Project Runway is all about vision and delusion. The vision to pit two foes against each other. The delusion they will keep it interesting. The vision to have a finale. The delusion to make it in two parts.
That's right, this was the first part of the "two-part finale" of Project Runway. My thoughts on that subject are well-known. So there was no challenge tonight, but we did find out whether Jay or Mila would make it to Bryant Park. Well, we found out which one would be shown at Bryant Park, because they both got to show at Fashion Week along with eight other lucky designers. Wow, what an exclusive privilege. We also got to see the Tim Gunn home visits which was one of the:
Things We Hated:
- Don't Jump: Why oh why do people feel the need to make Tim Gunn do stupid things when he comes to visit them? In the past they used to just introduce the family and show Tim around town and it was a great window into the real lives of the characters we've gotten to know all year. Now everyone feels the need to come up with some contrived activity. If he's not cooking biscuits in an apron, he's rubbing great Aunt Myrtle's bunions because that is an old family good luck ritual. Luckily this season everyone was well behaved. Everyone but stupid Seth Aaron. While his kids are completely adorable, he not only made Grampa Gunn play Pictionary, he made him get on a giant backyard trampoline. The only thing more undignified than a grown gay man in a suit falling down in some skuzzy hippy's back yard on a trampoline is taking off your shoes at the security checkpoint at the airport. Now it is preserved for all eternity. Tim Gunn really thanks you for this, Seth Aaron.
- ...And Get a Real Job: Emilio should not grow his hair out. Ever.
- Know Your Audience: Not only does Emilo have shitty hair, but he has no clue who he is working for. This is a common Project Runway mistake. "I'm making this for my client." "I'm making this piece for me." Or Emilio's excuse, "I'm making this collection for women." Oh no, you are not. You are making this collection for Seal's wife, the Queen of all the tangerines, Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire Magazine, and whatever B-list celebrity they enlist to help judge the final contest. Not one woman will ever wear even one piece of this clothing! Stop trying to be all big and bad and artistic and make something that is going to please the people who are going to make the final decision. You keep saying you are here to win, then win, dammit. Stop pretending like you're doing humanity some great service by sewing clothes for it.
- Little Miss Attitude: Mila hates Jay. We know this. And she doesn't want to defeat him in their jester's duel because she wants to win, she does it because she hates him and thinks he is a little shit. Why? We don't know, but we have a feeling it has to do with all those pesky Dalmatians he let loose from her cellar when she wasn't looking. Now she can't make her coat! Anyway, this is entirely the wrong motivation.
- Ignorance Is Bliss: Emilio is such a jackass. He always argues with Grandpa Gunn but when it comes down to brass tacks (steel needles?) he ends up taking his advice. Remember in the circus challenge Tim was like "Where's the color" and Emilio was like, "I got this Tim. There's some Metamucil outside why don't you go stir yourself up a nice glass of fiber and leave me alone." Of course then he ends up adding color anyway. Last night they had another altercation (it's in the videos) and Tim was like "Your shit looks old. Like older than my mother and she was Larry King's first wife." And Emilio was like "No it's not. I won all the challenges. So you may be a fashion professional with decades of experience under your belt, but I just convinced Seal's wife, the Queen of all the tangerines, Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire Magazine, and whatever B-list celebrity they enlist to help judge several times that I rule. I clearly know better than you." Then, when Emilio shows up with his final looks he's like, "This shit is so young it's covered in placenta." Yeah, Emilio. Why don't you just shut the fuck up and listen to Tim like everyone else.
- Jay Crying: Once there was a magical forest and it was full of wonderful little flying elves. All day long they slept on leaves and drank water out of little cups made of flowers. They flew on the backs of beetles and harnessed the power of the mighty dragonfly. Each of the little elves had a job to maintain the beauty and majesty of their natural home. One very special elf—well, he was more like a fairy—his name was Jay and he was in charge of sewing all the loin clothes for all the other elves. He made them out of dried leaves and died them with the juice of berries there were as big as his head. He sewed them with the tread in the wings of the dead dragonflies who were put down after their years of service to the Elves. One day a great machine was headed toward the forest to cut it all to bits. The machine was controlled by a great beast made out of black smoke. It was the brother of the thing on Lost and voiced by Tim Curry. It even sang a musical number and it wanted to pollute the great forest because it liked smog. This monster machine cut down lots of trees and killed all the dragonflies. This made little elf Jay cry. Well, everything made little elf Jay cry, but this did especially. When he cries he looks like one of the dried leaves he used to make loincloths, all curled up and withery and covered in the delicate moisture of morning dew. But that day the elves all banded together and they drove off that machine and a little piece of the forest was saved. Little elf Jay promised never to cry again, because it was a happy day in Ferngully.
Things We Loved:
- Get Hip: Every finale Heidi brings Tim out on the runway to help introduce the challenge. Then they go back stage and they bump hips in silhouette behind the screen. They are so young and whimsical. The try to make it look unrehearsed but you know back stage before he comes out Grandpa Gunn is like "The hip bump again?" And Heidi says, "Yes, of course! But not too hard. It might break my water." And Grandpa Gunn says, "And it might break my hip!" as he puts a hand on Heidi's forearm and they giggle and laugh and look for Andre at the Red Lobster.
- Back to Square One: Tim showed up at Seth Aaron's house and told him that he basically made a bunch or really boring stuff that won't win and to pretty much start over from the beginning. That is awesome. Only Tim Gunn has the vision and the power. But Seth Aaron was upset. His punishment: Pictionary and a trampoline. It only seems fair.
- The Right Attitude: Jay isn't trying to win to beat his nemesis Mila. No, he's trying to win because he wants to be a great fashion designer and make his friends and family proud of him. He carries with him a calm confidence. He doesn't rub it in anyone's face how great he thinks he is like Emilio and he isn't vindictive like Mila. No, he is doing this because he wants to accomplish a personal goal. That is the way to go into the finals. Too bad it didn't work out for him.
- Season's Greetings: So the producers put the four finalists in some classy hotel room in an iridescent tower in Midtown Manhattan and Tim Gunn arrives in their suite to tell them what is going to go down. He sees Mila and he says, "Oh Mila, I haven't seen you in weeks. You look so great. Did you do something new to your hair?" and gives her a big hug. He sees Jay and says, "Oh, thank you so much for the wonderful meal your family cooked for me. I've been having digestive trouble ever since, but every rumble from my midsection makes me think of you," and gives him a big hug. Then he sees Seth Aaron and says, "Oh Seth. I hope you've been working hard. The bruise on my ass is finally healed by I got the flowers that your children Seth and Aaron mailed and it really helped me to heal," and he gives him a big hug. Then he sees Emilio and says, "Oh. Hi, Emilio." And kind of shakes his hand, but in that way where his hand is already half pulled out of Emilio's grasp even before the shake even starts. Grandpa Gunn: always keeping it real.
- Bye Bye, Baby: Heidi is always a better judge when she's not pregnant. I'm not sure why, but this is universally true. Also, when there is no baby on board she can wear jumpsuits, which makes her the white Tyra Banks.
- What's in a Word?: Once upon a time, in an orange-hued kingdom far far away, there lived a princess. She was the Princess of all the Tangerines in the whole world and one day she would grow up to be the Queen Tangerine and would lord over all the fruits in the grove—actually all the fruits everywhere—and would be able to turn anything a strange shade of orange with just the simplest touch. She would be like Midas, but with fewer mufflers and more pizazz. But as a Princess she was very, very bored. She would just sit in her saffron and amber abode waiting for the day that she would graduate to a true deep orange hue. To assuage her boredom she decided that she was going to make herself a new dress. She enlisted the help of the birds and mice that lived in the tangerine grove outside of her window. They flew all over the great kingdom of color bringing her buttons and beads, ribbons and garters. There were epaulets that the guards used to wear and gators that were never placed on a crocodile but were to be worn on the legs. There were sunglasses and fragrances. Undergarments and handbags. She put her mark on all of them: a big M followed by a large K. Then, with her little fingers not yet matured to their true color, she sewed them all onto a piece of fabric and draped it about herself. She was so proud of her creation and looked at herself in the mirror. It was a magic mirror and it said to her, "Oh princess, you are truly beautiful. Maybe if you show this creation to your mother, she will abdicate her throne and make you queen right away!" This was a very good plan and our little princess sashayed down the hallways of the orange palace with all her new accessories flopping too and fro on her frame as she went to the throne room to see her mother, the Queen Tangerine. When she got there, the trumpets flared and the guards bowed as always and she approached her mother who was sitting on a throne and drinking an Orangina straight from the bottle. She was so shocked at her daughter's garment that she spit the beverage right out and onto the little princess' face. The Queen let out an enormous bellow. "Oy! You look so ridiculous! Did you have to put everything you could find on one dress. You are so...so....Ongepatchket!" That word was like a magic spell on the little princess. As the sticky liquid dripped off her face, the rage began to build inside. She was so trilled with her ornate creation that she wasn't going to abide her mother's laugh without taking revenge. She thought and thought in those few burning seconds about the one thing she could say that would insult her mother's sensibilities the most. There was only one word and she was about to use it. "Oh yeah?" said our little princess. "At least I'm not...matronly!" The Great Queen of all Tangerines dropped her bottle and it clinked on the throne room floor, rolling in a strange oval because of its bulbous shape. And the queen stood up, her face turning red. She clawed at her collar, trying to get her very plain gown off her. She choked and gasped as a hot fire broiled inside her. Her eyes bulged out of her head and just as her mouth opened in on final gaping yawn, she exploded. She was vanquished by one well-placed adjective. The guards all bowed down in unison and chanted. "The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen." And our princess, now the Queen Tangerines spun around and around shouting "Yes! Yes!" The accessories flew off her gown, through the Brother work room, over The Great Bluefly.com Accessory Wall of Made in China, over the little patch of grove that would be her mother's grave and directly into all the Marshall's in all the land.
In the end, it was a hard decision but NGFDMCM decided that she was right all along and that Mila would be in the finals, even though all the dresses were already featured in the first issue of British Vogue that Anna Wintour bought in 1963. Sure, they were great, but boring and expected. Jay marched out the three remaining backup dancers from Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation tour and they were interesting, but they were not enough to win the battle of the jesters. He went back to Ferngully to cry.
For more about Tim and Emilio's altercation, Jay and Mila's detente, and Cuckoo Chanel, let us go off to the videos!
Under the Gunn
Context: Tim visits Emilio's house and tries to offer some sage advice. Emilio basically says, "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"
Vision: Something called "spray-painted brocade" because Emilio is street. Tim thinks it is taking too much time. Really his vision is that he hates Emilio.
Delusion: Emilio thinks that since he has pretended to ignore Tim all season and kept winning that pretending to ignore him will win him the big prize.
What Would Nina Say?: "Is there any detail on that jacket? I can't see."
Context: Tim tells Jay that his looks are a little crazy. Jay makes a funny joke.
Vision: We all know Grampa Gunn is always right, and Jay gets kicked out of the final for being too nuts.
Delusion: Oh, come on. We only pulled this clip because we want to watch Jay say "It's Cuckoo Chanel, girl" on a loop for about 3 hours.
What Would Nina Say?: "Jay, you are mispronouncing her first name!"
Make Up Session
Context: The producers force Jay and Mila into a small room to see what happens. Rather than gnawing each other to death like some strange African bees, they decide that it's time to make up and forgive each other. Why? We're not that sure.
Vision: After seeing the way they behaved on television, being nice and kind will be better for their images.
Delusion: Oh please. We want to see a fight!
What Would Nina Say?: "You two made up? Oh that's sweet. I still think you suck, Jay."
Context: Mila watches three of her 10-piece collection take her to victory and glory, but not honor.
Vision: Doing the same thing she's done all season will get her to the finals.
Delusion: NGFDMCM almost turned on her for being too boring and retro.
What Would Nina Say?: "I always liked you. Just not as much anymore."
Context: Heidi has some saucy comments while judging Jay's looks.
Vision: The only things in the world that Heidi likes are boobs, giving birth, short skirts, and lingerie that will make her husband have sex with her so she can give birth again. She thinks everyone should dress like her and get knocked up.
Delusion: As Michael Kors points out, most people don't look like Heidi Klum.
What Would Nina Say?: "I fucking hate Heidi."