Project Runway: I'm a big kid now

Seriously, is Terri really gone? I'm not surprised, but I'm surprised, y'know? It's just friggin' crazy that she burned out so fast. Why couldn't Kenley, who is sticking with her tried-and-true approach (which is to SUCK and BE ANNOYING), have plummeted as fast?

So those special ladeez we were teased with last week turn out to be moms. Not the designers' moms, mind you. And they're not even the clients. The clients are in fact the daughters, who have just graduated college and still look like embryos. God, I'm old.

The pairings, determined by the velvet bag (is Sweet P's name still on the bottom?), seem to go over pretty well. Kenley got the most horrible one of all of them ("I got the cute [designer]!", she chirps a little too loudly in the workroom), and what could be more appropriate? Jerell's client is lanky and likes androgyny. Korto's mom/daughter pair has an appreciation for classy and funky that should go very well with Korto's aesthetic (plus, Korto describes herself as a "hip mom." I like Korto).

I have Suede pegged to be in trouble from the beginning. His client is a photographer. Now, I'm gonna tell you a little secret about Suede. Suede's all about Suede! Photographers, on the other hand, are constantly observing other people and focusing outward. I see a major disconnect in the works.

Leanne's client is fine, but her mother is a total loudmouth. Could be problems there. Joe's going to do a skirt/suit. Is that a 'scoot'? 'Skut'? With no specific instruction on the purpose for the look, some folks (Joe in particular) may end up with a somewhat boring design. This will be a test for applied creativity.

This week, everyone gets the flashback treatment, as the designers reminisce on their childhood and their first jobs. I woulda pegged Kenley for a UF girl as soon as she said "Florida," but turns out she's an FSU grad. I suppose; isn't that where people who couldn't get into Florida go?

Tim came and went this week like a subcontractor on lunch break. First, he brings in the clients for their early fitting. Jerell's is going well, with a nice, subtle (Jerell?) ruffle along the bust. Joe's girl doesn't like pinstripes. Leanne discovers she's going to have to redo a lot; the client is iffy, but the mom is downright monstrous.

Line of the night, at closing time, from Jerell to Joe: "You can work on Nancy Reagan tomorrow!" SNAP.

Another visit from Tim brings the clients back, sans mommies, for a second fitting. Leanne's changes have won her girl over, and Suede converts his client from wanting pants to being happy with a dress.

If you blinked, you might not have noticed that Tim actually left, but he comes back again to deliver the guest helper person. After that awkward "who the hell's this?" moment, we learn it's Jeanie Syfu, lead stylist for TRESemmé. She'll be helping on cut, color and style, plus she tells the designers that the winning look will be shot for Elle. And is it any surprise to anyone that the only designer we see talking over her advice completely is Kenley?

And like a thief in the night, Tim slips out and comes back one more time, finally bringing with him some constructive criticism. Tim isn't feeling Suede's jacket, which looks sloppy and a little uneven. I'm more against Joe's suit coat, which looks way too nautical. Tim asks how this connects to Joe's client's profession, and Joe says that he's not really considering that. Uh oh, Joe. That's a bad omen, going against Tim's advice. Who's in more trouble? Suede or Joe?

Of course, if there's one person who's just crazy enough to go up against Tim's advice, it's Kenley. And she does. Not only that, but she totally talks shit about Tim. That's not gonna win you fan favorite, no matter how much you go on to diss Suede later on.

A lovely moment in the Lounge, wherein Joe calls home to talk to his daughters--and to us about how he's doing this to empower his girls to take chances--can only mean one thing, folks.

It's the morning of the runway show, and the clients are getting dressed. Why is Joe's client under his workbench? While he's sitting there? And why is her first comment after getting up, "A job's a job"? Ahem.

Jerell points out that Kenley's made a miniature Kenley, and--oh, God, she's even got shit in her hair!

Korto's dress is amazing, but the texture-contrast jacket might not make it through to the top. I dunno. Time for Runway thoughts!
  • Joe: Zzz...that flipped-up collar won't save this look.
  • Leanne: Pretty good, and the edits worked. But too buttoned up? And she needs some lessons in walking in heels.
  • Jerell: I'm probably wrong, but this seems too slouchy for such a tall girl.
  • Korto: I feel like the dress needs to be longer, or the coat needs to be shorter. But the colors are great, as is the construction.
  • Suede: Girlfriend is working that dress. Not sure on the coat though.
  • Kenley: Man, that's one miniature Kenley all right. It's good. Dammit.
The moms depart, after having watched the runway show with their designers, and the judging begins. Designer Cynthia Rowley is the guest judge.

So yeah, everyone likes Kenley's look. It actually works better on her client than it does on her. Charming, cute, and Rowley likes the belt-over-vest-over-dress combo. Korto's jacket also wins over Rowley and the rest of the judges. Michael praises it for being very modern and twentysomething-realistic. Heidi goes ga-ga for Jerell's dress and slouchy cardigan. I guess I'm just a stickler for good posture and the appearance of good posture. But I certainly don't dislike his look.

The bads go from "meh" to "guh!" Joe's look is not very innovative, and here Rowley looks like she's getting on a grrl-power horse about "professional" having to mean "suit" (read: "masculine"...I say, why does a suit have to mean masculinity?). Oy. Kenley, laughing out loud at the criticism of a fellow designer, has gone from bad to worse. I know I thought it was a little funny when she did it to Daniel, but she was laughing at what Daniel said about himself. Laughing at another designer getting criticized is so fucking tacky and classless I can't even describe it.

Leanne's look is a little mixed up, in keeping with the conflicting influence of mom and daughter in the workroom. The dress is great--cute, classy, modern. The coat...well, the judges don't care for it. Too buttoned up (who called it?). With Suede, once again, Rowley complains about the "gratuitous" jacket. But didn't you like it when Korto and Kenley did jackets or vests over the top of dresses? And I didn't hear you criticize Leanne for the same...? I wonder what those three have in common that Joe and Suede don't. Hm. Anyway, Nina is so disenchanted with Suede's look that she holds her tongue for fear of overcriticizing. Ouch.

So it looks like I totally misread Jerell's design. Korto's looks the most expensive, but Kenley's is whimsical in a good way (shudder). Leanne's gotta be safe, and either Suede's totally job-inappropriate, no-perspective look (again, who called it?) or Joe's out-of-touch, Working Girl party suit could go home. Hard to say. All I know is that I cannot pick Kenley to win.

The judges don't, either. Korto takes third, and Jerell walks off with his second win in a row. I'm okay with it. Kenley doesn't appear to share my acceptance, however. She looks bitter at losing. heh heh heh...

As I figured, Leanne is safe. That leaves Suede and Joe, and it is ol' straight Joe who gets to head back to Detroit and empower his daughters. A pretty harsh boot to kick someone out with, but hey. He never really seemed cutting edge enough. Good luck, Joe. Someone's got to make something with all that Dacron.

But next week. Oh, next week. It's a hip-hop themed somethingorother with Cool James (who, I've heard, the ladies love), and boy does it look like Kenley's finally headed for that breakdown I've been predicting. Can't wait!