Project Runway is all about vision and delusion. The vision to get an orange man to host a challenge. The delusion that it will be any good. The vision of far away places, and the delusion of escape.
I don't know whether it was because I was tired and cranky or because of another "here's some money, go to Mood and buy fabric and make something" challenge, but my Project Runway malaise settled in something fierce last night. And not something fierce like Christian Siriano would have cranked out. Something fierce and evil like one of Nicolas' outfits or Irinia's attitude.
This week, it was Ms. Michael Kors, Queen Tangerine herself, giving the designers something easy to do. That is, buy some fabric and make an outfit inspired by one of the places he loves. It's sad that they were all cities and not things like "The Mystic Tan Booth" and "The Bathroom of Debra Messing's Guest Cottage in the Hamptons," because that might have been challenging. Instead it was places like Greece—yes, the whole entire country—or St. Tropez and a bunch of other places these young, poor, struggling whippersnappers have never been to. Just like a long plane flight, I just want someone to wake me when it's over.
Things We Hated:
- Ms. Kors Flagship Store: Has this man never met a shade of ecru that he doesn't like? He's certainly worn plenty on his face, but he looked shockingly pale last night. Maybe it was just the bad lighting in his all-white store. We wouldn't shop there.
- Gordana's Outfit: Why was she wearing a Pucci-style print dress over a poorly fitting brown sweater? Both were horrible and they didn't look that much better together. It's like she woke up and decided, "I need to look trendy and cool like these kids. What can I throw together?" Better to look old, dowdy, and mother-of-the-bride (to quote Ms. Kors) than to wear this hideous concoction again.
- "Fashion Forward": Next to "Old Hollywood Glamour" this is a phrase always foreshadows something that makes us want to burn our eyelids shut forever. Nicolas used it last night and what he created was neither fashion, nor forward. "Fashion Forward" is like begining a sentence with "but" or "and." It's hard to pull it off, so you just tell first graders not to do it because if they try, they're going to mess it all up. Galliano is fashion forward. McQueen is fashion forward. Garreth Pugh is fashion forward. The rest of you are a bunch of first graders.
- Boys Room and Girls Room: Why do they insist on the boys and the girls sleeping in different apartments? It's like this is '70s sleep away camp. Are they afraid that Logan, Christopher, and Fat Kurt Cobain are going to get in a canoe and row across the lake in the middle of the night to steal Gordana's granny panties? There would be a whole lot more drama if everyone lived in the same loft. It's not like these gay boys are going to try to sleep with the girls. And even if Logan made a move on Carol Hannah, that would be the most exciting thing to happen since Tranny Meth had a breakdown in the first episode.
- Gordana's Necklace: Yeah, it was kind of cool, but this is not Project Jewelry Showroom, and the dress it was attached to sucked. If you can't use the Macy's Great Accessory Wall of Made In China, then you don't get to make jewelry.
- Milla Jovovich: This season the guest judge spot has been the best seat in the house, but last night Milla Jovovich sullied it with her shrill voice, annoying comments, and her affected fashion knowledge. Heidi said that she was a CFDA-nominated designer. Well, she was nominated in 2006 for a line she co-designed with Carmen Hawk. Her label, the creatively titled Jovovich-Hawk, hasn't had a new collection since Spring '08. So, stop thinking you're a real designer, Milla. You are on this show because you work for L'oreal, not because of your hippie frocks. Your job here is to nod your head, say two bitchy things, have no real observations, and leave the real assessment to Ms. Kors and Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire Magazine.
Things We Loved:
- Reunited and It Feels Kinda Alright: Ms. Kors and Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire Magazine were together again for the first time since the Ice Age, and it was very nice. There were no real fireworks or histrionics from either, but it was so comforting to have everything back to normal. It's like coming home for Thanksgiving freshman year of college and getting a big hug from your mom.
- My Mom: Speaking of my mom, she always says, "Michael Kors can't be that great of a designer. Whenever I go to TJ Maxx, they always have a ton of his crap!" That's so true. And we thought about that a lot last night, during the "Michael Kors Race to the Discount Racks Challenge."
- Logan Didn't Channel "Old Hollywood Glamor": Our old crush Logan pulled Hollywood as his inspiration destination, and he didn't even once think about going "OHG." His crappy outfit looked like something he fished out of his own closet, but bravo on the restraint.
- "I Guess You Could Wear It In Greece": This what Nicolas said about his outfit, which was supposed to be inspired by the cradle of civilization. It turned out to be about as Grecian as a bus tour of Turkey. Yes, it was a real turkey, but we love his blatant disregard for a really stupid challenge.
- Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire Magazine Has Been Hanging Out With Drag Queens: She said the word "fantasy" three times last night. She never used to say this before. Fashion people don't use this word. Know who does? Drag queens! They love to conjure "the fantasy." During all those episodes she missed, NGFDMCM must have been hanging out at La Cage Aux Folles, and that is pretty rad.
In the end, Nicolas was sent home for his ode to a Grecian urn that looked like a mummy was attacked by a pair of discount Michael Kors pants from TJ Maxx. He really deserved to go home. As did Christopher. And probably Logan. If we're sending people packing, might as well put Gordana, Irina, Carol Hannah, and Althea on the kicked off express too. Not one of these outfits deserved to win. None of them was stunning or particularly inventive or attractive. I don't know if these guys aren't as talented as designers in other seasons, if they are under worse time constraints, if they're sad because they never know if Papa Kors and Mama NGFDMCM are going to show up to rescue them from sleep away camp—but whatever the reason is, they suck. At least when all the designers sucked last season we had Evil Queen Kenley to bring some drama, but this time we got two giggly blondes, two bitches, two clueless boys, and Gargamel. Not compelling television.
Oh, Irina won. Again.
Before we give up on this enterprise altogether (and really, we never would, because talking about how much Runway sucks is a whole lot more fun than talking about how much we love some other show), let's take a look at the videos and try to find some redemption, shall we?
Contents Under Pressure
Context: Crystopher (because he always crys!) and Fat Kurt Cobain are all in a tizzy because they have to design for Queen Tangerine. They will end up in the bottom two.
Vision: To come up with a dress that is going to wow a great American designer and doing it with a belt and some blouse that looks like a white venus flytrap eating a model.
Delusion: That Michael Kors is some great man who doesn't design exclusively for TJ Maxx.
What Would Nina Say?: "Sorry, Michael, but this is not the fantasy you were hoping for."
Under the Gunn
Context: Tim Gunn tries to guide the once-promising Christopher to keep him from making another horrible creation. Tim tries so hard, but once he gives up, we shall all crumble beneath him.
Vision: To make a really cool belt that Milla Jovovich will go back to 1983 to buy and rip off.
Delusion: That this is Project Belt Shop. Make a good dress or go home. Epperson would gladly take over for you, and we would gladly welcome him back.
What Would Nina Say?: "This isn't a fantasy. It's a nightmare!"
We're Friends. Really.
Context: The producers make everyone hang out so that something compelling might happen. All they really get is some footage to run under Fat Kurt Cobain talking about how much he loves everyone.
Vision: Nicholas believes that they are all friends and really talented.
Delusion: He's been talking shit about these people all season and saying how much they suck. They hate you, Kurt! You people are not friends. And you're not talented. Everything you say is a lie.
What Would Nina Say?: "Do you believe your own fantasy?"
Context: Carol Hannah watches her Palm Beach-inspired maxi dress walk down the runway.
Vision: To create a summery print dress that rich people will want to wear to the beach.
Delusion: It's nice, but not groundbreaking.
What Would Nina Say?: "For a minute, I was fantasizing that a hot blond guy named Pierre was bringing me an Orangina and vodka on the beach."
Long Live the Queen
Context: While harshing on Logan's latest mediocre creation, Queen Tangerine hits the nail on the head. "They're clothes, they're not fashion." Welcome to season six, people.
Vision: Logan thinks he deserves to be designing for someone other than H&M. Also, zippers.
Delusion: Based on this showing, he's wrong. Also, zippers?!
What Would Nina Say?: "If you think I'm not going to strangle Milla, then you have a serious case of fantasy."
The Cruelty of the World as Illustrated by Models of the Runway