Mixing Old Fashioneds
Project Runway 8/11 Recap: High Fashion
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Here we are in Week Three of this season and we’ve already had a head-snapping change in opinion of one designer, a spirited (though respectful) debate on the merits of the last winner, and the use of pee pads in ways that in no way inspired me to use the pack I have left from house training my puppy. Although, I haven’t done laundry in a week…maybe that’s what I’ll wear tomorrow!
As if regular models aren’t tall enough.
On the morning of the next challenge, Josh M. wonders why Fallene is still there, since she apparently talks incessantly about her hair salon business. Fallene is glad the judges gave her a second shot but wonders if she’s too normal for the show. She just might be, unless she has a break-down really soon. Anthony wonders if he’ll finally get the first win after being in the top for the last two challenges. So many people wondering, let’s break out the Wonderbread.
At the Parson’s runway, Heidi comes out on stilts carrying the dreaded velvet bag. (I’m envious; she’s my age and can still wear heels, and no less stilts. I gave heels up in October due to vertigo issues and miss them terribly.) She tells them to think big, really big, and seven models on stilts walk down the runway. The designers start to freak out at the height and then freak out more knowing they are going to work in pairs. Heidi picks buttons from the bag creating the following pairings: Bert and Viktor, neither of whom are happy with the pairing; Anthony and Laura; Josh with Julie; Danielle with Cecilia; Anya with Olivier; Kimberly with Becky; and Bryce and Fallene, which seems almost planned since they both showed so poorly last challenge. Heidi further informs the designers that the show will take place outside with press.
All you need is
Anya and Olivier discuss color, Julie mentions something about things coming out of something, and Viktor wants to do old Hollywood with pants, but Bert says Mae West never wore pants. Tim gives some words of encouragement, sends in the stilt models, and says they’ll have $500 at Mood and only one day to complete their design. Kimberly and Becky decides that since Kimberly makes great pants and Becky can make great tailored jackets, that’s what they’re going to do. Laura and Anthony don’t want to do anything circus-y. Bryce and Fallene find out their model did ballet, so they want to do something ballerina-like. Viktor tries to sell the model and Bert on Victorian design, but Bert rightly points out Queen Victoria was in mourning for 50 years and her look was not sexy. Bert suggests Elizabethan, and Viktor whatevs him. Seriously, Bert is right that Viktor needs to some book learning because the difference between Victorian and Elizabethan is inherently apparent. However, Bert could remove the stick that is apparently lodged in his colon.
Finally, now in the third challenge, the designers get to go to Mood. Bert and Viktor chase each other around, Cecilia finds some chiffon she loves, Fallene isn’t happy with Bryce’s all black vision, Anya gets lost on her way to check out and then it’s back to Parsons. Bert and Viktor bicker some more but settle on a bustier top and a full skirt. Tim announces they’ll have only until 9 p.m. that night, which is woefully a short time to create anything well-sewen. Cecilia gets testy with Danielle asking her if she can makes pants; of course she can make pants! She can make pants and figure out a way to murder you in your sleep, leaving no clues. Back off of Cecilia! Julie and Josh are going to make a romantic matador outfit with black and white pants. As before, Viktor acts a bit of an idiot and Bert acts a bit of a dictator, so clearly this episode is going to be the Bert and Viktor show. I miss Ernie.
In the sewing room, Josh and Viktor discuss how immature Bert is, and once Viktor is back at their work station, he and Bert snip at each other so much to the point at 20 minutes in, I want them both gone. Anthony and Laura worry about creating a cage, like a hoop skirt, to keep their long flowing skirt safe for the stilt walker. Josh contemplates swapping genders with Julie, as she’s so physically aggressive. This recap will get oppressively long and even more boring if I got into gender identities, so I’m letting that statement fall where it may. Kimberly tries to figure out Becky out, what with Becky’s intense staring at the garment she’s making. Fallene is worried because she and Bryce were both in the bottom in the last challenge, but she is also miffed that he vetoes all her suggestions. Julie thinks things are going well with Josh, but he thinks he’s working alone. Becky won’t let Kimberly put gold lame on the jacket, and who can blame her. We didn’t wake up in 1982. Bryce is perplexed that self-taught Fallene doesn’t know how to read a fabric grain and cut it properly. This vexes him quite a bit, but I can’t read it either. My mother tried to teach me when I was a kid (she sews, I merely mend) and it never took.
Tim arrives for his usual visit, stopping to chat with Josh and Julie first. Tim laughs a bit about the whole bullfighter look, but he loves the brick-a-brac patterned black and white pants. Tim observes Danielle and Cecilia’s chiffon look; Tim cautions them to be mindful of proportion. Stopping by to chat with Bert and Viktor, he notes that there should be drama but not costume; Becky thinks their outfit is ghastly and I kind of agree because brocade has no place. Ever. They argue in front of Tim over who had what idea, Bert wanted to go modern, Viktor wants to get it done, but Bert says that’s hard when “someone” walks away when there’s disagreement. Tim tells them to find common ground and get it done. Tim is impressed with the bright red color of Anthony and Laura’s long flowing dress; they had to nix the cage though, as it wasn’t going to be done on time, so they are making under-lying pants to not trip up the lady on the stilts. As for Kimberly and Becky, Kimberly explains that Becky wanted to do military and she wanted to do punk, and the model was on board with it. Then Tim meets with Fallene and Bryce who are really nervous about the look in general and getting it done. He departs so they can work and checks in on Olivier and Anya. Tim finds the blue-based print with the olive/brownish top pieces “unexpected”. Anya wonders if that means he thinks it’s ugly and can’t really say so.
With three hours on the clock, Bert and Viktor put some of the squabbling to the side, and that left-over squabbling lands with Cecilia griping about sewing the pants to Danielle’s questions. The stilt models come in for a fit, which makes me wonder how one decides to choose stilt modeling as a career. Fallene has cut the bodice off-grain so there going to have to start over on the bodice. She beats herself up for letting him down and not being able to complete the bodice.
The day of the runway show, everyone wakes up at 4:30 to head to some undisclosed location for this outdoor runway show of extremely tall people. I’ve got to say, I’m not enthusiastic about designing for stilt walkers. They seem to pose a risk for themselves and the general populous if they fall over. First the designers head back to Parsons to finish up the designs. Bryce decided to change the top altogether to a tube top, which later becomes a simple tank top you could buy at Old Navy for $8. Julie is finally finishing her jacket, which Josh declares has taken her twelve hours to complete. Olivier is concerned that he hasn’t sewn the top correctly and it might fall apart. I’m concerned that it is ugly as hell and might allow a “wardrobe malfunction”. Josh is just a quip a minute, and with his overly tweezed eyebrows always up in the air when he comments, I kind of wonder if he’s a plant by the producers to provide the sassy, quotable commentary.
With only an hour and a half left until the runway show, there’s still a lot left to do for everyone. Lauren runs back and forth to the sewing room in her high heels, every so young a rich girl. Fallene isn’t happy with the top Bryce is making so she makes a little hat out of red feathers to bring some color to the outfit. Josh has bedazzled half of Julie’s jacket and they’re happy with the result. It’s off to hair and make-up for the models, which turns out great for everyone except Cecilia and Danielle’s model who looks like, as Cecilia says, a giant pumpkin with crazy hair.
Fashion of impossible heights.
The models, designers, and everyone else head to Battery Park for the show. Fallene starts to lose her crap, thinking she’s not good enough. Tim tells her she’s going to be fine. Great, she is not too “normal” to be on the show, as she gets the first break-down of the season (save for a losing contestant, who is allowed to break-down).
Heidi arrives on the out-door runway in psycho-high platforms (an ode to the stilts, no doubt) to announce the judges, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and Kim Kardashian, whose famous for her big ass, sex tape, and prolific E! career (hey, I’m missing The Soup to write this recap, I’m allowed to borrow a bit. The (thankfully…love the pair challenges from a recap perspective) seven looks we see are:
Josh and Julie’s matador outfit of black and white bric-a-brac pants, a red camisole, and a red bolero, with one long, full sleeve for waving at the bull and one sleeveless side decorated with Josh’s love for embellishments.
Bert and Viktor’s brocade bustier with gold flare trim at the bust line and a iridescent mauve/brown skirt/pant deal. I think a lot of these designs have under-dressings of pants just so the models won’t fall on their stilts.
Bryce and Fallene’s black tank top, maroon cummerbund, black tulle skirt that comes to where the stilts start, and black pants below. And, oh yeah, Fallene’s red feather hat (or is it a fascinator…didn’t pay that much attention to the last royal wedding to learn the difference).
Becky and Kimberly’s olive green pants with zipper detail down the side and studding at the cuff with a fitted military-ish style jacket that has a sleeve on one side and none on the other, to accent the model’s tattoo. The side with the sleeve has this kind of big pointed collar that Kimberly found too “Star Track-looking.” Kimberly, you’re on my watch list. Star TRACK?!?!
Anya and Olivier’s kind of weird Monet-esque print skirt and this wrapy, piecey top with brown/olive/who knows what fabric. I’m glad they fixed it so there’s no nip-slip.
Cecilia and Danielle’s teal chiffon 40s-esque top with light brown chiffon 40s-esque wide pants. It’s merely okay; the combination of teal and sick-dog-poop brown is putting me off. And while I appreciate the use of sleeves, the volume of them is kind of strange and the be-jeweled collar of the shirt just seems wrong.
Laura and Anthony’s dramatic flowing red skirt dress with a fitted top and red feathers on the shoulders. It’s clearly the most impressive of the show, bias aside. It looked like fashion, not costume. Although, to be fair, if you cut it to a normal length, it might seem a bit flamenco dancer.
Back at the Parson’s runway, the designers face the judges. Olivier and Anya hit firmly in the middle so they’re sent backstage. Anthony & Laura, Cecilia & Becky, and Kimberly & Becky had the highest scores—the other teams had the lowest scores. The lower scores are sent back to await their fate. Josh calls it correctly in the stew room (can we call it that, even if it’s not Top Chef?), the bottom three were costume, the top three were more “ready to wear” or at least wearable in public if scaled down to non-stilt wearing sizes.
Anthony and Laura wanted to “wow” the judges with the dramatic color, but Anthony admits the feathers were hot-glued, not hand-sewn, much to Heidi’s dismay. Everyone loves the color, the movement and the elegance, but Nina cautions Anthony not to be so referential to other designs. Anthony assigns Laura as the leader of the project; I get the feeling he would have done that if they were in the bottom as well. Cecilia wanted to create something elegant and Danielle wanted to do a dramatic sleeve. No one likes the crazy hair, but the clothes themselves are beautiful. Nina thinks it’s too quiet, but Michael is impressed with the use of chiffon. Kimberly says that they used each other’s tailoring strengths. The only negative was the half-collar, which Nina thinks looks a bit circus-y.
As for the lower scoring designers, Viktor claims he chose the skirt look and Bert chose the top, and admits they had struggles. Michael thinks it looks old and like a tacky catering hall. They get “curtains”, “bad costume”, and all of that. Bert denies controlling the look; Viktor “owns it” but then is “being responsible for it” and then is “I’m not going home for this”. Then there’s squabbling over who did the sketching. Is this kindergarten? Bryce and Fallene face the judges next; the judges call it out as “Black Swan” with no detail. Michael likes the hat, which is what Fallene did. Julie defends her look as matador, but Michael says that doesn’t mean it has to be tacky. That makes me flash to the non-ready-to-wear $1000 sweater/bolero I saw at Bloomies in April. Kors has no room to speak on tacky, over-priced items. Nina was obsessed with the tiny arms and big legs, but crap on a cracker, these are stilt walkers, what do you expect? At least the judges get that the garments were well-constructed.
During deliberations, the judges appreciate how Anthony & Lauren’s model still looked like she was wearing a gown with the pants below and how it could work without the stilts. Cecilia and Danielle are praised for their ability to sew and work with chiffon. Becky and Kimberly sent down perfectly tailored designs that were perfectly cohesive. Julie and Josh are recognized as an odd team, though they are tacky and crazy with their product. Bryce and Fallene was too “Black Swan” and too many dance elements. Viktor and Bert threw each other under the bus, and there were ugly drapes involved. Michael, it’s draperies, not drapes. So, so déclassé.
The designers return to the runway to
meet the sun await their fate. Anthony and Laura did the best job, but because Anthony was hedging his bets and put the responsibility on Laura, she wins and has immunity in the next challenge. Of course, this means he, Cecilia, Danielle, Kimberly, and Becky are all safe. Heidi also deems Josh and Julie as safe. Bert and Viktor had sad fabric choices, but Bert is safe. Bryce and Fallene had a boring ballerina look, but Bryce is safe. Sadly Fallene is out, and she had so much more break-down potential. I guess we should be glad to have fashion era error Viktor around for at least a week or two more to make fun of. Seriously, get a damn clue. Watch Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown or something.
Fallene is sad as she goes to clean up her workroom space, but at least she still has her hair styling job. And she gets to avoid working with Nina Garcia as a client next week. If she were my client, fashion or in my regular day job, I’d ask her to first remove the attitude and/or deposit at least a $40,000.00 retainer, with an open line of credit at a guaranteed financial institution. She seems like a lot of work.
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