‘Project Runway’ recap: ‘Made in the USA Today’

11.16.12 5 years ago 3 Comments

We kick things off the way we always do — with a useless introduction from the host. Carolyn Murphy imitates Heidi Klum, but without the German accent that makes the bitchy attitude oddly endearing. Carolyn tells the designers it’s time for the first fan interactive challenge! Which Joanna Coles will explain! In the workroom! Do we really have to stick with this stupid structure? Come on, Lifetime, this show is only an hour! And those poor designers have to go to two locations for no stinking reason!

But trot off they do, and Joanna introduces the designers to Sandra Micek, SVP Marketing, USA Today. She has a painfully frozen smile. The theme of this week’s challenge? Every picture tells a story! Wow, that’s fresh! And they have to choose one fan’s Tweeted picture to inspire a fabulous outfit! Sandra wants them to think of a headline for their look. I really want someone to pick “War brutality continues in Syria” or “Economic recovery unlikely in Greece.” That would be one heck of an outfit!

The winner gets an editorial in USA Today. Everyone’s so excited to be featured in an article that will be read by the people who aren’t smart enough to read a real newspaper or who happen to be staying at a Best Western!

The designers get to choose which other designer they want to share time at the two HP computers they can use. Weirdly, no one wants to pick Laura Kathleen! As Kayne points out, she’s offended everyone who’s still on the show at least once. Andrae is picked last because everyone forgets he’s still on the show. 

After Mood, Josh talks to Laura Kathleen. “Oh, Laura Kathleen, I feel your pain — but could you stop being such a bitch to everyone?” He doesn’t say that exactly, but more or less. But she’s not here to make friends! The other designers can’t understand the hell of being privileged and wealthy! And still having a washed-up child pageant look about her!

Andrae creates a desk under his desk. Uli thinks he’s like Gollum from “Lord of the Rings,” and though she doesn’t say it, I think part of that is because of the physical resemblance. 

Joanna and USA Today Style Editor Alison Maxwell will be checking in with the designers. Andrae tells them about his weird modular knits, and Joanna can’t decide if they’re bonkers or brilliant. Andrae thinks they’re brilliant, of course. I find that when Joanna is torn between a positive and a negative, she’s usually leaning toward the negative. Heads up, Andrae. 

Laura Kathleen tells Joanna and Alison that her water droplet is about vulnerability. Joanna and Alison think a long gown is a poor choice. Laura Kathleen isn’t designing for the farmers of America, humph!

Emilio’s headline is “Sophie’s Choice.” Joanna thinks that’s a God awful headline. Remember the movie, Emilio? You know, that story about the mother deciding which one of her children should be killed by the Nazis? And how that screws her up? And then she does something awful because she can’t live with the guilt? That does not scream fashion, unless you’re designing for Armageddon or very, very sad rich people. Try again.

Joanna is worried that Josh is going arts and crafts. And airline attendant. She declares Kayne’s red and black combo a bit hooker-y. She says Casanova’s hat is making her crazy. This season, Joanna has opinions! Whoot! She thinks Ivy has found a real energy this season. Anthony Ryan says he’s inspired by a photo and having cancer. No one can really comment on his outfit after that.

Joanna doesn’t get where Althea is finding her inspiration, because the photo is a lot cooler than her outfit, which is a light brown snot color. 

Alison wants all of the designers to translate the emotion they had looking at their photos into their final products. That sounds like advice, but really, it means absolutely nothing. Nice!

Best line of the show comes from Casanova — “Kayne made this Parisian prostitute with the chicken on her head?” Okay, it’s not as funny written out, but just imagine it with Casanova’s accent.  

Runway time! Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi and our guest judges — 16-year-old Style Rookie blogger Tavi Gevinson (miss the lavender hair, but I know, passé) and designer Charlotte Ronson.  


Oh, this doesn’t look half bad. I don’t even mind the chicken on the head. It’s a very well cut dress. I guess he dumped all the ugly black lace crap that was on the bodice when it was in the workroom.

Laura Kathleen

She may be a hateful nut job, but this is gorgeous. And I could see someone wearing this out for dinner or to a garden party. It looks very California cool. Maybe her family recently bought California. I’ll check my tax returns.


To refer back to Joanna’s comment, I’m leaning toward bonkers. The zippers make her look fat, the styling makes her look crazy. Gollum strikes again!


I like the hat! The pants are great, fit perfectly, and work well with the top. It’s simple, but it’s sharp and modern and most importantly, flattering. This has been a good runway so far.  


Yick. I know the drop crotch is in vogue, but it’s battling for attention with the jacket, and the fact that it’s all in a boring color is confusing. It looks like an Ann Taylor suit that got caught in a cruel spin cycle at the laundromat. 


You know how I was saying how this has been a good runway so far? I take that back. This outfit makes my eyes burn. It looks like it was made from construction paper.


This is all kinds of wow. It’s very subtle, which I like, and it flows beautifully.


The fabric she uses for the pants is gorgeous, but I can’t say I love the black boy shorts under them. 

Anthony Ryan

I love the clean lines, the exposed back, the architectural sensibility, the modernism of this. It’s deceptively simple. 


This looks like a gigantic baby’s dress. Not sure I like it, and it only look right on a few women, but it’s definitely runway and it looks different — which is nice. The runway is getting a little same-y. 

Laura Kathleen, Andrae, Josh, Anthony Ryan, Emilio and Althea are called forward. These are our top three and our bottom three. Everyone else is safe.

Althea is first. Isaac is not getting the pants. Me, either! The draping in the front looks like a wound. Carolyn thinks the color is drab. Georgina likes the idea, but Givenchy has done the deconstructed jacket and pant, so it needed to be spot on. Charlotte thought the trousers threw her off. Tavi liked the drop crotch, but she wanted the jacket to be more interesting. 

Isaac loves how Anthony Ryan’s outfit isn’t too sexy. Georgina says she’s seen this from him before. Carolyn agrees he could take more risks, but she loved it anyway. Charlotte liked the length. Tavi thinks he captures the spirit of the photo.

Joshua’s turn. Georgina thinks it’s costume. Isaac thinks there’s too much to think about. Tavi doesn’t like the two pieces together. 

Andrae talks about his “euphoric modular knits.” Isaac had no idea it was about zipped together panels. Georgina says knits and zippers don’t mix. Charlotte thinks he needed more time.

Laura Kathleen talks about her vulnerable water drop. Isaac thinks it’s really good as a dress. Tavi loves that she died it herself. Georgina loves the dress knowing she made the print herself, but she wishes it was longer. Carolyn would wear it.

Emilio talks about the fantasy of fashion. Isaac says it’s light as a feather. Charlotte thinks the shape could have been pushed out more, but it’s fun. Georgina loves his inspiration photo and she thinks it’s fresh. 

Emilio is safe. Anthony Ryan is… the winner. Laura Kathleen is safe. I hate to say it, but I’m thinking USA Today might have been more excited to run an article about a cancer survivor than a spoiled brat. 

Althea is… safe. I’m guessing Andrae is out. 

And he is. This is a relief for everyone, I’m sure, because no one wants Gollum lurking under a desk in their workroom. 

Andrae thinks he shall be okay. I’m sure he will. And maybe he can find a nice ring and a freeway underpass to live under. Just kidding. 

Did you think Anthony Ryan deserved the win? What did you think of the challenge? Are you surprised by who’s still in the race? 

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