Saturday, September 02, 2006

 

Ready, Set, Jet!

Previously on Project Runway: Heidi challenged them to design for an everyday woman. Angela spazzed out. Laura saw her mom standing next to Heidi. Robert was terrified. Vincent was sane. Darlene objected to Jeffrey's treatment of her; Jeffrey played dumb. Angela declared Jeffrey the ass. Jeffrey didn't want Darlene even standing at his table. She went away and was upset. Moms and sisters on the runway! Vincent won. (Strangely, the world continued to spin in the same direction.) Robert was boring again and got the boot.

Kayne mourns the departure of his snark partner, but he's happy to still be in it. Vincent interviews that the win was a nice boost. Uli tells Laura she can really see the pregnancy now. Laura asks, "So you don't think I'm just making it up to get attention?" Jeffrey must be so jealous he can't work that particular angle. Uli teases that she used to think it was just attention-seeking, but now she knows better. This is not the kind of attention Laura is really looking for. Laura interviews that her herd of children have never held her back in the past, so another child isn't going to hold her back now. She's confident she belongs in the final three.

Vincent appears to be packing. Maybe unpacking. Who knows, maybe he's looking for something to gag Jeffrey with. Jeffrey is griping that he's not going to let Angela come down and smoke while he's trying to sleep, which happened to Michael. Like Angela wants to be any closer to Jeffrey than she absolutely has to be. I suspect she'd rather give up smoking. Jeffrey interviews that he's happy to have survived the nightmarish experience of the previous challenge, wherein Angela tried to get him booted. Aw, did the big, mean hippie dippie give the poor widdle badass rawk star a hard time? Angela recaps that Jeffrey was a big poopie-head to her mom.

Challenge time. But first, model time. But first, Heidi has scary bangs now. Everybody stays with her or his current model. It's interesting that Uli doesn't steal Nazri from Michael, even though she has the chance. Kayne, with the final choice, stays with Amanda because she really works the runway. None of the other models congratulate her on her survival. Lindsay interviews that Amanda has a misplaced sense of entitlement. Danielle and Alexandra are out. Poor Danielle, she lost her Robert. But I'll miss Alexandra more; I like her style. The models hug their departing compatriots.

Heidi delivers the challenge: designing for a hip international jet setter. Jeffrey interviews, "The first thing I thought about was me." When is that not the first thing he thinks about? Kayne guesses Tara Reid, who "always took off her tops and showed her boobies" on her travel show. Please be wrong. Even if it means another Hilton. (Actually, Nicky was pretty decent, given my lowered expectations.) Heidi passes them on to Tim for the details. But before they go, she drops the hint that winning will have future benefits.

In the workroom, Tim explains that the hip international jet setters are the designers themselves. Angela spazzes out. Almost everyone else looks pleased -- Uli cheerfully interviews that she's already "an international, trendy jet setter" so that works for her -- but Vincent is bummed about having to do his first men's clothing. The designers will model their outfits on the runway. They have $75 for materials, 1 day for construction and 15 minutes to sketch.

Angela interviews that a jet setter is someone with lots of money who can just fly around the world. Michael names Paris Hilton; Jeffrey mentions "rock stars." Kayne says a jet setter is "always on the go." Vincent thinks they'd need clothes that don't wrinkle. Kayne lists the requirements as "comfortable, breathable, something that's going to travel well." Angela interviews that she lives in isolated rurality, so she can't grasp flying around the world "just to go to parties." Living on a farm kills off your imagination? Is it the methane from the cows or what? Laura draws a cocktail dress, of course, because she doesn't want to run out of time. Vincent tells Jeffrey about his lack of menswear experience. Jeffrey thinks the challenge is tailor-made for him. He's doing a blazer, a T-shirt and pants; his only problem will be executing it all. Well, if he's really worried about time, he can just whip up an ugly patchwork sack dress; he knows he can get that done in a day.

Shopping at Mood. Vincent holds up some fabric in a mirror. Kayne drapes some fabric over a clerk's back. (I hope he's a clerk and not some poor, unsuspecting customer.) Kayne relates how he found a "gorgeous Versace silk burnout fabric" to decorate the back of a black shirt. Jeffrey interviews that Kayne is tacky and "Liberace/Vegas." He himself has found a waxed purple wool which is "really pretty." Why no, he wasn't sarcastic. Tim checks up on Angela and reminds her to be hip. Is it still hip to be square? That's pretty much Angela's only hope at this point. Michael describes his outfit as "Hamptons meets the 'hood." I hope the 'hood has money or it's going to get snubbed.

Back in the workroom, Uli lays out her selection of prints. Laura puts on a Germanic accent to exclaim, "Wow, it's an Uli explosion!" Uli interviews how she takes her "party dresses" with her when she travels to exotic locations. They work "even if you get vasted." Is that wise? An Uli dress could be a psychedelic experience when you're drunk. Angela doesn't know any international jet setters. There's her cousin Jack, who travels around the world hunting; his sister calls him the "Hillbilly Jet Setter." Probably not what the judges have in mind. The luxurious European lifestyle is "foreign" to her. Yes, we got that from the Jubilee Jumbles story. Vincent gleefully makes a pattern for pants from his own pants, which means he's standing around in his boxers. He interviews that he'd like to work in his boxers every day; maybe it will become a trend. Hey, if pajama bottoms can become daywear, why not boxers? [Insert standard geezer rant on declining standards of decency.]

Time passes. Work happens. In the sewing room, Jeffrey announces that it would be okay to get booted with an outfit he loved, because that would mean that the judges just didn't get him, but getting booted with a horrible outfit would be horrible. Which contradicts his statement last week that it would have been okay to get booted on the Moms challenge, because while making clothes out of trash and dressing a dog are perfectly reasonable requests, no one could expect him to be prepared to dress a dumpy, middle-aged Midwesterner. But it turns out both statements mean the same thing: it's okay for Jeffrey to get booted as long as he can believe that the booting is not his fault. Jeffrey interviews that he made the "ugliest garment" of his life for "probably one of the most difficult people" he's ever had to work with. Yeah, yeah, the dumpy, middle-aged Midwesterner just kicked your ass around the workroom, poor thing. He brags that "it's quite an accomplishment to send something like that down the runway and still be here." Yeah, yeah, it's a testament to your "mad skillz" that Robert was boring once again.

Angela is tired of Jeffrey's wallowing. Jeffrey studies Angela while she works. Angela finally turns around and tells him to just look at her if he wants to talk to her. Jeffrey replies, "I'm so <bleep>ing frightened when I look at you." Angela didn't quite get that. Jeffrey mumbles that he doesn't want to talk to her. Angela explains that her mom is a "sensitive subject," like Jeffrey doesn't know and could care. Jeffrey claims that it was "just the nature of the challenge" that gave him a hard time and he's sorry that she's taking it personally. Whereas if she weren't taking it personally, he'd be seriously miffed at all that effort gone to waste.

Laura interviews that Jeffrey can't "let go" of his Darlene-inspired issues, but then "Jeffrey's often being an asshole." Jeffrey asks Angela why she's so annoyed; is it because he had a hard time or because she and Darlene didn't manage to get him booted with their trash-talking about the dress he so gleefully admitted was the ugliest thing he's ever done? Angela sighs and tries to reason with him that the dress sucked, but Jeffrey interrupts, "Don't give me those weird, sad eyes." Ohmigaw, y'all, he noticed her eyes! If Jeffrey isn't doing the "she makes me feel all funny inside, so she must have cooties" juvenile courtship dance, it's an excellent imitation.

Angela interviews that Jeffrey's accusations are "ridiculous" because that dress was all Jeffrey. Who says, "Angela's calculating, and she knows what she's doing, so as far as I'm concerned, she's fair game." Hang on, does Jeffrey seriously believe that Angela is some kind of strategic mastermind? Angela? Has she been kicking people's butts at chess during their downtime? Dude, if she knew what she was doing, she would have already handed you your ass on a platter, because you are just not that much of a challenge. If someone looks you straight in the eye and calls you on your crap, you fold.

Angela interviews that she wanted to rip his hair out, but she couldn't spare the time from her garment. Also, she's just not that badass. Laura is happy to be out of it; there's no time on a one-day challenge to "dick around with everyone's personal problems." Jeffrey chortles, "The madder she gets, the better I feel." Not that he's calculating or anything. Angela interviews unconvincingly that she doesn't care about Jeffrey's nastiness. As she leaves the workroom, Jeffrey chortles some more: "She's feeling the pressure." It's a good thing the workroom doesn't have windows, because I'd be tempted to dangle Jeffrey out one of them. Does he never shut up? People are trying to work!

With 7 hours to go, Kayne recaps the challenge. Vincent interviews that it's hard to make two clothing items in one day, so you just have to rush and trust your instincts. He shows his newly-made pants to Jeffrey, who thinks they look good. Vincent says he's "never made a man's thing" in his life. Guess the old dog learned a new trick.

Tim time! Jeffrey's doing "good." The pants are done and he's mocking up the blazer. Tim thinks it's "rock 'n' roll," "not boring" and completely Jeffrey. I wish we had seen Jeffrey tell Tim how the blazer fabric was "really pretty."

Laura is also trying not to be boring; I guess Robert was not aufed in vain. She thinks this dress is a bit of a departure for her, which Tim approves of. She interviews that she likes the dress, but then she liked her previous dress, too, and the judges didn't. But she's trying to respond to the judges' comments and keep it fresh.

Tim is surprised that Kayne's shirt is done, but it's not done -- he needs to add the Versace print to the back and around a sleeve. Tim worries that it's looking very Elvis, but Kayne has already noticed that. I guess that's what he wants, then.

Michael describes the meeting of breezy and urban. Tim asks what he plans to wear under the motorcycle-style jacket. Michael's proposed T-shirt gives Tim some concern. Michael figures it's about the same amount of work to turn the jacket into a short-sleeved shirt. Tim approves. Michael interviews that he had to change things around, and now he's nervous about time.

Angela has cut out her pants but she needs to assemble them, which is still a lot of work. Tim worries that the top looks "junior" and "Holly Hobbie." Angela likes Holly Hobbie. But do the judges? Angela pouts to Tim that she's worried about time.

Tim warns everyone that the morning will be "crazy" so they need to finish tonight. He leaves them with, "Carry on. I'm carrying myself on."

Only 2 hours to deadline. Work work work. Kayne decides something is wrong and rips it out. Vincent admires himself in the mirror while Jeffrey disses his outfit as "drab and conservative" and Kayne's as "Liberace." Kayne is convinced he has a winner. Angela holds up her pants. Not only are they assembled, they're decorated. Laura interviews, "Angela is clearly a talented designer, but anywhere she could stick a rosette, she did." Michael describes the two "big ones" on the butt, complete with sound effects. The camera zooms in on the seat of the pants. Each back pocket has a center rosette surrounded by a circle of attendant rosettes; another rosette is centered between the pockets; the crotch area has been somehow crinkle-textured. Well, no wonder she was worried about time.

In the sewing room, Uli frets over her dress taking so long. Jeffrey teases that hers is simple. "You couldn't even put colors together like that," she retorts. "It would be a clown's costume." Jeffrey is impressed that he's "pulling this off." He announces that he's finished, and the others have a "contender" to deal with. Angela looks doubtful. And time is up.

Outside on the patio, Michael shows Kayne his runway walk. Kayne interviews that Michael gave him some tips. Michael doesn't think just turning around is "cool," so he works a turn into a couple of steps back. Kayne admires the move. Michael interviews that he's done some modeling, and you need a sense of self. He shows Kayne how to walk "like you mean it" and Kayne tries. He says, "It's easier when you're from the ghetto. I'm from white trash." Aw, c'mon, Kayne. Britney is doing her best to make white trash hip, but she can't do it all by herself.

Morning. Wakey-wakey time. Gah! What the HELL is Angela wearing for a nightgown? I only caught a glimpse of it during the icon challenge before the camera focused on the far more pleasing sight of Alison in her leopard nightie. It looks like it has been cut down from a bedspread. I don't know if the flowers are needlepoint or applique. There's fringe. I can't think about it any more. Blech! Angela interviews that she needs to finish her top. Laura's belly is bustin' out. She's going to need a new wardrobe. Laura interviews that the stakes increase as the field shrinks and the competition gets tougher. She'd rather not get booted just yet.

At Parsons, Tim gives them just an hour for hair, makeup and fittings. Lots of finishing work. Good grief, it's only 6:15! And they finished at midnight, so they're lucky if they got 5 hours of sleep. Man, I could never be on this show. And it's even more surprising that they haven't duct-taped Jeffrey's yap already; I know I get crankier when I'm tired and I've been wanting to duct-tape him for weeks now. Jeffrey can't wait to "rock" down the runway. He asks the makeup people to fix his green tone. Sorry, dude, envy goes down to the bone. Angela has a team of stylists blowing out her hair. Uli begs for help putting on jewelry. She and Laura get styled. Michael doesn't bother with hair and makeup; he finishes his shirt and it turns out great. Kayne sews while shirtless. Not the best idea. He interviews that he just needs a little more time to achieve perfection. Jeffrey interviews that he was "a little afraid of Kayne's outfit" and calls it a "bungle." Laura interviews, "Personally, I love Kayne, but he just has this tackiness that just doesn't translate to high fashion." Tim summons the designers to the runway.

Heidi addresses her remarks to the judges this time, since the designers are elsewhere. The bangs have been parted and incorporated into a shag-like do and she's wearing a fairly cute little dress. I'm not keen on the boots, though. The guest judge is Francisco Costa, creative director of Calvin Klein. Heidi recaps the challenge and kicks off the runway show.

Heidi formally introduces the judges.

Uli's up first. She describes how she lives in Miami and gets invited to parties. She can wear the dress with flip-flops or put on high heels and go directly to the party from the plane, although the party often starts on the plane. Michael wants to be invited. Francisco finds it a "bit over the top." Michael thinks the style will work in Miami, the Caribbean, LA, south of France -- but that's kind of it. Nina throws in Hawaii. Uli protests that those are the places she usually goes. Michael sums it up as, they've seen her in similar dresses, they know this is her signature, and now they want to see something else. Well, then, don't ask her to design for herself. I agree that Uli has gone to this well far too often, but the time to nail her for that was during the icon challenge, if not sooner.

Angela has silk linen short pants and a loose top, and she added her "Angela details." She turns to show them the back and Michael just shakes his head at the sheer wrongness. He thinks linen is the worst possible choice for travel and Francisco agrees. Michael explains, "You're a mess just standing. So, I mean, traveling, you're gonna just be like a homeless person."

Laura sees a jet setter as someone who, instead of just hitting the local parties, travels to parties all over the world. So she made a party dress. Francisco thinks the knot it the back would be uncomfortable when sitting for hours on a plane, but he and Michael agree that it could be wrapped around to the front. Nina thinks the dress would be chic in all sorts of places.

Heidi asks Jeffrey where he's going and he asks, "Is it not apparent?" He pretends he's an actual rock star who'd freak out a planeload of people. He explains his background designing for people whose images make them successful (that's the music business -- talent optional as long as you have the look) and they're jet setters. Francisco loves the personality and fabric choices and color. Heidi calls it expensive; he looks like a rock star. Although, if you cover up the neck tattoo, is it rock star or wannabe? I have my suspicions. Nina finds it very current. (Psst, Michael, perhaps you haven't noticed because you can't help averting your eyes, but -- bedazzled crotch! Is that insane or what?)

Vincent likes comfort, so the pants are cotton stretch and the top is jersey. He's into minimalism, so this outfit expresses him. Heidi thinks it's really safe. Francisco likes it; this is a lifestyle, too. That would probably be the Calvin Klein lifestyle he's thinking of. Nina says it should be impeccable, and this isn't. Michael is reminded of the pajamas handed out in first class. He doesn't see any "twist." "I'm the twist," proclaims Vincent. Nina and Michael aren't buying it.

Michael imagined himself going to the Hamptons to hang with P. Diddy. He has a little bling, since he's a member of the "hip-hop generation." The seersucker is because he loves American design and American fabrics. Francisco finds it "quite smart." Nina gets it. Michael thinks seersucker is a great choice for travel, with the pre-wrinkling, and the pants are "cool."

Kayne figures he would be famous and chased by paparazzi, so he wanted to be fabulous. Nina sees Elvis. Well, Elvis was pretty fabulous. Michael likes the fit and the construction, but it's too much of a costume. As opposed to a bedazzled skull and crossbones? It's a pity the Macy's accessory wall doesn't have cowboy boots, ten gallon hats and six string guitars. I guess country music isn't as "hip" as rock music, but that's Kayne's vernacular and I can see it working for him, with a few tweaks. But Michael thinks it's the lead for "What Were You Thinking?". Unlike the bedazzled crotch.

Heidi does the usual "one of you will be named the winner and one of you will be out" speech -- and adds, "But not tonight." They want to see how well the outfits travel, so the designers are going on a trip. Angela spazzes out. They have one hour to pack, so they'd better get moving! I love it when Heidi gets all bossy and stern. It's not because she's German, either; Uli's German, too, but I can't see her pulling it off so well. The designers all scoot.

They race up to the workroom. Uli and Vincent recap the big twist. Everyone packs their design kits. Laura interviews that no one knew what to bring or how many days they'd be gone. They hike back to the apartments in the rain and pack some more. Kayne interviews that the tickets didn't show the destination, so he didn't know if it was "Iceland or Australia." Jeffrey interviews that he tried to imagine various scenarios, but who knows what it will be? Vincent would like Budapest or Istanbul. Everyone wheels out luggage. In the van, Uli hopes it won't be a 16-hour flight. They could all probably use 16 hours of sleep. Vincent thinks they wouldn't all survive a 16-hour flight. Uli's thinking a European fashion capital like London or Milan. Vincent interviews that they had to use a kiosk to find out the destination. One of the product-placed airline employees helps. Michael helps rev the suspense with an interview about his excitement. And their destination is -- Paris! There is much rejoicing. Kayne is excited because he's never been outside of the US. Jeffrey is wearing a big Eiffel Tower charm on a necklace. He interviews that most of them are inspired by European designers. Laura guesses from the seat number that it's first class. The airline person confirms it and now Laura's excited. She has already been to Paris "several" times and doesn't like flying all that much, so first class makes her happy.

Everyone is seated in the strangely capacious first class area and receives a flute of champagne. In strolls Tim. The designers are happy some more. Jeffrey interviews, "I don't know what I'm going to do after this if I can't have Tim pop up in my life every once in a while." Well, figure it out soon. Tim checks the entertainment options for Project Runway and Michael says he already checked; they don't have it. Tim thinks that needs fixing. Laura is comfortable in her dress, although she did shift the knot to the front.

Paris! Happy tourist comments in the van. Laura interviews that Paris in person is "always more beautiful" than Paris in pictures. Vincent interviews that he is wrinkle-free, except perhaps for the furrowed brow as he wonders what's up with the Paris trip. The van arrives at Parsons Paris. Michael interviews he had no idea there was a Parsons in Paris. Tim welcomes them and escorts them to their new workroom. Angela is delighted to see windows. Uli wonders why there are only six tables, and Jeffrey deduces that someone will be going home toute suite. Michael interviews that he had to steel himself for the impending boot. Everyone looks nervous. Kayne interviews that he wants to make the final "group" (I don't know if that's four or three) so he would "not be a happy camper" if he got the boot now.

Tim introduces their host judge, Catherine Malandrino. Angela interviews that she totally admires her and her line. Jeffrey is also impressed. Tim tells everyone that someone will be getting the boot in just a few minutes. Laura interviews that it's cruel to fly someone over to Paris just to boot them. Tim has the scores from the New York runway show. Catherine will score the outfit based on how it traveled and the total scores will determine the results. Everyone has to walk the "runway" again.

Tim sorts the results. Laura is in. Vincent is in. Tim has Catherine announce the winner. It's a tight race between Michael's hip-hop star and Jeffrey's rock star. Jeffrey wins. Rats! I wanted to see if his head would explode from frustration. Michael smiles and claps, because he's a nice boy. Jeffrey interviews that it felt good to finally win after having been stiffed at least once already, because he can find something to whine about in any situation. It's a gift. He figures God has finally gotten over his hangover and is back to making Jeffrey the center of the universe. Michael is in. Uli is in. Catherine spanks Kayne for looking like a "fake pop star" while Angela is "not a jet setter." Quick, Angela, tell her you're an Olsen twin! Too late. Angela is out; Kayne is safe.

Tim tells Angela she has to clean out her workspace. Did she even get a workspace? Jeffrey is thrilled and calls her an "artsy-craftsy macaroni gluer" instead of a real designer. Who nonetheless managed to win a challenge long before he did, so what does that make him? Michael interviews that he'll miss Angela for her spirit and her smile -- "there's so much about her that's really, really good." Everyone waves goodbye and Tim gives her a nice hug. Angela interviews that she's sad, but she has learned a lot. She's very open to all the possibilities the future will bring. How about the possibility of burning those pants?

Did Angela deserve the boot? Her outfit was a mess, but it was a mess with her point of view, and that always worked for Santino. Meanwhile, Vincent's outfit was boring, boring, boring. And last week, "boring" lost out to "crappy, but with a discernible point of view." This week? Angela might have squeaked through if not for the linen. That was a terrible choice for an outfit that needed to travel. What made it worse is that everyone else came through unwrinkled, so hers was the only functional failure. I can't argue with that decision. Not that I want to. Angela was never destined for the final four. She's capable of elegance, but her instincts take her over the top. Her best hope for success is with children's clothes, where all that frou-frou is darling instead of tacky.

As for the win, it comes down to taste. I don't care for Jeffrey's outfit, but it was a reasonable entry. Well, except for the bedazzled crotch. That will never stop being snicker-worthy. I'd rather they had given Laura her first win; perhaps a stronger color would have put her over the top. And I'm totally in love with the hip-hop cargo pants made out of seersucker, which is such an unhip fabric. So I disagree with the decision, but it's not a total miscarriage of justice.

Overall, the challenge needed better parameters. Uli and Kayne got beat up for being themselves, which isn't cool when they were supposed to be themselves. Uli was dinged for suiting limited destinations, but Michael's outfit was also quite beachy. Kayne was criticized for wearing a costume, but Jeffrey wasn't. At least in Uli's case, they managed to provide some constructive criticism ("we want to see something different"). I suppose what they were trying to tell Kayne was that he needed a more modern silhouette, but I think that got lost in translation.

At this point, I'm worried about the final collections. Michael could conceivably still get booted, like if he fell down the stairs and hit his head and forgot how to sew, but at this point, a serious misstep seems unlikely. Laura has a very specific style, but she has made a variety of pieces and she's loosening up a bit. I would really like to see a collection from her. If Vincent has a style, it involves dressing up the fronts of basic black garments with exaggerated details. Not interested in seeing more of that. Jeffrey and Uli have both been very limited, Jeffrey with his strips of fabric assembled into garments and Uli with her halter dresses in wild prints. I'm not interested in twelve more variations of the same. Uli at least showed some flexibility in the Mom challenge, so we'll have to see what she does next. I've liked a lot of Kayne's dresses -- his apartment dress (one unfortunate feature but otherwise quite good), his pageant gown, his doggie owner outfit, his Marilyn gown -- so at this point, he's my pick for third. Unfortunately, he's falling out of the judges' graces. I think Alison could have done an interesting collection; I'd much rather have her in the mix instead of Vincent. Malan seemed to have a strong point of view, but I didn't get to see enough of it to tell what kind of a collection he'd produce. The only other possible contender would be Keith, and I'm not interested in bringing him back. He would probably have just gotten Alison to do his collection anyway.


Comments:
If Jeffrey AND Vincent both make it to the final 3, the show will have become exactly what Tim warned about- "Project Freakshow". I'm already convinced that the whole thing is fixed and the judges are just window dressing, and every week it's becoming more obvious.
 
If Angela likes wrinkles, it's a good thing that she lives on a farm. The cows and won't care, as long as they get their slop they'll be happy.... ;D
 
you are the first person I've read that said that if the judges felt Uli was too Uli, they shouldn't have asked her to design for herself. I totally agree, if she hadn't done something like that, they would have criticized her for not designing for herself. i'm anxious to see what she does next!
 
Uli does design the same dress in different lengths and materials week after week. I was surprised they let Santino get as far as he did last year doing this, I don't know why I'm surprise Uli is still around. I liked Kayne's stuff very much, and at least he didn't do the same dress over and over.

And if I had to see Angela do the jaw-dropping-jutting-teeth smile one more time....
 
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