July 30, 2008

Why, hollow to me, and I will answere thee.

Since I can't get excited about the fashion or the designers of Season 5 of Project Runway (I hated this week's shrill winning design and couldn't help thinking that this was what Blanche Devereaux -- not exactly your typical New York City girl -- would wear if she were younger and slimmer), I'll just briefly say that I hope that "Holla at your boy" will not become a new Tim Gunnism.

It suits him about as well as a polyester sweat suit. Look for yourself! It also seems that TG didn't really get the meaning of this idiom from Afro-American English. Therefore, let me renew my plea: No worn-out sock metaphors, please, no hot, messy Sirianoisms, and no excursions into Jay-Z territory, please. Just give us good old Latinate multisyllabic Tim Gunnisms, please.

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The quote in the post title is from 1599.

July 23, 2008

stella for star



Thank you, Bravo, for picking leatha-lovin' Stella as one of the Project Runway contestants. When life seems busy and overwhelming, all one has to do is listen to her insufferable whining and one immediately feels better, happier, as shiny as a plant. "I'm very urban and that reflects in my design." (Yeah, right.)

Talking about design, what was up with this week's challenge? The designers had to create a cocktail dress out of "green" fabrics, and, shockingly, the models were in charge of the shopping at Mood. While the latter aspect of the challenge created some drama, the eco-aspect seemed completely superflous and, to quote Stella, didn't reflect in the designs at all. Instead of 15 cute chic cocktail dresses in 15 shades of green, like this one (my first interpretation of the challenge was to take the term "green" literally, after all, guest judge Natalie Portmann, who was described as an "environmental activist" wore a cute, chic green cocktail dress), we saw a bunch of uninspired, ill-fitting, overworked, "crazy short" dresses -- dresses so short that even Heidi Klum said she wouldn't wear them. (Yeah, right.)

Tim Gunn even ventured as far as describing one dress as a "hot mess", can you believe it? Listen, Blayne, this is how you do it: First you impress the audience and the juges with your sartorial designs, and then you come up with a catchword. If you reverse the order, or just never create a great design to begin with (and let's face it, that pink bubblegum dress of yours was pure fug), you are in no position to call your model a "licious miss". Get fierce first, or leave the poor suffix alone. (It now has its own entry in the OED, along with hunkalicious, bootylicious, spooklicious, and groovalicious -- see, you're not being terribly original.)

On to greener pastures next week. Yeah, right (also has its own OED entry -- first quote is from 1971.)

July 16, 2008

T is for tablecloth


Project Runway returns to its swan season on Bravo. And it seems that Bravo is set on letting it go out not with a bang, but with boredom. How sad is it if the best five minutes of the first episode were the American Express commercials featuring Diane von Fuerstenberg? If even Tim Gunn can't bring himself to call this season's contestants the most talented group of designers ever? (Because clearly, they aren't.) If guest judge Austin Scarlett -- sweet, romantic, whispy Austin -- appears to have come straight from Madame Tussaud's?

What to make of a season in which Tim Gunn makes his entry reminding everyone to "knock the judges' socks off"? That metaphor didn't suit him the first time he used it, and it deserves to be retired. (It has been around since 1845, according to the OED).

What is the point of repeating the grocery store challenge if most of the designers appear never to have watched the first season -- how would they otherwise come up with garment after garment made of tablecloths (paper or fabric), paper towels, "ugly cheap ass" garbage bags, or shower curtains that one "would wear in a slasher movie" (thank you, MK). Let me tell you this, if your face doesn't lighten up when you hear the words "corn husk dress", you're not a real PR fan -- and you certainly shouldn't be a contestant.

The only bold entry was the plastic cup dress, which instantly brought up mental pictures of Krystle Carrington. I actually preferred it to the winning design, which was certainly more wearable, but too cutesy-wootsy for my taste (and, really, if you cut up vacuum cleaner bags, you basically work with paper-like fabric, which is _not_ the point of this challenge, except if you want to impress Nina Garcia, who will always pick the design that looks most "impeccable", whether or not it fits the spirit of the challenge, won't she, Keith?).

No linguistic highlights or new Tim Gunnisms in this season-opening episode. It frees you up to think about other weighty issues, like Heidi Klum's apparent vow never to cover her thighs again. Watch what happens.

linguists for bush

John Egan argues in the New York Times hat the latest New Yorker cover won't hurt Barack Obama. The reason? People get it, even camouflaged Montanans. Who may be members of a club you didn't know existed:
A big red-headed guy in a pickup pulling a fishing boat stopped in front of Barack Obama headquarters here — loaded for bear, as they say.
Land Tawney, a fifth-generation Montanan with a gap-toothed smile, was wearing a plaid shirt and a camouflage cap atop his head. He belongs to Sportsmen for Obama, which sounds like Facebook Users for McCain, or Linguists for Bush.