Project Runway 9/17 Recap: Paper Dolls
Hello, fashion fans! Once again it is time to check in our PR6 designers and see what wisdom, wit, and crisp criticism Tim Gunn delivers. Truth be told, the designers could be home ec students, so long as Tim were there I’d watch.
We rejoin the designers after Qristyl’s departure and get a big velvet bag of foreshadowing. Johnny sings a little song about how he’s not going to be in the bottom three. Althea says she’s going to continue to produce good work to prove her win was not a fluke. Gordana wonders what the next twist will be. Irina gripes that Althea’s win was undeserved, while Nicholas says that Johnny and Irina shouldn’t be in the competition at all. Somewhere in that mix of sentiments reveals the ending. You’ve just got to guess where!
What’s black & white & “red” allover? A/K/A the oldest second grade joke in the book.
Off to FIDM the designers go; in their quick and cryptic meeting with Heidi on the runway, she reminds them that Althea has immunity and then sends them off for another field trip with Tim. She won’t reveal the destination, but says the answer to the riddle is in black and white.
Logan guesses that the challenge will involve black and white Old Hollywood glamour, but it should have come as no shock to anyone that the designers end up at the LA Times and the challenge will involve newspapers in some way. Tim is at the Times with Booth Moore, the resident fashion critic. She doesn’t stick around to judge, so I’m not sure why she’s really there. The designers are given three minutes to grab as much newsprint as they can, as they’ll be using that as their fabric. The designers take copious amounts of newspapers, which causes Irina to wonder why everyone is grabbing so much paper. They’re designing for a human, not an elephant she says.
Back at FIDM, Tim allows the use of muslin as a base, but it can’t show through, and points out the dyes that are available to color the paper. They only have until midnight to get their work done, and they can make any kind of garment they want. Chris has a plan for a gown with a fitted bodice and a long skirt with tiers of cut newsprint that will flow like feathers. Althea starts experimenting, because she doesn’t know how the paper will move. Carol Hannah starts dying her paper first so it can dry in time. Nicholas is just clueless and Irina plans on making a pattern out of the color prints.
Over in her own corner, Shirin is doing some kind of papier-mâché and origami dress. Except she won’t shut up…she chirps, talks, yaks, and drives everyone insane in her area. Nicholas is already on the verge, as he has no idea what to do with his newsprint, and says even though he and Shirin are the same age, she makes him feel 40. Oh, no, Shirin! You’ve made the Feather King of New York feel old! For shame!
In a quieter corner, Johnny has dyed a big piece of newsprint bright red and has made a bunch of origami cranes for the neck/shoulder detail. Nicholas, who either bribed an editor for screen time or else no one had anything remotely pithy to say, opines that Johnny’s dress is just wrinkled up paper with pig’s blood all over it.
With six hours remaining, Tim stops by for a visit. Gordana shows him her curious plan to make two garments: the patterned dress that’s on the mannequin and a sheath dress with “Time To Change” written on it. Tim thinks the sheath dress is political but dull; he says she should focus on the patterned dress as he loves what she’s done so far. Althea is working on draping her dyed paper; Tim points out she has immunity so she should really go wild. Irina expresses doubt over the paper coat she has in mind, but Tim reminds her that it was done in 1968. I bet he has the original in some fabulous closet somewhere. Taking a gander at Johnny’s “pig blood” red and cranes, Tim says he is woeful and it looks like a craft project gone awry, with the shoulder birds having attacked the model. Oooh, harsh words from Tim. Johnny scraps the garment, tosses it in the trash, and begins again. Tim advises Nicholas to keep going, but make sure it doesn’t turn out too costume-y. Finally, Christopher explains his “feather” dress and says he wants to make a showstopper; Tim replies, in true Nike form, “Do it!”
The models come in for their initial fitting, and more work ensues. Irina goes for her coat look, while Nicolas says he’s doing some kind of 1990s punk look. Althea pieces together images from the paper to make a pattern. Irina and Shirin separately worry about the dresses falling apart or ripping; not only to they look similar, but they say nearly the same things. Editors, you are not helping me tell them apart!
During the fitting, Johnny tells his model he had to scrap the first dress because the steamer got it all wet. This lie circulates through the workroom, and remains fodder for discussion back at the apartments after the work day ends. Christopher clues the viewers in that everyone is fed up with Johnny’s lack of passion and time put into his design.
Who said print media was dead?
The day of the runway show arrives, as does Nicholas’ fresh application of concealer. Johnny shows his apathy by donning a pair of jeans and a pink polo. Back at FIDM, the designers scramble to finish their looks, while Tim sends in the models in and starts the two-hour clock. He has taken a look around the room and admonishes the designers that some of them look like they’re fading.
The usual last minute scrambling commences, such as Carol Hannah having issues getting the dress off the mannequin and on her model. Althea and Ra’mon debate whether Irina’s coat is good or crap, and Gordana thinks her dress is perfect. The clock runs down to five minutes, and Tim advises them to pack an emergency kit with lots of tape. More Johnny/Nicholas drama (or what suffices for drama, without a proper villain) ensues: Nicholas thinks Johnny has too high of an opinion of himself and hopes the judges take him down, while Johnny thinks Nicholas’ “punk rock” is really “stump rock dinosaur chic.” Whatever the hell that means.
Off to the runway show they go, and Heidi introduces the judging panel: Tommy Hilfiger, Zoe Glassner (the Marie Clare editor from last week), and Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria Parker. Oh, fashion gods, please send Nina and Michael back to us soon! The newsprint that flies before our eyes has been transformed into:
Logan’s short, strapless cocktail dress with a fan detail at the top and teal horizontal lines that evoke an Asian influence;
Nicholas’ cocktail dress with thin straps and some reddish line detail that is just too boring to describe further;
Christopher’s hard, armor-like bodice over a long skirt of multiple layers of jagged-cut newsprint to capture that feather look he was going for;
Ra’mon’s two-piece look, with a top dyed in purples and reds and short skirt in greens;
Epperson’s kimono look which employed a lot of the color print of the paper;
Johnny’s Wilma Filtstone looking short, strapless dress that used a lot of someone’s face in an ad in the paper;
Gordana’s halter dress with a two-tiered skirt and used a lot of the red colors of the newsprint (or dye—hard to tell);
Carol Hannah’s long red gown which does not look like paper at all;
Shirin’s short dress with a 3-D skirt that looks a lot like Anna’s (from The Fashion Show) cup design; [Note: I know this was filmed first, just comparing!]
Irina’s coat with no dye—just newsprint—and tiny bits of paper balled up at the collar and cuffs to make it look like fur;
Althea’s very technical use of print to make something that reminds me of Jay’s Empire State Building dress of PR1; and
Louise’s short cocktail dress that employs loops of paper to make the front/neck piece.
To check out the pictures of the looks, refer to the photo thread here. Thanks, lobeck!
After the show, Heidi calls Johnny, Nicholas, Christopher, Althea, Gordana, and Irina forward and dismisses the remaining designers as safe. Out come the models, and out come the judges’ opinions.
Althea faces the judges first; she says she saw the design of the building in the paper and decided to layer it into a fan. Eva loves it, Tommy thinks it’s well executed, and Zoe appreciates the pattern. On the other hand, Gordana’s little dress (which, seriously, isn’t any worse than any of the “safe” designs) is called too wearable by Heidi and Eva says the others’ were just better, so that’s why she’s in the bottom. To her credit, Gordana says that she thought the challenge was to make something wearable out of something that is not. Yeah, getting the challenge should land you in the bottom. Good lord, Gordana’s design is the worst choice for bottom three ever.
Irina’s trench coat blew Eva away and Tommy was impressed with the Givenchy-meets YSL-meets Chanel thing she has going on. Heidi liked the faux fur/newsprint effect.
Heidi questions how much time Johnny spent on his design, and he launches into his steamer lie yet again, noting how wonderful his first look was. Nicholas ends up rolling his eyes and tells the judges that Johnny scrapped his first “perfect” design after Tim told him it looked like crap. Nicholas doesn’t do well with the judges either; Tommy tells him that his look is not punk at all and Zoe notes the only thing about 90s New York his dress evokes is cockroaches.
Finally, Christopher again notes he wanted to create a showstopper with his feather look. Zoe finds it very beautiful, Eva very creative but didn’t like seeing some flaws in the back. Tommy notes it is a “wow” dress, very sexy and glamorous.
The judges send the designers off so they can deliberate. Long story short, Christopher was creative and took a risk, Althea made a very architectural design that accentuated the model’s curves, and Irina showed a well-executed dramatic design. Gordana’s look was well made but too safe, Nicholas didn’t understand his inspiration, and Johnny’s print was cool but didn’t construct it well and Tommy didn’t buy the pack of lies about the steamer.
The designers are called back on the runway, and Althea is safe. Irina is the winner for her coat, and clearly Christopher is safe as well. Gordana is safe (there really was no reason for her to be in the bottom 3 anyway), so it comes down to the yappy bitches, Johnny and Nicholas. The judges saw where Nicholas was going, but he never got there. Johnny offered a lot of excuses but produced a mess. So, in the end, Johnny is out, Nicholas survives another week (probably because he’s the “comment” dude to the interviewers). Tim send Johnny to pack his scissors and go, and wonders aloud to the remaining designers about Johnny’s story about the steamer. Look people, if you take away one thing from this show, remember this: NEVER lie when Tim Gunn can hear you. He’s more powerful than Santa Clause. He’ll know when you’re naughty or nice.