Project Runway Recap: Boys On The Side

It’s the eighth episode of Project Runway, and sadly I am super over this season of catty queens, annoying team challenges, lack of ingenuity, and judges who are treating this like a popularity contest instead of a design competition. But with Tim Gunn as my lighthouse, I will carry on. This week’s episode was an unconventional model challenge and some of the designers displayed the charisma of the wad of tissues they were using to wipe their crying eyes after being told they had to dress *gasp* REAL WOMEN. Ugh. Fashion is just so not about people and their weird sticky-outy appendages! Boobs are the enemy of the effete gay-kind!

The designers meet Heidi Klum on the runway where she announces there will be no models for this challenge and a parade of men troop out. The designers have a series of strokes and Eyebrows McSequins gloats about how he actually does menswear?! Ummm… do most men want to wear manks with zippers and neon stripes!?

Heidi announces there will be no more immunity going forward, but since Anya won immunity last week, she gets to choose her man-model first. Then they draw names from the button bag. Joshua chooses Joshua and Olivier expresses his displeasure about fatties – fatties are allowed to exist, but not where fashion is concerned. The designers and their men meet Tim back at the workroom, where he reveals the challenge is actually to create a look for the men’s better halves – who will be serving as the models for this challenge with the men consulting on the designs!


The designers interview the very clueless male partners who apparently have never observed anything their significant others wear if it isn’t in the lingerie category! The men accompany the designers to Mood to help select fabric, then it’s back to the workroom where the women-models arrive to give their two-cents.

Olivier has a complete fear of the female anatomy – specifically boobies! So he gets Suzanne and her DD’s. Back in the workroom, Oliver has another challenge – he really doesn’t know how to work with clients and just wants them to “shut up.” Because of this Olivier gets an out-spoken, opinionated couple who really want to collaborate. Remember, Olivier only does his aesthetic – no matter how much people dislike it! Oliver has lots of issues with Suzanne, whose style seems more Dynasty, than: drab, sad, muted, with weird complicated details. Olivier decides to make her some sort of orgami-style top (and she asks for a flowy sleeve attached!) with TERRIBLY fitting MC Hammer Pants that gave her perma-wedgie. He’s just so annoyed – all he wants to do is make clothes for non-speaking, flat-chested persons, dammit! Olivier also works incredibly slow, which is troublesome for his high-energy couple! Tim critiqued the colors as “crayon,” and is very concerned.

Joshua’s Josh keeps pushing simple for his girlfriend Charlene, but McSequins keeps pushing lace. Joshua eventually compromises with a low back, but conservative front with lace details. And shockingly he was able to get his bedazzler surgically removed long enough to create a dress that doesn’t look like an explosion of the discount bead bin at Michael’s. Seriously – he is like Edward Scissorhands with a bedazzler and a glue gun attached to each wrist! He tried to schlep on some metallic squares he bought when partner Josh wasn’t looking, but model Charlene put her foot down wisely. I like a girl who knows her look – even when that girl is Joshua M! – you can take the girl out of the sequins, but you can’t take the sequins out of the girl!

Bert’s designer is obsessed with boobs. His only requirement is that his wife’s ample assets be fully displayed. His wife, on the other hand, doesn’t want to be arrested for indecent exposure, but she’s ok with a decent amount of cleavage AND a mini skirt! Oh boy…

Laura’s client is adorable and wants to be Barbie! And Laura does too, so match made in cheesy Heaven! Anthony Ryan is replicating his client’s wife’s favorite red dress that was lost in an airport, but it’s not really his aesthetic.

Bryce ended up with a couple who LOVES pink! Bryce’s material looks a little anti-diarrhea medicine, according to Viktor, so Bryce dyes it a deeper hot pink. He struggles through making decisions about constructing the dress until he is very low on time and has to basically throw something together.

The designers are rushing to finish and Bryce ends up remaking his dress at the last minute and Olivier has to completely re-stitch his pants so his poor model doesn’t have a wedgie on the runway. Olivier and Kimberly end up sewing until the last second when Tim demands needles down!

The guest judge is actress Malin Ackermann, who was actually very talkative and provided a lot of ‘I would wear that(s)’.

Ok, let’s trash discuss some looks!

Laura: The bodice with the off-kilter strap was basically a direct replica of Vivienne Westwood, but I loved it. The color is gorgeous on her model and it moved beautifully on the runway, but the hankerchief hemline was distractingly variant. The drastically different lengths looked sloppy and combined with the intricate bodice, it was too much going on. Basically you want your eyes to know where to look and if the bottom was a little less chaotic we would look directly at the most interesting portion of the dress. This dress screams RHOC – could you not see Tamra Barney rocking this?

Kimberly: Her model loved this and was working it to high heaven on the runway – which is great! This fit well and the detail at the neckline which was interesting, but I think the skirt was tooo short and tight. I though there was too much tight in general and then the big explosion neckline. I am not loving this look, but you can see the elements of Kimberly coming out which was nice. She clearly worked well with her clients and worked hard to integrate her perspectives with their ideas.

Olivier: This looked better than I was expecting, but it was SO matronly and unflattering! His model, despite all the issues, sold this look and did an excellent job. The colors were so drab and although I liked the cigarette style hammer pant in theory, they were poorly constructed with a wonky crotch.The distracting tea-stained color, used napkin effect of the shirt hanging over the hip was too much volume going on in one area. I just don’t think this look excelled at all. The tailoring of the shirt was nice, but the pants killed it. Really, he was spared because of last week’s jacket, which Michael was obsessive over.

Top Three:

Congratulations Eyebrows McSequins: This was glamorous, chic, and elegant – also timeless. Michael Kors called Charlene a “modern Grace Kelly” causing her to squeal. Michael, also, surprisingly liked Josh’s styling choices – a first – and was happy the shoe gave it some personality. Um… no. A teal pump was ridiculous – a different bright shoe, yes, but pumps, no – especially paired with the 1950s prom queen hair and make-up. Nina Garcia was thrilled and felt it could work in other colors, too. Nina was also impressed he edited, and felt he highlighted everything beautiful about his client’s body.

The judges were thrilled the sequins were absent, but the dress was still sassy. The clients were very happy. The fact that Joshua worked so well with his clients and was able to both deliver what they wanted and retain portions of his own aesthetic and vision demonstrates that his behavior during the team challenges was purely an act of someone who uses posturing, intimidation, and histrionics to get what they want by steamrolling over people.

Viktor: ADORABLE! This was modern, fun, and chic! I loved the skirt and she was SUCH a great model! The clients loved this and so did the judges. Heidi called it “very fashion” Malin praised the “beautiful lines.” Michael felt it was over accessorized and it distracted from the amazing look. Nina called it “charming” and felt it was nicely balanced, without being too girlie. The judges loved the color combination and liked that it was separates, but nixed the purse as “too much.”

Anya: This was costume-y, but because she can do no wrong in the eyes of the judges they failed to look at this objectively. The asymmetrical hemline on the skirt was over the top, unsophisticated, and choppy. The sleeve was just silly, but I loved the sheer piping and the belt. I thought the look was kind of all over the place – like your bathrobe got caught in something and you came out missing a sleeve and half the bottom! It looked haphazard and it was poorly constructed, she uses prints and accessories to hide construction issues – which is smart.

The print is done to death. Michael thought it was “memorable” and he liked the “culture clash” and Heidi thought it was unusual. Nina found the sleeve over-whelming. Malin loved it, called it bold but classy, and wanted to wear it WITH sleeve on the red carpet. Right now her stylist is having a conniption fit.

Bottom Three:

Auf Wiedersehen Bryce: What a cute sillouette that went horribly awry. This was very Narciso Rodriguez in style, but Nina was right to call it out on having “too many details,” and commented about “the dress was wearing [Janine] her.” I did love the idea of the pockets, and so did Malin, but they over-powered an already busy dress by being too voluminous at the hip and thigh. The windowpane back could have been stunning. The fit was a mess and the construction was terrible. This could have been a chic little summer dress, perfect for day-to-night, but the fabric was a wrinkled mess, the bust and back were gaping, it didn’t fit through the hip and skirt, and the pockets were like two albatrosses stapled to the front. Bryce’s clients were thrilled with this and felt he really listened to their wants. Agreed, he did. I liked the color and was shocked all the other designers were so worked up about the hue.

Anthony Ryan: 1970s Tennis Dress. This was incredibly uninspired – he went too far in meeting the clients’ demands and he knew it. Anthony was going for retro and the clients adored it! Heidi thought it looked a “little, little girl or a very old woman,” and wanted more sex appeal. Nina was concerned that the wide white belt made it look like the model had no waist. Michael dubbed it “superhero ice skater” and thought the quirky he was going for didn’t come off. Heidi called it “super safe and super boring” I guess the only super this dress wasn’t, was just plain super!

Bert: Bert’s clients loved this look and were confused about why they were on the bottom. They defended Bert through and through! Michael called it “very safe” and Nina thought it was a little Heidi “a little short, a little tight, and a little shiny.” All the judges felt it was a dress that could be found anywhere. I agree this was very generic, although the construction and fit were phenomenal. The shape was good for her figure and emphasized her breasts without being hoochie. But this was so simple and uninspired.

The client may have adored it, but the client generally has less of a grasp of fashion and style than the designer, which means Bert was the “expert” and should have done more to amp up this look. I wish he had gone a little further with it so it didn’t read “available at major retailers near you!” I did like the textile, but that wasn’t enough to carry this into the ‘interesting and worthy of a second look’ category.

During judges’ deliberation, Michael obsessed about Anya and her “gallerina” calling her look: “fashion with a capital F” and “the most runway thing” they had seen. Ummm… Michael is seeing some very different fashion from me! Heidi like the color of Bryce’s dress, but didn’t think that was enough to save it from being an over-all disaster. Michael got his manties in s bunch over B for Boring, Bert, and is tired of wanting more from him. I do want to see what Bert has – he seems the most technically proficient and he always, ALWAYS plays it safe! They were confused about who Anthony Ryan was dressing and thought it was “old person home.”

In the end, Eyebrows was chosen as the winner, and humble about it he was not, as he crowed about being the only person to have two wins under his belt. Bryce was sent to the workroom to clean up his space for his hot pink burlap sack dress with schlumpy pockets. Well if there is one thing you don’t want to show Heidi – it’s frumpy, dumpy, and sad! Lord knows she needs a bit of sass and flash to get her through the day.

Best of luck Bryce, let the Gaga inspire you!

Next week: GLAMBERT is the guest judge!! There are MORE TEAMS!! And this time they really do have to design for men, but the crotches are an issue.

Did you enjoy this challenge – kind of fun, no? Were you surprised Bryce was chosen over Anthony Ryan to go home? What did you think of Anya’s look?