Pop Culture

Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.5, “You Can’t Spell ‘Team’ Without ‘#^@& You.'”

Right at the top of the episode, we found out why Kooan ran away from Project Runway last episode–he was Terrible Gunar’s roommate. I don’t know how Kooan lasted as long as he did. I bet even the furniture in that sad dormitory is trying to figure out a way to shimmy itself away from Cruella de Vil and into Sonjia’s room.

“Freaking button bag.” That’s what Nathan said when he saw the freaking button bag in Heidi’s slim hand, for he knows that choosing things from said sac o’ suck always leads to tragedy. Heidi proceeded to call a guest onto the runway–none other than Nina “It’s a Tragedy” Garcia. The contestants pissed in their self-designed pantalones. Nina sheathed her fangs and told us what was up. She recently launched Marie Claire @ Work, a supplement to Marie Claire. It tells us all how to become CEO without eating, and how to dress like an entrepreneur on an heiress’ salary. Thank goodness somebody finally addressed these problems! The challenge: create a capsule collection for the working woman, keeping it editorial, yet realistic. They would be working in two teams, hence the har-bag-inger o’ doom. Teams suck, yo. Except if they’re the Spice Girls.

Each team would get to direct their own photoshoot, which is surely a recipe for comedy. The winning team would get those photos featured in Marie Claire @ Work. Ooooooh.

The teams:

Team Six Designers: Sonjia, Elena, Melissa, Dmitry, Alicia, Raul

Team Five Designers: Nathan, Vin, Christopher, Fabio, Gunnar

Raul was picked last, which is sucky, so he said, “The only way to prove myself is to punch them harder.” Um, okay. Metaphorical punching, I’m sure–or else lunchtime is gonna get super awkward.

The team of five would make five outfits; the six, six. And they would get until 11pm that evening to finish. !! Let’s see–group challenge + multiple garments + very little time x 11(egos!) = BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. I really, seriously prayed at this point that one of the teams would fail so hard their ancestors would feel it over a game of Space Parcheesi in the year 3487.

Team 5 decided on “Fall into Color” as a theme. I think it’s a good strategy, especially considering how the other team is heavy with folks who love black. They ended up choosing Barney purple, electric aqua, and fuschia with black and white. As Terrible Gunnar said: That’s so 80s. Could be good, could be my spectacular tidal wave of horribleness! Time would tell.

Team 6 was forced to try and argue Raul out of his boner for lace. He just couldn’t understand why he, a two-time bottom-three-er and a one-time-got-kicked-off-er, wasn’t in charge! It was a mystery for the ages. This team was a mess at Mood, running willy-nilly and spitting on each other’s choices. Especially Raul, whose panties were twisting and pinching him so much that his basic attitude was, “Fuck you, I’m a dee-sign-er!” Their sloppy shenanigans came home to roost (or are shenanigans nocturnal?) when they got back to Parsons only to discover one of their bags of fabric had gone AWOL. Elena drew the short end of the fabric stick, and consequently shambled about cursing and generally acting like a powderkeg about to go.

Terrible Gunnar wants you to know that he’s a dee-sign-er, too! He’s not a fucking taylor! Not Taylor Swift, not Taylor Lautner–he’s Terrible GUNNAR THE DEE-SIGN-ER, and his aesthetic should be something something oh, who cares. Any team that pisses him off is okay by me.

At this point, I wanted to vote Raul, Elena, and Terrible Gunnar to Pissed Off Bear Island. I don’t even need to watch that show–I just want to know that their yapping would be silenced by a few swipes of paw.

I kinda forgave Elena, though, for making up the name Silk Chiffonies for Nathan, Ven, and Christopher, who use that same fabric again and again to make garments that are not practical for a woman to wear. HA! Okay, I’ll save you from being bear dinner, Elena. Plus, you fucking cuss a shitton lot, and I cocksucking enjoy that.

More linguistic fun came from Dmitry, who called Ven a one-way monkey. Oops, a one-trick pony. “One-way monkey” is totally going into my repertoire.

Basically, every designer went to the alone cam and trash-talked every other designer. Now it’s finally a reality show, you talentless hack!

The day of the photoshoot came (i.e. the next day). Tom Hines would be their photographer. Elena was a monster, running around bleating her opinion, which was that everything that everyone else besides her did was awful. Why isn’t she more popular? Team 6 argued about props and no props, and what clothes were ugly and which weren’t. Ugh. Right now, the only team I give a shit about is Team Where is My Box of Wine or Maybe My Hammer?

And finally the runway time came, just as I was about to sew earmuffs to my head with a rusty spoon. The guest judge was none other than Editor in Chief of Marie Claire magazine, Joanna Coles, or Lady How Do You Wear a Bra With That? Although she let down the team this time, le sigh.

Team 5, Designs 1, 2, 3 Project Runway Season 10 Episode 5
Team 5, Designs 1, 2, 3 (Left to Right)
Team 5, Designs 4, 5 Project Runway Season 10 Episode 5
Team 5, Designs 4, 5 (Left to Right)

Team 5

Design 1: Oh, look! Here’s a thing professional women wear into the work force–a shiny one-shoulder top you can’t possibly wear a bra with. I just know that when I’m in a high-power meeting, attempting to smash the glass ceiling, I enjoy my tits flopping about while also revealing my nipples. This look is called “take me seriously, tee hee jiggle,” and is known to be employed by Martha Stewart. It looked like something Ally McBeal would wear to the club. The white pants, I think, were meant to invoke that sideways swirly thing the team appeared to be going for thematically, but the crotch just looked like you got it twisted in the zipper after you took a dump. Nathan whispered of his look, “It’s easy and wearable,” which make me laugh out loud. These fricking men, I tell you. It appalls me that these men aspire to be designers for women, yet have obviously given no thought to actual real, live women at all. It’s not like we’re humans or anything. Nina called this one out as the problem child–she said the “leisure” look is not what one might want to project at the office. Heidi thought this look was great for a 50-year-old. Whatever Klum’s smoking, pass it on over.

Design 2: This look was fine–a white blouse, black open jacket with a peplum, and a pretty skirt out of the team’s print, a swirly white/purple/pink almost tie-dye looking pattern. Christopher made this one. At least one can wear undergarments with it, and it was pretty, if not groundbreaking. The fabric manipulation on the skirt was a big hit with Nina.

Design 3: I’m sorry to say this, but Terrible Gunnar’s dress was cute. I enjoyed the pop of the pattern in the mix of black and white. The fit was sexy but not overly so. And I didn’t mind the boobs, except I wonder if she was wearing bra. I feel like some support wouldn’t have made her ta-tas appear to be saggy like that. But many workplaces wouldn’t allow a sleeveless look, anyhow. Heidi called it “floating souffle boobs,” and said she liked this one the least. Kors said it was the souffle that flopped.

Design 4: Fabio’s dress was a boxy bore. He said the fit was perfect–what? It bunched at the waist and did nothing to flatter her torso at all. It flattened the model like a walking piece of cardboard. And what was that turban/headband thing? An afterthought, at best. A mod dress just doesn’t lend itself that accessory at all. Kors loved this one, saying that a woman could wear it at any age, which I have to agree with, but it skews older to me.

Design 5: Okay, Persephoneers, I need you to sit down. For the shock, you see. Ready? Ven made a blouse with fabric folds! I never saw it coming, either. He is, indeed, a one-way monkey. That being said, the black blouse with a 50s-esque collar was lovely and actually *gasp* work-appropriate. The straight white skirt, however, bunched at the crotch when she walked. Nope, not okay. The fabric needed more weight. No one called Ven out for this shit.

Heidi enjoyed the pop of less-serious fabric, and Nina thought they did well bringing it together as a cohesive collection. Joanna called it “easy to wear.” When asked, the team threw Terrible Gunnar under the proverbial bus as the weakest link. See what happens when you’re a dick?

Team 6, Designs 1, 2, 3 Project Runway Season 10 Episode 5
Team 6, Designs 1, 2, 3 (Left to Right)
Team 6, Designs 4, 5, 6 Project Runway Season 10 Episode 5
Team 6, Designs 4, 5, 6 (Left to Right)

Team 6

Design 1: Melissa’s electric blue dress was darling. I don’t know if the average lady worker bee would (or could) run around in a tight, sleeveless sheath dress with a chin-skimming, abstract collar, but I actually wanted to try this one on, which is not something I can say for the previous team’s looks. The fabric was bunched horizontally here and there, and while that kinda sounds horrible, it worked well. She looked long, lean, and fierce. And when she turned around, there was a slashing, diagonal zipper running the entire length of the dress. Amazing and stunning! I gasped and scared my cat. I would follow this lady’s orders. Plus: bra! This dress was called a “showstopper” by Nina, as well as edgy and editorial. Heidi complimented the fact that she branched out in color and wowed them so completely.

Design 2: This came from Elena and Alicia–a black blouse, black jacket, and grey pants. The jacket (leather?) had lapels but no collar, and appeared boxy and plain against the similarly-hued blouse. And the pants. Ugh! Baggy grey trousers that bunch at the ankle? This is never a good look! When will designers stop thrusting harem pants upon us?! But… bra!

Design 3: Raul and Sonjia brought us classic secretary–a black blouse ruffled down the center, paired with an electric blue straight skirt. The blouse I could go to Ross and pick up for $14.99 right now, and the ruffles were so large, it obscured her shape. (Look at the model’s face in this pic — she knows what’s happening to her boobs.) But the skirt was gorgeous. The fit was ah-maz-ing, and little pockets were top-sewn to the front without creating bulk, creating a little pop of the unexpected. Guess who was responsible for which garment? And: bra! Heidi hated the blouse. Everyone agreed.

Design 4: Thank you, Elena and Alicia, for showing me another outfit I actually want. The top was pseudo-Victorian warrior princess out to conquer the board room, and the bottoms were a pair of striped, grey wool trousers to die for. Finally, a decent freaking pant. I just loved this combo–it screamed fashion-forward business executive. Elena’s penchant for huge shoulders actually worked on this blouse because it had a nipped waist. Also: bra! Nina adored these pants, but Heidi said the blouse was too much for the office. Joanna, however, said a financial executive or attorney could wear it.

Design 5: I also adored Dmitry’s navy and black harlequin shift dress. Melissa had told him that no woman likes navy blue, but this combo looked gorgeous to me. The unique shape of the shoulders intrigued me–they made her arms look longer, which is always a nice thing. The only part I didn’t enjoy was the cut out at the center bottom of her spine. It looked very 80s valley girl, and would not fly in any office I’ve ever seen. It was just plain tacky. But… bra! Heidi loved this dress, calling it clever and great with a clever neckline, and defended the back cut-outs. Has Heidi ever been in an office that she didn’t own?

Design 6: This last look was a vest from Raul and a skirt from Sonjia. Sonjia’s black skirt appeared to be swaths of striped fabric criss-crossing the hips. It could have really not worked, except that the top was so tight and minimal, it let the skirt create the exaggeration and do all the talking. It was actually a sheer fabric over solid, and that helped to create the feeling of movement it had. The vest was a sleeveless, zippered design with a round neck. The skirt didn’t need more, but it was so clear who the inventive fabric genius was, and who needed to get booted again.

Nina appreciated the variety of looks–two different kinds of pants, for example. Joanna said it was commercial. Kors said the collection ended up as six separate things from a team of individuals. The team hated on Raul, naturally, except for Dmitry and Raul, who hated on Elena.

The teams ended up with tied scores, which meant that any one of them could win–or lose.

Team 6 won the magazine spread for being bolder and more editorial. I totally agree with this.

The judges chose Melissa as the winner. Yay! I adored that dress and want one right now! Now, dammit! I AM A PRESTIGIOUS BLOGGER, MADAM!

In a move that surprised only Raul, Raul was booted off the show. Again. Oh, thank goodness. If only he could take Terrible Gunnar with him.

What say you, profesh business women? Would you wear these clothes? Or do you have a silly “underwear” policy at the office?

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

15 replies on “Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.5, “You Can’t Spell ‘Team’ Without ‘#^@& You.'””

I can’t believe the teams ended up pulling together a decent collection for the workplace! I would totally wear a few of those items into my office at Dish, especially Melissa’s stunning dress! Even though this season has focused more so on the drama between designers than their actual designs, I must admit that it has made for some entertaining TV. I’ve even gotten my boyfriend watching! He’d never come clean about it, but someone is certainly recording episodes and it’s not me! Maybe he thought that I wouldn’t notice it being recorded among the tons of other shows we have on our DVR list, since our Hopper DVR allows us to watch or record up to six things at once. In any case, he’s definitely busted! LOL!

Christopher’s was somewhat boring and far too casual–I think the ‘editorial’ aspect didn’t sink in for most of the group–but it worked. Melissa obviously swooped down and took this one in a rout. Elena and Alicia take 2 was excellent. Nothing else did it for me, although Gunnar gets an honorable mention for effort. Raul and Fabio should have gone off together–Raul is horrid, obviously, but Fabio’s dress just showed how weak an understanding he has of clothes as stuff-that’s-worn-by-a-person. *Everything* was wrong with that dress.

Of course, everything was wrong with the challenge as well. PR, TAKE NOTE: You cannot make a team where aesthetics are incompatible. Yes, I suppose it creates dramz, but… it creates people-based dramz, not design-based intrigue, which, shockingly, tends to be what people watching a design show are there for. If you have that little appreciation for the interest inherent in design itself, rather than contrived personal head-butting, maybe–just maybe!–you shouldn’t be airing a design show.

I feel like PR has gone from being an actual quality competition to just any old reality show at this point. Actually, I thought that a few seasons back, but… the endless group/pair challenges remind me, every time.

I do suppose one could call Nathan’s outfit work-appropriate…so long as one is working as the Activities Director on the Love Boat…

I adore Joanna Cole, and of Terrible Gunnar’s floating souffle boobs she said they looked like “Two puppies wrestling in a sack.”

I also did not get the navy memo. What’s up with that? Was there a National Working Women’s meeting that I missed?

Anywho – being a science-y working woman, I get to wear jeans (yay!) and polos and sneaks to work, which is one of my fave things about my job. I wear more slacks now because I’m a supervisor and – well – image. But omg. If I had to wear dresses/skirts and heels? Ugh. No way.

Also, IMO, the best line from this episode was when Dmitry said, “Everybody hates Elena. Even if they say they like her – they hate her.” Because really, yelling and stomping around and bossing everybody? Not a good look. I am SO glad Raul left because he’s a terrible designer, but his parting words cracked me up.

I hated the impressionist/floral/80s/terrible print Team 5 used. It reminds me of a bedspread in a cheap hotel.

Ven make such pretty things, but he is a one-way monkey, and he’s not as creative (or hot) as my man, Remi the Wonder Draper. I did like his dress, and it looks work appropriate. I am not an expert, currently I am working in bright blue pajama pants and a unicorn t-shirt. Accessorized with crumbs from my tuna sandwich and a scrunchie.

When did navy become bad? I thought we were always safe with navy. WHO CHANGED THE RULES?

I don’t even know if I want to watch next week’s episode, I think I may just wait for your recap. Hold me, Miss Worded.

I really like the first two looks of team five3 and really wish Gunnar would go home.  The crazys always ended up staying just past their welcome to create more drama though.  Argh.  Poor Kooan.  His love of crazy colors, Japanese street style is so anti grouchy Gunnar, that as a roommate he had to be driven mad.

Not sorry to see Raul leave…his squiggy hair from Laverne and Shirley was distracting.

I am mostly in agreement with your critiques, except I love all of Alicia’s pants and Sonjia’s second skirt said “Now I have a bulky kangaroo pocket to hide my snacks in!” to me. As much as I like having easy access to snacks, the crotch poof didn’t do it for me.

The highlights of this episode for me were the Eastern European snarking, my teenaged son trying to figure out how Raul could say “We need to act like a team/I’m just going to look out for myself” in the same sentence, and the preview of next week’s sure-to-be-disasterous “real woman” challenge. I am already anticipating the string of fuck you’s that will be streaming from my living room.

Leave a Reply