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Project Runway Recap: "Takin' it to the Street"

Runway  AHHHHMAYGOD, the title of this episode annoys me. Especially now that I've seen the episode and they DIDN'T have to sew dresses out of litter and asphalt. That would have been way better than this "NYC neighborhood" vagueness. Rejected titles probably included: The Neighborhoods of Fashion and Won't You Be My Fashionable Neighbor? In other news, THIS was a weird challenge. THIS. Is Project Runway.

Last week: Everybody designed ass. BizARAHH ass.

God, Heidi is so nasal-sounding in the opening credits. Even more so than she usually sounds. Did she have a cold while recording her voiceovers?

Amy needs to step it up and redeem herself and Mila needs to redeem herself and Maya needs to win a goddamn challenge already instead of coming in second place for the bajillionth time. 

(My husband, already bored to tears, just informed me that HEY DO YOU KNOW THEY MAKE LADY GAGA HEADPHONES? And I was all, FUCK YEAH, DUH, THEY'VE BEEN ON MY AMAZON WISH LIST FOR MONTHS SHUT UP I HEAR THEY HAVE REALLY GOOD SOUND QUALITY POUR ME SOME MORE WINE.)

And this is when I started paying attention to the show again just in time to realize that OH HELL TEAM CHALLENGE. Based on New York neighborhoods or something. Basically: the show is completely kissing your ass for trying to move it to LA last season and it's SORRY, OKAY, stop PUNISHING IT ALREADY.

Team leaders are Anthony, Emilio, Amy and Jay.

Amy chooses Jonathan. They get the Upper East Side.

Emilio and Seth Allen have Harlem.

Anthony and Maya. Chinatown. 

Jay and Mila, who apparently hate each other all of a sudden. You didn't know that, did you? Well! The more you know Or the more the editors suddenly decide to reveal for plot purposes. They have the East Village. Midtown West would have been better because then they could have done a Broadway tribute to their loathing, unadulterated loathing.

The teams must create two looks: one for day and one for evening. They head off to their neighborhoods for 30 minutes in search of inspiration. They all gush over walls and wrought-iron and architecture and graffiti and stuff. 

Let me just say it: I found this episode to be extremely boring, to the point that my notes dribbled off into nothingness before the designers even hit Mood. Clearly the producers were counting on the team challenge to be a source of HUGE DRAMA, but it didn't happen. Mila and Jay really didn't like each other but ultimately were just your garden-variety dysfunctional team who created separate looks that didn't really go with each other and fretted about potential bus-throwing on the runway. And everybody had time management issues, just like EVERY OTHER WEEK EVER. 

Yawn. Whatever. Since there were four teams, everybody ended up in either the top or the bottom, so let's just skip ahead to the results. Warning: COMPLETELY WHACK JUDGING AHEAD.

Tops:

Picture 53
This is Emilio's Harlem "day" look. HAAAAAAAAAAA I'm kidding. Of course it's Seth Allen's. BECAUSE IT'S A MOTHERFUCKING JACKET.  Another impeccably made, awesomely stylish jacket, but SRSLY. Another jacket with puffy sleeves and a big collar, paired with another variation of tight, high-waisted pants. A ton of extra seams and hardware and pointless detailing. How is he not getting called on this? The judges basically go apeshit over this look, and are happy to see that SA included a bit of color -- which was actually Emilio's recommendation, but this is the one lone example of any actual teamwork we see on the runway, so it's a good thing. 

Picture 47 

Okay, THIS is Emilio's. I mean it this time. It's...eh. It's okay. It's pretty boring. I sort of liked the colored lining of the skirt and sort of didn't. I think it mostly gets praise because it actually looks like a companion piece to SA's day look, because of the zipper (and the judges sure do love them some zipper-trim and act like they've never seen it before no matter how many times they TOTALLY HAVE), but that same element makes the bottom of the dress hang weird, like a long unzipped jacket. And only SA can do jackets, obviously.

Picture 50
Maya. Chinatown. Day. I hate this, actually. It was Tim who steered Maya away from a solid fabric to those stripes, but now these two pieces look like mismatched separates from different stores. The jacket is missing its business-suit skirt and the skirt is missing something fun and youthful for a top. I don't even remember what the judges praised about it (and they praised it quite a bit) because both my husband and I were busy shouting "EW" at the television. 

Picture 46
Anthony. Chinatown. Evening. He had a cool (if cliched) inspiration story ready for the judges (Chinese paper lanterns), but I'm starting to sense that Anthony is also returning to the same design trick over and over again. Simple, super-short dress with some geometric frippery splashed diagonally across it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I will give it to him that this time, it worked. But...I dunno...some color? When you think of Chinatown, do you honestly think of black and tan

Seth Allen and Emilio are both awarded the win for doing the same damn things they do every single week and gush about making "Project Runway history!" for being the first double winners. There's no immunity though, so whatever. Maya again ends up in the second-place spot. 

Bottoms:

Picture 48 

Jay. East Village. Day. Holy crap, can you believe this shit? From JAY? Those pants! Those...PANTS! Tim tried to steer him away from making PUFFY THIGH PANTS, but Jay would have none of it. And don't even get me started on that tank. First, Mila and her color-blocking are infecting other, better designers now and must be stopped. Second, that tank was terribly made and gapped all unevenly around the neck and it's a freaking tank top. I am pretty damn sure that I could sew a freaking tank top, even though the last sewing project I ever made was a sweatshirt in high school home ec and I managed to sew the neckline 1) completely shut, and 2) to the fabric of my jeans, which 3) I was wearing at the time.

Picture 51
Mila has officially crossed into the realm of designers I dislike so much that I can no longer critique their designs with any semblance of objectivity. Wow, black and white and mod and blocky. Hope you didn't sprain anything there with your massive creativity, Mila. 

Also:

Picture 52
OMG. STOPTHAT.

Picture 49
Amy. Upper East Side. You know, there was (obviously) a lot of really crappy shit on the runway, and this was far from the crappiest. I like it less in the still photos (the leggings, admittedly, were a bad choice) but honestly, I thought the shirt was downright pretty on its own, if yeah, a little apron-ish. Maybe she should have made it a dress instead. Anything other than leggings. I don't know, but the judges HATE THIS. They hate every little solitary thing about it. I was surprised by the depths of their hate. I mean...they saw Jay's pants, right? And the fact that his and Mila's designs had absolutely nothing to do with each other? Right?

Picture 45
Not that Amy and Jonathan's looks were perfect companion pieces, or anything, but this is where the judges completely lost me. Were Maya's and Emilio's looks really better than this?  Or at least as interesting? This dress has problems, for sure -- the bottom hems were unfinished AND uneven, and OH MY GOD WITH THE BLACK AND TAN -- but the fabric effect he did totally does reflect the architecture of the Upper East Side. He needed to edit down some of the detailing and focus more on the execution, but I still think Jonathan deserved a bit more respect for making something 1) not completely ugly and/or boring, and 2) not a complete retread of everything else he's sent down the runway already. 

You know how in past seasons a really good designer would completely biff a challenge and is sent home without mercy and we all bitch about it because how can they send X home when X is still around, I bet the producers kept X because they're more interesting or something? 

I believe Jay is very talented. But Jay completely biffed this challenge. His look is atrocious and truly auf-worthy. He was a team leader who allowed his teammate to make whatever the hell SHE wanted with zero concern for the day/night companion piece aspect of the challenge.

The judges send Amy home instead. And you know, there were weeks when Amy probably deserved to go home. Clownfish pants. Hair bowl. I would have been hard-pressed to argue with that. This week? Really? Her look was not great, but NO ONE'S WAS. It was a runway full of fail, with Jay as the fail king. The judging has turned into the reverse Oscars -- though instead of rewarding a mediocre performance as penance for an earlier snub,  they simply won't send you home when you deserve it if you've got even a slightly better track record than your fellow bottom-two-er, but will toss you out the first week the track record math skews against you. (I'm also trying to imagine the judging if this wasn't a team challenge and there had been looks that skated through in the middle.)

I don't even think we can blame the producers, because is Jay really that interesting? Not really. He's another perfectly pleasant, hard-working designer, evenly on par with Amy in terms of personality and story arc. I hate to say it, but I think the producers need to stop reading the blogs. Last season we complained that the guest judges made the judging crazy arbitrary and hard for the designers to respond to their critiques if there was a whole new set of people judging them the next week. They seem to have now taken that criticism and instructed the judges to take past performance into consideration too much. Sometimes it's okay to just send the worst look home, you guys, even if it's a talented person who makes it. It's kind of the point of the show, to keep everyone on their toes and upping the ante challenge after challenge, right? With judging this predictable, it seems like SA and Emilio are safe to coast all the way to the finish...and kind of know it, too.

Then again...Amy certainly wasn't going to make the final three, so perhaps it was best to put the poor thing out of her misery. Just send Mila home next week and I'll be fine, really. 







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Comments

Suzy Q

Yep, there was a whole lotta crappy crap on the runway last eve. I didn't like ANY of it.

SA's day look came straight out of a bad '70s movie, hat and all. Blech to all of them!

G.G.R

God Mila is so annoying with her stupid colour blocking and no creativity. Send her home already omfg.

Seth Aaron is hot. I badly want him... to make me a jacket.

Anthony is starting to make me go 'awww' when he speaks. The combination of his accent and his very gayness.

Kelly

Anthony was distracted by the ducks in the window. You know they don't do that in Georgia. --Wether he wins or not, I think that Anthony will be selected to play Heidi's little pocket gay. She seems to adore most everything he says, and just laugh, and laugh. But I love Anthony too, must say he is fabulous!

lumpyheadsmom

I finally caught up on tivo'ed episodes so haven't been reading the past posts and comments. Maybe this has already been said but doesn't Amy's model - Carrie? Cerri? IrishChickWhoTohwksFunny - look a little like you?

I also thought that painfully skinny designer who was cut on the Cover episode (Anne? Anna? The one who always had her mouth hanging open) looked a little like you, too.

It creeps me out, honestly. More than a little bit. GET OUT OF MAH TEE VEE, AMALAH.

G.G.R

Lumpyheadsmom - holy moly you are right about the model girl (Cerri McQuillan) . She DOES remind me of Amy. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_FW86_jO7k_A/SykDiT4ezZI/AAAAAAABWhA/aOpvRInwMbo/s1600/mor2-cerri.jpg The face... it's so not Amy yes so much Amy. omfgzzzzbqqzzzz amy WERE YOU ON PRORUN?!

I also suspect that Amy is related to Taylor Swift.

funda62

"Mila has officially crossed into the realm of designers I dislike so much that I can no longer critique their designs with any semblance of objectivity. Wow, black and white and mod and blocky. Hope you didn't sprain anything there with your massive creativity, Mila."

Well honestly I've hated her from the beginning. She seems like such a nose in the air stuck up bitch. Nobody likes her on the show except Maya who seems to have a bit of a girl crush on her or whatever. Every week I pray to the goddess of fashion that she will be the one to go and of course she still stays. Oh goddess of fashion why hast though betrayed me?

Mrs. Q.

Great recap. I felt so... empty.

Maya. I thought I had no style at all because I kept thinking how nothing matched (except the skirt detail to the model's lipstick???!) but the judges loved it. And Nina kept talking about the "pagoda-style" of the jacket. Huh?

Mila's model striking a pose with "DIO!" hands? Really?

Love SA style, but please just put the jackets down and do a ballgown already.

Sadly, Amy could not get out of her own way. But I will think of her-- and her freaky clownpants-- every time they show the designers backstage in the kiss and cry area. Check out the artwork hanging there... go ahead.

Shelley

To quote my (already VERY style concious)six year old neice's opinion of the judges this week: "They need new eyeballs, new fashion eyeballs" I couldn't have said it better myself.

Laurel

I'm sure no one is reading this because I'm 5 years late, but Maya's model reminds me so much of Heather, the model with aspbergers from ANTM, except less pretty.

Also, why did Lifetime have to ruin this show? Stupid stupid Lifetime.




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