The bigger they are the harder they fall. Without our star, we’re just left with a hammer and a sickle.
Last week’s episode was a gold star classic. This week we were treated to the bottom of the sine wave. At this point, 12 seasons into “Project runway,” the rebound episode is par for the course. After front-loading the season with mythical creature loving weirdos and manic depressive snow leopards, there was bound to be a letdown of biblical proportions.
The producers tried to manufacture drama this week by combining a pinch of unconventional (again?), a dash of group dynamic (again?), and the slightest sliver of time (a single day). What they got was pressure but not like the pressure that compacts coal into diamonds. It was more like a pestle (Ken) grinding against a mortar (Sue) to produce flour. Flour that will later used to make bread, and we all know how exciting bread is.
While waiting for the yeast to rise, Sandro wandered in from the street to put a button on a very open shirt. Suprisingly contrite, Sandro seemed to be on the upswing of his medication and apologized to Helen by name and Ken by pronoun. Everyone’s favorite Russian DJ of the English language mixed metaphors, while letting everyone know that it was he, not them, that was the problem. Some nodded in acceptance while other blew him off. Either way, it was the most interesting thing that happened all night. And then like Keyser Soze, he was gone (again). My only hope is this act of penance opens the door for a mighty apprentice return later this season. Fingers crossed.
THE CHALLENGE: Design a High End Three Piece Mini-Collection with Unconventional Materials . . . from One of Three Stores . . . in Teams of Three
The Vintage Wallpaper Store – This place sounded great, but as Admiral Ackbar knows, “It’s a trap.” Everything was faded and heavy on the gaudy print. Watching the pieces go down the runway, I kept thinking that everything from the wallpaper store looked awful.
The Party/Home Goods Store – This was the protein of the dish. I think every team went to this store. This store contained all the materials that could be constructed into form. Need a bodice or the framework for a skirt, here’s your colander. What sounded to me to be the tackiest of the store of the bunch turned out to be a must visit.
The Specialty Foods Store – The unmined diamond of the three. Any and all finishing materials could have come from this store. I was looking forward to somebody trying to use something with a shelf life, but alas no one made the Austin Scarlett lettuce dress. If you went to this store, you did well. The verdict? Hit the party store first then the food shoppe if you’re choosing your own adventure.
Team Bradon and the Coattail Riders (Braden, Alexander, Miranda) – An all-white motif. They sent down a disco jumpsuit with a dead cat collar (Alex), a roman sleeved babydoll forgettable dress (Miranda), and a confusing wedding dress with a crazy train (Bradon). The judges remarked how close this was to being the top. Frankly, I didn’t see it. Maybe I couldn’t see the blizzard for the snow because it was all white, but it looked gaudy and frumpy.
Needless to say there were winners and losers given the team dynamic. One of the big winners was … Miranda. After being shattered into a million tiny little pieces last week, the dairy lieutenant was melted down and blown back into a paper thin vase and set teetering on the edge of a table. She’s going home soon, but not this week. Alexander also benefited from having three other sets of critical eyes to rein in his Technicolor Dreamcoat vision of fashion. And then there’s Bradon. A lovable dancing redhead that is going to find a pot of gold at the end of fashion’s rainbow. Purple Horseshoes.
Team Crunchberries (Justin, Dom, Helen) – Structure-based wallpaper with Goji Berry flair. They sent down a power suit for a woman guaranteed not to the job (Justin), a “Mad Max”-shouldered party dress (Dom), and an upside down strawberry shortcake (Helen). Personally I thought this was the second best collection of the night. They get my official ROBBED stamp for this week, even though I’m splitting hairs who finished second and third, because we weren’t really given the results other than Heidi’s kiss-blowing to Bradon as he pirouetted off the runway.
We got to meet Jeremy’s old fashioned Midwestern super supportive family, and I loved them. It was like a Quaker Oats ad. It felt morning good and hearty. He’s impossible not to root for, but he’s not going very far either. His skill level is slightly below the upper crust of this bakery. But Dom on the other hand . . . sweet, sweet Dom. My fashion crush is growing stronger and stronger for the sister from the city of brotherly love. Between her and Kate, they had my two favorite pieces if the night. Tonight’s fashion was generally underwhelming. I think the producers set the contestants up for failure, but instead of taking the bait, they churned out boring and acceptable. Sigh.
Team Chalkboard Forks (Jeremy, Karen, Kate) – Sleek lines with unique textiles. They sent down a bedazzled white place mat bustier dress (Jeremy), a craft project panel dress (Karen), and a Judy-Jetson-hits-the club (Kate). Karen continues to pile up the IMDB credits while remaining invisible. If it wasn’t for her tragic “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” disco ball visor on backward at the top of the show, I would have never known she was here. The visible portion of this crew seem to be going in opposite directions on my accept-o-meter.
Kate is using her experience advantage to work against some of her old vices. Gone are the days of using all pastels, poor time management, and tossing short Asian contestants under proverbial bus. Instead we get a helpful young seamstress willing to share her experience and challenge herself by not playing it safe week in and week out. Maybe a leopard can change its spots. Just don’t tell Sandro’s closet.
On the other hand, wrapped in a jovial British accent is Jeremy. A wildly narcissistic a-hole that only sounds nice because he smiles when he trashes every other contestant. Tonight he was first “gobsmacked” at the beauty of his own garment, then later was “blinded by its luminosity” on the runway. Um, really dude? This isn’t the Twinkie coming back. Settle down. It’s a fucking red carpet look for Ke$ha. Keep it in your pants. My god. Who was his maternal gran that he was destroyed over losing last week? The mirror? We’ve got some serious Queen action here, and I’m not talking about Sandro’s mustache (pour a little off). This guy bothers me to no end. I cannot wait until he is knocked down a peg. I got your luminosity right here.
Team Good Cop, Bad Cop and mini-Shaft, the baddes . . . shut yo’mouth (Ken, Alexandria, Sue) – $1500 of shit – They sent down a half sewn upscale paperboy uniform (Sue), a cocktail dress with a duck tape butt (Ken), and a quasi-acceptable grey ribbon top and layered skirt (Alexandria). I don’t even know where to start on this one. So let’s start with Alexandria. Caught in a terrible spot, she did some pretty good mediating/design. Her steely resolve was on full display this week, and it was thoroughly tested.
Sue, America’s largest intact skeleton of a T-Rex, cannot sew. Let me repeat that and clarify that this is not a metaphor. She doesn’t know how to work a sewing machine. By definition, PR is a sewing show. Needless to say, Sue was not going to win this show. Not content to let he fail her way off the show, Ken let her know how bad she was at sewing around every corner. Ken turned what should have been a fun romp with a pitbull into Mike Vick’s Kennel Club.
Ken shot so many eye daggers I lost count. His eyes were like a street gang from “The Warriors.” What made Sandro so great was his lack of command of the language. Ken has none of that. He knows what he is saying. He’s pretty much mean-spirited and without humor. Sure, there’s plenty of flair in his put downs, but the demon eyes just make us uncomfortable. A few of his choice ones from this week.
KEN’S QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK
“I’m living a nightmare.”
“I need a gun.”
“I think everyone needs to be sewing right now.”
“I don’t design for forty year old women.”
“Help is different than birthing a child into this world and breastfeeding them, Sue.”
Um, it puts the lotion in the basket, Ken. Out of context it reads like Gay Aaron Hernandez if he was running a sweat shop.
THE JUDGE OF THE WEEK
Three way tie between Nina Garcia’s fat secretary holiday sweater, Heidi’s alarming cleavage, and June Ambrose. Bad week for the judges. Nothing of note, unless you count one Timothy Gunn. Which reminds me . . .
DID TIM GUNN TELL A BITCH OFF BY LETTING KEN KNOW HE WOULDN’T RISE ABOVE BY SMIRKING?
Why yes, yes he did.
Jeremy – Do you hear that rhythmic hissing? It’s the air being pumped into Eurodad’s head. “Finally, I won,” said the Dos Equis pitchman’s evil twin.
PACK YOUR DAMN SEWING KIT
Sue – It looked like it might have been the sheriff of etiquettetown Ken there for a minute. Especially since he was wearing some sort of parachute straps on the runway. Sue went to the sewing room to grab her kit, remembered she doesn’t sew, shrugged, and walked off with nothing in her hands. Presumably straight to her hair stylist to get another perm.
It was a forgettable episode (unless you’re a fan of uncomfortable stare downs and eye rolls) and we all knew it was bound to happen. With so many strong episodes leading up to this one, we’ll brush it off and look toward the horizon. We’re in that awkward phase between eliminating the quirky, fun, terrible contestants and the great showdowns when any contestant can go. Hopefully they just get rid of Miranda and we can move on.
All I ask is no more group / one day / unconventional challenges.That and bring back Sandro.
You’re doing a bread theme? (EYEROLL)
JUST GO HOME