Mae West Wore Pants

Oh, where do we begin, truffles?

This challenge was all kinds of ridiculous, no? All the same, the whole time I could only think that if this had been done during Season 4, Christian Siriano and Chris March would have rocked it. Otherwise…ridiculousness.

So let’s get on with the show and examine this madness in detail.

We begin, as usual, with everyone waking up in their Atlas apartments, where we start off with a round of catty comments from the boys regarding Bambi’s Girlfriend and her lack of design skills. Though, she ended up having a giant meltdown for most of the episode and sort of confirming what they said (making nasty comments about her was, however, wholly unnecessary). Poor Fallene just bit off more than she could chew with Project Runway.


The designers head off to the runway where they meet Heidi…on stilts. Giant-ass stilts. Special stilt-walking models come out to join her (is this…is this a thing? Stilt models? Please tell me this isn’t a thing and stilt models aren’t sweeping the fashion world). Heidi informs everyone that they will be crafting outfits for the stilt models that are “larger than life” (heh, gee, I see what you did there) and they shall be “randomly” paired up into teams (random my foot). Now, this isn’t a circus challenge, which would have vaguely made sense. This apparently isn’t a costume challenge either (because people totally walk around on stilts all the time and they need a nice business casual look?). This is a ready-to-wear challenge…with GIANT-ASS STILTS.



The supposed “dream-team” is created by putting together Miss Trinidad Sex Tape Anya and Sir Laurence the Dickensian Orphan Oliv(i)er. I continue to remain unimpressed by either of them, and this challenge did nothing toward reversing my opinion. Josh, the Artist Formerly Known as “Other Josh,” is paired with sporty Julie (she of the masturbatory ski pants), and he proceeds to spend most of the episode bitching about her behind her back while she goes on unawares, thinking they’re working well together. Nice. Cecilia of the HOM-ster bid-DEENG and Non-Entity Danielle are paired up. They get along fine except for some completely random nonsensical freak out for about thirty seconds in the middle of the episode, which I’m thinking they just did for a bit of screen time. Becky and Kimberly of the Boob Wings are on a team, which does not please Boob Wings, as she is not “inspired” by Becky (dude, Becky isn’t supposed to be channeling Gandhi; calm down) and thinks that Becky “just stares” a lot. Well, that sounds entirely creeptastic. They work around this hurdle by basically adopting a Vow of Silence. The southerners, Testicular Cancer Survivor Anthony Ryan and Missouri Barbie Laura get paired up—in true cliché southern fashion, they attempt to craft a hoop skirt. It does not go well and is abandoned. They work well together, and are therefore uninteresting. Then comes the Bottom Two-sies naturally joined together, Ol’ Puppy Pads Bryce and Bambi Fallene. Upon hearing this, Fallene informs the camera that she wants to “shit her pants.” Ew. Please don’t. Any time someone expresses the possibility of soiling themselves, you know it isn’t going to go well.

Lastly, oh, my little red pandas, we have the unfortunate duo of Bert and Viktor, who spend the entire time being immature jerks to each other and create a BEAST of an ensemble (well, most of the outfits were BEASTS, but this was one of the SUPER BEASTS). I am biased toward Viktor, as I have quite liked his designs so far and was entirely put off by Bert’s pissy attitude last week. That said, I cannot defend the actions of either. They both acted like creepy idiots. Bert kept trying to school Viktor in the workroom, who, admittedly, was saying stupid things. However, Bert…just…no. But more on that in a second.

Tim Gunn takes them to the beloved Mood for the first time this season, informing them that they have $500 and one day to complete their design (of course…we wouldn’t dare want the designers to spend some real time on their creations and make quality pieces…that would be silly). Mostly heinous fabrics are purchased.

But hey, Swatch the Mood Dog is sighted, so not all is lost! Thank you, Moooood.

Once back in the workroom, the designers spend some time discussing their ideas. Viktor made such suggestions as “I was thinking like Old Hollywood, something more classic. Like even Mae West—we could make it have pants” or a sexy cleavage-enhancing bodice that evoked “Queen Victoria.” Bert kept making a face, rolling his eyes, and rudely correcting his poor understanding of fashion history, “Mae West never wore pants. In her entire life,” and “That’s not Victorian; that’s Elizabethan. Um, Queen Victoria was in mourning for fifty years. I don’t think that’s a sexy direction I’d like to go into.”

Oh, Zeus’s beard, where do I even begin?

As both an actual historian and early film buff, I say to Bert…dude, just…stop. You sound like a bitchy version of Cliff Clavin. For the record, the bodice that they constructed was neither Victorian nor Elizabethan—it was just a big hot mess. Queen Victoria was, indeed, in mourning for a very long time—but it was for forty years; not fifty. So, yes, the point is still there, but seeing as Queen Victoria lived to be a BILLION YEARS OLD, that’s all relative (The “Victorian Era” is a HUGE swath of time—Victoria was born in 1819 and was on the throne from 1837 to 1901). And, before going all Empress-Dowager-We-Are-Not-Amused, Victoria was quite the fashion trendsetter (not one I’d call “sexy” though). She was the one who popularized the white wedding gown that is such a mainstay today. Observe her gown that she had a hand in designing:

See? Quite the big fancy creation—and, shocker, it’s off the shoulder! Such scandal!

Now, onto Bert’s claim that Mae West never wore pants in her entire life. I actually did some research, and, oh, what do you think I found, poppets?

Mae West in pants! Super tight proto-bell-bottoms! These photos are from her 1933 film, I’m No Angel.

Now, granted, if you do a google image search for Mae West, most of the photos are of her in dresses—this is the ’30s, after all—and she was a larger-than-life archetypal blonde bombshell who liked to make double entendres whilst wearing form-fitting gowns covered in lace and sparkles and feathers and such. She wasn’t known for pants. But still: PANTS. LOOK AT THE PANTS.

And now that I’ve gotten completely off topic…

Back on track—Josh and Julie want to make a “romantic matador.” Oh, Jesus. Bryce and Fallene want to make a “dark ballerina.” Yeah, um, I’m pretty sure Natalie Portman already did that. Just saying. Because Fallene is “self-taught,” she does not know that one is apparently supposed to cut on the grain of the fabric, to which Bryce reacts in a manner to suggest that Fallene just loudly announced she had herpes-leprosy. And he has to tell everyone and mock her. And do that passive-aggressive bitchy thing, “Oh, so you’re just self-taught? You didn’t go to fashion school? I did, but you didn’t? So you don’t about cutting on the grain because you’re self-taught? That’s all?” Much like “wee-wee pads” last week, if he said the word “grain,” one more time, I was going to lose it. This led to Fallene having a total monster breakdown of doom, and she spent the rest of the episode weeping inconsolably and completely unable to make a bodice or understand fabric or aspirate.

The designers have a bit of time the next morning to finish their garments (they wake up at 4:30am for reasons that are never explained), and send their stilt models to have their hair and faces spackled with Garnier Paris and L’Oreal products. Julie suddenly has never heard of makeup and shies away from it like it might set her on fire, leaving Josh to deal with such mysterious horrors. Then, before you know it, it’s time for Project Runway’s First Ever Outdoor Runway Show*!

*Except when they did the outdoor couture gown runway show in Paris during Season 3. Semantics.

Guest judge is Kim Kardashian, who, like, Anya, is originally famous for making a sex tape, and is now famous for being photographed and filmed in different outfits. Project Runway claims she is a “Fashion Entrepreneur.” Okay. And I’m a shark tamer. No big. Her major contribution to Project Runway is declaring a few of the outfits “chic.” Gee. Don’t strain yourself.


                                         Um, cross your legs there, Kim.

Now, I generally have no strong feelings for or against Kim and her Kardashian ilk. They just sort of…exist. I am about as moved by them as I am by salamanders. They’re just sort of there. That said, Kim, you’re thirty years old. Stop talking like a mentally challenged infant.

Anywho, let’s see what stilted monstrosities came down the runway…

The southerners, Laura and Anthony Ryan took the win with this number (well, Laura did, anyway), and it was easily the best of the bunch. That said, the model looked like she was in agonizing, indescribable pain the entire time (none of the models could walk, but she seriously looked like she was going to die). In the workroom, Tim assured Anthony Ryan that the shoulder pads were very “on trend” for fall. Ugh, really, we want to bring shoulder pads back? I don’t need to look like a linebacker. Also, does this mean PETALED shoulder pads will be a hot item? I’m not okay with that. But this dress is nice enough.

Dream Team Anya and Oliv(i)er made this sad thing. The skirt thing looks like material that would be used to make a mature woman’s ruffled bathing suit or fancy peignoir. The unfortunate gray top is returning to Oliv(i)er’s favored Auschwitz Business Casual…after being attacked by rabid wildebeests. Bleurgh, I say to this. Bleurgh. It is safe.

Boob Wing Kimberly and Staring Becky made this ensemble, which landed them a place in the Top Three. Fierce pants. The top is…interesting, and was done one-shouldered in order to highlight the model’s tattoo. The judges insisted this would make people want to go get that tattoo. Really? I have absolutely no urge to do that, thanks anyway.

Oh, God. Bert and Viktor, WHY? Forget Victoria, Elizabeth, Mae West, and general sanity. That is an iridescent circus tent hose-beast. The model looks like she is about to vomit, and I can’t blame her. Barf City. Barf METROPOLIS. Kim Kardashian said that it reminded her of the curtain clothes from The Sound of Music—“Marie Antoinette days.” Um…wait, what? You…you do know those are two entirely different eras, right, Kim? Do you think all past time periods are the same time period? You are allowed late Eighteenth century France OR 1930s Austria (as depicted by mid-’60s Hollywood). You can’t have both. Pick one. And, for the record, this evokes no past era. This is just a hot mess of vom. Viktor was punished for it more than Bert, and ended up in the Bottom Two. However, he was saved to design another day due to…THIS:

This is a Goliath Bird-Eating Spider. I’d provide a picture for comparison, but spiders (particularly ones the size of your FACE) give me the heebie-jeebies, so you can do your own google image search for that one. The Goliath Bird-Eating Spider was crafted by Bryce while Fallene sobbed and made a hat and hated herself. Notably, the only thing the judges liked about this spider monster was the hat. However, this is not Project Hat. So Fallene was auffed. She cried some more. She kept talking about how crazy and wacky she was (you’re really not). Then she cried again. Back to the forest with you to be with your deer lover and his bunny and skunk friends.

Looking at this makes me think of this:

Cecilia and Danielle created this well-made but horribly dated little number, the styling of which led to His Royal Orangeness Michael Kors declaring, “The hair is CRAAAAAAZY.” I cannot disagree. That hair is Carol Brady’s hair on crack. That hair looks like, in the words of Cecilia, “a pun-KEEN on her HEHD.” The blouse and trousers were looked upon favorably though, landing this in the Top Three, as it was very “ready-to-wear.” Um, no, none of this is ready-to-wear. They are on GIANT-ASS STILTS, in case we forgot. And this look hasn’t been popular since 1977. And if the point was to create something ready-to-wear, then why bother with the GIANT-ASS STILTS? Ugh.

Oh, romantic matador, you make me sad. This was made by Josh and Julie and it was not received well. Personally, I don’t find this to be absolutely wretched or any worse than some of the other numbers. Wackadoo pants, but then again, she is wearing wackadoo stilts. Nina didn’t like it because she thought the “tiny arms and huge legs look disproportionate.” No, really, you think, Nina? That could be because she’s wearing, I don’t know, FREAKING STILTS, which was kind of the ENTIRE POINT. Was Nina drunk? Did she have temporary amnesia? What is going on??

Next week they design for Nina Garcia, which is all kinds of terrifying. Last season, this woman gave the win to Gretchen because she thought old ladies could and would want to walk around in midriffs and poo-colored diapers, so Lord only knows what she’ll like. And apparently an outfit is depressing.

Until next week, chickadees.

16 notes
  1. tneria said: For some reason, when I hear Cecillia talk, I keep picturing Natasha Fatale of Boris and Natasha, villains of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show! I will really miss Fallene (the deer in the headlights!)…she is so sweet. Just want to give her a hug!
  2. tiserin posted this
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