Arts & Entertainment
This week's Project Runway = ruined sewing machines + hetero male rage + ugly pockets for Twiggy
August 11 2006 12:00 AM EST
November 17 2015 5:28 AM EST
Awesome clothes are like an eye-popping piece of modern art or a great pop song or a snow cone that turns your teeth and tongue a nice shade of blue. I dig fashion because I want to see things that blow my mind. Like the time Alexander McQueen sent a model in a white dress down the runway and then turned paint jets on her while she rotated on a platform, turning her into instant graffiti. And while I've dug some of the outfits I've seen so far this season, none of this batch of Project Runway designers are freaking me out with that type of awesome stuff yet.
Here's what is:
- On Conan O'Brien the other night Kim Gordon was wearing a white belted minidress covered in green sparkly stalactites. Sonic Youth performed, and she sang in that way that she does and did some cheerleader-jumping jack moves. She is one of the most stylish women in the United States.
- Linda Evangelista on the cover of the August Vogue, airbrushed into infinity and beyond. Thanks for the weirdness, Anna Wintour.
- Yoko Ono, photographed in her own cutoff jeans, in the same issue of Vogue. If they had balls at that magazine, they'd have put her on the cover.
We begin our Atlas New York morning listening to Jeffrey Christ whining again about not winning yet another challenge. Cut to Michael Knight With No Talking Car also bemoaning his lack of challenge wins. Somehow it plays better coming from him. Robert Gay Arms says, "After the runway show for Macy's, myself and Bonnie were in the bottom two." If you didn't see it then you should know he pronounces that word like "tew-w-w." But that's not my beef with Gay Arms. I want to preface my beef by saying that in spite of his clothes not being the most thrilling of the lot, he seems like a really good guy, and I liked it when he sassed Laura Glamour Mom a couple of weeks ago.
Now the beef: "Myself" is not and can never be the subject of a sentence. For example: "Myself am going to McDonald's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner today." "Myself am depressed today over myself's recent bout of exhaustion, that angry open letter from the producers of myself's latest film accusing myself of tons of evil lies about being a bad person, and the fact that myself now have to be photographed at hot nightclubs holding a bottle of water as penance." "Myself am the decider of all American foreign policy decisions." See how the preceding three sentences are all stupid and fucked?
Anyway, it's time for Heidi to announce the challenge. But first she brings out the models and allows them to choose the designer they want to work with instead of the other way round. Immediate doom drum noise, and cut to Angela the Yves Saint Laurent Copier going slack-jawed with amazement. She does this a lot. She's not only an Yves Saint Laurent copier; she's now an Andrae Copier too.
Poor models. Their elimination this week is even more out of their hands. It's literally the unluck of the draw. Which means that foxy Katia, the only model whose name I even knew, gets shown the door alongside some other girl who has a cold sore on her bottom lip.
The challenge is to modernize the look of a fashion icon. There are photos of 10 different fashion icons in the workroom. The models will choose the icon for their chosen designer.
Tim oversees the selection process in which the models go all Lord of the Flies on each other, grabbing the photo they want. I enjoy seeing this sort of frenzy on television. It should be its own show. Like there would be one cigarette in a chic white-on-white room, and 10 models go in, but only one comes out smoking.
Here are the icons and the designers chosen for them:
- Audrey Hepburn + Angela: Angela jumps up and down spastically with her model. Cut to her saying she peed her pants. That's probably her design idea for the outfit too, a rosette-shaped pleather bladder attached to the belt loop of a pair of Funny Face-era black capris. Then she secretly dials Keith Michael on her cell phone and asks him to look up the correct pronunciation of the name Givenchy in one of his banned textbooks.
- Pam Grier + Michael: Only he calls her Pam "Mother F-wording" Grier. He is happy deep down in his L Word-loving soul.
- Jackie Onassis + Robert: His model screams "I fought!" and after correcting her usage and saying, "Um, it's 'myself fought,' honey," Robert announces that Jackie O. is perfect. But how do you get the old-money look down with a $150 budget at Mood? Myself worry for Gay Arms.
- Madonna + Jeffrey: How to modernize a person who has devoted every spare second she has to turning herself into a hard-muscled, self-crucifying, futuristic yoga cyborg that writes preachy children's books and wants to irritate the planet with kabbalah wisdom until it belches up a perfect pearl for her? The picture they give Jeffrey is adorable, though. The Ciccone Youth in 1984, all baby-fatted and body-odored and content to bang Jellybean Benitez and all the Latino bar backs at Paradise Garage. Jeffrey takes his model slugfest photo procurement as a sign from the universe that It wants him to "fucking win."
- Marilyn Monroe + Kayne the Flaming Lisp: He's happy. He says, "Loveit-loveit-loveit." All fast just like that.
- Diana Ross + Uli, Heidi's German Pet: Uli has deeper knowledge of life than most people, so she's very happy to have Diana Ross. There is no other explanation for her pleased reaction to getting this photo. Do we think of Miss Ross as a fashion icon? Was that decided somewhere along the way, and I missed out on the election? Because I stood three feet away from the Death of Florence Ballard at Fred Segal one day, and she was wearing a frumpy men's suit, and she looked less than supreme. Probably Yohji Yamamoto from 1986, but still, she wore it like a shop teacher out for a night on the town at Sizzler.
- Katherine Hepburn + Laura Glamour Mom: A near-perfect fit for the lady who just happened to bring jodhpurs along with her for the duration of the season.
- Farrah Fawcett + Alison Supernice Supercute: I don't get it, and neither does Alison. What's Farrah famous for, fashionwise, besides a big swooping lioness mane of hair she didn't create herself (I know this because I once interviewed the female hairstylist who created that hairstyle for Ms. Fawcett-Majors way back in the day), a red swimsuit, perky nipples, and subsequent trips to too many hack-job cosmetic surgeons?
- Twiggy + Corky [Vincent]: "Gia [the clearly deranged model who chose to work with him] picked Twiggy because of what I could do with it." What, destroy it?
- Cher + Bradley Squid With No Ocean: "I don't know shit about Cher," says Bradley. "Maybe I should start paying attention to celebrities more." Dude, just come to my neighborhood. You'll learn everything you need to know. Seriously, I live in West Hollywood, Calif. Cher is President of here. I feel doom approaching on dirty hippie feet. I take a poll in my home and it's decided that we want to adopt Bradley. He's made some cool outfits and some crazy-as-shit awful outfits. He may very well be here as some elaborate art prank being played on Bravo. That would be awesome. But even if he's not, he brings a Shaggy and Scooby vibe to the place that I can't deny enjoying.
They go shopping at Mood. Robert is trying to find the right thing to combat his reputation as "boring," for which he says, "Thanks, Heidi." It was Nina Garcia who kept saying "boring" last week, but you know how it is when you're a gay. All women look alike to you.
Cut to Wayland Flowers and Madame saying, "I. Feel. So. Excited. About my dress for Marilyn Monroe!" Except that Wayland Flowers is dead, and Madame is buried alive next to him, and it was Kayne who said that just now. "I kind of wanted a Marilyn Monroe-meets-Gwen Stefani, their love child kind of thing." His eyes are bulging with gay retina superrays of "wow." When I see the amount of gay that Kayne is, I wonder if there are instances in public medical records of gays actually exploding from the concentrated amount of supergayness inside them, like spontaneous gay-bustion. Don't get me wrong; I'm in favor of Kayne's heavily concentrated supergayness. I'm not one of those masculinity fetishists. But it's pretty intense, the Kayne Supergayness. You know it is.
Then we learn that Kayne is using black fabric this week. Just last week he associated his Southern heritage with color, color and more color. Why have you turned your back on the South, Kayne? Why? Where will other states get their red from? He already took all the orange that didn't belong to Michael Kors. He's a color hoarder, that Kayne.
Corky talks about his lunatic idea for a bell-like sleeve on his Twiggy dress. He emphasizes the word sleeve. No reason. He doesn't need a reason for being mental and a horrible designer.
Time for a fight: Bradley's sewing machine is messed up, so he's using Alison's. Alison's too supernice and supercute to complain about it. But it's Angela's fault the machine is messed up, so Bradley tells Angela to fix it. She says the machine just messed up by itself. Enter Jeffrey, who can tell one woman from another, unlike Robert, but who seemingly dislikes all the ones he's not sexually attracted to. And he already hates Angela because...I don't know...I kind of hate her too. Anyway he wants to start shit so he does. Cut to him saying, "Angela and these inexperienced assholes ruin it for those of us who know what we're doing." Be that as it may, he's still a misogynist and begins to shout it out with Angela. When Laura gets involved for no good reason other than the mysterious lady power of right-on sisterhood and says to Jeffrey, "You're so fucking successful, and you know so much what are you doing here, Jeff?" He gets all crazy on her too. Cut to him quacking like a duck. He quacks approximately 20 times in a row. It goes pretty quickly, and I try to rewind TiVo to count it out precisely, but I can't do it. Then he says, about Laura, "I wish that fucking bitch would have a stroke."
Commercial time: It's for that show about Jackie lesbian personal trainer and her spiky hair and incredible collection of abdominal muscles. The dykes that I know love this woman. They should call the show Lezzies Love Cool J. They show a clip of a guy stuffing his pants and saying, "Now I'm Jackie." That's a good one.
And now that same Saturn commercial with Tim Gunn vrooming off to the Cloisters. Dear Tim, please take me somewhere new next week. I'm already bored by the Cloisters.
Back to the show: Michael, emerging as both a personality and a gentleman, say "Everybody trying to gang up on her [Angela] just for thrills and giggles. That's just not cool."
Oh, dang, he's right. Angela is simply irritating and a designer I can't respect. It's not like she's bat-shit insane like Corky or slimy and self-absorbed like Keith Michael or a He-man Woman-hater like Jeffrey. She's just uncool and also a possible sewing-machine ruiner. But then so am I. When I was in middle school all the boys were forced to take home economics and all the girls were forced to take wood shop. So I had to learn to sew in home ec, and I almost destroyed the machine and never touched one again after that. So Angela and I have more in common than I wanted to admit until just now. But I'm a big enough man to know when I've been wrong.
Michael continues, "I'm not trying to play Captain Save-a-ho, as we say in the hood." Here's what's so incredibly, mind-blowingly perfect about that line: It proves that he may not merely have a personality that hasn't been seen on camera yet; it also proves that he's borderline magical, accomplishing the very high-wire move of calling a woman a "ho" and still coming off as gallant, while simultaneously forcing the hand of Jeffrey, making him shut up as much as Jeffrey is ever willing to shut up and throwing into stark relief what a dick Jeffrey can be.
Here comes a second instance of You Will All Now Shift Whatever Allegiances You Previously Held and Love Michael Knight: He calls his mom, tells a story of how supportive his parents are, shows the camera his jacked up teeth. Jacked up teeth are nice--they make a person loveable. (See: Elliot Yamin from last season's American Idol as definitive proof).
Fifteen minutes until the end of day one, Corky has changed pendants around his neck--he seems to have a whole jewelry box full--and discarded all of his dull beige linen, dumping it on Robert. I think this is his way of sabotaging Robert, like, "Here you go, Gay. Make something bland out of this and get kicked off."
Cut to Atlas. Shirtless Jeffrey is still mad at Laura for coming down on him for coming down on Angela. "She is so mean and frigid and weird," he says. And strike 2 for Jeffrey H. Christ. "Frigid" is such a code word for lady haters. It really is. You might as well take out a billboard announcing your inability to get it up. Also, Jeffrey, she has five kids. She can't be that frigid. She's done it at least five times. I mean, yeah, she probably didn't let her baby-daddy(s) touch her hair or wrinkle her outfits while conceiving the fetuses, but that's not the same as frigid.
Kayne enters the room, puts black sheer mesh fabric on his head, and impersonates Sean Hayes impersonating Cher. "On the nose" is an expression Kayne has most likely never heard before. Kayne also has what is either a pink or red hanky in his right back pocket of his jeans. I don't know what pink means, but I do know what red is about, and I just had an awful image sear itself into my mind, maybe forever.
The designers talk a lot of crud about their icons and the outfits they're making, none of it particularly interesting to recount here. Corky makes fun of the aluminum balloon top Bradley is making for Cher. He says, "I want one for myself."
Tim brings in the models early to have a little check-in moment with them. Michael tries his dress on his model and doesn't like what he sees, so he fixes some stuff. Bradley's model doesn't fit into his pants and now there's a camel-toe situation going on. Kayne's model won't stop talking about ice cream and iPods and her hair color. At least she doesn't do Cher impressions.
Next, the models and designers have consultations with a majorly plucked-eyebrow guy from TRESemme. Then it's time for Tim Gunn inspection. Robert's outfit is "incredibly plain." Tim loves Kayne's outfit and tells him that his idea for a ruffle in front would "take away some of the severity." Michael wants to change his skirt to hot pants. Tim says, "I hate hot pants, but they're really now." Of Bradley's top: "It looks almost like armor, like the tin woodsman in Wizard of Oz. I'm concerned. You've got to pull this look together."
Commercial time: You get to pick who's right in the big fight of Angela, Jeffrey, and Laura. Obviously it's Laura. Angela is a dope, and Jeffrey is a dick. Mommy knows best. When the commercial's over you get to hear Heidi's perfectly bananas cracked-out Pillsbury Doughboy maniac laugh again. My friend Aaron, the one who owns the Assume Vivid Astro Focus wallet, says, "That's the noise she makes when Seal puts a baby in her." I can't make TiVo rewind over this laugh moment enough times. It's like scratching a never-ending itch. It feels so good that you just keep scratching it until it's all red and maybe infected. I'm very serious about getting this as a ring tone. I will make it happen.
Heidi's outfit is incredible, like she just popped off the Muse wall in Xanadu to ELO's "I'm Alive." Michael Kors is back and seems to have dialed back the orange from 11 to 9. Nina is here, as usual. And the awesome Diane Von Furstenberg.
- Alison-Farrah = Sheer flouncy skirt and plunging V-neck top. It's fine but not making me excited like some of her earlier designs.
- Bradley-Cher = Oh, man. Awful baggy metal top and ill-fitting fringey pants. He's been watching the dystopian disco-futurist rock musical The Apple too much. There should be a BIM mark on the model's forehead.
- Angela-Audrey = Holy cow, I don't hate this. Well, I hate the big rosette on the side. But the top is all wrinkly and foldy and cool.
- Kayne-Marilyn = It's Marilyn of the future, finally exerting power over Joe Dimaggio and making him beg for it in a black sheer thing with leather bits, all S&M. Now I understand that red hanky in the back pocket.
- Laura-Kate = High-waisted full-legged pants and big-collared top with a long string of pearls. Like if Hepburn ran a gallery.
- Corky-Twiggy = The weird bell sleeves are the least of this outfit's problems. It's like he ran out of fabric and patched some things together, then added pockets, and told the L'Oreal Paris person to make the model look like she's about to run off to a Cats audition. Do his abominations never end? Will the judges finally send him packing like he deserves?
- Michael-Pam = Yow! Pink hot pants, giant afro, tits up. The winner, no doubt. They've been editing him in a lot this week, so he's either the winner or the surprise loser.
- Robert-Jackie = Not exciting at all. Beige linen jacket and blouse--thanks, Corky--and frilly top. It's nice and well-made except for the freaky bit of rope as a belt. But it's not old-money and mournful enough to be Jackie O-ish.
- Uli-Diana = Uli knows how to taunt the judges with wild fabrics. She's really good and has nailed Diana Ross in Las Vegas in 1981, purple and wild leopard, singing "Muscles."
- Jeffrey-Madonna = I'm glad his outfit sucks this week because I'm hating him too much to have him throw me for a loop with clothes I actually like. He's gone back to retro Madonna and made a corset-breastplate made from Hefty bags, brown wrapping paper, fishhooks, and red duct tape. I know, it sounds kind of rad from here. But it's a look Madonna's already done and discarded.
Safe = Alison, Laura, Uli, Jeffrey
Everyone likes Kayne's outfit. Heidi thinks it's "perfect." Nina likes the presentation.
No one likes Corky's. Surprise. He talks about Twiggy in the past tense like she's dead. Diane Von Furstenberg pulls a face that I'm not sure I can do justice to, but if a face could grow 15-foot legs and kick someone in the teeth, I believe hers would do it to Corky right now. She sighs and rocks her head back and forth and says, "Well, first of all, Twiggy is still alive [and appearing on another, less exciting show that's been completely bulldozed over by Cover Girl cosmetics and that also doesn't provide its writers with health insurance], so let's talk about her in present tense."
Michael Kors calls Corky's pockets "insane." DVF is so offended by the grossness of the outfit she's squinting to avoid having to look at it. She's also at a loss for words over how to express her contempt. Nina says, "I don't see Twiggy, I'm sorry to say."
Everyone loves Michael. OK, so he's winning.
Bradley takes a beating. Heidi tells him it looks like an old Halloween costume, and that's the nicest thing anyone says. It's a Reynold's Wrap moment of sad. "But it would be great being friends with my wallet," says Aaron. This is true.
Angela gets out alive. They like her dress. Nina even compliments her on her signature flowered-up shit, and Angela has now taken to calling her ubiquitous fabric flowers "fleurchons." Maybe that's what they call them at Jubilee Jumbles. Heidi wants one in every color.
Robert takes a similar beating to Bradley and Corky. He doesn't deserve it. It's not interesting, but it's not death-dealing either.
Nina: "I am never bored with Kayne."
DVF: "[Michael's] whole thing was perfection."
Nina: "I think Vincent has a problem with his presentation." Cut to DVF nodding somberly, finger pulling back an elastic cheek.
Heidi: "[Bradley's outfit] looked so cheap."
Commercial time: Jeffrey wins the text-message vote with 47% of the vote versus Laura with 41%. Those dumb voters are all wrong, of course. Applause and woo-hooing from the ad's soundtrack. Still dig that, though.
Who's In: Angela
Winner = Michael. He does a goofy little finger-pointy dance on the runway. Nina laughs.
Who's Also In: Kayne and...Corky?
OK, that's it. The fix is in somewhere. The man is going to have to chop someone's head off and set it on fire on the runway before they get rid of his inept ass. Yes, Robert's outfit was dull, and Bradley is all spaced out, but they are at least both capable of doing much, much better. It's clear the man was chosen for his bizarre personality and not for his design skills.
Bradley is out. Gay Arms gots to get with it next week. Bradley's parting quote: "This is serious fashion, serious high fashion going on. And I made a Tinker Toy." And then he made the Tinker Toy into a hookah.