Project Runway 3/25 Recap: Forced Injection of Color
As a new challenge day dawns for our remaining seven designers, Jonathan is still upset that Amy got the boot last week, Maya stews over her lack of wins, and Anthony decries his naysayers. None of this chit-chat gets us closer to Braynt Park, so let’s move on to the challenge.
Putting text in textiles.
On the runway, Heidi warns the designers that the challenge will involve more than just choosing fabrics. Seth Aaron hopes for pocket elves to help with sewing, but if that were the case, the show would have to move channels again. The designers meet up with Tim and Vivienne Tam in the workroom. As we all know, Vivienne’s collections feature loads of prints she creates, and that’s exactly what the designers are going to do for this challenge. Vivienne shills a bit for HP and Intel and the designers get to work creating prints. After their hour of work creating a mock-up paper print on the provide desktops, the designs will be printed on fabric and delivered the next day. In about the only shock of the episode, the designers have two full days to create their looks.
The reaction to having to design fabric is mixed. Seth Aaron looks like a kid who just won a puppy on his birthday while riding a roller coaster. Jay is frazzled and Anthony admits prints are not his thing. Mila gets into using the paintbrush feature and seems to be having a good time not quite color-blocking. Jonathan is creating some kind of “subtractive” design that sounds a lot like his fabric removal technique. Emilio apparently thinks he’s designing a handbag, as his textile is a version of his name. Maya finds this challenge forcing her to use color. In addition to her usual black, the design also involves red and bright orange streaks. For some reason it makes me think of 1980s Olan Mills photo backgrounds, but that’s probably just me.
After a quick trip to Mood for supplemental materials, the designers return to Parsons and get to work. Emilio feels that the two-day challenge requires more output from the designers so he is making a jacket, a skirt, and a top. Mila is creating a long V-neck gown that will have a large piece of her textile on one side of the skirt. This textile is basically paint lines of primary colors; Jay finds it wrong and Anthony notes wisely that no one wants to wear Legos. Jonathan’s mock up print was so pale it didn’t really come out on paper, so he’s concerned about his fabric turning out okay.
Anthony works on creating a jacket and doing separates, though he’s never made a jacket before in his life. Emilio starts on an electric blue leather bustier, but doesn’t feel it in his viscera, so he scraps it. Maya stares perplexedly at her print and struggles to figure out how to incorporate it in her design. Then, in an odd little Ode to Anthony’s Wit, we hear why he blames Beyonce for his problems: just listening to her songs make you think you’re a size four and she never sings about people’s job troubles. Then we also learn that he wants to be booked on Oprah, but only on the free car day not on the “my husband has a porn addiction” day because Uncle Leroy already has that problem. I love Anthony’s witticisms, but it started to feel a little filler-ish.
Day One ends with the designers returning to Atlas where Seth Aaron calls home for his birthday. He doesn’t tear up—Seth Aaron strikes me as too reality tv savvy to do that—and merely says that he misses his family but chooses not to dwell on that and keep his focus on the work.
Back at Parsons the next morning, the designers find their freshly printed fabrics. Everyone loves how they turned out. Jonathan’s is pale ivory with pale grey and pinkish circles. Seth Aaron created a pop art version of a girl’s face that repeats in boxes. Mila’s is the primary color paint stroke deal mentioned above. Maya did red, orange, and black stripes in an electricity-type patter; Anthony’s isn’t that much different except his colors are black, dark purple, and gold. Jay did a black and electric green pattern. And finally there’s Emilio he had to explain it to Mila, Tim, and I’m guessing more than half the audience. It’s supposed to be ESOSA—Emilio Sosa—but the “O” is a heart and is white while the other letters are black (all on an electric blue background). So you want to read it SAES with hearts in between, or, as Tim does later, “Emilio Sosa Seth Aaron”. It’s all very confusing and just gives the overall effect of some tween “edgy” graphic print that Hot Topic would be embarrassed to carry. But damn it if Emilio doesn’t love it.
After a while, Tim comes by for a visit. Tim sees “evening” in Mila’s long gown, though she insists it is a day, spring look, kind of like a maxi-dress. Tim gives some notes to Jonathan on proportion and tells Maya to get unblocked about her use of prints. Tim does not see Emilio’s name in the print and finds the 40’s style silhouette of the dress to be common but for the graphic print. He loves Seth Aaron’s print and work so far but is concerned that Anthony is not being ambitious enough in his design.
The models show up for their fitting. Jonathan is pleased with how his dress fits and is convinced he has a winner on his hands. Maya again expresses how much she really, really wants to win a challenge already. Mila’s dress—or white teepee as Emilio calls it—causes trouble for her model to walk properly and is also sporting primary colored strings at the shoulders that are really distracting. After the fitting, Anthony scraps his top and changes it to something that he can tailor more quickly.
Memo to Kors: I’m stealing “Disco Straitjacket”
On the morning of the runway show we learn that one must never say anything negative to Jay about how he looks—such as likening his appearance to a gay Christmas ornament—if one is not prepared to sit through several wardrobe changes. But in his defense, Anthony was right—the green pants Jay had on were extreme.
At Parsons, Seth Aaron works to the last minute to finish his jacket while Anthony tries to embellish his dress and add some pop to it. After Tim arrives to start the one-hour count-down to the show, Anthony snarks about throwing a bucket of paint on the paleness of Jonathan, his dress, and his jacket. And speaking of paint, Jonathan thinks Mila is in serious trouble because her paint-stripped teepee dress is nearly impossible to walk in. The models get sewn into their garments and it’s out to the runway.
The judges this week are Michael, Nina, Vivienne Tam, and Heidi, who is wearing what appears to be a portion of a nautical chain around her neck. The print looks that are shown are:
Seth Aaron’s grey pants with zipper detail, black top, bright yellow tie, and a jacket made out of his yellow, red and black pop art print.
Jonathan’s pale grey dress with the watermark print and ivory leather wrap-in-the-back jacket.
Maya’s short dress with the red print on the sides and a black piece down the front with at 3D collar.
Emilio’s print simple dress made mostly of his print and a black jacket that is the best part.
Mila’s take on a maxi-dress that is so stiff her model has to pick it up to walk.
Anthony’sshort black skirt dress with a simple bodice made of the purple print he created.
Jay’s black pants, black military-style jacket with button detail, and top of the electric green print he designed.
After the show Heidi calls Jay forward and sends him off as safe. The other six designers’ model come out on the stage and the questioning begins. Emilio explains his graffiti graphic print and his 40’s French fashion dress. Heidi loves it, finding the coat unique and sophisticated. Michael thinks Emilio nailed creating an abstract signature pattern. Vivienne would wear the look but would have liked to like to see a heart shape in neckline. Nina likes the juxtaposition of the graffiti and the 40’s fashion.
Mila explains she wanted to show a big piece of her fabric in her dress. Michael finds nothing interesting in the Mexican serape gay flag of a dress. Heidi thinks it’s stuck in time and Nina isn’t impressed with the print. Vivienne doesn’t think the print goes with the dress at all. Anthony intended his design to have an edge through the use of color. Nina asks about the shrug and Anthony goes into an explanation of the death of his jacket. Michael thinks it is just too normal and Vivienne thinks he didn’t go far enough with his design. Heidi comments that this dress is pretty much the same thing he’s done several times over.
Seth Aaron explains his pop art print of a girl’s face. Heidi sees him remaining true to himself and loves the use of wild and crazy colors. Michael sees each piece working on its own and Nina finds the print charming and loves the jacket. Maya explains she wanted to create a textile that has a lot of movement but still keep her signature architectural look in her garment. Nina likes the electric print and architectural elements but thinks she went overboard with the crazy hair the model is sporting. Michael finds the dress intriguing at every angle and Vivienne likes the three dimensional look of the collar. Finally, Jonathan explains his print of layers of sheer circles to create a watercolor effect. Michael takes to task the back-wrap leather jacket, calling it a disco straightjacket. I love that phrase—it’d be a great name for a band or a screen name. Heidi and Michael both think the print looks like a dirty tablecloth and Nina calls the whole thing a full-on catastrophe, with the kick pleat, the dirty look, and just looking so sad. Jonathan defends his look saying that “sad” is an emotion, and at least his garment has an emotion which others on the runway don’t have.
During deliberation, the judges conclude Anthony always has excuses and the same silhouette, Mila took the easy road and produced a 1972 patio dress, and Jonathan’s look was too poor, conceptual and weird. On the other hand, Seth Aaron created a great print and produced unbelievably polished work in such short time on a small budget, Emilio made an adorable jacket and a versatile print, and Maya’s dress was beautiful and she created their favorite print.
The designers return to the runway to hear the verdict. Heidi announces Emilio as the winner; he gloats a bit about this being his third win. Of course, Seth Aaron and Maya are also in. Mila skates by on her ridiculous dress and it’s down to Jonathan and Anthony. Heidi says Anthony produced yet another simple cocktail dress and a bag of excuses. She then says that Jonathan’s look was bizarre and sad and while they appreciate his risk-taking, this was a complete misfire. With that, Anthony is out but Heidi adds that they’ll miss him, which is rare for her. Anthony takes it all pretty well, joking in the back with the others. Tim says he’s proud of him and to remember that he has the Marie Claire cover. On his final interview, Anthony says no one needs to cry for him but toss one back for him instead. I need no prompting after the week I’ve had, so I’m heading out for margaritas in a bit and will toast to Anthony whether anyone else in the restaurant has a clue or not.
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