Friday, November 13, 2009



Not sure how to go about recapping last night's Project Runway. Since we're down to the Final 3 (Carol Hannah, Althea, Irina), the episode was unlike any of the previous in terms of structure... Which means this blog post is going to be different as well. Or at least it should be!

Just Craig & I in the Park Slope party pad. A few of the guys couldn't make it, and I wasn't feeling up to my usual host-self, so we decided to cancel the gathering. Poor Saskia! She had sooo wanted to make cookies... We're going to reconvene next week when Dan is officially back from DC.

Where to start?

Tonight's episode was being billed as Part One of the Season Finale. 10 weeks have passed since we said "aufweidersehn" to Gordana and Christopher. In it, we get to see Tim Gunn as he travels to each of the designer's homes, checks out their collections, and dines with their families.

1st stop: Huntington, NY (where is that exactly? I know it's near NYC, and I've heard of it) to meet with Carol Hannah. Apparently she's relocated from Charleston, SC, and is staying with a friend in what looks like a mansion. Or a normal-sized house, if you live anywhere besides NYC.

"Is that a tutu?"

Carol Hannah tells her that her collection was inspired by a visit to Duke University, en route to NY. There's something about a church or a cathedral in there, and the big news is that CH has finally made a pair of pants! (I'm sure our Tim is happy to hear this back in Manhattan.) We learn a little more about Carol Hannah. How she is a self-taught designer who learned by watching her Grandma make Barbie doll clothing. We get to see some pictures of her as a dorky kid with glasses and braces. Then Tim is treated to a traditional Southern lunch with CH's family.

Stop #2: Manhattan to see Bitch Face Irina. I almost forgot she's from Brooklyn, having grown up an immigrant from Georgia (the country, not the state). It's 4 1/2 weeks til the Day of the Show, and Irina certainly has been busy cranking out the clothes. Her inspiration is Coney Island, and she's got some pretty awesome silk-screened "boyfriend T-shirts" in the collection with images of the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel etc. Also some hand knits, and of course, fur. (Is it faux, I didn't hear?) All of this is followed by a luncheon with Irina's parents, and sister... Does anyone else think Irina looks exactly like her mom?

"Fur again?"

Stop #3: Dayton, OH to see Althea and the Harpers. Now I've been to Dayton, back in 2007 when my play Another Day on Willow St was read at the Dayton Playhouse's "Future Fest." It's a lovely and charming town and the people there couldn't have been kinder. But looking at all the snow on the ground makes me cringe!

"Good thing I've worn my rubbers."

Althea explains that her collection is inspired by Sci-Fi. With strong women, and the shape. Tim's reaction is "make sure it doesn't get too costumey." Something we've heard how many times before? Then he tells her to "Edit, edit, edit."

Off they go to meet Althea's family. Upon entering the home, Craig immediately asks, "Who's the guy in the striped sweater?!" Turns out, Althea has a hottie boyfriend. Who knew?

Of course "problems" abound on the rest of the episode... (Spoiler alert!)

Tim calls Irina to tell her she can't use the Coney Island images as they are trademarked images. After Althea and Irina arrive at the Hyat in NYC, they wait and wait for Carol Hannah -- only to be told by Tim that she's incredibly ill and won't be coming just yet. Even when she gets there, she's throwing up and feeling miserable. Poor thing! And of course, Irina and Althea haven't gotten over the whole "Did Althea copy Irina's sweater or not?" incident from the last episode.

4 days til Showtime...

Carol Hannah finally arrives in the workroom.

Tim comes to critique.

Tim to Althea: "Borderline Hillary Clinton."
Tim to Carol Hannah: "Give it some youth."
Tim to Irina: "Black, black, black."

The designers go on a casting sesssion to find their 11 additional models.

Nina Garcia and Michael Kors arrive in the workroom to offer advice.

Craig: "What the hell is Nina wearing?!"

Michael: "Take us on a ride."

Nina: "Think about color."

As per usual, Irina chooses to do her own thing, and not take Nina's advice.

The 3 "muse" models arrive (Lisa, Tanisha, Kalyn). Heidi arrives with "one final surprise." One more look to create. (As if we didn't see this coming? Can't they think of a new twist for a change? Hello!)

Then... Logan, Christopher, and Gordana appear. They will assist on the additional look.

Christopher (w/new hair), Gordana and Logan

Althea chooses Logan, Irina picks Gordana, leaving Carol Hannah stuck with Christopher.

$250 budget, 30 minutes to shop at the original Mood (no more knock-off/pop-up shop). Go!

Then it's back to the Hyat where... Carol Hannah hurls again! Thankfully, Althea is there to hold her hair, and press an ice pack on her neck.

End of Part One...

*Project Runway airs Thursday nights at 10pm on Lifetime TV

*FRANK ANTHONY POLITO is a Brooklyn-based playwright and author. He is represented by The Gersh Agency in New York City.


Anonymous said...

Dude, the Mood outlet in L.A. has been here at least since 2000, when I moved here. Long before Project Runway began and I'm sure will outlast the show as well. A little fact checking goes a long way.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous @ 2:49 AM,
Well, aren't you something? Your knowledge of the Mood outlet is mind-boggling. I'll bet you felt like King of the World... at 2:48 AM.

Anonymous said...

In an interview on "Tom and Lorenzo: Fabulously Opiniated," Irina revealed her source for the roller coaster image: "I got the image from a vintage postcard from the 60s or 70s and added my own graphic twist to it. It wasn’t straight from the postcard. It was manipulated enough that it was my own image, but they still had to pay for it and that’s something they didn’t want to do. I ended up having to scrap that."

If you search "Irina's Inspiration" on ebay, you'll see the likely source. Irina has made some clear changes to the original. Would they be great enough to avoid copyright issues? Take a good look at the details of the Cyclone rollercoaster and the style of the rendering and see what you think.