PR: Nutbush City Limits!

Posted on July 29, 2011

Oh my god, are you guys talking foreign? Was this episode very testicular for some reason? Lifetime hasn’t seen that much discussion about the male scrotum in… well, ever.
It’s baaaaack.

That was a pretty fun way to open the episode, yes?

So many things threw us for a loop. Tim deliberating with the judges; the designers in front of the judges with racks of clothes; Heidi drunk. But once we got past it, we were pleased with how good a job it does of introducing you to the designers and giving you a short rundown of their aesthetic and personality.

This was the one elimination that surprised us. We thought his portfolio looked pretty decent, if not exactly innovative. We suspect the judges and producers looked both at him and his work and decided he was too boring.

Blossom here was anything but boring, we’ll give her that.  Tacky and AMAZINGLY irritating, but not boring. Thank you for not picking her, judges. She would have made for great blog fodder, but we’re not sure our eardrums could’ve handled the assault.

Aw, we had so many nicknames lined up for him. But MAN, were those some tacky dresses or WHAT?

As soon as she said she postponed her wedding we knew she was out. Her clothes weren’t horrible, but they weren’t very interesting either. We really hope they didn’t sequester her in a hotel for the month of shooting, all the while waiting to tell her fiance it was all for nothing. That would be cruel.

TENSION! In the first 15 minutes of the season opener! It was a cool trick and while it may seem cruel to cut 4 people before the competition even got under way, them’s the breaks of reality television competitions. It takes a lot for us to shed a tear for people who signed up for this. We’re bitches, remember.

But here’s what interests us about this opening: Every designer got critical feedback from Heidi, Nina, and Michael. How much do you want to bet those criticisms are going to be used to form a narrative about each designer? How often do you think they’re going to flash back to this scene during the season? “Remember when we told so-and-so that her execution needed work/his designs were boring/he needed to step it up in the styling? He listened/didn’t listen to us!” Count on it. In fact, the finalists are going to have whatever was said about them in the beginning brought up at the end.

But enough of that! It’s 5 am and someone has pattern books stashed under their bed it’s time for a challenge!

How much you want to bet Blenley here was FURIOUS that she appeared on camera without makeup?

It made for some great visuals, though. Sure, you could argue that letting them use their sheets was a bonus, but considering how little some of them were wearing, they had to do it.

Heidi should wear a gown to every runway presentation. C’mon girl. It’s time to add a little camp glamour to the proceedings after 8 seasons. Besides, you can’t still be getting a charge out of wearing a gyno skirt and flashing your hoo-ha to a bunch of gay men, can you?

See? No hoo-ha in their line of sight.

She was sweet and tried her best to hold her own against the Three Sitting Bitches.

Let’s run down the winner and the loser. We’ll have days to get through the rest of them. It’s always a shock in the beginning how long the runway show is, isn’t it?

Auf Wiedersehen to Rafael. We were hoping to spend a little more time with you this season because you are a big girl’s blouse and we just love that. The judges hung the taste issue sign around his neck during the portfolio presentation, so you just knew it was going to come up again. We just weren’t expecting it to come up so soon.

But we think the judges made the right choice. He had all this to work with…

And this is what he came up with.

Yikes.

It’s kind of hard to believe that she had her hair and makeup done by professionals. From the neck up, she’s somewhere at the halfway point between chola and chav.

Believe it or not – and Christina Ricci agrees with us, so there – we thought the top had some potential. It was HORRIBLY EXECUTED, though. We’d critique the fit on this thing but there IS no fit on this thing. Forget not having your model’s measurements; this thing is so badly fitted we question whether he realized his model was human.

But when she turns around, it gets a little more interesting.

The scallops are a great detail. It looks like he put a lot of work into them, which is a shame, because he stuck them on the back. PR judges will forgive a lot if the first impression from the front is good. Blowing your wad on the “walking away” aspects of the look is a mistake.

Although really, the fact that this was such a heinous mess couldn’t save him, no matter where he placed his best design element.

We were screaming at Rafael to learn his Project Runway history, because as anyone with their PhD in Runwayology knows, YOU DON’T HOLD ON TO THE SCARF.

You also don’t decide to use it and then turn it into something pretty stupid looking, but that’s a separate issue.

Paz de la Huerta, you just found your very own couturier. We can put you in touch if you get the urge for some camel toe on the red carpet.

So long, Rafael. We’ll miss your hair.

CONGRATULATIONS, BERT! Who is NOT on Team Bert after this episode? The judges said pretty much what we did: that the pieces in his portfolio were nice, if not exactly exciting.

Nothing against Bert, who we’re sure is very hygienic and never farts in his sleep, but we were totally skeeved on behalf of his poor model. Forced to wear a man’s underwear on her boob. Honey, we hope you get a magazine cover out of it.

Then again, it couldn’t have been that hard to wear it. She looks gorgeous. Actually, let’s walk that back. The dress looks gorgeous.

She looks like she just got here from 1978. Oh Bert, honey. The styling’s gonna be an issue with you, isn’t it?

To us, this look represents just how much of a designer Bert is. Looking at his portfolio,he clearly has a tendency to stick with classic styles, which suggests, along with his biography, that his long time away from fashion design might indicate he’s a bit stuck in the past.

But, like a true designer, he took the judges’ criticisms to heart, used the skills and materials at his disposal, and put together something that directly answered their critiques. You can tell that all the judges were deeply impressed by that, as well they should be.

The judges didn’t, however, have anything to say about his styling skills during the initial presentation (because they had no reason to), therefore, his styling was the one thing that indicated his somewhat old-fashioned tendencies. But how much do you want to bet that next week, he will have directly addressed their styling concerns?

Love all the details on this look, right down to the asymmetrical hem, which we normally don’t love. There’s a really good sense of proportion on display here, because it’s a small dress with a lot of elements to it, but none of them overwhelm the look. Our one and only complaint is that the colors were a bit drab, but he only had limited control over that. We suspect whatever color he was going for in the dying process for the skirt fabric, this taupey grey wasn’t quite it.

But who cares! The Queen Mother won, yall! We are so very pleased that we urged you all to get on the Bert Lovetrain early. When Heidi perks up at the sound of a designer’s name and offers “I like him,” without any prompting, you can bet he’s got some game.

Much, MUCH more Project Runway commentary to come, darlings. Don’t you worry your pretty little heads about that.

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime Television – Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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