Project Runway Season 12 – Episode 02 – Discussion & Recap


“THIS……….is Project Runway!”

Hold your horses there, Heidi Seacrest – while TV’s hot-messiest design competition has mustered enough staying power to last through near cancellation and an entire network change (take that, The Fashion Show), it’s still not a 400 pound reality behemoth like Idol is (er…..was). Still, 12 seasons in the current television landscape is essentially a miracle….although one has to remember Tyra Banks’s absurd Top Model franchise is still going strong over on the middling CW. Anything’s possible.

To be fair, Project Runway has more than earned its wings, and with them, the right to start an episode in the most over the top way by parading around two fully armed cops and pretending to all who’ll believe it (read: no one) that the contestants were about to be arrested….only to drag out 15 models wearing 30 million dollars worth of diamond jewelry around their necks (the contestants’ reactions ranged from “ooh” to “aah”). The task: each contestant must design an evening gown elegant enough to complement the diamond jewelry. In other words, basically design whatever the hell you want. I’m disappointed they didn’t go with the much more interesting “redesign cop outfits” challenge, particularly to see what kind of insane cameltoe daisy dukes Sandro would stick on his cop model lady.

This episode marks the season’s first 1-day challenge, and also the first trip to the iconic Mood fabric shop – where the designers fall promptly into their producer-dictated roles: Timothy decides the best way to showcase a beautiful diamond is by surrounding it with scraps of fabric found in the garbage (sustainable!), while Sandro spends half his suggested budget on nude fabric that he’ll strategically cover with black lace so his model will look naked.

POINTLESS CONFLICT WARNING #2: Back from Mood, a sudden argument breaks out between Sandro and Ken, which was apparently so loud that it caused deaf contestant Justin to purposely remove his hearing aids – yet the editors provide no explanation as to why or how it began – almost as if we’re just supposed to buy into previously established reality archetypes, dig into our repressed memories of The Bad Girls Club, and accept that these people are fighting just because. It’s all very Phillip Shepherd School Of Creating Unnecessary Conflict, but maybe Lifetime wanted some material for TV spots?

TIMSULTATIONS! The best part of the show – where our beloved future President/Pope/Lifetime Movie Award presenter Tim Gunn simultaneously encourages and insults the designers’ work. “It’s a hot mess,” he says of Timothy’s blue velvet creation inspired in equal parts by a road sign and a used Band-Aid. “It’s a bit granny,” he chimes in on Alexander’s cascading chiffon nightmare. To Ugandan-born Kahindo, all he can offer as he watches her struggle with silk charmeuse is a guttural “uuuuuuuuuuuuuuu……gh.” (“That was harsh!” says a dejected Kahindo, because you can’t use Hasa Diga on national TV.)

[We now interrupt this recap for another MASSIVE FREAKOUT FROM SUE OVER SOMETHING INSIGNIFICANT!™ This week’s episode: “Who Was It Who Moved My Black Thread And Replaced It With Green Thread I Am Going To Yell Aimlessly About It And Accept Help And Then Not Thank Them And Act Irrational Because Yes”]

I’d like to take a moment to appreciate Jeremy – he with the adorable kids and the Henry Higgins accent (I love when he says “aGAAAAIIIIIN” like it’s seventeen syllables) – who will quickly become my favorite contestant if he continues delivering beautiful, biting commentary such as “I don’t understand Tim’s looks. His design aesthetic looks….terrible.”

POINTLESS CONFLICT WARNING #2: SANDRO’S STEAMER WON’T WORK. This is how much you should care: you shouldn’t.


As expected, this season’s editors are out to ruin the season by making it painfully obvious to anyone who’s not a toddler who our bottom three will be: It’s Kahindo, whose sleek print dress was described by the judges as “off the rack” and “a dress on sale,” Timothy who got lost in his own metaphor and forgot the basic rule of fashion that things are supposed to be pretty, and Helen, who served up a (rather appropriate) meltdown when she realized much too late that her garment was sort of a horrible piece of crap. (Kate‘s “Marie Antoinette Wrapped Herself In A Napkin” gown won the night.)

The loser ended up being Kahindo, who may have produced an uninspired product, but let’s be frank with each other here: “uninspired” is always preferable over “really freaking godawful” which is about how I felt about Timothy’s…thing. But I guess it’s not reality TV without judges making absurd decisions. The real loser, though, is poor Nastassia – the forlorn model who had to endure Timothy’s insane ramblings and lack of make-up last week, and who this week got paired with Helen and had to walk the runway in a  half-finished dress that looked strangely like the back of a cat owner’s leather couch. Call it terrible, but I now find myself actively rooting for her to always get paired with someone awful, just so see what effect in has on her psyche.

NEXT WEEK: Carnival prizes turn couture. Let’s make a drinking game out of references to clowns and cotton candy. See you then!

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