We start out this episode with the morning after Ven’s dismissal. The general consensus seems to be, “Well, we’re all one step closer to Fashion Week.” I know I’m not going to miss him, it looks like no one else will either. I guess it was true, what he said back at the beginning, everyone was too intimidated by his obvious superiority to make friends with him.
But he’s last week’s news, on to the challenge!
The designers all show up at a very posh Babies “R” Us and there are frozen smiles all around as they greet Tim and Heidi. Heidi introduces them to her “affordable” line of baby clothes, Truly Scrumptious, and I resign myself to having Dick Van Dyke singing in my head for the rest of the night. The Project Runway idea of affordable always makes me cranky. Yes, Babies “R” Us is cheaper than a boutique, but most of the clothes in there cost as much or more than the clothes I buy for myself, and I know mine will fit me for more than three months. But whatever, I’m cheap, back to the cool kids.
The designers’ mission, should they choose to accept it, is to design a new look for Truly Scrumptious, and their models are real live toddlers. The happy twist is that there will be two winners, one for a boy’s look and one for a girl’s. The less happy twists come later.
As the babies are wheeled in by their mothers, most of the designers are still sporting their frozen smiles, trying to hide their inner monologue of, “Oh shit, BABIES! WHAT DO BABIES EVEN WEAR?!?” The two exceptions are Fabio, who used to do a lot of babysitting, and Elena, who wants to pinch all their fat little cheeks. There is much cuteness as the designers consult with the mothers about what kind of look they want for their future fashion icons. Dmitry says that, since babies can’t even talk, designing clothes for them is like making an outfit for a cat. Literally. He then tries very hard not to smack his client’s hand away from his tablet as the baby attempts to help him draw. Fabio, on the other hand, offers to let his client help, and his baby says, “Fuck no! I want to poke something over there!” and toddles off. Fabio truly likes kids, and it is quite endearing. He confesses that coming out to his mother was hard for him because he is an only child and she always wanted grandchildren and he still wants kids. Good luck with that, Fabio. You’d make a great dad, but I don’t know how the adoption agencies will feel about freeganism.
As the clients leave, Tim and Heidi tell the designers that they have a surprise waiting for them back at the workroom. I never thought I’d see it, but as the scene pans out, we hear Tim Gunn let escape an evil laugh. You know, the kind of laugh that usually means there are spikes or lasers in your future.
It’s not spikes and lasers, ladies and gents, it’s… MORE BABIES!
Each designer has a practice baby waiting for them in the workroom, the ones that cry at random intervals and need to be changed, fed and rocked just like real babies to make them stop. Fabio, of course, loves his baby and talks to him constantly while carrying him around in a sling. Everyone else sings a chorus of, “I did not sign up for this. How do I make it stop?!?” Even Sonjia, who assured her client that she loves loves loves babies. Elena apparently only likes other people’s babies, because she has a complete turnaround and now hates her crying baby, who she has named Asshole. Tim Gunn explains that they have been given these “real” babies so they can really understand the demands put on actual baby clothes. We all know this is bull, they did it because it is funny as hell. If they wanted to give them the full baby dressing experience, those dolls would be equipped with a setting for limp noodle arms and legs that refuse to bend whenever you try to put their pajamas back on. The rest of the day consisted of sporadic bouts of productivity, combined with much crying and screaming. The baby dolls cried a lot, too (insert rimshot here).
Since they are all working parents now, they had to take their babies home at the end of the day, and they were only allowed to work ’til 9:30. Fake babies need to sleep too, you know. The fake babies decided they were done sleeping early the next morning, and we were treated to a montage of sleepy designers falling out of bed and stumbling over to their cribs. As Dimitri said, like it was a sentence to life in prison: “I forgot. I’m a father now.”
Back in the workroom, Tim announces another twist. Since the mothers have to walk their babies down the runway, they should have something pretty to wear too! It’s time for a trip to Mood. But wait, you can’t just leave a bunch of fake babies alone while you go shopping, you must take them with you! Many designers complain about how ridiculous they feel, walking around Mood with a fake baby in tow, to which I say, “Suck it up! You’re in New York, do you really think you are the strangest thing they’ve seen?” When they return to Parsons, Tim offers to babysit for the rest of the day, so they can actually get some work done. The collective sigh of relief almost blew him out the door.
OK, I think I’ve talked about fake babies enough, let’s move on to the clothes.
Side note: during the commercial break before the runway, we get to see the full promo for the next season of Project Runway All Stars, which will feature Anthony Ryan and a bunch of other people.
First down the runway is Fabio’s design, which is so fucking adorable I can’t stand it. It is a one-piece with a sailor suit vibe and a matching baseball cap. The monster print patch on the back is actually a pocket, which would totally keep tissues handy without letting the kid get into them and eat them. I don’t care what anyone else made, this is the clear winner in my book. The mom is cute too, in a modern-ish Donna Reed dress.
Next is Melissa’s look. While the girl is rockin’ an awesome denim vest with a sequined monster face on the back, the dress underneath is a white cotton sheath. In the workroom, someone described it as a cocktail dress, and it is. It really wants to bunch up at the waist, and the entire time the mini-model is on the runway, you can clearly see that she peed in her diaper while she was waiting for her fashion debut. I can’t blame her, I would have too, but the full diaper look is never in season. Guest judge Hillary Duff, who recently had a baby of her own and is clearly an expert, is less than pleased.
Dmitry is terribly pleased with his garment, which allows him to smile and wave at his boy model as though he never once bitched about the challenge or compared dressing babies to cats. He calls his look “bold and comfortable” I call it “Super Mario in a gnome hat.” He put the boy in red overalls and a blue shirt, with an oddly pointy red hood. How is it possible no one said “Hey, your kid looks like an Italian plumber who has a complex relationship with mushrooms?” Apparently the gnome hat hood unzips to become a sort of cape, which is the only saving grace to this outfit. What kid doesn’t love a cape?
Sonjia made her little man a sweat suit/dress suit hybrid with a monster print T-shirt. It’s pretty badass. It looks both fancy and comfortable, and it will be easy to clean. While making it, she said she was going for something her boyfriend would wear, and I believe she succeeded. As the little boy was walking down the runway, my husband said “Holy crap! I want a suit like that.” My only problem with it was the raw edges she left on the pockets. There were little strings hanging off of them and the effect was more messy than intentional.
Christopher’s young lady is sporting a white dress and a white denim jacket, at the request of the mother. This is a woman who is not afraid of stains. The jacket is cute, and the dress is a perfect little girl dress, covered in white flowers and applique leaves. There was mention of it being an occasion dress rather than an every day dress, but I disagree. I guarantee that my daughter would have owned that look and made every day an occasion with it. As a parent, though, my concern is that the flowers are snapped on, rather than sewn. If they are, in fact, removable, at some point the child will discover this and they will end up lost and/or eaten.
Elena’s look was a little off. She made a sparkly pink T-shirt, a ruffled denim jacket with flower appliques, and a pair of puffy, light green pants. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but it doesn’t mesh. To me, it’s an outfit that says “I let her pick her own clothes today,” or possibly “I really need to do laundry.” It’s not as bad as Melissa’s diaper-flashing cocktail dress, but it’s not great.
Almost none of the judging is a surprise. The top three are Sonjia (no mention is made of the stringy pockets), Fabio and Christopher. Melissa gets props for the cool monster vest, and torn apart for the diaper dress. Elena’s outfit is dubbed “baby sample sale,” but she also gets props for her jacket, though Nina thinks it is entirely impractical and I agree. There is some debate about Dmitry’s look. Grand High Oompa Loompa Michael Korrs thinks it is borderline superhero, and that that is a bad thing. The three lady judges immediately jump in with a chorus of, “Kids love that shit!” No mention AT ALL of Mario or Luigi, not even from Hillary Duff. Apparently these people have never seen a video game.
In the end, Christopher won for the girls’ side, somewhat by default IMHO, and Sonjia won for her little man suit. Fabio was robbed, and the Babies “R” Us shoppers are the losers in this one.
Melissa got to stay, and Elena has to go. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to miss her. She got an emotional farewell from Tim Gunn, who said, “What are we going to do, all day, every day, without [‘fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck’]?” (I’m assuming that’s what he was saying, it was a series of beeps followed by laughter all around).
Next week is the last challenge before Fashion Week, and it’s the avant garde challenge. Who will push the envelope and who will play it safe? Who are your picks for top three? At this point, I want Dmitry to win it all, and then I want him and Elena to star in a wacky, buddy fashion designer, comedy show. How cool would that be?