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Diane von Furstenberg’s Googly Eyes

Diane von Furstenberg’s Googly Eyes

Pr_dianne

She has them, in case you didn't know. She used them on Blayne. They had a moment. Look, Blayne said so, that's why.

Right: Mrs. Barry Diller

I can't decide what's funnier -- that Vanity Fair, of all magazines, is being sort of coyly judgmental about the fact that Cindy McCain's outfit for the convention cost somewhere in the ballpark of one zillion dollars or that her stylist clearly hates her and put her in a mustard-fights-banana color that was all wrong. Being rich and having a tighty-face and big round fakeys doesn't make everything you put on look suddenly amazing, even if it's Oscar de la Renta. Don't forget that.

I've never had a problem with expensive clothes. If you got it, buy it, I say. Why not? As long as you're not a greedy asshole who doesn't do anything but spend money on yourself, then buying a really great suit or dress or bag or whatever isn't a hanging offense. Me, I bought a pair of $400 shoes once. Tod's. I had a fancy event I had to go to, so I bought the shoes. Now all I have to do is wear them in 399 more posh situations in which I'm expected to look like everything I'm not and they will have paid for themselves.

By the way, I know it has nothing to do with fashion, but do the Republicans have a health care plan on this election's platform? I mean one a little more detailed than "What? What's the problem? Just go to a doctor." Because I think that would be interesting to look at, what their idea of health care for all people would be. I found out my insurance doesn't cover checkups last year. I found that out after the checkup. It cost more than those Tod's shoes too. And it's not like I buy shoes like that every year. I got a three-pack of black T-shirts at a 99-cent store not so long ago, if that tells you anything about how I shop. They were a little lopsided fitwise, but then so is my body.

But enough politics. I've had my fill of them this week. My husband/partner/whatever is on a Sarah Palin rampage and can't stop talking about her unqualifications and love of creationism and suspect grandbaby and on and on and on. It's a lot. Let's talk about who sucks and who's awesome on a reality competition show instead. And by "let's," I mean I'm going to tell you what I think and you don't have any say in the matter.

I love Korto because she's cold. I love Terri because she's hard. I love Leanne because she's a snoot. I love Kenley because she's soft. And I love Stella because she's Brendan Fraser in Airheads. The guys can all suck it. Seriously, not interested in any of them or their work. And no, ladylike behavior on their part won't win me over. If there were a way to dump them all at once I would make that happen yesterday.

And speaking of ladylike, DANG look at Stella's rockin' bod. She's shown in this week's opening moments in a tiny little string bikini measuring caw-fee. There's like no percent body fat on her, but not in a gross, clawlike, emaciated misery way. She just appears to be incredibly fit. Do we think she's secretly some kind of holistic health person? Will we ever find out since this is her last week? And meanwhile over in the penis-having portion of Atlas, Suede is bemoaning the fact that he has to switch bedrooms and move in with the three remaining guys. Well, boo-hoo. You'll have more room in there soon enough.

Off to the runway, where Heidi greets them in what I assume are the jeans she's designed for Jordache. At least I think she designed the new Jordache jeans. I know she's modeling them in that series of one-small-tub-containing-one-long-limbed-German-supermodel-making-splish-splash ads in all the magazines. She's still displaying the JF hair. She makes my friend Gary, currently sprawled on my living room rug next to the couch where the husband/partner/whatever and Gary's ex-boyfriend Xtreem Aaron are sitting, say, "OH GOD SHE'S SO FUCKING HOT!"

And I've been asked by a reader to describe the nature of the Heidi mania that's gripped the gays in my small circle of watching-friends. And I'm not sure I can put it into words. I can say with certainty that it's not just that she's a celebrity. Because we live in the same city with, like, all of them and see them in the supermarket and we're not excited by it anymore. They're just in the way most of the time, if you must know. And it's not a diva-worship thing because that's lame. I would say it's sexual, but that can't really be it, since we're fags. But there's something else about her, something that sweeps you into her atmosphere. I wish I knew. It could be that she's just so skyscraperly imposing that you want to obey her and make her happy, bow and scrape, whatever it takes just to get her to smile. If McCain had picked Heidi as his running mate, I'd probably vote for him, health care and all other matters of justice, peace, economy, environment, class, and civil rights be darned.

"Leanne," says Heidi, "You were the winner of the last challenge -- "

"So you can touch my hair," offers Gary. "Because yours is all straight and dowdy in the manner common to Portland, Ore. Clearly you want to touch my hair. Now you may."

And then Leanne keeps her model from last time like they always do. Everyone always keeps their models. Then Tim Gunn comes out onto the runway and takes them off on a field trip to meet their challenge, a "fashion legend." Blayne wonders if it's Mary-Kate Olsen, the silent guardian angel of season 5 who Elle-stares down at everyone from that month's or last month's or next month's or whatever month it was and is's issue. Did that sentence even make sense? I think it didn't. You get me though, right? She's here all the time except for when Jessica Alba shows up and muscles her out of the way. And Blayne is not giving up on his dream. "I want every challenge to be about Mary-Kate," he says. "I wanna marry Mary-Kate. Who doesn't? Besides Tim Gunn."

Here's what's fascinating about that statement:

1. Blayne thinks Mary-Kate is legendary.

2. But the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album is not.

3. And he's willing to kick that shit in the old-school way where it's no big whoop if a homosexual marries a lady. Because if the gossip columnists are right, then that's how it allegedly works for their challenge mistress, Diane von Furstenberg, and her husband, Barry Diller. Not that I'm saying Barry D. is a homo. I'll leave that to the entire rest of the world to assert. Let them say it. Because they already have. Many times. Not that I believe it for one second, of course. I'm no gossipmonger. I believe he porks that satisfied lady every night with his heterosexual junk in the least gay way possible. That's actually what I hope is really happening too.

Elyse Sewell, weekly recap consultant and America's finest lady-posing export to the Asian nations, has her own response to The Tan One and his Olsen fixation:

"Fashion legend Mary-Kate Olsen." Oh, jeez, Blayne, what? Are you so Us Weekly-fied that the word "legend" has lost its meaning? You probably hear "fashion icon" and think Katie Holmes. You see pregnant women and shriek, "BUMPWATCH!" That makes me kind of sad, Blayne, and also afraid that at some point in your future, you will cross paths with a true fashion legend, and you won't know how to act. To prevent you from being humiliated, here's is a field guide to some of the personalities you can reasonably expect when you hear that a "fashion legend" is on the way.

Donna Karan: If you were hoping for Mary-Kate and you got Karan, I can forgive your disappointment. BO-RING!

Marc Jacobs: OK, DVF was cupping Warhol's balls at Studio 54 while Marky Mark was still in Garanimals, but the dude has an undeniable personal mythos. His Achilles ass (that's where you kiss to curry favor, Blayne) is his vanity: Always ask him if he's lost weight as you genuflect.

Valentino: Uh-oh, Blayne, be careful here. If you hear Heidi say, "Fashion legend Valentino!" don't start swiveling your head around in confusion. Calmly look down below nipple level ... vyes, there! That overtan Gollum with the slicked-back hair and leathery pelt, clinging to Karolina Kurkova's underbreast like a lamprey? That's Valentino. Quick! Tell him how much you fucking love gowns!

Lagerfeld: This man has adamantium claws and the top of his starched shirt collar is said to be sharper than a razor blade. He doesn't even need underwear: The phalanx of supermodels flanking him at all times prevent his balls from jostling. I doubt that in your lifetime you will achieve an audience with Lagerfeld, Blayne, but if you do, Godspeed. The man is as omnipotent as Wintour and twice as deadly.

Right: Stella toils

Anyway, they meet Diane von Furstenberg, creator of the iconic '70s wrap dress and current star of the American Express commercial you'll see each week if you don't fast-forward through the ads like I mostly do. American Express is sponsoring this challenge, and the winner is going to have their design produced and sold and it's all going to benefit the CFDA, the Council of Fashion Designers of America. I don't know what the CFDA does, but it's probably totally good and right and stylish and involves the model-hunch.

Unlike Blayne, Stella is no fool when it comes to where they are: the meatpacking district, where, in her words, there are "serious major-league designers." It's also the home of Al Pacino in 1980 as he desperately seeks the identity of the diabolical shadow-figure killing leather gays in Cruising, the greatest queer-themed film of all time. Ever seen it? It's amazing and dirty and freaked out from start to finish. It should be seen by all people, both gay and straight, so that they are at least led to believe that we're more dangerous than loveable and might stab you to death in the bushes somewhere if we don't get our way. Tim Gunn is nice and all, but does he make you feel all skin-crawly ever like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger? No, he doesn't. And that's the excellent feeling we're missing in this new gay world of happiness and marriage and mainstream acceptance. Bring back the grime, I say.

The designers wait for Diane von Furstenberg to descend an enormous flight of stairs. I really want to know how many of them don't recognize her. We aren't told if any of them don't. I bet we don't even get it in the reunion show. But I guarantee at least one of them is like, What's with the skinny old countess lady?

Cut to interview-cam with Kenley. And when I say "cut to interview-cam with Kenley" for the rest of this recap you should also know that what I mean to say is "cut to interview-cam with Kenley, who cannot stop crying." Because she does that. Like in a way that would make Ricky from last season stand up and take notice and tell her to rein it in a little. And here's what we eventually learn throughout the episode: that she is, in her way, the female Keith, stuck in a place she doesn't want to be and apparently has been designing for either Kmart or Wal-Mart or both in succession or something like that. In other words, she's in job hell and has to get out and get a move on if she's going to make her own way in the design world. I hope she does. She's talented. And look how cute she is.

DVF has decided that the challenge will be based on the movie A Foreign Affair. DVF's own description of the film: "The character is Marlene Dietrich, who I think is the most glamorous woman in the world, and she is a singer, a performer, or maybe she's a spy. And she starts in Berlin. And she has to escape to Shanghai to end up in New York. It's the end of the '30s, the '40s, and you can see in the back [she points to her fall collection] I've used samples of it."

The husband/partner/whatever says, "That's not what happens in A Foreign Affair."

None of us have ever seen it. So we all just look at him. He continues, "Dietrich plays a nightclub singer who used to be involved with a Nazi commandant. Jean Arthur shows up in postwar Berlin as a senator from the Midwest who tries to get the main army guy to find out who's protecting Dietrich. But it's the army guy who's protecting her. The army guy ends up wooing Jean Arthur to keep her off Dietrich's trail, but to Dietrich's chagrin he ends up falling in love with the senator. It's a great Billy Wilder comedy. And while Dietrich may be playing a shady character, she doesn't go to fucking Shanghai. It's like if the challenge theme were 2001: A Space Odyssey but the designers were supposed to focus on all the laser battles, of which THERE ARE NONE. Has Diane von Furstenberg ever seen this movie? I think she's getting it mixed up with Shanghai Express, which also stars Marlene Dietrich. I know things."

We continue to stare at him. I'm just going to take his word for it. I'd watch the movie to confirm his correctitude, but I don't have time. I don't actually care who's right and who's wrong either. I just want for all the guys to get kicked off the show over the next four weeks.

"Where is Diane von Furstenberg from?" asks Xtreem Aaron.

"Europia," I say.

"Fashionlandistan," adds Gary.

Cut to Kenley on interview-cam.

The designers are shown running around DVF's fabric sample room gathering material for the challenge. Stella can't get the giant fabric bolt down from the shelf it's on. Tim Gunn just stands there and looks at her like she's a moron for being short and not a powerlifter. So Kenley comes and just starts yanking them like She-Hulk and pulling them down. Kenley's so happy to be here that she's developed super-strength. If a car flips over on anyone in this room, she'll be able to lift it with one hand and rescue that person. And she may wet her pants with excitement if she doesn't soak them with her own tears first.

Back in the workroom, Jessica Alba looking on from the Elle cover, they have 10 hours to finish. Everyone's getting ambitious and planning three-piece looks that will be poorly constructed and stink of failure.

Cut to Kenley on interview-cam.

Cut to Blayne, talking shit about Terri: "I like to show versatility and not just another pair of the same pants. Like somebody else does."

So there. Now Blayne can join the Jerell club of being Dead to Me for being mean about the awesome Terri. Because you can hold your nose in the air all day and complain that someone else is making a big smell, but what you don't realize is that it's you who farted. And that's Blayne, with his terrible designs and his delusions of brilliance. Then it's Joe's turn to join the bitchfest about Terri. This is making my job so much easier. Now I don't have to talk about Joe anymore either. But then, see, Stella says she doesn't "trust Terri" too. This presents a recapping problem. Because I love Stella. She can't be dead to me. And the whole episode is about her because she gets kicked off at the end of it. So I have to give her a second chance. And my largesse is rewarded when she refuses to tell Terri and Leanne anything about what she's making when they just make casual conversation about it over lunch. On interview cam, Stella says, "I don't ask for details. I mean, you're makin' a dress. OK, great. I don't care."

Terri and Leanne think this is funny and sit at the sewing machines and talk about the paranoia and competitive grumpiness seeping into the workroom.

Terri: "We're at that stage."

Leanne: "Yeah."

Terri: "The competition is heating up and people are feelin' it."

Leanne: "I see it."

Terri: "Korto may be trippin' too. Why don't we see? [turns to Korto, who's sitting at the next sewing machine] What are you making?"

Korto, getting up from her machine and walking out: "It's like this. I'm makin' a vest. I'm makin' the baddest vest. You wanna make one? Make one. We'll see how turns out the top on the runway. Shoot."

OK, maybe Terri is a bit of a shit-stirrer. But that just makes her more lovable to me. Meanwhile, Joe is sewing his fugged-up shiny pink shirt with a giant intentional hole in the back and doing this: "Ying yong ying yong ying yong ying. Shanghai."

No lie. He just said that. On camera. Jerell chuckles nervously and makes a face and moves away. Wait, Jerell, don't go so soon, Joe hasn't called you a "mulignan" yet and he's all excited to bond with you that way. He'll just say it like it's a joke, though! Because he kids! He's just making those ching-ching-ching-chong sounds because we're all God's children and he's simply commenting on the subject of racism, see? Don't you get Joe's subtle, nuanced sense of humor and interpersonal communication skills? Next, Joe makes a barfing gesture with his finger pointing down his throat behind Kenley's back as she shows the rest of the room her dress. Her really beautiful, well-constructed dress. The one that's going to kick the ass of Joe's sad three-piece P.F. Chang's waitress getup.

Cape fear: Stella's closing ensemble

Right: Winner Leanne's dress

Tim Gunn inspection, three hours until the end of the day:

1. Is concerned about Suede's weird choices of material. And everything else about Suede.

2. Call's Leanne's color "phenomenally beautiful." You know you're on the right track when Tim Gunn pulls out the superlatives.

3. To Joe: "This is Shanghai. I see it." Translation: This sure is some lowest-common-denominator-white-guy-thinking-about-things-that-are-vaguely-"Oriental" shit

4. Wonders aloud if Korto's flashes of yellow fabric under her bold black- and white-striped print appear to be too bra-strappy.

5. Tells Stella her pieces are not cohesive and tells her that the judges criticized this very thing last time. Stella calls them "clueless" and then attacks the totally-deserving-of-attack Rachel Zoe: "The stylist with the oversize muumuu dress and the waistband didn't know any better." You can see Leanne crack up in the background as Tim Gunn looks directly into the camera and says, "Sorry, Rachel Zoe, we mean that only in the nicest way," to which Stella snaps, "I don't. I really mean it."

6. Praises Kenley's silhouette but you can see he wants her to make something extra and not put all her Shanghai eggs in one basket. Cut to Kenley on interview-cam. This time she wipes her nose with her hand.

Elimination Day

Every man in our living room thinks Kenley looks great right now. She's wearing a sleeveless dress that's got purple flowers dotted around some vertically crisscrossing blue stems and purple feathers on both shoulders. I know the second you mention feathers it makes it sound like there's a drag queen in the room, but it's really restrained and looks very very very very cool.

Cut to Stella's model hand-sewing the garment she's about to put on while Stella does who-knows-what.

Cut to Joe, who's convinced of his own genius even as the camera shows the audience what he's actually created, a garment for a woman you might pay to show you some ... um ... companionship. Cut to Leanne, who lays it down correctly: "I don't know where [Joe's] confidence is coming from, honestly ... I'm kinda surprised that Joe's still here at this stage of the game."

Cut to Kenley, helping the model who's helping Stella, while Jerell demands that Blayne give him a finger-fluttery "double high-five." Blayne gives him what he asks for, which is actually the start of a game of patty-cake.

And we're out on the runway now. Nina's still missing and Fern Mallis is subbing for her. Fern Mallis runs Fashion Week, basically, so it's not like they just pulled someone's mom in off the street. She's here to take you to task. But where's Nina? Why the silence, Heidi? The people have a right to know.

The clothes:

1. Joe -- Molotov cocktease hooded pink, red, and black shiny whatever thing.

2. Leanne -- Blue floor-length gown with long extravagant ruffle down the back and topped with shrunken gray jacket. Really gorgeous. Clearly going to stomp on everyone else.

3. Terri -- Black-and-white herringbone pants topped with fireworksy print top under big black coat. Somewhat pimpy but still hot.

4. Jerell -- Stewardess on a zeppelin. Coppery top over black skirt under weirdly detailed coat with dumb hat and neon blue vinyl belt. A mess.

5. Korto -- Tiny little sueded black jacket over cool long black-and-white print dress with bright yellow underskirt thing and the same yellow bra straps Tim Gunn was worried about. She knows the '70s version of '30s chic better than anyone on the show. But where's the vest she threatened to make?

6. Blayne -- Flowy black-and-white knickers beneath a violently multicolored top under black jacket. A wacky nightmare of awful. "I am so in awe of my garment," voice-overs Blayne. "Diane's gonna love my look. I saw her give me a little googly eye when first I met her. She loves a tan, so it's in the bag." Jeez. I guess Blayne isn't dead to me anymore. His entertainment value is just too high. But I'm still keeping track: Joe and Jerell have to be evicted, and soon.

7. Suede -- Crappy vesty herringbone thing over a nice print. But it doesn't work with the vest. And the skirt is too bulky for the model.

8. Stella -- Vagina-pouch-having pants and bulky wings of two battling fabrics that are misshapen and weird. Also, there's a cape. And I think it's made of neoprene. Could have been saved if she'd written on the cape's back: "IF YOU CAN READ THIS THE BITCH FELL OFF!"

9. Kenley -- A simple, high-necked, sleeveless, million-flower-patterened dress. Sort of reminds me of something Maggie Cheung would have worn in In the Mood for Love. And that Joe made a barf-face over it tells you a lot about Joe, even without the shit he just sent down the runway.

Safe: Terri, Jerell, Blayne

Top 3: Kenley, Leanne, Korto

The judges love Korto's bright yellow flashes and the mini-jacket.

They hate Joe's messy, trashy execution. But hey! Joe wants you to know that this is a dress for his model to be a sneaky China-Girl spy in. A garment for making pee-pee in Coke! Do the ying-yong thing, Joe! Show them how funny you are!

They like Kenley's dress but wish she'd made a second piece. Kenley, for her part, is INTO this dress, believes strongly in it, wants Diane von Furstenberg to PLEASE PULL HER OUT OF FREELANCING FOR FUCKING WAL-MART and will talk right over Heidi to make her point. This, you can see on Heidi's face, sort of pisses her off. She uses words like "simple," "not difficult," "safe." Heidi HATES that someone somewhere might be lazy.

They love Leanne. DVF keeps saying what "good design" her piece is.

Suede irks DVF. You can tell from the way she kind of spits her criticism. "She has no hips at all, and it is not a flattering skirt." And then she's done talking. Suede says, "It's not that bad." But then Suede thinks Suede's own blue faux-hawk is not that bad either.

They tell Stella that it's not a '40s cape she's made at all, but one for a magician (Kors gets that one in) or Dracula. (That comes from DVF herself. Meow.)

Then after hearing all the bullshit excuses, they dismiss the designers for a bit so that they can have judge chat, during which time DVF calls Joe's work "homemade" looking. AND WE HAVE A "HOME-SEWN" CALLBACK, sort of, for any of you who were waiting for one all this time. In this house we totally were. In fact, Xtreem Aaron and Gary and the husband/partner/whatever all say it at once, practically in unison.

Winner is Leanne. Kenley's not happy, even though she's in.

Joe is mad about this and possibly fearing for his life. Suede is safe. And it comes down to Joe and Stella. GET RID OF JOE. I mean, I know Stella is the one who gets auf'd, but I wish it were Joe.

Heidi to Joe: "Your look had us confused. There was too much going on, and the back was a disaster."

Heidi to Stella: "Stella, you gave us three pieces and did none of them well. The entire look was a major misstep."

And Stella's out. Stella's final words to Heidi: "My ego was way too big to be here anyway. I've learned and I've grown."

And then Stella becomes soft and lovey for a moment with everyone in the waiting room, especially the blubbering Kenley. A sweet side we've not seen much. When Tim Gunn comes in to ask how they all are, Stella says, "We're fabulous." Then she hugs Tim Gunn and says, "I love you and adore you." And in voice-over, as she packs up her stuff, she says, "I'm a rock star. That's who I sew for. If you like my stuff, come buy it. If you don't, keep walkin'. I don't care."

We are cheated out of seeing Ratbones pull up to Atlas to take her home in his Von Zipper sidecar while Stella puts on one of those old spiked helmets and flashes her tits for the camera. They never show the parts I want to see most.

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