ETV: Project Runway and Models of the Runway – Run for Cover

E: Reality shows are always hawking new episodes as The Biggest or The Most Shocking or The Most Difficult, Like, Ever.  Project Runway really did outdo itself this week, though.  The task?  Create a look for Heidi to wear on the cover of Marie Claire.  For real?  A major fashion magazine cover for an unknown designer? Are you kidding?  For once, the hype is real.  Wow.

Project Runway: Tim takes the designers to the Hearst Building.  I’ve never seen it before, but wow!  What a glorious bit of architecture that is! It’s a bit of a modern cathedral, with amazing expanses of twisted glass.  So cool.  I feel a bit like Betty Suarez making her way into Meade’s corporate headquarters.

Our challenge is introduced by Marie Claire Editor in Chief Joanna Coles, a sophisticated, gorgeous Helen Mirren type; she’s polite, and not unkind, but you know immediately she’s a woman of substance with a keen mind and steel spine.  Or at least, as substantive as someone who runs a fashion magazine which bows to industry and perpetuates the national/international suppression of women (through negative self-esteem) could be.  She lets them all know that though Marie Claire usually features cover looks by Dior and Versace, in April of 2010 Heidi will wear one of their dresses.  They are knocked over.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but you’d think that for the most important challenge they’ve ever had they’d give the designers more than 9 hours.  Does Marie Claire want a half-assed look on the cover?  You’d think they’d give extra time in order to get really lovely, meticulous product at the end.  They do get $150 for supplies, which is nice, but I can’t help but think that the show would be invested in the designers doing as well as possible. Coles is the guest judge, as she should be.

The Top:

Anthony: Anthony for the win!  The exuberant Southerner – who woke Jay Nicholas by telling him it time for Bible study and then pretending to whack Jay with his bible – wanted to show the judges he was listening to their critiques.  This time, he managed perfectly adding volume while giving Kristina a sexy, form fitting silhouette.  He ran folds of fabric down a single strap, and had a lovely horizontally folded skirt.  And that aqua! What a glorious color!  I’m so excited for him, I really am.  It’s very hard to describe, but it was unique and very flattering and you can see it on the cover of the April Marie Claire.  Wow!

Ben: Ben is a close runner up with a fantastic wrap dress with solid shoulders, a wide belt, a stunning peekaboo back.  It had a sort of forties meets kimono vibe , while being completely modern; his aim was a modern, hopped up Madame Butterfly.  I thought the saturated color scheme (deep teal, bright yellow and a shiney, textured reddish brown ) would be an 80s comic book disaster, but he pulled it off. Perhaps the judges decided it was too casual for a cover, but it was my favorite by a mile.   This is the first time I’ve looked at any of his designs twice, but wow, I loved it.  The vile frizzed out crime perpetrated on Lorena’s hair was another matter.

Emilio: Rounding out the top three we have Emilio with a flirty little red dress with a threaded detail.  The judges felt the beribboned straps were too junior, and Emilio obliged them by cutting them right off Brittany’s body with the scissors he just happened to have in his pocket.  Wow.  We haven’t seen that one.  The judges love the new look, but still hold the sleeves against him.

The Middle:

Maya: If she’d had more time, Maya would have made the ruffled collar of her short grey, cream and peach dress more exuberant.  That would have been a good call.  It had the faint suggestion of a wrap – the skirt was pieced to look like side panels swept away from an overskirt.  Interesting, but Maya’s designs, at their best, take more time. She thinks the colors flatter Megan, but I don’t know.  Better than Mila’s wreck with a similar palette, anyway.

Amy: Do you remember her burlap gown, with the layered hankerchief hem?  This is a similar design – a print with blacks and red and blues, a strapless empire waist,  an enormous flower near the right shoulder, and a massive, fluffy tiered hankerchief skirt.  It’s a bit like Holly got swallowed by a koosh.  I think it was cool that she took a risk using a print (when Coles told them that doesn’t often work on a cover shoot), but to me, the silhouette was maternity.

Seth Aaron: The rock and roll aesthetic is back with a slick, fitted grey pantsuit.  Very very slim fit – it’s the female version of what Nick tried to put Daniel V in back in season 2’s make over challenge, only with slightly puffy sleeves.  He’s going for Angelina Jolie here, and definitely not Hilary Clinton.  I thought it looked great on Valeria, but a pantsuit seems an odd thought for a cover shot.  I guess it’s nice to see someone thinking outside the box.  He thinks it will sell more copies of Marie Claire than anything, ever.  Coles and co did not agree.

Jonathan: A ROMPER?  Honestly?  I don’t care how flat your seams sat, dude, or whether it moved like butter.  (Actually, that’s not true.  That comment intrigues me.  Isn’t the expression that something moves smoothly like a knife through butter?  Does his butter move on its own?) It’s all very grey and yellow and totally (thanks to his model Allison for the apt observation) Farah Fawcett.   Not to mention extremely short.  I know Coles said the details should all be on the top, but I doubt she meant that the outfit should actually end at the crotch.

Jay Nicholas: Talk about voluminous – Jay took an off-white fabric (nubby?  ribbed?  it had some sort of texture to it) and produced a romantic strapless gown with an empire waist.  The skirt is high in the front – above the knee – and falls back to a lengthy train.  There’s a single strap with romantic, fluffy, vaguely floral ruffly things on it.  Nice dress – much better fitted than Amy’s, I thought – but the train was the thing, and that’s wasted on a cover shot.

Jesse: The basket weave bodice detail of this deep teal cocktail dress does weird, lumpy things to Alexis’ non-existent waist.  Otherwise, we have a very pedestrian, very cleavage baring dress.  Whatevs.

The Bottom:

Mila: I actually liked her color blocking when the pieces were laid out on the cutting table, but the colors on Brandise?  Blech.  It didn’t work, and once they were under the lights even Mila knew it.  The beige WAS the color of a hospital bandage.  Nice one, Michael. And yes, Nina, the pattern pointed righted right at the wearer’s crotch.  I’m not terribly sorry to see cocky Mila take a tiny knock.  You know she thought she was up there in the top.

Janeane: The judges loathed her bridal seamed oyster-colored cocktail dress with a floaty ocean inspired bolero.  I liked the dress well enough (though I was not a fan of the weird rise in the hem) but the bolero?  Uck.

Anna: Poor, sweet Anna.  We have a challenge that calls for a dress by it’s very nature, and what does she do?  She decides to branch into casual separates, making striped shorts, a sweet blue floaty tank and a shiny silver vest.  Her looks is cute and well-made, and the judges appreciate that she made separates, but it’s in no way formal enough for the cover of Marie Claire.  I could see Heidi wearing it to take her kids to Gymboree, maybe.    I mean, I don’t buy fashion magazines, but I do go to the grocery store, and I know that’s not what they look like.  Seventeen Magazine, maybe, but not a grown up mag like Marie Claire or Glamor or Vanity Fair.     I’m really sorry to see her go; she was adorable and she made some cute clothes.

Models of the Runway: Cerri has only ever worked with Anna, and assumes she’s out.  She doesn’t think she fits anyone else’s look.  Cerri wishes that Anna had thought more outside the box for the challenge, but honestly, isn’t the issue that she wasn’t in the right box?

Unlike Anthony, Alexis hasn’t been reading her Bible.  Or boning up on her musical theater.  If she had, she’d know that telling people you had dreams about them getting incredibly fat won’t endear you to them.  Really, girl, what were you thinking? Clearly Megan would rather represent famine than prosperity!  But no, Alexis doesn’t have the example of Joseph or his techniccolor dreamcoat in her head, and so she creates a big drama storm.  (I don’t doubt that there’s a way to convey this information that makes it funny and not mean-sounding, but Alexis doesn’t have that gift.)  The rest of the girls correctly diagnose her as an attention seeker.

Joanna Coles swoops in to give the models a photo shot; they’re supposed to show their personality through accessorizing and posing in the same blue oxford buttondown.  Brandise (who begins by apologizing for not being pretty) and Alexis (sexpot) fare the worst; Monique and Allison are the best.  The designers get this information, but it doesn’t really inform their choices.  It’s only in the very end, after all, that photos will matter, and you need a good walk to get you there.  I think both Alexis and Brandise get picked before Allison and Monique, although they do all get picked.  Much to the chagrin of the group, anyway, who were hoping that Alexis would go home – especially after she was called out for skanky photographs.

At the end it’s Cerri and Kasey left on the runway for Mila to choose from.  Really, none of them fit Mila’s aesthetic, but I can see why she’d pick Cerri as  marginally edgier.  But oh.  That sucks.  As Cerri puts it, it had to be Kasey.  Kasey is the glue that holds all the other girls together.  And, of course, I thought she was the prettiest, but perhaps that means she’s too conventionally pretty for the modeling world.  Boo.  Alexis interviews that she’s glad Kasey’s going home because it will negatively affect house morale, and no one will want to be there.  Right.  This from the girl with the mascara smeared face, weeping because no one likes her.  Get out of the damn kitchen, Alexis.  You don’t have the stomach to be as Machiavelli as you wanna be.

Before leaving you, I have to give a big squeal of delight for next week’s challenge – dressing 4 year old girls!  I could not love that more.  And no, it’s not because I’m a mom.  Ahem.  Not just because I’m a mom. It’s a totally new challenge, it’s not easy, it takes them totally out of their comfort zones, and it’s going to be insane.  I cannot wait.

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8 comments on “ETV: Project Runway and Models of the Runway – Run for Cover

  1. Crystal says:

    Agreed – great show! 🙂 I’m so excited for next week’s show…Sylvia too, she’s getting so hooked on it and is now saying, “I don’t know if that’s going to work…”

    • E says:

      Oh no, that is so cute! I don’t know when I’ve been more excited about an upcoming challenge. In some ways it’s thinking even more outside the box than the normal “real woman” challenges because they can’t try to make their clients look sexy.

  2. Krizzzz says:

    I thought Jay’s dress was gorgeous, but my thought as it came down the runway was “He’s toast: all the beauty happens in the train.” I figured he’d probably survive, because it WAS a great dress, but I almost expected him to get dressed down more for not paying attention to the parameters.

    Sorry to see Anna go, but I think it was the right move. Actually, really tough choice between here and Janeane, as I looked at both their dressed — but I do think Anna, while brave and adorable and clever, was ultimately outmatched. But I loved her ATTEMPT at the competition, and I think she can hold her head high.

    • E says:

      As a character, so to speak, I’d have much preferred to lose Janeane. She’s so emotionally overwrought. And Anna is so endearing! But clearly Anna was never going to win, so it’s all okay in the end. She did acquit herself extraordinarily well for someone of her limited experience, and came off as such an articulate, smart, sweet person too.

      • Krizzzz says:

        That’s what I thought. I liked her a little better than I liked Janeane (not that I dislike Janeane) — and I just thought she handled herself and the competition so well.

    • E says:

      As for Jay, yes, I couldn’t quite figure out his thinking when the best feature of the dress would be excluded from the shot! Granted he did have a lot of pretty detail on the top (Tim called it “organic”), but the train was what made the dress special.

  3. thepresidentrix says:

    Color me *insane*, but I was actually sad that the romper didn’t make it into the top group – and I say that as someone who considers the word ‘romper’ practically profane. It was short, but the colors were so golden and pretty, and I loved the way the sleeves moved. Maybe it really was a horrid idea, but it was more creative than the magenta mini-dress, however refreshing the dress’s color may have been.

    My favorites so rarely make it into the top, but I did think Anthony’s blue dress and the butterfly dress were right on this time. Only I was expecting them to choose the butterfly dress as their winner.

    Query: how long ago was this ep filmed? Heidi looks like she has a couple of months of pregnancy still to go, and I know all the magazines are always, like, see-how-fabulous-the-body-after-only-three-days-post-pregnancy! But it still kind of staggers me, the idea of sewing a dress in advance for a woman’s future and after-baby measurements. Is this dress just a mock-up, and a replacement will have been sewn for the cover?

    In conclusion: outfits for tiny children!!! You are SO RIGHT. Insane is the watchword!

    • E says:

      I think the series was filmed over the summer? Fall at the latest. I think they’d have a remake the dress for Heidi – the height and sizes between the different models vary enormously. If you make something for Alexis, it’s not going to fit Holly perfectly, etc…

      I can see what you mean about the romper (shudder). The golds were pretty, and so were the sleeves; I think I’d have like it a lot if it were a short dress and not a onesie.

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