Film and TV

Project Accessory Episode 6: Kenneth Cole, More Handbags, and "Evolving Black"

​And then were six. I will admit, the number of contestants on Lifetime's Project Accessory looks significantly smaller as they are seated next to the runway as host Molly Sims explains the challenge for this week.

And surprise! It's like every other challenge from six weeks prior, make a (fill in the blank) and then an accessory of choice. And it's always a handbag and a necklace. A handbag and earrings. A handbag and a cuff. 

It's just like going to Dillard's every day. 

​Sadly, I think the producers counted on artistic temperaments to flare in the workroom and for egos to clash to keep the pace of the show going. And unfortunately, if a welding spark landed on whatever odd petroleum product Brian is working on this week, the designers would barely look up, leave the workroom in single file, and someone would actually do a headcount once they had reached safety. 

I'm not saying they'd go back for Brian, but still. They'd probably tell somebody.

​Molly Sims informs the half-dozen survivors that they're headed to Social Activist Kenneth Cole's (who will be referred to here on out as SAKC) studio for the rest of the details. It turns out that the winner of this challenge will have their wares for sale in all of the Kenneth Cole stores, which is quite a coup. 

The deal is this: he has picked out outfits for everyone to accessorize and the one who can capture the Kenenth Cole spirit in addition while simultaneously tap into their own individiual creativity wins.

"Black is the foundation of the brand," SAKC explains. "But it's also hard--how to evolve that, make it fresh....."

​Does this man know no bounds? Is he limited by nothing? He stands here, before us, speaking of the impossible.

We can send a man to the moon, SAKC. We can inject women's faces with botulism so that they can't move them and think they look younger when they just look freeze-dried. We can give Anderson Cooper his own talk show. Yes, we as a species are capable of a great many things, but evolve black, my dear man? You speak of insanity. INSANITY! Dare I utter the phrase, "None more black?"

​Skip to the workroom, where the designers have returned and are sizing up the ensembles SAKC has left for them. And, not for nothing, but I'm seeing a lot of monkey fur going on here. It's included in three outfits, one of which is a whole coat. 

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but before you get to call yourself a Social Activist, isn't it in the rules that you have to see Gorillas in the Mist in order to get the badge? I'm not saying it's real monkey fur, but seriously, I'd have to think twice before I threw Dian Fossey's best friend on my back even in facsimile.

​Brian is working with another toxic substance, pouring it into a mold and then grinding the horn he's made down so that resin dust is shooting everywhere. It's so thick that it's visible on camera, burning people's eyes drifting like a cloud of dandruff onto everything in the workroom. 

The designers scramble to cover their SAKC outfits with dry cleaning bags. When the other contestants complain, he doesn't care, mumbling almost inaudibly,

"I don't care. I'm not here to make friends."

And that is why they won't go back for you when the firestorm breaks out, Brian. Just remember two important words, buddy. Drop and roll. Drop and roll. 

Commercial break. 

Brian's (formerly known as the bald guy: I learned his name!!) clutch with the resin unicorn horn is unsettling, nearly alarming. It looks like he just returned from Fairy Land where he attacked a mythical, harmless beast with one swing of a shiny sword, leaving a gaping hole on the animal's head, thus pumping out a river of pink glitter (unicorn blood. I told you. I'm drinking Theraflu. Nighttime.) I'm not a fan, but Alexa Chung offers to Brian that she's "really horny for your unicorn bag. So rad." My divining rod hits the ceiling and then gags. 

The bag, honestly, is the equivalent of severing Holly Hobbie's head and wearing it as a hat. No one should be fake cutting off unicorn's horns, it's not like you found in on the side of the road. No hero does that.

​Diego's bag is beautifully made, but boring, and his earrings are dangerously close to hurting someone, namely his model. They're the chandelier type, but are so stocked bull of bling that either she's going to need a lobe lift after the show or she can start passing quarters through the holes at model parties. 

I'm sure Alexa Chung would find it just as amusing every time she saw it. "Rad! So rad!" They're very, very heavy, and the poor thing has the same look on her face that I did in a particular moment in sixth grade: "Oh, look. My first stretch mark."

Rich's jewelry is awesome, and his purse actually has a bottom this time. He really is a master of fire and metal as he told us he was, and this challenge proves it. Nina, likewise, has hit it out of the park with a sassy clutch and a stunning multiple-chain strand necklace, which SAKC would like to ruin by attaching it to a shirt. Do that and you might as well send the whole box of them straight to TJ Maxx. Don't fool yourself, SAKC. I've seen your stuff there before. On clearance.

None more black.

Christina's stuff looked great, too, but I think this is where the Theraflu was kicking in, so I don't really remember it. What I do recall is Adrian's purse, which does look like it came from Claire's, then Alexa Chung sneering and commenting in a puffed-up English accent, "The bag--not really my jam."

So this is the point where I do, indeed, close my eyes deeply and mutter, "Oh my God." Did she really just say that? Really? Shut up. Shut up shut up shut up. I wish Abby Lee Miller was here to poke you with her stick, you little squirrel of a person with very close-set eyes and George Harrison hair who thinks it's okay to diss someone with a chunk of vernacular so dumb it belongs in the Stupid Museum of Speech (again, Theraflu, but it made me laugh again when I was sober, so I'm going with it).

Then Molly chimes about Adrian's jewelry and actually says, "Well, you know I had a jewelry line and I used the snake chain two years ago, so I feel like it's a little dated." Because, certainly, whenever I'm about to buy a piece of jewelry, I look up Molly Sim's line on QVC or HSN to make sure that my chains are up to date. When did Molly Sims become the chair barometer? I'm sorry, all you people with snake chains, but you're dating yourself to 2009, you know. You know. Molly said.

​Anyway, Brian's horn bag is apparently jamming, and wins the prize. You can now buy your own unicorn purse for $300 at a Kenneth Cole store (but you should just wait until they get to TJ Maxx in about six months. They may be dusty, but they'll be $19.99) and wear it with your Kenneth Cole gorilla coat, and scare the living shit out of every small child you know. Jammin! 

Adrian's losing bag.

Adrian goes home, as well all knew he would, but honestly, he should have been sacked after that straw hat fiasco last week, anyway. 

And now, the good news! Two people will get kicked off next week, which means at the very, very most, there are only three episodes of Project Accessory left (five designers left, minus two equals three for the finale, so we could feasibly be talking two episodes left, and a monkey who had a cousin turned into a coat and who is looking for vengeance when he escapes from the lab could do that math)! Celebrate with me! Raise your mug of Theraflu!

This could all be over by Christmas.

And then it's time for Dance Moms!

Author Laurie Notaro's on a mission to make it through the first season of Project Accessory on Lifetime. 

Read more of her episode recaps below: 

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Laurie Notaro