Sunday, January 20, 2008



Previously on Project Runway: The designers teamed up to combine bad trends. Steven was assured Chris's jacket would be smashing. Ricky suggested not fighting, but Victorya wasn't on board with that. Jillian won. Team Ricky had bad teamwork. Chris got the boot. (Sob!)

We interrupt the usual mourning of the departed with a health bulletin: Jack suspects he has another staph infection. And off to Parsons we go! Heidi brings out the models. No, not those models. Out walks a woman in an over-sized bridal dress. Several other women follow, all wearing clothes that are too big. Steven suspects they're relatives of the designers, except he doesn't recognize any of them. Heidi reveals that the models have all lost a lot of weight; they're wearing their favorite fat clothes. The models introduce themselves and reveal how much weight they've lost. Given that the lowest amount lost is 45 pounds, the designers are all thoroughly impressed. Heidi assigns them the challenge of making new outfits from the old favorite clothes. Kevin is psyched but Christian is skeered. Demonstrating that the producers can occasionally learn from past mistakes, Heidi assigns the models to the designers using the handy-dandy button bag o' randomization:

Steven is less than thrilled to be dealing with a wedding dress, which he figures to be the kiss of death. Man up, dude.

Workroom. Tim reports that they have until midnight to work. He reads off a whimsical note that Chris left, so we can wallow in the misery of his departure. Back to the challenge -- the new outfit has to be something for everyday, but express the designer's point of view. They get 30 minutes to consult with their clients. Victorya interviews that "the rules are completely different" for non-model-sized women. Say what? Kevin and Elisa are enjoying the challenge. Christian's client has a whole bunch of "I won't wear" rules that he has to accommodate. Steven is basically stuck; sequined, beaded, lace-covered white polyester satin isn't translating to daytime wear. Now I really want a make-over-a-bridesmaid-dress challenge. Maybe next season.

The designers get $10 and 15 minutes at Mood to supplement their raw materials. Jillian buys matching fabric; her client's shirt is too piece-y to deconstruct. Well, then use the pants instead. Steven buys black stretch cotton to make the outfit; he'll use the wedding dress as trim. Basically, he panics and bails on the challenge.

Back in the workroom, the designers settle down to work. Jack is still having problems with his face, but the treatment will require leaving. He interviews that the problem isn't related to his HIV status, since his immune system is functional. This leaves me wondering how on earth he's picked up two drug-resistant staph infections when pretty much everyone gets through life without getting any. Jack makes a call to his doctor and then talks to Tim. They come back, and Jack announces that he has to withdraw. Everyone hugs the guy with the drug-resistant staph infection, which kinda freaks me out. These are some serious germs, people! Treat them with respect! Jack is, of course, very sad, because he worked so hard and he loved meeting everyone. And I am, of course, very sad, because it's a tough break for him. This is where I would normally insert good wishes, but it turns out he's healthy and dating Dale from Top Chef season 3, so we know he's okay.

The remaining designers perform the ritual mourning of the departed as they work. Ricky puts on some high heels with his client's jeans, purportedly to see how the jeans will look with heels, but he looks really comfy in heels and spends a whole lotta time posing in front of the mirror, so I have doubts. With six hours on the clock, Tim is ready to send the clients in for fittings. But first: Chris returns! There is much rejoicing. The designers are happy to see him, too. Chris is taking over Jack's client, and he can work through the night to catch up with the others. The clients arrive. Pinning and chatting ensue. The clients leave. Chris wishes he had Steven's wedding dress to work with. So does Steven.

Tim comes in for a review. To Christian: "So how fierce is it?" Tim approves of the Christian-like qualities in the look. Tim wants to make sure Elisa is working with her client's style as well as her own. Steven is "very courageous" to discard so much of the original material. Tim wants to make sure that Chris avoids the costume trap with his nautical inspiration. He advises making decisions early, while Chris still has a functional brain. "'Cause I've made more bad decisions at three o'clock in the morning than I can list," Tim confesses. Steven demands names as the designers enjoy the chance to tease Tim. Frantic workety-work montage. Christian finishes. Sweet P wonders if it's "against the law to kill a twelve year old" but Chris thinks he hasn't made it to twelve yet. At midnight, everyone but Chris heads out.

Morning. The designers return to find Chris snoring on a sofa. Steven is in the weeds. The models arrive for the model routine. Fittings. Hair. Makeup. Ricky gets all teary about how he transformed Penny through fashion. I think Penny did most of the transforming; Ricky just changed the clothes. Kevin pitches in to help Steven, who resorts to fabric glue in desperation. Ricky also seems to be lending a hand, as well as Victorya. Steven seems about ready to stroke out from stress. Show time! Guest judge is Patrick Robinson, head designer for The Gap.

Steven, Christian, Chris, Kevin, Jillian and Elisa are held for questioning. Everyone knows that Elyse loves Kevin's outfit, but Michael is over the leggings. All the judges think Tracy's outfit doesn't suit her personality, like they know her so well from the thirty seconds she spent on the runway. Michael has the more pertinent objection that the outfit chops Tracy up into multiple horizontal bands. Jillian gets called out for making the dress out of new material, but all the judges like the dress. Steven also abandoned most of his source material, and the judges are disappointed with such a somber transformation. Christian is praised for incorporating his vision with his client's tastes, making something commercial but still fashionable. Patrick thinks the red decorations on Chris's skirt distract from the "beautiful" top, but Chris figures Silvia needs the punch of red to match her personality. Michael calls it a costume for a "hooker with a heart of gold."

The judges rehash. Kevin's model was loving the way she looked. Christian nailed it. Jillian's dress was great, even though she tossed the original shirt. Elisa didn't reflect Tracy and chopped up the body. Steven's dress was just disappointing; they were all looking forward to something fabulous. Chris was costume-y but they like the top. So I suspect he'll be safe.

The designers return. Jillian is safe. Christian gets the win and immunity. Kevin is safe. No, I like everyone in the bottom three! Chris is safe. (Whew!) Steven is out. (No!) Elisa is safe. (Whew!)

Right winner? I don't have any issues with Christian's outfit, and I do with Kevin's and Jillian's outfits, so I agree with the winner. I would have put Rami in the top three instead of Jillian, though.

Right loser? Steven went into a panic and stayed there. It turns out Laura was hoping for a dress that she could wear at a renewal of her vows. I think Steven should have brazened it out -- made that dress and then described it as "suitable for church." If you can make cocktail and party dresses for an "everyday" challenge, why not a nice church outfit? Since Steven likes classic lines, do a nice dress or skirt and shell, and then a fancy jacket. If you go with simple separates, it's easier to argue that you can mix the pieces into other everyday looks. Of all the other creative ideas out there, I like the lingerie suggestion the best. I figured Chris was safe because the worst parts of his outfit were easily corrected -- just remove some of the red bits and hike up the skirt a couple of inches -- and the result was at least nicely finished. Elisa's look wasn't classic enough for everyday Tracy or daring enough for Tracy's wild side, and the layers weren't flattering, so she was a contender for the loss. But she tried, and Steven didn't, and that's why I can't justify booting anyone else.


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