Picture it: New York, 2011. The Project Runway contestants are shootin’ the breeze inside the Atlas apartments.
Josh C., who was nearly eliminated for his hacked-together sportswear summer camp project last week says he “can only only go up.” To which I think, no Josh, you can go down from there. There are lots of ways. You could be eliminated. You could be hit by a car. You could have a severe allergic reaction to Michael Kors’ spray tanner.
Anyway, it’s assignment time. Heidi tells them they are going to unleash their creativity.
Joshua McKinley (henceforth known as J-Mac) wonders if she means fetish and S&M because she said “leash.” Ha, nope. They meet Tim at 14th St. and Ave. B, which is absolutely nowhere near the Central Park establishing shot they showed. It’s a Petland Discount. They are using materials from a pet store to create their next garment.
I can’t help but wonder why they selected a chain store that still sells live animals when there are zillions of independently-owned pet supply shops around the city. Maybe I’m biased because I used to work at one, but it would have been nice. Bert asks if the live animals are off-limits, which they are. I am not sure but I really hope he was joking. He gets some side-eye for that comment, though.
Fallene, who used a cut-out of a clown barfing rainbows on her dress last week, is stoked because, shockingly, she loves whimsical novelty things and doesn’t think we should take fashion too seriously. I’m with you, girl, which probably explains about 90% of my wardrobe.
Uniballer Anthony decides to head away from where everyone else is going, which is usually a good idea on a show that’s supposed to be about creativity and innovation. He ends up buying an aviary’s worth of birdseed and some grass for the skirt. This could be awesome or horrible. It might also attract a Hitchcockian flock of pigeons to the workroom if they aren’t careful. Oh, well. That’s the price you pay for fashion.
Bert is clearly phoning this one in because he has immunity. As soon as Tim says they should stay away from using too many materials that are already fabric, he heads over to the dog beds. Gasp. My min pin could nap hard on those and you’re just going to cut them up? There are sleepy dogs all over this city that would love to get their paws on those, dude. Why won’t anyone think of the puppies? Also, Bert, if you’re not into making clothing out of weird things, maybe Project Runway wasn’t the best choice. Have you seen this show before?
Laura, a.k.a. Designer Barbie, says she is going to make pet stores as refined as possible, then inexplicably decides to make a skirt out of those clear plastic cone collars that are used to keep dogs from biting themselves. Because nothing says refined like “don’t lick the place where your nuts used to be.” Everyone else is buying wee wee pads, apparently. My psychic powers predict this will lead to workroom hilarity.
Back at Parsons, we see Julie planning to use dog food bags to make a dress. She’s weaving strips of the paper together into a fabric. I’ve handled many a bag of dog food in my day, and they always smell funky and have a weird, oily feel, which isn’t really something I associate with high fashion.
Olivier is using two different colors of the wood chip-like fill used in bunny cages to create an ombre pattern, with fabric from a dog bed that really, really looks like it’s from a dog bed for the top. Fun fact: I assumed he was British because of his accent, but apparently he grew up in Ohio and moved to Europe as a young adult.
There’s a minute of faux drama when J-Mac realizes he didn’t buy some connector thing that’s supposed to go with the his aquarium tubing. Viktor has some on his work table. Oh noes, there will be blood. Or not, because we cut to commercial and never hear mention of it again.
Lots of people are dyeing wee wee pads to use as fabric. It kind of looks like some puppies with serious health issues have gotten loose in the workroom. Viktor has bunched his up to make a tight little number, to which Tim Gunn comments, “It’s like a Depends dress. You never have to get up from your barstool.” He also mentions he’s never said “wee wee pad” this many times in a single day before. I wonder what his previous record was.
My rule for all reality shows is to drink when someone says “wow factor.” Kimberly points out that another dress does not have said factor of wow. Drink.
When the models come in, Julie’s kind of looks like a doormat. Designer Barbie, who loves to talk about her middle class upbringing and how she’s been shopping at Neiman’s since she was in single digits, is having a serious problem with her cone-collar skirt. By “serious problem,” I mean there was so much model butt cheek showing that Lifetime kind of blurred it. She decides to re-do her skirt with cat scratch cardboard.
Lots of redesigning happens after the fitting and before the runway, while the ladies are off in the product-placement beauty studios. Anthony decides to scrap the grass skirt and cover the whole dress in birdseed. J-Mac ditches the tubing (so the manufactured moment of drama wasn’t even necessary) for aquarium rocks. There’s also lots of gluing. Olivier wants to glue bunny stuff to his model’s eyebrows, and the makeup guy asks if she has medical insurance. Just about everyone is gluing dress parts to their models while they’re already in the clothes.
The runway show commences. There seems to be a slight reduction in the use of labia as an accessory compared to last week. Becky Ross used fake aquarium plants in spashy colors, and it’s cool but kind of looks like a gourmet salad. I’m calling is CSA-chic. Julie’s woven and presumably greasy/smelly dog food bag dress is actually kind of cool, though it looks a little stiff. Non-sewer extraordinaire Anya made a surprisingly-cute halter top out of rope dog toys. Laura’s redesign looks better than the ass cone. She claims she didn’t use a single piece of fabric. Unless you count dog leashes as fabric, which they kind of are. Viktor’s wee wee pad dress looks like a pink maxi pad that was picked out of a wedgie, and yet I still like it.
Josh made a dress out of an umbrella. Also, he is worried about his lack of “wow factor.” Drink. But it made Nina sigh, so he is right to be concerned.
Bryce’s blue wee wee pad and hamster fluff dress looks like Cookie Monster barfed up a sad, non-awesome version of Bjork’s swan dress. Also, the first napkin skirt of the season. Congrats, Bryce.
Danielle, Julie, Laura, Victor, Becky, Cecelia, Kimberly, Anya and Bert are safe, though Heidi calls Bert out for half-assing it. He agrees that he’s lucky he has immunity. Anthony, Oliver, J-Mac are the top three, Bryce, Josh C, and Fallene are the bottom.
The judges are gaga over Olivier’s beige number, which I thought looked kind of old and sad. His work with the ombre on the skirt was pretty great, but I thought the top looked like a dead muppet. Fallene’s glued-on aquarium plant skirt seemed like a good idea, but it didn’t come together and ultimately looked blah. The judges are also enamored of Anthony’s birdseed, which is pretty amazing if a little too short. Someone had to bring back the cervix accessory.
J-Mac’s skirt was see-through and weirdly not one of the judges mentioned it. That seems kind of important. At least his model is wearing underpants. But the shape is fantastic, as is his work with the aquarium rocks on the top. Kors rightly points out that the styling makes her look like Sea Vixen Barbie.
DRAMA! Choosing between Anthony and Oliver to win is a standoff between Heidi and Nina. Ultimately Heidi is overruled and Olivier’s ombre bunny muppet is crowned the winner. I’m firmly Team Klum in this debate.
Alas, we must say auf wiedersehen to Josh C. for his overuse of fabric and his garment’s resemblance to ’90s club wear. So his previous assertion that he could only go up turned out to be far from true.