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Project Runway recap: Steamed

Johnny’s big tale of a steamer gone bad ticks off even Tim but it can’t overshadow some of the fabulous newspaper outfits that come down the runway

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Nicolas Putvinski
Mike Yarish/Lifetime Networks

Project Runway

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

‘Project Runway’ recap: You lie!

Really, Project Runway? Really?! The mid-season mark is upon us and Nina and Michael are still M.I.A.? I hate to kick off this week’s TV Watch with a complaint, but I can’t help myself. Yes, Heidi’s doing a fine job steering the ship while her two compadres are elsewhere, but Frau Klum with a rotating array of special guests is not nearly as entertaining as Frau Klum with Señora Don’t Bore Me and Sir Quips A Lot. Frankly, I’m not sure how much longer I can take this nonsense. Yet from the teaser for the next episode, it looks like I’ll have no choice but to endure it for at least another week. I ask you, Runway fans, what have we done to deserve this? Have we not been loyal? Have our hearts not been true? Why? Why?

Okay, I exaggerate. But it’s late and I’m still catching up from sleep I lost covering the Toronto film festival, so forgive me. And let me now proceed to look on the bright side, which, all things considered, is nothing to sneeze at. After four weeks of let’s-sew-up-pretty-things-from-pretty-fabrics!, last night, Runway finally dipped into the true test of a designer’s mettle: the non-traditional material challenge. Instead of just another trip to Mood, Tim whisked the group off to the printing press of the L.A. Times, where he explained that the order of the day was to create a look from the stacks and stacks of newsprint. They had five different ”palettes” to choose from (i.e. various sections of the paper) and one day to complete the task. Oh, it is on!

As the designers got down to getting their hands newsprint-smudged, Nicolas further cemented his reputation as Season 6’s Head Bitch by ragging on his rivals. Johnny and Irina, he proclaimed, no longer deserved to be in the competition. (Interesting that he’d pick those two, eh?) Irina, meanwhile, seemed unable to let Althea’s recent win go un-scorned-upon. Following up on her no-one’s-looks-like-crap-but-Althea’s-looks-like-crap commentary from last week, she deemed the victory was not ”well earned.” Well, it just so happens that I attended a Project Runway party for New York Fashion Week last night and I had the pleasure of seeing Althea’s and the other winning designs up close and in person. I can say unequivocally that hers was beautifully tailored and deserved its place in the Runway hall of fame. As did Christopher’s season premiere victor, which was even more gorgeous in person. (Oh and Althea in person? She’s easily as tall as some of those models.)

But back to the subject at hand. After Nicolas (who, incidentally, my husband constantly refers to as ”Toby” because he thinks he’s a dead ringer for American Splendor’s Toby ”Genuine Nerd” Radloff — discuss!) compared chatterbox Shirin to ”an 11-year-old who doesn’t shut up” and Logan marveled that he’d never met such a small woman who made so much noise, Tim waltzed in to do his stop-and-chat with each designer. As always, some fared better than others, but none got dinged worse than Johnny. Here he was, beaming with (misguided) pride for his origami’ed flock of winged creatures hovering on the shoulder of his ghastly red gown. But Tim was having none of it. ”It may look like the birds attacked the dress,” he said. Uh-oh. Paging Alfred Hitchcock.

NEXT: A feeding frenzy