Annie, Get Your Gunnar
Last week Raul got the double-dutch-oven-Auf (this is a real thing).
|All images via|
This week the designers get slapped by the Coldstone Creamery of reality when they have to design for normal women. Every year Project Runway has a challenge like this one and every year there are designers who act like they've just been asked to squeegee Michael Kors' fake tanner onto his speedo lines, rather than simply do the thing that they claim they have always dreamed of doing. Come on designers, models get their clothes for free so you better get used to size 14 if you ever want to make it.
You know who else had to make clothes for real people? Coco Chanel, Hubert de Givenchy, Christian Dior, Diane Von Furstenburg, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors... uh this list is woefully incomplete. In the turn of the century, when designers were defining fashion for the modern woman, rich people were fat. And if you need more evidence, might I point you toward the Lifetime Made-for-TV Movie "Coco Chanel" starring Shirley MacLaine as further evidence to this point.
If you're not designing clothes for real people, you're not a fashion designer, bottom line. So you better learn your vocabulary: voluptuous, curvy, buxom, hourglass, full-figured, pear-shaped, apple-shaped, spaceship-shaped, satellite-shaped... or whatever new word designers will painstakingly use to substitute for "fat" or "plus-size." This is Amurrica. We eat fried butter. Deal with it.
|Help! My friend has no taste!|
|I want it to be questionably tasteful|
The models for this episode are women in need of style makeovers. While their sizes, age and body types are as varied as any cross-section of America, they all clearly qualify has helpless. Each designer is randomly paired with a client and challenged to simply make them look good and keep them happy. I really love the "real people" challenges because I think it's important for the designers to get a little reality check and some perspective while they're at it. Working with people whose lives are devoted to other pursuits reminds us all that there is more to life than fashion- like supporting your family, being a social worker or an R&B singer.
Most of the drama of this episode stems from the one simple truth about the real people challenges: *just make her happy.* To the seasoned PR observer, it's so simple. No one has ever been sent home after thrilling their client, even if the judges aren't crazy about the design. Customers, clients, cholesterol-cloggers, whatever you call them, they're always right. Get this and you'll be hot fudge on a cold sundae.
|I lack a sense of irony|
You're not so hot yourself.
So who did get it? Gunnar and Elena, of all people. Gunnar was inspired by his client, Kim, who he said is his driving force throughout this challenge. I never thought I'd say this, but Gunnar is really winning me over this week.
Equally dumbfounding, Elena was HAPPY this week. She manages to be nice to her client for the duration of the challenge. And she chooses a color for her design this week that is not black or white. I don't know what to say, I'm speechless.
Anyways, let's just get to the runway already!
Our guest judge tonight is Alice Temperley of Temperley London. Since she's a successful fashion designer, let's just assume that she knows a thing or two about designing clothes for real women.
Dmitry created one of his signature flawless dresses for client Angela. The judges said it was edgy, cool and sexy and they loved the choice of color. I agreed with Alice that the neckline could have been a little lower though. Most importantly, Angela loved her new look and didn't think the end result was possible.
Fabio was tasked with designing a dress for Ko-Re, a woman who admittedly hates dresses. But he really nailed it with this grey-toned, one-of-a-kind dress that was feminine but powerful at the same time. Ko-Re was thrilled with the result, as were the judges. Heidi said it looked like she was from the 'hood but wearing a dress and MK said it took a boy in a dress to get her to wear a dress. Alice wasn't crazy about the belt, but I think it did need some detailing at the waist.
No surprise here! Gunnar, who got along fabulously with his client Kim, landed a spot in the top as Kim did her best sassy sashay down the runway in a leather and chiffon dress. You could tell she loved it, and the judges really respond to that energy. Heidi said she had the best walk, MK said the dress was flirty and really reflected Kim's bubbly personality and Nina said the transformation was phenomenal. The dress was good, but Kim's smile really sold it.
Sonjia found herself in the bottom this week with her blue knotted dress for Amanda. I agreed with the judges that it's "knot" flattering (ha) and the length of the dress was too short. It actually made her look shorter. Heidi said it was slutty and Alice it was really run-of-the-mill.
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In the end Fabio was the deserved winner and Nathan, unfortunately, was sent home. The judges tried to scare us into thinking they were going to send Ven home, but I knew they wouldn't. This show needed a new villain, especially if Gunnar continues to charm his way to our hearts.
Meanwhile, off camera Tim Gunn changes into his Bond tux, calls his driver and with a moment's glance at his Rolex, scoops Terri and her friend off for martinis and shoe therapy at Barneys. Tim Gunn really knows how to make a person feel good about herself. I can just see them now, seated at a sultry jazz bar. As Tim plucks an olive in his mouth from his dirty martini, he turns to Terri and says, "Oh Ven? Fuck that guy." And somewhere in the distance, Gunnar's maniacal laugh can be heard.
I can't wait for next week where there will be more misogynistic comments from Ven, a "psychotic breakdown" and a battle of the sexes!
Stay tuned & riot on!