E: Well, I don’t think I like that one bit.
I love the idea of this challenge, though. Vivienne Tam – a designer who has sold out to corporate America – has come to promote a system where they get to design their own fabrics. They can make whatever they want using their fabric, they get two days (the first to design the fabric and shop for supplemental material at Mood), and they get to do something super cool while pimping the new HP touch screen machines. They can draw with a stylus, their fingers, or even paint brushes. How awesome is that? They’re all drooling over the chance.
The Top Three:
For the second week in a row, Emilio takes the win. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I love the colors of his fabric. I love the graffiti meets Old (French) Hollywood glamor aesthetic. I love the back of that dress, and I’m not surprised that Heidi and Nina and Vivienne Tam all wanted one. But we haven’t really seen the graffiti side of Emilio before, so it seems a little odd, and when I saw his fabric, I thought the same thing that Tim (and virtually all the other designers and models) did – why’s he’s putting Seth Aaron’s branding on his work? The judges went mad over the textile, imaging all the possible sizes and colors it could translate into. I’m not so much a branding person. I don’t even like it on luggage, so why would I wear it on my person? On the other hand, I like the way he folded piece of fabric to form a pattern out of the writing.
You know what I love about Seth Aaron? It’s impossible to confuse Seth Aaron with anyone else. I love his punk/pop art sensibilities. And his jackets fit like nobody’s business. He and Valeria are a perfect pair. (More on that later, of course.) But geez, was I the only one bothered by the – ahem – exuberant collar on the shirt? The jacket and the print needed to be the star there, and I thought the giraffe-like collar distracted. At any rate, I thought SA produced a really nice outfit, and I appreciate that he can make thoughtful, wearable separates.
Poor Maya – always the bridesmaid. I wonder how much the choice of a faux hawk on Monique distracted the judges from the dress? It certainly did for me. I feel like Monique is wrong for her clothes (although Maya doesn’t, so I guess that’s her business.) The judges thought she had the best textile, hands down. They appreciated the way she paired the lightning print, tipped horizontally, with a crinkly, textured black with vertical folds. It may interest you to know that Maya and Seth Aaron are the only designers left who have not yet graced the bottom three. Maya (as she’s been complaining now for several episodes) can’t find a way to win, but she’s been in the top grouping several times.
How is it humanly possible to think that Jay‘s black and green tribal military dominatrix suit was better than the other outfits that landed in the bottom? I loathed his print, especially once paired with the black, and generally just thought it was ridiculous. I actually yelled at the tv when Heidi told him he was safe.
The Bottom Three:
Do you remember Vincent, back in season 3, with his column dress out of recycled paper? Something he thought of as Jackson Pollock inspired, but was just a big piece of paper with random stuff stuck to it that his poor model couldn’t walk in. Well, if you saw this week’s show, you know where I’m going with this. Mila‘s ridiculous painted print and her preposterous off white beach coverall. She had the nerve to be mad at “the model” for hitching up one side so she could walk a little. Come on! She freaking tied the top with yarn! Poor Brandise. Much as I’m loathe for another woman to leave, I thought Mila was the obvious choice for the boot.
Oh, Jonathan. I don’t think your print looked like a dirty napkin. I loved it, and I loved your dress. I don’t think it was sad. How could it be sad? So much black and grey has shown up on this runway and this is sad? Now, the jacket that opens from the back? Not loving that, or the way the ruffly collar conflicted with the tie on the grey dress, but I did love the golden color, and thought that if he’d made a dress with that jacket as the top, I would have loved it. But oh, did the judges hate it. Wow, that was so harsh. I can’t even believe how undeservedly harsh the judges were (and I’m not the only one).
And that leaves – gulp – Anthony to go home. Anthony! No no no! So maybe we’ve seen that shape before from him. And the jacket was kind of silly, I admit it. And I liked Jonathan’s dress more – but I sure didn’t think that the judges did! Proving once again that it’s better to be crazy (in their opinion) than to bore Nina. Anthony, how I’ll miss you with your ill-fitting Mr.Rogers cardigans and your insistence that you don’t need a crown to be a queen. Perhaps he wasn’t the most innovative designer, but EW is right; he’s the most jolly, hilarious, warm, huggable contestant since Chris March, and oh my goodness am I going to feel the lack of him! I don’t suppose we’ll get lucky like in Chris’s season and someone will fall ill so Anthony can come back?
Models of the Runway:
The judges tell Jonathan (a bit we didn’t see in the preceeding hour) that every time he dresses Cerri he makes her look shorter and wider. Um, hello – the last time he dressed her, he won! And they said she looked great, and particularly praised his ability to make her look good! Wow, fashion really is a fickle business. Do they not remember that they sent Amy home for making Cerri look wide? That it wasn’t Jonathan who dressed her the last time? I don’t think they do, and that ignorance is kind of inexcusable.
Seriously, that makes me mad.
Then they tell Brandise she made Mila’s dress worse. Is that actually possible? Mila seemed to think so. Weird, because in the past, they’ve criticized the designer for making something unmovable, and now they’re going to blame the model? I wish I knew exactly what went wrong here, btw. This is exactly what I wanted this show to be about. Does the fabric just not have any give to it? It wasn’t slit on the side, so perhaps that was the problem?
We started with a quick assignment to take pictures of each other to help them “find their light” (jeez, couldn’t they have sprung for some expert to talk to them about this?), which they then downloaded into a touchscreen product placement of the week and played around with. Interesting, but that’s not what this episode was about. I know – it was actually about something? How novel! The big drama was a call Valeria received from her agent, saying she’d been booked by DKNY for a print campaign. Trouble is, it’s at the same time as the next runway, so she can’t do both (kind of like Carol Anne’s model – was her name Erin? – and that Arby’s commercial from last season). If Valeria leaves, she’ll get a huge paycheck, and boost within the modeling world – AND no other girl will get eliminated. She hems and haws, and then everyone decides that the best way to do this would be on the runway during elimination. Damn! And it turns out that – despite faking everyone out with some talk about how great Seth Aaron is (which sounds like a way to let him down gently), Valeria thinks he’s going to Bryant Park and wants to go with him. Damn.
Seth Aaron is staggered, not less when Heidi helpfully adds that Valeria’s giving up a big paycheck to do this. “I better win, huh?” “You better, ” replies a laughing Valeria. Wow. I respect her loyalty, but I also kind of think she’s crazy. She’s won his loyalty, sure, but it’s not like he’s going to be able to pay her the big bucks any time soon, or give her the same sort of exposure that a DKNY ad campaign would. Or at least, I don’t think being on Project Runway gives you the same level of exposure to the industry, does it? I don’t know. Maybe. The model from last season left because she could get a SAG card with the Arby’s commercial, so even if the commercial itself wasn’t glamorous, you can see why she did it. Although Carol Anne managed to make Bryant Park. Life isn’t all about building one’s career, and I suppose even from that point of view, most models don’t get to be the muse of a collection. And most people – including me – think that Seth Aaron is very likely to make it to Bryant Park.
Emilio picks first and decides he’s settling – finally – with Lorena. He thinks they can get to Bryant Park together. Interesting. Brittany stays with Jay, Monique with Maya, and Valeria (duh) with Seth Aaron. Jonathan says that the judges have worn him down, as they’re so convinced he can’t dress Cerri, and takes Brandise back. Mila is not pleased. (Cerri isn’t so happy, either, because he did it in such a way that you think he’s going to say “screw the judges, I pick you” and got her hopes up. I can picture Jonathan crying when he sees her say that.) Mila picks Kristina (who’d done so well for her in the NYC challenge), and Cerri goes home. Kristina was dead certain no one would pick her but Anthony, and is shocked and chagrined to see her good friend sent packing. Such is a model’s life, shrugs Cerri. We’re always flying here and there, getting to like people and having to leave them. Ten years into that kind of career, you learn to insulate yourself.
Why can’t the models I don’t care about leave? Like Kristina, who barely registers as a personality (editing, I’m sure, but that means I’m not emotionally attached to her) or little baby Brittany, or Valeria, who’s only gotten air time this week. (She does seem very nice, now that she’s spent more than a second on air, but why did they not go there earlier?) I want Cerri and Holly and Allison and Kasey back! Boo! Cerri had personality in spades, and has been the most sound-bite ready model all season. I’m going to miss the sassy, tart, honest little Irish chick quite a bit. All in all, we’ve gotten some upsetting eliminations this week.