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Project Runway recap: Designing Women

The models become the clients for the remaining 13 designers and the cattiness (finally) comes out

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Mike Yarish/Lifetime Networks

Project Runway

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

At last! Finally! The wait is over! It has happened! What the hell am I talking about? The ousting of someone whose clock was ticking from episode 1? Not even. I speak of the claws! The snide remarks! The — dare I say it? — bitchiness!

Qristyl might have feared that her public squabbling with Epperson would brand her the ”b-i-t-c-h” of the bunch, but it was two of her fellow designers who demonstrated much more obvious b-power this week. Nicolas has been trying on his catty-suit since the premiere, and last night, he scoffed at Epperson’s work, comparing it to a ”rag.” But he was nothing compared to Irina, who offered a triple-jubilee of nastiness that was totally misguided (at least according to the judges and uh, anyone with working eyesight) and, best of all, hilariously, bone-headedly contradictory. ”No one’s really looks like crap, but I just think Althea’s looked like crap.” Well said, Irina! Are you this poetic off-camera, too? Unable to leave well enough alone, she went on: ”I think it would look nicer if she stapled it together.” Rrrrrrrreeeeeeeow! (That was a mad cat noise, by the way.)

Don’t get me wrong. As Michael Jackson famously told Paul McCartney, I’m a lover, not a fighter. I don’t go around stirring up trouble and pitting people against each other. I don’t even like witnessing that kind of strife in person. But after three episodes, I was beginning to feel a bit of dreaded ho-hum-ness in the workroom, a fear that this season would fail to produce anyone with a big ole personality to keep us entertained. What we saw last night was far from a smack-down. It wasn’t even worthy of the wimpiest of my cats’ hiss-filled wrestling matches. But I’ll take what I can get.

As more than a few of you predicted in your comments last week, the models became the clients this time around. And if we were to look at the episode like an after-school special chock full of poignant messages to grow on (why wouldn’t we?), the lesson learned would be this: Working as a fashion-industry glamazon doesn’t necessarily mean you know anything about high fashion. The only designers who emerged from the workroom with their dignity intact were the ones who understood this fact.

It was up to the models to articulate what kind of party dress they had in mind, and their words ran the gamut from indecisive to clueless. Louise’s model, Fatma — the one who’s been branded the villain — hoped for a bright red color scheme. Louise thought this was too garish for an event hyped as some kind of de facto coming-out ball, so she politely nixed the idea and went with elegant black. (It turned out beautifully, by the way. That, Qristyl, is how you make a LBD!) Epperson heroically waded through the gibberish of Matar’s vision that read like a stolen line from a poetry slam: ”flowy-strong-punk-cocktail-tiger.” Huh? Meanwhile, as Logan dealt with a Smurf prom dress/lacy, leathery 1950s look (wha?), Shirin smartly held her ground with Ebony, who wanted — you’d better sit down for this one — a royal blue and gold satin jumpsuit. Listen, Ebony, we’re all for you making a ”statement.” But trust us, you don’t want said statement to be: ”Greetings, earthlings. Care to join me at Comic-Con?”

NEXT: Three would be the magic number…if they were all there