Friday, January 18, 2008

Project Runway: Team Fierce!

Well, nuts. On the one hand, I loved this week's challenge. On the other hand, it resulted in the elimination of one of my favorite contestants. But, it was a fair elimination, so I suppose I have no cause for complaint (unlike last week). Also, I feel like I lost one of my other favorite contestants, because Rami was clearly taken over by some sort of Mr. Hyde alter-ego (henceforth known as "Meani"). Come back, Rami! I miss your quiet confidence and your non-dickish personality!

But let's take it from the top. We rejoin our favorite bitches as Christian interviews that he was shocked, SHOCKED!, to be in the bottom two. And, dude. Much as I love you and your carefully blow-dried and straight-ironed side-mullet, you're a bit delusional if you don't think you belonged in the bottom two last week. I mean, blame it on the client, but that dress was an ill-fitted, lace-covered, turd-colored turd. Even if the client was really obnoxious.

At the Runway of Destiny, we are reminded that occasionally, this show features actual models! In this case, actual models with very intense hairstyles. You see, the challenge is to create an avant-garde look inspired by your model's hairdo. Unfortunately for the models, this means that they aren't chosen on the basis of skill so much as the basis of assigned hairstyle, in some cases. Which kind of sucks for them.

Tim reminds the designers (and us) that avant-garde means that the look doesn't have to be practical or wearable, but does have to be ambitious. Thus, the designers will be working in pairs this week. Randomly assigned pairs, which will each then choose a leader. Ouch. And it's double ouch when Kit is paired with Ricky, whose looks have been too boring even for ready-to-wear fashion, let alone avant-garde. Obviously, Kit will be leading their team, and decides on an unclear concept involving nesting, layering, and a garden of some sort. Not quite as edgy as I had hoped.

Sweet P thinks she's paired with Rami, and is excited. As we quickly learn, she has in fact been paired with Meani, who is a total douchebag. As team leader, he chooses a gown and trousers concept, which I question from the beginning. Sweet P has some difficulty making the trousers, and Meani is already pissed off, even though she thinks they're fine on time.

Chris and Christian are psyched to be working together, but not as psyched as I am to see them working together. The trash talk alone will be glorious. They're making a gown with zillions of ruffles, and a huge neckpiece. It involves 45 yards of fabric, and some intense wire structuring.

Victorya and Jillian are the final pair, which pretty much just blows for Jillian. She's especially worried about time management, since she and Victorya, the team leader, have both had problems with it in the past. I'm mostly worried that Victorya will smother Jillian in her sleep, since I am slowly beginning to fear that Victorya is a sociopath. Mostly because only a sociopath could design that ruffly disaster from the candy challenge and then force her model into such an awful runway walk, but also because, well, I just get a vibe. Anyway, their theme is "rebellion." And it involves a big-ass trench coat.

As they get to work the second day, Tim shows up and announces that the designers will need to make another look for the runway: a ready-to-wear garment that embodies the essence of their avant-garde piece, much as real ready-to-wear fashion is inspired by cutting-edge fashion. "Inspired by"? Puh-Leeze! I never leave the house without looking like this. Ready-to-wear is for pussies. Aaaanyway, cue panic, anger, and frenzied shopping for extra fabric. Almost everyone decides to do little dresses.

In the workroom, Meani is pretty much bulldozing over Sweet P, to the point where it's hard to watch since up to now, I really did like both of them. And since they both (especially Sweet P) have a history of working well with others, I never would've picked them for the Most Dysfunctional Team award. Meani thinks Sweet P needs to stop expressing her ideas and start sewing her damn dress. Sweet P doesn't love that Meani's idea of avant-garde is to make his usual draped gown, and then channel Santino's "take a nice garment, and add crap to it until the model collapses under the weight" aesthetic. Later, he chews Sweet P out in front of everyone for being too slow, making her cry. Making Sweet P cry is like drop-kicking a baby bunny.

Victorya and Jillian, in the meantime, are (as predicted) well behind. And, unfortunately for Jillian, Victorya has immunity. Chris, on the other hand, has high hopes: "What I hope happens tomorrow at the runway show is that our model Marcia comes out, and people's jaws drop to the floor, and they never forget it as long as they live." (The last part delivered so dryly that I now love Chris even more.)

Tim Time! And he brings a special guest--Nathaniel Hawkins, the lead TRESemme hair stylist. The winning looks will be in a TRESemme ad in Elle, so he's helping the designers out with the wearable half of the hairdo. Tim loves "Team Fierce" (BEST NICKNAME EVER) as far as the avant-garde look goes, but worries that the ready-to-wear look may seem cheap. Christian, unsurprisingly, thinks it looks "totally expensive."

Tim thinks that Kit and Ricky's dress is a bit too costume-y, and not dramatic and exuberant enough. He loves Victorya and Jillian's concept, IF they can finish it. Which doesn't seem likely, since they haven't even started the second look by the morning of the show. Or finished the first one. Jesus Christ.

And now, on to Team Meani/Baby Bunny. Tim worries that Meani's gown won't surprise the judges, and that it doesn't go far enough. Um, duh. Meani is all, "Yeah, because we don't work well as a team." Riiiight. Your dress looks too much like everything else you've ever done because you had to work with Sweet P. Way to try and throw her under the bus when it didn't even make sense, dude. To her credit, Sweet P just says that it's been tough working together, without mentioning that he's been a total asshole who clearly doesn't respect her. She just does her best to rock her ready-to-wear dress, in preparation for being in the bottom two tomorrow. Good strategy. Also, she hopes they don't end up in a fist fight. Now, that would be an interesting match-up. I mean, she's all baby bunny now, but didn't she used to be a biker?

Pre-runway, Ricky worries that their ready-to-wear dress looks too simple (it does), and Jillian throws their second dress together at the last minute. At the runway, we are introduced to Alberta Ferretti, this week's guest judge.

Meani and Sweet P's main look doesn't seem very avant-garde to me, so much as it looks like one of Meani's normal gowns with some added bling. I guess I like it in general, though. Minus the weirdly incongruous pants. Sweet P's ready-to-wear dress is adorable.

Christian and Chris's main look, on the other hand, looks exactly as jaw-droppingly improbable as any avant-garde couture look I've ever seen. It's freaking amazing, you guys. So. Many. Ruffles. The ready-to-wear piece also looks nice--a very tailored counterpart to the extreme insanity of the gown. Go Team Fierce!

Kit and Ricky's main look is fine, I guess, but not great. In fact, it kind of reminds me of Mother Ginger's dress in The Nutcracker--the one with the big hoop skirt that all the little kids come running out of. Which, I suppose, is the definition of costume-y. And the ready-to-wear dress is waaay boring.

Victorya and Jillian's main look, on the other hand, is stunning. Especially the dramatic trench coat. Though I don't quite feel the connection between the coat and the blouse and pants under it. Despite Jillian's dissatisfaction, their ready-to-wear dress is actually really cute, and definitely more complex than Kit and Ricky's.

Meani/Sweet P and Kit/Ricky have the lowest scores, unsurprisingly. And okay, this HAS to be Chris and Christian. No contest. The judges seem to be in agreement, calling it beautifully crafted, important, exciting, couture, and cover-worthy. The only criticism at all is that the ready-to-wear skirt seemed like an afterthought. On the Victorya/Jillian side, the judges love the coat's silhouette, and think that the blouse and pants are really cute. Nina doesn't mind the ready-to-wear dress, and Jillian takes this opportunity to point out that they really had three looks (cut to Christian looking irritated).

On the sadder end of the spectrum, the judges really like Sweet P's dress, and predictably criticize Meani's gown for not being voluminous enough, and being his same old drapey self. They're also not loving the pants. Sweet P tries to explain that she wanted to add a bustle to the dress, but unwisely phrases it as "an explosion out of her rear." Everyone tries not to laugh. She's all, "I know, it sounds kooky," and they all nod vigorously, trying not to point out that it actually sounds like terrible diarrhea. Sweet P mentions that Meani really took ownership of the design and didn't let her put anything into it, while Meani says that they were at odds. As far as Kit and Ricky go, the judges feel it looks cheap, poorly-made, and Scarlett O'Hara-esque, rather than avant-garde and couture. They are also hating the ready-to-wear, which also looks cheap and simple.

The winner, of course is Team Fierce. Woo-hoo! Victorya and Jillian are also in, as are Ricky and Sweet P. Meani, it seems, was a bad leader, and his garment wasn't dramatic enough. Kit, on the other hand, wasn't fashion forward. Unfortunately, Kit is out. Fair enough, I suppose, her look was really disappointing. And they really couldn't kick Meani out, even if he was a dick with a predictable dress. This sucks, though! I really liked Kit! Although it pains me a little when she says that she's leaving with "two full suitcases of friendship and success." Urgh.

Here's hoping that Rami decides to rejoin us next week. If not, here's hoping for a Meani/Sweet P cage match. I'd put fifty bucks on Sweet P--I bet she's surprisingly feisty.


AlyssaK said...

Fun Blog.
Here's my thought: If I was Team Leader (which is always the one that get's the "auf") and I was paired up with one of the designers that is often in the bottom, I would have gotten very very nervous and concerned. Sweet P is a doll and Ricky is trying hard, but I would have steered the boat too, rather than let it sink.

Liz said...

Thanks! And that's fair enough--the Team Leader is definitely the guaranteed "auf." I feel like Sweet P, however, has proven that she excels at team challenges (she managed to work very well with Elisa on the first team challenge, with top two results, and made the best outfit out of her team in the "trendsetter" challenge), to the point where she's way better at team challenges than she is at solo ones. For whatever reason. So maybe Rami could have noticed that pattern and trusted her collaborative abilities.

Kenny said...

Surem but it was Elisa's idea not Sweet P's. Elisa's design was selected by SJP. So, not sure what to trust there. Rami worked "beautifully" with Jillian as she said. Now Jillian - I would trust...and apparently Rami did too.

Liz said...

Fair point, though I think that given Elisa's history on the show, Sweet P had to have been integral to the editing process.