Friday, September 04, 2009

"Don't Forget Your Sunscreen"

We begin at The Neighbor's house, joined by guest judge, Nurse Jackie. MAB is MIA because she doesn't have anyone to watch her little dog. Pft.

One of the presumed advantages of PR moving from New York to California is that the designers get to go to the beach on a field trip. The actual advantage is that we get to see the impeccable and always right Tim Gunn in sunglasses & flip flops. Sure, he's still wearing a blazer and sure, he makes clear that the flip flops are "only at the beach" but come on. Pretty much the highlight of the show for me.

The challenge, appropriately, is to create a "fun and fashionable" surfwear look that clearly states the designers' POV and displays "impeccable craftsmanship". (The thud you heard was Mitchell's stomach falling to the floor). But there's more. This shall be a dreaded team challenge and upon that announcement designers variously buried their heads in their hands to moan and/or groan.

The team leaders pick their team mates and for some reason cute little Irina, who has done consistently nice work, is chosen last. You may recall from last season that the whole picking-last thing triggers my PTSD and dodgeball flashbacks so I may have missed some banter but I snapped right out of it when Mitchell, in reference to choosing Ra'mon for his team, said the truest thing any crap designer has ever said on PR: "I needed someone who could carry me". Hell to the yes on that, buddy boy.

The teams get 20 minutes to "caucus" with some conveniently displayed surfer chicks, which was amusing. Nicholas in particular was just befuddled by notions of "simple", "easy", "fresh" and patently refuses to consider anything to do with hoodies.

Ra'mon, meanwhile, is trembling from the weight of the bulls eye that Mitchell has affixed to his back and Q quickly comes to regret her decision to pair up with Epperson. Sure, he seems like a blissed out Rastamaan but he begins to annoy her almost immediately. He doesn't like her design, he doesn't like her fabrics, he doesn't like her execution and when he isn't actually sewing himself he is pick pick picking at Q. Unfortunately, Q doesn't pull the "I'm team captain" card and at least attempt to shut him up. At which point I have to wonder, "Have none of these people ever before seen an episode of 'Project Runway'"?

Nicholas loudly declares "no animal prints ever" (I agree with him there), Epperson needs a Tylenol and Mitchell snottily tells Ra'mon "In our relationship I can't always tell you you're perfect". Which is rich. Yes, Ra'mon is behaving a bit twitchy because he knows he's the stronger designer and the pressure is getting to him but considering that he is doing Mitchell a HUGE favor you'd think M would have the grace to be, uh, gracious.

There is, actually, quite a lot of bitchiness between and amongst the gays tonight and I decide that Nicholas is a very bad gay and someone should talk to him about his haircut.

With 3 hours left til the end of the first day The Gunn appears with a message from Heidi and the judges. The message is not a cheery "Meet us at Spago, the Lemon Drops are on us!". No. The designers now must create a second look, an avant garde piece that corresponds to the surfwear look. The only good news is that every team gets the night to think on it and another $200 to spend.

Because this is television and the belief is that the real drama lies in conflict and not in the power of the creative process, most of the designers are way under the radar this week. Shirin and Carol Hannah work along swimmingly (you'll pardon the pun), as do Rehab Johnny and Irina. Carol Hannah does get some bad news that her model has bailed on PR to take an Arby's commercial but CH takes it in stride.

This is the 3rd episode: time for the obligatory "Garnier-is-a-big-sponsor-so-we-are-going-to-have-a-hair-consultation-portion-of-the-show-and-pretend-that-everyone-really-cares-that-you-envision-your-model-with-a-look-that-is-fresh-but-not-too-fresh-and-edgy-but-not-too-edgy".

This is me during the hair consultations: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The Gunn's Walk Around consists almost entirely of variations on the word "work": "work work work", "make it work", "you have a lot of work to do", "get to work". Seriously. It's like he's being paid by the 'work' now. He did tell Q & Epperson that their surf look was a "knock out" until they removed the wrappy skirt..."then all the sophistication went away". And frankly, at this point I'm terribly confused. I don't know a lot of surfers but I know a lot of snowboarders, which is essentially the same beast and I don't know a one of them who, when actually involved in their sport anyway, gives a rat's ass about sophistication. So I don't know, really, what the challenge is supposed to be looking like. If the designers are to be only inspired by beach-y themes and colors than why introduce the whole surfwear thing at all? Because trust, if you were wearing Q & Epperson's outfit and you went surfing you would HAVE to remove the skirt. And then you'd put it back on to go to Spago's and have a Lemon Drop.

Other highlights: Nicholas informs Tim that he & Gordana have decided to do a bathing suit out of macrame to which Tim responds "You sure have!" and The Gunn also doesn't understand the wet suit thing that Ra'mon is working on for the avant garde piece. Tim characterizes it as "a cartoon superhero meets a Greek goddess" and declares "Fundamentally, I don't get it".

Ra'mon decides on the spot to scrap the whole damn thing, grabs some neoprene, shoe polish and a lucky rabbit's foot and scrambles to create magic in the remaining 30 minutes. And what is Mitchell doing during all this? Ironing bits of a bathing suit, humming softly, being catty and counting ceiling tiles. (While Ra'mon and Mitchell are wringing their hands over what to do with their 2nd look, Nurse Jackie, deadpans "Set it on fire?")

Meanwhile, the tension between Q & Epperson continues to escalate and Q tells us that she's going to have no problem exposing Epperson on the runway. So, to answer my earlier question, clearly she hasn't watched PR because if she had she would know the first 2 rules of the Team Challenge:
1) The judges do not like it if teams cannot work out their differences and
b) If you are the team leader and the look sucks (particularly if the suckage owes to your failure at Rule #1), you will not win any points throwing your teammate under the bus. Even if he deserves it.

Guest judges Max Azria (love him) and Rachael Bilson (who?) join Heidi and Nina.

I will not describe the runway because this was one of those times when clearly I didn't understand what the judges were looking for and neither did anyone else, possibly including the judges. For why? Because the "safe teams" all had, imho, the best looks. Granted, I think there is a difference between avant garde and haute couture and perhaps some of the very lovely things that came down the runway were deemed only "safe" because of that distinction but frankly my head was damn near spinning when it emerged that one of the top teams was Mitchell and Ra'mon.

So let's just cut to the chase, shall we? All goes well with Mitchell and Ra'mon until it comes out that Ra'mon did most of the work. When Mitchell finally confesses to that Heidi's eyes narrow into scary little slits. The judges, however, just adore Ra'mon's avant garde dress. Myself, I agree with Nurse Jackie when she declares it "nice for Wilma Flintstone". And then we have Q and Epperson all but smacking each other on the runway. Q totally rats out Epperson, Epperson takes all the credit and wags his finger at Q way too much and the judges are all making the scary look judges make when designers fight. (Kind of a "this is very unseemly...keep it up because it's good for ratings" look).

I am hopeful that Rehab Johnny and Irina are going to get the win because they are told that "everything was right" plus I like them both but shockingly Ra'mon is declared the winner because his look is "fresh", he did all the work and he "understood the spirit of the challenge" (which I hope he will explain to me later. At Spago's. Over Lemon Drops).
(Mitchell made the bathing suit that you can't see under the first look. Photo courtesy of

Q and Epperson are both reprimanded for their behavior but are safe. And with no further ado Heidi declares a first in PR history....the team leader with the winning looks is auf . Mitchell didn't do any of the work and that coupled with his previous 2 strikes for shoddy to non-existent workmanship prove that he clearly doesn't belong. Mitchell was gracious in defeat and acknowledged that he didn't try hard enough. I, for one, am just thankful that the producers judges chose not going to ignore his abject lack of skillz in lieu of his perky bitchiness.

Without the distraction of Mitchell it will be interesting to see who next emerges as the "personality" of the show. Thus far we have a lot of very talented people who also seem to be pretty mellow. Who has an evil Santino or obnoxious Kenley lurking within? Perhaps we'll find out next week. Lemon Drop anyone?



Blogger rosemary opined...

OK...good review....Isn't Nurse Jackie a hoot? Do you think one would actually see a person on the beach wearing those designs? Since I am first, do I get a bathing cap as a prize?

September 04, 2009 8:38 AM  
Blogger Al In The County opined...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that was totally confused, from beginning to end, with last nights' show. When The Gunn said taking the skirt off makes it "lose it's sophistication" I almost threw a shoe at him, and I adore him so that means something.

Don't agree, as much as I don't like him, that Mitchell should have been auf. Either Q or E should have been - they had the worst design. And not a fan of R'amon or Ramo'n or whatever throwing Mitch'ell under the bus so easily on the runway. I did it! I did it allllllll! Yeah, including that horrific Flintstone dress (thanks Nurse Jackie, thats it exactly). So shut up.

September 04, 2009 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha

Grats on the great wedding!!! Having been a best man twice I know how crazy they can be and how cool it is when they come off wihtout a hitch. Particularly with obnoxious fathers (one went on a drunk and canceled all the music). Made his daughter really happy there I can tell ya. (Not one of those where I was a bm.)

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!! Yes I even watched some of it last night during the commercials of the Seahawks last preseason game. Hhhmmmm, I think you are right that some of those designers are really gay, lol. Yay, Mitchell is finally gone! Leeches suck and it seemed like that was his primary function. Do you watch the model thing after the PR? Catty.



September 04, 2009 1:17 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Yes, Rosie. I have a lovely cap for you. Do you like the rubber flowers on top?

Al, for me it's not about worst design this time. A) I did like Q & E's first look and 2) hello? I don't even know how Mitchell got on the show in the first place. Hell, I sew better than he does and all I can do is hem trousers with Stitch Witchery. No. He had to go.

Anonyba, I am all astonishment. And yeah, we usually watch the model thing. We hate ourselves for it, but we watch it.

September 04, 2009 7:24 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Every self respecting surfer back in my day wore 'Baggies'.
You know,..those boldly patterned draw's that hung down to your knees,and looked totally bitchen when you were hangin' out on the strand!
My mom made mine..

September 04, 2009 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Here's how I watch this show: 1) Watch Tim announce the challenge, 2) FF to Tim's walkthrough, and 3) FF to the last 5 minutes.

Actually, it works for most reality shows. Even the ones that don't have Tim.

September 05, 2009 7:50 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Sling, now THAT'S a look Mitchell could have handled. Cowabunga, dude.

JP: See? Bitchy.

September 05, 2009 8:39 AM  
Blogger Cliff O'Neill opined...

Wow. I hope your Nurse Jackie doesn't have a pill problem like the TV one. (It ISN"T the TV one, is it?)

Oh, Nicolas is like fingernails on the chalkboard for me, from his creations, to his face, to his voice to that painfully bad hair.

But, I don't get the categorical rejection of animal prints. Certain ones under certain conditions in certain colors with certain accessories can look nice. (I know this because I've seen it on What Not To Wear. I have no independent, non-reality show-related knowledge of fashion. Without these shows I'd be wearing Members Only jackets like my dad.)


September 05, 2009 8:26 PM  
Blogger RedPoppy opined...

Am veeery happy Mitchell was aufed on his butt. Plus what was all the initial fuss over a perfect beach coif for all the models when , besides watching some very boring/ad placement scenes from the Garnier hair salon, the judges made no mention on the runway. Tim was not his usual candid self in the workroom, they must have cut a lot of interesting banter out perhaps? loved the flip flops tho

September 05, 2009 8:49 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Cliffie, I confess, I have a pair of sandals that have some kind of spotty animal thing happening on them. And I have a BCBG Max Azria handbag that is zebra-like, which I adore. So I guess I'm willing to accessorize with animal prints but I never wear them.

Red: that's why I hate those times when they make a big deal about the hair/makeup...the judges RARELY comment on it because it's all just product placement. Like dropping their name when the models are being done up isn't enough. Sheesh.

September 06, 2009 12:47 PM  

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