The Project Runway Top 10 split into two teams this week. It's about as pretty as such team challenges usually are.
Although there are no team leaders, according to Heidi, they are going to pick teams ... just like gym class. As last week's winner, Anthony gets to choose first, and then each person chosen is the next to choose for their team. So it goes like this:
Anthony chooses Anya chooses Viktor chooses Olivier chooses Bryce.
KingJosh chooses Laura chooses Kimberly chooses Becky chooses Bert.
And you just know Team #2 is a disaster waiting to happen -- given, especially, KingJosh's past clashes with both Becky and Bert.
Image courtesy Lifetime
Heidi makes it worse by pointing out to Bert that this is the second time he was last chosen, saying "I feel so bad!" Nice way to rub it in, Heids.
So, this week is the HP/Intel challenge: Create a textile from scratch. With the added tasks of creating a video with music to play behind the runway show.
They'll have 2 days; they'll each have to have a look, and at least 3 of those looks have to include the prints they design.
Then, oddly, they bring on Betsy Johnson as a guest mentor ... just to show them what her last show looked like. I say it's odd because she doesn't end up being a judge at the end, so she's just there for these brief minutes.
Laura shares that she thinks she's Betsy Johnson and Oscar de la Renta's love child. And I have to say, where is the Glam Girl Laura purported to be? It hasn't been showing up much in her designs, nor in her own fashion, nor now in her claim to be closely attuned to Betsy Johnson's design sensibility. What?
Betsy shares her ultimate piece of advice: It all starts with the girl. And the music. Who is she? Where is she going? (And apparently, what music does she listen to on the way?) KingJosh probably should have listened closer to this part, since later he makes the faux pas of not believing it should matter where she's going or what she's doing.
Once Tim and Betsy clear out, high drama ensues. KingJosh goes ballistic on Bert, using all sort of high-drama language: "I will not have it." "Don't come near me." "I'm just going to forfeit." Because he thinks Bert swore. KingJosh doesn't like the dirty words. KingJosh must spend a lot of time feeling quite disheartened.
He storms out, leaving his team in the dust...and making obvious observations. Like:
Kimberly: "That was unnecessary." Oh really, ya think?
And Becky: "He seems to be dealing with some grief." Yup, it's the mother thing rearing its ugly head.
Laura goes off to calm KingJosh, and it is decided that those two will focus on the video, while Bert, Kimberly and Becky go to Mood.
Anya, observing the other team from afar, is very happy all is harmonious and enjoyable over on her side of the workroom.
Speaking of that team, Bryce and Viktor are tasked with doing the video, and they head off to Times Square to do so, while Josh and Laura take lots of video of Laura in lots of different shoes getting in and out of cabs. And even a shot of KingJosh doing the same. And he does know how to rock a pair of yellow pumps.
Once everyone is back form filming and Mood, we get a big public apology from Josh. And hugs all around.
Bert, while accepting the apology, privately looks at it a bit askance, but concedes that "he did it and that's the most important thing."
I am with you, Bert. I look at it a bit askance as well.
The custom fabric is in the house. I didn't spend any time writing about the textile design part of the process, because it was dull -- and the fabrics all reflected that. The two teams say they feel good about their prints. but they're not really objective, you know?
The on honest person is Kimberly, who isn't using any of her team's textiles, because she doesn't like them. So she's not doing it. So there.
As if they were listening to my feedback last week that we weren't hearing much from Laura, the producers gave her more airtime this week. I'm not sure it's very helpful, though. In addition to her bizarre Betsy/Oscar love-child comment, we also learn that Laura thinks Becky's look is Judy Jetson math teacher. And that she is more inspired by the other team's textiles than her own.
Tim comes for a visit. He has minimal comments for the harmonious team (somewhat incongruosuly self-titled Team Chaos), and simply asks them to think about how it's all going to move.
It's another story during his visit to Team "Nuts & Bolts". (If that were Team Nuts & Dolts, it would make more sense.)
Tim is troubled by Laura's jumpsuit.
Tim finds Bert's seaming troublesome.
Tim is troubled by Becky's skirt, and its scale.
Tim has the hives about Josh's top idea.
Overall Tim is confused. And troubled. As he said.
Here's where Tim asks Josh where his woman is going in the outfit Josh is designing, and Josh "doesn't like the idea" of items having to go somewhere.
It's time for a Timtervention. And he dives in:
"Let your ego go. There's potential for there to be a wow moment, but I don't see it now. There isn't cohesion amongst the five of you: You need to help each other."
And then Tim has them join hands.
Josh is frustrated that his critique with Tim went badly ... and he gets a little teary about it. He calls his dad. His dad asks how he is "I'm good," he says, all quavery and Opposite-Day. Dad isn't buying it. "Are you sure?" So, now we learn why Josh has been so dickish all day ... and no, it's more than just that he is kind of a jerk. Turns out it is *his mom's birthday*. Also turns out that Josh didn't get back to see his mom one last time before she died. And, understandably, he struggles with that. And has decided Project Runway will validate that decision.
OK, dude, you should have made it back, I'll say it. He wants to know that missing Thanksgivings, Christmases, AND HIS MOM'S DEATHBED was worth it, and I'm not sure Project Runway is going to deliver that absolution for him.
Back to fashion drama, and as per usual: Olivier just can't finish. Snooze.
Plus. I so don't care about hair and makeup. I said it. The designers never really know what they're trying to do.
And we're off to the runway.
Heidi comes out all '80s and is joined by what seems to be an ever-growing panel of judges. In addition to regulars, MK and ninagarcia, there are not one, but two extra judges: fashion designer Rachel Roy and actress Rose Byrne.
Are people just begging to be judges at this point? Why five?
And here we go, as always, click on the designer's name to see their work.
Team Nuts & Bolts
KingJosh's outfit was pure hideous. You remember those Jackson Pollock-like patterned elastic waistband pants that weightlifters used to work out in? Yeah, picture those pants in a stupid word textile. Paired with a black, blue and white jacket evoking interlocking jigsaw puzzle pieces. The two pieces didn't go together at all, and even individually they were both hideous.
You knew Becky was in trouble on this one. A very simple chartreuse top with a simple black bolero jacket and a mini-skirt with the words "on Time," "Cancelled," and "Delayed" printed across it in big letters. Too blah. And the only part that wasn't blah was the skirt ... which was ugly.
Bert created a one-shouldered mid-calf sheath dress in their gears graphic print. There was an interesting asymmetrical zipper slashing across the front of the dress. The dress had a great fit. And a terrible length: mid-calf. With ankle booties. The dress was flattering from the knees up and horribly unflattering form the knees down.
Kimberly combined a chartreuse tee, a blue cummerbund and faux poodle micro-mini skirt (my viewing companion prefers the term "vulva duster") that was not only way too short, but also added volume at the hips. Come ON, now. Once again, making women look hippier is usually NOT the answer.
Laura' outfit was a 70s royal blue jumpsuit with a superfluous hip cummerbund cutting the model exactly in half. Total waste of space and time.
While Anya's dress was simple and chic, it was also SIMPLE, more than chic. A rectangular shift dress with black cap sleeves and a deep plunging back, the dress was done completely in their textiles with a thin black belt. On the surface, it's a very simple dress. On closer inspection, she does use two different prints and marries them very well, but that tiny detail is very hard to appreciate on TV, and I was pretty unimpressed as it came down the runway.
Like Becky, Bryce would have been in trouble had he been on the not-harmonious team, because his outfit was just so simple. A red tee shirt with print shorts with black pocket trim. Very simple; too simple. The shorts were well-fitted. But there just wasn't enough there there.
Becky created a white skirt with some hand-applied ink blot patterns and a bit of a bubble hem. The sleeveless blouse accompanying it was a little bit anime schoolgirl, with a collar and a red bow tie. I thought it was a bit of a combo of 80s dress for success and schoolgirl uniform. I also thought he probably should have picked one of those two directions and stuck with it.
Olivier's gray fitted jacket with black lapels and pleated peplum was paired with peg pants in one of their lame prints. I know the judges went CRAZY for this jacket. It did not seem so different or so much better than any I've ever seen before on this show, and looking at it in still pictures gives you a front-row view of every pucker and pull. Color me: Not getting it.
To me, this look was the look of the night. A sleek and chic evening gown, featuring a Calvin Klein-ish black skirt with front slit. And on, top a white bustier with hand-applied inkblots and sheer shoulders and back. "I seriously cannot believe I made that."
Team Nuts & Bolts's overall collection was actually better than I expected, but still pretty bad. I did, for once, notice and like the styling, and I did actually think they had more cohesion -- each outfit seeming to be part of the same story -- than the other team. But they were the clear, CLEAR losers.
Team Chaos could have pushed themselves, though. Everything was simple and chic, but there was nothing, except maybe Viktor's gown, that made me say "wow".
Nonetheless, Team Chaos is the winning team. Duh.
They send Team Nuts & Dolts to the workroom to wait, during which time KingJosh is in full on douchebag mode and makes it personal, saying to Becky: "I know what I want to deliver and you don't. That is why I should be here, and you shouldn't."
First they talk to Team Chaos:
Heidi likes every outfit, but MK wishes they were all equally sophisticated. He LOVES Olivier's jacket, and thinks the gown is very chic and sophisticated. but the shorts/tee are too casual. Rose thinks they're all wearable and approachable, and Rachel loves the collection and loves the prints. Finally, Nina thinks it was all very well done. She also gives special mention to the Olivier jacket and Viktor gown. Her only criticism is the make-up and hair; she wanted more polish.
When asked who should win, they all pick themselves, except Bryce, who picks Anya.
Then they talk to the losers, Team Nuts & Dolts.
The judges vie to see who can sum up the problems most succinctly (sung to the tune of "Officer Krupke").
Heidi: The trouble is it's too busy.
MK: The trouble is it's too literal.
Rachel: The trouble is the prints!
Rose: The trouble is it's unflattering.
MK: The trouble is the video looked like a hooker convention coming home. Or ads for shoes or cabs.
MK: And not a lot of women want to have "cancelled" on their crotch.
MK: And Becky's top and skirt are nothing.
MK: But Bert's outfit is so well-cut.
(MK has a LOT to say, as you can see.)
Finally ninagarcia gets in on the action:
Becky: Josh started us out very badly. Nina's rebuttal: You all had responsibility to speak up and change things.
JoshM:I have three separates made impeccably. If the show is about designing, then I did my part. Nina's rebuttal: But the three prints are horrible.
Finally, they do that time-honored reality TV thing and ask each team member: "Who is the weakest link?" (Really, Heidi, you couldn't come up with your own tagline?)
Bert: Picks Josh, because Josh was disruptive.
Laura: Picks Bert.
Josh: Picks Becky.
Becky: Picks Josh. And whines: I made everything multiple times, no one had any constructive feedback.
Kimberly: Least-styled look is Becky's. It's the most simple. It's just a difference of aesthetics.
The judges now continue the rip-on-Team-Nuts&Bolts fun.
MK with the ultimate put-down: "It's not Project Seamstress."
Heidi: Becky has too little, Josh has too much. I'm worried about his taste level.
Nina: Josh came up with worst print. He's a bit of a bully. Of course, Bert isn't a team player either.
So, who's the winner?
Anya! (And I say: Really? REALLY? Viktor should have had it. Olivier would have been understandable. But Anya? I'm befuddled.)
Who gets aufed?
Laura, Kimberly and Bert are in, leaving Josh and Becky as the bottom two: And Becky is aufed.
Which is understandable, but I admit I was hoping we were going to see the last of KingJosh and All. His. Drama.
What about you?