Friday, September 29, 2006

Project Runway: What the Elle?

Ugh! Finally! I get to blog about Project Runway again. I thought this day would never come and I would just burst from all the snarky things I would like to say about the designers.

No such luck!

Okay, on Previouslies: While I was sashaying around Italy, the designers were getting one nasty-ass surprise in the form of having to work with Angela and Vincent again! Black and white were the rules here, as well as using all the fabric the bought. Mercifully, Angela and Vincent are not able to hang on to their prodigal-esque return by showing total poop on the runway. Honestly, it was like all the dogs from the earlier challenge were brought back, fed chocolate and let loose on the runway. It was really that bad. Unfortunately, Kayne stunk up the joint too and was cut from the show. Laura wins a the judges remark that this is the first time she didn't design for herself. Uhhh, okaaaayyy.

Back to the present tense in the Atlas, and tense it is! Everyone is all keyed up about this being the final challenge, blah blah. Uli's confessionals seem to be the Greek chorus from this episode, as she insightfully explains to the camera that she is excited by being here, but she is anxious because she wants to make it to the final round. Jeffrey sums up every designer's point of view in a trite, overly simplified way and then says that he will win. Narcissistic much?

On the runway, Heidi blazes out in some peasanty top (uhh, based on what Jeffrey just said, I guess it's Uli's game to lose) for the model selection. For some reason there are 7 models because apparently Angela and Vincent's models get a second chance to be free from the crazy ass clutches of their designers.

So, Laura stays with Camilla, then Uli goes kamikaze stealth on Michael and snags Nazri! Michael looks as angry as Michael can ever look, which is really a sort-of "I should be so pissed that I rip your hair out and whoup your German ass but I'm far too nice to do so, so I will look shocked and mildly mock outraged." Then Michael chooses Angela's ex-model, who is so relieved to have a chance to wear something not covered in an avalanche of granny circles. Jeffrey stays with his model.

The most bizarre part is when Michael chooses Clarissa, Kayne's yappity-yap model does this "totally in shock and totally bitchy" face. I mean, come on! Did she really think that she did such a fabulous job and that she fit in remotely with Michael's aesthetic that he would pick her? On top of that, she NEVER. STOPS. TALKING. Don't think that character flaw escaped the other designers, chickie. Now go eat something.

So the designers trek all the way to Elle magazine headquarters where NinaGarcia gives them the challenge which is basically like, make something. Make something good. Oh, and come up with three words that sum you up.

Off to the Sweatshop they go!

Jeffrey is determined to make something not rock n' roll, but romantic and pretty to surprise the judges with his range and versatility. His sketch looks like what Marie Antoinette wore to the Petit Trianon when she played milkmaid.

Oh also, apparently it's Father's Day and Jeffrey gets a video of his son (?!?!?!?) toddling around but seems pretty uninterested in talking to his girlfriend. I think this was just an excuse to show off some features on this obviously sponsored cell phone.

Uli is making an Uli dress. She wants to pick a patterned fabric first.

Laura is making a Laura dress. Her creative side consists of, "Should I show the xiphoid process or not?"

Michael is lost in a sea of uncertainty. I have to say that I think he is right to be a little lost. I can imagine that it's very difficult to have had so many rules and then be thrust into a totally nebulous challenge with the direction of "wow us." Once again, Uli had already summed this up nicely in confessional, but she did it with an accent. Damn her and her European air!

Anyhoo, Michael settles on a gorgeous aubergine colored satin and decides to make an evening gown. I'm seeing shades of Kayne and it scares me.

Tim comes in to check out everyone's goodies and deliver a few of his own! First, they find out that they must complete the dresses early so they can take some product placement pictures with their Olympus cameras of their outfits to go along with their three words.

Tim appears concerned with everyone except Jeffrey. And I think he had good reason to be. Everyone's outfits are so whatever. But he also tells them that the winning look will be featured in Elle's First Look page!! The what, you say? Oh, right that picture I look at for about a millisecond before skipping to the beauty pages of Elle. Sure.

They all run off with their donated cameras to take some glamour shots. The best part of this whole sequence is Laura swearing at the elevator in the Atlas because it won't stay open for the picture.

The next day, they all get ready, and every shot is interspersed with people saying how THEY are fine, THEY loooove their dress, and everyone else sucks.

Up in Sweatshop central, there is much fitting of garments and writing of words. My main problem with people's "one-sheets" is that the words were often not the same type of word which made the flow awkward. Michael, I love you dearly, but "sexiness, sensuality, and sultry" don't work. Then again, I am in a profession where "impracticable" is a term of art. Maybe I should keep my inner grammar police silent.

Runway show!! The guest judge this week is the fashion writer from the Wall Street Journal. Ooh, maybe I'll start reading her instead of Robin Givhan of the Post. I bet she's bound by some kind of confidentiality agreement not to spoil endings for everyone.

On the runway, the judges blast Laura for doing the exact. same. thing. again. Michael gets reamed for showing too much skin and not doing sportswear, which is what he's good at. Jeffrey gets eviscerated for not doing something rock and roll and edgy, which is what he's good at. And Uli gets high praise for doing exactly what's she's good at.

Honestly, I think they needed to be a little meaner to Uli. I thought her dress was as similar to her other stuff as Laura's. (Well, maybe not THAT similar, as in, not a total carbon copy) It was just shorter.

So the bottom two end up being Michael and Jeffrey. At this point I have steeled myself for the fact that Michael will go home. I made peace with that and thought that he is so popular and so nice that he will get to design in the industry even without winning. I am prepared, also, for Jeffrey to be sent home, since there was that mean moment when Heidi said that they weren't committed to a final "three."

But then!!! They are both in!!! "Pysch!!!" say the judges!! There is jubilation all across Parsons as Tim comes down and looks truly, genuinely relieved and excited by the prospect of all of them being in Fashion Week.

Up next week! The Reunion Show! Where the producers liquor up the contestants and show them all the nasty things they said about the others on camera in hopes that they will scream at each other and someone will storm out. It's not a good reality show until someone can declare, "I don't need this! I'm outta here!," take off their mike and stomp out of the room while cameras scramble to follow them.

I love TV.

Who rocks the house? Tim's Take and BPR rock the house! And when they rock the house, they rock it all the way down.

P.S. As this PR season winds down, I grow wistful about my recaps and entertain the notion that someone, somewhere might actually want to read more. (I know, I'm totally self-indulgent.) My other junk food-esque reality TV obsessions include America's Next Top Model. The fashion's not as good, it lacks street cred of any kind, but man, is it funny! Please let me know if there is any interest in a recap series...


silentBeePeR said...

Um, yes please? I just have to peek out of the anonymous readers closet to say please recap America's Next Top Model! With a cherry on top? You are too much fun to read!

Ms. Place said...

Your PR recaps are divine. Think about recapping Top Chef as well. If you adore food and bitchy chefs, and the ridiculous premise that viewers can vote for their favorite chef without tasting or smelling their food, then this show is for you! It's such snarky fun! And you, CPB, have just that right combination of humor and sarcasm to pull off Top Chef recaps.

Meanwhile, as PR winds down, I am both sad to think of its coming to a close and to anticipate an inevitable, predictable ending.

Uli: One note and too South Miami Beach for my taste. But her garments are beautiful, and Nazri looked stunning in that green "finale" gown.

Michael: Young, talented, but unable to rise to the occasion when pressure hits him. His last few gowns were AWFUL, and his Fashion Week show seemed tasteless. I believe some of those designs were inspired by 70's t.v. shows. Sad to say he won't win on the strength of that show.

Jeffrey: I can't stand the inside and outside of him. He's every baby boomer parent's nightmare of a son gone wrong and forgetting his manners. He showed some talent in designing his Paris couture gown, but the rest of his garments sucked. Don't get me started on that derivative 80's rocker outfit with the sequined codpiece. (Fashion forward, my ass. Mick Jagger wore something similar in 1971.) And Jeffrey's last "romantic" red, white, and blue gown? Oh, puhlease! I had better results with my first attempt at sewing. Unfortunately, Jeffrey's Fashion Week runway show looked better than Michael's.

Laura: A strong, classy, funny woman. But a one-note designer like Uli. This is the difference, however: Uli's customers will wait for her halter dresses to hit the bargain rack. She'll be most successful selling those gaudy gowns in cruiseline stores.

Laura's upscale clientele will beg to pay full price for those elegant, figure-hugging gowns. Laura designs for WOMEN, that is, grown women with huge titties, tiny titties, or your every day average ordinary titties. It just won't matter. Women who are not afraid to flaunt their curves and their oh-so-elegant gams will flock to buy Laura Bennett gowns. If only one is left, they will bid the price up.

I will be rooting for Laura and Michael. I will survive if Uli wins.

If Jeffrey wins, I will wash my hands off Bravo and smash my t.v. with my vintage Singer sewing machine.

Allison said...

Love the recap. Clearly you need to keep doing them.

I have an assesment of why they kept four over at my website:


Anonymous said...

Another anonymous peeker seconding ANTM and Top Chef! Love your recaps!

Michael said...

Not so anonymous here, count me in for the recaps of ANTM, too! Looking forward to them.

Samantha said...

I would love to see Top Model recaps as I just don't have the energy to be snarky every week. PR is enough for me. I watch Top Model to see how they change and what their pics look like. Some just blow me away with how obnoxious they are manners-wise.

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