Project Runway Episode 5: Goodbye, hello, goodbye.

Sweet merciful crap, that’s a lot of satin.

I’ve watched every season of Project Runway (multiple times) and not once has there been a contestant who created such a weepy wake (cry! cry! cry!) in his departure as Chris did this week. Even Tim Gunn got a little choked up when reading the note Chris left pinned to his dress form in the workroom.

vlcsnap-16389821.pngBut alas, the designers managed to pull themselves together to get started on their latest challenge to redesign the outfits of 12 women who recently lost a significant amount of weight. The original garments represented a variety of disasters, including a floor length green velvet dress, a canary yellow blazer paired with black slacks, and the piece de resistance: a full-on bridal gown with lace and beading sewn to a shiny backdrop of imitation satin. They were also given 10 whole dollars to buy trimmings to complete their looks.

I must say I was impressed with how this group handled working with these non-models. In the “Everyday Woman” challenge from last season, all of the designers were constantly saying, “She just doesn’t have the ideal body and I’m not used to making clothes for someone of this size.” The Season Four Crew just bounced along on their merry way, squawking about the quality of their fabrics rather than the sizes of their clients asses.

vlcsnap-16391283.pngShortly after the challenge was underway, Jack started to crumble. We saw early in the episode that Jack was fighting off a staph infection in his face (I know, I feel like it’s on me now, too). The poor thing’s handsome countenance was quickly replaced with a puffy upper lip that he tried his best to keep hidden from the camera. While he plugged along for a while on his garment, he contacted his doctor and decided to follow medical advice and seek out treatment. Makes sense as he is HIV positive (and has been for over 17 years) and he probably shouldn’t mess around with such things. So, in a move unprecedented for Project Runway, Jack bowed out of the competition about halfway into day one of this week’s challenge.

Although there were tears at Jack’s departure, the designers were thrilled when producers decided to bring back Chris to complete the garment for Jack’s client, thus giving him a chance to redeem himself for his performance last week.

vlcsnap-16395112.pngAs the challenge went on, most of the designers seemed to be in pretty good shape, save Steven, the designer working with the aforementioned wedding dress. The unfortunate thing was everyone knew he wasn’t in good shape except for him. At the end of day one he was sure he would finish in time. Cut to the end of day two, and he’s gluing hems as Victorya is sewing the collar and cuffs onto to the dress as his model is walking out to the runway.

The end of the runway show left us with six: Kevin, Jillian, Christian, Elisa, Chris, and Steven.

vlcsnap-16393271.pngYou could tell Kevin’s client loved her outfit and even though the judges weren’t thrilled with his use of leggings, they were pleased with how happy she was. Jillian apparently thought the rules didn’t apply to her and created a dress in the same color as her client’s original blouse. Nonetheless, her client looked great and the judges had to give her credit for that. And of course, everyone went ga-ga over Christian’s ensemble: the perfect cropped jeans paired with a structured short-sleeved jacket and sassy black boots. More commercial than his usual work, but fierce as always.

Now, I have to say, I didn’t hate Elisa’s dress and I appreciated her intentions. She just wanted her client to feel sexy. Unfortunately, putting a layered, flowing dress on a curvy woman over the age of 45 doesn’t always equal sexy; most of the time it equals a big old mess. Meanwhile, the judges found Chris’s garment to be too much like a costume, particularly the costume of a 1950s French prostitute. And like Michael Kors, I can’t even talk about Steven’s outfit. Let’s just say that the wedding dress might have been better.

Christian ended up taking the top spot, a first for him in the competition. I’m interested to his if his head explodes with fierceness. Steven ended up getting the Auf, unfortunately, even though I would have been equally sad if Elisa or Chris had gotten it. I know, I’m just as shocked at what I just said about Elisa, but she seems pretty selfless, despite her craziness. And anyone who doesn’t love Chris supports terrorism.

Now on to my closing sentiments for this week (including some additions!).

Non-winning winner: *NEW*

Chris, hands down. Who needs $100,000 when you are the recipient of all that love? And anyway, I’m sure he’ll win “fan favorite” and walk home with a big novelty check at the reunion show.

Best moment: *NEW*

I died of shock when Tim Gunn alluded to making poor decisions at 3am. And then he got all sputtering and blushed when he realized what he just suggested, assuring us once again that he is asexual and “didn’t even take it there.” Oh, Tim!

What we actually learned: *NEW*

Always go for long and lean. Elisa’s dress showed us that anyone of shorter stature needs to keep her outfit as streamline as possible. Layering is ok, just don’t let it block your body off into sections.

Who I now love:

Guys. I love Kevin. I think he understands what make a woman look attractive, without making her look like a slut, which what I think most people would expect from a heterosexual male designer.

Who I now don’t love:

Ricky still bores me to no end, but he was tolerable this week as the only reason he cried was because his client said she felt attractive in her new outfit. So, I’ll just say that I still don’t love his dumb hat.

Also, I was completely unimpressed by Jillian. True, she made a lovely dress, but I was disappointed in her lack of ingenuity, as were the judges.

Who to watch out for:

I’m wondering if the editors and producers are saving Rami for later, like a very special chocolate. He just gets what women want to wear and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Who’s next to go:

I think Sweet P is about to lose it. The scenes for next week not only show her cussing and saying “F****, what am I gonna do now?” but also feature Tim Gunn with a furrowed brow as he questions her design.

Speaking of next week, it looks like it’s gonna be a good one with people scrambling to finish and Nina saying, “I was expecting more from you” to someone, which is never a good thing coming from her. 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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