Last week on Project Runway, we were witness to some of the worst behavior in the show’s history. I mean, the way Korina behaved was some Wendy Pepper level immaturity, you know? We haven’t seen a b*tch fit like that in years and while it was epic television, it was also pretty upsetting because, ew, you know? She is a gross individual. This week, we have the misfortune of seeing Korina again, though thankfully her return is brief. While the drama is entertaining, I’m glad she leaves quickly. It gives us a chance to concentrate on the real issue at hand – who is going to fashion week? With only Emily, Amanda, Kini, Sean and Char left, one or more could go home before getting the chance to create their final collection.
I mentioned on Twitter that the first half of this week’s challenge reminded me of Mugatu’s “Derelicte” campaign from Zoolander and I still kind of feel that way. The challenge, I guess, isn’t quite so bad as all that, but hey, whatever. The designers are to create a “street chic” look inspired by New York City. They’re given cameras and some time to walk around NYC for inspiration. They’ll have two days and $200 to make this look, which must be wearable and contemporary. For a while, nothing is amiss. The crew take photos of graffiti and architecture and laugh and have a good time. It’s like a weight has been lifted since Korina left and everything is great! This is the best challenge ever!
…Or not. Of course, that was way too easy. Tim greets the designers in the workroom with a second part to their challenge: they must create a second look from one of the recently-eliminated designers’ losing looks. That means Samantha’s boring blue dress, Sandhya’s weird Teletubby baby onesie, Mitchell’s red carpet disaster, Fade’s not-so-avant garde dress and Korina’s heavy winter look from last week. This look should be completely separate from their “street chic” garment and they’ll get $100 more for another trip to Mood. Basically, it’s two unrelated challenges at once, which seems even more difficult to me.
Tim uses the button bag to determine who gets what. Emily chooses first and picks Samantha’s blue dress. Char chooses Korina’s, because it has the most fabric to work with. Amanda picks Fade’s dress and Kini grabs Mitchell’s red carpet look – leaving Sean with the onesie from hell. Poor Sean.
Oh dear – but there’s more.
So, because the designers have two unrelated challenges to complete and no extra time to do so, they’re given assistants. This would usually be good news, except that they’re being paired up with the designer whose look they chose. UH OH. That’s right, this means that our teams are: Emily/Samantha; Amanda/Fade; Kini/Mitchell, Sean/Sandhya and…Char/Korina. DUN DUN DUNNN.
What I’m expecting next is the beginning of a drama-filled episode, where Korina and her stupid stank face ruin everything for Char. I’m like, great, now we have to listen to this girl b*tch and moan all over again about how she’s a better designer than Char and she shouldn’t even be lowering herself to help her. But it doesn’t even get that far! Korina has a full-on temper tantrum right then and there. She crosses her arms, stomps her feet and shakes her head. Her lower lip wobbles dramatically. She blinks back tears. “I can’t do this,” she tells Tim. The pain of being eliminated is still far too fresh for her and she knows she won’t be a good helper. Korina doesn’t actually say it, but you can tell she’s like, “Also, there’s no way in hell I’m about to help Char.”
And okay, I understand the indignity in helping someone you just lost to tear up your losing garment and make something new so that they can go on to Fashion Week. I get it, I really do. But she just seems so angry to be there in the first place – and when Tim allows her to go, she storms off. I mean, she slams the door and chucks her mic onto the ground, cursing as she goes. It’s completely ridiculous. You signed on to be on a reality television show. Yes, it’s not Bad Girls Club, but you have to expect some uncomfortable situations. I’m sure it’s not easy for any of the losing designers to help someone tear apart their look. I’m sure that none of this is easy! But Korina, you are not a special snowflake whose emotions are more valuable than the others.
The thing is, Korina will look back on this one day with so, so much embarrassment.
Other than this incident, there’s essentially no drama this week. Alexander is brought in to help Char and the five remaining designers seem to genuinely like and respect one another. Everyone’s helpers are dutifully helpful and supportive. It’s actually nice, to be honest.
The best looks / The worst looks
Everyone has their good and their bad this week, so let’s just discuss them one by one.
First, Amanda: the judges love her long dress (and I do, too!). It’s definitely “street chic,” as in, I can see someone wearing this on a street and looking chic. The color combination is fantastic and the shape is just strange enough to be interesting and weird in a good way. I would totally wear this dress, except that I am 4’11” and I would probably look like a sack of potatoes. But if I were a foot taller, I’d totally wear this dress! Amanda’s second look is…not so great. Guest judge Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars is like, “Wow, TRON much?” except she’s nicer about it, of course. Heidi says it looks like a cocktail waitress.
Up next, Emily: I really love Emily’s “street chic” look, especially the amazing choice of fabric. The hoodie is also really interesting and grungy and cool. The judges aren’t as into it – they make comparisons to pajamas and Zac Posen even says the model looks homeless. Me: “SEE, IT’S DERELICTE!!” However, Heidi and Shay are more positive. Emily’s second look, though, is panned across the board. Emily admittedly spent very little time and effort on this dress, so when the judges say it’s basic and lacking her usual vision, they’re not wrong.
Char: the judges are nice to Char – probably nicer than they should be. Just as Tim Gunn warned her in his critique, no one likes the random pocket on one side of her pink structured skirt. I think it’s kind of interesting, personally. The judges don’t seem to be into anything she presents, but they’re not overly critical, either. Nina Garcia comments that Char has a great eye for color, which is true, except that everything this week is black, white or grey with the exception of the pink skirt. But okay, whatever. Her “redo” look is bunchy in the middle, which Shay mentions isn’t something any woman would ever want. You know, looking like you have a paunch? Otherwise, the dress is fine – but again, there’s nothing “wow” about it. Also, I hate the styling on her second look. I really, really hate it. She looks like she’s dressed up like a Robert Palmer girl for Halloween, but half-assed it.
Kini: Can we just take a moment and revel in the glory that is this red dress? I mean, do you even remember Mitchell’s atrocity? Oh, it was so bad. But this? This is stunning. Gorgeous. The fit – oh my God. I just cannot with you, Kini. Shut your face! The judges feel the same way – this dress is basically perfection. His “street chic” look is also met with mostly positive reviews, although none of the judges really like the skirt. I can’t seem to figure out what it is they hate so much – the ruffles? I mean, I guess it could’ve been edited a bit, but that trench coat is ridiculous amazing, so I just don’t care so much about the stuff underneath.
Sean: last up is Sean, who gets another set of mixed reviews from the panel. First of all, his “street chic” look – the judges are over the moon about it. Nina calls it one of the best pieces she’s ever seen on Project Runway which, okay no, but I’m glad that she likes it. It is really fantastic. So interesting and unique, but stylish and sophisticated at the same time. Plus, how cool is it that it was inspired by a man in a kaftan? The “redo” garment, on the other hand? Not so much. I don’t really understand what Sean was doing here – was it a joke? Tongue in cheek? I mean, I know he had like a handful of Pepto Bismol fabric to work with, but did it have to be this silly? Also, we get it, guys: FRINGE. Ugh. Sean’s lucky he’s so good or this could have seriously gotten him in trouble. As it is, there’s no way he’s going home.
I usually get annoyed when Heidi and the judges allow everyone to go on to Fashion Week, so I’m glad when they actually send someone home. It’s Emily, of course, because they’ve invested too much in Char to send her home now. That means Char, along with Kini, Sean and Amanda are all in. I think this was the right decision in the long run – I’d rather see a collection from Char than Emily, at any rate – but I won’t be surprised if another designer goes home before the final competition next week. And I won’t be surprised if it’s Char.