Project Runway 2: Episode 6
Previously, this show managed to get Nicky Hilton to agree to let a challenge be centered around her self-proclaimed impeccable taste and high standards. Santino was proclaimed the new cool guy by Nicky while Guadalupe was cut over a swamp bog dress over Marla who was taken to task for copying Nicky's dress. Which was designed by the Parisian designer Chloe. I know, I know! This show obviously didn't mind keeping copycats around, which seemed understandable given how most of these bunch of Fashionistas refuse to do anything but slight variations of the same dress again and again for every freaking challenge. This week, what's in store for the Fashionistas?
By the way, anyone watching Project Catwalk, the UK version of this show? The first episode debuts at the same week as this episode and while I'm not too enamored of the fact that the show spent more time on the Big Brother style antics of the Fashionistas, the designs are more interesting and innovative. Watching the British Fashionistas' creations only makes me more disappointed with the current crop of Fashionistas in this show. The show started with a bang and in the right direction, but some time around the fourth episode, things start going downhill and it's still heading down the slippery slope, especially when I take into account that I can barely remember any design of one of the co-winners at the end of this episode - a winner who has already won twice after this episode. But enough about that, let's move on to the show itself.
Morning at the Apartments. Nothing like a healthy insight into the psyche of the Fashionistas to start the show in a good way. Marla and Kara find a T-shirt and Marla sighs when she realizes that it's a shirt that Guadalupe left behind. Marla is so blue as she tells the camera how strange it is to realize that the Fashionistas are going away one by one. Maybe she's finding the whole thing strange because she's still here in the show. I know I am. Zulema however tells the camera that nothing changes for her as she's still here to win. She's wearing something in color. How nice if that color diffuses into some of her designs. Over at Apartment 35D, the abode of Santino, Andraé, Nick, and Dan, Santino is getting this boost of confidence over the fact that Nicky Hilton liked his dress. Yup, Santino the Great is so happy that the pretty girls are finally liking him. He tells the others that he is going to design everything in the Hilton gift stores because there can never be too many frills in the world. Nick tells the others that Santino's head is becoming too big for the room. Ooh, it looks like cracks are showing in paradise. Elsewhere, Dan says to the camera that sure, Santino is arrogant but Dan himself thinks it's more important to always do the best for each challenge. How sweet of him. How unfortunate that his designs are so forgettable and uninteresting.
Okay, let's head over to Parsons, where Heidi promptly gets down to business by telling the Fashionistas that they will be designing for Banana Republic in this particular task. Andraé, in particular, has this expression on his face like he has just heard that someone is offering a lot of money to get the rights to the screenplay of his life story that he no doubt has stashed away in a drawer somewhere. I have this feeling that I will collapse in exhaustion if I ever try to engage Andraé and Nick in a three-way conversation because these two overdramatize everything in their lives. Anyway, after telling the Fashionistas that they will be testing their mettle with the most innovative fashion house in the world, Heidi brings out Eliza, Guadalupe's model, and Heather, Santino's model, and asks Santino which model he wants to pick for the upcoming challenges. Santino gives a big speech about how he is a loyal person so he's sticking with Heather. His tone of voice suggests that Heather should some how thank him profusely for being such a great person because he isn't sticking with her for her runway skills as much as he wants to show the world how freaking loyal he is. But why am I surprised that Santino thinks the whole world revolves around him? Eliza is expecting her dismissal back to the wardrobe so she takes everything well and walks back out of the Runway.
The Fashionistas and Heidi head over the Banana Republic HQ to meet Deborah Lloyd, the "head designer" of Banana Republic. She probably is the one who decides how many stripes should go on a particular shirt or pants because I swear the clothes from Banana Republic all look the same and browsing through their catalogue is especially dull given that they don't have all those half-naked Ken doll guys that Abercrombie and Fitch will use to keep things interesting. Deborah tells the Fashionistas to come up with something called a "day to evening garment" that a woman can wear to work by day and later make some slight changes to the outfit so that she can go partying at night. Is this for Banana Republic's new line targetted at alcoholic women who can't wait to leave work early to hit the watering hole? If the task isn't exciting enough, Deborah tells them that the winning dress will be sold at "selected" Banana Republic outlets as well as online. The online bit is very important because there will always be people that live only on the Web that offer insane amount of money for some ugly scrap of cloth. Heidi tries to pretend that this task has any relevance to high fashion by saying that the Fashionistas must attempt to adapt their "vision" to a "national brand". I guess, in a way, that makes sense because these bunch will never be good enough to start their own line and there is a high possibility that they will end up slaving away for Banana Republic while Deborah gets all the credit for their work. And therefore, this task is a test to find which of the mediocre Fashionistas will be the best candidate for the position of the newest donkey with scissors for that "fashion house"!
Banana Republic has generously left around bolts of fabrics for the Fashionistas to use for their designs. Hmm, since this is Banana Republic we're talking about, does that make those bolts of fabric cheap material imported from China? As they look over the bolts of fabric, Zulema tells the camera haughtily that she and Banana Republic are polar opposites so this task is tough for her. Oh, really? And here I am thinking that Banana Republic will adore Zulema for her unflinching devotion to using creamy white, vanilla, and black in her designs that look the same day and night. Zulema is so adorable when she deludes herself into thinking that she is some high fashion diva when in reality she's suited at best to the Banana Republic sweatshop toiling away and whipping her underlings as they all work for the latest line of white jackets with black panels. Diana Eng thinks that getting her dress sold at selected Banana Republic stores is a good way to start when it comes to her ambitions of having her own fashion line. And with that, the Fashionistas have selected their choice fabric and head back to the Sweatshop.
At the Sweatshop, Tim pauses after asking the Fashionistas to gather around because he is ordered to create as much suspense as possible. Andraé, that sucker, of course reacts to it and enjoys every moment the camera zooms in on his wide-open mouth. Tim tells them that they will be working in pairs - they are free to pair up with whoever they want - and each team will select a design to work on. Tim gives them one minute to choose partners. Andraé and Dan pair off. Remember, they complete each other's sentences after all. Diana tells the camera that she doesn't know who to pick as a partner so when Marla walks up to her and asks her to partner with Marla, Diana is all for it. She tells the camera that she and Marla have the same creative process. Good grief, has that young lady been drinking? No one should ever compare himself or herself to Marla unless that person is Marla herself.
Santino tells the camera that Nick is looking around the room and he's like, "Dude, if you are looking for someone else to be partners with, you're barking up the wrong tree! Because I don't want Emmett or Marla or some dead weight again!" That's so sweet of him, saying that Nick should pair up with him so that Santino doesn't get stuck with a lousy partner. Nick says that he'd rather team up with someone else, like Chloe, but alas, Emmett beats him to Chloe. Mind you, Nick is standing behind Chloe all the time but he doesn't say anything to her before Emmett approaches Chloe. Like Santino, Nick seems to be expecting other people to approach him and beg him to join their team. That or he's playing some weird passive-aggressive game with Santino, sort of like trying to make Santino jealous or testing to see how far he can get away with trying to break his codependent relationship with Santino. I'd be more interested in these two's bizarre relationship - they are no longer friends after the show - if these two men don't make my skin crawl in different ways.
Zulema tells the camera that Kara is her partner. However, she doesn't want to work as a team, she wants to work alone. Isn't it nice that she feels that way, given that I'm sure very few people actually enjoy being on a team with her? Isn't this show silly for not deciding the members in each team so that I get to enjoy the drama of Santino and Zulema going at it in the same team? Of course, that may end with Santino being taken out before his preordained final four placing so there's that, I suppose.
Once the team selection is done, Tim reminds them that they have to decide which design to create, which model to use, and what fabric to use. The Fashionistas have until midnight to finish their work so he will leave them now. As the Fashionistas sit down and confer in teams, Diana tells the camera that her design has a "pencil skirt" where the front slip can be pulled back to reveal a slip. She tells Marla that Banana Republic is "minimalist" so they should come up with something that one can wear to work. Marla tells the camera that they end up using Diana's design because Diana is, according to her, a "headstrong" woman. I suppose Marla's lack of idea has nothing to do with their decision? Marla states for the record that she doesn't entirely believe in Diana's ideas. Since she also stated previously that she doesn't believe in her own creative vision, I don't know what Marla believes in. Maybe in God. Yeah, that's it, Marla is hoping for divine intervention in this particular challenge! Elsewhere, Dan explains his design to Andraé which they will be working on. It's a sexy dress with some jacket to match. At another corner, Chloe thinks working with Emmett is great and Emmett says to the camera that she and he know the Banana Republic clientele very well. Emmett seems to be worried over the time needed to sew the dress and Chloe assures him that she, at least, is up to the task.
Santino, meanwhile, thinks that what Banana Republic needs is a touch of Asian design. By "Asian", he means Japanese, of course. The Japanese and the Chinese are the only Asians that matter - the other Asians (those who aren't fair-skinned) are terrorists, doncha know. He claims that he is going to show Banana Republic what their "future" should be. Er, is "Asian" the next big thing? Then again, if Santino the Great says so, he must be right. Right? Nick tells the camera that of course Santino will take over and everything must go his way. Aww, I will be more sympathetic if he actually has the balls to ask Chloe to join him in a team instead of engaging in some passive-aggressive freaky penis-measuring contest with Santino. Nick tells Santino that he wants to make it clear that he has stated his reservations to Santino in case they both end up having to defend themselves on the Runway.
Zulema and Kara are starting to feel the ice between them. Zulema tells the camera that she has decided to use Kara's design because Zulema herself isn't familiar with how a typical Banana Republic dress is like. However, Zulema decides to steamroller over Kara in how Zulema believes that the dress should be and Kara predictably starts to act like she's being cooked alive in a pressure cooker as she tells the camera that she and Zulema work and think very differently and now she isn't so sure whether teaming up with Zulema is the right thing to do. Gee, I don't know. Kara lives with Zulema in the same apartment. She doesn't know how Zulema really is? Give me a break.
Tim suddenly returns with more alarming news. Why he can't tell them the news earlier, I don't know. This show goes out of its way to manufacture drama, so I won't be surprised if this is another lame attempt to create drama. Tim tells them that both members of the losing team will be eliminated at the end of the challenge. This news send the Fashionistas into shock, real or feigned (with Andraé, I will never know), and Kara continues to go more crazy as her panic rises when she realizes that what seems like a bad decision - teaming up with Zulema - can very well result in her elimination. When Tim leaves the room again, the Fashionistas get back to work. Some point later, Andraé realizes that everyone else is using navy charmeuse in their designs and points it out to Dan. Being Andraé, he tells Dan that the situation is "so scary". Won't it be cute if his exaggerated expression of horror gets petrified and he has to look like that all the time? Zulema also notices the navy charmeuse overkill and tells Zulema that she will puke if she sees another navy charmeuse because they are so "fucking boring". I'm sure everyone is shocked when she suggests that they switch to white. Is it just me or is Zulema waiting for this opportunity to change their fabric to white? Kara however acts like Zulema has asked her to hand over her firstborn and actually pleads with Zulema to stick with the navy charmeuse. Zulema tells the camera that she and Kara have to compromise but she isn't sure whether they are compromising "in a productive way". Zulema stomps out of the Sweatshop after telling Kara to switch to white. Now that is a productive way to compromise.
Meanwhile, Diana is plagued with second thoughts about her design and asks Marla what she thinks. Marla, far from being a fount of great ideas, merely tells Diana not to panic. Diana tells the camera that she starts to have doubts about her design and has to change things around at midpoint. Obviously Marla is no help there. Marla instead tells the camera that she thinks the skirt will not flatter the form of the wearer. Oh, so now she speaks.
As for Santino, he has to go to the camera, "Diana is grasping at straws and she's so ridiculous in there. And, I can't stand the sound of her voice. 'No, I think. No, I think. No, I think it should really be this way, Marla. No, no, no, no!' And it's just like, OH MY GOD." At this point, I look at his date-rapist exaggeration, listen to his dead monotone, and I feel like cupping my cheeks and be like, OH MY GOD myself. Santino criticizing another person for her looks and voice is like a braindead calling a idiot stupid. What do I need to do to get him off this show? I don't care if he is talented - which I certainly don't think - I can't bear the sight of his hideous face and the sound of his loathsome voice anymore. Then it's a scene of him and Nick working and then Santino saying how well he and Nick work together and how they will win this challenge. At this point I am so tired of him, so tired of this show's attempt to shove the Ultimate Villain Bwah-Hah-Hah shtick of him down my throat, and I just want this show to end, period. I know I enjoyed seeing Jim in action in The Apprentice: Martha Stewart and the Robfather in Survivor and The Amazing Race, but see, Santino is different from these guys. Those two guys are the way they are to win - their behavior is part of their strategy to win. That's why I also didn't mind Wendy Pepper that much in the previous season of this show. Santino, however, is being a huge and unfunny asshole for no reason other than sheer pettiness. That is why I am so tired of this guy tainting this show like the stain of an unwashed diaper and I am equally tired of the show's transparent attempts to keep him around for the sake of drama. Anyway, Nick says in his confessional that he likes Santino's idea - as if that will ever be in doubt - but he finds it hard to have his own "voice" with Santino. He goes on to say that they have found some "happy medium" and boasts that he can be credited for the fact that their design doesn't have 500 trims. "You know I've tamed the dragon," he brags to the camera. Does he want a medal for that? One engraved with "I TAMED AN ASS"?
At this point, I'm already worn out so I'll just say that it's Zulema bossing Kara around in the next scene and Kara is in tears and I'll leave it at that. Between Queen Tyrant Zulema, Santino the Freaking Great, Kara the Crybaby, Andraé the Crybaby Clown, and Nick of the Million Exclamation Points, I feel like I've been wrung through a draining emotional rollercoaster ride. I just want to lie down and take a nice long nap.
At about two hours from midnight, Tim shows up to pretend to be helpful and give advice. I mean, look at the time. It's too late for the Fashionistas to do anything much to follow his advice. Tim thinks that Andraé and Dan made the jacket too "precious" but Andraé says that the jacket is supposed to be look like the wearer doesn't want to go home with anyone. It's only when the jacket is removed that the wearer now gives off this "But I might let you buy me a drink!" vibe. Tim mentally checks the script he is supposed to follow, comes across "Love everything Dan does because we need someone to round up the top three with Nick and Chloe", and says that the jacket then does the trick after all. Next, he goes over to Chloe and Emmett. Because Chloe is infalliable and should not be criticized in any way, Tim loves the design because it is so beautiful and stunning that Tim is worried that he would end up running away to marry that dress in Vegas, while wearing that dress of course. Tim doesn't like what Diana and Marla is working on and Marla tells the camera that she is relieved when Tim says this because that's what she has been thinking all along. Is there any reason why Marla can't express what she thinks to Diana all the time before this?
Zulema and Kara are next. Tim scans the chip in his mind and comes across the two women's names listed under collateral damage. He tells the two women that he doesn't see "it" and he is worried because he feels that those two women are very talented and they are the last persons he'd expect to leave. Yes, he'd expect to see Santino and Nick leave before Kara and Zulema. Sometimes Tim says such total bull. His accent isn't so sexy that it blinds me to what a shill he is, unfortunately. Tim's helpful dialogue with the two women, which essentially boils down to "Gee, the two of you are so going down, let me tell you that ten times in the last five minutes, and okay, I'll leave you two to stew and panic now" delivered in the driest manner he hopes to come off as "British and concerned". Kara looks like she is approaching a nervous breakdown as she sobs to the camera that she can't turn back time, she's stuck with Zulema, and she has forgotten to pack her prescription drugs before she came here. Zulema does the right thing in my opinion by telling Kara what to do.
Zulema is now taking charge of everything because she feels quite correctly that Kara is now totally useless as she's an emotional mess. Zulema has a design in mind and they will both work on that in what little time they have. If Kara wants to cry, Zulema wants her to know that Kara can cry all she wants as long as she keeps working on that dress. That's harsh but in this one time I don't see how Zulema can do anything else to penetrate Kara's hysteria. Of course, Kara may end up bawling even louder because Zulema is being such a bitch to her, but Zulema is getting her to work and I guess that's all that Zulema cares about. As she should be. Meanwhile, Santino tells the camera gleefully that Kara and Zulema are at each other's throats. Somewhere among the tears and the hideous face of Santino the Great leering at me from the TV screen, Diana tells the camera that she and Marla have taken Tim's advice and ditch the foldable skirt for a simple skirt with functional buttons at one side. Marla says that they are running out of time. Dan manages to kiss Kara comfortingly, which is sweet of him. At the end of the day, everyone but Kara leaves the Sweatshop once Tim calls work to a stop, but not before Santino offers a parting shot about wanting to launch an assault at the hair salon. Kara lays her upper body dramatically on the table, totally drained of emotions. That will teach her for leaving the Valium at home.
The next morning, Kara is still looking like she's just survived an apocalyptic battle with Queen Tyrant Zulema to the point that Marla mistakenly assumes that Kara is mad at her and asks Kara about this. Kara explains that she's still drained from the Sweatshop ordeal the previous evening and tells the camera that she is sure that she is going home, boo-hoo-hoo. At Apartment 35D, which must be the measurements for Santino's ego, Santino is gleefully going, "Auf wiedersehen, Zulema and Kara!" before pressing his hands onto Andraé's shoulders and singing right into that man's ears, "Fashion! Lighten up, it's just fashion!" He keeps jumping and completely ignores Andraé's less than amused expression. Santino even sings about a cob up Andraé's ass and makes some unpleasant hand gesture about pulling that cob out. Gross. But that's Santino for you - even his idea of non-vicious humor can end up intruding on another person's personal space. What's that I hear? Some people telling me that Santino is talented so he can do whatever he wants? Well, if that's the case, I hereby announce myself talented as well and therefore I can slam Santino whichever way I want, so there!
At the Sweatshop, Tim gives everyone an hour to get the models all dolled up and ready. The models will walk in the moment Tim walks out. As the Fashionistas and their models get busy, Zulema tells the camera that she and Kara have to decide what they have to do and what they can get away with not doing when it comes to their dress. I have to hand it to her: Zulema is annoying when she's being a bitch for no good reason but she seems to understand this situation and knows what has to be done to get things done, if I am making any sense here. Marla is relieved because, as she tells the camera, the dress she and Diana made seem "complete" and she is therefore confident that they are safe. Hold it right there, Marla, and do take note of the "dead woman walking" sign posted on your bum by Tim when you are not watching him too closely. Zulema likes the final design while Chloe Dao hopes that the model Grace will know how to turn the jacket she is wearing inside out. The jacket, you see, is irreversible - turn it inside out and you'll get a differently-textured jacket, that sort of thing.
Tim walks in when the hour is up and announces that everyone is going for a field trip. Andraé immediately squeals, "Oh no!" while Nick tells the camera that he is so sure that they are all heading over to some "fabulous Park Avenue apartment". Do these two drama queens listen to themselves? Why is Andraé so dramatically pole-axed with terror when they don't know where they are going yet? And why does Nick think that they are all going to cram themselves into a Park Avenue apartment? These two are like the clowns that wake up one morning, look at the calendar, and then spend ten minutes jumping and screaming in terror in their bedroom until the neighbors call the cops, and then tell the befuddled cops, "OH, BUT TODAY IS TUESDAY! OH NO! NOT TUESDAY! ANY DAY BUT TUESDAY! AND THEY CLOSED DOWN MY SHOP! TUESDAY, AAAAH!"
It turns out that Tim takes them to a Banana Republic store where they meet Alessandra Brunialti (rumored real name: Allison Boner), the "head of women's design" which I suspect is an euphemistic title for Deborah's coffee-maker. She tells them that marketing is an important skill a fashion designer should have, so the second part of their task requires each team to set up a window display featuring their design. Their model will be the living mannequin in that display. Meanwhile, Andraé has his mouth open and he's making all these weird baby sounds while he's listening to Alessandra. Is an epileptic seizure coming over him or what? Oh, and Alessandra explains that the "customers of Banana Republic" - which turns out to be any random Joe or Jane on the street passing by the store, which may or may not be saying something about the "typical" Banana Republic customer, snigger - will vote on which window display and design is the best. The winner will be judged this way while the other designs will be judged on the Runway.
Once the Fashionistas are properly briefed by Alessandra, Tim takes them to Mood where the Fashionistas are given $200 and thirty minutes to do their Supermarket Sweep dash. Everyone start trying to figure out what to buy and buying these things as fast as possible. Santino just has to come up with the best idea ever: Tarah, the model, will play the art gallery director while he and Nick will play the painters being directed by Tarah. Yes, three people will be crammed inside in the window display space while moving around. I can see that turning out very well indeed. Marla tells Diana that she doesn't want their window display to look stupid. That's fair enough, but how about telling Diana how the window display should be then? Once the purchases are made, it's down to setting up the window display. Kara tells the camera that she feels like she's given a second lease of life and she's determined to create the best window display ever to give their design a fighting chance. She and Zulema decide to paint the same circular patterns that are on the dress on the backdrop of the window display. Emmett decides to draw a sketch of their model Grace at each end of the backdrop, wearing different versions of their design as work wear and eveningwear. Tim looks at Emmett and tells them through the window, "It's more fabulous than I can say!" The jury is still out on whether he's talking about the display or Emmett's butt as the man bends over to sketch. Instead of their model, Dan and Andraé decide to sketch clocks instead at their backdrop, one showing 9:00 am and one 9:00 pm. Rebecca will walk to each side while making the modifications on her dress to drive home the contrast between the work wear version and the evening wear version.
Tim once again frowns on what Diana and Marla are doing and for once I understand how he is feeling. Apparently Diana decides to create some office look for their display and somehow she and Marla will achieve this effect by crumpling up paper and throwing balls of crumpled paper all over the place. Marla tells the camera that she thinks the window display look stupid. Gee, thanks for stating the obvious. She does remember that she's in a team, right? She's not helping Diana at all by being the frowning skeptic. Oh, and Santino and Nick realize that the window display is a narrow space indeed and will certainly not accommodate their collective egos, Tarah, and the other many things that they plan to put in their window display. So instead they decide to paint "Banana Republic Art Gallery" on the glass pane in the same manner that you will see in horror movies when the victim of a hungry zombie tries to write "Save me!" with her blood on some window. Nick is having difficulty painting letters backwards and spelling "Republic" at the same time. Tim ruins the possibility of seeing Nick paint "Bananana Reepubic Atr Galleey" on the window by telling Nick the correct spelling of that word.
And now, the displays are ready and the "Banana Republic customers" - curious passer-bys in other words - look at them while the temporary staff try to persuade them to fill up the accompanying ballots. It isn't made clear whether one is expected to vote for all five window displays or one can vote for any window display but I don't think the show expects me to care. I should, I suppose, be dreaming instead of turning Dan straight and having his babies while hating Santino so, so much before asking Nick to be the gay god-uncle to that beautiful baby I'm having with Dan. The models really work hard at selling the clothes they are wearing although some, like Lesley Anne and Tarah, don't really have much to work on given that the backdrop of their window display is far from interesting or even attractive. Still, it's great to see Rebecca, Eden, and Grace channeling playful attitude and it will be great if they can keep up this energy for the Runway show. Kara thinks that Eden is doing a fabulous job but Santino is somewhat amused and puzzled over the fact that nobody seems to be casting any ballot into their box. The tone he uses while he's saying this hints to me, for the first time, that he is acutely aware of how hard he is trying to come off as a villain on TV. Oh well, I don't want to waste too much time and energy on him anyway so let's move on. At the end of the day, Tim collects the boxes of ballots that are placed before each window display and tries to pull a Probby by saying that their fate lies in those boxes. Zulema and Kara happily share a toast, only they are drinking water instead of champagne, but for now, with the threat of the storm apparently over, they can pretend that they like each other. For now.
And now, the Runway time. Heidi welcomes the Fashionistas and introduces again Deborah who will be joining Nina and the Mighty Ogre as the judges in this particular Runway. After Heidi has babbled the things she is paid to babble forth, the show begins.
Rebecca struts out wearing the creation of Dan and Andraé. It's underwhelmingly unexciting like everything else Dan has created - it's a simple dress and the "modification" here is one taking off the jacket to reveal the dress underneath. How exciting! Rebecca however sells the dress very well, pausing to let down her hair in a striking gesture that is forceful and playful at the same time before taking off the jacket. She sells the dress like it's pure gold when it's actually more like fool's gold. Eden steps out wearing a long white dress with striking black circular whorl pattern, which is pretty, and a creamy-colored jacket that is hideous and obviously Zulema's handiwork. Zulema happily calls the dress an achievement of a lifetime, if only because the two women don't end up killing each other I suppose, while Kara thinks that their design is "clean" and will meet very well what Banana Republic wants.
The design of Marla and Diana is next, and my first thought upon seeing Lesley Annewearing that cute large-collared blazer and a dark-greyish skirt is that Grace looks like a hausfrau femmebot from an Austin Powers movie. The entire outfit is so severe that Lesley Anne comes off as distinctly schoolmarmish instead of sexy. If this is the result of Diana removing her so-called gimmicks on the account of Tim's advice, I can only cringe for poor Diana. As for Marla, hmmph, whatever. Grace steps out with the design of Chloe and Emmett. The design comprises of a halter-shaped top - Chloe's handiwork, I can easily see - and a black jacket which Grace turns inside out to become a jacket with a more silvery sheen. I really like that jacket although I'm not too sure about the dress underneath, which I find dull. I am pleasantly surprised to find myself really liking the Japanese kimono-influenced design of Santino and Emmett, although it's obviously too far-out for Banana Republic. I like the way the sashes hang freely around Tarah's body (Nick's handiwork, obviously) without hiding Tarah's feminity like a typical Santino design will. Thank you, Nick! Santino babbles something about how Banana Republic should follow Santino's vision if they know what is good for them. How amusingly egomaniacal of him.
When the show is over, Heidi "surprises" the Fashionistas by telling them that all teams will remain on the Runway. The judges pretend not to know the results of the public poll beforehand so they lavish Dan and Andraé with praises about how feminine, cute, versatile, beautiful, and other words normally not associated with "painfully generic". Deborah points out that the dress by Zulema and Kara seem badly-tailored and Zulema agrees that there were some hasty "last-minuteness" to their design. Is Deborah honestly surprised that the dresses may be badly sewn given that the Fashionistas had only a few hours to design and sew those stupid outfits to amuse the Banana Republic people? I hope she's not as stupid as she seems to come off as on this show. The Mighty Ogre likes the dress but he isn't sure about the "'80s-like power-bitch, Mugler jacket". Deborah is confused by the design of Marla and Diana while the Mighty Ogre compares the dress to that of an air-stewardess. He says that he is expecting Lesley Anne to serve him coffee. The camera cuts to Santino's sneering look of delight although this scene could easily be taken out of context and added in this particular moment just to amp up the whole "Santino is evil, so you must all keep watching and talk about this show some more next week!" nonsense it is shoving down my throat. The Mighty Ogre thinks that the Chloe-Emmett dress looks expensive but Chloe quickly says that that is the point of the dress - it looks expensive but it's an alternative to Bergdorf Goodman that those dirt-poor Banana Republic fans can afford. Deborah nods approvingly. Is she saying that Banana Republic is nothing more than some knock-off shop for people who cannot afford anything better?
The judges are confused by the design and window display of Santino and Nick, although at this moment Banana Republic suddenly decide to incorporate kimono-style outfits in their current catalogue. Hmm. I don't like Santino much, if you can't tell by now, but I don't blame him when he starts railing in his website that Banana Republic has copied his ideas. You don't put a man in the bottom two and then go ahead and do something that you slated him for doing, after all. That's tacky. Oh wait, it's Banana Republic I am talking about here. Santino says that Tarah is supposed to be some art gallery director. The Mighty Ogre cuts in to say, ""I know the most powerful women in the art world. They're my customers. They would not walk into their galleries dressed like that." Santino shoots back that the Mighty Ogre caters to older women who aren't necessarily Banana Republic customers. Many women know Banana Republic but not necessarily the Mighty Ogre, he says to that man. The Mighty Ogre can only put on a queenly expression of affront. Deborah says that the design is not for Banana Republic and Nina says that the design is overdone and needs to be edited down. When asked, Nick says that he has tried to restrain Santino from using his typical gee-gaw overload and here Santino looks like he wants to growl, "Et tu, Nick?"
The judges banish the ten Fashionistas temporarily to pretend that their minds still haven't been made up. They all love the creation of Dan and Andraé unconditionally although of course they don't know which team has received the highest votes from that crowd of people that happened to hang around that Banana Republic store that afternoon. Deborah thinks that the Chloe-Emmett design is too "esoteric" for Banana Republic. Which explains why the whole geisha outfit thing is all the rage according to the latest Banana Republic catalogue, of course. Heidi likes the Zulema-Kara design but Deborah and the Mighty Ogre say that it looks like the work of two different people and therefore it's not a cohesive team effort. And here I'm thinking that they just don't like the ugly jacket. As for the Diana-Marla design, the judges find it dull. Deborah calls it "a secretary cliché without the quirks". I sincerely hope that someone reminds her that she designs for freaking Banana Republic before she forgets herself and thinks that she's some visionary fashion designer. The Mighty Ogre calls the dress not "woman-friendly" because it makes the wearer look flat-chested. Oh, poor Lesley Anne - her 36Ds are hidden by that naughty dress! Diana Eng and Marla have set back feminism by at least six hundred years! Diana is seen crying backstage while Chloe tries to comfort her, maybe by reminding Diana that at least Diana is a decent person or something. That will teach that silly young lady for daring to talk about all those unfashionable science stuff and other frivolous nonsense that have no place in the avant garde world of fashion! As for Nick and Santino, the judges try to drum up suspense by suggesting that they may just eliminate those two. Yeah, and I'm born yesterday.
Heidi wants everyone to know that the judges really don't know who are the winning and losing teams so she offers to tell them. The show cuts off the names of those teams although Tim later reveals on the official website that Santino and Nick beat Diana and Marla by one vote. Yeah, yeah, that is pretty convincing why they keep Santino on the show again. It's easy to spin the numbers once everything is set in motion, after all. Dang, I'm cynical.
Heidi calls the Fashionistas back on stage where, as it happens, Dan and Andraé who are standing right in the middle are declared the winners, the two teams at each end (Santino and Nick, Diana and Marla) are the bottom two, and the two teams sandwiched between are safe. Dan and Andre are rewarded for adhering to the brand of genericity that this show seems to adore and now it's down to Santino and Nick versus Diana and Marla. And if you ever believe that the show will get rid of Nick and Santino at this point, I don't know what to say to you. Diana and Marla are given the cut and receive hugs and awws from Chloe and Emmett backstage before Tim sends those two up to the Sweatshop to clear their things and get out of the show. Marla talks about learning to challenge herself more in her designs in the future while Diana is hopeful about what the post-show future will bring into her life. Goodbye, Diana! I'll miss her, although I can't say that her elimination is in any way wrong. That dress is pretty boring and it gives the judges plenty of ammunition to cut her and Marla out of the show. Marla's time is up on the show about, oh, two episodes ago and I feel that she's better off gone from the show before she comes off as even worse.
But with Diana gone and with only a few non-drama queens left (Emmett, Dan, and Chloe), I shudder to imagine how I will sit through the drama of future episodes without the aid of sedatives!
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