Thursday, August 10, 2006

I Would Totally Buy A Dress From The House of Save-A-Ho

(Since I wasn't able to do a rehash for last week's episode, please feel free to jump over to the Television Without Pity recap, whose author Jeff brilliantly coins my new favorite phrase Team Jolene to describe Kayne and Robert.)

This week's episode began with a switcheroo: The models got to pick their designers! It was nice to see the models have something a little more interesting to do than stand around in black slips and look blank. The only sucky thing (at least for the models) was that the last two names Heidi Klum pulled out of her black bag would have to be eliminated, since both Bonnie and Keith were out last week.

Then Heidi announced that the challenge this episode was to update the look of an international style icon--and the models got to choose the designer's icon! The anorexics have taken over the asylum--huzzah! The designers were totally freaked out that the models were going to ruin everything, but they actually did a very good job. They put the models in the workroom with a bunch of large photos of the icons--people like Katherine Hepburn, Jackie O., Twiggy--and then let the stampede begin, as the models trampled over one another like the bulls running the streets of Pamplona, pushing, fighting, clawing to get the photos they wanted.

When the dust settled, it was remarkable how well they did: Jeffrey, of the Unflattering Tattoo That Draws Attention To His Odd Neck, got Madonna (which naturally demanded an "I Am The Rock-n-Roll Designer To The Stars" patented quote from Jeffrey); Robert got Jackie O.; Uli was paired with Diana Ross; lovable Michael and his gorgeous be-Afro'd model got fabulous Pam Grier; wacky old 401K casher-inner Vincent got Twiggy; the model for Laura, Our Lady of the Frightening Breast Plate, ingeniously picked Katherine Hepburn; Angela totally lucked out and had Audrey Hepburn handed to her on a silver, puff-skirted platter; and Kayne nearly peed his sherbet-colored pants when he found out his model had snagged him Marilyn Monroe. The only two designers who were non-plussed by their icons were Alison, who, being 12 years old and too beautiful to ever read or look at television or really do much of anything except learn to scamper around the woods like a Southern California Bjorkian pixie nymph, seemed to have little idea who Farrah Fawcett was. And poor, Spin Doctors' lead singer lookalike Bradley acted like Cher was an alien from another planet dropped on him to make his life miserable. Which, of course, is entirely possible.

During the design process, there was some drama as Jeffrey, AKA Mr. Hardcore, AKA I Design For Rock-N-Rollers Like J.Lo, had a complete hissy fit because he thought Angela, The Bubble-Skirted Nightmare, messed up his sewing machine. Now, I'm not in love with Miss Angela by any means, and I do think her constantly sewing her little crafty crapettes probably did eff up the machine, but Jeffrey is such a complete poseur turd ass that I took Angela's side in the argument. Laura jumped in and either called Jeffrey "Jeff" or "Jack-Off" (we couldn't decide at the viewing party). If I'd been there, I might have called him Lil' Jeffwy, or possibly Jeffy, in a nod to Jeffy Dahmer in "The Ringer"--but quietly, and behind his back. (By the way, I haven't felt the need to call someone a "poseur" since approximately 1984, but in this case I think it is an entirely appropriate description. As is "turd ass." Jeffrey is totally the new Keith! And the new Angela!)

The best part of this tiff was that Michael (remember him? the black guy with charm to spare and incredible talent who has been mysteriously ignored thus far?) stepped in to add his two cents and defend Angela and Laura from Mr. Hardcore Neck Tattoo, which resulted in what will surely become a Classic Project Runway Catchprhase, on a par with "Make it work!" and "You are either In or you are OUT": "I wasn't trying to be Captain Save-A-Ho or anything." I think I hear a new MySpace headline calling my name! (Sorry, but that means "I dare not even ask about poor little Stanley" will have to be Auf'd.)

Finally the designs hit the runway. Laura's Katherine Hepburn outfit was really well-tailored and did a good job of updating the look, but as Tim Gunn said in Tim's Take:
It was all impeccably constructed, perfectly proportioned, and completely believable as Kate Hepburn 2006. The old fart in me thought the look was stunning, but the modern fashion educator in me thought it was a little flat.

The old fart in me agrees with both opinions.

Mr. Hardcore's design for modernizing Madonna was not good. I saw where he was going, but it wasn't anyplace I wanted to be: An ill-fitting, unflattering "Pirates of Penzance"-style corset dress with Santino-like layers and layers of crap hanging down. Ugh. Tim said:
He responded to my raised eyebrow queries with, “It’s stagewear.” Does that mean that it’s okay to design clown clothes? I guess in his vocabulary that means that it is.

Ha! The old fart in me agrees with that, too!

Angela's Audrey Hepburn dress wasn't too bad, although I do think it would be hard to go wrong once you've had the idea to update a classic black cocktail dress. Tim's Take is brilliant, of course:
Angela designed for Audrey Hepburn. All that I could think was, “How is the divine Audrey going to look in a bubble-skirt?” Thankfully, Angela didn’t go there...I was encouraged by her choice of black fabric for her design, but I became concerned when I saw her layering a heavily textured chiffon over another fabric. This was adding too much volume to the silhouette, and I feared that Angela’s model Clarissa was going to look like Audrey after too much pie and cake. But Angela tamed herself and a sleek silhouette emerged. Although she left out the bubble, she couldn’t resist the fleurettes, AKA “granny circles” (thank you, Laura). Thankfully, they were confined to the hem of the skirt, and owing to the texture of her fabric, their impact was mitigated.

It really wasn't half-bad. But if she'd won a second challenge in a row, I would've had to cut someone, namely Angela. Luckily, she didn't and now I don't have to fly to New York and slash her bubble skirt to bits. Then again, it's still early in the season.

Robert's outfit for a modern-day Jackie Onassis managed to be both perplexing and boring. He chose this weird sack-clothy material that was so not Jackie O. As Tim says:
It was such a burlap-y, farmhand look, made even more homely by his decision to use a rope(!) for the jacket’s belt. What’s Jackie doing, making a guest appearance on The Simple Life?

Heh. After last week's near-Auf, Robert should've tried extra hard not to be boring, but maybe he's physically incapable of creating exciting oufits for non-Barbies.

Tim liked Alison's updated Farrah Fawcett outfit, but I didn't think it looked very Farrah-esque at all. The only thing that said "Farrah" was the hair-do. The dress itself was nice, but it didn't fit the challenge, and looked a little figure-skater-y.

Crazy old Vincent came up with an asymetrical plaid mini-dress for his Twiggy look. The model had huge fake eyelashes painted on her face that didn't so much scream "Twiggy" as much as "Help! Why did I pick Vincent?!?" The dress was sort of cute (some in the viewing party liked it more than others), and if it was $21.99 at Forever 21 and came in jumbo, I might buy it, but being a Vincent design, it was a tiny bit on the wacky side for my taste. Tim reaaaally hated it, and thought that he should've been in the Bottom Two.

Kayne did a beautiful job with his Marilyn Monroe dresss. It was a sheer, gauzy black plunging gown over flesh-toned fabric, and you could envision a modern-day Marilyn in it. It was very glamorous and impressive and didn't say "Oklahoma Beauty Pageant" in the least.

Bradley, the self-described squid without an ocean, had no idea what he was doing or who Cher was or why he is a designer or what day it was. He is so sweet and clueless and adorable, but boy he pooped out a terrible design. The top was some sort of silvery metallic midriff-baring box, which he paired with low-rise white pants with a be-fringed crotch. Tim's Take:
Bradley created a poorly sewn basic top out of a preposterous iridescent silver fabric (Tin Woodsman, look out!), and accompanied it with a plain white pant, also poorly made and with serious crotch issues. Ugh. There was no way of rescuing this tragedy. Bradley, get thee to a record store and find the “C” section.

I thought Tim meant "C" for "crotch" at first, but I'm pretty sure he meant "Cher."

Uli did a fantastic job with her Diana Ross update. Uli always does these bold, bright patterned dresses, and I have to say, she does them well. The model looked great in her purple-y, swirly halter dress, and was a believable Diana "Call Me Miss" Ross.

And, of course, there was Michael. Yay, Michael! He actually got a pretty decent amount of on-air time this week, and we were privy to a sweet phone call to his mom, whom he says cries with tears of joy at everything he does in life. I Heart Michael And His Mom! His Pam Grier outfit started off as a deep-plunging halter top and a matching skirt, but with, like, two hours left, he completely changed gears and went with a hot pant. Even though Tim admitted that he is not Mr. Hot Pants, he recognized that it was a good idea and encouraged Michael to make it work. The whole thing was made of a bright magenta silk, and was gorgeous. I could imagine a modern-day "Foxy Brown" kicking ass in that outfit, let me tell you.

Then it was judging time, and thank sweet baby Jesus, Michael Kors was back from getting the Sleep Cure or whatever he did to de-puff his face, so no more scary Very Wang haunting my nightmares in Kabuki makeup, at least for the time being. Michael and Nina Garcia were joined by Diane Von Furstenburg!!! O, joy. O, rapturous, rapturous joy!

Right away they pronounced Alison the Pixie Wood Nymph, Laura, Our Lady of the Frightening Breast Plate, and Jeffy Dahmer "safe." Then it became pretty clear that the top designs belonged to Michael, Uli, Angela (!), and Kayne, while the bottom belonged to Vincent, Robert, and Bradley. Both Kayne and I thought Kayne would be the winner, but it turned out to be....Michael! Huzzah! Kayne was second and Uli was a close third.

The judges loathed Vincent's Twiggy dress (and when they were defending their designs, he kept referring to Twiggy as if she were dead--and got bitch-slapped by Diane von Furstenburg for his trouble!), but the bottom two were Bradley and Robert. Even though Robert's outfit was deemed an insult to the memory of Jackie O. and to the honor of the United States and all first ladies everywhere, they could not overlook the hideous monstrosity that Bradley had created, and he was OUT.

Poor, sweet Bradley was just too delicate and sensitive for this show. Maybe he should try poetry, basket-weaving, and/or selling weed, if he hasn't already.

Captain Save-A-Ho!!!

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