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Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.2: “Sugar and Snark and Peppermint Bark — That’s What Models Are Made of”

“This is no time for child’s play,” Actual-Heidi said to the designers about their participation on Project Runway at the beginning of this, our second episode in the season of our Lord numbering ten. Pretty adult words from a lady who was partly responsible for the giant brown diaper winning a few seasons ago. But ho! This obviously-scripted line must mean that the challenge this week would indeed involve child’s play. You cannot fool me, A-H. I am a blogger, madam.

Tim Gunn met the designers outside Dylan’s Candy Bar, a place I would very much like to visit. Hey, Head Persephone Unicorn! Send me on an all-expense-paid field trip to NYC whynot? I’ll eat candy for science! And blog about it or something. Whatever you like.

The Founder and CEO of this place of diabetic wonder, Dylan Lauren, was there. She is the daughter of Ralph Lauren. I guess when you hit the genetic lottery, you can do things like open up a fancy candy store. Not that I’m jealous, the lousy bitch. (Kidding, Dylan! Call me!) So she obviously knows about fashion by osmosis, or umbilical cord, or something. She wore a striped tie, which is known to be both ~*~whimsical~*~ and fashioney, and would be a judge for this challenge.

Tim went on to break my heart by telling me this was the unconventional challenge. Yes, yes, I know many of you love it when they’re forced to glue gummy worms on unsuspecting models, but I love when designers sew actual fabric. Call me silly. But I do hope for a good outcome nonetheless, for I do adore candy. (And a hot mess or two – I’m not that charitable.) Annoying Gunnar said that he dreamed about a candy challenge, so he was pleased as punch. Perhaps he’s psychic, y’all. Can he guess what I’m thinking now? I bet you can, Persephoneers! If you had a dream for a Project Runway unconventional challenge, what would it be? Tell me in the comments!

They have candy Legos in that store.



I’ve always wanted to build a candy house I could lure unsuspecting children into. I mean, a house I could eat. Yes, a house I could eat myself. Because I eat candy and not children. Ahem. My true witchiness came out as I cackled when Christopher asked, “How much is a chocolate boyfriend?”

Honestly, though, the designers rummaging madly through the bins of candy just seemed really unsanitary to me. God, I’m old.

The Christopher/Gunnar feud spun into high gear as Gunnar said that Christopher was intimidated by him, which is clearly true since Christopher beat Gunnar in the first challenge. Christopher wondered what the hell was wrong with Gunnar, as did we all. Team C!

Alicia’s plan was to make a one-strap shorts overall in red and green. Yes, you read that correctly. She said it like it was a great idea.

Sonjia said, “Immediately, the big, long [gummy] sharks began speaking to me.” Gummy animals speak to me, too, Sonjia. I like you and your blue hair.

Andrea told us she was born on Halloween, so she has a strong connection to candy. Her idea was to make an apron for a Victorian candy clerk gone wild, which sounded kinda awesome in my head, but turned out to be, in Tim’s words, “craft project-ey.” If done right, it could turn into an LSD trip for Helena Bonham Carter. I mean that in a fantastic way, of course. She cut up her garment based on Tim’s stern and dire warnings, but then cobbled it back together, preferring to go with her gut. I hope this isn’t the end of her. Take Gunnar instead, gods of couture! We’ll throw in Ed Hardy!

Kooan’s idea was to weave a sweater dress out of Twizzlers. My husband loves Twizzlers, so I might do this at home, ifyouknowwhatImean boom chicka wow. Kooan was trying to hot glue the candy together, which didn’t work because of duh. The logical thing would be to thread them down the center with yarn or string. He turned to weaving them. His cotton candy completely just shriveled and went away by the next morning. Womp womp.

Ven won a lot of awards in fashion school, blah yawn. He seems really up his own ass. Maybe he and Gunnar should team up, except that they wouldn’t do “team” very well, I suspect.

Nathan, who got actual screen time this episode, appeared to be designing a heavy blue lamp shade edged in chocolate hearts as a skirt. Hmmmmm.

Sonjia’s gummy sharks and jellybeans bodice was already spectacular, even only halfway put together. She’s an early breakout designer to watch.

Tim visited Not-Fabio (Not-Fabio because there is only my boyfriend, the real Fabio) and told him of his sad, unfinished work, “This is a ‘glue the [bleep] out of it’ moment!” I love it when they bleep Tim. It’s like my favorite crazy old aunt cussing.

Buffi wove her bodice out of bendy sour gummy strips of pink and yellow. If it turns out, it could be amazing. Lantie said that Buffi was not up to par, design-wise. All together now: hahahahahahahaa! Lantie, you have to perform better than you have to start throwing shade. Get out of the bottom three and then canst thou flap thine mouth. Lantie started all over again way at the end of the day, using material from umbrellas as… material. Hmmmmm.

Alicia burned the crap out of herself with the glue gun, and I make no jokes about it because ouch! Get well soon, Alicia! I’ll kick a hot glue gun in your honor.

The next morning, Elena struggled in getting her Twizzler dress off the dress form – it cracked and pieces began falling off. Gunnar laughed. This is why all correct people are Team C. Not-Fabio helped her, which was tremendously nice.

On the runway, Actual-Heidi greeted the judges wearing a snake-print, gathered-ankle, off-shoulder jumpsuit. She wore it to judge fashion. That’s the punch line.

Gunnar Sonjia Melissa Designs Project Runway Season 10 Episode 2
(L to R) Gunnar, Sonjia (front), Sonjia (back), Melissa

Gunnar’s dress looked like glued-on candy. It just did. I thought she looked like Miss New York City Taxi Cab 1982. He said of his outfit: “There’s a little bit of, like, oh wow, he turned this one out! feeling from the other designers.” Actual-Heidi enjoyed his print creation. The judges liked this one more than I did.

Sonjia’s outfit looked like club wear for the little mermaid. It was adorable and whimsical and did veer slightly into costume territory, but still – damn cute. I LOVED the sharks, as well as the turned-down collar on the back. The judges called this one fun to look at. Kors complimented her use of so many different types of candy. Nina said she didn’t mind that it was a bit costumey because it was perfectly made and gave her a smile.

Melissa designed in bright Kelly green. Ha ha ha but no – it was black, for that is her only color. But it was hot, too – bondage wear for a sweet tooth. The licorice looked like leather straps on the bodice, while the skirt, with its whorls of licorice, seemed like an optical illusion that moved and shimmered.

Nathan Andrea Alicia Designs Project Runway Season 10 Episode 2
(L to R) Nathan, Andrea (front), Andrea (back), Alicia

Nathan’s model looked like a cartoon character. I could not put my finger on which one (can you?). This was straight-up space cadet and while I thought it was fun, it didn’t overwhelm me creatively. As in, if you’re gonna go whackadoodle, I think you can do it more innovatively than this.

Speaking of… Andrea’s Victorian candy shiller. I actually dug it. It’s weird, it’s not anything one would wear down the street, but I loved the unexpected bustle in the back and I appreciated the contrast between that and the sharp A-line of the front apron. Christopher said, “I’d play Twister on her!” I would too, Christopher. Plus, that lady looks like she brings the good drugs with her. (Don’t do drugs, kids!)

Alicia’s overalls looked like hip-hop Christmas gone terribly wrong. Or was this some sort of bass-ackwards cavewoman thing? Oh, I know what it was: a giant fucking NO. How this did not end up in the bottom three only speaks to the horror that was there.

Elena Fabio Dmitry Designs Project Runway Season 10 Episode 2
(L to R) Elena, Fabio, Dmitry

Elena’s pina-colada licorice dress took a shape straight from Balenciaga a few years ago. I feel like we see this dress shape at least once a year on PR. The execution was messy – the hem in front was not straight across and I couldn’t tell if it was an accident or not. And her candy fell off on the runway. Whoops. Kors called it “rigatoni Mad Max.” El-oh-el. He said she sucked the fun out of candy – and he’s right. Elena defended her shape and palette; Nina said that if she can’t step outside her narrow, monochromatic box even just a little, she might not belong in the competition. They called her defense arrogance, not confidence. Ouch.

Not-Fabio began the episode by saying he wanted to channel Jackie Kennedy, and by gumdrop, he did. From far away, this absolutely looked like the dreamy, watercolory fabric so popular in the ’60s – right down to the color. The bodice shone like rock candy. Fab-u-lous. I am damn impressed. I can’t tell whether I want to wear it or eat it.

“Holy fucking shit!” That’s what I said when Dmitry’s look appeared. I was speechless. Just look at it. And it moved. The strings of candy shimmied like the fringe they were emulating. Color, style, execution – A freaking plus. SPOILER: He did not win. He didn’t even make the top three, and I found that to be a crime. I guess it’s because the bodice straps didn’t appear to have any candy on them? I don’t know. I was a bit flabbergasted.

Kooan Christopher Raul Designs Project Runway Season 10 Episode 2
(L to R) Kooan, Christopher, Raul

Kooan’s outfit. It’s not my cuppa, but the first thing I thought was Nicki Minaj needs to meet Kooan right now. They will make beautiful babies out of rainbows and music and live happily ever after. There was just a lot of there there. Too much. I feel there still needs to be a central idea or theme or something, even in a garment like this.

Christoper’s candy was executed beautifully, but his dress left me at “meh.” It’s a strappy party dress like I’d find at Ross. Plus, the garment was so candy-coated, it moved very stiffly away from the model.

Raul’s dress needs to party with Sonjia’s mermaid lady. Loved the palette. I’m not typically a fan of tummy cut-outs, but the geometry of this one worked for me. Raul took a whiff of whimsy, but didn’t stick his tongue down her throat.

Buffi Lantie Ven Designs Project Runway Season 10 Episode 2
(L to R) Buffi, Lantie, Ven

Buffi called her look “Sarah Jessica Parker sugar girl.” I can’t do a lot better than that. Carrie Bradshaw wouldn’t be caught dead in such a dreadful fit, however. I liked the bird nest hat (when the cotton candy wasn’t gross), but the rest is just too much, too pink, not well executed. And the styling? Nightmare. Kors called it “Toddlers and Tiaras gone berserk.” The judges agreed she took an easy way out with the paper skirt.

Lantie said her outfit was girly with a edginess to it. Edginess… I do not think this word means what Lantie thinks it means. This outfit looks like exactly what it was: umbrellas. Terrible. Just terrible. Barely any candy, and what was there was flowers? If you make a fabric dress in a candy challenge, you better make that shit the best damn fabric dress ever, but this was sad. Time for the hook – seriously. Kors called her a decorator (oooh! burn!), and said she’s done it twice in a row. Lantie argued that time was her enemy; Michael pointed out that she had the same time as everyone else.

Ven said he wanted to make a stained glass window, and boy, did he. The crushed candy shimmered ethereal through the black stripes of licorice. And another rose motif. Hmmmm. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the pastel, Easter egg palette. Uck. Heidi said he has great taste and that the dress was stunning. Nina said it was sublime and on-trend with the pastels (writer note: I stand behind my uck!).

The couture-iest of the candy makers? Ven! Even though I didn’t love the colors, I did love the dress. I’d rather that Sonjia had won for her sharks and adorable shape, however.

The three-month-old Halloween booty that’s melted in a lump on the floor of your car? Lantie. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES. She just did NOT belong in a contest of this level. “˜Nuff said.

What did you think? Tell me how wrong I am in the comments!


By Lucy Woodhull

Lucy Woodhull is a novelist, humorist, parodist, and all-around geek. Her new venture is THE SHITTIEST PRINCESS, a series of un-fair-y tales right here on Persephone. You can check out her sexy, fun romantic comedies at

28 replies on “Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.2: “Sugar and Snark and Peppermint Bark — That’s What Models Are Made of””

Unconventioal  idea via Romy & Michelle Use only  Post-its! Every time Gunnar was on screen he would remind me of someone who annoys me and I finally figured it out Whitney port! Its something with their face shape and expressions or something. I am so so so glad Lantie is gone though I will miss her wack-a-doodle rationales for her designs. I was really worried for Buffi, her taste level is out there but she is so fun I hope she can rein it in an stay on here for a while Sonjia totally should have won it this week imo. Also I would like a scarf  that is made out of jelly sharks now please and thank you.

Oh Post-It dresses would be super fun! Especially if they used all the shapes and colors. :)

And I’m totally with you on Buffi. I’m really enjoying her, but I think they’ll cut her before Kooan cause they don’t get her kind of kooky as much as his.

I have a theory about Ven’s pastel palette. I think he was going for brighter colors, but didn’t anticipate how powdery and pale the rock candy would get when he crushed it. I think it was a mistake that he played off as an “I meant to do that.” I will admit, though, that I think he is a douchecanoe and I don’t want to say nice things about him.

At one point, they showed Kooan’s original sketch, which was a woven twizzler sweater dress with a giant eyeball on the front. I think I would have liked that more than the monster face he ended up with.

I think that’s going to happen a lot with Kooan. I usually like his sketches but then make a face at the end result.  I kind of wish he would have just pretend-woven the twizzlers by gluing them on the fabric instead of giving up on them completely. Though I did smile at his jumper.

Nathan’s dress is an inverted hobnail candy dish, like so:

Dmitry was robbed.

I did not love the Dots apron. I liked the concept, just not the execution.

I did kind of like Buffi’s Lisa Frank explosion dress. I also enjoyed Kooan, probably more than his dress. I would like to have tea and cake with Kooan, I have decided.

I really loved Ven’s stained glass, even in the pastels. I think using anything brighter would have taken it too far over the edge. I know this is probably hypocritical for me to say, considering that I loved Kooan’s and Buffi’s dresses.

I do too, and I totally wore them in the 80s, much to my own shame. I don’t even like pastel towels. This works for me because it looks so much like watercolors from a distance. I think he did a great job of shading (is that the right word?) with the different colors.

And don’t get me wrong, I totally think Dmitry should have won. I had to take to my fainting couch. (Conveniently, the same as my Be-A-Lump-Covered-In-Crumbs couch.)

“Honestly, though, the designers rummaging madly through the bins of candy just seemed really unsanitary to me. God, I’m old.”

Me too, me too! Whenever whatshisface was digging through the bin of licorice and said something like, ‘can I just take this whole thing?’ I thought, ‘please do since you’re fingering them all!’  Seriously gross. There are tongs and scoops people. I get that there’s a time limit…but argh.

As for the challenge, the fact that Dmitry wasn’t in the top three was a freaking CRIME. I liked his and Fabio’s outfits 1000x better than Gunnar’s. What the frick.

I am so glad Lantie is gone! But I really thought Sonji should have won. Ven’s dress was nice, but the pastels just fell flat for me, especially with a candy motif. I mean really, if ever obnoxious color is your friend, it’s when you have to design something out of Willie Wonka’s private stash.  That being said, i’m with you totally on Dmitry’s look being way under rated, and I really hope Melissa does something besides black. I love what she’s doing but, Mister Michael is only going to take so much lack of color, and I’m not ready to see her leave.

Also, I really hope Buffi pulls it together. She has some killer ideas, but her follow through needs serious work.  That bodice could have been really nifty if she’d tailored it more and given it better structure. That skirt though was completely atrocious.

1) Unconventional challenge: Design a dress for someone with big breasts. Or a size 12. Or something similar. That isn’t just a towel wrapped around the body a la the Miss Piggy challenge from a season or so ago.

2) I think Nathan’s was just overall Jetson-y, really. Not any one character specifically, but a Jetsons vibe overall.

3) I’m with your assessments in general on this one. Dmitry absolutely should have been top three; I felt equally disposed to either Ven or Sonjia winning this one.


It tends to do so, and for good reason–it shows who is fundamentally able to handle clothing… not just some dress, but clothing bodies. Great design means not-so-much if it’s not based on bodies; I see this all the time in haute couture, where sometimes people mistake artistry for courturier skill. If you stuck some recents greats with that ‘challenge’… I mean, great as Galliano is, McQueen would have wiped the floor with him had they both been designing for non-model bodies.

I always end up hating people I thought I liked when that comes up… it’s like, what did you think fashion was about? Something other than, you know, CLOTHING?? It’s like when someone comes on who can’t sew; hey, aspiring CLOTHING MAKER, you’re missing the point :/

Yes, exactly. I just kinda picked out boobs ’cause mine are massive and size 12 ’cause it’s one of the most-needed. But really, anything. I’m so sick of designs that aren’t about clothing a person. You can make a gorgeous dress? Great! But you’re not a great clothier unless you can make a gorgeous dress for everyone.

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