The Fashion Show
If The Fashion Show ever became the next Project Runway, we probably wouldn’t like it anymore. This is surely what Bravo wants, but if it ever did achieve that level of success, the show could easily be ruined. Now, The Fashion Show isn’t under the same pressure Runway faces to please all of Middle America with guest judges like Eva Longoria and Linsday Lohan and can cast guests like Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey and top fashion model Anja Rubik to sit on the judging panel for an episode. We enjoy a Hollywood celebrity guest judge as much as the next person, but having seen so many seasons of them on Project Runway having some real industry perspective on the constestants’ designs feels fresh. Also, these critiques coupled with judge and host Isaac Mizrahi’s guidance makes The Fashion Show that rare program that might actually teach its audience something about fashion design.
Bailey was on last night’s judging panel in the second-to-last episode before next week’s season finale, along with fellow guest judge J. Mendel designer Gilles Mendel. Both gave intelligent and interesting reviews of the collections, which had to be inspired by earth, fire, air, and water. At the end of the hour, it doesn't matter what some pretty actress thinks of a line nearly as much as what the editor-in-chief of one of the country's biggest fashion magazines thinks. And it was interesting to hear what Bailey likes in her clothing at all. Her magazine will never say that one of her advertisers' collections was crap, even if the editors thought so, but she can honestly tell Jeffrey, Cesar, Calvin, and Dominique how their clothes make her feel. And she was quite kind about it.
Isaac warns Calvin for the second week in a row that he has to be "the most careful" of all designers. This doesn't stop him from sending a dress down the runway that's supposed to have the same silhouette as a pregnant woman, inspired by the idea of Mother Earth, even though it did nothing to prove that Calvin understands that pregnancies happen in uteruses located in abdomens, not boobs. However it was quite nice when he said, "Woman is empowering. Woman is the source of life. Woman giving birth is very empowering."
Calvin and his partner, Dominique, decide to send their models down the runway barefoot with white snowman face. Dominique babbles on giddily throughout the episode about how obsessed she became with the idea of girls walking barefoot in the snow, which is presumably why her models were forced to walk at the pace of blind zombies barefoot down a runway in a very amateur-looking show, which Bailey so rightly tells her was a bad move since shoes so often serve the purpose of making clothes look good. Besides, if a chick was barefoot in the snow, she wouldn't walk through it at the pace of a Xanax-drugged snail; she'd be hurrying her ass up! (Well, except Karlie Kloss, who is superhuman.)
However Calvin and Dominique's staging just might have been better than Cesar and Jeffrey's, which involved a corny video projection of swimming fish. Dear boys, this isn't the entryway to an Imax 3-D under-the-sea movie, it's a fashion show. A fake fashion show, but a fashion show even so. While Calvin and Dominque presented a collection in white with earthy taupes, Cesar and Jeffrey stuck to blues and grays. Calvin and Dominique win with their attempt at avant garde — if poorly made — designs. Meanwhile Jeffrey and Cesar have to battle each other in a 32-minute post-fashion show bonus round to try to fix each of their worst looks from the show, which is a remarkable undertaking in such a short amount of time. It takes us about that long to drag our asses out of bed in the morning.
But Cesar's final final look is deemed the more tragic, and Jeffrey, Dominque, and Calvin get to move on to the finale, while Cesar goes home. So, who do you want to win? After Calvin's numerous terrible designs and Dominique's absolutely unforgivable "pig coat," we're rooting for Jeffrey. See all the looks from last night's episode in the slideshow.