This week, eight superfans get selected to have, as Tim calls it, the “ultimate ‘Project Runway’ experience. Does that mean Ken is going to yell at them while they get glamorous makeovers? These episodes are always a little hard to watch because the designers are put off by dressing something other than a size 0 model and the women always end up upset and self-conscious. Will it turn out that way this time? Let’s hope not.
The eight “real women” who’ve been selected after submitting “I’m nutso about ‘Project Runway’ videos” arrive at Parsons, and Tim Gunn gives them the grand tour. The phrase “oh my gosh” is used about seventeen times. They’re an adorable bunch of cute yet frumpy, normal, Target-shopping moms, and they’re just so over the top excited to be there. As Kate notes, their attitude is infectious and the designers seem okay with creating looks for them, except for Ken, who flatly states he’s not into working with “real women” and Bradon and Alexander, who are a tad snotty. The little eye-rolling isn’t nice, boys. One of the women, working with Bradon (who says she was the “only one” who didn’t “need” a makeover, eye roll) says she’s just a normal “suburban mom” but she wants to be a New York woman – “intimidating, powerful, classy – give me an edge so it looks like I can cut a b****.” Watch out, suburban Target shoppers.
Johnny Lavoy from L’Oreal is brought in as the makeover guru, and tells the superfans to be prepared for change. That means “watch out, your kids won’t be able to recognize you.” Ombres! Reds! Blondes! Helen’s superfan has incredibly long, self-cut hair. And guess what Johnny does after talking about her excellent bone structure? Oh, he cuts that mess right off.
Bradon is making a black dress with a black vest, with an edge. Helen is making her mom into a super elegant, red-carpet glamorpuss. Alexander is making a suit for his fan’s new job. Alexandria’s superfan is a little younger, and is going on job interviews. She has to remember to keep her young looking, even if she’s not a model.
The designers head back to their apartments, and once they get there, Bradon and Alexander explain that, with Justin’s departure, they have to move out of their rooms, and bunk in with Justin and Ken. After packing up and dragging their luggage down the hall, Alexander makes the rude mistake of throwing open Justin and Ken’s front door, and Ken, who has already said he’s not happy about the invasion, is standing there, busy ironing. He doesn’t move, and after he finishes up with the iron, a ticked-off Alexander barges in, throwing the iron around and losing it. Tempers pop. And then evil Ken busts out. While wearing a facial mask. Did we mention the facial mask? That kind of tempers his freak out a bit. Skincare is important, after all.
The next morning, all of the designers are called to the designers’ lounge while Tim gives Ken a talking to. Admittedly, Alexander was also in the wrong, but Ken is the one who is separated from the group. Tim says he’ll be bunking alone for the rest of the season, and that he obviously has anger management issues. For the first time, the entire group addresses Ken’s temper flares. He needs therapy. Seriously.
Tim’s critique and the fittings go well for most of the designers, except for Alexander. His suit isn’t coming together easily and he is working until the last minute. Justin’s simple black dress, with the superfan’s signature blown up and stitched into the dress, is beautiful. Ken’s dress isn’t bad, but the green looks like puke, and he knows it. The one that wows though, is Helen’s strapless dress.
The Runway Show: Heidi Klum, Zac Posen and Tim are joined by guest judges Zanna Roberts Rassi and Erin Fetherston.
Ken/Susie: Susie looked happy with the dress, but it was too tight, and pulled wrong. The zipper pulls all around the back. The color, again, is hideous, even if the superfan did like it. Shudder.
Alexander/Andrea: This suit doesn’t work. It’s not finished, and the fit is all wrong. The skirt is completely unflattering. The superfan was either annoyed, or trying to look fierce. Not sure.
Dom/Jane-Sarah: The print overwhelms her. Tim had mentioned that it might. The cut of the dress is good, but the pattern detracts.
Justin/Tristen: Her black dress is swishy and fun, and incredibly flattering. Her signature down the dress makes even more personal. She’d recently lost 130 pounds, and she is obviously having the time of her life.
Alexandria/Stephanie: The skirt’s material has a nice pattern, but the jacket didn’t fit in the arms well. It could work as an interview outfit though, which is what she wanted.
Bradon/Jennifer: After getting more than a foot of hair cut off (which makes her look older, unfortunately) her dress and jacket are fitted well, and have a nice shine to the embellishments.
Kate/Altagracia: This top and leggings combo was great. The blouse was amazing, with a ton of detail. The superfan looked fierce too. She worked it.
Helen/Jamie: Helen said she wanted to make Jamie feel like a million bucks, and goodness, she’s had the most drastic change. Her mini-dress, with a separate outer column skirt, was great. The boning in the bodice was perfect and the flow as she walked was beautiful.
Judging: Kate and Dom get sent out as safe. Justin’s dress is praised all around, and the signature line is swooned-over.
Zac calls Alexandria’s dress “maternity librarian” and says it’s not modern or young enough. The jacket is very matronly. Bradon’s edgy intimidating look is called sophisticated and chic, and the vest detail is praised. The shine of the patent edging on the dress is called a little “plastic” but otherwise, they’re happy.
Alexander’s suit is called out as unfinished right off the bat by Zac, and the fit and skirt is universally panned. Zac says he’s getting an “oompa-loompa” vibe. Eeeek.
Helen’s makeover is so drastic that the blue strapless formal dress, while praised, takes a back seat to Jamie’s new look. Ken’s dress made his superfan feel good, admits Heidi, but the color of the dress and the way Ken sewed the leather accent lines cut across the front is roasted.
So who’s in? Helen wins, and that’s no big surprise. Her dress was impeccable and her superfan’s entire look just jaw-dropping. Justin and Bradon are also safe. Alexandria gets dismissed too.
And who’s out? It’s down to Alexander and Ken, and in a bit of a surprise move, Alexander is safe. Ken is out. Alexander’s unfinished look keeps him in, while Ken’s ill-fitting dress (combined with his temper, sorry to say, but we can’t say we don’t think that’s a factor) gets him sent home. Ken is talented, but has some more growing to do. Yes, he’s a passionate, temperamental artist, but his anger outshines his work. The drama has left the building.
P.S., Nina Garcia, we missed you.