Mixing Old Fashioneds
Project Runway 10/1 Recap: Déjà Vu
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It is that time of the season when all of the designers are really, really tired and really, really anxious. I’m just plain tired. Korto shares that she wants to win to inspire her daughter to learn that one can make one’s dreams come true at any age. It seems Leanne’s dream, or at least one of them, is for Kenley to be sent home because she is so rude to everyone. I’m still a bit ticked that Suede was eliminated last week over Kenley, so when she started laying the blame for her ridiculous non-hip-hop outfit on Leanne’s alleged bad modeling sabotage, I just wanted to reach in my television and smack the smug out of her. But Jerell lightened the mood with his little “doll” show scene. He has a Tim bobble head, one orange with a Joe face drawn on, another orange with a Suede face drawn on, and what appeared to be a bottle of pancake syrup. With this little group of “dolls”, he entertained himself with a four-person conversation, complete with third-person Suede dialog. Clearly he needs to just move in with the ladies so he doesn’t go barking mad. Before he leaves for Parsons, he calls out to the oranges, “Don’t rot on the counter!” I swear, without Jerell around, there would be no levity at all in these last few episodes.
We’ve all seen this before: Korto keeps her model, Suede’s is eliminated, and Heidi sends them to go on a fieldtrip with Tim. The five of them ride in a van and bad kid Kenley has to sit next to the teacher, Tim, but they don’t look at each other on the ride to whatever mysterious locale that awaits them. Finally, they pull up at the New York City Botanical Gardens. They meet up with Collier Strong who tells them they’ll be making an evening gown inspired by the flowers. Somehow the L’Oreal makeup will be incorporated into the show, but that happens every week and isn’t really news either.
The designers are given cameras and an hour to snap shots of pretty flowers for their inspiration. Everyone but Korto finds inspiration in some kind of purple shaded flower, while she finds inspiration in a pretty orange/yellow flower thing. Look, I’m not a botanist—“flower” is as close a description your gonna get from me. There are bees everywhere and it kind of freaks me out because I have an unhealthy fear of being stung. I’d have been out of there in 15 minute, at most.
Back at Parsons, they get thirty minutes to pick their inspiration photo and then it’s off to Mood to spend $250 in the usual half-hour. Kenley buys some hideous purple print that has scales on it because her inspiration photo is of some purple, wide-leaf plant. Jerell nearly buys some garish gold sequin fabric but Tim’s questioning changes his mind. Leanne gets purples and blues, and Kenley makes a fuss about finding tulle but then leaves it behind at Mood. Rut-row, Scooby, looks like she’s in for trouble!
Such a tulle.
The designers have until midnight to work and the entire next day. Korto feels the pressure and apparently took leave of her senses because she purchases some lacy fabric with beads on it. She admits she has no clue what she’s doing and breaks out in some kind of singing to herself, a la Ophelia. Jerell and Leanne also have trouble getting started. Jerell is just waiting for inspiration to hit by looking at his fabrics; he knows he’ll make sure the flower inspiration comes out in the final product. Leanne is doing something—shock!—with a pleating detail but wants it to “organic”. By this point, Kenley has come to the realization that she doesn’t actually have the tulle she so desperately searched for and she needs it to make the skirt poof out at the bottom. She substitutes drafting paper, while piles of tulle sit unused on Jerell’s and Korto’s worktables. They’re not giving up the tulle because Kenley is such a bitch to them, and I can’t say I blame them.
The second day of construction dawns and Kenley still bummed at not having the tulle; she’s angry at herself but Jerell is no help because he won’t give up his tulle. Tim arrives in the workroom and tells Kenley that since the tulle is on her receipt, they’ll let her go back to Mood to pick it up. Before she can go, he sends in the models for an early fitting.
Korto worries that she is behind because spent too much time working out the concept. Leanne says she just wants to make it to Bryant Park. Jerell, as always, finds time to snark on Kenley’s dress, saying the bottom “leaf” things look like dragon scales and won’t win any favor with the judges. Moving along quickly, Tim brings in Collier to set up makeup consultations. Kenley’s model will have romantic smoky eyes, Leanne’s will have delicate eye makeup, Jerell’s will have green on the eyes and purple lips and Korto’s will have bright eyes. Apparently makeup decisions are all about eye makeup.
Kenley bellyaches that she left out from the other three’s conversation. She says that has been the situation her whole life; apparently she spent a lot of time on the tugboat with her dad so she’s used to being alone, loud, and abrasive. Tim then tells Kenley that she can go to Mood to retrieve her tulle; there’s still no sighting of the cute Mood dog on her little trip—these Magical Elves are seriously missing out on the cute dog factor here.
After Kenley gets back, Tim pops in for his progress check. He’s bothered by Korto’s over-use of the lace/bead fabric—the front looks good but the back is a bit “Catherine the Great”. She says she is going to scale down the lace and really feels that the pressure is on her. Kenley tells Tim that she loves her dress and will use tulle to bring out scales/leaves at the bottom of the long column skirt out. Tim has a problem with the way the scales kind of just start randomly somewhere below the knee-line. Tim responds positively to the layers of Jerell’s dress but says there is a lot of work to make it all mesh. Jerell has a lot of trim and colors going on, as per usual. Leanne admits to Tim that she still has a lot to do. Tim agrees; the top is great but he’s seeing “Hello Dolly” at the bottom in the skirt. Before he leaves, Tim says that he is proud of all four of the finalists, encourages them to work and promises to see them the next day.
Cry, cry again.
Leanne feels the pressure and cries in her interview; she’s wanted to show at fashion week since she was 12. Jerell also tears up in his interview; he’s worked so hard and this is the biggest moment of his life. Korto cries too in her interview; she is just super-stressed. Good lord, get me a hanky.
At least we’re nearly to the runway show; it’s the morning of the show and they all run to the workroom to finish up the garments. Tim comes in and sentimentally says that this is their last runway show of the season and it is time again for hair and makeup. It’s the usual mad-dash to finish up the designs and time for some trash-talking. This time Kenley offers her opinions of her competitors: she doesn’t like Korto, Jerell just throws a bunch of stuff on a design and expects to get glamour, and Leanne only does pleated looks in muted colors. According to her, this has all been done before, of course, unlike her 50’s looks that have never been done by anyone…except in the 1950s and then in the 1980s when the looks had their first really big renaissance.
You have got to be kidding me a/k/a where the judges lose their cojones.
On the runway, Heidi warns that only three of the remaining four designers will compete at Fashion Week. She introduces the judge, who are (of course) Michael and Nina and the guest judge is Georgina Chapman, a co-founder and designer of Marchesa
Korto sends down a deep-V’d halter top gown with a very low back; it is in shades of light orange and has the beaded/lacey fabric as a detail on the back.
Leanne’s gown is in various shades of lavender; it has a pleating detail in soft ruffles that fall across the front and then down both sides of the hips. The back is a kind of bustle with a train and she’s inexplicably inserted some blue fabric on the butt of the dress that just hangs there sadly.
Jerell shows a strapless gown that sits very, very low on the model’s chest. It has a flower detail across the bust line and the long skirt is made of layers of fabric that kind of stick out in a sculptural way. Either that, or the fabric is just really stiff.
Kenley’s gown is last; it is basically a column dress made of a purple small “scale” print. It is sleeveless but comes up high at the neck and the bottom of the skirt has these big leaf/scale details sewn on; they look like giant fish scales and not at all like Marion Cotillard’s dress at the Oscars.
The judging then commences. Leanne says a lavender plant inspired her design and she wanted to recreate the look with the soft structure. Georgina says she liked softness juxtaposed with the structure of the garment. Nina likes the front of the dress but the back bustle with the odd blue fabric was just off. Korto says she wanted to go simple and loved the colors of the flower. Michael thought it was made beautifully and the shape was flattering, but it was not sophisticated. Heidi agrees that it wasn’t fashion-forward and Georgina questions the fabric choices. Nina thinks Korto overworked the design in an effort to impress the judges.
Jerell says he was inspired by a cluster of roses with plum and purple colors. Heidi just wants to pull up the dress in the front. Nina thinks it is messy (the hems are a mess) but at least it looks youthful. Michael thinks the dress is elegant but worries that he does the same thing every challenge. Kenley says she wanted to do something that wasn’t a typical gown. Georgina says the look isn’t very organic and Nina says it looks like a reptile, not a plant. She adds that the look was not young, hip, or cool. Kenley defends that she wanted to stay away from a clichéd look. Heidi doesn’t think the dress is elegant, which inspires Kenley to whine that it was not supposed to be elegant. The judges finally call her out on her attitude—Michael questions whether she really gives a damn, but points out that she’s been kept around because they are fans of hers and just wants her to be fabulous.
Before the deliberation segment, Heidi asks each one of them why they should move forward and who should move forward with them. In other words, they ask who should get the boot tonight and that inspires even more crying. Jerell says it is his dream to show at Bryant Park and he’s shown his point of view consistently. He says that Korto and Leanne should move on because Kenley has only done 1950’s stuff. Kenley tries to jump in but Jerell shuts her down and tells her she’ll get her turn to talk.
Leanne says she should show at Fashion Week because she won’t be boring; she adds that Jerell and Korto should show as well because they are on the same level as she is and Kenley only shows the same shapes.
Korto says she should show because she is the oldest contestant, married, and has a child, but she still has a dream and the judges will get to see who she really is at Fashion Week. Someone cue the violins, please. She adds that Leanne and Jerell should also show, not just because what they do, but also because who they are as people. In other words, Kenley is just a loud bitch that needs to go home.
Finally, Kenley says that she will do a great job so she should show at Fashion Week. She says that she’s always fought her way through life and, if that’s a problem, so be it. She probably wanted to say no one should show with her at Fashion Week, but she says that Leanne and Jerell should be there because Korto doesn’t really put on a show.
The designers are dismissed to the waiting room where Kenley sits alone and the other three sit on the couch. Korto calls Kenley out for trashing her on the runway and there’s some drama but then we’re treated to the judge’s thoughts on the evening’s show. Michael says this was not their best moment and Heidi concurs that they were all scared. Overall, there were construction problems and taste level issues. They like the softer Leanne, but Michael finds no joy in the rouching. Jerell is intriguing in his designs but lacks polish in his final product. Korto’s design tonight was a bit too much “beauty pageant” but she can craft a garment beautifully and isn’t afraid of color. Kenley has a talent at mixing fabric and doing flirty 50s garments well, but she did not display the requisite level of taste in this challenge. Plus, Kenley’s attitude is rude and defensive, making her likely to stab a buyer. The judges say that the final four are all very distinct with their point of views and differing perspectives is what is necessary at Fashion Week.
The designers are summoned back to the runway and Heidi says that this is the closest runway show they’ve ever had to judge. She is positive that only three will compete at Bryant Park, but is cryptic nonetheless. She says that Jerell and Leanne had the highest scores and Korto and Kenley had the lowest. Jerell is named the winner, but before anyone can count any chickens, Heidi then says that they couldn’t decide on a loser. So, the final four are sent off to create collections and when they come back, the judges will decide who will be in the final competition. Everyone is on the line, including Jerell. Oh, come ON! Grow a pair and kick Kenley off! There is no reason to confect this sad drama! We’re gonna watch anyway! This stinks of last season's finale and I'm tired of it.
After the show, Tim tries to get a group hug out of the final four, but Kenley won’t participate. She just wants to beat the other three into the ground.
Tune in next week when Tim does the hometown visits. We’re promised shots of Tim riding a tandem bike with Leanne!
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