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Project Runway, Aug. 19 – The Mad Hatter


Tim comes in to make his rounds and he starts with Valerie, who is making a jacket. She’s playing with hard and soft, and therefore wants to add a bunch of zippers, just for looks. Tim advises against this and reminds her that she needs to edit. April likes her avant-garde hat, which she has paired with white booty shorts. Tim thinks they look like a diaper. Michael D. shows off some beige, pleated fabric and worries that his design may go too sci-fi. Tim tells him that he has to walk a precipice: He can’t play it safe, and he can’t make a kooky costume.

Tim thinks the bust of Kristin’s dress is too fussy, so she promptly cuts it off. Kristin wants to make a wrap for her dress and Tim quickly talks her out of it. He scolds A.J. for his sloppiness, telling him that a woman who can afford a Treacy hat can also afford a dress in which the polka dots line up properly. Peach is planning to make a short pencil skirt, while Mondo is making polka dot pants with a leopard waistband. Tim warns him that it’s a lot of look.

Tim likes Christopher’s print. Christopher talks about how he wants to give his model an open neck to allow the angles on the hat to show. Tim likes it, but talks him out of adding buttons to his leggings, as that makes Tim think Christopher’s trying too hard. Tim asks Casanova if they haven’t seen Casanova’s dress a hundred times before. He adds that it looks like Donna Karan 1988. Tim advises Casanova to think about the kind of woman who would wear a Treacy hat and Casanova responds that the hat is “too editorial” to wear. Tim says that Casanova’s current design looks like the woman went shopping, picked out a random dress, and then paired it with an awesome Treacy hat. Casanova just stares out him, befuddled.

Tim finds that Michael C. is having serious problems with his seam, which has puckered on him. Tim advises Michael to just start over. Tim leaves at around 6:00 p.m., and Michael C. decides to take his advice and scrap his dress. Michael D. tells us that Michael C. didn’t even bring a ruler to the challenge, adding , “There are many ways to skin a cat, but you should bring a knife.” Casanova has nearly finished his dress, but still needs to do the hem. Gretchen calls April’s work “costumey” and says she will go home soon.

Michael C.’s mother calls to wish her son a Happy Father’s Day. Little Giovanni had caught a fish and gets on the phone to tell his dad all about it. Michael C. tells us that he needed to hear his son’s voice to get back in the game. When Giovanni asks him when he will come home, Michael C. answers that he doesn’t know. After hanging up, Michael C. tells us that he just got a great idea for a new dress involving some fabric he’d bought.

At around 9:00, the models come in for their fittings. Rose feels like she needs something under her skirt, so Christopher decides to oblige her with some leggings. April believes she’s doing very well, but Michael C. wonders aloud why she would want to send a diaper down the runway. (I’m guessing April didn’t see Project Runway’s fifth season, in which one of the guys nearly got sent home for doing just that.) Kristin is also happy with her dress, which Casanova thinks looks like a big mess.

Finally, everybody goes back to the apartment – to continue sniping at each other. Valerie isn’t sure that she likes Casanova’s design, and Gretchen declares that he has no idea what modern clothes are. Other designers sneer that Michael D.’s top looks like a cardboard box. Gretchen believes that Peach, April, and Kristin will be in the bottom three. Kristin tells us that she’s more worried about what Philip will think of her dress that what Heidi will think of it.

The next morning, Andy tells us that even though he knows he can’t be sent home, he still doesn’t want to mess up. Michael C. is afraid for April, as he knows the judges won’t like her diaper. Kristin wants to be in the top two, as she’s sick of being in the middle. She’ll take any feedback that she can get, even if it’s negative. Casanova puts a green cream mask on his face and Michael D. jokingly asks him if he’s going to the workroom as the Hulk.

In the workroom, Ivy has a lot of work to do: She has to drape the back of her jacket, sew on the zipper, and finish the hem of her skirt. Valerie is similarly nervous about her hem, as hemming a skirt can take a long time. To make matters worse, she is having problems with her sewing machine.

Tim sends in the models for their final fitting, styling, and make-up. Not surprisingly, most of the designers ask for simple and understated hairdos that won’t upstage the hats. Mondo asks one of the make-up people to draw an eyeliner mustache on his model’s face. Philip Treacy himself then helps each model put on her hat.

On the runway, Heidi herself is wearing a Treacy hat that looks like an inverted black rose. Philip himself is, of course, the guest judge.

Michael C. is first. His hat is a big oval orange job that doubles as a mask, as it covers the eyes. It also has thin extensions protruding from the eye area. His dress is a draped, diaphanous bronze affair that is belted at the waist by a beige sash.


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