Project Runway: Face/Auf

Hey kids, time for a guest recap of Project Runway! EdHill insists he’s been called away on matters of National Security. But I gotta wonder, EdHill is suddenly busy AND Jessica Alba, Fantasia, Jamie Lynn Spears, and Jessica Sierra are all newly pregnant. COINCIDENCE? I think not.

Let’s check in on PR while Ed’s rehydrating. At the apartments, the designers go through their usual morning routine of waking up and talking about who got booted. Sweet P makes a comment about the enormous “void” Chris will leave, which might be a fat joke except I don’t think Sweet P is that bitchy. I also think she may be suffering from mild brain damage. Seriously.

prdec1212_1.jpgHunky Jack holds a tissue to his face and complains about possibly having a staph infection. Yikes! They are nasty. A friend’s kid just had one of those and was in and out of the hospital. She got it from the gym, giving me one more reason to avoid the gym, as if my congenital laziness weren’t enough. He’s upset, but makes a joke about the swelling looking like collagen injections. I wouldn’t give plastic surgeons any ideas. If they convince Beverly Hills trophy wives that staph infections will make them look younger, then this town will be wiped out by an epidemic of flesh-eating bacteria before Oscar season.

It’s off to work and Heidi. I love how Heidi’s eyes glitter with evil when she announces the challenges. There’s no pretension that’s she’s improving anyone’s life, or that she give a crap about inner beauty. It’s all about pain, torture, and pretty dresses. That’s why I love you Heidi. Plus, you appreciate a nice man with a huge trouser-snake.

Heidi announces the models, and right away the designers know something is up. For starters, the silhouette behind the screen is definitely not a size zero. Sweet P in her infinite genius guesses “crazy fairy prince or transvestites.” And while, tranvestites might be in some way, shape, or form be a semi-reasonable guess, from what deep-seated trauma is “crazy fairy prince” coming from? I have a feeling that Sweet P and I were not read the same bedtime stories as children.


“Wait a minute…are you saying American Psycho was not a fairy tale? Damn you, mom!”

The crazy fairy princes come out on stage, but turn out to be ordinary women in humungous clothes. French Stewart Steven peers at them and wonders if they are relatives of the designers, like in prior seasons, before it dawns on him that he’s not related to any of them. They really picked shallowest think-tank ever this season, didn’t they?

prdec1212_3.jpgHeidi explains the crazy-ass challenge. All the women have lost a ginormous amount of weight. One lost 160lbs! I can’t even imagine. They are all wearing their “favorite outfits” from before they lost the weight. Um, one woman is wearing a wedding dress. Is Heidi implying that a wedding dress was her favorite outfit? Because that brings a Dickensian level of crazy to the runway.

Kevin, the forgotten Backstreet Boy, loves the challenge, but the other designers look like they are ready to take pinking shears to their wrists. Heidi draws buttons to match the designers with the not-models. It’s totally irrelevant, but lately I’ve been obsessing about what Heidi does with the buttons after she draws them. She draws one out, then it magically disappears before she draws the next one. It’s not like she’s stuffing them in her pockets or dropping them on the runway. In my head, they edit out the part where she shrieks “Achtung!” and hurls the button at the head of a cowering PA. Maybe I’m just mentally adding drama in this lackluster season.  Anyhow, the models are assigned; Steven gets stuck with Miss Havisham and the wedding dress. 

In the dayroom, they meet with their not-models (I’m shamelessly stealing “not-models” from copygodd). Victoria has Ori, the ginger day-walker. She’s got enough emerald green fabric to costume the St Patrick’s Day Parade. Christian gets the most negative not-model. She hates everything except black shirts and jeans. Then why bother being on the show? Leave and stop by the Gap on the way home. Problem solved.

prdec1212_4.jpgSteven meets up with Miss Havisham. He hates his dress so much, he’s about to crawl under the table and curl into the fetal position. Not only is it a wedding dress, it’s made of polyester and acetate. That thing is a fire hazard. I’d have paid more attention to what they were saying, but the truth is I’m took a CSI level interest in whether there’s a wedding ring on Miss Havisham’s finger. My detailed examination of the footage concludes that she is not. So, was she left at the altar? For being fat? Or for having a wedding dress made out of petroleum products? For the love of God, why is this her favorite outfit? I can’t believe we don’t hear her backstory. And how self absorbed does Steven have to be to not ask?

At the store, Steven looks ready to buy material for a noose rather than get something for his dress. Tim is concerned, especially when Steven says he’s getting black cloth and the only wedding dress material will be in the collar. I can’t be that bad. Sure it’s crap fabric, but he’s got a shitload to work with. He can’t make a passable cocktail dress out of it? Jillian complains that her model’s outfit had a lot of seams and darts, so while there’s a lot of material, there’s not a lot of single pieces of fabric for her to work with. She buys more fabric in the same color as the original.

Returning to Parsons, poor Jack is suffering. His lip is has passed the Melanie Griffith stage and gone into Lisa Rinna territory. He’s had staph infections before so knows that the treatment is hardcore; he’s also smart enough to take it seriously and call his doctor. Especially since it’s not just staph, it’s MRSA, which is like the ebola of staph, assuming I can use one disease as a metaphor for another, which I probably can’t. In interview, he mentions that his immune system is OK, but I can’t imagine being HIV positive helps any in this situation.

Someone tips off Tim to the Jack situation, and he comes by to check up. After they have some private time, Jack comes in and tearily announces he’s got to go get treatment and must leave the show. Poor bastard. There’s much weeping and hugging as everyone says goodbye. Don’t worry though, Jack is fine, and has an interview up at Blogging Project Runway (yay, cross-promotion!).

prdec1212_5.jpgAfter Jack’s exit, everyone mopes and cuts. I didn’t think it was possible to suck anymore life out of this season’s workroom, but that evil MRSA infection has done it. Even the spectacle of Ricky trying on his not-model’s jeans, with matching heels, can’t create any excitement. He explains that he wants to give his model a new outlook. Knowing that’s you’ve both worn the same pants will certainly do that for her, Ricky.

Everyone gathers round for Tim. He has their models…and a surprise. It’s Chris! They have brought him back to take Jack’s spot. He’ll get Jack’s not-model, plus he’ll be doing all of Jack’s topless beefcake shots.  Because he’s coming in late, he can stay all night and finish up. There is much rejoicing at Chris coming back. I’m happy too; I was sad to see him go last week. Chris empathizes greatly with this challenge, having gained and lost a ton of weight.

The models return for fitting. Kit’s outfit looks really cute, as does Christian’s, even if he was restricted to a black top and jeans. His not-model still finds something to complain about: her ass is too small. That’s right, she’s whining about losing soooo much weight that her ass is too small. This woman could find the dark cloud in any silver lining. Christian just rolls his eyes and says he can’t pad her ass or prescribe the anti-depressants she so desperately needs, so she’ll just have to deal.

After they leave, Chris teases Steven about the dress. He thinks he could have worked with that fabric, but that’s mostly because Chris is all about the tacky. He would have just made a smaller wedding dress, for next time Miss Havisham gets left at the altar.

Tim returns to check up on things after some devastatingly boring footage of the designers working. Tim asks Christian how “fierce” his outfit is. Oooh, it’s a rare Timburntm. Christian laughs it off. Next, Tim is concerned about Elisa. In Timspeaktm he says “Your point of view is coming through, but you have to serve your client.” In English this translates to “We see the crazy, but your not-model is not clinically insane, so dial it down a notch, wacky-pants.”

prdec1212_6.jpgMoving on to Steven, Tim says that his use of only an inch of the original fabric is “courageous,” which is Timspeaktm for “you’re doomed.”  I am greatly amused that Mr. Gunn completely abandons his usual polite, oblique phrasing with Chris. After Chris says he’s going for a sailor look, Tim practically yells “DON’T!” He flatly tells Chris “Just avoid it.,” and recommends that Chris make all his big design decision early. As he puts it “I’ve made more bad decisions at 3:00 AM…” leading to howls of laughter from the designers and a “what were their names?” joke from Steven. Tim laughs and when Chris asks if he’ll be stopping by at four AM, Tim jokes and says he will “after my three AM mistake.” All I can add is that if you don’t like Tim Gunn, then you HAVE NO SOUL.

Christian manages to finish before quitting time, leading Sweet P to ask if it’s “against the law to kill a twelve year old?” Ha! Maybe she’s not brain-damaged after all. Finished or not, everyone has to leave at midnight except for Chris. The producers get a great shot of him working with his failure outfit from the previous week in the foreground.


The bolero jacket of doom watches over Chris, accented with the shoulder pads of failure.

The designers find Chris snoring away the next day on the couch. He managed to finish, but his outfit is not good. On the other hand, Steven is scrambling to get done. I don’t understand why, since it looks like a shapeless black sack with some wedding gown material stuck on the collars and sleeves. How hard could it be to make? Kevin and Victoria have to help him finish. Tim practically kicks his ass to get him out the door for the show. Well, he just mildly said “We’ve got to go” several times, but for Tim, that’s like Gordon Ramsey yelling “move your fucking arse!” In other news, Ricky cries.


“I am concerned about your lack of movement towards the exit.”

Heidi greets the designers in a very, very short dress that does not stop her from a very, very wide legged stance from the runway. She must feel safe having only one (allegedly) straight guy in the cast.


Heidi officially welcomes Chris back by inserting his head in her vagina.

On with the show. Most of the designs were pretty boring. It’s fine, since the guest judge is from the Gap and the clothes are supposed to be something the women would wear normally.

In the boring but fine category, we have a sundress from Sweet P, a green dress from Victoria, and a blouse/skirt combo from Rami. They’re coma-inducing, so Gap guy must be salivating.


In between sobs, Ricky made a cute and non-original top, but those pants are too tight. Cameltoes are not a fashion-forward look. At least he avoids the fashion crime of Kevin: leggings. Stop with leggings, America. JUST. STOP. I like the top though; his not-model looks great. Christian’s jacket looks awesome AND he refitted his models jeans really well. His is my favorite.


Jillian’s not-model looks like a walking traffic cone to me, but the style is OK. At first I was kinda sympathetic to Jillian buying extra fabric. She only had a red shirt and dark pants to work with, and her not-model lost less weight than some of the others, which means she had less extra fabric to work with. But when I saw that only the piping on the dress was from the original fabric, my goodwill evaporated. The other designers managed to work within their constraints, including bad fabric, bad colors, personal demons and psychological disorders.

Kit’s dress is very good. She managed to use old material as well as new material, SO THERE, Jillian. Steven’s dress is awful. Simply awful. At least Jillian made a semi-decent dress after she chucked the original material; Steven’s not-model looks like a maid. Miss Havisham’s got enough emotional baggage to deal with, Steven, don’t go giving her more.


Speaking of costumes, that’s what Chris has produced. Poor man just can’t help himself. It wouldn’t be so bad without the red. At least he restrained himself from the “sailor” look he was threatening earlier, unless his vision of the navy is very, very different than mine. Which it almost certainly is.  Elisa’s not-model gives the devil horns when she’s in silhouette. Elisa says she wanted to bring out her wild side, but she looks like top half of a secretary grafted onto the bottom half of a groupie, circa 1987. It’s also not AT ALL figure flattering.


After the show, Steven, Christian, Chris, Kevin, Jillian, Elisa, are told they either rocked or sucked and have to stay on the runway.

Michael Kors loves Kevin’s outfit, but objects to the leggings. He admits that “everyone has them,” Michael himself has four pairs at home, but knows to only wear them in private.

Elisa defends her outfit by saying she wanted a day “trousseau.” Er, isn’t a trousseau the clothes of a new bride? Google confirms that it is. I don’t know why I am expecting Elisa’s explanation to make sense. We’re probably lucky her description did not involve chakra’s, the equinox, and menstrual blood. Michael says that the outfit chopped her not-model in two, then adds that this is only OK if your not-model is 5’11. Hey, Michael, chopping women in half is never cool. I don’t care how many times you watch Hostel 2.

Heidi brings up Jillian’s failure to use  the original materials in her dress, but the judges love it. Gap guy likes the “hint of a corset” which I don’t see, at all. They also love Christian’s blouse. More importantly, Christian’s model loves the outfit, and she hates everything.

Steven, Steven, Steven. Nina has the same reaction I did: maid. She’s actually kinder than me, calling it “French maid,” which implies a little saucy sexiness that this dress absolutely does not have.

prdec1212_14.jpgThey also hate Chris’ ensemble. Michael Kors refers to as a Shirley Maclaine in Irma la Douce. It’s more a costume from the high-school production of Irma la Douce. I agree with the Gap guy, it wouldn’t be so bad if he got rid of all the red.

During deliberation, the judges decide whether Jillian or Christian should get the prize and who should get aufed. When discussing Steven, the judges can’t understand why he couldn’t do more with all the white material he had. The Gap guy comments about how great it would be to have a “wedding dress you could wear during the day.” Uh, not great at all, Mr Gap Guy. I have never woken up and wished I could wear a wedding dress to work. And that’s not even taking into account that I would spill coffee on it immediately.

The designers come back out. Christian wins! He deserves it. It won’t help his raging ego any, but he did a great job, even with the hardest to please not-model. The losing comes down to Elisa vs Steven. If it’s not Steven, the judges are crazy. Sure enough, Steven is out. In interview, he says, “Just because the judges didn’t like it, doesn’t make it awful.” True, Steven, it was awful she looked like a dowdy housekeeper. Luckily, she can wear it for Halloween this year and, with a little alteration, repurpose it as a witch’s costume next year. She probably already wore the wedding dress as a costume, so she’s hit the trifecta.

So that’s it for my humble attempt to fill Ed’s shoes. Ed, Hiro and I will be covering the rest of the season, one way or another, but it will probably be me for the next few weeks.  

brilliantmistake | 12.24.07 | Filed in Project Runway,Recaps

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