Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Jeffreys

Sigh. I'm having some issues both with my interweb and with my actual computer, so I'm unable to access all of Tim's Take or most of the pictures from the Bravo website. I was able to get some stuff, though, before The Crash, so please bear with me. Now, let the (not-entirely-complete) rehash begin!

This episode put me in a quandry. On the one hand, the challenges they've come up with on this season of "Project Runway"--especially this one--are the best so far. On the other hand, the judges' decisions are making me want to pull my hair out, weave it into a noose, and strangle Nina Garcia and Michael Kors until their eyes pop out, so then they might be able to see better with the new, improved "Six Million Dollar Man"-style robotic eyes that Heidi Klum would make Seal buy for them. Because right now, I'm fairly certain that they are blind.

The brilliant challenge was that the contestants would have to design for "everyday women"--something I have longed for since the show began--but not just random people pulled off the street or Rosie O'Donnell. No, they would be making outfits for the mothers and sisters of the designers! The women came out on the runway, and were a good cross-section of Normal Womanhood: Some were average-sized, some were slightly overweight, a few were very overweight. The twist was that the designers would not be making clothes for their own relative, but had to choose who they would be designing for.

Michael got to go first, and he chose Robert’s sister, Teresa, who had come over from England to participate, and was pretty svelte. Laura, Our Lady of The Frightening Breast Plate, went next, and got Pam, the rather elegant mother of Jeffrey, AKA Mr. Hardcore, AKA Mr. Designer To Rock-N-Rollers Like J. Lo. Nutty 401K-casher-inner-who-should've-been-kicked-off-ages-ago Vincent went for Uli's elegantly Teutonic mother, Heidi. Angela, The Bubble-Skirted Wonder, chose Laura's mother, Lorraine, who looks like a cross between Laura and Anne Meara. Kayne, bless his heart, took Michael's mother Pamela, who was on the zaftig side and cute as a button. Uli got Kayne's mom, Judy, who was plumpish, and Robert got Vincent's fairly sane-seeming and rather overweight sister Judy. Because everyone hates on Angela (whom I'm beginning to soften towards because she's kind of a sadsack and compared to some of the beyotches on this show is practically Mother Theresa), her mother Darlene was the last to get picked, and got stuck with Mr. Hardcore Jeffrey, who was none too pleased. (How awesome would it have been if Darlene had shown up in a bubble skirt? Ah, perchance to dream....)

The whole group dashes off to the Tavern on The Green restaurant, where they get to meet the special guest judge: Joan Kors, Michael's mother! WHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEE! She looks and dresses and talks exactly like her son. Put a wig on Michael Kors and you'd get the picture. Oh. My. God. Genius! Just a brilliant idea on the part of the producers, I must say.

Then, as if this wasn't awesome enough, the moms bring out photos of the designers when they were kids! WHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEE! Michael, was, of course, adorable. The big surprise was that Kayne was an overweight child/young adult and has lost 110 pounds; it was very moving when he said he picked Michael's mom because he understood what it was like to want to look good while being overweight. Mr. Hardcore Jeffrey was a total dorky dweeb as a 'tween, ha ha and HA. My only criticism is that I wish they had shown way more pictures (really, I could have watched a whole episode of nothing but the moms showing us photos of the designers in their awkward teen years) and had shown at least one of each contestant. No, wait, my other criticism is that I would've killed somebody (say, Jeffrey) to get to see Tim Gunn's mom.

Oh, and Laura let it slip that she discovered while on the show that she is pregnant with her sixth child. Her sixth starving, scrawny child. Her mom was like, "Huh. That Laura is always full of surprises!" Sadlly, she is not also full of milk for her unborn baby. That breast plate can barely support the drape of skin that hangs from it, much less any kind of productive mammary glands. But I digress.

The challenge is to come up with an "everyday" outfit for the women to wear, not anything too fancy pants--Kayne, this means you! They consult with the designers about colors and styles that they like and then the contestants got $150 to go to to Mood and buy fabrics and whatnot. Back at the workroom, there is immediate tension between Mr. Hardcore Jeffrey and Angela's mom, Darlene. She doesn't like the color fabric he chose, and instead of trying to calm her fears that she will look "matronly," he very quickly turns surly and mean, and soon Darlene is in tears. Now, some in our our viewing party thought Darlene was too sensitive and was acting like a baby, but personally, I was aghast at how horrribly Jeffrey treated her. Even if she was over-dramatizing a bit, imagine how scary it was for her to be on tv and face the prospect of walking down a catwalk in front of Michael Kors et al, and then get stuck with a guy with the most ludicrously hideous neck tattoo of all time who openly despises your daughter designing a powder-blue muu-muu for you. I mean, please. She was within her rights to get upset, and he should have treated her with kid gloves, or at the very least, some respect for a fellow human being's mother. GOD I HATE JEFFREY!

Angela came over and basically told her mom to make sure and be super-honest on the runway (nice way to turn the situation into a scheme for your own win, Angela, instead of putting your mom's feelings first, but maybe they edited it that way), while Jeffrey's mother tried to smooth things over. Jeffrey's mother seemed very proud of her hardcore son for overcoming alcoholism and junkiedom to rise to the rarified heights of designing on "Project Runway"--it's just too bad he left behind all his manners and human decency back on the mean streets before he cleaned up.

Here's Tim's Take on the end result of all this drama:
Jeffrey’s design for Darlene (Angela’s mom) receives this week’s Jubilee Jumbles Award. It was a monastic, floor-length atrocity. (A holy mess, pun intended!) If he intended to seek revenge upon Darlene for the infractions he perceived she committed towards him, then he succeeded with this outfit. It’s one thing to declare that you don’t understand plus-size women (which he did declare), but it’s another to design a mortifying sack of a hideous dress. I applaud Darlene for being the good sport that she was and having the guts to wear it.

As usual, Tim is right on the money! Boo, Jeffrey! Hiss! Hisssssssssssssss!
(Here is where I would like to have a photo of Jeffrey's horrendous design on Angela's sainted mother, but you'll just have to take my word--and Tim's--that it was an unflattering monster of a sack dress. And sure, they may be all the rage in this month's issue of Lucky Magazine, but Lucky lost its mind about two years ago.)

Kayne did some odd capri pants for Michael's mom Pamela with a patented Kayne Sherbet-Colored top. I got what he was going for--overweight people can be kicky and free-spirited, too!--but the whole effect was kind of yucky and didn't do justice to Pamela's beauty or style.

Uli did a fantastic job with Kayne's mother Judy: She used some of her trademark patterned material and made a gauzy, flowy top over some pants, and the effect was really nice. Age appropriate, flattering, but still stylish and fun. Uli's was one of the few pics I was able to download:

Vincent did an OK job, for once, but I thought his dress was kind of boring and had a weird Vincent-y collar. Also, Uli's mom would have looked good in anything. Tim says:
Let’s begin with his model, Heidi (Uli’s mom). She could be a model; Heidi’s tall, gorgeous, and has a great figure. So Vincent was not even remotely challenged by the prospect of working with a new size, shape, or set of proportions. Therefore, his only challenge was design…and what was that?

I think the judges should have given extra points to the designers who worked with the "real" women, and been a tad harder on those who worked with more "fashion"-type bodies. That's just the way I roll, people. Here's Heidi in Vincent's dress:

Angela, who got Laura's mother Lorraine, tried to do an Audrey Hepburn-esque classy black dress (because Lorraine asked for something along those lines), but, being Angela, she had to craft it up with some flapper fringe and a big horrible purse. The total look was kind of Upper East Side Crazy Lady, like Lorraine had just escaped from Grey Gardens on her way to a "Great Gatsby" theme party.

Mr. Hardcore Jeffrey's mother Pam had told Laura that she might like some "cruise wear" clothing, which in my mind means long, white pants, Pucci-print halter tops, head wraps and huge sunglasses, since apparently "cruise wear" means Jaqueline Susann crossed with "Swept Away" costumes to your humble Felt Up blogette. But to Laura, Our Pregnant Lady of the Frightening Breast Plate, "cruise wear" seemed to translate into "severe businesswoman in a sailor outfit":

Not bad, and as usual for Laura, very well-constructed (did you know she's an architect?! snort, guffaw), but kind of dullsville.

Robert's model, Vincent's sister Judy, had explicitly told him that she wanted to feel comfortable and didn't want anything too form-fitting, as she was self-conscious about her weight. Sadly, Robert took these instructions to heart, and constructed a giant black muu-muu with a bright red loose-fitting flowy jacket. I think Judy liked it, but it wasn't doing her figure any favors, and once again, Robert's design came off as pretty damn boring. Which makes me very sad, because all of his comments on this show have been either bitchy-in-a-good-way, self-deprecating, funny, or just plain sweet. He seems like a very likable guy--the kiss of death on this season of "Project Runway."

It's hard to do justice to just how bad Mr. Hardcore Jeffrey's outfit was for Angela's poor mother, Darlene. If he'd pulled off some kind of great-looking dress that did wonders for Darlene's figure, I might have been able to forgive at least some of his outrageously mean, boorish, bullying, and rude behavior towards her. But noooooooooooooooo. The "vision" he so viciously crammed down Darlene's throat until she gagged and cried and begged for mercy was a monstrously uncute bag that made her look like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon that had become unmoored and had been strapped down with a gigantic fake mortician's suit (you know, those fake suits that are cut down the back for dead people to wear in coffins?). It was that horrible. And Darlene went right on down that runway with her head held high and even managed some sass and spunk as she strutted before the judges. I have a lot of respect for Darlene, despite the fact that she raised a daughter who wears and makes bubble skirts in every color of the rainbow.

Michael designed a super-nice black shirt dress for Robert's sister, who, granted, was slim and svelte. At first everyone thought the outfit was a tad on the boring side, but then it turned out to be completely reversible, with a black-and-white floral pattern on the other side. Oh, Michael. Mwah!

The judges were the usual suspects, plus special guest judge Joan Kors! I swear, she and Michael spoke in one voice. It's like she had a male clone made of herself in a petrie dish 46 years ago. (Yes, Michael Kors is only 46. I had totally thought he was in his 60s before he got de-puffed at whatever fat farm he shipped himself off to mid-season.) They liked Michael, Uli, and Vincent's outfits; were kind of on the fence about Laura, Kayne, and Angela's; and they loathed Robert and Jeffrey's.

I thought Uli should have won--especially since she had a plus-size model--but in the end the judges lost complete leave of their senses and awarded crazy ole Vincent the win. Tim was not pleased:
Vincent wins (note absence of exclamation point)...From my point of view, he made a simple sheath and adorned it with an oversized pilgrim-collar, and a collar that merely stood out on the front of the dress and didn’t even exist on the back. Huh? I didn’t get it and it certainly wasn’t my taste. But it suited the judges’ taste and that’s what matters. Congratulations Vincent, whatever you are.

So the bottom two were Robert and Mr. Hardcore. And who lost? The jackass who made someone's mom cry (who, by the way, was technically his "client") and designed a dowdy trashbag-like dress, or the sweet, sensible person who listened to what his model wanted to wear and made something dull, but wearable? Well, I think you know who was Auf'd, and I think you know that it is a total effing travesty: It was Robert, who must go back to face that haughty bitch Barbie who will be so goddamned smug at his loss--you just know it!--and continue to design for her until she's in her 80s and has been renamed "Paris." Or maybe he will decide not to go back to Mattell and will pursue something with live humans. Whatever his course, I wish him nothing but good fortune.

As for Jeffrey: Once a dweeb, always a dweeb. You are poseur, a turd ass, and a terrible, terrible person who doesn't deserve such a classy mom, and you make me want to tattoo "Jeffrey Is Puke" on my neck.

Good day, sir.

I said good day!


TrAngela said...

I'd like to note that Jeffrey's mom is a total enabler. She went to Darlene and attempted to make lame excuses, something she's probably done his entire life. My research? Million Little Pieces. Although it was a boring tale of a drug addict, it did have the enabling parent. Jeffrey hates life and is mad at his dad. I think he's also bitter because his little gf, Allison, got the ax.

Who puts beige by a woman's face, Vincent? And, on what planet was his dress considered young? That's exactly the sort of dress I would put an elegant woman in her 50s or 60s in. Being in my late 20s, I would NEVER wear that. Nina, Michael and Heidi, get a clue.

Michael Kors' mom: I love you and hope you'll adopt me someday soon so we can sip champagne at Tavern on the Green all the time. And, where can I buy your shades?

Anonymous said...

Recovering boozehound and junkie, fine... but Jeffy seriously needs some 12-step intervention for his jackassitude.

Crushed that not only did Robert get his pink slip which unjustly allowed Jeffy to stick around for at least another eye-rolling delusional-sense-of-granduer filled week, but Vincent got a win out of all this.

Do they keep the guidelines of the challenges from the judges on purpose? "Everyday wear for the everyday woman." = NOT Vincent's dress.

First half of the show rocked. Second half was both bewildering and infuriating.

jennifer said...

Egads! I totally forgot that my nickname for Jeffrey was "Jeffy Dahmer"! Thanks for reminding me, Anonymous, and I won't be so remiss in my duties next time (hopefully)...