Does anybody else think that Tim is just way, way over this show? You could just see his exasperation in his adorable, wise old professor turtle face when, at the circus for some reason, he instructed the designers "You have 30 minutes to sketch. Think fashion."
Should Tim Gunn have to remind the final five on Project Runway to "Think fashion"? No. But then again this isn't really Project Runway anymore. The challenge was make a high-end outfit inspired by the goddamn circus. The circus! If Project Runway is going to do a circus challenge, it should be to make a high-end outfit using the canvas from the canvas circus tent. What is this, Launch My Line? That show had a "design an outfit inspired by an animal at the petting zoo" challenge—and it was still more interesting than this circus thing. Tim issued a slight sigh before that last directive, as if to say, "Yes. I know you're sketching here. At the circus. For some reason. But, you know, this show used to be about something, so…Think fashion."
Poor Tim. He probably wishes he could just follow in Bangs The Younger's footsteps and quit the season. Really, don't we all wish that? Can any of us blame Bangs The Younger for leaving a show that never appreciated her and that, "let's be honest"—Michael Kors, is only slightly better than Season 6, aka the Season That Never Was?
Well, of course, Emilio blamed her—but his rapidly inflating ego doesn't leave too much room in his skull for sympathy. Or measured observation. And Bangs The Elder almost definitely blames her compatriot in Bangs for leaving not just the show, but for leaving her. No doubt every morning at the Atlas apartments, Bangs The Elder sits at her vanity to comb her bangs, and she starts to say something like, "Isn't it great how we both have bangs?" before she catches herself and realizes hers are the only bangs in the room. Sometimes, Bangs The Elder sits at her perch by the window, looks out over the land, and thinks, "Oh, Younger. Together we could have ruled this kingdom. With our very similar bangs."
But back to this circus bullshit. So even though Tim Gunn expressly told the designers to avoid making things that are too costumey, 3.5 costumes were made. (Then again, what can you expect from a "make something inspired by a circus" challenge except costumes?) Mister Sassafras was too busy chilling his mint julep cups to worry bout costumin', and so he was the sole designer whose look didn't lapse into costumey territory. That doesn't mean it was good, however. Anthony's blue and grey gown with the wave collar seemed like an okay idea, but the execution and the fabric just made it look cheap. And as soon as the judges found out he used polyester, he was doomed. Once again, Mister Sassafras was sent back to molasses junction, but he was smilin' all the way.
As for the other designers, the 3.5 costumes were (in no particular order): Bangs The Elder's shiny hot pink, shiny bright yellow, and shiny black & white striped Avril Lavigne As A Ringmaster atrocity; Seth Aaron's Adam Ant In 1996 And Also A Ringmaster outfit; Emilio's big, poufy, striped Tim Burton's Scarlett O'Hara look; and Jay, who made half of a Michael Jackson costume. All of these were fine examples of well-made ugly. If I had to rank them from most to least offensive to human eyes, Emilio's dress would probably be least offensive, followed by Jay's outfit (his pants, even though they were basically just wool Z. Cavariccis, were cool), then Seth Aaron's pile of stuff, then Mila's crime against the sense of sight. Ladies and Gentlemen, these are your top four.
—The fact that Emilio's big top stripey dress with the sheer, ruffled polka-dot petticoat (really?) was the judges' favorite outfit of this entire season says everything about this season.
—Well, at least Tim Gunn got to teach Anthony the word "viscera."
—Also, Tim Gunn was completely right to call Emilio's winning dress from last week "somber." It was a plain brown glitter tube with a weird matching growth on one side of the bust. What's more somber?
—"Everything was just like an explosion! There's clowns. There's some funny-ass clowns." Aww. Seth Aaron's never been to the circus before. You would think the founder of Kewl Kidz Designz would be more versed in kid things.