Last week on Project Runway, the tables were turned, and the designers had to work for their models, rather than vice versa. Specifically, they had to craft a look that the model could wear to an industry event. The outfit had to “say” something about the model’s sense of style and persuade prospective employers to hire her. Althea won and Qristyl was sent home. (Nothing against Qristyl, but I’m glad I don’t have to type her name anymore.)
The next morning, the designers talk about the challenges. Carol Hannah tells us the field is being narrowed to the most talented designers. Thanks for the news flash; I’d said basically the same thing last week. Gordana thinks there will be a twist to the next challenge, “as usual.” Althea hopes to keep on winning, while Johnny talks about how depressing it is to be in the bottom. Irina tells us that she doesn’t think Althea deserved to win. Nicolas informs us that he doesn’t feel Johnny or Irina deserve to be there. He also believes that he, Nicolas, is “supposed to win.” Get this conceited, delusional moron off my T.V. screen already.
On the runway, Heidi tells the designers she is sending them on a field trip, and that the “answers will be in black and white.” I’m guessing that means they will be working with just those colors. Logan guesses the challenge will have something to do with old, black-and-white movies. It turns out we’re both wrong, as Tim leads everybody to the offices of the Los Angeles Times and introduces them to Booth Moore, one of the editors. She shows them a massive pile of newspapers and issues the challenge: Make an outfit out of the papers. The designers have three minutes to grab as many newspapers as they can carry. Cue the mad dash and subsequent grabbing. Ra’Mon, who seems to already have an idea as to what he wants to do, makes a point of grabbing some colored paper.
Back at the workshop, Tim fills in the details. He starts by showing the designers some of the tools they can use, including paints, dyes, tape, and so forth. He also tells them that they are allowed to use muslin as an infrastructure for their outfit, but it can’t be visible. Tim gives a brief lecture on the history of paper clothing. The first paper dress was designed in 1968, and many other things have been made out of paper, including slippers. He then tells the designers that they have until midnight to finish.
Christopher sketches a design for a long, feathered dress, which looks like it could be spectacular– assuming he finishes. Althea tells us that she has never used newspaper before and thus has no clue how to use it. She therefore experiments with it, trying to get a feel for how it will hang. Carol Hannah dyes her papers, while Nicolas frets about being sent home. Irina wants to disguise the fact that newspaper is the raw material, and explores ways to make it look like a more conventional fabric.
Shirin chatters while working, annoying Nicolas who thinks she acts like “an 11-year-old.” Johnny says his look will be inspired by origami, and Nicolas, of course, tells us that Johnny’s outfit is ugly. Ra’Mon is excited by the challenges, and he is also inspired by origami. Uh-oh. The judges are not going to be happy if half the designers come up with dresses patterned after origami. Louise is making something she calls a “headline” dress.
Tim comes in to check on everybody’s progress. He starts with Gordana, and tells her that while her sketch looks ho-hum, he does like the color scheme. He next visits Althea, who shows him the newspaper she’s painted red. He advises her to take advantage of the fact that she has immunity — in other words, to take chances. He also suggests that she look at the paper upside down and consider its shapes and forms.
Irina tells Tim she’s having problems. She didn’t like the dress she’d originally designed and is now trying to make a trench coat. She thinks she needs muslin, but Tim tells her that another designer had managed to make a paper coat without muslin. Tim doesn’t like Johnny’s dress at all, and tells him that it looks like a “craft project gone awry.” He adds that the origami birds Johnny put on the shoulders look as if they’re attacking the dress, which provokes spiteful laughter from Nicolas.
Tim seems pleased with Nicolas’ efforts, but warns him to not make the dress look too costumey. Tim is impressed with Christopher’s feathered dress and calls Christopher’s design “ambitious.” He does warn him to watch his time, though.
Johnny, distraught by Tim’s criticism, throws his dress in the trash and decides to start all over. He starts laying out squares like tiles, and hopes the result will work.
The models come in for their fitting. Irina’s model likes the coat, but Irina worries about it tearing when the model moves. (Probably one reason why the concept of paper clothes didn’t last.) Shirin worries about her dress, which has a heavy skirt, falling off her model. (I’m sure this is another reason why the fad of paper clothes never lasted; tailoring them to fit would be tricky at best. You can’t sew paper.)
Johnny lies to his model about his dress, telling her that he was ironing the first dress when the steamer spewed water over it, ruining it. Nicolas overhears him and acidly notes there wasn’t even a steamer here. Shirin informs us that Johnny’s lying because Tim hated his first dress and he threw it out. Johnny gives up on Dress #2 and starts doing a crossword puzzle instead. Christopher comments that Johnny doesn’t spend much time on his designs and seems to lack passion. Shirin is shocked that he’s doing the crossword and tells us, “Some people really don’t have the same follow-through as others.”
Back in the designers’ house, Johnny tells Logan that Tim had hated his first dress. Then, he tells Logan and Ra’Mon about his imaginary mishap with the imaginary iron. Logan isn’t buying it, though. He remembers what time Tim had visited, and he remembers what time Johnny had thrown out his dress. In the next apartment, several other designers are laughing about Tim’s critiques of Johnny’s dress. Johnny isn’t amused.
The next morning, the designers talk about each other’s designs as they dress. Louise likes Althea’s outfit, and Althea assures us that she’s working hard despite having immunity. Some of the designers think Nicolas will be in the bottom three. Nicolas asks why Johnny is present and Ra’Mon answers, “Comic relief.” Huh? What did Johnny do to Ra’Mon? Has he had more meltdowns besides the one we saw in the first episode? Has he been caught in other lies besides the one about the iron? He definitely seems to be the target of a lot of ill-will, and not just from snots like Nicolas, either.