Recap: ‘Project Runway’ – ‘O! Say, Can You Sew?’

02.23.12 6 years ago 7 Comments

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After many weeks of so-so designs, Kara got the boot last week — not that everyone agreed with that decision. Austin declares to Kenley that Kara had more reason to be on the show than either Mila or Jerell. Though I suspect that Austin feels that way largely because he liked Kara, I can’t really say I disagree. With a few notable exceptions, both Jerell and Mila have pumped out some pretty awful stuff. With only six designers left, it’s a little shocking to realize more than a few of these All Stars are taste challenged. Sleep deprived and cranky, fine, but taste challenged? For shame! Then again, they can’t all be Mondo, I suppose.  

Angela the Coathanger welcomes the designers to the United Nations building. Or, really, the lawn of the United Nations building. The U.N. ain’t letting in no scuzzy designers! But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn about the U.N.! From a distance! One-hundred and ninety three nations are members, and our plucky, scuzzy designers will be creating beautiful dresses inspired by some pretty damn ugly flags. Really, flags in general are not great source material. What looks good flying fifteen feet above your head usually looks like a frat boy T-shirt up close. But I guess we should be grateful the U.N. let “Project Runway” anywhere close to their building without heavily armed guards and strip searching. 
The designers get to pick their flags, which is all about patriotism for Michael (as he wants to give props to his heritage by getting Greece) and is more about dodging the ugliest bullet for everyone else. Mondo chooses first and picks Jamaica. Michael C. picks Greece and practically wets himself with excitement. Mila picks Paua New Guinea. There’s BLACK in the print! She can do something new and original, like monochrome color blocking! Again! Jerell gets India. Austin opts for Seychelles, though he knows nothing about Seychelles. This will be important later, I’m sure. Kenley gets Chile.
Two hundred bucks for fabric, and they can sketch at the U.N. Yay? This means sitting around the yard. How fun. 
The designers ruminate, then head to Mood. Mila is so confused by how the designers are interacting. They’re, like, nice to one another. It’s SO weird. Austin starts to question why he chose Seychelles, which is really an ugly ass flag. C’mon, Austin. Yes, it’s an ugly ass flag, but at least one or two colors won’t suck. Instead, he picks a variety of ugly crayon-colored fabrics. Oh, oh no. I do not see good times ahead for Austin unless he’s trying to design an outfit that works for both Seychelles AND a gay pride parade. 
Soon it’s time for Joanna to stop in, which is usually a great time to take a bathroom break or check e-mail, but she must have taken an extra shot of espresso this time around because she actually has OPINIONS. She asks Mondo how Jamaica is inspiring him. Joanna wants to know how a woman could wear a bra with his open-back dress. Answer? She can’t. Joanna is disapproving, but it’s Mondo, so she’ll leave him alone. 
Joanna worries that Jerell’s design looks like a gift shop doll. This is actually an excellent point, but Jerell thinks he can maintain “the ethnic opulence of the whole thing.” Really? Even if his version of ethnic opulence looks like the inside of a taxi cab? 
Joanna thinks Michael’s dress is gorgeous, but hates that you can’t wear a bra with it. Even Mila thinks it looks pageant-y. Joanna thinks he isn’t pushing himself.
On to Austin. Joanna has been to Seychelles, so I’m thinking she might have something to offer about the culture or the people, but no. I think she just hit the beach. Mondo thinks Austin’s dress is sad. Joanna tells him not to let the bra peep out.
Joanna is so happy Mila has created a dress you can wear underwear with! Okay, we get it, Joanna REALLY likes underwear. This was a good point the first time around, but when it becomes her point with every single designer, it really loses its fizz. 
Joanna wonders if Kenley is going beyond her comfort zone. Of course she is! She’s doing an asymmetrical party dress! With polka dots! Mondo can’t understand why she’s still on the show. Does Kenley remember what happened during her season? How she wouldn’t listen to the judges? And how that eventually bit her in the ass? Apparently not. But at least she’s happier ignoring everyone this season. 
Mondo declares Michael’s dress Greeced Frightning. Mondo is really shaping up to be not only the best designer, but the funniest. It’s nice to know someone’s still bringing the snark in Anthony’s absence. 
We get to spin around the workroom a bit, and there is very, very little to be excited about, honestly. Austin thinks Jerell’s outfit is one of the most vulgar and tasteless things he’s ever seen. I’m with Austin. Jerell thinks he’s making an outfit that’s India fabulous, but I’d suggest he’s making a dress that looks like the contents of my junk drawer with a bolt of fabric slopped on top. 
Angela the Coat Hanger invites the final six designers back to the runway. Our judges are Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi and guest judge French designer Catherine Malandrino. She did an entire collection inspired by the American flag, so very apropos. 
Jerell – India
It’s even worse making its way down the runway. What’s with the big, dumb bolt of green fabric? I think she had a nervous breakdown in a fabric store. The dress beneath the fabric screams whole hella lot of crazy. 
Kenley – Chile
I actually kinda dig this dress. The flouncy panel does have a South American flair, but it’s not too on point. But Kenley really needs to make some pants one of these days. 
Austin – Seychelles
Oh my God, she looks like she’s ready to battle Wonder Woman. The hair is bad beauty pageant, the colors are obnoxious and the whole thing looks like it’s made out of Kleenex.
Mondo – Jamaica
Va-va-voom. Love the front of this, love the way he incorporated the colors in the back. Can they let him win two weeks in a row?
Mila – Papua New Guinea
Huh. Um, one of these dresses would be nice, I guess. Or a nice party dress for a person with split personalities. Maybe it would be a nice companion piece with Jerell’s dress for a Miss Mental Illness pageant. 
Michael – Greece
Hey, I’ve been looking for that old Christmas present bow! The back is almost porn actress low. Not terrible (not with Jerell and Mila around to lower the bar), but not great. 
Kenley is up first. Georgina likes the attitude of her dress. Catherine thought it didn’t go too far with the Spanish attitude. Isaac loves the spirit of this dress. Angela thinks Chile is all about ponchos. Angela should not speak so often. Isaac does call out Kenley, though, for making the same dress over and over. I’m telling you, Kenley, pants! Pants! 
Jerell’s turn! Angela loves the white stripe. Wow, props to Angela and anyone else who could focus on this mess long enough to notice it. Isaac thinks it’s Nike meets India, but the stripe is so wonky he can’t get past it. Catherine thinks the dress disappears under the draping. Georgina thinks it veers into costume a little bit. A little bit?
Georgina thinks Michael’s dress screams beauty pageant. Catherine thinks there’s too much volume. Angela thinks the bow looks Christmas present. Did I agree with Angela on something? Isaac thinks he should have lost the trim.
Austin talks about his paper tablecloth, I mean, dress. Georgina thinks the color use was questionable. Isaac thought the ruching looked tortured. Angela thinks it’s not the worst dress she’s seen on the show.
Mondo wanted slinky, sexy and easy to wear. Georgina thinks she gets Jamaica with it. Catherine doesn’t like the hair. Isaac loves the simple black jersey, but it look like a new fabric. 
Mila talks about her schizoid dress. Georgina thinks it’s really great. It looks Russian to Isaac. Angela finds the two different colors and lengths disturbing. Isaac thinks it succeeds in being disturbing, and I do not think this is a compliment. 
The designers are sent away, and the judges chat. First up, they discuss Mondo. Georgina could see the restraint and thought in the dress. Angela didn’t love the head wrap. Ugh, who cares about the stupid head wrap? Angela loves Kenley’s dress. Catherine thinks it could be New York to Paris. Catherine said other things, but her accent is so thick she needed subtitles. Georgina thought it wasn’t quite thought through. On to Michael. Isaac thinks the volume was too much, but Georgina thought it was a pretty dress. Wow, that is kind, but it is kind of Marchesa, really. 
Georgina thinks Austin fell flat. She could feel his suffering. That’s a nice way to say it was a hot mess. Catherine thought it looked like a prototype. Angela doesn’t know who can wear Mila’s dress. I know! Humanoid robots in a remake of “Blade Runner”! Isaac and Catherine think Mila just wanted to do her graphic thing and didn’t care about the challenge. Angela thinks Jerell’s looked like an Indian Barbie doll. Georgina thought there were too many ideas. Isaac thinks it was a little bit of a mess. Isaac is being kind. 
Time for winners and losers. Michael is… safe. The top two are Mondo and Kenley. The winner is… Mondo. Hot damn. Kenley is through, but she needs to remember — mix it up next week! Pants! 
Austin is… safe. Austin is just lucky he’s scraping the bottom with some even uglier stuff this week. It’s down to Jerell and Mila. Either one of them going home is fine by me. Jerell is… safe. Mila is going home. Hey, maybe if she’d asked anyone else for their opinion, she might not have screwed the pooch on this. Just a thought. Those nice designers are SO weird! 
Mila, of course, goes home with her head held high (I think it’s stuck that way) and with plans to show at New York Fashion Week. Maybe a collection of weird, lopsided dresses and lots and lots of color blocking! Can’t wait!
Do you think it was Mila’s time to go? What did you think of Jerell’s Indian Barbie? And who do you think is next on the block? 

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