Mixing Old Fashioneds
Project Runway 3/4 Recap: Hard To Wear
As Heidi shouts at the top of every episode, this season started out with sixteen contestants vying to make it to the big show at Bryant Park and thus far six of those have been eliminated. That means we’ve got another seven to go before the final three compete under the tent. That also means that there’s still some chaff to be separated from the wheat, so let’s fire up the combine and get going.
As close to going back to Gristedes as one might get without violating Bravo’s intellectual property rights.
Morning dawns on the next challenge and before heading to Parsons, we get a few confessional interview tidbits. These used to carry some weight on the foreshadowing, but the further away we get from Bravo days, the less stock I put into them. Thursday nights are so lonely without the Magical Elves. In any event, Emilio pledges to pull out all the stops while Jay gleefully pledges to knock out seven more designers and be in the top three. Meanwhile, Mila has an odd take on breaking the glass ceiling: she finds it empowering that there are only three women left in the competition.
As soon as the designers sit down for Heidi’s introduction to the new challenge, she sends them right back out the door to meet Tim and “one of America’s favorite designers” a/k/a Michael Kors, just as in several past seasons. At his SoHo store, which is chock full of ugly-ass platform gladiator sandals, he tells them he wants them to think unconventionally and “out of the box”. All right, I’m going to take a stand…if you want people to think “out of the box” don’t say trite phrases like “out of the box”! To reach the desired heights of innovation, Michael sends them not to a fabric store to procure materials but to a hardware store. Amy is excited about the challenge (but when is she not?) but Emilio pooh-poohs it, noting he likes to make sophisticated things. Before heading out of Kors’ House of Foot Torture, Tim adds that the designers will be required to make an accessory to go with the garment.
At the hardware store, the designers have $150 to spend and 35 minutes to shop. Some of the choices are obvious—mesh screening, sheets of metal—but others are a bit different. Amy goes for sandpaper in different colors and grits, which is cool but I worry about her ruining her fabric shears. Emilio decides to buy nothing but cords and silver washers. Well, he calls it cord, but I think it’s really mason line. It looks just like the same hot pink mason line I have in my supply cabinet. However, when Emilio goes to check out, he is beyond his budget and has to leave half of his supplies behind. Jay’s choice of blue painters tape seems reasonable but when he goes for the garbage bags, I have serious Franco flashbacks. I refuse to follow my bliss on account of that dude.
Bleeding hands are busy hands.
Work begins full-throttle back at Parsons for this one-day challenge. Tim confirms that the winner will have immunity for the next challenge. Sticking with the innovation theme, Jay determines he will make leather-looking pants out of his garbage bags on the theory that everyone else will be making dresses. Maya sets about working on a necklace made of keys, chain and mesh. Jonathan, Ben, Jesse and Seth Aaron all work with sheets of metal—mostly copper—and bang the hell out of it. Jesse, ever the team player, hopes someone will crash and burn; he says that with the caveat he doesn’t mean it in a “mean way” but c’mon. Emilio intended to make a macramé dress out of his pink cord and washers but finds he doesn’t have enough of either to make that happen.
With Ben’s hands cut up from working with the copper sheeting, to Mila’s cuts and scrapes to her manicure from cutting up paint tray liners, it’s a virtual biohazard in the work room. On top of that, Jesse realizes that his mesh material is actually sticky and won’t flow at all as a skirt. Ben is lucky enough to be able to stitch the copper with the sewing machine. Maya has similar luck with the machines as she puts together a collar made out of Venetian blind cord. Blood loss is thus mitigated and transfusions will be unnecessary at this time.
And now, for your moment of emotional depth, brought to you by Lifetime, Television for Women: Jay was the fourth child in a family of five children. He and his little sister had to fight for everything they ever got back in their home state of Hawaii. He weepingly confesses that his parents would be proud if he made it to the top three. Back in the time of the Elves, I’d be certain he’d be booted by the end of the episode, but I’m not so certain any more. I think Lifetime just has some kind of tie-in with Kleenex.
Tim rolls in for his walk-about. He finds Mila’s use of black and white paint trays to make a mod dress very exciting. Jesse says he’s going “Elizabethan” but Tim points out he’s got a mini-skirt sketched. He adds that the copper top is looking very “elementary school play” and cautions to watch the costume aspect. Emilio is still struggling to stretch his limited materials into a dress, which he deems “intergalactic macramé flapper”. Tim thinks it just may end up as a bikini, given the lack of material Emilio has. Anthony, in his attempt to soften the look of his purple and mesh materials, has made a skirt he’s not so pleased with. Tim confirms the skirt is crap by saying it looks tortured. Anthony trashes the skirt and starts again. Jay is nearly done making his garbage bag pants; Tim says that had he known Jay was buying garbage bags, he would have stopped him but the pants turned out spectacularly. The only concern Jay has with the pants is that they will fit his model. Finally, Tim visits with Maya and observes her Venetian blind cord collar and key necklace. If she can pull off the whole look, says Tim, it will be phenomenal. As he departs and before he sends in the models, Tim notes that if there ever were a “make it work” moment, this is it. At the risk of sounding like Chandler Bing, he couldn’t be more right.
The models arrive for their fitting and all goes as usual. Jonathan has his bon mot: his copper dress is “Veronica Lake meets C-3PO” but I think he’s straining on the Veronica Lake part. As initially feared, Jay’s pants don’t fit his model. He’s going to have to deconstruct them and add in a side panel. Emilio doesn’t have enough fun-with-macramé done for model to try on. He doesn’t even have enough to make a dress. He realizes his only recourse is a bathing suit and quickly fills out his application for the fashion victim witness protection program. Jay takes some time to focus on his accessory—he’s braiding a belt out of his black trash bags to bring in the waist of the top. In a last-ditch effort to look different from the other handful of guys using copper, Jesse applies silver paint to his copper bodice.
News Alert: I actually feel pity for a model.
The morning of the runway show rolls around and Seth Aaron is excited. Of course he’s excited; he has immunity and could send down a steaming pile of crap with impunity. The Bangs Twins aren’t so much on the happy train, however, and the guys joke that this will be the first challenge where everyone is in the bottom ten. Now that would be a shocking twist—all 10 are booted out tonight and the entire Fashion Week show was just an elaborate ruse.
Work begins again at Parsons, with the “precious little” time on the clock before the models arrive and the show starts. Jesse goes tape-crazy and lines the insides of his copper (now painted silver) top so as not to shred his model’s body. Tim arrives and asks how the designers are doing and is greeted weary looks. Emilio really is stuck with a bikini but when he tries it on his model, he realizes that the washers are so heavy on the bottom it will fall off. If that doesn’t elicit a “vulgar” response from Michael, nothing will. Eventually he figures out he needs to tie the top and bottom of the “swimsuit” together. Amy, ever the chipper one, is pleased with her sandpaper dress. Mila is happy with her mod/rock-star outfit and her worries that the judges just see her as the color blocking chick seem to have dissipated. Jay has his “leather” garbage bag pants fitting his model, but he’ll have to sew her into them and she won’t be able to use the loo until the show is over. I hope he told her that before he stitched her in. Anthony weighs in on some of the final looks: Emilio has no taste, as he has not made a lady look like a lady, and the copper boys (Jesse, Seth Aaron, and Ben) have tortured looks. I think Anthony just likes to say “tortured.” Clearly he was not part of the Bush cabinet. Emilio knows his “swim suit” (I dare anyone to go in the water with that string and washer concoction) is a cliff-dive, but he commits fully to the Barbie look with a big blonde hair do on his model. I actually feel bad for this girl being so exposed in the outfit. She owes a great debt of gratitude to her aesthetician as well.
The judges on the panel for this challenge are Michael, Nina, Isabel Toledo (still skating on having designed Michelle Obama’s inauguration outfit, just as she did on The Fashion Show), and jewelry designer Stephen Webster, which brings in the relevancy of the mandatory accessory portion of the challenge. The offerings for this episode are:
Mila’s black and white dress, color blocked naturally, made of paint trays.
Jesse’s silver fitted metal top and poofy silver skirt dress.
Jonathan’s copper halter dress.
Anthony’s purple and mesh dress with a silver metal belt.
Ben’s copper dress that just hangs from the shoulders, barely touching his model.
Emilio’s silver washer and pink string “bathing suit” that is a replica of Wendy Pepper’s candy land outfit.
Jay’s “leather” black pants and black and blue painter tape top with a rope belt.
Seth Aaron’s silver and copper short dress with straps in the back.
Amy’s black and brown short dress of sandpaper.
Maya’s mesh sheath dress, a “jacket” out of the blind cording, and key and chains necklace.
After the show, Heidi calls forward Ben, Jonathan, Amy, Seth Aaron as safe. They leave and the models for the remaining six come out to the runway to face the judges. First up, Mila explains her paint tray liner dress and her cuff bracelet made out of a plastic card with writing on it. Nina says the dress is extraordinary. Stephen is surprised that the skirt of the dress actually flowed when the model walked and found her accessory witty. Emilio furiously tugs at the ripcord as he tries to break the fall from his cliff-dive. He sells the string and washer “swim suit” as a strong, sexy woman look. When Nina asks why he made no clothing, Emilio doesn’t own up that he didn’t have enough material; rather, his excuse is that swim suits aren’t something you think of coming from a hardware store. While that may be true, aside from carpentry aprons and painters’ whites, one doesn’t think of any article of clothing coming from a hardware store. Somehow Nina is swayed by the “complete look” being there, but Michael has no such blinders on. He flat out calls it a cheese-fest and Heidi doesn’t get why there’s not even a pattern in the way the washers were strung together.
Anthony’s purple and mesh dress doesn’t exactly wow the judges either. His plan was to make a soft look out of the harsh mesh, but ended up with a boring prom dress in the judges’ eyes. Maya talks about her mesh dress and key necklace; Michael likes that she looked at the normal abnormally (which almost sounded like an insult but it wasn’t). Nina is impressed that Maya showed restraint on the simple mesh dress given the eye-catching detail of the Venetian blind cord jacket and the blinged out key necklace.
Jesse’s sliver-painted copper and drywall mesh dress was met with a series of negative comparisons. It looked like the Tin Man, a Hershey’s kiss, and/or a dirty vacuum bag. The only positives in the garment were the modern headband, the asymmetrical back and stitching on the copper, but it’s almost as if the judges are reaching to find something nice to say. Finally, the judges turn their eyes to Jay’s trash bag creation. His work truly is amazing; the belt does have a leather look to it and the overall look blows the judges away. Their jaws may have had to be picked up off the floor at one point when they learned the material, but we didn’t get to see that.
Even though there are five judges on the panel tonight, the discussion has been whittled down to mere sound bites: Mila really thought about the challenge; Jay’s look “reeked” of luxury; Maya made pieces that stood on their own and had the best accessory. On the other hand, Emilio created a tasteless disaster (though Nina didn’t think it was so bad), Jesse’s Tin Man vacuum bag didn’t use the materials properly, and Anthony’s dress was a conservative, boring prom dress on a sales rack.
The designers return to the runway to hear Heidi’s news. Maya is in first, but not the winner. Heidi then names Jay the winner for his fabulous design; Jay dances, squeals, and explodes back into the waiting area like a sun brighter than his yellow pants. Of course Mila is in, as is Anthony. The decision comes down to Jesse’s uninspired and disappointing dress and Emilio’s Vegas showgirl, nearly naked look. Just as the Pepper was saved by strings and round candy, Emilio is also spared by strings and other round objects. Jesse is out, though he doesn’t think he should be going since he took a risk with his design. As Tim comes to tell Jesse to clean up his workspace, he says that despite his concerns, he never anticipated this outcome.
Jesse promises to keep working on his line. The previews for next week promise little beyond the designers being stressed out, and those clips could have been culled from pretty much any episode.
Re: Project Runway 3/4 Recap: Hard To Wear
YES! That has to be the most cliche', played out catch phrases.
if you want people to think “out of the box” don’t say trite phrases like “out of the box”!
Honey you can either be comfortable or fashionable.
Before heading out of Kors’ House of Foot Torture
Mixing Old Fashioneds
Re: Project Runway 3/4 Recap: Hard To Wear
Oh goodness, my stilettos collection will attest that I know! I think it's just my pinky toes' hatred of strappy sandals showing through.
Originally Posted by raisinthesun;3850761;
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