Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Manic Panic

Previously on Project Runway: The designers thrilled to the iconic power of Sarah Jessica Parker, who put them to work for her on-the-cheap fashion line. Elisa freaked out Sweet P with her spit-marking. Steven and Marion started sinking into ugly and couldn't find their way out. Victorya won. Team Christian was too 80s, but Marion got the boot.

Jack reveals that he's HIV-positive, and has been since he was 21. Think that will lead anywhere? In the other guy apartment, Chris and Rami chew over Marion's booting. Chris teases that they should have booted Christian, who would not have been missed. Christian obliges with an appropriately dramatic "I'm shocked!" expression before teasing back that they'd be "so bored" without him. He confesss that he's "not as confident" after winding up in the bottom two. Humbled Christian: "But I just know that I make clothes so much better than a lot of the other designers."

Heidi dispenses with the models for this challenge. Perhaps she's giving them a boot camp on runway walking. Speculation commences immediately. Please don't let them loose on ordinary people again. Of course Heidi spills no details and dispatches them to find Tim at some office building. He leads them off into a studio where they find Tiki Barber, former Giants running back and current correspondent for the Today show. And of course Kevin is the only one who has any clue who he is. Steven reveals his lack of football background, although he believes "it's probably the one time on television where spandex is acceptable" At least for guys.

Tiki reveals that the challenge is to make him an outfit to wear on his show. The "I don't do menswear" collective freakout commences. Tiki describes his figure challenges and his preferences. The designers return to Parsons (Jack toting Christian is his bag). They get 30 minutes for sketching, 30 minutes for shopping with $150 and 1.5 days for work. Jack asks if the men can use their own clothes for "reference" and Tim grants permission.

More freaking out. Except for Kevin, who has some menswear experience under his belt. Mood time! More freaking out. Chris wonders if Tiki likes hot pants, which cracks Tim up. Kit draws on her experience styling on TV shows. Back in the workroom, people break out the muslin and continue the freakout theme of the episode. Jack removes his shorts and uses them as a pattern. Victorya and Carmen help out, so he shares the pattern with them. Rami gripes. I think it's fine. Last season, Vincent removed his pants to make a pattern for an outfit he was designing for himself, so the producers have had plenty of time to rule against any similar shortcuts. Tim calls time.

Morning. The frantic workety-working starts right away. Tim sends in their models for fitting. Mmm, male models. Steven is like, "Okay, I now understand why straight guys envy me for hanging out with women in their underwear." Elisa is too shy to watch her model undress, so she modestly faces the wall. Her model wants to pursue ethnobotany, so I think they're going to get along just fine.

The models leave and lots of reworking happens. Frantically. Tim interrupts in the evening to bring in Ginny Barber, Tiki's wife. "I love Asians," Christian informs us. "Asians are fierce." "Fierce" is officially no longer fierce. Also, Christian is officially a ninny. The lovely but bland Mrs. Barber gives the designers feedback, and leaves. Designers make adjustments, or not. Frantically. The clock ticks and the designers shift into panic mode.

Runway day. The designers dive back in. The models return. Ricky puts his model to work sewing buttonholes. Sweet P's shirt is wackadoo. Hair. Makeup. Last-minute panic. Ricky hems with safety pins. Sweet P's shirt is still wackadoo. Carment sews her model into his pants, and then wraps the shirt material around his neck like a giant ascot. Tim summons everyone to the runway.


Heidi passes Jillian, Christian, Rami, Steve, Victorya, Chris and Elisa to the next round, leaving Carmen, Jack, Kit, Sweet P, Kevin and Ricky to face the judges. Tiki likes Kit's conservative palette and Michael thinks the fleece saves it from being boring. Tiki thinks Sweet P has style, but it's "messy." Sweet P confesses the shirt is all wonky. Tiki likes the texture of Jack's stripes but Nina dings him for having only two pieces. She also nails Ricky for his safety pins; Tiki thinks the outfit looks sloppy and Nina finds the color palette boring. Tiki likes Kevin's vest, which he doesn't normally wear; Heidi thinks it's all wrong for Tiki or her own husband, although it would be fine for David Beckham. Tiki would wear it with a different shirt. He wouldn't wear Carmen's jacket, which would leave everyone looking at his butt. Heidi laughs at a guy having butt issues. Michael hates the crotch on the pants and dings her time management.

The designers go away and the judges review. Kevin had a look. Jack played it smart. Kit was versatile and unique. Sweet P had the shirt from hell. Carmen had no shirt, an unfinished cropped jacket, poorly fitting pants and no cohesion. Ricky's suit was amateurish. The designers return. Kevin is safe. Jack wins -- Tiki will wear it on his show. Kit is safe. Sweet P is safe. The drama queens remain. Carmen is out, so Ricky is safe. Carmen finds it easier to swallow the dis to her menswear skillz.

Right winner? Eh. Despite all the stripes, Jack's outfit was kind of ordinary and doesn't really address Tiki's figure issues. I don't think anyone completely nailed it, but tuck in Kevin's shirt and I'll vote for him. Although I love, love, love Kit's fleece blazer, I think her palette wasn't dark enough for Tiki's taste (conservative as it was).

Right loser? This was quite the race. I think Sweet P was saved by the fit of her pants, although there was something oddly compelling about the wonky shirt. Ricky was boring -- and he really needs to pull out the stops next time -- but did a better job of faking completeness than Carmen. As for Carmen, the design was wrong and the shirt color was an odd choice and the execution failed everywhere. So yeah, I guess she deserved it. Still, it must suck to get booted for menswear.


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