Hello loyal readers. I know you are very disappointed to see me writing this instead of Rusty. Unfortunately for you, Rusty and Teri were kind enough to invite me into their home and liquor cabinet for last night's spectacularly mediocre episode of Project Runway. Sorry it's late, but I am writing this under the influence of a sinus infection and getting my 10-year-old eMac to navigate the flash-heavy Project Runway gallery is only slightly more tedious then building a tiny battleship in a bottle. Let's begin!
So, last night's challenge was another let-down: create surf-wear! With the help of surfer people and a partner! And Garnier logos everywhere, because everyone knows that when you hang out on the beach your hair is priority 1! Jesus Christ, it's a bad sign if they're only on episode 3 and they've already stopped trying. There has to be more interesting beach-related challenges to be had. How about we put them all on the beach with metal detectors for an hour and they have to construct cocktail gowns out of whatever they manage to dig up? I would have loved watching Johnny make a cute clutch bag out of used syringes. Even the unflappable Mr. Gunn is bored, and super-cranky about his flip-flops, as well he should be.
(Also: did this episode have anyone missing Uli? She would have rocked this one. So many flowy skirts!)
There was also a very boring sequence where we had to watch the designers hold conversations with "surf look" models. Russ wanted me to point out how bullshit this was, but I'm actually very grateful they were there to provide life shattering insight like "I like clothes that fit over my bathing suit" and "Blue is pretty". Awesome. Thanks.
Since creating an off-the-rack look for PacSun is really fucking difficult, and the producers were apparently getting desperate for SOMETHING television-worthy, they attempted to ratchet up the drama by partnering people up. Most of the designers were pretty much easy-going team players, and were excited to be working together. It was kind of heartwarming to see them rushing around, sewing and ironing and complimenting each other. Kind of like an Amish barn-raising or something. There were some misfires as well, of course:
Ah, Mitchell. Can we talk about Mitchell? He picked Ra'mon because he said he needed someone to 'carry him through' this challenge. He can't sew, he can't design, and he can't go five minutes without making someone want to smack him. Most of the shots of them working consisted of Mitchell sulking like a baby and Ra'mon frantically sewing, cutting, and sending death glares to his team captain. Surely Heidi and the Death Gods won't reward a team captain that shirks their responsibilities that hard? Stay tuned, true believers!
Quacks also got screwed by her choice in partners. It turns out that Epperson is kind of a huge fucking dick. Russ says Quacks sucks and should have taken the reigns better, and I kind of agree, but I also think Epperson is a bully and that his designs don't justify the level of ego he brought to the table. Quacks should have just ignored him, but Epperson also needs to be shut up by a more efficient queen bitch then her. Maybe they can pair him with Nina Garcia next time. She'd probably eat his head.
To further convolute an already-convoluted process, the PR Counsel of Doom demanded a second avant-garde look on top of the surf one. Seeing the look on Ra'mon's face when he realized he would be responsible for not one, but two looks that challenge was heartbreaking. Quacks and Eppy were too busy quibbling over how to stitch a seam to care much, and that was reflected in what they brought to the table for the final look. But more on that later.
My personal favorite partnership of the night was definitely Nicolas and Gordana. I love the fuck out of Gordana, her beautiful workmanship, and her consistent stream of heavily-accented bizarre prattle. Nicolas is kind of annoying, but a decently creative designer and fun to watch. Nicolas went out of his way to praise Gordana's awesome craftsmanship abilities, and Gordana was optimistic about the design "of a mermaid, the movie with the mermaid?". In short, they are BFF, and I was completely rooting for them.
Let's talk about what these folks produced:
Nicolas and Gordana's first look was actually OK. The judges were really into the top, but they said the bottom looked too sloppy, which I guess is fair enough. But isn't this supposed to be something you wear over a bathing suit? Something too tailored would have looked stupid.
Look 2. I think she looks like one of the hooker replicants in Blade Runner, but Blade Runner is an awesome movie, so this works for me. They should have propped a little origami animal in her perfect Garnier hair. Nicolas admitted he probably went "too far" on this one, and the judges agreed, but they seemed to appreciate the effort and went out of their way to comfort them as they were quietly shooed from the stage. Nicolas and Gordana, you're the only pair who did anything truly risky last night, and I salute you for that.
Just a quick aside- the judges were freaking out over this look, and I can't figure out why. It doesn't look like something you'd wear to a beach. Maybe to buy quirky tiki-torch-and-coconut-themed shit from Urban Outfitters for your dorm room, but not to an actual beach. Also, I thought the macrame thing on the back was completely ugly. Congratulations, ladies, you know how to make a potholder.
Eppy and Quack's other look is dull and pretty, so let's look at this explosion of fug instead. That is the least flattering bathing suit I have ever seen. Making a Project Runway model look chubby is a daunting challenge, even with a pregnancy pillow. They rose to the challenge by creating a bathing suit that downplays every positive thing about her body and highlights every imaginary flaw in pleather-looking material that would be embarrassing on bordello furniture. Eppy upbraided Quacks for lacking a vision, but whatever- this look is just poorly designed and constructed. I mean, what are the buttons for? What the hell are they for?!
Here's Ra'mon's surf wear look. I say it's Ra'mon's because Mitchell did not touch the dress at all. If you squint at the model's cleavage, you might be able to see the swimsuit that Mitchell supposedly made. Heidi couldn't, and she gave Mitchell complete hell for it. He really needed to step it up for this episode and he epically failed. As soon as the camera went to a scowling Heidi we all knew he was fucked. Mitchell sucks, so watching the judges turn on him was lots of fun.
Ra'mon's avant-garde look! Please note that after spending a day making a wetsuit that caused a tiny vessel to burst in Mr. Gunn's head, he regrouped, dyed some material, and sewed this dress up in about an hour. Without Mitchell's help. This dress earned high praise from the judges and a lot of love from guest judge Rachel Bilson, who is apparently on a TV show or something? Whatever, she looks like a Bratz doll.
Anyway, Ra'mon clearly rocked this thing, and Mitchell clearly did not. So, in the first time ever in the history of Project Runway, a member of the winning team was auf'd. So long, Mitchell. Don't forget your Garnier grab bag and don't let the door hit you in the ass. I thought it was notable that, while every other departing designer gets a least a little faux-sympathy from Gunn and co, he was solidly given the cold shoulder as he exited the premises. They probably edited out the part where they all peed on his toothbrush.
If nothing else, this episode was a perfect example of how PR on Lifetime errs in favor of boredom rather then shock value. Boring challenge, blah designs, and it took 3 episodes for the most untalented person in the world to get kicked off. Hopefully the next episode will be Mad Max themed or something and the designers will have to battle it out in Thunderdome for the right to make a matching look for Master and Blaster. My money is on Gordana. Girl looks like a scrapper.
I can't access my email, so Rusty will have to amend Kelli's thoughts onto a follow-up post. Oh well!