by Abby White
For the second episode of Project Runway, the contestants are immediately informed by the flawless Heidi Klum that they are on the same teams as last week, Keeping It Real (the winners, and team of Amanda Valentine) vs. Dream Team (the losers, and thus down one teammate).
They are not thrilled. And, I have to admit, I'm not sure this is fair. Keeping It Real has eight team members, and Dream Team has seven. They should have done this King Solomon-style and cut one of Keeping It Real's team members in half. Might I suggest Kate Pankoke?
Anyway, when Klum hints that the challenge will "be a ball," Valentine looks apprehensive and basically says exactly what I was thinking: “It’s going to be a ball gown? That’s going to be horrible. Something athletic? That’s going to be horrible.”
Well, she was close! The designers are led to SPiN New York, which is fortunately not a cycling studio.
(Although that would be a fun challenge ... as someone who takes cycling, there are always a ton of cute guys in class, and I know I look pretty dreadful because I am just hanging on to my bike for dear life as I'm sweating out a week's worth of whiskey. Tim Gunn, you can have that idea. Just take it. No credit necessary.)
SPiN New York is some sort of ping-pong social club bar thing. Like, drink a cocktail, eat some snacks, play ping-pong or watch a ping-pong match on TV (???). Hmmm. I'm kind of amazed we don't have one in East Nashville yet. Shit, even Milwaukee has one. It's like the H&M thing all over again. WE'RE NOWVILLE, DAMMIT!!!
Anyway, this might be a genius idea for a bar that wants more than board games to entertain patrons. Darts? Dangerous. Shuffleboard? Messy. That game at fooBAR where you swing the rope back so it lands on a hook on the wall? Entirely impossible for a drunk. Also, SPiN has a rad, if obvious, slogan: "Balls are our business."
Oh, and Susan Sarandon is one of the owners.
With her jailbait boyfriend. Susan, you are such a badass. (OK, he's not jailbait, he's 36, but looks about 22. Again, way to go, Susan!).
So the designers have to make uniforms for the staff, which of course includes guys and girls. In addition to bartenders and servers, there are people who walk around with one of those nets on a stick (is that a lacrosse stick, or maybe one of those contraptions you clean out a pool with?) picking up ping-pong balls. That must be the lowest job on the SPiN totem pole, by the way. Imagine explaining to your parents that you're gonna pay off your $100K+ school loan debt with that job.
Cindy, the older rich designer who runs a funeral home, feels like she is the weak link. She’s nervous. I think she's the weak link, too, because I'm not a fan of her stuff, and also because the majority of the episode focuses on the drama between her and Ben, who is micromanaging her. I root for Ben because I like his accent and his platinum pompadour.
So each team has to make five looks, three female and two male. They have $500 per team.
Amanda does a basic "fit and flare, swim and wear" dress made out of swimwear fabric. Tim told her she was clever. Tim is so rad. But she is clever — have you ever been a server? You spill shit on yourself all the time. I don't know why all waitstaff uniforms aren't made out of swimsuits. When Amanda's model walked the runway, she was worried that the dress was too short. Yeah, it's short, but I think this works because she follows the basic rule of not looking like a slut: If you show the legs, don't show the girls, and vice versa. The classic neckline, which doesn't allow for cleavage spillage, keeps this dress from going into ping-pong tart territory.
I could describe the continued bickering that goes back and forth between Ben and Cindy, and how Tim calls out Ben for not matching his shirt to Cindy's jacket. I'm no fashion expert, but I think the problem is the crotch. Ben does not know how to make a women's crotch.
I adored Michelle's look last week, and she's done it again!! So utilitarian AllSaints. This would work as a uniform or just as a dress that needs to be in my closet. Michelle clearly wants out of her team, because Michelle wants to win.
James' shirt is a mess. I made a better shirt out of paper bags and Elmer's glue in kindergarten. Tim calls it a construction disaster, team tells him to scrap it. Tim tells the team they are in trouble. James' new outfit isn't much better. The team starts to turn against him. I'm starting to think that maybe James is going home, even though all evidence points to Cindy. It seems like James gave up and went for the discount-rack-at-Urban-Outfitters look, because this is what he sent down the runway:
In the 11th hour Matt decides to make a kilt. I effing loved this idea. The judges don't really like it. Susan says her boys won't wear a skirt!!! Personally, I'd love a hot dude waiter in a skirt, but I guess not everyone is into that.
He humbly allows Layana to take the win, but methinks he helped a lot. That mustache has a lot of talent, people.
I did find it odd that Ms. Sarandon remarks that she's never seen a skort. WTF?!? Did she miss the '80s or something?
Gratuitous Zac Posen shot. MMMMM.
So, who was out, Cindy or James? It was down to both of them, natch, and — even though Cindy is told that her look was "dowdy" — James is sent home.
We still feel like Amanda is not getting a ton of screen time. Perhaps that's because she is the dark horse??? Watch and find out. Next week, they have to design for Heidi Klum!