Project Runway 12 – Episode 08 – Discussion & Recap



Once upon a time in Southern California, a Foot Locker store went out of business, leaving behind a legacy of bare feet and an endless supply of referee outfits.

Exhibit A
Exhibit B

It’s in this iconic but ill-fitting “garment” that His Royal Fashion Highness Tim Gunn wakes up the remaining seven or eight or nine contestants (it took us two entire weeks just to get rid of Miranda, so who’s counting anymore?), straight out of bed and into New Balance-sponsored workout gear. (“I don’t do sports,” says Ken Brittenum, trying to connect to the frauen viewers.)

This week’s challenge finds Heidi J.Lo-ing herself as she uses the show to promote her new line of New Balance workout gear (except she doesn’t have to rub her buttocks on her ex-husband or release a fifteenth single featuring Pitbull to do it, but I digress.) Each designer must create a runway-ready gym outfit inspired by fabrics from Heidi’s collection — but not before they’re divided into teams of two and forced to run a pointless YMCA Summer Camp-approved “obstacle” course comprised of  exciting new-age exercises like…. the three legged race.  (Note to self: convince Tyra Banks to have a three-legged runway walk challenge on Top Model.)  Considering the average level of fitness of this group ranges somewhere between Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, it’s no surprise that the most athletic looking team (in this case, Dom and Justin) wins by a landslide.

In order to facilitate the design of active garments, Tim provides samples from Heidi’s collection, but advises that designers are not allowed to cut them up – at which point a clever Helen secretly asks Tim if she’s allowed to use Heidi’s pants as a pattern, and he confirms – in secret –  that it would be “smart.”  One probing question from Alexandria later, and suddenly the room has melts into another absurd barrage of Ken tantrums, which sends Helen running *literally* scared that she’d be stabbed (….no) and Ken into the other room to *literally* cry to his mother.

But it’s ok because the whole thing was irrelevant and absurd and edited as a vehicle to muster viewer sympathy for Ken when Tim Gunn’s divine aura manages to squeeze an apology out of him, and that’s about how much anyone should care about it, so there.

Just kidding! This week’s Very Special Guest is Heidi Klum herself, all teeth and golden glitter, ready to douse our plebe of designers with a hefty dose of her sauerktraut-flavored critique poison. Tsssss! It doesn’t take long, either: after mildly admiring Kate’s long, loose hoodie, she dismisses Helen’s design as “too basic” and compares Ken’s black-and-blue track outfit to “a scuba suit” – which is all just warm-up to the delicious plate of awkward served when she grills Karen: “I’m gonna be as direct as I can,” she says sweetly, a demonic fire raging behind her steely blue eyes, “It is impossible. It is Martian. It is crazy. It looks trashy.”

This, of course, sends our resident Drew Barrymore into a frenzied whirlwind of desperation, whereupon she destroys seven hours worth of work, begins from scratch and caps it all off by starting an argument with her model using nothing but a series of guttural grunts. Speaking of models, this week on Tales Of A Model Scorned, forlorn model and forever-loser Nastassia is – for the gazillionth time – paired with a designer whose garment is sort of godawful (in this case, it’s Alexandria’s “poopy-pants” drop crotch bottoms). I’m very much looking forward to week ten, in which Nastassia – fed-up with being a bottom feeder – douses herself with a gallon of gasoline and then sets herself on fire. 

I don’t know much about what constitutes “fashionable activewear,” but if the stretchy neon underoos featured on tonight’s runway are it, then I can see fashionable activewear every day around 6pm at my local K-Mart. (Active K-Mart shoppers? As if!).  Michael Kors – Project Runway‘s answer to Anthony Bourdain, who in turn is Top Chef”s answer to Gordon Ramsey, who is Hell’s Kitchen‘s answer to Simon Cowell, who answers to no one unless they have his illegitimate baby – is back to pick up Karen’s rotted remains and give them a new coating of tongue acid. “It looks like she’s going to a buffet on a cruise,” he snarls, “she could put cookies in her pockets.” Well, there it is.

On a whole, the judges are surprisingly divided – particularly on looks by Alexandria and Alexander (Yes. These are two different people.) Because the challenge, by design, eliminated the need for judging fabric choice, the focus shifts to how things fit, and mostly around crotches, and it turns out that they kind of just hated everything. But Helen “won.” In the end, it’s Karen and Ken – ironically, a pair in the obstacle course from earlier in the episode – who end up in the bottom two. And while the judges criticized Ken’s look for not being “fashion” enough, it’s hard to argue on behalf of something that looks drawn by a handless third grader tripping on novocaine. So Karen Barrymore is out, Ken lives to yell another day, and Helen has now randomly won more times than Bradon.

Oh, and Nastassia made her sixth trip to the bottom. Put her on suicide watch.

See you next week!


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