a Girl Scout weaving project that threw up.
Oh, what's that, Tim? There will be no immunity for this challenge? Instead the winner will have his/her design manufactured and sold by Bluefly? Yippee!
As the designers finish up, Stella begins to pontificate about her love of leather (which she pronounces as "leathuh") and how she wishes she could only ever work in leathuh and how much she loves to stud and spike leathuh and Blayne starts a hysterical bit of patter about leathuh which culminated in "My kids came out a me, they were leathuh". I laughed through the next 5 minutes of the show.
In the last frantic minutes, as nearly every designer scrambled to finish up, I notice that cute-as-a-button Kelli sports some serious ink and conclude that Jerell is unnecessarily bitchy.
As we go to commercial we hear a preview of Nina declaring that "shiny, tight and short are the quickest way to look cheap". "Is she talking about Heidi?" quipped NOM. (It was pure quippage; we love The Klum).
Our guest judge this week is the ever creamy Natalie Portman who, as you surely know, has launched a line of vegan footwear and is all about the eco-challenge and looking way pretty at the same time. Which is important because I think we all know that Birkenstocks and hemp skullcaps really don't say "fashion" so much as "Dude, where's my car?".
Gut reactions to the runway:
Keith - looks like a parachute. A champagne parachute.
Terri - very cute; I think girlfriend is going to fly under the radar for a while but she is very consistent and capable of fun surprises (let's not forget last week's mop heads).
Wesley - just no. Scrunchy satin mess.
Jerell - hi, I'm a pimp.
Jennifer - I don't hate it but the colors (which she didn't choose) were nasty.
Daniel - adorable.
Joe - pretty, nice fabric, good lines, cute peek-a-boo detail.
Suede - Lorraine is not a fan.
Kenley - now that, my friends, is a cocktail dress!
Kelli - oh, honey, what happened?
LeAnne- she says "modern design" we say "horrible".
Stella - oh, ick with your biker mama lacing up the side. Audrey is rolling in her grave.
Blayne - not the worst thing on the runway but perhaps only as compared to his heinous work last week.
Emily- cute but not remotely what I would consider a cocktail dress. Pour moi the parameters of what constitute a cocktail dress are very narrow. I would suggest that most of this week's designs fell more into the broader category of "party dress". But then again, you kids have abandoned gin and tonics for Lemon Drops and Cosmos, so maybe this is what a cocktail dress looks like now.
Korto - not too bad, especially if you are a fan of fins.
The judges best and worst (and looky! pictures! Thank you, Bravo):
Kenley, who used organic silk, won raves for her simple, clean and chic "couture cocktail" dress. (I should also mention that the judges rather adored Kenley herself and her yummy '40's vibe).
In contrast, they found everything wrong with Wesley's contribution. Heidi found it "overworked" and "hated" the seams. Kors pronounced it "tacky" although Natalie did enjoy the little tie at the neck (but nothing else).
I hated it but Kors loved the lacing in Stella's dress. The judges also liked that she created something with good fit that made the client happy even as it represented Stella's POV ("leathuh!"). Nina seemed mostly impressed by the fact that this was a vast improvement over her garbage bag of last week. Well, sure, when you put it that way.
Korto said she wanted to create something that accentuated her model's curves. Natalie thought it looked inside out, Nina pronounced it "off balance" and Kors noted that curvy girls don't want fins. (chuckle)
The judges are all agog over Suede's dress. They love the manipulation of fabric in the bias cut stripey bodice, they love the froof of the skirt. Natalie proclaims that she'd wear it and Suede experiments with the first person by responding "I'd be honored if you did."
The couch critics admit that the completed dress is better than we thought it would be and certainly looks better from a distance than we thought it did up close.
LeAnne received low marks for being all over the place, having too many ideas and for creating, as Natalie said, something that "looks like Peter Pan".
Labels: Project Runway