Project Runway Season 20, Episode 5 Recap: Things Get Nasty

project runway season 20 episode 4 recap
Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/Bravo

When Project Runway got started this week, the challenge seemed fun. It was the first of its kind. Christian came up with the concept. The Season 20 All Stars would be tasked with creating a look that was distinctively them, all using the same bolt of deep red fabric. Kayne was feeling the pressure after landing in the bottom the week prior. But when the episode drew to a close, emotions got the better of a handful of designers. It was ugly to watch. Some of the behavior was downright nasty. Let’s dig into what could have been an excellent episode of Project Runway.

Brittany shares an emotional and inspiring story

project runway season 20 episode 4 recap
Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/Bravo

As the designers got to work, with around 10 yards of red fabric each, many of them came up with some daring ideas. One of the most unique was from Brittany, who wanted to go down the sportswear route. It’s not something one would immediately think of, but she has her reasons. Brittany reveals that in recent years, she suffered a stroke while on a flight. She couldn’t walk off of the plane, and after being taken to the hospital, was told that a blood clot had moved to her brain. Thankfully, she made a full recovery within six weeks. She puts a lot of that down to her newfound relationship with fitness.

As Christian walked around the room, he was fascinated by what Bishme had to offer. His sketches were certainly jaw-dropping, and he just hoped he would be able to execute it on the runway when all was said and done. Fabio, on the other hand, wasn’t ticking Christian’s boxes. “It’s a little safe,” the mentor opined. Still, Fabio wanted to stick to his guns. He had a vision, and was sure it would come to life.

Christian then told Rami that he was “pushing” him to do more. He recalled how “fast” he was at sewing, and wanted a more daring look. Kara Saun got a look of approval, as she was incorporating a reveal into her design. It would definitely make for a memorable moment on the runway if it came together properly. Meanwhile, Anna was going for ruffles, which is her signature. “What else can it be?” Christian asked. “Play around with it.” Anna looked terrified.

A treat for the designers, and a big prize

project runway season 20 episode 4 recap
Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/Bravo

Christian revealed that he would be taking the designers on a personal shopping trip. Not only that, but this week’s sponsor would be gifting the winner of the red bolt challenge a whopping $10,000! Christian joked that all they got when he was a contestant was Chinese food, and it immediately made me hungry for takeout.

After spending some money, the designers got back to the workroom for their final touches. The models also arrived for their fitting. Korto throws a little shade about Anna doing a look we’ve all seen before, and Kayne hops on the bandwagon. It seems light at the time, but it later becomes something much more.

Fabio is worried only about his own look. He sees that other people have done draping. Elsewhere, Hester asks Bishme for help; is there fit issues on their look? Not quite, but that might be the least of their troubles. “Don’t overthink it,” Bishme says. It’s too late anyway. On to hair and makeup, before the runway!

Nina is alarmed, which is never a good sign on Project Runway

project runway season 20 episode 4 recap
Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/Bravo

Judges Nina, Elaine, and Brandon are this week joined by special guest Lena Waithe. She’s a queer icon, and one of the most fashionable people to have ever graced the face of the planet, in my humble opinion. The show starts with a bang, but for Nina, fizzles into mediocrity. Not what you want on Project Runway!

Brittany’s look is first out. It’s runway ready, well-fitted, sexy, sensual, striking … all of the good words! She has nailed the challenge. Prajjé is next up, and his design flows really nicely. It’s not the most memorable, but it works well. Korto has a stunning weave design on the upper half of her outfit, and the way the pants move is kind of a moment.

Fabio is next up. His draping is exquisite, but the look is a safe one. Anna’s outfit is just not it for me. The ruffles sort of look like some of the padding you sometimes get in a parcel, dyed red. I don’t see any sort of shape in the design underneath the ruffles, and I’m just not loving it. Kara Saun, on the other hand, has an awesome offering. Despite not being able to do the reveal, because she underestimated the length of her model’s torso, it’s giving high fashion.

Hester’s look is tight up top, with flowy pants. It’s actually shaped extremely well, but does look a little cheap when compared to the rest of the looks. Laurence, meanwhile, gives a look that you wouldn’t be shocked to see the likes of Taylor Swift rocking on-stage. Kayne is next up. He’s opted for a red carpet gown, which wouldn’t look out of place on any Hollywood star. Still, it feels safe rather than daring.

Rami and Bishme round out the runway for the week. Rami’s look is a sophisticated one, but he adds a zipper to make sure it stands out among the crowd. Bishme, for me, stole the show. It’s a daring, creative, statement piece. Exactly why he was only deemed safe, rather than in the top three, is beyond me.

“Guess you all turned into drapers and minimalists!” Nina says after the final looks. Ouch. That was rude, and slightly uncalled for. Still, she’s the boss. “There were a lot of similar looks,” she tells the designers.

Who is ‘in,’ and who is going home?

project runway season 20 episode 4 recap
Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/Bravo

Rami, Brittany, Anna, Hester, Fabio, and Kara Saun are named as the highest and lowest scoring designers of the week. Everybody else is safe, and sent backstage, where they can watch the rest of the night in peace. Well, it would be peace, if some of them didn’t want to destroy all of Anna’s confidence when she is declared as one of the highest-scoring contestants of the night.

Korto calls Anna’s placement “bullsh*t,” with both Kayne, and Laurence quick to agree. “It’s an insult, it’s insulting,” Korto carries on, as Nina tells Anna it’s clear she “worked your butt off.” Bishme sticks up for Anna in confessional. She’s someone he respects, as she knows what type of designer she is, and executes looks based on that.

Kara Saun’s look “feels fashion,” according to Nina. She’s also in the top, alongside Brittany, who Nina declares as “so smart,” for using white stitching to stand out against the red fabric that everybody was forced to use.

Rami, Hester, and Fabio are all in the bottom. In the end, Hester is sent home. Sadly, their elimination is overshadowed by the sniping backstage. “Clearly we can repeat looks here,” Korto says in earshot of Anna. It’s a “weird energy,” Anna says to producers. She feels like she’s being looked at as an “enemy.” It’s hard to stomach.

Drama for another Project Runway day

project runway season 20 episode 4 recap
Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/Bravo

After Hester says goodbye, Kayne figures he wants a moment. “It feels a little disrespectful,” he tells Anna. The arrogance of this man is overwhelming, truly. He has had some incredible moments in this season already, but if his attitude continues to be this stank? They’ll be completely overshadowed.

Kara Saun proves she is worthy of a Project Runway All Stars title, as she defends Anna through tears. This is everybody’s art, and it’s time everyone calms the f*ck down. Still, the mood and energy has changed. Korto says this is going to “divide” the group. Sigh.

Project Runway continues Thursdays at 9/8c on Bravo.