Wow, Season 12! Who knew? Um, me?!?
And we have big changes at the PR: the runway shows will be anonymous so the judges won't know who designed what until after they score them. And Tim Gunn will join the panel after each runway to offer his tales of what happened in the workroom. Plus, Tim’s Save! He’ll have one chance during the season to save a designer from elimination. I’m loving the idea of more Tim!
Plus, the prize package is up to half a million bucks: $150,000 from Belk, plus the chance to create a capsule collection for the store; $50,000 in HP technology and a Brother sewing suite; a fashion spread in Marie Claire; a 2014 Lexus IS350; a $100,000 fabric allowance from not-Mood, Tight Pods; a $50,000 styling contract from L’Oreal and a year’s supply of Resource bottled water…WTF…and a spa vacation in the Maldives provided by the water folks.
The show kicks off at an airport where Tim and Heidi meet the fifteen designtestants. Heidi tells them straight away that one designer from a previous season will be returning to compete again; the three nominees were Ramon from Season 6 in LA, AKA The Season That Almost Killed The PR; Valeria, and Kate.
I looked at Carlos and said, ‘Please don’t let it be Kate. She’s a bitch.’
Helen muttered, 'Please don’t let it be Kate. She’s a bitch.’
Then things, or puppets, or dogs, no, people begin falling from the sky and landing at Heidi’s feet—probably not an unusual day for Klum—and the show is on: The Unconventional Fabric Challenge. The designtestants will have to turn the parachutes into garments that represent their aesthetic and POV. They will be allowed black and/or white supplemental fabric, but the majority of their garment needs to be parachute.
THE SAFE DESIGNERS
[from left to right, top to bottom]
Alexander with an Asian-infused dress. Nice, but it kept riding up on the model
Alexandria who created a lab coat for space geeks.
Dom: K-mart. Seriously, that’s what I thought.
Helen should have been Bottom Three for using mostly white supplemental fabric to make this Meh outfit.
Jeremy—and, to be fair, I think he’s dreamy—created a really great pair of pants, though the top was a no-brainer. Did I mention his accent … ?
Justin’s dress was fun and flirty, but a lower neckline would have amped up the sex appeal.
Kahindo probably got dinged for lazy pleats.
Karen made this matronly maternity mess.
Kate made a princess dress. Big surprise from the woman who thinks she’s a princess.
Ken’s dress was diva-licious, kinda like Ken.
She was in the Army and jumped out of planes so she thinks she has this one in the bag, until she decides to screw the rules and use mostly supplemental fabric, and very little parachute fabric. I think it’s good she’s out of the military if she can’t follow instructions.
But, I like her because she loathes Timothy even more than I.
The judges weren’t so fond of her though, either, The Adorable Zac Posen™ thought hers was the most polished piece, but agreed with Heidi that it wasn’t fair that she didn’t follow the rules; Heidi is a stickler for rules, which is why, mid-critique, Miranda went from Top Three to Bottom Four. Nina loved the dress and the styling, while guest judge Kate Bosworth thought it beautiful.
But since Helen, who also didn’t follow the rules, was safe, Miranda got a pass.
Arrogant, but then gets pissy with himself for not sounding humble. I’m sensing more than one person lives inside Sandro and he might be the PR’s Amanda Bynes. I’ll be waiting for the bad blond wig.
He created an aviator inspired swimsuit for the aviator who wants to swim in the sky … what? And then he threw everything on the outfit from chains and jewels to a bolero jacket and a parachuted boa. The only thing he didn’t add to the design was enough fabric to cover his model’s Lady Bits. Yes, it was The Vagina Monologue on the PR! They needed a Black Box For The Model’s Box! Oy!
The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it a Slutty Cat Toy—sidenote: my cats would NEVER have that as a toy!—and made note that too many references and not enough design is never good. Heidi asked what is not going on in Sandro’s bathing suit/pilot uniform with all the accessories—Tim suggested that Sandro threw the entire accessory wall on his model. Nina wanted the ruffled bolero boa removed, but then the Vah Jay Jay was back.
Still, he got points because once everything was stripped away—see what I did there: stripped? Stripper? … I’ll stop—the outfit was impeccably made. Which proves you can send a vagina down the runway and still be safe!
i.Don’t.Like.Him. He might be a sustainable designer but I find his constant prattling unsustainable for more than a minute.
He creates a paratrooper ballerina ice skating outfit for a survivor of Hiroshima. Or something. And he sets part of his dress on fire to try and manipulate the fabric … and my nerves. Plus, he wants his model to do some interpretative dance down the runway, sniffing her armpits while channeling the Virgin Mary’s “demure sadness.” Puh-leeze, gurl.
He won’t use electricity to sew, and he won’t allow electricity to be used to style his model’s hair, and he sends her down the runway shoeless and with no make-up. Yeah, apparently that’s a show in Timothy Town. Though he does don a pair of very non-sustainable glitter heels to wear on the runway. I’m thinking he’s doing all this ridiculousness for more air time, and, so far, it’s working.
Now, about his dress: The Adorable Zac Posen™ hates Timothy in heels, and says the model looks like she’s been found in the woods; a “Tinkerbell at Burning Man.” He also dings Timothy for burning synthetic fabric because, yeah, not so good for the environment Mister Sustainable.
Nina simply called it muddled, and a bad first impression, while Heidi loathed it, and loathed the lack of hair and makeup for the model; it’s a show, Timothy!
But, Timothy was safe, and teetered off the runway in heels that were no doubt made by Laotian schoolgirls working 16 hour days sewing beads onto shoes.
She started off with a trenchcoat idea, then changed it into a raincoat with pants and ended up with a bottomless poncho; though sans exposed Vah Jay Jay, thankfully.
Heidi missed the pants, which is odd because you know Heidi loves the sexy look, while Nina noted the odd proportions, calling it a disposable poncho or a dental assistant smock—neither of which will get you to the Tents. The Adorable Zac Posen™ kept it brief: ‘It’s not chic’ while Kate Bosworth—who failed to give any real criticism—said she liked the back of the poncho.
In the end, showing a woman’s private parts keeps you safe, and not following the rules keeps you safe, and poisoning the environment while calling yourself an environmentalist keeps you safe, but forget the pants for a poncho and you’re Auf’d.
Sue is forty-five. The blond ratty, twisted, dread hair made me think younger, but she’s forty-five. And I kinda like her.
I like that she took a chance and changed up her game plan because the fabric wouldn’t work like she wanted. I like that she’s a perfectionist, but she kind of let that go to create her dress. I didn’t like that she asked how to use a sewing machine. I mean, that would be me on the PR and I ain’t no fashion designer; I’m just a fashion snarker.
But she was able to take the lightweight parachute fabric and make it heavier, by doubling up on the fabric. That gave the dress structure, yet it still had movement. The one thing I didn’t like was the shorter-in-the-back look, but then she explained that was how the fabric fell, so …. Points for, again, letting go, and letting the fashion gods decide.
The Adorable Zac Posen™ liked the sculptural look of the dress, and called it exciting, while Nina loved that it was sporty and elegant. Heidi liked it a lot while Kate Bosworth said she liked the shorter length in the back. Walking it back down for a closer look from the judges, Tim said it looked like it belonged in Bergdorf's display window.
At first I thought Bradon looked a little serial-killer-terrorist with that beard, but, like his beard, he grows on you. He wants to make the dress look like it’s falling from a plane, by creating a very tight, sculptural front, and then letting the chute open in the back and fly.
And he totally succeeds.
Heidi SallyFielded the dress because she ‘really, really liked it’ and she said it looked expensive. The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it impressive, with great movement, though he wasn’t a fan of the parachute cord ail. Kate Bosworth loved the underskirt because it was so short and Nina called it dramatic, yet fragile, with amazing volume.
Once Tim gave the judges the close-up look, it became a slam-dunk, and former hunky dancer, now mountain man bearded Bradon gets the first win!
Even with one show down, I’m betting on Bradon.
And with one show down, I’m already thinking of how to write a recap while keeping Timothy on mute … which leads me to Justin, the first deaf contestant on the PR, and his lovely sense of humor about it. I imagine he’ll turn off his hearing aid when Timothy’s around. Lucky.
Alexander reminds me of Suede; the differences are that he has red swoopy hair and lacks the need to refer to himself in the third person.
I love that the judges get a close-up look at the garments so that, this season, every bad stitch and wrinkled seam is seen. I didn’t love that we didn’t hear one judge talk about VaginaGate on camera.
I wonder about the designers having to manage one's budget for the whole season. I mean, what is someone shoots the wad on one challenge and winds up with a dollar at the end? Will it be a muslin dress then? And what about the designers who get knocked off and still have cash on their cards? Man, they’d be pissed they didn’t up their budgets, no?
Belk? Honey I know Belk, and, well, it ain’t PR material, especially after the Lord & Taylor walls from past seasons.
What did YOU think?