Project Runway is all about vision and delusion. The vision to turn reality show monkeys into slave labor, the delusion you won't get walking loofahs walking down the runway. The vision of Michael Kors, the delusion that he wasn't missed.
Last night we were back with a "go to Mood and buy some fabric and make a dress" except there was a twist: the fabric had to be blue! Not green or yellow or pink or beige, but blue—the color of lagoons, moons, and your face when you stubbornly yell at Runway to bring back Nina Garcia and they don't listen. They also had to make a holiday dress, which we thought at first meant it was going to be a parade of sweaters with little yarn Santas and bulbous Rudolphs, but the holiday thing, like a Christmas when you live in Who-ville, never came this year. Unless the holiday was Billie Holiday, cause she got some serious blues. Also, death. Poor girl.
So, the designers had to pitch designs to INC, the bargain brand for people who are too fancy to shop at JCPenney or Sears but really enjoy their prices and design aesthetic. It's also the in-house label for Macy's, famous for it's great unused accessory wall, and the people who pay the bills for this fair show. Has Runway ever made you want to go to Macy's or buy INC? That's what we thought. Well, maybe if you spent some money there they could afford to hire real designers and not poach our scared little fellows.
Things We Hated:
- Missing Judges, Week 17: This was the 19 trillionth episode in a row that Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire magazine missed. Not only could they not get NGFDMCM, they also couldn't get Vice Principal Glassner. Instead, we got stuck with Second Assistant Headmistress Zanna Roberts, who has a name like a Wonder Twin, but talks like she is the daughter of the cafeteria worker at Hogwarts. We would say that getting stuck with her is like when the President and the Vice President can't come to the funeral and they send the first lady instead, but we would much rather have Michelle Obama sporting couture during our final moments above the ground than Barry or Joe, so we're not going to say that. We'll say that next time Ms. Kors needs a snack, he should eat her.
- The Great Orange Infection of 2009: We are beyond thrilled that Queen Tangerine decided to come back from his villa in Oompah Loompah land, but he seems to have brought with him a very virulent strain of discoloring fever from the Wonka Wilderness. All of the judges were his patented shade of fake tan last night, including Heidi, Assistant Headmistress Roberts, and that lady from INC who can't even wear a blazer that fits. Apparently, she got the Apricot Flu so badly it went to stage two—fashion dementia—because she thought it was OK to wear a cap-sleeved white blazer that won't close over her stomach on national television.
- Neck Doilies: They are just wrong, always.
- Team Challenges: Team challenges like this are the easiest way for mediocre designers to get promoted. So, the five best designs were chosen by the INC lady, which theoretcially means those are the five best designers for the challenge, and they each choose a teammate. You know that the team leaders are always the ones who go home, so the crappier designers who didn't get picked are all safe. Isn't that stupid? Also, if a crappy lady gets stuck with a visionary—like Uli's mom who got dragged across the finish line kicking and screaming by Irina—she gets to stay when someone like Kenley Jr. gets the boot. Not like KJ was any better than Gordana, but she was at least a little bit better. Right?
- Bitchy Tim: Grampa Gunn hates L.A. There is too much sun and people wear flip flops in public and he has to drive a car. It's horrible, and he's taking it out at work. He snapped over leggings, and got bitchy with Kenley Jr for losing her money, and this continues a pattern of our mentor getting a little snippy. Where's our old lovable Grampa G who would give us Werther's Originals and tell us stories about what really goes on back stage at fashion week. Come back!
- Loving Logan: We dumped Logan. This is the second week in a row that we got a montage about how cute he is and whenever all the girls in the work room are around him, all they can do is hang their hands and giggle while covering their mouths going, "I don't know," like he's some handsome stranger asking a group of Japanese schoolgirls for directions on the Tokyo subway. Thinking he's cute is just a cliche.
- Crying!: Hey Chris, we were about to ask you to go steady since we dumped Logan and all, but you have a chin strap beard thing, made a neck doily, and then you cried at judging. This is only acceptable if you are going to have full-scale, blubbering meltdown like season two's Andre. We want no party of your paltry little tears. If you want to make a spectacle, that's fantastic, but trying to hold it back just makes you look pathetic.
Things We Loved:
- Ms. Kors, Our Burnt Sienna Savior: This is why you hired this man in the first place, people, and why he needs to be here every week. He came back from his sabbatical and not only dropped the line about Kenley Jr.'s dress looking like it was attacked by a loofah, but then he totally eviscerates Chris with a simple flick of his limp wrist. Well done, Ms. Kors.
- Irina and Nicolas: While it's still nearly impossible to distinguish Irina from Shirin, the producers have figured out the difference: she's the bitchy one. Almost as bitchy as Nicolas. These are the two they turn two when they need catty comments about the other designers. Neither is as pithy as Jay McCarroll or as egotistically original as Christian Siriano, but their barbs are a welcome distraction from all the lousy design that is going on this season.
- Sorority Wars Commercials: If we have to watch Lifetime's horrible vagina-based advertisements each week (welcome back, lady vitamins), we are glad that the boring promos for Joan Allens very serious Georgia O'Keefe and the Secrets of Lady Flowers Brought to You By Secret have been replaced by this bit of pop trash starring Alison from Melrose Place. That's much more our speed.
In the end, Kenley Jr (nee Louise), was sent home for her misuse of Ruffles. Apparently, Heidi likes pork rinds, Michael Kors is a Doritos man, and Assistant Headmistress Roberts doesn't eat because she works at a fashion magazine. They held the threat of a double elimination over our heads, and we think that we would gave gotten one if, say, Louise and wise old sage Epperson were on the same team, but she was saddled with Fat Kurt Cobain, who won immunity last week, so she was the only one cleaning up her work space.
The winners were
Shirin Irina and Gordana whose outfits were just boring enough to actually be in Macy's. Really not one of the looks was overly appealing last night. If you're going to get a boring old brand to pay the bills, you're going to get at least one boring ass challenge each year. Maybe in the future we can have the Gareth Pugh chain mail accessories and dove-shaped hats wall. At least then the designers could make asymmetrical frocks with boobs hanging out.
So, if you want to see some '70s stewardess dresses and Ms. Kors acid tongue, then get yourself to the videos!
Sold My Soul to the Company Store
Context: The designers pitch their ideas to some lady from INC. She smiles and nods and doesn't say much.
Vision: They are going to get international recognition for making a dress that will be sold in Macy's!
Delusion: That they are going to bring their individual talents to a brand that is more like an infinite number of seamstress monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters, and ends up with a bunch of pissed off seamstress monkeys who don't know how to type.
What Would Ms. Kors Say: "She looks like Farrah Fawcett came back from the dead as a brain-dead alcoholic!"
Under the Gunn
Context: Tim Gunn schools Carol Hannah and
IrinaShirin on his hatred of leggings.
Vision: That a bitchy quip from Grampa Gunn can cease the tide of skintight trousers.
Delusion: Have you been to New York lately, Tim. They're everywhere! Oh, sorry, you're stuck in L.A. Nevermind.
What Would Ms. Kors Say: "Your legs look like two pork sausages stuffed in an aubergine casing!"
Righteous about Ruffles
Context: Louise is forcing Fat Kurt Cobain to make a dress with ruffles.
Vision: He's taking orders because he has immunity and wants her to fuck up so badly she gets thrown off. Like a Magic Eight Ball with limp hair, Fat Kurt has got some serious vision.
Delusion: That he stands a chance of winning even with her gone.
What Would Ms. Kors Say: "It looks like a loofah attacked your dress!"
Context: Carol Hannah and Irina (Shirin? Oh, who cares...) watch their looks walk down the runway. They are the best of the bunch.
Vision: Retro stewardess is going to be super hot this year. Quick, put your tray table in the upright position and grab a Pan Am bag from the Macy's accessory wall.
Delusion: Not so much.
What Would Ms. Kors Say: "This is very chic. If you got in a time machine and went back to when I was in fashion school and snorting lines of blow with Halston in the bathroom at 54."
Queen Tangerine's Reign of Infamy
Context: Michael Kors shows us how the experts rip apart two outfits in under 45 seconds. Christopher cries.
Vision: That you reinvented the shirt dress.
Delusion: That you can survive Queen Tangerine after her punny wrath has been bottled up due to 978 weeks of absence.
What Would Ms. Kors Say: Watch the damn video! It's a classic.
The Cruelty of Life as Illustrated on Models of the Runway