Mixing Old Fashioneds
Project Runway 1/16 Recap: It takes two to make a thing go right.
When I was in fifth grade, the teacher assigned a history project to be done in pairs. Being young and stupid, I decided to partner up with my best friend, thinking that we’d knock it out in no time and work well together. Though I tried to get her to work with it on me, she just never found the time and I ended up doing the whole project with some help from my parents. The day it was due, I went to her desk and asked her if she had the project ready. She stared blankly at me for a minute, then sheepishly admitted she hadn’t done a thing on it. Then I, mustering the most grandiose gesture an eleven-year-old can in a school uniform jumper and Nikes, pulled out the paper, slapped it (in its report cover, naturally) on the desk, and said, “Well, it’s a good thing I did.” I turned it in and we both got As. Oddly enough, I remained best friends with her until high school, when we went to different schools. Needless to say, I hate group projects with a passion, so on tonight’s Project Runway episode, I empathize with the trepidation the designers have working with their randomly assigned teammates. And if anyone has to make a grandiose gesture, I hope they’re wearing something other than hideous navy plaid.
Last week, Kevin, the oddly-bearded, loud and proud heterosexual, was eliminated. The morning after his departure finds Christian bemoaning the fact he was in the bottom three while flat-ironing his hair. Ricky, who barely escaped elimination as well, takes the criticism he got as a wake-up call and knows he has a lot of work to do, but is glad he is still in the running. The other guys and gals scamper around, getting ready to meet their new challenge, and head to Parsons. There they are met by Heidi and the velvet bag of names. This can mean only one thing: model elimination time!
The models come out and all sport wild and crazy hairstyles. Heidi tells the designers that their challenge this week is to design an avant garde look inspired by their models’ hairstyles. The designs need to be artistic and conceptual, but not necessarily practical or wearable. The model choosing gets underway, and the designers consider their loyalties as well as the hairstyles the models are sporting. After the dust clears, Katie and Aviva are out and the designers head to the workroom to meet with Tim.
In the workroom, Tim breaks the news that the avant garde challenge will be accomplished in teams, whom he will chose at random from the velvet bag ‘o’ buttons. Kit and Ricky are paired, Sweet P (who wasn’t chosen last!) and Rami will work together, Chris and Christian will quip it up together, which leaves Victorya and Jillian for the last team. Because they are working in pairs, the teams have to, in thirty minutes, pick which model they will use to inspire the look, sketch, and pick a team leader. They will then have thirty minutes at Mood to spend $300 and two days to make the design.
Chris and Christian get to work and pick Christian as the team leader and choose Marcia as the model because she is high-fashion and is sporting a ‘do that is an involved braid in a huge, dramatic bun on the back of her head. Kit and Ricky decide Kit will be the leader because she’s come up with the concept. They chose the model with a hairstyle that looks like a bird’s nest; they want to make a dress based on the idea of nesting fabrics, made of large circles of different fabrics. Between Rami and Sweet P, Rami is the leader because, as Sweet P says, her mind just doesn’t go to “avant garde.” Their model’s hair is in sort of tight waves at the crown of her head and then falls free. Rami decides to make a gown that is fitted in the bodice, falls freely and open, and has pants underneath. Finally, with Victorya and Jillian, neither wants to concede ground and won’t give up the leadership opportunity, so they flip a coin. Victorya wins and, while Jillian accepts that fate, she’s still a little worried about Victorya as the leader. She insists they focus on solidifying the story they want to tell; their model has a her long hair pulled up in a faux hawk, so they decide to go with a punk look by making a dramatic trench coat.
Off they go to Mood, where Christian and Chris set off to find 40-50 yards of fabric to make concentric layers of fabric cut in circles to build a dress. They settle on some pale ivory organza. Kit and Ricky find loads of patterns that they love and the others get their shopping done. With a hearty, “Thank you, Mood!” off they go to the workroom for their first day of work.
In desperate need of anti-anxiety meds.
As soon as the designers get back to the workroom, they are busy as hell. Kit and Ricky divide up the work; they are using pastel prints and satins. She wants to make the dress look like many layers of aprons because she envisions the girl in a garden picking flowers because the hairstyle is like a nest. She worries that it will look too “Little House on the Prairie”. She works on the skirt while Ricky is to make the corset bodice and the apron top.
Christian busies himself cutting out hundreds of circular layers while Chris constructs the wire support for the huge ruffle-layer collar thing they are making. Chris kids that he’s building a cell phone tower to call Elisa’s planet. Awww, I kind of miss Elisa; I sure would like to see what kind of “avant garde” look she’d come up with. Jillian makes a pattern for her highly tailored and structured trench coat while Victorya works on jodhpurs and a blouse for under the coat. Jillian worries about the time constraint, since both she and Victorya aren’t the speediest of workers. They aren’t the speediest of talkers either; I could fall asleep in the space between their words.
Our problem children for the night are Rami and Sweet P; well, not so much Sweet P but Rami. He’s making a corset and the gown, which on paper looked suspiciously like every other toga dress he’s made. Sweet P is supposed to make the trousers to go under the dress, but Rami says she is slowing him down and needs his constant attention. Of course, we never see this, but only see Rami leaving his dress form to go bug Sweet P. Maybe she asked for help, but maybe he’s just got ants in his pants. In the sewing room, Sweet P is diligently sewing the pants while Rami works on the gown. He keeps interrupting her, asking her when she’s going to be done, and fretting that they won’t complete the task. Sweet P, in her confesional, says that Rami wanted to get the corset and the pants done on the first day, they did those two things and started draping the skirt of the gown, so she doesn’t know what his problem is. Neither do I, but I suspect it has something to do with his being an asshat.
The second day rolls around, and Sweet P is worried because Rami is so stressed and stressing. He’s stressing me out too, and I want Mean P to come out and open a can of whoop-ass. They look at the dress as it is so far, and Sweet P suggests adding some more dramatic elements, such as a bustle. Rami dismisses the idea out of hand and goes back to affixing hideous gold filigree medallions and ribbons to the corset. Kit and Ricky, however, are working just fine together, with Kit making ruffles and Ricky working with the crinoline underskirt.
Here comes the twist!
All seems to be going well with the others, and in walks Tim who is about drop a huge bomb on the designers. He says he has a “special announcement” and tells them that they all have to design a second look that interprets their avant garde look into an everyday, ready-to-wear outfit. They will have an extra $50 to spend, 15 minutes to talk amongst themselves, and 15 minutes to shop at Mood. They will have one additional hour, until 1 a.m., to work that night. Of course, everyone freaks out at this news. No one has their first looks completed and certainly don’t want to have to make another one. Sweet P suggests a simple navy shirtdress, which Rami shoots down because it doesn’t match the other look and navy isn’t “day.” She suggests another dress, but Rami can’t follow her concept, she won’t sketch it, and he generally is a condescending ass during the process. At this point, I’m really starting to want Rami booted because his attitude is unjustifiably awful. Eventually, all the teams decide to go for quick and easy dresses, and one teammate is sent off to shop for the additional fabric and they return in short order.
It seems that Christian, Sweet P, Jillian, and Kit are all back from the fabric store for about thirty seconds before Tim returns with the models for their first fittings. Rami and Sweet P’s model tries on the corset top, which fits nicely but is awfully busy and Grecian looking for a corset. Sweet P doesn’t think Rami’s addition of all the ribbons and bric-a-brac on the corset makes it all that avant garde but she doesn’t tell him anything because it is an exercise in futility. Ricky and Kit try their voluminous skirt—it’s a huge hoop skirt with loads of layers—on their model and they just love it. They think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, but it really looks like a cast-off costume from the Enchanted set. Victorya and Jillian have nothing beyond the jodhpurs for their model to try on; Jillian is still worried about the time because they should be fitting but they’re still in the concept stage. She’s also worried that Victorya has immunity so it’ll be her ass on the line if they are in the bottom..
Chris and Christian have mostly finished the dress part of their thousand-layer dress. It’s form fitting and they have to wiggle it down over their model’s head, but it works, partly because their model apparently is like a rodent and can dislocate her shoulders to fit through small spaces. Chris loves the dress and wants the judges’ mouths to drop open and remember it forever. It is a pretty cool dress and the Chris/Christian pairing is living up to their “Team Fierce” moniker. To further show how fierce he is, Christian does some runway walking to show the models how it is done. No one tell Miss J on ANTM he’s got some serious competition; it’ll make his giant ‘fro all droopy.
With eight hours to go on this second day, the teams are in various levels of freak-out mode. The models are still hanging around to get fitted in the ready-to-wear outfits and Sweet P is busy cutting and sewing the second dress. She’s working on it at the cutting table while Rami wonders about, doing who knows what. Sweet P and Rami have this exchange that basically goes: “When are you going to get done?” “Soon.” “We need to have a timetable!” “I’m almost done with the dress and the pants!” “Fine”…and Rami stalks off. Sweet P is upset and her model calms her down, but seriously, she needed to tell him to go stick it.
Two hours go by, and Tim comes in with a “special guest” in the person of Nathaniel Hawkins, the Tresemme hair dude. He is there to give styling tips for the ready-to-wear models, which results in about thirty seconds of boring footage wherein the designers just nod and say “that sounds great” and the like, deferring to whatever Nathaniel dreams up. It was a waste, really, not moving the plot forward at all. Oh, yeah, whomever wins the challenge will get their designs featured in a Tresemme ad in Elle, so there was a bit of a point to the proceedings.
What does add much needed drama is Tim’s arrival with four hours on the day; he’s there for his critique of the designs so far. He is staggered at Chris and Christian’s dress and high side piece that comes from the neck of the dress. He is very impressed by it, but not so much so by the ready-to-wear look of a ruffley sleeveless top and a plain brown pencil skirt. Tim thinks Kit and Ricky’s avant garde dress is costumey and needs drama. He asks Rami what is all that different about the corset dress from the other looks he’s made before and says he’s worried about the team. Rami tries to blame Sweet P’s work skill, but that has nothing to do with the design that is obviously all Rami. Checking out Jillian and Victorya’s design, Tim finds the coat stunning and urges them to press on to get all of their pieces finished. It’s late, and they haven’t even started the second dress.
Tim leaves and it’s all hands on deck in the sewing room. Sweet P is worried they’re going to be in the bottom, so she’s working hard on the second look that she designed so she’ll have something to stand by that is hers. Meanwhile, Jillian and Victorya are worried they won’t have a second dress, since they still have to finish their original three pieces. Finally, the second day comes to an end and the designers shuffle home, exceedingly tired.
Not so ready-to-wear.
The day of the runway show is upon us, and Christian is elated with the way things turned out for their designs and just knows that he and Chris are going to win. Ricky is less than enthused about their second dress because the fabric was not what he wanted; he realizes that the fabric choice was to be part of the story of the first dress, though. Jillian works furiously to make their second look, but admits it is mostly an afterthought. Tim sends in the ready to wear models first then the others come in, and time is getting short. Kit worries that their look is not in line with the other avant garde looks, and Victorya and Jillian work to the last second to get their models ready. With that, they are out the door and on to the runway.
On the runway, Heidi recaps the challenge and introduces the panel. Michael and Nina are present and accounted for and they are joined by famous Italian fashion deeesigner, Alberta Ferretti. They are then treated with the following:
Rami and Sweet P’s first look of a long beige gown with a corset top and a flowing, open skirt over dark trousers. The corset top has ribbons and other crap stuck on it to make it look “avant garde” or “busy and suspiciously like what Rami has made before.” The second look is a grey short dress, with a wide empire waist band and cap sleeves. It is very cute and well-fitted.
Christian and Chris’ dress of a thousand layers that has what appeared (in the 7 seconds we got of the front of the dress) to be a pin-tucked front placket. The side of one collar extended up, feet above the model’s head and to the side. It was a feat of construction. Their second look was the brown pencil skirt and a sleeveless top that had a similar ruffle placket on it.
Kit and Ricky’s princess dress with a skirt of many bands of fabric. It is a wide hoop skirt and the model walks out with a tad too precious of a gait. Their second dress is a simple print dress that anyone could pick up at Old Navy for $20 to wear to a beach party. It wasn’t ugly; it was too dull to be ugly.
Victorya and Jillian’s dramatic black trench coat with small details of plaid fabric over neutral jodhpurs and a white sleeveless top. The trench is very Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix; it probably was the coolest thing I’ve seen all season. The second outfit is a simple, asymmetrical black dress with some of the plaid fabric making an interesting detail on one side of the skirt’s hem.
It takes two to make it outta sight.
After the show, Heidi tells them straightaway that Sweet P and Rami and Kit and Ricky are in the bottom. She sends them away so the judges can talk to the higher scoring teams first. Christian explains that their inspiration for their layered dress was “old world” and “romantic.” Chris says that Christian came up with the color and then they just divided up the labor to fit their skills. Christian makes a point of telling the judges they used 45 yards of fabric to pull off the look. Alberta likes it, noting it is very couture. Michael thinks it’s beautifully crafted while Nina is ready to put it on a magazine cover. The judges also like the second look alright; the top is good but the skirt is seen as a bit of a throw-away. I’d like to see Kors bust out a couture gown and another outfit in two days’ time. I doubt he’d get past his usual boxy top before giving up or calling his mom for help.
Turning to Victorya and Jillian, Victorya says they were going for a punk-meets-equestrian look (perhaps a Laura and Jeffrey love child?). Alberta loves the silhouette and the other judges heap praise on the outfit. The judges want to see the pants and top without the jacket and, when they do, love the plaid fabric details on the back of the top. Michael says the little black dress is cute too. Victorya says they have three looks so they should win, at which Christian rolls his eyes in disgust.
The top two teams leave and the bottom two come out. Rami explains that he wanted to create a look that was flowy and with pants so that the two odds would meet to be one. Rami explains he did the gown and corset while Sweet P did the pants and the second look. Michael says the ready-to-wear look is more fashion forward than the supposed avant garde outfit. Nina asks Rami if there is anything else he can do besides drape fabric. Michael makes fun of the poor fitting pants, and they all have a catty laugh…deserved, but still catty. Sweet P says she wanted to have an explosion out of the ass of the garment to add drama, but Rami didn’t listen. Rami starts getting defensive and laying blame on Sweet P and Michael surmises that their disagreements made the garments suffer.
Finally, the judges turn their attention to Kit and Ricky. Kit says that she made the skirt and Ricky did the apron/corset and the ready-to-wear dress. Alberta says both dresses look like a cheap Scarlett O’Hara and Michael concurs, saying it looks like the dress was made with a bunch of linens. Heidi points out the problems with the satin bands of the skirt; they are wrinkled and not seamed correctly to lay flat. Nina is bluntly disappointed with the entire production.
Deliberations ensue once the bottom pairs are off the runway. Nina loved Christian and Chris’ avant garde dress, saying it is ready to go to a photoshoot now. The judges similarly loved Victorya and Jillian’s dress, noting that lots of women would want to wear it. Count me in! I want that coat. As for the bottom bunch, they get it that Rami can drape but are concerned that he can only drape. Michael didn’t like that Rami so easily tried throwing Sweet P under the bus when she was the one who turned in the great day-time dress. Finally, Kit and Ricky’s dress didn’t meet the criteria and both it and the day-time look were amateurish, poorly executed with bad fabric.
The designers are called back in and Heidi announces Christian as the winner. He, Chris, and their two looks will be in the Tresemme ad in Elle. Christian is thrilled because he needs to get more press attention.
Chris is also in, as are Victorya and Jillian. Ricky and Sweet P are also safe, so it comes down to the two losing team leaders, Rami and Kit. Heidi says that Rami’s main look wasn’t dramatic at all and the only drama was on the team, which showed he failed as a team leader. Kit turned in a design that was not at all fashion-forward but was backward, and not in a good way. Heidi then announces Kit is out, and Rami is in.
Kit departs, saying she had no regrets about what she did. She is sad but says she’s leaving with two suitcases full of friendship and success. Hopefully that’s it, and she’s not some kind of klepto. Before the show ended, the photog had already shown up to take the shots of the winning designs and designers on the runway and Christian is well on his way to getting press attention.
Last edited by PhoneGrrrl; 01-17-2008 at 03:26 AM.
Re: Project Runway 1/16 Recap: It takes two to make a thing go right.
Neither do I, but I suspect it has something to do with his being an asshat.
punk-meets-equestrian look (perhaps a Laura and Jeffrey love child?).
It was a great recap PhoneGrrrl, a perfect complement to the show!
Re: Project Runway 1/16 Recap: It takes two to make a thing go right.
here's to the end of Ricky's presence on the show...
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