Saturday, October 10, 2009

Holy Nina Garcia, Batman!

(I love that phrase way too much.)

As my payments process on my college applications (because I'm DONE!), I thought I would take the chance to blog about my guilty obsession. That's right, hide your cross-stitchings and get ready for Korsian snippiness, because Season 6 of Project Runway is in full swing. With eight designers left, the season will finally kick into high gear on Lifetime this Thursday at 9 PM. This blog post will give all you latent Runwayers a chance to catch up.

After this, every weekend I'll post on the newest episode: some highlights, some lowlights, my opinion on who should have won/gone home, and just general thoughts. Sparsed in with as much Korsian snippiness as I can manage. (The guy's only been in like three episodes this season. It's really killing me.)

I'll also completely ignore the poorly planned Models of the Runway, a spinoff that airs every Thursday night after the real Runway. Though it has its interesting moments, the show is, on the whole, er, God-awful. The real show's enough to talk about.

You'll see a scoring system used to compare contestants. Essentially, here's how it breaks down:
WIN: 2 points
HIGH: 1 point
IN: No points
LOW: -1 point
OUT: -2 points (but since they're, y'know, out, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference anymore)
If you want to keep up with who scored where, check Wikipedia's chart here:

Episode One: Welcome to Los Angeles!
Oh, yeah, BTdubs, the show moved from NYC to LA this season. To celebrate the move, the first challenge was about the red carpet. (Am I missing something? Don't they have red carpets in NYC?) Most of the gowns were incredibly typical, including that of Ra'mon Lawrence Coleman. My personal favorite was the winner's: Christopher Straub created an awesome, oddly-textured skirt that would be perfect for the VMAs. Though Kanye likely wouldn't let him finish. (And I now declare that joke dead.) The strange Ari Fish was out even before she got used to the sunshine, though I would have eliminated the guy who essentially sent a nude model down the runway: Mitchell Hall.

My Winner: Christopher Straub
My Auf: Mitchell Hall

Episode Two: We Expect Fashion
Does the episode title strike anyone else as ridiculously obvious? I mean, what were judges Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia expecting, ugly maternity wear? That's just ridicul- oh, wait. Just saw Malvin Vien's design. Hope they weren't expecting a weird chicken/egg/sling/feather/hottrannymess thing, because that's what he made for this Rebecca Romijn-inspired maternity dress challenge. Meanwhile, Texas-based designer Shirin Askari made a fantastic dress and coat that looked good enough to wear, pregnant or no. The judges got it right this time, which might be the last time that happens all season.

My Winner: Shirin Askari
My Auf: Malvin Vien

Episode Three: Rumble on the Runway
Wow, Lifetime sucks at naming Runway episodes. There was no "rumble" this episode; there was one two episodes later, though. More on that later. This challenge, which forced the designers into teams of two, was about designing a surf-inspired ready-to-wear outfit. Later on, the designers learned that they were to make a SECOND outfit, an avant-garde look inspired by their surfwear outfit. (So it's inspired on an outfit that was inspired by the sea? Seems like there's some algebra property that deals with that...) I was not a big fan of the winning outfit, a nasty-looking neon green neoprene dress (that, ladies and gentlemen, was dyed in a toilet bowl. Don't you know that model was thrilled) that probably deserved to send Ra'mon ho'me. (Sorry. The apostrophe is too easy to mock.) Still, he did basically do his and Mitchell's outfits alone, so for that, I'm glad he got the win. I would have given it to ticking time bomb Johnny Sakalis, a former drug addict who really went off the deep end pretty quickly. Still, his look, put together with Irina Shabayeva, was really well-made and looked good, so give him the win. The useless Mitchell, however, really did get to get shoved off, even after his partner won the challenge.

My Winner: Johnny Sakalis
My Auf: Mitchell Hall

Episode Four: What a Woman Wants
God, Lifetime! The titles! They make my eyes bleed! The designers were expected to make a look for their model for an industry event based on the model's desires. This was one of those challenges that the judges really failed in judging, as all three top tier looks paled in comparison to other unnoticed looks. Still, if I had to pick one, Carol Hannah Whitfield did do a good job constructing her dress. Althea Harper, though an interesting designer with a signature look and one hell of a model (Tanisha Harper, you're too good for that stupid spinoff), really didn't create the best look this week, though, again, it was well-made. I would have sent home Logan Neitzel, AKA Designated Straight Male, for his tacky Smurf prom dress instead of Qristyl (okay, that name is just DESIGNED for people to misspell it) Frasier's boring black dress. But at least now she can go get that name sorted out.

My Winner: Carol Hannah Whitfield
My Auf: Logan Neitzel

Episode Five: Fashion Headliners
...*sigh* Lifetime... The "headliners" in this episode catastrophe/title refer to the newspapers the designers were expected to use as materials in this challenge. The results were really quite stunning, and I honestly couldn't pick a winner between Irina Shabbadabbadoo's gorgeous collared dress and Minnesota Nice Christopher's incredible skirt and armoresque bustier. I could, however, declare Johnny Tsunami, all of a sudden a lying mess, the easy loser. Fellow bottom two-er Nicolas Putvinski didn't really have to sweat it; Johnny Tsunami's terrible dress, mixed with his lying on the runway (which made mentor Tim Gunn more angry than I could have ever imagined Tim Gunn), made him an easy loser.

My Winners: Irina Shabayeva and Christopher Straub
My Auf: Johnny Sakalis

Episode Six: Lights, Camera, Sew!
That's not even a pun! Sew doesn't even resemble the word action! And what's with the unnecessary "!" at the end? *deep breath* Okay, as far as the episode is concerned, this was one of my favorite episodes in the entire series, with one of the worst decisions on the part of the judges. The designers were expected to craft a look based on a movie genre. Epperson (you only need one name when you look like Bob Marley) designed an awesome Annie Get Your Gun-style Western look, and Christopher created an awesome Victorian vampire bride look that didn't exactly mesh with his Period Piece genre, but it was incredible, so the judges (nor I) cared. Ra'mon was right'ly sent ho'me for a disgust'ing al'ien lo'ok that was just a mess of green fab'ric (I'll st'op), but the real winner, Nicolas the Terrible, designed an absolutely cheap ice queen look for his sci-fi genre. Probably the worst winner possible, other than Ra'mon. Nicolas the Terrible's look really didn't hold up to the PR standard.

My Winner: Epperson
My Auf: Ra'mon Lawrence Coleman

Episode Seven: The Sky is the Limit
I'm not gonna rant... I'm not gonna rant... I'm not gonna rant... In a repeat of a challenge from three seasons ago, the last time when Macy's was one of the sponsors of the show (in the form of the Macy's Accessory Wall, as opposed to the TreSemme Hair Salon or the L'Oreal Paris Makeup Room or the Garnier Hair Studio or the Accessory Wall-yeah, this show shells a few products), the designers were expected to create two looks in blue for the INC International Concepts Design brand. (I know, it should be ICD. But that doesn't sound as much like an unfortunate Lifetime Project Runway episode title pun as INC does.) I'm not actually talking a lot about the episode itself because it was one of those episodes you struggle through. An unoriginal challenge mixed with poor judging (Michael Kors, just because you are snippy does not give you the right to drop Minnesota Nice Christopher into the bottom two!) led to a fairly unmemorable episode. Irina deserved her second win, and Louise Black was the right choice to send home since Nicolas the Terrible had immunity, but boy, what a bad trip to get to the end.

My Winner: Irina Shabayeva
My Auf: Louise Black

Episode Eight: A Fashionable New Beginning
Right, so each pun is one shot, each mention of "fashion" is two shots... Oh, hello. I didn't see you there. This week's surprisingly good episode involved taking the wedding dress of a divorceé and making it into a new dress with which to start their new life. (Though I get the concept, some of these women seemed really still emotionally vulnerable and others were divorced way too long for this challenge to make sense.) I really dug Shirin Hideandseek's geometric look, a great way to use very little fabric. I also loved Gordana Gelhausen's (that's not a nickname, that REALLY is her last name) edgy-yet-chic dress, but to me, the winner was the one who actually used the dress in an interesting way, and that was Irina Shabbadabadoo. I was horrified that Bob Marley/Epperson was sent home, while Designated Straight Male survived with his Oktoberfest mess of an outfit. And Minnesota Nice Christopher was dropped into the bottom again. What is this, Michael Kors? Why can't you and Minnesota Nice just get along?

My Winner: Irina Shabayeva
My Auf: Logan Neitzel (I've sent him home twice now; is the third time the charm?)

For the eight remaining finalists, here are the scores:

Irina Shabayeva: 6
Althea Harper: 4
Shirin Askari: 4
Christopher Straub: 2
Carol Hannah Whitfield: 2
Gordana Gelhausen: 0
Nicolas Putvinski: -1
Logan Neitzel: -2

And my ranking is as follows:

Shabbadabadoo (Irina)
The Blonde and the Beautiful (Althea)
Minnesota Nice (Christopher)
Hideandseek (Shirin)
Fraulein (Gordana)
Two-Name (Carol Hannah)
Nicolas the Terrible (Nicolas)
Designated Straight Male (Logan)

Okay, Runway fanatics and latents. You're all caught up. What do you think of this season? Do you think that the Blonde and the Beautiful Althea, Irina Shabbadabadoo, and Minnesota Nice Christopher are already a lock for the Final Three, or could Shirin Hideandseek get in there? Could my nicknames be any worse? Are they worse than Lifetime's episode titles? Comments below!

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