Recap: ‘Project Runway’ – ‘Race to the Finish’

09.23.10 7 years ago 22 Comments


So, I miss one week of “PR” and that is, of course, the week when my man Mondo wins. Figures. I”m also a little sad to see Michael D. go, though that Amish ice skating skirt was definitely not a fashion yes. What I don”t understand is when designers on this show look at a woman”s body and say to themselves, “You know, let”s put layers and layers and layers of fabric around that really wide part,” and think that”s a good idea. I know, they”re working with tall, willowy models, but even they have hips, sort of. But enough grousing, let”s get to it!

[Full recap of Thursday’s (Sept. 23) “Project Runway” after the break…]

Usually the wakey-wakey time at Atlas is pure filler, but I had to enjoy Gwetchen”s interview room comment that Michael D. was a light, happy presence on the show whose absence now makes everything feel like a competition, which seems to be her preference. Now she can start short sheeting her roommates” beds and make snide remarks about the boys” sewing skills, and even as she cuts holes in people”s designs at the 11th hour she”ll just look like a tough competitor instead of a malignant witch.
Interestingly, Andy mentions how glad he is to get Christopher and Mondo as roommates, as he”s looking forward to bunking with people he can trust. Which, I guess, does not include Michael C. There have been rumblings that Michael C., who”s been all puppy dog eyes and poor me from what we”ve seen on the show thus far, is not the fundamentally decent guy he seems (Peach called him out as two-faced in one of her interviews). If Michael C. is truly a creep, I”m pretty disappointed in the producers for portraying him as the innocent victim in a house full of vipers. But hey, that”s reality TV for you.
Anyway, time for the challenge. Tim introduces the designers to Collier Strong, consulting make-up designer of L”Oreal Paris… zzzzzzzzzzz… Oh, I”m sorry, shameless plugs make me drowsy. Anyway, the challenge is to create a high fashion look for (wait for it) a L”Oreal Paris advertorial. Zzzzzzzzzzz… Oh, and the ad will appear in Marie Claire and the winner will get twenty grand. Everyone”s very excited about winning the money, because they don”t realize that half of it will be eaten up by taxes.
The design, of course, has to mesh with a L”Oreal Paris eye shadow kit. Sigh. Mondo picks bright. Christopher picks crystal. April picks matte. Michael C. picks metallic. Ivy picks bright. Valerie picks crystal. Gwetchen picks velvet, which is a “serious risk.” Because velvet is really better on a sofa. Andy picks metallic.
They sketch, they go to Mood, Swatch barks as Tim Gunn chases him around. Everyone is being very calm and well behaved, because they have two days for this challenge. Though April wisely points out she”s going to bang it out, because hello, this is “PR” and you just know there”s going to be some cruel twist that will ruin their casual design time.
Oh, I spoke too soon. Michael C. is using the same colors as Gwetchen. Instant tension in the workroom. Gwetchen makes a gagging noise and notes that she”s created a monster. Because she has to take credit even for the stuff she hates.
After make-up time (zzzzz, shameless plug, zzzzzz), Tim comes to visit. Tim thinks Valerie is being incredibly ambitious. Valerie agrees, but I”m not sure Tim meant that as a compliment. Tim tells Mondo to be himself, which, for Mondo, is good advice. He believes in April. Tim asks Andy if he”s taking his warrior outfit far enough. Tim thinks Gwetchen”s outfit looks like a robe. I can”t disagree. Velvet is a risk, as he mentioned, and the velvet she picked looks kinda cheap to me. Tim tells Ivy to be careful that she isn”t making a pageant gown.
Sewing time, followed by model time. Unfortunately, Mondo discovers that his model is so flat chested he has to start over on his bodice. Stay strong, Mondo! Because that bodice, even though you had to throw it out, looked pretty cool.
Time for the twist! Tim walks in to tell everyone they”ll also need to create a second look – a ready to wear companion to their high fashion look. Of course, because God forbid anyone relax or stop working on their brain aneurysms or anything. Mondo thinks he”s going to pee his pants. A lot of people are about to do that, except April. Who knew this was coming. Does anyone else watch the show, though? There is no such thing as a relaxed challenge, designers!
At Mood, everyone is running in circles. Except Valerie, who seems to have come unstrung and is wandering around and muttering like Miss Haversham in sweats.
I also think April”s come a little undone, because she would like to win the twenty grand so she can get a miniature pony. Not that miniature ponies are a bad thing, mind you, but I thought the other goal was to go to Bryant Park and become a mucky-muck New York designer. And having a miniature pony in New York seems like a not good idea. Unless you”re a Trump, in which case, you can hire people to pick up the miniature horse crap in your fourteen bedroom apartment and transport said terrified miniature horse up and down the elevator from your pad to the busy, noisy sidewalk for walkies and teensy tiny rides from small dogs and pet monkeys.
Gwetchen would like to win so she could get out of debt. Mondo wants drinking money. Both sound like practical ideas to me.
Tim comes in and tries to convince Valerie to make it work. Which, for some reason, sends her running to the bathroom in tears. Ivy and Gwetchen rush to comfort her. Valerie is touched, mainly because she doesn”t realize Ivy is secretly rolling her eyes at her wimpy, whiny mini-breakdown. Oh, that Ivy, she”s just made of sugar, isn”t she?
Runway time! The judges are Michael, Nina and guest judge Naeem Khan. Who dresses Michelle Obama. Sometimes. As I recall, he made that beige evening gown for her that looked like drapes, but hey, she”s the First Lady, so it”s all good.
Look one: This is very April. Goth, with hot pants.
Look two: The ready-to-wear look doesn”t look substantially different, but it”s fine.  
Look one: Mondo is the bastard child of Betsey Johnson and Vivienne Westwood, but in a good way.
Look two: This works extremely well. This is a great dress. The first look is a great dress. Mondo rocks.
Look one: I like blue. I don”t like weird random strips of darker blue plastered across the bodice of a somewhat lighter dress, however. I don”t really get what”s going on here.
Look two: Yeah, Ivy”s right about the construction on this one – you can tell this dress doesn”t really fit the model. And what”s with the neckline? It looks like she has scoliosis.
Michael C.
Look one: I like the idea of this dress, but then you see the back of it. Which makes Princess Diana”s bridal gown look subtle.
Look two: I know he was going for a draping effect, but it just looks like the fabric is pulling too tightly over her torso. And it”s kind of trashy. Like, this is the streetwalker version of the first look. And he used the same fabric. Boring!
Look one: What the hell is this? It looks like a cream puff getting its period. And the toilet paper train, not good.
Look two: Nice little sheath, but nothing to write home about.
Look one: Again, I”ll admit, I find it very hard to judge Gwetchen objectively. But I really don”t like this. It looks like a housecoat. From the ’60s. That smells like patchouli and weed. The feathers, however, are cool.
Look two: This is okay, but it looks too big for the model.
Look one: For as much as she whined and bitched, this isn”t as bad as I thought it would be. But it”s not good, either.  
Look two: Don”t really see the connection to the first look here, and more than that, it looks like a jumper from the JC Penney sales rack. Circa 1995.
Look one: I like the idea. I feel like I almost always like Andy”s ideas. But this might be a bit too much, as the jacket is just way too busy around the neckline (lose a few ruffles and I”d swoon). That being said, it”s hugely edgy and creative. And those boots!
Look two: Very nice, very streamlined and wearable – a nice answer to the first look.
Heidi calls out Christopher and April to move on to the next round. Really, that horrible cloud thing gets a pass? Whatever.
Ivy, Valerie and Michael have the lowest scores. Really? Gwetchen”s hippie dippie housecoat is in the top?
Gretchen is first up. Michael thinks her high fashion look is very wearable. He hates the hair, but Nina likes the make-up.
Naeem likes Andy”s look, because it”s true to his vision. Michael likes the translation from the high fashion to the ready to wear. Nina loves the boots. She also digs the fantasy make-up. Heidi doesn”t love the high fashion look.
Heidi loves Mondo”s hat. Naeem is impressed with his stripes. Michael thinks the gown is too short and Nina thinks the fabric looks cheap.
On to the losers! Ivy”s waves are not a hit. Michael thinks it”s a bridesmaid”s under the sea. He thinks the necklines are nurse-y. Nina thinks the fit is bad. Naeem says it”s all overkill. Heidi didn”t hate it as much as everyone else. But I think she still hated it.
Naeem tells Valerie she wasn”t imaginative enough to listen to the fabric. Oh, Naeem, aren”t you creative. Michael says she used the wrong fabric. Nina says the model looks like Miss Guatemala. She questions Valeries taste – oh no, the kiss of death! Michael thinks the first model needs a wand. Oofa!
Naeem is not a fan of Michael C.”s bordeaux color choice. Heidi thinks the ready to wear look is too much boobs and legs. Michael says the clothes are constructed well and sewn well, but he doesn”t dig the train.
The judges chat. I almost think Andy”s going to win, but the make-up is too weird (and this is all about the advertorial, right?). And (eep) Valerie might be going home, although, as Michael points out, it”s a tight race for hideous today. Girl, you so bad! I really hope Michael Kors doesn”t need a writer to goose his quips and he”s exactly this bitchy in real life.
Mondo is… the WINNER! Yay! Mondo cries a little. Gwetchen and Andy are in. Michael C. is… in. And Ivy is… out. Valerie is… in. I”m not sure why Heidi made Valerie sweat at the very end.
Valerie feels like she should have gone home. Oh, please shut up, Valerie. Just be glad you survived another week. Ivy cries, Valerie cries, some of the other designers cry, and it occurs to me that everyone is so tired and sleep deprived they probably all want to cry for any reason at all, which is why seemingly rational, sane people burst into tears when Tim looks at them cross-eyed or they pop a seam. Oh, the joys of reality TV! I can”t say I”m sorry to see Ivy go, however, as I don”t think she ever emerged as much of a designer during the season. When she finally did break her monochrome and cream streak, it got her sent home, which suggests she made need a color theory class or two before she makes the big move to NYC. And of course, Mondo winning is all good in my book – if I had to bet, I”d say he has Bryant Park in the bag. But things can change quickly on “PR,” so fingers crossed.
Do you think Ivy deserved to go home? Do you think Michael C. is not what he seems? Did you like Gretchen”s dress?

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