In the show's weepiest episode ever, Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker visits and gives the contestants a whopping $15 to design something for her clothing line


”Project Runway”: Sarah Jessica Parker visits

Please excuse me, Runway fans, as I pause to wipe away my tears. Actually, I’m not even sure I can write this TV Watch without drenching my keyboard in salty drops of emotion.

Ah, I kid. But last night’s episode was hilariously teary. And surprisingly, the first dam to burst wasn’t even Ricky. It was Chris, who gotverklemmt when Tim Gunn revealed the ”pop culture/fashion icon” guest judge to be none other than style maven extraordinaire Sarah Jessica Parker. Weeping, Chris said he was a huge SJP fan. And if that wasn’t enough to warm your hearts, then surely the sight of him clamming up in front of her while pitching his ideas did the trick. I defy anyone to convince me that Chris is not growing more adorable each week.

SJP was an inspired choice. I’m just surprised it took this long for Bravo to think of it. To judge from the contestants’ reactions, the prospect of designing for Parker’s Bitten line (albeit on a $15 budget) was tantamount to being offered the chance to run naked through Mood Fabrics with unlimited store credit. ”We were flipping like…You just can’t imagine,” said ”Carmen-like-the-opera, Webber-like-the-baller,” doing zilch to reverse the stereotype of the inarticulate (former) model. Ricky, of course, quickly joined the soggy chorus, sniffling, ”The first challenge, I feel like I sucked.” (Oh, Ricky, you’re too hard on yourself. You merely stank last week.) Then there was Elisa. RGL (that’s Rain Goddess Lady) appeared immune to the dizzying charms of celebrity. But maybe that’s because on her planet of grass stains and spit marks, SJP is still known as the awkward, frizzy-haired teen from Square Pegs.

And besides, Elisa was too busy opining about ”polymorphic” clothing to get starstruck. I was sure that her esoteric mumbo-jumbo would turn Parker off. But no, when it came time for the Sex and the City star to announce the seven designers to lead teams of two, RGL was the first one she named. And as soon as Sweet P told us, ”I love to work in teams, but I definitely want to be on a good team,” it was clear she’d get stuck with Elisa. After RGL explained that she spits on her material to ”imbibe it with energy and essence,” Sweet P crossed herself. And I nearly spat a mouthful of water on my colleague Jessica Shaw, with whom I had the pleasure of watching this episode.

I will say this of Elisa: As far out as she is on her ”happy planet” (as Sweet P called it), she was smart enough to let her partner rein in her poly-foolishness. Their minidress and cape ensemble was chic — and mercifully devoid of exploding-fabric potty accidents in the rear. Frankly, as long as Elisa refrains from explaining, Vincent-style, that a garment ”gets me off” or ”turns me on,” she can spend the entire season sermonizing on the creative powers of her third eye for all I care.

Christian, meanwhile, continued the bratty posturing from last week. When Tim dropped by his and Carmen’s station and rightly questioned aspects of their skintight turquoise dress and black motocross-style jacket, Christian retorted, ”I think it’s perfect….It’s definitely hot.” Then he went on to brag about how ”fierce” it was. (He’s obviously an abuser of this term. So I’ve officially begun a ”fierce” count for the season. I believe with last week, we’re up to 3.) Despite his prediction that he’d wind up in the top two, little Chrissy landed in the bottom two. The judges didn’t dig his retro ’80s look, which SJP deemed too severe. Also a no-no: The outfit would never work for any woman bigger than a size 2. SJP stated very plainly that Bitten is all about a we’re beautiful in all shapes and sizes ethos. (Thanks for that, girlfriend!) But Christian, who looks like he could wear a junior’s size 0 with room to squeeze in a pet poodle or two, just didn’t seem to care.

NEXT: A tragic look

The reality of women’s bodies is a recurring problem on PR. Time and again, designers — particularly the male ones — fail to understand how clothing should fit the female form. Last night, Christian had company in the ill-fitting doghouse, though Marion and Steven got sent there for different reasons. Their oversize knit poncho/sweater dress/shapeless tunic with a fringed hem was ghastly. For Michael Kors, it was reminiscent of Cousin It. (Let’s not besmirch Pocahontas’ legacy by repeating Kors’ other description.) The fabric was heavy, the color was drab, the proportions were off. It was tragic — literally. Looking as if she just might join Chris, Ricky, and Carmen (yes, gal apparently has a heart!) in the waterworks, Heidi told Marion, ”Your look left us very sad.” Not as sad as he felt upon getting the auf Wiedersehen.

It was the right choice — not to mention one of the easiest bootings to predict. Poor, sweet, little, introverted Marion. He’d had so little screen time that I could barely remember his name or what his first design looked like. (Maybe because it was fugly?) At least Marion took full responsibility for the failed creation, sparing his partner, Steven. Who? You know, he’s the one with the semi-creepy demeanor who can’t say anything without squinting his eyes. Oh, and in other forgettable-contestant news: Jillian’s the one with the curly dark hair.

Last week, the spelling of a certain cast member’s name struck me as slightly annoying and attention grabbing. But now that she’s won a challenge, I might have to rethink that. Could it be that Victorya, a self-professed competitive overachiever, is so hell-bent on victory that she can’t be bothered with the traditional spelling of her name? Either way, her adorable swing dress and plaid vest deserved to win. True, she’s now made two short black dresses in a row. But it’s too early to accuse her of having an Uli-like limited range. Plus, both of her frocks impressed the judges.

As for Kevin — i.e., the guy who made the busted, Jessica McClintock-meets-Sunset Boulevard-hooker-prom dress last week — dude lucked out by getting paired with Victorya. Especially since, early in the episode, he did himself no favors when he left SJP’s outstretched hand awkwardly unshaken after his pitch meeting. Look, Kevin. I know you’re the macho straight guy and all, but that’s no excuse for bad manners.

Now to you, PR fans. Will you join me in warmly welcoming Elisa to Earth? What do you suppose next week’s ”most difficult challenge ever!” will be? And — horrors! — did my ears deceive me or did the previews show Michael Kors plagiarizing himself by saying, ”The crotch on those pants is insane,” just like he did last season?

Episode Recaps


Project Runway

Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano guide undiscovered designers through the harrowing rites of fashion.

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