Friday, August 11, 2006



Previously on Project Runway: Heidi delivered the INC challenge. Keith schmoozed Alison to Jeffrey's disgust. Kayne spotted contraband in Keith's room. Tim was just sick about it, but sent Keith packing. Angela's outfit was in the Macy's window. Robert was boring. Bonnie was out.

The credits have stopped shrinking, at least.

Jeffrey is miffed that Angela won the Macy's challenge. Not that he's a Macy's kind of guy or anything, but she won and he didn't. Michael interviews that he'd like to win "at least one challenge." Oh god, they're booting him this week. Robert has been humbled by his narrow escape.

Heidi brings out the models. This time, the models get to pick the designers. Good one! Vincent interviews that it's a screwy world when "things are out of the designers' hands." Vincent has an entire catalog of screwy worlds. Heidi repeats the big fat lie that this is a competition for models, because she's drawing model buttons from the bag and the last two left will be out. A lottery is not a competition! If you're not going to walk the walk, shut up already with the talk. (Yes, I'm still grumpy about Moon getting tossed.) The models all look worried and so do the designers.

Javi and Katia are out, which is just wrong. I don't mind Javi so much -- I could barely see her in Jeffrey's clothes -- but Katia really worked it on the runway. Grump, grump, grump.

Heidi explains the challenge: they will modernize the look of a fashion icon. There are ten to choose from and the models will do the picking. Laura interviews that this is getting scary -- they don't know the models, they don't know if the models know the designers, and the models hold the key to the whole challenge. Surely by this time they're used to getting thrown off their games, though.

The models, now in their street clothes, are greeted by Tim in the workroom. He gives them a chance to study the pictures. Amanda interviews that the pressure kept building. Clarissa is prepared to "fight to the death" for Audrey Hepburn. Tim gives the word and there's an explosion of models grabbing for pictures. Marilinda reenacts the scramble for those of us who aren't quite sure what we're seeing. Tim is astonished by the forces he's unleashed. Danielle interviews that she knew it would be a scrum. (Not that she says "scrum.") Poor Katie just couldn't get in there and wound up with the last choice. The models disperse to the workstations to await their designers.

Wow, the models did good. Maybe too good. It's a pity Katie didn't get to pick Laura; I'd love to see her take on Cher's over-the-top-even-for-Las-Vegas style. Give Katherine Hepburn to Uli to force her to stretch. Kayne should tackle Jackie O's classic style. No Marilyn Monroe for Robert, though; too close to Barbie. Robert should try to get his funk on with Pam Grier and Michael should have a go at Twiggy. Alison should get Madonna and raunch it up a bit. I hestitate to consign Audrey Hepburn to Jeffrey, but her sleek, simple look is the antithesis of his sloppy, deconstructed aesthetic. Angela gets Marilyn Monroe, who cannot be covered up in whickety-whack. That leaves Diana Ross and Farrah Fawcett to Vincent and Bradley, neither of whom has made a strong aesthetic impression on me other than "huh?".

Tim announces the parameters: 2 days and $150 for shopping. They have half an hour to sketch and confer with the models. Sketching and conferring happen. Time to go to Mood!

Michael interviews that Pam Grier's movie costumes were always "very body-conscious." He loves this challenge. Robert finds a beautiful Tiffany blue fabric for an updated "Jackie, the White House years" suit. He needs to bounce back from boring.

Back in the workroom, Kayne is practically bouncing with excitement over his dress. It's going to be Marilyn-meets-Gwen-Stefani. Okay, that could maybe work. Uli wants to know what colors he's using; Kayne is just doing black. Uli is surprised to find herself the only one doing wild colors. Vincent babbles that sometimes he steps back and pretends that someone else is doing the designing. Zord, the All-High Rooster of the Kumquat People? He wants to make beautiful bell-shaped sleeves. The interview cuts off just as he gets wound up and starts using his "I love this kooky hat" voice. Thank you, editors.

In the sewing room, Bradley asks Angela what's up with his machine and she explains that she rethreaded it. So it was having problems when Angela was using it. Bradley rolls his eyes and actually looks pissed. Wow. Who'da thought he had it in him? Bradley interviews that Angela had something to do with whatever happened with his machine. He wants Angela to fix it, and she says she did; it's been fine the last two times she used it. Bradley insists that it's not fixed. Jeffrey's ears perk up at the sound of someone being pissed at Angela, and he comes running to find out what she did wrong. Alison explains that Angela messed up Bradley's machine, so now he's taken her machine. Angela overhears and protests that she didn't break it. Jeffrey interviews that "Angela and these inexperienced <bleep>s" (insert shot of Laura) "ruin it for those of us who know what we're doing." By snatching victories from under their noses. Jeffrey lectures Angela. She tells him to shut up so she can say she didn't break the machine, but he just keeps talking. Laura interviews that Jeffrey acts like he's the only competent person in the sewing room. Jeffrey wants assurance that he's entitled to not like Angela and he keeps talking as she says sure, but don't make false accusations. Laura (who has been sewing through most of this) finally turns around and asks, "If you're so <bleep>in' successful and you know so much, what are you doing here, Jeff?" Jeffrey wants to know what she's mad about. She's mad that you won't get off your high horse and shut your friggin' pie hole, you wanker. He interviews that he wasn't even talking to Laura and yet she started "quacking" at him. He then quacks. And quacks. And quacks. It sounds a lot like him lecturing Angela, actually. What Laura said sounded more like "zing!" As Jeffrey leaves the sewing room, he wishes Laura (presumably) would have a stroke. Laura shoots him a glare but otherwise doesn't waste her time responding. Behind her, poor Bradley looks alarmed.

Jeffrey's back to working on his dress form. Michael interviews that Jeffrey "jumped on Angela's case and stormed out of the workroom." As he works, Michael expresses his distaste for people ganging up on Angela. Jeffrey explains that there's a domino effect as people shift around to find working machines, so it does too concern him. But he didn't find that out until after he ran in there and asked what Angela had done wrong. Michael still thinks it has nothing to do with Jeffrey. He interviews that he's "not trying to play Captain Save-A-Ho" but it wasn't Jeffrey's place to deal with Angela. Jeffrey claims he was just saying that you should fix a broken machine instead of leaving it for someone else to trip over. Michael declines to dispute with him. Jeffrey goes back into the sewing room (where Angela and Laura are working) and whines, "All I want to do is make a dress for Madonna. Is that too much to ask?" So after all that squawking, he's the one who goes around feeling picked on? I've changed my mind about letting him into the top six.

Michael feels the competition has gotten more intense. He's just trying to stay true to himself. He makes a product-placed phone call to his mother, who cries at the drop of a hat. His parents have been supportive ever since he first started drawing. He assures his mom that he prays every night. Recharged, he goes back to work on his outfit. Please tell me they're not booting him.

Vincent isn't happy with the tan linen he bought. He interviews that if it doesn't inspire you, you can't use it because that could lead to getting auf'ed. He confesses to Robert that he's having trouble. I finally notice that Vincent's shirt is unbuttoned halfway down his chest. I'm just not that fond of looking at Vincent, let alone that much of Vincent. Robert says he's also feeling troubled, about his jacket. He winds up borrowing Vincent's linen to make a jacket; maybe mixing it up will break him out of his rut.

End of day one. Nekkid Jeffrey in the kitchen. Much worse than Vincent's chest. Kayne and Vincent are stretched out on their sofa beds. Kayne says he's the most interested in Jeff's outfit and Bradley's, because of Cher. Jeffrey is "excited" to see Laura's. He's going to feel "so good" -- presumably when she goes down in flames, and were you even paying attention to who her icon is? Not a chance. Vincent chastises him, "That's not nice" and Jeffrey protests that Laura's not nice. This from the guy who made it his business to find out what Angela did wrong and beat her up for it. He calls Laura "mean" and "frigid." Well, if you mean she's never going to sleep with you, yeah.

Morning. Vincent is wearing a t-shirt today, so I don't have to worry about buttons. Kayne is still bubbling with enthusiasm for the challenge. His fabrics are black lambskin leather, nude stretch Lycra and black stretch sheer mesh. He thinks it evokes the Marilyn era while still being modern. Angela sees Audrey Hepburn as "sleek" and "sophisticated." She talks about showing skin to be sexy, but then covering it with the chiffon. Sexy lines underneath, but then a "mysterious covering." She's also working in black, and one of her fabrics is a sheer with a ladder-like pattern. Alison is using an au courant high waistband; her dress will "hint" at the 70s.

Jeffrey shares with Vincent: "I got one word for Bradley's top -- supercalifragilisticexpialicrazy." I don't think Mary Poppins is quite the gestalt he wanted to invoke. Bradley's top is a short-sleeved blouse in silver lamé with aqua triangles. Jeffrey's thinking "Sleepers" and Vincent is thinking Major Tom. Bradley interviews that he'd love it if Cher liked his outfit. Vincent goes over and flips over his sleeves. Bradley pretends they're rocket sleeves. Watch out, dude. Vincent is working a sleeve fetish this week; he might just cut them off for himself.

In the afternoon, Tim announces that the models are dropping by for 15 minutes for a check-in. Michael tries his outfit on Nazri. It's a pretty dress, but that's not what he wanted. He studies his inspiration, trying to get that essence, before working out a new idea. Bradley left too much room in Katie's pants and now they're riding up. Amanda is telling Kayne about her birthday. Kayne interviews that she "will not shut up." Amanda talks some more. Kayne interviews, "You should be pretty and seen and not open your mouth." Okay, that's too harsh. She needs to stop babbling, yes, but telling someone they're not entitled to speak at all is just wrong. That's one of the things that annoyed me so much about Vincent's treatment of Angela. Amanda is in the sewing room talking to Robert, who says, "Amanda, I can't take on your issues from childhood. Sorry!" She eventually wanders off. Robert, Kayne and Michael immediately bust loose.

Tim gathers the designers and models to introduce Nathaniel Hawkins, the lead stylist. He's going to consult with them on the look. Also, he announces that the winning design and model will be featured in a TRESemmé ad in Elle magazine. Kayne interviews that it's a "huge" prize. Bradley interviews that he tried their hair gel the night before and really likes it. Tim outlines that everyone will get a private consultation. Jeffrey wants straight extensions for his Madonna look. For Diana Ross, Nathaniel talks about fullness and curl. I hope he's discussing a wig; Lindsay's hair just won't stretch that far. He says Farrah's hair always had motion, flowing back. Nathaniel mentions "shiny" for Twiggy and Vincent makes a face; I can't tell if it's a smile or a grimace. For Pam Grier, Nathaniel would give Nazri more of an Afro. What does he think she has now? Kayne is on board with a softer look for Marilyn. Nathaniel points out that Danielle's hair is longer than Jackie O's, and Robert jokingly(?) tells him to cut it. Danielle is not on board with that plan. Well, she needs to do something; her hair is two lengths and it looks fried.

Tim comes through for his checkup. Robert needs to press his linen blazer, and then there's the skirt, which is now also in the linen. Because nothing says "Not boring!" like tan linen. Tim searches for words and Robert supplies "incredibly plain." Yes, that would be what Tim was going for. Robert interviews that Tim wanted to warn him about falling into the boring trap again.

Tim likes Kayne's gown. Kayne asks his opinion of adding a "cascading ruffle." Tim approves; it will make the look less severe.

Michael is doing great with his revamped outfit. He kept the top of the dress; for the bottom, he's thinking hot pant. Tim hates hot pants but he's on board with the idea; they're back and "really now."

Bradley is working on his fit issues with the pants; he didn't leave enough seam allowance in the crotch. Tim thinks the top looks armor-like. He's concerned.

Having spread his dollops of joy and gloom, Tim departs. The designers keep working. Robert sighs over "details that no one will ever see or appreciate" as he handsews. "Details that will bore," banters Jeffrey. "Details to Bore, straight from Robert Best to Nina Garcia," Robert banters back. Michael can just hear Nina chewing him out for designing hot pants. And day two is over.

Morning. More nekkid Jeffrey in the kitchen. Please stop that. The camera lovingly follows Alison in her nightie. She thinks this is the most interesting challenge they've had, and the reward is pretty good, too. Michael still needs to make a bottom for his top.

And off to the workroom. Tim gives them two hours for hair, makeup and fittings, and sends in the models. Michael fits some shorts on Nazri. Jeffrey accessorizes Marilinda with some biker boots. Katie asks about making the pants narrower at the ankle, but Bradley wants to make sure she can still get into them. Robert fits his outfit on Danielle. It's not what he wanted. He interviews that once you've made your choices, you have to make it work or else you'll have nothing to show. Kayne fusses over one spot on the dress. Amanda agrees that it's "a little sloppy" and Kayne gives her a glare. She tries to explain, and Kayne sings at her to "shut up." He interviews that he'll "definitely" use her in the future, but he's going to put duct tape over her mouth. Michael finishes his shorts; he's happy with them. Down in makeup, Jeffrey says he has to restrain his impulses so Marilinda doesn't wind up looking like a hooker. Depending on which Madonna incarnation he's doing, there might not be any need to hold back.

Tim summons everyone for the runway. Robert is fixing something and Tim urges him to get a move on. "A miracle from heaven is needed to turn this thing around," he interviews. Well, yeah, once it's time for the runway, mere human intervention isn't going to get it done.

Heidi comes out wearing a mini-dress made from old tablecloths. Love her hair, though. She recaps the challenge -- this time, because of the prize, no immunity -- and introduces the judges: Michael Kors (back at last!), Nina Garcia, and fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg. And runway!

Heidi calls Alison, Laura, Uli and Jeffrey. They're all safe. The models for the remaining designers return.

Heidi starts with Kayne. He identifies his icon (Marilyn Monroe) and explains his material choices. Heidi thinks it's genius. Michael calls it "goth Marilyn." He asks to see the back and the judges all adore it. Nina compliments the styling and presentation.

Vincent eulogizes Twiggy. His design was about geometry and simplicity. (Or would that be Simplicity?) Diane von Furstenberg is creeped out by the eulogy and suggests they treat Twiggy as one of the living. Michael hates the pockets. Diane tries to figure out how the sleeves could be fixed. Nina and Michael both want something less somber.

Michael describes Pam Grier as a "heroine" who was "strong" and "bold," so he chose a bold color for her. Heidi likes the cut and the sexiness, with the skin. Michael explains that he didn't want to do pants because that would have been too much pink. Diane compliments the proportions of the shorts; she's worn a lot of hot pants, so she knows good ones. All the judges appreciate how the pieces could work as separates. Michael beams.

Bradley borrowed from the 70s to come up with his outfit for Cher. Diane doesn't love it. Nina just finds it off. Michael observes that Cher is a chameleon. He hates the crotch. Heidi is thinking Halloween costume. Okay, that's really not good.

Angela decided to modernize the Audrey Hepburn little black dress with texture. She has a name for the things that are more flowery-looking than the usual granny circles, but I'm in no mood for stupid names, so forget it. Diane sees Audrey Hepburn. In fact, it's timeless. Nina appreciates that Angela used the details she enjoys. Heidi wants "one in every color." Angela is visibly touched.

Robert steels himself. He didn't want to update Jackie O too much, just keep the silhouette. Nina doesn't see Jackie -- the color and fabric are off. Robert's idea is that the modern version would be a little less "perfect." Diane thinks the linen is the biggest problem. Heidi doesn't think it's "sharp" enough for Jackie. Michael says Jackie was impeccable in every decade.

Heidi reminds the models of the photo shoot prize and dismisses everyone.

Nina is happy to report that Kayne is never boring. Michael thinks it was Kayne-like, but restrained. Diane sums it up, "That's a beautiful dress." Heidi would love to have Angela's dress. Nina was surprised that Angela could do sleek. Michael finds it modern. Michael loves Michael's presentation and his thought process. Diane calls his outfit "perfection." Heidi asks, "Who do we hate?" Nina doesn't like Vincent's fabric, and Michael agrees that it's "more Brady Bunch than Twiggy." Nina thinks Vincent has a problem with presentation. Michael didn't see anything "Cher" in Bradley's outfit. Diane finds it badly made, and Heidi calls it "so cheap." Robert managed to bore Nina again. She and Michael expected better. Michael is puzzled by the fabric choice. Heidi thinks he went "old lady" again.

The designers return. Angela is safe. Kayne whispers "Good job" as she passes him. So I guess they really are pals. The win goes to Michael. Yay! The judges all loved everything about the outfit. Heidi tells him that his outfit and model will be in the magazine ad; Michael does a little touchdown dance that's very cute. See, you should have him on the runway more often. Kayne looks disappointed. Michael is dismissed from the runway. In the waiting room, Angela hugs him but then Nazri gets her elbow around and Angela's squeezed out. Nazri knows a good thing when she sees it. Michael is excited, but tomorrow morning it will be back to work as usual. Kayne is safe. Vincent is safe. Aw, no! His outfit sucked! At least make him squirm a little. But no, Robert gets to squirm. Heidi smacks him for his fabric choice and for boring them again. Bradley produced a "poorly made, cheap-looking outfit, unworthy of your icon." Robert is safe. I wasn't terribly worried about him this time, given the terrible comments for Bradley. Heidi gives Robert a wake-up call and dismisses him from the runway. Bradley gets his auf wiedersehn.

Bradley interviews, "This is serious fashion, serious high fashion going on, and I made a Tinkertoy. And they kicked me out." He seems to be taking it all in stride. He's where he's at, and he did what he did, and he's going home. I'm wondering, what was Bradley doing on this show? I don't mean that in a "he's a talentless hack" kind of way; I'm really wondering. He doesn't seem to have any connection to pop culture. I'd be surprised if he even watches TV, so it's even more unlikely that he'd want to be on TV. (No famewhore, our Bradley.) So what was his motivation? It's hard even to guess because we really didn't to see much of the real Bradley -- just his wacky humor. I do congratulate him on giving reality show producers fits and dodging the usual character manipulations; he just never gave them anything solid to work with. Makes me wonder what they saw in him that got him on the show. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.

Later that day, Michael and Nazri shoot the TRESemmé ad. They look good. So, did the right outfit win? In addition to the top three, I thought Laura and Uli also performed well. I suspect they were docked for working so much in their usual style, rather than stretching. I really liked Angela's dress the first time I saw it, but the more I see it, the busier it seems. Perhaps the first-time "wow!" factor is from the surprise of Angela doing such a good job. I think she got the basic structure right and she certainly restrained her worst impulses, but definitely not the best outfit. Kayne also did an excellent job and his train was gorgeous, but he also might have been docked a bit for staying in his comfort zone, since he's a gown guy. Michael's outfit was beautifully designed and impeccably made, plus it seemed fresh and distinct. I wonder if the judges have been having concerns about his "taste level" and have now been convinced that their fears were misplaced. I was expecting something more bootylicious when Michael brought up hot pants, but his solution was more fun/sexy than obvious/sexy. I'd be okay with it if Kayne had won, but I'm glad Michael finally got some recognition.

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