I think Tim Gunn dies a little inside every time he has to say, "And use the Macy's accessory wall." Somehow Tim Gunn and Macy's don't seem to belong in the same sentence. (On the other hand, the Tommy Hilfiger New York Fashion Week show was eerily like watching the Macy's Better Sportswear Department take the runway. I mean, a khaki trenchcoat? Yes, yes, designers have to give the buyers what they want, but how much effort does it take to be that unoriginal?)
This week's challenge was to design two looks for Macy's in-house brand, INC, using only the color blue. Moreover, the designers had to split into teams of two. All ten designers had to pitch their ideas to a Macy's executive (who was also one of the judges), and she chose the top five, who could then pick their partners. Team challenges are obviously even more stressful that the regular challenges, plus for some reason, the designers are continuously being forced to come up with their looks in one day. What is this, Survivor? Are they going to make Nicolas eat bugs??
Althea chose Logan as her partner (and despite his chemistry with Carol Hannah, they did seem to make a love connection as they worked). Christopher chose Epperson, and they got along very well, so they did not get a lot of a camera time. Louise chose Nicolas, which was not a good idea. The man hates ruffles. Despises ruffles. Wishes ruffles had never been invented. And if memory serves, everything Louise has sent down the runway has been a little shift dress decorated with--you guessed it--ruffles.
Irina chose Gordana for her partner, and they did not get along. Let's just say they made Louise and Nicolas look like they were on The Bachelor. I can't remember how Carol Hannah and Shirin made out (pardon the pun), so they were probably too boring to log much footage other than B-roll.
Christopher and Epperson fell madly in love with their creations, while Nicolas obviously wanted to set fire to the two hideous dresses he and Louise designed. Surprise! Little dresses with ruffles! Really bad ruffles this time. It's the same when somebody cooks when they're angry--the food tastes awful.
Then came the judging--and the Duchess himself, Michael Kors was BACK! Looking as orange as a ripe Halloween pumpkin, and twice as bitchy. (Oui, it's a bit of a stretch to say a pumpkin can be bitchy, but I've known some nasty root vegetables in my time.) The other judges were Heidi, the Macy's exec, and some female fashion editor who was not Nina Garcia. This is getting truly tiresome. However, Heidi's bloodlust level has gone up every week, and she was practically slobbering at the thought of ripping a designer a new one. She clearly loved intoning "One--or more--of you will be out," since she said it twenty times during the episode, probably even when she was not on-camera.
As for the looks, this was one of the most uninspired runway shows of the season. Perhaps Project Runway should concentrate less on sleep-depriving the designers and give them some interesting challenges for a change.
Team Irina turned out an uninspired maxi dress that, with exception of some spangles on the top, looked like thousands of maxi dresses I've seen in New York and East Hampton this year.
Gordana designed a beautiful draped top with a ruched waist, despite Irina constantly shooting down her ideas.
Team Althea produced a suit with a skirt that was so tight it rode up as the model walked.
As mentioned, Team Louise produced the closest thing to vomit on the runway that I've seen yet.
Team Carol Hannah turned out a strange loopy-loooking blue blouse with a high waisted skirt, and a tunic top with leggings.
Team Christopher was devastated by the judges' sheer hatred of Epperson's shiny shirtdress and Christopher's teal-blue tunic top with a banded bottom over the leggings. When they were in the bottom three (obviously with Team Louise), Epperson was aghast, but Christopher completely lost it. Sobbing like Bette Davis during both the initial and final critique.
Christopher's tears probably saved his hide, as only one--not more--of the designers were out. And it was, of course, Louise who got auf'd. Just once, I'd like to see one of the designers bite Heidi when she's kissing them on the cheeks. Christopher ran bawling off the stage.
Irina's looks-like-everyone-else's maxi dress won the challenge. As a friend I was watching this with said, "Where is the site that I can go to for WTF was on the runway?"
I could not have said it better myself. Thank you, Sumana.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog