Mao Zedong, Laura Ingalls, and Uncle Fester

Well, hello, muffins! It’s time for the sixth episode of Project Runway! What a true SYMPHONY of fug…

The designers wake up in their Atlas apartments to see that some creepy-ass fairy broke into their homes while they were sleeping and dropped off boxes for them full of Heidi Klum’s New Balance t-shirts and shorts (and skorts, apparently?) for them to wear, complete with a note instructing them to meet at the New Balance Track and Field at the Armory (which sadly has nothing to do with old-timey cannons and muskets). Bert stands directly behind the boxes, and when bade by his roommates to say what they are or what they contain, he decides to either be willfully obtuse or literally cannot see. “What boxes?” “Um, the ones right in front of you.” “What are you talking about?” “The boxes. Directly in front of your face.” “What boxes?” “The ones you’re practically sitting on!” “What? Are you saying foxes?” “BOXES!!!”

In one of the girls’ apartments, Becky struggles in vain to rouse Grumble Gus Cecilia, who has decided to be petulant and pouty in the manner of a toddler, in a fury because she wasn’t auffed (Um, you are aware that’s the object of the show, right? To stay on it?). “Come on, Cecilia, get up!” Becky smiles. “I don’t wanna,” Cecilia grouses. “Look, they brought us clothes to wear! You better get dressed!” Becky entreats her. “I don’t wanna wear anything,” she harumphs, crossing her arms over her chest and pulling the covers over her head. Maturity.

So you’re going nude then?

Cecilia complains that she tried so hard to get herself out on the last challenge and seems deeply offended to still be in the competition, like they’re doing it to spite her (then why didn’t you say something yesterday when they were auffing Julie, you peevish, self-centered clod?). Becky keeps fighting to get her to put on a happy face and is obliging and pleasant as possible, but good old HOM-ster bid-DEENG just snaps at her querulously and sulks…like an ill-tempered two year old.

Eventually she is roused from bed and they leave. Cecilia is not nude. Thank God.

Dressed in mostly unflattering orange tops, black shorts (and skorts), and sneakers, the designers meet Heidi, who is wearing a heinous gray mottled capri suit (it looks as nonsensical as it sounds) and platform stilettos I deeply covet, and Tim, who is wearing very incongruous footwear for his dapper self.


                                     This isn’t right for a number of reasons.

They explain that the designers will be crafting looks to go with Heidi’s New Balance sneakers, incorporating the elements used in the shoes—suede and denim. The winner’s look will be sold on Amazon. They will be placed into teams of three and the team leaders will be chosen by having the lot of them complete a 200 meter dash, the top four earning the aforementioned spots. Urgh.

I urghed for several reasons. First off, they pretty much did this challenge last season. It wasn’t interesting then; it isn’t interesting now. The clothes you wear with sneakers (I also urgh because who the EFF wears DENIM sneakers?) are, typically, not interesting. New Balance is athletic/sportswear, which, that’s fine, there’s a market for that. But Project Runway is a FASHION show; I don’t want to see the designers make clothes I’d wear to go running or stop by the grocery store to buy some yogurt. Because those are usually schleppy clothes. Ew. If you try to pair anything dressier than jeans and a t-shirt (which, again, is not fashion) with sneakers, you look ridiculous and like you don’t know how to dress yourself (on par with the three year old who insists on wearing their Snow White pajamas out to dinner, except you are an adult and it’s not longer endearing; it’s just troubling). Lastly, I urgh because it’s pretty much a given that the team leaders will be the younger ones—how is that fair?

At this point, Grumpopotamus Cecilia tells the camera that she is not “hoppy being here,” and goes to Tim and Heidi to bow out of the competition (um, again, why didn’t you say something yesterday instead of letting the other chick go home?? Idiot.). Tim and Heidi look very concerned, and they basically have the same conversation I always had with my PE teacher in high school when I’d suddenly and randomly become ill at the beginning of class and request to go to the nurse’s office: “Are you sure you can’t make it, Erin? Because if you’re really sick, you should go, but if not, you should really try to tough it out, because you will have to do make-up laps around the track next time.” “I know, I just…feel really terrible. I just can’t do this…I…I’m sorry, I just can’t!” So at the conclusion of my old PE class conversation, Cecilia walks off, and the other designers stare after her in consternation for about a minute, but seem to honestly care less. It’s very moving.

Then, with Cecilia now utterly forgotten after a nonexistent mourning period, the designers set off on their dash, Josh sprinting like he will be violently executed if he doesn’t win, Viktor informing us he never runs unless someone is chasing him with a gun (does that…does that happen often, Viktor? Like maybe when you go “wash your clothes in the river”? Where do you LIVE?), and Bert running at a pace that would be outstripped by paralytic snails (Heidi feels bad and runs backwards to him and then alongside to keep him company—she still passes him and she is wearing those 6” heels I want to steal). But the one who really steals the show is Oliv(i)er, who trips halfway down the track, scrapes his knee, and then appears to have collapsed and died, his unblinking, vacant eyes staring up into the void, and his hand, beyond all reason and sanity, tucked into his pants. He is resurrected by the medics and claims it was a panic attack (from scraping your knee? Also, I think you’re confusing “panic attack” with “death”…they’re not the same).

So, anyway, the winners/leaders (Josh, Bryce, Anthony Ryan, and Viktor) choose their teams (no one wants Bert, which would be sad if he weren’t such an ass-hat), and, because Cecilia left, Team Viktor is allowed to choose one of the auffed designers to return and replace her. By rights, Julie should have been brought back, but no one listens to me, so they ecstatically decide to bring Gay(?) Mormon Josh back (now I have to separate the Joshes again…jerks). Tim tells them to “caucus” before heading off to Moooood. This mostly involves Team Josh (not the gay Mormon) and Team Anthony Ryan completely ignoring and criticizing Becky and Bert, respectively. Becky tries to suggest leggings, and Josh utters the only pissy comment I agree with, “No leggings! They are SO OVER!” (if so, THANK GOD).

Then it’s off to Moooood, where they have $300 and they all buy only sad gray Chairman Mao tunic fabric.


                                                Only this color, Comrade.

When they return to the workroom, this happens:

Josh C. is Gay Mormon Uncle Fester. Well, that at least solves my name crisis.

Becky seems to have been chosen merely for her sewing abilities, much like a sweatshop worker, and does not appreciate that Josh “doesn’t need her to be thinking too much.” Oliv(i)er is making a long gray elastic-waistband skirt Viktor worries the judges will think is “Amish.” Bryce declares one of his team’s looks to be a “lambskin condom” (my soul weeps at this point in the program). Bert is pissy, offended that he has to work with the whippersnappers Laura and Anthony Ryan (who, to be fair, spend the episode being dismissive of him and clutching each other, weeping about how difficult they have it), and refers to Anthony Ryan as “Andrew.” When he is corrected, he mutters that he only remembers the names of people who are “worth remembering” and anyone else is “not significant” enough to occupy a place in his memory. Douche.

Tim comes in for his walk-through and brings Heidi along with him. They dissuade Bryce from, ONCE AGAIN, trying to make a hideous cowl (this time it’s a COWL-HOODIE!) and tell Oliv(i)er that his skirt looks like it would be worn by Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz. Heidi tries it on and it looks like hell on her (never a good sign). But he is unswayed, convinced they merely haven’t recognized his vision yet, and will do so on the runway (KANSAS VISION). Laura worries about her model’s “expansive” backside, which Heidi adds, “You mean she has a large badonkadonk” (my soul starts screaming at the use of the word “badonkadonk”). At this point, Heidi, in a fit of generosity, extends the designers’ deadline from eleven to four in the morning. They react as if they have been given free Disneyland tickets.

At this point, all hell breaks loose over at Team Josh, when Becky vents her frustration with being a sweatshop worker and wishes she could have a hand in designing. Josh rolls his eyes and says, “You do dowdy dresses. You know that, right?” As Becky starts to cry, absolutely mortified, he pretends that this was somehow not completely derogatory, like he told her, “You do blue dresses sometimes. You know that, right?” She puts her head down and bursts into full on tears, and, frustrated that she doesn’t understand his lovely compliments, Josh snaps at her, “If you’re tired, take a nap!” and that her demographic is “forty to death.” Way to lead there, Joshy. Becky runs off to the bathroom, and Anya attempts to comfort her. Eventually, Josh joins them (in the ladies’…ew) and gives the most half-assed apology in the history of time before observing his surroundings and muttering about “sanitary things in here that are gross” (do you…do you think the ladies’ room at Parson’s is filled with tampons, Josh? What is wrong with you?).

Over on Team Anthony Ryan, Bert continues to mutter to himself, off doing his own thing, as he scowls at his teammates. He is convinced his looks are fresh and “not from the midwest or wherever they’re from” (the south, no?). Josh randomly picks a fight with him over a sewing machine like it’s the only one on the room (there are a good half-dozen not in use), to which Bert tells him to “drop dead.” Josh snarls that Bert is closer to death than he is, to which Bert replies, “With you around, that’s a blessing.” MEOW.

Team Anthony Ryan and Team Josh end up taking their fights out onto the runway, in a totally-not-awkward display of true professionalism.

Speaking of the runway…

At last it’s time for the show, at which point Heidi comes out in the most God-awful sparkly genie-panted strapless jumpsuit of doom, complete with her sneakers. Genie pants and sneakers do not go together, Heidi—Barbara Eden and MC Hammer could have told you that. (For the record, NOTHING goes with sparkly genie-panted jumpsuits of doom…because they are heinous and should be burned—let’s face facts; if a supermodel looks like ass in them, you have no chance.)


                                                  God, kittens are weeping.


                          “No, guys, I WANTED to look like my body was melting!”

        There’s a reason you shouldn’t dress like this. But at least pair it with some
                                         nice wingtips or cute pink pumps.

Michael “Orangina” Kors is in his official uniform of jeans, a black t-shirt, and a black blazer. He is physically incapable of wearing anything else. Nina, in an effort to look extra-snuggly, is wearing a jacket that is either made of tiny spikes or shards of broken glass.

The guest judge is designer/model, Erin Wasson. I am inclined to think everyone named Erin is awesome (being that it is the name of yours truly, who is incredibly awesome), though I am a little put off by several things about THIS Erin:

She’s very…pointy. I mean, she’s a beautiful girl (as all Erins are), but at some camera angles you looked like you could cut glass on those cheekbones. And I’m fairly certain my grandmother owned a pair of pants the same color as her skirt there, complete with the gummy waistband…in her seventies. Also, a google image search of the lass yielded a disturbing amount of nip shots. As a representative of the name, I feel that all Erins should be classy dames and should keep exposed nipples (or NEE-pals, as our not-so-dearly departed Cecilia would say) to a minimum. Also, Erin, Erins need not have split ends. Trim yours.

Anyway, off to the symphony of fug that dominated this week’s runway… (So I don’t have to repeat myself with every garment, none of these looks go with Heidi’s stupid denim and suede sneakers. At all. Ever.)

Oh, for God’s sakes. Anthony Ryan…made…THIS. It is a baggy romper of doom that manages to only be tight at the crotch giving her both “camel toe” and, apparently, “camel butt” (when she turned around the judges’ let out a collective “Ohhhhh” of agony). It’s like molten lead is melting down her body. It makes me die inside. It is everything that is wrong with the world. It is Satan’s romper. If Project Runway actually followed its rules (Heidi oh-so-helpfully reminding the other judges that it’s supposed to be “One day you’re in, the next day you’re out!”), Anthony Ryan would have gone home for this. Certainly, he’s shown more promise than the one who was auffed in his place, which kept him on the show, but…this is a look for a woman who says, “I want a romper that makes my breasts look like deflated windsocks and makes me look like I may or may not have a man package.” Good job, Anthony Ryan.

Missouri Barbie Laura made this. Is the top somehow attached to those shorts? Is this a faux-romper? Why is this? Why is the vest made for a sumo wrestler? Why is any of it happening?

Resident Mae West “Expert” Bert made this. Sadly, it’s the best look of the three, and it isn’t even good. Coupled with the sneakers, this model looks like she’s running to meet her girlfriends at a bar in 1993.

Now for Team Josh…Anya designed this. Becky mostly sewed it (as Anya has never sewn jersey). Josh won for it. Right. Look, I love maxi dresses as much as the next girl, and this is perfectly fine, but I’ve got a half-dozen in my closet that look ten billion times better than this. And I’m pretty sure that random racing stripe was taped on. It’s like her sternum wept blood. That troubles me.

Becky…sewed this. I can’t say she designed it, because she wasn’t really allowed to design or think or speak or acknowledge that having her aesthetic referred to as a “dowdy” and for those between the ages of “forty and death” was at all insulting. The skirt is too tight, the top is frowning at me, and WHY, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY is the model not wearing a bra?? This isn’t hard, people. It makes me concerned that her NEE-pals are located directly under her armpits (or that I’ve had to mention people’s nipples so many times…).

Josh took the win for being an ass-hat, which apparently is the secret to being a gifted leader. It was not, as stated, for this “design.” Let’s see…a pair of black shorts I’m pretty sure I bought at H&M last year, a very basic tank top that reminds me of a malfunctioning television (right before it goes to snow), and a tattered vest that was attacked by a puma. The model may or may not be balancing a Cinnabon on her head. Bravo.

And then we have Team Ol’ Puppy Pads Bryce. Though this is wretched (WHY does it have snaps up either side? She’s like those re-seal-able deli meat containers) and looks not unlike an ugly pillowcase, the judges liked this beyond all reason, Michael Kors declaring it would really do things for many women’s figures (if by that you mean make a stick-sized model look six months pregnant, then sure).

Danielle, somewhat controversially, received the Auf for YET ANOTHER FREAKING PUTRID GREEN CHIFFON BLOUSE. That Michael Kors said was “like a soufflé that flopped” (which implies it had potential to be great; it didn’t). The chiffon and the green were not at all involved in her team’s designs, but she is literally incapable of not designing a green chiffon blouse. Now, granted, she was right—this was not the worst thing to walk down the runway, and, technically, the rules dictate that she ought to have stayed because of that. But I can’t say I’m heartbroken about her departure, because her sad sack tops were about to make me start screaming psychotically at my television set. And she has the personality of a dish rag. Also, she completely ignored my BRA RANT from last week (I realize she had no access to it, but that’s no excuse), as I can, AGAIN, see that her model’s nipples (or NEE-pals) are pointing magnetically north. Not okay.

Kimberly was mainly responsible for this. A vaguely acceptable jacket (which, actually, was made by Dishrag Danielle) and BLOOMERS. Shakespearean bloomers. Which have not been popular since 1597. Also, Kimberly was so busy crafting these FREAKING BLOOMERS that she completely forgot to put on pants.


"Oh God, you guys, why didn’t you tell me??" "Well, you’re still wearing your nightshirt. We just figured you decided not to change out of your pajamas." "You guys are jerks."

Onto Team Viktor, wherein Gay Mormon Uncle Fester made this sad wrinkly t-shirt, complete with a pointless holster, so you can look like you’re on your way to seventh grade wearing a super-hip Jansport backpack EVERYWHERE YOU GO! (Which Nina seems to think makes you look like a “road warrior”). Well, I don’t know about you, but I’M SET FOR LIFE now.

Oliv(i)er made this heinous soi-disant “Amish” skirt. First off, this isn’t Amish. The Amish don’t do elastic waistbands and would never be so unseemly as to show their ankles. I am tempted to make a Little House on the Prairie reference, but this look would never fly there either—Laura Ingalls was a stylish lady with her sprigged muslin, brown poplin, and nontraditional black wedding gown with cashmere basque. This skirt would not have even been acceptable for twisting hay for the Long Winter. If he had made it more form-fitting and put some slits on the sides, I could totally rock this my sophomore year of high school…you know, in 2002. Boo, Oliv(i)er, you weirdly spelled blond Asian boy from Ohio with a vaguely European accent. Boo.

Viktor took the win for this along with Josh. I suppose his team’s outfits were at least cohesive, if completely wretched. And I must say, I quite love the jacket. The dress is an old wrinkled rag Elly Mae Clampett wrapped a rope around before going on a hot date with Cousin Jethro.

Next week there are small children. And a love child of Carmen Miranda and a vampire. Rules are broken. Michael Kors declares outfits to be “Valium clothes” and “what the Teletubbies would wear to a party.” Until then, chickadees…

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