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Emmys 2017
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Project Runway recap: Finding Inspiration

The designers are paired up and have to do two looks (high fashion and low end) but with a twist

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Project Runway Anthony
Lifetime Television

Project Runway

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

Raise your hand if following the logic of crisscrossing teams and designs last night made your head spin like a Tilt-A-Whirl at Ping’s potato party county fair. Here’s this team creating a second look, inspired by that team’s first look! One’s high-end and the other’s mass-market! And together, they have not a thing in common!

Pathetically, I had to make a diagram to keep track of who was designing what with whom. More on that sad fact in a moment. For now, let’s start with the first half of the show, in which the designers ogled classic gowns from YSL, Dior, and friends at the Met; greeted Tim’s announcement that this would be a team challenge (hello? It’s episode three, folks!) with the requisite UH-OH! (bonus points for histrionic groans and exaggerated bug-eyes); and finally crossed the Mood threshold, where they blew their $500 budget with glee. The biggest wad of cash in Runway history. Let’s hear it for the deep pockets of Lifetime.

Of course Jesse was going to get stuck with Ping. At the top of the hour, he expressed dismay that the Kooky One survived the last challenge. And of course the two of them were going to get along about as well as my cat Miko did with the mouse that appeared in our kitchen while I was on vacation. (Sorry, Aly.) All Ping had to do to bring out Jesse’s inner scary man, it seemed, was lay out some fabric at Mood while asking about pattern-cutting, and before you could say ”anger management,” he punched the palm of his own hand with startling force. And this was before we saw Ping flitting about the store like a lost toddler, calling out ”Jesse! Jesse!”, searching for her sketch pad, and almost losing the $500 in cash. I don’t doubt that working with someone as bonkers as Ping would be frustrating, but next time, Jesse, let’s take a deep breath and count to 10, shall we? Serenity now!

On day two, Tim appeared in the workroom to share with the designers what I can only hope they were savvy enough to have guessed: Yep, they’d have to crank out a second look, this one inspired by an opposing team’s design. It would be a ”look for less” (ahhhh! unwanted Elisabeth Hasselbeck flashbacks!), made for just $50. Here’s how it shook out:

Ping & Jesse –> had to find inspiration chez Emilio & Anna

Janeane & Ben –> Mila & Jonathan

Jay & Maya –> Janeane & Ben

Mila & Jonathan –> Anthony & Seth ”Where’s my brown sugar?” Aaron (ick)

Anthony & Seth –> Jesus & Amy

Jesus & Amy –> Ping & Jesse

Emilio & Anna –> Maya & Jay

Got that? This particular twist added an extra dimension of difficulty to the challenge, since whipping together a mass-market look inspired by your own high-flyin’ design is (to throw in a Randy Jackson attempt at mathematics) a billion and a half percent simpler than trying to plumb your opponents’ garments for ideas. I felt particular sympathy for Amy, since the highly talented gal not only got stuck with two-time bottom-dweller Jesus, but with him, she also had to work off of Ping and Jesse’s creation. And we all knew how Ping’s was gonna look: like her model threw on some Special Grecian Edition drapes from Linens N’ Things. Doubly foiled, Amy was.

NEXT: Mila wins on her mod separates