Sunday, January 20, 2008


The Candy Man Can

Previously on Project Runway: The designers recycled the clothes of women who lost a lot of weight. Jack had to withdraw for medical treatment. Chris returned to applause. Steven drew the wedding dress. Christian won. Elisa was scolded for not representing her client, but Steven got the boot for his French-maid-at-a-funeral not-much-of-a-wedding-dress dress.

Morning. Kevin now has his apartment to himself. The rest of the guys chew over Steven's dismissal. The women ponder what kind of curveball they'll be thrown next. Sweet P interviews that she's happy to still be in the mix, so I start saying my goodbyes. Off to Parsons!

Heidi comes out with dark red lips and slicked over bangs. It's kind of like a cartoon version of Gwyneth Paltrow. Not loving it. Time for a model mix-up:

Ashley and Christina are out. Ashley is bland, but Christina is cute and doesn't deserve to be going this early. Heidi declines to divulge any details about the challenge; instead, they'll go on an early morning field trip. You know what that means -- Tim Gunn waking up sleepy designers! Which he does, at the not-really-scandalous hour of 6 a.m. Kit is embarrassed to be in her PJs and braless in front of Tim. Chris wants to know where Tim's footie pajamas are.

The designers gather downstairs and traipse through New York after Tim, eventually arriving in Times Square. Specifically, the Hersheys store. Yay, chocolate! Jillian, of all people, is bouncing up and down. Elisa is delighted with the "magic, magic, magic" of candy, but Christian is (as usual) so over it. They get to use anything in the store as their raw materials. No budget, just five minutes to grab up whatever they want. Fortunately, the store has pillows and stuffed animals and other branded foofaraw, not just candy. They'll have one day to work. The designers scramble to get their goods. Chris has actually made clothing from food, so he knows better than to mess with it. Jillian has trouble dragging her Twizzler haul out of the store.

Back at Parsons, the designers have 13 hours to finish, so they dig into their materials. Jillian is the only one working with candy. Sweet P murders some stuffed bears. Christian unwraps a bazillion Reese's peanut butter cups. Chris is going op-art. He interviews that "real food is not practical." Jillian frets that she's going to ruin her scissors cutting all the Twizzlers. Rami wants to keep his project manageable. Elisa is using her daughter Calliope as inspiration. She interviews that she was hit by a car in London and had serious head injuries. Being the show is a way to make up for lost opportunities. Kevin is making something wearable. Christian finishes early and goes around critiquing everyone. He interviews that the other designers "don't have a real direction because they think about their things so much." Shut up, Christian. Kevin is ready to "off" him. Sweet P isn't happy with her dress. Christian recommends major editing, but she starts over.

Tim time. He urges Victorya to forsake the bland and "take it further." Tim thinks Rami has made an outfit for Jillian, who agrees that she would wear it. Elisa is attempting to channel Gretel, but Tim wants more exuberance. Jillian is having time management issues; her materials turned out to be "tedious" to work with. Tim thinks Sweet P's new skirt is too reminiscent of paper products, so she starts over once again. Tim warns them that they won't have much time in the morning, so they need to finish tonight. Workety-work montage. Chris finishes. Instead of picking on everyone else, he goes off for a nap. Jillian frets as time winds down. Sweet P tries to rally her as they head home.

Morning. Elisa hopes to get through the challenge safely and make it to the final three. Now I have to worry about her, too. Jillian continues to fret about candy falling off her dress. Back to work! Models. Fitting. Jillian stresses. Chris feels for her. Lauren helps her sew Twizzlers on. Hair. Makeup. Designers worry about damage to delicate constructions. Jillian is last out the door.

Hersheys will auction off all the outfits for charity. Guest judge is Zac Posen, that little cutie. Show time!

Ricky, Christian, Kit and Kevin are all safe. Zac and Michael love Rami's construction; Michael thinks it really captures the spirit of a candy challenge. Elisa was hoping to evoke candy without using candy, but Heidi and Michael find it dull, not joyful. Zac and Nina like the sexy, playful attitude of Jillian's candy outfit and Michael calls it "adorable." However, he doesn't believe Victorya's claims that she would wear her ruffled apron dress. Heidi is getting "Dairy Queen." Zac finds Chris's dress too staid, but Michael (knowing his background) thinks he made a smart choice to edit himself and Nina is ready to put it in the magazine. Sweet P gets dinged for being boring; she mentions starting over as an excuse for not showing much effort.

The judges recap. They've worried about Chris's taste level in the past, but not this time. Rami wowed the judges with his construction. Jillian also impressed them with the only edible garment. Elisa gave "sad" instead of "avant garde." Victorya wasn't inventive with her materials. Sweet P was also boring.

The designers return. Chris is safe. (Yay!) Rami gets the win and immunity. Jillian is safe. Victorya is safe. Elisa wasn't playful. Sweet P was boring. Sweet P is safe. Elisa is out. (No!) She thanks the judges for an "amazing" experience. She feels "fortified" by her time with the other contestants. Tim gives her a big ol' hug.

Right loser? Elisa's outfit was disappointing, so I can't argue against her being in the bottom three. I'm just not sure I can be objective about her dismissal. Sweet P is a perfectly nice human being, but Elisa is more interesting as both a person and a designer. She was at least trying to create something with a point of view, while Sweet P didn't aspire to much more than a finished garment. Victorya had a bonkers dress, followed by a bonkers runway presentation and a bonkers runway defense, but the ruffles did convey a sense of fun and whimsy. I'd be quite willing to sacrifice Sweet P in order to save Elisa, but I'm not 100% certain the outfits justify it.

Right winner? Rami's pleated skirt and strappy bodice were simply stellar. I loved it from the moment I saw it. Chris also did excellent work, but I think Ram surpassed him. So the judges got this one right, at least.


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