Welcome to The Fashion Show! So, here are the facts: 12 designers are divided into 2 “fashion houses”. Each week, each designer creates a look of their own. The catch? It must be part of their house’s cohesive collection. Let me interrupt to say that Iman is wearing something off the shoulder and sparkly and I love it. There are 2 fashion shows a week, and someone from the losing team goes home. Same old. The prize? They show their whole collection, get a spread in Bazaar and $125,000.
And then we get into the action! We see lots of people dashing around NYC with garment bags. And then we meet Jeffrey, or as I’m calling him Morris Day. Morris is my favorite going into this. Mainly because of my odd Morris Day obsession, but once we meet him I’m pretty sure I’m on the right track.
Oooh, I wanna know ya.
Morris Day tells us he’s wanted to be a designer since he was 7, and then heads into the studio. A mysterious man in round glasses tells him to grab a sewing kit and open it. Morris seems a little nervous, but he grabs a kit and is assigned to #7. The same age he was when he decided he wanted to be a designer. Coincidence? I think not.
Box #7 corresponds to Model #7 – she has a name but does it matter? Morris thinks she’s beautiful. The mysterious man tells him to take his kit and get the girl dressed. “So…we’re having a fashion show,” Morris deduces.
What gave it away?
Next we meet Cindy. She tells us how growing up in Mexico, her Mom always dressed her in crazy colorful dresses. I immediately write Cindy off for what I’m assuming is a comment on some tacky design inspiration. But then she tells us that she hated those dresses, and she’s back in the game. She chooses Box #9.
Then we meet Golnessa, and then they start coming fast and furious and I lose track. The mystery man directs them to the sewing boxes and it’s all just peachy. And then we meet Calvin Tran.
CalTran owns three stores: NYC, Chicago and San Francisco. That’s nice. But let’s focus on the important thing about Cal and that’s this: “I wake up in the morning wanting to be a nice person, but by three o’clock the bitch come out.”
Can we say soul sisters?
Next up is Cesar, who I remember from the preview is the most experienced. He tells a sad story about leaving the business for a while to care for his partner who was dying of colon cancer, and how this is his chance to reintroduce himself. Ohhhh nooo. Do not make me develop soft spot for these people, Bravo. Way to ruin all my fun.
The designers run around the studio getting ready for the show, and then Mystery Man sends them out to the audience to watch the show. Morris Day is adorably excited for his first fashion show. I’m excited too! What are we gonna get?
Well, first up is CalTran. He doesn’t believe in “lines and seams”.
Next is Rolando with a dress that looks like a big feather duster on the bottom. Perhaps he can do something with the Swiffer people.
Stick it next to a broom and start singing “Who’s that lady? Who’s that lady?”
The we meet Francine, who immediately starts name dropping. Her clothes are in Fred Segal and Nordstrom. She tells us she thinks some people (translated: her) have beautiful garments. And others (translated: everyone else) look like classroom assignments. Then she tells us how she’s pretty much got in the competition in the bag. I’m pretty sure Wretchen has shape shifted into Francine.
Next up is Tamara who tells us she’s from the projects of Chicago where she learned how to sew her own winter coats.
Then there’s feathers! And sparkles! By Eduardo. Eduardo pulls a horsey Kelly Bensimon and tells us that his work is up here and the other designers are down here.
Glitter and feathers. I could make this happen at Michael’s.
And I’m sorry to report, but Morris’s stuff is just strange.
Our next contestant is full of smug, pretentious angst which naturally makes him another one of my favorites. Mike loftily tells us that he’s seen more fashion shows than anyone. He’s sat in the front row. He. Understands. Runway.
And then, there’s David. David babbles about “the return of the Greenpeace yuppies”. I don’t get it. Luckily, he explains. The yuppies were born in space, and are now coming back to earth and reinterpreting the 80′s. I don’t know what kind of acid this guy was on when he came up with this crackpot inspiration, but I’m a fan of both hallucinations and reliving the 80′s so Dave’s okay by me.
While CalTran doesn’t believe in seams, Cesar has opened his mind to allow one seam, and he’s pretty proud of it.
Golnessa wants to be bring back old Hollywood. She wants to be famous, and conquer the world. Like Madonna.
Sorry, but no one ever conquered the world in beige.
We get views but no commentary on Cindy and Dominique. Guess not everyone rates.
And then…Iman! The contestants dutifully freak out, but hello, it’s Iman!
So here’s my Iman story – I met Iman! She was wearing the most perfect pale yellow Marc Jacobs coat and the first Louis Vuitton Murakami bag I ever saw. In the days before Jessica Simpson stuffed a dog in it and ruined everything. Also, Iman looks about seventeen.
So, having said all that…Iman can’t really talk. It’s okay, she’s still Iman, but her hosting skills are unintentionally hilarious. She makes a dramatic face with every word she says.
Iman shows us photos from throughout her career, and it’s amazing.
She’s worked with “everybody…and now you” she tells the designers. Which brings us to the first challenge – use Iman as your muse. The designers stand around with their models as dramatic music swells in the background. Then we learn that “no designer is an island”, and the designers are split into two teams – odd numbered sewing boxes vs. even numbered sewing boxes.
CalTran is not happy. “Me, Calvin Tran working with people? Oh, here go hell come.” I have been parroting “Oh, here go hell come” all week long. Long line at Starbucks? “Oh, here go hell come.”
Iman continues. As a house, you convey your vision to Mystery Man, whose name turns out to be Stefen, who brings it to life as a fashion show. I don’t know. I haven’t heard him say fuck once, and from my history of studying Kelly Cuttone, I know that’s how it’s done.
It’s the fucking fashion show!
Stefan will also be responsible for the “model choreography”. I choke on my Diet Lipton Green Tea and Altoid cocktail. Here’s my “model choreography” – don’t trip. Iman dramatically threatens the designers about eliminations with all the fervor of Cruella DeVille off to kill puppies.
Or you will be eliminated.
Iman sends them to their studio to come up with a name for their fashion house, and then “wow” her. They flitter away, and start introducing themselves. 21 year old Dominique D. already has a crush on Yuppie Greenpeace David, but she informs us that she’s not looking to fall in love.
Wrong reality show - Bachelor’s shooting on the other coast. Brad’s not looking to fall in love either.
The blue team names themselves House Of Nami, which is Iman spelled backwards. I am blown away by the originality. The green team names themselves House Of Emerald Syx. I am blown away by the stupidity, but it’s at least creative.
And now, for the designing! On Nami, Smug Mike immediately launches into a monologue about Iman’s journey from Somalia. Naturally, he does it an annoying hat. He blathers about “white on white tribal” and how he’s “feeling it”. Cesar talks about being cohesive. Dominique shows us all 21 of her years as she tells us her team’s “gonna rock this!”
So what’s E6 up to? New Wretchen says that Iman should wear pink and red. “Iman doesn’t wear pink,” sneers CaTran. He demands that the group designate a leader, and basically picks a fight with everyone. If this is the pre-3:00 CalTran, we have a lot to look forward to.
As E6 prattles on in chaos, here comes Isaac Mizrahi. I miss him at Target. But is he wearing that spray on hair? Smug Mike isn’t fazed because he lives in LA and sees celebs all the time. Of couuuuuuurse. All the famous people want to hang with Smug Mike.
Well, the D-Listers surely want to borrow that hat.
Cesar steals the show from Smuggy and tells Isaac about the white on white tribal thing. Which might have been a mistake, because Issac doesn’t love it. People do white on white all the time, he explains. Then he tells them they need to give the design “a reason for being.” Fashion needs a reason to live? Look, pink and Prada are staples of about half of my conversations, but give me a break.
So, since “white on white” will make the garment want to kill itself, they bring on the safari theme. Because Iman’s from Somalia. Get it? Nami’s really going all out with this creative vision. Isaac gets to quipping:
“Don’t get caught up in the beads, but give us something to look at.”
“Use Rolando as your fit model”.
And with that, we’re moving on to E6. Morris Day talks about Iman’s skin and yellow and hot pink and navy. New Wretchen acts important and obnoxious. Tamara From The Block has made a dress with fins on the sides. I’m pretty sure Iman didn’t swim out of Somalia, so basically Tamara’s just making something to make Iman look fat.
Well, it is tempting.
And then it’s CalTran time! He talks about a dress that ties up in a bunch of different ways. Why, so you don’t have to sew it? Isaac thinks E6 is “all over the place”, and tells them to work together. And what does CalTran think of working together?
Oh, here go hell come.
CalTran begins a fabulous rant about how “the first round is on them”, basically extricating himself from whatever his team is doing. Or as he puts it, “I am a team, but you have no opinion.” Another pearl that I am dying to appropriate at work, but saving until I get my year end bonus. Isaac is terrified. I am delighted. And CalTran? “They will love me later as time go on, but for now I think they will hate my face,” he informs us cheerfully.
And then it’s time to go fabric shopping at B&J. Each team has $600 to distribute evenly. Can’t they just say $100 per person? This show airs at 10 PM when most of us are too tired to do math. “How can you make anything,” moans CalTran. New Wretchen finds a print that she says everyone can use for everything and everyone’s happy. They leave B&J without saying “Bye B&J!” like Tim makes the Project Runwayers say. Do you think Mood pays extra for that?
The designers head back to their house, and we get some background. Golnessa is from Iran and lives in a shoebox with a sewing machine and a patch of floor. Ro, still stinging from Isaac’s mean, fat girl remark, tells the team he’s a size 2. They tease him about being a plus size model. Outerspace Yuppie David is the requisite allegedly straight designer who tells us everyone thinks he’s gay.
The next day, back at the studio Cesar is doing a bias-cut. Smug Mike is doing “tribal motifs translated to sophisticated”. I am going to hate everything this asshole says, but I’m still writing it all down. New Wretchen is making a “fitted mini-dress with emphasis on ruffles”. Sounds very appropriate for one of the most glamourous women in the world.
On Team E6, Cindy who hates Mexican clothes is making a jumpsuit. Then we see her palling around with Golnessa. Tamara From The Block and CalTran are giving them dirty looks. I would have been too, they’re being silly and irritating. Whatever Tamara’s working on she describes as “asymmetrical” and “with a high collar”. And she’s sure Iman would wear it. Morris Day tells us that choosing the same fabric makes them more like a team. I have seen enough PRs to know that the same fabric does not a collection make, but it will be fun to watch Isaac and Iman tell them the same thing.
In the sewing room, CalTran once again has his panties in a bunch. He doesn’t like the sewing machine, it’s too stiff. He breaks the machine, but oh well, he’ll just hide the seam with some sparkly shit. Then he laughs like a psychopath.
Cindy says his garment is looking cheaper and cheaper. Morris Day can not recall any jewels on the neckline in CalTran’s original design. But again, it’s all good soothes CalTran – the beauty of his clothes is that every garment is multi-purpose. It’s a dress, it’s a poncho, and it’s a skirt and if you don’t like it “use it to clean the floor.”
Greenpeace Yuppie from outer space is wearing a purple headband. Really? Straight? Smug Mike’s dress looks like a noose. Which will probably come in handy because his boring dress has no reason to live.
Smuggy’s team advises him to fix the suicidal dress but he defends himself saying he has “more of a visionary concept”. The generic artist cop-out. Don’t like my fingerpained rock? Well my friend, then you just don’t understand visionary concepts. I feel sorry for you.
Eduardo of the glitter and feathers again wanted to use feathers on Iman’s dress, but they weren’t in the budget. He appeals to Cesar, who is the clear leader and also immediately fashions some “feathers” out of fabric and sandpaper. It’s a fashion MacGyver! “Can we do 100?” simpers Eduardo. Um, we? “We can work together,” says Cesar diplomatically. But in the end, Eduardo ditches the sandpaper feathers and takes Isaac’s advice to “simplify”.
Okay, moving on the drama of E6. What is CalTran up to? Well, he’s befuddled by the team concept. “How can everyone agree?” he wonders. Golnessa and Cindy are still horsing around in the studio. And it turns out, they know each other. They’re business partners in yet another cleverly named brand, GoCi.
Of course CalTran has a comment and of course it’s phenomenal – “Oh, that evil, no wonder why,” he clucks. He doesn’t like it. He thinks it should be every man for himself and I have to agree on all counts.
But CalTran does come up with a really cool idea for their fashion show. The models will be statues covered in a sheet, and then unveiled one by one to come to life and walk the catwalk. I love it! I always appreciate a good show.
Well, we haven’t heard one of Smug Mike’s deep musings in about a minute, so where’s he at? The “visionary concept” has now morphed into “line art”. But will it give the dress a reason to be? Dominique is working with chiffon, which is a new “hurdle”. She’s running into problems, she tells us.
But it’s nothing compared to the visionary concept line art noose that Smuggy’s got going. No one on the team likes it, but Smuggy won’t give it up. Cesar gives him some advice on how to fix it, but tells us that he’s only helping his crew on things that will make them stronger as a team.
Dominique carries on about Cesar’s craftsmanship and how’s he’s like the teacher. I kind of didn’t like her based on her website bio, but she’s actually pretty sweet and cute. What can I say, bad website editing. New Wretchen is ruffling her dress and about to lose it.
Actually, this is how she looked for most of the show.
CalTran says that New Wretchen doesn’t know how to cut fabric, so he helps her. Cindy is surprised that he’s doing it, but he tells us he didn’t want her to give up because it would hurt the team. Awwww. But don’t get soft on me, bitch.
He does ruffle half of New Wretch’s dress, but she is “super particular” about her garment and is convinced he ruined all her ruffles. She calls them “crappy” and rips them all out, while CalTran seethes that she didn’t even say thank you. New Wretch continues her panic attack and streams by in a tizzy while Cesar flashes a big “my garment was completed four days ago” grin.
Of course there’s the last minute rush and people flipping out about not getting done on time, but in the end everyone zips up a garment bag and is on their way.
The next morning, CalTran says that Iman is already wearing his clothes in his mind. Where conveniently, he is also king of the universe. A bunch of the guys (including the, ahem, straight one) do yoga and headstands. Yoga headstands? I don’t know. I tried Bikram for five minutes once, spent the whole time gagging from the sweaty smell and then headed to the bar next door until it was over.
And then it’s time for the fashion show! It’s a typical backstage frenzy, lots of dresses being flung about and people running around. E6 consults with a bossy makeup artiest and there’s talk of a “blue smoky cat eye shape”. But New Wretch doesn’t like it. Luckily, there’s CalTran to handle her ass, and inform her that the group already voted so she needs to pipe down.
And then it gets good. So good, I transcribed.
These are not the eyes we wanted. These look like the other team’s.
We already voted. Done.
Excuse me, I didn’t even know you were voting, so don’t even give me that attitude.
Where were you? Where were you?
I don’t know! I was over here.
Too bad. We were here doing your hair when you not here.
You I accuse, honey. You I accuse.
I‘m a what? You can’t even speak so just shut the f@*k up.
Shut your f@*king mouth.
You shut your f@*king mouth.
Well, that was enough of a show for me but oh yeah, there’s still the fashion. We start with E6.
First is Tamara. Her dress is canary yellow and looks pretty 80′s, which is not an insult coming from me. She’s toned down the fins, but it’s way too tight and her model can barely walk in it. Which is of course the model’s fault. “The model makes the dress look tight,” she complains.
Of course it’s the model’s fault. It certainly wasn’t the sewing.
Morris Day’s outfit is not hideous, but nothing great. He loves it though and I’m fond of him so that makes me like it a little more. He’s go model issues too, but his really are the model’s fault. She was supposed to open the coat to show the outfit underneath and all the detail, but she didn’t.
Clearly the “model choreography” of 1. Walk 2. Open Jacket was too much.
As expected, CalTran’s sheet covered model thing is a huge success. I love the “whoosh” should that the sheet makes when it gets blown off the model. I hope it wasn’t an added effect for TV. Next is Cindy. Her jumpsuit is cool, but the back is jerry-rigged together in a bunch of knots.
Hey, nice jumpsu –
Then we see New Wretchen’s dress – it’s actually sort of cute. For a 14 year old. A sort of slutty 14 year old. I am partial to ruffles, I admit it.
Of course hearing New Wretch brag about how great it is, I like it less.
Golnessa’s model is in a black potato sack. She’s the one with the sarong diaper in her bio, and apparently she’s pretty confident in this look.
Could someone help? I’ve got a load back here.
And then, CalTran. It’s long, yellow satin and looks like it was stapled together and glittered. But he thinks it is amazing and beautiful and better then he expected. “It blew my mind away!” he gushes. I would expect nothing less. Smug Mike, however, has slightly different take on things. He can’t imagine Iman in any of E6′s designs.
“We would have had to drop our garments in a pool of blood and not finish 3 of them for them to win.”
Then we have a bunch of commercials and the Bravo fake out. This one is about Greenpeace Outerspace Dave, who says he’s like a 5 year old and proves it by running around pretending to take pictures of people with a tiny camera. The gays love him, and I have to admit he’s a little endearing. Then we see about 4,000 Tresseme commercials. Did you know Tresseme can hold your style and wash your hair without water? So can Aqua Net and baby powder. It’s not magic. Also, it is at this point that I realize this thing is an hour and fifteen minutes long. Every week? Is that really necessary?
It’s time for the Nami collection, and they’re saying they’re ready but they’re still pinning and sewing and Mysterious Stefen is starting to get Kelly Cutrone on their asses. Finally.
First up is Smug Mike and his noose dress. He’s done nothing to change it but he has some kind of deep explanation.
But does it have a reason to be?
Greenpeace Outerspace Dave’s dress looks like an angel dress, I like it.
Outerspace yuppies from the 80′s. Who knew.
Dominique’s sheer chiffon dress is nice, but dull. She is really excited to see her design on the runway though and it’s a little infectious.
Eduardo made a short frilly Marchesa looking cocktail dress. Of course he has to ruin it by telling us how much more complicated his dress is than anyone else’s.
So much more complicated that he couldn’t even make it himself. Thanks, Cesar.
Rolando has a long white dress and I really like it. Actually, it’s a mini in the front with a train in the back, a la Stephane Seymour in November Rain and you know where I stand on 80′s metal.
Well, actually it’s sort of a mullet dress. But I still like it.
Last is Cesar with a wild animal print dress that has big pouffy thing on the shoulder.
I could actually see Iman wearing this dress. Not just in my mind.
After the show, it’s time to meet the rest of the judges. First is Laura Brown from Harper’s.
I told you, my name’s not Nina!
The guest judge is Rachel Roy. Rachel Roy seems to pop up on a lot of these shows to pass judgment. Which I always find interesting considering her fashion line is was a bonus of being married to Damon Dash, when he was very, very rich. Now he can’t make his SUV payments, they’re divorced and I mostly see her stuff at Loehman’s.
And the judges say that they were “impressed” with both collections, but House of Nami is the winner. No big surprise. And while the judges thought the collection hit six different aspects of Iman’s personality, the defining look was…Cesar! And if he gets to the finale, he gets an additional $500 to design his collection.
“I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I was really proud,” Cesar tells us. He thinks that’s egotistical? It’s adorable. While Cesar is being all proud and egotistical, E6 is sitting around having life talk on a bench. “We’re losers. We’re sitting here losing,” laments CalTran.
But what do the judges have to say? First they dissect Morris Day. They think his fabric is bumblebee looking. He immediately takes off his model’s jacket and the judges like his outfit better. Next is New Wretchen and her ruffles. And my good friend Sneaky PA must be back and filling in the judges on her terrible behavior because there’s no way they could have hated it that much. Isaac calls it passe. RR says it’s not creative. And Laura Brown thinks it looks like a dress for a pre-prom party and it reminds her of Strawberry, a cheap clothing store in New York that nonetheless has a very catchy song in its commercials. But that’s not going to help New Wretch.
Then they review Cindy’s jumpsuit with the jacked up back. RR loves it, but Iman wants the back explained to her. Whatever the explanation is, it’s not working for Iman. She says she would wear the front but not the back.
Tamara From The Block doesn’t get a lot of praise either. Iman suffered for the model. Oh, please. She had to stand in a tight dress for an hour. Us regular fat asses have to stand in tight dresses all day. Even though the fins were redacted, they were still present enough for all the judges to hate them. “You’ve added to her ass and I don’t think that does anyone any favors,” snips LB.
So, let’s see what they thought of CalTran. Well, because it’s CalTran, let’s first hear what he thinks of his dress. His vision goes any way the wind blows. He has pins and screws to make the dress into a blanket or a lampshade or whatever. Isaac calls it a cop out. CalTran waggles his finger at them explains that they’re wrong because you always have to have the “retail point of view”. I’m laughing. Tell that again to the man who who’s made millions on HSN and at Target.
Iman doesn’t want to hear about all the hidden pieces, she wants to know what the hell this yellow dress has to do with her. Iman, Iman, Iman. Well, CalTran thought the “golden” color would look good with her skin. “But it’s not golden, it’s yellow,” corrects Iman. “Tom-ah-to, To-may-to,” shrugs Calvin.
“But it’s not a tomato,” insists Iman, either offended or bored or just trying to stretch this thing out to an hour fifteen, “It’s a yellow.” CalTran agrees they can “settle” on yellow, but Iman still looks annoyed. And she gets the final word as Isaac calls the dress “inexpensive” looking, and she interrupts to say, “You mean cheap.” Is Iman being petty? I can’t deal.
Well, LB and RR hate the dress too but Iman’s not done. “It is a fashion emuuuuuuugency and it needs an excavation!” The only thing lamer about these Iman-ism’s of which we are no doubt in store for many more of is that someone is probably writing them for her.
This is getting heated, so let’s move to Golnessa and her sarong diaper look. It’s nice and boring agree all the judges. Then Isaac brings up “dissention in the ranks” of team E6 and we revisit the “there has to be a leader” argument. CalTran says there was no leader, and New Wretch tells the judges that it was because no one really knew each other well enough to elect a leader.
And finally, it’s time for elimination. Wow, did they drag this thing out or what? Morris Day had a “great dress and a bad jacket”, but he can stay. No matter how you wear CalTran’s dress, “it’s still tasteless”, so he is not to move.
Really, do not piss off Iman.
Golnessa is “lovely but not inspiring”, and she can stay too. Cindy’s front of jumper was “fantastic” and that’s enough to make up for the shoelaces in the back, so she can stay too. New Wretch and her “dress from a mall” are also instructed to not move. And Tamara “doesn’t have to put all strengths in one dress” but she can stay too.
So it’s down to CalTran and New Wretch. There’s no way they’re getting rid of the reality gold that is CalTran. I’m also disappointed at the possibility of losing New Wretch cause her nervous breakdown would be fun to watch, but we can not lose CalTran at this time. Or ever.
Isaac didn’t like New Wretchen’s dress or CalTran’s attitude. So he tosses it to Iman who informs New Wretch that “this is The Fashion Show, and I’m sorry but Francine you are out of fashion.” No one can come up with a catchy phrase to eliminate people anymore. “You’re fired!” was the last good one. But who cares as long as CalTran gets to stay!
New Wretch is a sore loser. Who saw that one coming. She didn’t think her dress was that bad. “Maybe it’s not haute couture with stuff hanging all over it,” she says. Haute couture means “stuff hanging all over it”? But she thinks it was sewn well, and that should count for something. Oh, and she also hated everyone in her E6 fashion house.
Morris Day says they need to get into each other’s minds at E6. He also drapes an arm around CalTran as they leave the runway, which was just about the sweetest reality move ever.
And that’s The Fashion Show! They show a lot of previews for the upcoming season, including a runway battle between the OC and NJ Housewives. ‘Til next week!