I was never a paint ball nerd so this episode initially confounded me. Tim and Heidi meet the remaining designers on the runway in white canvas coveralls brandishing paintball guns. The designers are then asked to pick teams. In a move that confuses me (and apparently Heidi) Ashley is picked LAST (she has won 2 challenges!) and her feelings are obviously hurt. Already we can see a Mean Girls thing happening here and it pisses me off, but then again, it’s a competition and the threatened girls have obviously declared psychological war(fare) on Ashely. Speaking of girls, the teams turn out to be all girls and all boys plus Merline (who must have thanked her lucky stars!).
At a paintball field, dressed in similar white canvas coveralls earlier worn by Tim and Heidi the teams learn their challenge; each team must create a six look mini collection using fabric in barrels collected while being pelted in a game of paintball. First the guys and Merline attack the girls and then the girls have their shot (literally) at the other team. Little did the girls team know that Ashley is an expert sharpshooter paintballer! She literally kills it.
When they are finished with paint wars and covered in splatters (all but Blake who hid – of course – because he does not like to get dirty). Tim reveals the coveralls the designers are wearing will be the primary material for the challenge and the fabric they battled for is simply supplemental. The girls team has acquired fabrics on pink, purple and orange while the men and Merline have green, blue and yellow. The teams will have two days to complete the challenge and in the workroom they will also find designers are also given blank white sheets and more paint.
The men plus Merline devise a game plan right our of the gate. They decide to use the 50’s as their inspiration and as a team decide to create their own print using blue paint. Swapnil suggests a Jackson Pollock paint splatter effect and Blake can paint blue abstract flowers. All are on board and they quickly get to work.
The ladies on the other hand are a total mess. They can’t agree on anything including their inspiration. They have none. Candice (who looks like Uma Thurman’s “Mia” in Pulp Fiction gone goth) thinks herself a natural born leader and steamrolls with her ideas, but none are very good and lead to a lot of smack talk behind her back. Then they not so brilliantly decide since they can’t decide on a cohesive design or theme, maybe creating a textile with the paint will be inspirational. So they let loose on the white fabric with paint and moxy and wind up with ruined fabric they all hate. Well at least they finally agree on something!
When Tim comes in for his initial critique, he’s obviously impressed with the men plus Merline. They are the epitome of collaboration. The girls on the other hand are prepared for the wrath. They have ruined their fabric and Tim compares it to “an Easter egg festival.” Kelly rightly declares their options are now “jail orange and Barney purple.” That’s going to be a tough one.
Then, in the lounge (wasting even more time) the ladies discuss their mini collection. They still have no idea, no direction and they are all confounded by their now awful color scheme. Poor Ashley is about to pull her purple hair out, but still keeps quiet because she’s still pissed she was chosen last. Her silence ticks off the Mean Girls even more. Now her passive-aggressive “I’ll just do whatever they want” attitude is starting to piss me off. Speak up girl! You have WON 2 challenges! This game plan is going to and does backfire. Not smart nor strategic.
In one of those oddly placed Project Runway sponsorship interruptions, Sally Beauty consultant Liddy Bisanz tries to create even more oohs and aahs by declaring the teams will also work with the Sally Beauty Mobile Nail Studio – which holds 750 shades of nail color – to give their models matching nail art. Obviously Project Runway missed the memo that nail art is out and nude nails are in and who cares about the freaking nails? Whatever. I’m over it. The guys plus Merline chose white and blue to match their white and blue theme for their collection. The ladies agree a gold ombré nail will go with their collection which is a joke because THEY DON’T HAVE ONE! Well they sorta do, each has created their own garment incorporating Barney purple which at the last minute Candice says they should say is San Francisco inspired. WTF?
Back in the workroom the ladies are now starting to loose it! Time is running out and they are beginning to bicker and fight. Laurie snaps at Amanda, but then oddly clues her in that the other girls (the Mean Girls) are planning on blaming Ashley for any of the issues they had as a team. They plan to drive a huge bus over her and one can only assume Laurie tells Ashley this to prepare her for another battle (not of a paintball kind) on the runway.
Off to the runway! The judges are Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, Heidi and this week there are two guest judges. Kelly Osbourne (who we learn is no longer jobless and will be a judge on the upcoming season of “Project Runway Junior”) and Lisa Perry, designer (and wife of Barneys New York owner).
CLEARLY it’s the men and Merline! Der.
Edmond: Another show stopper! His fitted top halter gown with a pleated full skirt was impeccable. It’s the explosion of blue flowers that make this piece spectacular and Edmond (my man) deservingly wins the challenge. His second win!
Swapnil: His blue poufy party dress with a fitted tube top is dramatic and impeccable, but his use of the shoe lacing from the shoes they wore during paint battle was brilliant!
Jake: Someone had to make pants and it’s Jake. His blue pedal-pushers with a high-collared fitted top and little cape was totally 50’s inspired and stunning.
Blake: His white knee-length sheath dress with splashes of blue from the hem up in an ombré fade effect with cap sleeves and an open back is a hit. It doesn’t mater, he won last week and he had immunity anyway. He played it safer, but it’s still very pretty, Besides he was busy painting flowers for the rest of the team.
Joseph: This guy has a lot to say for someone whose designs bore me stiff, but his light blue knee-length dress with a painted floral pattern midsection and cropped jacket were passable, but my least favorite of the collection.
Merline: Her asymmetrical dress dipped in blue dye had a high collar and full sleeves, but it’s Blakes blue floral print that is strategically placed on the top left panel that makes this dress special. Merline pulls off her best work yet.
That leaves the ladies and it’s like watching a train wreck. You just can’t help yourself.
Amanda: Yet another tent dress from Amanda. This one is orange with a high-low hem with a purple back. The writing was on the wall honey, you have to go. Your time is up.
Ashley: Her ruffled pink fitted V-neck top with a vest wasn’t bad and looked like she made some effort (it had an Elizabethan vibe. Maybe that should have been their theme!), but her Barney purple circle skirt was awful. But with 2 wins under her belt she is obviously safe.
Kelly: I have no idea what the hell she made. It was the WORST! It was like a Star Trek (from the original series) bandeau top that might have been futuristic in 1967, but not now, and paired it with a poorly made long mermaid skirt. The all purple ensemble is perfect for technicolor or Barney in drag. It was so awful, she would have been gone had Amanda not been on the bottom every week. Including this one.
Laurie: She made a deep purple vest with greyish-purple high-low culottes which was different…not really in a good way, but not the worst. That’s to come.
Lindsey: She made a greyish-purple pants that came mid-calf (ick), a white halter top with straps, and a light half-sleeve raincoat. Meh.
Candice: She made a tortured purple knee-length dress with an unfinished looking poufy, pleated whatever on the top. Nina hates it of course. She should have.
Let’s talk about the catfight on the runway for a moment shall we? As expected and warned, Ashley is ganged up on. Heidi is pissed and is having none of it and even calls them out on their mean girl behavior when a few actually said Ashely (who remember has won 2 challenges) should be sent home. Screw them! It’s clear some of the girls are still in high school. Candice tries to save face and Laurie is the only one who is honest. However, it is Amanda who incidentally complained the most who is sent packing. Next week should be really interesting.
“Ashley is bad with that Gun!” Blake
“Blake is hiding.” – Candice
“Blake, you’re pristine! Where have you been?” – Tim Gunn
“They just like to talk over each other and I’m so overwhelmed about what we should do.” – Ashley
“It looks like the 70s. There’s puke everywhere…” – Swapnil
“We’re working like a well oiled machine!” – Edmond
“This is an Easter egg festival. All you need are some bunny ears.” – Tim Gunn
“I don’t see our concept now.” – Laurie
“I wouldn’t wear a f*ing thing in this collection.” – Candice
“We’re all feeling pretty terrified.” – Amanda
“There is no cohesive anything besides Barney purple.” – Amanda
“I guess they’re going to throw me under the bus, at the same time they’re telling me ‘oh my gosh your designs are so good.'” – Ashley
“It’s not going to knock anyone’s socks off.” – Lindsey
“I want it. As long as I can wear Spanks.” – Kelly Osbourne
“This just seems like a bit of a bitchfest.” – Kelly Osbourne
“This really looked like amateur hour.” – Heidi
“It’s because you are mean girls.” – Blake
“Even though we love Ashley…but looking at what she’s create… it’s not all that.” – Heidi
“Tortured! What is this?” – Nina
“She looks sad and it makes me sad.” – Nina
“I don’t even know how to get that top on.” – Lisa Perry
“It’s a mermaid raving skirt.” – Zac
“I could make this!” – Kelly Osbourne
“I’m really upset it had to end this way.” – Amanda
Be sure to check out our other favorite site dedicated to all things Project Runway…Blogging Project Runway!
– Lauren Dimet Waters