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The Mysterious Power of Green Suede 

The Mysterious Power of Green Suede 


The guy who hates to say "I" hypnotizes Natalie Portman. Does that make him Darth Vader now?

So it turns out I'm wrong about everything, according to folks commenting on last week's recap. I should call my husband/partner/whatever my "husband" and stop trying to be clever about it. I should stop telling men to give up wearing shorts. And I should not suggest that Iowa is regressive. In my defense, I was too lazy to look up the fact that apparently there's some kind of gay marriage test case going on there right now. Anyway, thank you, comment-leaving person. Go, Iowa! Get gayer!

As for the shorts, I confess that I own one pair. OK, two. One pair are these Adidas running shorts made of this really thin tech-y material that I sometimes wear when I'm walking in the morning but not often because, holy scrotum, they are not supportive. Also, I have this pair of plaid ones I got at Target. Because I was in Texas when I bought them and it was last August. Have you ever been in Texas in August? All your life rules for yourself will go out the window. You don't drink? You'll be chugging those gnarly Sofia sparkling wines in the can while driving. Think smoking is dirty and unhealthy? You'll mug the nearest middle school kid for her Newports. Heat like that sautes your soul. Nothing makes sense to you after you've been out in it. So you wind up wearing shorts.

And this whole thing about the show leaving Bravo for ... who, Lifetime, is it? You can see how much attention I've been paying, but someone has. And they're pissed. People are leaking incorrect results for the season on Wikipedia (they say that Suede gets the boot this week and that Wesley wins. Wrong), Bravo's posting episode synopses on its site, basically throwing spoilers at faithful viewers for apparently no other reason than spite, and there's still no opening intro/credits bit. Did it take Bravo this long to get an intro together last season? Because it's the second episode already, and while this week's spiel is a tiny bit longer, that's only because you hear Heidi's voice telling you what you already know, that the winner gets this and that and money and yeahyeahyeah. Maybe the whole show is going to disintegrate before our eyes before November even rolls around.

And the action begins. Suede wakes up and begins talking about Suede. "Any decision that's not Suede going home is the right decision."

I guess I don't need to add "says Suede" to the end of the preceding sentence, do I? Furthermore, happily for me, the show is on Suede's ass about it this episode. Other designers begin mocking him for his stupid little affectation. That means I can focus on something else. His awful hair, perhaps.

Cut to the women's quarters of Atlas. Stella is honking on and on in her tough New York dialect about some breakfast drink that contains spirulina and wheat grass powder or something. "I'm not a cow. I don't like grehhh-aaaassss!" she announces. Well, I could have told you that. She probably prefers to chug down a six of Rolling Rock and then break the glass up and chew on the shards. But then again, something else about her yells 12-step sobriety pretty aggressively, but that's just me speculating. Maybe I'm only assigning Jeffrey Christ attributes to her. Anyway, she's a jackhammer-loud, concrete scarecrow, a rock 'n' roll warrior from the asphalt jungle. And suddenly I'm liking her. It helps if you can like someone on this show. And I don't yet. So for now I choose Stella.

We're already at the runway. Here comes Heidi. She glides out in a mutedly shiny, deep gray T-shirt and skinny pants, like a monochromatic pewter blade of tall grass. Why is it that when I look at her I get all tingly? Why does the sound of her voice hit me in the I'm-eating-some-lemon-cake spot? Do any of you non-attracted-to-women people feel that way too? Is it just TV doing it to me? I have actual feelings for this woman. Housemate Xtreem Aaron expressed the same thing to me this week. "I adore her," he said. I just nodded and said, "Yeah ... I know ..." and then we both stood there, gnawing on slices of pepperoni pizza, lost in fantasies of being near Heidi Klum if only for a moment in time.

Models are being picked. Someone took Jerell's model from last week. He's upset. And it sounds like ... did he just say he was ... "salty?" I swear that's what it sounded like. I'd rewind it to find out, but I'm not writing this recap from home on my nice soft couch with my TiVo remote in hand. I'm at a Marriott in San Diego at the Comic-Con and I'm watching the show on a homemade DVD that I made while the episode aired Wednesday night. I'm currently wearing headphones to hear the audio because the husband/partner/whatever is trying to sleep when he should be helping me, and I still can't figure out what Jerell is trying to say. Rewinding a DVD on a laptop is less precise than it should be. Also, the Marriott's beds, one of which I'm sitting on while I type, are too soft, mushier than my couch's cushions, in fact. So I'm feeling a little whiny and out of sorts now. Jerell doesn't help me not feel this way. A little later in the episode, when it comes time for fabric shopping, he goes all diva for his interview moment. I don't like it when gays talk with their neck and mean it. You know what I'm getting at, right, the ones who constantly snap that shit back and forth like they're auditioning for a regional production of Dreamgirls? It's annoying. And it's not about being a queen. I love queens. Queens throw a wrench in the works of the dull, hard gender division machine. But queens who blast out the gate with unwarranted attitude are no fun for anyone, forgetting that hard-bitch moves only pack the appropriate punch when they're used sparingly. I believe there should be queen rules about proving that you're a decent human being with something to contribute to the world before you get all, "Oh, no she di-int! I'm for real-real and not for play-play!"

So Heidi tells the designers that she hopes they are happy with their models...

Pause for Heidi to flash a delicately sadistic smile before telling them that the models will be their clients and that the designers are to make a cocktail dress for them. That's not what makes it sadistic. Heidi, of course, also knows what's next. But she won't be the one to tell them, even though you kind of know she'd like to. She leaves the dropping of the other shoe to Tim Gunn, who gathers them in the workroom to tell them that the models will also be the ones going to Mood to select fabrics.

Somewhere, in a luxurious private suite, their seven or eight babies out with the nanny, Seal nuzzling her neck, her blond mouth opens and out comes: "Ha-HA!"

The other thing is that this is the "green" challenge, meaning that Leanne, from green-ass Portland, gets a chance to explain what organic fabrics are and how, obviously, she's the one who always uses them. I wonder if the three other Indie Girls are pissed that she's the one that gets to come off as most righteous here. Someone's going to be bludgeoned with a Sigg bottle any minute.

The models go to Mood and get very excited to have this much camera time. Gone are the unsmiling columns that stalk down the runway. Spunkiness is what it's about now. Of course, they're all going for the same fabrics, which is kind of like what happened last week when the designers all chose the same tablecloth from Gristedes. Oops. So I e-mailed Elyse, my model friend, currently on fashion assignment in Hong Kong, and asked her what she'd do in a situation such as this. Her response:

"God, fabric. I'm so glad that other people are willing to deal with the acquisition of it and the manipulation of it into clothes. I'm not for fabric; I'm for clothes. My sew-crazy grandma has a grandmotherly little cross-stitch cushion in her sewing room that says, 'She who dies with the most fabric wins!' Even as a kid I knew that was wrong: Fabric just leads to sewing, which leads to frustration and soul pain and crooked fucked-up hems and crying fits. So I would try to keep a cool head in the fabric store and choose pragmatically, with concern for the poor sap who's about to have to sew on what I bought. Something easy to manipulate; no vinyl, no flimsy silk. Something durable. And something in the loudest fuckin' pattern in the store because right now I really want to wear a loud, huge long dress and that's what I would demand to be made."

Wesley didn't like the fabric.

Wesley, the boy from Marc Jacobs, is unhappy with the fabric his model picked. And he's not afraid to show it. When she asks him what's wrong, he dismisses her with "Nothing." It is, in its own passive-aggressive way, as irritating as Jerell's ooh-girl-neck-bobs. And Stella is fretting over the fabric her model brought back as well. Why? Because it's not leather. "I'm very urban," she says. Translation: I design clothes that make you look like a dump truck. The kinds of fabrics the model returned with are "not what I do." But Stella. Dude. Just fuckin' do it. You're on Project Runway, not Project Rock and Roll High School. You think people really make clothes out of cabbage?

AND OH NO MY DVD JUST "ENCOUNTERED AN ERROR." Sorry, this is the Internet. I should say, "O NOEZ!" instead. But the fact is that I am sitting here in a hotel room and my laptop is spitting out the disc because the two are no longer compatible for some mystery reason and now I can't rewatch the show. I feel like Stella when she realized that her trash bags ripped to the touch.

OK, well, it's a good thing that I took some incomprehensible notes on Wednesday night when I watched the show the first time because from this point on I'm going to wing it from memory and my illegible scribbles. This ought to take about three more minutes of your reading time, I'm guessing.

Workroom antics:

1. People are mocking Suede for talking about himself in the third person. In response to my earlier e-mail, Elyse the Model said, "This is certainly an unpopular opinion, but I think third person has crossed some kind of event horizon of obnoxiousness and become an entertaining affectation if one is ballsy enough to go there. I like it." You know, I think I can see how there's pleasure secretly living in that little shoe-rock of annoyance. But I still want to smack him.

2. Kelli calls Stella "Drapey Draperson" when she sees Stella trying to figure out what to do with the fabric. Clearly Stella watched last season and was like, "That bald fucker. Whatshisname. Ronny or some shit. I'll do what he did. Why can't this be a cocktail dress for Joey Ramone? I know he's dead and whatnot, but I could totally do one for him. Maybe even Dee Dee."

3. Comment from Xtreem Aaron: "All of these motherfuckers combined don't have as much design talent or personality as Malan has in his toe."

4. More comments from Xtreem Aaron, who decided on Wednesday night, during the final 30 minutes of the show, to begin talking like Stella: "I don't wanna do dis shit anymo-ahh! I wanna go to Max's Kansas City and have a smoke and see Mink Deville! Is the guest judge Richard Hell? Cuz I fuckin' know dat guy! We used to hang out in the Bowery! The Dead Boys are at CBGB tonight! I should be there insteada he-ahh!"

5. Tim Gunn calls someone's outfit a "hot mess."

6. Suede's cocktail dress is a lot of ugly little strips of fabric crisscrossing all over the place. And HE WINS THE CHALLENGE. I swear that the judges only give it to him because they aren't getting the kinds of close-up shots that we the viewers are getting because if anything's a hot mess, it's this garment.

7. Korto, the toast of Little Rock, makes a dress with fins on it to accentuate the model's ass. Why she does this is a riddle unsolved, maybe for all time.

8. Natalie Portman is the guest judge. During the eliminations it looks like she may cry. I may cry myself if she keeps heaping praise on Suede's dress.

9. And so, Wikipedia leaking lying person, it is, in fact, Suede's dress that wins. And Wesley who gets shipped back to wherever it is he's from. So now let's get this straight. The guy from Marc Jacobs is out, but the pronoun-phobe is in. Admittedly, Wesley's piece looked awful and, in the words of I can't remember which judge, "overworked." But you can tell from how he works that he's a serious-minded young man and he suffered this week from too many ideas in his head and an unwillingness to do what he doesn't believe in. Meanwhile, last week they dumped a guy whose clothes are already for sale in fancy boutiques like Curve here in Los Angeles. They may have fucked up the challenges, but these are not bad designers.

10. Oh, who cares. Bring on more weirdos.

And next week, when I'm safely back in front of my TV, you'll get all the in-detail recapping you deserve. I hope you weren't seriously relying on this recap to really dig deep and, you know, inform you of important stuff. If so, I apologize for my lemon of a MacBook and its anti-homemade-DVD bigotry. This will teach me to leave the house.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Dave White