Project Runway: The Kennedy Assassination

Project Runway killed Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis a second time. They dug up her grave, molested her corpse, dressed her up in bad outfits, and paraded her on TV. Her eternal soul will know no rest because of reality television.

Last night Grampa Tim Gunn called all the designers into a room with a big projection on the wall. It was pictures of Jacqueline Kennedy (Onassis), the revered style icon whose sartorial choices—from big sunglasses to pillbox hats to black turtlenecks—have been recycled by American designers more times than the Zapruder film was shown at the Warren Commission. The designers' task was to design an outfit of modern American sportswear (which, in this instance means clothing women can wear every day to work or to lunch or something informal not to a game of bocce) inspired by Jackie O. The fact that none of these designers (but one) understood the challenge is one of the:

Things We Hated:

  • Jackie Oh No!: Do none of these people know who Jackie O was? Do they not know one of the things she wore with any regularity? Do they not know Oleg Cassini, the American designer who outfitted Jackie in the White House after her husband told her she had to stop wearing French Fashion? Have they never seen her in a Chanel suit riding along the back of a car in Dallas with her hands full of brain? I mean, Jesus. Who are these fashion designers who can't properly translate Jackie O to modern times? I have so many questions!
  • Michael C Bashing: Everyone picking on Michael C for no particular reason is getting on my nerves. These designers really need to appreciate that this inarticulate schlub is actually their competition, whether they like it or not. As Michael D pointed out, it's nothing but the worst kind of snobbish elitism. What I also hated was Michael C telling Gretchen her garment was beautiful and then in his "confessional" he says, "I thought that shit was ugly." [Ed. Note: That is not a direct quote.] At least the other designers have the decency to let Michael C know how they feel. No matter what he says, if he's being two-faced like this, he still wants their approval. That's just sad.
  • Mentor Gretchen: Dear Gretchen, you are a contestant on this program. You are not a mentor, so please stop going around telling the other designers what they're doing right or wrong. Why don't you worry more about your own garment (which is just a variation on a theme every week, no matter what the challenge). Also, you are not a judge, so don't carp about sitting on the side of the runway with the contestants. The worst ire is always reserved for someone who doesn't know his place.
  • Ivy: For everything.
  • January Chill: The only person I irrationally hate more than Ivy (and people who sing the Happy Birthday song) is January Jones. This started way before her visit as guest judge last night. I love Mad Men and I also love (to hate) Betty Draper, the character January Jones plays, but I just can't freaking stand this woman. I don't know why. She's never done anything to me personally or really been part of any incident that would make me hate her. Other than her lousy turn on Saturday Night Live I've never really seen her be a part of a really horrible project. But still, I can't stand her. And being on Runway didn't help either. She just looked confused the whole time and like she was trying to keep up and failing like a Polish speaker in a Russian Literature class. She offered no substantive criticism, insight, or witticism. She's just, ugh, worthless. God, I can't stand her.
  • Mondo's Outfit: God, what was the boy thinking with that demonic take on the Emcee from Cabaret's costume? For a change the worst piece of clothing during judging wasn't on Heidi Klum.
  • The Revolutionary Costume for Today: When Michael C was sitting in the Corporate Sponsored Sewing Room, he wrapped a large piece of fabric over his head and said, "Look, I'm Jackie O!" I shouted, "No, you're Grey Gardens!" The only person who has been reinterpreted more than Jackie is her kooky cousin Little Edie Beale, the star of the cult documentary (and the surprisingly excellent HBO movie of the same name). Why hasn't there been a Grey Gardens challenge yet? Why not pair up the designers and have one make a Jackie look and one make the same look for Edie? Why not translate Edie's gonzo aesthetic and make it something wearable? This would be television I would die for.

Things We Loved:

  • Tap Dancing Monkey: Mondo, you are forgiven for wearing that horrible outfit because you did a little tap dance in it. You are just the cutest little thing—oh yes you are.
  • Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire Magazine Will Never Forget: Ivy might have made a decent look this week, but NGFDMCM will never forgive her for the pants she made out of pants in the first episode. She's like an elephant: strong, big-eared, big-nosed, only eats vegetables, and has a very long memory.
  • Mean Judges: The judges were obviously in a bad mood. It might be because none of the designers knew a fucking thing about Jackie O. It might be because the producers made them sit next to perpetual waste of space January (barf) Jones. It might be because Queen Tangerine had Indian for lunch and you know what happens then. Anyway, they were cruel. Ms. Kors was personally insulted by Andy's outfit. It was like those pants had found their way back to her castle, found her favorite jester, and smothered him. Heidi, for the first time ever, actually laughed at someone for what they made. It was harsh. We wish this would happen each week.
  • Grampa Gunn Hates Everyone: I once had a neighbor who was very sweet and would give all the children in the neighborhood Werther's Originals from the pockets of his cardigan. He lived at the end of the block and he would watch us play wiffle ball in the street, critiquing our swinging and pitching abilities. We would hit our ball into his yard all the time and would have to trample on the grass to retrieve it. One time we even knocked the ball right past his head and broke his living room window. Of course, we pooled our allowance and paid for it, but things were never the same with our kindly old neighbor. His help started to become more derisive, he got crueler and crueler. He once yelled at the neighborhood bully for picking on other kids, which we thought was fine, but then he started to tease us whenever we wouldn't take his advice and strike out. He would just stand there in his seersucker suit and bold plaid tie and his curled claw of a hand would move closer and closer to his mouth to express his level of discontent. One day, he stopped coming out on the porch, he just sat inside all day, mumbling under his breath and being upset that a bunch of impetuous idiots who wouldn't listen ruined America's past time. Yes, Grampa Gunn was my neighbor.

So, in the end Mondo justifiably won for the only outfit that even closely resembled something Jackie O would wear. And it was beautiful not only for a Jackie O challenge, but just in general. We share a love of color, print, and graphic, so Mondo is by far my favorite this season. Ivy was also in the top for an ensemble that looked like Chico's without any of the necklaces. It was really horrible. Christopher was also on top for something that looked like a plush bunny that got stuck in the washing machine and split open at the seams pouring stuffing everywhere. God, it was ugly. Everyone thought it was a top, but it was really a bottom. We have a feeling that happens to Christopher all the time.

Michael D was sent home (spoiler alert!) for making this gray thing that I found it best to erase from my memory. The judges were really harsh on Valerie's outfit that looked like mismatched separates from TJ Maxx, but it wasn't as bad as Andy's. Andy created a mid-'90s raver outfit that not only had nothing to do with Jackie O, but it wasn't modern, it wasn't interesting, and it wasn't anything but horrible. Actually, it would have been ugly at a rave in the '90s, and then everyone was either on E and thought everything was beautiful or so deep down a K hole that they didn't care. This shit was so ugly that you would have crawled out of a K hole to shout over the DJ stylings of Sasha and Digweed to say, "Hey, man, that is a really ugly get up. P.L.U.R.," and then eat some of your candy necklace while falling back into your Ketamine dream. And while you were lost down there, you would do a little dance with a lovely lady. Her name was Jacqueline and she wore gloves and hats and had impeccable taste. And after dancing you would retire to her house for lunch in the rose garden with women named Muffy and Helen and Irene and you would laugh and laugh and laugh and your faces would glow in the sunlight because finally you were in a place where people appreciated you.