Bird Brains: The Project Runway recap

 

Remember that old joke about the missing dog poster?

LOST: Dog with 3 legs, castrated; no tail, & only 1 ear, brown color with bad case of mange, blind & almost deaf.  Answers to the name LUCKY
Yeah, that was pretty much Kimberly this week.
First she got paired in the head-to-head challenge against Viktor, who is both a legend in his own mind and, sadly, in actual life.
Then her fabric got a stain on it.
Then she was attacked by a giant cockroach.
Then she sewed through her finger.
Then she burnt her fabric with a glue gun.
The she ugly-cried in the bathroom.
Then she shared the sad story of her mother dying when she was just 17.
Make it stop!!!

But how did it come to this?
Well, the show starts with Heidi telling the “sewtestants” (credit: EddietheDad) that, this week, “we really want you to spread your wings.”

Naturally, they assume skydiving. 
 “What does skydiving have to do with fashion?” one of them muses. (You’d think that would be their first clue that the challenge was, in fact, NOT skydiving-related. No one said this was a pack of mensas.)

“My wings are spread, girl,” Viktor says sassily. Then he adds, inexplicably, “I’m just playin’.”
(If Viktor had a character named after him on Saturday Night Live, it would be: “Not Nearly As Sassy As He Thinks He Is Guy.” Or if he had an illness, it would called: “Seasonal Sass Disorder.”)
In fact, the wings are a reference to exotic birds, not skydiving. They are put in pairs and each assigned a bird to inspire their design.

Anya and Laura get the raven. (Go Ravens!) (Sorry. Force of habit.)
Viktor and Kimberly get the cockatoo. (Heh heh. She said “cockatoo”).
Bert and Josh, who are besties now (when did that happen? I do NOT approve!) get the Amazon parrot.
Everyone is hugging because togetherness is so awesome, but then Tim Gunn drops the bomb: They will not be working as a team, but going AGAINST each other head-to-head. Oh noes!
(I’ve never seen embraces turn into stinkeyes so fast.)
Off to Mood they go, where Josh is seen licking the fabric. Yes, licking the fabric. (Swatch is all like, “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.”)
Bert is having a hard time getting inspiration because he thinks his parrot has a questionable taste level.
They go back to the studio and Kimberly’s little mini-drama has already started and then Tim comes in and says gather round.
Ruh ro.
Yup, they now have to make a second high fashion look inspired by their bird (which is a lame surprise challenge, frankly.)
Back to Mood. Back to the studio. Attack of the killer cockroach, which Anya kills with her heel, Lara Croft Tomb Raider-style, according to Josh. Heh.
Speaking of Anya, can we take a moment to pay homage to her bold jewelry choices? I’m afraid to wear a too-chunky ring and girl has a pair of earrings that look like bicycle wheels and a necklace that looks like a glockenspiel.
I am in awe of her fierceness.
So Tim comes in and gives Kimberly one of his patented Tim pep talks, but she’s having none of it.
“I’m just having one of those days,” she sighs.
“I’m coming around. You need a hug.” (Oh, Tim.)
She decides to scrap her second dress completely, and is left with 3 hours to make a new one.
“I’m going to have to pull an Anya and go from tragedy to triumph,” she says. But will she succeed? (Spoiler alert to infinity: They always do.)
Then Tim walks up to the hot, feathered mess that Josh is designing and says, “Quest-ce que c’est?”
“What’s guess-ke-say?” Josh asks. (Oy.)
Bert laughs and laughs, because when he and Tim Gunn were lads, French was so NOT an elective.
It’s really no surprise that Josh has created a dress that looks like Carmen Miranda mated with the love child of Big Bird and Cher. This exotic bird challenge was basically begging for trouble.
Still, his second look, a bright orange draped cocktail dress, is gorgeous. It’s amazing how talented Josh can be when he holds back. (Of course, later he has to go add a “Caribbean party corsage” (™ Michael Kors) to that same dress. . . but that’s our boy.)
So Joshua decides to scrap the “guess-ke-say” dress and asks Anya if he can use some of her extra fabric and she basically lies and tells him that she might need it later.
“Her true colors are coming through,” snips Josh.
(In truth, everyone is getting a wee bit more competitive at this stage in the competition, as it should be. We’re down to the final 6. )
Viktor’s ego continues to be the Thing That Ate Parsons. He’s now convinced that Kimberly is copying his one-shoulder gown concept. Little man, get over yourself.
Tim comes back. More gathering around.
You may want to put those scissors down Laura,” he says. (Yikes! He’s afraid she might STAB him?)
New wrinkle: The designers can only send ONE look down the runway. Hello? Didn’t he just ask them to make a second look? Apparently, this is a lesson in “editing.” 
“In the real world, fashion designers must edit their collections,” Tim says. Also, in the real world, we have an hour and a half to kill on the show.
This whole editing thing works out great for some designers (Kimberly!) and not so great for others, like Anya, who already had two great looks.
Decisions, decisions. . .
Runway time.
Guest judge is Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein, who basically looks like a villain in a Bond film.
First, Anya and Laura go head-to-head.
Anya chose the more sculptural of her two outfits, a gamble that clearly paid off. (Just LOOK at that thing, above.)

“It’s my favorite outfit that you have produced so far,” says Nina. “You moved away from your comfort zone. It’s modern, dramatic, just great.” (Little did she know that Anya’s model was trapped in it, straightjacket style. But why quibble?)
Meanwhile, they like Laura’s outfit well enough, but think she went a little crazy with the birdseed.
“It’s too birdy,” says Heidi.
Winner: Anya
Next, Honey Badger vs. Twinky Bear (aka Bert vs. Joshua)
Bert made another one of his fugly, shiny, snakeskin monstrosities. God, I like Bert but I hate almost everything he produces.
The judges felt it didn’t capture the joy or exuberance of the bird, what Bert called “this dumpy little parrot.”
As for Joshua, well. . .you know the drill: Perfect dress. Tacky corsage detail that nearly ruins it. Nearly.
Winner: Josh.

Next, Kimberly vs. Viktor
“I want  to beat Viktor so bad,” admits Kimberly. “He’s been put on this pedestal, so to beat him would be major.”
The judges like both one-shoulder dresses but think that Kimberly’s is a little more fabulous.
(They also seem to be giving her credit for whipping it up in 3 hours. Fair?)
“Viktor’s is impeccable. I just liked yours more,” says Heidi.

Winner: Kimberly!!!
The judges have a little chat and the “clear winner” is. . .ANYA.
Josh comes in second and immediately starts sulking in the Green Room. He’s so incensed, he can’t even sit next to Anya.
“Her model had to be cut out of the garment following the runway show,” he grouses.
Then he goes into this whole rant about how Anya “definitely has some sort of strategy for this game.”
(Yeah, Josh, it’s called BEING AWESOME).
Kimberly’s in.
Viktor is in.
And it comes down to Honey Badger vs. Laura, she of the magically disappearing and reappearing bangs. (Did anyone else notice that?).
And Honey Badger—who had been less Honey Badger lately and more like your mother’s loveable “confirmed bachelor” friend “Uncle Bert”— is OUT.
So Bert goes backstage and says goodbye to the gang. Then he shares a few more educational anecdotes about rotary phones and Betamaxes and Nolan Miller and calls it a day.
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That 70s Show: My Project Runway recap

 

Is it wrong that I ship* guest judge Adam Lambert and Joshua?

Cause I was definitely noticing a little somethin’-somethin’ between them. Or is that simply too much fabulousness for the universe to take in one relationship? The fumes from the haircare products alone could power a small Third World nation.
But I digress. . .
So remember Not!Allman guy from last week’s challenge? He’s baaaack. Well, not him literally. But his shaggy, unwashed, Southern-rock-lovin’ brethren—a soon to be very, very famous band called Sheep Dogs. (I swear, it looked like the casting call for Almost Famous 2 broke out.)
Of course, it was an absolute design trap to NOT makes these guys look “like an 8th grade production of Hair,” as Adam Lambert so aptly put it. Suffice it to say, the designers failed.  In spectacular fashion.

But before the “designing” started, we are treated to the first of three—yes three—performances by Sheep Dogs. (Free promotion much? I won’t be surprised if next week, they ARE the Piper Lime accessory wall.)
So Sheep Dogs plug in their amps and Olivier is already covering his ears and writhing in agony. Remember kids, loud noises are among the many things that make Olivier very sad.
Once Sheep Dogs are finished “rockin’ the house,” the designers form two teams (not really) and each get to choose the bandmember they’d most like to design an outfit for.
Now, let’s face it, all these guys look like “before” photos, but only Anthony and Josh have the wherewithal to see that, underneath that Jesus hair and unkempt beard, Ryan is actually the cute one. They both pick him.
Laura gets fixated on Leot’s request for red jeans, so she picks him.
Viktor also picks Leot because, well, they could be long lost twin brothers, right? Shave Leot, give him a fancy little hair cut and bowtie, shrink him down a few inches, and it could be one of those Parent Trap deals—Viktor was raised by mom among the cocktail parties and shopping sprees of the Upper East Side; Leot was raised on the commune among the goats and drum circles by the pot-smoking dad. Through the magic of reality TV, they are united. . .
Kimberly and Anya both get some guy named Dashiki Dan. (Actually Sam.)
And Olivier and Bert both get the Nordic Guitar god Thor—aka Heidi, Girl of the Alps at a drag show, aka the lead singer Ewan.
To Mood they go, where the employees are all of a sudden getting facetime. Do you think they all threatened a walk out if Swatch got one more God damned closeup instead of them? (Can you imagine if you worked at Mood, featured weekly in a major television show, and all your friends were like, “Yeah, uh, can you hook me up with Swatch’s pawtograph?”)
There was a potentially dramatic moment where Bert gave Laura an extra $150 from his budget, which would’ve been intriguing in a Gift of the Magi kind of way, if he suddenly needed $150 worth of fabric to finish his design, but it didn’t work out that way, so whatevs. (They have an hour and a half show to kill, people. There’s going to be some filler.)
Also, Tim is trying out some sort of new Mood catch phrase and I didn’t like it one bit.
“Can’t do a thing without Mood!” he trills on the way out.
Just hold your horses there, Tim Gunn. The line is: “Thank you, Mood.” Thank. You. Mood. Stick to the script!
So the studio is awash with fringe and paisley and tie-dye and . . . taupe and ivory colored neutrals (you’ll never guess whose work station those are on!)
Kimberly was planning on making the world’s first plaid dashiki until Anya set her straight and gave her some putrid pumpkin-colored hippie fabric. Then Anya worried that maybe she had just given Kimberly the winning fabric. Spoiler alert: No.
Also, Joshua is trying on his pants and we get a closeup of his hairy butt in a pair of tightie-blackies.  (Do you think he uses up all the wax on his eyebrows? Because for a man as fabulously well-groomed as Josh is, I’d expect his legs and butt to be a little less, well, hirsute.) (Or is that a thing? Like a skinny bear? A puma, perhaps? Where my gays at?)
For the second time in two weeks, Olivier is forced to deal with the scourge of body fat. He just can’t quite understand why everyone can’t be smooth and fat-free and genderless like him!
“I’m not used to designing clothes for plus-size,” he moans. (I love the lack of article in front of the word “plus-size.”) He’s really such a delicate, exotic little bird, isn’t he?
Not much happens, except I just realized that Tim Gunn does not like Olivier AT ALL. All of Olivier’s constantly running late, and his whining, and his suck-the-energy-out-the-room ennui is working Tim’s last nerve. I just love when Tim clearly hates a contestant.
Also, Bert? The so-called big expert on the 70s (cause he was alive in the 70s! which was a loooong time ago! when most of these contestants weren’t even born, but Bert was, like, just back from ’Nam or somethin) thinks that a dashiki is called a “shadiki.” His exact quote: “Seeing how these guys are from Canada, I’m not really seeing them in those shadikis, or whatever they are.”
Honey Badger, don’t ever change.
So Sheep Dogs are too cool to walk the runway (is that even possible?) so instead, they will be performing 2 songs in their new outfits, before taking up permanent residence next week on the Piper Lime accessory wall.
But before that, what was up with the headband that Anthony Ryan sported to the judging? I guess he thought it was “rocker.” But he actually looked like Rhoda Morgenstern.  (If Bert was here, he’d be cracking up at my on-point ’70s humor.)
The songs begin and what can I say except: My eyes! My eyes! (And my ears! my ears! Just kidding. Sheep Dog are a perfectly adequate substitute if you can’t afford the Kings of Leon for your child’s obscenely overpriced 70s-themed Sweet 16 party.)
Each outfit was really more ridiculous than the next—I’m frankly amazed that they all resisted accessorizing with a tambourine—although I suppose Viktor’s getup for his taller twin Leot was slightly less embarrassing. That jacket had a kind of Game of Thrones meets Easy Rider vibe that I sorta dug. 
At least Anya knew that her dashiki was a dadon’ti.
“I want to run from the room it’s so bad,” she says.
Since all the comments blended together, I’ll just give a few highlights of what the judges said about the clothing: Pocahontas, reggae jesus, suede lobster bib, 8th grade production of Hair, Golden Girl goes rock and roll moment, Peter Brady at an Autumn harvest, Forest Elf, Tinkerbell’s boyfriend.
I’ll just add: Ditto.
Among the many adorable things about Adam Lambert (besides his dreamy blue eyes) is how he giggled at all of Michael Kors’ and Nina’s and Heidi’s jokes. He can stay.
And thank goodness I was able to focus on the burgeoning romance between Adam and Joshua instead of the godawful clothing. There was some serious eye-sexing going on between them. For this much-needed distraction, boys, I give thanks.
So. . .
Viktor wins! He’s totally in the lead right now, isn’t he guys? He’s definitely been consistently excellent. (However, if next week he designs a pair of red bell bottoms and a Canadian dashiki, we’ll know my Parent Trap theory was right.)
And it comes down to Kimberly vs. Olivier to go home.
I must say, I would’ve been crushed if Kimberly was sent packing. It just didn’t feel like her time.
Aaaaand. . .it wasn’t. Olivier is out.
Backstage, the remaining contestants smother Olivier in hugs, which upsets him. Because human contact is gross and hugs are even grosser, and they make him sad.
“Get out!” Tim basically yells.  (Okay, it’s not quite that abrupt, but it’s seriously the least warm, least gracious Tim Gunn send-off ever. Tim is so OVER Olivier.)
So Olivier is gone. But not to worry. If he doesn’t make it as a designer of haute-drab things, he’ll always turn the world on with his smile. (Bert to me: “Up high!”)
*Fangirl speak for wanting to see a couple in a relationship. (You’re welcome, mom.)

Breast Intentions: The Project Runway recap

 

The bulbous creature emerged from the deep, approaching slowly and ominously. Would it suffocate him? Swallow him whole? Suck out his very soul? As it oozed closer, inch by inch, it was clear that this amorphous blob-like creature was, in fact, a woman’s breast. “Make it work!” the breast screamed.

And then Olivier woke up.
So there was a bit of a fakeout this week on Project Runway. First, the designers thought they were going to have to make menswear. Worse still, menswear for regular guys, with guts and beards and funny hair.  (Actually, that was all embodied by one guy.)
But, turns out, they weren’t designing for the dudes at all, but their significant others—all women, by the way (it was like a Breeders Convention broke out in the studio this week). (Although I do question the orientation of the “too fashionable to actually have sex” couple that Viktor was teamed with. I think they just read Dwell magazine to each other on their iPads and call it a night.)
This was actually an intriguing challenge on several fronts: Would the guys have even a clue as to what their better halves wanted? Would the designers be encouraged to do a bunch of “naughty candy striper” outfits? And how do you solve a problem like. . .breasts?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, for this week’s episode, the contestants were forced to confront something that no self-respecting designer of women’s apparel should ever have to deal with: I am referring, of course, to the female breast.
“I don’t like women having boobs,” Olivier admitted. “I just want them to be flat. I think it distracts from the whole design.”
And his client, Suzanne, didn’t just have any old boobs. She had some sort of foreign, mysterious, possibly fatal condition known as “Double Ds.”
So Olivier turned to the foremost authority on women’s breasts: Tim Gunn.
“What do I know about it?” Tim said, practically recoiling at the very thought. “I just know it’s a bra size. I don’t have any personal experience, Olivier.”
“Those boobs to me are trouble,” Olivier sighed.
(When I do my Olivier-based comic book, Boob Man, in which he sports a taupe-colored cape and saves the world from mammaries, that can be his catch phrase.)
Not to be outdone, Bert’s guy, Anthony, is also a breast man. I mean, to the point where he might need some sort of clinical intervention.
“What initially drew you to your wife?” Bert asked.
“Her breasts,” Anthony replied.
“And what do you love about your wife?”
“Her breasts.”
“And what do you and your wife talk about over dinner?”
“Her breasts.”
“And what color was George Washington’s white horse?”
“Her breasts.”
 (Come to think of it, this might be Boob Man’s first case!)
But while Bert kinda rolled with the punches (he actually thought Anthony was a hooter.  . I mean a hoot), Olivier was positively flummoxed, not just by Suzanne’s breasts, but by her general demeanor: brassy, bold, pushy, your basic New Yawk nightmare. And hubby Jeff wasn’t exactly shy either. They were convinced that Olivier’s pants were giving her an atomic wedgie and they were not. letting. it. go.
Then again, Olivier is easily rattled. In fact, these are the things that upset Olivier, not necessarily in this order:
1. Color
2. Loud noises
3. Laughter
4. Human interaction
5. Running
6. Breasts
So poor Olivier was practically cowering in the corner. Several times he was forced to hide behind his changing screen just to collect himself.
“They confuse me,” he moaned. “I just want some quietness.”
While it’s true that this week’s episode was mostly about boobs, it wasn’t only about boobs. There were other issues that emerged. Like thighs. (Heh.)
For example, you’ll never guess (no, seriously, never ever) who said this:
“Sometimes simplicity is beautiful and high fashion.”
Okay, I don’t have several millennia to wait, so time’s up: It was Josh. (I know, right?)
Turns out, his client wanted something simple and elegant and our little Browed Bedazzler was up to the task. I really didn’t think he had it in him.
Then there was poor Bryce (actually, when one mentions Bryce, “poor” is already implied) who was freaking out because his client liked pink. Bryce was convinced that, while his dress was all kinds of awesome, the whole pink thing was going to be the death of him.
(Cut to Heidi on the runway during judging: “The only thing I liked about your dress was the color.” Naturally.)
Anthony had a cute relationship with his clients, the missing Allman brother (and the gutted, bearded, funnily-haired guy mentioned above) and his hipster-bumpkin girlfriend. But maybe he had too good a relationship with them? They pretty much designed the dress for him—to replace a dress that Not!Allman had lost at the airport—and, suffice it to say, they don’t design real good.
As for Viktor, he could not have been more simpatico with his effete, fashion-forward clients—ironic eyewear for everyone!—to the point that she was practically wearing the exact same skirt he was designing for her. (And who else was surprised to discover that she was a lawyer? I was sure she was some sort of Swedish electro-pop sensation, a la Robyn.)
Runway time. Guest judge is Malin Ackerman, who may not be particularly—what’s the word I’m looking for?—“famous,” but was in one of my favorite shows of all time ( The Comeback) so will always have a special place in my heart.
Down the runway they come!
I love the way these women worked the runway. They were so damn cute. (Although Viktor’s girl was doing some sort of robotic catwalk thing that confused me. That kind of stuff may play well in the courtroom—or on Eurovision—but it doesn’t play well on Project Runway, young lady.)
As for the dresses. . .I hate to agree with the judges so much, but their Top 3—Joshua, Viktor, and Anya—were also my Top 3.  And their bottom 3—Bert, poorBryce, and Anthony. . . yeah, hard to argue there, too.
Everyone loved Anya’s dress. She apparently achieved the chupacabra of fashion design: The so-called gallerina dress (i.e., a dress perfectly suited for a gallery opening.) But there was some debate over the one billowy sleeve, especially since the client had such toned arms.
“Maybe she only likes one of her arms,” Michael Kors offered.
Viktor’s little getup was also deemed near perfection, but perhaps overly accessorized. I dunno. I loved the little clutch he made, plus the necklace. And are sunglasses really an accessory? I mean, technically yes, I suppose. But not in the “remove one accessory before you leave the house” sort of way, right? (Have you ever known a woman to say: “I can’t wear the necklace, the earrings and the sunglasses. It’s all too much!!” Me neither.)
Josh’s dress is deemed a modern Grace Kelly.
“I’m shocked you didn’t bedazzle her,” Heidi said.
“I wanted to, so, so bad,” Josh said.
We know, Josh. We know. . . strength!
As for the bottom 3. . .
Bert’s dress was, “a little tight, a little short, a little shiny,” according to Nina Garcia.
Bryce’s dress has these massive, utility pockets. Because nothing says flirty and fun like a hammer in your pocket.
Anthony created either a grandma dress or a cheerleader dress or a super hero ice skater dress, depending on who you ask. But no matter how you describe it, it was not very good.
And the winner is. . .Josh! I’m sure this will inspire him to really tone down his act and be tasteful and elegant from this day forward. . .and I also have some really good swamp land to sell you in Florida.
(Also, how bout that full-on handspring he did behind the screen? He’s so unexpectedly . . . sporty.)
And the loser is . . . poorBryce, finally put out of his misery.
Tim Gunn: “What are we going to do without you, Bryce?”
Home viewing audience: “Wait. . .remind us again who Bryce is?”

The Village Idiots: The Project Runway recap


Can we just all acknowledge the fact that Josh owns this season?

Sometimes it’s obvious who the breakout star of a given season will be. Santino pretty much jumped off our TV screens and barfed all over us to announce his arrival. Last season, there was the fabulous yin yang of good (Mondo) versus evil (Gretchen). And how could Season 4 ever have belonged to anyone but puckish design savant Christian Soriano?
But this season? At first I thought it was going to belong to the other Josh—the formin’ Mormon—coming from Utah, coming into the big city, and coming out of the. . .well, you get the point. But he ruined everything with the sucking.
Then I thought it might be Honey Badger—and it still is, to an extent. He’s got a strong supporting role in the great Walter Matthau, “walk a mile in my shoes you little piss-ants” tradition.
But it’s really all about Josh, right? With the dead the mother that gives him just a skosh of humanity? With the crazy futuristic eyebrows? With the design aesthetic that is like Pucci and Missoni mated in a blender with Jackie Beat? With the serious, big time, air-sucking anger management problem? With the straightlaced Midwestern Dad who, improbably enough, calls him “son”? (Exact quote: “I love you, son.”)
I give, Josh. You win. Season 9 is yours.
Which is how I knew that, at the end of the show, when Basic Becky was standing next to Josh, there wasn’t a chance in hell that Josh was going anywhere. Bye-bye, Becky. You are the latest in a long line of designers who felt that they were misunderstood, sabotaged, and/or thrown wildly off course by the unfairness of the show. In fact, you were just mediocre.
Moving right along. . .
So the show has decided to make every other challenge a group challenge, because while the group challenges may not be particularly “fair” or an accurate indication of “how well someone designs”—they do kick up a lot of entertaining shit. So hooray, show.
There will be two groups of 5, with no leaders.
Team Chaos is Anthony, Viktor, Olivier, Anya, and Bryce. (I have a warm, soothing feeling just thinking about Team Chaos.)
Team Nuts & Bolts is Josh, Laura, Kimberly, Becky, and Bert. (Run for your lives!!!!!)
Back at the studio, Tim explains that this is the HP/Intel pattern design challenge.
“Design your own fabrics and a full-fledged fashion show,” he says.
“What does that mean, Tim?” asks Viktor and it’s incredibly obvious he’s been instructed to ask that. (It’s truly the worst acting job I’ve seen since I was forced to watch an HR video on the scourge of sexual harassment in the workplace. “Nice pecs, Ed” was one particularly memorable line.*)
Well, little Viktor, it means you’ll be using a video camera—any ol’ brand of camera will do (heh)—to create a backdrop for a fashion show. And at least 3 looks need to come from the textile designs.
As a surprise, Betsy Johnson comes galloping in—if she were a contestant on Project Runway, she would be the breakout star of her season—and gives the designers some very good advice (that Team Nuts & Bolts promptly ignores) about knowing who your target audience is and using music to convey the message.
So the teams huddle to come up with their concepts and it takes me a while to recover from the fact that Olivier is wearing serial killer glasses.
Over at Team Nuts & Bolts, Josh has come up with the single greatest idea in the history of mankind: An all-girl Village People fashion show!
How this idea is shot down and not embraced like the sparkling beacon of awesomeness that it is, I have no idea. But I fully expect to see Gucci launch a similar concept at next year’s Fashion Week. (And no, Laura, there was no fireman in The Village People. Geez. Kids today.)
Instead, they decide to go with clocks. Yeah, clocks. (Laura, I’m just as puzzled as you are.)

They start designing and Becky is doing the inner hardware of a clock and others are doing time-related words and Bert, of course, is designing old-fashioned pocket watches, like the kind he used to keep in the pocket of his knickers (in the other pocket: an abacus!), while taking the horse and buggy to the school barn.
Then everyone prints their design, but Bert’s design doesn’t print, which reminds me I need to replace the sucky HP printer I have at home (product placement FAIL) so Team Nuts & Bolts is picking fabrics without Bert’s to choose from.
And Bert says, and I quote: “So much for my frickin’ clocks.”
Frickin’.
Not tickin’ clocks (which would’ve been funny.)
Not fuckin’ clocks (which would’ve been bleeped out by the FCC.)
But frickin’.
And Josh acts like he just used every single one of George Carlin’s 7 dirty words.
“People who have dirty mouths, they’re not intelligent,” he sniffs. Then he gives Bert grief for walking away and “saying things under his breath.”
So Bert tries to explain. But his protests fall on deaf eyebrows.
“I’m asking you if this is the way it’s going to be for the next 2 days because I. Will. Not. Have. It. Bert!” Josh proclaims.  (This was the moment when I knew that Josh had won over the season—and my heart.)
Anyway, turns out Laura is like The Josh Whisperer, and manages to calm him the fuck down. (Or, as Bert might say, calm him the frick down.)
They head out to the street to film the backdrop for their video which has something to do with Laura being a schizophrenic lady who changes her shoes every 5 minutes as she gets in and out of cabs.
Also, the shot of Josh’s hairy legs in those bright yellow pumps? Can’t unsee.
Team Chaos, whose theme is ink blots by the way, does these somewhat predictable images of Time Square, but they are saved by the ingenuity of Anya, who suggests creating a kaleidoscope effect with the shots.
Back at the studio, Josh and Bert hug it out and try to make peace.
Then Tim shows up and sees right through their charade.
“I don’t see a potential wow moment here,” he says of Team Nuts & Bolt’s collection. (Drink!) “You need more cohesion among the 5 of you.”

And then something rather extraordinary happens—in fact, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I may not have believed it actually occurred.

Tim has Team Nuts & Bolts form a circle and hold hands. Yes, like the kind of thing they do on New Age retreats with drum circles and bonfires and group chanting . Or, if you prefer Anthony’s interpretation, he’s making the poor bastards pray together.
My new answer to “How Bad Was It?”
“It was Tim Gunn Prayer Circle Bad.”
Meanwhile, and needless to say, Team Chaos is positively thriving. Tim Gunn loves everything they’re doing and wants to marry their entire collection. (Except for Bryce’s, but he doesn’t count.)
They have but one snag, a sort of leitmotif running through their otherwise perfectly awesome day: Olivier refuses to make a pair of pants to go with his (expertly tailored) jacket.
One particularly humorous exchange on this subject goes like this:
Anthony: Olivier, where do you stand on the pant?
Olivier: Huh?
Anthony: The pant?
Olivier: Wha? What? The what?
Anthony (sighing): How are you coming on the pant?
Update: Olivier does eventually make a pair of pants, not that it matters because his jacket is smothered in awesome sauce and absolutely blows the judges away.
The guest judges are:
Rachel Roy (If she says “yum-o” one damn time, I will scream.) (Wait . . . I have just been informed that Rachel Roy and Rachael Ray are two different people.) (I’m pretty sure I made this same joke in a recap about five years ago. Please do not Google to confirm.)
and
Rose Byrne, who is a helluva actress (really!) but a tad useless as a Project Runway judge.
So Team Nuts & Bolts come down the runway and there is some good and some bad. It’s not a total disaster, although I remain puzzled by the length of Bert’s dress. (And hair.)
But then Team Chaos does its thing and it’s so much better, guys. I mean, it’s actually great. Every single piece (well, except for Bryce’s, but he doesn’t count) is extraordinary. And I kinda feel bad for Team Nuts & Bolts. They actually did get their shit together, but they just got outclassed.
Sooooo. . .
Team Chaos gets their tongue-bath from the judges and then it’s time for Team Nuts & Bolts to skulk back on stage and take their medicine.
Michael Kors makes a bunch of jokes at their expense: “Time’s a tickin’ when you’re wearing that dress!” and “Not a lot of women want to have the word cancelled on their crotch!” and “Your video looks like a hooker convention coming home after a long night!”—and then Heidi asks the team members to choose the weakest link.
Becky picks Josh. “He started us off badly. It almost collapsed us in a way.”
Bert also picks Josh, so apparently that hug/prayer circle/bromance didn’t stick.
Laura says Bert, because she prefers to surround herself with shiny,  new things.
Josh says Becky.
And then Kimberly says Becky, too. “She’s the least styled,” Kimberly says. “She’s more of a”—and here she looks at Becky, as though expecting some help (“glorified seamstress?” she hopes Becky will offer, or “really just kind of a space filler?”—but Becky refuses to play her game). “She has more of a simple kind of style,” Kimberly finishes on her own.
Little chat time.
Michael Kors calls Josh a “Little Dictator” which makes me giggle.
They love Olivier’s jacket, Viktor’s dress (me too!), and Anya’s overall fabulousness (me three!).
They hate Basic Becky and Josh’s bad taste and bad attitude.
And the winner is: Anya!
And, as stated in paragraph one (sorry spoilerphobes): Becky Ross’ time has . . . run out.
*Apparently, this would be an inappropriate thing to say in the workplace. Please make a note of it.

Fallene’s Basement: The Project Runway 9 recap

Let’s just call this episode what it was, okay? The Victor and Bert show, a.k.a. the buddy film they’re playing at the cineplex in hell. You didn’t know which villain to root for. It was like watching Alien vs. Predator. Or the Republican national debate.

But let’s rewind a bit.
First off, I should apologize to Fallene. Last week, I selected Josh, the curiously heterosexual Mormon as my favorite and he got the Klum double kiss-off. This week, I selected Fallene as my new favorite and, well, er. . .. Suffice it to say, I’m 2 for 2 at this point.

Maybe I should select Viktor as my new favorite.

Poor Fallene. She’s really living the nightmare, isn’t she? She probably tried out for Project Runway on a lark, thinking it would be a good learning experience, maybe something to grow on. Then—holy shit!—she got on the show. Then she found out that she needed to know stuff (about sewin’ and fabric grains and the like) and all she wanted to do was paste barfing clowns on her garments and call it a day. Then she cried but no one comforted her. Well, Tim Gunn tried, but he’s not a warm, soft grandmotherly type with folds of skin you can get lost in who always has a tissue and a mint. He’s more like a reassuring, “tut-tut,” “buck up” pat-you-on-the-shoulder kind of fellow. And then she was partnered with Blayne who basically hated her guts and blamed (or should I say blaymed?) her for everything. And then she got sent home in shame. Yeah, I’ve seriously had nightmares like this.

So to start the show, Heidi comes strutting onto the runway in a pair of giant stilts and I’m struck by 2 things:
a. She is working those stilts!
b. Proportionally speaking, she doesn’t look that off. Models already have long, stick-like, vaguely inhuman legs, so there isn’t as much cognitive dissonance going on here as one might expect (or hope.)

But then a bunch more models come out in stilts, and all the designers freak out like it’s some sort of zombie attack.

“For your next challenge, we want you to think outside the box,” says Heidi (everybody drink!). “We want you to create a look that is eye-catching, challenging, and truly larger than life.” (See what she did there?)

Yup, in teams of 2, they’ll be designing a garment for models on stilts. Or, let’s just call it what it is: August 11, 2011: The day Project Runway officially ran out of ideas.

As I already mentioned, Bert and Viktor are a team and Viktor, well, let’s just say he isn’t shy about expressing his displeasure over this fact.
“My heart dropped,” he says to Heidi. In front of Bert. (And this, sadly, was the highlight of their creative pairing.)

Other teams:
Anthony and Laura
Joshua and Julie (lolz)
Danielle and Cecilia
Anya and Olivier (dream team alert!)
Kimberly and Becky
and, last—and decidedly least—Bryce and Fallene.

To Mood they go, and we get our first glimpse at Swatch, the awesomely stylish Mood dog, who probably has a Facebook fan page at this point and if he doesn’t, I may have to start one.

At Mood, Bert picks such a truly ugly fabric I wonder if he might actually be sabotaging Viktor. (Does he not realize that his own immunity only lasted one week? Does he not understand the rules? Or does he really just have THAT bad taste?).

Back at the studio, Viktor and Bert have the same discussion over and over again:
Viktor: *Says something seriously ignorant and misinformed.*
Bert: You, sir, are seriously ignorant and misinformed.
Victor: Well, you’re mean and immature! *Storms out in a huff.*
Bert: I know you are, but what am I?
And on and on it goes.

First, Viktor says that their model should sport a pair of Mae-West-style pants. And Bert’s all like, “Yeah, Mae West never wore a pair of pants in her life, you dolt.”

And then Viktor says they should do something sexy, like Queen Victoria. And Bert says, “Yeah, Queen Victoria was in mourning for 40 years and is pretty much the opposite of sexy, you rube.”

And then Viktor tries to describe the kind of awesome, Queen Victoria-esque look he has in mind with tall collars and ornate ruffles and bright colors and Bert is all, “Yeah, that’s Queen Elizabeth, you troglodyte.”

Oh old people and their pesky facts. Always getting in the way of a good idea.


Meanwhile, there are other contestants, too, as far as I could tell.
The problems of Blayne and Fallene have already been well-documented, although something tells me that her off-grain corset was probably better than the “tank top that Kim Kardashian wears to sleep” look that Blayne cooked up in a last minute panic, but we’ll never know for sure. . .

Also, Fallene saying that she feels there’s a “black cloud over her,” while sitting under a giant, poofy black tutu is one of the best visual jokes on Project Runway ever. So good for her. . .

Crunchy Julie thinks that she and divalicious Josh are getting along fine, until he makes the Mr. Burns “I want to strangle you” gesture behind her back and she kind of catches a glimpse of it, but politely pretends not to notice.

Runway day—outdoors! at Battery Park!—and Viktor is decked out in a piped blazer with shorts and patent-leather blue shoes and if he thinks he’s doing “the Mondo” he should think again. (Viktor’s outfit wouldn’t even register on the Mondo’s Awesomely Mondolicious Outfit of the Day ™ scale.)

The guest judge, as I hinted at before, is noted fashion icon Kim Kardashian. (What, was Snooki not available?) Keep it klassy, Project Runway. Keep it klassy.

I must confess that there is something a bit nightmarish about these models staggering down the runway in stilts, like something out of a Guy Maddin film. (That was for my Canadian readers.)

They’re back on the usual runway for judging. Olivier and Anya are declared safe, which is good for them, but has to rate as a disappointment, considering they’re the Dream Team and all.

The Top 3 teams are:
Anthony and Laura with their gorgeous red feathered concoction.

Becky and Kimberly, who went for the punk glamazon look and I loved it.

and

Danielle and Cecilia, who fought chiffon and actually won. (Sadly, they also fought the Garnier hair stylist, and he won.)

Bottom 3 are:
Bert and Viktor (shocker!) with their “wallpaper and curtains at a tacky catering hall”-MK.

Joshua and Julie, with their “Wonder Woman as reimagined by Ernest Hemingway”-maxthegirl

and

Fallene and Bryce, for the saddest tutu of them all.

The judges assess the Top 3 first and backstage Josh makes this observation: “Who’s back here? Costume, costume, and costume. Who’s on the stage? Ready to wear, ready to wear, ready to wear.”
(It’s season 9, buddy. You’re just now figuring this out?)

So Anthony and Laura win, which I’m cool with, but Anthony graciously gives the credit to Laura, which is confusing because it’s obviously much more his creation than hers. . .If I didn’t know better, I’d say this guy was missing a ball! (Still too soon?). Anyway, Laura gets immunity.

The bottom 3 teams come out and there’s this hilarious moment where Kim Kardashian, addressing Team Bert and Viktor, says: “It almost looks like The Sound of Music when they took off the curtains and made their clothes.” And if she had only quit while she was ahead it might’ve actually been an apt thing to say, but she had to add: “Like Marie Antoinette days.”
And you can see that Bert is dying to correct her. Just dying. But he somehow manages to hold his tongue.

So Bert is in and it comes down to Bryce, Fallene, and Viktor.
And Fallene is . . .OUT.
She has Fallene, and she can’t get up.
Next time I go to Denver, I am totally getting my haircut by her. (And giving her a hug.)