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Project Runway, Aug. 27 – Mama Needs New Clothes

Welcome back to the Season 6 of Project Runway. Last week, we met the sixteen designers who’d descended on L.A. Their challenge was to make a look fit for a red carpet event. Johnny, a recovering drug addict, had a meltdown, but still managed to turn out a nice red dress. Christopher won the challenge, while Ari was sent home for making something fit for a Star Trek convention.

After the recap, we’re told that the winner gets a fashion spread in Elle and a trip to Paris as well as $100 grand.

The morning after the show the designers talk about the results. Althea can’t believe that Ari is gone. (I can. I’m not sure people in the year 2080 would have wanted to wear that thing.) Logan is relieved that he made it through the first elimination, while Mitchell jokes that America now knows him as the guy who sent down a naked model. Logan retorts that it was a naked model in a “gorgeous collar.” Mitchell is relieved to still be there.

At the runway, Heidi congratulates Christopher for winning last week’s challenge and reminds him that he has immunity this week. Heidi then tells the designers they will be working for an actual celebrity. When Heidi goes on to describe the celeb as as a supermodel and actress, Irina wonders if Heidi is describing herself. Heidi then adds that their client is pregnant, and Logan is worried, as he has never designed maternity clothing before.

Heidi introduces Rebecca Romijin (Mystique from the X-Men movies), who is pregnant with twins. Rebecca tells the designers that pregnancy has been wonderful, but it does make it hard to find clothes. She asks the designers to make an outfit suitable for any kind of event. She wants something with a “beautiful silhouette” that will let her “celebrate her shape.”

In the work room, the designers find pregnancy bellies they can attach to their dressmakers’ dummies. The models will also wear them when strutting down the runway in maternity gear. Christopher isn’t sure where the belly should go, and Gordana shows him. She’s been pregnant twice and plans to emphasize Rebecca’s butt and legs. Ra’Mon comments that it looks as if Rebecca is in her “early second semester … err, trimester.”

Tim comes in and tells the designers the look has to be form-fitting. They have a $100 budget and thirty minutes to shop at Mood, plus two days to complete the look. They have a half hour to sketch their ideas – starting now. Logan says again he has no idea how to proceed. “Babies kind of scare me,” he adds.

The group goes to Mood for their half hour of frenzied shopping. Shirin tells us she plans to make a dress and a coat, as she’s betting most of her fellows will make just dresses. Carol Hannah has made a maternity dress before, but it was also a bridesmaid dress, and she does not plan on making one of those. Good call. Women generally don’t get a lot of mileage out of those. Qristyl knocks over a box in her rush to get some thread. She admits to being really stressed. Tim tells her to take some deep breaths and calm down, and she does.

Back at the workroom, Shirin is amazed by how big the pregnancy belly is once she puts some fabric over it. Ra’Mon wants his look to be different from everybody else’s. He notices that a lot of people are choosing to do draped and flowing looks, and thus decides to do a tailored, fitted look instead. Althea plans to use ribbon to make a bodice, but leave the bottom jersey for comfort’s sake.

Louise wants to make a 1920’s lingerie dress, an idea that could work very well or end in disaster. She hand-dyes lace in the sink. Malvin plans to make a “mother hen” look, which will liken Rebecca’s round belly to an egg. He is using creamy material for this. Ra’Mon hopes to continue his winning streak, as he’d cracked the top three last week. He is nervous about Nina’s advice about being too safe.

Mitchell has designed clothing for pregnant women before, which could give him an edge over his fellows. He plans to make shorts for Rebecca. He slaps together some shorts apparently meant for a 400-pound woman and he and Lousie clown around with them. At one point, they both put them on. They’re small and skinny enough that each one can fit into a leg of the shorts.

By the end of the first day, Shirin has finished her dress, and plans to devote the next day to her coat.

Tim stops by to check on everybody’s progress. He starts with Althea, who is making a long, navy blue dress. Althea tells him it’s for an “important luncheon,” but Tim thinks it looks more like evening wear. Louise worries that her dress might look too much like a nightgown. Tim advises her to listen to her gut. He does like the lace she’s dyed. He asks Mitchell why he’s making a t-shirt, as he has a sweater. Mitchell answers that last week’s experience has made him wary of anything resembling sheer fabric. Tim tells him his model better be fully covered this time. He loves Shirin’s dress, but warns her to be careful with the jacket. “It has to be the right jacket,” he cautions her.

After he’s warned not to make his outfit too costumey, Malvin says he wants to make a pair of jodphurs, and Tim warns against this, as the wide hips would be unflattering. He talks to Ra’Mon, and wonders if the light grey panels are a little much. Louise, meantime, decides to make a lining for her dress, to keep it from looking like a nightgown.

Mitchell tells Ra’mon that his dress looks like a bowling ball bag, which upsets Ra’Mon. Mitchell backpedals and says it looks like a bowling ball bag in “a good way.” (I’m not sure that’s possible.) They agree it looks better from a distance, but Ra’Mon is now worried.

The models come in for their fitting and put on the stomach cushions to better simulate pregnancy. Carol Hannah’s model has had a child and thus gives her useful feedback. Johnny advises his model on how to walk with the pregnancy belly, and he tells us that he used to be a runway coach. Ra’Mon and his model take too long during the fitting, and Tim scolds them.

Johnny worries that his black dress is too drab, and that the floral print jacket is too “Easter Sunday.” Qristyl doesn’t think there is any way Rebecca would wear something like Johnny’s design. Nicolas comments that many dresses were neither fitted nor chic, and that Rebecca would not wear them.

Nicolas’ zipper breaks, so he will have to stitch the model into her clothes. Mitchell is working on his shorts. Ra’Mon notices that most people are either making draped dresses or structured and fitted dresses. He thinks he may be the front runner for taking a risk. Given the amount of commentary about Ra’Mon’s chances, I’m guessing he will either do very well or very poorly.

The models come in again for their final fitting. Shirin is happy to see that her outfit fits her model very well, while Althea’s dress doesn’t quite fit her model’s chest. Mitchell worries that his shorts look sloppy. Qristyl’s sewing machine needle breaks, and Malvin comments that many designs look similar. Mitchell is relieved that his model is completely dressed this time.