Barbara Nitke

Nobody wants to make swimwear

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October 10, 2016 at 08:23 PM EDT

There are certain challenges that strike fear in the heart of every Project Runway designer, and the swimsuit challenge is definitely among them. When Heidi announces they’ll be working on a swimsuit and cover-up for her collection, the designers do not look pleased. Tim even feels the need to check on Cornelius, who looks shell-shocked. He says he’s never done swimwear — but none of the designers have aside from maybe Roberi.

In addition to the swimsuit and cover-up, they also must create their own print and textile. Heading straight to the workroom, they all work on their textiles with some sponsor whose name I didn’t write down (sorry, sponsor). Dexter wants a snake print; Brik is, fittingly, using bricks; Roberi uses macaw bird feathers; Jenni is doing a purple mandala; Tasha wants Rasta colors and shapes; Rik is doing a black-and-white check; and Sarah is using an image of a retro girl lying on a beach towel made into stripes.

Not so sure about that last one. Let’s have Sarah explain this more: She’s designing for a girl who is going to a pool party who isn’t swimming but is “hanging out by the smoked meats.” I really would like to know what kind of pool parties Sarah goes to.

With their prints designed, they go to Mood, where they have $100 to spend in supplemental fabrics and supplies. Tim informs them it’s Swatch’s birthday — and Roberi says, “You deserve a meat-filled cake” to the pup. What is with the meat obsession this episode?

The designers are all struggling as they get to work, which is apparently unusual for Cornelius (“I rarely struggle”). By the time Tim and Heidi come for critique, a few people look like they want to throw in the towel. And by the time “Hurricane Heidi” (thank you, Alex) comes through, they really feel defeated.

Heidi’s critiques aren’t as tough as we’ve seen them in season’s past, but she doesn’t necessarily hold back either. She is “really scared” by Dexter’s snake eye swim-top; she tells Sarah her whole look is thrown together; and she tells Jenni she’s not “plugged in.” On the other hand, she gives Rik a “wowza” on his print and she’s really into Roberi’s prints.

It’s not hard to tell the few she’s a fan of, but there are so many people having issues, it’s really hard to tell who is going to be the bottom three. And the next morning, the situation hasn’t gotten any better. People all across the room are having fit issues with their models. There are a lot of “hungry butts” walking around (thank you, again, Alex).

Poor Tasha is sewing up until the minute Tim calls time, but somehow she and everyone else get their models clothed and out the door. Now let’s see if they can keep covered as they walk down the runway…

NEXT: “No one wants the drama of a labia on the runway”

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