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Project Runway recap: Pins and Needles

The designers sew up sexy work clothes for the lady-wrestler divas of the WWE; Chris is named lord of the ring, but Ricky gets the atomic drop

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Project Runway

TV Show
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen
Current Status:
In Season

”Project Runway” recap: WWE divas attack!

”I am not ashamed to make a new outfit for WWE divas.”

Damn straight, brother. When the beast in spandex came knocking, you embraced it. You body-slammed it. You scissor-kicked it. And for that, you took the crown. Finally, Chris won a challenge — all by himself. Finally!

When Heidi announced Chris as the winner, the guy busted out an expression of such sweet, happy surprise that in a fit of uncontrollable joy, I tried (unsuccessfully) to high-five both of my cats. (My husband’s out of town, see. And my next option was hugging my TV. At least I went for the closest living creature.) Grinning from ear to ear, his eyes crinkling in delight, Chris said, ”Of course I end up winning the tackiest challenge.” It’s true — there was a karmic alignment between Project Runway‘s costume guru and the WWE challenge. At the same time, the judges easily could have pulled one of their illogical strokes of unfathomability and penalized him for being at a so-called advantage. I feared this would indeed be the case when Michael Kors noted that Chris didn’t have to go as far outside his comfort zone as the other designers. Thankfully, in the end, his black sparkly spandex boy shorts and green leopard hoodie — masterfully lined with matching sparkly spandex and finished with dramatic bell sleeves — blew his competitors out of the ring. He got props for making cheap dress-up materials look expensive (always a good thing on this show). And his diva model, Maria, is even going to wear the kick-ass ensemble in a future wrestling match. But here’s a question: Will she also adopt Chris’ suggested signature move and smother men with her large breasts?

I must say, I really dug this week’s challenge. Though not at first. When Tim led the designers to their date with hair-pulling, head-locking destiny, I felt my I hate product placement masquerading as tests of creativity! sensors going berserk. Especially after the gimmicky Hershey’s task and last episode’s Levi’s snorer. (By the way — I missed you all! Thanks to Kate Ward for stepping in for me while I was freezing my buns off at Sundance.) Furthermore, just how, exactly, would spandex and rhinestones and glittery (oh my!) constitute fashion? I’m not holding my breath that Bluefly.com will have much in the way of copycat merchandise this time.

That said, as soon as I saw the gang march off to the House of Spandex, I succumbed to the tacky fun of it all. Here was Chris, hunting down green leopard print! Here was Sweet P, picking out fabric so shiny the residents of Pluto had to shield their eyes from the glare! By the time Christian pushed up his elitist sleeves and dug right in, nothing could dull my buzz — not even Jillian’s egregious name-checking of ”Blockbuster Total Access.” (Which I’m sure she was instructed to mention.) For all Christian’s annoying self-aggrandizing, this week he proved he might not be such a snob after all. I ask you: Do snobs giddily try on chaps in front of their peers? I think not. The Heatherette dudes nailed it when they said his leather-and-lace getup was reminiscent of Prince and Vanity. Kristal loved it, and the judges loved it — just not enough to crown Christian the victor. Of course, when the rightful winner was announced, the Runwayeditors couldn’t resist sneaking in a requisite look of crushing disappointment from Mr. Fierce. (Speaking of which, our total season ”fierce” count is up to 18, not including Tim Gunn’s multiple uses of the word last night.)

Jillian also pulled off a successful look in a sporty blue and white outfit that reminded me of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders — porn-star edition. (Did you all see how much butt cheek her diva had hanging out?) Rami, on the other hand — well, we all should have known that the guy was in bad shape when he described the models as ”six athletic strong women.” What, he’s never heard of prom or female wrestlers? Somebody get this guy a cable subscription. Torrie Wilson might have claimed to like the fuchsia monstrosity that Rami whipped up for her, but all I could write on my notebook was ”ugh.” It was as if Victoria’s Secret had done a bedtime Barbie outfit for a late-night Skinemax special.

NEXT: Bad moves