Project Runway: Jean Genie

As usual we start off with the designers getting ready for their day and missing their fallen comrades….except Vycktorya , who calls Sweet P “Kit, ” twice. Poor Kit must be at home crying her eyes out over that one while speed dialing her stylist for an emergency appointment. Next door, Ricky mopes about constantly being told that he sucks, a problem he can easily solve by not sucking. Do you see how that works, Ricky? I can write it on a post it note for you if you like. By the way, we really get gypped on the footage of personal hygiene. How am I supposed to manage without knowing if Jillian brushed her teeth or if Rami shaved his head.? My Rob, what if Chris FORGOT TO FLOSS? We’ll never know.


At least we got to see the hotel door closing. No episode is complete without that.

Heidi’s in über-casual wear today; she’s probably fresh from dropping the 8 kids and 9 nannies off at day care.  In the ever-boring model swapping saga (remember, it a contest for them too! It’s just that you don’t give a damn about it.). Christian won, so he has the option to swap, but he doesn’t. I can hardly stand the drama. The super cute girl with the short hair is sent packing.

Heidi asks the designers if they are ready for the challenge in her “I only enjoy asking because I know that this will suck for you” way, and I notice that her shirt has a mouth, a nose, and where the eyes would be are…her breasts. This disturbs me.


“Remember, if you gaze into the breasts, the breasts gaze into you.”

The designers manage to fake enthusiasm for the challenge until they hear Tim Gunn is waiting for them downstairs. What’s with the Tim Gunn hate, designers? Having him waiting downstairs for me is a recurring fantasy of mine. Heidi doesn’t give a damn and shoos the Schweinhunden off to their field trip. Rami explains that a field trip could mean anything: making a wedding dress out of garbage or taking a trip to Paris. This is the second time that Rami has expressed a fear of wedding dresses. I guess they must be hard to drape.

Tim greets everyone in his field trip garb- jacket with no tie and jeans. The man is going wild! Road trip! He piles everyone in the van. Christian starts to panic as they leave Manhattan, like a hobbit on his way to Mordor. Don’t worry, little man, the shire will be there when you return. However, there are orcs in Red Hook, so be careful.

They wind up at some random warehouse, where they are met by the Vice President of Levi’s. The designers still look anxious, but they should be relieved that this corporate shill works for an actual clothing company. After the Hershey’s challenge, they could easily be  met by the VP of of General Mills and have to make their outfits from Hamburger Helper, while still expressing their point of view as a designer.

pr012308_3.jpgThe warehouse opens to reveal rack and racks of jeans waaaaaay off in the distance. I’m a little confused as to why this has to be in a warehouse out in Brooklyn to begin with. It doesn’t look like the Levi’s warehouse, or anything. This question remains unanswered as Tim announces what everyone has already figured out: they have to take those jeans and make them into sumpthin else. They have three minutes to dash around and grab stuff. Jillian complains about how far they have to run, but Chris looks like he’s already counting down to his next angioplasty. Wasn’t the first running challenge in the park cruel enough for the producers? I’m buying Chris a portable defibrillator, in case the designers have to  climb a building to make outfits from drywall next week.

Tim yells time and the usual happens, everyone dashes around and pretends like they have some master plan when they are just grabbing everything they can. Then they pile in the van back to Manhattan.

At Parsons, Tim announces they’ll have until midnight, and Levi’s has supplied a “ton of notions” for all their bedazzling needs. Ricky declares that he’ll do well because he makes his hats out of denim. Whoa, he makes those things? Deliberately? He actually sits down, picks up pencil, designs that crap, then gets material and spends time, perhaps even hours, making it, then slaps it on his head and thinks “BRAVO! I AM A GENIUS!” Then he bursts into tears. Eh, I guess it is plausible. He decides to make a corset, just like dear old Ma’s. Jillian will make a jacket, like last week, with labels as epaulets. Jillian’s a wee bit obsessed with the ‘80s, and not the cool parts.

pr012308_4.jpgMeanwhile, the designers complain about Rami grabbing too much stuff, and the words “greedy bitch” are used. To be fair, that’s a standard greeting in the fashion world. Rami’s above all that pettiness, though. He explains that because he’s from Jerusalem, he’s more “fashion forward” and “edgy” than us American yokels. Because if there’s one thing we know about the middle east, it’s that it embraces new trends and daring fashion. And what’s so fashion forward about the togas he makes every week, anyway?

BFFs Chris and Christian start to squabble about how Sweet P should clean her filthy denim. Chris advocates wet wiping and Christian insists on dry wipes. Really, really insists, like he’s had some traumatic experiences stemming from bad wiping experiences. As have we all, really. Chris snarks about Christian’s immaturity. I have to back Chris here. If you can’t trust an old drag queen about stain removal, who can you trust? Or am I confusing stain removal with how to tuck your penis again?

Maybe Christian is just losing it. He starts to babble about about how awful the assignment is, and that he’s “gonna die of barfness” and “this is not how fashion is.” I might empathize with you, Christian, if this weren’t the FOURTH season, and how could you not know that you’d wind up making outfits from whatever crap the corporate sponsors are pushing? Just be grateful you get to work with actual fabric this time. Next week’s Home Depot challenge will be much grimmer.

Later Christian declares that he feels “manly” working with denim. Aawww, Christian’s had his first rush of testosterone. It’s about time his pituitary gland kicked into gear. He’s making some kind of trucker jacket, whatever that is. Perhaps something like this


Sweet P decides to make Rami’s worst nightmare: a wedding dress. Although a denim wedding dress is kind of a nightmare. I picture the contestants from Rock of Love getting into the denim wedding dress idea, along with having a 3-way with the bridesmaid in the back of the pickup truck parked outside the 24-hour wedding chapel. Sweet P reminisces about her own wedding to “Sage.” I swear to Xenu, she really said his name is “Sage.” Sweet P and Sage.


How can someone with such a hippy name look so much like a cop?

Christian and Chris put their denim-cleaning differences aside and gossip. They complain about how their friends have left and some “annoying people” are left, and by “people” they mean Ricky, who strolls in on cue. Ricky defends himself during his interview by rattling off all his credentials, none of which have stopped his designs from sucking. Maybe he should make his next dress from his resume and tears.

After a cute segment of Chris talking to his dress, it’s Tim Time! He strolls over to Ricky, who declares he’s sticking with his strengths: bad hats and sobbing. Tim remarks the ugly dress “stunning.” Tim has backed off from this obviously hallucinatory statement on his blog, saying the producers took the word out of context. What Tim actually said was “You know those guns that fire steel bolts that they use for STUNNING cows before slaughter? I’d rather be one of those cows than look at this dress.” OK, it’s not that bad, but stunning? I think not.

pr012308_7.jpgMoving on to Chris, Tim is concerned about the random piece of fabric trailing down the side of the dress. Tim says it looks “incongruous,” which is Timspeak for “ugly.” Jillian explains that she wants a futuristic coat, assuming it’s 1973 and your idea of the future is 1987. Tim loves Rami’s use of zippers as decoration, probably as much as when Jeffrey did it for his final collection last season. In Rami’s defense, it does look cute, and it isn’t a toga, so points for improvement.

Tim informs Vyctorya that her trenchcoat is “patchworky” which is TimSpeak for “can’t you even get denim to match? It’s all the same fabric!” Sweet P asks if her dress is scaring Tim, and he says “Yes” adding “Wait, did you mean the dress? I meant you were scaring me. Please come on my other show so I can make you buy a bra.” Actually, he says her wedding dress is “happy hands at home granny circle” which is TimSpeak for…uh…I don’t know, exactly, except it has something to do with the random synapse firings that pass for thought in Sweet P’s brain. Tim has gone beyond concerned and has become bothered.  He solemnly  states, “resolve the skirt” before disappearing into the night.

Everyone freaks out about time, but Jillian really starts to lose it. First she snaps at sweet, lovable Chris. Then, only minutes before they have to stop work, she cuts herself at the sewing machine and starts to cry. She insists she’s bleeding “everywhere,” but Rami says he can’t see it. Sweet P tells her to hold her shit together for five more minutes. Christian says he was sewing so fast he stopped talking to people. Unlikely.


“Are you saying you can’t see the insects crawling under my skin!”

The next day, we finally get some proper grooming footage. Now I can rest easy, knowing that Rami has successfully spritzed himself with cologne. He’s from another country, so he does it in a more fashion-forward, edgy way than us backward Americans.


Jill, inexplicably dressed as a flamenco dancer, has given up sewing, possibly because of all the sharp objects involved that will give her invisible wounds that gush invisible blood. She’s frantically gluing everything together. Tim breezes in, dressed in a proper suit to escort the models in for their fittings. There’s a lot of panicking and bitching and gluing, the usual. When Tim calls time, he almost has to drag Jillian out to the runway. OK, he really just says “…so come with me, alright?…Come, come come.” But he had a mean glint in his eyes, like he’d be SEVERELY DISAPPOINTED if you didn’t make the runway.

Heidi walks out and…holy knockers, Heidi! She’s really got the girls on display tonight. If I was worried that her boobs were staring at me before, she’s ensured I’ll be looking at them for the rest of the show.


She and her breasts announce that there’s no more immunity. The Levi’s chick has come straight from the Staten Island Ferry to help judge the show. I wonder if she’s contractually obligated to wear denim at all times. Also, does it irritate her that no one else on the panel could be bothered to wear Levi’s? I bet it does.

Chris is up first. His dress is boring, and still has that random piece of fabric on the side, like a highly misplaced belt.


Ricky’s dress is…well…I believe the technical fashion term is whorey. As in, Paris Hilton would consider this dress too skanky. Although, come to think of it, I have a nagging feeling I’ve actually seen Paris Hilton wearing this dress.


Sweet P managed to avoid whatever hippy grandma disaster she was brewing up, and coughed up a simple strapless dress made from different denim shades. It’s clear I missed the meeting where it was decreed that all denim dresses be strapless. I guess technically, Chris’ dress wasn’t strapless, since it had the neck-belt-strap thing, but still.


Vyctorya’s trenchcoat also does nothing for me. It looks like she slapped some fabric on the bottom of an existing jean jacket. It does give the model a bit of a flasher vibe, but the possibility that the model might be nekkid under it is the only remotely interesting thing about it.


Rami’s dress is cute, although he detracts from it in voiceover by emphasizing how “modern” he is again. Note to Rami, we had gays in the US before you came over. Just look at Micheal Kors, the ancient gay sitting across the runway from you.


I have trouble deciding if I like Christian’s. It looks pretty cool, but there’s also a lot going on between the zippers and ruffles and puffed sleeves and I think I spotted a origami swan in there somewhere. Of course, Christian has immunity, so he could sew a live marmot into his dress and get away with it.


Jillian manages to quell the demon voices long enough to decide she “almost kind of likes” her jacket. I’m not enthralled by it, but I like it more than Vyctorya’s.


For the judging, everyone gets to stay on the runway and be humiliated. Christian repeats that he wanted a trucker look, assuming “Trucker” is the name of a bar in West Hollywood. Nina admires his inventiveness, and his ability to cram his model’s legs into the shirtsleeves he used for pantslegs. I guess the lad is used greasing up body parts for tight spaces.

The judges do not like Chris’ sad little dress, but they love Rami’s. Kors says he likes the zipper idea, showing he’s successfully wiped the memory of Season 3 Jeffery from his brain. If only all of us could be so lucky. Nina’s just thankful he was forced to work with a fabric he couldn’t drape.

Then the biggest surprise comes. Ricky cries. Wait, no, it was something else..oh yeah, the judges LOVE his dress. Really, truly, unsarcastically love it. Unbelievable. Kors raves that it’s the Amy Winehouse look on a model, and he means that as a compliment! As far as I’m concerned the whole panel has been smoking/drinking/shooting a little of what Ms. Winehouse has been having, because that dress is skank.  Worse, it’s skank from five years ago. Allow me to take you back to 2003.


I rest my case. I knew I had seen that look on Paris before. Ricky cries some more, forcing Heidi to ask “What’s up with you?” Oh, I love how that Heidi does none of Tyra’s Oprah schtick. She looks perturbed by this unseemly display of emotion, not curious about his troubled past. Ricky whines about the “roller coaster” of emotions, and Kors tells him to suck it up.

Moving on, Kors calls Sweet P’s dress “superchic” and Nina says everyone on the panel would wear it, including Michael Kors. The Levi’s Veep worries that it’s not “501” enough, which means that you’d be laughed out of the Nascar Race if you wore it. No one likes Jillian’s or Vyctorya’s coats, but Vyctorya gets the most criticism for her lazy jacket-plus-some-extra-fabric design.

During deliberation, the judges’ group hallucination continues as they heap praise on Ricky’s dress. They love that his lingerie experience is coming out. Huh? What the hell are they talking about? Do they mean it resembles the crappy clothing sold in the back of the Victoria’s Secret catalogue? Nina even calls it iconic.  Everything else is pretty much in line with what they said before, except Micheal Kors calls Chris’ dress “John Cusack working girl” and I have no idea what that means.

Returning to the runway for elimination, Rami is immediately declared safe. Ricky wins. Holy shit. This is the second judging decision I can’t comprehend. Ricky should be weeping copiously and heading upstairs to pack his sorry collection of hats about now, but no, he’s the goddamn winner. Well, he does cry, at least.

Sweet P and Christian are declared “in,” followed by Chris (yay!). This leaves Jillian and Vyctorya. Heidi says that Jillian’s coat was unflattering and confused the judges, while Vyctorya was dull and uninspired. Vyctorya is out.

Vyctorya’s her usual dour self on the way out. Even Tim Gunn has a hard time pretending that he’ll miss her. They’ll just have to soldier on without that ray of sunshine in their lives.


“Bye! I’ll miss you most of all, Kit, or whatever your name is, blonde person I was forced to spend time with.”

What do you think? Did the judges make the right decision? I think Vycky deserved to go, but Ricky as the winner? Levi’s must be desperate for the lucrative hoochie market. 

brilliantmistake | 01.31.08 | Filed in Project Runway,Recaps

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