Nothing Comes Between Me and My Project Runway
The mission this week: create a look for a high-powered, chic, professional woman. Who could it be? Blayne prays it's not Hillary Clinton because he knows "I'll never win if I have to make a neon pantsuit". (Me-ow!) Stella is hoping for Sharon Osbourne. Of course she is.
But our "client" is the Queen of the Perfect Eyebrows, Brooke Shields, who was elevated to my pantheon of "Women Who Rock" when she smacked down Tom Cruise over the whole anti-depressant thing a while back. I realize she has other accomplishments but that was just plain sassy and me likey the sassy. NOM on the other hand can never look at her without thinking of "Blue Lagoon". I digress.
What Brooke wants is a look for her character on "Lipstick Jungle" (a show I've never watched because the promos made it look too much like a "Desperate Housewives"/"Sex and the City" hybrid, but whatever). The look needs to be a day-to-evening ensemble and should be emblematic of the character (something about being kinda artsy/boho but becoming more and more high powered. Again. Whatev). The winning outfit will be worn by Brooke on Season 2 of the show. Super! She hands around dossiers of her look from Season 1 and the designers have a little time to sketch before meeting with Brooke to pitch.
We're talking the dreaded team challenge here, kittens. Brooke will pick the top 6 looks and those will be the team leaders.
Little excitement during the pitches. Brooke is generally perky and enthusiastic, most of the designers appear to be coherent. Suede doesn't call himself 'Suede' in front of her. Stella came in with something predicated on a corset, you hear the squeal of brakes and Brooke kindly says, "She still has to go to work in this". Stella looked like a deer in the headlights. You can hear her thinking: "Doesn't every one go to work in a corset? Sharon Osbourne would go to work in a corset".
The top designers are Keith, Korto, Jerell, Kelli, Terri and Blayne (Brooke admits to being a little scared about his concept but tells him she hopes he can be "different without being too shocking").
Brooke sashays off and Tim pulls out the magic velvet bag to determine which team leader picks first. Oy. I start having flashbacks to 4th grade dodge ball tournaments. The match ups are:
Jerrell:Stella. Jerrell says he will be using leathuh so he is actually very sweet and gracious about the fact that, going last, he didn't so much pick Stella as get stuck with her.
At Mood Kenley picks out a truly heinous floral print that Keith can't abide. They butt heads. (Keith knew Kenley was opinionated when he picked her). The Gunn looks at it and says, "May I be honest? Look around".
There's no immunity for this challenge since having your outfit on primetime TV is reward enough. The designers dig in, all the team leaders predictably muttering about all the pressure that is on them to get it right and the worker bees in various degrees of worker bee-ness, varying from supportive and helpful (Stella) to pouty and lame (Daniel).
Suede is completely freaked about cutting the fabric for his and Terri's top, afraid he's going to bollocks it. Privately Terri says "I don't know what he's packing...balls or a vajayjay", mentions that (I paraphrase, politely) she's not a wet nurse and says he better damn well "man up" and do the work.
During an early fitting we see that the skirt Daniel made for Kelli is an unmitigated mess. He assures her it just needs tweaking but she insists he start all over. Terri determines that the first version of the top Suede made is "jacked up" and that "all Suede touches is not gold". She's getting super stressed. I decide that I would not want to meet Terri in a dark alley.
Tim's Walk Around
Blayne has done a walking short as part of his look, which The Gunn deems "too casual" (and it is). Alternatively, he raves about what Jerell and Stella are putting together and that it "looks like a collaboration". (Who knew, right? Mr. Peter-Pan-Meets-Bratz and The Countess of Leathuh? But these two are a model of team work and bonhomie. I am almost not hating Jerell this week).
Kelli gets an "I'm dubious" (her sketch is not translating to fabric in any meaningful way) and he gives Terri a fatherly "I sense you're concerned". She's all kerfuffled about Suede's kerfufflement, particularly around the blouse he's redone. She says, "You don't think it's tragic?" and Tim effuses, "It's gorgeous".
There's some good natured ribbing with Kenley about the horrible fabric she originally picked and he tells her and Keith that their outfit is "fabulous". Korto has done some sort of big orange jacket thing with gold braid and Tim suggests that it "looks like a big sweet potato". At that point Joe pipes up with the fact that he totally questioned the proportions, etc. etc. and Korto totally calls him out for keeping quiet until Tim was there. He's a weasel but Korto isn't taking any of that. Tim diplomatically tells Korto "You have a lot of decisions to make".
Yep, that's the thing about team challenges. The leader has to lead because more often than not he or she is the one who will get the sack. The worker bee needs to just perform to the best level possible and find some balance between speaking up when something is going really wrong but otherwise shutting up and trying to achieve the leader's vision. It's always an opportunity for the Nazis and the weasels to show their colors.
Korto/Joe - still looks like a Thanksgiving side dish and the dress sports chic lines but is poorly constructed. (I just heard Nina Garcia in my head).
Kelli/Daniel - sure, if the high powered business woman in question charges by the hour.
Jerell/Stella - oh, holy hell, that is cute. The belt might be a smidge ambitious but it sure says "style" (and Brooke was all smiley and mouthing "YES!" to Jerell).
Keith/Kenley - unquestionably smart although personally I'd be afraid the fluttering skirt would get caught in the fax machine.
Terri/Suede - the top is too baggy and slouchy, although the fabric is awesome.
Blayne/LeAnne-oh geez. Totally sportswear. Walking the dog, sure. Day-to-night, not even.
Jerell/Stella get snaps for the "eclectic" look. Brooke isn't sure about the belt but Heidi loves it, Nina thinks it's well made and "flirty". Kors is all over the silhouette.
Brooke tells Kelly/Daniel that the "shape is unfortunate and looks cheap". Kors says, "Hello? Slutty, slutty, slutty!" and Nina, softly, deadly, adds that "you can't get taste if you don't have it".
Daniel whimpers that he has very high end, chic taste, which-and not for the first time- makes Kenley blow milk out her nose. (The Neighbor felt this was very mean-spirited and that it is wrong to laugh out loud on the runway at a fellow designer who is clearly sweating bullets. NOM suggests we don't like Kenley anymore. I say we still do but we agree she should be in time out).
Keith/Kenley are praised for creating something that looks rich and expensive. Kors says they brought forth "great art from 2 different aesthetics".
Brooke tells Blayne that her fears were unfortunately justified, that the look is "too casual and not sophisticated enough". (OK, she did pick him so maybe this can be another example of that whole "trust your gut" thing). Nina sternly intones "You didn't listen". Heidi said she "looks like a woman who didn't have a mirror". Blayne, in a fit of integrity I'd not have expected, does say that if theirs is the loser he should go home because it was his design.
The judges confer, all agog at the two top looks and bemoaning the bottom. Although the conversation bore more on the designers themselves than the looks, because we're at that point in the show where there's enough history to really do that. So we hear, for example, that Daniel hasn't really brought anything yet to the competition. ("We always forget the cool cup dress from the 1st episode", said moi. "Then maybe he should only sew stuff out of grocery stores", said The Neighbor). Nina scolded that Blayne shows "a reluctance to listen; which I find bratty".
We all think Jerrell/Stella will win. 2 say Daniel will go home, 1 says LeAnne. But we're wrong. So wrong. Keith and Kenley are pronounced the winners, Jerell/Stella get a "good job" (it was better than good, Heidi. Come on!) and then she says, "We have problems with the rest of you". (I can just hear her saying that to her little Seal Pups). Worker bees LeAnne and Daniel are safe. Blayne is spanked with a "we wonder if you can ever step out of yourself" but Kelli is auf'ed for her "questionable taste level".
She's a perky thing, though, that inked up little Kelli. Her parting shot? "Maybe I'll go home and hit the jackpot and then I'll make 'classy clothes'". Aww. She may have been a little on the trailer park side but I think she can safely aspire to more than a double wide. You go, Kelli.
Photos: thank you, Bravo.
Labels: Project Runway