| Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to make a look worthy of L’Oreal Paris that was inspired by their latest eye-shadow line. They also had to make a ready-to-wear companion piece. L’Oreal Paris would award the winner $20,000 and the opportunity to have their designs advertised. Mondo won his second challenge in a row, while Ivy was sent home.
The next morning, Valerie tells us that she’s sad that Ivy was sent home. Gretchen believes that Mondo is her biggest obstacle to the show’s prizes. Mondo is surprised that he’s won two weeks in a row. He states that Andy is probably his chief competition.
On the runway, Heidi Klum tells the designers that “they will have to start from scratch.” When they go to the workroom, they find their laptops decorated with their own baby pictures. After the designers show the pictures to each other, Tim Gunn comes in and introduces them to Tracey Trachta of HP.
Tim issues this week’s challenge: Make your own textile. Yes, the designers had to do this last season, too. Tim goes on to tell this season’s batch that they can design any kind of outfit they like – but the textile itself has to be based on something from their past that is meaningful and important to them.
April talks about how she’d felt torn by her parents’ divorce. She draws a tree with broken hearts hanging from it. Gretchen draws a sunbonnet. Valerie remembers her dad’s blueprint drawings and tries to incorporate them in her own design. Christopher is inspired by water, while Michael decides to use the “evil eye” in his design. He and his siblings used to wear bracelets featuring it. He’s very excited, because he’s been wanting to do a challenge like this ever since he saw it televised last season. Andy has so many memories that they seem like bubbles, so he decides to use “memory bubbles.”
Mondo tells us he’d come out to his mother years ago, and she told him not to tell anybody else. His textile incorporates a black plus sign, which represents his HIV-positive status. He was diagnosed ten years ago– and hasn’t told anybody, not even his parents.
The contestants go to Mood to buy extra fabrics. They have a budget of $100. Christopher will be working with blue and gray; the former represents his mother and the latter represents San Francisco.
Tim sends in some “special guests,” who turn out to be family members. Valerie is crying because her mother’s there. Mondo and Andy are also overwhelmed. Gretchen is afraid that her mother won’t make it since she has to care for her wheelchair-bound husband, and the family doesn’t have much money. But she makes it. So does April’s mom and April also starts crying. Michael’s son and mother show up, as does Christopher’s partner of ten years.
Tim tells the designers that they can spend all day with their families. (This makes sense as they have to wait for their textiles, anyway.) April and her mother go get pedicures and April talks about being the youngest contestant. (She’s 21, and Andy is 23, while all the others are over 25.) Michael talks to his mother about how isolated he feels. He tells about the group project and how his teammates had turned on him. His mother reminds him that Project Runway is a competition.
Mondo takes his mother to the park, and she congratulates him on his wins. Mondo decides to not tell her about his HIV status, as he doesn’t want to spoil her first visit to New York. Gretchen’s mother is similarly pleased with her winning the Marie Claire contest. Andy tells us that his mother had raised five children by herself.
The next day is Valerie’s 29th birthday. All the designers feel a little sad now that their families are gone. Both Mondo and Andy are distracted. The designers go to the workroom and find their new textiles waiting for them.
Tim stops by to make his rounds. He starts with April, whose textile was inspired by her parents’ divorce. He urges her to think analytically and not emotionally. Michael is working on a black print, and he tells Tim that he has removed a sleeve that had had yellow piping on it. Tim approves of this move, and warns Michael that his dress must fit exquisitely.