As your Project Runway recapper, it’s my job to tell you guys what happened on the show. I’m going to be honest—I’m struggling this week. With Blake mumbling every sentence that comes out of his mouth, the all-over-the-place challenge directions, and the once again confusing top and bottom looks, I’m just a little lost. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
The confusion started when Heidi told the designers that the challenge was “on the horizon” and then the designers ended up on the docks of Long Island City, where they met the Mary Kay global makeup artist, who said it was a Mary Kay challenge. Tim tells them to take classic pieces—such as the pencil skirt, the wrap dress, and the trench coat—and put a modern spin on them. Because Mary Kay is all about modern! And so is New York City! I really can’t figure out the connection between all this. But the designers don’t mind because a Marie Claire feature and $5,000 is on the line for the win.
And I quickly brushed away the confusion because… first trip to Mood! And Mood got new neon see-through bags! It’s an exciting day. A day in which the designers have nine hours to complete their designs. A day in which they also have consultations with Tim, the Mary Kay guy, and their models (and let’s be honest—probably meetings with producers for confessional filming as well). How these designers get anything done is beyond me. But in the nine hours—or six, if you ask Blake—they have to throw it all together.
A very short time goes by before Tim is already back for his critiques. Candice tells him about her leather dress and belted jacket. He thinks it’s great. Amanda thinks it’s garbage. She says Candice’s “strategy” is to come off super polished when “she really is mediocre.” Is there anything better than a middling designer trying to bring down a really great designer? No, there is not—that’s why we watch this show.
Anyway, Tim keeps making his way around the workroom until he gets to Gabrielle. Gabrielle had an interesting strategy this week. She sketched her design, started hating it, then just sat around and waited until Tim could come in and either a) confirm that it was a bad design or b) say it was great so she would have the confidence to continue. According to the edit we saw, she didn’t really get either, but she took his vague comments as the confidence she needed to continue.
Amanda is also struggling this week. I think the poor woman mostly just needs sleep, but her visit with Tim “rejuvenated” her, so that’s enough to keep her going on her weird wrap dress. Through the critiques we also learn that Edmond is working on an “I’m Your Baby Tonight” Whitney Houston zip-up jumpsuit AND an Annie Lennox dress, but Tim likes the jumpsuit better; Kelly is upgrading a basic white T-shirt—which isn’t exactly “runway,” but still looks very cool; Joseph tells us, and Tim, that Mood has a scuba section (what!?); and Blake can’t describe his look. He said he’s used to professors telling him no, but he doesn’t care…. that’s not surprising.
The time in the workroom continues on with lots of model fit problems and lots of Blake saying catty things in confessional about the other designers. Last week Jake and Joseph stepped up a bit in the villain role, but it looks like Blake is right back in his rightful place. Which I’m sure he’s happy about—someone who pretends to not know time wants to be in the spotlight, no matter the reason. At least I think he can’t tell time, I couldn’t exactly understand what he was mumbling about.
NEXT: Started from the bottom and Amanda’s still there…[pagebreak]
The morning of the challenge, Gabrielle breaks the serger and no one knows how to fix it and Blake bleeds on the neckline of his model’s dress. These season 14 designers have had pretty disastrous runway mornings so far. Yet as always, the designers finally get their models prepped and take their seats before the judges panel, which includes adorable guest Kiernan Shipka. It’s weeks like this I wonder: Do the guest judges’ scores actually count for anything? I mean, Kiernan is very smart for a 15-year-old—but she’s also a 15-year-old. It seems a little nuts that she would help decide the fate of people who are designers for a living, right?
Maybe I’m just mad that Edmond was using a headlight in the workroom and no one explained why. But moving on: Merline, Ashley, Joseph, Edmond, Laurie, Kelly, and Jake are all safe. (I would like to point out that Jake’s sequined jersey dress is safe, and I don’t know why.) The rest of the designs were critiqued as so…
Heidi looooooves to play the “Do you think you are high or low?” She’s already done it once to Blake; he said high, she said low. This time it’s the other way around. She loves it. Zac loves it. Nina loves it (even though she was confused by the back being held up by the model’s ponytail). Kiernan loves it. And I have to admit: I don’t hate it. It’s very poorly put together, but Blake did take a chance with a new silhouette, and innovation is always rewarded on Project Runway.
Swapnil‘s original idea was to take a little black dress and jazz it up. It was full in the front and completely open in the back. Originally he had faux silver leather he was going to add, and luckily Tim stopped him from going Vegas showgirl. Thank goodness Swapnil’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspiration actually was New York (if that indeed mattered to the challenge—who knows!?).
Blake said it looked as if Lindsey‘s customer was a cat lady who stayed at home and read books. Well, call me a cat lady because I kind of liked this! None of the judges are fans, though. They said the material was too heavy, the proportions were off, and it doesn’t look fresh. Sweet little Kiernan tried to give her a somewhat positive critique, which I actually really appreciated. Maybe the judges should learn a lesson from her kindness.
Gabrielle blamed the problem of her underdress on the broken serger and bad scissors (why would you bring bad scissors on Project Runway!?), but she had no missteps with the jacket, which was half the problem. I’m not sure what a “tent coat” is, but when Gabrielle mentioned that in her initial sketch voice-over, I wrote “oh no” in my notes. And that’s exactly what happened: a big “oh no” moment, which Nina called “mumsy.”
Amanda is 3/4 for bottom looks so far on season 14—which makes Zac saying “not your finest moment” all the worse. She was going for a new take on the wrap dress, but ended up with a strange maternity dress. Nina said there was no New York skyline inspiration. Again, was this supposed to be part of the challenge? I’m going to need one of you to explain this to me in the comments.
Even though this is a blind runway, Heidi knew this was Candice‘s look as it went down the runway. That’s a good thing—she’s already defined her voice and style in four weeks on the show. Heidi loves the hair, the makeup, the dress, the jacket, all of it. Nina says it has great sculpturing and flattering lines. You’d think it’s a winner after all that great feedback, but…
What do you think of the judges’ decisions this week? Are you surprised Amanda is safe after being in the bottom three weeks running? Were you confused, like me, with the all-over-the-place challenge? Or maybe Amanda and I both just need to get some sleep.