know the Emmys are thinking of inventing a 'Best
Reality Host' category?" asks my
Drew could get an Emmy then?" I ask.
"Yes," he says. But really we'd both
want it to be Heidi. She should always be dressed in
something like what she wore to the Oscars and either
giving or receiving some kind of award. At the beginning of
this episode she comes out dressed in a gun-metal
fabric accordion. It's good. And she's
already giving the final four a new challenge. Make a
collection for Fashion Week. The specifics: 12 looks, $8,000
budget, five months to put it together. That's
way longer than last season when they had only two
months to deal. But then the show's air schedule has
been all fucked up this year too, so I'm sure
that has something to do with it. Anyway, I'm
glad it's almost over. Not only has this season been
kind of dull, but I am stone-dead beaten down from
recapping both this and fucking American
Idol during the audition rounds. There is such a
thing as too much TV.
Christian and Jillian that they are guaranteed spots at
Fashion Week. They clasp hands and Christian makes a little
kissy-face at Jillian. Chris and Rami, on the other
hand, have to duke it out. Tim Gunn walks out onto the
runway to let the designers know that he will be
checking in with all of them during the coming months to
inspect their work. Heidi tells them all, finally,
that it's time to go to the roof of the Gotham
Apartments for a toast. "Come, Tim," she
flirts and walks off the runway in another direction,
tosses her head back to the designers and says,
"I'll see you there." As in,
"You're all being taken in grimy cabs. I
have a town car waiting for me. We were never
On the roof of
the building, they all sip champagne. Christian says, on
interview-cam: "[Long, excited humming noise]
I'msoexcited...to have won the last
challenge. I have a guaranteed 'in' to Fashion Week. How
'bout that? [snapping noise] Don't play
games. [head and neck tilt]
Cut to Jillian,
who says she has "her eyes on the prize. All I can
see is winning." And that could happen,
truthfully. It's really going to be about her
or Christian. And she could wind up stealing it from him.
Not like it matters all that much. This show's
track record for catapulting winners into some kind of
glittering fashion after-career is pretty weak so far,
not at all commensurate with the ink or ratings or amount of
fandom the show's inspired. American Idol,
with its failures and weirdnesses, has been more
reliable, frankly. Hell's Kitchen has
been more reliable.
3 1/2 months
and rainy and slushy and Tim Gunn is nestled in the warmth
of a Saturn. He stops at Christian's
25-square-foot apartment, where they double-cheek-kiss
each other, papa seeing his long-lost boy for the first
time in months.
Then we get to
see the tiny room where he sews and sleeps on the floor at
night. The mat that is his bed hangs from the door.
It's the sort of thing you don't mind so
much when you're 21, sleeping on floors. But that
shit gets old quickly after around age 25. That kid better
have a for-real bed by then.
Next comes a
montage of Christian growing up. He had Gay-Face even when
he was a baby. Then when he was still in diapers he went to
work for a salon. Then he entered first grade and
Alexander McQueen called him over to London to work
for him. Now, at 9, here he is on Project
Runway. So much so fast. Middle school is going to be a
drag after all this.
He shows Tim a
neck ruffle that's about the size of the room
they're both standing in. Tim's response
is to tell Christian that he needs to know when he
doesn't need something. To edit. Unless it's a
NECK RUFFLE MEANT TO COVER AN ENTIRE FACE, OF COURSE,
BECAUSE THAT IS AWESOME.
Next? Pants made
Then Tim Gunn
goes to Jillian's sterile little home. There are
Christmas decorations inside. Is she a Jew for Jesus?
Did I get her background completely wrong? They have
her all made up and in this cutesy little snowflake
sweater, like if Marisa Berenson were a suburban mom holding
out a plate of warm cookies.
Her collection is
all battle-gear for ladies. Apparently she took the
museum challenge very much to heart and built her collection
around the same theme. I can't say I hate it at
all. Tim tells her to rethink her palette but not much
else. Then they go to Long Island to meet her family.
Here's the previously unseen boyfriend,
there's some harsh lighting, there's an
overwrought gilt-y mirror frame, and there's some
more Christmas decorationing. So I was wrong the whole time,
I guess. No Hanukkah for this goyish crew.
haven't gotten from Jillian all season -- thanks for
nothing, editors -- is this cement-like belief she has
in herself. And now, at the last possible moment,
we're seeing it. She's got this steely drive
that sounds funny coming out of her
pretty-pretty-prettiness. Did they think we
wouldn't accept it from her? Did they not think it
was becoming for a sweet-faced PYT to be as internally
arrogant as Christian is allowed to be externally? I
mean, yes, his arrogance is more entertaining.
But it would have been, I don't know, INTERESTING
perhaps, if we'd been allowed to see this in
her before now.
Next up, Tim
visits Rami in Los Angeles. They show him living in some
apartment on Fountain. Or maybe they just show the street
sign to throw us off. Anyway, my building is off
Fountain, so that's kind of...meaningless,
yes I know. "Rami!" says Tim Gunn.
"Show Daddy those arms!"
Do I need to tell
you that I just invented that dialogue?
Anyway Tim sees
the apartment and a couple of friends -- and I'm
going to guess that the young handsome male part of
that pair is Rami's boyfriend -- and then we
see the "How I Grew Up" reel. Jerusalem, etc.
His mother was Miss Jordan. She died when he was 5.
Father remarried. Rami was shy about expressing his
fashion dreams to them. His brother caught him
sketching one day, ripped the notebook from him, and ran to
show to to the family. This backfired on the brother
when everyone decided Rami had talent.
collection is inspired by Joan of Arc. So here's
where all the fighting went this season, into the
final collections. Everyone wants to outfit The Woman
Warrior. Tim Gunn tells him to "pull back a
bit" and soften it up. They hug goodbye and
it's back to NYC to look at Chris's
collection. And who would have ever known what a
Bauhaus-listening necromancer this guy was at heart.
The shit has human hair all over it. Tim Gunn says,
"My gag reflex is kicking in."
Now, the running
belief among my circle of Runwaywatchers is that
Tim Gunn hasn't had sex since 1973. But that
doesn't mean I'm going to get all
Queer as Folk on you right now and go for the
cheap gag reflex joke. I just wanted you to know why I
didn't do it, is all.
somebody's been watching a lot of Tim Burton movies
in his five months away. Tim Gunn says looking at
Chris's clothes is like being in the monkey
house in the zoo. "You don't realize how much
it stinks because you're in it."
Then Chris takes
Tim Gunn to his friend Larry's crazily overdecorated
apartment. I live in fear of the day that I too lose my mind
and begin gluing little plastic Cleopatra busts all
over my ceiling. It's an affliction that seems
to strike single gay men who think of themselves as
iconoclastic and misunderstood by all the Normals of the
world. I think I saw this place in Nest
magazine once. Chris's "how I grew up"
reel is fairly sketchy on family information and he
calls his New York friends his family, instead. So
there's something going on there we're never
going to know about.
it's time to show the three-piece walkoff that will
determine who gets to show at Fashion Week, Chris or
there's no suspense because they both showed already.
So did Sweet P. It doesn't even matter that
they were "decoy" collections. They were
still collections. They still got to show. People in the
fashion industry still got to see what these folks
could really do. And that's why this show needs
to go back to its original way of doing things so that the
ending coincides with Fashion Week more closely.
Jillian are...rooming together? Is that it? They call a
fake gay truce but Jillian whispers to the camera that
while Christian "is fun...but he's
never been a really huge fan of mine, so this could turn out
Well, I hope so.
Enter Rami and
Chris and the four of them toast some Bud Lights, except
for Chris, who's drinking water. Rami wonders
who's going to wind up in the third bed. Oh,
OK, I get it now. They're all rooming together.
fitting, shoes from Bluefly.com etc. Jillian's
wearing a great knit hat with a giant flower on the
side. It looks like the giant ear Pee-wee Herman wears
in the "What?! WHAT?!" scene in
Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
Rami with his stuff. Christian helps Chris. We see model
butt on the camera. Not pixeled out. There's a butt.
Christian can't stop mocking Chris's
collection, so yeah, he's being no help at all.
Heidi comes out
in a jacket and big sparkly top over skin-tight black
leggings that look like they're made of plastic. Some
sky-high blue heels. As usual, she looks incredible.
1. Big blue coat
that's got giant window awning puffy shoulder flaps,
pleats down the arm that puff out near the wrist and a belt
and a giant collar and I think it inflates too.
It's the dumb version of all that overscaled
volume that's been going on lately. Black dress
tailored cocktail dress.
black ball gown that has weirdly padded hips.
1. Jacket of
something that appears to be black crushed velvet with human
hair trim. Skirt made of black chrome safety pins.
It's as if Louise Brooks's corpse
suddenly re-animated and popped upright in her mausoleum
and started doing the "Thriller" dance.
2. Sheer lacy
black and white top and human hair skirt.
3. The full-on
Morticia gown. So narrow the model can barely move in it.
is more fun: Chris
is more fashiony and saleable to anyone who isn't
Helena Bonham-Carter or Fairuza Balk: Rami
The judges think
Chris's stuff is too dark and wacky but Rami's
has proportion problems. They chat. Chris and Rami
come back to the runway. Heidi tells them both that
their looks were dark and overworked. Then she says
that Chris is very creative and Rami is refined.
Rami who goes to Fashion Week. Chris hugs him a little too
long. Discomfort. They walk back into the waiting area
where Christian and Jillian are waiting on a couch.
"So what's up, trannies?" asks
And there are
people who don't dig this kid?
we're pretending that it's Fashion Week right
now and everyone's wondering who showed and who
didn't, I'll leave you with an e-mail my
model pal Elyse sent me just for this recap, while Fashion
Week was actually going on:
these black silk long-underwear bottoms at REI and have been
wearing the hell out of them as leggings. Not Lohan-ish,
these are skintight and perfectly sheer with a little
ribbed cuff at the bottom to keep it interesting. So
that (with cutoff Calvin Kleins and ankle boots) is
what's going on below my waist right now. Above? Nude per
And PS the REI
leggings are totally warm; despite all the celadon afoot,
it's STILL FUCKING FEBRUARY, STORES. WE'RE COLD.
Meanwhile, at the
time of this writing, New York Fashion Week starts
tomorrow. Tenterhooks! Let us pray for Fall: less mustard,
more tartan. No more quilted or gathered-n-elasticized
(as on the cuff of a boot) leather. May Marc not be on
glue. Oh, and let's not put a bunch of sequins and
beads all over shit 'cause it's going to itch if I have to
she's on the money about everything. Which means that
even America's Next Top Model is more
reliable than this show.