‘Project Runway’ Episode Two: How Did Eddie Van Halen’s Guitar Win A Challenge?

By Rya Backer

Oh, hello again! This week’s challenge was to make a “green” cocktail dress for the designers’ models, with the twist that the models were the ones to pick the eco-friendly fabric for their outfits. Let’s discuss the episode’s ins and outs, because as Heidi and I always say, “In fashion, one day you’re in … ”

· Stella Zotis: For the second week in a row, this razor-sharp fashionista dramatically improved my viewing experience/life. This week, she said such jewels as:

“I do, like, slick.”

“I just wanna stick to my leather.”

“The look is elegant and classy.”

Where was this woman when I needed a bat mitzvah dress? And can I have one of those freshly cut grass drinks?

· Jerell: OK, the only thing I really know about Jerell is that he sewed a Koosh ball onto his dress last week. Riveting! But that’s not keeping me from letting him join the “in” crowd. Last night’s “I am SALTY!” comment garnered rave reviews from … me.

· The models: In the real-life cesspool that is the fashion industry, a lot of mass-market retailers give fabric to designers and say “make something fashionable, yet affordable, with this flammable polyester.” They are also “in” for inadvertently sabotaging the men and women who could help them wrangle a spread in Elle. Jersey for a cocktail dress? That brown silk? I’ll stop while I’m ahead.

· Natalie Portman’s dress: It was so pretty! On second thought, while that dress was super cute, that time she called Kenley a “1940s broad” was even more “in.”

· Blayne and Stella: They’re the Cheech and Chong/ Laurel and Hardy/ Regis and Kathy Lee of the fashion-design competition circuit. Last night’s fake fight was a joy to observe. Under different circumstances, overhearing a competitor talk behind your back in the sewing room would’ve ended in fisticuffs, but not with these two. When my goddess overheard His Orangeness making fun of her, she let it roll off her leather vest. Stella told Blayne that he should take out the piece of leather wedged between his gapped front teeth, and pot met kettle when Blayne told Stella that he loves her “leather face.”

· Tim Gunn’s use of “urban slang”: I am waiting with baited breath for him to say “Holler at your boy,” as the previews for this season showed. But last night’s “You’re gonna be dealing with a hot mess” will hold me over just fine.

· Suede: Rya wants to wear him when it’s raining, so he can get warped and rendered unsalvageable.

· Keith making Daniel’s bed: Really, Keith? Watching this made me feel like a slob and a bad friend, two things I’m not. OK, maybe a little bit of the former. Irrelevant! It’s worth noting that on this season, there is supposedly a “romantic connection.” Could this be it? Help me out, people!

· Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstein” guitar: It never occurred to me that with just a trim here, a zipper there and some snazzy tulle lining, the legendary axe would be capable of winning an elimination challenge on “Project Runway.” But I kind of loved it.

· Jennifer: OK, who are you? When I saw you last night in your one onscreen confessional, I was about to reach my hand into the TV and say, “I don’t know if we’ve met.” Please do something funny/unprofessional so you can better establish yourself with the viewer.

· “Licious”: I feel dirty every time Blayne uses this word, but do you know what was even worse? The “Team Licious” sign written on the chalkboard in the boys’ apartment. Remember last season when the girls’ chalkboard had stuff like “Gotta have that PMA” written all over it? Those were the days.

· The Internet: Gawker recently posted a spoiler for this season. Some hack went onto the show’s Wikipedia page and made a fake elimination chart. I only learned last night that the chart was fake when Suede not only wasn’t kicked off, but won the challenge. Wesley, I hardly knew you(r shorts).

· Korto’s model’s necklace: I know, I know, it’s art, it’s fashion, it’s fun jewelry. But my neurosis and common sense couldn’t let me appreciate its craftsmanship. I couldn’t watch the poor girl walk down the runway, because one poorly timed nod, and … oh, I can’t even think about it.

I said my piece. So, how did last night make you feel?