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'Project Runway' recap: 'Lace to the Finish'

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Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Project Runway

type:
TV Show
performer:
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen
broadcaster:
Lifetime
seasons:
15
Current Status:
In Season

If you are one of those people who is bothered by the word “panty,” this is not the episode for you. That word must have been uttered nearly 100 times. And “vagina” was right there along with it. That’s right: It’s a lingerie challenge. (Who knew Lifetime could show so much butt!?)

The designers meet Heidi on the runway and are informed that not only will they be designing for the biggest critic on this show (“moi”), they’ll also be designing for her collection. Did you know Heidi Klum has an intimates collection? Now you know. The challenge is to create a set inspired by that collection — and the winning look will be reproduced for sell on Heidi’s website.

Cue everyone panicking. Jake is “scared” of intimates, and Blake straight up doesn’t know where the vagina is, plus he doesn’t even usually wear underwear himself — which is TMI, according to Tim Gunn. And follow that cue with Blake’s “I’m Not Smart” Moment of the Week: He has to ask the room where to place the panties because he has no idea where a woman’s vagina is.

The men think the women will have an advantage because they wear intimates, but that’s quickly proved not true. None of these designers have experience making lingerie. Everyone in the room is struggling, but no one more so than Lindsey, who somehow stabs herself in the hand with her scissors. The medic tells her she’ll need to go get a tetanus shot and stitches, which means she’ll be away from the workroom for quite some time. Luckily, it ends up only being three hours and she’s pretty much in the same design status as everyone else: nowhere.

When Heidi and Tim come to do their critiques, they are incredibly harsh. Heidi says over and over she can’t believe it’s been five hours. She calls Edmond “Captain Tacky,” tells Joseph his look is once again “matronly,” and asks Candice where the whip is to go with her look. Okay, Heidi, we get it. You’re a harsh critic.

Unsurprisingly the feedback she gives them is motivating because a lot of them scrap their looks and start all over. Jake being one of them: He has to take his training bra up in sophistication — but in his defense, he doesn’t know “the difference between a 16-year-old’s bra and a 36-year-old’s bra.”

However no one can continue on because Heidi wants to see them on the runway in 10 minutes. When they get down there, they see pillows, blankets, mattresses, slippers, pajamas, and more. It’s a Project Runway sleepover! (Don’t question why — just go with it!) The designers now have to make a cover-up in addition to the lingerie set, but they’ll get extra time because they can just go down to the workroom to sleep instead of commuting to their fancy NYC dorm rooms (which have yet to be name-dropped this season… 44 West or something?).

For reasons I cannot fathom, the designers all put on pajamas and go back upstairs to work. Things go pretty seamlessly the rest of the evening: They have model fittings, wherein Blake’s model can’t tell the difference between the front and the back of the panties he’s made (not a good sign) and puts them on backward. But then it’s off to the runway bed.

And then the best thing ever happens: A pajama-bedecked Tim Gunn comes to wake up the designers. Again, I cannot explain why, but it makes me so happy nonetheless. Using his lantern (????), he guides the designers back to the workroom where he says, essentially, “Go brush your teeth and then get your models ready.”

NEXT: A skin-filled runway[pagebreak]

As most designers are putting on finishing touches, Blake still doesn’t have a finished bra and hasn’t even started a cover-up. Tim is yelling time, so Blake rips apart a piece of fabric and ties it around his model’s waist. This can’t be good.

This week’s guest judge is Bella Thorne. I was prepared to make a joke about how a Disney Channel star shouldn’t be judging a lingerie challenge, but damn! Her critiques are so detailed — she really nails it. Let’s talk about what she and the other judges say of these barely there looks.

Swapnil wanted to weave Heidi’s style with his own, and he did that through an elegant and sophisticated wedding bondage look. And while that sounds strange, the look is what Heidi calls a “showstopper.” Swapnil had a small problem of not having enough of the straps in the color he needed, and Bella calls him out on it. Nina thinks it’s out of the box, and Zac says it’s “the wow” of the runway. Will Swapnil finally get his win!? (Spoiler: no.)

I honestly could not tell you if Laurie‘s look was in the top or the bottom. Heidi and Nina like the bra with the knot detail, but everyone hates the panties. I’m very confused by them — does Laurie actually wear underwear herself? Because I don’t know any women in 2015 who would wear them.

Merline was the only designer who didn’t use a bra form to create her look. She went with lace and trim and created her own, architectural bra. It’s definitely suitable for someone with a smaller chest, but it’s still great. Zac says it’s sexy, empowered, and fun. And Nina and Bella think it could be great to wear under a sheer blouse. (Can people really pull off that look in real life? Asking for a friend.)

There are elements about Jake‘s bra that the judges appreciate, but the muffin-top-causing bottoms land him straight on the bottom. It’s pretty hard to give a muffin-top to a size 0, but somehow Jake accomplished it. It doesn’t help that his cover-up is just a strip of fabric — which he honestly fesses up to a problem with time management.

Blake explains his look by saying, “It’s my first time working — or even seeing — women’s intimates.” Zac and Heidi rightfully lose it. They say he needs to know these things if he wants to be a fashion designer. Blake mumbles that he designs for women who don’t wear bras. “Good luck,” says Zac Posen and women everywhere.

It was in the middle of this critique that I wondered if Bella Thorne is secretly an intimates designer. How does she know so much!?

Ashley‘s lingerie set used a combination of gray and purple, which Nina loves. She says it’s sporty yet feminine. The cover-up, one of the few to be completed, looks well done. For some strange reason, Heidi asks to see the model’s butt in the middle of the runway critique. Zac says it’s a “grand slam” (the look, not the butt).

Winner: Merline

Out: Blake

Blake definitely had the worst look and probably needed to go, but his sticking up for Ashley really got to me last week. I was a bit sad to see him go. What did you all think? And was Merline the right win? AND do you think they could have said “panty” one more time!?

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