After a kind of oddly edited season opener, I’m still hopeful that Project Runway will deliver this season. They’re back in New York, the judges are supposedly going to remain consistent, and we have at least a hand-full of quippers, so maybe all is good. I’m just catching up on things, after being called out of town unexpectedly last week, so bear with me as I (maybe drunkenly, I’m not sayin’, but it’s been a very stressful week) stumble through this recap.
Tim on a farm….Isn’t that a sign of the apocalypse?
Morning dawns on Atlas, and Jesus is down in the dumps after his poor showing in the first challenge. Pamela is sad that Chrstiane left but excited at the prospect of going to Mood. (Bwahahaha! The foreshadowing gnomes of the Magical Elves may have left the building, but there’s at least one dude at the controls who has some humor.) The designers then congregate at Parsons to hear from Heidi that they are being sent on a fieldtrip. It’s a “little out there” and Janeane suspects it’s either a Broadway show or a trip to the moon. Given the production budget, I’m guessing space travel is out. And someone please…stop this ridiculous “let’s meet so Heidi can send us out” stuff. It’s just filler.
Terrestrial travel is within the budget however, and the designers meet up with Tim in the middle of a muddy patch at a farm. Tim, in his dapper clothes, standing in mud is just all kinds of wrong. He’s waiting there with the models, all of whom are dressed in burlap potato sacks and rubber boots. As if we hadn’t already pieced this together, Tim says the challenge is to make a garment out of the potato sack material for the models to wear to an industry event. But wait—there’s more! Not only are the models the designers’ clients, but also the models get to choose their designer. Dun, dun, dun, DUNNNN!
All goes smoothly until model Alexis switches from Mila to Anthony. Mila shoots daggers at Alexis, but keeps her calm (for now). Alison had been modeling for Anthony, so when her name is picked out of the velvet bag of buttons, she picks Amy. Amy’s model Valeria picks Janeane after losing Amy. This leaves Mila to design for Lorena.
Off to the side of the muddy field are stands with loads of embellishments—buttons, ribbon, and the like—from which the designers get to choose materials. Mila finds she is getting along well with Lorena, while Anthony is quite adamant he’s not going to sacrifice his chances at advancing because of Alexis’ ideas. But there is no visit to Mood—just bagging embellishments in a field. How sad.
Paging Sir Mix-A-Lot…buttocks featured prominently!
Back at Parsons, the designers get down to sketching both on paper and on their HP sketchpads. They only have until midnight to get the garments done, which is a pretty steep challenge given that they’re working with burlap. Jesus plans on using a lot of ribbon to make the “hootchie” dress his model desires, while Pamela works on dying her burlap blue. Mila continues to stew about being dumped for Anthony and lets some of the self-doubt the dump has created come out. She can’t believe that Alexis dropped her for Anthony and tells him so. Anthony isn’t taking her comments lightly, offering her his and his entire family’s asses to kiss.
The tight time limit has everyone working to max capacity. Ping wraps her burlap around herself to drape, much like we saw last week. Anna is making potato prints with ink on her burlap, which is a kinda cutesy idea but I like it. Then Tim drops by for an early visit. He stops by to talk with Pamela first; he really loves the dye job on the fabric but questions her choice to make the corset top dress in one piece. He thinks two pieces would be easier. Mila shows Tim a black-dyed burlap overlaid with silver ribbon that will be down the front and back of the dress. He raises a skeptical eyebrow at that, but really balks when she shows him the greenish tulle her model really liked. He talks her out of using it, which wasn’t a challenge since Mila didn’t like it either. Jay shows Tim light teal ribbon that he’s going to use on the fabric everywhere. Tim is flabbergasted that Jay is attempting so much work in such a short time, so he leaves Jay to sew. Ping then describes the carved neckline in her garment that will end up looking like a necklace, or so she intends. She then describes the short skirt; Tim cautions not to make the skirt too short because the runway is elevated and the judges will be in the perfect position to see bare booty. Amy describes the panels that she dyed and that are still drying. Tim loves the dip-dye job on the skirt but gets nervous at her description of a rather busy top her model desires. He again cautions that the judges aren’t going to care if the model loves it and it still looks like crap. Finally, Tim stops by to check in Jesus, who has completely covered the burlap skirt in green ribbon. There’s nary a sign of potato sack in his design. Tim doesn’t think using burlap as the undergarment is a good idea and that Jesus avoided the challenge. Jesus thinks it is going to look good and he has to stay true to himself. Apparently Jesus has never seen this show before; to ignore Tim Gunn is to put yourself at ultimate risk.
The models then come in for a quick fitting. It is going pretty well, but Ping struggles to keep her model’s bottom covered. Jesus told his model about Tim’s concerns, which makes her worried too. Anthony’s model Alexis wants buttons and fringy things on her cocktail dress but he’s not having that at all. Mr. Popped Collar is not going to let his model take the lead.
More construction goes on and Jay’s dye job doesn’t turn out in the right color, so he sits sadly at his workstation as the clock ticks to midnight. The next morning, there is the expected last minute rushing to finish the garments at Parsons. Why can’t the designers have two-day challenges any more? Tim arrives to start the two-hour count down to the runway, sends in the models and rattles off his “Make it work” mantra.
Trouble is brewing in Ping’s design; the model’s bum shows through the “ass flap”--as Jonathan so accurately calls it. Pamela is also having trouble in the butt area, as her garment is a bit too big in the fanny. Zippers won’t pull up, models are sewn into their dresses, and last minute details (like shoes) are remembered. Tim herds these cats out to get ready for the runway show.
Ignore that page, Sir Mix-A-Lot. We don’t like big butts here. We cannot lie.
Finally, the runway show brings Heidi, Michael, Nina, and guest judge Lauren Hutton. I’m just glad they’ve got a guest judge who has a clue about fashion and doesn’t look like a drown rat (**cough**Nicole Richie**cough**). The designs shown are:
Anthony’s pink, strapless, short cocktail dress.
Ping’s ass-bearing, burlap-looking “dress” with a crewneck collar, no cut outs for a “necklace” look, a center detail that is off-center, and the widest hip out-pocketings ever. Oh, and it doesn’t help it’s also got a little fabric swirl that reminds me of crazy Angela.
Ben’s pink, one shoulder, short cocktail dress. He and Anthony should collaborate.
Mila’s short, black and silver, boob-bearing dress. Look into double stick tape. Trust!
Anna’s pleated dress with the potato print dye job turned out to look like a real print and not at all like burlap.
Jesse’s vest and pants (PANTS!) ensemble that is detailed with pink ribbon. They kind of look like Logan pants, but still…at least it’s not another dress.
Seth Aaron’s strapless, starched A-line skirt dress with thin black stripes of ribbon and an attached hood. Very futuristic from a guy who’s still sporting Simon LeBon’s hairstyle from 1991.
Amy’s wonderful halter-top dress with handkerchief style skirt of different panels dyed at their tips in dark browns. Hands-down my favorite of the night.
Janeane’s sweetheart neckline, strapless dark grey and maroon ribbon detailed short cocktail dress.
Jay’s sleeveless V-necked fitted top with a skirt made of peacock feathers…no, wait, that’s burlap circles detailed in the ribbon. Very intensive on the workmanship.
Emilio’s short column dress with ribbon inlays of pink and brown-print strips. The fit is grand.
Jesus’s deep V-neck brown on top (which may actually be burlap) and green ribbon covered skirt.
Jonathan’s short burlap dress with a halter top and lace overlaid down the center.
Maya’s (wait…who is Maya?!) dress of many colors…brown (which may be the burlap—even in HD, it’s hard to tell), red, gold, blue and burnt orange ribbon are all over it.
Pamela’s short blue dress with a leather detail down one side and a kinda big booty look in the back.
Heidi calls Pamela, Mila, Ping, Jay, Jesus, and Amy forward. The rest of the designers are safe. In short order, it becomes obvious who is tops and who is not. Starting with Jay, Michael thought the details were feathers at first too, but is impressed with the detailing in burlap. Lauren says he made burlap look expensive. Okay, way to give away the winner, editors. We all know the code by now. Pamela explains her garment, but Nina thinks it’s too tight and short and is unsophisticated. Michael thinks a plain potato sack would have been better, though the dying is beautiful.
Mila wanted to go for futuristic and modern; Heidi loves it, even that it gapes at the boobies. Nina loves it as well. Ping yammers on about her model’s skin color being so close to the color of the fabric and gets teary. The judges point out that the model’s butt is fully exposed, which will certainly get her noticed. Ping then says that she thought the “industry party” was a county fair potato party. I’m not buying that at all.
Heidi questions Jesus on the percentage of potato sack material used. The top is all burlap but the bottom is just ribbon over the burlap. Lauren thinks the dress is an assault on the eye and Nina wants to see something younger from him. Amy says she wanted to retain the organic quality of the burlap. Michael sees flirty and feminine while Lauren is impressed with her use of the burlap as a real fabric.
The designers are dismissed while the judges deliberate. They loved Jay’s transformation of the fabric to a light material. Mila did an amazing job creating an edgy and hot dress. Amy’s dress was sophisticated and embraced the burlap. However, they weren’t so impressed with Jesus’s color use—pea green and brown. Ping probably doesn’t listen but has potential to make something interesting. Pamela’s creativity is questioned and she committed the cardinal sin of making the model’s butt look big.
Decision time! The designers come back out to face their fates. Amy is in, and Jay is the winner (obviously after that “expensive” comment). And, of course, Mila is in as well. Inexplicably Ping’s bottom-bearing outfit saves her. It’s down to Pamela’s unflattering, non-fashion-forward dress and Jesus’s matronly, mundane, challenge-avoiding dress. Then, in the second inexplicable turn, Jesus is safe and Pamela is out. So kids, remember…it’s okay to show your ass, just so long as it doesn’t look bigger than it really is.