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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Project Runway: "Takin' It To The Streets"

Illustration for article titled Project Runway: "Takin' It To The Streets"
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"You know the drill with the Bluefly wall."

Yes, Tim, they do. And we feel you. We all know the drill with this show too, and you know what? That drill needs to go a hell of a lot faster. How is it possible that there are still 8 (now 7) designers? Let's cut to the chase, Bunim-Murray Productions. It's going to be Maya, Seth Aaron (he's just soooo Seth Aaron, you know?), and either Emilio or Jonathan, right? And Anthony will stick around as long as possible, obviously. Just get on with it. All these Garnier Elements and L'Oreal Paris Neighborhood Inspirations challenges are just killing time that, frankly, feels already dead. Do we really need to see the East Village in clothing form sponsored by L'Oreal? That's what H&M is for! Collier Strong built an entire L'Oreal store display in the make-up room, and made all the designers pretend to shop there for no reason! Anthony is running out of sassafras! All this dawdling is wasteful, unnecessary, and above all tiring. You've exhausted Tim Gunn with this bullshit. Could you not hear the double dose of exasperation in his voice tonight? There needs to be a double (or triple) elimination soon, or by next week Tim is going to walk into the workroom on the day of the runway show and say, "Designers, you have….ah fuck it." then turn on his impeccable heel and walk out.

And who could blame him? There should have been a double elimination in tonight's episode. If God ran this show instead of Bunim-Murray Productions, there would have been a double elimination in tonight's episode (because God can be merciful; Bunim-Murray Productions just want to keep the hamsters running in the wheels forever). Working in pairs = double elimination. Those are the rules. But there wasn't a double elimination tonight, instead there was a double win—which is such a cop out.

So let's talk about that winning pair and the rest of the pairs. Tonight's pairs challenge was to create a daytime look and a nighttime look inspired by L'Oreal Parisienne Collier Strong's ironically craggy face and an NYC neighborhood. Shockingly, Murray Hill wasn't one of the neighborhoods, and so we didn't get to see Bangs The Elder attempt colorblocked chinos. Instead, Anthony and Bangs The Younger traveled to Chinatown; Emilio and Seth Aaron gawked at people on the sidewalks of Harlem; Jay and Bangs The Elder scored some horse around Tompkins Square Park in the East Village; and Jonathan and Amy skipped around the Upper East Side and tried not to mention Gossip Girl.

Not surprisingly for a pairs challenge, the results were completely mixed. All the pairs created some seriously horrendous stuff, and so mediocre was somehow taken for sublime. Case in point: Anthony and Bangs The Younger's "non-literal" take on Chinatown. I wholeheartedly approve of the fact that they didn't want to go for the obvious golds and reds, but overall their looks were ho-hum at best. Anthony's cocktail dress wasn't so bad. The "tissue paper" detail was interesting, even if it did kind of look like he had strung big ribbons of tripe from her shoulder to her hip. But Bangs The Younger's "pagoda jacket" with the cut-out detailing on the sleeves paired with that red-accented skirt just looked like one of Melanie Griffith's rejected costumes from Working Girl. They should have styled that model with pantyhose and tennis shoes. Naturally, the judges loved it. Anthony and Maya were in the top two.

But they weren't the double winners. No, that (historic!) honor went to Emilio and Seth Aaron's Harlem looks. For nighttime, Emilio made an old-tyme, Cotton-Club-inspired gown with a zipper down the front. For day, Seth-Aaron made a denim jacket horrorshow that displayed 75 contrast-stitched seams and darts, 15 rivets, 23 buttons, and two tails (all denim detail counts are estimated). He probably also wanted to make distressed patches and sew them on the back of the jacket in a random pattern, but Emilio somehow talked him out of it. I have no idea what Seth-Aaron made on the bottom for his model (looked like skinny jeans?) because the camera stubbornly refused to do a full-length body shot for more than .075 seconds, but he apparently made some kind of a shirt in a print that the judges adored, which made complete sense because only 2 inches of that print shirt were visible. He also put his model in an unfortunate hat and made her wear a solitary earring because, uh, Harlem? Seth Aaron and Emilio won because, uh, someone had to win?


And the winners weren't going to be Jonathan/Amy or Jay/Bangs The Elder, that's for sure. Personally, I didn't find Amy's peachy "umbrella" of a shirtdress as egregious as the judges did. It certainly wasn't "ugly"—a little misguided, a little cheap-looking, yes, but not ugly. But their assessment of Jonathan's taupe cut-out dress was spot-on: the brown panels on the sides killed the look of that dress. Representin' tha East Village, Jay and Mila's concoctions were far worse. Mila's black-and-white jacket was the most interesting thing about her nighttime look—the rest of it just seemed, well, very H&M. So, in a way, I guess Mila nailed the East Village? Jay's daytime ensemble was at least 3 kinds of hideous: 1. The red and black tank top that looked like an old bathing suit found while dumpster diving 2. Paired with painfully light denim pants 3. That had built-in saddlebags. Yuck.

Both Jay and Amy should have gone home. Instead, only Amy was cut so Bunim-Murray Productions could stretch and stretch and stretch the season out until one of the producers dislocates a limb.


Grade: B-

Stray Observations:

—A Project Runway without Michael Kors is like a day without technicolor orange glow.


—"Sometimes I need a little dose of silly." Saying the word "silly" is the first step, Maya.

—"Let's shop at the Studio Secrets wall." Oh, you go right ahead, Collier Strong. I'll be over here.


—Anthony and Maya didn't want to be too literal in their Chinatown look. They just wanted to literally make dragon streamers out of fabric and sew them onto a cocktail dress.