Both episodes also featured new favorite Mitchell in second-to-last place. I know he's not long for the show, but, man, what a treasure chest of material. From admitting he didn't put time and effort into his first design to his hangdog face while on the cusp of elimination...Mitchell is ok by me.
The second episode opens up with Hillbilly James Iha (nee Malvin) eating an apple while covered in drapes. This is shorthand for wacky! Mitchell admits he isn't taking this seriously and, huzzah, off to the runway for the second challenge. The challenge sucks. Make a maternity dress for Rebecca Romijn and her Slider spawn. Ugh. I want to see some clothes made out of breast pumps and baby formula. I loved the simplicity of the first challenge, but doing something so open-ended two weeks in a row? Why? The budget for this was $100 and the cameras focused on one of the still-generic contestants exhaling after being charged $99.50. That led to this exchange with our in-house expert, Kelli Martin:
Q: Ok, this kind of applies to all shows with budgets....but tonight's episode showed a contestant at a Mood register being relieved that she cashed in 50 cents under budget. If you're at Mood and have a few extra bucks to spare, what do you do? Like, do they have stuff behind the counter? "Throw in that sash!"
A: First of all, nothing at Mood has prices. You never know what anything costs, you just grab and factor it out later. When I came back later in my season, Korto and I were gathering leather hides, and I TOTALLY though that we would be auf'd because she was piling everything on! I felt like I strategically grabbed all my supplies when I was on the show, accounting for the cost, when really...it doesn't matter, they will "make the price work for you." I wish I would have know that sooner! It would have saved me A LOT of time!
I find this disappointing. I was hoping they'd get to spend their last dollars on smokes or copies of US Weekly.
Kelli also had this to say about the challenge:
They "casually" mention that the designer's all have 2 days to create the look! We had like half a day! So you give them more time, the audience won't notice, and they magically create better garments. Yuck!
Good catch. I missed that.
But, wait! Kelli's not done. Regarding guest judge Rebecca Romijn-not-Stamos:
Yeah sure, they have MUCH better judges than our "thrown-under-the-bus" season. Who can be excited over Brooke Shields and Sandra Bernhard? What do they know about fashion again????
To be fair, Brooke Shields was a model once upon a time. So, same qualifications as Ms. Romijn. I have no retort for the Sandra Bernhard thing.
More judge snark:
[Second guest judge Monique Lhuillier] is a graduate of FIDM (as am I), and I assume that the proper top 3 were chosen because she replaced Michael [Kors]
So the designers put little tummy pillows on their mannequins and get to work. By now, I have decided who two of the villains are.
1. Nicholas. Nicholas hasn't been top-3 or bottom-3 yet. The only thing he's accomplished is being incredibly annoying in the interviews. I hate stuttering, stacatto laughter. And he seems to find his own jokes pretty funny. I don't like this guy at all.
2. Louise. She hand-dyed some lace this challenge. Neat! But she said she was going for a 1920s aesthetic, and not to judge a book by its cover, but I expect we'll be getting a lot of that from her. Like Kenley with her princess dresses but, hopefully, with more self-awareness. And it looks like she has a barbed wire tattoo. Lamers.
Kelli has her own intuition on who the bad guy will be (and since this is Lifetime, never downplay women's intuition):
I feel like Sherin is a talented Kenley, and I don't think I like her.
Everyone hates Kenley! Somewhere there is a tugboat captain itching to defend his daughter.
Well, I like Sherin. Mostly because her dress and jacket:
was clearly the top design this week. I loved everything about it. Even Sherin doubter Kelli thought that this was a top-3 dress.
The dresses were nice, if not a little boring and I hope this doesn't become a theme. Certainly better than last week. But the bottom-three dresses were truly disasterous.
Before getting to the Bottom Three, Harmony wanted me to call extra attention to a dress that made it past eliminations without additional comment. Quacks's:
I don't think this deserves a spot on the bottom-three. It's horribly boring, but not a disaster. Then Harmony reminded me that Quacks's thing is "plus-sexy." She does plus-sized outfits and this is the best she could whip up? This should have been right in her wheelhouse and she blew it. Quacks will be gone by week six.
Now the true disasters.
Check out Ra'mon's:
Oops! Wait a second here...
There we go. To be fair, anyone could have made that mistake.
Even Mitchell, who we'll get to in a second, said the belly looked like a bowling ball bag before backtracking behind platitudes.
And Mitchell is a joke. Harmony, Kelli, and myself all agree that Mitchell needed to go. The man can't sew shorts. The best part of the Lifetime experience last night was the beginning of the show about the models. They were horrified that Mitchell got to keep his spot.
MITCHELL CONSPIRACY THEORY
So, based on the preview of next week's episode, someone gets dragged across the coals for not knowing how to sew. I wonder who that will be?
Why keep this dude on if he can't sew? The answer: To raise a big, deserved middle finger to Bravo's The Fashion Show for having designers who can't sew. If you missed it (and you should have), one of the designers had a big hissy fit saying this was The Fashion Show, not the "Sewing Show." He made it to the top-4.
Project Runway is oh so gently reminding us that The Fashion Show sucks.
Anyways, the losing dress:
Yes, it's that bad. Yes, it deserves to be singled out for ridicule. No, it wasn't as bad as not knowing how to sew shorts.
Although Malvin lost all of his sympathetic value when he called himself a philospher and complained that this design was too complicated for America. Really? The American market is the problem? Are you stoned?
Hopefully next week we'll get a better idea of who the better designers are. Two weeks in and it's still a crap shoot.