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Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.6, “The One Where We Want to Stuff a Porcupine in Ven’s Mouth”

It was a dark and stormy runway. The designers gathered under the rattling stage lights to await a directive from Sgt. Klum as to their next mission. The wind howled an evil portent of evilness. The weary designers huddled under their carefully-touseled hair. Would they have to create bustiers for Bigfoot? Stirrup pants for disgusting, tentacled creatures from Uranus?! No – it was worse. SO MUCH WORSE.



I hope you had your inebriative substances handy, Persephoneers, when watching this episode of Project Runway. It was called “Fix My Friend.” FYI if any “friend” of mine put me on PR, it would be more like “Fix My Ex-Friend’s Newly-Broken Nose.” Heidi brought out the clients for the challenge – non-models in clothes ranging from jeans to adorable dresses.

Elena began the festivities by saying, “The people that are standing in front of me are just regular people. They don’t look like they have anything to do with any kind of fashion.” Oh, hahahahaha fuck you. Like the models usually trot out in Versace fucking gowns. Have you taken a drink yet?

Heidi explained that the ladies in front of them were not their actual clients; these were the folks throwing their friends under the proverbial fashion bus. This was the L’Oreal challenge, so the clients would get a hair and makeup revamp, too. Heidi asked if the designers were willing to help their friends out. Dmitry said, “Do we have a choice?” Hahahahaha: DRINK.

Ven got Terri, a frankly gorgeous woman who usually sports T-shirts and jeans. He said, “When I first see Terri, I’m in shock. I’m very disappointed. This is extremely different than designing for a model because her proportions are completely off.” OFF? Not different, but OFF?! DRINK. I’ll let him tell you more. “These women have wide waistlines, hip-lines, so this is definitely a challenge.” DRINK. “Working with a plus size is very, very challenging.” A plus size? She’s not a person, she’s a plus size. DRINK. “There are certain techniques or designs or things that you want to do with your aesthetic but you can’t because it won’t work on her figure.” Yup, can’t fold fabric into a flower on a plus-size woman. When you do that, the hounds of Hades leap from the abyss and rip out your soul. It is known. DRINK.

From now on, Ven shall be known as Shitgobbler Ven. Please make a note of it. I’m just gonna leave this here to abate my burning rage.

a gif of Dmitry from Project runway saying "I think Ven is one way monkey."
Gif courtesy of Go follow them!


Nathan got a lady who sings pop and R&B, and he revealed that he has a musical degree and that he sings and writes. Neato! He designed for his mother when they did classical music concerts. The client wanted a sophisticated outfit that revealed her abs. He looked a bit puzzled at that one, but didn’t overtly insult her. Amazing!

Almost the worst thing, so far, about this episode is that I liked something Terrible Gunnar had to say. “I think it’s extremely important to design for the average, everyday person. It’s a fun challenge because this is what I like to do at home. I make clothing for regular women that want to look great.” I’m surprised he hasn’t been run out of town on a rail because he has, gasp, non-model women friends. His client got choked up about the makeover and he hugged her and said she gave him a lift. DAMMIT! My narrative has been shifted! Am I to call him Not-So-Terrible Gunnar now? That takes more typing!

Sonjia likened designing for women other than models to her own family – her client was a mom, and Sonjia’s sister is a mom, too, so she related on that level and managed to talk about designing for different body types without trashing anyone.

Shitgobbler Ven has more things to say, you disgusting hags. Refill your vodka-and-dog-food tonic and let’s listen to what he has to say about women! PREEMPTIVE DRINK. At critique, Tim asked Shitgobbler Ven what size his client was. Shitgobbler Ven rolled his eyes, scoffed, and said, “Oh, my God, I’m thinking around a fourteen.” DRINK. “My client really doesn’t have a shape.” Yes, she is an amorphous blob, made of evaporated Twinkies! DRINK. “The before picture is definitely a nightmare.” I don’t even have commentary anymore, except FUCK YOU SHITGOBBLER VEN. Oh, and DRINK.

Fabio noted that Shitgobbler Ven’s client came down there to get special treatment, but was stuck with a designer who wouldn’t give her what she wants. Even Elena said she’d lost respect for ol’ Shitgobbler. He was getting side-eyes and frowns from every damn person in that work room.

Shitgobbler Ven told his client that he was putting her in black because it’s very slimming. This was her response:

Ven's client thinks he's an asshole.  She is giving him such side-eye.
What the fuck did you just say to me?


And this was her friend’s response:

Ven's client's friend also think he's a giant shit turd.
Have I died and gone to simple bitch hell?


Shitgobbler Ven then went on to say, “You have a beautiful face.” Ooooooh! The plus-size consolation prize! Thanks, Shitgobbler! DRINK DRINK DRINK. Not-So-Terrible Gunnar was appalled, saying that you can’t dog your client that way. Fabio said that after seeing Shitgobbler with his client, that he isn’t “sophisticated, refined, or elegant.” That’s why I now have two Fabios in my life, not just the one who graces romance novel covers.

Shitgobbler Ven’s constant harping on the fact that he had to special request a belt for his model made her feel shitty, of course. There’s not a fucking thing wrong with that lady, but he just went on and on and on. He defended himself by saying that he never called her fat. Like his overwhelming disdain didn’t convey exactly that? She said, “I’m just so disappointed,” and began to cry. I’m beginning to think “Shitgobbler” is too good for him. He said, “There are some times when designers and clients don’t connect at all.” Yup. And there are some times that a woman has to deal with a nasty, snide, rude, passive-aggressive shitgobbling asshole she doesn’t deserve. He said that he was surprised when she walked in with her new haircut, that she looked so beautiful. She replied, “Thanks!” (That was sarcasm.) No woman in the world should have this man as a designer, no matter her size.

Nina Garcia Twitter post saying "Ven. Stop it."
She has spoken.


Finally, we got to judging. The guest this week was British fashion designer Alice Temperley of Temperley London, who needs to send me the maxi dress she wore.

Nathan Elena Melissa Designs Project Runway Season 10 Episode 6
(Left to Right) Nathan, Elena, Melissa

Ohhhhhh, Nathan. This looked like a satin pillowcase strapless dress thrown over a figure-skating uniform’s bodice. I know he had it tough – his client wanted to look overtly-sexy and sophisticated all at the same time – but this dress, despite the bright blue, didn’t pop. It wore her; I didn’t even notice the woman behind the dress. And the racey-stripes down each side just tackied the dress up more. Heidi said it looked a lot cheap, and didn’t appear to be designed for the stage. She called it “hoochie mama,” which confused poor British Alice until Kors equated the expression to a tart, and not the kind you eat. (Well, maybe the kind you eat.) Nina called it a disaster. Nathan argued that he couldn’t put his design aesthetic on her, but Nina said the client isn’t responsible for the fabric. Kors said Betty White wears illusion; this lady didn’t need illusion. He ended by calling it “cheesy,” which did NOT please the client.

Elena’s work outfit was fab. The peplum flare was perfectly on trend, and the soft pink of the blouse made her red hair glow. The pencil skirt hugged her curves and added a pop of sex appeal. The skirt length, covering the knee, was smashing on her and, I think, made it more sexy than the short skirt we saw on Nathan’s lass. Seriously, her butt in that thing (and framed by the peplum) was presented like a juicy platter full of juicy sex fruits. The shapes were just edgy enough to elevate this above regular work-a-day-wear. Her client’s smile told the whole story.

Melissa made a black cocktail dress with a black and white satin (?) stole. Oh, wait – she said it was a “scarf,” and that it looked terrible and that it was covering up the dress. And she was right. It looked cheap. And I couldn’t see the black dress. What I did see looked like a plain shift dress. Upon examining it, I felt a wave of meh piddle over me. Good thing she’s got immunity from last episode’s win.

Gunnar Alicia Christopher Designs Project Runway Season 10 Episode 6
(Left to Right) Gunnar, Alicia, Christopher

Not-S0-Terrible Gunnar’s black dress was part flapper, part mother-of-the-bride, but eight kinds of adorable. I think that was mostly because of his client Kim, who shook what her momma gave her. I do enjoy the sheer layer – adds naughty appeal. And his manipulation of the sheer overfabric into ruffles really ave the outfit that spark of special it needed. Heidi complimented the model’s walk, calling it “fabulous.” Damn. That’s from a supermodel, yo. At judging, he explained that the ruffles were tiny squares of chiffon, and the underdress was a comfy jersey. This was in the top three. Kors said Kim could teach Giselle how to move. He said the dress was flirty, yet not childish. Nina said she was confident and phenomenal, but that the neckline could be lower. “Why not show them, if you have them!”

Alicia’s little pink number was a big departure for her. The baby pink of the short, sleeveless cocktail dress was gorgeous against her model’s skin tone, and she was able to work and wear it. I feel like this color and shape are not something that many women could carry off without looking cutesy, but this lady worked it. It was clearly a dress for her. I didn’t love the pink, lace inserts at the rib cage, but they didn’t offend me.

Christoper’s dress was delightful and I need one now. A simple wrap-top, sleeveless bodice and a partly-pleated skirt gave this woman a DAYUM shape. The brown is a little boring for me, but it looked well on her. His model Kate kinda sabotaged him, though, bcause she took off the matching jacket at the very top of the runway and never put it on again. He said, “I spent eight hours making that jacket!” Ouch.

Ven Dmitry Designs Project Runway Season 10 Episode 6
(Left to Right) Ven, Dmitry

Shitgobbler Ven’s dress was all right. I liked the black, a-line skirt with asymmetrical zipper (not exactly original, though), but the bodice screamed “tent” to me. I think it was the sleeves – too much. They didn’t need to be that wide and swingy. The color of the bodice was lovely against her skin, but I didn’t feel it matched her somehow. Terri flaunted it on the runway, but a close look at her face revealed all her feelings of WTF. This made the bottom three, renewing my faith in the Almighty. When asked, Terri said she was unhappy with the dress. Shitgobbler Ven said the other designers were lucky (in relation to their models). Yes, that was an actual thing that was said. Heidi said she was always surprised when one of the designers said it was the first time designing for a “real woman.” “Like, who is not real?” she finished. BOOM. Even Shitgobbler had to shut the F up after that. Heidi said it didn’t appear like a new verion of Terri, but that someone stuck something on her. Imagine that!? A horse’s ass who spent the entire time being snide to his client and wishing she was something different designed poorly for her. Kors said it chopped her in half, and that the bodice looked like a chopped-off smock. Terri’s friend got emotional, explaining that Ven never bothered to find out WHO Terri was (an extremely hardworking mother of four who brings home the bacon so that her husband can be a stay-at-home dad). Nope, all Ven saw was “fat” – not a real, amazing, hard-working person who, frankly, also happened to be pretty damn beautiful, inside and out. BLOGGER OUT! *Drops mic*

Dmitry’s aqua (was there a Smurf pact they didn’t show on camera?), sleeveless shift dress was… yawn… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I have two of those in better shapes from Nordstrom Rack. I don’t think it was a silhouette that complimented her all that well, either. And I hate a too-short skirt and booties combination – legs are cut off at both ends. This was one of the top scorers. Nina said the cut and color were great on her. Kors said he loved the fabric choice, and that it tailored well – I completely agree. Alice said the skirt could be longer and the neckline lower to make it more modern. I guess I just wasn’t as entranced as the judges.

Fabio Sonjia Designs Project Runway Season 10 Episode 6
(Left to Right) Fabio, Sonjia

Fabio’s amazing little number was a true day dress made for a woman who is casual, yet eschews skirts on the whole. You could tell she loved it. The grey scale color blocking took the whole thing up a notch, as did the styling – red clutch, orange belt, and burgundy boots. She looked fun, young, and ready for anything (except for hanging upside-down, I suppose). I wish there were more of these cotton, whimsical day dresses out there. Heidi said she liked the way the client talked “like she was from the ‘hood.” Cue awkward laughing. Nina called it “phenomenal” and professional with an edge. Kors said it was a transformation, but a transformation for her – the best kind. He added, “It took a boy in a dress to get you into a dress!” Quote of the night!

Boy, did Sonjia hit a sour note with this one. TOO SHORT. This blue (?!) center-knot, a-line dress totally scrunched up the model. I am this short and I’m telling you – sleeveless + too-high hem = bad proportion. She needed sleeves or a longer skirt. This was a less-attractive version of that gorgeous grey dress she made a couple of episodes ago. The color was okay, but this fails for me on almost every level. Womp, womp – bottom three. Heidi said the knot didn’t quite work, and it was too short. Alice said the knot was too high, ruining the proportions. Nina said Sonjia maybe didn’t look at Amanda specifically to design for her body. Kors said that when you put a lot of extra fabric on a petite woman, it hauls her down. Preach, my witty reverend!  Sonjia stumbled over her non-model model, too — she just wasn’t mean about it.

Fabio was the winner. Yay!!! This redeemed the whole episode for me. And he got immunity!

The looooooooser? Nathan. I’m sad, but that dress was a nightmare. I’m mooooore sad that I have to look at Shitgobbler Ven some more.

Question for my readers: Should we keep Shitgobbler? Or can you think of a better name for He-Who-Reminds-Me-of-Toe-Jam?

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

22 replies on “Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.6, “The One Where We Want to Stuff a Porcupine in Ven’s Mouth””

I really appreciated how the other contestants hated on Ven for his crap.  But no one said anything.  Ven was not sorry for all the horrid things he said or the attitude he gave that poor girl.  I am glad her friend spoke up at the end.  I too was shockingly surprised at Gunnar’s attitude, and like the grinch we found out he has a heart.  Ven needs to look in the mirror and realize that he is not a model’s body either and maybe real people fill the real world Dumb ass.

I did not just want Ven to be eliminated, I wanted his client and her friend to tell him he was done. What a jackass. I just can’t. When everyone else in the room is staring at you in disbelief, you are WRONG, Ven. When Tim can only respond with sarcastic deadpanning, you are WRONG. But Jeffrey the Neck-Tattoo was an asshole to a client (who was a competitor’s MOTHER) and managed to win his season, so I’m hoping Ven doesn’t learn from his runway ass-chewing and is dropped and refused a goodbye hug by Tim Gunn.

Nathan made the mistake of being too compliant to his client. There’s a difference between adapting and giving in completely, and he just caved. And Sonjia can work with “bigger” figures (i.e., not a model) but forgot to factor height in to the design.

Fabio’s dress was awesome, AND it worked for his client. She looked fantastic and like she loved the hell out of it. And, as much as it kills me, Gunnar was actually *nice* to his client (and designed well for her). Who knew that he’d be respectful and kind?

I’m not a fan of Elena in general, and I hated the shape of her top — it was just odd. I don’t get her aesthetic. Super-structured fabric body armor works for a small percentage of women, and that top seemed like toned down body armor. Plus, there’s a difference between being direct (Irina was “mean” because she didn’t hold back her opinions, remember?) and being thisclose to stabbing someone (or oneself) with sewing scissors. Elena seems way too close to the latter as a general rule. Though she was very nice with her client.

Reading over all of Ven’s comments again is just making me ill. He is so gross. I honestly cannot believe he didn’t realize that all the stuff he was saying was so terrible. I work the night shift at my job at Dish so I couldn’t watch it live, but I can always count on my Hopper to record it for me. That way, I can watch it during breakfast the next morning and be all caught up in time to avoid the spoilers all over the internet. Heidi’s “who is not real?” comment was definitely my favorite moment of this episode. Too bad the judges didn’t decide to make a point by sending Ven home. I’m hoping he doesn’t stick around much longer.

Just stopping by to point out that Ven seemed to have a huge amount of contempt for a woman who is roughly the same size as he is. Do you think he was projecting? That his contempt was actually directed inward, at himself, for not being model-sized either?

I don’t know if that’s better than being a massive turd-pile of a human being with a pile of rusty nails where his heart ought to be, which is the other explanation.

But it was super-fun and kind of righteous watching everyone else in the workroom grow visibly repulsed. Of course, I’m a size 14 too, so CLEARLY I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH FASHION.

Remember way back when–whatever, like, second ep or something–I said that designing for someone who didn’t have a model’s body would be the best ‘unconventional’ challenge? And that it would tell us who was a real designer and who just treated cloth as a purely aesthetic canvas?

Well. The results are pretty fucking clear, yeah? Granted, taking into account how PR challenges often end in wrecks for unrelated reasons, not all of these were shit purely because the designer was unable to contend with bodies; both Dmitry and Sonjia’s dresses, for instance, I could absolutely see wearing with fixes in the proportions. That’s a fundamental *clothing* design mistake that shows too little practice and some lack of practical knowledge, but not disdain for the human body; they didn’t try to do covering up, nor something non-stylistic, and didn’t just translate their normal stuff into a bigger size. So I wouldn’t want to write them off completely, even though they’re not where they need to be yet.

Of course, Ven should have been sent flying off the show. How do they keep someone on when the behavior is that unprofessional?? Ugh.

I completely agree with Fabio’s win, and think Elena was the clear runner-up, although I personally would go more for Gunnar or Christopher’s looks. Melissa’s I’m unsure about–there was some elegance, but I have no way of knowing if she was just taking the ‘put the fatties in the wraparound towel’ route or not. Ditto Alicia, because her client was, let’s face it, skinny; petite, yes, which means changes in proportions, but it’s simply not the same kind of challenge to design skill. I wonder how either Alicia or Melissa would have fared with a body like mine–petite AND overweight. Neither the proportional balance of height nor skinniness to fall back on…

And okay–Nathan’s was a stylistic mess, but that at least didn’t have anything to do with the fact of a non-model body. They should have tossed Ven for being unimaginably assholish. ‘Shitgobbler’ is too good for him.

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