Previously on Project Runway, Christopher continued to be golden and Ven BooHoo went byebye. Now there are six designers, three of each sex, and Natasha sits on her bed and stares out at nothing in true Ukrainian life is one long moment of impending doom manner.

This week’s challenge will be to design a look for Heidi’s newest endeavor, a line of clothing for Designer Baby Warehouse or some such. Out come adorable babies and scary opinionated mommies and The Button Bag of Doom (TM) to match designers with babies. There are three babies of each sex, too, because tonight there will be two winners: one for a boy’s look, and one for a girl’s. Way to start programming gender roles early in life, there, Heidi et the entire design/baby marketing industry. No budget, no Mood, because all the notions and fabrics will be provided by Heidi. Predictable whining of I ain’t never sewed for no baby before combined with false hope that it will be fun because everybody loves a baby…except the people who don’t. Sketching, insane ideas of dressing babies like little adults because it’s cute, ideas of using white for toddlers, ideas of who knows what all.

In the workroom the designers are greeted by piles of materials and little artificial babies, the horrible kind that they give teenagers to keep them from ever getting pregnant: the kind that you have to feed and change and jiggle because they start to cry and scream randomly. This is to give the designers empathy for mothers and help them get a real understanding of what it might be like to try and dress one. Well, that’s the excuse. The reality is because now that Miss Gunnar is gone, and Natasha’s meds are working, there is no drama in the workroom, and nothing like stressing out the stressed out hamsters to entertain the teevee masses. Or not, because Miz Shoes was not amused by this. There is misery in the work room, and misery at the Atlas as they have to take the miserable automaton babies home for the night. The designers all crack, and the next day Heidi comes in to laugh at them and their stress levels and to advise as the client. This causes chaos where expected: to wit, Melissa obsesses over details, throws her original design away and falls behind miserably. But wait, there’s more! Now they also have to do a related ensemble for the mothers. Back to sketching, off to Mood, hello Swatch, Thank You Mood, and back to the workroom, where Tim Gunn takes the miserable little robo-babies away in a little red wagon. The things the producers do to that man’s dignity. The mothers now come in and Mini MiCo’s momma hates everything, but it’s pretty weak tea as teevee drama goes.

Runway and guest judge is some blonde actress who has had a kid. The babies and mommies walk the catwalk and Miz Shoes says that Mini MiCo and his daisy dress, and Sanjay and her little grey jersey leisure suit for boys are the winners, and it’s Natasha or Melissa and her white poplin baby sheath dress (words that should never be in the same sentence) on the bottom. This is exactly as it shakes out in the judging, and in the end, it’s Natasha’s baby sample sale that seals her doom. Next week? Make a pretty dress, and Mini MiCo says that with 4 wins, he’s sure he’s in the final four. Dude. This may be true, but have you never heard of hubris? For saying that out loud, Miz Shoes predicts that we will see you suffer.

Duquesne Whistle sounds like an old Deutch Gramaphone recording broadcast over radio, complete with pops and whistles, and one has become resigned to it being a permanent ear worm…not that there’s anything wrong with that. Meanwhile, elsewhere on the pop culture terrain, Miss Gunnar Raging Drama Queen was sent home, having been given all the screen time he could manage, even a redemption arc and extended exit scene, bless his little fame whore heart.

Miz Shoes will now attempt a recap from memory with no notes. The judges give this a difficulty rating of ten, there may be accidents, and there is no net.

Field trip! Radio City Music Hall! Rockettes! Heidi in the kick line!! Tim! Bob Fosse!!! Your winning design will go into production, in one of our (road) shows!!!! Boris is smug. He was a ballroom dancer in his youth, he knows from dance costumes. Melissa is just jazzed to be in the building and takes her inspiration from its clamshell-ribbed arched ceilings, its gilding and Art Deco-ness. Predictably, Natasha flails about, but unpredictably gives herself a pep talk rather than spiraling into increased self-inflicted hysteria and psychosis. Perhaps the meds are starting to work. Mini MiCo is staring into space and drawing on his product placement tablet. 

At Mood, the cost of glitter and rhinestones crushes their spirits and dreams. Workroom. We hear about construction issues, and number of pattern pieces, and it is refreshing and interesting. In fact, at least twice MizShoes turned to the RLA (renowned local artist) and said, wow, this is the best episode in seasons. Then we have another Project Runway first that goes unremarked, to wit Tim comes in to the workroom and tells them that they have the night off and that they are getting sent out to dinner at a nice restaurant where there will be alcohol. And EVERYBODY gets a redemption arc. Its episode shouldn’t be called I Get a Kick Out of Fasion, it should be Designers of the Redemption Arc! Natasha apologizes to every one, especially Boris. VennyVenny 2 by 4 claims to have always been the baby of his extended family and younger than every one in his business and a loner and so that’s why he has no discernable emotions or social skills. There are toasts and protestations of love eternal and pinky swears to stay sweet forever.

The next day, when Tim comes for walkies, he realizes that they are all screwed. Of course Tim Gunn  doesn’t say it quite like that, he tells Flavio to make that matte silver sequin fabric his bitch. Or maybe to slap that bitch. It was quite alarming. Perhaps Tim has started taking meds. Sanjay is clueless. Natasha is working with cobalt blue and silver and making a high-school marching drum line costume. VV2X4 is working with an aqua mesh that looks like the stuff they sell in art supply stores for armatures. It looks like a slip. Boris is creating a diagonal midnight blue, one sleeve, side cutouts, skirt with bead fringe. Melissa has a million pattern parts, and color blocking in magenta and black. Mini MiCo is doing the NYC skyline. Tim decides that everybody needs more cowbell, so back they go to Mood. Except for Flavio, VV2X4 and Boris, who all want to work on their hand stitching. At Mood, the glow from last night is still working its magic, and Mini MiCo gives Natasha money, and everyone helps each other and it’s one big love fest and lots more sparkly stuff is purchased.

To no avail, however, as Sanjay makes a Rockette costume for Miss Piggy, although nobody recoginzes that. Flavio has made a Rockette version of Gladiator vs the Tin Man, which somehow works. VV2X4 makes a Rockette version of Grace Kelly, in aqua and with nary an ornament or detail to be seen. Melissa has gone back to her particular well of flat front boat neck with no visible means of support, but her color blocking has been discovered to read as a great number 1 on the front of the costume. She’s working the cigarette girl aspect with her styling. Boris’s costume fits like a second skin while not being cheesy or vulgar, the black beading on the navy sequins is gorgeous, and the beaded fringe skirt moves on its own. Huge wow factor. And then there is Mini MiCo, who has made the skyline of Manhattan and a sleek little skirt. Frankly, MizShoes thinks the skirt is a stiff nothing compared to Boris’s self-propelled fringe, but that top cannot be denied.

The guest judge is Debra Messing in a pair of red heels from which Miz Shoes could not tear her eyes. Flavio is safe and flees to the green room. The winner is Mini MiCo, and his costume really is one of the best answers to one of the best, if not the best, challenge in Project Runway history. Memorable, anyway, in the way that Andre’s gutter water dress was, or Laura Bennet’s grey evening dress with the chartreuse ombré-beading. Boris is denied again, but if not for lack of excellence, and one wishes there could have been two winners. Alas, such is not the case. Melissa’s giant number 1 and cigarette girl styling let her stay. Sanjay’s purple chicken butt tap pants are barely enough, but back to the safety of the green room she goes.

Ven and Natasha remain. Natasha made a hideous blue Las Vegas cheerleader costume, but Ven bored NinaGarcia, and was so sure of himself that he didn’t take the second chance to go to Mood. A little trim would have gone a long way toward saving him, but in the end, it is Natasha who stays, and Ven who gets the aufsie daisey. Next week, the remaining designers must create for Heidi’s children’s line.

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.

Constant readers of this blog, both of you whom are left after this long hiatus, will remember that after that Terrible, Horrible Thing happened at the end of last season, Miz Shoes vowed that she had quit Tyra and could quit the unholy troika of Heidi, Michael and NinaGarcia, too. 

Well, MizShoes tried to quit them, but in the event, she has been watching and not recapping all along. And here is what MizShoes thinks about this season. It has sucked. Who or what is Clinque Counter Josh, but the Straight From Central Casting prettier, flamboyantly queenier, bitchier and stunningly less talented (and that was a mighty low bar, bucko) version of the Insufferable Jeffrey the Pin-Headed Schmoo?

These contestants are merely contestants or actors and not one of them has done anything worth remembering, at least in terms of design and craftsmanship. Wasn’t Bryce the same person as the Autistic Yet Talented One on the rip off show about the search for America’s next top visual artist? For that matter, wasn’t Falene the same person as the Woman Who Had Taxidermied Unborn Fawns? The judging, which has always been erratic at best, has become…Well damned if the loquatous Miz Shoes can come up with an adequate word for that pitiful panel.

No, all in all, MizShoes doesn’t think this show is worth the free airwaves it’s broadcast over.


And with that winner, Project Runway has not only jumped the shark, they have kissed, petted and humped the shark. Wearable? Really, NinaGarcia, that was the best you could say about that sad, monkeyshit brown mess? I quit Tyra, and I can quit you, too.

When you, NinaGarcia, said that the object of this competition is to sell clothes, you gave it away. Project Runway has sold its soul to the devil of mediocrity and the free market proletariat. To make money for the masters and not excite the souls of the rarified aesthetes? After tossing around the word aesthetic all season like a ping pong ball at a tournament in China?

MKors, you are better than that. You cannot in this or any other world make me believe that you responded well to that shiny black leather coat worn open over the mildew-stained granny panties. Or the intentional hat-hair.

Who would have ever guessed that poor, tragically-styled Jessica Simpson would have been the voice of reason, sanity and fucking taste? Please read that sentence over again and recognize to what depths this show has sunk, dragging the loyal viewers along. But no more. MizShoes quits.

Miz Shoes

Miz Shoes Reviews: Project Runway 8.11

Previously on Project Runway, Mondo outed himself, Ivy was a stone bitch, Mayor Michael Bloomberg whored New York City, and the designers were unable to find inspiration in the second greatest city in the world (Miz Shoes respectfully bows to Paris). April did her same old same old and was aufed, but so did Andy, Gretchen and Michael Costello, who made it to the final four. The room is so small now, that Andy and Gretchen are pretending to like Michael C, at least for the cameras.

They get sent home with 9K and 6 weeks to make 10 looks. They will all come back to NYC to show pieces and one of them will not be showing (for teevee or money, but forever and ever on an internet search). Go home and create.

First we have to hear the deep, inner thoughts and reflections of our designers. Blah, blah, blah. And now, it’s Tim’s Travelogue Time. First up, Andy’s mountain top fish farm in Oahu. It’s an amazing place. Tim is freaked out by the catfish. Andy’s mom is a love. His is the immigrant story. He cries. He can machete the top of a fresh coconut. Miz Shoes loves Andy despite his treatment of Michael C.

He is working from the inspiration of the Buddha Garden in Laos, including hand-woven fabric from Laos and photos of his grandfather who was an elephant herder. There is nothing made, because the fabrics just arrived. There is a drawing of a pair of pants that looks like fish scale armor. Interesting. He has two weeks to finish his collection.

Next is Michael Costello in Palm Springs, California. Tim meets Richard and checks out the collection: feathers and the sunset skies. Feather skirt that looks like clouds, fringed top with sequined pants. He’s designed TOO much. Tim tells him to edit. Michael has a table full of friends in black t-shirts who all look like him. Richard (his boyfriend) outed Michael to his parents, and Michael’s parents as homophobic jerks to Tim.

Mondo in Denver! His studio is a Mondo space with a checkered floor. His inspiration is a marriage of vintage Mexican circuses and Day of the Dead iconography. He’s made a long evening dress in over-sized polka dots and black blocking. Mondo’s parents are totally blase over the fact that he’s gay. They tried to butch him up, but whatever. Mondo’s gay. He plays the piano. Miz Shoes says that Mondo’s “It gets better”-type confessional is tantamount to openly declaring him the winner. Miz Shoes also says that the PTB should just declare him the winner and put the audience out of the misery that has been Season Eight.

Finally, Gretchen in Portland. Gretchen’s life has fallen apart. She is perplexed to find she has come home to find out that she’s been dumped, has an empty bank account, an empty home and an empty life. Gretchen is not ashamed to share these darkest, deepest, most intimate moments with the one person she can share them with other than her mother and the millions of viewers on the other side of the confessional camera, Tim Gunn. Tim should be ashamed. Miz Shoes is embarrassed for Gretchen, but still finds herself shouting “I hate you, shut up” over and over at the screen whenever her face and Valley Girl flat drone come on. Miz Shoes may not be able to be objective about Gretchen. Miz Shoes would like to remind her readers that she had Gretchen pegged as insufferably self-absorbed halfway through episode one. Gretchen is inspired, as always, by herself and her childhood in the great southwest. BlahblahblahGRETCHENblahblahblah. Gretchen needs to be “authentic”, so she makes some authentically ugly costume jewelry that would look too cheap to be sold from a blanket on a New York City sidewalk.

Mondo claims the big room at the Hotel Sponsor. Michael arrives next and they have a joyful reunion, soon joined by Andy with a Pocahontas/Naomi Campbell weave. Gretchen brings the downer. Tim Gunn brings the Evil Velvet Bag, but in an attempt to rehabilitate the Evil Bag’s rep, the only thing to come out of it is Hotel Sponsor Resort Vacations for each of the designers. It doesn’t matter though, because the next thing Tim tells them is that they will be showing three looks from their collection: two that they brought with them and one that they will be creating in the next two days with $300.

Gretchen knows what she needs is casual to offset what she refers to as the sophistication of her collection. Mondo is a little lost. Andy is looking for a special shade of green. Michael is floundering. Andy goes back to his existing green fabric and pleats the shit out of it. Mondo makes a jersey color blocked dress, and at the end of the day, he hates it and decides to make something else the next day.

Sewing. Cutting. Tim. First he visits Michael Costello and finds that Michael is choking. Gretchen has made a little sundress with a diaper drape over the butt. She’s also making a bag. Mondo shows Tim the dress that looked too Junior. Gretchen opines about Mondo’s looks. Andy shows Tim the green pleats. Tim is happy. Mondo is unimpressed. Carry on, Mondo, Gretchen, Andy. Don’t choke, Michael, who now chokes harder. Mondo gives him a pep talk. Like that will work.

Day of Show, Gretchen is wearing a great burnt orange velvet tunic. She still needs to shut up. Scrambling in the workroom. Scrambling in hair and makeup. Gretchen wants the models to look like her and she wants to be the models. And it’s show time. Mondo cries. Andy cries. Gretchen cries. Michael C cries. Miz Shoes rolls her eyes. Heidi taunts the designers and introduces the judges: Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. There is no guest judge.

Andy sends out a silver cocktail romper, a dumbed-down version of his winning resort wear bikini and cover up, and the little green dress of pleats.

Michael C shows the fluid, drapey chocolate gown, a badly proportioned feather skirt and top and the sequined pants and fringed top. Gretchen calls it chicka chicka bow wow. Her work is brown. And more brown and animal prints and black and chartreuse and it is grim and not pretty.

Mondo sends out an impeccable collection, of course, and Miz Shoes wants the hot pink Evil Clown Day of the Dead purse with dingleberry fringe. So Mexican! So fun. Mondo is up first for critique. He easily explains his work. NinaGarcia beams at him. Heidi wants the polka dot evening gown. NinaGarcia says the polka dot dress is too close to farce, but NinaGarcia beams at him again anyway.

Andy talks about the Buddha park and how his fabric was made for him. MKors loves the green pleating. NinaGarcia is concerned about his range, and slams the bathing suit. He apologizes for not showing a better range in his mini collection. The judges slam him for not showing all his wow pieces today. They slam his styling. They slam him for the sake of slamming him.

Michael C is attempting to show that he can make structured. Of course the effortless gown is loved for being effortless. Heidi loves the blouse made of fringe. NinaGarcia calls him on his use of one color. MKors takes Michael to school about the concept of a collection. Heidi calls out his taste level, without saying “taste”. He, too is taken to task for not choosing the best of his collection for this.

Finally, Gretchen gets her turn in the barrel. She has delivered range, but NinaGarcia calls it “crunchy granola” that says that not only did Gretchen NOT pique her interest, but that “the only glimmer of hope I have of somewhat polish is this” and points to the diaper under the open-fronted tuxedo jacket and pimp hat. She flat-out says that she doubts that Gretchen “has it.” Heidi says that her models are schlumping along and MKors says that the girls do not look like a fashion show. Everything looks cheap. Gretchen challenges MKors’ opinion and says that she didn’t bring her best looks out.

The judges call the designers idiots for not figuring out that doing just that is exactly what they should have done. Gretchen is a phony. They are all over stressed. Heidi loves Gretchen’s granola, and MKors say that there’s nothing wrong with granola as long as it is fashion show granola. Mondo, on the other hand, walks too close to the line of not being taken seriously, according to NinaGarcia. MKors is concerned about Mondo being too over the top. Michael C is applauded for his draping, but the judges think he’s too inexperienced. And they worry that he may have edited out some of the better pieces. Andy gets praise, despite the underboob cape over the bikini. He used beautiful colors. Heidi finds him iffy. We hear a lot about the need to put on a “show” at Fashion Week, as if more than half of the discarded designers aren’t showing throw away collections.

Heidi says that this was a hard decision to make. Mondo, you are in. Be sure to keep on this side of the fine line between fashion and folly. Gretchen, Heidi loves your crap for no reason anyone else can fathom, so you get to go to fashion week, too. Mondo and Gretchen call each other ‘gurl’ and Miz Shoes tells the teevee to shut up.

Andy, you chose the wrong shit to show us. The last minute look was your best. Michael, a color isn’t a collection. We are afraid that you may not have anything new to say. Andy, you are in. Michael, we’re so sorry to crush your dreams. The next seven minutes are the longest, hardest to watch in Project Runway History (TM). Frankly, Miz Shoes did not need to see the depth of Michael C’s grief for that long, that up-close and that personal. Andy feels a little guilty for taking the last spot from Michael, but Miz Shoes believes that what Andy’s really feeling guilty about is what a shit he was to Michael C for most of the show.

Next week, a reunion AND the final show? Can that be right? And will Gretchen finally shut up and leave my consciousness forever?

Miz Shoes

Miz Shoes Reviews: Project Runway 8.10

Miz Shoes is very sorry, but there will be very little snark hereabouts today. Miz Shoes has made a point of not reading any other recaps or reportage about this week’s episode and so does not know where she falls on the Metaverse’s spectrum of responses. She sincerely hopes for the majority.

This episode was sold as being full of the dramaz, and it was that. It was some pretty fucking compelling reality up on that screen. What Mondo did and what Mondo said could not have come at a more opportune time for the American soul, what with two very young men dead this week as a result of bullying.

But you know what Miz Shoes thinks about this? Miz Shoes would like to politely ask what the collective and ever-loving fuck is wrong with America’s collective morals that this behavior is considered anything less than criminal under any circumstance? Miz Shoes has plenty to say about this, but you want to know what it is that just irks Miz Shoes down to the very molecules that comprise her cranky existence? That the parents of the bullies are her age or thereabouts.

Would NinaGarcia like to hear the story behind why Miz Shoes is so incensed that her peers taught their children that it is somehow wrong and bad and deserving of public ridicule to be any other than a white heterosexual? Miz Shoes would be happy to tell her story to Miss Garcia.

Because twenty-five years ago, Miz Shoes had friends who were gay, and they were her companions from college. They were true and dear and it had cost them a lot to come out in the early seventies, almost forty fucking years ago. And then they started getting sick, and dying horribly, several of them alone and abandoned by their families. Some of them in hospitals, surrounded by love. And nobody gave a shit that gay men were dying in droves because they were somehow less than human for being gay. Really? It’s twenty-five fucking years into this epidemic and there are still people too afraid to come out to family or to tell anyone their HIV status? Well, where were their parents, Miz Shoes’ peers in the 80s and 90s, that they didn’t lose a single friend or relative and are able to pass along fear and prejudice to their kids?

Really, America? This is heartbreaking, but not for the reasons I suspect are being discussed around the web. This week’s episode was heartbreaking because it was true and people in situations like Mondo’s do have to live in fear and secrecy and that’s just unacceptable.

And, oh yeah, Mondo won his third challenge in a row, knocking a little sigh of pleasure from NinaGarcia over the exquisite tailoring and styling of his suit. Valerie finally and deservedly got the aufsie daisy. Next week, cheating?      

Miz Shoes

Miz Shoes Reviews: Project Runway 8.9

Previously on Project Runway, despite the judges having on their collective bitch pants,  Mondo won a challenge with a Jackie Kennedy on mescaline Chanel suit, Michael Knitwear guy was aufsie-daisy for the horror of cartridge pleats, and Tim had a hissy fit on his vlog, then remembered his manners, took it down and created a huge flutter in the Metaverse.

Gretchen and April are ready for another challenge, while Ivy and Valerie engage in mutual enabling of delusions and generally neurotic behavior. Ivy declares Valerie utterly broken by the last challenge. Mondo and Christopher have to move in with Andy and Wimpy. Not that Mondo calls Michael C Wimpy. No, that is Miz Shoes’ pet name for the Rodney Dangerfield of the Project Runway workroom. In fact, from now on we will refer to him as Rodney, so pay attention. But we digress. Andy throws some shade on Rodney, implying that he’s untrustworthy, and we’re off to the runway.

Heidi tells them nothing about the challenge, except the winner will walk away with a huge chunk of change. Tim tells them that this is the

make-up sponsor’s

couture challenge, that they have two days to create something over the top and fabulous, and $300 to spend at Mood. Their design will be featured in an advertorial for L’oreal. Massive product placement by Mr. Clean, and Pee Ess, the winner will also get a cool twenty grand. Montage of designers telling us how poor they are and how they need the money to stay out of the homeless shelter. Use our eye-shadow palettes as your inspiration. The palletes are Metallic, Velvet, Matte, Crystal and Bright. Gretchen considers the velvet, because she wants a challenge. Then Tim says not to use velvet unless you are really good with it or up to the challenge. Well, of course, our Miss Gretchen is up for that, by golly. Miz Shoes considers the possibility that Gretchen is a Sarah Palin supporter. As last week’s winner, Mondo gets to choose first, and he naturally gloms onto Bright.

The remaining designers chose in order, Christopher-crystal, April-matte, Rodney-metallic, Ivy-bright (because she can, too, use color, dammit), Valerie-crystal and Gretchen declares for “risky” velvet, because that’s just the sort of takin’ risks kinda girl she is, donchaknow? Andy goes for metallic. The designers stare at the piles of makeup and see Hawaiian waves in electric blue (Ivy), Galadriel’s fairy bathrobe/kimono (Gretchen), and Mondo is reminded of his childhood kaleidoscope.

At Mood, Swatch steals the show. First he barks at Tim’s feet, then Tim chases him around (looking for all the world like C3P0) and ends with a final thank you Mood and goodbye, Swatch. Yay for Swatch. In the workroom, Gretchen is furious with Rodney, because he is using her signature color, and she turned him on to it during the group challenge. He haz stole her colur! Oh,  NOES!!! Miz Shoes feels that there are about six hours of Gretchen kvetchin’ and decides that Gretchen is smug and humorless and clueless of her lack.

Tim Thru (TM)! Valerie has a lot of work, and a lot of her usual swoopy pleating things, coming from shoulder to hip across the body. Tim warns her that she has a lot of look. April is doing another riff on her winning resort look, and again in black on black. I love you, April, but use some color! Andy is doing a futuristic warrior woman, and while the other designers opine that his look is questionable, Tim tells it to take it further. Ivy is doing these bias ruffles and says it’s waves and water crashing and Tim recoils from the literalness of it all.

Gretchen attempts to sweet talk Mondo over Capri Suns. Since it’s a two-day challenge, the designers have all been working slowly, except for April, who has watched this show before and knows that there is always a twist and so has been working steadily all day, just in case. Models come in for their fittings and nobody has anything for them to try on, except Rodney and April. By the end of the night, Mondo has determined that he needs to start over on his bodice.

The next morning, as the designers settle in for the second day of work, Tim comes in to deliver their

death sentence

twist. They will have to create a ready to wear riff on the couture piece. And they have little time to sketch, little money at Mood and no additional hours, really, to do it all. There is much open-mouthed gaping and rending of garments. More Mood, more Swatch. In the sewing room, the designers fantasize over what they could do with 20K. There is a lot of debt to be paid off, but April wants a miniature pony. Miz Shoes is more than ever convinced that April is the natural daughter of her her long-lost friend, Psycho Patti. Tim comes around for his second walk though, Valerie has a nervous weeping fit and Ivy pities Val’s weakness. Morning of the show, however, finds Valerie with a lot of hand work left to do, but Ivy without a single finished piece. Extended footage of sewing, styling (Gretchen again uses the bone suede knee boots, this time under her elvish robe. Girl, give those tired things a rest, already.) At the ten minute warning, there are still a lot of unfinished garments in the work room.

Guest judge this week is Naeem Khan, whose clients include Michelle Obama, and she always looks great in his stuff, so well done, Mr. Kahn. April’s two black looks come out, and the first is sort of a steam punk neo-Victorian riding coat with a mullet hem and bustle back. This is worn over another pair of granny hot panties. The RTW is a little black dress with a ruffle shrug. There may be organza involved. Mondo sends out a Memphis-inspired bustier and skirt, and both pieces seem to move independent of the model. His second look is a body-conscious sheath, with a panel of black and white chevrons down the center front, and a matching panel in the back of black and white horizontal stripes. There are button details at the neck.

Ivy has made two things that are very, very, retinal-searing blue. Neither piece is pretty and neither piece fits, but Ivy is sure that she is safe. Rodney (Michael C, remember?) has made a ridiculous dress with pectoral fins and a train that has a hoopy, boned hem and a few hundred yards of ruffles. He calls the RTW look a mini-me version. Miz Shoes calls it the mall version, but recognizes that he does tend to design for strippers who have married Texas politicians, and they would totally shop at the store that carried his work. Christopher has used cream and white and illusion netting and bits of lace to make an ice dancer bodice over a sort of swirling chiffon meringue around her hips, below which hangs Gretchen’s signature faded lavender. This is echoed in the RTW sheath dress in ivory with a center panel of lavender. A lot of froth, but no coffee.

Gretchen has made a flapperesque bath kaftan, in a burgundy and beige tie-dye velvet, with floating panels (predictably) of darker and lighter purples in crepes or chiffons. It is covered all over in a grid of long, dangly ivory feathers, like tufts of fringe, and the (predictably) open back has all of its edges highlighted with beading. The model is wearing her hair parted in the middle, and a Renfest headpiece made of beads. The RLA took one look and invoked the sacred name of Bea Arthur or maybe only said it looked old. Her ready to wear bears absolutely no relation to her couture look. It is made of shades of teal green, and the side seams overlap to create a high slit on the leg when the model walks. Valerie’s contributions are long and white and shiny and short and black with three shiny buttons. She’s just happy to have two finished pieces. Andy’s armor is black and red and shiny and covered with his accordion-pleated panels. It is samurai armor and cocktail umbrellas all done in a goth color way. His RTW dress fits like a glove and has panels of the shimmery stuff on the arms and sides, in an echo of the armor.

Christopher and April are safe. Ivy, Valerie and Rodney have the bottom scores, and are sent away. Mondo, Andy and Gretchen have the top scores, and proceed to critique. The judges are back drinking the Gretchen koolaid, and Miz Shoes respectfully disagrees. Her look was dowdy and limp, just like everything else she makes, and enough with the beige boots. April should have been the number three top scorer.

Mr. Khan loves Andy’s multiple techniques, and the cocktail dress. NinaGarcia is fascinated with the leggings that incorporate the boots, and she and MKors both love Andy’s two looks, but Heidi doesn’t care for the couture bootleggings. Mondo’s kaleidoscope and simple day dress garner more accolades. Mr. Khan loves the multiple stripes, MKors calls the back dreamy, and like a Kentucky Derby ribbon exploded, but in a good way. Heidi loves the hat.

The losers come back out and Ivy attempts to defend her look. Pieces are coming off at the neckline on the evening dress. It’s pretty sad, and the short version just as sad. Everyone hates it, especially Mr. Khan, and when Heidi says that she doesn’t hate it as much as the other judges do, he shoots her a disbelieving look and says “Huh.”

Valerie’s failures are explained to her: she didn’t listen to the fabric, she forced it, trying to do structured with soft fabrics and drape with stiff ones. She missed her inspiration (Audrey Hepburn) by light years. Rodney is told that of the bottom three, his is the only work to look well-sewn, because the judges just aren’t going to let the other designers forget how they stood on that runway and said he couldn’t sew at all. Then they call out his couture gown for the mess it is, but heap a little bit of love on the short dress with the Judy Jetson peplum.

The judges deliberate and offer up sound bites of scathing disapproval. MKors declares a tight race for hideous this week. In the end, Mondo wins over Andy and Gretchen is safe, Michael C is safe, Valerie squeaks by and Ivy, the bitterest of kittens is sent home, to be forever bitter and resentful of the color turquoise.

Miz Shoes

MizShoes Reviews: Project Runway 8.8

Previously…orange Manhattan. The boys are sad that Casanova is gone. It’s quiet, now…too quiet. Ivy is a stone bitch, and Wimpy says that she needs to use a color other than opaque. It’s a great line,and MizShoes regrets not thinking of it first.

On the runway, Heidi is wearing the formal version of last week’s winning garment and delivers the challenge: step back in time. Gretchen doesn’t want to be forced to make a corset. The challenge as revealed by Tim, however, is nothing more than Michael Kors 2.0: American sportswear as personified by Jackie Kennedy. Just in case anybody has forgotten that the current first lady is oft compared to Jackie O and oft dressed by Mr. Kors. Not that Miz Shoes thinks that there is anything wrong in any of that.

Christopher says that he has this one in the bag, as he IS an American sportswear designer. He’s going to do a fantastic dress. Andy is perplexed and seems to be drawing costumes for a post-apocalyptic remake of Newsies. Aesthetic, aesthetic.

At Mood, Mondo hears the voices in the fabric bolts, Ivy is making bold and unusual color choices (i.e.: not beige), we get a Swatch sighting and Michael Knitwear Guy starts to question himself before the cashier hands him his change. Kicky do-rag or no, the guy is pouring flop sweat. The countdown to his exit has surely begun.

In the work room, Mondo has this over scale black, purple and white houndstooth boucle that looks like Chanel suiting, if Betsey Johnson were doing Chanel suiting. Gretchen wonders about Mondo’s taste level.  She and Valerie bond in the sewing room, and Valerie says aesthetic. Ivy throws shade on Wimpy.

Tim comes for walkies! He begins with Christopher, whose silvery one-shouldered cocktail dress is lovely. April says it looks like her grandmother’s clothes. What does everyone one this show have against fashionable grandmothers? More sound bites from the designers. Michael Knitwear guy says Mondo has designed for Jackie in the desert on mescaline. April calls out the fit on Andy’s cargo capris, which are wedged up the model’s butt. She doubts that Jackie in any century would wear his look. She is pretty spot on.

Valerie seems to think that calling Wimpy’s look “very Donna Karan” is an insult. We’ve moved on from he can’t sew, to he doesn’t have a clear point of view. Sour grapes, much? More workroom high jinks and morning coffee together high jinks and finally, we get back to the workroom to the Tim Twist(TM). Today will not be a runway day, after all. Instead, they will be going back to Mood with another $150 dollars and they will have to create an additional look, a piece of outerwear to compliment their original outfit. There is much consternation and gnashing of teeth.

Sinister interlude at Mood (and another Swatch sighting) where we see Wimpy come around a corner and trip over a bolt of fabric that’s been partially pulled out already. He loves it and starts touching it, when Gretchen, who’s already shopping that aisle, sees him and snatches the bolt saying she was going to buy some. And you know what? She probably was, and had already pulled it, so for this once, Miz Shoes is willing to cut the skank some slack.

Back in the sewing room again, and the unholy troika of Gretchen, Ivy and Valerie continue to bash Wimpy. Since his ability to sew has been established, the new charge against him is that he sews too much and makes too many garments per challenge, and relies on Tim Gunn to make his decisions and then brags that he made seven dresses. To use a TLo-ism, those are some bitter kittens. Another “Evil Wimpy” soundbite, as he says if you’re gonna hate on him for winning challenges, then step up your fucking game and win one your ownself (cough, Valerie, Ivy, cough). To which Miz Shoes says, right on.

We get a second Tim Through, where he is unimpressed with Valerie’s vest over jacket, completely mystified by Michael Knitwear’s grey wool jersey skirt with cartridge pleating at the dropped hip and inexplicable jacket, and concerned that Andy may be giving Jackie Kennedy camel toe. Mondo has made a little black jacket lined in purple to go over his Mondo/Chanel skirt.

Runway day and the girls are worried for Andy, Andy is feeling confident and true to himself, and Michael Knitwear is hoping just not to go home. Mondo assures him he will not. Death spiral commencing in two. Christopher is not having an easy time with his leathah shrug. Mondo is dressed like a Kewpie Doll and does a little tap dance. Dead Man Walking Michael interviews that some people are hating on Wimpy because they are all stuck up elitist bitches. In case you’ve not been paying attention, the editors helpfully cut in views of Gretchen, Valerie and Ivy. He is still pleased with his outfit…with cartridge pleating on a high hip.

Smoky eye, smoky eye, smoky eye. Is there any other kind? And finally, it is runway time. Heidi introduces the guest judge, January Jones, actress. January Jones is a flawless blonde in the mold of Grace Kelly, and is famous for playing Betty Draper on Mad Men, where she is styled to perfection as such. In real life, she’s the kind of girl who wears jeans and white shirts. Still, she is as uniquely qualified to spot a Jackie Kennedy vibe as anyone who wasn’t around for the real thing.

Christopher leads with his beautiful silvery dress with the unfortunate dead animal shrug. Don’t misunderstand, Miz Shoes is all about the dead animal pelts, and this one, all frosty pale and hand-sheared to a sort of post-modern Persian lamb is gorgeous, but what Christopher has created is much less than the sum of its parts. Next comes April’s body conscious black outfit with a sheer black organza jacket. Ivy’s exciting use of black, white and grey: wide legged pants, asymmetric white blouse and sheer grey organza asymmetric mini trench coat. She’s pretty smug about how great a look it is and says she’s never seen anything like this before, in which case, she’s blind.

Wimpy isn’t as sure about his blue cocktail dress with a black denim vesty jacket. Miz Shoes is pretty sure that Gretchen’s outfit contained a lot of brown and a lot of floaty layers and that the proportions on that giant toast-colored, belted horse blanket were awful. Michael Knitwear guy’s grey, black and white ensemble comes out and the skirt is too short. He whispers to the other designers that he is toast.

Valerie’s three pieces are dark, full of her usual boomerang pleat/flaps and heavy. Andy is still delusional about his cargo capris and the lumpy vest he’s made. Even his model can’t save this with her walk. Mondo’s tailored his three pieces to perfection. His model sells the look to perfection. The striped boat neck tee shirt has three quarter sleeves, cuffed with the stripes perpendicular to the sleeve, and is fitted to perfection. The little jacket lined with purple is perfection.

Wimpy, April and Gretchen are safe. The others are the best and the worst. The inquisition begins with Valerie and her jacket over jacket. The judges hate everything about it, from her color choices to her floppy collar to her pleats and zippers. Christopher ruined his look with the dirty rug of a fur stole. Michael Knitwear is flayed, drawn and quartered by MKors who fluffs himself up and declares himself insulted by this vision of sportswear. NinaGarcia enumerates his failures. Miss Jones is unimpressed. He’s just circling the drain.

Mondo’s outfit is praised, and then the judges move on to what his model is wearing. The combination of patterns, the silhouette, the completeness of the elements working together all get praise. It does not look cheap! Next is Ivy, who garnishes love from MKors for the architectural elements of her tailoring. She claims that she was inspired by shapes, like triangles and squares, because shapes are timeless. As artistic statement wank goes, that’s pretty impressive wank.

Andy is completely blind sides by the judges’ responses to his vision. Heidi says she just wants to laugh at the very concept that any of this would under any set of circumstances, be worn by Jackie Kennedy. MKors, NinaGarcia and Heidi compete for the cruelest put down of Andy and then everyone is sent to the green room to lick their wounds. The judges begin again, and are bored by Valerie, appalled by Andy and ready to pull the plug on Michael Knitwear.

Christopher made a smart dress and wrapped it in a dirty dishrag, Mondo understood the challenge, the inspiration, his personal style and melded it together successfully. Ivy didn’t suck, for once, and used good materials and tailored well. Decision made, let’s bring back the designers. NinaGarcia is seen giving a sage nod in slo-mo.

Mondo is the clear winner (agreed), Christopher is safe, and so are Ivy and Andy. Valerie looks pityingly over at Michael Knitwear, who was resigned to being sent home when he first questioned his fabric choices back at Mood. Valerie made ill-fitting, unflattering mall wear, but Michael Knitwear made an unflattering silhouette with cartridge pleats and layered wife-beaters. Michael Knitwear apologizes to Tim for not listening, and they hug. Next week? It seems that there will be more blood on the runway.


Wow. Was that the best episode of Project Runway ever, or what? Even better than the 33 Faces of Gretchen. We open with a recap of Ivy spreading nasty rumors about Wimpy. Well, it ain’t slander if it’s true, so there’s no fault, no foul if he did say she was the bitch of the season.

April laments the loss of Peach, and has to move in with the mean girls, who pretend to make her feel welcome. In the men’s suite, Andy gets his bitch panties on and tells Wimpy that he can’t respect him as a designer because he just doesn’t know who Wimpy is. First use of “aesthetic”, so take a shot. Wimpy is gracious and tries to answer. April is gracious, and pretends to believe that the mean girls are sincere.

What the hell is Heidi wearing? Blue satin Hammer/genie pants? Were they a gift from En Nino del Infierno made with the left overs from the last challenge? While the viewer is still reeling from that, the designers are whisked away to the Hudson River to take a short spin on a tour boat. They meet Tim and Michael Kors at the dock, and MKors explains that the challenge will be to design a resort wear look, and he knows resort wear. Wimpy reminds us that he’s from Palm Springs, and has this one in the bag. Michael Knitwear loves resort wear. Mondo’s idea of resort wear is his underwear in his apartment. Miz Shoes pauses for a moment to consider that vision and shudders. On to the boat for breakfast, champagne and sketching. MKors gives everyone a pair of sunglasses from his new line. Gretchen sucks up for the cameras. Christopher and Michael Knitwear are psyched. Tim hangs on the rail for dear life, while attempting to look nonchalant.

Andy is going to go a luxury one piece and cover up. He and April are wearing the same grey nail polish. Mondo and April bond over their loser status. Miz Shoes is loving April: she is spitting image of Miz Shoes’ college best friend, Psycho Patti, although in those days she wasn’t Psycho yet. April reminds us of her diaper resort wear fiasco. Tim gives Michael Knitwear a pep talk, and he refers to his vision as a gift. Ivy buys more colorless fabric. We get a huge Swatch spotting at the five minute warning, as designers panic and just grab anything.

Back in the workroom, Tim comes in with the velvet bag of doom. Michael Knitwear hates the bag. Casanova hates the bag. Valerie hates the bag. The bag is there to pair up the designers. They will be executing each other’s design work: they will be each other’s sample rooms. Valerie is chosen first, and she gets teamed with Andy. Michael C (Wimpy) is paired with Mondo, who has just delivered a sound bite about NOBODY WANTS TO BE ON WIMPY’S TEAM and is pissed to have to take the bullet for the team. April is paired with Christopher, and they are happy because they work exactly the same way. Casanova is paired with Gretchen, who tries to put happy face on it. That leaves Ivy and Michael Knitwear, and Ivy immediately puts down his sewing skills as being nowhere on a par with her own.

Tim implies that the teams will be judged on their communication. But the designer will own the design, the sample maker is merely the sewer. Mondo starts off with Wimpy by telling him that he doesn’t want to be his partner because Wimpy’s sewing skills suck. He is an utter ass, and Wimpy just sighs and tries to get along. For all that the blogosphere has been told that Wimpy isn’t without fault, Miz Shoes knows that if she’d been in Michael C’s place with the non-stop high school shunning going on, she’d have snapped a long time ago. It would have been a Project Runway First as she attempted to stab someone through the heart with a French curve.

Andy isn’t sure that Valerie can do swimwear. Ivy is already up Michael Knitwear’s grill and he’s already looking in his head for his happy place. Gretchen is speaking slowly and clearly to Casanova, who tells us that she gives him BIG drawings, too. There is nothing wrong with my eyes, he says, and then comes to the horrible realization that Gretchen “believes that I am a retard”. Oh, honey, don’t take it so personal. Gretchen advises El Nino del Infierno on his color choices, telling him it looks old lady. She then belts out TWO “aesthetics” in one sentence. Double shot!!

Mondo and Valerie and Andy all trash Wimpy. Mondo thinks it’s going to be the end for him, this horrible, horrible, torturous working with Wimpy. Andy and Valerie and doing well. And then, the most amazing thing happens. Wimpy makes a great garment. And Mondo confesses that he had been a dick. And then he actually manned up and apologized to Wimpy. And with that he became Miz Shoes favorite contestant, except for April.

Very Special Surprise!! A guest critic, who is Michael Kors. The Dutchess is going to review the work in the workroom. Resort wear. He’s a little gay. Gretchn and Casanova. MKors says its looking a little older and a little beige. Gretchen is also making a super pallazo pant, using the same burgundy from the team challenge. MKors warns her about the color. Wimpy has done a pallazo pant jumpsuit in shiny. Mondo’s turquoise and yellow boy shorts and lime green print micro-hoodie and the green twee visor/hat and the hot pink trim on the bra top is a little too busy for Kors.

MKors and April have a bonding moment. Shorts better fit, and no ass cheek, says Michael to April. Christopher is doing a chiffon draped item. Ivy has dumbed down her designs to her idea of what Michael Knitwear’s skills are capable. All the other designers know that Ivy is a stone bitch and good luck with that. Andy and Valerie are warned that they have much work to do, and Valerie breaks down after MKors tells her to get over that cadet blue and the hideous bordeaux.

Michael Knitwear can’t sew what April designed. Valerie loses it and utters the “Going home is not an option” line. She has to talk to her mom. Crying. Drama. Michael Knitwear is resigned to being the death of Ivy. Mondo realizes again that he was a jerk, and now he and Wimpy are BFFs. The designers will have ten minutes before the show to take back their work. April checks for ass cheeks on the model as she walks and instructs Christopher to drop the short to cover all of their asses. Ivy is a stone bitch and is perched on Michael Knitwear’s shoulder like Snoopy when he’s a vulture. Her crazy is radiating off of her in waves. And as soon as Tim says that they can switch positions, they are in each other’s chairs.

Runway. Heidi comes out in the bedazzeled version of last week’s winning dress. Judges are Michael Kors, NinaGarcia and Kristin Bell, “sytlish American Actess”. Miz Shoes is glad that someone told her. Wimpy’s jumpsuit comes out first, simply styled and well made. Mondo’s kicky Malibu Barbie beach wear. Micheal Knitwear’s black linen sheath with a glittery bikini bra under it. Ivy’s white and celadon boring nothing thing. Christopher’s chiffon top and super-fitted Bermuda shorts. April can tailor. April’s little hot pant and bondage and baby doll top is amazing. El Nino del Infierno’s look is camel palazzo pants and an ivory, low boatneck blouse with a bubble hem and a wide waistband of cotton crochet lace. Gretchen has made a slip-topped jumpsuit pallazo pants cum genie pants. Valerie’s shorts and best are meh, and she isn’t happy with how Andy sewed it. But Andy’s design is sewn beautifully, and those fabrics are perfect together and rich looking. And Andy’s model can walk the shit out of anything.

Andy, Casanova, Mondo, April, Ivy, Michael Knitwear are called out. They are the tops and bottoms. Andy, April and Michael have the high scores. The bottoms are sent back to the green room. We hear about Mondo’s underwear again. April defends her look by using “aesthetic”. Drink!!! Michael Kors is in love. Tough, punk baby doll. Hot but not vulgar. MKors appreciates the panty with no ass. Kristin Bell would wear it on the red carpet.

Andy allows that being from Hawaii, he is familiar with resort wear. Heidi finds it commercial, but in a yachting about the Mediterranean way. NinaGarcia loves the fabric and the expensive look. MKors loves the suit. Michael Knitwear thanks Ivy for her skills, and Ivy is a stone bitch and tries to throw him on anyone’s sword. Effortless and ageless agree Kristin and NinaGarcia about his design, though.

Mondo says that he’s never seen a resort and has no clue and NinaGarcia slaps that excuse like a mosquito. MKors uses the word “aesthetic” and Miz Shoes pretends not to hear it, thereby skipping the fifth shot. Junior wear. Wimpy praises working with Mondo and says that it was the “funnest” challenge. Mondo returns the love and admits that he was a dick before.

Ivy immediately says that her design sucks because Michael Knitwear can’t sew and had huge imitations. MKors says that he saw what she had on her fabric table. NinaGarcia says that she has the chops, but not the design skills. Wimpy says that Ivy is a stone bitch, and she is. Wimpy makes faces in the background as Ivy is a stone bitch.

Casanova loves his look and says that it was inspired by his grandmother. And now the judges pile on about how old the look is. Miz Shoes respectfully disagrees. It looks like it would be the nicest outfit on the page in a Soft Surroundings catalog. The model would be bone thin and elegant and have silver hair, but would probably be all of 45 in real life. Miz Shoes would look at the page and think the outfit handsome and realize that outside of certain parts of Texas, nobody wears that stuff. So. Yeah, grandmotherly, if your grandmother is 55 and plays tennis at the club every afternoon.

OMG. Mondo and Wimpy are sitting together on the couch, arms around each other’s shoulders. How sweet. The judges love Andy’s bathing suit and cover up. They love Michael Knitwear’s piece, and talk about how he was able to clearly explain what he wanted. April’s babydoll is hot, cool and wearable. Mondo’s work is called K-Mart. Ivy is recognized as a stone bitch and the judges agree that while she can sew, she is no designer. NinaGarcia wants to know where the middle ground is for Casanova, because everything he does is either Madonna or Whore.

Michael Knitwear is sent off the runway, safe. He is relieved not to have won, because he wants to be able to sleep. Heidi praises April for creating a piece that is true to her “aesthetic” and oh, please. Miz Shoes concedes the game. She cannot drink a shot every time someone on this show utters the word aesthetic. Andy’s work is dramatic, wearable and April wins. The green room explodes in applause and hugs and tears. April is so cute. Andy is in. Mondo is in, and runs off the runway like a scalded cat. Ivy is called out for being a neurotic bitch. Casanova is called out for designing for his grandmother. Ivy is in, and is encouraged to wow the judges next time, or there won’t be another chance. Ivy pretends not to want to kill Michael Knitwear, but Miz Shoes would keep one eye open. April is sad. Casanova gets a lovely montage of his greatest hits.

Tim is sad to say goodbye to Casanova. Hugs. Ball grabbing. Next week, Jackie O would not wear goth.

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