‘Project Runway’ recap: ‘I Get a Kick Out of Fashion’

09.20.12 5 years ago 9 Comments


Judging from last week’s promo, the theme for this week is the word “bitch.” It’s like “Sesame Street,” but a little naughty! Oh, and there will be Rockettes. I can’t get too excited about a challenge focused on dressing Rockettes, because that seems to have as much to do with sophisticated fashion as drag or NASCAR.

Anyway, given that Ven is still in the competition, “bitch” is probably the nicest word I can come up with for a theme this week. Weren’t you more than a little disappointed he didn’t get booted out last week? I’m fairly certain that his crappy attitude has cemented his place in the final three, however, as he gives us all a reason to watch simply to root against him. I hate the idea that “Project Runway” is becoming so conditioned in these ratings-grabbing ways. Remember when it used to be about talent? But let’s get to the show. I’m going to try live blogging this week, so bear with me!

Everyone is so sad Gunnar is gone. Fabio even slept in his bed! That’s so… creepy. Sorry, but it is. Elena realizes she is the only designer left who hasn’t won a challenge. She is determined to change her thinking — and work on her stress level. Really? I thought the screaming and stomping was so charming. 

The designers trot off to Radio City Music Hall, where Tim Gunn introducest them to the Rockettes. They still kick, as they have for forever. Everyone is appropriately impressed. And look, there’s Heidi! She joins the line-up and tosses out some kicks. Nice legs, Heidi. Dmitry thinks she’s “oh, baby.” In Dmitry speak, that means hot. 

Hey, guess what? The challenge is to create an outfit for the Rockettes! Didn’t see THAT coming. Linda Haberman, the director and choreographer of the Rockettes, comes out to talk to the designers. She used to work with Bob Friggin’ Fosse. “Isn’t that amazing?” Heidi screeches at the designers, who clearly have no clue who Bob Fosse is. Jazz hands, people! “Chicago”! “Sweet Charity”! “All that Jazz”! He was the snake in “The Little Prince”! Argh!

Blah, blah, Rockettes, blah, blah. Tim cautions the designers that they must capture the elegance and sophistication of the Rockettes (not the words I would pick, but okay) and Radio City Music Hall as well as give their designs a modern aesthetic. Because nothing screams modern more than a Busby Berkeley dance costume. 

Dmitry was a professional ballroom dancer. Yeah, he has an edge. Everyone runs off to Mood. Christopher is creating a costume that depicts the New York City skyline. But for some reason, Sonjia is uninspired by Mood. Ven can’t find the crystals he wants. Whine, whine, whine. And then, Elena discovers she can hardly buy half of what she wants with her money limit. I think someone’s stress level is going up!

Once they return from Mood, Tim informs the designers they will be going to dinner that evening. No one seems happy about this, because they’d rather be working. Also, no treat ever comes without a trick on this show. 

Sonjia plays with purple feathers. But what is she doing? “Sonjia doesn’t sketch, baby girl.” Christopher suggests she start. 

Dinner at Pierre Loti, which seems to feature some food and a LOT of wine. With her stress level alcoholically reduced, Elena apologizes to Dmitry for being a massive bitch. Ven tells Elena he thinks she’s very talented. Dmitry thinks the wine is working. Dmitry is so right.

Ven talks about how lonely he is, which has nothing to do with him being a chubby-hating jerk, but because he has much older siblings. Oh! Yeah, no, that’s not it. 

The next day, everyone returns to the work room and… wait. There was no trick last night. They just had dinner. How.. strange.

Elena, whose stress level seems to be getting higher and higher as she realizes she’s making one ugly ass costume, puts on her cheerleading/Rockettes nightmare and dances around the room. Lalalalalala, off the Bellevue I go, lalalalalalaaaaa!

Finally, Tim shows up to check in. He tells Sonjia she seems “very disabled.” I think that’s an odd way to say she seems out of sorts. I’m afraid he’s going to walk over to Elena and tell her she seems moderately schizophrenic or murderously enraged, and he’ll just be giving the girl ideas. Sonjia doesn’t know how to finish her garment. Tim is appalled. “Start cutting!” he says in his most indignant voice. This means Sonjia is either going home or winning.

Tim tells Elena her outfit looks like it needs a baton. Elena giggles. She knows it’s bad, but she’s pretty sure other outfits are worse. That’s a recipe for mediocrity, yay!

Tim thinks Dmitry’s outfit needs more fringe. Elena thinks Fabio’s outfit is a train wreck. Tim tells Fabio to “bitch slap that bitch.” I’m pretty sure Tim has never said that exact phase on the show before. Next thing you know he’s going to start screaming for pimp juice and dancing Gangnam style. 

Tim urges Melissa to speed it up and use whatever shortcuts she can. She looks like hell. Her dress has 18 patterns to it, and as Fabio said, he eliminated his first top design because it had 10. Melissa, use the string of sequins! 

Tim suggests Ven incorporate his seam allowance into the design. He urges Ven to think about this very carefully. The subtext is, “You’re outfit blows,” but Ven is quite sure he has the recipe for success. Simple lines! No glitter! Matronly bathing suit silhouette! Someday, Ven will be making very cute outfits for the 80 and over set. 

Tim informs the designers he’s worried about all of them — and he’s sending them back to Mood with a hundred dollars each and fifteen minutes to shop. Fabio, Dmitry and Ven don’t need no stinkin’ trip to Mood! They’d rather work on their already fabulous outfits. 

At Mood, Melissa thinks she’s screwed. Everything she wants is so expensive! Christopher tries to help her. He actually gives her fifty bucks. Is that a violation of the rules? It will be only if the judges want it to be, honestly. 

Sonjia Skypes with her boyfriend. Pep talk, pep talk, pep talk. 

Ven actually volunteers to help Melissa. Well, that was nice. I may hate him slightly less now. Melissa accidentally rips out her zipper, and Fabio offers to help. Well, isn’t this a heartwarming little episode!

Christopher proclaims that this runway will look like a gay pride parade ran through it. Ding, ding, ding! On that note, it’s time for the runway!

Our judges are Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and… Debra Messing. Christopher is dying, which he pantomimes by waving his hand in front of his face, the universal signal for “really excited about a celebrity.”

I have to say straight up, it’s going to be almost impossible to judge these dresses, because it isn’t entirely clear what the judges are looking for. If you want to see it from the cheap seats, that’s one thing. If you want it to be elegant, that’s another. 


This is not half bad. I like the fringe, I like the color, and while it looks very “Dancing with the Stars” or even “Skating with the Stars,” I can’t see that as a bad thing in this challenge.


“How could I not see that I had color blocked in black sequins a number one across her chest?” Good question. She should be happy it was a number 1 and not, maybe, the letter Y or the number 6, I guess. I like the colors, but I think the bodice looks puckered. I know she loves that freestanding neckline, but I’m getting tired of it. 


It’s only okay. It’s pretty boring, though. I’m not sure it says Rockettes. Maybe elderly lady ice skater.


I hate this. The blue makes my head hurt, the skirt looks like a loincloth and it could be a costume for Cleopatra’s high school band.


I love this. It’s clever, it’s a showstopper and even a weirdly awkward model can’t ruin it. Winner!


She’s wondering if the judges will think she looks like a big, purple bird. In a word, yes. The neckline is chokingly high, and the feathers on the shoulder are just misguided. I like the materials, but it just looks like a bad little kid dance costume. 


Yes, she looks like she’s in the chorus of “300: The Musical,” but who cares? I love this.

Fabio is safe. Everyone else makes up the top and bottom. Sonjia is first on the block. Heidi doesn’t think it’s magical. Nina thinks it isn’t practical. Michael thinks it comes off more cocktail than costume. 

Dmitry is next. He loves it, and so does Heidi. Michael thinks it’s exciting, polished and impeccably made. Nina loves the color, the movement and the fact it’s modern chic. Debra thinks it’s very glamorous, but wonders if it’s too sexy for the Rockettes. 

Ven talks about his dress. Heidi thinks there’s no design to it and says it’s boring. It doesn’t tell a story; it’s just a dress that sparkles. Then, Ven admits he didn’t go back to Mood. Michael says it looks like an evening dress, just chopped off. He thinks it doesn’t show enough skin. Nina thinks it doesn’t have enough oompf. Debra doesn’t agree. She loves the simplicity! But she thinks the hem is uneven. And it is!

Melissa talks. Heidi thinks it’s a showstopper, but the longer she looks at it, the more problems she sees. She thinks it’s too short and she doesn’t dig the number one. Michael thinks it’s dramatic and graphic. He likes the edging, but he thinks it’s a little too cocktail dress. And the one is driving him crazy. Nina loves the color, but otherwise it’s a miss. Debra found it confusing. But she likes the sparkles.

Christopher is next. Heidi loves it. Nina thinks the illusion is beautiful. She loves it. I’m telling you, this is the winner. Michael thinks he did it impeccably. It’s a Bob Mackie moment! Debra thinks it’s celebratory and dignified. “Thank you, Debra Messing,” Christopher says, having a fan moment.

Elena admits she used a color she never uses. Michael thinks she looks like a Las Vegas cheerleader. He hates the necklace piece. It’s busy and tacky. Debra thinks it would be beautiful… for the circus. Nina thinks the fabric was the first mistake, and she just kept going from there. Heidi piles on and calls it cheesy Las Vegas mall. It isn’t sophisticated. Elena starts crying. “I’m trying to make things more wearable!” For who? Colorblind teen prostitutes? Heidi appreciates that she’s trying to push herself, but it’s just not modern. They will be very nice to her as they kick her out the door, I guess. 

The judges talk. There is no way they can’t give the win to Christopher. 

The bottom three are Ven, Sonjia and Elena. Debra fights for Sonjia. I don’t think you have to worry about Sonjia, Debra Messing. 

Melissa is in. Christopher is the winner of this challenge! Absolutely. He is so excited, Debra Messing! I think I now want to end all of my sentences with Debra Messing. It does have a certain ring to it, Debra Messing. Dmitry is also in. Debra Messing. 

Sonjia is in. Elena is… in! Whoa! Does that mean… wait, no one’s going home this week, right? Nope, Ven is out. I am SHOCKED. I really did think he had emerged as the villain we’d love to hate right until the end. Although I’m perfectly fine with not seeing even one more of his fan effect roses ever again, he was still regularly a strong designer. Frequently a boring designer, yes, but still. 

Ven is upset, sad and frustrated. He knew he could put on an amazing show! He tells Elena to stop crying, and not in the nicest way. Tim comes in to ask the designer if Ven’s exit is a bit of a wake-up call. “It’s a scenario I don’t think any of you wrote.” No kidding! 

Ven never gives up. Given that next week the designers will not just be designing for Heidi’s baby line, they’ll be caring for their very own babydolls (you know, the ones they give at-risk teenagers to keep them up all night and scare the sex drive right out of them), Ven just may be relieved he got sent home when he did. 

Were you surprised by the judges’ decision? Do you think the designers got the wake-up call Tim mentioned? And who do you think the final three will be now? 

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