Bratty Is The New Black 🍷 Project Runway Season 13 Episode 12 Recap

Final five, people! FINAL FIVE! Of course that means it’s time for the Tim Gunn Wakeup Call, because we haven’t had one of those this season, and we need to showcase the fabulous Manhattan apartment building that is this season’s Atlas to fulfill our product placement deal, right? Tim clapclaps (👏) and escorts our pajamaed designers up to the rooftop where the creative director or whatever person for Lexus is waiting. No, they aren’t going to design looks based on Lexus cars as they have in the past; they are going to drive around New York in chauffeured Lexuses and get inspiration for a “street look”.

Maybe it’s because I live on a rural mail route (really: I can get postage delivered to my very mailbox using a special orange “rural mail” envelope), but I had a hard time understanding what a “street look” is meant to be. I was expecting it to be something the chicest person on a given city block would wear, or super-urban, or involve a cardboard box, or something. But no, it’s something inspired by stuff ON the street, that city people might wear. Apparently mostly a day look, but I am not altogether clear that that’s required.

How is this different from past seasons where designers would be sent out to photograph inspiration from Manhattan itself – architecture, specific neighborhoods, stuff they see on the street? This time it’s so vague as to comprise any and all of those things, or so our designers seem to think, because they go off to get inspired by graffiti art (Wart), a store window display (Mary J. Blige), and a Sikh guy in a white caftan (British Bill Rancic). Our remaining two designers, Pat Benatar and Pono the Pencil Gnome, take a lot of great photos but that was just for fun because they already know what they are going to make – Pat’s making a giant hoodie, and Pono is doing denim, because that’s his thing, you know.

After a trip to Mood it’s back to the workroom they go for a nice, measured, civilized afternoon of cutting and sewing and generally getting along famously. You know that ain’t gonna last and it don’t! because morning dawns and when they return to the workroom they are confronted with mannequins wearing five auf’ed designers’ losing looks. These include the Indian girl’s pink onesie and Blossom’s Fifty Layers Of Wool look from the last episode. The button bag allows each designer to choose their crappy losing look to rework, and they do, with Mary J. choosing the Fifty Layers because it comes with “a lot of fabric”, and Bill Rancic getting stuck with the pink onesie. Tee hee!

But it gets WORSE, because the looks also come with the losing designer! Which means Mary J. Blige is going to have to have Blossom as her assistant – oshit! Oh, and you can tell Blossom is not only absolutely sniveling to have to be here at all, she’s now pitching an absolute tantrum at having to be Mary’s underling. She doesn’t wanna, she won’t, and Tim can’t make her! And: he doesn’t! Doesn’t even blink, just tells her adios and brings in Overbite to replace her (but the Fifty Shades of Wool stays, don’t be fooled). Blossom slams through the staging areas, snatching her purse and ripping off her microphone and making ABSOLUTELY SURE everyone knows how MAD she is. B-R-A-T that spells Blossom. Don’t let the Workroom door hit you in the ass on your way out.

So finally it’s work time. The second look doesn’t have to have anything to do with the first or be anything much of anything other than not what it started the day as, it seems. This is Bill Rancic’s jumping off point to make the pink onesie into a pink cropped long-fringe jacket and matching shorts (what?). Mary J. is going to take all this fabric and make a boring black dress, because she’s never done boring black. Wart has Sprocket’s TV electricity dress and is making it into something two piece involving a bib. Pono picked a long-forgotten designer’s nothing-special red full-length gown and is making it into the Halston inspired long, lean and fabulous look it always should have been. And Pat Benatar… well, Pat’s too absorbed by her hoodie to give a shit how this second look turns out. She’s bought a very Kohl’s looking black-and-blue (WHAT IS WITH THE BLACK AND BLUE?) poly-looking print fabric to make a new skirt, she’s adding a shoulder, and that’s it. Ruh-roh.

Our guest judge this week is someone I don’t know from a show I don’t watch. Her name is Shay Mitchell, and alls I know is she was once dressed by Brad Gorecki for an episode of “It’s A Brad, Brad World”. He was all excited about it which made me excited for him until I started to think “wait – what? Who?” Which I am doing again today.

Wart

Wart’s boho maxicaftan is a big hit. The judges love the color blocking, the draping, the cutouts, and the fact that it’s incredibly sexy even while being a giant loose bag. Nina Gahcia WANTS it. No one really likes her madeover Sprockets dress, if you can call it that, but it doesn’t really matter. Wart is in.

Pono

On the other hand, the judges loooooooove Pono’s made over gown – it’s flawless – but are less sure in the altogether of his street look. They adore the trench, which Tim Gunn was worried was too Michael Kors, but think the skirt is too much, and I agree. It just doesn’t lay well under the trench nor do they complement each other well. Nonetheless the craftsmanship is superb. Pono too is in.

Rancic

I think Nina and Zac are going to pass out over British Bill Rancic’s white ensemble. It’s SOOOO CLEAN. And so very modern, and Yohji Yamamoto, or Jil Sander, or something like that. The pink fringe getup is ridiculous, but he knows it, and when life hands you a pink onesie you make an adult pink cowboyette costume, or so the thinking goes. Bill is in.

MJB

They are kind of eh about Mary J. Blige. They like the color/print pairing in her street look, and like the skirt and yet its overdone. They hate the pocket. The redo is terrible. It doesn’t fit (unless the model is needing to carry a colostomy bag) and it’s just booooo-ring.

BenatarAlso not going over well is Pat Benatar, which surprises me. I kind of like the hoodie even if it is rather sugar glider; Nina does not. Heidi likes the unitardy thing underneath which Nina does not. No one likes the Kohl’s Mother-Of-The-Bride dress, especially Nina. Nina is killing her softly.

Actually, Nina is killing her altogether. In a slightly shocking move, the judges save Mary J. Blige and auf Pat Benatar, who says “dat’s cool.” She’s totally blasé about getting eliminated this close to Fashion Week, but then again she and the other last-four-eliminated designers all get to do their own shows anyway so what difference does it make? This is where things have gone wrong with Project Runway; in trying to keep the final designers a secret they let more than half the group show anyway.

Next time: it’s the finale, peeps! I’ll be posting my recap late because I am off for some Mexican beach time tomorrow! Ole!

beautiful day

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Giudelusion 🍷 WWHL One-on-One with Teresa and Joe

Wow. Just, wow. If you didn’t catch Teresa and Juicy Joe on last night’s dramatic sit-down with Mr. Andy I am not here to tell you you missed a whole lot. It was pretty much what you expected, and yet it was completely astounding. If you aren’t fully up to date on what the Juicys were accused of and pled to, read this great Buzzfeed article and then come on back.

via

At one point about halfway through, a notably dressed-down and relatively-jewelry-free Teresa told Mr. Andy that Gia knew about the sentences and had assured her mom that she would help out and that it would be good practice for her to become a mom someday herself. Which was (a) perfectly heartbreaking for that child, and (b) the one single thing to come out of Tre’s mouth this entire half hour that actually sounded like the honest truth. Everything else was a bunch of stuttering, self-serving garbage. Tre doesn’t do that part very well. But she’s a victim, you guys!

Having pled guilty, Tre now insists she once again didn’t know what she was agreeing to, didn’t know she could be facing jail time, didn’t expect any penalty at all. The lesson she’s learned is that she needs to read stuff before she signs it, but apparently Tre did not learn this lesson in time to understand the plea deal which, of course, is all her lawyers’ fault because they are supposed to make things go away. Tre doesn’t read things before she signs them because she’s a “trustworthy” person, or at least she was before she pled guilty; now she’s a felon convicted, essentially, of not being trustworthy.

Basically these two are still shilling the idea that although they didn’t do anything really wrong, whatever they did do was all Juicy Joe’s fault and Tre was the entirely innocent duped spouse. Juicy further insists he didn’t really commit any sort of fraud – it was the banks! THEY handed him material intended to defraud them and he just signed it! Mr. Andy points out that among the fraudulent materials he is accused of producing are W-2 forms, the taxable forms your employer provides you (not the bank) to document your salary for tax purposes. The Juicys gave the banks W-2s that purported to show that Tre had a job at times she didn’t (in one case as a salaried secretary), which they used to document their loan requests because Tre had better credit. But somehow it’s those dumb banks’ fault, per Juicy Joe. I guess he’s following the theory that if you ask a dumb question you get a dumb answer, a theory he seems to also have employed when documenting their assets for the court for sentencing since he basically blew that off.

It seems like it’s dawned on the Juicys that perhaps this Real Housewives gig has been a very sharp double-edged sword. Had they not done the show, I think it’s a fair assumption they might have gotten lighter sentences (not that I think there’s anything unfair about being made an example – with privilege often comes burdens). Might not even have been busted at all. Might not have gone to such extremes to fabricate such extravagant lifestyles in the first place. But they also would have missed out on the income and the opportunities being a Real Housewife has provided. Without the show, Tre probably would be just another flat-chested stay-at-home-mom in yoga pants taxiing her kids to their various activities while spaghetti sauce simmers in the slow cooker. And guess what: that’s not so bad. It’s actually kind of a great gig. It doesn’t come with fabulicious fame, but it doesn’t come with notoriety or prison time, either.

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Lock ‘Er Up 🍷 Project Runway Season 13 Episode 11 Recap

Oooh, this shit just got good! I have to admit I wasn’t expecting a whole lot of anything special out of last night’s episode, but then… then it happened. SHAZAM!

Backing up, our designers are awakened by a disembodied Heidi on a tablet in their bedrooms telling them they are going on an off-site field trip today. Off they go to some warehouse which I am pretty sure is “the” warehouse for all PR “warehouse” scenes. Weren’t we here moons ago when Laura Bennett had to rifle through stored crap in her jodphurs?

Storage is again the name of the game as our designers are confronted with five storage pods. This is a team challenge, and pairs of designers are going to have $500 to purchase the storage pods of their choice, the contents of which they are to use to create two cohesive looks. Five pods ÷ three teams = someone is only going to get one pod to work with. Is that going to be a disadvantage? Somehow I don’t think so.

The button bag, PR’s version of the sorting hat, comes out and pairs Pono the Pencil Gnome with Wart, Blossom with Pat Benatar, and British Bill Rancic with the black girl. Who I have decided to call Mary J. Blige.

via

Finally, a nickname. All is right in the world now.

So predictably, each of these pods is filled with crap, but not real crap – staged crap. It’s all clean, it’s all “themed”, and there are no dead bodies or rats or any other undesirable elements. Just good, clean, pretend-jumbled, pretend-abandoned, pretend-smelly mostly-fabric-like stuff, some pods filled with more than others. Team Blossom/Benatar gets two pods, one with old furniture and one with miscellany including textile materials and a wedding dress. Team Blige/Rancic gets one nearly empty pod that has a bright blue moving blanket and a dresser, which they suspect contains more fabric-type stuff, and another that has a lot of “man” stuff like gear and a leathery-looking piece of furniture or something. Team PonoWart picks the most random pod containing a bunch of sports balls, foam floor squares, and a painting of a “psychedelic yeti” who is speaking to Wart and summoning her to him. Looks like they are at a disadvantage here, which means you just wait!

Back in the workroom, Mary J. Blige is needing a lot of guidance from Bill Rancic which causes extensive arrogant smirking and snide commentary from Blossom, who is all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips. Just ask her! See, Mary J. Blige doesn’t belong in this competition because she required the Tim Gunn Save and also lacks advanced sewing skills (I am not going to accept Blossom’s assertion that she doesn’t even have basic skills, because she obviously does, she just may not be a veritable engineer in the workroom.) Blossom conveniently seems to forget Chris March, who also got auf’ed and resurrected and is one of the best designers PR has ever showcased, and Anya, who WON the whole damn thing with barely any sewing skills to start with. Not that I think Mary J. Blige is either Chris March or Anya, but I don’t think Blossom is either so I’d prefer she keep her nasty insecure thoughts to herself. (Actually I would not prefer that because it’s more fun when the designers are talking big and setting themselves up for a massive comeuppance.)

Suddenly, he appears. Tim Gunn. He’s early, which can only mean: a twist! Yes, our designers are being assigned a twist: they need to make a third look to go with the other two, but this one will be fabricated with real fabric from Mood. Yay! say PonoWart, because they are clean out of soccer balls. One designer from each pair is sent off to buy fabric, which results in a weird neon pink woven material for PonoWart, black (I think?) for Team BillBlige, and a really cheap and questionable looking knit in Traffic Light for Team Blossom Benatar, chosen by Blossom herself who as we know can do no wrong. Just ask her!

Our guest judge is Christian Siriano, yippee!! Now that we’re down to six we’re talking about everyone, so here we go:

PonoWart

First up is Team PonoWart, with the peculiar crop top/tight mom pants look Wart made, the psychedelic-yeti-over-garbage-bags they collaborated on, and the soccer ball dress topped with a faux fur ottoman bomber jacket made by Pono. And the judges love it. At one point this soccer ball dress was going frighteningly teenage sadomasochist, but they pulled it back and turned it out genius. Super cute, even if no one anywhere would wear any of this.

BligeBill

Next is Team Blige/Rancic, which has gotten a little funky incorporating a lampshade into one of their getups. The judges love the blue coat, which has boning from another lampshade in the back to give it tiered structure. They also like some aspects of the lampshade gown, specifically the blue racerback, but don’t like the little jacket and skirt look Mary J. Blige worked up as its just not that interesting nor representative of challenging work. Why does everyone like blue and black so much?

BlossomBenatar

Finally comes Team Blossom Benatar, whose looks have a fall/winter Southwest-ish vibe. I’ll be honest, I kind of liked this group in the altogether, definitely liked the styling. I would have liked their Mood look a lot better if the textile wasn’t so stoplight to me. My least favorite was Blossom’s look (right), which Nina Gahcia also did not like and she told Blossom so.

Blossom pouts

And that got Blossom SNARKY, and whiny teenager, complaining that assertions that they have seen this look from her before are only partly true because she’s only done Southwest once. She may not “understand” children but she sure is one. Whatever: her look doesn’t fit well, it’s too bunched up, and the cape is very Sherlock Holmes, and not in a good way. Her model just looks overheated, weighed-down, and tired.

So the clear winner is Pono with the soccer dress, easy. But what to do about our loser, which is really what we’re here about? Heidi has a brilliant idea: let’s throw them the “remake a look in a flash” curveball! (I want to see a new curveball one of these days, don’t you?) Mary J. Blige and Blossom are sent back to the workroom to make anything they want out of ANY leftover fabric, in one hour, with the assistance of their teammate.

Done and done, right? Wrong. Because Blossom is pissed off, and pouting, and is going to damn well make sure those STUPID judges KNOW it. And she shouldn’t have to be put up against that untalented COW Mary J. Blige because she should have STAYED eliminated when she got eliminated! So while she’s busy storming around and resentfully half-assing it.

At the end of an hour, Mary J. Blige presents this:

Blige

Cute, fits well, the flowy part is happy, and overall it’s finished looking and has a point of view. And thankfully, no black to go with the blue. Blossom presents this:

Blossom

because she’s SO mad she even has to do this that she’s going to use the cheapest, most plastic-baggy looking fabric she can find in the workroom, so there. Needless to say, Blossom is out, but not after more back talk to the judges and throwing Mary J. Blige under the bus for not having stayed gone. Before Tim comes to collect Blossom and send her packing, Blossom gets in a few more digs at Mary J. Blige for having already been eliminated and not deserving to be there. But Mary has survived five more challenges since returning, she points out, and has made it past Blossom, the bitter old bitch. Bye bye!

Next time: the final five have to rework a loser look into a winner! Maybe Mary J. ought to pick Blossom’s, just for kicks. SHAZAM!

weekend

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Thou Shalt Not Tweed Thy Stranger 🍷 Project Runway Season 13 Episode 10 Recap

From an “American Girl” challenge to a “girl off the street” challenge – they just aren’t letting up on the non-model-model challenges, are they? Yes, it’s another “real world” challenge in which our remaining, Indian-girl-free designers are tasked with finding a complete stranger out in Washington Square Park who just happens to be available for the next three days and make her an outfit. A makeover outfit, no less. So they have to convince a stranger to go down the road that has provided others with pure public humiliation without insulting them in the process. Good luck, people.

zoinks!

Luckily for this remaining group, they all have tact, something that has eluded many before them. VEN and Chinless Fatneck I am looking at you. So off they go. I really have to wonder how this works: did Production pre-clear a reasonable number of available, functional adult women to be available in this park so that the designers have enough options to find at least ONE, like a scavenger hunt? You kind of have to think they did, logistically speaking. And everyone does, although British Bill Rancic finds his last, standing around the center of the park like a deer in the headlights until he winds up with the most attractive gal in the bunch – ho! What a lucky break!

Pono the Pencil Gnome was the first person to land a model and is immediately regretting his choice as his model turns out to be a bit of a hippie lulu. And Pono doesn’t design for hippie lulus. He’s shattered. He’s struggling, and uninspired. Until!: Pono remembers that he’s a genius with denim, and hippies love denim! A jacket and dress in contrasting denim it shall be.

Another designer who is struggling is Overbite Guy, although he has no idea anything is wrong until Tim Gunn stops by and informs him that what he’s working on is “one of the most hideous garments” Tim has ever seen in his “entire existence”. SHAZAM and POW. Mouths gape. Silence descends, holds, and clenches. Overbite Guy just did not realize that his green houndstooth tweed crop-top-and-circle-skirt combo looks like it has been drenched in the green snot from Ghostbusters. What he thought it looked like I cannot begin to guess, but I saw snot and clearly so did Tim.

Everyone else seems to be humming along and feeling reasonably confident, whether or not such confidence is misguided, until the unthinkable happens: in literally the last seconds before runway time, the black girl’s model accidentally runs her zipper right off the track. Black girl sort of freaks out at her, then looks to Tim in a blind panic. He’s been her savior once before, will he do it again? Tim considers the fact that this is a schoolteacher off the street, not a model, who will have to strut the runway pants-free, and reflects on the hell that hath had no fury like a humiliated person-off-the-street in previous season challenges. Tim decides to ask the designers if it’s okay to give the black girl ten more minutes to replace her zipper. They agree, and are immediately bitter en masse about it. What do they care? She’s not going to knock anyone out of the top nor butt-bump them down to the bottom, anyway. (Frankly, if they said no, I think the judges would take greater pity on the whole situation anyway.)

So after a ten minute wait that is greeted with great theatricality by the judges, it’s runway time. Our guest judge is Michelle Monaghan, who is more familiar than many of our recent judges to me.

via

And away we go!

13-10 middleSafely in the middle this week, after all that consternation over just asking a girl out, is British Bill Rancic. No surprise as his look was probably the most middle-of-the-road, but also the only look I’d actually wear. Without the sweetheart bustline, preferably.

13-10 top

Top is Blossom, Pono the Pencil Gnome, and Pat Benatar, redeeming herself admirably after last week’s pogrom fiasco. The judges like Blossom’s look for the craftsmanship that went into it; apparently leather jackets are her “thing”. I appreciate her work but do not love jackets like this and love blue-and-black together even less as we well know. And I find the skirt wonky. And the styling unflattering.

I’m also somewhat alarmed by Pono’s ensemble; the denims do not work together in the right way for me (although I realize the risk of going Britney-n’-Justin is far too high when working in denim-on-denim), the skirt shape makes his gal, who wasn’t that big, look enormous in the caboose, and there’s a whole lotta boobage hanging out. This is supposedly for a “first date”. That‘s a date I’d like to see on The Singles Project.

Pat Benatar’s flamenco costume is wackadoodle but also totally appropriate for her eastern-European artiste. Some people do wear things like this and her girl is one of them. It’s well and thoughtfully made. But Blossom takes it and her head gets THAT MUCH FATTER in the process.

13-10 bottom

Our bottom are: the black girl, Wart, and Overbite Guy. The judges are just underwhelmed by Black Girl’s peplum jumpsuit shorts suit. They don’t think the length is appropriate (even though the client appreciates it), and they just don’t find it all that inspired or well-made. I hate the peplum. Who likes a flounce on their ass, other than Kim Kardashian? I just do not understand peplum. Zac says it looks like a tap dance costume and it TOTALLY DOES.

Next time: it’s a team challenge and the designers have to craft looks from

Wart and Overbite Guy’s looks are straight out of Modcloth. Have you ever ordered something from Modcloth? I did, once. It was one of the less retro looking things and I thought it would be a cute simple A-line dress for the office. WRONG. It was so short it could only fit in office porn, and the fabric was so painfully cheap I could hardly wait to stuff it back in the box and delete all future emails. Wart’s Modcloth look is further accessorized by a cheap-looking vest. NO. Overbite Guy’s is ill-fitting, unflattering, and horribly styled. Although at least he removed the snot trails. This is really difficult, if you ask me, but the judges and I agree that Overbite Guy is not working out here. For me it was the oxfords he put her in. If he’d picked better shoes this might not have happened this way…

Next time: it’s a team challenge (so late in the game!), and they are going to have to create looks out of crap found in old storage containers. Eeeeeuuuwwww.

beautiful day

 

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Pressure Cooker Spicy Cilantro Hummus 🍴 Let’s Eat

Hummus: you either love it or hate it. I can’t claim I was always sold on hummus, and there’s some I still don’t love, but now that I’ve started making my own (in the pressure cooker!) hummus has become a mainstay in my daily diet.

I have a particular love for cilantro hummus (also something people love or hate, but I love). Costco used to carry this great kind that has, alas, disappeared from my local shelves. Thankfully, Dishing Up The Dirt has a perfect recipe that hits all the right notes for me: olive oil rather than tahini; just a hit of spice from jalapeño; and oh, the cilantro! Mmm.

spicy cilantro hummus 2

Every two weeks or so I make a batch in the pressure cooker. I eat the same thing for lunch nearly every day – a spinach salad with a little bit of feta, some avocado, a homemade simple vinaigrette, oh and a dollop of this spicy cilantro hummus. Once you’ve made your own you’ll never go back to the store-bought kind. (And once you’ve made your own from dried chickpeas, you’ll never go back to a can.)

Pressure Cooker Spicy Cilantro Hummus

  • 2 c. dried chickpeas (I get mine in the bulk section at the hippie grocery)
  • 3. c. water
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • nice handful of cilantro, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeño, to taste
  • juice of one lemon or lime
  • 1/3 to 1/2 c. olive oil, to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Rinse chickpeas and pick out any scabby looking ones. Drain well and add to base of pressure cooker along with water. Secure lid and pressure cook on MEDIUM for 35 minutes. Quick-release pressure, allow contents to cool slightly, then place in food processor with garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, and juice of lime or lemon. Run processor to puree ingredients, then while motor is running add olive oil down the chute until you get your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from Dishing Up The Dirt.

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Trendwatch: ONESIES 🍷 Project Runway Season 13 Episode 9 Recap

It’s funny what life is like when the only thing worth watching on Bravo is Below Deck. I’m sort of in a scramble for decompression activities. In my real life I am seeking paper bags to breathe in I am so running at 11, pushing for a major ballot issue in my community, organizing LEGO robotics club, figuring out what in hell we’re supposed to be doing for Cub Scouts, organizing PTG events, carpooling to soccer, taxiing to appointments, and retrieving forgotten musical instruments. In addition to working a part-time professional job, producing meals, fulfilling my marital duties, and managing an overabundance of dogs. Which is a whole story unto itself. Oh, and wondering how stressed I ought to be about ISIS. And climate change.

So thank Chaka Khan for Project Runway! It has not been the same since moving to Lifetime, no, but it’s still got Tim Gunn and it’s still a welcome escape to Mood from the weary realities of life in general.

This week we had our “alternative model” challenge of the season. Having learned a lesson from Ven and the catastrophic “real person” challenge of a few seasons back, PR has decided to tie this episode’s product placement into American Girl, and a new concept they have! YAY! scream the gals who love to watch Dance Moms!

Have you ever been to an American Girl store? I have. I even own a Bitty Baby. There are several explanations for this. The first is that the founder of American Girl was a friend of my dad’s from college, and thus when AG first became a “thing” we were way sucked into the rabbit hole, even though I was already in high school by that time. The second is that visiting the American Girl store is an “experience”, one my mother felt I needed to have and was being denied by the distribution of male body parts in my household. And so it was that when I came home for what I expected to be a “girls weekend” with my mom a few years ago for a scholarship event in memory of my dad, we ended up taking my twin nieces to the store for brunch while my sister and her husband went to a funeral. This also required me to sleep in a twin sandwich the night before, and be “made over” by these aspiring Maxine Factors afterward. Rouge and backcombing is big with the Aught set. The third is that my mother feels I have one too many children so was compelled to buy me a Bitty Baby of my own to fend off any lingering desire to have a fourth child, and also fill the “girl” gap. She was my Christmas present and lives in my room. Mr. Little Mama pretends she is not there.

So anyway: here the designers are, presented with aspiring Punky Brewsters paired up with historic American Girls. Apparently there’s a new line offering “modern” takes on the historic dolls’ looks for their humans, and that’s what we’re designing for. Not that this is well-explained but familiar as I am I got it. They can use the fabric provided for the dolls’ getups, and/or buy their own stuff at Mood with a budget of $150. Textiles are going to be an issue, I can feel it.

Immediately, two of our designers are feeling a fringe moment. Really, all of our designers have been feeling a fringe moment all season long. I have never seen so much fringe. And Tim Gunn is over it. He tells both that fringe is a mistake and costumey. Now I don’t like to disagree with Tim Gunn but hello! THESE ARE COSTUMES. Expensive, and masquerading as real clothes, but costumes all the same. American Girl is hardcore dress up. So British Bill Rancic and the black girl, who want fringe, are in a quandary.

The designer who feels she has the upper hand tonight is Pat Benatar, who (a) has a daughter, and (b) has a “cult” Etsy line of kids clothes. Crickets when she refers to her “cult” Etsy status. Unfortunately, though, Pat has taken her doll’s history as an escapee from the Russian gulag to the brighter shores of America a little too far and is getting her model up in a moss-colored taffeta skirt with a tragic faux-crochet cardi. The look is good. The colors are: sad. Sad is never a good word on Project Runway; sad child is the kiss of death.

But wait: WAIT! It could be so much worse. And it is. See, the Indian girl has a doll who wants to be a boat making kingpin, and thus the Indian girl thinks what the real-world girl who loves this doll needs is a onesie. A pair of footless pajamas in cheap-looking pink rayon, with a peuce half-tutu attached, and tacky faux buttons glued to the front (replacing the word art originally considered), and a line of snaps from the ass up. Just like the pajamas my sister had to dress the aforementioned twins in when, as infants, they got into the habit of undressing and flinging poop pellets. Footie pajamas, feet cut off, put on backwards, and reinforced with duct tape. That is what Indian girl has produced for us tonight, people. Tim is horrified, but Indian girl is sticking to her guns. This is not her first jumpsuit critique, people.

That evening, everyone meows about Indian girl’s onesie while Indian girl cries into her pillow for Pat Benatar, her sole roommate. All she wants is respect, people! And compassion! And for everyone to overlook her utter lack of social graces and self-awareness.

Runway time! Our guest judge is, inexplicably, Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men. I have abandoned all pretense of assuming there is a reason behind these choices.

My favorite look of this whole show is Wart’s, but the judges call her Middle:

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How cute is that? I was not altogether sold on her slave-girl-quilt concept originally, but it works, it’s on trend, and looks like real kids would wear it. Nonetheless.

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The judges feel the top are the black girl, Pono the Pencil Gnome, and Blossom. I’m already not excited about this but here we are. The black girl has defied Tim Gunn, who gave her the Tim Gunn Save, and gone with the fringe regardless of his opinion about it. Nina loves it so this was a good move. I really like the fabric for her dress which is AG textile. Smart choice! Pono also used the AG textile and made a great coat-and-dress combo in contrasting yet coordinating patterns. It’s very holiday high tea and it works. (Although I am unsure about cutouts in children’s clothing.) Blossom, who was not at all sure she could handle dealing with children, has done just fine and contributed a Jessie Gets Dressed Up look. I do like the skirt better for the yellow underlining. But there’s no way this could be mass-produced – although I guess this challenge is pure concept with no production guarantee so who cares anyway? Pono takes it.

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The bottom are Pat Benatar, the Indian girl, and British Bill Rancic, who forewent the fringe and ended up producing a tragic Liberty print jumpsuit and prison vest bedazzled with a typo-ed peace logo on the back. It’s just catastrophic. Whereas Pat’s is just ugly, and sad, even if her model is full of SHAZAM! But Indian Girl: oh, oh dear Indian girl. There is no excuse. It even has a bolero. And visible ass-snaps for easy diaper changes. CFDA Fashion Award Winner Zac Posen describes it as “circus flamingo”. It’s that, and so much more. I don’t know one child over 2 who wouldn’t cry if their mother tried to make them wear that. Indian girl stubbornly disagrees with all criticism. She thinks it’s hot shit, just like her. And so it is. Adios, Indian girl. Admittedly, Project Runway might not be as fun without you to kick around, anymore.

Next time: o laws it’s a real people challenge. And Tim has to unleash the phrase “butt ugly”. That’s gonna be a hashtag….

beautiful day

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Rain On Runway Day 🍷 Project Runway Season 13 Episode 8 Recap

I realized early this week that I never recapped the last episode of PR (inspired by high-end jewelry; Blossom won with a big plaid coat, forgettable Daria was auf’ed for a forgettable red blah gown, the end). My desktop Mac has been hijacked for side-by-side Minecraft battles, while my four-year-old has taken over my iPad to watch endless Paw Patrol play videos on YouTube. Who are these adult men who tape themselves playing with children’s toys and put it on the intertubes? I just really don’t get it. And now a generation of children aspire to be YouTubers when they grow up.

Anyway: back to Parsons where it’s an avant-garde challenge inspired by the new Samsung curved ultra-HD TV aaaaaaand: they are going to pour rain on the runway. It’s a RAINWAY, you guys! So the designers need to be inspired by the natural combination of television, curves, and water. Hmm.

Wart, who is up for anything at all times, has decided this pairing brings her back to Cleopatra. What? Well, she loves Cleo, so when she thinks rain she thinks runny mascara, and thus she’s making a dress of vinyl eyes. The Indian girl is recalling her childhood days obsessed with television and having to stare at the test pattern when there was nothing on. I, too, remember those days, but I wouldn’t go making a jumpsuit out of those stripes and putting clear vinyl and pinwheels over it, but that’s the difference between me and the Indian girl. British Bill Rancic is making what looks like a plain white dress but there’s a surprise: he’s going to put packets of dye inside it, so that when it gets rained on the colors will bleed. Cool! And there’s only one chance to find out if it’s going to work, although I think the likelihood of disaster is pretty slim so the suspense element is a little overblown.

Everyone seems to be enjoying this challenge which makes sense since they have plenty of threads to follow inspiration-wise and the avant-garde challenges usually are designer favorites – except Sprockets. Sprockets is not having fun. Sprockets is having an emotional collapse, in fact. This is shocking – he seems like avant-garde would be his thing. Maybe he’s having a bad day. Sprockets has decided to make a television-inspired plain dress with a play button positioned right between the boobettes, and disregard the rain element altogether. Considering a television would short out in a rainstorm I think he’s missing an opportunity, and Tim Gunn doesn’t push him too hard which is also mysterious. It’s like he’s dying before our eyes, Sprockets.

Runway time! Our guest judge is somebody I’ve never heard of from “Masters of Sex”, which I’ve never seen. She’s very opinionated.

The show is really fun with the rain element, for which they had to go offsite to an undisclosed location.

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It’s quite obvious that Sprockets is going down, although I am astounded that the judges also strongly dislike Pat Benatar. I thought her Catwoman costume was very well-crafted, but they feel its derivative and are sternly annoyed by that. Seen one Catwoman suit, seen them all. Blossom is a fiasco but she has immunity so it’s not worth discussing.

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Their favorites are British Bill Rancic, Pono the Pencil Gnome, and the Indian girl. Whaaa?

Yes, they actually like this clown costume with the pinwheels that didn’t actually spin as promised. I feel the Indian girl failed to deliver, but the judges think it’s neato and her ego gets an additional stroking. In the stew room she’s all smug and self-satisfied about how “unique” her point of view is compared to the others who were compared to Alexander McQueen, and now everyone hates her even more.

But thank God for Pono the Pencil Gnome and British Bill Rancic because their work was smashingly successful. Pono put together an S&M umbrella dress that was somewhat undermined by the crushed beret he perched on top. Bill Rancic’s dress was sort of nothing special but the dye effect was perfectly amazing and actually made the dress gorgeous – it could have turned out brown, you know. He has to win. When do you ever see fashion that actively transforms all on its own? Nina Gahcia loves that he lined it with a plastic crinoline so the model didn’t get all stained, which was something I was worried about, too.

And so Bill wins. Drat! Foiled again! shrieks Pono inside, although he’s all smiles through gritted teeth for the judges. And Sprockets is auf’ed, not that he gives a poop anymore. He tells Heidi he’ll see her again. Maybe, she responds. Ooof!

Next time: an American Girl challenge! Oh LAWD!

weekend

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Goodbye and Good Riddance 🍷 RHOC Season 9 Rehash

So, this isn’t a recap of part 2 of the RHOC reunion because (a) Comcast is still refusing to put out for my TiVo, and (b) although I could search it out to go watch it elsewhere, I just can’t bring myself to do so. I know what happened, we all knew what was going to happen before it even aired. I can’t take one more second of Tammy BarneyJudge. She reminds me of a weasel: conniving, utterly vicious, and always playing defense by playing offense.

Apparently the big drama at the reunion was the breakdown in the relationship between Vic and Tammy. Vic accused Tammy of being bitter and announced that only a miserable person would be as angry and hateful to all those around her as Tammy has this season. This naturally caused Tammy to start throwing the F-bomb around, a nice tidy case of she can say it but Lizzie can’t. These two insist that in their shriveled hearts they love each other and carry around each other’s deep dark secrets (and maybe a few nude selfies), but I think this friendship is done. I just think Vic is moving into middle age and Tammy is decrepitating before our eyes. (I thought I made that word up but spellcheck isn’t flagging it, who knows?)

So where does this franchise go from here? Clearly Vic and Shannon intend to stick around; Vic has previously announced she will leave this franchise horizontal and room temperature, and with Shannon as her new BFF we have the first truly fun queen bees since Vic and Jeana were paired up. Shannon has plenty more material ahead with her renewed marriage and her cute girls. Heather is making Lady Pumplike noises that maybe she’s ready to move on because all this ugly is beneath her, which means she really wants a fan uprising to beg her to return. Lizzie I think we can take or leave. Other than calling a spade a spade with Tammy she just isn’t that interesting. Or pleasant to look at.

But the big scuttlebutt is that Tammy is getting the can. I never know whether to believe these things or not, but the rumors point out that she has no storyline and her pot stirring created all ugly and no fun which ruined the whole season (WORD). The main thing that lends this idea credence to me is the fact that this reunion was just two parts. When is the last time they had a reunion that was less than three? Even RHONY was three. Supposedly Eddie refused to attend, which tells me he’s over it. Today Tammy’s minions are out there making the case that her imminent grandmotherhood would be a great new storyline which is just crap – Ryan put his mattress on the roof and made a break for it, for God’s sake! And who cares? Remember when there were rumors Tammy would get her own spinoff? Ha. How the mighty and plastic fall.

You know what was really lacking this season? Good real estate. Peeping in the windows is where this show got started, really – that and out of control teenagers. Redecorated or not I think we’re all tired of Vic’s Brown House, the Dubrows have left the chateau for a nondescript rental, and Shannon’s admittedly fabulous home needs a little lift and a little life. Everyone else: tract housing. Nice tract housing, maybe, but nothing new. We really need these franchises to show a slice of life that’s distinctive to the locale and OC is really sagging in that department. Other than the big plastic boobages.

So my advice to Mr. Andy (who isn’t in production anymore, which may be part of the issue, but I’ll direct myself to him anyway) is that we need some different women who really reflect Orange County. And we desperately need some wild teenagers. I was hooked on Laguna Beach long before I ever saw my first RHOC episode (caught in the middle of the night while nursing my now 8-year-old). Back at the beginning the teenagers were kickass. Tammy Knickerbocker’s girls were jaw dropping - only in the OC do you have kids kicking off careers as cheesy promotion girls complete with catfights. Lynne Curtin’s kids? Maybe they go a little too far into rain wreck TV seeing as one now does porn or so I’ve heard. I don’t think we have to go that far astray but I’d rather watch Tolan and LC and Stephen - and their moms - than these moms. I want past-their-prime moms desperately trying to keep up with in-their-prime kids. THAT would be fun. That’s pretty close to what Pump Rules is, actually. Hmm.

So that’s enough about that. I am not gonna lie – I’m perfectly content to be without a Housewives franchise at the moment. Recapping NJ for last season burnt me out on that and I haven’t really been watching, but maybe I’ll get bored. Of course Comcast has to fix my TV first. For now, more regular life – food, projects, kid stuff, personal stuff – and Project Runway on weekends! My regular life is a lot more interesting to me than anything I saw on RHOC this season, which pretty much says all that needs to be said about that. Adios, Tamhammy. You suck.

What do you think? Are you over Tammy? Is there anyone you want to see back, or do you want to see RHOC get a full reboot? Is there any hope at all?

beautiful day

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Nice Day for a Yellow Wedding🍷 Project Runway Season 13 Episode 6 Recap

We’re having a little issue at the Rancho in that it seems my cable card in my TiVo is crapping out. I can’t get Bravo! The horrors! Lifetime was also out a few nights ago but has resurrected itself. Thus I was able to catch up after the fact with this week’s episode.

Which was a wedding dress challenge (snore) for pairs of two (eek!). Our designers are whisked off to some dark theater where none other than Dita Von Teese appears. Everyone is very excited to see Dita Von Teese. I am not. What is her deal? I know she’s supposedly a burlesque dancer, but for who? Where? Has anyone ever seen this? It’s all very Kardashian to me. Also, she was once married to Marilyn Manson which says everything I need to know about this woman. She also seems very judgmental.

So the wedding dress challenge is to create two “unconventional” wedding dress looks, one for the ceremony and one for the after-party. I feel like wedding dress costume changes are over, but clearly no one is asking me anything about any of this. The button bag pairs people up and like it always does, puts together at least one very dramatic combination of conflicting personalities. Funny how that happens. In this case, it’s Wart and Blossom. Blossom was on the bottom last week but she somehow seems to think it’s all Wart’s fault and/or Wart is really not talented and should not have gotten a second bite at the apple. Sour puss that Blossom.

Off to Mood they go and it becomes instantly apparent that the team of the Indian girl and the black girl is in big trouble because they choose citron leather among their fabrics. Because nothing says “wedding” better than yellow leather. Overbite guy and his partner pick red fabric the color of a scab. Carrie’s prom dress comes to mind.

In the workroom, there are struggles. Blossom has created a pair of white shiny pants so tight I fear it is going to cause an intestinal blockage in her model, and the black girl is fighting to unpoint leather nipples on her bust. Blossom is lucky to have a functional team player in Wart who gets busy compensating for her disaster, whereas the black girl is partnered up with the queen of delusion this episode. The Indian girl fusses about overworking her ceremony gown into a loving-hands-from-home fiasco, having saddled them both with this urine color, and abandoning her partner to sink unsupervised.

Runway time! Our judges are the aforementioned judgmental Dita and some Italian fashion blogger. Whatever.

Wart and Blossom are miraculously safe, and Pono and British Bill Rancic are the clear winners.

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The judges love their interpretation of lesbian wedding couture. The main issue here is who should win? Pono is super excited (practically jumping up and down and clapping) because he made both the black dress and the blouse of the second look. The judges, however, overall like the pants look better (as do I) and give to to Bill Rancic. Two in a row! Pono been robbed!

The judges basically dismiss the goth girl and Sprockets and move on to what they don’t like.

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Where to begin. Overbite’s overworked fluffy getup looks like birds sent through a window fan. His teenage partner’s shrunken patch is… awful in a thousand personal hygiene ways and altogether not wedding. But then there’s the screaming yellow pair of messes. The Indian girl’s gown looks like one of my corncob holders, whereas the other is just a mess. It’s like it got stuck in the zipper on one side. And, it’s yellow, which is enough for everyone, and the black girl is out. No Tim Gunn save for her.

Next time: we’re designing to pair with jewels, y’all!

weekend

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“Does He Give You Gas?” 🍷 RHOC Season 9 Reunion Part 1 Recap

Reunion time, people! And it isn’t looking good for Ms. Tammy seeing as she’s alone on the left couch with Heather Dubrow. Mr. Andy goes to Vic (in the middle over in the right couch) first, as is the custom, and as he greets her Tammy is shooting major eye daggers at her. Oooh, burn! The big news is that Vic is thinking about buying Andale’s, and Lizzie used to date Nick Lachey, both before and after J. Simpson, but if you read any gossip magazines or websites you knew that.

Let’s talk about tonight’s looks, shall we?

* Heather got bangs cut during hair and makeup and is in a wine colored shift. Not her color.

* Tammy is wearing Barbie pink and looks OLD. And more like Ryan every day, thankfully save the pubey beard.

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* Shannon, who arrived with her hair wet in a towel and no makeup on, is now in a hot pink peplumy cocktail sheath with real-looking diamonds. Makeup does a lot for that woman.

* Lizzie is all Lizzed up in a yellow and cream strapless things from the TJ Maxx prom department. She’s just too much everything. And her skin looks really rough.

* And then there’s Vic. Tonight the grande dame has decided to grace us stuffed into a red lace super-deep-cleave cocktail sleeve. Her giant fake mammys look like a butt. Also, her neck; to paraphrase Nora Ephron, I feel badly about her neck. Face and hair look okay, though. Being mooned by Vic’s boobass is going to really bother me.

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So Mr. Andy kicks things off by asking about the junior set. Tammy basically completely dismisses Ryan’s relationship with his babymomma as an act of two desperate fools who met on Instagram at vulnerable moments in their lives. Also, he basically met her and moved away two weeks later. Well, how are things going now? That would be the telling fact. Not a word.

Vic is still crying every day that Briana moved away. She has been to visit SEVEN times in less than three months. Briana shows up on Skype with Troy and the new baby, Owen. She’s hanging in, and the freezer full of food Vic left behind helps. In related news, all of Oklahoma now hates Vic, which is fine because she hates Oklahoma back.

So let’s talk about Shannon Beador and Heather Dubrow, shall we? Heather explains immediately that she felt marginalized when Shannon met Vic n’ Tammy, who were already excluding and picking on her, so she was ridiculous, prickly, and sensitive, and overblew the chair thing, and owes Shannon an apology. WELL! Shannon appreciates the apology but points out that it’s “Heather Dubrow’s thing” to repeat something over and over again until all the world can do nothing but believe it as true, which is what she did to Shannon, and she kind of needs to lay off doing that.

Shannon also thinks Tammy throws a whole lotta fuel on Heather Dubrow’s fire. She feels that the way Heather dressed her down at the hoedown for her lateness was “punitive”, to borrow a Heather Dubrow phrase, but Tammy’s really to blame for pointing out to Heather that Shannon was late in the first place. The left couch – Tammy and Heather – both acknowledge Shannon did not actually yell at Heather at her Christmas party, while Shannon now acknowledges she wishes she never stood up to Heather on Tammy’s behalf in the first place. “She has a right to her opinion,” snarls Tammy. WHOO. Looks like Heather Dubrow is backing right off and clearing the way for Pile On Tammy Time, and we’re not even 15 minutes in.

So for reasons unclear Mr. Andy changes the topic to Vic. The segue is apparently “forgiveness”, and whether/how the parties involved in last season’s Donn2 audiotape “beat that bitch” fiasco have forgiven and moved on. I think. Vic says she didn’t forgive easily, but Donn2 really genuinely felt badly and made a mistake so she did ultimately forgive him, which sounds pretty easily to me. One person she’s not forgiving too easily, though, is Tammy, apparently for not liking Donn2. Tammy jumps in to cry that she never brought Donn2 up herself, that she’s agreed to accept him if that’s what Vic wants but she doesn’t have to like him and doesn’t and THAT’S HER OPINION!!!!!!!!! I think Tammy has been eating Kelly Bensimon’s gummy bears. “I didn’t say he’s a low down piece of shit con artist!” she shouts. Except she just did. Shannon likes that LDPOSCA because he “lights up” Vic’s eyes. So there.

Time to move on to more awkwardness, this time the ugly between Dr. Terry and Mr. Shannon, who have both lost about 25 pounds and look great. Mr. Andy asks why Mr. Shannon sent Shannon The Email and Mr. Shannon says sometimes he finds it easier to express things in writing, which Heather agrees is often the best way. Shannon pipes up that getting The Email was the worst thing that ever happened to her, until she was betrayed by Tammy who called her a “sad soul”. Tammy, who “stirs things up” and makes up crap about the Dubrows wanting to take the Beadors down and says Shannon drinks too much. Tammy continues to insist Shannon drinks too much, but let’s be honest, if we had to hang around Tammy for weeks on end we’d all drink too much.

Mr. Andy asks about the night Heather threw Shannon out and again, here’s Heather backpedaling furiously and insisting she now feels terrible that she was so wrapped up in herself, that she feels terribly sorry, but that throwing Tammy under the bus is where she would have drawn the line. A semantical disagreement over whether Heather kicked Shannon out or invited her to get out ensues. Heather apologizes again, and Shannon points out that this is where they differ; Shannon accepts an apology the first time, whereas Heather seems to require repeated efforts.

Back to Tammy for a minute, as the “take down” comment pops up. “There’s the truth and there’s the goddamn truth,” says Shannon, declaring that either Tammy made the whole thing up or Terry actually said it. Vic concurs that Tammy told her about it, too. Tammy starts shrieking that Shannon drinks and twists things, which is when Lizzie pipes up that no matter what was going on it was super weird of Tammy to bring it up as a discussion topic in front of a table full of people who were all going to melt down over it. DAMN. Shannon and Lizzie are way too smart for this shiitake.

But we’ve got to keep postponing the best pile-on-Tammy stuff so Mr. Andy brings it back to Dr. Terry and Mr. Shannon and how Dr. Terry lost his bananas at Vic’s Balinese dinner party. Dr. Terry, backpedaling himself, says he didn’t hear the spread-em crack at the hoedown but heard about it later and the comments made by those throwing Mr. Shannon under the bus made the crack sound so much worse. Also, he thought Mr. Shannon’s apology in front of others was “grandstanding”. Funny, Mr. Shannon thought it was a sincere apology at the first opportunity to give it. He meant the crack to be funny (which it clearly was, but also in bad taste), and HE found Dr. TERRY to be scary angry at that dinner table. Which he was.

Dr. Terry tries to explain his belittling “construction guy” comment as being intended to complain about construction guys who catcall, not to belittle. No one is buying it. Oh, and by the way, Mr. Shannon is a big hot flirt who asks Vic what color bra she is wearing. Shannon finds this unsettling. Mr. Andy then asks Dr. Terry and Mr. Shannon if, in conclusion, either of them finds their behavior with regards to the other regrettable. Dr. Terry does, in fact, regret his tone, his outburst, and getting all riled up. Mr. Shannon fires back that like their wives, the difference between him and Dr. Terry is that all it takes is one apology and Mr. Shannon is over it.

Next time: we’re ramping up on Tammy and her ugly, black heart. Cheers!

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