We're a month in to TFS, and this episode is cleverly titled The Shoe Must Go On. The only thing is, with the plot, the camera angles, and just about everything except for the way they structure the end sequence (runway, judging, winner named, losers called on carpet, final loser kicked off) it still looks rather like a knockoff, darling, of Project Runway (which is due back on TV in August).
Hosts Isaac Mizrahi and Kelly Rowland are the Klum and Gunn of this op, only Rowland is not even close to either and I'm still wondering who she replaced that they originally went for. Isaac doesn't disappoint in the drama department, however, his affectations are almost worth watching the show for (hooray, hooray and of course calling everyone darling).
Last week the challenge winner was Andrew (in real life an underwear designer), and Daniella - the bitchy but very bright and consistently creative 22-year-old - made it her business to tell the judges that his design had been her idea. This week, the designers find that they are suddenly free to compete as individuals again and not in teams as they have been. Which begs the conclusion that some people who were relying on others for good ideas might fall by the wayside. Indeed...
The show begins with the Harpers Bazaar Mini-Challenge, which is introduced thus; Isaac whips the cover off of a table covered with women's shoes saying: "the secret ingredient - shoes!" all Iron Chef-style. Long story short, topknot Johnny wins this challenge (and he's outdone even Merlin's outfit today, wearing a brown shift over black tights accented by a black bowler hat).
Off they go to the elimination challenge, which is to take place at an undisclosed location on 57th St. and 5th Ave. Oh Lord! It's Bergdorf's! Everyone has a sort of out-of-body experience at being in this Temple of Fashion. The designers are let loose in Bergdorf's formidable shoe department and told to pick a pair of shoes that they can design an outfit around. And it's off to the fabric store and then to the workroom. Reco snatches up a fetching pair of latticed Yves Saint Laurent boots. Angel is given a pair of red white and blue Stella McCartney's because nothing really catches her eye.
There is some really fine dialogue on this show sometimes and this week Reco, the willowy tall queer from Chattanooga, mutters "it's so substitute schoolteacher" about Andrew's design when Isaac and Kelly come in to make their rounds a la Tim Gunn. They repair to the hallway for a bitch session and share their thoughts. Kelly thinks Lidia's going to be the big surprise tonight, whereas Isaac says he would so wear Daniella's dress if she just finishes it beautifully.
Meanwhile, the line of the show goes to Daniella, who tells Reco, "Confidence is the new black." Reco counters, "Yes it is -- you should get some." Which is funny considering she's one of the most self-confident contestants on the show, and with good reason. Prior to the runway show, Reco finishes early and swans off to take a nap on the couch, all smug-like. Let's say he's not winning any popularity contests among his fellow competitors.
The three best designs are those by Reco, Danielle, and Angel. The two worst are Lidia's and Andrew's. As the panel sits in judgment on the two worst dresses, Isaac and George Malkemus, President of Manolo Blahnik USA and guest judge, have a mini-spat about Andrew's dress which is just plain boring but nicely made. George doesn't think it's all that bad. Isaac snaps, "This isn't the salesman show, it's the fashion show." Meow!
Lidia, who apparently quit her job to compete on the show, says she didn't have enough time to make her dress as what she envisioned. One audience member likened it to the Nightmare Before Christmas bride. They decide to send Andrew home, though, for his lack of interesting ideas. Lidia, although George calls her dress a monstrosity of a coffin cover, is hanging by a thread but still in the game. See you next week, darlings.
The Fashion Show is seen on Bravo Thursday nights at 10PM.