Before we talk
about Project Runway, you should know that I
didn't watch the final cut on actual TV on Wednesday.
I'm a totally important cultural critic now, and I
got an advance rough cut DVD, so if I mention stuff
that you didn't see, then it's because of
that. It probably got cut.
I also think
it's really important that you know how much actual
fashion credibility I have. That would be none. I am
currently wearing the following items:
- 1 pair of seven-year-old Doc Martens, paint
splattered and nearly destroyed. Two holes in
the sides of the right boot.
- 1 pair of Levi's shrink-to-fit 501s.
Shredded hem on the left leg.
- 1 pair of gray Fruit-of-the-Loom boxer briefs.
- 1 black T-shirt repping the metal band High on
Fire. The logo is of a Viking guy with a giant
ax. Soon he will chop off your head.
But I have
opinions about clothes. Most menswear is boring, so
women's is where it's at if
you're talking about things being rad to look at.
Here are some things that are rad:
1. Viktor &
Rolf's pink-and-orange ribbon-patterned silk scarves
that I saw online this morning at Papermag.com. If I
were a fancy lady instead of a 265-pound man,
I'd wrap one around my head. I might still wrap one
around my head.
2. My friend
Aaron's new wallet from Assume Vivid Astro Focus for
LeSportsac because it's crazy shiny and retarded.
midnight-blue-satin vinyl rose sandals from Roger Vivier on
the back page of July's Vogue because
they have giant red plastic flowers on them. And
because they're $1,495, a silly, silly amount
of money for a pair of shoes.
As it stands now,
Project Runway is the most gay-intensive
program on TV in terms of actual homosexuals featured per
square inch of screen, not counting the Isaac Mizrahi show.
There's only one of him there, even if he
counts as four. You still get more practical faggotry
on Runway. And unlike American Idol, which is
really all about packaging a star, Runway is
about grown-ups with a talent for creating something.
So let's talk shit about the new contestants
from the first half of the two-hour season opener.
much like those for American Idol, are
seam-busting with out-of-control lunatics and drama queens.
They bring back season 2 people like boring Chloe, who
somehow won that shit, the extravagantly obnoxious and
yet still awesome Santino, who's seen
throat-groaning like a Gyuto monk and wearing a T-shirt with
his own face on it (I want one of those too. My face
is sculptural and would look great silk-screened), and
Jay McCarroll, the season 1 winner who's lost
weight. He still looks OK, though. Then there's
Austin Scarlett, flouncier than ever with his
YSL-babies glasses, designing wedding gowns for
The ones that got
Bradley Baumkirchner--he's got the best
sketches. They remind me of Amy Davis's (see her
stuff at www.amydavis.com because I like her a
lot) and his clothes look at least as cool as the guitar
straps from Built by Wendy, and that's really
the standard, I think. If your shit can't look
as awesome as the BBW guitar straps, then you can get out of
my face with your dumb clothes.
Robert Best--makes outfits for Barbie, so I
automatically dislike him. That shit's boring. And
he's got Gay Arm. Two of them.
Laura Bennett--automatically makes you think
of Wendy Pepper from season 1, except she seems not stupid.
But then again, check out the new improved Wendy
Pepper. Divorced, new hair, slimmed down, and
unfrumped. Probably still a pain in the ass, though. As
for Laura, she seems like the kind of glamour-mom who reads D.V. for inspiration on the toilet.
Malan Breton (above)--a bitch. Full of
himself. Possibly fake British accent. The kind of
homo--well, I mean, if he's not a fag,
then we're all living in Crazy Backwards
Land--who won't even go to Beige a lot
because he thinks he's A+ list instead of just
plain old A, you can just tell. Snooty, awful, and
mean-faced. So he should stick around for a long time
because I like my gays to be evil.
Bonnie Dominguez--best quote: "I got to
work with Serena Williams designing her tennis
outfits, which was always an interesting
Now see if you
can fill in the blank with what she says next:
(a) Because she
fancies herself a bit of a designer, so I always had to
make it seem like my ideas were her ideas.
(b) Because Venus
paid me to make Serena's clothes look ridiculous.
(c) Because she
had a penis.
The true answer
is (a), but...
Stacey Estrella--seems too nice and normal to
make an impression. Her design philosophy is like Al
Gore's global warming Powerpoint presentation.
She says her four c's are "courage,
creativity, cash and celebrity." And she just met
Michael Kors, who has always struck me as the fifth.
Malan is the sixth.
Katherine Gerdes--snowboarding shortie with
junk in the trunk. Likes things with hoods and boots and
stuff that's shredded. I like things that are
shredded too, so I'm glad they let her in.
Kayne Gillaspie--hails from Norman, Okla.,
home of the Flaming Lips. He makes beauty-pageant and prom
gowns and, I just bet you, those gross dresses for
JonBenet contests too, even though he didn't
cop to it. He's the Flaming Lisp.
Uli Herzner--Heidi Klum practically pees on
the floor when she finds out this chick is from Germany.
Also she's less pretty than Heidi, so that
means Heidi can be friends with her. It's like
the time I ran into Britney Spears in Fred Segal back before
she'd lost control of her life. She was with
this less-cute friend. That's how it always
Alison Kelly--Michael Kors says,
"She's supercute." Tim Gunn says,
"She's also supernice." Kors responds,
"She's cute and nice?" No, Kors,
supercute and supernice. Pay attention to the
Angela Keslar--"I make clothes that
people mistake for Yves Saint Laurent." and she
says "Laurent" like the way actual
French people say it, but that still sounds pretentious when
anyone from this country tries it. She also makes sure to
say it a couple of times for the camera. She thinks
because the dress is black that that means it's
just like an Yves Saint Laurent. By the way, have you
watched the documentary called Yves Saint Laurent 5
avenue Marceau 75116 Paris? You should because
it's pretty awesome, and it pops up on Sundance
Channel from time to time. Anyway, then Angela goes,
"I make clothes like other women make babies."
Does that mean she makes babies that look like Yves
Saint Laurent too?
Michael Knight--the first African-American
male contestant. You could tell the judges weren't
100% into his dresses because they look like every
other party girl outfit you see on useless pop singers
like Ashanti. But then you know the producers were like,
"Uh...we've never had a black guy on the show.
Send him through." He comes off like a down-low
thug, all hip-hop but still vague in the boom-boom
department. And no talking car, which is a bummer.
Vincent Libretti--seems certifiably insane.
Cashed in his 401k to live his dream. I can't respect
people who do things like that. What about your
retirement, doofus? You're going to be one of
the cat-food people if you don't watch it. Was in
fashion for a while, got burned out, now he's
back, sort of like season 1 and 2's Daniel
Franco. This time it's going to work!
Keith Michael (above)--gave Michael Kors a
boner the second he walked in the door. Gave Elle
fashion editor Joann Pailey a chance to do her Anna
Wintour impersonation. But back to Michael Kors. You
couldn't tell he had the boner because he was
sitting down behind a table. Yet my fondest hope is
that if anyone's going to get any action with the
contestants, it's Tim Gunn because I think
he's the coolest dude on television after
Lauren Graham. Keith says "me and him" as the
subject of a sentence. Get out, dope!
Jeffery Sebelia--his clothes remind me of Rick
Owens but not as sophisticated. My partner hates his neck
tattoos. He looks like he might smell. Michael Kors
thinks so too. Michael Kors is good at giving that
expression, the "I smell B.O." mug.
It's also often simply called Gay Face and is
frequently, but not always, accompanied by Gay Arms.
OK, that was just
the preshow to the first episode. Now comes the work.
season's winners get a spread in Elle, a
mentorship with I-N-C, or International Concepts, whatever
the hell that is, some new car, and a $100,000 prize
to start their own line. Thank God they don't
have to work for stupid boring Banana Republic anymore.
We see everyone
moving into their fancy apartments. Malan kicks it off by
talking that feng shui shit about the fake flowers in the
apartment. Look, man, if fake flowers are good enough
for my favorite taco place, Los Tacos, located between
the Laundromat and the 7-11 in my neighborhood, then
it's good enough for everyone, including your bitch
ass. I haven't seen your designs yet, but they have
to be as good as the carnitas from that place,
comes from the "ATL," which is what white
people in Georgia--a state that still sports a
little Confederate flag-junior symbol on their
big state flag--love for Atlanta to be called. Unless
they're Bubba Sparxxx. He's antislang.
Kayne the Flaming
Lisp with the pageant business says that he's here to
prove that anyone from anywhere can make it in fashion. He
walks into the apartment and says, "This
rocks," in what may be the least-rocking
pronunciation of the word ever uttered on national
television. I'd write it the way he said it,
but there is no way to spell out a grasping yet
failing desire for dudeness.
Tattooed Neckster has designed clothes for Marilyn Manson,
but in his own life prefers hoodies that make it look like a
big bird took a sweats-gray dump on his head. Then he
joy-buzzers his roommates. I hate that on principle,
but he just did it to Vincent, so I don't mind
talks about Serena Williams again. So far the women are
just sitting around making nicey-nice, somewhat awkwardly
polite smiles at each other. Then it's time for
Heidi Mail. They're all instructed to go up to
the roof, where they meet Heidi and Tim Gunn. Heidi says
that they are all on top of Atlas New York, Gotham
City's luxury apartment building. I just
emphasize that because it's product placement.
So far we've just seen the sponsors on the audition
wall behind everyone's heads. But if the
boringification of America's Next Top Model
taught us anything it's that no sponsor, no
matter how lame, can't be wedged into the dialogue of
the show. Please-please-please don't let Cover Girl
anywhere near this program, is all I'm saying.
Then she makes them drink Moet champagne.
Second-chance Guy lays down his rap about his tormented
fashion history and how it almost killed him. He loves to
talk and to laugh and laugh and laugh. He's
gung ho with a possibly suicidal edge. He is Corky
from Waiting for Guffman.
Robert Gay Arms
used to work for Isaac Mizrahi and says it was the best
and worst experience of his life. Then his comments,
whatever they were, are cut. No dirt on Isaac.
around for the first challenge. They are to use
materials found in their apartment, to rip that shit up,
tear the place to pieces finding things to make a
dress. Cut to Jeffrey the Tattooed Neck. I pause my
laptop to see what it says on his neck: I can read the
Detroit tattooed on their neck?
But at least he
seems enthusiastic about the prospect of ruining the
Atlas New York apartment, which you have to
admire in that Johnny Rotten "Get pissed!
Destroy" kind of way.
Malan the Evil
Gay says, "I myself prefer better quality
fabrics." He's irritated. I'm
glad. Bradley with the funny sketches grabs Robert Gay
Arms's pillowcase and rips it off the pillow. Robert
Gay Arms pouts because it was his pillow. As in, he
carries his own pillow from place to place with him
wherever he goes. I can understand that. I'm the
Princess and the Pea when I travel too. But
here's what I don't get: Why is your
pillow so yellow and gross, Gay Arms? That's
not emphasized because it's product placement.
No one would buy a yellowed used pillow. It's
just emphasized because it's frigging nasty.
Laura the Glamour
Mom is seen gently folding her finds and placing them
into a bag. I like this kind of dignity. Everyone else is
chewing fabric off the couch with their teeth.
With No Talking Car is going to use coffee filters to make
his dress. I'm happy about this. Tim explains that
they have only a few hours and to "make it
work," which has turned into his catchphrase in
just two seasons on the air. I think they already sell
T-shirts with that expression on it. Contrast this to
Randy Jackson's constant test-marketing of
freshly stupid things to say on American Idol;
Tim's genius is being organic.
Kayne the Flaming
Lisp is not used to working with rubber bath mats. He
prefers to make rhinestone thongs for 15-year-old girls so
they can win the Miss Tenth-grade Bulimia Pageant.
Also he wears puka shells around his neck and
has a T-shirt on that says, "I'm really
excited to be here."
Second-chance Guy's dress--OK, I'm just
going to call him Corky from now on because
it's fewer words--is the worst dress in the
history of all dresses. The show knows this and hammers the
point home many times. But it's true. If Heidi
doesn't tell him that he's out at the
end of this episode, it's because he's going
to make good disaster-level TV in the upcoming weeks.
The pockets alone look like he bought that Todd Oldham
book on how to make cute things in your house with Styrofoam
cups, I forget the title of it, but who cares; and
then he never opened it, just admired the cover and
started turning "Kiss the Cook" potholders
into wedding gowns. He puts chains on a basket. This will be
a hat. Tim looks concerned. Corky goes,
"It's working!" Cut to Angela the Yves
Saint Laurent Copier rolling her eyes.
Keith Michael the
Pretty One That Michael Kors and Tim Are Going to
Totally Fight Over is making his first dress, and
it's boring. But it does drape beautifully. So
he'll go through.
Time for the
model fittings. Laura Glamour Mom is listening to Malan the
Evil Gay try to slither his way onto her good side.
She's not having his shit. Tim comes in to tell
them it's time to take their models in to the
L'Oreal Paris Makeup Room, the Tresemme
Hair Salon, and use the Macy's Accessories
Wall "as well as you can." Was that a
diss, Tim? I hope so.
model looks dismayed to be wearing his piece-of-shit dress.
She has reason to look this way. Then he says,
"We're making this work, and I'm
a happy camper." This may be a record in hating
someone on a reality TV show, but I just decided I
want someone to throw him from the roof of Atlas
New York. Stacey's dress is screwed up and
too sheer, which equals vagina-on-parade. So she makes
sheer boxer briefs for her model. Once upon a time,
Stacey, way back in the day during the Bruce years,
Demi Moore wore biking shorts on the red carpet with a
skirt. And she hasn't lived it down yet. You
have just begun a heated competition with Corky to get
your ass ejected with an Auf Wiedersehen.
Tresemme people cut and blow dry and comb and stuff.
Then they all practice walking in front of the
Macy's Accessories Wall.
Time for the
runway show. The prizes are announced again, only this time
they throw in the nice one: a year of representation with
Designers Management Agency. The judges are Michael
Kors; Nina Garcia, fashion director of Elle
magazine; and Kate Spade. Before my mom had a stroke
she used to love Kate Spade's preppy little purses
and would carry around these little feminine lady
cigars in them. Gross, I know, and it probably helped
her have the stroke. But still, she carried them in
bouncy little bags, so it made them seem cute and Laura
Mom's dress has a lot of fake fur and looks like
something out of Palm Beach
Bradley of the
Cool Sketches used a comforter and it turns out OK.
Michael Kors smells something.
Keith Michael the
Pretty One That Michael Kors and Tim Are Going to
Totally Fight Over's dress looks like a normal dress
you could actually buy, which puts me to sleep, but
you can see Kors thinking, "Ooh, he's
pretty, and he can make boring clothes like the ones I make.
I could hire him and go on vacation."
Malan the Evil
Gay thinks his outfit might be misunderstood because
it's such art. Fuck off, Malan.
Snowboarder makes something with a hood. Of course.
With No Talking Car turns coffee filters conventional and
shapeless. How's that going to go over in the ATL?
gives the biggest "I smell it really badly"
face I've seen since this show started two
seasons ago when--when else?--Corky's
disaster frock frumps down the walk.
Supernice-supercute goes mini with lots of beads. Not awful.
avoids Vagina-on-Parade, but you can see the little
shorts, and they might as well be made of flashing
I like Jeffrey
Neck Tattoos's dress and cape, but it's a lot
of things all at once, and the judges will hate it.
Safe = Alison,
Bradley, Angela, Kayne, Malan, Bonnie, Katherine, Michael,
The six best and
worst are left.
Glamour Mom's piece "chic and
wearable." Heidi is being too nice to Corky and
wants to see the piece without the hat. Like that's
going to matter. Nina Garcia, who hates everything, grills
him. Everyone loves Keith's dress, even the
women. Nina praises his buttons. His buttons.
Calls them "adorable" and makes a sex face.
He's a finalist if he doesn't become a
slacker or a jerk. Kate Spade is too nice to have an
opinion about anything that the camera decides to use, but
she calls Stacey's piece "messy."
Kors hates the fit. Heidi hates the naughty boxer
confer. They love Keith Michael the Pretty One That Michael
Kors and Tim Are Going to Totally Fight Over and Robert Gay
Arms. Cut to Robert Gay Arms unbuttoning his shirt.
They love Laura Glamour Mom. Corky's piece is
roundly despised but fascinating in its awfulness.
Jeffrey Neck Tattoos is disliked and compared
to--ew--Santino. Kate Spade especially
cannot see Mary Tyler Moore, circa 1965, in anything by him.
She doesn't say that. But have you ever seen Kate
Stacey is out.
Keith Michael the Pretty One That Michael Kors and Tim Are
Going to Totally Fight Over is the winner of the challenge.
That means at least one more week of Corky craziness.