Thursday, August 29, 2013

Project Runway: S12 E07: “Shoes First!”

Every season that I've watched of Project Runway features an episode that reminds me that I know nothing about fashion. Or at the very least the episode makes me question what I may or may not know about fashion and makes me wonder if it's me or if it's just that the judges have gone insane. This week saw that episode for me. Almost everything the judges said about almost every look they placed in the top or bottom left me scratching my head in confusion. But I believe when trying to make sense of something seemingly nonsensical one should start at the beginning, so here we go.

After a few moments for the designers to rejoice over Justin's save last week, and for Heidi to offer her begrudging “welcome back you total waste of space who should be well out of my sight by now!” sentiments, the contestants move forward with the challenge. They take a trip to the Marie Clare Fashion Closet, which I thought was an opportunity for most of the designers to exclaim that they wouldn't go back in the closet for anyone but no one did, alas another missed opportunity. While back in the closet, the designers are told by this week's shameless product placement guru Anne Fulenwider (Editor-In-Chief of Marie Claire magazine and old friend of Heidi from the Mother Land) that they will be asked to chose a pair of shoes and design a look around those shoes with the model then wearing those shoes on the runway. Shoes. Basically the challenge boils down to one simple philosophy which might be the only thing Project Runway and Lifetime (television for women) has learned about ladies in all these years: “Give them bitches shoes; bitches love shoes.”

Moving on. Remember last week when I said that the show had revolutionized it's 90 minute run time by giving the contestants far more interesting things to do on their challenges? Well this week each contestant is given a buzzer and asked questions about fashion history; the first contestant to answer the question correctly gets their pick at the great Wall-O-Shoes until there is only one contestant left to wallow in the shame of their despicable ignorance. So, in short, Project Runway went out of its way to make me look like a total idiot for praising them last week by coming back and showing just how capable they are at wasting time. Thanks a lot you douche bags. Shoes!

So the contestants answer questions like “Which design school did Marc Jacobs attend?” which is just the single easiest question on earth..... I'm sure it'll come to me... Tip of my tongue really... We'll circle back around to this later. And the designer left without knowing any of the answers at all is Miranda! The producers and the other designers make it seem like her extreme lack of knowledge should suggest that she shouldn't even be on the show. Not that she's going to cease to be on the show anytime soon or anything....We'll circle back around to that later too I guess.

With shoes in tow, it's off to mood where the designers are given a suggested budget of $250 and let lose to buy fabric. There are walls and walls of fabric in Mood, there are more walls and walls of fabric in Mood than there were walls of shoes in Marie Clare's closet, and yet somehow Miranda and Red Eyebrows manage to pick the exact same hideous plaid to make their pants. I was going to try to make a joke about that fact, but I'm simply too confounded to make it any funnier than it already is. Meanwhile, ToKen takes his time to ask one of the helpful assistants “Where are the shoulder pads?” If I hated ToKen before (and believe me when I say I totally did), the fact that he actually went onto national television and proclaimed that he intended to put shoulder pads on his dress for a competition makes me think he should be relegated to the worst possible hell imaginable. You know, the place reserved for child molesters and people who talk at the theater! (Also, if you understand that reference, we should be best friends)

Tim's visit to the work room starts with Alexandria who chose a very interesting pair of “gladiator boots” which actually have knee pads built in. My initial thought when I saw them was of all the nights I totally could have used a pair of boots with knee pads built in, but now I'm realizing that that might be over sharing and I should get back to the business at hand, forget I said I anything. She's designing a very soft look to go with these boots instead of going the full S&M route which could either be genius or a missed opportunity, only time will tell. Miranda goes about designing a look strikingly similar to one she got reamed for in the past, and she makes it a point to say that she's not going to listen to Tim and she's going to follow her gut. This is by no means meant to be seen as a kiss of death for Miranda no matter how much we all know that contests who don't listen to Tim are almost always sent home. She'll be fine. Token's look is criticized by Tim for being too old and matronly, which couldn't possibly have anything to do with his plan to use shoulder pads could it? As a result, he actually astounds me and drops the shoulder pads. Maybe he's not a totally lost cause after all? In the end Tim's time in the work room actually gives us a look at each of the designers. This is one of the developments that I honestly don't have an opinion on. Some people are changing their entire look, some are sticking with their gut, some are only making minor changes and nothing new is learned. I yawn, and I move on.

Dance Beard is one of the contestants who needs to remake a good 50% of his look. As a result of that and the encroaching deadline, he makes the great decision to call his partner ,and cry, and ask about their dog, and cry, and generally feel all of the pressure of the competition, and cry. Generally I hate seeing people cry on reality TV shows. It tends to seem like crass manipulation of the fans or other contestants most times, and who cries in public? You cry in your bedroom over a gallon of ice cream or in the bathroom with the shower running like a normal person! But I like Dance Beard, so I'm a bit more sympathetic than usual. Also, shoes!

The Runway: this week gives us two guest judges, Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory and the product placement chick from earlier in the episode because, again, bitches love shoes.

ToKen: Surprise, surprise, he decided not to go with the shoulder pads and the look is all the better for it. In all honesty, I think this is the first dress he's made that I honestly liked. The textile has a great reptilian feel to it that goes a long way towards distracting you from the fact that it's just a simple black dress, the fit is great in the top, and the skirt is cute. I do wish it had been maybe an inch or so longer, but ultimately I really like it.

Red Eyebrows: I like the look in spite of myself. I like the way the pairing of the simple cream top (which I found to be well constructed) with the crazy plaid pants. The outfit went together well and went well with the shoes too.

Miranda: She uses the exact same fabric as Red Eyebrows, the two of them are shown back to back on the runway (which we all know was a total coincidence, right?) and yet the two looks could not have been more dissimilar to me. Where I thought Eyebrows did a great job of matching his plaid pant with his top, Miranda's top is both washed out and too busy. The red in the pants matched with the red in the shoes is just atrocious, and for some reason she thought it was a good idea to put her model in a white leather jacket. In fact, I probably could have just said white leather jacket and left you knowing everything you needed to know about the outfit.

Dom: Last week I criticized Dom's dress for being too similar to her look from the Bow Tie challenge. This week I have to say that I was reminded of her carnival look from episode 3. I know that the basic construction and even a lot of the color pallet is different, but every time I looked at the dress I couldn't help but have her previous outfit floating through my mind. I think her dress this week is really young, and this is starting to be the main aspect of her aesthetic, and I do like it, but I can't say that the worries I've started to feel about her have been assuaged.

Justin: Faced with the need to justify Tim saving him last time, Justin created an outfit that was neither stunning nor horrible. I like the harness element of the top, but I think the bust line looks a bit weird, and the bunching of the pants was a bit off putting. I like the pairing of the simple black outfit with those wild and colorful shoes, but I wasn't wowed by his design. He's safe, and I can't claim that that's the wrong choice, but I also can't say that I think the episode was enhanced by him being kept around from last week.

Alexandria: I honestly don't know what to say about this. Personally, I find the look itself to be boring. I like the lace elements, and I like how soft it is, but I'm still left thinking “You had boots with knee pads attached to them, you could have done anything!” And even that I'm not sure about because I do like the pairing of hard and soft that the look provides. I think that Alexandria does a good job of interpreting the challenge, but in the end I'm left with the opinion that the woman who would buy and wear those boots wouldn't also wear that dress.

RHDB: Yawn! And the top of the dress is nothing more than a recreation of the shoe itself.

Dance Beard: Oh you poor guy. This was just a bad move on his part. As much as I respect the amount of work that went into the top, the look is old and dated, the skirt looks cheap, and none of it enhances the shoes. It's another failure from one of my favorites.

Kate: I LOVE THIS! Once again Kate shows why she's such a frontrunner for me. The only bad things I can say about this are that I hate the model's glasses, and I do think that the shoes are kind of swallowed by how overly designed the outfit is, but other than that I love everything about it. I can understand that she might not have embodied the challenge as well as some of the other designers, but this is my favorite look on the runway and I fully expected her to be in the top 3.

Jeremy: Oh you sexy man, you. Jeremy chose the wrong time to go back into old woman mode. This fact is compounded by his choosing a very young and fun shoe for his inspiration. The combination makes for an odd story about a grandmother experiencing a post-mid-life crisis. Failure from another of my favorites....this isn't looking good.

Helen: This, along with Kate's look, is one of the reasons I'm left questioning if I'm totally crazy or if the judges are. Allow me to first say that I generally hate capes. I find them to be one of those odd Fashiony things that have no real practical appeal, exist no where but on the runway, and almost always make a dress look much older than intended. As such, I was not impressed at all by Helen's look. I found it old, and boring, but exceptionally well made. If she set out to prove that she could create something that was well tailored, then I think she succeeded, but by no means did I think this was a top 3 dress.

So Helen, ToKen, and Alexandria are in the top, Jeremy, Dance Beard, and Miranda are in the bottom. Three (fairly boring in my opinion) little black dresses find themselves being spotlit by the judges, while three honest failures are rightfully in the bottom. But I still don't get it. Almost everyone says they wish the had Helen's look to wear, Zac tells Jeremy that he's not sure he knows anything about who Jeremy is as a designer or what his particular skills are, and everyone's way too excited for ToKen's use of the term “man-eater.” I just don't get a lot of the judging.

Helen wins, Miranda goes home and I'm left thinking that this is a very boring and rote episode of Project Runway. There was nothing surprising about it, and nothing to be outraged over. When you see Miranda in the bottom alongside two generally strong contenders like Jeremy and Dance Beard, you know who's going home. Who the winner will be might be a bit more shaded in mystery, but that's only because none of the top looks really stand out as obvious winners. I guess there's nothing really to take away from the episode as a whole other than the question of how will Jeremy and Dance Beard bounce back from this rare but monumental disaster on their parts and still make it to the end of the competition? Or will they find themselves going home well before I ever thought possible?

Stray Observations:

--Did anyone else notice how disgusted Anne looked with every single dress that walked down the runway? She basically hated everything and thought it should die.

--Jeremy seems to have gotten a bit of a big head after his recent successes. Maybe this week will do a good job of bringing him back to earth so he can create more beautiful things in the future. If he gets into a rhythm of being in the bottom and then bouncing back for two weeks in the top before falling again... I honestly didn't have a second part for that statement but it felt like it should be an if/then kind of thing.

--Dom: Wait who's top and who's bottom? (The number of time's I've asked that very question.)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blog adjustments

Like the logo?  Dig the new layout?  Hate the new color scheme?  

Leave comments here!  Let me know what you like, don't like, want to see changed.

FYI, The Disqus widget may be brown for now, but I'm hoping it changes soon.  They don't seem to be nearly as amenable to changes as I hoped.  Since I put it on "auto" color, we'll find out.  *prays*

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Project Runway: S12 E06: “Let's Get Glamping”

One of the challenges every show faces is the question of how to stay fresh. This is an odd thing when it comes to Reality TV competition shows. Scripted television is about telling a story, and with any great story the narrative and the characters change over time. In Reality TV, the characters change, but the story stays the same, so how do you mix it up and keep audiences coming back? You change the game in some drastic, but hopefully not distracting manner. Project Runway has changed its game a bit over the last few years. It's changed networks, added an hour, then subtracted thirty minutes, went to all teams all the time for a season, injected some new blood into the judging panel, and then flipped everything with a “blind” runway show, the contestant in charge of their own money, and giving Tim Gunn way more power and influence than ever before. It's stumbled its way through the redefinition process with a lot of its changes being for the worse, but I'm happy to say that the edits it's made this season have been for the better.

First off, there's the 90 minute run time. Just last season, I was still lamenting the extra half hour as being a misstep. So how does the show fix it? Well first of all, with far more interesting challenge elements. This week, the designers go on a Glamping trip for inspiration. You can tell a reality show has “made it” when they've started making up their own words, and if Glamping somehow finds its way into the everyday lexicon, I think we can all at least be happy to say we were there at its inception.

Tim goes ahead of the designers to the camping site in order to program Seona Skwara who is a robot from Resource Natural Spring Water. When the designers arrive, Tim flips her on with a well placed touch to the biometric response panel on her back, and she delivers, in a perfect monotone, a commercial for Spring Water. If you watch closely, you can almost see the robot “breathing.” Such new age technology. After such shameless product placement, the designers are told to use nature as inspiration for a high end Fashion (notice the capital F, very important) look that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with camping, campers, or even nature. No I didn't get it either, but they needed a way to tie Resource Natural Spring Water into a fashion show and this was the best the producers could do. Cut them a little slack why don't ya?

After Tim and Seona Skwara (points for the commenter who can figure out what her name is an acronym for. I mean, there's no way it's a real name right?) leave, the designers are left to their own devices. At first, I was certain that this was going to be the episode in which Project Runway would jump genre. “Take a bunch of spoiled fashion designers and leave them in the woods for 24 hours and watch as they fight for their own survival” the trailer would say, and we would be treated to the sights of some well dressed people running around the forest engaged in some Hunger Games type of activities as they fight for the last piece of fabric in the world. But alas, they just do a lot of camping things. There's rafting, and sketching, and zip lining, and sketching, and s'mores, and sketching. I make fun, but in all honesty it's exactly what I would think a group of artists going camping would look like. I know if I were to go camping I'd do a lot of reading and writing and....who am I kidding, there's no set of circumstances on earth that could get me to go camping. In the end, the entire trip is nothing more than an impromptu vacation for the designers, and I must say that after so many years of watching this show, I honestly didn't mind. The competition is truly grueling, and taking a minute to recharge the batteries and get the creative juices flowing is actually a good idea. 

One thing Project Runway still hasn't gotten too good at is not tipping its hand about who's going home on any given week. Anytime a contestant gets spotlit more often than usual, it's a dead giveaway that they aren't long for this world. Enter Justin, who's been a steadily safe designer for the past six weeks. Justin is a casting producers wet dream given his extremely likable personality and his disability which automatically make him catnip to viewers prone to getting a bit teary eyed, so it's surprising that he hasn't had more screen time prior to now. At least in the workroom you'd think they'd go to him a bit more often. Well this week he gets his due: opening up about how hard it is for him to listen and work at the same time in the workroom and how this rec time allows him to finally connect with his fellow designers, teaching those crazy kids a little ASL and just generally being the highlight of everything. And then the designers go to Mood (where everyone has a suggested budget of $300) and we hear Justin telling Tim he wants to make his own lace out of glue from a hot glue gun. I could hear the Drums of Doom playing in the back of my head at this point, but I kept my fingers crossed; I've been fooled before.

On to the workroom where ToKen kicks things off by calling Alexandria a tiger, which I think he meant as an insult but totally could have been a compliment. Dance Beard spends all of his time creating this weird textile with string that, as Tim points out later on, looks like a child scribbled coloring pencil all over the thing. And RedHead Drew Berrymore makes a muumuu. Tim comes in and tells her it's a boring muumuu and she says she plans on dying it. I'm not sure how changing the color makes it less of a muumuu, but I guess we'll just have to wait for the runway show to find out.

Speaking of Tim Gunn being in the workroom, this is the other place where the show seems to be getting the maximum potential out of its 90 minute run time. Tim's critiques still aren't hitting all of the designers, which is really smart as it adds a slight air of mystery around what some of the final looks will be, but they still feel longer and more substantive than in the past. In addition to Dance Beard and RHDB, Tim stops in to talk to Drums of Doom Justin who is going forward with his lace from glue idea (I'm pretty sure turning glue into lace was one of the miracles Jesus performed, I'll have to look that up later to be sure). And, to my surprise, it actually looks beautiful. Tim mentions how pleased he is that Justin is finally taking a chance instead of playing it safe and expresses how impressed he is with the look thus far. And all is well in the world, and sweet kind Justin will finally find himself in the top three... Right?.... Right? Moving on. The day winds to a close with most of the designers nearing done. By most, I mean everyone except Dance Beard who still has nothing more than a kid's coloring penciled collar.

Runway Day finds Dance Beard scrambling to make a dress to go with his collar, Red Eyebrows weighing the train of his "Trees at Midnight" dress down with a lot of extra leather, and Once Drums of Doom but Now Totally Safe Justin adding even more glue gun lace to his dress. In keeping with our “More Efficient Use of Time” theme of the season, we've been spending a lot less time in pointless product placement AKA Hair and Makeup. We pop in for a montage that seems to have overdosed on diet pills (is that a tasteless joke given the fact that the show deals with models?), and get just enough information to let us know that the models will have their hair and makeup done before going on the runway.

The Runway: This week the guest judge is White Girl #3 from HBO's Girls.

Helen: After being inspired by the death throes of a moth that she waterboarded in the bathroom sink, Helen produces a look that is OK. I actually like the rough and unfinished look of the skirt and I love the model's hair, but the color and the bodice bore me.

Dance Beard: I'm willing to cut him some slack since I do like him as a designer, but this just wasn't up to par for him. I generally hate high waisted dresses, and this one is no exception. The cut isn't flattering to his model's figure, and for all of the fussing over the collar/back, it actually winds up being totally swallowed by the rest of the dress. The movement is nice, but the rest is a rare miss from the only designer with two wins thus far in the competition. He's lucky to find himself on the low end of safe.

Miranda: Oddly enough, I really like this dress. The fit is great, there's just enough detail in the bottom to make it stand out without feeling like she went over board, and I honestly love the little sash in the back. If I have one complaint, it's that the cut of the top just looks a little weird. I think a sleeker more simple top would have been the better way to go since the bottom works so well, but I like the look either way.

ToKen: No! No, no, no, no, no! Even when it was on the dress form I thought the fabric was 100% the wrong choice. He went mostly for something sexy and form fitting, but when you really look at it, even the fit seems to be off as it bunches up around the model's midsection. And don't even get me started on how unflattering the top is. Complete failure.

Alexandria: OK? When she first turns the corner, I shield my eyes and scream in terror. As I peak at the outfit through my fingers, I guess I don't hate it? The pants, which I was certain were going to be a horrible idea, actually don't look too bad, she does do separates which I initially said was totally not the way to go for a High End Fashion look, which is actually the same thing I said about her using denim, but somehow she manages to make it work, I guess? I can't ever be fully in love with it since I'm just not a fan of the back at all which looks oddly busy and distracting, but by the time the model is leaving the runway, I don't hate it as much either.

Red Eyebrows: I do actually love it. I don't think it photographed as well on the runway as it did in the work room, but when you get close up, I think it's just fabulous. Again we have a look that's well fitted, the hand painting adds a nice touch, and I neither like nor hate the leather at the bottom. I can see how this would be a divisive element, and I don't know that it “adds” anything to the overall look, but the rest of the dress is so strong that it doesn't matter.

Justin: Remember when I mentioned that Once Drums of Doom but Now Totally Safe Justin was adding a bit more glue gun lace to his dress? Well it just so happens that he put it all in front of the model's vagina. And by so doing, he took what was an interesting and well executed idea and turned it into a misstep. The sad thing about this misstep is that I actually really like the rest of the dress. I think he mixes hard and soft exceptionally well, the movement and sheer panels of the bottom were elements that I found to be exceptionally appealing. But then her vag exploded. And so the Drums of Doom sound once more.

Dom: Allow me to say that Dom is one of my favorites thus far, and I do really like her look this week, but I'm honestly starting to wonder if she's a one way monkey. Again we've got a dress that's nice but might rely a bit more on the textile than is totally necessary (ie would it be as nice if it were just black?), and a collar that really elevates the dress. It reminds me a lot of her bow tie look from a few weeks back to be honest. It's beautiful and very well made and I'm happy she's safe, but I'm going to have to keep an eye on her in the future to make sure she isn't just recreating the same look in different textiles.

RHDB: It turns out that dying a moo moo a different color actually doesn't make it any less of a moo moo. Who knew? I actually don't hate the belt buckle straps in theory, but they certainly don't go with this look. Boring and ugly and unflattering are a bad combination.

Kate: And it's a swing and a miss from the season's front runner. In a runway show that's being peppered with well fitted looks, Kate's is everything but. I actually don't think I would hate it so much if it were streamlined, but the puffyness and how the leather daddy harness that doesn't go at all with the rest of the dress makes this one a failure.

Jeremy: Oh. My. God. After being inspired by a love letter he was writing during the camping trip to his husband (whom I'm totally going to murder and steal his identity so Jeremy can be married to me and write me pretty letters and let me wake up to that handsome face every morning. Sorry that went to a weird place, I digress) Jeremy transcribes the letter onto his dress and creates something that's simply breathtaking. Jeremy has the quality that I've always loved from some of my favorite contestants in the past: he understands that the look has to stand on its own but should be enhanced by the story behind it. I love everything about this look: the cut, the fit, the panels, the buttons, the story, everything is just perfection. This is the winning look for me as well as the look that solidifies Jeremy's place in my bed the finale I hope.

So there you have it, Jeremy, Alexandria, and Red Eyebrows are in the top, Justin, ToKen, and RHDB are in the bottom. Zac continues to earn his place on the judges panel by not only being cute and quippy, but also by being willing to disagree with the ladies around him. He doesn't care as much for Red Eyebrows' look as the girls do, citing the weird leather train and an odd seam running across the middle. While I see where he's coming from, I respectfully disagree with him, and so does Red Eyebrows, so there! The judges proceed to fawn all over Alexandria's look, and the more they compliment it, the more my initial dislike for it returns. I can give her credit for swimming against the current of the other designers, but I can't give her the edge over looks I liked without reservation. It's nice, but I think there was better on the runway. Especially when it came to Jeremy's look which I actually don't think the judges praised enough. Honestly, I don't think they wanted to give him the back to back wins that he clearly deserved. But oh well.

They call RHDB's moo moo trashy and boring which I think should earn her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first person to create something that was simultaneously trashy and boring. And they (very politely, as if worried that it's not at all acceptable to harshly critique a disabled person) rip Justin's dress a new one. Heidi doesn't like the hot glue gun lace and thinks it looks like a cheap Halloween costume, Nina thinks her vagina is frothing, or, as Zac says, it's rabid. Nina and Zac do, however, find it in themselves to say nice things about the color and the paneling of the bottom of his dress, which is 2 more nice things than the judges had to say about either RHDB or ToKen's look, so that's a good sign right? Meanwhile, ToKen's dress reminds Zac of a frog queen. Like a frog that was run over and the red is a splash of blood. Which makes you wonder what kind of frog queen would ever be found anywhere near a highway to be run over in the first place. Doesn't she have subjects to do the dangerous work of running errands across busy streets for her?

Nevertheless, Alexandria is the winner and Justin is sent home, the Drums of Doom beating in his wake, not that he can hear them (Sorry, but I couldn't resist. Feel free not to laugh at that and rip me a new one in the comments).

But wait, during our journey through the ways that Runway has changed for the better, I almost didn't mention the new implementation of the Tim Gunn save; which, after a very emotional scene of everyone saying good bye to the good guy, thankfully gets used this week. Here's the thing, in an attempt to not just be safe and to make the judges take note of him, Justin went a step or two overboard. Even he acknowledges that he took a risk that just didn't pay off this time. As a result he finds himself in the bottom against a dress that is painfully boring and unflattering and a designer who has been in the bottom before (two challenges in a row to be exact). He shouldn't have been going home this week by virtue of those elements alone. But for some reason, the judges thought it would be a good idea to annex the one designer in the bottom with a look that actually garnered a small amount of praise. Did the judges cut Justin in an attempt to force Tim Gunn to use his one save this season before things started to get tight in the top 10? Or was there something so horrible about his look that they saw upon closer inspection that the rest of us I missed? I can't say for sure, but I will say that this decision marks the first time this season that “out there” was to be sent home instead of “boring.” But it's a moot point in the end because Justin gets to stick around to fight another day. I hope he's learned his lesson about being in the spotlight.

Stray Observations:

--I know I used a totally horrible deaf guy joke, but am I the only one offended by the use of subtitles when Jason talks? He isn't speaking a different language, he's totally understandable, don't be a douche Project Runway!

--There isn't a look on the runway that Heidi wants to wear. How can she know what she likes without that?

--Am I the only one who thought HMG was flirting with Dance Beard?

--ToKen: “She reminds me of Judas in the bible.” You know as opposed to Judas, the pimp, from down on 44th street. You don't want to fuck with him either. Seriously, how many Judas' could their possibly be?

--ToKen: “I was thinking about Mother Nature and about how she might possibly look if she existed in real life.” If Mother Nature looks anything like that, I'm running for the fucking hills.

--Miranda: “I hope we're playing paintball, because I really want to shoot some people.”

--The Rate the Runway pages aren't up yet and it's already 2am (the price of living on the east coast I guess) but I wanted to get the review posted before I went to bed. So the links to the looks themselves might be dead links or might be linked to the wrong looks. I'll fix it when I wake up. (Julius' note: Fixed!)

--Thanks to Julius for letting me review the episode. I hope to do another one before the season is over; it was a lot of fun. And thanks to you guys for reading and putting up with me, I know I can drone on from time to time, so if you read it all the way through, I'm sorry to have tortured you and also happy that you stuck it out.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Project Runway: S12 E05: "You Choose Your Materials!"

Sandro is still gone. The male designers are lamenting the absence of Angry Warrior Sandro, while Helen is still angry at herself him. But, really, I think all of the readers agree...Fuck him.  He's an anger management-needing conflicted stressball control freak.  To put it lightly, the boy had issues.

This season's Project Runway has really been maximized for heightened drama. We've had not one, but two unconventional materials challenges so far - Parachute and Coney Island toys - and, one team challenge where the most tempestuous combination possible was the last to be paired, leaving the audience to speculate that their buttons weren't even in the bag. Add Sandro losing it, and Drama Helen to the mix, and this has been a season mainly about dwama first, fashion second, and catty putdowns last.

Maybe, now with Sustainidiot and Freddy Merkovitch gone, we'll start to normalize this epis...HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Please.  We all know better than that.  Anyways, onwards and deeper into the tunnel we go.

First, obligatory product placement: Lexus. They're entire purpose of this challenge is to be the cab taking the designers to their material stores.

Second, we find out that it's a 3-person team challenge. Normalized attitudes? The producers mock your ideas, you simpleton.

Really, in terms of teams, it's a mixed bag of talent at the outset. Generally at least one decent designer is teamed with at least one terrible designer with a middling designer to balance. The only team I have hope for is London, Kate and Redheaded Drew Barrymore.

Third, the story of the task is to create a "high-end, luxurious mini-collection of three looks" that may or may not be inspired by this evening's, yeah Lexus. 

Fourth, it is the third unconventional materials challenge, and the second team-based unconventional materials challenge. However, for the first time that I can remember, the teams get to choose the sources of these materials (choices: food market, party store, or antique wallpapers). And, also for the first time ever, I don't think that Project Runway mentioned that this was a first ever for Project Runway!  ZOMG.

To summarize: this week's maximal drama manipulations: Unconventional but high-end, team-based, and cohesive. 

This week's trouble maker: ToKen. Ken seems to be outnumbered from the beginning, and it rubs him wrong. Rather than rolling with it, he's going to fight to have his voice be heard PEOPLE. Silence!  He's talking!  All of nine minutes into the episode, he says "I need a gun."  We heard that!

Upon reaching the workroom, ToKen immediately takes a note from two weeks ago's Megabitch vs Sustainidiot battle (ep 3: the first team-based unconventional episode, if you're keeping track), and starts bitching about his team in the sewing room. He says Sue can't sew and calls his other teammate, the generic blond girl who never gets any airtime, grandma while grousing that they don't listen to him.

Then we get all of 1 minute of design before we hit more dwama between ToKen and Sue, where ToKen takes up Sandro's role of dominating Sue, and Sue kowtows...AGAIN. But, based on the shitty $400 Squid dress she made last week, she may actually need to concede power.  Because, really?  That was awful.

Back to design. 

But then...ZOMG, the Owl's back! Er...I mean Sandro's back to say goodbye and give some bullshit apology.  Tim offers up the bullshit explanation that this is so the designers can have some closure, or something.  Take note that Sandro gives his confessionals in a completely different shirt...again! 

All of that dwama happened, and we're all of 23 minutes into this episode, including commercials, credits, and last week's recap. Which means, it's time for Tim Gunn Reviews!

Redhead Men and a Miranda made a fluffy dress out of something stuff. Tim approves.

London, Kate and RHDB, have created high end edgy and sleek garments out of placemats. And only placemats. Tim wants them to push their materials more. 

Helen, Justin, and Dom have created what kind of looks like the pantsuit that Madeline Kahn wears in High Anxiety to match the wallpapered car. They only spent $600 of a $1500 suggested budget. And also a white bag dress. Tim is like "uh...what? No. Nonono. I can't help you."

ToKen, Sue, and generic blond #7 have created a bit not much. ToKen tries to assert. But one look they did was made out of a shower curtain and Tim's all "UNconventional materials challenge! This is not UNconventional!" Also, "Make it work." Then ToKen lets the dwama out in front of Tim.

And, we finally get to the design. Everybody's struggling as this is the first actually non-fabric unconventional materials challenge. Clothes are going wrong after the critique and people are getting lost. ToKen bitches, then says the one thing we've wanted him to say all episode even though he won't actually follow through: "I'm just gonna shut up right now."  He doesn't.

On Day Two, they're busy fixing everything, ToKen is losing it because Sue had to start from scratch after the Tim Gunn critique, and in the end, Sue doesn't finish and is pinning the dress together in the damn hallway after they leave the workroom, and Tim's pissed about that now. 

Walkway: Guest Judge: June Ambrose.

Team 1:
Alexander (aka Pale Redhead): its not awful, but its like a walking disco angel. The Disco 70s have met the Art Deco 20s in this design, and its not terrible.

Miranda: Snooooooze. 

Dance Beard: it's a fabulous ball gown. 

Team 1 summary: Cohesive and strong, and least where Alexander and Dance Beard are concerned. Miranda's is a snoozefest but she'll be carried through another episode.

Team 2:
Justin: Nice elements, but the eggshell top with the 70's faded orange brown on a pale red-toned girl all really keep the red goji berries from popping. It all collides for a boring mush mash intersection of muddled coloring and shapelessness.

Dom: It's a simple dress with new wave inspired shoulder embellishments. If it wasn't for those embellishments, it'd just be a boring dress out of a shitty pattern. The colors are awful still.

Drama Helen: um. She's wearing an airbag?

Team 2 summary: Some nice elements that are ultimately kept down by shitty color choices. 

Team 3:
Sue: Disaster. Mishap mash of thrown together materials (that look nice together) but make a schizophrenic, unfinished, dress. I love the model's expression in the Project Runway official photo.

ToKen: It looks like a car model. I kind of like the material for the skirt, but the top loses me.

Alexandria: wut? Her dress is popping? I don't get it. But, it's a trash bag and some placemats.

Team 3 summary: No.

Team 4:
London: sleek, high end, but simple.

RHDB: I kind of like the angled Mondrian esque front where everything is fractured but lineated. 

Kate: Channeling a space age Sandro. Edgy, but slutty and overly embellished.

Team 4 summary: Slick and sharp materials, decently executed, but not cohesive at all.

As predicted at the beginning, Team London was the winning team. And, as usual, a crappy collaboration makes a crappy collection: Team ToKen flops. 

On stage, ToKen starts going after Sue, and Alexandria can't decide who was worse. Backstage, ToKen turns it up to ridiculous. "Don't even look at me!" Seriously, ToKen could be in the remake of Mahogany. I think he has a touch bit of Napoleon complex, but he manly reminds me of Hooper X in Chasing Amy. "Honey, don't give me that 'all for one' shit. I got to deal with being a minority in a minority of a minority, ain't nobody supportin my ass. Oooh, Yanni."  It's a tough world out there for gay black men, believe you me.  

London wins (recognition finally!), and Sue's out. Which means we don't get to see her go completely into debt with $400 outfits. Damn.

Unlike Sandro, I actually have a bit more sympathy for ToKen. ToKen was being dominated by two his two teammates from the beginning. He may have made shit anyways, but getting ignored always sucks. At some point, if the ignoring continues, you have to make the decision to either go Sue and be seamstress or go ToKen and be aggro. The former loses your voice and the latter loses your team. Neither way is very good. 

Stray observations:

- Silver is a pop of color, but not to Nina Garcia, according to the pale redhead. 

- Just because you meta-comment on the ridiculousness of your drama manipulations through the designers in confessionals doesn't make it OK!

- London's pseudo-vicious catty comment of the week: "I don't care what material it was made out of, it is a little costumey."  

- Drama Helen "Maybe we shouldn't have done pants at all, it's just too conventional!"

- Justin's family is so sweet and quaintly Midwest. 

- Token is wearing a fetish harness by way of German suspenders?

- Obligatory gay male perving: HMG, wear less clothing! You could do this show naked and I'd be happy. 

- "I plan on not eating tonight to fit into this one! Hahahaha!" Anorexia is soooo funny!

- "Walking on glass?!" "You just want to pet the cat and make it calm."

Project Runway S12 E03: "An Unconventional Coney Island"


Did I scare you?

Well, I'm no Teutonic Queen.

Heidi starts off the episode by waking up everybody at 5:30 am with messy hair. She says "We're going to Coney Island," but she doesn't actually make it there. So, HAH! Fuck you all, she needs her beauty rest.

At Coney Island, Tim Gunn shows us the product placement of this episode, which may actually be among the worst that Project Runway has ever come up with: Yoplait Froyo. 

Yoplait, you see, cannot afford to do their own marketing and testing for their froyo, and have the Project Runway designers hand out froyo on this cold, rainy June day in New York to get words that describe the experience. You know, so the words can describe the outfits...or, for Yoplait to use in their marketing. Whichever.

On top of this, this is a teams challenge, which seems alright except it seems cynically planned to pair Team Portlandia-In-Milwaukee together. You know, Sunstainidiot and Ex Military Miranda. One is oblivious to the world around them, and the other hates everybody, specifically her partner.

The other teams seem well paired, at first. Make note of "at first". 

The teams hand out their froyo, and once that bit of marketing brouhaha is out of the way, we get down to what the challenge actually is: make froyo-descriptive outfits out of carnival toys that the teams have to play games to win! Whee!!!

At this point, everybody is having fun, including Team Portlandia...namely because Miranda is biting back her hate to attempt to work with Sustainidiot, even going so far as to lie to him saying she may have been bitchy to him so far, but she's actually glad to be working with him! He is oblivious to these lies, and instead focuses in winning a unicorn stuffy. 

Once toys are procured, we are delivered to the work room, where Sandro promptly starts alpha male-ing his partner, Sue the Burner. Sandro, who had previously already been showing his douchy side, becomes ultra-bro douche this episode. He starts dominating Sue and constantly belittling her at every turn.

The other team of fascination is Team Portlandia, where Manic Pixie Sustainidiot maximizes his neuroses while Miranda starts patterning. While she's patterning, Sustainidiot changes their mind, deletes the sketch from the HP workbook (save? What's that?!) and re sketches something completely different. This is the beginning of the end for Team Portlandia, as Miranda comes back incredulously and starts to lose her see-through mask of cordiality.

Everybody else seems fine, and gets about 30 seconds of airtime.

Tim Gunn review time!

Ken and Jeremy (aka ToKen and London) show Tim sketches. And have nothing to show Tim. He approves of the material.

Alexandria and Dom (a white blonde whom I keep forgetting about and the black girl with taste to spare), are making a "Japanese street culture" dress that looks like an ugly kid's toy on the mannequin. Tim approves.

Justin and Alexander (deaf guy and red head probable drag queen) are making something that, according to Alexander, might be junior. Tim tells them to add something but be tasteful!

Karen and Bradon (Red Head Drew Barrymore and Dance Beard) is creating something avant garde, but only have a giant green vinyl tumor on their form's hip. Tasteless Sandro sees this bit of hideousness and says "I want to do that next time!" Tim says they're the only ones doing this avant garde thing, and that's good.

Sue and Sandro are having their fights spill over into Tim Gunn review time, as Sue immediately starts bitching about Sandro's dominance to Tim upon Tim's arrival. They show Tim a cheap blue vinyl top, and then Sandro starts ripping apart the design sketches they have. He then starts worrying about Zac Posen's critiques of his work as "This too much, that too much." Since this recap is obviously written after the next week's episode aired, I want you readers to make note that Zac Posen was starting to creep into Sandro's mind and poison him. Then, Sandro starts cursing up a storm and calling Sue's ideas "Lady Gaga shit." He starts insulting her work, and she's trying not to fight him in front of Tim.

Kate and Helen do a bodice and structured skirt out of deconstructed sombrero remnants. Tim approves.

Team Portlandia have assembled a cheap looking dress that Tim calls "hospital gown-y," "Disney", "Happy Hands at Home" and crafty! And, Sustainidiot is doing a could-be-cool but ultimately cheap looking yellow weaving fabric to make a vest over. Tim's critique is the breaking point for Miranda, was already visibly seething, and she shuts down while Sustainidiot tries to resurrect their dress with add-ons.

Miranda loses faith in the dress, and in Sustainidiot, and turns into Megabitch shutting down Sustainidiot. Meanwhile, Sue starts standing up for herself to Sandro.

Finally, Megabitch starts mouthing off about Sustainidiot and their dress in the sewing room. And, by mouthing off, she's totally insulting Sustainidiot, saying he sucks and that he's a terrible designer, and he's awful to work with. Even when Timothy enters the room, Megabitch is all "I don't care if he's in the room. You wanted the Mean Miranda, you got the Mean Miranda." Timothy's been crushed, hard, and he goes to cry to somebody because, well, she was being unusually cruel. And, when he walks off the show for a couple hours and re-passes the sewing room, Megabitch is STILL mouthing off. Even Drama Helen tells her she's being a bitch, and she's needs to cool it with that shit. Megabitch's attitude is even noted enough to prompt Sophie, the model, to write a letter to Timothy. Then, Megabitch loses her steam and starts feeling shitty and crying. When Timothy comes back, it's that tense calm after the storm.

Meanwhile, Angry Warrior Sandro and Sue are still fighting until Sue finally kowtows to Angry Warrior and says that she'll just be his assistant. He says he respects that decision, because he finally won.

The next day, Megabitch tells Timothy that she feels "so rude" for how she treated Timothy yesterday. And, she "feels like an incredible ass." She doesn't apologize on screen. And, Timothy makes her eat her words. "Actions speak louder than words." And, "I did nothing wrong." These are the words of a grown up victim if bullying. Megabitch then starts lying her ass off saying she loved the look they've created in order to curry Timothy's favor, and it doesn't work.

Makeup and Hair, then runway!

Heidi comes on stage to explain all the convolutions of this week's project and it's completely ridiculous. First Yoplait Froyo, Descriptive words, then Coney Island games to get the materials for the outfits. And tonight's guest judge: Kelly Osbourne.

Team Redhead: An avant garde look that would be amazing, if they hadn't made the gigantic green tumor on the side so gigantic. The swirling of the plastic waves of the dress is gorgeous, and the green swirl at the center is placed so well to be playful but not perverse. I even love the frothy brown shoulder strap with the fluffy cotton on it. They were safe. 

Dom and Alexandria: Raver culture, Japanese street culture, and Domo Kun collide to make this fun thing that's very young and raver. It's edgy, but its just so....90s pulp raver/00s Burner that I can't get behind it fully. 2nd place.

Sandro and Sue: Cheap Plastic bags. Just meh. Inexplicably safe.

Kate and Helen: Sombreros make great fabric! The structure is great and the skirt most of all is very effortlessly Jetsons. It's amazing.  Helen wins for the dress.

Alexander and Justin: No. It's cheap, it's too much. It's cheap. It's color clashy. It's cheap. It's got too many ideas. Did I mention that its cheap? Bottom two.

London and ToKen: I love this look. The vinyl pants are so well made and are like silken butter from the future. And the brown jacket and top are perfectly matched with the blue and this is the perfect, London twinged, fashion distillation of raver culture. Not that Domo Kun outfit. They were inexplicably safe.

Team Portlandia: A cheap Disney bathing dress with a crappy crafty vest on top of it. Lost. 

In the confessional spliced in on the way to the back room, Sandro says a telling, damning thing on Lifetime, a network for women: "When a woman listen to a's so cool." I don't even remember Sandro ever wearing that shirt. He wasn't wearing it on Day 1 or Day 2, and not on either of the next episode's days...Which means he was called in to make that comment.  

In the review, Sustainidiot starts laying out the sob story of Megabitch's Mean Girl-ness, knowing that it worked for Helen last week. They fight on the cat walk to the embarrassment of all involved. It doesn't work, and Sustainidiot goes home (after being on the bottom for the past three weeks). 

Stray observations

- Team Redhead didn't get any airtime beyond the critique of Tim Gunn

- Handlebar Moustache Guy is fucking dreamy with his crew top and he can say "kitten with a whip" and day of the week. *drool*

- Sandro, wearing some fucking overalls and country shirt shit thing that's kind of hipster and totally gay united aesthetic. And, to make Sandro into the Russian equivalent of Big Gay Josh, he has his shirt unbuttoned far enough to flash his a nipple.

- Token is wearing a red turban?

- Even back stage, Megabitch says that her attitudes made her feel like shit and pushes that Timothy's non-acceptance of her non-apology was making her feel like shit. 

- Don't touch the unicorn after Sustainidiot took it home. It may not

- Since this post was done well after the Downfall of Sandro story arc was completed, I can comment on the warning signs that the editors put in this episode.  There is the rage against Zac Posen in front of Tim Gunn.  There is Helen already getting in Sandro's face saying "You've already started enough today" (even though, Sandro was trying to cool off Megabitch).  There is ToKen coming to Sandro's defense saying that he's probably a big ol' softy underneath trying to scare everybody with his big tough exterior.  It's all really foreboding, and the editors this year seem to be on top of their game.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


We're now on Facebook!  Barebones again, but it is a start.

Come join over there to be notified of new blog entries (though not as they're posted)!

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Hey guys and gals - new visitors, friends, AV Clubbers, people who may or may not have stumbled upon this humble blog, etc - this is the birthplace of the Project Runaways blog.

Cheers to einosunshine for naming the blog.  I thought it was catchier than what I had thought of.

This is more of a community blog, complete with Disqus commenting (which most of you have if you moved on to The Dissolve or The Gameological Society).  I wrote this first post as a comment over on AV club, and spruced it up a little more for here.  I'll probably do next week's, and then pass it off to a series of special guest writers.  As a side note, when I'm posting, I hope to get the post up by 2am PST (or 5am EST) on Friday.  It may be earlier depending on the time zone of the guest writer.

Notice that the blog currently is cheap looking.  Yeah.  It's summer in Seattle, and I didn't spend more than an hour figuring out how to integrate everything into the blog, and making the colors not eye gouging to me.  This is the post for you to critique, bitch about, and otherwise make suggestions to the look and style of the blog.

Pass the word on as you can.  Especially to people you know who would make valuable commenters.

This blog will not be monetized (at least not yet).  It's free, and I'm just trying to re-develop my blogging habits.  In other words, constructive criticism welcome on my posts!

Oh, and I'll probably be starting another blog or three, and they'll be linked in the sidebar.  Along with any blogs from other writers or friends of the blog.

Have fun!  And, thanks for reading.

Project Runway S12 E04: Tie The Knot

This season is full of So...that happened moments.

I think it's so important to open with a bang. Don't you?  Wait, this isn't the Russian version of Party Monster?  This is Project Runway?  OK, this is going to be a...something.

Seriously, the Downfall of Sandro is probably the best two episode story arc I think I've ever seen.  According to Think Baby Names, Sandro means owl Man's Warrior.  Previously, on Project Runway, we watched as Sandro moved from Fun Loving Drama Queen Sandro who was making shitty, trampy, over-the-top dresses to Sexist Angry Sandro who made a shitty and cheap dress of mediocrity.

This episode, Sexist Angry Sandro became Raging Warrior Sandro who, now devoid of a woman to target, moves on to demonizing Zac Posen, whom Sandro may be targeting because Zac is both a newbie, and more effeminate than either Teutonic Queen or Ice Princess-In-Waiting.  And, in the end, he targets another female (Helen, who did start telling him off first), explodes and runs away.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself, much like this episode of Project Runway got ahead of itself.

After our big bang opening, we're whisked away to the real opening, where we're introduced to Jesse Tyler Ferguson, an adorable ginger cub who is wearing one of the tackiest suits that has ever been seen this side of a sideshow barker.  Bears really have a problem knowing how to dress, and apparently cubs are no exception. But, anyways, JTF is here because Project Runway is doing a topical episode on gay marriage, finally...after the whole Prop 8 controversy all the way back in 2008. Yeah, you couldn't comment on it five years ago?  And, JTF has a charity selling bow ties to fund the gay marriage equal right legal challenges that are still happening across the nation in 37 states.  At the time of filming, the legal challenges were also pending for California's Prop 8 and for DOMA.

Anyways, this is no cheap tie in like last week's Yoplait "please do our marketing research for us" froyo episode.  This is the change it episode.  It's almost an unconventional materials episode, but then they get $200 to spend on material, so yay for money.

Everybody collects ties, goes to Mood, and they kill Swatch the dog.  I keed, the owl killed Swatch the Dog.  No, really, he''s probably just snoooozing.  Be well Swatch! And, also, Sue somehow spends $400.  And, by somehow, I do mean "somehow."  It seems she bought two different regular jersey knit materials.

Back in the workroom, everybody starts struggling.  Dance Beard makes a harness that looks awful on the manniquin.  Sue makes two cheap looking simple dresses being attacked by Bow Tie squids.  Helen makes something awful.  Jeremy is in a depressive funk because he found out his husband's maternal grandma died, and he makes a dress for his grandma. But, the real cake goes to Sandro, who immediately starts ranting about how he thinks Jeremy is a witch, how Sandro needs to edit and Sandro has no idea what that means, and that Zac Posen sucks for some reason.

By the time Tim comes around to make his analysis, Sandro is having a complete meltdown, and has chosen the tackiest accessory purse I think I have ever seen outside of a Forever 21.  It's bejeweled with a heart mirror that looks like a 13 year old made it while fantasizing about hot football quarterback Johnny Astro who will be hers as soon as she finishes making this gorgeous purse and he sees how she can accessorize just like that bitch cheerleader Ashley who gets to screw him just because she's pretty and rich and FUCK HER.


Anyways, Angry Warrior Sandro totally thrusts this Purse of Teenage Love at Top Tim, practically crying at him "IS THIS TACKY?  IS THIS TOO MUCH?!"  And, Tim, possibly scared for his life, gives him possibly the worst advice Tim has ever given anybody.  Tim tells Sandro not to edit, and that he should be design and in life.  And, that if Sandro likes the Purse of Teenage Love, he should use the Purse of Teenage Love.  Then, Tim scurriesto safety before he gets assaulted by a bracelet made completely out of clunky plastic gems..

Tim tells Sue that her dress is full  Sue does nothing.

But, the other shining Tim moment of crazy town this week is when he critiques Helen, and she falls apart into this crazy tail spin of shame and derision, hating herself and her dress and why did she really like that dress, its just so awful?!  She proceeds to get almost nothing done between the critique and the end of the day.

Helen never pulls out of her self critical tail spin, and Sandro finishes up his dress of Sandro, and then the whirlwind until the runway.

Runway Looks:

Dom: This is an amazing dress that has been attacked by rogue bow ties.  Remember that scene in Brazil where Robert DeNiro gets attacked by paper?  This is that look, only instead of paper, it is bow ties, and instead of Robert DeNiro, it is a model in an amazing striped dress

Jeremy: Elegant and mildly dowdy.  He was a bit too literal with his touches of 40s, adding very few modern touches to the design.  It looks gorgeous.  But, the colors are definitely Fall, and that all makes the exposed belly button a little weird.  But, I kind of love it despite my instinct to hate it.

Dance Beard: Sorry TripleA85  I love this.  You are dead on that it would look awful on a white girl.  That doesn't bug me, because he's partially designing with his model in mind.  It's totally tribal, and edgy and young and celebration. This was an amazing look that deserved the win.

Ken: Simple, edgy, but I hate the bowtie piping.  Good enough for high end of safe

Miranda: Hey Miranda, was this on some tacky episode of Dallas?  Maybe in Working Girl?  You claim for gender bending, but gender bending means more than a pair of dramatic shoulder pads.

Helen: Bow tie back brace.

Alexander: He made an Asian tie rack!  I can see some high end Japanese store targeted at sexist men who decided that, instead of using actual tables, they'll just use women as tables to display the ties.  Very 9 1/2 Weeks.

Angry Man's Warrior: Remember what I said about Tim giving Sandro the worst advice ever by telling him not to edit?  Yeah.  This happened.  It is the clash of 15 different ideas thrown onto one dress.  Zac almost nailed it with Hollywood Walk of Shame.  It really was a WTF moment.  He should have been in the bottom instead of Jeremy.  But, we've decided that boring always loses.

Sue: Sue is a burner, isn't she?  I've seen this at Burning Man.  And, no.  At least she didn't make a cheap as fuck tie skirt?  And, this fucking simple ass jersey dress used $400 of material.  Wut?

Deaf Guy: Meh.

Kate: Pants are AMAZING.  The back of the top is sexy.  The front needed to be swapped with the front of the top needed to be switched with the front of Alexandria's top.  Otherwise, it looks like a bib.  I kept getting flashes of the lobster eating scene in Flashdance.

Red Head Drew Barrymore: No. Isn't this available at that really crappy women's outfit store at the mall that has that really timelessly terrible style? Talbot's?

Alexandria: The front of the top is amazing.  The back needed to have a lottle more complexity like Kate's. The skirt was kind of a mess though.  Great ideas.  Needed more fleshing out time.

Sandro, despite his trashy overworked aesthetic again, is safe.  But, that doesn't mean he won't say something.  He wants CRITIQUE dammit!  And, when they insult his look, he doesn't get why and he stews.  Then, Ken and Helen tell him that he was being inappropriate, and then he blows the fuck up at Helen.  She really was fueling the fire because she was still disappointed in herself and all "why am I safe?!?!?"  And, I suspect, she was just thankful not to be thrown out.  So, she lays into Sandro, who already has been on edge, and Sandro just blows up because she is woman and he is Angry Warrior Sandro.  And then Sandro runs away.

Oh wait, there's more.  Dance Beard wins, and he proposes to his rather hot husbear, and can I just get in a sandwich with you guys?  I promise not to steal either of you from each other, but you're both so adorable!  And, since this was filmed in June (which, what?!  they only get two months before the September Fashion Week?!...and you're filming during Gay Pride week in New York?!  You guys are fucking assholes...) The next week, Jeremy's husbear proposes to him on the Wednesday that the Supreme Court struck down Prop 8 and DOMA.  Awwwwww.

Oh, and because the three bottom people were safe, Miranda goes into a tail spin of crazy because she believed her tacky 80s outfit was going home over Sue's shittastic 5 minute squid harness.  And the only reason she's in is because Sandro left, and somehow that is bad karma for Miranda.  Remember how she said she's gonna need therapy last episode?  Yeah...that's what happened here.

And Sandro was never heard from again.


Stray observations:

- You know what's amazing about this episode? This is one of the few episodes where almost all the drama was not caused by another designer or particularly aimed at another designer. Even when Helen laid into Angry Warrior Sandro, and then Angry Warrior Sandro was screaming at Helen, you could almost tell that Sandro wasn't really yelling at Helen, and Helen wasn't really yelling at Sandro. They were yelling at themselves but made each other a target. It felt completely different then when Sandro was yelling at Sue last week because Sue was a woman. It was really fascinating.

- Jesse Tyler Ferguson, please. Honey. Grow your beard back.

- Octopussy.

- JTF, you shouldn't cut Ice Princess-in-Waiting off like that. You're a special guest, so you can get away with it, but she would have pounced on anybody else doing .

- That Purse of Teenage Love was probably designed by Mary Frances, who charges upwards of $300 for these tacky tacky pieces of crap.  They remind me of Reed Krakoff's fish shirt in its tacky:money ratio.

- I find it fitting that this is the first episode for Project Runaways, considering it has another in Project Runway's blossoming line of runaway designers.