Project Runway is all about vision and delusion. The vision to tell a boldface lie, the delusion that people will believe it. The vision of finally having a good episode, the delusion that we'll not make fun of it.
After a few weeks of flailing around like Jason Blair trying to cover up his fake quotes, Runway was back in form last night with a good, creative challenge, some hot paper dolls, and a serious heaping mound of drama thanks to Hot Tranny Meth Johnny. This week, Tim took the designers to the offices of the L.A. Times to meet the paper's fashion critic Booth Moore, a real lady with a name that sounds like it was boosted from a novel. She really served no purpose other than introducing America to her fantastic name. Tim tells all the little chickadees that they have to make a dress using newspaper, and that they can only use one of four sections of the paper. Why only choose one section? Did the show need like 37 extra seconds and having Tim explain this inconsequential complication fill them up?
Anyway, this was just the type of challenge that makes us love Runway and the show benefited from challenging the designers to work with unconventional materials. This week we actually got to see some of the craftsmanship that went into their pulp creations and that is the real reason we tune in. Oh, that and to see colossal fuck ups like Johnny. Not only did both of his dresses suck, but he made up some sort of lie how a iron ruined his first dress by spitting water all over it. Of course no one bought it because they all know better than to trust anything that comes out of a meth addict's mouth. We hate the liar, but loved the lie.
Things We Hated:
- More Missing Judges: Both Ms. Kors and Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire magazine were absent, the latter for the second week in a row. Kors seems to have been M.I.A since three episodes before the last finale aired on Bravo. Where the fuck are they? Instead we got stuck with Vice Principal Zoe Glassner and Tommy Hilfiger, who looks like he could have played the Joker in the old Batman television show. Lame. Again, the only saving grace was the "guest" judge. But these days, everyone is a guest judge. We want our bitches back!
- Silent Designers: After giving him back story last week, someone pressed the mute button on Epperson again this week. There was barely a peep from below Kenley Jr.'s bangs, and we are seriously loving her creations. Also in Project Runway time out was Carol Hannah and Uli's (fake) mom Gordana, but she's not very attractive, a crappy designer, and has an accent, so we don't mind it as much when she's not around.
- Irina Vs. Shirin: It's five weeks in and we still can't tell the different between these two. They're both young, attractive brunettes with modest design abilities. Irina is the bitchier of the two, but every time either of them is on screen we have to stop and ask ourselves which is which (and which is the witch). Can't we make them wear name tags or give one a hat or something?
- Paper Dress Slide Show: What was that all about? We don't care about the history of paper fashion! This shit looked like a Power Point presentation that one of the producer's 19 year-old daughters made for a fashion appreciation class. Fill up the hour with the designers bitching about each other, not this.
- Sketches and Designs: We saw all the sketches for what the designers were working on next to their half-completed works. The jury is still out on whether or not we like seeing their vision next to the delusion that they're working on. Since we can't decide, we're deciding that we hate it.
- Army Wives: The promo for this '40s-inspired episode of Lifetime's mind-boggling hit show may be even worse than the long version of the trailer for Georgia O'Keefe Paints Vagina Flowers. Designing Women did it first and better, so unless you can get Julia Sugarbaker on the show, we are not interested.
Things We Loved:
- Bitchy Nicolas: His clothes suck and he looks like a husky-sized Kurt Cobain, but he is the go-to man to talk shit about all the other contestants. We're into that. His war on Johnny, which lasted the entire episode, was a great salvo to save himself. Too bad it may only work for another week or two.
- Eva Longoria-Parker: She was everything a guest judge should be: cute, funny, and insightful. She spoke to what she likes and since she has good taste we were down. She even cracked a joke or two. Maybe Nina didn't show up because she was jealous.
- Shirin's Noises: Now that some of the dead weight has been dropped like a model's skirt at an open casting call, we get some of these silly little interludes about the designers, like last night's where Shirin made some crazy noises and everyone rolled their eyes at each other. We can't wait for the one where Logan spends 20 minutes in front of the mirror shirtless trying to figure out just how sexy he is.
- Tim Gunn Rules: Grandpa Gunn calling out Johnny's lie was awesome. If even the mentor thinks you're a crazy whack-a-doo, you might as well just pack up your belongings and go directly to jail, do not pass the Macy's Accessory Wall, do not collect $200 to use on drugs. Also, if you missed the Tim Gunn comic book you need to check it out.
So, in the end, it was pant-on-fire Johnny who went home, but not after much indignity of being sneered at by the polygraph detectors of Grandpa Gunn; the death panel of an Old Joker, a Vice Principal, and Gabby from Desperate Housewives; and tubby Kurt Cobain. Can't say we're sorry to see you and your $4 Tibetan necklace go home.
What we are sorry about was the uneven judging. Only one of our favorite dresses—the architectural genius from Our Girl Althea—made it to the top three. In our opinion, dreamboat Logan, with his asymettrical color doodle, should have been up there along with Kenley Jr., with her unique minidress that made the model look like she was drowning in a pit of thread spools. Also capable was Carol Hannah's crumpled gown and silent Epperson's kimono-inspired design. But no, it was
Irina and her fake fur collared overcoat that took the day. Yeah, we liked it, but it was a little too literal. Then again, newspapers are about just the facts, ma'am.
For someone who doesn't know anything about facts or design, let's take a look at Johnny's meltdown. To the videos!
Context: The show starts and Irina and Johnny are already bad-mouthing the other designers.
Vision: That talking badly about others will make you a better designer. For winner Irina, it seems to work.
Delusion: That Johnny knows anything about good design. Not only does he say that eventually winner Irina sucks, but he also claims not to be nervous. Oh, you should be, honey.
What Would Nina Say?: Who cares. Replace her with Anne Slowey.
Under the Gunn
Context: Tim Gunn sees a giant mess before him, and it is standing next to a dress covered in pig's blood and origami. After some harsh words (and some awesome laughter from Fat Kurt) Johnny scraps his dress. He later tells everyone the iron ruined it, but we see the truth, Johnny. We are like god!
Vision: That, yes, he should have spent more time working and less time on crosswords.
Delusion: That he has another decent creation in him.
What Would Nina Say?: Who cares. Replace her with Tina Brown.
Context: Chris watches his dress walk down the runway. We like it.
Vision: A hard bodice and fake paper feathers will wow the judges. He's right.
Delusion: That those really look like any feathers other than the plumage a six year old makes to put on a turkey for a Thanksgiving project in art class. Otherwise, good job.
What Would Nina Say?: Who cares. Replace her with Bonnie Fuller.
Context: In a final effort to save himself, Nicolas lets the judges know that Johnny is lying about making a fierce dress. Who would you believe? Pleasantly Plump Kurt or a Hot Tranny Meth?
Vision: That calling Nicolas a jerk is going to make the judges think he's telling the truth.
Delusion: This whole story is a delusion!
What Would Nina Say?: Who cares. Replace her with Anna Wintour.
Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged
Context: Tommy Hilfiger figures out that Johnny is a liar with his story that a water-spurting iron ruined his first dress. He has some wits about him, that Tommy Hilfiger. Heidi tries to second his emotion, but Eva swats her down with a well-placed quip.
Vision: That Tommy Hilfiger does not iron.
Delusion: None. Tommy Hilfiger does not iron. We bet he doesn't even design that much anymore either.
What Would Nina Say?: Who cares. Replace her with a trained monkey with a blond wig and a bad attitude.
The Cruelty of Life as Illustrated by Models of the Runway