Sunday, September 15, 2013

Project Runway Season 12: Episode 9: Plaid Is Rad

Ken about to go over to the dark side.
I really thought we were finally rid of the grand diva Ken this week on Project Runway. Last week in real life, eight PR designers showed at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week--the actual final three and five decoys so no one would know the true identity of the finalists, but there were nine contestants left on the show. Ken was the only one still in the running not to get a show at Fashion Week, so I naturally concluded he would get aufed this week. But that's not what happened.

The episode starts with Heidi promising the contestants the morning off and they are given a (presumably) free brunch at an eatery called Juliette. As they are sipping their coffee, Tim walks in and announces the challenge which is to design for the Modern Southern Woman--by a coincidence, the customer for Belk, the company which just happens to sponsor the accessory wall in the workroom (This is their first season, it was always Bluefly before this). Ken thinks he's got this one in bag because he lives in Birmingham, Alabama and designs for these ladies all time.

Just what is a modern Southern woman anyway and how is she different from a Northern woman? She likes brighter colors? She goes on picnics, hoedowns and foxhunts like in Auntie Mame? She drinks mint juleps? Evidently, the majority of the designers think she likes plaid and lots of it! Prints, too. Braden and Alexander go plaid crazy while everybody but Dom and Ken use prints. Dom does buy a nice print at Mood, but stupidly decides to go simple to show she's versatile or something.

Jeremy makes a bright jacket and skirt with a wild orange floral pattern which would like good on Blanche Devereaux, even though the judges keep telling him to make something younger. Maybe he just designs for women in their 40s (You're welcome, Blanche). Ken makes yet another joke about how old Jeremy designs, saying Jeremy's dress would be right for Harriet Tubman on the day she got her freedom. (He previously said he could picture one of Jeremy's outfits on his great-grandmother in her casket.) I can picture Harriet wearing that outfit while hosting a luncheon to raise money for the Underground Railroad. Ken also speaks with his mother by Skype and she reveals his hysterical rages are nothing new. She asks if his "other side" has come out yet. Ah ha! Evidently she has had experience petting the kitty.

The best part of the runway show is watching Ken who smugly thinks he's going to win for his purple prom gown as each of the designers he trashed gets praise from the judges who include the host of Lifetime's post-PR show Supermarket Superstar (since she is such a fashion and food expert.) When they get to Ken, the reaction is meh. Ken's eyes practically roll back in his head and Heidi does not take kindly to his attitude.

Brandon wins for his inventive play on a 1950s silhouette and his look will be sold in Belk stores. The judges can't decide who to eliminate and Heidi spontaneously (I'm sure) comes up with the idea of giving the bottom three another hour in the workroom to fix their designs, with the help of one other designer each. Dom and Jeremy create totally different and much improved pieces. Ken radically cuts the hem on his creation and exposes more skin so his model looks like a hooker on the way to her prom. Dom's dress goes over best and she gets to have it in Belk stores, too. In the shocking ending, Jeremy is eliminated and Ken gets to stay, obviously because the producers want more drama. And in the promo for next week, he gives it to them, screaming at Alexander when the two must room together.

BTW, I have since found out why Ken did not show at Fashion Week. According to internet gossip, he was backstage with a collection along with the eight others, but at the last minute, he decided it wasn't good enough to walk done the runway and he refused to participate. So did he botch his big opportunity to be seen by the entire fashion press, even if it wouldn't wind up on TV, or was he full of integrity for not allowing his work to be seen if he wasn't 100 percent behind it? We'll never know because we'll never get to see the clothes. His days on the show are numbered, but now we have no idea how long that will be, but I'm betting next week is his finish.  

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