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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ep 4:"Do you like my dress?" "I do not." "Goodbye." "Auf Weidersehn." (Q1)

Despite the fabulous challenge, this episode was pretty unexciting. So this blog entry includes a Quotation Challenge. Several lines include slightly paraphrased quotes, marked with Q and a number. In the comments, identify the quotes. Winner gets bragging rights.

So, Ivy has been passed out in the hallway since last week.

Everyone is worried. Seems she's been burning the midnight Diet Coke, cigarettes and stress. But all is well, and by that night while they're sleeping, rehydrated Ivy comes a-creeping back around (Q2) with visions of hospital curtains dancing in her head (Q3). She vows to remember to eat and drink water.

After that tempest in a teapot, the designers are presented with their challenge.

The models parade onto the runway in an array of really amazing hats by none other than Philip Treacy, Irish milliner extraordinaire ("I will write a sonnet, about your Treacy bonnet..." Q4).And he's there as well!

The designers will choose a hat, and will work with the model wearing it. Interestingly, instead of going by the hat and changing up models, they all choose to stay with their models and work with whatever hat the model has on. They should have done a full model selection earlier, before everyone bonded.

The challenge: to design a look worthy to be worn with the hat. Incredible challenge, because they can be as creative as they want.

Tim is pretty excited.

Not Kristin. Her hat is too literal.
Time to head on off to Mood.

Mondo has no choice, he hears the fabric's voice (Q5).
And this is what he heard. Hmm.
In the workroom, Casanova tells Ivy he thinks he wants to leave.

Should I stay or should I go? (Q6)
She says it's expected because he's a queen. Sophisticated gal that Ivy. Everyone wishes Michael C a happy Father's Day. Kristin asks if anyone else there is a dad, and there is general smirking all around. I didn't realize Michael C was straight, because he hasn't mentioned it every five minutes.

Tim's walkabout highlights:

Ivy is adorable as usual as she awaits Tim's opinion on her concept.

Sometimes I look like Parker Posey.
 Tim thinks April's quilted white brief short looks like a diaper.

"Why are there tiny little women stitching on my garment?"
Peach tells Tim that the dress she's making is short, but not enough to show "the good china."

Let the good times roll! (Q7)
Michael D shows Tim his concept. Tim is intrigued by the fabric.

Tim thinks Casanova's dress looks like Donna Karan 1988. I knew Donna Karan 88, Donna Karan 88 was a friend of mine, and Casanova, you are no Donna Karan, 88 or otherwise (Q8). Casanova is worried.

"I am not a cat with seven lives."
It's episode 4 now; we'll see.

Michael C's fabric has puckered and he's worried. So is Tim. Michael C is despondant, but he gets to talk to his son Giovanni, which cheers him up considerably.

Long may you fish, my little son (Q9).
Once they go home, everyone indulges in gretch (see definition in my Ep03 entry) sessions. Basically, everyone slags the people not in the same room.

Runway day. Much designer grooming occurs.

In hair and makeup for the models, hiding the hair is the order of the day to show off the hats. Mondo is having a mustache put on his model because she's wearing menswear. Not sure why he didn't simply bring the fake mustache he was modeling last week. Back in the workroom, Philip Treacy himself is putting the hats on the models, and asking questions about the clothes.

Runway time! Heidi enters to the strains of her husband's Kiss From A Rose, wearing a Philip Treacy creation with the aforementioned flower. It's jarring because the music on Project Runway never varies.

The judges are Michael, Nina and of course Philip Treacy. By all rights this should be a fabulous show.

Michael C
Happy Father's Day! This dress isn't innovative, but the shimmer and the colors are perfect for the fire summer heat-wave spirit of the hat. It's what every woman would want to look like at a midsummer masquerade party - something no one  actually has, but it's a fantasy. Just go with it.

My rating: Top 3

Hate to admit it, but Gretchen really took a hat that could have been a little staid and made it energetic with her look. I could see this on Cate Blanchett or Kiera Knightly at a premiere. The woman wearing it would be walking on the edge of "what was she thinking" but with the right attitude it would be a smash. 

My rating: Top 3

Another pile of laundry from Kristin, but at least she tried to honor the mood of the hat. She has great ideas. If she can drop her point of view that bad construction is a style and learns to sew, she could have a real future as a designer.

My rating: Bottom 3, a close second for going home

Michael D
The shoulders are a bit high for the hat, but otherwise this is inspired. The corrugated cardboard texture of the top works great with the woven straw of the hat, and contrasts beautifully with the pleating of the skirt. The open back and deep vee of the neck are very architectural and just on the right side of costumey. Who knew Mikey D had it in him?

My rating: Top 3, and the winner IMO


Philip Treacy was right - this look had nothing to do with the mask. Sorry, it's just not a hat. But masks are terribly comfortable, and I think in the future people will wear them all the time (Q10). The visible zipper in the middle of the back was useless, incongrous, and faintly disturbing. But Valerie's explanation of the dress having a modernized  Edwardian neckline rang true.
My rating: Safe

A cute, full-skirted polkadot dress is a good choice for the spirit of the hat. Unfortunately, this isn't cute. It's too massive on top, and the skirt is caught up in very strange ways. The worst part is the collar, which swallows the model and obscures the delicate chin-strap feature of the hat that makes it so special.

My rating: Bottom 3

If this had fit better, it would have been a really nice ladylike suit. But the satin was too heavy and the jacket seemed like David Byrne's tailor put it together. It all looked very bulky.

My rating: Safe

Dowdy, awful, sad. Nothing to do with the hat. The only thing that works are the boots. Ivy should indeed get over herself - it should be curtains for her. Lacy gently wafting curtains (Q11)

My rating: Bottom 3, and my pick for the auf

Call me crazy, but I don't think this is a bad idea. If the brief fabric hadn't been white and quilted, if the whole thing had been much more finished, if there hadn't been the pink edging on the legs, if there wasn't a thick black zipper down the back of the short, April could have had something here. It's not wearable, but they're not supposed to be designing street clothes for this challenge.

My rating: Safe, because she took a risk

Such a disappointment - I thought his design was going so well. If it had been a dress instead of this vacket? jest? jackest? it might have worked much better. The leggings and bandage skirt under it are very strange. It's sort of Rocket Robin Hood.

My rating: Safe, barely

Peach is improving. The dress works very well with the hat, in an unexpected and subtle way. The swirls of the fabric and the ruffled peplum echo the shape of the feather pattern beautifully.

My rating: Safe, but close to the top

Totally boring and expected. 80s Donna Karan indeed. Too bad, I think he got the most exciting hat. I could see a black and white checked suit with those yellow pumps Sarah used last week.

My rating: Safe, totally

I'll admit it - I don't get this. Someone help me - what do the clothes have to do with the hat, and aren't they kind of badly proportioned? IMO, Mondo saved himself with the mustache. Once he branded this outfit as surrealist, his clown clothes look deliberate. 

My rating: Safe

All told, this runway show was disappointing considering the inspiration of those remarkable hats. Can you imagine what Christian, Chris March, Daniel Vosovic, Austin, Laura, Korto, Epperson, Mila or even Kenley would have done with this?

Heidi calls April, Michael D, Christopher, Michael C, Valerie and Kristin to step forward. Everyone else is Safe and goes backstage. There they opine that Christopher is in the top, and April, Michael C and Valerie are the bottom.

And out on the runway, it becomes clear that they're only 25% right. April is indeed in the bottom with Christopher and Kristin, while Valerie and the Michaels are the top or as the French would say, de trop (Q12).

Michael D tells the judges that that hat made him think of warriors and farmers, not that there's anything wrong with that (Q13). He feels the outfit references the sun. The judges love the texture and the architecturality.

Kristin also claims to have done something architectural, but the judges beg to differ. They say it has no shape or flow, and the satin is too heavy. Nina especially hates the shoes.

Christopher says that he wanted to balance the delicacy of the hat with a powerful outfit. The judges tell him it's forced and heavy. He saves himself, not that I think they were going to send him home, with thoughtful questions. But the judges can see that he understands his mistakes.

The judges adore Michael C's dress. They love that it's harmonious but not matchy-matchy, and love the effortlessness and playfulness in conjunction with the hat.

April is not so fortunate. They think she was working in the right genre, but the execution was bad. Michael Kors says the triple panty looks like someone wanted to go on a three day weekend without packing, and he shudders at the visible zipper down the back.

Michale K, Nina and Heidi like the weird zipper on Valerie's dress, which looks to me like the place you change the model's batteries. They like the hard and soft contrast of the bolero and the zipper with the dress, and the geomertry of the skirt.

Philip T concedes those things, but doesn't see a connection with the mask. Valerie explains that she wanted to do something unexpected and more "her."

Valerie works her magic on the artist himself.
While the judges deliberate, the backstage designers learn of their incorrect assumptions about top and bottom.

Ivy and Gretchen are very happy for Michael C.

April is sad that an outfit that she considers very "her" didn't resonate with the judges.

The top and bottom designers are summoned back out for the verdict.

Valerie is third, and in. This is her third week in the top three.

And it's the Battle of the Michaels for the win. Michael C gets the nod.

And his fellow designers are thrilled for him.
Michael D is second and safe. Christopher is safe.

And his fellow designers are thrilled for him.
Kristin is OUT.

Happiest auf ever
April is in.

April and Cassanova share a moment as they both vow
to stay out of the bottom in their best Puerto Rican accents.
Next week: team challenge. Ruh roh.

And next week, the answers to the Quotation Challenge.


  1. OK, it's taken a few hours. Here are the answers:

    Q1 Go Dog Go, Dr. Seuss
    Q2 Poison Ivy, The Coasters
    Q3 The Night Before Christmas, Moore
    Q4 Easter Parade,Irving Berlin
    Q5 Like a Prayer, Madonna
    Q6 Should I Stay or Should I Go, The Clash
    Q7 Let the Good Times Roll, Shirley & Lee
    Q8 Lloyd Bentsen, vice presidential debate, 1988
    Q9 Long May You Run, Stills & Young
    Q10 The Princess Bride, Westley
    Q11 Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Captain Hammer
    Q12 You're the Top, Cole Porter
    Q13 Various characters, Seinfeld

    Nice blog!

  2. I was so underwhelmed by this episode. I wanted to love it, I did. The hats? Beautiful. I can even get behind April's idea of resort wear - totally was looking forward to seeing what she was going to do... until we got to Diaper-gate. She could have adverted it! Make a normal pair of shorts! You could have been on the top, April! I had confidence in you, and you blew it. Boo.

    I know one of the quotes is "Easter Parade" by Irvbing Berlimn (too lazy to go back up and mark which one it was) - that made me laugh, cause my sister and I love that song, and the musical, so we were thinking of the Easter Parade as the hats came down the runway. Nice to know we weren't the only ones channeling Berlin. :)