Project Runway Episode 4: The land of all things unfair

Center THIS, Ricky-Ticky-Tavi!

After the last episode, I think everyone was a bit relieved to enter back into the realm of women’s wear with this week’s challenge. And while there was considerably less cussing this week (Boooooooooo.), there were some excellent personality clashes and even some quality designing going on.

The bitching started off with Ricky (surprise!) He got incredibly pissed when Jack (the winner from last week) decided to choose Lea as his model for this week’s challenge, the same model that Ricky knowingly took from someone else (and, if I recall, even said “Hey, this is competition” after doing it) for the Sarah Jessica Parker challenge. He responded to Jack’s decision by claiming that he could now see Jack’s “true colors.” Oh hypocrisy, where would reality television be without you?

After The Great Model Swap Betrayal, the designers arrived in the workroom to find Tim Gunn waiting with Nina, one of the judges. It’s so funny to see the designers react to Nina. They’re always so excited to see Heidi and Michael, but Nina always seems to scare the crap out of them with her terrifying Colombian sass.

The designers were instructed to choose from photos portraying 12 outdated trends, most of which made their appearances in the late 80s and early 90s. Nina then gave them their challenge : work in teams of three to create a cohesive collection showing a modern representation of the outdated trends. Yikes.

vlcsnap-10404352.pngAs with any group situation, the cool kids gravitated towards each other immediately. Kit chose Christian and Jack, creating the group that I totally would want to be in if I were in that competition. Jillian and Rami worked together on the SJP challenge and wanted to pair up again. On Jillian’s suggestion, they asked Kevin to join their group.

That left Victorya to team with Crazy Elisa and Crybaby Ricky. Sweet P was left to blend with decent but somewhat nondescript work of Chris and Steven.

It was pretty obvious within the first three minutes which teams were going to be successful and which teams were doomed.

Kit and Jack appointed Christian as their team leader in their feat of combining their selected trends of zoot suits, fringe, and pleather. They decided right away to incorporate each trend into all three garments, making the pinstripe of the zoot suit the base of each design and keeping the fringe and pleather as accessories – all perfect calls in my opinion.

After looking over their trends of overalls, poodle skirts, and 70s flare, Jillian took the leadership role within her group, as Kevin and Rami saw her as the type of women who would actually wear those trends in an elegant way. They also decided to incorporate all of the trends in their pieces, including an awesome decision to mimic the fullness of the poodle skirt in the collars on some of their pieces. That creativity combined with the previous success of their team members put them in an excellent place starting out.

Victorya insisted she didn’t want to be leader, so Ricky took the position. However, as they were brainstorming, Victorya whipped out a bossy streak on Elisa that she’s yet to show in previous episodes. Their trends were underwear as outerwear, neon, and cut-outs, three horrendous trends that would have been bad enough without poor group dynamics.

Meanwhile, even though Chris, Steven, and Sweet P got along really well, their lack of cohesiveness was evident from the very beginning as they decided to just use color to connect their trends of shoulder pads, dance wear, and baggy sweater. Great effort and creativity there, kids.

vlcsnap-10413234.pngWe saw very little of Kit, Christian, and Jack throughout this episode, other than Tim Gunn praising them for their collections modern look and Christian twirling in the mirror some and saying that their outfits were ferosh – that’s a shortened word for “ferocious” that I will be incorporating into as many conversations as possible from now on. They looked like they had so much fun AND they seemed to putting together something that was actually beautiful and interesting. What more could you want from a creative team?

Jillian and Rami worked well together in the SSJP challenge, probably because they both seem to be work horses and very good at managing their time. But, Jillian spent the majority of this challenge worrying about Kevin’s progress on a pair of high-waisted shorts (sounds awful, looked great), but doing very little about it. She and Rami engaged in discussion about managing Kevin with him saying she should have been more on top of his work while she disagreed. And then they agreed to disagree and the discussion was over without any further animosity. And THEN, when Jillian finally saw Kevin’s finished product, she said she felt guilty and complimented his work to his face. It was all so mature that I was wondering if I had accidentally changed the channel.

Ricky and Victorya spent the majority of the challenge hating each other and wrangling Elisa who was having trouble with the construction of a simple shell dress. To his credit, Ricky found a way to explain the process to Elisa, spouting off some mumbo-jumbo about “finding her center” and off she went to put it together. After fitting her garment on her model, Victorya decided she needed to change her design completely and just didn’t bother to discuss it with her team. At the time of final fittings, Ricky offered a little suggestion that Victorya ended up taking, but he was pissed because she didn’t immediately bow down before him and lay her first born at his feet when he tweaked her outfit for the better.

The runway show finally let us see the complete collections and it was obvious which teams were successful. Jillian’s team pulled off a well-tailored, cohesive collection, as did Christian’s team. And while I personally loved all of the glorious pinstripe that Christian’s team pulled off, I can see why the judges went for Team Jillian’s collection as it pushed the boundaries a bit more.

The bottom two teams were no surprise. Team Ricky’s collection was a disaster. The garments were poorly fitted due to his selection of stiff duchess satin as their collection’s primary fabric. And while Sweet P managed to create something that was actually cute and properly constructed this week, Steven’s dance-wear inspired wrap dress/top thing just didn’t cut it, and Chris’s lovely key-hole dress was crushed by a bulky, ill-fitting jacket constructed out of fabric that belongs in those drapes I saw in the Pottery Barn catalouge rather than on the run way.

vlcsnap-103398541.pngLike she always does in partner or group challenges, Heidi asked the designers who they would send home. Victorya said Ricky, Ricky said Victorya, and Elisa chose herself because she would do that. The other team was much more mature about the whole thing, with Steven saying he would choose Chris because he simply preferred his own design, Chris choosing himself because he was the leader, and Sweet P reluctantly choosing Steven because she thought his garment was the least related to their collection.

After the judges deliberated, Sweet P, Elisa, Steven, and Victorya were declared “in,” leaving Ricky and Chris as the bottom two as the judges decided agreed that both of them created the worst looks within their respective collections.

In the end, Chris got sent home, and I was completely shocked. Ricky has been in the bottom two in all but one episode AND he wouldn’t take responsibility for his team’s crap collection. Meanwhile, Chris managed to orchestrate one of the classiest departures Project Runway has ever seen. He got and gave hugs and said he hoped he brought fun to the show.

And now we’re left to look at Ricky’s stupid mesh police officer hat for another week.

I’m bitter. Let’s just get to the good stuff…

Who I now love:

I’m all about Christian right now. I hated him in the beginning, but I think he’s funny and talented, two things I love, as do the producers of Project Runway. I think he’s in for a nice, long run.

Who I don’t love:

Hey, Ricky. Yeah, you with the hat. Shut it.

Who to watch out for:

Just like last week, I’m saying Kit and Rami. The girl knows how to make something cool without it being ridiculous, and I think that Rami is a class act.

Who’s next to go:

If Ricky isn’t gone next week, I’m going to bash my head against a wall. And then I’ll bash all your heads against a wall, too.

Now, I know some of you have seen the previews for next week and can sense that something is going on with Jack. And I can tell you that I already know exactly what is going to happen, but I’m not going to say. Just know that it is unprecedented in Project Runway history and unfortunate. 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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