Friday, April 12, 2013

Project Runway 11.7: A Sticky Situation (BECAUSE DUCT TAPE GET IT?)

The seventh episode of the eleventh season of Project Runway began with Heidi Klum walking on the runway with a duck so there's that.

The designers are bewildered as a whole, but Tu is downright terrified because he apparently has a deep rooted hatred for ducks, meaning that perhaps he is a monster inside. Or because one tried to bite him one time. Whatever, who hates ducks?

They then enter the workroom, which they discover is literally filled with towers of duct tape. WHAT A DREAM!

Ohhh, we get it now.
Not only do they have to design a duct tape garment, they have to make a PROM DRESS. And that prom dress WILL BE PARTIALLY JUDGED BY LIVE, BREATHING, ACTUAL HIGH SCHOOLERS. Now EVERYONE is terrified! 

"Not feelin' it."
 While the high school factor is simply amusing, I actually looooooove the idea of a duct tape challenge and to be honest am now wondering why they haven't done one before. Shit, girl, people have been making not just wallets but all kinds of stuff out of duct tape for yeeeeears. Tumblr is way ahead of you here, Project Runway.

The teams this time around are duos again, so the button bag comes out and people split up la de da. Daniel and Richard steal allllll the gold duct tape which makes people MAD! Duct tape DRAMAZ.

Kate and Tu are partnered up again, meaning that Kate pretty much bosses Tu around hardcore while saying, "I love working with you!" Tu meanwhile is all, "I've never gone to prom, so, whatever you say!" Sigh, Tu. It's clear from the beginning that this is where Kate's Complete and Sad Lack of Eccentricity starts to really become obnoxious. She looks at Stanley and Layana and says, "No one would wear zebra print and hot pink to PROM!" Really? Because that sounds like a shitty prom. She looks at Michelle and Amanda, who are doing this super rad houndstooth punk rock look, and is like "No one would wear a COSTUME to PROM!" Why not?! It sounds like the girl is still IN high school (which she pretty much is) and is one of those pretty girls who's judging all the artsy girls' clothing and it's making me sort of hate her. She and Tu meanwhile are making a long navy dress that looks as prom dressy as possible, which Kate thinks is great until Tim comes in and is like, "You're using duct tape, it should be weird, why isn't it weird?" (Paraphrasing.)

Anyhoo, weird looks and boring looks together make their way to a high school gymnasium later that evening, where the only person who is totally unfazed by this whole bizarre event is of course Tim Gunn, who I think could be comfortable and charming talking to absolutely anyone.

The designers are freaked out to be around high schoolers; high schoolers appear a little freaked out to be on camera. Although they are clearly some type of fancy pants private school high schoolers. They just look too put together. And actually after there's a bit of a runway show, the designers stand by each of their looks and then the high schoolers descend on them like locusts, showering praise and some awkward criticism and lots and lots of confident sounding opinions. So maybe they're not freaked out to be on camera at all. They then are supposed to vote on each look, and their input will be counted as 20% of the final vote, which makes the Project Runway voting process sound much more precise than it is. Girls are excited that Kate and Tu's looks like a prom dress, which isn't surprising, but I AM surprised that the pair that definitely gets the least amount of interest is Michelle and Amanda. The other designers give them crap about their look, too. But I am in LOVE with their red punk rock dress. In LOVE. Where your style at, high schoolers?

For another surprise, in the end Samantha and Patricia get the most votes. And perhaps I have judged the high schoolers too harshly, because while everyone keeps giving crap to the red houndstooth duct tape look, Samantha and Patricia's is waaaaay weirder.

In any case, this horror show is soon over, and it's runway day. Heidi announces that the winner will also have $5,000 donated in their name to Autism Speaks on behalf of Duck Brand duct tape, which is awesome. Way to take your product placement whoredom and turn it into something good, Duck!  Impressive.

The guest judge is Chris Benz, who has apparently designed for a lot of famous people even though I've never heard of him, but he has pink hair so I like him a lot anyway.

So let's look at what these things look like for real.

Michelle and Amanda's dress that I am so enamored with. I mean even aside from the bold print--which they made themselves--and the fun skirt that moves so well, the funky asymmetrical top? That shit's cool! And as opposed to what anyone else said, worthy of prom, in my opinion. Whatever, traditionalists, ANYTHING is worthy of prom.

Stanley and Layana's. Super cute. Tons of teen girls would love it.

Oh God. Richard and Daniel's spectacular mess of an exact replica of an 80s prom dress. And they think it is SO GREAT! No.

Kate and Tu's prom dressy prom dress. Meh.

And last but not least, Patricia and Samantha's PROM DRESS FROM OUTERSPACE. Patricia describes it in her own words as "a praying mantis" or "a city alien."

And when it comes to judgment time, all the judges love the city alien, too! Who knew!

Kate and Tu, meanwhile, get judged super harsh by Nina because it's "such a cliche" she can basically hardly handle herself. Zac Posen tries to give them some slack by saying that a long dress isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world but it's missing "fantasy." They also seem confused about why Tu didn't speak up more. It's overall sad duct tape prom times. And pretty much the same goes for Daniel and Richard. Womp womp womppppp.

They do however love Stanley and Layana's (duh), and they ALSO like Michelle and Amanda's. YAY! Nina says it channels Gwen Stefani which makes both Michelle and Amanda smile and clap. And bless the pink haired Chris Benz, for after everyone else said it wasn't appropriate for prom, he said that it in fact fulfilled a quintessential high school fantasy. RIGHT? Who doesn't want to be a rebel in high school? At least this is the American high school fantasy that I'm most intimately familar with.

When the judgments finally come down, though, we have a shocker.

Well, first, Michelle and Amanda's punk rock look wins. YAY! And Michelle gets her first official win as an individual. Whoo!

When it comes to the bottom, it's Richard and Daniel's golden 16 Candles dress and Kate and Tu's, but Richard and Daniel are safe. I think the latticework that Richard did along the side along with the bold choice of GOLD GOLD GOLD! helped win them over, because it at least showed SOME type of boldness.

Then they say Tu is out, because they don't know who he is as a designer anymore. Tu says, you're right, I lost my own aesthetic. It's OK. AND THEN. They say, Kate, YOU'RE OUT TOO. GASP! As opposed to Tu's peace with the decision, Kate says tearily into the camera, "I'm feeling sad. I wish I could stay." Which is the most womp womp departure EVER! Later Kate will be interviewed about this "controversial" double elimination and maintain that she didn't think it was fair. As she points out, the high schoolers did love it. Which is true! But then again, high schoolers aren't judges.

Here's my thoughts on it: I think Kate's elimination was totally valid. I think that she makes some really pretty, girly dresses, and I'm sure she makes gorgeous wedding dresses, which was her primary gig pre-Project Runway. But is she an actual innovative fashion designer? Eh. Not so much.

Tu, though, I have some feelings about. I totally see the judges' reasoning about his point of view getting lost (and/or trampled upon), so I'm not 100% mad about his elimination or anything, but I do feel like it's slightly unfair because I understand his viewpoint of, "I have no idea what prom is, so what do I know?" And I feel like it's just in Tu's nature (and maybe culture?) to be non-confrontational. So. I don't know. I feel like he could have had some really interesting ideas--I mean, look at his shorts just here!--that could have been really cool to see. So I feel a little bad for him, even though he doesn't feel bad for himself.

They return to the backroom and break the news to the rest of the gang, who react in complete and total shock. Tu says, "It's OK, it's a happy moment!" while Kate sobs. She nods but clearly does not agree. Hah!

Next time: naked doods!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Project Runway 11.6: Calling all Sassy Oldies!

This sixth episode was one of my favorites because the challenge is dressing up old ladies! And who doesn't love oldies? Well, possibly a lot of people, but I love 'em, especially when they're sassy, and these ladies had some sass.

To recap from last time, to put us into perspective since I'm still a million years behind on these things: the last challenge was the Miranda Lambert one; we're still recuperating from the loss of Matt (at least I am; Stanley doesn't seem so upset, but Stanley also doesn't seem to have very much emotion about pretty much anything); and as everyone gets ready this morning, Amanda is rocking some type of outfit from the early 90s.

"Did you see last night's Clarissa Explains it All?"
Since Michelle is now all by her lonesome, Heidi adds her to Patricia's team, which is the #1 place Michelle doesn't want to be. Them's the breaks. We then meet our oldies at a dance hall, where they are currently ROCKING IT.

Kate refers to them as "elderly people," lololol, which proves she is probably terrified of them. But Tim reminds them that in the "real world" you have to design for all ages, and that anyway true fashion is ageless and timeless. Preach it, Tim. The designers are randomly paired up with the ladies, and we meet some of the gems:

This woman is working with Benjamin, and she is completely full of joy and light and awesomeness. Her laugh and her smile are TO DIE FOR. She wants her arms covered because she "doesn't have Michelle Obama's arms." I love you!

Kate's woman, whose white hair is GORGEOUS, by the way, tells her to be a slut while she's young! Which is amazing! Kate laughs at this but also seems somewhat shocked and uncomfortable, and then tells the camera that she didn't want to break the news that she's actually engaged to her high school sweetheart. SIIIIIIGH KATE, even if you're super boring in real life, when an old woman tells you to be a slut, YOU AT LEAST PRETEND YOU WANT TO BE A SLUT.

Anyway, as far as drama in the workroom time, Amanda has a meltdown over her fabric choice and over her look overall, and Layana and Michelle both have anxiety attacks over Patricia's outfit, which so far looks to be a blue potato sack. When the ladies come in for their fitting, Benjamin's amazing woman SMACKS STANLEY IN THE ASS as she walks by him. This is especially funny as Stanley is the most uptight person in the room.

She had to!
When Patricia's model tries on the potato sack and seems utterly confused by it, Patricia suddenly realizes that she too is confused. Although she blames it on listening to her client way too much, which doesn't make much sense because I'm pretty sure her client didn't ask for a blue potato sack.

Although it actually doesn't look that bad from this angle.
As for how everyone else's looks are actually going, it's hard to say, but nothing really looks super duper exciting because I guess old people can't have exciting clothes? (Sigh.)

When we get closer to runway time, typically hair and makeup is the most boring part of the show for me, but I love when they have "real" people as the models because I feel like it has to be so fun for them, and I especially love seeing the ladies here get dolled up! Work it, ladies!

This BLAHBLAHLOREALCOMMERCIAL is perfect for your eyes!
We then learn that our guest judges today are JOAN AND MELISSA RIVERS, AMAAAAAAAHZING. And also perfect for this challenge. Why isn't Joan Rivers on this shit all the time?

ICON, bitches.
And her daughter, I guess.
Our first lady down the runway is Michelle's oldie, and she is so amazing as she saunters and shakes her boobs and lives it up that I might have taken an excessive amount of screenshots from my shitty quality copy of this episode.

As for the dress itself, there's nothing spectacularly special about it, but the print is super fun, as is the belt, and clearly she feels comfortable in it to shake her thang, so I say mission accomplished!

Others of note:

Patricia's actually ends up being not too bad after she scrapped her initial blue potato sack. I think it's actually sort of interesting? But not great.

Stanley makes a sleek suit for his lady and HOLY MOLY IS SHE LOOKING HOTTT.

Richard's dress looks really comfortable, probably because it looks like a slightly stylish nightgown. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of nightgowns and would totally wear it. But probably not a runway.

Kate's is another "eh, looks cute, but isn't really special" look. But at least it looks less sloppy than the others.

At judgment time, the threesome pair of Layana, Michelle, and Patricia are safe-in-the-middle, although Heidi lets them know that Layana and Michelle actually received Heidi's highest scores of everyone, but Patricia's lower score brought them down. As they settle into the backroom to wait, Layana and Michelle do not hide their disappointment, while Patricia sits with her wide eyed, uncomfortable seeming smile that she sort of has on all the time, and it is SUPER DUPER AWKWARD. I mean I'm also kind of confused by what's going on in Patricia's head most of the time, and she's probably frustrating to work with because of that, but clearly she already feels SUPER BAD, guys. Anyway.

Richard and Stanley and Daniel and Samantha are the pairs on the top, basically because of both Stanley and Daniel's suits. I also did like Samantha's lady, though, with the leopard print and all her tattoos! The judges didn't love it as much, though, and I agree with them that the bow probably isn't that necessary and offsets her more badass vibe, but I think the bow is also more Samantha, and there's always that tug between going with your aesthetic and pleasing your client. I am also looooving Samanthat's own outfit, per usual.

"A menopausal kitten." - Joan Rivers
They also love Richard's turquoise nightgown. While Nina does say he could have pushed himself more, Rachel Roy, who's subbing for Zac Posen, as she does a lot on this season--apparently the boy is busy--says it's the most young design of the whole shabang, and I have to say that is probably true.

On the bottom we have Kate and Tu and Amanda and Benjamin. Amanda's dress is just rather...sad. Sort of like she was all episode.

Benjamin's dress meanwhile is too tight on her upper half while, as Joan Rivers says, it looks like she's hiding the Liberty Bell underneath the bottom half. Which I sort of agree with. But this oldie is so determined to not let Benjamin slide under the bus that she defends him at every turn, which is half cute, half uncomfortable.

They also rag on Tu, rightfully, for his lady's look, which is essentially a bundle of emerald fabric held together with a belt. Joan Rivers says that he "doesn't have a fucking clue in hell" who he's designing for, which is true, being that he admits he's never designed for a non-model before. Oh, Tu. He doesn't say it mean though, just honestly, and he owns up to all his mistakes and it's just real hard to hate this guy! They then tell Kate that they actually liked her look quite a bit, and that she probably wouldn't have been in the bottom if it wasn't for Tu. As opposed to Layana and Michelle, however, she says that she's fine with that, that she's just glad she got to work with Tu because they respected each other. Awww.

After deliberations, Stanley's the winner, and the bottom two are Benjamin and Amanda. Amanda's already convinced herself in the backroom that it's going to be her, but when the words come out of Heidi's mouth, turns out--it's Benjamin.

Pretty much everyone is shocked by this, including Amanda, including Benjamin, including everyone in the backroom, and I have to say I was somewhat shocked, too. I mean, Amanda's dress was pretty much a mess, whereas Benjamin at least made his client super happy. But am I terribly upset about it? I don't think so. I think everyone expected Benjamin to be one of the best designers from the beginning, because he always carried himself so gracefully with all his suits and his darn Australian accent, and he always appeared to be sort of a high class fancypants. But looking back, I can't remember anything particularly amazing from him on this season that made a lasting impression. I think he made some pretty dresses, but that's it. So while it's sad, I'm okay with the auf.

Up next: DUCK TAPE.