Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh the Hughmanity! Week 2: “Ribbed for No One’s Pleasure”

Possums, it was the Roman playwright Terence who wrote, “I am a man. Nothing human is alien to me.” However, had he survived into the modern age, and were he a viewer of Bravo and a reader of blogs, there is no doubt in our mind that he would have written, “I am a gay man. Nothing Hughman is alien to me.” And it is in that spirit that the redoubtable Hughman brings you his take on the second episode of Project Runway:

Jeezy creezy.

I so want to believe everything Tim Gunn says. Honestly. “Pencil skirts are in.” Hell yeah! “Glamour is the new black.” Hot-cha! “The Eighties are back!” Um, ok I guess. They weren’t that inspiring the first time but whatever.

So it seems particularly telling that in his first rooftop appearance, instead of telling us, as he usually does, that “this season has the best designers we’ve ever seen,” Tim says that this is the most “diverse” group of designers in the show’s history. “Diverse”?! Really?! That’s really damning with faint, meaningless praise. The thing is, though, I think his scrupulousness is showing through; the man is trying to tell us something, and not for nothing has he been bitchier than on any season past.

Maybe it’s just me but this season of PR already seems like the Presidential Primaries, no end in sight. And it’s ONLY THE SECOND SHOW!! Maybe I need to drink more but I feel like I’m sitting through a long boring movie (cough*The English Patient*cough) and desperately need to pee.

Why? Maybe it’s the lack of the “Speech in Berlin” moment thus far. There’s been no Gay Gasp like when we first laid eyes on Laura Bennett (who in my movie is played by Rosalind Russell). No jovial Chris March. No annoying yet strangely magnetic Christian Siriano. Not even a Wendy Pepper hovering around the edges like a soccer mom on a meth binge. We barely know anything about this season’s contestants, so when they’re booted, the best we can manage is “meh.” No thanks to Bravo, who’ve been as tightlipped about this season as Condi Rice at the Dinah Shore Classic.

The one thing the designers do most creatively on Season 5 is be Reality Show Contestants. Fortified by years of Real World, America’s Next Top Model and I Love New York, they eagerly jump into roles as Stereotypes. Talent be damned, this is about what the camera loves or what some people have decided the camera loves. The rest of us know the camera adds ten pounds to your ego and usually not where you need them.

So we get second-rate, crazy hippie, an overcaffeinated small gay, and a misplaced straight guy. All they need are “Hi, My Name is That One” nametags and we’re all set.

Even the clothes are meh. On this episode they could have all come from Forever 21 and we’d never know the difference. Short, nondescript little numbers from the wardrobe of The Hills. Twenty or so outfits thus far and frankly, I don’t think I could pick one of them out of a lineup.

Bravo tried to shake it up. First, all material had to be “eco friendly,” a vague enough term slapped onto everything these days to try and assuage our TV-addicted guilt. I still don’t really know what it means and I doubt any of these kids do either. In a perfect world, we’d get bamboo leaves and recycled glass. As if.

Second, we were treated to the Models being forced to buy the fabric at Mood. It was like watching the Valet Parker being made to buy your car. Just let them do their job, get a check and go back to smoking and drinking bottled water. I can tell you firsthand, models really don’t usually give a shit about what they’re paid to wear. It’s a JOB, not a stint volunteering to stop world hunger.

The results spoke volumes about what Models think of designers. Apparently designers are like crows with bad taste, attracted to shiny things in dull colors. Brown satin was the main draw. Perhaps the Models thought it was made of recycled camel dung and the remnants of lip gloss. (Eco Friendly!)

Stella ain’t having it. She declares in her best Penny Marshall voice that she’s Urban and all about leather. No shit. If Squeaky Fromme were a dominatrix, Stella would pretty much be her Doppelgänger. Oddly her final design didn’t exhibit any of these two qualities, unless Urban means we’re about a half inch from seeing the model’s “Lower East Side.” One-armed hookers everywhere are drooling over her product.

In what may go down in the records as Most Ironic Statement Ever on PR, Blayne calls her “leatherface.” I was hoping Stella would slap that kumquat he calls a head right off his shoulders (which Korto could snatch off the floor, splice in half and call a brooch.) Instead, the Gay Gollum takes the one-sided dress idea and applies it to his “Licious,” making yet another “I’m a little teapot” concoction. The result was also very Pretty in Pink/Flashdance, complete with a side ponytail in case you weren’t yet convinced it was retro enough.

Finally we got our requisite shockers.

Suede wins! Bisexual Kewpie dolls everywhere are crying with glee. I didn’t personally think it was the Best (I favored Kenley’s shift with the dramatic neckline which I could see Pat Buckley wearing to a cocktail party) but if you were a milkmaid going to a milkmaid prom, you could do worse.

Poor Wesley. I’m not into Conspiracy Theories but I’m just gonna go on a limb and hope (to his credit) that he was overwhelmed with Puppy Love. This is always the way it works. First the sultry looks, next the stolen kisses then suddenly you find yourself forcing your model into a brown satin condom while you whiteknuckle through frustration. The dress was too tight, too short and ribbed in a way that brought no one pleasure. Here’s hoping he can release some of that tension by the reunion and it’ll all be doe-eyed moonlit walks on the beach once again.

“If Squeaky Fromme were a dominatrix, Stella would pretty much be her Doppelgänger”

Sunday, July 27, 2008

“Top Design” Breaking News: See You Later, “See You Later, Decorator”

Hallelujah, Praise the Lady Bunny, and any other religious ejaculation you can think of. In the above clip, Raggaydy Andy Cohen announces that on the upcoming season of Top Design, we will no longer be hearing Jonathan Adler say, “See you later, decorator.” What the new send-off will be remains to be seen. We’re counting on you, Simon Doonan, to save the day.

Miss XaXa Cries (Gay) Uncle

Our Miss XaXa tipples with fairy godfathers Ted Allen of Top Chef and Nick Verreos of Project Runway at last night's Gender Public Advocacy Coalition event at the Chopping Block in Chicago.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

*Both* of These Men Have Sex with Women; Pink Navy Suddenly Sympathizes with the Plight of the Modern Heterosexual Woman

“Project Runway” Shocker!!: Two 20-Something New York Gay Men Get It On! Can the Apocalypse Be Far Behind?

We know, possums, we know. What are the odds of this happening, right?

At any rate, the rumors that Wesley Nault, he of the Paul Rudd visage and the Hitlerjugend-meets-80s-Mexican-boyband shorts, and Daniel Feld, he of the greasy hair and the upholstery blazer, are in a relationship have now been confirmed.

We love it when the sodomythical becomes the sodomitical.

Is Colombia’s Fourth Most Famous Export Using Its Most Famous?

What else would explain her saying, “I like this dress,” and then having it win?

And, in case you were wondering, possums….

Colombia’s Most Famous Exports:

1. cocaine
2. Shakira
3. Gabriel García Márquez
4. Ninotchka “Nina” García de Castellanos
5. emeralds

“Project Runway” Shocker! Suede Turns Out to be a Double-Sided Fabric

Yes, possums, it happened to us too. Drinks were spilled, pictures fell off walls, and cracks appeared in the ceiling—not, mind you, because we happened to be in California….

“The earth slipped off its axis,” interjected a visibly shaken Miss XaXa.

Oh, possums, it did more than that. The earth convulsed as though getting rid of a hairball.

For, you see, Suede is…oh we’ll let him say it:

“Suede is a bisexual Sagittarius….”

Miss XaXa, recovering from her stupor, asked, “Isn’t that half man, half horse?”

“Or horse’s ass. And I’m not even sure about the half man part.”

“How on earth would he ever get a woman to sleep with him?”

“Uh, catch her in a web of bias-cut satin strips?”

Fortunately, though, the female panic button seems to work. The very thought that that might be interested in women activated Miss XaXa’s alarm, and her ladypart-panic room clanged shut with the finality of a Swiss bank vault. Jodie Foster is not getting out, and Suede is not getting in, anytime soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

“Yeah, we’d only pay 49 cents for that, too.”

Miss XaXa’s reaction: “That’s what happens when you’re from Sacramento.”

“It’s a young Quentin Crisp! No, no, it’s the ghost of JonBenet Ramsey! No, it’s Austintacious!”

To which Miss XaXa replied, “If Blayne is not allowed to say ‘girlicious,’ you can’t say ‘austintacious,’ ok?”

What we are allowed to say, though, is that success definitely agrees with Miss Scarlett. Never have the golden locks or the opera pumps possessed such luster and sheen.

Oh the Hughmanity! Week 1: “A Brazil Wax for a Smurf”

Possums, we have never been able to resist a cri de cœur, and a cri de cœur is exactly what we heard after the first episode of the final season of Project Runway. (As Shakespeare might have written, we come to bury PR, not to praise it, and we will chime in presently.)

Indeed, it was a veritable chorus of cris de cœur, and our favorite baritone voice crying out in the fashion desert belonged to the inimitable Hughman. When we asked him to give us (and Bravo) a piece of his mind—à la mode, as it were—he was gracious enough to cut us a generous slice. Spoons at the ready, then, possums, as Hughman dishes it out:

Project Runway has been for many years now a constant in our lives. Indeed, it has been with me longer than many of my relationships. I can point to when Heidi Klum first appeared in my life, when Tim Gunn gazed lovingly at me and the first Lover’s Spat I had with Nina Garcia. Like you, I looked forward to the return of our beloved show before it was shot along with Bruce Willis into deep space (aka Lifetime), where no one can hear you scream—unless you’re Valerie Bertinelli or Tori Spelling.

Well, fuck me, is all I have to say thus far. Judging from the premiere, this time around the relationship is going to be a bumpy ride.

First things first.

Let’s all place one gloved hand on the September issue of Vogue and swear to Coco Chanel we will never ever, ever—EVER—mouth the “word” girlicious again. EVER. If I could invent a time machine, possibly the first thing I’d do is go back and slap the concept right out of Blayne’s orange, red-hatted teeny head. It’s not a pun, it’s not funny, it’s not clever and Blayne is certainly no Christian Siriano. Also, if you hear a friend say it, you are authorized to just dump them on the spot. No good can come of this utterance and you are certainly, by your mere presence on this blog, far too glamorous to have people like that surrounding you.

It says in his Bravo bio that Blayne was voted the Most Stylish Man in Seattle. So to all the men in Seattle and the blind nuns who voted for him, I say, “Poor you”. As for the outfit he created, I’m sure it will make a dramatic conclusion to The Vagina Monologues : The Musical.

Then we come to “Suede” Pleather. He has managed to take the standard fauxhawk of Bravo contestants to the next level. Here it’s like a Brazil wax for a Smurf. Thankfully he talks of himself in the third person, which I can only hope is a stilted attempt to distance himself from whoever BeDazzled his jean vest with his nom de douche. Supposedly he’s monied or somesuch and owns a dairy in Pennsylvania or somewhere. Perhaps all the milkmaids there are wearing dull gingham frocks and giggling about all the cute fabric nicknames they’ve given to the bulls. “Cashmere! Poly-blend! Uh... suede.”

Speaking of trash, we shan’t forget the Bag-a-lencia stylings of Stella, the Patron Saint of Bad Choice of Drug Use in the 70s. If Donatella were barefoot and pregnant and living in a trailer, this dress would have been what J-Lo would have worn to the Oscars. Would it have killed her to make a bra out of some of the other crap she threw away? Also, word to the wise : do not wear your circus costume in the supermarket. No one wants to worry that a circus hippy in pigtails is going to rip a box of Glad Wrap out of their hands in Aisle 3.

Other dribbles that caught in my eye:

Man shorts like the ones Wesley wears are fine. On the Von Trapps. Yes, they’re supposedly fabulous fashionable now and all that but really... c’mon. They make a reasonable adult look like Pinocchio, and do we really need to compare ourselves to wooden toys that live with old mustached men? I thought they looked silly on the runway and now that I see them on an actual person and not a model, I realize I was right. Just assume we believe you when you state you shave your legs.

Finally, all the brouhaha about Jerry’s Morton Salt Girl outfit is grossly exaggerated. American Psycho?? Please. Patrick Bateman wore Armani, fer Christ’s sake! I actually went and looked at Jerry’s fashion line “Form”. And it was NOTHING like what he did on PR! They were, uh, t-shirts. See, if Gristedes sold t-shirts, this would have been a no-brainer. Oh well. Sigh. Better luck in the reunion show!