Hello, my name is Owen and I have no eye for fashion. That being said, Una's on vacation, so let's recap some Project Runway!
Previously: The Seven Sisters made their own textiles which had to have a personal connection to them. The designers families showed up, and the designers cried. Mondo disclosed his HIV status, and everyone everywhere cried. Mondo won for the third week in a row. Man, why couldn't Una go on vacation LAST week. This was the best episode ever! At least with only 6 designers left, I don't have to remember too many contestant names this week.
As the intro runs, I realize that the model paired with the winning designer still gets 25K and I have absolutely no idea who any of the models are. They really are getting the shaft this season with the demise of Models of the Runway. Even with the show running at 90 minutes, they are barely visible now.
Mondo wakes up with Edward Scissorhands hair, a nice rush from winning his 3rd consecutive challenge and an ever bigger rush from being unburdened by a huge decade-long secret. Things are looking up for Mr. Mondo!
Things are also apparently looking up for Gretchen and April as their room is now quiet with Chatty Cathies Ivy and Valerie having been eliminated in the previous two challenges. It's much easier for everything to be about Gretchen when there are less people taking up space around her, and that's just how Gretchen likes it. On their way out the door, Andy lets us know he's ready to redeem himself. Stranger things have happened!
The designers are assembled facing the runway. Heidi comes out with the velvet button bag and the designers moan demonstrably. These folks have zero game face at this point. They are too exhausted to pretend they are interested in shaking things up. Heidi tells them she thinks they are getting too comfortable with their models. Really? I was just saying a few paragraphs ago that I don't know the models at all! Regardless of my opinion, everyone's getting a new model this challenge. Mondo hopes his new model is as awesome as his old one... Ian (sp?)? Everyone picks their new models, but then Gretchen is last and has to choose between Ian (sp?) and Milana. Gretchen goes with Milana and Ian(sp?) is out. Damn. She must've thought she was a lock for Fashion Week while paired with the genius known as Mondo. That's an unfortunate turn of events. I'd care more about it if I had gotten any idea of who she was over the past 10 episodes of this season.
Heidi announces that they are designing for her this challenge and all the designers cringe and then smile hoping that they covered it well (they didn't). Then Heidi drops the bomb that SHE is now a designer (!) and has her own line (!!) and the winning design will be added to her collection to be sold on amazon.com (!!!). It's gotta suck to work so hard on this show and then have the supermodel walk up and be like "I have a line and I didn't have to do any of the bullshit you're doing to get it. Isn't that great?" Some models trot out 6 looks from Heidi's activewear line for New Balance, to act as a guideline for what she wants, I think all the clothes are ugly. There's no color or prints, which gives Mondo pause. It all looks like oversized sweats. It's all very sit-on-your-couch wear. Not very active in my opinion. But I'm not a lady, so maybe ladies dig this stuff. Judge for yourself.
Heidi thinks the designers should all be so excited for this opportunity, and they give a half-hearted "yay..." but it's clear nobody wants to do this right now. Christopher interviews that's he's never done active wear before. And with that having been said, I predict he's the one to be auf'ed.
Into the work room they go! April has also never made activewear. Oh no! Don't you go home, April! There's grey fabric in the workroom for them. It looks drab and boring. Mondo couldn't give a shit about this stupid challenge and just plans to pull something out of his ass. Gretchen says that the clothes in Heidi's collection are "retail driven" and "basic" which is a very Gretchen thing to say, but I have to agree that the collection clothes kinda suck. They can't be very inspiring to the designers.
There is sketching. There is shopping at Mood. There is a return trip to Parsons. They all get to work. Heidi comes into the workroom with Tim and she looks effing fantastic. Just gorgeous. Is that the outfit she wore on the runway? What day is this? Heidi is going to go around the workroom and tear into everybody's ideas. While she lick her lips over who to attack first, Tim tells Christopher that his model had a horrible family emergency (oh no!) so Ian(sp?) is back in. Mondo's model gets a second chance! That's great for her!
Heidi goes to look at Mondo's outfit and has some concerns. Mondo is highly insecure about having Heidi look at his stuff before it's ready. Heidi doesn't care, and starts picking it apart. Mondo giver her total attitude, rolling his eyes and mouthing off saying he really loves the design and that the only problem is that he hasn't fitted his model for it yet. Heidi is like "bitch, you think I won't call your bluff? Let me try on this shit right now." So she tries to wear it and it doesn't fit like he says it will, but Mondo pretends he loves how it looks on her. Their conversation goes downhill from there. Yes, that's right. Previously we'd been uphill. All the other designers are shocked at how this is unfolding. Both Mondo and Heidi seem hurt by each others poor attitudes. Finally Mondo says he'll just scrap everything and start again. Damn. He's not feeling this show right now. It's like he's forgetting he just won the last three challenges.
Andy's consultation with Heidi seems to go well. This makes Mondo even angrier and he leaves the workroom for a time out in the lounge. Christopher comes out to talk to him and I think they might secretly have a really close friendship that the editors never bothered to show us in the last 10 episodes. Mondo still remains totally over this challenge. I think he's just intimidated by how bad Heidi's non-existent color palette is and can't find his way into it. After winning so many times in a row, he can't figure out how to win this one. I still love him the best.
Gretchen's consultation might actually go worse than Mondo's. She can't take any criticism. Instead of trying to design into Heidi's line she's trying to improve it, and her attitude while talking to Heidi is like she's trying to SAVE it. Gretchen doesn't want to use Heidi's horrible fabric, but there's a warehouse full of it, so that's what has to be present on the runway. Gretchen is worried and pissed she dramatically flings her fabric off the table. Tim and Heidi look at her all, "wuhuhh??"
Michael C is next and Heidi is a big Michael C fan. She loves his designs and cracks a joke that his early detractors have almost all been wiped out from the competition. You know who's still around and doesn't like his designs? April. She really lays into him hard in her interview.
Instead of just leaving after she's done wreaking havoc, Heidi spins around and tells them that she wants 3 looks this week instead of just 1. Whaaaat? All the designers tell Heidi she can go take her three design demands and go eff herself, not with words, but just through their body language. It's awesome. Heidi says not to worry and that she'll send them some help. Michael C. freaks out because he figures the help will come in the form of eliminated contestants and they all hate him. A lot.
They go back to Mood to buy more fabric for all the ugly looks they have to churn out in less than two days. Tim tries to give them a pep talk, but it might be too little to late. Gretchen and Mondo both feel totally lost in the woods and really resent having to create these looks. After Mood, they get back to Parsons and Tim introduces them to their "design assistants." It's 6 eliminated designers. DAMN. Now I DO have to remember some of their names. The pairings go:
Mondo and Valerie
Getchen and Casanova
Christopher and Ivy
Michael C and AJ (I had totally forgotten he was ever on the show.)
April and Peach (who I almost called Sweet Pea)
Andy and Michael D
I was surprised that Michael D. was picked last, and then Andy interviews that he knows that Michael D. "isn't incompetent" which hardly even qualifies as faint praise. All these bitches rant about Michael C. having no sewing skills, but it seems common knowledge that "Other Michael" also has no skills, and no ever complains about it with the same animosity, so figure that one out.
Everybody gets to work. Mondo seems to respond well to having Valerie working with him. Gretchen is still completely in her own head about her meeting with Heidi. She thinks Heidi hates her. Why else would she have negative things to say about such amazing designs? It couldn't be that her designs are off target. It must be a personal vendetta against Gretchen! Being Gretchen is hard.
Casanova can't get over Michael C's design. He thinks it's all Thanksgiving dinner. It DOES look like that. Especially since he's got sweet-potato-orange pants matched with a turkey-feather-brown oversized cloak-thingy. Casanova is kinda hilarious here and even though I hate having 12 designers back in the workspace, I'm glad I got to witness his antics again.
Okay, and now this is the part of the episode where some messed up shit goes down. A lot of the eliminated contestants and Michael C. are in the sewing room together and Casanova and the other boys are picking on him a bit about his "Thanksgiving Line," but it's mostly good-natured. Then Ivy decides to engage Michael C in conversation and he tries to be pleasant about it and then this happens:
Ivy: So Michael, how does it feel being almost to the end of the the competition?
Michael: Oh, I haven't felt it yet. It's just- it's just -just still in shock that I'm still here.
Ivy: Why because you cheated???
Bitch, no. You lost and you're bitter. I understand that it kills you that the contestant you mocked to make yourself feel superior made it further than you. But the idea that he cheated in order to beat you is something you made up. Instead of accepting that you made two crappy dresses that got your ass booted from the show, you're holding on to this falsehood that has nothing to do with Michael C. It has to do with you not accepting your own flaws.
It gets worse from there though. Poison Ivy starts saying ridiculous things just to hurt Michael C. by saying, Michael C. plays the game (?) sabotaged everyone on the show (??) and that he's an embarrassment of a father (???). This is so stupid. Ivy keeps saying how Michael C. is not a nice person and that he's despicable and he'll get what he deserves, but methinks someone is projecting some self-loathing right about now. The sewing machine Ivy's working on finally gets sick of her and tries to take out one of her eyes, but it just misses. Ivy then runs around telling all the cool kids how cool she was for facing off against that stupid loser Michael C. Dude, Ivy's such a bitch.
To both Mondo and Gretchen's credit, they identify that this whole situation with the bitter cast-off designers as ridiculous and they wish everyone would move on. A little surprisingly, April expresses some very anti-Michael C. opinions when talking with Poison Ivy. Don't let the poison into your system, April. Rise above this pettiness!
Finally, Papa Gunn enters the workroom to knock a few heads together. He calls everyone over. Ivy pretends this doesn't involve her until Gunn calls her out by name. Bitch. Gunn asks about the accusation of cheating and asks if someone is really making this claim. Ivy says nothing. Bitch. Michael C. tells him it's true. Gunn is like well, spill it, accusers. Ivy finally tells this dumb story about Top Stick, or something, that they found in the women's bathroom. I don't know what top stick is and I don't care. In 8 seasons on this show I've seen outfits hot-glued together, stapled together, pinned together, stitched together where there should've been zippers. Everything under the sun. I don't understand how some boob tape becomes a federal offense worthy of disqualification. Ivy tries to tell us how it was SO MUCH boob tape. No one said anything about it at the time because they were "too focused" on their own thing, but later when they had nothing to do back at the apartments but bitch about how they didn't like the way judging went, they decided it was a big issue and a convenient way to get rid of Michael C. When they brought this awesome scandal to the producers attention later on, they were laughed out of the room and told it was too late anyway.
Tim Gunn looks at Ivy with barely restrained contempt as she says this whole thing, and then flat out tells them it IS too late. Everyone's moved on and they should too. Then he's like, let me break it down for you like this: The judges saw nothing, I saw nothing in the workroom and the cameras caught nothing illegal either. I think it's the second point that really irks Tim. The suggestion that he somehow would permit active rule-breaking in the work room, really insults his sense of integrity. Ivy nods all, "oh yeah, sure, that makes sense." Bitch. Gunn tells them all to move forward and that the whole trumped up issue is OVER. As is the second work day.
It's morning again at Atlas. The boys want a girl to go home. The girls want Michael C. to go home. April really does not like him. Gretchen doesn't favor anyone who isn't Gretchen, so she couldn't care less which of the others is eliminated. I'm sure she'd even be perfectly fine if it was April and she was the last woman standing.
Last minute prep for everybody! Hair and make-up time. The eliminated contestants are left in the work room and the competing designers, with their army of models, head for the runway. We are finally rid of seeing Poison Ivy for the rest of the episode.
Challenge recap for the panel: everybody had to make 3 looks to fit in to Heidi's new & horrible activewear line. The guest judge is Norma Kamali, who is a designer, which makes more sense than having another January Jones sitting on the panel. Let's see the clothes.
Note: I hated almost everything that came down the runway this week. I think almost everything looked really cheap and odd-looking. But Heidi's line was such a crappy place to start with, no wonder the taste level was way off. Let's remind ourselves what Heidi's new balance line looked like:
Yeesh. let's see how the designers fit in with this collection. I'm not uploading 18 photos so here are pics taken in groups during judging.
Ooof. The first look has like 3 layers of constricting mismatched clothing wrapped around the model topped off by a bathrobe. Look 2 is all 80's workout boobs with a necklace. Look 3 is a jumbled white dress and ANOTHER bathrobe. And then there are those turbans! No, no and no. But oddly, they DO seem to fit in with the examples from Heidi's line.
These aren't so bad.... maybe a little too Beetlejuice for my taste. Or perhaps Nightmare Before Christmas? Still it's a major step up for Andy from last week. Everything looked very light while it was walking the runway. The hoodie is kinda skeletal though. People are really into black and white this season, though.
I don't like these. The dresses just look like costumes to me. How this is activewear? Who's running around town in these clothes? Maybe the middle one is alright but the looks on either end are way out there. The short shorts look especially like activewear for the bedroom. I don't get these looks.
Even Christopher hates these looks. They look mad cheap. I'm much more interested in the jacket Christopher's wearing than anything he designed for this challenge. A grey pillowcase shirt? Sweatpants with slits? A butterfly windbreaker? Whatever the hell that last dress is? I don't understand. A very poor showing for Christopher.
There's no denying it. Thanksgiving comes early this year. I don't understand any of this. Everything looks huge. It's vaguely like he's dressing Pocahontas. The colors don't make any sense with the rest of Heidi's collection. Another all around failure.
This isn't the most flattering picture of the looks. The actually looked comfortable and kinda expensive when walking the runway. I'm so glad Mondo rebounded from his early fight with Heidi, and I wonder how she will score him considering his defensive attitude with her. I also think the geometry-inspired head bands are cute.
So Andy's were a light and pretty trip through Halloweentown, Mondo's were cute and comfy and probably better than anything actually in Heidi's line and everyone else's looked bad. This should make for some interesting judges' comments.
With only 6 designers left, everyone gets critiqued. Michael C., Christopher and Gretchen are in the Bottom 3. Gretchen is in absolute shock. She thought Mondo would be in the bottom. I think she thought that because she desperately wants validation that she is better than him, and not because she actually thought his clothes were that bad. This is why I sort of love Gretchen. Her sense of self importance and her total insecurity about her work go hand in hand in almost a quiet, dignified way. Whereas Poison Ivy is just nasty and bitter and loud and childish, Gretchen is just super intense about wanting to be good and telling herself she's the best. When the facts don't match up with her sense of self importance, she can't understand it and it hurts her. Somehow that makes me root for her. Not to win the season, but to succeed in life.
The judges talk to the top 3 first. Heidi tries to play with Mondo about his earlier attempts that she hated and he's just so tense about it. Relax, Mondo! You're Top 3! Nina, of course, loves Mondo and loves these looks. Michael Kors thinks the bottom pieces are too simple which means Mondo won't 4-peat, but they like how he applied himself to this muted palette.
With April, they love the asymmetry. They don't think it's really activewear. But they think it's pretty. I'm sorry, I just don't like these.
Everyone likes Andy's stuff. He really did rally from last week's hideous effort. Based on their comments, he's going to win, for sure.
Bottom 3. The judges think Michael C. needs to learn that over-sized doesn't = simple & easy. The judges think Christopher needs to learn not to make cheap clothes and to design with love. The judges think Gretchen needs to remember how to style and that she should learn to take some effing criticism.
So April is safe and then Andy wins. All his looks can be bought on amazon now. He's very happy about it. Mondo is also safe. Then Gretchen is safe, but she gets a parting shot from Heidi which will only fuel Gretchen's belief that Heidi personally hates her. And then Michael C. is in and Christopher is out. I don't even think this was a tough call. Christopher seems like a lovely fellow, but these three looks were just not good at all. He shares a tender hug with Mondo in the waiting area that again speaks to some unshown deep friendship between them. Christopher is sad he was so close to the end but didn't make it to Fashion week. Still he's happy with all he accomplished on the show. His elimination also means his replacement model Ian (sp?) will also most likely get eliminated before the next challenge. This was a rough couple days for her.
Next week: Sassy returns with recaps at HuffPo! Mayor Mike shows up to talk to the designers - most likely sharing with them the dangers of how sugar drinks leading to obesity! Gretchen weighs the benefits of imploding versus exploding right in front of our eyes, and we ultimately which of the remaining designers will head off to Fashion Week! Thanks for reading!