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Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.3: “You Designer, You Brought Her.”

It’s the Lexus challenge this week on Project Runway!  Sponsored by Lexus, which has a lot to do with fashion because of reasons. The designers would make a red carpet look for a very speshul event – the Emmys!  The Lexus part of the Lexus challenge is that whichever Lexus color the designer was assigned would have to be Lexus worked into their Lexus dress. A Lexus suit told us all about the Lexus cars which featured Lexus Lexus Lexus.

The real Lexus kicker?  They’d have to work in teams of two. [I was hoping they’d have to make dresses from bumpers and gear shifts. ~ed.]  Head shake.  Oh, team challenges:  you are the anus of reality shows.  Wait, sorry:  Lexus anus.  Elena said it best, “I don’t like to work with anyone.  Who does?” Nobody, Elena.  Everyone else besides me is terrible.  And guess who their clients are?  Past PR-ers!  I give you the pairs and their clients, below in handy list form.  Memorize this!  There will be no quiz later.

The teams:

Andrea and Christopher – Client: Anya Ayoung-Chee, winner, PR season 9

Sonjia and Nathan – Client: Valerie Mayen, participant (oh, that sounds terrible, doesn’t it?), PR season 8

Elena and Buffi – Client: Laura Bennett, finalist, PR season 3

Ven and Not-Fabio – Client: Kenley Collins, finalist and cat-thrower, PR season 5

Kooan and Gunnar – Client: Irina Shabayeva, winner, PR season 6

Dmitri and Melissa – Client: April Johnston, participant, PR season 8

Raul and Alicia – Client: Mila Hermanovski, finalist, PR season 7

The winners will get to accompany their client to the Emmys!  Woooo.  Oh, but what an adventure we have before us!  Wait, I pronounced “adventure” wrong – I meant “train wreck of popcorn proportions.”

Designer and designer clients consulted.  Kenley was obnoxious.  She said she likes to think she’s young and cool and fresh and fabulous.  I’m not certain she precisely knows what all those words mean.  Not-Fabio said, “You can tell she’s a little bit difficult.”  Diplomatic, that Not-Fabio.

At Mood, Gunnar said, “When it comes to fashion, I’m kind of a controlling bitch.”  Oh, Gunnar, don’t sell yourself short.  I’m sure you’re a controlling bitch in other areas of your life, too.  He expressed doubt that Kooan had even ever seen the Emmys.  I’m not sure of the whys of that dig, but they are ugly, I can tell you that.  Gross, Gunnar.  You are literally the worst.  Does he think that Japanese people don’t have TVs?  OR CARE ABOUT FASHION?

And then the Mood doggy ran by and my rage diminished somewhat.

The little designers got busy in the workroom, arguing with each other mostly politely here, playing with some truly heinous gold sequin fabric there.  Typical day.

Christopher reminded us why we should all be Team C:  He loved working with Alicia and respected her seniority.  He went on to add that he could learn something from everyone in the competition.  That was so nice to see.  Reality TV rewards nothing like meanness, so it’s refreshing to see the opposite.  He did get frustrated at her snail’s pace, though.  But he didn’t know how to say anything to her.  Their dynamic was funny, descending into her laughing about her screw-ups, and Christopher silently expressing outrage behind her where she couldn’t see.

Alicia said that she’d never made a gown before.  Elena moaned that she should have taken an evening wear class.  I have to tell you – once I got cast on Project Runway, wherein I know I’ll have to design a gown or eight, I would have definitely made some practice evening dresses before I got there.  It’s like those people who go on Survivor and say, “What is this deserted island? And I didn’t know I’d have to make fire!”

Terrible Gunnar (shall we make him “Terrible” every time from now on?  Let’s!) didn’t like his designer Irina – no, not at all.  She was “difficult” with her “opinions” about his “questionable design.”  Chevrons going down the hips?  In white?  She’s doing to look like a reflective highway divider line. Terrible Gunnar confessed that he’d never wanted Irina – he wanted Kenley. There must be a God, for He did not create that pair and therefore we didn’t all spontaneously eyeroll ourselves to death. Praise be.  Kooan said that the dress and Irina made him sad and not want to work.  I think the dress made Irina sad, too, Kooan.  It made me sad.

Mila crapped all over Raul and Alicia’s red and black pseudo-animal print. Not literally. But she did call it “daytime” (ouch!) and left them puzzled as to what to do next.  Raul said if he had a choice, he’d keep the fabric.  Mila, in response, proved to have an excellent bitch face.

I have to apologize for my gold sequin bashing up above, for it was revealed that Sonjia and Nathan were behind the sequins, and damn if they didn’t turn what ought to have been awful into the makings of a gorgeous gown for client Valerie.

Elena and Buffi got along like a opposing presidential candidates.  Elena hated Buffi’s easygoing vibe and slow pace and freaked out a bit at the ambitious nature of their dress.  Christopher remarked that Elena sometimes acts like she was raised in the woods.  “She’s ravenous and she will bite your head off.”  Elena said you have to be strong where she’s from, the Ukraine.  The weak ones don’t survive. Yes, Elena was the Hunger Games winning tribute from District Badass a few years ago.

The guest judge was Krysten Ritter, star of Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, which is a hi-larious show and she’s cute as a button.

Project Runway Season 10 dress designed by Buffi and Elena for Laura. Project Runway Season 10 dress designed by Andrea and Christopher for Anya

What hath Buffi and Elena wrought?  Poor Laura looked like a mumsy crow in her black-atop-pink pleated gown.  It was like Wednesday Addams’ middle age.  Hated the cap sleeves; hated the neckline; hated the high, bunchy waist.

Chris and Andrea sent Anya down the runway in a flowing piece of poop.  They used brown because their car was brown, but why use it for the whole thing?  The gold belt was too high, giving her frumpy monoboob.  The slit was way too high, making the bottom half of the dress’ proportion awful.  Plus, it was in the middle, so we got to play a game of coochie lookie-loo.  This plopped into the bottom two.  Christopher was mortified.  Nina called it dated and cliched.  Krysten called it a drug store Halloween costume.  Yowza!  The judges were super disappointed.  The team fell apart on the runway, bickering about who did what and how bad it was.

Project Runway Season 10 dress designed by Fabio and Ven for Kenley. This is the winning dress.  Project Runway Season 10 dress designed by Dmitry and Meilissa for April.  Back view of Dmitry and Melissa's dress for April

Sonjia hit Ven and Not-Fabio’s dress on the head when she called it “church.”  This was not an evening  gown.  Yes, I get that they wanted to give Kenley the silhouette she loves, but y’all, they did have fancy dresses back in the ’50s.  They were not limited to this.  The pleating was pretty and the construction like a dream, but the color was not ideal.  I understand wanting to give your cocktail dress the crisp gravitas of navy blue when it’s pretending to be an Emmy dress, but it seemed, again, mumsy.  WHY IS EVERYONE BEING SO MOTHER OF THE BRIDE TODAY?  This cocktail dress made the top two.  No, really.  No, really.  The judges said it looked expensive.  Nina said she loved the length, but Krysten said it bored her a little.  Kors said it wouldn’t be a wow dress on the red carpet (understatement), but he’s so in love with Ven’s aesthetic that he practically licked it.

Oh, thank you Melissa and Dmitry – April did not look on her way to a funeral at the nursing home!  I liked this one.  It wasn’t perfect (they perpetrated a crime against her boobs), but it was young, interesting, and it matched April.  The handling of that impossible silk is something to be applauded – she rippled like a river in winter.  The back was truly gorgeous.  The open back is probably why the poor lady couldn’t wear a bra, but did no one have stick-ons for her?  For shame!

Project Runway Season 10 dress designed by Alicia and Raul for former contestant Mila.  Project Runway Season 10 dress designed by Gunnar and Kooan for Irina.

Raul and Alicia. Raul and Alicia!  This was terrible.  Weird bodice, average design.  And again:  WEIRD BOOBS BECAUSE NO BRA.  Look, designer friends.  Women who aren’t models might have on average slightly larger breasts.  PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY FOR TITTIES’ SAKE!  Bottom two for this concoction.  Mila felt that it was unflattering.  The judges asked them why they didn’t do menswear, since that was where both of their strengths lay.  They said they felt like that had to made a gown.  Heidi said it had zero sex appeal.  And apparently Raul was behind the atrocious hair extension/horse tail they forced onto poor Mila.

Terrible Gunnar and Kooan’s Irina escaped from the pages of Brides, Irritated.  It did have a bit of an old Hollywood vibe to it, and, frankly, after the messes that came before it, seemed pretty good by comparison.  That sash saved their asses, though, covering up that wibbly center back seam.  This made the top two.  Not Sonjia and Nathan’s.  Not Melissa and Dmitry’s.  This one.  The Real Housewives dress.  The “prom for the middle aged/pageant” dress.  I frowned harder the more I squinted at it.  The judges enjoyed the silhouette and Heidi and Krysten said of the two top dresses, they’d both rather wear this one.

Project Runway Season 10 dress designed by Nathan and Sonjia for Valerie.

What’s that we have here?  Oh, it’s an EMMY DRESS!  Valerie looked like Lady Oscar shimmering her way down the runway in gold, gold, gold, courtesy of Sonjia and Nathan.  And damn – look it it on her, against her lovely skin.  It compliments her, but she wears it.  Gorgeous!  Not the most groundbreaking design ever, but even my husband said, “Wow, it’s actually event-appropriate!”

The winner should be no surprise:  Ven and Not-Fabio’s design.  Ven was declared the top dog, and would be punished by having to go to the Emmys with Kenley.

Performing the loser shuffle was Raul, chopped for having begun the design that led to the terror that were Mila’s boobs.

But there was DRAMA! Right at the END! Andrea has (apparently) walked out of the show in the dead of night.


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

16 replies on “Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.3: “You Designer, You Brought Her.””

I am dying to find out what happened to Andrea at the end! I wouldn’t mind seeing her go, but I don’t get why she didn’t voluntarily eliminated herself in place of poor Raul. At the same time, I couldn’t imagine the stresses they are under. It makes me shut my mouth every time I feel stress in my job at Dish! But, it still makes me think that there is something else going on with Andrea. I wish it was tomorrow already so I can find out! I’m glad that my husband’s preseason football fetish won’t get in the way of my Thursday night shows now that we upgraded to the Hopper DVR, which let’s us watch or record up to six things at once. What do you guys think happened to her?


I wonder sometimes if they (the producers) include questions like “do you watch award shows” and “do you follow Project Runway” in the designer selection process. I’m sure they’d consider that, if only for challenges like this. Really, Raul and Alicia had NO idea what they were dealing with. Mila in a gown?? No. Mila would have been perfect for them if they’d thought to suggest a pantsuit, which they should have both done well (and Mila would love).

The dramatic little hissy fit arguments are the reason I love this show sometimes. There’s nothing like pairing an achiever with a mellow, easy-going sort. They had TWO of those (Chris/Andrea and Buffi/Elena). The mutually passive pairings just refuse to pin blame on each other (which is a death wish on this show — it’s great to work as a team, but the minute you’re in front of the judges, at least OWN your own mistakes rather than “we’re equally at fault”). And, well, the mutually strong teams (like Melissa/Dmitry or Nathan/Sonjia) make something awesome without providing anything else for the cameras — which means at least two of the four will make it to the top four.

As for Andrea taking off, well…TLo mentioned a report that someone who lived in NYC (in a building with a doorman, no less) had left in the middle of the night and told said doorman not to let anyone in. I figured it would be one of the “older” designers, just because they’re more likely to have money/a spouse with money/have decided six months ago to pursue a second career (see: Laura vs. any of the twentysomethings). If Lantie hadn’t been dropped last week, I could have seen her as the runner.

And, as much as her designs speak for themselves, Irina seems a tough person to work with/for. Though she did seem to help Gunnar and Kooan make something that did, technically, work. I disagree that it’s a top-two dress, and I feel for Kooan (between Gunnar and Irina, this must have been a tough challenge for this season’s friendly cloudkookoolander).

Does anyone else think the white dress made it to the top two because Irina bares a passing resemblance to the Kardashians thus making the dress easier to picture on some red carpet,or is it just me? I loved Kenley’s dress and I think with some glitzy jewels it’d fit right in at the Emmys. I think Sonjia and Nathan’s dress would have been even better if it had been just a scootch shorter on the bottom it seems to heavy with its current length or something.

Irina and April both seemed as thought they’d rather be anywhere else but on last night’s show. I think Valerie’s good sportsmanship was half the reason her dress looked so damn good on her, she seemed like she was actually having fun. Sure, I wouldn’t want to walk down a runway in clingy, light-colored silk that showed every single aspect of my body, either, but c’mon. Even Mila looked like she was having more fun, and she was dressed in a sports bra with a shower curtain sewn on.

Anya was also a pretty good sport, even though her team was really cruel to her boobs. Joanna “But what about a bra?” Lundley needs to send Uncle Tim an email about the state of boobs on this show.

Ven and Not-Fabio’s dress may not have been Emmy appropriate for most, but it was definitely Emmy appropriate for Kenley. (That’s not an insult, even though it sounds like one.) Kenley isn’t going to wear a long gown to the Emmys, Kenley has a very particular style, and this dress fit it perfectly. I hope she takes them both as her date.

I don’t think that was just sportsmanship though–I think SHE thought she looked great in it. The people who know they’re rocking whatever they have on always look better than whomever is just wearing something, even if it’s beautiful. That’s why so many runway models look awful themselves, they aren’t feeling it. You can’t sell it if you don’t feel it!

I’m Team C all the way, but watching Christopher go from “here is my aged mentor” to “I am going to strangle that laughing art professor with my bare hands” was pretty fascinating. Trying to build a modesty panel into that brown monstrosity was the worst idea I have ever seen televised.

Also: Dmitry was kind of endearing this week.

Lastly: that stinger at the end was really effective. I will have ALL the popcorn ready for next week’s episode.

I cannot fucking believe that Sonjia and Nathan’s dress didn’t win. It was excellent and appropriate, and the only one that didn’t leave me wondering why the fuck it existed. Groundbreaking design? No. But it WORKED, which is kind of essential. Ven/not-Fabio’s was just boring.

And for crying out loud, why did everyone suddenly go monochrome?? I mean, I’m a fan of monochrome, that’s what I tend to wear more often than not, but EVERY single fabric here was monochrome, which is just bizarre.

I think Ven’s great. But 1) that doesn’t mean everything he does is perfect, and 2) other people are even better sometimes. Maybe they’ll pull a Mondo and love all his stuff and just fuck him over in the end? But I don’t EVER want to suffer through dirty diapers again.

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