Last week on Project Runway, the remaining five designers faced the challenge that would determine which of them would go on to Fashion Week. They visited Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus where they were treated to a private performance. Afterwards, they had to make a runway look inspired by the circus. Emilio and Seth Aaron easily won their spots on Fashion Week, while Anthony was sent home. The judges, however, could not reach a unanimous decision between Jay and Mila, who they described as talented designers “with issues.” The judges therefore decided on a run-off: Jay and Mila would both make collections, and the judges would then choose between them.
On that note, we return to the runway, where Heidi Klum is talking to the remaining four designers. She congratulates them on having made it this far, then tells them they will have nine grand and four months to design a twelve-piece collection. Jay and Mila are to design complete collections and they will show their three strongest pieces to the judges. In other words, they will do the same thing that Chris and Rami did back in Season 4. Tim Gunn stops by to tell the designers he will be visiting them in a few months.
As Mila packs, she talks about how she and Jay both have strong points of view. Naturally, she believes hers is superior. Jay is surprised to still be in the competition, but he’s certain he can beat Mila. Emilio promises to deliver a showstopper at Bryant Park, while Seth Aaron promises not to bore. Everybody then goes home.
Three months later, Tim visits Seth Aaron at his home in Vancouver, WA. He learns that Seth Aaron has been extremely busy; he’s already made fifteen outfits. Seth Aaron tells him he hopes to have twenty looks ready to take to New York City. Tim admires some of Seth Aaron’s coats – then warns him he won’t win. His clothes are well-made, but the judges have seen their like before. To drive home the point, Tim holds up a jacket decorated with zippers, which is one of Seth Aaron’s known trademarks. In order to win, Seth Aaron needs to “reconceptualize.” Tim urges him to come up with looks that will still be recognizably his, but that will surprise the judges.
Seth Aaron isn’t happy to hear this, as he’s already spent half his money and has only a month left before Fashion Week. Nonetheless, he vows to do what he can. He introduces Tim to his family. When Tim asks how Seth Aaron had met his wife, Tina, Seth Aaron answers that she was quite literally “the girl next door.” Tim plays Pictionary with the family, then joins Seth Aaron’s kids on the trampoline.
Next, Tim visits Emilio in New York City, where Emilio introduces him to his brothers, Nicolas and Felipe. Their father hailed from the Dominican Republic. Emilio and his brothers grew up in the Bronx during the 70’s and the 80’s in a very rough neighborhood. Later, Emilio shows Tim his collection and tells him that he’s inspired by color. His collections includes a turquoise-and-red piece, a print he created using his own initials, and a vest with “spray-painted brocade.”
Emilio says he’s not designing for the cameras at Bryant Park, but for his clients. Um, I thought the idea of going on Project Runway and Fashion Week was to attract more clients. Ergo, it would be in his best interest to assume that the cameras are his clients – or at least his link to them. Tim reminds Emilio that the judges will decide who wins. After some more arguing, Tim bluntly tells Emilio that the brocade is not worth his time and that the rest of his line looks old and unsophisticated. Emilio tells us that Tim doesn’t wear women’s clothes, so he’s not worth listening to. I’m hoping that the judges give Emilio a smack-down at Bryant Park; I really am. He could give Kenley from Season Five a run for her money as far as attitude goes.
Three weeks before Fashion Week, Tim visits Mila in Los Angeles, where she introduces him to her dog, Ziggy, who is … a Dalmatian. Mila’s dog is black and white. So is her decor, and so are the clothes she’s wearing. Mila wants to show Tim her entire line, not just the three pieces she will be showing the judges, which I think is smart. She drew her inspiration from shadows, so, naturally, most of her collection is back and white. She did use some aubergine (eggplant), though. She worries that some of her collection might be too conservative, and Tim agrees, going so far as to call some of it “matronly.” He does like the patent leather she is using, though. As for the upcoming competition with Jay, Mila vows not to lose to “that little (expletive deleted).” Her focus is on Fashion Week.
After that, Mila then introduces Tim to her parents and her boyfriend, Matthew. Tim notes that the dog, decor, and everybody’s clothing, is black and white. Mila’s mother tells Tim that Mila always dressed to the nines and went through a Goth period. (The producers helpfully show a photo of Mila from that era.) Mila used to design costumes for T.V. and films, and now wants to transition to fashion. Matthew talks about how he loves the sparkle in Mila’s eyes when she sees her dream of being a fashion designer coming true.
Finally, Tim goes to San Francisco to visit Jay, who tells him the was inspired by the Japanese samurai and the juxtaposition of hard and soft. Personally, I think he needs to rethink the samurai idea, as last season’s Irina had also used warrior imagery in her collection. A lot of the clothes are black and white, but Jay assures Tim that he’ll add color as he finishes. Tim thinks some of the collection looks too gimmicky, especially a coat with sliced-up sleeves. He warns Jay not to get “too student work.” Jay, for his part, isn’t worried about Mila, as he’s sure he’ll beat her. (So what? Odds are, Emilio or Seth Aaron will win the big prize.)
Afterwards, Jay introduces Tim to his parents, aunt, and partner. Tim can’t keep up with Jay as the latter quickly walks up the stairs to the apartment, where the family is fixing a meal. Jay’s mother is very excited to meet Tim, while Jay’s father has no idea what Fashion Week is. He’s proud of his son, anyway. Jay’s mother can sew pants and dresses, and taught her son and husband how to sew. Jay grew up in the Philippines, and the family serves Tim Filipino food.