Recap: ‘Project Runway’ – ‘Fashion Face Off’

02.09.12 6 years ago 10 Comments

Lifetime Television

Anthony has been auf’ed, so I suspect the workroom is going to be a little less fun this week. I guess it could be argued that another goofy challenge could be good for some laughs, but mostly those are just worthy of an eye roll (pick a muse! And make them strip in Central Park!). But even if the runway lacks for fun, I do foresee tension, backbiting and cattiness. How fashion-forward! 

Angela addresses the designers with a bunch of bags. Yes, this is about the most useful Angela will ever be — as a decorative coathook. Each designer picks a bag, and inside they find a season printed on a luggage tag. Their challenge? To create a sportswear look for a weekend getaway. But wait, it’s four seasons and eight designers. It’s a fashion face-off!

The battles are: 

Austin vs. Kara for Spring

Kenley vs. Mondo for Summer

Mila vs. Rami for Autumn

Michael vs. Jerell for Winter

The designers get a budget of two hundred dollars and one day. But good news — they don’t have to use the bag they picked. Still, I think Mondo was a little disappointed. He clearly had big plans for his orange handbag. 

Mila is making a skinny jean with a cape. Rami is not threatened by Mila, and I can’t blame him. Let me guess — there will be color blocking! Why oh why don’t the judges seem as annoyed by this as I am? Mondo isn’t feeling confident, but he thinks Kenley is designing the same thing over and over. I will say, though, that Kenley is confident and Mondo seems to be a wreck. Really, he hasn’t been the same guy this season, and I’m becoming worried about him. I do wonder if he’s not feeling well and the grind of this show is just too much for him. Not that I don’t want him to win, but I don’t want this to land him in the hospital, either. 

Still, it is a battle this week, and everyone is trying their best (more or less). To quote Mondo, “This is like Wreslemania! Or Fashionmania.”

But maybe more than a little Wrestlemania, because punches might be thrown. Jerell looks up and realizes Michael is making the EXACT same silhouette. Jerell asks him where he got the idea, and Michael jokes that he got it from HIM. This is not a joke I would make, because honestly, it certainly looks that way. Michael was futzing around and complaining that he didn’t know what to do, then suddenly Jerell asks Kenley to put on his coat so he can check the sleeve length — and voila, Michael is jamming out a coat that looks just like it. Yet again, I am underwhelmed by the increasingly annoying Michael. What happened to the Michael who, when he realized he was creating something too similar to April’s look, made a point of changing direction? 

It’s Joanna time, which is yet again the most useless part of the show. Joanna nods a great deal and asks the designers how they feel about their looks, which is not the same as, oh, giving advice. Joanna would make a great therapist, but I suspect she might suck as an editor. Joanna tells Kara that her high-waisted pants are very fashion forward. Yes, but are they any good? Joanna likes Austin’s colors. 

Joanna moves on to the next season. Mondo tells her he’s designing an outfit for a girl (representing him) going to his mother’s birthday party. But isn’t Kenley working with polka dots, too? Mondo declares that Kenley may be the polka dot queen, but he is the polka dot princess! Finally, a little spunk from Mondo!

Mila’s pants are Mila pants, Joanna obviously points out. Rami’s look looks like what Joanna is wearing, so she declares it very on trend. Does Joanna even have opinions, or is she just here to report that she’s been to fashion shows and looked at what’s happening next? I hope that next season, Joanna is replaced by a very fashionable monkey. 

Finally, Joanna stumbles upon Jerell and Michael’s repeating patterns, and she quickly senses that things are frosty for our Winter duo. Joanna calls a team meeting which resolves nothing, but gives everyone a chance to point out that it certainly seems like Michael ripped off Jerell. Though nothing changes and no action is taken, Michael is MAD. Mondo invites him to eat dinner with him, and Michael whines. He feels singled out! The haters are jealous! He just magically came up with this design that looks JUST like Jerell’s and why doesn’t anyone understand? Jerell comes in to eat, which is awkward with a capital A (and, as Mondo points out, just like his family dinners at home). Jerell says he doesn’t want tension with Michael — but then he keeps talking. Clearly, he wants an admission of guilt, and since Michael has repeated his “it just came to me and I was focused on my own little workstation” story so many times he’s starting to believe it, Jerell doesn’t get it. Eventually Michael stomps off, as he’s not going to convince anyone he isn’t a copycat — except maybe Mondo, who is so tired and drawn I’m not sure he’s been paying that much attention.  

Jerell has early predictions! He picks Rami over Mila, he likes Kara over Austin (I think, although that isn’t really clear), chooses Mondo over Kenley and, of course, we can assume himself over Michael. 

Runway time! Our judges are Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi and designer Cynthia Rowley, who likes fun, colorful things and hopefully will have some worthwhile insights.  

Austin – Spring

One word: dorky. That cardigan is wretched. The pants might work with something else, but not with the grandma top.  

Kara – Spring

Another word: schlubby. However, it looks comfortable, easy to pack and very weekend friendly. Realistically, this is something someone would wear on the weekend. But they might wear it to go grocery shopping. 

Kenley – Summer

You know, it’s cute. I wouldn’t wear it, and it’s a whole lotta dots, but it’s cute. 

Mondo – Summer

Was Mondo trying to be Kenley and then lost his nerve? The hair is very 50s, but the rest of it I don’t get. I don’t dig the top at all. Is that a dalmatian print?  

Rami – Autumn

Love the pants and the jacket. I’m not sure he needed to add the chartreuse, though. 

Mila – Autumn

Her cape looks like it’s made of cardboard. And man, this is booooooooring. 

Jerell – Winter

I like the herringbone, I like how easily it drapes, I like the layers. 

Michael – Winter

This isn’t bad, either. I like the belt, actually. Of course, hard to choose which is the better look, because they’re almost exactly the same. 

Spring and Summer are first up. Cynthia thinks Austin’s outfit is almost so dorky it’s cool. Oh, so not cool, Cynthia. Unless you’re dating Pee-wee Herman, not cool at all. Isaac thinks the pants are tailored beautifully but thinks she looks boring. Angela thinks she looks small town going to church. And if you wore that in a small town? People would make fun of you. 

Angela likes Kara’s pants. Cynthia doesn’t think it looks original at all. Isaac doesn’t feel it. Georgina wouldn’t mind wearing it, and neither would Angela. This is definitely more relaxed, and doesn’t involve wearing high heels with high waters.  

The high score goes to Kara by a nose.  

Next, Summer. Cynthia loves Kenley’s look and thinks it’s very simple and chic. Isaac likes that it’s just one piece. Cynthia wishes she’d lined up her polka dots. Good point — it looks very department store given that she didn’t do that, and there was no reason not to. Angela would love to wear it.

Cynthia thinks there are too many directions in Mondo’s look. Isaac thinks it looks a little junior, which is true, I have to admit. Isaac thinks the top is very “Desperately Seeking Susan.” Mondo’s eyes are welling up and he’s about to cry. I’m not kidding — I think he’s worn out and I’m really starting to feel like this show is not good for his health. 

Kenley gets the high score. Mondo manages to make it just off stage before bursting into tears. He’s upset, he claims, because the outfit was a tribute to his mother. I think he’s really just upset with himself, because he knows he can do better work — if, you know, he’s getting enough sleep and isn’t wearing himself down to a nub. I know it’s not fair or realistic, but I wish someone could have called off production for a week so Mondo could get his mojo back. Kenley tries to make him feel better by mentioning the fact the judges didn’t want to have lunch with Austin’s girl, which she seems to think is hysterically funny but, oddly enough, does not make Austin smile at all. 

Georgina loves the back of Rami’s outfit. Isaac wishes he’d get rid of the green in the blouse and the neckline. Cynthia doesn’t like the diagonal line on the top. Oh, well, we hadn’t really seen that on the runway. Bad top, bad. 

Georgina likes the pop of red in Mila’s outfit. Angela likes a cape! Cynthia likes the geometry of it. It’s made of cardboard, people! It’s dull! It looks like a cheap Ralph Lauren knockoff! 

Mila gets the high score? For THAT? 

Georgina asks how Michael and Jerell got the same look — oh, this should be fun.  Amazingly, Jerell doesn’t throw Michael under the bus, which he had actually claimed he was going to do. I think this is probably a wise move on his part, as he should just let his design stand on its own — there’s no point in winning if it’s only because you called out the rip-off artist next to you. Georgina likes how Jerell brought his boho aspect to his outfit. Isaac doesn’t like the buttons. Cynthia loves the hat and hair and thinks it looks very Jerell. I’m sure the fact that Jerell’s look is clearly his own and Michael’s is… well, clearly Jerell’s makes it pretty clear who designed what first.  

On to Michael. Isaac loves the belt, but thinks the leggings with those shoes are nasty. Wow, that’s strong. Otherwise, he thinks it’s a great look. Cynthia thinks she’s older, like the mother to Jerell’s model. I’m not sure this is a good thing. 

The high score goes to… Jerell. 

All of the designers are sent backstage and the judges talk about the winners. The judges liked Kenley’s confidence, but think she’s doing the same thing over and over — basically, Mondo’s main complaint with her. Angela is bored by Mila’s look, and Isaac thought the fabric looked cheap. Exactly! So why did you give it a win over Rami’s? Georgina thinks Mila’s jeans were too apologetic. Angela loved Jerell’s look, but Isaac still hates those buttons. Isaac, no one is designing something for you to wear. Georgina declares Kara’s look perfectly okay. Angela thinks she snuck her way into the high score.

Time for the judges to mull over the low scores.  Isaac loves Austin’s pants. Best of the day! Still, the rest of it was awful. No argument from me. Cynthia didn’t like Mondo’s outfit at all. Georgina declares that it’s a good look, but it’s just not as brilliant as last week’s. Georgina is clearly a Mondo fan, I think. Angela thinks Rami’s colors make her ill. Come on, Angela — the green was bad, but the rest was not vomit-inducing. Isaac thought Rami’s was a draping project. Cynthia hates Michael’s leggings and points out he seemed insecure next to Jerell, which doesn’t have much to do with the clothing but I think it’s her way of saying she agrees with most of the designers — Michael ripped off Jerell. Georgina has no idea what a collection from Michael would look like, which is absolutely true. 

Decisions have been made, so the designers are called back.

Mila and Kara are… safe. Jerell… is the winner! I’m glad, if only that he’s being rewarded for not driving Michael’s head into a wall. He’s happy to have pulled off a win even with the doppelganger on the runway. That’s a nice way of putting it, as he says doppelganger and I think rip-off artist. Kenley is also safe.

Michael and Mondo are… safe. Rami is… out. Wow. Mila’s crappy cardboard cape not only beats Rami, but he gets sent home? I didn’t love every aspect of his design, but I liked a lot of it — and definitely, definitely liked it better than Mila’s look. I’m also shocked Austin didn’t get the boot. Isaac may have loved those pants (which seems like an overstatement, really), but that cardigan? Ewww.

Rami thinks the show was a great platform and he’s grateful for it, and he doesn’t cry or have a fit. This season everyone who gets sent home seems to take their exit with considerable grace. Of course, I won’t be expecting that from Michael.

Next week, Broadway!

Do you think Rami should have gotten the boot? What do you think of Joanna? And do you think Michael ripped off Jerell? 

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