Feb 28, 2008

Someone Got Nair?

I'm all for original point of view and creative design, but, like Tim Gunn, my gag reflex worked on overdrive when I viewed Chris's final Project Runway collection close up. I had no idea he'd used so MUCH human hair. It must have taken 30 Asian women who hadn't seen scissors for over 20 years to supply Chris with his black goth fringe material. Let's hope none of them had dandruff.

While his final collection left something to be desired, I adore Chris the man more than ever. I thought no one could lose more graciously than Sweet P, but Chris managed to do it. His manners are impeccable and his talent with office supplies is stupendous. Chris, you have a future in recycling products.

This time I agree with the judges - despite that seriously ugly coat and those hip bumps sewn into his evening gown, Rami should have won. (Did anyone else get the idea that he is Nina's darling?) At the very least his collection didn't remind me of shrunken heads and voodoo dolls, although why Rami thought women would want to look like Joan of Arc encased in armadillo armor is beyond me. Was it just me or did anyone else think that Rami's beautiful mother resembled Jillian? Just a thought.

And didn't you just adore Christian's little closet, where he sleeps, snips, sips, and creates his fierce collection with such neatness and precision? It looked like he lived inside the cabin of a 44 foot long sailboat! And yet he managed to pull together some spectacular pieces.

As for Jillian - hot collection, hot boyfriend. Where did you get HIM, dahling? Are there any more like him lying around?

Once again Tim Gunn's assessment of everyone's collection was SPOT ON. Monkey House, indeed. The designer who listened most closely to him and made the adjustments will win the competition, mark my words.

At the end of the Finale Part One, Chris was given the Heidi Heave Ho. I shall miss him. But it least he DID get to show his Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Goth collection at Bryant Park.

Feb 24, 2008

The Oscars, 2008 Rendition

Here's an hilarious send off of No Country For Old Men from Conan O'Brian. The movie was the huge oscar winner this evening - Best Movie, Best Directors, Best Actors. Yowsa! Dontcha just love Ethan and Joel Cohen's body of work?

And didn't our Miss Helen Mirren rock in that age appropriate yet sexy dress? You go, 62-year-old fab girlfriend.

Amy Adams was enchanting. I can't get my fill of this charming actress.

Daniel Day Lewis won another Oscar. He looked good (love those earrings, boyfriend, and your speech), but I prefer seeing you in a loin cloth.

Tilda Swinton's movie designer calls her too beautiful for her costumes. Er, am I missing something? Or am I being catty? (Tilda won best supporting actress for Michael Clayton).

Speaking of catty, I still wonder what all the fuss is about George Clooney. Looking sallow and gray haired, slumping in his chair with a morose expression half the evening, sitting with a woman half his age and still uncommitted - I just don't get it.

Feb 23, 2008

Should I Care Who Wins Project Runway 4? Do You?

This image of Chris says it all, doesn't it? If he didn't care enough to push himself to the limits, why should I bother to root for him? Look, I've been a Chris March fan all season long and hoped he would win the competition. If not the competition, then I wanted him to win the most popular vote. Frankly, I now understand why this enormously talented man was booted early by the judges. The devil is in the details, and Chris was happy to do only enough for a "win."

Which explains the problem I am having with this season.

1) These contestants were among the most talented of all the PR seasons, but most seem to already enjoy thriving careers. Ain't now way they're going to put their reputations on the line for some cockamamie show, even for $100,000. That's why this last challenge using the fabulous works of art at the Met was SOOOOO predictable - Rami creating a draped design, Christian going for puffy sleeves and tight black pants, Jillian combining an expertly crafted jacket with a short, short skirt, Chris designing an over the top creation with one hand tied behind his back, and Sweet P, well, Sweet P dithering here and there and coming up with something not quite breathtaking and a little odd.

2) The judges voting for their favorite designers, instead of the best design. C'mon, Robert Cavalli, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and Heidi Klum, fire the creator of the worst designs already. Frankly, you should have made a decision between Chris and Rami. Having them return for a mini showdown is a cop out. My guess, based on three or four dresses in the final collection, is that Rami will win the mini run off.

3) Like last year, the final collections can be seen online. Bad timing, Bravo, for the thrill and excitement of discovery are gone. Just looking at the photos you could guess who created the collections. In my humble opinion, Princess Puffy Sleeves, as Tom and Lorenzo call Christian, designed the most cohesive, breathtaking collection, and I think she'll walk away with the prize. Jillian's brilliant designs ran a close second, and I think the judges will choose either her or Christian. Some of Rami's evening dresses were drop dead gorgeous show stoppers, but he draped his way down the runway, and frankly his collection was not cohesive. As for Chris? He lost steam somewhere along the way and pulled a Santino. I wanted to love his designs, but couldn't work up the enthusiasm for any of his dresses. None struck my fancy, and his use of human hair was just plain gross. Sweet P's runway collection was a revelation, but she's been aufed already. Shades of Season 2's Kara, whose runway collection outshone the winner's.

4) The reunion show was another dud. Why bother airing it unless we learn some delicious tidbits about all the designers that would have us sit up and take notice?

As a review of what we already know and to summarize this season, here's a short visual quiz. Which of the following photos would our designers choose for inspiration? You only get one try, but something tells me you'll guess them all correctly.

Feb 20, 2008

Win Free Prizes!

Want a chance to win a Becoming Jane DVD? Go to the Jane Austen Today blog and enter an icon of Tom Lefroy or Jane Austen, like Kayla did last fall. View contest rules here.

Adore Josh Groban? Lady Jane from A Lady's Diversions is giving away a free CD of Awake. All you need to do is leave a comment. She'll draw names from a hat, and voila! You might be the winner!

Feb 8, 2008

Project Runway: The Wrestling Diva Edition

We just knew it was Chris's turn, didn’t we dahlings? The moment we saw those grunting, gyrating WWE Divas with stomachs as hard as cast iron and perky plastic chest appendages that rival Pamela Anderson’s impressive but artificially inflated two-pack, we could forecast who would win this week.

Chris took on the assignment of dressing his leopard loving Diva in a tight, strapped wrestling outfit with all the honor befitting her, er, inside position. (For wrestling terminology, please consult this helpful glossary). Knowing exactly the moves that were required, he created a sexy caped costume with the speed and skill of a Saville Row tailor.

Oh, how I adore the gloriousness of extreme bad taste and this Project Runway episode had it in spades. Our wonderful Chris instinctively knew what would be required of him, and with an assured forward step he boldly penetrated the challenge of creating an outfit for the wrestling arena.

Whereas our nasolacrimally-challenged Ricky hadn’t a clue what to do with a REAL woman whose profession is to writhe, toss, sweat, and butt chests for a living. And so he created a fashion rearward tangerine-colored bathing suit that could have been sold through a 1970’s SEARS catalog. This PR assignment pinned him to the runway mat and the judges had no choice but to cut him loose. Ho hum. How come we were not surprised, except that it took the judges so long to arrive at this decision?

For Rami and Sweet P it was pure luck that Ricky violated his position, thereby saving their exposed asses. Rami created a raspberry sherbet skirted mess that no self-respecting wrestling Momma who likes to dictate the action would wear.

Sweet P created a whizzer of an outfit, more suited for a performing cockatoo than an advantage/top athlete whose chest-to-chest maneuvers is the sort of stuff that WWE legends are made of.
Jillian and Christian channeled their inner bad taste and went for the gusto, creating two such delightfully kitschy outfits that they had me wish I’d been doing 600 daily sit-ups for the past 10 years. Jillian’s electrified blue short shorts and Alice in Wonderland white socks had her Diva dreaming of squat back stances and hand controls.

And Christian so relished creating an outfit for a woman with breasts and hips, that he could not contain himself, arm wrestling Sweet P to show off his testosteronies. His lace and leather outfit had me almost believe that beneath all his girlie posturing hides the heart and soul of a 300 lb. lumberjack.
Our models walked head up onto the runway, the lower globes of their impressively muscular buttocks half bared. Goodness, there was not a jiggle or a hint of cellulite within range of a table top stance. Michael Kors felt so out of his element observing real women who actually ate more than a stick of celery once a month, that it almost blew his mind, and for once words escaped him.

Our guest judges, Heatherette's Richie Rich and Traver Rains, totally dug this assignment, slavering over Chris’s and Christian’s outfits like wrestlers who’d been hip heisted and two-on-oned. For once Nina seemed lip locked, except for her comments about Ricky’s outfit, and Heidi was uncharacteristically silent as she mentally added up the cost of a nice little lace, leopard, and leather number to wear for Seal.

And so now we are down to five. Except for Sweet P’s longevity and Kevin’s too early ouster, there are no surprises here. We’re in the last stretch now. Anyone wanna guess who will be in the finals?

Feb 7, 2008

The Dollar Ain't What it Used to Be

I just returned from a quick hop over The Pond to London and Amsterdam. While I was enriched by my European heritage, I was sadly made poorer by our shrinking dollar.

My, how times have changed. In previous trips, yours truly purchased books and goods by the gazillion, watched a play each day in London, and pigged out in her home country on as much Dutch cheese, Indonesian food, and poffertjes as her stomach could hold. No more. Those days are long gone.

Each day we watched our pounds and euros disappear as if by magic. A visit to The Tower of London, for example, cost 16 pounds per person. For three adults, that added up to around 100 U.S. dollars.

Ah, well. Think I'll plan a trip to Bar Harbor or Mexico next year.