Friday, September 13, 2013

PR 12 Ep 9: The Great Project Runway Do-Over

Do the PR producers really think they can pull the wool over the designer’s eyes? I mean, the obstacle course getaway was to jumpstart an activewear challenge, and the glamping vacation was for an outdoorsy look, but the producers seem to think that if they send the designtestants off to Juliette Restaurant for a Southern brunch they won’t realize its part of the challenge? Think again PR.

As they’re enjoying their brunch the designers are tossing out ideas for this week’s challenge:

"Do you think we're designing for a garden party?"
"It’s a Mad Hatter's tea party."
"Socialite women."
"Maybe [the clients are] our servers."

Then out of the blue, Tim appears and tells them that this is the Belk challenge, meaning they’ll be designing a day or evening look for the, ahem, “modern Southern woman” which means no Scarlett O’Hara and no Aunt Jemima and definitely no Paula Deen. They have thirty minutes to sketch — Look! They brought their HP Sketch-a-Doodles with them! — a suggested budget of between $200 and $250, and one day to finish the look.

Immediately Dom and Ken — who calls this a game and says it’s time to bring out the knives and not, sadly, the great design — say they have this in the bag, and we all know what that means. Alexander, Alexandria, and Helen are like “What does a Southern woman wear? Overalls like Sally Field in Places In The Heart? “Steel Magnolias, as Alexander says, to which Ken replies, ‘Do that and you’ll 'steel' be in the bottom with your magnolias!’ I gave Ken a 9.7 for that one, though the anti-gay Russian judge gave him a 2.1.

"Tim said to design for the modern Southern woman, not 'Little House on the Prairie,'" Ken says while Bradon, Alexander and Alexandria run toward the Plaid Section at Mood, and Dom agrees with him: "The women in my family? They're not going to throw some polyester plaid dress on. These aren't farm boys. They're people who live in cities." Yeah, we all know what’s gonna happen to Dom and Ken, but the only thing we don’t know yet is who will suffer The Wrath of Khan Ken.

Back at the Parsons' workroom, Tim Gunn introduces John Thomas, Executive VP of Private Brands for Belk, who tells the designtestants that an extra bonus this week is that the winning design will be manufactured and sold at Belk and Belk.com. Still, let’s rip…..

THE SAFES
ALEXANDRIA
She.Was.Lost. It seemed like she made a dress, tossed it aside, made another dress, tossed it aside, listened to Tim, tossed everything aside and ended up with this stiff, see-thru-to-the-=black-granny-panties stiff tablecloth dress. Safe? M’kay.
HELEN
She was completely out of her element and it showed in this sunflower, lace appliqué, yellow number which looked less modern Southern woman and more Goldie Hawn at the 1971 Emmys®.
JUSTIN
This I liked and thought it should have gone Top Three — and partially because it wasn’t plaid. It was sexy and flirty and that model knew how to walk that dress.

THE TOP THREE
KATE
She’ll go somewhere she has never gone before — and does she say that every week, or is it my imagination? — by using some fuchsia, white and orange print. I kind of liked the print because, well, it wasn’t plaid, but the bubble skirt was odd.

Guest Judge, and George Clooney cast-ff, Stacy Keibler, says it was a fun use of color and quite sellable. Nina loved the print, saying it was the best of the bunch, and had great hanger appeal — which, apparently, is a good thing. Heidi, though, said the bubble skirt made the model look pregnant and she wasn’t having it. The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it a ‘happy dress’ while the other guest judge, John Thomas, the Executive VP of Private Brands for Belk, called it well-executed and sellable.

UP CLOSE
John Thomas loved the print and the color, and called it sellable, while Heidi said it was unflattering — no boobies, dontcha know. Nina said it was the right fabric and The Adorable Zac Posen™ says a lot of girls would wear it.
Kate is safe.

ALEXANDER
He designs for the 80s woman — at least I thought I heard him say that — so this is not gonna happen for him, he thinks. Then he goes plaid because plaid says Southern, I’m guessing, though it says more tablecloth at the BBQ Wing Shack to me.

I hated that handkerchief hemline; for the record, I have always hated a handkerchief hemline because they look sloppy, like the designer really didn’t have time to hem it so they just tacked on fabric squares and called it a look.

A look that apparently means Top Three so who am I to judge — though that’s never stopped me. The Adorable Zac Posen™   said it was beautifully well-made, while Heidi dubbed it sexy and sophisticated [?] and fun. John Thomas called the print beautiful and said the silhouette was good, too. He, Nina and Stacy also commented on the way the handkerchief dress moved, while Nina also said the bodice was good—see, even Nina wasn’t thrilled with handkerchief hems. Stacy Keibler also liked the balance of the tight top and big bottom.

Sidenote: I complained yesterday about the AFA saying The Gays talk about their sex lives too much but when Keibler said that, all I could think was, “The Gays would prefer a Big Top and a Tight Bottom.” Sorry. Let’s continue …

UP CLOSE
Heidi again called it sexy and noted that it was well-made, while The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it cool and fresh, and John Thomas said it was a modern take on an old dress.
And safe, too.

BRADON
He also went plaid, though he took his plaid in a whole new direction, and created something modern and fun. After a couple of weeks of misfires, Bradon seems to have redeemed himself by following the challenge but maintaining his POV.

Heidi loved the long and short of it — and doesn’t mullet just scream The South? — and called it modern and sexy. Ken grimaces at this point. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said that madras and plaid can be dangerous to work with but Bradon created something new and fresh. Ken rolled his eyes. Nina said the fabric was very expected — Folks, I live in the South and I don’t expect a lot of plaid … just sayin’ — but  that Bradon made something very unexpected. Ken sharpened his knives. Stacy Keibler said it made her happy, as if Clooney had never dumped her, while John Thomas called it a modern version of Country Club. Ken shakes his head.

UP CLOSE
Nina called it versatile with a cool fabric, while The Adorable Zac Posen™ noted that it was very well-made. John Thomas said Belk could sell it, and it would work in any number of fabrics.
So, Bradon gets the win, and his dress gets sold at Belk and he won’t make a dime off of it. But, he’s back, and that makes me happy.

THE BOTTOM THREE
DOM
She has this, y’all; her mother lives in New Orleans so she had this one. I don’t get the connection, but, hey, she said it. Then she biffed it. Dom has been using prints all season but for some reason she decides this is the challenge to go minimal and print-less. As Julia Roberts, the hooker with a heart of gold said in Pretty Woman, “Big mistake. Huge. Huge.”
Her dress is simple and boring, and boring and simple. She called it an evening gown, but maybe just for an evening in a hospital waiting room.

John Thomas said he loved the coastal vibe of the colors, but questioned the evening-ness of the dress. Heidi took it down further and called it a mall dress — which I’m guessing is bad, unless you’re 95% of the women in this country who probably go to a mall to buy a dress. She said it was decidedly not fashion forward and Stacy Keibler said Dom played it too safe and scaled back too far. 

Nina hated the color of the top — “Hospital scrubs! HOSPITAL SCRUBS — and threw her shoe at Dom. [That was in the unedited version that plays in my head.] The Adorable Posen™ said it had no oomph and Dom said she has oomph and The Adorable Zac Posen™ said Bring it!

UP CLOSE
Nina says Dom choked — which I think means Nina wants to choke her. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said there is no imagination in the dress and Nina then called it the most unforgivable curse word in fashion: “Pageant.”

Stay tuned.

KEN
He has this one in the bag because he sees the modern Southern woman every day — and possibly curses at her and tells her to shut the f**k up. But, those of us in the PR World know that ‘having this one’ means you don’t. And add to that the Skype visit Ken got with his Mama and it doesn’t bode well.

One telling point, though, was when Ken’s mother asked him, “Has that other side came out yet?” Makes me think Mama Laurence has been the victim of a Ken rage a time or two.

Then Ken, not wanting to go plaid because it isn’t Southern, goes in the opposite direction by creating a purple bridesmaid nightgown. Or something.

The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it was a great color, but the dress is no Wow! He said it was a beautifully cut purple nightgown.  Heidi asked where the dress would be going and Ken said a ‘formal wedding.’ Heidi said, “Wedding?” And Ken said, “FORMAL wedding.” Ken got the pissy eye. Heidi said it was unflattering. Ken glared at her. Heidi glared right back. “Are you giving me a look, Ken?” He stares back at her. She smiles and stares back at him. Ken flinches and looks away.

Heidi wins the PR Stare Off.

Nina called the design safe, and The Adorable Posen™ said if Ken ever wanted to be the Prince[ss] of Seventh Avenue he needs to stop being safe. Keibler said it wasn’t exciting and John Thomas said he’d seen it before; I have a sneaking suspicion that John Thomas may have worn it before, but I digress.

Heidi asked Ken how he was feeling and he said, in that pissy voice, “It’s not important right now.”

Heidi says, “You look like you want to roll your eyes back into your head.

Ken breathes and stays silent. And God said, “It was good.”

UP CLOSE
John Thomas calls it pedestrian which may mean he wants to walk all over it, while Keibler said it was unflattering. The Adorable Zac Posen™ dubbed the heavy fabric Sweaty Betty while Nina said it just blends in.

Stay tuned ….

JEREMY
Gosh, I adore Jeremy. I am a sucker for a man with an accent and, well, a cute gay man with an accent is a bonus.

But, damn — or, as Carlos says it, “Damn man!” — Jeremy designs for older woman — which is not necessarily a bad thing but it doesn’t get you to The Tents. And this week’s Air Georgia, or whatever, looking mess was just wrong. He says he tried something new with the jacket but then the jacket looked old. He tried a cool bold print but then kept it too long. Not modern. Not sexy.

Heidi called it dated and “madam,’ but The Adorable Zac Posen™ disagreed and said calling it “madam’ would be a positive thing. Heidi hated the silhouette and said even without the jacket it wasn’t sexy. The Adorable Posen™ called it a casino jacket; I don’t know if that means a woman who works in a casino would wear it, or if there is some kind of Jacket Slot Machine where you'd win it as a punishment. He also said it looked like the first dress you make when you learn to sew. Ow.

Keibler liked the color … and not much else. Nina disagreed with The Adorable Zac Posen™ and said she liked the jacket but that the print killed it.

UP CLOSE
The Adorable Zac Posen™ said, "It looks like a college fashion show in a non-metropolitan city." I took umbrage there because I think a lot of great designers come from non-metro areas, The Not So Adorable At This Point Zac Posen™ was born in NYC and grew up in SoHo so he’s kind of a Big Apple Snob. John Thomas hates the print, and The Adorable Zac Posen™ calls it a uniform for Air Klum. Nina, though, kept it simple: “This is the Titanic.

Stay tuned ….

THE BOTTOM THREE, TAKE TWO
There is no Aufee, but that doesn’t mean they are safe. No, in a {start echo machine] Project-ject-ject Runway-way-way First-irst-irst. The Bottom Three get one more hour, and a fellow designtestant assistant, to recreate their looks. I think this was done for two reasons: they didn’t want to lose Dom because she’s really pretty good, and they didn’t want to lose Ken because he’s really bad … tempered. Jeremy, I’m afraid, well, he’s good and bad, and so sweet, but …. Let’s rip:
DOM 
Dom went back to her print and created a sexy and flowy asymmetrical dress that Heidi loved; she called this one very modern. 

The Adorable Zac Posen™ says “Brava!” and tells Dom she would have gone Top Three if this had walked the first time. Nina loved the print and called it edgy and easy, while Keibler wants it. John Thomas called it a great coming and going dress and Heidi asked if it was a Belk dress.

It was, and Dom gets the Win, moving from Bottom Three to Top Two and her dress will also be sold at Belk. It was kind of a slam to Bradon, but, since I like Dom I’ll let it slide.

KEN 
He chooses Kate to assist him and, because the judges are wrong, he doesn’t want to change his look. But Kate makes him see that he is an egomaniacal diva bitch — in a nice way — and they re-worked — and kind of over-worked — Ken’s flowy nightgown into a stiff ultra-short mini.

Nina called the transformation impressive, sexier and cooler, while Keibler said it was young and modern. John Thomas agreed, while Heidi liked but said it was too short and the top was over-worked. The Adorable Zac Posen™ agreed about the length, calling it a late night party dress, but said it was a vast improvement.

Ken lives to bitch another day.

JEREMY 
He scraps all of his fabrics and takes some of Alexandria’s scraps to make a very simple — and very similar dress to his one win — look. It’s nice, it’s definitely better and younger, but is it enough?

Heidi said it was amazing what he’d done in an hour, while The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it pretty, but not the most interesting thing he’s seen. Nina liked the fabric and print, Stacy said it was definitely younger, and John Thomas said it was good.

So-so praise and so-so Auf’d.

MY TAKE
Okay, Shallow Bob here, but I must have rewound and replayed the shot of Bradon running through Mood a hundred times. I know he’s a trained dancer, but still … that man’s ass was real and it was spectacular.

I’m glad Dom saw redemption, and sad that Ken got it, too. I wish Justin would get a Top Three because he can create great looks when he reigns himself in.

It’s quite clear that Kate is at The Tents, and now Bradon, too. That leaves Alexandria—who is falling fast — and Alexander — who might do well at The Tents I f they were on Broadway. Ken at The Tents? Maybe for the meltdown pre-show.

Next week, Ken goes Sandro again, this time at Alexander. I knew that hair color was going to set someone off.

Shallow Bob again. Goodbye Jeremy :::sniff sniff::::


What did YOU think?

3 comments:

Huntress aka R.J. said...

I thought it was weird that the designers that were from the South were the ones who did bad. What's up with that?

I qualify as a Belk girl since I got my Dooney bag from them. I loved Justin's dress the best, and I don't understand why he didn't get more love from the judges.

I loathed Ken's attitude, but I've been practicing all six of his eye rolls all morning for work in case I need them.

the dogs' mother said...

Is there EVER going to be a non-sponsor challenge? There are so many sponsors this season.
My parents lived in Baton Rouge in the 80s, and, except for cotillions, all the women seemed to dress the same as we did in the PNW. But then maybe we were damn Yankees and not privy to the blue bloods.
Jeremy was just too nice to stay. They needed Ken to stay and all the dramas.

Robert said...

So hmmm. How can I say this? I HATED THIS EPISODE!

The hubby and I were watching the runway and I kept thinking, "Southern woman or Southern Manhattan woman?"

We despised Bradon's look, the panels on the front were very distracting. Alexander's look reminded me of Jeffrey's "Haute Couture" look from season 3, and I'm honestly surprised that no one picked that out. Kate's construction was fine, but the print screamed 70s to me.

Honestly, none of the looks really stood out to me until Dom's second chance dress - wow. I too was bummed to see Jeremy go hom as I have a wee bit of a crush on him.

What I DID notice right away - Heidi failed to mention that it was a "Anonymous" runway show. That screamed to me that they were concerned about losing Bradon and allowed the judges to skew the results to keep certain designers around. Although how could Alexandra not have been in the bottom? Seriously, a tablecloth with granny panties? Really?