Project Runway: I’d Call It a Giant, Misplaced Maxi Pad. Not a Diaper.

pr071608aHey! So you know what it’s like when you had this college friend who you were pretty close with back in the day and you kind of lost track of her but not really because you still email sometimes and she is, like, in town, and she didn’t even call to tell you and you’re like What the Fuck, honestly, you didn’t even call me and you were HERE and we could have awkwardly met up and gotten a little too drunk and then remembered why we didn’t really talk anymore? Yeah. Did you know that season 5 of Project Runway, like, already started? Me neither! I won’t go into the whole “Bravo is sabotaging Project Ruwnay because it’s moving to Lifetime” thing, but it’s been pretty darn quiet on the press front. Regardless, it’s time to meet the newest batch of amateurs (for really reals this time –- they made sure to get less talented people this season so we could see more tears and icky hot tranny messes).

The first designer we meet is Jerell, who is 28 and displays a lovely expanse of hairless chest. He designs for everyone from celebrities to Saudi royalty. Hey, Jerell? Can you try to do something about oil prices?

Next up is scary, scary tanorexic Blayne who appears to be intent on turning his face and arms into beef jerky. He’s from Seattle (don’t worry, I’ll try to stalk him at that coffee shop later) and enjoys urban wear. And this time, urban definitely IS NOT code for “African American.” It’s code for “white hipster.” Tanned white hipster.

This is what happens when total self absorption meets a complete lack of self awareness. You get way too tan.

Next up are two oldies but goodies, Joe from Detroit, who totally looks like he’s from Detroit, and Stella, who designs “fashion rock regalia” for the likes of Joan Jett. Jennifer, our next designer, is pale and young and somewhat forgettable, but I like how she describes her collection: “Holly Golightly goes to a Salvador Dali exhibit.” Kelli is the imaginary baby of Vivienne Westwood and Betsey Johnson, and she owns her own boutique.

“I like whimsy! And killing baby animals.”

After we basically skip over Terri, it’s time to meet Jerry, who has his own company, Form, and is “doing very well.” I actually really love the designs we see, and I’m kind of rooting for Jerry.

pr071608eThen there’s Suede. I’ll let Suede tell you about Suede. “Suede needed to stop making millions for other people. Suede needed to start making millions for Suede.” Suede should tell Suede to stop being so Suedey or Suede might kill him. A female designer named Korto is from Liberia and now resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. She wants to be in the “real” fashion scene, which is in New York, and she claims she’ll be the second woman to win and the first African American.

Leann, whose fashion line is called, charmingly, “Leanimals,” refers to herself as the “silent fashion assassin.” After her, we see about a zillion girls who kind of look just like her: hipstery white girls with dark hair, somewhere in their mid to late twenties. And by “a zillion,” I mean two or three. Then we meet adorable Wesley, who thinks that his fashions are “divine” and dresses in a very dandy fashion. His tailored shorts and collared shirts are extremely cute.

“I adore ironing and neatness. And killing baby animals.”

Finally, it’s time for the ceremonial champagne popping on the top of the Atlas building. The designers all make their way up to the roof, where Heidi and Tim await. Heidi, wearing a weeeee minidress, clings onto the arm of the mighty Tim Gunn and screams Germanic-ly at the designers. She tells them that the Atlas will be their new home, and Suede lets out a mighty “yeah!” just to make sure that people continue to remember he’s alive. “And you all know Tim Gunn,” Heidi continues, “Chief Creative Officer of Liz Claiborne.” I know Liz Claiborne now encompasses many brands, including Juicy Couture, but I can’t help thinking about my mom heading off to work at her accounting firm in the early 90’s, wearing a Liz Claiborne blazer, sleeveless cream shell, and pleated navy pants. FASHION!

Tim begins by saying, “You might be the most diverse group of designer’s we’ve ever had on Project Runway.”

Cut to white as snow Jennifer, flanked by Koro’s semi-afro. Subtle, Bravo. (I know, I know, Tim didn’t mean that kind of diversity.  But still.)

“Are you ready for the first challenge?” Mistress Heidi teases. They all answer affirmatively, and Suede barely refrains from humping the camera. “Really?” she continues. “Yeah!” they yell. “HA!” she tells them, “too bad. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Now, let’s pop some champagne bottles!”

And they do, with Tim popping a bottle in such a manner that the cork goes flying off the edge of the building. HAHAHA! Except, not. Don’t you remember that story from your high school physics class about a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building and how it could, like, BRAIN someone? A cork from the top of the Atlas Building could really do some damage! Imagine if it hit someone in a sensitive spot! Like an eye! Or a peeny! Or an ear!

We meet Emily, who has designed some cute stuff, and Terri (again) who I’m not as into. Terri claims to be really fast though, and thinks that will set her apart from the other designers.

pr071608hKeith, 26, tries to flirt with Heidi by telling her that he designs for her. He tells us that he has a gift that many aspire to have, but he’s self-taught, so HAHA, SUCK IT, PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO LEARN AND STUPID STUFF LIKE THAT. He lacks charm, charisma, and eloquence, but he wears a wife-beater and sports some major tats, so my white-boy/white-trash lust is shamefully ignited.

Kenly, 25, accuses Blayne of hitting the tanning bed a lot, a vice to which he readily admits. “It makes your blue eyes pop,” she concedes. We see some footage of her designs, which are kind of pin-up-y and cute.

Daniel, another young designer, draws his inspiration from nature.

Oh my god, I saw my first herd of chihuahua at Yellowstone National Park. It just felt so… natural.

The next morning, at 4 AM, Tim heads around to ring doorbells and awaken the slumbering geniuses. Jennifer, somehow, is wearing a towel when Tim arrives, which makes me think she might have had a little warning. The viewing audience is treated to an amazing shot of Stella applying deodorant to her armpits, which, while kind of gross, allows us to see that she’s got a pretty hot bod even though she’s the grandma of the bunch.

Oh… hi Keith. I’m going to continue pretending not to notice you… No more smoldering gazes, kay? Thanks.

pr071608k The designers follow Tim down the street, and there’s an amazing amount of people on the street for, ah, 4:30 in the morning. He reveals the destination of their challenge: Gristedes! “We’ve come full-circle,” he says, since the Gristedes challenge was the first PR challenge on the first season! AND! He has a special guest! The one and only Austin Scarlett prances through the crosswalk, wearing extremely slim white pants and a knowing smile. He informs them that he won the challenge the first season, with “a little corn husk dress” that launched his career. No pressure! They have $75 and a half hour to get their shit and get cracking!

The designers hurtle across the street and into the grocery store. Jerry informs us that his look is “April showers bring May flowers.” He’s planning to create a rain jacket out of a shower curtain. Hmmm. Creative? Terri’s strategy is “mop heads, mop heads, mop heads.” Kelli knows what’s up; she’s avoiding anything that seems like fabric because it’s “too easy.” Tim informs them, over the loudspeaker, that they have 5 minutes left, and they all begin running madly about, dropping bouncy balls and hoses and craziness everywhere. I’m unclear as to why they all didn’t get a cart. Hiro, Hiro, Hiro. Shhhh. They’re designers! Not engineers!

I have those same stripey tights. I wear them when I realize that sometimes, I just want my generous hips and thighs to look GARGANTUAN.

They enter their workspace at Parsons for the very first time and find their special mannequins with their names printed on little cards. Tim informs them that they’ll find details about their models on the table, and that the winner of this challenge will have immunity next week. He leaves them with a rousing “Make it work!” as he slips through the door and into the cool morning air.

Joe tells us that his theme is “Italian.” Like, for reals, people. He’s using fusilli pasta, marinara sauce (!), and god knows what else. Daniel is making an entire dress with a sweetheart neckline out of those blue Solo keg-party cups. Not that I really went to keg parties. I went to NYU, so I attended dorm room parties involving trash cans full of “Everclear” (still don’t know what the heck that stuff was) and waking up with bits of vomit in my hair.

pr071608m Jerrell is not happy with Blayne, because Blayne keeps calling everything “girlicious.” Jerrell is so not happy that he wishes Blayne would “pack it up and take it to the girl next door.” Did I mention that Jerrell is not happy? Cut to Blayne sniffing deeply. He must have a cold, poor boy. A snowy, blowy cold.

Leanne worries that many people seem to have used tablecloths in their designs, and she’s so competitive that she wants to be different! Wow, Leanne. Wanting to be different is so totally unique. Jerry tells us that he sees people putting “crap on top of crap” and that’s all stuff he just throws in the trash because he’s a serious designer. In a moment of masterful editing, we cut to Stella laying out what seems to be the only item she’s purchased: cheap, trashtastic garage bags. She is appalled by their cheapness, and frustrated, says that her “fabric is trash!” She and her oddly striped tights have to go take a breather outside of the room. If you’re running short on time and you realize that you have difficult materials to work with, the best thing to do is take a nice loooong break. Maybe catch a matinee of Iron Man.

Jennifer applies lipstick, kisses paper towels, and appliqués said paper towels to her paper towel dress. HOT TRANNY MESS.

Tim arrives, taking the time to speak with the sniffling, twitchy, bronzy Blayne, who introduces him to “Girlicious.” Blayne wants to be obnoxious, he tells Tim, to make the judges go [head snap, eyes widen]. As Tim says talks about taking risks, Blayne manages to say “holla at your boy,” which is nonsensical and sooooo much better than “girlicious.” Daniel’s keg cup party of a dress is looking pretty good, and Kelli’s vacuum cleaner bag skirt is really cool. Tim is very concerned with Stella, who has completed exactly nothing by the time Tim sees her. Instead of trying to come up with something, she continues to fret and complain about her “fabric.” LISTEN, STELLA. YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT BETTER FUCKING TRASH BAGS. YOU HAD $75. Oh, yes. That felt nice.

Hm. Looks a little Klannish, Jer.

Suede has literally used a tablecloth, trimmed with doggie bags, but calls it a “picnic cloth.” Wha? Korto, also, has used a yellow tablecloth, and Tim says that she needs to use her produce as the “wow” factor. Jerry, too, has used something tablecloth-ish: a shower curtain. Keith, that stud, has also used a tablecloth. The tablecloths are building up, and Mr. Gunn’s color is rising…

Tim is incensed. He turns to face the designers and chastises them thusly: “I’m seeing a lot of tablecloths here. You have to make these things go beyond what they are.” Timmy no happy.

After Tim leaves, the designers, tails between legs, glue tons of shit onto their tablecloths. Basically, they are screaming, “PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE TABLECLOTH.” Or, “TABLECLOTH? WHAT TABLECLOTH?!” Suede tells Suede to focus, and Leanne begins madly hot glue gunning some kind of sweet treat onto her dress.

Haphazardly attaching shit to tablecloth, example 1.

Haphazardly attaching shit to tablecloth, example 2.

Blayne tells us that he knew he was going to dominate, exemplified by his rapid finish. As Stella complains that she’s going to be out, Blayne pretends to be nice by saying, “Oh, don’t say that.” Stella replies in her Brooklynese, “No, no, I know what I’m tawkin’ about.”

“My ears get cold. Shut up. I know what I’m tawkin’ about.”

The next morning, the designers chatter about their nervousness and head back to the workroom to meet their models. Tim enters, telling them that it’s a “big, big day,” and reminding them to borrow from the Bluefly accessories wall. THANKS, BLUEFLY! The models meet their designers, and one designer immediately demands that her model “get naked.”

pr071608sBlayne laments that his crazy bird maxipad leotard is snug on his model because she has “more curves than he was expecting.” Yes, WHAT A FUCKING FATTY. Between that, Tim’s “elongated marshmallow” comment about Nick’s model in Season 2, and the insinuation that Allison’s model was “big” in Season 3, the tally of “models that PR has given eating disorders to” equals, um, INFINITY.

The models get their hair did at the Tresseme hair salon, and that wily Blayne manages to sneak another “girlicious” in there. Blayne! Stop trying to make “girlicious” happen. It didn’t work for the Pussycat Dolls! Back in the workroom, Tim announces that they have 5 minutes remaining, and all hell breaks loose. Stella flashes her model’s boobies at the camera and Korto goes running through the door yelling nonsense.

Stella tells us that the first runway show gives you a feeling of “wanting to vomit all over the place. Seriously, it’s not a good feeling.” She deadpans her way through so much ridiculousness, and I’m beginning to really kind of like her.

On the runway, we are reintroduced to the spaztastic Michael Kors and the very boreable Nina Garcia, now “Editor-at-Large” (ahem, unceremoniously stripped of her title) of Elle magazine. Austin Scarlett, wearing a ferosh pair of glasses, is the guest judge.

Time for the runway show! I’m not going to screencap every look; instead, I’ve blatantly reorganized work already done by Blogging Project Runway. Thanks, BPR!

The looks:

L to R: Kenly, Terri, Wesley, Joe

Suede, Emily, Korto, Daniel

Leann, Jennifer, Blayne, Jerry

Jerell, Keith, Kelli, Stella

During the runway show, each designer exudes confidence, especially Blayne, who we come to find out has somehow written “girlicious” on his poor model’s upper thigh. AAAAAAAAAAH.

Heidi calls Kelli, Korto, Daniel, Jerry, Stella and Blayne’s names and tells everyone else to get the fuck out of there ‘cause they’re safe. The models reenter the runway (surprisingly, Blayne’s model comes back and doesn’t run off in abject shame).

pr071608xDaniel tells them about his design first, which the judges all love. Well, Michael Kors sees a bit of an issue with the silhouette (which is kind of true, she looks like she has no waist), but besides that, they like that he didn’t use a fabric substitute. I keep thinking of boob-beer, because the model has nice boobies and those cups should be full of beer. Yes?

Next up is Jerry, and the judges don’t mince words when critiquing his garment. Michael Kors calls it “bridal nurse,” Heidi calls it “hospital plumber,” Nina laments the lack of innovation, and Austin thinks it’s uncreative. Jerry flinches visibly at each insult, and I can’t help but feel very badly for him.

The judges turn their pithy puns onto the next designer, Korto. Her dress, though it is made out of a paper tablecloth, is quite lovely and the vegetable necklace thingie is nice. The judges like it, too.

Stella’s design, of course, they hate. Michael Kors calls it a “yawn,” and I personally worry that we’re going to see what that model likes to throw in her garbage sack, if you know what I’m sayin’. Do you? I don’t.

Blayne calls his look, again, “girlicious,” (DEATH TO ALL THINGS “ICIOUS”) telling them that the last thing he wanted to do was bore them. Michael and Nina assure him loudly that they are not bored, and Austin finds the “diaper” jarring. I think the diaper’s really kind of convenient, since the whole thing would probably take about nine years to take off and that model probably shits all the time because of laxatives or a “naturally high metabolism.” She might just need to release the beast right there in that leotard of shame.

“I pooed.”

The judges have their little discussion, and, quite obviously, Kelli and Daniel are the favorites. They don’t like Stella or Jerry (in fact, they say Jerry’s outfit would be particularly suited to wear while committing murder) and Blayne’s is difficult for them to come to terms with.

The designers reemerge from behind the curtain, and Heidi goes into her shpeal: “The six of you represent the best and the worst. One of you will be the winner, and one of you will be out.” Kelli wins with her dyed vacuum cleaner bag coffee filter dress. I loved the skirt and did not like the coffee filter boobies one bit. I think the burn-out pattern made me fear burnt nipples. OW. Or YAY! Depending on what you’re into.

It comes down to Stella and my boy Jerry, and… Jerry is out. The poor man looks so beaten down. He says goodbye to Tim and the gang and heads to his sad, spotlighted workspace to clean his stuff up. There goes the only Asian American designer this season! Is it still the most diverse group ever?

Bye-bye, Jer-Bear. I kind of liked you and your Rosie O’Donnell haircut.

I watched Jerry’s exit interview on, and he revealed that he actually created a pattern for his garment and lined it and everything. He also said that he lost “to a whipstitched garbage bag,” which is very true. Jerry’s was bad, but Stella’s was bad AND lazy. But maybe I’m just racist.

Give it to me, MSRers! Hard! What did you think? Blayne is no Christian, that is for sure. Christian knows the value of preserving his complexion through anorexia and avoidance of the sun.

Hiro | 07.21.08 | Filed in Project Runway,Recaps

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