A new season of Project Runway started a couple of weeks ago. It's always been one of my favorite shows--the combination of reality show drama/personalities mixed with watching the (admittedly skewed) process of creating fashion is a winning combination for me. Plus, there's Tim Gunn, who is hands-down the coolest person on television. Anyway, this is one of the few shows that I love reading the recaps for. There's a lot of details you can miss pretty easily, and a lot of people do wonders with the snark. But I've always felt that the recaps are either too long or too short; too detailed or not detailed enough. So I figured, why the hell not write my own? I realized that I have a lot of pent-up snark and love for this show and no one's really gonna give me what I want in a recap. And I need a break from writing horrendous Twilight recaps.
I'm still trying to figure out how I'll write the recaps. I figure anyone who reads this will have already watched the show, so a blow-by-blow probably won't be a lot of fun. So I'll try to mix a recap of what happened with a lot of commentary, because heaven knows that this particular group of people is already driving me insane. And we're on episode 2. So, just keep in mind that I've never tried a TV show recap, so give me some slack. Comments will be greatly appreciated, of course.
Alright, so I'm starting this on Episode 2 because, well, I just decided to start this and Lifetime doesn't have that episode available anymore. Here's where we're at: There were 17 people and they had 5 hours to make an outfit using a garment another contestant had given them. There was a lot of really ugly shit, a lot of boring stuff, and nothing really spectacular, though what can you expect when you give people 5 hours to make something? Anyway, the judges teased us by pretending that one or more people might leave (this will be relevant later) but in the end they just kicked out McKell, a hippie lady who made what I thought was a fairly harmless shiny dress. There were at least three people who made more hideous things but they were given a second chance for some reason. Then the contestants got to move into their fancy apartments and that's where we're at now.
To start, I'll give you a quick rundown of the contestants and how I feel about them, because, yes, after one episode I already have very strong opinions on some of them. In general, I don't have a lot of hope for this season.
1) Casanova (Cassie): He's got a gigantic head and an obnoxious pseudo-Puerto Rican accent. I say pseudo because it just sounds so completely affected and terrible. For the first challenge he made this hideous thing that looked like string and handkerchiefs. He pretends to not understand English too well, which is kind of clever of him. He looks like Ron Pearlman's ugly cousin.
2) Jason (Bowler Hat): He wears a bowler hat, which immediately lets you know he's a massive douchebag. He claims it intimidates people. I think it makes people want to stuff it down his throat. For the first challenge he made his model wear a robe backwards, basically. I already hate him so very, very much.
3) Mondo (Giant Head): Yeah, his name is Mondo. He's very, very strange, but seems talented. He's kind of quiet and stand-offish, so people don't seem to know just what to make of him. Too early to tell, maybe. For the first challenge he used a really hideous chartreuse/vomit fabric to make an actually pretty dress. I think he has some form of Asperger's.
4) Gretchen (Boring Hag): She won the first challenge for making a black dress with some shiny fabric on the shoulders. THAT WAS IT. She spends a lot of time bitching about other people and criticizing them in her interviews, which is very annoying because she's really not that talented. She's unoriginal and boring and I don't like her at all.
5) Andy (Cheekbones): he's Asian and has seriously magnificent cheekbones. Stupid hair, but those cheekbones are impressive. He's kind of stayed in the background so I don't know much about him yet. Seems nice though.
6) AJ (AJ): He seemed really cute and unassuming the first episode, but I've changed my mind on him. He's from the Midwest and at first gave off the impression of someone really sweet and harmless, but turns out he's kind of mean. He made a couple of nice outfits.
7) Sarah: She looks so much like last season's Seth Aaron that for a second I thought they might be brother and sister. She has super-bleached blond hair and is kind of a Tough Chick. Her outfits have been really underwhelming and she's used questionable colors.
8) Ivy (Screech): she's small and super screechy. Also seems incredibly full of herself though from what we've seen there's no reason for it. For the first challenge she got a pair of pants and made...pants out of them. Also made a hideous top. I think she'll be gone pretty soon. I hope so, because she's already driving me insane.
9) Valerie: She seems like a lot of fun and can be pretty hilarious. She's very perky but not annoying so far.
10) Nicholas: He just seems kind of sad and aimless. He made a terribly boring dress for the first challenge and almost went home. He seems nice and a bit of a pushover and not terribly talented, but I liked him.
11) Michael D : There's two Michaels, and this is the one with the ear studs who is fairly cute and seems talented. He's been in the background quite a bit so I don't know much about him yet. I get him and Christopher confused a lot.
12) Michael C: The other Michael seems like he'll be the much-needed comic relief for this season. He hasn't talked much but what he's said has been pretty funny. I like him and he's made a couple of nice outfits. He's sort of short and roundish and seems fun.
13) Kristin: I want to keep calling her Terry because she looks so much like the Terry that was on the show a couple of seasons ago (the season with Kenley, I think? Terrible season all around). She's very tall and very skinny and has big hair. Her clothes haven't been very impressive at all, but she's nice. Don't expect her to be around for very long, to be honest.
14) Peach: She's 50 and hilarious. I think she knows she's slightly out of her depth, but she makes cute clothes that aren't exactly groundbreaking but people will wear them. She seems kind of frantic sometimes and really needs to step it up if she wants to stick around much longer.
15) April: she's the blonde who just got out of college, so probably doesn't have any staying power on the show. She's made some pretty bland looks and is kind of bitchy in interviews.
16) Christopher: I have no idea who this guy is. I think he looks like the other Michael (the one who's not round?) And he's cute? I really can't remember. I'm terrible.
OK I think that's it. Damn, that's a lot of people. Too many. Let's get rid of more of them quick!
-Insane Credits Segment: Casanova tries to roundhouse kick me and I hate him. Mondo is wearing shorts and knee high white socks and a BOWTIE and I think suspenders but I passed out from the fug and went momentarily blind. Jeebus. Someone says (Andy?) says "better watch your ass" and...come on, we already know this is the gayest show on television. No need to make it more obvious.
-Challenge Segment! So the designers go to the famous rooftop where Heidi, Tim and some other lady who turns out to be the Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire are waiting for them. Hey, remember when the first episode would always have the designers drinking champagne with La Klum and Le Gunn? Now it's like they can't even spare champagne for these poor people.
They're told that the first challenge will be incredibly boring. I mean, that they'll have to design a look that 'exemplifies the Marie Claire woman' or some shit. The Editor throws out some seriously meaningless words describing said woman (chic! elegant! tomato! fashion! elegant! firetruck! timeless!) that are just completely unhelpful. Everyone knows that she just means "safely pretty". This isn't V Magazine or even Vogue. The MC woman is fucking boring, is my point. So right off the bat I'm expecting completely boring, safe, pretty dresses that won't really show what the designers are capable of. Everyone's gonna want to be on the safe side. And (spoiler!) I'm right. Specially because the prize is so huge (HA GET IT): they get to have their dress photographed and put on a giant billboard in Times Square. It's a nice prize, I guess.
[Oh I just want to point out that I took my notes before I knew who'd win and lose. Now I know but I'll try to keep my original impressions as they were. Whenever I use a quote directly from these notes I'll put it in italics. Like so:]
Joanna throws out a bunch of random words --oh good lord they show the designers AJ (the cute guy from Missouri) is wearing a SAILOR'S CAP and has a super-blue sweater and a yellow tie and he looks like a Lego Boat Captain. Holee shit.
-Sketching Session Segment: Gretchen says she'll do pants for the first time ever (that's always such a great idea! good! GO HOME GRETCHEN) and sketches what looks like sausage casings. I mean, a jumpsuit. God I hate jumpsuits. They're hideous and NO ONE looks good in them, ever. Maybe mechanics. Then blargh, Jason (Bowler Hat Douche) says he's gonna make 'an infinity dress' which means NOTHING but seems to incorporate a figure 8. He claims it's like the infinity symbol and someone needs to tell him that that's an 8 turned on its side. Twit. But I hate him so I'm glad no one does. "What's better than infinity" he says in his monotone voice. SHUT THE HELL UP, HAT. Or, appropriately enough, Asshat.
Oh, lord. AJ says one of his inspirations is Courtney Love and I think; honey, have you LOOKED at Courtney Love lately? she dresses in hotel sheets and cardboard shoes and has CRAZY HAIR. Oh, AJ. His sketch does look pretty though.
-Mood Shopping Segment: There's a lot of frantic shopping. I never care about this part. But then Ivy goes "OH GAAAAWD WHAT A NIGHTMAAAAAAAARE" in this super screechy horrible voice and I want to punch her. Gah, this show makes me so violent.
-Starting up Segment Highlights: Peach has this super-hideous fabric that's bright pink polka dots on a white background. It looks like it'd be a nice tablecloth for a kid's tea party. There's a weird moment where Cassie asks AJ for help, and AJ is kind of a bitch about it, but Cassie takes it well. I don't get what it was all about but it doesn't really matter.
-Tim Gunn Advice Segment! It's always my favorite, though he's been kind of bad luck lately. Like, he told McKell her dress was great and she went home. I just think the judges and Tim are completely at odds for some reason. He goes around complimenting people. Then he gets to Jason. And this happens. I need a whole new paragraph for this fucknuttery.
Jason's idea of an "8" dress sounds as stupid to Tim as it does to me. You know Tim is thinking "This bitch is crazy and I hate him and his stupid hat" because Tim and I are like *this*. But he's way nicer than me and just says he's "concerned". Then Bowler Hat Giant Douchebag says this: "I'm straight man in a gay man's world, don't be so hard on me" and I WANT TO KILL HIM IN HIS FUCKING FACE. Because what the holy flying fuck is that supposed to mean?! did someone force you onto this? OH YOU POOR WHITE STRAIGHT GUY. So many challenges for you in the fashion world, even though some of the greatest designers have been straight! Even though the fashion world doesn't give a shit what you are as long as you make pretty things? FUCK YOU, BOWLER HAT. I HOPE YOU BURN FROM THE LOOK TIM GIVES YOU. I am STILL angry at this fuck. He's got massive issues and thinks everyone is against him and I HATE people like that. Grr. GRR.
Argh. Deep breath. OK. Some other "highlights": Casanova pretends not to understand what Tim is saying when he calls his stuff "matronly". Nicholas overhears and then tells us in an interview that it's "funny" how Cassie speaks perfectly good English to them but seems to magically lose it when the judges or Tim Gunn speak English to him (remember that last episode they had to have Nina translate for him at judging).
And then I like April because she says Gretchen is not creative and she's so right. Fucking jumpsuit. THEN Gretchen claims that Nicholas 'stole' the idea for the back of his dress from the sad sack of a boring dress she made last time. Come ON. Just because he also has a giant swatch of nude back like you did doesn't make him a thief, you boring sad sack. You're not the first person to do something like that. Or anything, because you've never had an original idea. Anyway. Michael C's has a bow on the back, and ick. So cliched. Nicholas is making a hideous cape thing for his dress. Peach is screwed and has to start over. Tim is very harsh to all of them which is good, because they're all so boring.
-Surprise Element Segment: I always hate these. Like these designers aren't stretched for time enough, they then add some new thing they have to do, then they complain when things aren't finished. It's what makes this show not as good as it could be, I think. Because what are the chances that a look will be exactly as the designer imagined? And, really, you just can't know everything about the designer from a one-day dress. They do cull out the bad ones, but you never know if someone just go unlucky that day. Anyhoo. The surprise is that they have to do a photoshoot the next day, which I thought was gonna determine the photo that would go up on the billboard, but no. They have to be more careful with styling and stuff.
-Back to the Apartment Segment: Everyone seems to be getting along great, which is nice but annoying because I WANT SOME DRAMA. Where's our Wendy Pepper for this season?! Our Kenley? Oh how I hated Kenley and her stupid face. I want Santino and Andrae, or Chris March! Gawd was there anyone better than Chris March? Ooh and Anthony! They really should have an All Star season with people who didn't win or show at fashion week. Could be fab.
Oh God, poor Mondo says he's all lonely and how he hasn't connected. I don't know...it seems like he's not trying. But that's weird and sad for him and I get it. He starts crying and I feel bad for making fun of him. Then he says it's because of his 'gift and his talent' and I don't think he gets why people don't find that annoying. I say Asperger's. And Big Head. I'm horrible.
-Photoshoot segment! This was pretty silly to do at the start of the day. Because one of the best things on this show is getting the surprise of the looks as they show up on the Runway, but we're seeing a lot of them during the shoot, which kind of ruins the surprise. There's some good moments: Valerie's dress is gorgeous and she has a great photo. Peach calls her dress "Sofa Barbie" which is SO TRUE because that dress is fug. Bowler Hat's dress is more horrible than I could ever describe and his photo makes the chick look like a really short, angry lesbian. NOT GOOD AT ALL. And you can see this glaring hole near her button hole that has a SAFETY PIN holding the dress together. SO HIDEOUS. But more on that later. I wish people would stop taking photos of jumping models on blank backgrounds. It's such a cliche. Like jumpsuits.
They throw out some really hilarious things about what they want the models to do. She's a Dean on her way to a lunch around the corner at Subway!! she's futuristic barista! she's a teacher! a dog trainer! SHE HAS A HOUSE ON THE SUBURBS AND LIKES BUBBLES or whatever.
-Runway Segment: At last! Heidi looks hideous in a snow-leopard print blouse and too many bangs. I hate that she's so pretty. Michael Kors is very, very orange as usual. Nina looks seriously mean and pissed, as usual. Guest judge is the EiC of Marie Claire. Here we go with the looks! Note: I know fuck all about fabrics and fashion so I'll probably be terrible at describing these things. Bear with me.
1) Nicholas the Sad Sack did a greyish skirt, purplish top and that...terrible fucking cape. It would be so much nicer without that thing. There's just no reason for that thing, and in the photo the model has it on her hand like a limp dead thing. It's...kind of cute without the cape. Not terribly impressive. He's just not that good.
2) Christopher the Cute Guy also made a black pencil skirt and a cute black top with a round neckline and poofy things that come out of the shoulders, neck and waist (see? I'm terrrible). There's yellow cloth peeking from underneath and I like that. But it looks secretarial, so perfect for Marie Claire. Really safe and kind of meh. Really well made. Definitely not a winner, I don't think.
3) Oh, holy shit, here's Jason's . It is seriously hideous and one of the worst things I've ever seen on this show. It's shiny and silver with some dull gray cloth on the collar and it kind looks like a badly wraped towel. I don't even see an 8, I just see hideousness. The model looks REALLY short and fat in the photo, because he gave her no neck and put her in flat boots. Fucking terrible in every way imaginable. And you can see the safety pins of bullshit. NO. JUST NO. Everything about it is terrible. He KNEW what his model looked like, and he still picked out a hideous color that washed her out. He styled her so that she looked fat. He knew this was for MC and what the fuck did he do? No one would wear that. Ever.
AND THEN. And then he says "I think I stumbled upon something" I say Yeah, a pile of shit. "it was impeccable the way it was sewn" IT WAS HELD TOGETHER BY FUCKING SAFETY PINS! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! It doesn't fit the model at ALL, it bunches in the wrong places, it's hideous. And he paired it with hideous black boots! This dude is DELUSIONAL. Maybe the hat just heated up his stupid head too much. Ugh. I can't wait for the butchering. Nina is practically licking her lips at the idea of tasting his blood. BITE HIS HEAD OFF, NINA.
4) Oh! Michael C (funny chubby guy) changed his look around so it doesn't look as old as Tim told him it did. It's a nice little dress in this metallic pattern. There's some big folds on the skirt and I think it looks nice. She's really well styled, too. It fits her so well, specially across the chest. No one with a real chest could wear it, but the model looks nice.
5) AJ's is pretty cool, and looks even better in the photo. It's yellow and black (I LOVE yellow) and has this giant black belt across the middle. I just think it's so pretty, but unfortunately the fit across the waist is really weird and the fabric bunches and it looks like she's impregnated by an alien (as he says). It just doesn't move well, which is unfortunate. Good idea but poor execution.
6) Ouch. Peach's is not pretty. It's this really simple, boring dress in the hideous polka dot pattern. There's some weird bunched brown fabric at the top. It's really bad. Like the sleeves are different sizes. She's very lucky that Jason's was worse. It's a nice idea, but the fabrics are so wrong.
7)Michael D's is pretty cool. This sort of stripey-cagey fabric into a mini dress with giant cap sleeves. It looks like something that Heidi would wear. It's REALLY cool. But it's extremely short. EXTREMELY. I really liked the shoulder thing though.
8) Ivy's is super fucking boring. Just a grey little dress with some super light piping. Blargh.
(notice how ALL of these are little short dresses. Blargh)
9) I really love Valerie's--it's this gorgeous tomato-red dress with a big zipper down the middle and a gorgeous collar and neckline. I love it and her photo is so gorgeous, it would look very nice on a billboard. Great color--I think only her and Andy had fun with the colors and didn't make them all blah grays and winter colors.
10) Ick, I do not like Sarah's. It's a super-high waisted grey skirt that comes up to her boobs where it turns into purple fabric. there's a v-neck that's really ugly and some cap sleeves with hideous peach-orange bits coming out. It's ugly. UGLY. And makes her model look fat. It has a sailor-neck. Blargh.
11) Andy made some huuuuuge flowy gray pants and a nice purple top. It's...nice. Looks like a very professional, boring woman. Who buys Marie Claire. It's nice, but very boring. Might just win. The sleeves look like gills or something. The model makes some really hideous faces though.
12) Eesh. Casanova made an outfit that Peach (the 50 year old lady) could wear to a fancy dinner party. it's a white skirt and a dark blue blouse with giant sleeves and a big black belt. It's super old and matronly and he didn't really listen to what Tim said. Boring.
13) Kristin's is weird. Looks like it was ripped apart and went through a windstorm. She has an a-symmetrical cream skirt, a little vest-top and a big peach amoeba sitting on the girl's neck. I don't like it and it doesn't fit her well. The length is all wrong and weird.
14) Fucking Gretchen made a jumpsuit. It's hideous because I HATE JUMPSUITS, but even if you do it's just super boring. It tapers at the shin an has giant sleeves that look like any second they'll flare out and a boob will pop out. It's black or navy and just fucking incredibly ugly and there's nothing original about it. I'm trying to get past my hatred of jumpsuits here, but it's just so fucking boring. It looks like a fucking suit on a mechanic. Ick. So far she's made two completely unoriginal, boring, flarey black things and god I don't like her.
15) Mondo's is really cute. Definitely the best photo of the bunch. She's wearing tights and has a very layered skirt of houndstooth, I think. Nice black top that's sort of ruined by this ugly neckerchief made of some sheer white fabric and pink polka dots. Ick. Would be so much nicer without it. His model is gorgeous though, and looks like Pocahontas. The skirt is gorgeous and original.
God, that's a lot of people.
16) April's is blah. it's this weird little dress in gray (PEOPLE, USE SOME MORE COLORS) and this weird top made of like tissue paper that flares out at the top.
Jeez, it's finally over.
OK my top three before the judges give theirs: Michael Costello, Mondo and Valerie. Though I don't really love any of them. Bottom three: Jason (the worst), Gretchen and Kristin.
Nicholas, Gretchen, Peach, Jason, Valerie and Mondo are left on stage. I was close! Just Nicholas instead of Michael.
Peach is first. She tries vaguely to defend it. Heidi says it's really boring and has no sex appeal. It's very true. Kors calls it "Amish lunch" which is stupid. It looks very old. And like there's an animal going down her back. Hee. Peach owns up to it and says how she had trouble, which is good.
Valerie. She says how it's embodying the spirit of New York and I agree. I think someone could definitely wear it. it's very pretty. The judges really like how it's simple and sexy. And the red was a good choice for a billboard. It shows that she really thought about it. And she should win.
Oh, boy, Jason. God that thing is hideous. He claims he likes it and I think it's bullshit, unless he's seriously deluded. Nina points out the safety pins. They say how obvious it is that it's not MC. It's not ANYONE. Hee. Kors is delightfully bitchy and says how she wouldn't wear it at night (because it's a fucking satin piece of shit) or day because it looks like a walk of shame dress. Hee. He's so right sometimes. It would look so horrible on a billboard. It's just fucking hideous.
Gretchen's stupid jumpsuit. God I hate that thing. She's also jumping on the photo which is so fucking boring. IT'S SO DAMN FUCKING BORING. The day-to-evening shit consists of opening up the front a bit more. COME ON HER TITS ARE GONNA POP OUT. BULLSHIT. The fucking judges love it and I HATE IT. It's effortless because IT'S SO FUCKING BORING. ARGH ARGH ARGH. NO WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS SHIT? WHY! And you know what? It's so fucking perfect that they like it, because these judges always claim they want to see something new and great but they really don't. They want someone who will fit in the middle of the pack and not be a threat to anyone. THAT SUCKS. I WANT NEW JUDGES.
You know what I think it is? Jumpsuits are in for some fucking reason, and Gretchen just copied one and they love it. There's nothing at ALL original or exciting about that thing. Nothing at all. It's a navy jumpsuit. THAT IS IT. If they're just looking for someone safe then say so. Blargh.
Nicholas. Nina says there's too many details, and I agree. The cape is way too much. I think Nicholas just doesn't know what he wants to do. He has no direction and no real idea of what his style is. The blouse is actually pretty, but drowned out by everything else.
Mondo's. I love his photo and the model is just gorgeous. The styling from head to toe is perfect. I'd love the hell out of that billboard. The judges love it and he's really happy, which makes me happy. I think he should win because of the photo and the perfect styling.
-Judges Deliberate Segment: Hee! Joanna wonders if Jason has ever even spoken to a woman, and I bet not. He's the sort of guy who thinks a woman is bitchy because they think he's a creep. Just one of those guys that always think the problem is other people, never them . KICK HIM OUT. They annoy me because they love how Mondo's look was really innovative and cute, but then they turn around and praise the jumpsuit, which is the most derivative thing ever? I don't think these people know what the hell they want.
-Decision Time Segment: They give it to the motherfucking jumpsuit and I scream because I'm so angry. But you know what? If they really want to tell the world that the Marie Claire woman is completely fucking unoriginal and boring and will only buy something because it's trendy, then this is perfect for it. Enjoy being the outcast magazine forever.
Jason's out, thank God. He's a perfect bastard at the end, barely saying goodbye and not sticking around at all. Good riddance, you horrible person.
AND THEN. Then they say Nicholas is out and his face just CRUMPLES. It's heartbreaking. And...OK I don't think he was the best one around but why kick him out this time? You're saying his was as bad as Jason's and that's patently not true. On the other hand, he would've been out sooner or later. But it's still sad and it seems like they kicked him out just to make this a gimmick. And you KNOW that in the future we'll have a no-elimination episode because of this. We know how these shows work, people. Blargh.
-And that's it. It was boring and these designers just aren't very inspiring. Now that Jason's out I won't have anyone to really hate (except Gretchen). I don't even love any of them. It's very early, but we should at least have someone who really stands out, shouldn't we? We'll see.
I hope it gets better, because it'll take a LOT for me to forget that fucking jumpsuit.
OK that was WAY too long. If you're still around, hope you enjoyed and I'd appreciate some notes on how it was! I'll try to edit it as much as I can. I'll leave in the bit with the contestants but that'll definitely not be there next time. Anyway, see you next week!