Reality TV Recap: Project Runway: Top 10: Fashion icons bring out the misogynist in people, apparently

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Sorry to inject a serious note in a frivolous little reality TV recap, but I calls 'em like I sees 'em, and last night misogyny reared its ugly head. In two different, and very typical ways.

But let me step back and start from the beginning.

Last week Keith got booted from Project Runway for being a bad, bad boy. And then Bonnie got the boot for being a boring, boring designer. So we are left with the Top 10. This week they decided to do a classic reality TV switch-eroo and let the models be in control. (Somewhat similar to Season 1 when the models were the "clients" and had wedding dresses designed for them.)

Models chose which designer they wanted to work with, and then the models were taken off by Tim Gunn to choose which "fashion icon" each designer would be creating an updated look for. The designers felt, um, how can I say it...ambiguous about this lack of control. Still, I think most of them would agree that the models did a fine job of choosing an appropriate icon. it broke down like this:

-Sweet young Alison ended up with Farrah Fawcett...and had to be schooled on Farrah Fawcett by her equally sweet young model.
-Angela (Rosette Woman) landed Audrey Hepburn.
-Michael's model grabbed him Pam Grier, to which I'm sure he said "Da-yaaaam"
-Robert got Jackie O.
-Bradley got Cher. And was unfamiliar with her. I mean, it's not like she's dead, dude.
-Jefrey got Madonna.
-Kayne got Marilyn Monroe.
-Uli got Diana Ross.
-Vincent got Twiggy.
-Laura got Katharine Hepburn...which is really really perfect.

The drama begins...

Angela (who is quite unloved amongst the designers) apparently screws up machines wherever she goes. Jefrey is pissed (on other people's behalf...what a guy!) In typical Jefrey fashion he's arrogant and superior about it. Laura has decided she's had enough of his superior attitude and asks him why, if he's soooo much better than everyone else in the world, does he even need a show like Project Runway? Oh! Snap!

In return for not taking Jefrey's shit Laura is called the obligatory "f*cking bitch", and the old-fashioned, but still oh, so coded "frigid." That's right Jefrey...Laura isn't cowed by you and your strangely thick and tattooed neck, and neither does she seem attracted to she must be not only a bitch, but a frigid bitch.

Does anyone react to these statements from Jefrey? No, they do not. No one is shown to raise an eyebrow.

Moreover, Bravo's in-show text-voting opportunity for the episode is about who people think is in the right...Jefrey, Laura or Angela. And apparently Jefrey wins it. Delightful. The guy who resorts to calling a woman a f*cking, frigid bitch is in the right.

Later Kayne is driven to distraction by his chatty model. Kayne, who isn't exactly the strong, silent type himself, may be justified in wishing she would shut up...but the ensuing mockery of the model once she leaves the room is all about making her out to be another dizzy airhead. If nothing else, it's not very nice. At the worst, Project Runway engages in some massive hypocrisy. This is partly Heidi Klum's baby, and she is often positioned by the network as proof that beauty and brains go together. Too bad they stop with her and love to find a "crazy" model each season to belie that positioning.

So, mid-way through the show I was not feeling the love. In fact I was feeling pretty annoyed. But like any dizzy woman, oodles of cool fashion just wiped my mind clear of all such consternation:

1. Alison updated a look for Farrah Fawcett

This party dress was pretty dull, right down to keeping the exact 70's feathered 'do that Farrah sported. It certainly looked well-executed, but creative? Not so much. I believe I could find something off the rack that looked about like it.

2. Bradley updated a look for Cher

Yeah...spacey Bradley created a spacey suit for Cher. There was some tinfoil lame top of indeterminate shape and some low-rise pants with fringey stuff on the front of the legs. It was ugly. The only Cher-like thing about it was that she was always just on this side of over-the-top-tacky, and Bradley designed an outfit on that side of it!

3. Angela updated a look for Audrey Hepburn

OK, I am definitely not a fan of the rosettes, but I must admit Angela did a terrific job on an updated little black dress. Her use of texture and fabric was excellent. The lines were clean enough, despite the existence of rosettes. I'm not sure that I, like Heidi, would want "one in every color", but I concede that Angela does have talent. Last week I thought Michael and Laura saved her design. This week she did it on her own.

4. Kayne updated a look for Marilyn Monroe

Wow. Kayne's gown was truly gorgeous, with many small design details that made it stand-out. As a vegetarian I am not a fan of either the leather, nor the fur stole (whether faux or no) but he definitely delivered on this challenge. It was modern, but retained a feeling of old-school glamour. Not only that, but the fit was superb. The back fit his model's butt just perfectly. Enough to be hot and sexy, but not so tight it was trampy. Good thing the S.O. wasn't watching with me, because I admit I was totally ogling that woman's ass!

5. Laura updated a look for Katharine Hepburn

This outfit, consisting of high-waisted slacks and a wrap top, was well-made, well-fitted, very apropos, but similar to Alison's it had no individualism or point of view. This outfit also looked like you could buy it off the rack.

6. Vincent updated a look for Twiggy

Or, at least, that's what he was supposed to do. What he really did was update a look for Raggedy Ann. It was actually a disturbing outfit. Like an outfit some psychotic kid would wear in a horror movie that doubled as pedophile porn. Her weird Clockwork Orange eyelashes really didn't help. This design would give me nightmares if I stared at it too long.

7. MIchael updated a look for Pam Grier

OK, I get that this was a fabulous color, and that it was sexy, and that the hot pants were really well-executed, in fact the whole thing fit like a dream. I'm not sure it had quite the level of creativity of Kayne's gown, nor the level of difficulty. I'm just sayin'

8. Robert updated a look for Jackie O.

Oh Robert, what has happened to you? Why are you making these shapeless jackets? The outfit came out looking better on the runway than you would have thought when watching it come together. There were some nice little details, and the top underneath the jacket was cute. But plain taupe linen? Linen...famous for its wrinkles? On meticulous Jackie O? I don't think so. Big sunglasses don't a Jackie O make Robert!

9. Uli updated a look for Diana Ross

Wow, someone using both color and print! Uli seems to be the only one really comfortable with prints. This hot, purple, long, flowing gown was pretty great...but I had a slight problem with the fit on top. One quick move, and there would have been model boobage all over the runway. It might not have been Jennifer Lopez in Versace level, but it could have gone there.

10. Jefrey update a look for Madonna

Arrrrrr and ahoy matey, I had no idea it was Pirate Day on Project Runway! Sorry, but that's all I could think. Jefrey's ego, thus far, has been waaaay bigger than his talent. Who's with me on that?

So, that was the show. My personal fave? Kayne's Marilyn gown.

My personal boot-worthy outfit: Vincent's scary Malcolm McDowell meets Raggedy Ann look. Sure, Bradley's look was limp and lame. Vincent's was really really hideous.

What really happened?

Their Top 3 were: Angela, Kayne and Michael, with which I pretty much had to agree. It got down to between Michael and Kayne, and Michael took it. I should have known the minute they showed him 20 minutes in talking about prayer on the phone with his mother, for God's sake!

Their Bottom 3 were: Robert, Vincent and Bradlet, frankly Jefrey could have replaced Robert in my book, but this Bottom 3 was understandable. Vincent was deemed safe first (boo!) and Robert dodged another bullet. Bradley is Auf'ed!!

And there you have it.


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