Project Runway: Prom Nightmare

pr0108_1.jpgIt’s a  new day at the New Gotham apartments. While the name conjures up Batman, what you actually get is Christian creating the cry for help that is his hair. And Rami in a towel- that’s not so bad.

After all the exciting tooth brushing and hotel door closing, Heidi meets them at Parsons. She’s really covered up today, just a teensy bit shy of a burka, except for that daring bit of shoulder. Slut. Heidi asks if they are ready for their challenge, but only gets a round of unenthusiastic “yeahs.” They’ve turned into a band of sullen teens dragged along on the family vacation.

Heidi ignores them as the Ungeziefer they are, and says they will be designing for “one of the most important days in a woman’s life.” Rami hopes it’s not a wedding, but they’ve already done wedding in a previous season, so it can’t be that. It can’t be childbirth, because, really, who dresses for that? More of an undressing, I would think. Ditto for losing the ole virginity. In a absurd moment of geeky hope, I think it might be graduation.

Heidi call for the models. Once again, the silhouette is clearly not a model.  Just to demonstrate how the body dysmorphia of fashion designers is pushing the modeling industry to ever more ‘rexic heights, Kevin takes one look at a normal teenager and thinks “midget or oompa loomps” (He actually said “oompa loomps.” They’re like oompa loompas, but with more trips to White Castle). I know you’re the only straight man, Kevin, but please never have daughters. The models are real teenagers, bused in all the way from a Catholic high school in Jersey, complete with short skirts and knee high socks. But don’t get excited boys, all those lasses are underage.


Just standing next to Heidi is going to result in a lot of body image issues for these girls.

Heidi announces that they will be making prom dresses. Are you fucking kidding me? The PROM is one of the most important days in a “woman’s” life? Do they even have prom in Germany? I mean, it’s a traditional American custom at all, and I get that it’s a big deal, but aren’t they exaggerating a wee bit? Er, I guess it’s obvious I didn’t go to my prom. Then again, I was pretty much over high school by junior year. My family only got me to show up for graduation though force, threats, and bribes. But for the people who did, would you say, it was one of the MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF YOUR LIFE or just a fond (or maybe not so fond) high school memory?

Anyhoo, Christian is also unthrilled, he’s still waiting for the “Christian is the Awesomist Challenge” where everyone has to make a dress showcasing how awesome Christian is. He performs that challenge everyday in his head. There’s a lot of hysterical laughter amongst the designers- the weary, near-nervous-breakdown kind of hysterical laughter, not the I’m-having-a-great-time kind of laughter. Maybe they should take away the real scissors in the workroom and give them those blunt round scissors they give kids to they won’t put out an eye. I think someone’s about to snap. Maybe all of them.

To avoid the humiliation of having the designers choose the teens (no one would want to go back to high school as the last teen chosen, there’s enough social humiliation just being on the show), the teens have looked at the designers portfolio and chosen with whom they wanted to work. Chris quips that the girl who chooses him based on his transvesteriffic portfolio must be crazy. Or incredibly cool, Chris, there’s always that…or perhaps, secretly a dude. Maybe even both. 


The designers return to the studio where Tim Gunn warns them that the girls will have very strong opinions (they are from New Jersey, remember), but the designers still have to express their point of view. The teen terrors come in.

Chris’ teen wants a classy dress cut low in the front and the back, ‘cuz that’s how they do classy off  her turnpike exit. Kevin remembers the Jersey prom all too vividly, as demonstrated by this picture.


At least we know he’ll speak their spray-tanned lingo. He also promises to put a chastity belt in her dress. Vyctorya asks her teen why she chose her, only to find out she was last choice. Ha! The teen is pretty diplomatic about it.

Sweet P objects to her teen wanting a low cut dress, even though Sweet P herself is once again falling out of her top. Come to think of it, that sight might be enough to persuade her teen to keep her tatas tucked away. Her teen also wants an ivory dress, which Sweet P rejects as being to close to a wedding dress. Because you know Sweet P is all about the tradition. She even adds “hopefully she’s not even going to lose her virginity.” Is there a nun lurking under those tattoos?

Christian has another difficult not-model. For the weight loss challenge, his not-model wanted nothing, and I mean nothing, fancy. This time, his not-model wants everything fancy: gold, rhinestones, lace, tulle, I think she tried to throw in a couple Fabergé eggs in for good measure. To make things worse, she’s very enthusiastic about design, and takes the pencil right out of Christians’s hand to alter the sketch. And Christian allows no woman to touch his pencil (rimshot!). Poor thing, she thinks she’s collaborating, but really she’s sending Christian into a fey seizure. It looks something like this.


Adorable! His model’s not there to see it, though. He’s saved all his effeminate rage for the one-on-one interviews, like a good passive-aggressive.

The designers are off to Mood with a whopping $200 to spend. Sweet P has rejected her teens request for ivory (or black or white) and gets “champagne,” which basically looks like ivory. She’s still worried about the “wedding” thing. And what if your teen was planning to get married on prom night, Sweet P, did you ever think about that? You’ve just ruined the other most important day in a woman’s life. Thanks a lot.

At the register, Chris has picked out green and red fabric. He jokes, or at least I sincerely hope he jokes, that he’s making a Christmas dress, something along the lines of a poinsettia. Tim Gunn’s response is perfect.


“Can we run over to Target so I can get Christmas tree lights?”

Returning to the workroom, Christian announces that he was voted the best dressed at prom. And here is the proof.


It makes more sense if you remember that Christian went to Ironic Hipster High (Go Fighting Pop-Culture-References! Or Don’t! We’re Too Cool to Care!). Kit admits that she was princess of her prom and even went with the prom prince. She only became hip after she took “Edgy Outsiderism 101” in fashion school. In the first class, everyone bleaches their hair.


Chris makes gay jokes to entertain the folks, but Ricky suddenly remembers that he hasn’t cried in minutes. A man (or whatever) can’t live with his emotions bottled up! Ricky reminisces about his mother working as a seamstress and sewing all her daughter’s prom dresses, just so she could buy her son dorky conductor’s hats. Well, he doesn’t cry exactly, Mom’s great, but let’s face it, she’s no Sarah Jessica Parker. He gets a little misty. Then he calls Mom and has a chat. The tears should be coming…He talks about being poor…the waterworks are on their way…don’t hold back…he’s choking up…nothing. He just became extremely verklempt, although if he were Hillary Clinton the press would have described him as sobbing like a baby.

The designers are really dragging by the end of the day, and look like they just give up. Christian hates his dress. He complains that he “can’t let a seventeen-year-old girl overpower me.” That would be like reliving every lunch period in high school all over again.

The next day, the designers arrive refreshed, but that doesn’t stop Sweet P and Christian from babbling. Christian hates his dress, even though he’s changed it from the original design. It looks pretty bad on the mannequin. The poor girl will have some sort of growth creeping across her chest, and it won’t be her date’s hands. Plus brown does not seem like a great color for a prom dress. Vyctorya also hates hers, declaring it’s something “an Italian, older, divorcee would wear.” I’d watch how much you slur the Italians if your dealing with girls from New Jersey, Vycky. With Christian’s help, she redesigns her very, very blue dress.

Tim announces the girls are there for their fittings. Ricky “Sherlock Holmes” Lizalde describes the scene, “When the models come in, I see these old ladies, and I immediately think these are the mothers.” And here I though they were the pimps, ready to peddle the underage flesh in the open market. You get premium dollar on prom night, or so I’m told.

pr0108_9.jpgKevin’s mom is super harsh. Just because she’s getting the damn dress for free doesn’t mean she can’t treat Kevin like a servant. She’s worried the dress makes her darling girl look pregnant. The teen just rolls her eyes and tells Ricky that mom is crazy. She’ll break the pregnancy news to her later “So you know Jamie Lynn Spears? Funny coincidence…”

Vyctorya and Sweet P’s worries about their models hating the dresses aren’t realized. They both get a lot of love from their girls. For once, Sweet P isn’t panicking and redesigning her outfit a million times. I hardly recognize her. She must have bummed a Ritalin off one of the kids.

Chris asks his teen’s mom if she saw his wacky portfolio. Mom just says she was impressed, but she doesn’t realize, until Chris tells her, that it’s him in a lot of the photos (including the one above). She’s shocked, and so is Chris. He learns an important life lesson: with a great rack, no one looks at your face.

pr0108_9a.jpgChristian’s teen is NOT HAPPY. She doesn’t like the length, her booty sticks out, everything. Watching these two clash is like a diva-off. A diva-off that Christian loses. He whines behind her back and says he’s a designer, not a dressmaker. Sure, his teen is being difficult, but on the other hand, if he becomes a big-time designer, he’ll have to deal with celebutantes, and I guarantee you their maturity level will be somewhere way, way, south of your average teen. He’s also pissed that the girl claims she “co-designed” it, although why they are both so eager to claim a dress they both hate, I’m not sure. And that color is not good on her.

The girls leave to go back to New Jersey, and the designers get to sewing.  Sweet P and Vyctorya complain about nearly getting eliminated until Chris shuts them up by pointing out that he was eliminated. Oops. Then there’s sewing, sewing, sewing, more sewing, and …Tim!

Kevin complains to Tim about the Mom from hell. Tim asks Kevin how he’s going to finish the hem, and Kevin shrugs that he doesn’t know, and might not even finish it. Tim says “It has to be exquisite,” which is Timspeak for “Finish the damn hem, moron.” Then Kevin declares that the judges “might not even notice.” Did Kevin step outside to huff some gasoline? The judges always notice. That’s Tim’s opinion, too. Nina can spot an unfinished hem from 100 yards away. She killed a man in Reno for that once.

Moving on to Rami, Tim is concerned that the girl will look like she’s wearing her mother’s dress, assuming her mother is really J. Lo and not a soccer mom from Jersey. The dress looks a lot like Rami’s first dress. Rami defends himself by saying many teens want to dress like their mothers, they’re growing up fast, the little whores. Besides, it’s easier to get into clubs that way. Poor Tim, no one is taking his advice tonight.


Vyctorya ignores Tim’s suggestion that she give her client a third breast.

After Vyctorya shows Tim the hugely tacky crystals she’s slapping on her dress (all Tim can say is “work, work, work”), he moves on to this week’s basket case, Christian. Tim is concerned. Tim declares that he sees some of Christian in it, so he hasn’t been completely dominated by a teenage girl, only humiliated and walked on. But Christian has given up. Does Tim not see his theatrical sighing and exaggerated slouching? How much more drama must poor Christian create to get sympathy?

Tim is having none of it. He’s dealt with thousands of sullen queens over the years at Parsons. After Christian declares he has no more fabric, Tim pulls some out. When Christian says he’s quitting, Tim won’t hear it. I really love Tim for the little speech he gives Christian, including the “Rally!” he gives at the end. Then he tells them all to “Make it work” and disappears off into the night to fight crime and drink mojitos. Or least that’s what he does in my fantasy.

The next morning, Christian pretends that he can grow facial hair by fake shaving.


Dude, we know that thing’s not on.

But he appears to have a new attitude about his dress. He’s fully prepared to kick a little teenage ass, or least make catty remarks about her, ‘cuz that’s how they do a beat down in fashion school. Rami says they have no prom in the West Bank. What? They miss out on ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF A WOMAN”S LIFE? How can that be? Next, you’ll tell me they don’t celebrate Christmas. Oh wait…

Ricky says he brought his girlfriend to the prom (!!!!!!), and he made her dress (whew!), and that should have been a big clue (ha!). How did we not get a picture of Ricky at prom? I’ve got good money that says he was crying like a baby in it.


“..and then during the prom, I blew the quarterback in the men’s room. Looking back, I think that was another clue…”

But enough of that, let’s get to the dresses. Tim brings back the gals for their final fitting plus make-up. I hope Ricky’s prom date got a better dress than this poor girl (and also stopped dating gay men), because the dress here is not so great. He worries that he chose “too subtle” a color, and I guess “subtle” is fashionspeak for “completely washes her out.”

The girls act like teenage girls and create general mayhem in the workroom. Sweet P scares the bejesus out of them by saying she also went to Catholic school and therefore those sweet innocents are staring down their future. Wow, there really is a nun lurking under those tattoos. She also hints that she did something, perhaps the sexy sex, on her prom night. Gotta love those Catholic schools; they’ve been proving that abstinence only education does not work for over a thousand years. But there’s a far worse crime here that I’d like to point out in Sweet P’s prom photo…


A white dress! Damn hypocrite.

Christian’s diva-teen is back for another prissy death match. She complains about how long the fitting is taking. She’s such a brat, I wonder if she’s mistaking this show for a My Sweet Sixteen open audition. I’d feel sympathy for Christian, but lets face it, out of all the designers, he’s the one that most karmically deserved this large serving of attitude.

Out on the runway, Heidi’s dressed very conservatively again, I can only assume it’s because of all the teenage girls. She’ll banking on them never having heard of Sports Illustrated or Victoria’s Secret. Guest judge is Gilles Mendel, or, as I had all through my notes “Frenchie.” Let’s start the show!

Both Chris and Sweet P have gone with very simple elegant dresses, Sweet P’s from her “champagne” colored fabric that could easily be worn for a wedding, not matter what her tattered brain cells might say. Also, the dress shows a generous amount of side boob, so Mission Teenage Cock Block not accomplished. It’s a very pretty dress though; she’ll totally get laid. Chris’ green dress is great, both he and Sweet P managed to make figure flattering dresses out of material that is typically very un-flattering, so, kudos. I go back and forth between thinking Jillian’s dress is very pretty, and thinking “Bridesmaid.” Maybe she and Sweet P’s teen can hook up for an impromptu ceremony.


I’ll say it now, I hated Vyctorya’s dress. I know a lot of people think it’s cute and flirty, but I can’t get past the tacky fake gemstones. It would be perfect for playing the android who falls in love with Kirk, thereby discovering her humanity but also, tragically, dying. Every time Kirk would ask her a question, the gems would light up in sequence and make beeping noises as she cocks her head to the side and ponders the answer. Eventually, after a few make-out sessions, Kirk would ask her about love, whereupon all the gemstones would light up at once, and her head would explode. The end.


Kevin’s hooker outfit I mean, prom dress, comes down the runway. I’ll give him one thing, he really embraced the New Jersey aspect of this challenge (full disclosure: I was born in the Garden State, and the family moved away when I was an infant, but the relatives are still out there). It’s hard to tell how bad the unfinished hem looks on TV, I can only assume it’s a hideous monstrosity in person. Nina’s probably already sharpening her knife. Christian’s also got problems down at the south pole. The back of his dress rides up so high in back, it looks like he had to add a little flap to keep the FBI child porn squad from intervening.


Ricky’s poor model looks like the ghost of prom past. That color just does not work. It’s too bad, his girl has amazing peachy skin and blonde hair, she would have looked great in a brighter pastel. It doesn’t help that the dress itself looks like a sack belted with rhinestones.

I was all prepared to disagree with Tim Gunn over Rami’s dress- there’s nothing wrong with a teenager wanting something elegant- but the great man was right. The dress is nice, but high-fashion matronly, like she’s on her way to her botox appointment. And what’s with the weird draping on the front? I keep thinking she lost her baby but doesn’t realize it, and is know wandering aimlessly around New York with the empty sling. Finally, Kit’s dress is super cute.


After the runway, Ricky, Rami, Kevin, Vyctorya, Christian, and Sweet P are all left to either defend themselves or receive some free ego inflation. The girls totter back out on stage veeeerrrrry carefully on their high heels.

Sweet P says her girl wanted a Grecian look combined with Hollywood glamour. Nina thinks that look is a little “sophisticated,” meaning slutty, for a seventeen-year-old, but Michael reassures her that young Hollywood, coughLindseycough, has turned all teenagers into little whores anyway, so not to worry.

Speaking of hooker looks, Kevin is in big trouble for his unhemmed hoochie dress. Kevin starts off with “I saw she was Filipino and wanted to complement her skin…by aging her ten years.” Well, he didn’t say that last part. Perhaps he was just helping her buy booze for all her friends. Kors calls Kevin out on the hem, and Kevin is forced to admit that if he had hemmed, his dress would be short enough to show her Virgin Mary region to the world.


I feel dirty just showing you this

To my surprise, The judges lurve Vycktorya’s dress. Really, really love. I think I might like it without the jewel stuff at the neck, that pretty much ruins it for me. But Nina gushes over it, single-handedly selling millions of bedazzlers to a waiting America.

pr0108_0.jpgChristian really bones it by complaining about his teen right off the bat. He fully expected the panel to hate it, and so did I, but Heidi says she likes it, including the color. The panel is really hallucinating tonight. The basic design and color might be OK on another girl, but Christian needed to make a dress that was designed for this one. He could have come up with something way more flattering. Frenchie and Nina complain that he’s stuck the entire notions rack from the sewing store on her. Christian blames everything on little Miss Diva. The panel points out hat if can’t handle a headstrong teen, how’s gonna handle Naomi Campbell throwing a cell phone at him when he’s a real, grown-up, designer boy?

Ricky gives his own dress the highest praise, “the girl inside me would wear it.” If only the man outside of him would give up the stupid hats. No matter, the panel hates the belted, pasty blob that he has slapped on his teen. Come to think of it, that color would be more flattering on Ricky, maybe he plans to steal it for the prom he’s holding later for his inner girl.


“God, I wish I had a pair of those, but noooooo, I’m stuck with a silly hat and testicles.”

Frenchie feels that the color on Rami’s dress isn’t prom. And as a French man, he would know. Oh wait, HE WOULDN’T. Come to think of it, there’s only one person on the panel who could possible have gone to a prom, Micheal Kors. It’s heartbreaking to think about how many women around the world are missing out on the MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF THEIR LIFE. That global tragedy aside, the panel thinks Rami’s dress is too old. Not in the hooker sense like Kevin, in the ladies-who-lunch sense, as Heidi puts it. Nina stares daggers at Rami when he asks to respond to her criticism. He’ll pay for his polite disagreement, oh yes, he will pay. Rami just says that the dress is his style, his style being matrons with too much money.

In deliberation, the judges say they only liked two dresses. Really? They didn’t like Chris’, Kit’s, or Jillian’s enough to put them in the top three? Who was the third highest score? I’m betting it was Christian, and then the judges turned on him when he tried to beat up a little girl.

Let’s skip right ahead to the results, shall we? With the designers on the runway, Heidi announces that the two dresses they liked were Sweet P and Vyctorya’s. Vyctorya is the winner. Wait, what? Oy vey. Maybe I should get myself a bedazzler, I’m clearly out of touch with fashion. Vycky gets immunity. This suddenly reminds me that Rami had immunity this week, so perhaps his dress was a big “Fuck you judges, they don’t even have prom in my home country.” Kinda screws over his student, but she seems to like the dress. Heidi is right, though, she should take up the hem a bit.

pr0108_21.jpgRami and Ricky (really?) are both in, leaving Christian and Kevin on the runway. Poor Kevin, he’s clearly going home. Christian may have had a complete meltdown this week, but I think he’s done too well in the past to be leaving. Then again, he had that trashtastic dress last week. Heidi tells Kevin he made his girl look cheap while Christian should not have blamed his teen, even if she is a nightmare in a knee socks.

Kevin is out. Poor bastard is taken out by the very Jersey girls he has tried so hard to escape. Cosmic justice for calling their silhouettes “oompa loomps” earlier in the show. He brags about getting a hug from Heidi Klum. And so the last straight guy disappears off into the sunset. The girls head back to New Jersey, where the priests can explain how most of the designers will rot in hell for being sodomites.

What do you think? I was kinda sorry to see Kevin go, but I’m glad Christian got to stay. He can be annoying, but I still like the little elf. How surprising was Sweet P this week? Let’s hope she got enough Ritalin off the students to last the rest of the show. Lastly, how hosed have the models been this season?  Next week they’ll be replaced by jockeys in the Kentucky Derby competition. 

brilliantmistake | 01.13.08 | Filed in Project Runway,Recaps

Back to the top

Comments are closed.