Okay, so I know I decided not to recap Project Runway this season — a decision I have been deeply regretting week after drama-filled cracked-out week, to be honest — but OMG U GUYZ, I hope it’s okay if I just randomly unleash some thoughts about last Thursday’s episode today. Because I have wasted HOURS of my life scouring the Internet to read everybody else’s opinions about it and I feel the need for us to come together collectively, as a group, and discuss a really important question:
To refresh your memory, the challenge was an abysmal one this week. After weeks of hearing the judges lament that the designers were producing “just clothes, not FASHION,” they let Heidi use the few remaining designers (LATE IN THE SEASON, by the way, when the ante usually is getting UPPED by a bajillion degrees) as free sweatshop labor to design a few extra looks for her horrifically boring and overpriced “active wear” collection for New Balance and Amazon. You know, the kind of clothes you wear to run errands or pick up your kid at school on days you haven’t showered because if you wear yoga pants people will just think you’re greasy and gross from working out. CLOTHES. NOT FASHION.
They upped the torture element first by sending Heidi into the workroom to basically be hell’s client on wheels, then by asking for three looks instead of one, and THEN by bringing back previously eliminated designers to help out.
And this is where the episode just went total bananas.
Ivy: So, Michael C. How does it feel to be so close to the finals?
Michael C.: You know I’ve been so stressed it hasn’t really sunk in yet.
Ivy: Why, because you cheated?
DUN DUN DUUUUUN.
So basically: Ivy and Gretchen found packaging for Topstick double-sided tape in the ladies’ bathroom. They assumed it belonged to Michael C. because they’d already decided he was a terrible, terrible person for reasons that (Ivy’s since claimed) “the cameras didn’t show,” even though the camera crew knew they had 30 extra minutes to fill this season and were presumably filming everything they possibly could, yet SOMEHOW managed to omit the storyline about Michael C. being Satan’s Own Designer. They also managed to miss everything about Stickytapegate.
Using fashion tape is apparently (and stupidly, if I may say so) against ProjRun rules this season. Nick Verreos’ blog at Lifetime reveals that they were certainly allowed to use it back in season two, and HELL, the models are often stapled, safety-pinned or hot-glue-gunned into their dresses, so WTF is the problem with fashion tape? Laura Bennett’s (FABULOUS) blog has a similar opinion:
Ivy is bitter. Ivy is angry. She has always felt she was one of the top designers despite her track record of shi**y work and repeatedly being in the bottom or safe at best. (I do recall one decent outfit from her, but I think I stated even then that I’m nearly 50 so me liking it doesn’t count.) Ivy accuses Michael C. of cheating because he used … wait for it …. TAPE!
How is tape cheating? Hot-glue guns and safety pins are OK, but tape is cheating? Outsourcing the construction of your final collection is cheating (oh no she didn’t); tape is not. I can assure you that not a single fashion show in Bryant Park or Lincoln Center or wherever the hell fashion shows happen these days goes down without the use of tape. Also known as Top Stick or double-stick tape. Also used by every stylist in America. And Europe. Do you think Jennifer Lopez kept those puppies in that green Versace without the use of some industrial-strength stick? I want to see Ivy get right up in Donatella’s grille and accuse her of cheating.
But here’s the thing, Michael explains that his rail-thin model wears one of those sticky chicken cutlet bras on the runway. His Jackie O halter top was not going to hold the inserts up (and my fellow flat-chested ladies can testify — the “adhesive” on those things does NOT hold them up after a couple of wearings), so she likely used the tape for the bewbs, NOT simply to prevent a wardrobe malfunction from a shoddily-made shirt, as Ivy clearly believes. Even if she did tape the dress, Michael wasn’t there doing it for her in the ladies’ bathroom.
But Ivy keeps at it. Accusing him of stealing a spot that should have been hers, or Valerie’s — which…no. Even with the cracktastic judging this season, I am fairly confident that Ivy and Valerie were never headed to Fashion Week, no matter what the aufing order. Ivy attacks Michael’s integrity — and BRINGS HIS CHILD INTO IT, by insinuating that his son will be ashamed of his father, like HOLY SHIT, NOT COOL — and going on and on with a serious allegation…only to completely freak out when Michael dares to offend her delicate sensibilities by saying the “F” word. (Which we’ve heard bleeped from Ivy’s mouth before too, so whatever.) (The Internet rumor mill somehow thought he called her the “C” word, but a ProjRun film editor spoke up in the comments at T.Lo’s site and said that he absolutely did not.)
THEN Ivy goes around and gleefully reports on what she’s done to everybody else. “I made your friend cry because he’s not a good person,” she says to Mondo, who (along with a few other designers) has since changed his opinion about Michael and realized the group hatred was unjustified. “I took one for the team,” she proudly reports to April, who loses major points in my book for going along with the mean-girl vibe, though SHE’S only 21 so I guess that’s kind of to be expected. Ivy is 30.
She interviews that the world will now see Michael C. for what he is, and professes that she believes in karma. Right before a jump shot of a sewing machine malfunctioning and sending a needle right at her eyeball. Thank you, editing monkeys, for that. Thank you SO MUCH.
Tim comes in and asks what, exactly, the fuck is going on. Ivy trots out her thoroughly lame accusations, to which Tim is all, “Bitch, please.” His quote to Blogging Project Runway about the matter sums it up beautifully:
Here’s my take of the tape: Michael had nothing to do with it. It was his model who took the initiative to tape herself into the dress. By the time that this was brought to our attention, the challenge in which it happened was well behind us. It was, indeed, a mean-spirited attack on Michael. And how did Ivy think we were going to respond to her accusations? Did she think that Michael would be disqualified and that we’d bring her back? Ridiculous.
Oh Tim. Are you ever NOT completely made of awesome?
And then, Ivy’s teammate Christopher, who chose her because of these supposedly incredible sewing skills we keep hearing about, gets the boot on the runway because of his three terribly boring, terribly designed and terribly constructed looks. Perhaps if Ivy had spent more time helping her teammate and less time “taking one for the team” the result may have been different. But probably not. It’s been clear that Mondo has his spot in the finals all but secured for WEEKS now, with Andy, April and Gretchen left to duke it out if there’s a final three instead of final four. (Which changes every season. Who knows. WHO CARES.) Mondo will likely win this whole thing. Everyone else is just here for show and padding.
So Ivy has now become one of the most-hated designers in the history of ProjRun — despite clearly thinking that she was coming across as adorable and unfairly eliminated and a champion for Topstick justice. She’s now up there with Wendy Pepper and Kenley Collins, helplessly crying “EDITING! IT WAS ALL EDITING!” to anyone who will listen. Editing hid the true bad-evil-person nature of Michael C. from us (he “antagonized” the others “off-camera” she’s claimed, like, have you ever WATCHED THE SHOW? Pain-in-the-ass personalities are kind of a Regular Thing.), and editing is 100% responsible for her boring, design-less designs and the fact that she came across as an awful, bitter, spiteful human being.
I don’t buy any of it for a second. But oh my God, I cannot WAIT for the reunion show NOW.
(Ivy’s Fashion Week decoy collection, if you’re interested in seeing what the fashion world was deprived of thanks to Michael C.’s very existence.)TOP POSTS