Before we begin, a final “Ode to Jason”, with apologies to Leonard Cohen.
With Jason gone,
Whose brain to compare to a small hard pea?
Not that I did compare,
But I do compare,
Now that he’s gone.
Thank you. Don’t forget to tip the waitress.
Previously on Project Runway, Gretchen wins, Jason is auffed and Nicholas cries. Now it’s another orange morning in Manhattan. This is no time to be cute. Gretchen is obnoxious, and the other designers hate her already. Model selection, where Gretchen keeps her muse and the two other hangers go home. Party! No, it’s the unconventional material challenge. This year, it’s a party supply store. Tim advises the group that using things that are like fabric (table cloths, wrapping paper, etc) is not loved by the judges. AJ, with his drag queen/Heatherette portfolio is generally acknowledged to have the edge going in. Will he crack under the pressure of expectations? Will Gretchen get her head out of her ass, or has the swelling become so bad that it is now anally impacted?
As has already become usual, Casanova, or as Miz Shoes has now dubbed him, El Niño del Infierno, doesn’t get it. He complains that he cannot make couture from party hats, so he instead buys plush puppies, table covers and anything else that looks like fabric. Gretchen tosses the word “aesthetic” around in every conversation. Bluto (Michael “I’d gladly make couture for you tomorrow for a hamburger today” Costello) is psyched. Mondo and AJ are both going with a birthday theme, but Mondo insists that a quince is different and AJ insists that it isn’t. AJ goes off to tweak his concept. Tim announces that the winner will have immunity. Gretchen continues to swan around the workroom, dispensing unasked for advice, glorying in her own genius and generally getting the bitch edit. Miz Shoes had her pegged as insufferable from the first. Casanova guts the plush puppies and drapes their little fuzzy pelts on his mannequin.
April is game. Mono is wearing yet another pair of outrageous glasses. AJ is back peddling on his claims of being able to design with innovative materials. He just won’t shut up. He’s one of those people who chatters when nervous. Valerie is working in black and white. Sarah’s sketches look a lot like her dress from last week. Same lines. But with cardboard palm leaves. En Nino del Infierno defends his use of plastic table cloths. Andy is making braids from ribbon. Another use of the word “aesthetic”. Gretchen is trying to psych out Christopher. More Gretchen bashing and Gretchen giving the editors plenty to work with on that particular story arc. AJ is panicking. Tim and Valerie bond over love of the Ascot Gavotte.
Andy is experimenting. Kristin is making a bohemian dress, and Ivy calls it a jelly fish. Dis. Kristin has bought bags of Animal Woolly Balls. She also has real balls. Tim prefers the wooly balls. It is just hysterical. Ivy is using mylar balloons. Christopher is making fabric out of his parts. Tim tells Peach that she needs to take the lump of coal she has stuck up her rear end, turn it into a diamond and pull it out. Miz Shoes considers the possibility that Our Mr. Gunn may be on pain meds. Bluto is doing something monochromatic and red. Tim calls it sensational. Sarah has used floral paint on her palm leaves, Tim loves the palette and playful shapes. Schiaparelli, he says. Gretchen hand cut “chevrons” in her fringe. Faux leather from crumpled paper bags. She is so smug.
El Niño del Infierno is troubled because the other designers have told him that he can’t use tablecloths, but that’s all he bought (except for the now-disemboweled plush puppies). Tim says that he never said “couldn’t” use, merely “shouldn’t” use. Did El Niño del Infierno not listen? Oh, he listened, he just, and we quote, “didn’t get the point”. Dude. Yours is not to wonder why, yours is but to do or die. And frankly, he is killing Miz Shoes. Tim tells him to make it work. He tells the room that the concepts are “profound”. Sarah is lost, and Gretchen gives her advice: scrap the pink. Sarah takes Gretchen’s advice. Bitch, please. Did Mr. Gunn not just say that he loved the palette? When the models come in, they are carrying bags of more party crap. For the added twist, the designers have to use the materials in those bags to create an accessory to their looks.
Andy only has his muslin for the model to try on. Sarah’s not happy with her dress, just wants to get it finished. Ivy is running out of time. Andy is running out of time. It’s midnight and there are a lot of unfinished garments left in the workroom as the designers go home for the night. In the morning, Mondo asks his roommates if he should wear a fake mustache or not. Predictably, the only one who responds well to the atrocity is Casanova, who advises that Mondo wear the press-on facial accessory to the runway. Gretchen pretends that she doesn’t think she is going to win again. Valerie says that if she’s in second place again, she’s just going to be the Susan Lucci of Project Runway. That would be Korto, who was robbed twice for the big check, thank you. Still, Miz Shoes recognizes a good line when she sees (and can steal) one, so good for you Valerie.
Workroom before the runway show, and Sarah is resigned to her fate and there is general mayhem about. We see more Gretchen swanning around getting the bitch edit (understandably, sometimes it’s just too easy not to run with the plot line you are handed by the subject…but for those of us in the audience too oblivious to be annoyed by her, there is a long pause on a rhinestone tiara that spells out “BITCH” as Gretchen has a bossy-girl voice over). AJ whips out a fabulous necklace in minutes. Gretchen bosses around the make-up staff. Ivy says, like my face, only professional. Sarah is still waffling. Peach realizes that Andy has genius going on on his mannequin and clearly not enough time to finish, so she helps him. April has also finished her dress, and she comes to his aid, too. Gretchen sniffs about some people have time management issues, but not her and we are off to the runway. Christopher has made this amazing fabric out of napkins and his dress is fragile. Sarah’s doesn’t fit, Andy has made a glove out of a balloon.
Heidi is fabulous in beige and ivory. Challenge review. Judges are Michael Kors, NinaGarcia and a very special guest: Betsey Johnson, who defines the word “fabulous” and deserves her description as icon. Christopher’s dress is a simple little party dress, but he has created the fabric out of napkins. That sentence does not do justice to what he did, though. The base is mustard yellow, but there is something shiny going on, too. Did he fuse circles of mylar tulle onto the base? There are shiny tiny stripes of individual shreds of mylar in purple, gold and teal that he has placed vertically on thethe stripy tulle. It is just an amazing piece of fabric. Stunning. Michael the Knitter sends out a foil skirt and mylar fringe top. Andy’s ribbon dress looks like leather and chain. And has anyone talked about his model Cassie? That girl can work it. AJ’s Hello Kitty flamingo cupcake. Ivy’s petal ballerina/garden party/cocktail dress. Bluto’s flamenco dress. He has used at least three different textured items in the same shade of crimson to make an evening dress. There is crepe paper used as tiers of ruffles from about knee down, above that to the waist are silk flowers? maybe, and the bodice of cut plastic cups that create paillottes, one shoulder and fitted beautifully. This is the first knock-out from him.
Peach has used zebra print, white and hot pink and made a saucy little number with a matching purse. Gretchen’s flapper skirt. She says that she could see herself wearing it. In the make up room, she said the look was “the girl everyone wants to be”. Bitch edit. Hot pink party dress from Mondo. There is a bustier of hot pink plastic plate edges made into armor, and a mini-poodle skirt of darker oranger pink plastic leis. The less said about what Mondo himself is wearing, the better. El Niño del Infierno has also made a flamenco dress, his has alternating panels of dolphin grey “thousand of ruffles” and what used to be a Transformers tablecloth. Bizarre graphics and matte grey. A bodice made of mylar fringe. Kristin has made a baby doll bodice out of stripes that remind Miz Shoes of Fruit Stripe gum.
There is some sort of green plastic swagging that makes a grass skirt like fringe-y thing. April talks about her Klingon “aesthetic”. Sarah’s sad little dress is sad. She’s just happy that it isn’t falling off. Valerie’s Ascot Gavotte is well-made and graphic.
Peach, Bluto, Ivy, Kristin, Michael the knit guy, Mondo, Christopher and April are safe. They leave. The models come back out. Valerie, Gretchen of course and Andy are the tops, say the other designers. Ivy thinks that AJ and Sarah will be the last two standing. This challenge, the model will be automatically out if her designer is auffed. Valerie explains that she took the judges comments to heart with her styling. MKors says that she’s taken a complete 360. Oh Noes! Mr Kors a 360 would put her back where she started. You mean she made a complete 180. Gretchen deigns to nod sagely during MKors’ critique. Betsey Johnson is whack. AJ says he is inspired by NYC Club Kidz. Heidi says it looks silly, but she loves the necklace. NinaGarcia calls the dress a “hot mess” and AJ says thank you. Heidi gives him a short sharp course correct: That was not a compliment. MKors finds the fringe crotch to be tasteless. Betsey Johnson says that she’d wear it, and that it wasn’t over the top enough. Andy’s dress inspires MKors to say that he could see Heidi and Rhianna fighting over it. He has a very valid point. Betsey says that it is too pretty, and not enough party.
El Niño del Infierno explains why he was too good to use the materials he was asked to use. His model is wearing a plush puppy like a cowl/boa. He should have left the head and feet. That would have had Betsy clawing for him to win. Transvestite Flamenco Dancer at a Funeral. You have no taste. Sarah gives a half-hearted explanation of her sad dress. Heidi calls it sad. MKors gets to the very heart of it and says that it looks like she got so hung up on making the palm fronds work that she couldn’t let go and admit that they didn’t and move on to a new direction. MizShoes spent many years in therapy to be able to do that very thing, and relates to Sarah Trost. Gretchen uses finger quotes around the word “leather”, the top is made from a balloon. NinaGarcia wrote “fabulous”, MKors says that she uses herself as a template and he applauds that. Everyone else loves Gretchen uncritically.
Backstage, Gretchen dominates the conversation and AJ snaps and tells her that she talks all the time. (Miss Pot? This is Miss Kettle.) There is much shushing and eye-rolling and Gretchen says that AJ is just sensitive because he’s in the bottom. Oh, she did not go there, did she? She did. Bitch edit. On the runway, MKors and NincaGarcia ridicule El Niño del Infierno. Betsey says Sarah’s dress could have been more embellished, and MKors speaks up for Sarah, saying that she recognized that she had failed and adding that it takes a lot of strength to admit you screwed the pooch. AJ’s mess was a mess. Valerie’s dress was beautiful, sexy but not vulgar, and well-styled. It was Lovely. Andy’s look was well put together. Well cut. Gretchen’s look would be worn exactly as is by Kate Moss. And this is a good thing? It isn’t entirely unfactual or slang expressin to say that Kate Moss is often cracked-out.
Best. Worst. In. Out. Valerie’s in. Andy, Gretchen, one of you will be the winner. Andy, you’re the winner. Cut to Gretchen looking disbelieving that her minions didn’t recognize her brilliance once again. She leaves the runway. AJ is in. El Niño and Sarah are the bottom two. Casanova, you have no taste. None. Sarah, your dress was sad and boring, you should have trusted your instincts and not listened to Gretchen. The parade float gets to stay, and Miz Shoes’ early-season favorite goes home. Bummer. Air kisses. Bluto cries. He’s sweet. Tim comes in and loves the fabulous show, and Sarah calls him Mr. Gunn. She recognizes that she sent out a bad piece. Wait!!! Ambulances again???? At the Atlas? Someone is unconscious in the hallway. Ivy has fainted. She has to go to the hospital? Valerie says it seems serious and she doesn’t know if Ivy is going to have to go home.
Next week? Philip Treacy? NO FUCKING WAY!!! That is so huge. Miz Shoes lurves the Philip Treacy. We see neither Sarah nor Ivy in the remaining preview, and Miz Shoes wonders if Ivy does go home and Sarah gets to come back…