So. I love Project Runway, I really, REALLY do. But this episode - wasn't it kind of a yawn-fest? I'm thinking back on past seasons of the ProRun, and I'm having a hard time remembering even one episode that bored me quite as thoroughly. Don't get me wrong, I'll take the 0.5 seconds of Tim Gunn and his catchy, appropriate words of wisdom over just about anything else on television. But still. They better kick it up a notch next week, is all I'm sayin'.
Perhaps the problem lies in the (non-challenging) challenge, which is to create a cocktail dress (oh goodness, not a short, sassy dress! Who amongst the designers could possibly pull this off? Oh that's right, EVERYONE) for...(maybe this will be the toughie) THEIR MODELS. Yeah, so did you get that? The designers have to create the easiest, most iconic type of dress for their 6ft, 110lb models. Boy howdy, this one's gonna be a doozy!
To be fair, the ACTUAL challenge is that the designers have to exclusively use green (as in environmentally friendly, not the lovely color - not a green hue in sight, actually!) materials. And the models, rather than the designers, get to go to Mood Fabrics and pick all the fabric.
Prior to the challenge announcement, Heidi and all the designers and models meet out on the runway where the designers do their model selections. Most everyone sticks with who they worked with the first week, except for Jennifer (quick, Jennifer, do something memorable, no one knows who you are!) who takes Jarrel's model. He seems annoyed in that special way you might get on TV when you've only worked with a model once and you don't actually care. At all. Anyway, the only reason to recap this bit is because Heidi is wearing either the skinniest pair of black jeans I've ever seen or a pair of black leggings, paired with a black, shiny, tunic top with short, raglan sleeves. She's all black and shiny! Also, her hair is down but pulled back on either side with the iconic LC braid (see: The Hills). However! Heidi has outdone LC with her own signature braid by making it TWO braids and also by being 100x hotter. AND, lest we all forget, BY BEING NAMED HEIDI. Ooh, it's a double Hills reference and we've just gotten started!
So the designers all have their models, the Non-Challenge has been issued, and the models run off to Mood, their lithe, long limbs striding purposefully ahead. The designers are left back at Parson's in the design room, weakly shouting out last minute instructions to their model shoppers: "Don't get anything too...shiny!" "And for goodness sake, don't forget CLOSURES!" Right. The models look confused, but they don't seem to be sweating it. There's a lot of talk about green fabric, where's the green section, ooh look, peacock feathers! After about 15 minutes, the models get bored and a whole bunch of them grab the same fabric so they can be done with it. Models, do you not remember? This is a competition for you too!
Back at Parson's, the designers look nervous and, to stave off their anxiety, make snippy remarks about the models. Jarrel informs us that he'll be happy if his model can avoid bringing back "remnants of nonsense", but his very tone implies that he believes he'll be presented with exactly that. Aging Rocker Stella (who is in rare form this episode) spews a bunch of hard-to-follow prose about her model - I rewind and the interpretation is that she thinks her model is dumb, and therefore will be unable to perform the shopping task at hand. Your model thanks you, Stella. Now go brush your hair. No, seriously.
The models come back from Mood and Tim gives them 30 minutes to consult with the designers. Kenley is unhappy with her model's choice of jersey fabric, proclaiming jersey good enough, MAYBE, for a t-shirt. Not a cocktail dress. Luckily, Kenley's mis-represented model has brought back several other fabrics, a fact that Kenley convienently ignores. Keith says nothing his model brought back matches at all, and wonders aloud what he's supposed to do with all the peacock feathers. Jarrel says his model did "real good". Wesley! We have never heard from him, ever! He doesn't like what his model brought, or something. I was too busy being surprised that he got interviewed at all.
Suede informs the camera that "Suede will be doing a swirl, but still wants some Suede in it". He's still, obviously, got his 3rd person thing going on. Also, a "swirl" reminds me of exactly two things: a chocolate and vanilla frozen yogurt, and a dipping of one's head into a flushing toilet. I sincerely hope Suede's interpretation is more along the yogurt lines. But with Suede, only Suede knows. SUEDE! Ugh.
Stella announces that she's confused. You see, Stella does urban, tough, gritty. She's not about the organic, beachy, flowy thing at all. She's unpracticed, you see? SHE HAS NO STRATEGY. Stella, are you melting again? Already?
Googley-eyed Blayne, the tanorexic weirdo (see: Tango) stands up from his work and proclaims that he has to prove himself to Darth Vader. I start to panic, wondering if Blayne has lost whatever slight grasp of reality he was holding, but then he explains that Heidi IS Darth Vader. Actually, he says, she's Darthlicious! When asked why (YES, BLAYNE, WHY???) he says it's because on the outside Heidi is all dark and shiny, but on the inside she's CRAAAAZY. Oh, okay then. The designers working around Blayne back away, slowly.
Wesley! He's actually really cute. He looks kind of like a vintage model, or maybe a non-offensively nude Calvin Klein model. His face looks like it should be photographed in black and white and plastered on billboards all over Times Square. Oh, and yes, he's working on something, but I wasn't really paying attention. It's brown and shiny, which is never a good combo if you ask me.
Kenley is working away and has her plaid button-down shirt tied at the waist. Kenley, there are very few people who can pull off this look, and when Daisy Duke is amongst the few, you should probably scrap the idea altogether. Just an fyi! I'm here to help.
Kelli, my love, comes over to see what Aging Rocker Stella is up to. Kelli glances at the blue mass of nonsense Stella's got going and says "wow, you're Drapey Draperson!" Stella looks like she's been stung and snaps back that NO, she is NOT. She doesn't even KNOW how to drape! She HATES draping! Gosh Kelli, how dare you issue such a compliment? Kelli backs away slowly.
Leeann makes fun of Suede talking in the 3rd person. Nice going, Leeann; although it's a painfully obvious joke, at least I kind of remember who you are now. As predicted, at least three of the designers are working with the same fabric, and unfortunately it's that brown, shiny mess. Maybe next time send the models out for shopping with more than coffee and cigarettes in their system.
With three hours left in the workday (the designers have until midnight) Tim comes in for some helpful consultation. He starts with Kenley, who is working on a champagne, shiny dress with a black, cut down belt that she's going to hand sew. Tim likes it. Kenley ties her shirt up just a bit more. Wait, Kenley, didn't we just talk about that?
Tim goes to Korto next, who is working on some mustard yellow compilation. Tim says that all her darts look nicely formed and should be invisible once she finishes and turns her dress right-side out. Korto looks uncomfortable and explains that her dress is ALREADY right-side out. Tim says "ohhhhh....hmmmm!" Don't know if you caught that, Korto, but THAT'S NOT GOOD.
Suede is working on something that looks like Spiderman, if Spiderman caught a nasty case of the herp. There are all these strips of fabric, and Suede says Suede needs to cut out about a million MORE strips. Tim says he's excited about it, and Suede says that Suede has at least two more skirts to make for the same dress but that although Suede is concerned about time, Suede will figure out how to get it done. SUEDE!
Cute Wesley is next, in his cute vest and white t-shirt, and Tim says to be careful because under those harsh runway lights, every mistake will show. Wesley, in response, looks cute. Tim tells Leeann, who is another designer working with the gross Brown/Shiny, to have an editing eye. Which, to anyone who has ever watched ProRun before, clearly means STOP ADDING CRAP TO THE DRESS. Leeann, however, thinks that it means "I'll do whatever I want because I have so many ideas and yay!"
Tim tells the designers that the winner of this Non-Challenge won't get immunity, but will have their dress manufactured and sold by Bluefly.com. Also, there will be a very exciting, young Hollywood guest judge tomorrow, so MAKE IT WORK!
Now for perhaps my favorite part of this entire episode:
Apropos of nothing, Blayne starts making fun of Stella, who is, either by clever editing or her own ridiculous personality, talking about leather CONSTANTLY. "Everybawwdy," Stella shouts. "I don't dooo stuff like this! I wanna stick to my leatha! Grommet it, spike it, stud it, laser cut it - I wanna work with my LEAAATHA!" Blayne, as he sits at his sewing machine, starts talking in a impressively-accurate Stella-accent, saying that his husband is "leatha". His kids all came out "leatha". He LOVES his LEATHA! Stella says what do I care, Blayne, you look like you're 12 years old (which, Stella, come on. Really? This is the best you could come up with? Blayne's insane, has terrifying googley-eyes, has admitted to a severe case of tanorexia, thinks Heidi is Darthlicious, has a LC braid of his own in his highlighted, stringy hair, and your best comeback is that he looks 12 "ye-ah-s" old?). Blayne somehow manages to dodge the scathing 12-year old remark, and offers a hug to Stella, finishing the squeeze by calling her "old Leathaface". Ha! And victory is Blayne's, as he easily defeats Aging Rocker Stella with a one-two Leatha punch.
Back at Parson's, the designers run around chaotically trying to finish what they were supposed to have done the night before. Tim comes in and chides them about this very issue, saying that it's all a big mess and he doesn't understand why they're still not done. I am starting to wonder if Tim hates this season of designers. Suede says "DANDELION!" I have no idea why.
The models run off to hair and makeup, Daniel finally finishes his dress, Korto says she'll just be happy if she's safe, Suede says SUEDE ROCKED IT! Keith says Wesley's brown dress doesn't fit correctly. Apparently Keith and Wesley are NOT buddies. (ETA: Aha! And now we know why!)
Finally, the designers and models are all shoved out onto the runway and Heidi is there to meet them. Blayne is probably peeing in his pants because Heidi does, actually, look a little sci-fi in her uber-fitted, strapless black bodice and paneled black skirt. The bodice looks like it might be made of the same material as Batman's uniform. I wonder if you could throw one of those pointy bat-wings at her and it would just stick in the sweetheart neckline and she'd stand there, unscathed, and AUF you. Food for thought....
The guest judge is introduced and it's the adorable, fantastic Natalie Portman. I love me some Natalie Portman, and not just because she's pint-sized and precious - she's a smart one and she's always incredibly well-spoken. Today is no exception as she stands DIRECTLY NEXT to Heidi (that would make me lose my nerve right there) and greets the designers, saying that she is a huge fan of ProRun and an even bigger fan of environmentally friendly solutions. Natalie's wearing a strapless green (yay, at least someone besides me got the wear green for green idea) dress with an interesting basketweave detail on the skirt. She looks gorgeous, even right next to glamazon Heidi, in her Batsuit. I'm totally impressed.
Natalie takes her seat next to Michael Kors and Nina Garcia and the runway show begins. Here's a link to all the designs, so you can see for yourself what's what. My thoughts are as follows:
Keith - champagne, kind of poufy but well-done
Terri: navy, awesome. Awesome color, awesome fit, very boobalicious, back is super cool - Terri is pretty good, folks. She looks boring but then she churns out some pretty excellent stuff
Wesley - brown/shiny, oh, poor cute Wesley. This dress is atrocious
Jerrel - baby blue and champagne, ugh. Disjointed, strange, too short, and looks like a runner-up costume choice from Logan's Run
Jennifer - orange and grey flames look better on a monster truck
Daniel - black, kind of vintagey looking, fits well, skirt is kind of off, but otherwise it's nice
Joe - brown/shiny, boring cocktail dress with jeweled straps and some weird circle thing in the middle - looks like you could pick it up on clearance at Dillards
Suede - woven champagne and red strips and poufy, silky skirt with tulle underneath - looks kind of Betsey Johnson and actually turns out very cool
Kenley - champagne, classic shape, kind of boring, fits well and looks like she attached a clown collar at the end
My Sweet Kelli - very asymmetrical, baby blue and champagne, I'm trying to like it, but it's just...not great. Even Kelli looks unhappy
Leeann - brown/shiny, looks like a shirt dress got attacked by a bag of curly wood-shavings
Stella - champagne, asymmetrical, looks like prom from the 80's with one long sleeve and one sleeveless. Also has some corset-stitching up both sides that looks like it would normally be on LEATHA!
Blayne - mixed hot pink and black, has a big collar that goes off one shoulder, pretty normal
Emily - scandalously short in front, white strapless bodice trimmed with a ropey grey and black braid - actually it's really cute as long as you were on gynecological terms with everyone you wore it around
Korto - mustard yellow, looks like she built in saddlebags on either side. Yow
Heidi wants to see Kenley, Wesley, Stella, Korto, Suede and Leeann. Everyone else is safe. Wesley is wearing shorts again that are much shorter than what I would suggest for a...oh wait. Are those bright red CROCS on his feet? Please tell me no. I think they are, but even if they're not, they are as bright red as any offensive red thing you've ever seen. Wesley, NO.
Kenley is first and Nina likes the dress, saying it's streamlined and has a nice high collar (I think she meant to say a nice CLOWN collar, but you know, tomayto/tomahto). Michael Kors says it's chic, and Natalie says something nice that is drowned out by Kenley's incessant giggling that she is speaking with Natalie Portman OMG.
Wesley is next and no one seems to like it. Natalie tries to soften the blow by saying she likes the bowtie...thing....at the top, but Michael says satin has to look like no hands have touched it and this looks like 20 sets of hands have touched it. Nina says shiny, tight and short is the quickest way to look cheap. I agree. The dress is not good. Wesley, in his outrageously red Crocs, does rapid-blink as his creation is crucified.
Stella's turn and everyone seems to think it's alright. I'm confused as to why she is part of the Chosen Six, because no one is terribly impressed or annoyed by her dress. Nina says it's much improved, and Michael says he thinks the corset-stitching shows Stella's personality, but Heidi has no comment and Natalie doesn't care for asymmetrical 80's prom dresses. Well, she didn't add the "80's prom" part, but I know she was thinking it, probably.
Korto is up and although sweet Natalie again tries to throw out at least one compliment (she likes the line of the top) everyone else thinks that adding wings/saddlebags/fins onto the hip-portion of a dress is not a good idea. Michael tells Korto that believe him, even curvy girls don't want fins coming off their butt. I say we should take a poll: curvy girls, do you like fins coming off your butt? Project Runway always has the BEST thought-provoking questions!
It's time for Suede! Everyone loves it, Natalie says she'd love to wear it, Suede falls all over himself to tell Natalie he'd LOVE for her to wear it, Heidi says if she was 10 years younger she would wear it herself. Yeah, Heidi, I bet you really long for those days when your youthful figure could wear anything.
Leeann is last and sadly, no one, not even Nice Natalie, has anything good to say about her dress. In fact, Natalie comments that it looks just like Peter Pan without the hat, and Michael and Nina agree that it looks like five dresses in one and is all over the place.
Designers are sent off, the guest judges confer, and for the first time in Project Runway history (did you see that teaser) the judges have no funny, snarky commentary. It's all predictable and boring "right dress for the right girl" and "judgment is part of the design process". YAWN.
The Chosen Six are brought back out, I am blinded by Wesley's glowing-red Crocs, and the results are announced:
Winner: Suede! He goes offstage, looks at the camera, and says "Suede rocked it". SUEDE!
Loser: Wesley! He goes offstage and is accosted by a crying Leeann, who demands to be comforted even though Wesley is the one going home and she is, in fact, still a contestant. I hate it when people do that. I think I would not respond graciously, but Wesley, in his lava-red Crocs, handles it nicely. Go back to Marc Jacobs, Wesley, and prosper. And please, please, get rid of those shoes.