Friday, November 22, 2013

Project Runway All-Stars S3 E5: "Partners in Crime"

Last week, nobody was eliminated. For no good reason either. There was so much shit walking that runway that a quadruple elimination would have been acceptable to all of the viewers. So, Project Runway All-Stars, when Alyssa Milano walks in and introduces this week by asking the designers, "How are you handling the pressure?" I'm sure you'll forgive me for screaming, "FUCK YOU! THERE IS NO PRESSURE ANYMORE!!" Even Pansear, last week's winner, is like What the fuck ever, "There's like pressure; but there's not..."

The real reason nobody was eliminated was because this week is a team challenge. And, this week's product placement is some Bonnie and Clyde revival.  It's some miniseries from Lifetime, and it's the second Bonnie and Clyde movie out this year, after David DeCoteau's Bonnie and Clyde: Justified. Yeah, Project Runway, I just cross product-placed with an inferior product. Suck it!

The task this week is for each team of two to create two looks - male and female - inspired by Bonnie and Clyde. The gay men and straight women perk up...male models?  Bring on the eyecandy with ill-fitting clothing! And, the looks have to be inspired by the 1930s. Which is post-Black Tuesday, and post-stock market crash, and obviously depression era. But, these were flashy and stylish bank robbers in their idealized setting, so...flashy and stylish outfits are called for.

The teams are chosen by each other, instead of the button bag. For once. And here are the pairs:
- Pansear and Zinger
- Seth Aaron and Necktat
- Korto and Elena
- Mychael and Irina

Teams that actually seem like they're based in real world challenges where you get to hire your collaborators make for good television. Everybody has been behaving well, except for Elena's attempt at manufacturing drama with Viktor in order to get more screen time. Which, *zzzzzzzz*.

Because everybody is acting politely, the drama is down, and the construction bits are up. Viktor is teaching Pansear how to better his construction by bias seaming, and cutting along the grain (which pops up every few seasons). The designers sew and hammer. Mychael is doing motorcycle details, in a fabric that gets criticized as "spangly" but also reads Copper, which is steampunk.

When Zanna comes around, for the most part her criticisms suck...except her one good critique this week is of Viktor's fringe on the back of his look, a male look. She otherwise calls some looks Victorian (aka Steampunky if modernized; note this as this is important), and blows through the critiques without much of anything valuable to say. You guys, I like Zanna, but I am really missing Joanna Coles this week. She could say something that would rip up your whole dress, and also give you the hint on how to fix it...and say it in 6 words while moving on to the next designer. Joanna Coles was certainly an ice princess, but she was smart and brief, which is completely needed in the 1 hour episodes.

The models come in, and yay eyecandy!!!  Except, not so much. All of the male models stay in black tank tops, and even the model who doesn't fit Jeffrey's outfit because he's been pumping iron is only shown in a black undershirt. Come on! We get a lingering voyeuristic shot of Mychael's model in tighty whiteys putting on pants, but that's the sum total of our eye candy Even when they come back for the runway, we only get 10 frames of skin. Um...Lifetime, do you know who your audience is??

And, runway...

Georgina has been replaced by Project Runway staple Austin Scarlett, aka the best possible judge for this, as he LOVES period pieces. Unfortunately, Alyssa and the producers choose one of his claims to fame as "he's been portrayed on SNL." Guest judge number 2: supermodel Bar Rafieli. And, guest judge number 3: one of my favorite judges, Elie Tahari. This man has always been smart about his critiques and comfortable seeing things that has a different vision than what he expected.

Before I get into the critiques, I began to think that maybe I had the wrong idea of 1930s fashion in my head. I had crisp looks, that, for men, had high waisted pants with lower crotches but were otherwise very much on the way to being what we see as the classic men's look of the 1940s. For women it was the transitional period from flapper to 1950s conservative. Prints and earth tones were coming back. Bosoms were on their way to being covered up with high neck lines. Thinking very Mildred Pierce. But, in watching the show, as you'll see below, I keep thinking Victorian. And, I don't think I'm all that far off.

Seth Aaron and Necktat
Seth Aaron: He created a sophisticated throwback to the Victorian era, and updating it to steampunk with leather accessories, chains, and awesome graphic fishnet leggings. It is definitely not 1930s depression era, but it is an amazing look.

Necktat: A military coat straight out of an 1800s Doctor Who episode. With great pants that came out of the 1930s. It isn't as steampunky as Seth Aaron, but still goes back wayyyy too far for the 1930s.

Together, their outfits are of the same Victorian sci-fi episode, though they also don't match as a couple. They're very different takes on the challenge and don't come together harmoniously.

Irina and Mychael
Irina: A gorgeous copper and gold dress with a brown skirt that captures the earth tones we associate with the 1930s, post-flapper era. The spangles were part of the 1920s that were getting melted into the 1930s browns but then the neckline started going up from the low low flapper era. But, the Dracula jacket throws it way off, and becomes a piece that is lost in what it wants to be.

Mychael: He creates a look that has great conception, though is also Victorian gone completely steampunk. Copper with belts and zippers and looks like a motorcycle jacket. If Doctor Who had a motorcycle episode set in the Victorian era, this would be exactly what they would be wearing to blend in.

Strangely, even though they come from different eras, the materials and shapes make it look like these two people belong together. It may be different inspirations, but at least they match.

Elena and Korto
Elena: High neck, attached cape to the jacket, cinched waist. I'm sure you can tell what I'm going to say about it. But, it's a great look for a vampire.

Korto: The pants are good. The jacket is good. But, I don't even know what this is other than an outfit. It doesn't have any other eras around the edge, and seems like the punk challenge where Korto just went, "Fuck it. I'm going to make something that looks good."

Together, the looks meld nicely. They say absolutely nothing 1930s.

Pansear and Viktor
Pansear: The second look from the 1930s.  It's an elegant dress that looks like Joan Crawford would have worn it, with the rising neckline and earthy tones that recalled the 1930s. It's totally within era. It has a great holster fashion accessory that blends with the lines well (though I thought it was a bit wide). This is something era and is the surefire winner.

Viktor: Um...This is also of era...if the guy was Charles Atlas and didn't buy new clothes after he became a muscle god. You know Charles Atlas, right? The weakling weighing 98 lbs who became a muscle model and workout guru. At least that was his story. Well, this suit was bought by the weakling and never resized. The neckline barely fits him, the shirt is all wonky, the bowtie is ill sized, and it otherwise just looks terrible. It may be 1930s, honey, but it is all wrong.

Together, this is the only couple of the 1930s. But, Pansear's outfit is stunning and she looks like she picked up some male hustler and put an ill-fitting suit on him so she could have somebody hunky to go to the red carpet with.

Elena and Korto are safe, by which we mean, "Get the fuck off the stage because we have no idea what to say about your outfits."  The judging is all fucking over the place tonight. The only people to really listen to are Elie and Austin. They know their shit compared to everybody else. Alyssa Milano is still shopping for her closet. Bar wants the story to come through the outfit, but it is the story she has in her head.

It really comes down to Pansear and Irina. Both of them have a 1930s look. And, the losers come down to Mychael and Viktor. Mychael made a costume; Viktor made a terrible look. Alyssa came to the rescue of Viktor for some reason saying it was somehow immaculate. I dunno.

And...Necktat ultimately wins?!!?  What?!  I guess they wanted to use his pants. Or, maybe they had a directive to come up with a men's look because all of the Bonnie looks had been completed. Either way, wtf?!  And, Mychael is out, which is OK.

But, really, after last week's bottom shitshow, I'm a little pissed that Mychael is going home. on a look that was a bit costumey but not anywhere near where last week's looks. I feel a bit cheated. And, Alyssa was a bit harsh when she calls his look Desperately Seeking Susan as, apparently, she can only think of Madonna movies from the 1980s. But, SOMEBODY has to go home, I guess. Just...ugh.

P.S. Project Runway, no amount of Madonna-referencing is going to make up for the lack of male flesh that was in this episode.

Stray Observations:
- Viktor's non-zinger Zing of the Week: "It's like Project Runway Total Fitness. I lost 15 pounds in 30 minutes, and I'm not a paid actor!" (he's really proud of this one too)

- Alyssa Milano's TMI of the week: regarding Seth Aaron's look.  Elie: "It looks like with black high boots and a whip, it becomes a different outfit." Alyssa: "That's what I LIKED about it!!"

- Zanna thinks a peacoat is automatically Chippendale's.

- Necktat: "This guy should just be in underwear running down a beach." Audience, "Holla!"

- And, what's with the D-ring on the back of Viktor's suit above the fringe?  Is he meant to be a puppet? I think Alyssa probably liked that D-ring.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Project Runway All-Stars S3 E4: "Keepin' It Classy"

I think we all felt this way by the end of the episode.
Every Project Runway All-Stars host starts to reach a sort of middling stride mid-season. Alyssa Milano is starting to really loosen up compared to when she began. It's almost like the producers were watching the dailies and told her to be more natural, and she finally figured out how. While she still doesn't have the dominating presence that we've come to expect from Frau Klum, Alyssa is starting to loosen up in front of the camera and become an interesting figure. Her faux accent is starting to slip a little. And, her teeth are unclenching. And, she's starting to feel fun.

Which is good because we're bringing back one of the most famous challenges ever, you guys!  Maybe some of you don't remember this challenge, but we're bringing back the unconventional challenge!  ZOMG! I remember seeing this like 2 months ago, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it! It was so hard when they had to go to like a wallpaper store and a hardware store. Or, maybe they had to go to Coney Island and cut up animals. Or, maybe...anyways, we haven't seen this challenge in awhile, and it's back! ZOMG. Be still my beating heart!

Bur, what is our challenge, outside of an unconventional challenge?  Well, we have to take a trip to find a SCHOOL BUS! Immediately, my gay ass starts worrying that this is going to be an anti-bullying episode, because I spent my time on the school bus blasting KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails at volumes that pierced everybody else's ear drums. Immediately the designers start fucking around on the school bus. And, they're being taken to PS 212, some school in NYC. So, it's not an anti-bullying after school special, but it is a mad dash challenge, in the vein of that time they tore up their apartments in the first episode.  They have 4 minutes to get everything, and...

Oh, fuck...Pansear. Really?  You have to bring the bullying? I know it's uncouth for me to say, because solidarity and I was bullied and blah blah blah but...*sigh*. So, because of the bullying, we know that Pansear is not going home because emotional backstory = stay. But, then we have the fight between Korto and Necktat for who's going home as they're both revealing a bit much in the asides. And, a little bit of Mychael. And, they're all starting to make really REALLY ugly shit. 

I've also really been in love with Korto's revealing.  Every time, she's like "Bitches, I'm here for the money. Why the fuck am I here?" This time, she's revealing its all about her daughter and growing her business to provide for her child. And, Awwww.  But, she still doesn't want to be here. Meanwhile, Pansear is still ranting about bullying. And, he'll not stop until the runway. 

During Zanna's consultations, she's all worried about the outfits that she should be worried about, and enthusiastic about some of the ones she also should be worried for. Korto's look starts out looking like a rejected costume from Hackers, but then we see her start doing shit with rubber bands that starts making it look like a homemade Marching Band outfit. And, Zanna is worried about Mychael's progress because he hasn't done much of anything, and insult's Necktat lego foam dress. And, ooooooof. There's the origins of some serious ugly in the room. And, then there's a twist. Because PS 212 isn't a commercial tie in, this is the Mary Kay tie in episode, where two people consult on makeup whose advice seems to get ignored the next day.

And, soon its time to go to runway, where I fully expect to see Dan "I have 2 shirts" Savage representing It Gets Better because, well, bullying and high school. Instead, we get the fantastic Gabourey Sidibe, from Precious, the New York high school movie about bullying in the inner city. And, also Michael Urie, who was*checks IMDB* Partners and Ugly Betty. He also directed He's Way More Famous Than You...which, um...  Poor guy. Maybe he was the one who replaced Dan Savage. 

Anyways, Runway.

Irina: I hate to admit it...this was my favorite look on the runway today. It was over the top pink and princessy, which is a total departure for Irina, but its well made and it doesn't entirely look like it was made from other materials. It looks like some weird combination of a little girl's fantasy dress and 80s pop summer gone to France. I just...I hate loving it. But, it's so awesome.

Pansear: He totally trainspotted Mychael's look from last week. It's hard plastic armor which is kind of transformer-y, and armor-y. But, it's border costume for me. 

Korto: What...the...fuck. At least she realizes it isn't good. But, seriously, she started out so modern with bright orange lines and complicated curves, and then she ended up with an elementary thanksgiving pageant apron like thing. It''s fucking awful, and an eyesore.

Elena: Made another color blocked android-esque sci-fi look. Remember how I said Pansear's looked border costume?  This is total costume to me. I think this would be in one of those cheap sci-fi pornographic movies where the costumer had like $40 and one day to make an outfit.  ...  Oh.

Necktat: Stripper at a hot dog stand at an Indian Casino.

Viktor: I like this one too, but I have always had an issue with dresses that look like you just glued things to a base fabric. It's almost cheating. Though, it looks like the cooler version of Justin's showstopper last season, outside the plastic chunky pieces.

Mychael: I'm sorry. I can't be mean to this. Poor guy.  Have at it commenters.

Seth Aaron: What?! At least its not boring?

So, the judging this week is whack again. Seth Aaron who has one of the worst looks on the runway is safe, and Irina, who had the best look, is also safe. But, neither Gabby nor Urie have much interesting to say. I love Gabby's way of looking at clothing, but they didn't have much intelligent to say. Michael Urie compares the boobies on Elena's dress to Rosie from The Jetsons, She was flat, honey. What were you fantasizing about as a pubescent boy?

But, the most entertaining part of this episode besides Korto's "I don't need to be here" moments, is Necktat's volcano of bullshit. "I never got from this that we were supposed to do something that was wearable. I heard something to the effect of 'flex your creative muscle.' And, this to me was an anime girl, in a sundress, mid-twirl."  AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Elena's impression of McKayla Maroney was fucking priceless. I think she did it better than McKayla (sorry!). 

Necktat's volcano of bullshit is only matched by the finale where nobody loses.  WHAT?!  I know people struggled, but there was some serious ugly on this runway, and not even all of the bad looks were out there.  Seth Aaron's look is atrocious. And, just...omg, you guys...what?  *drink*  And, of course, the bullying outfit wins. Heartstrings pulled.

Stray Observations:

- Viktor (I think): "I refuse to do children."

- Viktor's Non-Zinger Zing of the week: "We don't need no twist, thankyouverymuch!...zan-na." *gestures with finger*

- No, Elena, Lady Gaga wasn't around 10 years ago, and no you didn't design for her 10 years ago.

- Zanna (to Irina) "It's definitely the pretty corner over here." Irina: "............" (translated: Don't make me cut you.)

- What the hell does Alyssa Milano have on during the runway?  PLEATS?!!?  I'm about to go on a fashion rage.

- Isaac: "I felt a little manipulated by Pansear's bullying story." Me: "Just like I was manipulated by your martini story."  No, Isaac, you're not gonna live that down until you do some good judging this season.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Project Runway All-Stars S3 E3: "Sip into something sexier"

Show opens. Designers walking.

Necktat: "We've had a really rough two weeks..."

*needle scratch*

WHAT?!  No.  You've had a really rough 5 days. WE'VE had a really rough two weeks.

And, so, this episode begins with a lie and then a slap in the face. Apparently, Isaac Mizrahi was one week off with his critique. When he said "This is a slap in the face to the woman wearing this dress. What if she wanted to drink a martini??" he really thought we were in the martini challenge, you guys. Not really, but it was a complete slap in the face to jump from the worst criticism ever to a challenge that totally embodies that criticism.

Which totally mirrors how I experienced this episode. I had just caught up with The Daily Show's Wednesday critique of Jay Z losing his street cred by sticking with Barney's over arresting the kid who paid for the $350 belt because the kid was black. And, then I'm faced with today's product marketing where the designers get stuck in Jay Z's 40/40 club, which has a hot white bartender, and boring, probably expensive, drinks.

OK, the 40/40 drinks are not totally boring, but they are just pseudo-classic "artisanal" drinks (read hipster drinks) made with cheap liquor. For instance, on a freeze frame of Korto's drink, Summer, the vodka they use is Stolichanya.  Which...*SCREAM* If you'll indulge me for a brief few paragraphs, I'm going to get a little political on you.  Feel free to skip.

Starting in July, the gays decided to dump Stoli and any Russian vodka. We banned it from many of our bars. We banned it from our homes, and it is surely not going to pass in our gay-themed shows without comment. The ban on Stoli probably started a couple weeks after this episode was aired, so I'm not going to get all activisty "ZOMG, Project Runway is sponsoring Russian vodka and is an enemy of the gays."  But, I will tell you that this is a reaction to Putin's anti-gay policies, and the level of violence that is escalating in Russia over the past year. Among his policies are a ban on gay "propaganda" which can include kissing or holding hands in the street.

The reason this is significant is that us gays love to drink. And, I mean...we LOVE to drink. And, we drink a LOT of vodka. When I went to an Oscar fundraiser, they ran out of vodka a couple hours into the show.  So, us dumping one brand of vodka is kind of significant, especially given the popularity of Stoli and its flavored vodkas. Now, I'm not saying that my readers are necessarily pro-gay, but if you're watching Project Runway I kind of have to assume you have a mild tolerance of us. And, especially in this comment section...which is like whoa. Anyways, I just needed to take that paragraph or two to say that...back to the show.

So, we're at the stupid Jay Z club, and we're being served pseudo-artisanal cocktails made by a generically hot white guy, Yusef. The cocktails has a mix of names from Spotted Plum to Summer to Tiger Eye.  Some of the names you kind of expect to be generic looking, like the Hemingway which I would imagine would look something like an Old Fashioned. But, a Tiger Eye I would hope would have something like a complicated layered drink effect. But, no. These are all just shaker drinks. And, the Tiger Eye is pale celery color. Now what I would think of as a Tiger Eye. The only interesting one is Seth Aaron's Hemingway which had a huge chunk of orange peel.

And, so, these boring-looking drinks serve as the inspiration for this week's cocktail dress challenge. Fuck I need a drink.

The next morning - wait...they closed down the 40/40 club for the shooting of the intro?  Or, did they get kicked out in an hour and go to bed early?  I'm so confused - our intrepid designers hit mood with a fresh $100 in their pockets to make a fancy cocktail dress. $100 is not much based on previous episodes. And, with the lower budget we get some interesting choices, like Pansear choosing curtains. Or, Korto's decision to go with a loud plaid-esque green print.

And, this episode is actually really nicely heavy on the construction details. I love this aspect of All-Stars. I like watching Viktor start to deconstruct his gorgeous cathedral print by making patterns based in part on the architecture and the gables is a fascinating insight. I like listening to Necktat's inspiration of Vietnamese dresses from the basis of his drink having passion fruit.

But, my favorite part is Pansear's debate on how to make a dress with a sheer non-fabric without showing off vagina and nipples. He created a wrap, but it got heavy and tableclothy. Then he started double layering nude chiffon under the curtain fabric.

My second favorite is Korto.  "ALL MY FANS..." Yeah yeah, we're sorry for bring you back, Korto. But, she's not going with the color of the cocktail which she describes as "dingy, mudgly kind of dream."  And, she's not going safe because "the safe house is locked up and she lost the key."

This episode also focuses on how everybody is trainspotting. Necktat says that Korto's dress is trainspotting Isaac's 2011 summer line. Pansear says that Melissa (who is so boring I can't even think up a defining characteristic) is trainspotting herself. Elena says that Viktor trainspotted Alexander McQueen. And, this is completely hilarious because apparently, in an edited out comment - according to somebody on the TWOP forums and brought out in reddit - Anya called out Necktat for trainspotting Martin Margiela (thanks for the tip, Origami Rose (the user, but probably not Venbot).

And, then we get the twist.  Dudes, really?!  We're in a 60-minute episode. Zanna Roberts Rossi decides to throw in an accessory challenge.  *sigh* No, Zanna. That was PR's other spinoff, Project Accessory. *sigh* What the hell?! The audience doesn't care about the accessory, and neither does anybody else. All it does is serve to fill in the run time and make everybody panic.  Boooooo. We don't care.

Soo, after making a bunch of shitty looking accessories, we're off to runway! This week's judges are NOT ANYA!  But, really, its accessory designer Rebecca Minkoff, and interior designer Nate Berkus. It should not be noted that Berkus' appearance was probably in anticipation of a new series that so far has not been aired, nor had a date set for it.

Irina: Garish. It's like Jay Z's nightclub vomited onto the dress. It is gold and silver, but it is garishly patterned, almost like linoleum. That and its cheap plastic sheen makes it looks trashy and hideous. It's very bling bling gone wrong.

Pansear: Elegant, classic, and timeless. Sort of like a flapper dress but with jewels on the back which brings it into the Jay Z bling bling land. It's gorgeously nude, and I am in love.

Mychael: HELP! His model was caught in a shredder! And, the dress won!

Necktat: Kind of like a pomegranate champagne. It looks like a cocktail to me. It's a simple easy dress that is rather safe with garish jewels attached at the neck. It's like an Asian dominatrix.

Elena: It's way too long for a cocktail dress, and reads like futuristic officewear to me. Sort of the type of outfit, one would find in a Heinlein sci-fi novel/erotic fantasy (which, really, are the same thing).

Seth Aaron: Black and red color blocking. Yawn.

Melissa: It's the awful version of her old dresses...only more floppy with a weird yellow callout in the small of her back. "She would go to a cocktail party, and many girls would stop to ask her what she was wearing." - Melissa.  I agree. "What ARE you wearing, darling?"

Korto: No. It's a weird dress that looks like it had a baby with a weightlifting belt, a back brace and a fetish harness. Even without the gigantic belt, it looks stupid.

Zinger: A gorgeous dress with a trampy slit at her hoo-ha.  I'm going to say it again. HOO HA!

Anyways, Alyssa is using Project Runway to fill her closet. Never mind that the winning designs are sometimes auctioned off. Alyssa wants it.  Fuck you if you wanted it, she's the host, and she'll beat you down while wearing her executioner hood if you try to challenge her for it.

Most of the judging is reasonable. Especially Nate Berkus, who tells Elena that she's trainspotting Balenciaga and Narciso. Elena, Pansear and Zinger are in the top three (all justifiably). Necktat, Melissa and Korto are in the bottom. I would have switched Necktat for Irina, but you know...   Of course, Isaac has to have his absurd fixation of the episode with Pansear's dress back, which is wrong. It's what brought the dress into the now. And, he's probably the reason that Pansear wasn't the official winner for making a flawless dress. But, both Pansear and Zinger's dress end up in Alyssa's closet, while Melissa goes home for her mess of a dress.

Stray Observations:
- Viktor "We're walking to the 40/40 club and I've never been there and I'm like OMG, today's the fir*squeal*."  Closed captions tell me that he said "first day" but I don't believe it.

- Viktor "What's your drink?"
Elena: "Sardinia."
Viktor: "Like the fish-a?"
No, like the island.

- Pansear: "I'm a homosexual. I would not want to see hoo-ha." I am really glad hoo-ha is still a nickname for va-jay-jay.

- Viktor's non-zinger of the Week: "Cocktail dresses are supposed to be easy going. But, her dress is more like "Oooo, you're going to an eskimo party." According to Urban Dictionary, an eskimo party is either a musical trio or inserting ice cubes to help with anal sex.  Um...Zing?

- Alyssa Milano's TMI of the Week: "I have too much back fat."

Friday, November 1, 2013

Project Runway All-Stars S3 E2: "Bitten by the Fashion Bug"

Ok, guys. This is it. We got all of those silly introductions out of the way, and we only have 60 minutes (minus commercials) to get through the episode. Let's get down to business. Challenge, sewing, drama, models, makeup, runway. Let's make it snappy, people!



Ok, Melissa saying that the competition is crazy hard. Well, that's the usual Project Runway thing. But, within 2 minutes we're already inside the New York Museum of Natural History. Yay, we're through the product placement within the 3rd minute. And, we've even gotten Curly Moustache Guy saying "I'm going home" "I'm from Texas."

The challenge? To create, in one day, an avant garde look based on an insect, or arachnid. Today, I learned that a scorpion is actually an arachnid.  I was going to be all snarky and "scorpions aren't arachnids or insects, silly Project Runway." But, I had to double check because I hate biology, and they are arachnids!  *the more you know*

While typing all that up, we're already 8 minutes into the episode, and we're in the work room.  Jeez this episode is going so fas...wait...

We have time to fawn over work room.  With Mychael Knight commenting to us such mind-boggling information as "It's bigger than Mood" and "I love the colors." Or, Christopher Palu helpfully adding "Our tables are all set up. There's a sewing room that's attached. It's really nice." We see that the walls are done in a shade of blue-purple that has been dubbed, on Wiki at least, as either Pomp and Power or Dark Pastel Purple. But, really, its almost a grey.  And, the stripes don't help it.

We're also introduced to the QVC accessory wall that Viktor describes as "AMAZING. There's necklace, cuffs, bags, shoes..." Probably also belts, earrings, hair pieces...  You know, accessories!  And, he finishes with "Anything a girl would like" and then makes a hand motion around his neck that makes me think he has confused a girl with an octopus. No, Viktor, girls have boobs, not neck tentacles.  

Korto is still on her "Why the fuck am I here" rant.  She comments, "I got to go back to Africa, and design for their President as well as Vanessa Williams, Miss Universe, Estelle, Serena Lopez...Mama's not done, and yet I'm here?!!? Jesus fuck why did you guys bring me back here. Assholes."

So, 10 minutes in (and no commercials!), we're actually at the design...until Elena freaks out and has sweaty armpits. But, nobody gives a shit, really. "Drama, please?  Did you even see ToKen last season? You'll have to do better than having moist armpits." And, then we get to actually look at a bit of the design and tension. We get lots of shots of people cutting, and pinning, and expressing frustrations. Viktor zings us with "I'm about to turn into Elena," and is edit punctuated by Elena doing her best Gene Simmons impression. *zing!* And, NeckTat gives us this episode's next round of name droppings saying he used to design for Marilyn Manson. 

Zanna Roberts Rossi comes in and breathlessly explains that avant garde means "pushing boundraries, experimental, innovative, and super daring."  Take note. This is important. But, then Zanna speeds through everybody's critique. My favorite comment is to NeckTat, "You have a LOT of ideas." And, then to Korto, "This is pants and a jacket. How is this gonna win the challenge?"  And, she finished up with "this is really not avant garde enough. From all of you."  Note this. This is important.

Two people re-design based on Zanna's commentary. The first is Michael, who had gone completely Green, and decided to flip it and go into neutral grey with green highlights. The second is Melissa, who decided to second guess her whole outfit...but doesn't change anything?

Elena decides to lose it for the rest of the episode. Screaming, walking, crying, everything. She took the crazy challenge, and she kind of nails it without being all angry aggressive.  Somebody, give this woman a medal. We need more of her self-inflicted-psychosis high drama, and less of the angry at other people drama. I mean, she goes screaming through the sewing room, through the work room, crying the next day while finishing her dress.  It's an amazing performance, and she manages to do it without yelling at anybody. She even gets her model AND Viktor to help her finish her dress. Good job.

Fittings, product calling, etc. And, now runway. 

Special Guest judge #1: accessory designer Jennifer Meyer who turned Katie Holmes, Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston into loyal clients. Please note that at least Katie Holmes is wearing a necklace. That is the only visible accessory in the name dropping client picture collection.

Special Guest judge #2: Friend of the family, ANYA?!!?  NOOOOOOOO!  A shoo-in!!!  Remember how we said her season was rigged?  She's back to rub it in!  Fuck you!  *ahem*

And, remember how I pointed out the definitions of avant garde, well Alyssa Milano really hammers it home by saying, "we're looking for something really unique."

And, Show:

Seth Aaron: Fetish Maid at a goth bar's amateur fashion show.  *snooooooze*

Mychael: It's a cute grey neoprene dress with a cute shawl that has some interesting cuts to it that make it green. There's nothing strange about the dress. It's a little ultra-modern. 

CMG: An interesting brown dress with a bizarre neckline that is strangling his model. It looks somewhat cheap, but he did it with $250 and in one day. It at least is risky.

Korto: "I'm gonna make a biker outfit with more things attached."

NeckTat: It's like Rorschach decided to go on a bender and ended up with a lampshade on his head, only it was too big and ended on his shoulders.  It's strange, and it's avant garde evoking war imagery and violence. I love it and hate it, which means I think it is the most interesting piece so far.

Melissa: *snooooooze*

So, up until now, it's been amateur hour.  Everything has been kind of interesting, but ultimately really snoozy. Suddenly...the runway becomes a different show.

Viktor: An strange avant garde super hero gown that looks like it may have been a costume out of Batman and Robin. It's sort of Poison Ivy if she had been white and green instead of red and green. It definitely borders costume, but it is interesting.

Palu: It's high fashion from the 1990s vision of 2050. It's boxy and techy looking. It's interesting but expected.

Irina: Gothy avant garde that reflects the darkness of her soul. It's pointy, sharp, black, gothic with runway styling and dramatic, and everything that avant garde should be taken to a dark dark place. I love the fuck out of this look.

Elena: She makes an alien androgynous, edgy look that is hard and feminine and looks like its from a rock show.

And, then we get Alyssa being a sly little minx and calling people in 3s and 2s. First three names, then "you will be critiqued." Then two names and "you will be safe." Repeat. *wink* 

But, the judging goes weird. Irina, Elena, and Mychael are on the top. CMG, NeckTat, and Melissa are on the bottom.  The criticisms for NeckTat, in particular, are almost their own Rorschach test. Isaac thinks the woman should be able to drink a martini. Anya thinks it is a backup dancer look. Georgina says the lampshade looks clumsy (correct). Alyssa thinks that the hood was appropriate for the bedroom *cracks whip*.

And, they loved Mychael's conventionally unconventional look. They liked how it looked expensive. Mychael won, and CMG loses (based on his taste level).  Seriously?  Melissa's boring-ass look doesn't lose over CMG's cheap-looking insect dress?  And, this is where we are with judging...

Stray Observations
- Palu on NeckTat's concept: "It's a cool concept...............ish?"

- Moustache: "The model gets it. She gets the avant garde. She gets the strange." Who cares?

- Seth Aaron: "9 minutes." Elena: "Wow. *screams*" Title card: 4 hours remaining.

- CMG: "I have butterflies in my stomach." *psst, Daniel. Butterflies were last season. You didn't happen to eat their butterflies, did you?*

- Viktor: "It looks like it's from the planet Elenus." *Non-zing ZING!*

- Alyssa Milano: "Bye." How cold and impersonal compared to Heidi's "Auf Weiderschoen!" Have a heart, girl.