Project Runway 3, Week 9

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, the Couture Challenge? In two days? This it is not the couture. You cannot do the couture in two days! And, most assuredly of everything, you cannot do the couture without the old French ladies.

Where, the Manolo asks, are the old French ladies?

You have to have the old French ladies to do the tiny-little-stitch sewing, and the fancy beading, and the ruching, and everything that is delicate and expensive and good about the couture. Without the old French ladies you have nothing, just clothes.

But, the producers have gone to the trouble of flying to the Paris to do the show, and so the facsimilie of the couture it must be produced by the designers.

And the winner, and deservedly so, was the odious Jeffrey, who does seem to have the talent. His crazy yellow plaid dress was the most innovative and entertaining and alive of all of the garments on the runway. It actually looked good.

Although, to wear this would require the clean underwear, as this garment it was cut all the way up to the girl’s hoochie coochie. The Ooo La La, indeed!

As for the rest…meh, meh, meh.

The Ulli did what the Ulli always does, which is to first imagine that she is designing the gown for herself and work from there. And the result it was the Ulli thing, only with the better fabric and the more refined stitching. Yes, she has her own vision, but frankly the Manolo he is tired of it. Flowy, flowy, loosey-goosey, hippy-dippy, brady-drapy and meh! Take it away!

The Laura, she did what the Laura always does, which is to first imagine that she is designing the gown for herself and work from there. And the result it was the Laura thing, with the black and the plunging, sternum-displying front and the good silhouette that looks like something we have seen in the past. As for the lace…meh! Take it away!

The Kayne did what the Kayne always does, which is to first imagine that he is designing the gown for himself and work from there. And the result was the Kayne thing. The skirt it was so beautiful and the color perfect, but the bodice was the wreck of the train, with the pieces flying everywhere and the stripes and the corset lacing and the gold mesh and the hundred-piece marching bands and the baton twirlers worked into it….meh! Take it away!

The Michael….the Manolo’s beloved Michael, who rarely misses the mark….The Manolo he had to avert his eyes from this disaster. Take it away!

And finally, bringing up the back, was the Vincent who produced something one would be ashamed to see come out of the junior high school home economics class. Yes, it had the nice fabric, but it was terrible, badly cut, badly made. Meh! Take him away!

And they did.

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44 Responses to “Project Runway 3, Week 9”




  1. Ms Zoe Says:

    As tired as I am of Uli’s continually designing for her own closet her outfit did not frighten the bejeesus out of me like Laura’s. Hers was like Pagliacci on crack and looking like a clown is never pretty. I thought the color on Michael’s dress was beautiful and once the weird little coils were hidden I found it to be quite lovely. And what can we say about Vincent, except thank God we won’t have to hear anymore about him being “turned on” or “getting off” on any of his designs. I shudder to think.

    Final three call: Michael, Jeffrey and Uli. Laura is the decoy.




  2. JayKay Says:

    “The Kayne did what the Kayne always does, which is to first imagine that he is designing the gown for himself and work from there”

    Oh Manolo, darling…THAT is priceless! Thanks for the coffee-spitting comment of the day! =D




  3. Miz Shoes Says:

    As always, the Manolo makes the concise and perfect statement:

    “You have to have the old French ladies to do the tiny-little-stitch sewing, and the fancy beading, and the rouching, and everything that is delicate and expensive and good about the couture. Without the old French ladies you have nothing, just clothes.”

    As we did not have the little old French ladies, we only had clothes. I humbly disagree about Jeffrey’s plaid on plaid on plaid on yellow dress: I think he proved what Uli said about him last week, to wit, that if he tried to mix up fabric like she does, he would come up with a Ronald McDonald clown suit.




  4. gidget bananas Says:

    Manolo, in the paragraph about the Laura, you say “the reslut” instead of “the result.” The slip of the Freud, perhaps?




  5. Phyllis Says:

    My favorite moment happened when Vincent, ever the windbag, felt compelled to enlighten the world with a reading of Couture: the Gospel According to Vincent. The editing flourish that cut him off mid-sentence was perfect.




  6. Lisa Says:

    Why were the Triumvirate (plus who? I missed who the 4th judge was.) so hard on the Michael for the whole ova-disaster? Strange Judge said that Michael should have “protected” his dress? From egg tossers in Paris? Who could allow for that?!

    Bah, I say.




  7. beloml Says:

    “My favorite moment happened when Vincent, ever the windbag, felt compelled to enlighten the world with a reading of Couture: the Gospel According to Vincent. The editing flourish that cut him off mid-sentence was perfect.”

    Yes–and him admiring the beautiful Sane river!!

    Still, Laura should have gotten the boot last night for her Mennonite clown outfit that probably took two hours to stich up. Jeffrey is odious, but his was the only coutoure on the runway.




  8. Shuzluva Says:

    As much as I hate to admit it, I agree with The Manolo: Jeffrey did deserve to win. The hubby saw Jeffrey in the fabric store, turned to me and said “What is that awful plaid?” and I simply stated that if he did it right, it would be like Lacroix or Westwood. Well, much to my surprise it was! Marilinda worked it on the runway and the hubby saw the genius in the dress.

    Buh-bye Vincent! Hallelujah! No more hearing about Vincent “getting off” on a dress…all I could think was after he was finished, how did he get the stains out before the runway show??




  9. localgirl Says:

    Thanks, very, very funny! I am so glad that I am not alone in my Project Runway obsession!




  10. gemdiva Says:

    Manolo, as always you have summed up the Project Runway in just the right words. However, I still look at Jeffrey’s dress and can only say “I don’t get it”. My sainted mother would say that his model looked like she was wearing the blanket fit only for the horse. Fashion forward is one thing, but that dress was fashion projectile vomited. Ugh! The things you see when you haven’t got a gun.




  11. Miz Shoes Says:

    Oh, Gemdiva, you are brilliant! (Yes, pun intended.) Fashion projectile vomited? I love it as much as I loathe Jeffrey-the-Pinheaded-Shmoo.




  12. Motormouth Says:

    Didn’t we already see Uli’s dress? Didn’t Santino do it in Season Two? I seem to remember dove-grey and much, much braiding. Hmmmm.




  13. Miss Janey Says:

    Jeffrey- Did we really hear you describe yourself as happy, joyous and free? Everything you are not, son. Keep tryin’. As for the ugly-yellow with plaid dress, for her very life Miss J cannot understand the mania the judges felt for it. “Young”, “fresh”… What was all that crap at the waist? This is the thing Miss J dislikes most about the world of couture. It’s about the designer, and folks being able to impress others that their wearing a particular label, instantly recognizable if one reads Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. However, that dress did nothing to enhance its wearer, which is what, for Miss Janey, clothing is about. To hide our flaws and enhance our good points.

    Uli, to Miss Janey’s eye, was the winner. Her gown flattered without over-whelming, possessed graceful simple lines but had gorgeous detail at the bodice. Miss Uli’s design did what Jeffrey’s’ did not: enhanced the model’s gorgeousness without over-whelming it.




  14. megaera Says:

    Ah, but Jeffery’s model, she owned the dress. With her punk strut she sold that sucker like a used car salesmen. Plus as much as I personally hated the dress, it did possess the vision. Everyone else (save Michael, poor Michael) appeared to be suffering from the SDD syndrome. Odius as he is as a person, as a designer, he has been consistently on track in terms of time (with the exception of the design a dress for a real woman…) and the terms of the challenge.

    Still, if I had to pick a designer out of this group to design for me, it would be poor Michael. Did anyone else notice that his initial problem was that he made the dress for something more approaching a normal woman’s size than the stick that was his Parisian model? Sadly, he just did not have the experience with hand sewing necessary to execute on this challenge. Here’s hoping he learns.




  15. leiarenee Says:

    I didn’t care for the plaid thing at all. I also did not “get it,” even if the model did strut it up. Still ugly, but ugly and proud of it.

    I may be the only one, but I loved Kayne’s dress. I thought the asymmetrical bodice was wonderful, though I usually hate asymmetry in clothes. Maybe I, like Kayne, have poor taste.




  16. The Kiwibird Says:

    Darling, what has happened to your spelling? Has excitement destroyed your precious fingers? “Ruching” turns into “rouching”, “reslut” into “result”, and then there’s this monstrosity of a word, “shilloute”, which I can only conjecture means “silhouette”. Sweetheart, take a valium, consult a dicitionary, get a GRIP!




  17. Lorraine Says:

    I did not get the dress of the Jeffery and I don’t want to get the dress of the Jeffery because he is a horrible, odious person and I toss an egg in his general direction. Take him away!




  18. Gorgeous Things Says:

    Oh Manolo, I want you to write the Bible according to the Manolo. I’m still laughing! “Meh – take it away” – giggle giggle giggle snort!




  19. Gorgeous Things Says:

    “Buh-bye Vincent! Hallelujah! No more hearing about Vincent “getting off” on a dress…all I could think was after he was finished, how did he get the stains out before the runway show??”

    OMG, do you think maybe the Monica Lewinski is Vincent’s muse?




  20. Susanna Says:

    Oh, everyone must read the delusional Vincent’s interview in Entertainment Weekly online.

    http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,1532414_3||321057_0_,00.html

    I daresay, the PR editing? It made him look sane.




  21. Manolo the Shoeblogger Says:

    Ayyyyyy! The spelling of the Manolo it is most wack!

    Many thanks to those who have helped the Manolo identify the places where he has made the mistakes, which are now corrected.




  22. Bon Mot Says:

    Did EW airbrush out the ciggie between Vincent’s fingers?




  23. LizaBet Says:

    Count me in with those who didn’t ‘get’ Jeffrey’s dress. It looked like faux Burberry on a bad acid trip.

    Poor Kayne–the bones of a great dress where there in the beautiful skirt, the idea of a structured bodice and the clever use of lacing to adjust the fit from model to model but he had to blow it with the Tammy Fay Baker treatment on the top half. And I was so rooting for him after last week’s Elvis Flies Coach debacle.

    As for Laura’s entry–my mom wore EXACTLY the same dress (sans plunging neckline and back) to my wedding back in the early 90’s. ‘Nuff said.




  24. Oceanguy Says:

    For almost the first time I have to most respectfully disagree with the Manalo on the Jeffrey’s yellow plaid thingie, it was so Green Acres. Without the bad western plaid, the dress was more the flamenco dancer’s costume… surely the egg thrower was aiming for the perfectly awful shmatte of the vile Master Sebelia. It’s only interesting quality was the peeky peeky of the models most privates. Jeffrey of the Detroit has worn out his welcome… But alas, the producers will keep him a bit longer as he is so despicable.




  25. Debbie Says:

    Oh, so here is where I can find the Manolo. :) Read about u in Wikipedia.




  26. scone Says:

    I wonder– what do the Old French Ladies wear on their off days? And what do they make for their own families, and their babies, and their babies’ babies? Magnificent christening gowns? Lace, hand tatted, like Dutch paintings of the 17thc.– one imagines such whites, such perfect soulful blues– the eyes of the Madonna, looking down on us all– the blues of absolute compassion…




  27. Sam Says:

    Right on, Mr. Manolo! Right on. Or should that be write on?




  28. Jenzilla Says:

    Again, Jeffrey’s design could have been straight from Hot Topic! I suppose designing for disaffected teenagers is right up is alley, I’m just surprised that the judges consider a plaid goth dress to be couture.




  29. Cassandra Says:

    “I may be the only one, but I loved Kayne’s dress. I thought the asymmetrical bodice was wonderful, though I usually hate asymmetry in clothes. Maybe I, like Kayne, have poor taste.”

    leiarenee, you are not alone in the love of Kayne’s dress! It was easily the favorite of the Cassandra, and something she would wear to the red carpet (were her aspiriations to ever come true). It didn’t seem “busy” or “pagenty” to me, and I long for it so that I can pin it delicately to the wall for an inspiration as I write my Oscar-winning screenplay.

    Can you imagine, though, what would have resulted if Angela were still there? God. Rosette couture? Pardon while I projectile-vomit up a granny circle quilt and throw it on a model.




  30. xoconostle Says:

    It’s remarkable how one can employ the powerful word “odious” in description of an individual but correctly describe their creation as most vivacious of competition. This was one of Manolo’s most tidily-composed entries, ever, on any subject. Well-written and spot on! I just love that he gets it about Michael. :-)




  31. angelhair Says:

    Speaking of French couture created by the little old French ladies, the Sundance Channel is currently airing a four-part series called Signe Chanel and it’s all about those ladies who take the odious Herr Lagerfeld’s sketches and make them reality. Haven’t seen the show but it’s gotten good reviews so I may check it out.

    I must respectfully disagree with the Manolo. I hated Jeffrey’s dress and did not find it original at all. Vivienne Westwood and the funky little fashion troll have been there, done that. Maybe my taste level isn’t what it should be but I thought Kayne’s dress was fabulous. Perhaps in person the gold mesh top with applique and boning was tacky but on tv it looked like a dream.

    Weren’t these designers touted as the best yet? So far I’m underwhelmed by the lot of them. I haven’t seen much from anybody that’s really excited me.




  32. Leslie Kelly Says:

    More! I want more The Manolo’s brilliant wit and wisdom on PR…

    Did anyone else notice that tho the evil Jeffster said he didn’t care if Vincent flamed out, he was the first to give him a hug-ums when he got booted?

    And, just to backtrack for un momento, how could Michael have not won the week before?? With those killa seeksucker cargos? He da man!




  33. Sharon Says:

    The blog was right on! I loved reading it and soo agreed. I was bored to tears with Uli’s dress, although I did notice that it looked much better on the Parisian model. Her NY model has really bony shoulders that are kind of slouched forward, which makes the bosoms droopier and the look became hippy-drippier. I wonder what some of Uli’s other clothes would have looked like on a different model. And her Parisian model was GORGEOUS!!! Thank you!




  34. Nobody Says:

    Who am I, to contradict the Manolo and Tim Gunn in opinions of fashion? Yet I too like Kayne’s dress. Its assymmetry was focused by the radiation of lines the model’s left hip, the top didn’t seem too garish in the distant shots we saw, and it blended with the richness of the skirt. Jeff’s looked like an unmade bed.

    Before you condemn Jeff, remember our producers edit to fill their need for story line and villains. The intense punk rock guy provides the best material.




  35. ushie Says:

    The ushie thinks that the Uli dress, she has seen it before. Every other time Uli made a dress. And it DOES look like the (much more exciting) Santino dress! The Kayne’s dress would have been lovely if the boned corset had been covered in the same material as the skirt. The Laura–we already have a Ralph Lauren, dear. We don’t need another. The Jeffrey–his stunning model MADE that dress work! And he does have vision and a decided eye for beauty. I disliked Angela’s mom heartily, so the hell with that mess.

    The poor Michael.

    As for Vincent: If a French fashion maven describes your dress as “interesting,” throw yourself in the Seine. It will save the price of a ticket back to the US only to have the Heidi Auf you but good.




  36. v2m3 Says:

    While I was starting to look forward to Vincent’s bizarre tight jawed grimaces, I won’t miss hearing about how he cashed in his 401k. Or his designs.

    Fellow New Yorkers, be sure to watch for tiny-headed Jeffrey when passing near any of the bridges in Manhattan, since that is where he will most certainly end up living underneath, lolling about in a pool of his own fetid waste. The inflated ego, unbelievable sense of entitlement and general all-around nasty personality are not characteristics of someone in a successful recovery program.




  37. twistygirl Says:

    When the Heidi read the comments of the Catherine Malandrino on now-confirmed-to-actually-BE-crazy Vincent – the “No! No! No! No! No” – all the Twistygirl could think of was that this was undoubtedly the inner dialogue that Madame Malandrino had while having to endure Whackjob Libretti’s torturous come-on to her on the boat, the words she wished to say to him then but was too gracious to put Mr. Skeezy Perv in his place.

    Thank god he’s finally gone. Our long national nightmare, it is over.




  38. VJ Says:

    Manolo, your blogs are the BEST. What happened this week to my two darlings: Laura and Michael? And why oh why is Jeffrey picking up steam when he should be picking up checks on the unemployment line?

    I love Kayne! Glorious. Excessive. Loud. No taste Kayne keeps me ripped on the edge of my seat every week hoping he’ll squeak through. Without him the show would fall flat on its Macy’s bargain basement accessories.

    Next to go? Jeffrey for just being ugly inside and out. Then Uli, because she designs the same dress over and over and over and over and over again.




  39. tinka Says:

    The tinka agrees that the judges are too hard on Kayne. That dress was not far from being a real beauty. And he can mature…at least there is a spark!

    Uli cannot manage to see the beauty in breasts. Why does not someone explain to her that droopiness is not attractive? I’m waiting Tim….




  40. jj Says:

    Meh… am I the only one who thinks that Jeffrey’s dress looked like a direct rip-off of Alexander McQueen? Cheeky to do so in paris and all… but hardly original.




  41. natalie Says:

    Jeffery’s dress looked like a deranged Scottish banana. It was awful. Kayne’s, on the other hand, was quite beautiful, and fit like a dream. I liked Laura’s, and Uli’s was nice but pretty much the same dress she’s been doing since day one. Michael’s had potential, if he had just left off the breast-danishes. Vincent, ugh! I’m so glad he’s gone! Hopefully, Jeffery will be next.




  42. mochasoul86 Says:

    I will admit that i liked Kayne’s version of couture, non-couture as it was, but the bodice was a little busy. But Jeffery’s dress takes the cake if you are a tween hopped up on sugared cereal and reruns of Degrassi. I would definitely wear that gown to my anime-inspired eigth grade formal. Bravo Jeffery!




  43. Miss Nell Says:

    Alas, the Miss Nell, she fears that the Kayne will get the boot in the next episode, after which it will be the Michael, Jeffrey “Penis Head” Sebelia, the Laura and the Ulli. Then the Laura will be Auf’d. She has never won any of the challenges, no?

    When it is the final three that the contest is narrowed to, the Ulli will make five dresses all exactly alike save for the…interesting patterns. The Jeffrey will spaz out in pleather, and the Michael will rock it with an affordable, reversible urban sports line. The Michael, he will win, and the fans will partake of the rejoicing.

    But oh, so sad how the shoes, they are never mentioned in the Project Runway. The hair, the makeup, the bland suburban-mama accessories, yes. The shoes, nevaire. Alas.













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