Project Runway Episode 6: Designing for Willy Wonka’s girlfriend

We’re back after a short hiatus, and the Project Runway gods didn’t disappoint as they orchestrate the ultimate “worlds colliding” moment: models and CANDY.

(Anyone not remember anything about Project Runway when Wednesday rolled around? Me neither. Luckily this site has archives, so check out episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 if you need a recap. I know I did.)

After last episode’s “What’s the Skinny?” challenge, I’m sure the designer’s were looking forward to a normal task, one that would allow them to go to a fabric store to design a high-end garment for their beautiful models. Ha! No such luck.

candy.pngInstead of taking them to Mood, Tim Gunn dragged them to the Hershey’s store in Times Square and presented them with their latest challenge: In one day, create on outfit of their choice using any of the items in the Hershey’s store. We saw a great variety of strategies – some went for pillow cases, some for wrapping paper, others for actual candy. As they had zero sketching time, the designers really had to trust their instincts here, forcing them to cut the crap and just go with it.

Back in the workroom, Christian was in rare form, letting his fellow designers and us know repeatedly that he just has great taste and a secure sense of style. While his halter dress of Reese’s peanut butter cup wrappers was a bit inspired, humility goes a long way and I’m wondering if his little body is going to be able to hold up that head much longer.

twizzlers.pngMuch of the episode focused on Jillian and Rami who are starting to stick out as the golden children this season (think Kara Saun and Austin in Season One). Jillian was the only who chose to construct her garment out of candy, creating a corseted bodice made entirely out of Twizzlers that not only showed guts, but also redeemed her for her slacker approach last week. She was behind for the majority of the challenge this week, but her previous performances didn’t really have me worried for her. Some people are just able to pull it together, and Jillian seems to be one of them.

Meanwhile, Rami stuck to a safer route, working with paper and fabric to create a halter dress that, as Tim Gunn pointed out, looked like something Jillian would wear. Competitors or not, Jillian and Rami seem to be forging one of the best friendships seen on Project Runway. That could prove to be beneficial or completely disastrous as the show continues.

The real disasters this week were with Sweet P and Elisa. Sweet P was her usual self, constantly questioning herself and making others wonder if she really belongs in the competition. And even though we got to see a glimpse into Elisa’s past (and perhaps get a better understanding of her approach to life) when she discussed an accident that left her with a broken neck just a few years ago, her vision of a macabre Hansel and Gretel just couldn’t seem to get there.

I have to say, this week’s runway show was one of the best in the show’s history. Even the designs that flew underneath the radar were pretty stellar, especially Kevin’s delicious pencil skirt and bolero ensemble.

The conclusion of the runway show left us with Jillian, Rami, Chris, Victorya, Elisa, and Sweet P.

ramis.pngJillian was rewarded for her risk as the judges praised her for pushing the boundaries. Zac Posen was over the moon for Rami’s dress, marveling at his attention to detail within the individual pleats of the A-line skirt and the overall fit of the garment. And over-the-top Chris (who could have taken the consumable nature of this challenge to a dangerous place thanks to his history in eccentric costume construction) was complimented on his editing choices this week with Nina even saying his model was ready to walk right in and shoot for the pages of Elle.

Sweet P, Elisa, and Victorya were all criticized for the lack of joy in their garments, with the judges focusing in particularly hard on Elisa. Like me, they expected something exuberant and fanciful from her, and she just failed to deliver.

Rami got the win this week along with immunity for the next challenge, a rare prize this season. Elisa got the Auf, an outcome she greeted with a big smile and heartfelt yoga-ish, mumbo jumbo.

All right. On to the good stuff…

Non-winning winner:

Chris, again. The judges were so pleased (and so shocked!) at the level of taste he showed this week. Even if it doesn’t last, at least he got a compliment out of Nina.

What we actually learned:

You can’t go wrong with a halter. Even if it’s made of wrapping paper.

Who I now love:

I was over Jillian during the last episode, but she showed guts and humility this week. Two things this girl loves. And I still love Kevin, mostly because he said he was going to “off” Christian.

Who I now don’t love:

That Victorya is getting lippy and I feel like she thinks she knows everything. Plus, she argued with Michael Kors which is not smart considering he is 1/4 of force deciding if you stay or go.

Who to watch out for:

I feel like Rami might be in it to win it.

Who’s next to go:

While I think the judges might be growing weary of Victorya’s passive aggressive tendencies, Sweet P might just implode next week.

Some key words for next week: memories, most important day of my life, and hyperactive. This is going to be wonderful. 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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