Project Runway: The Straight Guy Perspective (Episode Eight)

by Andrew Osborne

So, as you may recall, I skipped last week’s episode because I was in L.A. — but as it turns out, I didn’t actually miss all that much since the dresses were totes boring and nobody got eliminated.

Now that I’m back, I’m still struggling to catch up with a million different things, so I’m going to rush through this week’s recap as quickly (but entertainingly!) as possible before collapsing in a heap of nervous exhaustion.

We start off with Christopher pretending to be angry that Gunnar’s still in the game, though nobody’s really buying their alleged feud anymore, right?  Why can’t those two crazy kids just make out and get it over with?

Meanwhile, after being a non-entity for eight weeks, Alicia thinks she needs to pull off something “really, really dope” this time around (instead of constantly looking like she just smoked a big bowl o’ dope).

She and the other designers are then presented with sparkles and glitter (two things Elena hates even more than love and joy) and told to Kickstart their challenge budget on the streets of NYC with t-shirts, posters and their own winning personalities…in teams!

Sonjia gets matched with those bickering Chiffonzies Gunnar and Chris.  Ven is teamed with Melissa and Fabio.  And (in what I hope turns into a spin-off for the greatest Lifetime show ever), Alicia joins Dmitry and Elena for a hilariously hate-spewing off-Broadway production of Who’s Afraid of Rosa Klebb?

Dmitry literally says “Uch!” when he learns he’ll be working with Elena, who naturally starts bitching about the t-shirts her team intends to sell (since, presumably, she’d much rather just butcher some hobos and sell their kidneys to her black market friends in Little Odessa for the necessary cash).

But instead, Elena hits the street in search of Mood money and breaks out her best sales pitch:  “We’re trying to sell these crappy t-shirts we made in three hours.”  Who could resist?

Meanwhile, Team Chiffonzie creates some pretty stylish t-shirts and manages to raise $684 (compared with Team Eastern Europe’s $500), but Ven (despite his obvious loathing for people in general and non-models in particular) manages to bust out enough semblance of charm to help his team raise a whopping $800 (and 48 cents…for candy)!

After learning the panhandled funds will be used to create two fall looks (and outerwear), the teams head to Mood for a cameo by Swatch the wonder pooch…

…then it’s back to the workroom, where Alicia’s totally not down with the negativity of her teammates, man (apparently failing to realize that negativity can be hilarious, as when Elena says the coat that Christopher’s creating looks like a Snuggie).  Then Dmitry says there’s nothing wrong with Elena that can’t be cured with a silver bullet and a wooden stake, and I suddenly realize this may be one of my favorite seasons ever.

Meanwhile, in other bitchy sniping, Sonjia announces she is so over Ven’s “fan effect” and Tim agrees, convincing the big man to actually submerge his ego…er, I mean design aesthetic for the good of his team and the coherence of their two sherbet colored looks.

After a quick trip to the L’Oreal Product Placement salon (where my wife thinks she spots an image of the model who used to be married to Marc Maron on one of the boxes of hair dye), the designers head down to the…


Team Eastern Europe is first out of the gate, with a nice enough dress and a gigasmic scarf (created by Dmitry) not quite distracting the judges from Elena’s deflated soufflé coat and Alicia’s boring shirt and pants.

My wife is way more enthusiastic about Team Chiffonzie’s first knock-out look:  “I like the jacket, I like the skirt, I like the scarf…I’d wear all of that shit.”  She thinks the second of their pieces is pretty fly as well, noting “…pretty avant-garde, though you have to be a tall lady to wear it.”

Finally, Ven thinks his team’s pieces look inexpensive, and my wife (and the judges, including special guest villain Anna Sui) agree that the looks are kinda sloppy (except for Melissa’s sweet white jacket).

Unsurprisingly, Team Chiffonzie snags the top score and Sonjia scores the win (thanks to a mod, textured jacket my wife is still drooling over).

The remaining designers are all candidates for elimination, making Elena so pissed she can barely unclench her teeth long enough to throw Dmitry under the bus (sniping that he constantly makes the same kind of dresses).  Dmitry responds with the awesome retort, “You always make coffins” (which, coincidentally, is also my favorite Nine Inch Nails song).

The judges suggest the team’s anger resulted in angry clothing, whereas Team Ven’s inability to criticize each other’s work (or even the ridiculous hip-hop Colonel Sanders get-up Fabio’s wearing) resulted in boring, tacky designs…

…but, in the end, the judges decide Alicia’s the dullest and tackiest of them all, and Elena has an unexpected crying fit in her honor.

Next week:  Mondo!!!


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