Project Runway 9/1 Recap: Avant Garde?
Last week, Cecelia quit, Olivier fell, Josh C. returned, and Danielle was eliminated. Oh, and a lot of team challenge crabbiness. This group of designers are just kind of whiney, no? I don’t think the attitudes will improve much.
Bert, for one, says he’s going to stop being an ass and Viktor promises to start being nice. Lauren wants to have a clean slate with Becky, whom she doesn’t like for some unknown reason. On the runway, Heidi confirms Viktor and Josh M.’s immunity and then sends them off to the Harlem School of the Arts. There they will collaborate with the students to create a painting that will be the inspiration for an avant garde look. The kids are about 11 to 17. Viktor is paired with a 12 year old girl named Sky who talks a lot and gives fashion advice. I like Sky more than Viktor. Bert is paired with a quiet guy, so he’s happy. Luckily, the designers get along with the students and there is no untoward drama at the school. These kids were pretty damn cool. Can we have a show with them instead?
The designers sketch before going to Mood. Josh M.’s painting is of a burning tree and he bemoans the “organic” nature of it, as he prefers fake, which is stating the obvious. Then it’s off to Mood where the designers struggle keeping in budget. Josh C. is overwhelmed by the experience—it’s his first time in mood and he spends only slightly more than half of the $300 budget. Viktor predicts that Kimberly, with her iridescent fabric, Anya, with her feathers, and Becky, with her cute but not avant garde esthetic will be in the bottom. Don’t use Viktor’s racing sheet at the track, okay?
Here’s how a bunch of hot messes start.
The designers have until ten p.m. the first day and an entire second day as well, which Tim says means the judges have high expectations. Everyone sets to work and out comes another sad tale, this time from Josh M. He’s made a circle skirt out of brown neoprene which he is painting to give a burnt wood-like effect. Because it is a tree he is going to make it look like initials were carved in it, JM (heart) his mom’s initials. As Lifetime tries to humanize this dude, we learn his mother passed away two years ago from cancer and he misses her terribly. Perhaps this is true, but I still think he’s an ass.
Josh C.’s inspiration painting was a big bad wolf, and he’s purchased the most heinous faux black and red fur. Bert dyes some fabric and is designing pants that balloon waaaay out over the hips, because everyone wants wide hips. Lauren burns the edges of the organza she’s using so they won’t fray, stinking up the room as the fabric singes. Josh M. takes credit for teaching Becky to think outside the box, because he is an ass. Lauren asks Bert if he is gay or straight, and seeing as how we already know his deceased partner/alcoholism back-story, there is no new information revealed. But it leads up to his video chat with his sister and other family. Is there no end to this softening of the edges of the annoying people? Maybe next week we’ll get a story that explains Lauren’s constant deer in the headlights look.
The day ends and the designers head back to Atlas where Lauren expresses her concerns about Josh C. to her roommates, while he tells his roomies that he is super-awesome-crazy inspired. Back at Parsons the next day, Tim brings the students in with the paintings to the workroom. Tim visits with the designers, where we learn Anthony is constructing a dress out of strips of blue and black fabric to mimic the brush strokes in the painting. Tim cautions Kimberly on the use of feathers, saying not to give Michael Kors the opportunity to make a Hiawatha comment. He worries that Lauren’s is just too pretty. Becky has attached dark denim and green cubes to the denim gown she’s made and Tim cautions against looking too arts & crafts and worries that it is not avant garde enough. Bert has these great big grey pants and a pink bustier with odd shapes attached to it; Tim says that it is “unexpected”. Tim tries to explain to Olivier that avant garde means more than just working with chiffon for the first time. Olivier doesn’t seem too quick on the up-take. Tim advises Josh M. not to be too reliant on the painting to explain the look—it has to stand on it’s own. Similarly, he tells Josh C. that his dress with big fake fur hat thing going on is too literal to the painting. Tim talks to Sky more than Viktor because she’s got a very positive opinion of his gauzey blue and white dress. Plus, she’s more interesting
Tim leaves and Bryce frets over his straight-jacket sleeves, based on the crazy, eye-bugging out painting. Josh C. seems to be losing his mind; Anya doesn’t think he’s going far enough. The models arrive for fitting and then it’s back to working to finish up the garments. Lauren and Anthony both work with hot glue guns to construct their garments. Lauren tries to advise Josh C. about his Carmen Miranda as a Vampire costume.
The day of the runway shows arrives, and Anya worries Olivier’s look is not up to snuff. Tim sends in the models for hair and make-up and there is the usual last minute rush. For some reason, the designers decide to torture their models and tease out and ‘fro up several models’ hair. Olivier glued the top of the dress on his model and got popped by Tim for a rules violation. Final fittings are done, and it’s off to the runway.
The art students join the designers for the runway show; the judges are Michael Kors, Zanna Roberts Rassi, the senior fashion editor of Marie Claire in for Nina Garcia, and Kenneth Cole, the designer of my dearly departed oxfords that I still mourn the loss of. (Getting a dog seemed like a good idea!) Sky is wowed that Kenneth Cole is right there. The crazy-pants looks we see are:
Kimberly’s black pleather dress, partially covered in red and green feathers, and a pleather wide headband.
Becky’s dark denim gown, short skirt on one side, to the floor on the other, covered in green and denim cubes and then some flat green squares to mimic the outer space painting.
Olivier’s gown with a fitted top on one side and some chiffon hanging down on the other. It’s mostly the drab muslin color and the chiffons are some sad blue and yellow colors.
Josh M.’s “burnt” brown skirt with a fiery orange/red puffy top.
Bert’s grey jodhpur pants and top with a ton of freaky 3-D shapes on it.
Viktor’s shredded white and blue toilet paper dress.
Lauren’s yellow and white fru-fru puffy gown that seems like I’ve seen the wave effect a season or two ago…anyone remember?
Bryce’s orange straight-jacket top/wide navy blue skirt gown.
Josh C.’s high-waisted pleather skirt, white top, and pleather holster.
Anthony’s “paint” strips over sheer fabric gown.
Anya’s early 1800’s wide skirt made out of what appears to be movie theater carpet, open in the front, and a feather top constructed in about the same way she’s made every other top.
Kimberly, Viktor, Becky, Bryce, and Anya are called forward and are safe. They go back and try to debate who is top and who is bottom. Bryce plans on jumping out of the window should Bert win. I don’t think he needs to worry about that.
The judges talk to Josh M. first about his inspiration; Heidi appreciates the painted skirt. Kenneth approves of the look and Michael likes the texture of the entire garment but thinks the styling could be dialed down. Josh C. talks about the wolf painting with the exposed heart, but Michael thinks it is cocktail waitress, Zanna isn’t buying it, Heidi thinks it looks hooker-ish, and Kenneth has issues with the proportion and it doesn’t come together. Bert says he worked with the colors and shapes of the painting. Zanna doesn’t think that it is in harmony with the painting; Michael says it is not modern. Heidi likes it, not that people would wear it, but it is clearly inspired by the painting. Laura explains the inspiration of her gown, and Zanna now understands it. Kenneth likes the corset with the sheer gown. Michael kind of is “meh” on it, but Heidi liked it a lot. Olivier says his artist is inspired by dreams and likes blue, so that’s why he made this hot mess. Heidi finds it sad, Zanna likes the constructed top but the rest is boring, Kenneth says there’s too much going on, and Michael says Mood just exploded over the skirt. Finally, Anthony explains his paint-stroke dress. Heidi loves it, saying it’s simple and powerful. Michael likes it as well, but Kenneth calls it out for the home-made look but claims to like it. I don’t like that we can see the hot glue gun marks and it’s about as far from avant garde as Josh C.’s does. I like Anthony, but that ain’t avant garde at all.
As the judges deliberate, rehashing pretty much what we heard on the runway, except they rag on Olivier even more for being boring. Earlier Olivier told his art student that he likes to listen to depressing music when he works. Dude needs to put down The Smiths and The Cure and find something more upbeat.
Finally a decision is reached; Anthony won with his glue gun dress…which reminds me a whole lot of my Ellen Tracy dress (of course, sans glue gun effect), now that I think about it. Of course Josh M. and Lauren are safe, and due to Heidi’s mercy, Bert is safe as well. So it comes down to hooker-clothes producing Josh C. and Valium-clothes producing Olivier. Olivier is safe, probably because the judges want more time to parse out his accent, and Josh C. is out again. Chris March he is not.