Friday, August 13, 2010

Project Runway, Season 8 - Episode 3


Hello!

Okay, I imagined that "hello" being in the chipper style of Heidi Klum walking out on the runway. I'm not exactly sure how to portray that in text so.... just go with it. Anyways....

Let's be honest, one of the first reasons we all started watching this crazy mess called Project Runway was for the unconventional material challenges - remember when poor Austin Scarlett's corn husks shriveled up in Season 1 or how magnificent Daniel Vosovic's garden party dress was in Season 2? Yes, if there's anything the folks at PRun know how to do it, it's crank out an awesome challenge in which the designers have to create something out of nothing. So in the spirit of flowers, food, candy, car parts, hardware supplies and everything else, let's talk about last night's challenge.

  • Challenge: The designers were brought to Party Glitter, some sort of maxed out iParty of sorts, but they weren't sent to pick up supplies for a fun Atlas rooftop BBQ. No no, the designers were charged with creating a garment with supplies only from the party store (and muslin provided in the workroom). Tim Gunn has apparently gotten a little soft, because unlike previous unconventional material challenges he gave them a little hint and urged them not to purchase any materials that were basically fabric alternates (i.e. tablecloths). Are you listening, Casanova? ¡Escucha a Tim, Casanova!
  • Magical Gems: Okay, I think we can all agree that the 90 minute run time is a little too much to handle, especially on weeks when nothing exciting really happens. Can you imagine if that snoozefest called Season 6 had 90 minute episodes?! I will say, however, that if the following magical moments were allowed into editing because the episodes are longer, I will concede that it is (occasionally) totally worth it...
    • Tim Gunn being entirely too amused by the name "Wooly Balls." How can you not love this man?!
    • Ivy passes out in a moment that brought me back to the glory days of The Real World - fine maybe I had flashbacks to Ruthie being dragged away by ambulance every other episode of The Real World: Hawaii (Sidebar: I hope Ivy is okay even if she's annoying and untalented).
    • "Gretchen, Gretchen, Gretchen! Why is always about Gretchen?!" Yes, Gretchen is starting to come across a little high and mighty around the workroom, but I can't help wondering if the rest of the designers are just having a big ol' case of Jan Brady. Either way, I loved when everyone attacked her at the end and then Gretchen snapped at AJ, "You're just being sensitive because you're on the bottom." Preach!
    • It should also be noted that even though we have added 30 minutes onto each episode, the models only took up about 45 seconds of it. Thank goodness.
  • Judges & Tim: Coo-coo crazy (and fabulous) designer Betsey Johnson joined the panel this week and delivered some great critiques and a welcome crazy point of view. Tim continued to be floored by the designers, and this week I finally started to agree with him. Also, how is it possible that Tim Gunn has been doing the same thing for eight seasons and we have not tired of him one bit? Long live Uncle Tim!
  • Bottom Three:
    • AJ - Poor AJ was pretty much set up to fail here, wasn't he? "This is your challenge!" "I can't wait to see what you come up with!" "How do I get to be as skinny as you?" Okay, maybe not that last one, but the pressure was certainly on for Mr. AJ and with good reason because he is constantly working with unconventional materials in the real world. And I don't buy all of his excuses that his work normally seems so cool because no one else uses the materials. It's either good or it's bad, AJ. And last night - it was baaaaaaad. Way too childish and "pretty princess" without having that twist that would make it acceptable for someone over 9 years old to wear. Except maybe Cyndi Lauper. As Betsey pointed out, it needed to be amped up 100 times more in order to make the craziness fashionable. Unfortunately, it just fell flat.
    • Casanova - Oh dear. How do you solve a problem like Casanova? Not only did he not understand the assignment, but then he sent a horrid clown gown parade float down the runway that Michael described as a "transvestite flamenco dancer at a funeral." This patchwork ruffly mess of a gown showed once again Casanova's pure lack of taste, making his claim to be a couturier simply laughable.
    • Sarah - Have you ever been to an "Anything But Clothes" party? Everyone dresses up using things from around the house that aren't conventional clothes, usually things like duct tape or cardboard. Sarah's garment looked like it belonged at one of those parties, not on the runway. It was sad sad sad and she knew it. Boring, safe, simple - all things you don't want to hear from Nina, Michael and Heidi. And apparently you never want to hear Betsey Johnson call your design "not funny."
  • Top Three:
    • Valerie - Continuing her upward momentum from last week, Valerie used hundreds of black and white napkins to create a fun and flirty cocktail dress. I was concerned the end result would end up too bulky, but she resolved that with a gorgeous open back. The whole design felt like a combination of Season 3's Laura Bennett and Season 7's Mila Hermanovski - color blocking meets cocktail dress with a plunging neckline - love! The best moment with this dress was when Betsey Johnson said she wanted to eat dim sum in it so she could have napkins easily accessible. I told you - she's crazy.
    • Gretchen - Yes, Gretchen ended up at the top again. But ya know what - she deserved it! Every piece in that outfit was impeccable made, modern and fabulous. The glittery skirt was fantastic and the jacket and top were totally true to Gretchen's aesthetic. Continuing her trend of choosing awful footwear, the boots drove me absolutely crazy, but everything else made up for it. Betsey described it as "Tina turner and Dreamgirls on the bottom, Mel Gibson and Mad Max on the top." I think that was a compliment...?
    • Andy - I love when the producers are still able to trick us. The episode started with Andy moaning that the judges weren't liking him, and then he was spending all his time braiding ribbon and Tim was concerned. And then... bam! Fabulosity (thank you for that word, Mia Michaels). Instead of party store ribbon it looked like leather and chains, had a great sparkle, great fit and fantastic styling (loved the high ponytail, of course). He truly transformed the fabric and made it look like a high-end garment. 
  • Honorable Mentions: I once again loved April's dress. It was cool and edgy and looked like it was made entirely out of broken glass (werk, Annie Lennox). April has been hiding under the radar so far this season, but I am definitely keeping an eye out on her. I also adored Michael Costello's red gown - total eleganza and red carpet glamour!
  • And the winner is: Gretchen! Just kidding. There would've been a mutiny at Parson's. No, this week the victory belonged to Andy, and I have to agree with the judges. If Gretchen had paired that outfit with a cute pair of black pumps, she would've had the win for me - but two weeks in a row of terrible footwear does not a win make. Congratulations, Andy. They like you... they really like you!
  • Auf Wiedersehen to: Sarah. Wah wahh. I was a little shocked here. Sure, it was sad and boring and awful, but at least she knew it! Casanova has sent three horrid garments down the runway and still thinks he is a high fashion designer. Get some taste, Casanova, or else start packing your bags. Your supposed Latin charm is not going to work on the producers forever. In the meantime... bye bye, Sarah. You had fun hair and I would've liked to see some more of your (not so boring) work.
A much much much better effort this week - it feels like we are getting into a good groove here with Season 8. What did you think, fellow judgers? Did Sarah deserve to go home? Were you a little concerned that Gretchen didn't like all the sparkly "crap" in the store? And how long do you think it will be until someone bitch slaps AJ and tells him to get a grip?? Sound off in the comments!
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