If you’re feeling déjà vu, don’t worry — you’re not alone. Project Runway season 14 is indeed having a second unconventional challenge. The first time around didn’t offer too many crazy textiles for the designers to work with, but this one definitely made up for it. Now whether this season needed a second unconventional is debatable, but the results were undeniable: It was one of the best runways of the season so far.
It started with the designers waking up to boom boxes and cassette tapes in their living rooms. Now that Blake is gone, all of them are old enough to know what a cassette tape is, so they put it in and press play. The voice of Heidi Klum tells them that they will be diving into their next challenge. So they head out to an unknown location… which ends up being a very trendy-looking junkyard in Queens. Tim and Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider are there to greet them.
Anne explains that the designers are going to merge the world of technology and fashion. And in what are probably the most clear challenge instructions all season, Tim tells them that they will use this outdated technology to create a modern, fashionable look. Lindsey puts aside her germaphobia, and they all go after junk to fill up their shopping carts. Up for the taking are VHS tapes, computer and phone cables, floppy discs, Rolodexes, vinyl records, and more things we once thought cool.
Once their carts are full, they have to push them back to the workroom. (As some of you mentioned in the comments, the designers are no longer in Manhattan — so it’s not like they had to go THAT far.)
Back at the workroom, everyone is cutting, ripping, and tearing things apart. However, not everyone is enjoying themselves. Lindsey notices that Jake is quieter than usual; she chalks it up to him almost going home last week. But when Tim comes in to give instructions, we learn the real story: Jake pulls him aside and explains that his dog needs to be put down.
Jake gets emotional, Tim gets emotional, everyone who’s ever owned a dog or seen Marley & Me gets emotional. Jake tells Tim that he’s going to go home rather than stay and have a “lifetime of regret.” I’m going to hold all sarcasm here and leave it to y’all in the comments: Did Jake make the right choice?
Everyone says their goodbyes to Jake and gets back to work. As Tim does his critiques, he has lots of strong opinions as usual. He doesn’t like Laurie’s mousepad look, he says Joseph isn’t thinking of the materials first, and he calls Merline’s look “Big Bird-ish.” God bless him. He also tells Kelly that she’s created a new “paillette” with her metal tubing. He says it about 1,000 times, and she has no idea what it means, but she just nods her head in agreement. (Luckily for us, the Project Runway editors give us a chyron to tell us it’s shiny, decorative trimming.)
Tim tells the designers that this has the makings to be one of the best unconventional challenges in Runway history. Only runway day will tell — and it doesn’t take long for that to arrive since it’s yet another one-day challenge. The morning of, Swapnil is taking his time, making a micro-miniskirt because he ran out of time taking too many smoke breaks.
NEXT: A garbage runway (almost literally)