Hello DustBunnies! Did you watch The Fashion
NO Show last
night? Believe it or not IT WASN’T HALF BAD!
For those who watched last season, you might remember that The Fashion Show sucked like Lestat at a Blood Bank. But Bravo made some big changes, and the results were positive. And I’m not JUST SAYING THIS OUT OF SPITE.
Last night’s show opened with the Fashiontestants arriving in NYC via skateboard, subway and taxi (literally). Each was ushered into The Fashion Show studio, where they were greeted by Stefan – one of those headset-wearing, clipboard-carrying control freaks who rule over fashion in NYC. Stefan instructed the designers to select a sewing kit – each kit having a number. This number corresponded to a model, and the order in which the model will appear on the runway. Yes, the designers will be doing a fashion show immediately – they were instructed to bring a signature look, which they slap onto their models while Stefan barks instructions.
In the midst of this process, we meet some of the Fashiontestants. There’s Jeffrey, who is wearing some kind of Obi Wan Kenobi robe. There is Cindy, who begins her introduction with “When I was a little girl in
”. Oy. Nothing
good can come of an introduction like that. It’s either going to continue with “fabulous
seaside Haciendas” or “selling tortillas door-to-door”. There doesn’t seem to
be much middle ground once you go the “little girl in Mexico... ” route. Mexico
We meet Cesar Galindo – who’s a designer I’ve actually heard of. Cesar left the business when his partner got sick with colon cancer, a battle his partner (sadly) lost. There is also Dominique, who is the plain white girl I immediately forget when she’s off the TV screen. Dominique is one of those people who constantly mentions she’s only 21 years old.
The highlight (or lowlight, depending on your outlook) of these introductions was Calvin Tran (below). Calvin, obviously, is the “character” this season – and his accent reminds me of an Asian Casanova. Like Casanova, Calvin requires subtitles while speaking.
In addition to being the “character”, Calvin is also the bitch this season. But, for some reason, “da bitch come out three clock”, he says. What is it about 3 pm that brings out the stank in Calvin?? Most people get sleepy at 3:00 and have a cup of coffee – Calvin, apparently yells at babies and kicks puppies instead. Whatever works, I guess.
The designers are ordered to the
runway CATWALK (sorry) and
all of a sudden it’s LIGHTS! MODELS! GARMENTS! GIBBERISH FROM CALVIN! The models
walk the runway, but this mini-show doesn’t serve a purpose other
than to introduce more of the designers to us.
There’s Francine, who is already judging people and talking about how she has a “good chance of winning” the competition. Buh-bye, Francine.
There’s Tamara, who begins her story with “I grew up in the Projects”. Oy. And then she equates being a successful designer with being a Double Dutch champion. Double Oy. Somehow I don’t think Coco Chanel ever got on the Double Dutch Bus.
Then we meet Eduardo … who says some words, but the only thing I can do is purr "HOLA PAPI" as I stare into his deep brown eyes" Yep, I already have a favorite …
Then there’s Mike, who wears a hat and has “sat front row” at many fashion shows. Dear Mike: that’s what Kelly Rowland said last season, and you’ll notice she’s not here anymore. I’ve sat in the first booth at Arby’s plenty of times, but that doesn’t mean I know how to make Horsey Sauce. Just saying.
We also meet David – who is frickin’ adorable, but starts yammering about “the return of the Greenpeace Yuppies” and “being born in space in the 80’s but coming back to earth”. All I can think of is …
“Golnessa” is next. She wants to “bring glamour back” and loves “old
and “wants to be famous”. Golnessa obviously got lost looking for RuPaul’s Drag
Race (which was filming next door) and decided to give The Fashion Show a try
instead. It’s time to Lip Synch For Your Life, Golnessa! Hollywood
Speaking of RuPaul, Iman makes a Drag Race-worthy entrance that has the children gagging on her glamour. Learn it … and LEARN IT WELL!! Iman explains the rules and then instructs the designers to LOOK AT THE SCREEEN! (she talks in a language all her own – in which exclamation points are the only punctuation). The screen shows images from Iman’s long and lauded fashion career. She has worked with the BEST (!), and now she’s working with the REST (AKA "these biatches"!).
Challenge #1: Design an outfit for Iman. She instructs them to consider her story! Her style! And her “bubbly and sometimes prickly personality”! Then Iman drops the bomb: they will be working in two teams this season! The numbers they picked backstage correspond into two “fashion houses”!
Calvin immediately burps … “Me … Calvin Tran … working with PEOPLE. Oh here go Hell come”. I half expected him to add … “AND I GETTING FAT”!!
The teams meet to come up with names and ideas. First of all, we have Team Nami (“Iman” backwards) which consists of all the cute Latino guys, that front row hat dude and the 21-year-old chick.
The other team – AKA “Team Avoid Calvin After Three Clock”, AKA “Team Island of Misfit Designers”. They decide to call themselves Emerald Syx, which sounds like a slutty girl-band/opening act for Prince during the 1980’s.
Isaac Mizrahi makes an appearance to consult with each team, and does his best Tim Gunn imitation. Isaac actually gives good advice and avoids being the Mean Girl he was last season. But he does mention that he’s “terrified” by the tension on Team Calvin. “They will hate my face!”, Calvin blurts out. Honey, they already hate your face … and your fingers, your knees, your earlobes, etc …
The Fashiontestants go to NotMood and shop for fabric, and then head back to NotAtlasAparments and check out their living space. It is here that we find out that cute-but-drug-addled David (below) is “straight” (despite his outfit in this picture).
When asked how old he is by one of The Gays, David suggestively answers “30 … with a 33 inch … … waist” and then flashes his adorable smile. DANGER!! IN THE NAME OF JUDY GARLAND, THE GAY BOYS MUST EVACUATE!!! David is one of THOSE straight guys … one who isn’t afraid of batting an eyelid (or taking off his shirt) when he wants/needs something from The Gays. This syndrome is also known as “Every guy I have ever fallen for”.
The next day in the workroom, the designers begin to work on their designs. Front Row Mike is attempting to do an African tribal motif as a tribute to Iman’s heritage, but then he mentions something about a noose-like rope around the neckline. I just CAN’T.
The clock hits ‘three clock’ and Calvin starts fighting with his sewing machine. Imagine, me … Calvin Tran … working with SINGER. Calvin also mentions he designs his garments to be multi-functional – “skirt become a dress become a poncho become a Snuggie become a cleaning rag”. Oh here go HELL come.
We find out that Golnessa (stripper name: ‘Golnessa The Undressa’) and Cindy-From-Mexico are actually business partners. This, unsurprisingly, pisses Calvin off since it's after ‘three clock’.
Cesar seems to be finished already, and is walking around giving his team advice and helping out. Cesar is a wise Yoda, whereas Calvin is evil Darth Vader. However, Calvin does end up helping Francine, who can’t get herself together and mentions that it’s “not easy working under the gun like this”. I guess she thought the revamped Fashion Show would include 7-day challenges, as opposed to the traditional 1-2 days.
The next morning arrives, and the designers prepare for the
CATWALK. This includes Calvin doing upside-down calisthenics and aerobic
They proceed to the workspace and dress their models and take them to hair and makeup. “Three clock” hits again, and Calvin and Francine get into a huge shouting match about smoky eyes (or something). Best line? “You I accuse, Honey”. Wait, maybe Calvin is Yoda after all. “Begun, the Fashion War has …”
The audience and judges enter the auditorium. The judges include Iman!, Isaac, designer Rachel Roy, and Laura Brown from Harper’s Bazaar.
The House of
Vanity 6 Emerald Syx shows first, and all I can
think of is “Oh here go HELL come”. Tamara’s model can’t walk in her dress,
Jeffrey’s model forgot to open the jacket, and Francine’s model looked like she’s
wearing something from Sex and the City circa 1996. Furthermore, they have arranged for the models to be covered in sheets,
which are ripped off before they walk down the runway. The effect is more “Let’s
Make A Deal” than “The Devil Wears Prada”.
Next up is the House of Cute Papis Plus Two (AKA “Nami”). They use a white color palette, and their collection looks polished and fierce.
Iman and Isaac come backstage to speak to the designers and announce the winning team. The House of Cute Papis Plus Two is the winner! Isaac thinks they captured the spirit of the different sides of Iman – incredibly without using exclamation points. Furthermore, Cesar Galindo produced the overall winning look.
Next up, the House of Emerald Syx must face the judges - who didn’t think the collection was cohesive, and had some big problems with some of the individual pieces.
Laura Brown thought Francine’s outfit looked like it came from the "Prices Reduced As Marked" rack at Strawberry. Ouch. Tamara threw everything but the kitchen sink into her garment – making the model look fat AND preventing her from walking. And Calvin produced something with a jeweled neckline that even RuPaul’s girls wouldn’t wear. Not even Golnessa.
This set Calvin off into a gibberish rant directed smack dab at the judges. Something about “whatever wind blow dat way what vision want little screw them drape around …”.
Actually, I must apologize to Casanova. Casanova sounds like John (“They EARN it”) Houseman compared to Calvin.
Iman isn’t having it, calling Calvin’s garment CHEAP! and declaring it a FASHION EMERGENCY! in need of an EVACUATION! Apparently 'da bitch come out three clock' for Iman also.
Jeffrey, Cindy, Golnessa the Undressa and Tamara are safe – leaving Francine and Calvin. At that point, any veteran reality show watcher knows that Francine didn’t stand a chance – Calvin will stick around to yell at sewing machines and mangle the English language for at least another week.
And, as expected, a bitter Francine is sent back from whence she came. Oh here go (home) Hell come.
For my Episode #2 recap, click HERE.