Episode: The Flowchart Of Fashion
January 28, 2009
Previously on Project Runway: Everyone ran off to a muddy potato farm to get their challenge, which was to create party dresses for their models made entirely from potato sacks. Jay won for making a feathery-looking number which didn’t look like burlap. Ping managed to survive despite putting her model’s nude backside on display. Jesus stayed in it too, despite obliterating the burlap entirely. And Pamela got the boot for making her model look like she had a actually had an ass.
Morning. The designers are groggy and decide to start their day with strong coffee, a healthy teeth brushing and a hearty of ragging on Ping (The Ziggy Stardust of Designers). Jesus (The Jysterically Jopeless), who has taken upon himself to start referring to himself in the third person, reveals his magical plan of winning by perpetually being the one in the bottom two who gets to stay.
Meanwhile, we set the stage for the rest of the hour with Jesse (Jack Sparrow Of The Bobbins) explaining how much he can’t stand Ping and thinks she really should have been the one to go home last week. I’m sure this won’t be any kind of harbinger of what is to come.
On the runway, The Fertility Goddess Heidi pops out. (And, as seen on last week’s Models show, the designers pick models, leaving Ping’s multi-lingual, ass-exposed girl eliminated from the competition.) Once that’s over, it’s off for another field trip.
The designers are then delivered to the Metropolitan Museum Of Art. There, Tim greets them while standing before a collection of ten of the greatest works of fashion ever. He explains that for the next challenge, the designers will be working in teams of two.
They will be charged with creating a high-end signature look which, supposedly, would fit in with these classic pieces.
And since it will be hard work to pretend that that would even be possible, the producers are giving the designers $500 with which to buy materials, the highest ever in the series’ history. Because with that kind of money, the dresses will _have_ to be museum ready, right?
Also, they’ll have two days in which to create this look, so they can go as slowly as they’d like since there’s _no way_ they’d be called upon to do anything but create one masterful gown.
Since Jay (The Sewing Budgie) won the last challenge, he’s automatically a team leader. Tim picks the rest of the leaders from the Crown Royal Bag O’ Buttons.
They are …
Jesus. Anthony (Miss Sassafras 2009). Janeane (The Waterworks). Mila (Ms. Fisher Price Hair, Sr.). Ping. And Emilio (The Eventual Winner).
The leaders get to picking their partners.
- Jay picks … Maya (Miss Fisher Price Hair, Jr.).
- Jesus picks … Amy (The Eventual Runner-Up).
- Anthony picks … Seth Aaron (The One Who Is Hungry Like The Wolf).
- Janeane picks … Ben (The One Who Doesn’t Register On Film).
- Mila picks … Jonathan (The Frustrated Quipper).
- Which leaves as the last two, Jesse and Anna (A Designer On Project Runway).
Jesse explains to us that the very last thing he’d want in the world is to be paired with Ping. Being paired with Ping would make him draw a scabbard across his side bow.
So, naturally …
- Ping picks … Jesse.
This leaves …
Emilio with … Anna.
Since this “Anna” does not cast a shadow, this is the last we will see of Emilio and Amy this episode. I’m sure they did a fine job and we’ll tune in next week to see what happens then.
The designers get a few minutes to drool over the classic outfits to draw their inspiration and then it’s back to the workroom to sketch and watch Ping v. Jesse, Round One:The Awakening.
Ping babbles about how she wants to make something that’s flow-y and drape-y and how she wants to combine this with Jesse’s precise, tailored and knows-how-to-sew-shit look.
Anthony tells Seth Aaron he wants his look to have a surprise “yella.” Jonathan sardonically says that Mila has “no problem making decisions.” And somewhere on the screen there appear the faint outlines of two designers which, through process of elimination, I take to be Janeane and Ben. I assume this has to do with some dress they’re making.
Elsewhere, we see Maya and Jay collaborating. Maya explains that since Jay has immunity*, she’s going to be taking the lead on the design here.
(*Note: As Tim Gunn himself noted in his blogs, no one said anything last week about the winner of that last challenge getting immunity in this challenge, probably since it was to be a team one. But everyone in the room is talking like Jay got immunity. And even on the runway at the end, Heidi suggests he did. So, maybe he did? Look for this situation as the Tiebreaker Trivia Question 52 in the 2014 version of Project Runway: The Home Game.)
And off to their first-this-season visit to Mood!
There, the designers swoon over being able to pick out expensive fabrics and we get to see Ping v. Jesse, Round Two: The Drape Warriors.
She spends her time draping fabric over her body and when he asks if she’s going to be able to sew all that, she tells him to not worry, since he’ll be doing all the sewing. He punches his hand in frustration while she spends the rest of their time running around the shop looking for her missing sketch book and even manages to misplace her money.
At this point, Jesse is clearly thinking of hanging Ping from the highest yardarm.
Thank you, Mood!
Back in the workroom, they all start creating and we go right into Ping v. Jesse, Round Three: The Re-Pants-ening. She wants 1,001 pieces sewn together and wants Jesse to do the work while she concentrates on her liturgical dance. Jesse thinks, “Avast!"
Meanwhile, we also get a taste of our supporting quibblers du jour, Jonathan and Mila. Mila’s plan is to create some retro-yet-modern, space-age-yet-millennial thingamajig, yet let Jonathan do most of the heavy lifting and heavy snarking.
Elsewhere, Anthony is coming to the realization that their color palette (yellow, red and black) is better suited to a clown on a drive-though menu than it is to a fashion runway. Still, he manages to make me actually laugh for the first time this season. So there’s that.
Before you know it, day one ends and day two begins. And since they will have all day to finish their looks I’m sure it will be a leisurely one where _ absolutely nothing unexpected could possibly take place. _
Enter Tim with the announcement that something unexpected is about to take place.
Gather ‘round, kiddies!
Yes, in a development none of you could have possibly seen coming, you will now have to create a second look!
But, wait! There’s more! This look will have to be a budget look, made with a budget which is only 10% of what you spent on your high-end look, that is $50.
And the low-end dress will need to be inspired by the high-end look of a competing team!
Out comes the Crown Royal bag and the teams get to picking their “inspirations.”
Here’s where the need for a flowchart comes in.
Ping/Jesse pick … Emilio/Somebody.
- Janeane/Ben pick … Mila/Jonathan.
- Jay/Maya pick … Janeane/Ben.
- Mila/Jonatha pick … Anthony/Seth Aaron.
- Anthony/Seth Aaron pick … Jesus/Amy.
- Jesus/Amy pick … Ping/Jesse.
- So, Emilo/That Other Girl are left with … Maya/Jay.
The designers then get 20 minutes in which to kvetch about having to make another look, figure out how they can be “inspired” without copying before one member from each team rushes off to Mood for fabric.
(At this point, I wonder how Irina from last season would have taken to this “be inspired but don’t copy” concept. … Sorry. I promise that will be the last time I bring up that misbegotten saga.)
Once they all get back from their fashion scramble, we go back to the workroom for Ping v. Jesse, Round Four: The Curse Of Ping. Ping shows off the _ fabulous _ fabric she chose for the second look and Jesse remarks that it looks like something more appropriate for Patty, The Daytime Hooker.
Our second supporting storyline also gets some play here when Maya (Mila? No, Maya!) complains that, since Jay has immunity (?), he’s being a big slacker, letting Lil Miss Bangface do all the work.
Moving back to our first supporting storyline, we check back in with Jonathan who’s now complaining that Mila is spending all her time on the main look’s coat while he has to do everything else.
And we get to see that Anthony and Seth Aaron are also having their share of sassy conflict over the creative process.
(You know what? I finally realized what these team challenges always remind me of. A bicycle built for two. Have you ever been on one? With someone else? Have you ever noticed that whoever’s in front will always complain that the person in back isn’t pedaling hard enough? It’s like that.)
Moving on …
The models arrive for their fittings. They include … The Jaded, Dour Lesbian Model; The Unique-Looking, Bi-Racial Model; The Newbie Model; The Scottish Taylor Swift Model; and The Sour, Asian, Valley Girl Model Who Just Can’t Be Bothered.
During the fittings, we get Ping v. Jesse, Round Five: The Revenge Of Jesse. While Jesse wants to see how the primary dress looks on the model, Ping wants to focus on making sure the girl knows how to perform a proper demi-plié in the gown.
Emilio reminds us he’s still here, by snarking that he really hates Ping. (Yes, dear. You established that in the first 30 seconds of the show. Now get back to your appliques.)
As work continues, Anthony shows some Ping love, telling her she’s doing an “awesome” job. And when she says nothing more than thank you, he shames the loon into saying something nice about him in return. Because that’s how the codependent rolls.
Time for Tim’s Walkaround And Catchphrase Bombardment!
Tim’s concerned that Maya (Mila? No, Maya!) and Jay won’t have time to finish both looks.
Tim’s concerned that the fabric Ping chose for the second outfit looks like “cheap and cheerful wrapping paper.”
Over at Anthony and Seth Aaron’s station, the two re-enact a domestic sitcom for the mentor, ending with Anthony telling Seth Aaron to “not act up in front of company.” If memory serves, I believe the scene was a mash-up of "227" and "I Married Joan."
Tim likes what Mila and Jonathan are doing. And we don’t really need to look in on the rest, since it’s pretty obvious that that they’re going to be safe this week.
Work! Work! Work!
And finally, it's the day of the runway show. The boys make sure their hair is appropriately pointy, the girls make sure they look properly funereal and it’s back to the workroom for the cross-designer smacktalk!
Emilio rags on another team’s construction. Maya rags on Jay’s immunity-inspired slacking. And … oh, yes, please. More of Ping v. Jesse. It’s Round Six, The Resurrection.
Jesse wants to, at this late hour, redo one of the dresses. Ping thinks that there may be a chance that Jesse is more concerned with his not being sent home than he is with helping her reach the third level of astral projection.
Mila and Jonathan negotiate how they’re going to sell each other out on the runway if they’re on the bottom, the primary bickerers continue their friction, the models head off for their sponsoriffic hair and makeup session and ….
Ping! Ding! Time!
On the runway, Heidi appears, recaps the challenge, introduces Michael and Nina (who have now been hermetically sealed to their judges seats) and this week’s guest judge, noted British bald spot Matthew Williamson.
On with the show!
(OK, we still have too many outfits to describe here. So, blah, blah, blah. The signature looks come out. Then the budget looks come out. Some are great some are odd. Some are horrible. This should be pretty easy, except that some teams had one good/great dress and one boring/hideous dress.)
Heidi calls out the top and bottom teams.
The tops are … Mila/Jonathan (or, Team BangWhine) and Jay/Maya/Maya/Jay (Team Who’s On First?).
The bottoms are … Ping/Jesse (or, Team LoonDubloon) and Anthony/Seth Aaron (Team Wild SassyBoys).
The questioning begins with Jay and Maya. After insisting that immunity didn’t mean anything to him and insisting that he didn’t slack off (cut to Maya looking peeved), the pair describe their outfits.
Their high-end look is very structural and, to my mind, really interesting. With one bare shoulder and the other being covered in a dramatic layered piece, it does look like something that could be in a museum. Their budget look also looks remarkable. When the judges call out the model wearing the other team’s high-end dress (the one that served as the inspiration), we see that their budget look looks ten times better than that other squad’s expensive look. Bravo! (I mean, Lifetime!)
The questioning then turns to Mila and Jonathan. Their signature look is a modernistic Wild, Wild World Of Batwoman-Goes-To-A-Track-Meet coat over some fancy leggings. It, too, is dramatic. It’s sold really well by the model and, seeing as it’s the only thing that involved pants, stands out even more. The judges love it.
The team’s budget look, inspired by Anthony/Seth Aaron’s golden arches look, is a yellow and black baby doll dress. It puts me to sleep.
And then the bottoms come out.
Ping and Jesse get the grilling first. The team’s signature look, for me, is one of those love-it-or-hate-it things. I’m sure that most everyone hates it. It is, after all, a nicely detailed, Jesse-tailored top with a bottom consisting of draped, loose fabric which is carried on one arm by the model. But, once again, for a reason that totally escapes me, I like it.
The budget look, though, is pure crap. There’s nothing to it. There’s less than nothing to it. It’s the −√2 of fashion.
Jesse calls out Ping, saying he had to spend most of his time teaching Ping how to sew and Jesse’s model (The Newbie) even pipes up to say that Ping didn’t even bother to fit her, spending all her time instead on teaching the model how to perform an arabesque while remaining draped.
Turning to Anthony and Seth Aaron, Michael describes their signature look as the “cotillion party in the South from hell.” Basically, it’s a tacky, yellow and black prom dress with enough black tulle on the bodice to make Morticia Addams cackle in delight.
As for their budget look, it’s … it’s a dress. It boring. Nina calls both dresses “really ugly” and expresses her disappointment that Seth Aaron didn’t make something better.
The designers and models are sent away for the usual deliberations. Once that’s over, the designers are called back in.
Jonathan is in. He’s sent away.
Mila is … the winner! (Er, yea?) She (explicitly) wins immunity in the next challenge.
Maya is in. She’s sent away.
Jay is in. He’s set away to buy more hair gel.
Now for the losers.
Seth Aaron is in. He’s sent away to look for the New Moon On Monday.
Jesse is in. He’s sent off to shiver his timbers.
Leaving Anthony and Ping.
Anthony is … in.
Which means Ping is out.
So, Ping got dinged.
Next time on Project Runway: They design for a “very inspiring group of women.” A fashion emergency of Chernobyl proportions!