Project Runway Episode 3: Where the cussing flows like wine.

You want us to make pants?!?!?

ARGHH!!! I’m Tim Gunn!As I said last week, the third episode of Project Runway promised the most difficult challenge in the show’s history. And boy did those producers bring it.

This week, the designers were asked to create an on-air ensemble for Today Show correspondent Tiki Barber (not to be confused with this Tiki Barber, who is the mother of one of my former students and, as you can see, even more delicious than the “real” Tiki Barber). Sounds easy enough, right?


As this Tiki Barber is a man, he most likely should not be seen on television wearing a dress. So, the real stickler in this challenge was the requirement that the designers make menswear, a task that the show rarely presents to its contestant and a skill set few of the designers have. Menswear requires impeccable tailoring, especially if it’s going to be worn on television. As we all know, the time constraints of this show make it difficult to get a good fit on even a baby doll dress, let alone a pair of pants, a shirt, and a jacket or vest. Tiki made it even more difficult for them because, as a former football player, he’s got a huge neck, wide chest, and, as he put it, “a big butt.”

The only designers with any experience creating menswear were Kevin and Jack, who admitted that while he had worked as a menswear designer, he never actually had to sew any of those designs. However, in an act of innovation, Jack realized that the flat-front shorts he was wearing had the same style he wanted to convey on the pants in his design. So, he took them off and made a pattern of them. Smart and resourceful, yes, but things seem to move over into the unfair advantage area when he started sharing that pattern with his contestants. That didn’t sit well with me, but apparently it was within the rules of the show.

The producers did cut the contestants a little slack throughout the challenge by letting them work with their models a bit earlier than usual. The designers seemed to appreciate this on multiple levels, those levels being a professional level and a “OMG I wanna make out with the beautiful men” level. I could relate, particularly to the latter.

While they loved touching the pretty boys, there was much gnashing of teeth and cussing (Yessssssssssss!) as the designers realized how much work they had in order to get a well-finished and tailored fit for the runway show.

Things got worse when Tiki Barber’s wife (who’s qualified to pick out his wardrobe because she knows about his big butt more than anyone, I guess?) showed up to mosey around the workroom with Tim and put in her two cents. She was fairly noncommittal when speaking to the designers, until she came across Carmen. Mrs. Tiki was not into what she described as the Members Only jacket Carmen was working on and suggested that Carmen go in another direction. Carmen, to her credit, just nodded, rather than jumping on the NFL wife and pulling out every strand of her luscious hair, like I would have done.

Tensions got EVEN WORSE as panic set in. Ricky and Carmen got into some kind of fight sort of. It was hard to tell what was going on because it was one of those situations where people are talking and kidding around and then one of them decides that it’s not funny and suddenly gets mad but the other doesn’t know it until the first one starts getting pissy and cussing (Yesssssssssssss!)

As the judging approached, the editors finally started giving us good glimpses of what kind of disasters were going to be sent down the runway. Most people either made something ugly, or got a fit that was just off enough to be noticeable.

Barf on this, seriously.And then there was Sweet P. Oh, kind-hearted, talking-like-a-sailor Sweet P. While the pants fit well and her tie was beautiful, the collar was atrocious. Honestly, I’m amazed she even let it go out on the runway. Still at least her model had a shirt. Carmen could only drape her model with the piece of fabric she intended to use for her shirt and send him off like that. Tight pants, ugly jacket, stupid cap, and no shirt: just what Tiki Barber was looking for!

The runway show finished with Kevin, Kit, and Jack in the top three. Kevin created a pant, vest, and shirt ensemble that while pretty cool, looked like something *Kevin* would wear on the Today Show, not Tiki. Still, the finish was decent and the fit was good. Kit lived up to my predictions from last week by making the top three, but I was kind of “eh” about her khaki pant, white shirt, and blue blazer combo. Apparently the blazer was made out of fleece which the judges loved, but I think the look just didn’t translate well on screen. As far as Jack goes, he did accomplish a great fit, but I didn’t really like his pairing of the striped shirt with the also striped pant. However, I loved the bias cut on the shirt pockets giving them just enough variation to keep things interesting.

In the end, Jack was chosen as the winner for the week, fitting as he had the most experience. While I didn’t love what he did, his outfit did look the most like something Tiki would have chosen for himself…and by chosen for himself I mean his wife would have laid out for him before going to bed at night.

Awhaa? Shirtless?Ricky (AGAIN), Sweet P, and Carmen rounded out the bottom three. Ricky got ripped a new one 1) for designing something super boring and 2) sending it down the runway held together with pins. And while the judges couldn’t understand what happened with the collar of Sweet P’s shirt, they seemed impressed by her candidness in saying that she basically just effed the whole thing up. In addition to her model’s lack of shirt, Carmen was criticized for the ridiculous cut of her pants and the still ugly jacket.

In the end, Carmen was Auf’d, with Ricky and Sweet P barely making it to next week. And honestly, I was a little sad to see Carmen leave. She reminded me a lot of Kara Saun from the first season who ended up making it until the final three. I think if the producers had waited a little while to bring out the big guns, we would have seen some great work from her.

All right. Enough lamenting. On to the predictions for the coming weeks…

Who I now love:
I’m totally loving Kit. She seems to be a great mix of crazy with humility. It’s good to see her inching up to the top and not peaking too soon. I still love Sweet P and hope she sticks around for a while to redeem herself. And to keep cussing (Yessssssssssssss!)

Who I now don’t love:
I’m so over Ricky. Always with the crying and the bitching. And it’s not even sassy bitching. BORING!

Who to watch out for:
I still say Kit. I’ll also say Rami because he started strong and we didn’t see much of him the last two episodes – I bet he’s getting TO’ed from the lack of attention.

Who’s next to go:
Please, God, let it be Ricky. I’m over him. Luckily, I think the judges are, too.

It looks like next week is a team challenge and we’ve been shown tons of clips of Ricky and Victorya (!) pissing each other off. Which means only one thing: FIGHTS (Yessssssssssssss!) Until then…

Auf Wiedersehen!

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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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