Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Project Runway: It's Not Easy Being Green

Wow.  It has become apparent to me that Bravo is phoning it in this season of Project Runway.

Wakey wakey scenes are business as usual with much fluffing and gelling of hair and crass over confident statements about how everyone else's work sucks.

There is the model choosing scene, where I think one person switched and said something along the lines of "She was just better, it's not personal, I'm here to win it!"  And the person who's model was taken said something like, "Bitch.  I see her true colors now."

Then it's back to the workroom for a debriefing by Tim Gunn.  It's an ecofriendly fabric cocktail dress challenge!  

Can't you picture the production meeting?  

"Green is so trendy."  

"I know, it's like totally a trend."  

"I know!"  

"Let's do a challenge!"  

"Okay, but how will we make it even remotely interesting?"

"Make the models buy the fabric!"


"It's brilliant."

"Can we make sure that they are dumb enough to totally screw at least half the contestants?"

Intercom noise.

"Susan, get extra dumb models this year.  Thanks."

Sheer television genuis, people.

So the models go shopping for fabric and rave about the UGH-mazing selection of eco-friendly fabrics.  So much to choose from! long is a yard again?

Yeah, the models buy like two feet o' fabric and think that it will cover their tiny bodies.  Well, the designers try to tell them nicely that that's not going to happen and it also seems like half the models picked the same two fabrics.  A pale yellow shiny silk and a shiny brown silk.  Hmmm....guess the selection wasn't so stunning after all.

Everyone starts working away and it's clear at this point that Wesley and Korto are up a creek yet down a paddle.  Wesley is starting on a tiny wrinkly looking dress and Korto is cooking up something with fins!  Tim seems dismayed!

Meanwhile, Leanne is adding many panels to her dress at odd angles, and ignoring Tim's suggestions to EDIT.  Kenley is chucking her model's nasty jersey fabric, having deemed it unsuitable for a cocktail dress, and is working on a nice looking bland sheath dress.

In other news, Blayne continues to try to make "licious" happen.  


Let it go.  

As a backup schtick, Blayne has started to mimic Stella, riding her about her accent when it comes to the word "leather."  Which, granted, is annoying.  But hearing Blayne say it just makes me want to take an axe to his head, not Stella's.

Suede talks about Suede some more.

Honestly, no one else even registered for me.  Except Jerrel's line of the episode where he summed up everyone royally screwed by the brown silk as "Team Ugly Brown Fabric."  

On to judging and our mystery guest!  Oh, it's Natalie Portman.  Who is like a total midget.  And makes vegan shoes.  Super trendy!  Production team working overtime here!

I know I'm in the minority here, but I am not a fan of Portman and her non-witty attempts to be nice to everyone. 

In the end, Suede's yellow and red crisscrossed bandage dress is clearly the winner here.  I could have lived without the tutu bottom and the fact that it was made by a dude with a blue faux-hawk who refers to himself in the third person.  But, hey, that's life.

Kenley got high marks for her sheath with the dramatic high collar, which seems to be the ticket to not leaving lately on Project Runway, and I envision will soon become the bubble shirt of '08. 

Also praised?  Stella's leather-but-not-leather-lace-up mini dress.  Go figure.  Or fig-yuh, as the case may be.

Singled out for Nina Garcia's special hatred is Wesley of the Skinny Shorts.  In the greatest one liner ever, she sums it up as "Shiny, tight and short is the quickest way to look cheap."  

Words to live by.

So, goodbye Wesley, my sweet Wesley.  I'll miss those startling glimpses of your upper thighs!

Let's pray that Bravo's production team starts sniffing glue or something to try to liven things up here.  I like my challenges a little cracked up, you know?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Project Runway: Let's Start at the Beginning

Cue the lights, cameras and the Germanic accents...Project Runway is back!!

Contract breach be damned, Bravo has rolled out a new season of crazy stitchers and they are planning to push them to the edge of sanity.

Well, break out the Thorazine and get this party started!

The beginning is always so difficult for me to differentiate between all the effete men; rockers with tattoos; guys who are STRAIGHT, dammit; girls with ironic bangs; and the just overconfident wackos.

So, as the curtain rises, the designers are all moving into their generic "luxury" apartments and introducing themselves around.  To keep them straight (pun intended) I will group them just as the casting people must have.

Effete men:

Jerrel:  Oh yes, he's rocking it shirtless.  Doesn't Parsons have a "No Shirt, No Service" rule? Can they make one?

Wesley:  Who wears short shorts?  This guy.

Daniel:  The man has birds in his audition video and a "windswept" hairdo.  Need I say more?

Girls with Ironic Bangs:

Emily:  There will be rompers.

Leanne: Her clothing line is called Leanimals and she is rocking the jolie-laide glasses.  And she's from Portland.  Look for her to get annoyed that she has to make something commercial looking.

Kenley:  Ooh, an interesting twist...the Bettie Page look with bright red lipstick.  Expect references to forties glamour and ironic nudity in the future.

The Tattooed:

Kelli:  This girl actually reminds me of my wedding hairstylist.  And she was great.  So I will not snark.

Stella:  To quote a doctor friend of mine, this chick has packed a lot of living into her years.  

Keith:  Who?  Oh the guy who looks like the military jerk on Lost.

Joe:  This dude is like totally normal.  WTF?

Overconfident Wackos:

Suede: This is like the perfect storm.  Blue faux-hawk.  Refers to himself in the third person.  Use of snipping in a Z formation.

Blayne:  SWEET GOD.  The producers hit the jackpot.  Sloppy hats, tanning beds and tank tops, oh my.  

Jerry Tam:  Ah, the "established designer" who sneers at everyone else.  Comeuppance is near.  

The Jury is Still Out:

Jennifer:  Huh.  So normal. Weird.

Korto:  Also normal.  Bizarre.

So, the designers find their Tyra Mail telling them to go to the roof for kudos and champagne!

But no challenge.

For that, they must be awakened at four freaking thirty by Tim.  FOUR THIRTY people.  That is just plain cruel.  And why was that one chick already in the shower?  Methinks that reality television has elements that are not totally as they seem!  But Tim looks as fabulous as ever at that hour.  Like you thought it would be otherwise?

They head to a Gristedes where Austin Scarlett drops by to remind them how awesome season one was.  Do you remember Wendy Pepper's edible necklace bikini?

Anyhoo, this is the most well stocked Gristedes I've ever seen.  Seriously, can I shop here?  This is better than Social Safeway for crying out loud.  They all grab whatever they can and head to the check out.

Then it's back to the workroom for some sewing and sneering.  There's a lot of throwing stones.  Living in glass houses, you get the drift.

Then Tim comes in and after seeing the same picnic tablecloth sewn three different ways, he tells them that they SUCK.  And are SLACKERS.  SUCK!

Kelli and Daniel escape his wrath by actually doing something good, and Tim looks like he's talking to a "special" person when he greets Blayne and his placemat-maxi pad bikini.

Duly scared, the designers try to save their dresses, but there is no hope.  Also, Stella has not chosen the Hefty bags, and therefore see through and crappy.  I use this segment to show my husband why we don't buy generic.

At some point, Blayne calls his model fat.  And "girlicious."  God, I hate this guy.

On the runway, there is a huge pile of mediocrity, with several standouts on the high end, and the poo end.  

Kelli, Korto, and Daniel are singled out for their designs.  Kelli worked up a nice looking dress with tons of unique materials and Korto has a very bright paper dress enhanced by some roughage.  Mmm, kale.  Daniel stands out for his Balenciaga-esque bag made from Solo plastic cups.  His workstation looked like a frat party on a Sunday morning.

On the stink end, the judges heaped on the quips for Blayne's diaper unitard.  My husband called it "crotch feathers."  Stella's garbage bag toga got equal bewilderment as being just dumb.  But special praise went to Jerry for his American Psycho raincoat.  I'm guessing he was thinking about returning some videotapes after the show.

In the end, Jerry got the boot, and Kelli took the win.  And I still have no idea who half these people are.

Except Blayne.  Oh please Bravo gods, let justice come swiftly and have him axed from the show.  I'll pass along my first born to be featured in "The Real Kids of Capitol Hill" (debuting in spring of 2020).  Pretty please?

As always, check out Blogging Project Runway for the scoop.  Plus, Washingtonian and New York Magazine are doing recaps as well!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Fabulous Return of Ask Capitol Hill Barbie

That's right boys and girls!  It's time for another exciting installment of Ask CapHillBarbie!!!

(I'll wait for the applause and catcalls to die down)

Let's get it on!

Dear Barbie,

All those people who claim that Washington wasn't actually built on a swamp obviously never spent a summer here. The oppressive heat and humidity that seem to take over from late-May until practically November always does a number on my makeup. No matter how many (or, in fact, how few) moisturizers, primers or setting sprays I use, every last fleck of makeup I so diligently apply in the morning is suspiciously missing by noon. What's worse, it's been replaced by a full-fledged oil slick! What can I use to make my made-up face stay fresh and clean at least until the workday's over?

Melting in Foggy Bottom


I feel your pain.  Seriously man, I feel your pain.  No.  Wait.  I feel your pain.

Summer in D.C. is a full fledged beast.  A natural phenomenon which assaults your beauty routine and leaves you a broken shell of a barely mascara-ed fool when it retreats around Daylight Savings time, only to rear it's ugly head again sometime in late April.

So, like the Boy Scouts and high school boys trying to get into a bar for the first time, you need to come prepared.  However, instead of a Swiss Army knife or peach fuzz and a peeling homemade ID, you need budgeproof beauty tools.

I like to think of K.I.S.S.

Keep It Smudgeproof Stupid.

First, think of the base.  You mention that you've tried all manner of primers and setting lotions.  I know the feeling.  Like when you walk outside and you feel like your face is pooling into a puddle of flesh colored sludge.  

My solution?  

Put on as little as possible.  Try to just use concealer if possible.  If you are not comfortable going naked, skip regular moisturizer and go directly to tinted moisturizer.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect Tide To Go pens for your collar.

Next, powder blush.  Forget anything creamy.  I prefer NARS blushes, and because I can turn 5 shades of fuchsia in the heat, I skip my normal rosy Sin in favor of the peachy Orgasm.

Eyes can be really tough for me, since I find the most creasing and smudging occurs in this area.  Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner is fantastic for this.  It'll stay on through a cloture debate occurring on the Mall at noon.  If you can, again, skip the shadow.  If not, I think MAC Shadesticks are the best for crease resisting color.  However, use a light hand and think sheer light colored shades.  

Then, curl your lashes and put on the most waterproof mascara possible. 

Finally, I like a slick of Rosebud Salve just to put a little shine on the lips.  Sticky lipgloss in the summer will just attract mosquitoes.

Just keep in mind that this too shall pass and we will get that one beautiful week in October where it gets cool and crisp before the Indian summer and straight to rainy winter.

And that air conditioning is a right, not a privilege.  It's there under the right not to have soldiers quartered at your house in wartime.  I promise.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Vocab Lesson

At the risk of sounding very Daily Candy...

"Sale Goggles"

The phenomenon whereby items on sale instantly become more attractive to the eye.  Items which you would never wear in real life, you being to rationalize as being perfect for all occasions.  This syndrome can become heightened when shopping in a competitive environment like a sample sale.  Derived from frat boy nomenclature.