Sep 19th, 2010

MizShoes Reviews: Project Runway 8.8

Previously…orange Manhattan. The boys are sad that Casanova is gone. It’s quiet, now…too quiet. Ivy is a stone bitch, and Wimpy says that she needs to use a color other than opaque. It’s a great line,and MizShoes regrets not thinking of it first.

On the runway, Heidi is wearing the formal version of last week’s winning garment and delivers the challenge: step back in time. Gretchen doesn’t want to be forced to make a corset. The challenge as revealed by Tim, however, is nothing more than Michael Kors 2.0: American sportswear as personified by Jackie Kennedy. Just in case anybody has forgotten that the current first lady is oft compared to Jackie O and oft dressed by Mr. Kors. Not that Miz Shoes thinks that there is anything wrong in any of that.

Christopher says that he has this one in the bag, as he IS an American sportswear designer. He’s going to do a fantastic dress. Andy is perplexed and seems to be drawing costumes for a post-apocalyptic remake of Newsies. Aesthetic, aesthetic.

At Mood, Mondo hears the voices in the fabric bolts, Ivy is making bold and unusual color choices (i.e.: not beige), we get a Swatch sighting and Michael Knitwear Guy starts to question himself before the cashier hands him his change. Kicky do-rag or no, the guy is pouring flop sweat. The countdown to his exit has surely begun.

In the work room, Mondo has this over scale black, purple and white houndstooth boucle that looks like Chanel suiting, if Betsey Johnson were doing Chanel suiting. Gretchen wonders about Mondo’s taste level.  She and Valerie bond in the sewing room, and Valerie says aesthetic. Ivy throws shade on Wimpy.

Tim comes for walkies! He begins with Christopher, whose silvery one-shouldered cocktail dress is lovely. April says it looks like her grandmother’s clothes. What does everyone one this show have against fashionable grandmothers? More sound bites from the designers. Michael Knitwear guy says Mondo has designed for Jackie in the desert on mescaline. April calls out the fit on Andy’s cargo capris, which are wedged up the model’s butt. She doubts that Jackie in any century would wear his look. She is pretty spot on.

Valerie seems to think that calling Wimpy’s look “very Donna Karan” is an insult. We’ve moved on from he can’t sew, to he doesn’t have a clear point of view. Sour grapes, much? More workroom high jinks and morning coffee together high jinks and finally, we get back to the workroom to the Tim Twist(TM). Today will not be a runway day, after all. Instead, they will be going back to Mood with another $150 dollars and they will have to create an additional look, a piece of outerwear to compliment their original outfit. There is much consternation and gnashing of teeth.

Sinister interlude at Mood (and another Swatch sighting) where we see Wimpy come around a corner and trip over a bolt of fabric that’s been partially pulled out already. He loves it and starts touching it, when Gretchen, who’s already shopping that aisle, sees him and snatches the bolt saying she was going to buy some. And you know what? She probably was, and had already pulled it, so for this once, Miz Shoes is willing to cut the skank some slack.

Back in the sewing room again, and the unholy troika of Gretchen, Ivy and Valerie continue to bash Wimpy. Since his ability to sew has been established, the new charge against him is that he sews too much and makes too many garments per challenge, and relies on Tim Gunn to make his decisions and then brags that he made seven dresses. To use a TLo-ism, those are some bitter kittens. Another “Evil Wimpy” soundbite, as he says if you’re gonna hate on him for winning challenges, then step up your fucking game and win one your ownself (cough, Valerie, Ivy, cough). To which Miz Shoes says, right on.

We get a second Tim Through, where he is unimpressed with Valerie’s vest over jacket, completely mystified by Michael Knitwear’s grey wool jersey skirt with cartridge pleating at the dropped hip and inexplicable jacket, and concerned that Andy may be giving Jackie Kennedy camel toe. Mondo has made a little black jacket lined in purple to go over his Mondo/Chanel skirt.

Runway day and the girls are worried for Andy, Andy is feeling confident and true to himself, and Michael Knitwear is hoping just not to go home. Mondo assures him he will not. Death spiral commencing in two. Christopher is not having an easy time with his leathah shrug. Mondo is dressed like a Kewpie Doll and does a little tap dance. Dead Man Walking Michael interviews that some people are hating on Wimpy because they are all stuck up elitist bitches. In case you’ve not been paying attention, the editors helpfully cut in views of Gretchen, Valerie and Ivy. He is still pleased with his outfit…with cartridge pleating on a high hip.

Smoky eye, smoky eye, smoky eye. Is there any other kind? And finally, it is runway time. Heidi introduces the guest judge, January Jones, actress. January Jones is a flawless blonde in the mold of Grace Kelly, and is famous for playing Betty Draper on Mad Men, where she is styled to perfection as such. In real life, she’s the kind of girl who wears jeans and white shirts. Still, she is as uniquely qualified to spot a Jackie Kennedy vibe as anyone who wasn’t around for the real thing.

Christopher leads with his beautiful silvery dress with the unfortunate dead animal shrug. Don’t misunderstand, Miz Shoes is all about the dead animal pelts, and this one, all frosty pale and hand-sheared to a sort of post-modern Persian lamb is gorgeous, but what Christopher has created is much less than the sum of its parts. Next comes April’s body conscious black outfit with a sheer black organza jacket. Ivy’s exciting use of black, white and grey: wide legged pants, asymmetric white blouse and sheer grey organza asymmetric mini trench coat. She’s pretty smug about how great a look it is and says she’s never seen anything like this before, in which case, she’s blind.

Wimpy isn’t as sure about his blue cocktail dress with a black denim vesty jacket. Miz Shoes is pretty sure that Gretchen’s outfit contained a lot of brown and a lot of floaty layers and that the proportions on that giant toast-colored, belted horse blanket were awful. Michael Knitwear guy’s grey, black and white ensemble comes out and the skirt is too short. He whispers to the other designers that he is toast.

Valerie’s three pieces are dark, full of her usual boomerang pleat/flaps and heavy. Andy is still delusional about his cargo capris and the lumpy vest he’s made. Even his model can’t save this with her walk. Mondo’s tailored his three pieces to perfection. His model sells the look to perfection. The striped boat neck tee shirt has three quarter sleeves, cuffed with the stripes perpendicular to the sleeve, and is fitted to perfection. The little jacket lined with purple is perfection.

Wimpy, April and Gretchen are safe. The others are the best and the worst. The inquisition begins with Valerie and her jacket over jacket. The judges hate everything about it, from her color choices to her floppy collar to her pleats and zippers. Christopher ruined his look with the dirty rug of a fur stole. Michael Knitwear is flayed, drawn and quartered by MKors who fluffs himself up and declares himself insulted by this vision of sportswear. NinaGarcia enumerates his failures. Miss Jones is unimpressed. He’s just circling the drain.

Mondo’s outfit is praised, and then the judges move on to what his model is wearing. The combination of patterns, the silhouette, the completeness of the elements working together all get praise. It does not look cheap! Next is Ivy, who garnishes love from MKors for the architectural elements of her tailoring. She claims that she was inspired by shapes, like triangles and squares, because shapes are timeless. As artistic statement wank goes, that’s pretty impressive wank.

Andy is completely blind sides by the judges’ responses to his vision. Heidi says she just wants to laugh at the very concept that any of this would under any set of circumstances, be worn by Jackie Kennedy. MKors, NinaGarcia and Heidi compete for the cruelest put down of Andy and then everyone is sent to the green room to lick their wounds. The judges begin again, and are bored by Valerie, appalled by Andy and ready to pull the plug on Michael Knitwear.

Christopher made a smart dress and wrapped it in a dirty dishrag, Mondo understood the challenge, the inspiration, his personal style and melded it together successfully. Ivy didn’t suck, for once, and used good materials and tailored well. Decision made, let’s bring back the designers. NinaGarcia is seen giving a sage nod in slo-mo.

Mondo is the clear winner (agreed), Christopher is safe, and so are Ivy and Andy. Valerie looks pityingly over at Michael Knitwear, who was resigned to being sent home when he first questioned his fabric choices back at Mood. Valerie made ill-fitting, unflattering mall wear, but Michael Knitwear made an unflattering silhouette with cartridge pleats and layered wife-beaters. Michael Knitwear apologizes to Tim for not listening, and they hug. Next week? It seems that there will be more blood on the runway.