Thursday, August 24, 2006

Project Runway-Everyday Woman

Just for the record, this episode could/should have been entitled, “Jeffrey is the Meanest Guy Ever”. If Jeffrey treats his celebrity clients as badly as he treated Angela’s mother—it’s a miracle that he has any clients at all. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…

Episode ‘Everyday Woman’ began with Michael telling us about how happy winning two challenges in a row made him. I was charmed by his phrasing, “I was so happy I grinned myself a headache,” he said. I’ve done that! I knew exactly what he meant.

At the start of the new challenge the designers were told they were designing for the everyday woman and then the models came out and they were, SURPRISE! the mothers or sisters of all the designers. Some were big, some were small in size. No one was allowed to pick their own relative; they had to choose someone else’s relative. Yikes.

Michael chose Robert’s sister. Laura chose Jeffrey’s mom. (Someone commented when she was introduced, “I thought she’d have a mohawk.” She was surprisingly normal looking, very sweet and tender-hearted; completely unlike her evil-hearted son.) Vincent chose Uli’s mother. Angela chose Laura’s mother. Kane chose Michael’s mother. Uli chose Kane’s mother. Robert chose Vincent’s sister and Jeffrey ended up with Angela’s mother. I think I would be accurate in saying that the thinner females were chosen first. I assume this was because the plus size women represented a more difficult shape to flatter and fit.

After a happy reunion with relatives and lots of crying, Tim announced that this week’s guest judge was hosting a special event. So everyone went to Tavern on the Green where they were greeted by Joan Kors, Michael Kors’ mother. We learned that both Michael’s are ‘momma’s boys’. As everyone socialized, poor Kane was embarrassed when his mother hauled out a boat load of pictures of him as a very fat adolescent. “Sometimes the past needs to stay in the past,” he asserted. He was right. We also saw pictures of Jeffrey sans neck tattoo with braces. He looked normal, cute even. It was amazing. His mother shared Jeffrey’s past difficulties with alcohol with the camera. Did we know that before? It was news to me.

While chit-chatting, Michael Kors commented to his mother that Laura had five children. Laura blurted out, “Working on six,” to the shock, dismay? of her mother. She realized right away that she shouldn’t have let that cat out of the bag because her husband didn’t even know she was pregnant again yet. It was a priceless moment. Later in the show Laura told the camera regarding a sixth pregnancy, “Five, six, seven…It doesn’t make that much difference. I’ll just throw it on the pile with the rest of ‘em.” My mother had six children, of which I am the sixth. I agree with Laura, after a certain point one more is just another in the crowd.

Back at the work room, the instructions were given to create an outfit that fits the day-to-day lifestyle of the ‘client’, is fashion forward, and reflected ‘who you are as a designer’. I would love someone to define “fashion forward” to me. Considering all the retro stuff on the store shelves, apparently somebody has missed the memo about being ‘fashion forward”. Anyway, after thirty minutes of client-designer consult, the group headed to Mood for fabric.

Some consults went better than others. Robert noted it is difficult when you are not working with the ideal in terms of form. Vincent’s sister was very definite in her taste and color preferences. When Angela’s mom expressed a preference for a jacket she was very firmly told that Jeffrey wasn’t going to do a jacket—he didn’t have time. (This challenge is one-day only.) We didn’t see all the footage of Jeffrey’s consult with Angela’s mom but at one point she made the comment that she was feeling bad about her size making his job so difficult. He didn’t respond or try to make her feel better. Kane was very simpatico with Michael’s mother, he chose her because she was wearing bright colors and rhinestones. Vincent couldn’t actually communicate with Uli’s mom because she spoke limited English, however, that did not prevent Vincent from asserting that she “knows well enough what I mean.” I guess he thought she was psychic. Angela was a bit horrified because Laura’s mom wanted casual-elegant with an Audrey Hepburn style. Angela just did an Audrey type dress and apparently felt incapable of re-creating that style for a second go-round. Laura’s mom helpfully told us that, “I want Laura to win but I will do nothing to hinder Angela.” I guess hindering Angela was considered but rejected.

After they started working on their outfits, Vincent and Laura both condescendingly opined about how much difficulty the designers with plus size models were having. I found that funny given they both picked slim models. I can’t believe that was an accident.

Vincent continued to speak for Uli’s mother—“She’s very comfortable with me in spirit.”

When the models came into the workroom to check on the progress of the outfits, problems ensued which dominate the show from that point on. Tim interviewed Angela’s mother about her feelings about Jeffrey’s design and color choices. She meekly (she’s from the Midwest—hello—we don’t do aggressive) shared that she didn’t like the color. She never wears powder blue, apparently. (Jeffrey called the color periwinkle.) When Jeff came back to his station and Tim shared this tidbit with him, he got mad. After Tim left, Jeffrey was very rude to Angela’s mother. He actually told her he didn’t want her near him. She ended up crying! Jeffrey in his complaint to the camera called Angela’s mom a “crazy bitch” and said that it was apropos—he didn’t like Angela and he didn’t like Angela’s mom. (Apropos? That’s the word he used—I do not think it means what he thinks it means.) When Angela’s mom cried to Angela she said, “I’ve never been spoken to like that. He had such hate in his voice.” (Again…from the midwest. She would never have been able to make that comment if she lived on the East Coast.) Jeffrey complained to the other designers for quite a while about his problem with his model, trying to get sympathy, I guess. He got none from Vincent who told him, “You broke her down.” Poor Jeffrey’s mom also ended up crying about the situation after making excuses to Angela’s mother about how Jeffrey was under pressure. I guess Angela’s mother could have said the same thing about Angela. Aren’t all the designers under pressure? They all aren’t making their models cry though. Poor Jeffrey’s mother, she was so nice for such a son. When Angela talked to Jeffrey about the conflict we learned that he thought Angela’s mother was going out of her way to make him look bad and he wasn’t going to stand for that. Ooo-kay. I don’t think Angela’s mom was doing anything except answering Tim’s questions honestly. Jeffrey didn’t even hear her original comment. He only heard how Tim represented what she had said--which was that Angela’s mother was “ambivalent” about the color. Ambivalent. Does that suggest that she went out of her way to make Jeffrey look bad? I think someone’s crazy here and it ain’t Angela’s mom, if you see what I mean. (It was kinda funny the next morning when Angela helped her mom put on the ‘dress’ and gave her advice for the runway. “When they ask you what you think, just be HONEST.” No coaching here.)

Let’s leave conflict behind and talk design.

Michael created another great design. It was a fully reversible shirtdress in a black fabric with contrasting collar, cuffs, and belt. It looked great on Robert’s sister who was very slim. The judges loved it, especially after they realized it was reversible.

Laura working with Jeffrey’s mother created an outfit which she said was cruise-wear. It was a long slim skirt, which started very high above the waist. The black (is there any other color for Laura? Or yes, white.) skirt was paired with a white dress shirt. The whole was accented with a silky tie/scarf. It was very unflattering since the model, while slim, looked stumpy and bulgy. The judges weren’t wild about it. This was definitely Laura’s worst showing.

Jeffrey, after all his travails, created a long dress with a collar. It had some kind of jacket but it was hard to tell what it looked like because everything was dark-colored. I think the fabric was navy. The periwinkle fabric accented the collar. The dress fit very poorly. I also never understood why Angela’s mother would need a long dress in her particular lifestyle. The judges disliked it although Michael Kors thought he could see Jeffrey’s viewpoint in the dress. Huh? I didn’t get that. When asked Angela’s mother gave her honest opinion of the dress, “..a lot was lost in translation. I feel matronly.” Michael Kors accurately pointed out that Jeffrey tried to please his client, but not really. Angela was asked to chime in and she said, “I think it’s embarrassing.” Ouch. Harsh. True, but harsh. I think I heard payback on the runway there.

Angela used all black to create the outfit for Laura’s mother. Are you surprised? Laura got her genes from somewhere. Angela put a tunic with fringe and a pair of pants together. She accessorized with a bulky purple purse. It did not look like something Laura’s mother would actually wear. The judges didn’t like it and felt it was age inappropriate.

Kane put together a pair of khaki capri pants and an orange top with a scarf front. Robert’s mother looked great. I thought the orange/coral was flattering to her skin tones and she looked good. There is a school of fashion thought that thinks plus size women shouldn’t wear capris but I disagree with it. Kane was criticized for being too matchy-matchy because he accessorized the top with beads in the same shade. I noticed that Michael’s mother didn’t smile at all while walking the runway. I don’t know it that was a comment on the outfit or not.

Uli made another fabulous fabric choice. She was working with Kane’s mother, who was also plus size. Uli put her in long khaki trousers and a chiffon top with a paisley print in gold/pink. The paisley was contrasted with a striped fabric along the edge of the sleeves and down the center of the top. The undershirt was also pinkish. She accessorized with big gold beads and Kane’s mom looked great. She also really worked it on the runway. They should have given her an award for being the best model.

Vincent designed a simple black sleeveless dress with a belt for Uli’s mother. It was slim-fitting. The collar was an updated look. I wish I knew the technical name for the king of collar that it was—I would describe it as looking like seagull wings. It was in a contrasting tan fabric. The judges loved it. They thought it was age appropriate. It flattered Uli’s mother. It was elegant…blah blah blah. Vincent ended up winning which should end up making him even more obnoxiously certain of his talent. I’m not looking forward to the fall out from that!

Robert was very literal in following his models wishes. Vincent’s sister told him that red and black were her favorite colors and so he made a black tank dress and added a kimono style red jacket with a scarf collar. Booo-ring. Hey, I wear plus size clothing and I’ve seen that dress and jacket a million times in a million fabrics. The style is just another version of the moo-moo. Sheesh. At least use a print to change it up a bit. The judges thought a print would have helped a lot. Robert actually got criticized for listening to his model. Vincent’s sister also did very poorly on the runway. She didn’t even try to work it…she just walked slowly. So—poor Robert bored the judges one time too many and he got aufed.

As a tribute to his likeability, everyone seemed to cry about his aufing, even Jeffrey! I really regret that Jeffrey didn’t go because he created an awful outfit that didn’t flatter his model and ignored all her wishes. Robert created a boring outfit that flattered his model and followed her wishes but was boring. Which is really worse? Maybe guilt is why Jeffrey was crying? Nah.

I revising my final three prediction--I think that Uli, Laura and Michael will have runway shows. Angela's not doing as well as I thought she would, and Uli has shown such creativity and an eye for color with her fabric choices.

1 comment:

JJLynn58 said...

Frankly I think Jeffrey should have gone - his outfit was horrendous! I took a little offense at the complaints about designing for a plus size woman since I am a plus size woman and happy to be such. Honestly if they had really tried they would not have had the problems they did. Frankly I like my clothes to fit and I haven't worn a gunny sack in ....ummm......ever (although some might disagree)!