26 January 2006

designers, rock the casbah: project runway episode 8

Oh my goodness, was anyone else feeling the love in this episode? Nick gets caught in a love triangle between two models, Tim Gunn hands out the toughest of tough love, Andrae loves things even when they're ugly, Daniel V professes his love for Nick just before Nick makes out with both him and Kara. There was pretty much only one thing that could make this show better, and that's romantic intrigue. Thank you, Heidi Klum, for making my Wednesdays all the brighter.
Model love!
Tough love!
35D love!

Anyway, let's get to it.

THE WALKOFF. I've never seen any one event so hyped up in promos, and I guess based on Nick's episode-long recovery it was a big deal. Zulema decided to have a walkoff between Emmett's model (Shannon), Andrae's model (Danyelle), and Nick's beloved Tarah. We all love Tarah. Remember her Barbie?
Tarah love!

Oh Tarah... you so pretty. Anyway, Zulema snatches Tarah away from Nick's loving embrace, which is pretty much like the end of the Little Mermaid when Ursula kidnaps Ariel and takes her back to the sea...anyway. Zulema then she turns around to apologize to Nick as she confessionalizes "I can't be concerned with Nick." Nick responds with the iciest of icy cold glares:
No love here!

The battle is on. The designers prance off to the Michael Kors palace where he will talk to them about "inspiration." Andrae is wearing a puffy vest even though it is summer in New York City, and I was there, and it was too hot to be alive.
No heat wave can stop me!

Either Project Runway turned into "Waiting for Godot" for a moment or I missed something, because Michael Kors spends five minutes talking about a woman named Doris Duke who had sex with surfers and has literally nothing to do with this challenge. He shows them photos, pulls out color samples, even invents a word to describe her ("Hawaiiana," anyone?) and then MK proceeds to tell them that the challenge is about taking pictures. Of New York. Right now. Goodbye, Doris Duke, and thanks for the surrealism.
Seriously, WTF?

The designers are given digital cameras (Olympus, of Olympus Fashion Week, naturally) and an hour to take photos from which they'll derive inspiration. The designers actually manage to take some well-composed photos, and even better, the shots of them taking the pictures are well-composed too! So much talent!
Nick is a very serious photographer
Santino is Citizen Kane
Danny V. probably got herpes doing this, but we love him anyway

Santino won the prize for "Best Photo that Nobody Used":
Andrae asks him later how he got the shot, and while we don't see Santino's reaction, I hope it was something along the lines of "Uh, have you seen me talk to Nina Garcia?"

The designers return to the workroom where they use-- guess what!-- Olympus Digital Photo Printers to print their Olympus photos.
Wow, these Olympus printers are great!

Daniel V has chosen a photo of the orchids in Michael Kors' building, which is a great photo but seems a blatant attempt at sucking up to the judge. Andrae has chosen a picture of dirty water in the gutter and goes on a long spiel about how he like to take things that are ugly and overlooked and take the "charm gun" to them. I can't even imagine what a charm gun would look like, but I hope it's some unholy union of a glue gun and a Bedazzler.
Michael Kors, I will charm you, goddammit!

After a commercial break Tim Gunn arrives and dispenses the tongue lashings. He manages to say something cutting to each designer, which is interesting since we've never seen him do anything but worship Daniel V and Nick both. He prefaces the talking-to by saying "I care tremendously about each and every one of you. That's why it's tough love time." Aw, Dad, I never knew you cared.
Just wait 'til your father gets home!
Don't make me get the wooden spoon!

The criticisms are mostly along the lines of "take more risks" or "be more ambitious," except for Santino of course who gets the extra-special "You are in serious jeopardy." Everyone gets very defensive, particularly Zulema, who responded by admitting she has "time-management issues." Uh, sorry Zu, but that's not the same thing. This also begins her spree of repeating the phrase "time-management" whenever possible. Maybe it's a mantra? A self-defeating mantra, but a mantra nonetheless.

At Mood, Nick calls Tim over for help and says something along the lines of "I need lots of help because I need to know what to do with a blond model." This is a very backward way of saying "That bitch Zulema stole my model," which is how I used to tell on my siblings when I didn't want to be called a tattletale. Anyway, instead of telling Nick to suck it up and deal with having Zulema's former model Rachael, Tim looks like his puppy just died. He calls Rachael a "zombie model" and an "elongated marshmallow." This seems a bit tough, even from Tough Love Tim. I mean, Rachael isn't that bad:
We've all seen her ass, so I feel like I know her, really.

Back in the workroom Nick is mid-breakdown. He's taking the loss of Tarah really hard, which I guess is hard to understand because we see very little of the relationships between the designers and the models. Daniel V comes by for an intervention in the absolute best interaction of the season.
Danny V basically tells Nick to get over himself and do the challenge and not give up because he's too talented. He then tells him he loves him, gives him an air kiss, and leaves. I swoon. Nick then puts on his "determined" face and confessionalizes over this image:
"He snapped me back, he read me. I came to New York to be in the top three if not win. I’m going for it each time, and I’m going for it today.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Nick Verreos is back in the game! If Project Runway were a musical, this would be the big first-act finale, where Nick sings something along the lines of "Nobody in all of Oz, no wizard that there is or was, is ever gonna bring me down!" or "Everything's coming up roses for me and for you!" or "One day more!" Curtain! Applause!

Actually, dinner break. Fans have expressed concerns to Tim Gunn that the designers never eat, and today we see proof:
Falafel: the official Middle Eastern food of Project Runway

At this point Zulema does something truly unexpected, which is go all Wendy Pepper and isolate herself from the group while being completely paranoid.
She prefers to sulk in private, thank you very much.

She says something along the lines of how she sees how everyone looks at her and what they think of her, while at the table the only discernible line of dialogue is "...and Meryl Streep was cast as Anna Wintour." Zulema says it's like they're in kindergarten, but if there's a pack of kindergarteners out there talking about Anna Wintour, I'm calling the authorities. Zulema then states that the group thinks of her as "sheisty," which after much discussion we decided is in fact a word and actually an ethnic slur against Jews. Way to go, Zulema. I'm 100% WASP over here, but I'm sure there's some people in the Promised Land who want a word or two.

We come back from commercial with Santino doing a spot-on impression of Tim Gunn saying things like "That design is delicious" and "Designers, rock the casbah." I hope FourFour posts a sound clip of this, because it's frighteningly good. Everyone else thinks so too, and is mid-laugh when the Gunnman himself walks in. It's a "Quick, hide the evidence!" moment, and Andrae breaks the fourth wall to express his relief:
Go back to pretending the camera's not there! Quick!

Tim basically has criticism for everyone except Daniel V., telling Kara not to make her outfit a "joke" and staring at Zulema as she complains about--surprise!-- time management issues.
Time-manage this, bitch!

During Tim's chat with Daniel, however, we get the first of this episode's redefinitions of "Santino."
The Santino Effect. n. A situation in which a designer continually adds elements to his design until it resembles a turkey in the Thanksgiving Day parade that the Indians are chasing. (Origin: Daniel Vosovic, 2005)

Santino takes offense at the fact that Tim warns Daniel against the Santino effect.
This coming from the man who was imitating Tim Gunn literally five minutes ago. Hypocrite much, 'Tino?

We go home the night before the runway show, and the boys of 35D do what they're best at: gossip in their pajamas.
This is the straight girl's equivalent of the topless pillow fight fantasy.

Nick says of Zulema "For a minute I wanted to cut her" and "You want to fuck with me? Well you can't." I fall in love a little more.

Next morning. Kara wakes Zulema up, and Zulema appears to have been sleeping fully dressed:

I guess that's the next logical step in designer paranoia-- being prepared to cry and cut at any moment.

The models arrive and the Nick-Tarah-Rachael love triangle truly heats up. Then Tarah and Rachael get interviewed! The models can talk!
I also realize for the first time that Tarah really is super-hot. Basically, though, Tarah hates Zulema and still loves Nick, and Rachael loves Nick and-- gasp!-- Nick loves her back! It turns out she walks pretty nicely, and they celebrate by dance-hugging:
Then Tarah literally runs over shouting "I'm so jealous!" and hugs Nick too.
Two beautiful straight women fighting over an obviously-gay man? I thought these things only happened on The O.C. or at Wesleyan, but the world is apparently full of fag hags.

And, at last, THE RUNWAY. And as promised, we have guest judge Jay McCarroll, who is threatening to out-gay all of 35D combined:
I'm not using Bravo's photos of the designs, because I want to include the "inspiration" photos next to them, but their photos are better if you want to check them out.

Nick's explanation of his design was my favorite, saying he imagined "Paris Hilton on the beach in Mykenos with her Greek boyfriend" or something along those lines. I have to love Nick for name-dropping Paris Latsis, and how was he supposed to know Miss Paris would be so flaky and dump him by now? The design, though more adventurous than his usual, wasn't the best. Rachael wore it well (Nick's comment: "Honey she just looked divine") and it worked well, but everyone stepped up their game this time and Nick's, as Nina Garcia said it, was "not memorable."

I was really impressed with Andrae's, especially because it was kind of similar to his Nicky Hilton dress that I didn't really care for. Everyone loved it, particularly Jay, and Nina Garcia pointed out that "It looks very expensive," which apparently is most important. I have a hard time with the higher-fashion pieces like this, because of my utter lack of fashion experience, but even I loved this one. Hooray Andrae! Sorry you didn't win this one.

When Chloe talked to Jay about the challenges of time constraints and designing based on a building, Jay cut her off with a simple and lovely "Oh listen honey I've been there" and we were all reminded of his Chrysler Building dress from Season One. Good times. The judging came down to "pretty but unfinished," which seemed fair. We continue to see Chloe Blue, which she should have trademarked or something. I guess it's working for her, so why not.

This is one that no one got and earned Jay's much-hyped "That's a lot of story you just told. The story doesn't match the dress." The entire dress, which you can't see, is a straight black tube dress with that yellow and black sash draped around it. Kind of unfortunate, and not at all related to that damn photo. Blech. Most boring thing ever.

Jay wrote down four words on his card: "Austin Scarlett Grammy dress." I'm going to be obnoxious here and remind everyone that I called this a week ago. Turns out it's actually the same fabric Austin used, and Tim Gunn told Santino this in the fabric store (he reveals this in the podcast). Poor form, Santino. Poor form. Santino basically gets away with this because he didn't go too overboard, bringing Heidi to redefine "Santino" for the second time in the show and turn it into a verb: "With this picture he could have completely Santinoed that outfit to death." Oh goodness.

Daniel V. -- winner
I'm completely in love with Daniel's model, Rebecca, which only adds to this design's appeal to me. Everyone praised him for using the orchids as inspiration, which struck me as about the most unoriginal inspiration there is (as Justin pointed out, Laura Ashley anyone?) The design was gorgeous, though, with a tight army green skirt to imitate the vase on the bottom. Michael Kors praises for using something "genuinely beautiful," which is convenient since the flowers are from his office. MK later says he's a "full Dan fan," and we finally figure out who's sleeping with who behind the scenes. Still, Danny V is a deserving winner.

Zulema-- out
Honestly, if she hadn't been specifically told to be take more risks, I wouldn't have had such a problem with this. She got nailed for some "execution problem" that I couldn't see, and Michael Kors came up with yet another classic line: "It's a debutante dress gone wrong. The trashy debutante in town who has a bad dress and her mother’s a bad home sewer.” I'm imagining some future ANTM challenge where they each have to emulate a Michael Kors scenario: "OK, you're the turkey chased by the Indians, you're the stewardess serving drinks, and you're the trashy debutante! Work it!" Zulema either deserved to go this time or next, so the elimination seems reasonably fair. I was kind of looking forward to more of her going crazy, though, so I'm a bit saddened.

Back behind the stage, Nick is so happy that makes out with essentially everyone who comes back there.

Zulema insists she's fine and won't talk about the elimination, which makes me wonder if she's turned into a sociopath and stopped feeling emotions. Tim Gunn comes to whisk her away and she takes the news flippantly.
Um, OK. I guess it's good that she's leaving, or else she might have put a frightening spin on "cry and cut."

Next week: Tim Gunn pays a visit to 35D!

And the designers travel to either a flower nursery or the zoo for their next challenge:
Andrae = clearly not a nature lover.

And now that you're done with this, the longest recap yet, you can listen to Tim Gunn's podcast, which was posted before this was, but Tim Gunn gets a head start so no fair cheating. In it he reveals that "I haven't been a Zulema fan to be blunt." So what was all that about caring about each of the designers tremendously? Why do you lie to us, Daddy?

Not yet Santinoed to death,


Andrea said...

Chloe blue = Rebecca Turbow's whole schtick

AJ said...

I got turned on to your recaps by Laura K at BPR and they are HILARIOUS! You guys get the best screen caps! Great job, and keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

recap riot! looking forward to the next one....

Allen said...

That was HILARIOUS!! Great recap!! :)

Zerographic said...

Awesome recap! Except I'm pissed that Tarah is probably out now, because there's no way Daniel V will change models. :(

Jennie said...

My mom & I read this together & could not stop laughing... thank you so so so much, it was HILLARIOUS. & I love the captions!

Anonymous said...

Splendid recap. Loved it! More please!


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