Sunday, February 10, 2013

Project Runway, Season 11: Recaps!

Last season on Project Runway, which was approximately four and a half seconds ago, I was able to recap episodes for AfterEllen because there was a lesbo on it, although I feel like hardly anyone actually read them because while Project Runway is SCHWAY GAY, I guess it's not so much lesbian. Apparently? Or at least lesbians who read AfterEllen. Anyway, it was super fun for me in any case because I am SCHWAY GAY (apparently), and I've had the maybe weird idea to start recapping this season here on my own blog (since there's no lesbos this time), because recapping is sort of the best and I want to? I know it doesn't really fit with what I typically write on this blog, but, if I like it, I suppose that's reason enough? I can also be even more inappropriate in recaps here than I am on AE, and also get them up whenever the hell I feel like it, so, extra bonus?

Speaking of getting them up whenever the hell I feel like it, I started watching this season late, and so will just now be writing about Le Road to Le Runway, and Episode One. Hopefully, I'll blab about Episode Two and Three sometime later this week. Hah! Like that's going to happen!

Le Road to Le Runway is the Episode Before the Actual First Episode, where we get to meet the designers during their awkward auditions, made a little less awkward by the fact that Mondo seemed to be in charge of them, SWOON, and see a little of their backgrounds. There are so many contestants at the beginning of the season that it hurts your head to actually get to know all of them. But luckily, the contestants this season seem to clearly fall into two categories at the beginning: Boring Bitchy White Girls, and Really Interesting Folk. So let's just focus on the Really Interesting Folk, because seriously, life is short.

Also: while I love PR to the extent that I even watched All Stars, there seemed to be a huge lack of, well, Really Interesting Folk for the last several seasons--since Mondo himself was on, really. When PR started there were people who really PUSHED THE ENVELOPE, if you will (frequent PR phrases will henceforth be typed IN ALL CAPS), but those types of people have since dwindled to the point where it's like, what the hell is the point of this thing? Art or commercialism? More or more, it seems to be the latter. Not to say that the ability to be commercial shouldn't also factor into a designer's success. But, you know, I like art, and stuff, and weird people, so bring on the weird!


- Patricia: A Native American from Taos, New Mexico, I believe she's the first Native American on the show, an important fact in itself; add on to that that she is AWESOME. And WEIRD. Which is AWESOME.

Warning: All of my screencaps from this episode are of ASTOUNDINGLY BAD QUALITY. I promise you nothing.
- Joseph Aaron: OMG, hipster baby from Providence! He loves cats! I know everyone loves cats, but something about him seems particularly adorable and lovable as opposed to annoying!

One of the few non-cat sweaters.
- Daniel: A super cute gay Latino from Texas who dropped out of school in 9th grade because of being bullied for being a super cute gay Latino, Daniel won me over with his warmth, his ridiculous mustache that didn't even feel ironic, and his polka dot dress with bunny ears on the front. Hello!

- Matthew: Matthew is from New Orleans, and has this fun-but-real personality. He thinks fashion needs to have a greater sense of humor, yet he also talks about how he wonders how much he and his friends are dealing or not dealing with various addictions, as New Orleans is apt to encourage and support. Basically, while he purports to be light and funny, I think he understands darkness, and his fashion seems to express the creativity that comes out of that juxtaposition. I just like this guy.

Let's be friends.
- Tu: I must admit that I am stupidly biased towards Tu already because one of my favorite students I ever worked with was named Tu, and he was the sweetest ever, and this Tu ALSO seems like the sweetest ever! Originally from Bangkok, he was accepted to Parsons after a childhood of bullying in Thailand and can now fulfill his true gay dream! Go Tu, go!

- Samantha: Samantha's from Brooklyn and one of those Brooklyn ladies who you know just GOT IT. Fashion is in their blood. She's funky and cool and genuine and I am INTO IT. AND HER. AND I MEAN HER FASHION. BUT HER.

She also did the Dougie. It was real good.
Other random thoughts: there's a girl from Portland and at least in these first impressions she seems awful. Why are the designers from Portland always awful? There's also a designer who has a brother who's in Maroon 5. So. There's that.

The other THING about this season, of course, is that it's PROJECT RUNWAY SEASON 11: TEAMS. As in, every single challenge will be a team challenge. If you're thinking, "Well, that sounds like the worst idea in the world," YOU WOULD BE CORRECT. Tim Gunn keeps telling me on Twitter to keep faith and that it really will work, and I want to trust Tim Gunn on all things, but I don't know.

The contestants also have NO IDEA that this is happening, which seems really shitty. During their audition interviews, they also ask each one about how they work with others, and of course most of them, particularly the Boring Bitchy White Girls, are all, "Hellll no, I'm the captain of my own empire, OKAY," and "I am a LEADER AMONG LEADERS," etc. etc., to the point where I started to wonder if they just picked people based on their Cattiness Potential as opposed to their actual fashion skills. Sigh.

So there's our little intro, and I am truly excited by the prospects of some of these designers. So let's get it on with EPISODE NUMBER ONE.

How Heidi feels about teams. Apparently.
Everyone gathers in New York right on the runway, where Heidi and Tim meet them to tell them about the Awful Team Idea Thing. They all get pained looks on their faces while forcing awkward smiles because they don't want to appear fussy in their first meeting with Heidi and Tim!

Shit, girl.
This really isn't that different from Patricia's normal face.
Tim's explanation about the teams thing is that in the Real World, you always have to work in a team. So, yeah, true. I guess that's logical. Except for the fact that the whole point of Project Runway is that it's NOT the Real World. But, getting over it 'cause I have to.  The one person who seems really cool with it is Daniel From Texas With the Mustache, who's all, "Working with others is swell!" Bless your heart, Daniel.

They're separated into two big teams to start, which is okay, because the big team challenges are less awful than the rest since most designers still get to make their own garments. The two teams then separate to different areas to Gaze at New York and Drink Champagne and Talk Awkwardly With Each Other, one on the roof of Atlas, one on a boat in the Hudson. You can always feel their nerves and strangeness at this point and it's the worst. Let's just get to Mood and the work room.

New York: Always my favorite Project Runway contestant.
Tim comes in to tell them their cash flow for the challenge, and everyone is SO HAPPY! Tim Gunn is talking to them! This is actually happening!!

I mean, how can you not love Daniel From Texas With the Mustache? And Cat Boy From Rhode Island next to him?
Yes, I really AM fabulous!
Also, Swatch is still alive. Thank Christ for that.

I run this joint.
The teams name themselves Dream Team and Team Keeping It Real, which are equally horrendous names.

Per usual, there's not a ton to say about the work room time, as it's often hard to tell what the hell these outfits will look like until the runway. The one thing I note is that Patricia is creating some gray block pattern thing that I really enjoy.

Emily, a young chick from Virginia who was one of those "I'm gonna kick their asses!" girls from auditions, has apparently been spending every second in the work room doing approximately nothing. At the end of the first day she has not a single piece done. Nada, zilch, yikes.

I have no idea what I'm doing.
I know. We all know.
In related news, the girl from Portland who at first seemed like the worst, still seems sort of fake but also like a supportive leader, and is also rocking a respectably huge pair of earrings and some good tattoos, so, maybe she isn't so bad. Time will tell, but she at least at this point seems less awful than that Portland bitch who won a few seasons ago. Sorry for judging you so harshly, bro.

As we move on to the runway, we receive another bit of news about this season: Michael Kors is done, and designer Zac Posen is taking his place. I was devastated about this news at first, but then some people who actually know about fashion--clearly, I just watch this show--told me that he is pretty fabulous. And I trust them. So. I'm not as upset, but he still can't completely capture the sassy gay wonder of Michael Kors.

At least I got a screencap of him looking his gayest.
 Speaking of gays, Christian Siriano is our guest judge!

Hey, bitches.
Here were some highlights from the actual runway show: While sort of weird and I'm not sure if I actually liked it, Matthew from New Orleans' dress seemed like one of the most original.

Daniel With the Mustache's black suit looked clean and sophisticated and badass.

And Patricia's gray checkered shift turned out pretty great, as well. I loved the small pops of blue at top (to match the shoes!), and the just off the shoulder collar line.

I also thought Samantha from Brooklyn's whole dress was pretty, but I particularly loved the floaty skirt.

Aaaaaand Emily's look was a hot mess. Might be hard to see here, but really, a hot mess.

Team Keeping It Real--god, these names are bad--ended up on top, with Dream Team on the bottom. Of the bottom three looks, in addition to Emily's hot mess, were Real Boring Outfit by That Dude Whose Name I Can't Remember Because He's Pretty Boring, and also Crazy Ugly Dress by Cindy. I haven't mentioned Cindy yet, but she's the requisite oldie of the bunch, and I'm trying to reserve judgment of her because everyone else is obviously judging her right off the bat real bad, and I tend to want to root for the oldies even though they never go far. Also she's from Washington and just seems sweet, and excited to be here. And I do think the main fabric was interesting in her dress. But that checkerboard with it? Seriously, why didn't anyone tell her?

I...don't know.
In the top, we have Patricia's dress and Daniel With the Mustache's pant suit, as well as This Bald Guy Whose Name I Also Can't Remember. I also didn't particularly care for his dress, but, he seems nice?

Daniel With the Mustache from Texas ended up winning. This is his eyes-closed-in-wonder face. His jacket was also amazing! I love him!

Not surprisingly, it was Emily who received the Heidi kiss of death this week, and watching the first elimination is always tough. Especially as you knew that Emily knew all along that she had screwed up, and her attempting-to-hold-it-together looks of pain and utter shame up there were just brutal. And while some people leave being all, "I'm gonna be better than evah now!" She was like, "Wellll, guess it's time to reevaluate." :/ Emily. But girl is 24. There's lots of time, honey!
At the same time, though, before taking this job you had to KNOW that you had to be able to whip up outfits in 24 hours under pressure, and when people lose it this easily, I have to think about all the other designers out there who would probably kill to be in their spots.

In any case, I find myself strangely looking forward to the rest of this season. TEAMS AND ALL, I GUESS. I just don't know how to quit you, Tim Gunn.

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