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Project Runway recap: Ugly Dolls

With their final collections, one contestant stuns, another chokes; Tim continues being Tim in spite of a bloody accident

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Helen Castillo
Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Project Runway

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

At the rate we’re going, I kept anticipating a twist that would allow all five remaining designers to compete at Fashion Week. “Helen, Justin, and Alexandria, you’re all in!” That didn’t quite end up happening, but it was close.

Tim gave the designers $9,000 and six measly weeks to create a 10-look collection for spring — and one of the looks had to be made with an unconventional material, which Heidi stressed couldn’t be anything resembling real fabric.

Hometown Visits (to borrow a phrase from The Bachelor) are always my favorite episodes because we get to see Tim travel the globe while wearing three-piece suits. Why doesn’t the Tim action figure exist yet? It should talk and come with a pull-string — the youth of America would learn so many new words.

First, Tim visited the Philadelphia restaurant where Dom works as a hostess to check on her progress. It was good meeting Dom’s single mother Tammy, but I was distracted by how good that soul food looked. All this time, Dom hadn’t disclosed to her family that she had one of the guaranteed spots at Fashion Week until Tim broke the news. I expected a Lifetime lawyer to jump out of the bushes.

At the beautiful loft studio that she was renting, Dom showed Tim her retro-futurist designs, which were inspired by the film Blade Runner. Good reference, Dom! As Dom explained, the retro-futurist aesthetic centers on angular lines meeting curved lines, which made their way onto the prints that she designed. Tim was very concerned that the prints still weren’t ready and that Dom hadn’t made enough of her looks yet. She really needed to start cranking out the pieces.

Then Tim flew across the country to Los Angeles to drop in on Bradon, whose theme took the “Spring” collection directive a little too literally for my taste. He was inspired by surviving dead-cold upstate New York winters and then seeing crocuses push up through the snow (that’s the most phallic thing I’ve ever heard). All that’s to say: He wants to do florals. For a spring collection. Wow.

Still, Tim found some “knockouts” in Bradon’s collection, and he approved of the use of clothesline and painter’s plastic as unconventional materials. Not for nothing, but Bradon’s partner Josh is super-cute, and so was their story of stalking each other at Juilliard.

NEXT: Alexandria’s “ugly dolls” get at the soul of Project Runway designers…


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