In the Atlas, Jesus has left, and Anthony is trying to wake Jay up for bible study…which entails smacking him on the head with the bible, or so Anthony says. In the women’s dorm, Anna Whomever declares herself sweet but fierce, and Mil/ya is peeved that nobody was happy for her when she came in second last week. Maybe that would be because she comes off as a peevish, demanding diva.

On the runway, Heidi reminds us that as last week’s winner, Amy has immunity. Their challenge this week will be to design something “picture perfect”. Tim’s field trip takes them to the Hearst Building, where they meet Joanna Coles, the Editrix in Chief of Marie Claire. This is going to be the biggest challenge in Project Runway history with an unprecedented prize. They will be designing a dress to be worn by Heidi on the cover of the April issue of Marie Claire.

Ms. Coles gives them some guidelines: cover photos are cropped, usually from the hip or waist up. No black; it doesn’t photograph well. No patterned fabrics; it’s hard to run a headline over them. It’s the April issue, so make it spring-like and seasonally appropriate. Finally, this is Marie Claire, so make it sexy, strong and eye-catching so that the magazine flies off the racks.

Thirty minutes to sketch, $150 and thirty minutes at Mood, and a whopping one day to create. Anna Whomever is going for icy: silver,blue and charcoal. Anthony (who has apparently seen Heidi before) is going for short and tight but not slutty. Ben is doing a color story. Emilio is thinking blue. Weepy McWeepersons is grabbing everything she can in blues and greens.

In the workroom, Amy wonders why time gets harder to manage with every challenge. Jesse thinks that the cover of Marie Claire is a huge prize. Seth Aaron sings, does a little soft shoe and annoys the other designers. Ben is working with fuchsia and black. Anthony is going to do something that says Anthony in turquoise. Weepy is doing creams and pinks and decides that this is too bridal, so she second guesses herself and goes off in another direction.

Jonathan says that this means more to him than anything else in his whole career. Mil/ya crows that she her time management gets better with every challenge. Anna Whomever is making shorts, Seth Aaron is making pants, top and jacket. Mil/ya crows that she has no competition in this competition because she is the shit.

Tim’s walkabout begins with Anthony, who is sort of designing on the fly. Tim reminds him to edit. Mil/ya is doing something in a stretch wool, in a sort of lingerie nude color, and color blocking (again.) Weepy is using layering waves of ocean colors. Tim tells her not to let it look like clown clothes. Ben says that his dress is Madame Butterfly on acid, (bad acid). Tim warns him about using metallic leather for the belt. Anna Whomever is doing a juxtaposition of feminine and short shorts. Emilio is all about color. Fuschia. A cocktail dress with corseting at the neck.

Model fitting reveals that Jesse has finished the basketweave inset for the front of his dark teal/green piece. Jay has made an ivory baby doll dress with lots and lots of whicketywhack and frippery. (So not Heidi.) Anna Whomever’s shorts don’t fit. Mil/ya gets the brunt of the majority of the other designer’s trash talk. They call her fake and a one-trick pony. Mil/ya delivers an “I’m here to win, not make friends”. Anthony needs more time. McWeepersons is stressed and needs more time. Emilio should recut his dress because it’s too short, but he HAS. No. TIME.

Day of show, and Weepy and Anna Whomever are catching a clue that their time is running out. Anna thinks she maybe missed the mark on this challenge. She is in “a mode of near hysteria” but Mil/ya is still swanning around being overly confident and Weepy is no where near done. Of course. Tim comes in: FOCUS! PERFECTION! MODELS! Hair. Make up. Blow Fly accessories. We finally see May/la’s dress. It looks like her couture dress, with flaps and layers of flaps making an organic construct at the neck. Weepy’s machine is broken. Ben looks at his cobalt blue and ochre and thinks that this may be his moment. Miz Shoes does not.

Our judges this week are (still and thank the lord) NinaGarcia, Michael Kors, Heidi and the guest, Joanna Coles. Let’s walk:

Amy has made something with patterned fabric. Seth Aaron has made a fitted, fashion-forward jacket and skinny jeans in what looks like a metallic denim. It is hott, and the RLA and I decide that Heidi would wear it in a New York minute. Jesse’s done a little green slip dress and the panel of basketweave is barely visible. Anna Whomever’s shorts are short, the little vest cropped too high and worn over a shapeless blouse. Anthony’s dress is sculpted with flounces of fabric sort of cascading down off one shoulder and working into a structure at the waist and hip. Weepy’s dress is beige with a dark trim on the cut away arm holes. Mil/ya has done beige on beige on beige color blocking. Emilio’s little slip dress is nicer than Jesse’s little slip dress, with more interest at the neckline. Jay’s long, asymmetrical baby doll is also pale. Jonathan has, inexplicably, made a micro-length romper with huge bell sleeves. May/la’s organic collar is beige on grey. And then there’s Ben and his bold color blocking.

Seth Aaron is called first, followed by Jay, May/la, Jesse, Jonathan and Amy, and our hopes of him being among the top designers are dashed. That’s the middle of the pack, and they are safe and sent away.

Ben says that his piece is his impression of Madame Butterfly (for the third time, and Miz Shoes wonders if he’s ever seen the opera or if he’s just hoping nobody else has, either.) Michael Kors says that if this were on the cover of a magazine, it would just cut through the noise of the newsstand. Really? Heidi loves the back. Ms Coles calls it a contender? Again, really?

Anna Whomever says that she made her color palette just for Heidi. NinaGarcia calls her pieces shapeless. Joanna Coles says that she has used three ingredients in one dish that make one nauseous, and that furthermore, Marie Claire is a fashion magazine, not a teen magazine and that Anna Whomever has totally missed the readership.

Anthony says that he was inspired by Heidi her own self and that is why his dress is feminine and modern. Michael cheers that he has taken the one-shoulder look and made it new. Nina is enthusiastic that Anthony has embraced color. Ms Coles calls it great.

Weepy’s ocean inspired dress is dismissed as having seaweed organza hanging around the neck. Heidi does not see it as fashion-forward at all. Ms Coles sniffs that if that is the ocean, it is a polluted sea. Not to be outdone by her boss, NinaGarcia announces that it is sweet and bridal and if there is one thing that Heidi Klum Samuels is not, it is sweet.

Mil/ya’s dress is feminine but strong, she says. No, says Michael Kors, it is an Ace bandage. It is a jog bra with a v-neck. NinaGarcia flatly states that the beige/greige/bland color blocking makes a giant V pointing to the crotch.

Emilio has a strong color, and good detail at the neckline. Michael impressed with how he took soft, drapey jersey and made it structural. NinaGarcia thinks it might be a little junior-ish, and Emilio whips out his scissors and cuts the straps off, right there on the runway. Then he undoes the model’s tight little pony tail. Emilio earns huge points for that with the judges.

The designers are sent away for the real critiquing to happen. Weepy’s dress was not Heidi. Anna Whomever’s work was horrible. NinaGarcia and MK admit that the shorts seem to have been sewn well, though. Maybe. Mil/ya gets the worst of it, with her dress called the color of hospital food, and that being on the cover would cause people to walk right by the magazine rack.

There will be no immunity for our winner tonight, because the reward is So. Huge. And Anthony wins!!! Oh, happy happy joy joy. Heidi loves the dress and can’t wait to wear it. Anthony acknowledges that he has taken every bit of every critique the judges have given him to date and used it to better his designs. Ben is in, Emilio is in, Mil/ya is in. That leaves the expected bottom two: Anna Whomever and Weepy McWeepersons. True to her inability to hold the viewer’s interest, Anna Whomever gets sent home. Weepy weeps and is told to get off the runway, already.

Next week? CHILDREN!!!! This is going to be fun.

In a yellow Manhattan, Anna Whomever is not surprised that Ping is gone, and she and Weepy McWeepersons are the last roommates standing. Miz Shoes speculates that in two more episodes, that room will be empty. For now though, the Nameless One and the One Who Cries ALL the Time are bonding. Jesus is going to show he deserves to be here, gosh darn it. Jesse has to come out. That’s what my notes say. Come out swinging? Come out with something amazing? Come out with a bon mot? Whatever. Mila and Maya are recreating the mirror scene between Harpo and Groucho. Or they’re just sitting side by side working on their grim bobs and red lipstick. May/la speculates that they are competitors because they are so similar.

On the runway, Heidi says that the challenge this week will be to tell Mila and Maya apart. Then she says that the hint is that Mila has immunity and Maya doesn’t. The sewing challenge will be to design a look for a Fashion Week gala. Their models will be some inspiring women. Lisa Walker, VP of Innovation for Campbell’s Soup defines the challenge. Campbell’s Soup is a sponsor of Go Red For Women, a women’s heart health not-for-profit. The Go Red For Women Gala is a big deal and top models and celebrities walk the runway in red dresses by top designers. For a gimmick, it’s ok. The Project Runway designers have to use red, Campbell’s branded fabric or create their own version of the Campbell’s logo and make a dress to wear to this event for one of these 13 randomly sized/shaped women whose lives have been impacted by heart disease. Actually she said that the women had been impacted, and one supposes that’s true in a literal and grammatically correct way, but Miz Shoes prefers her sentence structure. The winner of the challenge will have their design sold as a limited-edition on the Project Runway web site. The winner will also get to be the model’s date at the gala.

Jennifer tells Ben that her heart stops so she has a pacemaker. Jay’s model was dead for two minutes, and he just cries and cries at the drama of it all. Seth Aaron is working with Rose, who wants something “classy and sassy”. Jesus weeps with joy to find out that his model is “tiny” and so he can make pleats. Mil/ya drones in the nasal, flat and affectless way that all the grim Edith Head clones speak, that she has immunity but that, Wow. What if she could. Win two. In a. Row. Beep. That. Would. Be. Awesome. Beep. Tisha and Anthony both fan themselves, and swear that they won’t make each other cry any more than will get them air time.

One day, $100 at Mood. There are bins of Cambell’s red fabric all over Mood, or they can use other shades of red. Emilio is going to make a short cocktail dress. Jesse is wearing Logan’s old knit cap. Janeane complains that these are real women, not models and so she can’t make a pageant dress in ten hours because the seams take longer to sew when you have to make something bigger than a doll dress. May/la is inspired by the shape of the heart, so she’s going to make another sweetheart neckline. Anna Whomever is going to trace the Campbell’s logo onto red chiffon, using a darker red marker. She claims that this is because she’s been a printmaker for the last four years. Jonathan is happy to be sewing for a real woman using Campbell’s Soup branded fabric. Amy is having a hard time with the slippery fabric she’s using. Oh, honey, Miz Shoes feels your pain. Miz Shoes has tried to sew charmeuse before.

At the model fittings, Amy still hasn’t managed to get the chiffon onto the charmeuse. Anna Whomever is going to create an empowering experience, whatever that means. Anthony says that the other designers have never sewn for real women. Weepy’s model won’t shut up about how she’s had open heart surgery, and look at her, can you believe it? Blah blah blah. Shut up and let the woman pin. And then Weepy’s dress falls in a bucket of water that just happens to be sitting under the ironing board for no apparent reason, and she has to use a blow dryer and whine about her sad sack life and luck. My notes say “non-event”. (Sort of like the entire episode, frankly.)

Tim’s walkabout: Jesse is keeping it simple because his model is “full-figured” (designer speak for built like a small refrigerator) and he’s going to give the little red dress some interest with a little white jacket. Tim says that he’d better have a knock-out jacket because without that, Jesse will have nuthin’. Mil/ya or May/la says that she’s working with ivory and red taffeta and that the model is a “tough fit” (designer speak for not built like a drinking straw). Jesse’s dress is fitted and shows some cleavage. May/la is creating a swoopy, drape-y heart shaped swag across her model’s chest. Amy still hasn’t finished her foundation. Her dress exposes her model’s surgery scars like a badge of courage. (Amy, for those of you playing Project Runway Buzzword Bingo along at home, has facial piercings.) Seth Aaron has made a draped Grecian thing. It knocks Tim’s sensible brogues off, and in a bad way. Seth Aaron! he exclaims, I would never have expected this from you. Seth Aaron is not stupid. Seth Aaron abandons the look the second Tim turns away. Weepy is still whining about not being able to make a gown in one day.

Day of show and the men are all wearing twee bow ties and faux hawks. ALL of them. Except Jesus, who is wearing a scarf. Anthony says how horrible it would be to be one of their own models, being all struck with heart disease and shit, and now you gotta come out and have Michael Kors, NinaGarcia and Heidi Klum tell you that your designer has also made you look awful, too. Someone in the workroom says that things are looking more cooter than couture. At least, that’s what my notes say. Anna Whomever is rushed. Mil/ya and her model are thrilled with their gown, a red shiny thing with a giant white star inset around the hip, and other stars else where. Emilio snarks that it looks like a cheap flag, and Miz Shoes says that isn’t far from the mark. More catty talk behind each other’s backs. Running around, irons hissing, designers spitting steam. Finally, it’s time for the show.

Tonight’s judges are NinaGarcia, Michael Kors and Georgina Chapman, one of the founders of Marchessa, and so a legitimate judge who might actually say something meaningful.

Jonathan has made something in a deep tomato-soup red, not the kitchy red of the soup can itself. It has tiers, and reminds me of the Monique Lhuillier that Drew Barrymore wore to the SAGS, but with a couple more tiers. Emilio has done a strapless mini. May/la’s dress has that swag/swoop/heart shaped thing and it looks from the couch to be a wee bit Wonder Womany and a wee bit window treatment at the Hollywood Western Musical Saloon. Amy’s chiffon has finally been sewn onto the foundation, and it is a very pretty goddess gown. Jesus has made something very short and very tight and it has rhinestone straps. It is every bit as horrifying as it sounds. Anna Whomever’s short version of a goddess gown is NOT flattering. Someone has sent out a sweetheart neckline and a train. Jesse’s little red dress is covered by a great little white jacket. There is something about the way this guy uses color and cut so that what looks like a trim or an accent is revealed to be a full under layer with interesting details. He can be a pill, and not in the endearing way that Christian was, but there’s something there. Ben has done something using gold, and it looks a little Wonder Woman around the bodice, too. Mil/ya’s giant stars elicits an all caps and underlined “GACK” in the handwritten notes. Janeane made an asymmetrical bubble hem. We’ve never seen that before, and hope never to again. She’s made a silk flower out of the branded fabric. Seth Aaron has put a black skirt on that draped bodice and his model works it. It may be a bit short.

Mil/ya and May/la, Anna Whomever, Amy, Jesse and Jesus are the top and bottom designers. Mil/ya says that in researching the Campbell’s dossier, she gravitated to the star icon. Georgina, inexplicably, says that it made her smile, that it was fun and classic. This woman started Marchessa? NinaGarcia says that it is a brilliant incorporation of the star. Really? Has NinaGarcia started smoking crack again? Jesse says that he tried to make something that worked with his model’s body. Michael Kors says, really? because it looks like a majorette costume to him. NinaGarcia says that the neckline is beautiful and that better fabric would have helped. Georgina snarks about white at the waist, but she loved May/la’s clown suit, so what does she know.

Michael Kors tells Jesus that he has hit the Project Runway Trifecta: he’s made something short, shiny and tight. And he has committed an additional sin by adding on rhinestones. Heidi says that Jesus may be able to sew, but that his taste level is questionable. (Anybody have BINGO, yet?) Amy says that her model wanted strapless to show off her scar. NinaGarcia tells her that the fabric is perfect. Georgina says that it moved beautifully. So the woman is two for three. Michael Kors says it’s elegant and modern. Anna Whomever has used ivory to create a not-a-very-good illusion racer back and neckline. Mother of the Bride on Ice? And it’s short. MK says it is not flattering. Georgina points out the obvious and says it isn’t an evening dress. May/la has draped well and made something that flattered her model’s body, but the judges feel a little guilty liking it. (Miz Shoes thinks that could be because of the previously mentioned resemblance to the drapes at the bordello frequented by Adam and Hoss and when Ben Cartwright finds out that the two older boys took Little Joe, too, consequences must be paid.)

The designers leave the runway and the judges say what they really think: Jesse’s outfit was great from the waist up, taste is something you just can’t learn, JESUS. Anna Whomever tied a belt around a bag and missed the point of the challenge. (That’ll be on next week’s downloadable Bingo cards.) Mil/ya gets high praise for reasons that totally escape Miz Shoes and always will. Except, if she had to write a paper about it for an art history class. Then, there would have been a certain whimsy in Mil/ya creating another 1960’s pop art reference, when the patron saint of all things 1960’s pop art is Andy Warhol’s CAMPBELL’S SOUP CANS!!!!! Oh, the cool, hipster irony of Our Grim Miss Brooks kills us, rilly. Hand me my black turtleneck.

Amy handled the fabric well. Wait. Didn’t we see her struggle? Maybe she used tissue paper between the layers of fabric and between the fabric, the presser foot and the feed dogs. That’s the method we use here at Tante Leah’s Handmades. Liking May/la’s work made the judges question their own taste levels. So… May/la is in. Amy is the winner. Good for Amy. It is a pretty (and easily reproduceable for sale on the Project Runway website, remember) little gown. Mil/ya is in. Jesse is in. Anna Whomever made serious misjudgments and created something unflattering. Jesus had lousy taste. Jesus is history. Man, we’re going to miss the Jesus wept/slept jokes around here. Jesus is shocked to have been eliminated, proving that he was also your “clueless about his own ability” character.

Next week someone says that the designers have used three ingredients that leave you feeling nauseous. Can’t wait for that.

Project Runway Buzzword Bingo Card

In a yellow Manhattan, Jesus weeps. OK, so not so much weeping as whining about being on the bottom again. Jesus speaks of himself in the third person. Jesse is from Orlando and is wearing a twee hat. Ping is a flake, forgetting one contact lens and her shoes. On the runway, Heidi asks the designers if they would like to meet iconic fashion designers from all times. Of course they say yes, and end up at the Metropolitan Museum in the recently refurbished Charles Englehard Court, which is filled with mannequins wearing some seriously fierce shit from the fashion collection. Is that pink cocoon coat a Poiret? Who knows, because we spend no time on them. The designers will be given an unprecedented $500, 45 minutes at Mood and two days to make their own iconic design statement. And they have to work in teams. Whoa. Bummer.

Jay, as last week’s winner, is a team leader and gets the first pick of the pack. He takes Maya. That’s the youthful but grim, black-bobbed Edith Head clone. Jesus chooses Amy, and Anthony (who has taken to wearing a twee little bow tie) grabs up Seth Aaron (Sad wanna-be rocker). Weepy McWeepersons aka Janeane opts to partner with Ben from Tampa. (Florida represent!) Mila nabs Jonathan for his construction skills. Ping ends up as a leader and picks Jesse, who is inconsolable at the horror of working with her. Emilio ends up with Anna Whoever. The designers wander around going ooh and aaaah. Yves St. Laurent! Seth Aaron gets within a micron of a Dior and bursts into tears. That’s it for Miz Shoes. She now loves Seth Aaron, sad wanna be rocker boy persona, chipped black nail polish and possibly dyed black hair and all. Madame Grès. Balenciaga.

In the Parson’s workroom, the team dynamics shape up quickly. Maya is certain that Jay is going to do basically nothing because he has immunity, which means that she’s going to have to push her ideas on him and try to be the leader. Jesse is pissy bitch who is certain that Ping is too much of a skill-less whack job who lacks focus to be the team leader. Anna Whoever is intimidated by the masterful Emilio. Jonathan assesses his team thusly: Mila is going to swan around having a vision (a fashion-forward nod to 60’s mod) and he’s going to have to be the little seamstress. Ping is unhappy with Jesse trying to constantly rein in the crazy. Jesse is unhappy that Ping is his partner/leader. They both express their unhappiness at five minute intervals for the rest of the show, both in the confessional and in the workroom. At the other end of the spectrum, Anthony and Seth Aaron are having a love fest. It’s sweet: emo rocker wanna be and Madea’s baby sister. Anthony says they’re making a black, yellow and red gown…for the VP of McDonald’s. Because everyone needs a ball gown, don’t they? Jesse is piecing together grey lace and moaning about time constraints.

Day Two

Time for Tim to come in with the 11th hour twist! Now the teams have to do a second look: a low-end knock off of one of the other team’s iconic looks. Out comes the button bag and the picks go so fast Miz Shoes can’t keep track. $50 and 20 minutes for one person at Mood, then sewing till the end of day. Needless to say, Jesse hates the fabric that Ping brings back. Maya accuses Jay of slacking off. Ben and Weepy McWeepersons are collaborating well. Jonathan is a little stressed, because Mila is making a coat, and he’s doing everything else. Seth Aaron and Anthony have a little lover’s spat, while Ping and Jesse continue to loathe each other and the other designers just want them to Shut The Fuck Up already.

Now Tim comes in for his walkabout:  Jay and Maya have time issues. Ping has cheap looking fabric that she says cost a lot of money and Jesse smugly adds that he TOLD her it sucked. TIm likes Seth Aaron and Anthony’s piece and can easily identify it as the look re-imagined on the cheap by Jonathan (and Mila). Jesse wears a twee hat, and bitches about Ping.

Day of Show

Jonathan is feeling the pain: he’s done 2/3s of the signature look and the inexpensive knock off. Mila has done the coat. Over in the girl’s dorm, two of the nameless faces are dressed in black and one of them says that they’re dressed for a funeral: the death of their hopes and dreams. Perfunctory trash talking: Emilio likes Anthony and Seth Aaron’s concept but not their execution. Jonathan and Mila discuss their division of labor and the likelihood of throwing each other under the bus (about 100% on either side). Ben’s concerned about Jesse and Ping, Ping loves her work and Jesse is merely shooting for safe. Then he sulks that it sucks to shoot so low.

The judges are Heidi, NinaGarcia, Michael Kors and some dude named Matthew Williamson who’s an acclaimed British designer of whom Miz Shoes has never heard. Let the runway commence. Anthony/Seth Aaron have done a big gown with a yellow bodice covered with black tulle. Emilio and Anna Whoever have done something short with a bolero. Mila’s vision is a pair of high waisted skinny black pants and a shiny tank under a cocoon/kimono jacket in black with big white inset circles that go through the sleeves and into the body. It is admittedly very true to her 60’s Mod, but the high waisted track pants and shiny tank deserve a Michael Kor’s disco put down. Janeane’s dress is short and black and boring and has a bolero. Miz Shoes detects a theme. Jay’s dress is glamorous, with ruffles that cascade down the front and back. Jesse has created a gorgeous bodice onto which Ping has attached her usual yardage…with big honking buttons over the ass, and the model has got it draped up around her shoulders like a steel grey Statue of Liberty.

Then the knock-off looks come out and except for Jonathan’s yellow and black baby doll dress, complete with black tulle caterpillar on the bodice which is clearly based on Seth Aaron and Anthony, they all look alike. Black sheaths with boleros. Or just dark grey sheaths. Janeane, Ben, Jesus, Amy, Emilio and Anna Whoever are safe. Ping and Anthony are the bottom two, Mila and Jay the tops.

Michael Kors leads off by loading the love onto Mila’s coat. Heidi would wear it. NinaGarcia would photograph it. As for the knock-off? Juniors! Genius, except for the baby doll silhouette, proving that one day you’re in and the next you’re out, since it wasn’t that long ago that every other winning dress on the PR runway was a cooed-over baby doll. Jay and Amy’s couture look is deemed collectible. NinaGarcia loves the bare side. Their little $47 knock off blows away the $500 original it was based on. Must have been one of the black sheaths. On the runway, Ping, Jesse and even the model whip out the long knives on each other. Jesse says he had to teach Ping to sew at the same time he was doing all the work. Ping says that Jesse was a total pain. The model(!) says that Ping didn’t even take the time to fit the potato sack she’s wearing. Oh, come on, that dress totally looked like last week’s before materials.

Anthony and Seth Aaron earn Michael Kors’ “southern cotillion from hell” and a Gone With the Wind reference. Their look for less is an acetate cocktail number from the cheap floor. NinaGarcia asks Seth Aaron why he didn’t step in to rescue this mess and he mans up and says that Anthony was the team leader and a good one, and that it was a 50/50 collaboration, and that he stands by their work. That’s it, Miz Shoes is officially on Team Seth Aaron.

The judges toss around the words edgy, chic, costumey and ill-fitting before Heidi announces that Jonathan is in and Mila is the winner. (Really? Meh.) Maya and Jay are in. Seth Aaron is in. Jesse is in. Anthony and his little bow tie are safe, and Ping is sent home to be a physical therapist and make togas for her Barbies out of scarves.

How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm?

We are back in New York where we belong. There is the clearly filtered bilious green Manhattan sky line, as opposed to the bilious green LA skyline, which needed no filter to achieve that color. There is the Atlas, where Jesus sleeps. He says he hated being in the bottom and he needs to step up his game and get more creative. Oh, lordy, says Miz Shoes, we have ourselves the Cliché Spouter. Check that off your Reality Show Bingo card. Over in the girls’ dorm, there is make up, Neitzche and a general cluelessness as to what this challenge may be.

Heidi glows on the runway as she tells Emilio that he has immunity since he won last week. He also is wearing a hat. It isn’t quite twee, but the season is young. The designers will be taking a trip to somewhere “really out there.” Clueless guesses abound, but in the event, it is a working farm. Tim and the models are in a wet, plowed field. Tim is in a suit and the models are in potato sacks. Tim reminds everyone of the old chestnut about being so beautiful that the person in question would look good in a potato sack. The challenge will be to make party dresses from the burlap sacks. AND the models will have input, being clients. AND they will wear the dresses to an industry party. AND, since they are the clients, the models will get to choose which designer they want to have clothe them. AND it’s a one-day challenge. Whew. That is a LOT of variables.

The nameless models pick their designers, some sticking with the one they worked with in episode one, and others not. Alexis opts to leave Mila (she’s the grim Edith Head clone with the dyed black bob) and try Anthony (he’s your Flamboyant Gay Character on your Reality Show Bingo Card). This leaves Mila not at all happy, and she gets less happy as model after model chooses someone other than her until she is the last kid on the playground and the last model gets stuck with her. They both pretend to be thrilled. But if I were either Alexis or Anthony, I’d sleep with one eye open, if you know what I mean. The designers and models go to the nearby farm stand to grab trim, buttons, dyes, and findings.

Ping (Whack Job with Artistic Pretentions on your Reality Show Bingo Card) wants to play with texture. Mila and Lorena continue their love fest as they decide that they have similar aesthetics. Anthony wishes Alexis had stuck with Mila because she wants flowy and sparkly and he is all: honey, it is a burlap sack. Whatchoo talkin’ bout Willis? Emilio is thrilled to have immunity on this. Ben from Florida is going to make an upside down tulip. The RLA says that the HP sketch pads are cool and tries to talk to me about Apple’s new notepad computer. He stops when I glare at him and point to the tv screen.

Mila just won’t let go, and spends her time in the work room needling Anthony and saying that working with him is Alexis’ loss. Anthony confessionalizes that Mila can kiss his and his whole family’s collective asses. All righty then. Emilio observes that burlap is hard to work with. One of the still-faceless and nameless women is making a print on her potato sack using dye and a sliced potato. OK, points for clever, or maybe we’ve just hit the Twee square.

Tim comes in for his walkabout. Pamela is doing a bustier and skirt, but as a one-piece. Tim questions the time it will take. She says she’s good. Tim loves her ombre dye job. Mila’s model wants tulle around the neck, and Tim says oh, good lord, no, and so Mila turfs the tulle. Jay is dyeing fabric and then adding trim and Tim is concerned about time management. Ping is carving burlap and draping herself again, because the dress form doesn’t let her see movement, or something. The skirt is too short and Tim reminds her that the runway is elevated and we don’t want to be seeing model hoo-ha. Ping says she’ll take care of it.

Amy’s model wants lots of ruffles and Tim is concerned that this is not reflective of Amy’s point of view. Jesus has made a pencil skirt using ribbon applied on the diagonal over the burlap to create a new, not-burlap fabric. Tim dings him for “skirting” the challenge. Ah, that Tim Gunn. He is too droll. Jesus does not listen to Tim. Cross off Stupid Git Who Doesn’t Listen to Tim on your Reality Show Bingo Card.

The models come in and Jesus tells his girl that she needs to sell it on the runway because he totally screwed the pooch. Ping realizes that she may have problems with her skirt. Anthony is still rolling his eyes over his model’s taste and Mila is still gloating that she is glad, glad, glad that Alexis dissed her and went with Anthony. I still wouldn’t let her stand too close behind me. Jay is distressed that his dye has turned his burlap navy blue and not whatever shade he thought it was going to be.

And, crap. That Blowfly skank is still wandering around naked and smug. You’d think they could have gotten another commercial in the can by now, wouldn’t you? Or if Blowfly is all that, couldn’t she have picked something out and gotten it shipped? Oh well. It’s the day of the show. Some dude is dithering over shoes or boots, shoes or boots. Jay is freaking out. Janeane (Reality Show Bingo Card square for Cries All The Time) has lots of work to do and is nervous. Two hours for hair and make up. Use the Blowfly wall,



Runway. Judges are NinaGarcia, Michael Kors looking much less orange and Lauren Hutton, who has NOT HAD WORK DONE and thank the lord for that. She is fabulous.

Anthony’s model walks first. The dress he’s made is sweet and looks soft. Ping’s model exposes her ass crack down and back. She appears to be wearing a lamp shade for a skirt. Uh, not pretty. Ben from Florida has made a pink dress that does look a little floaty. Mila has made something nasty with metal all over it and seams and whatever. The metal strips don’t actually line up in any meaningful way. Anna Marie, whoever she is, doesn’t get a legible note. Is she the potato print girl?

Jesse has made pants and a vest, with color trim peeking out here and there. Seth, who dresses funny but seems a lot nicer human being than the person he reminds everyone of (Jeffrey the Pin-Headed Shmoo, aka the angry little peanut) has done some sort of Judy Jetson dress with an attached hoodie and a lampshade skirt. But this is a boned and bell-shaped lampshade, not Ping’s stiff oval shade. Amy’s dress has a handkerchief hem and the burlap still looks like burlap, but in a good way.

Jay’s dress has a tank top and a full, tutu skirt with the fluffy stuff made of applied and shredded burlap circles. It looks an awful lot like Christopher Straub’s stuff from early in last season. Emilio has done a sheath dress with interest added with vertical stripes of color. We don’t see enough to tell if this is applied ribbon, or dyed, pieced strips. Jesus has a dark brown burlap tank over his acid green ribbon skirt. There is a patch of the burlap randomly applied to one ass cheek of the skirt. Jonathon (who may be the boots or shoes boy) has made a slip dress with a vertical stripe of lace down the middle of the front. Maya has some shapeless thing with color. Pamela’s burlap looks like denim, laces in the back and the skirt makes the model’s butt look huge.

Pamela, Mila, Ping, Jay, Jesus and Amy are the top and bottom designers. Michael Kors loves the shredded fluffy stuff on Jay’s dress. Transformative! Pamela’s dress is too short, too tight and not sophisticated, according to NinaGarcia. MK says that the plain potato sack would look better than this, but allows as how the dye job was spectacular. Mila says that she visualized the color. Heidi loves it, of course, because it is short, tight and shiny. MK has issues with the gappy fit on the bodice, but Heidi says it’s sexy. Ping cries. Heidi clocks Jesus over the percentage of burlap vs not burlap. NinaGarcia says it needs to be cooler and younger. Michael notes that the color blocking doesn’t work and that he gave his model an asymetrical ass. NinaGarcia says that Jesus has awful color sense. Amy has done a cowl neck and an open back. Michael Kors says that it’s flirty and sophisticated, but still burlap! Is Ping really unable to understand English or is it a ploy? Lauren Hutton loves her potential, at any rate.

Amy is in. Jay turned a potato sack into a perfect cocktail dress and is our winner. Mila is called edgy and sophisticated (but not by Miz Shoes, who stands by her opinion that Mila’s piece was poorly constructed and lame) and she is in. Ping is in (and again, Miz Shoes thinks that Lauren Hutton pulled hard for her). Pamela made a mess, and her taste level is questionable, as is her ability to be fashion forward. Jesus missed the point and made a mundane and matronly mess. Nevertheless, Jesus is saved and Pamela is Aufsie Daisy.

Next week, a team challenge and NinaGarcia says “both of these dresses are ugly.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s just get this over with. Miz Shoes was disinclined to expend the energy on notes, so this may not be the most accurate recap you ever read. The final adequate three have been chosen and given a meager pittance to create a collection to show in Bryant Park. Tim is subjected to humiliation, delivering forced repartee with Heidi and then having to dance The Bump with her behind the scrim. It’s embarrassing.

Further injury and insult takes the form of a flowery apron, tied neatly over his black suit by Carol Hannah and her mother, as Tim makes biscuits with the women. That is neither a metaphor nor a symbol of something deeper. Sometimes a biscuit is only a biscuit. Carol Hannah has been inspired by a visit to the Duke Campus at night. Apparently, they have some drab grey topiary at Duke.

Next Tim meets the ur-creaky old elevator you’ve ever seen in a horror/action flick and visits Althea in her gritty brick loft, a relic from the days when Dayton was a boom town. Miz Shoes cannot speculate on the decade that may have been. Althea has been inspired by something or another and is making the same black sequin waiter’s jacket she made all season. There are more pants. There are more oversized knits and drab colors.

Finally Tim is allowed back onto the island of Manhattan where he is taken to Irina’s favorite restaurant and he (presumably), but not the viewers, is introduced to everyone at the table. Irina’s sisters all look exactly like her, and she is the clone of her mother. Everyone gets subtitles, and it’s kind of awesome and kind of insulting. Her mother looks like she’s wearing the sweater Irina made for the Aspen challenge. It’s the same color, and has the same cowl neck.

Irina is inspired by New York City, specifically, Coney Island. She has made drab grey tee shirts with the iconic image of the Coney Island ferris wheel. Everything else is black, including the oversized knits. Later, we see Tim telephone her to say that the producers and the lawyers have determined that that iconic image is copyrighted by someone else, and she doesn’t have permission to use it. Irony? Anyone? Anyone?

Finally, it is fashion week and the girls meet again at the hotel. Irina and Althea sit in awkward silence for hours waiting for Carol Hannah, who never shows because she has a stomach virus. But she recovers enough to show up for model casting. Then she throws up. Then Michael Kors and NinaGarcia come

to fulfill their contractual obligations

to give some last minute advice. Irina ignores what NinaGarcia tells her, because what would NinaGarcia know about fashion editorials?

Carol Hannah is still sick when Heidi and Tim come to give them the annual Surprise Thirteen Look At The Last Minute For Drama (trademark). To help them, the last three designers thrown off the show get to come and eat ashes and crow. Althea snaps up Logan who is still bow-legged, but no longer wearing the magic shiny pants. Irina tells Gordana to come to Mama, and Gordana pretends joy as she steps to her side. Carol Hannah is so happy not to be puking on national television, that she welcomes Christopher.

Irina pretends to think that Althea somehow channeled her from afar and stole her ideas. They both have knits. Gordana asks for a crochet hook while at Mood. Over on Ravelry, there is debate about the knits. Althea said that she herself had been knitting, whereas Irina merely called hers handknit. So did Irina knit, or did she hire someone to knit for her?

Next week, Irina styles her models like Jillian from Season 4, and we find out who won and like baseball fans everywhere, sigh, well, there’s always next season. It has to be better than this one.

Bile green LA morning: Althea and Irina are no longer speaking. Irina is a smug bitch. Christopher is the last boy standing and says it’s strange. Agreed. Gordana wants to represent. This is the last challenge. Tim is going to take them to an iconic place with priceless views. More green smog. The Getty Museum. The mayor of LA claims that LA is the creative capitol of America. Miz Shoes weeps for the death of creativity. Thirty minute tour. Sketching. Mood. Models as assistant muses. Althea is inspired by the architecture of the museum itself. Carol Hannah is overcome by the French decorative arts and what appears to be Marie Antoinette’s bed. It is a turquoise and gold brocaded rococo confection with swoops and swags and ostrich feathers. Irina is seduced by a faux-Orientalist semi-Pre-Raphaelite women languidly lolling around in diaphanous togas. Gordana weeps at the sight of one of Monet’s cathedrals in dawn light. And Christopher. Ah, weeping, prayer-handed emo boy is overcome by the beauty of algae on rocks in an outdoor fountain. Oh, Christopher, you are so edgy…not.

Mood. Irina finds a sheared goat pelt. Christopher finds acid green. Carol Hannah is panicking. So far, so much of the same as every other episode this season. To the workroom, where Irina is a bitch and talks smack about the other designers, Carol Hannah fumbles around and Christopher continues to be a tool. Gordana says it would be sooooo disappointing to make it this far and not go to Bryant Park. Six seasons of watching, and the dismal reality of this season, lets us know that is a sure sign that Gordana will NOT be going to Bryant Park. Thank you blatant foreshadowing.

Irina is a bitch, who is now Gordana’s pal, having burned Althea. Carol Hannah is now Christopher’s pal, since Logan is gone and forgotten. Tim comes in for his walkabout, and tells Carol Hannah to lose the diagonal swash across the bust, Irina to lose the goat fur road kill and warns Althea about the puckering on her strippy, cross hatched piecing. (Which is exactly the same as her Bob Mackie challenge dress.) Tim loves Gordana’s dress and the clear inspiration of the Monet. She’s dead.

Christopher displays his only self-awareness this entire season when he confessionalizes that he knows that he’s being portrayed as the wacky kid who never listens to Tim. The designers all talk shit about the others. Everything looks pretty lousy. Morning. Workroom. Stress. Back-biting. Christopher says his dress is dirty and pretty and he’s sure that the judges will finally see his vision. Irina is a bitch about Christopher. Althea’s a bitch about Gordana. Irina is a bitch about Althea. It’s a circle jerk of bitchiness.

Tim gives the last pep talk. Make NinaGarcia’s stilettos blow off her feet and shoot across the room. Yeah, says Miz Shoes from her couch, good luck with that. Heidi tells the designers this is a double elimination. The judges are NinaGarcia, Cynthia Rowley (Miz Shoes loves Cynthia Rowley) and Cindy Crawford. Ho-fucking-hum. Time to see what these guys have managed to produce.

Althea has a sandstone colored dress with a sheer top over a very puckered skirt. Carol Hannah has made a pretty gold gown with some fabric braiding on one shoulder. Christopher has a grey and green sheer drawstring-necked top (Vampire Bride), with a grey corset (paper challenge) and a straight skirt with some really horrible finger painting.


Gordana’s dress is a simple sheath with layers of colors that are evocotive of both her inspiration and a vagina. Irina’s model has a terrible, terrible horse-stomp walk and a floppy green dress that looks like a 1980s disco fever dream. Her model is styled like the muse in that rollerskating movie…Xanadu.

Althea’s dress has an underworked top and an overworked skirt. Heidi calls it a mess fest. NinaGarcia tells Irina that she has styled her goddess gown like an old lady. The length is wrong. The styling is wrong. The shoes are awful. Gordana’s silk organza is beautifully made. Heidi can see the connection to the painting. The judges finally decide that the zipper is badly sewn. Carol Hannah and her French decorative arts: Cynthia Rowley loves the fit, Cindy Crawford doesn’t see the connection. NinaGarcia calls it perfect and safe.

And then there is Christopher. He cries that he IS a rock with algae. Thanks for sharing. Get off the runway. The usual question of why should you go and who should go with you results in predictable answers: Because I WANT it so bad. Because I’ve never been in the bottom three. Because I make beautiful clothes that women want to wear. Because I’m an immigrant with American dreams (that from Irina, by the way).

More filler of the judges pretending to make a “tough” decision. Irina is in. Carol Hannah is in. Althea is in. Gordana and Christopher go home. And that’s a wrap. Miz Shoes is so over this season, that she isn’t even committed to watching the finale. Will the bitch win? Or the little blonde or the big blonde?


Finally, Miz Shoes would like to show Christopher what you do with grey and algae green that looks like water sparkling over rocks.


In case you don’t recognize the detail, that’s Laura Bennett’s amazing grey and acid green gown from season 3. Compare and contrast and learn.


Bilious green L.A. Logan and Christopher swap clichés about stepping up game, being on the bottom, getting out of their comfort zones, and Christopher whines that nobody understands him. Over in the female dorm room, they are gloating about how many women are left. Althea and Carol Hannah blow smoke about who will be in Bryant park and comfort zones and something else or another.

The designers are facing away from the runway, listening to rustling noises and getting worried. This is what passes for drama these days, one supposes. When they turn around, Heidi is standing in the middle of a row of dress forms, each of which is wearing one of the remaining designer’s winning garment. In the case of Logan, who has never won a challenge, this is something long and two shades of grey and I have no idea which challenge it was from nor any memory of seeing it. That’s pretty damning for a show about creativity.  In the case of Irina (who has won more challenges than any one else this season and who won’t shut up about it as though this were a season where winning a challenge meant slightly more than squat), this means her giant pile of brown knits that won last week.

The challenge is to make a second look that goes with your winning garment. As usual, there is too little money for decent supplies and too little time for anything of quality or interest to come from this group. In other words, this is another one-day,  make something pretty challenge.

Althea focuses on the paper-bag waist on her original design, which I DO remember seeing, because the model’s boobs were flying around and the short skirt looked like a giant black diaper because it had a paper-bag waist and a bubble hem which combined for something quite unfortunate in shape. Irina, predictably gloats about her Aspen look being the basis of a collection. Gordana has the grey sort of mummy wrap dress from the divorcé challenge. Christopher has his pixie prom dress and decides that it needs to have a matching gown. Logan buys lots and lots of zippers at Mood, claiming that his look had a zipper detail on it somewhere. Christopher finds and buys 30 yards of something shiny and silver. Or white. Irina is making a dress that starts out as a work look and ends up a cocktail dress, which isn’t necessarily a contradiction in terms.

Carol Hannah is panicking and gets a Pep Talk From Tim TM that inspires her to stay in her comfort zone and make a pretty dress.  Workroom. Irina is cutting the pattern apart on her upholstery fabric to make a brocade. Althea is making trousers that are tight from ankle to knee and then full until pulled in on the high, paper-bag waist. In black, and there is a certain Princess PuffySleeves look about the silhouette.

Montage of designers includes Gordana’s back story: child of Bosnian-Serb farmers. Those of us old enough to remember remember that would have been a shitty place to be 20-some years ago. Logan is a straight gear-head from Idaho. Carol Hannah dithers and wanders off for coffee. Trash talking. Is it time for the runway yet? Tim’s Walk-About TM. Tim agrees with Carol Hannah that she does, in fact, have a scary mess. Tim loves Irina’s dress. Tim hates Christopher’s gown and says that it looks like the first dress’ dowdy, white-trash mama. Althea’s pants are scary. Logan is focusing on his color palette and zippers.

The zippers and the collar Logan is making. Irina and Althea make a big whispering mean-girls stink about Logan being a cheat and an idea thief. Then Irina turns on Althea and talks about her behind her back in the same terms, with a side of ridicule thrown in for not even seeing that she’s just the same a Logan. Rinse and repeat this scenario several more times randomly through the remainder of this review, and you will have the entire episode. Your humble narrator will now skip ahead to the runway and the judging.

Logan puts on his magic silver pants for good luck. Good lord, but that boy is bow-legged. Is he also a barrel racer? Heidi comes out in something so fucking hideous that she must have lost a bet or let her daughter pick things at random from the closet. She is wearing silver leather Burmuda shorts, a ruffled, flowery chiffon blouse in a hot pink print, and a black waiter’s jacket. I am frightened. Our judges tonight are NinaGarcia, Uncle Nick from Season 2 and Kerry Washington whose Wikipedia page tells me is an American actress who has been in movies I’ve seen. And I saw Logan’s dress, too, but same amount of memory has been expended in both instances, which is to say, exactly none.

Carol Hannah’s cute dress is cute. Althea has made a strappy-backed white tank to go with the scary pants, and a giant grey fuzzy knit wrap-bolero-thing is thrown over that. Logan has made a nice top with all those zippers, and a skirt that looks like a goth brothel lampshade. I know I used that phrase before, but this is the boudoir lamp, and the other one was from the public space. Irina has made a huge cocoon wrap out of that brown sweater knit and tossed it over her cocktail sheath. There is some very weird shit happening on the hip and hem, and nobody says a word about it. Gordana has made a sort of deconstructed jacket with tons of detailing at the waist to create the fit. It’s very interesting and I can see the same woman who would wear the grey mummy wrap in this.

Christopher is doused with ice water, verbally: proportions off, parade float, bedskirt, totally unrelated pieces. Irina: up-town chic, Kerry would call for it after seeing it on a runway, and NinaGarcia is aware that the empress has no clothes, but the other judges have drunk the kool-aid. Gordana is kicked in the teeth, verbally: old, drab, sad, Soviet-era dreariness, dated, office worker in Poland. Carol Hannah is delicious and Logan is a self indulgent student.  Judy Jetson, Nick calls it. Althea’s suit gets the love.

Moment of under-bus-throwing between Althea and Irina (see note above).  Deliberating. And Carol Hannah and her cute little dress are in. Althea is the winner and she better keep one eye open tonight when she sleeps (coughIrinacough). Christopher, for reasons unknown to all intelligent life in this galaxy is in. Logan and Gordana get a final reaming from the judges and then the magic is spent from Logan’s silver pants and he goes home. Gordana gets to stay and suffer under Heidi’s obvious hatred for another episode.

See, when I was young and in summer camp, I had a friend whose brother had (accidentally, he said) broken her nose. She was allowed to take the bandages off to go to camp, but she had to spend like ten minutes out of every hour pressing her deviated septum together. She’d forget, and then spend an hour with her fingers clamped on her nose, and say she was catching up on it, which became, when overheard by someone unfamiliar with the state of affairs, ketchup. So to this day, when I am behind, I think of the ketchup on it. So this is my Project Runway Ketchup On It.

Episode Nine

Christopher HAS to make it to Fashion Week, and Shirin deserves to be here. Carol Hannah thinks that she can win by staying in the middle of the pack.

The challenge is to meet the “Sultan of Sequins”, Mr. Bob Mackie, review his retrospective and produce an extravagant stage costume in his style. He remind the fashion hamsters that this isn’t fashion, it’s costume. It’s Glamor. It’s for Christina Aguilera (and Miz Shoes couldn’t pick her out of a line up, let’s be up front about that now. I only know of her from her frequent appearance on the pages of Go Fug Yourself).

Needless to say, Miss Nicolas is absolutely famischt at being in proximity to Bob Mackie, and has to fan herself. The hamsters have half an hour to sketch, $300 and half an hour at Mood and a gracious two days to work. There are the usual clichés about inspiration and icons and the usual running around Mood with no clue. Evil Twin Irina trash talks everyone. Christopher is going back to punk (ho-fucking hum to that). Carol Hannah is clueless. Logan admits that he doesn’t follow Xtina, which is to say, he has no idea who she is, but he hopes she likes fur. Nicolas is twitterpated. Gordana is disgusted with her fabric, which is shedding beads like a cat sheds fur at the veterinarian and cursing that she’s going to have to rely on her immunity, which, thank the lord, she has.

Day Two

Gordana starts over. Shirin decides that 1940s Hollywood glamor is the way to go. (Miz Shoes says, or not. Can you say done to fucking death this season?) Carol Hannah talks trash about Shirin. Tim comes for his walkabout.

Christopher, you think you have a big reveal, but both pieces look like cheap trash from the 90s. Althea, you are also doing something black, boring and with no wow to the reveal. Good lord, Gordana, that looks matronly. Are you insane? Nicolas, have you dragged your winning snow queen out for inspiration? No? This is new? Oh, are you sooooo lucky that Michael and NinaGarcia haven’t been here to see this particular trick pony before, because they would nail your ass to the wall for do overs. Carry on. Carol Hannah? This could be sexy. Maybe. Skip the reveall. Shirin, you have made a mash up of Guinevere and Vampira, it looks like bad student work and I hate it.

Evil Twin Irina talks trash. Shirin freaks out. Carol Hannah and Logan “flirt”. If you want to call it that.

Runway Day

Shirin continues to freak, Nicolas continues to twitterpate. Althea is confident and Evil Irina is a bitch. So far, everyone is sticking to the script. Carol Hannah is worried about all the raven wings she’s sewing on her dress. Nicolas says that Irina is a really good designer whose only problem is being a bitch. Fair enough. Christopher has made a bustier and sparkle panties. It’s worse than it sounds.

Our judges today are Bob Mackie, NinaGarcia and Xtina A.

Althea has made a silver dress with a black bolero and a long train. Logan has made a mini dress of black and silvergreen sequined zebra print. It has a black monkey fur ruff and a pathetic trio of little chains across the back. Thin chains. Shirin has made something long, shaggy and it looks like something Stevie Nicks would wear prior to rehab. Christopher’s model whips off the black mini dress to reveal a black bustier and striped, sequined, badly made boy shorts. Nicolas has made a silver and white (of course) mini dress with feathers and sequins and it actually does look like something Bob Mackie might sneeze out after a day in the sequins and feathers.Gordana’s dress is still awful. Irina has made a bulky jacket over mini-lingerie and Carol Hannah’s black dress has all sorts of black feathers and textures and some of it’s shiny and some of it’s matte.

Irina is sent away, safe. Gordana is told to be very grateful for her immunity and also sent away.

Xtina says she could see herself wearing Carol Hannah’s black thing. NinaGarcia calls it glamorous and Mackie loves all the different textures. Heidi calls it wow.

Shirin is told her dress looks like an upscale Halloween witch. Xtina points out that she couldn’t actually move in it. Althea worked the back side of the sequin fabric against the front to create her own matte and shiny stuff. It’s nicely made. Christopher can’t keep his trap shut and yaps about channeling Cyndi Lauper and NinaGarcia tells him that he’s made a cheap knockoff of Xtina’s Lady Marmalade costume, and Bob Mackie says it’s so trashy he wouldn’t put the corset on the back row of chorus girls.

Nicolas wins accolades from all of the judges, Heidi loves the short tight and shiny, Xtina says that she could shake it up in that little number and Bob Mackie calls it a great stage piece. Nicolas can die and go to heaven. Logan wanted to do something Xtina had never done before and so he lined his little Wilma Flintstone dress with hot pink, which can’t be seen. The judges rightly point out that he should have taken bigger chances and really played with the magenta against the Victorian collar and sequined zebra skin.

So. The judges deliberate a little more with Xtina talking about shaking her hips, and Bob Mackie calling Christopher’s outfit a sad little costume from a road company tribute band of the Pussy Cat Dolls. Logan’s dress was too short to be long and too long to be short and Mackie says something about putting a diamond on the crotch and you’re golden.

Althea is in. Carol Hannah and her dress of bird wings wins. Nicolas is in. Logan is in. Shirin and Christopher are lectured about doing cheap knockoff of cheap costumes and BORING Nina, and for reasons that nobody will ever know or understand, whiny Shirin gets sent home and Mr. One-note Christopher stays. Boo. Hiss. Boring. Next week we are promised both Michael Kors and NinaGarcia in the judges seats, so maybe there’s hope for this season yet.

Episode Ten

There is the usual blahblahblah about who’s gone and who’s in it to win it. Heidi tells the seven remaining designers that Tim is taking them on a road trip to Rodeo Drive, to the store of a world-renowned designer…who turns out to be Michael Kors, seemingly doing a guest appearance on his own freaking show. Quality, taste and style are his signature elements, and today he’s going to treat the designers to a slide show of some of his favorite places and inspirations, and they are going to have to try and find some of that same inspiration.

Carol Hannah picks Palm Beach, Nicolas opts for the Greek Islands, Althea goes for a St. Tropez tan, Gordana grabs New York City (it’s grey, a-freaking-gain), Evil Twin Irina jumps on Aspen for the fur and outerwear possibilities, Christopher accepts Santa Fe and Logan gets stuck with Hollywood. Thirty minutes to design, $150 at Mood and one day to crank out American Sportswear.

We hear what the designers imagine their locals to be: Palm Beach is relaxed, but put together. (HAHAHAHAHHAHA. No, it’s bad plastic surgery and too-bright colors) St. Tropez is seen as an old fishing town that just happens to be full of rich people on yachts, and Gordana says that New York is Park Avenue, sophisticated and independent. Logan is, as usual, lost. Evil Twin Irina is complaining that $150 is not enough money to buy fabric for a winter look. Miz Shoes would remind ETI that Aspen is also famous for its summer music festival and art show and oh, why bother.

Logan buys leather and is going to make a boho look with comfy, but skin tight jeans. Nicolas has fantasies of a tomboy in Greece. Carol Hannah doesn’t have enough fabric. Irina trash talks the other designers. Give it a rest. Nicolas is working on his details so as not to be on the bottom. Irina is making a faux fur vest and a sweater with a giant cowl neck. Miz Shoes would remind Irina that Mork and Mindy lived in Boulder, not Aspen and that Mindy’s sweaters were cute in the early 80s, but only barely. Gordana is working in grey. Althea did her whole piece in muslin first to make sure of the fit. It’s man-tailoring for women. Isn’t she always doing that? Over it.

Irina trash talks Christopher, who is making some Mary of the Prairie turquoise and brown chiffon thing with a big belt. Carol Hannah has done a halter top, flowy patterned maxi dress that looks like the fabric that Epperson used in the beach challenge. Nicolas says he’s designing for a fashion-forward young woman, but Tim is doubtful. Logan is designing for “young Hollywood” with a big top over his tight jeans. Irina’s done ski pants with a sweater with bat-wing sleeves and an enormous cowl neck. Tim tells her to watch her proportions. More trash talking on all sides. Nicolas doesn’t want to go home. Althea is smelling Bryant Park. That may just be the stale water in the steamer.

Runway Day

Carol Hannah isn’t feeling her dress. Nicolas had a freak out last night, but he’s feeling better now. Althea is confident. Logan is making last minute adjustments. Irina is trash talking the other designers. Christopher has made his Mary on the Prairie into a mini dress and thinks that solves his problems. It doesn’t. Gordana has made a dress to go with her ornate necklace of crystals and frayed chiffon. It is a simple little A-line with some squiggles of applique to create shape and interest where there is really none.

Our judges today are Michael Kors, NinaGarcia and Milla Jojovich, who actually has some really great stuff in her clothing line.

Logan sends out his tight white leather jeans with black suspenders. Althea has made burnished gold metallic leather shorts and a sheer top over a tank, Nicolas has made some interesting pants and a wrap top in jersey that evokes the sails of the windmills on the Greek Islands. To Miz Shoes, but apparently to nobody else on the planet. Carol Hannah’s halter dress is boring. Christopher is extremely proud of his nothing dress. Irinia has made snow-bunny clothes. The sweater is revealed to have a stupid vee-shaped cutout for no reason in the back. Gordana’s grey dress is pretty and the necklace is cool.

Althea leaves, safe in her mediocrity. Michael Kors loves the Irina does Aspen thing and says it isn’t a too literal interpretation of the 1980s. Christopher claims to be inspired by the colors of Santa Fe and is immediately taken to task for using washed out colors and no taste. Milla says she likes the 1983 vibe she gets from the belt. The judges go wild for Carol Hannah’s print. Milla says she’d live in the dress. Miz Shoes says that she already does, but that it’s made out of polyester jersey and she bought it early in the summer at Marshall’s for like, twenty bucks. Nicolas is told his inspiration is not Greece, but Grease. Milla points out that the top is cool, and if he’d made it into a dress, he could be a winner. Gordana’s necklace is loved, as is her little grey dress. Yes, it is very New York. Logan’s Hollywood is declared Hollywouldn’t, and NinaGarcia tells him that his styling is all wrong. Michael Kors says: They’re clothes, not fashion.

Irina’s pieces had, says MK, runway power, but too much brown. Gordana hit the right tone for up-town Park Avenue, but she personally lacks confidence. Carol Hannah totally looks like Palm Beach. Christopher’s dress is sad and unwearable. Nicolas’ idea could have been great, but it wasn’t. Logan’s outfit is summed up as belonging on Project I Didn’t Mind It.

Carol Hannah is in. Irina is the winner, and no doubt will be even more insufferable next week. Gordana is in and given a lecture about confidence. Logan is in. Christopher and Nicolas are forced to hear that they missed the mark and had no sense of place. Nicolas is aufsie daisy and Christopher gets

the pity fuck

to stay. Milla cries and says that she doesn’t know how Michael and Heidi do it every week. Michael just smirks, and you know that the auffing is their favorite part of the show.

Next week? More boring shit, more nastiness from Irina and more clueless, talentless crap from Christopher.

Miz Shoes is feeling a bit dyspeptic since this week’s Project Runway.

Previously, on Project Snoozefest, we saw an episode entitled “On the Blue Bore-you” where-in Irina is replaced by her evil twin and wins and Louise emotes blankly into oblivion.

But that was then and this is now, and we see bacon and Logan, and women applying make up. Something for everyone. Carol Hannah is sad because Louise is gone. Gordana came to America with nothing and now has everything. Evil Twin Irina gloats that she’s won twice and no longer trusts anyone, so no matter how nice they are to her face, no telling what they’re saying behind her back. In case you wondered, Logan interviews that now that Irina has won twice, she’s full of herself. Logan is not yet aware that this is the Evil Twin.  Christopher recognizes that he has to step up his game, and Miz Shoes takes her first shot in the “Drink to Cliches” game.

Heidi announces the challenge: New Models. Women who can still fit into their wedding dresses, who are now divorced or in the process of becoming so, and who are eager to have new design mistakes made from the ones they made when they bought them, however long ago. Mistakes of youth, Miz Shoes says, are quite excusable, especially in the areas of bad clothing and bad first husbands.

Irina gets the first pick and grabs the one with the absolute most yardage: something between a George Washington Milkmaid and a “Southern Belle”. There is mileage, not yardage, of shiny white lace. You know Nicolas was jealous. Epperson gets second and goes for a nicer fabric. Logan grabs something that reveals to be pulling a twelve-foot train. Nicolas, Carol Hannah (clouds of tulle), Gordana nabs the hippie (of course), Althea grabs the appliqués and Shirin is stuck with a short woman wearing a sleeveless, white column dress. There is nothing to work with and Shirin knows it and won’t shut up about her handicap for the rest of the episode, so forgive your author if she sums the general content of Shirin’s endless rants (“OMG! Like, LIFE is so not fair. I have 2 yards of polyester and a psycho client and no clue and no time and OMG!! Wahwahwahwahwah”) in all future references as Wah-Wah-Whaah.

Just to twist the knife, winner will get immunity…the last one of the season. And they have till midnight. It’s another one-day challenge. In come the gay divorcees. Gordana is planning on going punk. Well, we’ve moved to the late 70s. Shirin’s client wants to be a Half-Breed Cher Barbie with a peacock feather headdress. Again, Miz Shoes is inclined to forgive as, when she was 30 and had the chance to commission a mask from the then-president of New Orleans’ Maskmakers Guild, asked specifically for a crest of peacock feathers. And got them. Nicolas meets his

worst nightmare

his client, who demands crunchy-granola, animal-crueltry-free fabrics only. At Mood, the final blow: they can buy only 2 yards of fabric total, and whatever findings, trims, thread, etc. they need.

Epperson is clearly dazed and confused, glassy-eyed, even. Logan grabs two yards of the widest tweed he can find, heedless of color, drape or quality. Shirin: Wah-Wah-Whaah. Carol Hannah says that she makes her living making wedding dresses and this is like cannibalism, cutting one apart. Evil Irina finds the concept of shredding the mistakes of the past quite empowering. Gordana dyes fabric (steel grey/blue/plum) in the lady’s room, in a Styrofoam cooler, then calls her kids, only to talk to the answering machine, and cry. Epperson thinks that the challenge is to use the least amount of wedding dress possible. Did Epperson take a blow to the head and we were not shown the footage? Shirin: Wah-Wah-Whaah

Tim’s walkabout begins with Christopher. Tim and Christopher agree that the client’s taste level is non-existent, her (apparent, but perhaps unfortunate genetics) plastic surgery bad, and that she is just asking to be dressed like a cliché cougar. Does that qualify for a second shot? Irina has managed to dye her poly into a sort of toast or strong tea color. Tim tells Epperson to use the damn wedding dress, fool. Logan is going back to his design well for a: wait for it: suit. Tim fears the sheer quantity of the trouser fabric. But, whines Logan, she didn’t want a dress.

Gordana’s doing a sort of mummy wrap dress, fitted to the body, a gorgeous shade of grey, and with all the visible seam edges frayed. Tim tells her that her mantra must be “I’m going to win.” Shirin: Wah-Wah-Whaah. Tim: Get it together. Throw away this mess and focus. Eyes on the prize. That woman isn’t going to be here next week, and if you listen to her, neither will you be. One last reminder to Epperson that the wedding dress had to be the core of the design, and our Mr. Gunn is gone.

Epperson comes to from his walking nightmare to discover that he never was asleep. This isn’t a dream, he screwed the pooch on this challenge and he’d better start over. Logan starts over, too. Shirin, inspired by Mr. Gunn, does the “As God as my witness” soliloquy from Gone With the Wind, followed by an encore of Wah-Wah-Whaah.

Enter the gay divorcees for their fittings. Nicolas is seen briefly showing off a beige vest that appears to be basketweave, or quilted stripping, or something pretty cool. Shirin’s client asks what she’s been up to all day that this is what there is to show for it. And we cut from must certainly devolve into a fist fight, to the next morning where the designers are preparing for runway day. Shirin: Wah-Wah-Whaah. Epperson is still walking around like zombies ate his brains, and yet his client is delighted with her dress and tells Epperson that he gets her style. Althea and Gordana also get the love from their clients. Christopher is doing something with sheer over a black body garment, cinching in the waist with a little bit of black lace. She looks like a lamp shade from a Goth brothel. As Nicolas’ little lady raves over his garment, Nicolas admits that the piece has become a travesty, but it is a travesty that makes his client happy and hopefully, won’t send him home.

The ModelsoftheRunway try to teach these women to stomp a catwalk. Not pretty. Backstage madness: Shirin’s dress’ zipper gets stuck. Wah-Wah-Whaah.Logan is ready to cry because even he can tell that his suit is a disaster of Ishtar proportions. Evil Twin Irina talks trash about everyone else.

Heidi intros the judges: Michael Kors, Z-named Marie Claire person, Tamara Mellon (founder of Jimmy Choo). Irina’s dress is a kimono, and it has dyed up very pretty. Shirin’s dress is short, fitted, and has a surface pattern made of machine embroidery in black thread. It’s nice enough. Logan’s pant suit is awful. Carol Hannah has made something strapless that looks flapper-ish, with the sort of self-fabric flappy fringing that whatever his name was from that other, entertaining season loved to attempt and fail. Althea has made blue. I guess she was still thinking about last week. This was not a do-over. There is a lot of princess seaming showing. Nicolas has made olive green pants to go with that vest. By the time he added all the wickety wack on top of the basic shape, you can no longer see what had looked to have such promise.

Gordana’s mummy wrap is great, even paired with black hooker boots, which is how Gordana styled her. You can take the girl out of Eastern Europe, but… Christopher’s client is completely unaware of how ludicrous she looks and takes that runway like she owns it. It is embarrassingly short for a woman of her age. Rode hard and put up wet, as we say. Mutton dressed as lamb. Epperson sends out a bolero over a full skirt, with a tight bodice and scoopy neck. The bodice is criss-crossed with Epperson’s signature strippy appliqué/layering. Miz Shoes loves the silhouette. Miz Shoes has owned that very dress as often as possible. It is the perfect look for a woman of Miz Shoes shape: narrow in the waist and full in the hips and bust. You accentuate that waist for all you are worth. Ask Mae West or Dolly Parton.

The judges send Carol Hannah, Nicolas and Althea away and turn to the remaining designers. Gordana’s strapless dress was made only from the lining fabric of her wedding dress. It is edgy and chic, says Michael Kors. Shows the woman’s shape. Christopher, though… Christopher explains that his client is an actress (Phoebe Price, meet your future) and needs this dress to go to parties and network. This evokes cries of “Oh, honey, no. Do NOT go to an industry party in that” and “Only if you want to end up on the worst-dressed list” from the judges. MK manages a feeble disco hefty bag insult before they round on Epperson.

Oh, Epperson. Miz Shoes would wear that dress. Miz Shoes would rock that dress, despite it being white. Miz Shoes has in the past rocked that dress. Miz Shoes would have given you high marks for that dress. Alas, Miz Shoes was not a judge. Heidi shrieks that it reeks of Oktoberfest, and someone else says it looks like a pirate wench. Shirin’s client says that she thinks that the dress is too safe, and it wasn’t what she wanted and Wah-Wah-Whaah. When Tamara Mellon says that she likes it, Shirin’s client begins cooing that it IS fabulous.

Logan is dispirited and says that he just did what the client wanted, as if that excuses the pants. Heidi says that the top is another Oktoberfest costume, and Tamara calls the whole thing a tragedy. Even the client has to admit that she wouldn’t wear it on a first date. The love is pouring down like rain upon Evil Twin Irina.

Who did the judges like? Shirina, who didn’t listen to her client, but did something nice instead. They didn’t have to listen to the Wah-Wah-Whaah, or they might not have been so generous. Gordana finally did something edgy and not safe. She can design in addition to sew. Evil Twin Irina’s dress is so sexy, yet age-appropriate, which is Michael Kors code for it looks a little Mother of the Bride, but I like it. Epperson’s dress is called a theme party without a party. Logan did something too matronly, too unattractive and too badly sewn to be tolerated. Christopher’s dress was too much and too short and would be noticed in a bad, worst-dressed list way. (Second time the judges said that, so DRINK)

And, Shirin is in. Gordana is the winner (and about time she got some recognition). Evil Twin Irina is in, and she is not happy to come in second. Christopher, for reasons completely unknown, is allowed to stay, which leaves Logan and Epperson in the bottom two and Epperson gone.

You’re kidding me, right? Epperson’s dress was in no way uglier or more poorly made than Christopher’s. Further, if the argument is that Epperson went to his safe silhouette (volume below, raggedy things sewn down randomly, corselet at the waist) then the same argument could be made about Christopher and his bubbles and ascots/bibs, which suffer from the additional charge of being butt-ugly.

The wrong person went home and Miz Shoes has been dyspeptic ever since. Next week sees the return of NinaGarcia, and a challenge that involves a multi-Grammy winning singer and Bob Mackie. Even Lifetime couldn’t be that obvious, could they? Other than Elton John, who could it be? Cher?

The Set Up

Gordana is comparing Project Runway to the Olympics. Miz Shoes thinks that maybe the steroids are wearing off, and she’s losing her advantage in the dead lift. Logan has to move in with the other boys. Louise is going to take the “judges” words to heart and try to go over the top this week. Do you think we can start a drinking game where every time one of these BORING ASS HACKS utters a cliché we can take a shot of scotch? It might make the hour go by faster, or at least numb us to the fact that this is The Worst Season Ever on Project Runway. Maybe we can change the name to Project Snoozefest while we’re at it. Nicolas (who isn’t talented enough, or entertaining enough to refer to him as Daniel Franco Lite anymore) makes all the boys take a pinkie swear to try and get Shirin thrown off.

Heidi tells the “designers” that this challenge will be colorful. Tim is in the workroom. Despite seeing designers with dye-stained hands in the promos for the episode, there is nothing to do with dye. In fact, we see the same dye-stained hands in the promo for next week’s show, which makes Miz Shoes even crankier than usual. How much mix and match editing did they do with the confessionals this year? Are the comments we’re hearing not even germane to the challenges? Feh. And double feh.

No, the challenge is to create two related, boring-ass looks for the boring-ass house brand of Macy’s: INC. And to make it even more boring, they will have to use blue. The winner will be commissioned to create an exclusive holiday dress for Macy’s and INC. To jack up the alleged drama, this will be a team challenge and maybe two “designers” will be sent home. They are given INC dossiers to review the line, 15 minutes to sketch and then each will pitch to Martine Reardon, the executive VP of marketing for Macy’s. Epperson seems to be the only one to realize that these looks have nothing to do with them as artists, and everything to do with Macy’s being able to slog it to the masses.

Althea pitches a high-waisted, wide legged denim pant. Logan, a sweater dress. Nicolas has ideas about a leather vest. Christopher is going for work-to-happy hour in a men’s shirtdress. Gordana is pitching a 70s revival. Gah. Growing up in a post-Soviet Czech Republic has given her some serious taste issues. Shirin pitches something for work.

Martine chooses her team leaders: Irina, Althea (I like team challenges because I’m always the leader), Carol Hannah, Louise and Christopher. Those five choose their teammates. Althea gets first pick and snatches up Logan. Christopher recognizes, and opts for Epperson. Louise inexplicably goes for Nicolas.  Irina shows her style of leadership by asking which of the remaining two designers want to work with her, and Gordana, not wanting to be known as the girl left on the playground that nobody wanted, says that she’d LOVE to work with Irina. And that leave Carol Hannah and Shirin.

At Mood, they have 20 minutes to buy fabric. Nobody will get immunity this week. Although using solids isn’t explicit in the instructions, nobody chooses a print. Nor do they choose anything other than true blue, baby blue or navy blue. Well, except Christopher/Epperson, who picks up some hideous teal charmeuse, and a shiny striped shirting. Carol Hannah and Shirin, with no clear direction in mind, just grab some of everything. Irina is already regretting Gordana, and Louise is so scatterbrained that she loses the money and her sketches.

Back at the workroom, Irina starts complaining that it’s too much work to be the leader. Louise has directed Nicolas to make a navy blue, fitted dress with ruffles. He hates ruffles. He hates them real hard. They suck, ruffles do. Unlike, you know, cheap white lace and feathers. Epperson and Christopher are in love. They are so happy together. How is the weather?

The Work Room and Tim’s Walkabout

Louise is making bird noises to herself while she works and nobody finds that annoying, like Shirin making noises was annoying. Not annoying is Logan. Althea is happy to be working with Logan. Everybody likes Logan. The straight girls and the gay boys. Gordana and Irina hate working with each other. Tim, on his walkabout, hates leggings. Carol Hannah and Shirin call themselves Team Awesome. Does that qualify for a shot? Tim isn’t happy with the asymmetrical ruffle on the Louise/Nicolas dress. Althea/Logan have made a modern take on a woman’s suit. If Tim says so. Tim says that the “conundrum” with Christopher and Epperson is that the textiles in their two looks don’t go together at fucking all.

Although their model loves the skirt, CH and Shirin assure her that it is way too tight and that she is working a runway, not a corner on the old Times Square. Irina and Gordana continue to whine about each other. Louise admits that she sucks at time management and Nicolas reminds us that ruffles are the work of Satan himself and their only use is to cover flaws. But, he says, WTF. He’s got immunity. He’s not the team leader, and so he’s just doing Louise’s bidding. Irina, not content to bitch about her own teammate, disses the work of Carol Hannah and Shirin, saying it looks like cheap crap at a discount store. Sniff. With the clock counting down to midnight, the “designers” all have a laugh at the departed Ra’Mon, saying this is the hour when he’d scrap his design and start over. True enough.

Fast-forward over the usual last minute rushes, anxieties, prideful gloating and nail biting worrying. Gordana thinks her blouse is good. It isn’t. Christopher thinks they might win; they won’t. Louise isn’t going to get her work finished. It’s all been done and done to death. Let’s just move on to the “judges” and the runway, shall we?

Runway& Judging

Praise the lord! Michael Kors is back in the chair. Zoe Glassner is out and some other Z-named editor for Marie Claire is in. Martine of Macy’s and Heidi round out the numbers. Let’s walk!

Irina/Gordana: a tent dress with a halter-top and color blocking. That awful baby blue chiffon top and a pencil skirt. Althea/Logan: Their little tight skirt keeps riding up the model’s ass, and the slit gets dangerously close to girlybits before she finally exits the runway. Their other look is boring pants and a tank top that doesn’t fit the model. Louise/Nicolas send out two dresses. One is dark with a light asymmetrical ruffle that looks like a misplaces tuxedo shirt bib, and the other is a ghastly ice blue with a navy blue asymmetrical caterpillar of chiffon running from neck to badly-sewn hem. There is also a bow in the back. CH/Shirin have something in with a high waist and two shades of blue. Then there is the tunic over leggings. The tunic is really lovely and there is interest at the neck of what appears to be an over-scale broderie-perse of the same fabric as the tunic itself. Christopher/Epperson have that shirtdress (well-tailored) and some wretched bubble top in that teal. The neck has a double ruffle that looks exactly like the double ruffle that was the back of the neck on the vampire bride outfit last week.

Althea and Logan leave, safe in their mediocrity. Louise and Nicolas; Christopher and Epperson have the lowest scores. Irina and Gordana; CH and Shirin have the highest. Really? Really. Carol Hannah and Shirin are given the love over their separates of boring. Irina pulls out all the bitch stops and even though she and Gordana are in the top two, tries to toss Gordana under the hackneyed bus by saying that she didn’t do a good enough job on the blouse, working with no direction. Heidi and Michael Kors both love the blouse though.

Louise is just jazzed to be on the runway getting personal and extended critiques. That changes to tears when Michael Kors calls her dress a bad bridesmaid with a shower loofah ruched up the center. Snerk. Christopher is reduced to tears within the first three sentences from MK. He calls the shirtdress 1979 librarian. Miz Shoes, while she is partial to the dress, has to admit it looks like one she had in 1976, which may or may not have been a Diane von Furstenberg wrap-dress knock-off. MK goes back to the well for his standard put-down: the teal charmeuse looks like a disco pumpkin. Miz Shoes is beginning to think that as much as she adores him, MK may have spent a few too many nights at Studio 54.

The designers are sent away to consider their fates as the “judges” decide who will stay and who will go now. After hearing a few lusterless lines about hanging well on the floor (and truer, but more unintentional words were never spoken, since most of the time when Miz Shoes goes to Macy’s at the Falls, half the garments are on the ground and not the racks, because apparently the floor staff at this Macy’s never had the retail mantra “if you aren’t actively waiting on a customer, you are straightening the stock” drilled into their heads. That vague seismic shiver? That’s just my dad and my grandfather, spinning.)

Shirin is in. Miz Shoes suspects that she’s the one responsible for that broderie perse. Irina is the winner of the challenge for her uninspired tent dress. Gordana and Carrol Hannah get a “good job” pat on their respective heads and are sent away. Epperson is in, thankfully. Nicolas gets a few harsh “you have no idea how lucky you are that you came into this challenge with immunity because we the judges find you as annoying and unlikeable and uninspired as the entire viewing audience” words from Heidi and a fish-eye from Mr. Kors and is sent off. Louise and Christopher are left. Christopher is told that the only thing his two looks had in common was cluelessness. Louise is told that her retro aesthetic is lame and even that is done with no eye to style or wearability and that she needs to take her stupid Louise Brooks bob and go home. Christopher gets to stay and cry another day.

Let’s make this quick: Ra’Mon is glad that Johnny’s gone so he can focus on design, not comforting Johnny’s neuroses. Nicolas is not here to make friends and he’s doing a fine job it. Nobody out here in the blogosphere likes him. Gordana was SHOCKED! to be in the bottom three. Speaking of the blogosphere, it is the general consensus out here that the judges all heartily dislike Gordana. Irana wants to win again.

Heidi on the runway tells the designers that they’ve been in El Lay long enough to see what the town is really all about: MOVIE MAKING!!!! Off they go to a sound stage and find Tim, Collier Strong and the magic velvet button bag. Their challenge today will be to chose a film genre, (Sci-Fi, Western, Action/Adventure, Period, or Noir) and to create a character. They must work with the make-up department to make their character come alive through wardrobe and make up.

Irina, as the winner, gets to chose her genre first. And in what is this reviewer’s first of many complaints, they are not forced to chose blindly, but can take what they want. Or at least the first few designers can. After Irina has carte blanche, there are two cards for each genre.

Irina goes for Noir, Logan takes Action/Adventure; Carol Hannah does too, saying she’s going to make a sexy assassin (ho-fucking-hum). Ra’Mon is a self-identifying Trekkie, so he leaps on the Sci-Fi. He’s stoked. Louise goes for (another SHOCKING development) Noir. As does Althea. Nicolas happily grabs the other Sci-Fi card and tells us (wait for it) that he’s always in Fantasyland, so this is a natural for him. Gordana grabs Period, as does Christopher, Shirin takes Western and poor, always last Epperson shrugs with defeat and takes the other Western card. I love Epperson. Have I said that before?

Shirin is going to make the best darn saloon girl in history. What a conceptual leap for a western character. Epperson considers his options and creates a story. Logan and Carol Hannah have side-by-side work tables and CH says that Logan is a huge distraction for her, being so hot and all. Logan doesn’t seem distracted by CH at all. They compare their sexy assassin wear.

Althea is going for a femme fatale. Another cliché from filmdom. Irina has immunity but wants to do something marvelous anyway. At Mood, there is half an hour and a mere $150 to spend. Christopher wants brocade, but it’s $30 a yard and he needs 7 yards. DanielFranco Lite wants to be experimental and daring. Good lord, do these people ever think outside of the box? I’m so bored with them all.

Wait! We are treated to A Minute with Epperson™. He says that he wanted period, was handed western, but with thought, figured out a way to treat a western as a period piece. He has created a character whose husband has gone off to war (Civil, one supposes) and is left to take care of the land. She has to toughen up. Gordana, with the entire history of the world at her disposal (period piece) has decided to do a flapper.

Today’s workroom drama is “who is stealing the bobbins?” Louise can find neither her bobbin nor a story line. She’s floundering around. DanielFranco Lite, on the other hand, has his story completely fleshed out. There are three sister queens who live on the stars in Orion’s belt. They watch over Earth. But one of them has decided that she wants to rule the entire universe. (That’s his girl.) The other sisters defeat her and send her to live in the ice caves of Planet Hoth. Ra’Mon has his story down, too. His character is a human slash lizard alien hybrid. He’s back to dying fabric green in the men’s room. More bobbin stealing. Oh NOES!

Trash talking in the work room: Logan says there’s still a lot of talent. Nicolas has lots of appliqué to do. Irina says Gordana can’t design. Tim comes for his walkabout and questions Christopher’s period piece (which, with the story line involving a vampire bride, has morphed into period sci-fi). Ostensibly a 19th century love story, the dress is sleeveless wedding dress, and Tim is concerned about the correctness of the style. Epperson has gone all Annie Get Your Gun and Tim is loving it. He is seduced by the denim ruffles. Ra’Mon is making either something sublime or a big hot mess: which exactly remains to be seen. Louise has completed an underslip. She shows her black fabrics to Tim who applauds her subtlety and nuance and then reminds her that these are not assets which show well on the runway.

DanielFranco Lite is using white for a villain. How mold-breaking! How daring! Tim tells him to go bigger and not to be safe but ambitious. This allows Nicolas to talk trash about Ra’Mon and opine that Sci-Fi is about beautiful women, and not Godzilla. Except, you know, it is. Ra’Mon, taking Tim’s criticism to heart, decides that his ensemble looks like Kermit the Frog gone bad, and not in a good way. Remembering that the last time he pulled something out of his ass at the last second he won the challenge, Ra’Mon decides to try that strategy again, and throws away his alien life form, certain that he can do something fabulous in two hours. Logan cocks an eyebrow at that. Nicolas is all OMG!!! Shirin is gonna make the best little saloon dress in the history of trite saloon dresses. Louise stitches right through her finger, and proving that she is, in fact an emotionless cyborg deadpans an “ouch” and keeps on sewing.

The morning of the runway dawns, and Logan is sure that he’ll get love from the judges, even though he’s wearing a shirt and the silver jeans are nowhere to be seen. Ra’Mon is sure that he’ll be in the middle of the pack. Gordana is making her own accessories, saying that they are the key to the flapper look. Epperson is gracious about everyone sticking to their genre and doing good work. He doesn’t think he’ll be sent home. As Tim calls time, Irina is sewing her model into some Frederick’s of Hollywood vamp costume. And we’re off.

Guest judges today are John Varvatos, Zoe Glassner and Arianne Philips who, the credits tell us was nominated for an Oscar for her costumes on something or another. Irina’s dress leads off the runway, and it’s long and black and has lace panels on the sides. Action/Adventure vinyl catsuit from Carol Hannah, with a sort of gold harness dangling off the hip. Shirin’s boring can-can dress that you could buy at any Halloween costume shop. Christopher’s bare-armed vampire bride in ivory and pink? With a blackish-tweedyish bustley thing. Nicolas’ silver and white evil ice queen from the planet Zardoz (her make up is astounding, though). Althea’s showing a pencil skirt with a sheer white bat-wing blouse over a black bustier or bra. Must be a film noir siren. Ra’Mon has a green leather lizard dress thing. Louise has made a black flapper dress, but it isn’t really. Epperson has a tattered western lady with leather and denim and boots and it’s gorgeous and Miz Shoes wants it. Gordana’s flapper is pitch perfect and gold. Logan has another black vinyl catsuited assassin and that’s a wrap.

Logan, Carol Hannah, Shirin, Irnia and Althea are safe. Gordana gets picked apart first. Yes, she has crafted an exquisite flapper. Ho-hum say the judges. Where’s the vision? Where’s the innovation? Gordana they say, has the hands of a dressmaker, but not the eyes of a designer.

DanielFranco Lite spins the story of the three sister queens, and the judges all say that oh, yes, they saw that the minute the model stepped on the runway. They knew her story from the clothes. Louise says that her girl is actually an actress from the 40s going to a party dressed as a flapper to get a part as a flapper in a movie about the 20s. Lame. And the judges call it a convoluted mess and a snooze fest. There is nothing strong or special, unlike say, Christopher, who is next. Oh, the accolades! Oh, the wow factor. Oh, how film-worthy. Oh, the love. Oh, the fitted bodice and full skirt, says Miz Shoes.

Ra’Mon gives it his best shot and says that his character is named Lola and she has come from Planet Lizard to mate with our Earth men, for whom she has an insatiable appetite. The judges disagree and say that she’s a swamp thing, a hot green mess and shoddily made.

Epperson’s western look is Fabulous! He “thought outside the box” (and he shows them the hidden details, like the thigh holster for her hidden gun. Miz Shoes wants that too, but for her flask.) There is bravado. There is a contemporary twist. Epperson has created something new from a tired genre, and it wasn’t even one he wanted to work on.

The judges caucus. Gordana is boring, Louise disappointing and Ra’Mon a shambles. They are sympathetic to his desire to create something new in only two hours, but tough titties. Nicolas finally used his favorite white and lace to great effect. The judges say that it would look better on film than on the runway, which makes Miz Shoes ask how teevee is different than film because it looks piss-poor on my hi-def set. Epperson was great. His model worked the dress. He paid attention to details. He worked within a genre he never wanted. He’s toast. Christopher was “perfection from every angle.”

Gordana is in. Epperson is in and robbed of his rightful victory. DanielFranco Lite is the winner and gets immunity for next week, alas. Christopher is merely in. Ra’Mon missed the mark entirely and Louise had no drama (even sewing her finger) and no sense of costume. Her skills and Ra’Mon’s lack thereof result in her staying for another week, and him going home. Tim is much more kind and loving when saying goodbye to Ra’Mon than he was to Johnny-the-Liar.

Next week they work in teams, do something involving dye and praise the lord, Michael Kors is back to take these clowns to school. Now. If only NinaGarcia would come back, too, we might have a show worth watching. And just so you know? Epperson wuz robbed.

And frankly, without NinaGarcia and Michael Kors, and with the guest judges from the middle of the C list (hell, I’d be happier with the queen of the D-listers, Miss Kathy Griffith as a judge), who even cares? It’s getting harder and harder to watch this mess, and even harder to recap.

But, press on regardless. Hah! MizShoes made a joke about ironing. We begin, as usual with a recap of last week’s loser and a bile green LA morning. Carol Hannah is happy that Qristyl is gone. Johnny swears that he’ll never be in the bottom three again, and Althea must remain on her game. Irina complains that the winning dress shouldn’t have won, and DanielFranco Lite says that Johnny and Irina don’t deserve to be there. That only he deserves to be there. That they should just name him the winner and call it a season, and you know, except for the part about him being the winner, there is some merit to that suggestion.

Heidi is on the runway in a stripey shirt. They have another field trip. The answers to their questions will be in black and white. Gasps! Heidi mocks them for their drama queenyness. Miz Shoes mocks them for that and their general lack of personalities, talent and all around cluelessness. In the van, they make lame guesses as to what black and white might mean. Old movies? No. The Los Angeles Times, where they are introduced to the Times’ fashion critic, Booth Moore. She, or Tim, announce that Fashion IS News. (Ha, in yer fuckin’ dreams) and that the challenge is to use newspaper and/or the blank rolls of newsprint to make a design.

There are five stacks of sections: Image, Sports, Business, News and something else. The designers have three minutes to grab paper. In the studio, there are dyes, brushes, markers and the instructions that they can use muslin as a support structure. They have till midnight: winner gets immunity.

Christian is going to do a fitted bodice and full skirt, just like he does every week. But this will be different, because he’s making it out of paper. Althea claims cluelessness, but doesn’t care because she has immunity. Carol Hannah has an idea. DanielFranco Lite has a lot of bitching to do about the challenge and all the other designers. Irina is going to mix materials and colors and use it so it doesn’t look like paper. Shirin is making something out of papier maché. Logan is over Shirin. She chatters. To herself. Out loud. In fact, everyone is over Shirin. We see the other designers hating on her as she chatters like a magpie.

Johnny is making origami cranes, and they are going to hold up his dress from the shoulders. He’s made a lot of red paper. DanielFranco Lite has an opinion about it. He says it looks like a lot of wrinkled paper covered in pig’s blood. Ra’Mon is inspired by the pattern of words and images on the printed page. Louise is going to make a dress out of headlines. Gordana is going to make two garments. Something about Time 2 Change? Tim says to just make the change.

Irina hates the dress she made and wants to make a trench coat instead. Tim tells her to go ahead and do it. Irina is going to do it with no muslin. Tim is not happy with Johnny’s work. He says that he (Tim) is “woeful”. That it looks like a craft project gone awry. Johnny says that the birds are holding the dress up and Tim says no, that they are attacking it. Tim tells DanielFranco Lite that he has a good trajectory and to maintain. Don’t go costume-y. Christopher wants to make a show stopper and Tim tells him that it could very will be. Tim is inspired by this walkabout, and can’t wait to see the show. Tim and nobody else.

Johnny listens to Uncle Tim and thows away his messy red dress, and starts gluing tiles of paper onto muslin. Irina listens to Uncle Tim and begins construction on a trench coat. DanielFranco Lite tells us that his inspiration is punk rock and that he’s making a punk rock dress. Miz Shoes wakes herself up with a particularly loud snore.

Irina is making a faux Persian lamb collar and cuffs on her little trench coat by crumpling up little bits of plain newsprint and then uncrumpling them and glueing them onto the basic form. It reminds Miz Shoes of the prom floats that we made in high school with chicken wire and paper napkins. Shirin is panicking that she’s made a strapless dress with a heavy skirt. Will it fall off the model as she stomps the runway? We can only hope for that kind of drama.

Johnny hallucinates that he had a steamer accident and that’s why his dress was awful/he had to start over. Or was it that the iron sputtered water while in steam mode? The story changes with each repetition. And Johnny repeats it over and over as the other designers laugh at him and say “Johnny you’re a liar”. (Springsteen reference)  Over morning coffee, we see that Irina and Louise like Althea’s dress, and that they don’t like Nicolas. Epperson graciously says that Johnny has his form under a drape for a reason, implying that there might be something both surprising and good. Someone says the reason is comic relief. So much for that.

Ra’Mon has done separates. Irina is still working the crumples. Tim says “Rally!” Gordana has (as always) made something very well constructed. Carol Hannah can’t get her dress of her mannequin and has no idea how she’s going to get it on her model. Althea is trash talking Irina. DanielFranco Lite is trash talking every one and saying that his dress is full-on punk rock. Johnny says that it’s Stump Rock. Or dino chic.

On the runway, Heidi is in something short, shiny and tight. Is she losing her accent? The judges are Tommy Hilfiger, Zoe Glassner and Eva Longoria-Parker. Ho-fucking hum. Runway goes by in a blur:

Logan’s dress is interesting, fitted and he’s used the paper to create blue trim. DanielFrano Lite has petal-shaped panels over the hips. Christopher’s bodice looks like leather or enamel and the feather skirt is feathery. Ra’Mon has a top and skirt. Epperson has played with volume and shape (again, and why do we not see more of him and his work? PLEASE???) with a portrait collar over a kimono shape. Johnny’s is meh. Gordana has done a fitted top and a pleated skirt. Carol Hannah has a red paper gown. It’s a little rumpled. Shirin has made something very evocative of Leanne’s origami petals. Irina’s trench coat is sharp. The body is made of printed newsprint, and the collar and cuffs out of blank. Althea’s is interesting. And Louise has made something that looks like it came out of the Cirque de Soleil costume shop, in a bad way.

Johnny, Nicolas, Christopher, Althea, Gordana and Irina are the top and bottom designers. Althea’s work is based on a repeat of an image of a building, that she used to make a fitted dress. Tommy Hilfiger calls it genius and well executed. Like he would know. Eva L-P loves it because it emphasizes the model’s ass, and she’s all about the ass.

Gordana’s look was conventional. Heidi says that it is too wearable and average. Irina has just blown poor Eva away. Tommy H says something incomparably stupid about it being Coco Channel meets St. Laurent meets somebody else in the nebulous 60s-70s (which were, snarks Miz Shoes, SOOOO stylistically similar). But there is scotch tape showing and the length is wrong says someone else.

Johnny is clocked for not spending enough time on his piece of shit, and he trots out the steamer story. Heidi says the whole look is a little “working girl” and she doesn’t mean the movie. Johnny says that his first look was absolutely Dior, and Nicolas laughs out loud and says that the steamer story is a flat out lie and Johnny calls him a jerk and ho-fucking hum. I’ve seen better bitch fights on South Beach over a seat at a bar. But then Tommy H says that DanielFranco Lite’s dress is no more punk rock than Tommy is. Christopher’s dress gets the love and the designers are packed off to the green room to scratch each other’s eyes out while the “judges” discuss.

Christopher, Althea and Irina are the top three, with the trench coat called couture. Gordana is too safe. DanielFranco Lite’s dress was fug. They didn’t see the punk rock influence at all. Johnny’s honesty is questioned. DUDE! He’s a fucking junkie. His honesty is by definition questionable. DUH.

Althea, who had immunity anyway, is in. Irina’s little faux Persian lamb is the winner, and she gets applause for risk taking, and immunity for the next challenge. Christopher and Gordana are in. Johnny and Nicolas are the bottom two. Johnny is a liar with a lot of excuses and no discernible talent. Nicolas is a prissy bitch who had an idea that he couldn’t execute, but at least he had an idea, so he gets to stay.

Johnny leaves, and gives an exit interview in which he declares himself lost and empty. He says it was easier to give up crystal meth than to get thrown off the show. He snivels a lot and whines that he wanted to go to Bryant Park. Tim sends him off to clear out his workspace, and the minute he leaves, Tim lets loose with a blast of righteous indignation. “That was preposterous! I can’t believe he tried that steamer crap on the judges! Clutch the pearls!”

If it weren’t for Tim’s twitterpation and fluttery vexation, there wouldn’t have been a show at all this week. Where is NinaGarcia? Where is Michael Kors?? Where are designers with talent? What happened to Project Runway? Is it even worth watching the rest of the season? We’ll find out next week.

Open on bile green LA. Recap of Ra’Mon, Epperson and Qristyl bickering, and Mitchell going aufsie daisey. That was fun. DanielFranco Lite says something about having to separate the wheat from the chaff and the hacks are going home. Epperson graciously allows as how last challenge had been hard for both himself and Qristyl. Speaking of whom, we see her whining to Gordana that she is now seen as the B-I-T-C-H. Gordana assured her that this is not so, that she merely failed to stand up for herself…amazingly. Implying that Q may have been quite the bitch in the girls’ dorm.

Heidi is on the runway telling the designers that there are 13 women in the workroom, and to win the challenge, each designer must make one happy. The 13 women turn out to be the Models of the Runway. Now that they have their own show, they are even more anonymous clothes hangers to me than before. The scenario for the challenge is that the MOR are going to an industry event, and must have a dress that shows her style and ability to wear clothes. Upon this dress, a career may lie. I wonder if Diane von Furstenberg paid her to say that?

Logan is nervous. Miz Shoes is happy that he’s getting screen time. This is the first one-day challenge, and they will have 30 minutes to sketch with the models, then $100 to spend at mood.

Jonny is going to do something in deep purple that is not jersey. It will be simple and understated. He says that it is what he would design for himself, were he a “black girl.” Somebody else tells their designer that they want something “Fresh, simple, interesting, body conscious, straight and short.” Uh-huh. I’ve had clients like that. Those are the ones who need a photo of a short, fat, tall, lanky blonde/brunette/grey haired old young man/woman. You kill them and bury the body in your ex’s back yard.

Qristyl and her model want to stand out. Irina’s model is Kelly and she wants something with an open back. Maybe. Possibly. Or not. Irina recognizes that Kelly is indecisive and she’ll have carte blanche, if she can sell it. Louise is fretting that she isn’t happy with her model’s color scheme, but Althea is delighted that she and her model have the same aesthetic, which is why Althea won’t let anybody steal her.

Shirin’s model, on the other hand, wants a royal blue satin jumpsuit with a deep vee back and gold rope trim. She wants to stand out. Yeah. On the corner, you gotta be seen if you wanna make a dollah. Logan is panicking because his model wants something commercial and on-trend: 1950s. He’s showing a little flop sweat.

Epperson’s model wanted something in orange, but all the orange fabric he found at Mood sucked, so he bought browns instead. Louise and Jonny are working side by side in the sewing room and talking about people who have gone home. They are depressed about it. Christopher, no longer working the twee hats (thank you), looks around the work room and notices that there are missing bodies. The truth of being on a reality show is sinking in, it seems. We see DanielFranco Lite channeling That Daniel Franco as he laments that he will be sewing until Tim rips the needle from his bleeding fingers and pushes him onto the runway.

Tim tours the room: Althea is making a skirt and a man’s jacket. Tim says it has a WOW factor. It does? OK, if Tim Gunn says it, it must be true. Christopher’s model is long waisted, and she wants to show it off in something Christopher refers to as “emerald green”, but which is not… it is a sort of electric Kelly green. It’s…bright. Epperson is working under the following art direction: flowy, strong punk, cocktail, tiger. And you know? He’s doing it. It’s brown and body conscious and jersey and matte and shiny all at once. Tim says it is innovative and beautiful, which it is and which is why I’ll take Tim’s word about Althea’s mess.

Speaking of messes, Qristyl is using black and dark brown jersey to sculpt a whirlwind of fabric around her mannequin, or as Tim says, something that looks like the model rolled around in her sheets and wrapped it around herself to go out.

It gets worse as Logan shows Tim something that looks, in Logan’s own words, like a Smurf prom dress. Tim fans himself and tells Logan, Oh, lord, girl, don’t say that word on the runway. Don’t give the judges ideas. It is, inarguably, very blue, with lots of black lace. Carol Hannah is working with a deeply saturated mulberry purple and black. She is emphasizing, per her model’s wishes, the waist, with a close-to-the-body fit. Tim isn’t so sure about the one-shouldered neck line, asking if she is perhaps, robbing her model of her youth? (Translation: a little mother-of-the-bride, non?)

A Tender Moment

Epperson calls his family and cries. Uh-oh, is Epperson getting the loser edit? He sniffs a little that he’d never chose to do this (presumably a reality show) again. Dude. Miz Shoes hears you. Miz Shoes would rather stab herself under the fingernails with the charred ends of bamboo skewers than ever appear on television. Ra’Mon is doing something with cobalt blue leathah? The models come for their fittings and approvals, and Epperson shows his girl all the cheap, nasty oranges he discarded in favor of the browns, and she is completely in love with the dress, so all is well in Epperson’s corner. Jonny’s model is asking for more cleavage, but not any lower in the neckline. He snipes at her that he doesn’t tell her how to model, but then realizes that in fact, he does, and we get to see Jonny try to show his girl how to walk.

Althea and her model agree that their collaboration is more amazing than either of them (or me) envisioned. Logan has dubbed his look “goth Cinderella” and hopes that somebody on the judging panel likes it. DanielFranco Lite is only 85% done and a complete wreck. Qristyl has taken Uncle Tim’s advice and ditched the brown and made a little black dress. Is it too simple, she wonders aloud. Shirin’s model hates her dress. And Logan is looking around at everyone else’s work and worrying that his is different, and not in a good way. The electric green dress which, when last we saw it, was a tight strapless sheath dress with a 1980’s drop waist and a deeply ruffled skirt, now has a matching crumb catcher on the top. It looks like a giant version of the scallions my mother used to make in the 50s for the Thanksgiving relish tray. You know, frayed at both ends, then stuck in ice water to make festive sprays? Yeah. That’s exactly what it looks like.

Morning of the Runway

Logan is shirtless (thank you) and wearing skin tight silver jeans. Really editors, thank you for that. It’s a good thing Miz Shoes does not have tivo, or else she might have embarrassed herself in front of the RLA. Logan interviews that his model, Kojii, has a harder edge than the others, and he thinks that although this dress is not his particular cup of organic green de-caf, it did please his client.

Too late for regrets, Qristyl is questioning her decision to use just black. Gordana has made something beige with a woven element adding interest to the bust. Carol Hannah is confident, which means she isn’t going to win. Irina sniffs that nobody’s work looks like crap, really, but Althea’s would have looked better if she’d just stapled it together. Saucer of milk, Irina? Nicolas says that Epperson’s looks like trash, and Christopher says that if the judges don’t understand Epperson’s style, he’s history. Tim gives a ten minute warning.

DanielFranco Lite has done something fitted, white satin(?) with grey trim. There is are cut-away arm holes, showing off the model’s shoulders and arms, There is some sort of woven element at the high neckline. It is extremely tailored, and is evocative of That Daniel Franco. Jonny has made frayed edges on all his seam lines. Althea still needs more time.

On the Runway

Heidi is wearing something grey, and reminds the viewers of the challenge: to make something for a fashion industry party. Tonight we have a full panel of guest judges: Marc Bouwer, Zoe Glassner (editor for Marie Claire), and Jennifer Rade who is identified as a celebrity stylist/designer. OK, sure. If you say so.

Qristyl’s dress is short, black, jersey with an asymmetrical hemline. Nicolas’s dress is tailored to within an inch of its life. The cut-away neck line makes it almost a bib top, but there is no side boob exposure. Irina has made something that looks like I could wear it to work: a simple printed day dress with a belted jacket with some sort of huge collar. Gordana’s beige jersey. Something very blue. Logan’s black top and blue skirt. Christopher has added black bands to the top and bottom of the fitted center band of the giant scallion. Now it looks like a rather lurid green Christmas cracker. Epperson’s dress is all stripey and stretchy and fitted and raggedy, but not whickety-whack. Jonny’s dress is a whole lot of eggplant purple.

Althea’s model comes strutting down the runway, boobs akimbo, with the jacket open and her grey jersey tank top leaving every movement hypnotically visible. Is is a bubble miniskirt, micro-mini bloomers, a black diaper? Louise’s dress is black. Ra’Mon’s cobalt blue, skin tight dress also has a self-fabric corsage on one shoulder that is going to eat the model’s head. Carol Hannah has made a very sexy purple top with a textured black pencil skirt. When the model turns around, the skirt has a set of pleats in a center gore, almost bustle-like, that moves beautifully.

Louise, Irinia, Christopher, Nicolas, Gordanna, Shirin and Ra’Mon are safe. The others are the top and bottom of the pack. We begin with CH. Marc Bouwer loves her draping combined with the sharp tailoring of the skirt. It’s hard and soft. Logan is called out for making a cheap, tacky prom dress. And then Jennifer says that his dress looks like crap but he’s cute and she likes his pants and sneakers, so she’s giving him a pass, and I fall in love a little with Jennifer. A woman after Miz Shoes own heart. Next is Epperson, and Marc Bouwer is blown away by Epperson’s masterful technique with stretch fabric.  Heidi, on the other hand, says that either the dress or the model needed a lot more support in the bust. The other women agree, but Jennifer gives Epperson a golf clap of approval. She then gets on a roll and tells Jonny that the purse is the most interesting thing about his look, and that even though Qristyl’s model loves her dress, that’s why she isn’t a designer… thank God. Really. Jen? Call me. I’ll pay for the first round.

And then, maybe NinaGarcia left the crack in the judges quarters because they all start heaping the love on Althea’s miniskirt and jacket. (Michael Kors would have deemed it too Studio 54 to be tolerated, but he wasn’t there and mores the pity.) Jennifer loses points with me by saying she wants to leave with it on her arm, so she can dress one of her clients in it. Invisible Marie Claire editor says that it is a suit! And yet, she would wear it. I have no idea what that means. Are suits bad? Too matchy, matchy?

The designers leave the judges to the real work of judging. M. Bouwer says that Qristyl was able to make simple look cheap. Heidi says that the model didn’t look like a guest at the imaginary party, but the girl passing drinks. Ouch. And true. Logan is credited for being too cute to cut and is excused for not making something cool, but something his tasteless model wanted. Jonny is dismissed as having made something too accessible: anybody could wear that, so who cares. Can we keep these judges?

Carol Hannah made something that moved beautifully. Epperson’s dress was sexy and fitted and Heidi says that it needed a bra. But Epperson knows how to make clothes, says M. Bouwer.  And so,

Epperson is in, and Althea is the winner and gets immunity in the next challenge. Her three pieces are so fabulous that they mesmerized Heidi out of noticing the bouncing boobies. Carol Hannah and Jonny are in. Logan and Qristyl are the bottom two. Qristyl made a cheap-looking, boring dress and took no chances. Logan made a dress that stood out for all the wrong reasons: styling and fabric all missed the mark. But he had on skin tight silver jeans and is very, very cute and so he gets to stay (thank you) and the judges, still remembering what a pill Qristyl was last week, send her and her non-existent taste level home.

The Tide is High (and so are the judges)

Acid yellow LA morning: Ra’Mon is whining and moaning that one decision could be the mistake that sends him home, and he doesn’t want to go home. The other designers (most notably DanielFranco Lite) are ragging on Mitchell about being the perennial bottom. He grins, boyishly and (he thinks) charmingly and says that he wouldn’t wish the bottom two on anybody else. He’s really sort of simple-minded, isn’t he?

Heidi greets the designers on the runway and tells them that they will be going on a field trip, and to pack the sunscreen. Wild guesses all around as to their destination: the beach, the other beach, or that other, other beach? The thought of seeing an actual ocean gets Christian (Hey, I’m from Minnesota, eh?) all tingly. They arrive at a beach, only to find Tim Gunn in a summer-weight suit and sandals, having forgone the tie at gunpoint. Hah! I made a gun/Gunn joke. Laugh while you can, dear readers, because the only entertainment to be had from this episode is this and all the other snarky recaps on line. Tim has a back-up group of wahinis and surfboards. Mercifully, he does not say “duuuude.” He does, however, announce that surf culture is one of the many LA exports to the design community, and the world at large. There is no surf guitar music in the background, and MizShoes finds that to be an enormous failure.

The challenge will be to design a “fun and fashionable” surf look. They must focus on craftsmanship (coughMITCHELLcough) and style. They will be working in teams of two. This does not make Ra’Mon any happier, and he whines something or another about team challenges. Shirin, as last week’s winner, is the first team leader. The others are named, and then they pick their teammates in the same order. It goes down thusly:

Shirin/Carol Hannah; Logan/Christian; Nicolas/Gordana; Mitchell (who confessionalizes that he chose someone who could “carry me”) picks Ra’Mon, much to Ra’Mon’s continued misery. Althea/Louise; Qristyl/Epperson and a gracious Jonny is happy to be left with Irina. They will have to decide which of their two models to use. They will have 20 minutes to sketch/consult with the wahinis—remember the wahinis?

The surfer dudettes offer blinding revelations about what active girls like: comfort and function over fashion. Tropical colors. Ra’Mon bitches that working with Mitchell is the equivalent of having a target painted on his head. Beats the do-rag, I suppose. Qristyl is already pissed that Epperson is talking to the surfer girl and sketching. Nicolas has no clue what the surfer girls are saying, but he’s game for the challenge.

Off the beach and on to Mood LA, where they have a meager fifty bucks and 15 minutes to grab and go. Qristyl is picking garish nastiness and getting overruled by Epperson. They are not a happy couple. And then, DRAMA!!! But not on Project Runway. On Miz Shoes’ couch, when the power flickers and the cable goes out for a minute. When it comes back, Irina is laughing at Jonny and chanting boho chic, boho chic. Well, duh. That is the obvious answer to this challenge.

DanielFranco Lite is proposing an amazing silhouette, with a wrap around pant. He’s going to hand-dye the white and black print so that it no longer looks like zebra. No animal prints. He and Gordana are going to do a woven/macramé top.

Qristyl and Epperson are fighting over Qristyl’s chosen lime green fabric (remember her purple print barf ruffle? Girl is either color blind, or tasteless, and I’m leaning toward tasteless. Epperson interviews that their tension is just fear of failure based. He’s very calm. Over in the other corner, Ra’Mon is complaining that Mitchell is just floating along and making him be the


captain of the team. They are another dysfunctional TV family, playing it all out for airtime.

Jonny refers to Mitchell as “she”. Is it just me, or is this group more fey and over-the-top out than ever before? It’s a veritable Village Persons of gay stereotypes in that workroom. Tim wanders in and announces that the judges didn’t think that there was enough pressure, so they are requiring the designers to come up with a second look. It should work with the first, but be avant-garde, and both looks will walk the runway. Ra’Mon (who is getting way too much air time to make Miz Shoes happy) bewails their fate: “Capital WTF”, and (excuse me while I look in my thesaurus for yet another word that means whine, complain, or bewail …aha!) snivels that he’s just got his hands full trying to keep Mitchell focused and on-task. There are only 3 hours left in the workday. Tim tells the designers that tomorrow one member from each team will go back to Mood with $200 to buy supplies for the second look.

Now it’s Qristyl’s turn to cry and she does, gnashing her teeth that she’s the captain, dammit and Epperson is acting like he is. She’s insulted and says that he treats her like a student, like she can’t sew, like she has no taste. To which Miz Shoes shrugs her shoulders, remembers that purple nastiness and says to the teevee, “and your point is…?”

Ra’Mon is going to make an avant-garde look based on a wet suit. Mitchell is fantasizing that he has wonderful ideas. DanielFranco Lite comes back from Mood to find that Gordana has almost completed the macramé top, but he’s worried that his avant-garde look might be a little too tranny. Epperson is trying to talk to Qristyl, but she’s all “talk to the hand” and won’t have any civility between them. Mitchell thinks he might try to finish the bathing suit and let Ra’Mon do everything else.

Tim comes in and says that he’s the prophet of doom. The designers are not amused. Carol Hannah’s model has decided to take a paying job instead of coming in for a fitting. This is supposed to be drama. CH is like, fine, I’ll go with one of the other models that was sent home. Buh-bye little model, who was originally Ari’s model and could have been auf’ed with the disco soccer ball, but was apparently saved during an epi of Models of the Runway which MizShoes has not, nor does she ever intend to watch. Buh-bye. Good luck with that career thing.

Gordana is watching DanielFranco Lite do something with lace, and says that well, it’s a bit provocative for her taste, but she’s sure that Nicolas knows what he’s doing (and he’s the captain, so on your shield or with it, fella). She doesn’t sound that convinced, and as we see the lace cat suit with no in seam, just sort of gartered on, neither are we.

Ra’Mon is kvetching about his frustration with the dim-witted, but happy-go-lucky Mitchell, who can’t focus long enough to thread a sewing machine. Nicolas is only too happy to offer to pack Mitchell’s bags for him when he’s auffed, and tells him so.

Tim comes for his walkabout, and sees Jonny’s over-sized macramé avant-garde top in brown. Epperson and Qristyl’s surfer look earns raves, it’s a bikini top with a corselet over a voluminous skirt (that’s sort of Epperson’s thing, we’re thinking) and then the model whips off the waist cincher and Tim gags. It was so nice, as a one-piece he says, and so tasteless as a bra top and wrap skirt. Logan has made a hat, and Tim is impressed. Nicolas and Gordana have created something beautiful with their macramé top. What’s up with the macramé this episode? Why? And why all the brown?

Speaking of brown, Ra’Mon is working on his wetsuit cat suit and we see Mitchell’s surf attire next to it. It is that same brown and blue ombre he was working with the first episode and it’s all floaty and drapey. Tim says that it looks like Greek Goddess meets cartoon super hero and that the two looks need to work together and they don’t. Ra’Mon scraps the jumpsuit.

Speaking of not working together, we see Qristyl and Epperson continuing to loathe each other. More to the point, Ra’Mon resents having to carry Mitchell (who chose Ra’Mon to do just that thing). The RLA asks why we haven’t seen any footage of the other teams. Because they aren’t fighting, obviously.

Morning of the runway show finds Mitchell acting like a little girl while Nicolas laughs at him. Qristyl is being arrogant. Logan and Christian are happy with each other and each other’s work. See? No drama, no air play. Tim comes in and says they have two hours to finish, fit and do hair and makeup.

Ra’Mon id dyeing acid yellow neoprene and having a nervous breakdown in the corner. Tim tells him to man up and that there’s on 35 minutes left, so make some thing to send down the runway. With a mere 15 minutes left, Ra’Mon is not giving up and is stapling his model into something made of blotchy neoprene. Qristyl is rehearsing her speech wherein she throws Epperson under the bus, and she is hoping that isn’t a metaphor. Mitchell comes down off his cloud long enough to realize that he’s been in the bottom two twice already, and there’s only been two episodes. Hmmmm, he thinks, this might be problematic.

Finally, we get to the actual runway, and meet the guest judges. Max Azria of BCBG and Rachel Bilson, who is billed as an actress/designer. We start with Epperson and Qristyl and that green patterned dress, and it is wonderful. The fit is marvelous and the avant-garde look is… a mystery to yours truly, because the power surges and blows the cable again and we don’t get the picture back until Shirin and Carol Hannah send down something that whips off to reveal an ACTUAL BATHING SUIT! I’m so stunned I don’t even care what they call avant-garde.

Althea and Louise have done something with a top similar to Althea’s maternity gown. Their attempt at avant-garde is a blue evening gown with swoopy things. DanielFranco Lite’s “macramé” top is beautiful, the wrap pants boring and too long. I don’t even want to talk about the lace cat suit with the cutout thighs.

Logan and Christian have done super skinny white/gold jeans that may be leatha. The model is wearing the beach hat. Their avant-garde look has an over-sized top with a voluminous skirt (need the thesaurus again) and the top sports an asymmetrical neck/collar and it’s all pretty fabulous, actually.

Shirin/Carol Hannah, Logan/Christopher and Althea/Louise are safe. Off they go. Nicolas/Gordana; Ra’Mon/Mitchell; Epperson/Qristyl and Jonny/Irina are left. They have the highest and lowest scores, and will now be raked over the coals.

Jonny’s sportswear look was sporty. There is a soft sweatery top with a macramé panel in the back to add interest, and a flippy skirt. The companion piece (Miz Shoes cannot force herself to either type avant-garde or grace these garments with that appellation) is brown evening gown with a big old pile of fabric along one shoulder that they all keep referring to as more macramé.

Ra’Mon says that their inspiration was a pile of seaweed that washed up on the shore while they were at the beach, and is promptly clocked by Heidi, who says that he wasn’t the captain, and what does Mitchell have to say. And what, exactly, was it that Mitchell actually sewed? The bathing suit? That nobody even sees because it’s under the dress? Riiiight. NinaGarcia, meanwhile, has been smoking crack in the back room, because she is just blown away by the blotchy, ill-fitting, stapled together neoprene dress.

Qristyl preemptively hurls Epperson under the bus, talks over him on the runway, defends her nonexistent taste level and continues acting like a modern day Battling Bickersons on the runway. The green leaf print dress was gorgeous. The other thing, which is brown with a big lump of Qristyl’s electric green fabric sort of eating one side, not so much.

Nicolas and Gordana get the love for the macramé top, not the floppy pants. The lace cat suit, the less said of which the better, is not classy. So.

Jonny and Irina did work that was solid and the two pieces tied together. Mitchell and Ra’Mon, well, see. There’s the problem. Ra’Mon did everything and Mitchell did nothing and how can the judges judge someone who didn’t sew? Nicolas needs to tame his Feather Princess tendencies, but the swimwear portion of the two looks was nice. Max Azria, who is subtitled, notes that Qristyl was weak, and Epperson took advantage of that. Again, the fit and style of the print dress is remarked upon and that was all Epperson. Qristyl’s being an ass on the runway didn’t win her any points with the judges. Back come the designers.

Ra’Mon is the winner for that monstrosity. Or he got the sympathy vote for dealing with Mitchell. The judges claim that his neoprene dress was fresh and beautiful and closest to the ideal of the challenge. I guess NinaGarcia was sharing the crack.

Irina, Jonny, Nicolas and Gordana are all safe. Qristyl and Epperson are taken to task for having such a bad marriage, but Epperson’s coolness is rewarded with “you’re safe” and he leaves the runway.

Qristyl had zilch in the way of leadership skills, but Mitchell is just a jerk and completely inept. Heidi says that he left the judges disappointed and confused and Never in the History of Project Runway has this ever happened before, but you, the team leader, are auffsie daisy.

Mitchell interviews that gee, maybe he didn’t try hard enough. And thus ends the worst episode of Project Runway, ever. Blergh.

There are fifteen beautiful designers before me, but only… wait. Wrong show. It is a bilious yellow green morning in LA, which looks no better in that color than 7th Avenue did with the mannequin in the middle of the street. In the girl designers’ room, Althea didn’t expect Ari to be gone so quickly. I can’t imagine why she didn’t. Where the boys are, Mitchell is just jazzed to still be in the contest. Logan is this season’s shirtless guy. Works for me. I like them long-haired skinny, bare-chested boys. I admit it. I’m not proud, but you know that somewhere, there is a ratings wonk turning to his co-worker and saying, you see? I told you it hits the demographic. Right. I digress.

On the runway, Christopher is reminded that he has immunity, and Heidi announces the next challenge. They will have to design this week for a real star of big and little screens, and a former super model,  and the designers get all twitterpated and think they’ll get to design for Heidi, but no. They will be designing for (remember, this show was filmed two years ago, or so it seems) a very pregnant with twins Rebecca Romijn. She tells them that her routine hasn’t changed because she’ pregnant, so they can design an outfit for any occasion: lunch with friends, dinner with the hubs, business meeting, party. Only caveat: it must show off the belly and be chic.

Back in the work room, Tim is waiting with a pile of fake bellies. Christopher puts his on his mannequin sideways, as though he’s got no clue what a pregnant woman looks like. Oh, right. Chris is this year’s “stupid, twee hat guy” and that’s one stereotype I wish they’d quit casting. I can live with the bitch and the bully and the clueless, but please, for the love of all that is holy, can we stop with the stupid twee hats? The baseball cap two sizes too small and perched at a rakish angle to one side? The little pork pie hats. The little pork pie hat worn over a do-rag coughSantinocough The ladies with the fascinators and Bettie Page bangs. Enough. Except, can I just say that this hat in particular is offensive? The badly crocheted, ear-flapped, green/brown camo version of Janye’s hat? I particularly never want to see its acrylic face again. But I digress.

They have a budget of $100 and 2 days to sew. Half an hour to sketch, half an hour to shop. Logan is clueless and says that babies scare him. Malvin says that he got from his critique last week that the judges want to see a combination of design and construction technique and that he can do that. Malvin seems to be the smartest designer we have.

Sherin is going to do a dress and a coat. Seems ambitious. Hannah Carol says that she’s designed a maternity dress before. For a bridesmaid. Let’s not open that can of worms. Her words. Qristyl is stressing out. Ra’Mon says he’s going to go tailored and refined. Althea is doing a ribbon bodice with a jersey skirt. LouiseBrooks is going to do a (this is a stylistic leap here) 1920’s negligee-inspired cocktail dress, and is hand-dying some lace. Malvin is conceptualizing eggs, and birds in nests and is using ivory burlap again. Ra’mon, having said not three sentences ago that he’s going the tailored and refined route is having a crisis of faith and is now as clueless as Logan. Mitchell is just agonizing over being safe and to hell with creative. So he’s doing kicky shorts, a t-shirt and a jacket. Oh hell no, he is not sending another naked model down the runway. As God as his witness. Althea is eager to see Malvin’s chicken/egg.

Mitchell, who says he’s designed for pregnant women before is working on his shorts. To say they are, at this point sans waistband voluminous is an understatement. Two of the girl designers climb in the shorts, one in each leg. Much hilarity ensues…among the designers who haven’t been there long enough to start having the giggles. At the end of day one, Shirin has finished her dress.

Day two begins with Tim coming for his walkabout. Althea says that she’s designing for a business luncheon and Tim arches his eyebrow, looks at the long train on this and says gurl, please. Don’t even try to sell it as day wear. Louise is doubting herself and asks kindly professor Gunn’s advice. He says if her viscera is telling her no, she needs to listen. In my low-brow world, that means listen to your gut.

Tim and Mitchell share a laugh over last weeks fiasco. Shirin’s dress is praised, as is her choice of materials for her jacket, and Tim warns her that she has to have the right jacket. Malvin explains about the chicken and the egg to Tim, who listens thoughtfully. Malvin then takes over channeling the aliens from Ari and says that he’s going to make jodphurs to go under the birds nest, cradled eggywegg top. Jodphurs with really exaggerated hips so that they will look like uncooked fryer chicken thighs. Tim suggests, ever so gently, that maybe pregnant women don’t want to wear exaggerated chicken thighs. Malvin says he doesn’t want to bore Nina. Oh, you won’t Tim assures him.

As quickly as he can, Tim sidles away and over to Ra’Mon, where he finds a color-blocked cocktail dress. The color blocking is done in great swoops and swashes along the line of the belly, tucking under into an almost straight skirt. Tim tells him not to play safe, but also not to worry, as coo-coo has already been taken. His words.

Malvin has second thoughts. Mitchell innocently mentions to Ra’Mon that his lines have succeeded in looking like a bowling ball, and for some reason, that just flattens Ra’Mon. He has to take walk. Mitchell follows, attempting to cajol Ra’Mon back into good humor. It’s gaggy enough to make me sentimental for Santino or the Pencil Necked Shmoo. Get a room, girls.

The models come for fittings and all freak out over the fake bellies, except for Althea’s model who has a kid and loves the dress. Ra’Mon’s model stays late and gets a scolding from Professor Gunn. Jonny seems to be doing something nice over in his corner. Nick, aka Daniel Franco Lite, advises the viewers that there is some real crap in the workroom. Neither fitted nor chic, Rebecca, he is certain, would not wear any of it. All we see of his dress is a black ruffled plunging neck line. Could be nice.

Day of the Show

My notes say “boys are weak” but I can’t remember who said it. The RLA? One of the girl designers? Me? The boys are weak. Malvin has doubts, and doesn’t think his egg motif is literal enough. Daniel Franco Lite has a broken zipper and Is Not Happy about having to sew his girl into her dress.Mitchell is feverishly working on those shorts. Ra’Mon accuses Logan of being “Stella, workin’ on yur leathah.” Nope. Self-referential is not funny.

Shirin’s dress is pretty and fits well. The black jacket with the print lining is beautiful. Mitchell’s shorts are ghastly. Qristyl breaks a needle. Oh, the humanity. Louise has tons of hand work to do. Malvin is self-concious. Christopher is still working the Jayne Cobb camo and it still sucks.

On the runway, Heidi recaps the challenge. Our guest judges are Monique Lhuillier and Rebecca. Michael Kors is sitting this one out. Heidi is quick to tell the designers that every one of the judges has been pregnant and unable to find decent clothing, so they have sharp eyes. Let’s start the show.

Logan has made a white billowy top and capris. Nicholas has attached that interesting neck to a plain pencil skirt which is riding up as the model leaves the runway and he sees Heidi throw a squint down at that. Christopher has done a magenta satin bubble top over black leggings. Qristyl has done a sexy draped brick colored top over brown. Could be a tiered dress, could be a skirt and top. Epperson has made a dramatic jumpsuit under a dramatic jacket. It’s all edgy and oversized. LouiseBrooks’ dress is pretty in a high-end nightgown sort of way. Gordana has made leggings and a top, in black with a little grey sweater. It’s invisible. Jonny has made a fun, easy dress that might be a wrap, with a self-fabric corsage. Malvin…well, I’m not sure. It looks a little like a baby sling, but there is some very interesting stuff going on at the same time. He’s paired it with skinny black pants. I could see Angelina Jolie in this. Ra’Mon’s dress is awful and not really made well. Carol Hannah has made a blue dress with a drape supporting the belly. It’s the same concept as Malvins, only better made and more flattering. Althea’s navy blue evening dress is has a deep v back. Real boobs would fall out of the bra top, but the model looks lovely. Irina has also made a blue dress. This one looks like a stretch velvet and it’s more turquoise. It’s another halter top and full skirt, and has about eight inches of satin at the hem. Shirin’s ensemble is amazing.

Ra’Mon, LouiseBrooks, Althea, Malvin, Mitchell and Shirin are left on the runway. We begin with Ra’Mon’s cocktail dress. Monique says it’s too busy, and the construction is sloppy. They all agree that it looks like the racing stripes are pointing to the baby. These women are vicious.

Louise’s pleated bust and tiered slips get high praise for being adaptable to all stages of pregnancy. Althea’s evening gown is called perfection by Monique, and Rebecca loves it. NinaGarcia thinks that Malvin’s egg looks like a baby sling (see?) but they love the way he’s made the black organza look like feathers around the neckline.

Again, they all love Mitchell’s concept. They’d love to go to lunch or the grocery store in this. Well, not THIS. THIS is so badly constructed that they wouldn’t use it to mop the countertop. Heidi calls it a sad, pregnant mess. Shirin’s dress is comfortable. There are no bad angles. They all love the jacket and the detailing.

Then the claws come back out and they run down the list again. Ra’Mon’s construction made the baby bulge look like a bowling ball. Mitchell can’t sew. Malvin had a concept and he went with it. Sherin’s waistline treatment was beautiful, the coat was beautiful and the whole outfit the most wearable of the bunch. Althea had gorgeous draping, color choice and elegant lines. Louise’s dress was fun, but, you know, do you really want to walk around in your lingerie when you’re pregnant? But it was well executed. But, your lingerie. In public.

Louise, Althea and Ra’Mon are in. Shirin is the winner and the judges say that they would all wear it, pregnant or not. Which leaves Malvin and Mitchell. Mitchell’s total lack of sewing skills and time management is called to account. Inexcusable, says Heidi, and then tells Malvin that the whole chicken/egg thing was so heinous, that he has to leave. Aufsie Daisy. Inexcusable has been excused and Mitchell squeaks by to be auff’ed another day.

Next week, they have to work in teams. That’s never pretty.

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