Aug 15, 2014

What Did We Learn From Project Runway This Week? Season 13, Episode 4

There was a lot of misplaced anxiety on Project Runway this week as the designers faced off over a tacky suit challenge that was somehow meant to evoke sponsor Red Robin's "designer hamburgers." (But really, these suits: don't they just make you think of B.O. and grease stains? Not what I would want associated with my family friendly fast food chain):

But all the worry wasn't just over how they would rework a couple yards of red velveteen or mustard corduroy as the case may be. They were also worried about Amanda. So much screen time spent worrying about Amanda.

Oh, Amanda. What kind of contract do you have with the producers of Project Runway that you somehow managed to win another challenge with yet another fringe dress? I know a little about how my reality TV sausage is made, and it looks like this:  

Looking ahead, the big question is: what will Sandyha do next week when she doesn't have immunity? And will the judges love it? (Or hate it — which could bring the Tim Gunn Save (TM) into play!) Sigh. Moving on to the lessons:

Lesson 1: Vinyl is not fabric

It's not uncommon on Project Runway for the designers to lay blame on their fabric. And those of us who sew definitely know that feeling you get when you realize you've been trying to force something stiff into a drapey design (or vice-versa). 

So what do you do when given a couple yards of suiting? I don't know exactly... though I do know what you DON'T do: stitch it to something intended for upholstery, like Hernan did:

V for vinyl...or very long vulva

You didn't even have to see Hernan's look to know just how bad it was. Just look at these faces:

He did a lot of complaining about the coat he was assigned, though in off-white it hardly seemed as significant a challenge as some of the other suits. 

That didn't stop that lying liar from telling lies about his fabric. Quoth Hernan: "My jacket was very, very old, so every time I sewed something it was like (makes cracking sound)." 

He should know better than to bullshit Zac Posen about fabric. Upon closer inspection (I LOVE how they do that now!), Zac declared Hernan's poly "strong enough to withstand a nuclear disaster." 

So why the vinyl? No one really knows — least of all Hernan. But he'll have lots of time to think about it. Bye bye.

Lesson 2: Flesh mesh is not the besh-t

Sean, the Kiwi who narrowly escaped elimination last week for his horrid Mary Poppins-meets-the-new-millenium getup, was the unlucky recipient of the aforementioned mustard corduroy suit. He hacked it and stitched it in strips to the lining, some coordinated silk and beige power mesh (thank you, Zac Posen for pointing out that Sean essentially chose something most commonly used in bras for his main fabric):

This is the face Zac made when Nina said the multi-layered bandage-colored top made the model look like she just had breast surgery:

At least the styling was good? I'm hoping Sean can dig deep for the next challenge and prove us all wrong. Otherwise, his days are numbered; three strikes usually means you're out on Project Runway.

Lesson 3: Good pants take time

I don't know about the rest of you, but the only pants I could make in two hours would have an elastic waist and a rolled hem. 

So I don't blame Kristine for choking when it came to drafting and sewing a pair of pants in a single morning:

Seeing how poorly these fit — and how the exposed zipper ran down the center back, ugh! — made me feel a little better. Drafting and sewing pants takes me a week. Meanwhile, those organza calf covers....I don't even. No. What? I just. Hmmm.

So what did you think of this week's episode of Project Runway? Whose look did you love? And did you learn anything?


  1. Im officially at the stage of Project runway where I'm just reading recaps rather than watching the episodes. Fade's dress seemed the best - elegant and stylish. Amanda's hot mess is a joke.

    1. His dress was much improved after his initial critique with Tim. He's kind of a wild card, in my mind. Interested to see what else he does!

  2. Fade's dress was by far superior to Amanda's hula dress. Who would actually wear fringe like this? Your're right that she must have some kind of "arrangement".

  3. Who is Amanda blowing that she is even THERE, much less winning?

    1. I want to hear from someone else!! Amanda's smug recaps are tedious omgggg.

  4. What did I learn....

    1. Zac Posen keeps going up in my estimation... at least until he said "nucular" instead of "nuclear." Scientist pet peeve, but I can't help it, the incorrect pronunciation drives me bonkers every time.

    2. Anyone else feel like the producers made Zac Posen say things that made it sound like he was actually interested in Amanda's dress? He was genuinely impressed by the tailoring of Kini's dress, but sort of grudgingly admitted Amanda's dress was more "transformed." It was like he knew he was fighting a losing battle, and it was almost hilarious to watch.

    3. Either I've totally lost it or the judges have. I haven't agreed with a single win this entire season. At least I guessed 2 of the top 3 this time, which was way better than my guesses for the top picks in all of the other challenges so far...

  5. I fell asleep so I missed most of the commentary during judging. I didn't hate Seans, I wish he would've chosen his coordinating fabric better. And poor poor pants-YOWZA.

    Kini definitely should've taken it this week.

  6. The Red Robin intro was so bad, they even included one of the contestants complaining about going there! And then the VP saying they "even" have a burger for people who don't eat meat... this is new?

    I loved Kini's look and Fade's--maybe just because he changed what looked like a silly jumper in the critique into something fabulous. I thought Kini would win for sure, I guess Zac folded.

    Do you think Sandhya intentionally undermined certain people? Or did try to give each person something she thought they would like? Certainly not a way for the show to help her not be on the outside anymore.

    I am glad I stumbled upon your recaps.

    1. well, they were all pretty bad, so I'm not sure her selections made much of a difference!

  7. can't say this season is wowing me at all. all the winning looks have puzzled me in one way or another... kind of a snooze fest. even the personalities are pretty ho hum! i am glad Hernan is gone, he's just a meanie.

    1. Hernan was a jerk. Plus, he's already shown at Fashion Week twice — so what does he even need Project Runway for? Don't act like you're the king of fashion if you're competing to win prize from RED ROBIN!

  8. This season of PR has me flummoxed. I have seriously disliked every one of the winning designs. I thought Amanda's dress this week was middle-of-the-pack, at best. All I kept thinking when the judges were raving about it is that it must look better in person than on TV.
    Nobody is blowing me away. Usually by this point in the season I have one or two people picked as clearly superior, but no one is jumping out at me. I still love the show, but this season has been a loser so far.

    1. I think there are a lot of dark horses: Char, Emily, Samantha, Kini, Kristine....there's a lot of so-far unappreciated talent in this season

  9. yeah, I don't get amanda or sandhya. although, I didn't see what they hated her black look last week. Kini sooooo should've won. And the Red Robin tie-in.........wha? Made no sense at all. At first, I thought they were going to design new uniforms or something. I do try and remember that this is entertainment and not a how to show,,,but the judges should really make it look like they have a clue

  10. I personally loved this challenge, but then re-purposing is my thing. I hated the judging. Fade should have been with Kini in the top two. Up against Amanda, I Kini got cheated. His dress was far superior in style and construction.

  11. I have never been so relieved to see someone go. Why did he stay with the brown accents? And lying about the fabric? I am so happy to have Zac Posen critiquing the construction this season.

  12. ps FADE's dress!?!?! I thought Fade and Sandhya should have been in top 3. those were yummmmy.



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