Mixing Old Fashioneds
Project Runway Recap: 8/23 Episode 307: Mommie Dearest
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Tonight I went to see Snakes on a Plane. I’m fairly certain that is apropos of absolutely nothing about tonight’s episode of Project Runway, but I felt like sharing. Oh, wait, they do share something in common: like the unrelenting snake biting, there are some people who just don’t know when to keep their mouths shut. *cough*Jeffrey*cough*
Real Women Have Curves
On the morning after Alison’s aufing, Jeffrey is upset because his BFF on the show is gone, and he really thinks Angela should have been booted out. Personally, I’m glad at least one of the “A” named people is gone, because I always have to double-check my typing to make sure I didn’t use the wrong name, like Tim Gunn did in one of his podcasts a few weeks ago. Michael is appropriately happy that he’s won two challenges in a row, and he has immunity for this next challenge.
The designers are seated around the runway and Heidi comes out to do the model presentation and inform them of their next challenge. She says that they are going to be designing for the everyday woman, and the models come out. These are not the usual models in any shape or form. As the group of women come out, it becomes apparent that the women are the mothers, or, in some instances, the sisters, of the designers. The designers get choked up at the sight of their loved ones, which is either a comment on how much they love their moms/sisters or how much sleep deprivation and stress they are under. Heidi lets the new models introduce themselves then tells the designers they have to pick a model, and they can’t pick their relative. She gets out the velvet bag, and pulls out designers’ names. But Michael gets to go first because he won the last challenge.
Michael picks Teresa, Robert’s sister who flew in from England for the show. Laura picks Pam, Jeffrey’s mother, who looks much more conservative than you’d expect from a guy who has more tats than the average bear. Vincent picks Heidi, Uli’s mother (not Klum); this Heidi speaks very little English, which probably makes it easier for her to put up with Vincent. Angela picks Lorraine, Laura’s mother, who looks a lot like Laura but also looks a whole lot like Anne Meara. Kayne picks Pamela, Michael’s mom; he later tells us that he picked her because she had on the brightest colors and rhinestones on her shoes, so he knew they’d get along. Uli picks Judy, Kayne’s mother; later on she tells us that she is going to walk like a model down the runway, and embarrass her son. Robert picks Patricia, Vincent’s sister; Patricia doesn’t get much screen time, which leads me to conclude she’s not nearly as insane as Vincent comes across. Finally, Darlene, Angela’s mother, is the last mom left, and Jeffrey is the last designer to get a pick, so he gets Darlene, and concludes to the camera that he ended up with Angela’s mother because “God got drunk today.” Hmmm….I don’t think it’s necessarily cosmic powers at play, unless, of course, Harvey & Bob are your gods.
Mimosas and Memories
The mom models and designers go into the workroom to hear more details from Tim, but he whisks them off to a “event” that is hosted by the guest judge for this challenge. Everyone leaves Parsons and walks (what, was there a cab strike?!?!) to Tavern on the Green, where they are greeted by Gomez Addams-cum-Sonny Crocket himself, Michael Kors. He’s there with an older blonde lady, who turns out to be Joan Kors, his mom. Joan is the guest judge, and, if you didn’t actually see this show, just imagine Michael Kors with longer hair, a bit softer features, and in black trousers instead of jeans, and you’ve got his mother.
Everyone is enjoying themselves, eating brunch, sipping mimosas and the mothers have brought photos to share. Kayne’s mother passes around his pictures from childhood, and we learn Kayne was seriously overweight as a child and teenager. He tells us he lost 110 pounds and was at one point over 300 pounds. Michael’s mom shows a cute picture of Michael at about six, but that’s not the fun part—it’s just cute little kid. What was truly great was the picture of punk rocker Jeffrey in high school with the frosted hair and braces. Dude, that is so NOT punk rock. But it was the 80s, so I can’t laugh too hard. I’m know there’s a picture of me, circa 1987, with too blonde hair from Sun-In, floating around.
Laura and her mom, Lorraine are at the table with Michael Kors and his mother. Kors comments that, as an only child, he accompanied his mom on her shopping trips, and then tells his mother that Laura is the mother of five children. She says, “Five, working on six.” At which, it looked like we may need to pick Lorraine up off the floor. Laura explains she didn’t find out she was pregnant until she was on the show and she couldn’t tell anyone, including her husband. Her mom is quite shocked, but says Laura has always been full of surprises.
Vinnie’s Moment of Clarity
After brunch and back at Parsons, Tim tells the designers that they have to come up with designs that fit the lifestyle of their clients, are fashion forward, and yet are reflections of each designer. They have thirty minutes to sketch and one day to construct.
Robert expresses concern to the camera that most everyone won’t be able to use the dress form to make the outfits and they will have to work with the individual. This is true: Judy, Darlene, Patricia, and Pamela are all plus-sized women. While svelter, Heidi (Uli’s mom), Lorraine, and Pam are older women with older women’s figures. Teresa, Robert’s sister, appears to be the youngest and most fit of the women, but she is not a size 2 either, but a healthy, sporty looking person. Robert is also concerned that Patricia’s favorite colors are red and black, which are just boring and he needs to get as far away from boring as possible.
Lorraine tries to get Angela to do “casual elegance,” like Audrey Hepburn. Lorraine also says she wants Laura to win, but won’t do anything to “hinder” Angela, which sounds like she won’t do anything to help Angela either.
Vincent seems simpatico with Uli’s Heidi, even though they don’t really speak the same language. He is making a tailored black dress with a wide open, tan collar. Laura finds out that Pam is just back from a cruise, so she goes with a sailor motif. Jeffrey finds out from Darlene she likes deep colors like deep purple and green; she asks for a striking jacket but he shoots her jacket idea down based on time constraints.
The designers go to Mood to buy their fabrics, which is pretty much the same scene we see every week. Laura comments that the challenge has really stumped some designers, especially those who have larger women. Vincent, suddenly sage, says that these models don’t have the perfect 25 inch waist, but if you’re a good designer you can compensate and deliver to real women, because they are the ones who are going to buy your clothes. Vincent, your lucidity shocks and amazes.
Jeffrey’s Persecution Complex
The hours tick by, and Tim comes in with the models for an early preview. Uli’s client, Judy, likes what she sees; Vincent proclaims that he is comfortable in spirit with his client, Heidi; and Angela’s client, Lorraine, is not pleased with some of the color fabric she has chosen.
Jeffrey’s client, Darlene, talks to Tim, while Jeffrey is away. Tim asks her what she thinks of the long dress Jeffrey is designing, and she says she is not fond of the colors—a navy blue and a periwinkle. She says she never wears blue; I wonder if she too was scarred for life by a navy blue Catholic school uniform. If so, we should start a therapy group. Jeffrey walks up and Tim tells him that his client isn’t happy with the color choice. Jeffrey defends himself saying that she told him that she liked dark purple and dark green and he got the purple, but the green didn’t go. That is true, unless, of course, you are on a Mardi Gras float, but this isn’t Mardi Gras. After Tim leaves, Jeffrey says that he’s making what he’s making and he hope she likes it or the judges like it. He tells the camera later that he is convinced he’s being set up. Darlene is incensed at his tone, and wants to know why he’s treating her so crappily. He says, “Maybe people find other things about you that are beautiful that you don’t find in yourself. How does that sound?” A bit incoherent, if you ask me. Darlene says she knows what works for her.
Darlene later on sits with Angela and they are both upset and teary. Angela tries to tell her mother that Jeffrey acts this way all the time, and to not take it personally. I’m convinced Jeffrey just wanted to piss off Angela to throw her off her game. In the workroom, Vincent tells Jeffrey he needs to be nicer to Darlene, but Jeffrey isn’t having it. Back on the couch with Darlene and Angela, Jeffrey’s mother tries to smooth things over a bit with Darlene, and says Jeffrey has always been temperamental about his work I’m not buying the “delicate artiste” excuse. She also tells the camera interview that she is proud of Jeffrey for what he’s accomplished now that he’s off the liquor and heroin. While it’s wonderful to beat your addiction demons, doing so is no excuse to be rude to a woman you’ve known less than 4 hours. I must disclose that I probably have a personal bias, because Darlene reminds me very strongly of a lady I used to work for & with, who is nothing but the sweetest person on the planet. If anyone treated her like Jeffrey treated Darlene, they’d end up sleeping with the fishes, see.
Friends don’t let friends wear ponchos.
With only two hours left until the deadline, everyone works furiously to finish their garments. Angela is put out by Jeffrey’s behavior. Meanwhile, Jeffrey says that Angela’s mother Darlene went out of her way to embarrass him. He also says that he felt he did better than he thought, as his objective was not to cut a whole in a piece of chiffon and call it a poncho. At that point, we cut to Robert who seems to have done just that, by making some really bright orangey-red poncho thing. He says it lacks the detail he wanted because of the time constraints, but it is what Vincent’s sister wanted.
Finally, the day is over and everyone goes home for some much-needed sleep. Uli decides it is time for wine, and I must agree with her. Laura says it’s time for bed, and Uli teases her that she needs to go to bed because she’s pregnant. Laura is sick of hearing about her being pregnant, after all, five, six or seven kids doesn’t make any difference: just throw the kid on the pile with the rest of them … (and bring me another lover! [/Patsy Stone’s mother].)
On the morning of the runway show, Tim sends in the models and gives everyone an hour and a half to fit the outfits and get the makeup and hair done, and he practically begs the designers to use the Macy’s wall o’accessories. Everyone is sent down to hair & makeup and gets fabulized for the runway show. In the workroom, Darlene takes Jeffrey’s outfit behind a screen to put on, and Angela goes with her to help. We hear Angela telling her mother that she should be honest with the judges and tell them if she thinks the outfit is bad. Jeffrey, with a plastered-on smile, finishes fitting Darlene, despite there being proof of a nefarious plan afoot by Angela & Co.
Proof that it takes no special talent to walk down a runway beyond regular walking skills…
The runway show has arrived. Out comes Heidi Klum in a piece of see-through silk chiffon with a hole cut in it and a belt added to pass for a dress. The judges are, as ever, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, and the special guest judge of Joan Kors. As they come down the runway, we see:
Laura sends Pam, Jeffrey’s mom, down in a high-waisted, fitted blue skirt with button detailing, a open, wide collared shirt, and a long scarf around her neck.
Uli dresses Judy, Kayne’s mom, in beige wide leg pants, a purple top, and a printed, sheer top with long flowing sleeves over the purple top.
Vincent made a belted, fitted black dress with a wide open collar in beige for Heidi, Uli’s mom.
Kayne dresses Pamela, Michael’s mother in tan Capri pants, a coral long sleeved shirt, and a floaty print overlay also in coral over the top.
Angela made a black V-neck blouse and a black skirt with fringe on it for Lorraine, Laura’s mother. Lorraine is inexplicably carrying a large purple, quilted bag.
Robert sends Patricia, Vincent’s sister, down the runway in a basic black tank dress with a bright red open jacket with a scarf neckline. For as vehement and passionate Vincent it, the direct opposite of his sister is true. The lady hasn’t cracked a smile the entire time and looks rather pissed off as she walks down the runway.
Michael has Teresa, Robert’s sister, in a black shirt dress. The collar, upturned cuffs and belt are all of a black-on-white print.
And finally Jeffrey sends down Darlene, Angela’s mother, in a long navy dress with a scoop neck out of the top of which is the periwinkle collar to a shirt that may be under the dress. The faux shirt has giant blue buttons on it. The outfit also has a long, open vest that goes with it.
Heidi Klum brings all the designers on the stage and tells them that they are all going to be questioned, but just in groups. The first group has them asking Michael, Kayne, Vincent, Uli, and Robert about their design inspiration.
Wonder if Dirty Diana ever learned what a Stevie Nick was....
Michael explains that his shirt dress was inspired by Teresa being a busy business woman in London. He points out that the dress is fully reversible, the black and white print being the flipside to the all black dress. Heidi says that knowing the dress is fully reversible totally makes it for her. Michael Kors thought the belt was kind of matronly, but the shirt dress was a good idea, and loves the reversibility.
Uli says that Kayne’s mom is energetic and likes lots of colors, so she used her favorite colors and the bold, yet floaty, print on the top and a vertical stripe print down the center of the floaty topper to elongate the line. Kors says it drapes well, which is key for plus-sized fashion, and Nina comments that the outfit is perfect for her client but also shows Uli’s personality.
Turning to Kayne and his coral top, scarf, and tan Capris, Nina finds the top and scarf and coral necklace to matchy-matchy. Kors says Michael’s mom should be showing more skin; I don’t think he means in a hootchie way, but that the neckline was awfully high. And on a short, round lady with a short neck, you should have a deeper neckline than what he had.
Heidi Klum next speaks to Heidi, Uli’s mother, in German and asks her if she liked Vincent’s dress. Apparently Uli’s mom did, but the extent of my foreign language knowledge begins with some Latin I remember from high school and ends with some Spanish I’ve picked up here and there, so I haven’t a clue what she said. Mama Kors likes the dress, finding it flattering for a mature woman. Michael Kors says the design is chic and flattering, and Nina Garcia complements Vincent with a “Great job.” Vincent looks at her skeptically, and I can’t say I blame him.
Robert says that Patricia’s favorite colors are black and red, that’s why he made the outfit the way he did. Nina finds the tank dress to be an easy way out. Michael Kors thinks the dress is a great basic, but it doesn’t show any personality. Heidi thinks that while his client may have liked the simple style, he, as a designer, should have known better and pushed the design a bit.
The first group goes away, and out come Angela, Laura, and Jeffrey with their models. Angela explains she was going for a “casual elegance” for Lorraine, again citing Audrey Hepburn. I believe at this point Ms. Hepburn is somewhere covering her ears signing “lalalalalalala” until the invocation of her name ceases. Nina says that the design is too young—probably all that damn fringe on the skirt. Mama Kors says she doesn’t see Audrey Hepburn at all. Michael Kors says there is no neatness or crispness and just looks like Stevie Nicks in black.
Laura, herself sporting a rather Frederick’s of Hollywood dress—a fitted, body conscious black lace dress that has one of those flesh-toned backing layers so it looks like it is just lace—explains that Pam, Jeffrey’s mother, travels a lot so she wanted to use a sailor motif. Heidi sees that the designs are well-constructed but points out that the skirt is too high waisted and the too-short shirt makes Pam look too short on top. Pam said she would wear the outfit to a dinner on a cruise. Michael Kors says the buttons on the skirt and the wide sailor collar and the long scarf end up making Pam look older. I think she looks like a airline stewardess more than Robert’s look from a few weeks ago.
Finally, Jeffrey is asked about his long dress for Darlene. He said that she wanted to be covered and comfortable; he also noticed that she wore layers the two times they met, so he used layering. Heidi asks Darlene how she liked the dress and she says that she and Jeffrey are quite different and that a lot got lost in the translation. Then she says she thinks the outfit is matronly, and wouldn’t give it a second glance at a high-end department store. Michael Kors finds the tension in the client-designer relationship came out in the end product. Heidi says she doesn’t love it, but at least the design expresses Jeffrey’s point of view. When asked her opinion, Angela says she doesn’t think the outfit is attractive and is embarrassing.
You’ve got to be kidding me....
The judges dismiss the second group and deliberate. They love Uli’s use of prints. Michael Kors again goes on about how great it is that Michael Knight thinks about the design. Kors says this every week and the more I hear it, the more I start to be annoyed with him...it’s almost like he doesn’t expect Michael to think about the design and is surprised he did, for whatever reason, maybe based on his youth or non-NYC-based experience. They also love Vincent’s dress, saying he made Uli’s mother look sophisticated and chic in a well-fitted, age appropriate look.
The judges hated Angela’s outfit, saying it was all wrong for her client. They thought Kayne’s outfit made his client look older than she was, and should have had a narrower, longer pant. They found Robert’s to have no design and be boring. Laura’s lacked glamour but was perfectly tailored. As for Jeffrey, Michael Kors summed it up best when he said it was Comme des Garcons goes to Amish country.
The designers are called back out onto the runway. Michael is in, because he had immunity, and he was in no danger of losing anyway. Laura is in as well. Then Heidi announces the winner: Vincent. Yeah, it was a nice dress, but it wasn’t that original. I guess they were just amazed he could make a dress that didn’t encompass a trashcan hat or three-D art. Uli, my favorite, is in, as was Kayne and Angela.
The last two on stage are Jeffrey and Robert. Heidi tells Jeffrey that he got mixed messages from his client, and ended up doing the design his way, but his way was a failure in that neither the client nor the judges liked the design. She then tells Robert that he has bored the judges more than once before, and this time is no exception. His design was neither fashion forward nor expressed his point of view, so Robert is out.
After the runway show, Robert says goodbye to everyone, and goes to pack. He says he is happy with his experience on the show and he’s found out what his limits are. Meanwhile, Lil’ Jeffy cries to his mommy that he didn’t win. For a guy who made fun of Darlene for getting teary after being talked to like she was trash—by him, no less—the sight of him crying to his mother did not evoke pity so much as rage. Where’s one of those snakes from that plane when you need one?
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