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

GunnDownby Andrew Osborne

Uh…so, can somebody please explain just what the hell happened on Project Runway last night?  And, no, I don’t mean the Auf (which I’ll get to later).  I’m talking about the Gunn-precedented meltdown of our beloved mentor, Tim!

I mean, here’s a man who’s had to deal with drama queens from Ivy Higa to Gunnar freakin’ Deatherage over the years, and it was sleepy ol’ Swapnil who finally pushed him over the edge into a profanity-spewing rage?  There are three possible explanations:

  1. Tim’s chronic celibacy has finally reached critical levels…
  2. Tim, like the rest of us, has simply been worn down by all the Rachel Zoe ads and Just Fab plugs on the show…
  3. Or, most likely, Tim reached the breaking point after the designers kept making his friends look stupid.

Because, yes, this episode featured a new twist on the time honored “design clothes for normal-looking people” challenge:  namely, the contestants’ models were actual members of the Project Runway crew, who each patiently explained their personal styles and aesthetics…

…then stood back, sighing and rolling their eyes as each of the Final Six proceeded to create slightly roomier versions of the exact same outfits they churn out every week.  The Cuoc Lestat designed some Goth bondage gear, Ashley cried and created twee sad girl clothes in hospital scrubs pink, Merline interpreted her model saying “I don’t want another one of your jackets with boxy shoulders” as “I bet I can convince her to love a jacket with boxy shoulders,” and Swapnil…

Oh, poor Swapnil.  Swapnil is so tired and checked out at this point, I think he may literally be suffering from undiagnosed Lyme disease.  Even with two days and a trip to Mood, he can’t rally to make much of anything, thus prompting the aforementioned Gunn-smoke coming out of Tim’s ears during the episode’s workroom consultation.

To be fair, though, Swapnil’s “client” is an exasperating diva in her own right who demands clothing that hides her arms.  And legs.  And bust.  Basically, she wants to be wrapped up like a mummy, I guess, and Swapnil really tries his best to please her, creating three separate looks…all of which she hates, though she still winds up looking way better on the runway than Edmond’s poor model, whose own natural New York flair gets transformed into a look that basically screams “sad office manager dressed up for karaoke.”

And Ashley, despite her alleged “plus-size” design skills, winds up crying and making her crew lady look downright, embarrassingly terrible.  My wife thinks her victim…er, uh, client looks like Minnie Pearl on the Runway, while I less charitably peg the look as vintage Edna Turnblad (only without the Divine flair to pull it off).  And then Ashley cries some more.  I mean, seriously:  I’ve seen flood, fire, and hurricane victims on the local news who don’t cry as much as Ashley. The Syrian refugees don’t cry as much as Ashley.  Even the poor model trapped in Ashley’s terrible outfit doesn’t cry as much as Ashley.  Ashley!  You’re on a freakin’ game show, girl!  Suck it up!  (Whoops…I think I just made Ashley cry again.)

Meanwhile, on a more positive note, Boston Kelly finds herself paired with a total sister from another mister, who I think even says she’s from Boston…and, like Kelly, seems to think “fashionable tank” is a thing.

And, as a result of their wicked simpatico mind-meld, Kelly from the Deli winds up providing her overalls-clad crew member with exactly what she wants:  i.e., leather overalls!  They’re kind of ridiculous, to be honest, but the client loves them so much it’s hard to begrudge the fact that Team Boston Strong ultimately wins the challenge.

Hard, but not impossible, because I’ve saved the best for last.  Yes, that’s right:  camera chick.

I mean, sure, designers always have an advantage in the “real people” challenges if their particular “real person” is already a knockout from the start.  But camera assistant Kate Harris, goes the extra mile by actually letting the Sally Beauty guy shave the side of her head into a totally boss punk ‘do, which Merline accentuates with a sexy variation on her signature style, resulting in, by far, the best look on the Runway last night.

But, in the end, Kelly steals the win, and Ashley, Edmond, and Cuocsferatu somehow skate by with inferior looks while Swapnil gets the axe and heads home for a long winter’s nap with his evil box of cigarettes (featured prominently throughout the episode, because smoking is bad, mm’kay)?

Hopefully Tim will get a nap, too (or, y’know, get laid)…while visions of camera chick will dance in the heads of all the (or rather, both the) straight guys watching the show ’til next week’s recap!

Camera Chick

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