Week 6 of “Project Runway” involved glamping — that’s “glamorous camping” if you’re unfamiliar — and Ken continuing the drama (what is with all the drama this season?) and a bit of a tearjerker at the end. But all in good time.
Joining me again tonight for color commentary is my 12-year-old fashion critic daughter Fiona, long-time “Project Runway” fan, and the only person I know who takes a tailored to fit, A-line black toile dress and a variety of accessories to Disneyworld.
Last week saw the departure of Sandro Who Can’t Control His Temper, and Sue Who Can’t Use a Sewing Machine But Can Baste Stitch Like Crazy, and the rise of Ken the Dramatic (although Fiona loves his bow tie tattoo.) No one wants to be sucked into the “toilet of craziness” as the drama is described.
This week, the designers are using a day in the great outdoors as their inspiration. Tim Gunn tells them that they should use the experience of their outdoor activities to shape their designs, but that it’s “Fashion with a Capital F, high end and editorial.” Tents, hammocks, running streams, trees, ziplines, and only a few bugs (Fiona: “Big fancy tents? Yes.”) Justin takes the opportunity to get to know his fellow designers and teach them all some sign language; Alexandria is recharging after her low last week. Jeremy realizes that, outside of the workroom, the designers as a whole are “nice people, who get along well with each other.” Even Ken, who hates being outdoors (Fiona: “Oh, me too! I wasn’t meant to be outside.”) and is “not sleeping in a tent” gets inspired by the surroundings. The day off from competition recharges everyone. Making smores together will do that. At least until they return to the studio.
They have one day to shop and create, and the suggested budget for material is $300. Karen is thinking of the color of the tents, with a liquidy, stream flowing dress. Bradon gets a bunch of colored chiffon, and sews layer after layer of thread onto it, doing what he calls “thread painting.” Jeremy is writing a letter to his husband onto his gown, in this beautiful cursive script. Justin makes a glue “lace” with glue gun sticks (Fiona: “OMG, I love that,” says the girl who does the crayon glue gun art.) Alexandria wants to do a denim jacket and “drop crotch long johns” (Fiona: “Ew.”) Alexander’s very fitted dress has hand painted branches and leather swatches on the train, like tree bark. Miranda is making a gown out of fabric petals (Fiona: “OMG, that’s stunning.”) Helen’s inspiration for her gown was a “moth dying in the bathroom sink.” (Fiona snarks: “Oh that’s so inspirational. I’m tearing up. I’m sorry.”) And they aren’t back in the studio for long before Ken makes a crack on Alexandria. That kitty needs more petting, it seems.
Tim’s overall critiques are positive (he adores Justin’s glue stick lace) but he stops on Bradon’s design. The embroidery “thread painting” is beautiful in small doses, but as Tim points out, it’s distracting in large pieces. Ken says it looks like a “Disney princess dress.”
During the model fitting, Bradon doesn’t really have anything but his thread-painted collar. Helen’s moth dress is beautiful. Alexandria is definitely the odd-man out in the workroom now and making a denim outfit with a crotch down under the knees isn’t winning any fans (Fiona: “She seems terrified now.”)
Some of the best critiques come from the designers themselves: Kate’s dress is critiqued by Jeremy as “a pregnant fairy strapped into a shiny harness.” Miranda says Ken’s mass of material over the bustline on his dress isn’t where women want to have a big bump. Bradon accepts help from Alexander at the 11th hour because he’s struggling to finish something up.
The Runway Show: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen, and Tim are joined by actress Allison Williams of “Girls.”
Dom: It has a nice rippling effect, but the hem looks off. The material pattern looks too casual for a high-end piece.
Alexander: The tree effect, with the leather train fits his model perfectly. It’s “stunning” (his words, and mine.) Gasps around the room. (Fiona: “Gasp. Like, gasp.”)
Bradon: The dress yellow and blue chiffon Greek toga thing isn’t great, but it’s enough to keep him safe.
Justin: The glue lace looks good close up, but he spent most of his time doing that. The rest of his dress looks like cheap gauze, held together by glue, because well, it’s gauze held together by glue. (Fiona: “The glue doesn’t look flattering from far away.”)
Jeremy: While he had immunity from winning last week, his “love letter” dress is beautiful. The bias cut is stunning. Kerry Washington’s designer on “Scandal” should grab it up.
Alexandria: The denim jacket fits well, but the drop crotch leggings are distracting. (Fiona: “It looks like badly fitting leggings under a skirt.”)
Helen: Her beige/natural “moth” dress is layers of fabric, and constructed well, but Fiona is not fond of it. And she doesn’t like the hair: “It looks like she has antennae.”
Karen: The ombre effect on the gown saves it from looking mediocre, and the straps are interesting. (Fiona: “I am not a fan of empire waist dresses.”)
Kate: It’s very short, and throws the proportion of the model off, but the top looks like a modern branch “cage” of sorts. (Fiona: “It’s too cutesy.”)
Ken: His green, red, and white foresty piece is not good. (Fiona: “Meh, and the back looks unfinished.”)
Miranda: Her dress is beautiful, modern, and gorgeous color choices with the grey, white and yellow. (Fiona: “I LOVE it.”)
Karen’s dress is called “trashy” by Heidi. Nina thinks she looks both beachy and cowboy-rodeo. Zac gets the yellow effect, but he doesn’t like the color’s tone.
Jeremy’s “love letter” dress is called “sonnet chic” by Zac, and the bias work is praised. Nina calls it authentic and emotional.
Ken’s dress is panned by Nina, pointing out the mass on the chest. Zac calls it a squished frog. Heidi says it’s too heavy.
Alexander’s midnight tree dress fit is praised. Allison likes the leather train, and the loves the details. Zac likes the movement of the dress, but doesn’t like the seam across the dress or the hand painting (Fiona: “Oh, no Zac, I LOVE it.”) Nina loves the fit and the side zip.
Justin’s glue gun lace is called “white stuff” by Heidi and says it’s costumey (ow.) Zac says she’s frothing. Nina says she has a “foaming vagina.” Yep, a foaming vagina. Allison thinks the execution is off. But how does one follow the description “foaming vagina”? Tim admits during the close-up inspection that Justin went too far on the glue gun, and he should have reeled him in.
Alexandria’s pieces are liked by Heidi, and says the risk paid off. Nina gets the “long johns” look and says she’s all over the editorial look. (Fiona: “Ken is like ‘WHAT? No.”) Zac is even sold on the “poopy” pants.
And in a swooping finish that really ticks Fiona off, Alexandria is the winner (Fiona: “WHAT. The HEY. NO.”)
Jeremy and Alexander are both praised and sent off. Ken is also safe, as is Karen. Justin, unfortunately, is out. No one can recover from Nina calling your design a “foaming vagina.” The crying we saw in previews was just because everyone really does love Justin. He’s a good guy. And then Tim breaks down, and while visibily shaking. He saves the day, and Justin, by using his Season Tim Gunn Save. Hooray Tim!
In the end, Alexandria’s look was the high-end editorial look the judges were going for. While not wearable on a daily basis, it was what they specified. So, no, we won’t be seeing it at Target.