2006_07_prmichael.JPGOkay, two things:
- Why aren't we seeing more of Michael? We want to know more about his design process!
- We're not sure if this has been noticed by anyone else, but as we've been watching repeats of last week's episode, we realized that Vincent talks exactly like Christopher Walken. In other words, Christopher Walken would play him in the SNL skit about the show - they have EXACTLY the same cadences.

It's the accessory challenge/model winnowing. Heidi teases the third challenge by saying that they will have to design an outfit to go with one of the hottest accessories today - and Tim will have the details tomorrow. Malan's model Moon is auf'd. Good night, Moon!

A note is slipped under the Atlas apartments' doors saying the designers must meet Tim at Central Park on the west side. Laura groans that the challenge will involve horses. Um, there hasn't been an equestrian rage in a while, so we'll assume she's just been pulling her hair back too tight.

2006_07_prtimdogs.JPGThey traipse up to the west side of Central Park to meet Tim (Michael says it's "cold as [BLEEP]"). And then our heart stops and we nearly pee our pants: It's Tim Gunn walking over a hill, with thirteen teeny tiny dogs - all wearing sweaters - pulling him along. It's the poster/holiday card/tattoo Gothamist desperately wants! Tim announces the designers will have to not just design an outfit for their model and this dog, but the dog must inspire them to create a narrative about the dog, its owner and their lives. Well, this should be a trip!

All the designers are cooing over the dog, except for Laura who claims that having five kids is like having a million dogs or something like that. The designers must also choose their dogs, and there's a cute scene between Alison and Bradley - they switch dogs because Alison's initial dog, super-cute Stanley the terrier, looks more like Bradley (Alison gets a poodle). We're not very good with dog breeds, but we know Uli has a pug, Ketih has a weird wiry-looking one, Jeffrey has a corgi, and Laura ends up with a pomeranian-looking on she sticks in her tote because she doesn't want to hold it (according to Tim Gunn, it was an Hermes bag, too!).

2006_07_prkatdog.JPGBack at Parsons, the designers have 30 minutes to sketch and measure their dogs. Angela says that her dog, Pattycake is the dog of a British school mistress. Katherine's dog gives her a high five. It's all pretty good, except we really hope there was an ASPCA person observing all this. Then it's off to mood, where Kayne describes Laura's style as being more "vanilla" while he's rocky road (Laura picks tweed, Kayne picks a Pucci print). Uli picks a crazy giraffe print she wants for the pug - hilarious. The designers start to work on their outfits, but the day soon ends.

Day 2: Vincent cracks himself up over the outfit he's designing for his dog. He literally laughs for too long - it's slightly uncomfortable, which means it's brilliant editing! It also turns out that Bradley's birthday is the next day, and Jeffrey says wouldn't it be funny if Bradley were sent home on his birthday. No, but it would be funny if *you* were. Okay, here's another separated-at-birth: Bradley is totally Chris Barron from the Spin Doctors. There's also slamming Angela's design of putting these multi-colored rosettes on her skirt, a blow-up between Keith and Laura over sewing machines (this is where the "bad mommy" comment from previews comes on, though it seems like Michael was involved somehow, maybe, but we don't know because the producers never show us enough of Michael), and Bradley totally drags his feet with the design.

Tim Gunn stops by. Katherine has a tea green slip dress with some detail. Her dog has a cute hoodie, but Tim says she needs more for the model. Katherine says she could design a hoodie for model, and Tim is all "So do it!" Then he loves Alison's gorgeous all-white linen outfit, expresses concern that Keith hasn't designed anything for the dog (Keith thinks designing for dogs is "so lame" and may think he can second guess Tim after winning the first challenge) though there is a beautiful halter dress and is totally weirded out by Angela's design.

2006_07_prbradley.JPGAngela hasn't gotten very far, but she brags that she'd made this leather vest's lining perfect, and Tim asks "why." She claims that her inspiration is an art teacher in Paris (whatever!). Also, she's making her art teacher wear a bubble skirt, like the kind she wears. Bradley's unformed design "confuses" Tim - there is a blue skirt, but there's this golden colored organza-y material that's shapeless. Keith tries to shake Bradley into doing something, but Bradley says he might not send something down the runway.

Runway day: The models are excited to see the dogs, and now we get a better sense of the outfits. All except Bradley, who tells his model she might not go down the runway - and that's when Bradley realizes he would be screwing her over, too. So he hauls ass (he's totally like us during college, writing papers the night before). Also, as it's Bradley's birthday, his age on his super changes from 31 to 32.

It's runway time, and Vera Wang is sitting in for Michael Kors again and the guest judge is Ivanka Trump. Well, if you're on NBC, you probably have a decent shot at being a guest judge.

Uli: A cropped brown jacket over a printed dress, using a bunch of different fabrics. It's pretty, and looks great with the wooden beaded necklaces, but it also seems like the same dress she always design (except for the back which had a bunch of straps fanning out). The dog, Einstein, wears a giraffe print pullover that says "Hi, Ladies" on the side for the judges. What if Michael Kors had been there?

Robert: A lovely white blouse with a Chanel-like tweedy skirt (reminds us of the Coppola part in "New York Stories" - Life with Zoe, where little rich kids are wearing Chanel). And his dog was named Chanel, so what do you know.

2006_07_prallison.jpgAllison: An amazing all white suit - the model has on black tights and black shoes, and the poodle is wearing a vest - it's all very gorgeous.

Bradley: The navy skirt is beautiful - interesting pleats - but the top is way too billowy. Stanley the terrier has on a navy collar.

Keith: A red-yellow-black patterned halter with a pleated neck - stunning but the dog is naked!

Bonnie: A big white coat over a mini dress - very cute. The French bulldog has a pullover on.

Katherine: The same green slip dress but no hoodie! The dog's hoodie, though, is great.

Kayne: A leather/vinyl coat over a white top and a Pucci skirt; the model has a Pucci headscarf, reminding us of Nick Verreos' My Scene Barbie design. The dog has a matching coat - and the model's coat is also lined with the Pucci pattern.

Michael: A fitted golden brown wool dress, and the top has these intricate cuts and twists - it's beautifully constructed and makes the model look curvy. The model is holding the dog, but we think it's wearing a jacket.

Vincent: We're not sure what's so special, but the model is wearing a hat, black mini-dress/jumper, and leggings. It's all black, it's all boring. The dog is wearing a jacket and hat and keep trying to take off the hat.

Laura: A pale pink tweed suit with a feathery/furry trim that's too over-the-top for our taste. The dog, though, looks cute in its tweed-and-fur jacket.

Angela: When we saw this, we could only think "hell's no!" There's this cropped tank top and then a super short (we're talking OB/GYN visit short)

Jeffrey: A tiered knee-length dress that's actually less deconstructed than his previous works and therefore much better looking. The corgi, though, keeps falling - we think he's trying to get out of his outfit!

The judges pick the best and the worst, which are: Uli, Katie, Alison, Angela, Bradley and Keith. Interesting. The designers explain the "narratives" for their models; here's what they said and what that means:

Uli: The model is "hip woman, meeting friends"/ which means "she dresses the way I want my customers to dress." The judges love it.
Katherine: "sporty girl, meeting friends for brunch"/"I have no idea." The judges don't like the tailoring, it's boring.

Allison: "she's a Japanese fashion buyer who travels with her dog everywhere"/"that's why she's fashionable" (the judges love it - the whole look, from the hair to the tights and shoes)

Angela: "assistant director of a British private school at a summer art camp in Paris"/"I'm crazy and I will continue to be crazy." "the judges think it's terrible, ask how old the students would be, Heidi questions that a teacher of 6-12 year old kids would wear such a hot outfit with a short skirt and "boobs hanging out" top at work; Vera, though, does said the skirt's construction was beautiful and says Angela needs "style"

Bradley: "architect"/"I don't know - that seemed arty enough" The judges, to our surprise, love the outfit - Nina even says she'd shoot something like it for Elle.

Keith: "party girl"/"you know, someone who would like to wear dresses" The judges rail on Keith for not giving the dog an outfit...Keith claims he did design multiple outfits for the dogs, which is BS and Ivanka wonders what would happen if they went to look at the footage (please?!?!?), then says he design the collar which is actuallly a bracelet - Heidi actually gets off the chair to inspect! Nina says they are giving him a hard time because he's giving them a hard time. But they all agree the dress is beautiful.

The judges deliberate, and are still upset with Keith over his scandalous refusal to design for the dog, as that was the challenge. They love Uli and Alison, as well as Bradley, while Katherine and Angela are questionable. And it falls out that way, with Katherine and Angela left at the end. However, the winner is Uli, and you can see how disappointed Alison is (we think she was robbed!). They tell Keith he could have won if he had designed for the dog. Anyway, in deciding who to kick out, they critique Katherine's poor execution and Angela's insane outfit, finally deciding that insanity wins. Augh! But we knew that would happen, because someone yells at Angela to take her "macaroni art" and leave (please, let that be next episode). Katherine is auf'd.

All in all, an AWESOME episode. Except for not seeing Michael design - or Bonnie, for that matter, but we feel that Bonnie speaks more. Why doesn't Michael have a bigger presence? It's very confusing - maybe he'll be more on camera in later episodes.

And next week is the episode where someone gets kicked out. There were suspicions that the designer would be booted because of some portfolio discrepancies, but based on the previews, which included Kayne saying, "I don't understand" what's going on and Robert replying that there are very strict/clear (we think) rules about what they can and cannot do. So it sounds more like the removed designer is doing drugs, sabotaging someone else or something along those lines.