Saturday, February 16, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 4

The designers' time in the workroom starts off with a none-too-promising setup - there are Glade candles all over the room. Yikes. Tim tells us that these are the new "2-in-1" candles, which each have both "Hawaiian Breeze" and "Vanilla Passion Fruit " For a heart-stopping moment, I thought each of the two teams would have to make a collection around one of the two scents. Fortunately, they don't go that literal. Since it's 2-in-1, the challenge is to use two different types of unconventional materials - flowers and hardware. Likely not coincidentally, those are the two most memorable of the previous unconventional materials challenges.

To make it more interesting, it's time to shake up the teams. They've grown lopsided enough that the Dream Team will get to poach two designers of their choice from Team KIR. Michelle vetoes Patricia because she can't stand her. (Foreshadowing!!) They decide on Stanley for his leadership and Layana for her ability to call out problems with others' garments. Stanley seems really fired up at the opportunity to try to turn the strugglers around, and Layana is sad to switch but flattered to be singled out.

And now the second twist - Team KIR gets to take one of the original Dream Team members back in exchange! Wah wah wahhhh. Inevitably, Michelle is chosen, and must trade fake smiles with Patricia. Apparently the cause of her dislike is that Patricia is very patronizing, which we'll have to take our word for because the editing hasn't shown it as far as I recall. (Of course, the start of each season always has issues with "telling" rather than "showing" simply because there are so many people to try to work in.)

This time, each team must present a collection of six looks that actually look like they go together, using both flowers and things you can get at a hardware store. Since Team KIR still has seven and the Dream Team now has six, there only has to be one pairing. Michelle and Richard get to be that pair since they both early on express a desire to make a huge standup collar. The Dream Team (or rather Stanley) immediately decide their main theme will be Christian Dior in the 1950's (for the non fashion versed, that means those super hourglass dresses with tiny waists and shaped hips). It sounds like Team KIR is going for Bjork and RuPaul meets Gilligan's island, but it turns out that was just Richard speaking for himself. The shopping at the florist and hardware store pass without remarkable incident.

Ben doubles down on his time management issues by constructing his own rudimentary loom and weaving string. Samantha is also digging herself into a hole by cutting out an intricate pattern from contact paper. Kate, free to be herself after having to be teamed up twice, makes a huge poofy confection of a tea gown that Tim worries looks too much like a craft project. Apparently it has all kinds of infrastructure underneath to hold it up, since she laughingly refers to it as a torture device for the model.

Team KIR avoids the whole question of how to make all their looks into a collection. Michelle describes it as looking like they were all made by crazy people, none of whom are in the same mental hospital. They finally manage to convince themselves that their silhouettes are varied enough that they'll make each represent a previous decade of fashion. Meanwhile, Amanda is struggling with her dress that she applied moss to. The moss is falling off. Patricia just shakes her head and claims that she told her to get rid of the moss the day before. There seems to be a lot of fuss about what to do with the dress, though it's of course hard to tell with the editing. Finally Joseph just pops over and suggests cutting off some panel apparently on the back and putting it on the front. I don't get it, but that seemed to have solved whatever the issue was. 

Speaking of Joseph, he forgot that he put a zipper in the back of his dress and made his model slowly, painfully shimmy into it from the bottom. Oops!

Team KIR's parade of decades has Kate's inflated confection for the 50's, Amanda's embellished sheath dress for the 60's, Patricia's garlands for the 70's, Daniel's way-too-high peplums for the 80's, Richard & Michelle's Venetian blind cage dress for the 90's, and Joseph's cocoon-shaped coat for, uh, "the future." Sure, that's the ticket, guys. The judges have rather baffled expressions as the collection heads backstage.

The Dream Team puts out a collection focused on yellow flowers and fibers. Matthew's has a black & white top with string from a mop, and Samantha's has a cool effect of leaves layered under screen door mesh. Tu makes a "sleeveless jacket" ("don't you mean a VEST??") out of raffia and a skirt from lilies, and Benjamin makes a dress striped with all different shades of yellow petals, with one shoulder that I think was made from  the stuff he wove himself. Stanley's dress is mostly of green leaves, and Layana makes a very delicate dress from some kind of fiber mat. 

The judges liked all of the individual looks, but name Dream Team the winners for having more cohesion. It was all fun, whimsical, and beautifully made. They especially like Samantha's, with the neat effect with the leaves - and she did complete her crazy contact paper mesh for the top, by the way. She is named the winner.

On Team KIR, there is a long discussion about Joseph's look. To me, it read like a sixties coat, but the judges didn't get it and thought it was just a too-big dress and would prefer that it have a fit closer to the body. Guest judge Bette Midler asks Joe what his vision of the future is, he fires back by saying he would want people to wear what's comfortable instead of flattering. Bette acts like she could take offense to this slight, passive-aggressive zing, but instead melts a little, and says it's sweet, "even a little spiritual." Such a nice lady!

Not so nice, they are asked to each name the weakest link. Everybody points to Amanda. Strangely enough I can't remember who Amanda said. Did they even ask her? The issue they all bring up is the big stress at the end over her dress that was never quite well explained, though Amanda thinks they're exaggerating. They end up eliminating Joe, leaving the stung Amanda to return to the team and "make it work," I suppose.

The episode ends with Tim telling them they have to go back to the runway for more instructions in 10 minutes. Dun dun dun!

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