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Project Runway Recap: "Hard Wear"

Runway For some reason my TiVo labeled this week's episode with next week's episode title, which is "The Elements of Fashion." Every other week, it's either a bad pun or a damn MadLib. The (Plural Noun) of Fashion. The Amphibians of Fashion. The Sofa Cushions of Fashion. The THIS. Is Project Runway of Fashion.

Previously, two weeks ago. Stuff happened in a fairly predictable...fashion. Seth Aaron won, Janeane lost, and cried about it.

Everyone whoops it up about being in the Top 10. Mila points out that there are only three women left, which I admit I totally hadn't even noticed. Not such a strong season for the ladies this year.

The designers head to Michael Kors' store for the challenge reveal. And hooray! It's a non-fabric one. My favorite. Make a pretty dress...out of coat hangers and gum. Or Ikea Billy Bookcases. Anyway, today they have a  $150 budget at a hardware store. One look and an accessory. Several of the designers are excited, while Emilio (whom I am liking less and less each week) snots about his super-sophisticated sensibilities (remember that one for later) while running crazy over-budget at the store. 

Seth pounds the shit out of his dress form with a hammer in an attempt to mold some metal into a bodice. (I wonder if the hammer came out of his budget?) Ben is doing something similar with copper. Maya makes a necklace out of keys. Amy is using sandpaper and I have a bit of sensory nails-on-a-chalkboard reaction every time she mentions it. Emilio doesn't think he has enough supplies for his design but stubbornly plods ahead anyway, making macrame out of washers and some hideous pink cord. Much talk of space suits (everybody) and stripper outfits (Emilio). 

And OH MAH HELL, Mila is color-blocking again. Mila! This is not Project Color-block! This is not Top Scallop!

Oh dear, Jay gets the weepy deprived childhood confessionals this week. I scribble down WINNER in my notes.

Emilio is running out of washers. Tim thinks too many guys are using too much copper and going too costume-y. Anthony is starting over since neither he (nor Tim) like his first attempt at a skirt. Maya's necklace is gorgeous. Tim LOVES Jay's look, which is a pair of leather pants. Except not leather. Garbage bags. They are hot. Jay is concerned about fitting them on his model, but for now, HOTT. OUR WINNAH. 

The models come in for fitting, and indeed, Jay's model can't even get her feet into the pants, and Emilio has downgraded his miniskirt to a bathing suit. 

The morning of the show, the guys all joke about now being in the Bottom 10, as everybody is struggling to overcome major problems with their designs. A few of them take comfort in the fact that everybody is failing this week, presumably because Maya and Jay are sewing under invisibility cloaks or something. Jesse gives up on sewing and starts taping off all his edges. There are bloody and bandaged fingers all over the place. Suffer, you bitches!

Jay needs to sew his model into his pants, but because they can't risk a tear, she "can't go to pee." Emilio made his bikini bottom too heavy and it keeps falling off. Even when it's on, her ass is completely hanging out. Awesome. Anthony doesn't think she looks "like a lady" and disapproves of all the torturous metal things the other guys created. After a couple close-ups it really does look like the models need some tetanus shots for this one.

Tops: Mila, Maya, Jay. 

Picture 36

Mila. Eh. Overpraised, if you ask me. (And I know you didn't, I just like to pretend that I'm recapping for reasons other than my own amusement.) I thought Amy redeemed herself really nicely from the clownfish pants debacle and deserved a top spot. But THEY DIDN'T ASK ME. Breathing. Okay. Beyond the gimmick of using paint trays, I didn't think this was that great. You can see the muslin underneath and I bet that skirt was very clackety. Her bracelet was cool and I appreciate her Mod thing, but...I dunno. That neckline and the styling are throwing me off. Also Mila's bitchface, maybe.

Picture 35
Maya. Gorgeous. Except to see a million inferior knock-offs of the necklace and jacket all over Etsy in a few weeks. She was smart to make the dress so simple and focus on her accessories and I'm now REALLY dying to find out what happened at Bryant Park, because she's starting to really impress me. DAMMIT SHOW.

Picture 33 

Jay. But Maya could not possibly hope to win this challenge once Jay's model got her foot (and the rest of her) into these pants. Garbage bags and tape. AND THAT'S IT. Winner. He screams and dances and reveals that he went to community college. Okay! Congrats!

Bottoms: Emilio, Anthony, Jesse.

Picture 29 

Anthony. You know, I was surprised that Anthony was in the bottom at first. (So was he, a little.) I think I was focusing too closely on the "fabric" and not really the whole picture. He completely transformed the mesh into a soft-looking effect, but made the classic ProjRun mistake of transforming things TOO MUCH. There's always at least one designer who does this during non-fabric challenges -- they think the idea is to beat the materials into submission and completely camouflage them, and the judges are looking for something more balanced. (Not to say that the judging can't be wildly inconsistent.) Plus, the back of this dress was ugly as sin:

Picture 30 

Basically he took the "I made something boring and sort-of pretty out of weird shit." When you get up close and find out what it's made of, you're likely to go "Oh, well. That explains it." With Jay's look, finding out that an already to-die-for look is made of GARBAGE BAGS and TAPE makes your jaw drop, because daaaamn.

No real worries for our Southern belle, though, he's dismissed from the runway first so the judges can get to the real trainwrecks.

Picture 31

Emilio. Disco Bubblegum Cavegirl! I didn't like the macrame thing he was going for to begin with (it's so...stringy and summer-camp crafty), so I doubt this would have been much better as a dress. Nina, however, kind of digs it, particularly the over-the-top Barbie styling. BUT THEN! When asked WHY he went with a bathing suit instead of a dress, Emilio flat-out lies. He never mentions going over budget at the store and running out of materials and having to improvise. Instead, he spins some story about wanting to be different and unexpected and...I don't know, challenge himself on an already difficult challenge. And the judges (particularly the guest judges) EAT THAT SHIT UP. I bet Tim Gunn was about to blow a gasket backstage, because Tim knew. Tim ALWAYS knows.

Picture 32

His model's ass. You're welcome. I'm guessing this was her accessory? Because otherwise, what the hell?

(Also, anyone remember this?)

Picture 34 

Jesse. There's no way I can describe this dress better than the judges. She's a Hershey's Kiss. A dirty vacuum bag. Okay, let me try: She's an exploded container of Jiffy Pop. This is the kind of dress you made for your Barbies as a little girl using Reynolds Wrap and stuff you pulled from the lint trap. It's boring and nothing quite lines up the way it's supposed to.

They both deserve to go home, honestly, but Jesse is sent packing Emilio essentially gets saved by Nina and his bullshit "I took a risk" story that the guest judges bought. (Prior performance probably didn't hurt either, and Jesse's been painfully forgettable all season.)  Welcome to the Villain Edit, buddy. It's gonna follow you allllll the way to the end.

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i said that if emilio with his annoying speech impediment and naked model didn't get the boot, i was done. i am angry about it.

i kept waiting for a clip of tim yelling at emilio for lying. i want that clip.

but i will surely buckle and keep watching. but angry watching.

wendy was sooooo bonkers.

and i don't think there is a single person who isn't sick of mila. woman-do something ANYTHING else. why have they not busted her on that.


Dude. I thought Emilio's lie was GENIUS. The judges always hate it when they make excuses for why the outfits turned out like suck, so Emilio SOLD IT. Personality-wise he bugs me, but design-wise I was not ready to see him go.


OMG...the Wendy thing! I'd forgotten! Awesome!

Yes, there are LOADS of us who are sick, sick, sick of seeing the color blocking. Just stop it already!

We were trying to see if Tim called Emilio out when he said bye to Jesse...we feel he did a little by insinuating that there was no way in crap he thought Jesse would be leaving. Seriously! I can't stand that he lied and got away with it. I'm praying that karma will be a total beeyatch.

Also, thank you for the Top Scallops reference. I miss my little chefs. When do they come back and make lovely food for us? Or, barring that, when do the Masters come back and make food for us? Or the pastry chefs start making food for us? Inquiring minds, people!


Dear Colour-Block Girl.
You are so boring and predictable. I am not interested in you anymore. You are a one-note sort of person and I am SHOCKED and APPALED that the judges haven't been bored by you yet.

cindy w

This episode left me sort of torn. Emilio's was hands-down the worst (OMG that poor model!), but he's done some really awesome stuff so far. So, yeah, ok, Jesse, I guess. But I didn't really think his was THAT awful either.

This is a weird season in that I'm not actively hating anyone at this point. I usually have at least one or two "gah, just GO HOME already." I mean, Mila is a little annoying, sure, but she's no Santino or Kenley.


I want to lay down on the floor and have a tantrum. I HATE Mila! If I was ever tempted to use color blocking in something I sew I will never ever be again.

I think Emilo skated by on the overall styling of the model.

I don't understand why Anthony was ripped for not looking "hardware store" enough but Maya was praised for the same darned thing.

Sigh. At least this season is AWESOME. Please don't move it back to Cali.

Suzy Q

Hey, y'all! Mila made the Top Two again! Shouldn't we...celebrate?

Emilio's whatever-that-thing-was was awful. Also, he didn't make an accessory, which was part of the challenge. He should have been auf'd.


Wendy Evil! I had completely blocked that out.


I am having one of those moments on this episode where I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Maya's look=really??? I don't get it. The necklace was great, but the jacket..? To me, it looked like the model got caught in a fishing net.

I get that Emilio has had some wins and so he stays but I can't believe they actually tried to make it seem like his design was not a complete and total disaster. That was really making my head hurt.

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