Day 5 of The Duquesne Whistle is not as enjoyable as Day 1. In other news, previously on Project Runway, designers were forced to busk in the streets of New York City for their budgets, Boris and Natasha almost came to blows, Crunchy Granola went home and Sanjay won by a jacket.

Pillow fight in the boys room. Mini MiCo is scared. Boris is thrilled today the last week is over. Miss Gunnar declaims. Boris disses Natasha, and Natasha disses Boris, and we see the obligatory generalized male bashing. On the runway, Heidi comes in appearing to be wearing a rubberized romper or strapless latex onesie. Miss Gunnar tells us he has plans for his winning money: Miss Gunnar needs to buy his momma new pair of boobs. Stay classy, Miss Gunnar, don’t ever change. Each of you will have a different inspiration. Whatever, as long as there are no teams and no clients, say the designers.

MONDO! It’s the HP product placement challenge. You will create your pattern inspired by your own cultural heritage, since we can’t trust you all to come up with a concept on your own, apparently. Roll video of Mondo’s

ratings gold

tearful coming out on national television. Miss Gunnar accepts the challenge to tell a dramatic, teary heart-rending back-story. Oh dear G-d that is not going to be pretty. We have prepared a dossier on your cultural heritage for each of you (anybody other than Miz Shoes find that a touch creepy and stalkerish?) to be delivered by special delivery. It’s the friends and family visit! Natasha’s mother is stunning. Ven may have a twin sister. Flavio has a boyfriend, Boris has a bestie, and Miss Gunnar is shocked to see his mother wearing a dress.

Everybody was cute as little children, everybody used to be happy, and then life happened to them. Aesthetic! Take a shot! Aesthetic! Take a shot! Boris comes from a long line of artists. He will use elements from traditional costume. Sanjay is doing tribal. VV2X4 is going to use hibiscus flowers. MiniMiCo can’t focus. Melissa is yammering about bloodlines. Miss Gunnar says that his heritage is being bullied. Miss Gunnar does not know what heritage means, unless clueless victim is an ethnicity choice on the next census.

Print aside, Miss Gunnar is going for an equestrian look which he says plays a large part in his heritage. Ah, so that would be half clueless victim and half horse’s ass, then, asks Miz Shoes? Mini MiCo says that lady bugs swarmed his gramma’s funeral and will be his inspiration. Sanjay’s working on pants that wow and Boris says that he knows better than to make another dress, so he’s working on separates where his textile will be the accent and not the focus. Mini MiCo is struggling. Sanjay says commit. Fit is everything.

Communal dinner. Family. Strong Ukrainian wooman. OMG! OMG! OMG! All of the designers are happy with their prints, but MizShoes and the RLA roll their eyes and agree that not one of those shown can make a repeat pattern. But then we see Boris, who has made a black, red and white Ukrainian Easter egg, even though he is from Belarus, which to hear him and Natasha snarl at one another one would think were far removed.

Natasha has made something that looks like scribbled martini glasses in lavender, lime and navy blue. Flavio shares that his scribbles are supposed to represent copulation, the source of everything. VV2X4 has giant pink blobs on white, about one per square foot. He’s going to create something totally unexpected: a cocktail dress with an accordion pleated fleurchon. And snore.

Miss Gunnar continues to emote about being beaten up as a whiny, annoying little boy. Weak shit, dude. He puts a bird on it. And then, OMG, Miss Gunnar and Mini MiCo finally kiss and make up and have a bonding moment. Melissa has family issues, Boris has fitting issues, Miss Gunnar has taste issues, and Mini MiCo is having a crisis of faith and needs a Tim Talk(TM). Totally getting the winner edit. On cue, Tim comes in for walkies and dispenses wisdom where needed, mainly with Ven, who cannot see that he has created an homage to menstrual cycles and maxi-pads. Tim is right, of course, and what has been seen cannot be unseen.

Gunnar needs a miracle, Melissa needs parental approval, and Mini MiCo is expecting the worst. Off to hair and make up where the word of the day is strong: strong lip, strong brow, futuristic Joan Crawford. Off to the runway, where the loved ones will be on hand to watch their humiliation. Miss Gunnar’s mommy likes his work, Melissa’s mommy loves her work, Ven loves his own work: another origami napkin bodice. On the runway, Heidi makes another dubious fashion choice. Our guest judges tonight will be MONDO! and that stank chick who couldn’t set in a sleeve.

Sanjay’s pants fit like a dream, and her draped black jersey top is the perfect counterpoint, but that red, white and blue print is tribal in a very Pacific Northwest/Inuit sort of way. And meaning no disrespect to Inuits, not in a good way does Sanjay’s pattern remind Miz Shoes of Inuit artifacts. Natasha has made another color-blahked hostess jacket. Mini MiCo just hopes that the judges are so smitten by the exposed zipper that they’ll give him a pass.Aesthetic! Take a shot! Ven is pleased with himself. Flavio’s trousers are fluid and effortless, and he’s hidden his unattractive print under sheer black organdy in the chic little jacket. Melissa’s dress is stunning. The all over print is flawlessly matched where it is so perfectly tailored that not a seam or shaping is visible. Miss Gunnar sends out a fencing jacket covered in dead birds and skeletal hands, which, now that Miz Shoes sees it spelled out like that, might have been a very cool pattern, done in a much larger scale by a person who could draw, and executed in the manner of a French toile. You’re welcome. Send me yardage.

Boris sends out some thing sharp, geometric, still screaming Ukrainian Easter egg, but that jacket. AMAZING JACKET IS AMAZING!

Natasha and Flavio are safe. Melissa explains her concept: Polish family, Polish flag, blood is thicker than water. MKors calls it uptown girl and admires the fit. Heidi misses the cool, but NinaGarcia declares it chic, smart and sexy. Mondo loves the dress but not the styling. Venny is pleased with himself, but Heidi calls it a Hawaiian airline hostess. One of the worst. Not good. MKors calls him a fabric florist, and they all ask him how is it that nobody has mentioned to you that you are boring Nina? Has nobody said to you that the origami flower is dead to us? Mondo gives good critique. Venn blows around the room backwards as the air is expelled from his punctured ego. Boris says his father and grandfather are both artists. The judges are blown away by his construction skills, his use of the patterned fabric to such strong effect: he only used a little bit, but it was essential to the success of the design.

Miss Gunnar blathers on and on about the immense tragedy of being an insufferable dweeb as a child who was bullied and ridiculed and blah blah blah. When he pauses for dramatic effect, MKors jumps in to say yeah, really tragic back-story, but not as tragic as this suburban baton twirler. NinaGarcia says, well you fully embraced your narrative, but that is one sad piece of crap and nobody wants to buy sad crap. Sanjay says her inspirations were tribal, American and black, cause well, duh. Cool, young, chic, elegant, perfect. MKors compliments her tailoring and her impeccable print matching in the crotch. Mini MiCo dutifully trots out his ladybug story and the judges pat him on the head and tell their little pet that everyone has an off day, and not to worry, they still love him, it isn’t his week to go home.

Time for a little chat. Melissa. Boris. MKors and NinaGarcia agree that the suit could be an easy $1,500 retail and no greater praise or admiration will you ever hear from those two. Sanjay’s outfit also looked expensive and impeccable. Mini MiCo had a bad night. Miss Gunn’s was crap. Venn Diagram? How could this be? How could Tim not have told him? Bring me the head of Tim Gunn. Tim delightedly dishes with the judges about the homage to maxipads, and, one suspects, aspects of Ven’s personality that are equally unpleasant.

Melissa is in. Boris wins at last! He listened to the judges and didn’t make another dress. How bout dat? he asks the camera, and about fucking time, he says to the other designers. Sanjay is in, Mini MiCo is in, as if there was any doubt. Ven, you missed the mark. Gunnar, we admire your attempt to provide us with dramatic content, but that was weak tea, man, and besides, do you not own a mirror? You. Have. No. Taste. You are out. Ven promises to take the last chance to wow Nina, and Miss Gunnar milks her last five minutes of fame with a more drawn out and hammy exit than even William Shatner on his worst/best day could deliver.

Next week? We learn that Las Vegas cheerleaders are not as classy as the Rockettes.

Previously on Project Runway, MizShoes suffered from alcohol poisoning after an especially aesthetic-laden episode wherein Miss Gunnar missed getting the boot by this much, many girls cried and Mini MiCo’s interpretation of Gwynnie’s Oscar failure won the challenge.

Red skies at morning, and Sanjay needs to get her head in the game. Miss Gunnar has been humbled by his experience in the last challenge. VennyVenny 2X4 bonds with Mini MiCo over their hatred of Miss Gunnar, or, as VV2X4 called him last week, “that other guy, whassitsname.” Mini MiCo in particular thinks that if the judges were going to keep someone, that someone should have been The Other Guy With No Air Time, and not that screeching drama princess Miss Gunnar, redemption arc or not.

Heidi’s clue is that the designers will need to have creativity and great negotiating skills, which means nothing to the hamsters in the chairs. Crunchy Granola says that she was in the bottom and needs to do sumpin’ dope, yo. Upon entering the work room, the designers are confronted with tables full of summer camp craft supplies. Natasha begins to wail that she hates this shit, that sparkles and sequins and white glue are the opiates of the Wal-Mart Proletariat. Tim announces that there will be no budget for the challenge, that they will have to make money on the streets of New York selling what ever they can to the man or woman on the street. He does hint that they could do tailoring or offer fashion advice, but in the end, everyone makes a bunch of ugly t-shirts and tote bags. Because that isn’t going to be humiliating and stressful enough, it will also be a team challenge, and out comes the Button Bag of Doom ™. VV2X4 does not like teams, but nobody likes Natasha.

Mini Mico has his name drawn first, and we are treated to Miss Gunnar throwing down shade on Mini MiCo and just flouncing about that she could never work with the likes of him. Inevitably, his is the next name called, and Miss Gunnar and Mini MiCo are joined by Sanjay to make up the first team. The second team is formed by Crunchy Granola, with Boris and Natasha equally appalled to find themselves at the same cutting table. VV2X4, Melissa and FlavioFlav weep with gratitude to find themselves the three adults on the final team. They all have three hours to make crap. It immediately begins to fall apart as Natasha hates everything, Boris wants to put glitter on everything and Crunchy Granola even has to admit that they are makin’ some seriously homeless looking’ tees, yo. Boris calls Natasha a walking depression.

Out on the street, it is immediately apparent that none of these people has ever worked a sales floor, or even opened their own lemonade stand as a child. Natasha dolefully inquires if a wandering passerby would care to purchase a crappy t-shirt. Nobody is selling anything, at least until after the commercial, when we see sales pick up. Cut to the next morning in the work room, where we find out how our plucky contestants did.

Somehow, VV2X4 has raised $800.48 (someone gave them spare change), Miss Gunnar seethes to find that her hard-won $684 is not the highest take, and the doleful trio reports that they managed to net $500. Tim tells them that the money they raised is their budget at Mood. They will stay in their teams and create two looks for fall, containing at least one element of outerwear. Yay!! Says Sanjay, I make coats! I have this in the bag!!! One person on the winning team will win, and one person from the losing team will go home. Half an hour to sketch. Sanjay wants green, Natasha will make another piece of Soviet Army Couture, Boris will make another dress, and Crunchy goes with navy. Wool, cashmere, wine and green. Miss Gunnar, Mini MiCo and Sanjay split up with minutes to go and nothing cut, but despite the cues, there is no drama, only a happy Swatch with his green chewie toy.

Workroom. Panic. Natasha hates Boris’ fringe. Everyone else in the workroom is hunkered down behind the mannequins, expecting the Night of Long Scissors. Tim comes for walks and is underwhelmed by the sucking black hole of listlessness that surrounds the team of the Pacific NorthEastern Bloc. Watch the Crotch! What’s that, Boris? Exposed darts? OMGWTFBBQPON1ES!!!!1! Nobody has ever seen that in the history of the universe! It’s genius, it’s daring, it’s Anya in Season 8 because she didn’t know how to put a dart in! Flying buttresses!

Flavio and Co have gotten a motto, or something…mumble mumble “Not Heavy for Fall”. There is color blocking with a drab dusty rose and greys. VV2X4 has done another origami rose, this one is a skirt. There’s a leather jacket and other things and Tim says that one of these things is not like the others, and what would that be, anyone? Anyone? Everyone with eyes can see that it is Venn’s skirt that is the deal breaker, so Venn defends it to the death, and finally, grudgingly agrees to take one for the team and try to make another skirt.

Miss Gunnar is swanning around, dissing his team member’s camel hair asymmetric trench coat (sister to the old imaginary punk bank, the Apocolyptic Trenchcoats). He has done both underdresses for his team’s two coats. (Meanwhile, Boris opines that the only way to get rid of Natasha involves a silver bullet and a sharp stick, while Natasha is happy to behave badly to make his point.) Miss Gunnar gloats that her shit is the shit what is holding her team’s collection together and nobody is putting Miss Gunnar in a corner anymore. Mini MiCo may, regrettably, have immunity, but Miss Gunnar is not going to go quietly under that bus. Thus ends Miss Gunnar’s deeply felt lesson in humility.

VV2X4 makes a nice enough full skirt in grey flannel. Crunchy Granola is insisting on more tailoring in her trousers, and Natasha is saying no, and that she doesn’t like it and one should listen to Natasha if one is wise, and Crunchy is all very gently, passively and mellowly not letting the bully win, brah. Natasha twists her mustache and cries out Curses, foiled again!

Flavio’s collar is limp and the sleeves of the coat look more like dress sleeves. In the 90s this was called unconstructed. Think limp linen blazers on Miami Vice. Of course, that was linen. In Miami, not New York City in the fall. Boris keeps saying that his team’s looks are clean and modern. Saying it does not make it so. Smokey eye, smokey eye, daytime smokey eye. Natasha complains about Boris; that he’s taken over the team, which is what bullies say whenever they can’t have their way. Honey Badger don’t care what Natasha is complaining about, Honey Badger is only concerned with making sure that Natasha doesn’t cover up her clothes with that silo of two-tone wool she’s building in the corner.

Finally, the runway, and Heidi is wearing zebra skin and our guest judge is Anna Sui. Miz Shoes may have squeed just a little at that. No more immunity. Let’s start the show! Boris send out a black dress with a sort of ruanna over it. By sort of, we mean it looked like the sort of fringed acrylic no-sew lap quilt kits you find in DIY craft stores all across America. The black dress has cut outs in the shoulder and is very pretty, just like every other pretty dress he’s not won for. Natasha’s coat collar is floppy and the hem is sloppy and she voice overs that it really is one of the worst things she’s done. Honey Badger is pretty miffed that you can’t see her outfit under that grey waste of time.

Mini MiCo’s dramatic scarf on Sanjay’s amazing, semi-equestrian jacket over Miss Gunnar’s dress, Mini MiCo’s slouchy, asymmetrical camel hair coat with leather sleeves? that look like gauntlets? are they gauntlets? and another one of Miss Gunnar’s subtly color-blocked (or at least texture-blocked) dresses. Very, very nice. I can win, I can win, squeals Miss Gunnar, bouncing in her seat and clapping her little elfin hands in glee.

Flavio, Melissa and VV2X4 send out a bunch of floppy grey and dirty dark pink stuff, which Venn sees as very “SoHo Chic and youthful”. Miz Shoes isn’t so sure about that. The judges are, though and announce that giving the win to Miss Gunnar’s group was a no-brainer, which means that one of the others will be out. Let’s see who did what: Sanjay did the hunter green jacket that the other designers had dissed in the work room as looking very Princess of Zelda, but NinaGarcia and MKors are in L-U-V with it. And how did you all work together as a team, the judges ask, and Miss Gunnar says that they did just SWELL together, clapping his hands and bouncing up and down on his tippy toes. And who should win, ask the judges, and Mini MiCo graciously says that Miss Gunnar should, since she did both dresses and let the other two really spend time on their jackets. Not as much as a backhanded compliment as it sounds here, either. Miss Gunnar agrees that she should win, and Sanjay holds out hope for herself, since that jacket is sick good.

Natasha and Boris and Crunchy Granola face the firing squad together, and Boris offers Natasha the right of the first speech. She declines. He says he did the dress. Crunchy says she did the shirt and pants. Natasha says that she did the coat, and while she has the floor, she would like to add that this challenge sucked, her team mates sucked, it wasn’t a fair fight, Boris is a big bully, and she is a team player despite those two refusing to listen to her every suggestion, and anyway, Boris sucks the most and he only makes dresses. So, replies Boris, you only make coffins…that don’t fit. Yeah, say the judges, team thing didn’t work out for you, did it? NinaGarcia calls out Boris for another dress and a shawl that looked old lady. MKors takes down Natasha by telling her that she is the self-styled Queen of All Volume, but really all she does is badly-tailored over-sized coats. Crunchy, are you still here? Snooze. So the pants fit? Big deal. Natasha says that Boris should go, and Boris says that the screaming, cursing, negative blight that is Natasha should go, and Crunchy says that Boris should go because he sleeps in the boy’s dorm and can’t sneak into her room in the dead of night and cut out her heart with a seam ripper.

Mumble mumble, Fall Too Hard? Wow, that’s a beautiful jacket says Nina Garcia about the cropped white leather thing with the ridiculously large stand up collar. The rest? Too sheer, too light, too sad and washed out. Bad crotch. MKors gets off this one-liner: That is a mohair full-fledged grandma housecoat with Kleenex in the pocket. Sad, sad, sad. Hey! say the judges, where’s the patented Venn origami? That would have been nice in here, they say. NinaGarcia takes them to task for having the most money and making the cheapest looking line. They look like hand-me-downs, she says. And now for a game of who should win and who should stay. The three designers hold out for hours under the blazing lights until one by one they crack and say, well, really, if there was one garment that failed, it was Flavio’s grey mohair housecoat. The judges relax, having destroyed another non-dysfunctional team.

Sanjay wins!!! Yay! Aesthetic!! Take a shot!! Melissa, Venny Venny 2X4, Natasha(!?) and Boris (?!) are safe. Flavio Flav and Crunchy Granola are the bottom two. Flavio stays and Crunchy has to go. Honey Badger did care, after all. It’s sad in the green room as Tim sends her home. Next week: MONDO!!! and the HP design your own textile challenge.

Previously on Project Runway, Ven Diagram revealed himself to be a sizeist bully and all around asshole. (see what I did there: a ROUND asshole…because he’s so LARGE. How’d ya like it now, VennyVenny 2 by 4?) Miss Gunnar was given the redemption arc, Flavio Flav the win and Nathan the door.

Morning has broken over Manhattan like an egg yolk, and we see Boris ironing his shirt while wearing it. In Soviet Union ironing board is you. Miss Gunnar is applying his eye liner and Mini MiCo dreams of the day when the penthouse will be his alone. In the girl’s dorm, they talk trash about the Chiffonies and men in general. Sanjay suggests the girls plan their next act of sabotage.

Heidi announces a field trip to Fifth Avenue, specifically to the flagship Lord & Taylor, where they meet Tim Gunn and Bonnie Brooks, President of Lord & Taylor. The challenge is this: to create a look, representing the 10th season of Project Runway to go into production as the 10th look in a capsule collection of cocktail/evening dresses made by other designers from other seasons. And not necessarily the winners from those seasons, either, as my personal favorite of the past, Korto Momolu, is one of the names in this collection. Those dresses are shown in a flash as we hear the details of the challenge. No budget, as the materials will come from the manufacturer. One day. Must be able to retail between $200-$300. Winner to get immunity and their dress featured in the 5th Ave windows. Hours of carefully scripted testimonials by the designers follow, wherein each of them hit the required number of buzz words the required number of times. MizShoes brain goes a little numb.

Gunnar knows who the L&T client is. He is going to merge his AESTHETIC (Take a shot) with Jay McCarroll’s AESTHETIC (Take a shot) to win. Mini MiCo is going to make a simple gown, having figured the odds (7 of the existing pieces are cocktail dresses, there are only two gowns). Ballet pink top and a black skirt, he’s just going to make the best darn gown ever! And adorkably recognizes that he sounds like a tool. Boris is going for simple and sleek, because it is what he does. Simple and sleek is harder than ruffles, he says, because every mistake shows. Natasha begins to wind herself up to provide another evening of f-bombs and rising, barely restrained hysteria. AESTHETIC (Take a shot). She cannot possibly do clean, sleek and commercial. Blondie AESTHETIC (Take a shot) is going to do an asymmetric hem. Sanjay has lost her mojo. Mini MiCo is going to use his signature trick of shredding and layering, realizing that since this will be at least the third time in 7 challenges that he uses it, it is going to be a classic case of on his sword or with it.

AESTHETIC (Take a shot) Natasha is cranking herself up. This is not my challenge, she wails, over and over. I can’t combine my vision with Lord and Taylor! My brain hurts! Gunnar loves the black sequined lace enough to marry it. More of the scripted whoring for L&T, not that there’s anything wrong with that. MizShoes prefers the high class whoring of Lord & Taylor to the low class whoring of our old sponsor Blue Fly and their naked anorexic stank. Oh, it’s our first shot of VennyVenny 2x4 this episode. Mini Mico thinks he has this in the bag with his pretty gown. Natasha continues to lose her shit. Sanjay loses her shit. Blondie says eyes on the prize. Crunchy Granola is thinking a low-waisted Chanel. Miz Shoes is thinking Thoroughly Modern Milly in something that looks like purple shiny denim. Honey Badger don’t care. Lots more losing of shit among the contestants and then VennyVenny 2x4 says that he’s thinking about the customer (only in sizes 0-2).

Natasha says the the show is rigged in Miss Gunnar’s favor, what with all these make a pretty dress challenges. She is just full of teen angst. She tries to talk herself into just doing wearable. Trash talking. Johnnie Chiffonie. Everyone throws down on Mini MiCo for using the same technique over and over. Tim comes in for walkies, and immediately loves Miss Gunnar’s LBD. Crunchy Granola’s dress is looking Joan of Arc, which she says she prefers over a stupid old princess dress any day. Honey Badger don’t care. Sanjay still can’t find her mojo. Flavio Flav is doing an LBD with a racer back and a visible zipper. He thinks it could wholesale for $50-60. Tim is pleased that he’s thinking about costs. Flavio says well duh, Tim, it IS part of the challenge. Natasha loses her shit in front of Tim, screeching that she can’t design for the proletariat. Tim gives her a Pep Talk ™. OMG! Nobody like me. Miss Gunnar gives her another pep talk. VennyVenny2x4 AESTHETIC (Take a shot) (Miz Shoes may have to stop the game before she passes out on the floor or switch to shots of espresso.) Boris says Ven is his biggest competitor. Of course he is. He’s at least twice the size of Boris.

VennyVenny2x4 is doing another origami bust. Mini MiCo says it looks like a 13 year-old’s holiday dress. Sanjay rolls her eyes. Boris’s dress is gunmetal grey with an interesting neck line. It’s gorgeous. Tim is concerned with the manufacturabilty of Mini MiCo’s gown. Natasha is over the shredding. Mini MiCo acknowledges that this may be his downfall, but that if he wins, he’ll be known for the technique. Blondie is doing a freestanding high neck with an asymmetrical hem in a bronze brocade. She is unsure. Tim tells her to start over if she’s that unsure. It’s a disaster. The clock is ticking. Oh noes. But her model comes in and loves the fabric, so she is going to press on, regardless.

Models come in and everyone is confident. Honey Badger still don’t care. AESTHETIC (Take a shot) Sanjay’s made a sheath dress with a bustle/peplum. Blondie is taking her dress apart and recutting. It’s a car wreck. It’s a disaster. It’s drama in the workroom. It’s the next day and Flavio Flav is artfully arranging a wreath of flowers in his hair. Really. Miss Gunnar is practicing spontaneously bursting into surprised tears when they announce him the winner. Hubris, much? Tim comes in to flog the Lord & Taylor accessory wall. Mini MiCo gives the best confessional ever regarding Natasha’s design: “It expresses her personality exactly: trying to be sweet but then crazy bitch. Who puts a harness on a baby doll dress. I don’t get it. I don’t wanna get it. I don’t like her.” Designers are losing their shit left and right. Sanjay’‘s dress won’t go on over her model’s hips. Sanjay melts down. Tim gives her a Pep Talk ™ and tells her to channel her inner winner.

Runway! Heidi is wearing a full-on Jessica Rabbit micro dress (which she later refers to as a hot pink disco ball, thereby denying Michael Kors the honor). Bonnie Brooks is the guest judge. And first out of the gate is Flavio’s LBD. Blondie’s brocade is so tight you can see her model’s belly button (it’s an innie). The stiff bodice is badly fitted and there is plenty of side-boob. The asymmetric hem is ridiculous. The stand-up boatneck with the bare back looks like a standard-issue Star Trek Original Series space vixen dress. She thinks that it’s different enough to stand out. Miss Gunnar’s LBD is perfectly made and fitted and cute and simple. He thinks that is is short, shiny and tight enough to win Heidi’s vote. Natasha sends out her version of an LBD. The skirt is cute, but the top? It’s this weird pierced harness. In the front you can see the cobalt blue lining and the boobs are coming out from either side of the center bib/harness like melted versions of Madonna’s ice-cream cone gun turrets. Or, you know, maybe that’s just the effect of the princess seaming.

Mini Mico’s backless little gown. (It really is pretty.) It looks expensive and classic. Crunchy Granola’s dress is different. Sanjay’s LBD looks ok. She only sees her mistakes and thinks it could get her sent home. VennyVenny2x4’s LBD with the origami bodice. Snore. Last is Boris’ little gunmetal sheath. It has exposed boning or something that looks like boning. It is gorgeous and MizShoes anticipates buying it when it joins the collection.

Ven, Boris and Sanjay are safe. Are you fucking with us, again, producers? Really? Boris is SAFE??? Sanjay is thrilled. VennyVenny2x4 isn’t pleased, but who cares. Boris is peeved. Why is he in the safety lounge? Why? Out on the runway, Heidi is saying that there were 4 tops and 2 clear bottoms. Flavio? Tell us about your dress. Yes, please do, Flavio Flav, because even on the hi-def screen, MizShoes can see no details at all. It’s a stretch crepe with a stretch tulle over. Suitable for all body types says Heidi. Bonnie says she’d wear it. NinaGarcia would wear it. He’s one of the four.

Mini MiCo puts it right out that he knew using the shredding was a risk, but thought it was right for the challenge. He has one of the highest scores. MK loves that it looks like separates. The judges tell him that yes, it was appropriate here, but do not ever use it again. Ever. He hears the warning. NinaGarcia calls it elegant and sophisticated. It wouldn’t work on everyone, but it would be a great addition to the collection. Blondie got one of the higher scores. Dark glamor. MK says her asymmetrical hem sucks and he’d like to put a bell on the end of it or cut it off. It’s a winning dress says Bonnie, but you could never mass produce it.

Gunnar proudly declares his dress suitable for any generation of Lord & Taylor clients. But, no, say the judges, your score was one of the lowest. It’s TOO expected. They already sell that dress in any price point. It’s mother of the bride. It’s perfectly made and fitted, but that isn’t the point. It’s not original. It’s done to death. Gunnar’s head explodes.

Natasha has put a modern twist on a classic. She has one of the highest scores. She completes the evening’s meltdown with a Sally Fields’ You Like Me. The judges put up her marks: 10 for teen angst, 10 for redemption arc, 10 for bullshit producer manipulation of the outcome. Michael Kors calls this her shining moment. Crunchy Granola says she put her own spin on Chanel. Michael Kors tells her, no, she put her own spin on a girls’ field hockey uniform. Not sporty enough, not dressy enough, not slutty enough, not anything enough. Heidi gives a strange lecture to her about her attitude, but once more, Honey Badger don’t care.

Mini Mico would complement the collection, Flavio’s was versatile, Blondie’s wouldn’t sell, Natasha wasn’t scary for a change, Gunnar was boring, Crunchy Granola didn’t try hard enough, but she had a good idea. And. One will win, one will be aufsie daisy. Mini MiCo wins. Miss Gunnar is not happy. Flavio says that he’d be happy to make one of his dresses for Bonnie, anyway. Natasha is in. Blondie is in. Crunchy Granola is in, and that means Gunnar is out. WTF?? Really? Boris is not happy for that. But wait! PSYCH!!! Gunnar can stay. Luckily we had two designers bail early in the season, so we can continue Gunnar’s redemption arc.

Next week: teams, and there’s trouble in the Eastern Bloc as Boris and Natasha Come To Blows.

Today’s late recap is brought to you by the letter I, as in Tropical Storm Isaac. This week we had the client/non-industry person challenge. As usual, one designer fell apart over the concept of having to dress a “real” woman, not a clothes hanger

model. As is not usual, this caused Heidi and the rest of the judges to say “what the fuck are you on about? Who do you think buys and wears clothing?”

Miss Gunnar Raging DramaQueen and Natasha the psycho bitch both got a little redemption arc this week, as their shrieking was toned down and they both were, well, I was going to say “charming”, but will have to go with merely “nice” to their clients.  Miss Gunnar used Mini Mico’s technique of applying bits of chiffon onto other fabric to create new fabric. It was an uninspiring mini-shift with a sorta-kinda bibby thing, but his client loved it and worked that catwalk like the rent was due and the man was banging on the front door with the eviction notice in his other hand. Miss Gunnar got lucky with her. Mini MiCo was largely invisible, as were Crunchy Granola and April Junior.

Ven Diagram, on the other hand, was a big presence on the show: abusive, insensitive and incapable of dressing his client, who was large. Ven had to point her enormousness out to her, to the room, to the confessionals, to the other designers, to her friend, and to the judges. He was horrified that she might have been all of a size 14. MizShoes was a size 14 herself, not so many years ago, and thinks that maybe his client was more of a size 18, but either way, it wasn’t necessary for him to have palpitations over this. (Edited to add, according to Terri herself, she was a whopping size 10 at the time of the shoot.)

Further, MizShoes would like to point out that Ven Diagram seems not to notice that his own profile is portly. Large. Fatty fatty two by four, can’t get through the kitchen door. And yet, there he was, going on in his moon-faced monotone, getting completely unhinged by the thought of having to dress a big girl. Dude. I’m just sayin, somebody somewhere had to cut pants with a 42 inch waist for you, but they didn’t throw themselves on the ground and bang their fists and feet in a snit over it.

Boris made another sheath dress with barely enough interest to lift it beyond being just another sheath dress, and he was once more a bridesmaid, and not the winner.

FlavioFlav got the loser edit (i.e.: was shown Skyping with his lover and their pet cat) but actually won, and deservedly so, by listening to his client. She was a film student who said she dressed to be invisible, and who would wear a dress, but only if it didn’t sexualize her. He had her get an asymmetrical hair cut, and created a dress in multiple shades of grey that was a classic New Look silhouette. Feminine, but not sexualized, she loved it: it was youthful, clean and a thoroughly re-imagined look specifically for her.

Nathan, the invisible dude who never had a minute of air time before Heidi pulled his name out of the button bag last week had as a client an “R&B Wannabe” who was channeling Snooki as her style icon. He did his best to give her a less hootchie-momma look than she wanted, but to no avail. It was too short and too shiny and looked so cheap that even Heidi found it ugly. Nathan we hardly knew ye.

Then the judges all beat up Fatty Ven Diagram for being mean and tasteless and making his client cry. If Little Harajuku Girl hadn’t left early, leaving the producers one piece of cannon fodder short, he would have been sent home, methinks. Next week? Maybe we can write a real recap, if the storm clouds stay away and the power stays on.

So last week on Project Runway, Bob’s Big Boy came back and continued to pretty much suck. Andrea and Little Harajuku Gurl had enough of this and left with varying degrees of dignity and being called quitters. MizShoes instituted a new drinking game: take a shot every time someone says “aesthetic.”  Buffi got sent home for making layers of ill-fitting, badly-tailored schmatas because we already had a winner who did that AND sported a Mohawk AND had an unplaceable British accent. 

Morning in the Atlas where, Ommigawd, now it’s getting serious and we need to keep our heads

out of our asses

in the game. Miss Gunnar RagingDramaQueen is whining in his nails on a black board way about something or someone, and MizShoes fast forwards past. 

Heidi comes onto the runway with The Button Bag of Doom (TM) and the designers let out a collective groan. Next, Heidi calls for NinaGarcia to help explain the challeng in a voice so shrill that the Siamese cat looked at the tv with an expression that said “really?” NinaGarcia explains the challenge: its the Marie Claire sponsorship product placement episode. The designers will have to create a “capsule collection” that is editorial and designed for a working woman fashionista. And you have no time and no money AND you’ll have to art direct and style a photo shoot of said collection, AND those photos will be judged AND will factor into the winning score. Oh joy, a group challenge. AESTHETIC! Take a shot! There will be blood. As last week’s winner, Sanjay gets to pick her first team mate, and she opts for Natasha. Rilly? Because she is wound a little tight, you know? And then begins a round of Trash Talk Confessionals as each designer claims they’d rather die than work in a team, especially a team with another contestant, because at this point in the season each of them heartily loathes all the others.

Some dude named Nathan who has never seen a minute of airtime before his button was drawn gets up and chooses Ven Diagram, who modestly tells Nathan Dude that he made the right choice. Natasha picks April Junior, Ven grabs Mini MiCo, April tags Boris, Mini MiCo names Flavio Flav, much to Bob’s Big Boy’s chagrin and prissiness. Mini MiCo explains that it isn’t personal, but Bob’s Big Boy doesn’t get along with Ven, and since Ven is the team member with taste, tailoring skills and a win, keeping Ven happy is more important than whether the guy who already got sent home once is happy. Boris grabs Crunchy Granola, and that leaves Miss Gunnar and Bob’s Big Boy. Miss Gunnar is already winding herself up into a major snit at being left on the playground until the last choice, but gets picked by Flavio because, let’s face it, nobody wants that pariah, Bob’s Big Boy, anywhere near their work table. Boy’s Big Boy takes being the last kitten in the box very poorly.

There is a 6-person team and a 5-person team. Two hundred dollars per person at Mood. One look per person per team, but the work can be split up. The 5-guys proceed logically and work as a team, except for Miss Gunnar, who is seen as the weak link in terms of skill and taste. He knows it and seethes and flounces and hisses for the remainder of the episode. He determines to do his own thing, regardless. 

Sniping. Product placement. Chaos in Team 6. Winner’s edit on Team 5. AESTHETIC! Take a shot!  Chaos at Mood. Natasha loses some fabric, and nobody goes back for it, as in seasons past, so there’s more DRAMA. More bad behavior by Miss Gunnar and  Bobs Big Boy. In the 6-man bobsled team, Natasha goes off the rails in a hail of f-bombs and behavior that prompts Boris to say that she acts like she just came in from the woods, by which MizShoes takes it that Natasha has just been called a feral child. MizShoes is just saying that she’d never want to be in a lifeboat with her.


AESTHETIC! AESTHETIC! Take two shots! Tim comes in for walkabout and has been hitting the judge’s crack pipe because he loves pretty much everything from both teams. Insert half an hour of smack talk, psychotic episodes, bullying and misrepresentational footage. Miss Gunnar, Natasha and Bobs Big Boy vie for the title of Fame Whore of the Week(TM). MizShoes fast forwards through to the fashion show. Joanna Coles, the Editor in Chief of Marie Claire and a woman who appreciates a bra is the guest judge.

First up is Ven’s one-shouldered, blouson top in a patterned silk chiffon and a pair of pants that MizShoes loves despite them having a sarong-type mock-wrap front/closure and despite the stated season for this collection being fall and them being resort white. And while there is no way that top would pass the corporate dress code, MizShoes is convinced she could rock those trousers, especially in a color other than white. Next is Mini MiCo doing another instance of his signature trick: bias-cutting narrow strips of a print and deploying them upon a firmer base, in this instance softening a pencil skirt and giving a little edge to a floral chiffon. Miss Gunnar sends out an atrocity of a dress that triggers a round of flopping boob jokes from Heidi and the other judges. MizShoes says the only place that could be worn to work would be if the office were under the third street light on the left at the corner of Biscayne and 79th Street, if you know what she means. 

Flavio Flav has made a cute enough color blocked dress, but there are zippers in each side seam, or the seams are too heavy, or the dress does not fit in some way because when that girl walks the runway, her be-turbanned head held high, the side seams are buckling in and out like saw teeth along her sides. Finally, Ven diagram walks a beautifully made black, sculptural top and a beautifully made white skirt that suffers from some very bad static cling. Snore. Seen this every challenge already. Boris thinks Ven is a one show monkey or, in correctly idiomatic slang, a one trick pony. 

Team Dysfunctional throws down a mixed bag of looks, starting with April Junior’s cobalt blue sheath dress with a funnel neck that looks more like a funnel cloud neck and that has a zipper that curves from one side slit up and around the hip to the center, more or less, of the back of the neck, Crunchy Granola’s gorgeous tweedy pants and ends with Boris’ color-blocked dress with interesting shoulder details (where’s Hayden Pantywaist when you need her?) and a port hole in the back for easy tramp stamp viewing. And then there is the crap that Bob’s Big Boy insisted on doing. 

The judges can’t decide and have scored a tie. There is specious discussion among the judges, and then April Junior and her wind tunnel dress win, and Miss Gunnar RagingadramaQueen and Bob’s Big Boy are the only two left on the stage, just as they were the last two picked on the playground at the beginning of this challenge. 

Bob’s Big Boy gets the boot for the second time, and staying classy to the end, leaves on a high note by telling Natasha that he flat out hates her. Good times. 

Grudgingly, MizShoes returns to the Project Runway fold. It’s not that the show has redeemed itself after the Affair of the Moldy Granny Panties, it hasn’t. In fact, if anything, giving the win to Anya was worse. And MizShoes absolutely refused to watch a single minute of the All Stars. The truth of the matter is that in the end, she couldn’t quit Heidi, NinaGarcia and Michael Kors after all. So, to recap: a couple of red shirts went home. Some dude who was all bluster and no style and who looked like Bob’s Big Boy went home. Andrea, who has a line of patterns with Vogue and is/was a college teacher of design was in a team challenge with some dude who looks and acts like Michael Costello writ small and who shall be known henceforth as Mini MiCo. They had to design a pretty dress

red carpet look for a past PR Winner, who, in the event, turned out to be the aforementioned Anya. Judging from the subsequent behavior, Andrea found being asked to design for someone who couldn’t even insert a sleeve demeaning. This led to Mini MiCo throwing her under the trite bus on the runway. Andrea found trying to defend herself on the runway from a sniveling boy even more demeaning and left the show in the middle of the night. We are now caught up.

This season Mizshoes will attempt a drinking game. Depending on how this goes, she may need to go back to the Reality Show Bingo Cards.

Boys doing hair. Kumar doesn’t like Miss Gunnar RagingDragQueen. Meet Tim on Madison Ave. This is the Michael Kors challenge. Lots of brown nosing. Tim says that We Need To Talk: Andrea left in the middle of the night. Cue trash talk confessionals from designers. Trash Talk Confessional may be the name of my next imaginary band. Mini MiCo thinks that this is a slap in his face. Buffi is not amused. She was a bad example, being a teacher and all. She was a lame ass. MichaelKors says fashion’s not for sissies, as he bounces on the balls of his feet. MK defines his “woman”. That’s a first, usually he refers to his clients as his “girl.” Blah blah blah. AESTHETIC! Take a shot! (Yes, that is the drinking game: a shot every time someone trots out the A word. Good luck trying to keep up at home.)Day to night look. AESTHETIC! Take a shot! 30 minutes to be inspired, then 1.5 days and $150 bucks. Miss Gunnar RagingDragQueen dismisses and dispenses a slap down. Sanjay has romantic ideas about what it’s like to work in an ad agency. Are you hosing me? Boris is working in grey. High Fashion equals black and white. Another black dress. Miss Gunnar RagingDragQueen has sketched a mosaic of pot holders in drab 70’s colors.

Mood. Mini MiCo sees Louboutin shoes in a dive bar. Boris says that In soviet union, fabrics find you. Harajuku Gurl is distant and drained, he is a little glazed. Sanjay shops till the last minute, providing what has to pass for deathless drama. Trash talk about Andrea, again. Mini MiCo regrets his part in her break with reality. Little Harajuku Gurl wants to walk away from the competition, too. It makes him too sad. Love you, gotta go. Someone is crying and saying that he wants to leave, too, but he isn’t going to. Tim gathers the troops. Andrea is fine, and she is terminating her contract. But Little Harajuku Gurl interrupts Tim and says, yeah, whatever, he has to leave too, because this is the stupidest game show in the history of the galaxy.

Tim takes Little Harajuku Gurl out and the remaining designers are all pissy that some people are gone who wanted to be here. Sulky designers. Tim comes in to give everyone a pep talk. Things happen for a reason. So we’re bringing back Raoul. Puke. Bob’s Big Boy is back and VenDiagram pouts. Crunchy Granola says too bad he got aufed, but his skills weren’t all that good. Blah blah blah, here to win, I’m back bitchez, lucky ho. (MizShoes predicts that montage means he’s either the ultimate winner or he’s out again tonight.)

Tim comes back for his walkabout. Boris is working on a dark, sculptural thing with one seam. Sanjay is also working in black. Maybe it’s brown. Flavio Fav is doing something in print, and he says that his working girl is on her day off. Cheater. Natasha critiques. Tim cautions proportions. Foreshadowing? Ven Diagram is working in cashmere with a curved zipper? TIm tells Miss Gunnar RagingDragQueen to be aware of his materials. Natasha has proportion issues (same old same old). Buffi needs to edit. Pink and cheetah. Mini MiCo is doing a little Chanel jacket. Sanjay calls him derivative, which, duh. He weeps about being on the bottom. Mom on the go. Tim says sad. Grunchy Granola is working in plaid seersucker and making clam diggers. Bob’s Big Boy is doing a lot of pieces. Tim tells him to focus. Oh, he’s the ADHD one this season. Tim is excited and gives them another pep talk. Buffi has a headache. The models come in. Crunchy Granola disses Flavio Fave. April Junior is doing leggins, a tank, another top, a jacket, a dress, a purse, a skirt and a few other pieces. Buffi’s sewing skills are failing her, and all she wants is to finish. April Junior is stressed.

Buffi is freakin out. AESTHETIC! Take a shot! Fabio Flav wears a turban. Bob’s Big Boy.Miss Gunnar RagingDragQueen puts on his bitch panties. Wahwahwah. Ven Diagram calls out Bob’s Big Boy for being all talk no action. Mini MiCo offers black chiffon to Buffi because he thinks her pink is gaudy, which, yes, it is. They can hear Buffi rant indignant over having her taste questioned by the likes of him from the next room over. What passes for drama ensues. Tim sends in the models for product placement. Bob’s Big Boy can’t sew pants. Everyone is shocked by that development.

Buffi is sewing with unfamiliar materials and fucking up. There’s one in every season. Bob’s Big Boy is filling the holes in his pants with leather. Stress. Bob’s Big Boy is grabbing shit randomly off the accessory rack. Heidi is in leopard print. In Out In joke. Heidi gets to tell everyone that the designers who walked off the show totally sucked for leaving, and were weak and soft and unworthy of their two minutes of fame whore fun. But enough about the weak, sucky losers. Let’s put on a show!

Sanjay. Nice knit. Crunchy Granola hideous clam diggers in a mens wear style and a man’s white shirt with sequined elbow patches. Woof. Layer, layer, layer. Buffi’s coral tunic over a zebra print sheath dress. AESTHETIC! Take a shot! Bolero over very short print sheath dress. Miss Gunnar RagingDragQueen’s layers of browns and beiges and looks like bad seventies with a cutout back. Plain ochre brown dress with a cape vest in mustard. Boris has that same cutout back that all the cool kids are doing and interesting folding.

Ven Diagram does something horrible to a zipper and a lot of peach colored fabric. Bob’s Big Boy has sent out hideous crap badly styled. Natasha is wearing a storm trooper hat and sends out a total look of Haute Cold War Soviet Secretary Couture. Gunnar. Ven. Nathan (which one is he???). Crunchy Granola. April Junior. Natasha. Safe.

Sanjay: Busy woman. Heidi loves (that’s the knit with interesting material twists.) Grey. Conservative but Sexy. Haydn Pantywaist (Thanks to The Fug Girls for coining that). Whoosywhatsit Ray? Roy? Somebody who’s a designer. Blah.

Flavio Flav. Michael Kors thinks he dresses better than he dresses his model. He needs to put that into his work. NinaGarcia says, comfortable but not glamorous. Mini MiCo gets LUV from Heidi and Hayden. They love his cropped blazer. They love his styling. NinaGarcia says glamorous. MK says glamorous. Buffi tries to sell her her thing. Hayden wanted to see something in the shoulder to narrow it. (MizShoes ponders how adding crap to the shoulder is going to narrow anything, and considers that may be why Miss Pantywaist is so often in the Fug column of Fug or Fab.)  Heidi calls it cheap and hates the color choice. MK says, A belt? That’s what you think is going to sell it? MK says it looks like a hairdresser’s smock. NinaGarcia hates Buffi, her skills and her taste level and rips her a new a-hole. B’obs Big Boy shows his creation. Everyone hates it. For all the right reasons. Boris sells it and MK says it was the best made dress in the show. Too bad it was black. Heidi loves it, but it isn’t sexy enough. Hadyn Pantywaist goes on about shoulders again. NinaGarcia calls it perfect. Taste level? High. Exquisite.

Who do we love? Sanjay, Boris, Mini MiCo. AESTHETIC! Take a shot!   Effortless. Classic. Versatile. Everyone wants Sanjay to win but Heidi. NinaGarcia calls for Mini MiCo to win. Boris: NinaGarcia and MK and Whateverhernameis rant about his technical skills. He’s the one to watch. More powerful women would wear it. Purrrrrrfectly made.

Flavio Flav sends out boring dresses. They are over him. Buffi can’t dress herself, much less her model and neither can she sew. She uses her terrible color sense to cover up her inability to sew which makes her shit memorable, for all the wrong reasons. Bob’s Big Boy was too ambitious. He’s had editing problems since the beginning. He was already gone once, nudge nudge wink wink says MK.

Winners. Out. Mini MiCo, you were glamorous, you are in. Sanjay, you are the winner. Hayden Pantywaist wants to wear her dress to a red carpet event. She gets immunity. AESTHETIC! Take a shot! I just wanted to be in, and now I’m the winner. Boris can stay. Bob’s Big Boy gets to stay, but only because MK wants to be able to say I told you so when he gets sent home for the second time.

Buffi: nobody wants to wear what you put out. Flavio Flav, your stuff sucked really bad, too, but that turban you have on and the ropes around your neck give us hope tht there may be something marketable about your flavor of crazy, so you can stay. Aufsie Daisie, Buffi. Bummer. We liked Buffi. Tim tells her that she was true to herself, and yay to that, so go clean up your work space. Buffi promises to throw glitter in the air forever. Next week? Heidi HATES it.

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