Why is my light and breezy easy peasy never sleazy Project Runway starting out with a vicious battle between Sandro and Ken? “Calm the f*ck down!” are words that should never, ever be uttered at Parsons.
36 Hours Earlier….
Tim Gunn does a Tim Gunn Gather Round™ and introduces Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the star of Modern Family. It’s a bowtie challenge! Jesse and his fiancé have a charitable foundation called Tie The Knot, and all of the proceeds from the sale of their bowties go to support marriage equality. Tim explains that the bowtie is just the “point of departure” for the designers’ looks, and the designs must incorporate at least one bowtie.
Sketching, Mood madness, and it’s back to the workroom. Dom is creating a striped dress in a chevron pattern with striped ties at the neckline, and it’s really cute. Sue is making two dresses because that’s how she works, one of which “looks like a bunch of ties trying to attack a dress.” Miranda is piecing together a houndstooth jacket and a Very Literal Tie that Tim thinks is prim and fussy. Kate is going with a “hunting party slash equestrian” look that might be nice, or it might be fugly.
Sandro decides to call Tim Gunn “Top Gun,” and DO NOT DISRESPECT TIM GUNN!!! Sandro is annoyed because the judges keep telling him that his designs are “too much,” but they never tell him why. Why, why, why. Why Zac Posen always complain about details…why Zac Posen no like Sandro? Tim’s advice is, “Be Sandro, and I’ll be Top Gun.” It’s impossible not to love Tim Gunn. Jeremy’s grandmother died and he is obviously upset and out-of-sorts because he is designing an outfit inspired by her. Bradon is piecing together bowties into a…holster? Helen is designing a dress in the literal shape of a bowtie. Meh.
Runway time! Our judges are Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, Heidi Klum, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Tim Gunn’s Magical Rescue Wand. Dom’s dress is nifty and wearable. Jeremy’s outfit is sexy granny meets not-so-sexy granny.
Bradon’s halter top is sleek and stylish paired with tweed shorts. Ken’s black leather dress uses the bowties in the seams, but you really can’t see them at all.
Miranda’s houndstooth suit is too Talbots. Helen’s dress makes no sense—the tie straps, or are those suspenders? look like an afterthought. Alexander designed a slick and modern black suit with a kind of predictable bowtie collar. Sandro’s shiny powder pink gown looks like a wedding dress from My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Sue’s dress looks better on the runway than in the workroom, but the ties still look like the model has been attacked by an anorexic octopus. I want Justin’s subtle black and charcoal grey cocktail dress really, really badly. Kate’s maroon top and two-toned pants are…I’m not sure. The pants are rockin, but the top is Zara’s sale rack. Karen’s polka dot pants suit is ill-fitting and mathcy matchy matchy match matchy match match. Alexandra’s color-blocked dress is both dramatic and boring.
Kate, Bradon, Jeremy, Sue, Dom, and Miranda are the best and the worst. Heidi lets Helen know that immunity saved her this week, and then Nina jumps in and wonders whether she won last week because she had Kate as her partner. Then, Sandro asks for notes about his garment. Zac says, “it looked like the walk of shame after an awards show,” and tells him to “focus your taste.”
And that’s how the stew room turned volcanic. Several designers, also known as all the designers, tell Sandro that it was neither the time nor the place for his outburst. Then Helen goes one-on-one with Sandro because it should be all about Helen and never about Sandro, falling just short of Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! Ken takes a stab at talking sense to crazy with, “There’s a time and a place for everything and you are out of order some damned time so you need to calm the f*ck down!” Finally, Sandro breaches the fourth wall, storming past the camera crew and right out of the building, a camera gets smashed, and I sure hope we’re done with Sandro’s particular brand of insanity.
The judges are impressed with Bradon’s halter top which flatters the model and looks modern and vintage and cool. Nina calls Dom’s striped dress “adorable.” Sue tests out the, “I wanted to try something different” story on the judges but they’re not buying whatever it is she’s selling. Jeremy’s granny outfit is not going over well, either. After Kate sucks up to the judges, Nina calls Kate’s pants sick, in a good way. Miranda’s houndstooth suit is a flop, and Heidi can’t even see the bowtie which hello! was the whole point of the challenge.
When Tim Gunn arrives on the runway, he informs the judges that Sandro is cray cray and currently stalking the streets of New York City. Lock your doors and hide your women! Bradon is the winner, and he somehow proposes to his partner of eighteen years, Josh, even though his partner isn’t there and this is not live television. But it’s sweet and sentimental, and I’m kind of rooting for Bradon. Or Dom. And a little bit Helen because I think we could be really great frenemies. Dom and Kate are in and flee the runway. And, since Sandro has self-eliminated, Sue, Miranda, and Jeremy are all safe, too.
Next week, it’s the unconventional materials challenge and I smell a trip to Whole Foods.
Linda Sue Strong is the founder of entertainment blog TerribleTelevision.com and an occasional attorney. Her life has not yet been turned into a reality television show. Follow her at @themisslinda.