Friday, September 29, 2017

Project Runway Recap - Season 16, Episode 7

Hello again! I guess if you're still hanging in with me through Week 6, my recaps must not suck too much, eh? or they do, and you're just a glutton for punishment. Either way, welcome back! If you're joining us here for the first time, I have been a sporadic recapper of Project Runway over the years. If you check out the "recaps" link over at the top right of the page, you'll find links to recaps of past episodes from this season, plus the random other seasons (and shows) I've covered.

This season, the producers seem to be making a real attempt at creating challenges that are far from the "make a pretty dress" challenges of yore. There was one whole season some years back when that was the theme pretty much every week. Snoozapalooza. Not only are the challenges more thematically diverse this season, their introductions are on the overly complicated side. Take this week's, for example. The designers meet Tim in the men's department at JC Penney where he's standing near some dummies mannequins male models and barrels containing bolts of fabric.

Also Monica Dalton. Monica holds the exalted position of Design Director of Contemporary Brands at JC Penney. That's at least a step or two up from my high school best friend's position of Assistant Manager of Apparel at K-Mart (note it wasn't called "fashion") back in the 80s. Some of the designers are a bit nervous about being in the men's department. Many have never created menswear before, but I have no doubt that the noxious fumes wafting over from the men's fragrance department are adding to their growing sense of despair. Have you ever noticed that most commercial men's fragrances lean so heavily on pine-y and wood-y notes that they seem better suited for disinfecting floors or cleaning toilets? I guess the idea is that men need to smell like lumberjacks or some shit like that. And we women (and other men) are supposed to suck it up and pretend we think they smell good. But they don't. While I'm on the subject....Men, if you ever notice that people cough or gag when you walk by, it's because you're emanating a miasma of bad department store cologne. If you're going to insist on buying that garbage, please spray it, as Tim might say, judiciously. Better yet, don't use it at all.

But as usual, I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, designers in Penney's men's department. Brandon is rubbing his hands together and laughing maniacally (inside his head, we don't see this) because he is a menswear designer. Everyone else (except Michael, who also does menswear) is worried. There is a collective sigh of relief (and a WTF from Brandon) when the challenge is announced. They will not be making menswear. However, they will be using it as inspiration for stylish Fall womenswear. It is pumpkin spice season, after all. Now here's where things start to get complicated. JC Penney has supplied fabric for the challenge, which is arranged near the male models who are wearing said fabrics. Each of the five models is holding two cards, each bearing the name of one of the designers.

Model one reveals cards with the names Kenya and Kentaro; the next model's cards read "Brandon" and "Annoying Bald Twin." Model three has Ayana's and Batani's cards. Four and Five have cards with the names Amy and Hairy and Margarita and Michael, respectively. These designers must work with the fabrics associated with their particular model. But wait, there's more! We're not finished with the complications quite yet: This is also a team challenge. However, though the designers appear to be paired up, they are not yet in their teams. The button bag appears. Each designer must choose a partner who is working with completely different fabrics, in other words, not the person they are currently standing with. As winner of the last challenge, Kentaro chooses first, and you get one guess as to who that might be. (Brother Brandon, duh.) Amy picks Kenya. Hairy picks Baldie (duh again).

Margarita gets Batani, and Michael is with Ayana. One member of each team gets to go to the workroom, and the other goes to Mood with $100 to spend on notions and supplemental fabrics.

It's Swatch's tenth birthday, coincidentally. The store mascot is seen wearing a crown, looking like he gives very few fucks. I swear he's the most easy-going Boston Terrier I've ever seen. The ones I've encountered were all hyper maniacs.

Speaking of hyper maniacs, the workroom is fairly quiet because the more hyper-maniacal of the twins, Baldie, is busy knocking things over at Mood. Meanwhile, Hairy is getting started on a pair of jeans. She's got to get some work done before her sister comes in and takes up all of her time with her extreme neediness.

At the beginning of the episode, we saw Hairy musing about her place in the universe after ending up in the bottom three two challenges in a row. I'm not sure why she's so confused; she's just not that good. Take a look at her portfolio on the Lifetime site. (Baldie's, too.) It all looks rather trashy/twee, and not particularly original. They are garments for backup dancers, and "street" wear. (I am beginning to think that is code for designers who aren't particularly imaginative.) Sure, they made stuff for Katy Perry, but she's known for wearing over-the-top costumes, not for an actual fashion sense. I had to wonder if the Annoying Twins working as a bonafide team could produce at least one cohesive design (dreamed up by Baldie and constructed by Hairy) or if they would simply make two haphazard sweatshirts and call it a day.

Not only were the Twins going to lean heavily on each other, a few of the other designers were going to take advantage of their partnerships. Batani was going to need Margarita's assistance for her garment, as "tailored and menswear-inspired" are not necessarily in her wheelhouse. Surprisingly Amy, too, was going to do some leaning on her partner, as she had only ever been safe in the past and Kenya had been on top more than once (but also on the bottom).

For a while, we see the teams working genuinely as teams, bouncing ideas off each other and seemingly not resenting the fact that it's a team challenge. Kentaro and Brandon especially are in a good place. They have a similar style and a clear affection for each other. The Twins, however, start squabbling pretty early on, with Baldie accusing Hairy of "abandoning" her when she merely wanted to quietly work on her own piece.

When Tim comes in for his critique, Team Annoying needs serious help. They are having issues with the fabrics and each other and the fact that they have a model--Liris--that isn't skinny. Tim is not pleased with what he sees thus far and suggests the drape-y thing they're working on for Liris should become a tunic. It's as if he has no faith that they can do anything more complicated than that.

His feedback for Kentaro and Brandon, whom he called "the Dream Team," was a bit more general. The Brothers were making pieces in the baby-colored buffalo plaid, but also several items in Kentaro's favorite color, black. (And none in Brandon's favorite color, diarrhea brown.) Tim suggests they lose some of the black, and his input doesn't make them happy. Meanwhile, I'm just confused, because it seems like they're making a lot of pieces. A lot.

Tim thinks Ayana's shirt dress looks like a hospital gown. It does, really, because it has no sleeves yet and the fabric is atrocious. But the sideways collar and button placket is cute and novel. Similarly askew are elements of Margarita's look, which is also a shirtdress. She wants to make a working button placket, but Tim suggests that might be a bit time-consuming. She's been helping Batani with many elements of her coat dress, which was taking time away from her own fabrication.

Once Tim leaves, the teamwork seems to fall apart. Kenya is working on a pleated top that they might not even use, and Amy is worried that there are other, more important, things that are being ignored. The models come in and Liris confesses to the mirror that she is nervous about working with the Annoying Twins, as she should be. Baldie is busy looking for other ideas and asks Kentaro if she can steal his black legwarmer idea from week 3. The whole time, the twins are sniping at each other. I want to see them rolling around on the floor in a catfight, but they haven't quite gotten to that point yet. Yet.

The next day, Tim comes into the workroom to ask the designers to send their models to the Hello Kitty Sparkle City makeup studio and the Play-Doh Fuzzy Pumper hair salon, and to "have a blast" with the JC Penney accessories wall. Because this is the JC Penney challenge, after all.

This week's guest judge is Asia Kate Dillon, a person of the pansexual persuasion who prefers to use the plural pronoun "they" when referring to...err...."themself." Lovely pansexual personages of the world, please just invent a new pronoun. You might be attracted to multiple genders, but you are still just one person. Unless, of course, you have multiple personality syndrome. Then of course it's ok. (Don't want to piss them off, in case one personality is an axe murderer.) As a writer, I get a little tired of people giving different meanings to words that already have meanings. Life is confusing enough. If you need a new word to describe something, by all means please make up a new one. It's easier for everyone, and you don't have to get all pissed off when people make the honest mistake of using words to mean what they have meant for years and years.

Wby am I so preachy? Because I am old and cranky, that's why. You'll get to this point eventually, too.

The runway show is ok. I'm not blown away by anything, but I think Margarita's dress is pretty cute. Michael and Ayana are safe, but everyone else is either in the top or the bottom.

Brandon and Kentaro are on the top, no surprise there. Their looks are cohesive and definitely part of the same collection. They wisely shared their fabrics and used them in similar ways. Zac thinks their looks are "Penneys ready," which I think might be an insult. They are also "cheeky" and "cool."

Batani and Margarita are also on top, mostly because of Margarita's super cute dress. They (as in all of the judges, not just Asia) love its asymmetry, and think it's sophisticated and polished. Batani's is nice, but not anything we haven't seen before.

It's no surprise that the Annoying Twins are on the bottom. They've (as in the Twins, not Asia) dressed poor lovely Liris in an inside-out sweatshirt, the same sort of thing Baldie was wearing for part of day one in the workroom. (She actually had a few wardrobe changes for unknown reasons.) It has a tie on one side of the hem, but if you didn't notice it, you might think the wearer got part of her dress stuck in the waistband of her panties after a trip to the potty. And what happened to Liris' right boob? It looks flat. The other look is a pair of faded wash jeans with a horrible baggy ass and a two-tone t-shirt, belted with a pair of mis-matched, disembodied, sleeves. The judges jump all over the Twins, saying they are "big time disappointed, " and "the world doesn't need this." Nina is also bored, and you know what that means.

Kenya and Amy are also on the bottom. Their looks are well made, but dated. That's what the judges say, but I'm not sure in what era the denim pantsuit with floppy clown collar might have been fashionable. (That collar just screams, "my boobs are droopy!") The other outfit, separates that look like a dress (what they told Tim in the workroom - it looked like separates to me), was pretty blah. Asia thought both teammates' designs looked like flight attendant uniforms from the 70s, which was a funny comment but not quite right. The neck tie on the dress was probably what gave her that impression. The suit was just "costume" and the poor models were styled to look much older than they were. Nina was also bored by these looks. But after 15 1/2 seasons, she's probably bored by almost everything she sees coming down the runway.

The judges asked both top and bottom designers who should be the winner or loser, if their team was the winning or losing team. With a two-person team, one might wonder why both can't get the win. However, this challenge had a special prize in that the winning design would be sold at JC Penney. Another company taking advantage of free design labor, yet the designers seemed thrilled. I don't really see the point of asking who should be loser or winner, throwing someone under the bus or appointing them bus driver. It's painful to watch and definitely more painful for the designers to contemplate. Everybody wants to win, and nobody wants to go home. And the judges are capable of making the decision themselves.

In the end, Margarita gets the win. Here's her winning dress at JC Penney. Not quite the same. Cheap nicely priced though. Kenya and Amy are safe. Their designs might have been bad, but there's no argument that they were well-made. The Annoying Twins, on the other hand, made crap. Baldie was willing to take the fall, but as the judges couldn't really tell who was responsible for what in the piles of poo they sent down the runway, they couldn't decide who to auf. I don't see why they couldn't just send both of them home, but I'm sure the producers wanted to keep the drama factor alive. Instead, the judges decided to torture the Twins, which I'm all for, as long as I don't have to watch. But I will. Next week's episode will start off with a head-to-head 1-hour battle between Hairy and Baldie, with the loser going home. Let's hope they don't waste too much time on that nonsense, or make the episode 2 hours long to accommodate the twinly drama. Ugh.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Project Runway Season 16 at Fashion Week

I've been terribly remiss in not posting the images from the Project Runway show at New York Fashion Week. The show took place on September 9th, and included six designers. That means three decoys, although I don't know why they would even bother with decoys when at that point there were 12 designers left and there was no way they could show the faces of the participants. In any case, I think it's pretty obvious whose collections are whose. My guesses are, in order - Michael, Kenya, Ayana, Brandon, Kentaro, and Margarita. I think this is one of the best runway shows we've seen in years--definitely better than last year.

My favorites are 3, 5, and 6 (my guesses are Ayana, Kentaro, Margarita). Which do you like, if any? Which do you think belong to the final three? And who wins?

I am guessing that Ayana, Brandon, and Margarita are the final three. As far as I can tell, each of their collections use two models from the competition; the others three designers don't appear to have used any of them. It might be coincidence, but maybe not.

Click on each collection to see a larger image.


Posted by theminx on Because of past content theft, I am forced to add this statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere other than the Opalescent blog, (also then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Project Runway Recap - Season 16, Episode 6

Greetings Earthlings! Welcome back for week 6! I gotta say, I found the whole beginning of this episode to be unnecessarily complicated and contrived. First we see Tim cavorting with the models at a "Model Brunch" on a roof somewhere. Like that's a thing. I am sure the models who do shows together always socialize and have brunch together, right? I know I loooove to spend time with people from work when I'm not stuck at the office, don't you?

Meanwhile, the designers are dutifully gathered at the runway, awaiting their next challenge. Heidi prances out in something that looks like a nightie from the former Mrs. Seal Samuel's Intimates Collection and announces that Tim is out eating avocado toast and açai bowls with the models. To prove it, she shows off a bunch of selfies allegedly sent to her just now by Tim, who is having the time of his life with his tribe of Amazons.

Heidi sends a few selfies to Tim in return.

When all of that foolishness is over, more foolishness begins: Heidi sends the designers packing to join Tim and the models, wherever the hell they are. By the time the designers get there, I guarantee there will be nothing left of brunch except for a couple spoonfuls of chia seed pudding and a half-eaten dish of shakshouka with a bit of congealing egg yolk in it. They may look skinny (some of them, anyway), but I've been around models at a buffet and those girls can eat.

Eventually, we get to the challenge: the models will become the designers' clients. The task is to develop a street style look that they can wear on their day off, one that they wouldn't be embarrassed to post on social media (using the hashtag #modelsoffduty). Models are all pretty young, so I imagine on their days off they normally wear things like Minions pajamas, sweatpants with some pithy phrase emblazoned on the ass, and "vintage" (read: holey) band t-shirts that they swiped from their older brothers. The stuff that college kids wear to the supermarket. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe a model's "street wear" is far more fashionable and doesn't have last week's pizza stains on it.

First, the models choose their designers. It's a very back-in-school moment. The popular girls (the models) are selecting other popular kids (Kenya, Brandon) or their favorite pet nerds (Kentaro, Samantha), and shunning the zitfaced kids who eat their own boogers. Hairy, Baldie, and Ayana are the last three standing, which is not so surprising. Of the three, Baldie gets picked first, possibly because between the Annoying Twins, she seems to have the better ideas. None of the models wants to be stuck in long sleeves and a head scarf on their day off, yet Ayana gets chosen before Hairy. Poor Sian--who was stuck with Hairy last week--suffers the fate of the button bag and gets stuck with her again.

The pairings go like this:

Kentaro + Meisha
Batani +  Monique
Amy + Marsha
Michael + Liris
Brandon + Colleen
Samantha + Jazzmine
Margarita + Christina
Kenya + Sanita
Baldie + Janine
Lena + Ayana
Hairy + Sian

Once paired up, the designers and the models go off to take selfies in the streets of New York, talk about their impending garments, and do some sketching.

Baldie and Janine are coincidentally both wearing navy and black, and they both seem to like what each other is wearing. Baldie has the bright idea to basically do a mash--up of their two looks. A mash-up of their blouses, actually--she plans on making the exact pants Janine is currently wearing. Meanwhile, the other Annoying Twin feels that street wear is indeed in her wheelhouse and is excited to get to work on a giant sweatshirt. Yawn. Kentaro is very happy to be working with Meisha again, a fluent Japanese speaker with whom he bonded during the last challenge. His idea for her is to make her look homeless...but in a neat, clean, and stylish way. Margarita's client/model, Christine, is "peeing her pants" to be able to work with her. Perhaps Margarita should keep in mind that her garment will need to be roomy enough to cover a pair of Depends.

The designers are then off to Mood with $200 burning holes in their pockets, followed by the workroom where they will cut and sew until 1am.

Tim's post-Mood visit to the designers includes the models and a fitting. Hairy talks about wanting to be at the top of her game this week, but it almost seems like her own sister is sabotaging her. Every few minutes Baldie is calling for her help: should she cut the fabric this way? should she sew it that way? does this look good? can they consult on this other element? It seems that between the two of them, there is one competent designer. Baldie seems to have the best design sensibility, but Hairy seems to have all of the technical skills. I am beginning to think they were born conjoined at the head and one of them got more brains than the other during separation surgery.

After a rough challenge last week, Kenya is feeling good about herself and her design. Leave it to Tim to burst her bubble. She's chosen a dark green fabric that he is concerned might make Sanita look like a "long green bean." And is she making fashion, or just clothing? Sanita herself is not quite sure that Kenya heard her thoughts and desires when they were discussing design ideas.

Brandon, who has immunity after winning last week, calls his girlfriend Dina Marie to share "I love yous" and that sort of thing. We know he's not getting a loser edit, and he doesn't seem to be having issues or losing faith in his ability, so I'm not sure why we get this segment. Perhaps to affirm that he is a taken man? Earlier in the episode, in a confidential, he's asked whether he was crushing on any of the models. He wisely pleads the fifth, mentioning the GF. We had heard from two different models in two previous episodes that they all seem to have the hots for him. Were the producers trying to cause trouble? Does anyone know if he and Dina Marie are still together?

There are some amusing moments in this episode, mostly not involving the Annoying Twins, particularly one where Margarita and Michael start critiquing their own looks. He realizes his resembles "cheap Pocahontas cosplay," which at that moment it does indeed. Margarita is having fit issues with her pants (possibly because she remembered to allow room for an adult diaper). The two of them pretend to be Zac Posen; one delivers the spot-on line, "I didn't even bother to score it. I just wrote down, 'trash.'"

Ayana is concerned that her model wants to show as much skin as possible, which of course isn't her thang as a modest designer. So she makes a long peach-hued satin coat that would make a fine bathrobe. One of the AT's criticizes it as such, but as I agree with her, I can't be critical about her constant criticisms. Not this time, anyway.

Speaking of criticism, let us now pause for a commercial break introducing the new Project Runway line at JC Penney.

Argh. That is some hideous stuff right there (although there are a few passable looks). The shiny "track pants" on the left have a matching off-the-shoulder bomber jacket in the same lovely shade of puce. I can see a 80-year-old rocking it quite nicely. The metallic skirt on the right just looks cheap. And the crushed velvet dress. Ugh. The fabric looks to have come from re-purposed season 16 button bags.

The dress's lace-up front takes me back to when one of my younger cousins was hit by a car. Apparently the impact caused his guts to fall out; the doctors put them back and closed him up with enormous stitches. When I visited him in the hospital, I was shocked to see what appeared to be thick rubber shoelaces holding his abdomen together. If you don't believe me, do a google image search for "large abdominal stitches." Warning: you'll get some pretty graphic results, so if you're in any way delicate, just take my word for it.

I need a palate cleanser now. How about photographs of a cute dog?

So where was I? Oh yes, Day Two, and the designers are scrambling to get things completed. Baldie still needs to complete important elements, like a waistband and a zipper. She doesn't like doing those things, so Hairy charitably does them for her while ignoring her own work. Baldie is clearly the bitchier of the two, so perhaps Hairy fears her wrath if she doesn't help? I don't understand why she is so willing to work on her sister's design without insisting on quid pro quo.

Tim comes in and tells the designers they have two hours to send their client-models to their local Avon representative for makeup and to the JC Penney Salon in Flushing for hair.

I have to wonder how many stylists they have in the hair salon. I would imagine it took quite a bit of time to flat iron Christina's hair from it's natural ultra-curly state to the pin-straight 'do she wore on the runway this week.

Tim also admonishes everyone to use that damn accessory wall "thoughtfully AND carefully." Afterwards, the models need 15 minutes to be prepped for a photo shoot before going down to the runway. So runway prep isn't enough? I certainty don't take 15 minutes to prep before I take a selfie. Hell, it takes me only 20 minutes to shower, do my hair, and put on makeup and clothes in the morning before work. I can't imagine these attractive young women need more than 20 seconds to look good.

This week's guest judges are Marchesa designer and Project Runway producer Harvey Weinstein's wife, Georgina Chapman, and some young singer named Kelsea Ballerini who I'm not even going to bother to look up because I just don't care.

The runway show isn't horrible, but it's not the best we've seen this season. Margarita, the Annoying Twins, Kenya, Kentaro, and Samantha are pulled out of the lineup as the top and bottom
The judges start with Hairy, and they ding her for using almost all black, apart for a bit of blue, telling her she needed a pop of color. The outfit was "crisply made" but wasn't a fashion statement. Heidi didn't like that the shorts were so short and showed so much butt cheek (which must have been visible from her vantage point, because I didn't notice any cheekage), yet she clearly has no such compunctions about showing her own underboob. Nina noted that Hairy's model looked pregnant, and nobody wants to look pregnant if they're not (and maybe even if they are).

Baldie, on the other hand, was praised for her design with adjectives like "classy," "chic," "expensive," "sexy," and "elevated." Zac thinks it's a great day-to-evening look for models rushing around between shows who want to go out afterward. It is an attractive look, but as it was basically what the model was wearing at the "model brunch," with the midriff and sleeves chopped off, it's also something we've seen before. And we'll see it again....

I was holding my breath waiting for what I knew would be harsh criticism of Kenya's look. "Debbie Harry meets Peter Pan meets 101 Dalmatians," was the first thing out of Zac's mouth. Astonishingly, he meant it in a good way. All the judges liked her outfit, which seemed dated to me. Like early 90s officewear, once women were allowed to lose the pussy bow and wear pants to work. The green color that Tim thought was a detriment was actually an asset in the judges' minds. They said the model had "legs for days," and a certain "je ne sais quois." Ok then.

They also liked Kentaro's design, a funky kimono-shorts thing over denim leg warmers that appeared to be leggings, and a cream-colored top that seemed to be made of a rather thick fabric (and which reminded Kentaro of mayonnaise). His look was "dangerous," "masculine," "crisp," "easy," and had a "Samurai edge."

Samantha's model shared her girly grunge aesthetic, so Sam made pretty much the same style of dress she herself has been wearing every week: full skirt with petticoat, fitted bodice, high-ish neckline. Samantha was a pioneer in the "Lolita" fashion movement, one of the many strange things that comes out of Japan but doesn't exactly make it to the mainstream. The judges felt her look was "verging on costume." They liked it better without the added vest, and Nina preferred the version that Samantha herself was wearing, which was in a gold fabric and somewhat more interesting. Still, it was the same dress.

Margarita received the final critique. The judges noticed the fit issue with the pants and felt the look was dated and not modern, cheesy, and too "Miami."

When the models came back out for the judges' closer look, Tim tells them that Hairy sacrificed some of her time to help Baldie, which is why her own look was kinda crappy. The judges said that was on Hairy, which of course it was. There are no rules against designers helping each other--we see it all the time. Kenya even asked for some help in the workroom this week. But when they are in competition with each other, designers shouldn't help so much that their own work suffers.

Unfortunately, this is not a lesson that Hairy learns this week. She's safe. Samantha is the one who is out. A shame--I like her. I would probably even wear some of the things she creates, but modified to remove the petticoats and lengthen the skirts. A-line skirts have always been most flattering on my frame, and I do find the vintage silhouette attractive. It does verge on costume (or cosplay) so it needs to be worn judiciously (like the JC Penney accessories). But there is room for a look like that here and there.

Kentaro is given the win this week for his rather groovy Samurai Mayonnaise with Denim Legwarmers. Well-deserved.

Posted by theminx on Because of past content theft, I am forced to add this statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere other than the Opalescent blog, (also then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Project Runway Recap - Season 16, Episode 5

For this challenge, the designers met Tim at Lyndhurst Castle. Until they arrived, Tim was forced to make small talk with two pretty young girls named China Anne McClain and Dove Bar Cameron, who are promoting Disney's latest piece of kiddie drivel "Descendents 2." Dove and China (the names together could be a shop selling posh wedding-related crap, or maybe a restaurant in Baltimore, where names must include "and" or "&") like most Disney kids, are singer/actors. Ugh. "Singers" of course means that they perform derivative, second-rate, R&B stylings and pop schlock and either will or have already performed on a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

So the intro to the challenge is a little confusing. The designers must take inspiration from the sequel of a made-for-tv live-action feature about the offspring of cartoon villains--Dove plays the daughter of Maleficent, and China is the daughter of Ursula, the delightful part-cephalopod baddie in The Little Mermaid--and also the fabulous gothic revival building in front of them, but they cannot make costumes. To make things harder, each designer must create something that is either "good" or "evil." But not costumes! I suppose they should be thankful that they weren't also treated to a special viewing of Descendents 2 (in which Dove wears a purple wig and China channels Bill Nighy's Davy Jones) to assist them in not making costumes.

As Michael was the winner of the last challenge, he is tasked with assigning the other designers their good or evil theme. Being as both seem equally difficult (no costumes!), it's not an opportunity to sabotage his enemies or assist his friends.

After 30 minutes of sketching, which seems to happen primarily outdoors, the designers pile back onto the bus for the hour-long drive back to the City and Mood, where they have $300 to spend. What with all the tarrying in Tarrytown, not to mention the 2-hour-plus road trip, the designers get (almost) two days to complete their garments.

Watching the designers at Mood this week is interesting, as one can see how fabric choices really affect the final design. Kenya falls in love with a textured burgundy material, but there's less than four yards of it in stock. She buys it anyway. Michael falls for a black and gold lace, which could end up super tacky (I'm not a fan of lace), but he thinks it's evil without being traditionally so. Hairy Twin has armfuls of filmy pastel-colored material, which immediately rings alarm bells, at least in my head. Good alarms, in that she might get herself aufed for making a princess costume.

When the designers get to the workroom, they find that "evil" designers are on one side of the room, and "good" designers are on the other. The Annoying Twins have opposing designations, so they are separated. Which may have been completely intentional. Not separated, however, are Brandon and Kentaro, who have started to call each other "brother." They have gone beyond simple bromance to an actual familial relationship. It is so effing cute. Kentaro is like an innocent elf. He is so full of joy and goodness. Brandon has that calm zen thing going on. They are a perfect couple. Yes, I realize Brandon is straight (not sure about Kentaro), but that doesn't mean that he can't have a spiritual relationship with another man.

Margarita is having a crisis of faith, for no good reason. Perhaps the pressure of so many consecutive challenges is getting to her. She is designing for a full-figured model for the first time, but that shouldn't throw her off her game that much. She goes into a room by herself and calls her parents. And cries. The dreaded "loser" edit. I'm hoping it's a red herring, because Margarita is a pretty strong designer and she'd have to make a real piece of poo to get thrown out this early in the game. But I may be wrong.

The next day, Tim comes in to check on things. He finds Brandon's work to be unexpected because it doesn't have that typical eveningwear look. Hairy Twin is making a fairy princess costume for a four-year-old. She doesn't want that, but with the materials she's purchased, it's hard to come up with anything else. Tim gives her the evil eye and moves on. Michael has let his gold and black lace take over, and the result is rather matronly. Amy is working with a light-colored fabric with a bird pattern on it, but with the pink dress and grey velvet "Erte-style opera cloak," the effect is very Barnum & Bailey.

Ayana's look includes lace and colorblocking in all the myriad shades of baby poop. Kentaro charitably calls the yellow color she is using "curry powder." Pink-Haired John Lennon's outfit is still in the muslin stage, but Tim is finding it gimmicky so the entire concept gets scrapped.

Baldie is working on a dress that is half leather and half not and says, "this is me." So maybe we're not just working with two Annoying Twins of them may have multiple personality disorder. Kentaro is using two very similar shades of pink, which look to Tim as though one of them might be a mistake. Though Margarita is having doubts about herself, Tim seems to like her burnout velvet dress a lot. He does not, however, like Samantha's usual meticulous, layered, intricate work. He calls it a "big craft project," which hurts her feelings. I personally do not like it, although I do appreciate her "aesthetic." It will be interesting to see if she can transform it into something more attractive.

On Day 2, most designers are well on their way to finishing up. Except for Hairy, who needs Baldie's assistance with the top of her dress. She actually needs assistance for the whole thing, which more than halfway through the second day of the challenge still looks like a kindergartner's wet dream. Pink-Haired John Lennon is also having some serious issues and is just starting to cut fabric for his redesign.

The next day, Pink-Haired John Lennon's look is still barely underway, and Hairy has received overnight inspiration for the top of her cotton candy nightmare. Tim comes in and advises the designers to send their models to get made up with "Get A Grip" eye primer and "Give 'Em Gel" eye liner in the "Aren't We Punny" beauty lab and have some hobo on the street do their hair because Lifetime couldn't find anyone to sponsor their salon. He also suggested that the designers "avoid costumeland," while using the JC Penney accessories wall.

Meanwhile, the twins are running back and forth from the workroom to the sewing room, which Kenya just looooves.

They are also throwing some shade. Baldie opines that Kenya's look is "oxblood mariachi band," and Hairy suggests that Brandon's design "literally looks like a napkin tied around his model's body. It's a smock with sleeves and side boob." Sam's "looks like poison ivy. It has a lot of green and a lot of texture...and it looks kinda like a hot mess." It is completely fine that the Annoying Twins say these things because they are such great designers themselves.

In no time, the designers are called to go down to the runway.

The Disney black-and-white cookies are judging this week, no surprise there, along with the usual gang, Heidi, Mean Nina, and Zac. The show starts off with Aaron's toilet paper pinata, at which Zac looks simply horrified. Amy's looks like a Disco Mary Magdalene (tell me it doesn't). Ayana's modest baby poop and yellow dress isn't as horrible as expected, but it's not pretty. The rest of the show is decent enough, with a few exceptions. Pink-Haired John Lennon, Brandon, Michael, Kenya, Hairy, and Samantha are top and bottom, and it's pretty obvious who is in which category.

Heidi starts off by calling Brandon's look a "modern straight jacket" with "peek-a-boob" and a bunch of other comments that seem negative, but she actually loves it. Zac calls him out for making another shirtdress-type garment and suggests that he may be a one-trick pony.

Hairy's dress is "Cinderella on her day off," and a cliché. Nina is bored by it, and we all know that it's very dangerous to bore Nina. Zac feels he doesn't know her as a designer yet. Really? All she's done so far is filmy pastel confections, none of which are particularly interesting or modern. She's been safe all along.

Heidi lists all the multitudinous elements of Kenya's design--ruffles, cuffs, open back, etc.--making them seem negative, as she did for Brandon. But she also loves it. It was "risky" and excellent work.

Samantha says she was inspired by poison flowers and poison fruit, and one can see that in her gown. But she gets dinged on the ugly bottom section, which is flat and boring and looks like an afterthought. It seems too short and a bit dingy. I think the dress would have been better as a mini than as a gown with a flounce.

Michael's lace dress is roundly praised. It's sexy, shows a good amount of cleavage, and the fabric is actually pretty amazing, despite being lace. Michael says he didn't do much cutting, he just let the fabric do all the work. It's impressive, and a nice change from the original matronly look we saw in the workroom.

Dove has to say something nice, so she compliment's Pink-Haired John Lennon's sense of personal style. I guess she has always wanted to be a flight attendant or something, because that's what he looks like today (tell me he doesn't). Otherwise, the judges are seriously hating on it. His model is so pretty, with a great figure, and she usually has a big smile on her face, but she seemed so sad in this. Heidi tells Pink-Haired John Lennon that this is not "Project Kindergarten," which is mean, but deservedly so.

It's no surprise that P-HJL is out this week. Though Hairy and Samantha didn't make anything particularly good, their designs were still much better than this poorly-made streamer-festooned (they are actually supposedly fly-fronts, flies from pants) mess. What was surprising was that Brandon won the challenge. Not that his design wasn't good, but that he had just been called a one-trick pony who only made shirtdresses. And Kenya's pantsuit was so nice, as was Michael's gold lace gown. But I'm ok with it, and I'm sure Brother Kentaro is, too.

Next week: Er...I wasn't paying attention. I could barely stay awake last night. I'm sure Lifetime will run lots of previews in the interim.

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