Thursday, December 6, 2007

Project Runway Recap - Episode 4 - "Trendsetter"

This week’s Project Runway was similar to last week’s in that it was all about bad fashion. UNLIKE last week, this time it was on purpose.

This week’s challenge was to take outdated fashion trends and create a look that was “relevant for today”. Such outdated trends as “Underwear as Outerwear” (think “Like a Virgin” Madonna), “Dancewear” (think “Lucky Star” Madonna), and “Zoot Suits” (think “Express Yourself” Madonna) were featured. In fact, I’m pretty sure Madonna had worked all 12 of these horrible looks over the years. This should have been Project Runway’s Christmas Show – titled “The Ghost of Madonna’s Fashions Past”. Ricky, in the role of Tiny Tim, could have pronounced “Neon, every one!” in the final scene.

Each designer got to pick which fashion disaster they wanted to work with after their name was pulled out of a hat. Jack, picking first, decided on “Pleather” and mentioned something about “Britney Spears on crack”. Yeah, so…? Don’t state the obvious girl, it makes for boring television. Besides, Britney likes crystal meth also…

Straight “Leonidas Fatone” (Kevin) picked “70’s Flair” – I’m not kidding – and then mumbled something about John Travolta. Darling, if you are going to run around claiming you are the only “straight” male fashion designer on the show, there are two things you DON’T do: pick “70’s Flair”, and invoke the name of Edna Turnblad, er, John Travolta. The third thing you don’t do is make hot pants for your design. Woops! – that’s exactly what he did.

Chris picked the extremely campy “Shoulder Pads” look, and somehow thought he could use this to show he was a non-campy designer. Ricky picked “Neon” – a match made in heaven. And Jillian picked “Overalls”, an outdated trend she happened to be wearing at the time.

The Designers then created four teams of three people each – and picked a leader for each team.

“Team Jillian” included Rami and Kevin. In fact, they made Jillian the leader since she seemed to be EXTREMELY familiar with their three outdated fashion trends – NOT a good sign.

“Team Chris” included my girl Sweet P, along with Steven – who spent the entire episode unsuccessfully trying to be funny. He even tried to do an impression of Tim Gunn, a la Santino – very badly, I might add. Steven is like that dorky guy at work you feel sorry for, so you half-laugh at his lame jokes. He, of course, takes this as a ringing endorsement of his incredible wit, and keeps the jokes a-coming! Just stop it Steven – seriously.

“Team Ricky” included Victorya and Crazy Elisa. I have to say, the deck was stacked against poor Ricky from the beginning. First of all, Jack had stolen Ricky’s model earlier during the model selection. Then Victorya decided to be a passive-aggressive bitch and second-guess Ricky’s every move. And thirdly, Ricky had to spend much of his time “translating” everything into Elisa’s “language”. Lots and lots of statements were uttered like “finding your center”, and “sculpting your fabric”. He said Elisa speaks like a dancer who’s “high on pot”, so he tried to speak in a language she could understand. As a former dancer (and, presumably, current pot smoker) Ricky has experience in this area.

And then there was “Team Mango” (Christian), which Mango renamed “Team Star” because “Team Star…hot” (now who’s talking like they’re stoned??). Mango teamed up with Jack and Kit – who picked each other because they were all “so much fun”. Indeed, the three of them seemed to spend most of the challenge laughing it up and saying “fabulous” a lot. I don’t remember much sewing…

They go to Mood Fabric to spend their $225 budget. It’s mass mayhem as usual: Ricky’s selecting “Duchess Satin”, Chris is vetoing his team’s choices – “it looks like Grandma’s God damned couch!”, and Steven is frantically running up and down steps.

Back to the workroom they go to start their designs. Each team leader’s management style quickly becomes apparent. Jillian leads by worrying, pacing back and forth, and whispering. She’s not sure the straight guy can sew hot pants. Don’t worry girl – he’ll have those short-shorts sewn before the cocktail hour. Straight guys are known for their sewing skills and detailed knowledge of “70’s Flair”, aren’t they? Have some faith.

Ricky leads by wearing authoritative hats and letting Victorya walk all over him. “I don’t like to be a bossy cow…”, Victorya states. She doesn’t LIKE to be a bossy cow, but she IS a bossy cow, so deal with it.

Mango leads by declaring everything as “fierce” and stating that they have created the best designs EVER. Of course he does this every week – so you never know.

And Chris seems to lead by heartily saying “Girl!” a lot. In fact, Chris and Steven are really gaying it up for the camera and starting to get a little too close. Is Steven a chubby chaser??

Day two features Bossy Cow re-doing her garment, after getting all up in Ricky’s dress form about HIS design. Ricky, in turn, helpfully gives Bossy Cow some draping advice, which she actually takes. “I don’t think smashing her boobs is a polished look”, he says. That’s Ricky for you – so wise.

Leonidas Fatone declares he will have to “pull a magic rabbit out of my ass” to make his hot pants work – and is frantically using a woman’s shoe from the accessories wall to hammer a snap on his garment. But he’s straight, so it’s ok – seriously. He eventually gets it done - I guess they got that rabbit out of his straight ass after all. Jillian and Rami rejoice.

Elisa is worrying about the “conflict of communication” between Ricky and Bossy Cow. Doesn’t she have some calming herbs, a spell, or maybe a talisman to get all the chakras back in line?? I though Hippie Freaks were into that shit…

Mango is striking a pose, as always, in the L’Oreal Paris makeup room. In the immortal words of Karen Walker – Mango really is “gayer than a clutch purse on Tony night”. Mango declares Ricky’s collection as “horribly ugly” and Chris’s design as “pure costume”, but says “the judges might die over it, or they might die BECAUSE of it – you never know”. True dat Mango, true dat…

Time for the runway show – and Donna Karan is the guest judge! DKNY seems kind of mean, and has the most nasally Queens accent EVER. Heidi is working another horrible outfit with a huge buckle, maybe as an homage to the outdated fashions this show featured.

Team Jillian’s three outfits are good. Team Chris has some problems, especially with Chris’ own look. Mango’s looks are kind of cute (ugh, I hate saying that), and Team Ricky (AKA “Team Bossy Cow”) was a nightmare, especially Ricky’s neon look.

Heidi says there is one clear winner, which will be announced right away – Team Jillian. Their three looks were “cohesive and modern”, which was the goal of the challenge. Yeah – the straight guy’s hot pants pull through!!

Team Mango comes in second – they are safe. This leaves Team Ricky and Team Chris on the chopping block.

DKNY likes Sweet P’s “baggy sweater” look – she’s safe. They also liked Crazy Elisa’s “cut out” dress. Elisa is as shocked as anyone by this, especially since she claims it was the first time she worked with a “non-stretch” fabric (WTF?!). She is also safe.

Bossy Cow throws Ricky under the bus – saying she had to assume a lot of the leadership responsibility since Ricky wasn’t a strong leader. Michael Kors states that their “odd relationship” comes though in their lackluster designs. Alas, Victorya is safe.

Steven betrays his chubby lover by telling the judges Chris should go home because of his costumey jacket. Steven is safe.

It’s down to Ricky and his cap, and Big Chris.

Then something happened that I describe at the “Hatin’ Moment”. That’s when one or more of the judges totally go off on a garment – usually followed by that designer going home. Two weeks ago we had Heidi FREAKING OUT about Marion’s “Pocahontas” dress (calling it “dirty” and “from the basement”), and last week Nina issuing a stern “unacceptable!” to Carmen for not having a shirt.

This week’s Hatin’ Moment came to us from Michael Kors in regards to Chris’s outfit. “It didn’t fit, it was old-fashioned, the fabric was ugly” he declared. Then he described it as “Bad Pageant – Mother of the Bride”. Uh oh! When Michael uses the term “Mother of the Bride”, you KNOW you’re in trouble. In the world of Michael Kors, apparently, there has NEVER been a well-dressed Mother of the Bride.

In the end, Chris didn’t survive the Hatin’ Moment and goes home. And then a Christmas miracle happened – Ricky didn’t cry!!! I was shocked and amazed – and I have to say, a little disappointed.

Chris laments that he is sorry to go back to his old life as a costume designer, but he hopes he brought a little bit of fun to Project Runway this season. After all, he says, life is all about fun. Unfortunately, while Big Chris was concentrating on giving us fun, the rest of the designers were trying to give us fashion.

Next week: model drama, Jack drama, and other surprises…


Anonymous said...

Nice recap - as always.

John said...

Great recap, and thanks for reading mine. The past few episodes have been really funny, and you're doing a nice job of writing appropriately funny recaps...

P.S. Good call on Kevin = Leonidas Fatone.

Meeg said...

I totally thought that Heidi's outfit was supposed to be a shout out to the outdated fashion challenge too.

And I love the Hatin' Moment. I'm going to start looking for that now.

Ronson said...

Hilarious. Loved the bits about how each team leader led, particularly Ricky and his authoritative hats.

He and Elisa are the funniest parts of the show right now...hope they manage to stick around for at least one more episode (though it's not looking good)...

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