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Project Runway 7, Jan. 21 – Making a Party Dress Out of a Potato Sack


Welcome back to the seventh season of Project Runway. Last week, we saw our newest designers arrive in New York, eager for the challenges ahead of them. Speaking of the challenge, they were issued a simple one: express yourself as a designer. Emilio won and Christiane was sent home.

The next morning, everybody gets up. Jesus vows to do better, as he was in the bottom last week. Pamela reminisces about saying goodbye to the defeated Christiane.

At the runway, Heidi Klum congratualtes Emilio on his victory and reminds him that he has immunity and can’t be eliminated. She sends the designers on a field trip. Janeane, jokingly I presume, wonders if they are being sent to the moon. Umm, no. It turns out they’ve just been sent to a farm, where they find Tim Gunn and their models, who are literally wearing burlap sacks. Tim reminds them of the saying. “A beautiful woman can look good in anything, even a potato sack.” He issues the challenge: make an outfit out of said potato sack. Ben admits that he has no clue what to do with burlap, while Seth Aaron welcomes the challenge.

In addition, the designers have to make the potato sack into a garment for an “industry event.” In other words, this is one of those models-as-clients challenges. Each designer has to collaborate with their model on the look. Finally, the models will pick the designers, rather than vice-versa. Tim takes out his trusty bag and calls each model’s name. The model then calls the name of the designer she wants to work with. Kasey gets first pick and decides to stay with Jay. Most of the other models follow suit and keep the designers they’d worked with in last week’s challenge. Alexis, however, picks Anthony over Mila, to the latter’s extreme displeasure. Alison, who had originally worked with Anthony, chooses Amy. Valeria chooses Janeane, and Lorena gets Mila, who is not at all happy about being left for last.

The designers have fifteen minutes to confer with their clients AND buy goods from a nearby farm stall. During this time, Ping tells us she wants to play with the texture of the potato sack, while Anthony mentions his model, Alexis, is verbal and opinionated. Mila is relieved to discover she and Lorena have similar tastes.

Part of the challenge, of course, will be pleasing the client while staying true to one’s own vision as a designer. Maya knows another challenge will be making the burlap look like an expensive material. (I’d say another challenge will be making it a comfortable material, too; those potato sacks look rough.) Emilio expresses relief at having immunity for this challenge as the burlap is “old as Moses.” Brittany wants a sexy dress, and Jesus plans to oblige by making one with lots of details and red ribbon.

Back at the workshop, Pamela dyes her burlap sack blue. Ben plans to make a voluminous and billowy look with a center that will open like an upside-down tulip when Sophia walks. Mila asks Anthony why Alexis chose him over her, as she thought they had a strong rapport. Anthony gets annoyed and decides to ignore Mila. He tells us she can kiss his “entire family’s asses.”

As the designers begin sewing, Emilio notes that many of them won’t be able to realize their vision because of the difficult material. Ping drapes the material over herself for inspiration and tells us being in the top three has given her confidence. Anna had grabbed real potatos and is using them to print a pattern onto her sack.

Tim comes in to make his rounds and starts with Pamela, who has dyed her piece. Tim loves the dye job, but worries about the design being all one piece. Pamela, however, has already finished the bodice, and she prefers one-piece designs over separates. Mila is planning on incorporating some kind of tool, as per her model’s suggestion, and Tim advises her to rethink that. Mila agrees not to use it. Tim finds Jay treating his dress with a ribbon, even though the fabric still needs to be dyed. Tim, shocked, warns him about time constraints.

Tim finds the top half of Ping’s look intriguing, and Ping tells him she wants to show off her model’s legs, which calls for a very short bottom half. Tim warns her that that the judges are looking up at the models, which means that they will be able to see her model’s exposed posterior, if she makes the skirt too short. Ping promises to lengthen the skirt.

Tim likes Amy’s dye job. Her model wants an open-backed top with puffy sleeves and Tim doesn’t think this sounds like Amy at all. He reminds her the judges won’t care if the model likes the look if they themselves hate it. Jesus tells Tim that Brittany wanted a look that shows off her body, and that he has covered up the burlap skirt with ribbons. Tim thinks he has screwed up the challenge.

Tim sends in the models. Ping realizes now’s the time to make sure her model’s butt is covered. Seth Aaron likes Ping’s vision, but thinks she lacks experience in construction. If that’s true, she won’t last; construction problems tend to sink people in the early rounds. Brittany likes Jesus’ dress, but has some of the same concerns that Tim did. Jesus is confident she will back him up on the runway. Memo to Jesus: The judges don’t always care what a model or client thinks, especially if they absolutely hate a look. Alexis wants Anthony to put blue buttons on her dress. Lorena is happy with Mila’s work.


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