As you may have noticed, there was no recap of last week’s episode. A little beast named Gustav came through here and knocked out my power for eight days. Luckily, it came back on yesterday and I’m no longer sweating buckets and cursing the energy company. The cable is still out, but after years of listening to Tim Gunn, I made it work and got this week’s episode recorded elsewhere.
Last week apparently Leanne won and the leatha goddess Stella went home. I still haven’t seen the show, but what clips I could find entailed a lot of Kenley crying, some crazy prints, and Blayne’s obsession with Mary Kate. How he’s still on this show and Stella is not remains a mystery to me.
Hey baby, what’s your sign?
Terri is actually happy that Stella is gone, probably because she’s the only other designer who also made pants often. Suede has been plagued by dreams of weird challenges that involve Pop Tarts (tune into S6 for the Pop Tart challenge). Elsewhere, Kenley is over-imbued with confidence, despite the fact that it was Leanne who won the prior two challenges.
The designers drag themselves to the runway set for the model choosing; predictably, Leanne remains with her model so Stella’s Kendall is out. Heidi announces there will be special guests for this new challenge and out come the eight previously booted designers. The remaining contestants will pair up with a loser to create an avant garde look. The past contestants are only around to help out; they don’t have a chance to get back in the competition. Heidi then sends the lot to the workroom so Tim can pair them up.
Tim clues us all in on the challenge; while the ultimate design is to be an avant garde outfit, it will be inspired by one of the designer pair member’s astrological sign. The currently “in” designers are arraigned by sign and the “out” designers names are in the velvet bag for Tim to pick the match. The pairing up goes down like this: Korto (Aquarius) and Kelli (Cancer); Kenley (Aquarius) and Wesley (Scorpio); Joe (Aires) and Daneil (Sagittarius); Leanne (Libra) and Emily (Scorpio); Blayne (Libra) and Stella (Scorpio); Terri (Sagittarius) and Keith (Leo and trouble); Jerell (Sagittarius) and Jennifer (Taurus); and Suede (Sagittarius) and Jerry (Libra).
Tim gives the teams thirty minutes to caucus and review the provided dossiers on the astrological signs. Blayne is excited to see that Libra’s colors are ivory, pink, and turquoise because they are “his” colors. Korto will use her Aquarius sign and have the design reflect the flow and color of water. Kenley latches on to the “rebellious” side of Aquarius and will use that as her inspiration. Leanne decides to use Emily’s Scorpio sign for her design.
Thirty minutes go by fast and it’s off to Mood to spend $250 on materials. Kenley is thrilled that Wesley takes direction from her so well. Terri, choosing to go with Keith’s Leo sign, is after some fake fur. Keith does not like this idea and thinks will look costumey. I don’t like Keith, but I hate fake fur even more, so I have to give him props for being right on the money this time.
Crazy designers beget crazy designs.
Back at Parsons, Suede and Jerry mull over the yards of various shades of blue charmeuse they picked up at mood. They are going with Jerry’s Libra sign and want to play with the “scales” of the Libra. I don’t know why, but whenever anyone says “scales” I think of fish scales and it’s only about at the end of the episode that I realize that they mean weighing scales, like the scales of justice. I’m convinced a week in unmitigated heat has totally baked my brain.
As one might predict—even if one is confused about scales—Terri and Keith are not getting along. Terri thinks Keith skill level is poor so she doesn’t know what to do with him. Keith doesn’t want to fight with Terri, but he’s still feeling hurt and sad about being eliminated. Notably, the other seven dismissed designers don’t whine half as much as Keith. He should enter a whining contest to boost his confidence. Kenley, however, needs no one to boost her confidence; she is on some kind of high about being the best amongst the lot and Leanne has had enough of her yammering.
Luckily, before someone starts bitch-slapping someone else, Tim comes in to review the process. He starts with Blayne and Stella; Blayne explains that the outfit will be mostly a nude-colored garment that will manifest bright colors on the side. There will be leather straps (of course!) involved as well. Tim cautions to make the look cohesive. Tim then checks in on Jerell and Jennifer. Jerell is using a golden textured fabric that he wants to look like armor. The skirt is a cream and brown small print; Tim does not like the skirt material, saying that it looks like a schoolmarm’s old winter coat. Tim concludes that Jerell’s look is so out there he’ll either win or crash and burn.
Tim sees Leanne at work on her Scorpio-inspired design. The dress will have these structured black pieces that come out and around the dress; the black parts to be like an exoskeleton. Tim likes it and tells her to go for it. He next stops by to check on Kenley and Wesley. She’s got a plaid purple, leather for a bustier, a zebra print for a belt, and more orange and yellow print fabric for the skirt. The sleeves are already formed out in muslin and stick up at the shoulders in giant puffs. Tim thinks it is all very Glenda the Good Witch of the North but Kenley thinks it is rebellious. Wesley confesses that he doesn’t want to add to the design because it is going to be ripped apart on the runway. Finally, Tim takes a gander and Terri’s Leo design. He raises an eyebrow at the fake fur and worries a bit over the brown leather skin look of the corset middle of the dress, noting she needs to ensure it is really integrated into the design. He thinks Keith will be able to help out in this regard, but it becomes apparent that the two are not working together well. Frankly, I’m amazed Tim didn’t see that coming.
The group gets some more work in after Tim leaves, but Day 1 is soon over. Day 2 of the challenge starts with everyone freaking out at how much work needs to be done before the runway show. Korto is already pre-planning her stress at not finishing even before they get back to the workroom. When they arrive, they all find notes from Heidi that the challenge will bring a double elimination and the designers will have to show their looks that very night at a party at the Natural History Museum. With only nine hours until the party, everyone gets down to working and stressing out. By the end of the day, Terri has pretty much pushed Keith aside, so he just hangs with Jerell for a while in the break room, mumbling about not designing for the Lion King.
Tim drops in with the models and gives them all a one-hour deadline for everyone to get ready for the party. He also announces that there will be no immunity for this challenge or any further challenge. There’s a lot of last minute sewing, Kenley being overly confident, and Korto pinning her design together because she’s out of time. And off to the party they go.
Past PR stars under the stars.
The party is held at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History. It’s a big planetarium and there’s all kind of cool space-age lighting around. Heidi is at the party and she introduces another round of special guests—some past contestants. Joining the party are: Daniel Vosovic (S2, and I can hear MFWalkoff squee with delight half-the-country away), Christian Siriano (S4 winner), Carmen Webber (S4); Alison Kelly (S3); Robert Plotkin (S1); Jay McCarroll (S1 winner); and Kara Janx (S2). Heidi lets it be known that these past participants will pick the winner but the winner won’t be announced until the runway show the next day.
The bubbly comes out and the designers all mix, mingle, and try to sell the hell out of their designs. Kenley gets in a bit of a verbal spar with Heidi over the proper location of Kenley’s models breasts. Heidi thinks they’re way too low in the leather bustier but Kenley won’t capitulate. It would be wise to back off a woman who had a made a career and a whole lot of money properly filling out a bra.
Alison is impressed with Leanne’s design and, as always, seems quite sweet. Robert is less skeevy than I remember and checks out Terri’s design while Keith looks on from the side. Robert gets the “Leo” thing, which couldn’t be telegraphed more literally with the giant fake fur collar; Christian is more blunt about it when he just flat out hates the collar. Carmen wonders if Suede over-used the scale design, Jay likes Korto’s pinned together water dress, and Heidi thinks Blayne’s nude onesie looks like granny panties. Daniel V. is impressed by Jerell’s use of many trims to look cohesive, while Jay is impressed by Leanne’s subtle Scorpio design. The party winds down and all of the designers of seasons past cast their ballots by dropping cards into a locked box.
Apparently “avant garde” translates into “ugly Disney costumes".
The next morning, there is still some time remaining on the clock so Korto gets all of her sewing done and Terri ditches the fur collar and makes some kind of replacement. Tim sends in the models for hair, makeup and fitting; Kenley takes some time to adjust the bustier and stuff the bra of her model to appease Heidi. The clock ticks down and, with ten minutes remaining, Stella is still banging out grommets (‘cause, seriously, what else would she be doing?). Suede gets all first-persony and talks about how he’s going to win. Joe opines that Kenley’s dress looks like Mickey Mouse’s ears, which isn’t a bad description. Then Tim comes in and corrals everyone on to the runway. Keith is not in the workroom, so Tim has to go find him in the lounge, wake him up, and drag his whiney ass out the door.
While I was hoping that some of the past seasons’ contestants would turn up as judges, we’re stuck with Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Francisco Costa who is the Women’s Creative Director for the Calvin Klein collection. It would have been an ideal time to bring back S3’s Jeffrey, but maybe he was busy getting another tattoo. Anyway, here’s what we see, as best as I can describe these looks:
Blayne (and Stella)’s Libra look consisting of a nude onsie with leather straps from shoulders, crossing between breasts, at waist and at the hips. There is a puke of turquoise, ivory and pink fabric fluffed up and strapped on the model’s right arm and leg.
Kenley (and Wesley)’s Aquarius dress made of a purple plaid high-ruffle-collared top and sleeves, a black bustier of leather, and a skirt of a burnt orange and yellow print. The sleeves poof way the hell out at the shoulders and top of the arm and come in slim at the forearms to the wrists. The skirt also poofs out below the waist and comes in at the knees. It would be perfect for the Queen of Hearts’ tea party.
Terri (and marginally Keith)’s Leo-inspired gown made of a long column skirt of gold textured fabric that looks a bit like metal. The bodice is brown suede looking material with feathers running on sides as trim. The fur collar is gone replaced by shiny dark red/orange plastic-y looking fabric wrapped around the arms to the elbows that poofs out and then streams down the back off the shoulders in a double train.
Korto (and Kelli)’s Aquarius gown made of blue chiffons with purple loops at the top. The back is voluminous layers of the mixed blue fabrics that flow in a weird cape-like way.
Joe (and Daniel)’s Aries gown that looks an awful lot like the losing design in the drag queen challenge. It is made of dark reddish brown fabrics in solids and prints; the skirt is made of layers, the top has a sweetheart neckline, and there is some kind of gold fabric wrap on the model’s arms.
Jerell (and Jennifer)’s Sagittarius-inspired dress consisting of a shiny gold tank top, high-waisted, fitted, long skirt of the schoolmarm brown print, topped with a jacket made out of a weird Jerell-green (he uses that green nearly every challenge) print and sleeve detailing of the same shiny gold fabric as the top.
Leanne (and Emily)’s Scorpio-inspired knee-length blood red dress with a big black, multi-section exoskeleton that comes across and around the dress and even over the model’s head.
Suede (and Jerry)’s Libra outfit consisting of dark blue chiffon pants, lighter blue top with a back attached cape of the fabric, constructed to kind of stiffly stick out when model walks.
After the runway show, Heidi calls out Korto’s team, Jerell’s team, Leanne’s team, Joe’s team; one of these teams will be the winner, but we’ll all have to wait for the bottom teams to be sorted out before a winner is crowned. They leave the runway and the models of the designers remaining on the stage come out. It’s time for “defend your design” here on Project Runway.
Blayne starts off the defense by saying that he chose the Libra sign and wanted to play with the “scale” idea—one side was designed to be much heavier than the other. Nina thinks the design looks haphazard and like he didn’t spend a lot of time on it. Francisco thinks it is costumey and not avant garde. Heidi concludes that it is not pretty, which Michael also echoes. Plus, as Michael points out, the design poops fabric yet again.
Terri says she wanted to capture the fire sign’s sun and heat. She notes she got rid of the fur from the original design after the prior night’s feedback. Michael thinks that Terri and Keith should have gotten along perfectly since their astrological signs are compatible; this inspires a lot of eye rolling by both Terri and Keith. She says he walked out and he says she wouldn’t let him work with her. Michael admonishes that Terri can’t have a serious fashion career if she can’t work together with someone and thinks the design came off as a voodoo princess in hell. The model is embarrassed, Francisco thinks the design lacks power, and Michael concludes Terri’s taste flew out the window.
Kenley says that the rebellious nature of the Aquarius inspired her to make the design and she thinks it is really cool. Nina fails to see anything related to the Aquarius sign and Kenley did what she wanted to do, irrespective of the challenge. Kenley gets quite defensive, saying that the design is strong, rebellious, and purple—all Aquarius-related concepts. Michael says that it is nothing he hasn’t seen before: Dolce and Gabbana on the top and Viktor and Rolf on the bottom. Kenley says she doesn’t look at other collections, which elicits a smirk from Nina. Michael sticks by his conclusion: he’s seen this before and it isn’t avant garde.
Finally, Suede says his design was inspired by the Libra scales. Heidi thinks he should have pushed the envelope but the design is just ordinary. Suede counters that he wanted a refined look, but Nina says it is somewhat refined but borders on expected and ordinary. Francisco thinks Suede failed to bring the common design to the next level.
The designers are sent away while the judges deliberate. Blayne’s look was a disaster, ridiculous, and a joke. Kenley’s look didn’t say Aquarius and got very defensive with any criticism. Nina hated Terri’s cheap-looking outfit and everyone is bothered by Terri’s inability to work with Keith. Suede’s look was just boring and not avant gard; Michael notes Suede’s runway third-person talk was annoying and Suede doesn’t have the chops to be that much of a diva yet.
Finally, all of the designers are called out to find out who won. Amazingly, Jerell was picked as the winner, and he’s dismissed along with the others who were in the running for the win. Kenley gets a pass as well, so it’s just Terri, Blayne, and Suede on the Runway. Heidi says Terri’s look was poorly made and lacked taste; Blayne was asked to produce an avant garde look but the judges got a joke; and Suede’s look was safe and boring. Heidi then says Blayne is out. He is baffled at the decision and feels like it was a slap in the face. Suede and Terri are still on the runway, and Heidi says Suede is in, so Terri is out. Terri says she didn’t expect to be eliminated (neither did I, prior to this challenge). She vows that people will still hear from her through her design and Blayne remains confident and believes he will soon rule the world. The way things are going, we probably could do worse than a reign of –liciousness and hoodies.
Next week, we may get real schoolmarms, or so it seems from the preview. Meanwhile, I’m going to now bask in the cool breeze emanating from my air conditioning vents and hope that the cable company comes around soon to fix my line so I don’t have to steal wireless signal.