Friday, July 30, 2010

Project Runway - Season 8 - Episode 1 - "And We're Baaaaaaaaaack!"

Is it me or was that the shortest hiatus ever?  Granted, I've been busier than Tim Gunn at a Macy's suit sale, but still, it seems like just yesterday Seth Aaron was crowned the (obvious) Season 7 winner:

"But enough time has passed that you forgot
about my horribly out of control faux hawk, didn't you?"

Either way, it's a new season so let's get to it!

First up - the format change! 

Now the show is 90 minutes, thanks to Models of the Runway being auf'd by the network.  Interesting.  I'll miss MOTR only because we got to know the models a bit better and had more people to root for.  So far, there's not much incorporation of the models names or anything in PR yet.  (The only fun fact we learn this episode about our uber-skinny friends is that one gal has "big boobs for a model."  Wheeeeee.)  But I'll let it slide for this episode as there were 179340834 designers to introduce, so we'll see how that plays out down the line.

Another format change is that there are now soundbites from Frau Heidi and Herr Gunn.  I enjoyed this change, however the opening where they summed up each contestant in a quick bite was jarring.  It was a montage of a bunch of names and faces I didn't know and with a blitzkrieg of information my OCD brain didn't know how to categorize and store.  It was not helpful, it was disjointed and panic inducing: "Was that it?  Was that all the introduction we get?!"  (But during this part, Heidi says "figger" instead of "figure."  This has nothing to do with anything other than I think it's absolutely adorsables.)

I enjoyed that the new designers all met in different parts of the city (instead of the tired meeting in the apartment and champagne on the roof bull honkey for the past 7 seasons) but sadly this too felt quite produced.  BUT!  I do have to hand it to the producers, they TRIED to make it different.  They listened.  We, the audience, were bored to tears.  We blogged, tweeted and yell-typed about it last season until our fingers and social media devices bled.  So they tried and for that, I approve.  (Because I know they were waiting with baited breath to see if I did or not... you know, because my opinion matters SO MUCH...)

The Characters:

Let's just talk about the stand-outs, shall we?  Let's start with Casanova.  Or as I like to call him, "The New Ping."

"Casanova is my real last name.
Not my fake one.  Which is Smith."

This guy is out of his league.  I said it.  I have no idea if it's due to his loose grasp on the English language, the culture differences or that his pants are too tight and cutting off blood to his brain, but my lord this guy is in trouble in my early (and humble!) opinion.  

(NOTE:  Remember that I can not sew.  I can not design and I certainly can not style myself.  But I can pass judgement like a champ.)

Next up in the clown parade, Mondo:

"If Orville Redenbacher and John Leguizamo had a baby,
it'd be me.  Cheese!"

Quiet, soft spoken and odd.  A little like Malvin from last season (but so far, no egg outfit).  And he's one of the only designers to not already have a line already produced.  Tim mentions that he was blown away by him at his audition.  So we'll see where Orville Leguizamo takes us this season.

And this season has a biddy on it: PEACH!

"I hope there's cheese cake 
and midnight talks about St. Olaf."

I'm glad that there's a sassy elder on the show.  And she's not even really old.  Oh right, this is America, she may as well be dead.  When you turn 50 you are considered a museum piece.  Let's hope she doesn't turn to dust during the run.  I KID!  I KID!  I'll send her some Viactiv just to make sure she's okay.

The last overt character, as far as I can tell, is Jason:

"I say old chap, have I mentioned that I'm straight yet?
I'm straight.  As an arrow.  No, ignore the hat."

OH JASON.  You silly man.  Not only do you have the dandy hat, you wear a corset with your sewing tools attached.  

"No, for real, I'm straight.  WHAT?"

What the hell, dude?  You're like a modern day Sweeney Todd.  I do not get you, sir.  I do not get you.  I know you say you're straight, but for real... you're pushing it.

OH.  And this next guy isn't really a character, but here's who I think is a super cutie and has replaced Season 6's Logan as my heart's desire...  Christopher...

"First thing tomorrow, I'm taking out a restraining
order on The New Old Biddy."

And HEY, Heidi thinks he's cute too.  So nyah.  I'm allowed.  I'm not dead yet.  As a matter of fact, Heidi and I are the same age.  She just has a lot more to show than I do.  Although I'm certain that I have more crows feet to show.  Anyhoo - let's just gawk and Christopher for a moment, shall we?

"I'm the hot dude in the middle of two awkward dudes.  
Ooops, sorry lady."

"When I make this face it seems as though I care when you speak,
and girls dig that."

Alright, back to the show... begrudgingly... oh Christopher's cute.  (And I still need to get out more....)


Everybody made it to Lincoln Center where Fashion Week has been relocated from Bryant Park.  

And they finally get to meet Heidi and Tim...

Heidi:  "Another season?"
Tim: "Yep.  I'm already drinking."

Tim: "Come closer, I want to motor boat your face.
Wubba wubba wubba wubba..."

Oh dear.  Anyhoo...  Heidi tells the designers that there is a twist already in the game:  They are still auditioning to be on the show.  Um, technically, this is episode 1, so they are on the show.  So it's not really a twist.  It's an episode with an elimination.  Um, that's standard.  Right?

Heidi tells them to open their suitcase and take out on piece of clothing.  She then tells them to pass it to the right and that the garment they receive will be incorporated into the look they will make for the runway show that will happen after just 5 hours of work time.  Everybody drops a figurative brick at the announcement.

Casanova is particularly put out by the news as he pulled out a pair of pants that cost $1070.  REALLY, CASANOVA???  I think if you put ALL my clothes together they wouldn't be worth that much and you dropped that kind of coin on ONE PAIR OF FREAKING PANTS?  

"Hello, Pants.  You are the only person who understands Casanova."

Don't they look like you could just get another pair for $60 at The Gap?  Moving on...

"5 hours to sew and no champagne?  Bullshit!"

At Parsons, they all get set up at their work stations and Tim lets them know that Mood has created an annex at Parsons so they don't have to travel to get their fabrics.  

"Thank you, Moooooooooooood!"

The designers are assigned models randomly (damn, no awkward kickball team line-ups!) and they all just get sewing.  Some have problems, others don't.  Some designers are focused on soooo heavily in the episode that I know they will not be joining us for the rest of the season (that apparently hasn't started yet).  Others are down right ignored to the point where when I see them later on I exclaim, "Where the hell did that person come from??!" (Note: I also startle easily...)

There's a lot of talking in this episode...  too much to sum up that really doesn't have much to do with the runway results.  So... Yakkedy-shmackedy,  let's jump to the runway!

Guest Judge... Selma Blair:

"I love a good bang."

"Me too!  We're talking about sex, right?"


"Oh thank God we get to sit down now..."


She turned a kilt into a collar.  A'ight.  This look is fine, and I agree that she should be safe and part of Season 8 (whatever) but the front side bustle isn't doing it for me.  Somehow it makes the fabric look like cheap car seat leather.  But her Piperlime accessories were indeed thoughtfully chosen.  (GAG.)

Michael C:

Yeah.  It's fine.  Again, this was a five hour challenge, so for five hours, great!  Although the severe side part on the model is off putting.  Looks like she's combing over a Bump-it.


Hmmmmmm.  I don't know.  Is it the dress I don't like, or the model.  Or the color?  Or the model's hair?  Or all of it?  Okay, all of it.  Sewn well, but YOINKS.  The color.  The blandness.  I've seen couches at nursing homes with more personality (and mystery colors).


Okay.  A little Corpse Bride for my taste, but I'd wear a hoodie to a wedding, so what do I know...


I could do without the "funeral maitai hat" as it makes the outfit look over done.  Yeah, it's the hat's fault...


YAY!  He's safe!  YAY!  Oh yeah, nice dress. YAY! CUTIE PANTS IS SAFE! (I know... shut up.)


Oh sweet lord in heaven, is that prison gear?  It looks like if you were making a women in prison film for a "sexy" film.  Why are her lips the color of death?  What the hell?  Is it me or is this crew a little morbid?


Not sure about the boob bandages, but other than that...  Actually I don't like much of any of it.  The colors are weird and it looks like she was given a brown paper bag as her initial item.  

Michael D:


Side note:  I'm guessing hats are the new faux hawks this season with designers....


Sweet.  Cute.  I like it, but couldn't wear it.  She had a knitted scarf to use and it fell apart whenever she touched it.  So she used it in the neck and a little poof in the back.  She did what she could and looks like the broad knows how to sew.  But I worry about her fabric choices.  (See Ivy's look in the "barely safe" section...)

WINNER:  GRETCHEN (aka Granola Girl)

Our green designer from Portland pulls out a win in this non-season-8-opener-non-opener-non-episode.  I'm confused by this dress as a win as it's just a black dress.  Yes, she has weird applique (spelling??) fabric to start with, but... really?  This is the winner?  Hmph.

BARELY SAFE, but invited to Season 8...


Um... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  He used the ribbing from a bomber jacket to make the awkward stole thing on her shoulders.  Needless to say, it bombed.  (I'm here all week, folks!)


AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Are they remaking "Thriller" because this would work.  There's a lengthy discussion about how can you tell if something is deconstructed well before you know if the designer can construct.  I dunno.  I think if it looks like crap, it's crap.  This is safe only because there is worse to come...


She got Peach's toile pants and made... capris!  The judges were not impressed with that nor with the shirt.  I admit, not the best effort, but glad she's still there as I like her personality and I think she got stuck with only 5 hours to make something.  Hopefully she's learned she needs to push to stay on the show.  


HOT MESS.  This is a hot disaster and deserved to go home.  He basically took the kimono he was given and turned it around. Then he used a stapler.  A FREAKING STAPLER.  Does he have a Staples Easy Button on his tool corset?  Holy Versace I don't even know where to begin.  Her hair is a scary mess, the boots are unsavory and the look on the model's face screams "get me outta here."  Oh and by the way, this is our "busty" model friend.  Yeah.  She's busty.  The straight guy made sure to say so.  


In his defense, he got a flowy shirt as his garment to use.  However, he didn't need to be so literal.

This "outfit" is atrocious.  Selma says it looks like it would be sold at a store called Dazzles that sells wigs and dresses.  (I think she just shared a little bit about where she bought her wig hair today, kids...)  It's just a miss.  Kors calls her a pole dancer from Dubai.  (I hear Dubai is requesting an apology.)  This look too should have gone over the one that is ultimately auf'd.

Oh and in a PR first, Nina had to ask Casanova in Spanish why he should stay on the show.  I was so taken by her Spanish that I didn't listen to his answer.  But I think that's okay because it probably made little sense in the end.

AUF'D...  McKell:

I knew she was leaving based on how much energy they put into her story/character in this non-episode.  In short: This should not have gone home.  Casanova or Jason should have been in the bottom 2 for sure, but not this.  It's constructed well.  Oh sure, the bag is a disaster according to the judges, and so is her hair, but HEY THERE, FOLKS, SHE CAN SEW.  I'm not so sure about Casanova and Jason.  

McKell: "I call shenanigans.  
And I'm not talking about my hair which I call Predator Chic."

So right off the bat, the judging makes no sense and I am angered.  Is that good or bad television?

And there you have it - the first not-episode of not-season-8!  It's all uphill from here, kids!

"That's right, I spell 'bitches' without the 't' cuz I'm an artist."

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