Project Accessory: Semi Finals
Notes as we begin this penultimate episode: Molly Sims outfits are slowly improving over the course of the season. She’s still no Heidi Klum, but she’s at least trying to work it.
For tonight’s double elimination, we will have a red carpet challenge. Eva has five evening gowns back at the workroom for them to fight over, so let’s leave Molly and head on over there, because this runway intro is just a hold-over formality from the parent show, Project Runway. (It should be noted the “runway intro” on ProjRun is at this point itself a hold-over from when contestants repicked their models at the top of every show, but that’s another story.) Brian, as last week’s winner, chooses first and takes the easy black dress. Brian then gets to choose who picks next, so he picks Nina because he somehow thinks that’s bitchy. He really under-estimates her. She grabs her desired grey number, and then chooses Christina who takes the only dress that isn’t a solid jewel tone, but actually in itself already visually interesting, instead of a blank canvas. Good for her. She lets Rich pick next, who instantly takes the red dress (duh), leaving Deigo the white one. Deigo isn’t really upset about that, since the dress nobody wanted was picked by Christina.
For our twist on tonight’s challenge, Eva takes them to a store called “Evolution.” It’s a place that sells and showcases specimen insects in cases, taxidermied animals and fossils. Rich knows the place well, and is ecstatic. Bugs and skulls and stuffed corpses, oh my! This challenge is right up his alley. Each contestant is to pick an insect that inspires them, and has to use that insect corpse in one of the three pieces they make. Rich chooses the big Hercules beetle. Brian chooses a Goliath beetle. Christina takes the walking leaf bug because its yellow toned green matches her dress. Nina takes a spider, even though they creep her out. Deigo is the only one to go obvious and take a butterfly.
Nina is obviously going with the spiderweb theme. Christina is trying for “modern bohemian princess,” since her dress already kind of screams that, and her walking leaf supports it. They have $200 to spend at Mood, where there is a lot of natural pattern and chain buying.
Rich is going historical and adorning his beetle like this is BC Egypt. Nina’s spiderweb chain work is gorgeous. Deigo does not get Rich or the challenge or what the hell is going on. I feel like this is not going to go well for him. Oh dear, Christina is doing metal work. Her metal work always looks a little unfinished. I’m not sure that’s a good idea.
Eva’s consultation: She loves Rich’s ideas, all of them. Her reaction to Brian’s pieces are profoundly negative. She thinks everything is overdone and way too much and he needs to edit himself. He ignores her advice. Eva shakes her head at how safe Deigo is playing it, much to Deigo’s confusion and irritation. Well what does she want from him? Maybe he should make a purse? I’m amazed she doesn’t facepalm when he says this. We don’t see her talk to Christina or Nina. Hmm, why is that? Deigo is also ignoring Eva’s advice, and making his handbag, damn it, because what else is he going to do? Oh, put a butterfly in her hair! How not original!
Meanwhile, Christina is planning on making a little clutch purse which she pretentiously calls a “min-oh-di-ae” Anyone know how to spell this? Google is not helping me. (ETA: Marnifer found it! See the comments.) She calls it that several time in succession. If I didn’t know any better, I would think it was today’s secret word. But she’s not actually going to make it tonight, since she’s too tired. Way to work last-minute.
Brian, against all sane advice, tries to pour resin over his bug. I’m a little surprised more of them aren’t trying that, since the bugs are so fragile. The only problem is resin pouring is an art form, and Brian makes a total hash of the process, which causes his bug to look as if it was encased in carbonite. He tries to play it off by deciding the bug is frozen, and doing faux icicles around it. You run with that theme! He does try to carve the bug back out as much as possible, but it’s just a mess and a half. Considering the judges loved his bedrock bag, there’s a chance they’ll love this, even though I think it looks absolutely horrendous, and like the mistake it was.
Day of runway, and Christina is attempting to use a bandsaw (apparently for the first time?) to make said pretentious little clutch purse. As long as she comes out with all ten fingers, we’ll call it even. Instead she breaks the machine. Lovely! So she whips up five-minute earrings, since she now doesn’t have enough accessories. They look very five-minute earrings. I’m thinking she might have gone too subtle for once.
To the runway!
Molly’s runway day outfits continue to lean towards the dowdy side. I do not approve. Though I do love her red velvet studded shoes that the (male) guest judge apparently is responsible for.
Rich: I just love the necklace. I also love the bug broach pin, though together they feel a bit “it’s a set!” I’m not really sure there’s anything he could have done about that though. Maybe if the necklace didn’t plunge down so low? Because the broach is exactly where it should be. That’s really my only critique. That ring is so cool. Ariel thinks he knocked it out of the park. Damn straight he did. High marks across the board. Molly’s only complaint is that the pieces together are a bit much. Kenneth agrees, but thinks they’re so well made, and so awesome that he really doesn’t care. They are all impressed by his ability to maintain taste level without losing his edge. He wins the challenge. Hands down. He finally brought it when it counted. I love his stuff, and I am very exicted he made the final.
Nina: Her necklace is so delicate. So lovely. I’m just worried that it doesn’t show as well on the runway, despite the dress being blank enough to not overshadow it. Her cuff is just neat. I love the metalwork she did on the “spider legs” and that she did 16 rather than eight so it wouldn’t feel too literal. The earrings are a bit throw away, but the hairjewel is fantastic. I think she did an amazing job. Ariel loves how modern her cuff is. Molly wants the body chains. Kenneth and Molly just are beside themselves at how great her eye is. She is in, and I’m excited to see what she makes. She so different from Rich, and yet so amazing too.
Christina: Oh this is sad. Judge’s favorite finally went too subtle, and right at the wrong time. I mean, look at the model picture. The dress, fabulous. The accessories? Practically non-existent. The dress overshadows them all. The only thing you even notice is the cuff. The earrings are too small, the ring doesn’t stand out, and the haircomb (which you can’t even see from the front) is lost. She blames her lack of pretentious little clutch for why this is a failure. I disagree. No amount of pretentiously named clutch could have fixed this. When you do see the hair piece, the metalwork under the bug is so sloppy in comparison to say, Rich, or Nina. Christina tries to talk her stuff up like her words could fill the empty spaces that her jewelry leaves. Everyone is painfully underwhelmed by her offerings. And I mean painfully, since up until this moment, I think they all assumed she was sailing into the finale. The literalness of the bug on the back of her head is too much for Ariel and Kenneth. There’s nothing creative enough here for anyone. They all love her, but even though the pieces are simple and elegant, but there was no wow. She’s out. I’m a little surprised, I thought they’d find some reason not to send her home, but no. Bye Christina!
Brian: Omg, the necklace is huge and ugly and awful. The earring is also terrible, it looks like a resin dildo hanging from her ear. but what really ruins the whole thing is that the styling is utterly terrible. Aren’t those people at the name dropping hair salon supposed to help the designers with this? I mean, the jewelry would look cartoonish anyway, but then styling her like she’s an extra in Beetlejuice is not going to somehow make that ok. This is the red carpet, not the afterlife. Brian tries to pretend this was ALL part of his amazing plan, that he wanted to tell the story of the extinction of his bug. Because if it’s green and environmental, liberal arts types will buy it, even though it is ridiculously ugly, right? It’s total nonsense. Ariel and Kenneth are not fooled. Ariel says that likes the unexpected, but this is “contrived,” to put it politely. Molly says it looks cheap and like the model’s been through a hurricane. The female guest judge (the one who didn’t make Molly’s shoes) swallows Brian’s BS hook, line, and sinker. She LOVES the hideous jewelry and its deep and meaningful message. She tries to argue for him that she would buy his pieces, but Ariel cuts her down: people would buy other pieces by him, not these. Perhaps if she saw his Bedrock purse, she’d understand? Either way, I think Brian should be thankful. Guest judge arguing for him or no, I think he would have been out if it weren’t for Deigo.
Diego: Oh, it’s all so dull! The purse is nice, but after seeing a season’s worth of purses from him, I expect magic, not handbags. The cuff is good, but a touch on the 13-year-old at a high-end Bat Mitzvah side. The real horror is the hair piece with the butterfly. It is not just forgettable, but downright embarrassing. The guest judges are impressed by the bag, but they’ve not had a season of them to compare it to, so they don’t count. Everyone else is over his bags and his predictably safe choices. Ariel called the headpiece “cup and saucer landed on head.” That’s giving it more credit than it deserves. A cup and saucer with a butterfly on it would have been more interesting than a cheap looking fabric-y flower you could easily buy at Claire’s in any mall in the country. The judges are all heartbroken to send him home. After all, when he works with leather, he makes some amazing things. But he’s too comfortable in his ways, and not willing to take the risks necessary to continue forward. As good as he is, we’ve already seen his best. He is out.
Next week: The finale! With eliminated contestants coming back to be assistants, and bring their own drama! Really, no drama necessary. Let’s just make some awesome jewelry, ok Rich and Nina? Thanks!