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Slutty, Slutty,

Slutty, Slutty,


Is not an appropriate look for the cast of Lipstick Jungle, starring Brooke Shields. Perhaps you've heard of Lipstick Jungle. No? Well, you really should be watching Lipstick Jungle. On NBC. Parent company of Bravo.

Mary-Kate Olsen continues to keep an all-seeing, smoky eye on this season's proceedings. She's there flatly glowering on Elle's cover that hangs from an anonymous newsstand during whatever month they shot the show, hovering over Heidi and the gang like a little stick angel, soothing each week's cast off designer wordlessly, her facial features explaining, "Yes, you've failed. Good luck never making as much money as I did before age nine." And in real life she also has the right to remain silent because they've decided to drop the whole Heath Ledger investigation. And really, why not just let it go? You know it was just that some cops wanted to interview some models and movie stars for no good reason. People combine the wrong drugs all the time and die that way every day. It just happens. It's sad, obviously, but that's death for you.

Tonight the husband/partner/whatever is home to watch the show, as is friend Xtreem Aaron and this other gay we know named Juan. Juan's in a Next Big Thing band you should hear called Abe Vigoda. They just toured with No Age. If that means nothing to you then you're not doing your job as a payer of attention to developments in the land of young people in too-small jeans.

Designers file out of their Atlas apartments after we're shown Keith and Daniel getting all workout-ish. And you know the gays have been doing the weight lifting thing for years on this show but only now do they show it to us for some reason. You can deprive Blayne of his tangerine spray-on gloop but faggots got to go to the gym. I mean, not me or anything. But them. Those other faggots. To the gym they go, so successful and proud. I go to the record store and the bakery, myself. Juan thinks Keith is "bartender hot."

"Wait until you see the rat tail," says Xtreem Aaron.

Juan: "Stop ruining it for me."

Nothing more special than that occurs except for Blayne forgetting to shut the door and then saying something about how "licious" this or that is. He will try and try and try to make "licious" happen. And I will avoid hearing it each time. I vow to pretend he never said it. Much like Suede's comedy routine, I'm done commenting. It's not interesting enough to cover. That's my new arrangement with Blayne. Start making some clothes that kick ass as much as Christian Siriano's. Or Terri's for that matter. Then we'll renegotiate your catchphrase allowance.

Heidi meets them all on the runway in a glittery miniature kimono-looking thing. She tells them that they'll be designing for a high-powered businesswoman. Visions of Lita Ford dance in Stella's head. Oh, wait, sorry, Sharon Osbourne is what Stella actually says on the interview cam. Stella says something about Sharon being the queen of rock. I guess in a way that's sort of true. You marry Ozzy and you keep his shit together, you deserve some kind of title. You should at least get to call yourself the Duchess of Darkness.

They're whisked off to the workroom where Tim Gunn introduces their "high-powered and chic professional woman," Brooke Shields, "model, author, actress and fashion icon." He forgot to mention sworn, pill-consuming enemy of Scientologists worldwide and former friend of Anne Heche's gay father. Did you know that? It's in Anne Heche's book, Call Me Crazy. According to Anne, her dad used to drive Brooke to school or something like that. Like Anne Heche's dad was pals with Brooke's mom. Everyone's connected somehow. For example, I once watched twenty minutes of Tilt on cable. And since I believe it's a scientific fact that I'm the only human being on the planet ever to watch that much of that movie, I'm sort of special friends with Brooke myself. Which then connects me to Anne Heche as well. And Tom Cruise. And Louis Malle. Anyway, she enters, safely separated from the riff-raff who are standing behind a table, lest they all gather around to stroke her hair and pet her too much. Stella's facial expression = "Who is that? Does she work security for Priest?"

Cut to Suede, the one chosen to utter, "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins." And they picked him for this to see if that Pronoun-A-Day desk calendar the rest of the designers chipped in and bought for him would begin to take. So far, so good.

Brooke is starring in a show on NBC called Lipstick Jungle. I don't know anything about Lipstick Jungle. I assume it's about cosmetics and all the drama and intrigue associated with things like eyelash curling and matching foundation to your skin tone. I'm guessing some other less-well-paid women are on the show with Brooke and they talk about nail polish or something. I hope that's what happens. I might watch it if it was all just a sort of My Dinner With Andre thing week after week where they all sat around and discussed La Prairie and what it truly means. Anyway, the challenge is to design an outfit for Brooke's character that she can wear from day into night and that incorporates her business-y side with her bohemian soccer mom side. Yawn.

The designers sketch for thirty minutes and then it's time to pitch to Brooke. Highlights of this bit:

1. Kelli shows a sketch of a leopard print dress. Brook says, "It's the jungle! It's the jungle!" [Translation: "This girl thinks I'm on Daktari." And yeah, old people who don't know about Abe Vigoda, that reference to a show that debuted in 1966 was for you.]

2. Blayne says, "I didn't want to give [Brooke's character on Liptstick Jungle, a show I've never seen] another dress." This means that Blayne wants to keep making the fucked up shit he normally makes.

3. Brooke to Stella, who has just described making an outfit for the lead singer of Vixen: "She's still gotta go to work in this." But given Stella's penchant for dressing actual "working girls," this comment is lost into thin air. Cue the record-scratching sound and Brook giving her a "I'm just being nice to you now" face. She gives the same face to Joe.

And---AWESOME!--they have to work in teams. And that equals fighting. So to steal a line from Chris March, "Let's go!" The winner will see their design worn by Brooke Shields on season two of Lipstick Jungle, a show not as well-known as Project Runway. Or Sunset Tan. Or Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal. And now Brooke Shields will select her six favorite designs and those designers will have to pick, in everyone's favorite humiliating grade-school-dodgeball manner, a subservient slave to take orders, no matter how tacky or tragic.

1. Keith, who in turn picks Kenley, even though he gets all Captain Caveman about it and tells the interview cam that he wants her "to shut her mouth a little bit."

2. Korto, who picks Joe.

3. Terri, who picks Suede. Really? Suede? Is she some kind of visionary who can see things no one else can?

4. Blayne, who picks Leanne. In response, Leanne rolls her eyes. Dude, GAME FACE! And you can tell that even Brooke is hesitant to select Blayne, a move that reeks of producer intervention. Brooke tips her hand and confesses to be "scared" of that decision.

5. Jerell gets stuck with last-picked Stella and, to give him some props here even though I can barely stand him, he's super kind about it and tells her he wanted her anyway because his outfit incorporates a certain material that Stella seems to enjoy. I'll leave you to guess which material that might be, but here's a hint: it involves hammering in the morning, hammering in the evening, hammering all over this land, hammering out danger, hammering out a warning, hammering out love between her brothers and her sisters all over this land.

6. Kelli, who picks Daniel. And Daniel is a bit miffed about being chosen next to last. Like now he thinks he's got Stella Germs on him.

Commercial Time: Chris March for Saturn. He's going to design an outfit for either himself or some seven-foot-tall female "illusionist." The final product will feature a giant headpiece shaped specifically to fit through the car's sunroof.

Mood shopping time, which turns into Mood bitching time. Daniel thinks Kelli is tacky and that his own fabric choices were more "high end." Keith thinks Kenley having opinions is "almost insulting," whatever that means. And Keith, my man, buddy, pal, dude, after I got scolded by one of your fans in the comments section I've really been trying to give you more slack. I've been trying to see the good in you. For example, I like that tattoo of the pirate ship or the Millienium Falcon or Disneyland's Haunted Mansion or whatever it is you've got inking your entire right mid-torso area. And I like how committed you are. I can handle the self-seriousness for the sake of that kind of get-me-away-from-Salt-Lake-City drive. But could you manage not to have your widdle feewings hurt over a fabric tiff in Mood? Just... I don't know... knock it off.

"I like Keith's shoulders," says Juan. See Keith? And my friend Juan likes your shoulders. We're all trying really hard here. You try too.

Now we're back in the workroom. Jerell and Stella are immediately hitting it off. How bizarre is that? They're being all helpful and cooperationy. Jerell's volunteering to make the skirt. So is Stella. And why wouldn't she? She probably made all the skirts for the New York Dolls once upon a time. Fixed up Iggy with a pair of squeezy-tight, kitten-skin pants to show off his Pringles Can dong. Made a little heroin works satchel for Courtney Love. And then almost immediately Tim Gunn is back in the workroom with an announcement: "Designers... may I have your attention please... NBC has just cancelled Lipstick Jungle and the challenge is now to create a depression-smock for Brooke shields that she can gain weight in."

This week's workroom antics:

Kelli gets back-story, meaning that she's winning or going home this week. She's got control issues from having grown up with semi-absent parents and being looked after by a disabled grandmother. She mostly raised herself and likes to handle things on her own, her way. I can respect that. This means that Daniel, who we learned last week was raised by some kind of posh boarding school, is about to learn some shit about life.

But for the moment this can't compare to the mini-meltdown going on in Terri-Suede Town. Suede rightfully fears Terri, whose own past may or may not have included a stint as one of the original members of Oaktown's 3.5.7, creators of the amazing song "Juicy Gotcha Krazy." I'm still checking my sources on that one and will get back to you when I confirm it as fact. Suede wants to do right by Terri but is overcome with anxiety and nerves and neediness. This is not, however, how you do right by Terri. Her blisteringly beautiful comment on interview-cam, in its entirety:

"I don't know what he's packin', balls or va-jay-jay, but he needs to work that out cuz I ain't got no babies, ain't nobody suckin' on my titties. So please, MAN UP."

"Now I love Terri," says the husband/partner/whatever. It's about time. Xtreem Aaron and I have been on Team T for weeks. But the husband/partner/whatever is one of those people who refuses to jump on bandwagons just because other, more clear-thinking and intuitive people have done it first. It's one of those flaws I look past in the name of husbandly love.

And even Terri and Suede's problems don't hold a candle to Kelli and Daniel's. It's as though to retaliate for not liking her fabric choices, he's gone out of his way to make a rotten skirt that, in Kelli's words is, "half ruched and half not, the zipper's all swobbly. It's a mess. It's destroyed. It looks horrid."

She makes him make a new skirt. Daniel's odd response: "It sucks but I just didn't care. It was her design. I just kinda had to go with it." Does that mean he doesn't care that he has to do it again? That he didn't care enough to do it right the first time? His affect is so disaffected about everything that I can't figure out when he's enthusiastic or when he's not. He acts like one of those people who think they're carrying all of their best qualities right out there on their sleeves but... he isn't.

Slutty, slutty, slutty.

Back in Suede-Terri-tory, the shirt is, in Terri's words, "jacked up... everything that Suede seems to be touchin'... is not gold."

All of that to say thanks Bravo, for finally making this season not boring and giving us some unpleasantries. Excitement. Fighting. Mean comments. Terri throwing down. In fact, Terri says, "If it's between Terri going home and Suede going home, peace out." And what that means is that Suede has infected her. She's now Third-Person Positive. Fortunately the cure for that is just to get away from Suede forever.

More Commercials: In three days a film about your bath water eating you alive is going to be playing in actual movie theaters. Start saving up for that twelve-dollar ticket now, recession-era filmgoers.

Also, you can now go to Arby's and get any five menu items for $5.95. That means four of those triangle-shaped potato thingies and a big root beer and I'm done.

Back to the show:

Workroom visit from Tim Gunn, who can barely keep these people from taking giant, blood-spraying, chomping bites out of each other's throats. Now it's Korto and Joe. Much like Suede and Terri, Joe seems terrified of Korto. But now that Tim Gunn is in the room, Joe finally peeps that he thinks the big orange volume-to-infinity blouse is a little "baggy."

"Well you never said any of that before, Joe, and now you're just saying it," snaps Korto. "I have immunity for this. If anything happens you can go home. Voice what you have to voice."

I have no idea what Tim Gunn does after that. It's like he now has the power to dissolve into vapor when trouble starts. Joe shrinks into a corner, I think. All wise moves. This woman is from where they make the blood diamonds, right? I saw that movie about it, the one with Leo in it. Everyone attacking each other with machetes. Shit's fucked up. You'd just better do what Korto says and it'll be all right for you.

Elimination Day:

Domestic life in Atlas: Blayne eats a bowl of cereal. So he does eat, which is good to know. I can't see which kind of cereal it is, though. I'm assuming it's called "Honey Bunches of Typical Homosexuality." I know, cheap joke. I couldn't resist that one. And then it's off to the workroom again for model fittings, TreSemme-ing and L'oreal Paris-ing and last minute reconciliations between Terri and Suede, who have made the formerly busted up top work, much to Jerell's consternation. His comment goes something like how Terri thinks her shit doesn't stink and blah blah jealousy blah. No surprise there. Stella wearing a hot pink wifebeater, however, is heart attack-level surprising. Maybe it's Jerell's.

Daniel is furiously trying to finish Skirt 2 for Kelli, who's thoroughly annoyed by him. Kenley chimes in via interview cam: "Daniel cracks me up. He's always constantly talking about his very elegant, sophisticated taste. But I haven't really seen it."

And much like my husband/partner/whatever's move to Terri-Town, I am now full-on into Kenley, like as a back-up in case the show fucks Terri over. Because just last week--and in Project Runway Time, considering the breakneck pace at which this show is shot, that means YESTERDAY--Kenley and Daniel were all giggly-sniggly and hoo-hoo-hoo. And now she's talking shit about him. See what I mean about those Bettie Page girls? They're treacherous.

Commercial Time: "Hey, Project Runway watchers! Why don't you give our show called Lipstick Jungle a chance? See how we make it look like Sex and the City? And we know you people love that shit or you wouldn't have all lined up at midnight on opening day in your best shoes like Star Wars nerds stroking a toy light saber! WATCH FUCKING LIPSTICK JUNGLE!" WOMANHOOD'S SUSTAINABLE FUTURE DEPENDS ON YOU WATCHING LIPSTICK FUCKING JUNGLE!"

Time for the runway show. Heidi is wearing a similar-to-Stella's hot pink top, just to keep the upper hand. She delivers her usual spiel, "As you know, in fashion one day you in and the next day you out and your show called Lipstick Jungle is on temporary hiatus thanks to a writer's strike."

The clothes:

1. Korto and Joe's blousy orange jacket that Tim Gunn referred to earlier in the workroom as a giant "sweet potato." Joe's solution to appease Korto? A belt to de-puffify the whole thing. Now Joe gets to live. And really it's a good thing that jacket is there because the dress looks wrankledy on the back and the front. Like there's this weird crease right on the boob area and a tiny pouch right at the base of the ass-crack-zone.

2. Kelli and Daniel made a dress for Apollonia. The silhouette of the jacket and skirt is fine but the halter top innards are this nut-job combo of leopard print, teal and black zebra stripe and midnight-black panty-liner. Would be the best outfit for a show called Ho-Bag Jungle. Come to think of it, I'd actually muster the energy to watch a show called Ho-Bag Jungle. I have no such viewing plans arranged for Brooke's show.

3. Jerell and Stella have made a bangin' piece of fashion. Cool dark brown print skirt, shiny tank-ish top, big belt in the middle. It looks like the woman could be the senior accountant who likes to fuck the maintenance guy on her lunch break in her corner office. Very excellent. Brooke makes an excited face. Contrast this with what Jerell himself actually wore to the challenge, something that looks like a hospital gown under a vest. A ripped up hospital gown at that. I don't know. And I don't want to know. Jerell's business is his own.

4. Kenley and Keith have created a stunning skirt that looks like it may be constructed of fluttery bits of chocolate cupcake under a bright flowery top. The contrast is perfect and it looks like it should be in a magazine. I want these guys to butt heads every week and keep making awesome shit like this.

5. Terri and Suede's black flared pants and big ruffly red top is pretty hot. I can't tell if it's the model who sells the sex of Terri's outfits or if it's a meeting of the minds or what, but every single thing Terri makes looks like it should be worn by a women's prison ex-con (in for stabbing her abusive husband to death) with super-intuitive taste in clothes who then got her degree in like, Running Shit and Bossing People Around from whatever university offers a degree in that and who now is CEO of Life.

6. Blayne and Leanne made some culottes. In fact, nothing on the runway is one-tenth as interesting as the architectural cowl thing that Leanne has around her own neck. It stands up, it folds, it goes in several directions. It's good. Did they not think to just put it on the model to save this boring-ass piece of knuckleheadedness?

So Jerell and Stella, Kelli and Daniel, Keith and Kenley, Blayne and Leanne stay on the runway while the mushy middle retreat backstage.

Heidi goes on the attack and wants to know who is responsible for Kelli and Daniel's dress. Kors goes, "Hello! Slutty slutty slutty!" while talking about it. Obviously it's both their faults but Daniel refuses to take any blame. Their taste is questioned. This is not what you want to say to Daniel. His response: "My taste is impeccable. I have very high-end taste. There's no question about that." His internal response: "Also I went to boarding school, you know. Rich people go to those. Rich people with impeccable taste. I'm dating the guy with the little shorts from Marc Jacobs. Notice my impeccable taste in boyfriends. I'm from Brooklyn now where all the people with good taste are living. Where's Star-Kist? They'll understand my good taste."

Kenley laughs at Daniel. See what I mean? In fashion one day you're friends and the next day... Le Stab!

They move on to praising Keith and Kenley and Daniel looks over at them like, "Um, hang on, I haven't finished discussing my impeccable taste. When do we get back to me?"

Then comes a shocker. Blayne says that if it comes down to him or Leanne then he should go as a matter of integrity. He uses that word. BLAYNE HAS INTEGRITY! Now, see, that proves that you can be a total loon painted orange and still have a soul. They should let him go tan for that.

At some point during the judge's chat, Nina actually says that one of the outfits--I can't remember which one--was really looking like something that was "created for Lipstick Jungle." And when she says it, it's like someone dangled an Hermes scarf in front of her face and said, "Say Lipstick Jungle and it's yours. Come on. Do it."

So Keith and Kenley win. Keith looks choked up. Then he says, on interview cam, that the dress will now be on a national TV show. Um... buddy... it's already on a national TV show. One with better ratings, too. Meanwhile, Blayne makes better television so Heidi gives Kelli the boot. Daniel doesn't care. But Stella actually cries over this. Dang, what with the pink shirt and the tears it's like she's, I don't know, a lady or something. And to her credit, Kelli has a good sense of humor about it. I hope she steals some shoes from the Bluefly wall on her way out.

Oh, and PS, I know there's no model commentary from Elyse this week but I forgot. See, I'm off to Texas in about 20 minutes and I'm all downered on Xanax to help me with my fear of flying and that shit makes me very forgetful. I actually just spaced on asking her about her opinions this week. Maybe next week I'll ask her twice. Later y'all.

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Dave White