31 August 2013

PR12E07: Shoes Make the Dress or Dress Makes the Shoes?

We start this week, as usual, with a little flashback to the previous episode, this time largely focused on the Tim Gunn Save of Justin. Most are highly positive (well, to not be would be ungracious, no?!), but Alexander and Bradon allow themselves to express some regret that it will no longer be available to save them. Bradon is so prescient in that thought! (But we’ll get to that.)

It’s all about shoes this week! Don’t get me wrong: I really don’t understand the shoe thing, with a couple of exceptions, but these designers are all shoe-crazy and focused on some of the strangest things as inspirations. They visit the Marie Claire magazine closet, which Kate calls “a library of shoes”. Uh, okay.

Anne Fullenwider (how unfortunate a name for someone in fashion, and doesn’t fit her look either) is the Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire and talks about the importance of shoes. Some people, she opines, start their outfit choices with their shoes each day: will I be going to a power meeting, a lunch or a hot date? Apparently, shoes do not take out the garbage or go do the laundry, or at least fashion doesn’t. The choice of the shoes for the challenge comes down to a quiz, except for last week’s winner Alexandria, who gets to choose first. The others have to buzz in first with the correct answer to get their turn at the shoe library.

Miranda, who ends up coming last, moans that she wishes the questions were about wallpaper or photography…and then misses the obvious Wizard of Oz question. In fact, the last two shock and dismay their competitors all by missing the “little black dress” question, which will also turn out to be prescient by the end of the show.

Mood again (phew! 4th visit of 7 episodes), and we are treated to the dreadful spectacle of Tim allowing the little dog Swatch to lick his ear while he pretends to look for something down low. I am picturing some kind of fantasy revenge episode where Tim Gunn gets to make the judges humiliate themselves “for the sake of the show”. But we’ll get back to that at the end, too! (My, that’s a lot of projecting further into the article!) Oh, and worth noting here while we’re at mood: Miranda and Alexander both choose a predominantly red plaid with the intention of making pants out of them (they are slightly different). Everyone predicts a “battle of the plaids” and everyone is wrong.

Tired old phrases get trotted out for the critique: “It just looks inexpensive” “It makes her look old” “Who is she, where is she going?”. The best thing, though, is that the show has discovered how bitchy Ken can be in a most entertaining way. A sampling of this week’s comments to demonstrate why they will have to keep him to the end or bring him back as a guest judge/commentator in the future:
  • “Bradon designed something for my great, great grandmother, in her casket.”
  • “It looked like Amy Winehouse, after she OD’d.” (On Miranda’s model’s hair)
  • “It’s time to bring out the knives and play the game like it used to be played.”
  • “[Spoiler removed] is the winner. Her garment is old and I should definitely have taken it home.”
Oh, the other contestants give it a try as well:
  • “Such a mess. It’s hideous.” (Jeremy on Bradon’s look)
  • “I know Miranda and I have the same fabric, but Miranda your [bleep] is ugly. It’s a crazy mess.” (Alexander)
  • “They’re gonna rip her for that hair.” (Helen on Miranda’s model’s hair.)
As judges, we have the usual suspects: Heidi, Zac and Nina. I have to say that I really liked the sheer shoulders on Heidi’s judging outfit (above). But we also have TWO guests: Kaley Cuoco (“Penny” from Big Bang Theory) and the aforementioned Anne Fullenwider (will Nina watch her mouth in the presence of her boss?). Let’s see what fin things they had to say about the designers on the bottom, by designer.

Jeremy’s tube skirt, shiny camisole and oversized faux cable sweater, done in chiffon like someone’s craft project gone wrong:
  • “Does not look current or modern to me.” (Heidi, yawn)
  • “Verges on trampy.” (Zac)
Also worth noting is that there was some disagreement on whether Jeremy was seeing Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman) in the thigh-high boots he chose. By some disagreement I mean that the judges all thought yes and he thought no.

Miranda’s plaid pants and polka dot top with a smaller white leather jacket over top, with shiny red flat shoes that looked like polished slippers:
  • (Heidi notes that there are two similar plaids on the runway…and it didn’t help that one followed the other.)
  • “Mix of 50’s and 60’s…I like the nerd alert, but it’s not kooky enough.” (Zac)
  • “Where is the egg nog? Very Christmas, retro, but not in a good way.” (Nina)
  • “It’s like she ran out of time at the top.” (Anne)
Bradon’s crumpled draped blouse with circle skirt and flats and — hey! — that’s our hapless model again, this time made up with a bobby-soxer pony tail. She really can’t catch a break!
  • “You just went so tortured up here.” (Nina, indicating the breastal area)
  • “Frumpy dumpy.” (Zac)
  • “Looks like someone’s grandmother’s pillows.” (Anne)
  • “It’s a bad bridesmaid’s dress.” (Kaley, trying desperately to get in on the bitchfest)
For the top three, the comments are expectedly more restrained, but we do get this gem from Zac on Alexandria’s look, which I’ll leave to his description: “Nightgown girl with the gladiator boots that walks down the streets of SoHo. It doesn’t wow me; feels a little pedestrian.”

The other fun part is after Ken describes his outfit as “maneater”, which Nina, Anne and Kaley all love. Anne adds that “maneater is a reptile” with reference to the texture of the fabric, and the only thing Zac can find wrong is the little disco purse. He thinks a maneater would confidently go forth without, expecting everything to be provided by the men who presumably want to be eaten by her.

The winner is Helen, surely not because Nina, Kaley and Anne all want to have it and wear it immediately. If Heidi wasn’t after it, it must have been because the “cape” or “capelet” (can somebody please clarify the line between the two? Must be length, right?) covers too much skin that might otherwise be exposed. Zac mixes up an adage to say that “simplicity is next to godliness.” I slap my forehead. If we refer back to the beginning of this article, I will now have to point out that the top three looks were little black dresses. Highly prescient comments at the beginning!

The other “I’m a designer, so I will use big words to show how smart I am, but I mix them up and end up looking a little off” moment award goes to Kate. She says her look is a “diversion” from what she usually does. I think she means “divergence” but then again, I speak English and she apparently speaks designer, so what do I know?

Oh yes. Miranda’s Christmassy plaid pants are her ticket home. Back to Milwaukee, where she will doubtless seek out Timothy the unicorn lover for consolation.

The preview for next week is promising for two reasons:
  1. More humiliation for Tim as he is compelled to wear a referee outfit, complete with whistle (his revenge will be swee-eet, I’m sure!)
  2. Michael Kors returns to guest judge and to try to wrest back his bitchy queen title from Zac. I’m sure they will both bring their best comments to the match!

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