Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 5

The Tale of Nitpicking Nina and the One Way Monkey

All photos courtesy of Lifetime

Last week Andrea and Kooan disappeared into the murky abyss, Raul was brought back from the dead and we said Auf Wiedersehen to Buffi. 

Nevertheless, the show must go on!  This week is another team challenge!

Oh how I love this meatloaf of a challenge.  It is to design a capsule collection of professional women's wear that is both editorial but also works in the real world.  There will be 2 teams, and both will have to direct their own photo shoot in addition to designing the collection with no designated team leaders.  The winning team's photos will appear in Marie Claire Magazine!!!  Oh, no, wait- that's not right.  They will appear in Marie Claire.... @Work..... Magazine!@#$!?@?#!!!  Our #1 source for all women's work fashion journalism, duh.

The teams are picked gym class style, which is the gift that keeps on giving, as Gunnar gets picked second-to-last and pouts for the rest of the episode.  Raul is last but he's barely on this show so it doesn't count. 

Here's the breakdown of the teams:

 Team 6
Alicia, Dmitry, Elena, Melissa, Raul and Sonjia

Team 5
Christopher, Gunnar, Ven, Nathan and Fabio

Tim Gunn flashes his signature eye frown and the teams get to work.
Team 6 immediately falls into the assembly line trap where they divide the work based on people's strengths, splitting up the looks instead of having each designer make one complete look.  Immediately I'm concerned because I've seen teams in previous seasons try this before and it generally leads to disaster.  It's sort of like Communism; in theory there are some good ideas there, but in reality everyone just gets screwed.  Without a dictator, Team 6 fails to arrive at anything resembling a unified plan, motif or even color palette.

Meanwhile, Team 5 decides on a theme of "Fall into Fashion" which sounds like a JC Penney ad.  But then again, their color motif and fabric selection also look like JC Penney so I guess that's what they were going for.

Back from Mood, the teams don't waste any time in tearing apart each other's fragile egos.  Team 6 is looking especially rocky.  Elena (if that's her real name) said there was a bag of fabric from Mood missing.  Oddly enough only her fabric was missing, which means she either forgot what damn fabric she bought, OR she's a Russian spy posing as a Ukrainian designer, sent here to hijack her way to a Project Runway win, infiltrate the American fashion scene, make linebacker shoulders "a thing" and bring renewed fortune to the long-dormant Soviet shoulder pad factory empire... I'm pretty sure that's it (either that, or I just wrote the sequel to Zoolander).  Need another clue?  Elena hates navy blue.  You know who else hates navy blue?  Communists.  I'll bet she looooooves red.

Whatever, whatever, I do what I want!
As if Elena wasn't trouble enough for Team 6, Raul just goes rogue.  He simply can't get over being picked last and assumes the role of disenfranchised renegade fashion cowboy.  As the baddest outlaw west of Lexington, he refuses to coordinate with the other designers on anything- not fabric, not design, not color scheme.  At this point, I'd advise him to quit working on that mourning Pomeranian blouse and just go ahead a sew a giant target onto his own shirt.  It would save us all a lot of time and visual discomfort.

Things aren't all buterflies and Birkins for Team 5 either, though.  Gunnar is having a difficult time grappling with the reality that the other designers don't share in his deity-like adoration for himself.  Like a bitchy tween forced to go to the movies with her parents on Saturday night, he's just way too cool for this challenge.  He said his team's looks were from "the fucking 80's," with a sense of disgust that only someone who never experienced the 80's could truly muster.  He also hates all colors, even colors he loved last week.

At one point Christopher "discovers" Kooan's afro comb in the workroom.  While this may appear to be a poignant nod to our favorite Krasian, I am on to that baby-faced bus thrower Christopher.  The comb was a non-verbal threat to the other designers: Don't cross me, or you'll end up like Andrea and Kooan.  Do not be fooled by Christopher's cherubic charms, he is ruthless and he is dangerous.

The truth is, everyone hates this challenge.  Both teams' collections are fugly because nearly everyone has had to compromise both style and taste in order to come to a ground-meat-and-ketchup consensus.  Claws are flaring, nerves are exposed and rivalries are congealing.  Elena and Team 6 call Team 5 "The Silk Chiffonzis" (later shortened to "The Chiffonis," which sounds more like a Motown girl group).  Christopher calls Elena an animal.  Nathan fears "Nitpicking Nina" and, my personal favorite, Dmitry gets lost in translation and calls Ven a "One Way Monkey."  Dmitry is now officially my favorite.

 Check out the One Way Monkey

The photo shoot is nothing short of a disaster for both teams.  As if the producers had not set these teams up for self-destruction enough with the team challenge, they provide props of blue-dot special caliber and a sterile white background with which to create "editorial" photos.  For once, I'm with Elena- those props were god-awful.

Mercifully the shoots end and it's time for the Runway!

Our guest judge tonight is a familiar face, Joanna Coles from Marie Claire.

The team scoring ends in a tie of fashion mediocrity, so the deciding factor for the illustrious prize of appearing in Marie Claire@Work will come down to the photo shoot.  I don't even want to talk about the photos.  They were SO. BAD.  I am hereby canceling my subscription to Marie Claire@Work because I can't bear to see this pictorial.  I can no longer trust MC@W as my #1 source for all women's professional fashion journalism.

Of course, we don't really care about the teams because Project Runway is ultimately an individual competition. Here's what the judges had to say:


Melissa's blue funnel-neck dress with exposed zipper looked awesome- like I want to wear that awesome.  Heidi said it was a showstopper and MK said it was edgy but still believable in an office setting.

Fabio's black and white colorblock dress was tres chic.  MK said it was his favorite dress of the collection and all the judges agreed it was the best use of the chiffon fabric.  I believe they all breathed a sigh of relief that he avoided the dreadful print fabric in the dress, though they weren't too crazy about the headband.

I believe Christopher must have made it to the top through extortion.  Somehow, his familiar fabric paneling technique on a mini skirt and an ugly jacket won him a top spot.

Sweet justice, the three biggest assholes this week ended up in the bottom three.

Elena made two black jackets.  One was dec, though that was the one Elena hated because it wasn't her design.  The second jacket had two Sydney Opera House shoulders.  The judges are just now keying in that Elena is obsessed with shoulders.

Raul also made two tops.  The judges didn't go for his rogue designing or his ruffle kerfuffle (oh so bad).  They said one of his tops was boring and the other was unattractive.

All photos courtesy of Lifetime
Finally, Gunnar's mock turtleneck pencil dress was not good.  Heidi thought the top looked like a boob souffle, Johanna said it looked like two puppies wrestling in a sack and everyone agreed it was an unfortunate use of the fabric. 

In the end, Team 6 won.  Melissa's was deservedly the challenge winner and, big surprise here, Raul got the Auf.  Thank merciful God.  On his way out, he charmed his way into America's hearts by telling Elena he really hated her ass.

It was a slow night for Michael Kors and his deliciously biting commentary- I guess he's not a meatloaf fan.  But he better be back on his A game next week- the designers will have NORMAL WOMEN as clients.  And there will be tears.  I can't wait! 

Riot on.

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Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 1

Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 2

Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 3

Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 4 

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