When host Angela (from certain angles she’s a dead ringer for Jennifer Morrison) teased that a fashion icon who’s been a muse for such brands as Burberry and Prada would be guest-judging the episode, the designers all hoped it would be one of their predictable favorites: Madonna, Cher, Lady Gaga, SJP. Instead it was Miss Piggy of Muppets fame. I was left wondering, “Why?” The Muppets movie is mostly out of theaters, and designing a “flamboyant cocktail dress” for Miss Piggy would basically be like designing clothes for a chubby drag queen. And maybe I’m being a total Statler and Waldorf, but the whole let’s-pretend-Miss-Piggy’s-a-real-person-with-real-needs gag that ran through the entire episode started getting less and less cute, especially during the critiques. I love the Muppets and Miss Piggy as much as anyone else, but this challenge came across as irrelevant and sort of limited the designers to a narrow, Juniors-section aesthetic.
Speaking of cute, Joanna Coles struck fear into the designers’ hearts by heralding her arrival in the workroom with an ominous, “I’m heeeeeeeere!” There’d been some major tension in that room. Kara, Austin Scarlett, and Mondo fought over accessories more savagely than adult hipsters playing an ironic game of Pretty Pretty Princess. Mila scoffed at how close Kenley and Kara were getting, but maybe she really just wanted to be included. Michael made catty remarks about Austin Scarlett’s dress, and Anthony gave us this gem about Michael’s design: “It looks like a princess-seamed dress with some bubbles on her boob.” So Joanna’s guidance was much needed, and I loved how enthusiastic she was about Miss Piggy. “I’m beside myself!” Still no smiles, though!
For the most part, I didn’t like the way most of these dresses were coming together. Most of them looked like something you could buy at Toys”R”Us, and it seemed a bunch of the designers were following the mantra, “When in doubt, go retro! And stick something Zooey Deschanel-ish on your model’s head!” That vaguely retro look that most of the designers are falling back on feels about as fresh as planking (sorry, Idol is on in the background!).
NEXT: Another Anthony gem: “I was about to eat a piece of bacon this morning and I felt so convicted. [Conflicted?] I already feel bad for all [Miss Piggy’s] children I’ve eaten in the past.” Try to be a little more enlightened, Anthony — not all pigs are related. So funny, though!