Bravo's sad third attempt to compensate for losing Project Runway to Lifetime premiered last night and made us want to puncture our eyes out with stilettos shortly thereafter. Iman and Isaac Mizrahi host The Fashion Show Ultimate Collection.
Note to Bravo: A foreign supermodel married to famous musician and (former) Liz Claiborne creative director does not equal a runaway success. Iman ≠ Heidi Klum and Isaac Mizrahi ≠ Tim Gunn.
On to the show: Designers trickle in to set and are forced to forgo any fashionable sewing kit in favor of a black tackle box, which sets them up with a model for an impromptu runway show. The cattiness is already at an all-time high, and we can't wait for the shit to hit the fan.
Calvin says in his jumbled English, "I wake up every morning and I want to be a nice person, but by three o'clock the bitch comes out." (Thank God for subtitles, we have a new motto.) And Mike announces, "I've been to more than 300 runway shows," so obviously he's going to be the absolute best, quantity equals quality, right people? And Tamara grew up in the Chicago projects and she's out to prove "that fashion design is just as good as being a double-dutch champion."
Spoiler alerts ahead...
The Challenge: Host Iman struts her stuff down the catwalk and screams at the contestants in her booming robotic angry voice that she's going to be their muse for the first challenge. The goal: "To consider my story, my style, and my bubbly but sometimes prickly personality [insert forced laughter here]." The catch: "No designer is an island," Iman says, and the designers are split into two houses based on their tackle-box-numbers: (the uber-creatively named) Blue House and Green House. Really? You couldn't just stick with even and odd, Bravo? No way! How would we have decorated the set if we didn't have blue and green?!
Calvin foreshadows the best to come: "Me, Calvin Tran, working with people? Oh here go hell come."
The designers are charged with naming their houses; blue team becomes "House of Nami" or Iman backwards, suck-ups!, and Green team dubs itself "House of Emerald Syx."
House of Nami decides on an all-white color scheme that's just about as boring as their let's-be-best-friends lack of cattiness. Cesar's grandfathered himself in and helps just about everyone else on his team with their garments after he, "Finished his look like 20 hours early," according to spacey Dominique, the 21-year-old recent fashion grad who has a thing for the supposedly straight David.
House of Emerald Syx is split by prima donna designer Calvin who hates everything but has no better ideas. And while the team tries to assuage his ego, fall deeper and deeper into a cohesion-less pit. Then comes the real bombshell: Golnessa and Cindy own a fashion house together already called Goci. "We both auditioned and we both got in." Seriously? You were that hard up for competitors that you let in business partners AND let them be part of the same house? Bravo, Bravo.
The fashion show: Emerald Syx's girls start the show covered up like furniture sitting in your grandmother's attic. Sorry, the sheet-reveal did not make the clothes any more exciting. Mani's models stick to the traditional runway walk, clad all in white with the exception of Cesar's girl in grey.
The Winners: Apparently judge Laura Brown of Harper's Bazaar and guest judge fashion designer Rachel Roy couldn't be trouble to stick around to deliever the good news: House of Nami wins. Duh. As Mike says, "We would have to not complete three garments and drop everything in a pool of blood to lose." Cesar's dress wins him the "defining look" of the week and $500 extra should he make it to the finals.
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The Losers: The full judging panel reassembles to tear Emerald Syx to shreds. While the judges hate everything -- too cheap, too junior, too tight, too ugly, too boring, too heavy -- it's arch nemeses Calvin and Francine in the bottom. "Francine, we didn't like the attitude of your piece, and Calvin, we don't like your attitude," Isaac says. "Which is worse?" Turns out the show needs some drama -- now that Isaac suddenly cleaned up his act (read: Is no longer saying outrageously inappropriate things and grabbing celebrities' breasts a la the 2006 Golden Globes), Calvin is allowed to stay despite his "fashion emergency that needs an evacuation" and Francine is declared, "Out of fashion." Come on, Iman! Did you have to steal Heidi's catch phrase too?
What do you think? Are you glad Calvin's still in to make people's blood boil? Did Cesar's dress deserve the win? Is David really straight and is Dominique falling for him?
Bravo's Fashion Show Ultimate Collection airs Tuesdays at 10/9c.