Last week, there was no new episode of Project Runway, since the Olympics were holding the women’s ice skating event at the same time, and the honchos at Lifetime saw no point in airing a new episode of Project Runway since maybe five people would watch it. Thus the most recent episode was two weeks ago. The designers had to craft a look for some lucky (or not-so-lucky) little girls. They also had to conjure up a related outfit suitable for an adult woman. Seth Aaron won and Janeane was sent home.
The next morning, Emilio is excited by the realization he’s in the Top Ten. So is Jay, who confesses that he’d thought he would be one of the first out. Mila is upset that so many women have gone, but she also finds it “empowering” that she, Maya, and Amy are in the Top Ten. Hmm, I’ve been wondering for some time if the producers deliberately cast a bunch of inept or relatively weak women this season in order to avoid having another all-female Final Three. (We had those in both of the most recent seasons.)
Heidi Klum sends the designers on a field trip to meet Tim Gunn and a famous designer who will give them the “tools” for the next challenge. The “famous designer” turns out to be none other than Michael Kors, who they meet at his Soho store. He issues this week’s challenge: Think outside the box. They have to make an innovative piece and an accessory that goes with it. Furthermore, anybody who’s seen the previews will have guessed that it’s also this season’s “unconventional materials” challenge. The designers have to make their unconventional attire out of items from … a hardware store. Emilio is nervous because he’s never used oddball materials before.
The designers have 35 minutes and a budget of $150 at the hardware store Scheman & Grant. Maya is excited by this challenge. She tells us she once made a dress out of screen mesh. Emilio notices that his fellows are all choosing items that come in yards, so he’ll take a risk and stock up on washers and cords, instead. Jay also decides to challenge himself. He plans to make “leather” out of plastic garbage bags. Here’s hoping that he has more luck than Season 5’s Stella, who was nearly sent home for her garbage bag outfit. Amy wants to work with different shades and textures of sandpaper. At the cash register, Emilio finds he is horribly over-budget and ends up having to leave a lot of his materials behind. That can’t be good.
The designers go back to Parson’s to sketch their outfits, and Tim reminds them that the winner will get the usual immunity. He also tells them they will have until midnight to finish their looks. Jay decides to make pants because he thinks most people will be making dresses. Jesse sees that the others have all sorts of ideas – and he hopes that somebody will crash and burn. Maya has already decided that her accessory will be a necklace made of keys.
Anthony wants to make something feminine, to make something hard feel soft. Didn’t some people already do that in the burlap challenge? Jonathan finds working with hardware a pain, so he and Amy trade jokes. Emilio notices that everybody is making a bodice while he’s making a macrame dress. “Different” isn’t always “good,” Emilio. Jay comments that Emilio’s outfit would be a good look – for a stripper. Ouch.
Seth Aaron bought some copper and is banging away at it. We’re shown this several times. Emilio’s getting frustrated, since his materials weren’t made for fashion. Ben has really cut up his hands while working on his copper. Mila is color blocking again, and she hopes the judges aren’t sick of it. She considers black and white her signature. Emilio complains that the constant hammering of copper is giving him a migraine. Jesse finds the mesh he’d bought is sticky, like tape. He’d planned on making a skirt out of it, and will now have to rethink that.
Jay talks about his large family. He’s the fifth oldest, and his parents would be proud of him if he wins. Um, why are we being told this? Even if he completely screws up, about the only way he’d be sent home would be if Mila and Maya were in the bottom with him. By my reckoning, Jay has been in the top three more times than anybody else. He’s not going anywhere for awhile yet.
The designers then have the fun job of trying to sew or otherwise put their pieces together. Ben seems to be successful here, but Anthony has severe trouble with the sewing machine. He feels like his materials are controlling him rather than the other way around, and he’s not a happy camper. Maya is using Venetian blind cords to make a jacket, and she notes that if she can’t use the sewing machine for this, then she will have a lot of hand-stitching to do.
Tim comes in to make his rounds. He starts with Mila, who has made a mod-inspired dress out of paint tray liners and gaffing tape. Her accessory will be a wide cuff with a placard on it. Jesse’s design makes Tim think of an “Elizabethan” mini. He also think his outfit looks like something from an elementary school play. Tim wonders why there is copper everywhere. Answer: Ben, Jesse, and Seth Aaron all bought some. Oops. It’s generally not good when a bunch of people all use the same thing in an “unconventional materials” challenge. Jesse’s accessory will be a hair piece inspired by Dior. Tim warns Jesse to not make his look too costumey.
Emilio is making a miniskirt, which Tim calls “an interpretation” of a bottomless dress. Tim doesn’t know if Emilio has enough material for anything other than a bikini. Anthony wants to put structure at the top of his look– but isn’t happy with it so far. Neither is Tim, who calls the look “tortured.” Anthony decides to abandon his look and start over. Tim thinks Jay’s faux leather pants are “spectacular,” but Jay worries about whether they’ll fit his model or not. He tells Tim that he’s thinking about a belt for the accessory, and Tim warns him not to leave it for the last minute, as it’s an important component of this week’s contest. Tim likes Maya’s cord jacket and key necklace. He thinks her overall look will be phenomenal if she pulls it off.