Project Runway: The Straight Guy Perspective (S14, Episode SEX!)

by Andrew Osborne

See what I did there, in the title of this recap?  That’s right…episode six of season 14 was officially the most straight guy friendly episode of Project Runway ever, thanks to the highest naked lady quotient in the entire history of the series.

Why?  Because this week (after an awkward morning back at the lady designers’ flophouse…boy, that last challenge sure was crazy, but…uh, we’re all cool, right, Ashley?), the designers are tasked with designing a look for Der Klum’s very own lingerie line…prompting my wife to say that she once thought about buying Heidi Klum’s underpants, but then thought twice ’cause she really didn’t like them.

Nevertheless, the beauty of an underwear challenge (in addition to all the half naked models loitering about) is how ridiculous everybody sounds talking about it.  Merline instantly announces she’s a “bra and panty kinda gal!”  Jake says something extremely weird about taking underwear off women and wearing it himself!  Tim dryly lectures that the challenge is all about the infrastructure of the bra, Blake reveals there’s nothing between us and him but a thin layer of gaberdine, and Joseph keeps saying “panty” over and over and over again.

And despite the suspiciously simple-seeming nature of the challenge (foreshadowing an upcoming twist to longtime viewers in big neon letters), most of the designers are completely flummoxed by the intricacies of intimates.  Indeed, after weeks of gowns and pants and jackets and whatever the hell Pistachio was making, Merline and Laurie bond over the surprising difficulties of bras and panties (though, as a straight guy, I could’ve told them nothing’s ever easy when it comes to bras and panties).

But women and straight guys have at least had some personal experience with lingerie (and what’s inside it)…

…as opposed to Blake, who (despite growing up on a farm!) understands even less about female anatomy than the mysteries of clocks and calendars, revealing he doesn’t know exactly where the kaslopis* is (as well as the fact that he’s clearly a big Chelsea Handler fan).

*And for non-Chelsea Handler fans, Blake helpfully defines the kaslopis as:  “like, what’s happening down there with women”.

As for his bra design, Blake admits he also doesn’t know “what happens under there,” but figures Heidi Klum and her customers are probably “sporty” and want their “boobs dangling around…I don’t know”…making The 40 Year Old Virgin sound downright worldly.

Then, for the second time this season, a designer goes from cutting remarks to literally cutting themselves as Hipster Lindsey has a running with scissors accident serious enough to require stitches.  “I’d feel bad if she wasn’t such a bitch,” my wife sighs, speaking for America.

Then Heidi pops into the workroom, spreading joy as only Germans can as she reviews the looks in progress:  “It’s not a lot for five hours…matronly…trashy…granny panty…it is so tacky…should I call you Captain Tacky today?  Nein, nein, nein!

As a parting gift, Heidi and Tim spring a surprise most viewers saw coming 20 minutes ago:  in addition to the underwear, the challenge now requires a “sexy cover-up” — which the designers get to mull during a “slumber party” in producer-furnished pajamas.  Fun!

Then, just as I’m catching up with my notes on the episode, my wife, Amy, informs me that the slumber party scene is over and the workroom is now filled with scantily clad (and even butt naked!) models…because my wife is clearly awesome.*

*(And she’s also in a good mood after getting to see the actual morning faces of the female designers without makeup.)

Jake discovers that his model is having a bad week after getting dumped and she’s really not in the mood to parade around on TV in a thong, so he decides to make her a full coverage panty, because apparently Jake is a caring nurturer…who knew?

Finally, it’s time for the runway (kicked off by Heidi in some truly boss strappy gladiator sandals)…and since I quickly realize it’s hard for me to be objective about sexy ladies in underpants, I’ll leave most of the judging to Amy.

Swapnil:  “Too much on top, not enough on the bottom.”

Ashley:  “That’s pretty.”

Jake:  “Oh, hello...” Amy gasps, not in a complimentary way.  (And, indeed, his “full coverage” panty somehow manages to give his 90-pound, 0% body fat model a little panty muffin top.)

Edmond:  “The bra’s a little weird.”

Hipster Lindsey:  “Granny panties.”

Cuoco’s Lot:  “Of course” (as in, “Of course it’s bondage-y”).

Joseph:  “He’s in good shape.”

Merline:  “Yikes!”

Blake:  “YIKES!  That’s awful!”  (And I concur….Blake somehow managed to turn his model’s breasts into frowny face emoticons.)

Laurie:  “Yikes!  I can see everybody’s vulva!  There’s way too much punani on display!”

Boston Kelly:  “Vulgar.”

And indeed, the sea of flesh turns even Zac Posen into a dirty old man during the judging as he says “Me likey” at one point in the ickiest possible way…

…but all is forgiven as Merline scores the win (and celebrates with an adorable little happy dance) and Blake is finally banished from my TV forever (though, sadly, my TiVo deprives me of the joyful moment by clipping the end of the episode).

So, it’s back to the farm for the Twinkie Kid, and back to work for me…see you next week!



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