Category Archives: Project Runway

Project Runway: Season 10, Finale

Surprise, all four contestants get to compete in [insert corporate sponsor here] fashion week on the Project Runway finale! Double surprise, they have another whole day to go to Mood and make more fashion! Other than the first season, I can’t recall a time when this didn’t happen. Otherwise, what would we be watching before the final runway? And yet always it’s such a huge shock to the contestants. I can take only so much styling and product placement as it is. Oh gosh, but there is SO MUCH STYLING even still.

Before we move on to the final runway looks, we can’t finish out BTYM’s coverage of Project Runway’s 10th season without pointing our loyal readers towards the fabulous Fashion It So single-topic Tumblr. It is a wonderful way to detox after PR. Go read it. Continue reading


Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 11 – It’s Fashion Baby

There’s not much we can say about an episode of Project Runway where the designers make clothes for babies. Not clothes inspired by babies. Not clothes made out of babies. Clothes for babies. OK, so also clothes for their moms at the last second. No real mention was made as to exactly why two winners out of such a small group would be announced, other than I am assuming because Heidi needed both a boy and a girl look for her clothing line?

Oh right, Heidi has a Kids ‘R Us clothing line. Because babies and Heidi’s style mesh so well.

With only another episode to go until the finale, it was a little strange to have this episode jammed in, but maybe they couldn’t find more than six willing parents. Or maybe it was just better to cleanse the viewers’ palates with a totally saccharine challenge before next week’s big Top 3 judging. Who knows?

Let’s discuss what we loved and what we hated… Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 9 – Print Challenge

I really loved the flashback to Mondo’s season, when he used a plus sign as the basis for his unique print, stemming from his HIV+ status. His look was winning in its own right, but the personal connection really sent it over the reality waterfall edge. It was more than memorable. For once I don’t mind the HP product placement, since in this challenge the touch-screen capabilities [and side note: a Mondo-inspired laptop bag] really do enhance the abilities of the designers. Wasn’t Elena super cute when her mom walked in? I of course loved that her mom had an equally edgy look. My only real complaint with the challenge was that the designers were forced to create a garment inspired by their personal history.T

  1. This was a forced connection with Mondo’s very real reveal a few seasons ago
  2. Shouldn’t they always be designing from a personal place? Sure, they aren’t designing for themselves literally, but they’re supposed to always send something down the runway that truly speaks to their inner designer selves.

However, this is a minor complaint, since usually the prints are uniformly fine; it’s more a question of scale (too big = gawdy…too small = indistinguishable) than the individual drawing that ultimately becomes the pattern’s unit.

Lastly, the cuteness award goes to Fabio’s boyfriend.

Anyway, on to Loves It / Hates It! You can see all of the looks here.

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Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 8 – Starving Artist

Have there even been this many team challenges in Project Runway history? There have been almost as many team as individual challenges this season. Because we like misery? I have to say that this was maybe the first time the interactions between the various team members did actually provide insight into the design process. However, that doesn’t forgive the theme of the episode. What was the connection between making crap clothes to sell on the street and this being a team challenge where that money was used to buy materials for a fall collection? Fall collection = street selling…somehow.

The award for best “what the shit is that hot garbage” confessional cut-aways definitely goes to Alena, who is slowly moving away from love-to-hate to just plain love.  There were a lot of great lines from Dmitry to: “Alena, you wake up mad.” “Alena is walking depression.” And so on. On to Loves it / Hates it!

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Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 7

As the season chugs along and contestants are cut, it’s becoming less laborious to talk about the final looks. This show just has way too many people, most of whom are forgettable. Has anyone ever seen RuPaul’s Drag Race? It’s the total opposite.

I (MJ) liked the challenge — design a manufacturable dress for Lord & Taylor within a set price range — even though it is inherently cross-promotional with a brand, but at least in this case it’s a fashion brand. How is this type of challenge not more common?

Design a uniform for the Postal Service. Design a look for the US Olympic Team. Design a look around a couture shoe.

These are problems for which designers might need to find solutions, and yet they can still be interesting to the viewer. For example, Christopher looks at the existing Lord & Taylor Project Runway collection and notices it has only two evening gowns, whereas Gunnar sees a connection between the styles of two dresses that he could work from. I like this. Plus, there will be drama no matter what. We hear “Lord and Taylor” and know it is a clothing store. I’m just so turned off by the various Lexus/Dillan’s Candy/HP challenges.

On to the looks! Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 6

It’s the regular person / Loreal co-branded design challenge, where invariably everyone bitches and moans about how unfair their fat clients are. It’s hilarious how little enthusiasm the Project Runway designers have at the prospect of making clothes for real people. Not sure why this has occurred to us yet, but Dmitry is Count Chocula in human form. You see it? Oy, it’s hard to watch Ven, who is particularly demeaning to his client. Ironically, he is the most “plus size” of the contestants.

The designers are once again totally underwhelming. Why aren’t the judges hammering them more? In past seasons there have been better outfits that were torn apart in judging. Is it true what DM suggested, that they are scraping the bottom at this point? We’ve never been so bored so consistently week after week with the off-the-shelf looks, which, speaking of… Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 5

The challenge this week on Project Runway was to create a “fashion capsule collection” for a real world / workplace setting. In a team, with a photoshoot! Was Raul a little too upset about being chosen last? He is kind of not great. There was seriously so much freaking out peppered throughout the episode! Lots of swearing and yelling for no reason. “CAN YOU DO A VEST AND A SKIRT?!?!” Why is this yelled? We also learn that a one-way monkey = one-trick pony. In conclusion, so much yelling.

DM hates team challenges. It stresses her out to have to sit and watch people fight and be whiny and catty. That said, the whole episode she kept wishing they could send Raul, Elena AND Gunnar home because of their bad and selfish attitudes. It’s a team challenge! Be a team player, because if your collection isn’t cohesive, there’s MORE of a chance you’ll get sent home.

On to Loves It / Hates It! Spoiler Alert: The judges seriously disagreed with MJ this week. Does he have bad taste? Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 4

This season’s contestants are quitting left and right! We’ll miss Kouen, or however he spells his name. We didn’t really get to see much of him. Wouldn’t it have been fun to see how he tackled the other challenges? DM is really not wowed by any of the designers on this season. She’s very turned off by many of them, and doesn’t really like any of them. Very few of them have any real strong design aesthetic. It’s like the producers and casting directors were scraping the bottom of the barrel this season, which is apparent in the way so many of them just can’t handle the pressure and just decide to give up so early on.

And good lord does MJ not care for Christopher. What is going through his mind? DM disagrees. They are going to fight about Christopher all season. DM adds, “And seriously who is Nathan? I keep forgetting.” Indeed. In general MJ finds the contestants to all be sufficiently interesting as people but fairly boring as designers. And why are most of them so afraid of color? And fun? It’s like they all want to design for the store they have back home in Muncie rather than a runway in Milan.

Finally and most importantly, GC’s back in the loves it/hates it game! Her hilarious comments have been retroactively added to this season, so please do go check out our earlier recaps. Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 3

Thank goodness it’s a team challenge this week, because there’s less to critique! We still have just way too many contestants. There are over a dozen. How is this possible? The team challenges on Project Runway are usually enjoyable, and in what must be a first, the producers gave up the usual trope of the not-at-all-shocking twist. “Oh, these two people have to make more than one look? So surprising!”

Is it a little strange, though, that not a single male former contestant was included in the group of people to design for? Granted choosing all women levels the playing field, but it would have been interesting to see.

Lastly, we have yet another lame product tie-in. This time it’s Lexus, providing “color inspiration,” AKA the only six colors they paint cars with. “Lexus” is mentioned numerous times. Gag.

On to Loves It/Hates It! Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 2

The first few episodes of any Project Runway season invariably are a struggle for me to remember most of the contestants. How many are there? Like 38 or something? For example, please explain the difference between Christopher and Gunnar. You can’t. Well, the “unconventional challenge” episode each year tends to rectify that. In what I’m hoping isn’t — but fully expect is — a trend, this one’s especially product placementy. Does Dylan’s Candy really need this much exposure? Are they planning to expand worldwide or something? Usually this challenge takes place in grocery store or party store. Here, it’s logos galore. Oh well.

On to the final looks!

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Project Runway: Season 10, Premiere

Project Runway is back! Project Runway is back? I feel like it was just on the air. Oh, nevermind.

I’m so glad there isn’t a lame pre-episode where they cut a bunch of people this time around. I am, however, not glad about all the branding. The contestants all seem sufficiently odd and sound bitey. Freegans and white dreads and what have you. There is a fun moment when Tim Gunn walks in to ask how everyone is doing and they all collectively groan, “ohargyahboouhyahblah, ” in unison. Sponsored by Brother. Also, I love that Lauren Graham was a guest judge. Gilmore Girls for the win.

Let’s talk about the final looks, in classic Loves It/Hates it style… Continue reading

Project Runway All Stars: Finale

DM: What could we say about the first half of the finale? I truly hated all of them, but this was based purely on all of their catty bitchy attitudes. It hurts me to say that about Mondo, because he’s been my favorite since the first episode of his original season. We hadn’t seen completed looks, so it was hard to comment on them. But what I can comment on is the fact that all three of them were getting annoying and bitchy and not fun to watch. I still wanted Mondo to win, with Austin as runner up, and I’ve wanted Michael gone from the beginning, so his placement in my mind is obvious. Continue reading

Project Runway All Stars: Episode 10

Not-Heidi’s eyes were super big this week. There was a lot of over-enunciation. Anyone notice that? One of us has never heard of Nenette Lepore. She seems like she’d sell to upper class New York women with little class. Apparently, though, she’s high class — just not haute couture. The concept — to design for a certain [I’m assuming low] price point — is certainly an interesting if not relevant one, but this is Project Runwaycome on! We want crazy couture.

And, wait, what? Why are they not going to fashion week?? This is so clearly not a real season of Project Runway… If we wanted to watch people design for Target, we’d watch one of the many knock-off fashion reality shows. The part where they present their designs and then are told both what the dress would retail for and what it would cost to make in fabric, were interesting, except it’s not really explained. Were they calculating how many people would be needed to make the dress, and how many yards it would need in fabric? A little confusing. It sort of falls apart when we get to Mondo, and he shows them the most basic sketch possible, yet the women somehow have a formula for him still. Continue reading

Project Runway All Stars: Episode 9

Oh, Project Runway All Stars, you held so much promise. Didn’t you?

It’s amazing that we’re down to the top five, and yet very few memorable moments — much less designs — have come to being.

Still, I was very intrigued by the premise this week, although obviously it had the potential to be gimmicky with lots of neon. It’s sort of unfair that they’re told to design for viewing in a black light, yet the judging takes place in visible light.

What do y’all think?

Leave a comment!

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Project Runway All Stars: Episode 8

This was an oddly noncommercial challenge — especially for Project Runway All Stars standards — unless…the United Nations needs publicity? There were some fun moments with Not-Tim-Gunn, like when she wears an outfit that perfectly matches the Jamaican flag, but ironically she waltz up to it and doesn’t recognize its country of origin. If a contestant did that they’d be scolded. It was interesting when she pointed out how most of the men’s designs required their models omit bras. “Woman want to wear underwear,” she scolds them! DM thinks otherwise: “I have to comment on Joanna’s obsession with undergarments this week. I love backless clothing. All a designer needs to do to solve the bra problem is sew cups into the boob area. Not all women are so bra obsessed.”

Thank goodness Austin cut off the ‘stache! At some point in the future, according to the confessionals. Only 6 left to critique! Continue reading

Project Runway All Stars: Episode 7 – Broadway Debut

It’s the midway point for Project Runway All Stars. I don’t know if we should be excited or elated. Let’s start off this week with general thoughts from each of our reviewers.

GC: OK, first of all why was the costume designer of Godspell not even consulted? Did the designers know anything about the show? They were not given a theme or the costume designer’s research. Of course a Broadway costume designer would let a random person design a dress for a lead with no knowledge of the show and concept. This episode did not piss me off as much as the other episodes. Heavens knows it was a better challenge than get inspired by gelato. Overall the season is a C+.

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Project Runway All Stars: Episode 6, Not Even Trying Anymore

It’s the dueling designers seasonal luggage sportswear challenge! You know, that challenge you totally, um, remember…and love? Oh who cares anymore; Project Runway All Stars is just such an utter disaster, but not in the good way. Much like the post-Santino Rice impersonation of Tim Gunn, it’s an OK caricature of itself. We don’t really know at this point. It’s been only 6 episodes. Usually PR starts off strong, so maybe PRAS is the bizarro-world converse version?

Specifically, where are the quips? The unintentionally self-referential critiques? The bordering-on-Lester-the-molester looks? Almost all of the kookie elements have been stripped out, and we’re left with some pretty decent designers that are kind of also sort of memorable?

Case in point: Jerell accuses Michael of copying him (which he did do), and Michael just dead-pans, “well I looked over your table and copied what you did.” Barely sarcastic. Barely funny. Just sort of, tiny fart. Like Michael tiny farted in Jerell’s workspace, and Jerell was like, “oh well, if you must.” I am only 70% on Jerell’s side because that hair poof is wrong. You’re never going to have me with that hair poof. That is what happened.There is only so much techno music fierce sewing montage that can enliven such television.

But enough of that! What did we think of this week’s looks? Continue reading

Project Runway All Stars: Episode 5, Nudie Muses

This week starts with the challenge announcement in Central Park, but then they all immediately go to Union Square, 40-60 blocks away. Why? Because that’s where the production staff have placed various models and already-willing “strangers.” I’m sure there was some Diesel cross-promotion too. Did anyone else see the 1-armed man? I think he was talking to Rami. Not-Heidi (real name, Laura?) is the worst. She’s like the Real Housewives‘ friends who aren’t actually on the show, so they try to insert themselves and appear edgy. I refer to them as the “hangers-on.” This episodes was sort of all over the place. What did everyone think? Continue reading

Project Runway All Stars: Episode 4, Gelato/DVF

What’s with the super-short challenges on Project Runway All Stars? Making it only 6 hours doesn’t make me more interested; it makes me angrier. I’d rather see what these talented designers could do if they had extra time and money, not less. It must be some lame production reason — like maybe the episode can’t spill over into the next day — because they don’t even get to go to Mood.

And speaking of…if it’s a “mini-Mood,” why is there a time limit at all? Why not just let them come and go, since it’s just a stupid room adjacent to the work room?

Lastly, anyone notice how Michael finished his gelato and is always the most excited [apparently] to see the guest judges, be they actually famous (like this week) or not (see, most previous episodes). Does he really need a job or something?

Alas, we don’t have time to discuss such trivial matters. On to the group critique!

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Project Runway All Stars: Episode 3

Well this week’s Project Runway All Stars was sort of all over the place, and fittingly, the final looks were polarizing for our critiquers. Given that the challenge was to dress a Muppet, it’s perhaps not surprising that many of the “gowns” skirted the line between costume and hooker.

What did y’all think? Leave your comments after the break.

Oh, and if anyone can find a photo of the dress Miss Piggy actually wore to the premiere of The Muppets Movie, send us an email. It would appear she didn’t in fact wear it. Diva.

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Project Runway All Stars: Episode 2

We’re still not super convinced this is a real season of Project Runway, what with the not-quite Heidi doppelganger and the not-quite Tim Gunn wannabe. Still, it’s PR, and we must obey. And by “obey” we mean snarkly rate the designers. Oh, and HP. Gotta mention the HPs. Loves those ThinksFart tablets that HP totally didn’t basically disown last year.

This week’s challenge is to design a romantic couture gown for the opera. Way to connect with your audience, Lifetime! Anyway, let’s rate the looks:

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Project Runway All Stars: Episode 1

We have been misled.

As it turns out this “all star” season of Project Runway is quite different from the rest. We’re extremely confused by a few things: First of all, where the balls is Santino Rice? His omission is akin to the sacrilegious absence of Jade in the recent America’s Next Top Model: All Stars season. I assume he’s far busier [read: more famous] than these other former contestants. Secondly, why the fuck do we have a new host and new judges? Where is Heidi? Where is His Majesty of Orange, Michael Kors? Most importantly, where the whosie is Tim Gunn? All I can think of is that this isn’t a “real” season of Project Runway, and thus the usual crew isn’t necessary. What gives? Finally, has it even been long enough since last season…much less for a season filled with past contestants? ANTM went through 16 “cycles” before recycling old personalities last year. Project Runway’s had only 9.

No matter. Let’s discuss this week’s looks. In a departure from past recaps, BTYM is pooling from a rolling group of Project Runway fans, in an effort to diversify the opinions. Check out the various looks here.

One last question: What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments, as always.

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