for ep 9.jpg

The Runway of Ten Thousand Tears

By Figgy | TV | September 27, 2010 | Comments ()

By Figgy | TV | September 27, 2010 |


for ep 9.jpg

Starting up the video for this show gives me heart palpitations nowadays. What new shenanigans will they come up with this week? Will the judges finally crack out and chop the designers into tiny pieces for being offensive to their sensibilities? Will someone finally stab Ivy with a pincushion? (I'll volunteer for that.) For a season that's featured mostly lackluster designers and some truly hideous dresses, it's somehow been one of the most entertaining in a while. I think it's a combination of the forceful personalities and the judges going all-out insane, which is a shame in terms of the actual quality of the show, but something that the drama queen in me relishes. I wish the actual dresses were better. Then it'd be the perfect season.

One quick thing before I start with the recap:

I don't know how many people caught this, but there was a big to-do earlier this week when Tim Gunn posted his video recap of the episode and quickly took it down because some people were hurt or offended by his words. Basically, he gave the viewers a rundown of the clusterfuck that was that last week's challenge: in essence, no one was sure what the actual challenge would be until the very morning when Tim talked to the designers. So what ended up happening was that the designers had one idea of what they had to do while the judges were told something different entirely. Tim had to step in during the judging and tell The Panel of Evil what he had told the designers to do and how that might have been at odds with what the judges had in mind. In the end, it was a giant mess on the part of the producers (which seems to have happened a lot this season). I really wanted to link to it here, but the video I has been taken down. If anyone can find it, please share it in the comments, as it's definitely worth a watch. Really fascinating stuff. On with the show!

The girls wake up and say they miss Michael D. Mondo and Chris have to move in with Michael C and Andy. Valerie claims that Ivy is her best friend in the house, and that she's a great person. Uh-huh. Considering that the other two girls are Gretchen and April, I'm not surprised. I'd be best friends with the lamp.

On the Runway, Heidi tells them that, if they win the next challenge, they'll get a big chunk of change. Everyone's excited. She sends them off to meet Tim at Mood, who is there with Collier Strong, he of the strange head and voice. I love this dude; he's so strange. It's a big challenge: Design a High-Fashion Look for a L'Oreal Paris Ad. It's a couture-challenge, in other words. Finally something that calls for dramatic and over-the-top. They'll win space in Marie Claire and $20,000. The designers, who are mostly poor and starving, are understandably excited. Tim tells them to use one of L'Oreal's eyeshadow combinations for inspiration. It's a nice way of weaving in the product placement, and much more interesting than, say, creating a dress using Campbell's Soup logos.

The eye shadows are grouped by styles and colors, and each designer has to pick one. Mondo chooses "Bright," Chris chooses "Crystal," April "Matte," Michael "Metallic," Ivy "Bright," Valerie picks "Crystal," and Gretchen goes with "Velvet." Tim warned them early that velvet was hard to work with, so of course Miss Overachiever will go with that. Andy picks "Metallic." They receive $300 for the challenge, and two days to complete it. Everyone's ecstatic, but clearly they haven't seen the show before if they think that it will be so easy.

Right off the bat, I'm not optimistic. Gretchen makes me roll my eyes to the ceiling when she says she's making a kimono-like wrap with a plunging neckline. The sketch looks like everything she's ever done before. Snore. She says she doesn't want to stretch too far from her style, which is something I don't think she's even capable of doing.

I want to steal the dog they have at Mood, whose name is Swatch. Tim plays with him and it's so adorable I die a little inside. Back at the workroom, April says that a lot of people are relaxing because they have two days to make their looks, but that she's going to knock it out as fast as she can, because you never know what might happen. Smart girl.

Gretchen (who is wearing a layered frumpy outfit that looks like everything she designs) is annoyed that Michael seems to be using the same colors as her. So what? Michael says he likes the color, and Gretchen seems to be really possessive because it's the only color she ever seems to use aside from tan and white. She says she doesn't feel pressured by him (yes, you totally do) but says she's offended that he ... what, you think he stole your idea? The universe doesn't revolve around Planet Gretchen. "I've created a monster" she says, and what the hell does that even mean? Honestly, who does she think she is? She's thoroughly unlikable.

Tim comes in for consultations. Valerie is being very ambitious with the crystals, and Christopher interviews that her design doesn't seem very avant-garde. Mondo has a lot of different fabrics and patterns, as is his wont. We don't see what April is doing, other than she is using black again. I wonder if she's just allergic to colors. Gretchen seems to be making something that's like a kimono, or a robe or a kaftan, and it looks hideous to me. Tim tells Ivy that she's being too literal and that it could end up being pageant-y. We don't see him talking to Michael at all.

Valerie doesn't seem to have anything done when the models come in for fittings. Michael is mostly done, and Andy is doing a headpiece. Mondo is scared that he has to redo his entire top because his model was much smaller than his dress form. Oops. But shouldn't he know that by now?

The next day, Valerie interviews that they're all exhausted, and that they're all glad that they have more time and space to work in. Oh, the dreams that will be crushed. And here comes Tim, who is reluctant to tell them that they have to create a second, Ready-to-Wear look as a companion piece to the Couture look. Of course they do! I mean, come on, this show always does this, so I don't know why they're surprised. The designers only have one more day to sketch, shop and build the second dress. Most of them are terrified. The good thing is that RTW should be much simpler to work with, but they'll still be pushed for time. Everyone freaks out at Mood.

Back at the workroom, the designers discuss what each would do if they won the money. April declares that she'd buy a miniature pony, which is equal parts ridiculous and awesome.

Tim returns. Valerie is freaking out, and Tim tells her to calm down and focus on making what she has work, and that she has no time to start over. Val runs to the bathroom to have a freak-out about how she doesn't like what she's made so far. Poor Val really doesn't take the pressure very well, does she? I'm honestly surprised she's lasted this long. The girls converge in the bathroom to try and comfort her, and it's a nice moment until Ivy interviews that Val complains too much and that she, Ivy, is tired of Val's insecurities. I get where she's coming from, but isn't she your friend or something? She could've said it more nicely.

Their second models come in, and it turns out that it's the models who have already been eliminated, which is nice for them. Ivy freaks out a little because she had the wrong measurements for her model.

The next day, everyone scrambles to finish, and Gretchen is worried that her look is different from everyone else's. I'd be worried because it looks like feathered crap on a stick. Last-minute scrambling ensues. We see that Gretchen is using the Hideous Tan Boots of Hideousness again. Someone burn those things already! They look good on no one.

We're at The Runway of Ten Thousand Tears, and I don't know how Heidi can see past those bangs. I see Gretchen is wearing a jumpsuit, proof that designing for yourself isn't always a good idea. Guest judge is designer Naeem Khan, and I'm glad we don't get another vapid actress with a movie to promote.

April made the same outfit she makes every week, except this time she added a long trenchcoat thing. It's hideous, has too much shit on it, and is an ugly mess. I also don't like her model, but that's beside the point, because that outfit looked like a bad bathing suit with a negligee cape over it. With some fur attached. And guess what? She made shorts again! Her RTW Look is a black dress with some poofy sleeves. This woman is one-note to the point of exhaustion.

Mondo's girl looks like a big, striped peacock. Damn, that's a crazy outfit. It's a funky corset with different patterns on it and a long black skirt with a train made out of striped cloth in different colors. There's some tulle on the back and a funky headpiece that reminds me of a Treacy hat. It's insane, but definitely dramatic and different. I absolutely love the stripes, but the skirt is hideous in the front and the houndstooth on the corset doesn't seem to fit. His RTW is a very simple but gorgeous dress in a striped black-and-white pattern that's very slimming. It's really a perfect complement to the other dress. I love them both for the insanity that is Mondo. He's never boring, and I love his use of color.

Ivy's dress looks cheap. I'm honestly sorry to say it, because I was actually excited to see something different out of her. But it's just a mess -- a light-blue bodice with some strips of dark blue that look like crepe paper that was glued on haphazardly. It's not good, and Ivy is definitely not happy with it. The stripes don't look well placed and it doesn't look finished. Her RTW is a cocktail dress in the deep-blue color from the other look. It's also bad, with a bizarre bustline and a terrible fit.

Michael made a dress that would look perfectly at home on the Miss America pageant. I kind of like it, but I honestly feel that I've seen it before. Also, I secretly love ridiculous pageant dresses. Nina looks like she wants to scream when she sees the train, which is very stiff and bizarre. It's dramatic and the color is lovely, but it's been done before. His RTW is good: the same color in a short, tight dress with some pleating at the waist which wouldn't be flattering to a lot of people but looks great on the model. For those of you who read the Fug Girls: it's like something Boobs Legsley would wear.

Christopher's looks like nothing but a giant cupcake, and I like it because I love food. The bodice is lace-over-transparent fabric (like the famous Halle Berry Oscar dress) and there's some white swirly fabric in the middle that looks like a mistake, because there's purplish organza at the bottom and the white fabric messes up the shape of the whole thing. There's a big thing coming out of the shoulder. I wish he had stuck with one idea and taken out the frothy white meringue fabric. His RTW look is a short white dress with a lavender swath down the middle. Nice, but forgettable.

Oh, Holy Mother of Sweet Older Lady at a Party at the Old Folk's Home, Gretchen made a freakin' caftan in this hideous, purplish leopard-print pattern, and there's some wormy-looking things attached to it that I think are supposed to be feathers but look like parasites. Ick. The styling is very Heidi-In-the-Alps and flat out ugly. She calls it the best work she's ever done. Her RTW is some blue thing with big sleeves that looks like office wear. It's very flowy, and she comments on how much she loves it. I scream "NO" at the screen.

Valerie's dress is Cheap Bridal. It's a long white dress with some weird circular bits coming off the shoulder. She calls it "rainbow brite on crack," so at least she knows it's not good. Her RTW is horrible. She made the model look like a linebacker in a little black dress -- the girl has very wide shoulders and Val gave her a halter. What is wrong with you?

I exclaim "holy crap!" when I see Andy's outfit. It's bizarre and insane, and next to Mondo's, the only other truly "out there" design on the runway. It's got giant fan-like things coming out of the shoulders in a very structured, crazy-metallic jacket. She has a headpiece and black pants with some attached metallic panels. It's very Andy. I admit I love it, because it's weird. The RTW is a very basic long-sleeved short dress with some metallic panels. I like his mix of metallics and matte colors. He went Big.

April and Christopher are safe. It's expected, but I'm not happy. I think they're both boring. I tend to remember April's looks because of how much I hate them, and Christopher's I forget as soon as they leave the runway. I can't wait for them to leave.

Ivy, Valerie and Michael have the lowest scores. Huzzah! But what, Gretchen is in the top 3? Shoot me. I should've known the judges would love that piece of shit. But then again, none of the others really deserved it, so what the hell. The judges are desperate for top 3 looks.

Gretchen is first. Those two looks are very frumpy and shapeless when standing still, and with the challenge being to design something for a photoshoot, what the hell was she thinking? Looking at that caftan thing is making me itchy. Kors says the couture looks wearable, which I think is a problem, because couture is not supposed to be something you'd actually wear. Unless it's some spectacular event or something. The judges say the front is very boring, and the back is better. They hate the styling, and don't seem to enthusiastic about the whole thing, which makes me breathe a sigh of relief.

Andy is here kick their asses with his look after how horrible they were to him last week. I want both him and Mondo to win everything. Naeen loves Andy's vision and the detailing on his looks. Kors loves the bootpants on the couture look, as does Nina. They love it. Eat your words from last time, bitches.

Mondo! I wish the skirt on his couture look wasn't so simple, but his use of color is ingenious. They all love the hat, the styling and the hair. And Naeen says it's bold. They love the back of the dress, but the front almost kills it by being too short and cheap. They really love the idea of it. Nina loves that he loves color. I want that cocktail dress. It'd look slimming on anyone. Now for the bottom 3.

Ivy. I really feel bad for her, even though she's been so horrible sometimes. But those looks are hideous. The Brown Kors says they look like "bridesmaids under the sea," which cracks me up. He also says the same thing goes for the other two designers. Yep. He says the lines on the tops look like nursing bras, and that the colors are too heavy. Naeem says it's all overkill. I say Ivy isn't a very good designer. Heidi didn't hate it, but says that it just wasn't very good.

Valerie. Oh, those two looks do not look good together at all. Naeem says that she was not imaginative enough and that the fabric didn't work for it, and Kors agrees that her fabric choice did not work at all for what she wanted to do. I love Naeem, by the way, because he's the sort of judge they should have all the time, instead of vapid celebrities with nothing to say. This guy knows what he's talking about. "It's like trying to make a coat out of Kleenex," says Kors Hee. Nina says she looks like Miss Guatemala (which is where Val is from and well, that's an awkward moment), and questions her taste level. Oh god she sewed three crystal buttons on it. They laugh, and Val has to admit it wasn't very good.

Michael says he liked the shapes and the color on his dress. Naeem says he needs to improve the proportions, but that he likes the cocktail dress. Kors says that his construction is flawless--as opposed to the other two. That makes Ivy want to puke. Kors shows us that the train and hem were wired. "She has all the curtains from Tara on that dress", Kors says.

The judges discuss the looks. Naeem says Andy's really grew on him, and that there was something there. Kors loved the day dress. I think Heidi hates Andy for some reason. Nina loves that Mondo is the only one who really embraces color, and Kors says he constructs very beautiful clothes. Kors says that the bottom three were The Little Mermaid, My Fair Lady and Gone With the Wind. All gone wrong. They say that Michael badly needed some editing, but that there were some good things in the dress. They all hate both of Valerie's looks, and that there's no idea and no possibilities in that dress, and that she doesn't understand fabrics They call Ivy "tragic," and that the fit is hideous. They try to decide which one is worse. "It's a very tight race for hideous today" says Kors. Unless they're both kicked out.

The designers return, and the judges praise Mondo's vision and his growth through the season. He wins Twenty Thousand Dollars. YAY MONDO! He says that now he has $20,014 in his bank account. If he doesn't win the whole competition, I'll set something on fire. Gretchen, maybe. Andy is in, as well as Gretchen and Michael. Ivy and Valerie both look like they know they deserved to be in the bottom.

Ivy is OUT. Holy crap, I didn't see that coming at all. There's a tense moment where I'm sure Valerie will be out, too, but she's in. I'm completely surprised, especially given how the judges talked about Valerie. Backstage, Valerie says she was sure it would be her, and I almost thought that she'd go back out there and say that she'd go home instead. But Tim comes in and tells Ivy it's time, though he's sad that she didn't even finish her dresses.

We see Mondo going to the photoshoot, and I'm happy for him and his freakishly gorgeous model. He seems happy, and they take photos together and look adorable. I clapped, because I'm a total dork.

So, that made me happy. But were you as surprised as I was that it was Ivy and not Valerie who went home this week? I honestly thought Val's was worse, and it definitely got the harsher critiques. So, how much did you disagree with the judges this week? Were the bottom 3 fair, or should there have been some scrambling (April April April!!)? We're getting close to the end, and I can safely say that Mondo and Andy are the ones who should be at Fashion Week. I won't be surprised if Gretchen makes it. Did you like her look? Take it away!

Figgy is a displaced Honduran living in Dallas, TX, and she wants you to make it work.. You can read more of her ramblings at her blog or follow her on twitter.


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