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Project Runway, July 29 – Baggage Claim


The judges start with Ivy, and Michael scolds her for not transforming the pants. (He’s got a point: Cutting the legs to make capris probably isn’t that hard. I know there was a time crunch, but come on!) Selma thinks the outfit looks like something a small-town hick would wear.

Jason admits his smock dress stinks. Heidi says it looks like a hairdresser’s cape. Harsh, but accurate. Selma thinks it’s “interesting,” and Michael says he can see the pins holding the thing together. And, here we have an argument for not having five-hour challenges. If the judges want to see polished results and not a bunch of rush jobs, they have to allow more time than just five hours. Consider that the contestants have to sketch their designs, get the needed materials together, cut the material, sew it, and fit it, and it’s obvious that five hours isn’t enough time.

The judges don’t like April’s look at all. Heidi calls it a hot mess. Michael says that he likes deconstruction, but that he needs to see proof that she can construct clothes first. Ouch. Nina says it looks like a 1980′s streetwalker’s outfit.

Next up is McKell. Nina likes the mix of fabrics, but says the styling – that is the model’s hair, make-up, and monstrous pink handbag – is terrible. Michael calls it a “disco apron” and doesn’t see the cohesion, while Heidi calls it “butt ugly.”

Nicholas explains that he wanted to turn sportswear into an evening gown. Heidi says the dress is odd and boring, while Michael says it doesn’t mesh. Nina likes the idea, but not the resultant gown.

Finally, it’s Casanova’s turn. Michael says the dress looks like something a pole dancer in Dubai would wear. Nina calls it fascinatingly bad, and Selma says she both loved it and loathed it. Heidi then asks Casanova to defend himself and explain why he should be on the show. Casanova just looks confused, so Nina repeats the question in Spanish. He just says that he will design “more conservatively” next time. Um, not exactly a good answer. A better one would have been to point out what he thought the dress’ strong points were.

After that, the judges send the designers backstage so they can have their chat. Michael calls Ivy’s outfit “ridiculous,” but adds that she can at least make clothes. Heidi wonders how well Casanova speaks English. Michael charitably calls his taste level “questionable.” (I’d call it “nonexistent.”) Selma says his dress looks like something you’d find in the mall at a store called “Dazzles.” The judges agree that both Jason and April had fallen apart because of the time constraints, but they at least had modern looks. Heidi and Michael both think McKell is uncool and lives in an alternate universe. Michael points out that not even Nicholas’ model could salvage his evening gown – but at least he knows how to make one.

The judges then call the bottom six back in to learn their fate. April is in. So are Nicholas and, surprisingly, Jason. McKell is out, while Ivy and Casanova are in. Personally, I’d have kept her over Casanova or Ivy – and Tim apparently agrees with me, as we see him telling her that he still likes her outfit, but that it didn’t fit the model very well and the styling needed work. He also informs us in a DR that he always feels sorry for the first boot. The surviving sixteen designers then go to check out their apartment and finally unpack.

Next week: The folks from the bottom six vow to do better. There’s a big prize and a twist. Business as usual, in other words.

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