Sorry for the spoiler but come on, you just knew Swapnil (and his lazy butt) was going to crash and burn. For the first time we actually see the camera crew so when Heidi from the runway tells the designers Tim will meet them in the workroom I have an inkling what is coming next. The women staffers behind the scenes and in the trenches of Project Runway (who clearly roll out of bed to go to work) are the models or shall I say makeovers?
For this challenge Sally Beauty Consultant Liddy Bisanz explains to the remaining 6 designers (the pressure is on now) they must create a look for a female crew member and have her made-over (with the help of Sally Beauty Lead Hair Stylist Gregory Patterson) for their runway debut. The designers get two whole days and $200 to shop at Mood after consulting with their already paired/chosen crew client.
Camera Assistant Katie states she wants Kelly, but gets Merline who she admits scares her a bit.
Sound Mixer Desiree is terrified but when her designer Edmond gives her a big hug she seems to let her shoulders relax a bit.
Talent Manager and overall-wearing (yes, I want to barf because she’s clearly older than 10) Ashleigh is paired with Kelly. This actually seems like a perfect match (because Kelly wears a fanny pack) and you can tell there is a pretty girl somewhere under those denim overalls. A good foundation so to speak.
Production Coordinator Jennifer knows she needs a makeover but seems like she needs to be in control at all times and is paired with Swapnil. Already I see trouble ahead.
Challenge Assistant Nicole who is plus-sized is excited to be paired with plus-size designer Ashley.
Model Wrangler Monique is paired with Candice. I have no other words.
Season after season the hardest challenge always proves to be the one where the designers have to work with “clients” with normal human figures so it’s now time for the designers to prove they can follow directions from clients and create something wearable while simultaneously keeping true to their aesthetic as a designer.
Back in the workroom we can instantly see the designers are not listening to their clients. Merline ignores Katie’s wishes and creates her usual boxy (not foxy) silhouette declaring she loves it so maybe she can convince Katie. Um, OK. The person you’d think would be most confident in this challenge is Ashely and instead she is crying because she has designer block. What? Girl, this is your challenge for the taking! Ashley’s insecurities are getting tiresome.
Now let’s talk about Swapnil because at this point his laziness is working my (and apparently everyone else’s) last nerve. Edmond may just be the only designer who really wants to win. Swapnil is proving he’s that guy who told his teacher his dog ate his homework in school because he just didn’t feel like doing it. He has an excuse for everything so that he is unfocused and slacking in the workroom comes as no surprise. He just doesn’t get it. He is talented but his work ethic is pathetic. Couple that with the fact he has a picky client who has a bug up her butt to begin with and it’s a recipe for DISASTER. He does not listen to Jennifer and assumes she will love whatever he makes because he is the Great Swapnil.
Day 2 and Tim Gunn comes in for his initial critique which is also a first fitting and let’s just say…it gets ugly.
Kelly’s “grown-up” plum leather overalls are a great idea, but fail in execution as Ashleigh has diaper-butt and that’s never a good thing. When Tim suggests she should create an additional piece she gets worried. Candice is creating black and blue corset, leather pencil skirt and overcoat for Monique that seem so un-Monique and as Tim comments looks like something one might find at H&M. Ouch.
As soon as Tim and Katie approach Merline you can see the disappointment all over Katie’s face. She hates the giant-shoulder coat Merline is in love with. It’s exactly what she did not want and Tim has to actually explain to Merline that she needs to make sure her client’s voice is heard, not just her own. Der. It’s a “marriage.”
While you would think Ashley would make a kick-ass plus-size look, you’d be wrong. She has picked hideous fabric and has made a little dress that looks a bit matronly and accentuates all the wrong areas. Has Ashely been punking us all season? Can she really design plus-sized fashion? Oddly the dress is sleeveless and you never see Ashley without sleeves. What gives?
Edmond is creating just what Desiree wants, a sleek and stylish raincoat, but his drop-crotch yet camel-toe inducing pants are proving to be problematic. When she tries on the coat Tim comments it’s not very high fashion. Edmond listened too much to his client and lost his voice. Everyone is out of sync but none worse than Swapnil.
Oh Swapnil! He has created a leather arm baring (Jennifer specifically said she doesn’t like her arms exposed) wrap top in leather. Jennifer hates it and Tim is confounded it has taken Swapnil so long to create something so basic. Worse yet, he has wasted so much time and it’s so unfinished Jennifer can’t try it on. When Swapnil makes the excuse he wanted to wait until his critique to continue with his design, Tim rightfully loses it and calls BULLSHIT (that got bleeped out by the way) on his excuses. In 14 seasons of the show we have never seen mild-mannered Tim Gunn ever lose his shit like this. It’s time. It’s epic. It’s everything!
Tim has been working with this crew for 14 seasons and if you have ever met Tim Gunn (which I have had on several occasions) he’s a no BS kind of man who is very protective of those he loves and you can tell he loves his crew. They deserve better than half-assed designs. The designers had 2 days, $200 and clear and vocal clients who actually get the show – they work on it! These are not moms from the Midwest or snotty children. On a whole the designers are dialing it in and pissing off Tim and frankly the rest of us who have been watching all season.
With a red from anger face Tim asks Swapnil why he’s even on Project Runway, you know he is just over it. Swapnil is never going to get it. He is one of those designers who is full of excuses and his chances are clearly running out.
Tim apologizes for his explosion and tells the designers he will give them a second fitting once they have fixed their designs because he feels bad for losing his cool. Could I love Tim Gunn more? I didn’t think it possible. Thankfully the second fitting is much better as most of the designers have completely changed their design with the exception of Swapnil and Jennifer who never gel. With two hours left Swapnil creates his third attempt at a top. Jennifer is in tears and Swapnil does not seem to care/notice. He just chalks it up to…she’s hard to please (true, but he should have tried).
Off to the runway! This week the judges are Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, Heidi Klum and silent Tim with his Tim Gunn save still safe in his back pocket. The guest judges are Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer who are the stars of the Lifetime show UnReal (which I love by the way and you must watch if you are a fan of Bravo or The Bachelor).
Since there are only 6 designers left all stay on the runway.
Kelly: Her reworked leather overalls and matching vest with a well-made tank top are actually stunning and that’s coming from someone who hates overalls! As in, even I’d wear these. She listened to her client and elevated her look. The judges all love it and Ashleigh’s blonder, bolder look. Kelly is rightfully declared the winner!
Merline: She actually salvaged her look by chopping and tailoring her massive coat into a chic vest and pairs it with a leather pencil skirt and chic black crop top. Add that Katie went there and let her hair be dyed a beautiful red with a daring shaved section and Nina almost falls off her chair. Merline clearly takes second place.
Edmond: His weaved sporty grey dress is cool as his raincoat and they are each expertly made, but they don’t go together. The judges like each piece, just not together.
Candice: Her black and blue corset and skirt now with a sheer cover-up is a disaster. It looks cheap and does something really unflattering to Monique’s chest. The judges hate it…as they should. It’s horrid.
Ashley: Her purple and pink sweetheart-neckline top with a pencil skirt and peplum in a hideous complimentary patterned fabric do nothing for Nicole’s body and don’t even fit her particularly well. The judges hate it and call her out that THIS was her challenge to win! Ashely cries (again) and Nina and Zac have just about had it.
Swapnil: Jennifer is clearly miserable in her last-minute, thrown-together light blue cape top and black ruffle neoprene skirt. When the judges see the top is completely unfinished and literally knotted in back to hold it together you think their heads will collectively explode. The judges see through Swapnil’s bullshit and his excuses and time have run out. Thankfully they vote him off the island and I for one could not be happier. He wasted the opportunity and I’m sure is watching this season with many regrets.
“I get to walk in their heels which is kind of cool.” – Model Wrangler Monique
“It does look like I have a vagina this big.” – Talent ManagerAshleigh
“I don’t want diaper butt.” – Talent Manager Ashleigh
“I am so profoundly underwhelmed by this.” -Tim
“It looks like Monique returned from H&M.” – Tim
“What a bunch of BULLS***T! What is the f***ing point?” – Tim Gunn gets bleeped
“She didn’t like anything.” – Swapnil
“Diaper butt’s gone… See you later!” – Kelly
“Here I am back at square one. She hates everything.” – Swapnil
“He gave me wings so I can be an older Sally Field and a modern day flying nun.” – Production Coordinator Jennifer
“I am in shackles.” – Swapnil
“I know where she would wear it: Comic Con.” – Constance Zimmer
“The alleyway of Comic Con.” – Zac Posen
“I like my hair.” – Production Coordinator Jennifer
“But I do not feel confident in this outfit.” – Production Coordinator Jennifer
“It’s like a one trick pony.” – Zac
“Cape and ruffles and this judge is bored.” – Zac
“It’s just tied in a knot!” – all the judges in unison
“Should one go or should two go?” – Heidi
“I never cry.” – Kelly
Be sure to check out our other favorite site dedicated to all things Project Runway…Blogging Project Runway!
– Lauren Dimet Waters