Friday, January 18, 2008

Project Runway, Chapter Eight

Scene One opens with the designers seated by the runway at Parsons

Heidi Klum: Today, boys and girls, you will base your design on your model's hairstyle. In the process, you're going to learn about avant garde - what it is, and what it is not.

Designers alternately look perplexed and happy. Avant garde sounds French, so that means no Catholic School girls or football players. Hopefully.

Scene Two: the workroom

Tim Gunn: Designers, this will be a team challenge.

Designers: (collective groan)

Christian: I only want to work with fierce designers! (looks around, sees none, grimaces) I've got enough fierceness for everyone in the room! If I were a diva, I'd be Feroche! (prances across the room, twirls, poses)

Tim Gunn: Designers, you have 5 minutes to choose a team leader and to discuss your design, and 25 minutes to bitch and moan about having to work in pairs. Pay attention to the adjectives I will be using during these next two days: "artistic," "conceptual," "ambitious." At no point will you hear me use the words "drape," "bed linens," or "converted tablecloth." Carry on people.

The designers break into pairs with their models and diss the ones with the ugliest hairstyles

SweetP: I think we should...

Rami: Drape? Excellent idea! I want to try something different, maybe a Grecian goddess-inspired look, but since we have to do avant garde...hmm... (pauses)

SweetP: We could...

Rami: (interrupting)...I'll do a corset on one half! Yes! I am brilliant! Nobody ever does corsets anymore, so that will definitely be avant garde!

Sweet P: I'd like to...

Rami: (interrupting) You can make some pants. Ones that will make the model look as if her ass was in the front. That's avant garde.

Sweet P: But...

Rami: (interrupting) I have spoken.

At this point it is obvious that someone is in much need of this:

Cut to Team Passive-Aggressive as they negotiate their design

Victorya: Our model's hairstyle is reminiscent of a mohawk, we should do punk.

Jillian: How about a trenchcoat?

Victorya: We can do an equestrian look with jodhpurs.

Jillian: All of the above! Now, who is going to be team leader? Do you want to throw me under the bus, or vice versa?

Victorya: I would prefer not to be team leader, although I would like absolute control of the project. Even if I am not the leader, I will still insist on control.

Jillian: I feel the same way.

Victorya: That is your problem, you "feel." You allow emotions to get in your way.

Scene Three: Mood Fabrics. Christian and Chris look for 7,000 yards of the finest organza, Kit and Ricky pick through the chintz, Rami shoves Sweet P out of the way as he goes for material that would drape nicely

Designers: Thanks, Mood!

Scene Four: Parsons work room The designers are seen hard at work on their forward-thinking, avant garde, conceptual works of art.

Cut to Ricky fitting a corset top made from pillowcase fabric on his dress form while humming the theme to "Little House on the Prairie"

Ricky: Let me just bone her (giggles idiotically, grossing himself out at the icky thing he's implied)

Cut to Team Fabulous

Christian: Our dress of 100,000 circles of organza will be fierce, just like ME! (twirls)

Chris: Fierce, and heavy. Help me construct the supports for the satellite dish on the shoulder of our gown. Covered in miles of organza, it will only pull in the gay channels. But really - all you need is Bravo, right?

Cut to Team It's All About Rami

Rami: Sweet P, are you done with those pants yet?

Sweet P: We just got back from Mood 10 minutes ago!

Rami: My hot little ass is on the line here, so don't fuck this up for me!

Sweet P: Bu-bu-but MY ass is on the line too!

Rami: Ha! My ass is much nicer than yours!

The designers continue to work and argue as the scene fades out

Scene Five: Parsons work room, late in the day. The designers are cranky and tired and Sweet P's soul is obviously bruised.

Tim Gunn: Designers, may I have your attention please for a special announcement. Not only are you running out of precious time on your artistically ambitious avant garde piece, but I also want you to throw together a companion ready-to-wear piece that doesn't look cheap. So there's less fighting this time, I want only one designer per team to go to Mood.

Sweet P grabs her purse and runs out the door

Nathanial Hawkins from TRESemmé comes in to help the designers with the hair and makeup for the ready-to-wear look. He also tells them that the winning design will be featured in a TRESemmé ad in Elle Magazine. The designers feign excitement because Elle has so many ads, who's going to notice one more?

After hair and makeup, the models are shoehorned and otherwise dressed in their avant garde and ready-to-wear ensembles.

The runway show begins

Team Rami & Sweet P: Elisa would have taken the pre-Raphaelite tresses as a sign to design a combination fairy princess (with wings) and Kate Bush from an early 80s video, but all Rami could come up with was something draped. C'mon! We've seen that three times now. Granted you are a fine seamstress, but honey, that's not what avant garde is all about! And the pants! Why black? Why pants?

Michael Kors opined that Sweet P's ready-to-wear dress was "more forward" than Rami's. Her well-designed and interesting little number showed that her lovely prom gown last week was no fluke.

Team Victorya & Jillian: Despite pairing a punk-rock trenchcoat (replete with very punk yet somehow still quite chic plaid) with khaki jodhpurs and a frilly shirt, I was blown away by this. It's weird, yet somehow wearable by someone with a big enough personality. Michael Kors said that this was an outfit every woman would want to wear, and I had to laugh. Sorry, my thighs are already that shape. No need to emphasize them!

And despite being so short on time, Jillian pulled off the RTW dress quite nicely, using the plaid and black combo to connect the other look. They were very close to winning this one, but they had stiff competition...

...In Team Fabulous (Christian & Chris): Apparently French couture models all have serious cramping and/or constipation problems, looking at the contortion Christian had their model assume. The dress, however, is outstanding. They understood the concept of avant garde, and Chris' theatrical background was a tremendous asset to the team.

It's very obvious that Christian created the blouse for the RTW look - it's his typical ruffly-down-the-middle treatment, and one side of the ruffle is less-ruffly than the other side. The skirt looks like a brown paper bag and the belt seems cheap, but at least this look borrows a little bit from the organza fantasy.

Team Fabulous got the win, and deservedly so. And because the little scamp Christian was team leader, he was awarded immunity.

Team Kit & Ricky: There were lots of opinions about Kit's creation. Alberta Ferretti thought it was a cheap looking Scarlett O'Hara (? being that the only similarity to anything that southern belle would have worn was the hoops and petticoats, I don't see it - oh wait, maybe it's the curtain rod?). Michael Kors' commented that it looked like she "ripped the sheets off the bed and ran out the door." No, Michael, this is what it looks like to leave the house in your bedclothes.

Although that was more along the line of what I was thinking: the entire time Kit and Ricky played around with their fabric, I was reminded of one of my all-time favorite fairy tales, The Princess and the Pea. It always bothered me that her sheets didn't match.

As for the RTW look, rather than spend precious time working on it, someone popped in to K-Mart and picked up this romper from the children's department.

Kit was apparently caught Auf-Garde by this challenge and given the double-cheek kiss-of-death by Heidi.

Fade to black


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