Last week on Project Runway: Designers who were born mostly in the eighties and nineties are asked to make seventies discowear – only tasteful and modern – to go with Nine West’s terrifying new disco shoe line. Wendy Pepper believes she has an edge because she’s old enough to remember disco the first time around… but gets auffed for making a punk hooker Halloween costume. Uli makes something that bears no resemblance to disco, either, but wins in a truly baffling turn of events. Kayne creates the only thing on the runway that looks like it might have poked its head through the doors of Studio 54 and nearly gets auffed for coming up with something entirely too modern. I’m still trying to figure out last week’s judging and here we are again.
What will happen this week?
We start with the designers taking a field trip to Long Island City. They wind up in front of a building covered with graffiti. Carolyn tells them this is the world’s largest collection of legal aerosol art. And to think, I was still calling it graffiti.
In addition to all the art, there are three aerosol artists hard at work on the wall. They are going to help the designers with their new challenge: create prints using spray paint on fabric, and make wearable art out of the fabrics they make. I kind of love this challenge. Joshua and Ivy are excited about it because of the challenging nature of it. Laura isn’t quite so sure if her experience in spray painting old furniture to spruce it up is an advantage. Here’s a hint for you, Laura: NO IT ISN’T. Suede, as it turns out, is a spray paint virgin. That’s right, he’s never even held a can of spray paint. Althea makes her own prints all the time in her workshop, so she’s eager to get going.
Each designer is given six colors of spray paint, seven yards of white fabric in their choice of cotton or chiffon, handy tips on using spray paint from the artists in residence, fifty smackers to spend at MOOD on notions and completion fabrics, and one day to work. Carolyn reminds the designers that the finished look has to look as good in a gallery as it would on the runway.
And they’re off! Laura gets right down to her work of annoying the snot out of everyone by complaining that she’s not dressed for spray painting because her clothes are expensive. Simper, simper, little twit.
Kayne uses his sketch time interviewing the aerosol artists about what inspires them. He’s writing down a lot of words on his pad. Ivy thinks this is the perfect time to reference super heroes as a grrl power thing. She, too, is writing words, but they look like the graphics in the old Batman TV series with Adam West. It’s actually kind of an awesome idea, and I wish someone whose design aesthetic appealed to me more than Ivy’s had come up with it.
The time arrives to start spraying. Everyone gets down to work. Emilio is making something that looks like a really fabulous sunset in reds and golds. Anthony Ryan is doing a fun pattern that’s not quite cross hatching in blue. Kayne and Ivy are writing words in their individual ways. Uli has something rather spectacular in purple and orange with radiating spokes in the works. Joshua is painting a bullseye on his fabric. Andrae winds up for a softball pitch, then attacks his fabric with green, yellow, and touches of purple. It’s taking on a look almost like impressionist irises. Suede is making yellow and green polka dots on a background of black streaks on white. I hope whatever he does with the resulting fabric impresses me more than the fabric itself. I’m really kind of hating it. Althea is working with stencils and is making sort of a giraffe print in purple and yellow. Yawn.
Laura looks up from her purple, yellow, and black print to see that Althea is also using purple and yellow, which is totally stealing her colors and not okay. Right. Althea sees through her back what colors you’re using and uses them deliberately to sabotage you… who are also using black, and not using stencils like she is. And that wasn’t going to happen to anyone with allllll those colors they have to choose from and the very limited number of contestants… oh, wait, we’ve got, what?, ten designers left? And six colors? Get over yourself, Laura.
Casanova is creating the New York skyline in black, yellow, and green at the border of his fabric, which is otherwise a colorwash of the three colors merging and separating over the fabric. I have to say I’m liking Casanova’s work better now than I did during his actual season. Mostly I think it’s because they kind of scraped the bottom of the barrel with this cast, but part of it is actual growth, I believe.
Ivy comes over and asks if Casanova needs any help. After all, he was nice enough to help her in the last challenge, and this time she’s the one who’s got time free and a friend who might be able to use a hand. Laura looks up from her work and snots “Oh, you’re helping him out, I see how it goes.”
Look, Laura, there’s nothing in the rules against one designer choosing to help out another. There never has been. It’s a matter of personal choice, and not everyone is going to be completely cutthroat. If Ivy wants to help her friend, that’s up to her. You aren’t obligated to make the same choice, nor is anyone obligated to help you out… but if that’s how you react when two people who are not you and didn’t ask your opinion choose to help each other out, well then, I wouldn’t recommend crying to anyone else for sympathy or aid when you’re in a jam. It’s not your place to make a big deal out of it.
And yes, you know it’s bad behavior when I’m defending Poison Ivy.
Off to MOOD. Once they’re done there, it’s home to bed.
In the morning, Althea pontificates on how much trouble Suede is going to be in because he is doing too much. Laura complains that Kayne wrote words. Hmmm… Ivy isn’t saying much. I wonder why.
In the workroom, everyone gets right down to business. Emilio plays off of how much heavier his fabric is now that it’s saturated with paint and decides to do a play on a denim jacket.
While taking a lunch break, Kayne and Poison Ivy dish about Laura and all her ‘I’m so rich’ stories. As they do this, who should walk into the room complaining about the tape holding her receiver on, but Laura. She asks what’s for lunch, and Kayne tells her there are crab cakes. “I love a crab cake!” Laura exclaims. As she sits down to eat with them, Kayne and Ivy both break up laughing. Laura asks Ivy if she’s having a ‘mean streak.’ I would say not, because that would indicate that Ivy is ever not having a mean streak. It’s only a streak if there’s something else beyond the borders of the streak, if you see what I mean. The two snip at each other a bit and Ivy leaves the room.
Kayne sits down and counsels Laura to be careful how she words things to others because sometimes she can upset them. Laura takes this as Kayne telling her not to call out hypocrisy loudly wherever she sees it *cough*Ivy*cough*. Kayne says, no, really, he’s just hoping she’ll think about how she sounds to others. Here’s what I would say: Laura, Ivy is the kettle and you’re the pot. You two really ought to meet sometime to discuss your color schemes.
For a touch more sanity, it’s time for Joanna Coles to consult with everyone. The first thing not to be missed by her laser eyes is the fact that the print Althea created in spray paint is very nearly the same one she’s wearing in an outfit of her own design. Joanna likes the print, but feels the body is ‘doing all the work.’
Another thing Joanna is impressed with is Emilio’s choice to work a lot in dripping paint on his fabric, after which he turned the fabric so that the drips are actually rising in the jacket he’s creating. I love that, too. It’s a little surreal, a little rebellious, and a lot unexpected.
Joanna is less sanguine about Kayne. She asks him where his outfit lies on her ‘thin line’. You know, the one between ‘fabulous’ and ‘hideous.’
Back to happiness with Anthony Ryan. He’s added a little Rorshack test in very dark blue and black paint across the upper bodice of his dress. I love it. So does Joanna.
Looking at Casanova’s fabric is making me tremendously happy. He’s got multiple jewel tones going on, and panels in different color schemes and patterns, and he’s adding small, fairly subtle jeweled embellishments that glitter in the same colors as the fabric. I’m finding myself quite impressed.
Uli’s entire dress looks a bit like a Rorshack test in purple and orange at this point. She and Joanna discuss aerosol art on the Berlin Wall. Uli was eighteen when it came down.
Joanna asks Andrae if his ‘very pretty’ print is going to be wearable art. Andrae, wearing his best Harry Potter spectacles hopes so. Joshua explains to Joanna that he has long been an aerosol artist… assuming one counts using that much hair spray as art.
Suede blathers about earth and sky and stars. The bajillion little yellow cut out polka dots he’s attaching… I’m not sure what they are, but I’m not getting stars from this thing. Joanna is also getting that glazed over look until he says that a woman will be able to wear a bra with this outfit. That gets Joanna’s attention and smile back! Still, she asks if it’s wearable art. Absolutely, Suede assures her. I’m not so sure. She asks if he can win the challenge. Suede is confident. So am I. Just not in the same direction Suede is.
Laura is busily adding the fringe from a throw someone put over the parlor piano to the back of her extremely abbreviated dress. Joanna asks Laura if there’s anyone in the room that surprises her by being there. No, apparently they’re all technically up to Laura’s standards. It’s just that some aren’t there artistically. So there.
Ivy is remaking her challenge one suit jacket, only in spray paint and words. I wonder if any of the judges will catch that. Joanna asks her the loaded question of how important the ‘taste factor’ is for a designer. Ivy waffles that Vivienne Westwood once said that you’re born with taste or you’re not. Laura interviews that Ivy has been saying things that are ‘attacking’ but she’s (Laura) good enough that she can just be who she is. Man, these two really are the same annoying person in way too many ways. I can’t wait to get both of them off my screen. At least Wendy Pepper had the entertainment value about her of being so confused in her reactions to things that you never knew for certain which way she was going to take offense. These two? Bo-ring!
Models arrive for fittings. Somehow Kayne has managed to make his gown eight inches too long. I’m not even sure how he did that. This is his third challenge with the same model. Doesn’t he have an idea how tall she is yet? Joshua interviews that Ivy is making the same jacket she made already, only with a cut out in back. Did I call it or what?
After the models leave, Anthony Ryan comes to the conclusion that he needs to remove the lining from his skirt because it’s making the dress too heavy. Uli muses on the fire hazards of wearing spray painted dresses. I hope none of the models smoke, because that is an issue.
Runway day. Designers sew like mad. Models arrive. Laura product placements the Laura Mercier make up room this week. And it’s time to hit the runway.
The guest judges are Anna Wintour favorites and identical twin lumberjack Santa Clauses, Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra.
So, the top designers this week are: Anthony Ryan’s super pretty black and blue on white almost babydoll dress, Emilio for his powerful denim suit in red and yellow, and Poison Ivy for her suit jacket repurposed from challenge one and run through the Wretched Gretchen wringer of back cut outs. On the bottom are Kayne for his half evening gown half Christmas tree skirt, Suede for his ode to sloppily cut polka dots, and Laura for her Witness My Hootchie, Mama dress. One of the best moments of the entire episode is the weak-kneed half run half squat Andrae does as he is declared safe for once and released from the runway.
For once, I do happen to think the judges got it pretty well right. I personally preferred either Casanova’s dreamily pretty dress or Uli’s fabulous structured dress with the vertical epaulettes over Ivy’s suit, but Ivy did really nail the graffiti aspect better than the other two did, so I’m contented with its inclusion, if not the praises its creator gets. Yeah, I really don’t like her.
After a good grilling which I don’t have the strength to go too far into this week, the judges deliberate. I am pleased to note, however, that Geraldine Chaplin has noticed that Ivy’s jacket is the exact same one from two challenges ago, only in different fabric with a cut out in back.
Ivy is declared safe, which takes it down to my favorite two designs of the evening, from two of my favorite designers. And the winner is:
That means Anthony Ryan is safe, and free to leave the runway, too.
No so lucky? Is Suede.
I do agree Suede’s outfit was probably the single most egregious up there. And I do find Suede intensely slappable all too often, and yet some small corner of me will miss him because for all his faults, I do think he’s a genuinely nice person. I appreciate the fact that he reacted with dignity and grace to some truly painful feedback on his outfits. Well deserved painful feedback, I hasten to add, but nonetheless no fun to hear.
Best of luck to you, Suede. Keep your chin up, rock that purple hair… and do either learn to refer to yourself in the third person correctly or give it up. On second thought, just give that one up. I mean it.
Next week: It’s the first ever fan interactive challenge. Joanna Coles is a great deal more surprised than I am that Joshua hasn’t won a single challenge yet, Anthony Ryan gets emotional, Laura feels traumatized that she can’t talk about her home life without others resenting all the money she’s talking about… as starving artists tend to do for some odd reason, and Carolyn thinks she would look like a Chinese lantern in one of the outfits. Join me same bat time same bat channel to parse it all out.