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Project Runway Recap: "The Elements of Fashion"

Runway I'm starting tonight's episode late because of OMFGAGA, so my notes might be a tad sloppy, particularly if no one designs a Hair Phone headpiece and I fall asleep of boredom because of it. THIS. Is shadow-of-its-former-self Project Runway.

(By the way, if you find yourself missing that certain je ne sais quoi that earlier ProjRun seasons had, do yourself a damn favor and start watching RuPaul's Drag Race instead. Picture the unholy love child of this show and ANTM, with Ru playing both Tyra and Tim Gunn. I adore it more than anything. Also, there's a helluva lot more glitter.)

Previously, we said goodbye to Jessewhat'shisnamesnooze. Emilio had a very close call with his Cavewoman Barbarella Frippery Bikini From Hell, and tonight he claims to have learned his lesson. He also "never wants to see another hardware store again." Which is all well and good until the caulk around your toilet goes. AMIRITE LADYS.

Maya is 21 years old. Oh my GOD. When I was 21, I was...not where she is. Or anywhere close. I think I was still concerned that black clothing clashed with my eye color. Also: DRINKING

Heidi announces that from this point on, winners no longer receive immunity. Smug Winner Jay is Smug Winner. Off to Tim and New York scenery and Garnier and marketing buzzy words and blaaaaah. They must choose one of the four elements -- earth, air, fire, water -- and base their design off it.

(LEELO DALLAS MULTIPASS! Is not one of their choices. Lamesauce.)

Ben chooses water, and goes with...sharks. His sketch is a brownish area, with points. (Tell me you know that quote. Tell me so that I may love you forever!)

Emilio...earth. Anthony...fire. Sethrey Aaron..air. (Why isn't it wind?) He's going with "New York Air At Midnight" or some such thing, and gets the badass STUDIO MUSICIAN GUITARS to demonstrate how punk rock he and his super-chipped black nail polish is.

Maya has water. Jonathan has air, and says he's doing something "very Jonathan" and creating his own textile. Has Jonathan actually pulled a "very Jonathan" yet this season? I don't think so. God, that's so Raven.

Mooooood. $150 budget. Jay has air and is thinking about hurricanes. Anthony, despite having fire, is going with a gray and black palate. His pastor deliberately burned his house to the ground, you see, so he's thinking of the aftermath of fire, the char and coal and BACK THE FUCK UP. WHAT?

Amy also has fire, but no backstory about religious arsonists.

Jonathan whines that nobody views him as a threat, which is SO NOT TRUUUUEEE, YOOGYES.

Oh God, Amy is talking about creating "unique silhouette" and admitting that it might not be well received. MAYDAY. EDIT. I think Amy is incredibly talented (and her look deserved Mila's top three spot last week) but she gets stuck on these crazy visions and forgets to make sure the look is actually pretty or flattering.

Not recapping the Garnier Fructis product bullshit. I hate those products anyway.

Tim likes Jonathan, who keeps saying his inspiration isn't air as much as "laughter." Noted. Hopefully the judges will not be inspired to laugh you off the runway. Tim is suspicious of Amy, who is talking about a Hair Bowl. Omg, I might get my Hair Phone after all? He is worried about Ben, who is making a suit. Insane crotch alert level currently set to Lady Gaga With a Dildo In Her Pants On the Cover of Q Magazine.

Emilio kisses his model and calls her sweetie pie. Before last week I would have found that sweet and charming. Now I'm wondering if it's insultingly condescending. HALP ME, PROJRUN EDITS, TELL ME WHAT TO THIIIIIINK.

Everyone freaks out. It's pretty typical. Ben appears to be in serious trouble, and gets the Phone Call of Foreshadowing to his adorable husband. Ruh-roh.

Two hours to go, and everyone is scrambling. Except for Jay, who offers to help Ben after he finishes his own design. Classy! Aww. I like Jay. Unless the producers decide that I don't. BAA.

Garnier Garnier Garnier Use the Bluefly Dot Com Wall. (Tim no longer includes an adverb, though I keep waiting for one. Thoughtfully! Judiciously! Sanctimoniously!)

The runway show is pretty rank, I must say. This groups likes to crash and burn collectively, I've noticed.

Tops: Seth Aaron, Maya, Jonathan

Picture 43 

Seth Aaron. Air. Surprise! I made u a coat. Again. There is no denying that he can design and execute amazing jackets, and each jacket is unique and tailored to the challenge concept, but still. Jackets. Week in and week out. That said, this one was awesome and I could see the whole night sky thing he was talking about. The high, slightly baggy waist of the pants isn't awesome and kind of ruins the overall look for me a bit (something super tight would have looked better), but the judges noticed that her "boots" are actually part of the pants and predict that other designers will kick themselves for not coming up with that idea first.

Picture 41

Maya. Water. This one rippled and waved beautifully down the runway, but lost almost all its impact when the model stood still in front of the judges. Plus the sleeve details were noticeably fraying. When Maya mentions the "Veronica Lake" hair, the judges inexplicably start chiding her for always being too literal and derivative with her inspiration and not really coming up with her own truly unique designs. 

Picture 40
Jonathan. Air. So the "very Jonathan" fabric trick he did was pretty amazing, and probably sold this look more than the actual design. The fabric is layered and he cut designs through the various layers and did it pretty freaking well. Much is made about how gorgeous the colors go with his model's skin tone and I agree -- I don't think she's ever looked so pretty from the waist up. The bottom of the dress bugs me for some reason, though. There's just SO MUCH going on up top between the fan thing and her hairpiece that I feel like I want the skirt to be just a couple inches longer and a bit slimmer.

Jonathan wins and is adorable about it. And this point, everybody has a win under their belt except for Ben and Maya, though poor Maya has been in the top three FOUR TIMES without ever actually winning. 

And tonight is not Ben's night, as he's in the bottom with Mila and Amy.

Picture 42

Mila finally gets called on her color-blocking trend, now that she's proven that she actually sucks at other things. I mean, holy crap, this is ugly. Just...ugly and not at all stylish and random. Turtlenecks? Flare-leg pants? I'm going back over my notes and realize I neglected to mark down what element Mila chose and I have NO idea after looking at this. Earth, maybe? There is something kind of underground 60s bomb shelter mole-people about it.

Picture 37

Amy. Fire. She thinks the Hair Bowl represents chaos or the journey to the center of the earth or something, and weakly tries to point out that the Hair Bowl is not sitting on her model's shoulders in the proper Hair Bowl position. She starts adjusting it and Nina is like, SHUT UP, I STILL HATE IT. AND YOU. Seriously, they let Amy HAVE IT and her eyes well up with tears but she holds them in pretty well. I'd have probably run off the stage to go cry in the bathroom by this point.

Picture 38 

Ben. Water. See her hair? She's a shark! GEDDIT? No? Not seeing it? Okay, how about some fucking SHARK TEETH as buttons on the sleeve? The Duchess points out that it looks like she's wearing her underwear -- or a jock strap -- over the pants. The judges basically hate everything about this look and Ben's relatively low-key personality takes a turn for the heartbreaking, because he just looks so sad. (I think I'm PMSing or something, because seriously, what's with me caring about these bitches' feelings today? Mean judges! Mean! Get me some potato chips now.)

This season is all about past performance, though. We've really had no surprises when it comes to the bottom two -- check the scorecard and see who has a win or more Top 3 appearances, and even if both looks are equally auf-worthy, that person will stay. (COUGH EMILIO COUGH.) Amy has already been saved once (CLOWNFISH PANTS!), but Ben has no wins and only one measly Top 3 spot (and I thought his hardware dress deserved Anthony's spot in the bottom last week).

His Marie Claire cover kimono dress is still one of my favorite looks of the season, but he's simply not a contender, so he's out. Sorry Ben! Sometimes you just have to grab onto that brownish area by its points and you don't let go no matter what Nina says!

I don't really know if Amy is going to go much farther either -- when she's on she's terrific, but she needs to stop with these crazy out-there ideas because she's just not very good at them

I'd say my picks for top three contenders are Jay, Seth Aaron and Maya, but there's that whole mystery going on about her. STILL no idea why she didn't show at Fashion Week, what the HELL. Maybe Jonathan will come from behind. Maybe Amy will pull her shit together from now on. Maybe Mila will continue to win just to make me want to punch a checkerboard into my wall. Maybe Anthony will...no. Sorry, Miss Thang, you are adorable, but no.

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The Fifth Element...Kick A$$ movie!


I know "brownish area - with points"! Arrested Development! Now Amalah will love me forever, YEAH!


Now if Lucille 2 was wearing Ben's shark suit... then he might be cooking with gas.


Yes, two of my favorite pop culture references in one post!



Great recap. You nailed it (p.s. Emilio must have nine lives or something.. or have some serious dirt on the judges. Cuz he should have been auf'd at least twice by now!)

Katy Varner

Was your hair always soooo...pointy??? Also, anytime anyone in my family uses an EZpass on the tolls we scream out MULTIPASS! Too much sharing there? Ehhhh that's on the more NORMAL side of inside jokes in my family. :)


I was totally thinking about Leelo last night when I was watching the GAGA video right here on Mamapop. I think it was around when she was all wrapped up in the crime scene tape.

The Fifth Element is the best movie ever. Chris Tucker used to kick butt. As much as I loved Smokey from Friday, I loved Ruby Rod even more. Supergreen!

As for ProjRun, Where, oh Where were the colors? When I think elemental inspirations, I think red, green, blue, and f-ing white or transparent, not black, beige, gray, and whatever the hell other colors they were using last night. I didn't necessarily need primary colors, but a passing nod to a color wheel would not have gone amiss.

cindy w

I agree with Kelly. I didn't want to see them go too literal (air = baby blue sky, fire = red & orange, etc.), but... a splash of color? Maybe? An accent here or there? I'm surprised the judges didn't call them out for being too damn monochrome. Jonathan's was the probably the one with the most color in it, and it was still pretty beige-y.


I really can't go a week without commenting on ProRun but honestly this week I have no comment.


Why did Amy keep calling her catsuit thing a 'dress'?

Karen ("Mrs. Q.") Quinn

"Thoughtfully! Judiciously! Sanctimoniously!"

I can just hear Tim. That was hilarious.


Umm yeah I really don't have much to say about this episode of Project Runway I just wanted to thank you for the mention of Drag Race because OHMAHGAWD! I think I had heard of it in passing but this perked my interest and they were having a marathon on Logo last night and I am totes in love with those queens! I think I watched three episodes last night and I must have more! I'm kind of curious as to why Santino is a judge and not Chris March seeing as Chris March IS a drag queen, but I suppose he's too busy desiging stuff for Meryl Streep to wear to the Oscars and other various events...

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