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Project Runway recap: Driven to Tears

Challenged to create a look out of car parts, most of the designers get up to speed, but Keith has an emotional breakdown

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Project Runway

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

Doubting the age-old wisdom about the importance of remaining true to your self? Look no further than last night’s episode of Project Runway — specifically, what happened to Keith. From the top of the hour, Keith seemed ill at ease and defensive. He kept going on about (a) how he was shocked/ticked off that he’d landed in the bottom two last week; (b) that he was going to show the judges he could whip up a tailored, tasteful outfit as well as anyone; and eventually (c) that he felt he deserved to win more than his competitors. Ooooohhhh. With that much Keith drama packed into the first half of the episode alone, I had a hunch his story arc was gonna end badly. And badly it did end. The boy from Salt Lake City got the boot and then tearfully confessed how terrible it felt to get kicked off for a design that didn’t come from his heart.

So this week, Heidi dispatched the team to the rooftop of 142 West 31st St. Blayne, displaying his usual stunted imagination, guessed that perhaps they were designing for a superstar so huge they had to meet him or her in a secret location. Um…yeah, if that had been the case, Blayne, I doubt the rendezvous point would have been in a parking garage in the industrial ‘hood just south of Macy’s.

To be fair, though, even Korto wondered if they were going to meet ”Mariah” (as in Carey). But the gang’s high hopes for glitz and glamour plummeted when they arrived at the roof of the parking garage to see not Cher, Madonna, or, jeez, even Debbie frickin’ Gibson, but a row of stinkin’ Saturns. (Hi, product placement! We wondered when you’d be joining us this season!) Tim was there, accompanied by the car manufacturer’s ”lead color designer,” which is, I must say, a job I never imagined I’d ever imagine ever hearing of. Huh? Oh, I don’t know. It’s late. Humor me. And while you’re at it, tell me this: Was it me, or did said ”lead color designer” kind of look like Stanford from Sex and the City?

Anyway, I kind of dug this challenge. I like the counter-intuitive ones that rely on unconventional materials, even if they do come from — eh-hem! — a corporate sponsor. (Don’t forget to borrow ”very thoughtfully” from the Bluefly.com accessories wall, friends!) The designers had four minutes to tear through the recyclable car parts inside each vehicle, piling their loot in granny carts. Even at this early stage, it was clear that seat belts were a hot commodity. If, as Tim Gunn told the designers, the car challenge was similar to the grocery-store one in terms of innovation, then seat belts were the new tablecloths/shower curtains. Six out of 10 designers used ’em.

NEXT: Leather and suede