Recap: ‘Project Runway’ – ‘Lights, Camera, Sew!’

09.24.09 8 years ago


Okay, has everyone seen the “I’m not here to make friends” montage on YouTube? If you’re the one shut-in who hasn’t, it proves several things about reality television, which is that the genre has reached an uncomfortable level of self-awareness and that when someone drops the INHTMF bomb, it is game on, bitches. And tonight Nicolas, otherwise known as The Next Guy To Go Home And Not Because He Has The Same Hair As The Raggedy Andy Doll I Had As A Kid, dropped the bomb. Brace yourselves, it’s going to be a bumpy night.

[Full recap of Thursday (Sept. 24) night’s “Project Runaway” after the break…]

Heidi, rocking an S&M schoolteacher look, announces it’s time for the designers to get out of their sewing room/torture chamber and see what Los Angeles is best known for – movie making. And all this time I thought it was smog and homelessness. Silly me. Nicolas is thrilled because he’s done a lot of costumes for film, which makes me want to swat him on the back of his stringy-haired head and say, “She doesn’t mean porno, dumbass,” but I digress. 

The designers are dragged out to a Hollywood soundstage, which excites the kids because they don’t realize that a soundstage is just a big ugly warehouse full of camera equipment and teamsters. I am personally much more excited to see that Tim Gunn is already there, looking all avuncular and natty, ready to deliver a plug for L’Oreal Paris by introducing some make-up guy representing his corporate slave master, I mean sponsor.

Anyway, the challenge is that each designer must pick a film genre from Tim’s little velvet bag of tricks, then design an outfit for a character that would fit that genre. Everyone is crazy excited about this, because no one’s gotten stuck with Western yet.

Then the L’Oreal guy natters on about L’Oreal and classics of film and blah blah blah… oh, excuse me, the marketing plug sort of lulled me to sleep there. Is it me or is the blatant cross promotional crap MUCH worse this season? Friggin’ Lifetime.

Irina picks first. She takes film noir. Logan picks action adventure. So does Carol Hannah. Ra’mon picks sci fi, revealing he’s a big Star Trek and Star Wars geek, which I find hard to believe unless he had a tween crush on William Shatner or something. Louise, of course, picks film noir. Althea picks film noir. Gordana picks period piece. Nicolas picks science fiction, since he lives in his own weird, creepy little world and I don’t think serial killer horror was an option. Christopher picks period piece. The last two designers to pick, Shirin and Epperson, are stuck with Western. We get to watch both of them die a little inside, which is good fun, really.

Oh, and it’s a one day challenge. Shirin and Epperson look weepy. Carol Hannah wants to do a sexy assassin. Logan wants to do Carol Hannah. Carol Hannah wants to do him right back. Ra’mon wants to do Shatner. Nicolas wants to escape to the imaginary world in his head where he doesn’t suck.

Everyone goes to Mood and realizes they can’t afford what they really want to use, to which I say, hey, welcome to Los Angeles, bitches.

Back at FIDM, everyone hunkers down and starts sewing, which inspires Nicolas to start talking about his crazy ass design idea, which has to do with three queens who watch over the universe and live on Orion’s belt. Which makes me think Johnny wasn’t the only meth head in the competition.

Meanwhile, Ra’mon is tie-dying fabric to create a human-reptilian hybrid. He’s beyond excited. I’m thinking walking Astroturf is not something to aspire to.

Someone stole Louise’s bobbin. Nicolas is worried for her, not because of her bobbin, but because she doesn’t have a concept for her character. To which I say, Nicolas, sweetheart? She’s 1920s girl. She’ll figure it out. Now go back to your sucktastic white Queen of Orion whatever the hell and shut up.

Oh, yay! It’s Tim Gunn Chin Holding Time! Gordana tells him her costume is for a woman who discovers oil in the 1920s and is coming out to society, which suggests she spent more time thinking up a backstory for her character than actually designing the dress, which is pretty blah. Tim tells her to cut it lower in the back, but I think he’s really just decided she’s going home soon, so why overexert himself. Christopher is making a 1800s Victorian vampire bridal gown, and Tim is appalled to see naked arms. Because, um, vampires tend to be modest or, I guess, chilly, as all their blood goes to their stomach (rimshot, please). Tim is seduced by the ruffles in Epperson’s outfit. Tim tells Ra’mon his lizard outfit could be sublime or a big hot mess. I’m putting my money on the latter. Tim loves Louise’s subtlety, but says it doesn’t hold up on the runway. Tim feels Nicolas’ outfit is a little too safe, although I’d say a big, white snowflake costume isn’t so much safe as Christmas-y.

Tim then tells everyone to look around the room and figure out if they’re better than the competition, to which Nicolas, he of the Raggedy Andy hair and unstoppable ego, says yes, yes I am. But he’s worried about Ra’mon, because to him sci fi is all about beauty, not lizards. Which tells me he never saw “Species.”

Then, it’s make-up time with the L’Oreal guy. Gee, look at all that make-up. Don’t you wish they gave us the actual color names and suggested retail prices so we could rush to Rite-Aid to buy all this stuff? You don’t? Me neither, but that’s probably next season. The season after tthat, Heidi will actually come to your house, hold your eyelids open with toothpicks while blasting classical music, then force you to smile while she applies lip gloss and blush with tiny little brushes. Don’t laugh, it could happen.

Finally, we break away from our L’Oreal brainwashing segment to discover that Ra’mon has found out what everyone else knew ages ago, and that is that his model looks like a gecko, and not even the cute little one in the Geico ads. He has two hours to create a new look from scratch. Ra’mon, it might be time to go back to neurology, although I so don’t want that man coming near my brain with something sharp if he can’t even sew a damn lizard costume. 

Yay, runway time! Zoe’s back, and the guest judges are John Varvatos (who’s having a big sample sale this weekend, FYI) and Oscar nominated costume designer Arianne Phillips, because apparently it’s too hard to find Oscar winners in… Los Angeles. Freakin’ Lifetime.


Nice nightgown, Irina. And a clashy, gauzy cape I kind of hate. Irina says this is a costume, I say it’s Victoria’s Secret. Tomato, tomato.

Carol Hannah

Very “Matrix.” Patent leather bustier, sleek black jacket, and weird suspender straps hanging off the skirt that might be cool if the model would slow down long enough for me to see what the hell they are. I think Carol Hannah must have been having naughty bondage-based daydreams about Logan, because this is pretty sexy for her.


I kind of love the purple underskirt on this, and it is very saloon girl, but I question whether there’s enough going on in this outfit. I mean, I think I saw this exact same thing on a “Bonanza” rerun.


This is gorgeous. Gorgeous, gorgeous. And really, the first outfit that looks runway and yet fulfills the assignment. The guy may not know what he’s doing, but he’s still damn good.


Oh, yay, the evil white queen of Orion’s belt or whatever the hell. I think I saw this exact same thing in a baggie in the Target Halloween costume aisle.


I like this little 1940s secretary look, but it feels a little safe.


Amazingly, the model does not look like a gecko. It’s ugly and the green is disgusting, but at least it looks like a dress. Maybe I would let Ra’mon cut open a little bit of my brain after all, just a section I don’t use, like the part that does math.


I have no idea what period this is supposed to be. It’s not 1940s and it’s not 1920s, but a little bit of both. Plus, it’s drab. Louise apparently thought that Tim’s suggestion that she liven things up meant she needed to add a black headband. I suspect that is not what the man meant, Louise.


You’d never guess Epperson got screwed with the last choice Western category, because this is a great outfit. I think the ruffled overcoat is denim, which sounds disgusting in theory, but it really works in practice and how often can you say that about anything?


Wow. A flapper dress. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…


A leather jumpsuit with high boots. I think this might be cool, but black leather doesn’t really read on television.

Decision time! Logan, Carol Hannah, Shirin, Irina, Althea all get a pass into next week.


John appreciates all the detail, but Arianne questions the specialness. Zoe appreciates the skill of a dressmaker, but doesn’t feel it’s been updated for the 21st century.


Crazy ass Nicolas tells his evil queen story, which amazingly isn’t an autobiography. To my horror, the judges loooove this piece of crap. Arianne likes the ice queen make-up. Zoe thinks it’s clever, bold and risky. I am so not reading Marie Claire for fashion tips, I’ll say that right now.


Louise tells this bizarre story about a 1940s actress dressing up for a 1920s party, but Zoe sees through her crap and calls her out on a convoluted mess she’d expect to find in a plastic bag at the store. John thinks it’s not special at all.


Oh no, Christopher has a crazy ass vampire bride story. For whatever reason, John doesn’t hold this against him, thank God. Heidi likes the fact it’s updated and, Arianne loves the back detail.


Crap. Another freakin’ backstory. Designers, you are not screenwriters, stop! You’re killing me! Of course, some executive is probably going to watch this and buy their pitches for six figures a pop, because this is Hollywood, after all. Zoe hates the dress and thinks it looks “Swamp Thing.” John thinks it looks like a school project, and Heidi thinks it’s a hot green mess. Arianne thinks he sabotaged himself by working with leather. I think he might have been better off with the Kermit outfit.


Arianne likes the contemporary value. Zoe loves the layers and the fabric choices. John says the model can manage his farm anytime, which I think is just a pick-up line, and one having to do with barnyard animals at that. I am instantly uncomfortable.

The judges talk. They felt Louise missed the challenge. Ra’mon’s outfit was a shambles, but Arianne likes his guts. Arianne thought Nicolas’ outfit looked cheap but would photograph well. John liked Epperson’s model. Heidi appreciated that he came through on a genre he didn’t like. John calls Christopher’s outfit perfection. Heidi’s amazed he put it together for $150.

Gordana is… in.

Epperson is… in.

Nicolas is… the WINNER? Not Christopher or Epperson? Excuse me while I puke little white feathers to match this horrible, horrible outfit. Raggedy Andy claps his hands like a five year old and starts talking about Bryant Park. This is beyond wrong.

Christopher is in. It’s down to Ra’mon and Louise. I’m betting Louise.  Ra’mon overshot, but Louise didn’t try. Plus, she’s kinda boring TV.

Ra’mon is… going home? Seriously? Okay, Ra’mon bugged the crap out of me, but he did pull off some pretty amazing outfits up to this point. I can’t believe he didn’t at least get a pass this week. But apparently we really are living in Nicolas’ imaginary world where he doesn’t suck and Ra’mon goes home. I hope that’s the only upside down stuff, because if I find out Liza Minnelli is president and bowl haircuts are now required by law or something, I will be PISSED.

Do you think Ra’mon should have been eliminated? Who do you think is going home next week? And do you love to hate Nicolas, or just hate him?

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