‘Project Runway’ recap: ‘In A Place Far, Far Away’

10.04.12 7 years ago 11 Comments

Oh my Lord & Taylor, we’re down to the final five. Where has the time gone? I think they need to have a little montage of designers who have gone before and fallen at the hands of Heidi’s auf-ing, sort of like something out of the Hunger Games, but less violent. Remember Elena? Remember Ven? Remember that old lady who snuck out before she could get eliminated? Oh, those were the days!

 The designers are trotted before Heidi. Looking like Barbarella if she got dunked in that “Star Wars” bronzing gizmo, she tells the designers they have one last challenge. We knew that. This is just a chance for Heidi to wear an outfit, isn’t it?

But there will be no scurrying back to the workroom just yet. The designers walk down a dirt path and onto the lawn of Oheka Castle in Long Island. I had no idea this could exist on Long Island. Billy B. is the make-up artist consultant for this challenge. Billy B. has his jacket sleeves hiked up to his armpits. The guy looks homeless, so I’m hoping he’s very, very gifted with the make-up. 

Billy B. (what was so wrong with the last name you had to sound like a 1950s doo-wop singer?) informs the designers that they will need to find inspiration from their surroundings AND L’Oreal’s brand new make-up line, Electric Fantasie! It’s all theme-y, as if it was made for little girls who used to love Disney princesses then realized it’s sort of embarrassing to wear that Snow White costume in public. Although I will say, I saw lots and lots of skanky Minnie Mouses and Cinderellas last time I was at Disneyland. Anyway, the make-up themes are the Enchanted Queen, the Seductive Temptress, The Wise Mystic and the Artsy Muse. In short, Disney, hoochie, old and Ally Sheedy in “The Breakfast Club.” 

Christopher wants to be inspired by these fantasy colors! Wow, that wasn’t prompted at all!

Anyway, It’s an avant-garde challenge, and Melissa and Fabio are thrilled! Christopher is always thrilled, because he thinks he’s just that good, and the designers will have to pick their themes out of Tim’s button bag of horrors. 

Enchanted Queen – Fabio

Seductive Temptress – Sonjia

Wise Mystic – Dmitry

Artsy Muse – Melissa

Christopher, being the last to pick, can pick whatever he wants, and chooses the Enchanted Queen. They also get a whopping $400 at Mood, and two days to make couture.  

All I can think about looking at Oheka Castle is “Alice in Wonderland,” or maybe “The Great Gatsby,” and then I start thinking of Halloween costumes and I’m kind of betting no one wants to make one of those. Dmitry wants to make a suit. Sonjia wants to make something form-fitting and revealing. Christopher is going to design for Regina on “Once Upon A Time.” He doesn’t say that exactly, but that’s what it looks like. Melissa is just sad she didn’t get the Enchanted Queen. Hello, black? She loves black! She is so ready to beat up either Christopher or Fabio and steal that button. Fabio is doing something amazing. Or so he says.

Melissa feels lost at Mood. She hates her colors! She wanted the Enchanted Queen! Let it go, Melissa. 

Back in the work room, Sonjia freaks out because her gold fabric is missing. Like, five yards of gold fabric. I can’t believe she has anything left to work with, but she’s determined to, as Tim says, make it work. Sonjia is a brick, I tell you.  

Commercial break — and guess what? “Project Runway All-Stars” starts October 25! Whoot! 

Tim drops in. He’s here to help! He sees Melissa first. She’s making a round, high leather collar. Tim points out she has less than five hours until the end of the day. She blinks. Wha? Where did the time go? Like, she was staring into space and thinking about stitching and how stitching is like Stitch as in “Lilo and Stitch” and maybe she could make a costume for an alien that looks like a dog, and she really likes dogs, and what? 

Tim extricates himself from Melissa and moves on to Christopher. He does not seem entirely impressed with Christopher’s bubble butt design. Fabio thinks it’s interesting, which makes me question Fabio’s taste, though I wonder if he’s taken a good look at this thing. Tim says — nothing we hear. Hmmm…

Tim is unimpressed with Dmitry’s triangular sleeve. He wants more! He wants avant-garde! There is something wildly anachronistic about Tim wanting more avant-garde. 

Fabio talks about his sheer dress and boy shorts. Tim just stares. He goes through the stages of silence, as Fabio puts it. The stare, the crossed arms, the squint with the tilt. Then, finally, the assessment. The coat makes him sad. It’s flat, dreary and costume-y. Fabio is now sad and flat, if not costume-y. 

Tim tells Sonjia she has not lived up to her potential. She’s got it, but she has to get it out! Sonjia nods. She wants to get out her potential, too! I’m thinking telling her this on the avant-garde challenge may not have been a good idea, because if she has pent-up potential, it’s going to be messy and weird. 

Fabio knows he has to do something about his sad coat, but what? Finally, he has an idea. He used to wear his button-down shirts as pants in college. Woof. That is something you do in college, usually when you’re experimenting with a lot of drugs. Anyway, he’s taking his coat and turning it upside down. Well, it’s something. 

Tim comes back to visit the designers one more time. He loves Fabio’s new look! Tim thinks Melissa’s got a lot of work to do. He warns Sonjia not to go too student project. But the big reaction? He seems to hate Christopher’s dress and calls it 1890s. Beautifully executed, but not avant-garde. And waaaay costume. He also asks Dmitry what’s avant-garde about his suit. Dmitry does not have a good answer, because there isn’t one. 

We’ve already had a moment in hair and make-up, but we get MORE time in hair and make-up. Because this is a L’Oreal challenge. And we cannot get enough product placement! 

The clock is ticking down! Melisssa being Melissa, she decides to start changing stuff in the last fifteen minutes. She wants to add a detail and maybe a different color and when she thinks about color she thinks about crayons and wow, she had such a nice childhood but sometimes her little brother would eat the crayons and she would cry to her babysitter and her babysitter was named Felicia and wonder what happened to her… what? 

Finally, it’s runway time! Our judges are Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and actress Zoe Saldana. You just know Zoe is angling for a red carpet dress.


I like this, but it reads very ’80s to me. The top seems a little junior department, too. But I will say, I like the color combination and the skirt. It wouldn’t be the showstopper in a collection, but it’s nice. 


This jacket is definitely runway, definitely challenging. I love it. But I thought the pants looked better in the workroom. They need more structure. If the top is baggy and the jacket’s baggy, the pants can’t be floppy, too. It’s like avant-garde jacket, Grateful Dead everything else.


She has a little bat at her throat. Nice Halloween costume. I’ll look for it in the box marked Sexy Vampire Secretary. 


The is bad. It looks like an ice skating outfit. And what’s with the big, dangling wad of fabric at her waist? Ugh, ugh, ugh. I wish she’d found her gold fabric, because it might have saved us from this. 


Look, it’s Regina in “Once Upon A Time”! This is absolutely costume. I think I saw it on “Deadwood.” Does she actually have feathers on her arms? Like, stuck to her arms? That just looks like he thought to do it about five minutes before she went down the runway. 

We start with Sonjia. Heidi loves it! What? She thinks lots of celebrities would want to wear it… right before they went into rehab. She just wishes the mesh matched her coloring. Nina thinks green is the color of envy. Is anyone going to comment that it looks like it should have been in the Rockettes challenge? Michael thinks it looks like an ice skating costume, maybe Nancy Kerrigan skated through a dining hall. Yes! Zoe thinks it looks like a table napkin fell on her. So, Heidi is the only lunatic who wants to wear it. Michael does not think it’s avant-garde. Heidi thinks the bare back is avant-garde! Let it GO, Heidi. You are SO WRONG about this dress. Michael thinks it’s what an old lady would wear to be daring. Sonjia stands up for her ugly dress. I love you, Sonjia, but this sucks. 

Christopher talks about his costume. Michael thinks the make-up is gorgeous. And her nail polish is so cool! But it’s goth-Victorian to him. And it’s costume. The feathers on the forearms are costume.  No kidding! Michael, Zoe and Heidi think the bodice doesn’t fit. Zoe says he didn’t make a dress in his model’s size. Nina thinks he had too many ideas. But everyone likes the back. Michael declares her deflated.

Dmitry talks about his Halloween costume. Heidi thinks it’s amazing. She loves the peekaboo panel and thinks the sleeves are stunning. Michael thinks he’s a brilliant tailor, but the shoulders are too costume-y and the neck is too Vampira. Zoe thinks the design is deflated by the neck. Nina thinks the details are incredible. When we do get to see the details, they are remarkable. But yeah, that bat thing is all kinds of bad.  

Fabio is next. Michael loves the jacket. But the palazzo pant is too mom-ish. Heidi didn’t like this look at all. She just sees sadness. Heidi should not be allowed to design clothes, for babies OR adults, dress herself or have a department store charge card. Michael thinks a lot of editors would wear the jacket. Nina loves the jacket, too. I think this is going to take Fabio to the final three. Zoe doesn’t think there’s any curvature defined on the model. True. I have to say, Zoe’s pretty good at this judging thing.  

Melissa thinks her ’80s look is inspired by Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick. What? Michael loves it. He thinks the color combo is terrific and she has a good hand for leather. Nina loves the vest and the drama of the collar. She thinks the skirt is too long, but loves that it’s cut to reveal some leg. She can’t decide whether her outfit or Fabio’s outfit is uglier. Heidi needs to stay out of this challenge. Zoe thinks it’s really beautiful. 

The designers all plead to go to Fashion Week. Since we know “Project Runway” tends to send at least six or seven (or more) of the top designers to Fashion Week, in part to throw critics off the scent and in part because the series doesn’t perfectly synch up with sending someone to Fashion Week right after the elimination, we know everyone’s going and showing at Fashion Week. But they have to act really sad and say they really want it even though we know they’re getting it anyway. So, here’s who they want to take with them to Fashion Week. Good news! Everyone gets their wish!

Melissa would like to take Sonjia and Fabio.

Fabio would like to take Melissa and Christopher.

Dmitry would like to take Fabio and Christopher.

Christopher would like to take Fabio and Dmitry. 

Sonjia would like to take Melissa and Dmitry.  

I would like to point out that only one guy said he’d take a woman to the final three. Another reason to love Fabio, who wore his button-downs as pants. 

The judges decide that, this time around, they’re going to look at the entirety of their designs. They declare Melissa rock ‘n’ roll without being obvious. Sonjia makes clothes that flatter a woman, but they’re not sure she has an aesthetic. Christopher does streamlined femininity. Zoe would be intrigued to see more. Why are they having Zoe jump in here when this is her first episode? Dmitry’s stuff looks like a million dollars. Nina thinks he might be a one-trick pony. But Michael thinks he can handle it. Michael feels Fabio is thinking outside the box. Heidi can’t think of any of his outfits. Michael tells her to back off, because she’s insane. 

I think… Sonjia may go home? It’s so hard to know. This is a strong group of designers. 

Christopher is… in. “Thank you so much for seeing what I have to offer! And loving it!” Shut up, Christopher. They didn’t love it, they just didn’t hate it enough to send you home. Dmitry… will also go to Fashion Week. Melissa… is going to Fashion Week.  

I can’t imagine them sending home Fabio after that jacket. Fabio… is in. Oh, poor Sonjia. But wait! It isn’t over ’till the German model says so. Oh, never mind. It’s over and she’s out.  

Sonjia’s just really glad she had the experience. And she’s so happy for everyone. And she’s glad she made it to the end. I’ll miss Sonjia, but yeah, she didn’t get her potential out — but I know it’s in there. 

Who do you think will be cut next? Who do you think will win? And if you could, which item we’ve seen (if any) would you buy? 

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